Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Valentine Inchies

These are the inchies that I created for Fran's In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group Valentine Swap. I used K & Co stickers, stickles, gelly roll pens, little gems, and images cut from past Cynthia Hart Victorian calendars. They were fun to make, and addictive. The swap only called for 6 to exchange...so I get to pick a few of my favorites to keep for myself and include a hostess inchie for Fran. She will be swapping these back and we will use them to create another 4x4. I can't wait!

Altered Chipboard Mitten

front view
back view
detail shot of front
detail shot of front
This is the altered chipboard mitten that I created for my In My Vintage Room Exchange that will take place at our next gathering. This is one of my favorite pieces that I've created in awhile. I love the rhinestones and the stickles mimicking the look of sparkly snow. The blue bow and the irredescent snowflake were repurposed from a card that my grandmother gave me, and the girl and floral images were cut from a Cythia Hart Victorian calendar she passed on to me to use in my art work. The images are so adorable.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Cards 2009

Here are the Christmas cards that I made this year for family, friends, and co-workers. I duplicated most design and did 2-4 of each card for a total of about 45 hand-made cards this season including the ones I made for my yahoo group members. Whew!

In My Vintage Room Christmas Cards

These are the Christmas cards that I created for the most active members of In My Vintage Room Yahoo group. I made four of each design. I printed the vintage images off of a Luna Girl clip art CD onto matte presentation paper. I embellished the images with small stick-on gems, various colors of Stickles, as well as a clear stardust Gelly Roll pen. Each image was cut out and matted onto red shimmer paper which I then cut with scallop decorative edge scissors before I adhered it to a card base. I'm pleased with how elegant and festive they turned out to be and I know the girls will appreciate them. (In return I received more hand-made cards this Christmas than I have ever gotten before and they are lovely. I am so lucky to have such wonderful and talented friends!)

Altered Bookmark

I made this bookmark back in November for Fran's In My Vintage Room Yahoo Group Bookmark Exchange. When she proposed this project I went right to the web for inspiration and stumbled across this awesome website which has the history of bookmarks as well as bookmarks through the ages and across the world. My vintage lady peeks at you from over the pages. The rest of the bookmark ended up being too plain; with more time I would have liked to fashion the "body" of the bookmark to look like her body with a pretty dress.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 3

Raggedy Ann

She was raggedy by the time my mother handed her down to me. Her mustard dress, which could easily have been made from remnants of my southern granny’s curtains, was peppered with little black daisy flowers. Her loops of red yarn hair were littered with pearls of fuzz, and the white muslin her face had been embroidered onto had become a dingy gray. I wish I could hold her now and gingerly run my fingers over the rickrack on her dress.

She didn’t have muffled cries reverberate from within a plastic frame when I squeezed her hand, and she didn’t wet herself. She didn’t sprout hair from holes in her head as I moved her arm up and down like a ratchet from my dad’s tool chest. She couldn’t play in the bathtub with me, while my sisters and I used Avon roll-on soap to draw red and blue smiley faces on our bellies. Her large stitched round eyes stayed open in permanent surprise; they didn’t open and close when I tipped her back and forth on the swing set. I couldn’t even change her shoes; they were permanently sewn to her feet over her red and white striped stockings.

There wasn’t a string you could pull out from her back to make her talk or a place to insert batteries so that she could walk, but she was portable and soft. She came from a time where make-believe and magic wasn’t bought, it was made.

I would include her in ring-around-the-Rosie, my hand holding one of her little padded hands, and my sister holding the other, and when we all fell down, we would exhale with a giggle and look up at the sky and squint against the sun and smile.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 2

No, I cannot wiggle my nose.

Her shiny dark hair was plaited neatly into dozens of tiny braids sticking out from under her red and yellow visor. She absentmindedly asked me for my order while refilling condiment containers.

My gaze traveled back down from the lighted menu overhead as I opened my mouth to ask for a cheeseburger Happy Meal with root beer and no onion, but I caught sight of “Tabitha” on her name badge and I stopped mid-sentence.

Hey, I have the same name as you! I blurted this out, bubbling with the naïve excitement of a seven-year-old.

She looked at me for the first time. Really? I’ve only met a few other people with my name, that’s cool. Do people always ask you if you can wiggle your nose?

Yea and they ask me if I can play the piano like the little girl from Bewitched, but I can’t do that either. My mom laughed from behind me at the sheer disappointment in my voice.

Oh. I was named after a girl in a soap opera. What was it called? Oh yea, Passions. Anyway, what would you like to order?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creative Non-Fiction Piece Chapter 1

Guy Charlton

She told me to put my middle name and street name together and it would be my stripper name. Guy Charlton didn’t sound that sexy or exotic to me, but that’s the kind of thing we’d giggle over, along with articles in Cosmopolitan magazine, during sleepovers.

I didn’t really like living on Charlton Road at first. There was no one to play with except my little sisters. The houses were so far apart that the only time we went to the neighbors was for trick-or-treating. Our house was closer to the road than the others around us, and we couldn’t pay landscapers to mow the acre or two of uneven lawn.

I didn’t have to share my bedroom though, and I even got the biggest one, over my sisters’ protests, because I’m the oldest. None of us had to share rooms here, which is lucky because we almost killed each other over who go to use the computer after school. We were fortunate to at least finally have one; I thought I had complained enough about having to go to my friends’ houses to type up reports, but really my parents had gone without in order to be able to afford it.

I could appreciate home more when I had to make one of my own with my boyfriend and our two kittens. It didn’t really feel strange until my first Christmas that didn’t involve opening stockings with my sisters at 6 am, and breakfast of Belgian waffles while watching the TBS marathon of “A Christmas Story.”

The bush isn’t hiding the missing siding, or hanging over the crumbling cement walkway anymore. My dad took it down, and never got to the second one. I liked those bushes lit up at Christmas; they looked just like giant candy gumdrops flanking the front door.

Sometimes I visit and stay the night if I have to work really early the next morning because their house is closer than mine to the store by an hour. I breathe cigarette smoke lingering on the couch pillows, and count the click click clicks of the clock hands in the adjoining room. In the morning, the water pressure in the shower makes washing the conditioner out feel like a marathon race I might never win before the cold sets in.

Dad started to take apart the bathroom and even had a whirl-pool tub out on the back porch, but he’ll never get to install it. My parents had big plans for a master suite. A few times I’ve been allowed to go to Dad’s job sites and I’ve seen the caliber of work my dad has done in other people’s houses, but ours always came last. He used the rich people’s castaways, or else stowed them in the garage with the intent to.

They have bankruptcy court tomorrow. Over the last few months, my mom has pruned their belongings down to a room full of cardboard boxes stacked like soldiers waiting to board the moving van. They knew it was coming; dad’s self-employed in a recession and they haven’t made the mortgage in longer than they’d care to admit.

In the coming weeks our family’s house, my childhood home, on Charlton Road will be on some bank’s foreclosure list. I will have to assume a new last name for my stripper identity. Somehow, Fifth Ave doesn’t work either. I never thought I'd be cut out for that profession anyway.