Thursday, December 24, 2009

Winter Wishes

Wonderful Wishes to everyone. Whatever "Winter Holiday" you celebrate may it be bright and happy.

I was invited to be an Artist On call this month for Red Lead. It's a wonderful shop in St Louis, MO that has the neatest vintage items for altered art. I found them through an internet friend ( Thanks so much Sally !) and am so glad I did. Their collage sheets are awesome and so is everything else they have. One drawback is that I don't live close enough to take advantage of their awesome looking Workshops. I wish I could be at every single one. We visited there this summer and Hubby still has no idea how much money I spent there. A link to their site is . Please visit , you'll love it. I promise.

This is the card they posted. I forgot to photograph them before I sent them in so this is the only picture I have : (

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I love Christmas Trees !

I am pretty sure that we all love Christmas trees. There is a little magic in each one of them. This time of year when I am through for the day with all of my projects and before I head to bed, I like to sit in the living room with only the tree lights on. We always have a fresh cut one and maybe there will be a day when I break down and have an artificial one, but as long as I am physically able there will be a tree in my house at Christmas. The box we keep our ornaments in has remnants of every tree we have had in our house. A piece of a branch or the slice of the trunk my husband cuts off of the bottom before we put it in the stand. Some of the little bits of branches still smell divine. Each ornament must be placed on the tree so that it dangles freely, ( my one and only rule.) Oh! the memories on that tree. I have ornaments from my grandmothers tree and my mothers tree, and many ornaments my children made over the years. When the ornaments are all on, there must be silver tinsel hung on every branch. (Well ok, another rule of mine.) Yeah, it looks kind of Retro but that is my image of a Christmas Tree that I hope I pass on to my kids. We will never have a designer tree. Just good old green tree with multi colored old fashioned lights and more ornaments than I can count. Hmmm.. that might be interesting to try and count them all. I just thought of another rule..everyone in the family must hang at least one ornament on the tree. Luckily everyone likes to help except my hubby. He will do his obligatory ONE ornament but that satisfies him.
So before I go to bed tonight, I'll fix my hot tea and sit in the dark looking at my beautiful tree and see just how many different things about Christmases of my past I am able to remember tonight. Magic!

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Honey" Birds

When my daughter was little that was her name for Hummingbirds. The tiny creatures are settling here for a while and will disappear in less than a month for warmer temperatures. We are totally enjoying their visit for now. They are not shy birds so we can stand in the window and watch their wings flutter 90 to nothing and they are not bothered in the least. There are about four hanging around now and are not as social as some of the other Hummies we have seen. They will not share the feeder and prefer dining alone. All they want is some clean nectar and they are happy as....well...Honey Birds.

More ATCs......

A couple more ATCs I have made recently. The first one's theme was music and I had a hard time with it. I finally came up with this idea. I think I like it better now than when I first finished it.


This was a single image swap. Everyone was given the same image. It was fun to see how differently we all treated this photo of the ladies eating ice cream.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One man's Junk.....

I must admit I am a hoarder. Not the kind you will find on TV. Yes, I am a pretty neat housekeeper, but I hoard all useful things that may end up altered or used in any number of projects that I may come up with. My husband has been trying to get rid of this $6.00 bulletin board that used to belong to one of my sons. It had drawings all over it and some of the cork was missing, but I just knew I could use it for something. Well, he threatened to throw it away one last time and told me that if I came up with an idea he would give me $6.00 to go buy a new one. I asked for 24 hours more and he agreed. He's really pretty good to me. We have been married 29 (GULP) years last weekend.

This is what I came up with.

Since I swap ATCs and usually fall in love with them and want to show them off, I am am not comfortable with sticking pins or tacks through them. I saw an ATC album for sale once that had these pages in it that you could just slip the card into the folds of the page. Then I thought , EUREKA !! , that's what I will do with this old cork board. First, I collaged (don't know if that's a word) the frame with bits of collage sheets that I had, glued down and sealed with Perfect Paper Adhesive. I LOVE this stuff and will never use Mod Podge again. PPA does not dry tacky and it dries pretty quickly. It comes in a matte and glossy finish. It's acrylic based and water resistant.
Next, I practiced with some newspaper the folds that I wanted to have on the board. When I got it how I wanted it , I went to the Art store and bought some heavy drawing paper in a "Manilla Folder" color ( I need three big sheets, after folding, the paper size really shrunk) . I folded it according to my practice paper and then sewed the sides with my sewing machine to keep the folds down. I used that sticky red tape and stuck it to the cork and Viola ! this is what I came up with. Now I can take out, look at and show off my favorite ATC's without harming them and it looks like it will hold a lot of them. Thanks for looking. If you have any questions, about specifics, please ask me in the comments.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Holiday ATCs

A few more .....

Some Holiday ATCs

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I'm still a little blue over the loss of our sweet dog, Trouble. Life goes on. I got a little perked up making these Holiday ATCs for the Read Lead ATC swap. It's a little early for me to be thinking of Christmas, never the less it was fun to do. I hope you enjoy them.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Sweet Trouble. You will be sorely missed. I will miss how you followed us around, constantly. I will miss how obedient you were. I will miss how you took your paw and raised it up like you wanted to shake hands, but all you wanted was a belly rub. I will miss how happy you always were. I will miss the smell and feel of your coat . I will miss your good hugs. I will miss the torn tennis balls in the house to clean up. I will miss how you guarded us and kept us safe. I will miss your devotion to us and your trust in us. I will miss your company in the kitchen. I will even miss your stealing steaks off of the counter. Sweet Trouble. I will miss you with all of my heart.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Biltmore Gardens

We spent last weekend in Asheville, North Carolina at the Biltmore House and Gardens. Everyone I had talked to about this said that it was amazing and they were right. I was awed that the house was so "modern" for having been built in 1895. What I really enjoyed were the gardens and took way too many pictures of them. I am posting a picture of the door to the 115 year old greenhouse. You should have seen this green house, quite large for a private home and something you would imagine in a public Botanical Garden. Inside I found a tree that had hanging blooms on it that looked like little paper party lanterns. I couldn't find a name for this little tree anywhere so I took a million pictures of it. Here is one of the beautiful blooms on it. Also a picture of some of the flowers floating in one of the "CementPonds". I am terrible with flower names, but they were all so pretty. The weather was wonderful. While it was close to 100 degrees at home, the highest it was there was 82 degrees around noon. The view, well, no wonder these people built a mansion in the mountains. So serene. Originally they owned 125,000 acres, including some forest. Can you imagine? And back then, it all cost about 2 million dollars. Mind boggling !!! Today it would be billions.

OK, I have tried to change the order of my pictures, but whenever I upload them, they are always in the wrong . Enjoy anyway !!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Orleans

I was in New Orleans last weekend for a wedding. While walking through the French Quarter, I noticed how some buildings are kept up very well and the one next to it is just there, barely it seems. I will always love walking through the area and am amazed that as much as things change, they seems to always be the same here. All kinds of people coexisting in one area not bothered by one another's differences and seeming to respect that difference with a southern soul unlike any southern city I have ever been to. We had a chance to talk to some people that were born there and lived through the Katrina experience. I was speechless as I listened to their stories and admired their tenacity to live and die there too. We did not visit the parts of town that were affected by the levee break but most of the people we talked to had lived in those areas. My heart broke for what they lost, more than bricks and mortar. It seems they are still fighting hard to bring it back to the city it used to be , but to me this is a city still like no other you will find in America and it could never be replaced.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ancestor ATCs

I'm in another ATC swap in the RedLead Yahoo group. It's an Ancestor swap and you have to use their images on the cards. It's been really fun to use these and to make each card different. Most of the time in swaps so far, I have made them all alike so each swapee gets the same card. So, anyway, this gives me a little more artistic leeway which has really been fun to do. I love the vintage feel of the images, and although they aren't my ancestors, I have given them personalities of my real ones. I hope you like them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Save the Seals

I'm passing it on. My daughter loves all animals and she made this poster to spread the word. I really like that it's expressive of her personality. Colorful and to the point. Just passing the word
Save the seals and the puppies and the kittens and the polar bears and...... 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some recent ATCs

I have been a member of my ATC group for almost two years. Time flies when you are having fun ... Anyway here are some recent cards. I loved the Travel theme. There are so many places I would love to visit I thought this would be a great series to  make of just places I wanted to go. For the swap I chose Rome. This ATC folds open, looking like a passport on the outside. 

This one is from a "Letters and Numbers" swap. The topic was my suggestion but it took me a while to come up with an idea. I kind of like how it turned out. 

Itty Bitty Valentine Book

I joined an Itty Bitty Book swap this year and just adore the finished project. I think I am definitely hooked. The pages are ATC sized with about a 1/4" extra on the left side to accommodate the binding. So much fun to make. There are about 24 pages from 24 very talented ladies. Each page is so creative I kept saying to myself, I wish I thought of that. I don't have their permission to post their pages so I'll just show you mine. This first picture is of course, the cover. I love the Vintage Valentine on the front. The next picture is the front of my page. And the last picture is the back of the page or the signature.  cannot wait to do more of these. I hope you like it. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a dog !

I haven't gotten around to photographing my Barbie dolls yet, summer's arrival has taken me outdoors a lot. Planting flowers, sunning by the pool and grilling dinner, which sure keeps the kitchen clean, not to mention cooler. So, a bit ago I found this picture of Bert the Bassett that my daughter took of him. She has this dog wrapped around her finger and she can dress him up in anything. This is one good natured dog. Anyway, I couldn't help but play with the picture a little bit a and thought I'd share it. I am taking my sweet time learning Photoshop, that's my excuse anyway. It's just not easy for me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Barbie Commercial

I collect Vintage Barbie Dolls and was going to photograph some of them. I found this on you tube and thought it would make a great introduction. I just love this old commercial. My little sister and I played with our Barbies  non-stop until we just grew out of them. Well, that's not true, I still play with them and have been collecting the dolls and fashions for a while. 

There are no cars in Venice, Italy. The streets ( if that's what you call the pedestrian walkways) are not wide at all. Store windows are sort of "in your face" and they use all kinds of displays to get you to wander in and shop. The food stores are enticing enough with the aromas that waft through the doorways but you can see what they are selling as you pass by, and most of the time you cannot just pass by. They will make a sandwich for you on the crustiest of breads with the best cheeses you've ever tasted. I'd rather eat from one of these stores than at a fancy restaurant, especially for lunch.

A Dog's Life

How lazy do you have to be to be able to sleep on a brick wall ?? Bert can sleep anywhere, in fact, sleeping is his day job. He's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever owned and he makes relaxing look like an art form. I love ya Bert !!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I found this picture from my trip to Florence last spring. This is an entry to a house and is on a street that is only wide enough for one car to pass, if that. It look so clean and perfectly appointed with the brass doorbell and light. It has such a romantic look to it. I wonder if the inside is just as polished. It was a little strange thinking the door was so close to the street and how many people were passing by it but I guess that is the way of life there. Most of the streets in this section of town were not very wide at all. Most of the doorways were very nice and a lot of people put so much effort into making them neat and shiny. Some doors had plants flanking the door also. Wouldn't it be great to walk out your door right on to the streets of Florence? I think so. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More ATC's

Here are a few more ATC's. 

Vintage Advertising