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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Making More Dolls with Mary

While Mary's spending her summer
hours "making" things on her X-Box,
I encouraged her to REALLY
make something with her own hands,
not something a video tells her
she made.    She saw the fun
I was having making more dolls
and wanted to make one herself.
 So many bits and bobs to choose from,
which will it be, Mary?
 These are the results!
Her top is actually antique lace that
I wrapped around her body.  It's naturally
aged to that color.  No tea or coffee
staining necessary.  Her candy-striped dress
comes from fabric and upholstery sample books
I figured to sell, but in the back of my mind always
knew I'd want to use myself.
 Instead of a hat, I thought a headband
would look cute.
 Using most of the same old
fabrics this little gal was just
as much fun to dress.
 The bow is a vintage fabric
pin made in Japan!
 And then we have my Mary's
doll.   This dame looks like a
1920's Flapper with her wide
headband and fringed dress.
 Mary also wanted to add a
big bow and a sparkly heart-shaped
purse to hold all her patriotic
 Looks like these kittens are
ready for a 4th of July Blow-Out!
Or as the Flappers would say,
"Let's trip the light fantastic!" 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Won a Give-Away!

A huge box showed up in our mailbox
and my kids couldn't wait to tear it open! 
We were first greeted by an American
flag.  Then tossing out more tissues
Mary found this bag.
Inside were festive patriotic
craft supplies!
Next, the kids found this
cigar boxed decorated in
red, white, and blue.
 And what's inside?
A very sweet diorama embellished with
bits and bobs celebrating the 4th of July! 
 And who's responsible for this
creative piece of altered art?
My friend, Kim, at
Kim's blog is warm and wonderful!  
Be sure to drop by and see all the
magic that transpires once she
gets her hands on something!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What Could Have Caused this Mess?!

Well, although I'd love to blame this mess
on the kids.....or maybe some elves who
love to play pranks while we sleep, I've
got to admit it was my own doing.
Ribbons, flowers, old Scrabble pieces,
hot glue, glitter, old blocks and more.
What could I possibly have been
busying myself with this afternoon?
It's all her fault.
And HER fault!
This is Magpie Ethel.  Her work constantly
inspires me.  You can visit her here to see
And this is what resulted using 
an old doll and an afternoon of
hunting through my craft bins. 
I found this doll while thrifting
and because she was already dressed
in a red, white, and blue dress, ideas shot
through my mind of how I could
make a patriotic decoration using
her as the focal point.
 Old Scrabble pieces make a
celebratory sign and the bell she
holds is a vintage Christmas ornament
I sprinkled with old glitter. 
 The ribbon in her hair is actually an
old fabric pin! 
 I gave her a belt using an old blue and
white ribbon and added a white
paper flower. 
 She stands on very old red and blue
block, naturally aged with time.
 I found the words "Living in
Freedom" in a 100-year-old church
hymnal and thought it was the
perfect touch! 
It's been so fun decorating and
creating with an American theme.
Years ago, I decorated in this style, but
went through many changes since.  I think
I've come full circle!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Patriotic Tree

OK.  I might be getting a little out of
control, but when the creative spirit
comes calling, who am I to ignore it?
This 3-footer is decked out in both
old and new decorations.
 The ornaments are from the 1970s.
The paper ornaments are from
the Party Store.
 Red wooden berries came from Mom and there
are even red glittered hearts from the Dollar Store
that I used for Valentine's Day decorating.
The silver garland is also vintage.
 The tree topper is a pinwheel surrounded
by a tuft of red, white, and blue garland.
I wonder if I'm done?!
In any case, this white tree can also
be decorated for Valentine's, Christmas,
Winter (snowmen), St. Patrick's Day, even
Easter.  A little goes a long way! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Congratulations, Mary!

Today Mary graduated
into Middle School.  It was
bittersweet thinking how fast time
flies and how quickly she's growing.  But
judging by this picture, I've still got my
little girl for a wee bit longer!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Decking the Mantel with Red, White, and Blue

I think this is the first time I've
ever decorated specifically for
the 4th of July. 
 And who's taking center stage?
Barbie, of all things!
Never in a million years did I
ever think I'd decorate with Barbie dolls!
 Just last week I found these at a
community flea, marked $3.00 each.
I added the flags to make them
look like they're celebrating.
 She's technically a pilgrim, but
the red and white clothing
lets her fit right in.
 I filled this huge glass jar with
vintage Christmas lights. 
I found the cutest little patriotic girl
images on old cards that I made
into paper dolls.  I printed them out
on a full sheet of paper and matted
them onto thick card stock.  Then I glued
some sparklies to the top of her hat.  To
keep her from falling over, I hot glued
an old block to the back.
Same was done for this doll.
Do you see how I also got to
use my firecrackers?!
Looks like the flags are going to
catch fire, doesn't it?  Faux candles fix
that problem! 
It was such fun decorating that
I ordered a white table-top Christmas
tree to decorate in red, white, and blue.
  The kids are so excited for it to
come in.   Half the fun will be hunting around
the house and in all our Christmas boxes to find
just the right ornaments to turn the Christmas tree
into a 4th of July tree!   
Until next time!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

4th of July FIRECRACKER Tutorial

Want to learn how to make your OWN
wooden decorative firecrackers?!
Come on, it's fun!
Wooden Dowel (size is based on how big you'd
like your firecracker)
Paint (red, white, blue)
Antiquing medium of your choice (optional)
Glue - I prefer hot glue
Saw - to cut your dowels (if you buy at Home Depot
or Lowes, they can cut it for you)
Jute, thin rope, anything that can be used for a fuse.
Finishing spray (matte or satin finish is best) - optional.
1)  Cut your dowel into several different lengths.
 (I was lucky enough to use my Dad's chopping saw.  If
you don't have one, either have the store cut it for you
or else buy a thinner dowel and hand saw it yourself.
A scroll saw or bandsaw can also be used.)
2)  Drill holes on top.  This is where
the fuse will go.
3) Paint the firecrackers
in all the colors of Old Glory. 
No need to be nervous!  That's the
beauty of folk art - it's made by
common folk!  I just eyeballed
all the stripes and used a stencil for the
stars, but you can certainly
free-draw them or use stickers.

4)  Once dried, I always like to spray with
a clear coat for a protective finish. 
5)  Add a dab of hot glue inside the hole
you drilled and add a piece of jute.
6)  I then wiped on Walnut Ink to
give them a more time-worn look.  There
 are tons of antiquing mediums to choose
from - paint, gels, inks, sprays,
crackle finishes, etc.
7)  Last, I bundled them
together using the jute.  You can also tie
patriotic fabric or ribbons around them.
Made in America!
(We need to see more of that).
I think it's time to redecorate the mantel!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Good Friend, Why Did You Have to Go?

Last Monday, Troop 19 in old Langhorne
marched in the Memorial Day parade.
 Honestly, at first I dreaded it.  It was hot.
It was a long walk with constant stops.
And I just wasn't in the mood.
 But as soon as I got there, my attitude changed.
My kids were excited to be in a parade.  And we
had FIVE pounds of candy to toss!
Nicolai spent the whole time with
one of his best friends, Kyle.
And I ran into a good friend myself!
Michelle took me under her wing this
year as I learned the ins and outs
of working with special needs children.
We got to see the old cars.  One in particular
had a WOMAN WWII vet.  I clapped and shouted
to her and she gave me the thumbs-up.  Go girl!
We followed behind the Revolutionary War
Re-enactors.  We stopped at one grave which
is the final resting place for 166 soldiers. 
Everyone grew silent as they paid their
respects to these fallen warriors.
 It turned out to be a really nice morning.
To my surprise (and delight!) at the end
there were free hotdogs and drinks.   
 Just today, exactly a week later, we were all shocked
to hear of the unexpected passing of
one of our leaders, Roy.  He was the nicest
man.  This was to be his final year with the
cub scouts and we wondered what
we'd do without him.  We rested easy knowing
he'd still be around to pick his brain.
It reminds me of the words from
Kenny Rogers, "Good friend, why
did you have to go?  Just when I was
getting to know you, I'll sing this song to show
you were a good friend.  They don't make them
quite like you.  And in my memory you'll always
be a good, good friend to me."