Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Success Is In Doing...

I feel success is in doing for a couple of reasons. Mr. C and I traveled to Italy a while back and had a wonderful trip. I was focused on beads and inspiration for making jewelry. I have shared a lot of this in previous posts. In one of the more upscale fashion districts in Florence I saw a necklace displayed in a shop window and I was entranced. Of course my photos wouldn't work because of the glass and the lighting. So in my mind was this necklace I just had to make as my own. Time passes...more time passes and I never make it. Well you know the story...doubt held me back! So in my 2011 frame of mind to do it NOW I went into my studio yesterday and pulled out everything I thought I might like to use. I knew it would be black and silver overall. Well...
Here is my version of the coveted Italian necklace. I used all things I already owned. A couple of vintage necklaces, some purchased chain, black suede hearts, Swarovski crystals in clear and smokey black diamond, a black tassel, some sheer polka dot ribbon and two purchased round charms. I started to assemble everything together and just let the pieces fall where they wanted to. I am so pleased with how this turned out and will be wearing it this weekend which I shall share in a future post.
My feeling of success is the best. Getting it done NOW is even better. I am feeling quite positive about this year and what I personally will be able to achieve.
Getting things done is something I can accomplish. It may be cleaning a room, it may be spending time with my family and friends or it may be creating something fun.
I hope you are feeling success with something important to you.
Happy creating...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thank You Donna of Brynwood Needleworks

I want to thank Miss Donna of Brynwood Needleworks for her brilliant post today. I think most of you follow Donna and her beautiful blog however if you don't you will want to. Today she is thinking of a wonderful monthly stroll down memory lane. I agree that I often go down memory lane, especially when being creative as my mother and grandmother were super creative and taught me so much. It will be fun to read what stories we bloggers share. I believe the first date is Monday January 31st.
I also wish to thank Donna for sending me one of her giveaway mug mats. It arrived wrapped in beautiful green tissue, soft beige ribbon and an adorable acorn tag with her handwritten note. This photo is after I already opened the package as I just could not wait to see inside. :o)

And inside...pure sunshine! Donna is an extraordinary quilter and seamstress. I can guarantee this little beauty is not going to get mugs of any kind sitting on it for spills of anything. I have something much safer in mind to honor it's beauty. Thank you Donna as I adore your mug mat.
Today Mr. C and I took a stroll in our little town as the sun was shining there (but not at our super cold and wet wintery home just 1.5 miles away) and the temperature actually got to 60F. Oh the sun felt so warm and wonderful as it touched my face. We sat at a little outdoor coffee house and enjoyed watching all the people out and about. We spent several hours just enjoying the day. Then it was off to get ice cream before heading home.
I hope you are enjoying your weekend just as you most like doing.
Happy enjoying...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Friday Finishes...

To borrow from my blog friend Elle I am posting five finished things in a day. Please check out Elle's blog elle in da coop. I certainly will not be able to post this each day as I cannot imagine being able to get this much done everyday.
My first of five is this cute little bird that I tangled. I actually not only tangled this little bird I filled a spiral bristol book size 3.5 x 5 inches with outlined items ready to tangle. Just like this bird I took a stack of stencils I own and copied them into my little book. Now when I am out and about waiting for appointments or such I can tangle to my heart's content. Since I am not artistic to draw I am using outlines as a way to get started. And it is true, a zen type of calm comes while inking tangles.
This is a card and mailing package that I made . Super simple and very flat for mailing purposes as the cost is so expensive when there are lumps and bumps felt through an envelope (at least here at our local post office!).

This is the inside of the card and is ready for signing and mailing in a simple bubble envelope.
I also finished some laundry I had been putting off.
Finished a wonderful dinner for Mr. C. This is not my favorite way to spend my time because after all the creative part of cooking the food is gone in just a few minutes after spending hours preparing it.
I sorted my card and stencil supplies and found I have a lifetime supply. Of course I did that after I brought some card packages home from the craft store. A bonus is that I found my very old Aleene's (remember the Queen of Crafts?) box scorer that has been missing for several years. Of course Martha (Stewart) has a new one for sale for about $20 but mine is just fine and I certainly did not want to spend money on something I knew I owned!
Well by my count that is five finished things and I am so pleased. Thank you Elle for the inspiration.
I did do more things but nothing worth mentioning. Oh maybe the making of two road trip CD mixes is cool. When you make your own music CD's you can mix up the artists and put approximately 18-20 songs on each CD. That way you have all your favorite songs on one disc.
What are you finishing this Friday?
Have a wonderful and peaceful weekend. Enjoy the little things...birds singing, sunshine, the ground thawing, and being in the moment.
Warm Hugs and Sunny Smiles...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beading in the Studio...

Here is my design board for bracelets. It is a smaller version than the large one I use for necklace designs. As you can see I got this from my favorite online source Fire Mountain Gems. I have spent time in the studio today beading some bracelets for Valentine's holiday.
I had fun digging through my bead boxes for colors and combinations that looked good together. This is proof that you do not need to purchase special beads for every design. I managed to make three bracelets with beads I had in my stash. These could have been beads I had previously purchased or in many cases beads left over from other projects.

I think you might agree that these three bracelets have heart and clearly look good for Valentine's day celebrations.
I loved being in the studio and making these bracelets. They came together quite quickly and easily. Now I am ready for Valentine's.
I hope you are able to spend time in your art room this week and make happy art.
Happy creating...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Heartfelt Thanks...

My most heartfelt thanks to Marilyn. I got the best surprise in my mail this past weekend and I want to share it. Marilyn is the nicest lady and a very talented artist. She is also a new grandma and that alone is part of her bright smile. Please check out "In My Room" where Marilyn blogs. What she sent me was this envelope above that had the most intriguing velvety textured tape across the back flap. You can be certain this tape will get reused. Inside was this beautiful little thank you card. The photo just does not do justice to the colors or the pink rhinestones bling.
Upon opening the thank you card it became a folder containing two ATCs. The clown and the chef. Each are beyond fabulous and I just adore them. The backs are black and Marilyn wrote on them to personalize to me from her. I so admire the work and time Marilyn put into making this wonderful surprise that I am almost speechless. (I must say almost because anyone who knows me knows I am never without words for talking!) Marilyn thank you so very much from my heart. Your art inspires me. I am so thankful I found your blog and share you as my friend.
I hope you know that I will be making some of these wonderful little folders and ATCs for my girls for Valentine's Day. Of course I shall tweak them as not to copy completely. :o)
I just feel like such a lucky girl. Being a part of this generous blogging community and sharing talents and ideas and surprise gifts.
As for this week, our weather is absolutely frigid. I was grocery shopping this morning and most people were talking about how cold it is and when will it end. I heard one woman remark, "This is like living in a refrigerator!" Our high today was 37 degrees F. And this was the day Mr. C decided we would be outside several hours while he cleaned the debris from the roof and the gutters. I merely hand him supplies and pick up whatever tools he drops. I am inside now and still shivering. Hot shower, hot soup, chocolate...still cold! Maybe I should sit on the heating pad and hold the cat on my lap for a while. Hmmm...I can see why she insists on having her little blanket plugged in and turned on. Ahhh...warmth! Oh how I long for the sunshine and summertime. Maybe I should go make something bright yellow in honor of the sun.
Happy creating...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Art Journal Calendar 2011...

Here we are one week into this wonderfu new year 2011 and all that it holds for each of us.
This is an Art Journal Calendar 2011 which I received as a giveaway gift from the artisit Paula McNamee. She is a Portland artist and please check out her blog to see the interesting art she creates. Paula was also one of the artists who participated in the Portland Art Collective Show and Sale. Unfortunately I was not in Portland during this time frame so I was unable to attend.
I like my Art Journal Calendar as there is sufficient room each day to write notes or keep track of something special.
Each month also has a quote or two for inspiration. January is:
"One gets into a state of creativity by conscious work" Henri Matisse
"Let choice whisper in your ear and love murmur in your heart. Be ready. Here comes life." Maya Angelou
There is a simplicity about this calendar that I really appreciate.
Thank you Paula for gifting me with this daily reminder to be creative.
As for my day I spent it hosting our local Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. I do this volunteer effort at least once a month and sometimes more. I love meeting people and listening to their stories. I meet locals who live here and others who have traveled near and far. It never fails that every single time someone asks me something I do not know or have never come across before so there is always learning involved which I love. Yes, there are some interesting characters that come in. I have been doing this for many years and I still enjoy it very much. Today was slow as it is extremely cold and not a lot of people out and about. Amazing how exhausted I am at the end of my day. Good excuse to get comfy and cozy and eat some warm grilled cheese sandwich and soup for dinner. I love comfort food. The kind I grew up with.
What are you doing this weekend?
Warm Hugs and Sunny Smiles...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Valentine Tote Bags...

My idea completed. A group photo. The feel of these is soft and wonderful.

Right after New Years I went to our local fabric store to buy some wool felt. You do see it on the bottom of this beautiful stack. The gorgeous wools are for future use. And the laces...well a girl just has to have lace in her stash. So back to the wool felt. I purchased three colors, burgundy, pink and white. Here is what I made.

The perfect lightweight durable small tote for errand shopping or snack carrying or anything you like. I think they would make super cute Valentine gifts...empty or filled.

Here is the pink tote. Did you see the hearts stitched onto each handle? I love my sewing machine. Together we can keep the thread industry in business for quite some time to come.

Hand cutting all the red felt hearts and the red organdy hearts that are sewn on with the buttons was tedius but what else would I be doing?! Of course I did list these in my etsy shop. We will see if anyone needs to own these cute handy totes.

It felt so good to spend time in the studio and the sewing room making these.
What are you making, creating, painting, journaling, etcetera?
Happy weekend to everyone...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two Birds and One Cat...

Here is an adorable little bird I received from Miss Lilla of Hawaii. Many of you already follow her blog and know the fun things she makes and shares. This bird is made with ticking fabric. Lilla also included the cafe au lait sticker just for fun. Thank you so much Lilla. I love my bird.
This is bird two that I received and I am loving the message here. Kerri's blog was the very first blog I ever followed and I am so glad I found her. She is wonderful and talented and heartwarming. I just love this piece of her art. Even the back is decorated and personalized. Thank you very very much Kerri.

And with birds there must be a cat. This is an art piece I received from Terri. She is part of 3 Creative Studios and her blog is filled with lots of art, fabric quilting and zentangling. I am thrilled to have this adorable cat to inspire me. Thank you so very much Terri.
The generousity of bloggers is always amazing. I feel blessed to be able to enjoy so much.
Each of these pieces of art inspire me to create. I think that is partly why I like blogging so much as we all share our ideas and abilities and inspire others to make their own creations.
What will you make this week? I am making some simple birthday cards for January mailings.
Create something that really makes you smile with delight this week. After all we are beginning a brand new year where anything is possible for each of us.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trendy? Me? No! Well...

Normally I am not one to be trendy. However I have been observing so many people and blogs and items being "zentangled" that I just had to check it out. I have shared before that I never doodled ever because it was not allowed in my family as it was seen as a waste of time and ink. Funny as I come from an artistic mother and father. It was considered more important to be spending time reading or learning. Well...now that I am the mother of myself I can zentangle.
So not knowing how to do it or how to doodle I need to learn. My girlfriend Lorraine gave me these two books for Christmas as she heard me whining one day about needing to zentangle. Here is a link to get more information if you are interested. This link is for the basics book.
Click this link to visit Sandy's blog. I already owned the perfect micron pens, the perfect paper and what could stop me now? Remembering my word for 2011 I decided to just do it. So while football was playing on tv I managed to zentangle the letters for my 2011 word. N O W These are actually small as they are done on ATC size (2.5 x 3.5 inches) cardstock. I am thinking of mounting them on this matboard and framing it for my studio as a constant reminder. This is merely a start and I am certain I shall get better with lots of practice. I like this craft as it is super portable and will travel very well. Easy to do anyplace and can be dropped and picked up at a moment's notice.

I also spent time on New Year's day organizing some clothing drawers and donating items to charity. Worn items like t-shirts were cut into shop rags for Mr. C and his messy projects he does. When one has focus and the desire to get things done and not put them off until tomorrow it is amazing what can actually be accomplished. I am feeling quite happy about the beginning of this new year and all that will be possible.
I am enjoying reading all the comments on my last post regarding the selection of a word for the year as opposed to resolutions. Thank you for inspiring me along this journey.
Now I am off to do something else today as I have a lot more time than I realize to get things done.
Mr. C and I also spent hours today cleaning up a disaster involving our well water tank and a water purifier that is housed in the downstairs mechanicals room which is between the office and my studio. Hmmm...fourteen towels, six giant buckets, a very long hose, a short hose, lots of tools and some fancy footwork we are back to normal and just fine. Maybe that is what I better go do is launder all those towels NOW.
Happy week everyone...