spring wand to dazzle and delight

This month I participated in the Spring Wand Swap at Bliss Angels.

After some trial and error I finally made this one to send to my swap partner Lynn.

If you remember the wand I previewed a few weeks ago you might notice this isn't the same wand, although it's very similar.

I used a much shorter stick (a chopstick) for the first one but afterwards I thought it looked more like a lolli than a wand.

So I made another one with a longer dowel and changed a few things here and there.

And what about the first wand you ask?

Well come back on Sunday, the first of May and celebrate May Day with me with a giveaway!

Thank you Wendy for a fun wand swap.

You can visit the Spring Wand Swap group pool at Flickr to see lots more enchanting wands.

collage obsession challenge

This week's theme for the Collage Obsession challenge is ROOM.

And here is the image provided. A surreal, stark and shabby room in shades of grey.
I really like this image the way it is. It makes a great background for all sorts of things.

So I imagined entering this room and finding a strange and colorful fairyland surrounded by these crumbling walls. Complete with it's own curious fairyland queen.

click for a larger image

Then......after a while I thought about how I really wanted to highlight the room more. Maybe not fill it up so much (like I do in my real rooms!).

My favorite room in my house is where my work table is, and right next to that table is an old wingback chair I've had for over 20 years. It has a threadbare brown velvet slipcover I begged my mom to make for me to cover the dusty mauve upholstery. I love my chair. It's where I dream and recharge whenever I can pry my cat Luna off of it.

click for a larger image

And so I made this second digi just for fun, with my version of a wingback chair using my favorite wings from Deviant Scrap again. I love the grunginess of this room and thought all it needed was a pop of color to make a perfect place to dream.

Thank you to Itkupilli for another great image.
Go and visit Collage Obession for more fascinating rooms.

Scroll down to the previous post to link up to the
Artful Bag Challenge ATC swap.

the artful bag challenge atc swap

Hello everyone! I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend. Did you have beautiful Spring weather? We had clouds, a cold breeze and a few showers here and there. Very unusual for this time of the year when we normally start to hit the 80's by now. But I'm so much more fond of cool weather and this is just fine with me.

It's time to share all the beautiful ATCs we sent and recieved. Hopefully everyone got one from their partners by now and if you haven't you can always add another post later. My wonderful swap partner, Ana, is from Brazil and she let me know that the mail there can take even longer so I know her card is on it's way.

But I can share the one I sent to her (hopefully she got it already) and right below is a Linky so you can link up your ATC post. You can also add your own ATC card to the Artful Bag Challenge group pool on Flickr. The link is at the top of the page on the right. If you haven't joined yet all you have to do is follow the steps to join up on the Flickr page and I'll add you on.

This is the ATC I made for Ana. I called it Alice's Big Bag. I used an image from my Halloween in Wonderland papers from Graphic45, colored it with pencils, pastels and ink. Then added different cut outs to embellish.

I hope you enjoyed our first Artful Bag ATC swap. Next month we start again with our first theme, Playing With Paper. I'm already looking forward to making a new paper purse and seeing what lovely ideas you come up with. Thank you to everyone who joined the swap this month.

earth day everyday

Today is officially Earth Day. There are lots of activities and festivals almost everywhere that help to celebrate and bring awareness to taking care of our Mother Earth. I think most people I know try to do something everyday to live a greener life. Whether it's recycling, bringing your own bags to the grocery store, buying local produce from the farmer's market, buying organic or keeping a little garden. Every little bit helps and not just today but everyday.

We in the creative community are blessed with the talent and skills to be able to create beauty from something that might otherwise be thrown away. Buying vintage and second hand is definitely recycling. My husband would say that I'm a little too enthusiastic when it comes to collecting used things.

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day I hope you can carry this spirit with you everyday. It's not always easy, I know. And some cities are much more earth friendly than others. My city is known for it's suburban sprawl and lots of people here still drive around in big gas guzzling SUVs. But there have been lots of changes too and that's always a good thing.

So enjoy all the beauty of the earth today....reduce, reuse and recycle as much as you can....make more art...and have a lovely Easter weekend.

steampunk atc

As many of you know I participate in the Blissfull ATC Swap. Somehow my wires got crossed this month. When I got my swap partner's name from Wendy I assumed she was my ATC swap and sent my steampunk card out to her. I figured out later that she was my wand swap partner! So not only is Lynn getting a wand but she also got a surprise ATC, lol.

This was fun to make. I created a digi collage first then printed it and added inks and pastels. The tiny watch parts are from an old watch that I took apart.

My wand is on it's way so I'll post it after my swap partner gets it.

I hope your Artful Bag Challenge ATCs have been sent out by now. I'll have a Linky tool on my post on the 25th and everyone can link up their ATC posts.

more sun, less clouds

Thank you for all your lovely words on my last post.

I know we all go through doubtful cloudy moments now and then
and it really helped to hear from you.

Once I got over worrying about things so much, I grabbed my favorite silly headband, plopped it right back on my head and got to work.

It's hard not to smile when you're wearing a bright pink flower on your head!

I wanted to take a picture with it on, but I still can't get this silly
arm of mine to go that high.

My wand is almost done and I tell you I like this one so much better.
I can't show you all of it yet in case Lynn might be reading this :)

The first wand I made was so wrong it made me laugh. It looked like a paddle!
I definitely needed to downsize.

So I left it for a while and tried again last night.

And I had so much fun making it that I'm going to make another one
...maybe to share with one of you later.

Are you doing anything special this weekend? I'm having company so now I have to clean and make room for my in-laws somewhere amongst the glitter. We are going to visit our favorite British pub with them tomorrow and all I can think about are bangers and mash! Now it's time to find that old duster of mine.

Have a beautiful sparkly pink weekend whatever you do.


I think I walked into a cloud of doubt and

can't seem to shake it.

The only way I seem to be able to get a creative fix is with my digis.

My paints and canvases make me anxious.

Even paper and glue.

I hate doubt.

I hope it goes away soon.

still waiting.....

Well this is no fun!

Photobucket still hasn't resolved whatever issue it is that's holding my images hostage. Apparently it's only affecting "a small percentage" of their customers. Hmm...would that be the percentage with free accounts? Judging from how many missing buttons I'm seeing out there, there's more than "a few" of us. Well they said it would take until late last night so shall we give them another day? Anyone else missing their images?

In other news....I'm mailing out my Artful Bag ATC to my swap partner Ana in Brazil. I had so much fun making it and I hope she likes it. She makes beautiful paper art. If you haven't seen her blog yet go visit her at Scrap de Ana.

Another curiously cloudy and chilly Spring day today. Perfect weather for checking out my favorite thrift shop and art store.

I hope everyone is having fun making ATC's and fairy wands and whatever lovely art you're inspired to create today. I'll be back soon with new stuff.....and hopefully my background and buttons will be back too.

 *   *   *   *

Update: Six hours later.....It's back now! Yay!!!

collage obsession background challenge

This week's Collage Obsession challenge was to take one or more of three different backgrounds and use it for our collage art.

I chose this image of a misty river. I love the dreamy quality and it also reminded me of the river that winds along my neighborhood, especially when the morning fog rolls in.

I just happened to be working on this gypsy image I picked up from the Graphics Fairy and thought it would be fun to work her into the background.

Click on the image for a larger version.

I added and played with a few images I have from Deviant Scrap
and came up with "Wings For Rent". Another fun digi challenge.

Do you think she might want to trade in her mandolin for a pair of wings?

Hope your Monday is off to a creative start.

friday e coupons and fun faerie wands

Happy Friday again! The days go by just like that, don't they? Just a quickie post to share some stuff. I was at a Michaels store recently and saw that they're finally taking mobile coupons. Yay!! It's about time. So if your phone allows you to access your email and you signed up to receive their coupons, you won't have to print them out anymore. Save your ink for more important stuff....like printing faeries and butterflies!

And speaking of faeries....

I'm really excited about Wendy's Spring Wand Swap at Bliss Angels. I think all the spots are filled up so you might want to check if you're still interested. I love wands...all sorts of them. I've made several Harry Potter ones for my son but faerie wands are so much more fun.

In fact, while I was wandering around Michaels looking for wand ideas, I saw this.

They had a whole rack of these ready made wands!
Cute, but I envision something a little grander for my swap partner!

Love the colors in this Sugar Plum Fairy costume but that wand is a little on the skimpy side. Or maybe it's just me and my more is more motto, lol.

I made this vintage Halloween wand last year for the Queen of Wonderland herself,

Anyway, I'll be thinking about wands and glue and glitter this weekend.
I hope your weekend is also sparkly and fabulous.

artful bag challenge flickr group

Hello my lovely Bag Ladies! You can now share all of your Artful Bag Challenge projects on our new Flickr page. Upload pics from past themes and share with present and future bag ladies. You're welcome to share bag photos from Jan, Feb and March but kindly wait until after the ATC cards are posted on the 25th before adding pics of your April ATC.

Follow the link here to the Artful Bag Challenge group on Flickr. If you don't have a Flickr account yet you will have to open one in order to add your pics to the group pool. But it's simple and free so I hope to see you there!

ATC swap partners

Here is the list of swap partners for the Artful Bag Challenge ATC swap. Everyone's name is listed on the sidebar and each name is a link to that person's blog. Please contact your partner to swap addresses and remember to allow enough time for international mail.

Anna -- Ana
Angela -- Wendy B
Electra -- Mrs. A
Fran -- Wendy A
Jeanie -- Tracy
Julie -- Toni
Linda -- Selma
Maryanne -- Cathy
Patricia -- Peggy
Pauline -- Penny
Jana -- Jill

We will post our cards on our blogs on the 25th and I will put up a Linky just like the ones for the previous challenges. Anyone creating a card to 'share' instead of swap can post on the 25th also. Thank you to everyone that signed up to play.

I can't wait to see your artful bag ATCs.
Have fun creating and swaping!

mom's carousel and thoughts to share

Hello dearies! Hope you had a nice weekend with even nicer weather. It was almost Summer-like here a few days ago but we are back to real Spring temps again this week. Most of the trees are leafy and green once more and before you know it we'll be back up in the 90's and 100's. Eeeuww...

I had another lovely visit with my mom this weekend. Just relaxed and helped her with errands and things. I was up early yesterday morning enjoying my buttered toast and hot cocoa while taking in the morning light. Now I have a habit of walking around while sipping my drink and chewing on a mouthful of toast. So while doing my breakfast tour around my mom's house I finally remembered that I've always wanted to take pictures of her music box carousel.

The carousel (or merry-go-round as we always called it) was actually one of the rides my stomach didn't mind too much. Although some of them would go fast enough that I was more than ready to get off during the last few spins.

But just like the rest of the carnival it's the colors and sounds that I like. If you're lucky enough to find a real vintage carousel you can see how beautifully the animals and carriages are crafted. Many are true works of art.

I admit that this is the only way I like to see animals involved in a carnival or circus. When they are not real. As much as I love the romance and nostalgia of the vintage circus I'm not a fan of seeing any live animals perform.

Sadly the circus has a history of mistreating animals and although it's getting better I still won't go to a traditional circus like Ringling Bros. I went as a child and have fond memories but the only one I will go to now is Cirque Du Soleil, where all the performers are human. I have been to several shows and they are absolutely amazing.

I am proud to say however, that my city is one of the ones committed to protecting the welfare of animal performers. A law was passed here last year requiring the inspection and monitoring of animals in shows such as Ringling Bros. A step in the right direction at least.

Not sure if the US will join other countries in banning the use of wild animals in circuses all together. China and Bolivia have done so, among others, and most recently the UK has taken steps to do the same in light of reports of animal cruelty. It's a touchy subject as performing animals have always been part of the allure of the circus. But times change so we shall see.

Speaking of circuses...
Water For Elephants opens in a few weeks and a fascinating indie documentary called Circo just opened this weekend in very few small indie theaters. Crossing my fingers that it comes here too.

And back to the Artful Bag Challenge ATC swap...
I'm so excited to see how many people have signed up to do our first ATC swap. Yay!! So far we have 19 swappers so if anyone else would like to play, I would love to have one more to make it even. I'll post the partners list tomorrow so please check back.

Off to do more PT for my shoulder again.
Hope everyone is already having a lovely Monday.

the artful bag challenge atc swap #1

Well it is April Fool's Day!

And now on to the next Artful Bag Challenge. A big thank you again to everyone that played along with the March Embellish It theme. All I can say is WOW! You guys rose to the challenge and came up with really wonderful artful bags. They were all amazing.

We have a growing list of ATC swappers on the side bar and there's still time to email me and sign up before I post the partners on the 5th. The challenge is open to US and international swappers so please remember to allow enough mailing time if your swap partner lives in a different country.

The only rules to remember for your ATC are the size -- 2 1/2in x 3 1/2in -- and the theme, which is BAGS and PURSES of course. Otherwise anything goes. Paint, scrap, glitter, fabric. Go for it and have fun. Because I am also a big digi fan you can even create your card digitally and then print it out. Leave as is or embellish with fun and fabulous finds.

For a little inspiration here is a digi ATC I created using great freebies from a Deviant Scrap Stampington promotion. The bags are pics of some of my favorite Mary Frances embellished bags. I'll also be making a real one to send out for the swap : )

Again if you are not able to swap but would still like to create an ATC, you can make one and post it along with everyone else on the 25th. Please remember that if you signed up to swap and are assigned a partner, follow through and send out your card. If you're running behind just let your partner know. Stuff happens and we all understand.

For more information on the Artful Bag Challenge please click on the button located on the right side bar. Feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions.