Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Altered Keys, Altered Birdhouse and other ramblings

Where has the last six weeks gone since the last time I posted? I've been busy visiting with my very good friend, Kathy, altering keys, altering a birdhouse and celebrating my hubby's VBB (Very Big Birthday). Oh, and of course, going to garage and rummage sales. Once the kids go back to school in September, there is a deluge of these sales here in NJ. Everyone is rushing to get things sold before the cold weather arrives.
Kathy hails from Tennessee and is a world traveler. However, she had never been to NYC until last month. As part of her birthday celebration, Kathy came to visit and we had a total blast. One day, we visited The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
It was an awesome day and we had fun researching Kathy's ancestors to see if they came through Ellis Island.
Kathy gifted me with the most fabulous fabric book that she made. Pictures just can't do this book justice. As you can see from the above picture, the spine is decorated with vintage buttons and charms and the cover is embellished with a photo printed on fabric, lace and a button flower.
The inside pages are made of fabric, vintage papers, and some of Kathy's beautifully painted pages. This book is breathtaking and I know just what I'm going to do with it. However, you'll have to wait to find out.

On another day, we visited the Garment District in NYC. We had a wonderful day exploring my favorite stores which you can read about here.

Of course, the Garment District isn't the only place to acquire really amazing embellishments and art supplies. NJ garage sales offer a wealth of possibilities as witnessed by the picture below. Yes, all of this came from one sale!

Are you wondering what I do with all this junque?
During one of the days that Kathy was here, another friend, Santa, joined us and we decided to alter keys. Making altered keys has got to be one of the most fun projects I've done in a long time. Using old keys and pieces from my odd assortment of junque jewelry, we had a laugh-filled day eating, talking, sharing and arting. If you'd like to read the article that inspired me to make these keys, go here. I plan on using my keys as pendants.
On Kathy's last day here in NJ, I altered a birdhouse. I had seen a picture of a birdhouse that Kathy had altered and was dying to try it. With her encouragement, I went ahead and had a go at it. If you'd like to see my inspiration for altering birdhouses, visit Kathy's blog here. As you can see, Kathy's gorgeous birdhouse is vintagey. I was aiming for vintagey but somehow my muse had other ideas. It seems she was in a glitzy mood that day hence the lace, sequins and ribbons.
One last thing, in addition to the beautiful fabric book Kathy made for me, just look at this fantastic wire mannequin she squeezed into her suitcase. I had been looking for something just like this to display charms that I have gotten in various swaps and it seems that a little birdie told this to Kathy.

On a family note, last month Howie celebrated his 65th birthday! It's hard to believe that young guy I married 42 years ago is now an official senior citizen. Here's a picture of him opening one of the gifts I gave him. Yes, it's Hostess Cup Cakes. I was trying to help him re-live his childhood.
I couldn't find an appropriate birthday card, so I made one. Here's the front of the card....
and here's the inside of the card.


  1. Judy what a great article. I had such a wonderful time on my visit. Your birdhouse is gorgeous. I hope you have fun playing in your fabric book and decorating Sassy. I'm working on getting my pictures on my picturetrail. It is a slow process. Thanks again for a wonderful time. It was priceless.

  2. Looks like a whole lotta fun to me! and now I feel the need for a hostess cupcake :)

  3. I love Howie's BD card - so sweet and original! Congrats on having such a wonderful companion for 42 years - and he certainly doesn't look 65!
    Your birdhouse is delicious! I love all the dripping embellishments - you did a beautiful job!
    And your altered keys are wonderful! Can't wait to try this myself.
    Your mannequin is amazing! I want one just like it!
    And doesn't Kathy make the most fantabulous ever fabric books!! Congrats on being the recipient of such a beautiful piece of art!!
    Thanks for sharing this post - I really enjoyed the photos and the text!!

  4. What a fun post and a good time had by all! Happy Belated Birthday to Howie! Tell him he's a sexy senior citizen!! :-)

  5. What a great time you had with Kathy - and the day with Santa! I'm just trying to catch up with blogs and was delighted to see the photos here (keys, birdhouses, treasures...oh my!). I love the card you made for Howie - tell him belated Happy Birthday wishes from me.

  6. Happy Birthday Howie!! Sounds like you have been having a great time! Love your altered keys and am now going to read the article.

  7. forgot to say: please call me if you are looking for a flea market companion- I would love to come down and go to some with you! Anytime! eBeth

  8. HI Judy,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a note about the Altered Keys tutorial I am always happy to hear that others have created from my tutorial (sometimes I wonder if people actualy read what I write LOL) You made some gorgeous pieces and I loved your collection of goodies you had to work with.
    If you would like to have even more fun and share in swaps, challenges and more, please come and join me on PDA. Membership is free and open to anyone interested in the altered and paper arts. Here is the link:

    kim aka imagesbykim