Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Basin and the Towel and Duke Divinity School.

I have posted several times about this painting, but I thought I would share some info about the latest way that is was used. I was contacted by Duke Divinity School about using it as the basis for a photo collage for their "2013 Convocation & Pastors’ School: Renewing the Church". I was delighted to give my permission and impressed with the results.

If you are interested in reading more; check out the link below.

Duke Divinity School

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cross stitching mash up.

It's been years since I did much cross stitch. I know there are still magazines out there, but it seems like all the big box craft stores had relegated their DMC floss to a back aisle. Oh, you might've seen a friendship bracelet kit, but not much in the way of old fashioned cross stitching supplies.  Now, lately, I've seening a little slight resurgance in embroidery and cross stitching in particular.  A craft magazine here and there will print a pattern and there are more and more crafting websites devoted to the craft with some of them really mixing it up. This isn't your cutesy cross stitched Ziggy cartoons anymore.

Last week, I picked up issue #30 of Mollie Makes. It is a UK publication. It's a mixed bag of crafty projects and such and at $12.99 for an issue here in the states, kind of pricey for what it is. Anyway, this issue included a cross stitch kit of a lovely rose and since I had had a few at a local club, I was loosened up enough to plunk down the cash and I don't regret it at all.

Now, since I, for some reason, didn't want to delve right into the kit included, I remembered that I had purchased an ugly cross stitch kit awhile back at our local Salvation Army Thrift Store for a quarter. It included the fabric, needle and all the floss. It also included the pattern for a lovely sign that says "Kiss the Cook" complete with a flower and heart border. Definitely not my thing, but I thought for a quarter I could at least use the materials for something.

This is where it gets interesting. I decided to take those materials and use the rose pattern (not the kit) from Mollie Makes, combining the two!  Now, the colors in the rose pattern are all reds and pinks with a little aqua green. The colors from "Kiss the Cook" are two shades of blue, two shades of green, a yellow and a red; definitely NOT the same palette. Very bright and rainbow-ish!

So, if you are looking for an exercise in creativity, I invite you to give this kind of thing a try. Don't overlook those ugly kits from the local thrift store. Good materials can be found for little money. Combine two kits, use the materials from one for another, mix it up!  I was pleased with the results. Does it look like the original?  No, not exactly.  It's almost got a more modern feel. But it was a lot of fun and just a little bit challenging. I may never open that little kit that came with the magazine. Now to finish it up with a little frame and ribbon.

Monday, August 19, 2013



Earlier this year I posted about framing the logo from our old main sail.
Well, after that project, I still had a TON of material left including the logo from the other side of the sail. That logo was damaged when we tore our main sail, but still usable, just not in one piece.
This weekend I found a way to use a portion of that logo in yet another project. This one was for a new shoulder bag. I used a pattern that I've used before. The Runabout Bag from Lazy Girl Designs. I love this bag design. It's so quick and easy to make and is VERY customizable. This time I used some purchased nylon webbing for the handle and a "sport" zipper.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Knitted luggage or luggage for knitting?


Over the years I've seen a lot of cool train cases on Etsy. Some are sold as is and some are decorated either with paint or images. There are even some neat "how-to" videos on You Tube. I've had several of these around my studio for awhile now. Some haven't survived their alterations and some are in too nice a condition to alter. I keep thinking that I'll actually use them for their intended purpose some day.
Anyway, the other day I found a craft magazine at a local thrift store. It was McCalls Needlework and Craft from Fall/Winter 1965-1966. I thought it would be fun to see what kinds of crafts and knitting were done around the time of my birth, so I snapped it up for 25 cents. Turns out, besides me, a lot has changed in the last 47 years of crafting. Turns out, a lot of crafting 47 years ago, was pretty ugly. I didn't find anything I really wanted to reproduce. However, this magazine also had a lot of knitting images and it came to me... decoupage those images on one of my old train cases to use as a knitting bag!

So, that is what I did!  I cut out all the images that appealed to me. A lot of the knitting images were pretty horrible too. I found an old ad for Lion Brand and even an old ad for a knitting shop in a resort town we have visited. I believe it's still there, but I wonder if it's in the same location. I may have to show them the ad some day.
I used Modge Podge to apply the images, first using it as glue and when they dried, using it as a sealer. I'm pretty happy with the results and have filled it with some inexpensive cotton yarn I use for knitted dishcloths.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My painting, "on the cover of a magazine".

Just received this in the mail. The latest issue of "Ministry & Liturgy" magazine featuring my "Basin & Towel" watercolor painting on the cover. There is one more thing in the works for this painting. I am delighted that since I painted this in 2007 there has been some renewed life for it and that other people are getting to see and enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Easter Bunny!

I always find these cute patterns for sewing stuff, but when it comes down to it, I don't sew much. I'm able to sew, but it generally takes more time than I have or want to spend on any one project. However, this week, I found this cute pattern for making a bunny keychain for Easter. When I printed out the PDF pattern, it was much too large for a keychain, unless you are the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk fame. Anyway, I had been wanting to do a stuffed animal decoration and the size was perfect. When I got home, I remembered having a bunch of fabric squares gifted to me from my mom. I think they were leftover from a quilt she made once, so I sewed 16 of them together into a 4x4 square and traced out the pattern. I also had some fabric leftover from a green checked shirt my mom had given me, but didn't fit. I think it was the same fabric that I used for the money cuff from an earlier post. I sewed the bunny, right sides together, leaving an opening at the back for stuffing and the tail. After it was stuffed, I added the pom pom (made by wrapping yarn around a fork), a button for the eye, and a piece of knitted lace around its neck.

Here's the story about the lace. It was knit by my great-grandmother. She was nearly blind, but knew how to knit this lace by feel. I was told she knit yards and yards of it. I have quite a bit. I also have quite a few  of her old steel knitting needles. I'd been looking for something to do with the lace and thought it might look nice on this bunny. I really like how it turned out and am looking forward to displaying it this Easter.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cottage Tote bag (1974-2013)

A friend of mine was nice enough to give me an old craft magazine from 1974-75. In it were a ton of patterns for items they said you could make to sell at Bazaars (Craft shows). One of the items was this tote bag crochetted in the shape of a little house.

Now, I don't have a little girl in my family, but I just had to make this. I don't usually crochet much. I have a hard time following a crochet pattern and am much more of a knitter, but this pattern was simple enough to follow. I used Lily brand Sugar & Cream yarn. It's easily found at my local grocery chain for cheap; less than $2 a skein. You just crochetted the front and back of the house and then all the little pieces to sew on. Actually, the sewing together took me longer than the crochetting. Here is the finished project. I did a few things a little differently. I crochetted the roof in two pieces with decreases in the middle instead of doing the roof in four separate pieces. I added a background piece into the windows. I changed the color of the flowers from blue to orange and I did the grass in backstitch. This bag didn't call for a lining, but that might be a nice way to make it look more finished on the inside. (I won't show you the inside here.)

It was a fun project, but I can't imagine making a lot of these for a craft show.

The other project from that magazine I would LOVE to make are these little Dutch girl and boy dolls. (Aren't they cute?!) Like I said, I'm not a great crochetter, so these might need to wait. These patterns from an old craft magazine have inspired me to look through more old craft magazines and books for projects that are just as fun. Good ideas never go out of style.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Webcam vacation photo

Last summer, we took the sailboat north on Lake Michigan from Saugatuck to Grand Haven. It was a nice little trip for a Tuesday. My mom was covering at work for me, so when we were coming past the Holland Channel, I called her and told her to look at the Spyglass Webcam, because she would be able to see us. She did and printed out the screen shot to the copier. Sadly, the copier is only black and white, but you could make out a little sailboat. Us! 

I had the black and white copy on the fridge door for about six months when I came across an idea on Pinterest for modge podging photos onto wooden plaques for display. This seemed like a great idea to preserve the copy. I bought a thin wooden plaque at Michaels for $3.99, spray painted it, spray mounted the copy on a piece of red paper, spray mounted that onto a sailboat printed paper and added the screw brads to each corner, and spray mounted the whole thing to the plaque, then covered it with modge podge. Note: if your modge podge was as old as mine, spend the bucks and buy a new container. :)

Anyway, I'm happy with the results and it's a nice little reminder of a fun trip.  If you look real, real close you can see our dinghy being pulled behind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! cards

With my knitting obsessions going full force, the date got away from me and I almost missed Valentine's Day. Well, I probably wouldn't have missed it all together, but I almost forgot to make some Valentines.

I remember decorating a shoe box to put on my desk or an envelope to hang off the side in elementary school for all the Valentines I would receive from my classmates. Too bad we can't do the same thing as adults. Wouldn't that be fun?

I love making Valentines (They are more fun than making the Sympathy cards from the previous post.) and if I didn't receive anything else for Valentine's Day, I would be  happy with just a card.

So, yesterday, February 13, I decided I had better get going.

I got a lot of mileage out of the heart stamp that was part of a set from Stampin' Up. All of the paper I had on hand. It's fun going through scraps and finding things that will work. Luckily, I had bought a bunch of brads for a Christmas project, so I had plenty to choose from. However, I am going to have to work on my supply of ribbon. The bow on the one card was recycled from an old card. I'm not even sure where it came from.

(Actually, I think I might have made one sooner to send to my folks in Florida, but it probably will still arrive after Valentine's Day. Sadly, all of these cards except the ones I give to my husband and son will arrive after Valentine's Day.)

I think I made seven cards this year; for my folks and mother in law, for a couple of friends, and for my husband and son. Five of them I finshed up this morning before heading off to work. I even gave one to my favorite barrista. I think it made her day.

So, make and give Valentines to your family and friends, then make a few extra to give to someone else in your life who you think could use a smile or a happy thought. They don't have to be romantic, just "Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite ________________!"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sympathy cards

It's been awhile since I did any card making and I discovered how much I really missed it.

Sadly, what brought me back to it was making sympathy cards for a family who lost their father after a long battle with cancer. He was a good man with a stronger faith than I hope to ever have.

Here are the four cards I came up with using supplies I had on hand.  Most of them are from Stampin' Up. Nothing too fancy, but I thought they turned out nice.

Hopefully, I won't take as long to get back into making cards as I did before.


Old sail, new art.


A couple of years ago while raising our main sail on CRUSH, we tore it. After some sewing and sail tape, we were able to salvage it, but it was obvious that the sail would need to be replaced. The sail was original to our boat, a 1972 Helms 25.
So last summer we did just that. The new sail is shiny and white, but doesn't have the logo.
Anyway, what to do with the old sail? We couldn't just throw it out, so it was folded up and stored in my studio. Then it came to us, why not frame the old logo and hang it up in the house.

My husband is a handy guy and he made up with frame, so now the logo hangs on the brick chimney wall in our dining room. The finished size measures about 3 x 5 feet. Doesn't look that big when it was up on the sailboat.

Now, what to do with all that remaining sail fabric. I've got lots of ideas for the rest of the main sail and I have an old Spinaker too.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sky Scarf, December, 2012 and the Year in Review.

The Sky Scarf is finished! Yay!

 Two rows a day for one year! I cast on 46 stitches (since I was 46 years old for most of the year). I did a knit two, purl two rib pattern and used Cascade 220 Fingering weight held double. I knit my rows based on what the sky looked like at noon each day. I used two skeins each of the light blue (robin egg blue), light grey (silver) and white and far less than one skein each of the dark blue (sapphire) and dark grey (jet). The idea for the Sky Scarf is from the website Leafcutter Designs.