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Make Day 2012

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Make10
"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

-- Maya Angelou

With March just days away, it's a perfect time to celebrate National Craft Month with your own Make Day party.  I attended one yesterday and had such fun. Everyone invited was expected to share a skill with others. There wasn't a rule on what kind of skill, so there was much to see, learn and enjoy.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Make11
The cookie station was especially popular.  Pastry chef extrordinaire Stephanie Samuels of Angel Food Bakery brought sugar cookies  ready to be decorated along with an assortment of colored icings and sprinkles.  YUM!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Make 12 Icing
The mail art station was also popular, full of rubber stamps, inks, stickers, tapes and papers.  Here is my daughter who proudy shows off  her postcard titled "Corn - Rush Rush."

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Make7

Now imagine a kitchen gadget expressly designed to make a square egg out of a perfectly normal oval egg. Why you need a square egg is beyond me, but definitely worth a go if only for the novelty factor. 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Square Egg Thingy Majingy

While we cooked and baked, we collected stickers for our hostess's sticker book. What a fun idea! Have you noticed how many stickers are present in the ordinary act of cooking?  Seriously, they are on your fruits and vegetables, attached to food packages, let alone stuck to every can you may purchase. Don't waste them! Make art with them!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Food Sticker Book
Our hostess's home is gorgeous.  Cathi is a mixed media artist who frequently uses recycled and upcycled materials in her art,so it came as no surprise to learn that her kitchen countertops were made from salvaged flooring from a former bowling alley.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Sculpture by Danny Mansmith
Every space of her home is cleverly organized and arranged.  This sculpure by fellow Chicagoan Danny Mansmith is made from thread wrapped around various forms.  Gorgeous!  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Book Rack

I love this merging of function with whimsy. The stack of books (which is actually a bookshelf designed to hold books horizontally) is topped with another of Danny's sculptures and finished off with a dapper bowler hat. 

By the evening's end, I had sampled this and that, but who could resist the baked apples? Not me!

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer baked apples

Make Day is just that - making shared with friends.   Here are few more ideas to get you started on one of your own:

-    an art journal table complete with colored pencils, markers, glue sticks, old magazines, and paper

-   a needlework table with yarns, flosses, fabrics, needles and embroidery hoops

-   amixed media jewelry table with beads, fabrics, ribbons, beading wire and scissors

-   aneedle felting table with roving, felting needles and upholstery foam

-   a basket full of easy to play instruments 

-   a kitchen canning corner with fruits and spices to make jams

-   a table set up with glycerin, essential oils and soap molds

The possibilities are limitless. 

spring! - just a month to go

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer violets
"Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer."  -- Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

Spring is in the air.  It's just one month until the official calendar start of my favorite season, but I'm already daydreaming of what I will plant.  

I am going to put it out there. I hate grass. I know this is a radical concept to those who fuss over obtaining the perfect green, but I don't see its point in a tiny yard except as a running place for my pooches.  I've left their play strip, but have completely removed the rest in the front and back. Daughters with strong backs and willing to help are definite asset. (Thanks, Sweet Pea!)  So, with this removal of grass comes a rich, dark brown, sweet smelling blank slate.  

It's too late for a splashy tulip spread like this one I enjoyed at Cheekwood several years back, but that spread of violets is totally doable.  It would make such a cheery greeting to the neighborhood children as they walk to school.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer tulips and violets

My little boxwood hedge is filling out nicely, making a lovely ring around my center herb garden. As lavender fourishes in my backyard with its southern sun exposure, I'm believe a lavender hedge would beautifully complement my bed of roses and asiatic lillies.  All I will need to do is a add a few  more plants as I already have several in the right spot. Something along the lines of this design project.

Flowering-lavender-proj-fbdcdy001 from garden-design-pictures.com
You would think that such a border would keep out the pooches, but clearly not.  Miss Josie feels free to go anywhere.  She actually rolls on the herbs, releasing their aromatic oils onto her fur. Insect repellant or is she simply being a very girly girl dog?

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Josie and the cucumbers

This photo was taken several years ago when I made the mistake of planting a cucumber plant.  It took over the backyard. Josie didn't mind though as it provided her some shade.

The southern end of the garden needs help.  I love my cherry tree, but that wall is a yawn.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer cherry tree
A trellis would support a clematis or trumpet vine, providing a bit more wow.  Trellises also offer garden interest year round. I love this one from Better Homes and Gardens.  Gorgeous!

From Better Homes and Gardens, bhg.com550_BHG141888
Gardens never are completed.  Some plants love my garden and some clearly do not.  Lavender -yes. Irises - no.  My garden is where I simultaneously relax while getting excercise.  And at this time of year, it is my place to daydream.

Ribbon and Sequin Lavender Sachet

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Ribbon Sachet

"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected." -- William Plomer

I love lavender sachets.  You will find one stashed in every drawer of my house, let alone in each yarn bin of my craft closet.  They smell wonderful and are a natural alternative to moth balls.  

Laura Foster Nicholson's Cake ribbon  was the inspiration for my latest.  This is a great afternoon project.  Make one for yourself and another for a friend


1 foot                   Laura Foster Nicholson's Cake Ribbon

1 fat quarter     linen or a 24-28 count evenweave cross stitch fabric

1 foot                   1/4" ribbon (I used a vintage pink ribbon from my stash.)

1  package          sequins  (These are a matte finish with a pearlescent coating)

1 bottle               Aleene's® Jewel-It Embellishing glue

1 spool                thread to match 1/4" ribbon

1 spool                thread to match fabric

1 ounce               dried lavender 

1                             rotary cutter

1                             rotary matt

1                             metal ruler

1 pr                       scissors

1                            sewing needle

1 foot                   tin foil

4-5                       pins

sewing machine


Measure and cut two 4 3/4" squares of linen using your ruler, rotary cutter and rotary matt.

Cut your favorite "cake" motif from the ribbon.  This square is roughly 2" x 2" in size.

Pin the ribbon to the center of one piece of linen.

Machine sew it into place using a straight stitch and only 1/8" seam allowance using the thread to match your 1/4" ribbon. Remove pins.

Place the  1/4" ribbon around the edge of the "cake" ribbon covering up your machine stitches.  Pin the border into place, carefully tucking under the ends.

Cut an arm length piece of the same sewing thread.  Thread your needle and knot the end.

Hand stitch the 1/4" ribbon into place with a small running stitch.  You can machine sew it, but I love the look of hand embroidery.


Cover your work surface with tin foil.  Pour a few sequins onto the foil.  Place the embroidered ribbon front of your sachet face up onto the foil and proceed to make small dots of glue around the center image.  

Place one sequin onto each dot of glue.  If you are having trouble picking up the sequins, try tweezers.

Allow to dry.

Once dry, remove the foil from your work surface.  Pin together both squares of linen, face side inward.

Using the straight stitch, machine sew around the edge of your sachet with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be careful to leave a 1" gap at the bottom edge that you don't stitch.

Cut the corners close to the edge of your stitched line.

Turn the fabric rightside out finger pressing the seams flat.

Fill the sachet with lavender.  I found it easier using a spoon rather than a funnel of any kind.

Hand stitch the gap closed using the ladder stitch.

Ribbonsachet6    Ribbonsachet4

Front                                                            Back

Your sachet will retain its scent for 2-3 years before needing to be replenished. Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Purple poppy mallow photo credit Larry Sanders

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt."  

-- Charles M. Schulz

For Valentine's Day I present to you a purple poppy mallow from my Glass Prairie series.  Why this flower in particular?  It is a member of the Malvacae family as is the cacao tree more commonly known as the chocolate tree!  And what is the best part about Valentine's Day?  Chocolate and flowers, of course!  Never mind that other well known members of the Malvacae family are okra and jute.  Pretty flowers and chocolate are what rule the day.  

Here are a few more flowers to add to your wildflower bouquet:

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Michigan Lily photo credit Larry Sanders

 Michigan Lily

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Queen of the Prairie photo credit Larry Sanders

Queen of the Prairie

May your day be filled with family, friends, flowers and lots of chocolate!

Thank you to Larry Sanders for the photos!

Victorian Valentine Collection

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer 1850 valentine

True love, to whom my heart is prey,
How dost thou hold me in thy sway,
That in each day I find no fault
But daily wait for love's assault.
-- Pernette du Guillet

I  never thought of Gam as a sentimental person.  She was an apron-wearing, straight-talking, practical person who loved her country music when baking.  If you did something wrong, you knew. All she had to do was give you "the look."  If you came under that particular gaze, you had little choice but to apologize and quick.  No, I never thought of Gam as sentimental, yet she had this lovely collection of vintage valentines that now grace my walls.

 The above valentine dates from the 1850's and is about as frilly as a valentine can get.  The large lacy paper rectangle is hand-painted with a gold lacy heart at its center.  Backing the heart is a trim of pleated tulle.  A hand-painted embossed paper book with a silk bow completes the card.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Victorian Valentine

This valentine is smaller, but no less senitmental.  A paper scrap of a girl posing, looking out toward the viewer, is set off by a frilly paper rectangle.  Cupid's bow and arrow hover above her head.  No question about it, the maker of this card was head over heels.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Victorian Valentine
A bright turquoise lacy heart set within a rectangle is framed with a pale blue scalloped border.  A floral paper scrap is at the center of the heart with the words "Be My Valentine" crossing its tip.  I have several variations of this same valentine, so I wonder if they were all made by the same person as a general valentine sent to family or friends.

Gam had the valentines in her powder room.  No, this wasn't a bathroom, but a space where she would dress and apply her makeup finishing off with a liberal dusting of face powder.  It was her private space, the space where guests never ventured (except for nosy grandchildren).

Now the valentines reside by my bed providing much pleasure and endless inspiration.  Here is a card I recently made that is definitely inspired by them.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer LBO Studio LLC Valentine Card 2012

I stitched vintage ribbon around a die-cut felt heart.  The little girl was a Dresden paper scrap that I photocopied onto transfer paper and then ironed onto white cotton, trimmed and glued into place. A scattering of silver dots made with Beads in a Bottle fill the background.  The whole collage is framed by a mint green paper set on a cream card.  I know I should send it, but really, I want to frame and add it to the collection.

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile blogger award

"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."  --  William Shakespeare

I've been awarded The Versatile Blogger award by Ansie.  Given that her blog sol y sombra has been a source of inspiration for several years,   it is especially gratifying to receive this award from her.

There are several rules to accepting this award and they are:

1. Add the award to your blog  --  See sidebar. 
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. -- Thank you, Ansie!
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself.  --  See below.
4. List the rules. - Check!
5. Award to 15 bloggers. -- See below.
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.  -- Check!

7 Random Things about Me
My left thumb is double jointed which is great for grossing out kids when teaching.
I love to make jam.  I have a whole new flavor experiment line up for this summer including rasberry basil, lemon lavender and peach jalapeño.  Oh yes, and violet jam too!
I was fluent in French as a child.  My mom  spoke it to me when were alone, so it was sink or speak. Unfortunately, I've lost much of my knowledge of it as as an adult and struggle through formal
French lessons.  I think it's time I just do it and move to France for a year or two. Oui?!  


A brief childhoold hobby was taxidermy.  It probably led to my vegetariansim, especially after stuffing a baby possum (roadkill) that stretched.  Eeeewww!

I've traveled around three continents (North America, Europe, Australia) and lived on two (North America and Europe).  


I love to read travel journals.  They temporarily satiate my wanderlust given that I'm now fairly rooted.  I'd love to pack the bag and hike across the British Lake District or eat my way across India.


My entire name consists of family last names.

I pass along The Versatile Blogger award to these great bloggers:

Joetta Maue

Krisitn Nichols


Helle Jorgenson

Joyce Owens

Cinnamon Cooper

Penelope Dullaghan

Rebecca Ringquist

Danny Mansmith

Anna Bondoc

Juju Vail

I've only posted eleven, primarily as my computer has crashed twice as I've been writing, so I think it's telling me to go to my studio.  Please check out these bloggers.  I am sure you will be as wowed by what they say and do as I am.  


Valentine's Day Coasters / Placemat / Decoration


©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Valentine's Decoration


"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."  --  Albert Einstein

I love Valentine's Day!  All the pink and red.  These quick decorations can be completed in under a 20 minutes each and are great to do with children (7 and older).


die cut felt heart (approximately 3" for the small and 5" for the large)

Aleene's® Jewel-It Embellishing Glue

Flat sequins (I chose red, for the red heart)

Tulip® Beads in a Bottle Paint (pearl pink for the red heart, semiprecious gold for the small pink heart and semiprecious silver and gemstone red for the large pink heart)


small piece of aluminum foil (3" x 3"



©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer red heart

For the red heart-


Squeeze dots of glue around the edge of the heart.

Sqeeze a small amount of glue onto the foil.

Pour out a small amount of sequins near the foil.

Dip the toothpick lightly into the glue.

Use the toothpick to pick up the sequins and position them into place on the heart.  You may need a 2nd toothpick (without any glue on its tip) to push the sequin into place.

Once dry, use the Pearl Pink Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dots.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample,  follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Tulip® Beads in Bottle application

For the small pink heart - 


Use the Semiprecious Gold Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dot working your way from the interior to exterior of the heart.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample, follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Valentine craft


For the large pink heart - 

Use the Gemstone Red Beads in a Bottle to fill the interior of the heart with random dots.  Use Semiprecious Silver Beads in a Bottle to squeeze random dots along the perimeter.  If you have a heart with a lacy pattern as those in the sample, follow along the die cut pattern.

Allow to dry before moving.


©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Valentine DIY coaster


Hang your collection from a chandelier.  Install them on the wall.  I scattered mine throughout the house for use as coasters.   

Bead and Paper Sculpture at DCWV, CHA Winter 2012 Trade Show



"Sculpture and painting have the effect of teaching us manners

and abolishing hurry." --  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once again DCWV (Die Cuts with a View) blew me away with their display. They recently acquired Blue Moon Beads, so the display was this fantastical mixture of bead and paper.  


I loved the aquatic, coral reef section. Check out how the layers of different papers create the base of the coral.  The fish has such a sense of grace and movement.



The aviary was equally spectacular.  The parrot has layers of different papers for the feathers and a beaded beak.  Papers are further cut and curled to create the flowers and leaves.


This bird has serious personality!


The tucan sported a paper and glitter beak.  I've decided that I'm in love with glitter!


And the peacock!  Really, too spectacular for words.  It was fun to watch folks walk by the display stopping dead in their tracks.  Everyone was gawking, soaking in the rays of inspiration.


knitted stools and chairs

Wool-stool-md107386_vert photo by Christopher Barker

"The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there."  --  Ellie Rodriguez

The knitted stool covers in the January 2012 issue of Martha Stewart had me drooling.  Since then I've become a bit obsessed with the idea of knitting my own. Not just stools, but full arm chairs.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer chair covers knit with Bernat yarns

There was oodles of inspiration at the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Winter 2012 Trade Show. I adored the chairs featured by Bernat.  How simple!  An Ikea chair, a basic stitch pattern, and several weekends of knitting. (Okay, maybe a month or two).  


Adorable!  I'd love one like this for my studio.  Don't have time for a full arm chair? Crochet a few flowers and stitch or glue them to a slip cover.  Yes, too dang cute.  

Did you know that there is an entire blog dedicated to the subject of knitted chairs?!  In this case, the knitted slip covers mask those horrible plastic chairs found in nearly every American backyard. Whimsical and clever, you really have to see the entire collection.  There is even a free pattern to make your own!

3817830670_802d389ff6  image from knittedchairs.wordpress.com/

Lynn Garrett of BiscuitScout takes custom orders for those who don't know how to knit.  Imagine curled up with a good book in your favorite aran sweater on your favorite aran chair! *swoon*

Il_570xN.145201314 from biscuitscout.etsy.com

For my desk, I'm thinking this pattern from Berrocco might be just the thing.

 Situate_op from Berrocco

But my favorite, my truly-favorite-gotta-try is this chair from the 2007 Vogue Holiday issue designed by Nicky Epstein.  Wow!

1543_2_-1 knit upholstery vogue knitting holiday 2007 nicky epstein

Lion Brand Yarns Fashion Show, CHA Winter 2012

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Lion Brand Yarns 2012 Winter Fashion Show


"The finest clothing made is a person's skin, but, of course, society demands something more than this."  --  Mark Twain

The highlight for me at this year's Craft and Hobby Association's Winter Trade Show was the Lion Brand® Yarn fashion show moderated with Vanna White.  She is of course a stitcher herself with a her own line of yarns distributed by Lion Brand®.

The designers were all either in school or recent graduates from around the world.  I unfortunately was so busy oggling the lovely designs, that I forgot to write down the designers' names!  My apologies to all!  Your work is fantastic!

I love the piece above using basic neutrals in a bold, graphic manner.  The mustard beret adds a jaunty touch to the ensemble.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Lion Brand Yarns 2012 Winter Fashion Show

Isn't this dress fab!  Not terribly functional, but definitely fun!  I loved how it moved as the model walked.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Lion Brand Yarns 2012 Winter Fashion Show

Texture in knits is definitely trending.  Here is a great example of it used along the arms while picking up the intarsia colorwork.  And the hat!  A vegetarian fur hat! Gush!


Here you have neutrals worked in horizontal stripes with shots of texture and color. 


And for a little evening glam....!  I've never been a huge fan of heavily textured yarns, but here they are worked to gorgeous effect!  I'm reminded of plummage and Art Deco fashion.  Lovely!  Ms. White seems to agree.