Monday, November 29, 2010

I am Finally Back!

I must apologize for my lack of blog posts lately,  I have had some problems arise and have not had the time nor the heart to write anything.  It started with the news that my husband's heart is getting weaker (he has a congenital heart problem and has a pacemaker and defibrillator) , and the Dr. put him on blood thinners to help. He has bad veins in his leg, and one of the veins ruptured and he bled profusely.  We ended up in the emergency room, and they are having to find a balance between the thinner blood needed for his heart not to create clots, and not so thin for bleeding if a vein ruptures.  That was very scary.  

Then of course, I had my fall house cleaning to do before Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had two Thanksgivings so that we could get together with everyone.  One on Thurs. and the other on Fri. and then the unthinkable happened Friday oldest daughter came over to pick up her girls, and had gotten out of her car and was standing in the driveway, and my little chihuahua, Dexter, ran out in the road and was ran over right in front of my her!  She was so upset, she had to come in and act like nothing happened until she could get me in another room to tell me and she was just sick.  We didn't want her little girls to know yet, they love him so much it would break their hearts.  My husband had to go and get him and bury him.  I managed to hold it in until Katie could get the girls out of here and then I cried my eyes out.  He was my best little friend.  A lot of chihuahuas are snippy, and not very friendly, but he loved everyone, and everyone loved him.  He was a little deer- type, and he looked like a little baby deer when he was curled up sleeping.  He sat on my lap while I did all my crafting, he rode in the car with me, and slept on my bed right next to me every night.  He was terrified of storms and would always run to me or someone to hold him and make him feel safe' til it was over.  He may have been very tiny, but he left a giant hole in my heart when he left.  I guess it is silly to care so much for an animal, but he was just special.  I have other dogs that I love too, but he had a special place in my heart.  I do have his daughter, Lulu,  She is quite a bit bigger, as she is part rat terrier, from her mom, Madeline, but she is sweet too, and seems to sense  my sadness, and is trying to move in to the position of constant companion.  She follows me everywhere now.Needless to say, it was hard to have the Friday Thanksgiving celebration, and entertain a houseful of guests with my heart so broken, but I figured it would be better to stay busy.

I will back to posting now and I am making many Christmas gifts, as money is a little tight around here this year, so I will have some things to show you, and hopefully, a couple of giveaways and maybe a tutorial, or two.  I don't have very many people reading my blog, but at least I would like for it to be interesting for those who do. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Anthro Knockoff

My version
I was looking on Anthropolgie at jewelry a couple of days ago, and I saw a necklace that I liked the shape and look of, but was appalled at how sloppy it was made and they wanted $168.00 dollars for it!  It was paperclips with contact paper or tape wrapped around each one.  When I looked at it closely it wasn't even neatly done!  I have a necklace from paper clips that I made in a different style, long ago, and I like they way they look, so I decided to try my own version of theirs.  I wanted a more organic look to mine, so I cut one inch squares of decorative paper, and glued them and wrapped them around the paperclips, I need to mention though, that you cannot wrap the paper clips until you are done connecting them, or you wouldn't be able to hook them to each other.  Then I wanted to make them more sturdy, so I took a small paintbrush and coated each one with two coats of Triple Thick glaze. Then, I found in my bead stash some shells that I thought looked good with the colors, and embellished the necklace with a few of them.  The great thing is even though it did probably take about 6 hours to make, it only cost me about a dollar in supplies.  The possibilities are endless,  if you use paper, the designs and colors are limitless.  I also would like to try making one with some of the Japanese printed masking tapes that are out on the market now.   If you try this, come on back here and post a pic of your work, I would love to see it.! 
Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 8, 2010

When and Where do You Get Your Ideas?

I get my ideas in the strangest places and the strangest times sometimes. I was wondering if anyone else would like to share what and how and when they are inspired?  I truly believe our talents are a gift from God, and we are meant to use them to somehow encourage or inspire others.  I also believe we are ambassadors for God in this world, it makes me so happy to see how many of us who have crafting and cooking blogs are Christians.  Many are home schoolers, and such good family oriented people.  I feel sorry, I think a lot of children are being raised by babysitters, and when mom and dad come home they have so much to do in the evenings, there isn't much time for family activities and individual attention.  My daughter works, and has three girls, and by the time they get all the chores done and homework, it's time for bed.  I know with the economy the way it is a lot of women have to work, and I feel a lot of compassion for them, because it is so hard and it puts a lot of pressure on the familyThat's where grandmas and grandpas come in handy.  I try to help my daughter a lot. Trying to keep her spirits up, and not to let her get overcome, while she is trying to support her family.  My other two daughters are lucky enough to be stay at home moms.

That all said, I need to get back to the subject of inspiration.  I get mine in some strange ways.  I stayed up very late working on a tutorial project a couple of nights ago, and decided I needed at  least a little sleep, so I laid down in bed, and I was thinking about the tube watercolors my son had gifted me with two years ago, that I hadn't even tried yetSuddenly I got a picture in my mind, at three a.m., and thought, "Oh that's cute, I will have to draw that up, TOMORROW."  Well, the image and excitement about it kept bugging me, until I had to get up, get a piece of paper and a magazine to use for support to draw on, and some colored pencils to draw with, and laid back down in bed and proceeded to draw this picture that was on my mind. Then when I woke up, I had the image I liked for a second  pic, and had to draw it when I woke up. I get a lot of fresh ideas in the shower too, maybe the water tapping on my head stimulates my brain!lol  Sometimes I will be driving, or sitting down to eat dinner, and an idea will pop in my head, too.  If I try to think of something, I usually can't, it has to be when I am not thinking about it.  How does it work for you?  Well, the next day, I tried out the watercolors, and these are the pictures that I painted.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Repurposing a Curtain Valence

I decided to face the monster yesterday, and resort and organize my linen closetUghhh!  I don't think anyone looks forward to that job, am I right?  In doing so, I did find curtains that I have been hanging onto for years, some were even from my mom's house.   I looked at them with a repurposing eye, and I thought what could I do with these, there is a lot of good material here, ruffles, lace, there should be something.  I took some of the valences to my sewing room and I took a teal one with a ruffle at the bottom, cut the middle out, made a contrasting strip of fabric to go across the top, hemmed the sides, and ran a decorative ribbon across the top, with extra on each end for ties.  Then I got into my stash of fabric yo-yos circles, remembering I had a red plaid one with scotty dogs that would make a good pocket.  I had just enough of a strip of the contrasting fabric to make a cute little flower to embellish it with, and I have an apronI am putting together a tutorial (my first, wish me luck!), I should have it ready in a couple of days.  I also have a couple more ideas for curtains, that I think you will like.  I find cute curtain valences at thrift shops and never thought of what I could do with them.  For instance, if nothing else, if there is a nice wide gathered ruffle at the bottom, why not carefully cut it off, leaving a bit of the fabric it's sewn to, and apply it to the bottom of a little girls skirt?  If you wanted an apron in a hurry, you could just run a ribbon through the rod casing adjust the gathers, stitch across to keep the gathers from shifting, and tie it on!  I see a lot of possibilitiesMaybe from a fancy, flouffy set of cutains, a little girls play dress- up outfit?

close-up of pocket and trim details
apron made from curtain valence
I may have single-handedly defeated the linen closet monster! Now maybe if we look at it's contents with a different eye to repurpose something good from it, we won't dread confronting it so badly.