"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."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kindred Spirits Postcard Exchange

I have received these fantastic things from Patricia!  Oh, Patricia, I really do love everything you sent!  Such wonderful treasures! Thank you so much!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Soartful Challenge - Gloria Swanson

Here I go, poking fun again.  But I really did like Gloria.  She was the very definition of a movie star.  In the early 70's, I saw her when she visited a department store for a personal appearance.  I walked 10 blocks in the rain on my lunch hour to get a glimpse of this living legend.  I knew she was quite old at the time and was really curious how she would look.  But clever Gloria!  She wore a large black hat with a brim that scooped over her forehead.  I never really did get a good look at her face, and I don't think anyone else did either.  She was very adept at keeping our attention away from her face, and toward what she was saying!  I, too, love her in Sunset Boulevard. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Away for a while - My Dad Has Passed Away

I am headed back to Kentucky Monday morning.  My Dad  passed away last night.  I don't know how long I will be gone.  Best guess is a week; but I really don't know.  I may have access to Internet from time to time, but since I'm away from home, I won't be able to create anything, and my blog will probably be pretty quiet.

When I return, I will begin packing in order to ship all of my furnishings back to Kentucky before moving back there.  The realtor says the house will show better empty and this way, I can come back sooner and start my job hunt in earnest.  So again, my creative ventures may suffer.

Please stick with me and know that when I am moved and back in action, I will return to creating and posting things as always.  I will fulfill all swap commitment.

Thanks, everyone, for understanding. This is a difficult time for me.

Summer of Color - Purple

Purple Tulip
Callaway Iris

I used this photo I took at Callaway Gardens
as my inspiration for the Iris painting.

And another iris

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Calla Lily and Leaf

Calla Lily and Leaf


I have been on a painting roll lately!  I finished 3 paintings in 24 hours! These 3 paintings will be unveiled for next Monday's Summer of Color post.  This calla lily painting was started a few months ago and I'm finally getting around to finishing it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

52 Starlet Art Challenge - Veronica Lake

Summer of Color - Red

This is an altered DVD.  The blue color in this photo is misleading.  The bottom half of the circle and the part under the fan is silver in color; however the photo makes it appear to be blue.  I put the DVD in my Big Shot machine in an embossing folder.  I don't know if I would recommend this, as it was somewhat difficult to emboss!  Surprisingly, after embossing the DVD, it separated into two pieces.  Now if I can just figure out a way to separate the DVD layers BEFORE embossing, I might have an easier time putting it through the embossing machine.  I used red Adirondack ink to color the bottom.  The fan is trimmed with washi paper.

This is the first CD / DVD that I altered.  I started by brushing a thin layer of gesso over top of the surface of the DVD.  When it dried, I pulled out all of my red watercolors and used every one of them on this piece!  I then glazed over it with crystal stickles, and finished it off with a layer of Mod Podge.  Unfortunately, the stickles glaze does not show up in this scan.

If you'd like to try your hand altering a CD or DVD, please enter my challenge.  See info here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Soartful challenge - bee

Our challenge was to use a bee in our creation. So I thought of Princess Beatrice and her amazing wedding hat.  Imagine the headlines:

"She has a bee in her bonnet!"

"Bee-atrice stung by criticism of her latest hat."

(Somebody stop me!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Would you like to swap postcards with me?

If you follow my blog, you know that I have been involved with the Kindred Spirits Postcard Exchange.  It is so much fun creating art in the size of a postcard (4 inches by 6 inches).  I have been thinking that this is an ideal size in which to create and trade art!  There is more room to create than there is with an artist trading card, with the larger size of the postcard format.  And a postcard still fits into a standard mailing envelope and can usually be mailed for the cost of a single ounce.

A four by six inch piece of art fits well into a nice sized frame to be hung and displayed.

Would you like to swap postcards with me?  If you are interested, please send me a piece of art that you have created in the size 4 inches by 6 inches.  It does NOT have to be formatted as a postcard, unless you want to do that.  With the art you send, please let me know what kinds of themes you like and I will try to create my 'postcard' in a theme you will like.  When I receive your postcard, I will upload a photo of it on my blog and let everyone see what you sent.  Then, after you have received the postcard that I sent, I will upload a photo of my postcard.

Here are some of he subjects I like.  But I am open to ANYTHING! 

Cats - Flowers - Trees - Vintage - Humor - painted or drawn - Paris - tea - Asian - Butterflies - Mucha - Tiffany Lamps

My mailing address is listed in my blog profile.  Please don't forget to send me your address, especially if you do not have a blog, so that I can send your card to you as quickly as possible.

Let's swap cards!  This will be fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crock Pot Recipe - Balsamic Root Vegetables

Ready to dish up and serve

You might think of root vegetables as cold weather fare.  But by using the crock pot to prepare this dish, your kitchen can stay cool in the warmest weather.  This dish takes 5 hours to cook on the high setting and the house will smell wonderful as it's cooking!

Balsamic Root Vegetables

1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 lb. parsnips, peeled and chunked
         (half of a plastic-wrapped package)
1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks, then halved
1/2 large red onions, sliced
3/4 C sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins) or figs
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
3 tbsp. olive or canola oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley (I did not use this ingredient)

Lightly grease the crock pot.  Layer the veggies in the crock pot in the following order:  carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, onions.  Sprinkle dried cranberries over each layer.  Whisk together brown sugar, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Pour over the vegetables.  DO NOT STIR.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours.  Toss vegetables with chopped parsley before stirring.  Serves 4.

I originally copied this recipe out of an old issue of Southern Living magazine while I was waiting for an appointment.  I have made a few adjustments to their recipe based on my experience.  Carrots need the most cooking time, so they go on the bottom.  Sweet potatoes take the shortest time to cook, so they go on top.  I used figs instead of cranberries, as I was unexpectedly out of cranberries!

Veggies in crock pot, ready to cook

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Altered Serving Fork

I found a silver plated salad set at the thrift store for 25 cents!  I wondered if anyone had ever altered a fork.  Then I thought about Neptune's trident and thought I'd make a sea-themed altered fork.  There's even a shell in the design at the top of the handle! Serendipity!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Two more beautiful postcards!

I received this lovely postcard from Jules Eickmeier.
The starfish is a metal brooch.  So lovely!

Here is the back of the card, which is edged
on the bottom with lovely floral tape.

This  gorgeous card came from Jacque Lynch.
The card is embossed and embellished with beaded lace

Ladies, thank you so much!  I love them both!

52 Starlet Art Challenge - Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo was the quintessential movie star.  No one was more glamorous on screen.  No one was more alluring or mysterious.  Her acting style holds up better than many early stars as she was always very natural on screen.  Natural for her, that is.  No one imagined her as an every day housewife.  She was always an exotic creature, a one of a kind.  Her penchant for privacy was unrivaled.  I was amazed at how many fascinating images of Greta Garbo there are on the Internet!  Surely, she was one of the most photographed women of her time.  I think the photographers loved having her for a subject because they thought that perhaps their photograph would unlock the inner secret of her being.  But none ever did.

In Ninotchka, she had a scene where her character burst unexpectedly into laughter.  That laughter was a revelation to her fans and a clue to all who saw the film that the screen's most dramatic star also had a wonderful sense of humor.  I hope she would like the next two pictures.

Summer of Color - Brown


Brown daffodil study

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Soartful Challenge - Pastoral scene

This week we were given this beautiful, pastoral painting to work with.  It is truly lovely.  But as soon as I saw it my nose began to itch.  Yes, despite weekly allergy shots, I am having a miserable time with my allergies.  So I had no choice but to interpret this lovely photo in my own little way.

Friday, July 8, 2011

How to make a simple craft hanger

Wondering what to do with an altered CD? Or perhaps with some of your other craft creations?  Here's a simple way to make a hanger for your piece.

To make a hanger for my altered CD, I first took a piece of cardstock and cut it approximately 1/2 inch wide by 4 inches long.  Heavier creations may require plastic or strong fabric, or some other sturdy but pliable material.

See the first strip: I have placed marks after every inch.

Fold the strip in half (see the second example.)

Then, fold the two sides up to make the piece look like the third example.  I am using scrap cardstock, which is strong enough to hold the CD.

Place glue on the inner middle half of the strip to glue it together tightly.  I used a binder clip to hold the strip together while it dried, as shown in the fourth example.

After your hanger has dried thoroughly, using your eyelet setter, set an eyelet in the glued part, as shown in the fifth example.

Using your strongest glue, glue the two end tabs to your CD.  You may want to trim the tab down a bit.  Heavier hangings may require more than one hanger.

Two more postcards

Petra sent me this cute card.  I love the shading.  She even had a gorgeous stamp on the back!

Janet sent me this gorgeous card.  The purple butterfly just leaps off the card!

Blue Dandelion

52 Starlet Art Challenge - Julie Newmar

It has taken me all week to post something for Julie Newmar. I confess, Iwasn't sure how I feel about her.  In some ways, she was the quintessential Marilyn imitator.  However like many other imitators, she lacks vulnerability.  She is actually the first actress in the series that truly deserves the title starlet. 

Dictionary.com defines starlet as follows:


1a young actress promoted and publicized as a future star, especially in motion pictures.
2.  a small star or other heavenly body.
If the starlet's promise is fulfilled, she becomes an actual 'star.'  However in Hollywood, many actresses spend their entire career being starlets. (See second definition:  'a small star or other heavenly body.'
Julie did a memorable turn in the 50's movie Lil Abner as Stupefyin' Jones.  In the film, her character's mere presence was enough to stupefy any red blooded male. 
She has spent her career doing mostly TV - most notably, as Catwoman, in the 60's tv show Batman.  She was really my favorite Catwoman!  Her over the top acting style and physical attributes were perfect for this role, and she played it to the hilt.  She appeared in the enduring musical film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. and also appeared on Broadway, winning a Tony award for her performance in the 1959 play The Marriage Go Round.  She reprised her award-winning role in the film version of the play.  Her only son, born to her while she was in her 40's, is deaf and has Downs syndrome.

I have to admit, that after reading about her life and career, I now feel differently about her.  I originally thought she was just a flash in the pan.  Although she is brainy and is known to have a fantastic sense of humor, she has never been given a role that could lift her out of the sexy beauty queen category, which is really too bad.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A New Challenge - Alter a CD!

We've altered all sorts of everyday household objects.  Let's move up to the computer age and alter a CD or DVD!  They're not hard to come by.  You may get them for free through the mail or enclosed with magazines.  They're usually pretty inexpensive at thrift shops.  Or you may have an old CD that you no longer want.  Try your hand at altering it! 

You can choose to cover the hole of the CD with your design, or you can use the hole as an integral part of the design.  You can alter the other side!  There are so many possibilities!  Do a Google image search for altered CD and you'll get lots of inspiration.

If you alter a CD, please post a photo on your blog and place a link at the bottom of this post.  I will not be hosting a swap, but if you see an altered CD that you'd like to swap for, please contact the creator privately and arrange your swap.

If you have problems entering your link, please email the link to me and I'll take care of it for you.
This is new, challenging, and intriguing!  Please participate.  Here are two CDs that I have altered:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I have received another postcard!

I've received my second beautiful postcard. This one came from Lynne Moncrieff of Scotland:

The postcard is edged in gorgeous lace. I love it!

Lynne also did a gorgeous job ageing the back of the postcard.
It looks truly vintage!

Here is the envelope that contained the postcard - hand-decorated by the very talented Lynne!  This is the second postcard I have received from the Kindred Spirits Postcard Exchange.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Summer of Color - Week 4 - Yellow

Anyone who knows my work knows that this is somewhat off the wall for me.  But I love to be challenged and to expand my limits.  This was just plain fun.  It is watercolor, except for the writing. Is anyone other than me old enough to remember this song?