Saturday, December 31, 2011

angels and singing

my friend always talks about "angels singing" when she is on track, when everything is falling into place with an idea or decision. this pic is from christmas eve - not sure what these things are called, but it is a must on my holiday table. you light some candles and the heat from the flame makes these brass angels spin around and then bells start dinging. a tradition in my childhood home that has been carried into my adult home.

everyone always talks about resolutions or goals this time of year, but i choose to be more generic because i believe that if you plan too much, you plan yourself into a corner. instead, i only hope we all hear angels singing frequently and loudly in the new year :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

lace and trim

so yes, i am estate sale addicted, but you know that already, don't you? so much so that in the hustle and bustle of christmas countdown, i headed out last thursday to my last sale of the year. it was advertised as a man's estate, so truthfully i wasn't expecting much.

it was pretty picked over by the time i got there, but i did uncover a small manila envelope filled with lace trim. i actually didn't venture into the envelope to see what it contained because the smell was so, so very bad. but at $1, i figured, why not.

when i got home, i soaked the trim in some very hot baking soda water overnight, then ran it through the washer on delicate. this is kind of my made up recipe to get smells out of scrap vintage pieces. obviously, you wouldn't want to soak an entire sheet in hot baking soda water, but for small things, it seems to work pretty well.

then out of the washer came these beauties! i couldn't believe the envelope contained all this. i think they were cut off of old pillowcases because most of the pieces are complete circles. any other idea why there wouldn't be a beginning or end?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

itches and directions

inspiration has struck! i am so happy that i am finally able to say that. since i returned from portland in october, i have had some canvases sitting around the studio just waiting to be decorated. the problem is that they just kept sitting there, unadorned. last week, i had an itch to dive in and i am so happy i did. seriously, i could barely wait for glue to dry in between layers.

i have 4 more of these in the works and really am feeling such a rush of excitement. i know it sounds silly, but this past week, with all the stress of work lifted, i feel like a real artist.

Monday, December 26, 2011

green and goodness

i am always touched when i receive thoughtful gifts from friends. you know, when you can see that someone really, i mean really, knows what you like and puts that knowledge into a gift. i received this as a hostess gift for my ornament exchange from my friend jenni and just love it.

it is a vintage sewing box that is in almost pristine condition and the best part about it is it's kelly green. LOVE!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

joy and wishes

all i wish for you today is JOY in every minute. merry christmas!

love, me

Friday, December 23, 2011

stuffies and fleece

i am currently on holiday from my freelance design work until after the new year and i am loving the time i now have to putter around. the other day, i made a travel neck pillow from this tutorial over on the cottage home. do i travel much? not as much as i would like. do i need a neck pillow? no, not really. but it was so cute, i just had to space out for a few hours and put together this easy peasy pattern. plus, i think i learned a trick for life to avoid lumpy bumpy stuffie stuffing. want to know what it is???

add a layer of fusible fleece to the back of your outer fabric before you sew parts together and stuff. this tutorial didn't call for fleece fusible, just regular, but it was all i had in the house. it gave my piece such a smooth finished look, i am hooked!

what online tutorials have you been hooked on? i have 2 more weeks of this freedom and am all ears for more ways to spend my time.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

boxes and gifts

a new addition to my house is this beautiful long wooden box. my talented brother made it and i gladly scooped it up when i was in pittsburgh over thanksgiving. the addition of christmas greenery and ornaments puts a smile on my face every time i walk by.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

parties and pics

the sunday on the same weekend as my ornament exchange party, i joined in a little craft holiday showcase with jenni and joy. we set up at jenni's house from 1-4 and welcomed customers from all over atlanta (and a few from out of state!)

if you want to see more pics, head on over to jenni's blog. i completely spaced and took multiple pics with my camera on the wrong setting. i had 31 blurry, horribly lit pics and then the 32nd was this gem above. this necklace is part of joy's new crochet/chain collection and is just so beautiful. i am in awe of her tiny and precise crocheting.

now the only question i have for you is why do my eyes droop in photos??? seriously, this has been happening for over a year now and i am so sick of it. is there a trick out there in the universe to fix droopy eye pics. you know, like how you are supposed to touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth to avoid a double chin? any advice would be a true christmas gift to your truly :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

balls and blemishes

so here a pic of the vintage ornament wreath i made. good and bad...

it is currently hanging in my hall bath which is painted green, so excuse the crazy bkgd color. so, instructions for these wreaths are everywhere and really, not very helpful. i started out shaping a wire hanger into a circle and stringing the ornaments onto it. such a bad, bad, bad idea. a wire hanger is simply too flimsy to make a wreath comprised of breakable objects. but, like a crazy person i kept moving on because i thought if i hot glued ornaments in the empty spaces that it would make a very strong finished piece. wrong again. not sure if it was because the ornaments are vintage, but hot glue and these beauties did not go together. after they released themselves from the glue, i was left with a lot of blemished beauties that you can see in the pic above.

i then went to the craft store and bought a 3-wire wreath frame. i attached the ornaments to it by taking off the tree hanger, pushing it through the back of the frame and then gluing the hanger back on to the top of the ornament. this was a bit cumbersome at times, but in the end, i think it worked pretty well. the only problem i have now is that you can see the frame through the ornament spaces. next year, i might add some greenery into the holes.

so as i said, good and bad. i'm glad i did it and it's definitely one of a kind :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

wishes and white

has this month flown by for everyone??? last weekend (a week ago) was so hectic and i knew once i made it through, i would be able to relax and enjoy the holidays.

i hosted my annual ornament exchange party last friday. i usually keep it to around 6 people, but this year, i had one too many drinks at one too many parties and somehow i ended up with 15 girls on the invite list. haha - the more the merrier! the final headcount was 12 people who had to make 12 ornaments to share. we had a wide range of creations and i LOVE every one of them. they all have center stage on my tree this year!

i went all out for this party because i am hoping to submit it for a magazine article. well, that is after i go through the 200+ photos i took. so i won't be showing you all the details, yet, but i did want to show you the ornament i made.

yarn wrapped wreaths have been all over blogs this year and i wanted to celebrate that in mini form. it's a bit hard to see in the photo, but the a white dove is sitting on a yarn nest and a sprig of greenery. i love. love. love them!

and as usual, one of these will go into the ornament boxes i keep tucked away for the munchkins to receive when they grow up and get a house of their own. it's my favorite holiday tradition hands down.

Friday, December 9, 2011

glow and lights

this christmas, i am all about vintage - i can't get enough of it. i bought one of these ceramic tabletop trees at an estate sale last year on the request of a friend. i never paid them much attention, but now that i want one, i couldn't seem to find one at any sale.

imagine my surprise when i walked into my moms basement, looked to my right and saw one sitting on a shelf just waiting for me. it used to be my aunts which made the find even more special.

it is currently sitting on my desk where i can enjoy the vintage glow while i work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

fun and glitter

my brother loaded me up with these tiny plastic containers because he thought i might be able to store some supplies in them. during my 11 hour car ride back from thanksgiving, i thought up another idea. snow globes!

the munchkins rooms are filled with tiny trinkets from quarter machines at the grocery stores, not to mention all the christmas miniatures i have in my craft drawers. this was a quick and easy 3 step project to do with them and they were so excited.

1. hot glue trinket to lid of container
2. fill the container with baby oil and a small amount of glitter
3. screw lid tightly onto the container.

then you shake, shake, shake :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

ornaments and age

over the past year, i have been collecting vintage ornaments from estate sales. and by collecting, i mean 2 HUGE bins of ornaments. one sale, i brought the bin of about 70 ornaments up to check out and one woman behind the table said to the other woman "see - i told you they would sell!!! and you wanted to throw them in the trash!" just cracked me up. true, some people think vintage ornaments are old and stained, but the cracks and discoloring are what i love.

when i got back from traveling to pittsburgh for thanksgiving, i promptly opened the bins and started spreading these lovelies throughout the house. i also attempted to make an ornament wreath which i am here to say is not fun - not at all! but that's a whole other post.

Friday, December 2, 2011

christmas and clutter

munchkin #1 is having a sleepover for his birthday tonight and munchkin #2 is going to the movies which means that i am going to tackle this mess! lucky me, right? actually, this is just a very small portion of the holiday clutter waiting to be used. time consuming, but i LOVE the look of christmas throughout the house, don't you?

what i am most excited about is turning these paper doilies into a snowy winter wonderland. more pics to come...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

sheets and memories

a reason i love vintage sheets, besides their undeniable softness, is the memories that are attached to them. i can see a sheet from my childhood and instantly be taken back to the age i was when i slept on them. holly hobby will remain my favorite pattern, and after that, it would be the black and white cats with red sneakers? anyone else have those? i had completely forgotten about them until i spied them in the back corner of a closet at a recent estate sale. i might have to buy some the next time i see them - i think my boys would love the pattern!

i have a friend who is due with her first child any day now. the last time i saw her, she had just returned from cleaning out her late grandmothers house and had bags full of rescued sheets. she had her heart set on a baby quilt made from the sheets that held so many memories for her and i was all too happy to oblige. for her shower, i made a quilt comprised of fabric diamonds to showcase a lot of each pattern and as a surprise, i also made another sweet elephant out of a vintage tablecloth found in the stash. the elephants might have to be a baby shower staple for me since they are just so darn adorable - remember this one from last year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

ornaments and wishes

with thanksgiving behind us, i can now saw that i have officially begun my christmas ornament making. actually, i started in early october, but thought that would have been a tad premature to announce :)

do you make your own ornaments each christmas - what have your favorite ones been?

Friday, November 25, 2011

columns and quizzical looks

have i ever mentioned that i live in a pretty conservative, not so artsy suburban neighborhood? well, i do. i always have some crazy idea of how i want to do some sort of home improvement and i usually get met with strange looks. we desperately needed a new deck, in fact, have needed one for the 5 years we have lived here. we found a lovely contractor and i showed him my sketch of what i wanted for the deck which included securing 2 vintage house columns into the front corners of the deck. he said not a problem, and even though it was a bit of a challenge for him, it ended up exactly as i imagined. my husband and some friends however, are a bit more skeptical.

but seriously, i jsut lvoe them. the deck eneds to be stained when the wood is ready and i am thinking a dark brown stain for the flooring and stairs and then a whitewash stain for the vertical parts of the railing to tie in the columns. then, i am going to screw in 3 hanging plant brackets around the top of each column for flower pots. and finally, i plan on stringing large globe twinkle lights to the tops of the columns which will travel back to the exterior wall of the house. can you see my vision, do you think i am crazy? well, maybe don't answer that ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

calm and quiet

the beauty of the turning leaves has not been lost on me this year. i keep finding myself being distracted by the beautiful colors that are surrounding me. most of us have so little time in our lives for calm and quiet, that i really welcoming this break in my day. my munchkins are off school this week, so i think i am going to take this chance to spend as much time with them as i can by simply getting lost in the beauty of the holiday season.

Friday, November 18, 2011

sprucing and cleaning

i have some blog/website updating on the way and was checking to see if you all have any suggestions of things you wish i offered or organization you would like to see?

my tutorials keep growing and growing, so i am going to dedicate an entire page to them. the new section will be called "make-its" and will include everything that you see in the current left hand tutorial column. other than this addition, it will be a lot of sprucing up and cleaning out. nothing like spring cleaning in the winter, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ceilings and tables

can you see this cool table lamp? it is created from a vintage ceiling fixture - genius! i actually have a fixture like this packed away in my attic waiting for the perfect project and i think i found it. i'm sure it won't surprise you that i will be spray painting mine to update it and probably covering the plastic protectors with fabric (a cool trick i just heard about). stay tuned for pictures!

Monday, November 14, 2011

metal and hoops

i have decided that i am obsessed with the look of these vintage metal embroidery hoops. i love how they look with my vintage hanky hoops and i can't stop stockpiling them. the problem is they are pretty hard to come by. lots of people sell them on etsy or ebay, but typically they are bundled with wooden hoops which i am not interested in. i have bought some off of ebay, but have been outbid more times than i have won.

is it strange to ask you, my thrifting blog readers to keep your eyes out for me? i'm willing to pay a finders fee and shipping if you happen to come across any for sale under $2.


Friday, November 11, 2011

an advent and a tutorial

my latest may arts tutorial is for a christmas advent calendar. this idea actually came from something similar that my mom made for us when we were younger, although mine always included butterscotch candies because i was a picky eater ;)

click here to create an heirloom piece that you can use year after year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

confessions and label reading

while i was working in the oilcloth addict booth a few weeks ago, kirsten and i were talking about crafting. she was selling these sweet headbands that included flowers like the ones in the photo above and i asked her how she does it without burning her fingers. these have been floating around the internet for a while now and i know they shouldn't be super hard to make, but after 2, i was done. or i should say, my fingers were done as in burned to a crisp. all i wondered was "is everyone enduring this pain???"

she then asked me very sweetly if i was using a lo-temp glue gun. a what? this is so embarrassing to say, but i am not much of a package reader. when they stopped selling the oval glue gun sticks that were needed for my college glue gun, i went to the store and picked up another one.

the large navy glue gun on the left is the one i picked. i remember reasoning that i should have a heavy duty as it would be better and last me many more years. i just thought that the larger ones were for more serious crafters - not for hotter glue. haha!

so the other day, i went to the craft store, and sure enough, lo-temp glue guns really exist. seriously, what rock have i been living under? i have been laughing about my stupidity for a few weeks now. i put the small aqua gun to work and no burned fingers, that's all it took.

now i just have to find the time to go back to the store to return the package of glow in the dark glue sticks i bought by mistake because i didn't read the package well enough :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

cards and supplies

i swear all i can do lately is buy art supplies. i find all these amazing pieces of paper, new fabric patterns, cool trinkets, and i am buying, buying, buying. how beautiful is this victorian calling card??? i want to add it into a canvas college to compliment one of my modern floral photographs. the copy reads "accept my unchanging love"  - don't you wish sentiments like this were still uttered?

but, the problem with all this buying is that i am not making. i have grand plans for so many things, but never find the time to make. i know we all go through ups and downs with our creativity, and i am thinking this fall is one of my downs. i have a few weeks coming up throughout the holidays where there will be no graphic design work scheduled, so you can bet i will be in the studio making and wading through my piles of new "stuff".

entries and a winner

it's that time! time to announce the "sewing with oilcloth" book winner...

through the randomness of the internet, the winner is...

PATTI! who said "This sounds like a fun book! LOVE the vintage look of the oilcloth. The colors are so vivid, plus it just hearkens back to the pre-vinyl good old days!:)" - i couldn't agree more.

patti, send me your email address and i will send this book out pronto!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

silks and flowers

with halloween and costume making behind me, i finally found time to actually look at what i bought at the country living fair. any guess what these lovelies are? they are about the size of a business card and the flowers are printed onto silk. still don't know - well, neither did i.

i spent a lot of time picking out the flowers i liked and was thinking i could use them in some collage pieces. they were priced at $1.75 a piece, but i got them down to 4 for $5, or i should say my friend joy did since i am a wimp with price negotiations. i know exactly what i want to pay for things, but i don't like asking:) anyway, when i paid for them, the booth owner let me know that they were called "cigarette silks". she said that around the turn of the century, these printed silks were included in cigar packages. wives and daughters would then take these silks and use them as embellishments to their sewn pillows or quilts. how cool is that???

after a quick etsy search, it turns out these images are quite collectible. they come in all types of subject matter, even some that are pretty risqué, especially for the time period. i also found out that $1.25 each was not a bad price to pay at all. score for me!

thanksgiving and a tutorial

i am so excited to show you my latest project for leaf and ribbon place cards. with halloween behind us, i think it is the perfect time for a thanksgiving tutorial ;)
it's no secret that I love to decorate and i especially love to decorate my table for holidays. i am not much of a cook, so at least one thing that day is pretty, right? i want my thanksgiving guests to feel special, so i decided to create personalized placecards that they can take home as a small gift or even use as an ornament on their christmas tree. due to drying times, this project is spread out over a few days, but it is so worth it in the end when you see the shimmering leaves paired with beautiful may arts ribbon.
i am also thinking about making some leaves, stamping them with words like; joy, hope, love, and painting them gold for christmas tree decorations. 

click here to be introduced to some projects you might not have used before and learn how to make this place setting.

Monday, October 31, 2011

tricks and treats

happy halloween to you! the past week has been filled with halloween decorating and costume making. i am currently a mother to an airforce pilot and a smurf, one costume bought and one made. i am trying to hold on to their innocence as long as i can, so no blood and guts from this address, yet :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

a little green and a little yellow

can you see it? can you see the yellow starting to emerge? three lemons have been growing on my lemon tree for close to 6 months and they are just starting to turn yellow. i was beginning to wonder if i was sent a lime tree instead. haha!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

oilcloth and a giveaway

through the small world of blogs and twitter, i was asked by the wonderful kelly mccants of oilcloth addict to help out in her country living fair booth. well, she didn't have to ask me twice! plus, the icing on the cake was when she said i could sell my aprons and hoop art in her booth. i said it to my friends all day long, and i will say it here - kelly is truly one of the most generous people i have ever met. the opportunity she gave me to be a part of this festival means more than she knows.

me (on left) and kelly braving the cold morning temps
so, i spent saturday cutting and rolling oilcloth for the thousands of people who came through the gates - um, can you say workout. seriously, i never knew that rolling oilcloth would make me break a sweat! i worked with 5 great women all day saturday and met so many fun people coming through the booth. i hope all of your oilcloth projects turn out beautifully!!!

did i mention that kelly was generous? she sent me home with a signed copy of her new book "sewing with oilcloth" from wiley publishing as a giveaway for one of my blog readers. just leave a comment here letting me know what you love about oilcloth. that's it! the giveaway will run for a week and a half, ending on sunday, november 6th. i will announce the winner on monday, november 7th. *be sure to leave an email or blog link so i can contact you if you are the winner!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

country living and a fair

did you know the country living fair came to atlanta this past weekend??? i definitely did and i made sure i arrived bright and early on friday to shop. but first i had to get my picture taken in front of the pumpkin patch before the area got too crowded.

there was so much eye candy, i didn't know where to start first. however, we did know one thing since we remembered the crowds last year, we decided to start at the end and work our way to the front.

this double shabby chic booth was amazing! (i grabbed a card, but no website listed :( if you know it, shoot me an email). it was done out in white and cream sheets and lots of vintage goodies. the styling was impeccable.

i rounded a corner and the skys parted when i came across a booth entirely of buttons. seriously, every kind of button and price point you could imagine. the woman who runs this booth also sets up shop at the new lakewood antiques north of the city.

vintage notions were available everywhere. i especially love this vignette because it gives me an idea of ribbon storage i can build.

the sisters on the fly girls were also there with two of their beautifully redone campers. isn't the custom painting amazing???

this is the inside of one of the campers. i just want to crawl inside and take a nap. actually it really makes me want to scour the internet for a camper of my own to redo and park in my back yard as a little retreat.

this was a sweet decoration that twiststyle added to a tree outside of her booth. genius way to attract customers as they round the corner.

i think i walked and shopped for 9 hours straight with 3 trips out to the car to deposit goodies. overall, i thought the fair was so much fun. i did wish that there was more individual art and less wholesale products represented, but still a great day.

check back tomorrow to see how i helped out at the fair on saturday, along with a giveaway you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

labels and country living

i've been sewing up a flurry of aprons this past week. i shouldn't say this, but sometimes i get so burnt out on making them, the redundancy of it all, so there is a long time in between batches. but once i get going again, i love mixing together crazy patterns and seeing all the colorful fabric laying around my studio. the best part about this batch? they are the first ones that include my woven business label. i get very giddy over the professionalism of it all!!!


they will be for sale at the atlanta country living fair this weekend at stone mountain along with my hoop art! i will be helping out the lovely kelly mccants in her "modern june" booth and she has graciously offered to sell my creations alongside of hers. i will be there all day long on saturday cutting up a storm of oilcloth and laminated cotton fabrics. and, who am i kidding, probably buying some as well. if you are in the atlanta area, swing by and say hello!


did you know that kelly is the author of this new book? she is going to be doing a signing at whipstitch fabrics tonight if you can't wait for the weekend and want to swing by and pick up your very own copy :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

goals and dreams, a recap

about a year and a half ago, i posted about my goals and dreams for linwood avenue. i thought it would be a good thing to revisit them to see where i stand. i try to be a very motivated person, and to actually put one foot in front of the other when i put my mind to something. looking back over the list lets me know where i have made strides and where i need to devote more time. so here goes...

small goals:
  • be published in a national magazine by the end of the year  - yay for artful blogging!
  • create a calendar with my botanical drawings and find a publisher for it. month to month in flowers, but with a modern, youthful twist - 6 more months to draw
  • purchase linwood avenue embroidered labels for my products regardless of cost - loving these!
  • become a much better product photographer - photos aren't yet where i want them to be, but i'm getting there.
  • keep my etsy shop update regularly - working on this
  • save money to attend an art retreat - art and soul portland

big goals:
  • enter the world of licensing. would love to design and reproduce vintage inspired lamps
  • expand linwood avenue so it overshadows my graphic design business - not yet, but it is about half/half right now which is great!

blog goals:

  • have my blog become a place of creative inspiration for readers  - i think adding more tutorials has helped this.
  • build my blog followers - thank you once again artful bloggging!
  • have a larger tutorial section - my partnership with may arts has contributed greatly to this section. 

that's it for now. i feel good about what i have accomplished and some of the items are almost there. overall, i really, really need to devote more time to etsy because i think that will overflow into some of the other goals. and i really want to finish the botanical calendar because i think i will feel such a sense of accomplishment after it is done. don't you love how freely you can breath after you have finished something that has been hanging around for a long time?

Friday, October 14, 2011

blooms and rain

this is the piece i was holding in my post about the classes i took at art and soul. it was the first one i created in class that day and i am really so proud of it. it is sitting on the bookshelf which hangs above my desk and i can't stop peeking at it. it makes me happy, pure and simple :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

more estates and sales

this has not been a good week so far. nope, not at all. i came down with an awful cold on friday and it has lasted clear through today with a minor trip to the ER on monday (don't worry mom, i'm alright). good news is i am on the upswing thanks to some great drugs that may or may not have been injected into my backside :)

so for today's post, you get to see some of my latest finds because, well, that is about all i can muster right now.

you all know my love for milk glass, specifically fenton, right? well, when i was in portland, we stopped at a random parking lot sale that was in the process of closing. i walked up and down a few aisles and then darted to this lovely platter. i knew it was fenton right away, but had to conceal my utter delight. i asked the guy how much it was, he went and asked his dad, and came back with $4. what? did you say $4??? let's just say i whipped my cash out as fast as i could and immediately walked away with a treasure in my hand.

this next piece i found at an estate sale near my house last week. estate sale is a bit of an understatement. it was actually a sale in a warehouse that included 9 full estates. can you say huge and overwhelming! anyway, after i pushed through my last aisle, i came across this vintage seltzer bottle. let me just say that i have been looking at these forever! with this one, the $10 price tag and the beautiful blue color sold me in an instant.

for a while i couldn't figure out if it was actually old or just a reproduction. once i got it home, i could see it a bit more clearly and realized that the straw inside is glass, so that means it is old/original, right? chime in if you know anything about seltzer bottles. i love it no matter what, so even if you tell me it is a reproduction, i won't be sad.

so, those are the treasures that have come into my home lately. i am getting very addicted and can't stop bringing things home. all i keep thinking about is how to stop my house from becoming an episode on hoarders???


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