Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Recent swap and stuff

How is that for a snappy title for a blog post? I promised I would show what I made for Beth for our recent fabric cuff swap, so I am, even though I did post this on Facebook. I think most of my friends that come to my blog are friends with me on Facebook, too, so my apologies to most of you that have already seen this, lol!! From the hit counter, though, there is the chance that a few visitors might not be, so here you go!

Shown above is the fabric cuff I made especially for Beth. I tried to go a different direction, vintage but with brighter colors than you might think of first off as vintage. The main body of the cuff was part of the waistband from a little girl's skirt I bought at the thrift store because I loved the bright colors. It has a cute playful paisley print on the body of the skirt, but the waistband is what came in handy for this project. I've tried to look at clothes as fabric when shopping at the Goodwill, etc. There are items that you can buy for a dollar or two with lovely fabric and/or trims that couldn't be bought if you could find them for that price! Fir example, found a precious dark red velvet little girl's dress with lovely rose ribbon trim. I've already made a heart-shaped Christmas ornament out of the velvet and still have more fabric left as well as the ribbon to use on something else. But I digress! To get back to Beth's cuff, I then collaged some various fabric scraps over the turquoise cuff and then the flower is from a vintage tablecloth. I embroidered around the outline to add a little "umph" to it and the pink leaves are cut from a crocheted thrifted doiley that was damaged with a green sheer fabric circled ironed on and a center of a vintage button. A vintage button was also used for the closure.

This piece was made from the cuff of a Ralph Lauren blouse that I saved because I loved the fabric so much! It has a piece of vintage trim embroidered on one side and then a scrap of linen, gold crocheted lace, pink felt and a bone heart bead and vintage buttons for the centerpiece.

I wanted to make extra surprises for Beth, as I've said before. I owed her some hostess gifts from a previous swap and she has always been so good to send me something for my birthday or "just because". She is that kind of friend and I am definitely not one of those, SO , I wanted to make up for all that. This was a main reason it took me so long to get this all done. I deliberated back and forth about what I was going to make, and ended up deciding to do an altered jewelry box. My first step was to sand lightly and apply coat of gesso. Then I painted off-white and white paint in several layers before adding torn pieces of real old letters and red/white handpainted striped book pages for the accents front and top.

Here and there various accent pieces were glued on, some because they reminded me of Beth. There is a antique horse charm on top to represent her present home in Tennessee, a shell for the beach, old buttons and stamps to love of vintage stuff, butterfly for the outdoors, etc.

I enjoyed making this and have some other vintage jewelry boxes that I want to redo. You know, one day. That day that is going to be so busy because I've so many things planned for it!

By the way, this post was started a while ago, but blogger was not cooperating with posting pictures. They had changed the format used and it was automatically turning my photos sideways. Well, some of them. Couldn't figure out why or get help from blogger to fix it. Found out you could revert back to the old blogger method for now(will go away eventually) so that is what I've done for now. Still this post looks a little funky because it was started with one method and finished with another, but I've spent so much time on it, it's just going to be that way. I've something else more personal I want to blog about so I want to get this one off the drawing board.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dog days of August!

Maggie Mae-mischief maker
Mr.Maximus with a sad face!

It is so hot right now that I really can't stand to be outside very long and am so grateful that I don't have to work out in it! Our particular spot of the county is very dry, also.  We are missing almost all of the afternoon heat-related showers.  Thankfully we got a good bit of rain back in the spring and early summer or we would really be hurting right now. I guess I can also be grateful I didn't bother(translate I didn't have time to anyway) with any flowers and we didn't get a garden planted this year. Kerry is working 2 jobs now and with my commutes and work schedule, time just seems at a premium.  I won't get off complaining anymore about time, though! I do wish it would set into to raining for a couple of days as I can't remember how long it has been since it even rained all day. My soul seems to be crying for some rain as does the grass and shrubberies!

Wanted to take some blogging time to brag on my daughters a bit.  I appreciate them in so many ways, but on this occasion wanted to highlight their "craftiness"!  I had purchased a necklace earlier this year and when Emily saw it, she threatened to steal mine!  Well, she did put mine around her neck and wear it, but I was able to grab it back from her before she left home that weekend! Since it had only cost me about $8 at a store called Holliday's, I went back the next week to get her one but they no longer had them in stock. Here is a closeup of the one I purchased.

Emily came for a visit again and we decided that we would look at my beads to see if I had enough similar beads for her to attempt a copy. Emily poured through my bead collection and in just a few hours, with a little help from me in adding the chain and fastenings, came up with her own version of the necklace.  Not longer after this Holly came home for a summer visit while she was off  from teaching(the lucky little stinker!).  She also loved my necklace and, just like her sister, stole it from my jewelry box to wear every chance she got!  When I told her that I wasn't going to let her pack it away in her suitcase to take home to Texas, she decided she would try to make one, too! I didn't have enough bigger beads of different colors any longer, so this meant we HAD to make a trip to Hobby Lobby!  So sad, I know!  Well, it WAS a little sad for my wallet since jewelry findings were half price when we got there and that meant several  bags of beads and such made their way into the buggy somehow!  A night or so before she was to head back to Texas, we stayed up late so Holly could make her own colorful necklace.  Their versions are shown below.  The one Holly made is on top and Emily's on the bottom.  I think they did a great job!!!!!  Actually I may like their necklaces better than the one I bought! 

I'm also proud of how creative they are in many aspects of  their everday life  Holly is a teacher now and I am always amazed at the clever ideas she has for decorating her room and the classroom teaching aids she creates from sometimes very inexpensive items.  Both of them are very resourceful and imaginative in decorating their homes, creating lovely rooms with mostly what they have on hand.  For Thomas' birthday party, they worked together while Holly was home to come up with the cutest invitations. Unfortunately I gave mine to the lady who made Thomas' birthday cake and didn't get it back, so I can't show you a pic of that.  Emily did make Thomas a Cookie Monster cake especially for him that was so cute!! You can see it, other decorating for the party, and some people who shared the day with us in this Webshots album. Note, Emily made the crepe paper pompoms hanging from the ceiling, too.  I am so proud of both of them and love them SO much! A Mom couldn't ask for better daughters!

In everyday life, I still remain pretty busy.  Work is mostly good.  We don't have to stay over as much anymore.  Some days are hectic, but that is any job, I guess, and I am so thankful to have one!  I am doing a little better about art. I was able to get my fabric cuff swap done along with the extra goodies I wanted to make for my friend, Beth.  I've had the cuff completed but it took me some time to decide on the "surprise" part.  Once I decided what to make, I worked here and there, and finally got it done this past Monday.  Beth should be getting the package any day now, so I will blog about the cuff and the surprise once I know she's received them.  I did, also, complete all of Thomas' collage pics that I had been working on since before he was born!  Here is the last one of an alligator.  I think I've already shown the turtle and the elephant, but if I see I haven't I'll add that to the next post.

I do hope to get back into journalling again and to try to find time to paint. These things have been said before, but maybe this will be the time it actually gets done!  I was telling a friend today at work that I still don't feel connected to my life.  I feel like I am living someone's else life, if that makes any sense.  Some is due to the job changes last year, I know, and other life changes, as well, but I expected it to be getting better by now. "One day at a time" is all I know to tell myself.

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