"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Treasures from Misses Peach!

This was such a wonderful day!  I went to get the mail and what do you think was there?  A treasure package from none other than Misses Peach!  Look at all of the loverly treasures she sent me!
Just look at those gorgeous ribbons!  And a stamp, a peachy magnet, an altered paint chip with two cats - Fanny and Tooky!  And some loverly card backgrounds.  Not to mention a gorgeous ATC card with a pink butterfly and another card with a beautifuil poem!  The thing that really made me smile is the simply adorable black cat clip!  Oh, Misses Peach, thank you so much!  I will treasure all of these treasures!

Tea Time

This was an experiment in negative painting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Look what I received today!

I received this fabulous altered matchbox from Jonathon805 today in the Matchbox Swap.  This is so gorgeous!  This photo does not really do it justice!  The colors, and the way the background terrain was achieved through layering are really remarkable!  I'm so happy with it, and I wanted to share it with you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Memories

Here's a photo of my girls taken around 1981.  Suzanne, on the left, is now 34 and the mother of two daughters.  She works as a patient liason at an Oncologist's office.  Jennifer, in the red swing, is now 31, and the mother of a two-year old.  She is a teacher.  Amy, the oldest, now 36, is the mother of three, and a manager with the UC Physicians organization.  They might not understand it now, but I still see them as they were in this photo!

Blue Monday - GO BIG BLUE!

Can't think of a better Monday to celebrate 'blue,' as my beloved Kentucky Wildcat basketball team has made it to the final four!

Monday Recipe - Frozen Fruit Salad

The Teacup Cottage was a lovely little place in Acworth, Georgia, where you could come on a Saturday afternon for a great cup of tea, delicious food, and good conversation. 
Whenever I visited, I always had the 'Hens Nest.'  It included a scoop of chicken salad served on Chinese noodles (the nest), a lovely cheese biscuit, fruit, and a scoop of their luscious frozen fruit salad.  It was to die for!  Of course, the nice folks at the Teacup Cottage were more than reluctant to give out their recipes.  My favorite was that frozen fruit salad.  Here you see it on the combination salad plate they served.  It's the pink salad at the top.  This plate also contained chicken salad and potato salad.  Oh, it was so delightful!  And don't you just love the teapot with its cute little tea cozy?  The Teacup Cottage's teacups were of many different designs and all of them were so elegant.
Now comes the bad news:  the Teacup Cottage closed a few years ago.  I miss it so much! I have tried to recreate its luscious frozen fruit salad and have come up with a reasonable facsimile, although nothing could really compare to their version.  Try this sometime!  You can store individual servings in the freezer and pull them out as you need them - so handy when you have unexpected company!

Frozen Fruit Salad - reminiscent of Teacup Cottage's

8 oz. cream cheese, regular or lite
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup mayonnaise (this can be low-fat)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 8-3/4 oz. can sliced peaches, well-drained and chopped
1/2 cup maraschino cherry halves, well-drained
1 - 30 oz. can fruit cocktail, well-drained
1 - 6-1/2 oz. can crushed pineapple, well-drained
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped; or a tub of Cool Whip

Put cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and let it come to room temperature. 
Add powdered sugar and mayonnaise.  Blend well.  Add vanilla extract.  Blend well.
Fold in fruit and  marshmallows.
Fold whipped cream or Cool Whip into mixture. 
Ladle into individual serving cups and freeze.
Defrost no more than 15 minutes before serving.
I have ladeled the mixture into muffin liners but you must remove the liners about 5 minutes into the defrosting process, as the dessert does not serve well out of the liners. 
Silicone muffin cups are perfect, as you can dip them in cold water and remove the cups easily when defrosting.
You can also shape the mixture into a loaf and serve it at the table, cut into slices.

Thank you so much, Deborah of Confessions of a Plate Addict who graciously consented to let me use these photos that she took during a visit to the Teacup Cottage in 2008.  Her blog is a must-visit!  So much to see and admire - and she has some remarkably beautiful kitties, too!  If you would like to see more photos of her visit to the Teacup Cottage, including some of the beautiful things they sold, go here.  She also has some fanatastic recipes on her blog - all photographed beautifully!  I must try the cheese ball recipe! Yum!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ginger Snap Creations Copper, Ginger or Rust Challenge

I created this for Ginger Snap Creations' Third Annual Copper, Ginger or Rust Challenge.
I used copper, ginger, and rust to create this collage.  The copper ring is actually a part for a handbag.  I hand-beaded the frame around it.  The lady in the photograph is not a relative, but the photo is one of those wonderful 'freebie' photos that I've had for some time just waiting for the right time to use it.  She is so lovely, she seems to just burst right out of the photograph!  I filled the copper ring containing her photo with Glossy Accents.  I created the collage around the photo using a page from an old book, some rust-colored quilt fabric, a cut-up leather leaf and a ginger-colored paint chip.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And the winner is...

The winner of the Swarovski Crystal Bracelet is:


Congratulations!  Please contact me and let me know your address and I'll get your bracelet out to you as quickly as I can.

What's inside the March matchbox?

My partner, Teresa, received my matchbox today, so now I can reveal what was inside.
I filled the box with a little bit of everything.
A pair of hand-made earrings with Austrian fire polish crystals, a brass bird from the Vintaj collection, a feather, two cloissonne beads, a silver button, an emerald green Swarovski crystal heart, a 'create' charm, flowers, and another brass charm.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Breakfast Parfait - my first recipe!

Cooking is another one of my passions; so I feel compelled to share some recipes on my blog.

I was diagnosed diabetic a few years ago.  This would be bad news for anyone; but it seemed to be particularly difficult for me.  First, my diagnosis came soon after my husband, Frank's, death.  I was trying to get used to preparing meals for one when I discovered that I was going to have to look at cooking in a whole new way.  Second, I had several hundred cookbooks collected over the years for a variety of dishes and cooking styles. Would I be able to use ANY of these cookbooks any more?  Third, I have a negative reaction to artificial sweeteners which discourages me from using it in my cooking for more than once in a great while.

Well, it's been a struggle.  I have gone through times when I just went into complete denial and ate potato chips by the bagful, and had cheesecake for dessert.  Of course, I didn't feel very well while I was doing it; but for some reason, giving in to my new eating requirements has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Every day is a struggle.

I wanted to tell all of you about this so that you will know that the recipes I am using now, or creating, must fit into my new lifestyle.  Fortunately, eating this way is good for anyone.  It is a balanced mixture of good foods in determined serving sizes that will not make my glucose level rise, and hopefully won't make our stomachs and waistlines bulge!

Breakfast has been one of the hardest meals for me.  I'm a bacon, eggs and grits kind of girl; and while I can make this fit into a diabetic diet, that doesn't mean that it won't expand my waistline.  So I've tried to come up with some dishes that are quick, inexpensive and legal!  Here's one of my favorite breakfast dishes:

Breakfast Parfait

1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
Some Mixed Fruit
1-2 tbsp. granola

Layer cottage cheese, yogurt and fruit in a serving cup.  If you're going to eat it immediately, top with granola and enjoy.  If you're going to take it to work or school, pack the granola in a small plastic bag, cover the container and take to work with you.  Add the granola just before eating.

I know this seems ridiculously simple - but to me, it tastes like all of the desserts I'm doing without now! Doesn't it look elegant in the little footed dish?

There are many substitutions you can make in this dish, which is why I have not run a nutritional analysis on it.  You can use full-fat cottage cheese, lowfat, or non-fat.  You can use vanilla yogurt made with artificial sweeteners - or another flavor of yogurt, if you like.  Your fruit selection is up to you, but my favorite is strawberries and blueberries.  Also, I'm supposed to eat 1/2 banana a day, and this dish is a good one to put the banana in.  And, of course, granolas can vary tremendously in calorie and fat count.  I like to use my own homemade granola for this; but since you are eating so little, you can use just about any kind.  If you want to add a lot of fiber to the dish, top with 1-2 tbsp. Fiber One Cereal which has the highest fiber content of any cereal I know.

I hope you try this.  It's so good!  So easy!  Even the kids should like it.  And to top it all off - it's good for you!

Ruby Tuesday for An American Girl

My daughter, Amy,  went to Chicago on business recently and bought my granddaughter, Emily, an American Girl doll - also named Emily!  When I checked and found out how much those dolls cost, I was glad they were not high on my daughter's 'must have' list when she was a girl!  LOL!  She had a Cabbage Patch doll, that we had to wait for. (Named Lindley Athol) and that cost about 1/3 of what an American Girl doll costs.

Amy is bringing the 3 grandchildren to visit during spring break on her way with them to Disney World.  I wanted to get some gifts for the grandkids - so you can imagine my amazement when I found this cute little American Girl backpack, which appeared to be brand new, at my local Goodwill Store for less than $3!  She can carry it around the theme parks with her.  And if I ever win the lottery, maybe I'll buy her Emily doll some accessories!

There's no Blue Monday in your Sunday clothes...

For this week's Blue Monday:  This young lady doesn't look as though she could ever be blue!  Wearing that gorgeous chiffon-like dress and pearls - not to mention that spectacular hat!  It looks as though she leads a pretty nice life.  I've always wondered what it was like to live back in the times when one could actually wear a hat like that in everyday life.  It must have been amazing to strut down the street wearing these etherial clothes and accessories.

But then the practical part of me starts to think other things:  wherever did she store that huge hat?  Was there a hat box large enough to contain it? She must have had a closet set aside just for her hats!  The hats that have survived from this era are mostly, alas, in disrepair.  But sometimes you can still find a gown that looks as though it were worn yesterday.  Female fantasies...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Riding High - for Soartful Challenge - Fairies and Butterflies

The theme of this week's Soartful Challenge is Fairies and Butterflies.

"Forever" - Monthly Themed ATC

The theme for this month's Monthly Themed ATC is 'Weddings.'
I made a packing tape transfer background card and painted it with champagne-colored acrylic paint.
I made an oval die cut from a piece of silver embossed cardstock and used it to frame my bride.
Don't you just love her dress and veil?


I created this collage as an homage to my Dad.  He worked as a printer his whole life.  He was a professional linotype operator.  Here is a photo of a linotype:

This cumbersome and heavy machine was used to create iron slugs that were then packed into printing boxes, ultimately becoming something like a huge metal 'stamp' to print words and pictures.  The iron was melted in a pot which was part of the machine, so it was very hot.  My Dad knew how to take this entire machine apart and put it back together again!  It's hard to believe that before the age of the computer, this was the most modern and up-to-date way to print.  The keyboard, which can be seen hanging from the front of the machine, had a very non-traditional keyboard.  It was nothing at all like the qwerty keyboard that we use today.  The keys were laid out like this:

My Dad retired right around the time that computers were taking the place of linotype machines and other more manual methods of printing.  When he was in his late 70's, he purchased his first computer.  He had one big problem though - the keyboard!  Having used the linotype keyboard his entire working life, the computer forced him to use a keyboard that looked completely foreign to him.  Some people say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but my Dad did not believe that.  He set a goal of learning to type with a qwerty keyboard, and mastering the computer.

When he got his first email account, his email name was "Willtype."  My Dad's name is William, but what he meant by that was, "I will type."  He did master the qwerty keyboard and spent many hours working with his computer until macular degeneration made it too difficult for him to see the screen.

For my collage,I used a photograph of a Woodstock typewriter that I own. I'm thankful that my Dad did not have to type on this machine!  My Mother learned to type on a typewriter like this; but I have been fortunate enough to have always had an electric typewriter - and now computer keyboard. 

I used a scrap piece of a printing plate to cut the rectangular embellishment on my card and then embossed it and used StaZon Saddle Brown ink on it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is how we celebrate St. Patty's day in Smyrna, GA

My friend, Betty and I planned to meet at the Cafe for dinner tonight. 
We did not know that this festival was taking place in front of it! 
Had a great dinner and enjoyed hearing the frivolity outside. 
I wonder whose job it will be to scrub out the fountain?  LOL!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner and - guess what - A NEW GIVEAWAY!

Congratulations to Miss Peach, who has won the bead woven necklace!
The necklace will go out in the mail to you as soon as I get your address. 
Thank you so much to everyone who participated! 

Miss Peach suggested this blog for my consideration: Sketchbook Mail Art Club.  This is another blog that she has.  Check out her gorgeous creations for the Blissfull ATC swap.


Some time during the last two weeks, my blog acquired its 100th follower!  It's amazing!  Thank you to everyone who became a follower during One World, One Heart and this giveaway.  And thank you, as well, to those dear friends who have followed this blog from the very beginning.  I am thankful to all of you more than you will ever know!  To show my appreciation to the followers of my blog, I have a new giveaway to announce today!  To enter this one, all you have to do is be a follower, or become a follower, and leave a comment on this post - that's all!  This giveaway will not last long - so comment today.


Here's what I'm giving away:

The bracelet is 7-1/2 inches long and is made from
Swarovski crystals and Austrian firepolish crystals.

A new name - and my first blog giveaway!

In 2005, I started beading.  And when I started, there was no stopping me!  For many months, a day did not go by that I did not spend time beading.  For four years, I attended bead classes, browsed the Internet for bead tutorials, and spent every spare moment creating.  I even taught bead classes in local stores.

Then, in 2009, I started to feel that I needed a change.  I was, frankly, burned out.  My niece introduced me to Artist Trading Cards.  And that was all it took to get me off on new artistic adventures.  I joined online groups, local meetup groups, and traded, traded, traded.  I also started learning as much as I could about backgrounds, paint, and paper.  I have never really had any artistic training.  So many of these things were brand spanking new to me.

When I started working with paper, I stopped posting on my jewelry blog and started this blog, All My Artist Trading Cards.  It’s amazing how many directions this addiction has led to!  In September of 2009 I started taking watercolor lessons.  I had never had any aspirations to paint!  But now, my progress with artist trading cards had given me the confidence to try.

So now I’ve come full circle.  I have heard the muse of beading calling me again.  I want to spend some time making jewelry as a creative outlet.  But I have no intention of giving up paper!  And I don’t have time to start a blog for each of my individual creative endeavors, so I’m renaming my blog:

                  All My Art

As I started posting my watercolor work, I will be posting pictures of the jewelry I create.  All of the jewelry I made the first time around is still available for viewing at my old beading blog, I’m Beading As Fast As I Can.  (See the link on the sidebar).

I hope you will enjoy seeing everything that I create, be it an atc, a painting, a collage, or a necklace.


To celebrate this change, I want to offer my first ever giveaway on my blog.  (I’m not counting One Heart One Hand).  This giveaway is open to my blog followers ONLY.  So if you are not currently following my blog, it’s simple to just click on the sidebar and become a follower.  I currently have 90 followers; so if everyone takes part in the giveaway, you have no worse than a one in 90 chance of winning!  Of course, new followers will be in the drawing, too.  Here’s what I am giving away:

Here’s what you have to do to enter the giveaway:

  1. If you’re not already a follower of my blog, become a follower.
  2. Leave a comment to this message.  In your comment, I’d like for you to recommend another artistic blog to me.  It could be a blog that has inspired you, a blog that you visit over and over, or a blog that has just started and needs encouragement.
  3. One comment only per person, please.
I will declare a winner using a Random Number Generator on March 15.

I appreciate all of you who follow my blog and leave encouraging comments, and comments that point me in the right direction.  Without you, the blog would exist in a vacuum.  I can never thank you enough.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Soartful Challenge - Where are these three ladies going?

The challenge at this week's Soartful Challenge is to create something based on where you think these three well-dressed ladies are headed. 

As far as I am concerned, there is no doubt:

They're going to Disney World!

Blue Monday

For Blue Monday, I am posting a photo of a Kaleidoscope I made using a Van Gogh artwork as my basis.

Ruby Tuesday - From Callaway Gardens

For this week's Ruby Tuesday:  This photo was taken at the Day Butterfly House at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.


I will be choosing the winner of the bead-woven necklace on March 15!  To have a chance to win it, you must be a follower of my blog, or become one, and leave a comment on the original giveaway post, with a recommendation of a blog you think I would like.  That's all there is to it! Please be sure I have a way to contact you if you are the winner.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Paying it Forward

This ideas appeared on Amy's Bead Blog.  I'm copying what she said word for word here:

"The rules I've seen on most of the Pay It Forward blogs go something like this: the blogger must promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must repost this status, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011.

So I hereby promise to Pay It Forward, by sending something hand made by me to the first five people leaving a comment here."

I will send something to the first 5 people who comment on this post.  Please be sure to leave your email addrss so I can email you to get your physical address.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My favorite beaded necklace

I'm going to post a few pieces from my old jewelry blog to give you an idea of the type of beaded jewelry I like to make.

My jewelry is almost always very wearable.  Although this necklace is wearable, I really made it as sort of a statement necklace.  I pulled out all of the stops.  The corsage detaches from the long chain and can be attached to a choker.
The necklace is made of seed beads and Austrian fire polished crystals in my favorite color:  aqua.

Altered Matchbox Challenge - March - Birds

I decided to do a Hummingbird matchbox.  First, I covered the matchbox with -- MATCHES!  LOL!  I have been wondering for some time what to do with all of the matches I am accumulating from making these little altered beauties.  I think I have a lifetime supply!  So I decided to attach them to the matchbox in an artistic design.  Here is the bottom:
After gluing the matchsticks to the box, I used walnut stain to give them a realistic look.  I wanted the whole box to have a somewhat weathered, outdoor look.  I arranged matchsticks on the top in a different pattern, which is difficult to see since I added the hummingbird and flower.
The little flower is home-made and covered with stickles.  The drawer pull is actually a wooden bead from my jewelry supplies.
I glued popsickle stick pieces to both sides of the box and stained them with walnut stain.  I made a leaf border using bread dough clay and glued it to the sides, then painted the leaves with acrylic paint.

What's inside?  I won't post that until my trading partner receives it.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

BLOG FOLLOWERS:  Don't forget to leave a comment on this post to have a chance to win the bead-woven necklace I made. It's easy to become a blog follower.  I will draw a winner on March 15. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - A Visit to the Varsity

For Ruby Tuesday:  My grandson, Bobby, visited and we made a trip to the Varsity.  I cartoonized the photo for fun.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I'm Beading Again!

Since bead weaving is a special love of mine, I've always enjoyed using patterns created by Deborah Roberti.  Her designs usually feature crystals, another particular favorite.  Her directions are always crystal clear, too.  I have wanted to make something using Tila Beads, and when I saw a pattern created by Deborah, I knew this was it.  Tila beads are all the rage right now in the beading world.  The beads are 5mm by 5mm and each bead has two holes running parallel through the bead.  Having two holes instead of one opens up a whole new world of possibilities to beaders.  So I purchased the pattern and made the bracelet.  Of course, I couldn't let it go at that.  I wanted to make a necklace; but I knew that the wavy pattern of the bracelet would not result in a necklace that would lay straight.  So I came up with my own design based on the bracelet.  Hope you like it!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Artful Bag Challenge - Month #3 - March

For the third month of The Artful Bag Challenge, we have been challenged to take an existing handbag and re-decorate, or re-make it.  I found this lovely handbag at my local thrift store for about $1.30:
It is made from a burlap-like material with nice leather straps.  The top has a zipper and the bottom has a large gusset that makes it very roomy.  It would be very suitable to carry books.  The one thing that would stop me from using it myself is that the beautifully-embroidered initials (JES) are not my initials - although the "J" certainly works.  Here's what I did:
I used homemade fabric flowers and paper flowers with die cuts and leather-like leaves to cover the second and third initial.  BUT - I left the letter "J".

Just my crazy sense of humor...

Priscilla loved walking in the garden.  She loved all of the beautiful trees and flowers that were so carefully tended by her evil stepmother.  Everyone else thought that her evil stepmother was against her and was plotting to get rid of her to pave the way to inheriting her sick father's fortune when he passed on.  But Priscilla knew that anyone who spent so much time working in a beautiful garden like this could not be truly evil.  She walked over to a beautiful cherry tree whose blossoms were all over the branches.  They were so very beautiful!  All of the sudden, one of the vines laden with blossoms reached out to her and started encircling itself in her hair.  "How precious," she thought.  "What loving little plants!"  And she thought that right up to the moment that the vine encircled itself around her neck and started to tighten.
Many apologies to Magic Moonlight Studio Free Images, who graciously provided this beautiful image free in her blog today.  I'm sure she did not mean for this image to be used in this way.  I'm sorry, but every once in a while my darker side comes out and needs to show itself.  OK, dark side, you can go back now.

Raw Silk - Blissfull ATCs March Swap

This is for Blissfull ATC's March Swap.  This is the first Blissfull swap in which I've participated! My partner is Electra.  We were given this image which had to appear somewhere on our Artist Trading Card:
I made this ATC card using a silk-like fabric background.

I transferred the 2 images onto satin fabric using TAP paper. 
The tie is raffia, and the dragonfly is from the Vintaj line.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I won - again!

I have won this gorgeous snowflake from Deidra Doan!  This is the second thing I have won from the One World One Heart experience.  If you did not have a chance to check out Deidra's blog during One World One Heart, don't miss it.  She makes some beautiful things.

Blog Followers:  Don't forget to leave a comment on this post to
have a chance to win a bead-woven necklace.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

Here's a real blast from my past for this week's Ruby Tuesday.  This was my wedding day in 1997.
My dear hubby, Frank, passed away in 2007.

Dress Up 2011 - March's Theme is Pop Art

Check out all of the March dresses here.