Upcycled “Make Do” Pincushion

Image

I’ve been working on new items for my Esty shop since arriving in Muskoka. I loved the color combination of this piece!

Advertisements

Storage Solutions

Standard

I am still busy unpacking and “downsizing” my stuff but it sure is hard trying to get rid of things when I have spent years picking them up in thrift shops.  Last week I was looking around on Kijiji for some storage options and I was lucky enough to find a woman selling a 4 piece wall unit.  She was so proud of her units telling me she had purchased them in 1983 for a grand total if $1,400.00.  She was willing to part with the whole lot for $250 so my hubby and I loaded them up and brought them home (with some help of course).  We immediately got to work to transform with chalk pain and moldings.  We decided we would turn them into built ins to add some extra strength and we only used two pieces, the other two are waiting for their re-do in another room. 

 I’m really happy with how it turned out and I love how chalk paint allows you to paint shiny old veneers without sanding or priming.  I guess it’s how I get my kicks these days!

Still Settling In!

Standard

Still getting settled at the new homestead.  Downsizing has been a whole new thing for me, I’m usually up sizing and dragging new things home all the time….like the ever expanding fabric stash that has now completely taken over.
It’s been very busy and hectic since arriving at our new location.  Super challenging to move into a house with no linen cupboard and no coat closet.  The main bathroom had zero storage as well so I have been a regular at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Thank Goodness for that place!!!
Because of the ReStore, I now have lots of cupboards and a nice vanity in the bathroom albeit a lot of elbow grease was required to make it work but with some sweat and a little skill on our part my husband and I were able to accomplish a lot in a short period of time.

I recently took a painting class focused on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint line of products.  I love painting with chalk paint but I cannot lie…her products are expensive and I am not above trolling around on Youtube to learn how to make my own home made version…which is exactly what I did!
I did however buy her dark wax and used it to age and give some patina to the cupboard pictured below.
 

The vanity pictured here was an amazing find. It included a beautiful KOHLER Sink and set of taps but was in need of and update and some feet.  It was a super satisfying project that proved my Hubby and I still work well as a team even after all these years.

 The resulting bathroom mini renovation gave me a very vintage, flea market chic kinda feel to the room perfect for hanging up a bunch of my thrift shop finds in.

 I have NO IDEA how I am ever going to tackle my studio space!  We still have some of my boxes to come into the house from a storage unit and all that is left are boxes marked “Studio”…oh dear…I guess I’ll be hanging around the ReStore some more! 

Moving on and Big Changes happening!

Standard

Well I am finally free of my day job!  Finished there on Tuesday and am now a Self Representing Fiber Artist….officially.  The birds are singing, the sun is shining and all is good in the world.
My husband and I have a big move coming up next month…we are moving up north to a rural location on 5 acres and I am finally going to get my studio space.  My Etsy shop has been temporarily suspended and I will be re-listing my work after I have unpacked from the move…so keep an eye out for that.  The area that I am moving to has a very active artistic community with lots of opportunity to attend sales and farmers markets so I may be selling more goods in person rather than online until I can get my stock built up next winter.

I have not been able to produce as much of my work in the past few months as I would have liked..the job got in the way.  It was a physical job sorting goods for a big thrift chain store…I sorted two to two and half thousand pounds of “stuff” a day.  Dirty grubby work.  I was shocked at times with the things people would donate….a couple of months ago I got and urn with heavy ashes in it…I am pretty sure someone was in there!  Lots and lots of really bad crap…a word for those of you who donate to these places…if you wouldn’t want to buy it at your local thrift store don’t bother donating it…they have to toss it anyway. You’re not doing anyone any favors by donating your old burnt, disgusting frying pan or Grandmas old written on greeting cards.  From someone who dealt with the stuff everyday…send the gross stuff to the dump please.

Now instead of the view of the back of a dirty production room…this is the view that I will be looking at!  I will be soaking in the wildlife and gently prodding my husband to get working on a Grow-dome for me to putter in.
I can only hope the scenery will fuel my creativity…I don’t have to hope..I know it will.
As for my Blog…I will be making a commitment to Blogging at least once a week from our Muskoka paradise when I get all set up in late June.  You can hold me to it if I don’t!

Adjusting My Attitude.

Standard

Well, here it is.  The first day of 2013…the year I will turn 50…yikes, that’s a big number.  It’s a big number but a good number and it would seem to me that it would be a good time to really work on adjusting my attitude.  As you can see in the picture above, I was gifted a new iPhone for Christmas by my Husband.  I was not expecting it and it took me a second or two to realize what he had given me…the face does not lie.  I have since had my brain pulled and stretched in many directions while my daughters try to drag me into the present and teach me the ins and outs of this technology. 
My intention this year is to focus more of my time on my artwork and to expand my Etsy business.  I love Etsy and the Etsy community of artists and really want to grow and learn more about being a successful Seller on that site. 

I love being creative and love working with recycled and upcycled fabrics, this I know….but I really have a need to work on a more positive outlook and drawing only the best and most positive of experiences to myself….so that is the one and only resolution I will make for this year…the weight on my body will be what it will be….I don’t smoke so that’s not a resolution I need to make….I don’t gamble or drink too much….I am a pretty solid citizen in the grand scheme of things but I really need to keep a positive mind set and look on the bright side of things….you know, count my blessings and have an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE…..and that is my pledge for this year!
Happy New Year to all who read this post and I wish only the best for you all!

Christmas is almost here…and the end of the world?

Standard

 Five more days until Dec. 21st, 2012….is it the end?..I don’t think so but I did make a pilgrimage to Chichen Itza with my husband in February of 2011 to check things out. It was a “Bucket List” trip for me, I had always wanted to see the Mayan pyramids for myself.  An older Mayan gentleman who was selling souvenirs assured our tour group that the world would go on business as usual on the 22nd of Dec. 2012, just the end of and age, not the end of it all.  I am taking his word for it and carrying on as usual…if it’s meant to be over and done with, I hope I can still make my crafty stuff on the other side!

 Here is our tree all set and ready to go.  It seems that the Holidays are a lot more low key around here than they used to be.  The kids have grown up as I mentioned in an earlier post on the Blog.  I guess we are in an in between time before they start getting married and having babies…I for one am enjoying the relative quiet.  I have been making a stack of rag rugs, it seems to be my favorite thing to do right now when not at my day job. 

I have also been trying hard to come up with a shortbread recipe that tastes like my Father in Laws.  Since he passed away I have tried to make his shortbread in order to keep my husband and kids happy.  This year I think I have come really close…not quite exactly the same but very close!  Here is the recipe in case you want to try it….Shortbread…1lb. of butter softened, 1 cup rice flour, 3/4 cup of icing sugar, 3 cups of flour.  
I used my mixer with a dough hook to blend the ingredients together and then pressed the dough out onto my granite counter top making it about 3/4 of an inch think, I then cut it into bars and used a fork to make the holes in the top of the bars.  I baked the bars at 325 degrees F until they just started to turn a golden color.  I sprinkled the tops of the bars with some regular granulated sugar.
I really wish I had a shortbread mold but my Sister in Law inherited his molds so I am going to have to keep my eyes open for a good old Scottish Shortbread Press.   The bars turned out very flaky, it just melts in your mouth!  The holes help to bake the bars but they also help to make an even break when you you snap them in half.  I will be making my 3rd batch today because it is just not lasting around the house….I do really think I am close to Jack’s shortbread…maybe he is helping me out with it, I’d like to think so.
Anyway…Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year too….I hope to see you all in 2013….if the world doesn’t end.

Anyone for a "Sandwich"?

Standard

Hi all, I have been busy this week working on my Etsy shop and making new projects, taking photo’s, cooking and baking and walking my dogs.  What a great week off!  I must soon face the reality of getting myself to my “day job” but I have had a blast.  Late last night I finished a new tote bag that I began to work on earlier in the week and I love how it turned out.

 I am defiantly going to try to make more like this this winter.

 I am still waiting to find somewhere at home for studio space…I am spread all over the house!  With kids who are on the verge of beginning their lives away from home we are in a fuzzy transition time around here….they don’t want to be here anymore…trying to spread their wings….my husband and I are patiently waiting  things out but it feels like we are in a holding pattern. 

It’s funny how life goes.  The kids want to be out on their own and “free” and just when we think we may be free too we have other responsibilities that crop up. 
I believe it is called “The Sandwich Generation”…..”The Sandwich generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.”

We didn’t really see it coming five years ago but here it is…I now understand where white hair comes from…my hubby and I are sprouting a good crop of it each!

So for now, I will tear sheets apart and crochet, crochet, crochet!  Thank goodness for etsy, pinterest, facebook, stumbleupon and all the other places I go to feed my artists heart…it is keeping me sane….well sort of……