Thursday, March 29, 2012

Better Living Through Plastics

 Sweet Amy over at IntoVintage sent me a welcome heads-up today to let me know the National Button Society is holding their annual convention right here in Portland this year. That got me thinking that I haven't done a button post in a while.  Caution...  many photos ahead!
 You have all seen this big jar sitting on the back of my workbench in the background of other posts.  This is where I keep the pretty plastic "keepers".  No, I am not a collector, I am an accumulator!
 I spilled them out on the work table and worked at turning them right side up until my back got tired from stooping so I'm sure some are still wrong side up. You can click the pictures to get a better look.
 This new camera will probably even reveal a few that could stand a little cleaning.  I usually wash my buttons after I sort them but now and then I just toss one in the jar.
 The screen on the camera flips every which way so I flipped it up and held the camera out in front of me, above the buttons.  Hopefully I got them all without too many overlaps.  It was a new way to take pictures.  There is a lot of that going on around here lately.
 I should have a contest to guess how many buttons are in the jar, but then I would have to count them.  Maybe the contest should be how many times I would lose count and have to start over!
 Okay, I'm going to stop babbling and just let you enjoy the pictures......

It has been a while since I joined the Show And Tell Friday party over at My Romantic Home so be sure to click the link and be inspired!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Thinking Spring

We had the beautiful Spring day we have been waiting for here in the PNW.  Three days ago we had snow and today was sunny and perfect for getting a start on cleaning out the flowerbeds.  It felt so good to get outdoors for a change!  We aren't out of the woods yet.  Everyone around here knows we have to get through Spring Break and the Rose Festival before we can start watching for Spring in earnest but give me day like this anytime - I'll take it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sharing A Smile!

If this doesn't make you grin from ear to ear then I don't know what will!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beaded Millinery Leaf

 I figured it out!  I used what I had on hand, like I do, so it isn't an exact copy and certainly not as elegant looking but I did figure out how to do it.  I didn't have any floral wire that was thin enough to fit through any of the beads I have so I just used some thin brass wire.
Since I have the new camera and I need to practice, I took pictures along the way. Macro pictures - wowza!  Okay, not the best macro pictures, but I'm still learning.  They were taken without a tripod, which is awesome to me.  Love that!!
 I had no idea how much wire it would take so I cut a piece 24" long and hoped for the best.  I strung on one dark green bead and moved it to the center of the wire.  Then I strung a light green bead on one side and a light green followed by a dark green on the other side.  The next step is to take the end of the wire on one side and thread it through the beads on the opposite side.  Then do the same with the other side.  I love how the background in this picture is out of focus.  I wish I knew how I accidently did that.
 This next picture shows how it looks with the wire from one side strung through the opposite side.  You can click these pictures bigger and get an even better look at the paint spots on my workbench.
 This is how it looks with the wire from each side strung back through the opposite side.  Each bead will have two pieces of wire inside it.  I alternated which side had the uneven number of beads.  I don't know if that is important but it seemed like it might be to keep the unused length of the wire even on each side.  Gently pull up each side until all the wire is taken up and the row is snugged up against the previous row.
This is how my experiment holds up to the original.  Wouldn't these be great done in black and metallic colors like bronze and pewter?? Maybe that is just my creepy goth steampunk side talking but it sounds interesting to me. 
Go forth and make leaves.  Email me if you have questions!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Things I Need To Figure Out

 That title could be the start of a very long post but I will spare you the full list!  Close-ups are a big reason I bought a new camera.  When I was sorting through the sack of millinery flowers I told you about here, I found this amazing little beaded millinery leaf.  It measures about 1-1/2" long and really looks a lot prettier when it ISN'T so close but I wanted to show the detail.  The beads are strung on white floral wire so you can bend it.  Have any of you made these or seen instructions to make them?  Yes, I'm looking for the lazy way before I start reverse-engineering it!
 I don't think there is any lazy way on this one.  No, I didn't take this picture.  My son (thank you Andy) came over yesterday afternoon to see how I was doing with the new camera and he took this picture as an example.  Oh.My. He gave me some tips to help me get started and I did manage to get some pictures I could use on Etsy. I am VERY happy I don't have to constantly take the camera on and off the tripod - HUGE time saver.  Now, all those setting are another thing.
This is a straight-on picture of that same button.  It looks neat, kind of like a Hostess cupcake, but the one above is so much more interesting.  Lots-o-learning to do!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Learning Curve Ahead

I think this is the third year I have posted a photo of this same clump of daffodils.  I guess that is proof positive that Spring does "spring" eternal.
So what makes this picture different from the rest?  Well, I finally bit the bullet yesterday and stepped up to an SLR camera.  I got so frustrated trying to take close-up shots for my Etsy with my little Nikon Colorpix that I decided it was time to take on the challenge of getting a camera where YOU HAVE TO KNOW STUFF.  Yikes!  I got a Sony A55.  This picture is what came out when I just pointed it and pushed the button.  Oh my goodness, I have a lot to learn.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Business On The Agenda

 I have been taking care of some old business this week.  When the scrapbooking craze hit these many years ago I jumped on the bandwagon.  What a great idea to get your old photos out of those awful "magnetic" albums, add captions and stories and mount them properly.  So I took them all out of the albums and sorted them into photo boxes, including my wedding pictures. 
Okay, that step took up the whole first year of scrapbooking.  As I do...  I made a whole bunch of work for myself.  It is still a good idea, I just didn't realize the bite I bit off.  Hmm.  That is another common theme in my life.
Well, I was determined that this year I would finally get my wedding photos out of that box and back into an album and I am making good progress.  Working on my wedding album when I have been married over 36 years.  Go figure.
Proof that I HAVE made progress over the years.  No, I don't have stacks of lovely finished albums but I do have stacks of lovely (and some not so much) finished pages.  This doesn't include the six family genealogy albums.
Speaking of genealogy...  they will be releasing the 1940 census in April.  My grandmother will be 102 this month and this means I can now find her all the way up until she is 30 years old.  It is a little unsettling to realize you can out-live privacy policies.  This is also the first year I will find my parents in the census, although they are both gone now. 
Okay, back to work.  These pages will not make themselves.  Words to the wise:  do not wait until your children are teenagers to start organizing your photos.  I had to ask them to help me figure out which one of them was in some of the pictures - LOL!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hoochie-Koochie Altered Book Page

You all know how I operate by now.  Every now and then I just have to take some time to play and the altered book project is always a willing playmate. 
The page on the right is the very last page in the book.  No, that doesn't mean I'm finished!  I work in it randomly so when it is finished there won't be pages that are too similar right next to each other.  You know how easy it is to get in a rut.  It is very close, though.  The book is so fat that someday very soon I will have to call it done and cut out the remaining blank pages.
I already have my next book picked out.  A little thinner this time and the title is 'Try And Stop Me". 8+)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Project Is Perked

Really, it was hardly complicated enough to call it a project but I did finish it up last night.  If you follow my blog then you know I love sewing notions and accumulate a lot of pins and needles from the poke sacks I buy.  I do actually use the pins to secure things in my inspiration kits and sewing trims I sell on Etsy so there is always an assortment of pincushions sitting on my desk.
I had set the broze baby shoes on my desk and one of my tomatoe pincushions wandered its way on to the ashtray spot, as things sometime do.  Ash tray and baby shoe in the same sentence.  Whoa, that was a different era! 
At first I was thinking I would just stuff the little shoes but the openings are very small so they made tiny pincushions.  Instead, I decided to go with "muffin top" shoes and simply hot glued the velvet cushions on top.  I pulled the SugarCushion off my Etsy because the color worked perfectly.  It is not attached so I can lift that one off when I need the pins on one of the other worktables.
I think my mother would be happy to know these little shoes are still loved and used a half century later!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Project Percolation

 I am still hard at work on sorting/washing/listing all that work I bought for myself on vacation but my brain has been percolating on a new project.  Do you have a pair of these?  Do they even still make these?  Well, "these" have been mine since that slightly illegible date painted below my name.
Here are a few of the "ingredients" for the recipe I'm cooking up.  Check back later for the results - assuming I eventually finish all that work I bought for myself, that is.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ocean Interlude

 I took a break from blogland for a couple of days at the Oregon coast.  You don't really go to "the beach" here in Oregon.  Our coast is seldom what non-Oregonians think of as a beach.  It is a roaring, crashing tribute to the power of Mother Nature, especially at this time of year! 
My PNW readers may have seen this before but I thought the rest of you would enjoy it.  These neons are on the ceiling in McMenamins Lighthouse Brew Pub in Lincoln City.
 The red one is not as fiery as it looks in this picture.  Taking photos inside a bar with my little point and shoot is, well, a crap shoot!
 The art work in the McMenamins is always unique and fun to look at!
 This is a view from our room.  That is our stalker seagull who watched us through the window pretty much the entire time.  On the last day, just before we left, we threw him half a muffin.  He fought off the other seagulls that swooped in and swallowed it WHOLE to keep them from getting it.  Yikes!  You could see the bulge in his neck.  He seemed fine with it but I thought it looked pretty uncomfortable!
 Another view from our room.  There was high wind and POUNDING hail the first two days.  It was so loud we couldn't even hear the ocean. 
 Huge waves breaking far out from shore.
 We stayed at a neat little place called Ester Lee.  It is a very old motel of cottages that they have renovated.  They kept just enough of the 40s/50s charm and renovated for comfort.  We loved it and will definitely stay there again!
 We drove on down to Newport for a day.  This is the first time we have been there since the NOAA fleet moved their base to the Newport Bay.  On a better weather day we will have to explore around on that side of the bay and see if they offer any tours or an information center. 
And, no, the trip was not without junking!  I tortured my poor husband through at least a half dozen antique malls.  The prices are pretty high, as you would expect, but I did manage to pick up a few things.  These two dresser boxes are the largest I have ever seen so I added them to my collection for the storage project I have in mind.  I really should get started on that pretty soon since I am getting over-run with the boxes.  I still have 3 days before I have to return to real life so maybe I'll work on that.  Or not.  8+)