Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday treats

I had a birthday this week.  Yes, the extra year added to my stats is a little depressing, but getting loving messages and sweet gifts from friends and family makes it much, much more bearable!  Here's a wonderful gift from some good friends:
A lovely potted plant.  Very pretty indeed.  But, hidden among the yellow and peach flowers...
look closely...
Precious yellow and peach glazed porcelain blossoms!

And now let's look inside the box...
Okay, nice little glazed ceramic frog.  Interesting.
My friend explains that yes, it's cute, but there is a REASON it was picked for me...
It FLOATS!  It's perfect for my POND!  How cute is this little guy, floating along and keeping our goldfish company?!
These doo-dads came all the way from an art fair in Germany, where my friends recently vacationed.  I love them!  It makes getting older (almost) worth it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Treasure Hunting in Eastmoreland and a Crafty Project

Yesterday, I went to the annual neighborhood garage sale in Eastmoreland, a tony enclave by Reed College, where the homes look like storybook cottages and the greenery is lush:
photos above from the inspired room
The weather was beautiful and sunny, after a cold and rainy early June, and people were out in droves.  My daughter and her friend and I loved the ambience of the neighborhood stroll as much as the thrill of the bargain hunting.  The houses are gorgeous.  The garage sale stuff was varied,  everything from junk to real treasures, and the prices were either crazy cheap or crazy high.  I came home with an odd assortment of trinkets and doo-dads:
The thing I put to use right away was the spool of bias binding, seen in the lower right hand corner, above.  It cost me next to nothing and I know I'll use it in a ton of craft projects, like the one I'm currently doing: making a bunch of bird-related tags for the "Bird Song Tag Swap" that Karla Nathan is hosting.  Here they are in progress:
Each tag has an added sewn-on pocket, with a couple of tiny tags tucked in for a little bonus:
The tags needed some kind of ribbon or tie, and this champagne-colored bias binding was perfect--nice and neutral, and thin enough to thread through the tiny holes.  The binding isn't like regular seam binding; it's wider (about 1"+) and doesn't have a finished edge.  So the edges on this stuff fray a bit when handled, and look worn and shabby.  I like it.
(oops, I just noticed I still haven't added some stamped words I had meant to).   I'll be sending 7 of them off soon, 
and then will receive back a book of 8 of them put together from a random sampling of the 150-or-so participants' submissions. It will be fun to see what I'll get back.

So, that's how I used my garage sale find.  Enough of this....I have to go to work now.  My real job is calling (darn it).

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Notice anything new?. . .

A new look for the blog!  It was in dire need of an update and I decided a bolder look was in order.  Dan helped me build the header (so nice to have a photoshop guy in the house!) and I'm going to now include a lineup of my paintings and soldered projects in the sidebar to act as an archive of sorts.  I'm pretty happy with the overall look, but may do some more tweaking here and there. And I really hope to post more often.  I am terrible about regularly updating this thing.  I'll try not to let six more months pass before the next entry, but my track record is lousy!