Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy Do Year Garden Baby Blankie

Hey there everyone, I'm still here.

Softball Season is upon us and with that comes "travel" projects.

I also have a plethora of baby/toddler gifts to complete. 

So I gave myself a "stash challenge" 

Make 7 baby gifts with out a new purchase of materials. 

I've completed TWO. 

(Disclaimer - my sewing machine bit the dust. I bought it 23 years ago for 79.00 and she has sewn many a fine seam. But I need a sewing machine so I did have to purchase a new one. I am not calling that purchase a failure, because I HAD TO HAVE a new machine)

Any way ----- Portable project process for baby gift #2.

Idea happens --- 

Gather a pile of supplies from the stash. 

Supplies include - a 30inx40in hospital heavy flannel crib blanket.
a Length of fun floral cotton
Some single strand acrylic yarn. (aka TINY CRAP)
crochet hook size 1
Blanket binding
embroidery floss

Tuck it all in a bag and crochet

Green circular doileys -  5 of these. I big bag of assorted flowers. None of the flowers are bigger than a quarter.

After I crocheted all these little bitty bits, I began stitching them to the floral panel with embroidery floss. First the dark green background.

Then I started planting the flowers, randomly. I sewed and sewed.

After several ballgames and evenings, I had my little garden. My favorite flowers are the puffy red ones. giving the whole thing a bit more dimension.

Lots of little two and three-round flowers. In several colors that I liked with the fabric.

Here is a view stretched out across my lap the night I finished all the hand sewing.

There is even a tiny little creature on there. Actually - this little lady bug is my all-time favorite feature of the whole border. I created him right out of thin air. No Pattern available for what I wanted - so i fiddled around until i got him like I wanted.

A Picture for size comparison.

This lady bug is tiny.

Here is the finished blankie --- I sure hope its lugged around and used a lot by a certain baby girl who will be here soon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

a new display

People think I am nuts sometimes.

I literally squealed with glee when I spotted this piece of stunning artwork at the thrift store. 

Drool ---- gasp ---- HAD TO HAVE IT. 

You all know the reaction when you find it ----- it being THE PERFECT THING for that spot.

Giddy with excitement - I took my discovery to the front and for the way too high price of $1.50 I now own this lovely.

A prime example of HOTEL/MOTEL art.

Yes - you can laugh - I did.

Actually I bought it because it is screened on a nice piece of ogee edged MDF.

It lived tucked in beside the refrigerator for quite some time. Until Friday night. Then I took off to the studio with this and an idea for the transformation.

I painted it dark brown, then this color named Country Tan was messily brushed on. Add torn pages from a dictionary too.

And at this point - I got sidetracked playing with my stuff. This almost became an artwork . Notice the adult beverage in the top of this picture. (Needless to say --- I was enjoying playing with fabric and lace and trims. And my art piece was "brilliant")

I took pictures. I loved what I was doing. It was going to be gorgeous.I was relaxed. I was happily playing with fabric and lace and pictures and ebellishments.   Again I call attention to the adult beverage.

It got late and I decided rather than to proceed, I would rest and attack on Saturday Morning ------- I just knew I would have a beautiful art piece that I would claim and hang in my house by Saturday evening. Smug and very happy, I went to bed.


I got up early and traipsed off to MaggieGraceWorld. Opened the door and gasped. I'm thinking someone screwed with my stuff during the night. Maybe Mr. Black Snake was there.

The beauty from the night before was not nearly as brilliant as I thought. As a matter of fact - it was what some folks would call a "HOT MESS". It would cause Sweet Southern Women to shake their heads and say "bless her heart" or "must have been a gift or she would never hang that on the wall" . Or even ---- "wow, I would put that in a room nobody else sees."

Yes it really was that bad.

Anyway --- it being Saturday MORNING, I was unaffected by that glass of green liquid.

So I took it all apart and proceeded with the original plan.

Quilted muslin stapled to the MDF.
Add vintage Rickrack and buttons.
A row of brass hooks.

And voila........

A wonderful new display for my booth at Junk in the Trunk. Yup - I like it. And it was (is) perfect for the space.

I have had the necklaces displayed on individual cards for a while. This changes the look and it's easier to check the chain length and such. It was a great decision to take this approach.

I hope you have a wonderful day ----


Friday, March 15, 2013

keys to the treasure

The process of reclaiming the studio is so close to being completed. 

As I finish a cleaning / organizing an area or a box or as I bring another box out of the house and put it away, I reward myself with some "MAKE" time. 

So I'm DOing and I'm using. 

Plus -- I got stuff to sell. 

I finished the Lace organizing project yesterday. Then I gathered a few things.

Like those old keys above.

I took my dremel tool (it is one of my favorite purchases ever) with a metal brush attachment and cleaned these up.

Not too clean -- I am pretty fond of that vintage patina.

Above you can see the "after" --- the one at the bottom really is nice.

I also gathered some bits and bobs and some Amazing Goop adhesive.

I made these.


Actually I made 5 --- Missed one in the first picture.

Here are the details

 #1 --- Tiny key with a rhinestone button. This is a little over an inch long

#2 --- Antique silver butterfly charm.

#3 --- A personal favorite a tiny Mother of Pearl Button.

#4 --- Words of advice. The square piece is part of an earring.  I used ModPodge Dimensional Magic to adhere the words.

I am actually wearing the Words of Advice one right now.

#5 --- Octagonal Bling. Also part of an earring.  

A better view of the Aurora  Borealis beads on this one.

Each will be hung on a 20" silvertone ball chain. (Yes I will sell the one I have on.)

They will sell for $15.00 - $20.00.

I hope people like them as much as I do.

But the most important part of this post ---- I am making things in my studio again. It feels so good to be awakening my creative self again.

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

a happy DO year update

Happy Wednesday. 

There is a serious issue in my life right now. I am about to share a detail that many may know, but putting it into words is going to make it very REAL to all of you. 

Here we go. I have a real, crazy, unpredictable, over-the-top, drives me crazy,  never imagined I would love what I am doing but I do --- FULL TIME JOB.

I sell something everyone needs and something everyone IMMEDIATELY knows when it is not working. 

I sell plumbing materials --- yup --- pipe and water heaters and toilets and sewage pumps. Bathtubs ant faucets and sinks and and and. I know how to put said things together. I know a lot of troubleshooting steps. I can operate a set of hand trucks. I have blatantly refused to learn to operate a shovel. But a "sharkbite" fitting, that I can handle. 

Some days it is crazy. 

Some days it is fun.

Some days I teach.

Some days I wrangle idiots.

Some days I learn. (well most days I learn something from somebody. Lots of it is useless, but I make a really great member of a Trivia game team  - just saying)

The picture below was taken at my desk. 

Now for the very ugly secret.  Actually, it is not a secret and, well, depending on who you are, it's not all that ugly. And it directly ties in to the happy DO year part of the title.

I have hoarding issues.

After the wedding, and the subsequent mess that is still being sorted and put away, I determined to reclaim my studio. I am actually doing quite well on that front.

I pulled the lace from several paper hearts that were on the chair backs at the wedding. Then I added those lengths to the lace that I had pulled from and dug through and such and so forth. I carried all of that back to the studio on Monday night. I then pulled out the other boxes of lace and started putting away and detangling  all of the scrummy beauty of pile.

First I boxed several spools of assorted laces. yards and yards of it.

That left me with this pile.

I attacked it. If a piece was less than 12 inches long, I stuffed it in a jar on my table. I WILL USE THOSE FIRST in my creations.

I folded the 2 inch or wider lace and separated those.

I also pulled out some bright purple and lavender that will be used for the RELAY FOR LIFE event decorations at the church.

Then I grabbed the scrap cardstock pile and started smoothing and wrapping the lengths around scraps of paper.

After two hours last night --- the pile looked like this.

And the storage box looked like this.

I will work in this pile again tonight. After I get this sorted and put away, I will make a few skeleton key necklaces.

I reward myself with "making" after I get one of these areas cleaned up.

Another phase of the HAPPY DO YEAR is to complete and utilize this wonderful hoarded material stash.

There are seven new Bundles of Joy coming into our lives. Friends of mine (who are obviously  MUCH older than I am) are becoming Grandparents. Some of my favorite people are adding littles to their lives. It is a wonderful time in the life of all those folks.

I have made a goal to do all seven of these baby gifts without purchasing anything.

I delivered the first one last night. A blue crocheted blanket for Kris Youngblood's new Grandson. Yarn I bought for making a blanket, then never got around to it.

Then while I was in the studio, I gathered the things for baby #2. A plain white flannel blanket (a flat flannel piece with surged edges) a strip of floral cotton, some crochet thread, and some bias tape. I bought several of these blankets at a fabric warehouse a long time ago, they are sold to hospitals for the infant nurseries and are a very high quality of flannel.

Here is the little grouping ---

It will be my travel project for the next several ball game trips.

There you go -- confession  ---- and a plan to continue destashing.

Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Alone ---- not lonely

I have ALWAYS made things.

I remember, as a Brownie attending scout meetings at Royston UMC, that the craft badges were the ones I wanted. I remember making pompom critters with the leaders. ( yarn - google eyes - and then we glued them to flat rocks. And the "sit upon" mats to keep your butt dry sitting around a campfire. (these were vinyl wallpaper with newspapers inside. - then we punched holes and whip stitched the edges with rug yarn.) 

I remember sitting behind my Nanny and watching her crochet. That's how I learned. That is the reason that this lefty crochets as a right hander. Nanny sewed too. And she had a sewing room. And there was fabric and yarn and she must have made a million really heavy potholders on that old singer machine. (I still have several of those pot holders - after 30 years of use they look pretty crappy but they still work wonderfully) 

And my mama - cross stitch - sewing - quilting - crocheting - beaded Christmas ornaments. All beautiful. All special. And now my mama has a craft room --- but she sews in her kitchen. Supplies were always available and there was (still isn't) a limit on my use of those supplies.

Then there was my Daddy - as far as I am concerned he could "fix" anything. He was a mechanic. He could weld. And he allowed us girls to "help" him any time we wanted. To this day, the smell of grease and oil and gas brings a flood of emotion to the surface. I actually enjoy taking my car to the shop. 

I remember --- and these memories helped form me. 

I've been reading Robin Brown articles and books. (Take a look at the Magnolia Pearl site) I can relate to her raising. It formed her. 

Ann Wood  is a gifted artist and she is painting a series of "this is where I am from" works this year. Something about that resonated with me. 

It is also my Happy DO year. 

So as part of that - I am reclaiming MY studio space.

The studio is an amalgam of gathered - thrifted - reused - repurposed ---- HOARDED stuff. An old Cotton House - and looked very similar to this one before we started. The center area of it is now my studio and the sheds on either side --- well they are just quite full of stuff.

I welcome others into my world, but right now I am spending a great deal of time there ALONE. 

But I am not lonely. I'm in a very strange head space right now. Heavy decisions being weighed. Suddenly realizing what "empty nest syndrome" really is. Trying to live fully every day. Trying to find a map out of this part of life and into the next one.

My studio is being reclaimed. It is fueling some wonderful creative endeavors. I have pondered life there. I remember there. I pray there. I worship there. I am often alone there --- but honestly I never feel lonely.

And I would love to welcome friends in.

I took a few pictures --- it looks like a mess but really, I need to see my stuff or I forget what I have. 

My work table as I left it last night.

A close up of the stack of vintage Shasheen ribbon. These colors are wonderful.

Hoarding is an issue --- not sure why I fill voids with "stuff" but as I work through this weird mental place, I am finding myself using and not adding to the stash. This is a good sign that progress is being made. I cut squares last night for a baby quilt. The 130 five inch squares made not one apparent dent in the single bag I opened. Oh well -- more will be used at a soon to be announced time. There are more babies on the way. 

Ribbons galore --- got those too. This is only a very small representation.

All those pins (except for the blue one) are gifts from friends. They are stuck through the lace edging and I can grab one when I get ready to wear it. Plus I sure do like seeing them like this.

This is just over my right shoulder when I am sitting at the worktable.

An office mailbox/sorter crammed full of goodies. That white piece leaning there is a scrap of dry erase board. I use it for notes when I am working.

This is behind me when I am at the work table.

The turquoise blue book shelf. I backed the plain plywood back with pages from a boy scout handbook. Catching a glimpse of the pages is fun.

This is way in an alcove just to the right of the ribbon storage.

Another view of the mailbox shelving. Corkboard allows for pinning up goodies. You can see where the trim changes there in the middle --- call it a wrinkle --- does not bother me one bit -

The round thingys (technically accurate term) are actually cookie tins missing lids. I use the lids for work trays (see first picture) and screwed these to the wall. I put duplicate ribbons and and stuff up there> Hey MaryAnn see your little softies --- They watch over me.

 The garland  has a story. As I worked on fabric projects, for whatever reason, I started saving little strips. My version of a rag garland. I keep a string tied to a hook on the fabric closet door and just tie them on as I a gather a handful. When the string gets full. I drape it up.  It's fun to look at the ties and remember the various projects.

There you have it. A glimpse into my little sanctuary.

While I love the look of a beautiful studio design, (this one is beautiful), mine was completed over time and on a seriously small budget. And it honestly it "fits" me flaws, wrinkles, scars and all.

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

as for me and my house......

This sweet young couple is getting hitched. I've known Luke since he was a toddler. Chazlyn is just so sweet and they are adorable together.

Our church is giving them a bridal shower on Sunday and I am in charge of the decor (imagine that).

Well I saw this image pinned to her Pinterest.

And that set me on the direction for the decorations.

These are the preliminary ideas and were made on my work table (thank you Crusty Old Guy for adapting that table for my sudio IT IS PERFECT)

Each round table will have white cloths and a kraft paper runner. Then these centerpiece toppers. The rustic crosses are short pieces of grapevine, wired together. and topped with a heart at the intersection. I really like these crosses.

I made several and will most likely make a few more.

Those pretty individual hydrangea blooms are silk and I have stamped them. Each has three and are stamped  - FAITH - HOPE - LOVE.

I've already posted the birdhouse (it will go home with the lovely bride) I will be displaying it elevated on a wooden box and there will be a tiny bit more detail added to the display. This will be on the main food table.

I'll post final pictures next week. But right now I think I am on the way to capturing the "feel" of that pin.

Did I mention that I really like these wooden crosses???

Have a blessed, full of joy, full of thanksgivings kind of day.