Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Can't forget the 13th day of Christmas!

Lelainia Lloyd created a package of pure fun for the 13th day of Christmas (which occurred for me, on the 7th day when everyone else opened my gift). Lelainia's gift was stuffed full of ephemera (inspiring stuff to get me going on some art projects in the new year), a yummy looking recipe, a Christmas CD (which I've played almost nonstop since I opened it) ...

... and an exquisite Shabby Chic-ish star which predominately hangs on my little pink feather Christmas tree.

This 12 Days of Christmas swap has been a lot of fun with such talented artists taking part.

In a couple hours, it will be Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas to you all.
God bless us, everyone!

The 12th Day

An beautiful hand stamped fabric bird
for the 12th day of Christmas
arrived this morning
courtesy of Debra Cooper
of A Little Imagination and a Pile of Junk.

Debra creates funky patterned stamps
to achieve her own designs
which are always innovative
and well done.

I love the danglies too, Debra ~ fun!
Thank you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's the 11th day of Christmas ~ Time flies by

Look what flew over the pond
from Liz Smith in England!
It's a Primitive Country Style stuffed birdie
to adorn my Christmas tree. Each side features a different fabric pattern. The eyes of the bird are made by stitching thread through the
I love its simplicity.

Isn't it sweet?
Thank you so much Liz.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The 10th day of Christmas is stuffed with nostalgia

Leave it to Barbara Atwell
to come up with something as simple,
but as amazingly elegant as these precious Christmas decorations!
She photocopied some vintage photos of children ...
colourized them, stuffed them and ...
sewed them up, adding a string hanger and a star.
I love this idea Barbara!
Mind if I borrow it?
These charming decorations will adorn my tree every year.
This one has already found a home on my pink feather tree!

I think I'll call her Barbara.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dotty on the 9th Day of Christmas

The 9th day of Christmas
came in several pieces
all the way from New Zealand.
Don't worry,
it's a good thing.
Lisa Ryder created a dotty collage
(4"x6") along with a set of
12 charming
Artist Trading Cards (ATCs).

She incorporated humour and
good design. It's been a long time
since I've been in an ATC swap,
so this was lots of fun to receive.
Thanks Lisa!

P.S. Doesn't the dotty collage compliment the new look of my blog? It wasn't really planned that way, obviously, but fun, anyway.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

8th Day of Christmas is hand-stitched with love

The lovely Fiona Mortimore
from Down Under
created a couple of
handmade treasures
for Day #8.
Aren't they just the prettiest?!

To me, the hand-stitched birdie
looks Scandinavian.
Whatever its origin,
it looks perfect on my Christmas tree.

And the fabric bookmark is
Shabby Chic-ishly wonderful!
The bookmark is just perfect
to use it in my big Van Gogh book.

Friday, December 19, 2008

7th Day of Christmas & the Ties that Bind

The 7th day of Christmas is my day to give back to all the wonderful artists participating in the 12 Days of Christmas. It's just after midnight here, and I wanted to post this so that it would be up for the overseas gals.
It took me the longest time to decide what to make for this year's swap.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a serious Sewing Phobia, so I am very proud of myself. I stretched real hard, and jumped completely out of the box by making these little Tie Pockets. Each gift was created by using an old neckties from the the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s! I found some of these delightful ties at the ReUse Centre, one was my dad's, and a couple I snuck out of my husband's closet! Once I had assembled 12 ties, I tried as best I could to match everyone's colour preferences. Also whenever possible, I added embellishments I felt each person may like. My friend Shelly, was kind enough to lend me her sewing machine, and I was off ... going where I hadn't gone since eighth grade home ec. class ... to use a scary, scary sewing machine. Argh! The first couple ties I made were pretty rough. (You'll probably know if I made yours first ... or maybe you won't *smile*) However, as I went along, I actually started to enjoy myself. I decided that straight lines weren't that important, which took a lot of pressure off, too. Each Tie Pocket has a button with Velcro fasteners to keep them securely closed. Finally, I made 3 cards to stuff into the completed Tie Pockets: Permission to Play, Permission to Make Mistakes and Artist of the Year. I had photos of some of the 12 day artists, so for those folks, I added "Photo ID" (or would that be Faux-toe ID?) to the Artist of the Year cards, just in case they have to use it at an airport or something. MOO cards seemed to be an obvious choice for one last item to stuff into the Tie Pockets for my friends ~ each MOO card features some art piece that I've done in the past. Finally, I wrapped the gifts in simple old-fashioned tissue paper with sparkles and added little Christmas tags featuring little children and angels (another great find from ReUse). I hope everyone likes the Tie Pockets I made them and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.
Now please excuse me while I secretly open the
mysterious #13 gift from Lelainia ....

By the way, I made an extra Artist of the Year card for my son Zachary because he is fast becoming an
excellent artist in his own right!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The 6th day of Christmas is pretty, pretty!

Ruth O'Connor crafted this pretty, pretty pink (!) lace cuff bracelet for me on the 6th Day of Christmas. I love the vintage-ness of it all! It's very clever too, because this bracelet is kind of a one-size-fits-all type. The crocheted holes allow for the button to be done up anywhere. And doesn't it look lovely on my pink tree?

Tomorrow is my big day in the 12 Days of Christmas swap ~ my Day 7 gifts will be opened up by the other ladies and I get to open Lelainia's #13 gift! I hope everyone will like them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5th Day of Christmas arrives with lace & bling ...

Arlene of Art De Me created one of her masterpiece wallets for me ... finally! I've seen some of these wallets before that she has made for her family, and I've hinted quite loudly that I would love to have one for my very own, and now I do, thanks to the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.
I love everything about the wallet, Arlene. From the blingy buttons, to the nativity postage stamps, to the vintage doilies to the handwriting ~ you really do know me, my friend. As you say: more glitter!
For anyone fortunate enough to now one, you should know that these babies wear really well. Arlene still uses the original wallet she made as a prototype and it's holding up after years of use. And with all the pockets inside, there is plenty of room for one's myriad of cards (including MOOs).

P.S. Arlene, I love the face inside the pocket area of my wallet. Was that done intentionally? Very cool!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

4th Day of Christmas ... at my house

The amazing work of Jeannie Peragrine is the gift for the 4th day of Christmas. I love the texture of the house and the vintage accents (old white buttons, pencil and Bingo chip) that she used in my little green house.
There is script on the house that reads: "Oh where, do the fairies dwell?" Perhaps in this charming little house!
Thanks Jeannie ~ you made this so "me"!

Monday, December 15, 2008

3rd day of Christmas fun and games

Look at the wonderfully playful necklace Amy created for us on the third day of Christmas! She soldered two antique looking game pieces (ivory-like domino and a wooden "D" initial) and strung them on a silver ball chain. I wore mine today and have had several compliments on them already.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the 2nd day of Christmas ...

Penelope gave to me ... a teeny tiny cloth hand bound book and I must say that I was very impressed with the craftsmanship of this giftie! It looks like something ancient, from long ago. It must have taken Penelope forever to make 12 of these for everyone in the 12 days of Christmas swap!

The little volume has found a new home beneath my pink feather Christmas tree!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blog draw!

Oh lookie here! Susan Tuttle has a brand new book out and she's giving one away on her website, here! You can also buy it on Amazon.

It looks like a pretty amazing book and a great addition to any mixed-media artist's resource library.

1st day of Christmas ... or biting the bullet?

Kathy Strittmater has started off the 12 Days of Christmas with a bang! She ingeniously crafted a beautiful pendant using a bullet casing. Here's her story...

The Long Lost Bullet
by Kathy Strittmater
A long time ago a friend of mine gave me a bag of tarnished used bullet casings in various sizes and he said "I know you'll figure out something to do with these". I've had them for years and recently thought about making a pendant out of them for our exchange. Since there were several sizes, and I'm not the least bit knowledgeable about guns and bullets, I took the bag to work to ask some of the men that hunt if they could tell me about the different sizes.
I started with my boss, and that was the wrong person to ask. He promptly told me that I had violated our company policy on bringing firearms and contraband into the workplace and he could immediately terminate my employment. I stood there stunned and said "are you serious – they are empty bullet casings" and he said it didn't matter, it was a violation of our policy and I needed to get them off property immediately. I was not allowed to go put them in my car as we have a vehicle search policy at any time and now that he knows that I have them, I cannot put them in my car or they could
search it.
I am still in shock and disbelief at this point because to me it was so innocent. So, I took the plastic bag of casings across the street from our building and put it in a ditch. I wrote
myself a note and taped it on my steering wheel so I would remember and pick them up after work that night. I figured I was now good to go.
Well………lo and behold, I leave work at the end of the day to come out to the parking lot and I see a street resurfacing crew tearing up
the street and they are right by the ditch where I left the bullets. There were several pieces of heavy machinery right there moving dirt and I knew for sure the idea of getting my bag of bullets was long gone. They have to be buried in dirt and asphalt by this point.
was so distraught – I was about ready to cry. I was bound and determined to get more casings, so I looked up in the phone book to see if there was a gun shop in this small town where I work, and I went on my lunch hour the next day, found what I wanted, purchased the casings, left them there to come back and pick up after work (explained to the old man why I couldn't take them with me at that time) and I made what you have today.
The original ones were all tarnished and I was in love with them, but hopefully the new ones will get tarnished sometime. So, something so simple could have cost me my job, but never my spirit. I hope you enjoy wearing the "Long Lost Bullet".

Thank you Kathy for the beautiful pendant. I shall cherish it ~ especially after hearing what you had to go through to create it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sights & sounds of Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. I love the sights and the sounds of the season, don't you?
The 12 Days of Christmas Swap is about to start (this Saturday ~ yay!) that's gonna be fun. This is the third year I've participated in the swap, and every time I get very antsy waiting to open the treasures the other artists in the swap have sent my way.
And usually we have our tree up by December 1st. This year however, I haven't got around to it yet. Yep, I've been rather slow this time round. We have a few Christmas items out of the boxes, but no tree yet. Who knows, maybe this will be the year we actually get a real one. I really do miss the scent of a real tree in the house.

I hear that the weather's supposed to get real cold come this weekend. They're throwing around predictions like -24 degrees Celsius ... and that's the HIGH for Sunday. For Fahrenheit enthusiasts, that's -12 degrees! Oh the low will be -30 Celsius or -22 Fahrenheit. Brrrr! I'm not ready for temperatures like that.
Guess this would be a good opportunity to wrap some gifts and hibernate indoors with a piping hot mug of hot Chocolatey Chai Tea and enjoy the sights and the sounds of Christmas time ... indoors!