Life on the creative side

Archive for January, 2011

Oh no! My favorite sweater has a tear!

Oh no! When I reached for my favorite sweater, this chilly morning, I discovered it had a tear!  Not in an inconspicuous spot where I could simply sew or darn a discrete repair, no, it was front and center.  I purchased the sweater not long ago at a basement sale while on a trip to visit my daughter, who recently moved to NYC. I not only love its look and wearablity, I love its memories.  Not ready to part with a garment that warms both my body and my heart, I needed a creative solution and it just so happens I have shelves full of creative solutions. So I began digging for inspiration. I found some felt and considered a reverse appliqué; I looked at some beads, a little bling is always nice; the vintage silk flowers were an interesting option, but then I came across an old crocheted camisole.  It was beautiful, too beautiful to discard after it had lost its usefulness as a garment, so it ended up in my inspiration collection along with all the other lovely pieces and remnants of this and that; I had found my solution.

First I darned the hole closed to secure and abate further tearing. Next I carefully cut the florets from the cami.  After deciding their placement on the sweater, I first pinned them and then carefully stitched them into place.  As my hands focused on the work, my mind wandered through the streets of NYC and I smiled at the memory, still amazed by my beautiful daughter’s bravery and tenacity in chasing her dreams.  

Completely pleased with the outcome of the repair, I finally slipped on that favorite sweater. Then I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to send my daughter a, “I think u’r amazing!” text.

k (more…)

Lovely Shelves Covered in Fabric

Fabric covered shelf

Shelf covered in vintage fabric

I have a quick and easy project I want to share with any of my fellow fabric freaks that might be looking for ways to use and enjoy their precious textiles around the house.  To rev up the look of shelving I sometimes wrap them in fabric. Recently I used a piece of vintage cloth in muted shades of creams and browns to soften the look of plain shelving into a shabby chic home for some favorite photos; but if you’re looking for romance try velvet,  or  bold graphic prints for a splash of fun.

Start by determining the length to cut your fabric by measuring the shelf front to back, double that number and add a few extra inches for the shelf thickness, hem and some overlap. For the width, measure the shelf from side to side (do not double this number) but again add a few inches for the extras of thickness, hem and overlap. Cut one piece of fabric to the length and width determined by those measurements.

Next center a width edge of the fabric, side to side, on the back edge of the shelf, fold under a hem and tack in place.  Stretch the length of the fabric over the top, around the bottom and back to where it is tacked- totally encircling the shelf; pull taunt, fold a hem and tack in place.  Pull the extra length of top fabric down over both side edges of the shelf and tuck it under the cloth covering the bottom, taking care to form crisp corners and smooth out any wrinkles.  Now fold the remaining raw edges, hem style, along the sides of the shelf and using a whip or hidden stitch, secure in place.

Finally hang your sweetly adorned shelf, fill it with treasures that nourish your spirit and enjoy.

k (more…)

Attempting to Knit … Again!!!

Hi Everyone – I know it’s been some time since I last posted.   I am finally out of the “after the holidays” slump and have been thinking nostalgically about my mother-in-law, Lil.    It has been over four years since she passed, but she is never far away from my heart and my thoughts.   The holidays do have a way of bringing back the memories of our loved ones so vividly.    One of my fondest memories was of   Lil attempting to teach me how to knit (over and over and over again)!    She was a master at her craft and probably could make a sweater in her sleep :-)   Anytime that I would get stuck or make a mistake, she would patiently show me where the mistake was made and quickly set me on the right track.   Since her passing, I have thought of making a few things often, but then who would help me when I got stuck?    Well, fortunately for me, I found that person – Marni from Knit!   Lil reincarnate.   She has the sweetest little store in Longwood, FL and the most amazing yarns in a rainbow of colors.   I had to touch every skein of yarn in there and dream of the possibilities.   I decided on a very doable scarf project in the softest alpaca yarn I have ever felt.   This should boost my confidence as it only has two stitches – knit and purl.  I will keep you posted and hopefully, show you the finished project soon.   I think Lil would be proud.


Taming Jewelry Tangle

While reading through one of my favorite blogs, “Confessions of a Pioneer Woman”, I came upon this post  As it turns out pioneer women deal with many of the same things we women here on the Ridge and likely women everywhere  face.   For me this particular  post was very timely as it concerned an issue  I had recently dealt with myself – the taming of my tangled  jewelery collection.  I admit I have a weakness  for pretty things; textiles, particularly quilts and table clothes, chairs, baskets, old painted furniture, the list goes on and on. But I must say jewelry, old and new, holds a special place in my heart.

As a little girl I use to sneak into my Grandma Edna’s room so I could secretly admire her big chunky jewelry. In her tiny, overfilled room I would look in awe at the pretty  faux pearls, diamonds, rubies and sapphires draped over the dresser mirror, hanging on the dresser pulls and spilling out of trays on top of the dresser, it was splendid. Many years later, after Grandma was gone, I was given a small box containing some of her old costume jewelry, it was a treasure and the beginning of one of my many wonderful obsessions.

I am drawn to a piece of jewelry by many things,  its story or patina, its form or uniqueness or even its sheer bling factor, not the monetary value of the  materials from which it is crafted. So as you might imagine my collection is quite eclectic, ranging from my Grandma Edna’s era to the peace signs and mood rings of my youth to the beautiful pieces of contemporary artists. I have always been of the  opinion that the world is brighter in a pair of dangly earrings.  The point is I love jewelry and have amassed quite a collection, all of which I enjoy wearing. But managing my treasured baubles had become  quite a challenge. In her post the Pioneer Woman showed her readers a creative solution she had discovered to organize and display her jewelry. This made me think I should share my own solution to this problem.

The old glove mold I found at a local flea marked. My handy hubby mounted it  on a piece of wood for stability and it now holds my necklaces. My earrings hang on an inexpensive, decorative, metal, Celtic cross that I found at a local discount store. The treasures they hold are both old and new, gifts and splurges and sparkle for my spirit. (more…)

Handcrafted Salvaged Wooden Gutter Wine Rack; Happy Birthday Too Me!

WOW,  look what I got for my birthday. 

This unique wine rack was crafted by my husband from the remnants of an old, wooden, redwood gutter and reclaimed Cypress.  It was my birthday gift, the beautiful Shypoke wine, ,  a very appreciated Christmas gift. Thanks hubby, cheers!



Happy New Year

It’s time once again to welcome a new year.  It seems only natural to take a moment to look back and reflect upon the year past. 2010 was good to Blue Antler Studio.   Several gatherings were held where creative tasks and ideas, from quilting, to jewelry making, to painting, were shared among friends.  We also took some time  to add a little sparkle to the studio with a bit of white wash, paint, burlap for curtains and a funky, metallic chandelier discovered during one of our many scavenger jaunts.  But Blue Antler Studio will best remember 2010 as the year we took a deep breath and made a leap of faith into the world of blogging. While reflection is important and appropriate at this moment, here at Blue Antler Studio we are excited about the things yet to come. So we say farewell to a wonderful year past and welcome to the promising one that lies ahead.   3FDH7SV54JDM