Saturday, March 28, 2009

Altered Apron for Amy

When my daughter came to town this past week, I decided to make her this quick gift by altering a window curtain panel. I loved the bottom lace, the fabric was stiff, and it looked practically new. As I am a great fan of rummaging through everything at our local thrift store, I am always looking deeper into the stacks of goodies that line the crowded racks. I thought this would make a lovely apron! So, by adding some accent vintage-inspired fabric, and using the pattern that I have had for years I simply shaped the upper part of the fabric. There was just enough material to finish the job. I love the fact that the sides are hemmed, the bottom had that sweet crochet lace, and all I needed to add was the large apple blossom. Fun and easy project to do in a day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Secret Garden

What a dreamy girl image! Three weeks ago, Art Creations Friday supplied this beautiful girl photo, and I just couldn't resist playing digitally with it. I was so inspired by Marie Markham, that I imagined spring colors and made some art to share! Thank you, Marie!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm A Scrapbooking Dropout

Yes, I'm finally admitting it! There was a time when I used to scrapbook everything about my children's lives. I used to document every birthday, vacation, and holiday--you name it, I scrapped it. I used to shop at my local scrapbook store so often that they finally asked me if I wanted to work there. And as time passed, I worked almost three years on their "design team." When the economy turned bad, I had to move on and took the fun of the hobby homeward to play. I truly got tired and burned out from scrapbooking, and ventured into unknown worlds like "chunkie" books, artist trading cards, journals, and now digital artwork. I'm not sure if I will ever go back to scrapbooking like I used to.

Then came the blog. It seems like blogging is just a lot easier, and less expensive. And besides, my thoughts are now on display in this visual journal with the things I love. Just posting things about art, photography, my children, and new things I've tried is just a place to share what makes me happy.

At first, it seemed like my blog was a place to post a photo of something I made. Now it has a become a place to record my memories, write a story, and document my thoughts, my feelings, and new ideas. I love the fact that I can skip around and do posts out of order. In scrapbooking, you used to do pages know, finish the Christmas pictures before my daughter's birthay. Today I might write about a memory from a past vacation, and tomorrow it could be what to make for dinner.

My life has evolved over the past two years. My children are both living across the state. No more stories pasted in scrapbooks about school soccer games, their first cars, and broken bones. My blog is more about me, and being honest. And, as I age, I am still wondering who that really is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Art....inspired by Mexico!

One of my favorite places to visit is definitely south of the border in Mexico! Here are some of my newest artwork inspired by the longing to visit the sea again. Wishing I was there....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mother Bear Project

In an effort to qualify a local high school student, Karolyn Klever, from Rochester Adams High School in our local school district into the National Honor Society, she hosted a session for the international "Mother Bear Project." It was held at one of my favorite knitting shops, Skeins on Main, this past Sunday.

If you are not familiar with the "Mother Bear Project," they are a non-profit group dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children, primarily those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations.

Please write or call Skeins on Main, to volunteer your time towards this worthy cause. Karolyn hopes to collect 75 bears to ship over to Africa by May 1st. Please contact Kristine, Karolyn's mom, for information to start your bear!

Here are some of those donated in previous years....

Your name will appear on a tag attached to the sleeve of each bear. The pattern is very simple, fast, and the result is really quite sweet! Then a red or pink heart will be hand-sewn to the chest of each bear once they are ready to be mailed.
The red hearts on this map indicate where your bear might be sent!

Come on and make a difference!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Giant Has The Map

Post 5: Final
"This gruesome woman," thought the Queen. "How could I ever fulfill a wish that was not my fault?"

Madame La DuRee hovered close to her face breathing in short wrenching spasms, as she ran her long fingernails against the Queen's smocked satin sleeve. The Queen held back her fear. "I know of a giant who has a map of every town, village, and house marked on it. He has a much larger map upstairs in a chest that shows every inch of the sea."

"If you promise to purchase at least one item from this Golden Castle of Faerie Enchantment, I will transport your beloved Samuel back to you. He has been living on an island not far from where his British ship "The Stargazer" sunk ten years ago!" Loraina is very much alive and you are a great-grandmother!"

The Queen was happier than she ever could have imagined. All has been a dream, for "The Amazing Princess Lisa" has cast a spell over me today so that I could bring you this story that you shall be forced to forget. But, in this happy hour, it has taken away my fears of my missing grandson and renewed hope.

It took some time to get Samuel home, where she had found him grown, and their child tall and beautiful. And they lived happily till the end.

Is That Really Madame LaDuRee?

Post 4:
"Ah, I so need some refreshment," whispered the Queen to Sage. "There is so much to taste, and my eyes are full if imagination. And, look at those cupcakes!!" Just follow the signs ahead....look at all of those sweet, edible jewels and dazzling stars just waiting to behold and devour.

The Queen smelled the cotton candy, roasted cinnamon almonds, fried sweet donuts, and kettle corn. Could she resist the scent of heavenly delight? She had to go back and and visit more circus themed art projects back in the tent, and thank Miss Lisa for such a glorious day!

And would she need a Circus and Follies image CD to take back to the castle?

She felt guilty for having the most imaginative visit. So many years had passed. She longed to see her dearest grandson, her Samuel. "Are you still alive?" the Queen asked. "But wait, I see someone I know ahead. Is that really you, Madame LaDuRee, the Queen shuddered. What are you doing here?"

"Oh, yes, my Queen. It is me. Certainly, I can bring you happiness again. But, first, I must make a condition. And if you do not fulfill it, you will never see your grandson again!" warned the fortune teller.

So Much To See and Do . . .

Post 3:
With laughter in the Queen's heart, her horse drawn carriage arrived in the Land of Winchester. She could hear the haunting melodies of the carousel.

"Glad to meet you," said Albious Woodsby. "This is Laurel. He can assist you with anything you may need, My Lady. Don' t forget to visit the Carlisle Pavillion, the Candy Court, and Food Pavillions."

The Queen grew overwhelmed in excitement. "There are so many things to do, and places to visit. How will I ever see everything?" she cried. As she rounded the Carlisle Pavillion and said one last "hello and goodbye" to Carneigie, the clown, there was The Tinsel Tent! "Look, look, look, these dolls are so vintage and even beyond that are MORE demonstrations! What a wonderful land of Faerie Enchantment!"

If only I had brought more friends, she thought.

Whisked Away to Adventure

Post 2:
The Queen loved parties, games, and especially music. "What will I wear?" she exclaimed. "All I have are these old horrid clothes!"

Perhaps I need a extravagant party hat? In the very tiniest of fine print on her invitation reads: You must visit the "Emporium of Wonders." There is a table set up just for you to assemble a wondrous hat. "Oh, how clever of them!" she said. "I will look divine!" The Queen lovingly packed her artful suitcase filled to the brim with tinsel, paint, glue, carnival images, and crepe paper!

So, as the sun rose over her magical kingdom, she stepped into her carriage to be whisked away to undertake the adventure she so needed. She thought of Samuel, who was lost at sea after that severe thunderstorm. It was so hard to be happy, when she had lost so much!"

The Magical Message

Post 1:
Once upon a time, at the end of winter, when the snowflakes fell like feathers from the sky, a Grandma Queen sat at her window knitting.

As her beauty had faded, and her children had married, she longed for a life of fun and tom foolery like in the days of her youth.

As the hours passed, and the sky grew dark, there came a knocking at her door. Hesitantly, she opened the heavy wooden door to her castle and there stood a sweet little elf named Hans, from Party Owl Service (aka POI), who eagerly handed her a magical message!

"Gracious, gracious," the Queen cried. "What is this?" She lifted the seal of the leather envelope. And, behold there was an invitation to attend a great magical event called "The Carnival Soiree."

She was so full of joy to see that she had not been forgotten by her long lost friends in another kingdom across the huge pond. The invitation read more like a treasure map than a request to attend, but the Queen grew excited in anticipation.

First, you need to find the "Path of Illumination." There you will see all the colors of the rainbow flickering in sparkling lanterns like twinkling stars.

Pass the "Growing Wand Garden." There you will see a tree next to a brilliant yellow tent. Inside this tent is your ticket for adventure.

"Oh, my," said the Queen. Will I find myself light-hearted and full of happy thoughts today?" She was never quite the same when her first born grandson, Samuel disappeared off the coast of Madagascar so long ago.

Yes, she will go. How could she not?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Marie Antoinette Digital Collage

During our last Creative Workshops class, I created this digital collage. Gail Schmidt taught me so much and then some! I was a bit overwhelmed in the beginning, but eventually started to really get into it! Just learning all the tools was a bit scary, but it started getting much easier as we moved along. It is absolutely incredible what Photoshop can do. As the weeks go by, I will definitely share what I come with. Now, to start digging into my photo stash files. Thank you so much, Gail, for your expertise. What a great class!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Faerie Enchantment is Hosting "The Carnival Soiree"

Magic and mayhem, lurking behind every corner, every velvet curtain, secrets buried beneath the Big Top, portals to hidden places just inside the Seahorse Carousel, where a certain song at half past 8:00 p.m., can transport you to one of those worlds!

On Saturday, March 14, 2009, you are invited to Alice, The Socialite's Carnival Soiree, held at The Magic Carnival, from sunrise to sunset.

Make sure you wear your Carnival best, think rainbows and pointy harlequin hats, Pageant Queen gowns, or Mermaid dress, top hats in every color and tutu's complete with pixie wings.

What to expect:
-Carnival Tea
-Giveaways consisting of
Faerie Enchantment's collage CD,
Circus Follies and an altered poker chip kit.
-Free Circus images/ephemera
-Carnival party pictures
-Circus projects

Whose invited: All Of You!!!
Place: YOU MUST SIGN UP at Faerie Enchantment
Time: All Day
Why: Lisa loves the circus, carnivals and soirees.
And it's her first blog event!

See you there. Remember it's this Saturday...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

It Happened Again....

Oh YEAH....received a definite surprise today!

I am delighted to be tagged by Becky from Whymsical Musings! You have to visit her blog! This award is accompanied by the following words:

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."

1. Debra, my dear friend, at "It's All Good." Check out her heartfelt words, art, and humor!

2. My dearest Terri from "Blooming Ideas." You are just soooo creative!

3. Coralie Cederna Johnson from "Vintage Cottage Home." You will enjoy her fun and vintage inspired life!

4. Kris at "Nostalgic Collage" and "A Nostalgic Halloween." I love her artwork!! Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful gothic arches and ATC's.

5. Anji of "On Ruby's Hill." You'll adore her tales with her boys from Alaska, and sea glass jewelry.

6. Rosa of "Living as Rosa." Check out her adventures with her kitty, Bella, down in Nashville!

7. Paula of "Serendipity." Her blog is beautiful. She and her husband are adopting a baby!

8. Marie of "Ozstuff Online." Her artwork is brilliant!

With so many creative artists out there in blogland, it is an incredible honor to be recognized as having a noteworthy blog!

Thank you so much for enjoying my virtual journal and for taking the time out of your hectic schedules to check me out.

Words cannot express how touched I am to receive this recognition. When I first started blogging it was challenging. I sat in front of my monitor thinking. "OK now, what would anyone possibly want to know about me?" First I displayed photos, without much journaling. I am getting better about actually writing more though. After about six months, I was getting more comments, and I relaxed a little bit. I joined an incredible local art group, and began monthly swaps with them. Then I actually had some cool photos to post! I am still striving for interesting topics, and have become friends with some really brilliant artists. Thank you so very much. Thank you again Becky. There are so many wonderful blogs to see!


Saturday, March 07, 2009

Quite A Productive Day

I got my "act" together early this morning, had breakfast with my hubby, and made a dash over to my friend Deb's house before Noon. It rained like the monsoons today, including thunder and lightning. Driving over to her house was just a blur due to my slow driving, drinking my coffee, and the usual Dodge Ram truck, that always seems to be following me when I am notoriously overcautious in bad weather. I wanted to check out her newly completed art studio (which I must say is just beautiful), and to just plain socialize. She had just posted her latest photo for "Pink Saturday," and we spoiled ourselves with some pink frosted sugar cookies and coffee. What a delightful treat for me!

Later we walked over to the neatest yarn shop right on her street. I was in heaven touching all the silken fibers, thinking about new knitting projects, and maybe even taking a needle felting class in the future. It seems like we are always finding ways to inspire ourselves in new directions.

I have been also dreaming of making myself a "Apron-ology" style apron. If you haven't picked up this new Somerset magazine, it is pure eye candy. Choosing the fabric is my biggest dilemma. Last Wednesday, I browsed our local thrift store, and purchased a used wedding dress. Just thought to myself, why not make something wonderful out of someones special day? Or maybe it wasn't, if it was hanging on the bargain rack! It is encrusted with a sequined and beaded lace border, so you can just imagine what I might come up with. Maybe a short little hostess apron!

I have been taking the latest digital collage class with Creative Workshops. Here is my second photo of the collage we were taught. I know I need a lot of practice. I haven't quite got the hang of the correct brush size to erase unwanted edges of layers in Photoshop Elements. I guess, with any type of artwork, there is always the repetitive motion that you have to perfect. I am imagining all kinds of ways to manipulate my hoarded vintage images into new artwork! I can hardly wait for next week for the final phase of our class. I wonder if she may even teach a intermediate class after this one? It is so addictive.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Do You Need A Wishing Jar?

This is such an adorable commercial that I viewed on one of my loyal follower's blog, Melissa of "My Whimsical Wishes." So, I thought I would share it with you. She has come up with the idea of making a "Wishing Jar." It inspires me to want to make one of them. What a neat idea, Melissa! Hmmmm....what kind of jar do I want to hold some of those special wishes for my life?

Watch it here: GE General Electric Wind Energy Commercial

I really like this idea of having a wishing jar. "Sometimes it feels good to just write down the things in life you wish you had. Whether it's something tangible like a new car, or something you want to accomplish in your life. It doesn't matter just think about it, write it down, and maybe just maybe if you put your dreams out into the universe they may come true...," says Melissa.

Love this...

Tag, You're It !....

Oh My, I have been Tagged!
My dear friend and artist extraordinaire,
Terri, of Blooming Ideas,

was given this award, and then passed it on to me.

Thank you so much, Terri.
You are too sweet!

I believe it works like this.
I am to follow a few rules
Here are the award rules:

List 7 things that you "Love,"
and then pass this award on to
7 Bloggers that you love!
Be sure to tag them,
and let them know they have won.

You can copy the picture of the award
and put it on your sideboard
Letting the whole world know.....
you are KREATIV!

The Seven Things I LOVE are:
1. Chuck, my husband of 42 years!
2. My children, Brad, Amy & their spouses
3. My grandchildren, Ethan & Lauren
4. My artistic friends, Deb, Terri, Vikki & Kim
5. Music (especially easy listening)
6. Nature (forget winter)
7. The sun at the seashore

I would most definitely tag Terri once more, and Deb again. And, not forgetting Angela Harris, Carol Wingert's Place, Healing Expressions, Maygreen Fairies, Paper Whimsy, Gail Schmidt of Shabby Cottage, Vintage Flair, and everyone from my blog list. Seven is just not enough! After the One World One Heart Giveaway, I have viewed hundreds of some of the most brilliant and inspirational blogs that I ever discovered. So, for me, to receive this award is an honor.

Thank you again, Terri, for tagging me. You're a dear sweet friend, and I am feeling quite humble that you passed this on to me.

Hugs, Nancy

Monday, March 02, 2009

Excited About Tomorrow

Check out my finished digital collage created during Lesson One of Creative Workshops. I love the misty ghost image of the horse and lady as shown in this photo. And the sparkles! Love those.... I have played for hours since our first class, and have experimented with what I can do and can't do with all those tools on the left side of the Photoshop Elements page. Especially, the "can't do" part that seems to occur whether I want it to or not. Yesterday, I ended up with photos that were completely black and white. It took me quite some time to figure out what I did to do that! Can't wait for tomorrow's class to start again.