Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Introducing.....MY MOM!!.....and her sewing wreath, button pic, and button man

My Mom, class of '55!

Any creativity I have should be credited to the amazing creative brain and spirit that my Mom was given, and was handed down to me.  She has always been the most creative person I've ever known, and when I grow up I hope to be just like her!

Here are some things she made and gave to us:

Well, she didn't make the horse tack, but I thought it was too cool to leave out of the picture!

close up of Mom's wreath

She just took a small grapevine wreath and a hot glue gun, and went to work with some antique sewing supplies she had.  She used paper ribbon to wrap around the wreath first.  It also makes a nice backdrop for the wreath.  Notice the old belt buckle holding the paper ribbon together at the top, and acting as the base for the simple wire hanger, shown below:

This may be hard to see.  The wire is firmly attached to one of the heavier vines on each side near the top, and goes up and is looped around the back of the belt buckle in 2 places, with some left at the top for hanging.......all cleverly hidden behind the lovely sunflower ribbon.

mom's button picture

I love how she used an old doily on the top right, and the beauty of her proportions and arrangement.  For the background, she just glued fabric onto cardboard.

mom's button "manny" for Sonnet!

When Sonnet was a baby, Mom made this cute little button manny.  The eyes and mouth are painted onto a black wooden bead, which she also painted.  The nose just looks like a little red plastic circle she had from something, but could be made out of clay, or even painted cardboard, covered with polyurethane.  It's just glued on. As for the sewing together of the buttons, that is a bit harder.  The buttons at the bottom of the legs and arms are shank buttons.  (This means they don't have holes through the top, but instead have a "shank" underneath, with which the button is attached.)  She started with very heavy duty thread, probably meant for sewing carpets or upholstry, and sewed long lengths of it onto those 4 shank buttons. 

At this point, I go into guessing:  She then sewed the threads up through 2 holes in each button to form the legs and arms.  She then sewed the threads up through the body buttons, through the head and hat, tying them off to hold the hat in place, but also leaving a long loop for hanging, if that is desired.  The attachment of the arms was probably done by just tying them on at the right place on the body.

Don't I have a wonderful Mom?!?!  ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

This blog is about creativity in every day life, and that includes thoughts about the Source of all creativity, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Here's what I have been thinking this morning:  I have been questioning, of late, what I really EXPECT Jesus to do. I've realized that my expectations have been far too low! He is ready and willing to express Himself in miraculous ways in every unpleasant circumstance, in every difficult relationship, in each repugnant or humiliating thing we bear. So often, I give in to anger or self pity, and quench the Holy Spirit immediately. The moment I choose to obey LOVE, He jumps to the forefront and acts!!! This is the very thing He longs to do for us all our days and the reason we are still here on earth.........that He may express Himself through us, and we may be known by our love...........which is His Love! This will not happen if I am merely obeying rules, or even Scriptures. I must not make Jesus less than He is. Obeying anything but the Person of Pure Love is missing the mark, and will lead to frustration, failure and a constant feeling of being overwhelmed........or WORSE: becoming a self-righteous prig. Obeying LOVE makes us "useful" every moment of our lives, especially in the most difficult moments.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Photo Editing and Repurposing a Pillowcase into a Purse

***update***  Photo Pos Pro quit on me.  Too complicated to explain.....but I found Picasa!!!  It can do almost everything Photo Pos Pro can do, and is actually MUCH easier to organize stuff with.  I absolutely LOVE it, and can't recommend it enough!

It took a lot longer than I had intended, but I've finally found a free photo editor that I like:  Photo Pos Pro!  And have played around with it a bit.  Here are 2 examples of some things it can do:

This is the "before" image (of my daughter, Sonnet!)

....and this is the altered image!

Note the black background, color corrections, sharpened image, cropping, and cute color frame.

Before (of our cat, Marvin, poor thing!)

After image

Note the same things done as in Sonnet's pic, but also my daughter Summer (who is holding the cat) had a blue watch on in the 1st pic, but it isn't there in the 2nd! 

I'm not very good at using all the stuff in this program yet, but like everything worthwhile, it will take time.  I learned how to do the things in these picture modifications by just clicking on icons, and occasionally going to the help files that are very well written.  You can do the same! 

If you want to download this great photo editing program (Photo-Pos-Pro), it is available here:

This is actually cnet's website, and they give it a great review!

This is one more step toward my being able to comfortably and effectively use my camera to augment this blog! 

Here is an old project I did, which I just created without a pattern, and could not re-create now if you paid me (well, ok, maybe if you paid me ENOUGH, lol!).  To begin with, it was a garage sale find:  2 quilted pillowcases and a matching quilted bedspread.  My 2nd daughter, Summer, used them for years, but they finally began to tear apart a little.  So.........I did something else with one of the pillowcases!

Here's a pic of the original pillowcase:

Now here's my lovely Sonnet, with her brand new purse!!


It is fully lined with some blue fabric I had laying around.

(By the way, there was some trash on the seat beside Sonnet that I didn't see when I took the pic, and I used my new photo editor to paint over it!  ;)  )


This purse was lots of fun to make, and Sonnet loves it!  You can re-purpose old fabrics too.  Either make up your own pattern, or if you don't like the thought of that, there are free patterns for purses and many other things to be found on the web.  I've seen some really cute ones, both for free, and for sale on different sites.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Pandora - Free Radio Stations You Create!

Tomorrow, I go on a journey to learn how to take great blog pics, download them, and tweak them up so I can do tutorials!  I'll blog the journey as I learn......as a tutorial!!

Couple of other "journeys" coming up too.  I'm going to learn how to tile in the upstairs bath. and will watch/learn how to texture the walls as a friend does it.  Sounds like more tuts!

I'll leave you with another of my very most favorite things:  http://www.pandora.com/.  If you love to hear beautiful music while you work, try them out!  They are completely free (at the basic level).  I've created a few really great stations, and they give me such peace!!  Here is what they say about themselves:

About Pandora®

When was the last time you fell in love with a new artist or song?

At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play only music you'll love.

To understand just how we do this, and why we think we do it really, really well, you need to know about the Music Genome Project®.

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It's the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound - melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics ... and more - close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart's content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings - new and old, well known and completely obscure - to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

You can create up to 100 unique "stations." And you can even refine them. If it's not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.

The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU like.

We hope you enjoy the experience!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Tommy Emmanuel and galloping ideas!

Sing it with me......"don't know much about .............bloggery!!"  This world is new to me, though I've always loved to write.  I have a thousand ideas running around in my head for things I'd like to sew up and sell on Etsy, or on my own website!  I'm thinking of endless party banners and a lot of other things. 

The only other thing rolling around my head is the wonderful sound of Tommy Emmanuel!!  If you haven't heard of him, you NEED TO!!  All the best guitarists are saying he's the best that ever lived!  Here's a link of him doing "Classical Gas"....aw c'mon, it's only 4 minutes!!  You'll LOVE IT!!! 


Well, It's time to lasso up my brain for the night!  ;)