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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year end wrap up

 Hi guys! Still here.. for awhile I was hanging on by a thread but I am moving on strong into 2017. 2016 was crazy. We married off both of our daughters, Alexa in January and Hope in June. I found out this summer we were going to be grandparents again. Alexa and her husband are expecting a little girl , our first granddaughter the end of Feb. first of March. We have helped her and Shane paint a lot in their first home as paint and pregnancy don't mix well.

 I don't know if anyone really reads my blog so I shall blather on. I usually do not talk about politics a lot..actually very rarely, and this fall I was reminded WHY. I had a lot of friends in a chat team for years that totally turned after the election on anyone that didn't vote for HC. It was shocking and ugly and really hurtful. I can't even type the things that I and others were called. I didn't leave the team, I keep thinking I might go back but I really doubt it. Even if they didn't say anything personally, there were so many that said nothing in defense. Oh well. Jo Packham from Somerset magazines had an editorial in the last issue of Where Women Create about just

 removing yourself from the ugliness of the election and moving on with yourself so that is my plan.

 I actually signed up for my first online workshop ever by Heather Tracy via The Graphics Fairy website. It seems good and I have learned some cool new techniques.Still some more of it to view. I decided to stop putting ME off for later! Something many women are guilty of I am sure. Just DO it..dive in! I have even chatted with Heather via Facebook on the Graphics Fairy page and she was so encouraging and sweet to me..I about cried!

 I have been posting most days on Instagram and have found a welcoming community there. (find me at hopeandjoyhome)

                     Lots of mixed media artists and crazy shabby doll people! :)

 December was extremely stressful with many family issues and a "super fun" screening colonoscopy in the middle of it.( PS the prep was awful but the procedure was like a day at the spa..slept through the whole thing..if your Dr. says you should get one, just do it and get it over with!). The joys of being 50! I did what I could Christmas wise and it all turned out cards sent or candy made but we survived. I did get the tree up and went with simple ornaments and it was pretty. Sometimes trying to do all the stuff you "used to do" is just too much!

 Moving on with the new year. I got  BigKick embosser/die cut machine for Christmas to play with and abuse so that should be fun! I rarely use things in the way they are intended! These pix are of some mixed media dolls I made recently. Almost all vintage parts. More to come!

So my New Years resolutions are to count my blessings, hold my family close, embrace my true friends and make new ones, to leave behind what held me back and to try new things in 2017. Wishing all of you peace and blessings in 2017! Til next time, Julia

Monday, October 10, 2016

Faux grainsack feedsack fabric DIY Part 2

Part 2 (finally) of my faux fabric grainsack pumpkins ..stems and leaves, For the stems I wanted black tape. I thought washi wouldn't be sticky enough so I hit Walmart and bought a roll of 3M Ducktape in black..this isn't the super shiny duct is more like black masking tape. Then I went home did a few chores and couldn't find my tape. Insert an hour of searching the house, the car,the lawn in between them and stewing over whether my sleeping husband had somehow hidden my roll of tape from me just to drive me crazy..add some cussing and another trip to Walmart. On trip 2 I also got black glitter scrapbook paper and some wire. (Found the tape behind the laundry hamper the next day..apparently it was in the bag with my husband's new work socks and when I football passed it over the upstairs railing into our bedroom's bathroom door it fell out and bounced off) This game of hide and seek is optional and not advised!

 I drew a pumpkin leaf pattern and traced it on back of the glitter paper.

 The reverse of this paper is white and I wanted it double sided. You could back it with another piece of the glitter paper, but I wanted something "texty" and I had an old German dictionary that had a gothic-y font. The easiest way to back a shape is to glue the shape right onto the backing paper, THEN cut it out..perfect match!

 Snip, snip, snip...

 I then picked a spot above the stem and folded a line from the leaf points to that spot.

Then I folded the dips between the points gives the leave's not just flat.

 They had black wire but it wasn't thick enough for my taste so instead of a few feet for $3, I got a pack of floral wire, 30 stems for 97 cents!

 I wrapped the tape around the wire on a diagonal.

 Then wrapped the wire around a paintbrush (pen, pencil, screwdriver..whatever you have)

 Uncurl, tape the leaf to one end (roll the stem bit around the wire end and add more tape)

I wrapped the curly wire around the taped stem a couple times leaving a curly tail..and done! I originally wanted black felt leaves on these with white machine stitched veins but some Greedy Gus (I may have had another name for them) had bought up every piece of black felt in my local Walmart so since I have zero patience for waiting until later..paper it was! Either could work. I also think black and white toile or wool tweed would be great. I like to use what I have and if possible find a cheap option for supplies. Good luck with your pumpkins! Stop again! Julia

Sunday, October 2, 2016

DIY grain sack feedsack fabric pumpkins Part1

 Hi guys! We are doing an antique/vintage show this weekend in Clinton, TN..the Clinch River Fall Antique show They also have a spring show. I wanted something "seasonal" to mix in with our vintage and antiques. Orange pumpkins are not really my cup of tea and I wanted something more permanent to sell. I wanted white with black script and I had made faux grain sack before so I thought WTH..let's try that! (You could use any fabric )

 I haven't finished the stems and leaves yet, but I wanted to share what I had finished so far.

 Only one side of the pumpkin has graphics, but you could put them all over..or even use rubber stamps and a permanent inkpad. You could use any fonts. graphics, sayings or even black and white line illustrations (check The Graphics Fairy online).

 I used names from my family tree. Here I picked a favorite number 3, my great great grandpa's name (Jacob Hardi) the village in Switzerland he was from (in Glarus) and a random old number.

  I used vintage 5 pound sugar sacks but any cotton muslin would work. I used the bags that had some rust marks and aged them further by spritzing lightly with mini travel hairspray squirt/spray bottles (the kind from the travel section of Walmart/Kmart etc that you use to fill and take on an airplane) that I filled with brown and gray Rit Dye. A few light spritzes and I put them in a 9x13 cake pan and covered them with strong hot coffee for a couple minutes. I rang them out and rinsed them in the sink under the faucet and ran them through the dryer with a dark towel (in case there was dye transfer) I wanted the grungy but not super dark (my personal choice).

 I picked a antique-y calligraph-y looking font and printed it out on my laser printer in reverse (has to be a laser printer to work  and has to be printed in reverse). I use Print Shop a cheap  ($20 then at Staples) 2008 version and use the headline maker to get bigger letters.

 I used Citrasolv concentrated cleaner to make the transfer. I am lucky that they sell it in my local grocery store, but I think you can also get it online (Amazon).

 I wetted a cottonball ..not super wet with the Citrasolv... I taped the print face down with packing tape over my fabric at the top edge catching the edge of the paper, fabric and the board I had underneath. Don't tape over the graphics.

Then a wipe or 2 of the Citrasolv..NOTE too much will give you a blurry transfer. I only worked on one "line" at a time and worked the first name, then the second. It just works better that way..the letters blur less and the Citrasolv doesn't dry before you get to transfer everything.

 I rubbed firmly with the edge of a spoon..I went over it all well 3-4 times and up and down seems to wiggle the paper less than side to side. Make sure you go over every bit firmly.

 It also helps to hold the paper above and below the area you are rubbing. Again, I only taped it at the top with packing tape catching paper, fabric and some of the board I had underneath (NOTE do not do this on a NICE tabletop!! Use something underneath like a piece of scrapwood or a plastic your table top!

 Here I peeked to make sure I had hit everything.(don't untape the top edge) You can carefully relay the paper and rub more if you need to.

 Here is the whole transfer..this one says New Glarus for where they ended up..New Glarus, Wisconsin. (This was my other great grandpa's name) I probably have distant relatives still there.. I need to visit one of these days!

 I decided to make it look sectioned with jute twine. Buy this from the hardware is cheaper than the same stuff in the craft section!

 I held the end between my thumb and index finger and wrapped it around my elbow 3 times. (Approx 16-18"?)

 You should have 6 strings. I tied a knot in one end and clipped the loops on the other end.

 My bags varied from 7-8 inches wide and 12-14 inches long. If you are using new fabric, cut a rectangle approx. 7 x 14 and fold it in half and sew the 2 sides shut to make an open topped bag (before doing the transfer)Turn right side out, transfer the graphics then I let it dry overnight to let the excess Citrasolv dry but a couple hours should work. I just didn't want anything smearing. Turn inside out and center  the knot in the middle of the bottom edge and loosely gather/bunch the sides to the middle.

 Tie it off with a rubber band under the knot.

 Turn right side out..

 and stuff about 2/3's full with fiberfill. NOTE I find it much cheaper to buy a new $2-$3 fiberfill pillow than a $6-$8 bag of fiberfill! Snip it open at the top seam and use the fluff.

 Space the twines around the pumpkin where you want and add another rubberband around the extra fabric and twines like a pumpkin ponytail.

Fiddle the twines into place where you want them and give each one a pull to tighten and indent. Part 2 will be finishing the stem and adding leaves..stop back!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer wrap up Mixed media, garden and more I have been up to

 Hi guys! I have fallen head over heels into Instagram and my blog has be ignored this summer. SO a catch up! I played with my camera phone this summer. I did some manual layering of transparencies

 of vintage and antique photos from my stash and outdoor "backgrounds".

 Some I manually "matted" with what I think were old lawnmower gaskets..I never use anything as intended!

 School has started and my "baby" is an 8th grader this year. It gets me out of the house earlier and I caught this foggy morning shot of the neighbor's old barn taking him to school one morning.

I stalked a few butterflies on my buddleia (nicknamed butterfly bush for a good reason) This is a spicebush swallowtail.

Yellow swallowtail...
 There has been a black and blue  limenitis arthemis  taunting me on the deck the last couple mornings. He won't let me get a pic though..and I have no clue why my font changed

  A bee on the echinacea in my flowerbed. The bees were busy this summer.

 My magnolia tree had a lot of beautiful blossoms. They have a heavy green floral scent, but brown quickly if you pick them.

 Morning annual you have to only plant once and you have it reseeding forever!

 Some overtaking one of my shabby metal lawnchairs..

  A couple vintage bears I  got estate sale-ing. They both sold to the same person..still together!

 I caught a couple "heart signs" from my baby in heaven. He likes to "send" me random hearts..

 This one was in my iced tea!

 I spent some time snoozing with my crack staff Annie and Daisy..

 My pears are bowing the tree..

 My tomatoes were great..the rest of my garden mostly disastrous!

 My apples just started producing this year but the birds took most of them..and ALL of the cherries!

 I found this girl estate sale-ing still sewn into her box in a dusty barn loft,

 I released her and repainted her and used her in a mixed media piece..never too late to shine!

 Ed brought me a box of old clock parts to play with next!

 A visitor to my garden..

 With the wedding in June we didn't go to SD in July. I have had these lilies planted for years but this is only the second time I actually got to see them bloom! They are usually buds when we leave and done when we get home!

 The creepy barn loft I climbed into estate sale-ing..oh the places we will go!

 I've dug out some of my cigar boxes of goodies to play with..sparkly bits..

 Vintage hardware and buttons and buckles....

 A mixed media angel I made  from vintage bits and a paper clay head.

And on we go into the fall! Follow me on Instagram at hopeandjoyhome I try to post content daily. Hope you all had a great summer too! Til next time, Julia