Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tools from the Past

I was reading a newsletter from the Miami County, KS. Historical Museum. They also had a column called "Tools from the Past: Whatisit?" A couple caught my eye, because they look  like tools we presently use in paper arts. I wondered how many of our craft tools we use today started life in another form?

Click to enlarge


Embossed image from embosser tool above

Thursday, December 19, 2013

All Occasion Cards

I found this cartoon in an old magazine which leads me to ask you: so how many occasions have you made cards for? How about the one below?


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hand-crafted vs. Store-bought

It has come to my attention recently, through a reliable resource, that the Kansas City Toys for Tots Organization will only accept new store-bought toys in the original cardboard packaging. They will not accept hand-crafted toys such as wooden ones made by a local woodworkers guild.
Now that seems a shame, because those kind of toys were precisely the ones I sought for my son when he was younger (he's now 27) as they held up better than the cheap plastic toys, took more imagination to play with and didn't have to have costly batteries all the time in order to work. In fact, we still have many of his wooden toys in a basket under the coffee table for the some-day grandchildren to play with. All my friends' grand-children know where that basket is when they come over to my house. There is a wooden shoe lovingly made by a girlfriend's husband when my son was learning to tie his shoes and I later had it with me when I was teaching my Pre-K Sunday School class. My sister painted a bunch of wooden cars for his Christmas one year. The same girlfriend above and I painted wooden houses together for a village so his wooden cars would have something to drive to. We were making toys and memories. I have a wooden nativity set, Noah's ark figures and animals.
We searched historical museum gift shops for wooden toys and once bought a wooden climbing bear from Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. Wooden puzzles stand up better than cardboard ones and my toddler son loved building with his wooden blocks and knocking them over.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, as a crafter, if you are going to donate items to any organization, go to the top and find out precisely to the letter what their rules are. The woodworkers guild I mentioned above were heartsick when they found out Toys for Tots threw their wooden toys away after spending so much time, effort, and material to make them. After that, they did their homework and found another organization who was absolutely delighted to accept their hand-crafted toys.
Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What's Dis?

A TV show called "Ask This Old House" ( has a segment in which they have a curious household or tool gizmo. One person knows what it is, but asks the other guys to guess and they all tell tall tales about its purpose. Well I found a gadget while junking this last weekend because the hubby was looking for some cheap camo clothes.

It's wooden, slides forward and back, looks like it has a long metal needle at the end and is labeled "TRU-GYDE by Wilson Brothers, Springfield, Missouri." I think I know what it's for, but can you guess?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Junking at the Lake

We attended a cousin's funeral this last weekend near the Lake of the Ozarks on Friday, and Saturday, we visited a few thrift stores we know about. I found a Home Interiors Chicken Teapot at the Packrat Thrift Store in Versailles, Missouri. This thrift store is housed in an old brick schoolhouse and is packed three-floors high with goodies and stays open until five on Saturday. A couple of stores in Eldon, MO. lost our business because they closed early. Too Bad! Ha! Ha!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Favorite Mary Engelbreit's Craft Books

1. Anne Estelle's Celebrations in Paper Dolls. Leisure Arts, 2010.
2. Art Made Easy With Mary Engelbreit. #22577. Vol. 3. Leisure Arts,   2005.
3. Autumn. Andrews McMeel, 1996.
4. The Best Christmas Ever. Andrews McMeel, 2003.
5. Bloom Where You're Planted. Leisure Arts, 2003.
6. "Breit" Ideas for Home Décor. Leisure Arts, 2003.
7. “Breit” Quilts to Applique. #3752. Leisure Arts. 2004.
8. Crafts to Decorate Your Home. Meredith Press, 1999
9. Cute Clutter Keepers. Leisure Arts, 2003.
10. Decorating Ideas: Projects To Make for Indoors and Out. Meredith Press, 2001.
11.  Flowers: Scrapbook Idea Sampler. Creative Imaginations, ?.
12.  Hey, Kids! Come Craft with Me. Meredith Press, 1999

13.  Paper Crafts with Ann Estelle & Friends. Leisure Arts. 2010.
14. Sew Mary! Leisure Arts, 2004.
15. Spring. Andrews McMeel, 1997
16. Strokes of Whimsy. Leisure Arts, 2005.
17. Summer. Andrews McMeel, 1997
18. Time for Tea: Scrapbook Idea Sampler. Creative Imaginations, ?.
19. Winter. Andrews McMeel, 1996.
20. Wrap It Up! Gifts to Make, Wrap and Give. Meredith Press, 1999.
21. Chair of Bowlies Embroidery Patterns #206. Dimensions,  Reading, PA., 1992.
22. Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion: Paint. By Vitta Poplar. Andrews McMeel, KCMO, 1999.

These are just the ones I have in my home library. I KNOW I don't have all of Mary's books yet in my collection!

* wish list *

1. Ann Estelle & Friends. (#5056) Leisure Arts.
2. Baby's Feathered Friends. (# 3421), Leisure Arts, 2003.
3. Be Warm Inside and Out. (# 2004), Leisure Arts, 2004.
4. "Breit" Ideas for Home Decor, Leisure Arts, 2003.
5. Breit Little Things in Thread Crochet, (# 4178) Leisure Arts, 2007.
6. Breit Memories (# 3946), Leisure Arts
7. Christmas with Mary Engelbreit: Here Comes Santa Claus. Andrews McMeel, 2002.
8. Constant Friend. (# 4236) Leisure Arts
9. Crafts to Celebrate the Seasons. Meredith Press. 1999.
10. Creating Breit Memories, (# 3947), Leisure Arts
11. Crochet the Classics. (# 3419), Leisure Arts, 2003.
12. Cute & Cozy Afgans: 9 Crochet Designs. (# 3489), Leisure Arts, 2003.
13. Embroidery with Anne Estelle & Friends (#5255) Leisure Arts.
14. Gifts for the Family in Cross-Stitch. (# 3658), Leisure Arts, 2004.
15. Home Creations, (# 4490), Leisure Arts, 2008.
16. Knit for a Queen, (# 3404), Leisure Arts, 2002.
17. Mary Engelbreit Christmas Ideas. Make Good Cheer. Meredith Press, 2001.
18. Mary Engelbreit's Crafts to Decorate Your Home. 1999.
19. Mary Engelbreit: Cross Stitch For All Seasons. Meredith Press, 1997.
20. Mary Engelbreit Cross-Stitch: Make a Wish. Meredith Press. 1996.
21. Mary Engelbreit's Home Creations. Leisure Arts, 2008.
22. Mary's Minis. Leisure Arts. (# 4200) Leisure Arts
23. Quilted Comforts for the Home, (#3430). Leisure Arts, 2003.
24. Sentiments: 9 Cross Stitch Designs, (# 3875). Leisure Arts, 2005.
25. Sew, So Cute! (# 4809), Leisure Arts, 2009.
26. The Art of Embroidery, (#4408) Leisure Arts, 2007.
27. Treasured Keepsakes, Leisure Arts, 2008.
28. Very Mary Stationery, (# 4158; CD Included) Leisure Arts

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Art Car!

We went out of town this weekend to a family reunion and afterwards went to the capital of Missouri to do a little shopping. When to my wondering eyes appeared an ART CAR (1995, 1 ton Chevy Van) at the local Goodwill store driven by a kindred spirit named Rebecca. That's her pictured at the front of the van. She said she's been getting a lot of attention ever since she bought it in June of this year. It is decorated outside and in (see an example of one of the posters decorating the inside below). The previous owner's son drove the van across the country after graduation and literally documented his trip on the dashboard with dates and locations.  Hey readers, do you know of any art car shows in Missouri? She asked and the only ones I knew about were the ones featured on shown on our local channel in  California.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wanna laugh?

Look what my mother found! One of my early paintings from my Jr. college days!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Music Jam-oh!

I'm the designer-secretary for the annual Rush Reunion reminders. This year I just had to use a photo of my husband's 2nd great-grandfather with his fiddle and his son, Loyd Carl, with his banjo. I know my poem isn't very good, but I had fun writin' it up-oh! J Kinda reminds me of those gym classes I hated until they assigned me square dancing one semester! Perhaps they thought it might help my clumsy feet gain grace, but alas it didn't work, however I had loads of fun! 

A Music Jam-o
By Mrs. Dolores J. (O'Neal) Rush, 2013. 

In the little Ozark Mountains
Once upon a time-o
A fellow named William Jasper Sullens
Could play the fiddle just fine-o. 

It is said he could fiddle the night away
And never repeat a song-o
His son Loyd Carl would accompany him
On his little banjo.

Hymn-sings and bluegrass music parties
Were all the rage then-oh
And after a busy day of chores
Would make one's face grin-so. 

How many songs do you know?
Let's stir up music jam-o?
Come to the Rush reunion; after noon
And doh-ray-me with gram-o!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Blog

I have a new blog called "My Gratitude Journal".
 I just posted directions for how to make the stamped Gratitude Journal notebook below.

Come see and please feel free to post what you are thankful for in the comment box below the post!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Anniversary Parties and Baby Showers

You know, it's sometimes lonely in blogland. I know this blog is getting read by you lurkers out there because the stats I look at occasionally on my dashboard prove it. I know, I know, just gobbledy-gook to you who don't blog or have websites! LOL! I just wish that some of you would stop in and say your howdy's. I "hear" ya! I'll quit whining, okay? And having a pity-party for myself! I should consider myself blessed that I do have readers! Sigh! J

And speaking of parties, I went to two this last weekend and just had to share the creative stuff I saw at both. My sister-in-laws hosted a reception for their parent's 60th wedding anniversary. My in-laws were asked the secret for their staying together so long and several guys chimed in -- "we get selective hearing after awhile, right?" -- a humorous, teasing, poke in my father-in-law's direction who wears a hearing aid!

Their courting was so romantic! Like Cinderella, my favorite fairy tale, they met at a dance. But alas there was no crystal shoe, but He did write her a letter, she responded, they eloped, and it's been happily after after. Thus the secret staying power, I do believe, has been a commitment of LOVE.

The guest tables were decorated in the center with starched white doilies my mother-in-law crocheted and four graduating heights of goblets turned upside down over white silk flowers. Resting on the top of the stems were white votive candles and scattered around were clear dragon tears suggestive of the clear diamonds of a 60th anniversary. There were also a strand of pearl beads wound around the grouping. Pretty!

Then, next day, one of the cousins of the mother-to-be at the baby shower crafted a cute, cute, cute diaper four-wheeler as a gift. Mama, expecting a son (fore-named Easton), is due sometime in May! Cousin said she purchased most of the items constructing the four-wheeler from the dollar store after she found the directions online. I believe I will have to keep this idea under my hat for the next baby shower I attend. I've made a towel cake for wedding showers (click here for directions), so I don't think this would be too hard for me to make!

Just before coming home, I finally got my hubbin to stop at a flea market I've been eyeing during several other visits "down home." It's at the southwest corner of the junction of 54 Highway (that's the highway between Jefferson City and Osage Beach, 7 miles north of Bagnell Dam) and 52 Hwy (between Eldon and Tuscumbia) down in a little hollow off the road. It's run by PAD (Parents Against Diabetes) and it's called the Thriftiques Marketplace. They had a little of everything. I'm always looking for Mary Engelbreit collectibles and paper scrap ephemera (didn't find any at this visit) but did see a Vera Bradley purse for $15.00. A real steal if you like Vera's purses!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gelli Printing

My mother always says what goes around comes around again and gelli printing has certainly come full circle. My friend, Julie, sent me to one of her blog posts, showing me some prints she recently made with a silicone gelli kit. My noggin got to twitching and I ran for my bookcase. Back when I was a young lass,  teaching Sunday School, Jr. Church, and VBS before my grandma passed away, she gave me a set of books she used when she taught wide-eyed younguns in her country church back in the early 60's. This is one of the recipes  she used to replicate coloring sheets. Back then it was called a Hectograph and was a specially prepared gelatin surface for duplicating material. You can make your own quickly and inexpensively. Prepare the base as follows:

1 pt. pure glycerin
2 boxes gelatin (8 envelopes)
Enough cold water to moisten gelatin.

Heat glycerin over low flame to boiling point.
Moisten gelatin with cold water. Be sure it is thoroughly soaked. When glycerin boils, add gelatin slowly, stirring until dissolved. Pour mixture into a pan approximately 12" x 9" x 1". Mixture should be about 1/2" thick.

Allow hectograph filler to set while you trace patterns to be duplicated on hard surface paper with a hectograph pencil, or type material with a hectograph ribbon or use hectograph carbon paper. (You can make up to 50 usuable copies with the hectograph carbon paper.)

When gelatin filler is thoroughly set, moisten surface slightly and apply copy to be duplicated. Apply paper to gelatin so there are no wrinkles. Smooth paper and remove. Design will be duplicated. To clean hectograph, carefully sponge off with cold water.

I have no idea what a hectograph pencil, ribbon, or carbon paper are, but I sure bet you can use this recipe for making your own gelli printmaking kit. For up-to-date instructions on printmaking, visit Linda Germaine's Blog on Printmaking without a Press.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pillowcase Shopping Bag

After the successful pillowcase aprons I made for my Sunday School class, I wondered what else I could construct from pillowcases. Several weeks ago, I ran across a shopping tote bag made out of strips of fabric that I was going to make with fabric left over from the projects I am making for my kitchen, until last Saturday, while shopping at our local Salvation Army, I came across this black and white gingham pillowcase. Racing is a big deal in the metro Kansas City area since we have a racetrack now and I figured this pillowcase once had been part of a boy's sheet set, but it came home with me since I could not locate sheets to match in the store.

The pillowcase is 31 inches long by 19 inches wide. I made my own pattern out of a brown paper sack based on the shopping tote idea I saw. It had fabric handles that were part of the bag which I liked, so I imitated the same idea on the paper sack, taping pieces of paper together. I also lined the bag with fabric, which could be another pillowcase.

Based on the size of the paper shopping bag with the handles which I removed, I needed to cut off 6 inches of the pillowcase from the open end. The totebag I saw had curved sides, so I traced around a saucer to get the curves. Measure from side in 4 1/2 inches; mark and 4 1/2 down side; mark; and matching marks with the saucer, trace around edge with a pencil and cut out. Tape the cut off pieces to the middle section for the handle to make it approximately 3 inches longer and 4 inches wide. .

After cutting the pattern out on both pillowcases, I turned the gingham pillowcase inside out and slipped the liner one inside of the gingham one -- right sides together. Pin the fabric together around the curves, then sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance (DO NOT stitch ends of the handle together at the top as you need to turn the gingham pillowcase inside out), and clip curves (DO NOT clip through sewing thread seam). Clipping curves gives the fabric a little give. Turn fabric inside out through the handle openings and iron. I consider the iron as much a part of my sewing equipment as I do the sewing machine as it helps to smooth the fabric and seams.

After pushing the liner fabric down inside the gingham bag, sew the gingham fabric together at the top of the handle--side seam to side seam. Don't forget to backstitch the ends of the seam, then push the seam inside the handle, iron flat and fold the liner fabric inside and whip stitch or blind stitch closed. Finally, topstitch around top of bag and handle. Viola, shopping bag!

Since this shopping tote went together so quickly, I just had to make another one too! This time it was the striped one I had originally wanted! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fabric Houses

Hey, Merry, look what you inspired me to do! After I saw your cute houses, I was inspired to go home and make a couple of my own. Thanks for directing me to the directions too! When I got home from the library and my little visit online, I realized I had a little fabric house potholder hanging in my kitchen already that I picked up at some thrift store! It's that top one in the picture!
I didn't have wonder under or linen fabric or jumbo rickrack or stuffing, so I used what I had at home. I'm trying to use up what I have already, so I'll have room for new stuff! The polka dot house was crying out for black jumbo rickrack under the roof, but it got the lace trim same as the first one. I used clear bread sacks to stuff the little houses with. The wonder under would have made the fabric lie crisper and would have stopped some of the fraying, but all in all, I think they came out rather wonderful anyway, don't you?
And Merry, since you also like paper arts, have you seen my little paper troll knoll card? I made a couple for my mother and sister one year for their birthdays! They say the way to tell the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys! I think that goes for women too, cause I'm having way too much fun with my sewing machine! LOL!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kitchen: Week Two

I've gotten more of the wallpaper off and I had a surprise under the wallpaper -- see the stenciled checks? Do you know how frustrating it is to try to carefully pull off trim, only to have it break into three pieces in your hands? I got most of the trim to come off without breaking, but the piece right by my stove is the piece that broke, sigh! I've been using a kitchen sponge dipped in hot water to moisten the paper as I scrape it off, but one night we decided to run our steam vaporiser in the kitchen until it was postively muggy in there and that seemed to help. Now to get the hubbin up on the step ladder to take off the top bit that I can't reach (I don't want the vertigo that comes with me climbing down the stepladder).

I also stitched up this pair of bag overhalls. A girlfriend had one and I thought hers was so cute, so I decided I had to have one too. It took quite a few trips to several thrift stores before I located a pair of black toddler sized overhalls (my head is swimming with blue, pink and purple *wink*). I cut the overhalls off just above the crotch, measured out a piece of black and white gingham to match (think rectangle) with a seam allowance, cut and stitch up. The elastic in the bottom casing is 7 inches long.  I also glued red and white gingham ribbon to the hanger above.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Show Me MO Creativity

My husband collects tack pins and he bought this pin for me at a thrift store in Eldon because he thought I would like it. It intrigues me and I'd like to find out why and who it was made for, so Missouri gals and guys, if you know, give a shout out! It's metal, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Missouri's state motto is "The Show-Me-State" and it is represented as a halo above the fellow's head. Inside the, what I assume are binoculars, is Missouri's state outline and MO, the postal abbreviation for Missouri, inside of that. Then on the T-shirt of this fellow is the word "creativity." All the enameled colors are correct except for the outlines, which in the scanned form shows up black for gold.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kitchen: Week One

As many of you know, I've been collecting Mary Engelbreit objects o' art junkin' at thrift & flea markets for my kitchen. Mostly I have her mugs and teacups, but a few other odds and ends like tins. I've also been gathering bits of material here and there that remind me of her illustrations. I chose one basic -- black and white gingham and gathering other materials to go with it. I've already have begun to assemble and sew accessories for my kitchen like that apron a few weeks ago and this curtain for my back door, but have been putting off tackling the walls. Well, this week, I decided to begin because I've been stuck in the house with what my mother euphemistically calls the "chest crud." I sound like that character on the Little Rascals TV show called "Froggy." LOL!

This may be an all-winter project as this is as far as I've been able to get this week. That wallpaper is STUCK! As I want to paint the walls a creamy yellow, keeping the red below, I don't want to ding up or cut through the wallpaper with that little circular blade thing or I'll have too much to repair before I can do the actual painting. The wallpaper has been up there for quite some time and it is actually paper, no vinyl layer to peel off the top, so the hot water sponge gets to work soaking the paper, while I try to gently scrape off a layer. If you know of a quicker method, give a shout out!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


"be transformed by the renewing of your mind." ~ Romans 12:2

Several years ago, as a white elephant gag gift, I gave my nephew a bundle of sticks for Christmas. I'm sure I gave him another gift earlier in the day, but he only remembers the sticks and this season told his mother that the worst Christmas he ever had was when his aunt gave him sticks. At the time, nobody said anything to me about it as it was in the spirit of the giving at that time, but I sure heard about it through the grapevine this year!
As I thought about it, I wondered if perhaps his focus on the negative aspects of the sticks was a reflection of some guilt on his part. I also thought of the opportunities he wasted because he only focused on the negative instead of the positive. How many times do I do that too, when somebody hurts my feelings?
You've heard the saying "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" As I pondered this, I wondered what wounds I could sweeten up? I could open my hand and let the negative flow out and turn my hand to make something better from it. Humm! Sticks, creative opportunities here! They could be burned to keep me warm, made into a log-type birdhouse, made into chew toys for rodents or large birds, chipped to make paper for cards, etc.

Prayer: Lord, I pray for forgiveness and grace between nephew and me. Renew our minds too. Amen!
Today's Quote: "I'd like to encourage you take off your blinders and see the whole spectrum of possibilities." ~ Annie Lockhart.