Projects From a Box of Discards

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A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked my daughter and me to come to her house to check out some sewing/craft supplies she was going to throw away or donate.  She knew my daughter and I did a lot of sewing, needlework, quilting, crafts – and thought we might find something we could use.  Naturally, we could hardly wait to go across the street and see what was in those boxes!

There were two big cartons full of sewing notions, craft supplies, miscellaneous fabric and even a pair of worn-out jeans.  My daughter used the waistband from the jeans along with some of the white fabric in the box to make a great bracelet/cuff.

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I was excited to use a red luncheon cloth that was a nice heavy fabric and had only a small stain on it.  I made three lined bags with it, also incorporating some of the white fabric and a couple of pieced/embroidered orphan blocks.

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I also made a two-piece cushion set for my vintage folding chair.

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The wonderful part of this story is that we have hardly made a dent in the contents of the boxes.  We have plans for the Christmas season and well beyond it.

 

Amish Children Garden Banner – Canvas Duck Fabric

A while back, I made my first garden banner featuring a harness horse.  So far, it has held up well through a very hot, sunny summer and a few torrential rains.  I wanted to make another banner for “back to school” and chose a favorite design by Helan Barrick from my decorative painting days.  I call this a banner rather than a flag because it is quite stiff and becomes even more so when exposed to the weather.

I used canvas duck fabric (not outdoor canvas which is treated) which was sewn to make a double thickness 12×18 inch banner with sleeve and primed it with two coats of Gesso front and back.  Then I drew the design on the front and painted it with acrylics.

For the back, which I can see clearly from my front window, I painted a design of an Amish-style quilt block.

Both sides were finished with two coats of Minwax Clear Satin Polycrylic to make it weather-proof.

I like seeing the banner in my front yard – my dog Rusty is looking out the door, probably admiring the quilt block on the back!

Miniature Pyramid Easter Tree

An Early Easter Gift

Look what I found on the kitchen table when I got up this morning – an early Easter gift from my oldest daughter.  She made a miniature pyramid Easter tree, constructing the shelves and arranging/gluing all the tiny figures.  The piece stands just 9 inches tall with German metal figures about 1-1/2 inches tall.  I love the rabbit ringing the bell on the top shelf.

The middle shelf holds some more German rabbits with colored eggs in a wheelbarrow, a basket and a backpack.

On the bottom shelf is an assortment of miniature Easter figures…chicks, rabbits, a lamb, an egg…

….a unique and beautiful treasure to enjoy for years to come.

A Young Artist-Crafter

syd-dressMy five-year-old granddaughter (known here as Dolphin) is a budding artist-crafter.  As soon as she was able to hold a pencil or crayon in her hand, she started creating artwork.  She loves the idea of recycling and finding uses for odd items in a craft.  Everything is fair game – wrappers from the straws at McDonald’s as well as the paper napkins, bits of fabric, beads, pretty stones, cereal boxes, etc., etc.  Her mother and I both keep an area well stocked with all kinds of paper, tape, crayons, markers – all Dolphin needs is an inspiration to get her started and she gets inspired multiple times an hour.  She’s come up with some really interesting projects and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do as she gets older and more experienced.

For my Easter gift, she used a kit rather than one of her own creations, but carefully put together a unicorn with a tiny flower.  I told her I would  mount it and frame it so I could set it up and admire it.  She specified a blue frame and I printed out a background with a moon.  Her only complaint was that she thought red flowers on the frame would have looked nice and I imagine there will be some on it as soon as she has a chance to work on them.

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Halloween Around the House

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Thanks to the creative efforts of my two daughters, I have Halloween decorations all around the house – on walls, shelves, chairs – just about every surface.  The oldest daughter made the wreath and the three items that are on my piano – the scottie pumpkin is new this year.  Her blog at Salmagundi Express describes exactly how she carved and painted this pumpkin.  

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Some more of her work:

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The youngest daughter made the little Dracula and pumpkin man along with the door handle piece when she was a teenager.  She also made the cute candle holders.

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Her main handiwork now is crocheting the most gorgeous afghans and I have one for every occasion.  She also contributes a large number of these every year to the local Linus Project.

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I love to look around my house and see so many beautiful things that my daughters have made for me over the years.