Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cross Stitch Challenge

I've never entered a challenge before, but I'm jumping in with both feet. Robby at Glory River Primitives is having a cross stitch challenge. Be sure to head over there and check it out. The design that must be included in your piece can be found in a link on her blog. The design includes the above peacocks and basket. I started stitching last night and now have to add some words to my entry. This is the project that I wanted to start on but told myself I had to finish the penny rug first. ~Ann

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Penny Rug Done

I've never made a penny rug before, but I love to blanket stitch so I thought I'd like this. I have 84 three layer pennies in this runner. It's all from the wool that I bought several weeks ago at the TS. The colors are camel, dark red, brown tweed, gray and black. I must tell you that I am glad to have it done. There's another project that I want to start and I told myself not until I had this done! What will power(just agree with me - no laughing!).

We have a late spring break this year. Only one more week of school and we'll be off for 5 days. Yeah! Can't wait.
Have a great weekend. ~Ann

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Primitive Lighting

When I found this tin chandelier at Irvin's on clearance I purchased it and it sat in the box in the basement for several months, then actually made it to hanging up for maybe a year before the electricity was run to it! (There wasn't a light in the ceiling of this room when we moved in, DH had to peel back carpet & padding, in the bedroom above it and cut a hole in the floor to run the electricty.) This room had been the previous owner's family room, it sits at the end of the kitchen - we decided to switch things up and make it part of the kitchen. Dining room sounds too formal for a prim lifestyle so we call it the eat in kitchen. Now that we had the chandelier that posed a problem for the other 3 lights that run in a straight line into the kitchen. Have you checked out the price of prim lighting? WOW!!! I'd love to have 3 light fixtures that cost $200.00 each, but that wasn't going to happen. We found these lights at Menard's for about $24.00 each. They came with a white ring that sits flush to the ceiling and a white "button" that screws in to hold the glass in place. I decided that I'd use a can of spray paint in a granite color over the white areas and this is how they turned out. I am very happy with the result. Sometimes a project turns out just how you imagined!

It's nice enough weather that our "pet" chipmunk is out sitting on the deck. Frito about comes out of his skin when "chip" is taunting him. One day this week we came home from school and Frito was sitting in the living room window with his head pushed against the glass looking straight down into the landscaping - guess who was out front??? CHIP. Poor Frito, if only he could figure out a way to get outside!

Lastly I thought I'd share a couple of baskets that also grace our kitchen/eat in area of the house. I'd seen a basket like this one in a magazine - I'm sure in a prim house! I scrounged around til I found a handle in my stash and took rough measurements of what I wanted and just wove this up. I really like it over the back sliding doors, it's very simple.

This next basket is from a pattern by Marlene Meyer, she's a great weaver/designer. Think of it as a round tray. The Wood fretwork disc is made from black walnut and if you look very closely you will see my initials - "A F" cut into the design. A basketweaver friend's husband cut this out for me and I treasure it. The basket is woven with cane and reed. The wall of the basket is about 2 1/2". I don't use this basket other than for decoration. I've learned the hard way that fretwork will break if little boys step on it! I'd made a purse with fretwork sides and my youngest stepped on it when he was little and a piece broke off and was never seen again.

Til next time ~Ann

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Recycling at it's Best

This is the coolest recycling project ever! Arlette had this idea and posted the tutorial on her blog earlier this week. (Check out her blog, she has many, many, many great ideas for recycling - like "yarn" for rugs made from tshirts.) She took old blue jeans and cut off the hems and rolled them into a circle, adding pieces to get just the right size for a coaster or hot mat. Thanks Arlette for the cool ideas that you have. Last night I got out my stash of old jeans from the attic and proceeded to make several coasters. I really like the frayed look on these. I did make mine a little different, as I didn't cut off the leg seam, so I have areas that are a little thicker than others, but when they were done, I just squeezed them into the round shape. I haven't glued any felt to the bottom of them yet, I'll need to get some blue felt next time I'm at JoAnnes. They are perfect for our basement family room, we don't have any furniture down there that need coasters, but now we WILL be using coasters! I do have to admit to being a sap! As I was cutting the jeans apart I would hold up a pair and reminisce about that specific pair of jeans. I found pairs that were a little boy size 4 - now my boys are in sizes 10 & 12. I can't believe they were that little once. How fast they grow up on us. I love all the holes in the knees of the jeans - a blessing that I have 2 healthy active boys. Our daughter never blew any holes in her knees - guess she wasn't crawling around playing Legos and Imaginext like the boys.

Hope you too are enjoying warm weather, we left school today without any coats on - Yeah! ~Ann

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Easter Tree

Guess what I found in my craft cupboard? An Unfinished Project from one year ago! I started on these eggs last year, I got as far as stuffing them and then promptly quit. Several of you have the same problem I have, I don't like the pastel colors of spring and I just couldn't bring myself to paint them pastel colors. I decided that I must finish these so went ahead and painted them. I know these are BRIGHT. I'm not done, I stained them with coffee and baked them in the oven til dry and then strung them with fishing line to hang on my twig tree.

It's a little far to see the eggs and bunnies up close, but with this view you get the entire tree.

Up close of the bunnies (Tennessee Ridge pattern) and eggs. I do like them, not 100% in love with them, but they look good. I did add some twigs of soft yellow berries which adds some interest and another texture to the tree. The eggs look much better with the coffee stain, prim Easter Eggs. Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. ~Ann

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chicken Feed Bucket

I had this bucket listed on my selling blog and decided it needed some help. I added "lid" and "chicken feed" and now I REALLY love this bucket! I made the label myself, aged it with boiled black walnut stain and adhered it to both sides of the bucket. The bucket appears to be full of corn, however it is actually a round wood lid with a couple of layers of corn glued on. For easy removal of the lid I had my husband cut a branch and drill through the bottom of the lid to attach it to the lid. It looks like a stick is just sitting in the bucket with the chicken feed. I also think this is a cool place to hide something (I haven't thought of anything yet, but I will!) - under the lid. I have it sitting by the back door, so if you came into my house you might think that I had chickens in the backyard that need to be fed. With the price of eggs, that might be a good idea. Close up of the label - the opposite side is identical.

Another view so you can see the actual size of the bucket. I'm going to relist this on my selling blog. Just to let you know, there are only 9 days left until spring! We were excited this morning in class when we discovered we are in single digits left until that day. I think the kids think it's going to be 70 degrees as soon as it gets to be spring. We can only hope! (The weather forecast here says it's going to be 17 degrees tonight - and we're flooded in NW Ohio). ~Ann

Saturday, March 7, 2009

$5.00 Saturday

I am so excited! Look what I got today for $5.00. We were in Angola Indiana for a couple of basketball games for our 5th grader. Since we were there early, we drove around downtown and stumbled upon a Thrift Store, run by a sorority - can't remember which one, sorry. Today was fill a bag day for $5.00. I found 5 blazers and 3 skirts. I'm drying the first load and washing the second load right now. All are 100% wool and will be used in either penny rugs or my rug hooking. Mr. Nosey aka Frito immediately jumped on the couch after I laid out the items. You can almost see the bulls eye on his side in this photo. He is such a helper!

We stopped at the Goodwill after the game, but I'm just getting disappointed in Goodwill. Their prices are high and the quality of items is going downhill. I picked up a 6" high pillar candle that was dinged up thinking I could prim it up good and no one would ever know. The price was $2.00!!!!! Sorry, but I can a new one at Walmart for a little more than that. I know that they are working for disadvantaged people, but $2.00 for a used, beaten up candle?????? The Goodwill in our town isn't any better. If I never went in again I don't think I'd miss it. I will definitely go back to the TS where I bought the wool. Unfortunately it didn't have many knick knack items to paint. I just finished this candle board this week. I based it on the directions from Char. Instead of the whale tail top that she used, I used a tombstone top. I have another project in the works with a whale tail top and don't want 2 with the same top in the living room. After hanging it on the wall I just laid candles that I bought at Walmart for 25 cents each on the nails to see how it was going to look. I hadn't had the time to prim them up yet. My advisors (my boys, ages 11 & 8) told me they thought it would look better if I'd remove the wrapping from the candles!!! Maybe there's hope for them yet, they are moving in the prim direction.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring is 16 days away!

I don't know how the weather is where you are, but here in NW Ohio it's still COLD! At calendar time this morning we counted how many days are left until spring. A big cheer went up when we discovered it's not that many days away. Anything to celebrate or have a party in a kindergarten classroom! We now have the official countdown on the chalkboard. My hope is that it warms up in those 16 days. At least we were able to get outside for recess today, I'm sick of being in the classroom or the gym for recess.

Thinking ahead to Easter, Bunny Hugs is one of the UFO's that I finished up during my Procrastinator's Challenge. I waited to post it until now. It was a free pattern from online, but I can't remember where I got it, and I don't seem to have the papers, sorry.

The pillows were made by Joanne as one of her UFO's in the Procrastinator's Challenge - remember she won with over 2 dozen completed projects! (She has even more UFO's posted on her blog and she's updating us on her progress weekly.) These are simply the cutest Easter pillows.
I started cutting out a tote bag last night. Wow did I have help. Frito decided that pulling the pins out of the pattern was FUN! I couldn't keep them out of his mouth. I finally gave up and piled everything up and pulled it out again tonight while he was napping upstairs. When he was a little younger (he's 2 1/2 years old) he would pick up marbles and drop them down the stairs - we don't have carpet on either flight of stairs - and watch them clink down. This was a lovely sound at 2:30 am! Glad he never swallowed any of them. He's now given up on the marbles, but has taken to playing the piano. If we don't close the lid before we go to bed, he's composing in the middle of the night and usually the pieces are quite spooky! Stay warm and remember tomorrow there are only 15 days until spring! ~Ann