Friday, January 11, 2013

Brooch Bouquet

This is my take on a brooch bouquet. I haven't worked on the handle yet. To be continued...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tender Buttons

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a grandma's girl.  At the age of 7, I went to live with my grandmother. Even after I graduated from high school and left her home, I found myself drawn to the farm every weekend, holiday, winter and summer school vacation.  Nearly 11 years ago, I moved home from Missoula, Montana in order to take care of my grandmother as she battled stage 4 uterine cancer.

Her death is, by far, the event that changed me most.

One of the things I've rued most during my adulthood is that she never got the chance to see me happy. I was a late bloomer.  I didn't date during high school.  In fact, I didn't really date in college either.  And once I did begin dating, my choices weren't good choices.

She had two other grandchildren, and she got to see those grandchildren marry and have children.  I wish more than anything she was alive to see my wedding.  I think she would like Tobe.

Her absence is going to be giant that day. To honor her, I'm working on ways to incorporate her on that day.

Those who knew her know she was an excellent seamstress.  One of my fondest memories of her is playing in her sewing drawer.  She kept her buttons in an Almond Roca tin.  I can't tell you the number of times I dumped those buttons out on my bed and sorted through them, marveling in all the colors and textures.  My cousin and I used to play "store" and would dole buttons out to family members and make them buy their possessions back from us.

I spent this evening looking through the buttons again.  I strung them on silver wire and figure I'll intersperse them in my bridal party bouquets and boutonnieres. Or maybe I'll arrange them in a vase.

Unrelated, I also began sorting through a baggie of miscellaneous jewelry bits I've gathered at yard sales over the years. I'm obsessed with watches. I love the way they look and want to build something with them.  Among the watches, one is my grandmother's and another is my uncle Dick's.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What To Do With Paper Leftovers

In the last couple weeks, I've been creating paper flowers of all sorts.  Most of the designs require that I use a large circle punch. This leaves a lot of extra paper that I'm unwilling to simply throw away or recycle.  Thus, today, I made lengths of bachelor button garland. I'll sort the remaining paper into color families and will send it through the paper shredder.  It will then be added to a blender, and it'll be resurrected as handmade paper.  That part of the process will likely be happen when the weather turns warm though.

Honestly, I don't recommend this. It was a headache in more ways than one.  First, the punching is hard on the hands. And then there is the tangling.  As I went to neatly wind the garland around this cardboard for the sake of storage, I unearthed a tangle that made me want to cry. Tobe said, "Do you want some help? I'm a fisherman. Fishermen know knots." He is patient, but even he gave up. I got it. And now, after a two-mile walk with my man and my dog through our snowy neighborhood, I am both physically and creatively tired. I need to find a new TV series to watch on Netflix. It's one of those days.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

From New Orleans, With Love

I thought I'd post a photo of one of Christmas presents I gave Tobe.  Ever heard of Moo? is a company specializing in printing services (business cards, postcards, brochures, etc.). In the past, I've bought business cards for Re-Used Muse. Then I discovered their half-size cards, which a lot of business use as price tags.  As I research for my upcoming wedding, I'm also discovering lots of brides are using them in wedding invitation suites as a means of including photos, registry information, or directions to their personal wedding websites.

Anyway, I get a daily e-mail from, and one of the daily deals was a set of 100 mini cards AND a frame that showcases 20 of the cards.  The cool thing about is that you can upload 100 different images. I uploaded 30 images and got approximately 3 of each. My next order of business is to use the remaining cards to make a mosaic for his parents and my mom. I'm going to have to get creative on the frame situation though. Perhaps a thrift store tour is in order. I think I can come up with a good composition.

This morning, my dog barked more ferociously at the mailman than normal. That meant we had a package.  I discovered my friends, Tracey and Jesse, had sent us something.  Tobe was still sleeping, so naturally I woke him up for a package opening ceremony.  In addition to a sweet note that had me tearful, Tracey and Jesse sent along two gifts.  First, there was this cute little clay ornament.  It's so delicate that you can see the fingerprint ridges of the craftsperson who so lovingly (and patiently) fashioned all those tiny leaves.
And this frame.

Anyone who knows me knows that my visits to New Orleans have resulted in a love affair with the city and its people (and Facebook friends who are New Orleans burlesque dancers...and a strange inkling to learn the art of burlesque, but that is a story for another time...). Bergeron Woodworks, according to its packaging, makes frames  "using materials salvaged from homes and businesses in and around historic New Orleans.  This reminds me of the last summer I spent in New Orleans. Among the many memories, I recall going yardsaling with Tracey and Jesse. After Katrina, there were people selling pieces of houses and rusted ironwork. It amazes me what beauty can come from disaster.

The frame also reminds me of the work of one of my favorite artists, Dolan Gaiman. You can see some of his work HERE. And my birthday is in April, so if anyone wants to get me this bear print, feel free ;)