"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My VALENTINE Mantle & Banner

When inspiration comes a'knockin'
it's best to open the door!
I just had the BEST time creating this
Valentine banner - and it's different from what
you might expect!
 Originally, my idea was to make a banner using
cute Vintage cards.  While rummaging
through my stash of images, the MUSE came
through loud and clear.  Instead of using
old cards, why not use pictures of my
own children?   And take it a bit further
by adding satirical captions to go
with them, just like the old Valentines.

The first - Mary at age 5 in my
childhood Communion dress,
which resembles a wedding gown.
I added a frame with the caption,
"Picture our lives together, Valentine."
Nicolai helping Daddy build a
tree house, "Valentine, let's
build a life together!"

I had much fun trying to
come up with a quip to go with each!
A simple picture of Mary brushing
her teeth reads, "Don't brush me
off.  Be my Valentine!"

Mary actually came up with this line,
"Valentine, you're my favorite

If there's a picture you like, but can't
come up with something you're really
satisfied with, you can always google
ideas.  For example, for this picture
I googled, "Valentine card snow"
and found, "Don't give us the
cold shoulder.  Be our Valentine!"

Mary was just 6 years old in this
picture and having a Valentine
party.  They grow so fast!  It's actually
much clearer, I was getting some
camera flashes in a few of these pictures.

I actually found a K.P. joke on a vintage
Valentine, but didn't really like it.  Let the
brain-storming begin.  Hmmm...judging by
his face, K.P. duty would be funny....
and he does have a bag of potatoes...
you mash potatoes....no......ooooo!
You peel potatoes!

"It's time to come clean and be my
Valentine!"  Bathroom images are taken
from a 1950's Montgomery Ward
catalog I own. Hence, the
green tub and that thing you're supposed
to hang up in the bathroom....I guess
to collect dirty clothes?

Mary in her fairy stage.  A little
cupid flies above saying, "You enchant
me, Valentine."

No need for captions on this one.
The background just says, "I love you"
over and over.  I found some old I Love You
picks in my stash and the way Nic's hand
is positioned, I was able to make it look
like he's holding it.

Another fun part of this project
was choosing every day pictures
and seeing them through
different ideas.  What was once a picture
that reminded me of Mary's accident
is now a cute Valentine that reads,
"Cast aside your worries and be
my Valentine!"

OK.  I just looked at this picture
of Nic and "I'm crazy for you,
Valentine" easily came to mind!

The banner is connected by red and white
twine and can be folded like a book
for easy storage. 

Vintage Valentine candy boxes line
the back and I used red and white
polka-dot fabric as a runner.  White paper doilies
are added too.  Love the bright white
against the red.

Do you think you'd like to give this
a try?   The ideas are endless and with
personal photos, it becomes an
instant keepsake.

On both sides is a vanilla candle.  And this
vase filled with glittered hearts just adds
some sparkle and fun.

Below it all is another banner of those
heart-shaped candies with sayings.  It's from
the 1980's and although I've had it for a few
years, it's the first time I'm actually using it.
Eventually, it all gets used!

Bought this at an antique shop a few
years back. 

My favorites are these old
lacey ones though.

So pretty!

And here's the little display I came
up with for my Valentine skaters.  Found
some old trees in my stash and put down
fake snow.  I plan on going through more
supplies to see if I can add to this.

Just couldn't wait to share!  Hoping others
will be inspired to make their own
 banner using family and friends.  I'd love to
see what you come up with!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Craft Room Says Hello!

What do you do when you're in a creative
rut?  Get up and get moving.  Sometimes
it's the best thing to uncloud your mind.
 While busying myself with house cleaning
and organizing, a wondrous thing
happened - my mind cleared and
inspiration set in!  
 I actually didn't sit down until 10 p.m!
Being more of an early bird as opposed
to a night owl, this was not normal
for me, but I was too excited
to wait 'til morning to get started.
 I'm the type who needs a clean space to
work at and this is exactly the reason why!
By the time I'm done, piles and piles
of materials are everywhere.
 I brought out all kinds of bins and boxes
for more ideas. 
 Crepe paper....
 Vintage millinery...
 Folders packed with images of
every kind....
OOOO!  And I finally got to try
some Copic markers Ted got for my
birthday.  They're dreamy!
First thing Sunday morning I woke up
and spent hours at it again,
in between loads of laundry of course! 
 Look what I found while sorting
through my bins!  I completely forgot
I had these.  They're old skaters turned into
Valentines.  The mailbox is a bank that I
hope to have time to decorate too.
 For now, they're sitting on
my shelf, but I want to make
a Valentine display.
 Another fun part about all this
creating?  I never had to leave
the house.  I'm just using what
I have at home.  Years of collecting
and thrifting has been worth it.
 The house is
clean, the kids are still in bed, and
that's my cue to finish
what I've started!
If you're feeling sluggish too..
if you've got no inspiration
or energy....get moving.  Get the blood
flowing and release that tension.
 It may be the last thing you WANT to do,
but exactly what you NEED
to do.  Now, if only I could apply
my own advice to getting on the treadmill.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Needle-Felted Minion

Is it possible for a brain to be constipated?
It's been so blocked lately that's the
only reason I can come up with.
Regardless, I did manage to
needle-felt Stuart, a Minion
from the "Despicable Me" movie.
 Stuart's only three inches tall.  I used
a washer for his goggle and vintage
boot charms for his feet.
 And for those who don't know what
a Minion is, this is Dave.  I never
met a Minion I didn't like!
Ya think if I stand on my head
the blood rushing to it will unclog my brain?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vintage Whimsies in a Bottle

OK.  I needed to have a peek.
Just what exactly is inside this bottle
of Vintage Whimsies?
 Let's have a lookie!
I like that tear drop!
 I tried to give you the largest pictures
to see all the details.  If you click on them,
you'll get an even closer view.
 Each piece is so tiny.
 These would come in handy
especially for miniatures and
miniature scenes.
 I had asked the owner of the store
if these were real or reproductions and
she said everything in the bottles
were, in fact, authentic vintage pieces.
 Many of these old pieces can easily
be dated back to the 1930's-1950's....
 ....which to me means one thing,
 While watching The Muppet Christmas Carol
with the kids, I actually began working with
my hands again, creating bodies for miniature
needle-felted children.  I bet I can use some of these
bits for the clothing.
My Spirit and Mind are having a tug-of-war
with my body.  My Spirit wants me to create; my
mind has endless to-do lists.  And I'm caught
in the middle!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas in NYC!

My friend, Beth and I only manage to see each
other once...maybe twice a year.  So visiting her
before Christmas has become a family tradition the
past few years.  Beth and her husband, Karl
live in Jersey City, only minutes from the train to
NYC.   We drove out for a visit Saturday evening, slept
over, and visited the city in the morning. 
First stop?  FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store
in America.
While there, "Aunt Bether" told the kids
they can pick out a present for Christmas.
Judging from the expression
on Nic's face, this picture was taken just
after this news!
They made us very proud and didn't
take advantage of her generosity.
Nic just picked out an Angry Birds
game while Mary preferred
Calico Critters.
 Next, we hit the Tinsel Trading
Company - this was for Mommy!
 I blogged about going here about 4 years
ago, but it was definitely smaller than I
remembered.  Sure enough, they had moved
because unfortunately, the rent was going
to cost them an additional $10,000!
Sad to see the little guy being kicked
out, isn't that always the way?
 Nevertheless, Tinsel Trading still
had an array of gorgeous items to
bedazzle and charm. 
Lots and lots of glitter here.
My Mom would love it!
She loves everything that sparkles.
There's a mixture of vintage bits and bobs....
 ....and homemade items as well.
 Most of the authentic pieces were shipped in
from France and Germany and date back
to the 1930's.
 A tempting place to be for a
woman on a strict budget!
 These bottles are filled with teeny vintage
pieces that would make fab-u-lous
decorative accents.
 I don't know if I'd even want to use
what's inside - they're gorgeous just
as they are! 
 If you're ever in Manhatten, this is a
definite on the to-see list!
It was starting to get late and
drizzly outside, so while working our
way back to the train station we
decided to take a peek at
St. Patrick's Cathedral.
 We lit a candle and said a personal prayer.
It's so unbelievably ornate.  You really have
to be there to see.  
 Last stop was unexpected.  Just as we got
off the subway to lead us back to the train,
we were at Ground Zero.   This is the Freedom
Building being built in place of the Twin Towers.
From Jersey City -
Merry Christmas and Fuggetabowdit!