Monday, November 29, 2010

Elizabeth Holcombe's Studio

I was lucky enough to win a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors Studio from Beth at Words and Whimsies (elizabethholcombe.typepad.com) It's one of my very favorite blogs, and I've ordered a few things from her etsy shop and always been very happy with my purchases. I really enjoyed seeing the photos of her studio and can't wait to try a few of her suggestions for storage. The article about collecting and displaying vintage Christmas decorations was especially cool. Beth has always been so generous in sharing her crafting magic. The Christmas corsages featured in my header were made from her instructions and examples. I make a few every year to give my friends. I'm so grateful I won her latest giveaway - Thanks Beth!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Little Snowman

I haven't crafted anything yet. But I did have a little luck thrifting on Saturday. I got my first spun cotton head figure! He's pretty beat up but he has a sweet face. I'm not really sure it's a snowman, but that's what I'm calling it. I'd like to make some ornaments similar to the ones Laurie at Magpie Ethel made using the tin molds. I think the little santa will fit perfect, as might the little skates. Underneath everything is my favorite find, a linen towel. Something to add a little holiday cheer to my kitchen that's also useful. I really love old, soft linen to dry dishes with and this one's perfect. Pretty day, good thrifting, spending less than $2 = happiness!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Better Start Crafting Holiday Stuff!

I'm starting to feel like getting all the decorations ready and deciding where the tree will go. Last year I just didn't feel the spirit and did very little. Even though none of the remodeling I expected to be finished has even been started, I'm just going to pretend this home looks better.

Crafting is being planned, projects picked out. I'm going to try some new things and post pictures just to make myself accountable. I'm going to post once a week, even if I just have to show what I picked up while thrifting. I work better under pressure. It's on!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Penguin Books Mystery Mail



I recently received some mystery mail. It was a package from Penguin Books with a great selection of titles. One is a favorite crafting book, Sock and Glove, by Miyako Kanamori. I've checked it out of the library about eight times and love using my orphan socks for creating cute animals. You'll never throw away another single sock or glove. Easy projects with lots of character and charm.
The other favorite of the bunch is The Artist in the Office, by Summer Pierre. It really helped me get inspired and off my duff to get busy creating again. It's all about priorities and small steps in the right direction. My job isn't always uplifting and I need to express myself in an uplifting way. My daughter liked the suggestion to "find someone at work (she'll use school), preferably someone just as bored as you. Every time you see each other, start to dance." I can't wait to see that happen in one of the hallways. We both liked "Be a Secret Messenger for Good." I'm going to implement that one at school soon.
There were a few more books and as soon as I've finished reading, I'll post about them.
I wish I knew why I was the lucky recipient of this lovely gift. Maybe I won a giveaway while I was on vacation, maybe somebody just likes me. Either way, Thank you!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Awww, Nice Doggie.



I don't have a great history with pit bulls. One tried to kill my chihuahua, Pete, a few years ago on Mother's Day. What a gift THAT day was! A Sunday visit to the nearest emergency vet (40 miles away) and $1,500+ later, Pete lives! I still can't believe my husband went for the surgery vs. putting him down.
This latest pit (my son rescues them from the pound - he's not allowed to go back anymore) is smaller than the others, and I must say, ridiculously sweet. He got this one as a puppy and has raised it as a family dog. I know, I know, BELIEVE ME, I know. The one that tried to eat Pete was a nice dog and until the moment she snapped, a friend of Pete. Keila was able to have a couple of good years beyond the time she was rescued from being scheduled to be put down at the pound, but in the end, she just wasn't a dog that could be trusted around anyone, human or canine.
But here is Venus. I tried not to like her. Maybe she was just tasting me a little before she ripped my throat out. She kept bringing me her toys to throw and sat on my feet to be petted wherever I sat down. I like dogs, whatever the kind. I just don't want to bring this one to MY house even if she's sweet. I might taste like chihuahua.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cali College Visit








During our visit last week to California, we checked out the college Chloe would most like to attend. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a familiar place since my sister is a graduate, as well as my best friends Janice and Casey. I wish I had gone there! The weather was perfect and our tour guide was adorable. She sold Chloe completely on the central coast college experience. Now Chloe just has to get the grades! It's not an easy program to get into and she better get busy.
I've got more pictures to come. Lots of family and friend time, including some sad time as I helped my parents prepare for a move. After 48 years in the same house, it's time for an unexpected change.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Good Day for Vintage

I lucked into some sweet finds at the local thrift store. Cute hats, including a white beaver-fur one with a beautiful rhinestone embellishment, a little silver brocade one with little grey velvet bows and rhinestones on the netting and an adorable little girl's blue flowered one. The train case is just what I want to use in a project like one I saw on Jane's Apron. I love her blog! The quilted satin covered box is perfect for sorting and storing little things on my work table. I like to collect ivory vases, usually in a matte finish, but this small one was so sweet, I couldn't pass it by. Also the little vintage auto vase was too cute to leave behind. Everything in the picture totaled less than $6.00. Score!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Military Ball

Chloe recently attended the ROTC Military Ball. It was kind of last minute and she barely knew her date, but she was excited to attend. The Ball is known to be better than prom, with more dancing. They are also served a very nice dinner. She had a dress, shoes and accessories ready, so prep was easy. We had a little issue with hair (next time, no matter how last minute, we WILL get an appointment to have a pro do it!!) but she made do with a sparkly headband and just went straight and glossy. I think her date had a great time, but was disappointed she wouldn't go out with him again. Apparently one of her friends has a crush on him, so she considers him "off limits." Aaah, teenage angst. He's really a very nice kid, very accomplished. This picture doesn't do him justice - he's much cuter in person. He brought Chloe home with a smile and walked her into the house at the end of the evening. Good manners are always a plus.


Just wanted to show a smiling picture of my daughter. Cheer tryouts start this week and there's been a lot of scowling and muttering after practices. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Basket Swap


This is one of the baskets I made for one of my partners in Miss Rhea's Basket Swap. I make the little bunny ornament, strung the silver bunny on a ribbon and wrapped some pretty french wired ribbon on a little paper egg. I found the cute chick from Seasons of Cannon Falls at a gift store nearby - I just love his crepe collar and glitter buttons.

I can't seem to upload my picture of the beautiful little basket Cari sent me, so I lifted one from her blog (thanks Cari). It was filled with Easter ephemera, including a playing card with bunnies on it that I just love. She also gifted me with some pretty pastel trim, a lovely bow pin and other goodies. I'm so happy to have such a cute addition to my Easter display.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day - Look What I Got!






I was truly lucky when I got Bryanna of The Canary's Cupcake as a swap partner for Cathy's Amour Valentine Swap. She sent me a darling box filled with this beautiful pink polka dot heart box filled with all kinds of goodies. The button bracelet took my breath away! Look at all those cute buttons - just what I love. There were valentine picks with vintage images, a silver heart, beeswax candle with a rose hook attached, pretty vanity bottle filled with sparkles, a rusty key (LOVE IT) and lots of cupcake things. My daughter is eyeing those pretty closely - I better hide them. Everything was wrapped in tule and decorated with the roses Bryanna makes. Even the shipping box was a work of art. Thank you again, Bryanna!

Thank you Cathy for hosting such a fabulous swap. Happy Valentine's Day!


Please go check out all the other wonderful women posting their Valentine gifts:

I can't wait to visit all these blogs! I had a little trouble linking everybody, so if you have any problems following, just go to Cathy's blog (click the Amour button on the right side) and follow her links. I'm sure there are lots of fabulous posts.

Amour Swap - What I Sent







This was the Amour Valentine Swap package I sent to Bryanna. There were a few more little things in there, but I didn't get pictures of everything. She requested lavender as her color, so I used as much as I could in making the boxes and valentines. I included some thrifted heart jewelry and a little owl & pearl sweater keeper (because Bryanna mentioned she liked owls) along with a little kewpie figurine holding a "home sweet home" sign since Bryanna had recently moved to a new home. I love kewpies and thought I had seen some kewpie dolls in one of her older blog pictures.


Since Bryanna likes Alice in Wonderland, I made a little collage using images from one of my old books. It's kinda funky and different, not my usual style, but I was trying to be brave and experimental.

I also put a little valentine mouse by Jennifer Murphy (for Seasons of Cannon Falls) because it was just so adorable. Some glittered, feathered birds also made it in there, along with some vintage chenille pipe cleaners in luscious aqua and lavender in case she wants to do some crafting. There were some little bags of crafting bits, like porcelain doll faces and little flower stems.

I'm just happy the box FINALLY MADE IT TO HER!!!!

There was a huge glitch in the mailing process. I mailed my box on January 28, Priority shipping, with delivery confirmation. It arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas on February 1 - with the wrong address. Two numbers had been transposed when Cathy gave me Bryanna's address and I hadn't verified with Bryanna before I mailed it. Mistake #1. Then, when I hadn't heard anything from Bryanna after a week, instead of emailing her and asking about it, I started telling myself she must have received it and hated everything in it. Talk about paranoid! Mistake #2. When Bryanna emailed me inquiring about when she might expect the package, I realized something was amiss. I had received her amazing box previously, so I checked the return address and discovered the aforementioned address mistake. I called the post office 800 number to find out what was up and they simply reported it as "Undeliverable as addressed." They told me it would be returned to me, but they couldn't tell me where it was. It had been over a week and it should have made it back to me. I filed a claim to open an investigation. The post office was to call me back within 2 days. After 2 days, no call. I called again. Sarah at the 800 number was condescending and almost rude when she told me that the day I initially reported the problem didn't count, and I would have to actually wait 4 days to expect a call. Mistake #3 - I should have gone up the supervisor ladder at that time. Four days later, no call. Finally on Thursday when I reached Lisa at the 800 number, she was very concerned and apologetic and gave me the consumer complaint number. When I reached Stephanie at that number, she was able to contact the Fayetteville post office, where my package was still sitting after all this time, and get it forwarded on to Bryanna WITHIN HOURS! I love Stephanie. It took my 2 - 3 day package over two weeks to get to her. I'm just so glad it did - I felt like a swap partner failure.

I think I'll use UPS next time.





Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trashy Friends

One Gal's Trash is having a cool give away! Help her reach her goal for 500 followers on her 50th birthday and enter her giveaway too. The keys above are only part of her prize. She is one of my favorite bloggers, always sharing the best thrifted finds and funny stories. http://onegalstrash.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crafty Pod, I love you!

I recently won this amazing book from http://craftypod.com. Diane Gilliand (aka Sister Diane) generously hosted a give away of this mixed-media, fairytale picture book that is truly magical. I'm not sure I have the skills to make many of the projects featured, but it's very inspirational and challenging. Diane has also been featured in a book I recently checked out from the library called "1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse" by Garth Johnson. I only wish there were instructions for some of the projects. Most are really works of art, but some are definitely do-able.


Crafty Pod features lots of podcasts, tutorials and great blog advice. Check it out!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finished and Mailed

Whew! I finally finished my Valentine swap package and mailed it off to Bryanna. She requested pastels as her color choice, with lavender being a favorite. She's also a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I tried to incorporate Alice as a theme. I had fun using a color I don't usually work with and really enjoyed hunting for little treasures to put in the boxes I decorated. I'm looking forward to receiving my package from Bryanna, as she's a wonderful artist and I just love her blog. Check it out: http://www.thecanaryscupcake.blogspot.com/



I need to start posting more! I've won a giveaway from Craftypod ( www.craftypod.com) that I want to show, and I've recently purchased some fun stuff from Etsy I'd like to share. More posting in 2010! I have a goal to have a giveaway too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Heartfelt

I made these tussies for a Valentine swap last year. I'm so excited about getting started on my crafting for this year's swap. I've got some ideas, but I need to wait until my partner is assigned so I can make everything to her taste and color. When Lori and I wandered the antique shops last week, I was looking for smalls and sewing/crafting items. I found a few things, but I need to go back and really dig around for some "romantic" items for the Valentine theme.

I finally got all the Christmas decorations and supplies put away. It's been so cold I don't really want to keep going up in the storage area so I worked quickly! There's still so many boxes to go through since the move. With all the painting and remodeling going on, it's better to just leave things packed. At least that's what I say until I try to find something.
I'm hoping I don't get called in to work this week so I can really get focused on making things. After all, that is my new year's resolution: get organized and get busy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Swap!



I've signed up for a Valentine swap! I've been so busy and distracted this year with the sale of our house and moving into the new project that I've not been crafting as much as I'd like. I had lots of orders for crowns and wands, so that satisfied my creative urges but I'm ready to try a little something else in between. Go check out Cathy's blog to see if there are any openings left (I posted her button on the right.)


I've been working on organizing my craft room and the addition of a full wall of Ikea cubbies has helped quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband volunteered to go pick up the huge Expedit unit. It has five cubbies up and five across - lots of storage. I could easily fill another one, but I'm trying to keep the non-essentials packed up and upstairs so I have some room to move around.


This is my new year's resolution: Get organized and get busy making stuff!