Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh, yeaaaahhhh....

There is something about being in my craft room, paint brushes in hand, and earbuds playing my favorite tunes... it's such a relief. I have a couple of craft shows coming up in December - which seemed like a LONG time from now a few weeks ago, and now seems like it's just around the corner - and I have been trying to get some creating done for at least a month with no success.

We had a weekend out of town that got in the way, but it was for a GREAT reason - to finally make my beautiful sister-in-law, Sacha, an official member of our family. She made my brother an honest man. Look at that face he has as he looks at her! Awwwwwww!!! *snif snif*

Handmade boutonnieres by moi... :)

Aside from the Wedding of the Decade, it has seemed like no matter what plans I tried to make for myself, my schedule kept being usurped by other people or events or projects that didn''t let me make any headway on my own project list. 

But today... Yes! Today was MINE!!! :)

I have always loved to draw and paint and piddle around with art supplies, just ask my sister... she was the recipient of some awesome crafty birthday parties when I worked for Michael's in the late 80s... but for too many years I had been forced to put those things aside because I didn't have the time, or space, or money (or all three, usually) to pursue an artistic hobby. I would draw a few holiday greeting cards now and then, and my sweet brother (the one in the boutonniere) would give me books for Christmas about designing greeting cards or making a business of your hobbies, etc... he is a great cheerleader. But I never really did anything with it.

Several years ago I started sewing some crafty things, and my Punkinhead persona was born when I opened an Etsy shop and started applying to be a vendor at craft shows. Then last year I painted a little canvas for a local non-profit fundraiser, and the artist in me was reawakened. That sounds really stupid, maybe, but I think you artists out there get it.

I was using paint brushes, ink, and acrylics, and I was absolutely absorbed in what I was doing. I loved it so much I decided this year I'd make more than one. I tried a few different techniques, but these are my favorites.

Today, I worked on a couple of things that I want to sell in my Junque Rethunque booth for the open house on November 15th. Again, once I sat down and started drawing out the design, I was enjoying myself so much, I found myself wondering how many I needed to make to make a living doing it. :)

I think many of you would agree that making things just has to be a part of our lives... it's not just a hobby, it's something we are driven to do. It's a large part of what we have to do to stay sane and maintain a balance in our lives. I know for me, when I am unable to do anything creative for a stretch of time, I get grumpy. I feel all clogged up and disjointed, like I need a colonic cleanse of my Chi. So, I am well aware that I need that time for myself... Now, to convince my family it's in THEIR best interest to let me have my time... :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall on Repeat

It seems that fall is just the time that I start feeling all overwhelmed and in need of a good purging. Of the clutter, not the colon. Eww... Unlike the spring cleaning when I just want to open windows and beat cushions and start digging in the dirt, a fall cleaning is all about making my home cozy and welcoming and ready for the holidays.

Last year about this time I wrote a blog post about spending a day cleaning out my garage and getting some projects started. Barely. This year, I'm in the same place - except for the actually-getting-it-done part. I'm feeling the need to clean out and organize and get my shit together... so to speak. (Again with the colon references??) I am working on getting a storage unit for my Craft Show display Stuff, and my Projects in Limbo Stuff, and it will give me a place to hide stuff from my husband store treasures before they go into my flea market booth.

I've got a lot on top of me this year, some things I had last year, like a grand-daughter and her mama living with us, and a full-time job, and too many hobbies, and a grade-school-aged son ('nuf said, right??). But I also have been working hard to meet my personal challenge of writing more (yay me!), which takes a lot of time that could otherwise be used to clean the garage (boohoo!), and I have a husband with health issues. Well, I had the same husband last year, but was blissfully unconcerned about what he ate every day.

Besides the storage unit, which is going to help me free up a lot of space and more efficiently process the treasures I'm bringing home in the back of my jeep all the time, I've also made the positive move of hiring a housekeeper. This is a seriously important effort that will lead to the following seriously important results:
  1. Help me enjoy my home more;
  2. Help me feel comfortable having friends over more often;
  3. Help me find more time for the hobbies I'm trying expand into careers;
  4. Help me not become homicidal. (my family appreciates this one, especially.)

I'm paying for the service out of my freelance writing income, so it's also going to be an incentive to keep that coming in. Let me tell you, I walked in the door yesterday and took in a big deep breath of those non-organic Pine-Sol fumes, and got giddy as I ran around looking at all the clean. My neighbors may have heard me shriek about my shower door that I could actually SEE through again.

It's the little things... 

Here's an update of the chair I showed you in that link from last year... turned out pretty cute, don't you think??

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jack-O-Lantern Envy

When my siblings and I were kids (a long, long time ago) we looked forward to Halloween as one of our favorite holidays of the year. We didn't go all out decorating the outside of our house, but we took the costume creation veeerrryyy seriously. We loved thrift stores, and are artsy-fartsy, so we could always be counted on to pull out some fun ones.

One of our favorite parts of the celebration, though, was the carving of the pumpkin. That's right - ONE pumpkin. Singular. There were three of us for many years, until our baby sister was born, and we all had to share a lone pumpkin. My mom and step-dad created a competition between the three of us to come up with a design for the annual jack-o-lantern. They would pick one

For the only pumpkin. 

You get what I'm hinting at here, right? How much does a freaking pumpkin cost??? I saw them for $7.98 today at Wal-Mart... and of course they'll be cheaper in a week. Would it have killed them to buy THREE pumpkins so that we could each have our own??? It wasn't something I thought of until I was buying pumpkins for my own kids... then I discovered I was annoyed. I have no problem buying one for EACH of my three kids. 

Call me Mrs. Moneybags.

But you know, I'm a mature adult. I've moved on. ;-)

Creating jack-o-lanterns are one of my kids' favorite parts of the weeks leading up to Halloween as well. We pick out pumpkins at local pumpkin patches, cover the kitchen island with newspaper, and commence hacking. Some are scary, some are funny... fat... tall... we are equal-opportunity hackers. 

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? Home-made costumes? Haunted houses? Bobbing for apples at the block party? Do tell!

I'm linking this post on day two of the Arkansas Women Bloggers' BLOGtober Fest here
Go check out the rest of the awesome posts!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rusty Rings

When we were digging through some junk in the back room of one of our favorite local shops, we uncovered a little box of rusty canning lid rings. We're pretty sure a lot of people would have put them aside and kept digging for the real treasure, but we're not a lot of people. We love little boxes of rusty stuff!

The little box was carried up to the counter, along with a few canning jars with zinc lids, and a few other little odds and ends, and the tallying began. Imagine our delight when the woman dismissed the box with a wave of her hand and declared that it was a freebie! We almost swooned. A little box of rusty goodness... free for the taking. It was destiny.

The little box of rusty goodness has been waiting patiently for us to have time to make some awesome repurposed rusty goodness out of it. We have a couple of ideas...

Perhaps this cute thing as seen on one of my favorite blogs, Funky Junk Interiors?

Or this might be a sufficient amount of awesomeness from A Simply Klassic Home... you may recognize it as the winner of Country Living's Pinterest Pumpkin contest. :)

So much rusty goodness, so little time... :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pedophile Art

This week we're starting another weekly feature - Freaky Friday. It's October, so it seems an appropriate time to debut, right? We'll share weird things, odd things, and things that make us do a double take and make a "wth??" face while we're on our treasure hunts, at thrift stores, or - occasionally, when we're creating something ourselves. Hopefully more of the former and less of the latter.

I'm almost sorry to share this one, as it's got the potential to make you uncomfortable. But that's what "freaky" is all about, so here you go:

Now, I'm no prude (just ask my sister) but I think we're all on the same page here... so let's just put it out there - this has to be intended for the walls of some pedophile's powder room, don't you think? I mean, ewww. It's just wrong in so many ways.

I see art in thrift stores sometimes that makes me wonder how people could have parted with it, but I'm guessing they couldn't get these two out of grandma's house fast enough when she moved to the old folks home.

Happy weekend y'all!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sweet Hoops

It's funny how, sometimes, when you're not looking for any particular treasure, a whole LOT of something can end up in your possession. This week's Tuesday Treasure is embroidery hoops. I happened upon a couple of stashes of them, and kind of love how they all look just hanging around the my crafting lounge. But, alas, the surest sign of a crafter in need of an intervention is the desire to keep collections like this just for the sheer pleasure of having them. It's time to make something out of these lovelies and let them go out into the world as finished projects.

We've been enjoying the look of graphic fabrics featured in hoops on walls, like these from Design Sponge and The Cottage Home blog. It's a simple project, and is easy to change out for the season or if your favorite color combos change often.

So, I busted out the hoops tonight along with a pile of fabric samples that had been taunting me for a while, and whipped up some fabulousness.

I am loving the look of the old hoops with their natural wood. The ones I have are vintage, so they have a great patina, but you can stain them (like this tutorial suggests) or even paint them if you're interested in a matchey, uniform look. I am not the matchey, uniform type. ;) That tutorial also involves glue, which would make it impossible to switch out your fabric later. I'm okay with no glue.

What stashes are you hoarding in your craft room? We know you have some... don't lie. Tell us about them!

Monday, October 1, 2012

And the winner is...

I wish I could have given you ALL a free pair of boots!!! I'm just thrilled that I had so many comments on this blog, so to find out that 49 people actually entered the contest was pretty exciting. :)

The winner, chosen by a number generator at is.... 

Yay Lorie5534!!! I have no idea who you are, but I'll be sending you an email to get all the fancy info! As soon as I find out who she is, I'll also let you all know. And if she'll tell us her favorite pair of boots, I'll share that too... we all love to live vicariously, right?

Thanks to everyone who entered, and who shared their favorite cowboys in my comments. There are several I hadn't thought of, and a few that I'm going to look up. Can't have too many cowboy crushes. :)

Don't forget to "like" the Country Outfitter facebook page - they've been giving away boots willy-nilly over there, and you still need a free pair. Or two. Or six. Since you did give them your email address, you'll see an occasional email newsletter in your box, but not often. If you choose to unsubscribe, they're okay with that - but then you'll miss all the fun. ;)