While I was at Paper Cowgirls, I decided I was going to make a real attempt at finishing what I started. Like so many other people, I'm great at starting projects, getting distracted, starting something else, and nevering get back to the original project.
I'm happy to say I finished my Felted Crown from Donna Goss's class. I didn't actually take the class. Donna and I taught at the same time, so we traded class kits. My crown might have turned out a little less wonky if I had taken the class. The directions that came with the kit were very complete- but almost as soon as I had the crown cut out, I was off and running with my own idea. I sewed where I could have glued and used embroidery floss instead of sewing thread. But it was fun, and it is FINISHED!
It's going to take a little longer to finish the book I started in Lisa's class. With the covers, it has 16 pages to fill.
I've finished some of them, but like any journal, I don't think it needs every page to be finished right away.
As I do small stitching projects, or practice samplers, I'll sew them into the book.
This felted heart was part of Donna's crown kit- I thought it was a nice addition to my Paper Cowgirls journal.
Next step- binding the book.
I'd like to sew it, instead of taking my usual easy way out of using ring binders. One way or another though, it needs to get bound into book form this weekend- because I'm going to be a finisher!
Whenever I go to Texas, I'm so impressed and inspired by the style and displays I see in antique malls and shops. As part of Paper Cowgirls, we went to the Petticoats on the Praire Vintage Market, and I took some pictures of what caught my eye.
Teaching at Paper Cowgirls was a blast, and even though my class was small- only 9 people, I was stressed. Even though I was comfortable with my project, I wanted to DO GOOD- and I sure didn't want to let anyone down.
The night before we left for Waxahachie, I had dreams about scissors that wouldn't cut, glue that wouldn't stick and lace that was wound into knotted tangles.
I couldn't get back to sleep because
1. any situation seems worse in the middle of the night
2. I hadn't done a "practice class".
One thing I learned from Karla about teaching a class is to do a practice class with friends to get the kinks out.
Luckily, Karla had the idea to do a practice class in our hotel room the night before I taught. She made two samples and I made one- so I had a lot of examples to show. We did find some kinks, but we worked them out- and it let me be a whole lot more confident when I started my class.
Tomorrow, Karla and I are on our way to Paper Cowgirls in Texas. This will be the first time in years that I've been in Texas when the temperature is under 80 degrees. I'm hoping we can see some blue bonnets.
Karla and I are both teaching classes. It's my first time teaching a craft class and my first time putting together a craft kit. It doesn't sound hard, counting buttons, cutting ribbon, but it is. I mean, it's not hard work like mining coal or pouring concrete, but I didn't realize how much went into it.
I followed Karla's advice and made extra kits. She said "It's just as easy to make thirty as it is twenty". When I get home from Texas, I'll be listing the extras in my Etsy shop.
Thank goodness BOTH Karlas helped me put my kits together. Karla the artist figured out my presentation- tieing the papers and cloth together, and Karla the accountant meticulously cut ribbon and counted buttons.
And what did I do? Mostly I whined "this is hard......"
One think I've learned about craft classes from both Karla and Lisa is that it's fun to have extras supplies so everyone in the class has a chance to customize their project.
I was planning on packing my supplies in a vintage suitcase- something I usually have "in stock"- but I sold my last suitcase a couple weeks ago, so I decided to substitute this artist's case. It's kind of like a wooden brief case- made to hold an artist's paints, brushes and canvases. But it was UGLY plywood, so I did a little decoupage on it, using some of my favorite old papers- dictionary pages, old magazine, catalog and ledger pages.
Inside, I have lace, scraps from a stained Quaker tablecloth, ribbon and buttons.
Underneath, I've stored my class samples, extra background papers and vintage wallpaper.
The last time I was at Karla's she had her class kits stacked all together and they were so pretty- I had to get a picture. That is some vintage goodness!
Mrs. Beeton's book, first published in the 1860's in Great Britain, dealt with all aspects of running a household- recipes, cleaning, caring for the sick and dealing with servants.
I got my own copy of Mrs. Beeton's book at an auction last week. No doubt it will aid in the smooth operation of my three bedroom suburban ranch home.
That recipe for Ox Cheek Soup I've been looking for.
... and General Observations on Pudding and Pastry.
I do love this book for two reasons- one, it gives such insight into the day to day life of the Victorian age- mostly the wealthly, but the beginning of the middle class, and two, the illustrations and color plates.
Here's a scan of one of them.
It looks like it's a picture of those yummy puddings, doesn't it? But no...actually it's Chartreuse of Partridge, Pigeon Pie, Pig's Feet with Truffle and other assorted dishes of fowl.
Somehow those Victorians even managed to make vegetables look romantic.
The text of a lot of Mrs. Beeton's can be found here.
But I really like my original, falling apart, coverless version.
In the same stack with Mrs. Beeton's was another beautiful but tattered book. Crown Jewels has worn edges and is held together with tape- but look inside.
A beautiful presentation page.
Beautiful fonts and graphics.
And beautiful engravings.
Yes, it's held together with tape, but when you open it, you don't see the tape- just the old and pretty.