Monday, November 23, 2009

Still Hustling for the Holidays

I have completed and photographed another project to sell during my holiday open house.
Pictured below is another trio of pillows that spell out that timeless sentiment "Home Sweet Home"
I continue to work days and evenings on additional things that I hope to complete by my December 4th and 5th showing. I will share my pictures as I finish things.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting things done!

In preparation for my upcoming holiday open house called "A Homespun Christmas" my hands have been very busy completing several projects that I have designed to sell.

Pictured below are some of my handmade pillows that I just completed.

"Live Simply" was created using a vintage doily on which I hand-embroidered the sentiment. The posies are made from scraps of wool and appliqued on the doily.

The trio of pillows below spells out "Live Laugh Love" and are done in coordinating pinks and greens. They are romantic and would bring charm to any feminine space.
I recently purchased some whimsical fabric that features various snowmen. With coordinating fabrics added, I made several projects with the piece, including the pillow and table runner below. I also made three additional table runners that are not pictured in this post.

This table runner has prairie points at each end with rusty bells attached.
I embroidered "Olde Country Home" on this homespun dish towel and hung it through a shutter with a missing slat.

Here's is a close up view of the embroidery on the towel.

In an earlier post, I used this sentiment on a pillow that I designed with wool mittens. I used scraps of wool to make the mittens that are attached to this sign. I also crocheted tiny doilies for the cuff detail.
Once in a while I get the urge to paint something! I had purchased this cute 5-drawer stand several years ago. It was unfinished wood when I bought it. I had this paint left over from a bathroom renovation project so I decided to use it for the stand. The color is neutral, a grayish brown and would match the decor in just about any room. On top, I crocheted a candle mat from 100% wool yarn, washed and felted.
Please check back from time to time as I will continue to post pictures of my creations as I complete them!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Preparing for the Christmas Season

Well, Halloween has come and gone and we have just entered November. I am now busy preparing things to sell at upcoming fairs and holiday open houses.

Each year I host a holiday open house in my home called "A Homespun Christmas". I always celebrate it the weekend following Thanksgiving weekend. This year it will be Dec. 4, 5 and 6. I invite several of my crafty friends to participate in the event. They work on their creations during the year and sell them as they would at a typical craft fair. I usually send out more than 100 invitations and encourage folks to bring friends. I have several folks that come back year after year.

Pictured below is a pillow I just completed boasting the sentiment "My mittens warm my hands . . . my family warms my heart". I read this quote in a random catalog and liked it so much I thought it would make a cute pillow to set out for the winter season. The mittens are appliqued wool scraps, embellished with hand-crocheted cuffs and buttons. I embroidered winterberries coming out of the mittens. The quote is also embroidered.

This little guy (or gal) I created from a doily that I crocheted. I used black wool for the head and legs and real sheep curls adorn the tail and the small tuft on the head. To embellish the pillow for Christmas, I appliqued green wool holly leaves and embroidered mistle toe among the leaves. Please click on the image to enjoy a closer look at the detail.
I really love working with wool, as it is so forgiving. I designed this snowgal wearing a wool coat. She is holding embroidered flowers and is appliqued to a patchwork foundation of Thimbleberries fabrics. I have the piece hanging from a stick with wire so it can hang on a door or the wall.

Another wool creation I just completed below is a mitten candle mat.

Here is another wool mitten mat that can be used for a candle, or maybe a candy dish.

This image shows a close-up view of the mitten detail.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Autumn Blessings From New England

Oh what a beautiful place to be this time of year!

Autumn's Beauty
The splendor of orange, gold and red
paints an image of beauty inside my head.
The colors of fall appear before me
reaching far for the hills and beyond what I see.

The crisp, clean smell of the air right now
has captured my senses off guard somehow.
The magic of Autumn with it's beauty galore
is a gift from God for us all to adore.
by Deb Boudreau
There is no prettier place to be in autumn than New England.

The air is crisp and sweet . . .
The leaves are magnificant shades of red, gold and orange . . .
The smell of burning leaves - mmmmmmm . . .
The frost is on the pumpkins . . .
The mums boast their colors . . .
Apple pickin' and candy apples . . .
Fall country fairs . . .

Speaking of country fairs, last weekend I participated in the annual "Collector's Eye Fall Festival". It is a two-day event held the last weekend in September, boasting wonderful antiques, primitives and collectibles, as well as hand-crafted offerings, art and other needfuls.

Pictured below are some of the photos I took of my setup at the fair featuring handmade creations that I have worked on all year. Some of them I featured in earlier blog posts. You may recognize them as you scroll through the photos.

Surrounded by mums, this is a sign I constructed and painted. It would be a great addition to one's bar, pub or game room.

I purchased this rustic trellis at my friend Lynn's shop, Log Cabin Antiques. I made the little "harvest blessings" sign and embellished with a swag of bittersweet from my back yard.

My friend Mollie dropped off a section of picket fence one day, so I decided to craft something with it that would be useful. I got out the power tools, screws, paint, sandpaper, etc. and this is what I came up with. A rustic bench! Not bad for a woodworking novice.

The next few photos to follow are my booth display. Please click on each image for better detail.

In this photo, I put out some homemade pumpkin mini muffins. It confused a lot of folks because inside my tent I had a "Fall Festival" candle burning. The candle smelled like pumpkin, cinnamon and all the smells associated with baking muffins. So my visitors were not sure if the muffins were real! Too funny!

This box is one of my re-do's that I featured in an earlier blog post. I simply added a mum and some bittersweet to create a colorful autumn display that would be great on a porch.

This small divided box was one that I purchased from Log Cabin Antiques. I repurposed it by hand painting a saltbox scene and adding "home sweet home" embroidered inserts. A very unique offering . . .

I had to make several yoyo's to create this embroidered table mat. Even the flower centers are yoyo's with small pompoms inside.

This is one of two wall-hangings that I completed in time for the fair. I featured this one in an earlier blog post.

Happy Fall to All

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Repurposed Collectible

From time to time I visit local antiques/collectibles shops and browse for inexpensive items that I can repurpose in some way. I have an extensive collection of vintage pieces that are waiting for a new life.

Pictured below is a skimmer/strainer with a small crack in it. It was a very inexpensive purchase, but I instantly had an idea for it when I spied it. Pictured with it are three yoyo's, a fabric leaf, a small piece of batting, some buttons, floss, a paper pattern piece, a cardboard pattern piece and the word "home" printed on a piece of paper . . . . .

. . . . . . . and this is what it became . . . . a cute little embroidered sign with yoyo flowers, great to hang from a rack, shelf, wall, etc.
I plan to repurpose several small items that I have collected and list them on Etsy at some point in the very near future. I am currently setting up my Etsy shoppe, taking time to write up my shop policies and shipping costs. I will provide a link as soon as my shoppe is ready.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

I am back! I really need to take this opportunity to apologize for abandoning my blog for over a month. So much has occurred since my last post in July.

Please follow along as I share . . .

I am very proud to announce the birth of my granddaughter, Peyton Marie, born 8/6/09. She is God's reward for what my daughter Holly had to endure during her pregnancy. During a routine checkup, Holly showed signs of premature labor/delivery at 26 weeks into her pregnancy. From that point on she was required to spend the remainder of her pregnancy on strict bed rest. She managed to do that and keep her sanity for 12 weeks! Holly's pregnancy was considered "high risk" to begin with, as her first born son, Adam, was born at 26 weeks. He is a very healthy and energetic 8 year old now.

Welcome little "Sweet P"
In addition to Peyton's birth, I had house guests from August 3rd to the 19th. First, my niece Laurie, and her family came to visit from Michigan. I believe you all know Laurie from Downriver Primitives. We had a wonderful visit with all of them and packed many activities in during their stay, including birthday parties and a family gathering. During the same period, my mom and stepdad traveled north from Florida to spend a couple of weeks with us. I am happy to say that everyone was here for Peyton's birth and they were able to meet her before they retreated back to their homes.

During the hectic month of August, I did manage to complete a couple of projects and start others. Pictured below is a small stool that I purchased unfinished. I painted it black and distressed it. Then I designed this wool topper for it with an appliqued sheep smelling a flower.

Of course I had to embellish the little guy with buttons and real sheep curls!

With fall and winter approaching, I like to get a headstart on my holiday projects. I dug out these two items and sketched out this snowman to paint on them. The jacket is a crazy quilt design, so it will take some time to paint. I'll do a little here and there until it's finished. I will share photos later when the projects are complete.

Another event that has kept me from my blog is our home. We planned to spend all summer replacing the old siding with new and painting as we go. We seemed to have lost the beginning of our summer season to extremely rainy and cold weather conditions. This really backed up our planned schedule for the renovations. When our visitors departed, we got right to work on the project and managed to complete one end of the house. With all that went on this season, we never even took our boat out of the garage . . . oh well, maybe next year!

Now that school has resumed, I am once again caring for my two grandkids, Jack and Norah. I have them full-time during the week as their mom is a school teacher. So far, the weather has been nice and we have already gone on a picnic to the park and a couple of stoller rides. Life is good!

Finally, as I wrap up this post, I left you with a mystery project in my last post. I pictured pieces of various items including bits and pieces of wool, a vintage crocheted collar, thread, buttons and paper pattern pieces and asked for guesses, but got none. As you scroll down, you will see how the bits and pieces have developed.........

She is not complete yet, but I think she will end up as a pillow.

I am happy to be back!

To see what others are working on today, check out Leslie's blog, My Country Home.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

This week didn't provide a whole lot of crafting time for me. Since "Mother Nature" has finally stopped raining down on us, I have spent some quality time in my yard catching up with the mowing, mulching, weeding and yes, I am still planting flowers. Where has summer gone? I can't believe it is mid-July already and my gardens aren't done yet!

I did manage to complete a couple of projects. I try to spend at least an hour each morning in my craft room, accomplishing whatever I can. I am producing items for four different shops (consignments) and I am also trying to complete things for the fall fairs that I participate in.

Below, I completed another fall project. It is a pillow I patched using leftover squares from my fall wall-hangings that are almost finished. I decided to add an overlay with wool appliqued flowers to add interest to the already colorful pillow.

As I explained in previous posts, I love to recycle items and repurpose them. Below is a button bag that I designed. Inside the bag is a plastic coffee container and lid to keep the buttons. I just used scraps of Thimbleberries fabrics, bits and pieces of lace and household twine for the tie closure.

In between my household and yard duties I like to keep a lap project handy to work on during my coffee break. Below is a wool drape that I am making for an old, rustic black wooden box that I will decorate for the fall fair. This year we have an abundance of wild bittersweet growing all around us. I call it the "Bittersweet Forest" and I will make a sign! I plan to fill the box with bittersweet and perhaps make a sign to stick in it that says "Bittersweet Blessings".

Finally, I will tease you with another mystery project. I have laid out these items including various pieces of wool scraps, buttons, lace, fabric, a pillow to recycle, some embroidery floss and a crocheted item. I hope to have this done to show off next week. Any guesses? I'll give you a hint: it's a classic that has been around for many, many years!

To see what our other crafty friends are doing today, check out Leslie's blog at "My Country Home".

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday

Today it's raining (yes, again) and I'm not taking the time to do much crafting. I did, however, finish up these signs that I pictured last week. Tomorrow I will be taking them to Primitive Gatherings.

I am still working on the Autumn wall hangings I pictured last week. They are almost completed. I will share photos when they are done.
I am also trying to finish up my granddaughter's baby quilt I posted a couple of months ago. I need to finish tying it and do the binding. Her birthday is August 8th, so I plan to present it then.

Baskets Baskets Baskets!

When it comes to baskets, I think you could say that I am crazy about them! I have collected baskets for years. I just love that they are handmade, useful, decorative and functional. This morning I toured my home with my camera and took several pictures to demonstrate how I use my baskets. Enjoy the trip!

Pictured below are a few baskets holding pinecones that I will "someday" work into a wreath. Seems like "someday" never comes. I've had these cones forever!

My favorite baskets to collect are pie and picnic baskets. They not only make excellent out-of-site storage, but they are also useful and decorative.

Inspired by baskets, I created this framed embroidery designed by Rhonda at Primitive Stitches. Tomorrow I will be consigning this at Primitive Gatherings, where I sell several of my creations.

Below is another one of my basket-inspired projects using a yard sale frame and bits and pieces of wool scraps with embroidery.

Baskets are so "useful", . . . . .

. . . . . and "decorative" . . . . .

. . . . . and "inspiring" . . . . .

. . . . . and "functional" . . . . .

I have this niche area in my bedroom that I had my husband wire for electricity. I lovingly decorated it with my favorite collectibles, including some baskets.

One of the walls in my bedroom is also decorated with my favorite rustic things.

I built this shelf above the door as a nice way to display more of my collectibles.

Another basket thrown atop a wardrobe with some rustic birdhouses.

Down cellar in my "girl cave" I have many many baskets containing fabrics, craft supplies, embellishments, etc. It is sometimes quite a chore to find things. I will have to develop a labeling system.

If you want to see some really awesome baskets, check out my blogging friend Pam's blog, Baskets n Prims. She does a great job with her baskets.