Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Embroidery, free stitching, punch needle...you name it I am going to try it.
I have had a long love affair with fabric and needle work, really anything that has a soft texture to it and is decorative in nature.
My grandmother (Grama Corky) was an amazing artist when it came to needle work. Being a young women in the depression and raising 11 children, she knew how to be thrifty and yet create something amazingly beautiful.
Her best talents were cross stitch and standard embroidery. There was not a thing in her home that wasn't embellished. Pillowcases, tablecloths, hankies and aprons all got something to make them a little more special.
As time passed on she racked up numerous grandchildren who put her skills to the test. I remember in the 70's a couple of the boys asked if she would embroider their jean jackets. Now the one I remember the most was for my cousin Kevin who was a huge Grateful Dead fan. She embroidered this on the back of his jacket and it was just an amazing feat of tenacity. All those thousands of stitches, each done with love.
I am blessed to have some of her tablecloths and pillow cases. I framed these pillow cases and have always had them up as a reminder of how much I loved everything about her.
We always say inspiration comes from many different places and for this project it could not be more appropriate. My mom had given me a pillow case she found that my Grama had embroidered and it reminded me that I purchased this book "Doodle Stitching" by Aimee Ray.
The projects and designs are just so delicate and sweet that I couldn't resist buying the book even though I had never tried needle work at all. Reading through the pages and looking around my house I found that I have recently been purchasing lots of embroidered items. So it seemed and obvious sign that I really need to try my hand at something new.
I purchased all the products I need and now all I need to do is start. Today seems like a perfect day to do just that, it is cloudy out, we are without a car and it is just that crafting kind of day. (FINALLY, I HAVE BEEN LACKING IN THE CREATIVE FRONT LATELY)
For more inspiration I was on Etsy to see what was new and how others were using their skills. I am personally drawn to the "doodling" and punch stitching as they seem to have a homier appeal to them.
For the Record
So I am off to my craft room and my children are going to have to live without me for a little while...that's OK isn't it? As always I promise to report back on my progress...besides I better get busy on the two "swaps" I have signed up for through the Silver Bella! Yikes....
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I received a note today from Xanna's Jewelry Box that she created a treasury of "ONE LUMP OR TWO" on Etsy.
Low and behold she used one of my Tea Time Place Settings along with other unique and creative "Tea Time" accessories.
Thank you Xanna, it was very kind of you to think of me!
I must say once again, I am always in awe of what Etsy Artists produce and sell. It is a treasure trove of fun.
Since I missed the Sandwich Antiques Market this morning, I think I am going to do a little shopping on line, I really need my shopping fix.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Jeanne, who I can now call friend, is hosting a giveaway for her
1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of her entry into blog land.
She is an amazingly talented, stylish, creative, sincerely wonderful person. Her blog was one of the reasons I began blogging and continue to search out what it is I truly want from life.
Life has a funny way of putting people in your life and it becomes even more amazing when you use that blessing to make life richer.
Congratulations Jeanne...you deserve every bit of happines and success!
Monday, July 20, 2009
...I always like to spy some new favorite shopping destinations.
While on vacation in Wisconsin I attended the Princeton Flea Market. It is touted as "WISCONSIN'S LARGEST WEEKLY OUTDOOR MARKET" and I was amazed at how many people actually turned out on the 4th of July.
Personally, I purchased a rectangular basket for carrying items from our kitchen to the beach and a berry picking pail to hold napkins and such. It's a great market with something for everyone whether you love antiques or just like "stuff" for cheap.
My favorite find of the day was just outside the flea market right on HWY 23. The owner of this treasure is Bonnie Mac Lagen and she named her shop Johnny Crow's after the children's book Johnny Crow's Garden.
Her house has the perfect set up for a home based business. The main house has the front door facing the side street, while her garage turned antique shop faces HWY 23. The house and shop are painted a soft, inviting yellow and the black awning over the shops front door definately captures your attention.
We headed inside and found a treasure trove of antiques and memorabilia. The first thing you see as you enter is an antique sleigh.
Now the picture I took of this sleigh does not do it justice but, it is something that would take my Christmas decorating to a whole new level. The only problem I see...where do you store something like this if you don't own a barn?
There was everything from great framed works of art to furniture and all sorts of memorabilia.
As you weave your way through the store, you are directed to a magical garden outside, complete with the "Crow's Nest".
Here I found some great architectural salvage like these copper gutters. Oh the things I could do???? Just how do I fit them into an overstuffed minivan? This may require a second trip to Princeton.
The shops of on Princeton's main drag, Water Street, were all equally enthralling with their unique staging and presentation. Unfortunately, some of them were not open while I had time to shop.
If you ever have a chance to stroll through Princeton, I urge you to take your time and visit some of the great shops such as Georgie's (formerly Tracy Porter's original store)and the little diner next door called Blue Moon. It is a great example of the wonderful things you can do with your downtown and small businesses who think big and creatively.
I admire every shop there because while growing up Princeton did not have a lot to offer but along came Tracy Porter who showed the residents what a treasure they had and helped Water Street blossom and opened the flower it has become today.
Wish I had more pictures to show you but again...my time was too short and the lake called my name. It's a hard choice to make...water or shopping, two of my favorite past times.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
...it seems strange that I have been away from my home, my computer and my friends for so long now.
I have to admit I have been in the dumps a little lately and need to get back on track with life and all that it has to offer. One of those pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move on moments for me.
In order to do that I must get back to my blog and share with you all those things that bring a smile to my face. I had originally planned on blogging while on vacation but the Internet connection was terribly slow and would have taken me all day.
Besides that, it would not have been a true vacation if I spent all my time on the computer. Instead I enjoyed my kids, watching them in a familiar setting but another year older.
It is amazing how much they change from year to year and how quickly that time passes. Mac was most independent this year as he tried to hang with his older cousins. When I say older they are 19 and 23 but, they had so much love and respect for Mac it melted my heart.
They treated him like a big kid and even spent time playing games together and watching Mac in his first appearance at Karaoke night. Yes, he sang in front of everyone! (Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer)
For those of you that know me personally, you understand that I can be painfully shy in large groups. Mac obviously has no problem with that and rocked out on air guitar with full gusto.
Hannah and Shea both had a great time. Again, very independent while playing, entertaining themselves most of the time.
Our cottage is right on the beach and has a play set right next door. Just to the right of our cottage is a pier where they could fish or just watch the fish. Up the pathway there is the game room where they could spend some quarters on all kinds fun activities. These were the areas where they were free to roam as long as they told us where they were going.
It gives them such a sense of responsibility and a chance to grow a more independent. I must stress it breaks my heart every step they take towards that independence, but I know in my heart the goal as a mom/parent is to give them the tools and confidence they need to take on all that the world has to offer.
It was a great vacation...just next time remind me to relax a little more. I was called "Martha" one too many times for all my "accessories"
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I have to say I really liked how this came together. I did things on the "cheap" side because The Accountant is tired of seeing money fly out the door. He asked that I not personally try to keep the economy afloat.
So with his request in mind, the only new thing I purchased was my new favorite 4th of July item.
Then I used an old canvas shower curtain, cut it up and just wrapped the seat cushions to the wicker chairs. I searched for new cushions but didn't want to spend $70-100 each when I knew this is a seasonal change.
These are some old shutters I had in my basement. My dear friend Mary had seen them on the side of the road, picked them up and gave them to me saying, " I know you will find a use for these some day." Well that day arrived yesterday.
This is my old lamp shade. It has been beaten to death as it flies throught the neighborhood during wind storms. I washed it up and gave it a new life with the addition of some antique bedspread trim.
The next challenge was finding the right size table for my new creation. The small side table was not what I had in mind and again since this is seasonal, running out to buy a new one was not an option. (although I really want to find a permanent one)
So this is an old wire laundry basket I purchased to hold blankets in the winter months. I know it's not a real table but for this occasion it fits the bill. Just have to remember to remind The Accountant...don't put your glass of wine on it.
Off to find some more pieces around the house.... and look what we have.
So with these pieces in place I am getting closer to the finished product.
Add a floral arrangement created last week..
Now what to do about this side of the porch...
...oh yeah I forgot about our favorite rocker!
Take a step back and take a deep breathe....
Looking good at night...
...and in the morning light
The only regret I have is having fresh potted flowers, but with the fact we will be gone for a week it was not a practical decision. I also know the minute the red, white and blue flowers will have to go to make way for my late summer colors and eventually the fall!
Come join me for a glass of wine and watch the neighbors pass by.
Happy 4th of July to you all and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!