Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today is my favorite person's birthday! No, it's not one of my kids', it's my husband's birthday! Wasn't he a cute baby?  He is the youngest child and only boy in a family of five children.  Being the youngest, with four older sisters, his dad was careful to teach him to be respectful  to girls and how to be a gentleman.

Yesterday, my daughter-in-law wrote on Facebook: "We are nearing our 7th anniversary and my husband still opens the door for me!"  He learned it from my hubby, who still opens the car door for me after over twenty years of marriage.  My hubby learned from his father, and grandpa Joe would be so proud of the both of them! 

My hubby got his sense of humor and optimism from his dad too!  Everything with him is fun, puns abound and life is enjoyable.  I am blessed!

Hurricane Ridge at Olympic Nat'l Park

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

My entry foyer table

For my family and I, there is a meaning to Christmas--it's all about love and giving to those we love (and, of course, to our friends and those who find themselves in need.) Why?  Because we were given an example by God Himself, when he gave us a saviour in the form of the Christ child. We didn't even know our own need, but God provided for us anyway.  When we finally saw our need, we accepted a free gift of love and forgiveness.  I, for one, am so grateful for the humble beginning of this day that we celebrate!

Angels, Mary and babe

our 30 year old artificial tree 

However you celebrate,
I wish you a joyous day
and hope it is just wonderful!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Veggie Bags Anyone?

Yikes!  Has it been nearly a week since I posted? Where does the time go? But then, we all know where the time goes when it is Christmas Season!  I've been baking, and finishing presents and wrapping packages and picking up last minute gifts, just like all of you have been doing.  I even snuck in a party at my daughter's house!

Here's one thing that I have been working on:  veggie bags for my daughters and daughter-in-laws.  Some of them will love them, and others will say, "What's this?"  I will explain, they are upcycled and made from recycled T-shirts into a bag to take to the grocery store or farmers market. They are for fruits and veggies. Here in the NW, both Portland and Seattle have outlawed plastic grocery bags, although I think not the plastic veggie bags yet-- and you have to take your own bags or pay a 5 cent fee for each paper bag.  Anyway, I already have a listing in my shop for custom fabric grocery bags, and for the veggie bags, (I don't know if I will actually carry them in my shop because anyone can make them), I began by making them for my girls!  Have a look!

An old t-shirt

sewn and cut like this

Handle portion

Bag filled with apples and veggies

another view

This are so handy!  They are completely washable, when they get soiled, and then ready to re-use!  NO more plastic!  You can make them in smaller sizes if you like, and looks like I might need to make a few "smaller" holes too, so the apple doesn't slip out!

I made them for all my girls in every color in the rainbow, with the help of cheap t-shirts from the thrift store!  I added a scrubbie to match from a friends shop on Etsy--Patti's shop--check it out! 

Unique gift, eh?  Don't anyone tell my girls!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Inspiration?

Ever get inspiration from floors?  I do.  Here's another one in this post.
What are you imagining?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thanks Grandma!

Recently I posted about a T-Shirt rag quilt that I was working on for my oldest granddaughter.  It was for her graduation present. Well, it's done and here she is just loving it! 

 And a closeup for all of you who want to know how it was done!  And for those who love Elvis!

How was is done?
I cut out the portion of the T-Shirt that I wanted for the square with another piece of the T-shirt exactly the same size.  This second piece could be any piece, since it was the inside layer piece and does not show except to add to the fringe. Many times I was able to cut the exact piece as the t-shirt lay on the table flat and I cut thru the two layers of the shirt, front and back.  The printed section of the shirt was then fused on the back with a very lightweight interfacing to add stability.  I thought that this was needed since t-shirt fabric is so stretchy.  Then a third piece --  backing fabric, in this case,  a gray flannel with pink polka dots--was cut to the exact dimensions of the other two pieces.  These three layers were then quilted together on the machine into a block. All shirts were done this way, until I had enough blocks to sew together in rows.   Rows were sewn with the backing fabrics together, this insures that the eventual fringe will be on the t-shirt side of the quilt.  After the top is all together, you will need to clip all the ragged seams with a rag quilt snip at about 1/8 to 1/4 inch intervals.  Be careful not to cut the seam stitching.  

I love this because nothing has to be exact.  Cut t-shirts tend to curl at the edges, but don't worry about it.  A friend of mine who made quilts all her life, used to say, "Don't worry, it will all come out in the wash!" 
Anyway, this one will all come out just fine, after it is clipped and washed. 

Anyone ever made a rag quilt before? 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Collection

Don't ya just love Santa! 
I've been collecting Santas for a good many years now, and at Christmas time, out they come!  I love for my grandchildren to come over and see all the different ones.  I love the wonder they create!  I have whimsical Santas, musical Santas, traditional Santas, and . . . well, just take a look: 

 Tall ones . . . short ones:

Thin ones and bald ones . . . hanging on the entertainment center:

Santa shelf sitters . . . .

And . . . all round the Christmas Tree!

But my very favorite is exemplary of the true spiritual meaning that I feel about Christmas. It's not about material gifts, but about a way of life that I hold dear:

Have a blessed Christmas Everyone!

 One of my daughters collects nutcrackers.
Do you collect anything for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trip to the Tree Farm

Hubby and I accompanied my youngest daughter and her family to a local Christmas Tree farm last weekend.  We have an artificial tree that we have used for 30 years, but my daughter always comes to this family owned farm in Oregon to cut down a tree of their choice. It's their family tradition!  This particular farm is on the hillside, not like some you may have seen that  have row upon row of trees on flat land.  The hiking over the hills makes it a fun experience that reminds me of stories of old. 

My daughter's little family and their final choice!

Little Owen was curious about the saw and a previously cut tree trunk!

His dad began cutting the tree at it's base:

While his mom held it secure.

After a ride on the tractor back to the barn, paying for the tree, and enjoying some hot cider, we all went outside again for the pony ride.  Owen was too shy to ride, but his older brother, Paddy had fun!

We all finished our day around the fire pit, the boys enjoying their grandpa and tossing dry leaves into the fire.  They seemed to just make the fire smoke more, but it sure was fun!

Have you a Christmas Tree tradition?

Friday, December 2, 2011

A New Artisan Friend!

At one of the Fall craft shows that I participated in, I met a vendor, Julie, that was two tables down the hall from me.  I was not only intrigued with her artistic abilities, but that she has recently moved from Texas to Portland, where I live.  Since I have lived in Texas and we are fellow Christians, I guess you might say I was drawn to her, although we really did not get much time to visit at the show.  So, I chose to feature her today and I hope you will visit her Etsy shop and website

One of my absolute favorites!  I love Tulips!

You can get a great view of  Julie's art at her website! 

I asked Julie a few questions:

1) What is your studio/space like, where you do your work?

Currently I work at a studio that is Activ Space that is down in the Pearl District (Artsy district downtown Portland). I share a space with one my best friends who is a personal stylist with Stella and Dot. Our space is not real glamorous right now, since we just moved here from Texas and left all of our belongings behind to be retrieved in January. In time it will be beautiful. My space before moving to Portland was in our home in Houston, TX. It was a tiny precious little room. I painted it a soft colored blue and tried to make it feel very shabby chic.

2) What interesting exhibits, charity events or other, have you participated in?

Since I've just begun my little business, I haven't participated in very many events, exhibits, etc... I have primarily participated in smaller craft fairs this falls and last year I participated in a large one at my church in Houston where 20% of the profit made went to Living Water International. Living Water is an organization that my husband and I support and desire to be more involved. Their focus and purpose to provide clean water to those who have none. They are trying to end the water crisis as well as share about the true Living Water, Jesus. For more information go to

3) What is your favorite medium to work with, creatively?

My favorite medium I like to work with when it comes to painting is acrylic...I love how fast it dries! I also love music to paint over.

JulieChariee on Etsy
She went on to say . . . . In other creative works...I like so many things! I think vintage fabrics and lace are my favorite as well as old buttons and pendants. Most of my pieces that I make are reminders of my grandmother. She gave me all of her old laces and buttons and an old hymnal that incorporated in a lot of my art works. In using the things that she gave to me or things that resemble them, I feel like I'm reminding myself of where my family has come from and trying to help others appreciate the beauty of past generations. My grandmother shared with me that when their clothes wore out and they would turn them into rags, they would always take the buttons off to recover and reuse because buttons were expense. That story was such a reminder and challenge to me to respect the things that were valuable during that time in history and use them for something beautiful today.

JulieChariee on Etsy
Find out more about Julie on her Etsy shop profile as you take a look at her work there too! I'm so happy to promote a new friend!

Where have you met a new friend lately?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The best help ever!

Recently, I did two craft bazaars. 
I had the best help that was available--my granddaughter--Kayleigh! 

Klee, as she likes to spell it, is a freshman in High School.  She loves to come to the bazaars and she helps me set up and take down.  She's a great salesperson, is wonderful with customers and does not get bored as the day goes on.  I can depend on her to help keep the table in order, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having her company for the day. 

But the best thing is that she loves to keep track of the books!  She tracks the time of the sales, what sells, and the sales amount.  Klee is always checking me to see if I right down my sales! She's working on a spread sheet and graph of the last two shows and I can't wait to see what she comes up with!  Family is awesome--especially Kayleigh!

P.S.  Check out the purple scarf that she bought from a fellow vendor at the first show that we did! 

Tip:  Notice the fanny pack that I am wearing.  I  keep my change and my phone, including my Square, right at hand in the little pack.  That way I don't have to worry about anything getting misplaced!