Tuesday, October 29, 2013

WOYWW 230--Playing on my desk and in my dollhouse

 Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday lovelies!

Visit Ms. Julia Dunnit's desk-revealing blog party here.

I was creating some tags and consequently got out one of my massive hoards of brand tags--you know, the kind you usually yank off of new clothes and various products and throw them away. Well, everyone in my family is trained to give them to me, and I upcycle them into art tags, journal pages, scrapbooking and all kinds of things. This basket is the first of my hoard when I started doing this, and I found lots that I had forgotten all about!
Working on my autumn theme tag
More dollhouse-in-the works on my desk today. I stitched a little bolster pillow for the sofa!
Also, I found one of my favorite little things--the thread spool holder--for the craft room. This next picture will show you why I must hunt for the littlest dollhouse things.
The current dollhouse mess heap
This is a lot of the dollhouse goodies, and now that I've created my scrapbook dollhouse concept, many things are not going to make it back into the dollhouse. But that's okay. It's good to edit.
Let's have a sit and some punch!

Here's a little glittery corner I was working on in the living room. The birdcage and the sparkly golden chairs were all Christmas ornaments. The gold punch bowl and cups on the table were moved here from originally being in the kitchen, and it's hard to see here, but there's a glass bowl sitting there, and it's filled with sunflower seeds from my garden! You can barely see the little Tweety Bird there on the right--it's another nod to my childhood...one of those cartoons on every Saturday morning.

I need good sunlight to do proper dollhouse photos, but it feels like some days I just get my creativity going, and then it's too late for a photo shoot! But I'll have more to share next week. Toodaloo!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Play All Day

Tag Tuesday - An Autumn Owl

Happy Tag Tuesday! Visit the Tag Tuesday official blog today to see all the Halloween tags! They also gave us the option of creating more Autumn tags if we're not into Halloween.

So...I confess...I'm not that into Halloween!

Maybe it's the colors? I'm not overly thrilled with orange and black.

Maybe it's the zombie apocalypse direction things have taken in the last few years? Again, not a fan.

BUT...owls are cute and kind of Halloween-like, so my tag is an autumn owl.

I've certainly had my years of childhood trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, making a big deal of it every year when my daughter was growing up--oh the Disney princess outfits we loved!--but, now I'm a bit lazy. I think after being in a lot of plays and musicals, and often playing magical characters like Morgan LaFey in Camelot, the White Witch in Narnia, and a very wild version of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella...getting dressed up is a lot of effort to me unless I'm going on stage for a four-week run! Maybe I should be a diva for Halloween?

And yet, I'll spend hours embroidering something. I did, however, embroider this owl in about thirty minutes. Very relaxing and fun. I love, love, love to stitch on tags. And one of our upcoming themes is stitching!
So visit me over at Tag Tuesday, and see all the beautiful tags of energetic artists who took the time and trouble to help us all celebrate Halloween!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Treat Yourself

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Threads

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
I Peter 3:4

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Scrapbook Dollhouse Project--Creating a Craft Room In a Dollhouse

I painted and stamped the chimney--the front door before and after.
Once upon a time my dear husband built a dollhouse. It wasn't for me, or our little girl...it was for a show. He was the scenic designer, and a Victorian dollhouse was built, painted green and red, and made to look like it was burning down on stage in a scene from The Secret Garden.

After the show closed, nobody else wanted to keep the dollhouse and suggested he take it home to his daughter. She seemed quite happy with her Loving Family Dollhouse--it was really cute, and we were always getting more furniture and dolls for it at birthdays and Christmas. So...guess who played with the lovely Victorian dollhouse? Me, of course. I don't think I had ever lost my love of playing with dollhouses since my dad built my first one when I was little. Several years ago I had gone to a Christmas party at the home of a woman who was a college professor, and in her sixties, and low and behold at the back of her kitchen was a dollhouse decorated for Christmas time. She loved it! And she (along with the great Tasha Tudor) inspired me, and from then on, I decorated the Victorian dollhouse for all the holidays, and kept it on display somewhere in our house. And it was always fairly traditional kind of decorating along with a few things I made for it. Probably the person who is still most fascinated with it is my little nephew! He walked in my house the other day and immediately noticed it had moved--then I showed him it was on the sunporch where I was painting it. He approved my work!
I had to completely clear it out and tear down everything on the walls!
Over the last few years my love of scrapbooking, sewing, and art journaling had left the Victorian dollhouse to grow forgotten and dusty. Sad, right? And then I was staring at some decorative scrapbook paper one day when it hit me...why not completely tear up the dollhouse, paint with abandon, sew, glue, repurpose, and turn it into a living scrapbook/art journal piece? Paint my favorite colors...write on it...make it meaningful!

The answer was--there's no reason not to do something this cool. If I don't like what happens, I'll just paint and glue over it!
Almost done with the craft room!
So my project began, and I haven't looked back. I began by repainting the whole house in happy white, periwinkle and purple...my faves. I'm embroidering welcome mats, picking out scrapbook papers for the walls, choosing photos to display, and incorporating some heart, just like you would in your art journal. For example, a vintage spool of thread from my mother-in-law's sewing stash has become a vase in the craft room. There is a set of table and chairs, and a black wrought iron sofa and chair that once belonged to my childhood dollhouse along with two little keepsakes from my daughter's wonderful days in ballet. I'm stamping on favorite words and sayings in the most unusual places you would stamp things on a house, and I may even have some hidden journaling in the dollhouse--still creating that idea.
Making a room divider from cardboard

But first up was definitely the craft room. The original dollhouse never had a craft room--what was I thinking? First I took a piece of cardboard and decoupaged it into a room divider that looks kinda crafty. Then I picked coordinating scrapbook papers for the kitchen side and the craft room side. I put up some fun sayings over the windows on the middle floor too.

Craft room closeups

The main craft table was originally the kitchen table, and the vintage typewriter sitting there is a very heavy little pencil sharpener! The gold glittery dress form, and the two sparkly dresses hanging now on the divider were all Christmas ornaments. (I get all my Christmas ornaments by buying them on a big discount, or AFTER Christmas). Even the pink chandelier in the window of the craft room is an ornament! The little sewing machine was in the dollhouse before, and I bought it from the dollhouse aisle. I love it. And the little magazines were made by cutting out the tiny pictures of a magazine in its promotional mailer. Really, there is no end to what you can make for a dollhouse. I knitted the little heart-shaped rug--it was back when I was teaching myself to knit hearts, so it's wonky. But I like it there!

One day I was working on it, and my cat Minnie came crawling through a window! She kinda surprised me!

Next--I'll finish decorating the craft room wall, and then onto the kitchen! I don't have this all planned out. Again, it's like art journaling...looking at a blank page and creating what you're thinking, what's inspiring you that day, and what you want to look at!
A little message at the base of the dollhouse.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Play In Your Dollhouse

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WOYWW 229--The Dollhouse Craft Room!

The typewriter here is actually a pencil sharpener. It's heavy!
Here is my dollhouse work desk! Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday deskers!

Visit the blog party and show your desk at the Stamping Ground.

The first day I've had at home in a couple of weeks was so nice--did housework, and then did dollhouse work! Very fun and and relaxing.

If you don't know, I've had this dollhouse re-do project going on. I've changed my Victorian-style dollhouse from a traditionally-decorated dollhouse to a living scrapbook/art journal of sorts. Why not do what I want--I can always paint over it!
Here's my real desk by the way--looking at stickers and papers for the dollhouse and there's my Tinkerbell mug right after I drank all my coffee! An eyeshadow laying there my daughter bought me.

I decided to paint the dollhouse chimney white and then stamp on it, like I would stamp in my art journal. I found a clip-on butterfly and added it to the top with some branches. I like the results!
The first room of the dollhouse I really wanted to get into was the craft room. I still have things to put on the walls. I started the kitchen too. It's all being done with decorative scrapbook papers, a lot of Christmas ornaments that look like dollhouse things, sentimental things like a vintage thread spool from my mother-in-law's sewing supplies, actual furniture from my own childhood dollhouse, a little kitty statue a very special little boy gave me twenty years ago because it looked like my kitty at the time, hand-knitted floor rugs, items being embroidered just for this dollhouse, and more photos coming. Just like a living scrapbook! 
A little sewing basket and magazines in the craft room. I cross-stitched a tiny pillow.
The fancy dresses on hangers were originally Christmas ornaments.
Love my little sewing machine!
Don't ya just wanna play in my little craft room?
The kitchen is coming along too.
Added a word at the base of the dollhouse. I like it.
Wasn't sure if the stamping would work--but it did. Also added chipboard flower stickers.

 Still getting over a cold (doctor said my lungs are clear thank goodness) so if my week goes well, I hope I can finish up the middle floors and get to the living room. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Play

Tag Tuesday Celebrates Autumn

Do you love Autumn? If so, I bet you can list a ton of things you love about it. 

I don't love Autumn, but I didn't have any trouble thinking of all the wonderful things about the season, and I celebrated a few of them with my tag tribute.

Visit Tag Tuesday here.

I am a sun-loving, barefoot in the garden, tomato/basil growing, walk-on-the-beach, splash-in-the-pool, ice-tea-drinking summer lover!

But even I found comfort in autumn. I made my tag by layering five different scrapbook papers, using pink distress ink to ink the edges and subtly stamp on the music notes, sewing on a button, stitching on the lace, and adding a chunky yarn loop--knitting is another favorite fall thing to do!

I love to sip hot tea, bake pies and muffins, look at the pretty leaves, and use my first jar of garden tomatoes in the first batch of chili on Halloween every year. When the kids are in and out trick-or-treating, it's great just to have a chili buffet setup and everyone can have chili with all the toppings whenever they are ready.

Happy Tuesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Sip

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

WOYWW 228--Thank You for Letting Me Have Chocolate!

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday! I just want to thank everyone for joining in my chocolate musings last week. You guys are so fun.

As usual, I have a busy desk. I think that kind of reflects a busy life! A family emergency had me at the hospital for the last several days--my embroidery and knitting traveled with me. It was quite comforting. My crafty corner missed me though.

So, here on my desk is the beginning of a stack of dish cloths to be part of a wedding gift. Part of the dollhouse roof is sitting there, waiting for some words to be stamped on it and maybe more paint. Getting ready to write in my Smash book and journal about my crazy week, and hopefully make some tags!

Visit our Workdesk Wednesday blog host here, and join us! There's nothing like it.

Have a happy week everyone.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Love

Tag Tuesday -- It's a Shoe-In

Do you remember when you were little and how you felt when you got a new pair of shoes? Today's Tag Tuesday theme is "shoes" and I've dedicated my tag to that feeling.

I was a little girl during the 1960's, and my favorite shoes were the mary jane style. I was always properly fitted for my new shoes at a shoe store--we didn't yet have a mall or some big discount chain store. We went downtown to the nice shoe store and as soon as the clerk fitted my new shoes, I would dance all around the room in pure delight. You know that saying, "dance like nobody's watching," well, when you're 6, you really don't care if anybody's watching!

New shoes made me feel like a whole new person, even then!

I really didn't know how this tag would come together until I started making it, but I also thought of back when I wore my mother's high heels around. That was always a princess moment too. I was never too busy to play dress up--but I barely got my tag made today because it's been an unusually busy time for me, so I relied on scrapbook papers a lot. My tag is layered with three different decorative papers, ribbon stitched on, eyelet trim, a paper flower with a button sewn through, punched flowers, and stained around some edges with a gelato.

Visit Tag Tuesday--you'll see some gorgeous creativity today including some actual paper shoe tags! (Wish I had time to make some paper shoes!)

If you want to join in the fun on Tag Tuesday, post your theme tag to your blog and leave a link in your comments so everyone can enjoy it.

Happy Tuesday!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Dance

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Threads

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Colossians 3:23

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Delight

A delicious, healthy, all-veggie dinner...it's available right in your garden or your local Farmer's Market.

Boil one small to medium spaghetti squash until tender to the touch (about 45 minutes). Note: I do not recommend the crockpot...the texture disintegrates in the crockpot!

Split open, scrape out the seeds, and then use a fork to scrape out the seed-free tender, buttery strands of spaghetti squash. 

Toss it with a little butter and olive oil to taste, blanched broccoli, fresh tomato, mushrooms, Parmesan, and little chunks of cheddar cheese. What a treat--you'll love it!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WOYWW 227--Can I Just Sit Around and Eat Chocolate All Day?

 Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday! Be you a desker or just a snooper...it's okay! You can see stuff on creative worktables all over the planet by visiting the lovely Mrs. Julia Dunnit at her blog, Stamping Ground. She hosts this fabulous, fun blog party every Wednesday (as long as we're lucky). You have a desk, right?

work basket, punches, a bottle-turning-vase for the dollouse
Really--it just makes my Wednesday to see a desk just a few hundred miles away from me one moment, and then a desk across the ocean the next moment! I know we take this stuff for granted now...but it's pretty magical.

Speaking of magic, I'm still working magic on my dollhouse--going into week three, I am painting, constructing some furniture, painting sticks for curtain rods, playing with new chandeliers which are actually 2-dollar-on-sale Christmas ornaments, and getting ready to move this heavy thing to its new locale on my big long sunporch for its final interior decorating spree. Such fun! But no spectacular pics this week--you can kind of see it outside the door in my desker photo above. I like doing the painting out there so I can open windows and ventilate. I just paint with abandon however I want, try out different scrapbook papers on the interior, and now I'm experimenting with some stamped words on and in the house.
Haven't forgotten my knitted tank top--still going on it!

I've also been working on some art journaling, taking care of my family, working, going to my new tap dancing class on Wednesday nights, dealing with perimenopause and therefore seriously needing some chocolate AND about five uninterrupted days in a row in my crafty corner! That's not happening any time soon--I'll balance the load and steal away my creative moments fueled by dark chocolate whenever I can. At least the weather is perfect!!

And--sure wish I could see Downton Abbey!! (that's for my UK lovelies) Spoiler alert--yes, I saw what happens to dear Mrs. Bates, and I am already heart-broken! I love that character. But we have to wait three more long months. *sigh*

Anyhoo--join the blog party today and have a wonderful week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Chocolate

A Tattered & Torn Tag Tuesday

There is such beauty in imperfection. It truly is delightful. That's why I love this week's Tag Tuesday theme: Tattered & Torn. Click on over to the Tag Tuesday blog to see an amazing variety of the most gorgeous tattered and torn tags ever!

Visit Tag Tuesday here.

I started with layering scrapbook papers (oh how I love my scrapbook papers!), inked the edges with a dark pink distress ink pad, then stitched on a scrap of fabric and crochet trim. I added a crochet flower because we all know it is possible to bloom from the tattered and torn. So my tag is a tribute to the natural beauty in all of us.
Have fun with this theme, blog about your tag, and then share the link with everyone over on Tag Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Threads

God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing. All you need is faith.
Joel 2:25

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WOYWW 226--Dollhouse Decorating

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk Wednesday...it's a day and a place where you too can be a "desker" and link up your creativity-in-process wherever your desk may be!

This is my usual worktable--but it's been invaded.
Minnie has taken over because I'm standing here, on a Tuesday evening, cutting more bunting pieces for my dollhouse re-do. It is week two of this dollhouse dreamin' and I'm busy putting on layers and layers of paint...picking out scrapbook papers for the walls with designs, words and sayings...knitting rugs for floors and embroidering a couple of welcome mats.

But...last week I said this may take a couple of weeks--now I'm giving myself a month! It is a lot of fun, turning my dollhouse into a vintage-meets-modern living scrapbook, but certain aspects are going to mean taking my time to create things the way I really want them. There may even be aspects of some art journaling in the house too--see what I mean? I'm having way too much fun. 

The "craft room" windows
The kitchen windows

I'm experimenting with some crafty decorating ideas, like using vintage thread spools for flower vases in the little craft room (all upcycled from stash)--and I've bought some new Christmas ornaments which will actually serve as dollhouse decorations like this dress form and some chandeliers. Not bad for two dollars a piece! (on sale)

Experimenting with the new "chandeliers"
No-sew dollhouse banner
Once I'm finished with the front of the house it will be moved to its permanent location on the other side of my greenhouse sunporch and I can get going with the interior decorating! 
There's still one whole side that needs three layers of white paint too. Now I've got another welcome mat to embroider and a little flag to make. It's spaghetti night at our house too! Have a wonderful week everyone. Ahh...it's been a long busy day. I'll be visiting workdesks in the morning!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Stay In Touch With Your Inner Girl!