11.28.2011

The sum greater than its parts, #3



My adventures with felted wool sweater remnants continue...being in a holiday frame of mind, I thought I would make some stockings...

Since the felted wool doesn't unravel, I could construct the stockings with the seams on the outside...making this a quick and easy project...I drew out a pattern on butcher paper, cut out the stockings, and sewed them up...where possible, I used the ribbing of the sweater pieces as the top of the stocking to give it a little more texture...




After I had a pile of plain stockings, the embellishing began...as with the felted wool vases, I kept the design simple.  For hanging the stockings, I used a vintage metal curtain ring that had the perfect patina of chipped paint...and neatly sewed the ring to the backside of the stocking...

I hung my stockings from my staircase banister...I don't have a fireplace nor a mantel...when I was a child, we didn't have stockings at christmas...the reason (I was told) being that we had no fireplace...which then brought up the whole question of how Santa got into the house...but I digress...
I used upholstery webbing to wrap around the banister to hide the jute twine holding up the stockings...I like its texture and red striping...each stocking was embellished a little differently...the small pockets sewn on two of the stockings could hold a special little present or a sweet holiday message...

Also...see the garland draped behind the stockings...that's the other half of the electrical insulators (the tubes from the knobs & tubes shown here...the knobs became photo holders).  All I did was string the tubes with painted wooden beads on a length of red jute twine...
And did you notice the blue bolster in the wooden chair...that's a woolen blanket that I picked up at Goodwill Outlet and felted...thinking it would make fantastic stockings...but the wool was so beautiful, soft and warm (and vintage - label still attached!) that I rolled it up into a bolster and secured it with three fabric belts from vintage cotton dresses (I picked up 20 vintage fabric belts from the Goodwill Outlet in Flagstaff years ago...no dresses to be found...just the belts...)










The last couple of days I've decorated with a little holiday spirit around the house...but more on that later...
in the meantime...linking up to Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors...

11.26.2011

Blog love

"Amore"   amy duncan   2011


My Saturday morning was off to a grand start when I turned on my computer and discovered that I was the recipient of the Liebster Blog Award from Linda over at it all started with paint.  Thanks Linda!

Linda is a relatively new blogger - sharing her creative talents at
re-decorating her home on a budget...and doing quite well with limited funds but unlimited energy, inspiration and creativity.




‘Liebster’ means ‘favorite’ or ‘dearest’ in German. This award, which originated in Germany, recognizes up and coming bloggers and is meant to showcase bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers. This is all done in the spirit of pay-it-forward.

In accepting this award, I agree to:

  • Thank the person that gave me the award and link back to their blog (check!)
  • Copy and paste the award to my blog  (check!)
  • Reveal the 5 blogs I have chosen to award and let them know by commenting on their blog
The drumroll please...I have decided to focus on five artists whose work (and blogs) I find totally inspiring...struggling artists can never get enough praise...these five are worthy of this award...and so much more...I hope you will visit each of these blogs and show your support of the creative spirit!

11.22.2011

Make a holiday memory

During the summer high season of junking, I found several old cameras...which provided the inspiration for my holiday vignette at Faded Elegance...



























I decided to focus on a simple christmas, without a lot of fuss or frill...red glass ornaments in a large glass vase with a sprig of holly...






































well loved linen tablecloths, topped with a small plaid cotton tablecloth is perfect for a holiday gathering...
I like the layered look on a tabletop and the cotton paired with the linen is a great mix of textures...
cozy stockings sewn from my felted sweater remnants (details on their construction later in the week)...

blanket balls made from wool blanket scraps...would be easy to attach a length of yarn and hang from a christmas tree...





























child's mittens and old aluminum cookie cutters are ideal simple ornaments...















































Want to see it all...well, you'll just have to stop in at Faded Elegance...
the grand kick-off to the holiday season is Friday to Monday, November 25th-28th...15% off entire stock of vintage and antique, tons of inspiration and charm, even cookies to munch!  And Saturday November 26th has been designated "Shop Local" Saturday, a national event where you patronize local stores in your community...sounds like a grand idea to me!

11.19.2011

The sum greater than its parts, #2

Work in my very own santa's workshop continues...trying to finish up one project completely before I start on another...but with so many ideas swirling in my head, sometimes its tough to stay focused...I'll have a flash of inspiration and think, "why not try this..." and off I go on a tangent...while one part of a project is drying, I'll get caught up in the details of another...but its all coming together...and I keep telling myself that everything doesn't have to be done by next Monday when I turn my space at Faded Elegance into holiday wonder...gotta keep it stocked with fresh ideas through December...looking at the pile of supplies on my dining room table/office worktable/studio sewing table, this won't be a problem!

You may remember that I was challenging myself to make holiday projects without buying more stuff...to use what I already had...

an assortment of felted sweater scraps left over from last winter's project and a ball of red twine...I snatch up balls of twine and string whenever I see them at yard sales...there's something about the texture and the symmetrical winding that catches my eye...
empty glass jars rescued from the recycle bin...glass jars have become my latest favorite go-to item (did you see the "thank you" in my art sale post that used random jars...or this post about upcycling jars...)
I've gathered all of my loose bells along with a smattering of white buttons for embellishing whatever I might be working on...

Combine the felt with the jars and you have...Felted Wool Vases!


















its interesting that my holiday projects are taking on a Scandinavian look...simple & clean-lined, focusing on natural materials...










I used the cut-off sleeves of the felted sweaters to wrap the jars...the red twine was looped 2-3 times around the neck of the jar...the screw lid grooves keep the twine in place so it doesn't slip off... these vases could hold greenery or flowers...or silverware on a buffet table...or a bevy of red candy canes!
Linking up to Saturday Nite Special over at Funky Junk Interiors...now there's some holiday inspiration!

11.17.2011

Guilty pleasures



long week
tired muscles
fried brain

warm water
soft light
fragrant bubbles

flannel pajamas
quiet house
new Sue Grafton novel

sound sleep
ready tomorrow
refreshed inspiration


what's your guilty pleasure...

11.13.2011

The comfort of kindness

multi-media collage box by Leslie West






























I just wrapped up a three day Artist Studio Holiday Show...what a wonderful experience...what wonderful people - artisians and shoppers alike!

I was a newbie to this artist group who has been putting on a grand studio show for many a year...everyone was warm and welcoming...the hostess, Leslie West (encaustic artist extraordinaire) was so gracious with everyone running through her house...

Let me give you an overview of the artists who were there...and, for those of you who were unable to make it (due to schedule or location), there's a link for each artist to enable you to find what you want and complete your holiday shopping so easily...

Jan Reingold / Izanna Jewelry
Jan will be participating in Best of the Northwest art show, Nov 18-20 in Seattle
























Lee Gelb / Zavida Gemstones
























Judy Case / Handcrafted Ceramics
Judy uses textiles / natural elements to emboss her ceramic pieces...
this platter's pattern is from a vintage doily...



















Linda Van Hare / Hare Raising Design






















Kate Hartley / Full Circle Studio
























Leslie West / ad Lib studios
And there were also food artisans...
decadent truffles from Tom Callahan / tkChocolates
Though the weather could have been better...there were a few bright moments outside...
and plenty of warm ambiance inside...
To all who stopped in and shopped...to all the other artists...to Leslie for being such a wonderful hostess...


11.09.2011

The perfect pick

With holiday season approaching, there are no shortage of opportunities for celebrating...often with food involved!  Need to bring a potluck item or feed a crowd in a hurry...this is the perfect pick...discovered this recipe years ago in the Seattle Times...easy to make, a little out of the ordinary and nutritious as well...Three Bean Curried Salad...three steps...chop the veggies...
rinse and drain the canned beans...
make the vinaigrette...toss with beans and veggies, and you are done!
of course I tweaked it a little bit...but click here to get the original recipe.

And why was I making up this batch of beans...to share with the other artists at the Artist Studio Holiday Sale this Thursday, Friday & Saturday.  Join me and 10+ other artists and get all of your holiday shopping/gift giving taken care of in one fell swoop!  Mention you read about the sale on my blog and receive 20% off purchases from me.  Hope to see you there!

11.08.2011

Your civic duty






Today is the second Tuesday in November - Election Day.  Though there are no national elections underway, state and local elections are just as important...its the community you live in and where you can most directly influence what you want by way of the democrative process...
so I urge everyone to vote today...you have nothing to complain about if you don't participate in the process!

11.05.2011

The sum greater than its parts

My dining room table is overflowing with holiday projects...as I mentioned earlier in the week, I am in the thick of prepping for my holiday vignette at Faded Elegance...here's a glimpse of one finished project...I'm challenging myself to use only what I can find/unearth/discover in my studio for supplies...its gonna get pretty creative!

A dozen or more ceramic electric insulators that were left behind from the previous owner who renovated our 1902 victorian home...



















a jumble of silver wire and some red wood beads from a busted christmas garland...


















I un-twisted the wire and inserted a length of wire through the hole in the center of the insulator...














on one end, I attached a rusty screw (there are no shortage of these around!)
by winding the wire around the screw...

and then I pushed the screw into the hole at the bottom of the insulator, but not before adding a dab of Amazing Goop into the hole for good measure...
I re-twisted the wire on the opposite end into fanciful shapes...and voila!
For some I added a red bead...others I left naked...since the ceramic is heavy, there is little chance of tip-over...they can display photos, hold place cards, add whimsy to your table...whatever you like...
Joining the inspiration fetes at both Funky Junk Interiors and Inspired by Charm...I  hope you visit both of them for a heavy dose of creative inspiration...

11.03.2011

On the lookout



Last week I stopped in at Goodwill Outlet before I met my friend Sue for a belated birthday lunch (which was at The Loft in Downtown Edmonds - delish!)  I didn't have a lot of time but was on the hunt for items for my holiday projects.  I'm pretty good with eyeing the mounds of clothes/blankets/books/dishes/odd & ends to discern what I need without plowing through every piece.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a piece of old wire with a clip attached.  Normally I would pass this by...but this time I stopped and pulled it out of the heap. 

Joan over at Anything Goes Here has been highlighting old skirt hangers to display interesting collections...I was totally amused when I first saw one of these hangers on her site - I had several skirt hangers (with the red tips!) when I was young...because I am old enough that I wore skirts to school everyday - pants were not yet allowed.  Using them for display was a brilliant idea...so when I saw one peeking out, I snatched it up immediately!



Here's my rendition of the skirt hanger display...
This hanger will be perfect for highlighing a few of my vintage art cards at shows...and I just happen to have a holiday show coming up!

Mark your calendars and head over to Mercer Island if you are in the area!
Artist Studio Holiday Sale
November 10, 11 & 12
Join me and 11 other artists for a great show of artistic treasures
Click Here to get all the details on artists/time/place/directions

Mention you read about the show on my blog and get 20% off your purchase from me...hope to see you there...

11.01.2011

Making a memory



My studio has turned into Santa's workshop...I'm busy preparing for my holiday vignette at Faded Elegance...my theme is "Make a Holiday Memory"...has a little bit of a 50's vibe with a good measure of junk attitude thrown in...




















I'll keep you posted on projects as they progress...and Faded Elegance will reveal all of its holiday glory on Friday, November 25...meanwhile, back to the workshop...

worth a look...

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