Thursday, January 31, 2013

Junk in the Trunk

As I placed my Ever so Cute Magpie-Ethel Valentine Spun Head among my other holiday celebrating characters, I noticed a physical characteristic that can't be ignored.

She's got a little little Junk in her Trunk! Laurie's Misses are the Kim Kardashian of our crafting community!

Come to think of it, Laurie's packages always have a little "junk" in them as well. Inspiration Station across this Great Nation, a Junk in the Trunk banner to celebrate each holiday!

Truly, it was a wonderful challenge to look about my craft room for other junk to add to this banner. I used the Call Again tag and Mr. Wonderful hair pin from Laurie, as well as other treasures I have collected from gifts in the mail. I'll bet everyone of us has their own stash of Junk in the Trunk!

In other Paper News, I have used the last bit of my Valentine paper to create backgrounds for this adorable cowboy couple. I will put them in my pile of "Save your money to buy frames" pile of paper art! I have scanned their images for you.

I know! Purdy darn cute, if I do say so meself!"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Steel Magnolia

Miss Bernice's home was located at the top of a very steep hill. At the bottom of the hill could be found her place of work which she walked to every day of her working life, Miss B's Palace of Beauty. Miss Bernice had been cutting hair since the age of 17 when she left an abusive husband, her infant son on hip, vowing to make her own safe haven in the world and for any woman needing one as well.

Miss Bernice's shop had but one sink for washing hair and one chair for styling hair, but it had an entire wall of chairs with dryers that could be pulled down low on the head, an enveloping warmth as inviting as the advice her customers came to hear.

It was to this place I came with my mother whether our hair needed cutting or not. It was among these women, at Miss Bernice's direction, that I was allowed to be myself. Installed alongside a counter that held  an ever reached for coffee pot, was a little table that held the things I loved to make. From animals made from PlayDoh to Pom Pom Critters, to Rock People. An envelope would always be waiting my arrival filled with change from Miss Bernice's customers.

From Childhood Days to Newlywed Days to Young Mother days, Miss Bernice would provide the customers for anything my creative heart wanted to share. She also provide the tender advice I was unable to hear from my mother about the affairs of the heart. She would share with me words never spoken to another soul about her struggles as a young woman on her own. Her gentle perspective let me know my blessings were many, my troubles few.

Miss Bernice was a Steel Magnolia before there was a story or a book or a movie about the women who inhabit such a place. It is because of Miss Bernice that all women and men alike are protected from the dangerous carcinogenic fluorocarbons that use to be found in all aerosols. She was the one special woman who cut hair in a shop with only one chair for more than 40 years and who lost her battle with Eye Cancer caused from aerosol hairspray that we are all thankful for today.

Please do not pin patterns on Pinterest.

I forgot to include instructions for tail! A pipe stem is inserted between layers of felt and inserted into a small slit make on the backside of body.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I hope you enjoy these lovely watercolor Valentines from the late 1930's.



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Red Letter Day!

Oh My Goodness! I don't know whether to take you to task or give you oodles of hugs. Not a one of you paid heed to my swap directions, "No Hostess Gifts, Please!" What's a Hostess to do? Be very grateful and very humbled by your immeasurable thoughtfulness.

Oh Meri, I hope you know how touched I am to receive this Bluebird sculpture from you. You understand very well how difficult it is for me to accept friendship offered and how blessed I am that you are teaching me how to do just that.

And thank you Shirley for your quiet grace and friendship. Each piece of art I have received from you wonderfully captures all that is important to you. I know that your family considers you the Key to their Hearts!

Kim, My husband thinks this Valentine is for him as your family is from his favorite Place to Be, and because your family has built an ice rink! I told him he will just have to visit your Valentine right where it is suppose to be, My Craft Room! We BOTH adore it!

Oh, be still my heart! Thank you Kim for all that you share.

Holly, Cotton Picki'n Fun has sent me her wonderful Valentine Angel. What a joy this Red Letter Day has been. What a joy to know YOU!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stand Up and Cheer!

You know, I think I would like to have been a Valentine salesman if ever there was such a thing. I absolutely love making Valentines, I could make them all year long!

This weekend found me at my craft desk working on the three different ornaments I will be including in my Bee Mine Ornament Swap.

I had intended for my swap to be a group exchange of nut cup ornaments, but couldn't for the life of me think of one to make myself. Honestly, I have had my little paper cups for over a month now on my desk just staring at me without an ounce of creative inspiration to offer. Not that is until my wonderful Valentine box came in the mail.

I had not noticed until today, that everything in the box is either red, white, blue, or pink. Oh my gosh! If this box weren't already wonderful enough, it provided the inspiration and the supplies to make the cutest nut cup ornaments ever.

The foil trim along the bottom, blue rick rack and red ribbon, foiled crowns, and vintage pale blue millinery flowers. I can't believe how cute these turned out. All that is needed now, are chocolate hearts!

I also made little chenille bluebirds to deliver my Valentine wishes to you. A tutorial to make your own can be found here.

So that was my weekend, quite and simple. Just my husband and I going about our Couples Dance, it's steps well known and loved.

I'm so glad you enjoyed sharing the Valentine surprise box with me, and I am so happy for it's inspiration. Without it's fortuitous arrival, my nut cups would still be sitting on my desk not decorated at all. Stand up and Cheer!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Judy, Judy, Judy!"

A small time ago, I received an e-mail from someone who had happened upon my blog and said they so enjoyed their visit they would like to send something to me. "Don't be surprised if a package arrives on your doorstep from someone you don't know."

Well that day was today when I didn't recognize the name on the return label. This box was just so special, I thought you might like to have the same experience I did as I untied the bow to reveal it's contents.

Me, too! I have never seen anything quite like this. At this point I wanted to close the lid to forever preserve the feeling I had upon opening the lid; but it seemed as though there were things to be seen underneath.

I'm sorry this is a "Large Picture Post", but this is a post needing large pictures! The trims I thought were fabric are actually foil! There are oodles of word cards and playing cards, and button cards. And look at the contents of the candy wrappers. Game pieces and buttons and candle holders and millinery trims.  Still there was more!

There was more foil trims and hearts to hang and little pink reindeer pulling a sleigh.

Still deeper down there were Vintage Valentines to find, pristine white doilies, bingo cards and ME paper dolls. Positively you would think there couldn't be more. You are wrong!

Yeeps! I have never before seen in person vintage hexagons. Those little loopy flowers make me want to swoon! And still another layer....

"Oh, Susan, Susan, Susan" my heart is filled with your kindness, and I vow to you on this day to begin collecting bits and bobs to fill a Valentine's box to one day send to someone who might not know me at all.

I hope those who visit here will think about doing this same thing as well. The feeling was quite extraordinary to open such a box.

I have hung your box in my old craft room with the outdated wall paper I so love.  I will have quite the story to tell to anyone who inquires about this most special box! Thank you so very much Susan, Elizabeth

Friday, January 18, 2013

Double Dutch Bobwhites

A wonderful fringe benefit of growing up in a foreign country is that it's people's native costumes can be worn as everyday clothes without anyone looking askance at you. This would test friendship to the limit one overly wet summer vacation trapped side by side in a much too small cabin.

The year of my tenth birthday, my mother had the honor of traveling with her Girl Scout Cadets to several countries, including Germany. The highlight of the trip was a tour of the hideaway home of Anne Frank and to meet her surviving father and publisher of her diary.  She promised gifts would be brought home for my brother and myself. (Wonderful art of Nancy, My Crafty Little Page

We couldn't have been happier to receive upon her return the most colorful and interesting clothes we had ever seen. Lederhosen with leather suspenders for my brother, a red jumper sprinkled with tiny bright blue flowers with matching apron for me. Hunter green felted hats for us both, plumes of white feathers always in motion with the currents of the air.

I would beg to wear my special dress every Sunday to church. My brother wore his iron clad britches and cowboy boots every single day. Clothes the first year that were much too big, fit us for years to come as we grew taller and thinner. I was still wearing my Drindle in the seventh grade when it's threads finally gave way.

My mother knowing how much the dress had meant to me, found an all brown polyester dress in the same style. Ric-rack edging, white laces across the bodice, Perfectly Perfect in every way. I wore this dress well into HIGH SCHOOL! (Here I will embarrass myself even more so by telling you I braided my long blonde hair and looped it at my ears, fat white yarn ties completing the "look" each time I wore this dress.)

Well, of course, when Only Child Girl asked me to summer with her in Maine, I brought along my beloved dress as her parents said, "Bring a dress for eating dinner out."  HOW WAS I TO KNOW WE WOULD BE EATING OUT EVERY NIGHT FOR TWO MONTHS?  By the second week Danielle grabbed me by my laces and shouted that if she had to see me in that dress one more time, she was going to throw me into the Atlantic Ocean! I believed her, I never wore it again!

Head: Tack facial features in place, baste ears in place. Button Stitch face front and back, stuffing with fiberfill before closing. Cut 6 1/8"x6" strips, tack 3 tog and braid, tie w/ribbon. BS side of hair back to face back catch hair bangs as you go along. TS along bottom back of hair catching braids.
Hat: Cut 2 hat brims using face pattern, cut slit lengthwise down middle to accommodate head, BS around brim. BS hat crown catching hanging thread as you go, leave bottom open, slightly stuff. TS on top of hat brim on either side of opening, stitches will be covered by hat band glued in place. TS feather onto pinked felt circle.