february artful bag challenge

*  *  Please click here if you participated in last month's challenge. *  *

Happy February!

I think I can say that the Artful Bag Challenge got off to a great start. I was just amazed by the beautiful and creative bags everyone came up with. Thank you to all of you who played along and shared your sweet little paper purses.

Before I start on February I have a winner to announce and one more bag to share. Sandy from Sandy's Space created the adorable bag below. It's sweet and feminine and makes me think of Spring. I love the flowers on the button which match the flowers in the background. Sandy is sponsoring the January challenge and is offering the book Purse Pizzaz to the random drawing winner.

Thank you Sandy!

Since Sandy and I are not included in the drawing the actual total number of participants is 27 (Sandy didn't add her link but I added mine first to test the Linky). This means everyone's number jumps back by one. Number 2 becomes 1, etc. I used the Random Number Generator this time and the winner is...

Number 8 who is really #9, and that is Debbie from Simply Debbie
Congratulations Debbie!

Enjoy your book!

*   *   *   *

Now on to the Febraury Artful Bag Challenge!
Our second theme is Alter It. The objective is to take any object that is NOT a bag and turn it into one. Boxes, pudding cups, bottles, mint tins, plaques...anything you can think of. The finished product can be decorative or functional but should clearly look like a bag.

Since there was such an abundance of Valentines stuff out I decided to use a box of Sweethearts candies. I couldn't resist all the fun pink and sweet pastel colors. I imagined going to a Valentines Day tea in Wonderland with the Mad Hatter himself.

I covered the box with Gesso and washed it with different shades of pink, lime and yellow gold. The Mad Hatter and tea set graphics are from my Halloween Alice in Wonderland scrapbook papers by Graphic45.

I cut out part of the front to create the flap and painted a black and white stripe along
the edges. Then I added black trim to the flap, black paper roses and
puffy pink glittery hearts.

The handle is made from the stems of 2 silk roses which I twisted into shape then hot glued on. I also added a large vintage pearl bead to create the 'clasp' and 4 smaller ones for the feet.

I thought of this saying which I remember seeing on another project in Somerset Studio. I always liked it because I think of myself that way. I love pinks and frills but always need a touch of black and a bit of grunge or it's too too sweet. I guess I'm just not sweet enough!

I hope you will decide to play along this month. Remember the challenge is open the entire month. I will add a button to the sidebar to make it easy to find this post. I can't wait to see all your fabulous creations again. If you didn't join us last month you are very welcome to start this month. Please feel free to visit the Artful Bag Challenge page for schedule and guidelines or drop me an email anytime.

The new Linky tool is right below.
Please add the link to your bag post.
See you soon.

pink saturday, ruffled valentine treats and heart on a string

Is it Friday already? Where did the week go? It has been a busy busy crazy week here. The nice electrician was here and all our lights and plugs and all that stuff is working wonderfully again. I finished up the project I'm doing with my brother and I actually made a few more things for Valentines Day.

Oh I just adore pink again. Now that Spring is not too far away and there's so much pink around for Valentines Day I just couldn't help myself. I am even linking up with
Pink Saturday again this weekend so hello again to everyone.

I played with more paper hearts and streamers and thought a set of old fashioned paper heart lollies would be fun and sweet. I think I'm addicted to making these paper ruffles.

They can go on top of a lovely place setting for a romantic dinner, or tucked into a sweet bouquet of flowers. I might even try sticking one on a giant cupcake.

And there are even more pink hearts below.
I finished another one of my napkin girl collages.

This is "Heart On A String".
It's part of the same set as the one for my anniversary giveaway which is open for another week. Also mixed media collage on 8x8 canvas.

She is now in my Etsy shop along with the paper heart lollies.

I'm so excited about the next Artful Bag Challenge too. I just finished doing the pics for my bag and I can't wait to show you. I had so much fun making it. I think I'll post it on Sunday but I'll keep the January challenge open until Monday the 31st then I'll do the drawing for the book giveaway. Have a lovely and creative almost February weekend.

sweet paper ruffles

Hellooo dearies! Thank you thank you for your wonderful sweet wishes and warm congratulations on my bloggy birthday. I loved reading your comments and felt so much sparkly, glittery magic coming from all of you. What can I say...you guys are awesome!

I have been having a love affair with paper. Mainly with napkins and streamers. I love to crinkle and crumple them into frilly, frothy, frou frou ruffles. I used napkins to make skirts for my collage girls, like the one for my anniversary giveaway. I've made a few other ones which I'll post very soon.

I love the texture of crepe paper. The way you can sculpt it by folding it here and pinching it there. It's so light weight that you can easily make layers and layers of ruffles.

I thought it would be fun to make vintage style Valentine hearts with my paper ruffles. The one I used here is a silver grey. These are like the one I sent to Fran with the magazine she won. After I cut out my hearts and edged them with ruffles I added a sweet little frosted flower and some glittery letters.

Voila! A set of sweet ruffled hearts with another one of my favorite words. I love things to look a little tattered and worn so I also crinkled up the sheer gold ribbon I used to tie on to each heart.  I thought these would even be fun for a birthday or tea party. Maybe hanging from a lovely old tree.

I had to try them on my chandelier of course. It's been so overcast that I had a hard time getting the right light to take a decent picture. I am making a few more ruffled heart whimsies that I'm actually putting in my Etsy shop, along with this one, once I get proper photos taken. So this is a little sneaky peek.

I hope you have been visiting the January Artful Bag Challenge page. There are lots of simply adorable and creative bags being added that you have to see. I'm so happy the first month went so well. Don't forget there's a giveaway at the end of the month and yes you can still add your link all the way till the 31st. I'll do the drawing at the end of the day and announce the winner when I post February's bag on the 1st.
The next artful bag theme is Alter It.

I'll be back with more ruffle-ly sweet pink Valentine goodies!

happy birthday petunia

I have watched the little cat on my PitaPata counter make it's way across the bar, one day at a time for the last 12 months. I remember  how exciting it was when the kitty was at the one month  mark, then the four month mark which was a big deal to me. Three or four months was my usual average before I would loose interest in my new 'latest thing'. But I didn't and I kept watching the kitty make it to 6 months, 9 months, 11 and now it's all the way across!

One year ago today I posted a picture of a lemon cupcake and talked about plans to blog about all sorts of cupcake related things. Ever since that first post I can honestly say that blogging has changed my life. I know it sounds a bit dramatic but it's really the only way to sum up the amazing experience I've had this past year.

I won't go into all the details because you probably already heard me go on and on about it before. I talked about how I was inspired to start blogging in my Art Saves story and you are welcome to read it if you like. But I will say one thing again, and that is that the best part I have found about blogging is the friendships I've made here in Bloggyland.

You guys inspire me, make me smile, encourage me when
I give in to self doubt and just color my world with art and magic and fun.

Thank you again
and again from
the bottom
of my

So today is a party day! And I'm so glad you stopped by to join me.
Petunia and I have the most adorable cupcake to share with you.

A frosted pink vanilla sweet cake treat covered with chocolate morsels all the way around. Yum! And look, the little topper is a pink purse! How Frosted Petunias is that?

Did you know my blog was originally called Cupcake Alchemy? I knew I wanted to blog about creative projects but I needed a place to start. I love cupcakes so I thought why not start there? So I focused on cupcake themed crafts, like my first polymer clay charm bracelet, and real yummy cupcakes like this chocolate one from a shop near my house that just closed down a few months ago. Sadly not enough people were as cupcake obsessed as I was.

Then almost exactly a month after my first post I found myself doodling while watching the Winter Olympics (obviously Figure Skating wasn't on lol). I made a simple little girl and after I finished her digitally I came up with a new banner (1 of 999 banners to come) and a new blog name.

I was already blogging about other things like trips to the thrift store and non cupcake related projects. But I still loved cupcakes and frosting, both the sugary sweet kind and the icy kind that makes flowers and pretty things glitter.

And petunias were not just flowers I love but a name that always sounded whimsical, silly, but still deliciously lovely to me. Saying the word petunia makes me smile.
So Frosted Petunias it was.

living inspired....

You know the song I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack right? It has been around for a while, maybe 10 years. I always thought it was pretty and loved the message. I would even sing along to it every now and then but it never really resonated with me personally, the way it has for others I knew.

Then a week ago, while I was on my organizing binge, I looked through an older copy of Where Women Create. In the opening letter from editor Jo Packham, Jo talked about change, creativity, courage and growth. She also included the lyrics to I Hope You Dance which she said, meant a lot to her.

That was the first time I really felt the words and understood where it was coming from. I decided 'faith' would be the word I would choose to inspire me this year.

So while my electricity was out a few nights ago I worked on another one of my little collages by faerie lantern and candlelight. I have been making these girls and giving them skirts made from my favorite stripey Halloween napkins. My little girl looked like she was waiting. Perhaps to dance and that song again wandered into my head again.

"Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance....

Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking...."

I think these words can apply to everything really. From big life challenges to personal goals and just day to day living. We are challenged to make choices everyday. Simple things like what to have for lunch, and big things like who we want to spend the rest of our lives with.

Sometimes the choices are harder with risks involved. Risks that might break our spirit or our hearts, or push us out of our comfort zones. It's so much easier to stay where it's nice and safe and cozy. I know I did for years and years. I made excuses and decided I'd rather just sit it out.

Well I'd rather not sit anymore thank you.
 I think I would rather dance.
And I hope you will to.

I would love for my dancer to go home to one of you, where I hope she will inspire you to step out and follow your dreams. I felt so much joy creating her and I hope what I felt in my heart transferred onto canvas.

I Hope You Dance is a mixed media collage on 8x8 inch stretched canvas. It's three dimensional, made with sealed layers of printed pages, tissue, paint, pencils and glitter. The skirt is stiffened and sculpted into shape.

The 3/4 inch border is painted deep raspberry and it is ready to hang.

If you would like a chance to win her simply leave a comment and tell me what your favorite cupcake flavor is, or if you're not a cupcake person (OMG!) tell me what your favorite dessert is. The drawing will be open for 2 weeks and I'll announce the winner on Saturday, Feb 5.

I also created a button and if you would like to help me spread the word you can put it on your blog and let me know in another comment for a 2nd chance to win. Please add a link to this post. I have never done a drawing this way before but I thought if I couldn't share the love on my blogaversary when else would I!

Thank you for stopping by on my big bloggy birthday day. I'm so excited about what the next year holds for all of us. I hope it's filled with creativity, inspiration, passion, glitter, whimsy and lots and lots of dancing.

Have a beautiful weekend.

faith...and paper

All month I have visited several blogs and noticed that many of you chose a word to inspire you this year. I really love this idea and think it's much better than trying to stick to a New Year's resolution.

I love the word BELIEVE. I know lots of you do to. It holds so much meaning especially for those of us trying to live a creative and artful life. It's so easy to doubt yourself and loose faith in your abilities. A tiny amount of of self doubt can snowball until you loose sight of your dreams.

One word seemed to keep popping up around me earlier this month. In messages, songs and even in things I would find in stores. After thinking about it I realized I had found my word for the year. It is much like BELIEVE but maybe because it can mean so much more I chose the word FAITH.

Faith goes beyond just believing in my dreams but having faith in the journey to finding them. It means having faith in my passion, my vision and any talent I can nurture. It means having faith in how the journey unfolds.

Last year I loved the word SOAR. I was discovering a whole new world and with each step I felt tiny wings starting to spread. I wanted to soar.  My wings will take me somewhere, I know. Maybe far or not so far.

I will try to have faith in the journey. Not just my creative one but the one I take everyday with all it's ups and downs. I've learned that chaos isn't always a bad thing even if it can seem that way at first. And that a new perspective is like a magic wand sometimes. Faith.

I have been having fun playing with different kinds of paper. Napkins, streamers and paper flowers! One night I came up with this piece and worked on it almost entirely by candlelight because the power went out. When I looked at it the next morning it made me smile. This is just a preview to tease you :)

It will be a gift to celebrate my first blog anniversary on Saturday.
I hope you'll come back and join me for a cupcake or two.

Did you choose a word for 2011? I'd love to hear.

I'm also linking up with my friend Leanne's Word of the Year project.
Leanne's blog From Chaos Comes Happiness has been making me smile since we met early last year. I love how she writes about the chaos and happiness that is her life, so stop by and say hello.

Oh the little paper heart up there was a happy accident that happened while I was playing with a roll of silver streamers from WalMart. It's on it's way to some one's studio but I'm working on a few more for Valentines Day too.

january blissfull atc swap

First Blissfull ATC swap for the year. The theme for January is
white and/or snow and my swap partner is Patti  from Treasure Barn.

Here is the beautiful card she sent me.

Love the gorgeous snow bird and how she framed
it with the soft yellow and pink.

Patti also included this little image which
I love love love!

It just made me smile and I thought of how many
of us have husbands that probably wonder the same thing.

I had to put it up on my inspiration board so I
can look at it everyday.

Thank you Patti! I love them both.

And here is the ATC I sent her.

I found this picture of a beautiful snow fox in a calendar
I just took down. The snow on the branches is
the stuff you use on miniature trees and winter villages.

I also sent Patti a little tag I made using a coffee
filter and vintage sheet music. I aged everything with
my favorite Vintage Photo distress ink pad.

You know I really love doing this ATC swap. I look forward
to working on a new theme each month and meeting
a new artist to swap with. I learn more with each one I make
and the best part is finding a little work of art
in my mailbox everymonth.

Thank you Wendy for all the work you put into making
this a great and fun swap!

Stop by Blissfull ATC Swap to see the January
cards or to play along.

Speaking of blissfull.....here is my Luna, dreaming of tuna perhaps :)

faerie magic and a giveaway winner

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a great weekend, and a warm and cozy one for all of you having to deal with snow. We are once again having electrical problems at my house so we were almost completely out of power all weekend. Down to 3 outlets which made lighting, cooking and computering rather interesting. It's being worked on I'm told.

Luckily I was able to draw my WWC magazine winner before we lost power. And the best part was that I had a wee bit of help from the fairies.

First, all the names were written on blue strips of paper.
Everyone who left a comment was included.

A sprinkle of stars to make sure no one was left out!

Remember the magical lantern the fairies left me for my

I keep it in my studio for inspiration. I also discovered that the wonderful light
still works on certain nights. Tonight was one of them!

I thought I could use my lantern to choose the winner's name.

So I opened the little glass door...

...and placed all the names inside.

Fairy lights don't burn as you all know. :)

The door was left closed for a count of 33.

1, 2, 3, 4.....

.... 31, 32, 33!

And the winner is #17...Fran from thebagglady...hooray!!

Fran gets to enjoy my extra copy and be inspired by the creative spaces of some really amazing artists. Congratulations Fran!

Thank you everyone for stopping by and sharing your creative spaces with me. I loved hearing about where you like to scrap, paint, sew, glue and glitter. I'll be back again with my January ATC and details about my one year blog anniversary celebration.

Have a glittery, creative Monday!