Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back To The Future Crafts-My Mother's Afghan Blanket . 1979

I just love this afghan that my mother made for me.  I was in my third year of college around 1979 when I rented a house with two friends.  My mother made this decorative afghan for me and I put in on a gold easy chair I had in the living room.  

When I moved home after college it stayed in our living room on the same gold chair then eventually it made it to our family's farm to decorate one of the beds (even though it is a little small for that).

It has giant tassels at each corner, a decorative fan motif and lacy details within it and along the edges.  My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet and my mother helped while I was learning so I knew my mother could knit and crochet.  I never knew how well she could do it though.  

Every time I see the afghan I think of her.  I don't know what the cut off is in deciding if an afghan is vintage or not so I will refrain from calling this vintage, but it is 38 years old.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Back To The Future "Vintage" Crafting Series-Bed Quilt and Lap Quilt

Lapquilt folded in quarters

  I am starting a series called Back to the Future Crafts.  I want to document vintage crafted items made by family members, as well as previously (not so long ago) crafted items I have made.  There will be quilts, clothing, crafts, crocheted blankets, watercolors, and even some vintage feed sacks.  I will not feature paper crafts since that has been the main focus of this blog until now.  Some items will be from back in time, some in the present time, and some from times in between. Doing this will also hopefully inspire me to get out my sewing machine and start creating more.  I love to sew but since getting married and raising children I have seldom sat down to sew.  This is something I would like to remedy.

Details of "cheater" patchwork detail
I am starting with two fairly recent and well loved (I.E.worn out) items.  This first is a cheater lap quilt that I made for my dear MIL.  She had Multiple Sclerosis and was home bound.  She spend most of the day in an electric recliner in front of the television.  Her feet always got cold and she would nap in the chair so I made her a lap quilt.  

Details of quilted stitching

Because my children were little and I was working full time as well as being a Girl Scout leader, I didn’t have enough time to make a pieced quilt for her so I found fabric that had the look of a patchwork quilt, pinned it to some batting and a backing, quilted it and put a binding on it.  I told her I would eventually make her a real quilt for her bed but unfortunately that didn’t happen before she passed away.  I have had that cheater quilt for four years now and I use it every day while using the same recliner she sat in.  My small dog has tried to bunch it up into a bed from time to time when I leave the chair and has accidentally torn some small holes in it which I have just sewn shut without attempting to do an immaculate repair.  It still works and I am not ready to part with it.

The second item I would like to share is a bed quilt.  My mother made all of the quilt squares for the patchwork top but did not put it together before she passed away.  My brother was close to my Mom and lived alone and I thought that if I put it together as a quilt for him it would bring him some comfort.  As I was putting the quilt top together I noticed some errors she made (imperfect sizes, part of the square had the design inverted, etc.).  My mother and I would always comment that no one is perfect and there needed to be something imperfect about the quilt so God would know you weren't full of yourself. I was so amused when putting that quilt top together though because I kept thinking about how God must have known she was not perfect by all the mistakes she made.  It gave me the giggles.  I managed to add fabric to the squares that were imperfect in size and just kept the designs that were "off" as they were.  It really doesn't distract from the overall look of the design.  My brother was THRILLED with the quilt and used it and I imagined him being comforted by it.  (My mother died in late August 2000 and I had it finished for that Christmas).  My brother unexpectedly passed away 9 years later at the age of 49 and I again came into the possession of that quilt.

I have slept with that quilt ever since.  My dog also has tried from time to time to bunch it up into a bed and has accidentally ripped holes in it which I have repaired as best as I can.  It is well loved, but still usable.  I didn't want to tuck this quilt away for safe keeping.  Quilts are meant to be used.  It is nice to save a few quilts to hand down as heirlooms such as the feed sack quilts I have that were made by my great grandmother, or the baby quilts my mom made for my daughters.  The emotion that went into the making of this quilt and the memories it holds for me personally mean that I will use it until it is no longer usable.  I expect to make more quilts that my children can save if they wish, but I would be just as happy if they used them and loved them.

Full size quilt folded in half

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pastel Watercolor Birthday Floral Card

      I typically don't watercolor but I wanted to see how this stamped image looked when it was water colored.  The stamp set includes stamps to create blotches of color on the different parts of the stamp to make it look water colored.  I didn't like the messy look created by the stamps so I decided to dabble in creating my own water colored image.
     Originally I did not like it.  Some areas are blotchy.  I didn't use watercolor paper, but I also wasn't using much water with the watercolor because I wanted as vibrant a color as possible.  I started layering different colors on top of each other because the original colors were just too pastel.  I ended up using a violet color for the center flower-the same color as the little flowers around it, but I thought it needed a rosier color so I ended up adding a second layer.  I can't recall if I used pink or red, but I liked the color that the flower ended up.
     I love the pearl embellishments on the card.  The stamp set had the black blotches included in the background but I ended up using a white gel pen on top of the flowers to lighten the look.I matted the focal point in a sage green paper and mounted it on  rose colored card stock.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Birthday Focal Point

     I love how this card turned out.  I used Yana Smakula's perfect card making formula to make this for my daughter's 19th birthday.  I use to make my own "word greeting" background cardstock pieces.  This is the last of it.  I always liked those pieces and I believe I need to make more because the graphic black and white is very nice.  My daughter likes black cards, but she also loves old fashioned items with florals.
     I didn't have any foil or I would have made the frame in black foil.  I used glitter paper instead.  I used Copics to color the floral image, punched out a butterfly and added some darker copic markings to it, then I added a banner with a greeting.  I also added a clear gemstone to the side of the focal point frame.  Voila. The stitched edge outer frame was all it needed.
     I am in love with Yana's cards and this formula she uses can be modified as you can see.  She uses a white background, but I used a black and white one.  She uses foil but I used glitter paper.  It is close enough to the original formula and I will definitely keep this in mind when trying to create another special card.

Highlighted Floral

     I wanted to play with my Copic markers so I stamped these flowers and leaves, colored them, then stamped first and second generation pencil eraser dots coming out from the focal image.  I used several yellow copic markers to fade the colored background away from the edge.  Then I took a white gel pen to the edges of the flower petals and highlighted them.  I saw someone do that once on YouTube and thought I would give it a try.  It is rather bold and not my usual style but I think I like it.
     I stamped the thanks greeting on the actual card base because I wanted a one layer card (which is the kind I prefer to make) but I decide to do it in orange.  It just had the orange outline and didn't look good so I found this pre-made thanks greeting that was already on the white background piece.  I had previously colored it in a color that went nicely with the card.  I put two small pieces of folded black ribbon behind the greeting, used foam dots to raise the greeting and used some yellow enamel accents to put dots on the background within the floral focal piece.

Dollar Store Stamp Set Card

I found this stamp set at The Dollar Tree.  I was surprised to see three different sets of stamps.  They were really tiny.  I suspected they would make awful images, but this set was too cute not to try.  I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome!  I added a few pearl accents in pastel green and pink, then used some framing pieces and I was done.  I used every stamp one time with the exception of the leaves.  I used them each twice.  The one set of three little flowers was actually one stamp.

Scrappy Dog

     I made this card entirely from scraps.  I had this adorable scrap of background paper already cut out, just waiting for the perfect time to use it.  I believe the paper is over 10 years old.  I made the dog when I took the Online Card Classes Copic class several years ago.  I had the little rectangular white banner from a few years ago when I cut up a lot of my left over white scraps.  The butterfly is fairly recent because I made several of them about a month ago and there were two left.  The flowers behind the dog were in with a bunch of flowers I stamped and cut out several years ago.  Even the blue and black framing pieces were already cut out.  I had to round the corners on one of them, but the other one was already rounded.  
     I don't usually do cutsey cards, but this will do nicely for one of my nieces or nephews!  I then added a white gemstone the the dog's collar to bring it up a  notch.  I may go back and put some enamel dot eyes and nose on him, but I have had a habit of messing those up and I don't want to ruin my card.  Maybe I will just use a marker to darken those.