Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello October...

Hello October and welcome Fall. This is a time to breathe and re-group so we can get ready for the rush of holidays...Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our days and nights will be very busy and we will try to do too many things for too many people and not enough for ourselves.
So...sit back and put your feet up for a few minutes and think of all the things we have to be grateful for that do not make us feel rushed or crazy.
Then have some fun with whimsy this month. Like wearing fun socks on those cool days of Fall. Here I am wearing my brand new ghosts socks. Their happy little faces with the big smiles just make me smile. Yes these are my newest black shoes which I love. I admit to having a weakness for shoes and it actually offsets my weakness for all the other things I love like fabrics, beads, laces, ribbons and so many other crafting supplies.
Hello October and let's all enjoy this month of Fall and fun and family and friends.
Happy Haunting...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saucy Chicks...

Another cute project with super fun themed fabrics. My creative co-hort and I are known as the Saucy Chicks and therefore we tend to be drawn to fabrics with cute chicken themes. The brighter and cheerier the better. So we got out our numerous fabrics and started cutting. We made the pattern as we went along. Our friend Margaret also helped us cut out the fabrics.
What are we making you ask?
Saucy Chicks to love and hug.

Here is a finished Saucy Chick in all her glory. I missed taking a photo of her back with the other two fun fabrics as we made them with all different coordinating front, back and wings. Her eyes are faceted beads and her beak and crown are wool felt. She is stuffed with wonderful soft fiberfil and is very huggable.
We made five and before we could do a group photo they flew the coop. We were able to get this one back on the work table to get this adorable shot of her.
We hope the kids at Deer Creek like them as they will be attending the Boutique sale looking for new coops to live in.
We think they are so cute we may have to make a few more. We certainly have enough fabrics.
What do you think of them?
Happy Creating...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bean Bags Anyone???

I must admit I had no idea when I bought these two fabric panels what I was going to do with them. I thought maybe as a funny front to cards for men or women (there are two panels here-one with women and the other with men). Then I put them away for some time and when I "rediscovered" them I thought what was I thinking when I bought these. They are cute and some are funny but I have heard all the sayings far too many times...or maybe they are not so cute to me any longer as I have aged and they are probably too close to the truth. LOL
So I thought maybe pin cushions. Well, that would work for women who use pins but I can't really see any men I know needing a pin cushion. In the top photo I stuffed one as a pin cushion just to see how it would work. Fine, but still not my favorite idea for these panels of fabric.

So after considering what on earth to do with all these little squares once cut from the panels I came upon another item for the elementary school boutique. These are now made into bean bags which also work great as paper weights and pattern weights. I suppose you could even use them as hand exercisers. We "Saucy Chicks" (as the school knows us) Lorraine and I divided up the fabric and cut and serged and stuffed (with organic rice) all the squares we think might sell. If they don't sell...well...we are set with gifts for the holidays. Hopefully all our recipients will like them as much as we do. LOL :o)
You could certainly use any fabrics you like and make these as plain or as frilly as you wish. They really do make great little weights for holding down papers or patterns. And as bean bags... we tested them and they are super fun to toss about.
All in all it is the school children we hope to benefit from this project. We are certainly getting stocked up for the December Boutique at Deer Creek.
I hope this gives you some ideas for your gift giving. Super easy and fun to make.
Happy creating...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Finished Fabrics...

It is hard for me to realize that two months ago to the day I took these photos. I have already shared a sneak peak on this blog to allow your minds to be curious. Now I can honestly say my girlfriend/creative Saucy Chick Lorraine and I have completed this project. Well almost.
Each year we participate in a wonderful small boutique that is held at a local elementary school. Whatever gets sold we automatically donate 50% to the school for the kids and their programs. We always laugh when we are making items for this sale as we know the prices must be super affordable and therefore we mostly donate our time, materials and just know we are helping the kids. LOL Sometimes we say, "let's just make this and put a couple of dollar bills in the package and sell it for 50 cents". It makes us happy to do this and I believe this is at least our fifth year of participating.
So here are some photos of the finished DECORATIVE TOWELS.

Super cute chicken fabric. This would be great in a kitchen. Good hostess gift for that dinner invitation you accepted. Notice the button detail in the top corner of each towel.

This is some fabulous chili pepper fabric and the photo really does not show it as vibrant as the colors are in person.

Ahhh...the sports theme fabric. This would make a great hand towel even for the college dorm.

Here it is shown hanging on the towel rod. Think coach, golf player, car buff, teams...
With each towl we have added a fun item such as a tiny basketball ball, a small kitchen whisk, a small bottle of hot sauce with the chili peppers. You get the idea.
All in all we are making 31 of these assorted fabric adorned towels. Hopefully they will sell out at the school sale. It is always held for two days in early December. The kids get first pick on a Friday to purchase holiday gifts for family or friends. Then it is open to the public on Saturday. We Saucy Chicks usually purchase items late on Saturday just before pick up time. We want the classes who have made things (i.e. bookmarks, cards, frames, etcetera) know that they made sales as well.
We still need to complete 11 towels and package them however we know we will get them done in time now that we have completed 20. It feels so good to get something accomplished.
I hope this gives an idea or two for you to make for your gift giving. We have sewn the fabric but if you do not sew there are wonderful iron on ways or even washable glues on the market.
Happy creating...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Flowers of paper or fabric...

A simple flower made from paper, paint, my trusty heart punch, a button and some thread. These are fun for package toppers. Add a magnet to the back and it becomes an additional gift for the recipient who opens their package.
This flower is made from scraps of fabrics, laces and ribbon. A pin back and it is ready to wear or place on a pillow or drapery for that whimsical touch.

One of my fabric and paper greeting cards with a rolled fabric flower for embellishment. Lots of glitter makes it sparkle. A couple of suede leaves mimic the printed fabric leaves.

This time the flower is the fabric print and I have sewn it into an envelope with a nice coordinating wool felt lining. Notice the fun leaf stitching on the vintage seam binding edge?

Here is the finished fabric envelope with some lace, ribbon, a button and thread and a finishing touch of suede leaves.
Each of these little gifts are easy to make and take very little time. You could make some and have them handy for those "surprise" gifts we always need to have on hand for extra people or extra occasions. I would always rather over-give than under-give...kind of like being under-dressed rather than over-dressed.
Now that the weather is cooler and we are spending a little more time indoors it is nice to have some precious time to sew or create and feel the accomplishment of finishing something.
Happy creating this week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Hearts...

In my sleeping hours I had an idea and decided to try it. It involves a large and small heart punch (I love the new squeeze Fiskars punches), some metallic paint chips cut from an idea booklet, some glitter string, glue stick and a piece of cardstock. Very simply punch out lots of hearts, both large and small, and then begin gluing them in a heart shape onto the card stock. Add some strings and a small bow to represent a balloon.
Then the cardstock was mounted onto a piece of mat board in a contrasting color. This was made to celebrate Miss Lindsay's recent birthday and let her know she is very special. After the photo was taken we (my Saucy Chick girlfriend, Lorraine) personalized it and signed it.
So with a small amount of supplies and a lot of fun and laughter this was created with our hearts and hands.
Don't you just love paint chip samples? Can you honestly walk past them in the store and not collect just a few colors for your crafting? There are so many colors and choices now days it is impossible not to find some you like. Then to use them is sweet inspiration.
I do hope this gives you some inspiration and possibilities for gift giving. I would love to see and hear about what you create with punches or paint chip samples or paper or whatever you fancy.
Happy creating...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oops almost forgot...

Yes, I raised my hand once again. Mr. C has told me to just sit on my hands but I never listen and I am always volunteering no matter how little time I have to squeeze in more things that take time.
I usually do not share this on my blog, however, it is important to me and that is what counts. I attend a weekly Weight Watchers meeting and like it very much. Through the years I have become quite fond of food and therefore eat way too much and guess what has happened to me?!! Oh yeah...the scale does not lie. My weight has gone up and up as I age. Now I know all about the hormones and how our bodies really do change shape and even that we gain weight for the sake of aging. However, I also know when my clothes stop fitting and my joints begin to ache and I just am ought of sorts that I need to eat less and eat healthier. So that is what I am doing.
Meanwhile I keep track in a little booklet so that I can really be certain I am not overeating. This brings me to how I came to raise my hand. My group is doing a "traveling journal" for the next 90 days and I brought it home to keep track for the week. Yes, it will be shared with the entire group. Am I worried? No! We are all in the same need and it is a really great group of folks. So I just had to get some felt and make a simple cover for the little journal. Then I thought a nice felt heart would be cheery. And a place to put a pencil for ease of keeping track. And this is what I have to turn in and share with the others. I kept it simple and basic since it will work for women and men.
I love working with wool felt as it needs no hemming or lining. It is durable and easy to work with. The grey I used will not show handling dirt as quickly. And the heathered red heart...well that represents the goal we all have of being healthy!
Happy Heart to each of you...

Monday, September 13, 2010

shopping etsy...

I am certain that many of you follow Diane Knott and her daughter Holly. They not only blog but have an etsy shoppe that is quite successful. While reading Diane's blog I noticed that she was listing some things I really liked and thought I should have in my stash of craft supplies. So I ordered and the package arrived poste haste and was wrapped super cleverly and included a bonus of recipe cards which I was not expecting. We all love to get a surprise don't we?!
This is what I actually ordered. Butterfly stamped muslin "ribbon". It was all wrapped neatly around a flat clothespin which has been stamped with musical notes. How fun is that?!!
Here is the "ribbon" and I just love it. Isn't it wonderful when something is even nicer than what you expected? I will definitely be buying more of what Diane and Holly make and sell in their etsy shop. Quality, unique handmade items are such a treasure.
Now what will I use this hand stamped muslin ribbon for? Hmmm...
Happy creating.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fabric and Paper...

Here is a small project I made recently. I love to use watercolor paper because of it's texture and strength. This is a birthday card I sent to a dear friend of mine. Happy Birthday Barbara!
The watercolor paper is inside a cover of fabric. I stitch down the center to hold the two together. On the fabric cover I have added a vintage lace doily and pretty floral button. I like to keep all of this very simple and mailable.
The bookmark is made with a scrap of cardboard, some ivy themed wrapping paper, a magazine picture done with packing tape transfer method, a butterfly decal sticker and some sheer polka dot ribbon. Super simple and sturdy.
Have a wonderful end of summer weekend and enjoy life to the fullest. Mr. C and I will be very busy enjoying lots of local activities in our little slice of heaven we live in.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mail Art by Roben-Marie...

I truly feel so very blessed to be a part of this amazing blogland with so many creative and generous people. Today as I collected my mail I was so surprised. Of course I got the expected bills and magazines and even a small package Mr. C had ordered for car parts. However at the very bottom of the stack was this beautiful mail art from Roben-Marie Smith. Please click today's title to link to her fabulous site. Roben-Marie is not only very artistic she is also extremely generous with her talents and tutorials. You will be happy you checked out her blog if you aren't already following. This is the back of the mail art folder and I especially love the heart as it is very dimensional! The colors and textures are what make this art so special.

Inside the folder was this very creative and sweet note. YES...I love my mail art!!
Roben-Marie also included two very beautiful cards in a clear protective sleeve. These are not only beautiful but they are words to live by...Believe and Love.
Thank you so very much for this very special mail art that is bringing a smile to my face and a song to my heart.
Wouldn't all of our mail be so much more pleasant to receive and open if it were so artistically created? I wonder if the mail delivery persons enjoy these pieces as they go about their daily deliveries. I know our mail lady, Cynthia, really loves to see these.
Happy creating...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Powell's Book Store...Portland

This is a bonanza of my visit to Powell's Book store in Portland Oregon. They refer to it as a city of books and I completely agree. Hours of browsing are not enough to see even a sampling of all the books they carry. I merely focused on beading and found so many books I got overwhelmed very quickly.
While in Barcelona Spain Mr. C and I were quite enchanted with Antoni Gaudi and his amazing architecture. We visited the Familia de Sagrada however did not buy any books while there thinking we could get them once we were home. NOT! Well not until we found Powell's and their rare books floor. This is just one of the many selections they had for us to choose from. Now we can enjoy what we saw first hand while looking at this book many times over.
This is a very large book on beading that I could not resist. It is like an encyclopedia of many different styles and types of beading techniques. I was happy to buy this for my studio library. Just a note: books can get very heavy and I bought all of these early in the day and then had to carry them all over as we rode the MAX public transportation to visit our other points of interest. What was I thinking?

This is another beautiful beading book that I could not resist. It is an amazing reference for numerous types of techniques and styles to put beads to use in my jewelry and wearable art.
If you have not ever been to Powell's Books in Portland it is definitely worth the visit.
I merely wish I would have had more time to really scour the different book sections.
What section would be your favorite must visit?
More on my visit to Portland coming soon.
Now I must bid goodbye to my favorite month of August and welcome September and all that it brings.