Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crafty and Clever!

Our next-door condo neighbor. General Jan, used a glass cutter to make this upcycled beer glass. I think he has created a very unique product! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Update on last post!

An exact replica of my American Indian friend in my last post is being offered on eBay for almost $130.00. So far, no bidders. I think the price is high, especially since I got him for only 90 cents. LOL! This all means nothing unless he sells. I will be watching

Saturday, July 19, 2014

An Amazing Rummage Sale Find!

I have trouble walking away from American Indian items, no matter how kitschy they may be. My Grandmother's maiden name was Hawk, and I've always been told she was part American Indian. In spite of not having official documentation, I have a family tree that goes back to where the name entered my family, and that has always been enough for me. This 18" tall molded plaster bust jumped out at me as I entered the tiny south Jersey country church rummage sale. I was prepared for a higher price, but found the seller had just marked him down to $1.00. As it turns out, she could not make change for my $20.00 bill, so I offered to pay her $1.00 in change. As I counted that out, I ended up with only 90 cents. She said "That's OK, just give me whatever you have" so I got him for only 90 cents. My husband just smiles and shakes his head, but I say "Whatta buy"! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I planned to start a new weaving...

...but my kitty had other plans for my frame loom. I decided not to disturb her and took this photo instead. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Family Time at the Beach

Creative photography from my husband (or being in the right place at the right time with a camera ;)

PS: Carol, you won my bar of handmade soap. Need your mailing address!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cranberry Fig Handmade Soap

This is my first cold-processed soap using a pretty colorant. I like to make soap for fun and to share, so it's not in my Etsy shop. But if you leave a comment, I'll choose a random winner and send a bar soon. It rinses clean and smells wonderful!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Primitive Craft

Our "kids" were camping for the holiday in the south Jersey Pine Barrens where our daughter dug up clay on the banks of the Wading River, sculpted beads, then "fired" them in the hot coals of their campfire the way it was done very long ago. She makes jewelry (https://www.etsy.com/shop/bethhandmade) so I'm sure they will find their way to a few of her new pieces. She gave a couple of them to me, and I plan to embellish a doll or vessel. Fun!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hand Weaving at the Bay

After doing a bunch of these art weavings, I have enough on my walls, so I'm starting to use them as table toppers. Future ones may become one-of-a kind (for sure!) gifts, doll bodies, or giveaway prizes. I'm hooked on this frame weaving, so there will be more! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

An Important Issue!

In case you missed it in the news this week, here is an important heads up. I know many bloggers have been leaving in favor of using Facebook. I've been doing both and having fun. There have always been concerns about lack of privacy on FB, but blatant manipulation of it's users is even worse. I find it unacceptable, and to be honest, a bit scary. If this interests you, check these two links, and make your own informed decision. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wooden Tray Decoupage

Our 7 year old granddaughter (in the Philadelphia bus photos below) stayed with us last week. I wanted to do something crafty with her, so I bought two little wooden trays at AC Moore, and we decoupaged them with Mod Podge and some pretty images torn from paper napkins. This is the one I did, and I wish I had a photo of hers, but she took it home. I like decoupage and guess I should have done it in the 70s when it was really popular! (always was a late bloomer ;)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Beautiful Weed

Have you ever looked closely at Queen Anne's Lace? I walk where it grows and took these pics today. There are dozens of tiny blossoms in each bloom that make up the familiar large umbrella-shaped flower, and each of  these blooms has it's own stem (first photo). The name comes from a story about Queen Anne who pricked her finger while making lace, and a drop of blood fell to the middle of her work. Look closely at the center of each full flower for a single tiny crimson-colored blossom. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Just Sharing...

I'm a proud Nana today! These photos show our Grand-daughter on buses all over Philadelphia! She isn't into child modeling, but she does have an aunt who works at Please Touch Museum. ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2014


This is my first "Eye Spy" quilt in progress. I thought it would be quick and easy, but after being away from my sewing machine for awhile, there were issues. For starters, I had apparently forgotten how to thread my machine(!), and I had to find the manual to do it right. Adding insult to injury, I then sewed some of the two-block units together with one block upside-down (2nd photo). This quilt was supposed to be a birthday gift in two weeks, but time is needed to make it right, so I decided it will be a Christmas gift instead. Then I went shopping for a birthday gift. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Creatively Growing

I like surprises, so when I found some potting soil dumped near our condo with strange-looking rootlike things in it, I scooped it into a pot and started watering it. Within a few weeks, this is what grew. Researching reveals I have a lovely pot of "Purple Shamrock" (Oxalis triangularis)It's a little late for St. Patrick's Day, but they aren't green anyhow (although oddly, a few of them are green).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Downton Abbey Fabric Box

Andover fabrics recently designed a line inspired by the characters in the TV show, "Downton Abbey". I love all of these fabrics and purchased a bit of these two -- "Mary's Plume in Rouge" and "Mary's Berry in Rouge". I wasn't certain what I would do with them. I only knew I really liked them. The result is this fabric box, my largest at 6" square and 4" tall. I recently also bought an eBay lot of vintage buttons, and these square white glass buttons with silver accent were among them. They seemed perfect for this piece, and I've decided I'm definitely keeping this one!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Knitted-in-the-round Felted Vessel

This is a bigger one, about 5" tall x 5-1/2" at it's widest. An acrylic blend fun yarn provided the speckled look while the solid wool yarns felted best, something different!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fabric Catch-all Boxes

It was an "iffy" day at the bay today, so I got to use my new sewing room. Here are two handy catch-all boxes made from two "Celestial" fabrics with batting inbetween for stability. The larger one in the rear is 5" square x 2-1/2" deep, and the smaller one is 4" square x 2" deep. They are both adorned with vintage glass and metal buttons. I want to add them to my Etsy shop, but need to do a more detailed photo shoot first. Coming soon! 

PS - two days later, these are now in my Etsy shop :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Spirit Pillows

About 5" square, these are my 3 latest spirit pillows with sage in the stuffing and a Swarovski crystal among the glass beads sewn to the outside. They are made from fabric with images by the artist, Betsy Pease Gutmann, on both sides. I'm planning to use them to help fill my Etsy shop. I hope they bring positive energy there!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Another Sewing Room

We are at our bay place for the boating and fishing season, and I miss my sewing room at home.  So I got this workhorse Kenmore at a yard sale for only $15.00. 

Then I picked up this universal walking foot at another yard sale for only $1.00. 

Now a sewing machine cover was needed, so I fashioned this one out of leftover pre-quilted fabric. 

Lastly, I needed a table for all of this, and I found this heavy wooden table with a laminated top at a local thrift shop for only $5.00. I had the light and iron at home, both extras. I made the small pressing board out of a piece of wood from my husband's workshop, covered it with batting and boat-themed fabric stapled in place.

Now I'm good to go whenever we are here at the bay. Only on rainy days, though!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Beautiful Bodyart

As of this afternoon, this is the colorful and lovely forearm of my 62 year old friend Mary, and the grandmother of (you guessed it) "Madison". She says she will now have little Madison with her wherever she goes. Very brave and "Proud Mary"!

Making Pretty Soap

Shopping online offers beautiful "works of art" in soapmaking, but I make soap only for fun and don't sell it. I keep it simple and just enjoy using and sharing it. However, recently I bought some colorants and have been experimenting. These are my first bars with color that I like. I also added some cranberry-fig fragrance. Now, if only I could use it instead of waiting 4-6 weeks while it cures! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Before and After...

Warm weather brought out the large sage plant that I use for my spirit dolls and spirit pillows. I need to make more of those soon before it goes dormant once again.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Woven Sampler

I'm calling this a "sampler" because it has a little of everything I've learned or wanted to try. I just added what struck me at the moment, and there is no organization to texture, color, or design. The brighter greens, yellows, and reds through the middle are fabric strips instead of the darker rows of yarn top and bottom. I guess the plus side is it will fit in any color scheme. It's still on the loom so I'm not done yet, but I needed something ASAP to keep my blog from getting too stale! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Not a Lot of Sewing and Crafting

But I have taken some creative photos at our getaway bay place, here are three of them.

Bay reflections...

Rain on the way...

Calm early morning...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baby Morning Glories

My Morning Glory seedlings are getting ready to start climbing. By summer's end I hope for large blue trumpet-shaped flowers and thick green heart-shaped leaves. My Grandmother grew these every summer on strings tied from her front porch railing to the roof of her old house along the Delaware River. As the vines climbed and filled the spaces between the strings, my sister and I would rock on a creaky metal glider in the green glow of the sun on the foliage. Ah, a treasured childhood memory. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Natural Beauty

We have acidic soil in the NJ Pinelands and have always had at least a few fragile Pink Lady Slippers growing wild on our property in the spring. They are usually single plants, but this year nature blessed us with two right next to each other. So beautiful! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Local Quilt Store Clearance

I'm sad to see a favorite shop close, but it's nice to have a chance to buy some special fabrics at a discount. If you know the work of American artist and illustrator Bessie Pease Gutmann, you may recognize the figures on this beautifully soft fabric. The artist lived from 1876 to 1960, and her original paintings are extremely rare. However, prints of her works are readily available. I plan to use this fabric for making my Mini Beaded Spirit Pillows, and I hope to add them to my Etsy shop. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New on my Wall

My husband created this wooden shelf with his jigsaw, and I embellished it with decoupage roses before varnishing. It's perfect for one of my knitted, felted vessels and the little spool and button doll in last week's post. My bay guest/sewing room never looked better! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Knitted and Felted Vessel

This sturdy little bowl is about 3" x 3-1/2". Knitted in the round, then felted, it's my first with a rolled over top edge. The main embellishment is a small piece of driftwood picked up on our bay beach, and the beads are glass. I love making these wee vessels!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Yard Sale Doll Find

The yard sale season has begun on the bay, and this handmade cutie was only 50 cents. Her body is a large wooden thread spool, and her arms and legs are small spools with buttons. She also has a pretty lace petticoat under her spring-like print pinafore. I couldn't pass her up! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Nice Weaving Find

I bought this large 58" x 27" wool weaving at a yard sale yesterday where house contents were being sold after the owner's passing.  The nephew of the owner knew nothing about this piece except it hung on his uncle's wall. I believe it's either Native American or Mexican in design, and it appears to be hand-woven, but deciding it's authentic is a leap of faith I can't make without a professional evaluation. No matter what it's worth, I got a bargain at only $7.00. I really like it especially because it looks much nicer on our wall than the commercial tapestry left by the previous owners of our bay condo.