Monday, February 28, 2011

Creation Station!

Welcome to my Creation Station!

I promised my sister-in-law, Jessica, that I would post a pick of my studio.  Of course, it's not my dream studio...but, it's mine.  My little oasis!  A place I can leave behind the stress of the day and just CREATE.  I don't get a lot of time to create, but cherish the little times I do get to spend time here.  My space is constantly evolving.  My art table was made by my husband Troy.   He actually made it on the stoop of the first townhouse we rented.  That was nearly 15 years ago.  Lots of love went into that table.  I just can't part with it.  My chair is a garage sale find.  I keep the top of my table protected by using painters tape to adhere craft paper.  I love to reuse the painted craft paper in projects.  So many awesome colors and designs.  The black divided cabinet is used to store miscellaneous papers, ephemera, and embellishments.  I found it at Habitat for Humanity thrift store last year.  I actually Modge Podge some papers to the outside of the cabinet, as I didn't like all the black.  On the shelves I store various material, buttons in jars, ribbons, lace, old books used as collage papers, etc. 

A little closer look.  You will see all my supplies are close at hand.  Paint, pens, watercolors, etc.  I have several resource books and magazines nearby also, in case I need inspiration.  One of my favorie storage items is an architectural blue print storage unit given to us by a friend. 

I use this to store my art stamps, large papers such as:  watercolor pads, Fabriano Paper, and canvas pad paper.  On the top I have my large cutting mat, and my antique paper holder.  I buy butcher paper from Sams to protect my surfaces. 

Next to the storage container is my trusty old JC Penney sewing machine I got when I was first married.  I am not a seamstress, but I like to dabble with little projects.

Last but not least....My awesome new craft hutch my husband repurposed for me.  Last year I purchased the Michael's organizer cubes.  I hated the way the sat on the floor.  I found four table legs at a flea market last year, and had been saving them for a project.  Troy built a box, and added some trim to the top.  It's fabulous!  He is still putting the finishing touches on it.  Below I store my scrap paper cart.  I found the rolling cart at Salvation Army for $2.  Troy painted it white for me, and I added the hanging folders to store all my papers by color.  I also have miscellaneous vintage fabric stored in my Longaberger Picnic Basket.

Thanks for stopping by my place.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.  Have a great day!  Happy creating!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Early Valentine's Day Present

The Quilt Before

My renaissance man has been busy creating again.  I told you he could make anything.  Everything from sewing a bag to building a house.  It really doesn't matter.  I am so blessed.   I found this little velour crazy quilt at Salvation Army about a month ago for $3.  I told Troy I wanted to make an art journaling bag for times you journal "on the go".  I just loved the colors in this quilt.  He said, "Can I make it for you?"  I wasn't going to argue with him.  Honestly, he sews way better than I do.  He used some black velour fabric leftover from making Maisie's Harry Potter Halloween Costume cape for the sides. 

  The Creative Process

So, this was my Valentine's Day present.  It's perfect!  I love it so much.  I will treasure it.

View with open flap

It comes complete with an outside zipper pocket.

Inside view.  He used the back of the quilt to line the inside of the bag.  It has two divided pockets, and a small inside pocket for pens.

Thank you Troy.  I love you.-Michelle

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Button Button Whose Got the Button....

Making Button Bouquets

Just hanging out today having some fun.  I really wanted to finish a project today, so I decided to make a button bouquet.  I have quite a few vintage buttons.  I have made a few for gifts, but decided to make myself one.  I found this amazing treble clef note vase a few months back, and I have been dying to make a bouquet to put in it.  I finally got the time to do it.  Yay!   

I found the idea originally at: .  She has a fantastic tutorial on how to make them, and a wealth of ideas and inspiration.  Be sure to check out her Etsy shop! 

I love it!  It makes me smile.  The colored buttons I used are not vintage, but I loved the colors. I found them at Hancock Fabrics. The white ones are vintage, and I found them at a local thrift store a few months back.   The doily was one of my grandmother's.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

39 things!

I was inspired by Mary Ann Moss once again. She had created a list of 48 things she wanted to do before she turned 49 this year.  So, I created my own list.  This will mark the end of my third decade.  Yep, BIG 40 this year.  Ok, well, I am getting started a little late on this list.  I will be 40 in September.  I am not sure I can squeeze 39 things in by September.  However, I can try.  Here goes my list of 39 random things (not in any certain order)  I WANT to do this year:

1. Take a photo walk at Lincoln Memorial Gardens during each season.
2. Make Kayla's Bierocks recipe.
3. Go camping at Jim Edgar Panther Creek Wildlife area. (in a CABIN!)
4. Take the Brussells Ferry on the Illinois River to pick peaches in Calhoun County.
5. Tap a maple tree.
6. Go eagle watching
7. Plant holly bushes
8. Make Orange Marmalade
9. Visit Quad Cities and visit art museum on river
10. See a live performance at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis
11. Attend a Symphony at the outdoor amphitheater in Millinium Park Chicago
12. Ride a bike along Lake Michigan in Chicago
13. Ride Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier
14. Take a carriage ride down Michigan Ave in Chicago
15. Go "thrifting" in St. Louis
16. Take road trip down Route 66 through Illinois
17. Go on 100 mile garage sale
18. Eat ice cream with the family on the square in front of Old State Capitol.
19. Go to the Apple and Pork Festival in Clinton
20. Reorganize Craft Studio
21. Take an online art journaling class
22.  Make Easter Sugar cookies
23. Pick and Freeze Blueberries
24. Go to Farmers Market as a family on Saturdays
25. Try my hand at running
26. Ride bikes more often
27. Read Bible in 90 days
28. Take an architectural photo walk of Springfield
29. Make May Day baskets and give them away
30. Read more
31. Go fishing
32. Take a drawing class
33. Explore a nearby small town
34. Go hiking at Lincoln's New Salem.
35. Make a heritage recipe book
36. Go walking in the rain with Troy
37. Have a pillow fight
38. Paint a room Turquoise Mist
39. Take a Sunday drive to buy melons around Havana

Like I said... This is a long list.  Some of them, I have already done this year.  Many of them are family traditions we do every year, but some of them we haven't been able to do for a while.  Maybe since I wrote it down, I will get some of them done.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hello and Welcome

Creating a blog has been on the top of my list of things to try for quite some time.   So, here goes....My family is my joy.  I love to do things for them, and create things with them.  We are all crafty in our own little way, and I love it.  Troy, is the love of my life, and quite possibly the most creative person I know.  He can make or build anything.  I mean anything!  Our sweet girl has inherited many of her dads creative abilities.  I hope to inspire you to get crafty, but most of all enjoy the small things in life.  Slow down, and savor each moment.  Even those moments as mother's when you feel like the daily grind will never end.... 

Blizzard 2011

Happy Ground Hog Day!  I think if Puxatawny Phil lived here, he wouldn't even bother leaving his den to see his shadow.  Too Cold and Snowy!  We have been snowed in here since Tuesday.  They haven't plowed our road yet.  The final snowfall total was around 18 inches (give or take).  I am lovin' the time to do some things I have been wanting to do.  I made homemade egg noodles this morning.  Planning on cooking up some beef and noodles for supper.  You got to have comfort food when you are  snowed in.  Right?

They don't look like moms though....But, I am sure they will taste good.  Oops!  I got busy working on my blog and just burnt the frozen pizza....  LOL!  I guess I need to work on Plan B. 

I have been busy working on several projects this week.  I finished up a travel journal for a friend using Mary Ann Moss's Remains of the Day technique.  You can check her blog out in my blog roll.   It turned out nice.  I am making another one for a gift.  Here is the outside cover.  I especially like the cheery fabric.

I love her class.  It allows me to use up many of the scraps and incorporate things I wouldn't normally use in my art journals. I can't wait to get it finished.  I hope to do that today.  I found a book this past week called, Doodle Stitching, by Aimee Ray.  I love it.  I have been doing some freehand embroidery on a placemat I found at a local thrift store.  I hope to add some paper inside and make a journal out of it. 

I will show the finished product later.  Well, I better finish winding my embroidery floss.  Look at all the pretty colors.  Can you imagine a world without color?   I can't!

Hope you have a great day!  Remember take the time to do something creative EVERYDAY!