Friday, January 23, 2015

A Valentine banner, and other hearts

 I've been free form hand stitching little hearts.
 These are the wool ones I showed you last time; thank you for all the encouragement, by the way!
I covered them in stitches with bright perle cotton
 I edged these hearts in black thread; their shapes are very "loose"
 I couldn't resist doing a white on white heart with vintage laces over it
 I might add three perfect little pearl buttons to the front -- I bet you can guess just where!
 More free stitching, on tiny hearts
The red one looks a little too Christmas-y, no?
I think I like this one best.
I told you I was going to take some time out for paper art last Saturday, and so I did.  I made a Valentine banner.
 I bought the chipboard pennants very inexpensively at Tuesday Morning a while back...
 and covered them front and back with a selection of papers.
 I wanted it to have a vintage feel, so most of the elements are antique.
 I really enjoyed the process of choosing some good stuff to use, like very old doilies...
 and this antique crepe paper Valentine.
 I mixed old and new and I really had a ball!
 I strung them together with red tulle and decorated each of the holes with tiny silver toned brads.
I wanted to put something, like coffee filter roses, on the back of each pennant -- maybe I will in the future.
Are you festooning your home with pink and hearts and flowers for February?


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Born to do this

I had a very peaceful time at my table, creating this canvas the other day.
 I made it on a canvas covered board and used paint, gesso, and mostly new papers.  But also some antique wall paper.
 The quote on this scrapbook paper really spoke to me: I am not afraid, I was born to do this.
The pen tells you what that destiny is -- writing:
all the story-telling I have been wanting to do, and how important it is to me, and how much courage it takes to put my words and stories out there.
Funny -- I sat down to make a Valentine canvas and this is what happened!
Maybe it is just my valentine to myself.
 

Newsflash: Karla has opened up registration for Bird Song 5 coming up June 5 & 6; it always fills up so if you are thinking of going, get in touch with her as soon as possible!
You know if you have read my blog for a while that it is my favorite art event and I never miss it -- alas, I will have to miss it this time.  The timing doesn't work with all the graduation celebrating we'll be doing around here for Benjamin.  I am so sad to miss it!
Me, Suzanne and Karla at the inaugural Birdsong

So I hope you can go and, if you do, let me know, and then go, enjoy, take pictures and tell me ALL about it!  You will have the most fun with wonderful people and teachers, making great projects and enjoying Karla's warm hospitality!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy sunny Saturday

Hello there friends!  I can't stay long as the sun is out for the first time in a few days and I can't wait to get outside and watch the snow melt!  But I had to say Hello and Happy Saturday, and I have some fun to show you:
One day soon it will be warm enough to wear these Mondo Crocs I just bought online.  Project Runway fans will remember that Mondo was a designer on Season 8 and later an All Stars winner -- and I just adored his style.  He did a limited edition of colorful Crocs and they have just now gone down in price to become affordable.  (At one point they were selling for hundreds on eBay.)  They make me very happy!
 Then again, it doesn't take much to make me happy.  Like playing with my flower frogs -- I think you can say I have a collection now!
 The square and green one are new to me -- I bought them at a vintage market last weekend, along with...
this really fun ephemera -- little oil change reminder tags!
At an estate sale I found I this decorated Christmas box...
 and a trio of little Santas.
Inside the box: someone's supply of Christmas crafts including hand made patterns, half-finished projects (I don't know what they are -- do you?), and really cool little tubes of sequins, beads and glitter -- way too much fun!
 After a very quick stop at a thrift store I came away with this unopened (until I did) package of Hallmark foil doilies...
and these heart shaped stencils that reminded me of Spirographs -- they will make a really cute display for Valentine's Day.
I've been stitching hearts to decorate...
like these, which started out as a fabulous Pendleton wool blanket that my husband inadvertently felted for me a couple of years ago.  I finally recovered enough to begin cutting it up.
I love the texture of them and I just keep stitching them -- even though I'm not sure what they will become!
I currently have Valentine's Day crafting on the brain.
I have assembled Valentines day supplies on the dining room table and can't wait to get to them!
After some sun and some exercise...priorities, people!
I hope you have a lovely weekend and a creative week ahead!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Completion, and new beginnings

Nine days into the new year and I am thinking about completing.  As in...finish putting away the holiday decor (number one priority for today)
...it's hard to say goodbye!
 A frosty cold day is perfect for getting things done.
Or, napping.
These two have me in constant danger of being sidetracked by leisure!
Here are a couple of things I have just this year been finishing:
I purchased this sampler from Pam Garrison last year, and began working on it last summer...
and finished it this week!  It's a great project to keep with you for those idle moments, like waiting for appointments, and makes for a fabulous feeling of "completion"!
Also last year (or maybe EVEN the year before...) I began working on one of those "cage doll" decorations.  Mine is a metal cage, topped with a vintage china cup...
and then with a china "half doll"; I found one that was just the right size in Kansas City last month.
  On new year's day I got it out, glued it on and began embellishing.  It's hard to see the actual china cup, as it is almost completely covered in different laces and trims.
I still have more frothy lace and ribbon to tie to the "cage" and then will add some crystals, beads and other tiny embellishments.  When finished, it will be along the lines of this creation by Robin Sanchez -- only she used a frozen Charlotte style head:
Don't you love the feeling of completing an Un Finished Object (UFO)?
Another item on my long, long list of creative "to dos" has been to begin making Zentangles.  I was first inspired to do this by Lorraine, literally years ago, when she began blogging about her Zentangle  adventures on her blog, Paper Vernissage.
So, right after the new year I purchased an e-book, Beginners Guide to Zentangle from Tanglepatterns,com.
I followed instructions to cut 3-1/2" square "tiles" from watercolor paper, gathered fine tipped pen and soft pencil, and began experimenting with several "beginner tangles" -- above is my VERY FIRST attempt!
I kind of fell in love with this pattern -- it is mesmerizing to draw.  Which is the point of Zentangle -- it is like doodling, only with the idea of repetitive strokes in satisfying designs that, when you are doing it, literally relaxes you.
I have to say -- it totally works for me.
The next new beginning for me is a free online class I have just signed up to take from Kathy Shaw who blogs at Shawkl.
photo by Kathy Shaw, http://www.shawkl.com/
It's called BCQC, for Basic Crazy Quilt Class!
Won't you join me?  She is taking sign ups/registrations through January 13, and you can read all about it here.  As part of the class, you will be invited to post your projects/progress on a blog that is exclusive to participants.  How much fun is that?  I have done plenty of crazy quilting and stitching, but never taken a class so it's time to learn something new!
Well, can't procrastinate any longer -- it's time for lunch and then a marathon packing-away-the-vintage-glass Christmas ornaments!
Please tell me I'm not the only one still working on getting Christmas down!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy new year!

Happy new year!  How are you feeling about 2015?

For the first time in a few years -- I am really excited and enthused about the new year and ready to make plans. 
In days gone by...
It's going to be a big year for our little family -- my son is graduating from high school  in May and will go off into the world on his own in the Fall.  Exact plans/details to come -- and I am eager to know what that will look like myself!
One of the things I liked about 2014 was that I really tried to make time for creative pursuits.
 And made an effort to try new things...
 and share creative time with different people.
Which resulted in some fun collaborations!
As well as oh so many beautiful gifts!
Pink was kind of a theme for me in 2014.
As was really being myself.
Not to dwell on the negative -- but it was wonderful to finally have the opportunity to leave my unhappy last job in September!
Just in time for another celebration, in fact!
50 years ago this happened!
Also in the Fall I learned about a chronic condition that has been robbing me of so much energy.  Not the greatest news -- but I am taking better care of myself with new knowledge and I feel so much better.
Now I have a new job where I work an alternate schedule and I think that has been another plus -- especially for my health.
So 2015 will bring with it yet more change.
It's exciting, mysterious, and welcome.
Are you ready?
Happy new year!