Saturday, October 29, 2011

Elizabeth of 1,000 Days

The very first day I spent in my craft room (not yet beloved), my husband sat in my big white comfy rocking chair and watched as I made my very first craft seen on Alica Paulson's Posy Gets Cozy Blog. I had found very sturdy wire in the garage and wire cutters to make one of her fanciful Cagelets. When I finished making it, I remember distinctly saying to my husband, "Can you believe how cute this is!"

I have now said these very words to him more than 1,000 times as I have made more than 1,000 things that have definitely needed proclamation out loud as to just how cute they have been.

I wish to publicly thank the two artist who have most influenced my time here, Alicia Paulson who traverses her life by embracing every moment of every day with an open and adventurous heart, and Jenny Harris of Allsorts who truly set the standard I have tried so hard to achieve myself through her delightful illustrations and exacting attention she gives to the quality of everything she touches.

I have never been one to care about the counting of things; but in this my second to last post, I hope you don't mind my sharing them with you as I have loved my blog so very much.

I have written more than 1,000 words in just as many posts. More than 1,000 people visited my blog just yesterday. More than 30,000 people visited my blog last month, 400,000 people have visited my blog over each year it has existed. I have never before looked at the page that keeps track of these things, and am humbled more than I can say.

There are nearly 1,000 of you who have chosen to Follow my blog and spend a moment of your day with me. From these I have chosen INA as the GIVEAWAY WINNER of my Creative Breathing Circus. She is representative to me of the many women who have written the most heartfelt letters expressing what my blog has meant to them. They have all meant so much to me.

There are no more crafts for me to make or stories to tell. My craft room is now beloved by many. I can finally leave it behind for others to enjoy knowing I have shared all there is to share about myself. For more than 1,000 days of being in this special Place to Be, I have memories to last the rest of my life. Thank you Dear Friends. Love, Elizabeth

NEXT AND FINAL POST WILL BE DECEMBER'S CHRISTMAS TAG SWAP  Please mail tags to Elizabeth Andrus, 112 Gibraltar Ct, Delaware OH 43015

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For the Love of Red

A dear blogging friend has recently lost her father. She has expressed so eloquently about the process of grief and how after a time, those closest to you hope that you will "cheer up" and carry on. It is at this moment you are left more alone than is nearly bearable.

When I posted my first story here about my parents, I made the conscious decision to strip away all that may have been difficult leaving behind only what was good and funny, kind and caring. In the process I was able to view my parents through an adult's heart and understand their human frailties. I found myself falling in love.

I am so happy that my friend found much needed solace for her grief in a group setting with individuals going through the same emotions. They are celebrating their last day together with a party honoring their loved ones.

In this special place I call my own, please know that my characters tell the stories of my life. For every time I have crafted with red, I have sent an "I love you." to my father.

Snowman uses Lady Liberty Pattern and Uncle Sam Hat


Monday, October 24, 2011

A Christmasy Monday

The sun is streaming through my craft room window here in the Heart of Ohio as I happily spend time creating Christmas tags with wonderful vintage images.

If you have yet to give a go at making tags, I am here to tell you they are the most fun ever.

There is just something magical about watching a scene come to life before your eyes with each cut of the scissor and dab of glue..

There are so many things to make with vintage greeting cards such as these scenery spools. Oh my gosh do I love to make these! They absolutely recall to mind hand crafts made during World War II when every inch of string and wrapping paper was kept to use for making ornaments for the tree.

A secret I will share when purchasing vintage greeting cards is to look for ones with doors or outdoor scenes on the front. The true treasure always waits inside where smaller versions are perfectly perfect for making shadowboxes or spool scenes such as these.

Sigh, I love paper art, and I love the coming of the holidays.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Face of a Choir Boy

If you haven't guessed by now, the dark haired characters that inhabit my craft room are modeled after my brother John. A choir boy's appearance from the earliest of ages, a heart for mischief hidden behind his angelic eyes.

My brother's senior year of High School came shortly after the passing of our father. I was a newlywed just moved from our parents home, there was no one to console my brother's grief.

Having successfully performed with his High School's Honor Choir at the Kennedy Center at Christmastime, an invitation was extended to perform in London. My mother thought this opportunity would be the perfect distraction for John. Necessary travel documents, a round trip ticket purchased, a permission slip signed.

My mother kissed John on the cheek as she dropped him off at the airport with a new black performing suit. She did not see that he did not meet up with his school group.

Unbeknown to my mother, my brother had told the choir teacher his recently widowed mother could not afford the trip. He told the airline that he was with the choir group; but because he was still grieving, could he please sit at the back of the plane.

For the next two months my brother traveled all over Europe, alone!

He spent the first month sailing with a French couple he met in London setting sail to the coast of France. He told them he knew how to sail. He learned on the job! He visits them to this day. To earn money once dropped off in France, he would go into night clubs and ask to sit in with the house band and play the piano. He was a kid not old enough to even drink, but he was persistent returning night after night until he wore them down. He was such a success, he formed a following from town to town. An easy supply of money for the second month as he traveled back towards London.

Please do not Pin pattern on Pinterest.

My mother would never know the truth behind my brother's summer in Europe although she did ask how he managed to get so tanned.

I would only discover the truth myself when I started my blog and began to tell the stories of my magical childhood so many involving this special brother of mine with the face of a Choir Boy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hard Headed

My pom pom characters in particular have the personalities of beloved real life relatives in my family. This oh so fat Tom Turkey with his long legs and fine feathers reminds me of my father who, if you asked my mother, could only be described as Hard Headed.

Case in point, Thanksgiving 1969. The year my brother and I fondly recall as the year we nearly were arrested due to my father's Hard Headed ways.

We had just settled into the Neighborhood with the Hills from our overseas assignment. Thanksgiving dinner too much for my mother having just set up house, my father decided we would eat at the Mess Hall on the naval installation on Bowling Air Force Base in Washington, DC. Despite my mother's pleading we eat at a restaurant, my father insisted he wanted to eat with his fellow men in uniform. Even my brother and I knew what this really meant was we could eat there free as Dependents.

To get to the Navy Mess Hall, we had to go around the long air strip to the other side of the base. Being that is was Thanksgiving, there wasn't any activity on base, no planes in site on the RUNWAY! My father drove us right across the middle of the runway in our White Behemoth!

Sirens drawing close, "Sir, Please step out of the car." For all the times I was so embarrassed by my father's imposing height and bearing, this was one time I wasn't. I could see the small white uniform looking up, up, up at my Dad's black one with all the gold braid. My father spoke in his deep baritone, "Thank you for coming to escort us to the mess."

My brother and I giggled in the backseat of our car all the way home as my mother's commentary about our father's Hard Headed ways filled the space about us. "If they can put a man on the moon, you would think we could have a Thanksgiving meal like any normal family!"

Well, you get the point!

Pattern for personal use only.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting Ready

My sweetest of friends Vivian, Viv out on a Whim, left me a message on a recent post saying that she was gathering things together in anticipation of beginning her holiday craft projects. I adore Vivian; and if she says it's time to start gathering, it truly is!

I could not believe my good fortune in finding a third curvy wooden container. White house paint on hand for the outside, red craft paint on hand for the inside, Polka Dots all around. The raised center panel was perfect to Modge Podge vintage Santa images cut from a sheet of scrapbook paper. A final coat of craft varnish, and my tray is ready to hold things to inspire my holiday crafting.

I am excited to see where my felt crafting will take me this year. I am still enamored with the colors of my most favorite keeper of time, Mr. New Year himself.

I know, I know! I should be called the Mary Poppins of blogdom. "Spit Spot, everything in it's Spot". A gentleman came to our house this past week to appraise it's value and made the comment to my husband that our home was "unusually" neat. Hmmmmm.......

Look! My paper clay Santas now have their button snow.

It may still be Halloween just over my shoulder, but at my craft desk I'm getting ready for Christmas!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Aunt Joanie

Aunt Joan is our family's cheek pincher. There is always one per family who at first thought seems to be the one to avoid. Her arrivals at family occasions become an event in themselves. Arms loaded down with a little something for everyone, glasses fogged from the cold, coat and scarf and gloves to be removed, mid-sentence before the thresh hold is passed. "Oh darling, you wouldn't believe the traffic. Help Aunt Joan with her packages."

Free of encumbrances, aware of her audience, Kleenex in hand, ready to greet. "Oh sweetheart, I am so happy to see you. Give Aunt Joan a kiss." Shoulders held to better remember, "Dear, how are you? You know I just haven't been sleeping well. Let me tell you."

Settling in close to give you the scoop, interruptions for each new cheek to kiss. Threads of conversation held by the listener, "Where was I darling, you wouldn't believe!"

Aunt Joan has always been this way. A career spent in the accessories department of Lohman's attending societies bargain hunters has created a woman who will fawn over anyone. "Of course you look stunning in that leopard print hat, it's you!" "Oh honey, I just want to squeeze that adorable face of yours."

A little of Aunt Joan can go a long way! Her solicitations can become over bearing at times. My husband; however, has a soft spot in his heart for his Aunt Joan that for years I just couldn't fathom the reason. How many countless times she would lean in to me to whisper, "He always looks like he has just stepped out of a band box. Neat as a pin, and always the penny loafers."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seasonally Challenged

Are you someone who has a difficult time adjusting to the change of seasons? I certainly am as Indian Summer weather falls away leaving morning chill confusing my choice of clothes to wear for the day.

My body comfortable with the memory of it's lightweight summer wear resisting any new choices that now feels burdensome and strange.

It seems I am this way about my crafting as well. One last visit to warm weather crafting with a character that just could not wait until next year's summer sun.

Of course there had to be a whale among my Cape Cod Cuties. Don't you just love his spout of spouting water?  You can just catch his fluke over his left shoulder, that is if whales do have shoulders.

My little whale uses the same pattern as Louie the Lobster. This is one of my more simple patterns to make and can easily be completed in several hours.

And so until next season, these fair weather characters will winter within the doors of my wonderful Hoosier. I don't think there could be a Cuter Place to Be!

Well, dressed in warm weather wear, I am nearly ready to begin crafting all things wintry.

Whale uses this pattern as well, create fluke.