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I remember when I was in school and living with my parents often telling them what other kid’s parents had bought for them.  So and so got a new car, such and such got a fancy new purse, this one is going to the beach for a week, that one is getting diamond earrings.  My parents were not impressed in the least.  My father’s reply was always, “Then get a job and you can have it, too!” 

From a young age my parents impressed on me that work = stuff, stuff = worth, and worth = self esteem.  They made me earn everything I got the hard way.  Before I was 16 they let me do chores on the farm for an allowance.  After I was 16, they helped me to get a part-time job.  They never let me slack and always nurtured my work ethic. 

Both of my parents worked for as far back as I can remember.  They worked hard and they worked long hours at meager pay.  They provided for the 7 of us and we never felt we did without the necessities.  There was money for the pictures, the school trips, the uniforms, whatever we needed related to our education they provided.  Spending money was another matter.  That was to be earned.

If we didn’t work we couldn’t go out on the weekends with our friends to dances, to parties, to shops, etc.  It never occurred to me to ask for money from them.  If I did I knew my allowance would be deducted for the borrowed amount.  Funny, I never felt that this was not correct.

I was watching Dr. Phil today about kids in their 20’s still living at home and their parents footing the bill.  Can you imagine?  I cannot fathom that kind of life.  Perhaps it is because I was not raised that way.  That I was taught at a young age that you worked, that you lived on your own, that you made a way and that you worked it out. 

Both my father and mother were very generous with their friends.  From time to time, some of them would stay with the family while they were working out this or that.  No one was turned away and we shared what we had with them.  But there came a point that it was time to go.  That was made clear and it was time to pack it in. 

I love my parents for instilling that ethic in me.  It has sustained me through some very hard times and continues to sustain me today.  I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have set foot inside a retail store except for my groceries.  I exclusively shop at thrift stores. 

I have been working for several weeks to pare back some of my plenty.  I seem to have gathered so much.  Time to refresh the place, too.  Pictures are exchanged, art from friends are hung, and reflection is made. 

The world has been so gracious to me and has brought me such great friends from all over the world.  What more could a girl ask for?  We have worked to earn our friendships by sharing our talents, our lives, and our work.  See, not even friendship is for free!

I was reading some of my favorite blogs on Bloglines and came across this post on Craft.  You wonder what she was thinking as she looked at Barbie.  What part of an artist’s brain says cut her up for jewelry? 

Do I like it?  Yes.  Would I buy/wear it? No.  But it is cool!

If you are interested she has an Etsy shop.

I joined a mixed media artists group on Yahoo.  Through that group and the charm swap I signed up for I found out that Cloth Paper Scissors was having a charm swap also.  If they like your charms they can be featured in the magazine.  That would be cool. 

DSC01556I searched the internet for fabric charm making ideas and stumbled upon this link.  Since I have seen others make lovely things using this technique, I thought I would give it a try. 

I started with a background fabric that is some Japanese kimono fabric.  On top of that I added some metallic yarns and variegated ribbon yarns.  On top of all of that I fused some taupe netting. 

I now have my fabric to make the charms and will begin the cutting and sewing.  Each charm, when finished will be 1″ X 1″. 

It will probably be next week before you see the finished product as it will take some time to finish the edges, add the eyelets and jump rings. 

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Have you tried any new techniques lately?

I participated in Cyber Fyber’s World ATC day which was held on January 17th.  I sent 3 ATCs for the swap and received 3 in return. 

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There is this lovely water color Sleeper by David Yaghjian.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Nordic Runes I by Shirley Whitlock.  The description indicates it is acrylic and mixed medium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And this lovely and vibrant piggy card by Ingrid Dijkers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The second week of 2009 challenge for MAMMA was birds.  This is the card I created for that swap.  The quotation on the card is from Sadako Sasaki.  You can read more about her and her story here

The background is scrapbook paper with a thick layer of gesso to give it texture.  The bird image is from a thrifted birding book, the text is printed on vellum paper.  I added a few soft pink blossoms as a nod to Sadako and the Japanese gift of Cherry trees to the US. 

If you have never been to the tidal basin in DC when the Cherry trees are blooming in the spring you have missed out on quite a sight. 

 

 

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I also created a second ATC using the same quote that is available for trade if you are interested. 

 

 

Have you been in any great swaps lately?

DSC01542I saw this lovely hand painted Japanese teacup and saucer at my local Goodwill and it was love at first sight.  Then, the inspiration struck me.  Wouldn’t that be neat to hold jewelry on the top of your dresser? 

Add a lead crystal candlestick to give it a bit of heft.  You begin by gluing the candlestick to the saucer using E6000 glue.  Then glue the cup to the top of the candlestick (where the candle is inserted). 

Let it dry overnight and you have a lovely way to organize your jewelry.  You can hang your earrings along the lip of the cup, place a few bracelets inside and lay rings in the saucer.

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The longest part of the process is finding the right cup, saucer and candlestick. 

What everyday items have you upcycled?

This is so cool.  Reminds me of the old coke commercials where the whole world sang the coke jingle.

This was written by Will.i.am and David Foster for the inauguration of Barrack Obama. 

My father loved history.  He read books about it, he talked about it, he watched movies about it and he liked to visit it.  Since we lived on the east coast there were a lot of historic sites within driving distance. 

Most of the time it was Tom, Pat and I at home and we hit them all.  Gettysburg, Washington, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Philadelphia.  That leaves a lot of time in the car for three spirited kids to entertain themselves. 

We would start with the ever popular game Trading Punches.  You start by hitting as lightly as you can and then get harder and harder.  You guessed it, a fistfight by the fourth block from the house!  Another popular one was How Close Can You Place Your Hand In Front Of My Face Without Touching Me.  This one is tons of fun UNLESS your Dad calls out a point of interest for you to see, but you can’t as your brother’s hand is in front of your eyes.  Again, the fistfight ensues. 

Once you arrive the good fun doesn’t end there.  There is the pulling down of the pants, the tripping you while you are trying to walk, and the buckling your knees as you try to stand in line.  All of these games end with embarrassment and some with injuries. 

My Dad would frequently yell, “I am going to turn this car around!”  “We are going home!” And my personal fav “If you kids don’t stop…”  He never finished the sentence so it added a bit of suspense to the trip.  We never left anywhere or turned the car around.  So we stopped only briefly.

I bet you didn’t know that car trippin’ through history could be a contact sport!

DSC01535The MAD MAMMA challenge gave me a bolt of inspiration.  I decided to create an altered ballerina.  Her face is made using sculpey, acrylic paints, markers and stickles glitter on her eyebrows and lips for a bit of sparkle. 

I cut her body from scrapbook paper (backed with a cereal box) and then rubber stamped it using my bird and flower stamps.  A bit of pink lace scrap gathered for her tutu.  She is topped off with some fun fur hair containing all the colors in her body and topped with a silver crown charm. 

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I really like how she came out.  I like that she is very alternative swan lake.  When I was younger I liked playing with dolls so this is my grown up play. 

What toys do you incorporate with your crafting today?

Quote O’ The Month

"What this world needs
is a new kind of army
- the army of the kind."
~Cleveland Amory

E-mail Me

cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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You Can Find My Creations At:

ReFinery
1221 Bellevue Ave.
Richmond, VA

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