Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fooling Around

I am supposed to be sewing and painting.
The thing I am supposed to be sewing and painting is a new dog bed, a great BIG dog bed to be auctioned by the local PBS station's fund drive. That one pictured here is last year's auction offering. It is very small. This year's dog bed and bowl and collar are WAY bigger than that.
I LOVE PBS -- they have all the best shows: HISTORY DETECTIVES, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, THIS OLD HOUSE, THE NEW YANKEE WORKSHOP, ZONYA'S HEALTH BITES. This was going to be a great day to watch PBS and simultaneously make something for them too. Only I got caught up in watching. Then I was watching and fiddling with the computer where I ended up at Amy's blog, over at Inspire Company . She explained how to do a really cute catalog card... which I couldn't resist. It was fun and easy... Go to Amy's blog and you can do one too. Back to the dog bed -- the great BIG dog bed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

To the Rescue

Don't you love these drawers? They are 30" wide, 38" high and 13" deep. There are 27 drawers -- 27 little cubbies to hide bits and pieces of what my mother used to call "notions".
Isn't that a funny word? In fabric shops "notions" are the zippers and snaps and rickrack, the bits and pieces needed to complete a sewing project.
I got two sets of these drawers from my Boyfriend's dad who had recently passed away. These drawers were hiding in his barn for some 30 or more years. Two additional sets of metal drawers, all painted and pretty, wereput to use in his office. This pair, though, forlorn and forgotten. The Boyfriend got the pretty painted ones. Had I not snatched up these shabby drawers they'd have gone on the auction block and been going, going, gone. So I think of them as "rescued" --- for my notions.
And I have a few notions -- scattered all over my indoor workroom, or what a real estate agent might laughingly refer to as a "dining room". The bits and pieces in my "dining room" are just waiting for a sweet set of drawers like these to live in. And here are the drawers -- not so ready for their close-up. I think they need a little help... a good scrubbing... a little paint... drawer lining, new tags. They look a little disheveled here. The other set set of these drawers have been painted and living in my garage workshop.

See, they are right there under the television. I'm not really a radio kinda girl. When I am cutting lumber on my table saw, I like to watch a spot of TV. If I listen to the radio I'll wiggle and dance and then next thing you know I'm short an important digit. Back to the drawers -- they are endlessly handy. The set in the workshop holds hinges and knobs, but also beads and bows -- the "notions" called for on silly-frilly-girly wood working projects, like my pretty pretty pet dinettes. The drawers also do a nice job holding up the TV. But it occurs to me that I don't need the workshop drawers so much as I got a nice small fridge for my birthday which hasn't any home yet... if I put the fridge where the drawers are, it can hold the TV and the drawers can come inside... Hmmmmmm.

That's just what I did. I painted the ugly drawers to match the pretty workshop drawers and now they live in my "dining room". Previously this was a jumbled mess, too shameful to photograph. At best it was flotsam and jetsom -- at worst, a fire trap, a kindling box. Every place I settled to work I'd have to move remnants from some previous project outta my way. Aaaaack. But now... ahhhhh. There's my copier and my paper, my paper cutter and as homage to pretty pretty things, a basket of fluffy colorful yarn.
Little by little I am filling up those drawers. There are bits of copper and pieces of vintage millenery, shells and beads, pattern pieces and butterfly charms, all manner of delightful things live in the two sets of drawers, 54 drawers in all. I LOVE my drawers. This might actually masquerade as a dining room afterall.

Now, the question is, did I rescue the drawers?
Or did the drawers rescue me?

As for the bassinet ... coming soon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tulips and Daffodils and Crocuses, Oh My

I know down to my toes, because my birthday comes in early March, that the bursting forth of spring is not really an international celebration of me... After all, sometimes, after my birthday, it is known to sleet, to snow, to pelt down hail and fling up bone chilling high winds. All manner of meteorological horrors can occur. And yet, after March 6, never before, one looks around and down and there they are -- unmistakable signs of spring. Buds and shoots and blossoms. They are so exciting and new, eager to be here and delighted to please -- I just can't help but think that these little bouquets, at least the ones in my yard, like these sweet crocuses, are gifts to me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Sotted... I mean Potted Penguin

When I think of penguins I think of them living in the frozen South Pole tundra, blank as anything. What they need is a garden, or at the very least a plant. Can you imagine how enchanted and delighted a penguin would be to get his hands on a plant... a nice wintry plant like a primrose, a pansy or a viola... This little penguin snatched up a viola and away he ran.The kids really liked making these, as evidenced by this little face.

Happy Penguin-y Birthday

So, the conversation started a little like this: "Hey, Jenny, it's Margie, your favorite niece... " Where can this conversation go? "Morgan's birthday party is this weekend and I was wondering..."
I am the Art Lady. I do children's birthday parties as well as crafts at senior centers and nursing homes. (For folks I refer to as "My Little Old Ladies.) So my niece was not asking the most outlandish question in the world... but a little notice would have been... more kind. "Are you booked Saturday?" As it happened I was not.

I love parties, though not as a guest -- I am always that guest who is helping with hors d'eovres and gathering trash, what I call "Jenny Jobs." So for me to be the entertainment -- Perfect. "Margie, what kind of party is it? Is there a theme?" The poor kid is a St. Patty's Day Baby -- not as bad as a Christmas Baby, to be sure, but every year for seven years the theme has been the same and this year she wanted something... something... something NOT St. Patrick's. The child in question, the Birthday Girl, selected Happy Feet napkins, Happy Feet plates... penguins... who live in antarctic barren tundra nothing... Ok, Penguins!!!! Why not? I had four days to come up with... Penguiny Games. Penguiny Art. Actually, depending on the age, my Art Parties are more craft than art. I've done ribbon rose parties and collage parties, which border on the art aspect... but mostly I encounter people who want to make treasure boxes and purses and peg boards with six to ten of their friends. Or in the case of my Sr. Art Parties, they are six to ten residents. When I was thinking Penguin games I got an image of a hungry penguin. Remember the old drop the clothespin in the milk bottle game. Are you that old? As old as me? Well, I AM that old and I DO remember it. It occured to me that the milk bottle could be easily made into a hungry penguin -- add an open beak -- make the clothes pins (wooden spoons) into fishes.

And there we are, Feed the Hungry Penguin. Isn't he cute, with his wide open hungry mouth -- it's a wide-mouth Ball canning jar.
The big beakless penguin, in the previous post, was Pin the Beak on the Penguin -- very cute and very fun.
And our crafty craft -- a Penguin planter, which is feeling photo shy at the moment.... later today I'll coax it into a quick photo op....
Anyway, it was a fun party and a great way to further get my name and business cards out there to the moms who need me most. Yea Birthdays!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shimmering Penguiny Things

This requires further explanation, wouldn't you say? And I will... tomorrow. It's been a really long week and this little fella is the reason. For now it is off to bed with me ~ I'm pooped (but isn't he cute?)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Introducing Natalie, the Wonder Dog

If the Little White Dog is Princess, Natalie is Queen. She is the smart one, the cautious one, the brains of the bunch, the one who makes sure bad people stay away and that any ham that hits the floor gets scarfed up before it leaves a mark. This is a rare front-facing photo of Natalie who is in charge of the world. I have lots of Natalie stories... like how much this otherwise friendly, happy dog hates HATES Boo, the scary creepy neighbor next door. "I don't know why you let that dog a'yurn not like me." Hmmm, how to explain that it is entirely the dog's call and I trust her judgment on this one. She's the smart girl. When frolicsome ridiculous friends come to visit Natalie rolls her eyes, really, and heads for some place comfortable out of the fray. The Natalie eye roll is classic. She rolls her eyes at cheery Bischons and pert Australian shepherd puppies and at little old ladies who chatter to her in baby-talk. "You're a pretty pretty puppy-puppy-puppy, yes you are," a visitor cackled one recent afternoon. Natalie issued the unmistakable eye roll before exiting to the safe haven of my bed. Poor Natalie has a constitution that doesn't suffer fool's gladly and where'd she land, Fool's Paradise. By way of apology, I do what I can to frequently drop a slab of ham.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pretty Kitty Dinette Goes Home

When I think of these little cast off dishes making themselves useful once again, making a kitchen pretty and being used by the most devoted and kindly members of our families I swell up with delight from the inside out. This one has recently gotten all gussied up and readied for it's trip to it's new home with Willie and Wy. Francie, of The Scented Cottage, bought this sweet dinette for her kitty friends. And here's the fun part -- it has arrived in it's new home where Willie and Wy appear delighted. Take a peek at Francie's blog and you can see the kitties with their new dinette.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Birthday Girl

When it comes to my birthday I am thoroughly and entirely shameless. To my mind, any and every event that occurs in March does so in direct relationship to my Happy Birthday. Cincinnati holds its Home and Garden Show to usher in the festivities of my birthday. The Saint Patty's Day Parade -- for my birthday. Daylight Savings Time, the result of my birthday.... Few events get me all tickled and thrilled as much as the prospect of my own birthday. This must be a holdover from having turned five and six and seven. If nothing else, when we are very little, our birthday is when we are first aware that simply because we are born it is all about us. We don't have to be better, smarter, prettier, funnier or better behaved than any one else -- just being alive provides for one entire day devoted entirely to us. And if you are like me you like it so much that you stretch out the birthday through the entire month.... There should always be a good reason to throw confetti and wear paper hats and blow up balloons. March happens to be a perfect time to do that because we've all had it up to our eyeballs with winter, we are eager to herald in spring, which is just another means to celebrate My Birthday.

Here's to me, for having been the brilliant mother who raised the adorable boy who is smart enough to marry the perfect girl who made me this beautiful birthday cake. I have been begging, pleading, howling for this cake for two years. "I want three layers. Carrot cake." This was my first mention. Every few months after I would suggest that the layers could be small... and colorful. Otherwise it was all up to Shanna. Although it wasn't small by any means, it also wasn't frightfully enormous. It fed only three tables of curious strangers at the crowded restaurant where we dined Saturday night. Everyone agreed it was fabulous. And it was. Am I the luckiest Birthday Girl ever or what? Oompa!