Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR...

"A new beginning is perhaps the best time to say...
It’s so nice to know you…
And here’s wishing our friendship
continues to grow in the days to come."
-Author Unknown-

Put on your party hat and paste on a goofy grin...
 (FREE IMAGE)

It's time to usher baby NEW YEAR 2012 in!
 (FREE IMAGE)

It has been a privilege and an honor to spend the past 365 days with you through posts, comments, and emails.  We are written into each others hearts and lives, filling in little blank spaces of time on calender pages we call "posts".  We have jotted important notes and funny antidotes.  We have shared joys and snippets of sadness.  We have encouraged one another through creativity.  We have formed friendships and found kindred spirits.

You have made me smile and belly laugh.  I have cried right along side of some of you.  I have thought of you and prayed for you.  You have bolstered my spirit when it was low.  I have found you to be wise and wonderful and witty.  You have written yourselves upon my heart and I proud to call you dear friends.  You have deeply enriched my life story this past year!  

 "Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can."
-Douglas Pagels-
 
I wish you Happy New Year and diary full of best stories ever written in your life.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BASKING IN THE AFTER GLOW...

 We are basking in the after glow of Christmas here at the Quill.  
A lone bright star is still shining in the East...
  The shepherds are still abiding in the field watching over the flocks...
The babe is still laying in the manger...
 The Wise Men are still worshiping...
 And we are still rejoicing...
 Baubles still hang upon the tree branches...
 Reflecting the glow that still resides in our hearts...
 The table top tree forests...
 


That greeted our Christmas Guests...
 Are the only things altered from our holiday celebration...
 
 
 Our hearts and our hands remain open...
 Ready to continue into the New Year with the Christmas Spirit of giving and receiving...
 Our hearts remain worshipful...
Our every blessing has tuned our hearts to sing of grace,
His streams of mercy are never ceasing,
And call for songs of loudest praise!

Yes, the Christmas Spirit still remains here at the Quill and I hope it will remain through the New Year still!

I will taking a bit of break for the rest of the week and may not post again until the New Year.
If I don't touch base with you before then I am wishing you all a very blessed, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas from Quill Cottage...
Sharing a bit of our Christmas cheer and if you missed it you can read this years Christmas Devotional Thoughts HERE.

I hope that you and yours have the very merriest Christmas! 
May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FROM GOOFS TO GIFTS...

 In my last post I shared with you the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly of my Christmas crafting.   I know, you never ever want to make much less give a bad or ugly gift.  I had a few Ooops projects that just did not turn out like they were supposed to.  I spent a little time yesterday turning those goofs into give-able gifts and I have to say I am pretty please with the results.

Most every thing I made came out well until I got to these canvas pieces and things just well, fell to pieces, as you will see...

In case you missed the post this was not only a goof it was an extremely bad ugly goof...
 
I had decided this would never see the light of day.  After frowning at it every time I turned around I decided I was either going to have to get Botox for my developing frown lines or fix the problem.  I chose to turn this trash into treasure so I tore the whole thing apart...
And began again with the crafter's solution to wrinkles, collage, it covers up anything!  Now this is more like it...
I had to sacrifice my bird and nest that I was going to use in another project but it was so worth it.  This may not be an ideal frame but it looks ever so much better than the first try.  I am totally not embarrassed to give this one as a gift now.

Goof number two, this little birdie project went south some how and it was just all wrong...
It too got dismantled a bit and I actually love it now.  I did a faux plaster finish, painted out the background and reapplied the bird and branch giving them a new painted finish...
The background is a pretty blueish green combination but it is showing up in the photos looking more gray.  As soon as it is dry I will tap in a few more white highlights to the bird and it will be ready to seal!  (I actually kind of want to keep this one)

Goof number three kind of grew on me, it really is not horrible, not great, but not horrible.  So all I did to it was add a little touch of textured velvet ribbon to the edge of the canvas and called it done.
This canvas set was not a goof just not my cup of tea, I ended up leaving them of these pretty much alone after the initial painting and stamping...
I hope the recipient will like these, they are very much her style, I just really struggled with doing something more modern.  I think these will look great flanking each side of her bed hung over the night tables.

This is the unfinished piece of the last post...
 The request was for something with a little pale blue, gray, black, and small pop of yellow in a more contemporary style.  YIKES!  I am a vintage girl but I gave it a whirl...
I actually don't hate it, I'm kind of in like with it, and again I hope the recipient will love it. 

I also finished the sweet little tweet canvas for my granddaughter...
I wanted it framed in a wide white frame and trotted off to Hobby Lobby to find one.  Just my luck not even one open backed ready made wide white canvas frame to be had.  In fact their frames are almost completely sold out.  I had to settle for some velvet ribbon and buttons to make hanger.  I found this cute iron flower holder for it to hang from.  I think it will be a perfect pop of color against her new soft green walls. 
I was so happy, I thought I was all done crafting and then I started to sort out gifts to wrap and came across these little aprons I bought to paint for the grands...
Totally forgot about them.  They are drying and waiting for finishing details and then they will be ready to wrap as a compliment to some fun craft kits.  Now I really am done!  Not with getting ready for Christmas just with crafting.

Time to wrap it up, literally, I have like nothing wrapped.  
I hope you all have a happy day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

ALL OVER THE MAP, JUST LIKE SANTA...

My Christmas crafting has been all over the map just like Santa on Christmas Eve!  I now know why he has elves (plural) and not just one elf.  I am on the crafting countdown of trying to get everything finished and wrapped.  I had a lot of special requests by family members this year and I have tried my very best to oblige.  Some things I have thoroughly enjoyed making and somethings, not so much. 

I have a person on my gift list that LOVES pink.  She has also been after me to make her a statement style necklace and I felt I had put her off long enough.  I am not so much of a pink kind of girl and I really had to channel my inner pink three year old princess on this one, in other words, I had to dig deep!  I started with a pink crochet sweater that I recycled into three gifts for the passionate about pink person...
I know, some of you pink gals are yelling "NOOOooooo!" as you see the scissors coming at that sweater, too late...
I used the outside of the sweater to make the exterior of a hobo bag, using the inner sweater lining for forming some of the flower embellishments...
More sweater bits formed flowers or embellished the necklace...
And a tiny bit of the pink crochet embellish the front of this little notebook cover...
My daughter laughed when she saw these and said the only thing that would have made those perfect for the recipient was to bedazzle and add a feather boa!  She is right, this person is over the top and she will love these over the top accessories.

I also made my girls hobo bags using modern print fabrics and the ever popular bird theme.  I bought a super easy sewing pattern but had to alter it just a bit to get exactly what I wanted, the bag had a seam down the front and back and I did not like the seam down the front.  I did the embroidery and applique before sewing these fully lined bags, they even have a cute cell phone pocket inside...
I still had a little bit of fabric left from the purses so I made them some accessories with the scraps.  Monogrammed, fully lined zipper makeup bags, mini notebook covers, and (my favorite) soft sculptured bird key chains...
I loved working on all these!

I also had some requests for wall art.  This is a love/hate project that is yet to be complete.  Loved working on this lacquer and bees wax collage for my sweet grand girls room...


Her new bedding has birdies on it and I think this will be adorable in her room...
I still have to frame it.

My girls wanted some contemporary art pieces for their homes and I tried, I really, really, really, really tried, pinkie swear I did.  (I hated working on these!)  First I tried a small canvas with paint, oil sticks, and bees wax, these love birds did not turn out like I planned...
Something for the Ooops pile!
 OK, second try, paint, stamps, ink, hand painted silk, bees wax...
Liked the background but the wax made the silk transparent and I did not like the under design showing through, something else for the Ooops pile!

Third time has got to be a charm right?  WRONG!  Fabric collage, hand stamped fabric, sewing, wallpaper, bees wax and we have yet another Ooops pile item...
I forgot to back the bird and it became transparent after the wax application and the oil stick shading on the wallpaper bits slid off in the waxing process, I put a photo in it anyway but it will probably never see the light of day, at least the kids are cute!

Bigger is supposed to be better right?  Not sure on this one yet...
This is one of a pair of larger canvas' that I did a larger scale of the background that I did like and I just need to figure out the rest.  I know I will leave them bold and graphic I just need to figure out how I want to add the requested accent color.  I am going to play on paper before I touch the canvas.

Another larger canvas that I have textured and base coated, once dry I will be brave and touch my paint brush to it...
Who knows, I may end up with the biggest Ooops pile ever before this is over.

I could not leave out my sweet little grandson who is gaga over computers, IPhones or anything that has to do with electronics.  He is also fascinated by how things are made and the inner workings of circuit boards or mechanical parts so I did a technology themed piece of art for his room...
I used an old mother board from a computer and various other computer parts to make this high tech kid his own customized piece of art with a small canvas attached to it with a pop art version of his photo.   Handy Hubby is working a little light sensitive mini solar panel that will make the little plastic fan turn when he turns on the light.

There was a silver computer part that was shaped exactly like an IPhone and I thought it would be neat to make it into one.  I snagged a photo of an IPhone off the net and printed to scale on high gloss photo paper, I had to trim it a little to make it fit inside the part.  I then covered the photo with a piece of acetate and it looks like a real IPhone screen.  The part is mounted to the edge of the canvas and stands out from it.  

He will love it and I loved working on this one!

I gathered photos for customized mouse pads for the big guys in the family.  Made a scrapbook for each grand.  Used the photo CD from the scrapbooks to make a DVD set to music for the grands parents.  Made my dad a mini gift photo/quote book on Blurb, it arrived today and I am impressed with their printing and binding.  And just to keep my sanity I worked on a little something for myself...
I figured out why this was all so hard and not because I was just one elf but because I was doing something out of my element and skill set.  I did give it a try.  I will complete each canvas but I won't wrap or officially give them as gifts, I'll let the girls look at them as see if they want them or not.  I am not a modern girl and creating with a modern style is just not me.  Give me vintage, tattered, and layered any day!

Did you do any Christmas crafting?  What did you make?  Did it turn out like you planned?

Well, it's time for this elf to get herself back into the workshop!  I'll let you know how it goes, success or failure.
Have a merry day!

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