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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Announcing the Fall Intrigues Shabby Tote Swap

Do you like totes?  Well I do!  I am nuts about nifty little tote bags.  To transport all sorts of things and keep everything in its place.  I have one to store the coloring books, art paper and crayons for my grandchildren.  I have a special little one that holds just enough favorite dvds  for a great weekend retreat.  I also have perfect totes for scrapbooking supplies and totes for magazines to take with me in the car.

I made this little tote bag just the other day.  I thought, why not swap this tote and make it a fall one at that.  So. . . . . . .

I am announcing the FALL INTRIGUES SHABBY TOTE SWAP    Last year I hosted the fall intrigues "basket" swap.  But this time I would like to make it a little bit more interesting.

****Here all the rules.

1)   Make or decorate a simple canvas tote approximately 11" x 12" and put a shoulder strap on it.

2)  Inside fill it with anything having to do with fall.  Can be Autumn anything, Halloween, or Thanksgiving.  Can be handmade, or vintage, or even brand new.  Put things into it that you would love to receive.  But please don't put lots of things in the box too, just what ever can fit into the bag.  It can hang out of the bag, but not out of the tote.  Keep it lightweight so shipping won't be to expensive.

3)  If you are interested, you must email me by October 6th at ask@comnett.net and put in the subject line "Fall Shabby tote swap" and I will let you know who your partner is by October 7th.  Give me all your info in this original email.  I need your name, address, and also your email and blog addresses.  It is beneficial to be able to visit blogs and or flickr pages to get a feel for one's partner's dislikes and likes.

NOTE******Please do not go out and buy lots of stuff.  The fun of these swaps is to use what is in your stash and also use your abilities and creativity.  Also be sure to contact your partner before hand.  Getting to know one another makes for a better swap too!

Here are some ideas for things to put in the bag.

1)    chocolate
2)    scrapbooking supplies
3)    vintage doilies
4)    handmade cards
5)    vintage ephemera
6)    notebooks
7)    albums
8)    aprons
9)    hankies
10)  buttons
11)  jewelry
12)  small candles
13)  small books
14)  small frames
15)  craft supplies or kits

Some closeups of the tote that I will swap.  I decorated my bag with vintage buttons, ribbons, and vintage crocheted lace.

I will put all the participants names on my sidebar by the 7th of October.  And the shipping date for this swap will be October 19th, 2011  REMEMBER THIS IS A SHABBY TOTE

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Halloween matchbox I made for my partner.

I had loads of spooky fun creating this matchbox for my partner Karen.  We were asked to make 4 handmade items, and they did not all have to fit in the box.  I made some things that would not fit in the box, and some that would go in there.  But the box was full.  I don't like super gothic, or scary, but I did want to have it look very old almost victorian halloweenish!  I hope it doesn't look to gothic/
So I  made this chipboard faux coffin for the top, an decorated it with ribbon roses and velvety leaves.
One thing that did not fit inside was this witchy tag book.  I wish I had one of these to keep.  
I went through my stash and found these Alice in Wonderland halloween images by graphics 45.  I also purchased digitally the antique witch images from Etsy for this tag book.
I pulled out the meanings of words like Witch, ghost and vampire from a very old dictionary, and embellished.  The spider rub-ons looked a little bit to real, cause I kept trying to kill that little spider on this tag.
Got some cute quotes of some vintage postcards.

All 10 tags put together with a ring
Some of the other things inside the box.  Notice the rope pendant.  I don't know what it is, I just know that it is very old~it looks like it is made out of floss.  A crystal chandelier prism that is definitely vintage, a little vintage doily, which the lace on it reminds me of a beautiful spider web, a vial of black german glass glitter and other stuff.
a cello bag of buttons and earrings that I made.  
I framed this image with an old part of a buckle and crepe paper ruffle
This thick domino was just asking to be decorated.
the back of the domino
 I put this necklace together for Karen and decided it needed it's own display card, so it did not go into the box either.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Decorations

I have been waiting for the cooler weather.  But we aren't really having that yet here in the desert southwest.  So, I could not wait any longer and spent yesterday getting some fall and halloween decorations put up.
Hanging at my fireplace is two items I got last year from two blogging friends.  The swag was made by Valarie Kraft of Glittery Daze and nights.  And the tassels come from Kerri James of Tales of a needle and thread

At my entryway by the front door.  
Where I live, we actually don't get fall color until November.  It is pretty green out there still!
My dining room centerpiece.  I put the wreath here instead of hanging it up!

I love wildflower look.  It definitely reminds me of a high altitude meadow, late in summer or early in the fall!
Don't worry,  right after I saw that the 'y' in spooky was sideways, I fixed it.  It fell off while in hanging and my perspective was off!  I hope these pictures help you all get in the mood for
fall and for Halloween! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting the Halloween Fever!

Anyone in the mood for Halloween?  Look how fun and cute this is!!!!!  I am a partner in JoAnne's Halloween Matchbox swap or Vintage Dragonfly's monthly matchbox swap flickr group.   My partner, Karen Hess karensmondaymusings.blogspot.com just left for a trip to Germany today, so she wanted to get a jump on it.  Here is the amazing little gem of a matchbox she sent to me.  We were asked to put in 4 handmade items.  Heck the altered box counts as one thing.  Well Karen spoiled me good.  I was tickled pink (or should I say orange) with my box and all of it's contents.  Enjoy!
You can tell that she really put a lot of time and effort into it.
She put the so cute box up on these adorable bead legs.  I just love it!
She altered the matchbox into the cool lift up trunk style.  The velcro tab and tie kept it closed.
this is a Spooktacular little swag that says "spooky"  Another sweet little gem.
She made this cute little poison bottle from a tiny matchbox (I think)  on the other side it bears a tag that states "Drink me"
There was this way tiny (1"x1") book that says, "things that go bump in the night. . .BOO!"
Those are brass jump rings for jewelry.  I can only imagine how hard it was to get that all together being so tiny!

And on  the outside of the box she sent along some more goodies.
A bagful of buttons and flowers, a really cute ATC signed by the artist, and this way cute pendant made from a bottle cap.    I couldn't love it more.  I still get giddy when I look at it all and I will post what I made for Karen in a later post!  I have her's done, but will wait to post that a little later on.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Announcing the winner from my other Blog!

Here is a sampling of what the winner will be sent!  Above are the some of the pieces from the 1889 scrapbook.

Some of the other ephemera is not old, but is delightful!

I am adding in this handmade by me fallish, Thanksgiving type card too!

And putting it all together in this paper pocket that I crafted just for this giveaway!

And the winner is:          Laurie from indulgeyourshelf.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

. . . . . Recent good fortune!

On Saturday I had a garage sale here at my home, to mostly help out a friend who is losing her home. (darn economy) and moving into a very much smaller house.  I also was able to clear out and re-organize my own home.  Being an empty nest-or now, well it was time to clear out.  Anything that did not sell, with the exception of a very few things all went to a local thrift store.  So I am feeling like most of what is here is something we want to keep, at least for now.  And since my friend is moving to such a small place, she went through her husband's grandmother's old vintage things, and decided that I, Michele should and would appreciate these things.  She was so very correct in her assumption.
     Below is just a small portion of Granny's button collection left in an old tin can, this was about 1/4 of the wonderful buttons in this can!

Aren't they lovely?  There were so many celluloid buttons, and I tried to imagine the clothing that each interesting button came from.
More of my favorites!
Among-st the other things was a lovely, very old German Bible that she did not want to keep.  A ha! Those pages will be lovely done up with old music sheets for Christmas Crafts.  And I love the maps of the Holy land.  Some are hymn books with music and German lyrics.
And then there was this box of old Chrystal salt shakers, some with just one, in all different sizes.  she didn't know that I have been collecting shakers (sugar and salt) to put my glass glitters,micro beads, and mica flakes in. . . . . . . . . . Whoo hoo!
Don't you just love them!  I am the luckiest!
I have posted some of these before, but the collection has recently been growing.  This is all new to my studio, since I posted the studio.  I love it!
And this lovely sugar shaker was an Etsy find of mine.  I bought just one, and when I got the box a week or so ago, I opened it and there were two of them with a generous bag of special cinnamon sugar from a family recipe that she included.  She was so generous with me, she even took the time to write out some of her families favorites done up with the sugar.  There aren't many Etsy shop owners that take this kind of time to make it special!   What a sweetheart!  My luck just has been over flowing lately.

My last great fortune happened when I was in Cedar City to help with grand kids, when a daughter was sick and a new baby born.  I was in between kids homes and had a little bit of time to kill, so of course I would have to find some antique shops to visit.  I found these wonderfully different chandelier crystals at one shop called Aunt B's treasures.
Then the other antique shop, well I hesitated to visit this one, because the little old lady who owns that one, usually is way over priced.  I visited anyway and went about looking for oil cans, and I did find one, but she just wanted more than I could spend for it.  I was a sceptic for sure about finding anything there, that I would be comfortable with the price.   I toiled with wondering if I should ask why so high priced, but I refrained and just thought I would chat with the old gal any way.  Interesting old person full of story, lives alone next door to the shop, and has a dog to watch over everything at night that is outside.  She directed me to the sale tables way out in front of the parking.  Everything on these tables was 90% off.  So I did find the following. . . . . . .

I have since brought these doilies home and already tea dyed them.  The spoons are silver plate, but I can use them.   Just to give you an idea of her pricing, her antique postcards are usually marked around $30.00 each, and the larger dresser embroidered scarf pictured here was marked $28.00 and the smaller napkin was marked $12.00  The price on each spoon was $2.00 each and I got all of this for $3.85, so I left there with something in hand and felt like I just got the bargain of the week!  I am lucky!!!!

Well worth the wait!

As I stated in my last post, my partner Jeannie lived in the hurricane riddled area of the East coast, and was not able to get my matchbox for the "Summer Garden Swap out to me until after the due date.  Well, it was worth the wait!  This one was so very unique and had the most wonderful surprises tucked inside.  She used a little box that was slightly larger than a matchbox, and decorated it so eclectically beautiful! 

Take a look inside below.
Inside the larger box was a sweet little wooden box, with vintage pins, and the most interesting tiny brass figures, that were so very detailed.

There were ribbons, oriental newsprint in a roll, bamboo sticks, a large skeleton key, a most wonderful little miniature grinder, some french stickers, and my favorite thing has to be the Christmas Tree brooch!  Thank you thank you to Jeannie Crockett at
"The Threadmill" I was so happy upon opening my new treasures!
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