Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Bunny Tale

Part of the fun of scouring flea markets and antique shops is finding, by happenstance, those treasures that you've started collecting... you know, the ones that make your heart sing when you spy it.  For me, it's those precious, vintage spun cotton wool ornaments.  They're  like finding a needle in a haystack as these are tiny treasures that have, over the years, taken a toll.  I adore their creamy color... their soft texture and, often times, misshapen forms.  Just yummy!  My newest acquisition??  Two adorable little bunnies.... just in time for Easter!
They're each missing one eye.  One is missing his carrot. Silly bunny must have gotten very hungry over the years!  Each stands on its hind haunches.  Each has sweet little arms (ok..literally, there are front legs but I much prefer to give them human characteristics!).  And each have such full little tummies!
Because this little one showed the most restraint with his carrot, he was selected to nest in the little basket I made for him. Proudly, but with a humble heart, he sits next to a vintage honeycomb egg.
Oh, oh!  Someone doesn't seem very happy about that decision! 
(Due to their delicate structure, this one has had his nose turned upside down and it makes him look a little forlorn!)
Don't worry, little one!  
You will still shine in your official bunny portrait!!
And where did these sweet little bunnies end up? Perched on one of my cake stands... protected under a cloche!  I wouldn't have it any other way!  I'm so proud to be their new owner... they will be treasured forever and ever!!

               Happy Easter, everyone!
          May you have a very blessed day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lucky Dog!

A while back I held a giveaway on my blog... and yes, I need to do another one soon!  After all, not only is it fun for you, my readers, but I also love the excitement of wondering who will be the lucky recipient!  Knowing that more are to come, I had this idea to create my own number system for choosing the winner.  So hold on.... here we go!

A number of blogs have been posting about painting the inside of a glass jar and it intrigued me.  Selecting one that had a wide mouth, I used a paint pot sample and poured a bit of it in.  Swirling it around, I was tickled with instant gratification to see the paint adhere!  It worked!  Now to adorn the outside.
 I selected an image from The Graphics Fairy falling in love with this dog image.  The expression on his face and the bold colors contrasted nicely with my paint selection.  Then the name of this jar hit me..... "Lucky Dog"! He's highlighted by the cream colored oval edged in smudged graphic pencil. You'll see the finished piece at the end of this post. I now needed to move on making individual numbered pieces.
I used glass bubbles which was something I already had... don't you love when you spend so much time collecting things and it pays off down the road??!  Numbers were printed on book pages for added texture and both were adhered with ModPodge.
Next, I cut around the circle making sure that the paper didn't extend beyond the edge.
A total of 75!  I know.. I know... you all are shaking your heads wondering why did I go to such extremes!  LOL  Well, the reason is I have been wanting to practice my soldering!
It had been ages since I got out my soldering iron and I just had a lovely afternoon working away.  Bubbles aren't the easiest to solder as the bead seems to go around and around! My hat's off to all my soldering artist friends!  However, what a peaceful afternoon I had. I now understand why they chose that medium as a way to express themselves.
There they are... delicious little bubbles edged in shiny silver!  Cute, right?
So how did this all turn out???  Take a look!
My Lucky Dog glass jar with 75 number bubbles!  Next time I have a giveaway you will know how the lucky winner was selected!  Lucky dog that you are!




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bring On Da Funk!!

Recently, I traveled to an art event/retreat with an small group of women.  Even though there were only 12 of us, two swaps were offered for us to participate in.  Exciting!! You say "swap" and I am all in!!  The theme for the one that piqued my interest was to create a  working clock blinged out according to the taste of our partner.  Contacting my swap partner through email, I learned a lot about her.  One sentence in particular clearly gave me a true picture of the direction her tastes ran in. "I like bling, but not a lot.  I'm the kind of person that when people visit my home, they look around and ask, "why do you have that???"  I translated that to read, "bring on da funk!"

And did I have fun with it!! With the wheels turning inside my head.. and with the excitement of creating something different... I knew exactly the direction I would take this!    The result?  
See for yourself!

I just love it! A funky working clock, with composition doll's hands, set upon a vintage tobacco tin complete with rolling wheels.  I liked the concept of turning it into a pull toy!
A battery powered clock face, purchased at Michael's, that I recessed into a papier mache egg. Enhancing it with just a bit of bling, just like she asked for.
The composition doll hands were also set into the papier mache egg.  And of course, neither hand was facing in the correct position.  That's the beauty of funk!
As you can see from all the photos, I first glued down a layer of pages from a vintage spelling book. Then, I added bits and pieces of laces and trims, some embellished with tiny pearls.  I just love the mix of soft with hard, don't you?
A touch.. not too much... of burlap, tulle, and vintage flowers enhanced with large pearl centers that I had glued on.
And the top was secured with a ribbon made from coffee-stained muslin.  That way, when the battery died, my swap partner could untie the ribbon, detach the front from the back, and easily replace the old battery with a new one.
On the one hand, I placed a tiny tag made from a vintage french music card.  On the back?  I wrote, "Time flies when you're having fun!"  The fun comes with the whole piece being attached to a tin with workable wheels!
Old rubber car wheels screwed into the sides.  Embellished with nuts, screws and a hubcap-like thingie.  Thank heavens for the sweet man at the hardware store guiding me on what pieces I needed in order to make it actually roll along.  I will definitely be back again to seek his expertise as this project was so much fun I want to do more!  I mean, seriously... using electric drills to drill holes in the metal??  Way cool!!!  I am soooo lovin' da funk!!!
This project was literally completed at the 11th hour.  Now you know why the pictures are grainy.  A weary artist, I quickly documented every angle before tucking it into a box, leaving for the airport.  Phew!!  I know you all know what that's like at some point or another in your creative life!  Tickled pink, and anxious to present this to my swap partner, I gently placed the box in the overhead bin and nestled into my seat.  All the while feeling very contented knowing it was on its way to a good home!!

Linking up with ~ Tweak It Tuesday
                  Be Inspired Tuesday
                  Blissful Whites Wednesday
                  Tutorials Tips and Tidbits  
                  Fabulously Creative Friday
                  Be Inspired Friday 
 
 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Past and Present Intertwined

"Nature gives to every time and season, some beauties of its own,
     And from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave,
     It is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy,
              That we can scarcely mark their progress."
                                          ~ Charles Dickens ~

From the window of my condo, I am privileged to gaze upon this towering church steeple in historic Charleston.  Seemingly within arms reach!  The pealing of the bells mark the passing of each hour. And what gets me each and every time I hear them is that the first three notes are the same first three notes from The Fray's song, "You Found Me".  And the lyrics to those first three notes? "I found God..."  It's as clear as a bell, if you'll pardon that unknowingly written pun.  Goosebumps rise on my arms as my eyes take in the rich history and my ears hear a contemporary connection from the melodic sound emanating from the tower.  Yes, past and present intertwined!

(The photos were taken in one day, marking the passing of time.  And the church?  St. Phillips Church, established in 1680... the oldest church in the Holy City.  I am so happy to share this with you!)

Linking toOutdoor Wednesday

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Ahhhhh..."

Things that make you go "ahhhhh"... 

For instance, sitting in the car waiting to pick your child up from school.  As the clock strikes three, masses of children pour out from the front doors.  You get distracted by a phone call or a text until you hear a rap on the car window.  Startled back to reality, a smile comes over your face and you have an "ahhhh" moment.  There he is... standing there waiting for you to unlock the car door. You love him even as he plops onto the passenger side, rolling his eyes at the expression on your face!

Or perhaps you have an "ahhhhh" moment as you're standing at the kitchen sink preparing dinner.  You look up, gazing out the window to see your husband in the front yard playing soccer with the kids.  Last you knew he was up on a ladder cleaning out the gutters.  There he is, huffing and puffing with a smile on his face at the pleasure of being with the munchkins!  Truly an "ahhhhh" moment!

I strongly feel you should make a point to be aware of those  moments that warm your heart when you light your eyes upon something.  Even your home should make you go "ahhhh" when entering a room or perhaps coming through the back door.  Little touches that make you smile.  Mine?  The entrance to my studio which is in my home.

 As I come to the top of the stairs, this entrance catches my eye each and every time.  That's because it draws my eyes into the room to glance at this vignette.  The chair was one I bought at an estate sale. And next to that are vintage suitcases that serve a much needed purpose.

 Each one houses either vintage papers for bookbinding, old sheet music or handouts from the many classes I've taken. With limited space in the room, I had to get creative with where to store things and I liked this idea better than using baskets. Resting on top is an old ironstone water pitcher from my husband's grandmother.  Filled with flowers that languish over the rim. So simple but gives me such pleasure each and every time I look at this grouping!

And at night, I leave the mini-chandelier turned on which casts such a warm glow to the room.
As I come up the stairs, at the end of the day, out the corner of my eye I see this.  I hesitate for just a second as I enter the room to turn out the light.  Yes,  I do go "ahhhhh" each and every time!!

What room makes you go "ahhhh"?  What touches make you hesitate and bring a contented smile to your face?  I would love to hear your comments!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Winter's Delicacy

I couldn't believe it! Especially since I had just flown back from Texas where the high was in the low 80's, requiring me to peel off layers as the day progressed.  But it was true! As I deboarded the plane, I heard bits of conversation here and there saying Chicago was going to have another major snowstorm.  Noooooo!!!  Not again!  All day long, the snow has kept falling creating an even deeper layer than last week.  


              There's no denying that it's beautiful!


                         Pretty as a picture, right???

It's brought back a memory from my childhood seeing this ever deepening blanket of white. A memory of a delicacy that was taught to me by my mother.  One that makes perfect sense having grown up in New England where country stores and gift shops offered every form of sweet treat made from maple syrup.  Where driving down country roads you would find sign, after handmade sign, announcing that they had fresh maple syrup for sale.  

So what is this delicacy?  First, find a virgin patch of freshly fallen snow (you know what I mean!!) and fill a glass with it, letting it tower over the brim.





Now comes the best part!  Using only real maple syrup ....



 ... slowly pour it over the snow.



As the maple syrup hits the cold, white flakes, it quickly dissolves into a delicious slush!  The amount you use is up to you.


When the spoon hits your mouth, this concoction quickly melts leaving the taste of cold mixed with sweet!  Sheer heaven requiring nothing more than Mother Nature's magic.. Winter's snow and  maple syrup made from the sap of maple trees in Spring!

Linking up with ~ Blissful Whites Wednesday
                  Outdoor Wednesday 
                  Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits