"If you hear a voice within you say, 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced." --Vincent van Gogh

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Art ... Again!

Computer Chip Necklace

Things have been hopping over at ArtAgain.  I almost don't know where to start, so I'll start with a little excitement that is happening THIS WEEK.  Jump on over to the Love2Upcycle blog to see how you can win this beautiful computer chip necklace.  Yes, I am giving it away!  Be sure to come back, though, to catch up on all that has been happening in my little corner of the world.

I am now offering hand dyed shoe laces and let me tell you, they are so much fun to make!  Talk about playing with color.  I offer 4 sizes ... 45" (for most non-Converse shoes), 54" (low top Converse), 63" (high top Converse) and by custom order only I now offer 72" (X-HI boot style Converse).  These are great fun and make wonderful small gifts or stocking stuffers.  I can do team colors, or just about anything you can think of.  I have laces walking around England, France, Australia, and Singapore.  How exciting is that?

Hand Dyed Shoe Laces

I picked up some well-loved quilt remnants and some vintage fabrics at one of my favorite haunts, The Scrap Exchange in Durham, North Carolina.

Vintage Textiles

Well Loved Quilty Bits
 I am planning on turning them into coffee cuffs and zippered pouches like these that are made from hand painted dryer sheets.

Dryer Sheet Coffee Cuff

Zippered Clip Pouch

So as you can see, things have been busy in my neck of the woods.  I appreciate those of you who continue to follow my blog, even through its dry spells.  If you are on facebook, please join me there.  The one sentance updates seem to come more frequently than the blog posts.  This year, I began donating a portion of my sales to animal rescues and no-kill shelters.  I am so happy to be able to do this!  It is something that is so important to me and truly speaks to my heart.  I do hope to keep my blog updated more frequently, so we will see what October holds.

Ending on a personal note ... many of you who have followed my blog have watched the beautiful puppy we rescued nearly 4 years ago, grow into the most wonderful and loving dog that one could ever imagine.  I am heart broken to say that our Rosi passed away this summer, at the age of 3 1/2, due to an aggressive, inoperable tumor.  We miss her terribly.

Rosi 11/7/07 - 8/2/11

The emptiness in our hearts and home led us to a high kill shelter about an hour and a half from our home, where we were blessed to rescue this beautiful girl in what would have been her final hours.  She came to us underweight and with such a sadness in her eyes, but she is healthy now, and her light is back and her antics keep us laughing every day.  She is about 2 years old and we look forward to many adventures with her in the years to come.  Welcome, Macey!

Macey 2011
Thank you for spending some time with me today.  Now go enter that drawing!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The "Stitch" Part

Just a quick post to give you a sneak peek at what's working its way to the top of my list. I got a box of goodies (ie: stuff she was going to toss) from my M-I-L. In that box was this skirt...
A 70's patchwork made by her mother (ie: my husband's grandmother). It's lined with muslin and the elastic is shot. But oooooh, have I got plans!

I am going to use this skirt as the background for several Priority Alzheimers Quilts to benefit the Alzheimers Art Quilt Innitiative (AAQI). Given that my husband's grandmother (and great-grandmother) suffered from this awful disease, I thought it was a fitting use for her skirt. I'm excited to dust off my fabrics and have some fun!


Monday, April 18, 2011

This That and The Other

I finally came to the realization that I needed to take a break from blogging and focus on some other things. No excuses! But I'm back and ready to bring my blog back to being a regular feature. My goal this year is to diversify my offerings, while keeping within the reuse theme. I have a festival coming up on April 30th in Southern Pines, NC, and I do believe I am ready! I have also spent some time working on my etsy shop. My hand dyed shoelaces have been a very popular item! They really are so much more fun than anything you can buy in the stores. Here are some of my new items, just to catch you up ... This is one of my favorite computer chip necklaces. It is decorated with a scrap from the painted paper bags I made a while back. After adding a high gloss glaze, the piece is really dramatic. The blues remind me of the deep sapphire of the open ocean, and the light sapphire closer to shore. I love how the metallic gold accents the piece. Time to paint more brown paper bags? Perhaps!
We've had some glorious spring weather, and I could not resist breaking out the dyes. In addition to dozens of shoe laces, I've dyed a few silk and cotton scarves. I just love them.
This is one of my latest adventures. I call them Scrappy Cabana Badge Holders. I raided my scrap basket and hand made each piece. The badge holder is retractable, and they have a clip on the back to attach to a pocket. This is one of those things that I could make a hundred of and not get bored.
I've had even more fun making pony tail holders our of ready-to-cover buttons and soda and candy wrappers. It's a bit of an effort to attach the hair tie, but the results are certainly worth it! My kids are under the impression that this means they will get to eat and drink more junk - unfortunately for them, I seem to be able to scrounge up enough material as it is.
I've been wanting to work with Scrabble tiles for a while, but wanted also to do something a little different from the pendants I have seen. Once I got over my fear of drilling holes in the tiles, these bracelets came together. I love this one. It says "IRISH" and I stained the tiles green (because they should be green, right?) On the flip side in a Guinness label. I have made others as well, with words such as "DANCE", "FLIRT", and "PEACE".
I had the great fortune to come across a selection of high quality suede remnants that were salvaged from upholstery sample books. They are not that big, but they were just big enough to make these wristlet keyrings. I kept one for myself and I have to say I love it. It's great to toss my keys on my wrist and be hands-free, and the buttery soft suede feels oh-so-nice.
And probably my most favorite project of all ...

I picked up these belts at a thrift shop. I admired them briefly, and then almost passed them by. I decided they were just to cool to pass up, and am I ever glad that I bought them! They have been turned into fun cuff bracelets. Each one is unique. Some are a New York City theme, and others are Hawaii. I have sold a few already. I am now officially on the lookout for interesting belts that can be repurposed as cuff bracelets.

So there is a sampling of the many things I've been up to while I've taken a break from blogland. Many of these things are available for purchase in my etsy shop, and if you see something you'd like that isn't there, please feel free to contact me. I've set up several hyperlinks throughout this post to help you find your way. I am also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/artagain and on Twitter (@artagain). I am a proud new member of Team Upcyclers on etsy. You can follow the whole team on facebook as well!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to. Next up are two custom order t-shirt quilts, and some donation quilts for the Alzheimers Art Quilt Innitiative. The quilts will be made in part from a vintage patchwork skirt. The skirt was made by my grandmother-in-law. She passed away a number of years ago, and suffered from Alzheimers, so I feel it is fitting that her skirt help fun research for a cure.

One last thing ... those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I am a huge fan of animals. I have decided to donate 10% of my sales income this year to support animal rescue and no-kill shelters. My first quarter donation was made to our local private non-profit SPCA. Second quarter donation has been pledged to Undercats4Life. This group works tirelessly to save cats and kittens from a high kill shelter in South Florida. I am so impressed with the work that they do. I do believe that we can take a stand, and together, we can make a difference.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I don't really know where the time goes. The "big push" in our family starts with my daughter's birthday at the end of October and continues through my son's birthday at the end of January. I think we squeeze about 75% of the year into those three months. Add in a multitude of festivals, a couple of snow days, and out of state guests, and even if I manage to squeeze in time for some creativity, it's tough to find time to blog.
I do want to share with you what I've been up to lately. These mosaics (each 6x6) are made from recycled CDs. I really love how they turned out and I have a few more in the works. I am trying to psych myself up to make a larger, more intricate one. They are a bit labor intensive, but I think the results are worth it.
I'll be carrying these in my booth at festivals this year. I would like to offer them on etsy, but I need to work out the best shipping arrangement before I list them. Maybe I will list some smaller ones first. I have a shamrock ready to go for St. Pat's. How's that for planning ahead?
Thanks for stopping by. I know I don't post often, and I truly appreciate those of you who still drop in to see my work.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Interview on Be@Home

I had the great fortune to be interviewed by the lovely Michele of the blog Be @ Home. Click HERE to read the interview and a review of my blog. I was thrilled to be selected and I hope when you are finished reading the interview, you will click on the "Home" key and check out all the other cool things Michele has going on.

And since I can't leave you without a picture - here are some diminutive computer chip earrings, about 1/4" square, that were fun to make, even if they did leave me a bit cross-eyed.
Finally, Natasha, if you are reading this, I appreciated your comments so very much, but I have no way to get in touch with you to send you the information you requested. Please drop me an email and I will send you the information.

Thanks, and Happiest of Holidays to All!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salvaged Selvage

A friend of mine saves her scraps for me, and that includes selvage. As I've accumulated it, I've wondered what I would do with it. When I trim the selvage off a fabric I'm using, it's pretty easy to just toss it in the trash ... but when I am staring at a whole bag full of selvage? Then it just seems wasteful. So I started stitching the selvage together and came up with this nifty little zippered pouch. I added (after this photo was taken) a larger lobster claw type clip to the zipper and now I can fit my cell phone in the pouch and clip it to my belt loop and I am good to go! I love it. I kept one for myself and the rest will find their way into my etsy shop (eventually, when I've managed to edit all the photos I took!)
I also made up several with my hand painted dryer sheets. The main body of the pouch is exactly the right size for one dryer sheet. A lucky convenience! These were the colors I happened to have already painted. If the weather ever warms up, I'll get outside and paint some more.

And finally the little bits of selvage that were too short to make into a pouch have found a new home as a coffee sleeve. I love the colors and the graphic nature of the dots. The only problem is that I've used up that entire bag of selvage! So I will just have to wait for my quilty friends to give me some more.
Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

(not) Tossing Out Technology

I was fortunate to get a box of computer chip samples from a friend whose company was going to throw them out. Don't they make great pendants? I only have about a dozen of the square ones, but I've got gobs of rectangles!!!

So what else can I do with these? I would love to hear your ideas!