Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jeanie, Gypsy and Using the Good Stuff!

There's a Blog Party/Challenge going on over at Karla's Cottage. The goal is to share things you've made using your "good stuff." Check out Karla at the badge below for all the participating links and Karla and Mrs. Staggs for fun prizes!

You know what I mean -- It's using something that may be terribly personal, maybe more expensive, or one of those "one of a kinds" that seem irreplaceable in every artist's stash.

This cuts across creative lines. For the artist it may be that expensive or rare bit of lace, a piece of original ephemera or that unique embellishment you'll be hard pressed to find again.

For the knitter, it's a pricey yarn or one so beautiful you almost can't bear to knit with it -- what if you mess up? Or maybe those buttons you bought while traveling.

For the cook it's that special vinegar or seasoning. Wonderful in every way -- and how in the world can you find a replacement?

So, while the Gypsy was sitting here --

-- and often sharing his "best side" with me as I prepared this post...

..l.I was sitting here (which looks a heck of a lot better than it did a half hour ago!), playing with the good stuff.

And yes, it was with anticipation, enthusiasm and trepidation.

First up -- the few really lovely millinery flowers I have. Some time ago I bought this hat at an estate sale. I bought it for the flowers, though I confessed I liked the hat, too.

That said, pulling from this hat was a bit of a "gasper" for me. End result? Embellishments for a couple of projects and most of the hat stays intact!

I've had this little angel head ornament for ages. Prettying him up like this was not an original idea -- like so many of the best ones, it is a riff on the wonderful work my friend Jane F. used to do ages ago when making unforgettable and fabulous holiday ornaments. After I bought two of her angels, I found one that was the same to serve as a base. A little bit of gesso, a few of my flowers, some antique ribbon from France and a vintage pearl... the result!

Speaking of "the good stuff," this frame is not (by price, anyway). But I haven't found one like it since at the box store from where it came. Some lovely paper, a little (ok, a lot) of gel medium, and I was very happy.

Dare I deface Dad's bible? I think it was his -- it's the tiniest book -- maybe an inch-and-a-half by two inches that is selected verses, designed for a child. I found it in his things. (Actually, I think dad beat me to it as the front and end pieces were scribbled on in pencil!)

At least I cherished it and prettied it up with some bits from that hat and a bookmark from antique French ribbon and another pearl

My aunt, Grace, was a treasure so it seemed fitting to use a treasure on her -- again, antique French ribbon, a few more of those flowers, and a mold I've been sitting on from European Papers.

Finally, long a "work in progess" or UFO (unfinished object), this cigar box.

I left parts of the box showing through -- it had lion graphics -- and used a cat motif. After lots of layers of paper, gesso, sanding, more layers -- you know the drill -- I added some of the French ribbon, a hummingbird (and inside, crown) charm, some beads made by a friend, the last of my metal corners and a button from a bracelet of my moms. I lined the inside bottom with some paper (again, last of the kind, and who knows where I found it).

Now it holds my "REALLY" besties -- some of the postcards and advertising art I have from France.

I'm looking forward to seeing how lots of others use their besties, so check it out over at Karla's!


  1. Love that sweet little cherub you embellished and I had to laugh at the term UFO (I have quite a few of those). Thanks for sharing your sweet projects.


  2. Gosh - I'm speechless at your creativity! My fav is the "locket."

  3. Wonderful, I espically love your father bible. Clarice

  4. Fantastic projects. The tiny Bible story just steals my heart too.
    You have created true treasures
    Keep smiling and creating

  5. I'm not an artist (which gives me great admiration for what you do) but I like the idea of using the best you have in whatever you are doing.
    You have really made some beautiful things.

  6. Beautiful projects! I love how the little angel came out and the tiny bible--lovely! Your sweet Gypsy made me laugh--My lucky dog does the same! Thank you for sharing.

  7. You've used some of your 'good stuff' to make some wonderful things. Thank you for participating in the challenge.


  8. I think its very touching to use the family Bible! And very worthy of such a lovely treatment.

    Thanks for linking in!

  9. Oh fun! You have made some beautiful things!!

    Last night I finally did some knitting for the first time in months. I have a couple more baby hats to make - which I am making from this pricey baby yarn that is machine washable. I figure the new moms appreciate having the option to machine wash v. hand wash. And it's the softest yarn with a slight shine to it! So pretty!

  10. Jeanie,
    Just look at how you used your "besties" ~ so beautiful, charming, extravagantly arranged and crafted. I love the Bible the best although I love all of them! You did well, really really well! ~ katie

  11. I love all your creations! So pretty! I love that little cherub!

  12. Such beautiful things you have created here! I am very impressed!

  13. WOW!! What amazing projects! I too love that hat and I love what you have done with the flowers. The framed ornament is beautiful, what a wonderful idea and I think the frame is perfect. The bible is so special as is the picture of your Aunt! You are so talented, beautiful job!

  14. You've been busy busy busy- good for you! The bits of "good stuff" that you added to projects really make them special. I love how you embellished your father's Bible- it kind of makes it a collaborative project

  15. I love it all!!
    Celeste, The Victorian Tailor(Good Stuff on blog list)

  16. Lovely, lovely things! I love your charming decorated cherub and your beautiful box of treasures!

  17. I've been looking forward to this post, and you did not disappoint! Some really beautiful things here, but I especially love what you did with the angel.

  18. I love the piece you made for your Auntie and especially love that you used "the good stuff" to make a box to hold "the good stuff" - what a great idea!

  19. What lovely creations! I love the cigar makes a perfect treasure keeper. I'm not good at this kind of art at all. I just cannot look at a pile of things and see a beautiful piece coming out of it.

    I see Gypsy has the best seat in the house! :)

  20. Hi Jeanie,
    sorry that it took such a long time till I wrote again, but I had so much work to do and didn`t find the time.
    But I read all your last posts and for me the most interesting was the one with the masks...Where have you found all these examples for masks????? Wonderful!!!I never wear a mask, which is sometimes hard for my family or friends, because they can always notice very well, in which way I think about them or their behaviour at that moment we are together...*lol*....Sometimes it is bad for me, because sometimes it is much better not to show what you think....:-))

    I hope you are okay and especially Gipsy....I had to laugh about your picture of her best side...
    I send you best wishes from Germany and thank you so much for all your kind

  21. Your projects are lovely! And especially the cigar box. I recently found a box (not cigar) at a sale that is covered in black and white toile. Am going to embellish it with some goodies from my hoard. Your box is wonderful! And I love the cherub!

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Lovely projects! Good for you for taking a bit of the hat. I know how hard it is. I did the same with an old hat a few months ago.

  23. Oh, I wish I'd gotten as much done as you did! My favorite is the mold -- so wonderful. They all look great, aren't you glad you used the good stuff?

  24. Precious treasures. I know what you mean about, gasp, cutting into these old flowers. Well, I almost know what you mean because I haven't the courage to do it yet. :)

  25. Lovely Jeanie! And you just reminded me how much I loved making those angels.

  26. I love your angel face in the white frame. Boy does it ever have just the right touches. Great job using the good stuff!

  27. What beautiful things you did with your good stuff! I have some of those European Papers bezels and need to use them.

  28. Whoa. Your level of energy just exhausted me. But the end result was well worth it. Loved the angel and the itty bitty bible, especially.

  29. Love seeing your work table....and you've created so many beautiful pieces using the "good stuff"

  30. you have been incredibly creative
    creating fun
    and beauty
    that hat hopefully will be seen by many on your head or someone else's!

  31. YOU had fun
    and it shows!!!
    If I ever finish
    my stencilling
    project, I'll
    drag out my best,
    xx Suzanne

  32. Love your "good stuff" art. I have that same hat, only I haven't been able to bear to change it. It is funny that we get the good stuff, but then just want to look at it and can't bring ourselves to use it. I have some vintage buttons I am putting on my next house project and still I think "what if I need it for something else" - so silly.

  33. Your cat is adorable. And regarding the ornaments, the angel looks extremely nice “dressed up” like that.

  34. Oh, my goodness. I'm stunned by that photo of your work area. So much stuff! And so much good stuff! And so many good ideas!

    Of course you realize I haven't a clue about how to go about anything like this, but I'm very, very good at appreciating with other people do.

    Now, let me think. What would my "good stuff" be? Hmmmmm.....

    la madrugada

    Those are some of the best words I've got. I'll put them all together in something and name it for you!

  35. Encouraging people to use their dearest materials is a great idea, and I love what you've done with yours... maybe especially the Bible and the angel. Great to see your work area, too ... so interesting to see how different people set up their spaces.

  36. These are gorgeous projects, Jeanie! A box for special things (I'm thinking of my postcards) is a good practical one, and so pretty. I love the angel in the frame too. Crafting is so great, because no two things will ever be the same. I love my bookmark you made me!

  37. I love that frame it's great so ethereal. Well done on dispatching a UFO. I have been trying to make headway with mine as well.


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