And…. She’s Back!

It is now officially five and seven weeks out from my bi-lateral knee replacement surgeries and officially I am feeling like I am on the mend!

It has been a tricky and painful journey. Especially the right leg. It was tough. I talk a lot more about the whole thing on my other blog, if you’re interested. MacCupcake.wordpress.com.

Be forewarned, I am pretty outspoken about the whole thing and really adamant that had I ever had any regrets about anything I have done in my life, this is the number one. Could ever undo something I had done? Having these surgeries would be the first on that list. I still may find that I will feel differently as the knees continue to heal and I am able to get around better and better, but right now… well, there it is. It has been seven weeks of non-stop pain of one kind or another and I am so tired of it. The worst is when it seems to seep into the bone and just throb… there is no getting away from that kind of pain.

Anyway, the point of today’s post wasn’t more lamenting… but to announce that I feel like I am ready to get back into creating. I have been prevented from doing much… I’ve been doing a lot of coloring. I love that this came right when there is an explosion in the popularity of coloring pages for adults, it saved my sanity during this time of immobility. I “invested” in this great set of gel pens – about 70 pens of multiple colors and different styles such as glitter, flat, metallic – and they blend wonderfully. I bought them when I started messing around with recreating paper dolls and it came in handy with plain ol’ coloring. I would print out interesting designs on card stock and I was good to go for hours.

I’ve collected many of these on my pinterest.com page and please head over there and check them out if you’re interested in coloring. Here is a quick shot of the collection and you can find it here:

Big People Coloring Pages

The other thing that I have been able to finally do is start working on the hand quilting of my found quilt. You can see the back story of the quilt here:

I had spent the time to carefully clean and repair it. Added an appropriate border – same fabric used for the backing as well – and then found a great hand quilting frame on CraigsList. I am really good at planning and preparing, sometimes my follow through leaves a little to be desired. 🙂

I finally got to the point of being able to bend both knees so that I could get under the frame. It took a couple of hours to get into a rhythm and looks like each section would take about an hour to quilt. I’m still working on getting my stitches evenly spaced and the same sized, but you know, it really is only my second quilt that I’ve hand stitched. (I don’t mind saying that if I actually get this quilt completed, I’ll probably not attempt another.)

Hand Quilting 1

The frame is a little awkward, specifically with the back cross support pieces, so there has to be a lot of planning when I am stretching the quilt. I think what I have decided to do is quilt the four piece square all the way across and then adjust the quilt and continue.

Hand Quilting 2 with Annotation.JPG

Just for fun, I am planning to keep track of just how much time I spend quilting. So far, after four sessions of work, the total is just under ten hours. As you can see, it is going to take a long time. It will just be my “go to” project when I am tired or stressed or just want to work on something that doesn’t need a lot of thought invested. I might look into a different quilting frame if I don’t find it becoming easier to work on.)

What’s next? I don’t know… I’ve been watching styles and trends during these past couple of months and I have some ideas but nothing big has captured my attention. Probably more importantly is continue with my physical therapy and get my doctor’s stamp of approval to drive again and more importantly, going back to work.

I appreciate everyone’s kind words and continued support these past weeks. Thank you!

I think most people my age will probably remember today’s topic: paper dolls. I know when I tried to explain this phenomenon to my son, he just shook his head and gazed at me in puzzlement. Paper dolls? Just exactly how did this work?

I recently stumbled across a Pinterest board that had a zillion paper dolls. Past and present, babies to “barbie doll” types and everything in between. My heart settled on a toddler-esque aged doll, maybe a little older, like four. She came with four dressers, a coat and a hat, as well as a birthday cake and a doll. She was found on Marges8’s blog:

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Since I picked her up online, she was already in a digital format, so I imported the image into Photoshop and made her larger. Larger allows for easier creation and management of the doll and her clothes and accessories. I printed her in a heavy card stock but even with that weight it was sufficient for her to stand. So I glued the image onto foam core board. Remembering from my youth, I added a semi-circular for her to stand.

DSCN4165She was cut out using an exacto knife and then carefully colored. I used a new set of gel pens to give her a subtle coloring. The same increase in size went for her clothing and accessories (of course). They were printed on the cardboard stock, colored and cut out. I added longer tabs, since she now had some depth of stock.

DSCN4163I am one of those people who have to have something to do at all times. I’ve recently been re-watching the nineties series “The X-Files” (since it is coming out again next year!!) and want to re-aquaint myself with the first nine original seasons. But I can’t just sit and watch television. I did some patchwork sewing earlier with denim scraps, but when I returned to to the living room, I went back to having to have something to do with my hands. Hence the paper dolls.

So I have been researching toddler and young girls’ clothing from the sixties and have been making more outfits for the doll. It has simply been fun and relaxing! Thus far, I have a snow outfit, a couple of pant outfits, some play clothes and some more dresses. Oh and I added a few more hats. Some outfits include toys and shoes or gloves. All in all, just a fun endeavor. I may scan them into the computer and clean up the lines, then print them out and color them all! I love a challenge and like when it turns out well.

DSCN4166Sorry that the photos are so hard to see, they are just pencil drawings. But wanted to give you an idea of how “cuckoo for cocoa puffs” that I really am! 🙂

As I finish, I will share with you. I’ve almost posted all of the projects that I have finished over the past few weeks, I guess I am going to have to get moving on the ones still remaining in the garage!

julie

 

OK, I Admit It… I Googled Myself! Sort of…

Something recently came across my desktop that indicated that one of my photographs that I have included in this blog had ended up on Pinterest without a link back to my site.

That gave me some thought. I had started to design a logo that I could print across photos that I posted, but then I thought it would just mean more work for me to add the logo to each and every one of my photos. And if people love the work that I show and want to re-pin it, I say ‘go for it’.

So, first I googled “suitcase dresser” and I got this:

Suitcase DresserSo my photos showed up three times in the first three rows. Woot!

Next, I googled ‘pink ombre dresser’ and I was not only first and second, but appeared five times in the first three rows!pink ombre dresserSo, back to actual projects! I did finish two more dressers, but to everyone’s credit, it isn’t very exciting. I’ve done this over and over and you know what? They are best sellers. They always are so adorable in any girl’s room, even if that girl isn’t so little!

I had opted to paint a dresser that isn’t up to my normal standards, I had picked it up debating whether to try another style, but it turned out that the idea wasn’t going to work. Since I was painting another dresser in the ombre style, I just did both at the same time.

Before&AfterWhiteDresserApologies for the bad lighting, but we had just gotten the “jewelry” installed and was late in the afternoon. But you get the idea. It was pretty much rote painting and I got The Kid to help this time. Primed, two coats of paint and added the handles.

Speaking of handles, I went online and ordered some new handles. I thought that they were a little bigger in diameter, but they are pretty. And they are appropriate for the intended buyers.

HandleSo, the other dresser was similar. I love when I get a five drawer dresser, then I get to use six shades of pink! So, not much to tell, so I will just show you photos:

Before&After PurpleYou can see that I actually have been getting pieces from a local auction site. They are sporadic as far as including furniture, but when they do, its pretty good quality stuff.2015-04-02 19.54.292015-04-22 18.09.462015-04-02 19.53.47 2015-04-19 13.56.40Most of the pieces need some TLC when we pick them up. Drawers need strengthening and re-glued. Some pieces almost need to be rebuilt, all of them needed sanding and spot repairs. But when the bones are good, it is worth it.

So, they we are. Next up is to finish the two benches we’ve been working on. They are being built using two sets of head and foot boards and painted red with stained seats. I absolutely hate working with red paint – not for the color itself, but for whatever reason this time, is requiring more coats of paint than anything I have done painted before. And I’ve done a lot of projects in red!

julie

What’s The Secret to Etsy?

I’ve been a seller on Etsy for sometime. Well, I use the term “seller” loosely, as I just made my first (and only) sale a week or so ago. Perhaps Etsy is one of those places that server more as an inspiration for people rather than an actual place to buy goods, I am just not sure. I thought it funny, that in all of the time that I have been selling, my fees have totaled about eight and half dollars and with the first item I sold, my grand total of sales to date is $6.00. And of course, that doesn’t include the cost of actually creating that item that finally sold.

Did I tell you about an on-going little project that I finally decided to list on Etsy? I started as a whim, one of those things that I like to do when I have to have something to do with my hands while watching television… making reusable felt covers for notebooks. I don’t recall the very first one or even the first size of notebook, but I have completed nearly a hundred over time. Let me show you a few:

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il_570xN.567686054_fvqsThese happen to be the notebooks that are 4″ x 6″, but I have done covers in all sizes, from 3″x4″ up to 8 1/2″ x 11″ and many sizes in between. And the covers are reusable, just slip the old notebook out and the new one… violá!

Here is the one that finally sold and was my first (and only) sale:

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By a Futurama fan, no doubt. I really don’t want to have to create a bunch of Futurama based notebooks just to get some sales, I think that the selection should appeal to a wide audience, but perhaps I overestimate. That particular notebook received quite a few ‘favorited’ and a couple of Pinterest pins.

Any way, if anyone has the keys to success with Etsy, please share?

julie

More Pink OmbrĂ© – Two Dressers and a Vanity

Okay, I told you about all of the projects going on in the garage and with the exception of hardware on one of the dressers, I am done. Now to find someone who loves them as much as I do.

Today’s post is on the three pieces I did in pink ombrĂ©… a nice little vanity and a very large dresser and a tall chest of drawers.DSCN0970I didn’t realize that I hadn’t yet put the hardware on when I took theses pictures. By the time I ran to get screws to attach them, it was too dark to retake pictures.

You wouldn’t believe the before state of this vanity! I met a gentlemen who works for a moving company and I think we’ve created a little alliance. He told me that sometimes when they are moving people, the truck gets full and people opt to leave some things behind. Usually the stuff is not in good shape or isn’t quality furniture or it is just excess from the house. This time it was stuff left in a basement and at first glance, it didn’t look like much. But you have to be able to see it and I could see it. Good bones.

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There wasn’t a photo of the chest of drawers. He sold me the vanity and threw in the matching chest of drawers and mirror for free. It just fit into my truck. I knew these pieces had good bones.

It was the usual stripping, sanding, patching, priming and repairing. Then the magic with the paint happens. Here is the chest of drawers:

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And here is the vanity:

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There was a mirror with the pair, but it appears to have gone with the chest and not the vanity. I had a vanity mirror/frame that I picked up somewhere that with a little finesse it fits onto the vanity. Not my favorite, but it works. I wish that I could get a better fit for the mirror.

Vanity Mirror

Here is the mirror that delivered with the pieces, the mirror itself is pretty old and a bit damaged. I only taped the mirror on in case the person who buys it wants to replace the mirror.

DresserMirror

The tall dresser was an all wood dresser that had been painted the worst green and almost all the handles were gone. A few minor repairs and the usual painting brought this back to fantastic!

Dresser B&A

I can imagine this in a little girl’s room for Christmas. I love the way it turned out. I still love the ombrĂ© style, but its becoming routine. Means I need to find another popular style. I recently ran across some beautiful styles on Pinterest that I might try. For now, this has been successful, so, you go with what works.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

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