Monday, December 31, 2012

One of my sweet Christmas gifts, and a recipe to share...

Good morning friends! I hope that you're getting ready for the big New Year's Eve festivities, whether they be quiet or noisy! We are having dinner over here with Bob's sister and brother-in-law, and my dad will cook Veal Marsala and pasta. No one makes Marsala as good as he does! Even if he is almost 90.

Here are a few things that I wanted to share with you. The first is a group of pictures of a Christmas gift that I received from my son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Kristin. They went to Chris' best friend's destination wedding in November, which was held on one of the islands off the coast of Georgia. While there, Kristin and her mom went shopping, and she bought this frame for me. Does she know of my love of peeling paint and architectural salvage, or what!? Of course, the baby in the frame is my sweet new grandson, Jason, dressed in the sailor suit that I brought to their baby shower last March. Have I mentioned that I have a "thing" for sailor suits. Both of my children have had to bear the burden of being dressed in one at least once in their little lives, and I am continuing the tradition with my grandchildren. Jason's room was done in a nautical theme, so it came together really nicely in the picture.

Doesn't this frame make you want to create some of your own?

And even if I had lived during Victorian times, my kids still would have been wearing sailor suits...

And, a recipe to share. My husband is a diabetic and cannot eat sugar (and I don't need it!), so a few years ago I found this recipe during a search of no-cook cranberry relish using little or no sugar. It is a very easy, and can be made in your food processor. The best part is that you can make it two days ahead and store it in your fridge. It is actually from the website:, to whom I will give credit. Here is a scan of the recipe. I hope you can read it. It is the one on the left, Cranberry Apple Relish. I have not tried the other one. I also double the recipe, and make mine with pecans.

Well, have a great New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Inspiration, Part 3...

Greetings from The Perch! I hope that you're enjoying your weekend.

Here is the last part of my "quest for inspiration". Sometimes it helps me to look at some of my old creations and say "I can make more of these". My spirits were lifted this morning when Glenda from Recycled Relatives (see my post of a few days ago on tintypes) emailed me and asked me if I sell any of my work. I have not sold any so far mainly because I don't think that anything that I create is all that special, and even most of my family members don't "get" my art (if you want to call it art). But she loves old photos (obviously!) as much as I do and she was happy when in a previous email I mentioned that I use only copies of these photos in my art. We both share the same feeling that when these beauties are gone, they are gone, and there are no more. If a picture that has survived for more than 100 years is going to die, it will not be at my hand, even for the sake of art. I do believe that artists have the right to their own special brand of creativity, but I personally can't see ruining an original old photo for the sake of putting a witch's hat on it, or giving it a mustache. Even if the photo is not in great shape to begin with. Enough of my humble and worthless opinions!

The photos below were taken of some pieces that I had sent to Sew Somerset, and were published in the Summer, 2011 issue along with an article that they asked me to write about them. Since I did not have a blog back then, I will share them now. They were done in a set, and about 8" by 10" each.

And here are some scans of the article as it appeared. (I can't tell if the scans will view very well.)

I actually submitted these as theme pieces to Somerset Studio, and they later asked me if they could put them in Sew Somerset instead, along with the article, so of course I said "yes". 

Thank you again for spending some time with me. Have a great day!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Inspiration, Part 2...

Good morning friends. I hope that your weekend is getting off to a good start!

Continuing with yesterday's quest for inspiration, following are some pictures of unfinished fabric collage that has been basted together and is waiting for the final hand-sewing. (Again, click on the pics if you want to see better detail; the photos are not the greatest.) Sometimes I am in the mood to play with colors and then I piece together a few at a time, especially if I am going to do a series of pieces based on a particular theme.

These will still need the batting
sewn to the back before I stitch
them. Most of these are using pictures
printed onto ink jet photo fabric, but the
fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth were
photo transfers using the transparency
and acrylic matte gel medium method.

To this last one I have pinned the
batting, and I am still trying to 
decide what else I want to add to
the final piece. Shown are some of
   the doo-dads that I am considering.  

After the hand-sewing, they will be backed with muslin and all will be finished. OK, so maybe....

Well, the rain is pouring down here right now, so I think I'll take advantage of the indoor time and gather some more items together. On my next post I will show you some of these in their finished state.

Thanks for visiting me!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Good morning friends! I hope that you are well.

This morning I decided to start assembling some "stuff" to work on in the car when we take my dad back to Florida in a couple of weeks. I've sung this tune before, but it seems that I always wait until the last minute to do this, get bogged down with packing, and then the creative intentions sink. So...I pulled out some "projects started but never completed"... fabric collage, all in different stages of production. I was thinking along the line of projects that will not require me to bring a lot of supplies and that just need a little hand-sewing to complete.

Many things inspire me to create a particular project, so here goes (you may want to click on the pics to enlarge them)...

Sometimes I have a few pictures that I am considering
for a project. I print them out on photo fabric and then
gather whatever fabrics, ribbons, and other items might
go with the theme.

Other times, I buy something that I think will work
into a future project, such as the hanky and blue collar
with rhinestones shown below, and then put it aside
 with other coordinating items. I'm not
sure yet what picture I will use, but it will surely
be of a Victorian lady, and her name will be Edith.

Following is another grouping. I like to work in series
of three or four, so these may become exactly that.

I love quotes almost as much as I love old photos,
so sometimes I just print out a bunch of quotes onto
printer fabric. I then print out some photos that may
or may not go with the quotes. In the grouping below,
I had the "Pullman Company 1938" old towel, so I 
thought this might work with the ladies by the old car,
since their dress portrays that time period. And, I may
use some of the quotes with the pictures of the

In the below shot, all I have done is assemble fabrics
and ribbons. Some of he fabrics were bought pre-cut
and coordinated and sold in packages at WalMart. I
then added some others. These will likely also end up
as a series. The fabric dictates pictures of children and
a playful tone.

Sometimes I am not in the mood to actually sew, so I use that time to gather grouping of materials, and I then store them in those scrapbook "Craftkeepers", which you see in the last photo. That way I can add materials to them at will. Wow, I'm already feeling inspired to get on with some art!

In my next post I will share some that I have basted together, and are ready for the final hand-stitching.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tintype photos and sources for obtaining your own...

Good morning friends. I hope that you are all well and had a wonderful Christmas. Now that the gifts have been cleared away, I am trying to focus on cleaning up my studio, which for the past few weeks became a gift-wrapping station covered with glitter and all sorts of miscellaneous mess. The work table is recovering and being readied for some creative projects.

I have been going through my stash of old photos, and wanted to share some info on tintypes. I recently bought a few, not as much for art projects, but rather just to admire. These are usually pretty dark, and do not copy or scan very well. You can read up on these on Wikipedia, but they were around before the ever-popular cabinet cards, being popular during the Civil War and into the 19th century. Though they were not actually made of tin, they were durable and small. This made it easy for soldiers to carry pictures of their loved ones with them. I sometimes wonder if any of the ones that I have were held in the pocket of a soldier who missed his wife and children. Note that the fashions and hairstyles are different than what you see on the cabinet cards (hair being parted down the middle, for instance).

Below are a few of mine to share with you, all purchased on eBay...

This one measures only about an inch high.

I love this one. It is cracked, which lends to its charm. Could
this have been the one carried into battle?

The next three were obtained through eBay also.
Note the slight blushing of the cheeks on the first two,
which seems to have been the trend.

The last three pictures shown above were obtained from the same seller. Her name is Glenda, and after I purchased these, she sent me the nicest email thanking me for the purchase. Well, actually, I only bought the first two, and she provided the third for free! I must say that I have only had great experiences with the sellers on eBay, but this lady offers an excellent client experience that is paralleled only by the pictures that she sells. If you want to see her current eBay offerings, she is under the seller name of "recycledrelatives". Glenda also provided me with her two websites. The first is dedicated totally to tintypes and can be found here. Be sure to check out her personal collection, as well as the ones that she has for sale. She also has another website through which she sells other photos, and that one can be found here. You will not be sorry you spent the time!

Well, so much for the lesson of today! Stay well! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit,
become a child again at Chrismas-time.
--Laura Ingalls Wilder

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve...

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist."

I wish you and your families a lovely Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Before Christmas...

Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!


Thinking of you!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Early Christmas gifts for you...

Good morning! I hope your weekend is getting off to a good start. In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to share these recently acquired vintage photos with you to use in your art. As with most of the pictures I share, they are very old and I am sure beyond any copyright regulations.

A sweet little girl...I love the hat!

Another sweet child...I love the bow!

And a beautiful little baby standing on a lovely old wicker chair...

I scan them pretty much as they are and leave the photo-editing for you. I personally like to use copies of them in their "natural" form. I think that any imperfections add to their charm.

As promised, here are some photos of that old beach picture that I bought in Venice, FL last week. Someone makes copies of these old photos and mounts them on Masonite ready to be hung. Since he has done this, there might be some copyright issues, so I have not scanned it. The picture measures 30 inches wide by 6 inches high, so I had to photograph it in sections. The title on the bottom says Venice Bathing Beauty Pageant 1926, so I was drawn to it because my parents retired to Venice, FL, where my dad still lives, and my mom was born in 1926. I do believe that the photo was actually taken in Venice Beach, CA. I love how there are all ages of beauties in this photo.

Click to enlarge so you can see the detail.