Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 !!

Hi, all, Happy New Year!!  Please, how about doing different this year.  I stopped this years ago, but still, 'everybody' likes to make New Years resolutions.  No more sweets, start exercising, loose 40 lbs., and on and on and on.  We all know the usual dozen that have been used to death and never last long enough to reach their final commitment.  lol. 
So, here is an idea for you.  As humans, we tend to dwell on the bad news or spread the bad experiences.  One bad meal at a restaurant, the whole neighborhood knows about it by morning.  One good meal, doesn't spread very far.
This year, I am suggesting you make a 'Good Memories Jar'.  This idea is not my brainchild, but I like it and wanted to share it with you.  All you need is a jar, any jar will do, a pen, and a little piece of paper.  Every time you do something that was fun, or do something that has left you with a great memory, jot it down on a piece of your scrap paper, then drop it in your 'Good Memories Jar'. 
A year from now, sit down with your family or spouse or whoever you make your memories with, and start going through everything that you wrote down and stuck in the jar.  Can you imagine how that could regenerate the laughs, bring back the happy feelings, remind you of the fun that you had?  I love this whole idea.  I don't think it would be as hard to stick to, for the whole year, because unlike the resolutions that everyone breaks and has to accept that they 'failed' at, your Good Memories Jar is all about happiness and good times. Do you like this idea?  Are you ready to try it?  I think it would be fun to see how many of us start this and how many can do it for the whole year.  Any takers out there?  Let me know if you are willing to do this, I might feel a contest coming on.  If you want to do this, leave a comment and if enough of us do this we well see who can go the longest, or who has the funniest story, etc.  Let me know.  I think that this could be fun!!
Today's Tidbit
     For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others.
     For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.
     And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are
        never alone.
                        ------ Audrey Hepburn --------

Friday, December 30, 2011

Beautiful Bows

Hi, everybody,
Did everyone enjoy their holidays?  I hope that they turned out just like you expected them to. All of you young families are probably thinking that your holidays top them all because you have young kids, but I hate to bust your bubble.  Holidays are great with your kids around but, you haven't seen nothin' yet.  lol.  Wait until you have grandchildren.  Then you can say that your holidays were the tops!  (Really, by all rights, great holidays just need kids, any kids, they make a holiday so good.)  I don't know why there is a difference, except maybe it is knowing that you didn't foot that bill.  Well, I think we can at least agree, holidays are great when you have kids around.  They are so sweet, so excited, and so happy when they see the gifts that they have been given.  Most of them get so loving and thankful.
Speaking of gifts, lets talk about bows.  Big, beautiful bows and perfect little bows.  I wish I could have run across this before Christmas, but you have birthdays and next Christmas just around the corner.  This tutorial is by Eddie Ross and actually he taped this a few years back.  Mr. Ross is a wonderful designer and has been on all the best decorating shows and published in lots of the best magazines.

  Check out his video, he makes it look so easy....
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Well, I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and now you can have the nicest wrapped packages at whatever the function is!
Todays Tidbit:
Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful.  It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life, no matter what.
When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.      -----Chinese Proverb

Friday, December 16, 2011

Who Likes Beautiful Jewelry?

Hi, all.  Boy, that is one stupid question!  Who doesn't like beautiful jewelry would be more like it.  Two things help my world go 'round...beautiful jewelry and great people.  Well, I have found them both!  Tucked away, way, way, way up in Maine is home to this wonderful friend that I have made and her great jewelry.  I love her jewelry because she has some wonderful pieces that are dressy, but she also has some super casual, semi-dressy pieces, too.  Fitting the season, her name is Santa!  But, being born in Puerto Rico, she does not pronounce it like the big, red, round-bellied man we all like.  Her lovely shop is Black Owl Jewelry, 
or .  I must give you a warning, from what I can tell, when you see something you like you better grab it then because if you don't it may be gone by the time you come back.  lol.  Just like hotcakes!  lol.

Look at how pretty these are...


I also like the variety of styles she uses, she says that she just goes with the idea that strikes her.  With her many, many years of experience her ideas seem never ending.

In earlier years she did photography and other things but she says that after some time she would get bored with what she was doing.  Jewelry doesn't do that to her because of all the variety in stones, beads, styles, and looks.   I am addicted to her work.  I think she makes beautiful  earrings, which is right up my alley.  lol.  A girl never has too many earrings!

       Santa is a self-taught artist, starting with beads and learning as she went.  I think that she is probably her hardest critic but she says that is how she pushes herself to do better and better.    She says that she works with what is in front of her, letting her hands take over while she works and thinks little on how things should be, just what feels right.   
Santa says that she is a free spirited, free thinker and I believe that she  is as genuine as a person can be and has a heart of gold!          
Be sure and check out her 2 sites and you will love what you see.  I certainly have.

Today's Tidbit
     You may think you have challenges, but you have so many blessings.  Sometimes it takes only a moment of conscious effort to recognize these blessings.  Once you focus on the gifts instead of the problems, your whole perspective will change and you will see blessings everywhere.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Newest Listings from my Shop

Hi, all!
I think you probably know but just in case you don't...I have got my own handmade gifts shop.  This is my shop link : .
So, today I want to take a minute to show you my newest listings.

These are Earring Keepers.  They are handmade and designed so you can easily keep track of your earrings and backs.  The keepers can be set on a dresser or vanity etc. or hung on the wall either horizontally or vertically.  You can use these for dangle or post earrings.
  • To make these Earring Keepers, I took 4 x 6" , wooden  picture frames and decoupaged them with very nice, high-quality cardstock.  A piece of sturdy, plastic mesh has been mounted in the center area and is perfect for inserting earring wires or posts. 
I think that these would be great for yourself or for a gift exchange .  So, try one out and ENJOY!!
Today's Tidbit:
    Here are 2 quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  He says so much with so few words...

1.   What lies behind us and what lies before us are small  matters compared to what lies
       within us.
2.    For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meet 'Dream Version' and Evangelia from Greece

Hi, friends!  I am so anxious about telling you a little about a new Etsy friend and a super person and her wonderful shop, .  The shop, Dream Version,  belongs to a lovely lady named Evangelia.  She and her shop are located in Greece.  I want to first give you the breakdown that Evangelia gave me on her name.   As you know, Greece is a very ancient and historical area.  Also, you probably know that some areas, in a certain era, paid alot of attention to the name given to a new baby.  The name 'Evangelia', in Greek, loosely means 'good + news'.  Angelica, as well as other similar names means 'Angel'.  It also refers to the action of annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the angel Gabriel, that she would become the mother of Jesus.  A good news angel...what a sweet name to give a baby girl. (Of course, there is a male version to the same name.)  What a great name!
Along with such a great name, Evangelia has a great talent and shop.  She is an illustrator and graphic designer.  Her shop is partly made up of digital downloads of circles and 1" squares for everything from stickers, jewelry, magnets, bottle caps, scrapbooking, etc.  These are created from prints of her original watercolor artwork.  Evangelia also has created some beautiful digi's for printable ornaments and cards decorated with a mobile and/or pop-up illustration, again made from her original watercolors.  If purchased, you will usually receive within 24 hours and they are re-printable a billion times. 
In this shop, you will also find Zodiac signs that are unique, 3D, originally handmade watercolor and mixed media collage artwork for canvas, wall or desk.    Each Zodiac card shows a conceptual painting, a calligraphic rendition of its sign, the latin number in the sequence of the zodiac and the name, date and element represented. 

So, as you can see, I think you should take a few minutes and give this shop a look .  It is one of my favorites and I think that Evangelia is quite the aritist.  I love her work and it could be something special to you, too.
Today's Tidbit-
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!

My new Martha Stewart Craft Station

Hi, everyone.  I am one happy girl tonight!  I just received the brand new, not on the shelves yet, Martha Stewart Craft Station.  My family ordered it for me, for Christmas, online and it came today.   So, all day long I have been playing and experimenting with my new "toy".  I love it!
This Craft Station is a must-have for any paper-crafter, card maker, scrapbooker, etc.   It is a multi-use tool that is a cutter, a light table for tracing, an embossing table and has a guide that helps you line up stamps or anything else that you want lined up straight and in an exact spot.  I am the one that can't stamp straight no matter what, so this alone will be a life-saver for me.  There are several templates, that are included, with scrolling, sentiments (like 'Thank you',  'Celebrate',  'Thinking of you', 'Happy Birtday', etc.) and letters and numbers.  It also has tools for embossing and cutting.  With just a little practice, I am going to be scrolling and writing phrases like I am a natural.  I am very impressed with the number of tools and templates that came with this kit.  This whole set-up is very well designed and put together.  It seems to  be "heavy duty" and not fragile at all.  The Craft Station is a little expensive but with coupons from Michael's, Joann's, or Hobby Lobby, you can get 40% off one item almost weekly.  That puts the price at a very reasonable spot. 

Thank you to my family for my wonderful, early Christmas present.  I love it and you♥.

Today's Tidbit
       If ever there is a tomorrow...there is something you must always remember:
             You are braver than you believe,
             Stronger than you seem, 
             And smarter than you think.
       But the most important thing is even if we're apart...
              I'll always be with you. 
                                            --- Winnie the Pooh ---

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hi, All!

I'm just stopping in to let y'all know that we are back from our impromptu trip that we took.  We had a ball and , of course, it just wasn't long enough to see everyone and everything that we wanted.  However, there will always be another trip.  So, anyway, we had a great time, everywhere that we went.  We got to see alot of friends and family, again not all of them, and just didn't have enough hours in a day to accomplish everything.  The things that we did get to do and the people that we did get to see made all the hours in the car worthwhile.  I am just sorry that neither of the grandkids got to go with us, but on the other hand, that allowed us to stay gone longer.
In the meantime, I have a couple of blogs in the making.  They  are both on people that have beautiful shops and are also wonderful hearted.   I can't wait to get them done and posted, but it will be soon!
For now, I am out of here.  I hope to sleep like a baby and wake up feeling like a million dollars!  Hope all of you are doing great and had super Thanksgivings.  Talk to you soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Amazing, Inexpensive Tutorial

Hi, folks,
I was jumping around on some blogs and ran across a tutorial that I have to share with you.   This is not my tutorial, it belongs to Sarah, a Californian, from the blog .  She is so creative and  took a good idea and turned it into something beautiful and didn't break the bank doing it.  Take a look at this:

Tutorial: Hand Painted Rug

Ever since we moved into our current house, I've wanted a new rug for the front room. The one we have is nice and I still like it very much, but with its dark background color and the dark wood floors, it just seems to get lost. It also feels a little too traditional and fussy in there. You can see a peek of it in the photos below.

I did a lot of research online trying to find just the right rug. Of course I found several that I loved, but none that were within my price range. It was then that I started to consider making my own rug. No, I didn't intend to make the rug itself, but I thought that if I could start with an inexpensive, plain rug, maybe I could add the design I wanted myself.

Ikea came through for me on my hunt for a big, plain, inexpensive rug. On my last trip there I bought two of their ERSLEV rugs, which measure about 6'x8', are 100% cotton (washable!), and only cost $40.

I knew from the get-go that I wanted a sort of quatrefoil pattern on my rug, which seems to be a very popular design element right now. I even have a pillow and an oven mitt with similar patterns on them!

This is a photo of some fabric that I found online and used Photoshop to turn it into the design for my stencil.

Here's the finished pattern with the little gaps to serve as "connectors" for when I cut out my stencil. (Be sure you measure your rug's actual width and length to determine the best size for your stencil design.)

Michaels carries plastic stencil sheets and stencil brushes in different sizes. Print out your design, then tape your printed design underneath the stencil plastic. Cut out the image using a very sharp exacto knife, being sure to keep those "connectors" in tact. I traced the outline of my design with a fine Sharpie to be sure I stayed on the edges.

I also found that Michaels had the Fabric Medium that I needed to turn my regular acrylic paint into fabric paint.

To be honest, I used mostly latex paint and a little acrylic to concoct the color I wanted, but hopefully that doesn't matter. I'm not super worried about it since my rug won't be going through the washing machine. I just wanted my paint to be soft and pliable and not stiff and cracked when it dries.

First I practiced my technique on a scrap of fabric, which turned out pretty nice.

I measured my rug and determined where the center was and made my first quatrefoil. Since my rug had a lot more texture to it than the practice fabric, it took more effort to get the paint into all the crevices, but it still worked really well.

You stencil on fabric just like you do on anything else. Pour a little paint onto the lid of your paint container, dip in your brush to saturate (but not soak) the bristles and tap off any excess onto the lid. Pounce the brush straight up and down onto the fabric until it's filled in well. This will make sure the paint stays within your stencil and doesn't creep underneath it. Remember- pounce, don't brush! Keep the stencil in place with a couple of pieces of painter's tape on the sides, and hold the stencil flat to the fabric with your fingertips where you're working.

Be careful if you're doing an all-over design to make sure your rows stay straight. Make guide marks with a water soluble pen if you need to. My rug has an obvious horizontal weave that was easy to follow, so I used that to guide my rows.

I made one row along the horizontal center and another down the vertical center of my rug and worked outwards from there.

This much stenciling took me a couple of hours on my first day. I won't tell you that this is a quick afternoon project, but I'm convinced that the outcome is worth the time and effort.

Away you go. Stencil, and stencil, and stencil...

...and stencil some more...

...until you've covered your whole rug. Then go back with a detail brush and fill in all those connector gaps.

The bottle of fabric medium says to heat set the paint with an iron for 30 seconds, but I chose to skip that step. Honestly, I felt like I'd poured quite enough time into this rug by then, thankyouverymuch.

All-in-all, I'm happy with it. It brightens the room and is a better size than my other rug.
In hindsight:I wish I'd been braver and used a pretty blue color instead of my muddy gray paint. (But let's not rehash my obsession with neutrals and my risk issues.)

I should have thinned out my paint more with the fabric medium because it still ended up being a little stiff when it dried, but no biggie.

Oh, and if you do mix your own color, mix A LOT. I ran out of paint with about a handful of gaps still left to fill in and had to guess when I mixed the color again. Of course batch 2 wasn't identical to batch 1, but it was close enough.

Finally, don't bother with perfection. It won't be perfect and expecting it to be will just make you nuts. So if you take on this project, embrace it's imperfections, enjoy the process, and pat yourself on the back for making something custom on the cheap!

Impressed?   I most certainly am!!  I want to try this!  I may start with a wall hanging or something maybe but, Sarah has made herself one beautiful rug.  Granted she has alot of hours into, that goes without saying, but I would take time comsuming over great expense any time.
My thanks goes out to Sarah, and be sure and check out her blog, lots of good information. .  I love the name...Diddle Dumpling!
Today's Tidbit:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Frosted Luminaries by Amanda of Green Owl Crafts

Hi, friends,
I love to pass on pretty ideas that I run across whether it has to do with crafts, clothing, DIY's, etc.   I found this one tonight.  It is for Frosted Luminaries,  love 'em.  These are very nice for your own home or  would be great for a gift exchange.   This great idea comes from Amanda at her blog: .  I think you could go nuts finding all sorts of different containers to decorate to hold your candles or tea lights.  Best of all, this looks fun and fairly easy.  So lets check it out...

Frosted Luminaries

I have seen several different crafts using Epsom salts to embellish holiday décor. I wanted to give it a try and here is what the result was.

I got the glassware from the thrift store for a quarter each.

Color your Epsom salts with 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Mix together and get all clumps out. Let mixture dry for about an hour.

Cover your glassware with your favorite adhesive.

Roll adhesive covered glass into colored Epsom salts.

 Allow them to dry a couple of hours. Coat with gloss sealer several times. Add your candles and enjoy!

Didn't Amanda do a great job on this tutorial.  I love her step-by-step instructions and the photos to go along with them.  Aren't these pretty and they look so easy.  I can't wait to try them for myself.  
Be sure and stop by Amanda's blog: .  It is very informative and chock full of great ideas! 
Thank you, Amanda, for the great luminaries.
Today's Tidbit:
You will feel better if you notice the sweetness of life.  Notice the smiles of children, the songs of the birds, the caress of the sun's warmth.  This sweetness is for you.  Allow it to soothe your soul and bring a smile to your face.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My 3 Trick or Treaters

Hi, friends, 
I hope you and your trick or treaters all had a great time on Halloween.  I know that my 3 grandkids had a ball!  I promised you more pictures, as soon as I had them.  I showed you 'Rapunzel' the other night, now let me introduce you to 'Lady Vampiress' and her little brother, 'Scooby Do'.  Please note that this vampiress does not 'suck your blood', she is the kind that prefers apple juice.

Pic 1 - Téa and
      Brit Eric
Pic 2 - Kairi
Pic 3 - Téa
Pic 4 - Brit Eric
I love these 3 little darlin's with all my heart and I thank God every day for letting me have them in my life.  It is great being able to actually see the love that they have for us, even as young as they are.  I am sure that if you have grandchildren, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Well, I am going to cut this short tonight, I hope you are all doing well.  Talk to you soon.

Today's Tidbit:
Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful.  It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life, no matter what. ♥