Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Convoluted Path to Creativity

"Amateurs borrow, professionals steal."

I'm not sure where that comes to play in my creativity, but in this instance I'll admit to stealing an idea and embellishing on it. (I lo-ove to embellish!)

A while back I was following links on either Nesting Place or A Soft Place to Land--it was so far back I can't remember which one or where it led. One blogger--hence known as TB--was showing off a chest she'd redone and tablescaped a la the Nester--see why I can't remember which one? Kimba at ASPL does DIY Thursdays and Nester blogged on tablescapes. On top of her chest, TB had arranged a couple of candlesticks with three toile stars made by her mother. The picture wasn't large enough to get a good view of the stars and TB only mentioned them in passing, but they caught my attention immediately.

I had to make one! I searched around online for patterns and instructions and found nothing so made my own pattern--I mean, how hard is a star? Still I didn't want to cut into my good fabric with a practice pattern so I used ticking I've had for a while.

The outcome didn't impress me--I work much better with patterns and instructions. The points weren't stuffed stiffly enough to make it stand and I'd already stitched it shut and didn't want to unstitch but didn't want to throw it away and wouldn't give it away as it was, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah. So...back to the button box--

It's about ten inches tall (25.4 cm) and it still doesn't stand that great on its tippy-toes. I decided to stitch an elastic band on the back so it can be used as a treetop ornie--I've put too much work in it to stop now!

So is that stealing or borrowing or what?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Latest Cool Finds

I've reached the stage of my life where I have to say no to most cool stuff I find. I've given away so many neat things it breaks my heart sometimes--and will likely have to downsize at least one more time in my life. Therefore I don't frequent garage sales that often. But a week or so ago Tom and I passed one on our way to breakfast--we eat breakfast out at least once a week. I had to stop, even though I didn't find much worth taking home--some neat artist brushes, brandy new, that will come in handy--and these neat dominoes. (I'm a sucker for games, even though we rarely play them, but for a buck these were well worth the price.)
The box has a bit of a shine cuz I used Howard's Feed and Wax on it and it hadn't soaked in good when I took the pic. And the dominoes had some spots when I bought them--I have a fantasy about two couples having drinks while they played Forty-Two back in the '70s and somebody had a little too much and knocked his drink over on the whole dang table.

I cleaned the dominoes with baking soda and a toothbrush . It worked great!

They're made of three layers of some kind of plastic: white on the bottom, a metallic-y copper/bronzish color in the middle and black on top.

I love when people mark things with dates, though I can't read all of this that well. I can distinguish the 1971 date, and the other appears to read either From McDonald's or Fern McDonald's.

Pretty cool, huh? For a buck, no less.

And here's my second find. Actually it was a freebie from my hair stylist. She travels around the country teaching people to use a brand of hair products and uses mannequin heads as practice dummies. Stella here had already been dyed four times and thus outlived her usefulness. Since I was looking for something to display hair ornies on, I thought she'd work great. What d'ya think? A keeper?
I'm going to try fabric softener sheets to tame her hair. I think that might work.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend. I've been working my hiney off trying to change the ink in my new printer. Can't find the owners manual and tried to download it several times but have hit a glitch each time. Finally found a review of the printer that told where the ink cartridges go--I could not find hide nor hair of them. Now it's all done. (Of course, Mr. Scrooge Tom is worrying about any future problems we might have with no owner's manual. Me, I figure by then it'll have turned up. Keep your fingers crossed!)

Ta, y'all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Snakes and Snails...

Years ago, my mother befriended a snake who came up through the walls of her old house and made a nest in her linen closet. I don't remember what kind of snake it was, not sure I ever knew, but it obviously wasn't poisonous. She said it looked at her as if it knew her. It wasn't afraid of her, nor she of it.

This summer, Tom made friends with a little garter snake in our back yard. It likes the pond, likes to take a dip in the heat of the afternoon. (No fool, he. We've had lots of those super hot afternoons this summer.)
Here it is peering at Tom over the edge of the pond. (The concrete at the top of the picture is my house foundation. At the bottom is the pond edge.) That's as close as the snake gets to going into the water when it knows someone's watching, but Tom often sees it slither from the big sage bush at the corner of my herb garden and into the pond at the other end. (I see nothing when I'm outside, at least nothing smaller than Max.) I worried about the little fishies at first--we have three goldfish--but they seem to have fared well.

Today's the first really coolish day we've had since last spring--I think it's still only in the 70s. Come on, fall!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Featured Etsy Seller

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm not a jewelry person. That doesn't stop me from being awed--and tempted--by the artisans I see on Etsy. And OMG check this one out! Daisy sent me the link to this lady's shop; she saw her on Etsy's Editor's Picks page. Looking at her stuff, you'll understand why.

Her shop name's Yoola. She's from Israel, but her shipping charges are reasonable--$4.50 on the two items I've shown, $2.50 when shipped with another item. Oh, I forgot to tell you what she makes: wire-crocheted jewelry and sculptures.

These are some of my fave pieces. I love these Giant Hoop Earrings. (I do wear earrings, I just rarely think of changing them. But these are only $29, completely affordable even if they sit in a drawer until I remember to wear them.)

And this Silver Bracelet? Gorgeous, huh? It's really got me tempted. (I never wear bracelets anymore--used to all the time.) This one's $75.00. She also sells the pattern for $10, for all you crocheters. Is that a deal or what?

She also does sculptures using coated copper wire. This one she says was knitted using a crochet needle. That boggles my mind, but there are more things in the creating world than either Hamlet or Horatio or I ever dreamt of.

But this lady's got me thinking about what I can do in the same vein. (Daisy suggested using wire and bead crocheted centers on my flowers. Sounds cool, doesn't it?)

This seller's certainly going on my faves for next time I need a gift. Check her out why doncha?

Ta, y'all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Tom left this morning for Plano. He goes every year--well, in the past we both went, but with the feeding schedule we had to put Max on after the diabetes scare, we can't both be gone overnight at the same time. I actually was looking forward to being alone--more fool me. I miss him! But he'll back tomorrow and I can hold on that long. (That was my first discovery--how much I miss him.)

And the second discovery? I found some rhinestone buttons on Ebay that didn't cost me an arm and a leg. I paid about a buck and a half each, but they're vintage and not missing any stones so I think I got a pretty good deal.
See the ones that look like belt buckles? They're not; they really are buttons with a loop on each prong to attach with. Not sure what I'll do with those, though I'm thinking I might use them on a memory bag. Maybe a piece of felt that loops through, then snaps shut? Doesn't make the button functional, just decorative, but that's okay with me. (I haven't done any memory bags since the ones I made for my sisters shown here.)

I've already made a brooch with one of the buttons.
I think it looks pretty sharp. Oh, and so does the picture. I picked up an Ott-lite natural spectrum bulb last week and am loving the color it gives to my pictures. I spent all day Monday taking new shots of most of my items on Etsy. Still have some to take, but I'm lagging on those.

In the meantime, I think I'll take a shower and put on my 'jammies and cuddle up with Max--that's the best I can do 'til the Hub comes home.