Tuesday, April 15, 2014

T Stands For Tuesday

Today I am joining Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday at breakfast.  I woke up two hours earlier than usual this morning and simply could not get back to sleep.  After tossing and turning for 1 1/2 of those hours, I finally gave in and got up to make breakfast:
Reminds me more of Christmas with the red strawberries and green teapot.  Even the Irish Breakfast teabag has a red and green theme.  However, my thoughts are more on Easter preparations and decorations this week.

I made the embellishments for this bead a while back  Hmmm, another dual holiday? Is it Easter or Halloween?  Anyway, I made a simple egg cabochon from polymer clay, glued it to a felt tunic and beaded around it. The ears were just some bits of white fleece and pink felt.

I made these Ukranian Easter Eggs, or Pysanky Eggs many years ago. Pysanky is a method of writing on an egg with beeswax and dying it in multiple colors to make intricate patterns. It is done with a special tool called a Kistka that looks like a teeny tiny funnel on a stick. Beeswax is added to the tiny cup & melted over a small (candle) flame until it flows freely out of the tiny tip. The idea is to work from light to dark so any area that you want to remain white on your egg is outlined first with wax. Then the egg is dipped into the next lightest color that you want to use, yellow for example. Then any areas that you want to remain yellow are covered with wax, and the egg is then dipped into the next darkest color. You continue on in this manner until your pattern is complete and you have dipped your egg into the last, darkest color.

The next step is to hold the egg over a candle flame to carefully melt the beeswax. Kind of a melt, wipe, melt some more mantra! Soon you will begin to see the beautiful colors and pattern emerge and voila!--you have a Pysanky egg.
Traditionally, the eggs were left intact and eventually the inside would "dry up". Well, after ruining several as the liquid inside started leaking out, I decided to carefully "blow them out". I found some very tiny, decorative bead caps which I placed over the two holes when the eggs were completely dry and it gave them a finished look. As you can see, I display them (year round) on a variety of napkin rings.
Wishing all my friends a Happy T Day,  Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Egg dying!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Craft Barn Challenge #7 Change and Truth

Change or Truth...Truth or Change, I couldn't decide!  I kept changing my mind, but to tell you the truth, I am happy with what I came up with this fortnight for the 7th Craft Barn Challenge:
I've been hoarding this stamp for awhile and thought of using it for an Earth Day post, but it seemed to fit this quote from Mahatma Gandhi so well: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." I made an easy dripped watercolor background and wrote the quote and other words with Sakura permanent ink pens.

Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Monday, April 7, 2014

T Stands For Tuesday--It's Spring!

It has been Spring according to the calendar for weeks now, but the trees, bushes, and flowers in my yard have not woken up yet.  The air is still too cold for other than a heavy coat, and while wind has been plentiful, the sun has been elusive.  Well, if it isn't ready to be Spring outside, I will make it Spring inside!

Join me for a cup of one of my favorites, Vanilla Chai Tea as I join Elizabeth for T Stands For Tuesday.
Violets are one of my favorite flowers and must have been a popular design in the previous generation's decor, too.  You may remember my previous post where I showed my mini plates & tea cup compared to the full size plate that was part of a china set that belonged to my parents.  I know I have showed the above cup before, but I am not sure if I mentioned that it was from a set that belonged to my father-in-law.  I find these patterns so much prettier than what I see around today.
Speaking of violets, here are three bunches that I just finished beading for a custom order.
Here they are displayed together in a vase. Another flower I have been playing around with are Lily of The Valley.  I've been exploring some alternate colors, rather than the more common white ones.
Here are some light pink ones,
and some light green ones.  I have only ever seen the white variety growing, but my research yielded these two color varieties that are natural, as opposed to dyed.  Any one know of any other natural colors?

I'll leave you with one last image of someone who stopped by to say hello....
Happy Spring and Happy T Day! Thanks for coming by!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

T Stands for Mini Tea

Hi Everyone!  Today I am linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday with a mini post about a mini Tea set.  Here is the link to this week's post--feel free to join us to talk about whatever you like as long as you somehow include a beverage!

Today I am sharing a mini tea pot and dessert plates which obviously don't match or even go together.
The two plates are English bone china and feature romantic vignettes of music and courtship.   To give you an idea of their size....
I photographed one with a regular size "cake plate".  The plate is from a set of china given to me by my parents--it was theirs and I really treasure it.  I love the violet pattern.  I put "cake plate" in quotes because I realized after I uploaded the photo that this is actually a cup saucer--but they are the same size as the cake plate so I did not change it.

The little tea pot was my grandmother's, and I do not know much about it other than it is stamped "made in occupied Japan". That term refers to a time in history after World War II between 1945-1952 when Japan was occupied by Allied forces.  As Japan tried to revive their economy, part of the deal was that they stamp an amount of things being exported in this way.  Although it was meant as a negative, probably demeaning thing to the Japanese, it did two things. One, it made their exported items purchasable since Americans especially would not buy anything Japanese, and two, the labeling spawned a huge collecting frenzy which continues today.
I'm guessing this tiny little tea pot was once part of a children's play tea set although I don't remember ever seeing cups and saucers.  For as long as I remember, it always sat in my grandmother's china cabinet, and that's which it is prized by me.

Happy T Day everyone!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Craft Barn Challenge #6 Flower/Travel

Hi Everyone! Sorry I have not been around to visit and catch up with you all...the last week has been both overwhelming and hectic.  I managed a little art today for the latest Craft Barn challenge which is to use the word flower and/or travel.  I have a lot of quotes about flowers, and this is one of my favorites:
Collage on an art card blank using scrapbook papers and dimensional flowers from K & Company.  The quote is from Oliver Wendell Holmes.  If you'd like to stop by and see what other have done with this challenge, here is the link.  Hope to be around to visit everyone soon.

Monday, March 17, 2014

T(ea) Stands For Tuesday on Monday St. Patrick's Day Edition

I wanted to put up a short St. Patrick's Day post, and since I know Elizabeth usually posts her T(ea) Tuesday  link late on Monday, I hope she won't mind that I am posting a little early to also share with Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T(ea) Stands for Tuesday gang!

My daughter has Spring Break (Grad School) this week so most of my time will be spent catching up with her, but I thought I would present a few facts about St. Patrick that you might not already know.

Did you know....

March 17 is actually the day St. Patrick died?

St. Patrick was not Irish...but rather was born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales?

At the age of 16, Patrick was kidnapped, brought to Ireland and sold as a slave?

Blue was the original color associated with St. Patrick, not green?

Now it's time to show my drink, along with a new French Beaded flower arrangement that was inspired by the New Zealand Rock Lily or Renga Lily.
Of course it is food coloring in my water! Happy T Day everyone! Thanks for stopping by today!  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Craft Barn Challenge #5 Art and/or Road

I was so happy when I saw the two prompts for the 5th Craft Barn Challenge! I knew right away, even before seeing some of the beautiful examples from the DT, that my inspiration was going to be George Harrison's song, "Any Road".  My husband enjoys putting our travel photos on DVD and has gotten quite proficient with adding effects and music.  When our daughter returned home from studying at The University of Oxford, he did the same with her photos, using this song which often plays over and over in my head.  You see, as he is trying to get the timing exact, he plays a song, or a snippet of a song, over and over again until he gets it matched up just right.  It's a good thing I love this song!

I used blue acrylic paint mixed with a glazing compound for the background, and hand cut (since I don't own a die cutting machine) all the elements.  Inspired by the first lines of the song, I created the signpost with vehicles cut out of a street map and arranged in order.

In case you are not familiar, here are the lyrics from the first two stanzas:

But I've been traveling on a boat and a plane
In a car on a bike with a bus and a train
Traveling there, traveling here
Everywhere in every gear

But oh Lord we pay the price
With the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice
Ah yeah you pay your fare
And if you don't know where you're going
Any road will take you there

Thanks for stopping by!