If you've been reading my blog from the start you've seen a few references to Basset Hound collectibles, or "Basset Crap" as it's affectionately called. That started when we got our first Basset Hound in 1999. He was initially found wandering by a neighbor. She tried for several weeks to find his owners but no one claimed him. She already had several dogs and we had recently lost our Chow mix to cancer, so Bruiser came to live with us. Our lives haven't been the same since. About a year after we got Bruiser along came Walter, a rescue from the local animal shelter. Sadly, we lost both of them and our sweet old Lab Emma a few years ago - all in the same year which almost killed me. A wonderful man that I know through work is active in animal welfare in a nearby town and after learning that we had lost both Bruiser and Walter, he promised to let me know if they ever had a Basset at their shelter. Well, less than a month later I got the call. We drove to Seminole and picked up a relatively skinny Basset boy who whined all the way home. Henry won us over totally in spite of months of treatment for erlichia - a result of tick bites he got while he was on his own. A few months after Henry moved in, Georgia joined our family thanks to the girlfriend of our nephew. She hated that Georgia was on her own all day while she worked, and felt she'd be happier with Henry. They LOVE each other and play wildly. So without further ado, here are Henry and Georgia.
Georgia and Henry
Georgia looks like she's wearing a wig, but she's just wrapped in a faux fur throw.
I've avoided blogging about them because this could easily become a blog ALL about them. I'll resist, but I wanted to share that they went to doggie day care today for the first time. Before they could be added to the "regulars" list they had to pass a temperament test. I imagine it as just like waiting to see if your child will be selected for the school they want to attend. Henry passed with flying colors and was even referred to by the handlers as a "social butterfly." Georgia, however, was timid and stressed at first with the big dogs. After being moved in with the smaller dogs, she quickly relaxed and started playing and later was moved back in with the bigger dogs with no problems. I'll be working full time for the next few weeks, so the plan is for them to attend doggie day care a couple of times a week. Spoiled? Not our dogs!
We've had a couple of nice weekends this month, perfect for junqueing. The DH and I went to Shawnee one Saturday and, as always, found lots of great things including vintage cards and Valentines, crepe paper, buttons, a locket, and a funky pink corset. I also couldn't resist the little red and white striped Barbie dress.
The Evening Amusements book has a lot of unique illustrations that will be perfect for mixed media projects, and the cover is really beautiful. I bought the corset "just in case." At Silver Bella there was a blingy bra swap and several people decorated old corsets rather than bras. I suppose if there's another such swap some day, I'll be ready!
The DH scored these old cans to "decorate" his garage. You'll notice the blue one in my pic above as I promptly appropriated it for my own collection.
Last Saturday we stopped by the Leake Car Auction just to see what was on offer. It was my first time at a car auction and I enjoyed it. There were several hot rods being sold so the DH was excited about that, but he would have enjoyed it a lot more had he been buying - maybe next time! Afterward I convinced him to stop by one of my favorite shops where I found some 1938 and 1939 magazines. He's building a 1939 Chevy street rod so I thought I might be able to find an ad for his car. The only one was for a 4-door rather than a 2-door, but I'll probably frame it for his garage anyway. I also found a Valentine apron that still has the original price tag sewn into a seam, a pink tablecloth with the sweetest trim and a yearbook with a beautiful embossed cover that will be perfect for a travel journal.
Last Sunday I met two friends for lunch and a fun time exploring all the great things at The Rink. We all found treasures and got some great crafting ideas. We sat for a bit after checking out to listen to the live music and to talk a little more - can never get enough of that! I brought home a navy velvet hat with beautiful pearls, beads and mother of pearl flowers and leaves sewn on a ribbon around the brim (can't see it in the photo, darn it), two huge cards of trim for an amazing price, and my usual buttons, photos and linens.
And another creamware bowl that I so didn't need, more trim and a Coats and Clark sewing kit with tiny spools of thread and scissors. The little satin fruit has beautiful velvet leaves that I'll probably remove and use on other things. The aqua lace near the front is really pretty and I may use it for my first cuff bracelet.
The private holiday swap with my new blog friend Terry was over the top for Valentine's Day. She sent me so many wonderful things and I was thrilled with every single one, but I especially love the beautiful necklace and bracelet she made.
I sent an eclectic box of goodies, including the Cosmo bag I made last month in the Style Stitches bag challenge and a Love canvas I created. Terry is going to Kim Caldwell's Moulin Rouge event in March (wish I were, too!), so I added a few vintage magazine illustrations that seemed appropriate. Hope she loves it all!
Pre-blog (last February) I signed up for Teresa McFayden's Paper Bella Studio e-zine, Paper Romance. It was my first such experience and I loved it! There were so many creative projects that I'm still working on mine but here are a few I completed.
One of my favorites was Holly Abston's Sweetheart wall hanging. I learned later that Holly is an Okie gal, which made me love her project even more! Here's my version:
Another favorite was a heart garland, but instead of a garland, I increased the size and made individual heart pockets. I made several of these last year for friends and a few more this year.
The pink one is my favorite. I love the corrugated cardboard strip and - you have to look hard to see it - a watch spring tied in with the fibers on the left side. It went to my friend Kerry last year, and the middle one went to my friend Terry this year.
The Paper Romance e-zine includes lots of non-Valentine projects and is still available at the link above, along with several other Paper Bella Studio e-zines. I highly recommend these if you want lots of inspiration.
I participated for the first time in one of A Swap for All Seasons' exchanges. This was a mini fabric collage exchange, and my partner was Jamie. She sent me a really wonderful creation on which she used a vintage napkin for the base with tea-dyed felt and fabric, a doily and embroidery, ric rac, vintage lace and metal embellishments. It's really lovely and a very creative use of elements. I particularly like the little piece of lace attached with a rusty safety pin, and most of those reading this probably agree! I'm so happy to have found so many who feel the same way I do about old scraps of lace and fabrics, vintage millinary, etc. - "green" crafting at its best.
My vision for her collage was snow covered mountains with a window of flowers. I used layers of white doilys and batting, a bit of embroidery from an old hanky, and included the saying, "No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn" because she lives in a really cold climate, and also because as I was making it I personally was sick of snow and cold weather (so thankful this week for 70s and 80s!) The result was not what I had envisioned, but I rather like it anyway. Hope she does, too!
My new Silver Bella friend Jemellia is hosting a monthly bag challenge on her blog. I signed up hoping it would inspire me to actually finish a bag, since I have one cut out that's been in my closet for over a year with not a stitch sewn.
We're using Amy Butler'sStyle Stitches book. The first pattern was the Cosmo, an oversize tote. After cutting out all the outside and lining pieces and the interfacing for every one of those pieces, I remembered why my other bag was never completed. It's so much easier - and less expensive in many cases - to buy a purse or tote. However, once I started sewing it was fairly enjoyable and I loved having the opportunity to pick the fabric and to embellish a bit. I used three fabrics from Alexander Henry's June Bug line.
It was inspiring to see other participants' bags. There were so many beautiful fabric choices and creative additions and embellishments.
My bag was done by the January 31 deadline - barely. I made it for a friend, but it turned out so well that now I'm going to have to make one for myself...well, maybe after I finish the year-old bag in my closet!
The next bag is a reversible daily shopper. It looks easier than the Cosmo, but February is going by quickly and I've yet to start on this one. I'm torn between using fabrics I already have (what I NEED to do) and buying new fabric (what I WANT to do). I'll keep you posted!
January brought a new round of great classes at Paper Crown. I wanted to take every class offered but was only able to make it to two - Jackie's shrink class (blogged in an earlier post) and her fan class. Using old paper fans, canvas, paper doll stamps, and lots of embellishments and techniques, Jackie guided us through the process of making beautiful and unique dolls with a Valentine theme. You can see everyone with their finished projects here.
I would encourage anyone to take a class from either Jackie or Franc at Paper Crown (or any of the other instructors who visit from time to time.) Both these ladies are so creative and so much fun, and class participants are friendly and sharing. Cindy, the owner, is wonderful, too. You can learn about class opportunities from the Paper Crown web site or from Jackie's blog.