Sunday, February 28, 2016

Birds..a springtime paper crafting project!

Our winter had been super mild this year. This last week has really felt like the beginning of spring with the birds singing, bright green baby leaves appearing on the trees with gorgeous mild sunny days! Living in the tropical south and knowing what lies ahead in the brutally hot summer months makes one truly appreciate spring! I woke up with the birds singing right outside my bedroom window and was inspired to paper craft embossed birds for my mantle and a Facebook giveaway:) Scarlett showed up to "help" which is always a crafting adventure! She loves to turn the handle on my Fishers fuse, declaring that "I can do it myself!" After we had quite a few birds cut I took a few in the next room to take a picture. Scarlett went home and after a few minutes I realized the rest of my paper birds were missing! After telling her mommy "No" when asked to tell Grammie were the birds were...I resumed my search, eventually finding them stuffed in that green vase behind Scarlett! Like I said... a crafting adventure!  

I decided to mix up the birds and wings for a more fun and whimsical feel:)

After laying out the birds in the color order I liked best, 3M was added to each wing for dimension. I prefer 3M to pop dots because it can be cut to any size and can be bought in these giant rolls which last forever!

I traced the embossing lines with markers and then added this glossy accent. This medium is self leveling and adds a nice emphasis to detail.

There is something satisfying about lining up my creations in rows..hahah! Natural twine was adhered to the back of each bird with hot glue for a springtime mantle banner.

For a fresh springtime feel to the mantle, I added natural field flowers (silk) to my favorite urns. Whimsical birds found at Tuesday Morning were a fun addition and gave me the inspiration for this paper crafting project. I am especially happy to finally have a giant and updated family photo above my fireplace! The little gold carriage clock was a gift from Michael many years ago, is a permanent fixture on the mantle and has the sweetest chime:)

My "spring" couch is even sporting bird pillows! A black Friday JoAnn's find this fabric made me smile. I had pillow covers made to go over my fall pillows hiding inside. Since last count of the 55 or so decorative pillows living in my house, it was time to make some covers instead of buying more pillows:) When I asked my hubby if he liked the way I decorate his only complaint was "Do we have to have so many pillows on our bed?" Hahahahahah...pillows are a decorator's best friend!

Since I never measure anything:)...I had too many birds for my mantle which was a bonus for the kitchen! This blue open cabinet is a favorite piece to display seasonal and holiday decor and best of of my children and grandchildren!

Love the birds...I can almost hear them singing "Welcome Spring!"

You may enjoy these related posts...
 The re-do and stenciling of the blue cabinet
and the "Choose Joy" pallet project 

Posts about Spring!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Valentine dinner party!

A Valentine dinner party was on my wish list for the new year! Not just any old dinner party but a catered dinner party by daughter Brittany, who caters for Nellie's Cottage. I have done a fair bit of entertaining with all of the stress that usually accompanies events...this was much more enjoyable:)
Annabelle was excited to dress up in her sparkly red dress and serve part of dinner! 

Brittany solicited help from Megan to help prepare and serve dinner. Choosing the menu was part of the planning fun...
White grape juice with fresh raspberries
Spinach salad with strawberries, pecans, feta cheese & red onion topped with poppyseed dressing
Garlic knot rolls
Grilled chicken over 4 cheese tortellini & alfredo sauce served with grilled asparagus

Annabelle has a very strong decorative opinion:) This red pashmina was draped over my couch until she covered the coffee table and arranged my Valentine scrapbooks:)

When I thought she wasn't looking I "scrunched" the pashmina under the scrapbooks...she was peaking around the corner and came right back "It needs to be perfect Grammie!"

I felt a bit lost in the moments before the dinner party while waiting for our friends to show up...normally I am frantically getting last minute details ready!  

Pre-dinner "drinks" made the dinner party feel official:)

All of our guests have been friends of mine since we were all teenagers:)

Monica & Benson 

Thomas & Melissa

This was my first year to decorate the mantle for Valentines!

Steve & Pam

Annabelle was thrilled to try on Melissa's "blingy" high heels...yikes!

Loved the look on Annabelle's face as she served the rolls!

The chicken was deliciously seasoned and moist, the tortellini with alfredo sauce creamy & satisfying, and the asparagus nicely grilled. 

Mississippi mud chocolate fondue for dipping strawberries, pineapple, apples, brownie bites, & pretzels capped off a lovely evening. 

Thank you Brittany for a perfect dinner party!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The 20 year Valentine dress:)

One of the joys of having little girls was making ruffly dresses :-) 
I learned to sew when I was 12, making most of my own clothing all through high school. The real fun in my seamstress career began with my little girls! Ruffles and petticoats were a favorite! A Valentine dress made for then 4 year old Danielle in 1996 has been stashed away waiting for a granddaughter! 

The eyelet ruffles were cute back then but looked dated so off they came. Normally I would have opened up the seems to take them out, but having lined the dress and topstitched every seam it was a daunting task, so... I took the lazy way and just cut the ruffles off as close as I could to the seam. This worked because I was putting a fun pom-pom trim on to update the dress which hides the cut edge.

Annabelle was given a choice between a pale pink frilly trim and the pom-poms...
she chose the pom-poms! I did sneak in a satin pleated trim on the waist:)

As with all projects I love to see the before and after!

Annabelle is a very feisty and capable five-year-old who loves pink, plain school, singing, and ballet. I'm thrilled and a tiny bit surprised she loves the dress, because she can be a bit stylishly edgy:-)

Along with before and after pictures of projects and re-do's, I love seeing side-by-side photos of my children and grandchildren, looking for those family genetic traits. It looks like Annabelle has a chin like Danielle, and that makes me happy :-) The possibility of this picture has been 20 years in the making...another sweet family history moment for the momma:)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Roses & the wooden heart

I am on a mission to condense the crafting hoard living inside my closets and attic. Creating holiday decorations will help with with this resolution quest. A roses & heart creation is the first of many projects on my agenda this year.

 An old wooden heart originally cut by Michael for our clinic sign (Heart of Texas Family Medicine) was the base for an idea. Since I can't bear to throw such things away it languished in my craft closet for 5 years. Rescued and painted red it became the perfect base for the ultimate Valentine!

I rounded up every pink, red and even mauve rose from my extensive silk flower hoard in the attic (some are 20 years old from my 90's flower arrangements!) I then laid them out on the heart to see if my creative vision could be achieved. Creative rule number 47-never glue before you are absolutely certain it is a good idea!

The design trick to these kinds of projects is random placement of various flowers so a pattern isn't obvious. I began from the bottom with the largest flowers and finished with the tiniest rose buds on the edges and in the empty spots. Some of these roses are from a son's wedding, some hail from the 90's, some from other valentine projects, and a some from the hubby for a semester of all A's! It was the cutest gift...Michael came home from work with a huge bag of silk flowers of every variety. I hadn't the foggiest of what I would do with all of them, but they have all been used in something! 

Besides a silk flower hoard, I also have a ribbon and trim hoard:) This pink trim left over from a Sister Bear (Berenstain bears) Halloween costume was the perfect finishing touch. There was exactly enough plus a half inch!

I love the texture of the velvet, silk and paper roses. This reminds me of a beautiful box of chocolates...without the calories:)

The finished creation hangs in the inside of my front door adding Valentine cheer for this rose loving girl!