Monday, April 30, 2012

Craft Gossip Fork and Meet and the Hazzards of Living Under a Spaceship

I've been slaying the dragons of faulty internet for more than a week and at last I have service.  My provider suddenly stopped providing and after several long sessions with tech support, a new modum overnighted and updated software they regretfully told me that their signal was too weak.  Apparently I live under a parked spaceship so though wireless signals from at least two companies are strong at my mailbox they are barely there over the house.  Maybe the aliens are in the attic.  We found a provider that just put in glass fiber to the neighborhood so maybe this time the service will work. 
A week ago I got to go have lunch in Little Rock and visit with the editors of Craft Gossip and some great bloggers.  It was so fun to chat with a others that get giddy over craft supplies.  As one of my tablemates said, "It's not that I don't have friends that love what I do, they just don't want to do it with me".  The Craft Gossip folks teamed up with EK Success Brands and we got a huge bag of terrific swag from EK.   The BestLoved Bitty Girls are getting some great kits out of it.  Much of the loot was papercraft centric that I'm not usually as interested in but when I saw the big pad of paper from K&Company I was in love.  It was the pinky toile with frogs that swept me away.  I wanted to wall paper my bathroom with it but there was just the one piece and coordianting papers. 
I knew I would never scrapbook, but I can't get enough sketch pads.  A trip to the Wal-Marts and I had a 2$ unlined pad and some Tacky glue.  I wanted to cover a pretty sketch book to fit in my purse.  It didn't need to be fancy drawing paper.  I will be tearing out pages and want to be able to replace the pad when it's used up. 
I had an old calender that had a chip board back and I cut two pieces a quarter inch larger around than the pad.  I didn't get out the fancy measuring tools, just lined things up with a straight edge and guess-ta-mated it.  I cut a "spine" the width of the covers and as tall as the sketch pad.

Next I did a series of pasting the cardboard covers on the back side of the paper.  I left a 1/4" space between the cardboard covers and the spine so there was some "bending" room.  
After I pasted each board I would weigh it down with books so they would dry nice and flat.
The paper sheets weren long enough to cover both the front and back so I covered the front, spine and part of the back with my beloved froggy toile and used a coordinating pink houndstooth for the back. I trimmed the paper so it matched the edges of the cardboard.
The inside of the cover needed pretty-fied, so I pasted on a piece of a 2nd coordinating pink paper covering the inside of the front cover, the spine and the top of the inside of the back cover. This time I cut the liner paper about 3/8" of an inch  larger than the cover.

This oversized edge let me fold it to the front so the raw edges were covered and the cover had a border.  Sort of like a binding on a quilt (yes, I quilt better than I glue). 
For the inside back cover, I cut a piece of paper wider and longer than the uncovered area and folded and glued 1 inch over to make a "hem" to reinforce the edge where I would insert the sketch pad's back.  I folded the paper around the cover with the pad inserted so that there would be room for the pad.
I folded the paper to the front and trimmed it so I had the border around the outside edge of the cover like I had on the front cover.

I weighed down the whole shebang and let it dry.  Not to bad, but there were some rough edges. 
The pack had this paper as part of the set and I loved the butterflies.
Cut out, they decorated my oh so pretty sketch pad and covered up some of the less than perfect spots.

My so pretty sketch book.  No taking notes on the fly on the back of my hand or a Sonic reciept.  I can record any design ideas I have right when I have them.  Thanks so much Craft Gossip.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Classic Toys - Swings

When I discovered the over the top Money No Object Monday play sets I couldn't help but think of what always was in my back yard growing up - plain old swings.  Yup, that's me above.  I  was introduced early to the joy of swinging back and forth for hours.  I loved it.  Loved it when I was little and loved it even more as I got bigger.  In High School we all met at the swings at lunch. Swings at a High School?  Our school included grades 1 - 12.  Back and forth on the swings was acceptable because we were "hanging out" and visiting as well.  

My favorite swing set was made by my Dad.  He had a lot of two inch iron pipes that came out of a defunct water well on the ranch and he welded them together into a very tall "A" frame that held two basic board swings. We all spent a great deal of time swinging. The only photo I could find of the Best Swing Set Ever is below:
It looks like a pose of my brother in his baseball uniform but look in the back ground - right by the fence.  That slim bit of work was a fantastic swing set and it didn't cost anything but some of Dad's valuable time, a welding rod or two chain to hold the swing seats (which were made of some left overs) and some cement to anchor the set.  You could swing so high that the set would tip over.  It took a couple of tries to get enough weight to anchor it down.  

Any one else have home made swings or play equipment?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Money No Object - $800 Million

A couple of weeks ago the Atlanta Grands graced us with their presence and we decided this was a great time to visit our fine state's newest cultural prize - Crystal Bridges Art Museum.
Little Bit's favorite outdoor sculpture.
 There's been lots of controversy and talk about the "Museum the Wal-Mart Built" but after they all spent $800 Million US Dollars the least the Best Loved Household could do was visit, especially since Wal-Mart gave the museum an endowment that made admission free to all.  We found the Museum worth the trip. BLHubby was gaga over the Charles Wilson Peal portrait of George Washington and the Thomas Moran landscapes. I was thrilled to see they had two paintings by Andrew Wyeth

Did the kids get anything out of it?  When asked what they loved the most they all said "The Dinosaur Poop". (This was a large aluminum sculpture that looked like - dinosaur poop, sorry, I didn't remember the artist.)  They did seem to talk about and remember quite a few other exhibits.  That night on the news there was piece about the Museum director being changed and as they saw paintings flash by on the screen, they were saying "I saw that today!" and "I saw that, too".  Culture grows slowly.
The crew, minus the moms of these delightful kids. 

We met our Grands aunt at the museum and she brought her amazing little girl.  They live just 20 min away from the museum. We walked her around in hopes that little F's brother would decide to be born but we're still waiting.  The other great part of the day was that BLHubby wanted to be Grandpa of the year and he and the BLBiggest Grand drove themselves (not enough room in either of our cars for the whole crew so we took two) with the tall kid with a brand new driving permit driving every bit of the way! Grandpa reported that tall kid got quite confident and did very well.  Then tall kid consented to cut his hair.
Now he's way to handsome. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New in Shop

It's been a dry spell for new designs.  It's not that I haven't been creative but there's been a lot going on.  Meet the squirrel brothers.
Sassy Squirrels Bookends

They're always talking but they love to be where your books are.
Find them here in my Etsy shop (BLHubby thinks they need buck teeth. I think he's too literal about squirrel anatomy.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Children's Book Obsession

It's only fitting to have Money No Object Monday (MNOM) focus on things that I really drool over - and plot how I could fit these in the budget. Yes, it's shockingly expensive collectable vintage children's books. I have several bookmarked that I covet to a degree that I may need to repent of. Here's an example.
Vintage Book from WonderDiva on Etsy
This is a cloth book published by Volland.  Volland was a publishing house active for only about 25 years in  the early 1900's. It died in the great depression of the 1930's.  They did greeting cards, calendars and books for adults and children but the children's books are considered treasures.  Instead of copying high end European printers they followed their own path and used some wonderful artists for stories that are clearly aimed at American  children.
I'm so in love with this book.  It's all I can do to not click  "Add to Cart". What's stopping me?  Dollars, cash, scratch, etc.  This is priced fairly at $165.  Way over my "flinch point". 
I'm over the top over the Norwegian children illustration.  I love snow pictures and these children are way cute. At 12.25" x 9.25" the pages are pretty big.  It's good I won't be buying this as I would be so tempted to separate and frame the pages and I think it's a sacrilege to wreck a book in good shape.  I would so decorate with these in adult rooms.  

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Coolest Wagon Ever!

In the spirit of Money No Object Monday, I present the coolest wagon ever.
Custom Kids Hot Rod Wagon by FreddyG

Ok, it's $450, but - isn't it neat?  You can choose colors and he will size it so it fits your car seat.  It looks like it will last forever.  Freddy G is on Etsy, but doesn't have any info on his profile.  He must be from Canada, as shipping ($150 US) is more expensive than Canadian Shipping. 

Would I have to have insurance on this? Maybe a rider on my auto policy.  I would be seriously sad if this got a dent.