Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Totally in love Tuesday! 1st edition

Oh my goodness! I have stumbled onto a site that I just love, love, love! Is that enough love for you? I don't just love paper, I love fabric as well. I grew up with a wonderful seamstress mother and great grandmother. I swear they could sit down and make anything. We lost my "Grammy" a while back, but my mom still sews all the time. See her latest creation here A "down the rabbit hole" costume for her youngest for a Alice in Wonderland tea party at church. Very cute idea.

I just love fabrics, especially vintage inspired ones! I came across this absolutely wonderful site and I have decided to highlight a fabric from there today and each week I'll post a new fabric I come across. May be different sites, but to be honest this one is chock full of enough to keep me posting for years!

The website for these delights? Fabric Worm

Here is my pick of the week. You know my love for owls!

I mean how cute are those?!

I encourage you to go over and visit this great shop. She is the momma to two boys and I always love to see someone find their passion. This woman has compiled so many wonderful fabrics I can't say enough!

I hope each of you have a wonderful day!
Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Monday, January 30, 2012

Owl love you forever!

Linking to The Sunday Showcase Party  at: Under The Table Dreaming HERE

Owls are my absolute favorite. I was in love with owls before they were fashionable. My great grandmother "Grammy" used to sing me a lullaby when I was little "Rock a bye my little owlet". I sang it to my daughters as well. So it has thrilled me to no end that right now owls are so hot. I realized I haven't put any "owl" projects up and my little owlet love tree is perfect for the upcoming month!

I wanted to show you a project that is not only simple, but very inexpensive. Sometimes the supplies we need for our projects can climb pretty high. Right now, after Christmas, I am always searching for quick inexpensive projects while still getting the wow factor. When I walked out to meet the girls after school, my neighbor was outside and couldn't believe this was made from paper.

The tree came from the Dollar Tree and I just made the little owls by quilling them. Hot glued it all to the tree and ta da! There are many quilling tutorials on the web. You could also print out pictures of little owls and then hot glue them in place.  I'm placing this on my mantel and working on getting a whole slew of Valentine projects done. I promise you they will all be quick and cheap!

Check back this week as I am finally using those fringed flowers!
from this post : here

I hope you enjoyed this little owl tree and make one of your own. If you do please share your photos with me as I love to see how inspired people can create!

Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

I am linking this to Showcase Sunday Party here and
and last but not least!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A bird with a french fry!

Do you ever find in life we are sometimes not as "happy" as we should be?

Do you wonder how you can be blessed with so much and yet still experience less than complete joy?

I have felt these things. I've said before in previous blogs that I am newly re-married. I have the most wonderful husband. He loves me for who I am no matter what. In my previous life this is where I'd gag and say: Well isn't she lucky?" I spent many years in a marriage in which I did not have that security. I do have it now and am so very THANKFUL, because I have been in both places and know how valuable it is to feel unconditional love.

The sign at the top of this page is one I made my 4 daughters. I placed it in their bathroom so they will see it everyday. I saw this saying somewhere and loved it! I wish I could remember where, I'd give them credit.

I really and truly believe that we are the creators of how happy our day and life can be. Even when unplanned clouds threaten our day our positive thinking can drive them away. Have you ever seen a bird get a french fry? They flap and squawk and you'd think something terribly important was happening! They take and enjoy the nibble and seem so smug happy! I think we all need to be more like a bird with a french fry. Let's look at what we have and decide we will be happy today!

Details of project Happy Bird:

  1. simple wood plaque from Michael's: $2.99 (I purchased about a year ago)
  2. acrylic paints in black, orange and aqua, I use Ceramacoat brand
  3. brushes in large and small (for detail work on lettering)

You could use a canvas, piece of wood or a pre-finished plaque like I did. You want to base coat the piece in your aqua color. Let dry...

really let it dry...

okay, now while you let it dry some more (because I know you are anxious and probably really only let it "sort of" dry)use  a word processing program to type out the saying on the above sign and center it. I believe I used Tunga in bold as my font. Any font of your choice will work. 

You want to mess with the point size in your fonts menu till the words fit onto whatever you are painting. I fit mine by printing it out and kind of eyeballing it until I had a good fit.

*Please email me if you need help. I think most of you know how to change your font sizes, but just ask if you don't.

Now comes the fun part...

note: I painted my letters on, but if you don't feel comfortable doing this, you could use a paint pen for the lettering. 

I always transfer by rubbing a pencil on the back of my text and then placing the "rubbed side" down with my right side up on top of the piece. Here you can use graphite paper as well. I never have it on hand and have just always used the rub method. I then tape the text to the piece to hold it still (actually I'm ADD and don't I just hold it in place). Trace over the outline of your text until you have traced the whole body of text. Once done remove the edge of the paper to peek" under. You should see an outline of the text on your piece? If you don't retrace the lines (with more pressure)that don't show. When the piece is traced well and you see transferred text you can remove the paper. I used a small brush and painted the inner part of the letters with orange paint. After it dried (Really dried), I went back and created a "drop shadow" on the letters. Please see the example. You could do all the lettering with paint pens as well. I enjoy painting text so for me this is heaven. I hope you enjoy this quick project and place it somewhere that will make you happy!

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." -Martha Washington

I wish you a day full of happiness!
Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Silhouette Scherensnitte

Scherensnitte :

I first saw these dainty paper cuttings in Epcot (Disney) in the land of China. I bought myself a rice paper parasol and a package of dainty tissue paper cuttings. I was 12 I believe. I couldn't believe the intricacies of these little wonders. I came home that summer and made little drawings and practiced cutting them out with an x-acto knife (My father had many of these floating around the garage). I started to get pretty good at them and found some books on the subject and some pre-printed ones you could cut at the Piece Goods shop (Our fabric shop in town in the 80's). I didn't really care for the parchment they were on, but I was 12 and hadn't yet discovered the world of colored papers other than construction paper. 

I started giving them as gifts framed and making cards with them attached. In fact my first job at a sign company, that my father worked at, was landed in the art department in part to how well I could cut the vinyl they used for some of the logo work on the signs. Years of paper cutting had made me very nimble with the knife and they hired me on for the summer.

Over the years I have done may forms of art. I even spent time in Germany as an exchange student working in the art department of Axel Springer Verlag. No matter what art form I am currently practicing, it almost always comes back to paper in some form. My all time favorite and one art I've never abandoned is paper cutting. I love the precise detail needed to pull off a piece.

I wanted to share with you a paper cutting I did today for my home. I have cut this one before and you can see the first one I made on my mom's site here

Today I decided to make one for myself. I don't have step by steps photos, but will walk you through it.

I don't always cut out of black paper, but do like the clean simplicity of black on white.
1-I simply trace my image onto the back of my black paper or any other paper you like. 
2-with an x-acto or very small detail scissors cut the image out
3- for this frame I used the little wood frames that come from Michael's or AC Moore in their wood     section. It's a recessed plaque. I think I paid $1.24 for this?  Paint the inside white and the border black. Here's a close up. Please excuse the roughness, this whole item is only approximately 3"x 7"!

4-after neatly cutting the paper cutting out, you will want to Modge Podge it onto the plaque.
Just apply Modge Podge to plaque and lay paper cutting down and coat with Modge Podge. Very easy!

Here's some additional images for you to see some of the detail.

I am fine with you printing this image out for your OWN use. I also find many images of silhouettes on google that are copyright free that I use for my projects. Just make sure you don't take another person's image and try to profit. I hope you enjoy this post and give paper cutting a try.

Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy
I'm sharing this post at: Alderberry Hill here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1st Baby Step

My very first baby step was to start to make my blog look like I wanted it to look! I wanted a clear crisp look not too fussy. So armed with tutorials and a great graphic from Graphics Fairy (I love, love, love her!) You can find the image here:
http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/2010/03/free-vintage-clip-art-fancy-frame.html , I forged ahead! I'll still be tweaking some of the elements, but it's heading in the right direction! I'd love any feedback ya'll might have for me. Do you like it and what have you learned as you've worked on your blog? I hope you each have a great day and thanks for supporting me!

Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

"Steps" - My Word of the Year!

I finally chose my word of the year:


Years ago there was a movie "What about Bob". A man (Bob) paralyzed by his fears and seeking psychiatric help shows up at Leo's (the Dr.) door for help. The movie was a comedy and very funny. The Dr. hands Bob a book called "baby steps" to read because he is leaving on vacation and won't be able to see him till he returns. The movie takes many funny turns and it makes me laugh every time. I encourage you to watch it if you haven't.

So for years whenever I am thinking about some major thing I need to work on in my life I get overwhelmed. I have come to tell myself "Baby Steps" and it seems to make me break down the task into manageable bites.

I have had many changes this last year and have had some difficulty in moving forward. My original word was going to be forward, but I'm having trouble doing that and thought how do I do it? Well Baby Steps came to mind. So My word this year is "Steps". A move, new house purchase, new marriage, job change, planning a baby, a child off to college (and leaving home-boo hoo)have all been major changes. Good things but they require many adjustments. I love excitement but more the "roller-coaster" or "day trip" kind. Not the "major life change" kind. To work on things in this new life I am going to take STEPS not leaps. It's okay to take it in bits right? Instead of decorating the WHOLE house, I am painting one room at a time etc.

If you haven't picked a word for your year please think about it. It's much easier than a list of resolutions. 

Until next time Dear Reader,

Chatty Cathy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be still my heart.

I was just itching to make some items for Valentine's Day. I know...we are nowhere close to that yet, but I couldn't help it! I had some left over card stock from the fringed flower (see last blog). I wanted to make something for over the fireplace because it seems so bare at the moment.

I just love the way it turned out. I took the left over pieces of red and pink card stock and cut them into 1" pieces. The length is whatever you want, my red ones were 7 3/8" only because that's how long the red paper left was. I made the pink strips 2" shorter and the book page ones 2" smaller. I have an old book from the thrift store bought for a buck with old music in it. I used a couple of these pages for the inner hearts. You can use magazine or newspaper even.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fringed flower mania!

Okay, I  mentioned before that I'm getting into quilling again. I was introduced to it in my childhood and have been taken with it's timeless elegance. One of the elements I used in my post last week on quilling the heart was a fringed flower. In the heart I used daisies. I thought how beautiful a wreath of just fringed flowers in different  shades of pink and red would be! I set to work making tons of these flowers. I thought I'd share with you how they are made.

Now normally I buy quilling paper but the widths I wanted weren't available from the company. They come in widths up to 3/8". I bought scrapbooking paper. 12x12 sheets in various shades of pinks and red and then cut my own strips from 1/2"-1 1/2". 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trash to treasure!

My new home is a joy to have. I am recently re-married and my husband and I have bought a new construction home outside Charleston, SC. I love it. The joy of having my own home after apartment living is so wonderful, but a new construction home poses it's own obstacles. Drab walls, no ceiling or window trims, very little "charm". Everything is new and shiny and sometimes it can be daunting when you think about how to make this whole house cozy and "home" for your family. I grew up watching old movies and loving the 40's and 50's era homes in them. I love vintage finds and sometimes these items look "out of place" in a brand spanking new house. 

This is what I stood before only months ago.

To this... ready to be transformed into a home with character.

This summer we found an old enamel top table in Winchester, VA. I loved it immediately. I had no chairs to go with this table however. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quilling or twirling?

Ever since I was a child I coveted paper, love isn't a strong enough word here. My mom was a preschool teacher at the church's preschool when I was in Middle School. She had a parent that owned a printing business and she came home with a stack of scraps from them. Colors of paper I hadn't seen before like coral and lavender. Michaels and AC Moore didn't exist. After much begging she gave me the little stack after taking what she could use. I sat and carefully used bits of it sparingly for various projects. I'm a paper hoarder as well....I might as well come clean. Somewhere up in my stash that little stack exists to some degree. I've used most of it, but I guard my pretty paper as well! I love the textures, colors and patterns of paper. I love that it is natural and I feel a connection to something when I create with paper. It sounds crazy I'm sure, but the fact is I love trees and nature and knowing the paper I'm using was once a living thing makes me have some reverence for the product. Crazy, I told you.
My crazy stash of quilling strips and fringed ones I sit and cut for flowers.

So now you can see my obsession with paper. I've cut, pasted, drawn. painted, glued, decoupage and printed on it. I can't imagine life without it's versatility. Recently I took up a craft I did as a small child with my grandmother and great- grandmother. Quilling (or as some people call it paper twirling) is a very old art form.
my mess is all contained in a 12x12 box. Looks messy doesn't it? Part of the fun I guess!

Welcome 2012!

What is this we are sitting in? Mom's new bookcase!
Yes, Yes, I know it's been 2012 for about week. After traveling home from my mom and dad's home in Virginia Beach, I had a day of unpacking followed by sickness. At this very moment I can see my glands looking in a mirror. They are swollen and popped out! So this post will mostly be pictures that I took just prior to Christmas, during and after. Hope you enjoy and get ready for a cool post I am doing tomorrow...later today if my throat and body permit!
My husband and I built our first piece of furniture! A bookcase 9' x 9'. It looks lovely in the living room!

You can see how much storage and display space this will give me in our new construction home that had very little storage space prior. I was so happy just to have a home again, but when hubby said we could build this together I was so excited!
Look how big!

The cat and dog didn't like it as much as the girls and hubby though!
Downtown Charleston, SC. is beautiful at this time of year. It's always beautiful, but you can see all the ironwork and front doors better without all the lush plantings in bloom. They are so beautiful in full bloom as well, but I was on a mission to take some pictures of decorated front doors. Not as many were done up as I anticipated but I still took many a great shot! Enjoy!
Two Meeting Street Inn- A Charleston Gem!

One of the beautiful architectural elements of this home.