Sunday, November 30, 2008

My vase obsession

My bff from high school, Margie, got me obsessed with vases. Shame, Margie! And thanks. I thought I'd show some of them in this post.

This first one she gave me as a gift, my birthday I think. Isn't it gorgeous! It's one of my faves.

The next I found on eBay, couldn't pass it up. Love it too. Both are displayed in my LR. (Actually all I've shown today are. They were the easiest to get to.)

The next I picked up in a thrift store in Dallas, back in the early '90s, I think. They were still inexpensive back then.

This was a recent find, still inexpensive, from the library thrift store in Marble Falls. It's handthrown, judging from the mark on the bottom as shown below. See the heart etched in. That's all I can make out.

That's all the vases for today. I'll try to do more later. See y'all another time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Still pluggin' along...

But it seems I'm ignoring everything that needs to be done around here--Christmas cards for one, arranging speakers for the master gardeners' lawn and garden show for another--focusing so much on etsy. Yesterday I followed Little's example and used a pic of my toes as an avatar. She, clever girl that she is, takes pics of her and her DH's feet wherever they travel: feet in Florida, feet in New York, etc. Ain't no way my dh would let me take pics of his feet, regardless of where they happened to be! Nor should I have taken any of my own. Can't tell I cut my nails just the other day; they look a bit raggledy.
Little used champagne glasses with her pic. I'm more of a Fiesta mug of coffee gal.

Taking toe pics wasn't all I did yesterday. I also started another ornament, finished it this morning and already have it posted on etsy.

I used a clip-art drawing to make this one. Whenever I translate a drawing to felting, I need something simple. I'd like to do a Santa next, but I need a simple line drawing and haven't been able to find one.

I'm wondering if I should be spending so much time on ornaments. They're priced low to draw in the business, but the profit margin is slim. I'm hoping if people like what I do they'll move into other areas, such as this:
I need to redo the photos on my tassels. I've done it once, but I'm not there yet. Perhaps if I do close-ups of the top? I found this post on Babyluvgifts blog, which gives ideas on how to photograph: I've used her techniques on everything I've posted since I read this.

I'm off now to try to accomplish something productive today. Think good thoughts for me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

At the gawdawful hour of 6 this morning--I know, it's not that awful, but for me to be out in the world it was--we were out with all the other idjits at a Black Friday Home Depot sale. I'm sure it wasn't as bad here in the country as it must have been in Austin, but even so if we hadn't gone when we did we would never have been able to buy the item we went for. Masses of people went straight for it--a Ryobi cordless drill combo with a drill, a battery, a saw, a vacuum, a flashlight, and your choice of another free tool, all for $59. It was a good deal, worth the early morning trip into Marble Falls.

I posted another couple of ornaments on etsy today and changed all my ornaments to free shipping. Here's a pic of the first:

I added the buttons to this one simply because I'd wound up with a wonky heart shape. Actually, before I finished I went back and changed the shape to where it wasn't all that wonky, though it still is a tad. I'd turned under too much of a seam when I was handstitching the closing, so I just had to redo that. But I like the buttons on it.

This next one is the snowman design I've done on a couple of others. I'm running really low on the felt I made the original two with so for this one I used something I bought from an etsy seller. It doesn't have the weight of the felted material I've done from sweaters, etc. but I still like the look of this. Shall I call it primitive? I wouldn't exactly call the stitching couture.

And that's that. Today I think I'll make some hand lotion and I may felt some wool fabric I bought from ebay, if I can work it in around the other laundry.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a moment midst all the preparation so thought I'd post a bit. We won't be having a big celebration; just my baby brother, Joe, and his GF Adrianna are joining us. Everyone else has his own plans. Joe and A are driving down from FtW, probably won't be here until this afternoon. Tom's making the turkey--he's taking a break right now too, reading the paper--and everything else that needed to be done early is. I still need to stuff some celery--ooh, I better take the cream cheese out of the fridge to soften!

Well, that's done. I made a punkin pie yesterday, my sole dessert contribution. Being a type 1 diabetic--and Tom a type 2--I sweeten it with Splenda. Actually turns out quite nice. The other part of our dessert menu is bread pudding; Tom being in the mood for that he decided to make it. He used half Splenda, half sugar since it's not a regular on our menu. I think we've only ever done it once before--and we did completely sugar then too. I probably won't have more than a taste of it, especially since he sweetened the whiskey sauce with pure sugar.

I also made cranberry sauce yesterday and this morning I put together a fruit salad, or ambrosia as we called it when we were kids. Both are Splenda sweetened.

That's a lotta sweet, innit? Oh, well, it's one day of the year--okay, two counting Christmas where we pretty much do the same thing. Being diabetic isn't a picnic, but one adjusts. And I've been one pretty much my whole life--can hardly remember when I wasn't.

I'm off to stuff some celery now, then sweep off the back patio. Thanksgiving in Texas is often warm enough to enjoy the outside, and it is today too. Have a happy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thrift Store Art redux

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, but Daisy's comment on my last post made me get back to it. (She made me do it, Mama!) I've learned a lot about taking pics in these last weeks, but, since it's almost 7 in the evening, I think I'll just upload the ones I took while I was still ignorant. :)

This first one I found at a thrift store up by Buchanan Lake. My high school BFF Margie was here, and we were hitting everything that even looked as if it might have a bargain. This store is more junk than a thrift, but I found this for a buck. The frame was cheap too: five bucks at Walmart. Stencilled rather than painted, it hangs in my office. I like the primitiveness of it.

This next one is also in my office, but it's not thrift store art nor was it cheap. This is the painting from the cover of my first romance novel. Tom bought it from the artist as a surprise. It's not my usual type of art but I definitely have a fondness for it.

And then we come to the first piece of art Tom and I ever bought. It came from a home and garden show in Pittsburgh in the late '60s--look at her hair; can't you just see the sixties?--and it now hangs in our bedroom. We paid a hundred dollars for it, and that was a fortune for us back then. This pic is not really good; the beige of the walls and the mat look yellow, but it's the only one I have, and I did the best I could with PhotoShop.

This next one I got at Trash Town in Ft. Worth. (Thrift Town on Jacksboro Hwy.) One of two hanging over the nightstands in the master, it's an original watercolor for which I paid $15 apiece maybe five or six years ago. (For the sisters, it was the year we spent sister's weekend at the lake near Bridgeport.)

Here's the other one:

This next wasn't thrift store either. I got it an antique store in Richardson. It makes me think of England; I can imagine living in a little cottage like that. (It wasn't cheap either. I think I paid almost $200 for it, but I put in layaway and paid it off over a four month period so it didn't feel so expensive.) It's now hanging in my entry.

This last one wasn't thrift store either. It's a giclee of Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Very good copy, IMO (never having seen the original). Someday I intend to get a giclee of Starry Night for my bathroom, but I'm in no hurry.

And that's the last of the art in my house, thrift store and otherwise. Hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thrift Store Art

I thought I'd show some of my thrift store finds. This first painting came from an Oak Cliff (part of Dallas) Sally Ann about fifteen years ago. The canvas cost less than five dollars but since it was an odd size, I had to search quite a while for the frame. I eventually found one in a consignment store in Plano, which I paid $40 for. Still, it was a good price for a piece of art I've used ever since.

This next piece I bought at a Thrift Town on Jacksboro Hwy. in Ft. Worth. (My sister calls it TrashTown.) This is a quality print of a Van Gogh--House at Arlens, I believe--and I bought it for the frame, not the art. (Not this frame--I mucked up the one that was on it with several different paint treatments and gave it someone who really would strip it!)

This painting Tom and I found at a garage sale a couple of summers ago. This photograph is not as clear as I'd have liked, but it's a nice primitive piece. I think we paid $10 for it, frame and all.

This next one I bought at a flea market in the mid '80s. It has an impressionistic style to it, which I tend to like, and I paid $25 for it, also frame and all. (Can't you tell? The frame is so-o-o-o '80s.)

The last one in today's post is one of my faves. I got it at an east Dallas Sally Ann about 10 years ago for $5. It was frameless, and I finally had to shell out fifty bucks to buy a frame to fit it, but it looks terrifical over my guest room bed.

That brings me to the end of my first installment of thrift store art. More to come so keep watching!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here we go a-tassel-ing...

I've been busy the past few days, but I think maybe I've learned a few things about this blogging thing. Then again, maybe not. I've already made a couple of mistakes this morning trying to post a picture, so here I go again. This is the Christmas tassel I made from the beaded thing-a-bob Ginge and Sunny and I found on a recent trip to Austin.

(It worked!)
The tassel isn't as bad as I thought it was nor as good as I'd like it to be. I may not do another, may just call it a learning experience.
I spent some time this morning working in the studio on another tassel, which now that it's done, I have to do over. I used a couple of the plastic beads I picked up the other day, did the little manipulation thingie to get it all together, and now see that the top ball is sitting wonky. And it's all glued up and everything.
Later, after I get over my ticked-offedness, I'll do over without the middle beads. May turn out they're useless for my purposes. Chalk that to experience too? When does experience become capability?
Happy Election Day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Book festival

Wonderful day today! I got into Austin about 10:25a. Carrol was a little late, so I listened to KUT radio. Rarely get to hear it and I do love public radio.

First place Carrol and I went was to hear Rick Bragg. I was really impressed. He could have been talking about my family with his tales of poor Southern people. And dang he was funny. He very much reminded me of my brother Joe. So I bought a couple of copies of his book All Over But the Shouting and had him autograph them, one copy for me, one for Joe.

Then Carrol and I went to lunch at a cool place on Congress Av. Can't remember the name, but we both had Mediterranean veggie sandwiches. Yum.

We tried to get in to hear Warren Buffet, but unfortunately we'd dawdled too long at the book sales booth and the auditorium was full when we got there about 5 min before the scheduled time. Well, heck.

So we went back to the plaza and had iced tea at a table near the entertainment booth. Close enough to hear, but far enough away we could talk.

I love my Carrol.

About 4:30, I headed home. Old lady time: I gotta get home before dark, and the hour and a half drive from downtown Austin is windy and filled with the possibility of deer.

All in all, though, it was a very good day.