Sunday, January 31, 2010

Valentine Garland

Yesterday I had a lovely bunch of ladies over for a workshop. It's hard to believe that I ever had doubts about converting our old family room into my studio. If I had known how much I would enjoy teaching in my own space I would have done it much sooner.

My friend Carole brought two friends, Maureen and Gayle, and they were every bit as sweet as Carole herself. Also in attendance was my friend Laura that can always be counted on for her cheerfulness. Rounding out the group was my friend Val that I haven't been able to see as much of lately as I would like.

One of our projects was the Valentine garland above. I love pink and red together but I couldn't help adding in a bunch of other colors as well.

I just heard it's going to rain all week. I think I'll take my lunch and a small project to work on over my lunch hours. If I close my blinds and lock my office door I'll probably still get a few knocks. Maybe I'll put a sign on my door that says "Crafting!".

Monday, January 25, 2010

What a Day!

I don't think I've ever posted twice in one day but I wanted to share this photo that I took of my sister and new brother in law. We basically celebrated all day and just got home from a big family dinner for the two of them at a great italian restaurant we love. They got married at the court house in the heart of Oakland and we'll just say it's not the best area...however, I took some great shots of them in the streets and in front of old buildings, etc.. If you know my sister you know she's a hilarious nut so she's always up for something different.

Well it's back to work tomorrow!

Court House Wedding

I'm off today to be a witness for my sister. She's getting married at the court house. I'm really excited for her! She and her husband to be are a perfect match.

I'm looking forward to a bit of creative time between the nuptials and the celebration dinner tonight.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An Unexpected Opportunity

An unexpected opportunity presented itself this past week. I was asked to be a speaker at a ladies lectureship in April. I've taught children at my congregation for over 20 years but I've never shared a message with 100+ ladies of faith. Initially I laughed heartily and in my mind I thought, "Not me!". And then after I'd had a chance to think it through I realized, why not me? In 36 years I've learned a few things about being a woman, a wife, a mother and a friend. I'm excited for this opportunity and I'm humbled that I was even under consideration for such a task. The topic I was assigned is, "Christian Women Making a Difference Using God's Values". Wish me luck!

Well now that that lampshade is done I'm movin on! I've gathered up some sewing supplies that I'll be needing for a 16" sewing notion dress form class coming up in March. I must have jotted down a dozen ideas for this project today. I love dress forms and I want this one to be a pretty but functioning addition to my art space. I'll post some pics once I get started!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stitched Shade Side #4

Here is the final side to my lampshade. A mish mash of stuff for sure. My favorite is the floral resin piece at the bottom. It comes white but I scribbled some oil pastels on it and wet a paint brush to water the color down. I'd like to find an old italian tole lamp to put the shade on so I'll be scouting for that in the upcoming months.

Everyone's waiting on me to go grab some dinner so I'll leave this post short & sweet. Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stitched Shade Side #3

A few flea markets ago I bought an old linen childrens book. The picture of the girl is from that book. I just love her violet colored dress. I used the smallest brad from the brad maker kit.

On a much different note, Mr. Sweet and I had such a good laugh when he got home from picking up The Littles from pre-school. It was a note from my 3 1/2 year old girls teacher. It was an "Oops" note. It went on to say that the school had loaned her a pair of panties for the day because she came to school without any on. Don't EVEN ask me how that happened because I have no idea! That's going into her shoebox of memories for sure!

I'll be back tomorrow with the last stitched lamp shade panel.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stitched Shade Side #2

This little dolly in a pocket might look vaguely familiar...I had this on a canvas and decided to move her, pocket and all, to one of the panels. I painted the canvas bird a light yellow, added some music paper and then created a nest out of ribbon and embroidery thread. This is my favorite of the four panels.

I'm sweet on the brad maker by Chatterbox. It comes with brads in three sizes along with punches to create the centers. You can use paper, a photo...whatever you want. It was really easy to make a snip in the fabric and fasten it on.

See you tomorrow with panel #3!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stitched Shade Side #1

Last summer I picked up this al fresco lamp shade at the flea market. A lady had it in her hand when I spotted it. "You don't want that old thing" I told her in my head. To my delight she reconsidered and plunked it back down. I reached right over and whipped it up. I guess I really did want it because after paying I turned to walk off and the vendor yelled, "don't you want your change?".

A couple of weeks ago I finally decided that I would hand stitch some panels to four of the eight sides. I really enjoyed this project. Stitching is addicting and for me, very relaxing. Just me, my needle and Marvin Gaye {...Mother, Mother, there's too many of you cryin...} Oh yes, back to the project...

To start I pulled out a big sheet of deli paper and placed the lamp on it's side. I traced the inside of one of the panels and cut out my template {I drew an additional two inches to the top and bottom of the template before I cut it so that the panel could be wrapped around the top and bottom of the shade}. I then cut eight pieces of muslin. Each panel required two pieces. One for the front to stitch on and one for the back to sew to the front to hide my handiwork.

On this first side I simply wrote the word Vintage out using my disappearing ink pen {used for quilting}. Using rose colored thread I stitched out the word and added a paper button at the top and a shell button to dot my i.

I'll be back tomorrow to show you side two.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Home Arts Magazine

I know, no pictures the last couple of's what we've come to expect on a blog and I agree it makes things much more interesting. I just wanted to pop in to share this. I have two projects in this months Home Arts Magazine, you can see one online. OK, that's it on the links...

I will be back to share pictures of a project I've been stitching for the last couple of weeks as well as how I made it. I've really enjoyed it and I think you'll like it too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Handmade News

I'm the guest artist over at Handmade News this week. Check it out here!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Valentines Day Banner

I've been busy cutting out tons of circles {I dulled two pairs of decorative scissors} for a Valentines Day banner. As soon as a few things come in the mail that I want to include I'll be stringing it all together. I made a banner at Christmas and after I took it down the space felt so bare so this will jazz up that spot a bit. It's also going to be the second workshop on January 30th so I'll post pictures of the finished project this upcoming week.

Tonight is my girls first night in her own bed. So far so good. We've been walking by the room every couple of minutes to praise her on how big she is. I thought I'd post real quick in between check-ins :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Two Mall Spectacles

My sister and I went to the mall last week. Since Victoria's Secret is that they don't make a bra in my size I left that to her and went into Pottery Barn. When I came out and met up with her I was carrying this birdcage. The look on her face was hilarious. I said, "will you carry this for me?" and she laughed and promptly said, "no way!". I did garner many looks of confusion from other shoppers wondering why I decided to tote my birdless cage to the mall. Just when I thought I was a major spectacle we witnessed something that totally stole my thunder. Walking towards us was a man in dress slacks that had been cut off to be bootie shorts and a dress shirt with the sleeves cut off. Worst of all he was wearing black dress shoes and socks. We were gracious enough to wait the requisite amount of time after passing before we broke out into a peal of laughter.

The cage did get a makeover when I got home - from green to a dark charcoal grey.

And speaking of Pottery Barn when I saw this and the matching blackboard I went straight to the computer to order them and let me tell you they are more gorgeous in person than in the catalog. If Mr. Sweet comes home in a good mood they might make it on to the wall tonight.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Elevating The Calendar

You've probably heard me say that Somerset Life is my favorite publication. I love the idea of elevation the ordinary. I have been using a monthly calendar like the one above to keep my schedule in order for years. Last week I flipped to it to check a date and thought, now why haven't I tried to make this prettier?

I started by punching a bunch of tabs from patterned scrap paper as well as 2x2 inch squares to randomly cover some of the dates. In some of the squares I left "paperless" I stamped some images. I finished by tying a bookmark to the spiral to mark the month. While this might look like a lot of work and for a month that would soon pass by, never to be looked at again, it was quick, easy and I used all scraps. Much prettier!

Well I washed up some raspberries and made some whipped cream earlier and the kids all want some before bed. I better serve' em up before they attempt to serve themselves!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 30th Studio Workshop

Now that we're all refreshed and our holiday obligations are behind us it's time to dust off our scissors and glue! Here is one of two projects we'll be making on January 30th at my home studio. The other project is a sweet Valentines banner that you'll love, more on that later this week. If you haven't been to one of my studio classes I'd love to have you. It's a full day of art, food and treats! Sign ups are now open.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I love this time of year. My intention is high and I'm aware of all that I want to accomplish in the year ahead. I feel completely focused, even if it's for a few short days.

One could argue that the before picture of my new vintage shopping cart above somewhat represents me in 2009. A little worn, a little rusty and in need of a new song to sing. Today we spent a bit of time making it over. Since the original baskets are long gone I will be going out later to buy some new ones that fit so I can browse the flea in style on Sunday. I'll be back with some pics of "Dolly" in her new glory.

The last two weeks have been wonderful! Both last week and this week I worked just Monday and Tuesday and had 5 day weekends. I'm SO not used to that and I've really enjoyed some mid day art, new recipes, puzzles and games with the kids, movies with Mr. Sweet and after Christmas shopping.

Now that the holidays are behind us I'll be back more regularly with lots to share.