Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Adventures with Felt...Day 2 In My New Work Space

Made this here little bear...all stuffed with wool and brown rice (for a little weight)...out of my fantastic new felt from She has the most amazing colors of felt that you won't find at your local craft store. I will be a life long customer. Thank you Felt Girl!
In my last post...I showed you a vintage napkin that used to be my grandmothers'. I have a set of four. I want to do so many things with them, but then I don't because they will be gone. So I decided to make some little heirloom pieces for any future little ones. So I embellished little bears belly with a patch of grandma's napkin.

I would love to hear from others creating with vintage pieces that are special to them. If you are in the process or have something in mind...feel free to share. Happy Day!
Also...drop me a line at if you have problems leaving a comment. I've heard from several people today saying they can't leave a message. Hope to figure it out soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Creativity Room

We have had this empty room in the house...It was Savanna's old room, before she moved upstairs. It had basically become the dumping ground for everything in the house that didn't have a home. It was a disaster. I got sick of it and decided it was going to be the room that holds all the art sewing and yarn paraphernalia...fabric, etc. Some of you may know that we are awaiting a baby through adoption and this will eventually be a nursery, but for now I wanted my niece and nephew to have a place to color and make collages when they come over. I also wanted to organize all my supplies to make my business run smoother. I'm posting a before and after picture. I can't stop looking at the room. The cats love exploring it...and I can turn on some music and work without distraction. Best of all...I don't have to keep the door of this room closed anymore because I am so embarrassed of it. My favorite part of the room is the laundry is holding my very favorite pictures that Savanna made for me when she was little. Please excuse the picture quality. I have been struggling with my camera of late. I've been tweaking a trying different things, but am just not happy with the pictures it has been taking.

Savanna's old bed. I remember when we bought this pretty thing. That was when she was still into "girlie", fairies, etc. Now she's upstairs in her hot pink and chocolate bedroom with her ipod...ihome...i'mateenager.
After getting all the clutter cleared out...this is what was left. The walls aren't the prettiest color of blue. It is a bit pale and that is why we never finished painting it. There is still some of the soft green around the top of the room. We chose this blue as a transition...that way when this does become the nursery, it could be unisex. However, don't love the color, but for now it's gonna have to do.

This table and chairs belonged to Stan's grandma and grandpa. We've had it since we got married. It used to sit in the kitchen in our first house...then it was in front of our window in the living room at our current house. I moved it this year to put the tree there. After all the decorations came down, the feeling of space there was incredible. I didn't want to put it back. I'm happy to have given it a new life in the creativity room. Now my niece and nephew can sit here and color...or Savanna can use it to make her collages...last night I sat here and sewed a new little teddy bear for a friend's baby.

My favorite part of the the idea of being able to hang all of the kid's artwork and anything else that I am inspired by at the moment. You can see all of Savanna's art from when she was little. There is also a napkin that I am very enamored with right now. It used to belong to my grandma and I'm thinking up a project for it right now.
This little lovely just had to go on the wall. I ordered this from one of my favorite shops on etsy. You must look at all the unique goodness in her shop. Love his face. I bought this as a gift for any future babies that may find their way into my arms and heart. Here's hoping.
One of Savanna's earlier drawings. This is the cat...Patch. I want desperately to embroider him onto a pillow. I think he is so cute. He makes me smile whenever I see him. Knew I had to have him over my workspace.

Been making these little kitties for Savanna for years...she decided one day to draw them. They are dear to me.
a hodge-podge of blank scrapbooks ready for creating...books on drawing, basket of yarn for crocheting up something new...odd buttons and lace to go onto a collage or as a hook for a sachet...

I painted this little dresser when Savanna was a toddler. It was the ugliest banana yellow when we purchased it at a garage sale. I painted it a soft ivory and gave it pretty pale green scallops around the drawers. Stan and I searched every antique store in town for a full collection of glass pulls. Now it holds a treasure of supplies for creating.
Awww... Patch...See, doesn't he make you smile too?
I forgot that I had this little curtain. It was tucked away at the top of my linen closet. Bought it when Savanna was little. Never put it up for some reason. I love it because it has pockets in it. I love anything with pockets. The idea of tucking leaves and twigs from a walk...or stashing some lavender in there...anything. I have pinned up some of my favorite snapshots and I love the gossamer quality the curtain gives as the backdrop. I have also strung the window with some white lights covered with paper doilies and white cupcake liners.
Savanna's fish...Rue and Savanna Jr. They are much happier in the new room. A pile of felt that I just got from one of my favorite She has felt colors you didn't think existed. No more ugly felt from my local craft shops. It's a bit pricier, but so worth it.
More of grandma's Anthropologie catalogue for inspiration, an old tin filled with vintage ribbon (smells a little musty, but will be useful for sure), a kid's crochet book that I'd like to teach Chloe out of, and a favorite porcelain pony that has been put to work holding crayons.
My Papa gave this easel to Savanna for her birthday last year. I spent about 4 hours one morning putting it together. The directions were in sanskrit, I'm sure and Stan kept offering help. I was bound and determined to put it together myself. I did and it hasn't fallen apart yet. It is holding a picture Savanna started about 3 years ago. She hates it and has declared that it will remain unfinished. I quite like it though.
Grandma Johnson's napkin. In a later post I will show you what I have made from it.
A compilation of springtime crafts...I'm happy to be needing these soon.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things... I love this verse from the inside of a White Stripes album. So poetic, so beautiful...I loved it so much I wrote it out on brown paper and put it in an old antique frame backed with chicken wire. It reads:
Honesty in bloom,heart on sleeve,life ever exposed and safe,courtesy to them and all you know,down and cotton covered breath,out in the open with nothing to hide,mention of soft paper and pine,soda powder and brown paper bags,angora and hound`s tooth,youth and canvas,fresh color,blind chance and forward stumble,scarlet mood,and white ivory shimmering laugh,safe in mind and comfort in home,absent of flies and anger,blankets of your own,peaches in cellar,subtle hair and skin,sand and leaf,felt napkin and clothing line,warm air from heating vent,snow on ground,reunious of sane unforced presence,motherly intervention held in suspense,enraptured holy sight,reception in halls,your Sunday go to meeting,your helping hand,your summersault,your attic,your home and your preservation,so simple,so untouched,this is as wise as raven and as easy to trust,yet have they known,and yet may they wonder,with words and thought and thorn,this spirit and persona under

My sweet family...On our wedding day. The happiest day I can think of. Savanna was so small.
My antique rotary phone. I have been dreaming of getting it rewired so that I can actually use it. I must admit that a few times I have been caught making pretend phone calls. I love the weight of it in my hand and the way the dial sings when I release it.

My many collections...this is my antique clothespin and sea shell collection. I love to gather things around me in jars and just look at them. Gives me great comfort and pleasure.
My maternal grandmother...Lillian. She is my kitchen goddess...she's with me when I bake the pies and the lamb cake that you will see the tin for a little further down. Always keeping a watchful eye over me.
Just bought this book at the bookstore the other day. Am loving it so far. It is packed with inspiring projects to do with your little ones...or in my case, your not-so-little-ones. There's embroidery, nature, crochet, felting, sewing, singing, collecting, you name it.
One of my absolute favorite books...this fat baby is packed with every piece of folklore and tidbit you can possibly think of. Who knew that pretty much anything you can name has some superstition behind it. This is alphabetized. A super fun way to pass the time.
My moth collection. I love specimens...especially insect specimens. I love the color and delicate quality of these pretty ones.
This is Babi's lamb cake mold. Every Easter I bake up a little lamb cake. Some years he sits up in one piece...other years he's headless with 2 little x's for eyes.
My toasty stove. I don't know what I would do without this baby. Every night I make myself a little nest in front of it. I grab my favorite blanket and put my feet up on it...making sure that the heat goes right into the tent of my blanket. Heaven.
I found this bust at the Goodwill. I bought it because many years ago my mother had one just like it in her bedroom. We lost it in the house fire when Savanna was a baby. This brought back so many memories I had to have it.
This is Tessie. She came from an adorable shop on She is well loved by all who come across her...particularly my niece and nephew, Chloe and Liam.
Skeleton keys. I can't get enough of them. I have to be careful. I've had to stop letting myself buy them.
The sparrow tree in our yard. Those are my feathered family members out there. I started feeding them this past autumn and the flock has grown 3 and 4 times. If I haven't fed them by about 10 AM, they are all lined up on my fence staring at the house. Kind of creepy...but I like it.
My antique binochulars...for watching my sparrows...
and our Hawk, Mo Henery...who has come to view my fence and bushes as an all you can eat birdie buffet.
Some of my vintage bisque dolls. These were carnival trinkets back in the 20's. I love their big curious eyes and round bellies.
One of my favorie drawings that Savanna has done for me. When she feels safe enough to share her art with me, I can't get it into a frame fast enough.
I am reading To Kill A Mockingbird again. Timeless story..."I think there's just one kind of folks...folks"- Scout
I am yearning for some tea...
...and a ginger biscuit from Julius Meinl in Chicago. My brother took my mother and I there when we came to see his show. It was the warmest, quaintest little place I have ever been. I had a goat cheese, basil and tomato omelet...potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream, and lots of jasmine tea.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It is time. Time for me to start eating better...stop eating crap. I said after New Years I would start being healthier. I wouldn't eat chocolate for breakfast every day. I wouldn't have a potato and bread at every meal. I would start exercising regularly again. Why is so damned hard? It's no secret that I've been a little down as of late. With the loss of the little lady that I've cared for for the last 2 years...and no regular income right shop running a little slow...add the adoption situation to all of that and it's no wonder I want to eat all comfort foods. However, the party is just about over. Diabetes runs rampant through my mother has a terrible time with hers. I'm 34 and although I am lucky to have a speedy metabolism and don't gain much, I worry what things look like on the inside. So, last night while Stan and Savanna had bacon wrapped steaks and baked potatoes...I had baked salmon, baked sweet potato, and asparagus. It was quite good. I do love all of those things. Then I opened the fridge for more spring water and those evil little chocolate mousse cups were staring at me. I tried to look away. "Pssst...yeah, you...the girl who thinks she's going to eat healthier. Don't you want to have just one last fling with us?" I slammed the door. Then I opened it again and dipped my little finger into the top of the sassiest one. That shut him up. I know I won't be perfect. I know I'll still have some chocolate breakfasts and some soft breads with butter and gravy too. But maybe, I just won't have them all on the same day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day or as I like to call it...Chocolate Day. I made some sweets for my sweets today. One of my favorite indulgences...I give you...Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups. It's a super easy recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook my mom gave me the year that I was married. The cookbook is beaten, but beaten with love...just like this mousse. The pink rose you see in the pictures is one of the dozen of pink ones my sweetie brought me. The first picture is the chocolate cups which are very easy, but look oh so delicate. The recipe calls to make them in a custard cup lined with foil, but I found an easier way is to use a cupcake pan and use the foil liners. The cups end up looking like a Reese's cup because of the grooves. The only drawback to these little babies is that there are almost 600 calories in one little cup. However, since chocolate produces the same chemicals which make you feel like you are in won't even care.

Sassy Valentines Day

Compliments of Miss Mae West:

A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.

A hard man is good to find.

A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald but if he has fire, women will like him.

A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that's subtraction.

A man in the house is worth two in the street.

A man's kiss is his signature.

A woman in love can't be reasonable - or she probably wouldn't be in love.

All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.

An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.

Any time you got nothing to do - and lots of time to do it - come on up.

Any time you've got nothing to do and lots of time to do it come on up.

Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

Cultivate your curves - they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.

Don't keep a man guessing too long - he's sure to find the answer somewhere else.

Don't marry a man to reform him - that's what reform schools are for.

Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from.

Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.

He who hesitates is a damned fool.

He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.

His mother should have thrown him out and kept the stork.

I always say, keep a diary and someday it'll keep you.

I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.

I believe that it's better to be looked over than it is to be overlooked.

I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.

I enjoyed the courtroom as just another stage but not so amusing as Broadway.

I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

I like a man who's good, but not too good - for the good die young, and I hate a dead one.

I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.

I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.

I only have 'yes' men around me. Who needs 'no' men?

I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.

I see you're a man with ideals. I better be going before you've still got them.

I speak two languages, Body and English.

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

I'd like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.

I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.

I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action.

I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.

I've been in more laps than a napkin.

I've been things and seen places.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Two Sweet Confections

Just in time for Valentines Day...made the bib the other night. Been wanting to get some more bibs into the shop. Finding the time is the hardest thing. I love the feel of the Sugar N' Cream cotton yarn. It washes easily too and just gets softer over time. Working with the felt is heavenly too...something so tactile and satisfying to push that embroidery thread through.

The other picture is my darling daughter. Shopping for eighth grade graduation dresses (say it isn't so) turned into shopping for prom...and her future wedding, I guess. Okay, no more of that.