Snowflakes and Valentines…

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So continues the winter of our discontent – this is the most extreme winter I can remember, and I grew up in South Dakota where I can remember drifts until May…

Cabin fever is epidemic…folks are edgy, anxious and bored –

But then along comes Valentine’s day – one of my favorite holidays!!! Not only because I look forward to the chance to send cards to loved ones, but because in 1981, my husband and I had our first date, and we’ve been together ever since. “Close Encounters” at the discount movie theater, Space Invaders and pizza may not be super romantic (hey- we were in college) it still ranks as one of the evenings ever.

One of our most cherished family traditions is creating our own Valentines. I remember this fondly from grade school – that fabulous day every year when the teacher would announce that we needed to bring a shoe box from home to create a Valentine mailbox for our classroom party. A slit in the top, some red and pink paper, rubber cement, and doilies – oh the rapture as we competed to create the most opulent receptacle for our myriads of cards. I was enthralled.

I lived vicariously through this fabulous activity with my 2 grown children, and now the Valentine mailbox will have to be thing of the past, at least until the grandchildren come along.

And oh yes, they will be opulent, fabulous and brilliant I am sure…

But the card tradition lives on every year as my daughter and I pull out the ribbon, card stock, bits of lace and cloth to create ‘one of a kind’ Valentines for our loved ones and friends. It’s a great bonding experience and reminds us both of childhood, our connection to each other and to the people we love.

The next snow storm is upon us, and we sit crafting Valentines while the snow falls. A sure cure to the blahs of this long, unending winter…

For now,

Create, Care, Love, ShareImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

It’s Just Kid’s Stuff…

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Happy Monday…Actually coldest Monday I can remember in many years…and tomorrow is predicted to be even worse. Bundle up – gloves, scarf, hat….

Oh by the way, speaking of hats, if you are reading this today, what was up with Pharrel’s “Salute to Dudley Do Right hat” on the Grammys last night? Wow. Washington Post says “hat memes” are exploding on the web today. No wonder. It was definitely a statement. Not sure what kind of statement, but a statement nonetheless. (BTW – Didn’t his mom tell him that chewing gum on an awards show is tacky?) Soon we will have people walking all over Chicago, LA, and NY wearing Canadian Mounted Police hats. Watch. You heard it here first. Invest now my friends…

Anyway, here is a recent project for “da kids” (hey, it’s Chee-cago) I made. It’s a “mouse house”! A good little project to tuck in a purse for your little one to play with while waiting for your Pharrel-esque hat to be completed at the milliner’s shop.*

I say! Good show, cheery-o, and see the photos down below! 

As always, 

Create, Care, Love, Share

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I started with an aluminum case that a wallet came in… Used some ribbon to wrap around, and to also hold the top and bottom together when it opens (like a book binding – see pic below.) I cut a small slit in both ends of the larger ribbon I wrapped around the case, and then inserted a smaller long piece into those slits to tie and keep it shut after play.

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When you open it up, there are the sleeping mice (meeces?) under their blanket, next to their adjoining parlor. 

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The mice are awake (pattern is not my own.) 

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Time for the close-up. 

You can also use Altoid tins, create a whole little set up of rooms, and create little furniture for a whole little mouse house grouping. Just a dabble – I had fun, and hope the little tyke I made it for enjoys her mouse adventures!

*Not recommended for children under 5 yrs. Small pieces.

Best Interior design/repurpose site EVER!!

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http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/

Good morning! Another day, another creation – but before I get all involved, I hope that you will check this site out. It is probably the most fabulous website for re-purposing EVERYTHING, creating recycled crafts and useful items I have ever found, as well as great ideas for interior design. AWESOME.

Enjoy – I know you will!

As always,

Create, Care, Love, Share

Recycle, Up-cycle, Redecorate

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Winter’s cabin fever has set in, but my brain is working overtime and planning new ideas for up-cycling furniture, clothing and “found stuff” into new and useful things…Yes, I know everyone is doing this, but it is just too fun to see what I can come up with. It’s a true challenge…and I love a challenge.

Not so much my husband. If we drive by a cast off shelf or small table, my eyes light up like a Christmas tree. He’ll look at me and say, “No!” as he can read my mind after 30 years. I usually sneak back and get it later, and all turns out for the best. I am addicted to chairs and small tables. Do they have a group for that? Seriously. I am addicted. 

The challenge I find comes from frustration. I walk into stores and see their home decor sections, and say, “I can make that with what I have. Why should I pay that price?” I know what you are thinking; some people don’t do their own “hands-on” work, and that is to be respected, But I love to do it, so why not? This challenge actually excites me and causes my pulse to race. I told you – it’s like an addiction. It’s the thought of creating something out of nothing. It’s pure creative pleasure.

Our basement family room needed storage and some attitude. I took the old desk that my kids had in their rooms when they were small, and used the drawers as statement shelves. I painted them black to match the family room palette (black, gray and red), then lined them with scrapbook paper to pick up the red accents in the room (I can always change it for a different look.) I also repainted 2 book shelves black that sit on either side of the “drawer shelves” to create an “entertainment center” look. An easy way to use what you have!

Fun, cheap, not too shabby.ImageImage

 

Now that they have been there for a while, I may redo the arrangement, and add more for a stacked look.

Creative challenge satisfied. For a while at least. On to other things as I usually have 4 or 5 projects going at once. Focus is an issue as I have so many ideas and things I’d like to try…

Look! A squirrel!

 

Lets begin…

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I love to create – just like millions of other people here on planet Earth. Sometimes it’s music; sometimes it’s gardening; sometimes it’s writing; sometimes it’s an event; sometimes it’s painting, drawing, decorating, sewing, knitting, crocheting, scrap booking, cooking, refinishing furniture, yada, yada, yada…I’ll try anything creative at least once (woodworking is appealing to me right now…)

As a teacher, you learn to put on a show and not hold back. You perform. You create. Creativity is all-encompassing. It’s the juice. It’s life. It’s what we do to MAKE life, enjoy life, and give life meaning. Wow.

So, since we only get one planet Earth, (and she is struggling fiercely to survive), I feel the need to not just toss things in to ever-growing landfills and garbage heaps. It’s a kick to create something from nothing – to see what new things can be made from useless, old and obscure “stuff”.  I hate throwing things away (just ask my family) – especially when it speaks to me of its possibilities  and I can see a new purpose in it (my husband just calls it “garbage,” but in a loving way… )  It’s a challenge to make the old new, the useless useful, and the obscure, relevant.  I have many irons in the fire (I suffer from menolackafocus*), but I will post some of my completed projects and ideas very soon. 

So, if you are like me, and like to create, or if you can relate to anything posted here, that’s cool. 

Come back and see what happens. Comment, look, share.

Paula

* = menopausal lack of focus, silly. Duh.:)