Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Woo hoo! Merry Christmas to me! Went antiquing with DH today and spotted this old piece that claimed to be for seed packages. It's just the most awesome color of old pine and all the drawers now hold rubber stamps! There are two dividers in each drawer giving it three sections. DH said it "doesn't do much for me"....but ok, it's Christmas! What a guy.

On top of the piece is a 2009 desktop calendar that 13 of the girls in our Altered Start made. Dee kindly hosted the swap and bound all the calendars. It just arrived today and every month is amazing, including the covers that Sally Paul designed. Thanks to all the girls that participated in the calendar making....I'm very, very happy with mine!
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas Book

I made this Christmas book of vintage postcards of birds from a nice little teddy bear album from the thrift store. I've already given it away but I'm thinking the size was about 5 x 7. All the hard pages are covered in scrapbook paper with lots of glitter! The inside pages are on my picturetrail site. If you'd like to see the inside, go to Thanks for looking!http://www.picturetrail.com/members/edit/

Den of Temptation

I made this "Den of Temptation" for a friend to celebrate coupons! I especially love the temptress arm handing her a fistful of coupons. Not visible, but nevertheless very cute (if I do say so myself!), Charlotte's hands (also known as Carlotta) are actually little scissors. One hand has a coupon and the other has a little purse. Her body is an vintage candy tin. I removed the blonde hair from the doll's head and put black hair on her. I had this crazy idea to wax her face and as careful as I was, wax got in her eye (ouch!) and now her eye doesn't open too well. The sign at the bottom says "Den of Temptation". We love our coupons!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just had to make Santas out of these guys! They were asking for it!
What do you think about desecrating old cabinet cards? Doesn't faze me as there are zillions of them and I think they should be put to some kind of use......however, I'm not sure what kind of "use" these might have except for a bit of humor! The beards are lambswool. Real crystals, too! They both already had beards and a kind of Santa Claus look about them.........I just added to it. I think the bottom Santa got some soup on his beard and mustache...
Click on pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Freebie cabinet cards for you

Haven't put much up that I've been working on lately due to the fact that most are being made for gifties for friends. I did find a couple of darling cabinet cards yesterday on one of my binges....I've been looking for photos of old men who could become Santas! I'll post one soon and show you what I've been up to. But here are a couple of freebies for you....these two photos just swept me away and I actually paid $1.50 each for them! Usually, I like to pay no more than $1 but my heart got involved. If you like them, they're yours to do with what you will.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whitney's Playland at the Beach Ride Tickets

Here are some wonderful old ride tickets I found at an estate sale the other day. The top three are the original color before I beefed up the color a little with my image program. Actual size of each is 1 3/8 x 3". Whitney's Playland at the Beach was in San Francisco and closed in the 50's. It was very famous for it's many great rides and carnival atmosphere. There's even a website where nostalgia reigns as people who loved Whitney's talk about the good ol' days there. Feel free to use these tickets in your artwork.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Altered Artist

Had fun with 3 1/2 year old granddaughter, Lauren, whom I am grooming to become a famous altered artist! She was making a book for her mommy and daddy. She used all my handmade paper flowers - especially the ones that had micro beads or glitter. Actually, I tried to steer her away from them but to no avail. When she said "I didn't know you had THESE!", I knew my stash was toast. She LOVES the punches and has to stand up on the chair and press down on them with all her might. All the pages had to have rounded corners with the corner round punch. Then she wrote WOW which was supposed to be MOM but it was upside down. Too cute.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Here's a page from an old schoolbook I found in my stash.
Scanned it and I share it with you to enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Tim Holtz Weekend

HOWDY PARDNERS! Taking a class from Tim Holtz was the most incredible event! He is absolutely the best teacher ever........very organized and very sharing of every possible technique. He holds nothing back! He taught at the Stamp Art Shoppe in Roseville, CA over the weekend and I, in my attempt not to spend too much money (oh sure, Pat!), only signed up for one class. His projects are awesome and he supplies everything....you come empty handed and leave with a fantastic piece. My class made a little collaged frame piece that can hold one collaged domino (we made three).
It's just too sweet! It's a project that can be made up with different backgrounds for different seasons, birthdays or whatever, although this one is obviously for the Christmas season. Can't wait to put it on an easel.

Sandy, owner of the Stamp Art Shoppe was celebrating her 6th anniversary and Friday night, she threw a party with a western theme you wouldn't believe. We had a true western bbq, door prizes, & mustaches for all. See group picture. Tim was there with his cowboy hat and his accomplice, Mario. Tim has already blogged about this weekend on his blog. You have to take a look! There's a group picture and I'm on the far right with the pink shirt and blue ball cap (my jeans zipper was down I discovered later but fortunately it didn't show....LOL *(I'm not kidding.....I was so excited and anxious to get in the picture that I actually forgot to zip my jeans after a trip to the ladies room!)
Anyway, it was the most fun weekend ever. I just feel bad that y'all (cowgirl lingo) couldn't have been there. If you get a chance to take his classes anywhere.......go for it. You won't regret it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been having a ball cutting, pasting, trimming, etc. Found this idea on the Stampington site and knew it was something I'd enjoy playing with....I had so many papers that needed to be used up so this was perfect for "scraps". The book was just a regular book from which I removed all the pages, and then covered the inside with scrapbook paper.Then I added two pockets to hold the recipe cards. The thickness of the cardstock with the added papers didn't allow more than three in each pocket. Shouldl have made the pockets a wee bit larlger. I typed out some recipes and pasted to the backside of each card. The outside of the book worked perfectly with checked tissue paper after I first gessoed it to cover up the title. This little book is only 4 1/2 by 6 1/2. I am working on a little larger one but I really like the charm of the smaller one. It's fun finding images that work with the papers....get your scraps out and have fun. You might end up with a neat gift for your favorite cook!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spooky Halloween and Barley Water

Here's a little ATC I made for Altered StART's mingle. The theme was "spooky Halloween" ....hope this doesn't scare anyone too much! LOL

As promised, here's the easy recipe for barley water. As you probably know, barley is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. I love barley in soups, salads and even as a cereal for breakfast. Barley water is simply the water in which you cook the barley, but you need to do a couple of things to make it a very refreshing drink. It is really an English idea but seems to be catching on here.

  • Cook 1 cup hulled barley (don't use quick cooking...may have to search for "hulled" a bit in 4 cups of water. After it comes to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes & let stand for 30 minutes. While the barley is cooking, peel 2 lemons (try not to get into the white part) and place the peel and the juice into a 2 quart pitcher. Strain the barley water from the barley with a fine strainer into the pitcher. Most recipes call for honey as a sweetener but since I am diabetic, I use blue agave as a slight sweetener. Actually, I could drink it without any sweetener. It's quite refreshing sort of like lemonade but with a lot of nutrients. Try it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Few New Fun and Games

Here's a few new things over the past 6 weeks or so. I had fun with them which is the best part. Don't you love it when you have all the components for something....no scouring thrift stores, yard sales, etc.? The arcade was a cigar box, the little girl shrine was a tall wooden whisky box, the flower pot was a scroungy looking thing which now has a new life thanks to some gesso and crackle. I'm happy to be getting some of these wooden boxes off my closet shelf....Fibber McGee's closet for those of you who remember! The bird image was from a napkin that I decoupaged onto the pot. I liked doing it so much that I scored a bunch of nice clay pots recently and plan to make a production line of pots....good gifties, ya think?
The little square bird is a 4 x 4 canvas that has a strip of scrapbook paper on the side with a bird napkin decoupaged on it and then covered with beeswax. I'm going to be very sad when the bird napkin supply runs dry. I only have one or two left....they are as scarce as hen's teeth! Next post will be a recipe for "barley water". Before you poo poo it, you must try it! Nutritious, but more than that....it's delicious!

55th Wedding Anniversary

Wow! This can't be! August 12 was my last post? Lots of craziness in my big family so I've focused more on this stuff than on art I suppose. I did a few things which I should post although I've hesitated since they were things that magazines and books had inspired me to try. I always feel like I should have more ingenuity and not have to use other people's ideas. But I did like the results!

We just celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary on September 26th at Lake Tahoe which was a lovely, relaxing time. Marriage is really an interesting topic these days as I've received comments all the way from "I'm sorry!", to people who are stunned that anyone could actually stay married that long! We are parents, grandparents and great grandparents, and though I will admit it wasn't always a bed of roses, at this stage of the game, we both thank God for His provision and blessing in our marriage. I made Ed a little book that pinpoints some events in his life and he seemed genuinely touched. Whenever I have made a book for anyone, he always asked "Is that one for me?" He finally got his book! When I look at our wedding picture, (and he was movie star cute!), I wonder if I would have ever dreamed what the next 55 years would bring? I think it's good that we can't always see into the future. I was not even 19 years old and had no vision of real adulthood but I learned FAST! As an Air Force wife, we had more than our share of separations but oh, those reunions!!! : ) Life is very comfortable after 55 years together. Enough of this....off to post some more pictures finally!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Storage.....Woo hoo!

I just found the neatest thing for storage. I have a shoebox full of ribbon spools but then there were all the pieces of loose ribbon too long to throw away and not fitting on any spools. I saw this on someone's blog (not sure who!) and she said it was from Lowes....only $11.97. (Doesn't that actually mean $12? LOL) Anyway, the little doors LIFT. They are not drawers. It sits or hangs, and is 14" wide, 19" high and 5" deep.
I also discovered that it will hold spools up to 4" wide so I may get another for the spools and ditch the shoebox idea. Believe me, I've tried all sorts of things to store ribbon! Anyway, for me, this is the cat's pajamas. I love it!
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Revised Collage.....

What? It's been since July 28th since my last post? Well, I think I might have removed the Lauren and Sam post since I thought maybe my grandkids antics weren't all that interesting to other people after all!
This post is showing the revised (again) collage now named "The Girl and the Bluebird". Revised because I had to put a piece of handwriting somewhere on it to enter in the New Trends in Mixed Media group's August collage contest. I also added a few other things (shouldn't I be taking things away instead?). It takes courage sometimes to promote our own work and yet I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing what others think, good or bad. It's sure not a perfect example of collage but I think I'm growing each time I attempt something. Hopefully....

I've not done a lot recently....life seems to get in the way of art, doesn't it? In a way, I look forward to fall and winter and being "holed up" in the house; on the other hand, I somewhat dread the craziness of the holidays. I need to learn to take life as it comes....one day at a time.....not look too far into the future lest I become overwhelmed with what I know is coming. I don't handle the holidays so well anymore. It's almost like "been there, done that" and maybe I'm just enjoying the simple things of life more and more. Dragging out box after box after box of Christmas paraphernalia seems so redundant after 55 years of Christmases with my DH and family. Do I sound jaded? I don't mean to be....just being realistic, I guess.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Collage

Finished a collage I worked on the past few days. I just can't quit when I'm ahead. Well, it's all stuck down now and if it wasn't, I'd probably remove the book...I don't think it needs it now that I look at the thing with a jaundiced eye.
It's about 12 x 20 in an old frame. There are some flowers from a napkin thanks to Norah's tutorial here:http://allnorahsart.blogspot.com/2008/06/napkin-play.html. The bottom area has some anaglypta. I never knew that embossed wallpaper was called that until my friend, Sally Paul, clued me in about it and sent me a piece. I asked her for some advice along the way and unfortunately, I don't think I followed it very well. She's been an art teacher for many years (I think she said 40!!) and I would probably be considered one of her most difficult students. Go ahead, give me an F, Sally....I deserve it! That's it for today. Just going to sit back now and pick it apart in my mind and wonder about all the things I did wrong and if I had it to do over again, what would I do differently? I would love some feedback....and like I told Sally, be truthful because I'm tough and I can take it.....LOL
PS: You can click on it to enlarge. Better to see all my mistakes...: )
PS again! Revised picture added above. I tore off the top piece of heavy lace and replaced it with some player piano paper...trust me, it's better in person! Well, at least I think so.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tea Chest

I'm on a tea kick...here's a little tea chest that I made; front, top and side view. It has German scrap roses and birds and some hand painted strokes here and there. I had it filled with tea bags but have been using them regularly so I need to replenish my stash! There are napkins in the drawers and a little sugar and Splenda.

Is this a shrine? I never know!....Mary Green Woman says a shrine is paying homage to something you love and I love tea! A bit different than my tea shrine that I posted earlier.

It's 108 degrees today in the Sacramento area (and smoky from all the fires around us).....after a high yesterday of 113. When my first son was born in Salina, Kansas on July 8, 1954, it was also 113 degrees.....we had no air conditioning in our little place, nor did the air base hospital! I was 19 years old and thought I was going to DIE. When I came home from the hospital, DH went to Sears and bought a table fan which we placed next to the crib and turned it on the baby full blast. He had the worst colic ever....duh!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Brian and Bird Condo Side Views

Two posts in one day? Glory be! I'm supposed to be cooking turnip greens. Why can't I do what I'm supposed to do instead of playing with this blog stuff? I just wanted everyone to see darling grandson Brian with his grandma. This was after he got his altered dictionary grad gift (see earlier post below). He really, truly seemed to love the book and thanked me over and over. Pretty neat for a 23 year old. He's got class....heh heh!
Also, I'm posting the side views of the 2 story condo (earlier post) as a couple of people asked to see the sides. So here they are in what is my poor photography attempts. Don't forget to click on the pictures to enlarge!I just can't get the lighting right and I'm too lame to understand all there is to know about basic photography. Maybe I just don't want to take the time. I have to go cook turnip greens now.

A Spot Of Tea

I saw this idea in a book by (I believe) Anna Corbin and fell in love with it. Can't remember the name of it now. DH made me a wooden box which became this little tea shrine/assemblage. Can someone explain what the difference is? If a shrine has a religious connotation, well then, so be it. I don't worship tea but I sure do love it....expecially fruity teas and Tazo. The Tazo website is great fun if you've never visited it. Here's the link. http://www.tazo.com/noflash.html
Last night, Lauren, the infamous 3 yr old, came to visit while her mommy and daddy celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary with a dinner out. Immediately, she saw the dining room table was still looking very "cwafty" after the bird book completion. There was no turning back. She had to make a bird book for her mama and daddy and one for her day care lady, Miss Hannah. She worked hard at it and punched more birds with my new bird punch than you can count. Then, when there was paste and scraps on everything (except the book) she announced that I was to take it to the post office and mail it to them (they were picking her up in a few minutes)! So I was to mail it today. Actually, I was supposed to take it last night but I explained that it was closed so the mailman could rest. Did I mention that I left the room for a split second and when I came back, she had a pile of Diamond Glaze the size of an elephant on a piece of paper?

Oh, and I got busted, too. She walked into the "cwaft" room/office/storage/junk room and said "This room has too much stuff in it". Wait a minute, girlie, who's the boss of this house.....you or me? If I want too much stuff, (which I do), then just wait till you get your own cwaft room! I hope I'm still around to point out that you've got too much stuff! Anyway, you will never be an "ahtist/cwafter" if you don't have a lot of junk around to play with. LOL

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bird Book Play Day

Charlotte and I had a play day yesterday. We both worked on bird books. Our inspiration was from the new Somerset Studio Gallery....Charlotte's was completely different and very lovely. I wish she'd "blog" so she could show off her work.
Mine is 5 x 7 illustration board....quite heavy. I covered the pages with different papers and dry brushed some of them. I was pretty unhappy to find when I filled the xyron with a new roll and ran two pages through before I realized it was laminating stuff!
$20 down the tubes. Shoot....the pages were weird and nothing wanted to stick, of course. No extra rolls so I just used soft gel medium to glue the paper to the rest. Then the fun part was embellishing with stamps, scrap, all kinds of birdies and eggs. I'm sort of hipped on birds....can you tell? Well, actually the gold finches in my yard have eaten the zinnias down to bare bones. They by-pass the seed and eat the flowers and leaves. We can't make them stop so I didn't put any gold finches in my book. Bah on them!

I just finished it up tonight and scanned all the pages. I should post a picture of my dining room table, too....I don't think the surface is visible at all. When it gets to that point, I can't find anything so I spend most of my time looking for things I need. I thought I'd clean it off tonight but I'm too pooped. Art is hard!
Remember, you can click on the pictures to enlarge. Better to see my mistakes...heh heh.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just finished this little bird thing that has been calling my name. It fell off the closet shelf a couple of times in it's original state of navy blue, orange, yellow and red. It had drawers in it which had to go bye bye. This mother bird is resting up after laying 2 eggs that were big enough to do her in real good. Actually, she's thinking about a sitz bath. On the sides, there's a copy of a child's story about a robin. The photography is lousy....should have taken the picture in the morning light.