Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, Snap!

Don't under estimate the pleasing aesthetics
of those humbler members in your button jar.
This yo-yo brooch went to Pat and the fabulous brooch she swapped with me is HERE.
Mine is a just a tad smaller than hers.
Hope she still finds it an even exchange. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Just for Washing Anymore

This is the story of creative thinking and the tolerance of it. Rebecca was cooking in her play kitchen today, and like a good mom, put a bib on her child before he ate.
Scooter is so eager for attention that he will put up with anything. Even a wash cloth tucked into his collar.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Coat

I filled my basket half heartedly at the flea market, thinking I would never find enough to completely spend the gift certificate my mother-in-law had given me for Christmas. Yes, there are such things as gift certificates for flea markets! As I got deeper into "Those Were the Days" in Warrensburg, MO , the treasures got better, but now I was running out of time before I had to rush home to pick up Rebecca from pre-school.

And then I saw it.
[insert angel chorus and bright light here].
The Coat.
In a booth with not much else of interest, I found it. I had to to stretch to reach The Coat on its hook, but fearlessly ignoring the things that might topple in the process, I stretched and grabbed. Hands trembling, I gently took the coat off its hanger and tried it on. Like a glove, it fit! Then. I knew. I must have it!
And time was running out.
I quickly retraced my steps, putting away the mediocre items I had filled my marketing basket with, as now I had The Prize and the rest was all seconds in comparison.

At the counter I asked if the dealer would take less. A quick phone call and yes! I got my price! And the gift certificate covered it!
The "sheared mink" was mine! Soft, clean smelling fur, untouched by moth balls or musty damp. Someone had taken very good care of The Coat. Now I was the new Keeper of the Treasure!

The Coat has gorgeous vintage details like the exquisite silky covered button and closure.

Suspenders in the shoulders so you can wear the coat as a shrug and not risk the luxurious fur slipping off onto the ground.

The sleeves' linings are gathered at the wrist to ward off cold blasts of wind.

And when you wear a fabulous fur, you have to have fur cuffed gloves.
These are faux from Target, 5 years ago.
The St. Bernard pictured above is our dog Lucy.
She is an optional accessory.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Signs of Spring

Western Missouri and eastern Kansas got another dose of winter this past weekend.
The results are beautiful.
We got rain, snow, freezing rain and then more snow.
Not much accumulation, just enough to make driving anywhere an adventure. It's the darn ice!
Cold temps the next few days means not much will melt.
Two weeks ago, I said, "this has been a very long winter."
Now I predict we will have winter right up until March 20. Maybe even beyond. Maybe there will be no spring. Maybe there will be snow one day (winter) and blistering heat the next (summer).
Winter is determined to muscle out spring this year.
Someone explain Global Warming to me?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Magpie's Needlecase

As I feverishly tore into the carefully wrapped package from New Zealand,
all the while I thought,
"Bad blogger, bad blogger!"
So instead of step by step undressing of this delicious package,
all I can show you is the contents loosely swaddled in its mummy wrappings.
From Carole
A Magpie's Needlecase...

...made with love.

Filled with necessary items like brand new needles-
(mine are old and dull, and I don't even notice)-
and color coordinated scissors.

This needlecase has a bit of vintage bling.
Doesn't yours?

And a special inscription.

Carole also thoughtfully enclosed some inspiring poetry,
knowing my religious bent. :)

It just might get me through some troublesome tangles!

And it all started with a bit of stitchery gifted to me by Linda.

Who is quite the stitcher!

I gathered buttons, fabric, tulle, trims and sent the whole mess to New Zealand
with a request for a custom made needlecase.

In purple, red, black.

Yeah, really mainstream, soothing colors!

Carole outdid herself.
I think you could sell these in your etsy shop, Carole.
For a lot of money!

I sooo love that you went outside your comfort zone on this one.

Black tulle on a needlecase?


This needlecase is beyond wonderful!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And the HOPEful Winners Are...

Pat of Ooglebloops will be getting some HOPE thread bobbin charms and Eliza of druga szesnaƛcie will receive a necklace presented in a matchbox.
Congratulations girls, and thanks to all who stopped by and left comments. It was a pleasure to meet some new people and to see old friends.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thread of HOPE GiveAway

I created necklaces like these for the last QB5 swap and made some extras while I was at it. You know, to send someone some hope. I have one I wear often. Reminds me to think about/ pray for, the blogger who is dealing with cervical cancer, Haitians (like anyone can forget), and friends near and far who I know are dealing with chronic ailments or just "stuff". The twine is a little rough so makes its presence known by scratching my neck. You know, to remind me to be thinking about someone.

I want to share the wealth so if you leave a comment on this post, you will be entered to win this necklace or 3 Thread of HOPE "beads". Simply string one up on a ball chain or knot one onto some ribbon or twine like I did. Present it in a matchbox and voila', a little HOPE to give to a friend. Don't forget to make one for yourself too. I am also selling the beads in my etsy in 3 piece lots, but if you want a lot more, say for a Sunday school craft project or birthday party or a girlfriend party, or __________ (fill in the blank), let me know and I can fix you up with a volume price. I just want to send some HOPE out. And thread is a very useful thing to have too.

I will pick 2 winners Wednesday morning (2-17-10)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swapping Yo-Yos and a Giveaway

In the flurry of art mail the other day was a large envelope from Pat,

affectionately known as Ooglebloops.

She had admired the yo-yo brooches I made for the recent Queen Bee 5 swap

and suggested a one-on-one swap of our own.

Flattery will get you everywhere with me!

Being almost the size of my hand, Pat's brooch is, BIG, bold and bodacious!

And I absolutely love it!!!
Saturday, I wore it on a pumpkin orange sweater

which showed off the brooch's colors perfectly!

I don't know if my little offering can compete.

I may have to send her two...

And while you are visiting Pat's blog, you might find

a February giveaway link to Rock Hill Designs.

The prize is the stunning"Tree of Life" necklace above,

made of sterling silver.

*I love to wear silver around my neck!*

Of course, if you leave a comment to be registered to win,

it decreases my chances, but that's the way the game is played!

Game ends February 28.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

New Zealand Bee

The last package of brooch & charms swappage arrived yesterday
in a flurry of snow and art mail.
I felt truly special!
The gorgeous brooch above is from Carole!
It is reminiscent of her collectible postcards, only snack sized.
What a privelage to have a small piece of her art quilting!
The pansy looks absolutely springy.
I can't wait to wear it!
I recognize the bit of crocheted lace as something I sent her.
So neat to have it back incorporated into her brooch.
Her charm is quintessentially New Zealand, since you can't find beer bottle caps
like this in the States (or the beer for that matter!).
She said she was all fingers and thumbs in creating it,
but I think she did a fabulous job!
I strung it up on a ball chain and wore it immediately.
She sent extra bottle caps so I can take a stab at making some of my own charms.
Wish it was cost effective for her to also send a couple bottles of the beer!
Thank you, Carole, for the beautiful artsy jewelry!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Feed the Birds!

A couple weeks ago, the local farm supply had a kids' workshop, to draw traffic in. The "make and take" was a peanut butter & pretzel bird feeder. Their ploy worked. Today when I saw that there was nothing left of the bird feeder but string hanging in the shrub outside our bathroom window, I went back to the farm supply for bird seed. It is snowing today, supposed to freeze the next few days and remain cold all next week. I want to bring some bird traffic by our house!

This is a totally kid friendly activity, in fact, it was probably invented for them!
Messy, edible, quick, simple;
they can make something while having a snack,
and it can all be done within their 2 minute attention span.
With Rebecca, she was done in a minute and a half.

1. Spread peanut butter liberally on pretzels.
2. "Bury" the gloppy mess in bird seed,
making sure it is completely covered in seeds.

3. Add a string and it's ready to hang.

I attached the string before hand so I wouldn't
have to handle the seedy bird treat.
You could also use a pine cone, if you have a collection of them,
but pretzels get competely eaten.

Looks almost good enough for human consumption!

"64021" Treasure Hunt

Now that I have an esty shop to keep stocked, I am more conscious of finding stuff to put into it. And so, I thought I would revisit a story I wrote in my first zine, "64021", "A Corderly Zine". I created it 3 years ago for The Gleaner's 7 for 7 zine swap. The numbers are the zipcode for Corder, MO and "Corderly" was a play on words for "quarterly", although I haven't produced any issues since! The story, "Treasure Hunt" was written like an explorer's journal entry...

Light filtered weakly through a splintered hole in the roof overhead as I carefully picked my way over the uneven gravel floor in the darkness of the abandoned garage. I brushed cobwebs from my face and hair as I walked closer to my prize-- a rusted metal filing cabinet, once enameled dark green, but now pocked with decay and bird droppings. A lone, weedy tree basked in the weak sunlight, standing sentinal to the cabinet of forgotten secrets.

A bird startled from the rafters as I finally stood before the ancient cabinet bathed in the watery light. I grasped a rusty handle and pulled, and the drawer resisted, complaining with a shriek of metal scraping metal. My face lit up when I spied a shallow box filled with dusty, age-stained folders. Trash to my in-laws, but TREASURE to a collage artist! I had found the final resting place of Great Aunt Rachel's 30 year old bank statements, canceled checks, and students' papers from her days as a school teacher, when perfect penmanship was still a requirement...


The students' papers are now available for purchase in my shop and the canceled checks I altered and now use as a Ruby Floy calling card that I scribble thank you notes on.

What's the thrill of discovery like for you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mail from a Swiss Bee

There is something about mail from afar.

The foreign postage, the texture of the paper envelope,

the unique recycled packaging inside.

The black and white "cow" box once held something "Swissedition",

but now held something else Swiss made...

I LOVE the seemingly careless assemblage of textures

and made with Margaret's favorite shade of blue!

I have one blue sweater and now can't wait to wear it.

Margaret's brooch may become a permanent addition to the sweater!

Margaret warned us that her dangle charm thingie was monstrously ginormous (I forget her exact words describing its less than petite size), but I personally, instantly fell in love with it!!! Buttons, paper beads, a scrap of lace and lots of silver wire. What is there NOT to love about it? Black and brown are my favorite colors to wear.

And so, because I was wearing one of my favorite sweaters, I didn't waste much time in finding a ball chain and slipping on the new charm. I feel quite regal with the dangling crown charm and black faceted bead.

Thank you SO much Margaret!!!