On Instagram this month, I am posting a heart a day, #amonthofhearts. AllSparkledUpDesign . Today is Day 23 and I thought it would be fun to share the full size image here. I’ve had most of these charms since my childhood and some go back to my mother’s childhood. Some are old Cracker Jack prizes, some are homemade. My granddaughter and I spent a couple enjoyable hours placing these charms in heart shape for this photo. Click on the image to access the full size. At the end of the month, I’ll post the rest of the photos here as well. Enjoy!
If you follow me on Instagram, AllSparkledUpDesign, you know I’m posting A Month of Hearts. Today is Day 14 and there are 14 days of hearts to go! Here are the hearts I’ve posted so far. Make sure you check instagram so you can read all the captions that go with these photos. Love to you all!
14 Happy Valentine’s Day!
The tiniest book I ever made was titled “Blue Flowers” and included tiny paintings and descriptions of blue flowers. In order to qualify for “micro mini” status, it had to be under 1/4″ square.
I think I made 7 copies and traded them with book making friends. I have one copy but don’t remember where the other copies went. Each book with blue suede cover and gilded page edges was tucked inside a tiny blue flower.
The text was printed using a laser printer. When the pages were cut apart from the sheet of printer paper, I had to be careful not a single breeze blew over my worktable since I couldn’t see the text and would have to use a magnifying glass to put them all back in order again. I was glad when I had all the pages stitched together!
The paintings were so fun to make! Some day I hope to make a tiny book about Pink Flowers. But that will have to happen soon before my eyesight ages even more.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s. We did!
I made the girls Pencil Rolls and custom coloring pages for Christmas. They loved the sets.
I used Julie 1971 fabric from Spoonflower.
The inspiration for Julie 1971 is a piece of artwork I made when I was 12 years old, in 1971. I made the little felt houses from bits of felt and glued them to the back of a piece of laundry detergent box cardboard.
The pencil roll was very easy to make. The lining, pocket and flap are linen, the decorative cover wrap is cotton canvas.
Even after all these years, the cardboard is still in great shape.
My father cut the picture frame from a single piece of wood. The Felt Houses art hangs in our guest room.
The original artwork is still vibrant and prints beautifully on canvas and linen fabrics from Spoonflower. Here you can see the original art next to canvas, which I have aged a little by machine washing it in warm water.
Outer cover – made of a piece of decorative Julie 1971 fabric 17″ x 8.5″, sewed to a piece of linen 17″ x 4.5″ for the flap, to make a rectangle 17″ x 12.5″.
Lining – made of linen cut to 17″ x 12.5″.
Pencil pocket – two pieces of linen 17″ x 4″.
The cover piece with flap was sewn to the lining piece, right sides together, with a small opening for turning at the bottom. This cover piece was turned right side out and pressed flat.
The pencil pocket was made by stitching the two 17″ x 4″ pieces of linen together with a small opening for turning at the bottom. This piece was turned right side out and pressed flat.
The pocket piece was sewn to the bottom of the cover piece. Here you can see how simple the pocket is attached to the cover piece.
To figure out where to stitch for the pencil pockets, I simply stuck pieces of masking tape vertically, all across the pocket piece, with a little margin between each piece of tape, and stitched between the pieces of masking tape. Several of the pockets weren’t exactly the same size but that was fine. That method of marking for the pockets was super easy and didn’t need any measuring or marking the fabric at all.
To keep the roll shut, I used what I had on hand – stretchy beading elastic tied in a loop.
For each girl, I made a custom set of pictures to color. I used Photoshop to alter photographs and printed the coloring pages on cardstock.
Boxes for pencils are nice, but there is another layer of artsy satisfaction when you unfurl a roll of creamy pencils tucked in soft linen.
Here are two free coloring pages for you keep and print out.
Life is complicated and one day a couple months ago I became extra conflicted. I just didn’t know what to do and was almost paralyzed with insecurity and fear. What should I do? I had trouble figuring out what was good, what was right, and how to please everyone. Nothing seemed clear. Even when I found a task that seemed ok, I quit as soon as it seemed fun. Really? Now how dumb is that, to intentionally sabotage something good?
But then a new thought suddenly filled my mind. That day, instead of doing what seemed good or fun… a clear thought came to mind.
“Do what is beautiful.”
Enjoy the photos slow. Look close. Each pine needle, each curled leaf, each thirsty root.
Do what is beautiful.
I breathed in deep, remembering the smell of pine and forest.
And there, sitting at my computer looking at photos, breathing deep suddenly seemed beautiful.
Everything started to be beautiful!
Washing dishes is beautiful.
Strength is beautiful.
Resting is beautiful.
Sacrifice is beautiful.
Never giving up is beautiful.
The slate from my childhood hangs on my dining room wall. I had not written on it for over a year and it was time for a change. Writing new words on the slate is doing something beautiful.
I started with a pencil sketch.
I sketched out the words to make it all fit.
I erased and edited.
My sketch seemed off and I wasn’t happy with it. It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to do “what is beautiful” not just “something beautiful.” It was such a small change but it made a big difference to me. So I erased again and penciled in Do What is Beautiful.
I picked out a handful of chalk colors to make the drawing.
But I ended up using only neutral colors.
I’ve never minded the scritch and scratch of chalk on the board and even enjoy the dust on my fingertips.
Do you see the tally marks in the lower left corner. Count them… there are
37 tally marks. I made them as I worked on the chalk drawing. Each one of those tally marks is when I erased something on this chalkboard and had to do it over. 37 times I made mistakes or had to straighten a line, or erase or start over. I left the tally marks on the drawing because they represent what is beautiful.
The last part of the message is to Never, Never give up. Never giving up is beautiful.
If you’re at a loss of what to do, do what is beautiful. You will know. And never, never give up.
Every year I save one colored Easter egg in the back of the egg bin in the fridge. All winter long it’s a nice reminder that spring is on the way.
Soon this egg will be replaced with a new one. Its fun seeing art in the refrigerator! I’m planning on hanging a little painting on one of those pristine white walls.
I accidentally set the exposure in my camera wrong. But sometimes what we do wrong ends up being way better than right. God didn’t want me to see a bare winter tree in my mom’s yard, he wanted to show me all the color.
The bird was going to perch on one of the library shelves in a different room. So I will have to visit Shelle Hill on Etsy again and get another bird for the library. A bird with words is the perfect bookshelf visitor.
Thank you, Michelle.