Craft/DIY Ideas

Textile Lovin’

Here’s a little update on what I’ve been working on lately….

DSCN5135

DSCN5138

I’ve been digging through my fabric stash and creating pictures with them.

This farm scene was my first attempt.

DSCN5137

The clothesline with “quilts” was a last minute inspiration, but really my personal favorite part of this piece. I was going to do a garden at that spot, but couldn’t bring myself to actually sew it on there. It just wasn’t quite right.

DSCN5150

My second piece was this sweet little cottage scene. Little is not the correct word though—it is actually quite large, measuring over 16″ by 20″.

DSCN5153

Vintage yo-yos discovered at a yard sale make perfect flowers, especially with a sweet button sewn onto the middle.

My favorite part of this scene is the little fox curled up in his den at the corner. (Or you could call it a cat, it sorta looks like one!)

DSCN5152

Part of why I enjoy making these is using up such a variety of fabrics. It is a good excuse for my fabric hoarding I guess! I love finding just the right piece of fabric, ribbon, or trim for a certain area. Some are newer materials, but I use a LOT of vintage finds, which I really love!

My next attempt was based on a real place, not a made up one.

DSCN5187

For this one I loosely based it on a picture of the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Maine.

A variety of corduroy and wool tans and browns create the rocks. If I had to redo this one I would make the sky a tad bit brighter blue.

DSCN5207

The last piece I finished represents the Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina.

I don’t *love* this one as much, it’s just kind of okay for me.

DSCN5209

As each one has been rather large, I decided to scale down a bit. Pictured above is a piece I just started. Nothing is sewn on yet, just pinned down. Typically I pin a bunch of possibilities down and edit from there. Here I am recreating a scene from the Jordan pond area of Acadia National Park. I have a lot of work to do on it yet, but I wanted to show a bit of my creative process.

First I usually sketch out a rough idea, then begin to pull fabrics that may work. I strive to not only use color schemes that work, but to incorporate lots of texture too.

Not a single one ends up exactly like what I originally envisioned, and that’s okay…sometimes it turns out even better.

So there you have it, this is what I’ve been working at lately! This is fun for me and I so enjoy the creative process in this. This is how I unwind!

Craft/DIY Ideas, Uncategorized

A New Artist in the Family

The last time you’ve heard from me, I gave an update on the new job situation with my husband. If your recall, he began work at a fancy wood place. They import specialty hardwood lumber from literally all over the world, then sell it to artists and craftsmen who seek out such material for furniture and many other projects.

I have to kind of laugh sometimes when people assume that I’m the “artsy” one in the family. Sure, that’s my gig and I love it. I sometimes say that I can’t NOT make stuff, it’s just how I weirdly operate.

Well, though I kind of knew it before, there’s another artist in the family, and it’s definitely not me….

DSCN5003

You see, my guy has been making these beauties.

Lots of fabulous vases, all made of highly figured woods.

The neat thing is these were all either dug out of the rubbish bin, or purchased from the bin of stuff that is all basically “off-cuts,” end pieces of wood that are a size/shape that is not optimal for selling.

DSCN4995

So he takes these cast-offs, uses their natural shape, and turns them into something gorgeous (and useful). Some are fairly rare woods, like the one pictured above. Koa grows only on one island in Hawaii. (This was a spalted piece of Koa with other figure in it too.)

Pretty much ALL of them are super figured, even to the level of what he would call “instrument grade.” Check out this one…

DSCN5097

My pictures truly don’t do them much justice. They are amazing in person.

We just figured out a neat way to mark the bottom with what species of wood they are made from:

DSCN5105

This particular piece is Tasmanian Rose Myrtle, a neat variety from…you guessed it, Tasmania.

DSCN5100

Pictured above is a beautiful piece of Tiger Maple. Check out that striping!!

He left the bark on the back side to add even more interest.

DSCN5070

All have a glass test tube insert for holding water and the stems. Jeff is also experimenting with using interesting bottles as well.

He has enlisted me to be his saleslady, so if you have any interest in purchasing one, we would love to hook you up. You can contact me directly, or I do have some listed on an Etsy site. (I’ll be adding more to Etsy soon.) Each makes a timeless gift, and they are all so unique.

DSCN5047

Place a showy bloom in them and you add instant class to wherever it sits!

 

 

Parenting Tales

Treasure Island

Our family decided to take a little field trip today to an art museum. Reading this, you may think we are very cultured (we’re not, by the way). However, an opportunity came up for my husband and older boys to see the original paintings used for the illustrations in a book they’ve all read–Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. While I am a big reader too, I have not read this particular book, but the artsy side of me did kind of want to see these paintings. The series of illustrative paintings was done by N.C. Wyeth, an artist from our region. There were 17 paintings made in the series, all about as tall or taller than myself. They were being displayed temporarily at the Brandywine River Museum in PA, where lots of other Wyeth paintings are as well. Also in the collection were some of N.C. Wyeth’s other works commissioned for book illustrations. We had a great time, though once past the “pirate paintings,” my little guys were ready to be done. Here’s some pics of what we saw:

To show you how uncultured I am, I took these pics while in the museum gallery itself. A couple people looked at me funny, so I whispered to my husband, “Is it okay for me to take pictures in here?” “Oh yeah, you’re fine,” he assured me. Don’t you know, as soon as we left that room, I looked back at the doorway and saw a big NO Photos sign. Whoops! I tucked the camera away after that.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well.

Rachel