Archive for February, 2012

Play Date #3 Treasure Boxes

February 14, 2012

Last week was a busy week and now it’s Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

The first part of the week was spent in La Grange, Texas for Quilts, Inc. executive and leadership meetings for two days. Then it was home to prepare dinner for 16 for the following night.

All the decorating and preparation paid off when I hosted the February Bunko Club meeting for Gad-About-Girls on February 9th. It was a fun evening full of lots of  food, drink, prizes, laughter, and screams of “Bunko.” With four tables of happy ladies playing, the evening passed quickly. Soon, it was time to say good-bye until we meet again next month.

bunko party

Bunko Party

The next morning came quickly.  It was time to drive an hour to pick-up our daughter’s three children for the week-end while she was skiing with her husband and friends. Ashton, who turns four in a couple of days, is all about rough and tumble and making the six and eight-year old girls laugh at his little boy humor. The girls were all about creating again in Grammy’s studio.

In the studio


Lindsey, the almost nine-year old, had plans to make a tag blanket for her babysitter’s new grandson.

lindsey and tag blanket

Lindsey and Tag Blanket

Sydney had plans to make a patchwork pillow for her pretend puppy. The pretend puppy is her little brother who will stay in dog character for long durations of time.

Sydney's doggie pillow

Sydney's Puppy Pillow and Ashton

As Sydney was pinning her patches together she noticed a long, red antique wooden box that sets on my sewing table. I’m not sure why she hasn’t opened it before, because she is very curious about everything in my studio.

She did open it this time and exclaimed, “Wow! It’s a treasure box!” I keep the box on my sewing table to pick things from when designing a collage of some type. There are other smaller button, trinket, and trim boxes on the back side of my sewing table, but the red one has an assortment of all kinds of embellishments.

original treasure box

Original Treasure Box

Sydney questioned how I would ever use all the “treasures”  before getting too old. I told her I hope she and my other granddaughters will take what I still have some day and use it themselves. Each time any of the three of them are here they do take “treasures” home from my sewing room.

I have created all my adult life using things I have bought at quilt shops, antique and junk shops, discount stores, garage sales, estate sales, quilt shows, etc. I was recycling long before that was a popular term, saving things that are too good to throw out, and I love it all. The question is a good one, “how will I ever use it all?” Our upstairs closets are full of old and new laces, ribbons, fabrics, buttons, beads, charms, started patchwork projects, cording, rick-rack, braid, vintage photographs, silk flowers, etc. The list of treasures goes on and on.

For Valentine gifts one year, I made trinket boxes from small jewelry gift boxes for special friends. I filled the boxes with charms, small silk flowers, lace appliques, buttons, ribbon, small photos, little quotes, etc.

trinket boxes

Trinket Boxes

After Sydney’s comment, I decided to make “treasure boxes” from small and medium size gift boxes. You might like making them, too. Here’s how.

Treasure Boxes

You will need: sturdy gift box, image from greeting card or sturdy paper to cover box lid, Elmer’s glue or something similar, scissors, spray glitter, a tall bag in which to spray the glitter.

Remove lid from box. Squeeze glue on top side.

place glue on outside of box lid

Place Glue on Outside of Box Lid

Spread glue evenly with finger. Make sure you get it out to the edges.

Place glue side down on wrong side of picture. You can hold it up to the light to see the image outline through the lid to position it. Smooth from inside of box lid.

smooth inside box lid

Smooth Inside Box Lid

Turn over and smooth on image side. Cut extending paper away from box lid.

trim excess paper

Trim Away Excess Paper

Turn lid face down on table and place object inside of lid while it dries.

After it dries, place box lid in tall, standing bag with image up. You may spray several at a time.

spray glitter inside bag

Spray Glitter Inside Tall Bag

Following manufacturer’s instructions, spray glitter on box lid image. Let dry.

Gather treasures for filling box.

treasures spread out

Treasures Spread Out For Box

Fill box to the brim with treasures gathered.

Treasures in Box

Treasures in box

Place decorated lid on top. Tie with a pretty ribbon. Now it’s ready.

box filled and completed

Treasure Box Completed and Filled to Brim

I made several of these today and put them in my etsy shop. The treasures are perfect for mixed-media artists, crazy quilters, and embellishers. Take a look for more ideas or pick one made especially for you.

I hope your Valentine’s Day is a treasure to behold. With love, Judy


Art Party

February 7, 2012

What is a craft person like me doing among “real” artists?

For several months, I have known that my nephew Jimmy D. McDonald, a “real” artist, and his wife, also an artist, were having a fourth Art Party and Sale.

Jimmy D. McDonald

Nephew in studio

My husband and I have helped them at each of the previous parties by keeping the buffet table replenished. Kindly, my nephew has asked me to bring some of my work to sell. I have taken wearables, patchwork totes, Christmas stockings, mini quilt-covered journals, and mixed media collages.

Stockings for sale

Stockings for Sale

This time, I took  Valentines and Heart Pillows like the ones I have shown you how to make via posts on this blog.

For a month or so leading up to the Art Party on Saturday, February 4th, Jimmy D. had numerous posts on facebook telling about the upcoming show. This past week, he showed a few of the galleries hung with fabulous art of all types. The galleries converted what was once their home into a showcase for canvas pieces hung all over the walls. When I saw his posts, I questioned Jimmy D. as to what I was doing in such a show. Being a kind and supportive person,  he encouraged me to bring my Valentines.

Art work at party

Art Work at Party

I was doubtful, but decided they needed our help to keep the food coming.  So, I took the Valentine cards and Heart pillows plus a few other things. At one time, I thought I would take the 6″ square canvas pieces I was making like my Valentines, but not after I saw the amazing art shaping up in his galleries. What was I thinking? I am a crafter, not an artist.

Valentine Canvas Complet

Valentine Canvas Complete

My husband and I showed up at 12 noon to help my nephew, his wife and other folks put the finishing touches on a party that was to start at 2 PM. Jimmy Dee  saved a table for me in his studio, the first room when you walk into the house/galleries from the main entrance.

Nephew's studio

My Nephew's Studio

So I layed out the things I brought. I felt a little silly. I had priced the items double what I have priced them on my etsy site as I was instructed to do by my nephew and art coach. I felt foolish, and when a friend bought some of my work at these prices, I was a little embarrassed.

My display

My Little Display

A few of my Valentines and Heart Pillows sold at the Art Party. My husband and I worked the party until we left at 10:00 PM. We met some really talented people, visited with other family members and friends and just had a good time. When we got in the car to go home, my feet were aching, and I was so tired. I told my husband that we’d probably experienced the last time I’ll be foolish enough to think my craft mixes with art.

Jimmy's ARt work

My Nephew's Art Work

The next day, I took Valentines to show a couple of friends in our Sunday school class. I lowered the price back to what I felt was reasonable and sold several cards. I sold cards again today to people in our office at the same prices as I have them listed on etsy.

Valentines for sale

Valentines for Sale

It just does my heart good to know that there are some people who know me and like what I make enough to want to buy it and give it to family and friends or keep it for themselves. That’s enough to get me back in my studio again.

I just wish I could do something with all the canvases and paint I keep buying. Maybe I’ll take some art classes. I think I want to paint, but how long will it take me to become proficient enough to have something I’d be proud  to show? I painted in college and even have a minor in art, but that was a long time ago.  Maybe I just need to go back to making wearables.

Jacket Jackpot book

Jacket Jackpot, my last published book

But, that’s enough of my ramblings about this past weekend. I hope good, productive things are happening in your studios, and you’re having fun, too!

I don’t know what’s next in my studio.  When I do, I’ll let you know.


Studio Clean & Ready for Next Project

Until then, hugs and stitches, Judy.

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