I feel like I have postpartum Christmas depression… the whirlwind of packing, shipping, rushing, inventory checking, the festive sounds of packing tape unrolling… all sort of came to a screeching halt!
Can’t I just go into suspended animation until September? ;)
I really like the color and whimsy of Valentine’s, St. Patty’s and Springtime pastels… but there’s just something about the Fall into the Holidays that I really love. Can’t I just give everything a Christmas or Halloween flavor? Trees with hearts, snowmen at the end of rainbows, pumpkins with bunny ears… eggnog hunts. Yep. Someone call Hallmark.
Changing gears a wee bit… Here are a few jewelry pieces I’ve been working on… some are a work in progress :) I really like the simpler earrings with only a few stones.
Hoping to muster up some inspiration to paint tomorrow… come on Valentine’s day bug… bite me! ;)
Speaking of inspiration, we’ve been playing Little Big Planet 2. It has oodles of inspiration. Shooting cupcakes, riding fluffy robo-bunnies, dodging flaming marshmallows… it’s pretty amazing.
Was it her Kwanza cake, her pork loaf, her “baked potato” ice cream sundae complete with lemon icing pat of butter… her lush lush lush drink recipes?
I’m not sure.
There’s just something magical about her, and her semi-homemade-iness that sucks you right in.
She mashes up perfectly good food into other food (See her pumpkin tartlets!)… she uses tubs of processed dough, icing, meat and other “stuff” to create culinary masterpieces. Not to mention her tablescapes and kitchen dressing. And on Halloween, she’ll dress up like Cher, or Cleopatra or Madonna… see what I’m saying?? Magic.
Oh, Food Network… you broke that mold, didn’t you. (Please tell me you did). If you were “processed food assembly” network…. I’d get it. But… Alton Brown and the Iron Chefs must wonder about this setup… so…. “one of these things just doesn’t belong… one of these things just isn’t the same”. And so forth.
The reason I am here, is to show you the lovely packaging I did for a friend of mine who loves Sandy Lee JUST as much as I do! (Probably more… since in one of her letters she sent me SEVERAL magazine subscription cards that she found time and time again falling carelessly out her cooking magazines. She was perplexed that they existed, so she sent them to me to inspect and enjoy.)
Behold… it’s the Sandra Lee fringe gift wrapping complete with many screenshots and publicity book tour pictures!
and when we lift the fringe here…
Peekaboo! A little surprise! It’s my favorite shot!
So, you want to know how to make this masterpiece, do you?
I started with making a collage sheet of all the pictures of Sandy that I could find…
Click on this and you’ll get the HUGE version for you to print, too!
I printed this sheet on a sheet of sticker paper. I sliced this sheet in half, long ways and cut scallops along the sides to make it super fancy (you’ll see that at the end).
You’ll need 3 sheets of tissue, a wrapped present, scissors, tape and your Sandy sheet
Layer your tissue like so…
fold the tissue in half, length wise…
Accordion fold your tissue, about 4 times, a third of the way up the tissue
Cut the accordion to make fringe
It’s looking super festive already!
Cut out your fringe, an inch above where the fringe starts. Tape this to your package on one side, leaving room for fringe #2 to go on at the top
Then the other…
Get ready to add the sandy sheet…
Remember to keep it simple, keep it pretty, make it special and always keep it… Semi-Homemade!
(Apologies to anyone who likes Sandra and her work. But you have to admit… that Kwanza cake was prettty side-eye worthy!)
I love how she so accurately measures her spices! And while watching her ice that cake, my teeth started hurting… is that normal? Oh, and in another picture, the candles were bigger AND they used cornuts. I hope they were cool ranch flavor! This totally gets me in the Holiday spirit!
This cold has gone bronchial and I’m feeling really spacey and out of it… sometimes in a fun way, but mostly not. The light headed-ness and fever spikes are helpful for coming up with creative scrabble moves, ordering colorful scarves and for seeing the world in a whole new way. But, in terms of getting work done and focusing on stuff like… Math, actual fact-fortified blogs, remembering to grab your purse at Panera… not so good. One flight of stairs and my lungs wave the white flag, too. TMI? Probably.
So, I sort of made these charms below, about 10 years ago.
I sculpted each little design out of Sculpey and took it to a fabulous place that does lost wax casting. It’s a fascinating process, if you get the time to take a look at that link :)
In a nutshell…they took my little original, made a mold, then injected that mold 40-something times with wax to make 40 little wax charms. These little wax guys were put into plaster. The plaster was then heated up, removing all the wax and then silver was injected into each of these little channels and behold… lots of little silver charms are born!
I called these Knick Knack Paddy Whacks… charms for your pet’s collar.
The owners of the silver casting studio that I got my charms made at then commissioned me to make them some… very different charms. They wanted primitive-looking goddess charms. These look so primitive that I’m sure you could use some to trade for a goat or two.
Most of you are familiar with the Venus (of Willendorf). The original clay sculptures date back to 24,000–22,000 B.C.E. There is speculation that this is the type of woman that was desired at the time… well fed and fertile in a droopy sort of way… you know, the opposite of today ;)
This is the goddess of Earth or Spring… or… life. It was modeled after several famous goddess figures.
This one was completely made up… it’s the fairy goddess… armless for some reason.
This is modeled after the Storyteller doll, made by the Pueblo people of New Mexico.
Lastly, this is the Inuit Angel. I totally made it up. She’s a cross between an Edward Gorey woman, an Eskimo and an angel.
I have a few of these up for sale in my ebay store, as well as some other sterling silver charms I am clearing out :)
I haven’t heard from the lost wax silver casting people in many years… we kept in touch for a few, then they moved twice and merged with another business. Last time I was there they were making promotional silver rings for the first Lord of the Rings movie… pretty cool!
I guess I should say… look at the mess I can make!
Beads make a mess… they roll around, they get into things, the boxes get dropped and frantically get scooped back together in no particular order… it’s really gotten out of hand over the last 18 (!!) years.
So… here is what I’m starting with…
There is SO much to clean up (And there is actually about 12 more boxes I’m not showing here… eek!!) … I should just sell it all on ebay and start over ;) hehe
I did manage to get some jewelry made, though (and yes, I hung it on the chandelier again)!
This silver/gray/red/peach necklace can be found here.
And I’m still working on more earrings to match these guys ;)
So… it’s a jewelry-centric sort of day! And outside, it’s windy and tropical and unseasonably warm… The two counties north and west of us are on a “tornado watch”. This translates into… “stock up on beer” for most folks :/ I think I’ll just organize baubles! :)
Those around-the-house projects that are backing up on the conveyor belt of project shame… they get a much needed power-up when people are coming to stay with you… usually 24-48 hours before said guests arrive.
It started out small… cleaning the house, moving some stuff into the basement…
Put out clean washcloths, tiny shampoos and soaps…
Clean the sheets, put out clean towels…
Then… it got out of hand… (which is totally normal for me)
Paint a vanity/dressing table…
Finish painting the hallway…
And then finally… the room was put together…
Given more time, I’m sure I would have done (obsessed) more… the guest bathroom needs painting and some art… and the bedroom needs new curtains aanndd art, too… aaannnd… (will it ever end??)
So ask many of our guests… they will tell you that the smells of fresh paint will surround you as you drift off to sleep or perhaps it will stick to your luggage and you’ll take a chip of it home as a souvenir… (I apologize in advance…)
But at least the house dog will keep you company :) (When guests are here… Meg completely ignores us… )
First off… I spent… about 10 hours working on adding the digital downloads feature to the Violet Cottage website yesterday and today.
What is that? (you ask… )
That’s a digital file that I will put in a magical place on the website and people can purchase it, download it and print it!
I’ve been selling digital downloads on my etsy shop for several months now… people have been using them for their digital scrapbooking, card making, mixed media art collage stuff etc etc.
BUT… now that I have them on my website, I can share them with all of you for FREE and/or for a better price since I’m dodging etsy fees now ;) hehe. AND you can download those files immediately instead of waiting for me to notice the sale, email you the folder etc etc. I’m pretty excited because I’m going to add all sorts of fun things like… cupcake topper templates, party kits (cohesive party decorating templates and labels!) , all sorts of paper decorations, background art etc etc. And the cool part (well, I think it’s cool anyway) is that all of my art is hand painted or taken from vintage things…
So my hope was to share a new downloadable project with you today for “look what I can do!” day, but I got sidetracked with missing websites, email… you know… business stuff.
Here’s a sneak peek…
It’s a Halloween pennant banner garland thingy in grays, browns, oranges black and white… and I am going to give you the link tomorrow to download the pattern for *Free* :) It’s a great project for you, for the kids… make one for yourself and another for a friend :) All you do is download, open, print, cut out, glitter up and adorn and hang up… it’s really fun and simple… and FREE! (Which is perfect for thrifty Thursday).
Oh, and I’ll be doing a small giveaway tomorrow, too. Lots of great stuff on the horizon.
The other thing I made was a long necklace… using gold wire. I rarely use gold… so it was a bit strange, but I think it came out alright.
Fall colors… warm, rich and almost cinnamon-ey ;)
There’s carnelian, smokey quartz, amber, cherry quartz, garnet, citrine, agate and fresh water pearls in there :) I’ve got two more necklaces cued up and ready to go… both with warm color palettes :) Those will be listed on the website in a bit.
Oh, and I did the dishes today… does that count for show-and-tell? ;) hehe.