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Friday, May 31, 2013

A Surprise Gift of the Earth

Hello All! 
Happy Weekend : )

Yesterday I walked in to Goodwill to find this basket sitting on the counter.
(It is about 16 x 20" wide inside)

Oh my, but this is nice.....
: )

A whole basket full of shells.
Not the store bought kind, 
but the kind you pick up at the ocean year after year.

I think it was someones loved collection.

I was lucky it was already sitting near the front of the store.
I happily paid and carried out my very heavy find. 


This beauty was sitting right on top!
She is about 6" wide and almost looks like angel wings!

(this dark blue/gray shell looks very old...it has an amazing patina I hoped to catch in this image...but failed, it is so amazing in "person")

The basket was truly a delight to unpack.
Each shell I pulled out, 
Each rock I picked out,
All the tiny little quartz like pebbles....
They were just such a treat to see.

There were very interesting shells I had never seen.
And many shells I recognized.

What do you think of this one above?
He is a handsome one...
I have never seen a shell with this softened form.
Did he grow like this or was he buffed by the ocean?

Beautiful bumps and swirls.

This is his "head", I think.
Very swirly pearly!

Utterly delicate beauty!

There were many of these  small stones...
smooth, frosty round stones...
and tiny little quartz like stones...

While stacking these stones I couldn't help but think...
Of the need for balance in my life.
One thing that really helps me feel balanced is appreciation of beauty.
Beauty in everyday moments,
and Nature all around.

Finding this unexpected display of Nature's beauty
I was gifted many moments of delight
and balance.

Thank you to whom ever appreciated these shells, corals, and stones before me.
I couldn't help but wonder who...
and why this shell, and that shell, and who's name is written on that one shell...

I am thankful for this surprise gift from the Earth. 

Have any  of you had happy surprises lately? 

 I am joining Victoria in Universal Offerings.

 Thank  you for hosting Victoria.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Annie Sloan Paints-My First Experience

 Hello All,
I do not normally post twice in one evening!
But I had promised to share about the Annie Sloan paints,
and how my table and chairs are coming along. 

When I decided to create this fanciful outdoor tea area for myself,
I had visions of old painted chairs all around a lace covered table.
So off I went to locate some old chairs cheap...like 10 bucks.
On the way to reaching my goal for an outdoor tea area,

Once I had the chairs I needed to alter them to look like the ones in my vision.

I ran across the option of using Annie Sloan chalk paints
at a charming little antique shop near me called Two Old Birds.
But I thought they were too expensive.

I was sure I could make my own chalk paint,
and I checked out many recipes and tutorials on line.

Then I saw a few posts about Annie Sloan's paints.
I was so impressed with the bloggers experiences,
I decided to go for it.
I figured one way or another I was
saving money and time using such a reliable product from the start.
 And I was assured by many posts that the paints covered so well,
you actually needed less paint. 

Since I was nervous painting furniture with pricey paint I started with something
I wasn't afraid to practice on...like my plain kitchen stool.

All I did was give it a little roughing up with some medium fine grit sand paper to take the sheen off.

Then I gave it two coats of A.S. Louise Blue chalk paint.
It went on smoothly....and it stuck well to the well varnished surface.
The brush strokes were quite noticeable but I was o.k. with that at this point.
The coloring is lovely, and so is the feel of the chalk paint.

The paint dries quickly, so one needs to work fast.
Eventually I learned to not leave the can open,
so the paint does not dry out as quickly.
Also, I added a few drops of water when
the paint seemed to be too thick. 

Next coat was Old White. I actually did two coats.
 And I realized that each coat took less and less paint.
I was amazed at how little paint it did take.

The last step was to reveal some of the blue underpainting,
by sanding lightly areas that would normally show wear...
like the stools edge, the corners of the legs and the middle top of the rungs.

I found the chalk paint easy to work with, it dries beautifully,
and a very light sanding produces a silky smooth surface.
Even though my paintbrush left large bristle marks, it looks fab.
I can see the marks, but somehow it suits this piece.

I am wanting to do some kind of transfer or painting on the top of this stool.
Soon....   : )

Next, I will show my first finished chair! 

Once I had done my kitchen stool, I felt like I could move on to one of my new chairs.
Not much to look at, but good bones.
 I found her broken, cheap and lonely at Goodwill.
All I could see were the possibilities.

The first thing I did was clean it up,

My dear hubby did the hard work of sanding it,
and he even took it apart and made sure
all the joints were tight and secure.
Thank you sweetie!

I later learned that with Annie Sloan paints you do not need to sand at all!
I was glad to skip this part on the others chairs I did.
They still look really good, even without sanding.

 Here she is with her first coat of white A.S. chalk paint,
and you can see I have just begun with the Louis Blue along the front and one side.
I do love her details!
(and I loved her in old white! but I was so curious to try the blue...)

She got two coats of Louis Blue chalk paint.

To finish her off I gave her a good rub down with the soft wax that Annie has developed.
I had to choose between clear and dark wax...
I decided on clear as I thought the dark would not be cheery enough.
It was easy to rub on with a soft cloth and then buff out with a new clean soft cloth.
The wax really is luscious, and works beautifully.
The color intensified slightly as it was waxed, then dried a tad lighter.
The end result, just a little darker than non waxed Louis Blue

A close up of the front.
The paint surface feels silky smooth.
It has a heavenly look to it,
 (it looks much more blue in this image than in 3D)

Here there is only a little distressing, I did more later on  before I waxed her.

Ta da!
Doesn't she look pretty with her floral print on?

She is ready for our first garden tea!

I was totally delighted with Annie's product.
No wonder, as the woman has been an paint alchemist for many many years!
Annie Sloan Unfolded  is the name of her online site for the United States, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Next post I will share the next  two chairs and some more preparations.
It is good to have a project!

Thank you for stopping by!
Hugs to you all!

Tea Cup Tuesday-Tea Tents, Painted Chairs and Tea Cups

Hello All
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday!

Happy Memorial Day as well,
As this is still Monday night for me. 
It has been a lovely day. 

For me, having tea is a affirmation of life.
It is easy to pop open a can and drink something sweet.
But having tea is much more than satisfying thirst. 
It is being willing to satisfy a deeper need.

A need to pause...
To breathe....
To savor...
and to contemplate...
To have tea, one must stop and prepare. 

Choose your tea, choose your cup,
Set up your tray....
Maybe even find a peaceful spot and a good book. 

These things just come naturally when you think of "having tea".
And for me, a welcome  and grounding experience every day. 


I have heard from many of you that
you too are fixing up an area out doors for tea!
We would all love to see what you are doing to prepare. 

I am enjoying the many preparations getting ready for My Garden Tea.
The best spot in the yard has been picked,
A basic tent/canopy found...cheap...

The pale pink chair in the first image, I just finished today
: )
The basket of linens, "lace" drapes and old tablecloths
are part of my grand tent plans....
just wait! 

The idea is that I can set up my tea tent with my daughter
at a moments notice
and have tea outdoors in a romantic setting.
The tent must be easy, the chairs and table lightweight,
the china easily found and carried out. 
(I have a plan for this too)
I want it to be easy to do,
not a chore...
and for it to take a few minutes. 
And be cheap!
Think I can do it? 
: )

  You will find out....
 June 25th

 If you would like to join in My Garden Tea, a one time blog event,
just have your tea outdoors in an area you have prepared,
before our My Garden Tea blog hop on June 25th
and link your post about it here.
You can share your preparations too,
like me, in earlier T. T. parties. 

Even if you are not participating in My Garden Tea that
Tuesday the 25th of June,
you can still share your normal tea cup post with us.
We don't want to miss anyone at all
 : )

I am posting another post right away, I hope this is not confusing.
But I promised I would share about Annie Sloan paints.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Thrusday!

Hello All!

It is a bright and glorious Thursday.
I woke up excited to continue on My Garden Tea preparation.
I will share a bit here of how it is coming along.... 

 What really brought this project on?
I think it was recent tragedies...
So sad, and my heart feels for all those who are
missing their loved ones right now.

I feel more strongly that life is precious.
Today is the day to do something I have always wanted to do...
Today is the day to stop and smell the roses...
Today is the day to be present with loved ones...
Today is the day to celebrate life and love...
Because we are here now

Do not postpone Joy!

So My Garden Tea is about celebrating life!


Here are some possible fabrics for chair seats. 
Not exactly what I was thinking, but close. 

I also found a old wicker frame for $1

and a Simply Shabby Chic curtain panel....don't know what it is for...
it could be so many different things : )

My daughter gave me a brilliant idea for the frame....Yay!

For this, I have found a cheap table, a couple chairs and other odds and ends.
I am hoping to create a tent inexpensively too... that is still brewing.

My kind hubby has helped out with all the more strenuous
work...like sanding, and repairing the chairs. 
Thank you sweetie!
I am thinking of using these Bavarian dishes...
$40 for 40 pieces at a thrift shop two years ago!

So far so good!
I am working on the second chair and final coats of paint on the table. 
Next stop is to seal with soft wax...
hmmmmm clear or dark?

On another creative note...
Here is a recent swap I did with a wonderful group of creative people.
Kimberly at ArtJoyStuff, hosted her "Fabric of Nature" ATC swap.
Here are all the ATCs I received!

 Each one of these cards is wonderful!
This was the creative way I decided to display them.

Thank  you so much Liz, Carolyn, Amy, Marsha, Marlene, Becky, Maggie, Karla,Jewels and Kimberly!
I really appreciate all the work you did creating these
artful beauties! 
Thank you for hosting Kimberly : )


Do you have a JoYful project for this summer? 
Would you like to join in My Garden Tea?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Tea Cup Tuesday-Rose Beauty

Hello All!
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday with Martha, and myself. 
It is a stormy week here...
Heavy clouds that make it look like evening instead of morning
have been hanging around all day, with some impressive displays 
of torrential rain.
I enjoy it all very much.

I chose this beautiful rose tea cup to honor the roses
 that have just bloomed in my garden this week. 
They smell divine! 
I even have some peonies that smell just as heavenly.

 I love the unique shape of the cup. 
This is one of my few trio sets. 

This cup has gorgeous roses strewn all over it. 
The colors are so intense.
The handle reminds me of an elf ear...
or at least the elf ears depicted in stories and movies. 
I apologize to any elves I may offend with this statement!

....a piece of art really....

This beauty was made by Hammersley as it shows in this backstamp.
George Harris Hammersley shared in a china co begining in the late 1800s.
Spode eventually bought Hammersley, and they no longer use this name.
We can also see from this stamp that the pattern name is 
Morgans Rose.
I love it when the name is on the bottom : )


Last T.T. I shared that I decided to create a space in my garden to have tea
after being inspired by a image on Pinterest.
It is a big project, and I thought I might share my progress with you all.
Which was a good reason for Martha and I to host a special blog hop!
If you too have been wanting to create an outdoor tea space maybe now is the time?

Many of you have already shared that you too will be sharing your own 
My Garden Tea!
Martha and I am excited to share our garden tea with as many of you as can join in.

Go HERE to see the post with details and my inspiration photo!

This week has been fun as I have set a low budget to do this...
Here is my progress so far.

I found this table and chair very cheaply at a Goodwill.
The table was stinky....phew!
Didn't realize that till I was driving home in the car! lol!

 And one more chair...for my daughter.
This one has lovely detail and a soft seat.

Two different styles, but I like it that way. 
I decided on chalk paint,
I didn't realize there is no need to sand. 

My hubby did take this one apart and fixed her broken areas well.
Now it is stronger than ever!

First coat of paint was Old White
and the second Louie Blue
both by Annie Sloan.

I will be sharing more pics of the outcome soon.
The table is close to being done as well. 
I am thinking of the tent...and still needing a brilliant idea!

I am also contemplating the look of the tablescape...
Pinks?  Blues? Chintz? 

I hope you are all well and enjoying this week,
Thank you very much for stopping by for a visit!


To join in Tea Cup Tuesday...
just go and create a post with a tea cup in it that you would like to share...
if you can share the backstamp... Martha and I would be extra thrilled!
But not necessary. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Artist Share

Hello All

I wanted to share with you a gift I received from Dorthe....
She is such an amazing artist as well as wonderful person.
I have enjoyed getting to know her and finding out we both
love nature. 

 She sent me a glorious box of goodies,
all wrapped in old papers and ribbon, and vintage hankie,
I was over the moon opening all the little packages inside...

 Dorthe creates the loveliest dolls!
Have you been to her site?
She makes amazing mermaids and all kinds of imaginative beauties! Really. 
This one is a sweet angel...with bell buttons and rusty wire for wings.
She is perfectly crafted, every bit of her!
I have given her a place of honor guarding a corner of my art room.
She perches prettily on my table.

She sent along many pieces of beautiful fabric, vibrant and rich in texture.
There was vintage lace, beads, ribbon, two lovely religious metals,
and she also made this amazing collage art too! 

Do you see the little bundle of driftwood? 
She sent that as well...
She knows I love driftwood, shells, and stones.
The best part is that they are from near where Dorthe lives,
and she herself chose them. 

Thank you so much for your sweet and thoughtful gifts. I will treasure them all!

If you visit her lovely blog you will see her newest creation the Virgin Mary and Jesus. 
 Just click on the image above. 

I am already dreaming of using some of the fabric and lace Dorthe sent. I think some of it will end up working beautifully as I create My Garden Tea. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!
I hope you are all having a very good week.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tea Cup Tuesday-Spring Tea Dreaming

Hello All!
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday!

I have spring tea fever....
A vision came to me out of the Land of Pinterest
of an outdoor garden tea...

old mismatched painted chairs
and a table set just so to give an air of femininity,
and romance.

Dreaming of this tea I would love to experience,
I continued imagining how it would look, and feel.
There would be joy, that was certain...
lots of pretty vintage china...

(can you guess the makers of these pretty cups?...answer below)

Fresh Flowers.

Delicious tea.

How about a lovely tent to host it in? 

Music? Maybe...
Fairy lights?  Oh yes...
  : )

Would you care to dream with me? 

I suggest a My Garden Tea blog hop to
celebrate Spring turning to Summer. 

My mission:
Within the next six weeks...to find everything I need for my
My Garden Tea from my own home,
recycled and/or purchased for a bargain.

Then post about it on  a special Tea Cup Tuesday June 25th.

The main idea is to use more of my imagination than cash : ) 
I will be sharing my creative thrifty journey during the next 6 weeks. So you will get to see me build it as I go. lol!
This week I am gathering old sheets and linens, and I will try to fashion a tea tent! Wish me luck! 

I am also looking for an old table I can fix up...

IF you would like to join in my creative thrifty play, please do!
Create your own garden spot for tea,
Share about it June 25th.
Your party can be just you,
or guests too....
and can happen any time from now until June 25th. 

 And back to the tea cups....
Did you guess?
Theodore Haviland
Royal Albert

Thank you for visiting!
(I apologize for the word verification, 
spammers seem to have found my site and I was getting large numbers of spam comments)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tea Cup Tuesday-Stormy Tea Time

Hello All!
Welcome to Tea Cup Tuesday!

It was a dark and stormy tea....
The clouds are roaring in wearing dark billowing cloaks,
and blotting out the sun....

Heavy rain drops and wind driven wet leaves rack the house in great gusts...

ooooh, nice and dramatic!


Perfect timing for a warm cup of tea : )

 It is quite dark in my art room, 
But I found the perfect spot to lay my tea.

This new sweet coffee table...
I just found it the other day. 
It is the perfect size, and height for a 
hobbit sized person like me! lol!

I may leave it this stain,
or I may paint. 
What do you think?

I am still wanting to paint my art room.
What about a French blue?
Or a nice parchment? 

 I've chosen this dear botanical tea cup, 
It is so light and thin...tea is delicious in it each and every time.

 My tea pot this afternoon I found in England while driving to Lymington.
She was in a very charming vintage shop on the roadside. 

I am having delicious and aromatic Assam tea.
Cream and sugar enhance it's flavor for me.

 This is the lid to the tea pot,
The nob itself looks gorgeous,
as well as the delicate spray of flowers.

These are the wildflowers on the opposite side...
The pictures do not do it's beauty justice. 
I feel blessed to have her with me.

For my treat today...
These tasty little cookies from Whole Foods.

I was really surprised at how creamy they are. 
They are my new favorite : )

Isn't this an interesting style handle? 
I am sure there is a name for it, 
but I don't know it...do you?

Tea Cup Backsatmp:
This delicate beauty was created by W. Guerin, in Limoges, France.
The closest backstamp I could find was dated 1890-1930.

So, she might be a bit old.

Tea Pot Back Stamp:
Isn't this a sweet backstamp?
I just love the little birdie 
carrying the stick with two banners.
 No luck yet with dating this backstamp.

Forgive me for tooting my own horn....
A domino book I made last year or so was featured on
Altered Arts magazine's cover this month.
I was very honored to find this out! 

She looks sweet on there, doesn't she?
She is a Paperwhimsy girl image.
There are a few pages of my entire book inside.
They really did a beautiful job on their Domino Art article.
There are many other gorgeous domino books featured.
 I was very impressed with the beautiful images inside.
You can see this magazine HERE
I am going to order a copy to keep : )

Did you know I teach a mixed media domino book class at Creative Workshops ?

Thank you so much for stopping by on this stormy spring day.
I am so glad you did!
I hope you are enJOYing life today.
If you would like to join in Tea Cup Tuesday, just go and create a post
with your tea cup in it and then come back here and link up that post below.
Then Martha and I can come and see your lovely tea post!

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