frosted treasures

"How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground.
To lay a carpet rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care."

"Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun."

"Other times they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare."

"Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait like children for the snow."

Leaves by Elsie N. Brady

Yesterday was one of our first really cold days. Frost still covered the rooftops and grass when I took my son to school in the morning. I found these amazing frosted treasures in my backyard and had to take a few pictures. On this last day of November I just want to take a deep breathe and savor the last quiet days of Autumn. It's hard not to think of Christmas and Winter when all the shops are trying their hardest to convince you that Autumn ended right after Halloween. I have neighbors that put up their Christmas lights the day after Halloween!

My mom and I had a great time shopping at Michael's this weekend. I found this beautiful silver frosted garland which will be perfect for my chandelier. Winter is an endless wonderland for a frost and glitter addict like me! I finally cleared out the last of the Autumn decorations yesterday, except for the pumpkins. They stick around a little bit longer. One or two even find their way under my tree.

There is something about December that remains bittersweet for me. Joyous occasions like my mom's birthday, our wedding anniversarry and Christmas are happy times. But ever since my dad passed away the holidays will always have a touch of sadness and it breaks my heart to see my mom without him. Every day I'm in constant awe of her courage and tenacity. This December also marks one year since I lost my kitty Kushka and the memories have been especially hard. So much of the season reminds me of the last moments I had with her. I still miss her very much. This is partly why I've been absent most of November, along with also giving my arm a rest. But there is much beauty and joy to look forward to. These lovely  papers are ready for my next project and I have boxes of garland and shiny ornaments waiting to come out and play.

Have you taken your decorations out of hiding yet? What's your favorite way to welcome the season? I have a very simple little tradition. I love hot chocolate. I drink it like most people drink coffee. As soon as the first frosty morning arrives I run to the store and buy whipped cream and all Winter I top my cocoa with a HUGE dollop  of it! Yum!

a lot like winter

Hello my lovelies! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with all the trimmings and lots of leftovers. Were any of you brave enough to do any shopping the day after? I know Target opened at 4 am but there was no way I was going to crawl out of bed and stand in line no matter how good the sales were.

Winter is still officially about 3 weeks away but even here in sunny California it's beginning to look a lot like well, winter. It's been cold. We had a few days in the 30's early in the week and today it hasn't stopped raining at all. Wasn't I just complaining about how warm it was a mere 3 or 4 weeks ago? I can't complain now and the best part is....I get to wear boots and my favorite scarves again. Yay!!

Well all these thoughts of winter reminded me of one of my favorite holiday traditions. The Nutcracker ballet. My husband and I use to see it every year on our anniversary. My favorite one was when the Kirov ballet visited from Russia and performed in our city. I just love the sets and costumes, and the wonderful music.

The other thing I love about winter is Figure Skating. I've been trying to watch some of the Grand Prix France whenever I remember. Pairs has always been my favorite. Ever since I saw my favorite pair (and in my humble opinion, the best pair skaters ever) Katia Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov. But there are some wonderful and talented teams out now. I also love the current Olympic pairs champions from China and the US Ice Dancing teams have been awesome this year.

Let me just say that the HP movie is awesome! We have seen it twice and will probably go again. It's definitely dark and very character driven. In my opinion it really kept with the spirit of the book, all the way down to the scenes that made me cry when I first read it. What I love is seeing how those young actors have evolved and how they really inhabit the characters they play. They have done an amazing job. I can't wait to see part 2 in July.

I will be officially announcing my new Artful Bag Challenge next week. I'm so excited about it and I've already heard from several confirmed participants. You can find out more about it here. Have a wonderful rest of the holiday weekend!


Hello everyone! Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and I just wanted to wish everyone everywhere a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. I have much to be grateful for. I hope all of you enjoy much love and cheer with all those you hold dear.

Have a deliciously scrumptous cranberry pumpkiny turkey
with all the trimmings day!

Today I am grateful for family and friends, including all of you my dear bloggy friends. I'm also grateful to no longer be in retail and not have to be at work during the unholy predawn hours on the day after Thanksgiving! I've done my share and I applaud any of you who might have to do that. You guys are awesome!

Photo courtesy of Country Living

blissfull atc swap

First of all I'd like to say thank you to all of you who left such lovely comments and well wishes for my little arm on my last post. You are all so sweet and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and wonderful advice. I will keep resting so I'll keep this short and sweet. Here is the ATC sent to me by my Blissfull ATC swap partner Jan from Fursdon House.

Jan's ATC celebrates all she is thankful for. I think it's beautiful and perfect for this season of thanks. Thank you Jan for sharing your wonderful art!

And here is the card I sent her. Now I didn't realize until now how much I used butterflies in my art this month! On my background, my ATC and my painting. I guess I have butterflies on my mind. Maybe it has to do with my bum arm and wanting to fly lol.

"If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies."

Now I'm off to pack snacks and other magical goodies for the big HP movie this afternoon. We're going as soon as my son gets out of school. I can't wait to see it...oh and I'm bringing lots of tissue.


I am just not good at this 'resting the arm' thing. I'm really trying. But the more frustrated I get the more I find excuses to use it. So I was bad. I tried to paint the day before. See if I only move my wrist and elbow it feels ok. The tendonitis is in my shoulder and upper bicep. But then I would forget and stretch it a little this way and that way. By evening it didn't feel so great again. I know I know. My husband already yelled at me. So I thought I wouuld just show you what I was working on.

I'm not quite sure what she's going to be yet when she's all done but it just felt good to get back to playing with a paint brush again.

I even played around with adding these letters. What do you think? Words or no words? The canvas is 11x14. I might even put her in my Etsy shop for the holidays. But I'll just leave it for now and get back to the resting thing. And I figured since I was being bad I might as well not stop here. Hee-hee.

counting down

It feels like ages since I've been here! I have been trying to be good and resting my arm. It's also been beyond mad here with all the home issues that decided to pop up all at the same time. The plumbing is fixed so now we have to deal with the damages from repairing the holes in our wall and all the tile that needed to be ripped out. We have learned very quickly that homeowners insurance policies are far from homeowner friendly. For instance we learned that insurance does not cover plumbing repairs. Nooooo. Because plumbing conveniently falls under maintainance. Go figure. And I won't even tell you about the completely unrelated electrical problem that decided this would be the perfect time for our wiring to go haywire. So I have been up to my eyebrows in dosmetic unbliss sans the use of one arm. Yesterday I thought I would try out the arm and indulge in a little bit of painting and I pushed it a little too far. Sooo it's back to typing with one hand again....

In other son and I are counting down the days to Friday, when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) opens. We already have our tickets and as we've done in the past we dress up our car to look like The Knight Bus (on the inside) and we make little Honeydukes bags that we fill with our own kettlecorn and snacks that we sneak into the theatre in one of my carpet bags!

It's so strange to think that this is already the final film. Harry Potter literally defined my son's childhood. From the time we started reading the first book together when he was 6 to this day, Sebastian has been completely immersed in the whole Potter universe. I really believe it's why he is such a great reader and student. It fueled his imagination (and mine) which gave him the tools to use his creativity in different aspects of his life.

Over the years we've attended midnight book releases and opening day for the movies together. We scoured thrift shops, used bookstores and Ebay for Potter treasures and we have our annual HP birthday event every summer. I will really miss Harry and the magic he's brought to our muggle lives the last decade. In a way it also means the end of my son's childhood so it's bittersweet. But I will always be grateful for the magical memories and whenever I hear that now iconic music (Hedwig's Theme) it brings me back again to the very beginning.

Oh the pics are from my son's room. That's part of his HUGE Potter collection. The Daily Prophet is one he made for one of our summer events, and the last pic is part of a mural I painted on his wall a few years ago.

faerie gift

My tea party happened in such a whirlind of leaves and moonlight that it feels like it was all sooo long ago. The Autumn Woods gently faded away like a dream and now my little backyard is back to it's normal suburban self.

But those fairies still love to play tricks on me and sometimes if I look in just the right place I'll find a wee treasure they might have left behind. Today my raven Oliver spotted this unusual cage.

It was covered with gliterry moss, autumn berries and this beautiful butterfly. What was in it I wondered?

I tip toed closer and saw the tiniest fairy pumpkin! Surely the fairies left this gift after dancing the night away at my tea party. Oliver and I quickly plucked it from the tree and brought it inside where we can decide what to do with it.

Aren't the faeries just wonderful? Could they have truly left  this for me? A magical token to rekindle memories of an enchanted night under a Halloween moon.

*  *  *  *

I'm joining Cindy today for her Celebrate Your Creative Spirit challenge. Make sure to visit her blog Whimsical Musings for lots more inspiring creations.

amelia's rainy day

 Hello dearies! I woke up this morning to the first November rain. I dreamt of new rainboots and a green stripey umbrella. This little doodle came out while I watched the rain through the kitchen window. My good arm feels better now that I put it in a sling and I've been resting it.

I thought Amelia might enjoy playing with the butterflies. I made a quick digi collage with my other hand which is doing pretty well so far.

Happy Sunday!

november paper dress and wardrobe

We're counting down to the final 2 dresses for Dress Up 2010 at Alice and Camilla. This month we also get to share our little wardrobes. Remember I made this shoebox wardrobe for my dresses when I first joined.

I loved it but it started to get a little beat up from all the moving around. When Margaret said we could show off our wardrobes this month I thought about changing it somehow. Then I saw my friend Marfi's gorgeous cabinet and the room she made for her gypsy doll and I was absolutely inspired.

I remembered this mini trunk that my son and I usually use for our Harry Potter events. It reminded me of the old steamer trunks people would take on travels to exotic places. It was just the right size so I turned it on it's side...

I brought over the mirror from my shoebox and also made a little chair to go with the other mirror. The black and white wallpaper and chair cover are Halloween napkins left from my tea party and the chandelier is one of my earrings that I added more dangly bits too. The lace trim valances are hanging from dowels with jump rings like cafe curtains.

My 2 October dresses finally got proper hangers and joined the others.

Silly me. I squeezed in all the other dresses but forgot to turn them around so only the October dresses were facing the right way. Oh well.

And here is my November dress. November to me is about the quiet comfort of late Autumn. After the excitement of October I can just enjoy the colors and leaves, listen to classical music and finally begin to bring some of my fuzzy sweaters and scarves out of hiding.

I had so much fun making my little wardrobe. Afterwards I couldn't help studying it and thinking how I'd love a full sized one to play in lol! I think this dress is also one of my favorites. And now we have just one dress left to go.

Big thank yous go to Linda who sent me the lovely laminated leaves, Angelique for the beautiful laces, paper flowers and vintage sheet music, Marfi for the awesome mirror frame. And Melinda, one of my Great ATC Witch Swaps for the colorful yarn.

You can see all the other pretty dresses and wardrobes at Alice and Camilla.

giveaway winner and more lovely awards

We have a winner for my Tea Party Under A Halloween Moon giveaway! There were 90 comments, minus my comment and multiple ones to make it fair, for a total of 81. The Random Number Generator chose...

#22 - Jaala from The Witch Crafts

Jaala will receive her choice of a current issue of a Stampington magazine to inspire her with even more creative ideas.

Along with these sweet Autumn treats. A vintage style frame from Sheffield Home's Antiqued Gardens Collection, sparkly mini pumpkin for her Harvest table, a delicious tube of my favorite Rich Plum Body Polish from The Body Shop and.....

....a little souvenir from our enchanted tea party to add
fairy magic to her favorite space.

Congratulations! Jaala also has a wonderful blog filled with magical creative ideas. Go and visit her if you haven't yet.

*  *  *

This past month I was truly blessed and honored to receive several wonderful awards from wondrous kindred spirits. I love sharing my silly whimsical life here on my blog. I get to create a little bit of magic and play with all of you who allow me to be the big little girl that refuses to grow up completely. The awards you give me makes it extra sweet and I appreciate them so much.

I know these awards require me to pass them on to a specific number of people. But since I was so lucky to receive several I would like to simply share them here and then add a list of blogs that inspire me everyday.

One Lovely Blog Award from Marfi,

This beautiful one from Jill.

And this one from Serenity
just put a big smile on my face.

Thank you soooo much to all of you.  I hope I didn't miss anyone and if I did please know it wasn't intentional and kindly remind me again pretty please with sugar sprinkles. Now since I end up wanting to give the awards I receive to the same people that give them to me I will just list some of my favorite blogs which by no means are the only ones I love but I would have to go on for days if I tried to mention them all. Behind each of these blogs are incredibly amazing ladies, inspiring artists and beautiful friends.

I know most of you are just as inspired by Vanessa Valencia as I am so I have to add
A Fanciful Twist to my list as her amazing blog and art are what inspired me to start blogging and find my inner whimsical child. She is simply amazing.

*   *   *

I think I'll take a wee break for now. I hear something rumbling and me thinks it may be my tummy asking for lunch. I still have much more to finish. Back in a bit.

farewell sweet october

Breathe in......and out.......that's better.

Did you have a marvelous Halloween weekend? I hope you had time to play with family and friends. Maybe enjoyed a warm fire if it's cold enough where you are and had your fill of sweets, treats and all the tastes that make October grand. Farewell sweet October. You will be missed.

Luna and I were up early yesterday. My son already carved his pumpkins the night before. As my carving arm is still out of commission I decorated my little boo pumpkin like this instead.

I always try to make a big pot of soup for Halloween. Something about throwing in herbs and stirring in spices in a large bubbling pot just feels satisfying and comforting today. I made a butternut squash risotto soup and we had it with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch (in mini cauldron cups).

By 9:30 the last of the trick-or-treaters had come and gone. Considering it was a school night we still had a good turn out. My next door neighbor and I are the only ones that decorate on our street so my house is a magnet for the van loads of people that come in from the other neighborhoods. It gets pretty crazy for a while.

Once all was quite I finally had a few minutes to enjoy a cup of tea, nibble on a few sweets and do a little bit of magical reading. My poor Luna was so tired (the doorbell kept making her run to the bedroom to hide) she actually curled up in my bed and fell asleep without me.

So I'm hanging up my stripy socks for a while. I think I really squeezed every bit of Halloween out of October this year. My pumpkin carving arm unfortunately is also my photo editing and digi collaging arm and I have somehow ended up with tendonitis in my shoulder and can hardly use it. I need to rest it I'm told. This is why I had to stop doing the collage challenges the last month. I've learned to type and use Photoshop with my left hand but it's very sloooow.

I have other pictures to share later. Some wonderful ones from Saturday when my son and I visited our local historic cemetery. He took the picture of little old me you see in the previous post. The weather was absolutely perfect. Cloudy with just a dusting of showers. Not too cold. I couldn't conjure up a more perfect day even if I tried. Halloween day was sunny and got too warm by afternoon but it was nice for all the trick-or-treaters.

I have my tea party winner to announce today also. More amazing people to thank for awards and wonderful gifts I received. Oh and yes we have a plumbing issue we're still dealing with that's no fun.

If you celebrate Dia de los Muertos tomorrow have a beautiful one with all your loved ones both here and gone. In my family my mom always celebrates the Feast of All Saints today and All Souls Day tomorrow. Last night I set out a small plate of food for my ancestors and my dad on my little altar. And I also left a lollipop for my beloved kitty Kushka who was still with me last Halloween. She loved playing with them and it still hurts so much when I think of her (I should stop here as I can feel the tears catching in my throat and stinging my eyes now.)

Have a beautiful first of November day today. I have much more to share with you about running away with the gypsies and playing with carpet bags. I'll be back later to announce my tea party giveaway winner and a few more pictures from this weekend.

I'd love to hear about your Halloween!