Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Sunday from Down South in the Heat Furnace!!

Hi Everyone!  Yes, it's quite miserable here.  A high of 97 today, with humidity out the ying-yang!! Everything normal for Alabama, though even this is a bit much for June!!  I was going out to my studio, but since it doesn't have electricity yet and since fans aren't quite making it for me today, I decided I'd stay inside (at a lovely 73 degrees!) and post to the ole blog-a-roonie!!  Poor you!

Yesterday it seemed a little cooler, so I did work in the studio.  Managed to clean things up quite a bit, take some photos, and C.R.E.A.T. (yea!!!) several items I wanted to share with you.  See what you think!

This little beauty was given to me by my Super Sweet Mom!! Thank you MOMMY!!  Especially since you KNEW I was going to paint it, and even paint it P.I.N.K.!!!!! I love this shade of pink, which reminds me of my Gran!

This piece came from New York when Mom and Dad traveled up there when we kids were young, maybe when we were about 13 or 14 years old (about 1973 or 1974).  Of course it was originally stained wood (aka: boring brown shades) so I decided to give it NEW life!!

The knobs came from  T.J. Maxx.  I've had them for at least 3 years, not at all sure what to do with them, but I knew they were "keepers".  So they very politely waited their turn till now!  I may still jazz them up a bit, but for now, it looks fine!

The flowered paper insert replaced what was originally pierced tin.  Not sure where that is now though, so I thought the paper might work because it's in another favorite color - aquamarine. 

The hanging heart was a fabulous gift from Molly Pearce of Material Gal Molly, in a swap I did last year.  Isn't it lovely!!??  I've hung it in several different places, but I think it's found it's perfect home right here!  Thank you again Molly! It's beautiful!!

See the folded "thingy" on the left side of the cabinet?  That's a lovely old piece that used to belong to my Aunt Von, who gave it to my Mom, who has since given it to me!  It's in a sad state of disrepair right now, but it has a fabulous future in store for it!  I've coveted it for many, many years!  See! All good things come to those who wait - however impatiently they may have waited!!  At least that's how I see it!!  (he he)

Now this little book is what I call an exercise in "Jan Letting Go"!!  Control freak that I am, this is NOT an easy thing to do!  But I'm very pleased with the results.  The little book is about 4" x 6", with unruled pages, perfect for our trip to Seattle this Tuesday (for my daughter Liz' wedding).  I wanted something small and easy to carry so I could pull it out at a moment's notice and draw whatever I'm interested in - sort of a travel journal with sketches. I've been wanting to do one for awhile, and this should do the trick very nicely!

Unfortunately, the front and back covers were.........UGLY!!  But hey - it was free! So I just took some peach colored card stock, measured it against the existing (ugly) cover, cut it out, put a little glue on the center and stuck it to the cover (to hold it place), then I ran it under the sewing machine till I was satisfied with it.  
Here's inside the front cover.  The idea was to be loose and unplanned. I didn't even draw the words on beforehand (which explains why the "N" got a little screwy and was turning into a "W" until I realized what I was doing). It's strictly free-style machine sewing and quite a lot of fun once you get the hang of it!   
Here's the back cover.  I just repeated the same process as I did on the front, but I was getting tired of the heat by this time so I just kept it simple! I was a little surprised - pleasantly so - that it worked so easily and that my machine so easily stitched it onto the existing card stock cover.  I was concerned that the presser foot would get caught in the ring binding, but it didn't!  Gives me LOTS of ideas for the future because I have TONS of notebooks of various sizes and shapes, which I can now make into lovely pieces of art!!
Isn't this FABULOUS!!??  Isabel created it in art class at school!  Yes, she DEFINITELY has the creative genes of her very proud "Gummy"!!!  I was simply AMAZED with her use of color!  I've asked her to color the wooden handle too, then I'm going to frame it, perhaps with a black velvet background.

Now - for my hand made cards!!

If you know anything at all about the Fursdons, you know we're all CAT people!!  And Valerie, my sweet mother-in-law, has a birthday coming up in a week!  And Valerie is by far the most fanatical cat/animal person of the whole family!  Hmmmm.......what to do?

It turns out that about a year or so ago, I was at one of my favorite thrift shops in town (whose entire proceeds benefit a no-kill animal shelter), when I spotted this sleeveless dress.  It had a black background with these lovely CAT prints all over it!  And since I'm what is referred to as a "rather buxom lass" (Stop laughing!!), I had plenty of material to work with!  So I cut out all the cats, again with no clue what I planned to do with them, and packed them away for future use.  But once again, fate intervened!
Last week, I was rummaging through my "stuff", trying to think of something to create for Valerie's birthday when I came across the cats.  Now the old brain started churning!  And what's really nice is that I was able to recycle some of my Etsy "product cards", which I'd ordered a ton of because they were cheaper if bought in bulk.  Unfortunately, Murphy (my cousin!) struck and they became a wee mite out of date!  No problem though. I tested my idea first by cutting out a cat print and sewing it to the back of the card. I held it up to the light to see if any of the information "bled through" and could be seen.  Not even a shadow!! Perfect! 
So I cut out ALL the cat prints. Ugh! I already had some blank cards and envelopes on hand that coordinated perfectly with the prints!  I put a little tacky tape on the wrong side of the fabric (to hold it in place on the back side of the product card), then stitched around the outlines of each cat. 
Next came some fine-tuning by way of taking a micron fine point black marker and drawing out their whiskers onto the white card stock, as well as defining some of their little paw nails.  But I still thought it needed "a little something" so I zigzag stitched around each card with a color coordinating thread.  To ensure it didn't unravel, I put a small line of glue on top of the thread on the back side of the card.  I then added tacky tape in strategic spots on the back and pasted the card onto the brown base card. 
Because the brown was so dark, I was a little concerned that writing wouldn't show up very well, so I glued another cream colored card to the inside.  And there you have it!!
Ta Da!!   My very first set of greeting cards from Fursdon House!!

Whew!  This turned into a rather long post, which is just as well because, as I mentioned earlier, we're off to Seattle day after tomorrow. So I probably won't post for at least another week, if not longer. And somewhere in there, I HAVE to complete a scrapbook for the Mother-Daughter Caribbean Cruise that Laura recently took Isabel on!!  I'll be SO GLAD when I can retire (God willing, only 5 more years!!) so I can create full time!! And - wildest, most marvelous dream of all - I'll have my very own bricks and mortar shop in addition to my on-line Etsy shop!!

Take care and may God bless, Jan