Sunday, February 27, 2011

Girls Week Out

Last week was amazing!  My sister came for our annual "grapevine" trimming and this year we did a great job on the vines.  We would put in some trim time in the morning, but the rest of the day was "Girl's Day Out".  We shopped everyday.  Thrift shops, consignment stores, antique malls, Goodwill etc., if it was within a 30 mile radius, we went there.

And oh did we get some wonderful goodies.

A batch of buttons.  Still on their original cards, many of these are from France, Switzerland, Ireland, and Japan.

Unusual wooden tie hanger.  Double horse heads.  Bill really liked this. 

Vintage pictures of children.  Their clothing was unusual in several of these shots and I particularly like the brothers and sisters pics.  My sister also gave me the large Irish lace tableclothe used here for the background.  It is so pretty, even though it has some damage and stains.  

This was super neat.  Dated 1904, this beautiful "colorized" stereoscopic card is of two Japanese Geisha at a water garden with storks in the background.  Not sure what I am going to do with this, but I just loved the Geisha girls in their kimonos.

This group of vintage photos are from Edinburgh. Notice the one in the middle.  That gentleman with the rifle is Mr. H.M. Stanley.

Found this lovely old wooden box with gold leaf and hand painted flowers.  Used it here to casually display the many laces, doilies, hankies, and embroidered linens, I found.  These are going to be great with some of my mixed media projects.

My sister cleaned out her closet and brought me a wonderful collection of old doilies and linens.  Little did she know at the time, but they are going to be a beautiful addition of the Mini Album I'll be making with the new BoBunny "Gabrielle" designer paper you see here.

Lots of vintage books. Falling apart, but onced loved, these books are dated between 1902 and 1923. 

Of course, couldn't resist buying this book with Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice with great color illustrations.  Unfortunately, the book binding and some of the pages are damaged and falling apart.

As with so many of these older items, they have seen better days.  Once loved, but forgotten, they have found a new home. 

I like to think that when I collect these items for crafting there is a responsibility to preserve them as best as possible.  If too damaged, I'll use the good pieces and design new creations and do what I call "blessing them forward."  Each item will have the opportunity to once again be loved and treasured.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Key To A Great Life

I had a box of very old brass keys sitting around and decide it was time to use them.

This lovely tag series titled, The Key To A Great Life, reflects on the teachings of Christ. 

Decorating the cover of each tag is beautiful card stock designer paper, inked lightly for an aged appearance.  An old brass key is situated next to the title plate and tied off with white satin ribbon. 

I used a few pearls or rhinestones, aged eyelets with ribbon, to add the final touch on the covers.  On the back of each tag is scripture that links the teachings of Christ for a great life.

The first series has The Golden Rule, Life By The Holy Spirit, and Complete Joy With Jesus.
The tags are made with heavy chipboard for the base.  Tags measurements are 2 ¼” x 4”.   
I wanted to create something easy to understand, and simple to apply to any one's daily life.  Nothing too fancy, it's the message that is important.  Also, figured these would make great gift items for believers and those still needed to hear the Word.  I'll be posting them on my FaithfulCrafter etsy store today.

Three more are coming soon.

Have a blessed day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Studio Window

It's raining again, all last night and all morning long.  We are soaked here.  So I thought today is a good day to stay inside and work in the studio.  Coffee and crafting great combo. 

But so much was going on outside my studio window. 
I'm distracted by these images of my horses playing in the rain.

Then, along came a blue bird...
Then, along came a cardinal...

Oops, then, along came MaMa Kitty on the prowl...

I really need to get back to crafting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hand-woven Paper Chewing Gum Chain

Look what I found up in my closet.  I forgot all about it.  Store in the back of my closet, is a box of stuff that I have kept from my childhood.

Proof I have been a papercrafter from a long time ago.

This is a gum chain.  I made it when I was in seventh grade...that would put me at about 12 years old.  Okay, do some math here Val, that would make the chain 41 year old.  Oh how did that happen.  Never mind, back to the chain.

The chain is made from paper gum wrappers.  My girlfriend Paula and I would collect a series of papers from particular types of chewing gum.  It took all five wrappers to make one section.  The best part was getting some rare types like Clove.  No one chewed that gum. 

We would trade wrappers in order to finish a section.

My chain measured 13 feet 8 inches long.

By carefully, hand tearing each paper in half, then making a series of folds, would make one link.  The link would then be interwoven into the chain. 

I like the look of this paper chain and am going to try it out with some scrap paper I have to use as trim on a project.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Colors of my day: Pink

Just thought I would share with all of you the prettiest flowers we have blooming right now at the farm.

It continues to rain again today, but when I can dash outside and take pictures like this, it is all worth it.
For those of you hip deep in snow, I hope you enjoy this moment.

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tea Dying Tags

It has been raining outside the last two days, so I am making good use of my time experimenting in the kitchen.  Thought I would try out tea dying some of my tags.

First, started with two different teas.   Sample A was Lipton Green Tea Cranberry Pomegranate and Sample B was Davidson's Christmas Tea a blend of black tea and spices, very fragrant.

For Sample's A & B used two cups of tap water each.  Brought it to a boil.  Dropped in one tea bag in each sample cup and steeped for 5 minutes.

Next, dropped in stamped manila shipping tags and white stamped gift tags. I used some of my "cast offs" to practice with.

Checked in 5 mins for color saturation.  Nope, need more color.

Put back into tea mixture for 3 hours.

Pulled out onto paper towel and patted down with paper towel.

Wow, what a learning lesson.  The Sample A group of tags I expected to be some shade of red or pink since the tea is that color.  No, all tags came out with a blue tint.  The Sample B group of tags came out in a variety of pale brown tint. 

The shipping tags from both sample groups did not have much color saturation.  In fact, I'm am not happy at all with the colors of the shipping tags.

I allowed to all tags to dry overnight.

Once dried, the gift tags from both sample groups came out beautiful.  Sample A color is best described as a vintage french blue with grey tones on the edges.  Sample B color is a very nice aged pale brown hue to the gift tag. The gift tag on top in white was the original version.
All of the tags were stamped prior to coloring.  I did notice that the paper texture was raised and a little ruff.  I wonder if this would effect stamping if done after tea dying?  I am now experimenting with unstamped paper to see if the tea dying process effects the inking of the paper.

Oh yeah, the tags from the Sample B group "Christmas Tea" has a pleasant spicy aroma to them.