Friday, November 30, 2007

December Glitter & Grunge

I told you I would post pics of what I am featuring in Glitter & Grunge for the month of December. I just made it in under the wire before we leave to go see "Meet Me In St. Louis" at a local playhouse. I am looking forward to it, as I could use a night out right about now.

Anyway, these are the Composition Journals that will be available at Glitter & Grunge starting tomorrow. I thought they would be nice to give as a hostess gift if you are going to a New Year's Eve party, or keep one for yourself to jot down inspirational quotations, resolutions, goals, things you are grateful for, etc. etc. I use one of these for my paste journal to glue in ideas that I tear out of magazines. I'll try to take some photos of my paste journal and post them in the next few days so you can see what I mean.

Although it's not shown in these photographs, each journal includes a silver initial charm of your choice attached to the ribbon bow. Inside the front cover is a scalloped pocket to hold slips of papers, receipts, or other treasures. The colors used in these journals are cream, black and gold. But if you would like one in another color combination, let me know and I can customize one for you.

Also available at Glitter & Grunge during December, is this 5 x 5 "All Hearts Come Home For Christmas" collage.
And this little princess will be available in my Etsy Shop starting tomorrow!

Prizes & Swaps!

Yesterday Mr. Mailman was especially nice to me when he delivered two packages to my door. The first was this amazing Snow Cardholder Kit from the lovely and talented Charlotte Lyons. I won a drawing she was having on her blog and I told her I was "over-the-moon with excitement" about being one of the lucky winners. I am anxious to work on this kit, because I received my very first Christmas card the other day (can you believe it?) and this cardholder will be perfect to display it in. Don't you just love the colors? Below is a photo of what it should look like when it is completed. I will post a pic of mine when I get it done and we can see how close they match! The second box that arrived was from Tamy, who happens to be my swap partner in Donna's Vintage Tree Topper Swap. By the way, if any of you are looking for a perfectly gorgeous tree topper, Miss Donna has been working hard on some decorated cones, which I think can also be used for tree-toppers, for Speckled Egg's Holiday Gift Show here. Oops, I digressed a bit. . . anyway, isn't this white angel topper that Tamy made me the sweetest? I would have photographed it on my tree, but alas - I am no where near ready to put a Christmas tree up yet.
Along with the tree topper, Tamy also tucked in some extra goodies - a glass ball ornament and some vintagey pipe-cleaner candy canes. Thanks so VERY much Tamy!!!!
Don't forget, tomorrow I will have my Winter Wishes Swap reveal posted here. Oh and tomorrow is also a spanking new Glitter & Grunge update. If I can get my act together, you'll be able to check back here later tonight to see what I'll be offering for December. Well, I'm headed back to the workshop now so I can hammer out a few more holiday goodies!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kit Creations

The other day a couple of the kits I ordered from the Joli Paquet event came in the mail and this morning I had some time to put them together. Above is the Collage Angel Ornament kit I ordered from Little Pink Studio and below is the finished product.
Isn't she the sweetest? I added a little silver German glass glitter to her to make her sparkle even more, but everything else was included right inside the kit. Below is the Holiday Bell kit I ordered from Bluhm Studios.
And here it is all finished!ready to hang on my tree (if I ever can find the time to put it up!) Both these kits included plenty of supplies and easy to follow instructions. And I believe both gals may have a few kits still available in their etsy shops, so you can still get ornaments to make for yourself.
After making my kits, I went to the Make-a-Flake website and made my very own a snowflake. You can do the same thing right here.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This and That

I just signed up for an exciting new event that Teresa McFayden is offering called 12 Days of Comfort and Joy. Teresa is going to have a project a day, along with some additional goodies, on a special website which will run from December 1st to December 12th. There's still time to sign up and you can read more about it here.

Last year I made the advent calendar pictured above after reading a tutorial on Teresa's blog. I noticed that she just posted an updated version of her tutorial, complete with pictures of a lovely blue calendar. Be sure to check out this popular project here.

Also, be sure to stay tuned right here for the long awaited reveal of this round robin project I worked on earlier this year with Dawn of Artist Reborne and Mel from Little Melfie's World. We all will be posting pics of our finished projects on our blogs this weekend.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Catching Up

Thank you so much for all your sweet comments about my Christmas blog banner. Heather from Bluhm Studios made my little blue birdie banner, which I love so much. But I thought it would be fun to play around with making one for Christmas. Working with Photoshop can be time consuming, so whatever amount people charge for making a custom one for you is well worth the price. And I do think it is fun to see something new for the holidays on other people's blogs.

We made a quick trip up to the cottage this weekend....up on Saturday and back home on Sunday. Whew! My DH wanted to drop off some concrete blocks to use for a shed he is going to build up there as soon as we get the building permit back from the county. I worked inside making ornaments for special orders, while he was working outside. Here are some of them in progress, not quite done. I'll be mailing them out later today or tomorrow morning. While I was at it, I made some extra ones to restock my etsy shop.

Below is a picture of my favorite Thanksgiving card that I received this year. It is a reproduction of a watercolor done by Kevin Brunner called "Turkey and Sunflowers." The card is from Allport Editions. I just love it and will keep it to used in my Thanksgiving decor in future years. The little treat boxes are what I had at each place setting on Thanksgiving. The back of the box has the verse, "We are blessed with much bounty and our lives are filled with hope....for that and so much more we are thankful and grateful." I got the template for the boxes from Matthew Mead's website. He also has one for Halloween as well. All I had to do is fill the boxes with candies and tie a gold trimmed ribbon and viola!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Aftermath

I am soooo stuffed! Haven't gotten much sleep between celebrating Thanksgiving twice and shopping on Friday. I did find time to play around with the Christmas CD I got from Blissful Elements to create a festive banner for the holidays. Had to get up early this morning again (ugh!) so we could head up to the cottage for a couple days. I'll post more when we get back. Right now I just want to sleep! zzzzzzz!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Virtual Vintage Prom

Today is the day that Natasha is hosting the Virtual Vintage Prom Party on her blog. Now when she said VINTAGE Prom, I took the word literally and decided she must be talking about MY prom from back in the day. You see, my prom actually qualifies as a VINTAGE prom! Above is a dress that my daughter wore to one of her HS dances - isn't it pretty and pink and girly? Ah to be young again. The pictures below are of me with my prom date on the BIG night. (OK, stop your giggling girls!) Yes, I also had a pretty pink prom dress, but it is not quite as stylish as my daughter's dress. I suppose it was at the time, that is if one can remember back that far! Don't you love the high neckline? Quite different from the dresses the girls wear these days, isn't it? I look like I attended a Catholic High School (or convent perhaps) from the style of this dress. I would like to point out that I actually MADE this dress, along with my mother's assistance. We went dress shopping at all the big name downtown Chicago stores and we came across one similar to this at Marshall Fields (recently bought out by Macy's). I tried it on and we both studied it and sketched it and tried to remember all the details of the dress. Then we went to the fabric store and looked through the Simplicity and McCall patterns to find something similar. We ended up combining several patterns to create the best designer knock-off that we could. Just look at the sleeve detail....nevermind the blurry photo!
And what about this hairstyle? (Looks like a school-marm hairdo with that bun!) My self-inflicted up-do, complete with curly tendrils, was a far cry from the expensive trips to the hair salons that the girls have these days. Boy, was I ever a cheap date!
Speaking of cheap, so was my date! My prom was held at the Knickerbocker Hotel (formerly Playboy Towers - how inappropriate for a high school prom!) in Chicago. The theme of the prom was, "Beginnings" after the group Chicago's hit song of the same title. The hotel ballroom where the prom was held was quite impressive and even had a dance floor that lit up. After the prom, couples broke up into smaller groups and went to "after prom" dinner events that they planned themselves. I had longed to go the The Palmer House to hear John Davidson (is he still alive?) sing. But my date had other plans. He made reservations for us to go to Greek Town and have dinner at a small local Greek restaurant. Now, I have nothing against Greek people or Greek restaurants or Greek food. . .my sister-in-law is Greek and she's is a real sweetie. But eating pasticio and baklava at a neighborhood resturant while watching some old men do Greek dances was a far cry from listening to John Davidson sing at The Palmer House in downtown Chicago! I just felt that my date, being the worldly "older" man that he was (he graduated the year before me!) could have planned something more elegant for the big night!
And don't be fooled by this photo. . .if the men dancing on my prom night looked anything like the hunky men pictured above, I may not have been quite as disappointed with the choice of entertainment!
Well, I am off to go visit the other Virtual Vintage Proms now. Check out Natasha's blog for a complete list of participants!

They're On Their Way!

I finished wrapping all my little swap gifties late last night and packed them up to send to Heather this morning. At least Holly can see that there is one for her in the box...the rest of you, well - have you all been good little girls this year????

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sneek Peek and A Fun Event

This is what I was working on yesterday. It is just a sneek peek and the picture was taken at the very beginning stages of the project, so it really doesn't look too exciting. But I'm pretty happy with the end result. It's for Heather's 12 Days to Christmas Swap. I have to get them all wrapped and mailed later today. We all will start to reveal our handmade gifts on December 14 (I think that is the correct date). I can't wait!
On Tuesday, Natasha Burns is holding a Virtual Vintage Prom on her blog. Why don't you join us? We all are breaking out our vintage prom dresses, shoes, corsages, photos, memorabilia, etc. and posting them on our blogs for the world to see. Beware of "bad hair" pics!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Antiquing, Crafting, & Gratitude

Yesterday I went for a drive to my favorite little shop which sells new and vintage and handmade items. It is the best combination of merchandise I can think of for a store to carry. I dream about owning my own shop like that someday. I bought the little china nutmeg spice jar while I was there. I thought it would look darling on a tray filled with cups of eggnog during holiday parties. My favorite find of the day is the sweet caddy pictured above. The crystal pieces will be perfect on my desk filled with german glitters. The caddy itself is tarnished silver, which I think I will keep that way for now. Oh and did I mention that the whole thing spins?

Today I was working on some Etsy and Glitter & Grunge orders and also on the gifties for Heather's fun 12 Days to Christmas Swap that I am participating in with all sort of talented ladies. I've got to get those in the mail at the beginning of the week so everything else is taking a back seat for the time being.

I got an email yesterday from a friend of mine with a request that I couldn't refuse. I thought I would pass it along in case any of you might want to do the same. I have a friend whose brother was hospitalized at Walter Reed after being injured in Iraq and so I thought sending a card is the least I could do to show my gratitude and brighten a soldier's day. Here is the email:

When addressing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to the address below.
If everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these special people who have sacrificed so much would get. Send your card to:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

EDITED: Unfortunately it was brought to my attention by Dawn of Artist Reborne, that Walter Reed Hospital will not accept any cards addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier." (Click here for more info on the subject). What a shame! So unless anyone knows the name of a particular soldier they'd like to share with us, I guess we'll have to find a different way to show our appreciation. Thanks Dawn for passing along this information.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Here I Am!

Sorry, I was missing in action this week. My DH came down with "the crud" and passed it along to me, so I was down and out. I'm feeling much more peppy now though so I dragged out the soldering iron to make a few things, like the pendant pictured above. Now it's not the greatest snapshot, but it's not that easy taking a picture at arm's length without looking thru the viewfinder. Most of the shots were either too high and centered on my neck or too low focusing on my chest. Believe me, you don't want to see either one of those! Today, I think I'd have to say I am grateful for fresh air! Yes, you heard me right. Soldering creates this strange metallic scent which permeates through the house and gives me a headache. It really gets to me - so much that I can actually taste it! I finally got wise and decided to crack open the window a bit before I came down with some sort of solder poisoning. I really don't know how Sally Jean can stand that smell as she solders all day long!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Feeling better

I just got back from my artisan group that I told you about here and I am feeling so much better than I did yesterday. Thanks for all your sweet comments and emails about my emotional crying-fest. All your kinds words really do help. Today, I would have to say that I am grateful for friends. Friends I have never even met and friends that I have known a long time. What would we do without them? Oh and here are the ornaments that I made yesterday - I just added to my etsy shop so be sure to check them out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Today I am grateful for Kleenex. It was a rather emotional day for me. Lots of tears and without Kleenex things would have been very messy. I like the soft kind of Kleenex with the lotion in it for times when I need a good cry or when I have a cold. The regular kind is fine for every day use, but when I am feeling down I like the comforting softness of the Kleenex with the lotion. Tomorrow I will have some new ornaments to add to my etsy shop. I spent some time in the studio which is where I usually retreat to when I need to lick my wounds. I find solace in art.

Friday, November 09, 2007

All That Glitters. . .

Yesterday I was working on several different projects in my half-way cleaned up studio. Unfortunately the half that was somewhat tidy is now getting messy again. What else is new???

After spending time working on creative things, I decided that today I am grateful for glitter as a part of the Everyday Gratitude Challenge. Glitter makes everything you make so much more festive no matter if it is crystal glitter, vintage glass glitter, or colored glitter. They all are fun and make me happy!

I made the Sweet Angel ornament pictured above for my Etsy shop and the Santa Plaque below is a grab bag gift for an artisian meeting that I am going to on Sunday. What started out as a group of rubberstampers many years ago, has evolved into a more eclectic group of artists who work in all sorts of mediums now. We get together about three times a year and work on whatever projects we have on hand. Everyone brings a dish to pass and we sit and gab while we create. Usually one person holds a mini class to teach some sort of technique. Sometimes we work on a collaborative project such as a calendar or recipe book. Sunday's meeting is our holiday meeting so many of us will start making our Christmas cards. It's a good way to get a head start on the holidays. At this Sunday's artisians meeting we are bringing in our recipe pages for our annual recipe book collaborative. This years cookbook theme is Quick and Easy Recipes, so I thought I'd share one of my recipes with you - Yummy Stuffed Mushrooms.
Yummy Stuffed Mushrooms

1 container white button mushrooms
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Cook bacon and crumble. Clean mushrooms, remove stems and hollow out cap. Mix cooked and cooled bacon with cream cheese. Fill mushrooms with bacon and cheese mixture. Broil until bubbly and serve.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And They're Off. . .

{Photo by Yvonne Palm}
All the Silver Bella folks are packed up and on their way to the super sparkley event leaving all of us non-bellas back at home feeling blue and crying on each other's shoulders. . .ok, well maybe that's being a bit over dramatic. It would have been fun to go, but it just didn't work out for me this year. I've never been to Silver Bella so I really don't know for sure what I am missing....probably better that way. But from everyone's blog photos it looks like it is the place to be this weekend!

But for those of us who unable to make it to Silver Bella, we have reason to celebrate as well! Thanks to Cerri and Heather (another pair of non-bellas) who dreamed and schemed and came up with an event for all of us who are left behind. It's called Joli Paquet and it starts tomorrow (11/9) right here. Those clever gals have rounded up some friends to create some pretty kits for us all to enjoy and from what I have seen so far they look amazing!
On another note in keeping with the Grateful Days Challenge, today I am grateful for the internet. I have met such wonderful friends from all over the world just by sitting here at my computer. That's pretty much mind-boggling when you think about it. I am constantly amazed at all the talented artists who I have met since I started my blog. I have learned so much everyone, laughed and cried with others, been a part of treasured moments that people have shared, etc. I never would have "met" any of them if it weren't for the information super-highway.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


What a wonderful idea this is....Jeanetta over at Splendid Things is taking part in a Grateful Days challenge and I immediately thought I'm going to give this a try! Each day, between now and Thanksgiving, mention one thing you are grateful for in your post. How simple is that? So today (drumroll please) I am grateful for the glorious sunshine. It is cold here in the midwest (35 degrees this morning...brrrr!) and the fact that the sun is shining makes you forget just how cold it really is. Thank you Mr. Sun! By the way, while you're over at Spendid Things, you may want to check out her darling Farmgirl aprons she is making out of vintage pillowcases. They are super-sweet and she also has a darling flouncy Christmas apron as well.

I'm A Gingerbread House???

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

OK, everyone seems to be taking this little quiz so I thought I'd give it a try. Funny thing is, so far everyone is ending up being the same holiday food - a gingerbread house! My guess is it's because we all must have picked "tinsel and sparkle" as our answer for that one question! I do like gingerbread houses (to look at, not eat), so I am happy with being that. Below is a picture of my gingerbread tree which I have in my kitchen during the holidays. It's one of several themed trees we put up due to my ever growing collection of ornaments.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Busy Weekend - New Items

I just added a few new items to my etsy shop today. There are more things coming, but thought I would list what I have so far. I only listed one of the snowflakes pictured above, but I will be making more. Just send me an etsy conversation or email if you want more than one.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Glitter and Grunge

It's November 1st already - {where has the time gone?} - which means that there is a new update over at Glitter and Grunge. I am so thrilled to let you know that along with my little shop at Etsy, I now am selling some items exclusively at Glitter and Grunge. It's a great little group of talented artists of which I am honored to be a part of. Hurry on over there and check it out! Here's a pic of one of the pieces I've been working on. . .

In other news, I finished off my "secret project" and sent it on to the "secret project master." I'll let you know when I can spill the beans about it. As for my ongoing attempt at organizing, I have half the room finished - sort of. I say sort of because once the desk was cleared off I had to mess it up a bit to work on some creations. It does seem to be a vicious circle between dragging supplies out and putting them away again. I believe the key lies in becoming more disciplined at returning things back where they belong before starting a new project in order to avoid the disaster-zone effect that builds up. I usually avoid that step and then things get way out of hand. It's nice to hear that a lot of you have the same problem with keeping art things tidy.

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