Friday, June 29, 2007

Under The Sea Box




Here are the photos I promised in the last post. I am so frustrated-first the internet works, then it doesn't--we may just have to switch services.

Creative Challenge #56

Jewelstreet came up with a fun creative challenge this week--to create something inspired by your first car.

My first car was a 1974 Ford Maverick, 4 door that I bought used. It wasn't a "hot" car but I loved it, and it gave me many happy years of service. It was a beautiful tourquoise blue. Unfortunately, I could not find a photo to attach here.

I made a treasure box which I painted tourquoise outside and green inside. All surfaces are polyurethaned for protection. I added some fun quilled sea creatures-fish, a shell, and a starfish. For fun I added some more fish inside on the lid.

I hope to have it available in my etsy shop later today.

We are having internet problems, so I am not sure if the photos will load or not. I think I will go ahead & post this and add the photos later so I don't lose it all.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 25, 2007

What a day!

I usually update my blog early in the morning...but here it is 6:38 p.m. and I am just sitting down at the computer. This was like the day from you know where!

My daughter had a 10 a.m. appointment after which we stopped at Kohl's Department Store to make a return. We got home at noon, made lunch, she hit the computer & I hit the laundry. That was the good part of the day.

After doing two loads of laundry, I decided I should go ahead & wash the towels because I like them dried in the dryer and tomorrow is supposed to be very humid. No sense getting the house all hot. So as they're washing, I run up and comment on a few blogs, fold some dry laundry, etc. Finally the load finishes and as I reach in to transfer them to the dryer....they are soaking wet! Apparently, the basket doesn't spin anymore. Why oh why did my washer have to pick today at 3:30 to break? My husband tried to take the back off to see if it was just a belt that we could fix, but they make them so you can't even get the back off anymore!

So another trip to the closest mall-about 20 miles away-and we were just there Friday afternoon-to get a new one at Sears. It's being delivered Friday.

I was going to tell you about our wonderful weekend...but that will have to wait for another day.

Hope your day was better than mine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Patterns Fit For A Princess



This is my latest ACEO which was created in response to Etsy Creative Challenge #55 to create something inspired by the wedding of the daughter of the Sultan of Brunei.
You can view some of the photos here.

I was so inspired by all the different patterns I saw--from the couple's polka dot
clothing to the ironwork spirals of the lamp posts. I decided to do a needle punch embroidery using as many of the patterns as I could. The top portion represents the spirals, the right is a portion of the canopy with a crescent moon pattern, the bottom is a black lace motif decorated with pearls & red seed beads (had to get some beads in there lol!) and the left obviously the polka dots. The yellow diagonal represents the groom's sash.

This little piece of art measures the standard 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" and will be available shortly in my etsy shop.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last week's Creative Challenge


Last week's creative challenge on Etsy was a color challenge to use Lipstick Red. Well, this gave me the hardest time. Even after I had the idea it was a struggle all the way through! The above is the finished result and believe me, this week, I got by with a little help from my friends.

I enjoy trying to find different ideas for aceos-which in case you are not familiar are mini pieces of art that measure 2 1/2" by 3 1/2". For this piece I took heavy gauge copper wire and formed it into the correct size. I wove the whole thing with red and variegated red craft thread-which took awhile. I attached a felt free-form volcano, and then asked for lots of suggestions from my wonderful challenge friends. Their suggestions enabled me to finish it without stressing out too much. It will be available in my Etsy shop later today.

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tip #2

This tip is a cooking or rather barbecuing tip. Perhaps the gourmet cooks out there already know this, but I recently discovered this by accident.

To help the crumbs stay on your chicken or pork, bread and refrigerate them several hours in advance. I don't know why this works, but it does! I dipped chicken cutlets in olive oil & then breadcrumbs early in the morning, and by the time we barbecued them, they were perfect!

This works if you fry, too. Although I do not fry much, being of Italian descent, there is only one way to make veal cutlets, and that is fried!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Are you smarter than....

Last night as my husband was switching TV channels, I got the inspiration for today's question; Are you smarter than a 5th grader? I've never really watched the whole show but it occurs to me that the contestants either 1)act like they know less than they do or 2)humans lose their memory for what is insignificant to them as they age or else 3)didn't they learn anything in school? Last night's loser (as in they went home with no money, not that they are a loser) thought there are over 300 feet in a yard. That's basic information I feel most everyone would know, so here's the real question....

Do you think contestants on TV shows are coached as to how to act & what the outcome should be?

And here's a bonus...(no googling!) Name 2 mammals that lay eggs.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tip #1


I thought I would share some tips and tricks. Some are craft related, some more general.

My first tip is an great way to store small amounts of seed beads. I found an old spice rack, cleaned it up and hung it on my craft room wall. Since the jars are clear, you can instantly see what you need and how much you have. This would also work well for any small left-overs you have. I hate to throw away any small piece of anything--you never know when you will have a need for it.

My jars look a little empty right now--I used them for a huge amount of vintage seed beads that I inherited from a friend's mom. She passed away at 102, probably 12 years ago now. She was a professional beader and hand beaded gowns--she even beaded a pair of slippers for Madame Chaing Kai Schek. Most of those beads went into making beautiful beaded flower arrangements--all of which I sold! The pictures below are two examples.



Have a great day!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some more about my website

Happy Monday Everyone! I got a late start today....actually spent the morning just lazing around with my husband. Yesterday after church, we made a quick run (15 miles) to the mall to pick up my husband's glasses. I cleaned and did 3 loads of laundry which still isn't dry, so I figured I deserved a day of rest today. Later on, I'm going to get a haircut & get my hair permed.

My husband has been bugging me to start a website, and I finally agreed to because 1)this site is free for basic service and perhaps more importantly, 2)this site was fairly easy to set up. I did mention it in my post about the heirloom quilt I made, but here it is again.

Due to the Etsy rules, I have many of the same items displayed, but they are only for sale on Etsy.That is how I am working it for the moment. The only thing I can/will/am selling directly from the website is jewelry, of which I only have 2 really simple bracelets up so far. I really wanted to get as much stuff on as I could as fast as I could.

What I am most proud of is the Gallery where I showcase some of the other things I have made that are not for sale. The quilt was just one of those. I have some psysanky or Ukranian decorated eggs, a beaded egg, an applique picture, and a spirit doll to name a few.

If you have time, take a browse around. I'd love to hear your comments as to how the site looks-good and bad, and any suggestions.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

My First Job


This week's creative challenge is to make something inspired by your first job. Well, that was a long time ago, LOL!

My first job was in a "five and dime" called Woolworth's, short for FW Woolworth's. Perhaps some of you have heard of it? I started there when I was 16, after school and on Saturdays, and basically worked on the bottom floor in the back of the store. With "promotions" you eventually worked your way up to the front, then upstairs, well you get the idea. I got my first promotion pretty quickly, BUT....

I never made it out of the basement as we called it. In fact a room as small as a closet became my domain. I became the sign maker for the entire store. I would go into work, go into my little room and there would be piles of little notes, almost like love notes, from all the departments telling me what signs they needed me to make.

Printing was antiquated, this was after all the early 1970s. I set the type using individual metal letters into a form (backwards, of course), using the proper sizes, styles,etc. Then I used a brayer to ink the letters. The ink was a beautiful aqua color, and I can still smell it if I close my eyes. Then I would lay down the sign blank which was precut to size, always white and a bit like posterboard. Close the lid, slide the roller, lift the top and voila, there you have the sign. I'd let them dry and then deliver them to the appropriate departments where they would be slid into metal frames.

Kind of like my own perpetual art show!

So...the above aceo was inspired by my first job, how? First, it's a sign. Second, it's a message to always move forward and go after your dreams. It will be available later today in my etsy shop.

So,what was your first job?

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Family Heirloom



It's an overcast, rainy Monday here in craftymooseland. Despite that, my mood is good & I plan to get a lot done today. Since I don't have much to say today, I thought I would talk about one of the other projects I made-not for sale, just to decorate our home.

This quilt actually hangs in our downstairs bath. It takes up one entire wall. I made it from a pattern by a quilt artist whose name escapes me at the moment--but it is with the embellishing that originality comes into play. I'll list (since we all like lists so much ! LOL!) some of the embellishments...

1)The majority of the big colorful fish are cut from fabric & appliqued on.

2)Just above dead center on the quilt you may be able to see a small sand snail shell. This is a shell that I collected while visiting my grandfather in Southern Italy back in the 70s. He lived at the top of a mountain & we took walks everyday along the roads in the hills.

3)Here & there are some smaller blown glass fish & one or two wooden ones that started out life as earrings.

4)In the top left corner is a blue glazed sand dollar which was part of a necklace given to me over 20 years ago.

5)The mermaid, left of center, I made out of polymer clay, fabric, sequins & beads.

6)Below the mermaid is a lobster toy from a Happy Meal our daughter ate as a child.

7)Moving right is seaweed I made from tulle that my mom gave me.

8)And, the coral base is a brooch and the branches a repurposed necklace that had belonged to my husband's family.

Writing this blog has made me appreciate this quilt even more. Hopefully some day, I can pass it down to our daughter.

Anyone with a family heirloom story?

Friday, June 1, 2007

Collections

I decided to make a list of all the things I collect or have collected over the years of my life. So here goes:

1)Stamps-I started out when I was 9 or 10 and collected stamps from all over the world. I've slowed down quite a bit and have now limited my collection to the US up to 2005.

2)Spoons-Those kitschy ones with the names and places you visit on vacation. I try to collect one from everywhere I've been--I have 2 racks full so far.


3)Elephant things-Elephants are of sentimental value to my dh and me. Our first date
(blind date, I might add) took us to the Bronx Zoo. We clicked right away & got so involved talking that we actually walked in circles & always found ourselves at the Elephant House. That became "our little thing" and now nearly 16 years later, I still buy him a new elephant of some kind be it a statue, magnet, mug etc. I actually made 2 that are in our collection. (polymer clay following patterns)


4)Animal statues-Again something I started as a child because I love animals. My latest addition to this one is a brown bear that I got in Idaho. It started with unicorns & tigers which I have the most of. I have lots of others including a camel, llama, seals, penguins, hedgehog, and flamingo.

5)Blown glass-again mostly animals-camel, dragon, unicorn, flamingo, turtle, penguin, pelican, rhino & lobster to name but a few. Also bicycle & Christmas tree. So, yes you could say I have a glass menagerie!


6)Southwestern stuff-I love the area, I love the look & have my living room decorated in that style. Besides buffalo,boots, candles, & a mandela..I have 2 large paper mache cacti (one I made) a stuffed howling coyote that I made, a quilt I made & a paper mache steer head I painted. Much more, but this post can't go on forever!

Wow, I collected more than I thought when I sat down to think about it. And my last collection which is ongoing and very much loved is.....

7)Elvis memorabilia-Including 2 bottles of wine from the Elvis Presley Vineyards, a replica of Rusty Wallace's #2 Elvis car (any nascar fans?), figures, plates, a cow dressed as Elvis and my latest a set of Elvis matreska dolls.


Which brings me to this Friday's Question...What do you collect? I invite anyone interested to post here or in their blog & let me know.

Have a great weekend!