29 September 2010

painting books

When Twin graduated from her library science program, I painted a set of bookcovers depicting her most beloved books. I had the idea after seeing the artwork of Jane Mount, who has done an awesome series of paintings called the Ideal Bookshelf. I loved the idea, so I asked Jennie to give me a list of her nine favorite books of all time. I ran out of steam after the first six, but I still think they are a pretty cool display. Christmas Carol was one of my favorites to paint. I found an image of an old vintage copy online with Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig dancing. This Rough Magic is one of our beloved Mary Stewart books. Jennie and I have loved every single one of her books, since the day long ago when Mom first put one in our hands.

The Blue Castle is by L.M. Montgomery--one of her few stand-alone novels. Tells the tale of a spinster who has given up hope of finding love. (But don't worry, it's actually very funny.) Horton was a book that was read and re-read to us by our mother. "A person's a person, no matter how small."

The Frog and Toad books, on the other hand, were always read to us by our father at bedtime. And of course, we had to include a Jane Austen. Funny how Twin's list of favorite books would be nearly identical to mine. Or maybe not so unexpected. The books that are most dear to us are the ones that have been our friends for many years.

Here they are all together. I am not much of a watercolorist, but I really had fun making these. And hopefully they will help liven up Twin's new office, now that she is a really-truly librarian, all official-like.

18 September 2010

thanking twin

This spring my sister finished her graduate degree, which meant it was time for her to find a real job again. After a few months of suspense, she is now happily settled with a great job in a new town. I'm happy because she's only about a 2-hour drive, farther than I would like but certainly tolerable. Before she moved, I made this stationery set as a thank-you gift for all the help she gave me during the crazy wedding preparations.

I printed the cards with my gocco. Does anyone know if gocco screens go bad after time? Because I had a time of it making these. I've always had such great results with my gocco, but this time my image did not transfer well at all--they printed with what looked like a spatter of paint across the design. I think I wasted at least three screens trying to get these to print properly. It was rather frustrating.

Anyhoo, I finally got a tolerable print, and then I made a bunch of little stickers to go with the cards. I printed these on my inkjet printer, onto sticker paper. Then I punched them out with a 1" circle punch. Some of the stickers have her return address or her initials and the rest just have a little dahlia on them. The little tins fit so perfectly in the box, I was very excited. I have a ton of these tins in different sizes and I use them to hold little sewing notions like snaps and hook and eyes. I can't remember now where I found them, but if anyone would like to know I think I could figure it out if I tried.
I bought the cigar box at Michael's (the Angry Chicken put me onto these--she has made several gifts using these boxes). I lined the bottom and lid of the box with fabric for a splash of color. I just cut a thin piece of cardboard to the right size then wrapped the fabric around and glued it on with ModPodge. I also used ModPodge to attach the fabric into the box. I painted a simple little dahlia on the top of the box. Lots of red for my beloved Twin. xoxo

12 September 2010

dark gray

As nice as all the paint colors were in this house when we moved in, we have, of course, decided we needed to repaint almost every room. We can't help it, we're first-time homeowners. We have lived too long in beige apartments. The previous owners of this house must have had an affinity for warm colors like mustard yellows and salmon pinks. They were not bad colors (except maybe the coral pink sunroom), but not what I would have chosen.
The dining room used to be about the same color as a Band-Aid. After this weekend, it is a deep gray. I love it. The big windows keep the room bright and cheery, and the white trim is such a nice contrast.
My parents bought us this beautiful hoosier cabinet as a wedding gift. It has a flour sifter to one side and a tin bread drawer below. I painted it yellow which did not go with the Band-Aid walls, so we decided to go with gray. It's called Mushroom, and it's from Martha Stewart's paint line at Home Depot. We hadn't used this paint before, but were really happy with it. Went on very smooth, and covered well.

I think Abby likes it too.

We've had the most gorgeous weekend here. Not really fall-like, yet. But not hotter than Hades. Really very delightful. Hope you've had a lovely weekend where you are too.

08 September 2010

one year

Flowers to celebrate one year in our new home. We have painted five rooms, and bought paint for one more (this weekend's project). I have planted new shrubs, and only killed about half of them. We hosted Thanksgiving and then a whole wedding. I have a husband who actually enjoys mowing the lawn (my hero), and a garden that has produced a surprising number of beautiful blooms. Home ownership so far has been very sweet. (I just jinxed myself and fully expect a tree limb through the roof or a failed water heater shortly).

The mums above came from the grocery store but the Autumn Joy sedum and caladiums came out of the garden. It's lovely to have some plants that actually thrive in the hottest and most humid days of our NC summer. Everything else is drooping but the sedum and caladium are loving it. Bless them.

04 September 2010

crafty wedding projects

For the party Saturday, we strung fabric garland all around the house and fence. I picked up about five or six vintage sheets from the thrift shop, and Twin helped me cut a bazillion triangles, which she then sewed onto 1/2" seam binding. We just stapled them up all around the house.

I made a sign out of some old picket fencing that we had taken down in the spring.

Twin also helped me make hand fans for the party. I ordered the wooden paddles online (they look exactly like the paint stirrers you get at the home improvement store when you buy paint), and we sandwiched the stick between two layers of thick paper.

On the back of the fans, we covered the paper with different vintage fabrics. We also varied the images on the front of the fan, using all the different icon pairings from the invitations.

The fans definitely came in handy, as it was a bit hot the day of the wedding.

We had wanted an old-school photo booth, but it turned out to be too pricey. So we got creative and instead had a makeshift photo booth using Polaroid's Pogo camera, which is a digital camera that prints images on smallish stickers. We rigged up a large piece of fabric as a backdrop for the photos, then asked folks to take pictures of themselves and leave us a note.