Monday, January 31, 2011


(Image Source Bride In Sight)

Sunday at 12:05 in the afternoon I hear the chime of my cell phone indicating a text message. I slide the phone open and see a little balloon icon, pressing it, I see my daughter has sent me a message, " Appointment at 2 in LR on Monday sound alright?" I respond, " Sounds good." The whole time I am tapping on those tiny keys a response that says it sounds good I am thinking in the back of my mind, " Am I ready for this?" I hesitate for a moment before I press the send button, finger hovering between deleting the message or confirming the appointment. It is only a fitting, why does it feel so final?

Sometime after 2 in the afternoon on Monday I will see my daughter stand before me in a wedding gown. Am I ready for this? I can hardly reconcile that picture with the little girl with long curly hair, angelic yet impish smile in place, looking for all the world like a mini version of Clara from The Nutcracker, waltzing into the room wearing a long pink satin night gown trimmed in white lace. She swirled and twirled across the floor stopping her spin to hike up her gown revealing a pair of black cowgirl boots. I smile. She never was conventional. And I think, what is her mischievous plan for her wedding day? Blue shoes! Seriously...blue satin shoes! As in something old, something new, something borrowed, and something BLUE!
(Next 7 images source The Knot)
Oh, but only for the bride, the rest of the gals get to wear champagne colored shoes...I smile again, she never was one for tradition. But am I ready for this? I always pictured her wearing a veil and watching her daddy lift it from her face, giving her cheek a tender kiss as he held back the tears. She has always been and will always be her daddy's girl. I am told there will be no veil, just an up sweep of her curling locks and a beaded hair piece that she wants her mama to make...Am I ready for this? Bridal bouquets and Boutineers? Her flower of choice will be pale green hydrangeas. I knew I liked that boy for some reason, we share the same favorite color...green...and he has excellent taste in choosing a bride. (I might be slightly biased) His...Hers...
Theirs (the brides maids) ...She wants everything to be simple but I do not think she realizes that there is nothing simple about giving her away. Nope, I am not ready for this. This is a bittersweet time indeed. Memory upon memory stacks itself like the layers of cake and I savor each sweet bite. Her cake? Traditional three tiers, round, white cake, white frosting, simple design, with her flower of choice as a garnish...She is at the center of my thoughts as she prepares the be the centerpiece of her special day. And I still keep asking myself if I am ready for this. Am I ready to see her standing in front of me in her gown of choice waltzing away from the giggling teasing pink gown clad cowgirl boot shod little girl into the real role of a bride? I am SO NOT ready for this!

She wants to step into the role of wife quietly in an understated and elegant way. She wants to be a princess in a classical A-Line jewel neck ball style gown made of silk taffeta with hidden side pockets...(Image source David's Bridal)

She wants no lace, no beads (other than in her hair), no pearls, no jewels (besides the ring being slipped on her finger), no frills, no foof...but insists on pockets. Why? Because she needs some place to keep her something old...a vintage handkerchief that belonged to her great grandmother who will be watching her wedding from heaven.

What she doesn't know is that her mother will be carrying her own traditions with her to the fitting, something old, a swirl of sweet memories of her lifetime from birth to present, something new, a fresh new experience and time of joy for the two to savor,
something borrowed, the precious time we have left before she says her vows, and
something blue, I think that one blue box of tissues might do...(I might need to take the other two for back up)Am I ready for this? Not really. It is like a childhood game of hide and seek, I hear her far off giggle calling out to me ready or not? Here it comes...time it moves so swiftly, it has tagged me this time, I am it, the mother of the bride, ready or not.

I hope your day is filled with making delightful memories too!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I am creatively inspired by fabric and paper of the vintage variety as well as nature. These are almost always my go to supplies. In the case of the three handmade shoes shown above, each element is represented. I have had in mind for quite some time to create special boxes with a mixture of vintage and new supplies to complete these pieces of art.
This week the worktable has been littered with handmade shoes in need of boxes.

I thought that I could purchase some ready made Paper Mache boxes and then just decorate them. I could not find any in the right sizes for the larger shoes, they were either too small or too large so I had to resort to making them from scratch. You might remember some of these shoes from past posts, they have been waiting ever so long for boxes!

I will try not to bore you to death with older art pieces but I am determined to finish up some things before I move on to something new and I have several partially finished projects nagging at me. I so want to turn over a new leaf and start seeing things to completion before jumping into the next thing. Yesterday was really frustrating for me to work on just the one box because there was so much drying time in between but I stuck to it and just need to finish the embellishment on the top of the box now that it has dried over night.

One thing I can tell you for sure, I will NOT be quitting my day job to become a shoe box maker! Measuring, cutting, fitting, assembling, and leaving enough room to add stability to my flimsy structure and then layer on the pretty parts was not an easy feat. The lids were tricky. I have two down and one more to go. Thank goodness I was able to find ready made boxes for the smaller shoes!

This past weekend I made a new Pixie Shoe using a lot of dried naturals that I collected and pressed last spring and summer...Then I assembled the box, I just loved this vintage photo of a darling little girl named Patsy Ruth age 2 years. I hand tinted the black and white photo to use as the box lid logo...I spent a good portion of my day yesterday making a box for the dancing slipper from my last post...I wanted to make the lid have a recessed scene inside. I chose a ballet dancer twirling on her toes in muslin rosettes and vintage millinery flowers...I love this vintage flocked wallpaper on the lid, I only have a little bit of this left so I use it sparingly...Today I plan on working on a box for the little brown paper toddler shoe and then move on to the ready made boxes for some baby shoes...I hope you will return next week to see the finished products because it is time for a give away! Somehow it slipped right past me that I had past 500 posts and then I noticed that it had also slipped past me that I have over 500 friends following along on my creative journey. I think that calls for a celebration!

I will post the sign up post next Friday and in case you are wondering, two of the little baby shoes and their boxes will be prizes, plus, I am adding three more items so there will be five winners in honor of my 500+ posts and 500+ friends. Thank you so very much for all the support and encouragement it truly means the world to me.

I am linking up with Debra of Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday.

I hope your weekend is a wonderful one!

P.S. Thank you so much for all the thoughtful prayers and well wishes, I am fully recovered, back up, and running.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When your young and at your first dance, and your sitting on a small gilt chair with your eyes lowered, terrified that you'll be a wall flower. Suddenly, you see two black shoes, a white waist coat, a face, it speaks.

-Anna (The King and I)-Shall we dance?
We've just been introduced,
I do not know you well,
But when the music started
Something drew me to your side.
So many men and girls,
Are in each others arms.
It made me think we might be
Similarly occupied.
Shall we dance?
On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?Shall we dance?
Shall we then say " Goodnight and mean " Goodbbye" ?Or perchance,
When the last little star has left the sky,
Shall we still be together
With our arms around each other
And you shall be my new romance?On the clear understanding
That this kind of thing can happen,
Shall we dance?Shall we dance?Shall we dance? - The King and I -

The King and I is one of my favorite movies and while I love the remake starring Jodie Foster the original version starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr remains my favorite version. The scene where he asks her to dance is one of my favorite. I have never donned a ball gown nor slipped my foot into a fancy dancing slipper but I always imagined those were my feet tripping across the floor to the lively tune of Shall We Dance. Having recently watched The King and I while sick I was inspired by the dance scene and imagined my own version of a dancing slipper that Anna might have worn to dance with her king.

This soft sculpted fabric collage shoe is my latest piece of artwork. I have begun working in a series exploring making sculpted fabric collage pieces. The demitasse cup and saucer from my last post was my first experiment and this dancing slipper, which is completely handmade, is my second. My daughter said if she had not seen me make it in stages she would have sworn it was a real shoe!

Thank you all so much for the sweet well wishes and prayers for my mother and myself. I am still battling a nasty cold and my mother, well, the situation is not good. We are trying to wade through the proper medical channels to get a correct diagnosis and if our suspicions are true we have some long and difficult days ahead. I so appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.

On a brighter note, speaking of new romance as in the song above, romance is afoot here at the Quill. The young man who comes to call on Darling Daughter asked her to be his bride and to dance through life at his side!!! We are beyond excited and wedding bells will be chiming in June!

I am linking to Faded Charm White Wednesday. (I don't think you can get anymore white than announcing a wedding can you?)

I hope your day is a bright cloud of music upon which you too fly!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So many of you expressed your wish to make your own version of my demitasse cup and saucer from my last post that I thought I would give you the pattern and some simple construction instructions so you could make your own version.

In the past when I have done tutorials I have given you step by step photographed instructions to follow to make project assembly easy. I apologize for not being able to do so on this project. I am under some time constraints for other obligations right now that don't allow the time consuming process of working up a tutorial. I am sure you will all enjoy putting your own spin on it anyway.

On top of looming deadlines I have been sick since the middle of last week so I am kind of moving at a snails pace and as they say, when it rains it pours, I have also been helping take care of my mother who is experiencing some health issues.

Click on the pattern and instruction sheet below and save to your computer. Enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip, and low comedy. (Coffee) is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so. From roadside mugs to the classic demitasse, it is the perfect democrat.

-Author Unknown-Would you care to join me in a cup of button coffee?One scoop, two, or perhaps three?Care to choose a cup? You say you'll have the handmade demitasse and the saucer too?
A demitasse is a small cup (the name comes from the French for - half cup), usually used to serve Arabic coffee or espresso but this is a very delicate and special cup that only holds the most delightful delicious vintage beverage of mother of pearl buttons... Feel free to fill it to the brim... Oops, a tiny spill... Not to worry, button coffee never stains... And is always good to the last drop! I had so much fun making this tiny fabric and paper sculpture! It has been sitting in the studio waiting to be shared like a steaming cup of morning coffee with good friends. I am so glad you could join me.

I find that art and blogging, like a good cup of coffee, are wonderful social binders, a warmer of tongues as we comment between one another, a soberer of minds that make us think beyond our lives and pursuits and to reach out and care for one another. Often this world of art and blogging is a stimulant of wit as we share daily smiles, cheering each other on in individual creative pursuits. I find the time I spend with each of you good to the last drop!

I did get in some studio time this week and here is a sneak peek of the project I worked on...
I am off to tackle that pile of stuff I prepared from a few posts ago and try and turn it into something artful. I hope you have some wonderful plans in store for the weekend!

For a FREE Pattern and Simple Construction Instructions for the Demitasse Cup and Saucer see this post.

I am linking to Vintage Inspiration Friday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


What I know about antique or vintage furniture could probably fill a thimble therefore it is making finding a missing dining chair like searching for a needle in a haystack! I am hoping that through this posting someone with greater knowledge than I will stumble across it and give me some hints as to the make, model, and origin of my newly acquired dining suite.

Last week I dropped by a favorite local furniture consignment store to browse, instantly, I was transported back into the storybook pages of my childhood as I gazed at a table and chairs that sat before me. Something about the sweetness of the set reminded me my great aunt Ruth. Baby Ruth we called her because she was all of 4 foot 9 inches tall. The suite greatly resembled one that graced her home.
It made me think of warm kitchen smells, afternoons of fresh baked oatmeal apple raisin cookies and milk. It made me think of her high pitched laughter that would ring like merry tinkling bells. It made me think of sweet wreathed smiles and sharing happy stories around just such a table. Everything was always better sitting at a Goldilocks and Three Bears kind of table and chairs with Baby Ruth beaming at you.

Just for curiosity's sake I tipped the price tag over and gaped, seriously? THAT is the price? The store owner saw me admiring the set and came over and flipped the tag over and said she would knock off another $25.00 if I would consider it, after all, it was missing a chair. I am thinking to myself, don't let her see you sweat or jump for utter joy, keep it cool, calm, and collected all the while I am texting Handy Hubby as fast and as furious as I could sending snapshots into cyberspace and telling him to get the truck here while I pay the lady!
He met me later in the day to look it over and we agreed, our cottage needed a Goldilocks and Three Bears kind of table and chairs, of course he gets the captains chair being the Papa Bear and all, I readily agreed so we brought the sweet little suite home.

Here is what I think I know about them, I think this is considered to be of the Colonial Revival Style or Federal Style which is a reproduction of original American furniture that was produced from 1620-1780 and based on English pieces. My little suite would have been produced somewhere between 1920-1940. This style was at its popular peak in the mid 1920's and production tapered off in the mid 1940's. At auction the suite would be valued at about $450.00. Let's just say I feel like I stole this set paying less than one forth that value.
The set originally came with five armless chairs and one captains chair with arms. This single armed chair was reserved for the head of the household who sat at the head of the table. While it comfortably seats six, it has a built in butterfly leaf mechanism that allow for two more guests. The table slides apart and a folded leaf is flipped over and unfolds into place to allow for extra dinners.

The suite is solid wood, more than likely maple, with its original stain in tact and just a couple of scratches, it is in amazing shape. It has sturdy machine turned legs on each end that are fitted to the table top in a " V" pattern. I could not find a manufacturer marking but the table and all chairs bear the stamp underneath of: NO 400 TAP.I04-3.
I have scoured the internet in hopes of finding a replacement chair for the missing one but no such luck yet. The crazy man of the house wants me to find three so that when we have guests all the chairs will match! (Dream on dear) I will be happy to at least find the one missing armless chair. I did find very close matches online but the harp back fretwork piece would be slightly different or the turn of the leg would be a little different so I am not even sure I have made a proper identification or not.

If you have seen my chair or know anything about this suite that might aid me in finding my needle in the haystack I would greatly appreciate your sharing your knowledge. Is there a website out there for replacement chairs? In the meantime I will be visiting as many flea markets and antique stores as I can to see if I can find one. I know, its a tough job, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! Thank you in advance for any assistance.

I hope you are enjoying a tucked in cozy kind of day!
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