Category Archives: Jambalya – this that and the other thing!

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!

Decorating with Crafts

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Finally settled, more or less, in our new home. I have my finished craftwork displayed where possible, and have a bit more organizing to do in order to set up my work table. There is something uniquely joyous about having my own handiwork around me – not because I think my work is so fabulous, but because they are of my own creation – a bit of me on the wall, so to speak!

Remember the wooden plaque I found hiking in Arizona? It is hanging on the wall now, and is absolutely perfect where I have it. IMHO. It is below a treasured find, a b/w photo of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, at Yosemite, during the time of the formation of the National Parks system.

Here is a closeup >>>

Such fun, having it on the wall, where I can see it every day!

In my previous life in Rio Vista CA, I collected driftwood, as we lived on the Sacramento River. Two of these I have made into Candle holders. I found the globes in a dumpster, and was tickled to death to be able to recycle them this way!

Not the best pictures, I admit, but you get the idea!

                                                                                        ^More driftwood I have saved for later projects!

  One of my favorite projects. A found glass bottle, a piece of driftwood, and some collected sea glass, sea shells, a turkey feather, a dragonfly (one of my totems,) some lavender from my sister’s garden and a small snake pin (my other totem.) These reside now on the shelf under the window above my kitchen sink, and it makes me smile every time I see it! (closeup below)

<decoupaged on the wood, and then the word “mother” in different languages written around the petals of the flowers.  We use it by the door to hang the dogs’ leashes on – it is a fun memento of a job I loved.

>>Next up is  some of my painted houses. I was on a real kick for a while of painting on rocks. I quickly discovered that this was NOT my forte. Yet these little houses possess a piece of me, and have a charm and l that I simply adore. I didn’t make them to sell, or even give as gifts, but to experiment with a new craft, and create something that was original and “me.”

My home has lots of character and whimsy around – and that is the way I like it. You probably won’t find pictures of my living room in a decorating magazine, but neither will you see many designer magazines that show homes that are created by mixing family treasures, homemade crafts and a simplistic comfortable style meant to embrace doggie footprints, the smells of homemade baking, and piles of yarn and crafts in the making. Does your home make you smile and feel as if it expresses you and your family? If it doesn’t – you need to get busy crafting!

Some of my favorite handmade scarves live on this rack by the door, when they are not being worn.

Crocheted, dyed silk and fabric all have a place in my life…

I LOVE SCARVES!

Great Links and a Pattern!

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We leave Arizona to return home to California in 2-1/2 days. I should not be blogging. Yet here I am! It is called work avoidance. I indulge in it regularly, how about you?! I decided to take a break in the saying goodbye to new friends here, and getting ready to greet my old friends in California to share some links and project ideas with you. I haven’t jumped on the Halloween bandwagon because I simply don’t have time – maybe next year.! But these links will give you some fun ideas for gifts and for the upcoming holidays.

First up – click on this cute picture to go to the site where you can create your own Owl Calendar – FREE!

Owl Lover 2012 Calendar

Totally Kewl, Right?

Next – a quick picture of the last ruffle scarf I completed this week – an easy project, a variation on a pattern I found online.

Two shades of dusky blue…

Here is MY pattern

downloadable PDF

My first project (after unpacking and all the Crap that comes with doing that!) is to use this to make decoupage art.

and here is the map I want to use

http://www.donmeth.com What a strange mind! 🙂

I am waiting to hear back from Dan Meth on whether or not he will allow me to use this map… if not, I will go to the fabulously creative Karen over at The Graphics Fairy. EVERY day she posts printable graphics for decoration and creativity. Totally love her site, I have 127 graphics/pictures downloaded that I want to use!

A few other great links for blogs, designs and creative ideas that I have found in the last month or so:

Bugs and Fishes by Lupin has some fun felt projects – I am really into using felt right now! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and all that jazz!

Stitched in Color has some great tutes – mostly quilting things – and I love her writing too – her blogs are always interesting and thoughtful.

Bits and Bobs is a family effort – I am going to try the Bobble Crochet Pillowcase Edging!

Do it Yourself Divas have a tute (for making your own decoupage glue!) I will be putting to good use when I get to decoupaging on my wonderful boards-find (as above…)

and the last one for the day:

I love this advent “calendar” on The Feminist Housewife   – this was published almost a year ago (this particular post) but she has much to offer and a fun outlook on her busy yet creative life.

That’s it for now – hope you enjoyed my notes – until sometime in November, I remain yours truly, the craft maven of The Crafter’s Cafe!

Why do you craft?

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Photo from Etsy Blog

Crafters are an odd lot. Okay, speaking for myself – I am an odd lot! I craft primarily because I can’t help myself. Creativity, like writing and reading,  are deep-set needs for me. I craft because it is part of who I am. I craft for gifts, I craft for charity, and sometimes I craft for money. But I subscribe mostly to the theory that I craft because I can, because it is necessary, because it expresses love and hope.

Over time, I have spent hours researching websites and books to learn new crafts, to meet new people, and to discover new techniques and ways to express myself artistically, craftily. Browsing the ‘net, I found these sites that have also pondered the question – why do you craft? (Site names below are clickable links if you want to read what crafters had to say there.)

Capadia Designs

The ProvoCraft Cricut Community

The Simplest

And yet, wherever I go, the answers, both long-winded or short, seem to be about the same.

  • I craft for fun.
  • I craft because it saves me money on gifts
  • I craft because I have the talent to do so
  • I craft because I inherited the love of crafting from a parent or grandparent
  • I craft because it is “my time” to do things I enjoy
  • I craft because it allows me to express myself
  • It is a way to relax and get away from the world
  • It helps me deal with stress and to center myself
  • I can create things that are unique and not “made in China” cookie-cutter type art
  • Crafting = Therapy
  • It helps pass the time and/or it keeps my hands busy so I don’t (eat) (drink) (sleep)

SO, why do you craft?! Respond in a comment below, or simply spend some time thinking about why you involve yourself in crafty pursuits. And while you are commenting, or thinking about the role crafting plays in your life, pick out a new technique or skill to master! Mine is going to be felting…>>>