Friday, May 31, 2013

Crafting with junk

I had an impromptu crafting session the other night with Rebecca.  She recently tried out the Annie Sloan chalk paint and invited me to bring over something to paint.
So I showed up with some pieces of antique architectural trim that I had bought a couple of years ago, in Kansas I think, and a piece of great old, rusty garden fencing that I picked up the other day at a local antique store.
We each painted a length of trim white (one coat) and then cut some fencing (which was NOT easy!) to fit it.  We nailed the wire to the trim. I really like the way the wire looks against the white board.
Then we used pliers to bend the bottoms of the wire into "hooks".  The finished piece can be used to clip tags or other paper ephemera onto for display...and/or hang stuff from the hooks on the bottom.
I might even decorate the part of the fence that is nailed to the trim with a word formed from found pieces of junk.  I've always wanted to do that!  I'll show you when I complete it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tag Tuesday

I'm excited to be a new contributor at the fun blog, Tag Tuesday.  Each week we have a theme, create a tag, and post it.   Then we get to enjoy everyone's tags all week.
My first tag, for the letter "U", is now up on the blog.  Everyone's welcome to visit/follow along!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Scrap happy

I have been scrap happy lately, busily putting together something new in Leaves and Lace: those long-promised fabric scrap packs!
In the small ones (above), I included pieces of the new and vintage fabrics I used in my inside cover pages of the Breakfast at Tiffany's fabric book, now appearing in the Summer 2013 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery.
There are enough pieces to create a page of your own, or some crazy quilt blocks, or to use as an embellishment for tags -- or whatever you would like in a cheery NY theme!
Audrey-inspired vintage buttons and fancy trims complete the package.
Then...I've also made some scrap packs full of a wide variety of vintage fabrics from my stash.  I think it can be fun and challenging to create from a kit like this of pieces someone else put together, for a change.
These large kits include some really fun handmade vintage quilt scraps, completed, pieced "blocks"...
old fabrics, Irish linen, hand crocheted vintage doilies -- ETC!
It's the same stuff I use use to put together pages in my fabric journals.  I wanted buyers to feel like they had a chance to pick through my stash of favorite fabrics!
I hope people find inspiration in these little packets.  Bonus: everything in my handmade shop is ships free now!
Speaking of scrap happy: I made mini scrap kits as my sponsor gift for the goodie bag at Birdsong 3.  Stringing all those different sized mother of pearl buttons together was fun.
I included a muslin transfer I did myself from an antique Audubon bird print, and a few wonderfully-textured vintage pieces of fabric and lace, all slipped into little white paper bags.
I went ahead and did a quick "sample" that I sent to Karla with the kits: I sewed it up in about 3 minutes using the kit, plus one little bit of pink lace I had at hand that I thought made a cute accent.  So easy -- and they make great additions to fabric journals, or covers for paper journals, or focal pieces for other fabric many possibilities!

Monday, May 27, 2013

And, just like that...

summer seems to have arrived in Southeastern Colorado!  I'm just going to go ahead and call it summer because we didn't have anything resembling Spring here, and I'm over it.  These lilacs are the first color in my garden this year -- if you don't count my bulbs' failed, brave attempts at blooming through the late snow and cold!
I see sunny skies ahead!  So does Little Bo Peep.  Funny story: I found this planter at an estate sale Thursday, just after conversing with Magpie Ethel about favorite nursery rhyme characters.  Hers is Humpty Dumpty, mine is Bo Peep.
What a coincidence, huh?  There was nothing else like this at the sale, so I think it was meant for me.
I was invited to the sale by my friend Kathy.  Kathy always has the BEST junk and she loves everything I love, too; I met her at one of our local antique fairs. And look what she had waiting for me (above)!
She's after my own heart!
gorgeous vintage apron with satin ribbon trim -- and lace!
sweet vintage greetings

I was so touched by Kathy's generosity -- but not surprised; she is always doing nice things for everyone.  Kathy is so talented and, stay tuned, she will be opening her Etsy shop soon!
This little book -- found at a different estate sale -- has me sighing.

A girl can dream, right?
Remembering the sacrifices of those who went before us, today (with this lovely image via The Graphics Fairy.)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Did I tell you how divinely and utterly happy I am?

I received my contributor's copy of the Summer 2013 issue of Somerset Studio Gallery yesterday!
In this lovely, aqua issue, they included three pages from the Breakfast at Tiffany's fabric book I worked on with six friends!
It's in the Special Book Section, and shows my cover, Tami Hacker's page, and Suzanne Wingfield's page!
Plus, a mention of all the other contributors:
It's been a dream of mine to have work in one of their magazines, and what could be better than appearing with some of your best artsy friends?  It's on newsstands on June 1!
The book was so pretty that of course I wish they could have shown all the pages; if you haven't already seen it, here's a link to the blog post I did about it when we finished so you can see the whole book!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Estate sale picking

I have visited a few estate sales lately and found them mostly crowded and thin on the stuff I love.
Does that affect you the way it does me?  It makes me more determined than ever to uncover a treasure!
At one sale, I liked these blingy little buttons; they are sewn onto a piece of velvet and then the velvet has a snap on the other side.  So, I guess it was an embellishment.  But to me, just two pretty vintage buttons!
Check out these beaded poinsettias -- hand made by someone long ago.  I love finding little boxes of Christmas kitsch!  I haven't decided yet to keep or sell them.  They are listed in my shop now!
A little made-in-Japan spun cotton girl doll -- or is it an elf?  Look at those big eyes. I thought she was cute and she's in great condition, so she's going in my shop for sure.
Something unusual: a little girl's hat.  It is made of a kind of shiny terry cloth, in pale blue, and lined with satin...
then it holds its shape with wire (like a headband) at the front.  But what I thought was unique was the little "tail" of three flaps in back, bundled together with a ring.  And the intact white millinery and paste-y sparkles!  This is also going in the shop as soon as I can get it cleaned and listed.
I find this stuff kind of hard to resist: a small (for your purse) red leather stamp holder...
I'm not sure why there are numbers on the front of the little pockets -- unless they are for denominations of stamps (cents.)  I can just imagine the young woman who would have carried this in her bag so she could write letters, and stamp them, while she rode home on the train...
Then, I bought this book all about barns -- all different styles/varieties.  It was a "bonus" included with an encyclopedia set...
more than you would ever want to know about barn construction!  I really like stuff like this.
This rusty, dented garbage can got me one of "those looks" at checkout, but I think it's lovely -- dents and all!
'Remember how I was just talking about how much I love salmon red and Tiffany blue together?  Then I found this linen towel...with birds!  It's faded in a lovely way.
Old burlap sacks -- one that is huge (like, lawnmower size) and the other with a finer weave and soft fibers.  Each was 75 cents.  What a bargain: you can't buy that timeworn texture.
Old linens -- especially ones with beautiful monograms...
 and tatting -- are almost impossible for me to pass up at estate sales.
I don't care for butterfly motifs myself, but I know someone else will love this little cut-out design on this child's linen pillow!
This one I probably won't be able to part with...
especially since it has  these sweet little button holes in the back; I think it's of the age that buttons were removed so it could be squeezed through a wringer.  I can just imagine the tiny shell buttons that were lovingly removed and re-sewn onto it with each washing.
But there were two finds that made me more happy than all of the others put together: one was this box of old paper napkins and doilies; there were stacks of them in this box from the 1950's -- some very old and faded, and all different styles including metallic ones.  I love to use these in my collages and paper art!
Then I found something I have very much needed/wanted: a small quilting frame, similar to the one above in size, but a different design.  I think they call it a lap quilting frame (which is just how I like to sew!)  Mine has four legs and is adjustable, too, but actually folds flat and, as my husband was pleased to note, is made from quality oak with stainless steel hardware.  It will be perfect for that hand-quilting job that has been hanging over my head for a couple of years now.  I can't tell you how excited I was to find this for about $20.  Have you found any "finds" lately?