Friday, January 27

INSTALLMENT 2 OF: OH MY GOODNESS!

Greetings, dear readers!

After only a few days to recover from the first "Random Act of Kindness" that landed on my doorstep, I awakened to even more goodies arriving at my mailbox! Behold the Valentine-y goodness:

What wonderfully, quirky and inventive things to send! See the vintage "Cootie" and the bag of little Sherriff's Stars? LOVE! And the heart-shaped measuring cups and spoons are just utterly adorable! 
There are candy hearts (and a tube of Valentines M&Ms which have mysteriously "evaporated" (so says the guilty hubs) and darling cupcake liners...and rubber stamps and vintage valentines and...and...
Wait a minute...did I say CUPCAKE LINERS? (Several were Mary Engelbreit) hmmmmm....I'm starting to think this has the earmarks of a certain someone...I shall continue to ponder that notion. Meanwhile, back to the goodies...
And crepe paper and ribbon and twine and cupcake toppers! (See my darling little Owl? A creation from Elizabeth at Creative Breathing) OH! And look at the Hello Kitty book (HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY KNOW I'm a "closet" HELLO KITTY fan? SPOOKY?!?!) And see the mousepad UNDER the Hello Kitty book? A vintage Shasta...a "for no reason" gift from my dear friend Sandy McClay at 521 Lake Street. (In fact....I'm starting to think MANY of these goodies have Sandy written all over them....confessions?)  
See this fab little travel cup? I got it at a dollar store a thousand years ago...but here's the GREAT thing...not only does it keep your Earl Grey piping hot, but it has a clear insulating cup so you can change the look of it! It was just Christmas sweater paper, but NOW, I used the darling little sack some of my treats were in to make an adorable, vintagey Valentines Day travel cup! I just LOVE the little skunk! Isn't he sweet? This vintage pattern is one of my faves. 
I can't wait to get started...I think I shall make celebratory cupcakes first! Isn't blogdom an amazing place? So many incredibly generous, kind and wonderful women...OH! Which reminds me...go HERE:
And read all about this genius woman: Jenny Lawson

Who purchased this most amazing dress (honestly, it's breathtaking!)


Wore it long enough for a photo shoot (a GORGEOUS photo shoot), and then mailed it to other women who wanted to: 

"I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies.  I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be.  And the more I thought about it the more I realized how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply “not sensible”.  Things like flying lessons, and ballet shoes, and breaking into spontaneous song, and building a train set, and crawling onto the roof just to see the stars better.  Things like cartwheels and learning how to box and painting encouraging words on your body to remind yourself that you’re worth it."

And so off it went, traversing the globe...this amazingly, magical incredible dress made by Sunny Haralson . I DARE YOU not to cry when you read this story! 

A dear friend and I are going to do something similar here in Mt. Vernon...stay tuned for details!

ALL THAT TO SAY, WOW! Thank you dear friends (both known and unknown) for making me feel special and loved!

Love and hugs to you all!
Paula Clare


Friday, January 20

OH MY GOODNESS...DID I MISS SOMETHING?!?!

Greetings friends in blogdom!

I am writing to you in a state of ... of... shock and awe! 

(Okay, that's not my best "shocked" and "awed" face, but it's one that lets you know how much I'm smiling!)

In the past two days, I have received some of the most amazing things in the mail...is it my birthday? No....Christmas? No....whatever could it be? Just friends in blogdom being their amazing selves? YES!!!!

Look at the goodies that have come my way! Some from Renee at My Vintage Mending (THANK YOU, Renee!) and another "friendly sender" from "Friendship Lane in the Heart of Ohio". I cannot get over how sneaky this sender was...there wasn't even a postmark on the package! HOW do you do THAT? Must be a friend with a secret-weapon friendship with the postal carrier...or ... or ????:
 October Afternoon papers...MY FAVORITE of all papers! Christmas Style (oh so retro!) and Campfire and 5 and Dime! The very papers I've been secretly coveting for weeks!

 Darling vintage storybooks and (SWOON) a vintage coloring book...10 Little Indians...no doubt to go with all my vintage cowboys! LOVE! And more vintage images on storybook cards! So SWEET!
 And doilies and pipe cleaners and vintage papers and craft supplies and little tiny, Eastery goodies just SCREAMING for an altered art ... SOMETHING! (Tiny shadowboxes inside easter eggs? Little book/turned shadowbox)?
 And a valentine fabric "tussie mussie" (what is it Jenny B. of Allsorts calls these?) Anyway, one of my very own! LOVE! And the little cowgirl hankie shall have a revered place in the canned ham...I'm framing her in a barnwood frame! And buttons and trims and all the "matching" goodies that go with October Afternoon papers...OH HOW I LOVE THEM! This color scheme is so very ME, don't you think so? And vintage valentines and Christmas, and... and...
It's just all so kind, you know? I mean, my husband is always taken aback by the generosity and friendship of "virtual strangers" ... but *I* know better! I know there is nothing "virtual" about our friendships...blogdom is a REAL place where REAL kindred spirits meet and inspire and create and share with one another! I am feeling like Queen for a Day...especially when I cannot think of a single event or "reason" for such amazing kindnesses. 
LOVE the Lipstick hankies...a fish and a pig...with lipstick! SO kitschy! I LOVE them! I'm beginning to wonder if this was part of a well devised conspiracy????? Anyone going to "fess up?" Or is this all just incredible random kindnesses finding the same doorstep?

Regardless, I am feeling amazingly blessed and very, very fortunate to have such awe-inspiring bloggy friends. Kisses and hugs to all...I'm off to play!

Hugs,
Paula Clare

Saturday, January 14

WHAT I FIND INSPIRING RIGHT NOW...

Greetings dear reader!

I have been away due to a horrific dental issue...I'll not sicken you with the gorey details, but suffice to say I have been in too much pain to do ANYTHING but medicate myself and pray for relief. My face is swollen and I believe I resemble Magilla Gorilla...(who remembers HIM, hmmmm?) Anyway, many THOUSANDS of milligrams of antibiotics later, I am feeling some relief...and so I thought I'd let you know what I've found to keep me busy and inspired during these weeks...

As you know, taking my little vintage Camper Mary Lou is a great joy in my life. I have dreamed of our retirement when we will be on the road more than we're not! 

 
Anyway, I have such a love for these tiny spaces...and just SWOON over them being used in photoshoots and such. Have you EVER seen a more beautifully sweet engagement shoot? I LOVE these photos by Shannon Boettcher of fotoNovella




You can see the entire photo story here: Hippies and Hearts . I may try to get something like this together for my youngest son and daughter in love when they come to visit us this summer...

Also, I've been perusing shops that are contained within little campers...SO vintage, SO tiny, SO inspiring! Like the sweet peach Oh So Lovely Shop:


Just look at that little camper! Their shop is wonderful too! Another great find was this: 

Haberdash Vintage...a great little Etsy shop housed in this little vintage trailer! Sweet! I am just so inspired by women (mostly) who find their passion and then create a way to make money doing what they love! My love of travel and all things vintage allow me to live vicariously through these and others (on my sidebar) until we can afford to do the same ourselves! 2.5 years to retirement and counting! WOOT! Check them out when you have time...be prepared tho. It may be HOURS before you come back!

More soon!
Paula Clare



Friday, January 6

CRAFTY GOALS FOR 2012

Greetings, dear readers!

Well, as many of you know my New Years Eve Craft-A-Long was a bit of a bust....couple the fact of lots of folks not having the time/ambition/money to craft all evening, and the fact that my computer crashed MID Craft-A-Long (ARGH) and you've got an uneventful, crafting fiasco of epic (ok, less than epic) proportions.
SOOOOOOOo, moving on....


This year, I want to be more intentional about my crafting...since I am still in recovery mode from the economic meltdown of 2011 (which shall hencetofore be known as "The Year From Hades") I have to be very selective in what I choose to purchase or create. However, because I want to make more GREEN crafts, I have no excuse when I can repurpose, upcycle and reuse. So, THAT being said, ON TO THE LIST:

1. As many of you know, I have a niece (actually I have several nieces) but one in particular who likes to create for UTILITY. She sews her own clothes, and is something of a lean, mean (not very) green fashion making machine. 

She has an Etsy shoppe: Emileigh's Shoppe, where she creates hair accessories that are made from thrifted, and upcycled goodies. But these lovelies, as great as they are, do not accurately reflect her level of creativity when it comes to making things that are USEFUL. 

I have exactly the OPPOSITE problem...the things I tend to create as art are, as  my dear friend Deb used to say, "Ars Gratia Artis" Art for Art's Sake...no purpose really...just ... PRETTY. Well, THIS year, 

1. I want to make some things that are USEFUL as well as decorative. One thing I'd like to make is some version of a crazy quilt. I'm envisioning something like this...that includes SOME embroidery also, because another thing on my list is...


2. Improve my embroidery skills. I absolutely LOVE samplers...but I either do not have the patience or the nimble-fingered ability to create such lovelieness: How great is THIS?! A "crazy quiltesque" kind of pattern, in the shape of a deer head! Oh how I love it! I cannot fathom my being able to pull it off, tho. Ngaire Bartlam has been a long time Aussie inspiration...her new blog, "Fox and Deer" is chock full of amazing, drool worthy pieces...

Le sigh...if only she lived in the states! I could show up on her doorstep and plead with her to mentor me! (I know, I know, you're thinking, "Those things aren't very USEFUL...." well they WOULD be if I'd put them on a cushion or pillow or in the middle of a quilt or tablecloth, right?) I'd love to have the crazy-quilt deer head on pillow cases.Wouldn't you HAVE to have lovely dreams?

3.  I want to make some type of mason jar lighting for my home:

Maybe for the patio/hot tub area? I even like the ones with "faux fireflies!"

4. I want to create some meaningful wordart for my sisters...LOVE this...


5.  I SEW desperately (pun intended) want to make these:





6. I know, I know. Squirrels and monsters are not exactly UTILITARIAN...well how 'bout this then, MR. "I will pay attention to what you say and make you stick to it!"?


7. AND finally, THIS: I want to build a pair (or seven) of these for my very own:

Or maybe just BUY them from this fabulous designer who already has the skills to create these beauties flawlessly...behold,

Aren't they drapey and comfy and beautiful? I just LOVE them...

What are YOUR craft aspirations for the new year? Hmmmmmmm?



Sunday, January 1

CRAFT ALONG PROJECT 2: COWGIRL GLAM JUNK JEWELRY!

Okay, Happy New Year to you all! I hope you enjoyed our first little project? This one is equally fun and can be customized to your personal liking...here are a few images to get you started:

 This is my favorite...I just love the way the gals have been colorized...




WE INTERRUPT THIS CRAFT-ALONG FOR A LONG-WINDED EXPLANATION:

My computer died! Right in the middle of the craft along...it died! Just went BLACK! No power, no warning...NOTHING! I was hysterical at about 2 a.m. and awakened the hubs to see if he had any bright ideas as to what happened. We feared the worst...a dead motherboard. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!  I was in the middle of creating JEWELRY for the Craft-Along for crying out loud!? Is there no unwritten law that forbids technological disasters in the midst of CREATING?!?!

We went immediately (Monday, January 2) to the "computer guy" who (like banks, the mail and many MANY other businesses) was CLOSED. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!  I had family come in on Tuesday, so the computer sat DEAD and unattended...but today, the hubs took it to the computer and....glory of all glories, IT"S ALIIIIIIIIIVE once more! It was a bad (dead) power "brick" or some such. Not a dead motherboard as we feared! HUZZAH! SOooooooooo, here I am, to complete this project instructions and the rest...albeit several days later than anticipated. :-(  SO SORRY about that! But now, back to the cowgirl jewelry!

SOOOO after you have printed out your image(s), use mod podge, or any craft glue to adhere the image to the inside of the jewelery...thusly:



The top is just a two sided pre-made metal jewelry "case". The Bottom are Scrabble tiles, painted black and then crystals and french hooks are added. Easy peasy and FUN!

I have a pocket watch somewhere...I want to use the colorful cowgirls in the first image on it...I just can't seem to lay hands on it at this moment...I've torn the craft room apart looking for it :-( . Ah well, perhaps you have an idea for jewelry ? I'd love to hear about it...