Crafting Outside My Norm – Fused Glass

I love my new fused glass piece, sprinkled leaves and a ladybug. I recently took another class in fused glass with a friend just for the fun of it. The night of the class, I was really tired and not feeling creative, but then an idea of nature with leaves popped into my mind and then I forgot that I was tired. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Fused glas leaves

I took a previous class last year, creating a more abstract fused glass piece with greens and blues. I really enjoyed it so I decided to give it another try. Since my business is based on crafting, almost everything I do is “work” related (although I love my work). So I really enjoy crafting just for the fun of it.

I am planning on going back very soon and create some more fused glass – they have the supplies to make the absolutely cutest bugs and I have really been itching to make some.

Happy Crafting,

Phyllis

Summertime and Fresh Local Vegetables!

I love the fresh vegetables of summer, and when I can get them locally grown, its even better. I finally went to a small farmer’s market that is a couple of miles from my house and now I’m going every Saturday. Valleydale Farmers Market (Facebook page)  is a small market in a church parking lot and all of the vegetables and fruit are locally grown – none of that stuff imported from foreign countries that deteriorate in the transit time. I don’t have to look any further as the assortment is so varied, I can get everything I want. I buy okra, cucumbers, green tomatoes, red tomatoes, peaches, peas, butter beans, peppers, squash and corn. One of the vendors has fresh catfish that I want to try.

Kim, a friend of mine who used to live close by, moved about 40 miles away to a farm a couple of years ago. I went to her stand first to visit with her and her children and bought a bunch.  She’s known for her homemade preserves and relishes and its well deserved.

Kim's stall Valleydale Farmers Market

Boozer Farms has the most colorful stand with all the various types of eggplant.  I’m going to try the different varieties of eggplant as well as the squash.

Boozers Farm stall at Valleydale Farmers Market

Here are some of the other stalls. I didn’t take as many pictures as I wanted to.  I guess it was because I was getting tired from carrying all my purchases. I had a market basket with me and it was quickly filled and very heavy.

Fresh Vegetables Valleydale Farmers Market

Vegetable stands at Valleydale Farmers Market

I will have to miss attending this coming Saturday as I’m leaving tomorrow for the Atlanta Gift Market. But you can be sure that I will be there the following Saturday and each one afterwards until it closes at the end of the summer. The peaches are the absolute best and I buy some each week. I’m going to miss having them to munch on after I return home from Atlanta as the ones I bought this week have been eaten already. Bummer, but I will look forward to my next veggie trip!

I am growing some tomatoes and peppers myself in a tiny garden, but it won’t be enough to prevent me from buying more.

Phyllis

 

Pink Hydrangeas Add a Beautiful Burst of Color!

I love flowers and hydrangeas are one of my favorites. While I was walking in my driveway today, I was stopped by the large pink blooms on the hydrangea bushes and just have to share.

Pink hydrangea blooms

I bought the original plant many years ago. It had pink blooms, but after I planted it, it bloomed assorted colors ranging from blue, purple and pink, with some of the individual blooms multicolor due to the soil. It’s not as multicolored this year as in past years. The blooms have always attracted comments from neighbors. The past couple of summers, the hydrangeas did not bloom well due to the cold winters, but I think that the huge spectacular blooms made up for it this year.

I wish a bouquet for you!

Phyllis

Awesome Nature – and My Little Guest

I love finding surprises in nature.  A few days ago, I was in my yard and walked over  to see my Calla lily bloom (noun – I wasn’t actually going to watch it bloom out). I planted it several years ago, but this was the very first (and only) bloom. As I stepped in the flower bed to look at it, I saw something on one of the large leaves.  It was a tiny green frog, slightly over an inch long.

Green frog in flowers

Small green frog on leaf

I told a friend about it. She has been to Costa Rica and said that the green tree frogs there usually live their entire life on one leaf. I don’t know long this one will stay, but he is still here leaf perching. This morning, after several days on that leaf, he had moved to the next leaf.  I know these little frogs are pretty common, but all I have seen around here are the brown “hoppy” toads. So I hope that he does stay. I’ve always loved frogs and have included some in my art as well as quilt designs. Humm, maybe he will inspire me to create a new collection!

Put a little nature in your life today, ribbit!

Phyllis

A Spider’s Delicate Embroidery Stitches!

In a mad dash outside in the heat and humidity to quickly water some plants, I was stopped by the beauty of this spider and her (his?) web. The beautiful Chevron stitch down the center of the large web in my rose bush was spectacular.Black and yellow garden spider stitching a web
This spider knows needlework, so I’m assuming it’s a her (I know there are men who create gorgeous needlework and think Rosie Grier  and his needlepoint, but women do outnumber in this category). I know spiders can be terrifying, in spite of being such small creatures. But you have to admit that this one is a beauty with its yellow colors.

I did find this spider on the internet and its name is, are you ready?  “Black and Yellow Garden Spider”.  That’s not very imaginative and I think she deserves a much prettier name. Any suggestions for a name – please leave a comment if you do!

I wonder if she knows any other stitches….

Phyllis

Note, it has been almost a week since I posted this and the spider is still there.  But her body has doubled in size!

 

Beautiful Blooms and Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving cactusI wish each of you a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving and hope you are able to spend it with special people in your life.  I wish each of you safe travels and a holiday filled with love, laughter and reminiscences over fond memories!

I want to share my “Thanksgiving Cactus”.  Its in full bloom and measures 32″ across.  Never mind that I bought it during Christmas 4 years ago, thinking it was a “Christmas Cactus”.  But it blooms each year at Thanksgiving and a little research confirmed that it is a Thanksgiving Cactus.  I bought this as a small plant in a 4″ pot.  It amazes me that not only has it lived,  it has thrived and grown and grown each year. Although not a traditional color, there’s definitely nothing wrong with a little pink with our turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Phyllis

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 3- Floral Gift Box

Giftbox decorated with flowers and paintThis week, we used Brenda Pinnick’s Flower, Beauty Bloom Sizzix dies for our Blog Hop project. I really love flowers so I enjoyed using flowers to decorate a gift box – a great way to add a special touch to gift giving.

Gift box painted and decorated with flowers

The materials used were:

Sixxiz die #655455 by Brenda Pinnick

Card stock

Spray paint – aqua and green by Krylon

Green acrylic paint

Gift box

Brads – round and floral designs

Hole punch

Glue – Beacon Zip Dry for paper

Instructions:

I spray painted the box with green paint and all the flower pieces with aqua paint.  2 petal sections were painted a darker green to use as leaves.

After the paint dried, I punched holes in the center of the flower pieces.  2 flowers were created by assembling 3 large flower pieces for each flower and putting a round brad through holes.  I turned up the petals of the top 2 pieces. After punching holes in the box top I attached the flowers with the brads.

Flower shaped brads were ued to attach the large flat flowers to the sides of the box and glue was used to attach the small flowers.

Be sure to hop to the other blogs in the blog hop by clicking on the links in the Sizzix badge in my sidebar!  There are some amazing designs.

All I need to do now is add the gift!

Happy Crafting!

Phyllis

Decoupaging Red Poppies to Embellish a Table

Does a crafter/artist/quilter/sewer ever get away from creating? Even if you are away from all your stashes of products, the mind is still buzzing away on new ideas and projects to work on.

A few weeks ago, I was  work-cationing (working while on vacation, with emphasis on working).  My friend Brenda Pinnick visited for a few days, which lead our brainstorming on craft projects we loved creating. Since we didn’t have our product stashes with us, we visited local craft stores to pick up a few suppies.

We detoured by Tuesday Morning were we found a fabulous selection of paper napkins.  Hummmmm, there are so many uses for paper napkins other than the normal wiping of hands and decoupaging heads the list.  After buying a bottle of Mod Podge, we were set.

I have previously painted the legs of this coffee table a light apple green and thought the top would look great with flowers. My napkin selection included a package of red poppy shaped napkins, perfect for my project.

First, I cut the flowers and  arranged 5 down the center of the table. I painted Mod Podge to the back of the flowers to glue them to the table. After the flowers dried on the table, I added several coats of Mod Podge to the top to seal the flowers, allowing drying time between each coat of Mod Podge.

After the Mod Podge dried, I painted a leaf to each flower.

Since red poppies have always been one of my favorite flowers, I’m excited that I can enjoy them on the table for years to come.

Look around and if you have a table or other items that has gotten stale, think decoupage with fun prints.

Have a great craft day,

Phyllis

Color, Couleur, Colore, Kleur – Whatever the language, Color rules!

Wow, just imagine – no color!  Think of fall without the oranges, golds, and yellows of falling leaves, spring without the pinks, purples, oranges and yellows of flowers, and summer without the green grass and leaves. What would the sky be without blue or the seas without the turquoises and greens?

I am a color junkie with all of my art and fabrics created with vibrant colors.  I love color and will buy something I really don’t need, just because I love the color. I paint rooms too frequently because its exciting to change colors (some of my rooms have enough layers of paint for it to qualify as insulation).

My close friend Brenda Pinnick has a passion for color and has founded Brenda Pinnick Color U in which she teaches workshops on color as well as offering color consulting. Brenda Pinnick

Its available for everyone from an individual who wants to know more about color and palettes (such as a quilter, sewer, crafter or decorator) or manufacturers who wants to give their product lines a “wow” with color. Also, retail business can have Brenda’s workshops conducted in their stores as well as learn how to use color in their businesses to increase sales.

Since its almost autumn, I want to show you one of Brenda’s palettes that she created for autumn  Isn’t it absolutely the most fantastic combination of colors!

Brenda is definitely qualified as a color expert as an award-winning graduate of the prestigious portfolio school, Creative Circus.  There she studied in-depth color theory as well as continuing to work and study color since. So if you want any advise on color or the psychology of color, then Brenda is the go-to person!

Have a wonderful colorful day! (I’m not trying to brain-wash you, just color-wash you!)

Phyllis

Spring flowers – purple flowers!

I really enjoy this time of the year for multiple reasons, and one of them is because of all the flowers that are blooming.  I am having a treat this year because of some flowers blooming in my yard that haven’t been there before.

This flower is really filling in a natural area.  I don’t know where it came from – birds probably dropped seeds.  Its too pretty to be a wild flower.  The blooms are 7 to 8 inches tall.  Whatever the reason, I love looking out at them from my deck and kitchen window.

This wild violet is also scattered through the same area.  They are so pretty and delicate but don’t make the splash from the distance that the first flower does.  Purple is one of my top favorite colors for flowers.

I’m hoping you are having a week of pretty blooms!

Phyllis

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