Saturday, January 30, 2010

Be My Valentine...

I finally put out my collection of vintage valentines...There's not a rhyme or reason to my collecting. I buy ones that catch my eye because of their cuteness, ones that have ridiculous sayings that make you laugh, and ones that are given to or are from "Rachel". My favorites; however, are the glossy German ones from the '20's with the little cherub-like characters.
I bought this one because of the saying..."Open your mouth and shut your eyes and I will give you somthing to make you wise"...hmmmm.
This honeycomb one reads "Oh would some power inspire this line to win you for my Valentine"
A bird of a valentine for-you? What's that supposed to mean?
And a few of my German favorites lined up on the fireplace mantel...wish I could leave them up all year round!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Birds and Nests...

I had so much fun making my first Tiny Book that I decided to make another...this one has a bird and nest theme.
And I've been getting my handmade valentines ready to mail...

Now if only I can get inspired to get out my valentine decorations! Maybe tomorrow huh?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tiny Book Swap...

I signed up for Julie Collings' "Tiny Book Swap" so got to work on my love themed tiny book last night while the boys were at a Timberwolves basketball game. I finished it this morning and ran to Kinkos to make a bunch of color copies. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about it all folding up evenly but thankfully the measureing, folding, cutting and aligning worked out beautifully and they look good! I can't wait to see all the other tiny books!
Here are some other little projects I've been working on...
I am somewhat of a soap collector (ok...hoarder), I love all the pretty packaging and never want to throw the boxes or papers away. I decided I'd better start doing something with them though so started with this little soap box. It's sort of like an oversized matchbox, the main compartment slides in and out of a "case." I decorated it with pretty paper and felt flowers and think I might tuck some cute little goodies in there and send it along to Shelby in her February "care package." (she went back to college yesterday after having a month off...I miss her already).

And this is a reproduction of an altered cigar box I made for a swap partner months ago...I decided I wanted one for myself.

Now I have to run off to Archivers to see if I can recover Matt's 17th Birthday photos I stupidly deleted before transferring them to my computer. Sometimes I'm lucky and pictures that have been deleted show up when I load my memory card into Archiver's Sony Picture machine. I've got my fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Project...

Here's a quick little project for a lazy winter afternoon using vintage napkins to make cute little throw pillows. I found these turquoise napkins with a crocheted edge for next to nothing in an antique shop a few weeks ago. They definitely needed to be laundered so make sure you do that first. Here is a list of supplies you'll need...
1. Two vintage napkins per pillow
2. Two vintage buttons per pillow
3. Polyester fiberill (or stuffing of your choice)
4. Heavy duty thread (or six strand embroidery floss)
Here are your steps:
1. Pin the napkins, wrong sides together and machine sew around the edge (as close to the crocheted trim as possible) leaving an opening for stuffing
2. Stuff the pillow to your liking. Pin the opening then machine sew it closed.
3. You can sew on the buttons one of two ways...I sewed mine on at the same time but it can get a little tricky so I'll give you an alternative. To sew them both on at the same time thread a long needle with heavy duty thread or six strands of embroidery floss but don't knot the end. Bring the needle through the front of the pillow to the back leaving a long tail (you will use this tail to tie the knot after the two buttons are attached). Slide the needle through one of the button holes and come down through the second hole bringing the needle through the pillow to the front (next to your beginning "tail"). Now that you have the button on the back, slide the needle through one hole of your second button and come down through the second hole but don't stick the needle through the pillow, just bring it through the button hole so that it now meets up with the beginning "tail". Tie a knot with the two ends pulling tight so the buttons "indent" the pillow. I tied a few knots just to make sure it was secure...when you're satisfied with your knot cut the ends (If you did it correctly your know will be hidden by the button.) The alternative way is to just sew a button to one side, knot the thread and cut. Then sew the button to the other side making sure it's hiding the knot of the first button, knot that thread (again, making sure it's hidden by the first button) and cut. This is a really simple project, you can have two pillows finished in 20 minutes!
If you don't have cute napkins lying around try using two old handkerchiefs that are the same shape and size.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Drowning in Love Letters...

I discovered "Love Letters of Great Men" and it's counterpart "Love Letters of Great Women" while browsing through one of my favorite magazines (it was the February issue so everything was love and romance). I usually fawn over anything romantic so I didn't waste any time ordering the books from B&N. They arrived on Tuesday so that night I started with the men's letters...I got through a few, like Henry VIII and Mozart, they were very sweet but nothing really made me swoon. My expectations were perhaps unrealistic but on I read until I came upon a few letters Napoleon sent to his beloved Josephine...finally I was WOWED! They were fantastic, very passionate, very favorite so far...on I read. Eventually I became so tired that I "cheated" and looked ahead in hopes of finding a man whom I knew would be nothing short of spectacular. I was thrilled to see a few letters written by Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett. This had to be it...afterall I heard their love story was one that could not be measured so I read the introduction and began the first letter...{insert heavy sigh here}...what a perfect, lovely, romantic letter, and his second one was just as good. I do believe I swooned! Who would expect anything less from a poet? I also found "The Wednesday Letters" but have not started reading it's about a husband who writes his wife a letter every Wednesday from the time of their wedding until their deaths (39 years worth of letters, what a lucky girl). Their three adult children arrive home to arrange the funerals and find boxes and boxes of love letters. They begin reading each one and uncover the "unimaginable adventures" and the "shocking truth" about their past. Ooh...sounds good huh?

I asked my husband why he doesn't write me letters anymore, he used to quite often years ago. He just know, that sort of "don't embarrass me" laugh. This morning when I came down to let the dogs out there was a hand-written letter from him on the counter, it didn't compare to Browning's but I'll cherish it just the same. Maybe I'll start receiving "Thursday" letters each week, wouldn't that be fun?!

I didn't want to end this post without expressing my heartache and sadness for the people of Haiti. I seem to be drawn to the TV constantly hopeful that more people will be found alive and that enough supplies, nourishment and aid can get to them before it's too late. If you'd like to do something to help out, the Red Cross is in need of money to get the resources that are needed to Haiti, you can click here to donate. Also, please visit Rebecca Sower's blog, she has some very touching and powerful stories of her recent trip to Haiti as well as an Etsy store for her "Haitian Family".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Off to a Slow Start...

I don't know about you but my January is off to a really slow start. I finally got the Christmas decorations all put away but I haven't gotten the house back in order yet...tables are empty, the mantle is bare and the table I moved into Shelby's room to make room for the tree is still sitting in Shelby's room. Maybe this weekend right? I so much wanted to get in on a valentine swap but guess what? ...Yep, I was too slow...they're all closed now so here I sit, making valentines for myself. I'll have to remember next year to start looking in December!
I love Julie Collings blog and in one of her recent posts she challenged her readers to dig out an old project they've been wanting to work on and get to I dug out my 7 Gypsies ATC Card Holder that's been sitting around collecting dust but I haven't actually started anything...does just looking at it count? I think I've decided to do a monthly little album type project and make 5 ATC's for each month concentrating on the most important Jan 6th my middle child turned 17, just one year closer to him leaving me like Shelby did! {SIGH}
Ok...I've got to show you one more thing...I ran to an antique show at a local mall, this woman who sets up everytime they have a show had a new little idea that was a HUGE hit...she's got little plastic tubs full of random bits of Jewelry...I spent about 40minutes digging through the $.50 bins and found all this fabulous stuff, I especially like the religious trinkets.

That's it for now...hopefully one of these days I'll get around to filling up my Etsy store again...I think I'm down to 8 items. I need to start using up all these little treasures I keep buying!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Addicted to Mario...

I haven't been able to get much done in my studio...or around the house for that matter...since I've become addicted to the Super Mario Bros. video game we bought for the kids for Christmas...I manage to get dinner ready and help Sebastian with his homework but after that forget it! It's been so bad that I just finally got my 25 Days of Christmas album done last night. I did manage to make this little album (at Tom's recommendation) to send in to a publisher but the deadline is fast approaching and I'm not quite finished with everything that's required...better hide the Wii controllers so I can break free of Mario's grip!
I hope everyone's new year is off to a good start!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010!

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2010!