Monday, March 28, 2011

Generations of Memories...

Here it is Monday March 28, 2011 and I am participating in Memory Lane Monday via Brynwood Needleworks post. This is done the last Monday of each month and this is the first time I have been able to participate. I have always been very sentimental and when Donna came up with this idea I just knew it was for me too. Mr. C is always aware that if I begin to look through old photos I am "going down memory lane". The same thing happens when I am supposed to be cleaning or organizing...I end up "going down memory lane". Now there is nothing wrong with this except I get side-tracked and never complete whatever task I was on. :o) This photo above is a treasured black and white I have framed and hanging on my family gallery wall. It is a four generation photo which includes my Great Grandmother in the center back. I really never knew her unfortunately. I only remember that she had diabetes and back in those days her doctor told her to eat five (5) bunches of fresh parsley per day. As a child I thought that was horrible. Now I wonder if it was a smart healthy prescription. Facing the photo on the left is my Grandmother. I just love her so much and she was probably the most valuable influence on my life still to this day. On the right side is my mother at 24 years of age. I have always heard how beautiful she was. Growing up as a girl you didn't think of your mother as beautiful. And of course mom is holding me the fourth generation in this photo. Oh how I would cherish having that little dress now. See there is the sentimental me. I have always adored this photo and been so grateful to have possession of it. Now for this home-taken photo...what a rogues gallery this is. Here we have five (5) generations all together. On the left as we face the photo is my mother. Then I am the tall one with my eyes closed. Next to me is my Grandmother...getting shorter as life progresses. Next is my daughter the young and beautiful skinny one. My daughter is holding her daughter and our five (5) generations are complete. As the years pass it is so rewarding to have such a photo. If we were to take a multiple generation photo now it would only be three (3) generations. Me, daughter and granddaughter...granddaughters as there are two (2) lovely girls my daughter has. Maybe we should schedule this photo and make it a priority for the future generations to come. You do know that I will continue looking at old photos and "going down memory lane". Thank you Donna for such a great avenue to share and reminisce. Can you figure out the decade or year by the way we were dressed in each of these photos? Funny how old and how young I feel at the same time while writing this post. May you enjoy the past, present and the it through memories, actuality or dreams...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Lace Bunny...

This lace bunny is just begging Spring to arrive.
I made this similar to the lace bird of last week. However this time I used a foam cut out for the core. Long ago I bought some at the dollar store and put them aside for future use. Aha! I sewed sheet music to the back and a layer of muslin to the front. Then I embellished at random with laces. A pink button sewn on for her eye. A music paper heart and a pink heart button sewn on. I used a dryer sheet for her fluffy tail which a gathered into a circle and then stitched on. She is holding a ribbon rose and a tiny heart wreath as an offering to Mother Nature to please bring Spring. Miss Bunny could also be on her way to a wonderful tea, or shopping, or to church or perhaps just out looking for that elusive sunshine.
We continue to have rain and snow and lots of wind and cold temperatures. It is being reported that this is our worst winter in at least a decade. Fortunately our water table continues to overflow...just as long as the dams and lakes and rivers hold their banks we will all be fine.
I have given this lace bunny to my dear friend Margaret who collects bunnies. I am also hoping this bunny will bring abundance to Margaret. Abundance is her inspiration word. I find it to be a very interesting word that is not always on the forefront of decor items. However a very powerful word indeed.
Well, here I am indoors and safe and sound while the storm rages outside. I feel fortunate to have a home, food, power, Mr. C, my fur-child BooBoo kitty and the comfort of knowing my friends and family are with me on this journey.
May you each have a creative and meaningful day...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Zentangled Stencil...

This is from my little pocket journal. I used my stencils and filled my journal with some blank forms.
This camera looked like a fun item to tangle.
Because I am still learning how to tangle this is done very simply. I am hoping with practice that I can become much better. For now I am happy with the designs that appear here.
Zentangle is a rather calming activity. Once you begin to draw, your mind really does get in a calm zone. However at the same time this is an activity that is easily dropped and then picked up again when interruptions happen. That is why my little pocket journal is a great option to carry in my bag for those times when waiting is a must. My journal also holds the requisite micron pen. This is quiet and simple to do.
Have you tried Zentangle? If you quilt then you already tangle. If you doodle then you tangle.
I really enjoy seeing the fabulous designs others are doing with this artform.
Happy week to all...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Altered Spring Bird...

In lieu of Spring weather I made this altered lace bird. With all the snow and sleet and slush and rain and more snow I just had to feel like I could help Spring arrive.
The base is canvas I cut freehand. Then I layered muslin and various laces which I sewed randomly. A muslin heart and yellow feather for the wing. A small brown button for the eye.
Now I have a lovely Spring Bird to help me await the songs of real birds when the weather permits.
I think I shall make some more altered lace birds. I love how tweet (sweet) they are.
Happy hearing of all the wonderful warm weather most of you are experiencing.
Our local newspaper headline actually said, SNOWPRISE! We usually get snow into May but this winter has been especially harsh. We have had storm after storm after storm.
Happy week ahead my bloggy friends...

Friday, March 18, 2011

This is NOT Spring...

This is NOT Spring...
I just stepped out my front door and took this photo.
This snow and rain is here for the next seven (7) days.
Only one of my couple hundred daffodils started to blossom yesterday.
Now it will be smashed to the ground with heavy wet snow.
Please wait for me dear daffodils.
I so look forward to your bright yellow blooms.
That bright yellow that makes me smile.
That gives me hope sunshine will come and stay.
Oh winter you may rest for another year.
Our water tables are happily full to capacity.
Our forest trees have filled their energy with your water.
Please bring Spring...
Birds Who Sing...
Sunshine and Smiles...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Powder Room Towels...

My home has a powder room that is quite Victorian in decor. It has very dark navy blue with pink roses wallpaper. Being that this room is quite small it is dramatic. I have never found any hand sized towels that look right. So while shopping several months ago I came across a large very luxurious navy blue bath towel. Well, I bought it knowing what I would do. Next I got out a couple of fabrics I liked. Here is my plan...cut the bath towel in half across the middle. Cut a fabric strip to sew to the cut end of the towel.
Here is the towel hung as you would any purchased towel. This is Mr. C's favorite version as he prefers everything super plain.

This is the floral version. The fabric mimics the tiny roses in the wallpaper. I added the lace just because I could and it reflected the more feminine Victorian flair of this powder room.

This is the not so feminine version using a beautiful blue fabric named Fairy Frost and it shimmers with the light. Once again the other end of this towel is the standard plain version so it can be hung either direction.

In this photo I realize it is hard to see but if you look very closely you will see the small stars stitched onto the fabric. It is this detail that really sets this towel apart from a purchased one from the store.
Now instead of the skimpy little hand towel hanging on the rod there is this larger luxurious towel personalized to my powder room hanging ready for use.
Years ago I personalized two complete sets of towels for my grandparents. No photos but I certainly remember all the work put into them. I purchased brown bath and hand towels along with matching washcloths. I purchased some fabulous horse themed fabric. With careful cutting I then machine appliqued the horses to the towels. My grandparents were thrilled with their gifts and it was something they could use. Maybe this gives you some ideas for gifts this year.
I am thinking of making more of these large luxurious hand towels for other bathrooms in the house. Hmmm...maybe even some for gifts for my list this year.
How would you use this idea for your gift giving or personal use?
We are still having a ton of rain and very gray days. In just a few hours we got almost 3 inches of rain. More predicted and the possibility of snow later this week. Spring where are you?
Happy Spring and Birds Who Sing to each of you...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sorting Jewelry...

Apologies for these fuzzy photos. I believe I am feeling as fuzzy as these photos. This is the second set I took and both times the images were not clear. I understand I have no expertise in the photography department and further understand that I do not wish to learn photography as it seems to be far more complicated and time consuming than I have patience for. Mr. C is an expert and we never agree on my need to learn and take my time to photograph things. So I am posting these lovely fuzzy photos because this post is not about the pictures but the object of them.
Over a week ago I decided to gather all of my costume and semi-precious and general jewelry. I thought it would be a good idea to sort it all out and then organize it so it would be quickly recognizable and usuable for my crafting.
What was I thinking?
I started out strong. Then I lost the momentum for sorting all of this stuff! I decided to purchase some clear medium paint pails from the local craft store. This way I could see what I have and access it easily.
Okay so far so good.

Now I have some of it sorted. Earrings in one container. Bracelets in another. Pins separate from tac pins. Broken pieces of jewelry by themselves. Necklaces...oh far too many to fit...Oh yes a very large glass container that was only holding ephemera. Jewelry is so much prettier to view and inspire my creative ventures.
But wait...I'm far from done...
I have run out of steam yet I have so far to go to complete this task.
What happened? Well, I began straying down memory lane with some of the pieces I was finding in my stash of jewelry. Some of it brought me great joy and some pieces brought me great sadness. With my Grandma and my Mother both gone it was bittersweet to come across a piece of their costume jewelry I just cannot dispose of. And with the rain and very gray days it is not a good time for me to become sad. So, I have officially put this project on hold until the brighter days of summer when the sun shines and I feel so much happier. In the meantime I shall merely gather up all of this and put it in a bin which I can set aside.
In gratitude for the pieces I am finding I have been thinking of some wonderful ways to honor my Grandma and Mother and leave bits of memories for my daughter and granddaughters. Knowing that none of them would ever wear any of the pieces I shall create some sort of mixed media pieces. Ahh...that will be for future projects. Already I am happier just knowing I shall be able to create some sort of legacy to be handed down to the next generations.
Now for getting my vanity back to normal.
What would you make with costume jewelry?
May you have a wonderful week and enjoy the celebration of St. Patrick's Day and wearin of the green...

Friday, March 11, 2011

NOW is working for me...

I love learning new techniques for handmade things. It is part of what I truly enjoy. However, I usually see a tutorial and think "Hmmm...that looks really cool and I could make that". So I save the tutorial over in a file and usually never get back to it. Therefore I miss out on so many great techniques. Always thinking I will get to it when I have time. Alas, my 2011 word NOW is actually working for me as I decide to try that new technique now instead of waiting.
For those of you who follow the extremely talented Jillayne of A Fine Seam you have seen her amazing unique ruched flower. Please visit her blog and try her great tutorial.
This is my first that I tried and feel it turned out pretty well. I used an inexpensive muslin fabric. I know I will be making many more of these fabulous flowers.
This is the same flower as above but with an antique button in the center.
Thank you so much Jillayne for so generously sharing your talents and techniques with us.
Now my mind is busy thinking of the many colors and combinations that this flower lends itself to. All of the many uses for embellishing is also taking over my thoughts. Try this for your Mother's Day gifts.
Once again my creative muse is fueled by the wonderful people here in Planet Blog.
Will you try this technique? What will you do with a beautiful ruched flower?
A very happy and creative weekend to all...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sorting, Eliminating & Organizing...

Today I entered my wonderful studio Mr. C built for me totally intending to create something. Hmmm...where did I leave off last evening? Oh yes, I was sorting and clearing my table top. But, I did not finish so that is what I began again today. It was going so well that I really dug in and this is a peek at my worktable around noon. The piles are shorter and I can see over them.
All this sorting, eliminating and organizing began last week because I want to find some unfinished projects and complete them or decide if I even want to still make them.
Mr. C knows how I always cram 10 pounds of stuff into a 5 pound bag, box or bin. I always deny that but as I was literally cramming a huge bundle of black lace into a shoebox sized bin I thought what am I doing and why am I doing this. Could it be that I have too much stuff? NO! But it might be that I am always saving all my stuff for later. Later? When is that? When I no longer am able to use it or enjoy it? Well! I better sort, eliminate and organize what I have so I know what to use.
So this is how my studio table looks. I feel so much better for filling the trash can, the recycle bin and the donation bag.
Now I not only can close the containers that were bulging before I can also lift them without a crane.
I am vowed to myself to use my stuff and enjoy creating with it NOW. On that note I have found all sorts of supplies for Easter to make cards and other goodies. I also have several birthdays and other celebrations coming up that need proper gifts and cards and now I am much more prepared to know what I have and what I may need to supplement from the store. I am feeling rather excited after my morning treasure hunt in my very own studio.
What are you saving? What are your best treasures?
Happy creative week to all...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Lace Heaven...

I'm late, I'm late...I must create! This just has to be lace heaven and I am in the midst of it all.
While in Scottsdale, Arizona three of us women skipped one of the car auctions and went shopping at the big Fashion Mall. Then off to the bead store. Then off to a fabric store. I couldn't tell you where it is because GPS kept turning us around and back and forth and somehow the street signs were no better as from block to block it would say north or west or north again and who could figure that out. Well, by the time we finally found the store in a very old neighborhood our time was short! After quickly perusing the goods I was on complete overload. What to buy? What not to buy? How much to buy? Such decisions to make in a hurry. My arms could not carry what I was picking up. My handled basket I found overflowed with stuff. Sort Sherry. Weed out the riff raff Sherry. FOCUS Sherry! OVERLOAD!!!
As you can see by these photos, I did manage to buy just some laces. Then of course I had to condense it down so Mr. C wouldn't have a coronary and luckily we had our car instead of having to fly with luggage. Oh what fun we girls had. No sooner had we left the store (only because they were closing) than each of us wished we had gotten whatever we hadn't gotten. No time to go the next day as we did have expensive car auction tickets we had prepaid and the boys just would not understand the desire, need, craving for more lace or fabric.
Hmmm...what ever shall I make, sew, create with this fabulous table full of lace? The ideas are truly making my head swirl. OVERLOAD!!!
Did I tell you all of this was less than the price of dinner (in Scottsdale of course)? No! Yes! It was super affordable and that is why we all wanted to go back and fill up a semi-truck.
What would you do with lace?
Happy Creating while we wait for Spring to Bring Birds who Sing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Snow Inspiration=Pure Sparkle...

In honor of all our recent snow I thought I would show you one of the necklace and earrings sets I recently made. I titled it Pure Sparkle. As you can see by this close up shown on one of my hats I love working with lace in my jewelry. This combination of stick pearls, Swarovski crystals and lace really do sparkle when in the sun or lovely lighting.
Here is a view showing the clasp which is beautiful all on its own. The perfect compliment to the beads used in this necklace.

Here is the necklace and earrings together. The sparkle does not show in these photos. You really must see this in person to get the full effect of sparkle, shine and glimmer.
Have you worked with stick pearls?
With all of our weather I am spending time indoors going through some drawers and organizing them. It is like a treasure hunt as I find my personal treasures I have. Yesterday I found some fun things I will share in the future.
I am so happy that March is here and I can experience the days staying light later which gives me more energy. I am hoping our rain storm we are having will help to melt the snow and wash it away so I might be able to enjoy my daffodils which were just beginning to bud when they got buried under 4 feet of snow last week. I do so love the bright yellow blooms as they really do give me hope that Spring will be here even if for a very short time as we always get snow in April and May.
I am off to my studio to work on a small project.
May you have a wonderful and super creative day that brings you much joy.
Happy creating...