Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The joy of creating

I'm in the middle of a time where the creative life has taken a necessary back seat to more immediate needs...like working a full time job.  I have to be very intentional to make time for art.
This is not always easy but it sure does make me appreciate the projects I make time for, more than ever before.
Here's one that I've been daydreaming about doing for, literally, months: a curtain topper made from vintage handkerchiefs.  And I finally finished it on Sunday!
The first thing I had to do was clear off my sewing machine table so I could use it.  Then, I found some fabric I love in my stash, and cut out and sewed a ~50" scrunchy curtain rod cover from it.
If you ever do this -- give yourself about 3x as much time as you think you need.  You wouldn't believe how long it takes to turn the cover right side out once it's sewn!  My recommendation: don't use shiny, slippery fabric like I did!
 Next, I got out my two huge piles of vintage hankies -- I've been collecting them for years and years.
 It's always such a delight to thumb through them -- I love each and every one.
 They've been hand picked by me in antique and thrift store, or received as a gift.
 For the purposes of this project, I chose lots of dark blue to match my master bedroom, plus lighter blues, pinks, flowers, and lacy whites.
 Next -- even though the hankies were stored clean and pressed, I gave them all a good going over with an iron.  Since there were over 50 of them, this took a while.
Once that was done, I got to the fun part: assembling the curtain topper!
I used plain pins that I ran beeswax over, to make them slide more easily into the fabric.
I have a "studio", or craft room, but I always find myself doing my creating somewhere other than the intended space; in this case, it was my kitchen table!  I began by knotting the hankies on one end and pinning them to the rod/rod cover.
I pinned, rather than sewed, because I know I will have to take it all apart to launder it properly.  And, I felt it would be more versatile -- allowing me to move the colors and styles of hankies around.
It was very time-consuming, but I loved every moment of playing with my beautiful collection!
Included are a handkerchief from my home state of California, one I carried on my wedding day, and one with my monogram "L" on it.
Here's what it looked like, finished, prior to hanging.
 And, all hung up with the sun shining behind it!
 I love the look of each handkerchief's little "top knot" standing up.
 I cannot tell you how I was filled with peace and happiness when I'd made this dreamed-of project a reality in my home!
If you haven't already, don't miss the coupon codes and giveaway from this earlier blog post!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A 50 year celebration

Last year you may remember that I created a small journal that included a page I'd collaged, with a big birthday cake (bottom right corner below)
Last week I got the journal out, scanned a copy of it, gathered some supplies and changed it into a Happy 50th Birthday card for my oldest friend, Margaret.
I decided not to include the page on the left, She May Have Seen Better Days, just in case she was sensitive about turning the big 5-0.
Rose is her middle name, so I tore a margin in the collage and placed it over scrapbook paper covered with pink roses. 
I added more paper, a number "50", butterflies...
and some birthday candles and other doodles.
Here's how it looked when I mailed it off to Margaret.
I talked to her for a little while tonight, and she told me she'd really loved the card.
I never had a sister, and she was an only child, so we have always thought of each other something like sisters.  I was her Matron of Honor when she married.  She threw my baby shower when I had Ben.
She still lives where we grew up, still has both her parents living, and is a single mom.  She's worked in the same field for 30 years.
Our lives have definitely traveled different paths.
Margaret and I, at our high school, in 1982
In that photo, we'd been the best of friends for 6 years -- all through middle and high school.
Here's a photo of us the last time I saw her...in 2008.
We're overdue for a get-together, and I really look forward to it.
Soon I'll be 50, too, and I think that, and a 39 year friendship, is cause for celebration, don't you?
In case you haven't already, check out my most recent post for details on a huge giveaway!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Something new and exciting, with coupon codes and a giveaway!

I'm such a big fan of Etsy, and all the great things you can find on that site, and the community of artists that come together to sell their beautiful creations.  Today I want to tell you about the latest shop opened by dear friends and artists Bonnie and Angela.

Millefori Art Glass Bangle Bracelet in Saffron Yellow Millefori Art Glass

Their shop is called BonnieAngela and it's full of artisan jewelry designed and hand made by the two of them.  Their art tells a story.

Because You're Somebody's Somebody Special ... White Glass Pearls and Oval Hoop Earrings

Bonnie and Angela have been living the life of gypsy artists, traveling all over America with their wares and leaving their hearts open to inspiration wherever they go.  Their resulting beautiful creations are sold in galleries and shops all over the country -- and now on Etsy.  Each piece is made by their hands from high quality metals, stones, beads and jewels.

Summer Sunlight ... Hammered Metal, Wirework, Handmade Marbled Art Glass Necklace

Also a talented fiber artist, Angela hand crochets some of the jewelry.  Here's one of my favorites:

I'm On My Way To Watercolor, Florida ... Flamenco Hoop Earrings

There are different styles -- all unique and heartfelt, inspired by their travels.

A Real Rodeo Cowboy Coral Necklace

Catch A Wave Necklace & Earrings Set ... Hammered Brushed Aluminum Features One of a Kind, Handmade Art Glass Beads

Angela writes the listings and each one takes you on a journey with the two of them.  You'll learn about the inspiration, the materials and the process -- which makes it that much easier to fall in love with the art!

A Weekend in Historic Santa Fe

They make it so easy to buy, too -- all of the items in their shop ship for free in the US!  Worldwide, the cost is only $3.00 to ship the total order!
The coupon codes:

INDULGESHELF25 - for 25% off purchase of $50 or more.
INDULGESHELF15 - for 15% off purchase of $25 or more
Note: coupon codes apply to jewelry and are not valid for wholesale sales; they expire August 31, 2014.

The giveaway: Everyone who comments on this post will be entered in a giveaway for a $100 shopping spree from BonnieAngela!  One entry per person, with the winning comment chosen on August 31, 2014.

The bonus: Everyone who shares this post -- either by sharing it on Facebook or via a link back to this post from your own blog -- will be eligible for double the prize, or a $200 shopping spree from BonnieAngela, should they be chosen the winner! I'll verify your share, which must occur between now and the time of the drawing on August 31, 2014.

Referral gift: Refer a store/shop/gallery to BonnieAngela and if they make a wholesale purchase, you get a $25 shopping spree. The store just needs to mention you referred them at the time of purchase.

History and Color - Vintage Pearlized Art Beads and Handmade Celtic Knotted Metalwork

I hope you'll visit BonnieAngela, comment here, and share everywhere!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Old North End community sale

I live near Colorado Springs, and there is a part of town filled with old Victorians that they call The Old North End.
As the name implies, it used to be the northernmost part of town (but not anymore.)  The streets have old growth trees and it's close to "downtown", which gives it a very antique "vibe".
Each year they have a community sale, and for the first time last month, I was in town for it and able to go!  Above, Kathy's booth set up on her front lawn.
So many fabulous goodies!  I love Kathy's displays -- she is a talented merchandiser with her things.
I had to take a few photos of this amazing Mason's costume she had for sale; it's covered up because it was sprinkling that day.
Here's the hat that goes with it -- including a wig!
 And some close-ups of the sleeve with metal gimp, lace, and wonderful buttons!
Kathy always finds the best stuff, and sells some of it on Etsy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Treks, treasures, and treasured friends

The last time I saw Ben was over a week ago, in the bright morning light as he met up with his crew to go on a 10 day trek in New Mexico.  I haven't heard a word from him since he left and I'm ready for him to be home now. I'm sure he's having a great trip.
Many have asked if his was the camp in CO that had to be evacuated last week, and it wasn't; he's at a different High Adventure Camp.
To take my mind off of that, I'll show you some treasures from treasured friends.  Above, Linda made one of these sweet hanging birds for each of us at Birdsong!  I promise this will be my last post about Birdsong -- a month past now although it hardly seems possible!
How much fun is that?
The bottom card is by the talented Hope Wallace.
The card on top was hand made by Karla's brother, "Guncle" Randy...
who joins us for Birdsong and whom we have all come to know and love!
Did I show you this coffee filter flower kit that was in our goodie bag?  It's from Heather Kowalski who I met for the first time -- she is so much fun and exceedingly talented!
 While we were at Birdsong, Suzanne gifted me a lovely blue hat box full of goodies that she'd been saving just for me!
It included the issue of Vanity Fair celebrating Audrey,
and some linens that she knew I would adore!
 I am so into the textile art of this era, which of course she knows;
 Look at that cute little horse and carriage in the lower left corner, above!
 And this fabulous scarf decorated with birds, which I love because it reminds me...
 of sunny California skies in the cities I grew up in!

Look at these Christmas ornaments -- they are so "atomic" and unusual.  They're made of plastic.
A purple Vera scarf (happy sigh!)
 Suzanne is such a thoughtful and creative friend!
The little bag above is my friend Kathy!
 I loved the card!
 The Laurie Bag contained this old but new set of Easter ornaments -- many are birds, some in nests!
Some heavenly spun cotton decorations...
 more birds...
 and the world's sweetest baby card with netting and sparkles!
Plus some gorgeous glass Christmas garland.
 This photo above is a gumball machine creation by Kathy!  She is ueber-talented and sells antiques and hand made, upcycled, beautiful things, locally and on Etsy!
The last time I met up with her at an estate sale, she snapped this photo of my trekker and me in the front room.  More on Kathy in the next post!