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The blog banner was made with elements from Lorie Davison. The nail head is Mo Jackson, the white rabbit and the key is Tangie Baxter. The butterflies are from Katie Pertiet.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I hope you dance

This is a picture that hangs in my dining room.  I'm sure you've seen one like it.  It is my very favorite.

Recognize it now?  maybe, huh?

I took a photo of this picture this morning.  The reflections it picked up give it a rather haunting quality.  I like it.

I put it into Photoshop to play with.  I added one of my favorite song titles to it by Leonard Cohen.

Dance me to the end of love.

I hope you get to dance tonight.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Say Cheese!

Just a quick Merry Christmas to everyone!  My husband bought me a lovely new camera for Christmas.  I am obviously still taking blurry photos.

I need practice.

The software is a pain.

The 6 year old computer is a pain.

Technology in general is a pain.

My 53 year old brain is a pain.


It is Christmas.  And the camera is lovely.  AND I'm not  stuck on I-35 in a blizzard in Oklahoma like some of my family members.  I did not eat white bread toast for Christmas dinner in a motel on the side of I-35 because of the blizzard like some of my family members did.

We are safe at home and are heading out to see the chipmunk movie.

Because my husband wants to.

And my daughter wants to.

Me?  I'd rather look at Robert Downey Jr. for 2 hours in the new Sherlock Holmes movie.

But it's Christmas.  We are happy, healthy and safe.  Sane?  Not so much.

But 3 out of 4 ain't bad!  (with apologies to Meatloaf)

Merry Christmas and may God bless.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wonderful giveaway over at Sassafras Stuff!

Wouldn't a lovely basket of these goodies be a great Christmas gift to win?  Take a look at the Sassafras Stuff blog.  She's got a great giveaway going for this basket of goodies to celebrate her 100th post.  You have until midnight on Monday December 21st.    Good luck and peace to all![100th+post+giveaway+001.jpg]

Monday, December 14, 2009

Up on the housetop reindeer paws (?)

I was filling out a friend's Christmas game the other day. It's one of those trivia games where you have to guess the song. The question was, "Where do reindeer put their paws?" Paws? paws???? Cats have paws, reindeer have hooves. AND it's, "Up on the rooftop reindeer pause." As in pausing before old St. Nick hauls himself and his bag of goodies out onto said housetop and tries to shinny down the chimney hoping that the kind folks who live there have left the flue open. Otherwise the song becomes, "There's something stuck up in the chimney, and I don't know what it is, but it's been there since last Christmas." So, on Christmas Eve keep those
flues open. ...just saying...

I love reindeer. I have lots.
Basically, I just enjoy decorating with old beat up stuff and animals. Here's the reindeer vignette on the dining room table.
The shepherds abiding by their flock over on the buffet enjoy watching them too. I put those little battery operated votive candles around them at night. I use to think they were kind of cheezy, but then I realized that I could possibly lower the cost of my home owner's insurance by using them. Kidding. I'm just kidding. They are great though and available just about everywhere!

This is my Wendy Addison addition to the collection I purchased at Marshall Field's
(Macy's) at their after Christmas sale last year. I didn't grow up in Chicago but I adopted it
heart and soul and it is STILL Field's forever and always to me. Nothing says
Christmas like a lovely vintage looking piece hanging on an empty wine bottle.
This empty bottle has two dressed up
piggies (animal theme anyone?) and it
is called Le Snoot!

I had to save it. Wouldn't you? The wine was Merlot and really pretty forgettable but, the bottle was worth the $5.00 I think I paid for it. I am a wine snob, you know...

The Christmas season is in full swing. Get out your fancy duds, favorite bottle of wine, sing your most precious Christmas carols and deck them halls! Hallelujah, holy cow, and
where's the eggnog!?!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yes, we need a little Christmas

I finally, finally got the white tree put up as well as my manger scene. The white tree always makes me smile. It's really beautiful. I don't think it shows up very well in the photo and I still need to make a star for the top. I usually have an angel I put up there, but she decided to take a trip to Bermuda with Mrs. Claus so I'm going to work on plan B.

I also managed to get the manger scene all arranged. I love putting up our nativity scene. It's a combination of three different
sets. One I made in a ceramics
class years ago. Remember ceramics? Does anyone do this anymore? Some
of it turned out well, others not so well. My sister
always said that the Mary I made
looked more like a hooker instead of the Virgin Mary. She was more of a Madonna-esque sort of Mary only she actually predates the singer Madonna. She's buried in the bottom of the box now. I use a much more suitable looking Mary.

This Mary does not have the 70's eyeliner that I put on her.

I also have lots of animals. I didn't put them all out. I have a fox, and a bear, and a skunk, and chickens, rabbits and 3 little mice thatI put up on top. The list of animals is quite extensive. A friend even gave me a manatee one year to add. It's kind of ridiculous, really. It became a Noah's Ark type of manger scene. I exhibited restraint this year. That is hard for me. Really, it is.

This is the side with lots of shepards. I always liked the shepards in the Christmas story. My favorite part of Christmas is Linus from Peanuts reading the Christmas story. I can hear his little voice reading the King James version:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the
field, keeping
watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe
wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying,
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.

And that's how it should be. Peace to you and yours.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I've got JOY!

Susan and I went to Vintage Living for another class. We made these gorgeous banners. Mine didn't really photograph too well, but let me assure you it's absolutely gorgeous! It's completely made with vintage papers, laces and trims. Stitched down on artist's canvas. It says JOY!!

Have a joyous day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Printing directly on fabric. Yes you can!

Tutorial for the day:
If you iron freezer paper to a nice smooth fabric you can run that fabric/paper right through your inkjet printer.

Cut the freezer paper to an 8 1/2 x 11 size. Cut the fabric you wish to use the same size.
Iron the waxy side of the paper
onto the fabric. Don't iron too much.
If you do the wax will all melt away.
Just enough to "stick" it to the fabric.

Run your fabric/paper combination through your inkjet printer the same way you would paper.
The fabric side is the printing side. Remove the paper and iron the fabric to set the picture. It works like a charm!
This is much cheaper than the transfer paper you can buy.

Keep in mind that there is no sheen involved. You will lose some detail because of this fact. Obviously, the smoother the grain in the fabric the clearer your picture will be. I printed one photo of my mom and one graphic that I had stored on my computer. They turned out very nice. All ready to make more fabric collages.

If only I didn't have to go to work...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


All finished. I've added a bit more trim, some hand sewing, buttons, vintage flowers, and I tucked an old photo into the pocket. I also attached 2 strips of fabric with these words on one, "Long ago, it must be, I had a photograph."

The other one says, "Protect your memories"


Time it was and what a time it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

I went to the flea market this weekend. I'm lucky in that it is only about 10 minutes away. There is a lovely lady there who has the most wonderful vintage fabric and she was selling little scraps
and remnants for .25 a piece! I KNOW!! How spiffy is that!! For $6.00 I walked away with a huge stack. I was feeling quite smug.

I'm preparing for my spot on an upcoming edition of "Hoarders." I'm sure that the producers will be calling me soon.

Have a fabulous Wednesday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where the boys are.

The boys are at my house! Yes sirree. They arrived in the mail on Halloween. I won them from Marsha over at Tumblefish Studios. If you have not been to see her work, run, don't walk, now!! She's amazing, and seeing her work up close and personal is even more amazing. Jack (he's the one in the colorful witch's hat) was in Somerset Studios!! Actually, I think the 3 dream police were too.

The pictures are Marsha's work. I just added background and a little sign from Lorie Davison at Scrapbookgraphics.

Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Jack!! Thank you, Marsha. I am in LOVE!!!


Saving the world one shirt at a time.

Halloween is over. This is not a mummy. This is an old sheet on an old ironing board. I bought a new old iron at the Goodwill yesterday. Me and 20,000 of my closest friends were there. Do not go to the Goodwill on Halloween if you can avoid it. However, I wanted a new iron. My old iron is at least 20 years old. It's yucky on the bottom, it doesn't steam and, well, it's seen better days. So I wandered around the Goodwill and low and behold there was a lovely more new iron.

My grandmother used to cover her ironing boards with an old sheet. Hers did not look like a mummy standing in the window. But unless you are laying on the floor of my bedroom you will not notice the underneath side of my ironing board. And if you are laying on the floor under my ironing board you deserve what you see!

I like to iron. I really do. I know I don't have to iron my husband's shirts but I like to. I look out the window and solve all of the world's problems, and mine as well.

I read once that when you are going through a very stressful part of life,
do something normal. Something you don't have to think about.
It let's your mind relax, but not too much.
Ironing does that for me. I'm not stressing today. Nope. Not at all.
Just ironing with my new $2.99 iron!

Here's a little Sunday quote for you from Jane Austen. "Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." Hope you have a
real comfortable day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Take a look at this!

Here's a super cute blog giveaway over at 521 Lake Street. Cruise on over there and see if you can win it. I think this would be adorable filled with buttons. Or candy. Or old wooden spools of thread. Or candy. Or old coffee dyed lace. Or candy.....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Coffee. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

I started dyeing fabric this morning. No, I haven't made any beds, run the vacuum, or even cleaned up my breakfast dishes. BUT - here's how. It's very easy and very addicting.

Fill up a container of some sort with hot water.
Using instant coffee (I used Walmart) empty about half of the jar into the hot water.
Swish it around.

Grab every piece of fabric
you can find and put into
the mixture.
Avoid dyeing your pet
rodent. He will not be amused.

Avoid wearing clothes that are easily stained. For
instance, it was a really bad idea to wear my favorite J Jill ivory sweater, even though I purchased it at the Goodwill. Coffee DOES stain. This is the point. Especially if you are over zealous!

Do not rinse. Wring out in the sink. Wiping down the walls and windows, because AGAIN you were over zealous in your wringing.

Take fabric outside and hang on your clothesline. I do not happen to own a clothesline. I do happen to own lawn furniture. This substitutes nicely. The neighbors will think you are nuts. Unless they are dyeing fabric also! ;o)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fabric Collage

On Thursday evening Susan (A Circle of Buttons) and I went to Glen Ellyn, Illinois and took a class at Vintage Living making fabric collages. It was WONDERFUL. My pictures aren't the best, though. I'm hoping that I get a lovely new camera for Christmas....again, I digress.

The owner of the shop Becky had recently been to a fabric collage workshop in Colorado conducted by KC Willis. If you are not familiar with her work, take a look. I've linked to KC's website. Becky was kind enough to hold a workshop in the back room of her store and teach us what she learned. Becky is quite an artist in her own right and her store is....well, let's just say I could move right in and live there and be happy as a clam!

Becky was so very
generous with all of her supplies and provided the four of us attending with lovely snacks and drinks. It was absolute heaven! We sat in her back room gluing, sewing, digging through mounds of buttons, lace, vintage fabrics. This was way beyond my expectations. There was lots of laughter and joy in that room. I had such a great time!

We learned how to coffee dye fabric and lace. Basically you use half of a container of instant coffee to a large roaster pan of water. Becky said to experiment with different brands as they will make different colors. She said it works quicker than tea dying. I've tea dyed in the past. Generally it never works too well for me. I'm anxious to try out this coffee dyeing thing. I've purchased fabric and coffee. I'm going to give it a go and I'll post the results sometime this weekend.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Whiling away a Saturday

I have a million things I could be doing on this gloomy Saturday. The sun pops out for a bit and then runs away to hide. There's laundry and dishes and house cleaning. What am I doing? Sitting here on the computer playing with Photoshop and pictures.

This little box is something I picked up at the Goodwill for a couple of bucks. The ribbon spools fit quite nicely in there and my old sea captain seems to like the company.

Here are a few more nifty things I found at the Goodwill. They are both jewelry boxes but I like them stacked together and they hold quite a few things. I always think that if I'm organized it will make me more artistic. If my brushes and glue and bits and bobs are close at hand I'll be more artistic. I don't really think that's true but it sounded good for a minute.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New picture

I just changed the picture of myself. It used to be one of me as a young girl with my cat, Booty. This was before Booty meant what it does today. Back then, it was a sweet name, but I digress....

Blogger says we cannot post nude photos of ourselves.

Really? Really??? Did this need to be said?

Apparently so.

That being duly noted, here is a new picture. You'll be happy to know that I am fully dressed. And no one even had to tell me.

so there......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Susan's Fairy Box

This was a little fairy box I made for Susan's birthday. She's holding a little cocktail umbrella that is covered in glitter and put together with waaay too much glue!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bits and more bits

More Alice! This is actually all digital. A combination of Tangie Baxter and Irene Alexeeva. Just a quick little ditty since I'm on this Wonderland kick.
This next piece was a little spring bird project I made a while back. Not very fall like but then I'm really not ready for winter to come, yet...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Spectacular Mess

"The world is dark, and light is precious. Come closer dear reader. You must trust me. I am telling you a story... from the Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

So starts the first post of this blog. Here's the latest little art project that I've put together, inspired by Nicole Young. Mostly digital art that's been printed and pieced together. I printed out Alice on bright green paper and the bunny shadow was created in PS and printed on the bright blue paper. The background is a copy of The Jabberwocky poem printed on vintage paper. The mushrooms were cutout of an old book. Alice is courtesy of Tangie Baxter from Scrapbookgraphics. The floor is from Nicole Young over at Digital Scrapbook Place. The strange little green face belongs to Lorie Davison. I added hearts and paint here and there and finished it up with a coat of Mod Podge.

The title for this blog was from a statement my daughter made about 2 years ago. It stuck and it's true. With all of it's splendor, joy, heartache and beauty, life is a "spectacular mess."