Thursday, July 24, 2014

Letterpress Drawer Decor

This past Saturday, I helped my mom tackle the epic task of cleaning out her craft room.  She gave a lot away. I brought 3 big polyfill boxes (the ones that hold 10 lbs worth of polyester stuffing!) and we filled them all with stuff to donate.  2 boxes went to Craft Bits & Pieces, an awesome thrift store for craft supplies in Fairport NY.  And 1 box I brought to the MAAC Thrift store.  But of course, I got to bring some stuff home for myself.  It was like a free garage sale! One of my favorite things I brought home is this letterpress drawer.  I've always though they were cool and have seen them used in home decor before in magazines and online.  So I was psyched to have my very own. Last night, CJ got hardware to hang it on the wall and we've both been having fun deciding what we can display in there... and I'm filling in the blanks with my vintage thread spool collection!

I like that I finally have a good spot to display all the cool little things I have around... especially the things I've gotten from local artists I've met at craft shows. There's the "Spike Troll" and carved heart spool from Wonderful Whittlin', the felt bunnies from Moya Lazy Factory, my domino pendant from Cloud9 Jewels, my Minion peg doll from Sweet Whimsy Designs, and my felt mouse from Lumpy Buttons.  

There are 3 mice and 3 aliens in this picture.

The figure drawing model looks like a zombie.  I hate zombies, but it was the only way to make him fit in the space.  Plus it makes me giggle.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Difficult Month

I realize I've been pretty absent of the blog for awhile.  I haven't written anything since the beginning of June.
  (Warning: This blog post is going to be kind of personal.) June was a pretty crazy month for me.  There was just a lot going on.  I was organizing the RNEST Etsy Craft Party and had back-to-back craft shows (I'll do some back entries with pictures of those), and then had to build up my stock to get ready for my next show.  

But the biggest thing was that my mother-in-law was sick with stage-4 cancer.  My husband and I visited her on the weekend of my birthday (June 21st) and I recognized that it was likely the last time I'd see her this side of heaven. 

I took this picture of us together right before I left.

My husband stayed for 2 weeks after that to help take care of her.  He was with her when she passed away on July 1st...3 days before my big July 4th show.  I soldiered on and did the show anyway...packing up all my product and displays when the show was over, dropping it off at home, grabbing our luggage, sending the dog home with my mom, and driving the 4 hours to Cleveland that night because the funeral was the next morning.  This was the first year I didn't get to see 4th of July fireworks (although, technically, I did see some in the distance as we were driving).

Tiny fireworks in the distance.

And my poor husband.  July 4th is his birthday.  He usually doesn't make a big deal out of it, and he doesn't mind me doing the Lyndonville 4th of July Craft Show every year on his birthday.  But I know his birthday is going to be tinged with sadness for awhile as he remembers his mom's passing each year.

I've been to funerals before, but for some reason this one was particularly hard... even though I know my mother-in-law knew Jesus and is in heaven.  I don't think I've ever cried so much at a funeral before.  I guess it was the reality of a parent dying hitting me.  Although I've been pretty okay since after going to the cemetery.  I had a lot of "anticipatory grief" in the weeks leading to her passing.  And I've read that anticipatory grief doesn't make the period of grieving shorter when the loved one finally passes, but I feel like for me it did.  I am sad I won't be able to see her again in this life and will miss her so much when we visit my husband's family at the holidays, but I am glad she doesn't have to suffer in this broken world anymore and is in glory with the Lord..

Even though I haven't cried as much since the day of her funeral, some things still make me tear up, of course.  An episode of Scrubs where the patient is dying of cancer.  Certain songs.  I don't think I'll be able to hear "Amazing Grace" for a long time without crying.  There was a bagpiper who played it at the cemetery... which was so beautiful, but at the same time so heartwrenching.

Sympathy flowers from my husband's workplace.
But ultimately, I choose to remember the good times I had with her and what an amazing, strong woman she was.  And I couldn't have asked for a better mother-in-law. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

RNEST's Etsy Craft Party! (June 2014)

Here are some pictures from the RNEST Etsy Craft Party!

We didn't have a huge turnout...June 6th was the first Friday of the month, and "First Friday" is a big thing in the art community in Rochester.  There are lots of different events going on around town, and many of our RNEST members had committed to being at First Friday events. But the people that showed up to the Craft Party had a lot of fun getting creative with old pictures!

 We colorized black and white photos with watercolors (this works best if the photo is printed on cardstock.  The watercolors don't take too well to regular photo paper)

We also used embroidery floss and stitched on the photos (which was a "suggested project" for the party on the Etsy blog)

I  went a step further  and added buttons to my project that I did at home.

And there was also the "fairy nest jar" project...

We used one of the large classrooms at our local Joann Fabric & Craft stores. (Did you know you can reserve a classroom for free as long as there's not a class scheduled?)

Here's a look at some of the finished projects!


Monday, June 2, 2014

RNEST Etsy Craft Party Projects

Here are a couple examples of projects we'll be doing at the RNEST Etsy global Craft Party.
I used copies of an old photo of my grandmother (printed on cardstock).

Colorize photos with watercolors

Embroidered photos

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Easy Vintage Spool Photo Holders

Vintage wooden spool picture holders. These are great for displaying vintage photos. 

All you need is an old wooden thread spool and a paperclip that fits snugly into the hole! Then use the paperclip to hold your picture up. I like this style better than the style I've seen online where you actually saw a groove into the spool. With this style, the spool is left intact in case you want to use it for something else.

I'll be using these to decorate the tables at RNEST's Etsy Craft Party this upcoming Friday (June 6th).

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trip to the Arboretum: Magnolias & My Dog

My friend Amy told me that the magnolias were blooming this week and that I should go for a walk at the arboretum before it rained later in the week. So CJ and I took Luna there for a walk tonight and I took pictures of her and magnolias. I take pictures of them every year, but it just never gets old! They're so pretty!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Monsters Inc Chalkboard Classroom Door

My mom called me on Monday and asked if I could come down to the school she works at and do some chalk drawings sometime this week.  Over the weekend, the school had painted all the classroom doors with chalkboard paint so the teachers could decorate them without violating the fire code (apparently it's against fire code to decorate the doors with anything paper....a rule I've never heard of before)  The teacher's name is Ms. Sullivan, so mom thought I should do a drawing of Sully from Monsters Inc.

So I drove out to Spencerport on Tuesday morning.  I had a big box of Crayola sidewalk chalk, but I also had the idea to bring my chalk pastels because the colors are more vibrant.

The tree, swing, and "Swing Into Spring" text were already on the door when I got there.  Mom wanted me to add Sully underneath it.  While I was working on it, she suggested adding Mike Wazowski on the swing.

I worked on the door while the kids were at lunch, and they were all very impressed when they came back!  I got a lot of nice comments from students and teachers who were walking down the hall as well.

Later in the week, my mom told me in a comment on Facebook "I heard a kid walk by and say, "Yeah, They hired a professional artist to do it." Also you have now motivated others to use pastels on their door. It was just what everyone needed to get creative in our hallway."

Mayday Is Coming!

Mayday Underground is just a week away!
This is my face right now.
 These are some of the monsters I will be selling there. After Mayday Underground, whatever sweater monsters are left, I will be listing them in my Etsy Shop.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Week-In-Photos: Jan 27th - Feb 1st

I didn't take many pictures last week for some reason.  Here's a peek at what few I did take...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week-In-Pictures: January 19- 25

I was finally ready to get back in the swing of things this week, so I did a lot of sewing.  You'll probably see a few of these pictures in their larger forms in blog posts later in the week.

  1. "Karate Belt Color" Ninja Nubbin set I listed in my Etsy shop
  2. Black & White Ninja Nubbin Battle!
  3. "Princess Girl" Ninja Nubbin set I listed in my Etsy shop (yes, I know boys can like pink and purple too, but the truth is that the majority of kids that like pink & purple are girls)
  4. "Ethiopia" Nubbins I made at the request of a friend.  She and her husband adopted twin boys from Ethiopia a few years ago (I want to say 3 years ago).  The end of this month is the anniversary of bringing them home, so she wanted to give hem a special present.
  5. Figuring out the design on the "Ethiopia" Nubbins.  Cutting out a tiny Africa and even tinier heart was a challenge!
  6.  Every time someone finds out that I made "Where The Wild Things Are" inspired Nubbins and requests me to make a set, I have to figure out how to make the monster one all over again!  These Nubbins were something I only planned on making once for my own artistic satisfaction.  I never intended to recreate them, but people keep requesting them and I have a hard time saying no!
  7.  Red and Pink "Eye Love You!" One-Eyed Nubbins that I am planning on putting into my Etsy shop soon for Valentine's Day.
  8.  I had to order more black safety eyes from Dan's Crafts & Things.  I usually prefer to go buy the eyes in person at the store in Webster, NY instead of ordering online, but I needed to get more eyes before I was going to go into Rochester next, so I ordered online.  I love these guys!  The manager and a couple of the employees know who I am (they have their own, honorary Nubbin mascot I gave to them).  It made me smile when I saw this little drawing that was on my package that came in the mail.  You gotta love small business!
  9. I learned how to crochet a "Granny Triangle"!