Let's crafty!

Let's crafty!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday happenings

This year, I spent Christmas Eve baking cookies and pizza with my brother...mmm pizza...
...and then a few days visiting with friends. I went to visit Gleb and we ambled through downtown Ambler and did a little shopping.

And even though the holidays were over, the owl ornaments were not! I made a large batch....most of these are now available in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shopping and inspiration: Tea at Strathmore

Just before Christmas, my friend Brie and I went to the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda for afternoon tea. We've started a tradition of going to a fancy tea once a month. I love seeing how the tables are set up all pretty for tea, and trying interesting (sometimes weird and gross!) tea sandwiches and pastries.

This tea had some delicious raisin scones, and tasty little veggie curry half-moons. Most of the other sandwiches were a bit too weird for me, but the tea itself was pretty good. Unfortunately, they don't give you a tea menu to choose from so we only got to try the one kind of tea.

The mansion itself is beautiful and had two great art shows up--Grayscale and the 79th Annual Fine Art in Miniature exhibition. I spent some time checking out the exhibitions, exploring the mansion, and of course, enjoying the wonderful gift shop!

Some fantastic shopping finds from the Strathmore gift shop!
Faux fur scarf: Dana Herbert. Blue-gray "Vienna in Teal" velour scarf: Powder. Book of labels: Galison. "I love not camping" and "Guess where I'm tattooed" emery board sets: Anne Taintor. Bird and flower stud earrings: Far Fetched. Lotus square earrings: Jo La Collage.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Winter projects and downtime

It's nice to have some downtime this week. I've taken a break from a lot of my other activities over the past month or so to try and relax from all the craziness. I had a bunch of crap go wrong: one of the birds got sick (repeatedly), I got sick (also repeatedly), I got in a minor car accident, etc.
Just for the sake of amusement, here is the email I wrote to the rental car/repair/insurance people about the first car they gave me. To their credit, they did replace it with a car of my choice that was a major improvement.
Hi Dave,

Thanks for sending this and thanks for your message as well. Your service has been great and I was very pleased with how fast and easy everything was the other day!

Quick question (maybe you know or the Enterprise folks do)...is there an "air freshener" hidden somewhere in the rental car? It is very strong and smells horrendous, like a toilet, and I'm having to drive with the windows open even in the cold to keep from gagging. I looked around in the car but couldn't find the source--I would REALLY like to remove whatever has created this nasty smell if I'm driving this car for the next week.

I also finished several new batches of coasters, some elephant ornaments (including a custom order for a mom with baby elephant--how cute is that?!), and a crapton of pins. These are mostly available in my etsy shop right now.

Green leaves coaster set

Autumn heather rainbow coaster set

Brown and tan woodland flowers pin
Elephant mom and baby custom Christmas ornament 
Green woodland flowers felt pin 
Pair of gray elephant Christmas ornaments
Purple poppies felt pin
 Zen black and gray leaves coaster set

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Shopping and inspiration: New Orleans, LA

A few weeks ago I was in New Orleans for a dance competition and got to spend a few lovely afternoons browsing shops in the French Quarter. Ok, maybe I did more than browse...but look at how pretty everything is!

Red Victorian boot by 67: Shoe Be Do. (This store is soooo fabulous! They stock really unique European shoes.)
Brown Victorian "Tapenade" boot, tan "Caricature" Mary Jane, brown "Aristocrat" oxford, Aerosoles.
Lace doilies, placemat, table runner, napkins, coasters: Rendezvous Linens and Lace.
Vintage earrings, cuff bracelet, and bird necklace: Rendezvous Linens and Lace.

Also in this picture is my first-place medal for Ladies 8-Hand Ceili from the 2012 Southern Region Oireachtas! Yay!

If I'd had more time in New Orleans I probably would have done even more damage. I'm sure I spent at least an hour in the linens and lace store--they had all kinds of awesome jewelry and treasures!

Just a few pics below from our meanderings around town. I did find time to eat a delicious Po' boy, check out the flea market, see street performers by Jackson Square, and stroll along the river watching the steamboats. I also discovered that food options are a little limited in New Orleans if you don't eat seafood! One night I had grilled cheese at a restaurant...and I will admit I ate Popeyes (or "Pope Yes" as my brother calls it) for lunch in a pinch.

Great times with my dance friends (not to mention our win!), good food, and awesome shopping--all in all, a great weekend in NOLA!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New ornaments, necklaces, and other items in my shop!

Check out these new listings in my etsy shop!

Elephant felt Christmas ornament

Three purple hearts and flowers felt pins

Set of 4 felt owl Christmas ornaments

Pretty posies medallion felt necklace in shades of gray

Pretty posies woodland medallion felt necklace

Purple heart felt pin

Red poppies medallion felt pin

Woodland flowers medallion felt pin in light green

Woodland flowers medallion felt pin

In other news, I seem to be sick again...but I also got a really cool custom order for 15 felt flower pins last week, so that kept me somewhat busy.

I tried to make each one a little different. Didn't they turn out nice? :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday today! I spent a nice leisurely morning doing photos of some of my new creations. Hoot!
My Thanksgiving plans include going out to FANCYDINNER, which is something my friend Brie and I have been doing for 5 years now...we pick a different restaurant each year and get dressed up and go out for a really nice meal. Most places have traditional Thanksgiving fare on the menu (which Brie likes but I don't much care for) in addition to their regular menus, and something hilarious and awkward always happens.  Two different years, the the lights went out in the restaurant! So I'm looking forward to some great food, good times, and no dishes to wash! :)
materials for hoot owl ornaments: Eco-felt, DMC, thread, ribbon, quilt batting

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Elephants, owls, and pendants!

I've been doing a lot of sewing lately and working on a variety of new felt creations!

These are a bunch of pendant necklaces I made earlier in the month while traveling. I'd seen a metal/glass pendant in JoAnn several months ago with a picture of lollipop flowers and thought, I can make something cuter than that...so finally I got around to it!

Since I love (ok, am sort of obsessed with) experimenting with color combinations, I also made more of these (ok, like 30) as pins/brooches. The necklaces and pins should both be up in my etsy shop later this week. My favorite color combinations are the red flowers that look like poppies, and also the yellow/orange/white/gray pendant (cockatiel colors, as my brother suggested I make!)
Another project I'd been thinking about for months was felt Christmas tree ornaments...I decided to start with my usual owls, since I've been working with that image so much and therefore knew exactly how I'd want it to look. And it came out exactly as I imagined!
Once I made the owl, I decided to branch out and make some cute little elephant ornaments too!
I've been doodling elephants on everything for weeks so I think they were trying to come out and play :) What do you think?
Materials: Eco-felt, DMC, thread, ribbon, quilt batting, jump rings, Darice faux suede necklace cords

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More tiny bird paintings...and other stuff I'm doing...

While I was sick a few weeks ago, I worked on additional bird paintings because they were just so much fun! I've found these are actually easier if you work on multiples at the same time, so you don't get impatient while some sections are drying off.

These are great for kids or babies' rooms, baby shower gifts, or even for adults! My brother liked these two so much that I gave them to him to hang above his computer desk in the living room. I love how the pictures are small but still feel generous in scale, and like bright little painted treasures :)
I'm sure I'll be painting more of these in different color combinations too. I was thinking about trying a red bird on a yellow or pale blue background. I love doing them while semi-watching tv :) Last time while I was painting these, I believe I was watching the recent movie adaptation of Jane Eyre, old episodes of Gilmore Girls, and What Not to Wear.

Tonight I'm getting to work on my newest project: hoot owl Christmas tree ornaments! I made my prototype yesterday and it turned out awesome--I stuffed it with quilt batting so it is all puffy and round and perfect. So, more felt owl ornaments in 8000 color combinations forthcoming! Pictures soon, I promise...

And I'm thinking for tonight's sappy movie marathon, I'll be choosing from: Anne of Green Gables (the sequel), Howl's Moving Castle, IQ, Little Dorrit, and perhaps the final episode of my newest (yet sadly short-lived) guilty pleasure, Breaking Amish!

Materials for watercolor paintings above: pencil, Prang semi-moist watercolors on Strathmore Wet Media paper, Faber-Castell PITT artist pen (brush) in #177, IKEA SONDRUM  frame.
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