Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lavender, The Flower of Positive Thinking

Everything is going to be okay, says Iris Lee Underwood.

"I love farming, and I look at my farm
as a peace offering--to myself, my family,
the community. People want to enjoy
the scent of lavender, the beauty of it,
the camaraderie. It brings them piece!"

The mood-boosting powers of lavender may even mend an aching heart. Seven years ago, her 25-year old daughter died from drug abuse, and "the cloud of grief that hung over me was lifted," she says.

She has studied how the oil absorbs into your skin, your bloodstream, and goes to your brain. "But it was really true. I felt this keen sense of well-being after caressing the velvety lavender flower one sunny afternoon six years ago."

Today, at 60, Iris nurtures a rolling acre of the plants on what she calls "Yule Love It Lavender Farm" in Lakeville, Michigan. This July, during harvest season, more than 2,000 visitors pick their own flowers, sit at bistro tables to sip lavender tea, or just share their stories of loss and healing while strolling through the lavender fields.

Yule Love It Lavender Lemonade

TO MAKE: Steep 1 large tea ball filled with organic lavender in a quart of boiled water until the liquid turns a light rose color. Meanwhile, in a gallon jar, mix 2 large cans of frozen lemonade concentrate with 4 cans of water. Add the cooled lavender infusion to the lemonade. Finally, add the ice and garnish with fresh mint, lemon thyme, or lavender springs with foliage, or all three.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mad Tea Party

Today's the big day! It's "Fanciful Twist's 2nd Annual Mad Tea Party." The idea is to visit her blog, enjoy her amazing photos, whimsical stories, and then visit the participating party goers listed on the right side of her blog. Each blogger will have a their artwork displayed. You just have to look! You won't be disappointed. Vanessa's work is brilliant and so inspiring.

And just click on the "party-ers" to view even more candy!

Click to play this Smilebox invite: MAD HATTER'S PARTY
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Make sure you comment on all of the wonderful posts!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

KC Willis Studio Retreat in Colorado

KC Willis is having a retreat in her studio. Can you even imagine? And by posting a link to her retreat on your blog, she is also giving away an original 4" X 6" piece of artwork to the first 100 people who spread the word.

First of all, jump over to the Lipstick Ranch to read the details of her giveaway, and then imagine the possibilities of attending a retreat with KC in beautiful Colorado. Just the thought of combining a vacation in the mountains along side KC in her studio would be unbelievable! Talk about wishing you were there....and meeting people you link to on a regular basis. That would be an experience of a lifetime.

All this and more......wishing KC all the best with her retreats!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

KC Willis Collage Camp Winner

I feel crazy with excitement!!

First of all, I loved taking KC's first fabulous Collage Camp, and now I can continue on my creative journey. I am thrilled beyond words to be able to create a layered "Shrine of Our Lady of Your Creativity," and to be able to do the paper collage class. AND, what about building a book from scratch using cardboard, paper, fabric and other doo dads. I am doing my "Footloose" dance right now....

Thank you so much, KC, for this incredible shopping spree. You are such a generous soul! I am still in disbelief that I was chosen. Yee Haw! Thank you all for your words of congratulations! I am just so happy. I needed some happiness right now!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Terri's Random Act of Kindness

Would you believe what flew over and landed at my house? It is just the most precious little bird you have ever seen!

This lovely "Song Sparrow" was created by my dear talented friend, Terri Gauthier of Blooming Ideas. This amazing beaded and metal gilded bird is the first "Random Acts of Kindness" presents I have received! I just love it, and want to hang it somewhere that I can see it every day, not hidden away in a drawer not appreciated.

It appears as though it's body may have been encircled with a wrist watch band, a blue lapis buckle, legs of Aurora Borealis colored beads, and iridescent abalone feet. What a wonderful piece to own.

Thank you so much, Terri! It is just awesome and it will always be treasured!

My Adventure Book from Pixar

Now that my five year old grandson is getting to be quite the artist, I have assembled these small love tokens for his creative spirit. They can be downloaded from the Disney Family Entertainment web-site for free. My grandson, Ethan, wants me to make him artist trading cards lately for his card collection, which often includes store bought "Super Hero" trading cards and "Transformer" cards. Maybe I can get him to make a few of his own. I made the pins on my own with old bottle caps purchased at a garage sale, attached huge safety pins with E-6000, and covered the sticky area with felt.

Last week my daughter and I went to see the latest Pixar movie, "Up." What an adventure! It was more than just a cartoon, but a lesson to be learned. I feel like it proves that your greatest adventure is the here and now, not what you have experienced, or hope to discover, but what is happening in front of you! It almost brought a tear to my eye. Loved it!

So......make some art to share with your family, send these adorable downloads to someone who needs an adventure, or do some crafting with your children. The "My Adventure Book" has places to adhere book badges for deeds well done, things to be accomplished, or a little about the person completing this cute little book!

Off to enjoy today's adventure.....

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Missing The Ocean

There was a time when I couldn't wait to buy a new bathing suit each year! As the years have passed, I show a lot less skin when I visit the beach. The old body sure isn't the body it was 20 years ago (even a little scary). The beach is a place where I can meditate, sink into a chaise lounge chair, and enter that dimension where I love to go. I enjoy people watching, reading a good book, and just soaking up the sun under a cabana. I bring along my camera for that spur of the moment photo. I love walking in the surf, smelling the sea, and embedding the memory in my mind. Oh! To own a place by the sea.

In the late 70's, I was unbelievably blessed to be able to visit Fiji and it's outward Yasawa Islands. The color of the water is truly something that you will never forget. Taking a dip into the ocean is like jumping into an aquarium with hundreds, even thousands, of fish in a kaleidoscope of colors. I will always remember Fiji....how we flew into Suva, a heavenly paradise that changed my world forever.

You Are a One Piece Swimsuit

You are a bit conservative and traditional.

And you are not at the beach to put your body on display!

You are a low maintenance person. You like to look good, but you're not vain.

Your taste tends to be sophisticated. You always opt for classy over trashy.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Felted Knitted Tote

Well, I did it! I made my first sale. I am sending this felted tote bag to my daughter-in-law's Mom, Isabelle. She put in her request around Easter time, and this is the end result. This bag is completely lined with a tropical fabric (you know me), and the faux leather handles were purchased from Joggles.com. This is the size she wanted. I knitted a fun white flower with a lime green center, added some fuzzy yarn and it even closes with a huge snap.

I really hope she likes it!

Monday, June 01, 2009

"I Love to Knit" 100th Post Giveaway

I absolutely love to knit! I am constantly craving the feel of my favorite needles within my hands. Fortunately for me, with the schedule I keep with my work and family, I find that I have time to pick up and knit a little bit here and a little bit there while watching a telecast sporting event, sitting in the waiting room awaiting an appointment, or just trying to relax on the back porch.

As the knitting process unfolds and the shaping begins, there is that constant feeling of anticipation; when you realize the pattern is written perfectly, each row and every stitch creates the result you desired. There is something so incredibly satisfying when a project is complete and ready to present to the recipient. And yes, the weather is perfect to present you with this summer handbag made by me in celebration of my 100th post!

To all of you blog commenters, I would like to treat those of you that have taken the time to leave their comments. I would like to do something very special to those of you who keep coming back to visit. So, as a great big "Thank You" from me, for taking the time from your busy day to leave me your thoughts, I have decided to give away these Summer Handbags.

I read each and every comment, and have written down your names. The top commenter has been Terri Gauthier of Blooming Ideas. She will receive my Lime Green Handbag! Secondly, Debra Abel of It's All Good will receive the Red and White Confetti Handbag, Becky Loyall of Whymsical Musings came in third. She will receive the Yellow Handbag, and fourth is Jann Clark of Forever Jann with a Dusty Pink Bag. I am still in the completion phase of her bag.

I have no doubt, these bags will grace you with possibly a summer memory of the beach, shopping along a shoreline tropical village or just plain holding your personal belongings this season. Please email me your address so I can send you your free summer handbag!

Thank you gals, for all your continual support, your sweet wonderful comments. You make me smile.


Hugs, Nance