Monday, May 31, 2010

Wish I Could Hang Out in Grandpa’s Shed

My choice for this month’s Blog Carnival theme is to talk about my grandfather.
He was a craftsman. He made his living as a house painter, a skill he passed down. My siblings and I always pitched in when the house needed painting, and I still don’t hesitate to pick up a bucket of paint & brush today. But in addition to his profession, my grandpa was a woodworker. He built all the oak kitchen cabinets in my childhood home and he handcrafted many small household items. Not only did he cut & assemble the pieces, he also did his own decorative painting. I believe my mother still has a cutting board in the shape of a pig. I’m not totally sure, but I believe he used mostly hand tools, don’t remember him using power tools.

Grandma & Grandpa
I’m sure grandpa could have produced lots of items for an etsy shop, but I doubt he would have embraced computers. So much of their home was very old technology, from the ringer washer that grandma used to their telephone (which is probably the oldest style phone I ever used).  But using those old-fashioned hand techniques is what makes the new craft movement exciting to me.

While taking the photos, I noticed inside his intials and 1958 or 1968 
so this may be the same age as me

When you walked out onto my grandparents’ small back porch, you first overlooked his huge vegetable garden. He tended it meticulously & as small children we were banded from playing around in it. Behind the garden was his huge shed, which extended almost of the width of the yard. As small kids we were also forbidden to go into the shed because of the dangerous tools, but as we grew older, only my brothers were permitted inside. The only times I remember seeing the inside was when grandma would send us out to retrieve him & then we got to poke our heads inside. It was filled with all kinds of tools, hardware and furniture needing repair. I always longed to be inside. But when I was around 9, we moved out of state, so there were few opportunities after that. My younger brother did spent one summer there and he built an end table with grandpa. 
 Grandpa, Mom & either my Sis or me

I was about 18 when that house was sold and didn’t have the means or place to store most of the wonderful goodies in the shed or house. Though I pursued so much sewing and crafting throughout my teens, it wasn’t until adulthood that I realized I had missed an opportunity to learn proper woodworking. I’m not one to have many regrets in life (I feel that all our ups & downs create the person that we are) but learning from grandpa is something I definitely wish I had taken advantage of as a child. I’d love to be exploring that shed right now!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Upcycled Necklace formerly Earrings

Upcycling again. This one of a kind necklace began life as a lovely pair of earrings. The tiered gold oval earrings were dotted with smokey colored rhinestones, but didn’t strike me as particularly special as earrings. So when I laid them down slightly angled toward each other it inspired the necklace. I connected them with a small piece of gold chain adding some beaded dangles made of multi-colored iridescent glass beads. The same gold chain finishes the back of the necklace. Available on Etsy or Artfire.

Friday, May 21, 2010

YOYO Ponytail Holders

I’ve relisted my YoYo ponytail holders at my Etsy Shop. These lovely vintage yoyos were sewn by my grandmother. I have a bag of some sewn and others, just the cut circle, so eventually I’ll sew them up too. I combined them with some of my old buttons - many of which came from grandma too, but also from my other grandmother, my mom, my mother-in-law, my husbands aunt.
Time to get inspired to use some on other project too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hairband with Buttons

I recently made this as a birthday gift for one of my dearest friends. 
Upcycled from used denim and old buttons, it took more time sorting through my overwhelmingly huge button collection and deciding which to use then it did to whip it up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Handmade by Sandi - Our Teams May Blogger

Sandi is our EtsyBlogger Team featured blogger of the month. She has a wonderful friendly and supportive blog where she features lots of her own creations and highlights other crafters shops. Please stop by and enjoy her generosity

In addition visit her etsy shop of handmade items, featuring her delightful crochet

and visit her other shop where she sells supplies

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother’s Day, Thank You for passing on the skills and talents

Where would I be without the knowledge, skills and artistic encouragement passed down from my mother and grandmother. As mentioned in my profile, both were responsible for teaching me to sew. Even though most women of their era were taught to sew, many did not take to it or enjoy it as they did.
My grandmother did quite a lot of hand sewing, embroidery and crochet. Here are some of the wonderful vintage linens of hers I still have. She used to embroider lots of pillowcases for us, and our doll beds too. She started me hand sewing doll clothes, possibly as young as five years old. She made lots of things without patterns at all.

My mother inherited quite a lot of skills from her mom and was a talented seamstress. She used to design her own clothes by modifying and combining patterns. She passed those skills on to me. She made quite a lot of clothes for all 5 of us kids. She also made curtains, toys and other stuff too. I can still remember the day she taught my sister & I how to use the sewing machine, helping us make curtains for our bedroom. Boy did we have a hard time mastering that foot pedal. I also remember some adorable pastel flannel polka dot PJ’s with reversible robes that she made my sister and I. We modeled them in a fashion show for what I believe was a sorority sisters event when I was maybe 3 and my sis 5. I may still have a scrap of that fabric. Here’s a lovely linen dress she made in the 50’s.
So a big THANKS to mom and grandma, and don’t forget to pass on your crafts to the next generation.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What is this?

What is this OR what would you make with it? I bought a handful of these things close to 30 years ago, probably at a thrift store, or a going out of business sale at a notions shop. They are metal, maybe brass, they are approximately 2” wide and I put one on the scale and it was 0.8 lbs.
My husband thinks they may be place holders for a dinner table, but are just a bit too small to hold a business card sideways. They don’t appear to be a buckle as the ends have points & no way to attach them. I wondered if they are some kind of weight for the bottom of a curtain or something to go on a wide ribbon, but can’t figure how that would work either. Let me know your ideas or inspirations.


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