September 29, 2009

Finding JOY

When I entered the scene of a particular yard sale a month or so ago, I almost turned around and walked right back out before doing a thorough investigation of the goods. At first glance, the sale seemed to have an abundance of overpriced Tupperware and plastic novelties. But since I had taken the time to stop the car, I figured I’d at least check out the pile of books on a back table. And that’s when I saw it. A small box shoved to the side. I gulped. Vintage scrabble?! My heart skipped a beat. There wasn’t a board, but the letters and letter racks were enough for me. With the asking price of 50 cents for the set, I realized that some people value Tupperware, while others prefer vintage letters. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I knew those little blocky letters would be great in a mixed media piece, but I also realized they were cool enough to stand on their own. So I spelled out our name and let them rest on the light switch plate in our entryway. Hubby please stop reading…

(actually they are attached to the wall with a little dab of hot glue. Yes, I was aware that the painter of the house would not be happy with the decision to take a glue gun to the walls, but at least it’s not hay or plastic flowers, right? …anybody see those Trading Spaces episodes??!)

Hubby continue reading…

I also came to the conclusion that my fabric covered studio switch plate could benefit from letter additions so I “attached” more tiles. I love spelling out the obvious.

Less daring I suppose is choosing to display a word on one of those charming, old wooden racks. The X is on its side on purpose. You get it right?!

This also spells what to do when you discover how your wife attached scrabble letters to the walls. XOXO : )
September 23, 2009

Nature is painting.

Is that a gorgeous palette or what?

Happy first day of fall. My favorite season.
Filed Under: Uncategorized
September 21, 2009

Sweet Sweater Rosettes

The past week has been filled to the brim with design work, kid’s homework and activities plus all the usual. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been dreaming of new projects. Over the weekend, I took a crafty time out and made a half dozen or so of these happy rosettes from recycled felted wool sweaters. The idea stemmed from a rosey wreath project by Betz White in the new Holiday Crafts magazine by Better Homes and Gardens that I’m planning to make very soon.

This tutorial focuses on a hair clip, but the idea can easily be adapted for pony tail holders, headbands and pins.


In addition to felted wool (in the colors of your choice), you’ll need a 3/8 inch coordinating ribbon, a hair clip, fabric scissors, fabric glue and a glue gun.

To felt wool: Place your thrifted or unwanted 100 percent wool sweaters in the washing machine. Wash on the HOT cycle. Place the sweaters in the dryer. Basically do all that you would never dare do with 100 percent wool sweaters and feel very rebellious. Next, go over to your local tattoo parlor…kidding. Do that after you make your rosettes.


For the patterns, left click on the above image and print. Your circle pattern should be approximately 3 inches. If for some reason your circle prints larger or smaller than three inches, adjust the print percentage as necessary.

Using your pattern, cut a circle from the rose wool color. Then, cut a spiral shape using the pattern as a guide. It doesn’t have to be perfect (no flower is) so wing it with confidence.

Starting from the outside of the spiral, use fabric glue to attach at the bottom edge of the flower. Wind to shape the rosette.

When you get to the end of the spiral, glue the flower to the end of the wool like so.

To decorate the hair clip, take a coordinating color of 3/8 inch wide ribbon cut to 4 1/2 inches in length. Starting from the back of the clip, hot glue the ribbon up, around, over and under the clippie.

Next, cut two leafs from the leaf-colored felted wool using the pattern as a guide. Hot glue the leaf shapes to the clip followed by the rosette.

Make a rosette to match every outfit. Take a deep breath, smile and go back to the real world. Tattoos optional.
Filed Under: crafts, projects
September 11, 2009

Piecing together our days

Now that the two oldest kids are back in school we’re not seeing each other as often as we did over the summer. My 5th grader hardly needs a prompt to give me a complete rehash of her day, but the second grader is another story. When I ask how his day went every day is… (one word said very tony-the-tigerish) “Greeaaaaaat” (and by the way I have proof that isn’t always the case, but we won’t go there.)

Having an activity to come home to that doesn’t plug in or require batteries has been my trick to find out more. Not only does the simple process of putting a puzzle together relax, it brings out stories that otherwise might not be shared.


Besides being a great social activity, solving and putting together puzzles calls for patience and brain power. It helps melt away stress, stay focused and work that right brain.

I won’t lie…having 1000 pieces laid out on my dining room table for days on end makes me a little nuts, but it’s worth it. I’m finding all sorts of pieces, I would otherwise have missed.
Filed Under: family
September 7, 2009

Extra! Extra!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours went about as fast as the rest of the summer which was pretty fast. Now it’s time to look for pumpkins and gourds and to settle into the routine that the school year brings. errrr…excuse me…what did you say? ohhhhh…you’re wondering about that wooden newspaper carrier?! Well, I’m glad you asked. He holds under his arm my very first e-newsletter which is almost ready to deliver to subscribers.

If you haven’t yet signed up look over to the sidebar on the right of my blog>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
see that little box that says “subscribe to my e-newsletter?”

All you need to do is enter your e-mail and you too will receive the “art just for fun” e-newsletter which includes insider tidbits along with valuable coupons for my etsy shop. Plus every once in awhile I’ll be having subscriber giveaways. It’ll be fun.

I promise you will not be overwhelmed with mail as my goal for e-news is just once every month or two. And so you know, this guy has strict instructions about spam…no credit card applications, no silly jokes, no chain letters, etc. Plus you can always unsubscribe. (I’ll be a little sad and miss having you, but I’ll understand.)

Now I’ve got to go catch that carrier. He has deliveries to make.
September 4, 2009

That sure went fast

Enjoy your last ride of the summer over this long holiday weekend. I’ll be laboring inside way more than I would like with looming design project deadlines, but you can be sure we’ll still sneak in some warm weather fun. See ya on the other side of the weekend!
Filed Under: family

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