Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Pansy for Your Thoughts

Driving home tonight, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my neighbor had replaced his petunias with pansy's. You probably already know that the pansy is a favorite flower of mine. Each time I see them, I am delighted. Sometimes it's just the simple things in life that make me smile. Like a pansy moment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Three Silver Bella Swaps Complete!

Whew! The first three of my Silver Bella swaps are complete and in the mail. I spent today finishing up final touches, gluing down bits and bobs, affixing mini-moo cards and packaging it all up to take to the post office.

Let's not forget an application of German glass glitter on the butterfly bodies, too. Then a little hot glue, and wallah! Vintage holiday banners - done.

14 little pieces for the inspiration swap, all adorned in ribbons. Done! Now, I have two more swaps to begin. One is the Bee's Knees and the other is a shabby vintage holiday ornament swap. I'm waiting for inspiration to strike so I can start those two. Oh, please strike soon!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Best Autumn Days

After waiting for the warm end-of-summer/fall weather, it has finally arrived. These are the best days of fall. Perhaps a slight coolness in the early of the day, then a wonderful afternoon warmth and balmy evening.

It makes my flowers happy which consequently, makes me happy.

After a very busy week, it is a perfect weekend. Friends, food, family, flowers and a little artwork - it doesn't get any better than that. Oh, and how about an extra day off on Monday? :-)

My 14 artpieces for the apron inspiration swap are due on October 1, so I will be finishing those up and posting them in the mail on Monday. As always, Miss Gracie will be on hand to "help". I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome, Autumn

Summer is officially over and autumn is upon us. I'm not quite ready for layers and sweaters just yet, Miss Gracie is missing her afternoon sun, and Nipper's strawberries will soon disappear. But, there's always something wonderful about the change of each season.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Got Halloween - Part 2

Earlier this month I was contacted by someone working on the California Milk Board account. They have a website called that has a section for Recyclables which shows how milk cartons and jugs can be recycled into other things. For their Halloween promotion, I was asked to create three Halloween masks.

The pink fairy crown is my favorite (natch), but unfortunately it didn't make it onto their site as there was a concern about the pointed tips being safe for children. To make the crown, I cut off the bottom of a milk jug, then trimmed around the top into the shape I wanted. I painted it pink, then added the embellishments including a crepe paper rosette, pink boa feather trim, silver ribbon roses, glittered chipboard pieces and more trim.

For this mardi gras mask, I used glittered paper adhered to the milk carton base, then embellished with trim, jewels and feathers.

I also created an "animated hero" mask which is great for boys. Check out their site and you can download the PDF instructions for the mardi gras and hero masks. Just click on the milk carton illustration at the bottom of the screen to see the masks and get instructions. This was a lot of fun and a challenge to turn the milk carton and jug into fun Halloween masks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Got Halloween?

Did you guess? Miss Gracie has been having a fine time with the pink feather boa.

But she would rather eat it, than wear it! It has been hard keeping her away from the three special items. Here's another clue: you might wear these for treat or treat, but what are they made from?

Here's the final clue... what's that in the background? Miss Gracie knows... to see my creative challenge, go to the recycle center at Be sure to download the PDF instruction sheet!

Update: Only two of the three masks I created are shown on their website. Unfortunately, the pink fairy crown is not shown as there was a concern about it being completely kid-friendly due to the points. However, check back later and I will post a photo of the fou fou fairy crown!

Another Clue... What Holiday is Coming Up?

What do all of these items have to do with one another? Well, you'll just have to visit me tomorrow to find out.

I am very excited about this and sometime on Monday I will share more. You'll see exactly what I created with these items. Please let me know what you think! All I will say now is that it was very fun to be challenged using something that everyone has in their refrigerator and turning it into something special. Yes, I said refrigerator! Can you guess? Are you putting the clues together?

Friday, September 18, 2009

So Many Swaps, So Little Time

I am still working on my Silver Bella swaps (#3 of 5). These pieces may wind up in the Inspiration Apron swap where each participant receives a finished apron made up of 14 different art pieces (one from each participant).

They have been sitting here while I played with different designs. That was before this other thing came up out of nowhere (see previous post!). Then, I had to switch gears to create three pieces for that. Don't forget to check back here on Monday night to see what that is all about!

I'm not sure which design will be the final one yet, but it sure is fun to play with these embellishments. Just wish I could make a decision instead of moving pieces waiting for the perfect combination to appear. But that's me. I just can't make it final until I am really happy with it.

So this weekend, I pledge to make progress on this. Even if the temperature is almost 90 degrees.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Sneak Peek

Hmmm..... what have I been up to? Last week I mentioned I had some news to share soon. Well, it's getting closer.

What can this possibly be? The big reveal is coming on Monday... stayed tuned for my exciting news!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My New Inspiration Board

You may remember this picture frame as a recent flea market find shown in an earlier post this month. Happily, this turned into a project that I finished pretty quickly (versus the many stockpiled in my closet!). I used cork board attached to poster board, which I covered with batting and finally a pink Dupioni silk fabric. Since I had all these baubles in bowls, I decided to place them on the board for now. Love looking at that bling! This was actually the first project we were supposed to do for Jenni Bowlin's class Re-purpose, Re-think, Re-invent, which started 11 weeks ago. This is the last week so I'm glad I was able to get this done. A girl can always use a little inspiration!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh, How My Garden Grows

These sweet baby roses just bloomed. Don't they just make you feel good all over?

Mr. Squirrel is visiting in the pansy plant. Mom came over and moved him in there while she did a little redecorating of my plants.

More baby roses! This would have to be on my list of the top three things that give me joy. Just seeing gorgeous, vibrant roses makes everything else in the world just go away momentarily.

More happy pansies. I purchased several pansy plants last week to fill in the empty spots in my planters. Don't you think pansy = happy?

I enjoy seeing different plants mixed together in one container. Below, Mr. Frog is keeping a watchful eye out lest any pests approach. And, that's how my garden grows today!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

Recently, my dad turned 85 years old. We celebrated with a birthday lunch at my house. I want to share the recipe for the yummiest tomato dish shown above. I don't know what it's called but I found it in a magazine a few years ago and have enjoyed it ever since.

Let's call it Roasted Tomato Bruschetta.

One Basket cherry tomatoes
Sliced sourdough bread
One garlic clove
Olive oil
Italian herb (oregano, thyme, Italian or any similar)

Place the washed cherry tomatoes in a pan. Add olive oil to coat plus a little extra (this will make some added juice). Sprinkle with an herb. Roast in the oven at 400 - 425 degrees until the cherry tomatoes start to burst and the oil bubbles (about 20 minutes or so). Toast the bread slices and rub with the garlic clove. Spoon the tomatoes onto the bread and drizzle the olive oil mixture onto each one. Yum - enjoy!

The main dish was this orzo pasta with heirloom tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and pesto.

Let me tell you something funny about my dad. He is one of the few people who do not enjoy getting a handmade card from me. He loves getting a Hallmark card. He reads all the words intently and then smiles and says "I love you guys". Now, he never said he didn't like my cards, he just didn't react much. But when he gets the Hallmark card, you can just tell he likes it so much better. We always look for one with lots of words. "Happy Birthday on your special day" will not cut it. No, it must have lots of words on both sides of the card.

After the card, he opened his present. Like me, Dad loves to read and always enjoys a book.

Dad never goes home without a fruit basket. I pick out all the fruits he likes at the farmer's market and assemble them into a basket for him. Each time he comes over, he brings the basket back and we just keep refilling it. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Beautiful Sleeping Kitty

Last weekend, I spent some time cleaning and organizing. I had three other pillows on top of this chair for some time, but as I organized, I put everything back in its place.

Miss Gracie was quite pleased with it all and promptly hopped up on the chair for a cat nap while I went about my business.

So here is my sweetness, sleeping soundly. The world's best cat, my Miss Gracie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Christmas Every Day

Such a beautiful Christmas bow... I found a bag of these at a garage sale some weeks ago. I know they were meant for Christmas decorations, but I've always believed, why wait for Christmas? Honestly, if you came to my house you would see a number of decorations that were actually Christmas ornaments but I've re purposed them into whimsical decor. It makes me happy to see them. My mom has told me that when I was a child staying home sick from school, I would ask her to play Christmas music for me, no matter what they month was. That has never left me. Why wait to celebrate? If it makes you happy, just do it! So I promptly took one from the bag and adorned my little Eiffel Tower.

This little butterfly came in a package at another garage sale. He had a brown base (gosh, what do you call that part on a butterfly?) which I did not find attractive. So, of course, out came the... (Jodie, cover your eyes at this next part) glitter! A little glitter can make anything look better. Heck, I'm wearing some right now!

P.S. If you are wondering why I sometimes mention Jodie when I talk about glitter, read this post on her blog everything vintage. She is just too funny!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Journals - Another Bad Habit?

Do you have a tendency to overbuy journals that catch your eye? I did some big house cleaning and organizing recently and came upon a whole bunch on top of a bookcase. Yes, I admit that if it has flowers, the color pink, a bird, a damask pattern or perky stripes, I might buy it. So this big pile went off to storage in the garage.

This was only one pile. I have more in two other rooms. I must have found 25 or so unused or partially used journals. While I do keep a journal, I don't write in it very often. Rather, I use these beautiful books to keeps lists and notes. And, I have more than one going at once depending on the topic. Do you share my addiction for journals and if so, what do you do with yours?

Monday, September 7, 2009

September Flea Market Finds - Part Deux

Welcome back to part two of my latest flea market adventure. This is just lovely... flowers pins for 25 cents each. They shall adorn Miss Mannequin until another use pops into my head.

Another fun find. In the class I've been taking from Jenni Bowlin called Re-purpose, Re-think, Re-invent, she mentioned how she uses vintage scales as decorative items. Since that was planted in my head, I spotted three of them last Saturday. This was the third and I liked it best of all. A little negotiating and it was mine. Its new home is in my kitchen. I found the carrots at a garage sale quite some time ago. I have a thing for fake food but don't they look perfect here?

Who can resist a little box with six separate compartments for baubles?

Ah, more trim. The brown velvet just may find itself on the art pieces for my Silver Bella Inspiration Apron swap.

And, now for the bling! Total score on finding several pieces including single earrings, pins and pieces that I could not figure what they were previously. Love the variety.

And here is a sweet little bowl perfect for holding the baubles.

The earrings on the right are most unusual. They appear to be ballerinaa floating on balloons. At least, that's the best I can make them out to be.

I am imagining some of these pretties adorning some lovely ribbons on future projects.

This glass bowl is hard to see but it has etched roses on the bottom. My favorite bling is the piece on the right. It is from a watch and so pretty. Found at a dollar table! So there you have it, more fabulous finds from the flea market. I'm thinking I should not go back next month since I'm running out of space and need to save my pennies. However, two vendors are bringing in some items from me. One is the jewelry lady who is bringing her bag of broken and mismatched items. How much fun is that to rummage through!