pop art dress

Whew!! I really pushed it this month didn't I? And you know I thought about what I wanted to do for this month's Dress Up Challenge Pop Art theme all month long. The weeks just go by sooo fast.

Pop Art is not just fun and colorful but it really started to define a very American style of art. Rebellious, irreverent but also innovative and thought provoking. I decided to put together these 3 iconic pieces and see what I can come up with.

Jasper Johns "Numbers In Color" 1958-59

Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans" 1962
(32 canvases)

Yves St. Laurent's "Mondrian Dress" 1965

I love the free flowing layered messy feel of the Jasper Johns piece because I tend to like grungy and messy along with color. And I just happened to have a magazine that had a bunch of Campbell's soup ads in it. So I added a little messy paint and colored pencil to scrapbook paper that sort of had a Jasper Johns feel to it.

Then I finally decided to go with the classic silhouette from the St. Laurent dress.

Voila! My "Johns Warhol Mondrian St. Laurent" inspired paper dress!

I really had lots of fun making this one. It's much different from my usual girlie dresses and I like the challenge of trying something new. The hardest part was stopping myself from adding a paper flower or ruffles. Thanks again Angela for another great theme.

You can see more fabulous Pop Art Dresses at Sew Loquacious.


How adorable is this? Olympic Figure Skating Champion Kristi Yamaguchi is currently making the rounds to promote her new childrens book.

From Kristi Yamaguchi's website:

Poppy the Pig has big dreams—lots of them!

But following her dreams isn’t always easy, and whenever Poppy thinks it might be time to give up, her family reminds her to "Dream Big!" While on a "pig's day out," she has so much fun ice skating that she doesn't even notice those around her who think pigs can't skate…and without even knowing it, she achieves her dream while doing something she loves!

In this funny and inspiring tale that's perfect for a family read-aloud, Poppy realizes she can succeed at anything as long as she believes in herself and has fun doing it!

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Dream Big Little Pig will go to support the Always Dream Foundation and its early childhood literacy initiative.

ursula's lazy day

I would definitely love to be Ursula today and while away the hours swinging in my hammock....sans clothing but wearing a fabulous smile. Here is my digi collage for this week's Collage Obsession challenge. Again another vintage image I couldn't resist. Thanks to Rick for providing the fun image and theme.

Digi elements from Digital Scrapbook Place.

I have loads of catching up and a long to-do list for today so I better get started. Thank you for the input on the Artful Bag Challenge theme. I appreciate the great ideas and feedback. I will stick with the original plan for now and we'll go ahead with the traditional swap. I'll start a participant list on the sidebar so anyone interested in swapping can start emailing me now. I'll do another post with more details so please check back.

I think we saw the last of the rain this weekend and sunny skies and warmer temps are back. Wishing everyone a lovely lazy Monday!

feedback needed for artful bag challenge theme

Happy Friday lovelies! Any of you see signs of Spring this week? Certainly not here in Tomatoland, although today looks like a sunnier day. We just had a wicked winter storm come through the last 3 days. Crazy winds, flood alerts, tons of snow up in the mountains and even small tornadoes. Hellooo...this is California right?

I have a few ideas to share with you and wondered if I can get some feedback. I love how Wendy (Blissfull ATC Swap) created a Flickr account to post our ATC cards, so I thought it would be great to do the same thing for the bag challenge. Our April challenge is an ATC swap and I have been thinking about what to do about it. I love that we have ladies participating around the world so I want to make sure that all the challenges are available to everyone.

So these are the ideas I have:

1 - Do the traditional ATC swap and sort out who can/or can not particiapte in an international swap. Note that most international mail coming from the US shouldn't be more than $2 for a small envelope with an ATC card.

2 - Do an ATC "share" rather than a swap. Meaning that we still create our bag themed cards but each person shares by posting it on her own blog and on the Artful Bag Challenge Flickr page (I'll have it up later today). Although this takes the fun out of looking forward to getting a piece of art in the mail, it makes it easier for everyone to play along.

3 - Change the 4th theme all together. Maybe do a "your choice" theme instead. You can use any of the previous bag themes or do your own as long as it's all about the bag of course.

I would really appreciate everyone's input on this. I have enjoyed our last 3 challenges and really want to keep it fun and interesting for everyone. Please share your thoughts in a comment or feel free to email me if you like. Don't forget you can still add your embellished bag for March too!

Thank you so much and have a lovely weekend.

collage obsession challenge

Well this is something I haven't done in a while. Two posts in one day and a digi collage for Collage Obsession. I love the challenge image for this week and thought I would give it a try after being gone for a while. The challenge word is 'tramp' and the image provided is non other than the Little Tramp, Charlie Chaplin.

I used a vintage ad from a Mercedes auto showroom on the Champs Elysees (1910-1920) and the rest are from my collection of digi kits from Digital Scrapbook Place.

More to see over at Collage Obsession.

after the storm

Two days in a row. The weather guy got it wrong two days in a row. We were suppose to get more rain yesterday but the sun was out all day. Rain is in our forecast for today too and again it looks like the sun decided to stay. I won't complain since my whole neighborhood is still cleaning up after the storm this weekend. Lots of branches and trees all over the streets but at least the flood alert was lifted. Living a half mile from the river, that is always good news.

Well I'm off to go to my first physical therapy session this morning. After all these months of dealing with the pain in my shoulder I finally got around to getting xrays. So it wasn't a torn rotator cuff or tendonitis after all. I have mild degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. Basically I'm aging before my time (I think I always knew that lol!) The PT should help to strengthen my joints so I can get full movement back I hope.

I thought this vintage circus poster was too perfect for this post!

I can't believe we're more than halfway through March already! I just saw a few more bags added to the Artful Bag Challenge. I love the creative embellished purses my ladies are doing. Next month we are having our first bag themed ATC swap and I hope some of you can join us for that too. I'll have sign ups for it posted soon.

Have a lovely Tuesday.

early morning carnival

It's nearly impossible for me to believe that tomorrow is the first day of Spring. We are having mad mad weather this weekend. Tons of rain all day today and the wind is just howling and rattling everything from our windows to the trees. I was hoping to see that enchanted super full moon tonight but I don't think that's going to happen.

I was up bright and early this morning to drive my son to an all day science competition. On our way to the event I saw a carnival set up in a small shopping center parking lot. After I dropped him off I headed right over to it. It was still closed and completely empty. Luckily I had my camera with me this time.

The wind was blowing so hard that the candy colored flags sounded like they might rip in two. But I loved walking around the empty lot under these grey skies. All the bright colors popped even more and there was just something deliciously eerie about seeing an empty carnival right before a storm was about to roll in.

I checked to make sure there were no little fishies freezing in those little bowls!

My dad was in the Navy which meant we lived on a military base most of my childhood. One of them was in San Francisco and I remember how a carnival would come once a year for a few days. My friends and I always looked forward to it. We would ride our bikes the day they came in and watch them set up.

Most military bases had very limited places to go for fun, especially for kids. There's a very uniform and nondescript look to the entire landscape so having this magical and colorful carnival come once a year was such a glorious treat.

However, I was never a big fan of most of the rides. I had such a weak stomach that just looking at them made me nauseous (and maybe I also didn't trust them). But I always loved the whole atmosphere of a carnival. The storybook colors, the mechanical sounds of those crazy rides and the intoxicating smell of cotton candy, candy apples and buttered popcorn.

 And I liked the silly game booths, not the prizes so much but just the way they looked...the riot of banners and colors, the lively game keeper inviting you to part with your change....and the not so gourmet food that you would try to keep down if you actually got on a ride.  Even the slightly seedy reputation associated with old carnivals was part of it's curious charm. It was like stepping into another world which was always gone much too soon.

I only had a few minutes to snap these pictures and reminisce before big drops of rain started to fall. But what a lovely surprise I had this Saturday morning. It brought back a few warm memories and reminded me of why I find a carnival and circus so fascinating.

Happy First Day of Spring!

what to post?

Well it seems that I'm at a loss for something interesting to post. I've been busy taking care of house stuff that needs taking care of. In between the repairs and sorting and filing I catch occasional whispers in the distance. A whistful voice. Calling.

It's my little bloggy....Come and post something new it says. But nothing seems to come to me. Inspiration hovers close by but just far enough beyond my reach.
I think I'm stuck.

I've been escaping in books lately and maybe that's it. My brain is on a book binge. A dear friend recently recommended Water For Elephants and I absolutely loved it. Had no clue it was made into a movie coming out next month! Now I can't wait to see it. The trailers look amazing.

I'm also reading Bel Ami, the classic by Guy de Maupassant. And yes I know Robert Pattinson is in the film version too. That's how I came across the book. There's no release date for the movie yet although it seems to be done. I have to admit Robert Pattinson looks perfect for the part!

Another movie I'd love to see is Jane Eyre. This newest version stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice from Alice in Wonderland). It looks beautiful, dark and haunting, just how I remember the book.

And just so I don't get too dark and serious I picked up and started reading Larceny and Lace at the used book store this weekend. I confess I have a fondness for chick lit. Especially one with a paranormal/witchy/vintage/mystery twist. Pure fluff but oh so fun.

Don't forget there are more adorable embellished bags to see. Click on the March Artful Bags link on the top of the right sidebar. And if you haven't tried the Artful Bag Challenge yet there's lots of time left to play this month. I'll be back with more art soon...I hope.

Hope you're having a great week so far.


It's so easy to simply get caught up in our own little world isn't it? Blissfully surrounded by what's familiar and comfortable. To be fortunate and blessed to celebrate a birthday with loved ones.

To have the luxury to spend time to create from our hearts. To be lucky enough to be able to worry about finding inspiration or making wise decisions or even what silly trinket to buy with a gift card.

As I sit here in front of my computer in my comfortable little suburban home, my heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan, who were hit by a deadly earthquake and devastating tsunami earlier today. In my wildest dreams I can't imagine going through anything like that. The images are mind boggling.

So many of us are beyond fortunate and immeasurably blessed.

Perspective is one of those things that comes around and slaps you across the face whenever you get too caught up in yourself. It gives you focus when you lose sight of the bigger picture. How fortunate am I to be able to worry about what to create next? Or whether to share my art or simply keep it safely tucked away.

I've learned lessons in ways I wouldn't wish on any of you. But the need to go forward on this creative journey comes from a place I have never known before. It gives me joy to play with my paints and papers and stripey napkins. I simply love/need to create.

So I put myself out here again. Unsure of whether the journey to finding my own creative voice is still one I'm willing to take. In light of everything else it's such an insignificant bother compared to what's happening in the world. The road winds ever onward and I have no doubt there are plenty more lessons for me to learn.

And so I count my blessings.

Today I'm grateful for family, friends, life and the amazing gift of perspective.

Have a beautiful day.

mardi gras, cupcakes and fearless women

Happy Mardi Gras! The party has been going on in New Orleans, I'm sure, and I hope the rain stopped long enough to keep the parades and revelers nice and dry.

Today is also the 100th anniversary of International Womens Day, a day dedicated to improving the lives of women around the world. There are events going on worldwide which you can find HERE.

I brought out my little collection of beads and tokens from past parades. I've never been to New Orleans, but I've been lucky enough to have a few of these sent to me by friends who know about my French Quarter obsession.

This was a super special treat sent by my sweet friend Cindy, who lives near New Orleans and knows how much I adore her city. She makes all these beautiful tags (among other lovely things) and she surprised me with one she made just for me.
Thank you Cindy!

I hope you don't mind if I also share this delightful treat. A little package was in my mailbox this weekend, sent by my lovely friend Linda from snowy Michigan. Linda has been making these adorable "sweets". Mini clay tarts and wooden cupcakes that look yummy enough to eat. And she also sent a pair of beautiful earrings. Aren't they simply divine? Thank you Linda!

I have to confess I like to treat myself to a few extra little goodies during my birthday month. Last week a vintage typewriter I've been keeping an eye on at my favorite thrift shop, finally got marked down low enough that I couldn't say no.

It was around $90 when I first saw it 2 months ago and each time I'm there I check to see see if it's still around. They would mark it down every 2 weeks and when I popped in a few days ago, they had just marked it down to 14.99! Well with my birthday coming up and all, I knew it was meant to be mine :)

I also had to treat myself to the latest issue of Flea Market Style when I was grocery shopping the other day. Because inside was this amazing spread on a vintage themed birthday brunch!

I could dream that it was made just for me! There are loads of beautiful photos and I'm getting lots of ideas for doing things with some of the vintage stuff I've collected.

The sun just peeked out and it's early enough that I can get started on my real happy cupcake and candles day today. I hadn't planned on doing a post but once I started snapping pictures I couldn't resist. Thank you for letting me share.

Have a beautiful day and if you can, do something special to celebrate the women around you and around the world. It's a perfect day to honor the amazing power of women. I'm tickled that it just happens to be my birthday too.

march artful bag

Ready for another Artful Bag Challenge? This month our theme is Embellish It! Grab one of those bags that's been sitting waaaay back inside your closet and turn it into a fabulous new artful bag. Add any type of trim, flowers, jewels, trinkets, embellishment, art....whatever you like. Just be sure to start with an actual bag this time.

This is a mini bag I've had for years which I still use once in a while. I usually add a small pin or flower and that's about it. It's a soft brushed quilted cotton velvet with a frame and small handle. I like that it has a bit of a vintage look to it. It measures 10hx9w (inches). I would love to find a similar bag, only three times the size!

Yes, I'm one of those little women who loves to carry a big bag the size of a suitcase. I mean Mary Poppins does right? Oh wait, that IS her suitcase, lol!

I have always wanted to embellish this bag a lot more so it was perfect for this theme.

I started by adding three rows of black pom pom trim that I tore of an older bag project. I attached them with little black safety pins which I planned to remove after basting the trim on. But I actually liked the look of the pins so I left them on.

I went through my stash of goodies and decided on velvet pansies, a pair of lovely handmade ribbon rose hairclips sent to me by my friend Linda, a sparkly green vintage brooch and a vintage pink floral pin I found at an antique fair. Then I kept adding more.

 I love this pendant/pin I got last year when the movie Alice In Wonderland came out. I have used it on other bags too. Don't you just love the Red Queen's crown?

It hangs from a long chain and this little charm is on the other end.

These are French ribbon rosettes I made last year.

Voila! A little Mary Frances inspired, with some gypsy and
vintage Wonderland thrown in.

It's actually very me, lol!

Now I just need a fun place to go so I can use it.

*    *    *    *

A quick note: I'm still trying to recover the set of links for the January bags. Remember they were lost when Mr Linky changed last month, and I had to switch to a different linky tool. If you did the January challenge and you haven't gone back to add your link again, please go HERE when you can, and help me get all our lovely January paper purses back. Thank you to all of you that already did.

Ladies, it's time to play!

The challenge is open all month.
Anyone can join in anytime, even if you didn't play before.
Please visit the Artful Bag Challenge page for details and to view
bags from past challenges.

I can't wait to see your fabulous embellished artful bags!