Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing - outdoor re-do

For some reason I neglected to take a picture of these cushions when they first arrived at my house.  They were in really bad shape.  The fabric was pretty well destroyed by the sun.  The fabric just fell apart as I tried to take the cushions apart.  Not much to even use as a pattern for the new cushions.

The cording was still good, so I pulled it off and took the fabric off each piece.  These pieces didn't pull apart as easily as the cushions.  I broke a pair of scissors and a seem ripper getting these guys apart.

But...they got their new coverings and are ready for the next step.

The guts of the cushions were also not in bad shape...so recycle is the name of the game with these new cushions.

A little concentrated sewing and they are finished (well...all but three at this point!)

Of course my reason for wanting them finished by this weekend is completely selfish!!  I need to be able to sit on these by the pool for the 4th of July!

I'll be sure to post a picture of the finished pillows in place!
Till tomorrow...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Thoughts

Psalm 90:12

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Busy Women - Big Dreams

I'm hanging out over at Connie Mann's Blog today!  Come on over and meet Miss Connie who is a writer and a Boat Captain at Florida's Silver Springs Park in Ocala.  She looks very official when in her Captain's uniform...she's that little 'wisp' of a gal on the left!

I first met Connie about 15 years ago when her sister-in-law and I crashed a special anniversary dinner planned by her sweet husband!  He never knew RT and I were gathering all our "Intel" on time and location of the date because of our plans to crash their dinner.  I've known Connie's husband over 30 years...and playing "tricks" on each other is a long time history of ours!!!  Needless to say...Connie was gracious and kind at our busting up their date, and that was the beginning of our "kindred" friendship.

Connie has authored and co-authored several books.  Her most exciting news to date is that a movie has been made from one of her novels.  She and her son Ben were able to work on the movie project together and I'm just waiting to hear of a release date so I can be first in line to see "Catch of a Lifetime!"  There's a Facebook page to keep you posted about the movie, but I'll let you know the release date when I hear something!

Connie's current series Busy Women-Big Dreams will inspire you in your creative journey,  Whatever your creative "bend" you will enjoy her encouraging words and the inspiration you will find visiting with Miss Connie and her friends!

I'm hoping Connie will "come this way" and guest blog so you can get to know her better, but in the mean time head on over to her place and give her a big "howdy"!

Till tomorrow...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Thoughts - Father's Day

Psalm 103:13

The Lord is like a father to his children,tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Paper Cowgirl Altered Art Retreat - Thoughts

The artist and "creative" ladies I spent last weekend with at the Paper Cowgirl Art Retreat were inspiring!
As with all artist gatherings...there are those artist who are giving with their time and their praise. Others (wanna be's) want all the focus to be on them. (Those are to be avoided at all cost!) But, real artist are those that are gracious and generous and are worth hanging out with and learning from their "art" experiences and expertise..

Spending time with creative people, talking about ideas, techniques, new products and being visually stimulated by their ideas...I knew I would come home and want to pour time and energy into new creations and build on some ideas that have been rolling around in my brain! The whole weekend was one long artist date!

The weekend ended with a Vendor Fair...so many beautiful things...a visual feast.

One of my favorite vendors that night was Linda Kinnaird and her jewlery creations.  You can find a few of her creations in her etsy shop.  She is very talented,  friendly and I enjoyed chatting with her.   I'm hoping she'll be offering classes soon (hint hint! I told her I'd be stalking her!)  It was a joy to spend time with the many vendors and hear their excitement to be part of a group of creative minds.

My sister and I had many hours to talk and relax.  Spending time away gives us time to reconnect and catch up.  We see each other at family activities, but to just be away together (her and I like the old days) gives us time to have meaningful conversations.

Last weekend has brought to mind a statment I have in my office...
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

These days I want to be very conscious of who I am spending my time with and what is in their heart.  I want to choose carefully who is "speaking" into my life and what those words might be. (Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.)

This past year I have become very aware of negative people and how draining "toxic" people can be in my life.  I want to be very conscious about who I will be part of my life.  My husband believes we don't choose our friends, they choose us.  That may be, but I can also head off someone that wants to fill every waking moment of my life with their "stuff".

I want to actively seek out other artists and creative people that can inspire me and spur me on.  I want to continue to learn and grow.  I want to spend time with friends who speak truth into my life (Proverbs 27:17  As iron sharpens iron,so a friend sharpens a friend.)  The Paper Cowgirl gave me that opportunity to be with other creatives!

There are so many artist communities to be found on line and right in our own back yard.  I've taken several classes this year to learn new techniques.  Some help hone my skills and others help me think outside the box and see things a new way.  Taking a class can help build confidence in just moving forward when you feel stuck.  I belong to my local creative community and online at the Creative Workshops.  I follow other inspiring bloggers and share in online communities.  But I want to encourage you to step out and join others "in real life"...be encouraged and create!

So...today spend time with people who matter!  Sign up for a class...take a step and move forward!

Till tomorrow...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My husband has been busy while I'm away! See his activity here. www. Hammer55.blogspot.com

Paper Cowgirl Altered Art Retreat - Classes and Prom

Friday we were up and going early.  Our first stop was to the Civic Center to see where the classes were being held and check out directions.  Coming back we decided to take a "short cut".  Next think we knew, we didn't know "exactly"
where we were...but the Lord doth supply!

EVERYTHING at this little estate sale was on sale 1/2 price (or less)!
Don't tell Peter, but I bought these two posts for $6.00.  Looks like I'll be getting my kitchen island soon!!!

Once we got back on track we headed to downtown Waxahachie and did a little shopping. We started out in the Scrapbook store and never got out before it was time to head to class.  Sidney stayed at the craft store for her class and I headed to the Convention Center.

I began with a blank slate (so to speak).

All my necessary supplies were ready...

and here is the finished project.  It was fun to be with other creative people and talk about different mediums, techniques and share ideas.  It was a very energizing day (despite the fact I think I'm coming down with a cold!)

I picked Sidney up from her class and we quickly changed into our "prom" attire and headed back to downtown Waxahachie.  Dinner was at a local "hole in the wall" (Mexican food, of course.)
We opted to share the appetizer platter...buttermilk batter, deep fried avocados were the best.  (Hey, we're in Texas we love to fry everything!)

After dinner many of the downtown shops stayed open late to give our group shopping time.  With classes held all day long, it's hard to fit in some shopping therapy.

Here are some of the places we hit...

Of course we ended up at the Crafty Scrapper again to purchase a few "embellishments"!

Sidney already had her arms filled with purchases (OK...so it's only one bag!)

Since Friday night was declared "Prom Night" it was fun to see the ladies roaming around town in their "Prom" attire.

We saw the restaurant that recently burned...very sad.  One of the local ladies said they would not be able to rebuild. 

We did spot an old Fallout Shelter that had been turned into a Karaoke Bar.  I don't think I've seen one of these signs in years!!

We were invited to join other families as they enjoy a move.  One of the main streets are blocked off each Friday and a "new" movie is shown.  You're encouraged to bring your own lawn chairs or a blanket so you can sit and enjoy the movie.  The young girl that invited us also said they had a concession stand available for drinks and popcorn.  The City of Waxahachie sponsors the movie night.  What a great way to bring the town together.  (AND...the movie was free!)  They were showing "Mega Mind"...Austin would love that!

Before heading out to our late night "cupcake" party at Polka Dots we took a little drive around (actually we were looking for Polka Dots and were tired of walking to find it...it was not close!)

We spotted this sign at the Feed Store...couldn't help but laugh out loud!

Last stop...Polka Dots.  The other "Prom" attendees had arrived.

Cindy (leader of our Art Weekend) did a great job of making everything look beautiful for the party.

But all Sidney cared about were the "Frosting Shots"!  (She even took one back to the room with us!)

Last, but not least, here are Sidney and I in our "Prom" get up ready to party. We had a very enjoyable evening visiting with other ladies that up until this weekend we only knew online.

Well...this morning we're off to the pool for a little R&R...then begins more activities later today...I'll keep you posted.

Till tomorrow...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Paper Cowgirl Altered Art Retreat - Swaps

We (my sister and I) have arrived safely in Waxahachie (it's only about an hour south of us).
We have our matching bags ready to leave for class in awhile.
We have all our supplies and are anxious to learn new techniques.  I'll post our class projects later.

Last night was our big meet and greet.  There were ABSOLUTELY 92 ladies there!  The place was packed.

About 8:00 pm we began our swaps...here is my apron partner, Jennifer.

I love the little pink apron she swapped with me.

She paid every attention to the details.

Shannon and I swapped Inspiration Boards.

RED...my favorite color!

I haven't even had a chance to go through my pocket to see what inspiration is hidden away.

Not the best picture, but Marie and I were altered box swappers.

Her gift was over the top.

My new spoon necklace "Junk Queen"...

So many lovelies to dig into when I get home.

Well...we're off for the day.  Doubt I'll be back today, but thought you'd like a peek at my name tag.  With all the "trinkets" we swapped last night, my name tag is filling up. 

Till tomorrow...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Swaps for the Paper Cowgirl Altered Art Retreat Completed

Today I leave for my own camp...Art Camp!!!  Actually tonight begins the Paper Cowgirl Altered Art Retreat.  I will pick up my sister and head to Waxahachie once I finish serving lunch to the kids today!  I'm sorry to miss Friday at Pine Cove...but I'm ready to "retreat:!

I have finished my items for the swaps at the Paper Cowgirl Retreat.  The swaps are purely optional, but usually a lot of fun.  You are paired up with another lady (who you've never met) and you create a piece of art you think she'll like!  I've done several swaps in the past, and have not been disappointed. 

My first swap is the inspiration board.  I started with this...

and finished with this! 

I created some little push pins from cute flower buttons.

I also made a larger heart push pin...I love anything from an old quilt.

My second swap is an altered apron.  The object was to take and old apron and alter or make a new apron and alter it.  I kinda combined the two.  New fabric for the main apron, but I used a vintage embroidered dresser scarf for the top of the apron. 

I also created some tattered flowers to added to the apron.

Last, but not least was the box swap.  I could choose any box that was close to a cigar box size.  I had several to choose from.

I went with the more square box and began by painting the box with several layers of color.  I added layers of paper, more painting and then crackled it all.  I wiped a stain on the top to highlight the crackles.

I added a vintage drawer pull on the top then embellished the pull with some extra items.

Inside the box I used one of my favorite photos of a lady on the beach along with some handwritten paper and vintage lace.

Inside, on the bottom, I added more paint, layers, crackle and stain.

Once I swap my items on Thursday night, I'll report back what I received in the swap.  I'm sure I'm going to end up with the better end of this deal!!!

Now that all the swap items are completed I also finished my 93 "name tag" trades to swap with the ladies I meet there.  I heard there are 92 "cowgirls" coming from all across the U.S.  

Tonight is our meet and greet...I'll be sure to have my camera ready to document the whole evening so I can report back.  Waxahachie is rolling out the welcome mat and I'm excited.

Till tomorrow...