Fun swaps and stuff!

Good afternoon every one. Here in the Northwest we are again having record high temperatures for this time of year. It is absolutely beautiful.The weather forecast calls for cooler temps plus some rain by the weekend but still much warmer than usual. I for one think it is 'lovely. I hope wherever you are you are enjoying 'perfect weather'.

I have actually been creating the last few months but haven't taken the time to post to the blog.

I have decided to go back to making every gift from now on. When the kids were little John and I would make almost every gift we gave. We both enjoyed it but found that some of the friends and family didn't appreciate the talent and time that went in to said gifts. As we grew a little more affluent and busier in our lives we gave more 'store bought' items and enjoyed it less.

With the national economics being what they are and the fact I have stashes that cry out to me on a regular basis, I am taking an oath here and now to MAKE every gift from now on.

I had to come up with a baby gift on Saturday. John wanted to just go buy a dress or something. It is for a girl. I held my ground and went into my
studio and voila. I found a poem online about little girls that was so sweet. I found paper I had that seemed to fit the poem and printed it out on the paper. I made a small box out of chipboard--though one could use cardboard etc. I taped all the sides together with duct tape. I made the opening 5 x 7 so I could place a picture frame and glass on top.( so the sides of the boxes were 5 x7 as well.)
I covered the four sides of the inside of the box with matching paper I used for the back. I used ribbon to cover the seams that showed between the bottom/back inside of the box.

I started pulling out all sorts of doodads that were mentioned in the poem: angel wings, snowflakes, cinnamon stick for cinnamon, pearls, daisies etc etc. I had enough to embellish the sides and bottom of the box.
When the inside was all complete to my satisfaction I placed the glass and picture frame on top of the box opening and secured it down with duct tape.

I covered the outside back of the box with felt and took wide plush ribbon to cover the sides. I used some pretty lace to cover the seam between the ribbon and the picture frame and then embellished that with some ribbon roses. I added a ribbon hanger when I glued the back felt on as well.

The shadow box can be hanging or sat on a shelf.

The couple that received this gift truly was delighted. They said 'oh it is so nice to have something unique and not another pink dress.'

This summer I was in a pinkeep swap hosted by the delightful Vivian @Vivswhimsy. I was paired with Fran from dollsthecanvasofmysoul.

She is very talented. Please go to her site to see her beautiful dolls.
She sent me this adorable pinkeep. I love her. I smile every time I use her. Fran also included some beautiful hand dyed lace. Thank you Fran I sent Fran this pinkeep. I used some of my cutter quilt stash to make this heart. I joined it together with ribbon using the blanket stitch. I then added lengths of ribbon with buttons/beads/doodads tied to the ends.
I then attached it to a brass candlestick and added a vintage brooch to finish it off.

Sarah from Gypsymermaidlife hosted The Witch's cupboard swap. (Please go to Sarah's site. She lost her home and everything in Hurricane Ike. If you want to help out she has information listed.)
My partner was Julie @CupcakeDD . She makes the coolest stuff! She loves vintage stuff as much as I do.
I had a vintage punpkin made out of orange yarn. I separated his head, arms and legs and glued them to this vintage Hershey's chocolate bar box. I thought it was fun and quirky.
I thrifted the metal sign.

I visited a liquidation store and halloween goodies like this below were 90% off. I filled it with some goodies for Julie.
I made the following basket out of vintage fabric stash. I lined this basket and then added a ruffled edge. I covered the outside with black coat sued

and added a vintage crocheted doily to the bottom portion. I embellished it with a few little halloween cats and spiders.
I thrifted this small black ceramic shoe and thought it would be perfect for a witch to have in her cupboard. I found a ghost design and glued it to a toothpick and added letters to spell out the B O O. A bat pin finished it off.

When Julie's package arrived it was so fun to open. She topped the box with long lengths of white and black wide ribbon and had wrapped everything in newspaper with great trim.
This crow sits on a tissue paper trimmed platform and looks very cute in front of my black halloween tree. His little witch hat is so cute.
Julie sent me a package of frosted gum drop garland that adorns the same tree.
SHe filled glass jars with bits and bobs and labeled them as 'eye of newt' 'naughty nymph dust use sparingly' 100% organic spun spider's silk' So clever! She also took a small plastic skeleton and broke into parts and labeled it 'bag o' bones'It was all wrapped up so sweetly.

My favorite item was this framed saying:
Home is where you hang your broom!
Thank you Julie! I have had lots of comments on the items you sent!!
I am off to hang some pumpkin lights to add a little more halloween decor to the place.
Make a Gift and give part of yourself.



Happy 100th Birthday Great Aunt Irma!!

This is john's brother Bob Aunt Irma and John at her birthday
celebration. We had a great time. Irma is a delight and always has been.
In her lifetime she has gone from a horse and buggy to an airplane.

She has lived through world wars, the depression, real estate booms, the wright brothers flying the first airplane to sputniks to america landing on the moon, people flying around the world and adding alaska and hawaii to the US. She has been through 20 plus presidents, the deaths and births of her three children, her spouse (after celebrating 50 yrs together), her parents and 5 siblings.

She grew up on a farm without electricity or indoor plumbing. She said the best thing ever invented was indoor plumbing and the doing away with the outhouse and bathing in the creek.

She was a little girl when the first motion pictures came to the screen, the first black and white tv's when she was a bit older, she watched loved ones die before the erradication of smallpox, diptheria and tuberculosis found a cure, add in polio vaccines and the discovery of penicillins.

Cornflakes was a big thrill as well as frozen food and freezers. Model fords, the car radio, band aids and the modern zipper all were new inventions in her early adulthood. Scotch tape, teflon, stainless steel, the telephone and infamous party lines were a novelty.

Irma grew up on a farm and married a farmer and stayed in farming until her husband's death. She was also a 'modern' woman and got a job as an x ray technician. She worked at the hospital I took my nurses training at. I knew her long before I ever met her great nephew at a local dance club.

Aunt Irma still lives in her own home and cooks and cleans for herself.

She is getting hard of hearing and is losing her vision but still has 6 art students from her church. She is a beautiful aritist and has an artist's soul. Gardening is her past time.

When asked how she got to be so old she said "you don't take up knitting when you retire." Perplexed others didn't understand. She continued,"What I am saying is MOVE, pick up a basket ball or croquet mallet or tennis racquet, bowl do whatever it takes to keep moving every day."

So today I hope you are all moving to your own ryhthm.


"LIL ARTISTS continue

The neighbor kids have continued showing up once a week all summer for our activities. The gardens have been the most fun. The kids were not very excited at first. Once we started harvesting the produce they couldn'nt wait to see what they could pick next.

Believe it or not in that garden bed hides peas, carrots, squash, peppers,
lettuce and pumpkins.
Each week the kids took baggies of produce home with them.

We made all sorts of things. Interestingly enough, we talk about individual tastes and 'not worrying about what others are doing/making' and some days they all copy each other picking the same colors etc.

The kids started back to school and we are now meeting on Mondays
once again.

The day before school started I took each of them a red rose and a note wishing them a great first day. They mean the world to me. I asked them if they were getting bored with the whole thing and they were emphatic about continuing. Several will not be able to as they have dance or something else five nights a week after school. I will miss them but they are always welcome.
We also have a few new members and that is always fun.

These boys are busy making stuff out of clay. collage work is very popular
clay animals as well as space creatures
more collage.
I love fall and the beginning of the school year tends to make me want me to set new goals and get busy on christmas ideas!!
I hope all of you are settling in to new school years with your kids and new beginnings with your own goals.


Our Kittens!!

Hi family and friends. I have been so busy this past month enjoying life. Our weather has been so beautiful. I recently stubbed my big toe and when it kept hurting I went to he dr. I figured I had broken it and X rays confirmed it!! Sighing. I have to slow down and that is a good thing. I hope to catch you all up to date on the going's on around here.
Earlier this summer our cat, Anna, got out and was gone for days. I thought she was lost for good but she eventually came home. We had been waiting to spay her and soon realized it was too late. I could not abort her. My belief in the sanctity of life transcends all species . Okay I lied just then........I do not like spiders. If they stay out of my house I will leave them alone. But when they make themselves at home inside then it is all out war! But I regress.

Anna delivered three babies.....in the middle of the night........ she was acting so loving and kept butting my face. I was too tired to pay attention until John rolled over and said 'why is my arm wet?' I immediately knew what was up. We got up and changed the bed and put her in her little birthing box. I had to put it in bed with me and keep petting her while she delivered the babies.
Nakiah and Sydne named them.
This is Sallie. She has attached herself to John and follows him around or sleeps on or near him. Every morning she joins him in the bathroom while he shaves and lies on his feet. He decided we need to keep her. Now we are a family with three cats!!!
Here at a few days old.
This one is Dottie or "dot'. She is afraid of her own shadow but is getting much better about being held. I call her mouse.
This is the only boy. He is Davey. He is so sweet and has beautiful markings. I think we have found him a home. His mommie to be will let us know tomorrow.

Now to find 'dottie' a home. Aren't they cute?