Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day! Mr Ralph Galluzzo

Happy Memorial Day to all those who have served our country.

My Poppy (Grandpa) Ralph Galluzzo served in WWII and the Korean War. During WWII he worked on the Yorktown, which when it was bombed had a significant impact on the War. The Yorktown was an aircraft carrier where he maintained planes and loaded bombs.

My parents and I were fortunate to have him live with us for a couple of years before his passing a little over a year ago. To me he was my little old Italian Poppy, bald and so New York Italian. During those couple years he opened up about his time during WWII where we were riveted with his tales of his jobs and the day the Yorktown was hit. We have 2 of his service trunks in our basement. When we opened them there are badges, a couple pictures and a long ribbon with "GALLUZZO" printed on it for his uniform jacket. The rest are a mish-mash of magazines and family memories. Even a handmade card from me when I was a little kid. My dad told me while he was growing up the trunks were not to be opened or talked about. Being present when they were opened was a touching feeling.

I got to know my Poppy pretty well and enjoyed spending time with him. When I worked close by we would have lunch everyday. I share my Poppy's love for construction and tools. As I strip the furniture I bought I miss him greatly because it would be a project for us to work on together. It's interesting to me as I get older how much my dad tells me my Poppy "would have done that" when I do these construction projects.

Like an retired elder, he and my Ma (grandma) lived in Florida where no matter which time of night we showed up they would be ready with Naval oranges in hand, like any Italian family, ready to fed us. My Poppy had a small but quick sense of humor where he would interject something totally out of nowhere. One night my Ma ran out of serving dishes and apologized for using a tupperware container where my Poppy quickly replied "it's the best looking tupperware container I have ever seen." That one still makes me laugh.

I sit here with a tear in my eye not for missing my Poppy but for the love I feel when I think of him.

And to all the other service men, women and children involved and effected, I give a Thank You to all of you for the freedom and life you have given me the privilege of having.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucketts Old Store Big Summer Event!

Recently I have really gotten into stripping furniture of it's paint and redoing it to look brand new so I had to go to Lucketts Old Store, in Lucketts, VA, because they were having a major event. 2 days and 170 vendors including food and live music. Well I had too much fun. I went with my favorite shopper, my mom. You always need a second opinion and it's always great to have a second pairs of eyes incase you miss something.

The picture above it a good indication of how packed with treasures and finds this place is. In the end I walked away with 2 metals chairs, 1 wooden chair with a woven seat, a bottomless rocking chair (for only $15!!!), a small shelf with peg hooks and a little table. All in all I spent little and got a lot. Oh yeah and this wonderful table that had fantastic jewelry. I got a headband with fake pearls and diamonds lined on it. I felt very sparkly all day. Wonderful rings, earrings and bracelets. They were items you could find at Forever 21 but handmade and better quality for major affordable prices. The only thing is the headband I bought didn't have the name of the shop on it so I have no clue. I hope they post the names of the vendors online cause I want more from them.

AND of course being a redhead I have my summer initiation of getting a sunburn. I'm used to getting them. It's finally at the stage where it doesn't hurt but it still bright red. Oh well that just means a new crop of freckles. If I keep getting freckles I'm going to turn into one giant brownish red spot.

Oh and I found this beauty on the website......Look familiar ;)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

YouTube How-to; How-to Wax Linen Thread for Bookbinding

Today I have uploaded my first YouTube video. I'm trying to incorporate the video's with the items I sell in my shop or the projects I have listed on this blog. I'll be honest this made me nervous because it's a step in an unknown world. As I was telling someone today at work "how will I know if it works if I don't try." In the end I am really proud of the way it came out. Of course my male cat felt he needed to assist playing with my demonstration thread. I told him the new rule of the studio is "quiet time." He will continue to be a little boy but it makes for an interested life.

Stay Tuned (literally!) for more YouTube video's.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bookbinders Rejoice!!!! New Product...Waxed Linen Thread

Hooray it's Here! Hand Dyed and Hand Waxed 100% Flax Linen Thread. I am so excited about this recent addition to the LeslieGallery shop and hand dyed items.

I always had issues finding waxed linen thread in colors I liked or match the color of the fabric I was working with. One day I thought "Hey! If I can dye fabric why can't I dye linen thread." I started experimenting and found it to be wonderful :)

Plus I got to use my NEW backgrounds I mention a couple weeks ago. I think the light background make the colors look bold.

Check it out and Keep watching for more to come...Happy Craftin!

Garden Store Galore

One of the best parts about warm weather is going to the garden store. I saw this wacky sculpture in the chipped and broken pile. It is so out there that I wanted it but I have no yard and my parents would never buy it. I tried to get them to buy a 6' Leaning Tower of Pisa and was met with a big fat "No."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Charity: Knit-A-Square

I want to share one of my favorite charities...Knit-A-Square.

This is a great way to scratch the Craft Itch and use up all that leftover yarn (which means you get to make room to buy more new yarn!!).

All this charity asks is for an 8"x8" square, knit or crochet, and send it to them. They make the squares into blankets and give them out to AIDS orphans. If you're new to knitting or crocheting this is a great way to learn to control
your tension and new stitch patterns. Read the label of the yarn of your choice for the right size needles an
d gauge.

The "US 6" under the crossed needles is the size knitting needles you will need to use for that particular yarn. The "22S" is the number of stitches needed for 4 inches of stitches. the "28R" is the number of rows. If you want to know how many stitches per inch and rows per inch use division: 22/4=5.5, depending on your knitting tension round up or down. I tend to round up. It's basically the number of stitches (22S) divided by the number of inches that equal 22s (4 inches). Use the same for the number of rows: 28/4=7 rows, it will be 7 rows to equal 1 inch.

The same applies for crocheting. In this example they want you to use a G/6 hook, same number of stitches and rows apply. If it would be different it would be noted on the label. After about 4 inches of rows measure to see if you're staying within the 8 inch perimeter.

Basic Knit Stitch:
OK so now that you can read the label here is the basic knit stitch. When you do a "knit" for all the rows it's known as a Garter pattern.

1. Cast on the appropriate number of stitches. From our example we will want to cast on 44 stitches: 5.5x8=44, 5.5 is the number of stitches, times, 8 which is the width we want.

2. After you have cast on, hold your work in your left hand

3. Keeping the yarn at the back of your work, place the tip of the right hand needle through the front of the first stitch, so that it ends up behind the left hand needle

4. Bring the yarn from behind, in an anti clockwise direction, and wrap it around the top of the right hand needle, pulling it forward between both needles

5. Slip the top of the right hand needle down and then up towards you, to catch the yarn as you go, creating a loop on your right hand needle. If you were casting on at this point you would place the new stitch back onto the left hand needle, but as you are now knitting, you leave it on the right hand needle.

6. Then release the left hand needle, either by sliding it backwards to the left or by giving it a nudge with your right hand forefinger

7. Your yarn is now back to behind the right hand needle and you are ready to repeat steps 2-5 until you have knitted the entire row. Turn the knitting around to start again.

8. Castoff and weave in your ends

9. You're done! and doesn't it feel oh so good?!

If you would like to discover other yarn based charities check out the book Knitting for Peace. The cover of the book is pictured above.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Craft Itch

This is the last week of the Spring semester. I have been working hard, but what do you do when your craft gets in the way of school? Crafting is my creative outlet and when I haven't made anything for a while I get "The Itch." Yes....the Craft Itch. You know it. It's when you start looking at the flyers with their 40% off any regularly priced item, or the yarn you love is one sale for $2 a skein, or you have that one thing you bought and haven't tried out yet like a new shaped hole punch.

Crafting is the release of stress but it's a catch 22 when you have final projects and papers. I keep telling myself "on Sunday you can do all the crafting you want," but I need that release to calmed down the end of semester jitters.

The Solution: half hour to 45 minut breaks. What I do it get materials ready for crafting. I am cutting lots of linen thread for my new product line or waxing the already dyed strands. That way when I am ready I will be able to dive right in.

We all have the urge to be creative so make sure you feed the need before you go craft CRAZY!!
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