blooms and parasols

Good morning. Does your calendar still say February? Yup, mine too. But I know it's already March in some parts of the world and I really really couldn't wait anymore. Soooo Happy March!

We have had tons of rain and this weekend was a colder than usual February for us, but the sun also came out to play. The other day I saw bright yellow jonquils growing along the side of the road while I was driving around. First sign of the coming new season.

Change is good :)

All around my neighborhood the plum trees are starting to bloom and when I went to check on mine this morning I found it covered with pretty pink blossoms.

Just like my favorite leaves in Fall, these sweet blooms come and go much too fast. So I wanted to enjoy as much of it as I can. I love that this is the time of year Mother Nature puts on one of her amazing shows.

You see March is also my birthday month and it happens just as everything around me fills with candy colored blooms, from pale pastels to happy vibrant hues. And not just outdoors but in all the shops that are filling their shelves with Spring and Easter goodies.

Last week I found this parasol and HAD to have it. I loooove umbrellas (maybe it's because they look like mini tents!). Ever since I can remember, I couldn't wait for the first rainy day so I could walk around in my rain boots under my favorite one.

In some countries women use umbrellas for both sun and rain and I really wish more people would here. I guess most of California is too sun obsessed to want to carry one around on a sunny day. Where is the fun in that I ask?

Well I'm taking my pretty pink parasol out on my birthday and no matter what the weather is like I'm going to use it. I am a true believer in celebrating each and everyone of our birthdays. No matter how many you've had. And if you have been blessed with many already, it's the best reason to celebrate even more. So you can be sure that whatever I have planned for mine also includes a sweet triple frosted cupcake treat!

 I'll tell you a not-so-secret secret too. This year my birthday falls on Mardi Gras. Oh how I dreamed and schemed all year to find a way to be in New Orleans to celebrate but alas, I will have to bring New Orleans to me.

 So you see why I had to treat myself to a new birthday parasol. I might not make it to the Mardi Gras parade but I can dance with my parasol to great jazzy music, cook up a batch of powdery beignets and stroll by the Cafe New Orleans
right here in my very own hometown.

Happy Almost March Monday

I'll be back very soon with my March Artful Bag and if you haven't checked on the February bags lately, go and see. My bag ladies really outdid themselves and came up with the most adorable altered purses. Thank you to everyone that played this month.

february dress up challenge

Almost too late but still made it! Here is my dress for Angela's Dress Up Challenge and the inspiration for Febrauary is the art of Gustav Klimt. I love the vibrant colors, repetitive geometric shapes and generous use of gold in in his work.

I could not decide how I wanted to interpret Klimt with a little paper dress. Whether to do a literal interpretation of the many dresses worn by the women in his paintings or just interpret his palette. Then I became even more indecisive when I learned that he also went through a period where he actually designed real dresses which were very loose and free flowing.

And then I realized that the month was almost over! So I finally went with challenging myself to create a whimsical (no surprise) Klimt using my template from last month.

I used whimsical paper that already had geometric elements and dry brushed antique gold and gold shimmer paint over it. Then I added other geometric motifs with gold, black and blue paint pens. Gold paper ruffles, embossed gold paper and my favorite Prima paper flower in black finished it.

It's a very loose interpretation of Klimt but it was lots of fun to make.
Make sure to visit Angela at Sew Loquacious for more pretty paper dresses.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

simple gifts and the joy of friendships

Surprises come in so many different ways.

Everyday I'm reminded of the simple gift of friendship from so many of you who stop by to visit me. A few little words, comments that say so much and reach across the miles and megabytes like a kind and gentle hug.

Last week my mailbox kept filling up with the sweetest treasures from friends who took a moment to share beautiful things created from their hearts. I love being surrounded by these tokens of friendship and seeing them makes my heart do a little flip.

I cannot thank all of you enough. I mentioned once that I love cupcakes and soon the cupcakes started coming in. Thank you dear friends for my beautiful card, sweet atc, my adorable cupcake girl and my delightful frosted cupcake. And thank you for making them calorie free!

Simple gifts also come in the form of wisdom and insight given with the kindest of hearts. This weekend has been full of surprises to say the least. But what has come from it is a gift  treasured and appreciated as much as the treats that filled my mailbox.
Thank you.

And perhaps my most treasured gift of all is simply having a friend who is always there for me through the  chaos, joy, heartache and laughter. Someone who inspires me and believes in me through all hours of the day....and into the dawn.

You know who you are!

And one day
I'm driving that
down there
so we can
pig out

Sweet Tomatoes!!

It's gorgeous here in Tomatoland today.
Have a beautiful week!

february ATC swap

Time for the Blissfull ATC Swap again! This month's team is naturally, love. My partner is Michele and here is the adorable ATC she sent me.

The vintage couple is sooo sweet and I love the 'love' stamp.
Thank you Michele!

This is the one I sent her.

I printed an image from The Graphics Fairy then collaged sheet music and the banner on. I used a little angel charm I recieved from my friend Linda, then I brushed on beeswax to finish and added glitter.

Our Blissfull ATC Swap has a new Flickr group!
So you can click here to see some of our cards.

Thank you again Wendy for putting our fun swap together.

owoh giveaway winner and a surprise

Greetings from windy California! Yes our weather has been so odd lately. We had sunny skies a few days ago, then sunny skies with showers, and now the rain and wind just rolled in. The kind of flip-your-umbrella-inside-out kind of wind. The sunshine was nice but being that it's still officially Winter, I don't mind the clouds and wind so much.

The final One World One Heart blog hop has come to an end. Wow! What an incredible undertaking that must be for Lisa (thank you again). I met so many kind, talented and creative souls during my travels and there are countless more places I want to see. Thank you to everyone that stopped by here and left such lovely comments for me. I wish I had a giveaway for all of you!

But I do have one winner for my OWOH mixed media collage. I used the good ole Random Number Generator because there were a total of 213 comments and my wee fairy lantern could not hold that many slips of little blue paper.

Someone should really tell Blogger to number the comments!

You might have noticed the little British flag up there on my graphic and that's because the winner of my giveaway is Angela from SofiNos Design, who visited all the way from across the pond in the UK. Angela is an amazing jewelry artist and when I popped over to visit her I was truly drooling over her creations. They are beautiful. Congratulations Angela!!!

In case you haven't heard, Lisa just announced that although this was the final OWOH event, she already started putting a similar one together for next year. That one, she said, is even more about art and artists. It sounds fabulous and I will definitely be back for it when it comes. Please visit her at A Whimsical Bohemian for details.

And now for a little surprise!

While reading through all your lovely comments and trying to visit as many of you as I can, I realized how much I love this whole blog hopping thing and connecting with all the wonderful souls out there who visit me and leave comments that always brighten my day. It's the same reason I love doing my Artful Bag Challenge. I love meeting all the talented 'bag ladies' and seeing the great things they're coming up with it.

So in the spirit of all this bloggy love I decided to pull one more name out of the OWOH to speak... and that person will also receive another one of my creations. I won't show it to you yet as it's not quite done and I won't tell you who the winner is until I post the prize {insert evil grin here}. But it will be soon I promise and I will let that person know before hand.

And now back to work I go to catch up on things that need catching up. Please go and visit the Artful Bag Challenge page and take a look at the absolutely adorable altered purses my bag ladies are making. I would love to have you play along if you haven't yet because it really is great fun!

Have a beautiful it's-almost-the-weekend day.

sweet valentines and a little indulgence

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
 ~Emily Brontë

Since it's Valentines Day I thought I would do a little bit of indulging and share with you two of my favorite skating performances. You might know that I love Figure Skating. Perhaps you're a fan too. If not I warn you ahead of time that this is a Figure Skating tale and I hope you will allow me a little indulgence today.

In my humble opinion the greatest pairs team figure skaters of all time are Ekaterina Gordeeva (Katia) and Sergei Grinkov. They were 4 time World Champions and 2 time Olympic Champions. Paired together as children in Moscow, they went on to win the '88 Olympics in Calgary when Katia was only 16. They fell in love, married, had a daughter and came back to win gold again in the '94 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. They were perfection on ice and their real life love story only added to their exquisite fairytale.

This is one of their most beautiful programs, performed to Vocalise by Rachmaninoff and inspired by Rodin's sculpture The Kiss. Watching them is mesmerizing. They seem to literally float on the ice and their artistry was breathtaking. I never tire of seeing any of their programs.

Most everyone in the world of figure skating knows this pair's heartbreaking story. In November 1995, the year after winning their second Olympic gold medal, Sergei Gringov collapsed on the ice during rehearsal and died of a heart attack at 28. It was said that he died in her arms. Katia was a widow at 24 with a 3 year old daughter to raise on her own.

Now I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news on the radio that Sergei died. I remember what I was doing and how sad I felt. My husband and I were newlyweds and he would tease me about how I would go on and on about Sergei and Katia. I couldn't believe how sad it made me feel. But hubby, a die hard hockey fan, was also sweet enough to take me to watch a skating competition to make me feel better and  he actually even enjoyed the show.

Sergei and Katia were skating with Stars on Ice when he died in Lake Placid just before the show was scheduled to open. The following year Katia returned to SOI as a solo skater and started to try to put her life back together.

In 1998 a young Russian skater named Ilia Kulik won the gold medal in the mens competition in Nagano, Japan. Later that year he also joined Stars on Ice. He was quite a star and women, especially young girls, loved him because he looked a lot like Leonardo de Caprio. He even tried a little bit of acting and had a part in a film called Center Stage, about students attending a New York ballet academy.

Katia and Ilia were paired together for a few numbers and during the 1999-2000 season they performed this program, which to this day is still one of my very favorites. I always watch it around Valentines Day. Maybe it's her red dress but I love the story behind it and I also love the 2 Spanish ballads they used for the program.

This was skated during the early days of their romance, when everyone was still speculating whether they were or were not a couple. It turned out they were and this number reflected the story of how they fell in love. They were married 2 years later and also have a daughter who is already an amazing skater.

Ilia is not a pairs skater so you have to think of the intense amount of training he had to put into doing this routine. Over the years there was so much debate about this program not being 'real' pairs skating and of course it wasn't. It was a beautiful romantic duet featuring two Olympic champions.

Despite the tragedy in her life it seems that Katia Gordeeva was blessed to find the love of her life not once but twice. I know there are Sergei and Katia fans who, to this day, still have a hard time picturing her with anyone but Sergei. She has said before that her life with Sergei was a part of her past that will always stay in her heart, but she now has another life with someone who had enough courage to help her heal and love again.

Katia and Ilia still skate but as single skaters. Ilia is beyond amazing to me and I was lucky enough to see him skate 2 years ago. This year Katia is skating with Stars on Ice again and they're coming near my city this week. I'm hoping my mom and I can go and see it. I would love to see Katia before she retires and my absolute dream would be to see her and Ilia skate this program again one more time. A fan can still dream.

Anyway thank you for letting me indulge a little. If you're a skating fan you probably already know this story, and if you're not and you read through this post (and even watched the videos) maybe you'll see why I find this sport so beautiful.

I wish you and your love the sweetest and loveliest Valentines Day, whether that love is your mate, your kids, your furry babies or all the above. Tell me then dear friends, who do you consider to be the most romantic couple? Someone from literature, a famous Hollywood pair, a prince and princess or someone you might even know.
Or maybe it's simply you and your very own love.

Happy Sweet Valentines Day

moonlight sonata

I guess my parents always planned for me to play the piano. I remember pictures of myself at about one, banging away on a little toy pink piano (I wish I had that now, it would look so cute in my studio). At around 3 or 4 they bought a miniature toddler size baby grand. I vaguely remember playing it but there are lots of photos of me and my little brother pretending to play and sing along to a music book.

When I was 5 my parents bought the real thing. An upright with warm toffee colored wood. I don't remember the piano being delivered to our house at all. It just seemed like it was always there. The next thing I knew I was being driven to piano lessons to this place with red chairs and a gumball machine in the lobby. If the piano lessons went well my teacher would give me 2 coins (probably 2 nickels) and I would pop them in the machine on the way out. Strangely enough I think the dentist was in the building next door.

There was always a debate between my parents over who the piano was for. Was it for me, so they could see if I would turn out to be one of those musical prodigies? Or for my mom, who played a little but mainly loved the look of having a piano in the living room.

Over the next 13 years I took piano lessons nearly every week of my life. There were teachers I adored, ones that made me cry, recitals, little dresses with big bows in the back, temper tantrums and out and out rebellion when I hit my teenage years. By the time I was 14 I decided I hated the piano and refused to go to my lessons. But my parents wouldn't let me quit so I protested, then I had to go anyway.

Today I am grateful for all those lessons and for the gift of knowing how to read and play music (I also learned to play the flute later). I never mastered the piano as well as I should have. Although I eventually learned to love it again, I don't think I had a real passion for it in my soul. I loved to play and I practiced but I had a hard time playing without looking at my hands. If I looked at the sheet music I would start missing notes. I have the same problem with typing. I have to look at my hands or I will hit the key next to the one I meant to strike. Later I finally found out why I do this (along with other odd things like picking up the wrong toothbrush) but that's for another time.

What I did gain from all those years is a love for classical music. Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Debussy would have been on my ipod in high school if they had them back then. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is forever my favorite. Haunting and sublime. Romantic but also sad. I also love Debussy's Claire de Lune and Reverie. I love to listen to these songs when I create, along with a hodgepodge of other tunes like songs in a different language. I love the way the words sound even if I can't understand them and I find that they're less distracting that way too. The little mini player on my sidebar is what I actually listen to when I'm painting and collaging away.

Maybe it was those songs that inspired me to work on this piece yesterday. Another of my girls with a little napkin dress. I love to paint moons, you might have noticed, and I did a bigger one to hang against a dark blue sky. Then I remembered this spray of Prima paper flowers (love love their stuff) and thought they would be perfect with her dress. And I debated between calling this Claire de Lune or Reverie, but this morning while I was finishing her up the song came up on my playlist and I thought it had to be.

This one is Moonlight Sonata.

It is mixed media collage on 10x10 inch canvas made with paper, acrylic paint, pencils, embellishments and glitter. The border is a deep aquamarine. I'm eventually putting it in my Etsy shop in a few days but for now I'm just enjoying having her in my studio while I listen to a little night music.

I hope you had a lovely week. It's hard to believe it's almost the weekend again. Do you like to listen to music when you're creating or do you prefer absolute quiet? Or maybe you like to have the TV on. Whatever it is you listen or don't listen to when you work, I hope you're inspired to create something beautiful from your heart today.

Have a lovely weekend.

pretty please with sugar on top

Sometimes change is good...

Other times it's a pain in the...well you guys know.

In other words I need a little help.

To quote a line from my favorite movie:

"I'm activating the phone tree!"

I need a  favor (pretty, pretty please) from everyone who participated in
the January Artful Bag Challenge.

Some of you might already know that Mr.Linky decided to go to paid subscriptions recently so the pretty little thumbnail links are no longer free. What's more, if you opt out of doing the one year subscription all your previous linkies go bye bye.

I understand his decision and realize creating all that work gets really expensive but a full year's subscription is not in my current budget so I needed another option.

While I was able to switch to another linky tool for February (thank you so much Angela), all the January links are gone. Adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen, farewell! I could not get the new linky to import the old links, no matter how much I tried, before Mr. Linky himself pulled the plug yesterday.

So I would like to ask the January bag artists to please follow this link to the January post, scroll down to where I added the new linky and just add your January bag links again when you get a chance. There were a total of 27 bags last month. It would be fabulous to get them all back.

This way visitors and future participants can still view previous bags and enjoy all your lovely work. . Everyone did such an awesome job on the Playing With Paper challenge that I didn't want to loose all those great links. Thank you soooo much!

Now I was a little nervous about  this month's Alter It theme. I wasn't sure if you guys would like it as much as last month's but I've been completely blown away by all the ones that are coming in. The bags are so creative and amazing. I can't tell you how much I love following your links and finding those delicious little bags made from all sorts of everyday things. I absolutely love them!

Did any of you have milk and cookies and a little nap yesterday? Wouldn't you know it, I didn't have one cookie in the house! But I did have biscottis so I had that with hot chocolate and then yes, I took a wee nap for a few minutes. It was bliss.

monday monday

Happy Monday! It may not be a happy Monday for those of you like my hubby who had to drag himself to work this morning, but I have to confess that I love the peace and quiet of Mondays after the weekend. Not just Superbowl weekend (which wasn't a big deal at our house), but any weekend.

Don't get me wrong. I love having my guys home and hanging out with them but oh, boys can be soooo much work. I think about half of my weekend is spent washing endless piles of dishes that seem to miraculously appear in the sink. Must be that Dirty Dish Ogre that keeps zapping them in there. Does he show up at your house too?

I'll spare you a shot of MY dirty dishes and show you this lovely one from Country Living.

And I have to admit that my son is much better at picking up after himself than his dad so he gets brownie points from Mom. So this morning I'm taking in a beautiful morning with just me, my Luna, a cup of hot cocoa and the blissful clicking of my keyboard. Ahhh....

I was actually surfing the web looking for a new quote to put up there with my header. I can read quotes all day (and greeting cards too). Some really inspire me, others make me scratch my head and some almost have me rolling on the floor laughing. I did find one to use but I also had to share this one which made me smile and I thought it was a great way to start my week.

"Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap."  ~Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

I love it! Don't you think everyone would be so much happier if we could all just do this? I actually do get sleepy every afternoon and if I let myself sit down for a few minutes I end up taking a nap. So maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Well what do you guys think? Maybe this afternoon around 3ish (more like 3:30ish for me after I pick up my son) let's all pour a glass of milk and grab a couple of cookies to dunk in there. Then we'll snuggle under our favorite blankie and just for a few minutes, nap like happy kitties (and puppies), dream of catching moon glow in fancy jars while skipping in stripped socks and recharge before our next great adventure:
pondering what on earth to make for dinner!

Don't forget to check out the new February Artful Bags
or maybe play along with us today!

Happy New Week

Image sources: Cookies and milk from Google search (origin unknown). Pink blankie from Vintage typewriter from Sink from

i hope you dance winner

Hooray! It's time to draw the winner for my
blog anniversary giveaway.

I'm soo excited!

Let's bring out the magic hat.

Toss in oodles of glitter,


and maybe a carrot or two.

In case there might be a bunny taking a nap in there.

Then we get a little bit of help from the giveaway elves
(aka the True Random Number Generator).

And yes we have


Andrea from Goddess and Magick wins my
mixed media collage I Hope You Dance.

Thank you again everyone, for helping me celebrate my first
year of blogging. It was a wonderful year and I look forward to
another year of art, inspiration and friends.

Don't forget you can still enter to win my seconod mixed media
collage for the One World One Heart blog hop.
Drawing is open until the 17th.

Enjoy your weekend!

this and that

Happy Friday lovelies! Oh my gosh, have you guys seen the ginormous OWOH list? I just took a peek and there are over 750 names! I don't think I'll ever get around to visiting everyone but what a great way to meet so many talented and amazing artists.

I thought I would just pop in for a quick hello and re post a few reminders. I didn't get to leave my February Artful Bag Challenge up very long because of my OWOH post so here's my little Alter It bag again to inspire you to play along. You can click here or on the button on my sidebar to add your link or see some of the fantastic ones that are already up.

I have 2 giveaways going on right now.
Both are for one of my mixed media collage pieces.

I Hope You Dance is for my anniversary giveaway which ends tomorrow, Feb 5.

And my One World One Heart giveaway (last post) is open until the 17th so you can still visit either of those posts and leave a comment for a chance to enter.

Now I'm off to work on my dress for Angela's Dress Up Challenge. I hope you guys are warm and cozy where you are. I know there is some crazy weather going on down south. My friend Cindy is getting hail down in New Orleans and some of you still have several feet of snow. It's sunny but still cold here in Tomatoland and the sunsets have been stunning. I can't complain.

Have a great Superbowl weekend if you're watching or if you're like me, have fun at the craft store while it's on!

P.S. In case you didn't already know, there is always a 40% off Michaels coupon available on line so I never go out without printing one. I know not all the Michaels will accept an online coupon and I have no idea why that is so check with yours if you're not sure.  JoAnns will also take them and the best part is they're good on all the magazines like the $15 Stampington ones. Unless of course they happen to be on sale for 10% off like they have been lately which means they won't take the coupon. Pretty sneaky those JoAnns people!

one world one heart 2011

Hello friends old and new and welcome to the great One World One Heart blog event hosted by A Whimsical Bohemian. This event is made to bring bloggers and artists together from all over the world.

Thank you to Lisa who has lovingly put this amazing event together the past five years. This is my first and sadly my last year, as it is the final one. I only discovered OWOH just as it finished up last year and knew I wanted to be a part of the next one.
But better late than never.

For all my new visitors my name is Anna (Annabella as my mom calls me). My blog, Frosted Petunias just celebrated it's one year anniversary last month so I am still fairly new to blogging. I love creating whimsical things that are a little sweet, a bit wistful, at times curios and always dusted with a sprinkle of magic.

I love the charm of handmade imperfect things, just like people who are deliciously imperfect as well. I prefer to cut shapes with scissors rather than machines. I love the tattered and worn juxtaposed with sparkle and frills. And I love color as you can see.

I also love to play with digital images and am hopelessly addicted to Photoshop. Mixed media allows me to combine different mediums and is perfect for the unruly self taught way I like to create my art and paper crafts.

My current addiction is crepe paper streamers and paper napkins. I love playing with these textures. Crumpling, crinkling and folding them into something new.

I have been creating what I call my Napkin Girls series and I'm offering one of them as a door prize for this event. I created this in honor of OWOH.

This mixed media collage piece is on 8x8 inch stretched canvas. It's created with paper, acrylic paint, pencils, embellishments and glitter.

The dress is made from a vintage map which was washed with gold paint and stains. The over skirt is a paper napkin stiffened and sculpted into shape.

The 3/4 inch border is painted deep raspberry.
It is ready to hang in your favorite creative space.

This drawing is open to all active bloggers whether this is your first or 131st visit. Just leave me a comment and please make sure there is a way I can reach you so I can come and visit, and also to contact you if you win my giveaway. The drawing will be at the end of the event on Feb 17.

Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can and please don't forget to go back to A Whimsical Bohemian for a list of all the One World One Heart participants. Thank you again to our hostess Lisa.

Have a beautiful day.

*   *   *   *

Update: Feb 17 - What an amazing event this has been! I just saw that I have exactly 200 comments as of today, which is the last day of the event. Since I'm out here on the West Coast (USA) some of you will still have extra time to enter my giveaway even if it's already the 18th where you are. I will have my drawing tonight and also post the winner and contact her. There are so many more of you to visit, I might be doing this until next Winter! Thank you everyone for your lovely comments and beautiful giveaways.

Good luck to all!

*   *    *    *

FINAL UPDATE:  OWOH has officially ended and the final comment count on my post is 213. The winner of my door prize was chosen and I will announce it on my blog tomorrow (Thursday). Thank you to everyone that stopped by.