Saturday, May 24, 2008

Playing House

I've been having so much fun lately with my house! I love decorating and I love my home, but since having to work full-time, I haven't given my home nearly as much affection as I used to. Plus, I am easily discouraged by the messes!

But I did pick up a few pretties recently and I completed a little project, so I wanted to show everything to you.

I picked up this cute little piano bench from the curb during community clean-up a few years ago. It was stained and very beat up. The upholstery was typical "hurculon" abstract gold and brown ugly. It's been out in my shed waiting and waiting! Well, a couple of weeks ago I was at Salvation Army and fell in love with this old metal file box. So vintage! It's dark olive drab on the outside and the inside is this pretty forties Nile Green. I just happened to have that color in my craft paints. I had barely enough to paint the piano bench. Then I reupholstered the top with this fabulous vintage barkcloth that I bought on ebay for ten buckaroos! I know! It was seven uncut yards! It's not the typical cabbage roses that everyone wants, but it is in the palette I love and already have in the living room. I plan on making some throw pillows with it too. Anyway, pretty cute, huh?Plus, I wanted to show you my cute little Seth Thomas alarm clock I bought at Goodwill. I love it! I've always loved mantel clocks, but I don't have a mantel. This is perfectly sized for my end table. (The butler is waving hello, don't you know?)I have a lot of other fun ideas for the living room- I just hope I can get to them all! This room has been challenging for me ever since we bought the new furniture and re-painted a couple of years ago. It's a big change for me to be so muted in my palette. I love cottage and I usually associate that with color combos like yellow and blue or pink and green or even kitschy turquoise and red. I think I'm really beginning to see how to make these colors work with a cottage eclectic style. Speaking of cottage eclectic, check this out:

It's rainy here today so you can't see how golden this really is. So pretty! Another ebay find. It's from the twenties and I love it so much! I was so lucky to already have a pillow form that fit perfectly. My children have been severely threatened if they even think about abusing this pillow!

So, I guess that's it. I will leave with one more pic. This is the owl that my father carved along with this ceramic Mission Carmel that I begged from my talented high school art teacher so long ago (thanks, Mr. Leenarts!) and Pointy Kitty. This is on top of my bookcase and it makes me smile when I look at it. I hope I will have more photos for you when the room is done.

(Doggone rain! Can't get a good shot!)

Hugs to all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This might be useful to you...

Hi Girlies!
I wasn't going to mention that I have a new blog because it is about personal finance and frankly, I didn't think any of you would find it interesting!

But today I was trying to figure out why it's so hard for me to juggle everything. Why can't I get out of debt? Why can't I lose weight? Why can't I be more organized? Well, the result of my ponderings is a long blog post and I feel like it might be helpful to my crafty sisters. If you are so inclined, check it out and let me know what you think.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Real Life (...or, what I do in between crafts!)

This sassy looking girl was going to her prom! This, unfortunately, was the best picture I could get! She went to the prom with two of her friends mostly because they wanted to go and they wanted her with them. She did not want a standard prom dress, but I think she looks very cute in this cherry print dress that I made for her graduation. I think it's the first time she's in a dress in a loooong time! She is definitely growing up! Since prom, she has also worn the dress to our annual May Birthday celebration at her auntie and uncle's house. Everyone was so impressed! They are all used to seeing her in grungy jeans and her grafitti-covered army jacket!

She even surprised me on Sunday when she dressed for our picnic in a little sleeveless tee and shorts! What a beauty my baby Carmen is.

Almost eighteen years ago she made a mommy out of me! I remember going to Mother's Day brunch when I was fully pregnant with her and I felt so proud to be one of the "mommies" along with Grandma, Aunt Denah and Mom. This year, we packed up a picnic and went to Crosswoods Park. Pretty standard looking park, right? There's the library on the left, the playground, the tennis court and just out of sight on the right hand side is the Community Center.

But when you turn around, this is the view:

And this is what you see when you look up:This is a gorgeous little corner of Citrus Heights. Arcade Creek runs right through here and the place is full of beautiful old river oaks. I used to bring the children here all the time when they were little.
Eric and I made these amazing sandwiches. Here's the recipe, if you would like to try it. Please note- the bug is one of the guests, not one of the ingredients!

Handsome husband contemplates nature:
Eric poses handsomely, while his best friend Cody watches for seagulls. (LOL- no! There was a lot of grape tossing going on!)

That is my granddaughter Nicole there with Carmen. The two of them are best, best, best friends. Always have been.

Good dog Buddy. After being insanely fetch-obsessed, he finally got worn out and took a rest!
It was a GREAT Mother's Day. Most years I try not to have any expectations and then I sit around and secretly wait (hope) to be feted. This year, I took the bull by the horns and planned a day that I knew I would enjoy and then I made it happen! Everyone had to do what I said and it was great. I hope all the mommies out there had a lovely day! crafting news...this is what I have been obsessed with for the last two days:

It's a little Hitty doll! I am making it out of Aves Apoxie Sculpt. I roughly shaped it and then when it dried, I started carving. I am loving her so far! I will post updates as I progress.
I have some little goodies to share with the first commenters on my last post. I will be contacting some of you for addresses in the next few days. I'm so excited to show you what I made!
Speaking of mail love, Lisa apparently has still not received my box. I sent it Parcel Post on May 2nd! Do you think I should contact the post office? I didn't insure it or track it. I'm so freaking out about it. Why oh Why didn't I order tracking? Cross your fingers for me, Friends!
Friday, May 09, 2008

SALE! and Pay It Forward

ConvenZioNE, here I come! I just learned this week about this wonderful altered art convention/workshop/party coming in August. I am so excited about this for two BIG reasons! First- it's in Pleasanton where Sandra, my best-est friend in the world lives and
Second- my darling new friend, Lisa Kettell, is one of the instructors!

Is that serendipitous or what? Sandra, who has loved me since I was nine, invited me to join her this coming weekend in Las Vegas for our annual Mother's Day fun, but I had to decline for financial reasons. I'm super stoked to think we can spend a weekend together in August! Get our girl time in!
Lisa, who I know that I talk about all the time lately, lives in New Jersey so this is an incredible opportunity to meet her that will probably never happen again!'s "Pleasanton or Bust" for me! I decided to mark down the pretties in my shop to help fund the trip. Everything has been marked down a little more than 30%. A little angel recently gifted some cash to me so that's my "seed" money. Now let's see if I can sell some inventory to help the cause a bit!

If you feel inclined to share the news of the sale, I would appreciate it very much! Or, if you feel inclined to shop, I would appreciate it very, very much! Thank you, sweet friends!


In appreciation of the angel I mentioned above AND dear Amanda who recently gifted me as part of her "Pay It Forward", I would now like to do the same! This is how it works: as a love token for my sweet friends, the first six commenters on this post will receive a little something from me in the mail. Make sure that your comment includes some way for me to respond to you so I can get your mailing address. There's nothing required from you, but if you are inclined, you can pay forward a little kindness to three peeps in your life! You don't have to have a blog to be included. You can pay it forward "blog free"! I am choosing to gift six people instead of three because I have been twice blessed this week. So, please, let me send a little mail love your way. Remember, it's grooooovy!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Swappy Updates!

Hello sweet friends! A while back I posted about my swap fever and I've been asked how I am coming along on them. Well...I must say, I am doing better on my swaps then I am at my 5K training! Hmm.....let's just not talk too much about that, 'kay? Will probably NOT be running it. You know, what would you rather do? Glue pretty bits and bobs and play with glitter OR would you like a nice set of shin splits with a side order of muscle ache? Yeah, me too!


Let's back to the fun stuff, shall we? You saw the beautiful box that Lisa sent me. Here is what I sent (slightly late) to Lisa:
I made the crown with pipe cleaners and cardboard! On top of the crown is a flat glass marble set into a bottle cap topped with a cross from a necklace. Adding the glitter was the best part! This is real silver glitter and it will tarnish with time which I think sets the mood so well. The box itself is a black velvet candy box that I've been saving forever. I added the little legs to it.

What I was trying to do with this box is to show the two sides of Marie Antoinette. This outside represents her public side. Rather a caged dove, wasn't she? Not highly independent or intelligent, she was quite tame, but she did become everyone's favorite scapegoat. The paper ruffle around the edges of the lid is to represent all the words written about Marie both during her life and posthumously. The tag under the crown says "Marie Antoinette, Reine de la France".
And this is the inside of the box. Inside the lid (on the left) I used this beautiful LeBrun portrait of Marie's two oldest children. So sweet! In the box itself I glued in little vignettes that I felt spoke to Marie's private side. I wasn't able to do everything that I wanted to do- in part because I ran out of time and money! I hope you can see the little labels I made that describe what I imagine she was like.
Then I put it in a box with some of the goodies for my other swaps I'm enrolled in. Nice little transition, eh? First there is the Princess and the Pea Hat (Lisa is my partner for that too!): I really love how this turned out! I used irridescent glass glitter on the flower petals and then I made a twining pea vine from silver wire that wraps around the hat. Strung in various locations on the pea vine are Austrian crystal beads that give off an opalescent shimmer. I like to imagine that the Prince commissioned this lovely hat for his oh-so-sensitive Princess as a wedding gift!Here's a close up of one of the flowers. The gorgeous paper that I used for this hat and that I used to line the Marie box all came from Dollar Tree! I think each pack has six beautiful 12" x 12" pieces of coordinating paper in it. I get so much use out these papers and I never feel guilty cutting into them! Oh, and the green beads on the edge of the hat? An eyeglass lanyard from Dollar Tree! I think of Dollar Tree as my "secret weapon"!

Also into the box went my Mermaid Pageant ATC's. Lisa is the coordinator for this event and she is going to distribute two cards to each participant. I can't wait to see what I get! It's been fun to experiment with different collage techniques and images. Also, I don't remember if I shared my watercolor/colored pencil mermaids that I made in March. You can see them at my flickr photostream.
Whew! One more! I may have shown this before. This is the fairy dotee doll that I made for Amanda. She has rose petal wings and a cashmere body! I got a lovely, lovely dotee all the way from Australia! She came yesterday and when she is rested up a bit from her long voyage, I will take some pics.
So, what's left? The dollhouse book collaborative, the fairytale princess necklace and the Birds of a Feather book collaborative. And I just signed up for a tiny swap trading little felty charms! What can I say? It's so fun! Plus, I've been trading my ATC's at flickr and I have acquired some beauties from other artists and I love them so much! Mail love, my friends! It's groooooovy!
Hugs to all!
Friday, May 02, 2008

Fabulous Marie Antoinette Box from Lisa Kettell

Fabulous Marie Antoinette Box from Lisa Kettell
Originally uploaded by Tender Arts

Now do you see why I love swapping? I mean, LOOK AT THIS! I cannot even believe how much I love this pretty Queen. So many yummy layers of papers and trim and fabulous-ness. But you know what I love the most? The little pearl earrings she is wearing! I know, how weird, but they are SO cute!

Inside was more decadent gorgeous MA goodies. You can take a peek at my flickr page if you'd like to see it all. All I can say is, WOW! did I ever get spoiled! Thank you so much, Lisa!