Thursday, December 30, 2010

Upcycling En Masse

Elsie Flannigan and Rachel Denbow are about to kick off a year of repurposing, remaking and renewing old, worn or damaged items. In other words, they have tapped into a passion of mine: Upcycling. Join in the effort here...Project ReStyle - A Beautiful Mess

Go against the grain of New Years exclamations of Out with the Old and In with the New. Embrace a new resolution of In with the Old and Who needs the New!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Merry Revisited

During this time of year when, in general, women all over the world are busy doing, going and buying for others (and quite happily too), I invited Rosemary and Kim over to put the breaks on the Christmas crazy and spend an entire day Making Merry. What better way to recharge and refuel in the midst of the Christmas season than to indulge in a bit of top notch retail therapy and ultra creative play?

We went to one of my favorite places to get decorating inspiration, Chartreuse and Company and then we stopped in at a new store down the street from my home, Wild Rose and Co. that also does an amazing job of merchandising the goods.

Then it was back to the house where we said hi to the City Chicks and then got down to the business of creative play...
Rosemary had brought the motherload of Christmas stashes (I want to go shopping in her studio!) as we embellished wine boxes. We were so proud of our accomplishments that they all got an impromptu photo shoot (mine is on the far left).
I decided to give mine away to my mom (She never reads my blog, so I'm safe. Did I tell you about the time Mom went skinny dipping with my Dad when I was a little kid? hehehe) and put some very delicate, breakable Christmas ornaments in it. Voila, perfect vehicle for a fragile gift.
Then we stopped for snacks, nom, nom, nom. There shall be no art without serious carbo loading.
After that, we started on my very long, very messy project. Let's just say that cotton batting, cotton balls, glue and mica make incredibly gorgeous finished clouds and snow scenes, but the process is like you gave a kid a roll of duct tape and a bottle of paste then told them to go to town with it. The final result was a snow laden cloud with a vintage Christmas light to lead the way through the dark night with a vintage goodie laden tin in tow (or that's what I hope it looks like).
The inspiration were some vintage cotton batting ornaments, some 'travel' related ornaments my children have the involve zeppelins, or cotton batting sail boats and another project where someone used a vintage tin as a balloon basket. (I've come to the conclusion that a truly original idea, if it should ever suddenly hit me, will probably happen long after I've gone gray and senile) After all that creating, we were wiped out, so it was dinner time! Tim, otherwise knowns as Pizza Boy, took our orders and made us homemade pizzas which was followed by more carb loading because being covered in glue and mica burns serious, um, brain cells?

For our final creative endeavor, Kim taught Rosemary and I how to make flowers from ribbon. Both Rosemary and I kind of shivered with intimidation until Kim guided us through beautiful petals, leaves and more. Seriously we had no idea how cool it could be and all of the amazing projects that can be done with ribbon flowers!

Of course, I don't have a photo of mine because we didn't finish. Our spirit was willing, but our bodies were weak. I've had my pieces in a basket by the sofa so I can slowly put it all together, but I think Kim enabled us to explore yet another new creative outlet!

(And I think we ate some more as we packed away all of our projects. Who are we to waste perfectly good carbs?) As we hugged each other goodbye, cries were heard of Making Merry to all and to all a Good Night!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Egg-static, lol

Today we had our first 'real' snow that stuck to the ground. All in all, it was maybe 1/2 inch, but it was enough to cause several accidents and cancel all after school activities.

This also meant the first snow for the City Chick(en)s. I went out to check on them and they were all cowering inside the coop, hovering around their pop door looking out at me.
I meant to tempt them with some sunflower seed and a few brave girls ran out for about 10 seconds to gobble some up before running right back inside the coop and scolding me loudly as if to say "You half-wit woman, can't you see the sky is falling?"
They returned to their vigil of hovering around the pop door and clucking about the end of the world that was surely nigh.

Biology got the best of them and several still layed their lovely little eggs.
We are getting a kick out of giving away fresh eggs to neighbors and friends. I suppose if you had a highly developed palate, you might say "Dayum, these are downright amazing eggs." I'm not one of those people. But I can tell you that their yolks are brighter & sturdier than any store bought egg. I can also say that I've been told because our chicks eat a well-rounded diet that their eggs are healthier than their store bought counterparts.
And, by golly, they are pretty! Each day going to collect eggs is a bit like Christmas morning. Or maybe I'm just incredibly easy to entertain. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Circle o'Vintage

My old house has something that often foils my attempts to hang things on walls: loads of windows and plaster. I am determined that this beauty IS going up this year rather than languishing in obscurity. I may be scaling back, but I still love the shiny (oooh, shiny). Sweet angel on her cloud...Love this bell! Full of vintage love. It will go up. I may crack some plaster, but it's one of my projects for the day. And I carved out some time to play with Opus Gluei for their current "Getting Frosted" challenge. It was like carved out while watching Jimmy Fallon late at night carved out, but I was having too much fun for sleep.

When I make stuff purely from old stash I start to feel bad about shopping for new goodies.
I mean, really, really guilty bad.
For about a minute.
And then I'm over it. :)
But, I do quite love pulling together a project from old stash and creating something new.
This wintery, frosty card uses old Heidi Swapp, Ranger, Martha Stewart, Making Memories, Basic Grey, vintage flowers and I used vintage tinsel to make a nest. If you figure out how to removed my camera covered face from the reflection, let me know. I'm not fluent in Photoshop, so it'll stay there for now. ;)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We Need A Little (Smaller) Christmas

right this very minute...

My poor husband. After years of careful training on my part, he has finally learned to fully embrace that Clark Griswald Christmas spirit while his wife is beginning to recite 'edit, edit, edit' in her head.

What does this mean? While Tim is wandering around the attic and trying to hand me every single Christmas thing we own (and it's a lot), I'm yelling up "Not this year." Hence the grumbling and muttering from up above as he tells the rejected items they are going to the cast-off corner.

I'm not getting rid of anything, but I have been trying to pull back, refocus and refresh our decorations for the season...without buying anything new unless it's living like wreaths or swags. My BFFs might faint dead away when they read this that has been typed by my own two hands: There can be too much of a good thing. (Thud heard in MA, I know)

Instead of putting out every single snowman I own, just a few came out to play this year. Instead of spreading out our Christmas trees into several areas, I grouped them in a miniature forest.
I like it. It's not the heavenly displays from Anthropologie or Kate's Paperie, but it though it's all old stuff.
I did give in to dressing up the chandeliers a bit.

And Sozo kitty was overjoyed to see her annual December napping spot return again. The minute that tree skirt went down, I swear she was sprawled out on it in less than a minute.
Tim will thank me for all that editing later when he's not carrying all that stuff back up to the attic. ;)