Friday, May 28, 2010

Vintage Cowgirl Sweetness

Sweet Goodness Swaps announced a Vintage Cowgirl Swap and I just couldn't help myself.  Had to sign up.  What a fun theme!  As soon as I signed up, there were idea's floating through my head for Vintage Cowgirl projects.  Some I threw out, but a couple I grabbed onto and hoped that whoever my swap partner was to be would like what I had in mind.  When partners were sent out, one of my first questions to Jessica was, "Do you like to cook?"  I was thrilled when she said yes and started moving forward with my plans. 

I found this sweet milkcan at a kitchen store and thought that it would be really fun to decopage on some cowgirl pinups.  I roughed up the paint with sandpaper, then put the images on with Modge-Podge and covered with pink glitter.  It was super easy to do and turned out pretty much like I had it pictured in my head. My only regret is that I didn't buy a couple of more of those darn milkcans.
Jessica loves the color pink, and nobody ever said that cowgirls can't be pink, so when I found this fabric, (or more like when Monica pulled it up on her super cool i-Phone to show me), I knew it would be perfect for the apron I had in mind.  The fabric is part of the "Rawhide" line by Moda and is super cute.  I trimmed up the pocket with a concho and rick-rack.  Cowgirl Up!

My partner, Jessica from Kids Napping? I'm Scrapping! is a wonderful paper artist.  When I first visited her blog, I ooohed and aaaahed over all of the pretty goodness she makes.  I was so excited to have Jessica for a partner and couldn't wait to rip into my package when it arrived.  Oh My Soul!  Look at this.  The hanging pocket organizer is so so cute!  I debated where to hang it - should I take it to work - hang it by the phone - craft room?  My craft room won out and it is already hanging on my craft room door, visible when you walk down the hall.  I LOVE it!  Do you see all those vintage cowgirl tags?  Super cute!  I have plans to make them into a garland to hang on my summer porch.  I'll make sure and show you when it's hung.  That cowgirl tin is a cowgirl sewing kit, full of buttons, thread and trimmings.  Yeah!  Jessica included a set of cowgirl notecards, (adorable!), a package full of vintage music sheets, a bingo card and a vintage postcard.  I had mentioned to her that paper arts intrigue me, but I hadn't done much in that direction, so she included a book, "Fun with Fiber" and I can't even wait to dig in. 
This package was all very very wonderful, but the funniest part is that Cowgirl Cookbook that you can spy in the corner.  It's full of yummy sounding recipe's and great vintage cowgirl pictures and quotes.  What's funny about that you ask?  The fact that I sent the same cookbook to Jessica that she sent to me.  And we were both coveting that cookbook, wishing that we had bought an extra for ourselves.  Made me laugh with glee right out loud when I opened the package. 

Thank you so much, Jessica!  What a wonderful swap package.  I sew love Sweet Goodness Swaps~
Happy Trails!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May(d) For Me

May(d) For Me!  Adrienne at Some of a Kind is hosting a project this month called May(d) For Me.  It seems that we are forever making projects, but most often they are meant for someone else, which is fantastic, but now and again it's nice to make something just for yourself and that's what May(d) For Me is all about. 
I had actually cast-on this sweater back in April, but got distracted several times with other projects, so was bound and determined to get my sweater finished in May.  I finally finished the knitting on Monday night, then wove in my loose ends and blocked on Tuesday night.  While knitting, I was afraid that my beautiful new, buttery-yellow sweater wouldn't actually fit me, but it does and hangs just right.  Yeah!!
Thank you, Adrienne, for lighting my May(d) For Me fire.  T!his sweater and I are planning some place fun to for it's first outing this coming weekend.  Can hardly wait

Sunday, May 23, 2010

From Messy to Marvelous

A little inspiration is a very good thing.  I'm always seeing things that inspire me. Some in magazine's, on HGTV, on blogs and a multitude of other places. 
The fireplace mantel in our living room is one of those area's that I have been in need of a little inspiration for.  When we first bought this house a couple of years ago, I had decorated it and was very pleased with the outcome, but since then things have been taken away and things added until it has turned into a jumble of mess.  The picture above is what it has looked like recently.  Blechhhh!
While blog hopping recently, I came across Aunt Ruthie's Sugar Pie Farmhouse and fell in love with the fireplace mantel from this post.  Her entire house is gorgeous and I have some pantry inspiration from her that  Riff and I may follow up on before the summer is over.

  Here is our new, fresher fireplace mantel, inspired by Aunt Ruthie, but with a bit of a coastal spin.  Just this small change makes the room feel fresher and more organized.  The best part is that I found the ceramic vases at JoAnne's for 50% off, so they were only $5 each.  Yeah!
Now I want new throw cushions on the couch, some lighter summer-y curtains at the window.  Bring forth the warm weather and the lighter, airer rooms.

Have you drawn decorating inspiration from somewhere recently? Where? And what have you done? Pictures please!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Riff and I packed our bags, grabbed our funny hats and binoculars and went on Safari a couple of weeks ago. Bumping across the African wilderness in our open jeep, we spotted tigers, giraffe's, zebra's and lions. Then into the jungle we went to communicate with the gorilla's, monkeys and parrots who live there.

We wrestled and tamed a spotted leopard.  Had him almost eating out of our hands before we moved on.

Back in North America, we ran across a black bear, (I was a little worried and hid behind a tree!), some Rocky Mountain Elk and lots and lots of goats.

Well, okay, so we didn't really have on the funny hats, we left the binoculars in the car and our open-jeep was really only our feet.  We weren't in the wilds of Africa, only Oregon and the spotted leopard we tamed was a 4 month old cub named Diego who was born to a spotted daddy leopard and a sleek black mama leopard at the Wildlife Safari in Bandon, Oregon.  But still - it was adventurous and very very cool.
These guys are called Capybara, are from South America and are the largest rodent in the world.  Not sure if my cats could handle mice this size or not.  I'm thinking the Capy's would win that fight.
Don't they kind of look like big Guinnea Pigs? 

The Llama's were not real impressed with me trying to pet them.  Kept frowning at me.  I think they could detect the knitter in me and knew that I was eyeballing their wool coats and dreaming of new sweaters...
Ah, he's just so sweet when he's sleeping. 

Can you help me determine which one's the old goat in this picture? heeheehee

"Ya'all come back now, ya hear!", says Mrs. Wallabee. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When a Bad Thing Goes Good

What started out as an idea for a cheerful spring throw pillow for the couch took a turn for the better and became this fun bag.  One day, while looking around the living room and needing some spring colors to  contradict the gray of the sky, I decided to knit a fun throw pillow in a checkerboard pattern, with maybe some embroideried flowers or some such in the squares.  It had been awhile since I felted a project and I do so love felting and wool yarn so decided that was the way to go.  Looking out into our spring time yard (even though it was under gray skies), the yellow daffodils and purple viola's caught my eye.  Yes, purple and yellow would be just right for some spring sunshine, so away to the yarn store I ran. 

Back at home, I knit away in the evenings for a good week, then when the size was just right, I grabbed my trusty crochet hook and stitched all my individual panels together as well as attaching the back while leaving one long end open for pillow stuffing.  Down to the washing machine I went, cranked on the hot water and let the machine agitate all my troubles away.  Or so I thought. 

When I pulled the felted product out of that hot water, the shape had morphed (as will sometimes happen when felting).  One long end was flared a bit and would certainly make for a funny shaped pillow.  Hmmm.....what to do....

After just a quick minute of reflecting, I could see that this "pillow" would actually be the perfect shape for a bag.  A nice fun spring bag with bamboo handles and fun yo-yo flowers.  I cut little strips of purple fabric to make the tags to attach the handles with, dug through my basket of scrap fabric for the perfect yo-yo flower fabric and made stems and leaves from wool felt.  I happily stitched away the next evening, attaching the fun embellishments and am tickled purple with how this bag came out.  Sometimes projects that go wrong turn out to be the best ones yet.

Have your had a project that morphed into something even better than the original?  What was it?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Little Red Riding Hood

Oh my! What big ric-rac you have! The better to charm your kitchen with, my dear.
This Little Red Riding Hood towel is going to Stacey as part of her Storybook Stitches prize.  I know it's been awhile and her prize should already be to her, but I'm a little slow with my crafting mojo these days.  The pattern for this sweet little character is an embroidery pattern by Tasha Noel of A Little Sweetness.  She has the cutest patterns ever!
Long 10 hours work days recently have me in a bit of a project funk when I do get home, but I have a soft buttery colored spring sweater on the knitting needles for myself that I plan on finishing by Memorial Day weekend.  That's the goal anyway.  I also have a knit and felted spring bag that is nearly done and I will be finishing it up this weekend, no excuses allowed. 
What are you working on right now?  Adrienne of Some of a Kind is hosting May(d) For Me this month.  As crafters and mom's, we tend to make things for others and rarely keep something for ourselves, so Adrienne wants you to take the month of May and make something just for yourself.  What a grand idea.  She hosted this last year as well and I made myself the cutest pair of jammy pants.  Join in, pamper yourself this month with a project just for you.  We'd love to see what it is...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Turn the Page Tuesday - The Forgotten Garden

'London 1913
It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she'd been told.  The lady has said to wait, it wasn't safe yet, they had to be as quiet as larder mice.  It was a game, just like hide-and-seek.'
~Kate Morton in The Forgotten Garden

Have you ever anticipated getting home to dig into your book, only to realize that you have already turned the last page?  That's how "The Forgotten Garden" was for me.  Days later I would be sitting at my desk at work when my mind would transport me to Cliff Cottage and the walled garden.  I would be walking along in the English mist on the cliffs overlooking the sea with Eliza, anticipating what was to come next.  Suddenly, as I recalled that the story had ended, my joy would be deflated. 

This is the first book I've read by author Kate Morton and I will certainly be picking up more.  What a wonderful read, full of mystery, romance and a touch of the old classic, The Secret Garden, thrown in.  This story begins with a small child left abandoned on an Australian wharf, then takes us seamlessly forward in time and backward in time to solve the mystery of this little girls past.  We see the world through not only her eyes, but her granddaughters as well.   Why was the little girl alone?  Who is she? Where did she come from? What has happened to her parents? 
From the back cover:
A tiny girl is abandoned on a ship headed for Australia in 1913.  She arrives completely alone with nothing but a small suitcase containing a few clothes and a single book - a beautiful volumne of fairy tales.  She is taken in by the dockmaster and his wife and raised as their own.  On her twenty-first birthday, they tell her the truth, and with her sense of self shattered and very little to go on, "Nell" sets out to trace her real identity.  Her quest leads her to Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish coast and the secrets of the doomed Mountrachet family.  But it is not until her granddaughter, Cassandra, takes up the search after Nell's death that all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled.  A spellbinding tale of mystery and self-discovery, The Forgotten Garden will take hold of your imagination and never let go.

Be sure to head over to Adrienne's Some of a Kind for more Turn the Page Tuesday.  Find out what others are reading and join in yourself.  Anyone can and Adrienne would love to have you.  What have you been reading this past month?