Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year! 
However you celebrate, we hope you have
family, friends and pets with you to share in the magic of the season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buttons, Doilies and Tags

I was totally surprised one day last week to find a package from Laurie on my porch.  She sent me the most wonderful little case filled with buttons.  She painted and decorated the top beautifully and added "junque seeker."  Then she filled it with a vintage doily and so many lovely buttons.  There's a large bag and several smaller bags, and she let me know that these are for crafting. I can tell you that quite a few will be kept in my stash of "the best stuff."  She is so sweet and generous, and talented, too!

I hemmed a few pairs of pants for our niece, and when she picked them up she brought me a bag of treasure - a large plastic bag stuffed with doilies!  There were fifty in all - whites, creams, multicolors, simple, fancy, you name it.  She got them at the thrift store for less than $2.  All that work by so many people for just $2, but I'm thrilled to have them!
I've done a little bit of miscellaneous crafting this week.  I bought an ugly sign at the discount store for $1.50 and recovered it in cute Santa paper. I'm still adding embellishments so it's not complete but I think I'm going to like it. It has a curly wire for hanging that will be reattached when it's complete.
Friends came over on the 10th to make cards and tags. I had a bad case of allergies so didn't accomplish much while they were here, but they did inspire me and I've worked on a few tags since then.  These two were made from old Christmas cards.
I've also been working on tags for my great nieces. I'll get to see them next week and wanted to make a little something for them to hang on their doors or in their rooms.  Here are two in progress, and I have several more to go.  Lots of girls in this family!
That's it for now.  Hopefully I'll make more progress tomorrow.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stocking Swap

Last month I joined in on a stocking swap hosted by Cerri at The Little Pink Studio. We were to make or buy a stocking, embellish it, and fill it with vintage and other treasures for our swap partner.  My partner is Danielle, whose art is amazing.  She likes vintage shabby chic and not a lot of bright color, so I made a burlap stocking trimmed with a vintage dresser scarf, burlap roses and vintage millinary flowers. I filled it with Prima flowers and buttons, a couple of ornaments I made, a tiny Paris-themed calendar, vintage doilies, and other fun things.

Although Danielle isn't a big fan of a lot of bright colors, I saw a lot of dress forms, chairs and chandeliers in her work, so I thought she might like this banner made from Bari J. Paris Apartment fabrics.  The flowers between the pennants were given to me recently by my friend Chris as part of a handmade embellishment exchange. I hated to give them up, but they were absolutely perfect for this project.


I hope Danielle loves everything.  I certainly love everything she sent me!  She embellished a green knitted stocking with a sweet little bird on a nest and beautiful flowers.  She added gorgeous trims, plus a window with tulle curtains, a tiny spool, and itty bitty roses.

She embellished a journal and made a lovely tag. 

She also sent lots of embellishments, chipboard, tags, paper, and other goodies. I have so many new things to work with!

Thanks so much, Danielle!  I couldn't have asked for a better swap partner, and hope you feel the same! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Beginning...

to look a little like Christmas.  I finished a banner and a couple of ornaments today. 

The incredible Jackie Peters taught a banner class at Paper Crown last month, but it was full almost as soon as she announced it.  After the class I learned she had a couple of kits available and I was lucky enough to get one.

I made mine pretty much in line with the class sample, filling in with a few things of my own here and there.  It's very pretty and will coordinate nicely with my Junk Drawer Advent Calendar (if I finish that!)

The two ornaments were quarter items picked up at Target's after-Christmas sale last year. I used some wide wired ribbon Jackie had included in the banner kit to make rosettes and topped them with vintage rhinestone buttons. Pretty!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Fun News - The Art of Craft at French General

I was reading blogs the other evening when I came across a post from Wanda about The Art of Craft Event at French General.  I read about the event and knew immediately that I wanted to go.  It was late at night - too late to check with my creative buddies to see if anyone else would go along.  If you know me, you know that I don't really like going new places on my own, and that normally I would NEVER commit to something like this without that safety net.  But this was BIG!  And I did meet Wanda in a class at Silver Bella, and we've been in a few swaps together and exchanged a few e-mails since, so I would know someone once I arrived.  With a little encouragement from my very supportive hubby (thank you, sweetie!) I hit the button and signed up!

I'm very happy to say that my friend Chris signed up the following day (we're going to have so much fun!), and I'll get to meet my permanent swap pal Terry there, plus I'll get to see Wanda again!  I was doing a little happy dance, I assure you.

I was fortunate enough to have two classes with Kaari Meng at Silver Bella last year, and have always been a big fan of everything French General.  I have four of Kaari's books, and I drool over every piece of fabric, button, bead and bit of bling she finds.  I'm sure I'll need an extra suitcase to carry home everything I buy there.  Kaari will be teaching a button bracelet class, similar to this.
photo from French General
Pam Garrison and Charlotte Lyons will be teaching a sailor's valentine workshop.  Charlotte taught at Silver Bella 2010, but I didn't have enough time slots available to take her classes.  I'm so happy to have the opportunity now. She and Pam are both amazing.  Here are sample photos for their class.
photos from French General
My first memories of mixed media artwork were from Anna Corba.  I was fascinated with the things she made, and wanted so badly to have that creativity she posseses.  Seeing her name on the schedule is probably what put me over the edge from wanting to attend this event to actually feeling a need to attend. I can't wait to learn from her, and the fact that classes are limited to 30 people means it will be easier to take in everything she has to share. She'll be teaching a beeswax journal.
photo from French General
I'm also excited to learn bookbinding methods from Molly Meng who will teach a 12-month memory book class,
photo from French General
and Michelle Jorgensen will show us how to create this beautiful Valentine box.
photo from French General
As if that wasn't enough - or more than enough - there will be a reception with Jo Packham of Where Women Create! It's going to be such a wonderful event!

I love every project, and another big bonus is that all supplies are provided so we won't have to carry as much with us as we do to some workshops.  Of course, we'll still take our most special bits and pieces to incorporate. 

I'm sure I'll be sharing more before we go at the end of January. If anyone reading this is going to the Art of Craft workshop, please let me know!

Button Floozies 2011 Ornament Swap

This was my first year to participate in the Button Floozies ornament swap.  I read about it on Laurie's blog, and I'm so happy I joined in!

Swappers were placed in groups of four, so everyone made three ornaments.  I started one ornament but it only included one button and I felt like that wasn't enough.  I progressed to these mini stockings with vintage eyelet and five buttons, and included a few buttons, some lace and a few vintage Christmas gift tags for each of the ladies in my group.
 The first ornament I received was from Wendy. It's velvet and lovely, and I do believe it's all handsewn.  I so admire that.  She also sent chocolate.  You'll notice there's no chocolate in the photo, because I ate it almost immediately.
This beauty was made by Susie.  I love that it can be displayed year-round, and I love the little tag she sent along with it.  Both are so creative and well done!

And last but definitely not least, this gorgeous girl made by Joni. It was beautifully wrapped with an embellished vintage card on top.  I should have packaged mine as well!

 A huge thank you to all of you, and to Laurie for coordinating the swap.  You can see all the fun on the Button Floozies' blog here.  I hope to do this again next year!

Fall Tag Swap

I joined in on a fall tag swap a few weeks ago and the tags arrived yesterday.  Wanda from The Rat's Pajamas was the one who introduced me to this tag swapping group (and she's also responsible for the news I'll be sharing in my next post.) 

Here's a shot of all the tags together, and below that you'll see the tags in two groups with links to their creators where available.
Top Row:
tag 1 - Jonnelle
tag 2 - Jane Palmer
tag 3 - Lisa Stanton
2nd Row:
tag 1 - Robin Carr
tag 2 - Kathy Lowry
tag 3 - Wendy Robrecht
Top Row:
tag 1 - Michelle & Ashley
tag 2 - So cute, but no way to identify it.
tag 3 - Dawn
2nd Row:
tag 1 - Mine!
tag 2 - JJ?  Love this one but I don't know who made it.

Here's a shot of all mine before I sent them out. They were all basically the same with the exception of two I had to make with different paper after I ran out.  Oops!  Some people make all their tags the same and some make every one different.  I don't think I could come up with that many ideas that quickly!
This was my second swap with this group and it's been so enjoyable.  I learn new techniques every time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Bit of Crafting

Here are a few things I've made lately.

This was for display in our entry on Thanksgiving Day.  The graphic is from The Creative Patch blog here. I glittered the orange mums, but it's hard to tell in the photo. The ribbon was from my friend Chris, and the tatted circles were from a table runner I purchased at a recent estate sale.  The paper tape is Tim Holtz. This still needs something, but I'm not sure what. By next Thanksgiving, it may look a bit different.

This is the display I had on our black hutch. I just recently got the footed dish from my parents. It belonged to my dad's mom. The platter is from a yard sale, and the pumpkin is from Marshall's.  The sweet silver spoon at the base of the platter was made by Robin Thomas.
I made one more tag for my version of the 7 Gypsies Junk Drawer Advent Calendar.  If I put up a tag each day starting tomorrow, I just have seven days to get more made.  Better get busy!
I'll be back later to show some things from recent swaps and to share some fun news.  Here's a sneak peak at what I made for one of the swaps.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Junk Drawer Advent Calendar Tag Marathon

My friends and I are long-time admirers of the 7 Gypsies Junk Drawer Advent Calendar - well, at least since 2009 when it debuted.  This year we decided we had to do this project, and it's a big one! 
Photo from One Lucky Day
We gathered at my house yesterday morning at 10:00 and after a bit of conversing, playing with the dogs, etc., we dug in.  Kerry and Chris brought lunch and homemade Whoopie Pies (all yummy!) along with bags, boxes -  and in Kerry's case, a huge suitcase - full of goodies to use in making tags.  I had a big basket full of things I'd been gathering from my craft room, some tags prepped with backgrounds, rosettes made from tea-dyed cheesecloth, old millinary flowers, beads, and other things.  Chris had fabulous trims found at Canton that Kerry and I couldn't bring ourselves to cut (they are really amazing - beaded and jeweled and perfect for making bracelets) and her Sizzix plus other trims and doo dads, and Kerry had dies, grunge board, lots of little metal embellishments, and much more.

Eight hours later - yes, eight - we each had six tags completed.  That may not sound like much, but we felt we'd accomplished a lot.  There was a lot of digging through things to find just the items we wanted to use on each tag, and while we stayed fairly true to the original versions because they're so lovely, there were little bits and pieces used to make each tag our own.

I forgot to charge my camera battery beforehand so all photos are from my iPhone and taken in poor lighting - and with tired eyes - but here are the tags we completed, in all their glory:

At the end of the day we were exhausted but happy.  I'm not sure if any of us will finish all our tags in time for this Christmas, but I know mine will be displayed no matter the number completed.

Thanks, ladies, for a lovely day!
Kerry and Chris at the end of the day, amid all our "supplies" and the obligatory Sonic cup.