Monday, April 27, 2015

Lavender Half Doll...

This is a lovely "half doll" in the shade of lavender.  I was very fortunate to be selected by Deb of Mosaic Magpie blog to give her a new home.  Thank you Deb so much.  When you visit her blog you will see how generous she truly is with her Wee Care Gowns and Waldorf style Dolls she creates and donates.  Deb is a true angel in this world.

I had commented on Deb's Grow Your Blog post of how I would like to make a gift of this lovely lavender half doll for my sister for her birthday.  April came quickly and I was not certain how I would gift her knowing how delicate she is.  Sew...I came upon my design and this is how she looks now...

I sewed a pillow form of about 5 inches square and stuffed it with crushed walnut shells to give it weight.  Now I had a base to work with.  Crushed walnut shells are also wonderful for use in pincushions to sharpen and protect needles and pins from rusting.  I had the most perfect lavender fabric in my possession...however I only had a small strip of it along with the square piece.  No room for mistakes.  I simply stitched a tube and then gathered it with crochet thread and tied it around her waist.  Such a tiny little waist it is.  And now you see how I finished off Miss Lavender Half Doll.

Here is my lovely sister Marie with her gift.  I had mentioned it was fragile when she was unwrapping all the tissue paper.  Her perplexed look is because she didn't know what I had given her. Then I explained to remove the cute little bucket which was merely for protection...and it was a bonus for her to keep.  OH!!!  I explained if this is the gift the way it is I would have at least put a flower on the top (bottom) of the bucket to finish it off.  lol

Marie loves her beautiful Lavender Half Doll.  And when I told her the story of Deb gifting me she loved it even more.  Thank you again Deb.  This is a special gift for a special sister I love so much.

And thank you for all your lovely comments on what you would do with the little crocheted button is one more idea.  I gifted a set of dragonfly earrings to my sister and this is how I packaged them for her.  She loves the button and will tie it onto a barrett for her hair.  We spent a lovely day together shopping and lunching and laughing and catching up.
April is quickly coming to a close and that means National Letter Writing Month will end too.  I have been able to catch up and send out lots of mail.  I will post more on that soon.
Mr. C spent the weekend in Bakersfield with his car buds and I will share about that soon.
For now I shall be busy as we continue our downstairs remodel.  Thankfully the concrete dust is not as thick however I am still finding it in all the most interesting places...library book shelves, not to mention the books and knick knacks...inside cupboards, including on the the pantry and on it goes.  I am so happy with how the bathroom is progressing and will share photos soon.
Creative Bliss to each and every person who knows the JOY of handmade...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crochet Button Flowers & Mail...

What is it about crafts that I see and then want...need...must try to make?  I have seen these little crocheted button flowers several places.  However it is the prolific flower garden that Diane of Lace-lovin' Librarian blog is crocheting.  I have linked her blog so you can check it out for yourself.  Diane also does the amazing tatting so be prepared to feast your eyes on beautiful creations made of thread.
Mr. C and I had a road trip to take so I thought it would be fun to take along the supplies for crocheting some button flowers.  They don't take up much room and I always like to have something to be doing (not reading) while I am not driving.  As you can see I am using a size 8 thread and these very small hooks which I believe are a size 8 and 9. 

Here is my limited flower garden.  I didn't even crochet these on the road trip or while gone.  What I thought would be a really good project turned out to be too tiny and tedious for me to see and maneuver while in a moving car.  We had lots of traffic and tons of stop and go hours on the freeways of Southern California.  I seriously believe the "freeways" are not appropriately named.

I do like these little flowers and have lots of ideas for using them in my crafting and sewing.  Maybe a nice bright sunny day I can sit on the deck and crochet a few.   I am having fun putting colors together...thinking of Nature and her lovely color combinations.   What would you use these little flowers for?

I am continuing to participate in April 2014 National Letter Writing Month.  This is some of the fun mail I have received.  The piece up front is a wooden surfboard mailed just like it is.  I have a wonderful pen pal this year.  Thank you Stacy!  I have more mail to share in the next post.
Looks like everyone in this hemisphere is enjoying Spring.  And my friends on the opposite side are enjoying Fall.  Our weather is Sunny and Dry. 
I must get busy as I have so much to get caught up with.  Yes, all the laundry and chores but also reading my favorite blogs and I have some studio time to enjoy.  It seems I have promised a few projects and I must truly get creative.  Ahhh...Creative Bliss!  Enjoy my friends...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Toile Folder and Cards...

Toile fabric is such an interesting bit of story telling.  This particular piece is scenes of the country side and people from years ago.  I don't know what the original story is or was but I certainly use my own imagination when I am selecting and cutting and sewing with this type of fabric.  Here I have sewn an envelope folder.  The recipient may use it for something ordinary or something special.  That is part of the fun of the gift. 

I lined this one with wool felt.  I might think of placing a nightie or nylons within.  I might use it for jewelry like a necklace that needs to be protected.  If I had some love letters those would be fun to keep inside.  What would you contain within these Toile layers?

While the fabric leftovers were sitting on my cutting table I saw some of the little scenes and decided to add them to a tag and cards.  This little lad is just begging to travel.

With all of my weekly mailings I never have enough cards and I like to make my own instead of merely using store-bought.  So I cut another little Toile scene and stitched it to a blank card.

I think this lad resting by a tree is my favorite.  There are so many possibilities of story telling with Toile fabric.  It felt so good to take a few minutes and play in my sewing room.  A girl cannot clean every day and every minute. 
Mr. C celebrated his birthday over the past week.  We have been eating way too much food as we enjoy the company of friends.  We choose "cake"!
Now it is back to the remodel project where progress is being made.  Yesterday we discovered our lighting is all wrong for the new floor.  So it is time to study light bulbs and lumens and whatever else is required to attain just the proper coolness or warmness that doesn't "wash" out the color and design of the porcelain tile. This is NOT my area of interest.  Mr. C will do a fabulous job of discerning all this technical jargon.  Maybe I will be able to sneak off to my studio for a few fun minutes.  I think I can find a few inches amongst the chaos to "spread out" and get creative.
Lovely April Day to You as You do what You Enjoy...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Money Cake & Scarf...

This is a "Money Cake" created by my lovely Granddaughter Amber for her sister Amy's Bridal Shower recently.  I think the gift of time to carefully roll all those $1 bills and then form them into this cake is the true gift of love.  The total of $200 is an extra nice gift for the Bride-to-Be Amy. Amber you did an amazing job on this!

I am a very proud Grandma to these two Granddaughters...Amy (25) holding her money cake and sister Amber (27) hugging her.  I love the fact that these two girls are sharing their love and smiles!  I love them both more than words can express!

Amy also received this "Money Scarf" which was created with Washi tape holding the bills together and then taped into the lid of a really cute stand-up box so that when she removed the lid money just kept coming.  I'd say Amy did very well at her Bridal shower.  There were lots of guests and she got lots of cash for the upcoming Caribbean Honeymoon in June.  My daughter hosted this at her home and of course went all out decorating in the tropical theme.  She also had amazing food and drinks with Dan (her man) as the bartender to all the ladies.  I wasn't able to attend but you can be certain I will be at the wedding!
My Granddaughter Amber is also participating in NLWM 2015 this year.  I think she is going to love and surprise her pen pal with some fabulous letters.  I was late mailing this week.  Our Winter was a "One Day Wonder".  We had four inches of snow and it was heavy and wet.  Because the trees are already leafed out there were lots of damaged limbs falling.  Our Statement Crepe Myrtle had its mother branch split in two and break off in opposite directions.  Mr. C contributes the catastrophe to the heavy snow and the very drought dry trunk of the tree.  I do hope we can salvage part of it. 
Creative Bliss on this beautiful April day...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April Winter Snow...Finally!

Here we are April 7th and Winter has finally arrived in Northern California.  You all know about our historic drought and how desperately dry we are.  Well thank you for all the prayers and well wishes and rain dancing.  Those are tiny little snowflakes falling!  We had rain in the wee morning hours.

This will not be a big storm for us but we are thankful for every drop of moisture we can get.  This is looking out my front door.  So peaceful and beautiful.

This is the same view out my kitchen French doors only one hour from the first photo.  Hooray!  This will help to water our dry forest right here around our home.  I am praying the mountains above us are getting lots and lots of snow.  The ski resorts have had debilitating years of no snow and lost business.  This snow is too late for them once again however it will help the water table ever so slightly.  This is a perfect day for me to stay indoors and do some much needed cleaning of remodel dust. Yes, it is a daily challenge.  I think I have cleaned and then turn around and find out I need to begin all over again.  I am able to sneak some computer time in and some National Letter Writing Mail time too.  A girl has to get her Creative Bliss fix.
May those of you who have had your Winter weather be finding Spring with Sunshine and Blossoms.  To my friends across the world may you be enjoying your Autumn as you head into Winter.  I do feel the world has been a bit topsy-turvy with weather and the new normal is "crazy".
Enjoy your Creative Bliss as you go and make something Amazing...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

NLWM 2015 Beginning...

Once again this year I have signed up for National Letter Writing Month (NLWM 2015).  This is a group on FaceBook that is now closed for this year.  Each year we are paired up with a pen pal.  We exchange mail throughout the month of April.  I am still exchanging mail with my very first and truly wonderful pen pal Dogwood.  We have continued our friendship throughout the years and don't just stick to April.  And Happy April Birthday Dogwood.
This year my pen pal is Stacy and she mailed me this fabulous Spring Tulip tube!  I was overwhelmed when I picked it up at the post office and gave a gasp of delight.  The postmaster looked surprise.  None of our local postal workers ever know about NLWM and they should as we are helping them stay in business.

So when I got home I carefully opened my beautiful Tulip Tube and look at all the Fabulous Easter goodies Stacy included.  Thank you beyond words dear.  Your letter is uber fun and I love it.  You really put a lot of effort into this and I truly appreciate it.  I am getting a late start this month however I hope you won't be disappointed when I catch up.

I also got some fun mail from Dogwood, Kelly and Martha.  These ladies really know how to get their Art On!  Thank you very much.  I didn't take photos, however, I mailed out some simple pieces to several peeps on the list.  This year we could elect to just concentrate on one pen pal or we could opt to mail to many of the participants.  Of course I went for the whole list.  I just have fun and love to see what others are mailing.  I mailed out "California" themed postcards to every out-of-state and one UK address.  There is something nostalgic about post cards and I still love them even when they are not vintage.  I think they convey so much in such a small venue.  Now I am off to work on some cards for mailing.  I also am getting low on my stock for Random Acts of Mail I participate in each week.  Life is short and we need to infuse all the JOY and CHEER we can. 
Our downstairs reno is making progress.  I finally see a minimum of dust each day.  Now we have a new custom vanity with granite top and double sinks with faucets.  Mr. C worked long and hard on the plumbing that is always a troublesome task.  I will share photos another time. 
Today our weather is trying to show us Winter however the tiny few sporadic rain drops are not really making any difference at all.  The rain seems to have gone North of us once again.  Hopefully the highest mountains will get some snow.  My dancing doesn't seem to be helping. 
Easter has come and is all too quickly gone.  Mr. C got his favorite See's Bordeaux Egg from the  illusive Bunny.  I seem to have gotten the rabbit pellets to clean up once again.  So on that note...Blessings and Creative Bliss to all.  I shall send myself to my room and do something creative!