Friday, November 27, 2009

Reuse Recycle Giveaway

I'm cleaning out closets. Not my fave thing, but it really is necessary. Hopefully I'll be getting rid of a number of things one way or another.

Today's the beginning.

Some time ago, I realized that the insulated packaging I get some of my meds in has a nice foam inner. I've been tearing them apart and saving the foam ever since. A couple of pieces I sent home with my sis last year--maybe the year before--along with some chair legs I never used. She meant to use an old wooden cutting board and make a foot stool, though I don't think she's done it yet. You know how your list of to-dos grows until the projects that still need that one extra part don't get done.

So here I am with fourteen 12.25" (31.1 cm)  x 10.5" (26.7 cm) x 1" (2.5 cm) pieces of foam I don't need. If any of you think you could use any of them--as many as you want--all I ask is that you pay shipping, and they're yours! (If you let me know how many you want, I'll calculate shipping and you can decide if it's worth it.)

Spray adhesive will join these together nicely so if you take enough you can turn them into a decent size piece. Pillows? Cushions? Chair seats?

Use the button on the side to email me if you're interested.

Thanks, y'all.

Felt Poinsettia Ornament Tutorial

This is my first real tutorial so y'all bear with me, please. When I tried to find poinsettia tutes online, nothing I found suited my purposes so I developed my own method.I like the result, and it's dead easy!

I started with three felt circles: two at approximately 3 1/4 inches () and one at 2 1/2.

Mark at equal intervals: eight on the larger, six on the smallest. I've used an air-erasable marker on these, but you can actually cut these markings since they'll be cut here anyway.

Cut two snips in the middle of each of the markings to make a small point. (See pic below.)

I use a pair of cuticle scissors, reserved for cutting fabric, to cut the petals as shown below. It makes the cutting of curves much easier.

 Cut around all eight (6) petals on one side, then flip and cut the opposite curves.

Continue until all petals are cut on all three layers.

If using shank button as center, cut a small hole in the middle of the top layer.

 Audition centers.

Cut a strip of ribbon--I've used about an 8" piece doubled--and stack between the bottom and second layers. Stitch the layers and button together.

I'm still learning this new blogging system so please forgive all the spaces in this post!

And that's all she wrote!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Frosty, et al

When my mother was alive, we always celebrated Christmas at her house on a weekend before the actual holiday. One year we decided to exchange Christmas ornaments among the siblings. Can't remember exactly how we did it but it was some kind of a draw so you had no idea who would get whose ornie. I got Daisy's. And of course she made it. (Daisy is one of those people who come so close to perfection in her creations you want to just kick her in the patootie!)

I love this ornament. She said the design was Martha's, though I can't remember if she found it in a magazine or one of MS's books.(It was so long ago I'm not even sure she remembers the ornament much less the making of. I probably wouldn't!)

I believe it's made of rolled fiberfill though I can't figure out how she shaped the head. The carrot nose, which looks perfectly round and carrot-like, is actually a bit of felt.

Based on Daisy's, here's one I created: a needle-felted creature with bits of Texas sage as arms.
Bless his heart, he pales by comparison! (I know his middle button is a bit wonky. Wonky's what I do!)

Another Frosty-type I felted onto a circle of felted wool sweater. You can't tell from this pic but he's actually balls of wool roving felted onto the flat bit, and his carrot nose sticks out. Because he's much more three-dimensional than ones I've previously done, I didn't feel I could felt on roving arms so to him too I gave sage arms.

Gotta run now. Tom's breathing down my neck as we have to go into Marble Falls in a half-hour and I'm not ready yet!

Ta, y'all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just Some Things I Made

Thought I'd share with y'all some of the ornaments I've been working on.

This one I needlefelted on a bit of wool felt. It sold in less than a day. Am I asking too little? $6.50, free shipping? I sold a couple similar last year for about the same price, though I think I'm definitely getting better.

This one sold as well, though not so quickly as the first. Because of the work involved--that's eight handmade roses--and all the buttons I used, I asked $8 for this one. (I've gone free shipping in my SumpnSassy store.)

This is one I made from a bit of needlework I did some time last century. I was going through my old sewing box and ran across this bit and the one I used in the ornie below. They were so small I couldn't imagine making ornaments of them, though that's what they were both meant to be. As I recall, this one was to be mounted in a wooden frame, which got lost somewhere along the line. I've used cashmere felt to make the ornie and quite like the end result.

This is silk ribbon embroidery. When was it so popular? Late '80s, early '90s?

I made this from a quilt block I picked up in a thrift store ages ago. It's beautifully hand-stitched--the quilt block, that is--and I got one perfect heart out of a block but didn't want to scrap the rest so I did two more off-center ones, one of which I still need to complete.

This is the perfectly aligned one, which I sold last year. What do you think? Is there another direction I should go with the last off-center one?

And this is the last of the ones I completed. It's made of scrap fabric--a good thing--but I'm not as enamored of it as I thought I'd be. I like things a bit wonky, yunno, but somehow this one doesn't speak to me.

So my second question of the morning is: which background works better for pics? I thought the sheet music would be most eye-catching, and I do like it, but then I found this polka-dot plate at Walmart. I'm sorta leaning that direction. What say you? All comments appreciated.

That's all for now. Ta, y'all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

In Memoriam

After a short five years, our lovely fridge has bit the dust.

What can I say--I loved this fridge. We splurged and had it completely wrapped in stainless--you can't see that in these pics, but it's gorgeous. And it's not it's fault it died. Well, maybe partly, but I take some of the blame. It was a mother to pull out and so rarely got cleaned out behind. Listen all you chillun, it's imperative that you clean behind your fridges--especially if you pay as much as we did for this one.

This is a webshot of our new one--it comes Tuesday. We hadn't intended to do side by side, because of that knee wall you see in the pic above, but this thing slides like a dream so getting into the freezer--as well as cleaning out behind it--will be a snap. But I'm gonna miss the beauty of the old one.
Stainless Steel
Except I swore I would never buy another utilitarian object for beauty alone. I want it pretty but that comes after functional. (I will miss my beauty though.)

We're having an appliance recycling company come pick it up. Hopefully they can fix it and resell it to someone who'll love it as much as I did. (Is that sorta like taking a pet to the animal rescue center, which I would never do, and hoping someone will adopt it before it's euthanized?)

And yesterday we said goodbye to another item we bought for its cuteness. The Smart is gone.

And here we are with Tom's new car. I know, another one bites the dust. I wasn't attached to the Smart and obviously neither was Tom once we got over the cute factor. The Soul--that's a Kia Soul--appears to be much more functional. Plenty of room even in the back seat--and that's the biggest plus: a back seat. Well, actually for Tom, that's the next biggest plus--he hated that there was no cruise control on the Smart. It was built as a city car, but we don't live in the city, and to get to one we have to drive for an hour. (I remember back in the day driving from Texas to Pennsylvania--or veetsa votsa--without cruise and never even questioning it. But as Tom likes to say it's easy to go up and hard to go down.)

Speaking of Tom, he'll be getting up soon for his once-weekly, specially-made-by-me breakfast. And shortly after that, I have a weekly telephone date with my dear friend in Washington state.

Ta, y'all.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Boxes, boxes, boxes...

I've got boxes galore!

One of Tom's poker buddies smokes cigars and apparently has a box-a-month subscription. He's been kind enough to pass along the boxes to me, the self-confessed box fiend. I don't call them a collection; they're just a bunch of boxes I've picked up here and there, including the ones from Buddy's generosity.
This is the one he sent home yesterday. Cool, innit? Not sure what I'll do with it--I have a credo to leave them as is.

The following are ones he's given me in the past. A couple I use for storage in my studio. The rest I've merely stacked up. (I saw in a decorating magazine once where a w0man had a collection of cigar boxes stacked as high as she was, making almost a statue of them. I don't have that many, but I'm getting there.)

This one's a heavy wooden box. I didn't take a picture of the side, but it's about as tall as a normal cigar box.

These two are made of a lighter wood.
Here they are from the top.

This one has slats on two sides, solid on two, with rope handles.
The only marking is this label on top. For a while, I put toilet paper in it and placed it on the back of the toilet, but I wasn't pleased with it. I think it might have looked good if I painted it, but that would violate my credo.
These are two ordinary cigar boxes I use for storage. I like the pattern on them.

They even look good from the side.
I use this one as a base for my marble lamp in the guest bedroom. Makes it high enough to read by.
This one is in a tablescape in my living room. It too would look terrific painted (see aforementioned credo), but I'm leaving as is. Doesn't look too bad that way, does it? (That bronze in front of it was a purchase from an estate sale several years ago. It's pretty small, but I like it.)

Now for some non-cigar boxes. (That isn't all of my cigar boxes; I'll save some for a later post.)
I bought this in the '60s and used it as a recipe holder for many years.
From the side.
Several years ago, Carol Duvall had a guest who demonstrated a faux leather technique using crackle paint and shoe polish. I loved the look of it and tried it on this paper mache box.
Here it is from the side.And the inside. (I store cards of buttons in it.)
This is a technique I came up with myself, but it's so tedious I only made a few items with it: tiling with paint chips.
Here's the top of the box.
This is a pair of copper boxes my sis and SIL gave me for Christmas several years ago.
You can't see the box all that well here, but the lamp is sitting on a vintage souvenir cedar box a friend gave me quite awhile ago.

That's only the beginning.... One of these days, I'll post more. Am I the only one enamored of boxes? Surely not.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thrift Thursday

Sorry for the FTP (Failure to Post--I saw that on someone else's blog and thought it was clever. Maybe everyone already knows what it is, and I'm a donkey's tail, but that's normal). I've thought of a million things to post about and never had the pictures--what's a post without pictures?

First, a Tom update: he's doing well and we've settled back into our normal routine.

Now to my thrift story: A week ago Tuesday I made it to the library thrift store in Marble Falls. (Tom says it's the neatest--as in clean--thrift store he's ever been to. It's also a bit high in prices, but it's located just between my hair stylist and where I meet Ginger for lunch. What's not perfect about that?)

I always check fabrics and linens at this store. Sometimes I find good things; sometimes not. Last week I found almost 4 yards of a light denim fabric and 3 of a lovely blue paisley. (I'm in the middle of a project involving those. More later.)

I also found two embroidered tablecloths I couldn't pass up.
This one's a lovely linen 72" round cross stitch in perfect condition. (I had to shoot toward the pantry as my refrigerator has gone out--:P--and while we're waiting for it to be repaired we've brought too small fridges in from our workshops, stacked one on top of the other. Repairman's supposed to come today. Yay!)

The bowl in the center is something I picked up years ago at one of my fave thrift stores in Fort Worth, a wonderful old copper bowl I've filled with pumpkins and a gold-beige candle for the harvest season.)
This is a tea tablecloth, the kind ladies used for their bridge games in the '50s, '60s. My mother never played cards with the ladies--she was too busy raising eleven kids!--but my mother-in-law did. Canasta, I think. She would have used a cloth similar to this.
This is a closer shot of the candle arrangement in the center. Not that you needed a closer shot; I just thought it was pretty.

A closer picture of the embroidery detail.

Once I used cloths like this, but I stopped when I moved into this house. Why? Because the delicacy of hand-embroidery didn't seem to lend itself. There's so much wood--beautiful, but almost masculine, which I do like but which, again, doesn't seem to call for lace and embroidery. Oh, well.

Take care, y'all.