Friday, December 30, 2011

"Fluffing" my little art room and looking forward...

My little art room  looked like a cyclone hit it over the lasts few weeks.  
There was glitter, fake snow, GLIMMER MIST and paint everywhere!!!  
I made some little book/ cigar box collages for some dear friends and the process was fun, but messy... 

Soooo, now that Santa has delivered those, I needed to tidy up my space
 as I look forward to some new art adventures in the new year. 

My art closet was a total disaster...
How many times have I straightened it??? 
I wonder how long it will last this time....

Never underestimate the value of treasures found at the hardware store.
I bought these great units several years ago at HOME DEPOT and they are so perfect
for so many of my embellishments.
I LOVE being able to see what I am searching for...

It feels so good to actually see the wood of my working desk.
I'm almost ready to sit here and plan some
creative magic in 2012.
More about that later...

My sewing machine table was covered with "parts" and pieces in many different stages.
Now I can actually see it again, too.
I can't wait for a new mixed media piece
 to call me to my beloved BERNINA.

As I completed my "fluffing" the other the afternoon,
the shadows were so deep...
I finished just before the late-December early sunset.

As December is ending, I am thinking of a few more items that need to be given to charity.

I'm off to deliver those items...

As I go out the door, I'm delighted by the sight of the still-glittering message from Tonya.

Thank you for this beautiful treasure,

a constant reminder of a message that I want to carry in my heart every day...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Christmas musing

What a magical Christmas season it has been for me and my family.
I have been blessed beyond measure, 
and gratitude for all that 2011 has brought is utmost in my mind.
I treasure every moment leading up to Christmas, but when December 26th comes,
I begin getting my home "de-frocked" of all the strictly Christmas theme,
and concentrate on some of the fun winter adornments that I will leave up until Valentine's Day. 

My little snow people vignette is a favorite that I bring out year after year...

Here is a treasured hand-stitched piece from my pal Susan.  I just love keeping it out in my little art studio.

My village will stay open and operating through the often-gray winter days.  
The little swirling ice skaters will lighten my heart and home.

Buttons and Gabe were such good helpers as I made about a million trips to the basement with all the decorations that had to be stored for another year.  

It feels good to have this much done...

Let's look out this big bay window at the welcomed gentle rain that is coming down on this
late-December day.

A cup of tea or coffee sounds great, doesn't it???

Enjoy these last few days of 2011...

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Wow!  Can you believe it's already December ???
I always try to get my Christmas decorations up by the Thanksgiving weekend, 
since December gets so hectic. 
As my parents have gotten older, I have helped
 them put up and adorn their "very tall" tree, too.
So it has been a very busy time, but a part of the holidays I truly love.
Here are some shots of my little nest,
all ready for Santa to visit in just a few weeks.
I love my "slim" tree... just perfect in my cozy space.

I have such a love for miniature villages. 
Several years ago my sweet mother 
found a fabulous cabinet for me to display my village in all year round,
which is soooooooo nice.  
I can open the doors for a wide view, 
or close it up, while still enjoying much of the view.
I found a little pond with skaters... I can see them gliding round and fun!!!
Yes, I still am a child at heart!

The table is set and ready... All I have left to do is bake Santa some cookies 
and pour him some milk on Christmas Eve...

Gabe is lounging on the bed, as all the lights are being lit...

Buttons is just trying to catch a nap during all the bustle...

Last year here in North Carolina we had a BIG SNOWFALL on Christmas Day...
the first in my lifetime.
Do you remember this???

It was a magical and beautiful holiday, but I really hated missing more time with my folks.  

We caught a very early brunch before the roads became totally snow-covered.

Who knows what this year will bring?

I hope you will have a grand time with all your December festivities.

Don't get tangled up in all those Christmas lights!!!


Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11...Remembering those who served us and looking forward to the holidays...

Today is indeed a special day, isn't it? 
 I love Meagan McCray's artwork for this day.
With our calendar reading 11-11-11,
we mathematicians can have fun with today's date. 
We can also look forward to seeing 12-12-12 next year... 
so that will be fun, too!
When I taught math, the students and I did all kinds of interesting things 
with palindromic numbers (those that read the same forwards as backwards).
 Enough with the math lesson, right???

Another reason for reflection today is because it is
our national celebration of VETERANS' DAY.
I myself have never served,
but feel an eternal gratitude to all those who have given so much,
and especially to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
I salute every special one who serves and has served.
You are my heroes indeed.

The middle of November is almost here, so the holidays
are truly just around the corner.  
I usually make some of the gifts I give to a few of my special pals,
so the calendar tells me I'd better get busy!

One of the most delightful Christmas projects I have ever done was last year's 
from those wonderful GYPSY GIRLS.
Here is my completed calendar as it was unveiled throughout the season.

Paula and Deb so generously gave many of the instructions through their blog entries.  
If you are interested, take a peek HERE.
They also have a digital download for sale on their ETSY site.  
My calendar varies from theirs,
as I wanted to personalize it and also use up some of own special treasures.
If you love mixed media and have some time, 
I know you would adore this idea.

Another fun kit the GYPSY GIRLS had last year was a darling little village.
I have no idea if it will be available for sale this year or not, but oh, was it fun to make, too.

I've unpacked mine already, adding some SNOW-TEX... 
almost ready to display everything right after Thanksgiving. 

Another darling village can be made using the ideas from 

I think you use cereal boxes and it looks as cute as can be.  
This online issue is free and full of great ideas.  
She also has a new holiday version for 2011 for only $3.99.  
See it HERE.

I have no affiliation with any of these folks,
but I love to share good ideas whenever I can.

Here's hoping you enjoy this gorgeous autumn weekend... 
the cold winds are bound to be swirling around us soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

52 weeks of mail and beyond

It seems each of us rely more and more these days on our "smart" devices to communicate with friends and associates.  I use them constantly myself, and it is truly a wonderful tool.  With all its convenience, technological communication can lack that personal touch that most of us appreciate so much.

Do you save wonderful notes and cards that special people take the time to send to you through the mail?  I know how great it makes me feel to get even the smallest note addressed to little ole me...  I am lucky enough to have thoughtful friends who often surprise me with delightful remembrances.  It totally makes my day.  Here are just a few that have arrived here within recent weeks...

Several months ago I made a fun little "fat book" full of pockets to hold these treasures. My book is already so chubby it needs to go on a major diet... The funny thing is, I love it when my hand-made books barely close... It's more fun that way!

I found a link this week on FACEBOOK that caught my attention.  

The page is called 52 WEEKS OF MAIL.

Here is part of the information off their page.

52 Weeks of Mail, brought to you by Etsy Greetings Team,

is designed to encourage people to be more intentional about relationships and 

keeping in touch with friends and family by sending out a card or letter each 

week, for the next year.

I don't know about you, but I LOVE getting a personal, hand-written card or letter in the mail.

Throughout 52 Weeks of Mail, we are asking everyone to commit 
to sending

 just ONE card or letter each week. 

You can send more than one, of course!

52 Weeks of Mail BEGINS on October 9th, 2011,

and ends on October 7th, 2012. 

Please feel free to blog about this event, or share it on your Facebook page. 

Share it on Twitter, or any other social networking site too!

I love this idea and have made the commitment to send at least one piece of handwritten mail
every week this year... and beyond.  You never know what your note could mean to the person who receives it.  It could arrive at the moment it was most needed.  

As a teacher for many years, I want to do my part to see that some of the "social graces" of our generation are not lost forever.  Some of the older traditions cannot be improved upon.  
Write a note and send it in the mail this week... Make it a habit.
You could really make a difference.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

pulling out an unfinished project

Several months ago I took a wonderful class from the delightful Teresa McFayden called Free Style Embroidery. I just loved the class... watching Teresa demonstrate all the stitches... then putting her fabulous sampler together.  I got a start on mine, and then... life happened... I got sidetracked to other projects and I unfortunately just put it away in my vintage sewing box.

I just love Teresa's ideas for combining embroidery stitches with other fun trims, ribbons and remnants.

Pondering some goals I want to accomplish during the fall and winter months... the idea of brushing up on my hand stitching skills came into my heart... and out came my UFO and my collection of gorgeous perle cotton threads.

I also adore the work of Pam Garrison and Charlotte Lyons, both such talented artists whose blogs I follow regularly.  Both of these gals have proven to be a major inspiration for me. Through their blogs, I found another fabulous stitcher, Rebecca Ringquest, who has a darling alphabet sampler pattern from when she taught at the SQUAM art retreat.  What I loved about Rebecca's sampler was that it would actually help me review the stitches that I have forgotten how to sew.  So now the hard part is...
waiting on my little samplers to get to my house.  I do plan to work on my UFO and try my hand with the new samplers, too.  Hand stitching is such a grand activity for the cooler winter months.

In the mean time, I have been dabbling in some patina...yummm...

This luscious blue/green is one of my favorite colors to work with... just dreamy...

Speaking of this favorite color... I just have to share a photo of the delightful package given to me by dearest Kristi... No one, absolutely no one "fluffs" like Kristi...  My precious gift contained glorious treasures from Italy... It makes me weak in the knees...
 I'm such a lucky girl....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Clean pups, new fabric and some birthday show-offs

Buttons and Gabe are just back from their grooming appointment today... smelling so fresh...
adorned with cute little pumpkin/ Halloween bandanas...
Our fabulous groomer Margie always has them so beautifully coiffed after their monthly visit with her.
They are pretty pooped, though... trying to catch an extra nap.
I still remember a funny thing the late George Carlin said... "What does a dog do on his day off?... He can't sleep... that's his job!"... love it... so true...

The postman brought some new MODA fabric today... I can't wait to incorporate these yummy pieces into my collage work. These are from the new ETCHINGS collection. I adore that aqua color...

I got such wonderful birthday surprises last week from some of my awesome, creative pals.
These fabulous handmade cards and envelopes came from dearest Cathy, Linda  and Tonya.  Each of these talented gals could surely market their designs... they are just delicious...

Tonya sent the most gorgeous mailart package... I would have photographed it, but I have cut it apart to use in my journal... luscious... Tucked inside was a delightful bracelet... and oh, how I adore jewelry... especially with charms...

Cathy and her hubby Jerry collaborated to design and execute this spectacular bird journal, made of great watercolor paper and fabulous "girly" embellishments... can't wait to dream up ways to fill it with mixed media magic.

How does a girl get lucky enough to have such talented and generous buds???
 I'm yet to celebrate more later this week.  I think I am having a "birthday month".  
As I look over at handsome, clean and sleepy Buttons and Gabe... I know life really is good.

Monday, October 10, 2011


 had such an impact on me that I could not wait to dive into 
her SOUL RESTORATION 2, when it was offered again recently.

Melody's online classes are like none I have ever experienced. 
 They have the potential to be totally life-changing. 
 I can hardly wait for Tuesdays to roll around again, 
so that I can see all she has in store for the upcoming week.  
We are starting week 3 tomorrow, 
and I am so pumped about continuing this fabulous journey.

Thank you, "brave girl Melody" for sharing this unbelievable vision.

Here is the cover to my "big journal" for SR 2...
I am determined to live my best life...
to live my dreams...

A peep at an old photo of "baby jane"... 

May you live all your dreams, too...