Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue Jean Lovers of the World Unite!!

Yes, it's taken me FOREVER to return to my blog because I had a wonderful opportunity to visit Scott Antique Market in Atlanta recently!  I was on a buying trip with my mother-in-law, Valerie Fursdon, for her antiques shop, Valerie Fursdon, Inc., here in Huntsville, Alabama. Hey, somebody has to help her shop!

If you've never been to Scott's, I URGE you to go!  It's open once monthly on the second weekend, Friday through Sunday.  It's HUGE and has everything from old world antiques to lovely vintage pieces and everything else in between!  We literally walked for hours, at both buildings (across the road from each other) and we still didn't see everything!  Check out their web site at:

Anyway, after returning home with some LOVELY vintage broaches, an antique French grain sack, and a large stack of antique lace and crochet (photos of these to follow soon!), my creative juices were working overtime so I managed to finish the Blue Jean Pocket Banner I'd started earlier!  See what you think!

This is Thistle Cat, helping me in the creation process!  Not sure what I'd do without her guiding hand (Uh...I mean paw)!    

Here's what I did!  I recycled denim blue jean pockets from raggedy ones I found at a flew market, then emblished each one with a variety of beads, buttons, appliques, silk flowers, trim - anything I could find to jazz things up a bit!  I also left the pocket backs intact so you can display items (flowers, candy, etc.) inside each pocket while the banner is hanging!  I inserted eyelets (not too easy on denim seams I assure you!) and strung a lovely pink ribbon through for hanging.  The banner measures 5'2" from the front of the first pocket to the back of the last pocket, with a generous amount of pink ribbon on each end to tie off with.

It would work great for a girl's birthday party (young or older!) or for anyone who wants to show off their individual style and love for blue jeans!

I had a great time making these!  The hard part was keeping my granddaughter from seeing them!  She has a passion for PINK anything and I've already got a set planned for her birthday! 

For anyone interested in having a more personalized one (such as another color combination other than pink, or using text or numeric characters), just send me an e-mail at, or leave me a comment on this post.

Until later than. . .I hope everyone is having a lovely day!  May God Bless! Jan of Fursdon House

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fabric Wall Art - Pretty Pastel Patches!

Whew! I'd thought I'd never get these loaded up to my shop on Etsy!  You see - I'm still too new at this technical stuff to go very fast.  And I frequently undo what I did without wanting to!  Part of the problem is that I'm used to my computer at work - with massive amounts of power behind it.  Then I come home to mine (my husband Nigel's actually) and it ......m..o..v..e..s.....m..u..c..h....s..l..o..w..e..r.!

It doesn't help when I keep pressing keys to try and speed things up - kind of like pushing an elevator button that's already lit - because you just know that if you push it, it will make it go much faster!

Anyway, loading to my blog is much easier, and it has the added advantage of allowing me to TALK!!  Poor YOU!!

Would you believe it - these 24 "patches"  were initially intended for a Christmas Advent Calendar!  Then I realized they'd only be displayed once a year and I decided they were too pretty not to keep out all year.  So I came up with the idea of making a hanging out of them.  Then - quite by chance - I was literally given two beautiful real wood frames that just happen to perfectly frame 12 of them!! Talk about serendipity!!

I deliberately cut the patches "free hand" (i.e., without measuring) as I wanted to emphasize it's one-of-a-kind quality.  Some of the buttons are vintage, some new; the beads are all new, though with a vintage "feel" to them.  I especially love the taupe-colored appliques - lovely vintage pieces I found in my stash of goodies that I knew I'd find a use for some day!  The patches themselves are "Warm and Natural" quilt batting hand-sewn on a background of natural linen fabric.  I LOVE linen!  You'll probably see it a lot more in my work!  I wear it a lot too.  So what if it wrinkles; it breathes and allows your body to do the same!

I especially like the fact I was able to salvage/recycle something.  My grandmother (Gran) just gave me "thumbs up" from Heaven!  She recycled everything, way back before recycling was all the rage.  She did it out of necessity, raising three girls while my grandfather (Pop, also in Heaven) worked as a carpenter mostly (and any other type of job he could find) to keep his family going.   I have very strong family roots, for which I'm eternally grateful!!

Well, that's it for now.  I want to get started on another piece!  This time it's a decorative banner! 

This "blogging thing" is really cool!  Hope you're all having a lovely day!  Jan

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Handmade Greeting Card

I'm afraid my photography skills are limited!  This picture is of my very first greeting card!  It was to my aunt, Pat McCay, for her recent birthday!  I added clear seed beads in the center square and clear glass bugle beads in each petal of the flower.  I purchased the fabric a couple of years ago, in Seattle, Washington.  I had no idea what to use it for at the time; I just knew it was too beautiful and unusual not to get at least a yard or so!  When I rediscovered it, I cut a small piece off, stitched it onto cardstock, and added the bead embelishments.  I then frayed the edges on all four sides and finished by sewing two clear buttons above and below the fabric.

I prefer cards that are blank inside, as I prefer writing my own sentiments, so this made it especially easy for me!

My goal is to create more of my own greeting cards for family and friends.  Perhaps I'll even create some for my on-line shop at!

Hope you're enjoying a lovely day! May God Bless, Jan of Fursdon House

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Entering Blogland!!

To say I'm out of my comfort zone is putting it mildly! Until very recently, technology and I only agreed to co-exist on the same planet as long as there wasn't much interaction between us. Now here I am - much to the amazement of my daughters in particular - posting my first entry into Blogland! You see - I'm the one who still hasn't figured out how to take pictures with my cell phone. Consequently, I have lots of photos of the inside of my purse! Oh well, that's what I have a camera for anyway!

Not sure how to begin, so I'll just start. Recently I created an online shop with Etsy; it's called Fursdon House. I love it! I actually have a shop on-line!! I'm so excited!! I've wanted a shop of my own for as long as I can remember; a place where I could showcase items I had created entirely myself and also a place to sell other beautiful objects. You see - I have this knack of finding items that I think are particularly beautiful or useful (per William Morris I believe), or at least items that could be beautiful or useful. And I embellish them, rework them, repaint them, revamp them......whatever you want to call it. I just make them over into my own personal treasures as opposed to "cookie cutter" items that everyone else has. I also like to start from the ground up, which is what led me to create my own tea cozies. Seemed like all the ones I found looked too similar to each other, so I decided to develop my own! I was extremely fortunate to find a wholesaler nearby (The English Table in Huntsville, Alabama) that agreed to carry my cozies. But after creating about 80 of them over the past two years, my interest was starting to wane. Finally I got the nerve to put a few on Etsy and here I am today!

Somehow, the act of opening Fursdon House on Etsy helped me realize I was no longer limited in what I created and the floodgates have been open ever since! I have so many "ideas" floating around in my head it's all I can do to sleep at night. This isn't overly helpful when you consider I have a full-time job as the Chief of Medical Records and the Privacy Officer at our local military medical treatment facility (Fox Army Health Center, on Redstone Arsenal, AL). I have to admit though - my wonderful husband, Nigel, and my lovely mother, Joy, make my creative endeavors possible. Without them constantly "picking up the slack", I'd never have had time to do half of what I've already accomplished!

As for creativity, I've been blessed with a family that has it in spades! My grandmother, both my aunts, my mother, my cousins, myself - we all have a great desire and ability to make things uniquely our own, whether it's sewing, cooking, writing, painting, poetry. . .the list seems endless. My own daughters say they aren't creative in the typical sense (though I think otherwise), but my granddaughter already has her own sewing machine and she and I frequently spend time together "creating" in our studio!

Having said all this, it wasn't until the past year or so that I finally admitted to myself that I was an artist! Okay, so I'm a little slow. I just never thought I'd ever be considered an artist by anyone, so I didn't bother considering it myself. But there's something about approaching (and now turning) the 50-year mark that puts things in a different perspective altogether. That half-century mark is what I consider a right of passage! It's as if I've finally "come into my own" and the feeling is fabulous! For the first time ever, I feel as if I can create anything I want, just for the sheer joy there is in creating it!

So......having said all this, I'd better get busy!! Creation is waiting in the wings!!

May God Bless,
Jan of Fursdon House