Apr 28, 2011

"Artsy" Does Not Mean Crafty

So, I have had these jars of buttons for I don't know how long, not to mention bags and bags of other buttons, and I decided that I needed to do something with them besides just take  photos of them....

...And that is how only a part of the story begins. Do you have a story like that? You know...you have a bright idea, and no time for your bright idea, and not only do you have no time, but then you commit yourself to another bright idea, AND not only that, but you then announce your bright ideas to others, so now you can't even back out?

Well, if you are smart enough not to have gotten yourself in such a situation, then let me enlighten you, since I am just full of "bright ideas" lately....

But before I go on, here are some photos of my buttons to redeem myself - sort of. And the following photos are hints of my next bright idea dealing with paper...

Now, I am the first to admit, that I can be "artsy" and yes, very creative under the gun when needing to come up with something and needing to make "do" with nothing. But when it comes to "crafts-crafts," people are really shocked to learn that I really don't do crafts. Instead, I do "make-believe" crafts. Meaning, in photo shoots, or store window vignettes, or at shows when setting up, I can use wire, cheese cloth, bungee cords, tape, paper, and hot glue like nobody's business and probably outdo just about anyone standing in my way and run them over when under a time limit and I can hear Debbie Dusenberry of Curious Sofa yelling out, "Ten minutes until the doors open!!" But what I do in those circumstances isn't the true art of crafting that I admire so much in my readers' REAL crafting. However, it doesn't mean that I don't sit down once in a while and attempt to create something. And whomever the victim....ahem...receiver of said craft is....knows it is made from my heart, because God knows it is not from my talent.  :-)

So, in just a matter of days of each other, I had three or four projects all happen at once - all interesting projects, and on top of that, a good friend of mine, Debbie McReynolds, was flying home WEEKS early from NYC from her work...only days after her birthday, in which I had planned a belated party for her weeks down the road, and suddenly now her birthday celebration is going to be a week away on top of the other things I have going on....thus the sudden craft crash course.

I have decided to make Debbie and her twin sister a personalized gift as well as her grown daughter, Caitlin, who is hosting the party. Which by the way, I should confess that I have a quirk (calling it a "quirk" makes it sound less rude) that when under the gun, and stressed, I tend to "host" parties at other people's homes. So, I call up Caitlin, and tell her I want to throw her mother a surprise party, to which Caitlin is all thrilled, and then I suggest we have it at her home. Caitlin is still happy because her home is fairly new and we girls will help her get it all together and this is where I come up with my second bright idea of making the cake and then my third bright idea of announcing it to the girls. I should be glowing like a friggin beacon with all this "brightness" I have going on within me lately.

Okay, so never mind that my basement is STILL not organized or my studio and my stuff is all over the place, so I drag my goodies all upstairs to our tiny table to do my "crafting." And never mind that it has been about 20 years since I decorated any type of cake other than to stick birthday candles on it, and never mind that I don't even own cake pans....and never mind that I am leaving for the lake in three days for vacation. Now, will someone out there please tell me that I am not the only that has time management problems and feels that somehow I am exempt from have only 24 hours in a day?

Well, my project was to make the girls corsages for the party out of French collars. And I will show you the results and steps in the next posting. And I did make the cake...which looked pretty good, but it was dry as hell and tasted worse. (Note to self...bring back up cheesecake to party to EAT and bring "pretty cake" for looks only.)

But below, I thought it would be fun for you to see the "behind the scenes" shots of what it took for this very uncrafty (but artsy!) gal to make three friggin corsages and one cake....so sad....

My barber husband has this photo credit: He was on his way out to the garage and I handed him the camera and he beamed when he saw the photo and handed it back to me and started to walk out and then as I said to myself, "I think I can work with this...." then he stopped short, and said, "Hey! What does that mean?" And I, being so used to being so critical of my own work, I quickly said, "I mean my hair, honey..." So, I cropped it out. He is so sensitive for such a big, ole fishing guy. (I lovingly call him "my little Rose Petal" when he gets a little sensitive...but don't say anything to him....) But, to be fair, when I get frustrated over something stupid, he will say, "Your head is going to pop like a daisy!" And I will admit, I don't think I have ever seen a daisy pop before....but oh well, it makes me laugh.

 Okay, that is it for now. I know I always like looking at "behind the scenes" on TV, magazines, blogs...it sort of makes me feel more human because I can see that the people behind the scenes are human. I mean, I know they are of course, but it is sort of morbid of me in a way. Like me standing in line at the grocery store and I can't help but glance at the gossip rags that have the issues of the stars without make-up. 

I don't get "glee" that they aren't great looking without it, but rather, I get a sigh of relief that they are more normal than I make them out to be, and frankly, makes me like them a little more...okay...except for the ones that really do look fantastic without a stitch of make-up on...damn them. But then I convince myself they have the best chefs, trainers, imported water, spa days, and plastic surgeons and whatever else. And then I have to wonder, who is has the real issue here? Them or me for giving it so much thought?

I ponder this only for a moment as I push my cart out of the store and open up my little skittles bag.  I pop a handful of tart little candies in my mouth and decide it really isn't worth the energy to think about it.

Until next time, I am sure I will ponder much more important life's issues and I will show you the results of my mess. By showing you the mess....you can't expect much...all the better for me!

Have a wonderful and creative weekend!

From my house to your house,



cathypentonatelier said...

Oh honey that is wonderful....Just what I needed today as I slowly put my studio room back together after getting some stuff back from my old shop....

Brenda said...

Ha! Good for you for dragging out all your crafty items and actually creating something. Sadly, I dream of creating, but I stop short when I think of the mess and how I'll have to clean it all up, but one day I will create a space in this house where I can leave the mess out all the time.

Can't wait to see the finished products; I know they'll be charming!


Simple Daisy said...

Let's see...i'm not sure if I am more artsy or more crafty! Probably more crafty:)
I love the behind the scenes look at your artsy-ness:):)

I love your blog! It's so beautiful!

ps...i'm having a little give-away on my blog! Stop on over if you have a minute!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

I cannot wait to see what you created ~ It looks like it is awesome!!


Sweet Old Vintage said...

Hi Elizabeth... it is always so much fun to read your posts... I hope we get to see the results..... I seem to be a bit like you... when I work I really get into it .... I cannot be neat and I cannot be dressed in nice clothes... I just have to be grubby.... Then I can get my hands dirty.... You always make me smile and giggle alitte... Best wishes and many blessing sent to you.... last night much devastation in the states and prayers for all those who are involved...

Rhonda said...

I want to reach into your photos and create with your buttons and paper and laces!!!

Wish I could help you out, we all say that in blogland. Wish we all lived next door to each other.

I cannot wait to see how they turn out. Your beautiful mess is how my studio looks every day...it's heavenly.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

OK...so this looks like home...MY home and my own mess. Including everything right down to the countless jars of buttons, collars and crystals. I'm dying to see your finished projects...although it is so much easier to stash the stuff and dream of artsy ideas!
Loved this honest and fun post! :)

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I always love your posts because not only are you funny, you keep it real.Your behind the scenes photos are just beautiful. Mine never look that good;) I can't wait to see what you have created:) Have fun!
~Debra xxx
Capers of the vintage vixens

Elizabeth Maxson said...

HI Cathy,

I envy that you are putting your studio together...an never-ending project over here in of itself! Thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

E :-)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

BB - who said I cleaned up my mess?

Just kidding....the TABLE is clean....the mess is just moved back downstairs again....hahahah!

Thanks for visiting,
Elizabeth :-)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Lori for stopping by - you will see soon. And Sweet Old Vintage - you always have my heart. I am glad you weren't blown away! We live not far from the airport that was torn apart last week, and hearing the sirens go off seems to be a regular thing lately. Growing up in Texas we didn't have sirens to warn us...usually the sound of cracking of tree limbs and mom yelling at us to get in the closets (no basements in Texas).

So don't let the looks of my kitchen mislead you to believe I was hit by a tornado...it just looks like it was!

Big hug
Elizabeth :-)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Rhonda...if you can bake a cake and decorate it in less than three days...then, yes, you can help me out. Letting a cake sit on a rack "to cool" for three days isn't so great. But it does make it stiff enough to keep the crumbs out of the frosting! I will be practicing again soon - I used to be good at it....operative word: USED

Elizabeth :-)

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Laura!

Yes...stashing and dreaming and then dreaming of the stash...so easy. But, if I never really made my "craft" before, then I have low expectations, and so I can't be let down too much. It is the second time around that the pressure is on....sort of like when I would make a beautiful Christmas window display for my store way back when and the customers would love it and sometime in Jan I would be taking it down (I was always late...go figure) and the customers would excitedly exclaim: I just can't WAIT to see what you do next year!! WHAT?

And that is the very moment I had wished I had just thrown a box of prefab snow in the window, hung some vintage ice-skates on a sled, and stuck a pot of holly next to it and called it a day....haha!

So, as you might guess, simple, easy, ....second time around won't be so hard....took me a while to learn....hahhaha!

Elizabeth :-)

Summerland Style said...

I can't tell you how much time I've wasted trying to convince people that I'm not crafty either -- I totally get it! You wouldn't be you if you didn't have a million things going on at once. I honestly think you could power a mid-sized town on your energy alone (and make it look pretty too ; )

Shawn Seay said...

i am very excited to see the end product:)
have a lovely day!

MJ said...

Hi Elizabeth...it seems like forever since I spoke to you! You still inspire me everyday and love to see what your up to.

Im still following your advice and going for my dream and doing it my way!

Lucky 7 Design

Lana Manis said...

Elizabeth, even your non-crafty in-progress crafts are beautiful!

I find that I do some of my best creating when under pressure and running out of time.

Can't wait to see the finished products! :)

Tamra said...

Ok, so you put your pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us, you have bad hair days and maybe run around like a chicken with it's head cut off just like the rest of us......I still think you rock!

I do have to say that I am known for getting the great idea to transform and room and start painting at 3:00 in the aternoon in the hopes of finishing before bed, so I know what you mean when you say there's not enough hours in the day for artistic minded people like us. lol

Beautiful pictures!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Nia! Yeah...I totally get that you aren't crafty...but looking at your furniture, I totally get that you are truly gifted! Love that you visit and I love your adventures as well.

Always happy to have you stop by.


Elizabeth Maxson said...


PANTS?? Who said I was wearing pants while I do crafts? Haha.

But yes, I put on my skivvies just like everyone else...but that day, mine had some frosting on it...

Ha-ha. Thanks for making me laugh.

Much love,

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Melanie....I peek in on you now and again and I can see you are doing much more than following my advice because you are doing just fab! Very proud of you and happy for you too.

Thanks for taking time out of your very busy day to stop by!

Valerie (Favorite Stops Along the Way) said...

Thank you for being real. How many times have I taken on so much more than what I really have time to do? Your kitchen still looks great. A fun life gets messy sometimes. I love seeing your creations, and look forward to more postings.

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Elizabeth,
Only the best artist with creative soul has bits of this and that, enough things to get busy creating! your right things we garther are not crafts to us, its all in the way you create with it that makes it a masterful piece of art! :)

I am tearing through things as I write getting my things in order so I can have my head in the right place for creating!

Come look at my last 2 postings you will see what I have done with my old wire and aviary wire from an old cage, I created something that would be fitting for your style as well!

Wish we lived CLOSER girl!!! we would have CRAZY fun creating!! :)

Have a beautiful mess!
Keep inspiring beautiful messes!!


Brenda Pruitt said...

You sound a lot like me. Given to flights of fancy, then having to think of rather fanciful ways of accommodating them! Your jars of buttons are works of art in themselves, though you already know that. And you know, since my girls are grown, I don't think I even own a cake pan now myself...

Elizabeth Maxson said...


I love your birdcage project! I am totally going to try making one in the future....and will show you when I am done. Thanks for sharing and stopping by. Love it when you do - always such a treat for me :-)

Big hug

Anne Marie said...

your house looks like mine lately! when I start crafting, I start baking, then between nursing the baby and other household stuff the house is soon smelling of a home baked treat and a crafty mess

i wouldn't have it any other way - I'd be right at home at your place :)

Stephanie said...

I couldn't stop laughing when I read this! I am known for doing things like this, too. I once threw a dinner party on short notice only to have my food processor shred itself in the frosting! Thank goodness for a really good bakery and even better friends! To be truthful I love the frenzy but won't admit it out loud!

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