Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More Unpacked Boxes

  We have been living back in the USA more than a year now, and finally I have my art supplies out of boxes! I found some things I thought got lost in our return trip from Costa Rica: my beloved paint brushes, which have seen better days, but I love them anyway...they aren't worn out, they're well broken in...! I also found the set of Berol Prismacolor pencils that I have torn the house apart looking for several times and just recently replaced. Sigh. Isn't that the way of things, as soon as you give up on finding something and replace it, you will find the lost item.

  I have been putting off opening my "art stuff" boxes, since we have been reworking some of the rooms in the cottage, I had no place to set up my space until recently. For most of my adult life, I had to use the dining room table for art projects. This was difficult at best, since I hardly ever got finished with a project in one sitting and the table would need to be freed up for meals. So I drag my stuff out of the closet, set it up and rush like crazy to get to a stopping point where I could clean it all up before dinner needed to be served.

Then a few years ago, I stumbled across the answer to my problem. I drove by a "weekend sale", different from a yard sale since it was open Friday,Saturday, and Sunday. I hardly ever get to go to yard sales; we are Torah Observant and keep a Saturday Sabbath, (a day of rest with no commerce of any kind). Since most yard sales are on Saturday, I usually miss all the good bargains, so I was very excited to see the sign for a Friday through Sunday sale! I drove past the sign and then abruptly u-turned, forsaking my intended destination for greener pastures. I thought I heard something calling my name... ever so softly, "Elle, come find me... I'm waiting to be yours..." When I got out of the car and started walking up to the sale, I saw on the driveway a piece of furniture with a big sign on it that said "Please take me home". There were two ladies standing there looking at it, one remarked to the other that it was an interesting piece of furniture, but she had no idea what it would be good for. I knew exactly what it would be good for and as soon as they were a polite distance away I grabbed the sign and went to the woman sitting behind a T.V. tray with a cash box on it. I asked how much it was and she said "oh... we had been asking $85 dollars for it, but if your can take it with you when you leave, you can have it for $75." Normally I wouldn't think of spending that kind of money on the spur of the moment, but I didn't think twice, I wrote a check and danced all the way back to the car. I couldn't believe that it was actually mine!!

It's mine all mine!! This vintage drafting table began its life in a university architecture classroom in the 1940's. It is now a permanent fixture in our family room and will one day belong to our youngest son, who like his mom, is artistically inclined. Most people would need to sit on a tall stool for it to be the right working height, but I always work standing up, so it is the perfect for me! The table top tilts and the cabinets can be arranged within the frame in several configurations, to suit the needs of the user.
I am afraid that the tilt top will never get used, since I always have wa-ay too much stuff sitting on it!

  In the boxes that held my fabric and art supplies, I also found some other things that have been packed away since we left for Costa Rica in 2009. At one point in the past I was very involved with "altered arts", like altered books, art dolls, atcs and the like. I eventually found that even though I really enjoyed the challenge of a "round robin" altered book or an "add and pass" art doll, I really didn't have the time or money to commit to these kind of projects. I decided to stick to my love of letters as a my personal outlet and to expend my creative energies on my mail... But I still have a few of the projects I worked on during that season of my life, and I thought you might enjoy seeing a few of them. So over the next couple of posts I will include a short show and tell of some of my finished (or almost finished...) projects.

  I made a cloth book in commemeration of a Mad Hatter's tea party that I had at Heart's Ease Cottage one year. It was a lovely day for a garden party. Each of the friends that attended brought a hat of some sort to decorate. I provided the supplies to decorate the hats with and as it turned out all of my generous guests brought things as well, so we had a virtual treasure trove of goodies to decorate with! We munched on hazelnut flavored, dark chocolate dipped strawberries, (berries compliments of our strawberry patch), as hot glue and glitter, silk birds and strings of faux pearls and other goodies became part of our party chapeaus.

  Later, brunch was served in the shade of our huge Shingle Oak trees in the front yard. We brunched on homemade chocolate chip or blueberry waffles, quiche, fresh blueberries and strawberries picked from the garden that morning. There were several choices of iced tea, and frozen fruit ice cubes to keep the tea cold without diluting it with melting ice. As a finisher there was a checkerboard, citrus flavored, Mad Hatter's cake with candles that burned with green, orange and pink flames. We all ate and laughed and talked until we could unbirthday party no more...

The art dolls on the front cover represent me,(the blonde,)and my dear friend Ketzy,(the brunette), who helped me prepare everything for the party.

The silk flowers that are embroidered and embellished to the left page are from the table decor. The background on the right page is made from one of the table napkins I chose for the buffet table.

The right page has a photo of the cottage all dressed up for the party.

The Mad Hatter's Cake

Decorating hats

Finally, a group shot of the mad hatters. I never finished the last page, so it is on my "to-do" list. Then ...how to bind the book? Right now I am holding it together with string threaded through the grommets, but I want something else for the final binding. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Well, my next post will be about all the lovely mail that has been pouring into my POB. I just need to get it all logged in and photographed. Thanks to everyone who wrote me and brought some very happy mail days! Until next time, see you in the mail! Elle


  1. Elle, Love the drafting table, not a item to pass on, the story on the Mad Hatters made me smile and glad to hear your mailbox is smiling also (:


  2. Hello Elle, Love the drafting table to art table. What a great find. The Mad Hatters made me smile. And now you POB must be smiling also with being useful and receiving your letters for you. Hester (:

  3. OMG! Oh My Goodness! What a find. What a bargain. I would have bought it too! :D You were meant to have it. It has found HOME.

    I doubt I would have ever considered using a tea pot for paint brushes, pens, pencils. How creative.

    Such a lovely post. A pleasure to read.

  4. Also I enjoyed this post a lot!
    Your table is just wonderful! And all the art stuff looks so lovely on it! What I mostly like is pencils, pens, colors, papers, books and all regarding making art. They are lovely to be used and also lovely just to be seen around! :)
    Hugs! :)

  5. Wow, the craft table surely looks awesome with all your stuff in it! Congrats on the great buy! I loved seeing your projects! Great job!
    I see that you have your way with words, so I was wondering would be interested in running an artistic section in our penpal magazine? It can be with giving us the chance to repost some of your old blog entries, or if you have the time you may also write new ones! It's just up to you. Let me know if you are interested in such a venture. All the credit will be given back to your blog so you will get more visits/followers.. Just an idea there. My email is raiasandbook(at)gmail.com .