Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sneak Peek

No, it's not your eyes. The picture above is a little blurry on purpose. I've been busy working on some new things for my etsy shop and this is just a little teaser. The previous post also offers a hint of what's to come. I'm hoping to have have the shop updated on June 1st.

Its been HOT here - or maybe I am just having hot flashes - sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two. I finished my last dose of medication for the YUK that I had last week, so I am hoping that my body will get back to feeling normal now.

Monday, May 28, 2007


On this Memorial Day I like to sit and ponder a bit about what the holiday is all about. To express my sincere gratitude to all of the men and woman who have lost their lives defending our country, as well as those still in battles across the world. Freedom is so easily taken for granted as we go about our everyday lives. I think it's good to remind ourselves periodically about what this great country is all about and how fortunate we are to live in these United States. When my grandparents immigrated from Norway and Denmark in the early 1900's, they were so proud to become citizens of this great country and seek out their American Dream. My father, my father-in-law, as well as my mother-in-law all fought in WWII and fortunately returned home safely. For those who did not, as well as their family members, I just want to say thank you for the sacrifice they made to make this country what it is today for all of us to enjoy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Something for Me!

I love it when the postman brings me presents! Even if it is a present that I ordered for myself. Doesn't matter. . .it's still fun! This package arrived this morning to lift my spirits and get me out of the ickky-sick funk I have been in this week. I feel soooo much better today (those drugs the doctor prescribed are working wonders!) but this package was the best medicine yet! Oh, did I tell you all this fun stuff is from Artsymama? I am drooling over the itty-bitty flowers and velvet leaves, ball fringe, crepe paper, ribbon and wallpaper. She even stuck in some German Scrap images - how did she know I adore those? Anyway, thanks so much Kari for brightening my day. . .I can't wait to start playing!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Feeling Better

I am feeling a bit better today. Thanks for all your get well wishes. I went to the doctor today and fortunately the place was opened (see previous post). The nurse took a throat culture for strep and when the doctor looked inside my throat he said, "Oh my God" and ordered a mono test too! Fortunately it is not mono. He gave me a shot of penicillan and two prescriptions and I was on my way home! I am hoping to feel even better tomorrow.

I took a stroll in the garden this afternoon to see what's in bloom and I found my Coral Charm Peonies starting to burst forth. As this variety ages it ends up turning a cream color, but the way it looks in the photo above is how it got it's name. This group of peonies we planted 27 years ago when we first moved into our house. It is amazing to me that a flower can keep blooming over and over for so many years. My neighbor has some that are even older. Anyway, my DH used to work for a plant nursery which specialized in peonies and that is where we got these plants.

Does anyone have any plans for this weekend? With both of us so sick, we haven't had time to even think about it. Well whatever you end up doing, be safe and have fun!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I am miserable. Sore, hot, achy, hard to swallow, yukky stuff in my nose, tired, swollen glands, laryngitus, etc. I have tried all the over the counter rememdies with no relief. I decided to go to the doctor today for some real drugs. There was a sign on the door which read, "Closed all day Thursday. We will reopen on Friday." WHAT? What kind of a doctor is that? The funny thing is when my husband went there on Tuesday (he had the bug first) they had a similar sign posted. So I have to put up with this miserable feeling for another 24 hours until I can get relief. I hope they don't have a new sign posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Flea Market Finds

Well, I finally got all my flea market finds from the weekend unwrapped and washed so I thought I would share my good fortune with you. I couldn't believe how many things I was able to find in my favorite color combination - pink and aqua. The vintage glass ornaments (still in the original box) were a steal in the various shades of aqua and silver tones. I think I should have bought the box of pink ones too - why didn't I? Dumb! The aqua drinking glass is just like a set of red ones that I have, but I have never seen one in aqua, so of course it called out to me "pick me, pick me." The little pink Pyrex-type bowl and pink crochet pot-holders were irresistable. And the aqua cups will be perfect to use at the cottage. I have a small collection of milk glass that was my grandmothers, so the little candy dish will be an nice addition to that. The porcelein roses were broken off of something, but that didn't matter because I like them better this way. I already have a plan for the broken pearl necklaces, rhinestone earrings and the sweet little perfume bottle with the pink cap. And I can never pass up a few vintage postcards, especially the one with 1910 on the front, which happens to be the year my grandparents were married.

I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled upon this basket full of vintage victorian clip-on bird ornaments. We all seem to be in love with little birdies lately.

Here is a close up of one of the little bird ornaments. Some of them have little tiny pearls for nostrils on their beak. . . cute! And this vintage bird book with that amazing image on the cover is to die for!

Okay, who could resist this darling aqua sewing basket with the floral decal on the lid? Certainly not me!

And then there was this set of paper bird coasters. . .I just couldn't believe my luck! Somedays I go to the flea market and find nothing and go home rather bummed-out. But this time I really hit the jackpot! Yipee!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gel Medium Transfer Tutorial

Paige, over at Simple Thoughts , was nice enough to ask me if I could give a tutorial on how to do Gel Medium Transfers, like the one I made below. I was flattered that she asked and thought well, why not! I've discovered that there's a variety of methods to this technique. I will show you exactly how I did this one and along the way I will give you some alternate methods and a few links where you can learn more. I suggest you experiment with them all and see which one works best for you. Here we go:1. I began by printing out my image on an inkjet printer. I have heard that the transfer techique works best with a freshly printed image. Unfortuantely, I can't tell you whether this actually makes any difference or not because the copy I used was printed out the same day I did the transfer. I suggest you print out several copies of the image you want to use to allow for any experimentation and/or screw-ups that might occur. (Believe me, I have had first hand experience with screw-ups of all kinds!) After you print the image you want, then cut it out using a scissors or a craft knife.
2. Cover the area where you want to place the transfer with a coat of Gel Medium. I used Golden's Soft Gel Medium in Matte. I have heard that you can also use Regular Gel Medium as well, but I personally find the regular consistency too lumpy for my taste. Some people prefer to coat the right side of the image with the gel medium instead. I really don't think it makes any difference in the transfer. Again, I would say to try it both ways and see which works better for you.
3. Place the image, face down, into the wet gel medium (as if you are gluing the two papers right sides together - I know, it sounds scary!) and burnish with a bone folder or the back of a spoon. I always follow up the burnishing by rubbing my fingers over the back of the image just to make sure that there are no lumps of gel medium left. Also when burnishing, try not to let the paper with the image slip and slide otherwise your transfer will smear and be blurred.
4. Gently lift up a corner of the image and slowly peel it away. As you peel, check to see if the image is transferring. If not, burnish a little more. Now some people wait until the gel medium dries completely to remove the image. (If using this technique, you will need water to dampen the back of the image slightly while you rub the paper backing off with your finger.) I have always been too chicken to do this, for fear that I won't be able to remove the paper. So I just peel the image away within a minute of burnishing. But this is where it would be good for you to test the process on a scrap piece of paper, similar to the type you will be using in your project, just to see which technique is best for you. Also, keep in mind that if you are doing this in an older book like me, old book pages are very dry, brittle and porous so the result may be different than if you did it on scrapbook paper. I suggest you take the time to experiment to avoid any heart-ache due to unexpected results. (Note - if your image transfers/peels cleanly, you will be able to save the original paper, which will now have a fainter version of the original print still on it, and use it for another piece of artwork. It's like getting two images for the price of one!)

5. And Voila! Your image has been transferred!! If you'd like to read an article on everything you ever wanted to know about Gel Medium Transfers you can go to Zeitgeist Art Gallery. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of their page for step by step how-to pictures. Lynne Perrella also writes about how to do Gel Medium Transfers, as well as other types of transfers in her book, Artist's Journals and Sketchbooks. You can read an exerpt here. Also Holly Harrison's book, Altered Books, Collaborative Journals & Other Adventures in Bookmaking has more information on these types of transfers. Here is an exerpt from her book.

Whatever method you try, have fun with it. Art is full of experimentation and trying different techniques. And remember, sometimes the best art comes from those happy little mistakes we make along the way. Have fun, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Woo-hoo! - I scored this fabulous vintage paper apron kit over at Artsymama's etsy shop here. She has the neatest things in her shop and they sell out super quick...almost as fast as she can list them, so I feel very fortunate to have had quick enough fingers to place an order.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A New Week, A New Project

I began working on a new project amidst all the sadness and gloom we experienced last week. It felt good to escape into my creative cocoon. This is a journal I am making as part of my daughter's graduation gift. She graduated from college on Saturday (We are so proud!) Her graduation was such a bright ending to that awful week. Anyway I found this book, The Alumni of the Colleges, at an antique store and thought it would make the perfect altered journal for a college graduate. I am just in the beginning stages and creating the backgrounds. (Yes I know. . . I am a little late with this gift since she has already graduated.) I told her that her gift would be a little late. She is very understanding.

The page below was the result of a mistake. I completed the background and finished applying the paper diamonds. At this point I usually put a piece of waxed paper between the wet pages so I can work on a new page. I forgot about waxed paper this time, so the pages stuck together. I wasn't too happy about that. : ( However, I was able to unstick the pages without too much damage, so I applied more glaze over the part that was stuck and it ended up adding more texture to the page and I like it so much better now. I love those happy little mistakes, don't you?

The page below is my favorite so far. I did a gel medium transfer of the bird and nest image and it turned out perfectly. Sometimes when I try this technique it turns into a big mess. This time it didn't. Hooray!

Friday, May 11, 2007

What the Heck?

It started out as just another quiet evening in the midwest, when suddenly we heard a helicopter circling over our house! My DH happened to turn on the TV and quite calmly announced to me that a plane just landed in the street less than two blocks from our house! After what he said finally sank in, we went for a walk to see this with our own eyes Lo and behold there was a small propeller plane in the middle of a major 4-lane street! Hard to believe that no one was injured. The pilot made an emergency landing after running low on fuel. He hit some electrical lines and grazed the top of a Mini Cooper car, but that was it. Unbelieveable!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'm a Funky Find

Yesterday Jessica, over at Funky Finds named my Etsy shop as her Funky Find of the Day. I feel so honored! Jessica has a neat site where she highlights a different shop each day. Isn't that great? Be sure to check it out and see what everyone is doing! Thanks Jessica!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Birthday Surprises!

I added a few more cards to my Etsy Shop today.
My friend has a birthday coming up and I found this Anna Griffin bag to wrap her gift in at Tuesday Morning for $1.50 while looking for something else. I never seem to get what I go to the store for, but I always manage to come out with a purchase anyway. It's a little hard to see but the bag has a vellum pocket in the center of it. I didn't like the "to-from" card that was in there, so I made my own little collage hanger instead. I think she will like this much better.

More Botanic Garden Lovlies

I thought I would share some more of the beauty we discovered yesterday on our trip to the Bontanic Gardens yesterday. We have been experiencing gorgeous weather here lately and the result is quite evident in the photos below.

There are some wonderful pieces of bronze sculpture at the gardens as well. Below you will find a rugged sculpture of Linneaus, a pair of mallards, a heron and a fun little fountain.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Looking for Solace

We received news of a tragic event on Friday, so feeling helpless and a bit numb, my DH and I headed out to the Botanic Gardens today to commune with nature and seek out some peace and solace. I guess we just wanted to witness some of the good things that God puts out there for us to enjoy everyday. In reflection, we take each day for granted - that there will be another one tomorrow and you know, sometimes that new day just doesn't come. We need to take time out to appreciate each other and all that we have in our lives. And remember to always live life to the fullest, each and every day.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I have been trying to change the header image in my blog and I never used to have any trouble doing this. But ever since switching over to the 'New Blogger' it won't let me do it the same way it worked with the old version. All I can get is a teeny-tiny image at the top of the page and that just won't do! Can anyone out there tell me how to do this? I am obsessed with this and refuse to let the computer (or Blogger) get the best of me. Please help!!!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This and That

The new publication called Somerset Life is out and it is truly another beautiful magazine from Stampington and Company Publications. Some of my favorite artists are featured in it like Anna Corba, Michelle Ward, Pam Garrison, Carolyn Westbrook, and Angela Cartwright. And some new names (for me anyway) like Hanna Matthiesen from Denmark and Corey Amaro who lives in France. How many magazine titles can this publishing company dream up anyway? I love them all so I hope they don't stop anytime soon!

Ali Edwards wrote about spring cleaning in her
AEZine newsletter this week. All my friends have decluttering on their minds too. We all collect different things, but it doesn't matter because in the end it all takes up space. It is especially difficult for me because I have a hard time parting with things. I don't usually have things around that I don't like, so what do you do when you like EVERYTHING and can't decide what to get rid of? Then I saw Susan Tuttle's studio space here. What a darling place she has to create in! I love the colors and all the pretty storage boxes and hanging spools of ribbon and how the sewing machine is out and ready to be used whenever the mood hits. Many of you are lucky enough to not have to put the your sewing machine away after each use. I am so jealous! Anyway, after I stopped drooling over Susan's studio, I decided to reorganize my own art room - AGAIN! (Hey, I am a Virgo, so what do you expect!!) However, this time I am going to be much more ruthless when it comes to getting rid of things. I HAVE to be!

I think it is fun to see where other people create. I will post some pictures of my art room when I am finished. If you'd like to share your creative space (or someone else's that you love), why not leave a link in the comments section of this post.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day

Happy May 1st to all of you! I know people are sharing their May Baskets today and this is mine. I love pansies because they are the first flowers I can plant in the spring and I know they will last through the unexpected drop in temperatures and/or snow we sometimes have in this region. The "official" date for planting annuals in the ground to be safe from frost around here is May 15th.
"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
Edwin Way Teale
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