Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing Out the Old

Obviously, the birthday month idea didn't work out! I've been gone for ever so long, but I had to say goodbye to 2009. It wasn't my best year ever, though it is starting to pick up a little here at the end. I'm back. I'm anxiously waiting for 2010, because lots of good things are ahead this year, and soon the past will be a mostly (un)pleasant memory. I'm wishing lots of good things for all of us in this New Year and hoping I will have blog friends again.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Festivities Begin

Here it is the very first day of my birthday "month" and I got a present in the mail. My dear Silver Bella friend Jodie of everything vintage made this beautiful necklace and gift box for me. My pictures don't do it justice. It is gorgeous, and of course, I love my gypsy lady. What a thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift, and two weeks early! I am such a procrastinator that I buy my belated birthday cards ahead of time. I always know I'll need them. Thank you dear Jodie for starting my month off in such a great way.

Look at this great box. It's tied with rayon seam binding! (Sorry about that picture. Of course the dangling jewel should be dangling, not pushed over to the side.) She is so clever. And I am so lucky.

My Birthday Give A Way will be posted in a few days--but sign up anyway. What's a birthday without surprises?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Memory Lane and a Give A Way

Can you believe this was my favorite book when I was in the 5th grade? Last week a friend and I were talking about books we'd loved as children, and I got very nostalgic about this one. I couldn't remember the name-just that it was about a gypsy girl named Miranda and a horse. Started looking and there it was on Ebay! I think this was the book that started my gypsy fixation. So I just finished reading it again.I was a bit disturbed because she was sixteen and fell in love with and got engaged to a 26 year old. Eww-hadn't remembered that part.
We're still looking for "A Hatbox for Mimi". Anyone remember that one? I know, I know I'm old.
Speaking of, July is my birthday month, and I'm thinking of all sorts of ways to celebrate it. So starting now, I'm having a give a way on July 15 for anyone who posts between now and then.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waterlogged at Walnut

Yesterday two of my non-blog friends and I took a little roadtrip to Walnut, Iowa for a day of antiquing, junking, eating and laughing. Well, we had a lot of fun with the eating and laughing, but the junking was a real disappointment. The day started out great, so we left our umbrellas in the car. Big mistake. It didn't take long before the weather changed and we were just about as wet as we could be. And just imagine all these wonderful treasures hiding under the tarps. The sale lasts three days, but I could only be there for the first day. So just think of all that money I saved!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A Perfect Day

Lovely Miss Lindsey came to visit us to celebrate her 8th birthday yesterday. Weeks ago, I got this letter from her. She had designed her first dress and was confident that I could make it for her. I haven't sewed clothing in ages, but finding the fabric was definitely the hardest part. Orchid with blue polka dots. (Next time, we'll pick the fabric first!) Lindsey has been planning the perfect day for weeks, and everyone cooperated. A coconut cream pie from Grandpa. A Hello Kitty birthday cake. Roses and marshmallows from her Dad. A party with all her aunts and uncles and cousins. And then spending the night with us with a bath in the bubble tub, and time for crafting in my craft room. A perfect day and she planned it all in advance! My daughters and I decided she's got the right idea and we are now all planning our perfect birthdays. (Mine's next month, so I'll be first) Today we asked if she would have changed anything. She said "Yes, we would have all gone bowling."
Oh, and now she's forming her own company LDKC (LindseyD Kansas City) She's the designer, and I'm just supposed to make it all happen.......
Actually, it was all lots of fun, and she's just a sweetie who never asks for anything, until all these birthday plans happened. She said it was her best day ever, and we know she won't always think we're perfect.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Silver Bella Vendor

I'm so excited! I've been accepted as a vendor for Silver Bella in November! More about it later, but I just had to get it up here now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Junky Fun

I recently went to Junk Club. Whatever is that, you well may ask. Well, it's an absolutely lovely nite out making things from junk. This month's project was a planter made from an old tin drawer. We painted it, and then made a marker, painted half way with chalk board paint, and decorated with a piece of chalk and an antique key, and some twisty wire. My picture is bad, but you can see the real thing here, at Old Crow Farm. How cute is that? And she even fed us. They have these projects once a month, and it's getting harder to get in. Don't know if I can be at the next one or not. But I'm trying. I love the old metal junky things that they sell, but I have to be really careful about what I buy. My husband doesn't like, understand, or care about this look at all. A few years ago, he painted every junky thing that I had...... white, while I was at work one day, thinking he would surprise me. And he did.
Things are kind of rocky here, since he is still semi unemployed. He is spending a lot of time at home, and I never seem to be here at all. He's finished all sorts of projects. I never know what I'll find when I come home. He took all the old awful WWII linoleum off our kitchen floor. What a mess, but the original 1918 wood floor looks fantastic. Now he's been working on the old windows, which has turned into another major job. He's refinished the steps to the attic. Even though I liked the old paint, the wood looks nice. And the steps are a lot more solid than they used to be. A zillion projects--inside and out. I can't even think of them all. He's remodeled our son's kitchen and attic, and stripped wallpaper, and refinished more furniture than I can remember. I keep trying to get him to hire himself out as a handyman. Seems like a good idea to me, but he isn't co-operating. And I think I'll just stop here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Skipping Thru May

Well, it's pretty obvious that's what I've been doing. Skipping, that is. Here this month is practically over, and I've barely been here for it, so a quick update on what's been happening.

First of all, I haven't posted all the wonderful treasures I received from ArtsyMama. This was the May Basket swap and she sent me the best bunch of goodies. Lots of vintage lace, cards, art boards, one with a pocket. I loved these! Just oodles of stuff. All great. I mailed her a May Basket made from coiled vintage fabric. Don't know if I'll make another one of these. It wasn't easy getting that cone shape! I've been making small gypsytreasure baskets though. I really like these. They are embellished with charms, beads, and buttons, and can hold your treasures. I have some on my etsy site.
I can't quite get my pictures where I want them, so hopefully, you'll know which is which. I'm out of time, so more to come later. Pinky promise.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Busy Weekend

Had a very busy weekend. First, a First Communion for my granddaughter. She was a beautiful and very grown up seven year old in her pretty white dress and her mother's veil. I cried.
And then a funeral for my aunt who was the eccentric of our already crazy family, and a reunion with my sisters who live far away. I cried again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Long Live the Queens

Thirty two years ago three friends and I decided that we never got out-so we started Craft Nite and have been getting together once a month ever since! The group has grown, and now we each host it about once a year. For me, it's about the only time I really cook anymore. Yes,we have dinner, gift exchange, and a craft. Sometimes we even have a theme. This month the theme was England, and so, of course, we had to make crowns. Here we are, modeling our crowns and doing the Queen wave.

I've never posted a real picture of myself, so I'll let you guess which one I am! Lucky for me, none of these royal ladies ever read my blog, so they won't know I did this. Really, we usually look better.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Happy Easter Greeting

Yes, I do know it was yesterday, but here's where we were. This is a beautiful, gorgeous and very traditional church in Kansas City. It's called Our Lady of Perpetual Help, more commonly known as Redemptorist and was built in 1912. Breathtaking.

Oh, and the kids. As you can tell, they don't stand still very often. These are the Kansas City Grands. Tom is 9, Lindsey,7, and Joey is 5.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Excuses, Excuses

"I don't like to write, but I love to have written." Michael Kanin
I don't know who he is, but this is a quote I just came across on Rebecca Sower's beautiful blog, right after I read a few "where are you?" posts on my forlorn little journal. Thanks for caring and for getting me back into motion. Actually, I am just running out the door, late, as usual, but I will be back later today with something...and pictures.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If You're Irish...

If you're Irish, come into the parlor,
There's a Welcome here for you
Well, it wasn't too easy getting Finn and Tess to sit still and smile for a little Irish picture, but here they are. They are spending the night with us, while their parents are out celebrating the holiday in the grand old Irish way.
Finn has the greatest hat. Underneath his shamrock jacket, his green shirt says "Wee Little
Troublemaker", and he showed up ringing my doorbell early this morning wearing his green frog wellies. Tess's shamrock bow didn't stay in her hair very long.
My husband's family is pure and total Irish. I'm only a little bit Irish, but our children and grands all turned out 100% green. So this is a big holiday around here. Funny thing is, we're the ones who stay home now, while everyone else goes out to party.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Still Knitting

I am still enthralled with double pointed needles, so I have to show my finished items! The little bag is called a miser's purse. The brass rings in the middle slide to open and close each little bag at the ends. It is a very old style and I love it.
I got the baby hat pattern from my knitting group, but you can find it here. It's a great little hat for practicing cables. I've started another in green, so I don't forget how to do it! Just in case you are too impressed with all my color changes-I've used varigated yarn. The bag is done with a sock yarn and I just love the colors. Very VictorianGypsy, don'tcha think?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

For the past few Monday nights I have been going to Knitting, gathering with a few of my co-workers who are much more skilled than I will ever be, and learning to knit with double pointed needles! Like this sweet lady in the picture, I can now knit in the round with 4 needles. I've finished my first project, a miser's purse, and am now working on a small hat with cables. I am so excited to have finally learned how to do this. For you experienced knitters, this may seem like a minor accomplishment, but I never thought I would be able to do anything more complicated than scarves and dishcloths. Oh my, I may even be seeing mittens and socks in my future. Actually, I think my next project will be a tea cozy. Thank you, dear Gateway Knitters, for your patience and good company.

Monday, February 23, 2009

OWOH Hand Warmers And A Bit of This and That

Gotta love these hand warmers I received from Barbara at All About the Buttons. They are just perfect to wear while typing here in my chilly attic. Look at her packaging too. They arrived wrapped in tissue, with a large button sticker. The little folder of handmade paper is adorned with a real button and encases her business card, which also has a teeny, tiny button glued on it. I love how she does that. If you like buttons, be sure to visit her site. She has an etsy shop too.
Things have been kind of crazy here lately. I've always thought that being flexible was one of my strengths, but now it seems like I have no schedule at all. I won't be working full time again until mid April, and now it seems like I'm never quite sure where I am or what I'm supposed to be doing. My first temp job has ended. This was my first experience with being an office temp and I am really not suited for it. By the last day I worked, some of the people were actually saying hello to me, but most of the time "the temp" felt pretty invisible (and clueless, I might add). I was hoping to stay there longer, but they fired someone on my first day, and then decided that they needed to have a full time office manager with accounting experience, rather than a two day a week receptionist. Originally, I was going to be there for a couple of months, which would have been perfect, rather than just a few weeks.
About half an hour after I was "released from my contract", and feeling like I had been totally rejected by the workforce, I got a call and picked up about 40 hours in March as our soap maker at my real job. We are going to be selling lye soap in our LHF gift shop and as of now, I'll be the first one making it. So that will help. See what I mean--no set schedule, no continuity, but lots of surprises, and very small paychecks.

Mystery Gift

I received this in the mail, totally mangled. How sad for me, and for whoever it was who put so much work into it. I can tell it was a lovely handmade card, and whatever was in the bag has disappeared. The return address is unreadable too. How frustrating, both for me, and for whoever sent it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Presents by Post

I must have been good recently because I've been getting lots of presents! First, from my sweet friend Jodie of everything vintage are these lovelies that she sent to me for No Reason. Am I lucky or what! Two packages, the first was this lovely Valentine, tied with vintage seam binding. Don't you just love that stuff? And then, this pretty bookmark, which is getting lots of use, because I have been on a reading binge lately. More about that later. Thank you Jodie, I am so fortunate that we met! And I just discovered that another friend from Silver Bella has started a blog. I believe she may have been shamed and bullied into it, but no matter, it is gorgeous. And already she's posting more frequently than I am. So please visit Sandy at Sew Revived, and you'll be glad you did. I shared several classes with her, and she was so generous with her materials, and so much fun. And I still can't believe how quickly she finishes her projects. You'll love her new blog. I do.
I can't get my pictures where I want them, but this first shot is my Year of Color swap with
Stacey. She sent a box filled with ephemera and other gorgeous goodies. A little picture frame, decks of cards, sheet music, labels, cards, and just about everything you could think of. Thanks, Stacey. It was great fun.
More to come: I won two things in OWOH drawings. Pictures tomorrow-yes, I did say tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the Winner Is......

Well, I consulted my magic cards, and this is who I came up with:
The winner of my "Off the Cuff" cuff bracelet is (long dramatic pause)
Fannie . She's a wonderful artist and had SIX giveaways on her site.
Go visit her. She makes beautiful things. Congratulations Fannie.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

OWOH- The Clock Is Ticking

It's almost time to draw for the OWOH GiveAway!!! It ends February 12, and I will be drawing for mine at 6:00 P.M. Central Time. There is still time to sign up, so I am hoping to get a few more visitors. As I write this, I'v had 150 visitors sign up to win my "Off the Cuff" Cuff. It's so nice to have new readers. I've made some very good friends here in BlogLand, and kept in better touch with old friends, too. It's so much fun to read the comments and to discover other kindred spirits. Good luck to everyone who has participated. I'll be back tomorrow with the news.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jill of all Trades-That's Me!

Wondering where I've been, after all my promises of timely blogging? It's been a busy week for me, learning new things. Well, trying to learn new things anyway. After I convinced myself that my interview and tests at a temporary agency would come to absolutely nothing, I got a call and starting a part time receptionist job. In addition to working at the Victorian Dinners, using such skills as wood splitting, fire building, and playing riotous parlor games, I am now also answering phones, filing, scanning, and other duties as needed. On Monday, I will start working a few days as a rental worker at the Farms. They're filming a movie there right now, so several of us are taking shifts. I'm not quite sure what it will involve, but maybe I'll see somebody who is famous. Probably not, but who knows. I am also trying to get some things into my Etsy shop within the next week. In other years, I've enjoyed the relatively quiet winters, with my reduced schedule at the museum, but this year I am trying to fill every available hour with employment. Our hours have been cut, so I will not be full time again until mid-April. Who can even guess what new skills I will have by then? Or how crazy I will be? During my free time, I just can't stay away from all the blogs I'm discovering because of OWOH. I've been trying to visit as many as possible. Have you?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

One World One Heart


This is it! The 3rd Annual One World One Heart GiveAway. It get's bigger every year and was the brainchild of Lisa OceanDreamer. It gives us all a way to find hundreds of blogs we haven't seen, and to win beautiful artwork. Who wouldn't want to play? To be a part of it, just click on the One World 2009 logo to learn how to host your own. Even if you don't plan on giving away something yourself, you can still enter to win. Just leave a message on THIS blog post with a way I can contact you. Drawings will be held on February 12.

This year I am giving away one of my "Off the Cuff" bracelets. This one was made from a felted blue sweater cuff, decorated with embroidery, buttons, ribbons, charms, beads, and who knows what! This will fit an average sized wrist and just slides on. Good luck. Remember to leave a message, and who knows, maybe you'll keep reading!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Future Inspiration Board

Thought I'd show you a picture of my Inspiration Board. I'm just starting to add things to it, so I'll show it again when it's really working for me. I have this on a wall behind a door. In the previous picture there was just a bare space there. It's big-about 5 feet tall and 30 inches wide. I found it on a junking excursion. I was really looking for baby bed springs, but found this piece of an old fire escape railing. I can hook things on it with clothes pins or clips. I like it, and of course, my husband (Mr. Neat and Tidy) tolerates it because it is behind a door! He was a little grouchy about it, but he did hang it for me. Actually, this may end up being as much work-in-progress as Inspiration. But it's a start. I know, it needs some help.
One thing I am wanting to do this year is to put my uncompleted projects in bags, with all the needed supplies, and FINISH them. Somewhere I read about doing that, and to only have three things going at once. I have about three hundred, I'm afraid. Anyway, this is one of my aspirations.
I am so appreciative of the comments I have been getting. It is encouraging to know that some of you are reading this. I even splurged and put the new new Followers gadget here. Hopefully, I won't end up embarrassing myself.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Being Who You Are

Sometimes things keep dropping on your head, and finally, you just have to pay attention! The last few days I have been getting the same message over and over. Essentially, it is to be who I am. And to trust my judgement. I've seen several blogs talking about having a theme for the year, so I have decided this is to be my theme for 2009. I'm hoping that this is the year I become comfortable with my own style and follow my instincts. Especially in the art world. I can't even begin to say how many times I've thought about an idea, or abandoned it half finished because I just didn't think it was good enough, only to see it turn up later and be wildly successful for someone else. Does this happen to everyone? So this year I am really looking for and listening to the signs! Here's a couple of quotes that I've just noticed in the last few days: "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
- Howard Thurman. This was mentioned in a newsletter I received from Sally Evans.
An email from my dearest friend, Fleur, basically told me the same thing. I can also count on her to cheer me up when I'm feeling whiny. She reminded me to do my own thing, and not worry about what was popular, or what I thought people might want.
And then I found this quote, which I had written in a notebook eons ago: "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." (Margaret Young). Another thing: Just when I was thinking that I need to be really specific about my style, and what I want to do, and that I really, really should make an inspiration or vision board--I picked up a magazine, and it naturally opened to a page about inspiration boards!! See, I think it's time to listen.
I got a wonderful surprise from my SilverBella friend, Jodie, of everything vintage. Look here, and you will see she mentions mine as one of the blogs she finds inspiring! And, oh, the company she puts me with. I was thrilled. Jodie is very helpful by keeping me blogging. I tend to get discouraged and lazy when I think no one ever comes to visit.
No pictures, I'm afraid. I think my monitor has died. Anyway something is not working, so I'm on the laptop with no pictures, for now.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Time Again

Well, the holidays are over. Decorations are finally put away, and it's time for some serious creating. I've never put up any pictures of my finished craft room, so here are some when it is relatively neat. Yes, I do have a fixation for drawers. The only problem is, I like to have everything where I can see it when I am working. The best arrangement for me would probably have been lots of open shelves. But my husband-the neat freak-wants everything hidden. The other half of this large room is laundry area and sink and counters. If I had been thinking, I probably would have insisted on a small room with a door so everything could be hidden away. But then I couldn't have had all these wonderful old cupboards. Does anyone remember when we bought the big one? Originally it was in an old school, and then an auto parts shop. We had to cut it into two cupboards to fit the space that we had. Our eyes were bigger than our room at the auction! With this wonderful room, you think I'd be making something, wouldn't you? Big plans for 2009, I promise.