My grandmother, Helen I Byers, was an avid collector & crafter. I was entrusted with her collections and craft materials & tools. While looking through my own stash of ribbon I found a box of her (now) vintage rayon yarn-acetate film ribbon. She had a large collection of ribbon for every holiday and every occasion. I use to look at them just for the love of studying the bright shiny colors. This box of ribbon was always special to me. Light would reflect off of these magical satiny bundles of color like no other ribbon I had ever seen. The visible fibers are soft to the touch and the shiny back made bow making easy.
I have tried to find the companies that produced these ribbons. I have only been able to find a few people selling spools of the "Facil Fab" - "Satin-Glo" ribbon. If anyone knows more about this ribbon, the manufactures and dates, please let me know. I know that they would have to be after WWII with the advent of synthetic materials. My guess would be 1950's.
Below are more detailed photos with attention to the labels.
The trees are ablaze with color and almost every porch has at least one decoration heralding the harvest season. I wanted to celebrate using my swirling designs to create a lace-like window cling. What better design than a pumpkin. When working with liquid polymer in this way, always remember to think in terms of shape. No hard edges or points. Any sharp points will turn into a soft round points. Below you will find a tour of the making of the above lace pumpkin window cling.
I was given a chance to combine polymer clay and digital art when in school. Since I have always had a soft spot for liquid polymer, I decided to use liquid polymer panels with oil paint added. The theme was "Perspective". Depending on how we look at anything depends on what it means to us. I created a design that can only exist in 2 dimensional space. This was scanned and used as a template for the design in Photoshop (photo editing program). I then went straight to work to create my color/texture. I wanted to photograph the baked panels with the natural sunlight back-lightening them. Below is a very truncated pictorial tour of my project.
Below are the final panels that were placed onto a sliding glass door on a sunny day. I took high resolution photograph of each panel close up. These images were then placed into
Photoshop to be manipulated to fit into each part of the design.
I tend to do my online work at the Loudonville Library. As of this week; to get to the library requires a trip through the sights and smells of the 125th Loudonville Street Fair. I can't believe that this day has reached 79F! It is good that the weather is pleasant for the fair-goers. The customary crunch of the leaves under foot and their dry earthy sent combine into memories of past street fairs and the onward march toward Halloween.
The fall season, for me, seems to start with the fair. The food venders take the majority of my attention!!! There are the local Lions club tent, the American Legion and Eagles all provide very nice homemade foods (i.e. beef/veggie soup almost exactly like my grandmother use to make - this is found at the Lions tent). Then there is the fried apple slices vendor. The apple is sliced while you wait and then dipped into a batter, deep-fried, then coated with cinnamon and sugar. This is nothing like the over-deep-friend choices we have today. It is like a cinnamon & sugar cake doughnut with a warm apple center. I would suggest apple cider with this.
For those who don't mind hearing their arteries hardening while eating, there is the Swiss cheese on a stick. This is what you might expect. A chunk of Swiss cheese placed into a stick, dipped into batter and deep-fried. When I was younger I could eat two of these a day (the fair lasts 5 days). Now one will last the entire length of the fair. For some reason it seems natural to have apples and Swiss cheese deep-friend. I don't believe that Oreo's and candy bars should ever be deep-fried.
Last but not least is an odd combination that can only be enjoyed at a fair. Fair fries and lemonade. Few places provide the thin, darkened french fries with the little table holding large shakers of salt and the invariable squirt-bottle of cider vinegar. Since the fair comes but once a year, I splurge on the outrageously overpriced small (or medium if hungry) french fry decorated paper cup. To wash this very hot and very vinegared treat down I must have a lemonade.
Buying a lemonade at a fair is a treat for the eyes. As you walk up your senses are assailed with the bright yellow lemons, already cut in half, floating in a clear plastic glass topped with a lemon decorated paper cup and all the makings of a very sour/sweet drinkable treat. The scent of sugar and lemons is unmistakable. On warm days like this it is perfect (except for the the equally thirsty bees). Once you have placed your order you are entertained as the vendor grabs the stacked cups, adds some ice and then shakes the whole kitten kaboodle a preordained number of times to produce the perfect lemony drink with most of the crystal sugar still at the bottom. Just think, a drink you can chew!!! Only at the fair.
Well, time to enjoy some fair food. Oh, yes there are rides and other types of venders, but they all lack the messy goodness of an elephant ear or funnel cake!
I have recently found my design notes for miniature foods dating back to 2003. I didn't start designing and making my miniature cookie cutters until 2005, starting with a clover leaf, hearts, dreidel and Star of David. As time went on, I was able to more accurately re-create my designs. I use the soft metal (I am guessing aluminum) that tea-lights sit in. I decided to use this as I had many tea-lights and it was easy to manipulate. It is regrettably soft and can be crushed very easily if a heavy hand is used.
I have made these cookie cutters when I had some extra time. I love the fact that once complete, I can experiment with any and all color combinations my heart desires. The "cookie" is made from polymer clay and the "frosting" is liquid Sculpey with oil paint. I bake the cookies multiple times so the multicolored frosted cookie colors don't run together. except for the leaves. I wanted to see how a "blaze" of color would work. I continue to design and slowly make these. I hope to have more by the end of the year.
These really test my patience. They are worth it though. I know that I have a unique design and it is just like making real cookies. The difference is I individually cut out about 100-150 cookies at a time. I leave the baked cookies on the tile the whole time I am frosting them. They stick on it, so it is much easier to frost them that way. Then when done, I scrape off any extra "cookie dough" and pop them off the tile.
You can see scans I made of my cookie cutters and examples of baked/frosted cookies. Each has a little note indicating the approximate date I made them. I couldn't believe how long I have been doing this and how fast the time has gone. I hope you enjoy them. Please note that the cookie cutters will look backwards from the finished cookie. Just like a real cookie cutter, when used, it would be turned around. The other sides of my cookie cutters look like distorted versions of the side I use. They are about .5" deep. These were meant to be functional for me.
These thin pumpkin accents are made with orange polymer clay and tinted liquid polymer (tinted with a trace of yellow oil paint). They are fun and fast.
1. Roll clay out to about 1/8"
2. Cut out basic shape using a round biscuit cutter or free hand
3. Use a needle (or needle tool) and create lines arcing from the top to the bottom.
4. Cut out eyes, nose and mouth with craft knife.
5. Fill eyes, nose and mouth with tinted liquid polymer.
6. Bake as directed, cool and you are ready to apply to your fall project.
Ideas: make multiples to place around a candle votive. Hand in windows. Use as table decoration/gift for guests.
My camera is well again!! Pictured above are some of my cross-stitch designs for miniature pillows. These were great and easy to turn into pillows.
To make easy pillows: (example of pillows above)
What you will need:
- what ever design materials you want for the front of pillow (above dmc floss & cross-stitch cloth of various counts)
- felt fabric, color of your choice, for the pillow backing
- thread to match the fabric used for the front of pillow
- what ever stuffing you wish to use (above has polyester fiber fill)
- no-sew hemming glue (what ever brand is the most clear when dry)
1. Once the design for the front of the pillow is complete, cut it out with 1/4" square boarder.
2. Lay the finished front on top of felt cloth (it usually holds to the felt) and cut the felt the same size
3. With the front design FACE UP on top of the felt, sew closed (with the thread) three of the four sides. For the square designs I went out one threat count square from the outer edge of the design (see photo below)
4. Once three sides have been sewn, stuff the pillow to desired plumpness.
5. Sew up the remaining side.
6. Cut off any excess fabric within one thread count square of the stitching. (see photo below)
6. Apply just enough no-sew glue to saturate the outer edge of the cross-stitch fabric. This will keep it from fraying. Let dry and you are ready to decorate your dollhouse in comfortable style. (see photo below)