A Very Merry Christmas to All

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year

I can't say that I am sorry to see 2012 leave. It has been a hard luck year. Between losing animals  and struggling with health issues I truly didn't think it could get much worse. It did when we were notified that my cousin Scott was killed on Thanks Giving Morning. Of course this entire Nation went into mourning with the Sandy Hook Killings...so I'd say there are many people happy to see this year coming to an end and hoping that 2013 brings more joy and less sorrow to all of us.

I may not have BLOGGED since losing my dear sweet Red but I have been busy. There were challenges and swaps that needed attention. Just because my life has some bumps in my personal journey, doesn't mean other people should have to pay. I'm sorry to say that not all people feel that way. WE had a swap on
Artforthecreativemind@yahoo.com and it seems that the person who had me just didn't care. I was told she had health issues...sorry but I had to laugh considering all I've faced this year. Yet I still managed to get all I had to do, done. Meanwhile months have passed and the person didn't even have the decency to write me a note and apologize. I can live without the swap. I can't condone ignorance ...

I hope to redo this Blog, perhaps start adding some tutorials along the way. Let me bring you up to date on some of the things I've done.
card front

card back
This is a card I made from a child's flash card the tags on the back were attached to notes and a check.
I'm afraid I'm not the best card maker, but I have fun altering things.
We had a Spooky 4X4 swap, so I made this up with a little envelope of gifts.Also wrote a little poem for the back.


This was a fun swap. I happen to like spooky which made it even more fun. I painted a pumpkin patch on canvas , then put an overlay of tulle that had spider webs on it. Then of course it needed a spider and a black cat I punked with a small watch.

In another group I belong to we had to make ATC's the theme was TIME
Then we had that Spool exchange. The one my partner didn't seem to think was worth the bother.

They certainly Had some sparkle to them. I often wonder if you get something in a  swap and you don't give anything, do you feel guilty? I would.

In another group I belong to we had a potion bottle exchange. That was different. The bottles are flat so I put little stands on the back to make them stand. These were fun.
Then in CDA we had a soft animal challenge.Just like the cat I did, only this was a dog pattern so I decided to make a "Watch" dog.
Another Challenge in the same group was a primitave stocking with a doll and candy cane. I don't do "prim" real well, but I made the stocking from an antique quilt, and the doll was tea stained. I included the soft candy cane and button tree.

Also in CDA was a challenge for a Gourd Santa. I drilled holes in him and cover the front with stars. Add a light and he looks cool in the dark.

So what do they do with those huge light bulbs when the burn out (street lights) this is what I did with one.
I had 2 left so I made one for two friends of mine...A little different..

My nutcracker pin doll for another challenge

a KINDNESS postcard for someone in the group (Tristan)

Probably should have flipped this one , but it is a PC with a single slide mailer. Open it to reveal another key.
My daughter-in-law loves Penguins and challenged me to make her ones from  water bottles.
They were fun to make and she fell in love....So as you can see, I do stay busy and even though I didn't get much time for the computer or my Blog. When I wasn't sitting in some doctors office, or being poked by needles (what a waste of time) I was busy getting ready for a Happy Christmas.
Christmas Eve dinner with friends was my way of ending this year on a happy note. We weren't sure if it would happen this year. Considering many factor, but I think the best way to ward off sadness is to bring laughter into your life. I was going to do a Christmas tree fold, but these red napkins just begged for a flower. So that's what I did to each plate.

Happy New Year!!! I hope to revamp this Blog, get rid of the old and bring in the new. I will have a studio at CDA this year and invite all of you to join us there. I'll write more about that later.
For now I end this Blog for 2012 saying good riddance and I welcome 2013 and wish you all a very safe and healthy New Year.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saying Good Bye to a Friend

His name is Red and oh what a friend he has been. Not just to me, but to every living thing that touched his life.
He was a big guy and I enjoyed our walks in the woods, hanging out at the barn or just watching him entertain the goats and Emma, up until last year.
He missed Emma when she passed, we all did . They used to spend a lot of time together and his heart was broken when he lost her. I don't think he ever recovered from that loss.
He was never himself after Emma, but he continued to watch over his little buddies and he continued to brush his face against me as a sign of his affection. I noticed he seemed to be getting tired, resting more then usual.
Last Sunday I knew his time had come. There was this connection we had and I felt him slipping away.
I sat with him and told him how much I loved him, how I wish he could stay with me forever. I told him he'd me missed and to give Emma my love. I stroked my friend for hours, my gentle giant. I finally left him sleeping, sure he would not wake in the morning.
Monday came and there he was, standing by the gate to greet me. I cheered and gave him a big hug...So happy to get to see his face one more day. Instead of turning him to pasture I opened the barn and together we walked our walk for one last time. He stood in the shade of the tree's and nibbled on some grass, the first he had eaten in two days. he walked down to the pasture fence and the goats came running over to see him..he whispered, they looked at him and gave a little sound , then walked away.
As we walked back to the barn I talked to him and in that conversation asked him to please stay out of his stall. It would be very hard to extract him from where his stall was located...He just gave a little winnie and  nuzzled me one last time.He did not return to his stall, he made things very easy for Rich and Art to bury him next to his beloved Emma.. My heart is broken, not for Red, he had a good, full life with me, he was well loved and cared for, I cry for me simply because it's hard to say good-bye to a friend.

I fell so far behind for the Harvest fest and everything else over this  past week. Just couldn't seem to pull it all together.
It was bitter cold and raining for the Harvest Fest. People stayed home. I consider myself lucky that I sold what I did. It really didn't matter because it went right back to the Cancer Society, but I can think of better ways I'd rather spend my day then freeze me arse off. Now it is on to finish swaps, make  challenges and prepare for Christmas. Oh and I have one more trip to the Island ugh!!
Life does go on doesn't it?
Rest in Peace my dear , sweet Friend....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Still Screaming

Oh my it has been a time of it. Whining never solves a problem, if anything it just intensifies the situation...so I won't whine, I'll just keep screaming LOL
I keep busy and have been trying to  keep up with things. I really lightened up on my groups. Not because I really wanted to, it had something to do with my sanity and a straight jacket.
So I still try and be as active as possible on AFTCM and I absolutely love CDA . Of course, I keep trying with my little band of merry artist on SOMMA but it does get discouraging at time...people want swaps, I ask for idea's...Nothing. I come up with idea's...some work, some don't. I want to keep things stress free, no pressure, so I just keep throwing things out there. Norma  offered to co-monitor, bless her heart, so at least I know is someone has a question it will get answered. I don't always get on the computer. I think my BLOG is proof of that.
I love Blogging and hope one day to be as active as some people seem to be. I guess I've got pretty crappy time management, because between my house work and tending to my animals, days just fly by. I'd rather play in my studio the mess around on the computer. How the heck do people do both so well?
So here's what I have been up to. On AFTCM we had a Telescope card. Now you know me and cards...that is not my strong suit. I looked that style card up and got really nuts. Its seems that style has many variations . So I picked one I liked and ran with it. The theme was "Spooky"

The little signs says "Something wicked this way comes..." Looks like a telescope to me when it's opened...It's on an orange card with some spooky do dads. I kind of like it...How about you?
Then I asked ladies if they would like to alter a match box with a "Spooky " theme...sometimes I feel like a dentist (read between the lines)
I figured maybe if I made one people would see how simple it was. It took me 18 minutes to make a pattern for the drawer and the box and then to cut it and glue it all. Now I could have stopped there, adding a few do dads to the top and call it done. However, I took another 12 minutes and added some legs, some boa and eyes and  a tiny spider emerged.What I put in the draw is my secret for my Partner...which will probably be Mary since she was the only one willing , so far, to challenge herself LOL So here's my altered matchbox.

I know you are smiling. How could you not smile at that adorable little spider? Even if you don't like spiders (which I do) he is just too cute.
I have some other things I've worked, but I have to save something for tomorrow...Have fun, stay safe and keep smiling....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Did you hear me screaming?

I want to post here every day, but something always seems to get in the way.
This has not been a good week. On the top of the Poop list is the fact that my yellow Lab , Rosie, has a tumor and it has now become cancerous. She is too old to remove the leg and she is my OCD kid, I doubt she'd be comfortable with only 3 legs. Punkin is another story (that's my Chocolate baby), but Rosie is like a child. She has an unbelievable vocabulary (words she understands) even the Vet was amazed. So the entire office was in tears at the news. As for Me, Rosie and I will work on her other leg to make it strong. I know we are buying time. I am a firm believer that you have to love enough to let go, I will when the time comes, but it's not now.
Of course my saga continues. I'd rather just move on. Talking about things only brings them to the front of your mind. there is so much more to life then aches and pains and illness.
I have been working on many things, all in different stages, none worthy of a photo ...yet.
I guess I could show you Clarence...I was challenged to take a little pumpkin pattern and make something with it. I see a pumpkin and I think Halloween...either that or pie. So I made Clarence into a Trick or Treater,
Don't you just want to throw some candy in that bag?
When ever I'm down in the dumps, I think Butterflies...they are such happy little critters. Kind of flying flowers. So I sat down and made this quilted Butterfly.
I should have been working on swaps

I have a few due. But that Butterfly made me smile. I did finished up a slide mailer swap . I decided I wanted to use the 4 slide mailer. the theme was orange and blue so I even got orange and blue digital leaves. I was so proud of myself... Finished the entire thing and found out the slides were too small for the mailer. I guess the 4 slide one deals with bigger slides. Who knew? I managed to work it out...I hope to my partners satisfaction.
It's got a leaf and bead dangle that doesn't show up well in the pic . That's the outside, then on the inside I put a Fall poem and the slides.

It's kind of the look I was going for. The shading is all alcohol ink.
So that's what I've been doing, when not busy with health issues and my ailing furbaby. Let me leave you with this. You're a Farmer, of sorts, you depend on your tractor for many things. What do you do when this happens right off your driveway...Yes  the driveway from hell, that even when not blocked is difficult to navigate...what do you do...what do you do?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Giftie Tags

I am really, REALLY pressed from time today. Company coming, shopping to do and guest beds to make.
I was asked about giftie tags. A simple kind of "anyone can do this" swap.
A pictures worth a thousand words so here's what I do:
 I use regular size tags so I decided to pick 4 I liked for this "Gift" you can use one big one, you can purchase tags, make tags, print tags...It's your world. These are the four I selected.The n umber of tags is up to you.
Then I cut 6 yards of different Fall colored ribbon. made a packet of jewels, buttons and charms and added two skeins of Fall colored embroidery floss.
Note how I laid the tags together and started with the orange ribbon to wrap. I then added the buttons and wrapped some ribbon, then the jewels, ribbon, charms, ribbon, more ribbon (floss is on the back side). Then with double sided tape a added some flowers. While I was doing all this I thought of a couple of other flat things I could add as well. As you can see it all fits very nicely in an envelope.

Just a little gift, made from your own stash, to hopefully put a smile on someones face.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I need some cheese for my Whine

Did that get your attention? Not really whining. Actually I got some good news from the eye surgeon.
I went for my shot and right before he poked me, he said my picture looked good. The tumor showed some shrinkage...when I got excited he cautioned me and said it was only minor shrinkage but it shows the shots are working. After the poke, I kiddingly said, so I don't have to come back?He smiled his beautiful smile (I love my doctor) and said of course I had to come back, but in 8 weeks instead of a month. Woohoo that was great news. At that time we will take another picture and if everything is the same of better, I can stay at 8 weeks for a while. I'm not complaining, things could be so much worse, but I have to tell you getting a needle stuck in my eye just isn't fun.We've all gotten poked in the eye by a branch or something...you know how that pressure hurts and then the eye hurts for a while later? So that's pretty much it.

Meanwhile another challenge got completed. I'm trying very hard to finish up things. I have some challenges, some swaps and some special things for special people I'm trying to complete. Add to that a lot of company (more due Thursday), My brother moving  (his chance for transplant my be better in Florida), a house being prepared for rental...shall I continue? It's no excuse. I am happy to be busy and to be able to stay busy in spite of some health issues. It does get frustrating at times, but I can always find someone worse off. the sad part of that is, I don't have to look real far or real hard.

So here's Sparkle...
You may remember when I started this project. I didn't get very far
I got involved in other things. When I was challenged to make a candlestick doll I remembered the Frowning Francis Unicorn I wanted to do/finish and that it started with a candlestick. It was a good inspiration for sure. I decided I wanted to change the look and go with fantasy so I used a lot of blue and purple instead of black. I also liked the gold horn I came up with. When the project was done I added to the sparkle with spray glitter.
AS time passes, I really hope to not only be here each day, but to be here with tutorials and projects to share. For now I'm just real happy that people continue to visit and send me delightful e-mails.
I also get a few comments here now and then, which I love to read. people seem to be happier sending e-mail...not sure why...but either way, thanks for staying with me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Amazing Friends

I have been truly blessed by amazing, wonderful friends. Every once in a while I will receive a surprise in the mail. Now you all know how I love Happy Mail, so when I get return swaps I'm always happy.but then there are times, out of the blue, when a friend will let me know they were thinking of me. It always touches my heart when I know that people have gone that extra mile to do something extraordinary just for me.
To have that happen twice in one week was humbling and totally exhilarating...
First...My friend Cherie makes these fabulous Koma's..we were talking and I asked if she had ever made a tiny one. Cherie doesn't do "small". I knew it was a challenge...but I also know she loves to be challenged. She mentioned it and then never spoke of it again so I figured it was more then she wanted to deal with. Plus she is a very busy person. Low and behold I open up a package and I find this:
This tiny koma is only 1 inch, something I know Cherie tries to avoid at all cost. For her to take the time and make this, in my favorite color yet LOL means more then anyone can know..Thanks again Cherie for a beautiful surprise.
Then the very next day I received a package from my friend Rainer in NZ. Rainer is a talented artist that is married to a very talented artist..I love them both. Rainer was in a charm swap and had to send his charms half way around the world to participate (I am grateful for his willingness to do that). The package contained his charms, along with a ten cent piece (which will become a charm for me) then I found the most adorable "cards" that Ilka (his honey) made. Inside a bag , she also made was this....

AS Rainer explained, it all started with that tiny journal that Ilka made. It is made of leather and has beautiful pages of handmade torn paper.Rainer made the copper "Enjoy" on the cover..he also wrapped the shell, made the charms, there is black sand from a NZ beach and note the fuse with FRIEND inside. The center of the necklace where the charms are hung, started as a metal belt of some kind that they found while shopping for things to use in their art. When I look at this beauty, I see a whole lot of time they were thinking about me. That  makes me feel very, very special. So thanks again Rainer and Ilka for touching my heart in a very special way.
I realize, in looking around my studio , how very, very blessed I am. I have many things from Cherie, Norma, Rainer, Corinne, Mary,Kai and Sherry to name a few...that's above and beyond swaps..Most of my swaps are displayed so I get to see them every day..So if at any time you were my partner, I want you to know, what you made me was not thrown in a drawer or a box somewhere, but proudly displayed for all to view. Also know that every minute you spent making something for me and thinking of me was greatly appreciated.....It's nice to be thought of in such a loving way.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And so it continues

Life continues to throw drama my way. More with friends then with myself. I try and be there for my friends, but I have to tell you (and I know you are reading this) you really have to get together and take turns. Have some mercy and stop having drama all at one time. LOL
All kidding aside it's no big deal. I'm always happy to be there with a strong shoulder and listen ear...trust me, my work will be there waiting.
I have made some headway in my studio and that's always wonderful news. It's been sort of like Christmas, finding things I haven't seen in a while. It's a process, especially when i want everything in it's place as I go. Saves double work later...so it all takes time, but it is coming along (like you care , right?)
I've had very little computer time and what I have had I have been trying to catch up with groups. The few that I still belong to are very busy.
I just finished a challenge. We were given a pattern with no picture and no instructions...It was a lot of fun putting it all together and letting my imagination go. This is what I came up with. His name is Clarence:

His face is actually gray and much cuter in person. I love Steam Punk and try and use it when I can. This little guy just seemed to be a Steam Punk Kitty.
In my own group we had an ATC exchange. It was a color theme and guess what color I picked...

They were sent to Corinne and I hope she likes them.
Another challenge was for a Gourd, the theme was "Summer remembered" or something like that LOL
I remember it was the time my fairies returned. Some people called them bugs...Lightening bugs...but I KNEW they were fairies  who carried little lanterns to light their way into the woods. They would keep me company in a jar at night and I'd let them go come morning...I spent time with my Grandma and we would visit Aunt Theresa who lived in what I saw as an enchanted cottage in the woods. It was a wonderful place, herbs hanging to dry, canned foods in jars...So that's what my Gourd is...Aunt Theresa's cottage surrounded by my "Fairies".

Oh and lets not forget the Hummingbirds that returned to Grandma's many feeders each summer.
That's all the sharing I have for today. I apologize to my friends for being unable to visit Blogs, but I will try and find some time this week. I always look forward to all your new adventures in art.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Color me Crazy

WOW!! What a time it has been. I am a pretty private person, so the details of my crazy life are not as important as the fact that it has made "play time" difficult. Oh I manage, but the pressure of swaps became to much and I had to stop. At least for now. I will still try and do them now and again but I love to join swaps and I give 110% of myself to each one. It takes it toll. I know I'm not alone. I'm guessing this is what is called "Burn Out" , when you just hot a wall and fall.
I belong to this amazing doll group. I'm not even sure they do swaps but they do challenges and they give you months to finish, You get to keep what you do, which is also a plus for me. I always end up so in love with what I do I hate giving it up...Isn't that terrible? I'm really not at all a selfish person...I just become attached LOL Someone suggested making two. Are you kidding me? I give everything I have to one, two would kill me. Like I say, I will still do swaps...but for a while I have to curtail my activity and worry about me and my health for a change.
Meanwhile one of my groups is playing BINGO, Now there is something stress free and fun. WE had to make BINGO cards, put in words (we were given a bunch of words for each letter) and then send it to someone. We in turn got a Bingo card from someone else with words they picked.
So her is my Bingo card that went to LA.
Well I couldn't give the words away could I? Please note I used antique Bingo Chips LOL when was the last time you saw someone use Bingo Chips? My card is from my friend Mary...she does just beautiful work..I have figured out a way to use it without making a mess LOL I want to hang it in my studio.

Isn't it beautiful?? So that's it for today...there is much more going on and oh so many pictures. I'm working on a light bulb tutorial also. I found an easier way then the way I saw to clean out light bulbs.
I'm trying to get here more often. organizing ones life is NOT an easy job.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Forever is just too long

I feel like I have been gone forever. While busy preparing our other house to be rented I did manage to get some stuff done. It amazes me how much I can fit into a day when I don't have to stop for silly things like cooking, cleaning and shopping. When I am away by myself I just stay with it. I worked on the house, either packing stuff up, throwing crap away or deal with Real Estate people Ugh!! I did that for 8 hours and that was enough. then I showered and got busy with doing stuff I love.
I wanted to try and make doll faces like Susie Mc Mahon (if you don't know her you should check her out)
I have her pattern and her instructions. I have never worked with paint, always preferred water color pencils and chalk on cloth faces. These faces are made from paper clay. So here are the very first painted faces:
Don't laugh<g> I got some very positive feedback and some very good advice on what to do next time. But for the most part I was Happy with them. I joined an ATC swap. The theme was Silhouettes...I had forgotten how much fun ATC;s could be. I really have to spend more time with the ATC group.
I used one of my Unicorn cameos for one and I water colored another...

Then I had some more charms in mind. I LOVE making charms. I just saw a tutorial on UTEE charms that I can't wait to try. I collect  Matryoska   dolls, they have fascinated me since I was a little girl. I have one that has 15 nesters and the smallest one is 1/4 inch. That was too small for a charm so I made them a bit bigger and hung a glass crystal bead. The pic isn't all that great...I need a better camera :-(
Now they were my idea of fun.I don't think I did bad for one eye. I also gave out a Surprise Challenge to my group (Corinne and I share a small group of mixed artist- feel free to join us    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SharingOurMixedMediaArt/)      I sent each person who signed up , two Formica sample tags and told them to make something...This is what I made from mine.

I used Swellagents To make the tag and frame look like aged copper on one,  aged brass on the other...Then I did puzzle pieces in rusted iron..along with some of the do dads. Watch gears were left as they were for some sparkle. Chain is for hanging. I call them Friendship Frames.
While I do have more to share, I really have to get busy. I came home so the kids could visit here and celebrate  their Dads BD. They left today. Shot in the eye tomorrow. Old friends for company on Wed. until whenever and then back to long Island I go to set up contractors. It just never stops.
Wishing you all a very happy day...Hope I still have people who check on me once in a while. I know I've been away from here for a while....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer is here

And I'm not happy. I have never been a heat lover. Lived in the AC when I was in Florida...now Florida has come to the mountains..Humidity and all. Great excuse to stay in the house and play.
My latest play time was spent after seeing pictures of  a charm tutorial that Cherie posted. I didn't read it, just liked what I saw in pictures so I did my own version.
The charms are made of copper tubing which I just happen to have. I needed a pipe cutter, which I just happen to have. I used some polymer clay for structure for the pictures and in some I threaded some lamp work beads. Some are charms and some are pendents because I added dangles.
So what do you think? I get lots of e-mail about this Blog, You do know you can leave a comment right here...RIGHT?

AS you can see I had some fun. I also made a few little surprises. A couple of wired women and a BD book for a friend.

The book has pockets with little gifts she can use in her art. I call it my Friendship BD Book,Lots of fun.
There's more, but I think that's enough eye candy for one day LOL Don't want to spoil you now do I?