Monday, June 30, 2008

Blinged birdhouses abound

I finished the blinged out birdhouses that I was working on and while Holly, my youngest dd, was visiting this weekend, she wanted to do something crafty, and since I had some birdhouses primed up, she did one as well! So lots of photos! I wanted to show all sides of Holly's as each was different. She used some old earrings on the front on either side of the perch and over the opening. The turquoise color ones were just a match to the paint color she had chosen for the house, but she did paint the wooden heart the copper color she had picked for the roof. Their bedroom has a blue/brown color scheme, so this will go well in there. She has an "A" for their last name and then on each side their first initials. I was very proud of her and so was her dh. Sorry for the blurriness of a couple of the photos, but I can't redo them since she took it home with her.

On mine, I used a combination of some scrapbooking paper and on the blue one some wallpaper from my old bedroom at Mom's house. Mom gave me what was leftover not too long ago. On the pink one, I stamped with white paint some swirls from a hand carved eraser stamp and used several different colors to give a more weathered effect. There is a "B" for bird over the opening and on back a heart from a pin I had. I also cut up some cheap colored rhinestone bracelets my oldest dd had given me to use in my crafting and used them to bling up the fronts. I may still add some flowers, but not sure about that.

We didn't get very much rain yesterday. A small shower which was better than nothing, but the ground is still dusty today. I was so hoping we would get a nice long shower. A day of rain would be great, but at least we got some and that is better than last year at this time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


This is another page related to the skinny book swap mentioned previously. It was made for a book that was supposed to be auctioned off for charity. Not sure what happened on that. I never saw where it was, but I may have missed it. Perhaps there wasn't enough interest or enough participants sending pages in for this book. Here was my page. I found the chicken head in some of my paper scraps and collaged the rest to go with it.

Wish fortune would smile upon us with some of that watery stuff from the sky! The last few days we've missed some afternoon summer showers by just a half mile or less. I think there is a large % chance tonight and tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

Not much going on around here. It's been a lazy day, but those are nice sometimes. I have done a little cleaning and putting up of stuff in my art/craft room. Also, put some finishing touches on some blinged out birdhouses. I was inspired to do these after seeing some post here at Karla's Cottage blog. It was a couple of months ago, I think, that she had some beautiful birdhouses in a Bling Your Birdhouse party. I found it too late to participate, but was inspired to do some myself. I'll share the pics of them hopefully by Monday. I've got a couple done and hope to do many more.

We're grilling chicken, that is, one of my dsil's and my dh are, and having grilled asparagus and also fresh green beans or salad.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday words

Silly title, but I couldn't think of anything else to call it. Today's pictures are scans of a hostess gift I made for Chrysty H. for a chunky book swap she hostessed. Don't think I've posted these before. I think I did my pages for the book, but not this. I altered one of those handpainted folk art houses from the eighties, I guess, bought a the thrift store with pages and pictures from the same French textbook that I used for my swap pages. (see I do get around to altering some of this junk I bring home, lol!) My page was all monotone and so that is how I did the school house. Because they are scans the feathers are kind of squished. It looks better in person.

It was back to work today, but the day wasn't so bad. One more day to go, then off for a long weekend. Our garden is managing to come up even without an abundance of rain. We have gotten a couple of decent short showers since we planted it, so I'm grateful it's not as dry as it was last year at this time. Though again, like last year with Texas having floods and us having nothing the midwest area is getting too much. Seems like it just gets caught over the middle of the U.S. and never makes it South. I do feel so bad for all those suffering from the floods.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More thrifting finds

Had to go to town this morning, so took the opportunity to run in the S.A. store with pretty good success. Found a bag of trims which included some beautiful rose pattern woven ribbon and some lace for $1 and a big roll of white crocheted lace also for $1. Those are displayed in a cute white organizer which was $2, I think. Not sure what it's made to organize, but I'm sure I'll find some use for it, if not in the kitchen in the art room. For $3 I got the green wooden tree-shaped thingie which may get repainted or not, but it brought to mind a place to display some of the mice figurines I collect, maybe the Christmas ones during the season. Then there is the really big yellow planter which was only $2(it was covered in dirt)bought cause I needed another planter, no comments from the peanut gallery, ok! Kind of look likes a McCoy but it's not marked and is shown in the picture with a 1956 World Atlas full of wonderful colored maps(future collage fodder) for $3. The decoupaged recipe box was just a dollar and still holds the previous owner's recipes. That struck me as really sad, you know, that there wasn't family that wanted to hold on to them. Not shown, because it is soaking in the sink, is a dark red-orange Tupperware colander, another $1 buy. It might end up in the camper.

In the art category, I worked on a spread in my "Blue" book. This is a large 12x12 sketchbook which I'm using to make a book honoring the color blue, which is BTW my favorite color. I've always loved this hue and find it very soothing. It's puzzling to me how most of my aquaintances hate it, especially in decorating, where they find it cold. As I ponder that it comes to my mind how hot-natured I am and how cold-natured all my coworkers are, so in that may lay some of the explanation? I feel the need to be cooled off and they want to be warmed. Hhhmmm, food for thought, perhaps. For the cover, I took a Moody Blues record album and cut it apart, glueing the front and back those respective places on the book(not my idea, I saw the idea to use album covers somewhere on the net). I've only done a few pages so far, as orginally I intended it to be a place where I journaled when sad- "moody blues", you know. However, I found that I only drew in it one time, when I was sad about my Dad and then didn't allow myself to write in it anymore, especially when I started other journals. I began to think that it needed to be something more than a sad book, since I love the COLOR blue, so I came up with a better idea. I'm writing down some phrases about blue, like Blue Moon, etc and may try to illustrate those. I'll try to share sometime from the book/journal but it won't fit on my scanner bed, so it'll have to be photos.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Posting from work, shh! don't tell

Out of turn atc

Having a nice morning so far, so taking a minute to post. I just figured out how to post a picture from Webshots to here. It was a new option they had on the side when you go in to look at the albums. This was an atc I did a while back for a swap. Long gone somewhere!

Since I last posted I've been working on a little more organization, this time on some of my jewelry stuff. Was breaking down some old junk jewelry for the beads and sorting them into colors and trying to get some the jewelry and bits in a little better order. Also, I've attempted metal etching as mentioned in the book, Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee(think that I posted about the book previously). I couldn't find ferric chloride(PCB etchant) which was what she recommended in the book, but upon her recommendation on her blog tried muriatic acid and peroxide with mixed results. I'll post some more about the results when I'm at home. I want to try to do some jewelry like she does in her book, as I love that look, but am having a little trouble finding some items around here.

Well, I actually have to go do some work, so that's all for now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Flamingoes and Mother's Day

Bet you never expected that title! I just got my Mother's Day present from Holly. I've been waiting to post what I got from Emily until I had both presents. Emily knows I love lavender scents and by that I mean something that really smells like a lavender flower, not that nasty smell some manufacturers come up with. While shopping in some market in Forth Worth she found this collection of products that REALLY do smell like lavender! I love them! There is a soap, salt scrub, and lotion and all smell wonderful! Then she also gave me incense for my art room. Very nice! I love how she took the time to find a gift so me!

Holly has been telling me that my present from her was "in the works" and I couldn't imagine what she was talking about. She got it to me this weekend when they came home for Father's Day. There is a shop in Tuscaloosa where you can paint your own cereamics or pottery and they fire and finish it for you. I love platters, so she took the time to research flowers and hand paint them around the rim of this beautiful platter. Isn't it lovely! Also, she made a card with a flower theme and included a hand written explanation of each flower and it's meaning. Wasn't it sweet how she took so much time in choosing the flowers, then painting them , and then making everything coordinate(BTW, the gift bag had flowers on it, too!)Pictured are scans of the front and inside of the card, the flower explanation, and of course the gifts from both of them. I have 2 wonderful, special, sweet, thoughtful daughters and I love them very much!!!!

Also pictured is a close up of some of the flamingoes that got put in our yard this past Sunday evening. There are about 100 of them! The youth from our church have been doing a fund raiser where someone pays to have a yard "flamingoed". We were totally surprised as we live off the main road with a long driveway out in the country and didn't think anyone would bother to do our yard.

It's been pretty busy the last week. Holly has gotten on to me for not posting in 6 days, but I've not had much time at home it seems. Today I will be going to Mom's for grocery shopping and a few errands and then hopefully tomorrow will be a nice off day spent at home. Fingers-crossed!

Oh yes, Japanese beetles are back! Dh discovered them on "my" grapes he said on Monday but I haven't had time to do anything about it until today. Evidently since they are "my" grapes, I had to be the one to do something?!?! Funny, I don't recall being the only one eating "my" grapes! I've dusted them and will have to keep an eye on them for a while.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another spot in my home

These 2 photos are from one wall in my dining room showing arrangement on the wall and on the large trunk that sits below it. Inside the trunk is all(well most of) my cross stitch stuff and some fabric. It's an old wooden steamer? trunk with leather fittings. My DMIL gave it to me cause she didn't have room for it. Hate to cover it up, but I don't really have anywhere good for the kilim rug to go. If anyone knows anything about rugs like this, please let me know. I got it for $65 at an auction and believe it to be a wedding rug, maybe Anatolian, but not sure. It is dated, I think it's 1950 something. Also displayed there are a couple of the small boxes I've found that are hand carved. Don't know anything about them, except I like them. The smallest looks like burl wood. On the right hand side is a hand carved and numbered letter opener? purchased at auction for just a few dollars. Would love to learn more about the artisan who crafted it. The box on the plate holder is an assemblage piece I did that I'll try to post some pics of later. The outside says "seek" and started life as AOL junk mail. There is an old rosary hanging on the lantern and the picture I really bought for the sweet old green floral wooden frame it is in. Put it in this arrangement just because it matched the colors.

We missed the rain that spotted the area yesterday and today. Really hope we get some soon as our little baby garden plants would sure love a nice long drink of cool water.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A few thrift store finds

Very few, but here they are. It was too hot to linger very long in the back of the store as it is an old warehouse and there is no A/C. They have fans which help some but not a lot with the humidity like it is now.

There are 3 Pfaltzgraff dishes that are made for a Lazy Susan type set which were only $1 each. I'm planning on using them in my art room on the desk top with buttons or small embellishments in them. The pottery bowl was $1 and I included a closeup of it in case any of you recognize the maker. It's unmarked but appears handmade. Got the small Staffordshire saucer for 50 cents because it has a small chip on the back. I'm planning on collaging a vintage picture in the middle of it with some type of embellishments for added decoration. The book was $1 and the easel was $2. I couldn't get a good picture of it extended and the stuff, too, but it is the kind made with a piece that swings over and up to hold a canvas. Very nice for when I get around to painting, lol!

And great news! A lot of the seed we planted in the garden is coming up! As our luck would have it once we put the seed in the ground it has quit raining and turned very hot, BUT we have watered a couple of times lightly to get the seeds to sprout and are praying that we get some of the 30% chance of rain they are giving this week. We need to get an earlier start next year. This is mine and dh's first garden to ever plant together. We've both worked in our share growing up, but never gotten around to doing our own, even though I've been bugging him to for years. I used to have to help in my grandparents garden as well as my parents. It is cool, though to see how fast it all comes up and grows. We checked it this morning and then while I was out walking the dogs this afternoon, it was amazing to see how a lot of the plants had grown since the morning and a few had even broken ground in that time.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Giveaway is on its way

to Maija. Here is a closeup of the collage and the goodie assortment I sent with it. Hope she likes it all. I tried to color coordinate and pick a mixture of paper and fabric ephemera. From what I could see on her blog she has a wide variety of interests. The little green bag is what all the small pieces went into to be mailed and then I wrapped and tied everything up inside the large red napkins with red ribbon.

I've been with Mom today, running some errands and doing the grocery store thing. It is full-on summer here now, very hot. Even my Mother, who is very cold-natured, was hot. In the car I worried that I had the A/C turned too cold for her and she replied, "No, definitely no, and no!" so we left it blowing and were very thankful for it. I was for sure. Kerry and I worked in the garden almost all day last Tuesday and I very STUPIDLY did not think to put sunscreen on. I wore a tank top and now have ugly red blistered skin on my upper arms and the back of my neck. As a matter of fact, the back of my neck is literally blistered up. Yuck, that may fall under the T.M.I. category, sorry! Someone on a blog I saw yesterday is sponsoring a "I See Red" month where you photograph the red you see around you. Most I looked at are beautifully photographed vintage items or sweet little vignettes in gorgeous homes. I was thinking I could take pictures of me and my BBQ'd redneck and share, but I'll be kind to those who are sweet enough to check my blog out and spare you the sight. I'm applying aloe vera liberally and using an old home remedy Mom used to have us do which is laying a vinegar-soaked cloth on the blistered area. Makes it feel better even if I do smell like a salad.

In sharing that with you, makes me think again of those lovely blogs with the beautifully photographed art and vintage items that I mentioned above. I do LOVE to visit those type blogs. I think sometimes about mine NOT being like that, but early on I received a good bit of advice from someone who visited my blog during the OWOH event and I try to remember it. They advised to be sure to make my blog be true to ME and not to try to make it be something that I thought someone else wanted it to be. SO, I recall that and just try to be myself, for whatever that is worth. Maybe someday, I'll evolve into a great photographer with a talent for capturing a moment with the camera or develop some web design skills or great writing talent, but for now I'll just be me and share as I feel led and as I'm able. I do love to visit blogs of all kinds, so I'm grateful for others who take the time to share their art, wisdom, some of their thoughts and dreams.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Even angels wonder

I did this and gave it to Holly and Chris when they got married. It matched their decorating colors and Holly liked it. It was an experiment with painted background techniques and then collage with the angel from da Vinci's painting, The Annunciation, and some vintage music and wallpaper border. The accents of the butterfly and the medallion at the bottom are some junk jewelry bits. The title words came to me after I added the butterfly. I was thinking that God's creations are so beautiful that even the angel's wonder at them. This was something that just came together even down to the frame, which I already had from a thrift store purchase. After finishing the canvas, I looked up and saw the frame hanging on my wall and thought, wow, the colors just match if it will just fit and it did. No particular reason to post this today except I have already posted something I made for Emily and thought of that when I saw this scan.

I am still working on getting the "stuff" together to go with the collage giveaway, trying to decide what to put with it. Will most likely go out on Friday when I'm off.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jewelry Books

Beth asked which jewelry books I was looking at. They are Bent, Bound & Stitched by Giuseppina "Josie" Cirincione and Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee. I made the titles clickable to the books at Amazon so you could see them there. BTW they are cheaper at Amazon that what I paid for them at Barnes and Noble, but I was wanting to get something to read on the long way home. Lots of good ideas in both.

I've been wanting to try my hand at making recycled jewelry, that is, remaking new from vintage pieces. I love the look of that. In the Semiprecious Salvage book, most of the pieces require some kind of soldering so that will be new for me. In the other book, there are more cold connection-type things.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hobby Lobby, the good and bad

I've been really good since Hobby Lobby has come to town. Well, except for the first week and maybe today, when you could say I was both good and bad. I've visited several other times and bought nothing and a couple of times and just bought one thing with the 40% coupon and then maybe 1 or 2 items that were 50% off. I've even gone some weeks without going in there at all.

Today I went in with a list of items I'm looking for after buying 2 books on jewelry making to look at on the way home from Texas. I know, I know, those who know me are thinking, here she goes off on another tangent. Long sigh! I guess you might be right. We will agree not talk about that, OK! So here is where I was good. Almost none of the items I was looking for were on sale right now or they didn't have them there, so I am holding off to go back with a good coupon to buy or when the items are marked down. The bad part is I got several clearance or sale items that weren't even thought of when I made my list!

Shown above is a pic of the wondermously cute pocket apron that was only $6 because all of their garden stuff is 50% off now. You know they gotta make room for Christmas stuff cause it is the first of June! I'm not kidding, they are putting Christmas items out! Yeah, get a headstart! Buy Christmas before the 4th of July! I'm thinking this apron will not only be good for working in the garden, but will be very handy to wear when crafting. They also had them in a natural/lime green trim combo, but it wasn't as trendy as the one I got. There were hanging wall organizers in both color choices that looked like those shoe organizers. Very cute! But I did manage to talk myself out of those!

Included in the garden sale stuff was the heavy metal rusty stuff where I found a hand form for $5 which is now on my dresser with my rings on it and may appear later at Halloween in some way. Since the picnic stuff was also on sale, I got a cute wire basket made to hold utensils and plates for the camper. In the clearance section at the back, there were some foam door hanger craft packs on sale for $2. I've seen someone make stamps out of these, just have to remember where I saw that at and exactly how they did it. I'll try to take a pic of the hand sometime.

Giveaway winner!

My apologies, it just dawned on me this morning that it was the SECONDTH day of the month and that meant the giveaway winner should have been drawn yesterday! There were only 10 entrants, but I still used a free online number generator so that it would be impartial, since I did have one dd and one coworker who entered. And the winning number was 9, so that means that Maija is the winner. I have notified her by email and will be sending out the collage and some surprises to her hopefully in the next couple of days.

I wish I had 10 things made up so everyone could win. But I'll probably be doing giveaways fairly often "just because" I like giving stuff away, so please stop back by when you have time.

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