Friday, July 29, 2011

Hat Attack!

A while ago I bought a little cream color hat just for these three beautiful vintage millinary flowers on its brim. I don't think I even took a photo of the hat before I ripped these lovlies off.
I thought I would just remove the flowers and then put the bare hat in my next bag going to Goodwill, but the vintage fabric was pretty so I decided to see what I could do with it. The hat had three layers - a plain nylon inner layer, a stiff mesh liner, and a prettier linen outside layer.  There was enough fabric in the crown and brim to make four flowers. For each one, I cut three sizes of petals from each of the three layers. I used some chalk to age the edges a bit, sewed the layers together, and then scrunched it all up to give it some dimension. I used a piece of the grosgrain ribbon hat band and unraveled it to make the stamens, and added a few little pearls. 
Using the elastic inner hat band, I made this little rose.
 Who knew one little hat would yield so much?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birdsong Tag Book Beauty

I received my Birdsong tag book from Karla Nathan.  It has a beautiful cover and seven lovely tags.  Here's a photo of all the tags tied together as a book. I'll be adding one of the tags I made.  You can see why my black and white very simple tags, although cute, probably weren't the best choice for this particular swap.  I'll know better the next time! My tag was blogged about here.

A close up of the pretty cover Karla made for all of the 135+ books.  Click on the photos if you'd like to see them up close, and click on any highlighted names to see posts on their blogs about their tags.
My first tag is from Pam. In case you can't tell, there's an overlay with a bird cage, a peacock feather and the swap name.  Love the back, too.  

The second is from Patty.  It has several layers and is adorned with a pearl egg and tied with multicolor fibers.  So pretty!
I apologize but I can't read the name on the third tag.  I believe it's C. Potts, but I'm not sure.  It's blue metallic stamped with black leaves and flowers, and there's a white feather underneath the world "FLY." Very nicely done!

The fourth tag is from Joanne. Layers of lovliness! 

The fifth is from Katherine.  Wonderful! 

Tag six is from Erica.  It's has so many fun elements.  Very pretty.  
Tag seven is from Lynn.  So pretty, and I love the precious bird charm. 

This was such a fun swap!  Each tag is wonderful.  Thanks, everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Terry/Terri July Swap

As I've said here before, I tend to be an introvert. Most of my closest friends were met through work, and I consider myself fortunate to have them. Some I see a lot, most I see only occasionally now, but they are all so dear to me.  When I retired, I did consider whether I would make more friends without work as a source to meet people.

Enter the world of creating and blogging. I've "met" so many people in the last year and a half.  Most are just acquaintances but with art in common and if we lived nearer, there are several I know could easily become close friends.  One that I consider a true friend in spite of distance is Terry.  We were paired on a swap almost a year ago, and have continued swapping over the months.  She has certainly sent me lots of beautiful things that I love, but the best thing is her sweet personality and her friendship. Through lots of e-mails, texts, and even one very long phone conversation, we've gotten to know each other better.  Hopefully we'll have an opportunity to meet in person someday. 

Now to the goodies!  For our July swap, she sent me so many amazing things that I almost cried when I opened them.  She always manages to find things I love and then puts everything together so nicely that it's a treat just to open the packages.  If she sent just a fraction of what she does I'd be thrilled, but she especially outdid herself this time. 

Everything was packed amidst blue crepe paper streamers and red, silver and blue glittery stars.  There were two little packages tied with red and white ribbon that contained the most amazing bracelet and necklace.  I absolutely love them!  I so wish my camera was better so you could see exactly how lovely they are.
There's a package with pieces of blue and red velvet, vintage red rick rack and blue check bias tape, and white daisy trim, all tied with striped ribbon and a George Washington chenille figure; a big fat package of red and blue fringed crepe paper tied with a checked ribbon and a tiny flag; and a package of red, white and blue crinkled seam binding.  There's a party hat, a cone, and a giant tag that are all SO cute.  There are tons of craft supplies in red, white and blue, including chipboard and die cut shapes and letters, gem brads, a crepe paper banner, a red rosette, and so much more.

What I sent looks a little sparse this month, but I did try to include vintage trims and unique things that she can use in her art. My package for her included this banner and tag that I made. 
I also sent a few things from the gorgeous Webster's Pages "Ladies & Gents" line, including paper, fabric ribbon and embellishments.
I made a tassel from an old salt shaker in her favorite colors of black and white, and added one of the new Tim Holtz stamps, a notepad/mousepad, and a gray fabric rose.

I included a vintage cigar box full of little goodies, and made a prize ribbon to decorate the gift bag. I debated long and hard whether or not to cover and embellish the cigar box, but I loved its vintagey cuteness and decided I would leave it plain and let her decide if she wanted to use it for a project. She immediately put it to use as a stand for a little 4th of July figurine she has, so I'm glad I decided to leave it as it was.
 Hope you enjoy looking at all the fun things we swapped. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I visited the wonderful Heather Ales' blog last night and spotted a list of prompts she got from Melissa's blog - kind of a way to get better acquainted.  Heather asked others to include their answers and post so I am, and I hope you will, too!

Right now, I’m:

Wearing ~ blue bird-print cotton knit pjs.

Drinking ~ 1/2 water and 1/2 Red Diamond tea with Splenda

Listening To ~ Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and a snoring Basset Hound
Wondering ~ if I'll sleep tonight. Although I'm a night owl, I do get really sleepy around 2 or 3am, but lately as soon as I lay down and turn out the light, my eyes pop open.

Thinking ~ about a small business seminar I attended yesterday.

Feeling ~ extremely lucky to be able to stay home for a while.

Wishing ~ everyone would treat others as they'd like to be treated.

Hoping ~ for world peace, still.

Planning on ~ working today on a photo album for my father-in-law's 91st birthday. It will include pics from his 90th birthday celebration last July in southeastern Oklahoma. Hope he likes it!

Aggravated by ~ the budget crisis.  Is getting your way really worth causing workers who helped make the wealthy wealthy and who keep this country running to lose benefits that will make a huge difference in whether they can afford health care and a decent existence in their later years?

Most passionate about ~ creating - paper art, sewing, jewelry making and anything else I'm able to learn.

Wanting ~ to be in better physical shape. I am NOT an exerciser by nature and most of my pursuits are sedentary.

Dreaming Of ~ attending another arts event. Silver Bella last year was my first, and I loved everything about it.

Wishing I was ~ able to buy my hubby a hot rod - already restored. Hmm. Maybe if I wasn't doing that "staying at home" thing. Ya think?

Wanting to be ~ more involved in the world and not the introvert I am.

Needing ~ to work on my house and yard instead of art.

Trying to ~ figure out how to start a home business.

Wanting to try ~ so many things!

Most thankful for ~ My family and friends - both two- and four-leggers.

Giving up on ~ being thin.  When I was, I thought I wasn't. Little did I know!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birg Song Tag Book Swap

I was so excited that Karla Nathan decided to do a bird-themed tag book swap following her Bird Song event.  I missed out on the actual weekend, but being able to participate in the tag swap makes up for it a tiny bit.

Each participant sends in seven tags and will receive seven in return, along with a cover made by Karla.  There are 135+ participants - can't imagine making all those covers!  Karla is amazing!

The design of my tags was sort of dictated by a new stamp I had purchased - a raven with spectacles.  It's not the flowery, lacey style that I generally prefer and that would have fit in more appropriately with Karla's style, but I like the end result.  Hopefully the recipients of my tags will feel the same way.  The tag is "posing" by a fabulous candlestick my sister-in-law Jackie gave me for my birthday last year.  Love it! 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Crafting for the 4th

Happy 4th! 

Behind schedule as usual, I spent quite a bit of time this week crafting for the holiday.  I made several oversize tags to give my mom and my aunties this weekend, and for a friend I made a banner that can be used the entire month of July (I'll show that in a later post.) 

Friday I took a good look at our dining room table and realized just how messy I can be. 
It wouldn't be so bad had all this been there for a day or two.  Oh no.  It's been this way for a week!  And that's just one end of the table.  The far end has had paints and paper and various other supplies covering it for at least three weeks.  It's a good thing we rarely dine. With just the two of us we're pretty casual and generally eat in front of the TV.  I have several other projects lined up so I doubt the entire table will see the light of day anytime soon. Just my way of celebrating independence from neatness, I suppose.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Little Book Swap

Michelle Geller's recent Little Book Swap was a first for me.  I've been in awe of Michelle and others who created pages for journal swaps at Silver Bella 2010.  Swaps were assigned by a drawing and I didn't get into either of those journal swaps, which was probably a good thing.  I think I would have been too intimidated based on the beautiful pages I saw posted on various blogs prior to the event.  Michelle was kind enough to share her completed journal with several of us on the way to the airport in Omaha, and I could hardly believe how unique and amazing it was.  Just gorgeous!

When I saw that Michelle was hosting this swap I thought it might be just the thing to start with.  She was so encouraging and complimentary that any feelings of incompetence I had were dissolved. (Thanks, Michelle!)

Creating the little book involved making one original eight-page book, laid out on an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper, which was then copied at half size.  The copies - 26 in all - were cut, folded, and decorated with a few embellishments.  I chose a mermaid theme and had everything I needed to make the pages on hand.  It was so much fun to use various papers and images, trim and other embellishments.  Here's my book in its original format with a half-size copy to the right.
Of course I've misplaced the completed book that I kept for myself, but you can see it and the 26 other books on Michelle's blog here

I was so excited to receive my bundle of books.  They came in a sweet little package and each one is so wonderful. I had planned to look at them gradually over several days, but after a few hours I just had to pull them all out and at least take a peek.  I'm still oohing and ahhing over them on a regular basis!

UPDATE:  Now that I have a new camera, I'm posting photos of my little book pages.