Tuesday, January 31, 2012

...January's Tag...

Here's January's Tag!!  I had a leftover mitten from my "Winter Mittens" banner, so I used it for this month's tag.  
Starting with a standard shipping tag, I painted it with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint in Picket Fence and then added a little spritz of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Pearl.  I embellished the mitten with Melissa Frances paper, a piece of vintage doily, vintage buttons, crinkle seam binding and a couple glittered snowflakes from Oriental Trading Company.  The tag was handwritten and the pearl is Prima.
I went around the edges of the tag with some glitter glue and then a bit of jute twine, a mini clothes pin and some pearl buttons finish off the line.  Once it was all together, mica flakes were added for a snowy effect.
The tulle trim at the top was left after a Christmas project and fits nicely.
So this is tag #7 in my year of tags, and I love the way it turned out.  Definitely reminds me of January.
I hope I've inspired you to create!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 30, 2012

...A Tussy Mussy What?...

The first time I'd ever heard of a tussy mussy was quite a few years ago during the planning of my wedding.  I thought the name silly but didn't give it much thought again till a few years ago while looking for creative inspiration on line.  Now-a-days, you can find them everywhere, and they've certainly changed from the once tiny bouquets of flowers and herbs of years past to spectacular pieces of art and craftsmanship of today.
Tussy mussies were also referred to as nosegays during their inception in the English Georgian period (AKA the age of Aristocracy).  A time when pestilence was rampant and personal hygiene was lax.  Elegant ladies would carry around these small bouquets of fragrant flowers to fend off noxious odors, and gentlemen would pin smaller versions to their lapels.
Tussy mussies remained popular through the Victorian age where they were given to young ladies by  suitors.
They were arranged with a central flower surrounded by flowers of contrasting colors and held in an ornate cone-shaped holder (usually silver).  Each flower represented a feeling or emotion, and the lady would then look up their meaning in a Tussy dictionary.

Although the styles have since changed from the once popular silver to a variety mediums (such as paper and plastic) for the cone-shaped holders, they are still popular for bridesmaids' bouquets today.  And because we are a creative bunch, you can now find tussies in all shapes and sizes for any occasion.
A Valentine's day tussy.
A French shabby tussy with a sweet little cameo for any occasion.
Vintage shabby tussies.
May day tussies created with wallpaper.
Tussies fashioned from vintage sheet music for the holidays.
And a sweet little angel tussy...just because.
Flowers still look beautiful in a tussy mussy, but they can also hold a variety of little treats such as chocolates, hard candies, small gifts, greenery, tickets to the opera...the uses are endless, and what unique packaging!

You can find a variety of tussy mussies in my Etsy shop, so stop by and take a peak.

Thanks for spending some time.  I'll be posting January's tag over the next few days and showcasing challenge #3 of 52.
Happy crafting!

Monday, January 23, 2012

...Feeling Blue and Challenge 2 of 52...

If it wasn't for the pine trees, there would be no green!
The winter days are incredibly short and with the recent cold and dreary weather I've been feeling very tired and 'blue'.  I hate to even leave the house on most days, but with three very active girls, I don't really have much choice.  So, I find myself dreaming of spring with the birds returning from their far off southern places and the leaves and flowers bursting from their hiding spaces.  

I miss spending time outside basking in the warmth of the sun, listening to the birds sing their songs and smelling the glorious flowers in my garden.  In the meantime, I keep myself busy and focused inside with my wonderful paper obsession.

Paper Crafts Connection is looking for winter inspired projects for their January Gallery challenge and it just seemed to resonate with me, so I created this WINTER MITTENS banner for challenge #2 of 52.
I honestly felt a bit cheerier and found myself smiling when it was finished.  It reminds me of my girls and their mittens hanging to dry after spending time outside making snow angels and building forts.  
I used Bo Bunny's Gabrielle and Melissa Frances' 5th Avenue papers with some vintage lace for the mittens and embellished the first set with Making Memories mini crochet flowers, Prima pearls and mica flakes.  The star was hand cut from vintage paper and embossed, and the mini clothes pins were finished with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint and 3D glitter flower stickers by Making Memories.  
 The second set of mittens were embellished with Jenni Bowlin rhinestone buttons, crinkle seam binding, mica flakes and baker's twine.  It can be found in my Etsy shop if you're interested in adding it to your office for a bit of winter cheer. :)

Such a simple little project but it's effect on my spirit was enormous.
Thank you for taking the time to drop by!  I'll be sharing a little tussy mussy goodness in my next post, so please stop back by.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

...Red or Pink and Vintage Shabby Love...

Red and pink are the colors usually associated with Valentine's Day, and their literal meanings may surprise you...
RED is a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from desire to violence.  Red can even have physical effects such as increasing blood pressure and respiration rate.
 Red represents power, danger, lust and passion.
It also looks good on a cupcake!

PINK is the sweet side of red.  Certain studies show that pink can actually create physical weakness in some people.
Pink represents baby girls, romance, playfulness and tenderness.
It ALSO looks good on a cupcake!
Personally, I love both colors.  I wear them frequently, and probably gravitate towards one or the other based on my mood at the time (though I wasn't aware of it).  I also use both red and pink (and variations of each) frequently in my creations for Valentine's Day, but this year I tried to convey the feelings and meaning of love by using other colors.

Vintage Shabby Gift Tags
These were created from everyday standard shipping tags mod podged with a vintage dress pattern and then sprayed with ART glitter mist in copper.  Bo Bunny paper (Gabrielle Collection) for the heart and added embellishments: Prima rose, twine, vintage lace and button, cheesecloth, SEI metal tag, Prima pearls/rhinestones, Tim Holtz Distressing ink in Tea Dye and grosgrain ribbon.

I created four gift tags using the same process but in different colors/prints.  I decided to use two of the tags for cards.
Vintage Shabby 'I LOVE YOU' Card
Another piece of Bo Bunny paper for the background, a paper doily, a Prima pearl, a stamped sentiment by K&Company...and voila...two cards!
Vintage Shabby 'I LOVE YOU' Card 2
I think they turned out perfectly for Valentine's Day and no pink or red was used.
Each of these items can be found in my Etsy shop.

Be sure and join me later on this week for a peak at some more Valentine goodies.
I hope I've inspired you to create, and I thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

..."Map To Your Heart" ~ Challenge 1 of 52...

Last year I made a "New" Year's resolution (of sorts...it was in June or July that I put my hand over my heart and swore to the powers that be).  I promised myself, and those of you who follow my blog, that I would create a tag representing each and every month for an entire year.  So far so good.  I've managed to create 6 tags with only 6 to go.  You can find links to the completed tags here:

Since it's a brand new year, I thought I'd make a true New Year's resolution and promise to participate in at least one challenge every week.  That's 52 challenges when it's all said and done!   It'll be a great way for me to stay on top of the trends and connect with other crafters.  Besides, any items I create can be listed in my Etsy shop for sale, so really it's a win-win.

My very first challenge in this new year is Moxie Fab's "Map To Your Heart Challenge"
We were asked to use a little innovation and incorporate a map into our paper project.  I have to admit that I've been using maps of all styles for quite some time now for everything from gift bows
 and cards
to altered books
and journals.

So, I figured I should do something extremely innovative given I've used maps in a variety of ways already.  After a few days of thinking about it (and thinking about it some more), I finally came up with an idea to create Puffed Vintage Map Hearts.  With Valentine's Day right around the corner, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
I used an old map of California and cut out three different size hearts in duplicate.  I machine stitched around the outside - leaving a small opening to fill each with a bit of poly-fill then hand stitched the opening.  Each heart was embellished with vintage buttons, lace and an old dress pattern for the flowers.

I think they'd look sweet sitting together in a small bowl or hanging from a piece of ribbon as a decorative accent off a shelf peg or doorknob.  A small gesture of love goes a long way, so don't forget that someone special this Valentine's Day.

If you'd like to join me in my New Year's resolution, Moxie Fab World has some truly inspiring weekly challenges, and they're a lot of fun!!

Thanks again for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

...Sweet Love...

My daughters take after me in so many ways, and I'm thankful for most of the similarities.  They have generous hearts, a quick sense of humor and a love of anything creative.  They always make me gifts, and I treasure each and every one.  My 9 year old daughter, Madison, learned about pressing flowers in school a few months back and took it upon herself to pick some flowers this past fall and press them between paper and a stack of my old books.  She left them there for close to two months and then used them to make Christmas gifts for her Grandmother, her Aunt and me.  
She used some of my vintage sheet music and old frames for the finished product, but the idea and the arrangement was all her. I was so surprised to find one of her special pressed flower gifts under the tree for me, and I have it placed here on my desk so I can look at it every single day.

With this being my first week back from the holiday break, I've been ever so slow in getting back into the normal groove of things.  I've been working on a few customer orders as well as Valentines Day items for my Etsy shop.  It's never too early to think of Valentines Day!  
These quilted puff hearts were made from an old tan corduroy shirt.  The inside fabric had a lovely design and beautiful shades of pink and cream that reminded me of romance and sweet love...
They can be used in a variety of ways:  as a pin cushion, a decorative accent to a doorknob or shelf peg, or as a tag on a special gift.  

I also created several Valentines Day goody bags with the same material.  The corduroy is visible on the inside and it's machine stitched along the sides leaving a rough edge.
Tuck some chocolates or homemade cookies into the glassine bags and write something romantic on the vintage card and you've got yourself a wonderful little gift of sweet love.  

I certainly appreciate you stopping in and hope you check back soon as I'll be posting about some more items I've been working on.

Have a great day, friends!