Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Encounter with an Icon

 Creativity is the ability to introduce 
order into the randomness of nature. 
- Eric Hoffer

In the late 1960s I lived in San Francisco, still my favorite city. Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) was an author, poet, and philosopher. A modest man who identified with the working class because that was the life he led, his musings and writings were deceptively simple but profound. 

He was often called the "longshoreman philosopher" and that's how I happened to observe him up close and personal, so to speak. Hoffer spent a lot of time at his favorite restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf, often with a small group of people at his table. Quite by accident, I sat near his table a few times and it was something to observe. He carried on a normal conversation with his friends, but it seemed that anything he said was such pure poetry that both his friends and diners at nearby tables hung on his every word.  The area all around him would become strangely silent as we all strained to listen to what he said!

I never met him directly, but I was thrilled and honored to have had these small encounters with him. According to his bio, he retired from public life in 1970 but I like to imagine that he still continued to dine with his friends (and nearby admirers) long after that. Thank you, Mr. Hoffer!

If you're interested, you can Google him and find a ton of Eric Hoffer quotes.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Nine Lives Lap Quilt

Here's a story about a lap quilt with nine lives. This rustic wall hanging is life number six, I think. More about how it was done later.  Let me explain.

It all started several Christmases ago when my niece gave me the quilt on the left in this photo.  I loved it, still love it - it is so soft and cuddly! And she guessed well on colors that would work in my living room.  A year or so later - sometime in 2011, I think - I wanted to make some new back pillows for my sofa so I asked my niece if she had any fabric scraps left from the quilt.  She did, so I traded her for those scraps and created these pillows on the right for my sofa.

That fall, I created this banner, using lengths of fabric for the ties and the hanger strip, adding pine cones, paper pennants, silk leaves and berries.  The banner sold promptly in my Etsy shop.

In 2012, I created another banner, this time sewing the pennants with two layers of fabric, and again using fabric strips for ties.  It also sold promptly.

Let's see, is this life number four?

Here it is, 2013, and here's the latest banner.  Once again, the quilt fabric was used for the rectangular pennants and strips for the tie bows.  You guessed it - it just sold in my etsy shop!

Which brings us to the wall hanging I showed you at the beginning.  Creating the hanging was so simple I can tell you what I did without photos (because I again forgot to take progress photos!).  I took these old shower curtain rings, cut strips of the fabric and tied them in knots all around three of the rings.

The backing was created with two fabric rectangles on the front and two on the back, stitched up all sides and trimmed with pinking shears.  I created little tabs out of fabric to attach the rings to the backing, and added little star buttons to the tabs.

As a final touch, I used twine to attach a piece of dried branch to the top and created a hanger.  


The entire wall hanging was created from materials I had on hand.  I love when that happens!  And that's life number six.  

I have only really little pieces left now, so it will be a stretch to get to nine lives.  HOWEVER, I'm seriously thinking of doing a different covering for my sofa.  If I took those pillows apart I would have a lot more fabric to work with.  Hmmm ....

Stay tuned for the next installment of The Nine Lives Lap Quilt!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shabby Chic Pink Lamp

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, The Dedicated House's Anything Blue Friday is Anything Blue AND Pink Friday for this week, so I'm reprinting my tutorial for this shabby chic pink mini lamp.  This was one of my favorite tutorials - I think the transformation was quite stunning, don't you?  Enjoy!
 I acquired this forlorn little 11-inch high lamp when a friend's closet was getting cleaned out. In spite of the bad shape it was in, I thought it was cute and had potential, as they say!

When I started cleaning it that's when I realized that the wire frame was permanently attached.  Not only that, the fabric shade was also glued tight to the wire frame.  I'll save you all the messy details; suffice to say they involved a lot of cutting, scraping, and lots of Goof Off and Lacquer Thinner.

Once the lamp was cleaned and dried, I spray painted the base and the wire a lovely soft pink.

Once again, I'll spare you the details, but I tried about four different treatments for the shade - fabric, rice paper, ribbon trim, yarn.  I wasn't happy with any of them, and working with an attached frame presented some serious challenges.   I finally decided on a shabby chic look.  I had three fabric remnants in the pink family.
I cut strips about 5 inches long from each of the three fabrics.
 And I tied knots along all of the wires in the frame.
I didn't want to paint over the electrical information printed on the stem, so I just wrapped it with a piece of fabric. 
Here's a closeup of the ties.

 So here it is.  After many false starts, I'm pleased with the final result!

Linking up to Anything Blue and Pink Friday.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Finally Voted Most Popular?

No, this is not high school.  Tee-hee.  I just found out that my Rustic Fall Banner tutorial was one of the most clicked in last week's link party at Crystal and Co.

Thanks, everyone!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

For a Rainy Day

Sunday Funnies

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rustic Fall Banner Tutorial

Although it's just a little slow getting here in Michigan, Fall is definitely on its way.  Time for a rustic Fall banner!

Are you like me? I pull out everything I might possibly want to use until my studio is a mess and then I start working!

I started with scraps of fall fabrics and layered two colors back to back, top stitched them on all sides, and trimmed with pinking shears so they'll fray naturally.  I then turned down the top to create a pocket for the twine hanger strip.

Some of the silk leaves were a little too bright and a little too "fake" so I toned them down a little with chalk and alcohol ink.

I layered leaves ...

Then a berry sprig ... and stitched them down.

I then added a thin strip of fabric and stitched that down.I also reinforced it all with a dab of hot glue.

All tied up with a bow! 
 I did the same with four more pieces. 

It's easy enough to drill a small hole in pine cones and insert an eye hook.  Not shown, but I didn't want the hooks to look so shiny so I painted them with some liquid pewter. 

I used another strip of fabric to tie the cones ...

I alternated the individual fabric panels with the pine cones and strung it all on a fairly thick strip of twine, about 6' long.  

All the elements can be moved along the twine to make the banner longer or shorter as the need dictates. 

I don't have good light inside my condo so I had to hang the banner on my patio fence to get some decent pictures.

I'm pleased with how it turned out.  What do you think? 

Sharing at these link parties:

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Friday Party Links
Today's Creative Blog 

Sunday Party Links
Under the Table and Dreaming
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