Sunday, March 28, 2010

Altered Embroidery

I am a sucker for a nice picture frame. If the design inside has potential, that's a bonus.
This old cross stitch, found at a thrift store, was a little *blah*, but I had a vision for it.
I removed the old lettering.

The new design is positively, well, ... BLoOM-ing.
I stitched right in the frame.


Cheater confession: I ran thread through the buttons and glued them on.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Vintage Owls, Antique Linen and Things

I do not understand the comeback of the owl. I collected them in the 1970s, but by the end of the '80s, I was over them and on to unicorns (the next craze as the 1980s make a comeback?). I do know there are collectors out there once again so I am dutifully picking them up at the thrift store and junk shop when I find good examples.

Like the sample here. Cheapy plaster toothpick holder (?) bought for next to nothing (I have great sources!) Today I got the inspiration to make it into a wee pincushion. Fabric seemed too bulky for such a tiny opening so I improvised and tried some yarn salvaged from an old sweater. Wound it into an oblong "ball" and stuffed it into the tree stump. WoW! I impress myself sometimes! Very practical solution, aesthetically pleasing AND recycled! You saw it here first. Nope, this one is NOT being sold in my etsy shop. It is going to an owl crazed friend who has just rediscovered her love of stitching.

What I will be selling in my etsy soon is this vintage/ antique linen.
My mother brought it back from a trip to Byelorus
many years ago.
She was visiting family and a generous cousin gave her this handloomed linen,
made by a family member, as a parting gift.
It is just 17" wide and was used for dish and hand towels.
A two yard length would have been embroidered on the ends
(with traditional Byelorusian motifs)
and hung over a hook on the kitchen wall for everyday use.
Simple, common, necessity.
We would consider a luxury.
This linen was old when my mother brought it home.
It is even older now.

I plan to sell it in 17" square pieces bundled with buttons,
lace scraps and miscellaneous bits for sampler stitching.
It's all the rage now.
Watch this space.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Tea Swap With a Twist

I am used to swaps where from the time you sign up for one, to the time the goods come in the mail, a month elapses, if not longer. Well, Pat's tea swaps are rapid machine gun fire swaps!
No sooner did the last one cool (pun intended), than she asked if I would like to participate in another and then BANG! Susan Teter's envelope arrived in the mail.
Susan's envelope was filled with mostly black teas because I think I emailed her my preference
(it all happened SO fast, I forget now! haha).
She apologized for the not-so-exotic selection, but really I prefer good black teas.
Susan is a tea expert and I highly recomment her site.
She sent me a bag of Yorkshire Harrogate (among others!) which I did not even think could be found in the States! The last time I had it it (5 years or more ago), it came to me directly from Great Britain in a tea swap. I kept the empty box for years, hoping I would run across it again.
And now it seems, I can find it, via internet, in Virginia.
Who knew?
Thank you Susan (again) for the spiritual experience of having good tea.
I had a pot of the English breakfast today and was transported!
It was a special blessing that you "happened" to be my swap partner.
Divine Serendipity.
Also in the weekend's mail came this surprise envelope from Marlynn.
(She has close ups of it on her blog.)
I admired this envelope on her blog and thought,
"I so envy the person getting this creation!"
Later that same day I read her post,
DOH! The envelope came in the mail to ME!
Don't know whether to hug her or smack her!
Mute point.
She lives in another state.

A clever reuse of a Trader Joe's bag filled with teas, an ATC and some ephemoral bits.

I had mentioned in my last tea swap post that I could really get used to getting tea in the mail and Marlynn acted on it. Everyone needs a Fairy Godmother or just an incredibly thoughtful friend who surprises you with goodies in the mail!

Is there anyone you can RAK today?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Postcard Art: Another Model Installment

You might recognize Mimi from the dress pattern envelope in my last post.
She now lives in Paris...

...with two dalmatas.

Her tiny apartment required several large keys.
This postcard will be off to a thoughtful friend but,
I think I could do a whole book with these pattern girls!
And speaking of books...
you could win one from Kristin Hubick.
Check out the giveaway- 3 chances to win!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dress Pattern ART

I LOVE vintage dress patterns for all of their uses. Okay, maybe NOT for making dresses.

I don't have the figure for vintage styles or their sizing. But otherwise like a Native American with a buffalo, I find a use for every part.

The models are all so charming and have perfect flowing lines.

They don't have cluttery backgrounds so are easy to cut out and alter.

And their clothing matches other vintage items from their era (like this blue number on a matching blue bridge tally card!)

While I used the heads on ATCs (for sale in my etsy shop shortly), the legs did not get thrown out with the scraps. This pair found use on a greeting card. The pattern tissue? I use it for gift wrap and for packing my sold etsy items.

Reduce, reuse, upcycle!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Favorite Color is...

The color of cardboard, sepia photos, antique oak,
coffee, tea and a mink coat;
my hair, my eyes,
Rebecca and Seth's eyes
(my two youngest kids),
our two dogs,
my cowboy boots,
most of my sweaters.
Above is a postcard I whipped up from more flotsum around my studio.
I plan to scribble a note to a friend today.
Just because I made some art.
What's your favorite color?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Prompt Journal Page

The title on the library pocket card was "He's My Brother". I've had the image in mind for months, but last night got the inspiration for a background and technique. I stole Patty's doodles. And I used nothing fancier than a ball point pen (from our local bank!)
The card had signatures on it so I used them in my doodle.

This is Me and My Brother (really!) dressed to go to a Byelorusian ethnic festival (we lived in New Jersey with my grandparents when this photo was taken in the 1960s). English was not my first language.

I had printed out this image for a QB5 childhood swap and through a printer glitch printed something like 24 copies (I only needed 5!) I am not about to throw anything out so my face has appeared on a Russian ATC swap for Christian Paper Artists, in at least one junk journal I own and now here in my prompt journal.
By the way, you can find these prompt journals for sale in my etsy shop. But you probably knew that already. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tea is Not Just For Tuesdays

It was SO hard to control myself, but I did.

I took a photo of Judy's tea swap envelope before I ripped into it!

I am sore from patting myself on the back. :)

I should have guessed that the contents would be as adorable as the envelope suggested. Frankly, I was so taken by the wrapping, that I didn't care what was inside! That sounds bad. I am just easy to satisfy. Judy had me at the brown paper and a small peek of red rick rack.
Then I pulled out this custom made tea book. She wrote inside that this was her first ever home made greeting card. Could have fooled me! It's perfect!

Technically, it's a book!
And I see that I am not the only one who keeps silly things like teabag tags-- only Judy has put her collection to use! Love the brown paper pages! She could not have chosen better materials.

And at the back was a pocket packed full of teas I have never tried (selections are SO bad here in NASCARland, where the beverage of choice is cheap Bud Lite in a can or Lipton iced tea).

Thank you SO much Judy (!) for the wonderful keepsake full of teas! I could get used to this!
Do you offer a monthly subscription?
As I am sitting here, composing, I am smelling something. WHAT is it? Anise. Black licorice.
It's the purple packet. I love anise!
Guess which one I am brewing up first?
It's been a full 2 hours since my last cup of tea.
It's time for another cup.
And thank you, Pat for hosting!
I am so glad I joined. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pink Shoe Day

PLEASE tell me you have shoes colored other than brown, black or navy!
If you don't have something red, purple or orange, get thee to a thrift store!
That's where I got mine.
I had to have them!
Three inch heels with a half inch platform made them outrageous and impractical.
Did I care?
Today Rebecca and I had a Pink Shoe Day.
Just because, as it happens, we both have pink patent leather shoes.
I knew I got mine for a reason!
Rebecca is already staking her claim.
"Mom, can I have your shoes when I grow bigger?
Please don't give them away."
"Yes, you may have them. I won't give them away."
I would gladly give them to her today.
My feet were KILLING me!
As much as I love high heels, my feet don't. :)
My original plan was to collage the heels with mod '60s patterns, pour plaster of Paris into the shoes and use them as bookends or doorstops.
Guess I can't now.
Rebecca would never forgive me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Date Night in NASCAR Land

Date night is a very rare event at our house because of busy schedules, lack of funds, expensive baby sitting and we have a hard time deciding what to do. I like live theatre, art shows, antiques malls, wine tasting and any kind of live music. He likes, well, you will see here in a minute.

So while everyone and their sister went to see Alice in Wonderland, including our kids who were treated to a night out by their hip Aunt Debbie, I was swept away by my Prince in a long nosed, Peter Built semi tractor with the promise of exhaust choked air, and dirt in my eyes. Oooo, be still my heart! As Linda commended me already in an email, I am a "good wife".

I have to admit, it was a good time, only because I like new experinces and who doesn't dream of being swept away by a total he-man?

See the cars being smashed by the monster trucks? My honey helped strip them down and haul them one hour to the State Fair Ground arena in Sedalia, MO.
Notice the haze rising around the lights at the ceiling?
That is called carbon dioxide (CO2).
We were breathing it voluntarily.
We got in free, as part of the road crew, while others paid $20 each for the privelage.
I prefer free, but an open air arena would have been even better.
Note: in a conversation with my mother (a science major), she corrected me and said it was actually monoxide we were breathing. Okay, well, it still wasn't a healthy gas!

The blurs above are Big Dawg, in yellow and Grim Reaper in black,
drag racing monster truck style.
Appearances were also made by Tail Gator, Ultimate Over Kill
and Monster Patrol who obvioulsy had bar lights like a police car.
All of the 12 year old boys in the audience were THRILLED by the show.
Likewise all of the men.
I can't speak for all the women, but I did meet a driver's girlfriend
who was turned on by the smell of gasoline.
Hmmm, can't really relate to that.
I couldn't pass up an opportunity to have my picture taken next to a monster tire after the show. These last two photos were taken while my honey helped load crushed cars into our "date" vehicle to haul back to the scrap yard in Higginsville.

Here is Tail Gator ready to be put to bed into his trailer. Aren't his bed time tires ADORABLE? I thought it was too darned cute. Little tires. I chuckle whenever I think about it.

If this post whet your appetite for seeing more big tires, perhaps you would like The Monster Blog.
This afternoon, I will be watching NASCAR on TV.
My life is full and my beer glass runneth over.
Someone help me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Young Talent

You just can't rein in or cage some spirits. The word "no" means nothing to some. Putting up borders or boundaries is useless when you have a "do or die" personality in the house. That would be my 5 year old Rebecca.

"I want to paint. Let's paint, Mom."

"No, I don't have any paint."

"How about this?"

"No, that's permanent. You will mess up your clothes and everything else."

[Silence. Mother exits upstairs to lose herself on the computer. An hour later, mother thinks she should go check on her prodigy.]

"Look, Mom, I'm painting!"

"Aaaaaaaaah!" [discovering half empty bottle of gesso and that Sharpie marker had joined assemblage along with much needed ball point pens-

checks have to be written out with something!]

"Did I do a good job, Mom?"

"Yes, you did. Looks super." [It did look pretty good, but where did all of the gesso go and what else did she paint?!]

[In kitchen.]

Gesso found dripped over edge of stainless steel sink.

Frying pan in sink now soaking in milky white water.

Mangled dish towel discovered on counter saturated with white substance.

Still damp. May be saved yet.

Plastic drinking cup slopped with (now dry) white substance.

[Cup thrown into trash.]
I plan to represent her to galleries some day.
I can only hope that she will be a money making artist.
I don't have much saved for retirement!
Artwork by
Rebecca Floy Thompson
Aged 5+
Future altered artist

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

STAMPS of Postage and Rubber

I really need to clean off my computer desk.

I am bad about leaving scraps around,

because I don't have the heart to throw them out.

But, the other day instead of cleaning,
I took a couple scraps,

in this case ledger paper,
and started arranging them on junk postcards.

I pulled out a couple rubber stamps,

literally just two,

and made some art to mail.

Italian ticket stub, postage and Madonna/ saint from an envelope of
goodies sent to me by Celita.

Et voila'!

I personally don't have a problem with mixing Polish with U.S. postage,
or Australian with U. S.,

since it's all about color, size and design flow.

These postage stamps are not even that old.
You don't need antique paper to make cool collages.
Need vintage postage?
Find it here.

Want a postcard RAK in the mail?

Email me your address.

I have an email button on my profile page.

The first three people to respond will get one of the above cards!

I need your address though.

Simply saying, "send one to me, please" won't get one to you.

I am still sitting on HOPE necklaces needing addresses...


3:20pm- Two postcards have been claimed (one already mailed!)

One postcard is still available.

I will do this again in the near future, so if you missed out this time, never fear,
there will be other opportunities for claiming RAKs in your mail.


Cards went to Sarah, Jeanie, (who got her email working again ;) and Laura.

So glad you weren't shy and just went for it!