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Friday, May 27, 2011

Time is flying too fast!

     I can't believe Memorial Day is almost here!!! Next thing you know it will be 4th of July next week! Mom always told me the older you get the faster the time goes...I hate to admit it but she was right. It seems like it was winter just a few days ago and already yesterday it was 93 degrees! I sure hope this summer is not as extreme as winter was...I might melt into a puddle before it's over!
     Well, on to something new! I have been doing some swaps on swapbot.com and have been working on some new things. This is a Cookie Cutter Curiosity which I never heard of before. It's my contribution to my partner and I hope she likes it. I've had a bunch of vintage cookie cutters that I've never used (I am a packrat you know) and this is one that I just could not figure out. What in the world is it? It IS a cookie cutter, though, so it's fair game to be altered. I love the little birdie and how her tail fits in the unnamed creature's head and I added a little nesting material for her along with a stick. She might need it to beat off any other birds that want her nest.
I have a few more cookie cutters but I don't think I can part with them so now I'm on the lookout for new ones that I like. I'm also on the lookout for some spoons. YUP...spoons that I can alter for a swap! That's a new one for me too but I can't wait to try. All these things are just screaming Christmas to me now. That scares me because it's waaaaay beyond July 4th and I'm the one that wants to slow things down.
      Before I go, I thought I would share a few swaps I received this week.  This first one was a Just Pink Card and all that was required was two pink cards.  As you can see, she went over the top.  I love everything, but especially the hand dyed seam binding (my favorite go to ribbon right now) and the little flower.



This is for a Handmade Bookmark swap and all that was required was one item.  What I especially liked was the use of buttons on the dangley thingeys.   Since I'm a button collector I was tickled!



I've never hosted a swap before...this was my first and it was for Vintage Photo Postcards.  I had an ulterior motive, I wanted to increase my vintage photo stash. *sneaky smile*  I love the little girl and I want to know what that lady is saying to that little piggy!  The one on the left is a very nice card but my photographic abilities didn't do it justice at all.  Sorry!  It's a solder sitting on a horse, probably a Calvary soldier from WWI.

Does anyone else have as much trouble figuring out this blogging thing as I do?? It's not bad enough that I'm not a great picture taker, but when it comes to blogging I am so out in the potato patch! I guess the only way I will conquer it is to just keep plugging away so look out world, here I come a pluggin' away!
I'll be posting some photos of our town's Memorial Day Parade...they go all out every year. Lots of fun to get together and catch up with neighbors that we don't have much contact with during the year. Hope everyone has a wonderful SAFE and happy Memorial Day weekend. Enjoy the time off from work! Ren

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just thought I'd try again...

to see if I could give away one of my journals. It's at the bottom of this post. If you would leave a comment, you will be added for a drawing on Memorial Day, May 30th. Hope you like my little offering.

This is an altered tin I did some time ago and just never completed. It's an old Band Aid tin covered with scrapbook paper and vintage lace. This is the back of the tin. I ALWAYS get my photos out of order and, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to change that. *pout*




This is the top of the tin with Prima flowers and Swarovski crystals as the flower centers.
Here is the front with a smooshed canning jar lid for the frame around a vintage reproduction of a mother and baby. There are Prima flowers with tiny Swarovski crystals in their centers along with micro beads and glitter. There is a small scrapbook inside that I haven't photographed yet.






Here is my little 5 x 7 hand decorated journal I'm offering for my giveaway. As I said, I will draw a name on Memorial Day. Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.




I hope all you mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day with your families. Talk to y'all soon! Ren

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things are finally humming right along!

Things really are humming...especially in my studio! I haven't been this productive in quite awhile. I don't know where the ambition is coming from but I don't want to question it! Here are a few things accumulating on my table.

This is a journal made from a black and white composition book, which is what most of my journals are. I used a vintage page along with a vintage reproduction of the lady sewing. I've also used vintage scrabble tiles and music. The ribbon, buttons and "Treasure" frame are new but fit right in with the look.

This little cutie was made from another composition book. The flower is from a vintage book about flowers that I got at my local thrift store and has not been aged at all. The coloring is natural. The entire journal is covered with vintage wallpaper in a soft blue color. The printed page is vintage but everything else is new as well as the seam binding. Boy am I ever loving that stuff! It just hangs so nicely and I don't even want to use my regular ribbon much anymore.

This is a smaller hardback journal that is decorated with all vintage things except the flowers and heart. It's hard to see, but the frame is covered in lace. I'm not a very good journal keeper but I really want this one. But.......since I'm NOT a journal keeper it will go to either Etsy or ebay, not sure which yet.




My 87 year old Mom will just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this cake! She has been on a perpetual diet for as long as I can remember and this one is calorie free! I'm going to use it to put her Mother's Day gift in. I love the lid...it's all glittery. The box itself is covered in rose wrapping paper that just happened to match the flowers I had for the lid.





I really have had fun the past few days and can't wait to get back upstairs! I can't believe the difference a larger work area made. My tables are full but still give me plenty of room to craft.


I hope y'all have a safe and blessed Easter with lots of love and laughter around. Ren

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm pouting...

because I couldn't give away my little Spring hanger. No comments, no one to give it to. Guess I'll just file it away for some future date.

My Vintage Heart...

was loads of fun to work on. I finally rounded up all my vintage paper scraps and decorated a heart shape cut from a piece of scrap foam core board I've had laying around for ages. Then I dipped in my stash of "stuff" to decorate it. The scroll stamp is from Tim Holtz and is heat embossed with black. The other scrolly decorations are self adhesive thingeys that I colored with alcohol ink and embossed the top edge with black once again. "Once upon a time" was another self adhesive embellishment I've had along with the key and key lock brads. The pearly thing is a pin from the junk bin at a local thrift store that I pulled the back off of and glued with the feathers. The two round things near the point are typewriter keys I cut from paper and added crystal accents to give it some dimension. The tassel is bits of chain from from a cheap necklace from the dollar store that I wired on with a pearl bead. I edged it with ribboon to cover and keep the paper edges flat.






I'm off to do some more crafting so talk to y'all later! Ren

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Items

Hi all! I've spent the last couple of afternoons upstairs crafting on my two new tables and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I have so much room to spread out now. I actually have room to work...imagine that! Here are a couple of projects I completed and am hoping to post in my Etsy store.

I'm loving my two giant hole punches and am probably using them on way too many things right now. They are so fun though! I, also, got the hang of making ruffles...what fun!


I've been embossing my tags too. I have a swirls and a dots die that I use. Now I'm on the prowl for another kind. Oh, I have music notes too.

These are two that I did quite sometime ago but am finally ready to part with. They have bits of tulle and lace from a vintage wedding gown I found at a local thrift store.

Guess I'll head out to try and figure out how to list my first items on Etsy. I tend to be a slow learner so it could take quite awhile. Course everything I do anymore takes longer than it used to. See y'all later! Ren





Sunday, March 6, 2011

My first give-away!

I don't know if anyone reads this blog so I thought I would have a give-away just to find out.

This is a little Spring hanger made from an altered coaster. The little blue birds are a copy of a vintage post card with touches of glitter on the flowers. The whole thing measures 4 1/2 inches by 6 inches including the lace trim. It was fun to work on and I think I will do a few more since I have a handful of the coasters left over. Leave a comment for me and on March 26th I will pick the winner.


It was so nice and sunny yesterday! Today it's pretty dreary here in New Jersey but...THERE'S NO SNOW!! I always used to enjoy snow but the last two winters have put snow on my crap list now. Am I seeing things?! I look across the street to my two neighbors and actually see white stuff! OOPS! It's only the white risers on their porch steps. PHEW! That's a relief. I am so ready for Spring this year. I hope everyone else is having great weather. I'm looking forward to seeing my granddaughter outside finally and I can't wait for T-Ball with my grandsons.


I guess I'm going to head upstairs to my crafty space and try to make room for my two new 8 foot folding banquet tables. My neighbor across the street checked out my crafting space and told me I needed a "big ass table" up there. I was going to get a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood but instead I got two half-assed tables instead! (scuse the language but it was a direct quote) Will I ever be able to stretch and spread out! Talk to y'all later! Ren



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming, Spring is coming, Spring is coming! If I tell myself that enough maybe I will believe it and it will really happen. Can you believe we got MORE snow with the possibility of it snowing again later in the week! Where is Puxatawny Phil when you need him?! Enough is enough! I'm trying to convince myself that the weather is going to change so I've started on some Spring crafts. Here is my first one...a paper bird house. Not sure what I'll do with it but it sure was fun to work on.



This is a close up of just the house part which measures about 8" by 10". The background is from a vintage teacher's manual and the bird is from a book I found at a flea mart on birds. It has some beautiful prints that I will be using in the future.




This is a close up of the dangley thing that is 6" long. At the bottom is a piece of costume jewelry that I pulled the pin back off of and added a jump ring to be able to hang it. The other beads and bits of chain are from my stash. Once again my picture taking abilities, or lack of, is on display and I even tried the Macro thingey, whatever that is supposed to do.




The whole idea is from one of my favorite craft books, Delight In The Details by Lisa M. Pace. I am in love with all of the things in the book and will be trying many of her ideas in the future.



I'm off now to buy two banquet tables for my studio. YAY! Finally I will have a decent work surface! See y'all later! Ren



Friday, February 18, 2011

Some ATC's

Here are three ATC's...one from 2008, one from 2010 and one made by another artist. For some reason I've gotten away from doing them and I really miss it. Now that Christmas is out of the way, I want to get back to my first love. This first one is an older ATC titled "Eyes of Love" that I did in 2008. I decided to keep it for myself.
This one was fun to work on. It was made from bits and pieces laying around on my desk. There is never a shortage of little pieces to use and I've finally started putting them in a box so they don't escape onto the rug. The title of this one is "Life's Little Pieces."

This is my favorite right now! It was made by Laura Carson and was a give away at her BLOG Artfully Musing which I won. Only the second giveaway for me. I was thrilled! I have another one of hers that I have to scan into the computer soon. She does the most intricate and delicate work I've seen so far and I am so inspired to start rooting around in my stash of tiny treasures (junk to most people). Stop over and check out her work. Maybe you too can win a piece of her work since she gives it away on a regulalr basis. I'm selfish so I hope you don't win. *evil grin* You should try anyhow!


I'm off today for a lunch date at the Red Lobster with Mom and a friend. Hubby got one of their gift cards for Christmas that he will NEVER use so he gave it to me and I am happy to put it to use! Have a great day y'all! Ren



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SWEETIE IS BACK!!

I know this little video won't mean much to most people, but to me it means the world!



video


Brace yourselves for a long missive here. On 11/27 my little doxie friend started going up our steps kind of slow. We went to bed and she cuddled as usual...nothing unusual. She is our furry hot water bottle. Hubby gets up for work at 5:00 AM and since he can pour his own cereal, I stay tucked in the covers with Sweetie. When I woke up to start my day, Sweetie was very quiet. No barking, no "come on Mom, get up I'm hungry!" We have a ramp at the foot of our bed for her and when she started toward it, her hind end just drug...NOTHING! Then I noticed a little puddle and small turd which she NEVER does. I let her move around a bit more and couldn't believe my eyes...she was paralyzed! The first thing in my mind is we're going to have to put her down because we just could not financially handle that kind of surgery bill and we could not let her suffer so much. My heart broke and I couldn't stop crying. She has been the little heartbeat at my feet for 10 years.


Called hubby at work and we got her to the Vet. She seemed to think that we would not have to put her to sleep and she gave us some meds to help with swelling, pain and to protect her stomach. We were to keep her quiet and bring her back in a week. When the Vet was checking her, I just couldn't bear to watch Sweetie and hubby was not much better. We have had five dogs since we've been married (40 yrs.) and loved every single one of them but Sweetie was his absolute favorite. We went home defeated and depressed. We got out an old laundry basket, filled it with soft towels and placed her in. She didn't fight at all which, in itself is unusual for her. For two days I just sat there and kept her close to my feet or held her next to me. I couldn't leave her. Hubby was the same when he got home from work.


I had to get away for a bit so I went on the computer and did some research and stumbled upon dodgerslist.com which is a site for for dogs with Sweetie's problem...a ruptured disc. WOW!! The information was wonderful! While reading through everything I found that they also have a Yahoo group which I promptly joined. They are all owners of IVDD (Intervertrebral Degenerative Disc Disease) dogs and totally understood what I was going through! They were so helpful and so encouraging that I felt a glimmer of hope return. I learned that there are two kinds of treatment...surgery and Conservative. We just couldn't manage the surgery so it was going to have to be Conservative for us. What encouraged me were all the success stories from Doxies with this treatment. Now we were looking at 8 weeks of crate rest.


Off to Petco for a crate. It looked like an endless amount of time but we HAD to do it. Once the pain subsided, she was having none of that crate! If we had to go out, she would carry on terrible screaming, chewing at the sides, barking and anything she could do to make us feel guilty. It worked! We felt terrible every time we set foot outside. I now think a lot of it was she just didn't want to be alone. I guess she was scared too. We have finally come to the end of that time and I was able to let her loose. SHE FLEW! Doxies really do fly! She was still dragging an anchor but she moved so fast and was so happy to be set free!


Through Dodger's List I found out about Eddie's Wheels...wheelchairs for dogs. There are loads of videos on Youtube of doxies in their wheelchairs. These apparatuses are custom made for your dog so we measured and sent for a set. They arrived, we put Sweetie in and she hasn't been the same since!


She is now able to support herself and even has a little hop in her step. She still looks like she's been on a week long bender but she's getting around! When she tries to run in the house her hind end gets ahead of the front end and she will sometimes stop and look at it like "What do you think you're doing there?" Then she takes off again. When she's in her wheels, she just prances and is so happy. When hubby gets home she is relentless! She sits right in front of him barking and looking back and forth from her scooter to him..."Come on Dad, lets go!" I never thought I would see her run again. I just LOVE to watch her now and she has brought laughter and joy back into our home again. They say it can take up to a year to recover with IVDD. I don't know how much better she will get but I'm thrilled so far!


I am somewhat handicapped and Sweetie is such an inspiration to me! Everyday is a joy for her and I'm so glad God didn't take her from us. We lost two of our other dogs in 2010 from different reasons and I just could not face another loss like that. Now we have her back!


I know this was long but I wanted to write it for myself mostly. Thanks to all who read it and I hope you are as encouraged as me. Now I'm off to cuddle with my furry hot water bottle. Talk to y'all soon! Ren

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alas, poor Valentine's Day is gone...

for another year. This is my Valentine Cookie Tree for hubby which he loved. It has little pink and red hearts in the cookies and I hung them with red and white Baker's Twine on a few Forsythia branches that I absconded with. I sandwiched two together with a bit of icing so the hearts would be nice on each side, plus the icing is yummy. I did a bit of recycling too. The tin is from a giant can of pizza sauce that I covered in repurposed corrugated cardboard paper then decorated with hearts on all sides. He loved it!


Here is the card I made for him with more of the same corrugated paper. This photography thing is REALLY getting to me! *stomping foot* Someday I hope to take a picture that I am totally satisfied with. Anyhow...it's all glittery on the edges of the big heart, the fish and edges of the word pieces. What matters most is he was very pleased with it since it looked much better in person than it does in my photo.

Now it's time to start thinking about bunnies, birdies and beautiful colored eggs! Easter comes late this year on April 26 so there is plenty of time. I am soooooo ready for Spring 2011!!! I'm off to dream of an early visit from Peter Rabbit. See y'all later! Ren


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I did it again...

I let this blog slide right on down the hill and out the back door!! Is anyone out there as inconsistent as me? Not just inconsistent, but a major procrastinator in all areas of my life! I've been saying for ever so long that I'm gonna organize my craft studio. Have I done it? NO-OT! I am trying though but I just can't seem to part with ANYTHING. You did see that my ID is foreverpackrat! That's me! At least I've straightened up a bit and here's a few photos to prove it. I'm actually beginning to organize my paper but I still have a bunch of stashes all over the room. This is where it will all be housed eventually...I think.




*hanging head in shame* The rest isn't very organized. Oh, I just love that old wood tool box. My hubby is a Tool and Die maker and this was a box he used many, many years ago at the beginning of his career. It now holds glitter, pens, embossing powder, tools and miscellaneous things.


Ummmm...the only reason this looks organized is because I moved all the stuff across the room to the paper area. Notice the clear plastic shelves are empty. They can be a real pain to use with the little lip at the front of each shelf. Also, notice the exercise bike I don't use. I WANT to use it but, once again, I procrastinate and it collects dust.



This is right behind my chair and is a disaster! I come close to tripping every single time I get up! That is just one of four similar baskets of lace scraps that I love. A lot of them are vintage. There is a stack of plastic baby food containers with lids that I thought would make great storage containers. I don't know what for, but they will be great.





And...ta dah...my desk. I have been trying to clean up after I make something but, once again, procrastination at it finest!




I don't know how, but amongst all this bedlam I actually did some creating. Here is a Christmas gift box that I repurposed for Valentines Day. Don't know what I'm gonna do with it but it's actually finished.






Here's a tag that I think I'm gonna use on a Bridal Shower gift for my niece soon.




Here's a Valentine tag that I have absolutely no idea where to use. Obviously can't use it on a gift for hubby...too girley for him. *smirk*




Well, since I wore myself out fessing up, I guess I'm gonna head off to bed. It's actually 2:30 AM and I'm tired. Since I don't want to face plant on my keyboard, I'm outta here for the night! Nytol! Ren