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...


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