One for the Records

After I halted my sorting the other day to make this wreath, I didn't get back to too much sorting. I ended up digging into my stash of old records.

I just leaned them on the mantle for now since it is still empty....

I used more of the piano forte music I used in the wreath, but added a layer of matte medium first so it had some strength. Then I could fold and bend the petals I cut from it.  The fabric part of the flower is the lining from a vintage tie and has the brand name, "witty brothers" on it. :)

On this one, I left the petals flat using matte medium and mod podge.

On this one and the other pink backed one, I started with a coat of gesso and then used the same soft pastels I used on the clay projects to color them in.  I fixed the pastels with a spray coat of finish afterwards.  See the little textured piece of red paper in the center? That is a piece of hand made paper my 4h club made for Christmas ornaments about 14 years ago! I still have the bag of paper ornaments.  I need to get that project going again with my current club.

I wasn't sure if this one would work out or not, but it did!  I'm really happy with it too!  I used mod podge to adhere strips of vintage fabric that I cut randomly into wedges and fitted them as I went along cutting the excess from either end as I glued them down.

I still have to decide how to put a hanger on them or find a proper easel to old them.  But, for now I think I'll continue to experiment with more. Lots of ideas for them rolling around in my head.

Two of the records are the old 78 for phonographs so are thicker than the vinyl we played as kids. And two (pictured above) are Edison records, really old ones!!  And, really thick!  They have a nice heft and feel to them.  The box full of them is so heavy! 

I certainly won't be upcycling all of the records, I have to keep some for our phonograph!

For Your Monday

Sheet Music Wreath

So, yesterday, I went to the store room determined to clean and organize it.  Oh look, I made a wreath instead!  When I dug out the boxes of music...I decided to seize the moment.

There are so many tutorials and different ways to do this out there on the internet, you can cruise around to find what works for you.  Without any how-to pictures I'll tell you how mine came together.

►Cut a piece of cardboard for the backing (I  used the pizza box holding the left over pizza in the fridge that I had eaten for lunch, one week old as Thursday is our "pizza day"  which is today again, yay!)
Punch two holes for a hanger.
Roll the sheets of music and using a low temp glue gun, use a dab of glue to hold close.  I used two books of pianoforte music.  It is the most glorious looking music out there and fairly sturdy pages.  Except that they are so old they are a bit fragile.  I am a little sad that I used these books, but they have been in storage for probably 15 years and there isn't much of a market for them as sheet music is everywhere.  At least they are being enjoyed again!
►Position the rolls to your liking on the cardboard backing and glue lightly.  When you are happy with it, go back and add more glue.  I really thought the low temp glue gun worked well.  
►Add a cord hanger to the punched holes.
►Audition doilies and medallions (how about a big broach?) for the center embellishment.  I had this heart (from my clay project) laying on the sewing room table while I was making this and there you go...found a home for it!
►Again using the low temp glue gun tack the doilies and center embellishment down.
►Before I started I measured the space where I was going to hang this so I knew if I should trim down the music sheets or not. 

So why didn't I take it down to take pictures of it??  I still have a store room to clean!

I am really happy with the layered doilies in the center!  I appreciate the woman (unknown to me) who perfectly blocked and starched the really fine one in the back because it was like that when I bought it years ago.

Did you notice we haven't decorated the mantle since putting the Christmas decorations away?!  So it goes.

Happy Pizza Day!  
(I think it's Tombstone for us tonight.)

I Had Salmon Bacon Chowder for Lunch!

In a restaurant in small town Dodge Nebraska!  What did you eat?!  

Chef Michael Glissman made it for me. :)

Lin Schwanebeck served it to me. :)

And, because around here, we know that the behind the scenes and support staff are what make the world go's the rest of the kitchen!

Finally, here's the chowder.  De-licious!!!  

My daughter's pot roast. (a quickly shot picture while the sun shone through the window)

Roasted Amish Chicken and lemon creme pasta for my husband and mother in law.

The reason I'm blogging about our dining experience is because Dodge has a population of 608 and to have this option for a restaurant is pretty wonderful and it has beautiful old things in it!  It's called Eat Restaurant and is housed in an old bank.  Years ago there was a restaurant here called the "Bank-quit", get it?  Cute huh?! But when they closed, and these folks opened, I'm guessing calling it the "Bank-quit quit" didn't actually work.  Go ahead and groan at that one.

While you enjoy good home cooked food you get to look at some wonderful history too.  This is the vault door. 

The vault is small and hard to photograph, but the walls are painted an appropriate metallic gold 

and inside is a table for 2 to 4.  They are serving a Valentine's special I see on their Facebook page.  This would be a fun place to get to sit!

They have a wall to separate this area of a hall from the serving station made out of old doors.  Nice.

The serving station on the other side of the doors looking out into the dining room.

There are a few mirrors.

Looking in this mirror is kind of like peaking through a window isn't it? 

Much to look at.

A few more shots from around the small restaurant..










If you are local, check out and like their Facebook page to get all the information on their hours, specials, and phone number if you want to make reservations.

Our little you can see, casual attire is welcomed!

And, for supper?  a minute rice casserole. so I would have time to put this blog post together: irony.

Homemade Clay: Not Just For Kids!

There is a lot of potential in homemade clay!!  I just started playing around with it and really had fun. I started off with just the plain white clay which was all I was after and was really happy with these house "hangers".
Then I added a needle felted wreath which I was really happy with too, but I don't have a good picture of it.

Then, I thought about color.  

And, hand lettering.  I still really need to work on that, but I was just playing to see how the marker would work and such.

Some of the letters were imprinted with rubber stamps (bought at the dollar spot at Target!) before the clay dried.
Of course the word "mercy" came to mind while I was trying to decide what to stamp in them.

And, I tried some doodling or zentangling you could call it. 

I experimented with different ribbons and added a key to this one.

Here are some shots of the second side. 

I used soft pastels to do the "painting" and it was just the most wonderful process. It gives such vivid color.

As I figure out what works best, I can add some more descriptions or instructions for you.   

I used a knife to free form cut the clay for the houses, some of the hearts, and for the pennants for these two little banners.  I prefer that to the use of cookie cutters I decided.  These little banners were made with a different font than the ones above but still from Target and are only about 1 1/2" long.  

I was initially inspired by this post that a friend had sent me as an idea for the kids to do.  This is the same age old recipe that's been around for years and years.  I looked to see what was in the book of science concoctions for the kitchen that I've had since my oldest girls were little and it was the same recipe.

I sure hope to keep playing and experimenting with this.  Little to no cost, no need for a kiln are big pluses!

The Year of Mercy

This past year Pope Francis declared a Jubilee of Mercy.  It began on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and will conclude on November 20th, 2016 the solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. You can read more here and here and many places all over the web. 

This year has been on my heart since he declared it, so I've decided to have a page titled 'Year of Mercy' and off and on will post to that page.

A couple of significant things, I suppose, that bring me to this: Randy and I met on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and were married 11 months later!  And, contemplating Jesus as King of the Universe almost stops me in my tracks.
And, mercy.  Well, mercy.  When you've felt the mercy of Christ you are changed for ever.  And, He wants e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e to experience it.  The same could be said about His love and His grace.  Sometimes they run together to me. :)

Last night a friend and I got together to begin to discuss this book.  I'm not quite ready to recommend it as we are just getting going with it.  But, our discussion spurred from getting together was good.

When I left what stuck with me was our conversation about the love of Christ and the very unique relationship that He wants to have with each of us.

She said, "I think there are as many ways to know Jesus as there are people in the world."

My friend is a "daily Mass goer" and spends time in adoration weekly with our Lord. That information isn't to say, 'look how holy she is', but to say that spending time with Jesus reveals His tender, tender love for us. 

Even people who love God and have experienced His mercy have a tendency to put Him in a box so to speak.  

No box.  Commandments and teachings of the church, yes.  But, no box.

These words are from the book of Jeremiah.

And, while we often try to define ourselves we need first to look to Him who knows our hearts better than we know our own.

Turning to Him to look into our tortuous hearts is one way to begin to experience His mercy.

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

From the Divine Mercy Chaplet revealed to Saint Faustina who died in 1938

These photos were taken in our lane this morning. :)

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