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:

ar-pink-wreath

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!

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!

Autumn Angels

abaca-angels2

Some of this Fall’s craftiness has been very “retro” for me.  I can remember working with abaca literally decades ago.  If I search long enough, I’ll probably unearth a photo with the abaca butterflies I embellished with some ribbon and hung on my bedroom wall many, many moons ago.  And long-ago-me also crafted with pretty much the exact type of abaca items featured here today.

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These abaca angels are part of the items included in this year’s crafts fair booth (in my Relay for Life fundraising efforts).  abaca-angels3These heavenly creatures have been adorned with various silk leaves and coordinating ribbons, and are now all decked out in their Autumn splendor. Each is unique, and I enjoyed designing their tiny “garments” and matching the ribbons to their leafy “skirts”.  Each Autumn Abaca Angel may be used as an ornament or will stand upright, as displayed here.  I personally envision them in a grouping of 1 taller angel, flanked by two smaller ones as a table centerpiece.

autumn-blessings-poem

 

 

The angels’ prayerful stance inspired me to write a poem that I printed out and then crafted a tabletop art piece from, to display along with the angels.  I distressed the poem panel, mounted it onto a perfect shade of orange piece of cardstock, and then mounted all that onto a burlap frame, adorned with more silk leaves, some more ribbon, and a couple of acorns. I also printed a much smaller version of the poem and included it on a hang tag with each angel.

The poem reads thusly:

Autumn Blessings

Lord, thank You for the falling leaves,Glorious colors, And a cooler breeze.

Please bless our home, and loved ones, too.  Our Autumn Blessings are falling from You.


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Valentine Flowers for a Cause

Valentine Corsages 10

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.

Valentine Corsages 4

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!

 

 

 

My Blue Valentine

Card-Valentine 1I put a few valentines together for a fundraiser for our Relay for Life Team this past week and finally got to use up some old favorite papers and put my hands on some thankfully still-plentiful ribbon I shall always love.

This card went together quickly using a retired but well-loved embossing folder and some recently acquired dies– and a lot of inky fingers.  Nothing complicated here–just some fancy bow-tying and some curling fun with my scissors.


Here’s what I used:Card-Valentine 1-1

  • Stamps: (all retired SU) Four Frames, Elements of Style, Bloomin’ Marvelous
  • Inks: Soft Suede, Pool Party, Early Espresso
  • Papers: SU Blushing Bride, Whisper White, and Pool Party Cardstocks and some stash patterned paper
  • Tools: Vintage Wallpaper Embossing Folder (SU, retired) and Darice Nesting Scallop Hearts Dies
  • Embellishments: Lots and lots of ribbon–(retired) SU Pool Party 1/2″ Seam Binding, some stash pale pink 1/8″ skinny ribbon to tie it up and 3/8″ organza-ish frothy stuff in the same pale pink to top it off.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Christmas Trees for Relay

Christmas Cone Trees 2015-10

My Relay for Life team captain and I sat in on another fundraiser at a local crafts fair again this year. Along with a few Christmas ornaments, we filled our table with tabletop Christmas trees this time.

These papier-mache-based “cone” trees got their start in last year’s inspiration (see post here), and then we just went a bit wild with color, paper, buttons, punches, and lots and lots of ribbon.  I think I tied about 30,000 bows again, and we likely went through a million yards of various ribbon in this process (just a slight exaggeration, though it doesn’t really seem like much of one!).

As in the past, we donated the materials and our time and all money made went to our upcoming Relay Team efforts, which in this case will go toward the 2016 event.

I think we had a gorgeous selection and it’s always good to get crafty knowing it’s also for a good cause.


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

 

Ornaments for Life

pink ribbon ornaments2

I’ve worked with my local ACS Relay for Life for several years now. A couple years ago, our “theme” was holidays–which meant we chose one to build our campsites, activities, etc. around. My team chose “Christmas”. And what better items to sell as fundraisers than, well, CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS??

One of my friends-for-life in my golden-oldies-girls-group loves crafting as much as I do,angel feather ornament1 and we’re in Relay together, so we went crazy with the opportunity to get to do all the things we loved to do in one fell-swoop: create/craft, talk/laugh, raise money to fight cancer. It was a win-win-win situation. And, while we haven’t broken any land-speed records with our efforts, we did help our team reach and surpass our yearly goals the last two years. And I had my personal-best fundraising year in 2014, due largely to the ornaments we made and sold.

So, we’re at it again this year for the 2015 Relay season (always looking ahead to next year–I like the optimism that comes with that forward-thinking), and we’re kicking it off at a couple of our area’s 2014 holiday crafts fairs this month. Our first one started today–which coincidentally would have been my father’s 79th birthday. If he hadn’t passed away from cancer nearly 2 years ago. What better way to honor my Dad’s memory than working hard to raise money to help fight this blasted disease?

Vintage Tin Snowgirls

We’ve got a varied assortment of orbed-goodies to help deck the halls this year. There are a lot of the decorated glass balls that we’ve adorned with my many-splendored bows and my friend’s beading handiwork. We’ve also got some really sweet handpainted Santas (friend Shay is a whiz with a paintbrush!), among other painterly things.  And there are some very-definitely-Relay-themed items, festooned with ribbons in all the awareness colors. And–naturally–we even threw in a couple of actual traditional-Christmas-looking items!

DH ornament

Murray ornament

Santa sticks1

We each donate all the materials….and all the hours and hours of time….to churn outBowdacious Relay 2014 these Christmas creations. It’s a labor of love and a chance to do our part against something that’s hit us both hard and made the fight against cancer very personal for us: friends, family, and ME–all have fought and either sadly-lost or blessedly-won our individual battles with various forms of a vicious disease.  Our Ornaments for Life are our little bits of bow-dacious beauty thrown in the face of a whole lot of deadly ugliness.

Harvest Crafts Fair 11--14-15--2014

Above is our setup this weekend–feeling pretty festive and hoping a lot of folks will come by to see us. You can visit us any time at https://www.facebook.com/OrnamentsForLife . Wish us luck in our efforts again this year–and thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! 

A forest of tabletop trees

Bowdacious Relay 2014

As we concentrate on selling our handmade ornaments for my Relay for Life team, I’m getting ready for a couple of arts and crafts fairs that are happening toward the end of the month. I’ve spent a LOT of time with ribbon, glass orbs, and even more time planning. But, just for ME in all of this, I wanted to make a trio of trees to adorn the crafts tables. I’ve been inspired by fellow stampers to make the paper trees, and I’ve seen the burlap ones everywhere this year. I thought they’d be lovely additions on our tables, and then I’ll have some decorations all set to go…for ME!

Christmas Tree Table Decor 1

All three tree bases are the papier mache ones I found at my local Hobby Lobby.  I used retired SU Christmas dsp on both of the paper-covered trees.  And both of them have all that fabulous dsp cut out with the Tree Punch in the holiday catty. I bet I punched 3 billion trees to cover these two…well, at least my hand felt that way after awhile. But it was so worth it–the punching went very fast and then I had the perfect pieces to layer and create with.

The colors used on all trees reflect the more “natural vibe” we’ll be striving for in our crafts-table setup…Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler, Baked Brown Sugar, Old Olive,  and some Gumball Green in Tree 1.  Tree #1 also has retired lace ribbon and a little bow of Very Vanilla Seam Binding at the top.

Christmas Tree Table Decor 2Tree #2 is edged along the bottom with a row of the retired ruffled ribbon and topped with a burlap “bow” and some streamers of 1-1/4″ Burlap Ribbon and some retired tulle ribbon. I save everything and eventually use it up somewhere. All these items worked together so well–color-coordination and “feel”.  I think they ended up with a timeless and traditional-Christmas quality.

My burlap-covered tree was a big ole “ouchy” to put together. At least the “base” of it was. After covering the plain papier-mache with a camo-styled wash of Cherry Cobbler, Baked Brown Sugar, and Mossy Meadow inks, I used a glue-gun to attach both some of the SU 1/4″ Burlap Ribbon and some box-store wider, open-mesh ribbon. I interspersed the two, to give it an even more textural look, and it was using that open-mesh ribbon that …um… kinda toasted my fingertips. I let out a couple of genuine screams a couple of times when I found the still too-hot glue with my skin instead of the ribbon!

Christmas Tree Table Decor 3

Thankfully, I survived the base layer and was able to attach my massive amount of very-randomly placed buttons with glue-dots. I’ve got a stash of buttons I save for exactly this kind of project… some of the green ones, in particular, are likely 20 years old!!…so this project is vintage in the very real sense of the word.

Atop the tree, I dangled some Linen Thread adorned with more buttons and then added some tulle streamers, a Burlap bow, and an Early Espresso Seam Binding bow atop that. I went through a bunch of ribbon on this one!  All this layer of bow-dacious effort is attached with some more of the dreaded hot-glue. I managed to NOT burn myself when I added this crowning touch.

I’m looking forward to adding these into the table scheme, both at the crafts venues, and later at home. I must remember to photograph both settings to see if all this work paid off!

Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Congratulations–with some vintage goodies

Congratulations Framed Tulips

As a hobbyist paper-player, I don’t get rid of anything just because it retires from the active SU! lineup. Any kind of tool, ink, paper, embellishment–I keep and use it all at some point in time.  Many, many pieces of my SU! stash come in to play for Relay for Life purposes…and when I want to max-out a concept–like Pinktober, for instance. And this card has an overabundance of retired product, starting with the Raspberry Ripple and Primrose Petals inks and papers, through the sentiment from Layered Labels, and finished off with the Framed Tulips Embossing Folder.

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But to make my pink-shout-out “Congratulations” card, I also used some current details, including the Vintage Faceted Buttons and the Apothecary Accents Framelits to help give the sentiment its featured status here.

Congratulations Framed Tulips closeup

Lots of inking and some bright pink fingers when I was finished dirtying up the raised portions of these tulips from the embossing process.  Pink was everywhere!

So now I have a very girly congrats card to share when needed. Pink is always in fashion and utterly fabulous.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!