Friday, September 30, 2011

Playing with my Computer

Today, I am playing with my computer.  I'm making labels for a bake sale, and printing out some postcards and tags for a card making Autumn Soiree I hold each year.   I have many programs, that run off of CD's.

My favorite is this one, Signature Greetings from Broderbund.  I can print labels with sweet graphics, postcards, greeting cards.  The copyright is 1997, so I've had this a long time.

I'll cut these postcards, run them through the xyron, then use them mounted on metallic cardstock for a very pretty card.  My girlfriends are the sweetest bunch, but they like easy...traditional...and fast.  I long to shake them up with some vintage photos, collage, distressing, but they prefer this, and I prefer to make them happy. It's the least I can do, they always make me very happy.

The labels are a nice way to say thanks for the purchase of our baked goods.  The proceeds of the bake sale,  funds our many service projects in our community. 
Isn't this graphic sweet?

 I pulled out the "big guns", the Gold Foil labels to make my baked goods shine.
So I don't waste the $$ gold labels...I filled in with a Happy Thanksgiving label for favors I'll make in the not too distant future.  (54 days till Thanksgiving, but who's counting!)  I don't know what the favors will be this year.  Any ideas?  
 It's fun to be creative, and use the computer this way. 

These cute little birds are from The Feathered Nest.  Dear Dawn is so generous with sharing images.  These will be tags for another project in the works...  Well, back to baking.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Even in the Gloom...

Autumn's colors cannot be denied...  My advice is to visit the pumpkin farm on a rainy day.  You'll have the place to yourself.  Having visited this pumpkin farm for years, this was the very first time I saw it empty!
It was fun for our "little bird"  to have the run of the place, see all the displays and wow over all the cool pumpkins
The colors popped on this rainy day.  We had a great time, even with the showers. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What Happened to the Sun?

I have been Autumnizing the house.  It's been gloomy and dark and almost impossible to photograph my progress.  I thought that using the sepia images would give you an idea of what I've been up to.

I always use lights on the mantle, so even if there is no fire in the hearth, there is still a welcome glow in the family room.

I brought out some copper, again for some warmth and light, and a few of my favorite things on the buffet.

A floral arrangement I made years ago... 

A few more days of this gloom, and I'll be in a blue mood myself.  I'm hoping for some Indian summer days...  Those days of cool crisp air, bright blue skies and the smell of burning leaves... Until then, it's snuggling, baking, cooking and finishing up a few projects, while I wait for the Sun to return!  Have a great day my friends.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Great Pumpkins!

 Well, what do you think?  I'm really pleased with how these pumpkins turned out.
I finished the leaves with a running stitch and a buttonhole stitch around the edge. The orange pumpkin I spray painted with Cinnamon, American Accents Paint.
It has a completely different texture than the one I painted with gesso first.

This color is called toasted vanilla, and I gave the pumpkin a spray of walnut ink for the old style country look.  The sunflower stalk stems shrank in the microwave as they dried, so I used some moss around the stems to fill the space.
 If nothing else, I am resourceful!
 It's so dark here today.  I lit the first candle of many I will burn in these days of less light and shorter days. 
 Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
 ~Chinese Proverb

I found this print at a local school's rummage sale.  Something to hang on the wall in January, when the walls look really bare after Christmas...which is  just 3 months away today!!! 

Happy Birthday to Mindy my dear SIL and to my niece Michele, the girl who made me an Auntie 42 years ago.  You were my "first" baby, and I love you so "crazy asparagus"!

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sewing for Fun

After I saw Kathy's lampshade redo with this fabric, I just had to find some for myself.  I bought a half yard with a coupon, and it was still the most expensive fabric I've ever purchased.  I have enough for 3 pillow fronts...  What to do for the backs?  A visit with my friend Mary Anne last week sent me home with fabric for pillowcases for our service project and some for me.  She also had some fabric samples that were very cool.  I choose a couple I loved and knew I would use. Thanks M.A.!

This one was very cool, but had grommets in it.  I put it together anyway, and found that I could thread something though the grommets for a closure on the envelope back.  Pretty cool!  I did sew the back on upside down, but since you can only see one side at a time, it's ok and quirky.  I used a feather pillow form.
 Kinda classy, quite by accident!

Isn't this sweet fabric?  It reminds me of Halloween like when I was a kid. Not too scary. Another gift from my friend
Two yards of fabric I found on sale at the Hob Lob made the cuffs for 4 and the body for one pillowcase.  Five spookie pillowcases, waiting for some little goblins.

I'm making a couple of pumpkins, like I saw at the Country Living Fair.  I got a roll of artist canvas, and I already had the pattern.  I put the pattern on an old plastic place mat, if I am going to use it more that once.  It's much easier to trace than to pin.  I learned this trick years ago when I did craft fairs and did production sewing.  (I hated production sewing!)
 I'm pretty sure this pattern is still available.

Here we have a deflated pumpkin.  I first fill it with a little gravel for some weight.  This pumpkin took one and a half bags of polyfill, to stuff it completely.                                       

These are the decorative rocks they sell in the floral section of Hob Lob and Michaels,  I'm using for some weight so the pumpkin stands up straight.
 All stuffed and ready for paint. 
I'm gonna use sunflower stems for the stems on these two.  More fun sewing and completed projects coming soon.  Until then, I have some pumpkins to gesso and paint.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Close Encounter of the Monarch Kind

It's wonderful to have a close encounter with a butterfly during the summer, but it's awesome to see a Monarch on September 20th, when it is on it's way to Mexico for the migration.

This wasn't a ragged, worn down butterfly.  It was brand new, and taking good long drinks from my late planted, and long awaited seashell cosmos. 
I saw the Monarch from my kitchen window, grabbed my camera and had chills running down my spine as it circled and landed right in front of me. I quietly said, as I am prone to conversations with butterflies, "you've got a long trip ahead of you."  Though butterflies are usually shy, this one hung around a while.  I took 20 or so photos, and then it disappeared.  I thought maybe it landed on me, because it was gone in a instant.  No time to lose for a migrating butterfly.

 Even the bees were cooperative, and posed for a photo.

 Something about a close encounter with a butterfly makes me feel so grateful, and close to God.

Check out this article about the challenges that Monarch's face.  Next year I will let more of the milkweed in my garden grow, and purposely plant flowers a little later, for the Monarchs...and for my soul.  Have a great day dear friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Country Living Fair, the wrap up...

 Charming vignettes were everywhere you turned.
 A delightful woodshed.
Bittersweet on a drying rack.  I learned that I need a male and female bittersweet to get berries.  My bittersweet at home never looks like this!
Even the sunflower heads were on sale.  Against this weathered wood fence, it was a still life worthy of a painting.
 The fenced garden was so peaceful,
 and the beautiful woman gathering bouquets of herbs was so very sweet.
Where do you look first?   I see things in the photos I missed in the moment.
 Some weeks I need a laundry basket that size.  Check out the basket weave pumpkins!
 Can you say, "AUTUMN?"
The sweetest vendor of all, Carrie from Hot House Market.  I've seen her and Doug so many times and have such good chats, I forgot to take a photo.  This time I actually walked back for one.
 Charming... how cool is this fence, bittersweet, grapevines a few pumpkins stacked...
 it was like this everywhere I turned.
Isn't she lovely. She is Jennifer Lanne from from Earth Angels.  I just loved her shrug, the lace arms were so pretty.
This is one of her paintings. The scroll work was beautiful, all of her work was incredible!

A vendor walked up to us to ask if we'd like our photo taken in front of this mural.  That's the kind of sweet vibe that made our visit to Ohio and the Country Living Fair so special.  There's more to the story, but I'll wait for another time to tell the tale.  Back to my life here at home in English Valley...  Enjoy this beautiful day.