Monday, January 31, 2011

My Little Hockey Man!

I have always loved being a hockey mom.....but having
the cute hockey jewels makes me love
it even more. Lisa (from Lola Rue) made me this awesome
piece. Well she didn't actually make it for me....
but I saw it in her shop and had to have it. It
is a vintage locker tag with the number 48 etched into
it. That's Lincoln's hockey number! On the back she
embellished it with vintage rhinestones. It is
absolutely stunning. We traded for it. I gave her one
of my felted necklaces and she gave me this!! All
the other hockey moms are so envious of me. So.....
now I am on the hunt for their boy's numbers.
Won't that be fun....we will be the envy of the
whole Buckeye League!

Isn't he just growing up????? He is just
changing so much. It seems just like yesterday
I was swaddling him in my arms. (He still let's
me hold him.....but mum's the word ok????)
I am really proud of him. He is turning out
to be just the young man I had always hoped he
would become. I can't believe he will be in
high school next year and playing varsity hockey.
I hope he gets to keep the number 48....but if not.....
at least I know where to get another cool necklace.
I hope you have a delightfully....energetic.....productive.....
& creative day. Blessings!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hope's Must Have Kitchen Essentials

I wouldn't go & say that I am the best cook
on the planet. I would categorize myself as
a good cook though. More importantly, I
would categorize myself as a very
organized cook. Yes....all these measuring
cups are mine. I call them baking essentials.
I like to have a lot of them. Lately it seems that
there are usually about 3 cooks cooking in
my kitchen. I love cooking together. It seemed
that each time I needed a dry was always
wet....with say peanut butter....or oil. That's when
I had a light bulb moment. Have more sets of

Yes....I do need all these spatula's. Actually....
I have more in the color red. These are actually
one of my most used kitchen essentials. Do you know
how clean you can get the peanut butter jar
with a tiny spatula? Jeff looked at all my cooking
things one day and remarked.....'I think some of your
tools need to move to the mine'. I don't
think so.....MY tools make our home run more
smoothly.....your tools are like an accident waiting to
happen. Besides...mine are so nicely organized. I
actually like looking into my 'baking drawer' and seeing
everything all the ready to cook
something fabulous!!!

And yes......of course I need all these measuring
spoons. Most of them cost only a quarter
at garage sales. Who wants soy sauce or Worcestershire
sauce dripping down their hands....or
worse the side of the bottle....only to dirty up
the refrigerator? Why yes...these are time saving
tools....that make my life easier. Don't forget the dry/wet
measuring problem either!!!! Baking powder....baking soda....
soy sauce & Worcestershire sauce don't mix!!!!

I know....I know.....the photo is horrific! But I just
had to show you these scrapers. The stainless steal one
is the biggest blessing in my kitchen. It is a breeze to clean
the counter off into the trash....or my hand with this!
Cooking rolling day....a breeze!
Noodle making day....a delight!
Pie crust rolling day....HEAVEN!
Oh....I forgot....I buy Pillsbury Pie Crust....who can
make better crust than them????
The brown scrapers are fabulous to clean out
my cast iron cook wear. Yes.....I really do use cast
iron! It cooks the best....and makes my food taste
the best. Anyway....the scrapers are a must for those pans.
I hope you have liked reading about my kitchen
essentials. Do any of you have any great tips
in the kitchen? I am always looking for
ways to make my life easier & more productive. I hope
that you have an artfully creative day either in the
craft room....or the kitchen. My favorite rooms in the house!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Altered Bottle Swap

I am so excited to share this with you. I love how
it turned out. It is a little late for my
lovely swap partner....Miss Jennifer Babcock of
Covered in Glitter
but I think she will be happy when she
finally receives it. She is hostessing a swap a month
and so far....I have signed up for both. I hope you will
join in for the swap for March....sign ups will be
towards the middle of February.
This is a close-up of her cute face. For those of you
who know me.....I love Frozen Charlottes. I am
always thrilled to give them away as
supplies or just as excited to create with them.

Here is a close-up of the added embellishment.
That was part of the add
an embellishment. I know Jennifer loves
silver it was fitting to
add that as part of the bottle. She does a lovely
job herself. I met her at Silver Bella....and
actually she was my Silver Bella Lil' Sis. I was
honored to get to know her...her mother...and
what a treat to meet her 13 year old daughter who got
to miss school and attend Silver Bella. I think it is quite
a learning experience!!!!

Here she is....all finished & ready to be shipped
off to Texas. She is filled with mica and pearls in
lovely shades of & white. Jennifer
will love this color combination. She is wearing a
crown with a tulle veil. The veil is filled with vintage
sheet music and adorned with seam binding in
shades of cream...white & pink. I hope you have
enjoyed seeing the un-veiling of my altered
bottle. I hope Jennifer will love it. Have a wonderfully
productive & creative day. Blessings.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Mother's Pearls 100th Post Give-Away

Check out this scrumptious 100th post
give-away. My good friend Sue from My
Mother's Pearls is hosting this. Not only will
there be ONE lucky winner.....but TWO!
There is a pink crinoline & a yellow crinoline.
I sure hope I am the lucky winner of one
of these pretties. You can access her blog by
clicking on my sidebar. You have 3 chances to win
if you follow her guidelines. I hope you have
a wonderfully creative and blessed evening.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Early English Ironstone

I love a good collection. These pictures are not
mine. collection
is pretty awesome. Pictures to follow on
another day.

I have been collecting early English Ironstone
for about 20 years. I bought my first
piece at an auction with Jeff.
I liked the lines of the sugar & creamer
set that I bought that day.
Little did I know it would turn out
to be something I would seek out my
entire life.

It goes with everything I own. It's creamy
and dreamy. All the shades of white a
different pale shade. I love the grazing
and the crackle of the old finish.

I especially love all the different
markings. My favorite....
and the marking that will make me
purchase each & every time is
Meakin. I love the earlier pieces that
they created. The period I aim for
is 1850-1890. But really any piece of
white ironstone has enough draw to bring me
right in. I want it.....I need a
junkie needs her drug.

If you start collecting white ironstone
you will love it. It will nestle right
into your home. Try placing all your
seasonal garden plantings in the
pitchers and you will be amazed. Wait
till you place that first peony....or those sprigs
of holly....or the hydrangeas! Then....I
know you will be hooked. Someday.....when
I capture the beauty of my collection....
I will share with you. Until then have a wonderfully
creative and blessed evening.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vintage Jewelry Boxes....a Must!

I love a great vintage jewelry box! The
crushed velvet compartments
really make me jump for joy. What neat storage
vessels they become. What fun you can do
with them. I recently put this together to
send to someone....well someone I thought
needed a little pick me up. I think
she will be so happy when she opens it.
Lot's of trinkets & just all around fun!
I am ever so partial to a good pink or
blue box. These boxes...all though
originally used to store gloves make awesome
jewelry boxes too. I like to use them at
art shows to carry merchandise in....and then
use them as the actual display piece. I don't know
if patina is the right word for describing the way
a piece of fabric has aged....but these vintage
beauties have just that special 'patina' to them. What
kinds of things do you like to store your vintage
collections in? What would you send trinkets
to a friend in? Do you know just the right way
to make someone feel delighted with joy? I hope
you have an artfully creative evening. All the best that life
has to offer....and many blessings to you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Tragic Loss

I woke up yesterday all energetic & happy
to start the day. I was going to box
up & mail out my swap package to
Alanna George......then I read my
email. My dear friend & swap partner
Julie Baxley had endured a home fire. It
destroyed everything....all her personal affects.....
her home.... & her beloved fur children.....the
loves of her life. Her 2 cats. She is a beautifully
gifted artist. We attend Silver Bella together. Above
is a montage she created. It is lovely don't you think?

Here is a picture taken on our first night at
Silver Bella 2010. I was exhausted after a long day
of travel & SHOPPING....Julie looks full of life & smiles.
That's the way Julie is.....ALWAYS. She also always
wants to help & give. Our little Gnome friend was visiting
us....a token from Karla Nathan. She lost everything....yet
was more concerned with others. I found her commenting
on FB about others happiness....about the beauty of
others children. I would have been crying a pity party.
Not Julie. She....on the morning after the fire
was letting us know she wouldn't be mailing
off her Valentine's to us. Tragically....along
with everything she
owned they were
burned in the fire. That's Julie....worried
about our happiness. I just love her. I wish I
could carry this burden for her.

Here's another piece of this talented artist's work.
Julie is faithful. Her art reflects her faith. Yet
another quality that I adore about Julie.
I scored this awesome photo from Miss Jodie
at Everything Vintage. Which brings me to another
point of topic. I am writing about a friend who
has lost everything. Yet....I am able to find examples
of her work and cherished photos on the web. What a
marvelous tool in the face of something tragic. Also,
what a great way to let others who know Julie about her
loss & to give everyone who reads this a glimpse
into the artful soul of a beautiful & talented lady. I love
sharing these photos with you today.

Here is the ornament that she sent at Halloween. She
always personalizes things so nicely. Here....she added
a 'V' for Valita. I know that I treasure each of
her pieces. They are fun & thoughtful. Sending out
the package of Valentine Ornaments will be bittersweet.
Knowing that my beautiful ornament made by
Julie won't be in the bundle of lovelies.....destroyed
by fire....I know that box will be filled with love. Love
from all the swap ladies who lovingly create ornaments for
our sweet swap hosted by Alanna George. I am happy that
Julie will receive her ornaments from us....and I have added
a little commemoration extra about the fire. I guess
when you love your friends.... commemorating
the happy & sad moments is what life is all about. I know I
have come to love each of these ladies through their
art. If anyone reading this would like to know
where to send something to Julie, contact me here or
send me an email for her contact information. Blessings
for an artfully creative day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Love is in the Air

I want to give you a little peek. A peek into
some of the swaps I have been working on.
This is a swap with a group of past &
present Silver Bella girls.
Started by Alanna George because of the
fact she would be unable to attend
Silver Bella 2010.... she asked if we wanted
to do a spring ornament swap last winter. 15 of us
eagerly joined. Let me tell you....there are some
very talented women in this group.
So while I squealed
and opened that first box of my mind
I knew I wanted to be in another swap. Then we swapped
for a Halloween Ornament Swap. We again were not
disappointed. So....without a moments hesitation....
the Valentine Ornament Swap began. So now as we
scurry about packaging the lovelies into
the finest wrapping and get them boxed up to send
lovingly to Alanna....I thought I would give just
a little peek at my pretties.

In my mind I cheat just a little. I have been
going the easy route and making a
soldered ornament. The girls seem
to enjoy them & boast about them....
so....I add to the swap with a little
soldered lovely. It's what I am into
that's what I have been doing.

My photos don't do them actual justice. I
think you can get the general idea. I really don't
want the best photo....since it is really just
a peek. After I receive the whole swap.....I will
post more photos. I hope that you have enjoyed
this little snippet of my Valentine Ornament
Swap.....because love really is in the air
around here. Blessings for an artfully
creative evening.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Numerous Blog Responsibilities

I love having a blog. I love knowing that
really there are people out there who
read my blog....even though they never
post comments. That's okay....I lurk on a few
blogs too. I knew that when I first started
my blog there would come with it a
certain amount of responsibility. I love that too.
Recently I came home from a long hockey
weekend. Typically when I am gone I don't
post to my blog....or even check it. Sometimes....
I don't even follow blog etiquette and
post to all you wonderful friends out there in blog
land that I will be away. I know you all forgive me. So....I
was really excited to check my followers and found
that I had 3 new ones. I WAS so EXCITED!!! I check the first
new follower.....ummm really a sorted...checkered life she was
leading. Like stripper possibly....maybe swinger....ummm
looking for the kind of fun.....well the kind of fun this blog
isn't about. Check the next new follower....ummm...same
type of girl. most of my followers....these girls were
just beautiful....and shall I say also buxom if you know
what I mean. Well I politely just removed them from
my list of followers. I couldn't believe it. Actually....I was
wondering what they were seeing in my blog. a bolt
of LIGHTNING it struck me................................
.................................of course they were interested in
my blog. I was posting things like......I LOVE to SWAP!!!!
Check out the new SWAP I joined!!!!! My goal for 2011....join lot's of
new SWAPS!!!!! I was posting to my friend Kristin at Retro' Art Cafe
about her shrinky dink journal. I was excited because I had
purchased some shrinky dink paper over the holidays.
We were talking about how we hadn't done it in years and
how we were excited to take it to an 'adult craft'. Now.....see
how this is going????? Funny....I remember when I purchased
some frozen charlotte dolls from her.....she posted to me.....
'Hope.....your heads are on their way!!!' So....I'm just
saying...there are a lot of responsibilities to having a
blog.....I just never new some of them would be reading
between the lines. when I see I have a new
follower.....I check their references so to speak.
Do they really like a good that maximizes their
creative potential? Or are they the kind of person that wants to
SWAP?????:? Me....I am all about the creative potential....why just
today....I have been working on 3 swaps!!! I hope you have found
the humor in this....I know I got a good laugh! Blessings for
an artfully creative day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Sampler Swap

As I promised myself this year in my list of
goals....I am challenging myself to
participate in more swaps. I love a good
swap. The anticipation of waiting
for them to come in the mail.....
all lovingly packaged. It is a simple joy
I just love. As you can tell by my sidebar....I do
partake in a few. I belong to a wonderful group
of Silver Bella gals that will be sending off
our third independent from Silver Bella swap
next week. The group is 15 strong and we make ornaments
for different holidays. We have done a spring swap....a
Halloween swap....and this one will be a Valentine swap.
The group is hosted by Alanna George and let me
tell you the talent is strong. Last year at Silver Bella I participated
in Chantal Johnson....from Wishblooms....her sampler swap.
This is what I sent. I had to make 4 I believe. I was trying to
be fancy.....and I really liked how it turned out. She made our samplers
into little sewing books with embroidery scissors.
Really a wonderful keepsake. So....this year
I thought I would go out on a limb and join Linda's.....from A
Swap for All Season's 5x7 sampler one on one swap. I will get my
partner shortly and eagerly wait to get started. Sewing really isn't my
thing....but I love the calmness of it. It is relaxing and by
participating in these little sewing swaps it forces me to get
out of my comfort zone. I have joined a few more....but let me
finish them....and I will post about them later. Hope you
had an artfully creative day today. Blessings for a beautiful

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Possum Story

Some might think this is cute.
I don't. Especially at 2:30 a.m. when you hear
a blood curdling scream. 'Mom.....we
have a rat!' We were knee deep in
renovations....the 12" crown moulding had
been removed from the base boards. A huge expanse
of crawl space could be seen. The dirt floor remains of a
generations old possum colony had been exposed.....and
now it was time to meet the humans. I can see why the kids
thought it was a's long nasty's beady little eyes.

This is more of what I saw. Plus add to the humiliation.....
that you think you have a rat in your home. A
mouse might be bad enough. I was devastated. In fact....
I was balling my eyes out and wanting to go
to the nearest Holiday Inn. We were all pretty shaken.
The next day I called my good friend Kevin....lucky for
me he owns POW Extermination. Get it POW.....because they
get it done. They get rid of vermin. He said....'I don't see any signs
of rat infestations. It would be really evident.' Gnawing....pawing....
all sorts of rat behavior. But the kids said they saw a RAT!!! the next all came clear to me. We
didn't have a rat....we had a possum! The dogs were
going ballistic. One was hunkered up all safe on
the couch. The other one....was protecting us. Treed to
the back of the couch ready to pounce on said
possum. Lincoln yanked forward the couch....Liberty lunged
forward....grabbing the possum by the scruff of
the neck and immediately ran out her doggie door.

Lincoln and I bolted out the door....not the doggie
door of course....and I said get it Lincoln!!!! He was
scared so I started beating the ferocious
possum in the head with a hoe. It flattened to the mere
size of a pancake. I scooped it up with the hoe and took it to
the driveway so I would be able to show my husband....ummm....
let's say my kill to make him happy....when he got home.
No sooner had I placed that sucker down on the driveway.....
it was gone. I thought our stable hand had disposed of it....
but no.....that RAT.....ummm possum....well you guessed it....
it was playing possum. So now we had a brain dead....possum
playing POSSUM running around.

This not so lucky.....or is he just playing....
POSSUM????? I hope you enjoyed one of the many
adventures that I have taken in my humble
little farm life. I am not a farm girl at heart....but I do love
our quaint little life here. For those of you curious about the use
of possum/ can use them interchangeably according
to my dictionary. Do any of you have funny stories...I would love
to hear first I was a little scared to tell this one.
I thought you all might think I lived in squalor...but then I thought
it was just too funny not to tell. I hope you have a clear image
in your mind at what I might have looked like beating
a poor defenseless possum with a hoe. Blessings for a fun filled

Monday, January 10, 2011

I want Sparseness in my Life

I promise you that I have been very energetic
these past couple of weeks. I have been
so diligent at clearing out. I think they actually quit
taking donations at one of the smaller....more
quaint re-sale shops here in town because
I was taking in too much. The sign on the door
said 'No more donations until further notice!'
So I switched and started taking in more
to the Goodwill.

This is the kind of chaos that we have been
living in the last couple of weeks.
On one hand it feels great. On the other
hand it feels chaotic. It is really hard
to relax when you know you have such a mess
under foot. Which makes me start thinking about
my goals for 2011. Do you realize that by
achieving some of your goals you have to break
some of your goals? Like for the top
of my goals....and remember they weren't in any
particular order.....but let's face it they kind of are.
'Enter studio and create daily.'
It is really hard to do that when your studio is torn
up because you are re-organizing. But I am committed
to believing that you have to work all your goals.
So.....that is why I have been just adding little blurbs
into my blog.

....and the really funny thing about all this
donating and clearing out....
each time I pull into the local Goodwill
it about kills me not to go in. I want to
go in and shop. I am staying committed and focused
until I achieve the sparseness that I want. Then....and
only then will I feel that I have achieved my goal.
I hope that YOU are able to have an artfully
creative day....because I am going to have another
day of weeding out.
P.S. More dates with Jeff is last on my 2011 list of goals.
He certainly is not last on the list. So Jeff, if you
are reading this post....I love you honey!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Picture Perfect Pretty

I had the opportunity to have my children
photographed this past fall. We
went to Richardson Studio here
in Bloomington.

It was a tremendous experience
This husband/wife duo have
immense talent. They captured the
true beauty of my kids.

Her eyes do it for me every time.
It was so fun to take in what
I considered a trousseau. Lindsey packed
up all her favorites....and from there
the experts picked out their favorites.

Then they set the stage for our photo shoot.
They made Lindsey & Lincoln
feel confident & expressive.

.....and added un poco skin.....which about did
this momma in. But when I saw the
actual photo....I melted. Tasteful with a
little 'art' mixed in. This momma is really
proud of these photos. By the way....this will not
be a portrait that is hung above our
mantle....however....I think it truly captures
the beauty of Lindsey and will be
enjoyed for years to come from a beautiful
scrapbook that they put together for us.
Blessings for an artfully creative day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Felted Flower Inspiration

I've been perusing the Internet getting excited about all
kinds of felted flowers. There are so many
great examples. They really inspired me to
get creative.

Since I took Betz White's felted frame class
at Silver Bella I can't get my hands
on enough wool. In fact.....part of the reason
I haven't been blogging about anything
I have created is because I haven't
created much since before Christmas.
I had to completely re-organize my
studio because wool has over come me. I can't
walk without tripping over felted wool sweaters.

Jeff brought me in 2 large....wonderful....
deep low shelves. I put in a center island so
I have a great work station with stools.
It seems when I come up with a great idea....
Jeff is right there along side of me complimenting
me and making my creative space so
much better. That is one of the many
reasons I adore him.

I think these were cut out with a sizzix.
I have used my sizzix to cut out some
very thin felted wool. It makes for
such a cute technique. If you scroll
back a few posts back you can actually
see my felted pin cushion rings. I cut those
out with the sizzix and also added
a felted ball that I embroidered some
french knots on.

These struck me as so cute. I think these
were probably wet felted.
I am not sure....but that is my take.
I will post pictures about the craft room
after it is finished. I can't wait for you
all to see the progress. It seems as
if we all want to see the spaces that we create
in more than what we actually create!
I know when people stop by they want to come
in to the studio more than any other
room in the house! Blessings for an
artfully creative day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hold Dear.....The Shop

I got really excited tonight when I was blog hopping.
I found out my good friend Michelle Geller
is debuting her brand new online store....Hold Dear.
You can access the site through her blog.....
silly me can't quite figure out this
whole linking thing but just type it in.
or just click on my should direct you.
She debuts Wednesday, January 5th at
6:00p.m. Pacific Time.

Look at some of the yummy things.....
Santos Hands.

as with Michelle....she always has the coolest
paper goodies.

and me oh my.....look at the wonderful
vintage tickets.

......and it probably wouldn't be complete
with out her awesome Dennison Labels.
Michelle first taught me about these
neat things....and now I am hooked. Her shop is going
to debut with all her yummy vintage treasures & supplies.....
but soon she will be adding journals & jewelry.
I know you won't want to miss this.....she always
has the best vintage stuff.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Veggies for 2011

As my friend Heather so aptly pointed out this morning,
she likes that I stated my GOALS for 2011....
and didn't make any resolutions. That is really what is
more important anyway. I know when I feel the best....
it is when I eat more fruits & vegetables. It's
hard to do that....especially when your mind
considers FAT.....SUGAR.... and WHITE FLOUR
food groups.

So that is what I am planning on doing. Do you
see that word PLANNING? Well that is what
I need to do to incorporate more fruits & vegetables
into my diet. I plan on having lot's of
vegetables and fruits on hand. Then....I can
make omelets....stir fries.....snacks.

I am not saying that I am the picture of health. Not by
any means. But I know that the foods that God
put on this earth....not the foods we have processed
on this earth....are what I need to be eating. And I truly feel
that many of these foods must be organic. I try to buy
certain foods organically. Like peppers. Like celery. Like
carrots. Like apples. These foods are found very easily in the
organic section of my local Kroger.

Really.....I do love most vegetables. I have some favorites.
Sugar Snap Peas....these little babies are by far
an Ellington favorite. I quit buying them fresh and have
been opting on purchasing them in the frozen section
in those new little steamer bags. If I need them in a hurry I pop
them in the microwave for 1 minute....then run them under
cool water the rest of the way. They are just YUMMY! red peppers. Another Ellington staple.
Roasted Carrots. I know....they caramelize and get really sweet....but
hey...they are still a veggie & my kids love them. We eat them in
a bowl with some cottage cheese. It is bright & beautiful eating
them this way.

...and really....who doesn't adore roasted vegetables.
The smoky subtileness is delicious. I love adding some mild
goat cheese to a thick slice of grilled farm bread and then
layering on the roasted vegetables. Here I would love to also add
some GOOD balsamic vinegar. A big roasted portebella....some roasted
peppers....and some roasted asparagus. Really...this wouldn't be
torture at fact this is sounding really yummy. I really am
glad I want to incorporate this healthier food fare into my
2011 diet. It is going to better for all of us. Here's to
my realistic goals! Bon Appetit'!