Saturday, May 28, 2011

Creative, Relaxing, Friends, Food...

Table placecard and combined coaster. Very simple to do. Use fun paper coasters and stack with a dab of glue between. Add a paper flower with the wire looped through the doily holes. I added a chipboard tag with ribbon looped through the doily holes. These were so simple to do and really added to the tablescape. I was thinking of a garden theme without being fussy.
My entire goal was simple and casual for this luncheon.
It was all about the friendship and sharing of time together.

Keeping in the garden theme I made a batch of fabric and lace flower pins. I knew the color choices of several but not all so I made a range to select from.

Here is the range of colors. They really added something to the table as well. And when food was finished I let each guest select their favorite to take home with them. It was heartwarming that each person selected their favorite color and immediately put them on.

Here is the side view of the table. In keeping with the sunny garden theme I used my newest set of melamine for outdoor dining. However even though it is the end of May we are still in very cold temperatures with spits of rain and no sunshine in sight. Far too cold to sit outdoors. I even had set out bubbles for everyone in case sitting by the pond was in order...however no way in our cold weather. We enjoyed an indoor luncheon.

Good Friends! Enjoying laughter, stories, food and friendship. It does not get any better.

The lengthwise view of the table before guests arrived. The simple food was tuna salad, egg salad, crackers, lettuce wraps, veggies, pickles, olives, quinoa salad and beverages. I set out mini vases filled with fresh Rosemary from the garden. Then dressed the food with fennel fronds. This is a great way to get aromatics that aren't overwhelming.

My dear friend Lorraine brought double chocolate brownies for dessert which we inhaled!

Now this was a wonderful way to spend the day.

May each of you have a wonderful and safe (holiday) weekend.

I will be relaxing and serving leftovers...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Birds and Butterflies...

Oh My! I do not know what has happened to my scanner but the colors are all wrong on this butterfly card. However, I am showing you a technique that saved my card project.
I had purchased a new Martha Stewart punch with all these wonderful butterflies. I also purchased some premade butterfly cards with envelopes. The stamped butterfly is really gold and embossed on an ecru cardstock. So I took my card and punched the butterflies. Oops...what I didn't realize is that the punch cuts the butterflies completely off of the card. Well that was not attractive. My card front was now very short and my butterfly edge was laying on the table by itself! So I got out the decorative papers and cut a piece to fit the entire front of the card. Then glued on the butterfly border. I also lined the envelope with the same deco paper. Card saved and now usable. I actually like it so well I shall make more like this one using other fun colors.

This is another paper, fabric and lace bird I sewed and embellished. Spring really never came to our neck of the woods. Today it is very cold and rainy again. Winter has truly lasted seven (7) months. Maybe this is why I am enjoying making these fun "Spring" birds.

My prayers and heart go out to all those affected by the horrible tornadoes and extreme weather across the middle section of our great United States.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gifted ATC...Thank You

When I saw this Marionette ATC I was smitten. I decided to follow this artist and I am so happy that I am doing so. Please visit Laura at her blog and see how wonderfully talented she is.

One day as I was reading her post she was offering this exact Marionette ATC as a giveaway. How fortunate I was when my name was selected. Thank you so very much Laura.

There is such detail in this tiny little ATC. An ATC is Artist Trading Card and the size is 2.5" x 3.5". ATC's were created as a way for artists to share their work and give it to others. ATC's are not to be sold. Therefore I believe ATC's are even more special. Like a gift from the heart. She has tied little red threads to really give it the illusion of being a marionette. I am still smitten with this art.

I will be putting this on my inspiration board.

Now it is time to go to the studio and spend the afternoon having creative fun with my girlfriend who is on her way over.

Happy Creating...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guess This Project...


Having already told you that my Grandma taught me to see with "different eyes" you can imagine what I see here.

While shopping at Costco with my girlfriend one day last week we turned an aisle and I stopped dead in my tracks. I immediately knew I must have these and what they will be. My girlfriend thought I was crazy until I shared my idea with her. She is learning from me to see with different eyes and I am having fun watching her learn.

So I scooped up a few of these and put them in my cart. It never hurts to ask. When I got to the checkstand I forgot I had put these into my Costco bag. The bagger guy looks and can't believe I have put "trash" in my bag. I asked him if I might have these pieces. He is fine with this however he must ask the checker guy. Now he looks at them and at me. As I ask if I might have them he laughs and says, "Yes, I would just have to make my rounds and pick them up as trash." So I thank him and tell him I am happy to save him the trouble.


What am I going to do with these little pieces of "trash"?

Girlfriend and I will be in the studio today transforming them and I should be able to reveal my idea in the next post.

Yesterday was Sunday and Mr. C and I drove a couple of hours to spend the day in a car show. The weather was perfect and the show was small and casual. Of course I took my camera but got so busy chatting with people I never took any photos. I also was walking a 5K so that took a lot of my time. I ended up walking 15,355 steps just at the fairgrounds. That was 4.36 miles! Yay!!! I even went through 3 different pairs of shoes doing so much walking. It felt great and of course I was energized as the DJ was playing all my favorite era music. It was a long day as I began at 4 am after only about 3 hours of sleep but it was a great day. We ended at In N Out for my favorite affordable meal. I really slept good last night!

May you have a week filled with creative and pleasant passions...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Inspiration Boards Display Lovely Gifts...

My Muse is coming back to me. She is getting very creative. She read the comments and suggestions you wonderful bloggers left for us. So here are some creative one of a kind cards I have been fortunate to be given by very wonderful friends. We put them on display in the sewing room. Now that is fuel for our creative endeavors.

Now we didn't stop with the cards. I love all the wonderful gifts I have received from my blogger community friends. So I removed all the magazine clippings and such from my framed inspiration boards. I have two of these in my sewing room. I just love them. It was a project I did several years ago. Next came the display of numerous items. Many of you will recognize the things you have made for me. I love to have them out in the open where I can see them so this is perfect. I filled both frames.

In trying to keep it uncluttered I have moved a few things around since this photo. Thank you each and every one of you talented and generous friends. I adore all of my special treasures. Now I am surrounded with them as opposed to having them in a cabinet where I could only see one or two at a time.

Now my Muse and I are truly inspired. Since I filled these frames I have already completed several UFOs and gathered a few others to work on. Sometimes I make myself finish some projects before I allow myself to begin new ones.

Thank you everyone. Thank you Muse for coming back and not leaving me for too long.

If you are looking for me...I shall be in the studio working on lots of creative endeavors.

P.S. The sun is shining today...Hooray! It is still winter cold but at least the sun is shining.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Please Come Back Muse...

Hello Muse...have I frightened you away? Is it the seven (7) months of wet winter we have had? Are you hiding under a warm electric blanket? Don't you like cold concrete walls and floors that are the foundation of the studio? I have NEW supplies for you to play with...

Every winter my Saucy Chick Girlfriend travels to and stays in warmer climate. There are also a lot of stores and coupons where she spends those nice warm sunny dry days. So much shopping for her to do. For me here in the cold winter tiny town there is very little shopping and even fewer coupons. So...Saucy Chick Girlfriend is now my very own Personal Shopper. I merely tell her via phone or email what I am in need of and she takes her numerous coupons and visits the appropriate craft stores to find and purchase my requests. She loves to shop and is already going to get her own goodies so to add my lists isn't that tedius for her. Sometimes she will call me from aisle 10 (or where ever) and confirm exactly the item I want or maybe an alternative item. We laugh and joke about her being my personal shopper.

We might have gotten carried away this year. She had to mail 6 flat rate boxes of supplies home as her SUV was too fully loaded. When she brought over 4 giant tote bags of goodies it was just like Christmas in May! I did have to confess to Mr. C as I needed a hefty sum to pay for all of this.
So now my Muse has lots of new tools and supplies with which to be creative.

However, where are you Muse? Let's get busy! I've cleared the table, organized all the supplies and they are waiting in their places and I have time!

Until my Muse comes out to play I shall be here paying bills, filing paperwork and enjoying reading all my favorite blogs.

How do you entice your Muse to play and create?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Celebrations...Birthdays, Graduations, Anniversaries

May continues to be a very busy month. Lots of celebrations happen in May.
This wicker bottle carrier was perfect for a bottle of celebration champagne. I decorated the carrier with a row of ribbon around the bottom edge. Then I glued on a row of dark silk rose leaves. Next a row of pink silk rose buds. A couple of the leaves on the handle top. Done. Unfortunately I neglected to photo the finished carrier with the champagne and some fun polka dot tissue and a homemade gift tag tied with ribbon to the bottle. Even Mr. C thought this turned out looking great.

I made a neclace and earring set for the birthday lady. She likes bling and that is what this has. It is also adjustable and can be worn at many different lengths. The earrings are about 1 inch in length and compliment the necklace. This photo truly does not show the bling of the crystals.

Here is a closeup view of the many crystal dangles and the heart charm for love. No idea if the birthday lady liked it as the gifts weren't opened at the celebration party.

I make things that I personalize to the recipients taste and this should be just right. Lots of bling and glitz and flexibility in wearing it for daytime or nighttime.

My muse and I are really missing the creative side of making jewelry. Maybe I should get the beads out more often.

A new week...they seem to be passing by very quickly.

Very cold weather however the snow is melting and the rain is not so bad.

Makes for a great day to work indoors with organizing and prepping in the studio. Oh and about seven loads of laundry. Isn't Monday considered "wash day". I don't know who snuck their laundry into mine but I am determined to get it all done! At least for a day or so. :o)

Happy and productive week to all...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Snowy Sunday...

Ahh...It is Sunday May 15th, 2011 and it is snowing. All the poor leafing out trees and the freshly planted flowers are really getting a rude greeting to Spring/Summer. I learned many years ago NOT to plant any beautiful flowers until at least Memorial weekend just because of the probability of snow in May. The snow is truly beautiful.

I do not have TV when it snows so I have no idea of the Amgen progress. Amgen is a bicycle race that is supposed to begin in South Lake Tahoe this morning and ride around the lake a couple of times to end up at North Lake Tahoe tonight. I have yet to hear of their alternate plans in case of snow. It will be interesting for the riders. I do hope they all stay safe.

Today will be a day of rest once I get my chores done. We will be celebrating one of our friends who is turning 40 and graduating the RN program. There will be lots of people and food and conversation and laughter. Mr. C put together a DVD of her life in pictures that will play throughout the day for all to see.

For those of you who have sunshine...enjoy.

For those of you who are having flooding and uncertainty in your safety...I am praying for you.

For those of you who are being creative...fabulous.

May the week ahead be the best for all of us.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lost days of blogging...

Do you ever have a plan and your plan gets sidetracked? That is what has happened to me.
Bad really caused me to get my plan off track when it decided to have a two day breakdown. Yes, I admit I am addicted to blogging and so many super creative artists who blog. I was beside myself every time I checked my computer merely to find Blogger "unavailable".
Well I am flexible and I did manage to spend my time otherwise as well. I did a LOT of yardwork. It is amazing to me how quickly our five month very wet winter turned from nice moist ground to harder than a clay brick which won't release even the tiniest weed when I tug on it. So after spending untold hours on my hands and knees you would never even guess that I had done so much weeding. Argh............
I also sewed. The fabric in the top photo was purchased for a special yoke on a swing jacket. The grey circles are actually a bit metallic and I love the sheen they have.

Then I thought how fun to use my Texture Magic and sew a grid pattern on this fabric. I sewed four circles in each grid. Next time I would sew the same four circles but inside of each circle to see what design comes from the magic.

Now I have a photo of the sewn fabric which I have partially steamed and you can begin to see the pattern emerging. I do love the texture that this process creates. It does take a bit of time and a lot of thread but what a fun technique. I remember hand smocking with my Grandma many years ago and I can honestly say that was time consuming!

So now my fabric is all "smocked". What was I thinking? What plan did I think I had? The bulk that this fabric would create on the yoke of my jacket is far more than this mature body needs to be wearing.

Well, now I have a lovely piece of fabric and have scrapped the jacket yoke plan. It would make a lovely pillow however I have no rooms with these color schemes. How about a tote bag? I am flexible and will merely put the fabric on a padded hanger in the sewing closet to await the perfect project.

So this week has been quite the challenge in my planning department.

Today we are preparing for rain and snow tomorrow. Our temperatures have dropped and it is quite cold. Unusual? No. Last year it snowed in May. The Amgen bicycle race is supposed to begin tomorrow in nearby Lake Tahoe and then on Monday pass through our little Historic gold town. Do they even make snow tires for racing bicycles? Hmmm...plans and flexibility are what life is all about.

I hope everyone is recovering from Blogger misbehaving. May you each have a relaxing and wonderful weekend.

Now I am off to catch up on my favorite blogs I missed for two days. :o)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Inspiration Purchase...

I love to donate lots of things to my local Hospice Gift and Thrift. Hospice provides such a valuable and needed service to so many. I have been blessed not to need their services however one never knows for the future. So I donate whatever I can as often as I can. And in turn I shop there as often as I can. I have even been known to buy things I have donated. :o)

This is not one of the things I donated but it is one of the recent purchases I made. A full size bed skirt ruffle for only $5. When I bought it I thought I would merely cut it up and use the fabric and the flowers for all sorts of projects. After bringing it home and giving it a good laundering I am not certain I can cut it to pieces. This bargain is in perfect condition. What a shame it would be to merely cut it to shreds. And since it is polyester I do not see that it would take coloring very well as I had previously thought. What ever shall I do? Actually I could donate it back to Hospice. I could put it on the sofa bed when I have overflow company however somehow I can't really see anyone appreciating that look. I could merely add it to an already overflowing room of projects. Hmmm...

When you look at this lovely piece of work what do you see? How would you use these embroidered flowers if you cut them out? I still think my $5 was very well spent and the creative possibilities are many. Decisions...decisions...decisions...

We had some rain last night so the plants are thankful for a drink of water. I am glad I have been spending a few hours here and there to clean up after winter's harsh destruction. Giving air and light to smashed and smothered plants. Picking up barrels of twigs, leaves, acorns, weeds and general debris left after so much rain and snow we had for a very long five months of winter. I am looking forward to sunshine this week and the temperatures warming up.

May you have a very creative and pleasant week ahead...

I so enjoy reading all of your blogs and seeing what you are making and doing. I thank you all.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day...

Happy Mother's Day.

A mother does not come with an instruction manual.

She comes with a heart filled with love for the baby that is growing inside of her.

No matter what her circumstances she only wants the best for her tiny child.

She does the very best she knows how to do and hopes that her little child grows up to be a wonderful human being.

I am such a mother.

I gave birth to a beautiful little girl.

My very own precious daughter.

I tried to teach her all that is good and right.

I am a very proud mother as my little daughter is now a grown adult with two daughters of her own. And now I am a proud grandmother too.

Happy Mother's Day.

This lovely gift box was sent to me from my daughter who lives too far away for a visit in person. I shall enjoy a picnic with the yummies that she sent. The mother daughter bond and the love we share is worth more than all the riches in the world.

Happy Mother's Day...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Clean, Fresh, Renewed Creative Space...

Here is Vintage Janey and she is welcoming you to my clean, fresh, renewed creative space also known as my sewing room. In my last post you saw the before photos of this sewing room and how messy it was after making some projects recently. Well, this room really needed a lot more of a Spring cleaning than I even realized. I spent two twelve hour days up and down on the ladder to get this room in shape. I removed everything from the shelves and cleaned them and then put back my treasures. This time I filled the decorative boxes with supplies and labeled them so I know what I put where. What a great concept...especially for me. :o)

Now these shelves are not only decorative but also functional. My desk is now usable as I cleared off the piles of fabrics and projects and put the typewriter on the conference table in the office since I use it so seldom.

This corner seating area is a real treat in this room. You can see my view which is like seeing paradise. From these windows I can watch the deer as they come right up close to eat my plants. In past years we have had wild turkeys hang out in the ferns and fountain area. Of course you can see rabbits, skunks, squirrels, birds of all kinds and even a possum and racoon or two. The native trees are Sugar Pines, Cedars, Oaks, Douglas Firs, Madrones and other pine trees.

This is the sewing machine station. I have a serger also which is just to the right of my chair. This Koala cabinet is wonderful and folds up to a small size with the machines inside to accomodate extra company who need to use this room for stay overs. The sofa is also a bed. Did you notice my hat boxes with the laces showing along the edges? I had these in the closet empty and decided to utilize them. I piled them up and put a stack of doilies on top just as though I am celebrating with a giant cake. I love this fun bit of whimsy.

This is the view from the door entering my wonderful creative space. Now with its clean, neat, refreshed and renewed inspiration I am thinking of my next projects I can now make.

I am truly blessed to have such a creative sewing space. My hard work for two days has paid off in more ways than I can express. Even though I know I will mess it up again it will be with fun and magical fabric and thread and lace and whatever else I select. This is a very happy room.