Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rrrrrroar! It's Official!

I put my scrapbooking aside, and picked up my crochet hook again!  Here's a lion I made!

Bless his heart.  Look at the story he wants me to read him!!  Our Little Golden Book is so worn looking..  I've tried to clean it up, but we still love the story!  (I'm really hoping to read it to my grandkids someday, God willing!)...

Anyways, I made him using the pattern found HERE, at Drea's Crochet.  Thanks to Andrea for sharing such a CUTE pattern!  He was pretty quick and easy to make, having finished him in just a couple of nights!  I plan to display him somewhere in the little crafty/scrapbooking corner I've set up in my living room.

In other news, I recently participated in an ATC swap, hosted by Tee at The Altered Paper.  My swap partner was Donna, at Red Apple Junction.  The theme was "Dressforms", and here is what Donna sent me.

Thank you Donna!  It's really beautiful, and I also thank you for the added little goodies you sent with it!...  Now here is the ATC (Artist Trading Card) that I sent to Donna!...  Actually, here's one for Donna, and one for ME!

I had fun putting them together, so pink and girlish.. pearls and lacy looking!!!  I made the crochet flowers myself, and the stamp is from Stamper's Best, Fashion Ticket Set. I really hope that Donna likes hers.

In the way of art jouraling, here's a spread I painted, for jotting each days events or thoughts.  How, you might ask?...   I used the paper teacups I cut out (using a Spellbinders die, Nested Teacups), for another project; and THEN I still used the leftover scraps as stencils, for my Book Of Days art journal!!!

Now, they're TULIPS!!  Pretty, I think, but "Oops!!"...
Looks like I have to fix that second "May 25" to "May 26"!

Gosh, it's hard to believe it's almost June!

Thanks so much for stopping by,
and have a Grrrrrrrreat day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

As the weather continues to get warmer and warmer, I've been gradually bringing my Summer decorations out from storage...

And as I settled down in front of the t.v. last night, I decided to make a couple of crochet butterfly plant pokes, in our nation's proud patriotic colors, red, white, and blue!  With every stitch, and just upon the holiday weekend ahead, I remember, and am grateful to all the heroes, past and present, who gave or give their all for our country.

 (inspired by pattern found HERE)

"The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great
name and the inheritance of a great example."
(Benjamin Disraeli)

Wishing you a safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend,
and thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day Scrapbook Challenge

What a busy weekend!!..  But fun just the same!  Finally finding some quiet time, this Monday morning, I want to share a scrapbook layout I put together, in connection with the challenge set HERE, at Just A Few Designs.  Everyone was invited to participate, while following the specific sketch posted there.

I don't work with 12x12" pages, as my journal more closely measures approximately 9x12", but here's my version of the proposed layout.

I never work with only one specific line of paper, but most of the paper you see here is from the line "Engraved Garden", from K&Company.  I won the 12x12" collection of paper when particpating in a challenge at Scrapping The Music!...   The butterfly stamp is from Stampers Anonymous.

Having finished the page as directed, I then went on to make a matching right-side page for my journal...  so that I'd have more room for more pictures.

I used the Spellbinder's Shapeabilities die, Nested Tea Cups, along with Sizzix Flower Layers; then some Stickles, vintage lace scraps, and various odds and ends.  I like to add postage stamps, coins, and tiny tidbits of that sort (like the little teabag tags) to my scrapbook layouts because it's that kind of memorabilia that makes for tomorrow's ephemera, right?...  Oh, and the pages themselves are recycled from cereal boxes! 

Well, all together, here's a full view of how the two pages tie in together.

Thanks to Elsa, at Just A Few Designs, for hosting this challenge...  And if you'd like to enter your own scrapbook layout, entries are still being accepted through May 27th

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Join Me For Tea?

Oh, it is a grey and gloomy day out there today, but I'm so glad you could stop by so that we can make the best of it!  Please sit down, and make yourself comfortable, to join me and Sandi, from Rose Chintz Cottage, for Tea Time Tuesday!

I think yellow is the perfect color to set my table with today.  I mean, if Mother Nature can't provide some sunshine for us, then we'll just make our own, right?!

 Give thanks in all circumstances.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I found this Melmac sugar and creamer set at a thrift sale recently.  The pieces were sitting on a 25-cent table.  While there is a wide range in values, and the companies who produced melmac, that serious collectors might be on the lookout for; what simply caught my eye was the bright and cheery color!

I've seen the pinks, blues, and browns, but never such a pretty shade of yellow before!  So pretty, I think, and they were in beautiful condition!..  Not bad for 50 cents!

So tell me...  How was your Mother's Day?!   Oh my gosh, we were so happy to find the weather was MUCH nicer than the weather forecasters originally predicted!  It was a gorgeous day, and we couldn't have asked for better!  A wonderful Mother's Day gift from God, Himself, I'd say!

I began my morning at the church, then Dear Son and I went over to Dear Daughter's new house!  They are doing what work they can manage right now, repainting and setting things up, with what time they have; but it's a beautiful place to call "Home" already!  Dear Daughter and Dear Future Son-In-Law, made both me and Dear Future Son-In-Law's mother, (following me here?) a wonderful brunch!..  Eggs, bacon, fresh fruit...  Mimosas!

 (Dear Son, Dear Daughter, and me)

I brought the muffins, and Dear Daughter liked them so much she wants the recipe! They were pretty much "now you see 'em, now you don't", the whole lot of them, but I'm so glad everyone liked them!

First gift Dear Daughter presented me with was this.  A flyer/announcement for the production of Les Miserables, coming to our area....

And while it is practically a year away from now till it comes anywhere near our neck of the woods, THIS is when you have to get the tickets to see it, or you'll never get any at all!  So, in advance, yes, my Mother's Day gift will be TICKETS!!!!  I am SO-oooo excited about this, because I LOVE the story, I LOVE the PBS production I've seen, and I LOVE the music....   Thank you Baby Girl!!

Another gift I received from both the bride-n-groom-to-be was this very pretty array of begonias!  I hope to repot them today, as I should have done so yesterday!  So pretty, they are!  My thanks for these too!

We had such a nice time visiting with everybody, but we had to head back home to make a dinner I would be serving to my own mother!

This is what my parents gave me for Mother's Day.  This beautiful head vase!  If you are not familiar with head vases, then go HERE, or HERE, to read more about them.

They're getting... or should I say they ARE...  VERY hard to find anymore, at least at the shops and sales I typically go to.  I have two head vases already, but I'm very excited to add this very pretty piece, and I believe I can NOW, officially call it a "collection"!  Thank you Mom and Dad!  Dinner and the visit were both so nice, and made the whole day all the more special!

May your mother and father be glad;
may she who gave you birth rejoice!
(Proverbs 23:25)

Last, but not least, as the night was drawing to a close, Dear Son gave me his gift...  a beautiful notebook/journal, and a new set of very pretty recipe cards!!...  He (and Grammy, wink wink!) sure know what I like!

See the pretty little teapot on my new recipe cards?!!  LOVE!...   Thank you, me Darlin' Son!

Much to do around here..  school work, housework, etc...  Creativity-wise, I'm presently working on a scrapbook layout, for a challenge over at Just A Few Designs...  And then I'm still working on some small crochet items for Dear Daughter....  I painted a couple of interesting (I hope!) backgrounds for art-journaling purposes....

...and just for fun, of course!  Not everything has to be written on plain ol' straight lines!  I wrote of my thoughts and daily events in each of the middle sections of the turtle's shell.  Did you know that the Native Americans used to use the turtles' shells as a calendar?  The 13 sections in the middle represented the 13 moons in a month's time; while the 28 smaller, outer sections represented the 28 days of a month!  Who knew?!! 

Next is a face painting, inspired by Effy Wild, at Book of Days.  Not striving for anything of portait quality, I'm still trying to get a feel for acrylic paints, and the shading and blending while using this particular medium.  I still need to purchase a certain glazing liquid that keeps your paints from drying too fast as you work with them.  Without it, acrylic paints dry VERY fast...  TOO fast, if you work slowly like I do right now.

Each section, you can see is now dated, and ready for journaling all my most special memories for the week!  (But hmmmmm...  For some reason, I want to break out into a chorus of "I'm a Barbie Girl!)

I hope, with practice, I'll get better at painting faces in time; but for now I enjoy learning, and like all my crafts, it helps me to relax and unwind at the end of a day.  Not to say I have a gift, but I love this quote from the Bible, and hope it inspires others as well, to practice, or have faith in, or to follow through with, what ever your own gifts or talents may be. (No matter how good or bad at it you may be..  ha! ha!)...   But in doing so, share your gift(s) and the word of God with others, whenever or wherever you can.

Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was given you by prophetic 
utterance when the council of elders 
laid their hands upon you.
(1 Timothy 4:14)

Well, I'm so glad you could stop by and join me for tea today!  Thanks to Sandi for hosting today's Tea Time Tuesday event!

I hope you'll head over and visit Rose Chintz Cottage and the other participants listed there, if you get the chance to!..   Till next time!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oh.. Oooooh, a Sparkly!

Anyone remember these words from Jeremy, the crow (played by Dom DeLuise), from the movie, The Secret of NIMH???.. Remember when he sees the sparkly stone hanging from Mrs. Brisby's necklace? 

"Oh-oh-ooh!..   A sparkly!  You're wearing a sparkly!"...
"Can I have it?  Can I?"...
"I've always wanted a sparkly of my very own."

Dear Daughter and I frequently (and dramatically... Who?  Us?) refer to the term "sparklies" with each other, whenever we see something pretty and sparkly in the stores we shop in together... particularly at the jewelry displays, of course!..   But we all loved the movie when she and her brother were little.  I can't speak for them, but I can tell you I still love the movie, and will pop it into the dvd player every now and then, whenever the mood might move me to!  It's a sweet story of a brave mother doing anything and everything she can to save her three children from the harm that threatens their home.

So, WHAT in the world got me thinking about Mrs. Brisby's fine feathered friend, you might ask?   Well, it's because of this week's scrapbooking theme, Challenge 198A, at Scrapping the Music!  "Sparkle", by Rubyhorse, was the theme song this week!  (You can find it HERE, to see and listen for yourself.)

When I first heard the title and words to this song, the first thought that came to mind was my daughter!  A good number of the best, most wonderful things are happening for her right now, all at once!...  And she just recently had a birthday!   If there is anyone in my life, who "sparkles" right now, then it is she!  I am so very proud of her, and happy for her!.... 

And so here you see the "sparkly" scrapbook layout I've made in my art journal, where Dear Daughter is celebrating her birthday with an ice cream sundae!  (Hmmm.. I think she LIKES it!  Like mother, like daughter, yes?!)...  The aqua-colored frame, and matching background pieces on the right page, are recycled from a boutique tissue box.  I added the "sparkly" silver flower, and a "sparkly" silver butterfly.  I used silver stickles, and then "sparkly" ribbon, paper, and letters...  And bling of course!  On the bottom right corner of the left page, are the words from the song that meant the most to me...

"And when I feel the skies will never clear, 
you remind me Spring is near.
How you sparkle.  How you shine.
How you rise above the sky...  
And you rise, and you rise."  

...Beautiful words, as true as can be!  Dear Daughter tells me she will be making me breakfast tomorrow, or should I say, it will be more like a Mother's Day brunch, by  the time I can get to her place!  Whatever the case, it certainly sounds good to me, and Dear Son is looking forward to it too!

In fact, I thought I'd do some baking today, so that I could bring a couple of "goodies" along with me, for tomorrow.  (or have some ready for here, should company come later in the day)...  I made a double batch of banana chocolate chip muffins (recipe HERE)...

...and then a batch of cheesecake brownies!!  (the recipe, HERE

Those of you with a REAL sweet tooth, will like these brownies!  They're pretty easy to make, and for something a little different than your typical plain ol' brownie, these are "Yummmmm-my!"

I've been working on some crocheting, with some small projects in mind for Dear Daughter's new home.

First thing she asked for is a plastic bag holder; so she picked out the yarn she wanted me to use, and that's what I'll be working on this weekend.  

So, what else have I been up to?  I participated in a couple of tag swaps.  One was for the Tag A Month Swap, this time with Tee, herself!  I made a wishing well tag for her...

...inspired by the water wells made at SaCrafters.  The quote on the back referred to the month of May specifically..  (but I forgot to take a picture of it!.. Oops!)

Here you see the 2011 penny, as if tossed into the well, for good luck!  I wanted a sky-colored background, so I recycled a billing envelope!  Now, I'm just wondering... Tee, did you make a wish?!

Here are the tag and extra goodies Tee sent to me!

I absolutely love the beautiful vintage tag, and I was so excited to see all the pretty extras she sent along with it!  Thank you so much, Tee!

The next set of tags below, are from the "Night At the Oscars" tag swap, at Mini Album Scraps!  I LOVE the movies, and the oscars, so wild horses couldn't have kept me from participating in this one! 

Aren't these tags GORGEOUS?!!  (I see some SPARKLIES!!!)..  This swap was so much fun, I really hope that Mini Album Scraps will host this swap again for next year's awards!!

Next, I decided to join in on an art journal prompt at Tangles and Stuff.  The theme was based on THIS VIDEO. I'm not real tickled with how this came out, but I think it's that anti-change mode I tend to get set in.  I'm really just learning to "zen doodle", and this kind of made me "step out of the box", ready or not, and into CIRCLES instead! (ha! ha! ha!...  Oh, the horror!)

I think perhaps a white background would have worked better, right from the start.  Then it seemed the more I colored it, the less of a "zen doodle" it looked like...  So maybe more doodles/details were necessary for the look I wanted; but I still had fun making this page, and I really liked the theme it was based on!...  

Now HERE'S a zen doodle...

..which was simpler, but which I was much more happy with!  I guess I've still got turtles on the brain, because as I was thrift shopping with my parents last weekend, I came across this little guy!  Isn't he CUTE?!

He's actually about 6 1/2" wide x 5" tall.  He comes with the hanger, as you can see on the top of his shell, but I set him on my coffee table for now.  I think he is supposed to hold a tea-light candle, but I like to use him for burning incense cones instead, which I haven't done in YEARS!  The scent I chose from the wide variety of TWO that Walmart had to offer, is called Dragon's Blood..  Yuck!  Couldn't they pick a better name than that?!..  But I knew I didn't want the Berry Scent, so I thought I try it.  Actually, it's o.k.!..  but I'll keep an eye open for other kinds elsewhere, soon as I can.

Anyways, back to the topic of thrift shopping (church sales and flea market) last weekend, we came across this.

Just wondering, maybe some of you, as you were growing up, gave up your dolls quite readily and easily, in what might be viewed as a "proper" time to???...  But I remember wanting a certain doll for Christmas one year, and my mother asked me, "Aren't you getting too old for dolls now?"...   "WHAT?!  Well, NO!", I thought!  Honestly, I can't remember how old I was, but I just remember thinking, "No!!....   But.. well, I don't know...  Am I?...   WHY?....   Well, o.k., who cares if I like dolls or I don't anyways?!  What was so wrong about that?!"  

"Too many people grow up.  That's the real trouble with 
the world.  Too many people grow up.  They forget..."
(Walt Disney)

Nope, I didn't like the suggestion at all.  I didn't know who set such rules or standards, but it just seemed mean, unfair, and confusing to me at the time!....   Well, as it turned out, I DID get the doll I asked for that Christmas!

Those who know me best, KNOW that to this day, I STILL love my dolls!  I make them, and collect them.  I make new clothes for them.  I save them from getting thrown into the closest garbage bins, or to the curbs for garbage day pick-up, when they didn't sell for even a garage sale price....

It was at one particular church rummage sale that my mother came across the baby doll above (approx. 13" in size), on a table full of miscellaneous used odds and ends of all sorts, and then another doll just like her, but dressed more in pink.  Much older as I am NOW, my mother bought me this sweet baby doll, and then the other pink one for herself! 

THEN, she bought me this doll too!  
(below, a cloth shelf sitter, approx. 16" in size)

Made only of cloth, but she definitely "sparkles" in my eyes!  I'm so glad that Moms can change their minds about things like this!  Thank you for both these beautiful dolls, Mom!  xoxo...  I will love them both forever!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today!
Wishing everybody a very Happy (*sparkly*) Mother's Day weekend! 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Little Herd O' Turtles

...And have I been slower than a herd o' turtles getting things posted as often as I'd like to!  But just like Aesop would tell you, slow and steady, "the race is not always to the swift."

Always in a hurry, always much to do, but feeling VERY behind in everything, I decided it was time to take Aesop's advice, slow down, and maybe share some more of what projects I've been working on lately.

Speaking of turtles, I want to introduce my own little herd o' turtles, or should I say bale of turtles.

I wanted to make just one for a friend, Effy, who often advises, "Embrace your inner turtle"...  to slow down, go at your own pace..  no pressure!  In real life, a mama turtle can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs in one nest.  So, since when do you only find one turtle egg in a nest?  I liked making the first one so much, it turned out a total of FOUR baby turtles hatched here at my house!  While the little purple turtle is going to be sent to Effy's house, all the way to Canada...

...this little blue one is mine!  I haven't named her yet.  I was thinking maybe Bonnie Blue, but I think I like the name Mertle Mae better!  I hope she likes the little set-up I've made for her.  If you're interested in making one, or FOUR, yourself, you can find the pattern I followed right HERE

I guess while little Mertle Mae settles in, I'll share a few tags I've been working on most recently.  First, and better late than never, I hope, are two tags from the Tag of the Month Swap, at The Altered Paper...  Here's the beautiful tag for April, that I received from Mercedes, at All Things Pretty!!..

I just LOVE it!...   And here's the tag I made and sent to her!  (Of course, I made one for myself as well.)

I love when I can add any little crochet embellishments that I make myself!..  I did just that to this next tag.  I made it for the Mini Album Scraps, Breaking Dawn Part One Tag Swap.

Oooooh, I can't wait for Part Two to come to theaters!...    I hear the package of tags from our swap partners is on the way, so I can't wait to see them!  I most recently signed up for an "Itty Bitty Mini Album" Swap!  I can't wait to get started on that project too, but..  Oh, I'm getting way ahead of myself!  Here's ANOTHER tag I made for "A Night At The Oscars" tag swap.  I chose to base my theme on "The Help"...

...where Octavia Spencer won the award for her role as Minny!  Well deseved!  I loved Minny, but honestly, I thought Viola Davis deserved one too, didn't you?  I guess sometimes you just wish everybody could win the award, or the top spot; like on American Idol, or Dancing With The Stars!...  Anyways, I didn't embellish with any crochet on this tag, but I had fun putting it together.  I LOVED both the book and the movie!  (Oh, but tell me, will we EVER look at chocolate cream pie the same way again?!..   Umm, just pass me the lemon meringue please!)

(back of the tag)

I have more crochet projects I'm gradually working on, with others in mind on my to-do list.  I've got some baking in mind to do as well... a new brownie recipe; and then we'll be celebrating Dear Daughter's birthday soon, so I'll also be making a cake!  Much to do, but that's o.k...  I'll just try to remember to take my time, steady and slow, and to embrace my inner turtle!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and...

(image courtesy of HERE)