Monday, July 23, 2012

A Precious Gift

“Among Life's precious jewels, Genuine and rare, The one that we call friendship Has worth beyond compare.”
~ Unknown

Our dear friend Tom recently joined us for a weekend at our cabin. Tom and my husband are college friends. Over the years John, Tom, his wife Kathy and I have watched each others families grow, and spent many fun, silly, adventurous, relaxing, "stay up to late with a bottle of wine" times together.

 Our friend Kathy passed last year after a long battle with cancer. Kathy had a wonderful sense of humor, a devilish twinkle in her eye and the best laugh I've ever heard! 

.....And when our friend Tom arrived at the cabin, I found out she also had a VERY interesting taste in jewelry! 

Tom carried in a plastic grocery bag (full and bulging) and set it on the counter. He said he knows how I love jewelry and wanted me to have Kathy's collection. I immediately teared up and was a bit speechless, first for this  sentimental gift and second for the vastness and uniqueness of her collection!

We sat down, with a glass of wine (Kathy would have wanted it that way!) and started digging through this wonderful collection. We laughed, cried, and reminisced our way through the mound of jewelry.

 Here are a few pieces from my "Kathy V Collection"..........

Tom wants me to use it for my jewelry re-purposing business, but I think it may be a while before I can give up one piece of this Precious Gift.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle......Is Adorable*

I really love this feature for my Reduce, Reuse, Recycle series and it comes to me from my friend Lin, owner of the adorable occasional shop in Buffalo, MN, "Bellacoux and Thistle Dew".

Lin's sister made these cute bags for the opening of her shop. Everyone loves them, including me, so I've decided to share them with you on this feature. And............tiny drum roll please...... I will attempt my FIRST tutorial!

Here goes:

For this project you will need:
1.Old magazines
2. A sewing machine
3. Scissors
4. Xacto knife and a cutting board
5. AND if you are anything like me, someone sweet to sew them for you ***Thank You Mom***

Gather all the old magazines you have. I found the garden magazines have the best photos.
Carefully tear out photos you like. I love the flowers for spring and summer.

I made my bags double thickness, or two pages on each side, if you want a heavy duty bag use three pages each side. You will need full pages for the front and the back and half or folded pages for each side. One page cut in half worked for the handles.
You will need to sew the handles in place first. Fold a half sheet, cut the long way, in half and then fold each side into the middle so it is a desired handle width. Sew the handles down the middle to keep them together.
Sew the handles in between the two sheets of the front and back. We used a zigzag stitch for the project. It gave a finished look.

Is everyone still with me?.........Let's put the bag together!
                                        This is the side piece...half as wide as the front and back piece.

You will first fold the smaller side pieces in half, so the are creased before sewing them to the front and back pieces.
Here's how the should look when all four sides are sewn together. This photo does NOT show the handles which should already be sew to the tops of the front and back. Oops...we learned by our mistake. :-)

Next sew the last two sides together and sew the bottom shut! And voila' have a re-purposed magazine bag beautiful enough to use as a gift bag.........don't forget to use recycled tissue in that bag!

I hope you enjoyed this my first tutorial........and if you attempt this project I would love to hear how you do!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday ....... July!

“There was a star danced, and under that was I born.”
- William Shakespeare

A little birthstone history, fact, lore and legend.
I won't try to play favorites...but July has to be one of the best birthday months. I love the hot lazy summer days with a swim in the lake to cool off, picnics, flip flops, Independence Day celebrations with fireworks that last all month long!

If you were born in July you are introspective and intense, you tend to be a deep thinker. You are quiet and spiritual - and you have a unique perspective on life.

Your soul reflects: Lightness, luck and an open heart.
Your colors are green and red.
 July's flower is the Water Lily, it is known as the "Queen of the Water." According to Indian legend the water lily was once a star that fell from the sky into the water and changed into a flower.

July's traditional birthstone is the ruby...
The Ruby's rich red color speaks of love and passion and fire. Some have said that the July birthstone gets its color from an everlasting eternal fire, which cannot be extinguished. This makes it the perfect representation of eternal love.
 Called the "Rajnapura" or King of Gems by the ancient Hindus in India, July's birthstone is one of the most treasured gems throughout history. With its deep red color and glow many people considered the ruby to have magical powers.

 Early myths and legends about rubies are that they can be used to foretell danger, the color of the stone turning deeper and darker as danger approaches. 

Like many stones it was also thought to hold curative properties. Ruby, ground into a fine powder and ingested, was an early cure for indigestion. Ruby, because of its color, was thought to purify the blood, meaning it could act a an antidote for poison as well.

If you were born in July and wear a ruby (or rubies) in July ancient lore has it that the Ruby will bring good fortune to you.

The ruby is so fantastic that all agree it is the modern, traditional and mystical stone for July! 

So Happy Birthday July, Happy Birthday America.....and happy Birthday *me*

“I want to be an artist
To paint pictures just for you,
So when each birthday comes around,
I can send you quite a few.”
- Anonymous