Sunday, March 30, 2008

I've been 'tagged'...

But first I want to say, what a fun "Bling Your Birdhouse" weekend! I visited a lot of participating blogs and saw birdhouses decorated in any way you can imagine. There are so many incredibly creative people in blog-land and they're as NICE as they are creative. Thank you to everybody that stopped by and left such wonderful comments...and thank you to Karla and Beth for hosting the party--you're just the best!

OK, so I was 'tagged' last week by my friend, Mithua (craftswithcare) which means I'm now supposed to tell you 5 things about myself. For help, I tried to remember some of the get-to-know-you games that often start a group event, but all I could remember were questions like: brown or blue eyes? (blue); brothers/sisters? (2 brothers, 1 sister...I'm the oldest); etc., YAWN! Not that my five things are going to be all-out-fascinating, but here goes:

1. I get easily excited about new crafting possibilities and want to try all of them. I'm getting better about limiting myself, but if there is paper or fabric involved, there's no control!

2. I have a terrible sweet tooth--I love dessert! And I love Mexican food with a good margarita.

3. For me, a beach vacation is pure bliss...maybe because I'm landlocked here in the midwest.

4. I am a night owl...I go to bed very late on most nights.

5. Currently, my favorite television watching is on Home and Garden (HGTV) or nightly reruns of "Two and a Half Men" (I love Jake!).

Ta-dah! That's it!

I hope your weekend was a good one!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's a PARTY!

Karla and Beth are having a "Bling Your Birdhouse" blog party! If you visit their blogs, you will see lots of blinged-up birdhouses that these two fun-lovin', party-lovin' gals have created for their party. While you're there, you'll also find links that will take you to see even more birdhouses!

I always like a good party so I've added these two to the tour. I had plenty of fun making them--painting and gluing and glittering--no pressure, anything goes!

Both are available for purchase in my etsy shop.

Blinged and Glittery Blue Birdhouse:

Pink Enchanted Fairy Dream House:

Thanks for visiting--I'm so happy you stopped by!

OK, I'm ready to party! I'm off to let Karla and Beth know I'm here--maybe grab a drink and something from the snack table--then make the rounds to see what everybody created for some very lucky birds!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"The Pink Artist Doll Project" Update

I wanted to share my excitement with you about The Pink Artist Doll! Monica (girl-gone-thread-wild) has two posts on her blog with photos showing the progress of our girl. I think it is FASCINATING and Monica's comments are always a delight.

Check it out: The Pink Artist Doll Project


Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Remember last week when I was looking around my house for a cleared off, flat work surface? It was for this set of two banners that I was sewing--each measures 24 inches wide and 8 1/2 feet long.

I have to describe the entire process as quite an experience. It was my first large commissioned work and was requested by a member of our church to be created in memory of his late wife. She was a dear woman and she and I had worked together on visuals for the sanctuary on a number of occasions. She loved color the way I do, so I knew I wanted color to play a big role in the designing. When my ideas were presented to her husband, he was very enthusiastic and encouraging. So far, so good.

I shopped my favorite quilt stores for a variety of batik fabrics. What fun! I would bring them home, lay them out and play with different arrangements--even more fun! I love playing with color!

But at one point, I became paralyzed...frozen. I so wanted these banners to be perfect for so many reasons! My lovely batik fabrics remained stacked up for a couple of months patiently waiting for me to turn them into a piece of perfection. Or so I thought. Didn't I remember that the very nature of hand dyed batiks is one of surprise or serendipitous results?

Easter Sunday was the agreed upon deadline so I finally had to tell myself to "just start!" So I did, focusing on the particular task at hand, the 'now'. And I thought a lot about my dear, late friend and her husband and the times that the three of us and others on the visuals team worked together, planning and doing. Or the times that we got silly with our ideas and laughed at never-to-be-used possibilities! I gave way to thoughts of thankfulness for the gift of creativity, thankfulness for the opportunity to use those gifts to praise God. And I let go of perfect.

The banners were completed and hung on Saturday ready for services on Sunday. They are not 'perfection', but they are the result of an artful experience, one where emotions felt in the process were much greater than expected. I would definitely call the experience one of serendipity: "an accidental and fortunate discovery while looking for something else".


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

("Easter's Promise" Greeting, courtesy of Ministry of the Arts/Art by Mary Southard, CSJ)

Once again we emerge from winter waiting. . . ever yearning, ever reaching for Easter's Promise.

May God's Promise of new life
bless and renew you.

Wishing you a
Happy Easter!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Opposite of Spring Cleaning

You know, there was a time when our home housed eleven beings: Rick and me, three daughters, one son, one beagle (a big beagle) and four cats. It was great fun, really.

But do you think there was space for a craft room for me at that time? Oh my, no. I did my crafting on the floor of the master bedroom. I thought there could be no greater luxury than a craft room and I dreamed of having one of my very own. Imagine it--all of my supplies in one place instead of spread out all over the house...I wouldn't have to take time to gather things and set up, I could just walk in and craft. And likewise, when playtime was over, I wouldn't have to move projects and pick up supplies from the master bedroom floor in order to go to bed, I could just leave the room, knowing all would be ready for my next visit.

Well, as our children grew up and left the nest (the youngest left for college this past fall and it's just Rick and me and two cats), rooms became available and a little over two years ago my dream of a craft room became reality. And it's wonderful. I love having this space. I use it for my paper crafts and sewing. However, I didn't feel I could do any painting in the same room that I sew in--too many messy possibilities--so I also have a space in our basement to paint. Aren't I spoiled?

This week I've been working on a large sewing project. I really was going to need space to spread it all out. With TWO workspaces, it shouldn't have been a problem. But when I looked at my craft room, I knew it wasn't going to happen in there. I would have to do some major clearing to make the kind of space I was going to need and I was working under a deadline for this project.

Recently I cleaned up my painting space for a new project and I thought maybe I could just move a few things and work there (even though it became the painting space in the first place to keep it away from sewing projects). But one look told me I'd better not.

So I started looking for available flat surfaces and ended up homesteading this corner in our family room. I only had to move three or four things--what a breeze!

Unfortunately, a cleared off flat surface doesn't stay that way long when I'm busy creating. The photo above was taken last night and this next one was taken this morning. Not too bad yet, but I can't say what it will look like tonight or tomorrow.

And that's okay 'cause I'm doing what I love. Besides that, this is what I've been listening to while I work (actually this CD and Brandi Carlile's "The Story" for a couple of months now--can't get enough of either one).

Hmmm, a fine frenzy, I can relate to that.


(I think I have spring fever...thought I needed a new blog background color. It feels like I painted a room, all fresh and clean. I like it. So, it turns out I liked my yellow better--such a fickle one, huh? Added some music too.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Vintage Easter Postcard

(click image to enlarge)

I think vintage postcards have the most interesting images. This is one that I purchased about a year and a half ago. The postmark is from Columbus, Nebraska and dated April 14, 1911.

The postcard itself was printed in Germany and the squiggly lines are raised, but it was the image that attracted me. To me, it could be an illustration for a fairy tale--I'm sure there's a story in there someplace. It also reminds me of vintage images I've seen of children riding on the backs of turkeys or flying geese, etc.

I'd love to share this image with you. Please feel free to copy it and use in any of your artwork.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Heard Birds Singing!

Can SPRING really be on the way?!

It's been a lo-o-ong winter this year. Seems, in past years, we would get a day or two of sunshine and moderate temperatures along the way. But winter didn't seem as playful this teasing with gifts of spring-like-days-even-though-it's-still-winter...that I can recall.

So yesterday, I was elated when I could throw open the doors and let in that sweet smell of early spring. And when I did the same thing this morning and heard the birds singing, well, how wonderful is that?!

That sweet birdy photo up there? I took that on Christmas Eve when we were in Santa Fe, NM! Hard for me to believe--I think IT looks like spring. Yep, I'm so done with winter I'm looking for signs wherever I can. And, yes, I've lived in the midwest long enough to know that all of this could change within days or even hours, but for now, I'm feelin' SPRING-Y!


Monday, March 10, 2008

In The Pink Collaborative Project

Remember when I gushed about the enjoyment of online communities and how many wonderful people I've met? Well, as if that wasn't enough in itself, I've just recently participated in a couple of art collaboratives ("the pink artist" and Never Forgotten) and, again, I marvel at the extraordinary and meaningful things that are happening in those communities.

I find myself loving collaboratives. I don't know why, I just do. So, with that in mind, look what's going on over at PAPER CAT'S PAGE!

Remember recently when I was having a great time playing with paper dolls? (Sorry to sound so much like I'm testing your memory today 'cause it really doesn't matter if you remember what I's just my way of bringing you up to speed.) Here's what I was doing...this is the page I sent to Jo Anne for her collaborative art book:

She said she loves all things pink! Hope I didn't go overboard but I do know, for pink-lovers, there is no such thing! :)

Jo Anne has already posted photos of the art that is coming in and will continue to post photos as more is received. Can't wait to see how it all comes together...I think it'll be a fun piece.

If you would like to join in the fun, you can sign up on Jo Anne's blog until MARCH 31st, 2008. She will need to receive all artwork by APRIL 30th, 2008. Come on, I can already hear you thinking PINK!


Sunday, March 9, 2008


On Friday, my friend Mithua (Crafts With Care) wrote to say she was giving me this award! How about feeling special (blush-blush).

Mithua is one of the nicest gals you'd ever want to know AND she's a very talented dollmaker. She creates one of a kind dolls, mostly cloth, but uses other media as well. Each one of them is full of personality and is definitely 'crafted with care'. Go to her blog and you'll see what I mean.

Thanks so very much, Mithua! Actually, it is your blog that makes MY day!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Isn't the internet a wonderful thing?! And hasn't it come a LONG way?!

There were my first days of using our computer for only email. Then I discovered websites that helped us plan vacations. Oh, and eBay! At some point the internet had grown enough that it became my go-to for just about any question I had. And there was that first year that I did all of my Christmas shopping online.

But the most satisfying internet developments for me have been the ones where there is connection to other people. It was only a couple of years ago that I found myself invited to an eBay artists/sellers group. I really wasn't sure what it was all about but quickly experienced interaction with others who had many of the same interests as me. And they were all over the country!

Before too long, I stumbled onto, and joined, variaZioNE (or ZNE), a mixed media art group whose members are all over the WORLD! Imagine how many pieces of incredible art one can see without ever leaving home, not to mention the opportunities to meet new friends...ZNE members are a very caring, encouraging and generous bunch!

So then, last summer, I started reading artists' blogs, enjoyed them, and by the first of this year I decided I would jump in and give it a try too. Talk about connection, interaction,'s HUGE! In fact, it was in reading somebody's blog that I discovered another exciting internet development--the online workshop! Oh my gosh, who knew?!

I started a six week workshop with Karyn on Monday and I'm loving it already. There are 19 in our class and it has been a hoot! In addition to conversations about supplies, techniques, etc., this group also chats about the important issues of sitting on the back row, teacher's pet, detention, to name just a few. Education AND entertainment, all for one low price...right here on the internet!

Yes, a wonderful thing indeed!