Friday, June 27, 2014

Lighten Up

 I have a thing for cubbyholes, nooks and crannies, divided storage and multi-size displays.  Exploring one of my favorite antique malls recently, I came across this tabletop paper/media shelf.

Dark brown, dusty, but sturdy.  Not too big, not too small, and something that could easily add some vertical storage in my crafty nook.

Or bedroom.

Or classroom.


That's right, I'm ~all about~ possibilities.

But not splinters.  Or dust.  Or the dark color of the wood.

So out came my sander.  My old, had-it-since-Alaska sander.

I don't want this piece to be pristine... rough around the edges (but MUCH lighter in color) is just fine by me.

So I used some cream colored spray paint to lighten the organizer up.  It lightened my red nail polish too... whoops.

I left it outside to dry all day, which means tonight I'll 1) bring it indoors and 2) give myself a much needed manicure.

Where do you think it will end up tomorrow?



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Watch Me Pull a Rabbit...

... out of an air vent.

(Oh look, I need to vacuum those out when I get the chance, *cough cough*.)

Okay, so I didn't pull.

I  l-u-r-e-d.

And waited.

And waited...

... and waited (the Almost Third Grader was able to patiently wait for five minutes before returning to play video games downstairs):

Baby carrots apparently don't have the appeal to bunnies that I thought they did.

Tired of waiting, I turned on the air conditioner.  Four minutes later, I heard a telltale scrittety-scratch that let me know our guest was ready to remove himself from the wind tunnel.

Then oh... so... cautiously... a head appeared:


This time Fuzzy-buns and I both waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And then:

POP.... zoom!

Hippity hop.  Scamper-scamper-scamper FREEZE.

At which point I replaced the vent cover and called the Almost Third Grader upstairs.  He came in quietly and sat down by the dryer to help block Fluffy-buns from running behind the appliances.

Though a surprise, Fluffy-buns' visit was a great opportunity for us to observe up close a creature with whom we share our property, since we usually see him (her?) outdoors in or near our garden.

We have two cats, so Fluffy-buns needed to return to the great outdoors.

Tossing a towel over him and then scooping him up, I carried him outside to the front lawn, accompanied by the Almost Third Grader.  After a quick petting on the head, we let Fluffy-buns free...

... and then ~quickly~ closed the garage door.

You see, Fluffy-buns ran INTO the garage yesterday morning, after Dear Husband left it open while he used the weed trimmer around the property.  Thinking that the bunny had eventually snuck back outside, we went on about our day and evening.

Soaking in the tub after dinner, I heard a horrible racket, like metal on metal, coming from downstairs.  I thought something had collapsed or that DH had dropped metal of some sort.  I quickly wrapped a towel around myself and went to see what was wrong.  Nothing, apparently.

After a good night's sleep, we had coffee, watched some news, and had breakfast before he left for work.  Not long after, I heard more banging, and thought the Almost Third Grader was downstairs getting into something.  When he came upstairs and asked ~me~ what ~I~ was doing, we knew something unusual was happening.

Scrittety-scratch.  Thud.  Bang-bang-scratch.  Bang.

Coming from the laundry room.

Bang.  BANG.  Scrittety-scratch.

The air vent.

And that's when we saw the ears, which started this morning's adventure.


Dear Husband has identified that there's an open air vent behind one of his tool boxes in the garage.

An air vent that he will be placing wire mesh over immediately, oh yes. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Button Bling

My button flowers might have been set aside for a while, but I didn't forget them, no sir-ee Bob:

After adding jump rings, I needed to figure out if I wanted to make zipper pulls, a bracelet, or something else.  

Finding only a spare chain, I decided it was time to make a necklace:

I'm not sure I can wait until July 4 to wear it!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Inspiring Americana

You couldn't miss the red, white, and blue on display at First Friday in the Kansas City West Bottoms earlier this month:

My favorite item had all the right colors, but ~cough cough~... was channeling a French spirit:


What are your plans for the 4th of July?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

First Friday in June: What Caught My Eye?

I love First Friday in Kansas City!  On the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month, vendors, artisans, thrifters, and repurposers gather in the West Bottoms Business District of KC.  Full of warehouses with narrow hallways and staircases, multiple floors of furniture, old lighting, odds and ends, antiques and art, and wood slat freight elevators, treasure seekers wander through shop after shop amongst the hustle and bustle of other shoppers.

Some look for that perfect table or breakfront for their dining room.  Others thumb carefully through vintage vinyl.  As I roam, I try to take it all in as home decor inspiration.  I find art that makes me think of projects I'd like to try myself or adapt for my students, and I love to see how wood, wire and other knick knacks are brought back to life by creative folks:

I love humorous typography and fonts, of course:

As well as repurposed style:

(Yes, those are piano keys...)

(Sheet music flower wreath...)

(Gorgeous crown mobiles, full of lace, beads, crystal drops, ribbon and glitter...)

... but little treasures catch my eye as well.  Here's what came home with me this month:

A glittery nesting doll set (s-p-a-r-k-l-e!)...

... and some paper beads (the cute pastry tin stand was a clearance purchase at Nell Hill's a day later):



Check back tomorrow to see the red, white, and blue Americana theme that many vendors used for their displays this month!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Simple Stamping

Before settling in for a day of relaxation, I need a cup of coffee.

Who am I kidding?  Before thinking, speaking, creating or relaxing I need caffeine.

I'm not saying I'm anti-social without my morning mug of Folgers and creamer, oh no.  Not at all.

I'm saying that


Don't speak to me.  Don't ask me a question.  Don't create any sort of noise that will be carried by sound wave to my ears, head, brain, and psyche.  Just.  Don't.

After ten sips, I can handle a hug (but don't speak).

Fifteen sips, a quiet "good morning" is fine (don't push your luck past that).

Twenty sips, and you may ask me a simple yes or no question.  I'll respond by nodding, not speaking, by the way.



After I empty a sixteen ounce mug I won't be ready for a full blown discussion, but I am likely to exchange sincere pleasantries.

I might even smile.

Or hug you.

Or both.


Mug numero dos usually accompanies me to the crafty nook, along with some cookies.

This particular variety includes oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.  Of course they're homemade.  Perfect for a not-too-sweet cup of coffee.

I found a cute little mug stamp the other day, and thought I'd do some simple stamping before catching up on blog hopping.

Using some stamps and ink that were given to me by my friend Shannon, I tore some pages out of an old book and thought about what I'd like to get accomplished today, you know, when I'm not relaxing.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that... this and that.

What are your plans for today?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

When Husband "Helps"

I have several vignettes set up in the crafty nook, to include three off-white, glittered houses on top of my file cabinet.

Upon closer inspection this morning, I noticed an unexpected addition:

Look at that, it's Dr. Hannibal Lector!

Thanks Honey.



Monday, June 2, 2014

Who's Got the Button?

When I first began making paper bunting, I enjoyed adding colored buttons to the fronts of the pennants for some dimensional detail.  Then soldering, collaging, and crocheting took over for months (and months, and months), so my stash of buttons did little more than stay neatly stored above one of my cabinets.

Aren't lazy Susan spice racks the best?  Thank you Sheila, for the gift years ago.

After lamenting my creative block in the previous blog post, my friend Shannon's advice inspired me to take another look at materials I had readily available but hadn't used in forever.


Buttons and thread?

Buttons and wire?

Nah.  Let's go old school.  

Buttons and g-l-u-e.

That's the ticket.

Finding a seed packet accidentally brought to the crafty nook, I became inspired by its text and photo.  "Annual Cut Flower Mix. Features many shapes, sizes, colors."


I arranged buttons until I achieved the look I wanted for the petals and centers, and then used a hot glue gun adhesive to quickly fix them into place.  I used E-6000 for the top buttons, and after drying overnight, used more on the backside of each flower to ensure the buttons would stay in place permanently.

I still haven't decided how to use the flowers.  Affix pin backs to them?  Attach them to hair pins or claw clips to dress up summer ponytails?  Add them to dominos to make patriotic floral charms?


Button, button.  Who's got the button?