Sunday, September 30, 2012

One Bonnie Bonnet Set Finished!

Whew!  Where has September gone?  It seems the month has flown by.  This was the month of Bonnie Bonnets for sure.  And I have just completed the first set.  One tea towel, one dish towel and one washcloth.

Not sure these will stay together in this exact set...I am hoping to make enough of them to mix and match to create the best combinations.

Until another day,
Have a Happy, Stitching Day!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1947 Kitchen

This picture is from the July 1947 Ladies Home Journal that called out my name at the flea market last Saturday.  I just love that it has bright blue in it, much like the blue we have in our kitchen!  Not sure I would want red and white striped wallpaper though.  But I do love the built-in breakfast nook!

That's all for today!
Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bomb Girls


Those of you who know me fairly well, know that I don't watch a lot of television.  There are only two or three shows I follow on a regular basis...The Mentalist, Army Wives and Last Man Standing.  To be honest, I just don't have time with my job during the day, then crafting and blogging in the evenings.  But I must add another show to my line up because it is the bomb! (no pun intended).  It's a show called Bomb Girls and it is set in Canada at the beginning of WWII.  America is not involved quite yet so I'm guessing the year is 1941.  The "bomb girls" work at a bomb factory called Victory Munitions.

I'm so glad someone decided to create a show set in my favorite decade, the 40s!!  (because enough of the 60s already)  And it is so well done!  After only the first show I was hooked...hooked on the characters that draw you in whether you like them or not.  Hooked on the fantastic costumes, makeup and  hairstyles!  There are dance hall scenes, with fabulous dancing, and scenes that show the 1940s decor of the characters' homes.  I especially love Lorna Corbett's (played by Meg Tilly) kitchen!

If you love the 40s and the history of WWII mixed in with a little drama you will love this show.  It reminds me a teensy bit of the movie Swing Shift with Goldie Hawn.
Check it out Tuesday nights on the REELZ channel!

PS  Not sure I would recommend this show for kids under 12 or 13.  To be honest I'm not sure of the show's actual rating, but there a couple of accident scenes that are a bit...well lets just say they stick with ya for awhile and it's nothing I'd want my daughter to be mulling over in her mind.  But it's still a great show!

Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day

Monday, September 24, 2012

Flea Market Finds

This past Saturday was the first flea market of the new season here in town and I was there with bells on! (what does that mean anyway?)  My parents cruised around the tables with us and we always have such a great time finding little treasures.
This weekend I was lucky enough to find a few things and even something that will be wrapped up to be put under the Christmas tree for me later this year!

Four McCalls magazines from 1943 which I absolutly LOVE (loved their price tag as well ;)  Also, a Ladies Home Journal from 1947.  Some 78 records of Arthur Godfrey and friends singing Christmas carols and a small tea towel with bluish colored flowers and berries (has a couple of holes, but still cute for display).  But one of my favorite finds was the 1950s Androck Hand-i-sift flour sifter that I've had on my wish list for the past 3 or 4 years.  Never dreamed I'd find one in such good condition for such a great price. (Under the Christmas tree it will go come December).  And some little chalk fruits that I think will work nicely with the blue kitchen walls in our 1940s kitchen.

Not a bad weekend! It's always so fun to find special things that "speak to you" at the flea!

Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Vintage Day!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Bonnie Bonnet

I'm lovin' how easy and fun these Bonnie Bonnets are to do!  Here is another one that I've started and am working on in the evenings.  It's nice to stitch while listening to my daughter's piano practicing.

I like this fabric and these particular colors with it.

More lazy daisies, but this time they have a bullion stitch center instead of a french knot.  My bullion stitch needs work, but I'm practicing.
That's all for today.  I'll update as soon as I finish this one. 
Until later,
Have a Happy, Stitching Day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bonnie Bonnet Stitching

I've put the drawings away for a while and have gotten back into embroidery.  Hooray!

This is what I've been working on this week!
I wanted to do a Bonnie Bonnet in cheerful colors.

 I plan to use DMC 760 for her dress and DMC 761 for the apron.

And here she is finished.  She's not as colorful as I had originally planned.  I guess I need more practice utilizing brighter colors.  In the weeks to come, I might go back and add dots and dashes to her underdress like I did with the blue one.
Until another day,
Have a Happy, Stitching Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September TUSAL

Here is September's Totally Useless Stitch Along!  Sorry that I am a couple of days late with it as the new moon was on Sunday.

I surrounded my TUSAL with my most recent projects. 
If you would like to learn more about TUSAL fun, please visit DaffyCat's blog here.

Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy Day!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Art Organization

Organizational tools make my heart flutter.  I love, I love, I love them.
Sometimes I seriously think that I have so many hobbies, just so I'll have stuff to organize.  It's like a sickness, I mean check this out.

My sea shells all have little plastic compartments that they live in.  I spend more time organizing and cataloging them than I do just looking at them.

My rubber stamping stuff lives in a giant Sassaby Cosmetics Caboodle type of thing.  Again, lots of compartments for all of the little things that go along with stamping.

And don't even get me started with my children's book collection...(I think I would have enjoyed being a librarian).

Now, even my embroidery items have been organized.

But the hobby that really takes the cake when it come to organization is scrapbooking.  
The organizational companies took one look at the scrapbooking craze and jumped on it like a duck on a June bug.  They produced a wide variety of boxes, folders, binders and totes, each with a gazillion little plastic pockets and compartments to stow tons of scrapbooking essentials.  And thank goodness they did!  Scrapper girls were able to clear the dining room table of scrap supplies and feed their families again in proper style!

I used to watch QVC's Scrap and Craft day and they would have a whole hour set aside exclusively for organizational items.  There were Art Bin boxes, Solutions boxes, and totes of all kinds, ones with wheels, pockets, and flaps that opened and held all of your pens. All items that would get my heart beating faster. 

And even though I no longer scrapbook, I still love to organize my craft supplies and artwork.And these sweet organizers from Creative Memories are AMAZING for artwork and sketches!

Back in college, I had an elementary education professor who liked the word "packetize". Everything was done in packets. There were packets of worksheets, packets of note cards, etc.  She was actually delivered to class in a packet, would unfold herself and begin to teach.   She would love this product, and would probably create an assignment around it!   I can just hear her saying, "For tomorrow class, I would like you to create 5 reading and language arts file folder games with manipulatives that can be stored in the pockets of this packet, and every pocket must be used."  (I'd have loved that assignment!)

But I use mine for drawings.
Each folder has large center pocket that can hold 12x12 paper, and has pockets of other sizes on the front and back.
Here is the front side...I labeled the photos because the pockets are hard to see.

And here is the back side of the file.

And then the big 12x12 pocket in the middle holds large drawings!

If you were counting along, that is SIX pockets in all!  Woo Hoo!  That's a lot of packetizing!

Until another day,
Happy Crafting and Organizing!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Coming Along

Here is how the star picture is coming along.  I need to decide what to do now about the darker blue.  Should I do all of the blue with the darker shading or leave some of it in the Non-photo Blue.  Mmmm.

Time will tell.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a Creative, Happy Day!

In The Words Of Monty Python...

"And now for something completely different!"
Yes, I have switched gears from embroidery to drawing.  I don't know why I jump from one medium to the next, maybe it's creative ADD.  I can't stay with any one project for too long and I get bored. 

It's been almost a year since I've drawn or done anything creative with my pencils, and it's funny how one little thing can trigger a reawakening of creativity.

About a week ago a friend of mine posted a drawing on facebook.  Looking at it, I thought to myself, "That looks kind of familiar...I did something similar to that last year!"  So I dug through my sketches and sure enough I found this.

This was just a exercise with my circle template gone wild.  So, I stared at it for a bit and wondered if I ever took it any further than this.  So back to the portfolio to dig a little deeper, and I found this!

It soon dawned on me that I had a star somewhere that I had created for a Christmas card that never materialized.  (An unfinished project!?  Whoa, like that never happens.)

So I dug again and found this.

Hmmm.  I wonder what it would look like if I combined the two?

The drawing is difficult to see because at this point I had only done it in pencil.  Wouldn't you know, after not having the desire to draw for so long...I finally have the creative bug and not a SINGLE working Micron pen in the house! 

Here it is "inked", but I'm not satisfied with it.  I want the design positioned differently on the paper.
So, off to the light board to trace and then off to the copy machine (thanks DH) to make some copies.  Why make copies?  I NEVER EVER color an original until I know for sure what colors work together.  Once, I did color an original and hated it, but what was done was done, the original was ruined.  Now, I always test what colors will look best together etc, etc, before I color the actual original. 

Now it's time to start coloring.  I usually do a rainbow of colors, but today I want to experiment with warm and cool colors.  Warmth in the middle.  Coolness on the outside.
Deep in the back of my mind I kept saying the verse, "Jesus Christ is the light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome."  The verse seems to connect to the picture with the light in the center and sky around it. 

Here is the drawing so far...and it is here that I sit at a crossroads.  The project isn't exactly what I had envisioned, but with 6 hours already into it, I feel the need to keep pushing it along.  OR do I start from scratch and sketch until I get it just the way I want it?  Maybe I'll do both.

Who knows how long this moment of creativity will last.  But it feels good to have the pencil case out and to see all of those happy colors lined up in a row on my desktop.

Until another day,
Have a creative day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Happy People by Sara Jenkins

Let me see....where do I start? 

First, it's not very often I choose a book without having any clue as to what it is about.  But I did with The Happy People because of its title, and because it was written in 1953.  For about the same price as a BK Whopper I figured I couldn't lose.  (Mmmm...Whoppers)

Second, it's not very often I purchase a book and finish it within 24 hours.  (The last time I did it was when I found a copy of Bridges of Madison County.)
The Happy People is 246 pages long and I devoured page after page of it, only stopping long enough to go to church and feed my family some pot roast. (Why not Whoppers...What happened to the Whoppers?)

The book is written by Sara Jenkins and after a bit of late-night research I discovered she also wrote another book called The Brand New Parson.  I found a used copy on Amazon and needless to say, the Fed X  man will be ringing my doorbell in 1 to 2 days.

In The Happy People, Jenkins introduces us to the small town of Kinsman GA and it's townsfolk.  The town was recently built by J.G. Kinsman, owner of the local cloth factory.  J.G. Kinsman is rich, powerful and...well he pretty much owns the town seeing as how he built it.  As I read the story I began to picture the ex-NASA millionaire from the TV series Northern Exposure, played by actor Barry Corbin lol. 


I can't talk about a book without actually TALKING about a book.  So if you plan to read the book, and don't want to know any more about it's juicy details, then please feel free to stop reading.   Or, if you're already bored to tears and your eyes are all glazed over like mine get when hubby tries to explain spreadsheets to me, then stop reading.   Gee-wiz, life is too short and you won't hurt my feelings.

J.G. Kinsman built the town to serve his factory.  A river runs through town and on one side J.G. has built small, but comfortable homes for his factory workers.  The other side of town boasts larger homes for other inhabitants of the community such as the factory chemist, and a few other interesting characters.  There is a large home for J.G. Kinsman himself and his family, and a parsonage for our main character, the new Methodist preacher, Stephen Elliot, who lives with his widowed sister and her son in the parsonage. 

The book revolves around the growth of Stephen Elliot as a person and as a pastor.  He is plagued by personal struggle...he is in love with his ex-collage girlfriend, Claire, who just happens to pop up in Kinsman at just the right time.  She is beautiful, stylish, a good decorator....but divorced.  Being a Methodist preacher, Stephen has no choice but to leave the ministry if he wants to marry Claire.  The author is so good because throughout the first few chapters my opinion of Claire kept changing.  At first I didn't like her at all, then just as I'd start to feel sorry for her, she'd do something or say something to tick me off again.  I kept thinking, "What does he even see in this woman, she's kinda vain, stuffy and at times a bit selfish!?"  But then again, who isn't at times.
This struggle with his love for Claire begins to weigh heavily upon Stephen.

One dark and rainy evening, his gal-pal, Joey asks him, "Where are the happy people?"  It's a key question throughout the book and a question that intrigues Stephen.  It gets him to thinking about Joey and why she is not happy.  After all, she is J.G. Kinsman's daughter...she has every material possession she could ask for.  (Ah...but material possessions aren't a replacement for a father's love are they?)  Joey is mostly ignored by her family, she lives alone in the guest house and they won't let her take a job.  Joey is different from Claire in many ways, she's about the same age but more of a free spirit, trying to find her place in the world.  She is not as beautiful as Claire and I liked her for that because I felt I could relate to her in that way.  I'm sure writing Joey in this way was no accident by the author as I would venture to guess a few of us feel we are not as beautiful as the beauty queen down the street or the woman sitting in front of us in church.  This book, through Joey, reminded me that beauty isn't everything.

After three weeks of non-stop rain, Stephen's personal struggles start to affect his work, and our pastor friend is close to a nervous breakdown.  He takes a few days off, gets into his car and drives towards the Smokey Mountains having no actual destination in mind.  (We've all been there right?  I felt like singing "Jesus Take the Wheel")

He falls asleep at the wheel and "accidentally" finds himself in a village called "City of Brothers" full of welcoming people. At first I thought to myself, "this could get creepy in a 'Children of the Corn' kind of way", but thankfully, it didn't.

These welcoming villagers left the hustle and bustle of their regular, big-city lives to live off of the land and become farmers, potters, weavers and such.  They live in 300 year old farm houses and log homes and describe themselves as "normal" people as they still read the newspaper, keep up with world views, and use modern appliances.  They are well educated, well read, and have shelves upon shelves of books in their living rooms. (sounds like my kind of place).  They are deeply religious and try to "walk with God" in everything they do.

This small village was the safe haven Stephen needed.  After a few meaningful conversations  with the villagers (worth the price of the book right there) and in only two days, Stephen thinks he's found his way back to God.

He heads back to Kinsman and preaches the most emotional, eye-opening sermon of his life...and it's a good one! (again, totally worth the price of the book right there!)  But, many of the townsfolk disapprove, especially J.G. Kinsman, and even Stephen's own beloved Claire.  But he reaches Joey and we find that his sermon was exactly what Joey needed to hear. (and apparently, that's a pretty big deal for a pastor).

Then tragedy strikes.  Four weeks of steady rain, plus a town with a river running through do the math.  Let's just say lives are changed.  Points of view are changed, and people are seen in new ways.

I'll leave the rest to you...if you have the opportunity to read it, please do.  It is full of little life lessons about what we think we want, what God thinks we need and the ability to just let God be God.

".....He had prayed in the City of Brothers, "Thy will be done, and may I be shown the way I can do it."  He prayed it once more now, humbly, a he walked toward the parsonage, adding, "Keep her happy, Lord.  and the Kinsmans, and all of the lost, and misguided, and contrary.  All of us are so--so--"  He could think of no better words than "Stupid and weak."  He wasn't satisfied but he was sure God knew what he meant...."

Until Tomorrow,
Have a Happy Day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunbonnet Girl COMLETED!

Here is the finished Sunbonnet Girl dish towel.  I went a little crazy with the french knots and dashes, but that just made it all the more fun to do!


Until tomorrow,
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunbonnet Girl Embroidery

This pattern is one of my favorites, but I've transfered it so many times I think it's time to replace them with new ones while they are still available.  They are 5 years old now and are inking lighter and lighter. 

Until Tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Stitchy Day

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Embroidery Storage Drawers

In my Craft Space, there are three fairly large drawers that I'm usually able to keep fairly organized.  They used to hold miscellaneous craft items but...NOT ANYMORE...(insert evil cackle here).  They are now my "Embroidery Drawers", well, at least the top two for now.  The bottom I left as it was because it is quite organized and the things in it have been there since I first set up, no need to change what's been working fine for years, right?

Here is a tour of Embroidery Drawer #1
With Uncle Stan's gift of mega transfer patterns, I wanted all of my transfers together. Now they are.

Here is a tour of Embroidery Drawer #2

The new/unused dish towels have been pre-washed, are ready for stamping and are being kept in those zippered, plastic baggies that sheets and other bedding come in.  I don't know why, I'm just weird like that.

Whole garbage bags of stuff were exiting the premise (non of it really anything good) but I kept some stuff that was too good to throw away for a garage sale next year.  I'm trying to transition over from scrap booking and crafting to more embroidery and fabric type arts.  It's been quite sometime since I've scrap booked seriously...I'm lucky if I scrap traditional-style once a year.  Sometimes you've just got to let go of the old and make room for the new.  And just like Kelly Clarkson says, "what doesn't kill ya, makes ya stronger". 

Until tomorrow,
Have a happy, organized day!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Koala Bear Embroidery #2 COMPLETED!

Here is the little Koala Bear completed!  Now all the towel needs is a strip of yellow feedsack repro fabric at the bottom.  A trip to the quilt shop for that is in the works.

Oh!  I forgot the center of the flower!  Oops.  Oh! and her eyes need to be blue.  Well, I guess I'm not quite done then am I?  I'll get to those right away.

Off to the next project!

Koala Bear Embroidery #1

Now that the lilac towel is done I can concentrate on other projects.  I've started this little Koala Bear washing laundry.  I've done this towel before and wanted to make a duplicate, but this time I've added little daisies to the bottom of her apron.

Until tomorrow,
Have a Happy, Stitchy Day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lilac Towel #2 COMPLETED!

Woo Hoo!  After two weeks of a few stitches here and there, the lilac towel is finally complete!  It's been tough to find even just a few minutes to sit and stitch lately.  Hopefully this weekend I will find an hour or two.
I will try to find a nice little purple towel to go underneath this one.
I searched and searched for another spool of the purple ric-rac but there was none. I would've used it on the other two sides of the towel. But I'm glad I was lucky enough to find one spool and that there was enough for the two sides.

I used DMC 155 and DMC 210 (one strand of each) for each little lazy daisy petal.  The two colors mixed well together.  The next time I do a lilac, I will do a few petals in just the DMC 155 (the darker purple) to give the flower more depth.
I used DMC 470 (green) for the leaves and DMC 840 (brown) for the stems.

Another project done.  I will set this one aside for springtime.  It actually crossed my mind to make window curtains and valences to match, but then I stopped dreaming LOL!

Have a Happy, Stitchy Day!