Sunday, August 27, 2017

Pyrography Project

I bought a wooden birdhouse at the craft store with the idea that my daughter would spend hours and hours unleashing her creativity on it this summer.  I envisioned her meticulously sketching out a design and then painting it lovingly onto the wood; her little tongue captured between her teeth like she does when she's concentrating, and at the end of it all I'd have a masterpiece and keepsake. 

Yeah, that didn't happen. Between Minecraft videos and video games, she just couldn't find the time and when I kicked her off the internet and pried her fingers off the controller and told her I'd force her to work on it, she was so unenthused that she was just planning on smacking paint all over it like a toddler.

So instead of focusing on my failures as a mother and inspirational goddess, I decided I'd just trick this birdhouse out myself.  I recently purchased a wood burning tool (I've been wanting to try it for years) and this was my second project with it.

I found this lovely vintage tablecloth at Salvation Army last year and it was my source of inspiration.

It needed a bit of color. I didn't want it to be too vibrant or cover up the wood burning so I used this set of watercolors from IKEA and then put a couple layers of clear coat on it. 

I was pretty proud of it and I knew when my daughter saw it she would be green with envy that I had created such a masterpiece when she could have done the same.  I'll never know though, since I haven't been able to get her off YouTube to look at it.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

It's about time!

I can't believe it's been over 3 years since I posted on this blog!  Oh wait, yes I can. You know things just got overwhelming there for a while. I needed to pull back and focus on other things. The kids, my career, etc. Did I miss it? Yeah a bit, but mostly I didn't and that was a great sign that pulling back was for the best.

Why am I back now?  Well, the kids are older and less dependent. One is officially a teen (13) and the other one insists on being called a "tween" because her age is in the double digits now. Life is still busy, work is still there, but something was missing so I started spending more time doing the things I love again.

I still don't have the time or stamina to do enough crafting to produce a ton of products to sell, but I found that I was able to spend more time on my other passion, which was scouring thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, and auctions for unique and interesting vintage items. First I did it just for myself and then when things started piling up around the house I decided I should maybe start paring down.That's when I started posting some vintage items for sale on Etsy and I find its been a really great outlet for me. It allows me to pass on some really cool stuff to other people and to earn enough money to continue my vintage shopping!

So I guess you could say I'm back - but just a little less crafty.  Now, that's not to say I haven't done any crafting. Way back in 2013 I wrote about my passion for this crocheted blanket from the Smurf's movie.

Well, it was truly a passion and I started on my own version of it shortly after I wrote that post and now - over three years later - it's done!

Now, I didn't work on it for three straight years - just a bit here and there when I had time.  I crocheted most of the blocks during soccer practices and little league games over the course of several months. Then once I felt I had enough blocks then it took me over a month to find just the right way to put them all together and piece them together. I actually finished it last fall but just hadn't gotten around to photographing it until now.

It's heavy. It's not straight or square. The border always curls up on it. You can see where I did a lackluster job of weaving in several yarn ends.  But I LOVE IT so very very much.  It's just what I wanted - something bold and crazy that looks like it was crocheted by someone's hippie great aunt.

I hope it becomes a family heirloom and a couple generations from now, someone pulls it out of a trunk and says, "Look at this crazy, ridiculous thing! We'll let the dog sleep on it."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mother Earth Living

Hello all!

As you can probably guess from my 7 month absence from posting, I haven't done a whole lot of crafting lately.  However, the beauty (and sometimes the curse) of the internet, is that once things are put on it - they float around and gain a life of their own.

So I was slightly surprised when I received an email from a lovely magazine requesting to feature a project I posted on this blog way back in 2010. I was completely flattered and I felt kind of like some D list celebrity still earning credit for some cheesy cult classic film they were in a decade earlier. Be on the lookout for my Hallmark channel movie coming out soon, I'll be co-starring alongside Molly Ringwald and Steve Guttenberg!
The project was my Recycled Can Lid Plant Markers and I'm happy to say that those can lid markers were much more successful than the poor plants I marked them with (I really should stop trying to garden - it's incredibly sad).

The magazine is Mother Earth Living and they've put together a very lovely Handmade Holiday section in their November/December issue, featuring several quick, easy and thoughtful handmade holiday gift ideas.

I must say it gave me some great gift ideas as well - even if they're just for myself.  I really am the most gracious gift recipient I know!

They sent me a complimentary copy of the magazine and I must say I'm enjoying every page of it.  It's got tons of great tips on living every aspect of life: like food, skincare, sleep, etc., a little more healthily (is that a word?) and naturally.  I'm most impressed with how practical and non pretentious it is.  I've met some pretty high and might flax seed toting Granola's in my day and the vibe of this magazine is nothing like that.
So a big shout out and thanks to Mother Earth Living for including me in your fantastic magazine!
(FYI - I was not compensated for this post in any way and all the opinions expressed are my own. I just wanted to say thanks and toot my own horn a little bit.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Spring has finally arrived - kind of (it's supposed to snow in my neck of the woods tomorrow), and that has prompted a great desire to see some blooms. 

I stumbled across this Pin the other day:

The idea is to place some small pebbles or marbles in the bottom of a vase, place a tulip bulp on top of them, add a bit of water just up to the roots and then enjoy the colors of spring.

It seemed easy enough, and I'll spare you the suspense by telling you that yes, it did actually work.  I did a little twist on it though that I thought I would share.

Instead of using vases, I used vintage glass insulators.  I love the color and shape of them and they worked great for this project as the interior of them is very narrow which allows the root of the bulb to have access to the water without need of marbles or rocks at the bottom.

However, some rocks were needed at the top of the bulb to secure it in place.

The only downfalls I found were that it was difficult to gauge the water level without removing the bulb to look, and also the tulips had a tendency to grow at an angle without having any support on the sides.

It was still lots of fun and a great way to use some vintage stuff I had lying around.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thought Provoking Thursday - Barefoot Sandals

Today’s topic: Barefoot sandals, adorable foot accessory, OR one more unnecessarily adorned step toward the decline of society as we know it?  You be the judge.

Have you seen these barefoot sandal things?  I first saw them for babies, and I thought, “okay, yeah that would be cute for a photo shoot or something maybe”, and then I started seeing them everywhere.  Barefoot sandals for beach weddings, barefoot sandals just because.  Barefoot sandals made out of ribbons, crocheted barefoot sandals, beaded barefoot sandals. It’s all starting to get ridiculous.

However, before I totally discounted this new trend, I wanted to look at both sides of the issue for a fair and accurate assessment of this new foray into dorsal pedis ornamentation (you like that? – it took a full 5 minutes of googling medical terminology to come up with that phrase!).

Ahem, okay, let’s start with the “Adorable foot accessory” stance.

-Other than socks or baby booties it might possibly be the only halfway practical infant footwear.

Everyone knows that one person who went out and bought a pair of $50 baby Nike’s for a 2 month old. Babies don’t need shoes because, NEWSFLASH, babies don’t walk. Junior isn’t going to need that non slip sole okay – not even when he starts rolling over. “My baby walked at 3 weeks because of those mini Air Jordan’s I got him”SAID NO ONE EVER!

-They are adorable for photos.

              I happen to think that baby feet are adorable enough in themselves, but if your child is cursed with abnormally ugly feet even as an infant, what better way to disguise them?

-They actually kind of make sense for a beach wedding.

                It’s one day, your day and you’re having a beautiful ceremony right there on the beach where you two first met.  You had fallen asleep and had 2nd degree burns on your back, he smacked you squarely between the shoulder blades with a volleyball.  Now as you stand in that same spot exchanging your vows, you can glance down at your green beaded barefoot sandals and be reminded of those blissful early days of your relationship when he used an entire vat of aloe vera gel to soothe your pain and win your heart.
That's all I've got for the "pro" side of this debate.

Now onto the “Decline of society” stance:

- First off, the name is an oxymoron.  “Barefoot” indicating that there is nothing on your foot!!! And then “sandal” which is defined as – well something on your foot!
san·dal 1 (s n dl)  n.

1. A shoe consisting of a sole fastened to the foot by thongs or straps.

2. A low-cut shoe fastened to the foot by an ankle strap.

3. A rubber overshoe cut very low and covering little more than the sole of the shoe.

4. A strap or band for fastening a low shoe or slipper on the foot.

Now I know there are a lot of oxymorons out there and they’re used every single day, like “useful man” or “delicious vegan dish”, but as a general rule, I really think they should be avoided at all costs.

Could no one come up with a more accurate monicker?  How about 'Toe floss', 'Foot thong', 'Ankle Bib', . . .

-The top of your foot doesn’t need adornment.  Lots of people have issues with their feet.  Most people hate their toes.  Toenail fungus runs amock, athlete’s foot can be debilitating, dry cracked heels are an epidemic, and don’t even get me started on hammer toes.  But none of these issues  are on the top of the foot?  Who wants to hide the top of their foot and bring more attention to their kankles? Personally, the top of my foot might be my most flawless feature.  I don’t want to cover that up.

-Where are you going to wear these? On the beach, okay I suppose but who wears jewelry (even foot jewelry) to the beach?  And think of the tan line that baby is going to cause! Plus have you ever walked on hot sand? Hello, that toe floss ain’t going to be much good when you’ve got 100 yards of boiling sand to traverse. 

Here you’ll see that someone was clever enough to take the barefoot sandal phenomenon out of the beach and into the work place by pairing them with some pumps.  This looks ridiculous.  They’re like lace spats and spats are the shoe versions of a dicky.  Nobody needs a foot dicky – NOBODY.

Well I know which way I’m leaning, but I’m going to let you all make your own decision. Leave me a comment and give me your take!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thrifted Treasures

I love to pop some tags.  I’ve quite often only got 20 dollars in my pocket and I’m always looking for a come up. 
I find some of my best things at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales.  Most of them I keep for myself because I couldn’t bear to part with them.  Others end up in the vintage section of my Etsy shop.  I hate to keep them all to myself though so I thought I’d take the opportunity of sharing some of my thrifted treasures with you. 
Today I’m showing off my chalkware owl.  This gem was purchased in the former chicken shed of some stranger’s acreage, for I think around $6. I could tell you the back story behind that but I think it’s much more intriguing if I let you come up with an explanation your own.

I adore chalkware. I’m not sure why. Probably because the things that are made out of it are usually incredibly bizarre or incredibly cute. They were often painted with some fabulous colors too.  

I haven’t been able to find a pad of paper that fits exactly but I found one that was close enough and there’s even a little hole to hold a pencil.I wanted him on the fridge, and while I had some well founded concerns of it falling off, I’ve glued enough super powerful magnets on the back of this baby that it’s magnetism may actually be affecting compasses within a 5 mile radius of the house.

Thursday, February 14, 2013