Friday, October 31, 2008

The time is upon us ....

It's ... "HALLOWEEN"

Green cats eyes
in midnight gloom
fly with the witch
on her ragged broom
over dark hills
where bonfires loom
~by Myra Cohen Livingston
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ahhhhh ... peaceful serenity has finally greeted me this afternoon - My check list for this week is finally complete - well, almost. A birthday party for my hubby awaits for me tomorrow, but all is good. It's been a week full of to-do's (I know ... whose isn't, right??) and although I have enjoyed all of the creative elements from each project, I am feeling a bit lighter in spirit knowing that all has been accomplished! Whew!

The bed for Sisters Three is finished ...
You know how it started - a blank canvas ...

I said a little prayer before I began (actually, I do this before I begin each and every project. I like knowing that my hands and creative thought are being guided ... ). [smile]

I gathered my supplies, took a deep breath, and loaded my brush ...

This is a picture of the parchment background for the quote. I began to pencil in the branch and then the words ... the hours passed and before I looked up to see the clock (which revealed that I was soooo late on my schedule for the day!), I had painted the design in it's entirety. Sorry - I do like to show the step-by-step illustration, but brushes, paint and time flew!!

So, there you have it ... the finished headboard.

Now, the footboard ...

My thoughts were "simple" here. Nothing too detailed, but something to make it special. So, I decided to take the branch from above and carry the same onto the footboard.

And, finally, a picture of the two ....

This bed will be for sale at Sisters Three & Me ... any takers?? :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Jiminy Cricket!"

Behold the next project for this week ...

(by the way - our Dalmatians & Cruella won First Prize at the Parade!! I'm hoping to get some pics from Troop Moms ... yes - can you believe it? I forgot my stinkin' camera! UGH!!! I don't even want to talk about it - I'm so disgusted with myself!...)

... Okay - back to the unveiling (I'm sitting here rolling my eyes at myself, by the way ...). The next project is one that I am truly excited about, as a home decor shop by the name of Sisters Three & Me (I know ... cute, huh?) contacted me to decoratively paint a bed for them. Too excited for words am I!

I also have the footboard to embellish a smidgen.

So, the request has been to incorporate a quote of Jiminy Cricket's from Pinocchio. I immediately pictured and old piece of parchment, perhaps found by chance in someone's attic, left behind by our magical little cricket-friend as a bit of wisdom to share with generations abroad. I would also like to incorporate a bit of Pinocchio in this piece ... maybe a branch with sparse leaves nestled behind the paper, but poking and peeking through and above this message to represent our dear, yet mischievous, Pinocchio's nose when one too many fibs were told.

Hmmmm ... Let's see how this turns out ... :)

Love ... in the eyes of children

I received this email the other day and it truly touched my heart. You may have received it also, but I felt it worthy to be shared in a post.

'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8

'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4

'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl -age 5

'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6

'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4

'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him,to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7

'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8

'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7

'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6

'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7

'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6

'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8

'My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6

'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
Elaine-age 5

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7

'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4

'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4

'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.'
Karen - age 7

'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6

'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8

And the final one is a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

Are your eyes still dry? Children really do keep us grounded, don't they? I know that mine help me to review my words, gestures and deeds practically on a daily basis ... and most nights I go to bed thinking, "I could have done better." But then, God grants us with a gift of the rising sun, a new day, a blank canvas on which to paint with love, generosity, compassion - everything that we wish to enstill in our children, our reflections, who look to us for guidance.

Dear Lord, may you guide me through each day so that I may be a blessing to my children, my family, friends and those that I meet. I pray, Jesus, that you forgive me for my shortcomings and radiate your light, full of love and grace, to shine through me, guiding a path for my life that is pleasing to You. Thank you for each and every blessing in my life. I praise Your holy name ... Amen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whew! What a time it's been ....

Sorry to have been absent for what seems like weeks ...

May I just say that if I never see another piece of felt ... embroidery floss ... colorful pins ... or pricking needles .... it will be TOO SOON! Who am I kidding? I do love to work with these embellishing tools, but this banner has done me in for awhile. Well, at least until this afternoon when I have to stitch up my daughter's costume for tonight! Yes, you heard me correctly ... tonight.

So, why have I been away for so long? Doot-do-do-DO! ....
The Girl Scout Banner is finished! Can I hear a "Ya-Hoo"?

Goodness ... Truly, this project has become my third child. I am so attached to this thing - my husband was beginning to think that it has taken his place in my heart!

"Please, please ... put down the needle and thread?"
"Are you still UP?"
"Uh-oh, she's getting out more felt!"
"Hon, step away from the pin cushion ..."

My poor hubby has dealt not only with floss of every color strewn around the house and sticking to our socks and clothes, but also my days of PJs and bedhead, laundry pileup and most importantly, my distraction with all that surrounded me ... days upon days. But see, he should be use to this by now. It's how I work. I am completely absorbed into my project.

However, during this time of creation, my daughter had a horrible bout with Strep and was literally in bed from Tuesday evening until Sunday afternoon, when she finally was able to join the living. My heart was so full of concern for her ... I was certain that it was strep, but the culture from the doctor's office revealed a negative result; therefore, it was concluded a virus. That was Thursday. On Saturday afternoon, we received a call from the lab ... STREP! Then, the most unfortunate experience consumed when dealing with a curt nurse, an inept pharmacy and a doctor who refused to contact me personally. You see, we have a long history of allergic reactions and must be careful in what is administered. We were contacted at 1:00 and did not receive medication until 7:00 P.M. for the misinformation and battle of wills went on and on ... and on. Thank heavens that my girl is well, in school and doing much better! Thank you, Jesus!

SO. Back to my Life in Creativity ...
... and leaving off where I stopped in my prior post:

-The Banner-

Here's some pics to illustration the latter banner steps:
Felt flowers ... I just couldn't get them out of my head! I was determined to make them a part of this banner, even when my family was expressing ... "Eh ..." over them. I knew that once they were stitched - they would take on a complete different look.
What do you think? I just find them cheery & whimsy ... Child-like.
Next came the troop numbers ... I threw a few ideas around (basically trying to find the fastest way to represent them, but to no avail ... I decided to replicate their number badges on their vests.
A slightly tedious task... but happy with the end result.
Next - I tried to figure out what I could accompany the embroidered flowers with ... something pertaining to the troop ... hmmm.
So, I scanned a few pages of our Badge Book onto my computer, imported them into my PrintShop and printed them onto Iron-Transfer paper.
See, this is my messy corner of my little world ...
well, actually - I have quite a few of messy little corners ... :)
Then, I ironed and trimmed them out ...
Next, I had to sew
YES, with my sewing machine. My husband was elated! (Finally, his money was put to good use!) Did I mention how he kept at me for hand-stitching everything? "You know, I do recall giving you a Christmas present of a sewing machine .... " LOL! I just did not think that my pieces would have the same presentation if I had machine-sewed everything. Some things boys just do not understand!! :)
I sewed the pockets for the rods, as well as the rick-rack.
THEN, I was ready to finally stitch all of the flowers and badges onto the banner ... a "blank" number of hours later ....
TA ........DA!
I call her "Rosey" ... she was born on Monday, October 20th, 2008, after many hard hours of labor!! LOL!!
Let's see ... Tuesday, October 21st, held another project; however, in the kitchen! It was the day of Creative Expressions Bake Sale at Open House. I have not spoken about Creative Expressions ("CE") as of yet ... but let me just say that it is one of the gifts in my life. I stumbled upon this organization by complete fate.
I was at a low point soon after my son's birth and my resigning from my paralegal position to be a homemaker. Most of my friends were co-workers and family. I was feeling very lost and not really knowing my direction. I prayed very hard for God to lead me in a path where I could feel positively fulfilled in all aspects of my life.
I attended a PTO meeting in order to get involved and expand my horizons. It was there that I met the chairperson for CE, who - I would like to add - as become one of my dearest friends. She just happened to sit by me in the meeting and gave a brief update on CE. This organization had caught my eye in the handouts my daughter had brought home from school. CE is an Arts Recognition Program that students can express themselves in the different areas of Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Music Composition, Dance and Sculpture ... how inspiring!! With my heart and soul so enraptured with the absolute love of the arts, I was immediately drawn to CE!
I asked if they needed any help ... she gave the time for the next meeting ... and I was HOOKED!
This group of ladies all come to the table with their own beautiful and inspirational gifts of charming personalities, thoughtful creativity and kindheartedness ... I am so blessed to be a part of this group. Our meetings are a place of friendship, care, laughter, sharing and creation. CE is certainly a bright spot in my life and it is because of the women who make up this organization that it touches so many.
So ... like I said, CE Bake Sale ... I put together some yummy (hopefully!) treats of chocolate covered pretzels with Halloween embellishments ... :) Check 'em out!!
And the best news, yet ..... They sold out!!!! Yea! Now, I'll have to do it again next week for our school's next Open House .... (sigh). Really, they weren't too hard! I just hope that my pumpkin keeps in the fridge till next week!
So, I'm off now to go for a walk to see if my little guy and I can see the neighboring horse and sheep, and complete my project for today ...
A Dalmatian .... say a prayer!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

What was I thinking?

I have not gone to bed yet and my husband's alarm is set to go off in an hour ... what am I thinking, you may ask? Well, this is how I work. I'm a procrastinator ... I have to feel inspired to create ... and my dining room needs to get back to normal - SOON!
So, I started this "banner project" after the kids went to bed, which my daughter has been in bed since Tuesday evening with a nasty little bug, so it's been a number of sleepless nights. Hey, maybe that is why I'm still up - my body is not used to sleep! Just like every other mama out there - I know ...
I really wanted to jump right in there and make the flowers, but after good consideration, I thought that it would be best to start with the banner itself (measure, cut, pin, etc.) and then the GS logo ... now THAT was a tad bit tricky! I never realized before that there are three silhouettes and two of the girls have their mouths open ... why?
This puzzled me as I sketched out the design ... are two in a conversation and leaving the middle girl out? You know what they say - three's a crowd! LOL! It just seems like an oddity to me ... you?

Well, anyways, once I had it drawn out, I cut and pinned it like a pattern ...

Then came the tricky part ... cutting out the insides so that the green banner would show through. I almost cut a nose off!! Yikes!
Boy, did I sweat quite a bit with this ...

Whew! Finally ... that only took a COUPLE HOURS! (sigh) Now, I get to stitch it all. I'm not looking forward to stitching this entire applique - it's 2' x 2'!! The flowers, however, I can't wait to get my hands on ... well, first things first. Quick question ... does anyone have a good tip for separating embroidery floss? They are such pesky, tangley things that just make more minutes pass rather than stitches! Tips, please?!
A very tedious blanket stitch ...
Okay, Gals ... here she is ... quite naked and boring, I know. Give me another day or two to gussy her up a bit! :)Ah, now I can get crafty and creative ... but first, SLEEP!
Good Morning to y'all... Good Night to me... that is, until the children wake.... we better have some caffeinated coffee in this house!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Buttons, Felt & Dreams of Flowers

With an ever-approaching deadline, I fear that this project must not wait another day.
What will become of this pile of color and texture? A Girl Scout Banner ... hopefully! It seems that I am acquiring the name of "Banner Gal" within my daughter's activities ... Brownies ...
and football youth and cheerleading (no pic to share ... bummer!). Now, a fourth to my Banner Creator career ... LOL!

For this latest banner I'm thinking embroidered felt flowers with glittery curly-cue stems and the Girl Scout logo ... a little more grown up since our girls will be using this banner for a number of years to come.
Now, if only I can find a moment's peace within this day to begin my cutting and embroidery (NOTE: I use the term "embroidery" very loosely, as it's more basic stitching than anything ... but truly an art form that I am growing very fond of and wish to explore. I'll add that to the list! [smile]).
Stay tuned for more pics, as our town's Halloween Parade is fast approaching ... so this project must be completed in the next few days.

Ah, Halloween ...

(Children's Jack-o-lanterns carved last weekend)
Autumn Leaves ...

(The view I enjoy as I sit here at my desk sharing my thoughts with you ...)

And, Vibrant Reds ...

(My beloved Burning Bush that cozies up our front porch and greets me each day with a robust burst of fire ... truly a gift from God)

How I love this time of year ... Have I mentioned that before? :)

Tell me ... What do you love about Autumn?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Goodness! It's been too long ...

It feels like forever and a day since I've made a post. Pardon my absence, but I had to make some adjustments to my "cozy spot" here and focus more on my craft ... Art, of any kind that is!

During my bloggin' lull, I was busy creating a Family Tree for a very special gal, Miss Sara! If you haven't given her a visit yet, you must! She's a crafty, witty, warm-hearted, fun-lovin' gal who just makes your day shine brighter! (Oops! And I must share with you the lovely frame she sent to me as soon as I get my camera back from my mom! It was such a lovely surprise to find a goodie in the mail just for me!!)

And, since I just mailed off her Tree to her, I thought that I would share with you the step-by-step pics:I love the look of hand-torn edges - especially on coldpress paper - it just gives you the lovely layers of paper quality that is just screaming to be antiqued!This part is the most fun for me ... water, paints & brushes - YAHOO! I love to play with the colors ... see where they move across the paper and mingle with the other hues. It can be quite addictive!! :)

Oh, geez ... did I say the prior was my favorite to do? Humph. I do so love creating the tree, too! - its bark, its branches ... reaching out and up towards the sky ... all to capture the growing, yet rooted "family" that each of us cherish. You know something - as the years pass, I become ever so more melancholy when thinking of my family and generations of long ago. I believe that is what began my desire to create family trees - - especially after my Pap passed away ...
Not quite finished, but our tree is surely more dressed ... (smile) Isn't autumn a lovely time of year?And, here we are ... this little piece of me shipped out this morning. Isn't it funny how, when you create something - you become one with that creation? I always gets so darned attached to my work. What about you?