Sunday, August 26, 2012

French General Freebie

Not long ago, I began following a blog by the name of The Warp and The Weft,  whose subtitle is Scraps About French General.  Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with this name, French General is a brand of delightful stickers, fabrics, paper packs, ribbons, books, and who-knows-what-else. It is also a shop in Los Angeles (and online) where all of this stuff is sold. I was familiar with some of their goods, because their stickers and a few other things are sold at Michael's. 

Upon my first visit to the blog, I read the current (at that time) post, entitled Some Sort of Wonderful Giveaway. Well, of course, that caught my eye! Everyone loves giveaways, don't they? I do, if there isn't a lot asked of me. All this required was a comment about one's summer crafting. Having recently dyed buttons, as you may recall from an earlier post here, I dutifully left my comment and crossed my fingers. 

Lo and behold, the next posting on their blog, entitled The Oprah Moment, stated that they were going to give their new paper crafting collection to everyone who commented on the prior post (it had to be done by a certain date). Yippee!! I sent in my address and a copy of my comment and waited for it to arrive in the mail.
It took a few weeks, but I received it the other day and was so excited to find lots of stuff!

They sent button stickers,

assorted tags and twine, ribbons (the little spool is a shank button!)
 and these little cuties-- tiny stickers and tiny buttons.

I have no idea how I will use these treats, so for now they will sit out, where I can look at them and hope inspiration strikes. I'm sure it will, sooner or later. 
 For now though, I urge you to visit their "Brocante Francaise" and check out their "Petite Bijoux."
(links above, in first paragraph)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Silverware as an Art Form

I received an email message this morning that I had a new follower on Pinterest, which is encouraging, for as much as I like the site and have read that it is beneficial to those in retail, I admit I don't spend as much time on it as I should or would like to. There just always seems to be too much to do just to maintain the status quo of my business (like, writing a blog post more often than once a week, for example).

 Anyhow, I checked out this person's Pinterest boards and came across this delightful chandelier (yes, another chandelier, for those of you who read my test tube post).

I just enjoy how clever folks are. Don't you think it's perfect for the kitchen?

So this got me searching for similar things, as I seem  to have a bit of a weakness for the creative use of  silverware (not that I do it).

Next I found this... 

...which is even more clever and probably easier to put together. Would have to use a soft-white bulb though.

Not too fond of jewelry made with silverware, but they're popular I guess, because they seem to show up everywhere. Maybe it is because they all look the same.
But when time is taken to add a little extra, this can happen. Isn't it lovely?

Then there are wind chimes, which, I think, is where my infatuation with the creative use of silverware  began.

I've never made one--don't know why, because I've loved wind chimes ever since I saw "Body Heat," a steamy, sultry 1981 movie starring
Kathleen Turner and William Hurt
(if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean). 

I was going to put  a video of the movie trailer here,
but it is rated "R," so I decided not to do that.
If you watch, turn up the volume:
Body Heat

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And I Quote...

 I've had this quote in my head for weeks. Read it in another blog and it rings true for me whenever I feel discouraged or have a creative block. Wanted to share it, in hopes that it may encourage you too, no matter where your creativity lies.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.
Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tiendas y Un Collar (shops and a necklace)

I found this delightful necklace the other day at an antique mall and just had to get it. You'll see why in a minute...
There are no markings, but it is surely from a Central American country, or possibly Caribbean.

Time for your close-up, senorita!
Like a tropical paradise, it has parrots... well as bells, terra-cotta pots, and "coins" too!

Alright, back to the reason for the attraction.
I have a collection of Central American-style storefronts of various sorts and although this is a necklace, it is also a store of a kind, yes? (or should I say, si?) 
It all started with this little one, which was given to me as a child by a relative who went somewhere, I don't remember.
 I must confess it did not hold much interest for me at the time, but is precious to me now. Along the way, I acquired this old postcard that bears a remarkable resemblance to my little tienda.
So, I keep them together on the shelf.

These two are the largest pieces in the bunch. 
On the left is a fish store and on the right is a flower shop.
Like most of these, they are vintage, though not antiques.

Okay, guess what is in here...

A dear friend gave it to me years ago.

You may recognize this as a Day of the Dead market stall.
The skeleton has springs for arms and legs, so he jiggles! (and he sells meats!)

Now we are getting down to the smallest ones.
In the center is a senora at her craft stand, on the right is a Nativity scene, and on the left is one of my very favorites, a miniature of a woman kneeling by her wares for sale, with a lime dome that covers her! She belonged to my sister, for years. One day I remarked on how cute I thought it was and she was kind enough to give it to me.

Now do you understand why I had to have the necklace?