Monday, February 23, 2015

Bits of Creative Time...

With all the sweeping, dusting, vacuuming and schlepping I am doing with this downstairs renovation I have NO time to spend in my studio or sewing room.  Quite frankly I cannot be in my rooms for all the demolition dust that is in the air.  So...I managed to steal a few bits of time here and there and make my own mess.  Do you ever save the fronts of cards and then reuse them?  I do!!!

I am using lots of cards each week with my Random Acts of Mailing and such that I thought I should use those card fronts.  Out came my fancy tapes and blank card stock and paper cutter.  Instead of merely have a card front for I have an entire folding card for mailing.

I had fun combining the tapes with the cards and stickers to create "new" cards.  I even had a lot of blank cards and envelopes that I combined together.

Who wouldn't want to receive these cute cards in the mail?  I love sending them to friends and family as well as the random mailings.  It is surprising how quickly you can have a completed stack of finished cards ready for mailing.

This is a fun card/tag pocket I found online one day.  I am sorry I cannot link as I can't find the source.  It begins with one 8 1/2" x 11" piece of double sided paper which results in two tags with pocket holders and a place to write a message.  Very clever indeed.  Thank you generous person/blog/pinterest (?) who shared this.  If anyone knows the link please let me know and I will give full credit where credit is due.

Here is where the note can be written.  I embellished with some fancy tape.

Here are the tags I included.  One I made very thin intentionally although it could be much wider. This was quick and simple to make and lots of fun to decorate and mail.
I shall be busy with our home project for some time to come.  It is a huge and very messy time-consuming project.  We are definitely at a no return point.  The concrete floor is having to be diamond blade ground clean of mortar and grout and stuff!  Mr. C is working very hard and non-stop. Bless this man for how hard he works and in such horrid conditions.
While so many of you are freezing and buried in snow and rain we are merely having wind with colder temperatures.  No moisture for us still.  Maybe March will bring us much needed snow and rain.  Prayers for your safety and warmth.  I cannot even fathom how cold it is for so many of you.
The daylight minutes are at least allowing us a little bit longer day...or so it seems.  I do love it when we have daylight longer as I feel I have more day to enjoy and accomplish tasks.
May you all enJOY Creative Bliss as February comes quickly to an end...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Texture - Good and Bad...

This is a card I received from my dear friend Theresa (no blog).  She really needs to be on a design team because her work is so fabulous!  This card is her version of T!m Holtz's Tag techniques.  I assure you this photo does not do justice to the texture and sheen Theresa has created.  I am so happy to receive this in my mail this week as my studio is off limits right now.  Thank you Theresa Dear!!!

Here is another view and if you click on the photos they should enlarge so you may see her incredible texture results that are so Good!

Now here is texture that is bad.  The tile has been removed from our concrete floor and stairs leading out to the garages and Mr. C's "Toybox".  Thankfully Mr. C had a couple of helpers who with him managed to get a lot accomplished in just one day.  This renovation has taken on a bigger spectrum than we anticipated.  But then I believe all projects tend to expand as they begin to take on their own lives.

Lots of angles and curves in this project.

Here you can see the stairs that lead up.  We tried to minimize the spread of dust and debris with plastic sheeting.  But alas we all know when dust wants to travel and settle where it shouldn't...well it does what it wants no matter how much we try to prevent it.  While the stairs are in essence closed off we are having to travel upstairs and downstairs by going outside and around.  Not very convenient...especially when we forget and leave the keys on the wrong floor.  At least I am getting my exercise...Oh but then I am eating way more chocolate.  A girl must have energy you know!

Here is a picture of the actual gutted bathroom.  All those studs you see at the end shower wall are for the curved stairs which are just on the other side of this bathroom.  I am amazed to see how things are built and this is truly interesting to me.  Lots more work ahead...and we know we will have some delays in the next few weeks due to other committments.
We still have no rain or snow and we are being reminded and warned how this years drought will be much worse than last year.  I am loving our Spring weather however I am praying for Winter.  I shutter to think of another Summer with fire danger and our well running dry.
Nothing creative for me at this time due to the renovations.  My studio is filled with overflow stuff and the noise and dust is too much since my room is right near all this commotion.  That is okay as I am a very patient girl.  This project is far more important than me gluing or glittering right now.
Thank you for leaving me comments.  I enjoy taking a break to read your blogs and happenings. Creative Bliss...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Downstairs Demolition Begins...

We have lived in our home now for 17 years.  My how the time has flown.  We have updated the upstairs extensively.  We have updated the outdoors extensively.  However the downstairs not so much.  Now is the time.  This is the entry from the garages and Mr. C's "Toybox" where he builds his beloved projects. The tile is fine (yes it is mauve).  The carpet is not so fine (it too is mauve).  It gets cleaned constantly but the grease is getting harder to clean off.  Mr. C has to travel this length to get to the bathroom at the right of this hall.

So here is Mr. C removing all the baseboards from the hall and bathroom.  This is a nightmare job due to the builder using a nail gun with 3 inch nails with far too many in very little pieces of board. Yup!  Lots of broken boards and a very nasty time-consuming job for Mr. C.

Mr. C is being very patient and hard-working but the boards are not cooperating.  Looks like we'll be buying lots of new baseboards for replacing.  All this tile and carpet will be replaced with a lovely porcelain tile.  It will be so much easier to keep clean.

Here is the bathroom we are gutting.  The vanity is 7 feet long and in perfect condition however we are replacing it with a new custom 7 foot vanity.  Why?  This one only has one sink.  We will be putting in two sinks as it should have been done in the original build.  We will keep the tub and shower and toilet configuration but all this tile will be gone.  New green board will be installed too.

I neglected to get a photo before these "ugly" glass doors were removed from the tub/shower.  I have never liked these and have wanted them gone forever.

This is the view from the tub.  Hopefully this demolition will not bring too many extra surprises and will be done this week.  Mr. C is very hands on and will be doing most of the work. Too bad Mr. C didn't give me a gallon of paint and a new shower curtain years ago when I asked to "upgrade" this bathroom.  It would have been so much simpler and way less expensive.  Afterall this is the guest bathroom and very seldom gets used.  I am looking forward to the transformation.
Prayers for our world that is saddened with more killings.  Thankfully my friends in Denmark are safe.  Warmth and Prayers for all those in Snow overload areas.
February is half over and we are moving on to the next holiday and creative swaps.  I honestly don't like to rush my days.  I am dragging my feet on beginning St. Patricks Day and green clovers. However it will be here faster than I will be prepared so on that note...I am off to the studio soon. Creative Bliss My Friends...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Hearts Everyone...

February seems to be a month of Hearts.  I love Hearts all year long however this month they are especially near and dear.  I had this lovely chocolate colored heart fabric in my stash and there wasn't much left so I used it for a kitchen towel band.  Jenny of elefantz has a wonderful tutorial that gave me this inspiration.  Thank you Jenny!  Just click on her link and you will be embellishing a towel today.

Here is a close up of the pretty band of hearts on the towel.

I received the very best mail this week.  Robbie of Robbie's Paw Prints creates the most beautiful fabric postcards and I was very fortunate to receive one.  Thank you Robbie.  I LOVE it!  When you click on her link you will see the detailed process she goes to in order to create them.

Even the "backside" is a work of art.  The mail seems to shred and lose simple ATCs I mail with extra "hand cancel" postage inside of sealed cards but somehow this arrived safe and in perfect condition of which I am very grateful.

Here you can see the details Robbie puts into her creations.  Hand dyed fabrics, quilted Hearts and French Knots!!!  Even the French Knots are in perfect order.  I am amazed as my French Knots don't even make it from my needle to my cloth without ruining.  I think I need lessons from you Robbie.

So in honor of Valentine Day I have displayed lots of ATC's received through the years along my hutch as it has a built in tiny little rail that holds them perfectly.

And on the dining room table next to the hutch I have displayed a few of my Heart themed goodies.  I try to keep my display small and away from Mr. C as he seems to be "allergic" to holidays.  There cannot be any other explanation than him being allergic...who doesn't love Hearts and Chocolate and Love?!!  I know for a fact he will enjoy his card and See's Butter Cream Heart from me tomorrow.
Lots of Love and Hearts and all that makes you Happy as we celebrate Valentine's here in the USA.
Spring is truly here and glorious Sunshine and Blue Skies.  Daffodils are blooming and trees are showing gorgeous blossoms of whites and pinks.  Of course it is too early for Spring so we are wondering when and if Winter will arrive.  We still need tons of snow and rain to help our drought.  I pray for warmth and safety for all who are in the throes of Winter and too much snow.  The news across the East and Midwest shows just how bad the weather is for some of you.  I think the new normal is nothing like we are familiar with.  Prayers and Safe Keeping My Friends...
Do you know if you have "word verification" required on your blog comments?  At some point Blogger automatically attached it to our blogs and it is certainly annoying.  I don't mind typing "word salad" (dating myself with Boston Legal and James Spader) once but sometimes it takes two and three times of trying to guess what letters, numbers and now photos (yes, select the soups or pizzas or whatever they want) are correct.  If word verification is attached to my blog...again...please tell me so I can somehow disengage it.  There just cannot be that many "robots" trying to leave us wonderful comments.  Spam still gets through!  Creative Blissful Hearts...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ephemera vs. Hoarding???

Being a multi-generational crafter I tend to save things.  One never knows when something will be needed and if so then I will have it.  While learning to be organized and label things I learned the wonderful word ephemera.
  1. things that exist or are used or enjoyed for only a short time.
    • items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

 I really like that word.  It encompasses so much.  I labeled one of my bins and would put things into it.  As you can see here...the lid was not fitting smoothly any longer.  I ask, "When does saving ephemera become hoarding?"

It was time to sort through all that stuff and see what really was inside my ephemera bin.  Wow!  This will be so much fun...just like a treasure hunt.  Remember all those years of sending kids on a real treasure hunt and they went door to door to ask for some odd or random item?  Yes, I was always able to supply at least a few things on their lists.

Oops when did my ephemera bin duplicate itself?  And they both are over-flowing.  Okay then I better get busy and sort through it all.  Maybe I will realize some of this stuff is ready for the trash. After all if I haven't used it by now I probably won't need it ever.  And my crafting does change course through the years.

Many hours later my table is a mess.  Now there is ephemera all over and I don't seem to be making any progress.  Is this the "it has to get worse before it can get better" phase?  Maybe a chocolate break will help me focus.

Okay now I have had my fill of chocolate it doesn't look any better from this side view either.  I better just keep at it.  Determined not to be a hoarder I will get serious about this saving business.

I am happy to report I filled the recycle bin and still have a huge bag to donate.  My table is almost clear of ephemera.  I have one empty bin and one filled back up but now it is sorted and much more manageable.

Filling these two waste bins makes Mr. C very happy.  I have filled both of them two weeks in a row. Yet...I still have more stuff and more ephemera and more treasures.  Well, I certainly cannot dispose of everything.  A crafter must have some supplies.
I am very happy to report that we are having rain.  Warm Pineapple Express rain which means the snow is only at the very highest elevations.  Unfortunately the 8" of snow that fell on one of the ski resorts allowed them to open but only for a very short time as the storm winds were too dangerous. Balance.  All things need balance...even in Mother Nature.
Valentine Hearts are all around us this month.  I am enjoying the many creative ways all of you are honoring Valentine and Hearts and Love in your projects and works of art.  Creative Hearts Bliss...

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Banner Swap...

I am happy to say I am participating in Linda's A Swap For All Seasons 2015 Banner Swap.  It is a monthly swap that you can participate or elect out of depending on your time availability.  Last year I was able to participate in several months of ATC swaps and I was never disappointed.  Thank you Linda for being a wonderful hostess and for sharing great inspirations.

I have received my package from Bev and it is glorious.  Thank you Bev.  You can check out her blog Country Frog Creations.  It is always such a pleasant surprise to find extra goodies in the package.

Bev made a beautiful pink card with a tiny little heart brad in the corner.

She also included some fun Heart themed supplies for me to be creative with.  I love them all. Her banner is full of love.

Bev created this with upcycled Disney clothing bits and lots of charms.  I am such a Mickey and Minnie fan that this is perfect for me.  Thank you Bev.  You couldn't have created a more perfect banner for me even if you knew my likes.

Here is the back which she personalized for this swap.  Hearts do make me so happy.

This is the Banner I created and sent to Bev.  Funny how we both thought of hearts.  The only criteria for the banners is that they are 4" x 6" either sideways or up and down and that they be sewn, either by hand or machine or both.  This fits my talents as I love fabrics, lace, ribbons, buttons, beads and sewing.  Bev also has a birthday this month so I included some Sparkles and giftie for her.

Here is another Banner I created and mailed as a surprise.  I have not heard if it arrived so hopefully this won't spoil the surprise.
On another note...yesterday my FaceBook account was hacked and I had no idea until a few friends asked me if I unfriended them and was now re-friending them.  What?  I had been chatting on-line with my daughter and then my sister when this was all happening.  Fortunately my daughter was smart enough to recognize the damage (after she thought I was just lame and had messed up) and blocked and reported to FB.  Mr. C spent the next five hours working on my computer to clean out any viruses that our expensive software didn't catch ( I had two at least).  FB never got back to me or acknowledged me or anything.  I posted an apology to my true friends today and I WILL NOT be posting again.  I had responded to two requests from personal friends to participate in the current ART challenge of posting my art five days and nominating someone else each day.  I did it one day only...yesterday...and no more.  Fortunately my sister Joyce Berube posted her beautiful photography. I am one of the most careful computer users due to Mr. C having very strict rules and reasons about the computers.  They have been his lifeblood and source of earnings for many years.  He has very good reasons and I shall not explain them here (online).  So for me to get hacked is very upsetting and scary.  I even considered not blogging.  What?!!  I can't not blog for I would miss each of you too terribly for words.  I have met such wonderful people and opportunities to share with others and be of help to less fortunate than myself.  It would break my heart to not be able to blog.  I wish for our World to respect others and not invade where they do not belong.  Let Good overcome Evil...Please.
As I type I am happy to report that we are finally getting some really good rain.  High winds that are dangerous but glorious wet rain is falling upon our ground.  I have my lantern ready if the power goes out.  Thank you for all your good thoughts and rain dances.  You are the best followers and friends!
Now I think I shall have a nice warm cup of tea and try to de-stress while doing a bit of hand-stitching.  Creative Bliss...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Stitching "Sparrow" Serenity...

I follow Jenny of blog and I have begun a few little stitcheries she generously shares.

Here is my first completed Sparrow for the Operation Sparrow project.  When I read her post on this I was immediately drawn to create a stitchery and mail it away.  You can read all about it in the above link.  I chose to stitch this one in blue variegated thread by Sulky.  I don't think I will use this thread again as it was not very friendly to stitch with.  I will go back to my favored DMC floss.

Here is my 8 inch square of linen that I have transferred the Sparrow on to.  I think I need stronger glasses and more light when doing this transfer with my light box.

Now that Sparrow is transferred I am beginning my stitching.  Those little letters get very tiny when trying to add thread with a needle.  They are not very easy to read.  If you click on my photos they should enlarge for better viewing.

Here is Blue Sparrow ready for mailing to the Operation Sparrow project.  I will sandwich my stitchery between some good white paper for safe keeping.  Now I feel like doing another Sparrow in another color.  This is an easy project to carry along and work on while waiting for appointments.
I hope you visit Jenny and find out if you are interested in stitching a Sparrow or flock of Sparrows.

Here is my January 2015 Fern garden with my White Camelias blooming.  So pretty to have such gorgeous blossoms in our January "Spring".  Winter has not come yet.  We are hoping Febraury will bring lots of rain and snow to help us get out of drought.
I have lots to share this month as I have been staying very busy.  Cleaning, sorting, organizing, crafty swapping and creating a few things.  You all keep me very inspired and I am very grateful.
Creative Bliss and Heartfelt Hugs...