Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

to all of you
may your holidays be filled with joy
lots of good food and good company!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!

Twas the night before Christmas.........
I created a little 12" fabric block using a Log Cabin quilt variation made of ribbons and laces.
The photo in the center is of me many many years ago.
I printed it on fabric and just went crazy .
I have actually made 3 more of this style of ribbon block and will be showing them throughout the next year.
Hope your holidays are filled with love and joy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Seven swans a swimming

 On top of our television cabinet is a white and silver winter wonderland: white reindeer; white, crystal,  and silver swans; a silver tree decorated with silver and white nut ornaments; white and blue candles; and white button trees (made from my button collection)

 and of course, you must have a snowman.......in Florida, he is made of shells
Hope your Solstice is filled with joy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday ephemera - paper memories

Here's a wreath that I made from Gecko Galz ephemera and leaves cut from patterned paper along with a few cut up doilies.  It's an easy project that could be done from several different paper lines - Jenni Bowlin, Graffic 45, etc. -  or even from holiday ephemera printed from online sources.  I used a metal wreath frame and attached the bottom level of the paper items to the wreath frame and then just kept layering the papers on top and attaching them with raised glue dots so the wreath has dimensionality.
I inherited a box of vintage postcards from my grandmother, and included in the cards were many beautiful and fascinating holiday cards.  Perhaps I have mentioned that I have created a seasonal board that hangs in my kitchen with a calendar and then decorations for the time of year. Of course, it is now decorated with Christmas items, and this year I decided to use a few of the holiday cards.

I guess you can tell I love the colors of each season and I change the decorations in my house to move with the flow of the year and the light.  Do you make changes in your house - it doesn't have to be much - even just a board like mine - or changing a vase or the quilt on the bed.  Somehow each season it is like I rediscover and re-enjoy my treasures - my little things.  I will leave you with one of my favorite quotations:

"There are no little things. Little things are the hinges of the universe."
                               -Fanny Fern

Enjoy your day,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts and prayers

An ornament made from old book pages, some bits of lace and ribbon, and a jewelry charm piece that someone gave me.  I saw one similar on a blog (possibly Prima) but I made my own from bits about the studio.

And a few holiday cards that I have been painting.

In the aftermath of last Friday's tragedy, I have been crying, questioning, praying, and thinking.  I am currently re-reading Night Visions, searching the shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan L. Richardson and I also recently read Matched and Crossed by Ally Condie.  In Condie's books, her characters have come across a poem that was made illegal by their government - Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night" and they repeat the line about "the dying of the light". In Night Visions, Richardson writes:

There is no dying of the light--
just the washing of a bowl,
and overturning it for night.

She goes on:

In the turning of the bowl
is the turning of the world,
and in every moment
the day is turning into darkness.
Make us bold
in the darkness
to protect each other's slumber,
and make us courageous
in the night
to guard each other's dreams.

May your days be filled with joy and may we all be courageous in the night to protect our children and guard their dreams.
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday magic

Don't you just love the holidays when you can go crazy and decorate to your heart's delight - lots of fairies are hanging around our house right now.......

Hope your days are filled with magic!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reindeer games

Perhaps I have mentioned my little herd.........................................

 Here is the newest member of the herd - a bristle brush from Pottery Barn
 This is Rennie, a Stief reindeer complete with yellow ticket and tag - did you notice the fun S'mores reindeer??
And this is maybe half of the herd - you will see a few more in the coming days as we move toward the holidays.
I am currently reading on a daily basis the most wonderful book - Night Visions, searching the shadows of advent and christmas by Jan L. Richardson.  I reread this book every year during this season (past three years) and I see new visions every year.  I remember lighting the Advent candles when I was a little girl and how the mystery and anticipation would grow each week - as Ned Stark would say, "winter is coming."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Not quite 50 shades of grey

When I saw this challenge on Facebook http://paperissues.blogspot.com/2012/12/50-shades-of-basic-grey.html I decided that I just had to do it - I did read the first book in the series (from the library) but honestly I thought it was badly written and more importantly, why would anyone - man or woman - want to submit to punishment for enjoyment??? I think it says quite a bit about our society that many people think this is erotic.  I cannot imagine anyone who has ever had to live through physical or mental cruelty as a child or an adult wanting more of it - I know I don't!  End of story.
BUT I love the title - and those of us who paint have made many jokes about trying to achieve 50 shades of grey.... the above layout is done on Basic Grey papers with lots of this and that.  The photo is of my husband and his twin.
In the same spirit, that is, 50 shades of Basic Grey, here is a layout I did a while back on Basic Grey paper but I made the origami  hydrangeas from fabric scraps
Hope your day is filled with joy and sunshine!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

right now................

....I am enjoying a beautiful sunny morning and being thankful for this lovely day so filled with promise

....I am so happy that I finally finished the Margaret Dashwood shawl from the summer edition of Jane Austen Knits - all the info is on my Ravelry project page

....I am well stocked with boxes of Tazo Joy tea from Starbucks (I love this tea and since you can only buy it during the holidays, I took advantage of the BOGO earlier this week!)

....I am enjoying this color palette from http://blog.scrapfriends.com.au/2012/11/yummyscrap-colour-palette-challenge-7.html  - see layout above and check out their challenge - the sketch also made me think of an old layout I did back in the These Are a Few of My Favorite Things challenge blog (so miss it) and Sweet Julie T-W, our boss - ah memories!!!!
....I am enjoying my watercolor portrait class and really trying to push myself - hopefully I will have something good to show you

....I am looking forward to dinner tonight - turkey leek pie made with Thanksgiving leftover turkey, fresh leeks, and puff pastry top - so yummy - I use Jamie Oliver's recipe

....I just read Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal and The Raven Boys by Maddie Stiefvater - very very different books but both very enjoyable reads

....I am looking at our budget and expenditures for this year - only 3 weeks left!  Would you believe that all I have spent on scrapbooking supplies is $6 - the postage to receive the items that I won from Jenni Bowlin this summer, and that all I spent on fabric was $30.  I made 3 quilts from scratch this year and finished 2 others that were started in earlier years. It feels so good to use up stash!!!

....I just received a fedex email that I have some wine being shipped to me - I won 2 bottles of wine from the Hayfork winery through Amanda Soule's Soulemama blog last spring.  The winery contacted me to let me know that they wouldn't ship to Florida until cooler weather so.....I am very excited about this very special wine!

....I am so loving my Kindle Fire HD 8.9.  It was a combined birthday/Christmas present but I received it just before Thanksgiving - how did I ever live without it???

Hope your day is super and filled with joy and fun!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A walk around the neighborhood

Probably from the title of this post, you expected to see some scenes of my neighborhood in south coastal Florida - palm trees and holiday lights - especially the "icicles"!! But the above painting was inspired by a huge live oak tree in our next door neighbor's front yard. A previous neighbor who lived in that house was an artist who created art from wood pieces and found things.  One day he came over and took me to show me the tree in the front yard. He had placed a skull in a big oval hole in the tree - I doubt you can identify the skull type as it is an alligator skull turned upside down.  That was several years ago and now the skull is a permanent part of the tree. So................................................
Thanks for looking,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Joy and pain in the studio

I have been selling some books on half.com so I decided that I could spurge with a new art book - Jean Haine's Atmospheric Watercolours - I am so amazed by her paintings - I wish - I wish...........
I was unfamiliar with her (she is a watercolourist from the UK) until a copy of her other book How to Paint Colour & Light in Watercolour came into the used book store where I work. I bought it and was enthralled with her loose style of painting.  It's had to believe how hard it is to get loose - you want to define and add details when you should just let it alone - let the viewer finish the scene.  I came across this inspirational quote in her book: "The more paintings that go into your bin, the more you are learning, so fill it up......An empty bin means you are not practicing enough to be a great artist...."  Well, my trash bin is always full! LOL!   I was inspired to paint the above masquerader from one in Haine's book - but I am happy to say that mine is very very different from hers.