I am looking forward to attending a few Open-Air Fair events this summer. I love to get out and mingle with people, especially other crafters, it’s great fun. To that end, I need to prepare something myself to show. I have a few ideas I am working on. One is an inexpensive item I’ve done before: Paperclip Earrings. I have some large and some small colorful, plastic-coated clips to work with. I pray to God that all the crafters out this year are safe and successful. Who doesn’t like homemade? See pics below.
I am also working on bags, totes, etc. My latest offering is a crocheted bag using a specialty yarn. I’ve had the crocheted panels around for a while, but just decided to crochet them together into a shoulder bag using waxed cording. I crocheted the entire bag around as one piece, including the strap. It is different and the pocketed lining makes it very usable.
Calendars are great things. They have beautiful pictures, worthy of saving and using in many artful projects. Lately, I have endeavored to do a large collage. With two medium large canvasses that I secured together, I used a great calendar of large flowers with inspirational words to produce a 3-D like floral effect by enhancing each flower with artificial flowers, ribbons, glitter, ink, fabric, clear wrap, even shoestrings. I think it came out very well.
Now I haven’t done a collage for more than 20 years. I had no idea where to start. I was stumped many times. But, where faith always comes in to play: I called upon the Holy Spirit for direction. It never fails when I called upon the Lord, he always presents ideas as to where to go next with any project. Whether it is cooking, cleaning, art, computers, my music, finding a place to live, anything, I find that if you have faith to believe, the Spirit of the Lord will always show you what to do. Now, what to do with it?
A component of Gospel Music Ministry is Art by Faith. This explores my more crafty side, which I use as a conversation starter, as unique, handmade items for personal use or as gifts, at craft fairs, flea markets, etc. I started out making acrylic suncatchers, using glass paints. The particular item featured below was inspired by a dream I had which I have never forgotten. I entered into a arena, a circus tent of sorts. There was a man sitting at a table whose figure looked a lot like Jesus, although I had to clear image. He handed me a ticket and told me to give it to the man at the entrance to the tent.
At the entrance a smiling, happy figure ushered me inside. There was a large auditorium, with people I couldn’t see because it was dark. We climbed a ladder to a platform above (like the kind a trapedist uses). There I sang and danced before the Lord (at least I believed it to be God), and he danced, smiling, with me. I looked down at the people and I did not feel any response, from them, but I knew it was enough to sing and dance before the Lord God, he was happy and so was I. After a time, I was on a balcony and looked down. Far below was traffic moving fast, like people in cars going about their business. I supposed I was to leave and return to the rigors of life, but I didn’t know how I would get back. The Lord God provided a vehicle, a car, which floated down and merged into traffic. What I gleamed from this is that for a time, I sang and danced on high with the Lord, just he and I. But, that it was more needful for me to return to the routines of life, and to carry that experience with me and witness to the world that God is true. (Ephesians 1)
These items are made from recycled, repurposed and clearance acrylic plastic, purchased from a local plastics store. I like acrylic because it is stays clear, is scratch resistant, and it is easy to cut and sand the edges. I create designs and paint each one using glass paint. They can be hung in a window, placed under a lamp, in front of a mirror, or anyplace light can pass through is best. Also, I put
inspirational messages on most so that the words can always be prominently displayed.
Aside from sewing bags, totes, curtains, pillows, prom dresses and making alterations, I do have a limited ability to sew actual clothing for myself. I put this to the test recently in making a couple of garments. I had not sewn a garment for myself in years (10+), so I chose a simple pattern by McCall. First, I made a summer knit top, then I used the same pattern to make a heavier, winter knit top. I found that purchasing fabric online was really easy and cheaper than purchasing in the store. Fabric.com has a great variety of fabrics. I shop clearance, of course!
I can’t help myself. I have 2 new projects to share. These have been done before, but they’re new to me. The first is a shelf extending the fireplace mantle. I have one of those off-centered, non-working fireplaces, so I put my desk in the empty corner, but it doesn’t meet the wall. The gap and blank wall were bugging me. I took a shelf I had laying around and some corbels, and extended the mantle. It works for me.
Secondly, I could not bear to throw away this little CD case. So, I painted the back of the shelf a room-coordinated color and used it as a bookcase. I love repurposing.
Okay, I believe that if you are a true crafter, you must craft. After the burlap project, I immediately looked around for another project to pursue. I have always wanted to do something with my boring, nondescript ceiling light fixture. Hmm, I do have some clam shells that have been sitting around forever (I got them at the second hand store, of course). My ceilings are about 8.5 x 9 feet high. Something to bring it down a bit would be nice. With my handy drill, I put holes in the shells, and in a coffee can lid, and strung them together.
After vicariously balancing myself on 3 chairs (I know, ridiculous, please do not try at home, get a ladder!), I was able to reach the fixture. With a little gold-ish paint on the fixture, here’s the result. A chandolier! A bit primative, but it works.
I found this wonderful burlap covered canvas to hang in a blank part of my wall. I am notorious for filling up my walls with artwork, mostly my own. I found the canvas in the clearance section at Michaels (I also love clearance sections). The canvas has a 12×12″ inset in the middle, in which you can put anything, i.e., pictures, shadowbox items, etc. Since I had some scraps of burlap lying around in my fabric stash, and some fabric paint. I thought, hmm, I could make some burlap flowers and put them in the middle. Here’s how it came out.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but its not that. I have this urn, which is very deep and the plant I put in it died. So what to do with this huge urn? First, I had a glass table topper that I put in a window. I put that on top of the urn and it became a side table.
When I saw that there was condensation accumulating under the glass, it seemed a good idea to plant something there, sort of like a terrarium. I have always wanted to plant some grass in the house, like you see on TV and in magazines, which is mostly artificial. Well, I am always willing to try new things. What do you think? Growing your own Grass in the House! I do have to mow, it grows quickly.