Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Morning

Happy Birthday Tori!

Greetings to all,

I have to start today with happy birthday wishes to my sweet daughter, Tori.  She has helped me immensely with  annemadethis, so special thanks and love go out to her this weekend!

And here is a new bracelet, Tori designed and I created.  It is three strands of leather closed with a toggle clasp.  Porcelain and paper beads embellish the leather cords.  if you make this bracelet, be sure that all of your beads have holes large enough for the leather cords to pass through.  You can use a combination of  leather, hemp or even a ball chain to add some variety to the bracelet.

Tori's Bracelet

Journals with hand decorated covers is another great use for recycled paper and embellishments.  It makes a great project for groups of all ages and I thought might work well with some of spring workshops.  The journals start with inexpensive hard cover composition books or sketch books.  You can use any size for this project.  Magazine scraps, colored paper, fabric and even fibers are glued to the covers until you get a pleasing design.  Be careful not to get glue on the inside pages.  Stamping, buttons, beads, ribbons, paints and pastels can be used for finishing touches.  Sometimes I even decorate the first page or add a cute bookmark, just for fun!  Then I put a few generous coats of Triple Thick acrylic gloss to protect it all.  I'll be making a few of these journals for my Etsy shop, if you'd like to take a look.  Here are some examples.

So please stop by my shop annemadethis, I'll be adding some new things.  And like my Facebook page!  If you have any questions about this post, or any others please feel free to contact me.

Thanks for checking in,


Monday, January 14, 2013

Pretty Things to Make

Tori wearing my new scarf
Here's a picture of my new scarf.  I knitted it on #50 needles, it took about two hours and one skein of Mo'Puffs yarn by U. Knitted Nation.  Great yarn and great scarf right! Locally the yarn is sold at Flying Fingers Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY.  So... this morning I wore my new scarf to the Farmer's Market.  The first comment I got was from a guy who really thought the scarf was an homage to the brussel sprout!  His family loved brussel sprouts, that is what he was buying at the Farmer's Market.  The scarf reminded him of his little cabbages of goodness.  And even though I love brussel sprouts too, really?

Next a woman came up to me and asked if she could take a picture of the scarf for her blog.  Ellen Margulies is a knitter and writes a fiberarts blog.  She will have a picture of me wearing the scarf at the Farmer's Market on her blog.  Hope I look good.

Memory Wire Bracelet

I have a few jewelry workshops planned locally during the school winter vacations.  This project is a memory wire bracelet especially designed for middle school children.  They will make a few paper beads crafted from recycled cereal  boxes.   They will roll, glue and glaze the beads, just like I do.  While the glazed beads are drying, they can choose from various sizes and colors of seed beads to complement their paper beads and design a unique one of a kind piece.  I will help attach charms and other adornments or if the student is familiar with using jump rings and head pins they can complete their own.  You can contact me directly for more information.

I got my first international sale last week!  Yahoo!  Hope to see you soon on my Etsy site.  New Valentine's Day gifts for your sweetheart!! 

Talk to you soon,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year's

New Year's Eve in Times Square
Hi to all,

So glad to be back.  Happy New Year to everyone.  Happy 2013!

On New Year's Day, my family always eats black-eyed peas, it's our traditional dinner.  Its been said, "Eat peas on New year's day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year"

This year when I was shopping for black-eyed peas, a woman in the store told me that her family ate lentils for good luck in the New Year,  I got curious about the history of New Year's celebrations and other New Year's traditions.

New Year's Day is the oldest holiday, it has been celebrated since 4000 BC by the ancient Babylonians.  They celebrated New Year's on the first day of spring, the festivities last eleven days.  The Babylonians started the custom of making New Year's resolutions.

Around 150 BC, the Romans set January 1 as New Year's Day.  They probably originated the tradition of "toasting".  The host would always drink first.  Because the wine was not as refined as it is today, the Romans would float a piece of toast in the wine bowl to absorb the excess acidity and make the wine more palatable.

The early Catholic church condemned New Year's celebration through the Middle Ages.  Though, some denominations celebrated the Feast of Christ's Circumcision on New Year's Day, ugh!  But once a baby was used as the symbol of the New Year, the Church allowed its members to celebrate with a baby that symbolized baby Jesus.  New Year's Day is still a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics.

Today, New Year's is celebrated with football, parades, fireworks, polar bear plunges and resolutions.   Many believe that the traditional New Year's foods will bring us good luck for the coming year.  The Dutch eat donuts, a ring symbolizing the beginning and the end.  In Spain, you eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight for twelve good months.  In Greece they bake a coin in a St. Basil's cake, who ever finds the coin in his piece will have good luck all year.  The hog and its meat symbolize prosperity and is frequently eaten on New Year's Day, often with the black-eyed peas.  And cabbage is the good luck vegetable, it symbolizes paper currency and in some cultures rice is the food to eat.  It just worked out that I had lentil soup and black eyed peas this New Years, hopefully that will give me a double helping of good luck!

Well that's it for today.  Please stop by my shop annemadethis on Etsy, I'd love to have you drop by.  Feel free to contact me with any questions.  And maybe start the new year off crafting-check out the tutorials on my earlier blogs.

Ta ta for now,