Sunday, June 3, 2007

Fun Monday - Necessity is the Mother of Invention





When Karmyn first suggested her Fun Monday crafty challenge, I was sorry that I had nothing to offer. However, after looking around the house, I did find a variety of craft projects that I have finished. As a warning, many of my projects were not created with the motivation of generating beauty but with the intent to save money. The chair in the picture, was actually made by Daddy D's grandfather. I have reupholstered the chair twice, the fabric included here is a sturdy corduroy. My Aunt Cile made the pillow on the left, and my mother-in-law stitched the needlepoint pillow. (I am not crafty, but crafty people abound in my family and Daddy D's family.)


Although I am not a seamstress, I have sewn a variety of items throughout the 35 years in this house. When our sons were little, I created many Halloween costumes including a king outfit with a green poster board crown trimmed in gold and a kingly black robe with matching gold trim made from an old pair of my black velvet pants. Moreover, I made a Bat Robin costume, a fake fur bunny costume, and these two Stars Wars costumes among others. Being children of the seventies, our sons were avid fans of the trilogy. Luke is pictured in the Vader costume, and Dean is playing young Skywalker with the cool grappling hook, which was made by the creative Daddy D.


One year before Christmas when we were a one-salary family, I made a number of inexpensive plastic needlepoint items for gifts. Not only did I stitch the items, but I lovingly designed each gift to fit the recipient. Because the execution of the needlepoint is time-consuming but not at all challenging. I spent hours and hours watching daytime television. (Maybe in those days, Erica of All My Children was with husband number two. Was that Philip somebody?) Most of the presents were address book covers, but featured here are two tissue box covers. The one has an obvious space theme. The other features an apple tree with a different season on each panel. I am somewhat proud of my non-crafty self being able to make the French knots on that spring apple tree. Admittedly, the space box is a little dorky, but my parents appreciated this gift from their 28 year-old baby.

The table pictured here is one that I damaged by using the table to hold potted plants. I love this old school table that Daddy D and I purchased for a few dollars at a school auction in the early seventies. Those of you that actually are knowledgable about furniture and antiques might be alarmed that I used bleach as well has heavy gauge steel wool to remove the ugly black circles left by the aluminum pie pans that were used as drain pans for the potted plants. I do rather like the results. Since both Daddy D and I both teach in this school system, we treasure this table, which in one of the drawers has a former kindergarten teacher's name, Kemper, written in crayon.

Those are some my efforts at being a craftswoman. Hurry to Karmyn's Dreaming What Ifs... to see how the other participants rose to the challenge showing us their crafty side....by posting something that was handmade....junior high shop table, scrapbook pages, burnt meatloaf, knitting projects, muffins, whatever....

32 comments:

Karmyn R said...

Being a child of the 70's - I LOVE LOVE LOVE those Halloween costumes! AWESOME!

I remember my grandma making those kleenex box covers too - I think I might of as well. (they've long since disappeared)

Willowtree said...

Hey, there's some really good stuff there. But I have to admit that I had a hard time concentrating after I read "Luke is pictured in the Vader costume, and Dean is playing young Skywalker" with absolutely no hint of irony!

Margaret said...

I think you are VERY crafty. I could do none of this!

min said...

Wow! You can do everything. Now I'm depressed...

Luke said...

And I never even said, "Dean...Dean, I am your brother!"

melissa said...

I love all of this! I have to admit, one of the reasons I like quilting is that, in the end, I spent money on something I can actually use - and save money on the heating bill! :)

Those costumes rock!

Pamela said...

all in all - you are well rounded in your craftiness.

I remember making Karmyn a Clown costume -- when she was small. I saw it not too long ago when I was going through some boxes.

Tiger Lamb Girl said...

I know what you mean about the bleach and steel wool. Actually, I didn't use bleach - but I did use some steel wool on my project (which I'm posting this evening). Nice table and nice memories to go with it;).

theotherbear said...

Well, whatever you used on that table it sure worked, didn't it!
Love the Luke Skywalker costume :)

Jenni said...

I love that table!

A lot of the things I make are for the same reason--to save money. If I see something in a store or at a craft show that I like, I think, "I could make that for less." I'm somewhat crafty, but *extremely* cheap;o)

Hootin'Anni said...

....and I love each and every ONE of your projects!! I can't even imagine trying to recover a chair! Wow....color me so very much impressed!!

My crafty side is now showing....at your local Hootin' Anni's

Amy W said...

Very cool. I am sure I will not be making my kids their costumes!

ChrisB said...

I think we have come along parallel pathes making costumes. I love the table and have the used wire wool method on wood myself ( but fine not heavy gage). I would not have the patience for needlepoint.

Frema said...

Growing up, my mother was the Queen of Everything Crafty in our neighborhood. She made blankets, outfits, costumes, anything you can think of. And me? I don't even know how to sew a button to a shirt.

Joy T. said...

Everything is very cool. Upholstering a chair couldn't have been easy! Loved the costumes and the kleenex holders!

Tiggerlane said...

I think it's funny that LUKE is in the Vader costume...too cute! I've always wondered how people made those tissue box covers...and French knots are TOUGH. You are to be commended!

(Totally laughing at Luke's comment, btw.)

Beckie said...

I love the costumes! I think I may have to try to make costumes this year....hmmmm, I better start soon.

The table is nice - I love things that have memories like that.

Happy Fun Monday!

Woodlandmama said...

Ha! These are such mom projects. Totally in line with my post.

goldennib said...

I think your crafts are great. I like the apple tree tissue box cover with the changing seasons.

Emma in Canada said...

I wish my mum had been able to make Halloween costumes (when I was a kid anyway, she's able to make the for grandchildren) because I am still not over the plastic Laura Ingalls Wilder costume fiasco.

As an aside i totally did not realize you were frema's MIL. Good God, there really are blogging families.

Julie said...

I love those costumes! I do crafty things to save moola as well!! I have a friend at work that makes the kleenex boxes. :)

Bethany said...

Great Costumes!

daddy d said...

Much joy has been added to our lives from crafts. The thoughts about how to construct the crafts are really quality thoughts. You get it done.

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear mjb. My big brother was so obsessed with Star Wars that when my other brother was born in 1978, he begged mum to be able to name him.. and sure enough, he was called Luke! Mum drew the line at the skywalker part though.

mjd said...

Check out Mamarazzi late Fun Monday post.

Biddie said...

Great costumes! I am completely UNhandy.
SIGH.

her indoors said...

for someone who is not 'crafty' you sure did some great craft work there.

Anonymous said...

I still have my address book...........mine has Puzzles the Giraffe on it. That was the year The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo had a brand new baby giraffe named Puzzles. MJD also makes a wonderful pumpkin bread, but then she ruins it by putting in raisens.
Oh and ask her about the beautiful pot pie she makes. Way to perfect to eat.
Ruthie

captain corky said...

Sweet costumes MJD!

Queenie said...

Your brillant.
Love your globe, peace be with you.

JennieBoo said...

Star Wars ROCKS!

Love your needlepoint, too. Epecially the kitties!

Peace to you on "Peace Globe Day" 2007!

Sunshine said...

Seriously, how much am I loving the Star Wars costumes?????