Thursday, June 28, 2012

Birthday Time

I have a group of friends whose lives don't allow us to get together as much as we'd like, or as much as we used to, but we always manage to celebrate birthdays. (Funny thing is that with the seven of us we have two birthdays in January, two in March, one in July, and two in August.)

Tomorrow, we're celebrating the July birthday with lunch at my sister's house.

We've also sworn off gift-giving, for the most part, that is. I, being the only crafty one in the bunch, like to bring something I made; I maintain that's allowable. This year, beginning in January, I've made each birthday girl a set of cards, using quotes by famous people, similar to these from Etched in Time's Etsy shop.
For the first two birthdays, I chose Austen and Einstein quotes. The second set were Lucille Ball and Mae West. This time I used Dolly Parton.

I started with a box and a set of stickers I picked up at Target's dollar section.
The size of the box dictated the size of the card, and the size of the card told me it wanted more than just the typography I used in the earlier ones. So I pulled clipart from the 'net. 
These are Parton quotes I found on the 'net: "Find out who you are, and do it on purpose." "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."  "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." "My weakness has always been food and men, in that order." "Storms make trees take deeper roots." "If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another."
I don't make envelopes from a template, which is why some look different than others. I like to call it the handmade quality. ;^) Here I used a pack of scrapbooking paper I picked up from the dollar store.
I had to cut the stickers down to fit into the box.
 Tied up--the cards, the stickers, and the envelopes.
 Tucked inside the box.
Tied with ribbon that matches and a boutonniere made of button flowers with a felt leaf.
And with it, another handmade card to wish the birthday girl lots of happiness. (And yes, even I can see that I could have/should have tied more of it together than I did, the reason I didn't being that I had to use what I had on hand. That happens when you live far from decent stores.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Finally Done!

I'm mailing off the completed bridal bouquet today and wanted to share it.
The completed bouquet: I'm loving the bride's choice of ribbon for the wrapped handle. I think I mentioned that it's a gorgeous vintage silk.

Melissa's been a delight to work with. I've come to admire her greatly, so I included a couple of "gifties" for her. The first is a sachet I made using a photo she posted on her blog.
I used the freezer paper transfer method to print the photo of the happy couple onto linen, then backed the sachet with the same linen, and filled it with dried lavender from my own garden.
The final "giftie" is a boutonniere I made for the groom.

I'm charting new territory here in making both the bouquet and the bout, but I had fun doing it. And as I like to say, That's better'n a sharp stick in the eye. (Of course, I'm usually talking about something unpleasant.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Birthday Card Knock-off

I'm new to the card-making scene, but I'm totally loving what little I've done so far. Whenever it's time to send a card--if there's time enough--I start looking through the 'net to find ideas. This one I came up with on Pinterest.
Clever, innit? Mine's a very loose interpretation, partly because I didn't have small clothspins, which would have been difficult to send through the mail anyway, and partly because...well, just because.

Here's mine:
Several things are different. 1) I used the font Andy for the primary wording, and a different font for the word Perfect--can't remember offhand which. 2) I used a colored vintage MOP button. I'm thinking I like the white better, and I certainly have a lot of those, but don't feel like changing it. 3) I used crochet thread for the stitching; next time I'll use regular sewing thread. 4) I drew clothespins, cut them out, as ittie-bittie tiny as they are, and glued them down. 5.) My socks are scrapbook paper, not the cool hand-colored ones of the original, and they're stuck onto the card rather than standing out.

Next one I make--and I will make it again--I'll try to get it more like the original with one exception. I think the wording should be: Friends are like socks. We make the perfect pair.

Still, I think it'll be a pretty nice birthday card for a dear, dear friend.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Recycling--Is it always a good thing?

I just finished a project that makes me wonder if recycling is always the best thing to do.

On my last visit to the thrift store, I picked up a valance obviously intended for a child's room. I have no children, therefore no grandchildren, ergo no need for a child's window valance. But it was cute and marked down--making it a buck fifteen--and who can pass that up when the materials are obviously calling out to be something else? Besides, it had obviously been there a while for the price to be cut in half.

As usual, I forgot to take a before photo so in this shot I tried to give you an idea of how I started. The valance was a length of the background check with four animal patches affixed--a horse at each end and a giraffe and elephant in the middle--with a small print border at the bottom and tabs made of each of the colors of the animals.
As the animals were placed too close together to center onto my tea cozy pattern, I added a grass applique onto each, using the tab fabric. The elephant and giraffe I was able to remove from the valance to use in a later project. (So why didn't I simply remove the horse patches and center them? In removing the elephant I left glue behind and I was afraid I'd mess up my background fabric if I tried it with the horses.)
I used the lining of the valance for the cozy lining, simply quilting it with some batting for insulation.
Excepting the last bit of handwork still to be done, here's a shot of the finished cozy. Not too bad for $1.15,  IMHO.

I still have enough of the background fabric to use as a backing on another tea cozy, still to come, and the elephant and zebra patches. So what do you think? Was recycling a good move here?