October 30, 2014

DIY Personalized Layered Felt Bookmark with Scraps and Assorted Pretties

Back in the olden days (before the Great De-Cluttering of 2013) I bought some brown wool felt to make a Rosary Case as described in this blog post.  The de-cluttering is ongoing and the sewing machine was donated, so any sewing projects will now have to be limited to hand sewing or using glue.

Here is a very easy DIY using some of the remaining wool felt, silk necklace cord, eyelet, wood beads, glue, and a crystal letter "C" purchased for 25 cents.  The silk cord was also a clearance item for 25 cents, just thought I'd throw that info out there, and I have another in the pack.  Bargain shopper.

Cut the felt with pinking shears or whichever scissors you desire. I cut three small rectangles for layering. Eyeball or measure precisely the rectangles or make them circles or triangles if you wish. Iron the crystal letter on the smallest rectangle according to the package directions, let cool before handling.

While the crystal is cooling, decide where you want to place the eyelet on the largest rectangle.
Punch a hole for the eyelet- I used a paper punch- and attach the eyelet.  If you don't have eyelets, no biggie, but they give a smoother, cleaner finish.  A small grommet is another option.



Glue the middle size rectangle on top of the largest rectangle and glue the personalized rectangle on top of the middle one.


Thread the silk cord through the eyelet, make a knot, thread a bead, make a knot. I made this bookmark to slide over the cover and inside a hardback book of about 9.5 inches tall. If you need a bookmark for paperbacks, size the silk cord to that. The cord is doubled. One length goes over the front of the book and one length inside the book.

Near the bottom of the cord, thread beads.  Between the middle and last bead, tie a couple of knots. Tie knots after the last bead and finish off the cord with a bow or however you want it to look.  The other beads can move freely, being sized up to fit snugly on a smaller book.



I considered whip-stitching, beading, and embroidering the bookmark, maybe that'll be another project.  I  hope the printed book never disappears.  Kindles and e-readers are great, but there's comfort in actually turning the pages of a book you hold in your lap.

October 7, 2014

I am a thousand winds ... Of quiet birds in circled flight ...

Click on image to enlarge.

Can you see these words in motion?

I recently discovered this famous poem when someone asked about it.  I'd never heard it before.

I like to imagine that it gives some comfort to any of us managing loss and grief.

Whether or not it is true, I feel it seems generous and loving, giving great consolation.





This link at Wikipedia says that Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep was written in the 1930's.   There is more background info there, too.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning's hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Clark Frye

August 15, 2014

Saying So Long For Now



On August 13, 2014 my gentle good girl, Lucy, left my side.  Funny ladylike loving demure friendly smart soft playful quiet loud precious.  She had all those qualities and more.



Lucy needed a lot of love when I met her.  She had no home stability, was abused and neglected the first eight years of her life.



I earned Lucy's trust and affection, minute by minute.  She gave an inch and I gave a yard until one day Lucy's world was stress-free, happy, and optimistic.   She realized that she was in a home with people who wanted her and accepted her completely.  



Last week she had an emergency health problem which surgery was supposed to have fixed, but the surgery created problems, too big for Lucy to overcome.

There are no definitive answers for why she could not recover.







I searched high and low, asked loads of questions, all without success.  Now there is a huge aching hole in my heart and soul.




Lucy made me a better woman by letting me shower her with love, compassion, kindness, and patience.

She built up my energy each day in return with little triumphs and encouragements.

I'm going to try and remember her life lesson and how it included me.  In time, letting her go, with all the pain and hurt, will probably soften, but never go away.

Paw prints on the heart are indelible.





Good night my sweetie pie, 
you're my best and most good girl.
I love you dearly and completely.
Lucy, you are my treasure. 





Thank you Linda, Stacy, and Debbie for your prayers and positive energies. Knowing that Lucy and I had you encouraging us was a blessing.


I wanted to let friends and readers know that this will be my last blog post for a while.

I hope you all get to experience a great love from a pet you treasure.

Until we meet again - my wish is for you to be well, kind, and content  ...






August 9, 2014

These Shoes Are Made For Walking, Shoe Makeover

glitter on the sidewalk shoe makeoverHere's a sneak peek at another project which may be completed sometime before the new year.

Joking aside, these shoes haven't been worn in years and the faux suede finish came off on my hand while I was cleaning out the closet.  Not wanting to toss them in the trash I wondered if I could cover the crumbling suede with something sparkly.

Never having worn glitterized shoes, I said I may as well try it even if it's just an art project and not wearable in the end.

So I decided to give the still comfortable shoes a fancy makeover.  First I cleaned and sanded away all the loose bits.  Then I used glue and paint with the glitter.  The black ice glitter was incorrectly named, as you can see it is actually gray on the back of the shoe on the right.

I went and bought some proper black glitter and will give it a another try and post an update once the shoes are ready for their moment in the dance spotlight.  Ahem.  Lucy and I will have a turn around the floor to Adele or Van Morrison, maybe both.

I just realized how clunky those heels look, alright, old-ladyish even.  My three inch heels have been traded in for more stability, especially needed when driving and sidewalk pounding make the feet scream.  I do love a nice heel, just don't have the need for them as often as I did in my fun, yet hard working days.

Now, to just get this song out of my head, love-  Love Shack!  Enjoy the video, glitter on the highway, glitter on the bed ...






August 5, 2014

Art Helps

Taking time away from the blog seemed like a sensible idea.  Then I discovered that getting mired in the trials and troubles of life and not filling up with inspiration from all of you didn't help to lift the grey veil.

As cycles go, it seems as if there is nothing but troubles. I back away from the internet, tv, radio, and all sorts of media.  I'm trying to salvage some peace.  

Shutting down everything helps for a short while. Sometimes I fill the gaps where the bad news keeps pushing out the positive, with work.

Cooking, cleaning, rearranging furniture, pulling weeds, emptying cupboards, redecoration, throwing things out, and so on ...  Just recently I finally tossed a barely used can of pricey hairspray.  Hairspray which I had kept for more than ten years.  In the old days, I used hairspray nearly every day, these days I use it maybe a few times a year.  I surprise myself with the reasons I save potentially useful things.  

Sometimes when I get bad news I can clean for a few days and not feel the pain.  Or ironing.  I've ironed forty pieces of clothing at one go.  These were clean items and items in the closet not worn.  I still remember that day, the day of ironing and not talking.  Bad news that changed the course of my life. These days it would be a blessing if I could iron for hours, but alas, the body can't do what the mind wants it to do.  

Pain is a funny thing.  You can ignore it or ease into it or face it with all the thunder in your soul.

These past few weeks, past two plus months more or less I have been facing a devil of a dilemma and shut myself off from everything but the necessities to survive.  

A couple of days ago I started to accept that there are more things I cannot do than I can ever do and used to do, so will make myself accept the new me.  You know that prayer, "To accept the things I cannot change ..."  
 
Art helps.  You don't have to be an artist to make art.  You just have to listen to your soul and be kind to yourself.

Your blogs are inspiring me and others to keep going in the places of loneliness and hardships, we keep each other company any time we connect.  With or without comments, with many or few readers, we leave a trail of ourselves, funny, clever, sad, creative; and these true cookies from the heart remain whether we delete or share. Thank you.

July 16, 2014

The Stinky Albatross and Writing Something New

practice lines and shapes
Limited to 20 shapes
Pencil drawing, New End Studio 

(Pencil drawing- Lines, Shapes, Space, and Directions.  Sorry it's upside down, a little like how I am.)

The situation here is still in flux.  One day it's up and the other day it's down, and around ...

To help pass the time and distract me from the myriad of worries I need a little creative outlet.  The heat and humidity stops me from gardening.  Bless you who can enjoy the sun and the bugs, but give me a screened in breezy porch and I'm happy.

Leaving things unfinished is like bad karma, the albatross on the neck. Stinky and uncomfortable. So, I'm giving myself permission to finish before I start something new. (Update: Two done, a few more to do!)




In the meantime, I started writing a couple of stories.  (No boxes to unpack, only my brain.  lol )  Last week with the first story, I got about 1,900 words in and I thought this one might need a pen name so I put the story aside for now.  With the second one, I was zipping along but my blood sugar was drooping, so I got to about 2,400 words and had to stop.  While I was writing it, I realized that it was going to be longer than a short story, so I named the chapters and scenes and pretty much know what's going to happen to the characters.

Writing with new to me software  (I long for an old typewriter) it's highly rated, but still an unopened book to me, a puzzle book, pun intended.  The software has more features than I have played with- I just want to get the words down and worry about the formatting later.

I don't know if I'll let these stories see the light of day.  How do you feel about pen names?   Don't care one way or the other?  Use initials or be gender neutral?  Or, use real name if at all possible?   (Something to ponder in case I finish these stories.)

If you've published something leave a link in the comments, too.      

July 11, 2014

Must Finish What I Started, Jewelry Supplies

Last month I got some supplies when I went looking for a soft cord to finish this no clasp necklace. 

Down in the lower right corner there is some ombre cord in two color combos.  I wanted a blue tone, but this was what I found.  I think it will work and I may knot a few of those beads in the middle of the image, if not, I have other beads stored away.

I have a little affection for umbrellas, so when I saw brass Vintaj umbrellas and toadstools, I had to buy them.

The owl earrings are going to become charms or rings, haven't decided on those yet.


The coral, blue, and brass beads were so pretty I couldn't leave them on the rack.    Sparkling round buckles, little birds, and assorted chains jumped into my basket and came home with the others.

We're all such good friends, my supplies, they have ideas of their own and since most have been packed up for moving (since last summer) I decided to look for some new to me items.

chain and ribbon necklaceI will get the necklace finished this week or next at the latest.  I used to always push myself to finish what I started, but with things changing at home and so many things to deal with, I have let things slide.

Sitting on my desk is a present for a blogger, I have not been able to decide how to fix and complete it and this has gone on for more than a year.  The other parts of the gift are ready to go, so maybe I should bite the bullet and send it on.

Tomorrow I am packing up presents for two little ones a 4 year old and 2 year old siblings.  They don't have a birthday, I just feel like sending them something- teddy bears, activity books, crayons, pencils, etc.  Lastly, a birthday card was finally purchased and will be on its way, too.



I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but a decision on moving is still in flux, most of my belongings are packed or donated, and sooner or later I have to either stay or go.  I'll let you know which it is.

I know what I want to do, it's the next step that's the hardest.  Do you close your eyes and jump or stretch out the decision making?


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