Wednesday, January 26, 2011

not at a mall near you...

I love to rubber stamp on textiles - especially bumpy old barkcloth and other imperfect weaves. "vintage" and "stuff" are always popular labels, forget those high priced designers :)

And I love to sew scraps off old fabrics together to create one-of-a-kind pillows, swing purses and roomy flea market totes. Adding some buttons and making flowers out of twill tape or vintage trim.
My girls have each claimed a little swing purse from my recent stash for carrying their DSiXL, trinkets & wallets around. They are perfect for flinging over their shoulders and the good old fabrics are forgiving of daily wear and tear.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I love to read.

What would we do with out all the eye candy and inspiration out in blogland? I've had this link saved forever and decided it was the perfect project for our first ever Craft-O-Drama. It required one dollar, which I was happy to find at the bottom of my purse. Are we all noticing the after effective of the holidays? That's okay, I love the upcycling... an old Robinson Caruso novel that I'd rescued fom the semi-annual library sale had the perfectly aged ivory pages that my living room needed. I'm embarrassed to say that I've left this spot bare for the 8 months I've lived here b/c I couldn't lift the huge mirror that I intended for the spot. The new year = new solutions, so I came up with this, I do hope to hang that mirror one day and put the wreath in front of it. I was doubtful at the beginning it looked pretty bad at first, but it took bloom after a few hours. WISH I had watched the tutorial that was offered on this link, b/c after about 20 minutes into it I realized I was rolling paper the wrong way. Not to worry - your fearless crafter improvised and came up with a pretty dang nice final project. I used some beige trim tape that I had leftover from a tote and came up with my own spin for the middle. I have a french version of Charlotte's Web and some vintage sheet music & magazines (okay an entire suitcase!) so I think I will be making many more of these. I'll just have to save them for indoor shows...

I do wish I didn't have white walls, and would love love love to have the 4 different shades of aqua I used on my last house... perhaps I'll venture there this year if the landlord allows - yep, I'm a lowly renter in my 40s. That's okay. I accept it and will not wallow in it any longer. Sooooo, if you stop by my little cottage you'll notice that I choose the paper color with more attention than I did the text. Perhaps it was the perfectly chilled margarita that caused me to confuse the Swiss Family Robinson with Robinson Caruso. I haven't read either since childhood and about 1/2 way through this project I realized I'd hot glued pages titled "cannibals". Oh the irony, huh? Still a tale of redemption, solitude, over coming obstacles, taking the wrong path and ending up screwed... topics I have mastered solidly. So I accept it was the spirit that I embracing this new year - it's good. I'm good. And I hope you, my reader are well.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some things I’ve learned in 2010:

This post is inspired by my friend Darla's 2010 Life Lessons:

So here goes - things I've learned in 2010:

That I could get an all expense paid trip to France and not have to have sex with anyone to get there.

That I could be happier in a 2 bedroom condo than I was in a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2 car garage house.

That there is worse weather for an outdoor craft show than torrential rain.

That ordering the same lunch as the 20something guys in the department would cause me to pack on a few more pounds and they would not.

That I’m so stubborn that I will turn down a $250 company bonus rather than exercise or track my eating habits for 6 months.

That I could get recruited for a position at my current employer, told they were going to make a big old offer b/c I'm so awesome and then never hear about it again. AWKWARD.
That you can think you know someone really well and still only know what they want you to know.

That the roses in France are stunning.
That people really like my jewelry and will harass me in to selling it to them.

That you should only travel with people that you can say “shut-the-&%#-up” and know that it will not jeopardize your career.

That my parents can still guilt-trip me on occasion.

That French wine is really good.

That I still don’t want to have a FB account because I still don’t want to be in touch with all those people I’ve known and didn’t keep in touch with.

That the truth isn’t always what people want to hear.

That my dad won’t let me and the kids ride on bald tires even if the soon-to-be-ex will.

That free chairs are only valuable if they are not breeding stink bugs in the upholstery.

That my mom always knows when I may need $.

That I can be successful, even without a college degree.

That I need more friends.

That I could go to Paris and be disappointed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Okay, I'd go back for

Pastries. I would go back and only eat these tiny little precious pastries, figs, fresh pears, croissants, wine and coffee. Notice that I drank tea my first days - why? I was intimidated by the tiny little cups and thoughts of ultra-strong espresso - but it wasn't I actually miss it.
And, contrary to what I've said to everyone who would listen, Yep, I would do the plane trip with the rough landing, the lack of everything we hold near and dear and expect as US citizens for the pastries.

Here's a little glimpse why... the following are from this charming pastry shop in Arras where I stayed for work. Such little works of art!
We brought these to a co-worker/expat living in France. Yum. AND we had 5 cheese pizza and cheese and crackers. I like pizza and I like cheese on pizza but I am not a cheese person. Let's just say I hope to never smell these again:

Way too strong for me! Pretty though...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Belated Happy New Year!

Is there anything better than the clean sweep of January? Days so cold that you are forced to stay in and sweep away the last of the holidays. Yesterday, I did venture out to Joanns for fabric. Btw, have you noticed that beige is the new white in cottage-y decor? Of course you do, cause you're a blogger - you know, you see it all over the place. We're just following the path that those more creative souls set us on a few years ago. With no real purpose in mind I managed to buy a few yards each of unbleached muslin, burlap, duck, silk shantung ($1 a yard b/c it was in pieces - wahoo!), and a little splurge of some organic cotton. All in the soothing hues of tan, beige, pale caramel, taupe, café au lait... As my friend at the cutting counter said, "Aren't you in a beige mood today!"

January = soothing.

No more pressure to find the right presents AND the money to pay for the perfect gifts. The holidays are such a three ring circus - trying to juggle expectations, change, life lessons. And all wrapped up in pretty paper and served with delish cookies. And if the old adage that the new year will be spent as I did on New Year's Eve - then I am going to spend a year laughing my ass off with my family and sharing a hotel room with my parents. (It was a Residence king suite w/ a sofa sleeper, but still).
I just can't get over that it is 2011. As much as I am ready for the winter-white sale month of renewal, I need to burn the past (I'm watching Brothers & Sisters and Holly is having a bon fire with boxes of memorabilia) so that isn't entirely original. But it is new to me. I have lived my adult life clinging stubbornly to the person I made myself. If 2010 taught me anything it is that I could use a little self examination.
I will admit that I failed miserably with my 2010 tangible resolutions - to lose weight and keep my teeth... instead I start 2011 with all my previous poundage and a few extra chins. A couple teeth weren't technically lost but all that grinding is going to require dental work.

Soooooo, I will now give myself credit for what I did accomplish: left the unhappy marriage (yeah me!), got an affordable condo that I've made into a cozy little cottage, treated myself to a bedroom makeover, sold a lot of my jewelry - almost against my will, survived a trip to France that tested my faith and confidence, stopped watching soap operas (well, I guess I shall the day time soaps after the admission above!).

So, we'll see what 2011 holds. I dunno. I never do obviously...

Pretty in pink...

Cotton shirts.  Love 'em. Usually can't wear 'em.  Too tight. Pull at the boobs.  Or, shrink in the first wash.  And being a plu...