Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pick Up Sticks

As you know, I've been lacking in the crafty department lately. For some reason I just can't seem to focus. I spend more time staring off into space (or at the TV) instead of creating and it's driving me crazy! My new job takes up a lot of time and I know that is factor but come on! I need to get in gear, right?

While at the retreat in Los Angeles I had some time to myself one morning while Luis was attending the business meeting portion. It was a little over cast so I parked myself on the terrace with my Nook and figured to fill a few hours reading. I'd only been sitting there a few moments when someone asked me if I liked my Nook. Enter Heli, my new BFF.

Heli on the left, me on the right, heading to a nice dinner the night we met.

Heli's husband also won the trip and was in the business meeting as well. She and her family live in Nashville and we get along like a house on fire. She reads, she knits, she crochets . . . oh yes, she is like me but Southeast! :)

We spent the rest of the week together enjoying the dinners, spa and pool with the husbands in tow (who bonded over a water slide adventure) and were sad to say goodbye at the end of the weekend. Fortunately we have email, texting and Facebook and all that good social networking to keep in touch. We hope to visit each other as well. I can't wait!

I helped Heli learn to knit cables in about 2 minutes by the pool fire pit one night. She picked it up so quickly and has already made an adorable cabled Nook cover. Inspired by my new BFF I pulled out some knitting books and got to work:

I've been wanting to make this giraffe forever and the first thing that caught my eye in the yarn bin was some lovely orange cotton. So I drug out the DPNs and got to work. I hope to share my finished toy soon. I also hope that my inspiration lingers and I finish the oh two or FIVE half done knitting projects laying around here as well.

So thank you BFF for getting me back in crafty form. I miss you!

cheers ~ rr

Thursday, October 28, 2010

California . . . knows how to party . . .

Hello all! I think my jet lag is gone but I'm still missing my luxurious vacation at Terranea in Los Angeles. Luis was one of the top salesmen at his company last year and was rewarded this with fabulous trip. We had a great time! They had a lot of fun events plus a spa day. Oh yes, a SPA DAY. Mmm hmmm. As I still haven't jumped back on the craft wagon I thought I'd share some photos from our trip.

This was Luis' first trip to the west coast and he couldn't wait to put his feet in the Pacific Ocean.

The resort was built into the cliffs and every where you looked was beautiful.

The view from our balcony. Luis spent most of his trip in the pool and hot tubs. :)

Luis was recognized at a big banquet and I got to buy a new dress! It was a very fancy affair.

I could have sat in the beach cove all day. We have very fond memories of our vacation and I'm crossing my fingers that Luis will win the trip again! I made a fantastic new friend while I was there but that is a story for another post. :)

Check out my article at the Examiner on last minute Halloween party ideas from One Charming Party HERE.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back to Reality

Sigh . .  we're back from sunny(ish) California and I'm still dreaming of turn down service and cocktails by the pool. But alas, it's time to get back to reality and head back to work. This weekend starts my drive to the holidays and I plan to be go, go, go through the end of the year. I am way behind my regular schedule of holiday shopping and gift making. I like to start early so once the holidays arrive I have time to actually enjoy them. So I'm on a mission to get things organized and rolling. I also hope to finally visit the Connecticut flea market on Halloween morning. I haven't been at all this year and there are only a few weekends left!

I'll be back tomorrow with more photos to share and to pick your brains about some holiday ideas like gifts to make, ornaments for the craft party and more.

Love to knit or crochet? Lion Brand has their premier yarns on sale for 20% off. Check out my article HERE.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Get crafty with Fabric Remix

Visit my review and mini-interview with Sandy Stone, author of Fabirc Remix, Repurpose & Redecorate with Simple Sewing and Easy Upholstery HERE. Thank you for your support!

I'm off to Los Angeles for a few days then it's down to business! I really need to get in gear for the holidays. :)

fondly ~ Rebecca

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Reviews - Get your craft on!

Hello all,

I'm still waiting for my crafty mojo to come back from vacation so to stoke the fires I ordered some new books from Amazon.

Fabric Remix - Sandy Stone

Fabric Remix has loads of projects using repurposed fabrics. Sandy Stone is a woman after my own heart. She loves to shop estate sales ad flea markets and make the old new again. My favorite project is a dog bed made from a rug. It's really cute and would probably last longer than the beds I buy which seem to end up super flat in no time. :) I've been emailing with Sandy about an interview at the Examiner so I'll be able to share more about her inspirations and future projects soon!

The photos are nice and the instructions are pretty good, too, though I haven't tried anything yet. I do think you have to have "an eye" for old fabrics to get the same sort of results. I do love that pom-pom fringe covered ottoman on the cover though Sandy states that it does take some time to attach all that trim but worth the effort. :)

Tilda's Christmas Ideas - Tone Finnanger

I know you're probably tired of hearing me babble about my love of Tilda books but the latest edition is just as sweet as the others. It's a short one, with a few new Christmas projects, and is priced around $6.00. If you haven't tried any Tilda projects yet, this is a good place to start due to the price and the few projects to choose from.

As always, the pictures are gorgeous and it's printed on large lovely matte paper which appeals to the fiber lover in me. There are the cute santas on the cover plus pixies in a similar fashion, sweet little stuffed snowmen (which are shown under shabby dessert cloches!) and the cutest vintage ice skate/boot stocking which will be my first holiday project this year. Tilda books always make me want to drag out the sewing machine! Check out my article on the book HERE at the Examiner.

Fa La La La Felt - Amanda Carestio

If you love crafting with felt, this book is for you! It's a collection of fun projects that range from easy to slightly difficult though I don't think there is anything too intense in here. I think this would be good for some projects with kids as felt is easy to deal with and they can decorate with all sorts of fun embellishments.

I love the stuffed trees on the cover but I think my favorite project are the cute little Christmas pudding ornaments made from soda bottle caps! Cute AND clever. They are definitely on my list for crafting this year. Depending on the ease of the project I may include them in my upcoming annual Christmas Crafting Tea that I hostess with my Mom. I also love the peppermint candy garland and the felt doves perched on hinge clothes pins to clip on your tree. There are a lot of other projects in the book and you can read more in the review I posted HERE on the Examiner.

So this is where I'm going to get some of my holiday inspiration. I also got out my collection of knitting and crochet magazines hoping to get the spark to start a new gift. Lately I've just been tired and blah and honestly, I'm sick of it! Time to get holly jolly, don't you think? Do you have any tips for getting in the crafty mood?

Fondly ~ Rebecca

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4th Annual Mochimochi Photo Contest


Any knitters out there? Check out the contest at Mochimochi Land! More details here!

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Thrift Store!

How excited am I that the new thrift store I visited this weekend is actually a GOOD one? Oh . . . very excited. I'd been hearing radio spots for Unique Thrift Store for a few weeks. It wasn't too far away and they were having 50% off of everything at their grand opening sale. Of course I was skeptical of any thrift store that advertises. Plus it's attached to one of those dealer type flea markets that just isn't my thing. But since I was headed out anyway and it wasn't too far our of the way I decided to check it out. I'm so glad I did! It's huge and priced like a regular thrift store and not an antique store. It's well organized and has dressing rooms which is very helpful when purchasing clothes. My total bill was $22. What did I find?

While there wasn't too much vintage I was very happy to find these sweet cake toppers. Most likely these will end up on Etsy but I'll keep a few for myself.

This is a nice linen table cloth that has both cross stitch and a crocheted border.

I also found the nice apron in the back, two little black bags and a handful of DMC Perle Cotton.

These are just some of the misc. things I picked up. Not shown are two puzzles, another vintage corsk screw and some spools of ribbon.

Two of my favorite finds were found last minute in a basket of jewelry right at the register. Regularly priced at 69 cents each, I was happy to snag this vintage Monet tassle necklace and a ridiculously cute pink tug boat barrette.

Will I be going back? Oh you betcha. This store is much closer than the one I usually go to and the prices, even without the 50% off, are better.

Please take moment to check out my latest article HERE. Rebecca Henry at Pink Pearl Studio shares  instructions on making an adorable vintage style Halloween Banner. If you have Halloween crafts to share, please drop me a line! I'd love to feature them.

cheers ~ RR

Friday, October 08, 2010

Halloween Crown Swap Part 2

I was so excited to come home to a box waiting for me yesterday. My crown from Samantha had arrived!

Isn't it gorgeous? Made from chicken wire, ribbon, vintage images and flowers. I've always wanted to make a wire crown but haven't tried it yet. Now I have my very own! I love how it looks on the pumpkin. I will get a shot of me wearing it as soon as I get rid of the cold I'm nursing, I'm looking rather wretched lately, lol.

I love the little party girl there on the top.

The vintage pumpkin and October 31st are adorable, too. I requested a "sweet" crown and she got it perfect!

Samantha also included a cute glittery BOO banner. There was a glittery owl, too, but some how he didn't make it into the photo! I think he's off there to the left. lol

Thank you so much, Samanatha! I love it. My craft room is filled with creations from all the talented ladies I've met over the years and the crown will have a place of honor. :)

I loved this swap so much I'm considering hosting my own crown swap. Maybe fall themed? Or holiday? For some reason Ice Princess is screaming my name. :) Anyone interested?

xoxoxo ~ Rebecca

Thursday, October 07, 2010

We have a winner . . .

Hello all! Thank you for entering my Halloween give away. The winner is . . .  comment #2! Rebecca at Pink Pearl Studio! Check out her Halloween banner! It's sure to get you in the creating mood. :)

Rebecca - send me an email with your address so I can get your package in the mail right away!

I wish I had a project to share but I must admit that I've been very lazy lately! Isn't that awful? You sit around wishing you had more time and then you just sit around. Oy. So how about some projects I would LIKE to make?

From the last issue of Somerset Home:

I love all three of these projects! Especially that Shabby Union Jack pillow. Love the vintage measuring tape looking trim. The little bird in the wreath on the cover is cute, too, and wouldn't they be cute Christmas ornaments? And the tassel is just shear whimsy. Love it. Now if only my crafty mojo would return. If you find it hiding under your sofa, please tell it to come home immediately.

cheers ~ RR

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

FINALLY. Return to the Thrift Store

So I seriously haven't been to the Thrift Store in like 6 weeks. I. Know. Vacation, new job, cleaning (blech) all get in the way and disrupt my thrifting schedule. I've been trying to get to the Elephant's Trunk Flea for a few weekends now with no luck. I'm going to try (again) to go this Sunday if I can get everything else I need to do squared away first, of course.

This past Sunday I got up with the chickens and got a jump on my way over due housework. So by 10:30 I didn't feel too guilty about jumping in the car and heading out. While there was only one real stellar find, I am happy with my goods.

A small collection of vintage fabric and napkins. I love that blue rose print. There is a good amount and I already have an idea for it. The floral fabric in the center is a pair of pillow cases and those are TWELVE Vera napkins on the bottom. Cute, I know, but stellar? Not quite.

Some inexpensive scraps of new fabric. Sunday is half price on 4 colors so almost everything I picked up was 50% off. Still not stellar though.

I love to rescue handmade items, particularly cute baby blankets. I have to say, I love this color combo and it might be close to being my favorite find of the day but not number one . . .

Little aqua apron . . . adorable! I actually scored two of these and couldn't leave them behind. A future give away perhaps? Should they be decorated?

I love this shabby basket. The liner is a bit dirty and not very cute but I plan to use it as a pattern to make a new liner. I'm thinking of using that blue rose fabric. Then I'll pile up my vintage baby blankets in there.

And while I know you're expecting something like vintage table cloths or Pyrex so my stellar find MAY surprise you:

The corkscrew on the left is a vintage French Zig Zag. I believe it was made in 1953 and I found it in a bag for $1. I knew it was neat and I've been picking up vintage corkscrews here and there (the one on the right is a vintage Swiss design) but when I did some Googling on the Zig Zag it seems they are quite popular! One sold on Sunday on Ebay for $200. So a $1 true antique find? Stellar.

Stop by the Examiner for my latest article on making Halloween Cracker Favors. And remember to leave a comment HERE to win a little pack of Halloween goodies including Martha Stewart and K & Company items.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Give Away Time!

As promised, I went through a bunch of stuff in the craft room of doom and pulled out some Halloween goodies to give away.

Up for grabs is a Halloween Tricks and Treats magazine (from last year but still full of fun!), a K & Company sparkly "Happy Halloween" banner (the picture looks dark blue to me but it's really a royal purple. Some fun Halloween "crime scene" tape for decorating, Martha Stewart glitter stickers (they are sticky on both sides and you put glitter on top and they look very cute!) and a collection of Halloween greeting cards (all blank inside) with images of vintage ephemera on the front.

All you have to do is a leave a comment and tell me what you're working on right now. I love to hear everyone's projects (craft, decorating, organizing, you name it!) and get inspired! If you've blogged about it include a link so we can all check it out. I'll pick a winner on Thursday and get it out in the mail by Saturday so you'll have it to enjoy for the holiday.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Halloween Crown Swap

When Sarah at My So Called Junky Life announced a crown swap you KNOW I was right on it. I LOVE making crowns. In fact, I think I'll make myself a crown this weekend now that I've completed my crown for the swap. My partner is Samantha, one of the bloggers at Altered Junkies. I can't wait to see what she creates for me! My crown arrived to Samantha earlier this week and I've been dying to share so here we go . . .

I used black poster board (which is how I start all of my paper crowns) and cut out my crown shape.

I cut out grave stones from the Cricut Cartridge October 31st and glittered them with fine Martha Stewart glitter.

The moon graphic is from the ever fabulous Graphics Fairy and the sparkly letters are from Michaels. Do you know that I have an entire DRAWER of chip board glittered letters? Seriously.

I love how it turned out. I think when I make one for myself I'll call it "Scream Queen" what do you think?  Now that the "Wicked" crown is with it's new owner that white pumpkin looks a bit lonely.

Click here to see my album of crowns at Flickr!

I've also been busy at the Examiner and think I've written one of my favorite articles to date! I was able to interview Marlo from Contain Ya Crafts and it was a great experience! She is fun and interesting and really KNOWS what crafters are looking for in their storage needs. Please click HERE to read the interview. I also posted some fabulous Halloween crafts from Jen at Lipstick and Laundry. Check out the article HERE and make sure to stop by to visit her. She makes the most beautiful things from everyday materials! Thank you so much for your support with the Examiner. I'm enjoying finding new inspiration and meeting new people and hope you're enjoying them as well!

cheers ~ R


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