Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cards part 2

Here are some of the other materials I assembled to make cards. There are clippings from rose catalogs, advertisements, bits and pieces from quilt magazines and other magazines.

Above is the clipping I got from the Gooseberry Patch catalog. I really admire their product drawings but it was hard to get one that worked well for card making. I layered this one on various pastel papers.

Using the idea of the gift bag from my mother's blog, I got this background for an old-fashioned postcard I found in the Reminisce magazine.

This heart was from a quilting magazine, and it is mounted over a bit of a doily. The little key is an embossed rubber stamp image.

This is a picture from a rose nursery catalog on the left, with a rubber stamp heart and a sticker.

This is a piece of clip art, and the heart is a rubber stamped image on silver cardboard, embossed in white.

Another piece of clip art, mounted on a couple layers of pastel paper.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Card Ideas part one: Dress Cards

Here are some cards that were made for Christmas gifts this year, and at last I may show my readers! First are the little dress cards, which I feel are my own little troupe of people!
They are not made of fabric at all, but cut out of a dress catalog called "The Wooden Soldier." I have admired the dresses from this company for years, and this is the first time it occurred to me that I could have any (or all!) of them, in a smaller sort of way! The catalog is perfect for creating this little cards, as there are few real models, and the dresses are against solid backgrounds (no cutting off someone's head!). This could work with a variety of catalogs, but I happen to think that this particular one had the perfect sized dresses for my purpose. Ladies' dresses nowadays are so tall and narrow, whereas little girls dresses still have all the lovely "poufy" skirts, and they make a great card!
I cut around the dresses I liked, and used double-sided tape around the bodice, sleeves, and edges of the skirt. Liquid glue tends to wrinkle up magazine-weight paper, but perhaps a glue stick would work. Before I added the dresses to the cards, I folded up a bit of tissue paper and taped it in the skirt area, and pressed the whole thing onto the card. This makes the skirt stand out a little and have a swishy sound.

It was fun to trim the little dresses with glitter glue. Buttons, buckles, rhinestones, necklines, sleeves, hemlines, flowers, etc. were great opportunities for glitter.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Books in Winter
Books in Winter
Art Print

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Summer fading, winter comes--
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children's eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies' looks,
In the picture story-books.

am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books?

From the Child's Garden of Verses
by Robert Louis Stevenson
You can find a complete collection of his poems at Poetry Lover's Page.

Today we found an audio book to listen to while we worked, of another of Robert Louis Stevenson's works, "Treasure Island." Shiver me timbers, it is a bit scary.  The recording was from LibriVox, and many of my favorite Austen books, poetry, and other classics can be found there.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Even More that Glitters

Mrs. Lydia Sherman has contributed so many glittery craft ideas to The Pleasant Times, that we are going to give her our "trash craft" award. We ought to go out and buy her a bottle of glitter glue for a prize, but we are too cheap, so we are honoring her with the title of "Craft Editor." Keep watching for her new book, "Stuff I made with Garbage," which she is being urged by her family to print.

Here are tonight's ideas:

The Egg Carton Jingle Bell, with pipe cleaner hanger;

The Egg Carton Cowboy hat, painted with sliver glitter glue and then sprinkled with big silver glitter and fine glitter. (Editor's Note: Make sure to wash your hands after dealing with egg cartons, and paint them thoroughly.)

And the last trash craft for the night..... (drumroll)....

A coffee-cup sleeve turned into a glittering crown for the Christmas tree. This picture does not show it well, but the white is actually all fine glitter, with silver glitter glue "diamonds."

Monday, December 3, 2007

More that Glitters

Here are some more of my mother's glittery crafts for the season, and a little innovation of my own.
My mother traced around an old-fashioned key she had, to come up with a pattern for this cardboard glitter key for the tree.
As usual, she painted on glitter glue first, then sprinkled large glitter over that for extra sparkle. After that she sprinkled on fine glitter to fill in the gaps.

It really adds shine to the tree.

No, this is not a tarantula that fell into the glitter, it is a little chandelier made using tinsel pipe cleaners. My mother likes chandeliers, so I made shaped a little one for her while watching the Three Tenors rerun last night.

It is basically six pieces of pipe cleaner shaped into some curlicue "C" shapes, and joined by twisting another pipe cleaner around the middles. Someone could get really fancy with this by adding crystal-cut beads to the ends.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Paper Chandelier

This glittery chandelier was made by my mother, Mrs. Sherman, for her Christmas decor. This would be nice on a Christmas tree or just a sparkly winter ornament to cheer up gloomy days.Mrs. Sherman will allow the public to copy this original chandelier pattern, as long as you make it your own by changing the pattern slightly (put the bumps in different places!)

Here are the materials: glue, glitter glue, large glitter and gold glitter.

Using the edge of a piece of paper, the pattern is drawn and cut out.

The pattern is then is traced on a folded cardstock for a pattern, and cut out. Make three of these from cardboard cereal boxes or from poster paper. It has to be heavier than cardstock, but cardstock will do. This one is 5 and a half inches high and 5 and a half inches across. You can make whatever size you want, and you can make it more simple, if you like. For example, maybe just make it curved with no humps in it. Cut three from poster paper or heavy cardstock, or some kind of box of the same weight as cereal box, and glue them together back to back to make three "arms."

Here is what it looks like with the three pieces glued together.

Spread the silver glitter glue (with a paint brush) on the chandelier, leaving the "candle tips" bare. Shake silver glitter over the glitter glue. These two coats of glitter really make it sparkle!

Paint the tips of the arms with gold glitter glue to imitate the lights. Use the silver glitter glue over the edges of the paper to finish up. To dry, place in a jar like this. Punch a hole in the top and tie a thread or glittery string through it for hanging.

The Flower Seller

The Flower Seller

The Flower Seller
Art Print

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I hope my readers will notice the bright blue sky in this painting, and that the colorful flowers and summer weather in the scene warms you up! Personally, I do not mind a gray sky and bitterly cold weather if it brings snow. That would be quite a reward for enduring the dropping temperatures!
For those of you interested in the poster store at the bottom of the page: there is a 25% off sale going on now until Thursday.
Let me also direct my reader's attention to the links again, as I will be updating them with some "creative crafting ideas" that are fun to look at.
-The Editor

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Dear Readers,

Let me humbly direct your attention for a few moments to our Affiliations with AllPosters and Christian Book Distributors. At the bottom of the page you will find our hand-picked advertisements for these companies, please feel free to click through the links and see if anything tickles your fancy (or gives you the idea that it might be a suitable gift for a friend).

Thank you for your kind attention.

The Editor
(and the poor church mice that live around here.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is Sewing A Lost Art?

Some thoughts on sewing, and some links introduced by the Editor of The Pleasant Times.
Antique Dress in the Fort Dalles Museum

The Needle

"The gay belles of fashion may boast of excelling

In waltz or cotillion, at whist or quadrille;

And seek admiration by vauntingly telling

Of drawing, and painting, and musical skill;

But give me the fair one, in country or city,

Whose home and its duties are dear to her heart,

Who cheerfully warbles some rustical ditty,

While plying the needle with exquisite art:

The bright little needle-- the swift-flying needle,

The needle directed by beauty and art.

(In Love by Marcus Stone, from Eras of Elegance,)
Be wise, then, ye maidens, nor seek admiration

By dressing for conquest, and flirting with all;

You never, whate'er be your fortune or station,

Appear half so lovely at rout or at ball,

As gayly convened at a work-covered table,

Each cheerfully active and playing her part,

Beguiling the task with a song or a fable,

And plying the needle with exquisite art:

The bright little needle-- the swift-flying needle,

The needle directed by beauty and art."

-Samuel Woodworth, 1784-1842

Is Sewing a lost art? Perhaps some may say it is at least a dying art, but this Editor thinks that ladies are still interested in making their own clothing, home decor, and gifts, and that sewing may be more popular than it was a generation ago.

The employee at the cutting counter in the fabric department of Wal-Mart told me that she gets many requests from people asking her to teach them to sew. It seems to me (or is it seams to me?) that if sewing was a lost art, that the fabric counter lines would be shorter at Jo-Ann's, the pattern-book table less crowded during a sale, and that those expensive quilt shops in small towns would have gone out of business long ago.

Perhaps there is a conspiracy going on, though- it does seem harder to find decent fabric at a decent price, and the Wal-Mart phasing out their sewing section and rumors of fabric store closures make me wonder. Maybe they don't want us to sew. Maybe the people in power that own all the stores have made a deal with the fashion designers so that we have to wear their off the rack monstrosities, as there will be no other choice! Of course, in that case, the resourceful seamstress knows how to use sheets and curtains for her yardage. Let us hope, however, that it will not come to that (by the way, here is a handy chart if you find a great sheet sale).

Of course, Sewing will be a lost art if we do not pass the needle to the next generation- and I think that it is a great favor that someone will take time out to teach a little girl (or an adult) to sew!

Sewing Circle

My mother has taken on a sewing student, holds weekly lessons for her and is teaching her basic hand sewing. Mother's little student has made a skirt for herself and her doll, a hemmed cloth to go under a tea set, and a simple bag. She uses gingham fabric to make the projects simple- a built in grid helps when you are learning to cut and sew an even seam. The light weight of the fabric helps, too.

I would like to introduce my readers to the links on the left, which I have updated to include a sewing section. These are websites and blogs that are either all about sewing, have a bit of sewing in them, or else are places that I go for inspiration. They are just a small sampling of the sewing sites and blogs on the web. I hope the ambitions of others will inspire my readers to keep their sewing machines out!