Blessed are the curious...for they create a better world.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Secret Santa Gifts

Oh don't you just love Secret Santa exchanges?  It was my favorite part of Christmas at the office, and......since I no longer work......I now miss out on that.  But Debi Huntsman in my MAMA group hosted a swap this year and I was so excited to participate!  The swap was to create a handmade embellished bag and fill it with Christmas goodies that must include an ornament and a sweet. For my bag I created a purse and embellished it with vintage lace, doilies and flowers and a little jeweled star. 
Here is the stash of goodies that I included.  My sweet was the candy cane heart that is created by melting two candy canes together and adding melted white chocolate.  Pinterest has so many wonderful Christmas sweets ideas like this one!  I LOVE Pinterest!
My girlfriend Lorraine and I created these little mini bags our of scrapbook paper. We added this little origami tree.  This bag is filled with Trader Joe's Peppermint Truffles - amazing! 
 My handmade ornament was this Christmas Shoe. Sorry it's hard to see - it is packaged in a clear bag.  And the little glass glitter reindeer is one of my favorite finds this year - I had to buy a few for myself too!

I made a Christmas Cracker out of a toilet paper roll.  This one is filled with lace and ribbons.  Melanie was the recipient of this package.

Happy Holidays to you and your family - I hope that you all have a Secret Santa in your future!

Linking with Pink Saturday.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lacey Cuff

I'm still on a sewing spree!  Here is a lace cuff that I made for my partner, Thespa, in the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group.  My good buddy Lorraine hosted this swap, and the challenge was to create a bracelet out of lace and fabric and vintage goodies. My cuff was created with a special wool felt and some vintage lace. I love making the folded rosettes with all different kinds of ribbons and fabrics, and for this piece I used one make out of a twill ribbon to anchor it in the middle.  It is surrounded by a lace rosette and a felt rosette.

My favorite part about MAMA swaps is that it challenges me to try new things.  My sewing machine was downright dusty before this, and now I have regained my confidence that I know how to use the thing and am sewing more cuffs, purses and other accessories.  It's a blast!

A very happy Pink Saturday to the wonderful link party participants - you have really been so sweet with all of your comments and have inspired me to keep up this blogging thing.  Thanks so very much for your visits!

Friday, November 16, 2012

This Tops the Cake!

More Marie!  Really, she is such a wonderful muse. This piece is for another MAMA swap - this one for a cake topper.  I have never created a cake toper before, not out of paper, not out of icing, not out of anything!  So I head off to Chula Vista to a very small store that is not far from the Mexican Border right of the I-5 to look for cake topper parts.  I like to shop down there instead of at Michaels or JoAnns because I can find parts that are unique.  After fishing around in cardboard boxes I pulled out this little gate and arch set.  How perfect!  After assembling all of the parts I decorated it with festooning, crepe paper and flowers and birds.  And of course all of the decorations frame lovely Marie.  I think she would love standing in the garden. And Marie was now ready to be shipped to my swap partner, Kris Dickinson.

However, when I was finished and I stood back and studied her a thought came to my mind - "Holy Smokes, when did my art evolve to all of this foofiness? I think everything I have made in the past six months has been pink and light blue pastels, with lots of lace and tulle and crepe paper.  It made me laugh, and made me realize that maybe it's time to pull back a little!

And I received this beautiful creation from Kris - she found an entire gazebo to decorate! Thanks Kris, I love it.
Linking with Pink Saturday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sew Sew Fun!

It all started with a swap that I joined to sew a simple drawstring bag.  So out came the sewing machine (which is 25 years old) and I made a trip to JoAnn's  got started.  After getting that nasty tension adjusted just right and getting the thread fed through the correct places I began to get the feel of this sewing thing again and started having a blast! The drawstring bag never happened because I got this idea that making a purse would be nicer and more useful, so I made a lining and handles and sewed the whole thing together.   I realized that I was having so much fun and I really enjoyed this sewing thing - it was nothing like Mrs. Fisher's 8th grade Home Economics class!

My girlfriend Lorraine was having a birthday tea and this was what I wanted to create for her.  She loves kitties and I found this cute graphic of a girl holding a kitty.  I added a french graphic background and printed it out on fabric. I stitched it on my bag with some vintage doilies and parts of a vintage tablecloth and voila! Happy Birthday Lorraine, I hope you enjoy your little purse as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

And thank you Mrs. Fisher - you really must have actually taught me how to sew!

Linking with Pink Saturday.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Marie Antoinette!

It's Marie Antoinette birthday!  She would have been 257 today.  The Marie Antoinette Mail Art Group marked the event with a "Gala d'anniversaire de Marie", and they held numerous swaps with special brithday themes to celebrate.  It was so much fun.  Some days I wonder if I will ever tire of creating in the Marie Antoinette theme and the answer is "absolutely not!" Who doesn't like those fabulous colors of pale pinks and aquas.  And then you get to mix in lace and ribbon and jewels - what's not to love about that!

Here is a cake slice box that I created for my partner, Terri Gordon.  I have been making lots of these little slices lately and was well practiced for this one.  Thank goodness, because Terri is the moderator of our group and is amazingly talented so I always hope that what I create can even come close to matching hers. I decorated my box with pretty papers, lace, flowers, seam binding, and I created an arch over Marie and added a little birdie.  I made Terri a little cake stand to display her little cake slice.  We filled our boxes with goodies "fit for a queen", and I also added this other little cake that I created out of a battery operated votive.

Marie, I wish you a happy birthday.  You lived a short and turbulent life, but I bet you had no idea on the artisic inspiration that you would provide for many centuries!

And welcome Pink Saturday visitors!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skelly Fun!

Happy Spooks Time!  I am getting into the Halloween spirit this year, and we have decorated the house and my studio looks like a pumpkin threw up in it. Usually my work tends towards sweet pastels, lace and pretty, but for the Halloween season I get to unleash the bad girl!  Black, orange, witches, spiders, spooks, skeletons....I love them all. 

Here is a spooky little girl that I created for a swap in my local Paper Soiree group. It all started with a package of skeltons from the dollar store. My cohost Lorraine sprayed them with glue and glittered them up with silver glitter. Each of the Paper Soiree members took one home to "dress up". The results were so much fun to see - some ladies brought their "ghouls" in coffins, I put mine on a spool pedestal and a couple of the skellies ended up in pink. They are were quite fabulous!

I hope you are all in the Spooky mood!  Happy Pink Skelly Saturday to my Pink Saturday visitors.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hats Off To Halloween!

I have finally found my Halloween spirit, thanks to some inspiration from my wonderful creative girlfriend, Lorraine.  She got me started on this Halloween hat craze and I can't stop.  These little hat tops actually lift off to reveal a compartment to add little treats. The weather has been so unseasonably hot here in San Diego that it is hard to get in the fall spirit.  But today it is finally overcast and there is a chance of rain so I think I will make more hats and then drag out my decorations from the garage and make my surroundings a little more festive!
And a Happy Pink Saturday to my Pink visitors, it has been so long since I've participated!  I hope you don't mind some orange and black today!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Paris I Miss You and Marie ATC and Tag

Marie celebrates her birthday on November 2nd, and my MAMA (Marie Antoinette Mail Art) group is honoring the Queen with a birthday gala! Swaps galore, games, chats and more -  I love my MAMA girlfriends and I love anything Marie so this gala is so much fun. This is the first swap that I have completed, an ATC with a birthday theme.
The next swap that I completed was a tag swap in which we can take all of our tags that we recieve and create a book. I am so excited to trade for these lovely tags and I can't wait to make a little piece of art with the works of other MAMA artists. Really, I could just sit and create pieces all day long with a Marie and French theme. One year ago today I was in Paris. On this day my girlfriend Mary and I headed across the Seine to Notre Dame at sunrise (we were still on CA time) and then after a cafe creme and pain au chocolat we walked through the Latin Quarter to Luxembourg Gardens, which was so incredibly beautiful. Paris, you will always be my love!
 Here I am in front of Luxembourg Palace.

The view of the Eiffel Tower from Luxembourg Gardens.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Oui! Oui! Oui!

Last week was our monthly art group, Paper Soiree, held at Paper Tales in the Point Loma area of San Diego. The group has grown to 10 wonderfully creative ladies that are all so sweet! I so look forward to our monthly get together. In advance of the meeting we create an assigned project that we swap with each other at the meeting. This month the swap was a OUI Banner, and the results were stunning! I hope you enjoy a peak at our creations. You can follow our creations on our Paper Soiree Swap Board on Pinterest.

Here are our creations:

 The above is my banner and the close-ups of the individual pieces.
 This is the beauty that Lorraine made.
 This lovely piece was designed by Michelle.
 Pam B. created this gorgeous banner.
 And I was the lucky recipient of the creative jewel, made by Pam W.
 Rosa was the creative mind behind this lovely banner.
 This wonderful piece was designed by Sandra.
And Angie created this little gem.
I think our swap was a huge success.  Everyone left will such a beautiful prize to hang in their home.  Next month we are swapping decorated cake boxes, and I can't wait to get back together and see what these amazing ladies created.
I hope you all are enjoying these last days of summer.  Boy it went fast this year!  Happy Pink Saturday to my fabulous Pink Friends.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Jim and I ran our first 5K this morning in downtown San Diego.  It was put on by a group called Color Me Rad and benefitted Deaf Services of San Diego.  We got to run through the streets of downtown, which was awesome.  And as we came through the final leg, we ran through "color stations" where they threw color powder on us!  It really was a blast and so fun to do with my husband, who really embraced the "color" aspects of the race.
The before picture.

And the after picture!

Friday, August 10, 2012

MAMA Altered Mini Matchbox

Another Marie Antoinette Mail Art (MAMA) group swap, this one is for an altered mini-matchbox that holds an altered domino.  Thank goodness for MAMA this summer, or I think I would not be creating at all!  Sometimes we end up in a rut, and the heat really kills my creativity.  Now I really shouldn't feel sorry for myself since I live in San Diego and a heat spell is 85 degrees! 

Anyways, I have signed up for a few MAMA swaps this summer and that is what has kept me creating.  This piece is an altered matchbox.  I had fun with the domino trying to cover the graphic with UTEE to seal it in.  It required a few coats but I am happy with the result.  Although it took me weeks to pick out the compenents, the matchbox went to together in just a few minutes.  For this swap I am trading with Bobbi Ann.  I have not yet had the pleasure of trading with her so I am looking forward to sending this her way and hope she likes it!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer and that you are staying cool and creative!  Happy Pink Saturday to my pinkie visitors.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me

Today is a lovely summer morning in San Diego, a little warm and a little humid, but beautiful nonetheless.  As I sit at my computer the birds are singing in the background, welcoming this new day.  My house is close to a lake and it is amazing how many birds come into our yard!  I've seen bright yellow birds, sparrows, robins and so many more.  Every morning the mourning doves arrive and stay most of the day.  My hubby is a huge bird lover, and fills two bird feeders and two hummingbird feeders every week.  It's so much fun to watch the little hummingbirds fight over the feeder.  Did you know that a dominant hummingbird actually "claims" the feeder and fights the other hummingbirds off?

I love to include birds and bird cages into my artwork.  This book is an altered memo book that I created for a swap.  I find the Tim Holtz bird cage die to be fabulous when glittered.  Isn't everything better with a little glitter?  And the cover also includes two of my faves of the moment:  festooning and pom poms.  Really, with glitter and festooning and pom poms, what could go wrong?

I hope you all are enjoying your summer, and that you can enjoy the birds every morning. If I think of sounds that make me happy, bird songs are right there at the top with the sounds of waves at the beach.  I just love summer! 

Happy Pink Saturday to my pinkies.