Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Valentine Card with Character Constructions Stamps

In the middle of a not-so-creative weekend, 
I had a Valentine's card rolling around in my head.
This Character Constructions plate reminds me of
 my grandmother's chest of drawers.
Did she have love letters tucked away inside?
I wonder...

The chest of drawers is from The Bee Keepers' Tea, Plate 15 and the love letters and French words are from Queen of Tarts Plate 6. Both stamps were designed by Catherine Moore of Character Constructions.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Eat, Pray, Love

Whew! What a crazy week I'm having!!!!
It will be much better after next week.
I won't bore you with the details.
I'll just say that I'm looking forward to February!
In the middle of working on Halloween submissions,
(yes, already)
I needed a break to start some Valentine's projects.
Here is my first Valentine card using Character Constructions stamps:

These images and colors are so soothing to me.
Her dress and apron remind me of my grandmother.
And if I could, I would certainly wear a bird nest in my hair every day
 (with my pearls of course)!
When life gets a little crazy,
I need to be reminded to take comfort and pleasure in 
simple everyday activities:
I haven't read the book, but now it's on my list.

Wishing that you too will find something of pleasure in each new day.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's Official--I'm the Vintage Member of the Character Constructions Design Team!

Some people are just so clever and artistic. They have a unique way of looking at life and the world and manage to bring that vision to others through their art. When they share that passion, the world is just a little nicer--more interesting and definitely prettier! That's how I feel about the uniquely gifted artist, Catherine Moore, and her Character Constructions art stamps. Her paper doll stamps have delighted me for years. So when she asked me in December if I would like to be the "vintage" team member working with her earlier collections, I swear my heart skipped a beat, or two or three! What an honor to be working with Catherine and her talented team!
 When I arrived home from work this evening, all these stamps were waiting for me!
A variety of stamps I chose to work with.

Catalogs from 15 years of her collections.

 Two of my favorite collections, but I totally LOVE them all!
LOVE THESE STAMPS!!!! I'm sure it's not going to be easy to sleep tonight!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Surprise in My Mailbox--New Art Stamps from Austen Gallery

I have had moments, maybe hours, and even some days when I think I will never be creative again. I mourn and lament and think about turning my craft room into a reading room--list all the paper and ink and stamps and tools on Ebay, put two comfy chairs and a few antiques in my craft room and plop down in front of the fireplace and read. But just when I'm about to give in to these thoughts of despair (and stupidity) something gets those creative juices going again, my heart beats a little faster, the sparkle returns to my eyes, and I absolutely can't wait to get started on my newest idea! A few days before Christmas, when I was ready to collapse from work and all the preparations, my muse arrived in the mailbox:

This "Woolen Mittens" art stamp sheet from Oxford Impressions Austen Gallery has so many sweet stamps for Christmas, baby projects, and projects with vintage cording and lace. I immediately made these two pieces, and I have loads of other ideas.

Thank you so much, Suzanne, for making such a beautiful new collection of wonderful vintage images and bringing back my crafting mojo!

Friday, December 26, 2014

On the Cover of the January 2015 Issue of The Stampers' Sampler!

Just a couple of days before Christmas, packages started arriving -- gifts we had ordered, supplies, and then something wrapped in gray plastic. It felt like a magazine. And not an ordinary magazine! It had the matte textured cover and the heaviness of The Stampers' Sampler!  I immediately knew this meant I had a lot of art in the magazine, or that they had put my work on the cover, as that's how it goes. I quickly tore open the plastic and squealed with delight to find my card on the cover of the Winter 2015 issue:

I'm so happy that they liked my work. I used art stamps from Oxford Impressions, of which I am a design team member, and from Mad Rat Rubber and Character Constructions. 

This issue is on the newstand at Barnes and Noble, Michael's, JoAnn.

It's time to get busy to work on my Halloween submissions!

I'm linking this post with these great blogs:


Monday, December 22, 2014

Decorating for Christmas

Oh, I'm so thoroughly enjoying this Christmas season! After six years of too many difficulties to share, we are having a wonderful, wonderful holiday season. Last week we attended the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra's Bach Brandenburg Concerto Marathon. The music was divine. And last night we went to see the "Nutcracker Suite." It was a feast for the eyes and ears. We loved just loved it, and my husband can't wait to see Prokofiev's "Cinderella" in the spring. I never knew he would like ballet -- he didn't either. Now he wants to compose a ballet... Well, after the money-making work is done, I told him! lol!

I'm taking off from work for a few weeks, and I'm just loving all the decorating. I haven't really decked the halls in many years. What a joy it is for me now!  This 1800s pine hutch is a thrift shop find from six weeks ago. This corner of my kitchen has waited years for this piece!

It's filled with santas that my dear mother and I collected through 
the years. I celebrated her with each piece I unboxed and placed. 

These great vintage lights and boxes were a surprising find from 
weekend thrifting with my friends Christel and Heidi. 

The centerpiece for my kitchen table with vintage  ornaments and 
beaded garland and  Tom and Jerry cups.

A display of my cards and decorations I put together with thrift shop finds:

 A few years ago I discovered Tom and Jerry punch bowls, and 
it has been a love thing ever since:
You might say that I'm quite addicted. Christel found this chocolate brown
 set for me at the the thrift shop last weekend.  I LOVE it, especially against 
the light oak of my mother's favorite piece of furniture. (I have 
more Tom and Jerry pieces, but that will have to be for another day, lol!)

Here's a creche that I created from a TJ Maxx find and an image from an 
angel calendar. The figures are hand-carved from Austria--a gift throughout 
many years from my dear sister-in-law:

 I did my Christmas tree in red and gold with a few House of Hatten ornaments:

 House of Hatten was around 15 or more years ago. My mom and I 
collected these together--another reminder of the fun we used to 
have with our after Christmas shopping.

Not House of Hatten, but I just love these snowballs!
Another view of the tree:

 Christmas in the City. What haven't I collected? Lol!

One of the sideboards in my family room. I have a lot of these! lol! 
The decorations are minimal as the hand carving and stained 
glass stand on their own as a testament to the artistry and 
craftsmenship of the past. My paternal grandmother's clock is a focal point:

I guess I should have started with the entry first,but I spend 
most of my time in the kitchen!

The chalkboard door hides a closet that used to house our furnace, 
which now resides in the attic.  This little closet makes a nice pantry. 
I really do have to improve my chalkboard lettering!

These vintage silverplate pieces are thrift shop finds that I painted with 
chalkboard paint. I am still getting up my nerve or the patience to 
trace lettering and go over it with a chalk pen.

 The tree in my craft/tutoring room full of vintage ornaments and 
some of my handmade things. 

What a great way to celebrate a good and busy year! 
Wishing you peace and joy throughout the holidays and all through the new year!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Chalkboard Wish Frame

Chocolate, wine, or Pinterest???
If I could only choose one, I think it would be Pinterest!
Where else can one go to experience exotic places, drool over thousands of gorgeous recipes, or draw from the endless inspiration of the creatistas of the world all from a comfy sofa?
This "wish" board is a take off from something I saw on Pinterest, and
it's perfect for Christmas.
I cut the letters on a Cricut from book paper and chipboard. The stars and moon are a Tim Holz die that I cut with a BigShot. I carefully glued wire between the layers, which was a little bit of a pain in the neck!  Once the main piece was complete, I mounted it with foam tape on a piece of matte board that I had spray painted with chalkboard paint. I rubbed on a little chalk for interest.

To frame it, I  painted an odd-sized, black frame from Goodwill with ivory chalk paint. Home Depot carries small containers in loads of colors, and it's hugely cheaper than Annie Sloan. Here is my finished project:

Wishing you joy as you prepare for the holiday season and lots of Pinspiration!