I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pin Cushions

For the past two months, I know exactly how a pincushion must feel..
.many doctors appointments = the "pincushion" effect.
So in honor of the fact that I HOPE I am through with all the medical drama,
I spent the better part of this weekend crocheting some little cushions!
I searched and searched for patterns..
.my very favorite ones were on a blog that was written entirely in Spanish...that was a no go.
The other instructions I found were too cumbersome and had way too many rounds.
 So I just winged it.
Some had flowers..
Some wore flirty ruffles...
Some sported buttons...
All wore a small green card...
"Dream BIG!"
These were crocheted with vertical stripes...
And were topped with rolled fabric flowers and leaves.
Whether old or new...I LOVE PIN CUSHIONS!!!
Above is a puzzle ball cushion that I made years ago.
I found this at a flea market and can't bear to part with it..
It opens twice...once to show a thimble and needles and once to show thread.
I salvaged squares of old fabric and fashioned this one in vintage crazy quilt style..
she lives in another state...an Etsy purchase from my store.
Felted wool polka dot one was also purchased from my Etsy shop.
I have a hard time parting with objects I make...I feel very disloyal.
I have collected red tomato and strawberry emeries for years.
Whether old or new...muted or bright...
isn't it wonderful that women through the ages have taken
such a mundane and utilitarian object and made them more fun to use?!

Hope you had a restful weekend,
(and for my friends who need special prayer for upcoming events in their life..rest well.)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tray Made From 100 Year Old Wood

I ran into some 100 year old wood from an old farmhouse last week...(really, I was having a work counter built for the shop and I begged for some of the leftover "brace" wood..) What to do? What to do? Birdhouses? For sure...anything else? What about a tray?
So the hubster and I actually tackled this together with very little drama,
except for the handles...
I wanted big iron scrolly type handles...no where to be found...so I bought some dinky vintage ones...yuck. We found these at Home Depot...Martha Stewart and VERY reasonably priced...not exactly what I invisioned, but they will do.
 I decoupaged some butterflies on the inset part of the handle and I rather like the look.
The wood is tongue and (in?) groove, it's hefty and a great size for outdoors.
The tray would also be an ideal base for a kitchen or dining vignette.
I carefully sanded the bottom of the wood and polyurethaned the whole thing.
I really like the look and have enough wood left to do a coatrack.
I am using the porcelain pear knobs for the coatrack "hooks"...both will
be at the shop this weekend.
Tray is $22.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Before's & After's & New Shop Service

My "chief scout" Susan found this bedraggled old chair by the curb.
Oh, she was quite the sad sight!
So with a little clamping and gluing and puttying...
A little paint...
A little wax and distressing..
Here she is...so pretty!
She will go to work with me tomorrow!
I also have added a little service to the shop that I think customers will find helpful.
I have begun a notebook of ideas that will stay on the counter.
Pictures from magazines (mostly Country Living) which show the creative use of  vintage items will be easily accessed by anyone who needs some creative guidance!
There are also pictures from magazines posted close to items in the store...for instance, pictured below
are several pictures showing the "new" way to showcase the "old" round oak table!
The pictures are taped to guess what? The real oak table!
Below are some end pieces from fruit and vegetable shipping boxes.
Taped below the actual ends is a picture of how to display them for a colorful area in your kitchen.
Old Readers' Digests anyone?
Can you spot the magazine article within the display of the real books?
Matches in this magazine article below are $16 per little box! What??!!
My version may be bought for $1.50.
 I am working on more covered ones: burlap, toile and ticking as coverings.
Helping others with their dreams is our purpose!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Drab to Fab in Under an Hour...If Everything Was That Simple!

Here's a quick little re-do I did this afternoon.
I picked up this fabric at Hancock's ... love the colors..
This material includes all my present favorite colors!
turquoise, orange, apple green, brown...
I found the stool at the thrift shop...ooohhhh, poor girl!
What  a truly pathetic sight! She needs the magic wand in the worst sort of way!
Cleaned her up...removed the old plastic fabric...installed new... wrapped the outside with twine and...
Whalaaaaa! What an improvement...

Hope you made somebody happy today!

* Little Miss Apple Crateness

So my overactive conscience has been carrying around a bucketful of guilt for the past few days...I'm almost over it, but there's still a twinge every now and then. Now that there is some space between "the event" and the present, I'm feeling a little better, really...I'm ok. Let me expound...
Background:  When I was 5, I attended the all-girl kindergarten of Mrs. Walter Doty...I don't know, to this day, Mrs. Doty's first name. Everyone knew her as Mrs. WALTER Doty. Every little girl (and her mother) longed for a much sought after place on the roll of Mrs. Doty.

At the Merry Morning Kindergarten, we spent most of our morning, tap dancing and learning ballet. We sang our anthem, "We're from the Merry Morning Kindergarten. We have a lot of fun in all we do. So if we make mistakes, Oh, won't you pardon? For after all we're very little, too."
AS you can see, I took all of this very much to heart.
I don't remember if I ever learned anything more than the alphabet and how to write my name..but I loved tapping in those shoes. (I still own a pair...)

We had a Christmas Dance program and of course, our graduation Dance program.
Our costumes were rather costly for the 1950's, but everyone paid through the nose and obeyed all the commands of Mrs. Walter Doty...
including our mothers who I think feared and respected her as much as we did.

My graduation tap dance costume was hot pink satin with a white tucked bib front and a black satin bow at the neck with matching hat. The ballet costume was to die for...a beautiful shade a sage green...the tutu was matching green with golden sparkles strewn all over...I'm telling you, I wanted to live in that tutu.
 (Personally, if I had been taller (and thinner) I think I would have made a great ballerina.)

What has all that got to do with the picture above? Bear with me, as this is difficult for me to confess. That little apple crate chair pictured above was built by MR. WALTER DOTY...yep, all little girls had their own red apple crate chair. We sat in the top part and stored our ballet slippers and tap shoes in the bottom. At the appointed time, we'd change shoes, push the chairs under the tables ("very quietly ladies") and tap until our feet were exhausted or our toes were crunched to death.
Fast forward:
My niece, Lauree, let me know that an antique dealer in my hometown, had some of those apple crate chairs. She dutifully purchased one for me and I've had it for years. It doesn't exactly fit in anywhere and I've had it stored forever. One day last month, I decided on a "let's clear some stuff out of the attic" moment to take it to my little shop as a display piece. There Little Miss Crateness sat...and I'd explain her significance to every customer that would stop long enough to be enchanted with this magical story.

Enter "K"....pictured below.
"K" and I  were kindred spirits the moment we met at my shop. We talked and talked and exchanged ideas and I just really liked her a lot. I had to run an errand, so I left the store in the capable hands of my son, and bid farewell to my new friend. When I came back, "K" re-entered the store and approached me with the idea that she couldn't live without the little red apple crate chair...would I consider selling it?
Yep, you guessed it. I did.
 After all, I had known "K" all of an hour and a half....I had this feeling that she would take care of  Miss Apple Crateness. So I let the little chair go...I launched her into the world in the care of "K". sniff.
All I asked is that if she ever lets her go, that she makes sure she goes into capable, loving hands. 
double sniff
 I know some of you have lost all respect for me now that you know what I did...but this young woman is getting ready to be married. She loves "old stuff" like me...she has great visions of the future...she is an artist...she is a happy bride- to -be who loved my little crate. She will be a wonderful caretaker!
Now that the shock has worn off, I am happy I made the decision...I will always have my digital pictures, my scrapbooks filled with kindergarten recital pictures and my memories!! (and my tap shoes)

Have a great life, "K"!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tip of the Week, Scattershooting

I may be waaaay behind, but I had an idea while breezing through Wal Mart that is guaranteed to save you money if you are a crafter! I hope nobody has thought of this before, but just in case they really haven't, I'm sharing!!
While being held captive er, convalescing from knee surgery, I was frantic to do something creative...so I turned to my old stand by, crocheting. I made these fat, little pin cushions which have sold well in our shop, Dwellings. I can knock out several of these in a morning sitting, but stuffing the pin cushions with fiberfill became rather expensive...so when I was purchasing the first bag of the stuff in several months, I was astounded to see the price...$8.97!!! What in the world?! The last time I purchased fiberfill it was priced around $4!! As I was grumbling to myself, I passed the pillow rack... hmmmmmm....light bulb!
There was the answer to a crafter's prayer...a HUGE pillow filled with you know what!!
I compared tags...all was well...plus I actually got more in the HUGE pillow AND it's encased in a cloth cover that keeps the stuff contained! Price: $3.00....now that's what I'm talking about!!
(For years I refused to remove these tags from all bedding...
I was positive that the Pillow Police would surely come arrest me..how dumb can you get?)

My "Also To Tell You" List:
Our little shop has become an "outlet" of sorts for a lovely NE Jackson, MS gift shop...when their season ends, they will have odds and ends left that need to be moved so that
new "holiday" and other buys can come in...therefore, somebody needs to take those odds and ends off their hands...enter, US! We will have lots of new things at greatly reduced prices...below is an example.
The iron figures really make a statement..right now we have a cowboy, soccer girl, man skiing, and cheerleader...we have them priced at $15. They are substantial and a very good size!! We also have
jewelry...wrap watches, leather bracelets, penny necklaces and an assortment of key chains. All reduced more than 50%. Some things are as low as 75% off. Secret Pals...take notice!
Here's a little happy that I also made during my "down time"...covered match boxes with vintage buttons on top...as you use the matches, you can refill the package and keep using the decorative box. I have them on sale at the shop for $1.50 each, but you could whip them up yourself to give as favors (however, not for children's birthdays or anything...but for your grown up friends. LOL)
Another item I recently found for the shop was this pretty Happily Ever After Celebration plate. The idea here is for guests to sign the plate with a special pen. "Bake" the plate for a few minutes and the signatures become permanent. The plates are usually pretty pricey...but since I only have one...it's just $10.50...it comes with box, directions, plate and pen. That's the great thing about scoring a great find, you can offer it at a discount.
We've divided the shop into two parts...the creative, gifty side and the collector's side. There are all kinds of things scattered about in both sides that you will find interesting, like these porcelain pear knobs...very Tuscan...beautifully glazed...I think there are 19 or 20...at $1 a piece, this is a steal!!  deal!

I just wanted to check in today...before heading to work..I have several blogs rumbling around in my head, and will post them this weekend. If you are in the Mississippi area, please, pop in to Dwellings...located on hwy 49 south just outside of Florence, Mississippi...we are smack dab in between the large Donna's #6 Produce and Magnolia Flea Market on the right side of the road if you are traveling south. We are the small brick building...Little building...but big imagination...Come see us soon!

Hope today is a most productive one for you,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paris In the Spring?

Summer days are fleeting...it's almost time to think about going back to school! Oh, wait!!! For the first time in over 31 years, I DON'T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THAT! I can hardly wait for the first day of school....when I hear the alarm...I will turn over and go right back to sleep! Oh, happy day! What fun that will be.

Knee surgery is a thing of the past..sort of..I was dismissed from Physical therapy last week and I actually worked 3 days with a minimum amount of pain. I have really dropped the blogging ball this past year...living in constant knee pain sort of knocked my socks off...plus opening a new business while still trying to finish my old one, was difficult, but this is a new day...a new adventure has begun and I'm excited...

What does this Paris pin and old hankie have to do with the subject at hand, you might wonder?
 Well, the answer is absolutely NOTHING!
 But I did find this very interesting sack at the thrift store along with some other items and
just wanted you to see that I am still out unearthing neat "finds" and slowly getting my life back on track.
 BTW: I don't like the term "junking"... I prefer "treasure hunting"...
In the same sack were these violet items....and even though the mirror front was broken...
 the mirror itself is beautifully tarnished.
Tiny porcelain teapot and cup and saucer...
A little French lady,  in all her glory...
right along with the other discarded items...hand painted, broken armed and broken hearted,
 I am sure. How do I know this? Well, here is what I think happened....
Oops, one more pic before I begin the story. The chalk/plaster Scottie was on a nearby shelf...
I couldn't resist him.
What do you think the story is here?
A Jackson, Mississippi, Southern belle has her heart stolen by a beau...
said heart is also set on marrying and honeymooning in Paris...
probably in early spring..thus, the violets...
However, things don't go as planned and over tea, he breaks the engagement and her heart.
She hurls the mirror at him in a fit of rage,
gathers all the sentimental items, rushes to thrift store and donates them to charity.
The dog? Oh, it's a Scottie and is now her only companion...

Oh, yes...all items are on sale at my shop Dwellings...except the French doll...she sold the very first day.

What do you think?