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Preview: Vintage with Laces

Vintage with Laces

Updated: 2018-02-20T03:08:26.043+01:00


A Shopping Basket Repurposed Into a Wall Cat Lounger


Our three cats have many places where they like to doze or nap. Favorite spots beside our laps are sofas and chairs but my ironing board, my working table and some baskets filled with fabrics are very popular as well. I wanted to add a more elevated place to the mix and repurposed a basket as a cat wall lounger. The basket had been a flea market find many years ago and for a while I used it when I went shopping at farmers' markets. It had been a bit bulky for this purpose though and at some point I removed the handle and utilized it to store fabric scraps. Because of it's size I thought it could make a nice resting place for a kitty.Hubby mounted the basket to the wall with three long screws and I sewed a comfy cushion. If you have feline company at home, you've probably experienced how particular cats can be when it comes to food but also regarding their resting spaces. So far, Cosmo is the only one who is interested in the basket.During the first few days he took some naps in it but in the meanwhile it became predominantly a play area for him. When I throw a toy inside, he jumps in and often brings it back to me to toss it again. He's a bit like a dog. He follows me wherever I go and he growls at unidentified noises. To cover the screws, I sawed the lid of a cigar box to the right size and painted and stamped the piece. The cute cat face on top was a gift from my blogging friend Tatjana over at Resis Weisse Welt. Tatjana is a cat lover as well and has six furry boys and one girl at home.Tatjana spoiled us even more. She had sent a sweet treat, cute cat napkins, and a crocheted snow flake for me and some crocheted mice and deer for the furry babies. They are filled with valerian roots which is the best smell ever, at least for the kitties. Cosmo is quite excited about the delaclable rodent.As you can see, Cecily also loves an oh so delicious mouse. Barney likes to play with a mouse first and thenuse it as a pillow. Sweet dreams! Thank you, Tatjana for all the wonderful gifts!If you made it up to here, you probably love or at least like cats. Then you might enjoy Love Meow as much as I do. For some weeks now it is my morning happy place. There are usually two posts a day with beautiful, heart warming cat rescue stories from around the world. These posts always make me smile.On a totally different note, welcome, first signs of spring! These flowers showed up on our yard. It's a gorgeous day here today with clear blue skies and 64°F/18°C at 11 am. I know that a lot of you still have freezing temperatures and I hope that spring is around the corner for you as well. Have a happy weekend!The kitties will join these parties:A Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage MarketA New Life at Rostrose Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixDIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk InteriorsSonnagsblatt at RaumseeleWaste Not Wednesday at Raggedy Bits [...]

A Sewing Machine Cover and A Mouse


When my dear SIL asked me last fall if I could sew her a sewing machine cover for Christmas, I was a little bit hesitant. The reason was not that I didn't want to make one for her but since we live over 1.000 miles away from each other, I wouldn't be able to make any adjustments during the sewing process. It just would have to fit. Eventually, I agreed and hoped for the best. My SIL sent me all the measurements and asked for beige and brown tones if possible. She didn't have any special design wishes and I considered a variety of options. Finally, I stuck with the first idea.I drew a sewing machine and turned it into an appliqué pattern. I machine appliquéd the pieces with a narrow satin stitch. The sewing machine cover has pockets on both sides for scissors, a tape measure and other sewing notions. On top I added a fabric handle for easy uncovering. For the pictures I had to stuff the sewing machine cover with textiles. This is obviously not the perfect fit but I was very happy to hear that the cover fits on my SIL's machine perfectly. 😊Since my SIL's sewing machine lives in the basement, I thought a little mouse pincushion would be a suitable companion. You can find the pattern HERE. It's not mentioned but you should clip the curves after sewing the pieces together, but be careful not to cut into the stitching. My own sewing machine got a little jealous. She finds her plastic cover so boring now but I'm guilty of not covering her up most of the time anyway. Do you always cover up your machine after you are finished with a sewing project? The sewing machine cover and the mouse pincushion will join these parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesSonnagsblatt at Raumseele[...]

The Colorful New Member of My Junk Gang


Just a few days after Roy Al Flush was "born", another found object sculpture joined the junk gang. Please meet artist Loxy Colorsplash. She's always been a color loving girl. When she was little girl, Loxy covered the walls of her nursery with finger paints. Her parents were always amazed by her talent and imagination when they saw the people, animals, plants, and buildings Loxy had painted.Her interest in collages developed later though. It was actually a very unpleasant incident that got her collage art started. Her first boyfriend had cheated on her with her best friend. Awful, I know! She was furious and cut both of them out of every photo she had. Then she replaced them with her favorite celebrities. This lifted her spirits and she added other collage elements and she also painted on the pictures.Some months later, the heartache was over but Loxy still loved making collages. Fast-forward a few years and she's a well-known artist. She regularly exhibits her art at galleries, teaches collage workshops and has written a few books on the topic.I got the idea to make Loxy when I found some small tubes with rather dry watercolor paint. I knew they would be the perfect arms for an artist. I checked my driftwood stash for an appropriate body and my collection of uncleaned brushes (yep, guilty as charged) to find a matching head. Check and check. Two long rusty screws worked well for her legs.I had fun making these tiny colorful collages. They measure 2" x 2" and 2,5" x 2". You would think that using such bright colors was out of my comfort zone but it actually didn't feel that way.Loxy will show her artwork at these parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesDIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk InteriorsWaste Not Wednesday at Raggedy Bits[...]

Merry Christmas!


Barney, Cosmo, Cecily and I wish you and your loved ones
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.
Whatever you celebrate, we hope your holiday is filled with cheerfulness, lots of happy moments, and yummy food.

Thank you for all the lovely comments you left on my blog during the year. I appreciate your visits and kind words very much. Have a wonderful New Year!

xo Julia

The kitties will show up at this cat party:
Sunday Selfies at The Cat on My Head

Gift Wrapping Paper Made from Brown Paper Scraps


Are you amazed that this is already my second blog post in two weeks? Me too. It must be some kind of a Christmas miracle. 😀I haven't bought gift wrapping paper in a long time. Instead, I predominantly buy brown paper by the roll and add some embellishments, pretty ribbons and/or tags. I like the look of this paper and it works great in combination with all kinds of colors. Besides, it's a bit sturdier than most gift wrapping papers.Last week I was wrapping some gifts and thought I had enough brown paper. You know where this is going. I had three more packages to wrap when I ran out of paper. I didn't have the time to get a new roll because the package had to be taken to the post office the next morning. What does a girl do when she runs out of gift wrapping paper? Exactly! She sews some leftover scraps together to create some sheets.When I had reached the necessary paper sizes, I sewed on small scraps with stamped trees. My next idea didn't work out so well. I wanted to use my sewing machine to add some silver stars but even though I used a special needle for metallic threads, the thread broke.I ended up stitching the holes by machine without thread and then running the thread through by hand. That was a bit more labor-intensive than I had planned but I didn't want to give up on the idea. I like how the paper turned out.Imagine how much wrapping paper could be made out of all the scraps that we normally throw into the garbage! Even paper scraps in different colors and with different patterns could become pretty, patchwork-style, one of a kind gift wrapping paper.Have you wrapped your gifts already? My upcycled gift wrapping paper will join these parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixSaturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes Sonntagsblatt at RaumseeleA New Life at Rostrose DIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk InteriorsTalk of The Town at Knick of Time[...]

Handmade Christmas Ornaments


Two of my favorite people to make gifts for are my SIL and hubby's niece. They both like things that are made with love and they're always excited to open my packages. It makes me happy to make them happy. For a couple of years now, my SIL has a vase with some branches in her kitchen that she decorates according to the season. I gladly granted her requests for little fabric fish, Easter eggs, and Christmas ornaments. Each year, I try to come up with some new pieces to add to the collection. For last year's Christmas I had made glass glitter stars, fabric baubles and 3-d book page trees.This year I sewed, respectively knitted tiny leather mittens and scarves. Just when I had finished those wintry accessories, my friend Michelle over at A Crafty Mix posted a DIY for the cutest little washboard ornaments. I commented that it would be great for the washboards to have some tiny clothes to keep them company. While I wasn't able to make some of the adorable washboards because I can't print anything at the moment, the thought of tiny clothes kept floating around in my head. I decided to sew a set of sweaters.I recycled a part of an old T-Shirt that I had recently sorted out. I added embroidery lining and double sided fusible interfacing between the fronts and the backs. The sweaters are 2" (5 cm) high. In the pictures the color is not accurately displayed. The sweaters are more teal colored in real life, matching my SIL's kitchen décor. The mittens are about the same size as the sweaters. They're made out of leather scraps I received from a tailor may years ago. I thought it would be easy to stitch the mittens by machine but it wasn't because I didn't have a leather needle in my stash. I made several attempts but my machine kept skipping stitches and the thread broke numerous times. I solved the problem by removing the spool and the bobbin and just piercing the leather by machine. Hand stitching through the holes took a bit of time but was easy to do then.It's a long time ago that I knitted something but it was quite fun to make five of these little scarves. It certainly helped that all five of them were finished so much faster than one in a regular size.😀Have you made any ornaments this year for yourself or to give away?The ornaments will join these parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesDIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk InteriorsThe Creative Gallery at Making It in The MountainsShow & Share at Coastal CharmTalk of The Town at Knick of Time A New Life at Rostrose [...]

Roy Al Flush - The Gambler with a Heart of Dice


Thank you very much for your kind words on our loss of Gracie, Pixie and Smokey, and the wishes for Cosmo's recovery. Thankfully, he's doing very well. He gained a lot of weight and grew quite a bit over the last three weeks. Cosmo is a very sweet boy and we're so happy that he survived.I haven't created anything lately but I have a few new friends waiting for some months now to make their appearance here. Today you are going to meet Roy Al Flush. He's a gambler with a heart of dice. Literally. However, he does not only like dice games but he's also an avid poker player and from time to time you can find him playing a round of Dominoes or Tri-Ominos as well.Roy Al Flush holds a winning hand right now and is about to go all in. Who wouldn't with a royal flush? If you're not familiar with poker, this is the best hand you can get and it's not the first time he's so lucky. Now you know why everybody calls him Roy Al Flush. He is a famous player and is feared among his competition for his great tactical play and his luck.His head and body are made from tins that I roasted in a charcoal barbecue fire after we had finished grilling. The nose once was a foot of an alarm-clock and his mouth was a strap adjuster. For his arms I repurposed two tiny graters that came as an extra with some nutmegs. His hair is made from a piece of fine wire mesh, pinched in between the tin's bottom and lid. After the mesh was fixed, I pulled the cross wires.I made his hands from vintage Christmas candle holders and buttons. The cards are from a German mini card deck and measure only 1" x 1 3/8".You probably know the phrase "lucky at cards, unlucky in love". So far that had been true for this little gambler. He's actually quite charming and dated frequently but he never met the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. It's not that he's too demanding but all the girls he got to know where too pretentious for his taste and often just interested in his money. Then he met Sewphie Zipperbutton. Yes, her sweet personality is right along his alley and she fancies him too. For his reliability, his humor, and a bit for his good looks as well. Don't you think they make a cute couple?By the way, Sewphie was featured in the May issue of the Australian magazine "Homespun".Thank you, Homespun for the lovely feature! I was very excited to see my sewing gal along with such a lovely description in print .😊Roy Al Flush will show up for a round of poker or dice here:A Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage MarketSweet Inspiration at a Crafty MixTalk of the Town at Knick of TimeWaste Not Wednesday at Raggedy BitsDIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk Interiors[...]



I feel like my heart has been ripped into pieces. Three of our four kittens died. If you missed the story about the two week old kittens that someone abandoned in front of our home on Easter, you can read about it HERE. We had planned to find new homes for all of them once they would be three months old. Very soon I knew though, that I wouldn't be able to part with Gracie or Cosmo. When the time came to let them go, there were too many kittens available and by far not enough people interested in adopting one. So we kept all four and they all had grown very close to our hearts.The four were 5 1/2 months old and such a happy bunch. All of a sudden they lost their appetite, started vomiting and had diarrhea. Smokey and Pixie had recovered fast but Gracie was doing real bad and Cosmo only a bit better than her. Gracie spent 5 days at the vets getting infusions and injections. She fought hard and the vets thought she would make it but last Friday she lost the battle. Cosmo had not eaten for several days. Therefore, we had to force-feed him which was very stressful for him and for us. The amount we were able to feed him, was just a fraction of what he would have needed to eat. He was only fur and bones on Sunday and I had not much hope. Suddenly though, his appetite came back and he started to eat again.At the same time Smokey and Pixie got a relapse. They had been perfectly fine for several days. They had been eating, they had been playing like crazy and we certainly hadn't expected that they would get sick again. The vets did their best but they couldn't save them. Smokey and Pixie died the next day. The vets told us that currently, there are a lot of cases of  indoor cats with the same symptoms and that several, especially younger cats didn't make it either. A problem of bottle-fed kittens is that the lack of mother's milk weaks their immune system. Our three adult indoor/outdoor cats did not get sick at all.Gracie, you were such a sunshine with a very sweet personality. You had been pretty sick as a baby and we were so happy that you recovered. You stole our heart quickly and we knew soon that we wouldn't be able to give you away. For the last several weeks you came to me every morning while I sat on the couch with the laptop and my first cup of coffee. You coiled up on my lap for at least 30 minutes or until I had to get up. You purred the whole time and after a while you climbed up to my head and rubbed your face against mine. Then you bit my nose very gently. I always said: "I love you, too, sweetie." You had been the first to climb up the countertops, even before the boys tried to get up there. You loved playing with water. When I put a flat bowl with water and some toys on the floor, you didn't just try to angle for them with one paw. No, you just went into the bowl with all four legs and dabbled in the water. You had such a cute and funny way to jump when we played with the cat fishing rod toy. You made us smile and laugh often.Smokey, you were a sweet and gentle boy. You were the only one with black pads. Your fur was extremely soft and smooth. Touching you felt like touching a piece of silk. You loved Izzie even though she was always very rough when she played with you. Whenever she came in, you followed her and snuggled up on her when she took a break. You were quite talkative. When I prepared food for the four of you, you were the only one telling me how hungry you were and that it was high time to serve you a meal. It was so cute. You loved lying on the stairs, looking down on the entrance way. Even though you were the boss of the kitten gang, you were the first who hid when there was a loud noise that scared you.Pixie, you were such a lovable girl. You were the smallest of the litter. When we found you, we weren't sure you would make it but you were strong. I often called you Pixel because you were such a tiny thing. [...]

Upcycled Tea Bag Fall Leaves


This morning I could feel that fall is around the corner. The night had been cool and the morning air was crisp. My naked feet got cold after walking and standing on the tile floor for some minutes. Cold feet never felt so good. The summer had been extremely hot with temperatures up to 113°F/45°C, and sometimes humid. I had really tried to take pleasure in my two least favorite months July and August but I was just happy when another day was over. It will still get pretty warm for at least 2 weeks but the worst for this summer is over, yeah!!!I'm going to celebrate fall with upcycled tea bag leaves which I had made some months ago. For most of my life I hadn't been much of a tea drinker but last fall I started to drink more tea. Mostly black tea but also green tea and fruit teas. The used tea bags were saved because I knew I could do something with them. I dried the tea bags in a bowl together with some rusty parts. The gray areas and spots you see on some of the leaves were caused by the rust reacting with the tannin contained in black and green tea.My bases for the leaves were crumbled pieces of brown paper bags from bakeries. I used double-sided fusible web to adhere tea bags to both sides. The leaf veins were free-motion embroidered.I like how the leaves look on that rusty piece of metal. They would as well look great hanging on a branch though.Have you decorated for fall already?The wind will blow these leaves over to the following great parties:Sweet Inspiration at  A Crafty Mix Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes Sonntagsblatt at RaumseeleTalk of The Town at Knick of TimeWaste Not Wednesday at Raggedy BitsA New Life at RostroseA Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage Market[...]

Our Dryer Caught Fire and a Driftwood Vignette


Our dryer had already been repaired several times over the last 5 years, when it had a malfunction again some weeks ago. I was still able to use it but the sensor didn't work anymore, hence the dryer wouldn't stop automatically when the clothes were dry. I had to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to turn it off manually. That worked well ... until I forgot to set the alarm last Thursday. The dryer overheated and started burning. It was a chain of lucky circumstances that we detected the fire in the bathroom just in time and my hubby was able to extinguish it with a garden hose. There was an awful lot of smoke and the bathroom was a black mess from floor to ceiling. Due to a lack of storing space in the house, there weren't only the typical bathroom items in that room but also shelves with books, seasonal decorations etc. Amazingly, neither my wicker laundry baskets nor the books caught fire. The fire was hot enough though to melt not only the dryer's door but also some plastic containers and bowls that weren't even close by. The smell in the bathroom and the hall was disgusting. In the meanwhile everything is cleaned and painted. It will probably take some weeks though until the smoke smell will be gone entirely. Some things couldn't be saved but we were very lucky. It could have ended so much worse.When we take a walk on the beach, my eyes always scan the sand for driftwood, sea glass, rusty items, pretty sea shells and whatever else might catch my attention. I used some pieces of my driftwood collection for a little summer vignette.I like the look of plain driftwood but this time I wanted to add a soft touch. I stamped some nautical motives onto cream colored fabric scraps and glued them to the wood. A simple and quick project.We're not even half way through July and I'm already looking forward to fall. I'm just not enjoying temperatures above 82°F/28°C and we had up to 100°F/38°C over the last few weeks. The ventilators are running day and night. 7 weeks to go or more until cooler weather will bring back my energy. How is the summer in your neck of the woods?My driftwood will be washed up at these great parties:Sweet Inspiration at  A Crafty MixDIY Salvaged Junk Projects at Funky Junk InteriorsVintage Charm at Our Hopeful HomeA New Life at RostroseShow & Share at Coastal Charm Talk of The Town at Knick of Time[...]

Denim Belt Loop Cuffs and Some Tags


I don't even remember when I last bought a piece of jewelry or hinted to my hubby that I would like to have a certain piece from one of those fancy jewelry shops. I don't care about precious metals and diamonds anymore but prefer handmade, one of a kind jewelry instead. For many years now, I've been making my own necklaces, bracelets and earrings and I also wear beautiful pieces created by artistic blogging friends.When I sort out, receive or buy an old pair of jeans for upcycling, I first cut off the belt loops and collect them in a bag. One day, when I removed the belt loops of some used jeans, I got the idea to turn them into cuffs and came up with three varying styles.I tried different kinds of buttons as embellishments and finally decided to use bold metal ones with an antique silver finish. I'm very excited that my cuffs have been published in the Spring 2017 issue of GreeCraft Magazine.   When I sent in my submission to GreenCraft Magazine, I attached some sewn denim tags to the cuffs with my contact details inserted in the pockets on the back. The tags made it into the magazine as well which was a lovely surprise.Currently, I don't have any denim projects in the works but I will turn to my stash of old jeans again sooner or later. It's such a sturdy and versatile material that is suitable for all kinds of creations. I just love to work with it.The cuffs and tags will attend these great parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixDIY Salvaged Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesSonntagsblatt at RaumseeleWaste Not Wednesday at Raggedy BitsTalk of The Town at Knick of TimeA New Life at Rostrose[...]

My New Found Object Sculpture Is A Very Rare Birdie


It doesn’t happen often that a vulture and a peacock fall in love but it occurs from time to time. When Pea Cocktail’s vulture mom and her peacock dad met, it was love at first sight, believe it or not. It didn’t take long before they started to build a nest and after a hatching period of about two months, a little girl got out of the only egg.The offspring of such a mixed relationship has features of both species. When a girl is born with a vulture head, she always has the big peacock tail feathers that among purebred peacocks only the males get. Just in case you’re wondering. 😊Here you see Pea Cocktail in her natural habitat. She loves a garden with lots of wildflowers and all kinds of grasses.Sometimes she runs into a turtle but they usually ignore each other.The idea to make this bird started with the legs. Long time ago I had bought a metal bird and never used it for decoration. The body wasn’t well made and the colors were rather ugly. What was I thinking? Some months ago, I took it apart and only kept the legs. For the tail I used a valve feeler gauge. Isn’t that a cool thing and just perfect for a peacock tail?Pea’s body is an old wooden hotel keychain and her neck is the metal part of a light bulb. When it comes to her head I have no clue. Does anyone know what kind of cone(?) that is? It must have come to me in a flower arrangement or Christmas wreath some years ago.Some of you might remember Pelican Joe. He had been looking for a girlfriend for the last three years without success. When he met Pea Cocktail, he suddenly had butterflies in his tummy. He asked her out and look, he brought a bunch of flowers to their first date. Isn’t he a gentleman? I was told they had a fabulous evening hopping through the garden together and they’ll meet again soon. We might have a couple of lovebirds here. 😊Miss Pea Cocktail will fly over to these great parties:Sweet Inspiration at A Crafty MixParty Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsVintage Charm at Our Hopeful HomeTalk of The Town at Knick of Time[...]

Unexpected Kittens


I didn’t intend to be away from my blog for so long. The time just flew by. I tried my best to decide what kind of creations I should focus on in the future but the harder I tried, the more ideas popped into my head and wanted attention as well. The result was that I didn’t accomplish anything for months which was rather frustrating. It seems that I will just continue to work on many different kinds of projects. Limiting myself doesn’t work for me. At least not at this time. I have some junk people in the works and you’ll also get to see some summer decorations and mixed media art soon. Today I have to tell you about some cute furry babies though.On Good Friday someone left four 10-14 days old kittens in front of our gate. I guess I’m known as the crazy cat lady in our area. Unfortunately, it’s common practice in the South and East of Europe to drown unwanted kittens or to abandon them somewhere in the wilderness where they either starve to death or get killed by predators. It’s so unbelievably cruel and I’m glad that these four didn’t have to suffer such kind of fate. The first two weeks I had to bottle-feed the kittens every two to three hours day and night. In the meanwhile they drink kitten milk from a small plate and eat kitten food as well. I have to get up only once a night now.This little girl is Gracie. For some days we thought she wouldn’t make it because she threw up kitten milk and food and she lost so much weight. It seems that she has a very sensitive stomach. She’s doing pretty well with the food she gets now and she gains weight again every day.The second girl of the litter is Pixie. She is the smallest of the four and extra clumsy which is so cute.Smokey started out with less weight than his brother but he's now the biggest of the siblings.This is Cosmo. He was the first to use the litter box when he was just under three weeks old. Amazing!We do have a winner in the Greco-Roman kitten wrestling championship. The gold medal goes to Smokey and we better give it to him right now or he’ll wrestle us down as well. 😀Izzie was about 5 months old when someone left her in front of our home a few days before Christmas. She was still too young to take care of herself, so of course we adopted her. We had her spayed in January. However, she feels motherly towards the kittens. She licks them and even helped with the bathroom business when they weren’t going to litter box yet. We have to take her away after a few minutes though because then she gets too rough with the kittens.It’s so much fun watching the little fur balls play with themselves, with each other or any kind of toy. Yesterday evening I laughed tears when Cosmo shoved an empty egg carton around in circles with his nose for some minutes. It’s so cute when they chase each other around the food stool or when such little kittens arch their back before playfully attacking a sibling. We haven’t laughed as much as in the last several days for a while. We hope we’ll find good homes for the kittens but I dread the day I have to part with them. I know there will be tears involved. I remember how hard it was to let go two kittens of the litter we had 5 years ago.The kittens will check out theses great parties:Saturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesSonntagsblatt at RaumseeleShow & Share at Coastal CharmMorning Cup of Joe at The Cottage Market [...]

My New Junk Girl Sewphie Zipperbutton


My female found object sculptures tend to reflect parts of my life even though I never consciously plan it. I look at my junk collections and use what jumps at me. My first girl Office Joy obviously got inspired by the fact that I’ve worked in offices for many years and it was certainly my love for baking that led to Abby Sugarbaker. As sewing is one of my favorite techniques to create something, it is not amazing that Sewphie Zipperbutton was born eventually.Sewphie is a practical girl and likes to keep her sewing supplies and notions close by. She can grab a pin from her head, use her right arm to mark a pattern or take one of her sewing machine feet when she needs one. She always keeps some money in her coin purse head in case she comes across a piece of fabric she can’t resist. I’m sure the fabric lovers amongst you can relate. :)   I know that my friend Traude hopes for a romantic relationship among some of my junk characters. So far there is no couple in sight though. There had been some flirting between Abby and Popping-Eye Pete but they decided to be just friends. But who knows, maybe they are friends with benefits. I don’t know what’s going on at night. ;)Sewphie will take a break from sewing to attend these great parties:Party Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsTalk of the Town at Knick of TimeSweet Inspiration Link Party at Kreativ KA New Life at RostroseSonntagsblatt at Raumseele [...]

More Than One Reason to Sing and Dance


If you had been in our kitchen yesterday morning, you would have seen me singing and dancing to radio music while I was baking apple crumb cake. The moves of my legs, hips, arms and my head slowed down the baking process a little bit but I didn’t care at all. I just couldn’t help it. After a long hot summer that wore me out, it rained and the temperature came down to 77°F/25°. I felt a sudden boost of energy. I hadn’t been so dynamic all summer long and I wanted to do 10 things at the same time. My multi-tasking skills are not the best anymore but I managed the simultaneously baking, singing, and dancing quite well. :)While the hot temperatures before hadn’t make me sing and dance, there were some other occasions during the summer that made me do just that. When I was contacted by the editor of Sew Somerset about the lace hearts I made over 4 years ago, I was a bit in a dilemma. I was certainly excited about a possible magazine feature but those hearts were sent to friends long time ago. Recreating similar ones just didn’t feel right as my style has changed over the years. I explained my thoughts and was happy that a set of denim hearts I just had finished, got accepted instead and were published in the summer edition.I was also thrilled about the opportunity to provide some pictures for the Inside Look section of Somerset Home, another wonderful Stampington publication. Especially happy made me to see my rusty map flowers among my 4 published photos.Last but not least I was asked for permission to include my lace fish in the the Pin Interest section of the lovely Australian magazine Homespun. The fish made it into the June issue.Thank you very much to the editors of all three magazines for publishing my work!It’s supposed to rain for a few more days and I will embrace every single drop and maybe sing and dance some more. What has made you happy lately?I will join these great parties:Sweet Inspiration Link Party at KreativKSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesBrag About It at VMG 206  Talk of The Town at Knick of TimeParty Junk at Funky Junk Interiors[...]

Summer Fun with Index Cards


The ICAD (Index-Card-a-Day) challenge over at Daisy Yellow is on again. Tammy challenges her readers to create something on an index card for 61 days in a row. I participate for the second time and use this as an opportunity to try new media, techniques and styles and to work with colors I usually avoid. Therefore you’ll get to see a wide variety and probably some creations you wouldn’t have expected. Well, even I was amazed by some of my ICADs and by how much I like the abstract ones. So far I haven’t followed any of the optional prompts this year. I often started without a specific plan and painted or collaged a background first, hoping I would come up with an idea afterwards. It somehow worked. :)I’ve grouped my ICADs in terms of colors and themes for this post, so they are not in chronological order. Acrylic paints, vintage book page, handpainted papers, stamps, white gel pen, black crayon.  Acrylic paints, vintage book page, handpainted papers, stamps, white gel pen, black crayon, bingo card number.I had some fun creating Lucy, the deer lady and the giraffe with and an ostrich head. You know that I like weird and quirky. :) Both heads as well as the giraffe body are parts of vintage images from The Graphics Fairy. I turned the second ICAD into a birthday card for a 12 year old girl. Vintage book page, acrylic paints and clothes labels.  Vintage book page and ticket, handmade paper, acrylic paints, thread.  Handmade paper, acrylic paints, thread.  Vintage book page and map, back of an envelope, handpainted papers, polyester organza melted with a heat gun. Acrylic paints, ink, thread.Handpainted papers, acrylic paints, thread.Acrylic paints, black crayon.A piece of an old t-shirt that I used to clean my brushes, ripped into strips and sewn randomly together with a zigzag stitch directly onto the index card.Vintage book pages and other papers, acrylic paints, black and white crayon, ink, stamp.Vintage book pages, corrugated and other recycled papers, handpainted paper, acrylic paints, black crayon.The corrugated papers and pieces of vintage book pages sewn together and then used left side up provide interesting textures.Vintage sewing pattern, book page and other vintage papers, scissors image from The Graphics Fairy, stamp, black crayon, thread.Vintage book pages, handwritten letter, used sandpaper, corrugated and other recycled papers, acrylic paints, black crayon, stamps, thread. Rubbing a black crayon over a textured background gives a nice effect. I used that technique on several cards.Acrylic paints, markers, white gel pen.Acrylic paints, white gel pen.Acrylic paints. Stamped with corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap and a bottle cap.Markers only.Just threads and a printed quote.Watercolors, fabrics, threads.My first attempt was a failure. I glued lots of different green littel rectangles onto and index card. Then I free machine stitched pokey lines to look like grass. After I had appliquéd the blossoms and machine stitched the stems and some vines it looked too busy. I cut out the flowers and glued them to a watercolor background with some curvy stitched lines. I’m still not too happy with it though.  Acrylic paints, corrugated paper, Japanese snippet.  Vintage book page, acrylic paints, white gel pen, black crayon. Assorted used sandpaper, corrugated paper, parts of vintage book spines, bingo card number.Crayons (melted with a heat gun, then rubbed with a paper towel) and a leftover piece of a vintage book page.I like to thank Tammy for all the work she puts into the challenge. I enjoyed it so far and it is a great exercise but to be honest, I feel a bit exhausted. Just[...]

No Happy End


Only one week after I introduced you to Finn, the terrier mix we recently rescued, we had to put him to sleep. It started with little twitches in his left front leg. Two days later those had turned into severe cramps that compressed his whole body. Finn was in awful pain and cried heartbreakingly. It was a neurological disease and the vets said that there is no cure. We are very sad that we had to let him go but at least we could give him a loving home for some weeks. He was a cute and friendly little guy who had won our hearts in a short time. He made us laugh every day and we enjoyed having him around.

We miss you. Farewell, sweet Finn!

The Snail Siblings and their Stepbrother


Over the last few years I’ve taken apart several alarm clocks. You always find one of those metal spiral thingies inside, called alarm-clock springs. When I recently disassembled a clock, the spring had a gear attached to the middle. The whole piece reminded me of a snail and I just had to make a snail assemblage.I love the rough texture of the wooden box. I made it out of an old strip of pallet wood. For the background I glued vintage book pages onto a piece of plywood and painted over with acrylic paints.“The snail siblings were slightly irritated when they saw their stepbrother for the first time. It could have been worse though.” I haven’t talked about it here before but over the last 3.5 years we’ve fostered several street dogs and their litters until they got adopted. In this country, it never takes long until you see a cat or dog who needs a home. In many cases they are in a very pitiable condition and need medical attention. It’s very often heart-breaking because you can’t help all of them. A few weeks ago we sat in the outdoor coffee shop of a large hardware store, when a little terrier mix puppy came by, begging for food. He was just bones and fur. A lot of hair was missing and his skin was red and flaky. The little guy must have lost his mother and siblings a while ago. We couldn’t help but take him home. One injection and 8 medical baths later, his fur and skin are almost back to normal.We named him Finn. He’s a funny little guy and already a good watch dog, barking at every single turtle or snail that approaches the house. Good thing he protects us from these dangerous and scary creatures! :) I snapped some pictures in the garden which is mostly a huge wildflower field with some fruit trees and grape vines.  This Queen Anne's lace grows in our neighbour's garden. It's such a pretty flower.Here's Barney sitting in a grape vine. I wish he would only climb into these but often enough he can be found very high up in one of the 20 feet high olive trees. It always freaks me out.I hope you all have a wonderful and happy weekend. We have the  perfect weather at the moment with sunshine and 75° F/24° C. I love it.The snails and their stepbrother will attend these great parties: Party Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsTalk of The Town at Knick of TimeSweet Inspiration Link Party at kreativ K[...]

The girl who likes to bake


I grew up with cakes that were bought in a bakery or a supermarket. Given the fact that neither my mother nor my grandmothers ever baked, it’s pretty amazing that I became such an avid baker. This is a good thing because the cakes and pastries we get to buy here in Albania are usually super sweet and not really after our taste. I still have some baking recipes I cut out of German women’s magazines several years ago but most of the recipes I use, come from American or German food blogs or other food related websites. My favorites to bake and eat are all kinds of apple cakes, cheesecakes, muffins, brownies and cookies. Our local friends enjoy these kind of desserts as well and some suggested that I open up a pastry shop. I’m pretty sure that this would take the fun out of it for me but a new friend of mine stepped in. Please meet the passionate pastry chef Miss Abby Sugarbaker. :)  Abby’s head is a glazed speckled egg I found among my Easter decorations. All other body parts are flea market finds I had for years. I don’t know why I bought the tiny beater at that time but it sure came in handy and Abby wouldn't want to miss it. :) It was fun for me to sew a baker's hat and an apron for her.These are some of today's sweet treets. I constructed the easel chalkboard out of craft sticks and a piece of heavy cardboard. Do you like to bake? What is your favorite kind of cake, pie or cookie?Abby will offer her sweet treats at these great parties:Vintage Charm at Thrifty Rebel VintageA Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage MarketSweet Inspiration Link Party at The Boondocks BlogParty Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsTalk of the Town at My Salvaged TreasuresA New Life at Rostrose[...]

Upcycled Denim Quilt


Jeans are my favorite clothes to upcycle. The fabric is durable and can be used for practical things like hand bags or pillows but also for decoration items like the denim fish I made last year. The material can be treated with all kind of techniques and it’s easy to sew. I started to collect old jeans over 15 years ago. Back then I cut them up and only kept the leg parts without pockets, seams etc. Nowadays, I never throw away all those wonderful pieces. Seams and belt loops are my new best friends among garment parts. :)    For this small art quilt I used a lot of those pieces along with some rusty finds. The inspiration came from the mixed media collage “d-pending” I created last summer for a color challenge. I  liked the combination of blue with rusty orange and wanted to make something with this color scheme again.Don’t the belt loops make a great fringe? As you can see one of them was a little rebellious and wanted to show its back. :)I wove some inside seams in a piece of rusty mesh. The metal grid was then sewn onto the quilt by machine.The striped fabric is from an inside jeans pocket. I dyed it to match the color of the thread that was used for the seams and belt loops.Have you ever upcycled an old pair of jeans? What did you make out of it?I will send the quilt over to the following great parties:Sweet Inspiration Link Party at The Boondocks Blog Party Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesTalk of The Town at Knick of TimeOff The Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-MarieA New Life at Rostrose[...]

The Accidental Bunny


I had no intention to create a bunny. I was working on another project and had cut two teaspoons to use the upper parts. The leftover handles were laying on my worktable side by side and they just looked like a pair of bunny ears. I tried to continue my work on the other creature but those ears just screamed at me. All I could think was B-U-N-N-Y. Well, yes, I get distracted easily. With Easter being just around the corner, I had at least a good excuse to bring that bunny to life right away. :)His name is GrEgg Hopper.I found a pocket watch case in my stash that had the perfect size to become the head. Once he had a head, GrEgg started to have a mind of his own. He wanted a nose piercing. Can you believe it? Personally, I’m not a big fan of poking holes in other body parts than ears but I wasn’t able to talk him out of it. Here you go, bunny. A paint brush was certainly mandatory. GrEgg went to work instantly and painted some eggs to live up to his name. I’m so glad he helps me decorating for Easter. :) GrEgg will hop over to these great parties:Show and Share at Coastal CharmA New Life at RostroseTalk of The Town at My Salvaged TreasuresVintage Charm at Thrifty Rebel VintageParty Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsDishing It & Digging It at Life and Linda[...]

The Twice Repurposed Washboard


It’s almost 5 years ago that I turned a vintage metal washboard into a magnetic inspiration board for my studio. I painted it white and added an ornamental graphic to the upper part and a piece of lace as a border. After a few years my style had changed. I wanted a look that was less girly and I gave the washboard a makeover by removing the lace and painting over the graphic with chalkboard paint. While I really liked the look, in the long run, it took up wall space that I would have rather used to hang artwork. Therefore, it never went onto the wall again after we moved 16 months ago. I wanted to use it somewhere, but as it was, it didn’t make much sense in any other room. At some point, when I tried to find a place to keep the keys, I got the idea to repurpose the washboard again and turn it into a key holder.      First I cut a piece of scrap wood to add as a little shelf. I painted the board gray except for the chalkboard part. I wanted to use what I had on hand and what I didn’t have were hooks. When I checked my stash for any possible substitutes, I came across a little dish filled with old keys. They were ideal for that purpose. A larger key broke when I tried to bend it but the smaller ones worked well.I spray-painted some magnetic stars black. They can hold shopping lists, pick-up tickets of any kind etc. When I looked for the best place to hang the key holder in the hall, I discovered that it has the perfect size to cover the fuse box which bothered us ever since we had moved in. It was just meant to hang in that place. I will send the key holder to the following parties:  Party Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsTable It! at The Stonybrook House  Work It Wednesday at The Blissfull BeeTalk of the Town at Knick of Time Brag About It at My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies A New Life at Rostrose[...]

This time it’s a girl


My boys Pelican Joe and Popping-Eye Pete told me that it would be wonderful to have female company. Human women and cat ladies obviously don’t count. I couldn’t refuse their wish and created a girl for them that is more after their taste. Her name is Office Joy.She loves her office job and is well equipped to execute it optimally. If you think that she has a bad hair day you might be right .Joy looks slightly unhappy because someone had misplaced some files she was supposed to archieve.Finally she found them and now doesn’t let them out of her sight, especially the one that is marked “confidential”.She wears the key to the file cabinet with the confidential records around her neck to make sure, no one unauthorized has access. Joy is a valuable staff member and is popular among her colleagues. The boys are thrilled about their new female friend and love spending time with her when she comes home from the office.Joy will have some fun at these great parties:Talk of the Town at My Salvaged TreasuresVintage Charm at Charm Bracelet DivaA Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage MarketParty Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsBrag About It at My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies A New Life at Rostrose[...]

Merry Christmas!


Thank you very much for all your visits this year and for your lovely comments.

I wish you and your loved ones

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Upcycled Sweater Christmas Trees


When my husband sorted out a cotton sweater with a cable pattern, I cut it up and put the pieces in my fabric stash with the idea to make sweater trees for Christmas. Some weeks ago I rummaged through a box filled with rusty parts and found the perfect tree trunks for this project. I dyed one piece of the sweater in a medium gray because I wanted the trees to look a bit different. Additionally, I used the left side instead of the right side of the knit fabric for the smaller tree. To give the trees a certain stability and to prevent the fiber filling to poke through the little holes, I sewed inlets from heavy weight muslin first and covered them with the sweater material. The Christmas ornaments I used to embellish the trees, are a few years old. I made them from star-shaped thread cards, a bit of paint, pieces of lace and glass cabochons. I keep my Christmas decoration rather simple this year and I love it. I’ve sorted out and given away a lot of Christmas ornaments and other décor pieces. My taste has changed so much and I had been in a serious decluttering mood. Almost everything super cute has left the building :) . Has your Christmas decoration style changed as well over the last few years?The sweater trees will join these great parties:Vintage Inspiration at My Salvaged TreasuresVintage Charm at My Thrift Store AddictionCreate - Share - Inspire at The Wicker HouseParty Junk at Funky Junk InteriorsSaturday Sparks at Pieced PastimesSundays at Home at Thoughts from Alice[...]