Sunday, February 28, 2010

parts and pieces

thanks to some great shopping excursions, i now have a ton of new parts to turn into beautiful lamps. i plan to sit on the floor of my office all day piecing together new combinations. these are the days i love!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

thrifting and some light

so i have a confession to make - i am mildly obsessed with the show american pickers on the history channel. yes, they are a bit goofy at times, but i love that they get to see what is inside random barns on the roadside. all to often, i have driven on a country road and seen a yard loaded with junk and i just wish i could spend the day scouring their acreage. my dream for a long time has been to buy a country house from a little old lady who leaves me her entire attic packed with "junk".

last week, the show had a little segment on old lanterns which is kind of funny since i have been longing for one myself. when i went junkin on monday, i found this lantern for $6! the name embossed on it is "little wizard" and it will make a great decorating item. the wires around the globe are a bit bent up and i don't think it is very old at all, but i love it. now the question remains whether my munckin will confiscate it for his room or if i will keep it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

botanical class farewell and a tiger lily

i said i wasn't going to post it, but i worked on the tiger lilies some more (that's what they are, right?) and well, here you go. our last class was yesterday and surprisingly, during our final critique, the class members said this one was their favorite of mine. still not too sure myself, but i do like the vibrancy of the yellow and orange.

i can't wait til my garden starts blooming and i can draw some hydrangeas. it will be nice to give my blue pencils some love for a change!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

bookmarks and a good read

i have been on a bookmark making binge these past few weeks. bookmarks are a perfect small gift and are a great use for all your left over odds and ends. when i was in college, i made them all the time. the materials of my bookmarks have ranged from metal, to paper, to fabric and now i have settled on felt. last year, i went to a warehouse sale (lucky me that they are based in atlanta) and i found yards and yards of this great army green felt. i think i bought 5 yards for about $3 or something ridiculous like that. it knew it would be the perfect background for a ton of projects, so i couldn't pass it up.

festival season is gearing up and i plan on having a bunch of these for sale. trees, flowers, apples, owls, birds and whatever else i can think up!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

a hard day and a smile

this was found while junking with my friends at "my favorite place" in atlanta this past week. seriously, that is what the store is called. if you live in the area, you must check it out! my friend jessica picked it up, but was debating about buying it, so i said i would buy it for her as a birthday gift. the text reads "be nice to me, i've had a hard day". isn't she so endearing?

the stitching on the front is flawless. i took it out of it's frame to clean it and the back is equally flawless, not a stray thread or knot to be seen. growing up, i had it drilled into my head that embroidery needed to be an almost exact replica on the back and to be very, very neat. sometimes it is really hard to do! anyway, whenever i see custom artwork like this at thrift stores, i have to wonder how it ended up there. i think about how long it takes to do embroidery work and then someone simply tosses it aside or it gets abandoned in a move. shameful ;)

maybe i will make it my personal mission to rescue every cast off piece of embroidery i find!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

springtime and a spruce up

with all this warm weather, i am definitely having spring fever. this mirror hangs over my sewing table and used to sport a dark green hanging bow. it was ok, but was a hold over from the days when my office was our formal living room.

with a thrifted pillowcase, i started sewing. i have a fondness for second hand sheets because they are so, so very soft and pliable. 6 inches folded in half with a .5 inch seam means i ended up with a 2.5 inch wide scarf. while sewing, i tapered the ends so they ended in a point. the mirror is actually hung with wire hidden behind it, so any visible hanger i use is merely for show. i threaded the new scarf through the back of the mirror and then tied a knot on top of the vintage wood finial.

that's it, spring has arrived!

Monday, February 22, 2010

a new year and new possiblities

so far, this year has been really good to me. for some reason, i have a new spring in my step and a drive to take my business farther. i have found a new creative outlet which i love and am pushing myself to strive for things that i never would have before.

everyone does it, you have a wish list of things you want to accomplish in your life, goals you want to achieve, but for some reason, something holds you back. you never actually put one foot in front of the other to get to the finish line. 2010 is my year to get things in motion. if i don't try, i will never know. this is why i am applying for things i never thought i would and i am putting myself and my business out there in every aspect.

can't wait to see what becomes of my dreams!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

colored pencils and a budget

ok, so i splurged. i bought the whopping 120 set of prismacolors which are not too cheap i might add. we have been buckling down our budget for a while now, so i was feeling a bit guilty. but to quote my husband "these are the things you should be spending money on". is he trying to say that art supplies are more important than my new boots or bag???

anyway, they are lovely and helped me out so much with my tulip drawing. yes, technically you only need a few colors on the spectrum to make any color you want. but i must say that technically, it is so much easier when they are already "mixed" for you.

the pencil case came from cheap joes and is so much better than keeping them in the original tin. it has 2 sleeves, so all 120 fit and it zips up really tight. perfect for traveling.

Friday, February 19, 2010

botanical class and a tulip

ok, so i said i would post the good and the bad, but last week was really bad. i drew a tiger lily on a large sheet of paper since my instructor thought i should go bigger. i hated how it turned out, and lucky for me, the page was too large to put in my scanner. this drawing was difficult for 2 reasons. 1. my pencil marks are not refined enough for a large sketch and 2. going larger means it takes more time to complete. but, unfortunately, you don't have a ton of time with cut flowers because they change their shape and die all too quickly. at least 30% was drawn from my memory which turned out to not be working at it's full potential. the best part about not being graded by my teacher is that i don't have to listen to everything she says. which leads me to...

my tulip, and i am in love! the sheen on the tulip and the brightness of the green leaves really came out in this drawing. i think i have a very defined style going on here - you could say i am becoming a flower portrait artist :) i really like working small, i always have in all areas of my creativity, and i like what i am producing. sometimes i think it is ok to perfect one style before you move on to another. right???

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

blanket and a baby

my friend stephanie lives in chicago and is having her first baby. she has very modern tastes and i knew that she would have a hard time finding cute items for her baby boy. she is pulling photos from her safari honeymoon to decorate the nursery with and once i saw this chartreuse animal print fabric, i knew i had to make her a blanket. the blanket is backed with white chenille and trimmed with a black and white polka dot. i am still new at quilting and quite intimidated, but this was really easy. i quilted on the chenille side and simply followed the lines of the fabric.

many of my friends think binding is scary, but it is not at all. i folded 3 inch strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and sewed the open ends onto the animal print side. then i folded the binding over and slip stitched it to the chenille side. do this 4 times around the quilt and you are finished!

road trips and a dead end

sunday, we headed to the smokey mountains for a little bit of family fun. we had activities planned for the munchkins and antiquing planned for me. unfortunately, not everything works out as planned. i came down with a cold, and the stores were not fruitful for me... ugh! there were amazing finds to be had, but everything was sooo expensive. definitely a tourist trap.

luckily i did walk away with 2 lamps that i can salvage for parts. sadly what i had to leave behind was this piggy bank. he was at least 2 feet long and would have saved tons of pennies. something drew me to him right away, i loved him, just not the price tag. $24 and he didn't even have his plastic stopper. crazy, huh?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

valentine and a vacation

i bought these vintage metal letters for my husband this valentine's day. well, maybe i bought them for me too! this etsy shop has a ton of letters for sale, either as words or single initials. in honor of this sappy holiday, here is a list of small things that i love...

1. snow
2. valentine's day (the movie). we just saw it and it was really good. anne hathaway is hilarious!
3. spending an entire day with just my husband
4. road trips

we are packing up the whole family and heading to tennessee and then stopping in asheville before making our way home. i'll be back on thursday, hopefully armed with funny anecdotes and some great treasures from mountain junking!

have a great holiday with your loved ones :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

and snow it did

this is crazy! while i realize that most of the country has been dumped on heavily this month, this much snow in atlanta is very rare. it hasn't let up since 2:00 and is absolutely beautiful, heavy, packing snow. we took a walk down to the lake by our house and the munchkins had so much fun.

munckin #1 is intent on building and preserving in our freezer as many snowballs that he can.

munchkin #2 is happy to jump in as many slushy puddles as he can.

tons of ducks were out swimming around - should have thought to bring some bread to warm their tummies.

even a snow storm can't stop the golf carts!

a snow day and no snow?

what a strange day it has been. last night we got the call that school was canceled. the forecast for georgia was only 1-3 inches. as a girl who grew up in pittsburgh, the insanity of canceling school was once again puzzling to me. no valentine's day parties for the munchkins and no work to be accomplished by me!

we woke up in the morning and guess what - no snow. 10 o'clock came and no snow. 12:00 came and no snow. eventually at 2:15 (5 minutes before school would have let out) it started to snow. and it hasn't stopped, it really is coming down in sheets. my mind is already making a check list of the hibernating we will do tonight as a family while the outside world is turning white. movie, fire and popcorn - perfect. my absolute favorite thing about the snow is how bright the world looks in the middle of the night. the quite calm of my glowing front yard is what i am looking forward to the most.

and the fact that grandma is taking the munchkins all day tomorrow doesn't hurt my mood either :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ugly and yet somehow pretty?

i went to the 2 huge thrift stores in riverdale today and found some great stuff. festival season is about to start up again and i am concentrating my efforts on find good booth staging items. i believe that the props you use in your 10 x 10 tent is as important as the items for sale. i want to give the impression of a mini store instead of having a few things sitting on a table. my original fabric table covers shrunk considerably when i had to wash them after a particularly rainy festival - sorry mom! luckily, i found vintage curtains that have a crocheted border trim which match my business cards exactly. some plain white sheets will lay over the table first with the curtains on top. i hope the look will be unique, memorable and sweet all at the same time. i also found a hutch/headboard type of thing which will house my lamps. hopefully getting them off of the table top and showcasing them at different eye levels will make them more noticeable.

i couldn't resist buying this lamp for $1. the glass globe's interior is painted with a color similar to orange sherbet. i will throw away the gross cord and fittings and pair the orange globe with some crystal pieces. can't wait to see how it turns out.

oh, and munchkin #1 thinks the pattern on the glass looks like pieces of ham:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

give and take

sometimes in life, you come across relationships that just click. especially relationships where trading work for payment is lucrative for both people! i recently put on my advertising/graphic design hat in order to help out a friend with some brainstorming. in return, i was delightfully surprised by this amazing encaustic. it really is the most beautiful piece of original artwork i own (and i own a lot :) i think i am mostly drawn to it because this medium is entirely new to me. the translucency you get through the layers of the wax gives it a depth you just don't get with regular paints. jenni horne created this and you just have to go to her site to see her many other artistic endeavors.

Monday, February 8, 2010

and some valentine love

sorry for the photo repeat, but my little tutorial is on sew mama sew today. i am like a little kid at christmas when i get mentioned elsewhere! check out all the great valentine inspired tutorials, especially the fabric valentine wreath - i might need to make one of these :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

botanical class and a camellia

camellias were the flower of choice for class this week. i brought a branch from my house, but the frost had pretty much killed any of the blooms, so i swiped one from a class mate. her camellia had the most amazing soft pink blooms that were unaffected from the cold.

i am working on blending my colors more and really looking at the shapes of the flower and trying to draw from what i see instead of what i think i see. this is always the tricky part for an artist. your brain is wired to overlook certain shapes. kind of how we can look at a misspelled word, but still know exactly what the word is. i tend to sketch the flower in pencil and then not refer back to it when i am adding color. tsk! tsk!

once i scanned this one in, i applied a photoshop filter to make it look more like a painting. i love the look of digitally altering my images slightly. i have thoughts of a 12 month floral calender swimming around in my head. a modern reference to the old flower prints that you find at yard sales. the ones where the month is in a plaque at the bottom of the print with a list of all the flowers included.

Friday, February 5, 2010

a new site and tons of creativity

i have been on a blog hunt these past few days. looking for some new inspiration about some new interests. yesterday, i came upon this site and was so excited by it. craftig is a simple site dedicated to online tutorials and craft projects. i just posted a link for my valentine's tutorial and it couldn't have been easier. i have already found more projects than i can count on both hands that i want to tackle.

Monday, February 1, 2010

sewing and a petty annoyance

is replacing bobbin thread half way through a project annoying to anyone else besides me? there i am, sewing away and the next thing i realize is i have sewn close to 3 feet with no bobbin thread. can there be an alarm built in to signify an empty spool or a running low light - or better yet, why can't we just sew with 2 spools of thread? does this option even exist in affordable machines? i would gladly splurge for an extra spool of thread if it meant not having to stop midway through a project to wind a bobbin.

if anyone has the scoop on bobbin-less machines, can you leave a comment - pretty please?


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