A Little Birdie Says I Do

This custom cake topper is for a young lady who found me on etsy. She's known to me only as mas005 I think is right. I sure hope she likes it as much as me! I've a little more work to do on the base, can't find my sand paper anywhere. And a nice coat of varnish too. But other than that I am just waiting for the okay to send it on her way!

Lots of details in this little topper. Vintage tulle, vintage music paper, pearl stamens, velvet pink flowers, vintage crepe paper and of course, my favorite Amy butler papers!

Love is in the air in the studio today! Getting lots done. Next on the agenda are snowmen banners cut out for my 40 afterschool art students. Not really looking forward to it, but the end results....VERY tickled mommies....makes the light come on at the end of the tunnel.

What to paint.....what to paint....

It's been awhile since I really pulled out the canvas, brush and paint. Getting ready for Holiday shows requires a different type of mind set and product. And I was really happy to pack all that stuff away Wednesday. And now I have a pile of fresh canvases, framed wood, new paints, new collage papers and a brick of wax from Valerie to try a new mixed media idea out. But the ideas are kind of swimming. During the holiday shows I always had my sketchbook to fill pages with all sorts of new thoughts and ideas. I see words, birds, new shapes and new doodles coming into play. But for now I leave you with a few of the images I've gone through in the past three months. Some favorites to take some visual clues and color combinations from.

So the birds are coming back and this time they are playing with time, gears, movement and the idea that living life to the fullest means taking time to be ourselves. Our truest selves.


Mattie's Angel

This little angel sweetie would make the perfect topper to your tree this season! Crafted with much love, she has a paper clay structure, carefully painted, and sealed with gloss glaze. She's holding a little Mattie, which is sure to bring you much luck in the coming year. She is available at The Vintage-Flea in downtown Newnan.

We are silly busy getting ready for holiday guests tomorrow. I have 12 coming for lunch. I love hosting dinner in our home. We rarely ever do for some reason. It makes me clean like crazy and reset the house in ways I wouldn't normally do. It also will help get our entire family into the Christmas spirit! So I'll probably not be back here until next week. Gotta clean the art desk up so 6 guests can eat at it. Although glitter is probably not harmful, a sparkly turkey is not on the menu this year! I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving Day!!


I Love My Hands

As an artist reading this, you are probably laughing at the sight of someone actually taking a photo of their hands in this condition, or you may have even done it yourself. As I finished up a project the other night I looked down and found this rainbow of colors coating the fingers and palms of my hands. And I smiled. And thought what a wonderful job I have that being this dirty is really quite beautiful.I love my hands. They are the shape of my Grandmother Emily's. Having her hands reminds me to remain strong as a mother, wife and friend. An ugly scar on my right hand serves as a painful reminder that they are human hands, and should be cared for. They need nourishment, holding, and kissed occasionally. For they work hard everyday. Hands say a lot about a person, and as a lifeline to my personal artwork, they say more than my voice sometimes. So I love my hands, especially when covered with a rainbow of messiness.


What to do with a box of funeral cones 101.

I have several junkin' haunts. They are are part of my regular routine when creating. Go, find things needed, and some not so needed. If you are a creative junky you get this. My husband gets it now, it's taken 18 years, but he gets it. And my children LOVE it. Some finds are so super cool and used immediately. Some however, sit in the storage unit until the "aha!" moment comes. Take for instance this box of 100 funeral cone inserts that had to go home with me over a year ago. I love working with paper clay and these babies have that very texture and appeal. So there had to be something that my little creative brain could make with them...... Ellie came up with an idea yesterday all on her own. Hide-in-go-seek from Mommy.

So this is the idea. I have my last Holiday Market this weekend at St. Pius High School(See link on right side bar). And I needed some new items. These cones are super cute and would make a great gift for a teacher, friend, hostess gift, secretary gift or for yourself! Simply cut some greenery or grab some trimmings from the tree sellers and Voila! an instant door decoration.
Already has a tag for you too. I have a new stamp set and craft punch itching to be used.
My favorite idea for these cones is this below. Bake (or buy) a mini loaf of your best bread and slide it on in with a piece of tissue paper. As a teacher myself, I really love all the baked goodies that come to me from students. It fits perfect! AND what a great gift bag!

After this weekend I am hoping to get some serious paintings started. I've a fresh stack of canvases and wood waiting for me in the garage. So hopefully you'll get a peek of something other than Christmas crafts here on the blog very, very soon.


itty-bitty Goodness

My kids ride the bus home on Monday and Friday. And as usual today they came bounding in the house ready to tell of their day's events. Usually it starts with someone getting into trouble, which on occasion involves them, but mostly involves stories of children I don't know (we are in a new school this year). Today Mailey was all excited to show off her Book Fair purchases. Each received a $20 bill to use at their own accord for the bi-annual book fair. And as usual Mailey chose as much as she could with her crisp $20. A Club Penguin comic book (urghhhh), Fancy Nancy chapter book (yipee!) and an itty-bitty Baking Kit (this is supposed to be a book fair. Why I asked, why?). And here it is, the $9.99 item she had to have. Today just happens to be my husband Billy's 42nd Birthday. I can tell you his age with a giggle because he is a bit older than me.....hehehehe....Now years from now I'll not be laughing, or maybe I will as I wheelchair race him down the hall. So the kids immediately were like "Mom we've got to make these for Daddy. You make the big cake, we'll make these." I, being the sucker Mom that I am, said okey-dokey. So in the box came a recipe for cake and icing for this teeny pan, totally from SCRATCH I tell you. Just to give you an idea of how tiny these are, the recipe said that a regular cake mix would make 300 itty-bitty cakes. Yikes. That's a long time cooking with one little pan that makes 6. It'd be 500 minutes of cooking (can I do multiplication or what?). So we followed the instructions and made these extremely YUMMMMMMMY cupcakes bites. Seriously. So yummy. And I am an icing freak. I stowed some away just for tomorrow when I am thinking about it.....and have to have more!
Oh, so super cute. Billy was so happy. We made a few bigger because of time in the mini-muffin pan.
This is all that's left, well, maybe they are all gone by now. I may have needed another....two.

Oh, look who likes cake? Etsy boo-boo. She devoured it. Lily also had one. Wasn't sure the turtle would, and really did not want to waste the goodness on an un-appreciative animal. So we celebrated the night with a yummy dinner, red wine, itty-bitty cupcakes and silliness around our table. At work they had a cake for him and this card:
Okay, so if any of you happen to know Billy, this is quite hilarious. I laugh out loud to think of his little sweater vest wearing self partying like a rock star. Maybe when we are old and racing down the hallway in our wheelchairs. For now though, I kind of like his laid back conservative self, who would rather not party like a rock star. Happy Birthday Billy!


Bringing Joy Home

I wanted to show you a few of the ornaments that made their way into my holiday collection this year. I am, and have been crazy for patterned paper. I love the smell, feel and look of finely made paper. I also have a crazy love for Amy Butler's fabrics and paper line. Her papers are double sided, a real treat when making cones like these: The quote along the bottom says, "May the spirit of Christmas bring you Peace." They would make a great gift card holder, little sweet treat holder, or other treat for your gift-giving this season.
I had a fabulous time with the Eddison letter cutter at my kid's school making snowflakes and cutting out perfect little letters last week (have you ever noticed that when buying letters there are NEVER enough of the one letter you need so you have to head back to the store and buy an entire set again?) . Several banners made their way to new homes this weekend. Joy and Peace would be a nice addition to your door wreath or mantel greenery.

And last but not least, I just had to have little bird ornaments. These are adorned with Amy Butler paper, diamond dust glitter, vintage tulle wings, and little glittery papered butterflies. Oh so sweet. A great little extra on a package and of course adorning your tree! So how are your handmade ornaments coming along? I always struggle with this aspect of my booths, but want to have them. So I fret and plan for the perfect little ornament. This year I've had a burst of energy and made several different types. All which don't have to just hang on a tree.
If you are in the area, they are available at The Vintage-Flea in Newnan and also at my upcoming show at St. Pius High School in Atlanta this coming weekend.


A Series of Events

Before I start this possibly long winded post, I wanted to remind you that I'll be showing THIS SATURDAY (tomorrow) at Dunwoody United Methodist Church as a part of their Holiday Show. It's from 9-4 on Mt. Vernon Rd. Right down from Perimeter Mall. So come on out. I'm in the Fellowship Hall. Which leads me to now. Sigh..... So where to start? Let's just say that a series of events has led me to a current state of heart racing uncertainty. Ever get that little twinge that something is not right, and yet you have no control over the events to come? Well, that's my day. I will say though that there have been signs all day reminding me to be happy, grateful, and thankful. My blessings are many. And as this day comes to an end, I'll be counting them carefully. A little retail therapy and a rather large double doozie cookie eased some of the angst and now I am ready to tackle a new adventure tonight....Girl Scouts. Our fearless leader has the flu, co-leader has a vomiting daughter, so I was roped, I mean politely asked to fill in tonight. Sigh again.......I Will Remember to be Happy (a motto I saw on a coaster at Barnes and Noble earlier today). So wish me luck, for the art show tomorrow, and perhaps say a little prayer for tonight. Which reminds me to bring up the whole "craft show" verses "art show" at some point soon. Seeing what I saw today while setting up is a giant reminder to bite my tongue and carry on.
These were the #1 seller last weekend. This week I sewed my little fingers away and made some amazing new colors! This little happy item is only $15.00! Have a wonderful weekend!


Making of Ornaments

Do you ever have that block? The creative block that is? I needed to make ornaments for the Kitchmas Show at Naked Art in Birmingham, and I was totally stumped. They needed to be made inexpensive, be clever, maybe even made from recycled materials. So I walked around Hobby Lobby in search of "the" idea. And I had one....little glass votive, a dozen of them stacked in the cart ready to take home and add felted wraps from my stash of old sweaters. And then I found these little green paint brushes hanging up and had a voila moment! Here they are dipped in red paint, and hanging to dry. Then little paper wishes, "May You Have a Creative Christmas" were added along with red tiny bows and some holly. Oh, and a hand-made wire hook. Ooooo....super cute. And I think a perfect ornament for those creative types you have NO idea what to get for the annual ornament exchange.


Pictures from a Rainy Day

As I stated in the post prior to this, it has been raining now for over 24 hours. And while rain is a usually blessing to an area, this type of rain brings a mixed blessing because of the potential for flooding. So yesterday while driving in the rain and thinking about blog posts, I thought I'd snap a cool shot to show how life was around these parts right now. And I have a fun new phone. So here is one in color of Greenville Street. And then I turned the setting and started shooting these below. Yes, while driving in the rain. I had the phone propped on the steering wheel and just shot randomly. I was in AWE of these shots. They look spiritual.....I see spirits walking towards me in some of them. Perhaps I see this only because Valerie and I saw Paranormal Effects Saturday night, but my son was in the back seat saying, "Mom those pictures are scary, like ghosts are walking towards us." I really like them and plan to use the color combinations and compositions in some new texture paintings. I've never really been one to paint with a dark, warm palette. So it should be a nice door to open and explore.

These photos are totally untouched. No photoshop magic. Just a cool setting in my phone, a rainy dusk, and my eye for seeing something that I am sure most did not last night while driving down HWY 29.

A Rainy Day Symphony

It's been raining here now for 24 straight hours. It's the kind of rain and wind that turns your umbrella inside out. You know what I mean? Yesterday while trying to get the kids into the dentist it pulled this trick on me.....and I am sure we gave the passerby cars a treat with our shenanigans to get it right side out. And in the meantime we all got soaked. It's raining now as I type. I can hear the drops as they trickle onto the gutters outside my window. It's a peaceful sound, almost melodic. The occasional car drives by and makes the whooshing sound under their wheels. Lily is snoring beside me, and the dryer is running. It's a symphony of sounds this morning. And it's calming. This piece is called, Raindrops. One morning while it was raining I noticed a beautiful pattern on the back van window. The rain was making these oval shapes with lines falling down from them. I quickly sketched it out and painted the above. Yesterday I noticed this again. Only the drops made more rounded shapes with lines falling down them. I loved the overlapping and overall composition it made right on my back window. This time however, they looked like balloons. And now I can't get the composition out of my head. So what's on my agenda today? Painting balloons. And on a rainy symphonic day, I think balloons are the perfect pick-me-up.


Giving Handmade

I had the BEST weekend folks! Marist was a huge success. Not just with sales, but with the new artist friends I made. I get just giggly when I think about it! And then my son's baseball team made it to the finals in another tournament, finishing 2nd. Whoooohoooo! Our goal is to make enough points to get to the Little League World Series. Which would be super family fun! Holiday Open House at the Flea was a success as well. Valerie said sales soared! I am hoping this is a sign that people are seeking thoughtful, handmade gifts this year instead of the big box mass produced. Here is just one gift idea if you are looking for just that! This is a set of 4 hardboard coasters with corked backing. Great price too- $25.00. They are available at The Vintage-Flea and at my upcoming shows at both Dunwoody United Methodist THIS weekend and St. Pius High School the following. You can also email me! artsyorange@yahoo.com if you'd like a set.


A Holiday Tradition

Tonight I headed up to Dunwoody to set up at the Marist School for the Holiday Show tomorrow. It's quite a show, vendors like you've never seen. And quite the assortment of items. I would not put this in the "Art Show" category. Although everything is supposed to be handmade, there are more craftier participants in this show. A topic to gently discuss at a later date. I participated last year, see here. And didn't do so hot (key word "craftier"). But not to be beaten, I signed on again, paid the $195 and got all set up tonight. And I am super excited to show you even though it's really late and I should be sleeping. But you see, after setting up I wandered over to the mall and shopped and ate a delicious large slice of cookie coated with icing and a large diet coke (Why diet? Seriously when eating that many calories with a cookie, one should consider just drinking real coke. It's not like the diet is going to off set the cookie calories.) Thus now I am wound up. And no one else in my little house is, not even Etsy. So you get my ramblings and some shots of the booth! Yeah! A view from the top...sorta.
I love my little vignettes. There is more room to view and walk in my booth this year.

Oooooo.....New product I've not shown you. Hardboard coasters. They come in sets of 4, and backed with cork. Love these and their little wrapping!

Another happy nook. More felted flowers on the lady of the hour.

Santa Mattie! One is even in a sleigh pulling a reindeer. Man are they cutey-patoooteys!

A blurry shot from a far. Gym lighting is stinky. So I've got great neighbors. And it should be a great day for quests. Come on out if you can! 9-3PM at Marist School on Ashford Dunwoody Road-Atlanta.


I Will Not Run in Circles....I Will Not Run in Circles...

So this week I've felt a little like this: A caged critter, who likes to run in circles, hoard yummy treats in my mouth, and then sleep really hard at all hours of the day. Well.... I don't have quite the luxury of sleeping anytime like Etsy above, but man with my head and body spinning all day getting ready for shows I have been getting some lovely slumber at night! Here's a peek at what is still to come for the first in my series of Holiday Shows starting this weekend. I finally have a vision for ornaments....using lots of glitter and little birds of course!

And then there are the yarn and felt projects that will have complimentary real fur. I can not seem to get her out of my project bins these days! I wonder what she'll do once all the projects are done and out of the baskets? So what's still yet to do you ask? Well, there is printing more coasters and packaging them, making new signage for everything (Christmasy for sure!), pendants need bails and packaging, all ornaments are still in pieces, 3 yarny wreaths to embellish, earrings to package, one angel to sand and paint, one Santa to hookup to his sleigh, and oh so much more. And last minute is not my way, off I go to get one last item done before hitting the hay! Have sweet slumber wherever you are!
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