Monday, January 31, 2011

Queenly Crafting ..... The Results

I promised in a previous post to show you the results of our snow day of crafting, stitching, crocheting and such.

These first pics are of my personal altered book.  For those of you who have never heard of such things, let me give you the quick run through.  An altered book is exactly what it sounds like.  It is a book that you, the artist, alter to hold whatever you can think up - painting, doodling, paper collage, journaling, black-out poetry, rubber stamping, general goofiness, etc.  It can be very serious.  It could be very crafty.  It could have a theme about one particular event, person, special goal, etc.  Basically you just take a book that you like the looks of with the intention of altering to suit your purpose.  Maybe it is old and has terrific drawings or pictures in it.  You might be drawn to the size of the book, even the colors of the cover or the title on the spine might bet your creative juices flowing.  Who knows why................YOU just like it. 

We normally get our books at the thrift store or the local library's "selling" corner.  Look for a book that has a hardback cover, it needs to be sturdy.  You'll want to tear out at least one third of the pages because once you start painting, glueing and adding interesting things to the book it will become quite thick.  You might have to overcome a bit of reluctance at this point.  We have all been conditioned to think of books as something a bit sacred.  Look at it this way - you're keeping the thing out of the landfill and it's a cheap form of therapy for you.  Now doesn't that make you feel better about tearing out those pages?!?!

Once you've removed excess pages, you're ready to get cracking.  If you are wanting to apply paint to your page, you will probably want to adhere several pages together to make a nice solid surface.  Remember you're working with paper, it will need some stiffening to hold up to your paint brush and not turn into a limp mess.  There are lots of books at the library that will help as a reference with ideas and techniques of what to do on a page.

You can also find videos on YouTube that can be a place for inspiration.  Teesha Moore has some REALLY crazy artsy creative stuff working on YouTube.  She has several videos that walk you thru her take on journaling. You can also get a good feel for how she works her journals at her blog

Enough rambling.  Here are a few samples from the Queen Mum ........

I realize these are bleeding over the right edge a bit but I wanted you to be able to better see some of the elements that I used in these pages - bits and pieces of old book pages, wrapping paper, smudges of ink pad
ink, artwork from Youngest Princess..................just about anything you can grab and glue.

Love this couple's joy in each other.  He's telling the story and she's giggling about it.  Totally Charming!

I haven't journalled yet on this page but it is ready for me when inspiration lands.

                               These two pages are mostly paint and paper scraps or stickers.

The page below has the sweetest drawings from the youngest artist.  I also included stamping around a picture that was actually a part of the book page. 

Princess Three is quite a talent with all things sewing.  Here she has used thrift store material - deconstructed from old baby clothes, vintage sewing trims and a bit of free hand embroidery to make a spring inspired cuff.

These last pictures are from Princess Two.  She enjoys her altered book journals, has dabbled in repurposing jewelry (that's a whole other post subject waiting in the wings) but she has really been bitten by the crochet bug.  She made a sweet scarf embellished with little flowers for her youngest sister's Christmas present.  This last project was a gift to herself.  What do you think of this?  Isn't it just the cutest!?!? 

Sorry for the bit of blur. (I'm still trying to get the hang of blog photography.)  The first time Princess Two wore this headband, she was asked how much she would charge to make another one.  Who knows?  She may have accidentally stumbled into an ETSY business. 

We've celebrated a major birthday among the princesses since my last post.  The birthday menu was amazing.  Of course, we took pictures to share with you.........    Until then, friends!
PS - I would love to hear your thoughts about my new blog.  You can leave a comment.  Just follow the comment prompts at the end of this post AFTER you become a follower (another painless step, look up at the top of this post - right hand side).  Your personal information will not be shown publicly.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

All Things Being Equal....I'll BE a Queen

I grew up in the time of Women's Rights and the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment).  Troubling times for sure.  Women were declaring their value by burning their bras in the city streets.  Marching en mass while carrying banners and shouting witty slogans that I was too young to pay much attention to.  Their concerns were not trivial but their actions many times were.  These women bristled at the thought of a man opening the door for them, helping them carry heavy bags, and pulling dining chairs out for them in restaurants.  Heaven help the fool that offered to help with a ladies coat!  Submitting to these gentlemanly acts of affirmation was perceived as an affront to any woman who had suffered under the hands of some Neanderthal that had existed somewhere, anywhere, at any time.

Sydney Womens Rights Parade

Even as a child I thought this type of reaction to civility was nonsense.  Who doesn't want help when the bags are heavy??  Likewise, if I have to burn my bra to convince you that I am worthy of consideration I have probably wasted a very useful piece of lingerie.  I have also negated any serious discussion with men because.....hello?!?.....they don't wear bras and are perfectly okay with women NOT wearing them.  (Not really sure who's brainchild that "shocking" bit of frippery was.........must have been a confused queen!! lol)


One thing that I do remember about those interesting times is the word EQUAL.  As in "Equal Work for Equal Pay". This certainly was an inequity that needed to be addressed.   Score one for the girls and thanks for the equal wages!

Policital Equality

My post today is to address the second sentiment, EQUALITY,  that was plastered across every newspaper and magazine in the country.  When I think of women being equal to men this is what pops up in my mind --


We were being taught in school to see that both sides of the equal sign were the same.  Unfortunately women around this great land embraced the notion that they were and should want to be the same as a man.  Maybe that's what all the bra burning was about.....................  They demanded liberation that gave them the "freedom" to dress in men's clothes, yank their hair back in unflattering ways or chop it off all together, shunned beauty products, basic feminine hygiene and placed their sweet feet in cast off army boots so no one would be confused about how much of a woman they really were under all this neglect.  Even as I type this it makes me laugh at how absurd it all was.  I just want to stand up and shout "Ladies how does it make good sense to pretend to be what you are NOT, while denying what you undoubtedly ARE?"  Queens should certainly be free to dress as the occasion requires or as she desires but are you really free if you think you must look like a man to be heard?

womens rights activists 1970

Eagles and horses are both iconic images of power and grace.  One soars having keen eyesight and views the world from heights most of us will never experience.  Another uses it's tremendous strength for speed and pulling heavy loads.  Their physical grace, power and beauty have been the study of artists throughout the ages.  Neither is jealous of the strengths they don't possess.  They do what THEY do best.  Eagles don't strive to pull heavy loads or befriend men.  Horses give no thought to why they can't fly.

 BE QUEENLY  (not Kingly)     


True Queens realize that they are certainly not "one of the boys".  Queens have insights, skills and power that are not natural to a man.  (Not to slight the menfolk, mind you.)  Maybe it's a tad "old school" to think this but I see that Queens have the ability to be respected for who they are.  Respect your own queenness.  Queens should likewise learn to respect the marvelous ways that men are men.  When you must interact with a man by all means don't come screaming at him with a burning bra in your hands.  See how silly that image is?  You probably laughed just now didn't you?  Dig into your arsenal of feminine insights, wrap it in respect, put your emotional overdrive on pause and NEVER set aside your Queen to be what you are not.  Being a Queen is NOT about his reaction!  It is about YOUR reaction and how you conduct yourself.

womens rights

Educate yourself on being the best Queen you can possibly be.  Read books that are helpful.  Observe.  Ask questions.  Think things thru. We have such liberty today!  Our foremothers would have a hard time understanding all that we are free to pursue.  Don't waste the gift of your femininity by setting it aside to be one of the guys.  It's just as ridiculous as burning your bra or asking a horse to fly!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And So It Was..............

As you are here, you will undoubtedly see that this is the first post of my curious new adventure.  Actually this blog came about as an assignment that I gave to our freshman high school student.  When you home educate, you can be extremely creative and set a few of your own requirements.  Her task was to create and maintain a blog,,  for the 2010 - 2011 school season.  In typical fashion she jumped right in learning on the fly.  Terrific! 

"Well Mom, since this is so easy, why don't you give it a go?" more thing to attempt, plan for, add to the "to do" list...........Not too sure.  But, I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I have several blogs that I follow regularly.  Sometimes they make me laugh, ponder great possibilities, consider yet another creative outlet but always, always they give me a little mental break from the dailiness of this castle.  It's like a visit with a good friend.  Who can resist an invitation to sit down for a refreshing visit?? 

That's what I'm hoping to achieve for you.  As you progress through your day, you might find the need to just unplug from the next task and sit down for a visit.  In our part of the country an impromptu visit is always welcomed, normally with a yummy something to nibble and a tall glass of ice cold sweet tea.  If the visit is a quick one, less than 20 minutes, we are happy you came by.  If the visit lasts until the ice has melted in your glass, we are all the more joyful you were able to stop by and sit "a spell".

Today you'll have to settle for a virtual No Bake Cookie.  My eldest thought this pic looked like baked beans "Which",  she said, "will not taste better even if placed on china".  HMS (His Manly Self) was going to vote for some type of treat for the official castle guard (the Labrador).  So much for venturing into something entirely new in front of the watchful eyes of my kingdom.  In true queenly spirit I lifted my chin a little higher, walked a little taller and resolved to work on my next post when they are not present!

I've enjoyed our first visit.  I hope you'll stop back by.  There will certainly be plenty of sweet iced tea to drink and more pearls from the queen to discuss.