Aug 17, 2013

~~ Faux Garage Door Windows ~~

Been rather busy as of late, revamping our garage doors with a new paint job, including faux windows and carriage hinges. Last summer we had our old farmhouse resided, which looks fantastic (the siding fella went far and beyond to fix up this ol' house)!

And since last summer I have been dealing with health issues, including total body inflammation, leaky gut and horribly low white blood count which is apparently the result of a very rare chronic leukemia. So...I have been on the mend, cutting out gluten, taken whole food supplements and starting on methotraxate. And now my blood is normal, yeah! Praise the Lord!!

Now I feel pretty much like my old self and chomping at the bit to get some projects completed. So here is a picture of my current project. The door on the left is the old paint scheme and the door on the left is the new one. I think it has turned out pretty nice and the windows look real from the road. So I am happy.

Now to tackle the second door....

Aug 7, 2011

Cherry Street Art Fest - Watseka IL

Here a few pictures of my booth at The Cherry Street Art Fest on Aug. 6 in Watseka IL. It was so very hot!! I felt melted by 7 am. And although it was very humid and hot, it was a successive day.

After purchasing two new tables, I made the table covers and pennants, painted the baker's rack black & added the curtain backdrop, made the pink front corner draperies, painted the canopy legs with rustoleum, recoated the canopy top with water repellant, made the sign for the front of the canopy (this got ruined in the heat) and lots more.

Here is a full view of my revamped booth with our lovely pickup truck in the back:

A wall full of purses, I have been busy!

A view into the left corner -

Lots of altered domino necklaces & my new floral necklaces -

Just a few of my Cigar Box Purses, these sell well -

The right corner with some more bags & my Scrabble Tile Charms display made from a vintage cigar display -

We came home totally exhausted and drained. But overall, it was a great day with a nice crowd.

Jul 3, 2011

Mannequin Metamorphosis - "Milly"

Okay - I am frugal, cheap or whatever, so instead of spending loads of $$ on a fancy antique mannequin, I thought I would try to gussy up on of the two dressforms I had in my studio.

Currently I am working on revamping my craft fair booth display. My next show - The Cherry Street Art Fest in Watseka IL, is a fine art and crafts show, so I thought my booth really needed a redo.

Milly started out as one of those fabric over plastic, adjustable dressforms, I think from Dritz. This form did not have the large dials for adjustments but those horizontal toothed wheels. Making her as small as possible, the divisions between the body sections needed to be taped for more stability. Out came the very tacky USPS priority shipping tape. (Did I mention I am tape challenged!)

Then I cut numerous strips of newspaper and applied them with Mod Podge in a diagonal pattern. Don't know why I choose diagonal, but it looked interesting.

Wow, I went through numerous bottles of decoupage medium from different manufacturers. Luckily I had a good stash, mostly from garage sales. Here she is all decoupaged, just waiting for my next creative step.

For added strength, I reinforced the inside as best I could with duct tape. Then she was painted with white craft paint over which I painted a mix of pearl white paint, champagne pearl and extra pearl medium.

Light pink paint was dabbed and rubbed on in places, some mica flakes applied here and there and several butterfly and dragonfly stamps in muted beige and rose ink were added. With some Territorial Beige craft paint, I "antiqued" around the neck, arm sockets, and hemline. Then the whole mannequin got a final application of Mod Podge Hard Coat.

Once she was all painted the body sections were more noticeable. They are more so on the back then the front. Adding a organza sash and large flower helped disguise this problem.

Next what to do with the neck area which was white plastic with a pin cushion on top and the super ugly metal stand - I applied some torn pattern tissue paper with decoupage on top of the white plastic and when it was dry I painted it glossy black. The pincushion is unchanged and may be a great way to display some fancy hat pins.

After finally disassembling the metal stand, I was able to take off the hem gauge contraption on the bottom. Put it all back together with the adjustable height gizmo hidden under the body. With a bit of hot glue I wrapped the vertical section with black tulle.

Using scrapbook paper and a Xyron 900 sticker machine, I applied the paper to the three "feet", then coated them with Hard Coat for more durability. The space between the feet and horizontal bar needed a bit more drama, so I added loads of black organza petals and a couple of finished flowers. Although it doesn't show up really well in the photos, it is cute in person.

A bit of pretty ivory trim was glued around the neck area. I didn't want any thing too fancy because she will be used to display necklaces. Then two colors of organza were tied around her waist with a big flower added.

Voila - she's finished!

Now my husband is having issues with Milly's "nakedness" and says he will not be carrying her into any shows. I don't see a problem, but if she seems to be attracting too much of the wrong type of attention, Milly may need to acquire a coverup.

What do you think? Does she need cover or not?

My booth colors are white with black and pink accents and Milly should be a pretty addition.

Jun 26, 2011

Fun Elvis Etsy Treasury by ThirtySixDesign

Great collection of new creations and vintage items -

Jun 18, 2011

My Summer Oasis

This bit of my yard looked so inviting this morning. And although it is not exceedlingly hot today, it did look cool and inviting -

We live in the country and have a large oval shaped gravel driveway. The middle section had 3 large trees at one time, but one died and another was struck by lightning. This Hackberry has filled in the center nicely with its large canopy.

My husband and I built this birdhouse bench about 12 years ago. It has seen numerous long, hot summers. We have had to repaint it and renail it after the wind has tipped it back against the tree too many times.

We have loads of rain this summer, so the hostas are beautiful, very tropical looking. A few years ago I had to dig out loads of gravel from this center and bring in dirt so I could plant the hostas. The hostas lining the path were planted 4 years ago. The others that fill in the center have been there 8 years or so. They originally came from the 3 plants by our front door, two of which are still there.

I spotted this welded metal fairy sculpture at a Christmas craft fair last year. I was also set up at the show and could see this cutie from across the way. I had to go and investigate. It was great and very reasonably priced (really), so I had to acquire it. 
The creator is a tiny woman who had to learn welding for her full time job. She has beautiful designs and I might just have to buy another.

Now I may just have to get myself a cool, refreshing drink and set myself down under that tree!

May 1, 2011

Jen's Chapeaux - Michael Miller Disco Dot Hat

New Hat Venture

I have been inspired to try my hand at hat making again from a lovely friend and great supporter of my bags (my best customer!) who was recently diagnosed with ALL - acute lymphocytic/lymphoblastic leukemia. Through chemo she has lost her beautiful blonde locks and is searching for cute hats to brighten her spirits. She has found that the chemo caps that are so popular are rather slippery and do not stay put very well.

Digging through my pile of patterns I found a couple of cute hats that I thought she would like. She picked out the McCall's 5119 that features a fun bucket style.

Jen is a "pink" kind of girl, so looking through my fabric stash I decided the Michael Miller's Disco Dot would be perfect. The challenge was getting the large dots to line up nicely in the design.
Needless to say, as the hat began to take form, I was overcome with a sense of purpose - to offer cute hats to women that have similar needs to Jen. 

With my oldest son's help (he has a graphic design degree), we came up with a hat label and JEN'S CHAPEAUX was born.

I was able to hand deliver Jen's hat to her, she tried it on at once and it fit perfectly. Since she measured a small size I wasn't sure of the fit at all. And she loves it, yeah!

This fabric is so vibrant. It has been out for a few years but I still love it. The color combinations are great - so cheery.

I have used it for one of my most popular tote bags - always a attention getter at craft fairs.

So now onto other hats, probably another using this fabric. But I have quite a stash and who knows what my come next.

Jan 7, 2010

I Must Admit My Addiction...

Well, okay I am admitting that I am a bibliophile - a lover of books...especially how-to books and cozy mysteries. I am addicted to books....did you think, maybe something else? No, never had an addiction to anything illegal or immoral. I am pretty straight-laced and many probably think I am really boring, but I love books and information, how-to make something, how-to do something.

I keep our small library, which is only 1/2 mile away from my house in the country, pretty busy with inter-library loans. And I must say, the librarians always comment on the cool books that I get. I would get loads more if they were available through the large number of libraries in our system. Many times after getting a book on loan, I'll actually then go buy it. My shelves are unable to hold any more books for fear of collapsing.

Currently my pile of library books include:
- Girligami by Cindy Ng (absolutely adorable book!!)
- Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey (trying to beef up my blogging skills)
- Google Blogger for Dummies
- Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stepanie O'Dea (A Year of Crock Pot recipes)
- A Bit of Velvet & A Dash of Lace (the story behind Magnolia Pearl & Robin Brown)
- In This House by Angela Cartwright & Sarah Fishburn
- Stray Sock Sewing by Daniel (totally fabulous creatures from socks)
- Details by Brian D. Coleman (designing with architectural salvage)
- Altered Paper Jewelry by Jenn Mason
- Art Making by Lynne Perrella
- Creating Your Custom Kitchen by Tina Skinner
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (cookbook challenging politically correct nutrition)
- 4 older issues of Somerset Studio
- Somerset Home

Okay, well that is my current pile of books which I could spend all day reading and not get anything else done. But fortunately, most of these books inspire me to get up and try something new or at least continue on with a current project, of which there are scads!!

Just in the last couple of days I have started a charm bracelet using several scrabble tile charms and loads of different bead combinations; a birthday present for my granddaughter which I decided will have to wait until another time (the directions are way too confusing); several new bag ideas floating around on the cutting table (really neat ideas!); plus figuring out how to improve my blogging style (with the help of two books on my list above).

And in between all that, I continue to slowly get new items listed in my three Etsy shops, tweet a bit, check out what's going on in our UWIB group and of course cook, eat, clean and sleep.

Well, so is the life of a how-to bibliophile. I didn't go into the cozy mysteries I enjoy. That's for another day.

Bye for now,