Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell, 2012, Welcome, 2013!

This was a good year for me, at least fun-wise!  Here are a few highlights. Click on any heading to see the original post.

A wonderful weekend of journaling classes with Donna Downey mid-January:

Won a Becky Shander original art piece:

Was thrilled to attend French General's Art of Craft event in LA at the end of January where I met my on-line friend Terry in person!

Attended Paper Cowgirl in Waxahachie, TX in March with several good friends:

Shared a booth with friends at Pistol Annie's Vintage and Craft Show in April:

Finally took the plunge in June - after years of dithering - and painted our living/dining and hallway blue:

Won a fabulous rug in June from Annie Selke's Fresh American blog giveaway:

In August, Dina Wakely was in town for a few classes:

Participated in LOTS of swaps, including a Breakfast at Tiffany's fabric book swap hosted by Laurie Jackson at Indulge Your Shelf:

Other swaps this year included a bracelet swap at Paper Cowgirl, Something Special's Petite Spring Jar Swap, Paper Cowgirl's Summer Travel Postcard Swap, a one-on-one swap with Terry, and three swaps organized by Creative Wings Boutique - the Prize Ribbon Swap, the Very Merry UnBirthday Cake swap, and the Twelve Days of Christmas Matchbox Ornament Swap. 

I took several classes taught by the very talented ladies at two local paper arts shops, and a mini-workshop organized by my friend Chris.  In June I celebrated my 100th sale on Etsy, but failed to blog about my 250th sale earlier this month!  I received some wonderful gifts from blogging friends this year, including this most amazing fabric book from Laurie:

A memorable year for sure!  I'm looking forward to the new year, and wish you all a happy, healthy and art-filled 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Mr. UPS rang our bell today. I was expecting a package for the DH with compressor parts, but also found a big box addressed to Henry, Georgia and Jake.  I couldn't imagine who would have sent them a gift. I hauled it into the house and opened it to find three wonderful squirrels - dog toy variety! 

If you read my last post you know that in our Christmas card photo the dogs asked Santa to bring them a squirrel.  Well, our sweet and funny cousin and her family took their plea to heart.  I had looked for that exact toy before Christmas and didn't find it, nor did I mention it to anyone, so I was doubly surprised to find just what I had wanted for them.

Thank you Karla, Barry and Lauren!  The dogs are eternally grateful!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Howlidays!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We're planning for a white Christmas - up to seven inches of snow is expected starting around midnight. 

I thought I'd share our present Christmas card photo, along with some from the past.  We used to belong to a Basset Hound on-line group and sent Howliday cards every year - where it all began.  We're no longer active in the group, but family and friends seem to enjoy the photos so we still send them every year.  Enjoy!

Dear Santa, We've been good. Please bring us a squirrel. 
Jake, Henry and Georgia

The children were nestled all snug in their beds...
Georgia and Henry

Waiting for Santa
Georgia and Henry

Georgia and Henry

Emma, Walter and Bruiser

Emma, Bruiser and Walter

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

If you're a long-time reader you may remember that I had the opportunity to visit French General last January for their Art of Craft event. One of the classes, with Pam Garrison and Charlotte Lyons, was  making a embellished heart.  This is my creation from the class.
I've made several hearts since then for friends and to sell.  Recently a dear friend purchased two from my Etsy shop and ordered four more in burlap.  Since she's such a sweetie AND my best customer, I made one extra for her. Here are the five:
I was pleased with them all, but I think my favorite is the last one I made, in the upper left corner.  The applique is very old and was purchased at a garage sale earlier this year. These were so much fun to make, and were a good opportunity to use some of the trim I've been hoarding.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Crafting

All those pretty cookie cutter and tart tin ornaments on Pinterest make me happy. Inspired first by Becky Shander, I decided to make a few of my own.  I'm still working on them, but these three are almost done. 
I love the vintage Christmas bling in these two.
The center pieces are from the 1940s, I think. They were on chenille stems. One was tagged five cents, while the other was tagged three for ten cents.  These were things I'd been hoarding but decided were perfect for this project.  The center of the star (shown in the first photo) is an old earring.

I have a few more to make, but want to dig through my stash of goodies first to see what else I can add.  They could be addictive. I'm glad I saved the pile of ugly brown tart tins that came in a grab bag from the thrift store earlier this year.  A little white paint, some glitter and a few embellishments, and they'll be beautiful!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twelve Days of Christmas Swap

Tabitha of Creative Wings Boutique organized a Twelve Days of Christmas matchbox ornament swap and I'm so happy I participated.  The ornies are lovely, as you're about to see.  I like the ornament I made (Three French Hens, and I used a photo of three flirty girls rather than fowl) but it does lack bling.  I seem to march to a different drummer most of the time, so hopefully no one minded. Anyway, enjoy the beauty! Click on any photo to see a larger view.
Here are all the ornies as they were packaged, along with a pretty tag made by Tabitha.
Here are the first six closed, and then open to reveal little surprises stowed inside.
The second six, both closed and open:

Here's a closeup of my ornament showing the inside, back and little packet of goodies. The lack of bling is much more obvious up close!

Here are the participants, along with links for those with blogs. Not everyone has posted about the swap, but I'll try to update the links when they do.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree - Pamela
Two Turtle Doves - Lynn
Three French Hens - Me
Four Calling (or Colly) Birds - Kimberly
Five Golden Rings - Hope
Six Geese A Laying - Holly
Seven Swans A Swimming - Tabitha
Eight Maids A Milking - Alice
Nine Ladies Dancing - Caroline
Ten Lords A Leaping - Mercedes
Eleven Pipers Piping - Beverly
Twelve Drummers Drumming - Laura

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winter Wonderland

As a birthday treat to myself Tuesday, I took a class at My Heart's Fancy.  Lisa Bruno taught a Winter Wonderland box class - so cute, and in turquoise and green, which are our Christmas colors this year.  Yes, that is a lighted lantern inside, from Tim Holtz. The photo definitely doesn't do this piece justice.  It's very glittery and magical and will be a new favorite for sure.
I've been working on some embellished burlap hearts commissioned by a friend and will show those soon, along with the Twelve Days of Christmas matchbox ornament swap.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and Fall Decor

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!  We celebrated last Sunday with my family, and hosted the DH's family this year on Thanksgiving Day - twenty-seven of us in all, including two beautiful baby girls born just this month! This is nephew Ryan on the left with wife Laura and baby Sarah Elizabeth, and niece Kimberly on the right with husband Robert and baby Autumn Jocelyn.  Cute couples and cute babies!

I wanted something fun for the mantel since we were having guests, so I used my new Cricut Ribbons and Rosette's cartridge to make a garland.  It's a bit annoying that you have to make four pieces for each rosette and glue them together, and it's annoying that you can't make just a very plain rosette.  But the number of amazingly cute rosettes and borders you are able to create makes up for both of those little issues.  Add to that the fact that I got it for less than half price at Michael's with a rare sale/coupon combo opportunity, and what's not to love about that?

I sewed burlap to cardboard to make four pennants, and then made four rosettes with the Cricut. I cut out little doily-like pieces for the centers, and added buttons and leaves.

I intended to put FALL on the pennants, but I liked the rosettes so much I changed my mind!

While I had all my fall paper out I decided to make a few tags.  The little turkey was a recent estate sale find.
I think the tag below is my favorite, because of all the handwork. I love combination of rick rack and crochet in the edging, along with the tiny tatted lace and doily. None of the handwork is mine, of course - it's all from estate sales.
Now to pack all this away until next year, and haul out the Christmas decorations! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I planned to skip the estate sales and stay home last Friday to work on my Etsy shop and prepare for Thanksgiving. Apparently my resolve wasn't strong because I couldn't resist checking Craigslist. There was a sale listed with a photo showing a table full of vintage Christmas lights, ornaments, and other goodies, so off I went. It was only 30 miles away - only.

I'll share more later - I bought quite a bit on Friday and the DH and I went back on Saturday - but for now I wanted to share the buttons. There was an old Tupperware canister about three-quarters full of buttons, but it was priced higher than I'd ever paid for a jar of buttons.  I could see a few in the container that were vintage, so I asked and got the lot for almost half price.  There were quite a few basic shirt buttons and newer buttons, and lots of those little envelopes and plastic bags that come attached to clothing and contain the extra buttons. When I started going through the jar, there was so much more than I had thought. Most of these were hidden by all those other things.

Aren't all the colors wonderful?  These are all high quality buttons, and probably from the 1950s to 1970s. The woman who had lived in the home was a seamstress, and had nice fabrics and trims also.

I'm sure I'll be listing some of the buttons on Etsy as I can't keep all of them - I already have about ten jars - but I plan to keep some and gift some. 

Leslie, if you see this, thank you again!  You put on a great first sale, and were working hard for the person who hired you, but also to make it a good sale for the shoppers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

For the Love of Horses

My wonderful friend Terry LOVES horses.  She even had an opportunity to spend a week in France with daily horseback riding sessions, so when I spotted a vintage hankie appliqued with a beautiful horse head I immediately snatched it up with her in mind.  At first I intended to just give her the hankie, but hankies tend to get placed in a drawer and are seldom displayed (I know this from personal experience, of course!), so I tried to think of something else.  After the Creative Wings prize ribbon swap (see here and here) I knew just what I wanted to do.  I found some nice blue ribbon and other bits of trim, and came up with something I thought she might be happy to display in her studio.
The detail of the applique is rather amazing.
This blue isn't a color I create with often (strange, because blue is my favorite) so while I had things out, I made Terry a couple of tags with some vintage photos and wallpaper, and added a tag with some vintage trim I found recently.  Sorry for the poor quality photo. I finished up late one night and wanted to get it packed up to mail the next morning.
All of this was sent as her birthday gift (late, as usual.)  She received it today - and loves it - so it's safe to show.

I'll have a swap to share soon, and more estate sale finds.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gotta Love Fall, Ya'll!

Fall is my favorite season, by far, and this one has been particularly nice. I love the leaves, the pumpkins, even the outdated country-style wreath on our porch. I love that the dogs get frisky, and the geese are honking overhead.

We've had lots of beautiful warm days with bright blue skies, and evenings just cool enough to let you know winter is most likely on the way. It's usually much cooler here by November, but it could stay this way year round and I'd be happy.
Our Bradford Pear tree was damaged during an ice storm several years ago, but it's still hanging in there and putting on a show every fall.
I've had the windows open and music playing, and there has been crafting going on.  I'll have a few things to show, as soon as they reach their intended recipients.

Hope you're having a beautiful fall wherever you are!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Estate Sale Finds

After several months of disappointing estate sales, we've found a few good ones the last couple of weekends.  Two sales on Saturday yielded a few items to sell and a few things to keep.  I bought a bag of buttons that included about forty cards of 1960s to 1980s era buttons, plus what you see in the tray below.  I also picked up the baby shoes and two little dresses from the 1940s.
There are some of the tiniest buttons I've seen, along with a few rhinestones and wool-covered buttons. The LaMode buttons are fairly old, based on the price, and there are a few glass buttons.  I especially like the metal button with the pair of birds, and there were six of the little enamel Santa faces. They're not very old - probably 1980s or 1990s - but cute just the same.
At one sale I entered an upstairs closet and found a stack of 1950s turquoise glass ornaments in their original boxes.  These will be going on Etsy as I have more glass ornaments than I know what to do with, but they're vintagey and a bit shabby and it's oh-so-tempting to keep them!
The second sale of the day was at a very nice newer home. The interior was painted pink - very feminine and lovely. On first glance I thought there would be only newer items for sale, but I found some gloves and hankies. Then in the study I found treasure - this wonderful scrapbook/photo album from the 1920s!

I'm not sure why other people's memories make me so happy, but my heart started beating a bit faster when I saw this.  I'll probably keep it to enjoy for a while, but will eventually list some of the items and probably the cover on Etsy. Here are a few pages for you to enjoy.

I've been told there's a sale next weekend and the homeowner is 100.  She's just now moving into a "retirement" community, and the home she's moving from belonged to her mother before her.  I'm planning to be there!