Busy Bee

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Today I entered this Tuesday Brag Day on the Tip Junkie Blog… http://www.tipjunkie.com/homemade-projects-228/

Tip Junkie handmade projects

AND I also entered Wednesday’s Made By Me Linky Party on JAQS Studio… http://www.jaqsstudio.com/2012/02/made-by-me-20-linky-party.html

I have actually been very busy these days – got one project 3/4 of the way done, and have ordered fabric for two other projects – will post pictures ASAP!

Hope it has been Spring-like weather in your neck of the woods!

A hint of things to come:

Family Treasures and Change in the Air

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Today is raining. Which is cool, we need the rain, fo shizzle! So I was going through a (small) craft box full of interesting things. Elastic, unopened (THAT’S where I put that! Just replaced it last month. Sigh) trim and edging. Some raffia, some round plastic canvas pieces. AND, a rich finding of booty! Not pirate’s treasure (and not that other bootie either,) but close. Pieces of Lace, Tatting and Embroidery belonging as far back as my great-grandmother – and who knows, now, maybe further!

Family Dresser Scarf Linen, with Embroidering & Tatting (Left and Right)

Next up… A lone Square for a Quilt project that is now defunct. I probably have others, enough for a few pillows, a scarf or something equally benign! I made this myself, one of my first forays into quilting, back in the late ’90s.  (below)

I found a pile of pieces of tatting, embroidery and lace, again, handed down from mother to daughter. My mother always used handkerchiefs, and her greatest treasures were the ones she inherited from her mother, often with little flowers embroidered on them, and hand-tatted edging.  What lovely projects will I be able to find to use these? I memorialized some of these in a gift to my sister Betty. I have asked her if she has a picture of it, or will take a picture of it, so I can share that process with you in a later posting.

Last but absolutely definitely not least,  I found a gorgeous piece  of crocheted tatting a square collar – so creamy in color, with nary a rip or tear in it, and with no visible stains either! I have a picture somewhere of my mother wearing it over a navy blue dress – simple elegance at its best. Will look for that picture (may have to tap my sisters on that one too!) Kind of got a pilgrim look about it, doesn’t it? Appropriate, since I am one of 35 million Mayflower descendants! :)

Now, for the news. I am working on creating a new webpage/blog for my craft pages – it will be a rather inclusive blog, with books for sale, crafts for sale occasionally, and craft products for sale (occasionally) as well as reviews of crafting books. My other blog (Readerwoman Redux) will stay where it is (click name to the left to reach) for the foreseeable future. And the Crafter’s Cafe will stay open – but stagnant, with past articles available, and such, with a link at the top to the new site. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you WILL HAVE TO RESUBSCRIBE to the new one! It may take me a month or so to get it up and open – so keep your eyes open and your fingers ready to click over to the new site! Thanks for all your support! I am moving my site so I can (1) sell things (2) have sponsors and (3) appropriate advertising (4) have almost everything in one place (5) save my sanity. (Oh. too late on that one. Oh well…)

Thanks for joining me today at The Crafter’s Cafe. The new site will be called (Tentatively) Crafts and Books and Stuff ~ Oh MY!

Til next time! Happy Trails!

The Year for Fabric Arts

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This year I am going to focus on FABRIC. I still crochet when I am watching TV, but I want to improve my applique and quilting skills.

So far this year, I have made an owl – stuffed one mounted on a lovely piece of driftwood I found…

And, today, I finished a pillow I have worked on for some time. The centerpiece is a square from a quilt my grandmother made me over 50 years ago. The quilt got so shabby and well-loved that I, oh-so-carefully, cut it apart to use as craft projects. I found an old chintz flowered fabric for the back, and since I wanted to use a 14 inch pillow form, I used that pansy fabric around the edges of the quilt block too. Each corner of the quilt block is accented with antique lace, made by my great-grandmother, and I added small dragonflies to the corners as well, since I love dragonflies.

I am so pleased with the way it came out. Next time I make my bed (!!) I will show you how it looks with the other pillows I have made. I had so much fun making this though, that I may sabotage the pillows I made before, to create other pillows with yet another family quilt that is too ratty to use anymore.

Below is a closer look at the corners of the quilt square and of the back:

 

I really do love coming up with ideas to use the materials I have on hand – I have a serious problem with letting go of toilet paper rolls, meat trays, tin foil, old pictures, fabric scraps and much more. I honestly thought I was doing better – until I finally admitted that I was still keeping S**T, I was just HIDING it better! ROFL

What’s on your plate (or crochet hook, knitting needles, sewing machine etc.) for this year? Are you going to try any new crafts? Are you going to fine tune some old ones? Share!

Creativity in the Bedroom

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GOTCHA! No, this is not a sex blog! ROFL. I have been puttering in my bedroom, which is also my office and my craft workroom. We have a king-sized bed, necessary for two people and two dogs! It takes up most of the room, so it is for sure the focal point.

I bought a lovely tapestry pillow, but it looked so naked by itself on the bed that I had to do something to perk it all up. So I took two pillow forms (one from a tacky-looking pillow that I wanted to re-cover anyway) and covered them. And not a bit of sewing involved!

For both, I used solid color pillowcases that matched the colors in my Amish quilt. I put the pillow form inside the case, in the lowest corner. Carefully folding the excess fabric to the back, I tied a scarf around each.

           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Easy Peasy. Pictures aren’t really great, but you get the idea!

Over my bed I have a family quilt – made, I believe, by my great-grandmother. It is a very dark navy (almost black) and cream. My hubby, Ed, hung it folded so both sides showed. Isn’t it beautiful?!

Today I found a great site to share with you – called WHERE WOMEN CREATE They are running a twelve days of Christmas giveaway right now, and although I really don’t want to share it with anyone, because I want it all for myself – there will be TWELVE winners (it started November 30, but you still have time to get in on the last 5 days!)

Next blog will be more about great sites that I have found – there are so many creative people out there – I am often humbled by the talent!

Holidays are Here – Are you doing Homemade Gifting this Year?

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I am. I almost always do. My kids (30 and 31-1/2) don’t really appreciate it much, so I tried harder this year to meet their interests – or at least my daughter’s. I think I will end up buying things for my son, because homemade is definitely not his gig, unless it is out of the kitchen. Sigh.

My sisters will both get handmade gifts – as will my landlord, neighbor and the friends I share gift-giving with. I am giving gifts of charity donations this year as well, donations to my sister’s charity, Oma Village, and to a green organization that will send a magazine and ideas on living green to my recipients. Please, if you are considering charitable giving this year for your gift list, please remember, giving and doing good deeds are in the spirit of the season for most religions holiday beliefs.

Here are the crafts I have begun for giving. My daughter and I have begun, in the last few years, exchanging small gifts on each Sunday of Advent. We are behind this year, since our move has kind of gotten in the way of making things. But here is the first gift for her; a handmade Santa shelf sitter:

Pinned together ready for hand stitching

 

Blanket stitching completed

 

 

 

This pattern is based on a pattern in an older craft book I own. Called Homemade Gifts Under $10, it was published in 1998 in the Clever Crafter Series from Leisure Arts Inc.

You can see the Santa I am making on the cover

Because I am a buttonoholic my Santa only shares a pattern with the book – I have added buttons for a belt clasp, the snowflakes on the hat are buttons, and the holly leaves and berries on the hat is also a button.

Cute little guy all done!

For my favorite sister, I am making some things from the kitchen – pound cake to go with the luscious Pomegranate Sauce I am making from the pomegranates on the tree in our new back yard. I have also made her a clever little crocheted sunflower towel holder – different from the ones that cut a towel in half and crochet a topper, this one will hold any towel. The back, hanger part, will be plastic canvas. Glad to know I could find a use for all the leftover plastic canvas I have! J It comes from the same book.

^^BOOK PICTURE              ^^MY WORK

Hope your holiday season is filled joy, family and creativity!