Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mary and silver sundays...

So the last part of the challenge from my swap called Miraculous Mary Montage from Silver Bella is to show how you have displayed them in your home.  I began putting them on some ledge shelving that I display photos on.  I liked this because you were able to see all of the wonderful details.

Then I took them down and tried another approach.  I put them on a low shelf in a bunch and although they were wonderful, I missed so many of the details because of the overlapping. 

Here are some close-ups of the eye candy, all the girls worked so hard...

Finally I decided to just put them here and there all throughout my home.  I figured that spreading Mary all over is the best decision.

AND on another note...

Sounded fun so I joined in, maybe you will join too?

now to stretch those creative photography wings...


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

it really is about the presents...

We have worked so hard with the kids to teach them the meaning of Christmas, desperately doing our best to shield them from the frenzy and strangulation of this special time.

Last year, we began a new tradition.  We make gifts for each other and instead of 20 trips to the mall and being a part of the holiday rush, we are busy at home like little elves working on our projects.

Skill required:  NONE
Love required:  TONS

It is the best part of our whole mad frenzy of unwrapping because these gifts, more than any other, come straight from the heart.

If for the rest of my life, I only received handmade gifts, I would be in heaven.

I just wanted to share what my husband made for me, it came in a frame but here is the picture alone:

It is my family's hands telling me (in sign language) "we love you"

The love and care for another that goes into these special gifts, now that is Christmas.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Bellas in Training...

My little Anna was invited to participate in a "Bellas in Training Ornament Swap" hosted by Sheila and Janna.

It was a one-on-one swap where the girls were paired by age group. Anna and Dana became little pen pals over the email to get additional information of their likes and dislikes for ornaments. They then got to work and this is what they made...

Anna was inspired with my Bundle Up Birdie class by Jennifer Murphy and did a shadowbox ornament. She covered the box inside and out, added mica flakes and a couple of snowmen we had, tied seam binding around their necks for scarves and added vintage tinsel around the edge.

It is funny to learn what my little one picks up on from watching me. She has watched me do so many swaps in the past that she knew her project was not complete without her artist's info on the back.
This is what she came up with.

Sweet Dana created this beautiful wonder for Anna

This was so amazing because it is paper intricately woven together.
I am telling you, this girl has patience.
She even dusted on just a touch of glitz so that when the lights on the tree hit it, it sparkles!

It was so sweet to watch a swap from a parent's stand point.
Watching Anna's little creative wheels spin is always a treat.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

up on the house top click, click, click...

5:50 a.m.


I desperately hope I am dreaming...  but then just as sure as the first time, "Mom!"

I roll over and find I am nose to nose with mister energy himself, as if he found the secret espresso mines of the great starbucks and ate the beans whole...  "Mom, it is Christmas!"

I mumble less coherently than I believed I did, "It is the middle of the night, go back to bed, why are you even up?"

Dumb question.

"It's Christmas!!!"

These are the days we will remember. 

The magic of childhood, the sweetness and care for each other.

Thank you God for the day, your Son, and my family and friends.

Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all!


Friday, December 11, 2009


went to my blog tonight
something funky happened with the formatting and who knows when...
my last post was A MONTH AGO!

this seems to be a theme in so many facets of my life

i am going to simplify

less is more

in honor of simplification in life my layout is the first step

a clean fresh start

like fresh crisp cotton sheets


the serene hush of a new fallen snow

wow... i feel better already

what will you simplify today?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I know the girls are too busy packing to look (or at least I think they are) so I am publishing some swap spoilers... If you are attending SB and are looking for a sneak peek, well, here it is! 

I am in so many swaps I cannot even remember them all.  Nine total!  That is right... NiNe!!!  Whew, I am so glad I am all finished.  And early!  Not like me at all, but it is nice for sure!

I hosted the Spooky-ookey Owl Banner pre-bella swap and here are some shots of that:

This isn't the best photo but it is the whole banner strung up in my living room... I love how it came out!
below is my owl

 I am also hosting an ATC swap and a Saint Tag Swap but those pictures will have to come later (I already sent them off to Omaha)
My Miraculous Mary Montage... here is a peek of her:

The swaps I signed up for... you have already gotten a peek of my "under the big top" page and my apron flair swap in a previous post. So that makes 6. 

Let's see... I did the Bee's Knees swap (hosted by Wanda C.)  Here is a picture of the packaging and the goodies inside:

There was also the Felted Ornament Swap (hosted by Rebecca G), I took old thrift store sweaters and washed them in hot water and dried them.  Once they were small enough to fit a kitten, I cut them up, sewed little seed beads on them, stacked them and made trees out of them.  I made 4 different ornaments before I was satisfied to mass produce 16 of them.  Here they are:

And finally, maybe one of my favorites... the embroidery swap (also hosted by Rebecca G). 
Molly and I traded sweatshirts and she said something about liking birds and trees. 
I ran with it and this is what I did:

Hope she likes it!

More about the big Silver Bella trip to come...


Sunday, October 18, 2009

I love this day!

Today is my birthday. 
October 18. 
I love everything that goes with it. 
The roundness of the O and the 8, the smell of crisp fall leaves, colder days, hot cocoa, pumpkin patches, Halloween... you know what I mean.

Here are the cupcakes my kids and mom made for me while my honey took me out antiquing yesterday. 

Funny thing, we went to some of the most amazing spots to find goodies and didn't buy anything. 
And then it hit me...

I have all I need right here, my family who loves me. 
There really is no better gift than that.

Happy Birthday to me!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Jack's back...

a posting quickie...

I was so happy to participate in Pricilla Cerda's Tim Burton Halloween Ornament Swap recently.
Here is a quick look at my little Jacks in progress: 

and completed:

I could not resist making Jack... I just love that movie!


Friday, September 25, 2009


I was lucky enough to meet up with some very good friends this weekend. There is a long story behind it and I will not bore you with the details but Sandy Camarda, Lisa Kettel and I have a little Charlotta history. When we all met, I surprised them with one of three "Charlottas" (not really frozen Charlotte but a bisque head instead.) I ordered them on eBay and decorated them all up. They even got a little “tramp stamp” tattoo on their back shoulder of a creepy, yet sassy little spider.

It was a fun project and the best part was the look on my Charlotta’s faces when they opened them up. Now we each have one to remember the others by.

I gave the orange ones to the Charlottas they were much more Halloween-ish and kept "Miss Green" for myself.

And just take a peek at the sweetness I got in return!
The adorable one on the left is a little mouse lion tamer from Lisa and the spooky-ookey one on the right was created by Sandy.  She says "Charlotta was bewitched"

I love them both and they have a special place in my home reserved for the finest of fine homemade art.

More soon on last weekend when I was so fortunate to join with creative souls for sweet Kim Caldwell's event:
 An Artistic Affaire L'Automne.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a little birdie and a clown...

I have been to Solo again and every time I go, I find something wonderful, a treasure of some sort to brighten my home or a gift for someone dear.  here is the little gem I found and could not leave behind... isn't she sweet?

In other endeavors, I have completed my "Under the Big Top" Swap page.  This swap is being hosted by the ever talented Wanda Clark for Silver Bella this fall.  I was not going to sign up because it didn't sound like my style, but it was a fun challenge and as always in art, I learned a few things. 

Here is a sneak-peek at my page.  I used some old Rusty Pickle Circus themed paper, a meri-meri clown that I shrunk waaaaaay down and re-made (fifteen times!!!) because he only came in a huge size, and painted and glittered some hat pins. 
I am really excited to see how this whole thing turns out.  Wanda is making the covers and binding them all together and will deliver them to us in November... oh goodie!

Friday, August 21, 2009

a local swap, a full gander at some bella crafting, and some wonderful girlfriends...

Last night I met with the girls at the Pink Pineapple for our Summer's Savory Sweets Reveal Party and it was such fun. Everyone in the swap made a recipe page based on their favorite summer treat and I bound them all together on rings. We all brought in samples of our recipes for tasting and it was so nice and relaxing sitting and enjoying time with the other swappers.

What a sweet bunch of gals!

I know I probably am not supposed to do this...
I have been working on swap after swap after swap. Let's see, in the last month I have done 3 swaps for a girlfriends weekend (totally worth it!!!), signed up for NINE for Silver Bella (hosting 4) and one more for Kim's event Artistic Affaire L'Automne (which, by the way, there are only a few spots left and she is closing registration soon so be sure to sign up if you are on the fence, I hear there will not be another for a while and her events are to die for!!!), and of course the one mentioned above.

Anyway, in 2 short months, I have run up a total of 14 swaps!! And since my blog is about my life... and you can only imagine how much of my life is spent adding detail after detail, I just feel that I must share SOMETHING. So if you don't want to see, turn away now. Fair warning...

Here is what I made for our apron flair swap, simple but I love them. I used vintage button covers, and stitched on felt to make leaves. I hope the girls like them!
And finally, I finished my Woodland Faerie Hideaway from the class Christine Rose Elle taught at our girlfriend's weekend at Big Bear.

and while I am on that subject (wow I am all over the place tonight, aren't I??!!)
here are the girls from that sassy little weekend in July...

Big Bear Girls Club: (back row left to right) Jamie, Holly, Joy, Cheryl, Kim H., Jenny, (middle row) Sherry, Jessi, Kim C., (front) Cynthia, Me, Alice and Christine

Talk about a treat! Such kindred spirits.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

freshly sharpened pencils and warm copies...

Today was my official first day of school. Normally the saddest day of summer because I am forced to cut back on the time I get with my family. As the school year wanes I find I spend so much more time with other people's children than my own. HOWEVER... today was special because my not so little boy will be coming to school at my school this year! I look forward to breakfast with him, quiet conversation on our rides to school, homework in my classroom after school and even an occasional pop in at lunch. I love knowing that he will be close, and he loves the idea of it too. Now, if I can remember to not hold his hand while walking into school...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Whew, I Am Back...

After a long hiatus, I am back and going to try and do a better job of blogging. Our summer is almost to an end here and so much has happened. Instead of droning on and on about it all, I will do a quick photo update and move forward... hey, better than nothing, right?

At the end of May, my little one sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Ramona Rodeo, pretty exciting!

My not so little guy had his 5th grade "graduation."

We flew my Gram out for a visit in July.

The bottle I made for Kim Caldwell in an altered bottle swap (i love her butt!)

AND the AMAZING bottle she made for me... see St. Joan of Arc?

The book pages I made for a journal swap

We took my mom to see Smokey at the OC Fair... still smokin' at 69!

The unexpected road trip we took to spend time with family in the midwest and went through 16 states, puppy dog and all!

and back in time to see Trace Adkins and Toby Keith last night... What a show!

"Never apologize for being patriotic!"


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

artwork by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)

I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me "mommy" - Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mothers out there!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

she's arrived... my sweet Marie!!

Oh my greatness! She arrived!!! As you probably know, I participated in the Marie Canvas Swap and sent mine off to Alisa last week, and she sent her's to me. Well as fate would have it, we got each other's on the very same day!!! You just would not believe the amazing packaging around this lovely piece! She put so much love and care into it all. Where to begin??!!

When I found the box on my doorstep, I just could not help but tear into it. I am never good at taking photos of the before shots... I am learning to get better at it though. It was amazing! Wrapped in this vintage fabric, pinned with a beautiful vintage brooch and adorned with the sweetest plumes woven together with a beautiful velvet ribbon and my initial made of pearls! This girl thinks of everything!!! Here is the box of goodies:

Here is a closer look at the amazing work she did on this canvas. The shoes, the cake, the German glass glitter initials, the birdcage handmade with the finest of wire, the feathers, the ribbons, the bead work, the fan... OH!

Here are some chocolates she added to the mix. They are made right in her home town and they are just yummy as can be! chocolates fit for Marie herself! They even shimmer!!

And just check out these beautiful French soaps she sent too! I swear, it must be Christmas! The whole box smelled just lovely, like fields of lavender, milk and honey. Guest soaps? I think not! These babies are going in my bathroom where I can smell them every day. Sorry guests... you get the hotel soaps. (well, unless you are Alisa)

Thank you so much Alisa, you are just too much! I cannot wait to see you again in November!