December 31, 2012

Pillows and Books

I would have never gotten into this whole blogging thing if not for a renewal of an old friendship. Since retirement I have the luxury of spending time again with friends who, like me, had little time to nurture and cherish the people we really like to be around.  Tess and I can't even remember exactly how we met. It was in the 1970's and we both lived in the tiny village where I still reside. But, it was a great match because we both love to talk and she is an incredibly good writer and I enjoy reading anything she writes.
When we rekindled the friendship I learned she had a blog. You can DO that? I went to hers (Books,Art, Life and a Cat) and started reading. all the way from the first to the last posting. As a former school librarian, I was always a book fan, but this was something I knew nothing about. Rare and antiquarian books are her field and she has built a great little business. Her website is Garrison House Books.

Pillow given to Tess with her logo

If you have clicked on the last link you will see her logo. The image of a young Jane Austen era young woman in a red velvet chair who has been disturbed from her reading by SOMETHING! Not very long ago I discovered this same timid female on THE GRAPHICS FAIRY (HERE)
The image worked out very well on an Osnaburg fabric pillow with a wide flange border, don't you think?
With an urge to try to buy locally or make as many gifts as possible, we set up a trade. She got a pillow I had done for a friend and I got a book. We had a rather silly exchange on facebook where the message read. "You bring the pillows and I'll bring the books". Sounds like a literary pajama party.
The pillow traded for a book

The book is THE SEWING BOOK by Ann Jessup from 1913 and the young girls have been so charming that I asked Karen, THE GRAPHICS FAIRY if she would like them.  She loved them and I have sent her all six and she has already posted one HERE.

The book traded for a pillow

December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

No real blog this week.
I'm just posting some pictures of some
of the ornaments on our little tree.
The spool garland was a gift. Love it!

Beaded star from Santa Fe, NM

That little thing on the left is from a sweet gum tree to which I added
 white glitter and a raffia tie

December 16, 2012

Creative Need

When I first retired I thought I should paint. After all, I had earned my undergrad degree in art education. But, painting was not my forte then and years of admiring other's work has not somehow caused me to be any more skillful with the brush.  So I started using the canvas as a framework for textiles and three-dimensional objects in collages. One of the first things I did is HERE . I didn't use a canvas for that one.

Graphics Fairy bird and butterfly
Then I began stretching the fabric over stretcher frames which you can buy in various sizes and put together yourself in a variety of dimensions.

This one required a lot of hand stitching which I really like to do. A bit of fabric glue was also involved.
I have managed to aquire a number of old vintage lace and embroidered hankies and this is another way to use fabric samples like I used in some pillows.

The dancing children from THE GRAPHICS FAIRY inspired this one.
The most difficult challenge here was to find a way to curve the lettering just right and then reverse the image so I could use the Leslie Riley TAP paper and iron it on. AND, I even changed the color of the image to green using a laborious process in before I discovered

This next one is because I love France and THE GRAPHICS FAIRY has so many great images reflecting the ambience.     

The perfume bottle is from the GRAPHICS FAIRY but I changed the colors. The label and the butterfly are from her, too. The lovely lady in the boudoir is from BUMBLE BUTTON.     
I thought you might like to see how the back is finished off by stapling a muslin covering to the stretcher frame and hiding all the exposed fabric edges and adding the hanging wire.
You can see more at my Etsy shop.

December 9, 2012

Inspiration from the Next Generation

I started this blog with the inspiration from my grandmothers and mother who had all been needlewomen in various ways. Now I am inspired by my daughter who is NOT so handy with needle and thread but is equally creative.  A couple of years ago she made us all charming little paintings on teeny little canvasses and strung them together to make these.

Unfortunately, I only have this one to show you and I should have straightened it up before the photo. With limited supplies on hand she strung it together with black yarn which I should trade out for ribbon...someday.

What appears to be printed fabrics on these is done with a transfer technique so they look as if they are painted on. She then painted on top of that.
I really like the format and the little canvasses are cheap and easy to find. But, being more skilled at working with fabric I made my own versions with fabrics and the help of THE GRAPHICS FAIRY.

The canvasses in this one measure 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches each. I love the little seamstress on the top.  I added a real vintage button for more texture.

Now something for the nursery or little girl's room:
These both use a nice unbleached muslin as a background and only the
teddy bear and the baby shoes are not from THE GRAPHICS FAIRY. They are from GRAPHIQUE on Etsy.
Speaking of Etsy, you can see more on my shop at


December 2, 2012

Supporting the Habit

When I had the craft show fail, I said I was thinking about setting up an Etsy shop. Well, I did it this past week! I love the process. It is sooo easy to do and not a big expense to set up your own business (plug, plug). And as another plug HERE is the link to my Etsy shop.

 The business and moneymaking aspects were not what spurred me to do this, but rather a way to support my habit. Creating is my habit and fabric and thread is my drug of choice.  I am happiest messing around in this mess of a sewing/computer room and I need to be surrounded by fabric. I cannot resist the lure of textiles!

I went into Joann Fabrics the other day to get buttons or maybe even just one large button and left with those,  but also another 3 yards of fabric.

Great holiday basket found at THE GRAPHICS FAIRY
 I decided I needed to get into the season so I created 2 Christmas holiday aprons.  One uses an image a GRAPHICS FAIRY image and the other one employs the crazy red and green dot fabric I picked up.

Francine is wearing her Christmas choker!
This departs from my usual method. The fabric applique is machine sewn with a zig-zag stitch.
The large and small wreath use a wider looser stitch while the Christmas ornaments and their string are sewn with a narrower and tighter zig-zag.