Friday, July 29, 2011

200th Post Give-Away....

As I anxiously await the 200th post to my blog.....I wanted to let
you know of my 200th post give-away. I am excited because
to me.....200 posts represents stick to it-ness. I didn't really think
I would keep this up....and I have grown to love it so much. Mostly....
I have grown to love all of my blog friends.

So here's to you....dear friends....& new ones too.....a little give-away
for you. I have put together 24 spools
of bakers twine. They each have 25 yards for your enjoyment..... blue.....tied up with vintage sheet music & tulle.
They are really all gussied up.....and cute.

Here's how to receive one of my little give-aways. Become a
follower of my blog & leave a comment in the comment section.
I just love to receive is the happiest part of my day
actually. Then.....drop me an email with your address and I will mail
out your little spool of goodness. I think it is safer posting addresses
in an email than in the comment section. You will find my email in
my profile section. If you are already a follower...don't fret...just add
a comment & send me your address in an email. I really look forward
to hearing from you.

Finally....share with your friends. other little bit
of information.....this give-away ends on August 3rd, 2011 on the day
I anticipate entering my 200th post. Thank you wonderful
blogging community. Thanks to the ones that have inspired me over
the years. It is my hope that I will inspire others to join this wonderful....
artful....inspiring community.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Her Majesty.....waits

Yesterday I showed you some roses that I made. Today
I created this crown with the roses. Not the whole crown today....
but the embellishments. Here is a close-up of
the roses with some added vintage leaves. is
proof I just completed can still see the blue
glue....but don't worry....that will dry clear with the
hint of Martha Stewart glitter I added for a faint glimmer.

You can almost see it in its entirety. I am just in awe
of the beauty of the roses. A little bit stunned to be
exact. I really think they look vintage & realistic.

I added vintage rhinestones and of course had to
throw in some pearls. I adorned it with tulle &
velvet ric rac. This was really fun to create and
a little challenging. I joined The Fairy Society & took
Sherry's online class to make the base for the crown. I
hope you have enjoyed my crown creation. Have a beautifully
inspiring day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Little Pink Roses.....

I have been wanting to make really pretty flowers all summer
long. Realistic....yet scrunchy yummy....with a vintage flair. I
think I finally did it. After looking at the lovely tutorials out there
& wholeheartedly following all the ladies directions....I couldn't master
it. So....I resorted to a life altering method I learned from Betz White
at Silver Bella last year. These yummies are made from hand dyed
coffee stained with just a hint of tulle scrunched
in for texture. They look almost like a real dried prom flower.

Here is one of the blossoms in all its glory. Don't you just love
how the coffee has dried around the edges. If I hadn't added the
pretty tulle....which I really love....and wouldn't want to
really would look like a dried rose.

This beauty sat in front of me & screamed inspiration. I actually
couldn't take my eyes off it and had to create something. That is why
beauty needs to be in front of me (note to self) at all inspire
creative beauty.

These were Lindsey's 19th birthday roses. I made the
bouquet for her last week. They are just lasting.....& lasting....
& lasting. I really can't believe it. I had to add a little 'mom'
flair to the bouquet. I don't think she likes crowns as much as me....
but she plays along & she is my darling princess. Let me know what you
think about the sweet roses. I am not a tutorial person....but I would love
to let you know what I did to create them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Under water fun....

It's hard to get them all together...but under water is even more
difficult. We almost did it....we are minus one....sweet Hannah....but
Sarah replaced her as cousin in waiting. Here all the cousins flutter
under water. What I am most thrilled with is that they all still want
to be together. Ranging in age from 19 all the way down to 7. We
spend our summer at the pool and we do it together as often as we
can. What are your summer fun activities? Please share them with me
as comments are the high light of my day...when I'm not at the pool!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Favorite Things......

The other day I posted about using my favorite things in my art.
I wasn't always able to do that. Creating a warm and inviting space
to create in has helped. Being able to be inspired by the things
I love has helped me to do just that. Also....attending art retreats
like 'My Favorite Things' hosted this month by Kim Hanauer forces you
in a positive way to use and create with beauty. This photo captures
beauty to the right of my soldering station. I love the 'dingy-ness' of the baby shoes.

This is probably one of my favorite little pieces I have ever done.
I love the colors. I love the textures. I love the method. This was
part of a sampler that I made for Christine Edwards in A Swap For All
Season's. I came out of my comfort zone. That is one of the many reasons
I just love to swap. I have come to love is restful and there
are so many neat techniques I remember my grandmother teaching me.

My mother gave me this little typewriter. She said it was me. I
couldn't agree more. I love how it looks like I typed in my name.
Believe it or is one of my favorite things. The reason....because
my mom supports my art. She is very creative....but doesn't create any more.
She says she supports artists. I think that is neat. So now my mom comes
over....sits with me sometimes while I create and 'supports' me.
It is fun....and yes....I am trying to get her to create something!

This is in front of my soldering station. I love the way that the
class pieces are stored. I love the containers. I love looking at
the unfinished pieces.....they speak to me.....and remind me....that
my work is never finished.

Housing neat and interesting pieces is always inspiring to me. I bought
this cute mermaid....someday it will be made into something for
my mom. She loves.....and collects mermaids. And oh....those rhinestone
rings.....I LOOOOOVE them. They came off a vintage sweater. They inspire
me and sometimes I use them in my art. What all this artful inspiration
has taught use what you love. Use the good are worth
it & trust me it inspires others....especially me. Have a beautifully
inspiring & artfully creative day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our First Chicken Eggs happened. Something I have been so excited to experience. Well it happened yesterday. Lincoln went out to the
coup like he does every morning. We knew it was getting close....and
yesterday it was here. Our chickens layed for the first time. We have
received 6 beautiful brown hued eggs. Three yesterday....& three
today. It is a miracle. I am so happy. I can't believe something
so simple is making me this happy. Are there simple miracles in your
life that make you exquisitely happy? If so please share them with me
in the comment section....I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My First Shadow Box.....I'm loving it!

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to visit Kim Hanauer
in Nashville and attend her special art retreat......
My Favorite Things. That is why I packed this cameo.
I have been wanting to use it in a piece of art for a long time.
It's old. It's real. It's gorgeous and I chose to put it in my art.
My mom says I am worth it & can use the good stuff to create
with. It makes my pieces look better don't you think??? Thanks
mom for giving such creative license & and always supporting me.

I also packed this crest. This too....I have been wanting to create with.
When she said bring your favorites....I knew I would grab this.
It was cheap. It was discarded. Yet to me beautiful. It went into
my special crafting tin that as of yet.....I have been taking it to
all the art retreats for my 'specials'.....and also my 'shares'. You
never know when your neighbor might want to share something from
your tin. I love it against the vintage ledger paper....that always
makes all my creations look terrific I think.

...and oh my mercy....this just spoke to me. I didn't have this little
cutie with me so she went on when I got home. But I did bring
this scrumptious vintage rhinestone buckle....after all it was
'My Favorite Things'....and wouldn't you all have to have it if you
saw it at the antique mall too? The vintage German paper is so yummy...
it is from an old German bible....and I just had to have it...and
is some of my favorite I had to bring it!!
Here's the finished project....the camera just doesn't capture it's
beauty.....but as my mom says.....'You're an artist...not a photographer'.
Thanks again for that creative license. She right though. I almost quit
blogging because I couldn't take good pictures.....but I LOVE the creative
outlet that blogging all the GREAT friends I am blessed
to have. So as long as you can all tolerate the poor photo quality....I will
keep blogging. Thanks Kim for teaching me these lovely techniques &
sharing your exquisite 'favorites'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baseball Tournament......despite the 105 heat index!

This past weekend.....Lincoln participated in a baseball Tournament.....
despite the high heat index. Fans as well as players were
miserable. We had a blast though.....we took the RV and tailgated
and had some relief from the heat because of the AC in the RV. Here
Lincoln makes an awesome bunt to advance some base runners.
(Word to don't know baseball terms!!!) I am just there as
a proud mother and to be a support to my darling young man.

We played on a horrible field. The biggest advantage I saw was that
numerous home runs were hit. The field was only 255 & our home field
is regulation at that was a big boost for some of the egos on our team.
We even had a couple of grand slams. Here.....after 6 games our tired and hot
boys graciously gave us a group photo. Didn't have the heart to make them
pose for the picture. They look like the bad news bears I think.

We were all saying prayers when the ambulance had to come. Two
young men on the Avon team collided. One boy was totally fine....the other
had to go to the hospital for a knee injury.....he possibly has fractured
his femur......we are still waiting on the results. This young man continues
to be in my prayers. The conditions....and non-regulation length of the field
cause me to believe an accident could have been prevented. All in all.....a great
time was had by all. We took 2nd in the tournament. I love a good baseball tournament.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Farmhouse.....a unique dining experience

Last week....with the heat index hovering right at 112 degrees....
we decided to road trip. My sister Jill.....girlfriend Amy.....and my
stepmother (Good Golly I sure hate that word!!) left on our
excursion to Brown Co. Indiana. We were headed to Farmhouse Cafe....a
delightful little restaurant where their home cooking is really
home cooking.... meaning....that the Auntie really does get up at 4:00 a.m.
to prepare the freshest pies....soups.....and salads. I had the best
broccoli soup I have ever eaten....

Situated around their spectacular nursery & antique shop.....this
was almost pure heaven for me. The other girls loved it too.
Their specialty plants were exquisite....and had it not been so
hot I would have enjoyed it even more.

I hope that I am not one of these persons....& that I truly do
see the beauty that surrounds me. Honestly.....I truly know that
I am NOT one of those people....because on a daily basis....I thank
God for the beauty that I see.

Their plantings were wonderful....even on the scorcher of a day
that we decided to road trip. I hope that the group of gardeners
I road tripped with will want to make this into a 2 time a year
excursion....because I need to go to this sweet spot a lot. I hope this finds
you cool....happy....and creatively blessed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

.....I Love The Small Packages!

Yesterday....this gorgeously wrapped small package came
in the mail. It made me really happy because yesterday
July 14 was my 21st wedding anniversary. It wasn't from Jeff.....
rather from LuLu Kellogg. I was anxiously awaiting this
package since the day I ordered it.

Here's what was inside....this awesome pendent. I love anything
with a fluer-di-lis. So I was smitten with this piece anyway.
What really sold me though....was LuLu found this vintage
drawer pull in the basement of her 1890's Victorian home.
Stories like that just get me....because as you are well aware I live
in a vintage farm house from the 1850's. I love this piece....and I am
sure it will always be one of my favorites.

I guess I just might as well confess....I have sort of been on
a spending spree. Look at this lovely.....(which isn't captured as
beautifully on camera as it is in person). This piece was created
by Kim Hanauer. It is created from a 1950's stretch rhinestone
bracelet with a gorgeous rhinestone broach attached. I love
it's casual....yet dressing it is super comfortable. I
don't buy into the old's better to look beautiful....than
feel beautiful. I guess when you are 45 & married 21 years.....
comfort is a big plus! I hope you have enjoyed seeing my
purchases. Thank you to my lovely friends for
being so creative & beautifully talented.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My New Stairway..... I am not the best photographer....but I wanted to get it all in
and there is a wall there. So.....I have been wanting to do this for a
very long time & it finally happened. I stenciled 'But as for me & my
house we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15' up the steps of my
staircase. This staircase is in my kitchen & leads to the bedrooms
upstairs. My kitchen is white. I accent with other colors
and I have a silhouette wall which is perfect with the black & white.
Here....I will show you some of my favorites.

This was one of the first 'intricate' ones that I cut. is
a man cutting a silhouette.....which I found neat. I LOVE the vintage
ledger paper I mounted it on. The old papers took my silhouettes to a new
level. That is one reason I am so grateful for the art community.

So.....having a daughter & a son always makes me want to have boys &
girls together. But I also am not opposed to having 2 girls in a
silhouette. Of course I have nieces & friends. Really.....any silhouette
is game for me.

This is one of my all time favorites. I don't know if you can read the
inscription.....but it says 'Lincoln age 9, May 14, 2006'. My sweet son cut this for
me for Mother's Day. He shot his first turkey that to commemorate the
turkey hunting & Mother's Day....he cut this sweet turkey. I will treasure
this special gift for always. Where ever your artful journey takes you today....I hope
you are blessed. I hope you enjoyed my staircase & some of my
favorite silhouettes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tiny Bear.....My Friend Tina Jensen

A Couple of years ago I was smart enough to say I would love to swap
internationally. When Heather Rawley of Speckled Egg hosted
her very first Petite Inspiration Box Swap I was more than willing
to sign on that dotted line. I jumped at the chance....and lucky I did....
because I was paired with the sweetest & ever so talented Tina Jensen
of Tiny Bear. She lives in Denmark and makes....well you guessed it
.....Tiny Bears. They are wonderful....I don't know how she stitches so
tediously....but I am amazed. Several months ago.....I invited Tina to do a
one on one swap together really hoping she would say yes...and she did. Look at
all the lovelies she sent to me.....wrapped up so prettily in my favorite.....old
pattern paper. I was really hoping that she would send me one of her
journals....and she did. But I never dreamed it would be all the wonderfulness
that also came in the box. The pincushion is my is grey and
created with the most gorgeous tapestry. What really made my heart
squeal though...were the vintage postage stamps she sent all tied up with
jute. Too cute!!!! Also....she made me an artists canvas with roses that is
really pretty. And of course the old tin and cabinet cards. Thanks so much
my sweet Danish friend.....some day I hope to meet in person this sweet
swap friend of mine.

Here is what I sent to her....that she so lovingly captured. (As usual....I forgot
to photograph what I sent.) I made her this cute bird the Petite Inspiration
Box form....from a match box. I love how it turned out. I like so much just the
hint of color in the bird eggs. I had a lot of fun creating this piece & I adore
the bird's tail feathers made from vintage sheet music that I Gesso'd up and
twirled. I hope that Tina liked much as I enjoyed making it.

Our swap contents were really similar. It probably wouldn't be me.....
if I didn't add some cabinet cards. I love them....and buy them
every chance I get. I feel they are discarded and need a place to call
home. Especially the baby & children cards. That really makes me
so think they have been discarded.

.....and if you know me.....frozen charlottes almost always accompany
anything I send. I knew that Tina had recently been on holiday to
Germany.....and was really hoping to find some frozen charlottes. She
had no such I of course had to make her day and send her
some. I also couldn't resist sending her a soldered piece with vintage
lace. I know Tina loves laces and purchases them every opportunity she gets.
We are kindred sisters that way.

It really is uncanny....Tina & I sent so many neat things to each other.
What's really many of the things we sent were the same.
I guess when you are drawn to are bound to have many
similarities. Many days I spend thinking of my sweet Danish friend Tina. I
wish we lived closer together so we could meet in person....hopefully....
that day will happen. Have a glorious day....creating & being productive
in some sweet way.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kim Hanauer's Art Retreat.......'My Favorite Things'

As someone recently said to me....I am on the art retreat circuit. It's
true. They are inspiring.....and they help me be artful. I was
so fortunate to be able to attend Karla Nathan's Birdsong Retreat
in April. A lovely event. I also am fortunate to be going to Rachel Velder's
Handmade University. I can't wait to get back to Omaha.
was a true blessing when Kim Hanauer invited me to come to Nashville TN
back in January to attend her art retreat which gathered this past
weekend......'My Favorite Things'. She sure new my favorite things. We had a ball.
Just look at the supplies & how they were packaged. She knew the key to
my heart.....I was swooning. Nothing second rate here.....she let us work
with all her special treasures. I was flattered. You know how it is....when
you work with the best your projects turn out beautifully.

Here is one such creation. I adore how it turned out. I brought some of
the embellishments like the silhouette tin....and the 'Mother' pin (Thanks Heather
of Speckled Egg)....also the rhinestone's...buttons......and sweet Kana shared
her velvet with me. We always love being table mates. We like to share.
I am thrilled that we have gotten close. It is really nice to travel to Nashville to see
Kana & Kim.

And this little ditty.....well Kim called it.....'The Happy Hour Project'.
We did away with alcohol and just created to our hearts desire.
This little girl we got to embellish up and add ribbons & rhinestones.
They looked so cute after we were finished. One of the best parts of the
weekend though was getting to rekindle a friendship with LuLu Kellogg. She
is an absolute doll. We met at Silver Bella and became fast friends. We have
kept in contact with little gifts of love and emailing and blogging to each
other. So....not only do art retreats inspire me....but they bless me in
so many ways. I hope this post finds you in and artfully creative way....and
blessed by the friends that you have in your life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hawaii...... are the last photos of our awesome summer vacation.
Our last leg of the trip....we landed on US soil.....
and that is always an incredible feeling for me. There really
isn't a good way to describe it other than to say that
I love my country!!! Here we are in front of our awesome
hotel. We are getting ready to leave for the Luau.

I guess one of the best things for me about going on vacation
is noticing the beauty that surrounds me. The sunsets
were magnificent. The beaches awesome. Here we pose at
the luau. I really loved the luau. The food was wonderful. The pig
was incredible....I will pass on the was awful!!!! Is there
anyone out there in blogland that likes Poi???? Please let me know......
also the second worse thing I ate on the trip was.....Vegemite.
No.....don't let anyone tell you that it is an Australian substitute for
peanut butter.....and yes.....we tried it the way Australian's really
eat it thinly spread over a lavishly buttered piece of toast.

Of course I knew that my awesomely athletic son would be able
to surf! What I didn't know is that Jeff.....just 3 days after
turning 50 would be able to do it as well!!! Jeff & Lincoln
had a ball surfing the waves of Waikiki.
Lincoln said surfing was really exhausting. No wonder all those
surfers look so fit!

Here Jeff & Lincoln take their lesson.....on dry land.
I am so happy that they got to try surfing.

......and I will save the best for last. I say best only
because it was incredible to be at Pearl Harbor. Our countries
resting place for so many soldiers. I admire and respect the men &
women that have died for me. Have protected our country
for me to have the life that I have. All though we didn't get to tour
Pearl Harbor long enough....we did get to see a lot....and it is somewhere
that I will definitely go back to see again.
All in all this summer vacation was absolutely Lincoln says
it was our last family vacation since Lindsey goes off to college this fall....but
I know that isn't true....a lot of awesome vacationing lays in front of us.
I hope that you have an awesome & wonderfully creative day. Over the
weekend I traveled to Nashville visit Kim Hanauer. I met her
at Silver Bella. I attended her wonderful art retreat......'My Favorite Things'.
I can't wait to show you the awesome things we created. I got to
sit at the table with LuLu & Kana.....beautiful Bellas. We had
so much fun. It was awesome to catch up with them.

Friday, July 8, 2011


A-STRAY-IA.....that's how it's pronounced. I never knew that. Let me
tell you being in Sydney is like being in any big city in the US.....but are in Australia. It truly is amazing and beautiful in
it's own way. When I thought of Australia....of course I thought about the famous
Sydney Opera House. So capturing a photo was pretty important to me.
Lindsey said 'Mom....if you want a great picture of the Sydney Opera House
.....just get it of the internet'. She's right....but then it wouldn't be MY photo.
With us in it. We are in the harbor.....right in front of the Opera House.....
how cool is that?

I fell in love with the series Bondi Rescue....kind of like the US show Baywatch
but more like a reality TV show because it is interactive on the beach with
all the rescues & Blue Bottle Jelly Fish stings. Apparently they are a horrible jelly-fish
and the sting is awful. Bondi Beach was beautiful and a huge area for surfing.
Since it was winter in Australia....there weren't many beach combers....and judging
by our attire.....I couldn't even put my big toe in the ocean. Here we are in front of the
famous Lifeguard station. They rescue 2500 drowning people a year. Only 2 people have
died on Bondi Beach in the last 30 years due to the exceptional lifeguards that dedicate
their lives to keeping people safe. amazing profession!!!

Now....this was what I was waiting for. The Koala's. AMAZING!
These truly are the cutest creatures I have ever seen. I could have just
snuggled in with these cuties the WHOLE vacation. The boys are so I will take a lil' girl any day. We went to the Featherdale
rescue where we got to feed and hold the Koala's. These spoiled
littles only eat the tips off the Eucalyptus branches....because they are
the most tender and delicious.

Maybe in the wild Kangaroos are vicious....mean.....tormenting
animals....but we definitely say the lovable side. We LOVED the
kangaroos and they had such sweet dispositions. Their dexterity was
incredible and they would eat right out of your hand......picking up the ice cream
cone feed servers. We got a huge kick out of this.

This was a favorite photo opportunity for many on the trip.
Hold on to HOPE. We got a huge kick out of this. Jeff seems really
tickled by this. We had a great time in Australia. I will definitely go back.....
but next time....I am going to the Outback! I wanted to see
Crocodile Dundee! I hope you have an artfully creative and blessed day.
I am traveling to Nashville TN to go to Kim Hanauer's art retreat....
'My favorite things'. I can't wait to see Kana & LuLu and to meet all the other
creative ladies. Oh.....and don't forget Norm....Kim's amazing husband....I am
sure he will be doting on each and everyone of us!