Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Hope I Never Have To Do This Again!

4-30 Sidebar widgets coming along, and I'm determined to finish tweaking before the weekend is over. I found even more great, and free, blog stuff at Shabby Blogs.

4-29 Another late night, and all of the basics look good in both browsers. I'll be adding back my sidebar widgets later.

4-28 Addendum: Everything looks great in Internet Explorer 8.0.6001, but it's a total mess in Firefox 3.0.10, sigh...

4-28 Tips For New Bloggers helped me fix my blog into the wee hours this morning, AND so much more! This template is Minima 3 column from BlogPowered with lots of my own tweaks, and a lovely FREE background page from The Background Fairy. Remember to always save a copy of your template before you make any background or template changes (and you will most probably have to redo all of your widgets). I'm almost done...

4-27 I broke my blog. Sigh. I'll be working on getting it all back to normal for a day or two.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sailor's Delight, Feline Spring Fever, and a Paper Change of Pace

There was a storm to the south of us early last week, and it brought stunning evening skies into our view.

The catnip forest is now recovering from a severe trimming by Mr. Catnip last February, though Lily gave it the cold shoulder in favor of some succulent lawn bites.

Wylie, still a young man, likes to get out and about, and here he is doing his trapeze act on top of the fence.

He must have decided he needed more support (go figure, he weighs 15 pounds), so he moved to the fencepost. Note his front paws in relation to the rest of him. What a dorky cat :-)

I found some crafty stuff after cleaning my studio, like packages of paper luggage tags, and decided to play around with stamping and distressing them with ink. I have a pile of really ugly "oops" tags, but these sets came out nice enough.

Seashell Tags

These two seashell sets are my favorites.

Seashell Tags

I love the soft blue frame around each shell, and the blue speckled backgrounds.

Dragonfly Tags

I'm very pleased with the look of these dragonfly tags. The crackle background is one of my favorite stamps.

Bee Tags

The frame around each bee was supposed to be black ink. It came out very soft and gray, which led to a ribbon change. The ribbon I wanted to use was a checked black and tan.

Tea Time Tags

The purple paper at the tops of the Tea Time tags was my solution for tugging too hard on a ribbon, and ripping through a hole (dagnabit!). I like this happy accident very much. I used Smooch pearlized accent ink in silver, pearl, and green for a little detail.

Dragonfly Tags

Here I tried to convey the illusion of dragonfly flight and movement. This may require suspension of a great measure of disbelief on your part.

Tea Fern Tags

I fell in love with these fern stamps. Possibly because I've never been able to keep them alive as plants, inside or out. After a few weeks, my ferns always look like the brown one on the left. Always.

Feather Tags

I like chickenwire. Remember the '80s, when chickenwire in home decor design was the rage? If you don't remember, or were too young, don't fret - I'm bringing chickenwire back. Really.

O.K., not really, but I would if I could. You'll see it here, again, I promise, with my real inspiration for it. Hint: vintage. '40s. cottage. wallpaper.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bleeding Fingers, Repurposed Victrola Cabinet, Works in Progress, and a Fresh Studio!

Well, I've finished spring cleaning my studio, at last! I have more room to work, now that my new studio storage shed is finished and most of my larger supplies are in it.

The outside of my studio is winter dreary, and I am so looking forward to spiffing it up with potted annuals!

My jewelry station is all in one place, now, and my cut china tiles are all shelved together, resorted, and it's easier for me to find what I'm looking for.

Here's my newest finished piece of jewelry, a brass rose filigree bracelet with celadon green carved serpentine and cherry red faceted stone beads.

The Rose

This brass filigree necklace featuring a gorgeous vintage glass opal and shabby vintage pinky gold Swarovski crystal beads and a brass honey bee, is in progress.

I'm feeling the spring mosaic bug - that compelling-can't-be-ignored-fever to crack china, glue china, and grout china - but I am working on a custom embroidery fabric panel, too, so I only have a few pieces ready for grouting. When they are finished, I'll post new pictures of them.

The vintage planter below is almost ready with only the short sides left to tile.

All of my paper crafting supplies are now in our dining room, stored in a large sideboard and a repurposed vintage victrola cabinet (sans victrola). Follow the link to see how it originally looked, and I'm not yet finished with it - I want to distress the paint a bit, tweak the hardware, and add some dimensional touches.

The embroidered panel is quite large, almost a foot and a half square, and I've lost count of the number of times I've stabbed myself in the fingers on this piece! All of the blue must be covered by green, except for a one inch outer border (which won't show when the customer frames it), and I'm on the home stretch, filling in around the edges!

Mr. Catnip finished fencing and gating our new little country vegetable garden of cinder block raised beds, and my mom (she has two greenhouses and her own vegetable gardens on Humbug Mountain) and I planted 3 of the 5 beds today, and we'll be using row covers to protect them until our weather warms up. The picture shows the beds before planting, and covered in heavy plastic.

Here I'm sharing my favorite little shabby, vintage birdhouse with you. It is in as found condition, plus several more years of exposure to the elements in my yard. The squirrels had packed it tight with acorns, which Mr. Catnip dutifully shook/pried out.

Finally, the only plant fully blooming in my yard. This forsythia, shaped into a small tree, is always the first to bloom; everything else lags far behind.

Happy Easter to all!

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