Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Day the WHOLE Circus Came To Town

On a recent post, I showed you my craft room. I had spent a whole week organizing, coordinating and decluttering it and was quite proud of my accomplishment. I have never had a room so cute. My former craft rooms were always just plain. My mother-in-law has a cute craft room. Even though she doesn't think so, I think it is very organized. She paints, sews and crafts in this cute small room. My current room is large-bonus room over garage, but it wasn't "cute". No curtains, no cute knick-knacks, etc. I wanted to change that. I knew that Elizabeth over at Creative Breathing had an amazing craft room. So, of course I went over to copy get inspiration from her. She loves the same colors that I do, loves cute stuff (so do I), decorates with vintage cute planters (which I loooovvvveee), makes as cute as can be eye candy, and posts the most amazing stories. She really inspired me to make my creative space "as cute as can be!". After I finished the behemothen task, I thought that I would share my some what complete room with her. I had used her flickr photos as inspiration (ok, I admit it, I did some what copy-but at least I admitted it, right?). I left her a message on one of her photos inviting her to come over to my blog and see what I had done to my craft room. I thought that she would probably never really read it. I mean she probably gets 100s of invites from stalkers normal people to come and check out their stuff. Boy, was I shocked when she, my inspiration hero, sent me an email. I was so thrilled and couldn't believe my eyes when I read:
"Would you be interested in a trade?"
Are you kidding? A trade!! She actually looked at my stuff and liked it! You bet I would! I couldn't answer her quickly enough, thinking all the while that she might change her mind and not want to trade after all. That she had made a mistake and didn't want anything. But she did and wanted me to pick something for her. Wow....what would Elizabeth want? I knew that she loved bluebirds and I had just made one the other day with Mary Engelbreit influenced colors. Hopefully she would like it. I would make her one that was similar but would have a little inchie friend. Sorry, I didn't take a picture of it. But she did and it is on her blog Creative Breathing. She wrote the sweetest post about me and the gifts. And of course I read the comments that her sweet blog friend wrote. These blog friends are the most amazing women. They said the kindest things and have even joined my blog. Thank you so much. I have always been amazed that people would even want to read my blog. I started out keeping a blog for my sister in Missouri and my family and in-laws in Alabama and Georgia, Florida, North Carolina & South Carolina. Mainly to let them know what we were up to. I do have a visitor counter and sometimes I will go to it and find out that people as far away as Australia, France, Mexico, Spain, Africa, South America among many other countries have visited my blog. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. These are countries that I will probably never visit but would love to and just seeing your pin on my map gives me a connection to your country. Many states are represented and although I probably won't visit your state seeing the pin on your state give me a connection as well.  You are welcome to leave comments and I will try to reply to them. I am not always on my blog, I may neglect it for a week or more at a time, but I will always try my best to post at least once a week or more :) to the swap. Elizabeth read my blog (insert blush), and figured out that I had started making her Circus. I loved the cute little characters. I had only made the elephant and monkey, but had high hopes to make the rest of the Circus soon. Her patterns are so easy to follow and are very detailed. It's this detail that I love, but it is a little time consuming, which translates it is going to take me more than an afternoon to complete the whole set. It is all hand sewing. I love to hand sew in front of the TV and her projects are perfect for this. Elizabeth wanted to know if I would like to swap something of mine for the Creative Breathing Circus. I would love a Circus character, I told her. But guess what!?!? She didn't mean just one character, but the WHOLE Circus. Boy, was I delighted to find that the WHOLE Circus had come to town!!  She sent an elephant, monkey, clown, Ring Master, sweet Seal Trainer & the adorable seal (made out of pipe cleaners!). They are as cute as can be! I can't wait to make a circus banner to go above them.
Above: My elephant w/ fez and my tiny monkey. Elizabeth's monkey, Seal and Seal Trainer, Clown and Elephant.

Above: Look at the Ring Master! He's holding an amazing banner. See the tiny ticket booth. Hobby Lobby has some Circus stuff in their birthday party department. Has real tickets in it.

Above: The details that she adds to each character is amazing. Adorable, just adorable....

Above: sweet clown.

Above: She sent the sweetest butterfly card. Thank you so much Elizabeth! I am so thankful to have made a new blogland friend!
Here's to taking chances and making new bloggy friends!!
So, if someone inspires you, let them know. And if something catches your eye ask about a swap. If Elizabeth hadn't email me and asked about swapping, I would have probably never made my first swap ever! Thanks again, Elizabeth!!
disclaimer: sorry about the fuzzy photos, same camera problems, plus it's dark and rainy outside and I have had too much caffeine.......

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mangled Elfie

This weekend we moved D#1 back to college. She has an apartment on campus now and loves it. She will share the apartment with 3 other girls. Two of the girls she roomed with last year and they were real good friends before college. They are such sweet girls. They now have their own washer/dryer, stove, fridge/freezer, living room and finally their own bathroom. I will try to get her to post some pictures of it on her blog A Tale of Two Cities.
D#2 loves Christmas Elves. Loves them so much, in fact, she carried one around with her in her pocket last year. Of course I forgot to check her pockets when I washed her pants. This little Elf didn't fair so well. I believe he was stuffed with some sort of paper and the felt kind of disintegrated. D#2 was very sad. So, Elfie laid in my craft room for about 9 months. Finally I took pity on him and tackled this project.
Above: Sad Elfie with his tattered and mangled clothes, but he still has a smile on his face :)
Above: Elfie all decked out in his new get up! This project actually turned out better than I thought it would. I added pom poms and a pipe cleaner (as fake fur on his hat). Good as new!
Above: Little chick with real feather for a tail. I can't believe how sweet this turned out. I plan on making more soon. They do look sweet just by themselves. Kind of like an ornament. I need to make a red one for Christmas. Vintage pipe cleaners are turned into legs and feet. I need to get some vintage sheet music for hats. This music is just a black and white copy.
Above: Terrier planter. I thought he needed a little something extra. Gingham bow to the rescue.
I have joined flickr and plan on uploading a lot more pictures. My flickr name is pip141 (of course pip is our little dog). Hopefully I can figure out how to put a link to my flickr account on the sidebar of this blog and then you won't have to go to flickr and try to find me.
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Operation Organization: Part 2

Above: I love these glass canisters. I bought them from Walmart and spray painted the tops. The large tin can was spray painted too. It holds all of my pipe cleaners. Little jars are perfect for holding nails, tiny pom poms and other tiny stuff. I also spray painted the lids: yellow, red and aqua. The little pom pom birds hold a banner that reads "craft room". I got the instructions from Elizabeth at Creative Breathing. On the right, the sweet little planter was my Grandma Marcinak's, we called her Mama. It always was sitting on her front porch with a plant in it. The lamp needs a painting and the shade needs updating. A future project....

Above: My sewing area. The cabinet pulls were white, I painted them red. My sewing machines, computer and TV are over on this side of the room. I plan on redoing the table tops soon and make some table skirts.

Above: You can't really tell it, but I spray painted the spool holder yellow.

Above: My serger and daughter's sewing machine. Inspiration board needs some sprucing!

Above: Plain little bamboo cubbies that I painted. The white one looks crooked, but it's not, guess it's the angle of the camera.

Above: The Littles. I loved playing with these when I was little. Some of these I had as a child and some I have found in antique stores. Finally, a place to display them.

Above: I plan on painting this shelf later. Probably white.

Above: fun little shelves. This book shelf is by the window. Most of the crochet stuff I did.

Above: The geese were MaMa Marcinak's. She kept them on the dishwasher. I believe she kept a plant in them. Not sure. I will have to ask mom. Some Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books.

Above: My dollhouse. My dad made me this when I was 3 or 4. It is made out of an old Army trunk. It has been painted light green, pink, yellow and now white. It is a work in progress. I need to add some furniture and dolls. The furniture in the top left room were given to me be by one of my Grandmother Ashley's friends. There is a stove, sink and table. The have been traveling with me for 20 years and I have been very careful not to loose them. I have always appreciated the fine workmanship and details that went into these little pieces. I will have to get some closer pictures for you to show the detail.

Above: Yes, I do wear my slippers in the craft room. Keep my feet warm :)

Above: I would like to get some floor to ceiling shelves in this corner. The doorway is to the right of these book shelves.
Above: Here is how I like to organize my WIP (works in progress). Unused pizza boxes. Very inexpensive storage. I think 50 white pizza boxes was $15 or so. I bought them off ebay. Shipping was free. I love it!! So organized!!
Above: The yarn station. One of these days all of my skeins will become balls.
Thanks for stopping by and as I make improvements and change things around, I will post pics. Maybe, just maybe someday I will show you my closet :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Organize This Mass Chaos!

Sweet D#2 started Science Camp this week. Her teacher is a very sweet lady. Their are less than 6 students in her class, so this is a very "one on one" camp (which I love). D#2 is quite quick and a little smart for her young age of 6 (she knows alot more than I do about everything, just ask her). So, her sweet, lovely teacher, Ms. Amy, asked D#2 how did she get to be so smart? Is it because she has a wonderful, very smart engineer dad who can fix anything, built anything, and do anything? asks this smart, wise teacher. "No, because my dad uses very biiiiggg words that I can't understand at all! It's because of my mom, she uses simple words." Oh me, oh my, I have never been called a simpleton by a 6 year old before. Oh least everyone can understand me. Anyway.....on to the post of the day. 
I really can't believe that I am actually going to show you my mass chaos craft studio. Be warned, it's not a pretty sight. If you have a weak stomach, I strongly advise you to scroll through the pictures very quickly! I am not kidding at all!
I have been using this bonus room as a craft/sewing room for about 5 or 6 years now. It's a very plain, but a very useful room. My kids should be real grateful for it. If we didn't have this room, there would be some bunking going on, mainly College girl and Brainiac (D#2).
Wow....why is this such a mess? Look at the ironing board. I need a new cover in a bad way! It is nasty. Hello, my name is Holly and I love spray starch!

Double yuck! Look at that closet! Actually, it's not so bad, most of the stuff is already in the room. Can you see that small 8x8" area in front of my sewing machine. Yep, that's my crafting area, all 8x8 inches of it. Not sure why I always clutter the surrounding area and only leave a tiny spot for crafting.

This little corner is to the right of the closet (closet in picture#2). This is were I have my Cricut and Cuttlebug. The selves above this table are still a work in progress. On lower shelf, is a monkey and elephant. I made these using a pattern from Creative Breathing. I just love her blog! She is a great source of inspiration. Her craft room is so stinkin' cute! See the pink clock in the upper right hand corner. It use to be white, but a can of spray paint fixed that.

Above: This table is to the right of the above table. It is my paper crafting table. The small aqua cabinet, green shelf, white paint caddy and pink shelves w/ red ric-rac all use to be unfinished wood. Probably that way for the last 4 years. I just never got around to painting them. I love the ric-rac on the pink shelves (click on picture and zoom in if you can't see the ric-rac). The aqua lamp is Dear hubby's old drafting lamp. I love that color! We still have the drafting table, hmmm... maybe I should use it in the craft room.

Pink clock. The green shelf holds an old Little Red Hen book, a wonderful Nancy Drew book (I loved Nancy Drew. I read all of my aunt's vintage ND books when I visited my grandparents during the summer). The red truck was Son's when he was little. Date on truck says 1996-he would have been two. Two wonderful vintage potholders. My mom gave me the one on top and I bought the other one at a little antique store here in town.

Above: The Russian nesting dolls are authentic, brought over from Russia. The little aqua box is one Dear hubby made me several years ago just for these stamp pads. I finally painted it! Yes, crayons within reach. I use them on fabric. Crabapple Hill has some wonderful embroidery pattens that use crayons to tint or lightly add some color to the fabric.

Above: This area is used for ironing. The white shelf above the ironing board is white with red ric-rac.

Above: This is the paint caddy that my in-laws gave me. I finally painted it white. It is so handy. I love having some of my paints within sight. The other 50 or so bottles are in the closet. I also love recycling and using large tin cans for storage. See the red can. It coordinates so well with the room and it cost nothing. I use it to hold all of my brushes.

Above: Don't forget to add a splash of silliness! I learned this from Jody over at Postcards From FunTown!

Above: Shelf with Creative Breathing stuff on it. I can't wait to make more circus stuff and fill up this shelf. Maybe a Circus banner would be cute above the shelf.

Above: Vintage doll bed. Holly Hobbie, By-low baby, Winnie the Pooh and Curious George (in back right corner), just a few of my childhood toys.

Above: Tin cans again, wrapped in scrapbook paper, glued together, a place to house my copic markers.

Above: Sorry this is a little blurry. My good camera lens is broken. This is a great way to see at a glance which copic markers you have. Kind of like a key. Just draw a line with marker and then write the number of the marker by the line.

Above: The shelf above my one window. The wooden scissors is where it all started. I thought that it would be so cute painted aqua. Of course then I had to have curtains, then a shelf above the curtains, then some cutesy stuff on the shelf, then ric-rac, then of course a few flags would make the shelf so stinkin' cute. The pattern for the flags are found on Happy Zombie blog. She loves the same colors as I do: red, aqua & white! Her craft room is so stinkin' cute.

Above: Little desk by the ironing board. Holds my bakers tower, vintage cookie jar and some old books.
Thanks for visiting my craft room. I will post some more pictures tomorrow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thread Keepers

The whole month of July went by and not a single post. I am so sorry. We have just been doing summer stuff. D#2 went to Cooking Camp and loved it. This week she is at Science Camp. Next Wednesday she starts to school. Son doesn't start until Aug 27th and College D doesn't have to be on campus until August 28th. It has been hot here and even though the yard and flowers are on a timed system, they still looking drained. We have harvested tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, 3 cucumbers (they did awful this year) and a few ears of corn. I couldn't believe the corn actually produced some ears. I was mainly trying to grow them for the stalks. I use them to decorate the outside of the house in the fall. Great plan, except the stalks only grew 3 feet.

I have been crafting some fun stuff. I have made a few new thing for the craft studio and I have made some thread keepers. A thread keeper is just something that you wind your 6 strand floss or bakers twine on. It doesn't work well for sewing thread. I had so much fun planning, designing & painting. It had been a while since I had painted and it was nice to pick up a brush.

Above: Of course she has a tail on the reverse. Where the thread is wound, swiss cheese is painted.

Above: Strawberry

Above: Caroling bunny with tiny crocheted hat.

Above: Cherry, so bright and red, with stem and leaf.

Above: Creepy Crawley

Above: Things that go bump in the night...

Above: Jack-O-Lantern to help chase away your fright....

Above: A happy caramel apple, laughs with all her might....

Above: A happy Halloween crew, oh my what a sight!!

I think that I had way too much fun with these little thread keepers. Each one is only 2 5/16" tall.
What have you been working on? Tomorrow I will let you in on a big secret. It involves organizing one very big and very messy room.
Have a wonderful day!!