PagesPat's Ponderings

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Things are Starting to Bloom


Spring may be on the calendar, but Winter refuses to let go! There's a chance for snow in the forecast for tomorrow night!! Meanwhile, I've started to create new deck decor out of a few metal pieces I found last year. This is one way I can declutter my garage while keeping my hand in creating new art.

I also have a few frames in the garage that need to be filled and hung on my house walls, which will have to wait until I paint or print what I want to frame. But back to my floral metal work. It was a dull unstained metal structure. Even the flowers had no color to them. At first I was thinking of my front deck and different shades of blues, but that deck is going in a different direction, and my back deck is looking bare. So I used a few bright Spring colors of acrylic paints for my flowers after spray painting the branches white.

My deck opens with French doors from my bedroom, a zoning concession made for my wheelchair-bound husband. It is also much bigger than the limits the city usually has. The VA rehabbed the house, requiring two accessible for motorized wheelchairs. The four front steps and landing were covered by the deck and ramp. I didn't want the contractor to mess with the backdoor as its door also led to the basement, so I suggested a deck with the French doors. 

The handicapped access part of the deck was a Lift with a dedicated electrical box. We also had stairs from the deck to the backyard. Sadly, my husband didn't get to enjoy the deck for very long, but when he sat out in the sun, he enjoyed every minute! 

Monday, April 1, 2024

With Spring Comes New Deck Decor

Decluttering is catching--really! My sister was ready to donate a set of three faux native American pottery pieces before I swooped in last Fall and took them home with me. It took me six months to play with them, but one of them is now decorating my back deck. I used different colors than were original, but I noticed immediately that it was a ceramic piece that someone painted and fired up. I think they go well on my deck, and you will see more photos as I "deck" my deck as Spring comes fully into bloom.

I used acrylic paints. The blue seemed a little too intense, so I had to brush and lightly wipe away some silver paint to tone it down. I can't wait to play with its matching piece (at least in size). The last piece is slightly bigger and I already put it out on my front deck (no pics, sorry). But I didn't do anything to it... 

I really love to take thrift store finds and cast offs from neighbors (and sometimes sisters) and give them new life. Do you like it? With all the decluttering I've been doing, I plan to entertain often this summer. I now have an (almost) cleared out) basement, my house is well into its Spring cleaning shift, and my deck should be awesome for parties. Anybody live in the Chicagoland area?

Meanwhile, just because it's the end of the month, I'm not abandoning my decluttering. I still have hills (at least it's no longer mountains) of craft supplies to weed through and keep or donate

Monday, March 25, 2024

Fruits of My Labor


When I started this decluttering challenge, I was looking for a more organized and less cramped craft area. The broader goal was to feel less anxious about the state of my surroundings. Ever since my sisters and I cleaned out my mom's and gram's houses after they passed, I've been storing furniture, collectables and memorabilia for one of them. It was supposed to be temporary! It's been two years.

While the major part of the basement is filled with this inheritance, my craft supplies were overflowing and unorganized as well. So this month I tasked myself with attacking my supplies with a heavy hand. Having a budding new crafter to whom I am donating my stash has really motivated me. 

We are almost to the end of March. I set my goals for the 31st of this month. That's when my other sister who lives in Germany will be visiting for a month. Here's a peek at my progress. The photo above doesn't show all the cardboard boxes that I broke down and recycled, as well as the things that weren't worth donating. 

My basement is still full of bins and boxes of the "inherited" stuff, but as soon as my one sister goes back to her home in Germany, I'm pinning my other sister down to a reasonable estimate for removal of those items from my house (and garage). 

Maybe I can start to actually craft downstairs again!  gasp Or even entertain friends for the holidays!! Um, maybe by Christmas...


Friday, March 22, 2024

Something Fun and Different


After spending a short time decluttering (again), I uncovered a small wooden box with a cut-out top. Just a plain old unfinished wood box measuring about 7"x9". I still had a small pile of designer papers from which to choose my framed cover, and cut out small pieces from another paper (bird, heart, thing in right bottom corner) before covering it with glass.

I painted the sides with Posca markers, but left the top unfinished wood. I added a line of small pearls around the top border, and added a line of adhesive dots to the inside top of the frame. I could have stopped there, but...I had a packet of flowers and a glue gun plugged in. So I created a spray of sunshine and added a set of charms with the theme of Wanderlust.

My box now has a place in my bedroom for trinkets and stuff.  It was totally worth taking the time off from decluttering my stash or creating cards from the leftovers. Tomorrow I'll be back to work creating an organized craft area. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Steady as She Goes

 Just went through my desk drawers in the basement. I decluttered all the school notebooks, dividers, report covers, file folders, and assorted stationery. Now one drawer holds that kind of stationery, while the other drawer holds hanging folders of memorabilia due for scrapbooking.

After that rewarding chore, I sat down with my box of leftover goodies and created another batch of cards, along with one more bookmark. I have to ask myself, who still reads real printed books? I know I and my sisters do. Many of my friends read both printed and online books, but there are several who only read on their Nook or Kindle.

I can't say it matters either way. I love books, I love reading, whatever the media, and children love getting bookmarks (and some adults). The cards are all put together from pieces and bits of crafting supplies. There's even a lone novelty playing card with Charlie Brown and Snoopy on a birthday card. I used to belong to a Yahoo group that offered challenges like on Blogger. Sometimes a challenge would pop up that asked a crafter to use what was lying on their crafting desk/table. That's kind of what I'm doing, only I gather up the extras I've discovered while decluttering and bagged them for cardmaking later.

Next on my declutter list is the small stuff. That's right, the jewels, brads, Skittles, etc., that have been housed in t tool tower with 50 small clear bins. Maybe (no promises) I'll remember to take a before photo of the tower before I declutter. Remember, I'm not just throwing away or sending stuff off to a thrift store. I'm giving all my selected supplies to a young girl who loves crafting but has no means to buy her own. Not only does she get to discover all kinds of techniques and media, but since she's young her mom joins her and that's some quality time they have together!

Okay, I better tackle that tower that terrifies me into trembles (how's that for alliteration?) 
P.S. (A special shout out to Faith of Daffodil Cards for being my cheerleader in this venture. Besides the positive reinforcement, she has some beautiful cards to inspire all her visitors!).

Happy crafting, all!_

Monday, March 18, 2024

Another One Bites the Dust

 Today's decluttering produced 7 cards and a bookmark. The only reason I stopped was to feed and walk the dog, then jump on my spin bike! I now have two large bags of craft supplies for a budding new crafter, a full recycle bin, several more empty containers/drawers, and less anxiety knowing that my basement has a chance to be a livable space again.

I started with the bookmark since I found a watercolor that I had made last year. When I'm not happy with my watercolors. I cut out the part(s) that I like and keep them for future projects. Using leftover die-cut stars, macrame string and a die-cut butterfly, I finished off my bookmark with a sticker that reads dream.

I had two pre-cut cards and envies that I discovered in my decluttering and used leftover papers as card fronts. I cut out the birthday cake from a transparent sheet of scrapbook paper and added small paper flowers and a sticker  reading wish; I used a stamped Thanks sentiment on the other large card and added a die-cut paper butterfly.

The card in the very front has a pop-up vase of flowers in the middle. I created this card from a leftover card kit I had made for a workshop before Covid. The others are card and envie sets that I used patterned papers, ATCs, stickers and flowers to create feel-good note cards. The one on the very left is actually a three-fold; I decorated the front and left the inside clear in which wo write a note to someone special...

During this declutter so far, I have learned that:

I buy supplies impulsively, mostly when things are on clearance or offered at thrift stores. 
I am a paperholic and since decreasing the number of cards I make after Covid, is not a good trait.
I save too many "pieces" and "ripped" or "broken" supplies thinking I can find a use for them.
I don't have as much space as I have craft supplies.
I should have bought real crafting storage i/o thrifting for furniture/bins/shelving haphazardly.

Does this mean I won't visit a craft or thrift store or buy supplies before I really need them? Probably not, but I will have a good think before I get to the cash register and hand over the cash for it all!!

Keeping it real, crafting peeps!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Birthday Cards Today


Today I'm showcasing the birthday cards I made from the misc. stash leftovers I've been cleaning out, organizing and donating. Again, I mostly used die-cuts and a few pre-colored images I had from leftover projects. It was a quick and satisfying chore. 

I also managed to go through a few small tubs of trading cards o take to Geek Toys, whose owner bought a nice amount from me earlier in the year. They are all from my mom, bless her soul. She loved non-sport trading cards, especially of her favorite sci-fi shows, like Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Stargate. Unfortunately, they didn't generate as much cash as I had hoped, but I got rid of another bin taking up room in my basement. Yay me!

I have another appointment with my Whole Health coach. I'll continue to work on decluttering my craft supplies (Lord knows I have enough to keep me busy for another few weeks). My next target is punches and scissors and wooden-block stamps. But I'm seriously trying to get my A1C numbers down as well as cholesterol, which ties in with weight loss. Luckily, I have access to a dietician, kinesiologist and my very own spin bike (okay, the spin bike is an old Schwinn without a working display, but I can still pedal).

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Using My Stash


Today I created 10 notecards from a pile of misc. crafting supplies I left out on my desk last week. I mostly used die-cuts, ATCs and stickers, so it went pretty fast. The history behind the cards is interesting...

I have a habit of naming the New Year. 2024 is the year of Whole Health, I joined a program offered by my hospital and they offer so many programs that touch on the concepts of whole health: physical health, emotional health, personal development, weight loss, mindful meditation, sleep therapy, spiritual awareness, kinesiology, surroundings and social activity.

I even have a coach who guides me to plan out how to reach my goals, which also means accountability. If I don't reach my goals in the time allotted, we revise the steps I need to take to succeed. For the next two weeks, I'm working on my surroundings. 

My house has become a storage building, holding furniture, collectibles and items from my mom's and my gram's houses, which my sisters and I cleaned out and sold after their deaths. Most of my basement and garage are filled with furniture and things that my sister can't let go of, but doesn't have room for.

I admit that the rest of the overcrowding is from my ever-growing stash of craft supplies. This situation is making me feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed. My mission is to declutter, organize and label my crafts, creating order out of the chaos. I listed the craft supplies by category; for instance, this first week I went through my alpha stickers, printed images, 12x12 papers, diecuts, lace, ribbon, trim, buttons and envelopes.

I emptied 12 containers and bins, and found a ten year old girl whose passion is crafting. Her mom works with my sister, and she has received a large bag of craft supplies from me. She and her mom created a vision board together and had so much fun. I have filled another large bag with papers, stickers and card kits I made for some workshops. And I am just beginning!

So now you know how I came to create these notecards. I also made 9 birthday cards which I'll post another time. Meanwhile, happy crafting, y'all!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gearing Up for Spring

 I have a bone to pick with that groundhog! He said we can expect a mild winter. Yes, it has been mild...until last night!! I spent yesterday wearing a light hoodie outside while running errands and walking my dog. This morning I wake up to SNOW!! I had to dig out my icy melt and throw it on a couple icy patches of sidewalk! It's cold out there. I heard we got 2 inches; not a lot, just enough to remind us that it is still February and the groundhog is not always accurate...

Meanwhile, my crafting mind hsas already turned to Spring projects. I pulled out a rusty metal wall decor from my garage yesterday (pre-snow). I had bought it sometime last year and forgot about it until now. I had to sand it, using WD-40, and clean it well, before applying gesso and paint to it. My front porch is painted blue, and the railings are white. So that's the colors I chose for this project.

I used spray paint as a base, then went over areas of the leaves with acrylic paint in a few shades of blue for some depth. After I got the effect I wanted, I sealed it with gloss varnish so it can weather the weather. It looks great on my back door right now, and as soon as it warms up a little, I'll place it on the front of my house.

Oh, forgot to mention the wire butterfly I added to my decor. I actually used gloss varnish on it as well in hopes of making it last long into the Spring and Summer. Have fun crafting, peeps, and don't trust that groundhog!!

Saturday, February 10, 2024

From Thrift Store to Living Room


Another day, another thrift store upcycle. I had stored this credenza in my garage, where it waited for inspiration to come. It came to me this week, so I had my daughter help me move it into the house, where I assessed the damage. Dirty, of course, with a few tears.

I decided to paint it white as a base color, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, purples splotches and dots, as if someone had shaken a bottle of purple hair dye and the cover slipped off! That dye or whatever it was bled thru three coats of white paint!!

I knew I had to either paint the whole thing purple (ugh) or figure a way to conceal the splotches. I had previously purchased some colored wax for just such an occasion, but did I have a viable color?? I found a teal wax. Wow, my living room furniture is teal (2 chairs and a couch), and the artwork on my walls have some teal in it.

I chose to try the teal wax, It came out lighter than expected, but it worked against the pale yellow walls. So now I have a credenza/cubby unit for my living room. The two bins on the right hold our winter accessories (top) and Honeycomb's winter wear (bottom). The rest of the bins hold our art supplies (pens, pencils, markers and assorted).

I originally had a four-cubby unit, which is now stuck behind one of the LR chairs awaiting its fate. Now I have storage for all the bins I keep in this room. And I am happy, which is what I strive to achieve on every art project I create. Does your artwork and crafting make you happy? I hope so!!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Another Thrift Store Furniture Upcycle


Having some time on my hands, I brought up a small vertical shelving unit from the basement. I found it years ago and did nothing with it except use it in the laundry room to hold detergent, dryer sheets, etc. While my gf gave me her double-shelved shoe rack when she moved, it just took up so much room by the front door. So I finally got to work on this skinny set of shelves.

It had gathered a lot of dust and stains from being the "laundry cart", so the first thing I did was to clean it thoroughly. The cleaning was not enough, so I brought up my paints, brush and a sponge. I decided to try my hand at mixing colors to give it a marbled effect. My colors were black, copper, rose gold and silver.

I'd never tried this painting technique before, so I came into it blind. I chose to go from dark to lighter colors, and it paid off. Using a damp art sponge, I dabbed on enough black to almost cover the surfaces (I started with the top). It was still almost wet before I added the copper and then gold.

When it came to adding the silver, I lightly dabbed the paint on, not only filling in unpainted spots, but going over the whole surface o blend in the colors. I really like the outcome. When it came to the inside of the shelf area, I used black. After all, our shoes would be going in the cubbies as we go through the front door, as well as guests.

My next furniture upcycle is a credenza with cubbies for those fabric bins everyone loves. I have an overabundance of these bins, and will replace a smaller unit with the one I'll work on. 

Bonus photo: I'm stopping here at my computer personalization project with this result:

Monday, February 5, 2024

My New Project for the Year

 A new year, a new project! I've always wanted to personalize my keyboard. I had started last year with my old computer but it died. Then I was hesitant about trying it on my new one. But what the heck! Might as well fulfill my dreams, even tho my BIL will give me grief for "defacing" my computer. LOL

I'm starting in the safety zone. A simple Bee drawing for the letter B, and a simple House drawing for the Home key. I used Posca paint markers, and had to cover each key with white to get the colors to be true. What do you think? To me, I am really pushing my creativity limits. Painting and upcycling thrift store finds is one thing. My computer is another. But so far, I'm happy with the results!

Monday, January 29, 2024

Veni, Vidi, Legi (I Came, I Saw, I Read)


I love Journals and I love Lists. The journal pictured above is my Book List. When I find a book or series that grips me, I snap a shot of the cover and write the title and author's name and why I like the book(s) with a short synopsis. I just added my most recent reads to my journal. They are Circe and The Song of Achilles, both by Madeline Miller. I've always been interested in Greek mythology, and Miller writes in the first person, giving life and perspective to these mythical gods and demi-gods. She brings their stories to life. I can't wait to see if she's writing another one.

Of course, I had to cover my composition book so it reflected the pages in side. I gave my cover a door with a peek-hole into other worlds, which is exactly the kind of journal this is. Other pages include books from Anne McCaffrey, Fern Michaels, Carl Hiaasen and more. Lately, I've been reading cozy mysteries, like the Donut Shop mysteries and the Deepwood Witches mysteries.

What do you like to read? Do you carve out some time in your busy days to relax and live a different life through the books you read? This is a habit I'm trying for my whole health plan, under Personal Development. My previous post describes my whole health plan for the new year...

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Back on Track and Crafting Again

 Hello, crafters! I've been busy this new year. I have a habit of naming my years as January 1st comes around. The last few I have named the Year of Ruthlessness, aspiring towards decluttering and organization of home and health. This year I changed it to The Year of Whole Health. 

Whole Health means taking care of all aspects of my life: Moving my body, Food and Drink, Professional services, Personal Development, Surroundings, Spirituality, Relaxation and recharging and Circle of support and socialization, When I say WHOLE health, I mean it! LOL

I'd already started the year by covering a few of these goals, like mindful meditation, deep breathing and sleep therapy. when it comes to my surroundings, I get overwhelmed and frustrated because I'm storing lots of leftovers from my mom's and grandma's houses for my sister. My livable basement has become unlivable with a maze of bins, boxes and furniture. I'm waiting for my sister to make some decisions. Why doesn't she have all this stuff?..because her house and garage are full of the rest of the things she couldn't let go of. 

My plan is to inventory, research and try to sell the collectibles, trading cards, and Star Trek memorabilia that mom accumulated the last 20 years. I am trying to make myself comfortable in my surroundings, Which brings us to today's project pictured above. I inherited a small wooden bookcase from gram's house, but it was in bad shape with scratches and discoloration on the wood sides and top. 

I decided not to wait until better weather to sand and paint or varnish it, so I did the next best thing. Using spray adhesive, I covered the bookcase with some faded tie-dye material from my sewing stash. (think of it as wallpaper made of cloth)  Then I brought it upstairs and put it in my bedroom. I think it looks great and fits in well next to my bed. 

It's sitting on a wooden console table Ik rescued from a neighbor. Not only does this free find give my new boocase the perfect height, but there's room under the table for my extra blankets and a small bin or two. PLUS my basement is just a tiny bit less cluttered! Win, win, don't you think?

How have you started your new year? I found my Fitbit and am spinning again; am looking into taking an art class; and have had three doctor appts. this month with another four in February. Whole Health!! Hope your year is full of happiness and good heath...

Monday, January 15, 2024

Adding Pages to my Coloring Book

I had been very busy during the holidays, but still had time to doodle. I have over 70 pages if I want to publish my own coloring book. The one above was inspired by my daughter's fascination with mushrooms. It's funny, back in the 70's, mushrooms were in all the stores, on TV and popular in the crafting world. I guess if you wait long enough, everything old is new again!

Above, I've drawn an asymetrical look at the world. How would you color it?
To end this post, I created a yummy coloring page. You are welcome to print and color ny or all of these pages. Just let me know if you enjoyed it!!


Monday, January 8, 2024

Thinking Ahead in the New Year


I was thinking...
...since my Christmas crafts aren't packed away for the year, and I plan on actively signing up for a craft fair or two, that I should continue creating crafts that I'd like to sell in the Fall. So saying, I've inventoried, packed and labeled the bulk of my holiday craft items from this year and last. I'm going to build up my inventory and have enough items to make a good profit. And if I don't sell it all, I will use it through the years. It's a win-win situation!

So my project today is still Christmas-themed. I pulled out another thrift store find, a holiday card holder in the shape of a wreath. I sanded the rusted metal until it (almost) shone, and have it a new shiny copper color. Next I used designer paper leftover from a project I made a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

I adhered the paper to a stiff backing and then glued it to my card holder. A small bow and a red ribbon finishes it off. An easy upcycle that I can safely wrap and put away for next year. Besides altering thrift finds, I have a list of craft ideas that will help decrease my stash of craft supplies by making things from scratch.

My blog will see all kinds of projects, as my card stash has practically disappeared, I have a new sewing machine with which to play, and plenty of things to alter. So please visit often. You never know what will show up here! LOL

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Happy New Year - As Time Goes By wall clock


Cheers and Jeers to 2023, a year filled with obstacles, opportunities, good news, bad news, loses, gains, failures and triumphs...all in 365 days!! LOL However bad the bad experiences were, my survival rate is still 100%, so I'm happy to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Today's make is very fitting for the passing of the old and arrival of the new--a clock! It is a gift for the owner of (you guessed it) a Nothing Bundt Cake bakery. My daughter has worked at the store for two years, after five years at another location. She loves where she is now, and has made assistant manager as well.

While thrifting, I had found this empty round Pottery Barn box that had originally held dessert plates. When I saw this box, I knew it would make an awesome clock. I dug out a package of clock workings and drilled a hole in the cover of the box. I pulled photos of the bundts that this bakery sells and adhered them to the clock's face with Mod Podge, including the NBC logo. My daughter asked that I blur the owners names and location. I sealed it all with more Mod Podge and it is keeping time accurately (yay, me). Finally, I adhered a 3M Velcro fastener to the back from which to hang the clock.

Challenges I am Entering:

The Crafty Addicts - Anything Goes
Classic Design - Anything Goes
Morgan's Artworld - Anything Goes