I had this ornate white frame sitting empty on my shelf for several weeks, and, unsure of what to put in it, I whipped this up. I used a black marker, pink pencil crayon, and some cardstock to make the cat drawing. Then, to make it a little more interesting, I added the pink calico bow that I made out of a scrap of the fabric. The idea of adding fabric to a plain drawing could be altered in numerous ways to make whatever image you like. The simple portrait of this self-satisfied kitty in his fancy frame makes me chuckle every time I look at it. An inexpensive DIY artwork, if it makes you smile, is the best kind of décor. It certainly doesn't take much effort to fill a frame with cuteness!
The glorious days of summer are starting to slip away, but they still provide some quality relaxation time. Here are several photos, originally from various vintage Vogue magazines, that I gathered from Pinterest. They capture these passing days very glamorously!
(This photo is from My Vintage Vogue. The site has an excellent gallery of restored photos.)
A basket purse is the perfect accessory for a transitional August day. An alternative to typical leather or cloth bags, they are like picnic baskets that hint at the looks of the cool, brown-leaved, preppy days to come.
This is the sturdy purse my great-grandma used nearly daily in the 1960s. Now I use it to hold sewing notions.
This peppy little purse was my mom's in the '60s. The fat raffia flowers and mustard yellow handles add cuteness to the otherwise simple, woven cube.
I bought this $1 vintage purse at a church rummage sale for its slightly scalloped bottom, smooth handles, and crest-like clasp. Vintage basket purses are relatively attainable thrift finds, and they come in a variety of functional but pretty shapes, colors, and sizes! Plus, the fact that they are still kickin' around in such good condition proves their durability!
For the past week or so I've been on a watercolor rampage! I've had so many pent up ideas of things to paint and I finally got around to them--for hours on end each day. It's quite odd how motivation and momentum build up while I am creating something to the point where I forget how hungry I am, and the like. Thankfully, though, I've been multitasking by getting some sun while painting, via the comforts of my backyard.
This is one design that I have made so far, an illustration of one of my favourite Bible quotes. I have been painting little doodles that I've turned into Spoonflower fabrics as well as illustrating a variety of quotes (from the Bible, famous authors and artists...) with the intent of listing prints of them in my Etsy store (coming ASAP)! I really love how watercolor always looks so fresh, but I especially love the true message of this verse! Focusing on the positive is wonderful!
Wait! Don't throw out the end of that bok choy head! Now your dinner can also fulfill your hunger for a DIY floral print.
As you can see, bok choy stalks are grouped on the head in a flower formation, and the bottom slice is the perfect stamp to use to make a large floral print. Celery works too, but bok choy has a much smoother looking result.
A couple bok choy stubs
Some paper towel
A piece of blank paper
A paint brush
Acrylic paint in the color of your choice
A glass of water
The item you wish to transform with the floral print (I chose a canvas tote bag)
Step 1: Let the bok choy slice dry out on the counter for a day or so. This eliminates the risk of the bok choy juice causing the paint to bleed everywhere. It also creates a better separation between the petals, which will result in a nicer flower.
Step 2: Paint the petals of the stub and test stamp it on the paper. This will help you gauge the amount of paint you should put on, depending on your preferred look.
Step 3: Re-apply the paint on the bok choy and stamp it onto the item you're transforming.
Step 4: If you are switching the colors of your flowers, you will need to get the previous paint off the stamp to keep it from looking muddy. The best way to do this is to stamp off the excess paint as much as possible on the piece of test paper (bonus: you get an awesome piece of printed paper). Use the paintbrush to paint water onto the stamp, wiping it and the paint residue off with the paper towel, and then you'll be ready to paint a new color onto the stamp.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have created a floral print that you are happy with!
Now you have a unique floral item all set to be put to use!
(And hey, in terms of putting the item to use, think of all the bok choy I could bring home in this bag!)
Here is a poem written by my great-great-grandma, Alice. I love how it demonstrates exactly why we need to understand and value the past while we can.
When we were adolescent kids,
And all of us at home,
Our Grandma lived there with us, so
She wouldn't be alone.
We loved our dear old Grandma'ma,
And treated her quite well;
But she bored us most to death
With the stories she would tell.
She'd talk for full and hour or more--
Just pause to catch a breath--
The same old stories o'er and o'er,
'Til we were bored to death!
We'd nudge beneath the table;
We'd wink, we'd yawn; but then,
Grandma always held the floor
With her "I remember when".
But now she's gone forevermore;
And we are growing old,
And wish that we had listened to
The stories Granny told.
Today we're always questioning:
Who were our folks and kin?
How did they look, and act, and speak?
And did they laugh and sing?
Whatever bro't them to this place?
Why did they settle here?
What trials and hardships did they face?
What evils did they fear?
We want to know about their church--
The folks who gathered there--
Their loves, their hates, their doubts, their fears
The burden of their prayer.
Our Granny told us all those things,
In one way or another;
But we just let her precious words
In one ear, and out the other.
And now--today--we long to know
The tales we laughed at then;
And wish that we had listened to
Her "I remember when".
Ironically and unfortunately I don't know that much about Alice, other than that she was a high school English teacher and cat lover. I feel like we would have gotten along very well, and wish I could hear her talk about her life. It just goes to show that we should all always keep our ears open to stories of other generations!
If you're short on creative time, pressed flower art is your kind of craft.
A flower press like this one is the best way to flatten thick flowers and leaves (roses, daisies, hosta flowers, etc.) but a hefty book also works very well for thinner kinds (clover, coral bells, geraniums, etc.).
All you have to do is pick a bunch of summer flowers, arrange them into the pages of a flower press or book, continue on with your eventful life, check on the flattened flowers several days later, and then slap 'em in a frame! It's amazing how the process even preserves the silky, iridescent, and fuzzy parts of the flowers. Now head outside and start gathering some blooms so you can have delicate floral art all year round!
These photos are a little late considering the cherries have already been picked, pitted, and eaten (the crisp and cupcakes were good, oh my), but I wanted to share the shiny red glory that is this fruit. Since last year we only got two cherries, this was the first year our tree produced enough cherries for an official harvest...'twas delightful!
God must have enjoyed making cherries. They are like bright jewels dripping off each branch.