Saturday, January 25, 2014

Creative Play

Wanted to try out my new camera - my birthday present from Wonderful Husband! Thank you wonderful husband!!  Of course I haven't read any of the instructions yet, but I just kept pushing buttons until it seemed to work.  I can just picture my technically inclined eldest daughter cringing as she reads this!!  :-)   Anyway, here's what I've been up to lately............

 I was reading one of my favorite magazines, the October 2013 issue of Somerset Life,
when I came across the following article, by Sarah Hawkings:

 She gave a tutorial about covering small journals with vintage blankets,
embellished with trim, buttons, etc.

 Aren't they beautiful? 
So I got to thinking about ........

my VERY PLAIN journal.  I've already filled it up, but I'd been wondering how best to change
 it into something a little more appealing to look at.  So that's just what I did!

Ta Da! 
Of course, it isn't nearly as nice as the ones Ms. Hawkings made, but this is my very first one after all!  And now that I have the hang of it, I plan to do a lot more.  You see, I have diaries and journals dating back to the 5th grade and they're all in a huge variety of shapes, colors, sizes, etc.  However, if I covered them all with the same base fabric above, but used different fabrics for the embellishments, they would still be unique, but also have a more unifying look.  And why is this important you may ask?  Well, I admit it, I'm a trifle O.C.D.    Okay, okay, I'm a LOT O.C.D.  And I just thought it would look really great, displaying all my journals in one place - sort of a stroll down memory lane!
I only have about 15 more to go!

 Also last fall, I was re-reading an article by Marianne Ford that I'd cut out of a magazine some time ago.  It was in the Holiday 2011-2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.  Ms. Ford gave a tutorial on creating quilted strips of fabrics, adding a bit of bling to them, then connecting them together like old-fashioned paper chains. You can see in the picture above that she used hers as a tree garland.

Well, I don't mind following others up to a point, but I also want to put my own spin on things too.  So I decided to make fabric chains that I could drape up and over curtain rods and doorways.  The ones above are just a few of the ones I've made so far.

This shows a little better what I'm talking about.  I currently have about 10 feet of "chains".
 The best thing about these is that its "hand work", which I love to do much more than machine stitching.  And if I get bored with it, I can just put it down and do something else (like creating journal covers!)  The next best thing about them is that they're SO MUCH FUN to make!!  I get to do what artist Mary Ann Moss refers to as "Commando Sewing" by not having to stick to tried and true sewing rules.  The idea here is just to let your imagination fly - along with the buttons, beads, fibers, and anything else you can think of to add a little more color and texture!
 Each strip is connected by snaps (my own addition) which makes them easier to put together
or take apart, easier to store, easier to make into different lengths, etc.
 And because a lot of hand stitching is involved, I can work on them during my lunch break at work -
when I need something to get my mind off of ......WORK!!  I also thought about doing some in cream colors, sort of a soothing cool palette for summertime d├ęcor.
Well, there you have it!  My latest and greatest!  As you can see, it's never boring at the Fursdon House!  BTW - If anyone would like me to scan these two articles and send to you by e-mail, just drop me a line at
And MANY THANKS to both Ms. Hawkings and Ms. Ford, for giving me and others a great way to add a little more creativity into our lives!
May God Bless, Jan