Pinktober 2016 Wreath

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Back in June, I had the pleasure of creating party decor for the 90th birthday of a close friend’s mom. My friend wanted understated elegance ar-table-decor-2and not too expensive; her mom loved pinks and girly; and “bling” was essential for all.  So we ended up with simple white fabric cloths topped with equally simple, but stunning, vases filled with lush pink silk blossoms.  The original table arrangements are pictured here on the right.  We were all very pleased with the results and the sweet birthday girl had a wonderful party filled with friends, family, good food and fun, and much-deserved joy.

As it turned out, the 90th would be our birthday girl’s final one; sweet Annie Ruth passed peacefully in her sleep about a month after her big day. No matter the age of our moms, when they leave us, it’s always too early, always heartbreaking, and always leaves us with a gaping hole in our lives. We’d barely had time to put away the leftover trappings from a festive birthday party before my friend was planning a funeral.  No words can convey how hard this was, of course.

I wanted to do something for my friend as she grieved, as a reminder to her of the wonderful gift she’d given her mom–a token from the party that had been such a highlight of sweet AR’s last days.  So I took apart all those lovely pink blossoms from the birthday table flowers, disassembled all the lengths of pearl garland used, and determined to be creative with a dual purpose: as my friend is a breast cancer survivor, a new combination Pinktober observance and birthday-party-souvenir wreath would be born. And it would be very girly in honor of both of the ladies I adore: one is a friend (for literal decades now!) that I’m grateful is a 4-year breast cancer survivor; the other, her sweet now-sadly-gone mom whom I have learned to love with all my heart, too.  So, an AR Pinktober special it is:

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I can’t help but look at this and think how much my own mom–who wasn’t so fortunate ar-pink-wreath2in her breast cancer battle (now 26 years ago)–would also love this creation. As my mom celebrates yet another October birthday in Heaven, this year, I’d like to think that Cissy and Annie Ruth are looking down on their girls (and all their progeny) with smiles and love … and forgiving me once again for my inability to type this without shedding a bunch of tears.

Happy Pinktober; hug your moms close. And remember that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month–and it IS a big deal.


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

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A country fair and fundraising

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Every year, a friend and I craft our hearts making various items for various crafts shows in our area….all in an effort to do some fundraising for our American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Team, which we’ve dubbed “Friends for Life”.  The Team name is a play on both the concept of Relay for Life, and the fact that we–and most of our team mates have BEEN friends for most of our lives.

This year’s crafts fair is the biggest one we’ve tried, and we had a good bit of success with our first effort there.  We had a lot of interest, a reasonable amount of sales, and I had the joy of sharing the fact that Relay for Life offers cancer-survivor activities at the yearly event with a few folks who weren’t aware of them. As a cancer survivor myself, being able to connect with others who have their own “battle-stories” and letting them know about how Relay works–it’s a very good thing.

To find out more about the American Cancer Society, go here.  You’ll find links with tons of information for you or a loved one dealing with cancer. And for more information on Relay for Life, our Team’s facebook page is here. We’ve already had our 2016 event and are gearing up for 2017–always looking forward. Getting involved with a Relay in your area is a way to celebrate life, remember and honor our loved ones with cancer, and to help fight back against this awful disease.praters-5


-Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A really special birthday

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Ninety.  90 years.
–that’s how many years Annie Ruth has been making the world a better place.

Finally got to celebrate the big day for my friend’s mom. All the literal weeks and months of preparation were well worth it as the birthday girl was feted by friends and family to an afternoon of lots of food, fun, and laughter.  And a lot of memories were shared.

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Simple but elegant table arrangements, a happy birthday banner, lovingly made and set up with a photo memory display of the birthday girl through the years — these were the things I created to contribute to the festivities. We set up in an event room at my friend’s church, so we had a lot of room to work with. Good thing, coz once everyone got there, the place was packed.  And the guests enjoyed reminiscing with the honoree over the photos–many of which her grandsons couldn’t remember ever seeing before!ar-pl-album-2016 They spent a good bit of time poring over the Project Life scrapbook-photo album I put together of the original family photos to provide a permanent keepsake. It totally made my many weeks of efforts with the uploading and editing of old family photos absolutely worth it, knowing how much joy it gave both the birthday girl and her guests getting to share these memories.

Of course there was good food–and what celebratory party would be complete without a delicious birthday cake?

A simple, but completely melt-in-your-mouth fabulous, sheet cake from a local baker was the order of the day.  I can’t bake, but I definitely could add some flowers and some bling to tie the cake in with the rest of the decorations for the room.  (Um, and then I may have eaten more than my fair share of this thing!)
And we had some equally delicious very pink punch, made by my friend especially to acknowledge her mom’s love of all things pink–especially very hot pink!–and some labelled-for-the-occasion water bottles, created by my sister.  My favorite label was the “1926” one, which included the names of well-known people born the same year as our honoree–definitely a conversation starter!

This was definitely a very special birthday party for a very special lady. Happy 90th, AR!


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Springy Floral Frame

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Here in my neck of the woods, we had a February that felt like Spring, and now that Spring is actually here per the calendar, it’s gotten much more like the weather we usually have in February.  Cold, damp, and kinda yucky (especially today).  I decided I’d try to tempt Spring back here by adding a bit of it to my room decor.

This little frame and the matching easel are in a style that is very much “me”–vintage, shabby-chic, and providing a starting point for seasonal changes. So far, I’ve changed it out to decorate for Autumn and Christmas–with simple inserts behind the glass–but this time I went all-out with some fru-fru on the outside of the frame, too.

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For a change, even though it’s topped with a signature bow, I’ve made the flowers more the focal point, punching out several shapes and sizes and adding in some shaped and scored leaves to give it more dimension. An old (and favorite) embossing folder, cut out along the embossed shape, provided some textural interest behind the glass, over a piece of some retired–but still well-loved–dsp.  The colors blend well with my room decor… and I’m REALLY hoping this will help summon Spring back my way!


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Here’s what I used (all Stampin’ Up!):

  • Paper: Pacific Point, Pool Party, Night of Navy,  and Wild Wasabi Cardstocks; Painted Blooms DSP.
  • Embellishments: Night of Navy and Pool Party Seam Binding Ribbon; Silver Brads 
  • Tools: Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Petite Petals and Pansy Punches; Flower Garden Embossing Folder; and a whole lot of glue dots to put all those flowers and leaves on the frame!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Another Bloomin’ Birthday

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Amongst the seemingly-endless need for birthday cards this merry-month-of-March, I wanted to make one especially sweet and feminine, but I didn’t want it too frilly or fru-fru-ish for the down-to-earth 20-something recipient.  So, SU’s Birthday Bouquet DSP provided the perfect starting point, and a couple of card challenges helped me get from start-to-finish fairly quickly.  I ended up with a soft and slightly-vintage feel that I’m happy with, in colors that are both soft and spring-fresh-bright.

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GDP028 Jess Williams CASE

 

 

Global Design Project‘s
challenge this time was to CASE Jess Williams’ card.  The elements I was inspired to include in my own creation include her ribbon, the floral aspect, and I echoed her wreath shape with my circles in this layout. I also reflected a bit of her design’s “softness with a bold pop of color” and the vertical line element present from her use of cardstock placement translated into my use of the striped dsp.


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The Paper Players‘ inspiration challenge this week was to “Celebrate Spring”, so I definitely got my Spring on with this one, with the soft colors and happy blooms provided by the fabulous paper. And there’s something about those glitter enamel dots (even in a pink-y color) that put me in the mind of raindrops.

Who doesn’t love a “birthday bouquet,” especially when there’s no mess or actual watering or sudden Spring showers involved?


I managed to miss the entry deadline to add my card to the site, but Pals Paper Arts provided the sketch basis (here) for my card and the original inspiration for the use of the three different dsp designs and all the yummy cardstock to anchor it.  Having these three challenges to work with together helped move me quickly through my design process, which is a big deal in this celebration-filled month.   I’m definitely working on bringing birthdays back!!


Here’s what I used (all Stampin’ Up!):Mar Bday 2-4-1

  • Stamps: Kinda Eclectic; Sky is the Limit
  • Ink:  Mint Macaron
  • Paper: Birthday Bouquet DSP; Whisper White, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, and Watermelon Wonder Card Stocks
  • Embellishments: Watermelon Wonder 1″ Stitched Satin Ribbon, and the lovely Blushing Bride Enamel Glitter Dots from the Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit
  • Tools:  Circles Collection Framelits

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Valentine Flowers for a Cause

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More floral goodies today.  This time it’s a whole lot of little flowers put together into sweet corsages.

I assembled some in a variety of “love”ly colors to provide some choices to our target audience of younger girls going to the daddy-daughter valentines gathering for which the table decorations were made (featured here).

I learned to make corsages at the ripe old age of 16 or so from my favorite aunt, who happened to own a florist’s shop–and I happened to be very interested in learning everything I could from her. The skills she taught are ones I’ve put to use hundreds of times through the years for various events, gifts, and — now, fundraising.

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It makes me happy that something that always reminds me of a precious woman (who filled my life with a lot of joy while she was here on earth, and who now continues to fill it with beauty long after she left) is something that I can share on many levels now.Valentine Corsages 2

I hope the girls have as much fun wearing these as I did creating them.


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Crafty Friends for Life

Valentine Cones-4My Relay for Life Team Captain–and literal “friend for life”–and I are still at it in fundraising efforts for the 2016 event. Cap’n Cheryl got us a gig making some table decorations for an area Valentine’s Day event. And, as always, our brainstorming came up with something that’s unique and that we’re both thrilled with–and we got to have the dual fun of crafting together and knowing we’re earning some money to fight cancer. What’s not to love about THAT kind of valentine?

Valentine Cones-1Our exuberance for the tree cones (featured here) encouraged the purchase of extras to see what else our crafty-hearts could create with them. Trees, we decided, were out of the question for heart-day. So–naturally, or not–the “nosegay” concept hatched out somewhere in all the smoke from the brainstorming.  You know–lay out the cone horizontally on the table and have some lovely florals and ribbon all over the place. Logical, right?  Well, okay, so crafting isn’t a logical process.  But it’s definitely interesting.

Cheryl painted the cones–something I missed most of while I was fighting being a sick old gal–but her facebook posts about the process had me laughing my head off.  I mean, really–when you see this:  “I shall now attempt the miraculous, the stupendous, the ridiculous!”, immediately following this: “whose bright idea was this? What a mess… I got one done, but glue was stuck all over my hands and the bottle was glued to my fingers.”–complete with step-by-step photographs of the insanity….well, it’s hard not to laugh!  But I digress–wait, no, I’ve merely detailed the process exactly as it unfolded: Brainstorm. Design. Paint. Make huge messes. Complete the decorating process.  And laugh a lot!

The decorating itself included a lot of flowers, even more ribbon, and a lot of figuring it out as we went along.  And, in the middle of it all, we were assisted by another fun crafty-type who has just joined the team. Megan volunteered to go wild with a few of the cones, and her designs ended up adding a lot of whimsy and fun.  Here are her creations:

This project just got better as it went along. And I think the tables will be beauties when it’s all put together with our fancy poseys/nosegays/crafty-cones taking center stage.


 

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

 

 

Festive Fall Wreaths

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Autumn provides my “warmest”—and one of my happiest—decorating opportunities.  Normally one who leans toward either crisp black-and-white…or to the other extreme of subtle vintage-y pastels…I love the Fall color palette possibilities. I get to play with rich browns, golden yellows and bronzes, and the yummy clarets and oranges I usually run from the rest of the year.

This is the time of year for textures, too:  rough woven burlap; scratchy grapevines; the softness of some feather plumes; the natural beauty of freshly fallen leaves, nubby acorns, and prickly pinecones. And a wreath made with one or more of those items, and with some traditional fall icons worked in—that makes my heart sing with memories of wonderful family gatherings in times past…and look forward to what this new season will bring.

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This year’s wreath creations are four: one larger grapevine traditional round on my entry door and three smaller square-shaped ones adorning my front windows.  The three littler guys are simply adorned with some ribbon and a focal point of either a girl or boy scarecrow or this adorable little squirrel “pick” I found at my local crafts store.

The larger wreath has quite a bit more going on—with some silk foliage and three different ribbons, both wrapped and bowed to finish it off.

This lovely grouping greets me every evening after work and has me both smiling and entertaining thoughts of pumpkin pie and hot applie cider. Yum!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A Basket of Flowers for the AL

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The conference table in the newly-remodeled local American Legion office needed a centerpiece, so I got to play with some silk flowers again. Silks may not be the posh decorator’s favorite item, but for reasons of practicality and penny-pinching, I love them.

I wanted something bright, colorful, and semi-season-spanning to keep replacemnt costs down. And while I wanted to use the red (roses) and blue (carnations) silks I had on hand for a patriotic vibe, I didn’t want something just screaming red-white-and-blue.

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The addition of some white in the form of some soft-toned daisies, as well as some extra golden-yellow blossoms, along with a lot of greenery gave me the look I was going for. It was all assembled inside a deep brown woven-reed basket, lending a neutral and natural touch to the arrangement.

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This will work well until the Christmas holiday season offers the opportunity to change the décor!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!!

Bella Bleu and Purple, too

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You never know where you’ll find creative inspiration in this beautiful world God’s given us….or exactly how you’ll be inspired by whatever it is that strikes your fancy. I’m inspired by everything from the written word (particularly poetry) to something as vast as the ocean or a brilliant blue sky….or as small as a wind-tossed crepe myrtle blossom. The petite crepe myrtle blossom is what got me going this time.

My daily walks take me into a very old cemetery, simply because it’s right across the street from where I recently moved, and my doggie loves everything about it. In the middle of rolling hills, and–obviously–many graves with their markers and monuments, there’s an old, tiny, very quaint chapel, with a couple of crepe myrtle “bushes”. These are so old now, they’ve been groomed into trees, really, and they’re covered right now with some so-very-sweetly-soft-purple blooms.

Chapel Lilac

Call these lilac, lavender, violet–a purple crepe myrtle by any other name would still be beautiful, whether on the tree/bush…or, as in the case of after our rain yesterday, also in a lovely snow-like mass lining the curb here.

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In my case, the inspiration they–and the other purply-plantings here–provided leads me to dub them Wisteria Wonder-colored, as that’s what I ended up playing with when I got home.

I’ve been pretty obsessed lately with creating various paper flowers for a couple of ongoing projects (that may or may not ever be completed!). This has led me to finally assemble a bunch of punched out and die cut “parts”, and also to just start making some more random flowers as I run across Pinterest 20150805_231922ideas or read various blogs. As always, I try to “use up” supplies/old stock when I first start in with an idea, so this led me to some (really) old SU DSP called Bella Bleu. I absolutely was over the moon about this paper and bought a bunch….and (amazingly) have NOT hoarded it all this time…but am just now about to use it all up. I think it made some really nice vintage-feel blooms.20150805_231858

(Here’s what the Bella Bleu paper pack looked like, just coz I think it’s gorgeous and wanted it memorialized here. 🙂 )Bella Blue DSP (2)


But then, with the purple inspiration my walk provided, I decided I needed to make some more flowers with some of the (also-possibly-hoarded) Core-dinations I have–and Wisteria Wonder jumped out at me, begging for a chance to rock my paper-crafting day. And I ended up staying up too late again, cutting out a bunch of circles, smooshing them together, spraying them with water, and then watching the magic happen.

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With the way the Core-dinations paper works, these ended up being incredibly shabby-chic (perfect for me!), so I know I’ll be making a bunch more. This color will actually look lovely on SOMETHING for my bedroom. Wall-hanging? Decorated picture frame? Simply a small vase of paper flowers?  Who knows–I’ll have to wait til I finish with my flower obsession and move into “finish a project, for Heaven’s sake!” mode…

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!