Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Artsy Things

I spent the morning working in my Art Journal completely uninterrupted....ahhhhh, it was blissful! But the sun is shining brightly and it's just too nice to stay indoors, so I am heading outside after this for a bit of fresh air. I'm not quite sure what I will do, but I'm sure I'll come up with something. Perhaps a walk (my body sure could use that) or maybe I'll clean out the potting shed and get it ready to use or do some prep work in the garden. It really doesn't matter what I do as long as I can be outside.
Below is a pic of another Casa Bella project. I found this shadowbox at Hobby Lobby in the unfinished wood section and my Vintage Spoon Fairy fit inside it perfectly. The little quote on the spoon says, "One cannot think well, sleep well, love well, if one has not dined well."

There's still plenty of time to sign up for my Blogiversary Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, just leave a comment on the previous post. I'll be drawing the lucky winner's name on Saturday, May 3rd!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

Photo Courtesy of Creating Keepsakes

Today's the day! I can't believe it has been TWO whole years since I started this blog. I wasn't sure then where this adventure would lead, but it certainly has been more than my wildest dreams ever expected. I was just on a search for a few people to exchange artistic ideas with. And two years later I have so many new friends from places all over the world ~ imagine that! It is an honor to be a part of this technological experience with so many, many warm, wonderful, generous, kind and talented people. Thank you all for stopping by to say hello once in a while, and for swapping and sharing and exchanging gifts, supplies and ideas, and mostly for all the support you give to me.
Blogging has been so much more than I ever imagined.

So to help me celebrate and also to say THANK YOU to all of you, I want to have a little giveaway to mark this special occasion. I'm keeping the prize a secret, because surprises are always so much fun. But if you leave a comment on THIS post I will draw a winner from the all names in a week,
on Saturday, May 3. Good luck to everyone!This is a little piece I made yesterday using vintage papers for the Casa Bella E-Zine Class. You can click on the pictures for a closer look. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Look What I Got!!!!!

When I got home from work today, I found those most GIGANTIC box by my front door. I couldn't remember ordering anything that large, but when I got closer I discovered it was from my Junque in my Trunk swap partner Angelina of Angelina's Beautiful Cards. Still in awe of the size of the parcel, I couldn't wait to rip it open to see what was inside. And when I did, I found the most beautiful rose covered suitcase filled with A TON of goodies. I couldn't believe my eyes! Everything is so beautiful and perfectly suited to my taste. Angelina really took a great deal of effort to select such lovely items for me. How lucky am I to have had her as my swap partner? Thank you so much Angelina for such a wonderful gift. I can't wait to dig in and start using it all.

Angelina doesn't know this, but I have two smaller suitcases like the large suitcase she gave me. Now I have a complete set of stacked rose covered luggage to store my collage supplies in.

Saturday is my 2 year Blog Anniversary so I think it's only fitting to have a little GIVEAWAY to celebrate. Be sure to check back here for all the details!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vintage Party Swap

Earlier this month Artsymama hosted the Vintage Party Supply Swap. Each of the swappers were to exchange party supplies for our chosen party themes. I chose a vintage tea party and my swap partner Rhonda from RhondaMum, really came through. Just look at the gifts that arrived wrapped like a breath of springtime!

And better yet, look what I found inside!!! ~ All sorts of fun things including earl grey tea and vanilla scone mix.
These lovely appliqued napkins will surely add a sweet touch to the table.
And a tea party wouldn't be complete without a dainty tea cup. Inside the cup is a package of "jeweled sugar." Don't you just love that?
Take a look at all these lacy beauties.... two doilies and an elegant pair of ladies gloves.
Won't my guests will be delighted to find these teaspoons at their place settings. Thank you SO much Rhonda for all the wonderful goodies and for being such a fun swap partner!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Show & Tell Sunday. . .On Tuesday!

Sunday Cerri and Analise had another installment of their Show & Tell Sunday feature and I was out of town so couldn't post any pics of my vintage bling. So I'm taking the advice of the old adage, "Better late than never" and posting my photos a couple days late. Hope you enjoy the trip down Vintage Lane!
I love these pastel enameled pieces.A little red jewelry for some spice!
Rhinestone Pins and Brooches Rhinestone Earring Collection And a prized rhinestone necklace.
Opalescent Beauties
I adore anything aqua, especially jewels. The center necklace was purchased during one of Holly's Flea Market Friday sales.
And of couse no display of bling could go without some crown jewels.
Love this pink & aqua crown pin ~ another purchase from Holly.
Summer white costume jewelry
Last, but not least ~ Classic Pearls

Monday, April 21, 2008

Journal Pages

While up at the cottage I was able to find some quiet time to work on my art journal for Heather's Journaling Without Fear group. I really enjoyed doing the page above for the "Little Things" assignment. Once I got going on the journaling, I felt like I could go on and on with the list. It's good to remind ourselves about those things that are important to us and we are grateful for.
We went on a long nature walk while up north and although the spring wildflowers hadn't bloomed yet (spring is so late in coming this year) there still was a lot to observe. I picked up one of the maple leaves because I was impressed by how thin and transparent it was, like one of those skeleton leaves they sell in the craft stores. As we walked on, I began to notice the other leaves and then it became a game to see how many different leaf specimens I could find. This was an image-quilt assignment and I found all these images in an old issue of "O" Magazine that I had up at the cottage. I used my 2-inch paper punch to cut the squares and looked for images that appealed to me. Surprisingly, I found that most of the images I selected were either red, aqua, or black and had quite a few circle shapes. I like the aqua and red together and now want to create something using this newly discovered combination. I think that's what art journaling is all about....discovering new ideas!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Is Here!

We're back from the cottage and just look what happened while we were gone! I guess spring has finally arrived here in the midwest and it sure is about time. It was a bit cooler up at the cottage than it was at home, so we didn't see any of this glorious color up there. But this certainly was a treat to come home to this wonderful sight!
It's sunny and warm today ~ weather that I have been longing for for quite some time. We had a nice relaxing time at the cottage although not many of the shops were opened yet. We did go for a nice long walk on a nature trail and I got several pages completed in my art journal, which I will share in a day or two.
The little blue flowers above are called Scillia and they remind me of my aunt, who passed away quite a few years ago. She had them planted at her house along the driveway and they are the most vivid blue flower I have ever seen. They are a much deeper hue than pictured here... I couldn't even match the color using Photoshop! They were in bloom when my aunt was in the hospital for the last time, so I brought her a bouquet of them to remind her of home. Although she was terribly weak at the time, she managed to smile and tell my cousin to press them for her. I like having that little reminder of her and I am always so afraid that my husband will pull them up when he is raking under the Austrian pines where they are planted. But they are very durable for being such a tiny delicate flower and sprout back up every year. As you can see, I have a lot of blue in my garden. It is my favorite color to plant. I love the blue of violets, delphinium, lilacs, hydrangeas, salvia, pansies, and larkspur. I like to combine them with white or yellow or deep pink flowers. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and working in the rich, warm soil. The stillness of the garden, with all it's plant life, birds, butterflies, toads, and insects, alway makes me feel more alive and content. It never seems like work to me though . . .
well ~ God's Work perhaps.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Swaps Completed!

Well, I'm happy to report that I finished wrapping up my swaps and mailed them out today. I hope Angelina and Rhonda like them. Sorry that these pics are so grainy. Somehow the setting got changed to night time lighting and so they are very clear. I didn't realize it until I went to upload them. Oh well.

Today's weather was so fabulous! 75 degrees and sunny. A perfect day! Of course tomorrow it is supposed to rain, but just having one warm day with sunshine was enough to last me for the next few days.

We're headed up to the cottage for a couple of days now that I am all caught up with everything around here. I plan to bring my art journal with and fill up a few pages in it. Also hoping to hit some of the antique shops up there to see what goodies I can find. Looking forward to some quality R & R. I can't wait!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Catch-Up

It's been a busy week here. I haven't had much time to get online and tend to my blog. Sorry about that. We've been busy working on our income taxes, trying to get them finished up before the deadline tomorrow. Have also been taking care of some family matters and I think finally overcoming this cold (or whatever it is) once and for all. Friday night I went out to dinner with some girl friends to catch up with each other. Saturday my DH and I went to see a local production of Sweet Charity which was very good. In between, I've been frantically trying to put together my Vintage Party Swap and Junque in My Truck Swap. I still have a few more things I want to add, so they may be a day or two late. Hope you'll forgive me girls. The pics above and below are a couple of ATC's I did for A Deck of Me. It's sunny and warmer here today....Hope you have a happy Monday!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Good Day Sunshine

It was a beautiful, sunshiny, bright, warm day yesterday. It's been a long time coming here in the midwest. I woke up after an full 8 hours of sleep, which is something I can't even remember doing for months and months. I think half of my problem of always feeling exhausted all the time is due to sleep deprivation. But yesterday morning I woke up with lots of energy to burn. It was a most welcome change of pace for me. I worked on this journal page along with a few other artsy odds and ends. Got caught up on all my Etsy orders. Read another chapter in the book I am reading. Paid some bills and went to the bank. Did some laundry and bought some groceries. Went to the book store to purchase this book that I passed up on last week. And now I think I have to go back to see if I can find this magazine that I just found out about. I should just rent a permanent table in the Starbucks cafe at the book store because I am there so often. I love books and magazines and coffee, so it would be a perfect match! Today it's back to a gray, cloudy day ~ but I am not going to let that get me down. I still have leftover energy from yesterday so I am going to take advantage of it and hopefully get lots of things accomplished today.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


NEST letters available in my Etsy Shop.

I am spending this weekend at home doing "nesting chores." The sun is shining and the temperatures have finally gotten to a reasonable number so that maybe, just maybe we can put the screens in the doors and get some fresh air circulating inside this house. I have ANOTHER head cold....I have never gotten this many colds (or whatever this bug is) in one season in my entire life. Believe it or not, I am a pretty healthy gal (knock on wood) so this being sick thing is really starting to bum me out. It is getting a bit ridiculous and I feel like a broken record bringing it up again. But I am finding I am not the only one who has suffered numerous bouts with the yuk. What exactly is going on?

Back to the nesting topic ~ I've been discussing the topic of hoarding with my blogging friends Heather and Donna as well as other girlfriends and it seems like there is some sort of epidemic of TOO MUCH STUFF going on. We've tried to figure out why this is happening. If you've noticed there are many TV shows, magazine articles and books on the the topic, so it must be a nationwide problem. It's good to not be the lone person with this dilemma, but whatever the reason is I have come to the conclusion that my home is not a mansion and there are limits as to how much it can hold. I don't have a basement or an attic. I have very limited closet space. I hang on to things thinking that I'll be able to use them in the next house, but moving never seems to happen. Unfortunately we have an ideal homesite here and it is the house, not the location that is the problem. We have thought about tearing the house down and rebuilding, or adding on an addition, but all of that seems like an awful lot of work and very expensive. We rehabbed this house when we first moved in and the thought of doing it all over again doesn't seem to appeal to either of us right now.

So the only alternative is to pare down on all the collecting, the trips the flea markets and antique malls and start to edit the amount of things we already own. Life always seems so hectic and unrestful around here and I'm beginning to think it has a great deal to do with this house. When we go up to our cottage, everything is peaceful and calm. We built the cottage to be as low maintenance as possible so we wouldn't feel like it was a burden to keep it up. And that definitely makes a world of difference. We feel relaxed and carefree when we go there. But here at this house, it never seems to be that way.

When I work on my art in my tiny home studio (it's actually a spare bedroom), it's always such a chore to get to my supplies, even when they are somewhat organized. I think there are just too many of them - too much for the size of the room to make retrieving things easy. I dream of having an art room/studio with a large table in the middle of the room surrounded by shelves or cabinetry (either new or antique) on all the walls. But that ain't going to happen in this house, and I can only deal with what Ihave right now at this present moment. So I am going to attempt to do some major editing in the house this weekend. My DH will be in heaven and more than willing help out with a project like this. I'll keep you posted as to how much we accomplish. Wish us luck!

Oh and if you want to determine if you are a hoarder yourself, try taking this little quiz that Donna told me about. You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome - or totally mortified by it like me!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

And the Winner is. . .

Well , we have a winner in the drawing for the "Just a Matter of Thyme" illustrated cookbook. None of my usual helpers were available to pick the name out of the hat, so I had the Random Number Generator select the lucky winner this time and her name is. . . . . . . BETH LEINTZ!
Congratulations Beth! Please email me your address so I can send out the prize to you. And thank you to all who entered ~ It was so much fun, I think we'll be doing this again soon.
I am starting a brand new art journal for the Journaling Without Fear Group and I began by creating a few background pages using watercolor paper and watercolor crayons. Below is my first entry featuring a favorite quotation.
You've all seen these vintage flashcards people are using in their artwork. Well, sweet Heidi over at Everyday Cookies at Sweet Woodruff Acres, came up with a little tutorial showing us how to make these little cuties for ourselves. What fun these are! ~ I've been dreaming up words for new flashcards all day long like sunshine, warmth, flower, robin, garden. . . .
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