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.


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