Thursday, March 13, 2008

My daughter Bree's talented scrapbooking

I wanted to show a bit of my daughter's beautiful scrapbooks. The photos are of two miniatures she made for me and 'Dad' as 'remembrances' when she and the kids joined her husband at his newly assigned duty base. (He is military, returning Iraq veteran and currently in Iraq again in his second deployment).

Thrifting Finds!

I love the chase of 'thrifting'. Those splendid finds at thrift stores, vintage anything, and those quality made items at affordable prices just not so easily found in today's department stores. Along my years of thrifting, I've picked up items that I still treasure. What was more a budget necessity back in the day when I was a young wife and mother, has now become less of necessity and more one of my all time favorite 'hobbies'. Today though, with recycling, refashioning, green living, sustainable living, meaningful living, or just plain stretching the budget, thrifting has become popular in it's own right.

My recent 'thrifting' finds:

Above - a version of the 'Northern Exposure' cannisters with my friend the Moose keeping watch. I have always liked that old tv show 'Northern Exposure'. For a short time there was a decor motif that included Northern Exposure type symbols, ie, the Moose (one of my favorites!), the Northern evergreen trees, bears, rustic cabin decor, canoes, and such like. Decor and motifs seem to change quite rapidly now and no sooner does one get on board with the latest colors, schemes, styles and motifs and it changes. Pretty good strategy to keep consumers consuming, don't you think?

above and below - My growing hat collection - an array of assorted hats. For all occasions, gardening, casual wear, and even for those times when my Sweetie is 'Driving Miss Daisy' in our ancient 1984 Cadillac the size of a boat with something like 400 horsepower - inherited from my mother - and it still is roadworthy, oh and doesn't use any more gas mph than our other vehicle. One day Sweetie drove me over the Megler Bridge to Astoria, and I was wearing a hat I'd bought in Hawaii when visiting daughter there for her graduation. I commented that I felt like I was being chaueffered in this big car - and said I feel like 'Driving Miss Daisy'. That became one of those jokes between us.

Another find which is not that hard to find is colorful scarves (for crafting and decor) -- photos below -

I picked up a load of placemats at the thrift store - mostly to use in my crafting projects, but this set with the vintage pattern cherries (not vintage placemat set) was just perfect for my kitchen table as it is arranged now. I change the arrangements on my tables, kitchen and dining frequently. Not as frequently as some, but once I get tired of a 'look' then it's time for something new on the table.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's not your Grandmothers or even your Mother's crafting

It's been a time of retooling for me. Getting to that age for women that is the Big M word, and now that I'm in it, there, I'm startled by just how big a 'change' in life it really is. Wondering why more women don't talk about it, but that isn't quite the focus of this blog so I won't fill it up with all my thoughts and reflections - maybe that is another blog I might make. My attention is by necessity refocused then on some pro-active work towards making this change a bit more positive and upbeat while I continue to look in the mirror and no longer recognize who is looking back at me.

For weeks now, no more like several months, I've been fascinated by the amount of talent out there blogging about homemaking skills; crafting, needlework, sewing, beadwork, decorating and well the list goes on and on. But I'm particularly struck by how a new generation of young women have taken up the old arts and brought amazing new flair to their creations. I have long crocheted, but pretty basic kinds of afghans, baby blankets, hats, scarves. I have made a few afghans which is probably more king size bedspreads. It takes me 6 months working consistently to finish one. I put down the crochet hooks several years ago and now that I am picking them up again, I am fascinated to find how much the 'old crochet' has become the 'new crochet'.

There are amazing types of yarn out there now, and crochet projects have taken on a whole new life in the hands of the new generation. There is a yarn type for everything from elegant, to classic, to standard, to fun, to whimsical. New patterns being made, new ideas being tried and it's become an industry of it's own.

I remember how startled I was to watch the old fashioned scrapbooking become a new industry in the hands of the younger set. Quilting became it's own kind of industry with amazing fabrics. And now I am watching the transformation of another industry in needlecrafts, crocheting, knitting, felting, needlepoint. I'm wowed!

My daughter has become particularly talented in her scrapbooking. I think it kept her sane during her husband's first Iraq deployment and is keeping her sane now in his second Iraq deployment. I can well understand the need to be doing something with your hands to help calm the worries, and I was pleased she found a niche for that with scrapbooking. She has made some wonderous scrapbooks. I think I'll take a photo of one of the miniature scrapbooks she made for me and show it here.

My older daughter has made a transformation for her entire family in taking them vegan and learning to find the food products, cook them and develop a pantry and a whole new repetoire of recipes and approaches to eating healthy food. Over the years, I have attempted modifications, and have been proud of my efforts, but daughter has gone the full gamut and has become what I consider to be an expert in the art of vegan. It's more than just eating in a certain way, it's a way of life and living with food and products that are free of animals or animal products or animal testing or animal abuse.

My son took himself on a serious regimen of transformation several years ago, dropping a lot of weight and becoming a tall, thin man, inclined towards athletic sports of basketball, soccer, skiing, snow boarding, and several other adventursome activities and sports.

I'm thrilled to see the directions my now grown children are taking their lives and believe me it's not quite the same world at all as the one of their mother, as the one of their grandmother. My two oldest granddaughters are now sixteen years old and are the newer generation. I love seeing the fresh new approaches the young and younger generation bring to the table.

Paper Art Greeting Cards I received

My step-daughter is amazing in keeping faith with acknowledging every occasion. She has a large family and never misses anyone's birthday, anniversary, congratulations, holiday or whatever else there is to celebrate. I don't know where she finds them, but over the last couple years she has sent me the most adorable greeting cards. I place them around places in my kitchen because the cards make me smile, make me feel happy.

Thought I'd show off her artsy taste. Here are three of the cards she has sent me.

Crochet Market Bag, one for baby too!

I made a wee little market type bag using baby yarn, a bit of a diaper type bag for extra diapers, bibs, a bottle, an extra outfit, maybe. Should tuck nicely into Mom's purse.

And then I made another adult size market bag but not for marketing, to hang on my bedpost as a place to tuck away my nightclothes.

16th Grandchild and another crocheted baby blanket

Another new grandchild and the family continues to grow. This is our 16th grandchild, and to welcome him, I got busy crocheting a baby blanket.

Close up view


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