Saturday, July 28, 2012

Help!

Click on this link to be taken to my dear daughter's Dress Your Dorm Vera Bradley giveaway entry, and bookmark it so you can vote daily, through August 9! She was thrilled to make it into the Top 20, and at present is in 3rd place. She'd love to win a dorm room makeover as she starts school at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas this fall.

grad girl and mom

You will *~not~* be required to sign up for any offers or share any information about yourself, thanks to Vera Bradley and Brickfish- way cool for a contest, don't you think?  If you're so inclined, look to the right of her entry, below the "vote for this entry" button and you'll see options to share the page on your own Facebook page, Pinterest, Twitter or other online social networking site.  

Your votes help greatly, but taking a few extra seconds to click and share really help bump her score up.

Thanks for all of your help!
Michaele

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bunting Bars

I have been having so much fun visiting all of this year's participants in Where Bloggers Create!  So many have shared inspiring photos, links, and stories, and many have already visited me here at Twigs and Tulle.

While card catalogs and inspiration boards are always handy for storage and display, it's been my bunting bars (oh yes, and the glorious green chair) that seem to have caught your eye:

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They're forty-five inches long (the bars extend to about fifty inches) and I have three against an eight or nine foot tall wall, though it's difficult to see the lowest bar since my chalkboard is in front of it. Dear Husband purchased the bars and wall mounts from Home Depot.

Draping bunting and banners over the bars keeps them from crumpling and the ties from becoming creased.  They're easy to see and grab as needed too.

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Did you know I also blog at Kindergarten's 3 R's?  I realized after posting there this morning that I had reached a milestone: my 800th blog post!

I'm crafting some birthday bunting as a giveaway item today (many kindergarten/elementary teachers have a special birthday display in their classrooms) to thank all of my readers~ the giveaway post will appear tomorrow.  Feel free to visit me there (invite your friends!) on July 18, 2012 to enter.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where Bloggers Create 2012

Hello there and welcome to Twigs and Tulle!  I'm so glad you dropped by to visit my creative space, and am very appreciative that Karen Valentine of My Desert Cottage created this wonderful blog-hopping event for creative souls.

My name is Michaele ("My-kul," yes, "like the boy's name") and in addition to all of the things I've described myself as in my bio, I'm a crafter.  Having always been surrounded by people who make and do, from traditional arts and crafts such as needlework, knitting, crocheting, baking and cooking, it was only a matter of time before I tried working with new materials and tools, though initially I was more inclined to use them in my classroom with my kindergarten students.

Like my interests, my creative space has changed significantly over the years.  Being a military family, we've relocated from Alaska to New Mexico, Kansas and Texas with a return trip to Oz.  We've lived in military housing and in rentals, with the possibility of having a little extra space for my "hobbies" unpredictable with each move we made.  My first crafty nook consisted of a desk and set of bookshelves where I could read, sort through small materials, and introduce myself to the world of blogging.  I still had to take over the dining room table for any sizable project, and had to have it all cleaned and put away by dinnertime.

The next incarnation of my crafty nook was a space in front of the only two windows in the daylight basement of a rental property we moved into once we returned to Kansas.  Gifted with an old bedroom dresser and chest of drawers for storage, I tracked down a small table and chair, and was able to keep my mess away from my family and my family away from my mess, which worked wonders for me as I began to craft with paper.  Unfortunately, I was unable to keep Mother Nature's flood waters away from my creative space.

You read that correctly: our house flooded.  While my husband was deployed.  Oy.  Grateful we were safe, and thankful for the friends, volunteers and Army family who helped us, I tearfully bid my crafty nook and almost everything in it goodbye as we worked through salvage and clean up.  Though only material and replaceable items were lost, there was a part of me that mourned the items that I had created.  It was fellow crafters who reached out to me with their understanding, support and kindness, and with their help, my crafty nook was reborn.

You'll notice it's not really a nook but rather a room now (we've bought our dream home) and it's an assemblage of repurposed storage and furniture, gifted items and materials, each unmatched piece having its own story:

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Somerset publications fill my bookcase, and paper punches, art paper and fabric are stored in little bins below display boards:

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I can sit and relax with some coffee or tea:

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Next to my chair is a crafty tote filled with ribbon, lace, trim and buttons, materials I use regularly:

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My desktop certainly needs an upgrade now that I'm creating altered art with adopted ancestors!  I love to visit antique stores and sort through boxes of vintage photographs.

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I covered our tall metal file cabinet with Christmas wrapping paper to gussy up its surface.  It's an inspiration and reminder board all in one with knick knacks, cards and cd's stored above:

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My view from the file cabinet includes my craft table, stool, and desk organizer.  I love that so many of us have the same one... seriously, I should keep a tally of how many white wooden lazy Susan-type jobbies I find as I visit your studios!  My table sits in the middle of the room:

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...while many of my craft materials are stored in fabric totes and cubbies along the wall:

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What's in my repurposed card catalog?  Ribbon and glitter of course!

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I decorate pre-seasonally as it takes me time to make gifts and Etsy shop items, and I enjoy displaying ornaments and gifts received in swaps.  Who else is ready for Halloween in July?

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Keeping little treasures sorted yet accessible is easy with my cupcake holder, tea cups and votives:

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I tend to find interesting-to-me little items here and there, thimbles, toys, ornaments, etc., but it was Dear Husband who gave me the starts of my own Eskimo army:

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Bars keep my paper bunting neatly displayed until they're packaged and sent off to recipients:

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... and photo boxes and repurposed containers keep small bits of paper neatly sorted for projects:

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After a long week at work, my crafty nook is my retreat.  Instead of resembling a frothy confection, it's more, well, twigs and tulle.  It's filled with reminders of friends and family, visual and tactile inspiration, and the tools I use to capture happy sentiment full of color.  My collections keep me company, music sets my pace, and my hands and imagination are anything but idle.

Thank you for visiting, and do let me know where I can come to visit your creative space~

Michaele

File Cabinet Makeover

We adopted a four drawer metal file cabinet from a fellow military family (thank you Tracy!) prior to our move to the new house.  It provides just the right amount of storage for our papers, documents, photos, and extras but it doesn't blend well visually with the rest of my crafty nook:

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The drawers are wonderfully deep, creating a large magnetic surface for display.  With my return to teaching still a few weeks away, I have had the time but not the energy to repaint the cabinet.  Emptying the drawers, moving the cabinet (it's not light), painting it, then returning it the crafty nook and re-filing everything isn't a plan that has appealed to me at all since our move.

Can you blame me?

Not surprisingly, being a paper addict who has a drawer full of spray adhesive has its advantages.  Ta~da!  A partial solution.

Not in the mood to collage the surface, I looked through all of my paper before deciding upon a thicker-weight roll of Christmas wrap:

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Turns out I didn't need a lot of Alene's spray adhesive.  Thankfully it remained tacky enough that I could reposition the paper and smooth out trapped air as I worked:

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I even covered the top of the cabinet:

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Once two sides and the top were covered, I used a blade to trim the paper around the edges of the cabinet:

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The pulls, knobs and frames on the drawers make me think that it'll still be easier to paint them, but since the cabinet is positioned so that I don't have to look at them, it's a project for another day.

The teacher in me appreciates a nice frame or border around displays, so I cut white cardstock into two-inch wide strips and used the spray adhesive to position them around the surface:

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I have touches of black throughout the room, so ribbon was a nice addition:

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Now I have a surface suitable for an inspiration board and magnetic display!

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Come back tomorrow and see my post for this year's Where Bloggers Create party... even the file cabinet was ready for its close-up!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just Around the Corner



...and this year I'll be participating!

Come back on July 14th to see where I blog, create, read, and re-charge, and do let me know if you're participating so I can come and see you.

Michaele

Friday, July 6, 2012

There are Days

There are days when I'm productive around the house, not only starting but finishing chores, making meals, running errands and enjoying family time.  There are days when I simply straighten things up, pick up a good book, blog, and craft.

And then there are days when I stay in jammies, lounging on the couch or in bed, grateful not only that I can rely upon a stocked pantry but also that my children can fend for themselves.  Today has been one of those days.

The laptop has kept me company, and after dabbling with Tweetdeck and Hootsuite (I want an easy dashboard for keeping track of my blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram), I stumbled across someecards, and discovered that you can create your own.

I've had waaaaaay too much fun flipping through the images, color filters, and adding text, and it may be obvious that I've had a bit too much coffee and chocolate today too.

Whatever.

For pageant friends:

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Sisterly love:

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...and of course, a musical reference:

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Have you made any cards?

Here.  Have a chocolate.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

~*Beyond*~ Wow

Honeybee, by Steam Powered Giraffe, a musical pantomime troupe:



If this is Steampunk, then Steampunk is c-o-o-l.