Thursday, July 30, 2009

Charm Swap!

Lately it seems I have been doing a lot of online swaps. I did the Marie Tag (still waiting on two people, mmmm), and then I signed up for a doll swap (my partner has gone AWOL, so I have my doll ready to swap if she shows up or I get someone else), and then there was this. A charm swap. It is being hosted by Arlene Mobley at:
So I took a print made from a painting I did (available on Artfire), and used part of the image for my charms. Using the same image, or part of it, for the tag. I wanted to make something using my art and this image is one of my favorites. Found these neat golden/green teardrops to use but there were not enough of them, and I had to make 18 charms. So I substituted a purple stone drop for a few of them. I am very happy with the finished piece(s).
Here are the backs of the Tags, all the info and my name.....( I really like saying that, "Original Artwork")
Here is a close up of the charm, the jump ring ready for attaching. I just added the ribbon, it isn't meant to stay on, but who knows it looks good with the charm, don't you think?
Here they are bagged and tagged....You can see some of the teardrops. (The ribbon looks red but it is a burnt orange to match her dress. The color on the photo above is closer to the actual shade)
I added some sparkle to her and on the back (sorry no picture) I have a gold damask pattern. The solder was blackened, the little "bead" corners were sanded to reveal the silver. I used a blackened wire for the wrap, and found black jump rings at the bead store.
All packed and ready to ship. I will go to the post later today. Need to make sure I get delivery confirmation on these. Though they are not due until Aug 28th, I hate waiting until the last minute. Besides, I have another swap coming up soon, don't want to many things piling up on my plate. Perhaps the mistake a lot of people make when they sign up for swaps is that they don't start right away. They may not necessarily have to be finished as early, but at least it helps prevent getting stressed out at the last minute. You start off thinking you have so much time, then things come up, and before you know it your either rushing (maybe wind up not doing your best work) or not being on time. Which for me, I have to admit, are a couple of my pet peeves. It just feels better knowing they are done, and I am really pleased with them (another bonus because at least if I was not happy, I still had time to make new ones).
Don't think I'm not ever guilty of procrastination. Often just as guilty, literally the "Queen" of putting things off. I am learning (slowly, to be sure)that for me it is better to get in right away and get it done, otherwise inevitably something comes up and the pressure gets to me. Now on to the next item on my list!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Marie Tags

Well this week I received more of my tags from Arielle's Marie Swap. It has been fun coming home to beautiful tags in the mail. So varied an each so wonderfully made. I shared the first to arrive from Sonia Crouse and Beth Jaffe in a previous post. Now I have six more to show you....
I Love the "Queen" tag as I can apply it to me as well as Marie, she also sent me a lovely bonus of beautiful silky seam binding on a little clothespin, from Andrea Tarling Vintage Paper Bella
The lovely large tag is from Sarah Elder, pretty in pink and some "bling" too, My So Called Junky Life
I had to show the back of Sarah Elders'. It is as pretty as the front!
Love this Pink Marie from Debi Huntsman, Life in My Studio and a pretty little floral blue Marie from Jessica Rodarte, Kid's Napping? I'm Scrapping!
Here is a blue Marie from Blanca Medina Magic Moonlight Studio and Arielle Weinstocks' pretty pink Marie Le Vintage
I thought I would show you all of them so far. The one I made and the one from Terri were a personal exchange. So we will have 12 when all said and done.
So far I have 8 tags. I am still waiting for Debra McNutt and Leslie Patton. Hopefully they will appear soon. These tags are so pretty I would have to be hard pressed to ever use them. For now I will take down my birds on the mobile, and replace them with these beauties! Thank You Ladies!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Bloggers Create

video
Here it is "My Studio"
a.k.a. "The Cra(p)ft Room
I am so excited to be a part of this "Where Bloggers Create" event. I do all of my "work" here, and occasionally at a friends home (Hello Terri: http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/ ). Please turn off the player on the bar to the right. Then click on the video and enjoy.
I am so fortunate to have a daughter who is more savvy at all this computer stuff and was able to splice together my before, and after "flip" shots showing the process of renovating my room.
My husband was a dear and helped patch, paint, and put together the shelves. I had posted some of this earlier in the year but here is the before and after.
The Shelves are from "Ikea" they are the Expedit line. The cloth baskets are from Target. I used my Christmas bonus ( a Target card) to buy them. They are the larger baskets, not the 2 for $10.00. The Drawer Unit also from Ikea part of a clearance. Shoe hangers from Target, as well as the kitchen island (Clearance 75% off). I have to admit I blatantly stole the idea of the shelves and island from Donna Downey. Although she obviously has a much larger room (she has two of the large Expedit units), I loved the idea of the basket storage. She uses the smaller baskets, but I wanted to be able to fill them and utilize as much of the cube as I could.
Yes, I create here and as you will see my computer is in this room so I blog here too. I have a camera in my computer and would love to try "virtual" creating with others. I think it would be fun to work on a piece and be able to share with someone at the same time. Come on Terri and Nancy let's go!
Please visit all the people participating.... just click on the tag in the left task bar or here:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Please Pray With Me for Renee and her Family

Today at 9:30 am Renee's sister Jacquie will have brain surgery to remove the tumor. At the same time her son Sheldon will be having surgery to remove the tumor that is hemorrhaging in his intestines. If two people ever needed prayer and support at this time then surely it is these two. Please join me in sending positive intention and prayer to them, and to Renee at:
I ask you to please think of them. Dear Renee I pray that God in his mercy is by your side and your family today. May his divine intercession protect and preserve your sister and nephew today!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pray for Them, a Call for Help

I am asking for anyone reading this post to say prayers, or at the very least send good vibes to my dear blog friend Renee and her family. Renee has IBC (Inflamatory Breast Cancer). Her mom was recently hospitalized, then her nephew, whom they now find has stomach cancer (he is 25, the same age my son found out he had cancer). To make a bad situation even worse her beloved sister Jacquie was hospitalized with numbness and stroke-like symptoms last night. They have found a tumor, and yes, they think it is cancer (she is Sheldon's mom, the nephew with stomach cancer). This lady has been throught so much, she is very aware of what her sister and nephew have in store. She just needs some positive support and I think we can all help. Her burden is great and I am hopeful that our prayers, and support can help her and her family get through this. Please visit her blog and let her know we are all praying, thinking of them, and offering support. Her blog is here:
Please join me in letting her know we here in Blogland are pulling for them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pullip Doll....MIR

This is MIR, she arrived this weekend. I have been waiting since April for her. At the time I was excited and willing to wait. I ordered her from "PullipStyle.com" . Well she is very pretty and very delicate. Unlike my boy doll she is very pale and her eyes are a bit bigger. I do love her makeup. 
Do you see the "Dragon" Kanji in her eye? She also has a luck Gem in a pouch on her waist.
Here she is from the back. Her (pretzel) braid clips on. I should have shown you the kickin' red platform boots she has on
Here she is with Sebastian. You can see here her face is a bit wider and her eyes just a bit bigger. I think my guy was happy to see her.
Now for the "bad" news. She arrived stained, and there is a flaw in her leg. I contacted Pullip style and although they state they stand behind the product they are now skirting the issue. It seems Jun Planning went out of business and sold it to another company. No one was notified and they never updated to tell us. Now I guess they figure I am just stuck with inferior product. These dolls are not cheap. The owner feels that collectors are willing to over-look the flaws for these dolls. When I asked for resolution he passed me off to some Japanese web-site. Well I am not taking this lying down. His site clearly says they will represent and arbitrate with the the company. After all they sold it to me. We will see. I know after running Terri around http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/ , she had to finally put her foot down and let them know she was not going to accept their excuses for not following thru, they finally credited her. I only hope they do as much for me. 
I do plan on reporting them to the BBB and being very vocal about my experience with them, and if necessary seek legal action. Let us hope it gets resolved before it gets that far..

Friday, July 17, 2009

Terri, Lavender Fest, and Birds.

So my friend Terri ( http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/ ) called me earlier this week asking if I would join her, and go to the Lavender Festival in Ray Township. I have to say it was a beautiful day for it. However, there wasn't much there I could afford (except the honey, and a couple of lavender plants). Still we had a nice time, and they did have some very creative and beautiful items. Terri and I decided to leave and go check out the sidewalk sales in Romeo. We found these lovely lotions, and the "Lavender" chocolates (pictured below) at a shop called Gabriel's Garden. They had a booth at the Lavender Fest too, but we could not get around in it to see everything. The store was much nicer and not as crowded.  We stopped for lunch, then off to check out all the sales. After Romeo we stopped off at Marcial's Greenhouse. They have lovely eye candy, neat decor items, as well as plants and garden items. We didn't buy anything, but had fun looking and playing with their kitten. On the way home my daughter Kim called me to tell me they were having sidewalk sales in Rochester too! 
So off we went to downtown Rochester. We walked, shopped, and stopped in 'Beyond Juice" for great fruit smoothies. Terri found herself some sunglasses. I found a clock, and some china figures (five pictures below) for half off at the local resale shop. I thought I should share some photos. Although I took "none" when we were out, I did take a few here at home. First, the items I bought at Gabriel's Garden.......
Below is the beautiful Seth Thomas clock I found today in Rochester, at WhoRu resale shop,everything except furniture was half off ( and it was a good deal at full price). I wound it and it works! It is keeping time and it chimes.  The key, and pendulum were intact. It's in great condition too!  The two bottles in front contain the Blueberry Honey, and Lavender Honey I bought at the Lavender festival today. They also had a Peach and Lemon flavor,( I have already have a lemon honey) the Peach has a medicinal taste to it (yuk), and well, the blueberry tastes just like blueberries which made it a clear choice for me! I can't wait for a cup of tea (for the Lavender honey) and a hot biscuit with the Blueberry honey. Yum!
I thought I would share with you a few "bird" items from my collection. A bank (my daughter Steph bought me from a sale she found), a wall pocket with a parakeet(from my older post, my honey bought it for me), and an unusual swan I found. I fell in love with the beautiful flowers on her. They are so much prettier than in this photo
Do you see the neat swan (I think it's a swan?) watering container? Very cool, and rare, I love it. Oh, and a few of my "Jummel's". The doves are a "perfume" lamp. You place a drop of perfume or oil in the little well located in the back, and when you turn on the night-light it warms the perfume, releasing the scent, cool huh? I have another one upstairs. It is a carriage with birds on it.
I had found the tiger "salt & pepper set" a couple years ago at a sale. Then today when I was out with Terri in Rochester I found a Lion, Elephant, and Cheetah. I think they blend right in. Hey this could be a new collection..... zoo animals? (Good lord stop me.....)
To think this all started with a single Canary salt shaker. Yes, a salt shaker in the shape of  a sweet little bird. I used to raise, breed, and sell Canaries many years ago. The Canaries were a lot of work, but they sang so lovely. These birds are much easier to keep. (and if I miss the bird-song, I have a tape I can play)
I also have a collection of "Hummel" look-a-likes that were made in Japan. I lovingly refer to them as my "Jummel's". Now I know what your thinking, do I really need one more collection? No? I guess I just cannot stress enough the whole "illness" thing can I?
Look! The little yellow bird figure below is a whistle!
The two pale green swans below are actually candle holders. Occasionally I find something non-bird that I just love, like Mr Squirrel (I had started collecting them for Kim, we tease her about them. She loves "owls" but I often give her squirrels. Just because I can), or like the little skunk toothpick holder in the above picture,  and isn't that a squirrel toothpick holder there too? I do believe it is.
Even more bird-y goodness here. You know I have only ever bought the "same bird" once? Really, don't ask me how I manage to remember what I have, I just do.
Somehow this nutty gator managed to make his way into the cabinet? He has a thermometer in the front, well at least we know the temp "inside" the cabinet!
Okay, I am just going to repeat,  it's an illness......
This is the cabinet where all, okay, many...most....uh, some of my birds reside. Although you have seen that some have migrated to other parts of my home. (I also have a 20 gal tub packed with them downstairs. I never unpacked when we did not move. Perhaps also a box or two....I know one had my duck lamp in it.... okay, one more time, say it with me ..."ILLNESS")
I warned you. To be fair though, the whole top shelf has china on it (which has spilled over from the cabinet in the dining room... we won't go there, at least not today). There are a few cups a butter dish, a creamer, and a cute "squirrel" teapot on it. I didn't take photos of the bottom shelf, it was getting to be a bit much, even for me.

A Very Nice Surprise..

Stef Hughes has been commenting on my blog for some time. We got into a conversation about being Catholic, Icons, etc. She is such a sweet lady and I had a couple item I though she might enjoy. So I sent them to her. In return she sent me this very nice surprise. A wonderful card she made (she is a Stampin-Up demonstrator, check out her site, they have some neat stamps). Please check out her blog, she makes very pretty cards, here:
http://glitterbabegreetings.blogspot.com/
Thank You Stef, I will put the images to good use and I have never tried the felt flourishes before, so it will be fun to use them!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Wonderful R.A.K., and Marie Tags!!!

I have started to receive tags from the "Marie Swap"
hosted by Arielle. The middle tag is an "Extra Tag" I made (anyone want to swap?) for this exchange. The one under mine is from Beth Jaffe, it says "Let them eat cake!" you can visit her blog,
Thank you Beth the Tag and the little "bonus" potpourri was wonderful!
The tag on the right was from Sonyia Crouse, her blog is
she did a silhouette of Marie. These are the first ones of the ten. I cannot wait to see them all together. Thank You Sonyia!
Earlier last week I received the Terri's
wonderful tag from her. You see we are good friends and well we are not on each others list but traded anyway. Thank You Terri for the lovely tag (and for using the blue rhinestones that I begged for).
Look at what else arrived? Yes my R.A.K. from Nancy Vanhoose!
So many beautiful envelopes......

These are so lovely I don't know if I will ever have the heart to use them. She used beautiful Flocked papers and her work, as anyone who has ever received any of her work can attest to is impeccable. Even her tag is pretty, and the lovely ribbon tied into the perfect knot. Nancy had these posted on her Blog and I commented on them, I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to receive them! Please head over to her blog

http://herartnest.blogspot.com/

and check them out there. She is a much better photographer than I am. Thank You so much Nancy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The True Face of Evil.....

I met a lady at a local market, She makes homemade donuts. All manner of yummy decedent goodness, that a "healthy and fit" person would avoid. I was good......... I was, (okay stop laughing now), until I saw these.... Yes she had creme and custard filled "Long Johns". Sure Steven could have held me back, told me "No, don't do it Deb, don't give in to the fresh donut pastry with its light and airy creme filling. No, resist the Chocolate topping that beckons with it's just baked aroma". He could have said it........ I might have listened. Instead he said "I want one with Custard" Say hello to my little friend........ I had to eat this in two stages. It is big, and the donut is soft and the creme is so light.... there it is people. I have to tell you this puppy has all over Krispy Creme (at least that is may opinion, but then I have only had them twice). I am so glad I do not have access to these on a regular basis, it could get ugly. What am I saying, it already is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog Party Come on and Join!!!

Karen of "My Desert Cottage" is hosting a "Where Bloggers Create" Party. Take pictures and show off your studio where you "Create" art! Please join her, myself and countless others in a feast of "eye candy" and inspiration on July 24th. You can go here to sign up or click on the header to be taken directly there:
http://mydesertcottage.blogspot.com/2009/06/im-having-party.html

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Game for You!

Don't tell me your age; you probably would tell a falsehood anyway-but your waiter may know! YOUR AGE BY DINER & RESTAURANT MATH This is pretty neat. DON'T CHEAT BY LOOKING DOWN FIRST!It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read ...Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.
1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to go out to eat. (more than once but less than 10)
2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)
3. Add 5
4. Multiply it by 50.
5.If you have already had your birthday this year add 1759...If you haven't, add 1758.
6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born. You should have a three digit number.
The first digit of this was your original number. (i.e., How many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)The next two numbers are YOUR AGE ! ------ (Oh YES, it is!!!)
THIS IS THE ONLY YEAR (2009) IT WILL EVER WORK, SO SPREAD IT AROUND WHILE IT LASTS

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reader Request.

video

This is a short video of some china painting I have done. Kim from her blog, http://thevictorianparlor.blogspot.com/ mentioned she would like to see some of "my" china painting. So Kim this video is from my July 18, 2008 posting.

I must make a new one, for now I wanted you to see some of the things I have done.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My 4th of July Weekend.

Finding this fellow below "The Infant of Prague" was what turned out to be a part of a great weekend. I was born and raised Catholic. There was a time these icons, as well as statues of the Blessed Mother Mary, St. Joseph, and the Sacred Heart graced Catholic homes all over. Some of the most beautiful statues graced our churches, reminding us always of our faith and those who gave their lives for it . I love these religious symbols and icons. I do not pray to them, but they serve to remind me that I am not alone and that they are there for me. Much like a string one ties around ones finger to remind them. I feel truly blessed when I am lucky enough to find one as beautiful as this. His crown intact, glass eyes in delicately painted chalk-ware. He is not "dressed up" as was the custom in our home. Perhaps his robes faded and fell to disrepair? He has a few nicks but his face is serene and childlike. I just love him. This would have been enough for me, but he turned out to be just the beginning. 
Here is a very sweet porcelain doll I found in a box. Her dress is beautiful and she has glass eyes. When I asked how much and the guy told me, I just had to have her, after all he was practically giving her away. Now to find her a wig, and some shoes.
Isn't this little head/planter (this is a small version only about 3" tall) sweet. She was very inexpensive since her thumb was broke, but she was just so pretty I had to bring her home.
Anyone for a massive cup of coffee? This cup and saucer are huge, the fellow said they were called "Milk and Cookie" cups. I don't know about that, looks like it would take almost a quart of milk, and maybe a whole box of cookies for this baby!
Here is a bad shot of two of the "bird" wall pockets I found. If anyone has been to my home they know how much I love bird figurines. I have collected quite a few of them. I am particular though. I love the "Made in Japan" shiny ones, and the Czech ones.  This weekend I found four!
I put it all together. It was a pleasant surprise to find all these things. I went along expecting to maybe find one or two things. It is always that way for me. When I go on a lark, expecting nothing, I find some very cool things.
Here are some "yummy" things I got for my daughter Kim. She "loves" vintage 70's things (I was young then, and hated all this bright neon hippie stuff? go figure) Anyway you cannot see it but apparently these are from a store close-out. They were marked $35 -$45 each. I bought them "all"for $10.00! I am debating saving them for her birthday next Saturday, but they are so cool I may have to give them to her early. The Orange sweater is short waisted, with a skirt along the bottom. The Green/purple waist jacket just screams Kim (they had a bright orange and yellow which would have been her fist choice, but they did not have her size). The lime green and Tye-dyed blouse will look nice with them. I can say this much about them, you will see her coming.
We went up to Lexington to spend the 4th with Steve's family. I had a chance to see his sister's cottage. They have done a lot of work and it is lovely.( You know it has been too long since you have been there when they keep calling you by the other daughter-in-law's name.)We arrived home just in time for the fireworks downtown. On the way home around 8:30-9:30pm we must have counted 35+ deer out in the fields, along the side of the freeway walking around, all the way home from Lexington to Lake Orion. It was weird seeing them all out walking and grazing casually. They would look up at the cars like it was no big deal. They are so pretty (I was just glad none of them got any ideas about crossing the freeway, or highways in front of a car). 
Well I am beat. Tomorrow it is back to work, not complaining with the economy just grateful to still have some work. Down to three and a half days, but it is something. Went to the fruit stand this morning and bought fresh fruit and veggies, too. Now, off to finish my laundry and think about dinner. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Busy Friday..... finishing up.

I have belonged to the Yahoo Group, Michigan AB , for some time. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary and  one of the Hostesses,           Corinne http://glitzohgirl.typepad.com
has decided to put together a commemorative book together. She has called out to all members to join and I think at last count there were 140+ participants. This is the page I am submitting. I made one original for me and one for Corinne, the other members will receive copies. It is a big project and Corinne is doing all this work as a "gift" to us. Thank You so much Corinne. I hope you like my page, I cannot wait to see the book!
Here are some other things I have been fiddling with. While I cannot yet share with you the tags I made for the Marie Antoinette Tag Swap,(although you can see the corner of one in the picture, my bad), I can show you some of the projects I have been working on.
Do you remember a few months ago my dear friend in Tennessee, Cathy Teller, sent me a box of lace bits and goodies from her Mom and her? Well I finally finished these little gifts for them. They are fabric collage folders. Using coffee stained fabric, silk flowers, ribbon, and a transfer image. I even found a pin for each. For Cathy I found a pin made from a piece of China. She is a fabulous China Painter and I thought she would love this pretty recycled pin. For her Mother a pretty golden Rose.
I placed some "handmade" cards inside. I made this thinking she could put her cards for each month in here ready to mail. She could also place hankies, photos, or anything she likes in them. I put a couple hankies in the smaller one for Cathy's Mom.
So now off to mail all these goodies to their new homes. It feels so good to get things done. I still have to dress my doll for the exchange I am doing for a Doll Group. I love making these things and sending them off but the real fun for me comes when the person receives them and it brings a smile to their face and some joy to their day!