Monday, January 26, 2015

Silly Little Birdhouses

Kathryn and Aiden painting birdhouses summer 2014
I have had more fun with these little $1 birdhouses from Jo-ann's.  I picked them up during the summer and have been playing with them ever since.  I have two on our mantle, my great-grandson and his mom both painted some when they were here during the summer and I played with a couple today.

I always seem to have some in the works - one phase or another.  I took the time to gesso all of them so they would be ready when the urge struck.

The best part of these is that you can't mess up  If you do, you redo and they only cost a $1.  And there's always a paint over and start over!  That's the part I love.  It's sort of like the wood blocks that Junelle Jacobson has taught me to paint in her various classes.  She has a new "Saturday Morning" class starting soon and we will be working with blocks again.

My first paper piecing flowers on wood blocks.
Again, thanks Junelle!

But, as usual, I've jumped topics - I'm all about the birdhouses right now.  So I did two this weekend. Thanks to Junelle I now play in gesso and Mod Podge like I'm a three year old. So I put on my apron and got out the papers, glue and paint and had a blast.

My first house was all torn papers.  I used some fab Tim Holtz papers with some birds on it.  Also, had some papers with French writing and had to add that too.  Ended up pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

When Archivers was going out of business I bought some interesting sheets of paper, so did my next house with a map of the Paris bus system or so it says, I think.  In other words, they could say that and I wouldn't know, but I like the paper.  End result, if I have a French bird fly into my studio he will like this house!

Starting a block class with Junelle soon, so watch for some cute painted blocks!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Looking Back - Mom's Memory Book!

Lid from box of new Christmas balls - now wonderful
decorations for next year!  See why I save?
I have decided that this is the year of cleaning out, using up and moving forward lighter.  If you know me at all, you know that I'm a keeper of all things.  As a previous antique store owner and a collector I tend to place a value on everything that crosses in front of me!  As a mixed media artist, everything I see can be used in something, sometime, some way.

With the passing of our parents I gained even more things to hold on to (some of you would use the word hoard) I use hold on to and treasure!  Except, that I'm feeling overwhelmed by stuff!  I didn't know it could happen, but it has and this must be the year of use it, sell it, give it away or with a very deep sigh throw it away!  Eek, you may or may not know how that makes me feel, but it's scary!  Not the use it, not the sell it, not the give it away, but the THROW IT AWAY!

We had a couple of nice, warm and sunny (for January) days and so I dug into my garage.  One side is for the car, but the other side planned for a outside studio has become a storage bin.  I have some woodworking ideas, some fiber cleaning to do and so I began my clean up the chaos here.

My mom and dad had a trunk that as a child I loved to look through.  Dad stored it in the back of a closet and occasionally he would pull it out,  open it up and let me look at the goodies.  Well, when Dad passed and Mom moved to Texas with us along came the trunk.  Finally, I went through it and found that most of those childhood memories didn't really amount to much, but there were a few items hidden away that are treasures.

I found both of their 8th grade graduation certificates and the condition is remarkable, I'm only showing one as they're both identical except for the names.  I think I will be able to remove some of the wrinkles and use them for a journal cover??
The cover with her name in gold!

I found my mom's high school memory book - and I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves. I hope to scan some of the pages, so I can print and use them in future journals and some I will just use as they are.  I will add some of the Valentines  and other cards to art pieces, but I just wanted to share some of these pieces here in my blog.  I loved reading some of the notes mom's friend had written to her and notes she had made along with the things she had placed in her book.  It's getting to know mom in a totally different way.  I wish we had gone through the book together and although I know I have heard many of the stories, there were many more for her to tell!

I love the art work!

This is one of those pop up, die cut cards!
Still perfect and so intricate!

Another pop up card!

Look at all the gift tags - those haven't changed much
through the years!

This napkin is like new and it was for her
surprise 16th birthday!  Never knew she
had one!  

Loved that she wrote that they ate candy during Study Hall -
well nothing changed - she ate candy up to her last day!

What a stylish valentine!

She noted on this that the party guests confused her and her sister! They were just two years apart in age.  The menu was always listed in her notes and that never changed - She always told me what they had to eat at every event she ever attended! 

These last cards were actually postcards!  Personal notes were
on the back and could have been mailed, but appeared to
be just given to her.

I didn't keep a book like this when I was in High School and have really never been a "scrapbooker."  I have thousands of pictures, fortunately for heirs they're mostly digital now, but I don't know that I have anything that will tell the story of my early life like this has for my mom.  Oh, just remembered my mom kept my baby book and a school scrapbook for me too!  It just goes through grade school and does have some fun valentines in it. Well, that's another blog for another time!

Hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane and now I will decide how to use these items.  I see some journals and art in these pages.  Some I will scan so I can print and use more than once and others, well, we'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Place Mats & Table Runners from Jelly Rolls

Happy 2015!!!

Last time I posted I said I would be back soon with pictures of weaving with jelly rolls!  That was in October and here it is January 2015!  Eek! Sorry!!!!

When I got my first loom it was all about table runners and place mats!  Of course, you start with scarves!  Everyone does!  Kind of like knitting. :)

And one more!  Love this yarn!
Scarves I've women.

In the fall I discovered Lois Weaver, got a pattern and now have made three runners and completed one set of place mats.  Another set is started on the loom, but has taken a back seat to the holidays and getting the new year started.  As last time, I'm going to let the pictures with brief captions tell the rest of the story!
Moda Jelly Roll - normally think of it for quilts!

Side view of Moda Jelly Roll

Jelly roll strips laid out and cut in 1/2 for weaving!

Table runners has begun.

Checking how it looks - getting close to done!

Checking again - beautiful!

Washed and hanging to dry - love the striping.

Fringe has been trimmed.

On my table - I love it!

I cut the strips for this table runner from some fabric stash!

I wove two shorter runners with same warp.  Still connected together - but love the colors!
Scarf completed between runner and place mats!  Love this new yarn.
Love these colors - used for the following  place mats!

Made all four with one warp and cut apart.  Love the colors.
I toss all of the strips into a bag and pull them out blind - that makes
the mats go together, but each place mat different from the others!

And now the next set begins.  I warped with four different colors
that all match the fabric. 

I'm making 14 of these place mats - 6 for my friend Deb and 8 for me.
The colors go with our Fiesta dishes!  

So that ends the saga of the table runners and place mats for now.  I will post pictures of these last mats when they're done.  I'm so far behind, but have them at the top of my to do list!  Hopefully, they will be complete soon!

I really am going to try and post more regularly, however, I have a lot on my agenda. I just had a great fiber weekend and so there is much to post, but also much to do.  I have a fiber area to prepare in the garage and lots of organization and clean out to do this year and yet so little time!

I will TRY to be back soon!  Be sure to follow my blog Jack and the Alpacas - I'm going to try and use it for my fiber posts, especially if it includes using the fiber from the boys…..

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