Monday, February 28, 2011

A Swap For All amazing fabric collage from Michelle

Many times I've written on this blog about the  wonderful women I've met through blogging.
Generous, talented, caring women.
I've written about my (blogging) friend Michelle Rondeau in several posts here, here,
and here. I first "met" Michelle through her Etsy store Wood and Fabric . (please take some time to go and visit her store and blog)
For a long time I nagged  encouraged her about starting a blog and she finally did.
Now you can see all of the inspiring things she creates right here.
We have both participated in several of Linda Smith's, A Swap For All Seasons
 seasonal swaps (gee, that's kind of a tongue twister isn't it?) and for the most recent swap...A Fabric Collage...we were paired! I wasn't sure I was up for the challenge of this swap because I've
not done any sewing for many, many years and I didn't know where to start but Michelle
encouraged me to jump in and give it a try. Last week I received my 5X7-inch fabric collage
from Michelle. As of this post she has not received mine (she lives in Quebec) so I won't
show the pictures of the one I made but I couldn't wait any longer to show you
the one I received from Michelle. Please prepare to be overwhelmed!!

I really laughed when I pulled the package and card out of the envelope (an envelope made by the way, from a cereal box...very sturdy!) The carefully wrapped tissue was sealed with 2 postage stamps which is a trademark of Michelle's...she uses stamps on almost all of her art. And look at the baby on this card....I'm sure it's someone Michelle knows...what a cherub!

On to the collage....

A stamped and sewn fabric collage of extraordinary beauty!

My photographs could never do justice to the details of this piece.

Every little detail is perfectly perfect. Can you see the word kindred spirits right above the pin?
The tiny little chatelaine scissors sweetly tied with a button and attached to a small
cloth bag with a token inside that says joy.
A thin glass vial with the tiniest of pearls inside and a coin attached.
A cloth tape measure sewn around the printed image of a little girl.
The famous postage stamp.
And the back of the collage....

It's a pocket! Edged in lace and fastened with 3 vintage buttons, it opened to reveal...

a cloth wrapped packet of vintage ephemera!!!
It took me a very long time to open and carefully examine every little
detail of all that Michelle sent.....I love this collage and it will
hang in my craft studio as a reminder of a treasured friendship.
Thank you Michelle, for another piece of your amazing art!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's REDnesday...and a little Steampunk, too!

Hi All!
I'm joining Sue at "It's a Very Cherry World " for Rednesday.
I had been seeing these dishes pop up all over blogland and fell in love with them.
The problem was, everyone was seeing them at Home Goods which we
are not lucky enough to have here in "the 'Burgh" (Pittsburgh
for the out-of-towners)
WELL, last Saturday, I decided to stop in to Marshalls
since I hadn't been there since before Christmas (how did that happen?)
and low and behold....there they were!
So Cath Kidston looking....
but sooooo much more affordable!
Elyse....I hope you've seen these too...

I have plain white Corelle dishes for everyday so these accessory pieces will work in perfectly...
I picked up mugs, bowls, dessert dishes and one large dinner plate to use for serving.
Some are polka dotted and some are checked....all are so cute, don't you think?
I'm also going to squeeze my final Valentine photos in here for Rednesday day as well...

and the last of my Valentines for friends...I tried using some Steampunk images that were provided by Valerie at The Sum of All Crafts.
If you love vintage images...visit Valerie's blog. She is an amazing artist in her own right
and a generous sharer of images. You will spend lots of time there!
Here are my Steampunk Valentines....

(the lighting was bad the day I took this picture but do you ever wonder what to do with the multitude of paint samples you pick up along the way....for me, that's every time I'm in Lowe's or Home Depot!!)

Whew! That's a lot for one Rednesday....
I'll be back tomorrow to show you the beautiful (and I really mean breathtakingly beautiful)
fabric collage that I received in the Swap For All Seasons swap!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Elizabeth, Sandy, Paula Clare and Betty...

Your Valentine cards
have been mailed today...
Late, I know,
life got in the way.
You are so special
all year through...
so I'm sending my love,
to each of you!

I don't usually like to preview my projects before they are received,
but I wanted you to at least see what was on the way.
(I will show the cards I've received when they have all arrived)

I love Valentine's Day.
I always have...and always will.
I know there's a lot of discussion about whether Valentine's Day
 was invented just so that the greeting card industry
could make money from the
sale of cards but of course that's not true.
Valentine's Day goes back centuries to Medieval times.....
but I'm not talking history here....just fun!

 Years ago, my sister started a tradition in our family of
celebrating Valentine's Day by eating "red" food.
This usually meant eating spaghetti or lasagna for dinner
and red-sprinkled cupcakes or cookies for dessert.
I like this's easy and fun and who doesn't like
pasta and red-sprinkled desserts?
This year David and I are breaking with tradition!
Because I was sick in January for both of our birthdays and we
never got a chance to celebrate, we are going out to a
favorite restaurant tonight for dinner.
Wonder if they'll have red food on the menu?

One of my traditions on Valentine's Day is to make (or buy)
and send Valentine cards to my family and friends
and always take some kind of treat in to my workmates.
I'm not working today so they'll enjoy their treat tomorrow...

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
I saw the recipe for these on
 Olive Knoll's blog before Christmas and just knew that
I would have to try these morsels.
The recipe can be found right here.

The treats will be accompanied with a tag.
Every year I chose one of my pieced Valentines to
scan and copy to make multiples for the girls.
(I like the gang I work with but not everyone will
keep a handmade card for 100 years like I do.
I know the card makers out there will understand what I'm saying.)

Now the thing about making Valentines, for me, is that once I start making them
 I don't know when to stop. Like eating potato is never enough!

I can't show you all of the cards I've made because some friends need to be surprised...
and I don't even have David's made yet (Yikes!)
but I did surprise him with this little banner when he got up
this morning and came downstairs for his coffee...

The last item I'd like to share with you today comes from my sweet, sweet,
blogging friend Mary Lou of House of Whimsy. (Her photos
are on this post and are much better than mine)
We had a little one-on-one Valentine swap and this is the
magnificent piece she sent..

this beautiful padded and decorated heart...
seen here on the arm of my santos

beautiful attention to detail...

Thank you Mary Lou....I love this treasure!

OK-I better be off and finish the rest of my
Better-late-than-never Valentine Cards...
Have a wonderful day everyone....I hope it's filled with lots of


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm leaving tomorrow!

I am so tired of winter, so I'm leaving this...
to fly here...

Mesa, Arizona

to visit my Step-Mom, Bunnie
and help her celebrate her 90th Birthday!
While I am in Arizona, I won't have access to a computer
at all (which will be real hard for me!) so I
will catch up on visiting when I return.

Before I go, I wanted to show you some amazing cards and gifts I received
for my birthday, from in Pittsburgh and also blogging friends.
I have been so touched by the out-pouring of good wishes...I didn't mind
so much turning 62! I am so blessed!

 Can you believe that 2 different people (who don't know each other) gifted me
with adorable pieces of Michelle Palmer's art?

(Oh Marie-I wish it looked like this from my doorway! Can't wait for Spring!)

 Aren't handmade cards the best? I was overwhelmed at the love
that came in the mail. Thank you sweet friends!
I have also started to receive some Valentines from the swap I'm in with
 Elizabeth of Creative Breathing and friends
but I don't want to post them until I return next week.

I 'd also  like to share this cute FREE download I found
at Betty Crocker Wannabe here

(click on this photo to enlarge but visit Kristen's blog for other amazing things!)
The text from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 is one of the most often used readings at weddings.
What a wonderful reminder for Valentine's Day.
I just sized and printed it out, backed it with some cardstock and framed it in a 5X7-inch frame.
Until next week....


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