Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If my walls could talk...

Are you afraid of color? So many people are afraid to paint a wall anything other than white. My hubby was like that, until he saw just what one can do with the right color. Now my choice of color isn't very traditionally primitive, but I propose that looking at color on your walls and what it can bring to your decor be done outside the box. Saying that, I'm now confessing to my choice for my kitchen and family room...purple. Not bright or even dark, but a soft medium tone that balances out the wonderful wood tones of our cabinets and furniture. At night, the lighting casts a darker greyish tone that adds to the soft character of the room. And warmth...well, this is a color that really makes one feel cocooned in pure tranquility. And I can't find a color to accent in this room that doesn't look great with the purple. When I made this transition, I was actively involved in a MOMS group, and had many get togethers with this group at my home. New in this home, I was always painting a room anything other than white. So many of these women were taken back at the idea that I would actually choose purple as a base color, but once they saw it, they wanted to change their own homes. So many were just too afraid to try a color on their walls. But, this is the easiest, and really most inexpensive change you can make to your home. And, it's reversible! If you don't like it, change it again! Decorating gurus will tell you that the right shade of black on the walls will have the same effect. The dark subtle tones of your walls can really bring out the beauty of your furniture and surroundings. It's an amazing transformation. So, if you're looking to accent your beautiful primitives and furnishings with a backdrop that is fresh and different, consider purple. I've had it in this room for about 7 years now, and I haven't grown tired of the color at all. It works, it's versatile and it's me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Button, button...

Just wondering if there's a place out there where crafty folks go that have lost control. As I sit here in my sewing studio, I'm facing the dilemma of having more than a few "collections." One of these makes any new visitor to my santuary gasp in, well, I hope it's awww, and not...this girl needs an intervention! I literally have a wall of buttons. What doesn't fit mounted to my enormous cork board is tucked in pretty decorative jars and when those got full, I moved on to baby food jars. Then there is a box in my cabinet stocked full of vintage buttons still on cards from long ago. Oh, and a paper mache box is full of odd buttons too. Wow, maybe I do need help.
I've tried to use them up. I have a button framed message board above my computer, as well as one for my business card collection in my studio. These are super easy to create and take on a style of their own. So if you have a few buttons that need a home, why not try this idea.
You will need a cork board with a frame, any size will do. I find these a lot at yard sales for next to nothing. Now find that beautiful piece of fabric that is too small to make much with. I had this paisley cordoruy remnant, and would recommend that you not use too thin of fabric, since you'll be pushing pins into it a lot. Remove the cork from the frame and wrap the fabric around it so that the front is straight and has no creases. You may need to cut out the bulk in the back corners to get the smooth look on the front and to fit the cork back into the frame. Then either staple or use heavy duty tape to the back of the cork to secure the fabric. Now take out your glue gun and get ready! Dump out those buttons, all sizes, shapes, textures and colors. Hot glue them around your frame covering the front completely. Don't work too hard on color selection, as it looks better if you just put this together real randomly. I also built up the buttons in a few spots to completely cover the wood frame. Pop back in the cork and hang your message board up! Super easy!
And one last thing, if you look closely on mine, you will see a few empty spots. Well, I'll admit that this message board has been the perfect place for me to find just the right button for a project now and then...cause maybe like shoes, this girl just has to have just the right look! LOL!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Crafting "the" look

I'll admit...I actually really enjoy being a vendor at a crafts show. Last year, I did over a dozen, some weekends with two at a time! While it was hectic, I really enjoy presenting my products to the public. Folks are still just as wonderfully friendly, and they reinforce my commitment to delivering a quality product at a fair price. One thing I actually spend a LOT of time putting together is my booth. Presentation is so important in drawing in a crowd, and since the Pacific NW doesn't have too many primitive shops, it's really vital to grab their interest quickly. I've read just about everything I can find on how to present your products, but I do have a bit of a quandary. I sell a diverse grouping of products, and sometimes I even get together with a friend or two to have a larger booth full of different items. The best method I can think of is to separate the items with stand alone areas so as to give the shopper more of a 'store' like experience. Scarves/hats over here, bags there, and primitives everywhere else. This year I'm venturing into selling more ornaments, as I have a couple of shows that seem to do well with inexpensive items. So how shall I display them? In the past, I've put out my alpine trees and themed them. Last year, one had only snowman ornaments and one had Santa, reindeer and related items. Sometimes when I didn't have so many ornaments left, I merged them onto one tree. This seemed to work at some shows, as it kept the items at about eye level. However, this year, I'll be having a larger variety of ornaments and am trying to figure out the best way to show them off. Build a display piece with hooks and keep them all together? Put them in baskets around the booth? Or stick with my tree idea. One thing I know I'm changing is to put bed risers on my tables to elevate them. Nothing bugs me more than having to bend down to see something, since my knees are weakening with my advancing age, LOL! Anyway, if you have a great display idea for me, please share! Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can really help a girl out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thrifty shopping fun

I just love shopping at thrift stores, and I'm so fortunate to have about 6 within a few miles of my home out here in the country. They are real popular in Washington, I guess, because when I lived in Oregon, your only choices were Goodwill or the Salvation Army. In my neck of the woods, we have many shops that are ran by the senior centers, and boy are they fun to look in and find those forgotten items. Plus, they are cleaner and don't have, well you know, THAT smell. Because they tend to be smaller stores, they don't have as many people shopping, which is great for grabbing up sewing and crafting items. Here I say that after posting about purging my stash, LOL. Well, I look for specific things that are rather expensive at the local craft stores here, like crochet thread. I have found the most beautiful colors of heavy crochet or tatting thread at thrift stores, on spools the size of serger cones, and often for 10 cents or maybe a quarter! I always go through the clothing section to see if someone has gotten rid of an unusual wool suit or skirt that I can take apart and felt it for a cool rug background. And just this weekend, I found a HUGE assortment of curly crepe wool (great for santa beards), unopened stuffing, wood candlesticks, fabric (uh, oh!) and more pattern books (big uh, oh there!). Filled my trunk for under $20! And I'm in heaven, happy in my own little world of being able to work on my little hobby business on a shoestring budget. Plus it just feels so good to repurpose used items into new beautiful creations. Have a wonderful, creative day!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's a big, big world out there...on Ebay.

For over a year now, I've kicked around the idea of selling my extra and unused sewing stash online. Well, today I finally began. This is NO small undertaking, either. I literally have 6 large boxes of books and sewing magazines that I'm ready to get rid of, and that doesn't count the ones I've already donated to Goodwill. I'll admit to being an avid pattern consumer over the years; however, now that my tastes have changed, I'm really not doing so much quilting and garment sewing. My tiny craft room is bulging at the seams (it rarely looks as clean as this picture shows), so time to take the plunge! More listings to come, and after I've delved into those, I'm off to purge some of my fabric and sewing stash and even yarn too. That's a whole closet issue. I knew it was time last week when I went in there and had a bunch fall on my head...those piles are a weee bit high for me! Here's where to find my new little shop on Ebay. Hope you can take a peek...who knows what you'll find!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Halloween and OFG...the perfect combination!

It's time for a celebration...Halloween style! My friends at OFG have put together so many special items for this celebration, which begins today through September 20th! To check out the scariest primitive decor around, go to and type HCOFG in the search box. I got a sneak peak at this talented group's work, and let me tell ya, you'll be amazed at the wonderfully creative ideas that came to life! Here are just a few of the items I made for this special event. Guess I'm really into cats this season! Hope you'll check out this fun event and find something wonderful for your home!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One last summer blast...

Well, summer is slowly leaving us here in the northwest. It's always an adjustment for me to really accept that once September comes, that's it. No more scorching hot days (anything over 80 degrees here) comes the rain. And boy, did it rain yesterday. One day early. Sigh.
We took one last little camping trip up to Birch Bay, WA, about only 1.5 hours from home. It was SO nice not to be driving forever, like earlier this summer. The first evening had the most beautiful sunset imaginable. The whole family was snapping away pics in the moments before that bright spot in the sky sunk into the water. We took an afternoon to venture all around the bay's edges, up around to the tip where the dock from our side is about 40 feet from the dock to Blaine. No one has built a bridge accross this short span yet to join these communities together, which seems weird, since they're so close. They still run a passenger ferry between the two docks.
Did lots of stitching for the Halloween celebration, which will be here before you know it! Now I'll have more time to work as school started today...Yea! Yep, that's me doing the happy dance. Enjoy your last days of summer!