Thirty-five years ago today, I married my husband for the second time. It's not an anniversary we celebrate, aside from a quick remembrance, since we were simply correcting a mistake I made in divorcing him in the first place. Well, I call it a mistake now but I'm sure that neither of us would be the people we are today had I not done it, nor would our relationship be quite what is either. At any rate, despite the naysayers. it's the best decision I ever made.
What else is happening this April 1st? Well, bluebonnets are blooming in our back pasture.
Actually, they're blooming all along that back road and in all the empty lots on our street. It's a very pretty time of year in central Texas.
My jasmine is beginning to leaf at the bottom. I think the freeze killed all the vines from last year and I don't know how long it will take to get as full as it was, but it'll be fun to find out.
With that, I'll say goodbye. Y'all come back, ya hear?
For the past year, I've been working on a couple of brooch bridal bouquets for my Etsy shop. Actually, at the start I intended to do a single mixed metal bouquet, but that didn't float my boat so I separated it into two. That meant I had to search longer for pieces than I thought I would, but who doesn't love searching?
Here's the gold one as I was working on it. (I removed all the masking tape before I finished, but it's a handy way to hold things for a while.)
Here it is completed. Do you love it or am I just blinded by my own shining self?
I even added a decoration to the bottom of the handle.
To make the bouquet, I followed a number of tutorials I found on the 'net but they only took me so far. From there, I improvised. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, but think I'll take a break before working on the silver. (Finding silver tone pieces has been much more difficult than finding gold tone, perhaps because with the silver I want rhinestones. As a result, I've got a lot more money invested in the silver than in the gold.)
It's been awhile since I worked on tassels, but I recently had a request for a couple. I thought I'd use this blog to present ones I've already done. So here goes....
This is more formal, sort of elegant. I used bits of sample fringes to make it, bits I no longer have. It's not in the colorway the client wants, nor are any of the others I show here, but hopefully they'll give an indication of what I can do.
Only in the past few years have I been adding ruffs to tassels. I like the look of them, but they detract from the heads, which I consider the most creative part.
On this one, the ruff I added was more sparse so it doesn't completely obscure the head.
I like the ribbon yarn I used on this one, not that crazy about the ruff. If I try that technique again, I'll have to tweak it. (The yarn's in shades of blue and green. In this one, I emphasized the green more than the blue.)
This is probably my fave yarn. It's strips of silk cut from saris and sewn together. The colors are random but I like how they work together.
The tassel the customer referenced was made before I started adding ruffs. See how much more striking the head is without the ruff?
I finally finished my button lampshade! It was a lot of work, and I can find oh so many things I don't like about it, but it's done. 'Nuff said.
I actually don't have problem with the shade as much as how it suits the lamp that bothers me.
The lamp is formal, the shade feminine. Sometimes the difference bothers me, sometimes not not so much.
But finishing the shade got me thinking about thrift store lamps. I started thrifting years ago and found the lamp above in the late eighties in a DAV store in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood, for around $15. (Actually my friend found it and let me buy it. She's got the best eye of anyone I've ever known!) It's getting harder to find lamps of this quality anymore. Not impossible, just harder.
This one came from a junk shop in Mesquite, a Dallas suburb, around the same time. I paid $4 for it, but it had had its electrical bits removed. Isn't she gorgeous? A friend says she looks like Elizabeth Taylor, and maybe she does a bit.
The friend who found that first lamp found this one as well. As I said, she has an eye. Anything Margie finds is either beautiful or worth a lot of money, often both.
This was painted gold when she found it, though I think the original finish might have been bronze-like. I stripped as much of the gold paint as I could, but it'll never be what it once was.
Here's a closer look at the details. Cool, huh?
Several years ago I found a lamp for my sister and posted about it here.
I fell in love with it myself and if I hadn't already promised it to her would have kept it. Wouldn't my button lampshade look terrific on it? Ever since I've wanted one just like it, but they sell for several hundred dollars if you find them on the 'net. So I bought this one for about thirty dollars.
Similar but not the same quality and much larger. Hmm, wonder how my button lampshade would look on it. Maybe I'll try switching things around tomorrow.
I'm sharing this post with Chic on a Shoestring's Flaunt it Friday. Check it out!
I live my life on lay-away, doin' a little at a time, and that's how I'm re-doing the guest bedroom. I don't have before pictures, one result of doing things so haphazardly, and I'm not finished, which is another result. But here are some pics of where I am at the moment.
I wanted to add hits of white, without painting furniture, which I neither like to do nor do well.
These pics are of the hub's family, previously framed in some wooden frames I didn't want to paint. So I found some cheap ones at Walmart, painted them up with Annie Sloan chalk paint and covered some mats in old wallpaper graphics from Graphics Fairy. (The bear was part of a gift from the hub in the early eighties. His paws are clips and they held a gold chain. I think I like the bear every bit as much as I do the gold chain. The bit of tatting around his neck is something I picked up long ago in a box of old linens.)
I made the bedskirt of medium weight linen from Dharma Trading. Need I say I did it in bits, and it took forever? For quite a while I had only the end and one side finished--and on the bed. I ran out of linen and had to order more, and then couldn't remember what weight I'd used and wound up mis-ordering twice before I finally got the right weight. Which just gives me gobs more linen to use in sewing.
I go the easy route on making bedskirts, constructing them as if they were an actual skirt with fabric gathered onto a "waistband," which is upholstery-pinned to the mattress. Then I can change them out easily without removing the mattress.
Another Graphics Fairy image, Citra-solve transferred to a linen/cotton blend from Dharma Trading (one of the mis-orders). The first time I ever did the Citra-solve method, it smudged a little at the top, but I won't tell if you don't.
This is a vignette I'm not yet happy with yet. (Aside from the fact that it's messy. I read in this room, hence the reading glasses I usually corral in the pottery.) The doll was a gift from my baby sister a few years back, and I'd been displaying itr in a sewing machine drawer I didn't want to paint. So, instead, I painted up an old clementine box, added some corkboard in the back to hide some staining from clementines gone bad, and used the Mod Podge method to transfer another Graphics Fairy image. (Like Graphics Fairy much? Yes, I do!) The books are covered with wallpaper images, also from Graphics Fairy. One of the things I still plan to do is tie them up with twine, instead of the lace, and add a number tag.
I have no good reason to show this side of the bed, except for what I consider my ingenuity. A couple of years ago, I bought a bedside table that was equal to the height of the mattress, which this table is not. The top on the new one was messed up where someone had scratched a name into the finish. I bought it anyway, thinking I could use the furniture/refinisher stuff to even out the finish. Didn't work, so the hub started sanding. The top is now beautifully sanded, but the rest needs to be done--it has two drawers. So the table has been sitting in his workshop ever since. It's too hot to work on it in the summer, which we have a lot of here in Texas, and when it's not summer, we've both forgotten about it. So this was my "temporary" fix. I stacked books up to reach the height of the bed and added a tray across the back to set the lamp on. The table in the shop may or may not ever get finished, but this is working so I'm not complaining.
And yes, I realize I put fried fish twice. When we were young, I pretty much fried fish every Friday, but even so it was a mistake I made transferring the words onto the image. And yes, he noticed. :^P
I used a note card from Michael's dollar section as the base along with leftover paper bits and some vintage buttons. (About fifteen years ago, Patsy, who was then my neighbor, now in her mid-eighties, gave me a cigar box full of buttons from her grandmother. I don't know that these are from that box--I've picked up many containers of old buttons since then--but vintage buttons always remind me of Patsy, which, I think, makes this card very appropriate.)