Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mid-November . . .

This morning, as I sit down at my computer to write this post, we are experiencing some bone-chilling temperatures. Thank goodness for our fireplace insert. It keeps our house warm while we await the installation of a new boiler to power our steam heating system. There is really never a good time for your furnace to quit, but this was a much better time of year than in the middle of December, January, or February! We will be toasty warm in a few days and, if this boiler has as long a life as the last one, well . . . let's just say, it will be another 35 or so years before the next owners need to replace it.

And, while I am on the subject of goodbyes, I will mention how hard it was for us to say goodbye to our 2001 pickup truck this week. It has served us well, but it was at that age where we weren't going to invest in more repairs to keep it road worthy. We have used that truck for taking trips up and down the east coast, moving furniture, hauling mulch around the back yard and countless other things. We both agree it rode better than any car we have ever ridden in, including a few very fancy rigs. We were happy the young family that purchased it can put it to good use and enjoy it.

Gardening is definitely off my To Do List now; but it would be nice to have just a few more days of warmish weather to plant our spring bulbs. They arrived in the mail just before we had weeks of cold and rain, and we thought that we would get them in the ground before now. But, I have planted bulbs in very cold weather in the past and they were fine. I convinced my husband that we needed an auger that he can put on his cordless drill to dig the holes, so I am sure he is very enthused about this new bulb planting project. There are only 200+ holes to drill! ;-)

I have been making wreaths and spent a lot of time over the past few months watching tutorials and assembling the components for various themed wreaths. There is an endless array of materials you can use and it is fun to see how they turn out. Of course, sometimes what I plan is nowhere near what I end up with, but that is all part of the adventure of making things with your own creativity. I have learned through crafting and quilting that I need to embrace the opportunities for creativity when things don't go as planned. In my early days of learning to sew at my Aunt Mabel's knee, I learned perfection was the goal. I don't want to even begin to count how many seams and zippers I had to rip out when she was teaching me to sew! Aunt Mabel could sew anything. She made her own custom slipcovers for her furniture, with encased seams and piping, that rivaled anything from a store. Her dressmaking skills were excellent and she showed me how to alter patterns to get a perfect fit. The clothes that she and her sister, my Aunt Blanche, made for my sister and me were beautiful and I still have one dress she made for me when I was about 3 years old. Often our dolls sported matching dresses to ours. We were very lucky little girls.

For a closer look, you can click on the photos.

After watching several tutorials, I tried my hand at a fall-themed wreath.

So, I bring the skills and the caring that I was given by Aunt Mabel to all of my handwork. I like to do a good job and I know I always need to practice, but I also know there is room for error and that is okay. Like I said, I need to embrace those times as opportunities. Walking away and doing something else for a while is often all I need to get a better perspective and when I return to my project, I can usually come up with a solution.

While researching how to make wreaths, I discovered there are several other ways to use my newly learned skills for other projects. I decided I would decorate the lantern that has been residing on the stairs. I have never given it much thought as it sat there naked and cold. But, now it has a cloak of flowers and ribbons and a flameless candle to keep it warm . . . figuratively, at least.
I gathered the florals and ribbons I wanted to use for the lantern swag.

Lantern Swag
After a couple of attempts, I was satisfied with the results.

Different View
The view of the lantern from my chair in the living room.
You can see the bottom half of the floral portion that is hidden behind the ribbons in the photo above.
When I started to make a birthday card for my youngest grandchild, I was given many creative opportunities! Luckily, I started planning and sketching and shopping early; so when it came time to implement my ideas, there was time to regroup and take a different tack.

My granddaughter likes fairies. And now that she is 14, she may not be as interested in fairies for much longer! So, I decided that her card this year would have a fairy theme that would also incorporate a few of her other interests.

For a few weeks, I gathered the components I thought would work for a fairy-themed card and placed them in a box so I could find them when I sat down to start. Sometimes half the battle when I make things in my studio with all the little doo-dads that go on a project, is finding which bottle they are in! I try to stay organized and label things, but, well,. . . . it doesn't always work! So, my solution is to gather everything up and keep it together while I am deciding on how to approach whatever it is I want to make. You see, I can really make things quite complicated, can't I? I mean, for heaven's sake! It is just a birthday card!

Welcome to the Fairy Forest!
I found this cute fairy door at Michaels. I had the butterflies and dragon flies in my stash, along with the little bottles that a crafting friend sent to me from Texas. The background is watercolor paper that is stenciled with layers of various colors of stamping ink to give it that misty look of the interior of a forest. The greenery is cut from a die of sparkly cardstock and layered to resemble the forest floor.

Fairy Dust
I am sure that any good little fairy would have these in her arsenal.
Two of the bottles have nail art decorations inside that came in the bottles. I filled the other one with glitter.
A peek inside a little fairy's domain.
14 butterflies flutter above the clothesline where the fairies hang their skirts to dry.

A closer view.
The clothes poles are fashioned of wire and held by butterflies.
I took this little fairy and her books home with me from Michaels.
She enjoys reading.
The little fairy sits among some of her favorite books, just like my granddaughter who loves to read, surrounds herself with books.

This ended up being a rather long post . . . once again, . . . but I hope you enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos. I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time out of your day to read my blog and it is my wish for you and those you love that you enjoy today and everyday in good health and happiness.

Thank you for stopping by. Your comments and questions are welcome. I do read them and will respond. And, as always, may the Lord bless you and hold you in the hollow of His hand.


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