Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Judy, Judy, Judy – Oh Wait, That’s Julie, Julie, Julie

Oh my gosh! If you ever have a chance to take a class from Julie Haymaker Thompson – you HAVE to do it! Julie is the most fun, giving, funny, spirited person I’ve ever met. She is totally supportive in class and breaks each step down so that everyone can accomplish leaving class with a finished creation. Be sure to visit her online store here Julie's Shop . All of the supplies you need and kits to make her creations are available.

Julie and Jill

On Thursday evening I picked up Julie and sweet Jan who came from Kansas City, at the airport. On Friday morning we drove to Stone Mountain to the Country Living Festival. Earth Angels was the first tent we hit and they had some fantastic creations. I was so busy looking at all of the booths that I forgot (as usual) to take many pictures. We walked into a huge open field with food tents at one end, Earth Angels in the middle, and some product tents (like Monsanto) on the right. From there we wandered on paths through the woods where all of the other tents were set up. It was a wonderful sunny fall day – breezy yet warm – perfect festival weather! I could have shopped till I dropped but contained myself and found a wonderful little prim bird as well as a great tatted piece of lace in the Earth Angels tent.

On Saturday we learned how to make When You Come To The Edge . It was so much fun – I think everyone finished except me – when you’re hosting a class there are some things that have to be done other than class. But mine is mostly done except for putting it all together so when it’s finished, I’ll post a picture. And of course me, being an “out of the box rebel”, I had to do something just a little different LOL

On Sunday it was on to Roley Poley and I was able to finish mine and wore it to work yesterday. Each person’s necklace turned out a little different – Ashley put a wee tiny monocle on her creation and it was so cute! Once again, the classes were so much fun that I mostly forgot to take pictures, but here are a few for you to enjoy.






Monday morning it was off to the airport – I really wish that Julie and Jan could have stayed all week! That would have been so much more fun than going back to work LOL

My friend, Beverly, who took both classes, brought her wonderful bracelets for show and sale.  I was so lucky that she gifted me with one.  They are beautiful and very comfortable to wear. 

She doesn’t have an Etsy shop – yet.  But if you are interested, just contact me through my email and I’ll be glad to have her contact you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy, Happy, Happy Days!

Sweet Mya from Elbows On My Window Sill gave me a Happy award and I'm supposed to list ten things I like.  Like Mya said, it's hard to only list ten but here goes (and these are in no particular order):
Having that spark of creativity which feeds my soul
Beautiful music of almost any kind
Spring or Autumn days - breezy but warm
Cooking a really great meal and sharing it with friends
Laying down for a nap with one of my dogs snuggling up to me
Reading, reading, reading
"Shopping" in my house when re-doing a room - somehow that makes it seems
fresh and new even when it isn't
The smell of laundry that's been dried on a line outside
Reading blogs and finding a kindred spirit
Teaching someone something new and seeing the
"Oh I CAN do this" in their eyes

Thanks Mya - you made my day!

I'm getting my home and studio ready for two classes this weekend taught by the wonderful Julie Haymaker - only one more day and counting until she will arrive.  We are going to the Country Living Festival at Stone Mountain, GA on Friday and I can't wait for that too - maybe we'll find some treasures we just can't resist.  I'll be posting pictures of both events next week so stay tuned.  Y'all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let There Be Peace On Earth...Floor Cloth Tutorial

A couple of years ago I took a floor cloth class at a community center. It was so much fun even though there was no way to finish my design all in one day. Patience is your best friend when you are making a floor cloth!

My angel design came from a free pattern in a rug hooking calendar although I did draw her freehand since she was relatively simple. The designs around the edges were done by using large circle, small circle, rectangle, and square cardboard templates.

There are many things that you may use for your floor cloth foundation. If you want to make it the old fashioned way you’ll use duck canvas and will have to shrink, prime, and hem it. You can buy pre-shrunk and even pre-primed pieces which saves you a lot of time. You can even use the back of a piece of linoleum. One place to buy your canvas (and they have several types) is Fredrix Floor Cloths
They also have a great tutorial on hemming right on their website. I’ve ordered from them and they have very nice quality canvas – I especially like the type that you don’t have to hem. If this is the first time you’ve made a floor cloth, you may want to try something smaller like a placemat.

In any event, if you are using canvas that has not been primed, you’ll want to prime both the back (one coat) and front (two coats) with acrylic gesso. Gesso is a primer that almost looks like white glue and seals the canvas so that paint won’t be absorbed into it. Make sure that you let the gesso dry for 24 hours – although gesso does dry quickly and you will probably be able to do all 3 coats in one day.

Now you’re ready to begin your design. When you are designing your floor cloth think from the bottom forward. First the background, then the design, then antiquing if that is part of your design. I’ll give you the steps I used for mine. All paints were acrylic and for any colors that overlapped, the bottom coat had to be dry.

1. Two coats of light tan with a bit of golden mustard color went over the whole rug
2. Taped off a 4 ½ inch border (my rug is 5 feet by 3 feet) with painter’s tape
3. Drew my angel design and words with a pencil
4. Two coats of reddish brown for the border
5. Face a rosy flesh, body green, and wings an off white
6. Crown a light yellow
7. Star cheeks and lips of rosy light pink and whites of eyes
8. Outline of crown, head, nose, eyes, lips with light brown
9. Then filled in the blue eyes and the reddish lip line and bead necklace
10. Now that the border was completely dry, I could lean on it to paint the words in black
11. Using my large circle, drew around the cardboard template all the way around the border. Each of the circles was painted with a color that was pleasing to me – just mixed them up as I liked
12. Using my square or rectangle, drew around the cardboard template on each painted circle. Again, using varied pleasing colors to fill in the squares/rectangles
13. Using the small circle, drew a ‘button’ in the center of my pennies and painted them various colors
14. Of course as Flat Betty says – “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over-doing” so I had to add various colored ‘stitched lines’ to each of the pennies
15. Is she done YET? Not quite. Because I knew this would be used at my front door and because I have three large dogs who are frequently rushing the front door, and because I love the primitive style – I used an Apple Butter Brown antiquing acrylic gel, watered way down (because you can always make it stronger but once it’s on your rug, it’s there to stay) and dabbed it on with a sea sponge (or you can use a terrycloth washcloth) and rubbed it out
16. OK, now the design part of the rug is finished. On to the sealing. You must give it at least three (and five is even better) coats of a good non-yellowing (sometimes called marine) polyurethane. It is an opaque white color in the can but dries clear. Brush it on lightly in even strokes and make sure there are no bubbles. Be sure the day is not humid because it won’t dry well. Be sure to dry at least 24 hours between coats
17. If desired you may apply a final coat of paste wax using a soft cloth and buffing the surface after the wax dries

To maintain your floor cloth you will want to either dry or wet mop it when needed. And once a year add another coat of polyurethane after cleaning it thoroughly first. In spite of my dogs and wear and tear, mine is still looking really great. And I’ve been lazy and haven’t added any extra coats of polyurethane either.

PS  A tip for doing eyes that I learned as a dollmaker.  If you want to be sure they are even, draw the one on the right side (as you are facing it) if you are right-handed, then turn your picture upside down and draw the one on the left side. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

EVOO - Oooooohhhhh My!

Yesterday my daughter and I went to Whole Foods on the way home from my trip to Asheville and I let her talk me into buying a special bottle of olive oil.  OH MY GOSH!  It's the absolute best I've ever had and it comes in lots of flavors.  If you don't have a Whole Foods nearby (and since this is made in Georgia and local for me - it may not be in all Whole Foods stores) - you can find it here at Sweetwater Growers .  Here is what I made for dinner tonight.

2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Basil EVOO from Sweetwater Growers
1 leek washed and cut in narrow strips
1 small box cherry tomatoes
2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach
Heat EVOO and add leeks and tomatoes.  Saute for about 10 minutes until leeks begin to turn golden and tomatoes split a little.  Add spinach and wilt.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook some pasta - I used linguine.  Drain and pour enough olive oil (I used about 2 tablespoons) to moisten pasta.  Serve vegetable saute over pasta and top with your favorite cheese (I used shredded Fontina Val D'Aosta).

I try to use EVOO whenever I can - it's the only oil I have in my house.  But I also like a buttery taste so usually end up using a tiny amount of butter in dishes like this.  No need with THIS EVOO!  It tasted buttery without a bit of butter in it!  YUM!

And just a PS on my trip to Asheville and my step-father's surgery.  He did remarkably well for an 86 year old.  The surgery (aortic valve replacement and two bypasses) was about 3 1/2 hours and he was in ICU for less than 24 hours.  They had just brought him to his room in the Progressive Care Unit yesterday as we came in to see him so we were able to visit for awhile longer than we would have if he'd still been in ICU.  He was up in a chair and had already been 'walking the halls' that morning.  I have to say that Mission Memorial Hospital has some of the nicest people working for them - everyone was so helpful.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Few Prayers Please

I'm off tomorrow morning to Asheville, NC with my daughter.  Hubby will be 'batching' it for a few days although with three big black Labs it can't REALLY be considered 'batching' it LOL  My 86 year old step-father, Frank, is having heart surgery on Tuesday so if you could say a few prayers for him it would be much appreciated.  Traveling mercies for me would be appreciated as well.