Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been fun in our house and a reason to decorate. This montage represents some of the items I've sewn over the years. The glitter "BOO" is on a black turtleneck. The bee is a pin that I sometimes wear next to the word Boo. Read it and say it out loud....yes, you got it....Boo+Bee = Boobie. Corny? Yup! And no, I don't wear that everywhere.

The quality of these photos are less than idea because they have been scanned from a scrapbook. They boys in the pictures are my sons, now both adults. The last two photos are yours truly, but from 20 years ago. It seems like only yesterday....

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Happy Halloween wishes that everyone has a safe and fun day!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Three or More Thursday

I've just discovered a lovely blog written by a woman named Tam who has begun "Three or More Thursday" posts. The image on the right (three acorns in a white dish) will take you to her blog The Gypsy's Corner . Thanks Tam for starting this, and thanks to Linnea at Neabear and B-Daddy's Nest for being the first Three or More Thursday guest and leading me to Tam's blog.

My three or more today will be about Halloween since I only have two more days to enjoy this holiday.

These towels hang in my bathroom. Their order changes on the whim of guests using the bathroom. Apparently some think that the black towel should be flanked by the lighter (brighter?) towels. Others think the orange should be in the middle since the black and white ones have pumpkins on them and the ghost placed between them leads to a better balance. Is there a Feng Shui rule on this?

Hubby is no help. All he wants is a "real" towel by the sink. The decorative towels aren't very absorbent, therefore aren't "real" towels.

Happy Three or More Thursday everyone, and stay out of the candy until after tomorrow night!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ready to groan? Halloween Humor

Today's post is brought to you by the letters P and U (for stinky jokes) and the number 6 (because there are six of them). If you'd like to count your blessings, be happy I couldn't find 7 or 8 of them!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Be-witch-ing Jewels

I enjoy Halloween. I like jewelry. If this were a logic problem, you could now correctly assume that I like Halloween jewelry. These are the pieces I've been wearing this year. Yes, there are more. I have skeleton heads with eyes that glow and flash, thanks to a watch size battery, large orange spider web earrings that are scary/cute but catch in everything, and pumpkins on hair combs that are cute but too heavy to stay in anyone's hair.

These earrings are new this year. They are from Avon. This picture is from the Avon webpage as my own photo didn't turn out well.
This is Avon also, a tiny pumpkin with olive colored crystal stud earrings inside. I forgot to include the earrings in the photo. Can you tell it was the pumpkin that I fell for?

Moving on to items that I've made, here is a bracelet that was sold as a kit in a quilt store. This led me to other beading if I needed another hobby!

I really like working with beads. Other than a sample project in a bead class, this was my first project in Peyote stitch. This was done before I learned the importance of buying beads from the same manufacturer so that they are all the same size. The pink beads in their cheeks and the orange beads are supposedly the same size as all the rest, but they are larger and protrude from the piece. Live and learn. Not knowing any different, I ad-libbed how to attach this to a pin. I now know that I should have used beads at the top with a larger bore that would slide onto the pin, and that the pin head unscrews for this purpose. I didn't have to spring the opposite end to feed this onto the shaft of the pin. Nothing like making things harder than they necessary!

These were just easy and cute
I don't wear much orange normally, but I could wear this beyond the Halloween season. It is subdued, it doesn't scream Halloween. Notice I used Scream and Halloween in the same sentence?
I don't care for the taste of candy corn, but it sure symbolizes the season, doesn't it? I made the earrings last year and put the bracelet together yesterday with one stray glass candy corn hanging as a charm. The black beads almost resemble charcoal briquettes and the orange beads are tear drop shaped beads.

Now if only there was a holiday symbolized by diamonds.......

Blue Monday: Blue Art

Some home accessories have come and gone in my life on a whim while others have stuck around for decades. The common thread to those items that have lasted is that they have blue in them. That wasn't intentional, but something I've recently noticed.

For this week's Blue Monday, I've focused on art that hangs in my house.
For more info on Blue Monday, hosted by Smiling Sally, click on the Blue Jay image over there on the right--->

Until I learn how to take a photo indoors on a gray day without glare from the flash being a problem, please excuse the angles and the fact that the pictures are propped on the floor or couch to avoid window reflections.

This picture hangs in my bedroom

This isn't wall art, but it fits the blue category. The basket was sold in a yarn shop, intended to hold yarn. Yarn in baskets always sounds like a pretty idea, but in reality, yarn will find the slightest rough spot inside a basket and snag there. This holds junk ("junque" if it is expensive junk) on a nightstand.

This one hangs at the bottom of the stairs. It was bought at a home party (Home Interiors maybe?) in the early years of our marriage. I don't plan on moving just to get a porch and door like that, but if we were moving, that is something I'd like. Oh, and a gardener too.

This pair of bears hangs in our family room

One of my son's friends told me that this is "just so you". What? Am I fuzzy? Patched? Stuffed? Hmmm, maybe soft and adorable? That must be it!

This is one of a pair of paintings that hangs over the living room sofa. The other one isn't blue so it didn't get photographed. It will have to wait for a different posting theme.

And lastly, another photo that isn't something that hangs on my walls, but sometimes hangs from my ears.

I had been holding the wings upside down in the bead store, wondering what I would ever do with such a weird finding. Then I saw the angels made up and was embarrassed by the huge DUH! that was hanging over my head.

Peaceful blessings to everyone and Happy Blue Monday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

One more week to Halloween!

House Mouse greetings everyone!
I like Mickey & Minnie, and I like House Mouse, but keep the real thing out of here, please.

A tri-fold card with a cut out and a dangler

Same card, folded and tied for presentation

These are for the wee folk in my life. I normally wouldn't use dimensional stickers inside a card, but these will all be hand delivered. I can only guess how long the stickers will stay in place on the cards with curious little fingers checking out the cards. The webs and spiders are a Sizzix die, the paper is a glitter paper that looks better than it photographed.

This last card isn't for a wee folk, but he once was wee. It is for our son who recently moved into his own home. The card was signed "from Mummy and Deady". Corny? Yep! I painted these resin pumpkins for him. He needed some autumn decorations. Or maybe I just needed a reason to paint.

For pumpkin carving, the likes of which won't be found around my house, check out this site and click on the pictures to view them in more detail. Absolutely amazing work by a man who will on the Food Network's Pumpkin Carving Challenge Saturday night.

Now keep your fingers out of the Halloween candy, or be like me, play it safe and buy it next Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The instructions in an ad in a craft magazine sounded simple. Ha! I was to mix Perfect Pearls Powder (an embossing powder) with water and swirl it inside a glass ball ornament. The powder and water was pretty, but acted like colored water. It did not adhere to the inside of the ornament. The website for Ranger Ink (in the magazine ad) didn't have this project listed. Googling for help led me to a similar project done by Tim Holtz on a Carol Duvall episode. According to those instructions, I needed to rinse the bulb with alcohol first, then coat it with something called Duo Adhesive.

Joann's doesn't carry Duo Adhesive. Neither does Michaels or Archivers. Andrea from By the Seat of My Pants gave me the name of a store that carried it. Yeah for Andrea! Armed with alcohol and Duo Adhesive, I began again.
Here is a ball with an interior coated in Duo Adhesive. It is draining and drying. Slowly. It went from this milky appearance to completely clear.

Next, I shook in some Perfect Pearls Powders (a few shades) and shook them around. The adhesive did hold the powder, but it was a very light coating. Pretty, but nothing that would show up against a Christmas tree at this point. The next step was to mix black acrylic paint and water, 50/50, and pour that inside the bulb. Initially it looked good, but once the excess paint began draining out, it looked too light again. I kept repeating that step. I guess the powder needed to be applied heavier. The sun is streaming in the window in this shot, but you can still see that this won't stand out against a green tree.

Going back to the directions in the magazine, the next step was to use alcohol based inks on the outside of the ball.

The bulb used in the first unsuccessful attempt had been rinsed with alcohol and I squirted a few colors of acrylic paint to swirl inside. I think I used too much paint. The swirls didn't last as I inverted the bulb to drain and I lost some of one color as another became predominant. Here is that bulb draining.

By the next day, and with use of a hair dryer to speed up drying, I had this to work with

This didn't thrill me, so I used the alcohol based inks again. Much better!

Someone in my backyard heard that I was dying round objects and thought I was making Easter eggs. Look at the visitor outside my window.

I am going to try the alcohol inks on clear bulbs tomorrow and swirl lighter colored paints inside other bulbs which will probably get the ink treatment too. If anyone has done this, I would love to hear about it. The alcohol ink (Adirondack brand) is permanent, but I am wondering how this will hold up on bulbs with friction of pine needles against it and then being packed away in an attic for 11 months.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Knitted Lace Shawl

This project made me happy, even if it did make me cuss a bit a few times.

I've knitted lace patterns before, but not in a long time and was rusty. I can watch sitcom TV and do this, but cannot engage in conversation and keep track of which stitch comes next. I finally realized that I could not watch the presidential debates and work on this project. Between conversations with Bill and talking back to the TV (how lame is that?) during the debates, I would make a mistake and not find it until a row or two later. For those of you who knit, I couldn't just pull out the knitting to get back to my mistake, I had to "un-knit" each stitch because of yarns overs and SSK stitches.

The edging was a challenge because the instructions were a bit vague. I thought it was just me so I took my work and the pattern to the yarn shop where the instructor sat down, picked up my knitting, read the pattern and said "HUH?" That made me laugh, but also made me feel good.

Each craft brings me a different pleasure and sense of accomplishment. I am glad there is no reason to limit myself to just one. I love the feel of yarn gliding over needles and I love that knitting is portable. A new knitting project is underway and thoughts of another are on my mind. There are also bedroom curtains to sew, a table topper or runner to make, ornaments to finish painting and a husband to feed. Wonder how he feels about being mentioned with my other hobbies?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Blue Monday

Smiling Sally's Blue Monday posts are such a nice way to start the week, especially for those of us who love blue.

Before we start, has everyone had breakfast? I like blue with white, or blue with yellow. Here we have both thanks to scrambled eggs, milk, and blue glass dishes.

My fondness for glass and my collection addiction are my husband's fault. I can get away with blaming him since he doesn't read here. This little blue bull started it all way back when we were dating. There was a shop with a glass blower that would always stop me in my tracks as I watched the artist make fascinating things. Bill bought this bull to keep me company while he was away in the service.

I think he cost all of $2 way back then, but he still one of my most valuable pieces. Sentimental could be my middle name.

This is a little difficult to see well because of the angle. This sampler is smocked on yellow batiste and matted in blue. Somewhere around twenty years ago I took an evening class through community education to learn to make a smocked Christmas ornament. That led to more classes and one of the best friendships anyone could hope to find between the instructor and myself. This sampler had gone from living room to bedroom and back the living room as decor has changed over the years.

The teacup collection isn't my fault either. Really. Some where my mother-in-law's, and a few were bought specifically because they reminded me of my mom. Before we painted the house the last time around, I had dark blue paint on the wall behind the teacup rack. Not the whole wall, just that area. After painting the walls yellow again, I decided to use scrapbook paper as a back drop for the teacups. I like the idea, but next time I change it, I will use fabric.

This blue bowl was an impulse purchase a few months ago. Did I need another bowl? We won't go into that. It isn't microwave safe, but it does have a silicone ring in the base that keeps it from sliding on the counter. I bought it because it looked lonely on the clearance rack (see why I don't go near pet stores?) and I liked the color. I've been surprised how much I use it. Bill doesn't care about the bowl, but he does like what the bowl produces!