Friday, January 28, 2011

Some Flea Market Finds...Finally

It seems like forever since I posted some Flea Market Friday stuff!  So, here are some of my recent treasured finds:

 Aren't these terrific?!  A few weeks ago I found the Summer and Fall Simplicity catalogs from 1969!  They are full of fabulous photos and illustrations of fashions from that year.  (The photo I took of the Summer catalog would not post...for some unknown reason, it wouldn't appear right-side up??).  

Have a look at these vintage goodies:

These items were actually given to me by a friend who was cleaning out his mother's home.  It is mostly a bunch of vintage maps and several books of "green stamps."  I wonder if they are still worth anything??  I doubt it, but they are fun and bring back memories of my childhood.  The book of Value Stamps pictured above is from 1966.  No, I wasn't even born yet, but I do remember my mother collecting stamps in the early 1970s in turn in for dinnerware at the grocery store!

Have a great weekend everyone!



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back In Business...Sort Of

Happy Happy Happy!

I am super HAPPY to report that I am B*A*C*K!!  Well, sort of.  My super smart hubby installed a new hard drive in my computer after receiving (finally) the recovery disc from HP.  All went well. However, I'm now missing all my photos, documents, including my Blogger cheat sheets, and the programs I had installed, most importantly, Adobe Elements!  Never fear, I am in the process of reinstalling the programs and my husband says he can put the photos back since they are currently being housed in a temporary external hard drive.  Is hard drive one word or two?  Anyway, I'm looking at this as a "clean slate."  Plus, I have a giant excuse to get my camera out and shoot a ton of new photos!  See above as an example!  This is my littlest daughter with her BFF, Wallace, in the igloo she and my hubby carved out of the snow a few days ago!  Pretty cool huh?  Literally!

Here is another new photo:

This is another journal, or book cover I made.  I thought this style appropriate for a recipe book.  I've been experimenting with different fabrics and embellishments.  The base (blue) is duck canvas and the brown is linen.  I've used my fabric crayons and markers to draw the lady cook.  Her apron is cotton and I've trimmed it in lace.  I used my alphabet stamps for the word, "make," since I don't like the look of my freehand writing.  I trimmed the top in lace and adhered a "vintage" button to the cover using a button pin.  Of course, I put a little bling at the cook's collar! I hope you like it!

I've also been busy working on February's dress, purse, and ATC! I have also decided to try my hand at quilting!  I have been admiring Donna's mug mats from afar..until now.  Donna, of Brynwoodneedleworks, created a tutorial on how to create her mug mats and is hosting a Mug Mat Swap!  I just can't wait to get started!  Have a look at some of Donna's work and get the information about the swap HERE!  I'm a little nervous about making and sewing the binding...any pointers?

Have a great week everyone!  Toodles for now!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Technical Difficulties Can Bring New Ideas!

Journal Cover

Hello Friends!  Seems like forever since my last post!  I have experienced the so called, "blue screen of death" (as described by a techno geek friend) on my computer!  I thought it might have been an easy fix with the installation of a new hard drive, but oh no, nothing can be simple.  Long story short:  I won't be back on track until next week...when a recovery disc arrives from HP....I hope!  So, please be patient... I have limited access to a computer.  I've truly been having blogger withdrawl! 

During my blogosphere absence, however, I have been working on a few sewing projects, including this notebook cover pictured above.  I used canvas and home decorator fabrics and trims, buttons, fabric pens, a googly eye, and of course a little bling for the crown.  I'm actually making several of these book covers.  I hope you like it!

Today I received January's Blissful ATC from my swap partner, Michele.  The theme this month was snow/white.  Michele did an awesome job.  She used a two part glittering process and super sticky tape.  I wish you could see the card in person.  The shade of blue is gorgeous.

Michele doesn't have a blog, but you can check out more January cards HERE by the other swappers.  Here is the card I sent to Michele:

"Snow White"
Sew Loquacious
Blissfull ATC Swap
January 2011

NOTE:  I need to add, "take better pictures" to my "Try Harder To" list. 
 Next month's swap theme is "Love."  How appropriate for February!  The Dress Up 2011 theme for February is Gustav Klimt!  I've had such  positive feedback for selecting Klimt.  I'm super excited about seeing all the dresses that are created!  I'm also excited about making my first altered bag for Anna's Artful Bag Challenge!

It appears I have a lot to keep me busy while I am away from the computer! 



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

February...a Month for Love and Paper Dresses

The Kiss (1907-1908)
I'm so excited to announce the artist as inspiration for February's Dress Up!  Drum roll.....Gustav Klimt!  I'm sure you recognize The Kiss.  Klimt completed this "fascinating icon of the loss of self lovers experience" in 1908.  A huge thanks goes to Habka for it was she who suggested Klimt and I immediately thought of The Kiss and how perfect Klimt is for February...the month for love!  Sexuality, regeneration, love and death are major themes in Klimt's artwork.   He founded the school of painting called the Vienna Sezession, which, according to the Paris Web Museum, "embodied the highly keyed erotic, psychological, and aesthetic preoccupations of turn of the century Vienna's dazzling intellectual world."  The Sezession is also known as the Viennese version of Art Nouveau.  Here are a few examples of Gustav's work:

Judith I (1901)

Love (1895)
Mada Primavesi
Klimt's body of work is large.  You should not have any trouble finding a piece to use as inspiration for your dress!  Remember, you can use any materials for your dress and any style!  Click HERE for all of the Dress Up 2011 details!!  Good luck and I am looking forward to getting to see your fabulous works!

I will have the Link tool up and running February 1!



Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Year for Trying

Original Artwork By Alex

Disclaimer:  My Blogger Profile states I reserve the right to 'the occasional rant.'  Consider the following post, 'an occasion.'

With the holiday hullabaloo over, I've done some reflecting and realized 2010 was a pretty crazy year for me.  It was a year of ups and downs.  One very big UP was starting this blog, which began in February (yep, my Blogiversary is coming up).  I've made so many friends here it's amazing.  I've also discovered a medium that makes me feel like a real artist...mixed media.  I've had such a blast creating the ATCs, the Paper Dresses, and now the Purses.   One very big 2010 DOWN was not accomplishing a very big career goal I had set for myself.   That upset came in May.  It was personally devastating to me and honestly, I've had a difficult time moving past it, but that's a story for another post.  There have been other ups and downs, too.  I've accomplished personal goals, including staying a "quitter" (from smoking), which is a daily struggle and keeping the 35+ pounds off that I put on after quitting!  I've also experienced some medical lows, including a kidney stone the size of Jupiter in  June and a high blood pressure diagnosis a few months ago.  Have I mentioned I have a screw loose?  Yeah, literally, the screw holding the ACL graft together in my knee is loose.  Perfect, huh?

I think everyone reflects on their accomplishments and their failures from the previous year in order to resolve to do a, b, and c, the next year.  Well, I've decided not to commit to any New Year's Resolutions this year.  No, not because I am perfect and don't need to change.  No, quite the opposite.  I am not committing to resolutions, but, instead, I am going to dedicate 2011 to "going to try really hards."  You might say this is symantics, but I don't have a great history of accomplishing the resolutions I've set for myself in past years, so why not give this a go?  With all this said, in 2011,  I am Going to Try Really Hard To: 
  1. Stick to my low salt diet (still YUK; diet includes cutting down on the bad stuff ie salt, fat, sweets, etc)
  2. Be a better sister, relative, friend, influding blogger friend, wife, and mother (this includes remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and then sending appropriate greetings/presents for said, etc.)
  3. Get desk space organized and keep it so I DO NOT loose addresses!!
  4. Go to church more (this category includes cursing less, being more patient, being kinder, less judgemental, and generally a better Christian)
  5. Change attitude at work, even if this means changing jobs.  Stop complaining and actually commit to change it if I really believe 'the grass is greener' somewhere else.  In other words, shi* or get off the pot (as my mother would have said).  
  6. Open my Etsy store.  Big goal here...hopefully will coincide with my Blogiversary...which is in February!!!  WooHoo! 
  7. Pay off credit card(s).  No brainer here.  I paid off my car in June (another WooHoo), now onto other financial goals, including the credit cards!  Maybe some garage sales this spring???  2010, you know, saw my first ever garage sale!
  8. Be more appreciative. 
  9. Don't get freaky over every little thing...this includes stupid drivers, walkers, people selling stuff outside Walmart..stop avoiding them by walking to the side December this category will include the bell ringers.  I know it's just plain wrong to travel out of the way to avoid them or worse yet, feel like shanking them just to get them out of the way.  Refer to "Try Hard" #4 here.
  10. Spend more time with my family.  This includes actually going camping, canoeing, and yes, fishing.  no excuses this year! 
  11. Sew more things for ME (and don't feel guilty about it).
  12. Write more sewing tutorials.  Write more personally.
  13. Read more.  Write the book I started last year.  (Another big goal here).
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  I hope you have taken the time to reflect on your 2011 goals.  I feel like since I 've now written them down, I am accountable.  Right?  I'm confident #4 will be the hardest...just being honest.

I want to thank those participating in January's Dress Up.  The dresses are amazing and it is still early in the month!  I can't wait to see more!  If you want to join in, there is time.  Just read the details HERE.  I can't tell you how excited I am to announce the artist for February's Dress Up!  I am putting a post together with the details and will post it really soon!

Do you like the image at the beginning of this post?  It's a collage my daughter made for me for Christmas.  I adore it.  I love everything about it.  I've hung it on the wall as one enters my studio..note the writing in the upper right...."House of Calm."  Love it!  Thanks Alex.  I love you, too.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Purses and Dresses

Artful Bag Challenge
January 2011
"A Bag for the Opera"
Well, I've finished my first Artful Bag Challenge Playing with Paper purse!  I had so much fun making this bag!  I used scrapbook paper for the body of the bag and then embellished it with ribbon for the fringe, lace (above the fringe), a ribbon rose, a "pearl" for the "closure," and a string of pearls for the strap.  Oh, and I painted the "metal" at the top.  To see more bags specifically made for this challenge, click HERE to visit Anna at Frosted Petunias.  You'll be glad you did!

Woman With A Pearl Necklace at a Loge 1879
I decided to design my first purse to coordinate with my January Dress, which I based on Mary Cassatt's Woman With a Pearl Necklace at a Loge.  Cassatt, an American, was one of the premier Impressionists.  Her paintings are beautiful and many of the subjects are woman and children.  In my opinion, they are very feminine. 

Dress Up 2011
January 2011, Impressionism
"A Dress for the Opera"
For my paper dress, I used pink tissue paper, which I painted with pearlescent fabric paint, a ribbon rose, ribbon for the shoulders and lace, also painted with the pearly paint.  I also attached a pearl necklace.  The dress is sort of 3D because I pleated the tissue paper in order to give the skirt a bit of fullness. 

I can't wait until next month...for both challenges.  The Artful Bag Challenge's theme is Altered Art.  Another first for me!  I haven't decided the February artist theme for Dress Up 2011 ...any suggestions?  Who is your favorite artist?



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Word From Annie

When I started blogging nearly one year ago, I vowed I would not use my blog (or art) to promote any political agenda or spew mine or others' opinions regarding anything political or social. That said, I'd love for you to watch this video that my daughter sent me. You'll see Annie Lennox (my fave female musician/artist) talk about SING, her HIV/AIDS activism, and generally empowering women. This, female empowering, is the reason for my decision to post the video.  With that, here is Annie Lennox:

You've probably noticed I haven't posted any Wednesday Wonderisms today.  Forgive me.  I have no excuses. 

Please don't forget to check out the January dresses that are posted HERE



Annie Lennox: Why I am an HIV/AIDS activist Video on

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Few New Year Projects

Happy 2011! I sure hope you all have had a super weekend and enjoyed this Holiday Season. I wish you all a year full of happiness, joy, creativity and love.

Here are a few projects that I've been working on in these last few days of 2010:

I made this pillow cover in the same manner as the one I made for my mother-in-law. I think it turned out pretty cute. Plus, I think the photo of my other mother, Anita, is great.

For this card wallet, I used the Valori Wells pattern I won from the Hot Potato. I used my fabric markers, crayons, and stamps to create, "Mavis," a character "created" by my cousin and me! That's Rich, Stefanie!

Please remember to add your thumbnail here for showcase your January Dress.  I will keep this link up for the entire month.  I've already been able to view some super designs.  Please check out the dresses and meet the artists behind them.

Toodles for now!