Tuesday, December 24

Merry Christmas

Wow it's Christmas Eve! How did that happen? Things have been a mad rush the last week but I guess that is just part of the holiday season. Today thou I'm staying in and keeping warm and enjoying a little baking and relaxing with my sweet hubby. 

We had a wonderful Christmas Party at our last guild meeting. A Dirty Santa swap and swapping beautiful hand crafted gifts. 
I really was blessed with my gift. We fill out a tiny form saying what we would like to get. Type of fabrics etc. I just asked for a small zipper bag made from Tim Holtz fabrics. 
Look what I got!
The beautiful big tote bag and it's 2 "babies" were a wonderful surprise. 
Jenny made these treasures for me and I'm just crazy about them. 
The formed zipper bag is made all of selvage!  
The flat little zipper bag is in it's new home in my purse. 

 Look at all the great big pockets!

And with a bit of aggression I scored this in the Dirty Santa swap. 
(yes I had to steal it from another guild member)

I did pretty good this fall in my craft shows selling jewelry
and I've squirreled away some seed money for shows next year. 
Hopefully I'll be able to do a higher level of shows which will
in turn bring in even better sales. This is my motto for moving
forward with my marketing efforts for 2014. 

For now I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and
a New Year filled with Peace and Happiness. 

Friday, December 13

Back To The Machine

With all the shows this fall/winter I've not had much time for creative sewing. So I really enjoyed making this wall hanging. I really needed to get back in touch with my fiber self. I have had a quilty quilt on the machine for months that needs quilting, but it didn't draw me back like this little wall hanging did. I became pretty absorbed in this project. I have my normal layers of textures and embellishments that I so love to work with. 
 First thing - I pull out my wood burning tool
and attack a section of sheer fabric. 
Note: put a section of card board under the fabric!

This is what it looks like after the fabric is de-stressed. 
I love the look. Then I free motioned over it. 

Then I start auditioning all the different components
I have gotten out for this piece. 
The background fabric seemed too light so I
de-stressed it with Instant Antique. 

It all came together just like I wanted and I 
love the finished piece. 

Here is a closeup of the embellishments.

The back complete with a small book telling
about the piece. The little story is post - apocalyptic. 

Aria let her hand move over the surface of her new treasure, while she listened to the old man - the one they called the Story Teller. 
He told her the fabric she had found was called a quilt. That was something new to her. The Story Teller said ladies used to make them from bright colors of cloth to put on their beds to keep them warm. 
Aria tried to image the home they must have lived in to have such fine things. Many of the things the Story Teller told were from the days “before”. He had been just a boy then, but remembered the stories well. 
She also showed him the other treasures she had found with the quilt. He said the small round metal object was part of a watch. He told her it had been a tool to tell the time of day. All she knew of the times of the day were where the big yellow sun was in the sky. She tried to understand how a watch could see the sun but the story of it’s working was beyond her kin of understanding. 
All she knew was the treasures from “Before” were found at the edge of old town. She was one of the few who would go there anymore.
That night by the light of the fire she took the small amount of precious thread and put all the treasures together. She would hang it on the wall of her hut. The stories of these things from the past - from “Before” she would tell her children one day. 
This treasure was even better to her than what she had found in old town at the last big moon, something the Story Teller called a book.  

When I first started making art quilts I would write little stories about them and 
place them in a pocket on the back of the quilt. I'd stopped doing that a few years
ago but felt the need to start this again. It add another layer of life to the piece for me. 

I used the scraps to make a little mug rug. 

Friday, November 22

Shows During The Holidays!

Having a few shows lined up back to back is one thing. Planning them during the holidays is another. Determined not to let this oh so fun pastime become a stresser I have to do a lot of planning ahead. As I mentioned in my last post I steer clear of over booking myself with other activities and strive to put all my energy into the fun stuff. That would of course be my creative life. I have 2 things planned for the weekend. Tonight I have my first home show and getting my quilt guild Christmas swap present well under way. 
I can't post the guild present yet but here are a few of my most recent jewelry projects. 

Earrings from tiny spoons

Beaded 3 strand pearls and crystals
This is a style I seldom do but saw these beads
and they just lead me down this road. 

Pretty cross in earth tone crystals

My personal fav right now
Amber and brass

Brass and crystal earrings

My new favorite thing - Guilders Paste
This stuff is wonderful and comes in a ton
of colors. After it sits up (about 24 hours)
it won't rub off and leave a beautiful patina
Colors can be mixed and over laid.

And of course here is my sweet Ian at the fall festival. 
I think this was his first time on a full size horse. 
I'm quite scared of horses - evil teenage experience. 
He was thrilled as you can tell by that grin. 

Well have to go and get ready for the show tonight. 

Monday, November 18

My Perfect Holiday

Is sure not what it used to be. In years past I would start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving and spend DAYS decorating almost every room in the house. This year I have a 4 ft tree in the living room a little garland on the mantel and my Jim Shore Santa's and Angels. DONE! in under 2 hours. 

I would have been stressing about Thanksgiving dinner and what I would make. Is the house looking wonderful. Is every little thing put away. Oh who cares. The house is clean (pretty much) and our simple Thanksgiving dinner will be just as yummy as one I spent days dealing with. And I'll have energy left to play with Ian. 

It seems to me that I just don't have enough time in each day to get the things done I want/need to do. As I've gotten older thou I have figured out that not all those things really need to get done. So I don't have time to put up all my customary Christmas decorations without staying up half the night and killing myself. Who will care? I will take shortcuts with Thanksgiving dinner - no one will mind. When I was younger I would kill myself to make everything so perfect or at least try to it would wear me out. 
If it wears you out at 20 you really don't want to go there now. 

So I have cleared off my workbench and said "Closed" except for custom orders till 2014. 
If you could have seen the before you would be so impressed.

The sewing machine has one last project for the year on it and after that - Closed. 
It's a raging mess right now. I'm working on a mixed media project.

No last minute crazy stuff for me this year. Relax, look at the little 4 ft tree.
Don't stress if a doggie fur ball drifts out onto the floor when company is over. 

It took me a very long time to figure out it really won't matter. 
And it's sure a lot easier now

Sunday, October 27

Cold Weather Didn't Hamper Our Show

It was really cold yesterday morning. 28 to be exact, but with my long johns on and a love of craft shows I started off the day in good but cold spirits. The shoppers were out in full force and sales were brisk. This was my last outdoor show and I have to admit I'm glad.

I had a cherry spot thanks to my friend Jim C who is a extraordinary wood carver. 
I love his beautiful work.   Here are 2 of his beautiful wooden bowls I have.

My friend Becky (also a jewelry designer) came out to endure the cold and help out
in my booth. She is a real trooper to put up with the weather and
the not so exciting day of sitting a booth. 
Thanks Becky!

Saturday, September 28

Fall is the Time For Craft Shows

Well fall is here - loving the weather we are having. I just don't like summer heat. Fall on the other hand is a beautiful time of year for me. With fall comes prepping for the fall / winter craft shows. The jewelry I've been making all summer now is getting tagged and new booth display being set up to see how everything works. 
This pile was on my dinning room table for days
getting everything tagged and listed

Working out the bugs for the additions to my display.
It looks like I'm opening up shop in my spare room.

Tomorrow I will be closing my Etsy shop. It's been fun but as I mentioned more can be sold at shows so I will let go of Etsy and hopefully have more time for other fun stuff. 

Last week we went back to the zoo for the first time in over a month. I had missed these outings. That have a new area open with Kangaroos that was so fun. I'd never seen one in person before and they are so laid back. Us humans stay on the path (pretty much) and the roos come over and let you pet them. 

Well that's all for today. I got a juicer and made some really yummy juice
yesterday (orange, pineapple, grape, apple) think I'm ready for a big glass.

Friday, September 6

A Day Off & New Goodies

Well hopefully I'm ready for a creative weekend. Yesterday I worked half a day and did a bit of shopping afterwards. A yard sale find were these tiny spoons which are on my jewelry bench. Their end use is unsure at this point, but they look like they will be fun. 

Then a quick stop at Red Dog Beads in
East Nashville and new goodies. 

 A Etsy order for some chainmaille
components came in too!

I am also back to drawing and have started this doodle.
Can't wait to get to the color part.

Next week is the Grand Opening at our New JoAnn's so it will be a busy week. 
So for now I play.

Monday, September 2

Back To Normal - Finally!

Well the weeks of working at the new JoAnn's getting it ready for the opening are finally behind me. What a workout that was! The first week I was so tired when I got home from the 8-5 day that I just turned into a lump on the couch. Dinners were sad but dear hubby was such a good sport. Our soft opening on the 30th was very crowded and there were over 50 people waiting for the doors to open. We ran out of shopping carts within 30 min. I'm sure the big buzz will calm down soon  - but it seemed a lot of our local crafters really missed our store. I worked to get the new classroom all set up and it's so very pretty - open and so well lit. 
So with a normal work schedule starting this week I can plan to again hear the hum of the sewing machine and click of my jewelry tools. Also the comforting feel of pen on paper to draw again. All this has fallen by the way side this month and I've missed it much more than I would have thought. 
This past week I had my 4 minutes of fame and was on a local show called Talk of the Town. You can visit the link and click on Daily Hotlines then on Thursday Aug 29th, and I am the 3rd segment (under the bruschetta segment is a next button). I was pretty nervous but didn't do too bad. 

I did reward myself when I worked on Saturday and picked up a few things that had been nagging at me during the long weeks of set up. 
I was thrilled when one of the girls told me during set up that we would be carrying Tim Holtz fabric. Oh joy of joys! So these are my first 3 to purchase and I'll be getting more each week till I have them all. Won't these look grand with the Moda grunge?

This book was also a must have and has great examples
of Mandalas and lots of tangle styles. 

 From the paper crafts section I picked up this darling little bird cage which is about 1.75" tall and the back comes off so you can build something cool inside. Not sure yet what that will be and if it will turn into jewelry or end up on a mix media piece. Had to have it thou. 

When my sister posted on Instragram a monster I made for Ian the lady who is
in charge of Christmas on Madison Ave said oh I hope Royce brings these to the show. 
Well that was all the escuse I needed to make a bunch of these monsters. Their will be
3 different sizes and they all will be different. These are the first ones I made yesterday. 

 I have 2 more cut out and a stack of fabrics set aside to make many more. There of course will be one, the master of the monsters that will be steam punk. He will hold the sign telling their prices which will be $5, $10 and $15 depending on size. I think he will be really funky. Each monster will come with a tag telling his/her name and a bit about them. 

That is all for now. Hopefully I will be back into creating and blogging
and regain my creative life. 

Please check out the upcoming shows I'll be at on the Craft Show Tab.

Friday, August 2

Fabric Road Trip

On Tuesday Susan and I hit the road and went to the quaint little town of Fayetteville TN. Our main reason was to go to  Sirs Fabrics. Sirs has been around since 1948 and is well know for it's priced right fabrics. They have all kinds of fabrics but the home dec is very affordable. Susan was wanting drapery fabric and I needed pillow forms and fabric to make my sister in law some pillows. 

Fayetteville is a small town with not quite 7,000 people. Has some great old homes that are civil war era and just beautiful. We wished we had more time to see the other shops on the town square. Got these great fabrics for just $4.99 a yard. Yes you can order on line. I'll be making my little monsters with this. 

After shopping in Sirs we needed lunch and I suggested we eat at Honey's
I had lunch there the last time I went and really liked it. 
Honey's has over 50 years of good food and friendly service. 

 The inside hasn't changed much from the old photos on the wall. 
After lunch we dropped into the Sugar Shack - oh my goodness. 

This was beyond tasty!

On our way out of town we looked for a quilt shop we had noticed
on our way in. There was a tiny sign out by the main road and
we turned in and saw this beautiful house. I didn't ask how old
the house is - wish I had. The town is full of old civil war era homes thou. 

There was a welcoming committee on the front porch.  
They didn't seem to interested in us till Susan started rubbing
their little heads and talking to them. 

 The shop is the entire downstairs of this home and the owner lives upstairs. 
Each room held different collections of fabrics and the prices were very nice. 
I for sure want to go back and check out when we have more time and money.  

 Susan was told that this is the block that ladies stepped onto as
they were getting out of their carriages. 

I am wanting to make a penny rug and these wool pieces are
the start of a collection for that. I also picked up a few 30's
and some clips for binding. I saw a new Art to Heart book
but I'd spend too much already but it's now on my wish list. 

I may be a mia blogger for a bit due to our new JoAnn's opening
on Aug. 30th. There will be a lot to do getting our new classroom
all ready for the grand opening.
We're all looking forward to the new store. I'll be going in to work
about 30 min prior to my normal hit the snooze time so that will be
hard but it will be a lot of fun setting things up in the classroom. 

Also I will be on a local tv news/talk show on Aug. 29th telling about our
new store and the classes we offer. My 4 minutes of fame.