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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Of Little Butterflies, Flowers And Old Timepiece Treasures ...

Hello my dear friends,

today's post is all about little butterflies, flowers and old timepiece treasures.

At times I get "hooked" on a theme that I am working on and I get a little carried away. (It has happened before!) That is exactly what has happened this time again. I had made my first altered art pocket watch creation with the little butterfly and little forget-me-nots and enjoyed it so much. It was so much fun to choose which colors I would dye my little crochet flowers and the matching seam binding. When I put everything together, it was like I was like creating tiny flower gardens behind glass in which a little butterfly lived.  I loved my first little pocket watch garden so much that I have now made a few more of these neat creations and that is what I am sharing with you today.

These little gardens were inspired by a sweet and very talented lady I know, Lisa Roberts from "Lisa Roberts Cakes". Lisa is the lovely lady that made my daughter Ashleigh's wedding cake and since the day I picked up the cake samples in a parking lot at the edge of town and met Lisa, we have stayed in touch. You know, there are people that you meet in your life that are just meant to be a part of it and she is one of those people.

Lisa inspired me to make my newest little garden creations after she shared this picture of some of her beautiful sugar flowers that she had made.

 Lisa Roberts Cakes

I just love the delicateness of her flowers and especially the colors she had chosen for them.
If you would like to see some of her work, just click on the link under this picture.

And these are my little pocket watch gardens!

Little crochet flowers in subtle shades of beautiful colors and little white crochet butterflies that live in antique pocket watch casings with seam binding in matching colors to complement the flowers ~ just lovely in my eyes! And even though the glass of the lids is scratched (some more than others) it just doesn't take away from the prettiness of these little handmade gardens.

I am so happy with the way these have turned out ~  sweet and so neat!

And last but not least ...

... remember this little pocket watch garden?

 I made it for the lovely Makiko.
Her and I decided to trade creations and this was the one I made for her.

It has arrived safely in Japan and Makiko liked it very much which again made me very happy.

Thank you for stopping by today and visiting me here at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Second Little Fabric Doily Needle Book ...

Hello my dear friends,

just a very short post to let you know ...

... that I have just listed the second one of two needle books for sale in my Etsy shop.

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind my dear friends.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

And The Winner Is ... My "Christmas To Come" Giveaway 2017 ...

Hello my dear friends,

finally ... July 25th is here at last!

So many of you have been so sweet and have entered your name to my this year's " Christmas To Come" giveaway again which has put a smile in my heart. Thank you to all of you for all the lovely and kind words you left for me.

I am a little bit of an old fashioned gal and still like to do my giveaways the good old way.
I wrote all of your names (over 90 of them) down on paper and gave each one of you a number. 

All of you ended up in a bowl, (a Christmassy one!) all mixes up and then I picked one little piece of paper with numbers. 

And this the number, that was picked is ...

... no. 54! 

And no.54 is ...

... the lovely Maggie!

She left the following comment ...

"Such a sweet idea behind your giveaway, Karen! I remember those days as a child, waiting in anticipation for the gifts under the tree--it's fun that you are keeping that spirit alive with your giveaway. Hope you're having a great summer!"

My dear Maggie, I truly hope that I can give you that feeling once again this Christmas. 
Please, email me your mailing address so I can send your gift to you this December just in time for Christmas Day.

Thank you again to all of you, for once again making my "Christmas To Come" giveaway so special to me.

I hope you are well and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doing A Little Painting On A Smaller Scale ...

Hello my dear friends,

I am still painting on a larger scale these days! ... Yup, my hallway is still not finished but I have decided not to hurry with this project to ensure that I don't mess up or overdo it and possibly hurt my back or anything else for that matter again. I have one wall left to do and that is the "tall wall" along the staircase which is two stories tall. I will tackle very soon but instead of painting walls at the moment, it was time to practice my small painting skills again and have a break from stretching and reaching far corners and edges.

It has been a little while since I had done my last water coloring (which I haven't even shared with all of you yet) so I thought it might be good to practice it again. I picked a lovely photo online of the countryside in Wiltshire, England looking towards Salisbury's Cathedral spire which is actually the tallest one in England!

 I chose to do some guidelines and went to work right away and a little while later my newest painting was done. Unfortunately I am not sure how happy I am with it.
 My daughters tell me that I expect too much of myself being a beginner and I think they might be right. I should practice more often and maybe even take a class on how to watercolor so I can learn more about how to do it. I would so love to be good at this and happy with what I do.

And this is my newest painting ...

Looking at it again, maybe it isn't as bad as I thought it was at first?!

My daughters both like my little paint a lot, so I gave this one to my older one Ashleigh. Now I need to think of what I am going to paint for my younger one. Hmm ... maybe Stonehenge? She really likes those "old rocks".

As I mentioned, I did another painting several weeks ago and I think that there is no better time to share it with all of you but now. It is another beach scene and I painted it as a gift for my daughter Ashleigh to hang in her home. It was of one of our visits to Lake Huron on a chilly and blustery day when the water was rough and there many waves. She stood there on a wooden platform, looking into the distance and lost in her thoughts. I tried to capture in my photograph and then in my painting.

And here is that painting ...

 I made one mistake though by painting her hair black and not a dark brown instead but she didn't mind. Again I am not quite there with liking this water color completely but my daughter does and that is all that counts. She actually framed it and it is hanging in her home now which is so sweet and such a compliment to me. My next painting post should hopefully be about my finished hallway.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by here at Todolwen and visit me. It is always so nice when you do.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle ~ Last Call ...

Hello my dear friends,

this is the last call for any of you, that haven't already done so and still want to enter their name to my this year's ...

... "Christmas To Come" 2017 giveaway.

I will be picking a name on July 25th!

I have now chosen a gift (which is a first for me that it is so early) that will be mailed to one of you to be placed under your Christmas tree just in time for Christmas Day. All I am waiting for now, is for the last names to be entered so I can then pick a name.

 So if you haven't done so yet, click on the link above where you can read all about why I do this and leave a comment on that post and that post only. Then all you have to do is to wait and see if you are the one that will receive my surprise gift in December.

Good luck to all of you!

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Once A Candle Snuffer ...

Hello my dear friends,

these days some pieces I choose to work with are not old, but everything is something that someone didn't want anymore.

I was at our local Goodwill store donating some stuff that was not needed in our home anymore and while I was there I decided to pop in and take a look around. I wasn't looking for anything,  just browsing but I did find something little that just spoke to me. It was a little silver candle snuffer, not old or too fancy but neat and nicely tarnished. It just appealed to me so much and instantly a picture formed in my mind. I knew what I would want to make with it and exactly how I wanted it to look like, so I bought it.

And this is that little candle snuffer.

Is is a simple tarnished silver cone with a little ring to hold it with so you don't burn your fingers and the special little thing of it is, that this neat piece has a half moon that embellishes it nicely.

Going with the picture in my mind, I wanted to use dark blue fabric with this creation.That gave me a chance to do a little fabric dyeing again, which I enjoy so much. I choose to dye a piece of an old linen table runner, a small doily, a piece of drop cloth and some seam binding too.

 I was so caught up over the kitchen sink ...

 ... that I didn't even notice that I had a little furry friend which was laying on the railing of our deck, watching me through the window whilst I was busy working away. So sweet!

The little squirrel stayed there, just laying down for at least another 15 minutes ...

... with his/her head resting it's front paws before it was time to leave again.

Once my dyed pieces were rinsed out, I hung everything outside to dry which didn't take long at all since it was a very warm day. Unfortunately not all of them turned out to be the shade of blue that I was hoping for. It is amazing how different materials take on color because everything was a different shade of blue.

With my fabric dyeing not have turned out the way I hoped it would, I went in search for something that was the right color and I found it in one of the drawers in my studio. A few years ago I had bought a stack of cotton velvet samples that were from a Toronto furniture store and they were in the most beautiful colors.

 I found what I needed! ...

 ... "Midnight" blue velvet!

 It was beyond perfect and exactly what I was looking for, for the creation that I was wanting to make. One of the lengths of seam binding that I had dyed was almost a match and it harmonized very nicely with the velvet. Now I could finally start actually working on my little idea. 

It took me a little time but now it is done and that is what I am sharing with all of you today ... my newest creation (and yes, it is a pincushion). I can't help myself ... I am an passionate pincushion maker! And here it is! I named it ...

... "Midnight Skies".

At times I like to keep my creation simple but lovely and that was my first thought with this one too.
I wanted to keep it very simple by just embellishing the outside of  the candle snuffer with some seam binding that I had dyed in a lovely shade of blue but that just wouldn't do. It needed more! I wanted this little piece to shine. I was thinking of looking into the midnight skies with the moon looking down on the world and the stars sparkling like tiny diamonds from afar. Sparkling ... stars ... that is, what was missing! ... Sparkling stars! In my eyes one of the best thing to use to achieve that neat look is ... sparkling Swarovski crystals.

 I added one to each of the ends of the seam binding and was so pleased with the way it looked ... just the way I had seen it in my mind and I didn't stop there.

 I made the actual pincushion from the lovely midnight blue velvet I had found in one of my drawers. I framed it with a double frill made of the same blue seam binding that I used on the outside of the candle snuffer and with the sparkling stars still in mind, I also added some Swarovski crystals to the velvet pincushion as well, to make it also sparkle a little.


I hope you have enjoyed my newest pincushion creation as much as I have enjoyed making it. 

I am still working on painting our hallway. I had hit my right elbow very hard on the corner of one of the walls and unfortunately need to rest my arm for a few days. It is so sensitive at the moment, that I need a towel, that is folded thick, to rest it on the table when I am sitting at it, that's how sore it is. I am just waiting for the bruise to come out and my elbow to start turning colors. That will teach me to be more careful next time. 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit me here at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do. 
I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Home Alone ...

Hello my dear friends,

what do yo do when you are home alone for a weekend? ... I paint our house!

I wasn't actually completely home alone ... our cats were with me.
This past weekend my daughters had gone to Toronto to see Ed Sheeran and James Blunt (sigh) in concert and were going to be gone for two whole days. I didn't really have any plans made for Friday and Saturday so I had to come up with how I was going to spend my time alone at home and then I thought of it! 

I absolutely hate the color of our entry hall and upstairs hallway and something had to be finally done about it. My husband wasn't home either (he works and lives in Alberta for a part of the year) but he had told me, that he wanted to hire someone to paint everything but that wasn't what I had in mind. I wanted to do it myself again and surprise him with it being all done when he comes home in August. I had done this before with our master bedroom, living room and kitchen too. I actually painted the living room and kitchen/dining room a week before Christmas one year and was done with both rooms in two days from start to finish including moving all the furniture around twice. This was different though! Little did I know how difficult and much work it would be to do a tall staircase wall!

I started Friday morning after I dropped the girls off at the Greyhound bus station around 11 am and didn't put the paintbrush down until 10 pm that night. Here was me thinking that I would be done
in two days with priming the walls and actually painting them too but I only got the priming done on the main floor walls and then I just had to stop. My arms and feet were aching from stretching and standing barefoot on the ladder. I was happy though because I had actually started doing it. The next morning I started early again and finished priming the entire entry hall and upstairs hallway. I was very pleased and quite worn out too but ... I did it! The ugly brown was gone and a very patchy white primer was taking it's place for a the next  several days.

Of course I almost forgot to take any before pictures but half way through with the priming I remembered to take a few, so you could see the old color of the walls.

I did tell you it you it wasn't a nice color! Far too dark for my liking and the shade of brown was just too yucky too.

I even took the door bell cover down and I am painting it the same color as the walls so it blends in and doesn't stand out anymore.

All done and primed and I am one happy lady!

I am going to take a little longer with the actual painting of the walls so they turn out good and once done I will of course share a few new photos of it with all of you. I am excited to have it hopefully completed soon because that is another big thing that I wanted to do and off my to list.

Just because I am not being creative on a large scale doesn't meant that I am not creative on a smaller one. I am working on a few little pieces right now and I am hoping to share one of them with all of you very soon.

So whenever you have a few spare moments, do stop by here at Todolwen and see what I have been up to.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trading Creations (A Gift For A Gift) ...

Hello my dear friends,

I have totally forgotten to share with you that I am now also on Instagram since a few weeks and I should really get in touch with the lovely Karen Valentine to put a little link button here on Todolwen for it so you can follow me there if you wish to do so.

I must tell you that I am following some very talented people from all over the world already. From photographers to homemakers, farmers and creative people, just like me and many of you. One person that I am following is a lovely lady name Makiko from Japan. She does what Michelle Palmer does, she creates the most beautiful ink drawings and is an amazing artist. I had come across a photo of  her of work on day. It was a ink line drawing of London, England and it was so stunning. I was very interested in buying a  piece of her art and therefore contacted her about it. She is the sweetest and kindest person ever! She told me that her art is her hobby and she doesn't sell it but she offered to gift me a drawing! I was really taken by her kindness but wanted this to be a two way thing, so I thought of how it could be done and then I had it! We could trade creations (a gift for a gift). I would make her something that I do and in return she would make me one of her amazing drawings. She was happy to trade, which again made me happy too.

 Now my mail from Japan has arrived ...

... and this is my drawing the lovely Makiko made for me. 

I love it!

If you would like to see more of Makiko's art, just click on the above link.

Isn't it just so beautiful?!

 Just look at those delicate lines. Makiko often uses a link well pen with a very fine tip do her very detailed and beautiful line work. My drawing is of Salisbury Cathedral. The city of Salisbury is close to where we were stationed with the army in the UK. If you are ever in the UK and in Wiltshire, you should go to Salisbury and visit the town and it's cathedral ~ you won't regret it!

This is what I created for Makiko in return ...

... it is a tiny garden of buttercups that grows in a vintage pocket watch.
Two little white butterflies live happily among the tiny pretty yellow flowers.

My little garden is now on it's journey, all the way to Japan and I so hope Makiko will like it.

I have taken a liking to making these little gardens and have created a few more of them that I will be sharing soon with all of you. Most likely they will be placed for sale in my Etsy shop in the near future. So ... if you would like to see my other little pocket watch gardens, do come back and visit me some time again here at Todolwen.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Now Listed ...

Hello my dear friends,

just to let  you know that my latest creation is now listed for sale in my Etsy shop.

Just click on the link above if you are interested.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Two Vintage Fabric Doilies ...

Hello my dear friends,

yesterday morning, being a Monday morning and with nothing to do really, (no school! no work! YAY!) my daughters and I decided to go and do a little junking. I don't tend to do so too often these days. I seem to have become very comfortable just being at home and not driving all over town all of the time anymore. Not only that but I have a little "shop" upstairs. My studio is filled with so many neat and lovely things to work with that I don't really need to go buying things but we did because it wasn't about spending money but spending time together. I must say, that I was very good and didn't go crazy.

 I found two very pretty hand embroidered fabric doilies that I just couldn't leave behind. After buying them I was happy and ready to head home again. Whilst driving, my mind was working away and I before I pulled into our driveway, I had an idea of what I wanted to turn these little pretties into.

Of course I couldn't wait and had to start to work on my idea right away as soon as I got into the house. I finished my newest creation this morning and that is what I am sharing with all of you today.

And this is what I made from one of the neat fabric doilies ... a lovely needle book!
And here it is ...

... my "Little Old Needle Book".

I have seen many old samplers and vintage needle books and wanted mine to have the same sort of look and feel. I embroidered the word "needles" onto the doily in black embroidery floss which goes with the little black stitches in the flowers. I continued with the same concept of how I made my first drop cloth needle books. Cotton batting "pages" which I quilted a little will hold many needles and pins. The final thing I added was two lengths of seam binding that will allow the little fabric book to be tied close.

I am happy with the way this creation has turned out very lovely and exactly the way I hoped it would ... simple but pretty and of course it is useful too. But best of all, I have given something old a new life and that is something I love doing. I will be listing this little fabric book in my Etsy shop tomorrow if any of you might be interested.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit me today, here at Todolwen. It is always so nice when you do.

I hope you are well my dear friends and life is treating you kind.

Have a peaceful and creative day.