Saturday, January 31, 2009

buttons, part two

i'm still on a mission to use my growing stockpile of buttons.   and so i could put all of this into perspective for myself, i came up with this comparison:  if i were to put the contents of my button jar on a weight loss program, with a goal of losing, say, 10 pounds, then "losing" these four buttons from my jar and using them on this journal would represent about a 5 ounce loss.  as you can see, i have a long way to go!

Friday, January 30, 2009

instant happiness

i try not to think of myself as an impulse shopper (although if we were ever in a craft store together, you'd probably have reason to disagree with me). but sometimes you come across that perfect thing, and you know instantly that you have to have it. so when i spied this little tile on etsy several days ago, one instant is about how long it took for me to put it in my cart. impulsive? maybe. jumping up and down because i'm so glad i followed my instincts? absolutely!       heart-in-hand tile: L'esperance Tile Works

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

tag, i'm it...

my sweet blogger buddies michelle and thelma tagged me a while ago, and i'm embarrassed to admit that i'm just now following through!  please forgive me, michelle and thelma, for being such a lousy tag player!  and, so i don't delay the game any further,  here are the six random things about me:

1.  i'm an air force brat (my dad is a retired pilot).  we moved so often when i was a kid, that i completed second grade in three different schools, in three different states (and there were many more moves to follow!). 

2.  i would LOVE to live in italy or france.

3.  i hate to fly...okay, it's actually a fear of mine, which makes #2 an interesting challenge!

4.  i love an interesting challenge.

5.  i have been honored to have artwork on display at the Postal Museum at the Smithsonian Institute...twice! 

6.  i am a fairly private person and i sometimes find blogging difficult because you really have to "put yourself out there".  but, through this blog i have grown, and i have you to thank for that!  i would never be able to describe what your support, words of wisdom, and encouragement through your loving comments have meant to me these past months.  thank you, friends!  :)

please visit michelle's blog (she makes wonderful handmade cards!), and then stop by thelma's blog and say hello (she paints the cutest little divas and fridas!).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

pea soup

five days ago we woke up to icicles on the bushes.  this morning, the weather has turned so balmy that we've been treated to a nice dose of very dense fog (you would never know that there's actually another condo building behind those trees!).  mother nature has an interesting way of showing off her creative side...makes me very thankful that hurricane season doesn't start again until june!  

Monday, January 26, 2009

inspiration monday

here's a great way to add a lot of inspiration to your workspace using a minimal amount of supplies.  first, you'll need a metal wire can be any shape or size that you choose.  mine is about 28" tall, and i found it in the home decor section at hobby lobby (click here, and then on "weekly specials", for coupons!).   i've also seen these at target and other fun places.

next, you'll need something to hang all of your goodies. these are called "dangling clips"...most craft stores sell these in the jewelry supplies aisle.  if you can't find these, you could also use small clothespins, or anything else that will help you attach your items to the structure.

lastly, just clip whatever inspires you and hang it from your structure!  some ideas are greeting cards, bookmarks, business cards, small pieces of artwork, ribbon, photographs, love notes, post cards...the sky's the limit!  have fun!
click on image for better view

Friday, January 23, 2009

return of the circles

ask anyone who has one, and they'll tell you that there's something exciting about having a fabric stash.  one reason why it's called a "stash" is because when you add the fabric to it, you do so with the intention of keeping it for a very long time.  and when a piece manages to escape from time to time,  it's always for a really good reason.  

the other great thing about a stash is that it gives permission to buy two of everything.  this way,  you'll still have one, just in case the other one escapes.  which brings me to my "circles on yellow" fabric.  it seems that i gave myself permission to buy two of this fabric, well, on more than one occasion.  i have lots of it. it looked great on this journal, and now i've used it for this coptic structure...and, it's likely that you may see it again! 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

backyard treasure

i have met so many wonderful people through etsy.  it's so much fun meeting folks from all over the world...and it's also a nice surprise when you meet someone in your own backyard! recently, i met sweet cristi as a result of her choosing my etsy shop as one of her "favorites".  when i noticed that she lived in my area, i dropped her a note to say hi, and before i knew it, we were chatting back and forth.  this necklace had caught my eye in her shop, and when she asked me if i was interested in conducting a trade, it didn't take me long to decide which item i would choose!  and as beautiful as it looks in this photo, it's even more stunning in person!  cristi's attention to detail and level of craftsmanship are above and beyond!  she chose some beautiful materials to work with, but i must admit that the silver tree hanging at the bottom is my favorite...inscribed on the sides are the words "grow strong".  cristi, this is an absolute treasure, and i so appreciate your generosity!  to see more of cristi's jewelry creations, please visit her shop here, and her blog here.  click on image for a great view!

and the winner is...

i tried to think of a really clever way to draw a winner's name for the giveaway, but sometimes you've just gotta go with what works best.  so, all of your wonderful comments went into my favorite bowl and my sweet dutch boy offered to do the honors...

...and it looks like tess is the winner!  congratulations!  i'll be sending your journal out to you very soon!  and, thanks so much to everyone who participated...i really appreciate all of your kind words and best wishes!!  :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

welcome to north florida!

well, the north wind finally caught up with us here in north florida!  after a quick stroll through our neighborhood this morning, i came upon this...i can't remember the last time i saw icicles!  thankfully, the sun is out and they're already starting to melt, but it's supposed to be even colder tonight.  yikes!

 there's still time to put your name in the hat for my give-away!  you can scroll down to yesterday's post or click here to leave a comment.  i'll be announcing the winner tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

one hundred fifty: time for a give-away!

there's a give-away extravaganza going on in blogland right now!  firstly, have you heard about "One World, One Heart"?  this is an annual event coordinated by lisa swifka for the soul purpose of  providing a way for all of us in blogland to meet each other!  plus, when you visit a participating blogger, you have an opportunity to enter in their give-away!  check it out here.  when you visit her blog, you'll see all of the participants listed on the right!  secondly, i noticed that the very sweet jenn over at noodle and lou is offering a chance to win some of her cute, cute valentine cards...don't miss this chance to own some of her fabulous artwork!  and lastly....
yesterday was my 150th post and i'm celebrating!!  i SO appreciate all of your support and encouragement, and i'd love for you to have this fabric journal that i recently made!  please leave me a comment so i'll know you want to participate in the give-away!  comments will be closed late wednesday night,  january 21st at 11:59 p.m. (east coast time) and i'll announce the winner's name on thursday, january 22nd!  good luck, and thanks for helping me celebrate!  :)
edited:  comments are now closed.  thanks everyone for participating!!  :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

inspiration monday

this has fabulous written all over it.  literally written...hand-written by the very talented adonna over at old barn rescue company.  i must admit that i've been lettering for over twenty years, and artistry like this makes my heart go a very fast pace!   the quote itself is heartfelt, the layout is classic, and the letterforms are pure whimsy and just plain delicious!  this level of lettering comes as a result of many hours (and years) of much discipline, much study and much practice!  and the fact that adonna has been able to make you wonder "how'd she do that?",  is a true testimony to her skill as a calligrapher!
the great news is that adonna's work is available in vinyl, so you can add this or many other quotes to choose from, to any wall in your home!  please visit her etsy shop to see all of her wonderful hand-lettered designs.  if you're like me, you'll have a hard time choosing a favorite!  and her website features many other home decor items that are hand-crafted from barn remnants over 120 years old!  
thanks have truly inspired me to pick up my pen more often!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

sweet motivation

it's a tall order, but my mission for today is to put some sense of organization back into my studio.  and just to make sure i stay motivated to finish the job, my sweet little molly has offered to come along for the fun!  have a great weekend!  

Friday, January 16, 2009

warm wishes

sending lots of sunshine and a piece of my mini-art to all of you who are enduring the bitter cold weather...a yummy, warm yellow background with snowy white lettering, and that little mr. sun doing his utmost to get those temperatures back to normal!  even here in north florida, we have a forecast of 29 degrees tonight...yikes!  and i know that all of you snow bunnies don't exactly feel our pain, but keep in mind that most floridians go into hibernation-mode when the temperature drops below 60 degrees!  so stay warm, stay safe, snuggle with your family, crank up the electric blanket, and drink plenty of hot chocolate.  i hope that soon you'll feel the warmth of the sun that's being sent your way!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

button coptic

i love buttons.  so much so that i refuse to claim that i collect buttons, because whenever i give myself permission to collect something, well, let's just say i always end up with a larger inventory than most retail stores (just ask my paper and fabric collections).  i especially love the vintage variety of button,  and one of my favorite things to do is paw around in my wide mouth button jar...i just love that happy clinking sound that they make!  

i've managed to add buttons to some of my other books, and since i've discovered the coptic binding, i decided to merge the two...and here's the result. i'm really happy with the combination of the tweed looking bookcloth and the vintage buttons.  and since i've used four buttons from my button jar, doesn't that give me permission to add some new ones to it?!  :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

perfect day

rain, rain, feel free to stay.  well, for a little while, anyway.  if there's one thing that inspires me, it's a day like today...overcast, a constant steady rain, and a nice chill in the air.  it always puts me in "nesting mode".  what a perfect day to whip up a batch of laura's double chocolate thumbprint cookies, or spoil my dutch boy by making kate's orange and chocolate cheesecakes for dessert. and while that's in the oven, i think a little nesting is in order in my studio (actually, its such a mess, it's starting to look more like "the land of no return").  oh yeah, a little nesting, a little baking,  a little regrouping.  it really is a perfect day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

inspiration monday

in the northeast part of france lives a man who owns a vineyard.  when the grapes are ready, he makes wine, bottles it, and packs it up in boxes for sale at a local shop.  and today, it's the actual boxes of wine, more than the wine itself, that has me inspired.  i'm sure that your artistically trained eye has already noticed the grid pattern made by the way these boxes have been stacked.  and while that's not really such a big deal, if you think about it, there's layout possibilities here (of course, i'll always be a sucker for symmetry any day!).  i was also drawn to the neutral colors of the boxes, with a pop of orange in the tablecloth, finished with the black from the lettering.  and yes, the lettering!   how could the lettering artist in me possibly ignore how expressively these labels have been written!
so, i'm thinking that if a stack of wine boxes arranged by an unknown wine vendor in france can inspire me, then inspiration is surely everywhere!  look around and see what you can find today!  this photo was taken during a trip to france several years ago. click on image for a larger view

Saturday, January 10, 2009

etsy front page!

well, right about now i'm feeling like a giddy school girl because i'm so excited to share the fun news that my vine batik journal was featured on the front page of etsy!!  woo hoo!!  thanks so much to shellieartist for including my journal in this wonderful treasury!  
have a great weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2009

book of me

this is one of the books that i was planning on making the other day, until my plans were changed {the details are in yesterday's post...and just as a side note, my little trip to michael's for "one item" turned out to be costlier than i had intended.  i always get into so much trouble in there! }.  i've had such good response to my "book of life" that i thought i'd continue on with the theme.  i have a few more ideas in mind...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

that was yesterday

my plan yesterday was to make two books...that was my plan, anyway.  ever have one of those days where your great ideas just don't seem to make it to the drawing board?  or after searching through your enormous supply stash, you finally find what you're looking for and you realize it's the wrong size or the wrong color?  that was my world yesterday.  and while i was in one of those "just shoot me now" moods yesterday, i'm reminded that today is a new day.  and there's nothing like starting the day with a little retail therapy, so i'm off to michael's to find the right supplies in the right size and the right color.   and then i'm going to make a new plan...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


i love pawing through my supplies, because i always find things...great things...that i'd forgotten that i had.  i bought this paper a few years ago, and of course hoarded it because i love it.  but in keeping with my "goals for 2009", it's time to reduce that ever-growing mountain of scrapbook paper by using it...and i have a long way to go!
p.s.  the paper used to make this book was designed by artist and calligrapher teri martin.  click on the image for a larger view.

Monday, January 5, 2009

inspiration monday

 every year around this time i come to grips with the fact that i have once again managed to create a fifth food group, consisting primarily of sugar, corn syrup, brownies, cupcakes, cookies....and chocolate.  and every year around this time i come to grips with the fact that my newly created food groups have newly created about ten pounds on my body.
this year, one of my words-to-live-by is balance.  and to live a balanced life, i really should have a balanced diet.  in the past, i've made the mistake of trying to completely remove my beloved fifth food group from my life...and i must admit, i've failed.  so this year instead of focusing on what i "can eat" and "can't eat",  i'm going to just try to eat healthy....and find that perfect ratio between carrots and chocolate!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

seize the day

this certainly isn't one of my best calligraphic pieces, but i still think it's fun...and isn't that really what saturday is all about?!  i hope you have a great one!  :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

book of life

this is my first book project of the new year.  it's a combination of several of my "goals" for 2009:  1)  practice and become more comfortable with the coptic binding.  2) simplify.  3) reduce the massive mountain of scrapbook paper that's slowly creeping into every room of the house.  4) just create, try not to overthink it.  and the goal on this list that i'm working the hardest on?  that would be #3!  :)      click on image for better view
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