Monday, December 30, 2013

T Stands for Taking Time

Hi Everyone!  I'm joining up with Elizabeth and Bleubeard for the final T Tuesday post of 2013.  Although I am looking ahead to a creative year and many more T Stands for Tuesday posts, as my title today suggests, I am taking some time to just sit back and enjoy life. 

Today I am enjoying some China Oolong Tea.  According to the label, Oolong tea is sourced primarily from the Fujian Province in China and was first produced at the end of the Ming dynasty, about 400 years ago.  Oolong teas are created by shaking the tea leaves during the picking process and then pan firing to semi-ferment the tea.  I confess that I never think that much about how all the different teas are made and found this very interesting. 

It went will with the home made bell cookies and a delicious triangle of Baklava.  The French beaded Lily is part of a custom order I am working on.

Thank you to Elizabeth for hosting this fun event, and thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read my ramblings and leave me a comment or two. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and creative 2014!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy New Year & Happy Mail

Hi Everyone! I had hoped to wish everyone a Merry Christmas before Christmas, but as we all know, life sometimes gets in the way.  Even in a good way.  A last minute change of plans left me with little time to wrap presents, clean, bake, visit everyone and make a blog post.  I was determined to remain stress-free and to remember the really important things, like my family and friends.

I received a very special card and gift from my friend Stacy of MagicLoveCrow

Stacy knows that I had been admiring the etched stones made by Deb of Geckostone on Etsy, and that due to other demands, Deb had put her shop on hiatus.  So she bugged asked her nicely to make me one as a gift, and she did.
Deb has a blog where you can see some of her wonderful art. She put so much skill and love into the stone, and I really love it.  Of course, she added a moose for me! I will treasure it always.

Stacy also gave me an adorable moose charm.  It is a little metal medallion that says "Live Large" on the reverse side.
I will have to come up with a special beaded project to show off both sides of this charm.

Thank you so much, Stacy (and Deb)! I love them both!

Monday, December 16, 2013

T Tuesday Christmas Tour

Hi everyone! If you are visiting via Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday blog link, welcome to my Christmas Tour! As you walk in the door, the first site is the Tree.
Due to the location it is nearly impossible to get a photo of the whole tree.  Most of the ornaments are handmade, gifts, or were purchased while on vacation as souvenirs.
I made the tree skirt many years ago from a kit.  It is all appliqued felt embellished with sequins, bells, and other bits.
In this close-up you can see two beaded ornaments I made--the red one on the right and the blue/yellow one on the left.  Those are little ceramic elephant beads on the dangles.  The two foxes in the log was the first ornament we bought the year we were engaged.  The flag one was also my favorite ornament as a kid--it is over 50 years old now!
Moving along...Santa greets us with a bag of goodies.  This I also made about 20 years ago out of a log and some wood.  His face, if I remember correctly,  is wall paper paste molded by hand and then painted.
Right above Santa is the reindeer corner.
 Here is the snowman corner--two of them are music boxes.
This soldier keeps the snowman corner safe!

Over to the right, the fireplace is all decked out, too.  Our fireplace doesn't have a mantle but rather a step up from the floor. The cowboy Santa fits right in with my Southwestern Living Room motif.  Do you see the Elvis Santa to the right?  The first needlepoint stocking was nearly completed when I went into labor with my daughter.  All it lacked was the name since we didn't know who we were going to be blessed with!
This is the wall of the fireplace--a mixture of new, vintage & kitsch!  The head was a plain paper mache one that I painted.  The Santa on the left and the Santa Sleigh on the right are very old, from my husband's family.

Shall we step into the Dining Room?  No surface gets away without some decoration.  By Christmas, the two side panels of the china closet will be covered with the photo Christmas cards we receive.  Just to the left you can see a snipped of holly that goes around the doorway that leads to the kitchen.  A kissing ball hangs there, too.  Mr. Moose is standing in his usual spot between the china closet and the buffet:
Thank you if you stuck with me to the end of this post.  Sit down and have a cup of tea--you've earned it!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Seasonal Flowers

Hi Everyone! Today I'm sharing some french beaded Poinsettia flowers that I made.  Did you know that the colored part of the plant which we call the flower is actually colored leaves? Although traditionally a Christmas plant, Poinsettias are native to Mexico and grow 12-15 ft. tall as a perennial.
Did you also know that there are more than 100 varieties? Or that that come in red, white, pink, burgundy, plum, pale green and bi-colored, among others?
I hope you enjoyed this brief lesson on Poinsettias!  Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two for T Tuesday

Hi Everyone! I'm a little slow getting started today as I am still not feeling myself.  Yes, I know 3:30 pm is more than "a little slow", but it took me that long to figure out what to say this T Tuesday and what photos to take.  Without further ado, I am linking to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T Tuesday with my post of Two.  Two scarves I recently finished, created with Two knitting needles, in Two different colors, and in Two different styles.
This one is super soft in a white, bulky type of yarn--my scarf-crazy daughter already has her eye on this one and I haven't even decided what to do with the edges (if anything) yet!
The second one was made with a ruffle mesh yarn that is edged with pom poms.  This yarn self ruffles as you knit it. Fun to make, it is not supposed to be warm but rather a fashion accent. This one is in my Etsy shop.

No actual tea today as I feel like if I were to drink one more cup, I will float away.  I've been drinking at least 3 cups of Green Tea in addition to my usual 2 cups of black tea. Plus water and Orange Juice.  Cold or sinus whatever, please go away!

Despite not being 100% I did drag myself out of bed early Saturday morning to attend the craft show.  It was crowded pretty much all day, and I was pleased with the sales I made.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Beaded Flowers

Hi Everyone!  I wanted to show some daisies that I made a customer as well as, some flower heads I stemmed for her. 
Here are 12 cobalt blue daisies with orange and white centers and dark leaves.
Here are 12 more done with lighter leaves.  Below are the vintage flower heads that I stemmed for her.  I did not make the flower heads but was willing to stem them because they were in good condition.

Tomorrow is my craft show that I hope to make.  The sore throat turned into a nasty cold.  I'm feeling better, but now the weather is not cooperating.  Rain ending in snow/sleet into Saturday morning is predicted. Oh, what are the chances that it should happen on just this day? 

Have a happy creative weekend!

Monday, December 2, 2013

T Stands for Ta Da Tuesday

I'm joining Bluebeard and Elizabeth today for T Stands For Tuesday.  My T today, besides being my standard cup of tea is a big TA DA! I finished the painting in two days, but the new floor took much longer than anticipated.  I still managed to get it all done before my daughter came home from school last Tuesday.
Here is a view of my desk with my much loved everyday cup which is half full of my fourth cup of tea for the day!  Unfortunately, I'm a little under the weather with a sore throat so I've been trying to drink a lot of green tea.  This is probably the neatest my desk has been in a long time--I even have space to work!
Here is a better photo of the floor.  Since this is a laundry room, we needed a durable floor and decided to go with this interlocking vinyl plank floor.  It is supposed to be waterproof also.  The color/pattern I picked is red hickory--I wanted something darker than what I had, and I like the look of the whorls and knots.
This photo looks towards the kitchen. Our cabinets are finished in cherry and the floor we did ourselves in red oak (pergo laminate flooring).  I was worried about the change in direction of the boards and how it would look, but I think it works okay since the vinyl planks of the new floor are wider than the kitchen ones.

I'm looking forward to visiting everyone who plays along on T Stands for Tuesday and to getting back to crafting!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi everyone!  I am just stopping by to wish everyone celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Also, Happy Hanukkah as that holiday starts this evening, too.  If you are traveling, please stay safe!

The room re-do went well, and our daughter is safely home until next Monday.  I'll be back next week with photos and to visit everyone.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

T Stands for....

 What was I Thinking?

Hi Everyone! I am really late linking up to Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday , but I have a really good excuse.  Those of you who have visited my blog before, may have seen the post where I showed my craft space which doubles really is the room we keep our washer/dryer and winter clothes line in.  Just in case you missed it, here is the photo again...kind of a before photo:
So looking into this narrow 7' (2.1336 m) wide x 12' (3.6576 m) long room, the above is just part of what is on the left wall.  Just above (out of the photo) is the clothesline.  Beyond the rolling cart on the right are bins of beads, magazines, and paper crafting supplies.  The right wall is taken up by the washer & dryer. The room ends in a bathroom that has a stall shower--you can just see the frosted door in the next photo.  Since we don't use the shower unless we have guests stay over, it is filled with, yes, you guessed it--craft supplies!  The reason I am being specific is because the room now looks like this:
Under those tarps are the desk (now empty), the washer & dryer, and you can just see into the bathroom.  Here is another view to show the floor.  What you cannot see is the area where the floor is badly discolored by the sun and spots where tiles have come up.
I think I have been inspired by seeing all the organizing of craft rooms lately--especially when our hostess redid her basement though perhaps, not for the same reason as I remember her shelving collapsed.  Anyway, I got it in my head that I needed a new floor before the holidays.  We host family and friends on Christmas Eve and a different group Christmas Day--virtually the only time we have a house full.  I decided if I was going to clear everything out (refer to first photo) than I was going to paint at the same time--I'm only going to do this once.  So Sunday was spent buying the paint, floor, and new trim. Yesterday and today were spent painting the room with two coats of paint.  I'm getting muscles pushing those three items around in the room so I can get to each wall!  Tomorrow I hope to start the floor. After that, I have to put everything back in such a way that it is more organized, accessible and neat! I hope to have an after photo next Tea Day!

I did take a break for a quick lunch of yogurt and tea but forgot to take a photo!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tea Tuesday Sea Tea Art

Now try to say that title three times fast! Today I am linking up with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for a tea art themed post.

I have a half dozen or so tea bags that I have been saving to use in an art project, and finally was inspired to do something with them for T Tuesday.  You can enlarge the photo to see all the details.

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started this project, but the first thing I did was take some pan watercolors and splash on some color.  It reminded me of the beach so I went with that idea.  The darker vertical bars are where I chose to fold the bag rather than just cut it to size.

You can probably tell that I made the sea themed pieces along the bottom using the tags.  The first item is supposed to look like some coral, followed by a sand dollar, and seashell with dyed strings as accents. Next came a starfish and lastly a crab.  I added a few accents here and there on the tags with Sakura pens. 

Thanks for stopping by--I hope you enjoyed seeing my tea art today. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friesen Friday

Hi Everyone!  It seems like I haven't posted a Freisen Project in awhile.  This month we are working with Christi Friesen's book, Polymer Clay and Mixed Media Together At Last.  It is another awesome book chock full of information, examples & suggestions mixed with Christi's wit and style.  Some of the book includes similar projects to those in the Dragons or Birds books, as well as those in Under The Sea.  I decided to take some of what I am learning from this month's book to continue making some more glow-in-the-dark ghoulies.
Left to right they are:

"Gulp"  (whose real name is Barney--I asked him twice and that is what he said, LOL) He includes a lampwork bead fish and a steampunk collar.  He has lots of texture and a shiny green mica finish.

"Zerk" has one red eye, feathers for hair, and he likes to eat keys.
"Mel" a happy go-lucky monster with gear wings, gold horns, and red wiry hair.

Can you tell I had a lot of fun naming these and listening to their stories?

Have a happy, creative weekend everyone!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Tea Tuesday Texture Art

Happy Tea Tuesday!  Today I have some art to show with texture, but first I wanted to give you an idea of how cold our nights have been:
Yes, that is my Christmas Cactus already starting to bloom!  Last night it went down to 35 degrees ( that's 1 degree celsius!) Is it any wonder that I keep my still tender, young and small cacti that I started from seeds covered in plastic wrap?  I hope they make it through the winter.  Now for the tea and texture:

I'm almost embarrassed to show tea in my everyday cup with the stains that I have only barely tried to remove.  But, let's move on to the art....
I used some metal sheet that I drew on with a stylus. I layered on top an acrylic abstract landscape, a clear window and butterfly.  The butterfly can't decide if it wanted in or out!  Here is a better photo:
Thanks for stopping by today.  If you would like to see what everyone else is up to, please visit Elizabeth and Bleubeard's Tea Tuesday post here.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturday Night Special Sale

I decided to do a Saturday Night Special Sale on the spur of the moment....

Enjoy 20% off your purchase of $15.00 or more when you use coupon code 20SNS
Valid 5 pm Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday EST/NY time.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

More Trees!

Hi everyone!  I finally finished up the last two revolving, musical trees.  I went for a more rustic, organic look--something that someone might enjoy all year long rather than a holiday themed tree.
This one is wound twice with jute and the criss-crossed up and down with more jute.  I did the knob the same with 18K gold spray paint, gold glitter and a clear sealer on top.  The bottom is covered with a piece of paper that looks like cork and is wrapped with jute around the edge.
I wrapped this one twice with the same pattern on top as the jute tree. I used a homespun yarn that is brown with gold & reddish highlights.  Another piece of coordinating heavy weight paper finished off the base. 

I'm off to do some claying and taste test the Halloween candy!  Have a happy, safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tea Tuesday alTered charms

Hi Everyone! Today I am joining up with Bluebeard and Elizabeth's T on Tuesday linky party to show you the alTered charms I received in a swap.
First, here is a sample of what I sent out:
I made five similar to the above and here is what I received in return:
Here is a closer look and the credits:
Olga Brock
DeeDee Johnson
Roni Johnson
Elaine Paullus
Shirley Hall
I love each and every one of them!

Thanks for stopping by even though there is no photograph of Tea today.  We are having company for dinner & I'll be busy all day cooking. The tea will come later on with pastries! Yum!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tea and Trees

I got a late start this Tuesday after a rough bout of Sciatica yesterday.  Whenever the weather changes, it seems to affect this intermittent condition.  Anyway, it is colder here and very overcast--in fact the kind of day when I would say it looks like snow if the temperature was right.  So I slept late and feel much better today.

This photo pretty much sums up my day:
Drinking a cup of English Afternoon Tea and crafting more trees!  I decided the tree I showed last week needed a little color, so I temporarily wrapped it with a string of tiny lights.  I thought it would be more versatile if they could be removed and the tree could be displayed year round. I'm making a second one just like it, and have begun a third one with a brown/gold color yarn.  I will have one left to do, and I am thinking perhaps twine. 

By the way, what looks like plastic wrap in/on my tea is actually a reflection!

Linking up with Bluebeard and Elizabeth for Tea Tuesday!  I'll be around to visit everyone a bit later!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Angel-Making Marathon

One of the best parts of doing craft shows is also one of the worst part...stocking up.  While making anything is fun to me and I work well under deadlines, I generally do not like to do assembly line work.  By that I mean work on the same type of item over and over again.  But alas, I do have to be ready, so this week was an angel-making marathon.  I am up to four so far, and hope to complete another three this weekend.  That will give me a comfortable cushion to be able to list them in my shop and possibly still have some to sell in December at the show.  Here is my progress so far:

Red, Lavender & Cream plus the Peach one already in my shop.  These tree-toppers are sure keeping me busy!

Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

And the Winner is.....

I put all the names in a bowl, stirred it around, and pulled one out.  The winner of my charm giveaway is....

Willow, it must have been your great singing voice!  Please email me through the link on my blog.  I tried to email you, but for some reason it was returned.

Thanks everyone for entering!

A Birthday Giveaway

This post will remain on top until the giveaway is over. Please scroll down for new posts.

Hi Everyone! Once again, I am celebrating my birthday by giving the presents!  Last week, I showed off some altered charms I made for a swap, but what I didn't tell you is that I created another one to offer as a giveaway.
All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.  The giveaway is open worldwide, and the winner will be announced on October 15, 2013.

This is the time of year when I also offer some shop perks.  This year I am offering:

Free Shipping in my Weebly shop to USA and Canada.  Exact shipping cost will be refunded to your PayPal account. Valid until Oct. 31, 2013

20% off any purchase over $15.00 in my Etsy Shop. Valid until Oct. 31, 2013

I'll be listing new items as often as I can, and Christmas items will be making their way into the shops soon, too.