Monday, September 28, 2015

Antique French Textiles, Civil War Blues, Favorite Tool and More!

I have really gotten into making these puzzle balls! Each one is completely hand-stitched, which is much more time-consuming, but very much worth the trouble.

I can sit with my husband in the evenings and work on them, rather than being in my workroom by myself.

And stitching antique textiles with needle and thread by hand is wonderful!

Three of the four fabrics pictured below are antique textiles from France: ticking, damask, and a floral print. The last fabric is a vintage damask that I hand-dyed.

I never thought needle-nose pliers would be so handy, but I use them in nearly every thing I do in my workroom... jewelry-making, wire-work with my folk art pieces, turning fabrics, and stuffing those fabric items with small openings.

This blue puzzle ball went to a customer who decorates with prims... especially Civil War era. It was made using recycled wool and reproduction cotton prints. The prints look light in this photo, but they are aged more than they look here.

These are the fabrics I used, minus the velvet. It didn't quite work out so we decided on the wool. You can see the colors better in this photo.

And these are the fabrics I am working with today...
an ivory (but aged) linen,
a reproduction dusty pink cotton that looks like watered silk,
a vintage (possibly antique) brown floral,
and another reproduction cotton print.

The brown floral is a scrap that had bits of green corduroy in the seam. I can't remember where I purchased it, but I had been saving it for a few years. It has a really nice weight and texture for cotton, not the cheap thin stuff you find in stores now.

Now that I've started making these puzzle balls, I am excited to dig deeper in my tote boxes of antique and vintage scraps. So many ideas... so little time! ;)

Have a wonderfully blessed week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Orange & Black Puzzle Ball Pincushion & eBay

Recently I decided to try eBay again. I used to sell on there quite often with prim groups such as Simply Primitives, The Primitive Gathering, and TDIPT, to name a few. Once the groups dispersed as more and more folk artists began selling on their own blogs and on Etsy, I seldom put anything up for auction.

But here I am again, testing the auction waters to see how it goes. I'm a bit out of the loop, so I'm not sure if eBay is still good for the little people like me, or is it just for the power sellers now?

Besides a few items I've made over the years that sadly never found a home, I've listed this orange and black puzzle ball pincushion.

It's made from vintage velvet and vintage wool. You can read more about it here.

And if you like the pumpkin and raven papercutting, you can see it here.

I've got a couple of catch-up posts to make this week... one about some really useful Handi-Treads, and one about decorating with flowers....

Come back to see read about them! :)


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Antique Textiles and Antique Make-Do Pincushion

Several years ago I purchased some antique silk and linen fabrics from an antiques dealer. There was a beautiful silk stripe and a floral linen with such a perfect texture.

I loved them so much that they sat in a box...

... for years...

I didn't want to cut into them until I knew for sure what I'd do with them. And then recently, while looking through my boxes of fabrics, I ran across them and knew they'd be perfect for a puzzle ball pin cushion!

Everything is hand-stitched. It takes much more time, but it's very relaxing and so satisfying to see what one has accomplished once it's finished.

Similar to another one in my collection, I added old, glass beads to the intersections on this puzzle ball. They were taken from a vintage necklace that I'd been saving to make use of the pretty green beads and the filigree fastener. I'll use the fastener on something else later.

This one is available on eBay. I don't list there much anymore, but I thought I'd give it a try. You can find the auction here: Silk & Linen Puzzle Ball Pin Cushion.

Did you notice the make-do pincushion in the background? I received that one in the mail last week. I just couldn't resist it!

It is so old and worn, but there's another layer of fabric underneath. I can just barely see the print and I'm curious about it, but I can't bring myself to tear away the top layer.

The glass is hand-blown with little bubbles and imperfections...

But that's what makes it so perfect to me! The older and more worn, the more I love it!

I'll be finishing up some orders over the next few days but I hope to have a couple more papercuttings ready to share sometime next week.

Take care and God bless,

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Puzzle Ball Pincushion

Do you remember the puzzle ball pincushions I shared on my blog a few years ago? I still have them and have wanted to make some myself for a long time. This week I finally sat down, figured it out, and made one using vintage velvet!

This puzzle ball pincushion was entirely stitched by hand. I used some of the vintage velvet that I use for my pumpkins. It is orange and brown... perfect for your autumn or Thanksgiving decor. It measures about 5" across.

I'm not sure how many more I will make for a while as they are very time consuming... especially when hand-stitched! :)

Having said that, it is something I can do in the evenings, so who knows? I may have several more made before the holidays get here!


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Homemade Pimento Cheese

My sister mentioned homemade pimento cheese a while back and I really hadn't thought of making it at home... until a few days ago I thought of our conversation and started craving it!

I searched online for a fairly basic recipe and made a batch... and it was delicious! I used a recipe found here. While I do like this, it's a bit strong on heat and garlic, so you may want to reduce those ingredients if you don't want yours as spicy. If you like lots of flavor and spice... you'll love this recipe!

I ate mine with Tostitos Multigrain Scoops... so good!

Do you have a favorite pimento cheese recipe? Feel free to share it in the comments! :)


Thursday, September 3, 2015

More Pumpkin Papercuttings & Thank You!

I want to thank all of you for such a great response to my pumpkin papercuttings! In my last post, I mentioned my Etsy shop and my Early Work Mercantile page... and I sold all but 2 papercuttings! My Early Work Mercantile page sold out!

a small part of my stash of papers

yes - I do use these large utility scissors, even for the tiny stuff!

Since I do enjoy playing with paper so much and I had customers writing to me to see when I'd make more, I managed to get a few more made and listed here: Pumpkin Papercuttings.

The Gathering

The Guardian

I chose titles that seemed to fit the theme and spooky season....
come on over to see the rest!