Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Little Things Really Do Mean A Lot

I hesitated about posting this because I don't want it to come across like I am "the cat's meow" or "tooting my own horn" etc.  I am not.   I am just a person who has faults, does weird things, and very much a free spirit, etc........but I am posting this because I was reminded the other day that you just don't have to do a lot or have a ton of money sometimes to make someone's day.  

The other day I was at a thrift store when it reopened after being closed for a month.  I try to visit this store once a week as I occasionally find some really neat stuff here.   On that particular day, I had a few items in my arms and was looking around when a lady came up to me.   She pointed at the remnant piece of fabric I had and asked me where I found it and related to me that she had been looking and looking for some of that fabric to finish a project.   I told her where I found it but that I didn't think there was anymore of it.   She said something like "oh shucks and oh well" and started to walk away.    As she started to walk away, I called out to her and said, "here you can have this fabric".    She was shocked and said, "are you serious" and I was.   As she walked away, I heard her say to her friend how surprised she was that I gave it to her.    She was happy and trust me I was happy.   I was reminded again that it just doesn't take a lot to make someone's day or mine either for that matter. 

I hope it is cool wherever you are because it is blazing hot here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thanks Bryanna

If it wouldn't have been for my IPhone I probably would have missed out on this trade with Bryanna Lenan of Fayettville, AR.    About one week ago, I was in the car and ready to pull out when I just had this thought of looking to see if there were any interesting emails.     I belong to a yahoo group for our wonderful class called Full Tilt Boogie by Mary Ann Moss and I saw this email message from this lady who wanted to do a one on one trade so I instantly replied to her and said that I would love to trade with her.   Lucky for me, I was the first to reply to her message.      The quality of the trades/swaps on this group and Mary Ann's other class group called Remains of the Day are wonderful and a step above a lot of them that I have done in the past on other groups.    Mary Ann has just posted a few of the albums/journals that have already been made in the Full Tilt Boogie class on her regular blog and they are spectactular.....go see won't regret it.

Bryanna and I talked back and forth via email and decided to get our packages out right away.   It only took a few days to get that accomplished and received our packages within a week.   Yesterday in the mail, I received the most awesome package from her.    We sent them on Tuesday and both arrived on Thursday.   Just incredible.   There was not one item in that package that I did not already have......and she related the same as far as what I sent her.   My only problem with this is that I am going to have a hard time using some of it. 

Here are some pictures of what I received...........

She made this beautiful bag,  which this picture doesn't do it justice at all,  just for me.   Wow....what a kind gesture that was and so meaningful to me.   It is actually two layers of fabulous fabric goodness with those beautiful roses on the front.   Inside was a stack of the most beautiful pieces of fabric ever.......all tied up with a beautiful piece of lace.   Wow is all I can say.    Here are some pictures of the fabric.

The fabrics are all high quality and just beautiful.   I had mentioned to her that I would be interested in some fabric pieces because she related that she sewed a lot.    She is, indeed,  a beautiful seamstress.  

Vintage Greeting Cards..........all tied up with a beautiful piece of lace.   I may have a few of these but really not anything like this at all.   She sent a lot of them.   The ones pictured are only a select few of the many that she sent.   Unbelievable.

Here is a picture of some of the other items I received. What was so wonderful about everything is that she so beautifully packaged everything. She sewed old vintage wallpaper to make envelopes that contained vintage ephemera, clear packaging with ribbons and bows that contained wonderful items such as old flowers, a beautiful bird she made out of clay etc.   It is just impossible to adequately give her the proper credit she deserves for all the work she put into this package she sent me.    The larger envelope made out of vintage wallpaper at the bottom of the picture contains a wonderful assortment of vintage items.   I love it all.   The smaller envelope at the top of the picture also contains wonderful vintage cards.  

On the bottom left side of this picture is a package containing a Swan.   She made these in memory of  her daughter, Swan Grace, who she lost.   It will have a special place in my art studio.  

I just can't figure out how I got so lucky meeting her and doing this one on one trade with Bryanna.  Thanks  for such a wonderful trade.   And thanks to Mary Ann for this wonderful yahoo group and class that is bringing all of us together.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beginnings of My FTB Vintage Photo Album

There are just not enough hours in the day lately.   We are all having a great time in our Full Tilt Boogie Yahoo Group.   The swaps have started and some people have actually completed their first journal already.  Not me.   Too much is going on here, too many things to do, too many social functions, etc.   So what else is new, it always happens that way.

I have chosen my album I am going to use.....I have cut the straps from my black leather scraps I recently found and starting to assemble some of the pages that will go into this journal.   This is going to be an exposed spine.    The reason I chose this journal was because the spine was gone so there was no loss as we needed to get rid of the existing one anyway.  

This is the front cover of the Vintage Photo Album I am using for the first journal we are going to make in our online class.   Alongside it are strips of back leather that are going to be used for the binding.  

These are potential pages that I am going to use.  They are all different but they are all vintage linens I got last year at a friend's estate sale.   They are all at least 100 years old and I have adhered some of them to old papers just to see how they would look.

And all of these are adhered to something else to make them more sturdy so that I can use them as pages in the book.

So there you have the beginnings of my journal.   I think at this point, I am going to keep this pretty neutral in the colorway of the pages, etc.    We will see as I gather up more papers for the signatures which I will do next.   

Hope you all have a great day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vintage Paper Die Cuts

As some of you know, I am a big thrift store person.   Well, I am always looking for old newspaper articles, old Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs, old books, old ledgers with beautiful writing, old ledgers with accounting pages, etc.  The more aged and tattered they are, the better they are to me   While I find most of these items at the thrift stores, I have never found the large ledger books there that are full of wonderful handwriting, etc.   So a few months ago I found a really good deal on three large ledger books from the 1880's on E-Bay and have been using them to use in my journals and then realized they would make great die cuts.    The one problem with some of them is that they are fragile and really need to be glued to something for support.    Here are a couple links where I solved that problem by gluing them or adhering them via fusible webbing to manila folders, cardstock, fabric, or other fragile papers thereby making them very usable for pages, etc.

There are two ways that I have been doing this.   I started out using the Collage Pauge by Traci Bautista and then, after discussion on the Remains of the Day Yahoo Group, I started playing with the Pellon Fusible Webbing.   This is what I found

 Using Fusible Webbing.    This can become pretty expensive if you do a lot of it like I have been doing   It is much faster than the Collage Pauge though   I will say that when putting the two side by side, they really look the same.   I used Pellon 807 Wonder Web Fusible Web.

 Using Collage Pauge.     This method takes a lot more time because of the drying time, having to flatten them out and give them time to dry.   The fusible webbing is instant gratification but more expensive.

I actually started doing this so I could cut out some tags, labels, frames and other items out of old papers to use in Mary Ann's class, Full Tilt Boogie, using Vintage Photo Albums.   I just thought it would be the perfect fit.    These items will also work well with her Remains of the Day online class

So I set about making up a bunch of papers and then die cutting them in my new Vagabond Electronic Die Cutting Machine designed by Tim Holtz   What a difference this was compared to my Sizzix Big Kick hand cranked machine   You can cut more paper at a time and it takes thicker items than the other machine.

One thing led to another and I ended up with all kinds of ziploc bags full of frames, tags, flowers, leaves, labels, tickets, you name it.  

So one day I decided to send Mary Ann a package of vintage papers and lots of die cuts  because I wanted to just thank her in a little way for all the work she has done in her fabulous classes that I have enjoyed so much.   Of course, she was surprised and thankful and related that these would really work great in the new vintage photo album journals that we were going to do in her new class.    So I got busy and made a bunch more and sent her some of her favorities    Now I am busy making some for me and also to include in other packages that I send out either as a trade or as a Random Act of Kindness

Here are some pictures of the items I ended up with.   There are tons more but time and energy ran out.

This is a Sizzix Die called Regal Crest designed by Tim Holtz.

These are little frames from the Tag Die designed by Tim Holtz

This is the Sizzix Flower Die designed by Tim Holtz.   This is fabric that was glued to a Sears catalog page.

This is the Form Die designed by Tim Holtz   It also comes with a spool of thread and a button.

This is a Sizzix Mover and Shaper Label Die designed by Tim Holtz   Some of these were cut out of a crocheted granny square that had been glued to manila folder.

I believe the top die is Tim Holtz  and the botton is a Sizzix die.   The top die is cut out of Irish Linen that was glued over a piece of Sears catalog page.

This is a Tim Holtz designed die called Cabinet Card which I think is perfect for our FTB class  One is out of a Long Island Express ledger sheet and one out of an old Sears catalog.

The top one is cut out with the Cabinet card die where a granny square was glued onto manila folder   The bottom die is a Sizzix die cut out of ledger paper over manila folder

These two fram dies are from Sizzix.

I believe these are also Sizzix Dies cut out of ledger papers.

This is a Leave Die designed by Tim Holtz   The one is cut out of ledger paper and the other is some exotic paper I glued to a manila folder to give it support

A gear die and a tag die designed by Tim Holtz and cut out of ledger papers.

I believe this is Tim Holtz die and I used a granny square that I had glued to a manila folder

Here is the form die again designed by Tim Holtz and the granny square material was used for this one.

Pictures of some of the insides of the frame dies use Sears Catalog papers and Long Island ledger papers.

Here are some tags cut out of manila folders, dictionary paper and linen glued over a ledger page.  These are #8 Size Tags.

These are the insides of the cabinet card die designed by Tim Holtz.

This is an Altered Trading Card Die designed by Tim Holtz.   And the negative of it makes a great frame.

So this is some of what I have been doing of late......a lot of gluing, ironing on fusible webbing and cutting up a bunch of items to use in our journals or for trading/giving away.

I buy all of my manila folders at thrift stores.   I used old cardstock that I have become disinterested in.   I used vintage linens and other fabrics.    Anything works and especially if it was cheap.

And remember the negatives of all the die cuts make great frames too.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some Thrift Store Fun

I did not go to as many stores as I normally do on a Wednesday but a couple of them lended themselves to some fun stuff and not all of it is pictured here.  I will probably do another post on the other stuff.    I got tired and it was way too hot to be out anymore even though there is air conditioning in most places.  No thrift store shopping today.....I want to work on a couple projects and it is so nice and cool in the house too.   I think the high is going to be 104 today....Ouch.  

I just love it when I come across an old Bingo game.   This one was dated 1960.....good enough for me.   The price was even better considering what they are selling for on Ebay or Etsy.   I got this from a job I don't frequent a lot but I think I did to start going there more often as it is not that far from my house.   And their prices aren't all jacked up like some thrift stores do these days.   That ole' supply and demand thing.

This is an old tin filled with old button vintage.   Way too cool.   Love the tin as much as the buttons.

I am attracted to old boxes, etc. and this caught my eye as it was quite different from anything I have seen before.     I guess that is what I liked about it.  I don't know if it is old or not.   When I opened it up I was really surprised to find a ton of seed beads which all are not showing in this picture.   There were also some more old buttons and a set of 12 vintage crochet needles.  I have never seen them come in a little box like this before.   Way too cool.

This picture doesn't adequately show how much there was in it but it is a plastic grocery bag filled with lace, belt buckle kits, rik rak, seam binding and at the bottom of it was another set of those old crochet needles.   There was a price tag on the bag that said $1.25.    And surprisingly enough that was the price of it.   Another good deal.  

A bag of old metal cars from the 50's, 60's and 70's.   Thought they would work well for different applications  or displayed in a shadow box.   One of the cars is a 57 T-Bird.

One other item I got from this store was a ream of white cardstock which in the retail stores goes for about $14 or so.   That is my favorite kind of cardstock as you can do so much with white.   Combine some ink sprays, acrylic paints and stencils and you have very nice paper to make things out of.   I can spend a whole day just doing this.   The packaging was torn but that was the only thing wrong with it.......all for a mere $2.

These items were all from one know the one I told you that I rarely go to.......well I guess I will change that and check this place out more often.  

When I checked out, the gentlemen looked at me and said.........boy you just got here at the right time as we just put out all of this stuff just a few minutes ago.   And I looked up at the Heavens and said Thank You.

I hope all of you who stop by today have a great day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I've thought about doing this in the past but decided to sign up for the Sketchbook Project 2012.   The theme I chose is "In Ten Minutes". I am going to do my pages in Remains of the Day style. In fact I have started some of the pages so hopefully I will keep on track so it will reach its destination in plenty of time. This will be challenging to me in the area of not being able to put bulky embellishments in it but I am looking forward to the challenge.   

What a Great Idea---Make Your Own Tape

Well, I woke up early today.   Guess I had enough sleep so I started to catch up on some of my blogs I rarely get to read and found this.   What a great idea and oh the possibilities.   And she even made some with Ledger paper.   I can't wait to try this.    Go to Cathie Holden's blog and check it out.  

P.S.:   Ten Minutes Later.........the mounting tape is ordered and I will be posting about my own handmade tape as soon as the mounting tape gets here.   And, of  course, I will be using some of my new Ledger Paper and other things of course.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Principles of English Grammar 1837

This is a little gem of a book.   Dated 1837....New York.   I was going to use it for my artwork but after looking at it at length, I don't think I will be able to cut this one up.  It tells you everything about Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adverbs and Adjectives, etc. and the proper use of them when speaking and writing. 
I don't have a clue why this book fascinated me but I think the reason is because it brought back a lot of memories of an English class I had in high school where we diagrammed a million sentences and learned abut the past present and future tenses, etc.  This book is presented in the same manner that this class was.   What was special (well that's one way to describe this experience) about this class was the teacher.   Her name was Miss Fay Sparks.  She was as old as my grandmother.   She had taught my mother at the same high school and you can be sure that I heard about it too when I didn't get the best grade ever.    She reminded me how smart my Mother was, how smart my brothers were, etc. and, of course, she did it in front of the class.  And of course it worked because then I pulled the "A" just to show her that I could if I wanted to.

Here are some pictures of that book which took me back in time.

Who knows, maybe Miss Sparks studied from this book.   LOL

OH MY GOSH..........

I was just flabergasted at the size of this Ledger and more shocked when I went to pick it up.    It has got to weigh at least 30 to 40 pounds.     It measures 18" tall, 11" wide and 4" thick.   I think it had something like 800 plus pages full of vintage accounting and writings.     I keep looking at it in dismay and wonder.   I love these kinds of old books and the more discolored and aged they are, the better they are.   Wow.  Be still my heart.   It doesn't take much to put a smile on one's face.   I will take this kind of paper anyday over the boughten printed just doesn't compare in my world at all.   Here are some photos of it.

Boy, this ledger is going to be a lot of fun and afford me many great pages for my Antique Photo Album Journal and/or Vintage Ledger Journal that I will soon be making in Mary Ann's class called Full Tilt Boogie which starts this Friday, June 17th.    There is already a Yahoo Group for this class which is going to be so much fun.   A lot of us have already connected and enjoying each other's blogs, flickr groups, etc.    I will just be using pages out of this ledger.....not actually altering this particular ledger as it is way too large.   I have smaller ones that I will be working with.  

Hope you all have a great day.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Full Tilt Boogie Class

I just wanted to do a shout out for Mary Ann's latest class that she is going to teach starting 6/18/11.   It is called Full Tilt Boogie and she is using those Vintage Photo Albums and/or the old ledgers.   You can read more about it here.  

I have taken all of her classes and loved them with my favorite being the Remains of the Day class.   I loved the Stencil classes too.   Oh shoot, they are all my favorites.     One of the things I really like is that she has a yahoo group associated with her classes and we trade ideas and do swaps, etc.   Just way too much fun.  Oh, and she has a flickr group just for pictures of what we make too.     To read more about all her classes, go here which is her main blog,

Not only is she giving a reduced rate to twenty people but she is donating a nice sum of money to the Red Cross.   It just doesn't get any better than that.    

Fusible Webbing.....Who Remembered!!!

A while ago, I posted a blurb about making my own vintage cardstock with Collage Pauge and manila folders and old vintage papers to a yahoo group I belong to called Remains of the Day.   There were two people who I don't remember their names (here we are at that memory thing again), related that they used fusible webbing to bond paper and paper and fabric together.  

After much thought, I remember my Mom doing this with fabric and cardstock for her cards. And actually after more thought, I remembered making Christmas cards using this method many many many years ago.   I used Christmas fabric and then added a silk poinsetta to the top of it.   Oh well, they say the memory is the first thing to go........not to worry.   

Well I finally got to Joann's and bought some and tried it again after all these years.   WOW.......I liked it a lot working with the fragile vintage drying times, no pressing under the large books, etc.     It is just amazing how it re-energizes those old crumbly vintage papers.   You can fuse it to manila folders, fabric, cardstock or put two vintage papers together such as ledger sheets, Sears catalogs, etc.    Once you do that, you can fold it for pages or die cut it, etc.   I think the sky is the limit really.    I will say that the Collage Pauge method and the fusible webbing method really look the same.........the latter is just faster.

This is the front and back of one page.   The paper on the left is very very old and very fragile but once I adhered with fusible webbing to the 1880's ledger page, you can fold them, etc. or make die cuts out of them.

The front and back of one page.   The left is fabric and the right is old ledger paper.

This is a very fragile page from a Montgomery Wards original old catalog adhered to a vintage hanky.


This is a vintage piece of linen adhered to a page from a Sears, Roebuck catalog that was very fragile but not now that I used the fusible webbing.   It is really neat how you can see the catalog page through the vintage linen.

I used fusible webbing to adhere two fragile vintage papers is an original page from a Sears catalog and the other is a page from an 1880's ledger.   This is the front and back of one page.

I hope this gives you some ideas.   The sky is the limit as to what you can do with this.