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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Downton Abbey ATCs

Downton Abbey is a masterfully crafted saga of a wealthy titled family in England and those that serve them. It has been a delight to watch each season and I am looking forward to the next one, just like many of you. 
The waiting might go by faster if we get creative!
Would you like to join in a ATC swap featuring our favorite cast?

We all have our favorite characters....we all have our favorite quotes.......
Here are a few of mine....

(It is a bit blurry here, but better in "person")

Poor Lady Mary! Childish as she begins, she does grow throughout her experiences.
The answer to this question? Her mother tells her "As many as it takes...."
Boo hooo! I can't help but have a soft spot for Lady Mary.
I also have a soft spot for Lady Edith....she too grew during the war and became more of herself.
And I was quite shocked with her behavior with the married farmer!!!

Mrs. Patmore wasn't all that keen on the newfangled telephone!

And Lady Violet....well, let's just say we can always count on her for an eye opening remark!

I still may tweak these a bit. I love the creative process, and this was so fun!
I water colored the background.
Then I used a photograph of Highclere Castle (where Downton Abbey is filmed) from when I visited there last summer, and I created a tissue paper transfer of the Abbey. I stamped script as well as wrote on the background on one.

So far we have three participating in this swap. As soon as I know about how many we will have, I will put up the information. Let's just keep it simple, just have fun!

Next post I will share what I have been soldering for sure!
I am getting better! Yay! I hope to have a bracelet finished for tomorrow to share.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tea Cup Tuesday-Beauty

Hello All!
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday!!! (crowd goes wild!)

Another week flew by and Spring is definitely here.
It is hard not to think about beauty at a time like this! 

When I opened my back door this morning to let our little doggies out,
I was greeted with a cool fresh breeze filled with the smell of newly bloomed flowers.
The air was so fresh, so full of oxygen, I felt more alive just taking a deep breath. So my husband and I took the girls (doggies) out for an early walk to get as much enjoyment out of the peaceful morning. 

(What a treat in mint!)

(I do love this beautiful gold design around the outer edge of the plate and inner cup.) 

(Simple yet fancy handle touched with gold and gold pedestal base)

(Beauty in a cup!)

 (And yes!....it is a Paragon! As you all know one of my all time favorite companies.)

Beauty is something I look for... and I find it,
in tea cups, in china,
in sunshine pouring through the trees,
in laughter, in smiles,
in flowers, in puddles, in music, in whistling,  in people... 

I could go on and on...
For I finally found out that I can find beauty any where and every where if I want.
Even if my day is not so pleasant a day....it can be a little better if I open my eyes.
I am not always actively looking, sometimes it blows gently in my face
like this morning when I opened the back door.
And for that, I am truly grateful! 

 (My little doggies, Wee Betsy and Miss Emma, they both want a sip of tea....after all they are from Yorkshire, lol!)

(Oooops, almost forgot! Anyone out there interested in participating in a Downton Abbey ATC swap???)

If you would like to join in Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha ( I know you will want to visit her and see her amazing china!) and I, just go and prepare a post with a tea cup you would like to share in it, then come back here and link up with Linky Tools below. Now we can come and visit you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Creative Play

Hello All!
What a week of delightful weather!
I am loving the thunderstorms. 
I am enjoying the sweet smelling blooms of springtime.

This week in between soldering sessions, I have had some time to just play. 
 And it feels really good.

I wanted to spend some time trying to express myself through collage. 
The collage above is one I am working on about my sister Kathleen and I.
It measures about 6x9'' (you are seeing only a small part of it) and I have used acrylic on cardboard.
I have more to say in it and will keep looking at it and tweaking. 
The fun part!

Here is another project sitting on my very large (and yes messy!) art desk....the beginnings of a domino book about one of my favorite women of history, Beatrix Potter. 
It has a ways to go yet. I am in the process of gathering things of meaning about her.

And I am still soldering! I am beginning to improve and to be more consistent!
I had taken a few photos tonight but they did not turn out well, so tomorrow I will try to get some photographs to share with you all.
I do love learning new things!

I want to thank you all for your visits and very kind comments. I love hearing from you all, how you are doing and what you are doing creative in your life. 
Creativity is a part of my wellbeing....
Is it the same for any of you?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Tea Cup Tuesday-Sweet Gift!

Hello All!
Happy Spring!
The cherry tree in our back yard has broken into joyous bloom this week! 
The fragrance is divine!

Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday, where Martha and I get all sentimental about china! 
Especially tea cups!

I have taken my images out of doors this week, just because the weather was gorgeous yesterday.
Today we were lucky to have a thunderstorm. So I am very glad I took these pictures then and not today!

This cup is new to me as of this past week.
Tara and I exchanged tea packages. This is the lovely cup that she has sent me!
She also sent along some home made jams, some teas, a vintage set of salt and pepper shaped like a tea pot, and a beautiful card. I feel so lucky : )

The lovely bouquet of flowers here reminds me of fall, yet the pink of the blossoms makes it look like spring too! So I am thrilled to use it now on this first day of a new season. I think I shall have a cup of Chamomile tea. Mmmmm....one of my favorite teas!

Here we see a simple but sweet handle, no gilding or any decoration.
The plate and cup edge though does sport a nice gold trim.

On the backside, there is a smaller spray of pretty flowers.
You can see the wavy gold trim rim well in this image.

This is a very sweet vintage cup. And I really love it. I also love that it is the first cup I have that says Made in England, yet has no company logo on it. Unusual to me....is it to you too? Or does this happen more often than I have experience with?   
You can see a little brown mark that looks like a 3 lying on it's back. 
This could be the artist's mark. The brown four digit number is the pattern.
But so odd that they didn't bother with a maker. 
Maybe it was one of those cups made for another company and that company puts it's mark on it when it arrives from the manufacturer. What do you think?

Now here on the plate there is another story... see the faint brown six at the top? That is an artist mark I believe and it is different than the cups. The cup was made by one person and the plate by another. They may not have been made anywhere near the same time either. I just love anomalies!
The only thing I know for sure is that it was made in England.

Tara, thank you so much for your lovely gift!

Spring is a time of rebirth, of new growth and of fresh starts. 
What an optimistic season it is!

Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.
If you would like to join in Tea Cup Tuesday just create a post with a tea cup you would love to share and then come back here and link that specific post with Linky Tools below. 
Martha and I look forward to visiting you!

I am still soldering away...ordered more supplies, trying different solders and fluxes. 
I promise to show you some in my next post!
Wish me luck!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Artist Share part Two

Hello All!
What an incredible weekend!
 The sun is shining, yet large cotton ball clouds with grey underbellies drift lazily across the sky.
 Feels like the kind of day one would lay in a hammock with a good book and sip lemonade : )

Today (I am not lying in a hammock!lol!) I am doing what many of you are doing, laundry, cooking and fitting in some art! Yay! Practicing soldering is high on my list, as well as a new domino book on Beatrix Potter. These projects inspire me. Today I am sharing the work of others. I have been so blessed with gifts and cards lately that I just must share some more!

At Art and Soul, I was super surprised to find out I had won a door prize... And not just any door prize, but one from Julie Haymaker Thompson!

Isn't it just fabulous! In the close up below you can see there is text paper inside!

I have never had a piece of steampunk jewelry before, and have just been thinking about having some, and there she was! Julie is an amazing artist and her blog is full of inspiring art. You can see her HERE.
Thank you Julie!

Next, I am sharing a birthday card I received from across the pond, from Dianne Buckley.
Dianne is a watercolor artist among many things, and she did a watercolor of a tea cup ( That I have in my collection) and a rose and made it into a greeting card!

Dianne lives in Stoke on Trent in England. The very place where tea cups are made! She shared with me how a number of her family members have worked in the potteries through the years. It is fascinating to me.
Thank you Dianne for your beautiful and thoughtful card!

Next I am sharing a tag that my friend Jan made for me.

This is a thick wooden (?) tag. I just love the collage and sentiment. I love the embossing and the number 53 on the fab pin, since I have just turned 53! And I am feeling like re arranging furniture!
Jan has a wonderful blog, A Journey.
Thank you Jan!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
I am off to solder. Yay!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Artist Share Part One

Hello All!

I have been lucky and blessed to have received a number of gifts from delightful blogging friends. I wanted to share what I could with you all as they are all so fabulous! In part two of this post I hope to introduce you to a new artist that I am thrilled to know. I am keeping my fingers crossed I will have plenty of photos.

Today  let's start with Sherry from Creatology!
Sherry sent me a surprise birthday gift of a handmade sachet of lavender!

This origami type folded sachet is so sweet, and the smell is so light and refreshing. Thank you so much Sherry! You can visit Sherry's creative blog at Creatology.

Next are a few Valentine's I received in my mailbox. I think my box was stuffed with over 35 cards! It was delightful to open each one.

Here above is a tea themed Valentine from my blogging friend Jan from A Journey. I love all the sparkly swirlies! I adore the cute little tea cups! Thank you so much Jan for your cheery card! Jan is a wonderful photographer as well as mixed media artist, you can see her lovely blog Here

And look at this lovely Heart Tree card from Mary Beth!  She is a Mary Jane's Farm farmgirl just like me! And you can visit her lovely blog at Small City Scenes of Stanwood. I love the 3D effect she created in her gorgeous card!

This sweet one is from Emily Anna, isn't it just adorable! She is also a Farmgirl! The silhouette is fabulous! I am sorry I do not have a blog address for Emily Anna.

And below is one more tea themed Valentine from the talented Linda Adams...

Front of her very sweet envelope, even the stamp is fabulous!

Delightful card inside! This is such a sweet image. I love her addition of flowers.

And the back of Linda's lace doily envelope, it is so lovely!
This is the most romantic envelope I have ever seen!
You can visit Linda's fab blog Random Creativity Here

Thank you so much Jan, Mary Beth, Emily Anna and Linda Adams, as well as all the other friends who sent  fabulous cards!
I am totally loving each and every one!

I was totally surprised as well to have come home from Art and Soul to find Dorthe's amazing gift waiting for me!

Everything was wrapped up so sweetly in a linen doilies with a lovely fabric flower. Inside were the lovely bird tag, some oh so very delicate leaf skeletons (totally ethereal!), some beautiful pearl flower stamens, and some pretty green sugared roses you can't really see here. And...inside was also.................

This sweet little sprite! She is only about 5 '' tall, and she is perfection!
Dorthe created this magical little creature with soft fiber hair, shimmery body, and glittery touches all over her body in just the right places ; )
You can visit Dorthe and see her glorious art at Den Lille De Lade.
She needs a name.....
Maybe you all could suggest names for me?
That would be so fun!

Thank you so much Dorthe for your kind surprise!

Well, I have more to share in part two soon. I am feeling very blessed!
Thank you all so much for stopping by!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tea Cup Tuesday-Irish!

Hello All!
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha and myself.
I missed seeing you all last week as I was away on a much needed retreat!
My last post announcing the winners of my Milestones Giveaway also tells some of my trip.
And...my foray into soldering!
But for now, on to tea cups!

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner.
Are you Irish?
You don't need to be in order to enjoy an Irish cup!
I have never had a clover cup, but decided I need all the luck I can get!

What a sweet spring cup this one is!

Love the fluted cup!

Love the rippled lip!

This cup still has the maker foil sticker on it. Remember years ago, you were supposed to leave that sticker on? Or was it only us up in Canada who did that???

Royal Tara is a company I am not familiar with. So I was delighted to find this clover tea cup at a nearby antique center. This Irish company has been creating fine china for 50 years in Galway, Eire. I was unable to find backstamps so I do not know the age. It does not look old at all. Do any of you have Royal Tara in your collection? 

Here are two tags that I have just finished. I really enjoyed the background process, of gesso, paint dabbers, stamping script and other Tim Holtz stamps, and then sanding it all down! I love the sanding!

If you would like to join in Tea Cup Tuesday just create a post with your tea cup in it and then come back here and sign up with Linky Tools below. Then we can come and visit you and see your beautiful china too! Yay!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Giveaway Day!!!

Hello All!
I have missed you all being away these past two weeks!
Today is my Birthday! 
I am 53 years young
I am thank Full for each and every year
And I am eager for more!

Art and Soul was fabulous!
Meeting up with friends and soldering with Sally were the highlights of the trip.

 Dear blogging friends Jan from A Journey and Marlynn from Honeysuckle Breeze  and I attended together.
I had never met Jan in person before, even though we have known each other for about 3 years now.
We thoughouly enjoyed driving to get there and sharing a room. Marlynn and I met online at about the same time and at the same place as Jan and I...Paperwhimsy, but we have been lucky enough to meet up already and spend a fab day together last year.
Even though we all took different classes we had tremendous fun!
We made time for fun afterwards as well! Here we are at vendor night......vendor night!
Wow! Seriously good stuff!
Art and Soul is a really creative space, so many interesting classes, and so many wonderful people to meet!
I am hoping to attend next year as well.

I have admired Sally Jean Alexander's Style of art for a few years now, it was a pleasure to meet her!
She taught us the basics of soldering and I didn't even burn a finger!
I am ready to practice, practice and practice some more to improve!

I could not believe the tiny little chair we were to begin with.
It is just over two inches high! But I did it! Yay!
We created tiny collages to go between the glass,
I used some old foreign money that my class mate Michelle so generously shared.

I have worked on several pieces, but I can assure you....I need more practice Lol!

It is time to announce my Giveaway!!!

I put everyone's names into a hat (who wanted the same prizes, the different prizes did make picking the winners more difficult!lol!)......And here is how it came out....

 Of the three gifts, the bracelet, the Crafty Secrets CD and the free Altered Domino Book Class....
Here are the winners!!!!!  Yay!

Congratulations to Carmelina for winning the fabulous CD!!!

Congratulations to June for winning the Spring Bracelet!!!

Congratulations to Linda for winning the Altered Domino Book Class!!!
(I have linked up their names to their blogs so you all can go and visit them!)
As always, I wish I had one of these for each and everyone of you!
You are all dear to me, and I appreciate all your very kind comments.
Welcome to all the new visitors too!
Thank you for participating in my Giveaway!

 I have so much to share this week. I will be back tomorrow for Tea Cup Tuesday, and then an artist share, and I will be sharing some more jewelry too.

Have a beautiful and creative week!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vacation Time!

Hello All
It is time for me to leave for Art and Soul in the morning!
Yay! I am so excited : )
I have never been to an art retreat before, and I have been waiting since last summer for it. So you can imagine how thrilled I am. Even better than that is that Jan, a long time blogging friend, has flown to my house to go along with me! We have never met before, so we are having a wonderful time getting to know each other in person. Tomorrow we meet up with another blogging friend who is also attending Art and Soul. How fun it that!!! 

This will be the first time I am going to be away from my blog.
I will even miss Tea Cup Tuesday for the first time in over 100 posts!
 I will return in time to announce the winner of my Milestones Giveaway on my Birthday March 12th! I will be announcing 3 winners! If you haven't already signed up for it you can go HERE to do so.
Good luck to every one!

I made myself a necklace and earrings to accessorize an outfit I am bringing along.
I used some lovely natural stones and some crystals to create this set.
I do seem to be in a jewelry making mood!
Although the jacket in the first image was a white one I bought at Marsall's for 20 bucks, inspired by a very similar one I saw at Nieman Marcus for much more. I did really enjoy the dyeing process, but I now know how complicated color can be! One moment it looked the right color, then the next going horridly wrong, and me tossing in a little extra this and that! It's a miracle it came out the right color Lol!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
 Have a creative weekend!
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