Sunday, May 29, 2011

Doing the Button Happy-Dance and We Have a SugarCushion Winner!

First things first, we have a SugarCushion winner!  The random number generator selected comment #10.  Congratulations to Diane at My Art Journal!  She has been following my blog for a long time and always has such kind words of encouragement. I am delighted to be gifting her this little SugarCushion!  Diane, please email me your mailing address and I will send it off to its new home.  Many thanks to all of you who follow and entered.

 Friday morning a co-worker walked in to my office and she mentioned that we occasionally run into each other at Michaels and JoAnn so she knows I craft and asked me if I would like to have a big tin of buttons someone had given to her.  Hmm...  let me think a minute...  WELL YES!!!  Oh.My.Gosh.  A big fruitcake tin of buttons just dropped from the heavens above and landed right in my hands like a gift from the button picking gods.  I could hardly contain myself and had to go put it in the trunk of my car where I couldn't see it.  When I got home I zoomed my chores so I could start poking and sorting and cleaning and oohing and aahing...
 The buttons above are the glass ones. The little group of clear ones in the center are unusual.  They are clear glass on the front, like a rhinestone, with a translucent white glass piece attached on the back.  The big round thing at the top is obviously not a button but I included it because I thought it was neat.  A cafe curtain ring made of glass - who knew!
 These are the more interesting plastics.  I know there is some Bakelite in here because I could smell it when I was washing them but I don't have any Scrubbing Bubbles right now to test with.  There are some reds and butterscotch that look like good suspects.  After I took the pictures I started stringing them up and realized the transparent amber ones are glass and not plastic.  You should be able to double-click the pictures to make them bigger.
 This pile is the Mother of Pearl.  Love, love , love the three at the bottom of the photo.  The one on the far right looks like a little sailboat.  There are lots of the really tiny baby clothes size buttons, including two that are dyed pink.  How sweet!
This picture shows the more interesting metal buttons, some wooden ones and some plastic rhinestone buttons.  The two white ones on the bottom right side are far too stained to use for anything except art making but I included them in the photo because I thought they were interesting.  These are the first time I have seen fabric buttons with rhinestones on them.  The four on the bottom left need further investigation.  They are large [1"] and marked LIDZ on the back.
It was a large tin of buttons so there is yet another pile, probably bigger than what I have shown, of more ordinary plastic, leather and metal buttons as well as all the usual button-box junk.  Curtain rings, beads, snaps, googly eyes and game pieces.  No bullets or baby teeth in this one - LOL!
Gosh.  I just love buttons.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Most Beautiful Time of The Year

This is such a beautiful time of year in Portland that I just have to post another garden photo.  Look closely and you will see this azalea on my front porch is planted in a very shallow pot that is sitting on top of a little ladder.  Thanks to my son, Andy, it was pruned in the cascading bonsai style over 15 years ago.  Yes.  Fifteen!  It amazes me that it continues to thrive in this small pot and endures some pretty cold winters. He was fascinated with The Karate Kid movie and Mr. Miyagi's bonsai at the time.  He continues to be a much better pruner than I am but all the little trees he began, plus a few more, continue to live with me.  This one amazes me every spring!
If you haven't entered my SugarCushion giveaway yet, there is still time.  Click this link and leave a comment to enter.  I will be drawing the winner on Sunday.
I'm hooking up today with Show and Tell Fiday over at My Romantic Home. Cindy is such a dear to host!
Ah, Spring!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Goal Completed - More or Less!

Waaay back last winter I blogged that my art room "fix up" for this year was to add shelves in one side of the closet and a dresser in the other side.  I showed you the shelves I found in this post.  Ha! I just re-read it and realized I said I was going to do both that week.  Well, better late than never.  At least it's the same year!

 The Goodwill that is near my office had everything 50% off last week because they are moving to a brand new, fancy-shmancy building down the street.  Goodwill is like that here in Portland.  I like to call them the Nordstoms of thrift stores.  Big prices and they make LOTS of money.  Enough about that.  50% off = $15.00 for this perfect little maple dresser.  Check out the three shallow drawers on the top - love that!
This is how it fits in the left side of the closet.  Oh.My.Goodness. That side of the closet was jam packed so it took me days to empty it out and sort everything and PURGE.  Guess, where most of it is going...  you guessed it, Goodwill.  Hmm.  Something seems wrong with this story. 
I still haven't done the art room reorganizing to spread out into this new storage space but it's right there waiting for me.  Calling to me.  Sush, dresser...
Thanks to all of you who have entered my SugarCushion giveaway.  If you haven't entered yet it is open until Sunday so just leave a comment on this post to enter.
Good luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Ever Giveaway and a Big Thank You!

I feel so blessed to have found blogging and a way to connect with so many wonderful people out there in blog-land.  I dearly love following each others blogs and have made some sweet new friends along the way.  I thank you ALL for sharing your world with me!

To celebrate the 50 Followers milestone I am giving away this little SugarCushion to one lucky reader.  I wish I had one for each of you!  Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win.  I will draw the random winner next Sunday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three Little Birds And A Few Of Their Closest Friends

I have been saying for a while now that I would post about my collection of birdie figurines one of these days.  Well, I guess it's one of these days!  I love the look on that little guy on the right.  I don't know what the other two are tweeting about but it seems to have left him speechless.

I was trying to think how to photograph them.  Most of them are displayed on a shelf that runs around the top of my kitchen, obviously not ideal for photographing them.  I finally decided I would take a queue from Mother Nature {birds of a feather flock together} and try grouping them by color.
Hmm.  This picture just mysteriously switched places with the yellow birds.  I switched to Blogger's "new and improved" posting template.  I think I don't know what I'm doing.  Do the photos look smaller to you or is it just me?  The pair in the nest above were a gift from ME to my mother on her first mother's day.  I had a good eye for a 1 year old!

These are the ones that didn't really fit into a color category.  The misfit birdies flock together, too.  Hmm.  I don't know why there is so much white space between these photos.  I can't seem to delete it.  The top two figurines in this picture are planters.

I have a few modern birdies in my collection, as well.  These brown ones were a gift from my DIL.  I mainly collect the birdies with a glossy finish.  I have just a few with the matte finish and they are displayed in my office at work.

The two little baby birds in the nest at the top can be removed.  A couple more modern figurines and a couple more planters in this picture.

The two cardinals are perfect next to my kitchen Christmas tree during the holidays.

I will finish up with these two because they were my very first birdie figurines.  They were a gift from my Grandmother when I was just 4 or 5 years old.  They do not have a glaze over the top of the paint and the colors are so fragile after 50 years that I don't even dare wash them anymore because it is flaking.  I just dust them with a feather duster and hope for the best.  I also wanted to show the cover of the little songbook that was underneath the figurines in the other pictures.  So sweet!
If you are a follower be sure and check back on Sunday because I have a surprise!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I found this sweet little sugar bowl at the local thrift.  The lid was broken and it was  sitting there pouting like a pretty girl who lost her hat in the wind.  I just had to bring it home and give it a second life as a "sugarcushion". 
The cushion is made from tightly stuffed fiber-fill enclosed in heavy pink cotton and covered again with lace net.  It is embellished with vintage tatting hand-sewn around the edge.  I have added a pink corsage pin and several vintage straight pins to pick up the vivid colors on the vintage bowl.
I am hooking up with the "No Tomatoes Pincushion Contest" at Arrow Sewing Cabinets.  Please click PoshGirlFriday, to check out the next entry in the hop.  In case you get lost, you arrived here from HongKongChic.  Thanks to the folks at Arrow for hosting and Rebecca for linking everything up and answering my questions!
For all my followers...  stay tuned because I have some plans for this little sugar cushion!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring Wreath

I took a bunch of pictures of my little birdie figurines and was planning to post last night and link up to a couple of link parties but Blogger decided to take a break. At least I didn't lose a post like some people did! So... I decided to bag that until next week and show you a wreath I made this week to hang by the front door to welcome Spring inside.
You all know how I roll by now... get every bit of mileage I can before I give up and throw something away. This pink rose garland used to hang above my Mother's bedroom window. When I cleaned out her house 9 years ago I brought it home and draped it around the mirror on my dresser. This week I took it out in the backyard and hosed it off and it looked like there was a little mileage left so it will now hang by my front door for awhile. I wonder where it's next incarnation will be?? - LOL!
I hit one estate sale today, on my lunch break. Naturally I had limited time so I was "speed picking". Wouldn't you know what I found - for TWENTY FIVE CENTS! A pink Spring wreath. Well, I sure didn't need it but I sure wasn't leaving it behind!

I will just say it. My name is Kathy and I dig plastic flowers. There, the secret is out.

I have listened to people make fun of them since I was a little girl but I always thought they were pretty. The thickness of the petals reminds me of the frosting flowers on a cake. I'm not so sure I dig the silver and green Christmas balls so I might have to make some adjustments. Or just let it steep a while.

The weather is beautiful today and Annette mentioned she hoped I would take some pictures of my spring flowers. Tomorrow afternoon the rain is back for a week and a half so I figured I better grab at least one shot of this rhody while I have the chance. If you scroll back up to the plastic wreath in the chair you can also see one of the dark red azaleas blooming behind it. Don't look at the weed underneath it...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Springtime Treat - Heavenly Lilacs

Despite our soggy Spring, the old, reliable lilacs are unfurling their blossoms and filling the air with their heady fragrance. I took this picture on the front porch for the natural light but within 5 minutes of carrying them back inside the whole house was perfumed.
The pale ones are old fashioned lilacs and they are the fragrant ones. The darker ones are a variety named Frank Klager. Hulda Klager was a well known lilac breeder and she named this one after her husband. We bought it while visiting her historic gardens about 25 years ago. They are not fragrant but the deep purple color is stunning against a blue sky.
The lilac blooms don't last long but they are one of my favorite Spring treats.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all my sweet Mama and GrandMama blog friends.
May God bless you and the ones you love!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cathy, Bluebells and Baggy Shorts

A couple of weeks ago Cathy at ma vie trouvee did a post about a beautiful bluebell forest near her home in Belgium. If you haven't visited her blog I recommend it. She is an American living in Belgium and she travels far and wide and blogs about the incredible foods, flea markets, sights and art she encounters. She is a talented photographer and captures really beautiful photos. In addition, she crafts lovely handmade cards and has been featured in several of the Somerset publications. I discovered her blog during the Where Bloggers Create blog party last Spring and have been following ever since. She lives around the corner from a flea market in Belgium and says crazy talk like "well, we are off to Marrakesh for the weekend". Holy Moly. When I looked closer I realized that what they call bluebells are the flowers I know as Wood Hyacinths. Knowing that, I can understand how they could carpet the floor of an entire forest! My mother's best friend, Peggy, gave me a little sack of bulbs when we moved in to this house over 30 years ago.
{Oh wait, I have to tell you a little story about Peg.} Her name was Peggy Schwartz. Pronoucing her name was an insurmountable tongue twister for the bitty neighbor boy so she was forever Baggy Shorts. I don't think she minded. I haven't thought of her in a while and it makes me smile. I wish I could think of a bigger word than "invasive". I think I have spent the last 30 years trying to herd them out of the spots where I don't want them. The meek will not inherit the Earth, the Wood Hyacinths will! I have to admit, though, that after the long, bleak Winter it is a joy to see their beautiful blue blossoms signal that Spring has returned at long last.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Other Art Room at Our House

I am always blogging about MY art room and the things I am working on so I thought you might like to see the husband's art room, er... workshop, for a change.
I didn't know if there was enough light out there to get a good picture so this was kind of an experiment. With the low light I think I need to use the tripod and it will be a little sharper.
I have mentioned his woodturning before, as well as his website and his Etsy shop. The partially finished piece sitting on top of the lathe is a weed pot or vase. I'm not sure if it is right side up or upside down at this point. This one is destined for Etsy so keep an eye on his "mini" over on the left side bar and I expect we will find out before long.
I will take more photos another day and try to show some "work in progress" since it is a pretty amazing process that takes the wood from a raw chunk to something beautiful!