Paris was an easy theme for my friend Sharon. I chose her favorite color of card stock, then stamped French text.  Embossing in white was a nice contrast and added texture. Her address was written on a tiny slip of paper tucked in the typewriter. (I would have typed her address if I hadn't sold my antique typewriter at a moving sale) Thank you Susan for the red Express Special Delivery label. She scored a variety of labels on Ebay and generously sent me some! The Paris post is a rubber stamp, the train ticket is from my Paris trip and the typewriter image from Catherine Moore.

This was the photo of the backside of the postcard before mailing. I added an Eiffel Tower brad, punched the fleur de lis, and the final addition of the letters were made using Tim Holtz's alterations alpha. I cut both colors of card stock at the same time. I blessed Sharon's postcard "done" at this point and I was ready to mail.....but wait......
Then Ania brought into the office yummy chocolate treats. I couldn't resist trimming the "Merci" from the candy wrapper and adding it to the art Aha Moment. We all agreed that it was the perfect touch!  Don't you just love it when things like that happen?!

Winter Wonderland

The snow began early Sunday morning and by noon we had about ten inches of snow. My husband got out the snowblower and took care of the sidewalks and driveways for us and our neighbors on both sides. Before his chore ended, the snow had continued to fall and covered up all his efforts. It was such a stunning gentle snow fall. I so enjoyed the beauty of it all and I was so excited that this happened on Sunday instead of Monday morning rush hour. How often does that happen?!

View from our kitchen doorway at the back of the house.

This is another view from the kitchen doorway.

In the end, we received about fourteen inches.


Inspired by the wonderful charms that my round-robin group made for my necklace caused me to dig for the buried charms from a group project that was published in the Belle Armoire addition a few years ago. I thought I would use the charms but I never got around to adding them for a bracelet or necklace. Ever do that....think about doing something and then forgetting about it later. Years pass by?... So I found the abandoned charms from the past and added them to the necklace. Now I can enjoy and be inspired by all the very clever and talented artists who made them.

This particular charm is my absolute favorite one! I wish I knew who the artist was! If you see this and it's you, please let me know and I will rewrite this post and give you the credit you deserve. Perhaps you can tell me how it is made. Love it, love it.

Thank you art sisters!

A special thank you goes to my art sisters from my round robin group. Our art project for 2012 was making a charm for our individual necklaces that began in January. I made my necklace using antique mother-of-pearl buttons. It was easy connecting the buttons using silver jump rings. I thought it would be difficult to remember who made what and at first I didn't want to remove the tiny tags with the names of the artist in fear of forgetting the individual artist. I found that it just isn't the case. I know EXACTLY who made each charm. I think it is because each charm holds the essence of the artist and I have gotten to know everyone so well. Some I have not met in person but over the years of trades you get to know their "style". I know it sounds weird and I know now I won't forget.

Peek into my Studio

I thought I would share a few photos of my studio. I am enjoying the space I have now even though it is a smaller space than I had in Tulsa. The nine foot ceilings with the large windows are very nice and I have lots of natural light. The color of the room with the white trim is such a nice color for my collection of calligraphy brushes.  I used the existing small nail holes on the window trim to hang small canvas collages that I made.  I enjoy music when creating art and the only place for my boom box was on the top of the drawers.
The tag book is my "sample" of the techniques from taking the online Tim Holtz's Chemistry 101 class.  The "dream" tag was one I had made a few years ago and it continues to inspire me.  And all the beads came from an event that my husband and I attended in Shreveport, LA a few years you can guess the party theme!
I use an ornate Christmas wreath hanger for over the door to hang the jewelry bag on.  Both the hanger and jewelry bag are from Tuesday Morning.  It serves a useful purpose for my embellishments with an  "easy to see" which translates to "easy to remember" to use. 
Both sets of drawers were purchased from Ikea.  I purchased the last set of black drawers from the Ikea stock pile and wasn't willing to wait for another shipment.  I originally wanted both sets of drawers to be like a checker Alice in Wonderland kind of thing.  The drawers are perfect for my rubber stamp collection.
Judi's mail art piece was promptly hung on studio's so very cool.  I have a thing for antique jars, boxes and tins to store all the "necessary" things one needs.
The orange table was a dumpster dive find a few years ago.  It came from a church preschool room with short legs...perfect for my upholstery work....not so much for my art table.  So I cut the legs off and replaced them with red metal legs from the Ikea store for a total of $12!  The table has lots of layers of paint so it looks very it.  This is the first studio space I have had where I have hung artwork on the wall from friends and a few pieces of my own work.  It has made an immense difference for me to have pieces that I enjoy in full view as it gives me lots of joy.
Behind the door is a great built in.  The storage is perfect for me.
As you can see, I have use of every square inch!

The bookcases are on loan to me from my daughter Kimberly who purchased from a bookstore going out of business.  I especially like them because the wood is a hard maple with adjustable shelves and open at the top.  That allows me to place my suitcases and other artwork on the very top shelves. 

I did not have room for all of my art I went through my collection and only kept the ones that I just couldn't part with.  I sold about 80 art books to the local Half Price Book store.  I was able to negotiate a better price than usual because they were in pristine condition and easy for them to sell.  So a bit of cash in my pocket and lots more room made me happy.  You can only store books in an attic for so long before they are no good....better to go to someone who can use them now.

If you are reading this Chris....your postcard is displayed in front of the antique train case.....and thank you again!

High Point University

High Point University located in Greensboro, North Carolina is THE place to send your child to for higher education!  Dr. Nido R. Qubein is the absolute best master of mentoring those who want to be extraordinary.  I have had the opportunity to listen to Nido as he is a tremendous speaker on a previous occasion.  He spoke at our business conference that I recently attended in Greensboro and gave us a special invitation to take a tour of the campus.  I would encourage EVERYONE to attend this amazing is definitely money worth spending with no regrets!!! High Point University

Happy Birthday Margaret!

 If you haven't already noticed, I have a thing about sending a shoe instead of a greeting card.  My sister Margaret lives in Memphis and is crazy about shoes so it was a special treat for her to receive my sentiment! 
 The rub-on's were sealed using Claudine Hellmuth's gel medium.  I have in the past hand lettered my sentiment using a permanent marker and then sealing.
 An art friend sent me a package of wooden buttons with a bird theme.  I now have one button left!  I use button-hole thread to sew the button onto the fabric flowers.
 It's hard to see inside the shoe so I will tell you that I wired pearls taken from an old necklace inside the bird's nest.  The nest rests on top of gold velvet leaves.  The inside sole paper was cut to size and then I collaged a couple of other images on top.  The bird was fussy cut from a companion paper and then I added the "fly" tag and gold crown.  I stamped the sentiment directly onto the paper.
I found tiny green trim in my stash that coordinated perfectly with the paper. I am now the talk of the neighborhood and her circle of friends!  Don't you love it when that happens!

Letter for Minori

Minori, who lives in Japan has been one of the original players in our art group.  I have gotten to know her over the years and she is an awesome artist and friend.  The envelope that I used for her mail art was from a box that my husband found above ceiling tiles in an old building that was being renovated.  I have no idea why a box of envelopes would be placed there!  I took apart of the envelope and sewed the mailing label that I made for her and then reassembled the envelope.  

I wish I had taken a photo of the envelope after adhering the postage on the front of the envelope.  I used about four stamps that were all different.  The stamps added a lot of interest to the front of the envelope.
Just a note:  I think it is wise to block out addresses when posting to maintain the privacy of the recipients.
Minori loves her cats and when I found a postcard with the cat peering through the fish bowl, I knew at some point in time I would send this card to her.  I did cut around the fish bowl to make the collage more interesting.  The "Must be Delivered TODAY" sticker was sent to me from another art friend who scored a stash of vintage mailing labels from eBay.  Minori collects postage stamps so I added a few cancelled US postage stamps.  The tissue tape from the Tim Holtz collection is great to use to wrap the bottom of the envelope.  This prevents the postcard and rubber stamped card stock sentiment from getting caught on other stuff when going through the post office.  I used Claudine Hellmuth's gel medium to seal the tape which is important.  The tissue tape is removable unless you seal it.

East Meets West

I've really enjoyed participating in the jewelry round robin. Judi requested smaller size charms with a vintage look. I already knew that she enjoys Asian themed artwork and embellishments. I had an antique Tulsa bus token in my stash that I thought would work perfectly for her necklace. The challenge for me was to keep it small and simple!

I also enjoy Asian themes and have accumulated a collection of ephemera and embellishments. I found a charm that I wanted to use as my base. I attached a jump ring after I drilled a center hole in the charm.  The photo below shows Judi's necklace without the charms added as she will do this herself.

Everyone before me made a tag explaining their artwork so I decided I would do the same and named my piece "East Meets West".

Chinese Wisdom

This was made just for Kimberly. Using Chinese fortunes are fun in artwork. I usually have them in my ATC's, however, this particular fortune told me it wanted to be in a collage piece for Kimberly. The second thing I searched for in my image stash from magazines was the right woman displaying the attitude I wanted for my fortune.
The support used is a canvas mat board with collaged scrap papers. I applied molding paste using a stencil for texture and sanded the paste lightly after it was dried. I then made a wash using Golden's translucent ochre paint to blend the papers for one cohesive color.  White paint was added on top using my finger and then I applied the image.  (I mounted the image onto black cardstock and trimmed making an outline of the image.  I like doing this when the background is not smooth.  It keeps your image crisp.)

Kimberly loves her collage gift......Message received!

Bon Appetite!

Our host and hostess for our Paris trip arranged for a French chef to come to our apartment and prepare a meal for our group. It was such a delightful experience. I could not believe the beautiful and tasty cuisine that was produced in such a very tiny kitchen!

This was only the beginning of a whole lot of delicious!
I never saw cheese cut in such a way that it looked like a pasta noodle!

The chef was busy preparing our meal as our group chatted away in the living room and shared our journals.

We had several courses to our meal and the presentation was artful...... and oh very delicious!

Such a tiny space to produce such big results!

The kitchen was equipped with just about everything except potholders. He had to use kitchen towels instead and that proved to be a challenge.

The cheese plate is served after the main course. He explained the two different cheese plates and the wines that compliment them. Then he served us individually with our requests.

Then came dessert....oh my!
Thank you Catherine and Dale for your farewell gift of dinner!  Bon Appetite!

Shopping anyone?

Oh, do please come in.... and we did....Kimberly purchased a painting....
enjoying the artists.....
so many artists....
watch your purchase....say "no" to street vendors....
recommended by Chris....a fav spot for her....
Fun shop for sure......
We're having a great time....
lovely shop...
so much to see
very cool....
Catherine in heaven....
Teresa having fun....
so many choices...
some I would wear...maybe
trims and ribbons....
love this place
let's enter.....
one of many many shops...
another great place....
Ah....Lana found a vintage & tell!