happy 4th

Got big plans for the 4th of July? I remember spending several 4ths at a Victorian themed teddy bears picnic years and years ago. It was held on the grounds of a beautiful Victorian estate near San Francisco and many guests would dress up in period garb. I also attended one of their Gatsby picnics which was featured in Victoria Magazine one year.

Photo from one of the Gatsby picnics at Dunsmuir

Everyone brought their favorite bear/s and spread out fancy picnic ware. And of course there was a great parade for the kids. This was way before I got married and had my son so I didn't have a child to join the parade but oh how I wished I could have.

I always brought Beartrand, the big guy in the back and it was that picnic that inspired me to do my own 2 years ago. Maybe it's time for me to do another one.

Are you looking for red, white and blue party ideas?

Head on over to The Tomkat Studio for some yummy inspiration. She has lots of great pics and recipes too.

Whatever you have planned this weekend and on the 4th please remember to keep your furry kids safe. So many pets go missing on this holiday because they're left outside and the fireworks terrify them. Indoors is the best place for them to be which is where Luna loves to make fireworks of her own.


Thank you to everyone who participated in my Midsummer Altered Fairy Shoe Challenge. I loved all your beautiful shoes!

Have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend.


a midsummer fairy shoe

Happy Midsummer and Fairy Day!

I'm so glad you can join me today for my Altered Fairy Shoe challenge. I know some of you needed to jump start your creative muse again like I do and this was a great way for me to get moving.

The challenge was to take an actual shoe and alter it into a fabulous piece of art with a fairy theme. I found a pair of old shoes sitting in my garage recently. I think I wore them to a friend's wedding many, many years ago. I decided to challenge myself to only use materials I had on hand so I wouldn't have to buy anything new.

But I came across this roll of ribbon moss and I knew it was exactly what I needed for my shoe so I allowed myself one new item. Everything else is from my stash of this and that.

After making friends with my glue gun once again my fairy shoe started to come together.

I used ribbon moss, spanish moss, velvet pansies, sculpted paper flowers, vintage millinery pearls, twigs, vintage sheet music, paint and of course lots and lots of glitter and frost.

I imagined a midsummer wedding in the woods for a fairy queen. I see her walking on a carpet of moss with shoes such as these, embellished with bits and bobs gathered from the forest floor.

Creating my shoe was so much fun. I had truly forgotten how much I love to just let my imagination go. The hardest part is always knowing when to stop adding to it.

There's always room for one more flower or a bit more glitter.

Finally I was quite  happy with the way my first
altered art shoe turned out.

I searched for a magical spot until I found the perfect fairy bower.


And there I left a gift for the fairy queen, hoping she might enjoy a token of my appreciation for dusting me with a pinch of midsummer magic.

Thank you for letting me share a little fairy whimsy with you!

I decided to just alter one shoe but you are very welcome to do a pair. Since I only used one I started thinking about what to do with the other shoe.

Visions of pumpkins and Halloween started dancing in my head.  I thought perhaps you might join me again in a few months for another altered shoe challenge. So start gathering your spookiest and witchiest embellishments and join me in September for The Autumn Altered Witchy Shoe Challenge!

Thank you everyone for sharing your amazing pieces of art. I can't wait to see all the fairy magic you created. Below is a linky so you can link up your post. Make sure to visit everyone's post and have a fabulous summer fairy weekend.


If you're trying to link up and the linky won't work please let me know in your comment and I'll add your link to this list. Sorry guys, I'm not sure why it's doing that but let me know so we don't miss your fabulous shoes!

I'm going to leave this post up for a few days so if you want to jump in and add a last minute project you're more than welcome to do so.

fairy magic

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, "The Land of Heart's Desire," 1894

And as the seasons come and go, here's something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around - in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature's things, you might just see a fairy's wing. ~Author Unknown

The fairies were gathering in the woods today. Perhaps a midsummer dance or a fairy wedding is close at hand. I caught a glimpse of glitter and color just under this mossy bower.

Just a little bit of fairy magic to share with you this first day of Summer!

 I hope your fairy shoes are nearly done. I really can't wait to see them. I had lots of fun making mine thanks to a shot of inspiration from a fairy friend!

Please join me this Saturday for more fairy delights!

diasappearing fonts

Hello dearies. Have any of you been having problems with your Blogger fonts? I noticed a few days ago that the font I see on my blog isn't the same one I picked in the design editor. When I go back to edit it still shows I picked Inconsolata. Which looks like this....

But that's not  what I see when I view my blog. Same thing happens when I pick a different one. So I was wondering if you can tell me what you see. Does my font look like the sample or not at all? Anyone else having the same problem? I know Blogger is doing away with the current editor in a few months and I don't think I'm going to like it. It seems you have far less design options. Hmmm...

Update: Things seem to be working fine now. Funny that the problem's been going on for about a week and it sorts it itself out after my post! Hope it stays fixed.

dad's day and old shoes

Hurray for dad! I hope you're enjoying a beautiful weekend with your loved ones. We are hiding from the heat this weekend, 104 here yesterday but a cooler 96 today.

Would love to be cooling off at a beautiful beach like this one but a lovely lunch and indoor air conditioning works for us too.

My dad has been gone for nearly eight years. Hard to believe and although I didn't enjoy the close father daughter relationship with him many of you might have with your dads I truly appreciate the sacrifices he made for our family and will always love him with all my heart.

A quick reminder too about my upcoming Altered Fairy Shoe Challenge next weekend. You can still join in the fun if you have a pair of old shoes you don't mind turning into a piece of art.

I was cleaning out my garage a few days ago and found this old pair from ages ago. I might have worn them once for a wedding I was in. I thought they would be perfect for the challenge.

In case you're still looking for inspiration here's a link to an artist who created some really cool altered shoe art. I can't wait to see your shoes!

summer, glamping and one more for harry

My son came home from school with his yearbook today. He has the last of his finals tomorrow, one more day of wrapping up his sophomore year, then summer begins.

I'm never ready for summer. Particularly our summer here in Tomatoland. Mother Nature has been kind to us this year, teasing us with cooler temperatures the last few weeks. It has been downright gusty these past three days with cool nights sending me to dig out the warm fuzzy boots I already tossed to the back of my closet.


We have been enjoying late night walks on the canal trail that runs through our neighborhood. We live right along the river and these canals keep our little neighborhood from flooding during a heavy rain storm. I love our night time walks, especially when the moon light reflects on the water and the canopy of trees remind me of my favorite camping spots.


Today we start the first of our typical summer heatwaves. Nothing less than 90 the next 2 weeks and at least one or two days in the 100's next week. The lambs ear in my front yard is already bracing for the sun and it's doing a much better job than I am. I am not a hot weather girl as you probably might know.


But summer also turns my thoughts to camping and I do love to camp in the woods. Among the tall redwoods my state is famous for or along the ocean where the sound of the crashing surf lulls you into a deep restful sleep. So I plan to escape the summer heat by dreaming of such magical places.


Although I love our extra large family tent I honestly wouldn't mind doing the glamping thing in a tent like this one at Mary Jane's Farm in Moscow, Idaho.


If you're familiar with the magazine Mary Jane's Farm this Bed and Breakfast is by the same Mary Jane.


Mary Jane combines a bed and breakfast experience with a romantic camping one.


She grows organic produce on her farm and is a great supporter of simple, organic living.


The perfect end to a lovely day.

Even the fairies would envy this I think.

Yes I can definitely do this kind of camping. Would you?

 My son will be a junior next year....11th grade, I still can't believe it. The thought seems to be sending me into a curious sort of panic. I have two years to get him ready for the rest of his life! Time to seriously work on his college stuff, scholarships, internships and other things I'm trying not to think about just yet. He's doing such a great job so I better do mine.


But we have one last Harry Potter event to do next month. He wanted to finish up with number eight just like the movies and I'm not complaining. Celebrating Harry's birthday is a summer tradition we have followed the last seven years. I thought he was done after last year but he's not quite willing to say goodbye to Harry just yet. And I'm not ready to let go of the magic either so I'm going to savor every minute of it.

Have a beautiful week.

a midsummer altered fairy shoe challenge

**View my fairy shoe post and all the other fabulous shoes HERE**

When inspiration doesn't always come to you maybe the best thing to do is give yourself a little nudge. I decided to do a fun challenge this month and I would like to invite you to join me.

To celebrate Midsummer (June 22) and Fairy Day (June 24) I created A Midsummer Altered Fairy Shoe Challenge. I loved doing the paper fairy shoe swap at Bliss Angels last year so I thought it would be fun to do something with a real shoe this time.

I love the idea of fairy shoes. Whether they are the tiny paper ones, ones made from textiles and cloth  or crafted from worn recycled shoes.

One of my favorite sources of inspiration are the designs of Basia Zarzycka. She is known for her intricately detailed bridal couture, accessories and shoes. There is a magical fairytale quality in her designs that I just love.

The green pair above and the rosey ones below are both by Basia. You will find more whimsy and inspiration at her website here.

I also found this fun Fairy Shoe Shrine on Etsy.

The exquisite pair below is from 7 Rose Petal Path. I love how the artist incorporated the shoes into a woodland vignette.

These are only suggestions of course. There are plenty of images available online if you do a search

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Here are the rules:

- I invite you to alter an actual shoe or slipper. It can be a pump, wedge, flats, canvas, ballet shoe or any shoe you no longer use. You can also pick a pair up at the thrift shop for super cheap if you like. One of your kid's old shoes would work very well and baby shoes or wee little doll shoes would also be perfect.

- You can alter one shoe or a pair and it can be purely decorative or something you or someone might  really wear.

- Use any material or medium you like to embellish and alter your shoe/s. Paper, paint, clay, metal, lace, glitter.....whatever inspires you to unleash your inner fairy!

- You can create a shoe for a fairy, a shrine or vignette. You can tell a story to go along with your shoe/s or simply share photos.

- There is a button on the right sidebar so you can get the word out to all your fairy kin.

- Be ready to post and share your fairy shoe on Saturday, June 23. I will have a linky up with my post the night before.

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I'm looking forward to getting back into creating again and being inspired by all of you. I know this might be somewhat short notice but the idea hit me and I wanted to just go with it and see where it takes me. Thank you for helping me find my muse again. I hope you'll play along.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

hello again

Time flies.

How on earth did it get to be nearly halfway through the year already? I have been absent from blogland again I know. I hope all is well in your little corner of the world.

Life has been curiously art free for me these past few months.

My wonderful new computer is fast and reliable but my files and graphics are being held hostage by my old laptop. So I have been without my favorite digi images as well as my beloved Photoshop.

I struggle to find inspiration to paint, doodle, sketch or even visit my favorite art blogs so I feel I have nothing worthy to blog about.


Fortunately I just had to do a massive house cleaning to get ready for guests so my art space got a nice little makeover. At least everything is ready in case inspiration strikes again. 
Much of my energy is still going into healing and rebuilding my marriage. It feels like the right thing to do for now.


Our journey keeps us moving forward.

 Blissful at times and still heart wrenching during others but always the commitment to learn from the past, start fresh and see what the future holds. Some days are better than most and I still wonder about choices I've made sometimes.

Life likes to keep us guessing.


I know I haven't been around much lately but all of you still inspire me in countless ways.

I wish you all a happy and magical summer.