Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gingham, Dots, and Hearts, Oh My!

Now that Christmas 2008 is past and I contemplate restoring our home to pre-holiday decor, my hands are busy creating for the new year. Here are some sneak peeks of Valentine goodies coming to Catnip Studio Too at Lollishops!
The flocked, floral paper shown above in blue, and below in red and pink, adds a touch of cottage elegance to the gift tags. Fresh, and retro, all at once! I especially enjoyed combining the black and white gingham ribbon and black ink dots for some contrast.
The tags above display rich, neutral shades of cream, tea, and soft black in cardstock and scrapbook papers. Shorthand script and old parchment images add a touch of the mysterious - a secret romance, perhaps?
The gorgeous taupes with cream and pale blue brocade papers above suggest a bridal theme, perfectly complimented by cream floral jacquard ribbon.
Embossed and glittered vines twine sweetly across the cardstock hearts above, and eggshell yellow acetate ribbon compliments the coral pinks, and brings out the matching yellows.
Lastly, a sweet pink posey decoupage ornament for Spring, sporting an opal glitter finish (for a subtle, rich glow hard to capture on camera) and a metallic pink-fading-to-gold ribbon attached to gold toned findings.

Friday, December 19, 2008

LolliShop: Twigs and Feathers

My first purchase from LolliShops, shown above, was a gorgeous set of Christmas gift tags from Twigs & Feathers! I just love the tiny glitter and big glitter details, the sweet combination of patterned papers (yummy red music sheet!), and the ribbon ties (a rich, mocha brown with tiny red dots - I want this ribbon in every color combo possible!). I've already used some of them, and when they're all gone, I may have to revisit Twigs & Feathers :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree

We have a tabletop 4-footer tree for this year, with my treasured painted papier mache ornaments from overseas. Mixed in are a few satin stuffed animal ornaments, and traditional glass ornaments with sentimental odds and ends here and there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Plaster of Paris, Plastic, and a Mother's Love

Above are some of the ornaments that decorated our Christmas tree back in the day (okay, it was waayyy back in the day, the sixties, to be exact). I remembered them, recently, and asked my mom if they were still around. After digging around in her Storage of Lost and Forgotten Things, we found them, and more.

The watercolor-painted plaster of paris ornaments above seemed familiar, but I had to ask my mom why this was so. As she began to refresh my memory, it came back! My mom, sister, and I had made them together; there were more, but they are long gone.

The bright, primary colored plastic ornaments were also on our childhood Christmas trees, but I don't remember them at all.

Last, but not least, very vintage glass ornaments, some probably Shiny Brites, also from the Storage of Lost and Forgotten Things. My mom hasn't used these ornaments in years, though she does still use the silvery white aluminum fake (ya think?) tree from our childhood, with serene blue glass ornaments. So, she let me take the old stuff home. She saves everything, knowing that, in time, all will be loved again. I'll admit that I have a hankering for that old, white aluminum tree, too. But that's a someday that is, hopefully, still far, far away.

Thank you to Southern Lady's Vintage

A thoughtful, kind, and sweet Southern Lady (do check out her blog , Etsy shop , and LolliShop!). She let me know I was in a treasury this morning on Etsy's front page, which I much appreciate as I always miss these events. I hunted down a screenshot, thanks to The Etsy Front Pagers, a Flickr group. My thanks, also, to the treasury curator, KarmaRox. My mosaic tray, Pink Garden, is second row from top, on the left.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cottage Chic, Vacuuming Acorns, and Watering Lawn with Fire Hose

Update: In response to the comments regarding yardwork, Mr. Catnip announced that next year he will be hosting the first "Acorn Festival," and you are all invited to pick up (and take away) all of our acorns! (He's a funny guy, Mr. Catnip).
Since our first snow back in November, and a few minor rain drizzlers, it's just been cold and dry here in Northern California. Mr. Catnip did some yardwork, and tried out his new fire hose nozzle (we haul and store water for drought and fire-fighting). Lawn-watering went very fast.

Mr. Catnip likes our oak trees, but hates leaves and acorns, as he is in charge of the yard. More on that here. The lawn fills up with acorns in fall, and Mr. Catnip is pretty pleased with himself since he discovered that his shop vac does a great, and speedy, job of picking up those pesky acorns.
And, finally, December's issue of Country Home, my favorite magazine, features chic, cottage style on the cover, in aqua and pink and polka dots, oh my! I've added some of my own paper creations (decoupage ornament and paper stocking caps), polka dot gift cards, and a vintage, pink plastic Santa with sleigh and reindeer for a pretty picture.
Above is my shameless self-promotion closeup shot...

and, to close, Santa waves to all.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Siskiyou Craft Show Treasure!

At our local November craft show, I discovered a booth of magical, tinkling silver bling - beautiful vintage silverplate vessels and utensils repurposed into musical windchimes! Every piece has a unique song, and I was so enchanted that I had to drag myself away from ooohing and aaahing over each creation! Owner and artisan Peg Rathburn, (pictured on the left, with her friend and stall assistant, Debi, on the right) can be reached at Rivers Edge Windchimes, P.O. Box 721, Seiad Valley CA, (530)496-3371, or for more information, shop locations, and future show schedule. Photos and content used with permission.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vintage Christmas from Hallmark

These new red and aqua Christmas cards from the eco-friendly Connections by Hallmark line of gift cards are so lovely with their vintagey images, they inspired my latest sets of picture ornament gift tags, available this December in my Lollishops store:
Red and aqua toys and tots.
Snowy aqua blue with glittered white snowflakes.
Red and aqua snowflakes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lil Fish Goodies!

I recently received a gift package from Lil Fish Studios, as I was the winner of her virtual homeshow blogring contest. I left an admiring comment about her felted acorns, and she included one as an additional gift, along with a package fastener of autumn-colored buttons and leather! The felted and blanket stitched stuffed wool heart ornaments are primitive-style perfection and so sweet :-)
Please visit her charming blog for excellence in crafting photography and "art, crafts, musings, and meanderings!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Autumn Tag Tutorial

My first blog tutorial (takes bow). As with any set of directions, read through whole post before commencing with tag crafting. Not that any of you need a how-to on cutting papers with scissors, rubbing color on the paper, and gluing said papers together. This was covered in early grade school. And just like back then, it doesn't have to be perfect because it's supposed to be fun! So I'll skip those steps; in fact, I'll probably skip several steps, but the photos pretty much cover them.

Pictured above, and listed below, are the tools I used:

  • 1 1/4" x 2" oval punch (acorn bases and corn cobs)

  • 2 5/16" x 3" oval punch (tag base)

  • 1 1/2" round scallop punch (acorn caps)

  • 1/8" hole punch (for attaching twine)

  • 1/4" hole punch (holly berries)

  • mini-scallop edging scissors (for corn cobs)

  • small, pointy end scissors (for cutting tight curves and crisp inner points, I love my Westcott Titanium #13674 5-inch scissors, but beware - these babies are wicked SHARP)

  • bone folder (for smoothly mashing paper/glue/paper)

  • liquid lead pencil (never needs sharpening, and erases easily)
Pictured above, and listed below, are the inks and adhesives I used:

  • Scotch Quick-dry Adhesive (the precision tip is handy for small items like the berries)

  • Scotch Permanent Glue Stick (I've tried other brands, and I prefer this one)

  • inks to match or compliment your papers (I used Versa Magic Chalk Ink in Gingerbread and Red Brick, and a yellow-green ink from a Rubber Stampede Set)

  • permanent fine-point marker in complimentary color (I used brown)
Pictured above, and listed below, are the paper cut-outs and string I used:

  • brown twine (for tag strings)

  • beige twine (for corn tassels)

  • 2 5/16" x 3" punched ovals (for tag bases)

  • holly leaf pattern (follow link, save image to your desktop, print on cardstock, cut it out, and trace leaf onto your patterned paper)

  • 1/4" hole punch cuts (for berries, 3 per holly tag)

  • 1 1/2" punched scallop round, cut in half (for acorn tops)

  • 1 1/4" x 2" punched ovals (for acorn bases, 2 per tag; cut off a bit of one end, as shown, if you don't want long acorns)

  • 1 1/4" x 2" punched ovals (for corn cobs, 3 per tag; cut each long side with the mini-scalloped scissors, making one end narrower, as shown)

  • You thought I forgot about the scrapbook papers?!? Well, I did. That's why they're at the end of this section. I used K-Ology Hannah Scrap Pad To Go 12 x 12 Papers from K & Company, and generic tan cardstock.


  • Read through the whole blog post before commencing tag crafting (yes, I said this already, just making sure).

  • Download, print, and cut holly leaf pattern.

  • Gather tools, inks, adhesives, papers, and string.

  • Trace leaf pattern onto desired papers.

  • Cut/punch out paper pieces.

  • Ink the edges of your papers as desired. If desired, ***draw details as shown in pic below with permanent marker (except for acorns and holly berries; do them after gluing).

  • Glue the paper parts together as shown, or similar. Use bone folder to squish papers and glue together. For berries, if you are using a dot of the Scotch precision tip adhesive, just put them in place, and let dry).

  • Draw stem of bottom acorn, and a dot at each acorn base, as shown.

  • Dot base of each holly berry, as shown.

  • If you haven't already, squiggle in some corn rows, and holly leaf veins. A little goes a long way. (***Note: all tags look just fine without any drawn details).

  • Strategically punch 1/8" holes as shown, for attaching twine, as the twine becomes the stem.

  • Cut a long (about 10 inches) piece of brown twine for each tag, *****carefully attach as shown, and knot each end for a nice finish.

  • Cut 3 short (about 3 inches each) pieces of beige twine for corn tassels, *****carefully attach to corn tag as shown, and trim to suit. (*****Note: the twine is not very forgiving - if you tug too hard, you will tear the punched hole. Practice first, to get the hang (no pun intended) of it - or use embroidery thread!
Tah-Dah! You now have Autumn Tags for your personal use on gift boxes, Thanksgiving table settings, harvest wreaths, and such. But not to sell. That's what I do with them :-).
***Constructive criticism from experienced craft tutorial writers, and from crafters who attempted to follow my first tutorial, is most welcome.***

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crafting Outside the Box

It's been a while since I posted on Crafting Outside the Box, and the recent Catnip Studio sale of brass filigree broken china necklace, Autumn, gave me an opportunity to play with an atypical color scheme - green and orange. My Irish mom told me of the historic significance when I was but a wee lass, and I think the two colors argue nicely together. The Orange Oiseau bird tag is from Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage, and I confess I do collect them in every color, as I love to dress up my mailings with them!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

First Snow

First Snow Ornament Tags
First Snow 2008
Today's Autumn Aspen and Maples
Our first snow of the year has come and gone; by the next day it was washed away by sun and much needed rain. Lately, days are bright and sunny (though we have visible frost each morning), and I spent the weekend working on paper tags and taking photos. Here's hoping the snow soon returns:
Snowy picture window ornament gift tags will make their debut in December at LolliShops!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Tagging Game

Opheeelia Says I've been tagged! She's hilariously good fun to read, be sure to check out her six quirks! Like every good thing, tagging comes with rules:
Link to the person who tagged you (check); mention the rules (check); tell of six quirky things about yourself (check); tag six other bloggers by linking to them (check); go to their blogs and leave a comment to let them know they've been tagged (check, check, and double check).
My taggees, in no particular order:
Catnap Cottage , where Vintage and Divine go to tea together!
Starry Deborah recently returned from a trip to Paris, France, and she's sharing beautiful photos and tales of her trip!
RicRacSally has recently transitioned from vendor to shopper, and like any good shopper, she shares!
Faded But Desire Treasures was recently honored as a featured shop on The Rose Bridge !
Berry Lane , a cottage style street filled with yummy handmades!
Southern Lady's Vintage is currently celebrating a front page treasury spot on Etsy!
Six tedious and quirky tidbits about me:
I once had a pet praying mantis. I cried like a baby when it went to insect heaven. I was eleven years old, okay?
I can smell mold on bread before it's visible, and before anyone else in my household. I can also smell ants (they stink, let me tell ya).
I lurv vampire movies and novels. I just do, that's why. My latest vampire obsession is the True Blood series on HBO. It more than makes up for the untimely 1996 cancellation of Kindred: The Embraced . Bite me. Please.
There is no way to disguise okra or eggplant. Stop trying. I won't eat it.
I've suffered from motion sickness all of my life. When I was a child, I had to clean up the carseat myself, as my mom would, erm, make a bigger mess if she tried to do it. Lucky me, only the motion made me toss MY cookies. (For those of you wondering how I survived sea duty in the U.S. Navy - drugs, lots of drugs. Seriously, though, they were over-the-counter seasick pills).
I do not like beer. Unless it is mixed with lemonade. In Australia, it's known as a "shanty". In America, it's known as "alcohol abuse".

Friday, November 7, 2008

For the Birds!

The paper birds, that is! My own original birdhouse tag template, and lovely, cottagey scrapbook papers. To debut in December, with the grand opening of Lollishops !

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Rarely will you find political commentary at the Catnip Studio blog. That said, today is one of those rare finds.

I am a retired U.S. Navy Sailor. I am a Republican overall, with select Democrat leanings. I voted for Senator McCain. I wept upon hearing his concession speech. It was not his time. It will, now, never be his time.

I wept, again, upon hearing President-Elect Obama's victory speech. For all of the good and right reasons.

It is his time.

I support my Commander-in-Chief.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's Next?

The hand-embroidered fabric above, featured in this post, unknown to me at the time, was on the front page of Etsy the day it sold (and was previously in a front page treasury back in July). THIS IS SPOOKY - I've now been on the front page of Etsy THREE times this month - what's next? The Apocalypse? World Peace? John McCain Wins By a Landslide?

My thanks to treasury curator Maria Cavallero. Do visit her Etsy shop; she creates unique and beautiful textile art jewelry!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Three Things I Love, and Sneak Peeks

Three Things I Love
1. Embroidering fern fabric, 2. Bird Tags from Mrs. Kwitty's Cottage, 3. Polka Dots in any color, and here they are, all in one place! The Red Sea Fern Fabric below has recently sold (yay!), and the Holiday Fern Fabric above is available in my Etsy shop, Catnip Studio, Too.
Sneak Peeks
Blue Bouquet, a repurposed, vintage shaker (one of a pair, hmmm, haven't decided on the color of the beaded bouquet for the second shaker, any suggestions?)
Van Gogh's Acorns, earrings of vintage acrylic olive moonglow beads and rare, iridized glass bead caps.
Snowblind, sterling silver earrings with vintage mid-century glass opals in silver and white, and freshwater pearl dangles.
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