Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Swap with Mary-Part 2

I promised to show you the things I sent to Mary for our one-on-one swap and include a tutorial for the handmade item. I chose a wooden house shape from Say it With Letters (one of my favorite resources).
The quality of these pieces is excellent and I never even have to sand them. I think the hardest part of any paper piecing project is choosing the papers to use. Once I decide on the papers, the work goes relatively quickly. These were the papers I picked for Mary's house.

I like to mix patterned paper with text paper or sheet music and also ledger papers work well with patterned papers also. I love that ruler paper and thought it would work out for the roof line.

It was coming together nicely. I wanted to add a door to hang a wreath on but the
 proportions were not quite right...

I decided to turn the house into a birdhouse....
Here are the for the fall and one for winter. They were made using stamps from Papertrey Ink (another favorite resource) stamped onto cardstock and then mounted on cardboard from a cracker box (the perfect weight, right Elizabeth?)

You can see that I've used small pieces of hook and loop dots (Velcro) on the back of each wreath... there is also Velcro on the front of the birdhouse. This way, the wreaths can be changed out at the seasons.
So that the wreath not being displayed doesn't get lost...on the back of the birdhouse there is more Velcro to store the extra wreath...

Mary needed a tenant for her new birdhouse so I covered a chipboard bird with
some patterned paper and attached it to the front of the house.

Next some details were added. Stamped flourishes were next and a bingo marker with the #26 which is Mary's real house number. Here is the fall look with the twig and berry wreath...

and the winter look with the leaves and berries...

Take some time to visit Deb at Say it With Letters. She has a large variety of wooden shapes and letters in different fonts. Any piece can be cut in sizes ranging from very small to very large. I have been using Deb's products for years now and am always delighted, and, she's a heck of a sweet lady, too!
The other items I sent in Mary's package..some birdie stamps and chipboard birds for Mary to play with..

Chocolate...can't craft without it!

A pretty blue china plate and a bird in a nest...Mary loves blue flowers...
A cute original pumpkin sketch by the uber talented Mchelle Palmer, whose art is amazing!

One on one swaps...they're great fun!
Thanks again Mary, I really enjoyed our little Fall Swap!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Decor~

I know that I promised that my next blog post would be about the things I sent to Mary for our one-on-one swap but I thought I better show you my Halloween displays before Halloween was over! For the first time ever, I decorated early for Halloween this year. It's really just the family room that got the treatment...the other rooms are all filled with craft fair projects in varying degrees of completion! (Oh yeah, I confess, if someone walked into our house right now, they would think it had been ransacked by intruders!) Anyway, here are my prized pieces...
First is our mantel...
This cute and stylish witch was made by Mary Lou of the House of Whimsey. She has an Etsy store but it hasn't been stocked for a while because Mary Lou has been  busy creating magic for her lovely daughter's recent wedding. Most of you know and love Mary Lou but if you're not familiar with her, visit her blog and spend 3 or 4 hours there  reading her posts....she is an awesome designer and crafter and has amazing ideas for just about anything! I love to see her displays that she creates in her home...over the top cute!! Anyway, last year she made and sold these great witches and because I don't like gory and scary, this witch suited me just fine!

Then we move on to this print by Lori at Goody, Goody, Gumdrops. Last year I purchased several prints from Lori's Etsy store. I love her style. You can find her seasonal prints and so much more if you visit her Etsy store here...

The decorated bottle in front of the candle was made by my friend Michele at Create A Way. She does really fun and funky art and if you stop by her blog, you will see that she shares great downloads you can have for free, like these. She has just started to post again, which I am happy to see, and it looks like she's also signed up to participate in Elizabeth's  Peppermint Swap. The black felt tree is the one I purchased at The Cottage, which I wrote about here.
At the right end of the mantel is my Larkspur Lane witch and my Lori Mitchell trick-or-treater and another fabulous piece, the stacked pumpkins, by Michelle Palmer. Her art is just fabulous and the detail of each little piece is amazing! I have purchased many pieces from Michelle's Etsy store, found right here. She works in a variety of art medias and everything she creates is gorgeous!!!

Hanging on the front of the mantel is a Halloween garland I made using digital images designed by the famous and wonderful Debrina Pratt. I purchased  these banner pieces from Debrina's Etsy store here. I cut scalloped banner pieces from black cardstock using the Cricut and then smaller cantaloupe triangle shaped pieces to mat the images with. In between each banner piece is a scalloped circle piece with the letters spelling EEEK. Not too scary but pretty cute I thought.

The layered badges on the two banner pieces with the fleur de lis, were made using a font. I wrote about that here. This was an easy, fun project. I  rarely make things for our home...usually, they're going out the door in a swap or as a gift for someone.
OK...on to the top of the linen press...
Here is the Halloween banner that was made by the talented swappers who participated in Elizabeth's Spooktacular Banner Swap. This is a magnificent banner and the girls who designed and created their sections are so talented!! This really is a treasure!

Also displayed here, with the banner, is the wooden pumpkin (blogged here) I decorated last year as a guest designer for Say it With Letters.....

and a cute squirrel, named Edith Ann, who was designed and created by my uber-talented niece Wendi, of Enchanted Forest Crafts on Etsy. I have lots more to write about Wendi...but I will do that later on a separate post....and also talk a bit about the original Edith Ann, for whom this squirrel girl was named!! I will see Wendi at the end of this week and view all of her new creations in person.
Can't wait to see her!!

This post turned out to be much longer than I originally intended and I'm sorry if some of you drifted off to sleep. I've given you links to lots of fun and interesting places to visit and some amazing Etsy stores. Please take time to visit and you'll see why I love them. I try to Buy Handmade whenever I can.

Now I promise that the next post will feature the things I sent to Mary in our swap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One on one swap with Mary

A month or so ago, Mary of Thyme to Spare and I decided to do a one-on-one swap. It was agreed that we would do something handmade, something vintage and something sweet....I always manage to get that something sweet in there!
Mary and I had both participated in a Spring swap a few years ago and we've kept in touch now and again. First, I will show you what Mary sent to me...
Mary makes wonderfully detailed mini scrapbooks and the Autumn Joy one is the one she sent. The pages are leaf shaped chipboard covered with scrapbook papers and embellished beautifully.

Flowers, ribbons, stamped images, quotes, vintage images and pockets....many things were used in the making of this sweet book. Mary has a good eye for colors and papers and it is even lovelier than my pictures show. Mary also made the owl paper piecing for Charlie for Halloween. I'm sure it's on the fridge in his kitchen.
In exchanging information, I mentioned that I collect pink Depression glass. Mary sent this wonderful plate, bowl and serving scoop (I've never seen one like it!)

Isn't it beautiful? I will be using it on Thanksgiving for the cranberry relish!
Because Mary lives in one of my favorite place...Cape Cod...she sent some Cranberry tea, cranberry conserve and chocolate covered cranberries (which are so yummy!)
Have you ever done a one-on-one swap? If there is someone whose work you love, it's worth the question  and they are fun and relatively stress free because there is only one partner.
In my next post I will show you what I sent Mary. It involves a tutorial. If you have a minute, hop over and say hi to Mary. She is new to blogging and it would be nice for her to know how friendly we all are.
I'll be back very soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Up to my eyeballs in...

Banners and Garlands!
I am frantically trying to make up for lost time in getting ready for our big craft fair in 3 (YIKES!) weeks. I decided to start with banner making because they are fun and I can design and cut during the day and then glue at night while we watch  Mad Men, Dancing With the Stars or The Good Wife some good educational programming on our local PBS station. I am just throwing some pictures out there so you can see what I've been "up to" and know why I haven't been visiting my favorite blogs as much as I'd like. These banners are not complete but they're on their way.....

I've done a number of Thanksgiving and Fall themed banners

Celebration banners for lots of different occasions...
Some that are just general in theme...
Here is one that I've cut the banner pieces for but I'm not sure what it should say...Bloom? Grow? Maybe nothing at all...what do you think? I love this Anna Griffin's very vintage looking.
I have about 14 in some degree of assemblage at this point and now I'm starting
 on some Christmas themed ones.

Dinners have been quick-to-fix meals (David is a saint!) and cleaning consists of sweeping the rooms with a glance...some day I will catch up with everything but for now...cut and glue is my game.
I'm open to any suggestions for banner titles or 15 minute recipes!


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