Friday, January 23, 2015

A pile of little cutter quilt squares...

How sweet are these little cutter quilt squares?
They were all being sold on eBay
and were all originally from the same quilt.
And they were all hand stitched. 
The seller stated that the quilt as a whole was a cutter,
so she cut them into these little pieces,
measuring 6 by 6 inches.

I love that some mix in a little black,
and that the reds have faded so much they look pink...

Some have this weird shade of green.
I surmise that the green was once blue,
but has also faded over time.
Sometimes old fabrics do that.
Working with these pieces may present a challenge.
I love challenges...

I see myself using these red, white and blue pieces
with some of my vintage patriotic photos...

I bought twelve pieces,
though the seller still still has some more for sale.

I couldn't resist stacking them up...

The top piece reminds me of a sailboat,
or perhaps a piece of an old schoolhouse quilt
(missing the door and chimney)...

I wonder what this quilt looked like when it was
all one piece,
and before the fabrics started to fade.
I wonder who used it and loved it.
And I wonder how it ended up being a cutter.

I bought these pieces thinking that I might make a 
patriotic banner with them in time for July 4th. 
It seems like I would have plenty of time to do that.
But then again, knowing me, maybe not!
In the meantime, maybe I'll just display them
in a basket in our upstairs guest room,
which is the only room in this house
 that has a touch of red.

What would you do with these?

Think creative thoughts.
It's better than nothing!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Plaster Cloth Wrap on Fabric: "Just Me and My Friends" fabric and lace collage...

Good morning!

Continuing with my post from yesterday, 
below is the collage that 
I made with the drop cloth fabric to which 
I had applied texture by using Plaster Cloth Wrap. 
(It is impossible to get a decent photo due to the 
low level of light in our house these days, 
so you may need to enlarge this photo.)
I made the little collage separately,
adding the photo, more laces
and embellishments to a piece of a vintage
hankie, which I used as the base.
I then glued the little collage to the textured
substrate fabric,
positioning it to the upper left
so that the best plastered areas would not be
covered up.
Don't you just love the photo of the sweet
little girl with her dolls in the carriage?...

I used my handy-dandy 
Crop-A-Dile to set the eyelets at the top.
This baby easily went through all 
the layers of fabric, plaster and lace...

In the spirit of Valentine's Day,
I couldn't resist using this beautiful
rhinestone heart,
along with some of my lovely
vintage velvet ribbon which I shared 
with you in a recent post...

I also began creating something with the 
burlap pieces, 
but that will have to wait for a future post.

Have a peaceful and creative day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Playing with Plaster Cloth Wrap on fabric...

Hello there!

The other day I had some time to play in my studio, so I decided to pull something out that I had worked on a while ago.Way back whenever, I was in an "experimental" mood, so I decided to try my hand at using plaster cloth to see what interesting textures I could come up with. I didn't really have any specific project in mind when I made it, except I knew that I would likely turn it into a fabric collage of some sort.

Below is the product that I used.
Pretty inexpensive to experiment with!
It comes on a roll that is 4 inches by 180 inches (10 by 450 cm).
I worked with about 12 inches at a time.
After dipping the strips, one at a time, into a bowl
of warm water, 
I placed each strip on my fabric piece,
scrunching as I went along, 
and created a first layer.
I then did the same thing again,
this time scrunching in different areas, while
incorporating vintage lace scraps
into the plaster, smoothing it in sections as I went along.
I covered some of the lace in some areas with the plaster...

Here is one larger piece that I did on
some canvas drop cloth material.
Towards the upper left you can see where
I left it a little flat so that later I could add something else.
You can also see where the plaster partially covers the laces...

In this more detailed photo,
you can see the mesh of the plaster cloth showing through
in some areas,
and where I made it smoother in others.
Use your fingers to smooth the plaster cloth 
until it gets as smooth as you want it.
You do not need to even dirty a paintbrush!...

The next few photos show more of the detail.
I left the canvas frayed on the edges 
as I liked the scrappy look...

For the three samples below,
I experimented with small burlap pieces...

For this one I used a larger scrap of lace...

...and on this one I used no lace,
but liked the built up texture 
near the center...

For this one I just used a small piece of lace...

Here are some photos that show more detail...

And this last photo shows you what the reverse side looks like.
Kind of interesting in itself, I think...

So what exactly did I make with these? 
I did make something with the larger piece 
from the drop cloth.
In my next post I will show you what!

Have a great evening!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Phonto" Photo Editing App: Cowgirls of the Old West

Good morning!

As promised, here is the additional information on "Phonto", the last of the photo editing apps that I played with this past week.

The additional feature of this app is that you can curve the letters and words that you use, so on the above edit, I curved the words around the circle. The photo below is the original, and I ran it through "Tangent" first to encircle the cowgirls, then through "Vintage Photo Frame", and lastly through "Phonto" to add the curved lettering.

I love this old cowgirl photo that is
part of my collection.
Feel free to use it as you wish!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Phonto" Photo Editing App: Memories of Home

"The thrill of coming home
has never changed."

I played a little more with photos this week (fancy that!) after discovering a very nice app for inserting typography on your photos. It is free (hooray) and trust me when I say that it would have been worth paying some money for. It has a large number of fonts to choose from, is easy to use, and you can save your fonts and words, which makes it really easy to watermark you photos if you so desire. The added bonus of this app is that after you upload one photo, you can upload a second and superimpose it over the first, as I did with the little girl above (you will recognize her from a previous post). I was then able to manipulate the degree of transparency of the little girl.

So here are the photos that I used for the above edits.

You may recall this photo,
which I took last summer along the coast of NH...

Below is what it looked like after I ran it through 
the "Vintage Photo Frame" app
that I talked about the other day.
I love the primitive look that it now has...

Here is the original photo of the 
little girl.
Only a portion of this photo was 
superimposed over the house...

All photos above are yours
if you want them.

In my next post I will show you another feature of "Phonto". I hope that you have a great day!

Friday, January 16, 2015


She is your mirror, 
shining back at you
with a world of possibilities.
She is your witness, 
who sees you at your worst and best,
and loves you anyway."


Today I decided go through some of my vintage photos, and seeing the sisters on this old cabinet card made me think about how nice it would be to have had a sister. That none if the girls in my immediate family has a sister seems to be a common thread. I have one brother. He happens to live in Washington State, so we rarely see each other. He has a boy and a girl. My mom was an only child. My dad had only one sister. I have only one first cousin and she is an only child. And each of my children has a boy and a girl.

To me, having a sister would be like having a best friend who never goes away. Someone who understands you and is always there no matter what. Someone who puts family first, and petty differences aside. Someone who shares a common bond of home and history. And someone who is always willing to listen and not judge. 

Eva and Eliza live on only in my imagination. I do not know who the pretty girls in this photo were. On the back of the photo someone had written "Mrs. Ed Cunningham", with an address in California, and stated that she was the girl on the right. I don't know when the photo was taken, or the first names of the girls. So I am making these instant ancestors my own and giving them a voice. 

Here's to you, Eva and Eliza. 
I hope that you had lovely lives 
and grew up remaining best friends.  

Below is the original photo.
Feel free to use it, 
or the edited versions above,
in any way you wish.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The "Tangent" and "Vintage Photo Frame" apps, a little girl and an old house...

Good morning. I hope that I am not boring you with my new found love for photo editing. If so, please exit now and return later! (Just joking.)

Here is some information about two other apps that I have really been enjoying, along with some of my results.

This is the base photo of the little girl that
you saw in my previous post...

I ran it through an app called "Tangent".
For $1.99, this is another great one.
At first I thought it would be too modern for 
my taste, since it uses vectors, colors, and 
shapes, along with textures and overlays. 
Below is one of the choices.
You can move the shapes around,
and size them as you wish,
so I encircled this girl's face.
This is the first edit...

I saved the above edit, then ran it through 
"Tangent" again, this time using an 
overlay of blue stars.
This also changed the shades of the red and
the circle. 
I was also able to size the blue stars.
A little bright for this old gal..., I again saved the above edit,
and moved it to another great app called
"Vintage Photo Frame".
For 99 cents, this is a great one for 
 us lovers of all-things-vintage!
This app lets you choose overlays, textures, 
such as the crackled finish below,
and frames that really look old
in a subtle way.
It also lets you choose the percent of
intensity on each of your choices.
For this one, I wanted to see if I could create
a vintage, patriotic effect on an ordinary

This past weekend we went to a family function
in Salisbury, NC. 
While there, we drove around in our favorite historic
 (We are always looking at houses for sale! 
I guess we all dream.)
I shot the below photo of one of the houses.
It was less than a great photo,
but a wonderful house...

I couldn't resist putting it in a frame from 
the "Vintaframe Pro" app ...

...and I also ran it through "Old Style Camera"...

...and through "Snapseed"...

...and also "Tangent"...

...and "Vintage Photo Frame"...

One house.
Seen six different ways.
Consider the possibilities.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The "Old Style Camera" photo app, crazy quilt pieces, a little girl, and a Hosta...

Happy Tuesday friends! The weather here has been less than desirable, and so of course this is an excuse to stay in the house and entertain myself. 

This morning while drinking my coffee I decided to play again with photo apps, and thought that I would share some photos of my results with you. What I like the best about using these is that they are easy to use and they enhance my otherwise not-so-great-photos!

All of the photos below were edited with 
"Old Style Camera".
This works on both iPhone and iPad.
At 99 cents, it is worth every penny.

When you upload your photo, you can choose what portion
of the photo you want to use in your creation.
It has different filters that you can use to put different 
effects on your photo, such as sepia, black and white,
vignetting, and so on, 
though I did not use any of those here.

You can choose your frame and use the blurring tool
to blur the edges of your photo.
It also allows you to move "the blur" around
on the picture, and make it as large as you like.

There are several frames to choose from,
all wonderful.

Below is a photo of a piece of a crazy quilt 
from my collection of cutter quilts.
(You know how I love these!)
I find it better to choose your frame first,
since some are patterned overlays that may clash with
your photo,
and then apply the blurring tool to fade the portions
that you want to.

For the two photos below I used the same frame, 
since I thought that the black filigree really
enhanced this beautiful piece.
I did not alter the colors at all.

The three photos below are of different sections
of another old cutter that I have.
For these I used three different frames,
again, blurring the outsides.

On this third one, I used a busier frame. 
You can see the checkerboard design in it, but
I thought the colors enhanced the quilt piece.
I only blurred parts of the outer section.

Because I felt that many of the frames in this app
mimicked Victorian photo holders,
I decided to try one on one of my vintage photos.
All I did was snap a picture of the old photo,
I didn't even scan it in.
I like that it is not so clear. 
I chose only a portion of my photo,
and then used the frame below,
and blurred even a portion of the frame.

The photo below is of a Hosta that was blooming this 
past summer up at Birdsong Cottage.
I used the same frame that I used on the first two
photos above.
In this one you can see where the fading,
or blurring, changed the colors slightly.
Playing with different frames 
and points of blurring is the best way to discover
which choices will look the best.
I then used another app (Snapseed, which I talked about
in this post) for the framing.
(This will show you how you can apply effects from one app,
save them, and then move your edited photo to another app for
additional editing.)

The only thing to know about this program
is that you can't stretch the frames
to fit your photo,
so you will have to choose one that 
"fits" around the subject that you want framed.
For instance, there is a pretty oval frame,
but had I used it on the little girl, a lot of her head
would have been cut off. 
(Unless I just haven't figured out how to do it yet!)
But with everything else that I love about this app,
I am fine with that.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy working with these apps. 
Think of the possibilities while away from home.
You can edit your iPhone and iPad photos,
then put them on your PC later
and post them to your blog,
or print them out for future art projects.
And as usual, any of the above edits are up for grabs
if you want to use them!

Many thanks for stopping by!