Thursday, January 29, 2009


Thank you so much everyone for your comments about the buffet! It's my favorite piece of furniture in the house right now and I was happy to see you liked the new glass knobs as much I do! There was an overwhelming response to leave it as is, which is what I am going to do.

I don't think I've shown you this crocheted beaded bag before. It was made by my brother Randy's mother-in-law. She strings all of the beads on the crochet thread before she starts crocheting. Amazing. This one is probably my favorite out of the ones I have.

You can see two others I've shown on the blog here and here. One day I'll show you more.

I bought a vintage dresser scarf for the top of the buffet and wanted to show you the embroidery.

There are a lot of french knots.

The crocheted edge is quite pretty, too. Would you take something like this to the dry cleaners? It could stand to be cleaned and ironed, but I'm afraid of damaging it.

I've made some progress on my bead embroidery, which I'll share will you next time.

Until then...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The buffet.

After much contemplation, I decided wanted a buffet to go in the dining area of our house. We had an Amish bench in this spot, but it wasn't giving me enough storage and I'd had it a long time. I looked around at new furniture, but wasn't liking the prices. I had never used Craig's List before, but decided to give it a try. This piece had been listed that very day.

Perfect! The woman selling it lived far from me and Mark was working late that night. My brother Randy was nice enough to meet me at her house. It was very far away for him, too. He put it in his van and drove it to my house.

And my house was not on his way home. He was in the car almost five hours that evening. I'm lucky to have two terrific brothers who would go out of their way to help me. The woman selling the piece commented on how nice it was of Randy to do this for me and I wholeheartedly agreed.

I didn't like the square wooden knobs on the piece. I wonder what the original knobs looked like.

I found these knobs at Anthropologie. I love that store. I would be in trouble if there was one closer to me.

I need to find something larger to put on top of it, I think. But this will do for now.

N. says this is the perfect thing to hang above it because this frame is old, too. If I remember correctly, it's made from a ceiling tin from an old pharmacy. I put a small botanical print in it.

My original plan was to paint it this summer, but now that it's in the house and has the swanky new glass knobs on it I'm tempted to leave it as it is. Plus, I like the red paint on it. N. says if I paint it, I should paint it red. That is his favorite color after all.

What would you do? Paint it or leave it as is?

Friday, January 23, 2009

On my tray.

I thought I'd share my current project. Wow, my bead tray looks so nice and neat. It never looks that way for very long.

I am really enjoying bead embroidery on leather. It's nice to change gears and try something new in your medium. This is more of a design as you go project, which has been very fun.

I still followed the general placement of the flowers as in this Laura McCabe kit. The next step will be much more free form.

You can find the online class and kit at Beaducation. I've been very pleased with the entire experience and would highly recommend the classes there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The giraffe.

This was the final item N. made in his pottery class. He had to wait several weeks for the clay to dry in order to paint it.

They pulled out books on giraffes so that he could look at a picture as he worked on his project.

I think he did a fantastic job.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A new handbag.

Last year (meaning 2007) for Christmas, the ladies in the family received a thrifted wool sweater from my mom that had already been felted, which means they were very shrunken. It was funny to see everyone holding up their small sweaters, trying to figure out why she had given them to us. She said she'd be making something for each of us from our sweaters and then quickly spirited them away, never to be seen again in their original state.

Fast forward to this past Christmas. We'd all but forgotten about the sweaters and had a good laugh when we opened our packages to find our tiny little sweaters transformed into handbags.

My sweater had beadwork on it and she did her best to make sure every beaded area on the sweater made it into the handbag.

I like how she used the sleeve as a closure.

Everyone had a different type of bag and it was fun to see how their sweaters translated into a handbag. I'll try to get some photos of them to show you in the future.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Unexpected green.

This very sweet gift arrived on my doorstep today. It is so nice to see a spot of green. Here in the frozen tundra of Illinois I'd almost forgotten what moss looks like.

It came with a cheery red ribbon, a beautiful glass bottle...

... and the sweetest little Scottie dog.

Thanks, Jenn. You made my day! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dreaming of warmer days.

I was going through some old photos on my computer tonight and came across these, which are among my favorites. N was 5 in these photos. We were staying with my in-laws waiting to move into our house. The weather was warm and breezy; it was a perfect day for blowing bubbles.

I had photos from this day printed and I never did get around to hanging them. I need to get my act together with photos.

Yesterday I was off work. Late in the afternoon my mom came over. I worked on some bead embroidery while she was knitting. There's something comforting about sitting near someone who is knitting, I think. Tea, bead embroidery, knitting, and good company made for a nice ending to the day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Etsy Favorite: Sarah Blank Studios

It's been a while since I've shared a favorite Etsy shop with you and this week I'm excited to introduce you to Sarah Blank Studios. I've admired Sarah's work for some time. When she started putting her prints into vintage lockets I checked her shop often, waiting for the one that would speak to me.

And then she wrote on her blog that she would be posting this pretty butterfly locket. I stalked her shop and was lucky. Have I mentioned that I love lockets? All of the beautiful photos in this post are from Sarah's shop.

It's even prettier in person. I might switch it to a necklace for a while. Then I can change it back to a brooch. Aren't the prints inside pretty?

If you are looking for a locket, this sweet cameo is still in her shop. Sarah is not planning to make more lockets, so this might be your last chance.

This sketchbook has two of Sarah's original artworks inside.

Some of my favorite prints from her shop.

This weekend N. is going to his very first sleep over at a friend's house in our neighborhood. I'm trying not to be a little sad about it. He is growing up so fast! The bright side is that Mark and I can go out on a date.

Maybe I'll be struck by some beading inspiration, too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to normal.

It's back to work and school for us. We had a very relaxing time off. I did a lot of reading and accomplished a few things around the house. I did not do any beadwork at all. I sat down once to make something, but wasn't inspired.

I don't know if I should put beads in these cute little custard cups and set them on my beading table or keep them in the kitchen. They were a Christmas gift. I believe the pattern is Swiss Chalet, one of my favorites. I really love these little bowls.

My friend Jamee inspired us to work on a puzzle. We're a little further along than what you see here, but not very. We should substitute movie or craft night for puzzle night!

It's good to be back in the swing of things.