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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I've got the Blues

Ted calls it "Post-Party Depression."

He may be onto something.

After spending months working on the Old-Fashioned Carnival, I'm now completely devoid of creative energy. No matter how hard I try, I just can't bring myself to create and this makes me so sad and lethargic.

I try to boost my mood trying other things, like getting back into cooking. For a while, I was experimenting with Chinese cooking and was doing really well. It's not the same.

I try learning to sew.

I bring a brand new sewing machine to my mom's house - it doesn't work.

Mom tries teaching me on her machine - it breaks while we're using it.

My friend gives me a mini machine she just got for Christmas - it doesn't work.

Maybe I should just learn to stitch by hand.

Oh well, there's plenty of washing.....

and cleaning....

and organizing to do!

Cleaning, organizing, and destashing. I really love it. I'm one of those types who likes to clean, sort, and keep a tidy house. The focus here was my art stash!

Have you ever been shocked by how many supplies you have?

So many fabrics, so little time.

Do you see why I really want to learn how to sew?

I sorted and sorted through fabrics, laces, ticking, trims, and ribbons of all shapes, styles, colors, and textures.

Some old, some new, some borrowed, and yes, some blue.

This old metal cabinet's looking much better these days.

Meanwhile, all of my hatboxes are now sorted and organized.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Even my old cards now have a pretty box to call home.

Until my creative mojo returns, I'll be browsing all the rest of YOUR blogs in hopes of evoking inspiration and ideas. For now, it's back to scrubbing, ironing, and purging.

And maybe figuring out a new or recipe or two.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My First Fabric Collages

Ted just shakes his head and smiles saying, "You're always up to something. You just can't help yourself." He's right. But I say, if creating is wrong, I don't want to be right!

Lately, fabric collages have caught my eye. After gazing over so many of them, I knew I had to try one myself. Searching over hundreds of antique cabinet card images on the internet, this particular young woman inspired me. I printed her image out on printable cotton fabric and ironed her to a piece of cloth.

Now I needed my story. Was she sad? Depressed? Bored? Irritated? I finally decided she was just plain tired and worn out and I knew the perfect Biblical quote, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I shall give you rest."

Antique fabric, black and white French toile, rusty safety pins, vintage millinery, and different shades and textures of black and sepia-toned fabric and trim were all combined inside this distressed white frame. A tiny piece of an earring serves as the girl's brooch. I also hand-stitched just a wee bit of pink string around her for a bit of whimsy. Instead of making clean cuts, I prefer tearing the fabric for the frayed look.

That was so much fun, I had to try another! Again, I printed out an image of a beautiful woman looking in a mirror and ironed her to some fabric. I searched all over for a quote or saying having to do with beauty, a woman, or a mirror. Finally, I came across a poem in which this verse was written, "The true beauty of a woman is reflected in her soul."

I bit the bullet and took apart a vintage lady's hat to get these black velvet flowers and feathers. Inside, I added sparkly rhinestone pieces for the centers. I love how they shine against the black, like stars in a clear night sky.

Old ticking, buttons, and more vintage jewelry completed the piece. Although I originally wanted this to be flat with glass in front of it, I couldn't resist all the embellishments!

Feeling the fabrics, jewelry, and millinery in my hands, all the different shades and textures, all the eye candy, and sorting through piles of fabric and embellishments to find just the right piece was overwhelming, yet exciting. If you need a creative fix, try one of these. You'll use both sides of your brain to get it done!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Old-Fashioned Carnival is FINALLY Here!

At last! At last! The Carnival has arrived!!! Resting between 2 large Beach nut trees was our tiger to greet the guests. The signs on either side of the tiger were actual carnival signs that were no longer needed. Ted got them off the side of the road and I covered up their information with stars and the clown face.

There were games, prizes, and a big Concessions booth that was actually overflowing with food as the day went on. My Mother-in-Law, Kaye, took over running this booth, taking tickets and passing out hot dogs for all.

Hot dogs, bubblegum, candy, cookies, Cracker Jacks, chips, Animal Crackers, brownies, popcorn, cotton candy, juice, soda, Yoo-Hoo, dips, and hot pretzels all made for some scrumptious eating.

There were lots of kids running around with blue and purple teeth from all this bubblegum. And lots of kids (and adults) hopped up on sugar!

There were lots of games for the kids to play, giving the parents a chance to relax and visit. This was "Tip-It". The idea was to throw a wiffle ball and knock them all down. Unfortunately, my brother Shawn, found out the hard way that it wasn't safe for a man to stand behind this game while it's being played.

I spray-painted a large metal basin red and filled it with water for the kids to go fishing.

The little ones seemed to gravitate to this Bean Bag Toss.

They were so cute playing this game!

Some people asked me, "What possessed you to do all this?" To be honest, what motivated me most was making memories for my kids and family. One of my favorite memories growing up was picnics at my Aunt Margie and Uncle Hank's house. They say they don't remember it being any big deal, but to me it was. We'd picnic all day, play baseball with the grown-ups, catch lightening bugs (fireflies to some of you) at night, roast marshmallows, and this was the time to really get to play with our cousins. My sister and I both had a crush on Uncle Hank's brother, Robin too, that just added to the memories!

Little Gracie getting ready for the Disk Toss game. No Gracie, they're not bracelets!

Action Shot! All of the really good pictures are courtesy of my sister-in-law, Luann. While being the hostess, or Ringmaster in this case, I didn't have the opportunity to take many pictures. Thanks Lu!

This game sent me to the ER. . While making it, my thumb got stuck with some wood. I never did find a splinter, but it later got really infected, enough to make me pass out one morning. An ER visit and two antibiotics later, my little thumb is back to normal.

Mary sneaking some prizes.

Pick-A -Pop. This game was a real hit. No matter what, you won. If you picked a lollipop that had red marker, you won a ticket for a prize, green meant a dollar, and one lucky winner won $5.00! If none of the sticks were colored, you still got the lollipop.

Penny Toss Game. Flick a penny into a bottle and win!

All the prizes were here. The kids had to win tickets and turn them in for a prize. Problem was, they were more interested in keeping the tickets than turning them in! We were literally running out of tickets because the kids were hoarding them in their pockets. Out of 300 tickets, I only have 1 left. Little buggers took them home with them!

This was actually one of the hardest games, so say all the adults. Trying to catch one of these animals with a ring was deceivingly difficult.

Tin Pan Alley - my FAVORITE GAME! The object is to match two colors. I used an industrial-sized hamburger bun tin. This made the wiffle ball roll around after you tossed it. This game was like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you were gonna get.

Mary and me.

Hey! Who let this fellow out of the funny farm?!

It's ok Gary, the nice men from the Home are just going to take you on a little ride.

My friend Beth, came back home after living in California for over a decade. It's so great having her here again!

Beth's husband, Karl, worked the entire time next to Beth. They're both great with kids and Karl said he must have met every child there....some of them about 10 times. I think this one little girl in particular had a crush on him.

James wins a fish! I'm in the background telling Ted, "See?! It CAN be done!" The kids were really good at it. I don't think one adult was able to catch one. I'm thinking James either just got done eating a big bubblegum ball or some blue cotton candy.

We have a WINNER!!! Kayleigh won the grand prize of $5.00!

As a total surprise, I was given a HUGE circus-themed birthday cake from Nic's godparents, Poppy and Busha. My birthday was the next day and being so focused on this carnival, I completely forgot about it.

The cake was gorgeous. Busha added so many little details to the cake. It was amazing.

Turns out, my cousin Patrick, who is 7 years younger than me, shares the same birthday so I was happy to share my cake with him. A candle for both!

And the party continued on into the night.

Cake anyone?

Ya'all come back now, ya hear?!