Sew Beautiful

This Weekly Fluff is focused on my own space at Faded Elegance
I change out my space every 6-8 weeks, bringing in new items and highlighting a fresh theme.  Today I set up a vignette focusing on sewing.  "Sew Beautiful" will run from late February through the end of March.  As always, if you see something that catches your eye, you'd better visit Faded Elegance soon!

I have been sewing since I was a little girl.  I love creating things by hand.  I relish the different textures and patterns of the thread, the fabric, the notions.

vintage dress patterns - such classic designs!


Faded Elegance
Historic Downtown Snohomish

Today I remember

Today I remember a woman who was strong of will and determined in her way

who tried her best and had an adventuresome spirit

who taught me to sew, clean and cook

and to follow thru on your commitments.

Who painted the kitchen orange long before painting your kitchen orange was the hip thing to do.

Who packed up the house and moved west and settled into a new community - not once but twice, after the age of 60.

Who always called me every Saturday morning - and when I lived in London, figured out the time difference and still called when it was Saturday morning my time.

Who taught me that you should always do what's right, regardless of what others may say or think.

Who loved dogs.

Today I remember my mom,
Billie Duncan
and I want her to know
that I remember all
that she taught me.


The shirt off your back

Do you have a favorite t-shirt that you love that is torn, tattered or just too small to wear?  Here's an easy project to turn it into wall art.

First, get a t-shirt with a great graphic design.  This can be either a tee you have or one that you find.  Goodwill (and even better Goodwill Outlet if there is one in your area) is a great source for inexpensive tees.  I like using t-shirts since the fabric has stretch to it but this could work just as well with woven material.  I have some vintage embroidered linens that are stained but have a sweet motif - it would be easy to frame them with this same technique.

Second, gather up a few embroidery hoops.  The metal ones have a wonderful worn patina which I love for the rich texture they add.  Wooden hoops are easily found at thrift stores or yard sales.  I painted the wooden hoops with a "metal texture" spray paint by Valspar which is available at Lowes.  You only need to paint the top (or larger) hoop since the bottom (smaller) hoop will be hidden by the fabric.


An aside....Ok- I work part-time at the local Lowes, in the paint department.  I love it - I get to play with paint, help people with projects, problem-solve, and get a good workout without going to the gym.  And I don't need any fancy clothes - its perfect for me at this point in my life!

Now, cut the t-shirt open and place the hoops to frame out the image you want to highlight.  Pull the fabric taut and tighten the turnscrew at the top of the outside wooden hoop to secure the fabric in place.  Once you are happy with the composition, trim the fabric from the backside to be flush with the hoop frame. 
I've added a bead of Elmer's glue around the edge between the two hoops to help hold the fabric in place and ensure that it does not loosen.  If you wanted, you could also add a paper or cardboard backing to finish off the back side. 
Any number of additional embellishments are possible - you could sew on buttons or beads for adornment, tie on a ribbon for hanging or add a layer of additional fabrics.

There you have it - easy art for mere pennies and minimal effort. 


The Weekly Fluff

Today, while fluffing my space at Faded Elegance,
textures caught my eye...

there is something about
old leather, whether it be
a well-loved suitcase
or a vintage volume...

worn from years of use...

old books and old luggage -each has a story inside.

And now, the results of the giveaway posted on february 12...
the life of a new blogger can be a frustrating one - not only can the software be trying at times, but you wonder if anyone is reading what you have to say.  Actually I know that there are people reading, they just aren't leaving comments...so to the two kind souls who did leave comments, barbara r-g  and Julie - you are both winners of a set of 4 cards from my newest photo collage collection.  Email me, amy_duncan @yahoo.com with your postal address and I will get those off in the mail posthaste.  Thanks for your support!


Spring awakening

I realize that in many parts of the country, spring may seem a long way off, but with any hope, it is right around the corner.  I shot these photos of my garden, tenetive sprouts seeking release from winter's grip.

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."  Hal Borland

A reminder about the giveway listed on the post for february 12 - just leave a comment to enter!


Happy Valentine's Day


A Giveaway!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, A day at the beach, I was inspired that day to create a new photo collage card.  These photo collage cards are my newest greeting card line - combining photos of scenes that appeal to me with a favorite quote produces an artful card that can be sent as a greeting or displayed as a picture.
Well, here is the completed design-

I'm giving away a packet of 4 cards with envelopes - all you have to do to enter is post a comment!  I'll draw a winner and post on Friday, February 19.  If you want to see the complete photo collage card line, just click on the sidebar link.  If you want to order any of these cards, just send me an email at amy_duncan@yahoo.com and I'll work out the details with you.  I know, next on the list of things-to-do is reactivate that etsy account!

Thanks to Lisa JonesMoore for the great quote!


The Weekly Fluff

Once again, the view of what caught my eye at Faded Elegance
while I was "fluffing" there today.
black and white is a classic combo.

I love the graphic quality of letters...

black and white...with a shot of color!

Faded Elegance
Historic Downtown Snohomish


A simple valentine

Here's a quick idea for a simple valentine - it doesn't use any fancy papers, special art materials or require any advanced technique.
The hearts on this valentine were created by dipping the heart stamp into a saucer of bleach and then stamping on colored paper.  I used a stamp that I chiseled out of a gum eraser, but carving out a heart from a potato works just as well.  The colored scraps of paper were from packaging materials  - paper from junk mail (including the insides of envelopes) is another source of interesting paper options.  A definition of "love" torn from an old dictionary completes the sentiment.

Proof positive that what speaks from the heart is the most important creative component.


The Weekly Fluff

I visit my space at Faded Elegance once a week - I see what sold, bring in new items and "fluff".  Fluffing involves reassessing, rearranging and reenergizing.  I thought that I would share a few photos each week of what captures my eye in the store.  I often spend time looking at everyone else's space when I am in - there's always something new so I'm going to share with you what catches my attention.  Remember, everything I'm showing is available for sale at the store - so if you see something you must have, you'd better get in there!

lots of gold, glitter and glam

the promise of spring
Faded Elegance 
Historic Downtown Snohomish
Mon-Sat 10 am - 6 pm, Sun 12 - 5 pm


Voeux de Bonheur

Voeux de Bonheur - translated - "Wishes of Happiness"
What is it about the French that makes them so appealing?  They have such a way with words and style that depict the most common of elements as sophisticated and chic.  True, I am enamoured with Paris - its such a great walking city - and by walking, instead of driving, you are privvy to everyday scenes and experiences that you miss as you whirl down the street in your auto.  Perhaps it is these glimpses of a life romanticized that have charmed me.

So I am drawn to French themes in much of my work.  Cleaning out my studio I discovered lost treasures that were the basis of these art creations.  Two more heavy glass coasters were made into paperweight/coasters with a Paris street map as the background embellished with vintage finds.

I also came across these great cards from a 1935 French Monopoly game.  I made them into hang tags - you could attach one to a gift, dangle it from hook or tie it onto your purse.  The scrabble charms can be your initial or spell a special word.

The paperweight/coasters, hang tags and scrabble charms are all available for sale at my space at Faded Elegance.  Great style tip for displaying your vintage postcards - I inserted the postcard, shown at the beginning of this post, into a small wire flower frog which fit perfectly in the indentation of a Limoges saucer.  The saucer provides a spot for additional embellishments - in this case, an old silk sewing strawberry.  These vintage strawberries were filled with sawdust and steel wool.  Storing your needles stuck in the side of the strawberry kept them sharp.

Time now for happy hour.  I remember my paternal grandfather - who was French - always had a glass of Sauterne before dinner...I think I inherited that gene!

worth a look...

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