Thursday, April 23, 2015

long time - no see

No excuses.

I went MIA again

But here I am with just a bit of sharing for you 

32 skeins of yarn have been used from the stash.

Three baby blankets and this full sized beauty in blue, cream, tan, and brown.

and I have started one from yarn that I purchased but is NOT going into the stash, I've started that blanket. 

I'm also working working working on THE MOST INTRICATE cross stitch project I have ever done. 



This was a gift for my friend Renee. Well she's actually the daughter of one of my best friends. But since all the girls are now young adults, I can call her my friend, can't I?



We gave Miss Renee a bridal shower on Sunday afternoon. 

I used one of my crochet nests as the food table centerpiece. 

To see the exquisite nests that inspired me - go here
Vicki makes and sells beautiful knitted nests. 
She's a wonderful person and there is an amazing array of beauty at her blog. 
Get a coffee and spend some time.



Here's the bride-to-be with her mom and soon to be Mother-in-Love 
You can guess - but I will go ahead and tell you - her Mom is the one in pink.



A quick note about the Softball Princess.

it's over.

she graduates from college with her undergrad degree in Environmental Science next weekend.

She's graduating with honors.

and more than likely moving far away to continue school. 

I have EMPTY NEST SYNDROME

yes - those of you with small children are allowed to be jealous. 



I just want to know how this happened. 

She is supposed to just be a little bit bigger than THIS.



......



Friday, March 20, 2015

For This Child I Pray

Welcome to the SweetStamps.com Sweeties Spring Release Blog Hop!!
Who's ready for some nicer weather?
Here at SweetStamps.com we are super excited about our Spring release!


   
We have some fun new clear stamp sets, a bunch of great new Piccolos and some new stencils!! You can check out all the new products here!!

And if you missed us mentioning, we also now have our Glam Girls in Digital form!  Which can be found here!!

You should have arrived her from My Creative Rumblings blog!  If you haven't and would like to hop with us, please go back to the Sweet Stamps Blog to start at the beginning!

Be sure to follow each blog and leave comments along the way for your chance at winning!  We will randomly choose 12 winners from all the comments left!


Today I bring you a scrapbook layout featuring the Large Filigree Cross. 

This is a 12x12 layout and the cross is over 6 inches tall.

Meet Lucy. This picture is from her Baptism.

In addition to the Cross from the New items, I also used an Oval Frame from the Piccolos Product Group


Gilded Rose Gold Embossing powder covers the Cross Filigree Background and the frame. The Cross itself is two pieces and I covered the center solid form with the Autumn Leaves Cosmic  Shimmer Gilding Flakes.  I raised this center up when I glued this together.  

Add a sweet photo from the special day and I collect damaged hymnals, so I was able to add the Hymn selection and the Baptism Prayer from the ceremony section to the layout. 




Thanks for visiting.

I am the last in the Bunny Hop Dance line 

Don't forget to comment on every post --- there are goodies to be given away. 

You can go back to the SweetStamps Blog to see the entire list if you like or the individual links are listed below.

  
We hope you have been inspired all along the way! 
Check out all of Sweet Stamps "sweet" goodies here!
Happy Hopping
and...
HAPPY SPRING!
---------

Here's the entire list for the hop.






Thursday, February 12, 2015

It's Nuts but it works.

Wow - I haven't been here in quite some time.

Lot's of reasons that need not be aired publicly here.

I had someone make a comment about how much I accomplish creatively. She wondered how the heck I get so much accomplished. When she said it, I kind of downplayed it a whole lot. But on thinking about it, I thought I would explain how I do get things done.

I spend years "half-ass" doing stuff. I have LOTS of UFO's. I am simplifying my entire life right now and rediscovering those unfinished things had cause a tremendous amount of guilt and stress. 

(I uncovered Molly's unframed cross-stitch birth record. It is finished. Not framed. She is 24) 

Many years ago, I started blogging and that was the beginning of focusing on my creative side. I needed to make progress on things so I would have something to share. I am not, nor will I ever be one of the BIG bloggers, but I have my group of friends and we love and encourage one another here. 

Anyway --- back to how my "system" works.

I almost ALWAYS have multiple projects going. Which sound like craziness, but it really has worked for me. 

I have discovered that crochet and cross-stitch travel well - other stuff does not. 
The other stuff, is not addressed here - I do a few bits on those projects and leave them to dry on the work table. 

Now for the pick up put down explanations.

I have a crochet bag by my sofa - right now it contains a sunset colors inspired infinity scarf project. Yarn from my stash (yay me). I pick it up and put it down. The pattern is a no count required repeat, so I don't even have to make a stitch. This one will soon move to the car (reasons will become evident in a minute)



I leave early on Sunday Morning and spend time alone in the silence with myself and this project. It is a big blanket - stash buster project. Two worsted weight yarns held together. There is a kind of pattern repeat to keep this from getting too busy looking. This will ebb and flow with weather conditions, and will be a long time finishing. As the hot weather creeps in I'll put this in a Huge Zipper Project bag and hang it in the craft closet to pull it out when cold weather gets back. Also a stash project (yay me)


This sweet and soft bit of pastel goodness is a granny square baby blanket. Another stash buster project (the stash is wide and deep - please don't judge) It is my car project. I have it in a plastic tote and I can work on this while riding. Plastic tote allows me to sit this on the ground by the campfire or at ball games, keeping everything dry and clean of debris. (I tried a 31 tote for this and as much as I love that tote for other things, the soft sides just did not work out well.) 

I am close to finishing this one. Abby's final college softball season starts next week, so the long hours in the car and at the ball field begin. I'll finish this one and then move the scarf from the bag at home by the sofa into this project. Because.......



This has started as the detailed - must concentrate - project for by the sofa.

AND 

requiring reading glasses and the best light I can find. 

It is a cross stitch piece for one of our most special babies on the way. 
I'll be posting tips and bits about this as it progresses. If there are overnight stays for ball trips, this is organized in a plastic tote box as well, but it certainly is not a mindless, riding in the car, kind of project. 


A note on those car projects, after the blanket and the scarf are finished, I will go back to the stash (yes, there is still plenty of stash available) and start another something.

The cross stitch project will consume a large portion of my home time creating. But I combine that with prayer time, so this is a good thing. 

Now for some tidbit notes about this.
- I do not sit still well.
- I can be a terrible passenger in the car.
- I cannot read in the car or the sun without getting a headache, but I can crochet. 
- I have multiple crochet hooks in each size. 
- I think I have 50 pair of small scissors too. 
- Keeping things in a convenient to use and move container is key. 
-  When I pack up the big blanket for the summer, I will put an index card in the bag noting the hook size.
- MAKING at the ball field - or by the pool - or in the lobby of a hotel - has always caused people to ask what I am making. I always take the time to answer and I have met so many wonderful people this way. 
- Make sure the travel projects can be construed as mindless and either easy to keep count or effortless to recount after you have put them down and picked them back up.  (like granny square blankets or repeat patterns for cross stitch) 

My craziest softball crocheting story - Softball Princess played travel ball for many years as she grew up. One season I made 88 beanie hats. That means we played at least 88 games that year, because I could make a beanie every full length game. 

her college freshman season, I made 150 quarter sized crochet roses.

If you would like regular project updates and some mundane randomness, you can follow my instagram

I do hope you are all doing well. 

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL





Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sunday Sparkle

This look simple (actually is simple), but goodness, I struggled. I made this tag four times before I got it like I wanted.




Here we go. 

I used a manilla tag base that I covered using this specialty glitter paper in gold. Simply spray the back of the paper with the spray adhesive. Adhere. and trim to fit the tag. 

I cut the Classy Deer from deep brown glitter paper. 

Then using one of my absolute favorite SweetStamps Embellishments - the velvet hydrangeas - I layered them around the deer image and into the corner.  These hydrangeas are flocked and glittered and simply wonderful to work with. 

Also, if you missed the blog hop on Friday - please click here and take a look at some beautiful projects. 

Merry Christmas!




Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree

Welcome to the SweetStamps.com Sweeties Holiday Blog Hop!!

With the Holidays right around the corner we thought it would be fun to share some lovely Holiday inspiration with you!

If you are arriving from Shelly's Place, welcome to MaggieGrace World.   If you haven't and would like to start at the beginning, please go back to the Sweet Stamps Blog. I promise there are lot's of great ideas and inspiration being shared. 

Be sure to leave comments along the way for your chance at winning!  We will randomly choose one winner from all the comments left!

********************************************************

I am all about easy and fun projects and this is no different than most of mine. 

Today I'm sharing a cute little Christmas Tree Ornament. (it will hang or stand)

I can see several of these across the Mantel in assorted sizes. 

The list of materials is at the bottom of the post. 


Make yourself a cone from green cardstock. I make my cones using a half circle and simply rolling into the cone shape and gluing in place. The tree part of this is about three inches tall and I cut a 5 inch circle in half to make it. 

While that is drying, Dig through your scraps (we all have those don't we) and pick several assorted green ones. (Or use strips of green papers).

Cut several of the Fancy Leaf shapes. These do not have to be complete cuts. Be sure and cut some from both directions by turning your paper over to the "wrong" side for some of the cuts. Trim just the leaves from the cuts and discard the flourishes. 

Flex the leaves a bit to give them dimension. 

Using Glastique as an adhesive, glue the leaves around the tree. Start at the bottom and let the first row hang off a bit below the edge. Move up the tree and overlap the leave all the way to the top. 
(I placed my cone over a styrofoam cone and pinned the leaves that wanted to slide off. using tiny pins and angling them under the next row area hides the holes very effectively.) 

Let this all dry over night.

Lightly mist the entire tree with spray adhesive and sprinkle with extra fine chocolate glitter.

The "star" at the top is a glitter paper cut using the Mini Flower Die. I cut it twice and used one openwork petal piece and the two solid backer bits. A tiny Pearl from the Brown Pearls kit accents the center with a bit of extra fine chocolate glitter. 

To stand this one, I glued two vintage spools together (you can buy reproductions at most any craft store) and set the tree over the stack. I glued the top one into the cone. 

See - very easy to make.

Make several and set up your own little forest of these. 

Don't forget to comment. Every comment gets added to the drawing for goodies. Also be sure to leave your email address in the comments (Blogger may or may not let me in on that information depending on your settings) 

Thanks for stopping by.

Seems I am ending this hop, I  sure hope you gathered some inspiration along the way. 

This link takes you back to the SweetStamps Blog




Check out all of Sweet Stamps "sweet" goodies here!
Happy Hopping, Happy Shopping
and...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!



Monday, December 08, 2014

Christmas Spirit

There's a song in the air
There's a star in the sky

Forget all of the hustle and bustle of the season. All of my thoughts lean toward a grungy stable, with average appearing, unlikely people, and a tiny Baby. 

We have beautiful stained glass depictions of the story in our church and when I spotted the Stained Glass Nativity stamps, I knew I wanted to recreate the idea of those windows. 



I first made the mottled blue background paper using distress inks. I simply streaked a bit of the blue and a (now discontinued) whitewash color. Then dried that with a heat tool. I stamped my image with ink and embossed the image with Copper Kettle Embossing Enamel. 

Now for the fun part. I used NO Embossing adhesive and covered the entire image with Bahama Aqua Embossing Powder, then dumped that back in the jar. This leaves a wonderful shimmery patina on the blue background. Now carefully dab the Embossing Powder Adhesive all over the image (does not matter if you go over the lines), trying not to remove the shimmer. Cover with UltraThick Clear Embossing Powder. Take a toothpick and trace the Copper Embossed lines, removing a fair amount of the Clear Powder from the lines. Emboss again. This gives a texture very similar to stained glass. 

Fussy cut the "window" image and, using Super Sticky Tape, adhere it to the card base. 

Beautiful - Elegant - Understated - Christmas. 




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The tale of a long awaited FINISH -----



Once upon a time - The Man's Mama Norvan (Grandmother) made things too. 
We have some of these pretties at our home. 
They bring very special memories to our heart and mind. 

Sadly, we lost her in 1995. 
That was a long, long time ago. 
We cleaned out her home.
Years of possessions. 
Some came to live at our home.
Some with the other children and grand-children.

I ended up with several things.
Including a Payday Candy Bar Box of stuff.
(don't judge - it was a project box and I had great intentions) 

Many years.
Many re-locations of that poor box.
I went searching in my archives and located a picture of it on the shelf in the studio.

See. 


Things are changing in my world. 
Life is Beautiful and I am staking claim to some of the serenity that comes from
cleaning - purging - finishing
(overcoming hoarding is a battle - but I will leave that for my other blog
and in the midst of the battle, I lay hands on a Payday Box.

I did not have to open it.

I knew.

But because you don't - here is a quick picture of the contents. 



POLYESTER FABRIC (hideous stuff really) 
Thread.
Some cut circles
Bits of Cotton
Needles
and a few finished yo-yo bits.

I have two of the creations made from this project box, so I knew what it was. 

I'm finishing things.
INTENTION - the word of the year.
And this was the perfect kind of project for clearing my mind of some things. 

Here's what I've accomplished.

I dumped it all out.
Sorted. 
Tossed. 
Traced one of the existing circles. 
Cut as many more as I could from the fabric in the box. 
Cut cotton balls into smaller bits.
(Gathered the remaining fabric bits in a baggie - told you - this is battle)


And made myself a plastic project box. 

Hours were spent alone.
Silent (or with music).
Thinking.
Praying.
Pondering.
Crying.
Healing.
Loving.
Moving forward. 

But also -
Threading her needle (with her thread)
The rhythm of hand stitching is meditative, relaxing.
Allowing room for mind wandering.


I made yo-yo after yo-yo
Hundreds of them.
Placing the finished one in a plastic bag.
Picking that bag up and smiling.



This little pile kept growing. 

My heart filling with memories of Mama Norvan

Wondering where each scrap came from?

How it came to be that she started making these?

Wondering how she decided which bits went together?

I was relaxed in this process.

Creating without pressure.
(you know putting a project on hold for -  say - 19 years takes a LOT of pressure off) 

And one night this week, I finished as many of these as I could make with the contents of the box.




and TA-DAH

Fun little scrap fabric wreath ornaments. 

I found my two and added them to the pile. (the far right one was made by her, as was the one between the two pink ones) 

Several of these have been spoken for.
All will most definitely stay in the family.

And - that is now one box that is no longer part of my HOARD. 
I also have plans for all those fabric bits in the plastic bag too. 
(overcoming hoarding is a battle - please do not judge) 

LIFE IS CRAZY BEAUTIFUL.