Friday, January 28, 2011

Sharing My Friday Friends

Happy Friday everyone!


Sending you a little Slate Eyed Junco to keep you company this weekend.


She may not be as colorful as Mr. Cardinal...but therein lies the secret to her subtle beauty.


It's snowing here in Virginia this morning and I'm smiling.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Wonderful Wednesday

Hello friends, thanks so much for visiting my little blog. I know you all have thousands of great blogs to read and I am so grateful that you have chosen to spend a few minutes with me every week.
Ok...so your are probably wondering why my Wednesday was so wonderful.
To start the day we had a wintery forecast of rain..to ice..to snow and Mother Nature did not disappoint.

This morning it was so pretty outside...the white snow and the gorgeous soft clouds

I had to capture the beauty of this male cardinal for my friend Gretel, who tells me England does not have these beautiful birds.
So that was that was part of the fun of wednesday...the other part was what came in the mail


Aside from "I Love You", these may be the most lovely words in an artists/crafter's world.



             Here is the cover of Altered Couture Magazine by Stampington & Company


To start my giddiness going, on the inside cover page, in the top lefthand corner is the hem of my 'Girl Back Home' couture apron that will be in the annual issue of Apronology this February.
Ok...I'm really smiling at this point...but it gets better..


OMGosh...page 118!! KellyAnn, you will love whats on page 120!


I love the title they gave my feature and Oooooo there's my name again!


They gave me two whole pages!!!! The photo is fabulous and they did such a great job of presenting my children's sweater. Thank you..thank you!


I would love to send a very special Thank You to Ms. Beth Livesay, who has been so gracious, encouraging and helpful. 
Beth is the managing editor of Altered Couture and Apronology magazines. I have only talked with Beth via the internet, but I hope to someday meet her in person. You rock Beth!!

So that was my Wednesday. Pretty exciting, don't ya think?

Thanks for hanging with me while I shined my own apple, as an old teacher of mine used to say.
For all of you fellow artist's/ crafters who have thought about submitting a creation to a magazine, I have two words for you...DO IT!
My philosophy is this...all they can say is no, but they just might say YES!!!
So submit a lot and submit often..go for it!

Until next time..be kind and stay creative


Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm making progress!

Hello friends...yes, I'm moving right along with my kitchen rebirth. I slowed down a little last week when I ventured out to the post office to mail out all those scarves I gave away. Somewhere, somehow, I caught a bug from someone. I have been cold free since 2008 and that record is kaput now. The weekend was pretty much a bust...spent most of it resting, drinking hot tea and looking at my unfinished cabinets.

please excuse the poor lighting, I was antsy to get a progress photo
Well I'm happy to say I have made up for lost time and I'm back on track. She is coming right along very nicely I think.  I will try to get a better pic if we get some sun in the morning.


I am putting beadboard on that wall to the left of the oven.

Again an evening pic so poor light, sorry 
Imagine that open cabinet with the interior painted white and I think beadboard on the back and maybe fitted with some kind of lighting. Like a little china cabinet. Only my cream ware will be kept in those to keep it clean.


The outside of the end cabinets will have beadboard also. I will be be installing beadboard as a backslash also. Can you tell I like beadboard?
I spent the day priming all the bottom cabinets and tomorrow I will be painting all of them. They are all getting three coats. I ended up painting with a 3 inch angle brush. I didn't like the look I was getting with a roller.
Next, I need to head to the hardware store to pick out some new pulls for my new cabinets....FUN!
So that's what I've done so far.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Who's blackmailing you?

That's what my hubby asked me the other day. He noticed quite a few outgoing payments to names like KellyAnn's and Joann's and he wanted to know what these women had on me. Had they witnessed me committing some kind of illegal act and I was buying their silence.
If only it was that simple!
I went into my local Joann's yesterday to buy a package of these...

d-rings for my apron ties
I ended up buying these.....

home decor weight cotton
I couldn't help it...just look at those colors and very cool patterns. They are screaming SPRINGTIME.
I'm thinking bright and cheery aprons and summer tote bags.

 Good thing I had these...


These coupons can save you a Kings ransom.

On a knitting note....have you ever heard of Yarn Bombing??

 Look what Robyn Love knitted for one of her local water towers....too cool! Thats a lot of yarn.

 And just look at all this yarn loveliness. I'm not sure what I love more...the patterned cowl, crocheted circle scarf or that fabulous jacket. Each piece is divine.


This photo cracked me up...see anything wrong...look closely at both Mom and daughter and what they are knitting.
I don't know what style of knitting they are practicing, but when I knit, I really find it helpful to hold the yarn...DUH! Neither of them is holding the yarn at all...it is just dangling there. I am going out on a limb and saying they are models only  ;-)

Switching gears again...on to my kitchen. I am progressing nicely with my cabinets.


This is what it looks like with the top part primed and painted. Ignore all the 'stuff' and yes that is a box of my Christmas dishes still waiting to go to the basement...just keeping it real folks.
I'm thinking of keeping the cabinets over the fridge open for my cookbook collection.


I am very pleased with how the Behr Ultra is going on. I am rolling on and then smoothing out with a brush. When I smooth the paint you can see brush marks, but then the paint seems to just smooth itself out and they all disappear.


Look how smooth!


I have drying doors everywhere. This paint dries very fast also.


I am really loving the clean look of this style of kitchen. Very different from what I have now.


I am absolutely doing this under my sink..I love this look. Makes me think 1920's vintage. Great way to pull in color in a white kitchen.
So we'll see how it all turns out...should be finished in a few weeks and then hubby can do his beadboard thing on my Island.

Now you know I can't say goodbye without a bird pic......


This big guy is sitting outside as I type...looking for lunch I suspect.  Hide little birds...hide!
Last note....my little Carolina Wren  is back in my garage for the winter. Welcome back little one!
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Busy Weekend and Icy Morning

Hello friends,...guess what I started this weekend??? I will give you a clue.
First I have to show you what I woke up to this morning...ICE!


That is a sheet of ice on my kitchen window and my deck is a solid sheet of ice also.

         

I braved the very real threat of slipping and breaking my neck and gingerly ventured out to fill the bird water dishes. Mr. Mockingbird was very appreciative.

Ok...back to my weekend. I finally started something I have been wanting to do for ages.
Paint my kitchen cabinets!


I'm looking for a brighter, cleaner look which is why I choose pale grey for the walls. I really love the look of a farmhouse style with a few open cabinets so some of my dishes will be exposed. I am thinking the middle cabinets above..the ones with the white dishes. I'll remove the rif-raf on those shelves and that will give it a tidier appearance. 


Are you a 'move everything out of the way' type of painter or a 'paint around it' type? As you can probably see from my photos, I paint around everything. I remove curtains and anything on walls, but that is it. I am a very careful and neat painter.


I got all my painting tools together.....Ooooops, not those tools


That's better!
I have used Behr Ultra before and had very good results. It is a pretty good primer/paint all in one. 
I choose a very calm off white called Bleached Linen.


My sweet hubby was nice enough to volunteer to do the sanding. Sorry, I can only show you his hand...if I show you his face, I will have to hunt you all down and kill you ;-)
After all he is a Federal Agent ! (he rolls his eyes whenever I say that)


To be on the safe side, I decided to use Glidden Gripper primer/sealer which is specially formulated to adhere to slick surfaces like metal, glass and porcelain. My Behr paint does have a primer in it, but it is not a sealer and I want to be really sure that the wood color does not show through.
  Here we go...first coat of primer is going on. I rolled the primer on and then smoothed it with a 3 inch angle brush.
This is my favorite part because it means there is no turning back.

I am going to paint this in two stages..first the top cabinets and wall units. Then the bottom cabinets. I am hoping that will cause as little as possible kitchen disruption.


See that wall on the outside of the refrigerator...it will get a pretty piece of beadboard to cover it. The shelves over the fridge will stay doorless. I'm thinking that is a great place for all my cookbooks.

See that door under the sink...it's coming off and I am going to sew a pretty curtain..like in a 1940's farm kitchen. I think that will be a fun way to bring in some color.
I have a cooktop island which will be surrounded by beadboard and painted black. I want it to look like a totally separate piece of furniture...no matchy-matchy.


I have plans to remodel the bottom shelf here to fit in my small microwave...up and off the counter.
The smaller doors from over the refridge will be installed here, above the microwave. All open shelves will get some nice finishing trim.

Click to get a really good look at this handsome guy!
Look who came to visit while I was painting!
Ok..so that is just the beginning..I will be keeping you posted on my progress. 
Have a great day!

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
Come learn some cool things with Jenn at Hope Studios

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Giveaway Results...........

Happy Martin Luther King Day!





Hello friends, well it's here..results day.  Are you excited??
First I want to thank all of you who left so many sweet and kind comments about my scarves. I truly wish I could send a scarf to each and every one of you.
But...I think my fingers would fall off if I attempted to knit that many this winter.

So here are the winners......

1. Crystal Jigsaw-International blogger
2. Lisalulu
3. Linda
4. Catherine Holman
5. Sandy
6. Maison Conti-International blogger
7. Heather
8.Sachiko
9.Claire-Internatioanl blogger
10. Mel

Congratulations Ladies!

Please E-Mail me with your mailing addresses and I will see that you receive your prize.

Thanks again for your overwhelming response, I am looking forward to planning my next Giveaway
Until next time..be kind and stay creative.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday is Pieday...Peaches in Winter

Hello friends..it's Friday and I think you all deserve some PIE!!!!
Last night I was preparing dinner and I wanted to surprise my man with a little dessert, but did not want to get too involved in creating something from scratch. I looked in my pantry and found two cans of sliced peaches packed in unsweetened pear juice. I knew I had some frozen pie shells in the freezer, so I did what any self respecting 21st century gal would do.
I googled!!
I opened up my new MacBookPro (a gift from my hubby) and googled 'peach pie using canned peaches' and voila!!
I found this wonderfully easy recipe using canned peaches.


Doesn't it look fabulous and it was so delicious .


Just look at that crust all flaky and glistening with sugar crystals. Is your mouth watering yet?

Here is the recipe I used:

2 15oz cans of sliced peaches
1/2 cup sugar (i used a little less)
2 tablespoons butter (no margarine)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 frozen pie crusts (or make your own..see recipe on left side bar)
egg white and sugar for top crust

Preheat oven
 to 400 degrees
Drain peaches, but do not rinse..reserve 1/3 cup of liquid..set aside
In a saucepan, mix together sugar, flour, nutmeg and a pinch of salt
Add reserved liquid and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and is bubbly.
Add butter, lemon and peaches. I added 1 tablespoon of orange juice because...well..I like orange juice. Remove from heat and let cool
Fill your crust with the peach mixture and invert the second frozen crust onto the pie...no need to defrost the crust. 
Cut a few slits in the top crust, brush with the beaten egg white (I keep a container of Egg Beaters egg whites in my fridge) and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cover crust edges if they brown too early.
I have to say, this pie tasted wonderful and did not taste like it came from a can. The filling was not like that jelled gloppy stuff in canned pie filling. It was not too sweet and had a nice fresh taste to it. I would proudly serve this to company.

This was breakfast and may also be lunch
Now cut yourself a lovely piece and enjoy your summer treat in the dead of winter.

PS....my man loved it!
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
My 'Circle of Love' Giveaway will be closing on Saturday evening (16th Jan)..be sure you are entered by leaving a comment here and following. Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Making a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear

Hello visitors from Southern Hospitality, Rhoda's lovely  blog.
This is a reposting for those who missed it.
I love to restyle sweaters from my local thrift shops...Enjoy!

        Hello friends...as many of you know, I love treasure hunting at my local Salvation Macy's. I have a multitude of bins (much to my hubby's dismay) filled with wool, angora and cashmere sweaters.  If the moths in this town only knew!
         I have posted a few times before about my process of felting adult wool sweaters and upcycling them into adorable little children's garments (see felting post here).
I thought you might like to see what I worked on yesterday instead of doing my laundry, vacuuming, dusting or preparing dinner. Ok...just kidding, I did reheat soup for my hubby. 


I started with a VERY large red wool longsleeved turtleneck sweater. I think I paid about $1.75 for this beauty. She felted beautifully and shrank quite a bit as you can see in the next photo.


The first thing I did was cut off the turtleneck, then the the sleeves and then I made a straight cut up the front center of my sweater.
The sweet antique crocheted collar with pearl button you see is something I found at a thrift store also. Isn't it beautiful?

After sewing on the collar, I decided I wanted my sweater to have long sleeves, but not red ones. I dug through my felted sweater stash and found a gorgeously soft cream angora and wool blend beauty.


I cut off the sleeves...don't you love the soft ribbing?
I inserted the cut sleeve into my arm opening to see if I liked the look and I did. 



With the right sides facing each other, I pinned my sleeve to my sweater and sewed all around.
The edges of felted wool do not need to be finished..they will not fray.


This is what you have when you turn the sleeve right side out.


This is what my sweater looks like after reconstructing both sleeves...I like it, but it needs a little color punch.


Back to the sweater stash...Ooooooo I found this very cheerful cashmere and wool blend sweater in the most beautiful yellow...perfect! Pay no attention to the two holes...we will work around them. Felting hint: always mend any holes prior to felting..the felting process should make your mending disappear. I was using this yellow sweater for embellishing so I did not bother to mend these holes.


Let's make some ruffles for the front of our sweater. That will help give the sweater a more feminine feel without being too prissy.
To create my ruffles, I cut off the bottom band with a pinking rotary cutter..I like the added texture that the pinking will give the ruffle.


I simply sewed a basting stitch down the center and gathered by pulling on the end thread to create the ruffle...but you knew that...right?
Then I carefully pinned my ruffle to both front cut edges of my sweater and sewed it down the center, following my basting stitch and adjusting as I went.


Well..what do you think? This little sweater will probably fit a 5-7 year old. Possibly older as it has sleeves that can be let up or down and the fit is a boxy, not a fitted style.


I love it..I can see a sweet little girl wearing this with a cute pair of jeans or a flowery skirt.
So that's how I do it..I hope you were entertained just a little.


I spent a few hours cutting up lots of wool sweater squares.


I love this vibrant green.


and this beautiful blue...I'm thinking of creating a warm lap blanket made up of felted sweater squares.
Maybe having some embellishing fun with it also.
I'll keep you posted on it's progress.
Until next time...be kind and stay creative.
PS...be sure to enter my 'Circle of Love' scarf Giveaway (closed) It closes on the 16th of Jan.
Good Luck and thanks for all your sweet comments..you make me smile everyday.
How wondeful..I am being featured today on this great blog!
Thanks Linda!