Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mixed Media Messages

In this new post I want to share a mix of things that I feel are fun and worth sharing. I recently found another interesting book that I would like to share with anyone interested in Mixed Media and fabric.  There are numerous lovely books out there, but unfortunately I find many of them are just filled with photos of very interesting works of art, but with limited information.  I truly hate to be critical but with the cost of some of these books, I want ideas along with great techniques.  The newest book that I found that I feel fits this criteria is called "Fabric Embellishing - The basics & beyond".  It has over 50 techniques shown with easy to follow instructions.  It might be worth checking out if you love  "mixed media".

The next thing to share is something I found today while picking up thread for a sewing project.  I happened to come across this really neat wire dress form on the clearance shelves.  With 75% off the original price, it was a "MUST BUY"!  So I'm seeing some fun ways to decorate or alter this find.  Once the work begins I will be happy to share photos.

Something else to share is called "Inspired at Home". There is a website to check out.  On Sunday evenings there is a radio show that is "live".  If you are interested in anything creative you may want to listen in.  The shows can be downloaded from iTunes under podcasts.  Another fun thing  to check out too is something they do on Wednesday evenings called "Wednesday Night Pajama Party".  It's hosted by Maria Nerius.  If you have never heard of Maria, she is a truly creative woman that has been involved within the creative industry in so many varied ways.   You will find information about all of these things on the "Inspired at Home" website.  Check it out - get inspired!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Time To Start Being Creative Again

I've been having a little fun in my workroom the past few days.  Before starting on some major reorganizing of my work space, I have been enjoying some creating.  With two projects for an upcoming submission completed, I was on a roll.  With Valentine's Day coming in a few weeks I thought it would be fun to create some "heart" themed designs.  

I pulled out all the heart related Sizzix dies I have and started cutting a variety of materials.  The design in the photo is of a pendant that was made with felt, fabric, paper and metal.

In the next few days I will begin going through every inch of my workroom, weeding out old materials, sorting, sorting and sorting more.  

I'm also determined to get several projects complete to submit for class ideas.  There are other ideas that will finally be acted upon.  As I work through my ideas I will share some of them with you.  

So I share with you my ... creative heart.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This will be a short post.  I have a variety of things that I would like to share but they will have to wait .

It really does give you a good feeling when you complete a task that wasn't something that you were looking forward to.

This new week can now start with a new list of "things to do".  All the closets have been cleaned out and rearranged.  All of the holiday decorations have been sorted through, packed and stored away.

I started jotting things down in a notebook this week-end of more things to do, creative ideas and just some other random thoughts.

Tess will be here tomorrow and Jospeh, Maddie and Amy will be coming by too.  The kids have a day off from school because of a teacher institute day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making Changes

IF,  you have been checking out this blog in the past week you may have been a bit confused.  I have been playing around with making changes.  I've changed backgrounds and tried adding some new gadgets.  Needless to say, I haven't made up my mind yet in what I want.

After looking over several blogs, both new and old ones, I've seen some things I like on others but they don't seem to work for me.  So I'll continue to work on this.  I want an easy to read look plus an inviting look, and I hope to reach more people with a varied context to my blog posts.  Please mention my blog to others you know and have them check it out.  Leave comments and make suggestions.

People who know me, do know that I love making things and to decorate, so hopefully this new year will have more posts on such things.

Actually I have several ideas on a list to begin.  I am about complete with the closet cleaning, and my plan is to complete the packing of all things Christmas this week-end.  Then next week I can begin anew with working on ideas.

Some of my ideas:
     1.  To get together a list of class ideas for teaching here in my
          workroom and start getting the word out.
     2.  Sew a little each day.  I need to get caught up with quilt tops for our
          group and for my own use.
     3.  Begin working on the counters tops in my workroom.  I've decided to
          collage the white tops, then stamp and embellish them before
          coating with several coats of varnish (still deciding on what type
          to use).  Areas will be covered with glass for added protection.
     4.  More sewing for the family: curtains mainly

     5.  Get together some finished projects for something that I've
          put off long enough ...
          two ideas for other books.
 More later ...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Something Interesting To Share

This morning we woke up to an amazing winter view.  Looking out the window it was hard to tell if it was snow or ice on everything.  Being married to a retired Science teacher, he informed me that what was visible on everything was something called "hoarfrost".  

Following is a definition:
Hoarfrost A deposit of interlocking ice crystals (hoar crystals) formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air, such as tree branches, plant stems and leaf edges, wires, poles, etc., which surface is sufficiently cooled, mostly by nocturnal radiation, to cause the direct sublimation of the water vapor contained in the ambient air.

We have seen the beauty that snow can leave on the landscape and everything around, as well as freezing rain, that can encrust everything it falls on, into shining crystal.  This was different from those and truly was amazing to see how it painted a different winter landscape.  

We drove around the area for about an hour just enjoying the changing pictures around each turn.  Every thing we saw was an amazing photo of its own. We are lucky to be surrounded by forest preserves and horse farms.  I took several photos of the things we saw and want to share just a few of them with you.  

MIke's simple explanation is the cold temperature mixing with the fog that was everywhere this morning.  Winter may be difficult for some to get through but it still delivers many beautiful sights.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thinking Green Again

The outside is still looking mostly white but I'm thinking green once again.  With the organizing that is going on here, I'm finding  several things that are no longer needed.  So what becomes of unused items?
There is no way that they will be placed in the garbage.  It will be donated to resale shops in the area.  When I get to the clothes, those will go to a charity or shelter were they are needed.

I have some across a couple of things that I wish to share with others visiting this blog.  The first is a website called "reusable".  The site does sell things but I have been found several other interesting items to read throughout the site.  There is also a blog, there is a facebook page that you can join   and a newletter to sign up for that also sends "green" info.  If everyone would do something, anything, small or large to recycle or reuse, it would be a little step to help this world.

After finishing my organizing, I plan to take several of the reusable bags that I have accumulated and redo them.  We already use reusable green bags for our grocery shopping.  It will be fun to be creative and restyle the bags for other purposes.

Another find that I came across a while ago was a magazine called "MARY JANE'S FARM", the Everyday Organic Lifestyle™ magazine. It is published bi-monthly and found it at Barnes & Noble.  It also has four blogs to follow. Check it out either online or find it and page through it. The link to the website is:

One more thing to mention is a fun book that I checked out of the library the other day.  It's called
 "eco craft ... recycle - recraft - restyle" by Susan Wasinger.  It has some great eco-friendly projects.  There are several that I would love to try.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Small GIfts

Christmas is over, but I still have some gifts to deliver.   This week I'll be getting together with a group of friends for a "once a month lunch". Unfortunately I had to miss our December lunch gathering.  I had made  a small gift for each that I will now be able to share with them.

I saw a pattern for a simple, reuseable item that I felt would make a nice gift ... a felt tissue holder.  I made up one using the pattern, but felt it needed some "tweeks".  So after changing the size a little and making a couple of other adjustments, my small gifts were finished and ready to be given away.

Can't wait to share another handmade gifts with my friends this week, "better late then never"!

Friday, January 8, 2010


It's a busy time around here ... it's time for organizing!  It seems that come January every magazine has an article about "organization".  The newspapers are running articles about it too and have seen several segments on television programs on the subject also.  I guess it's the whole "new year - new start" thing!

My plan is to spend more then a month working at this.  The process will start with getting all our holiday "stuff" put away first.  BUT, by doing this it is forcing me to organize the whole area where these things are stored.  That will actually be very good.  The entire storage area will be gone through.  Any leftovers from the children will be moved out.  (They all have homes now and will have to store their own stuff!)

Once this area is complete, my plan is to move on to each closet.  Their not too bad, but I feel it's time to go through and clean out non used things and just reorganize.  Next I want to move on to my workroom once again.  It really is in pretty good shape.  I make huge messes while working on several things at one time, but do a fairly good job of putting things back before starting the whole process over again.  I think that is one of the most important things to do when your work!

I think I will make this whole "organizing" idea a years project.  As I go along, I may be able to share some thoughts and ideas with you.  I believe there is a saying, "A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN IT'S PLACE".  We'll see how that goes!

Just some ideas to check out:  If you are near a Container Store, go in and look around.  It is an amazing place to get ideas for storage.  If you are lucky enough to have an IKEA store in your area, that is another one to just walk around in and look for ideas.  Even within the room settings you'll find many storage ideas.  Think outside the box for storage ideas.  If an object is made to hold something, it may make a great organizing item.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No New Year Resolutions

So a new year has begun.  It's almost one week old.  I guess it's the time for making "resolutions".  Well I will not be doing that, I usually don't.  I do have some plans for myself this year but I'm not going to write them down.

The first thing I have planned will be to get all holiday decorations taken down and put away by the end of the week.  After that is done, I need to get a few small projects done for a company who will be at the CHA trade show later this month.  Once that is out of the way, I have several sewing projects to get to.

I do want to make a schedule of projects around the house that I would like to accomplish within the next couple of months.  Along with all the things that I know must be done, I hope to work in time to just play around in my workroom and have some fun experimenting.  I'm also thinking about making a schedule for myself to finally finish many incomplete projects.

So let the new year begin!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcoming The New Year

The calendar already reads "January 3, 2010". The saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun", and we did during our days up north.

We hit some snow squalls while traveling but made it safe and sound to our destination of Camp Nawakwa. We were joined there by Kevin, Ali & Tess, Amy, Joe, Joseph & Maddie, Matthew, Nate, Jayme, Andrew & Lauren, Anthony & Suzanne, all together in Bridge Builder. There was other family there too, but in other cabins. Jim & Laura continue to make the trek every winter. This year Bill & Mary Ellen joined in with friends Leslie & Mark.

There was of course much food to be devoured and enjoyed! It's amazing what an appetite you acquire while trekking and playing in the snow.

This post is to let you all know that I'm wishing you a very best New Year in 2010. While quickly checking emails one day at the lodge (it's nice that we can access WiFi there) I made a quick post on facebook to send wishes out but I realize not everyone is connected with a facebook page. I need a little more time to crop photos from Christmas and New Years and will then share more with everyone.