Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vintage Halloween Cards

I love to make Halloween cards. I send a few to fellow artists who love the season as much as I do. The rest get displayed through my house, like in this vignette with an antique typewriter:

The card below is a shaker card made with stamps from Oxford Impressions, Austen Gallery:

When you tilt the card, glitter fills the window:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Liebster Award for Aimee of Refresh and Renew

I fell down on the job. I really did. I meant to give out a few more Liebster Awards to very deserving bloggers, and I just forgot.  Well--I am making amends!  I want to recognize Aimee of Refresh and Renew with a Liebster Award.  This award is for blogs that you feel deserve more recognition.  Each week Aimee showcases one or more very doable craft or DIY home improvement projects that are on trend, budget conscious, and fairly easy to do. Her blog is full of beautiful ideas and inspiration, like these adorable Halloween candles (she gives the printable graphics):

This chickenwire message board is to die for:

And these candy corn gift jars are so cute and a cinch to make:

I think you will love her projects and her sweet, kind spirit.  Please hop over to her blog, browse, and become a follower. I know you will be glad that you did!

Here are the Liebster guildelines and my questions for Aimee.

The guidelines:
  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to them in your acceptance post!  Download the award image and post on your blog.
  • Share 11 interesting things about yourself.  Don't be shy, and don't worry if they aren't relevant to the topic of your blog.  They aren't supposed to be!
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger who awarded you asked in their post.
  • Create your own set of 11 questions for the next recipients of the award.
  • Pass the award to some of your own favorite bloggers!  Each awardee should have less than 200 followers for their blog.
My questions::
1. If you had only one thing to drink besides water, what would it be?
2. What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
3. If you could change your name, what would it be?
4. What is the most exciting thing you've done, bought, or had happen to you in the past 6 months?
5. If you could do anything in life that you wanted, or be anything, what would you do or be?
6. What would you like to become better at?
7. What music stimulates your creativity? Or do you like silence?
8. What creative activities do your husband and/or children pursue?
9. What was your favorite job or activity as a teen?
10. What skills, gifts, or abilities do you have that most people don't know about?
11. Are you a messy messy or a neat freak?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Autumn

One of the joys of creating is starting with nothing and working with form and color and texture and size and just seeing what results. This tag came about with nothing in mind, and just created itself as though a gust of magical autumn wind whirled the elements together and produced this with a poof! Aaaahhh... the happy surprise that resulted!
The bee hive is from Oxford Impressions, and the leaves are French Foliage from Stampin' Up. I'll have to update the company for the French post card.  I die cut the leaves and glued them between the front and back papers. The dictionary shreds are from a very old volume. 

Here's a closer view:

Are you finding some autumn inspiration?  If so, please share with us in my Inspired Sunday blog party.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Card Pinspiration and Inspired Sunday Blog Party

(My planned post of my Halloween decor is not quite finished, so it will be coming next week.)

Do you LOVE Pinterest? I REALLY, REALLY do! When Pinterest surveyed me about adding preferred, ad-type posts, my response was "please, no!" I really hated the Christmas pins from "celebrities" last year! Yick! I even told them I'd be willing to pay a small monthly subscription fee to keep my service the way it is!  Pinterest feels like my very own file system for my work and the inspiring work of other,  that we all can share. Sometimes I just take a color, or an idea and work from there. And sometimes, when I'm having a non-creative day, a too-________-kind-of-day (fill in the blank), and I want to create, I head into my Pinterest boards and find something I've Pinned in admiration and make that. This Halloween card was just that kind of project.

I had the spider web embossing folder from Stampin' Up and the washi from Michaels.  The Pinterest card had a different stamp, but I came up with one that worked equally well. I also added the die cut glitter bats and spiders.

These were super simple and quick to make. I decided to make four to send to my dear mother- and father-in-law who have just moved from their well-loved home and community in Florida to a care home near my sister-in-law in Jackson, MS. I thought they would like to share with new friends they will meet and spread some Halloween cheer. I am also making some candy treats in pretty packages for them to give out. They are always thinking of others, so I hope this will help ease a tiny part of their difficult transition.

What did you share this week?

Debbie from Debbie Dabble put on the most AMAZING decorative spread for a very lucky group of ladies at her church's luncheon. (And I appreciated that she shared that even she--Ms. energy personified--gets stressed out!) She spared no creative idea and made the most festive Halloween table setting, complete with goodies to take home. I'm sure you'll be inspired by everything she did, I certainly am! 

Rhonda at Obsessive and Creative made these fantastic signs and gives a great tutorial--pinning this, anyone? These look FANTASTIC and are SO doable:
Newcomer Julie, from Creating This Life, finds so much fall to buy at the grocery store!  I, too, love these little pumpkins and found her idea to put them in an outdoor lamp to be a very clever one!  Do you love those little pumpkins?  Her blog is beautiful, and I'm sure you'll want to see more!
Fall Lantern

Newcomer Nancy from A Joyful Cottage wrote a great post on a topic close to my heart: "to paint or not to paint." As a person who grew up with fine antiques, I am often conflicted about this whole Annie Sloan chalk paint craze. I like it, don't get me wrong, but there is a time for all things. Nancy's post shows two pieces, one she painted, and one she decided against painting. For the unpainted piece, she gives an excellent tutorial on how to restore the finish the way antiques dealers have told me all my life! Great info, and the piece is beautiful:

Thanks so much, everyone, for the interesting posts you linked up to this week's party. I quickly visited each one, but didn't leave comments for all. I will do so today, as your posts were all lovely.

If you've been featured, please display my badge on your blog.  

Now lets show our best Halloween or fall-themed inspiration! If you link up, you must link back to my blog to be featured.  Also, please become a follower. Let me know through a comment, and I will follow you back!  Have a beautiful Sunday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Crafting

I've really wanted to make a load of Halloween crafts, but sometimes life just gets too busy.  I did find a few things that I never posted to show you. I hope to get my house decorated completely for Halloween this weekend and show you on my Inspired Sunday post.

The cat card was made with the Halloween Party stamps from Oxford Impressions.  This is a real quick and easy card to copy and it fits into a business-sized envelope.  The pumpkin head doll on the right is one of my favorite creations. Doesn't she look so delighted with her spider! The doll body was made using stamps from Mad Rat Rubber, and the pumpkin head is from Artistic Outpost. Her skirt is fan-folded music edged in gold metalic ink. She required lots of "fussy" cutting, but then I love that!

This final card was an experiment to use non-Halloween stamps to make a Halloween card.  I love the black damask stamp (Oxford Impressions Marie Antoinette collection) on orange! The "boo" stamp is from the Oxford Impression Trick or Treat collection.  Do you think it looks Halloween-ish?

I would love to see what you are making for Halloween. Please join my Inspired Sunday blog party and let us see what creations you've come up with!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Shoes

Wow, this was a difficult challenge for me!  This tag had a mind of its own, and it took me on a journey with ink and paint and hairspray and stamps and punches and glue and die cuts and dictionary pages and ribbon and buttons and a paper frame (whew!) and ended up looking very typically Victorian. Overall, I liked it once I hung it on a bottle and mounted it on a cast-iron stand. The flowers were tedious creations (read "pain in the rear") made from dictionary pages, and did you notice the shoe words dictionary page inside the frame?


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Inspired Sunday - Best Blog Party Ever!

Were you ever the girl who was afraid to have a party, because you knew you would die if no one came?  

I kept seeing blog parties that just started, got 30 entries on the first event and 300 entries on the second event--parties that got huge, and mine stayed teeny tiny.  
Mine                                                                    Theirs
I had my dear sweet regulars who gave shout outs every week, posted three entries to make it seem like I had more guests (thanks Debbie Dabble, Debbie Ray, Lisa, Brittany, Penny, Aimee, Susan, Jann... and others).  I thought maybe I should just quit.  I considered it strongly. Like last week was going to be my last party!  I was just going to visit your blogs and QUIT HAVING BLOG PARTIES (foot stomp, grunt, two-year old tantrum).

But WOW! This week was crazy! After saying I didn't have time to grow it, I branched out and linked up my paper pumpkin to new parties.  Bloggers saw that the post included a party, and they decided to link up.  Did you, my regular visitors notice the new friends?  I'm SO excited! 
This pic came from found on Google images. It was perfect--
I will take it down if you mind my using it!
This party had SO many diverse posts, it was hard to pick a theme or my favorites! I want
  • a bathtub like the one in Brittany's post
  • a chandelier like Aimee's
  • a tablescape entire house like Sherry's
  • a banner for my typewriter like Jann's-- and a bingo card banner and a witch's boot!
(I actually have that typewriter and a similar boot - just need to finish decorating! And I pinned bingo cards, and I WILL make a banner with them!)  

But the post that made my heart melt every time I looked at it (and still does) is Patti's from Ivy and Elephants:
I have a feeling I am going to be spending a little bit of money to duplicate this look--but maybe not!

While so many of my regular partygoers had absolutely wonderful posts, I wanted to show off the work of some of the newcomers.

Deb, from Lake Girl Paints actually made and painted this beautiful chalkboard-type fall sign. I WANT one! Check out her blog to see a few steps of the process. She really did paint it. Honest!

Another newcomer, Lorraine from Over the Rainebeau shows that she is the queen of beautiful when it comes to crafty things like her "spoolies" and matchboxes. I love what she's done, and I can't wait to make some! She has also posted some wonderful vintage Halloween printables for everyone to download and use!

Jennelise at Jennelise Rose has given us absolutely gorgeous, rich autumn vignettes of roses, jewelry, and Marie Antoinette images with a romantic, perhaps gothic, look.  Her wise and noumenal choice of quotations (I learned this new word today) and exquisite photography alone are enough for a visit.
Next week I will be showing you my Halloween/Autumn decorations and vignettes. I would love to see some of yours in this week's party! Have a great Sunday! And thanks so much for making this the "Best Party Ever!"

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Tattered and Torn

A fellow creatista from Tag Tuesday and I were commenting last week that we would like to be freer, less controlled with composition, and just loosen up in general when we are creating. I think this week's challenge was a great one to experiment with loosening up!  I also wanted to try a more monochromatic look, as I usually use lots of rich colors and find myself adding more and more and more! :-)  I was thinking about dried autumn leaves, old dried flowers, stained old lace... Here's what I came up with:

I used torn paper that I had first embossed and sanded and added lots of vintage linen and lace shreds and bits. The leaf is also embossed and sanded - love that core'dinations paper!  The butterfly and girl stamps are Oxford Impressions stamps from The Austen Gallery.  The girl is a "photo realistic" stamp and requires certain types of ink and glossy paper. Hard to believe it's a stamp, huh?

Here's another view, just of the tag:

Overall, I think I achieved my goals--monochromatic and a little freer on the style (if only in my mind)!  Thanks for your encouragement and comments. I am looking forward to seeing what this creative and talented group has come up with this week!

BTW: I have a blog party that runs from Sunday to Saturday midnight. If you would like to link up any creations from your blog, please visit Inspired Sunday!

Sharing with

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Paperback Book Pumpkin and Inspired Sunday Blog Party!

Happy Sunday! The winds that felled a tree onto my car have died down, I have almost recovered from a mild bout of the flu, and dear son has moved out! Life is looking pretty good, as does my paperback book pumpkin! Have you seen these on Pinterest?  I fell in love with them about a week ago, and since the only thing I felt like doing yesterday was cutting things (paper with scissors), I found two old paperbacks that were headed to Goodwill and tried my hand at making a pumpkin. Here's the tutorial, and here's the finished product:

I think I'm kinda in love with it. Here's another view:

And another:

Inspired Sunday

I really enjoyed all the link ups this week and am so glad that you keep coming back even though this is a teeny weeny blog party.  I just don't have enough time to promote and build it at this point, but I am so happy that you keep joining me.  Perhaps one day I will really work on it, but for now, my hope is that we can really get to know each other better and possibly meet a few kindred spirits. 

Besides Pinterest, several of your clever ideas inspired me this week.

One was the very brilliant way that Debby Ray of My Favorite Things made her own dried hydrangeas for her Fall decor. This idea was genius! You just need cheap hydrangeas, spray paint, and a fire stick-- but just be careful playing with fire!  lol!  Don't these look fantastic?

Another brilliant idea was Penny's use of Scotch tape to keep her roses in place.  Like her, I love flowers in my kitchen but sometimes can't get them to look nice in a vase without taking tedious measures like running out to purchase Oasis foam or using pounds of glass pebbles that end up getting nasty from the rotting stems and leaves.  She used the Scotch tape to make a grid for the flowers to fit into--kinda like the way an old glass flower frog worked.  Thanks for this easy peasy and inexpensive tip, Penny! Visit her at Penny's Vintage Home to get the full scoop. I'll warn you, you might leave her blog  with kitchen envy!

Now let's see what you're up to this week!  If you join the party, I would like for you to follow me. (I will also follow you.) In addition, please be sure to link back to my blog from your blog.  Thank you!

Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Tweak it Tuesdays at Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesdays
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Creative Things Thursday @ The Vintage Farmhouse 
Blog Stalking Thursday @ The Crafty Blog Stalker

Friday, October 4, 2013

What a Smashing Time We Had!

It was just a matter of time.
Before this happened from my neighbors' yard into my driveway:

It's a miracle that there is only a dent
on the roof 
of my faithful 1996 4-Runner.
No one was injured.
But seriously?????
After my crazy month and a tiny bout with the flu this week.
And my craft group meets TONIGHT at MY house!
-- So happy about that, though :-) --

The fire threat is a more serious concern.  
Several Octobers ago, fire raged all around us and almost made its way to the Reagan Library, 
a place rich with history, beautiful gardens, and serene views.

God blessed us with a surprise rain then.
May He do so again before even one spark has a chance.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tag Tuesday: Beads, Buttons and Bows and Egypt

This week's theme is Beads, Buttons, and Bows. I got hooked on making paper buttons one weekend and was so happy to use them on this tag. The button card was made with stamps from Oxford Impressions and the fashionista stamp is from Pink Persimmon.  The background dots are Stampin' Up. I was so excited about this theme, and this is not quite what I had in mind, but I guess you can't perfectly plan everything you create or you would never make anything, huh?  I need to loosen up and just "go for it" a little bit more.
Here is my tag from last Tuesday, when the theme was Egypt. I used digital images and washi tape to make the tag and adhered it to a piece of repurposed cardboard from a box.  To embellish it, I ran gold metal foil through a die cut/embossing template to imitate the look of Egyptian gold artifacts. 

Thank you for your continual encouragement. Have a blessed week!