April 30, 2012

breathe deep

 A spring bouquet for you, simply and loosely gathered in a jar. Lilacs, bleeding heart, and dogwood.

April 25, 2012

And a cluck cluck here...

And a cluck cluck there...

I am happy to report I have cleaned my art room and rearranged the furniture to better reflect my current emphasis on sewing versus paper crafts. I also got started on the stuffed hen and baby chickies I am making for my own baby chicky's first birthday. It was a satisfying weekend in the creative realm!

April 23, 2012

house numbers as art

I have been scheming about updating our light, mailbox, and house numbers ever since I painted our front door and shutters (let's see this was September 2010) and updated the front garden (June 2010).

We just replaced the light and mailbox with black to match the railing. I have been eying what all the neighbors do for their house numbers and pondering fancy fonts for quite some time. Our house is brick so I was trying to decide what to put the numbers on so we didn't have to drill multiple holes in our house. Then I thought about tiles. Then I thought about etsy!

There, my friends, is the solution! I am totally in love with the work of J and R Designs. I have ordered a Handmade Ceramic House Number Plaque like the one below and am totally thrilled to have something that is so "me" adorn the front of my house. A lovely piece of art just for my dear home.

April 18, 2012

what's old is new to me

I was recently lucky enough to be gifted with 3 framed pieces created by my great-grandmother. All were probably craft kits that she completed for herself or others. They are done with crewel, so there is a very fun dimensional feel to the artwork. They, and their frames, have a funky vintage look that I love.

I will admit the dark brown background on this piece is not my favorite. However, I am enjoying something fresh on the mantel. I may bring it back out in the fall.

April 16, 2012

Easter basket upgrade

Similar to the way I decorated my older daughter's basket long ago, I am now beautifying a basket for my younger daughter.

Before – your basic thrifted treasure. If there is one thing that is plentiful at thrift stores it is baskets:

Painting with older sister's help. I just used some extra house paint from the basement:

Some fabric on the inside along with some strips of fabric scraps as "grass" on the inside:

April 13, 2012

welcome, spring

 Elegant extension of new leaves.

Baby Oak leaves are butter yellow. My apologies, dear spring, for neglecting to notice in years past.

April 11, 2012

April 9, 2012

fresh art

 I was recently shopping at 6.25 Paper Studio, one of the terrific shops in MoDiv here in downtown Grand Rapids. I was looking for gifts but ending up buying myself a piece of new art! These lovely letters were printed on a letterpress by the artists Carrie Shyrock and Beth Snyder of One Canoe Two. I saw it, I picked up, and I just had to have it. I love letters. I love letterpress. And I love the colors, which match my house so perfectly!

I intend to hang it in the sunroom after all is said and done. Before I can frame it I need other furniture pieces settled so I can figure out what type of frame would be best. So, for now it is propped up on a shelf in the living room with some cool glass.

April 6, 2012

April 4, 2012

the mermaid party

The mermaid dolls were created in conjunction with the mermaid-themed party requested by the now-4-year-old daughter. I posted about my terrific thrift finds earlier. In case you couldn't quite imagine what a tablecloth, a giant wad of blue fabric, and a pile of seashells was going to turn out to be, I am sharing some photos!

Fabric turned ocean for dolls turned wave decor:

The table in all its birthday finery:

Detail of the cupcakes:

We made our own toppers by scanning artwork, sizing it to be slightly larger dimensions than our large circle hole punch, arranging several on a single page, and then printing out the sheets. Admittedly this is easier for me because I have graphic design software. Then we punched out the circles and hot glued toothpicks on the back. The possibilities of what could be printed and punched are endless!

April 2, 2012

the mermaid dolls

My apologies for the lack of posts lately. I was frantically trying to finish those mermaids in the sliver of time after the kiddos were in bed but before I was too tired to sew. I ended up finishing them at 10 pm the night before the birthday!

One of the few steps done on the machine:

The thrill of making a toy! They already look like mermaids:

Things I was forced to get better at:
1. sewing curves on the machine
2. sewing teeny tiny things
3. handsewing of all kinds
4. improvising – I deviated from the instructions in several places!

The completed project:

You'll recall that I posted about making these mermaids and some Easter bunnies and some chickens. Well, friends, the reality is that we are going to skip right over those bunnies and move onto the chickens for my other daughter's birthday gift. There's only so much sewing I can fit in and I refuse to be stressed out about stuffed Easter bunnies!