I have been trying to help my niece figure out how to organize my great-niece’s toys and books. Tatiana has a ton of stuffed animals that are her favorite toys. She also has a lot of little books. (I’m happy to say that she is a book-nut like her Auntie.)
It was in Marshall’s that I spotted these inexpensive, little mail organizers. I thought that they made perfect holders since Tati’s youth-books are so thin and small. Tucked alongside her bookcase, there is now breathing room for all of those animals. Eeek! Maybe room for even MORE stuffed animals.
DUST! “Dusting and how to tackle it.” Man, I wish that could be the title of this post. The real title should read, “Constant dusting and what to do about it. Beats me! Anybody got any clues?”
I have so many little treasures and art supplies that collect dust like you can’t imagine. Of course, it does not help that we live on a very long dirt road, and on top of a hill where the dust devils just love to come roust us out of our reverie. Seriously, those things RUMBLE around here. As soon as I hear one coming, I run to close all of the windows, but it is no help. So, dusting has become part of my life- an evil part, but necessary none the less.
I know, I should do like my sister and live the minimalist life. But she has no hobbies and she LOVES sleeping. No kidding- she says that sleep is her hobby and that she doesn’t want to bother with anything else. I love sleeping too, but I also love making things, collecting things and looking at my little treasures.
You’ve probably guessed that I have a LOT of hobbies! And I HAVE to have all of my art supplies. And I HAVE to live with the windows open all day. Having fresh air and seeing far off into the valley below and the mountains past that is one of my greatest pleasures. And so it goes, round and round…
Anyway, don’t judge the floral- this is just the under-painting.
Seriously, I know that many of you are artists, crafters, collectors and sellers. I’m curious- How do YOU deal with the constant dusting of supplies?
The cooler weather is an exciting time to once again bring out my yarn and crochet hooks. What could be better than making something that keeps you warm while you are working on it?
Here is my last finished piece; a chunky crocheted afghan with crossed cables. I made it a little larger than the instructions so that I can throw it over our queen sized mattress for extra warmth if we need it during these cold winter months. My niece was nabbed as the reluctant model to show off the afghan. She will probably never come to an innocent brunch of mine again. (grin)
The yarn that I used is from Red Heart and the color is “Dove grey”. By the way, If you wash the afghan on gentle and use a fabric softener, it really will soften up that inexpensive yarn.
The instructions are from this book at Joanne’s. You can use your coupon on books now, so be sure to check them out.
Click on the photo for a link to Leisure Arts and other crochet books. This one has a ton of cool patterns to follow.
I would love to see your crocheted projects. Put links or pics in the “comments” so that we can share, OK? ❤
Autumn demanded new decorations for my Cottage style home. A welcoming wreath was on the list for my front door. It’s hand crafted and turned out pretty if I may say so myself. An inexpensive grapevine wreath was the jump-off point for this project. I added a little pine greenery, then fall colored picks and pumpkins. A cute Welcome sign that I found at Bell’s department store fit perfectly into the center of the wreath. A big shiny copper ribbon bow completed the look.
As usual, I changed my entryway to suit the season. This time, I wanted to focus on fall colors and decor to welcome the Thanksgiving holiday.
The design is simple and was based on a couple of new text art pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby. The metal bucket and faux foliage is also from Hobby Lobby.
A silver, grey and ivory beaded pumpkin place-mat was from Ross- my favorite guilty pleasure shopping store. Well- Ross, Tuesday Morning and TJ Max are equal shopping fun. Since I nearly die of sticker shock every time I go into a store with full retail prices – you get the picture. It’s discount and thrift stores all the way for me.
Les made many of the elements in my wall arrangement. Yes, I’m showing off his talent again. (grin). That strange little bird assembly at the top of the arrangement? It’s made with an oak burl and root piece that he found outside. Pretty awesome, huh? I LOVE found art!
Completing the fall decor in the living room was a snap. Cotton ball branches, twigs and red berries were tossed into my sap bucket and DONE! Pretty, inexpensive and easy- that’s my kind of decorating.
A few more Halloween decor pics are in order, I think. Did I tell you that I LOVE decorating for the holidays? “Why?”, you ask. Just because it makes me happy. I hope that the decorations make you smile too.
The table in the entryway often gets a decorative refresh. It’s a changeling for holidays as well as the different seasons. The photo above is specifically for Halloween, of course, but take a look at the before picture to the left. This was the summer arrangement with artwork from myself (center painting) and abstract landscapes from Claudia McGill. This time, the entryway went from springy-summer to the dark, spooky colors of Halloween. I love it!
I have a few purchased collectibles, but most of our decorations are made by Les or myself. Above are some store-boughts. Aren’t the little pumpkin buckets adorable?The cool devil bunnies are made by my husband Les Gains. He sculpts them of clay, then makes a mold and pours resin into that. Acrylic paint completes the look. I love his work because it is so unusual. My art always turns out “girly” no matter how edgy I try to make it.
Pictured above are more of Les’ mixed media sculptures. He most often starts with his resin creations and builds from there. So cool!…a close-up of my girly assemblage with more of Les’ devil bunnies surveying the scene…my resin contribution this year is the little pumpkin in the basket. …..ah well…we can’t all be edgy.
First of all, I have to give props to Polly’s Paper Studio. Her post on her peat pot birthday assemblage gave me the kick that I needed to get busy on my Halloween decor. I decided, as soon as I saw Polly’s post, that I wanted to make a Halloween pot.
For the first step in this project, as in all projects, I had to make a mess. I usually drag all kinds of supplies out to see if this will go or if that will go- you know the drill.
One of the things that I knew I wanted to use was a little pumpkin that I carved out of clay. A mold was made from the clay pumpkin and then cast in resin. You can see him in the bottom right corner of the pic above. He’s painted with a coat of acrylic craft paint.
I had made a ton of Halloween rosettes for my Halloween tree, so I nabbed one of those to use in the pot as well.
My other self imposed constraint was to use only what I had on hand. A little metal pot started out as my base after I drilled holes into the side of the pot. I took three colors of pipe cleaners, twined them around each other, then fit the ends into the holes in the pot. Now I had a cute little handle.
Next, I cut a strip of scrapbook paper to length. I cut divets into the paper from the bottom up, leaving a connection point at the top of the strip- only about an eighth of an inch deep. The divets helped to overlap the paper in the forming of the pot shapes. If you will cut those, you will have no buckling as you try to shape the paper onto the pot.
A little shredded paper went into the pot as a filler. That was topped with tulle and ribbon glued in with a glue gun.
The stars were freehand cut out of glitter scrapbook paper.
The “Boo” banner is a scrap book embellishment from Recollections. The adhesive ribbon around the pot base and the banner are left-over supplies from a previous scrap book project. I used a glue gun to assemble everything and there you have it.
OH! I also lightly sanded my little pumpkin to give her an aged, vintage look. She got a body and a little paper dress with pom-pom for her outfit.
Fabulous artist, Claudia McGill gives away paintings! That’s right, they are free. All that she asks is that you pay the shipping fees. Claudia is probably the most prolific artist that I know. She does one small painting a day to challenge herself and then she gives them away. That is so COOL! I wanted to follow in her footsteps, but I couldn’t even get to one painting a week. Nor one a month. I am the embodiment of an anti-prolific artist- painting only when I want to change the art in my decor or when I want to gift someone. (grin)
I asked for several of Claudia’s little paintings which she graciously shipped immediately. All I paid was $12.00 for Priority shipping. AMAZING!After much deliberation on how to hang these little gems, I decided to use clips and push pins in keeping with my funky living room decor. I arranged Claudia’s work around a central painting that I did. I think that the colors complement each other.This is my entryway where I can drop my keys and my purse. But, mostly, I can admire Claudia’s work and several other of my favorite art pieces.The face vase was a gift from my friend, Robyn. It is a ceramic vase signed by Bing. Really cool stuff. In the next post, I will share more of Les Gains’ mixed media that is included in my arrangement.