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The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest ~ Sir Thomas Moore ~

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Vintage Christmas ♥ Comfort & Joy #3 ...

 If I ever need a little inspiration, I need look no further than outside.
Woodland Walks with Archer are wonderful for clearing heads and filling pockets :-)
On one such walk, I came across lots of bark pieces.  Each one was unique.
A few pretty twigs and an idea was born!
These little wooden frames can be picked up at the Dollar store.
Lay bark strips across wooden frame to fit.
They cut easily with scissors, but I like the bark to overlap the edges of the frame slightly.
Adhere with hot glue.
Embellish the front with twigs and Acorn caps.
Find a small image to frame {3.7 " x 3.7"}
I painted a few little watercolour birds.
A sweet little gift for your Nature loving friends ♥
I am on Instagram now.
Follow me for photos celebrating  "the lovely~ness of daily~ness" ... Art, Home, Sparrow Studio & more ♥
 
 

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Vintage Christmas ♥ Comfort & Joy #2 ...

Lots and Lots and Lots
of Acorns were gathered this past Autumn from walks in the woods
and the squirrels in our garden had a lovely feast
as we put out handfuls on a daily basis from our stash.
I kept a bowl of acorns out through Thanksgiving and Halloween
as a seasonal decoration knowing that I would be using some for Christmas craft ideas.
Making Acorn ornaments was one idea ...a keepsake from all our fun walks ♥
~*~
To make an Acorn ball you will need:
 
~*~ Material ~*~
A good amount of Acorns
{don't worry if they are missing caps or if you have left over caps ... you will find a spot for all}
Styrofoam ball - 2.5"
Sprig of artificial berries
Wire clips to cut the berries
hot glue/ hot glue gun
twine for hanging
kraft tag
white ink pen
~*~ Technique ~*~
Start by making a small hole in the top of styrofoam ball.
Cut a length of twine to create a hanging loop and knot.
Place knot in hole and adhere with hot glue.
Now you can begin adding your Acorns.
Add a generous amount of hot glue to each acorn and press firmly.
Go around the entire ball adding acorns. Don't worry about gaps as you will go back and fill them all in later.
Set aside the "unique" Acorns to add in a visible spot on the ball.
We found a few with twigs attached to the cap that helped create the wonderful rustic look.
Once you have gone along the entire Styrofoam ball, look for spaces that need filling.  Add some additional "caps" and snip a few sprigs of berries and poke through the bare spaces.
Attach a little Acorn cap to a Kraft tag, and with a white ink pen, write a sweet Merry Christmas sentiment ♥
When the oak is felled
the whole forest echoes with its fall,
but a hundred acorns are sown in silence
by an unnoticed breeze
~Thomas Carlyle~

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Vintage Christmas ♥ Comfort & Joy ...

"Dress Up Your Hang-Ups"
{because I believe in dressing ~up}
There's nothing like looking in your closet and finding it not only neat and tidy, but esthetically pleasing as well.  For most of us however,  even if our closets are neatly organized, they  are compiled of mismatched hangers of various colours, sizes and materials.  Plastic hangers with clips for pants, while being practical, are not the prettiest things to look at!
During the holidays, our hall closet gets a good clear out so there is plenty of room for guests coats.  A few years ago, I got creative with some hangers and decided to put these in our hall closet just for the holidays.
A simple way to  "Dress Up Your Hang Ups" is to make a little coat hanger slip.  Embellish any way you like.   Not only pretty, but practical as well as the fabric helps keep your clothes from falling off the hanger.
To create your own coat hanger slips, you will need the following:
~*~Material~*~
fabric of your choice
felt for lining (optional)
ribbon
buttons/pearls/assortment of embellishments
tulle
lace
sewing machine
~*~Technique~*~
Using your coat hanger as your guide, trace around the shape allowing a 1/4" seam allowance all around.
Cut out and using a sewing machine, stitch along 2 sides leaving a space in the center for the hook to poke through.
Snip along the bends stopping just short of the stitching line.
Embellish any way you like adding ribbons, buttons, lace, rosettes and/or tulle.
 
~*~Tip~*~
You could make 5 hanger slips and stamp on a tag to attach to hanger ~ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ...organizing your week's wardrobe at a glance, or create hanger slips adding a tag for "special outfits" with the event they were worn at  Ex: New Year's Eve Dance.
*you will find all of last year's A Vintage Christmas ♥ Comfort & Joy ideas on my sidebar*
We are expecting a big snow fall this evening ... I am cozied up in Sparrow's Studio finishing off some Christmas presents.  My craft table is covered with acorns, pinecones, tree bark and twine ... time to make a fresh mug of tea and continue ♥
~have a wonderful evening~
d
xo

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home for the Holidays ...

While getting the Christmas decorations out of storage
I had a look in a tub of my son's old toys. 
Brought a few upstairs  to hold a tree or two ... or more
My favourite Advent calendar
Woodland tree ornaments
a few stars here and there
lots of garlands
and of course ... out come all the Nutcrackers.
twinkle lights cover the window boxes and urns
the fence garland and arbour
wreaths and trees
and pergola
None light up the house like this sweetheart all dressed in red.
He sat in the tree just outside the kitchen window.
 
Lots of new Christmas items in my shop if you are still looking for
something different ...
I've made a few Christmas tag sets
~*~Hello Sparrow~*~
~*~ Winter Wishes~*~
~*~ Winter Waltz~*~
Each set consists of 5 tags approximately 5" x 3.5"
mini art prints of my originals
the backs are a lovely Christmas red cardstock
and the left hand corner has been set with a little eyelet
Each tag has a Sparrow brown and white twisted twine hanger.
 
From now until December 15th
as my gift for the Holidays
I am including a free print
with every PRINT order.
It will be a "Mystery" print I've chosen specially
sent with much gratitude for all the lovely support & emails received.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful {things I love} Thursday ...

 The snow has been falling, then melting and falling again ...
Our garden has been filled with birds and squirrels and Beau Bunny who makes daily visits ♥
The (acrobatic)  squirrels have managed to get to all the feeders and suet baskets and made quite a mess ... hubby has put the wheel barrow underneath one of the feeding stations and it's helped a bit ... now the squirrels can sit comfortably while eating all the fallen seed :-) 
I have an article and stitchery project in the newest Sew Somerset Winter 2015 issue.
"Sharing & Wearing my HeART" is a little fabric business card holder created using my Peaceful Thoughts print.
I find so many discarded books at Church rummage sales and garage sales.  They often have pages torn and missing and  scribbles inside, perfect for putting to one side to use in mixed media art.  After painting this Angel print, I went through a few books looking for the perfect words to add & created a little Thankful for quote ♥
 
THANKFUL FOR ...
love and laughter
kindness
for joys of morning, night and noon,
twilight, music
the ordinary
daily things I do each day
for these gifts
I find
carry us along
navigating
a kindred life
from day to day
of joy.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends celebrating today xo

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thankful {things I love} Thursday ...

This is the snowy view from my kitchen window last night.
Twinkle lights surround all four windows and
 on our kitchen table tiny bees wax votive candles flicker.
I love this time of year ... dinner by candle light, snow falling lightly.
~*~ magical ~*~
I have just finished a little Woodland Walks Christmas ornament collection.
The set includes 6 felt ornaments :
sparrow :: rabbit :: fox :: owl:: toadstool:: woodland walks heart as well as
a "Sweet as Chocolate" card
 & an inspirational tag
For your Christmas tree as an ornament,
added to swags across your fireplace or staircase,
tucked into a wreath,
added to the  top of a present
... you could even add a small pin to the back and attach to your coat to wear on your own Woodland Walk.
felt, fabric and stamps
create the Woodland Walks heart
I've included lots of little "extras" so the collection can be split up
you could for instance ...
keep a few ornaments for yourself
and attach the little tag to another as a gift ...
Tuck another in the "Sweet as Chocolate" card.
{cards are in the latest Green Craft magazine}
these cards are the ideal little vessel for ornaments ~
always love slipping an unexpected pressie into a card ♥
attach a pin (included) to the back of another to add to your coat ...
a heart just has to be added ...
my "unconditional love"
message
You can find the Woodland Walks set at my Etsy shop
listed this morning.
{EDIT: Woodland Walks set is sold & going to a lovely home ♥}
So many things to be Thankful for ...
yesterday as I was finishing up the Woodland Walks set, I received a beautiful email .
In fact, I asked in my reply if I could post a bit of it, to which she generously said yes.
 
"Hi Deb,  I think your card up-cycle is completely brilliant, original, edgy and for me addictive.
I think it is my favourite project, by far, in the latest Green Craft for all of the above reasons ...
...I am an avid card-maker and I think your design is brilliant.
Thanks for submitting your idea to the magazine otherwise I wouldn't be as happy and excited as I am about trying your design!
... All my best.
 Keep creating.
 Frances"
 
How lovely for someone to take the time to write such a kind note.  We are all so busy and time is so precious, which makes finding notes like this ... well...precious!
So much of my time is spent in my Sparrow Studio, thinking up designs and creating and to receive lovely feedback to tell me they are inspired by something I designed really made my day.  Thank you so much Frances ♥
***
As we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated
from our own fear,
our presence
actually liberates others
~Marianne Williamson~
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

snowing ...

The view from my kitchen window Saturday morning ...
I was sitting with my tea & news paper when I  noticed the Woodpeckers and a few Sparrows at the suet basket.
There was barely any suet left, so I headed outside to refill them.
And as soon as I did the squirrels arrived.
Now they already have a pile of peanuts AND all the acorns that I had in bowls inside I put out into the garden for them...
but as soon as they spot the suet, they are on it!
And then I noticed the snow ♥
Every so faintly, but it was snow ...
oh how I love the snow ...
which has been falling ever since!
Mr. Handsome trying out a bow.
and in our Saturday's paper, the Milk Calendar.
I look forward to this calendar which is tucked into our weekend newspaper every year.
~the lovely-ness of daily-ness~