Thursday, December 31, 2009

Theme Thursday ~ Flying
Happy New Year! I am celebrating the new year by entering a new challenge. The challenges are so much fun, I am going to attempt to enter some new ones in the year ahead. This one is for Theme Thursday. The theme is Flying.

Just wanted to say I hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve and a happy, healthy 2010 filled with peace and love! Well, we can dream, can't we?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Two Favorite Purchases 
I have been MIA for the past week, so now have tons to do to whip my blog into shape!

First, I hope everyone had the merriest of holidays and will have a happy, healthy, and creative new year! I'm looking forward to all the possibilities that a new year can hold.

Second, but no less important, I'd like to show off two creations I acquired during the holidays. Both are jewelry pieces and are from two of my team members at Inspiration Avenue.

The first I purchased as a gift, and when I saw it I thought twice about giving it because I wanted it for myself! But the angel on my shoulder prevailed over the devil on the other shoulder and I gave it to the intended recipient who was absolutely ecstatic!  It is a gorgeous key holder by Mana Moon Studios. I am going to browse her shop again as soon as my bank account recovers from the holidays... Please visit and see for yourself how exquisite are her creations!

I purchased the second item after my holiday shopping was finished so happily decided I would keep this one for myself (it feels so wicked to do that during Christmas). This is from my team member Pat. Pat actually has three Etsy shops (!) :  She shows her wonderful photography at Photogenic Gallery; she has a vintage shop 2nd Generation Vintage with all sorts of interesting discoveries; and she sells her handmade jewelry at PatK860 Jewelry Designs, which is where I found this amazing necklace. I love the soft peachy color and the beautiful Asian-looking focal bead. Visit all three of her shops and you will be in for a treat!

There are so many talented members at Inspiration Avenue, each with her own unique creative style! Each member has a blog and at least one Etsy shop ~ visit each one for a truly inspiring experience!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge
What a crazy week. And just happens I chose this week to try something relatively new for me AND something I have to photograph! I have newfound empathy for everyone who must take photos for their Etsy shop; how do you do it???
Since my work is digital, I have happily skipped over
all the posts, tutorials, etc. on
Not a good thing.

So on to the theme, "Hidden"!
There is a quote I like by George Bernard Shaw that goes:
"When a thing is funny, search it for a hidden truth".
I like the way truth can be hidden in humor.

I made a collage using clowns, which I think can be funny and sad at the same time.  I often wonder what their lives are like when they are not performing. It's something they keep hidden while they are being amusing.

Visit Inspiration Avenue Sunday afternoon to check out all the
creative entries in the "Hidden" challenge!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Wonderland
or... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

There is a beautiful white pine in the yard in back of ours.
I don't know if the blurriness is due to my
poor photography skills
or the fact that it was snowing hard! But in real life
it looks so amazing covered with snow.

So on this last weekend before Christmas
I'll be venturing out in the blizzard
with the other procrastinators to finish my shopping!

Happy  Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Choose any 3 collage sheets in my Etsy shop 
for just $5.50!

All sheets on sale! You choose!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge
The theme this week was "Imagine/Imagination", conjuring up some very intriguing possibilities. But it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, with nobody giving me a keyword, as it were. I have no idea what this is about, except that the cat is checking out the robin! And I am always attracted to fairies and other wee magical creatures.

The center image is from an 1896 painting by Frederick Howard Michael, called "Titania", of a fairy sleeping on her wings with some devilish little fairies sneaking up on her. The cat is, of course, my "devil kitty". The robin is from an 1858 painting by John Anster Fitzgerald titled "Robin Defending His Nest". The gnomes/elves are from vintage postcards.

I wanted to make this an actual collage rather than a digital collage, and I had planned on adding some embellishments. But alas, my printer is almost out of ink. I had plenty of time to run to Staples to replenish it, but as luck would have it the entire region is being hit with freezing rain this morning! Cars that have ventured out are piling up on top of each other! When you look outside, it just appears to be a rainy day. But the roads are covered with a sheet of ice, so I am staying put for now.

Please visit Inspiration Avenue to see all of the entries!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Download of Vintage Skiers

Here is an image of two skiers from my collection that I have hand-colored. Ski apparel has certainly changed! Feel free to download and use in your own art work. Just do not use the image itself in any collection for sale or to give away.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wow, Look What I Just Made!
I just discovered It's so easy! This is one I put together not knowing what the heck I was doing. I'm going to try a better one. It's free to make a short, 30-second video, of course they would like you to pay to create a longer one. For now, I'm just going to play!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge
Peaches and Cream
O boy, another challenge to make me hungry! Peaches and Cream! I decided to go with the colors that this reminds me of, which are soft hues of yellow, pink, and of course peach.

It began to look a little pale, so I snapped a picture of my kitchen floor and put it on the wall. My cat thought it was time to eat and kept getting in the picture. This is not the "devil kitty", but the one the devil kitty torments. She sticks to me like glue because I protect her from the evil cat.
I liked the contrast between the black and the peach. The Alice-in-Wonderland-type girl on the stairs looks like she is dreaming or hallucinating the strange images, so I added a line from the story. My apologies to Lewis Carroll.

Visit Inspiration Avenue Sunday afternoon to see all of the entries in this week's challenge, or better yet, join in for next week's challenge if you don't already! Info is posted on IA's blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Great Debate: Real or Artificial?
This is the first year we are seriously considering buying an artificial Christmas tree. Up til now, I have just adored having an actual real tree in my house during the month of December!  Here is our last year's real tree. Our ornaments are always a hodge-podge of things that we have collected over the years. Someday I would love to do a themed tree!

I love the piny scent of the branches, and I guess I just have an aversion to things that are "fake", whether that's a valid point or not. I'm sure I use hundreds of things every week that are "fake" and think nothing of it!

Now there is the "green" debate, which adds to the confusion.  I had to look it up, because I wasn't sure which was more environmentally friendly, real or artificial. I should have just asked one of our lovely new team members at Inspiration Avenue, Cyndi of Small Footprints. She's the "eco-friendly" guru, and would have been able to offer help! As it was I ended up at Julie's Health Club, where she has pros and cons of the Christmas tree options. I am still confused of course! Our original goal was to be more economical, since we would not be shelling out large amounts of cash each December. We would just bite the bullet and shell out a bigger amount once! Makes sense right?

Well, we are off to see what we can find!  Judging from what I've read, though, I think the greener choice might still be a real tree! Is your tree real or artificial? Which do you like? I'd love to hear comments on this great debate!

December 9: I want to thank you all  for the comments you left about the real vs. artificial trees! And just to let you know ~ we  bought a *faux*  tree that actually looks very nice. I have it semi-decorated, and once it is finished I'll post a picture. The good points are: 
1 ~ The lights are already on it,

2 ~ It is tall and rather narrow and actually fits the available space in the house better than the kind of chunky frasier firs we were getting,

3 ~ I started to go to the kitchen to get a pitcher of water and then realized, Hey I don't ever have to water the tree again, and

4 ~ It went up in no time and we didn't have the agonizing ritual of making sure it wasn't leaning one way or the other! All in all, a good decision!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What?!? (Sorry I Missed This County Fair...)

While browsing through my vintage photos with the weekly challenge at Inspiration Avenue in mind (the theme happens to be "Peaches and Cream"), I came across this poster for the Greene County Fair circa 1890.  Now Peaches and Cream is a lovely theme for a county fair, but this poor little milkmaid  looks like she has a serious sinus problem! Even the cow is concerned!

So, no, this isn't my submission for the challenge (unless I run out of time lol)! But I just wanted to share this curiosity. If anyone would like to use it for anything, feel free to download! Now I had better quit fooling around and get to work . . .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Equal Time for the Devil Kitty 
Okay, it wouldn't do to post pictures of angel kitties without putting up a picture of the actual devil kitty that I live with.
He believes in helping himself. Why wait around for someone to raise the blinds when you can just look through them?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekly Challenge ~ 
A Challenge of a Different Kind

As John Lennon said,  
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. 

The Monday before Thanksgiving, I had planned to work on the weekly challenge for Inspiration Avenue, and I've even been eying some of the challenges on other blogs that look like fun. I planned to cook Thanksgiving dinner at home, and had last minute preparations to do for that.

None of it was to be however; my Mother-in-Law passed away on Tuesday, and we had an entirely different kind of week. I think I will leave the angel kitties up as my blog header for a few more days in her honor, because if anyone deserves instant angel status, it is she.  She suffered with Leukemia for the past 13 years, and had far fewer good days than bad. I hope that she is having a big celebration wherever the angels congregate to commemorate being free of her earthly trials.

I cooked my Thanksgiving dinner today, since we all decided to spend Thanksgiving at my brother-in-law's house instead of the plans everyone had made.  I have to say, I enjoyed having a second Thanksgiving dinner!

To update on my own mom, who was going to have surgery to replace a heart valve:  The day of the surgery, she had an angiogram in the morning, which I guess is common procedure before heart surgery. The surgeon studied it and consulted with his colleagues, and came to the conclusion that he did not want to do the surgery, thinking the outcome would not be good, primarily because of her age and the condition of her heart. Another doctor has had a different opinion, but she has decided to just put off worrying about it until after the holidays, which is probably exactly what I would do!  Call us Scarlett O'Hara, but hey, it runs in the family, what can I say!

So, I guess this is the time in life when we worry about our parents, as they are getting on in years. I wish I had a wonderful photo to go along with this post, but I'm just coming up short. Nothing in the old magic picture vault . . .

I'm looking forward to getting back to routine things and posting about happier topics! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Angel Kitties

In keeping with my post the other day about taking a break from Santa, I am following through with my campaign to put off all the Christmas hulabaloo as long as I can. I've always adored this header by Itkupilli of Raphael's angels with kitty faces, so it is the perfect time to use it ~ it's not quite Thanksgiving, and certainly not Christmas yet!  I think the reason I have found it necessary to do this is that I have naturally been making Christmas collage sheets since July, so enough already!

I have 2 other angel kitties that I love. I won't even go into how they remind me of the sweet kitties I have known who are now "angels", it will bring a tear to my eye!  So I will post the pictures, but no comment!

By Thanksgiving weekend, I'll probably be ready for a Christmas blog and will go all red and green and sparkly, and who knows what. Can't think about that now! I'm enjoying the darling kitties from Itkupilli!  She has to-die-for blog headers and backgrounds that she offers for free on her blog. You may already know about her, but if not, visit her  here.

Hope your week is shaping up well, and those of you who celebrate the upcoming holiday have a wonderful one!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

This vintage photo of the boy and girl just looked so romantic to me, I knew I had to use it for the weekly challenge at Inspiration Avenue. They appear to be dreaming about their future together, and who knows if they will end up together or if cruel circumstances will force them apart? They could be like Romeo and Juliet, or maybe they grew old together and had many children and grandchildren! The story could go in so many directions!  The swan seems romantic to me, maybe because his neck is half a heart.

If it is too small to read, the heart says . . ..

Your voice is sweetest music
I never can forget,
Someday I hope to hear it
Say something sweeter yet

. . . and came from an old valentine.

Visit Inspiration Avenue Sunday afternoon to see all of the romantic entries  for this week. If you are feeling creative, join in next week (theme to be announced on Monday) with an entry of your own. The medium is up to you ~ there is photography, jewelry, paintings, and more. If you work in another medium, we'd be excited to add something new to the mix!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Taking a Break from Santa
I decided to take a break from all the red-and-green ho-ho-ho of crafting Christmas collage sheets. 

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas sheets and my ideas have not run dry yet... But it's kind of the equivalent of hearing Christmas carols from October to December 25 ~ I love those too, but sometimes you want to tear your hair out (or cut off an ear like Van Gogh) when you walk into a retail establishment and hear 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' for the 900th time! My favorite Christmas carol is 'O Holy Night', so I'm kind of not on that page anyway.

So here is a sheet I have been working on to take a break ~ they are 1 x 3 inch rectangles, and I tried to give them a frosty blue-and-green wintry look; after all, 'tis the season' and all that! It's a little slow going though and I'm not finished. These are three of 21 rectangles. I hope to be finished soon!

Hope you are having an excellent holiday season!  Are you tired of Christmas carols yet, or are you just beginning to get into the spirit of things? 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Freebie Images to Use as Backgrounds
Here are some grungy images of a room interior to use as backgrounds.  Feel free to download and use in your own artwork!  If you use them, post your creation on your blog, leave me a link in the comment section and I will post your images here.

Do something creative everyday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Coming Week's Challenge at Inspiration Avenue:

This week Inspiration Avenue has an extra-fun theme,
and one which presents lots of possibilities: Romance!

Read all about it over on Inspiration Avenue!

By submitting an entry in the weekly challenge, you are automatically entered in the November giveaway! The prize is a wonderful Christmas blog header from our lovely and talented team member, LuLu of Coastal Sisters! Have fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odd Weather
We cooked chicken on the grill tonight, and tried to imagine that it is not 10 days before Thanksgiving. We have had the most spectacular run of warm weather ~ it's going to be a huge shock when the weather starts acting like it should and we get blasted with our first real taste of winter. The temperature has been in the mid-sixties all day and it is still relatively balmy at night. So we had grilled chicken, potato salad, sliced tomatoes . . . you could almost imagine it was two months earlier.

I don't know what you call this weather. It's not Indian Summer; "Autumn" doesn't seem right ~ the leaves are all off the trees already; it's just Odd.

We are somewhere between this:

and this:
Probably a whole lot closer to this. Ugh.
Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge
For this week's challenge, I went with "rust" because "cinnamon" kept making my sweet tooth act up! Too many trips to the kitchen, and I wasn't getting anything done! Something about cinnamon toast is very comforting . . .  Anyway, here is my entry for the challenge ~ I do love these colors. Perfect for this time of year!

Pop on over to Inspiration Avenue and view all of the amazing entries. Join in next week  ~ you don't have to be a member of Inspiration Avenue to enter; just post your entry on your blog and we will add it to the entries on Sunday.  I'll let the cat out of the bag: next week's theme is "Romance". Check inspiration Avenue's blog on Monday for details!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Victorian Angels
Here are some freebie Victorian angel pics to download and use in your Christmas art. They are .png files, so should print without any background. Place them on any background of your choosing!

If you have trouble downloading, or any questions, feel free to ask me! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I adore setting up photo shoots. So my latest acquisition gave me the perfect excuse to play around with "stuff" and make a pretty picture. The item front and well, not quite center is "Quintessa", a  gorgeous dress form creation by LuLu of Coastal Sisters.  I love the warm coppery color and the sparkly accessories she is wearing!  I think she looks great with some of my other "stuff"!

Speaking of coppery, here is an item I have had for must be 20 years and frankly, hardly even notice it hanging on my wall anymore. It was a thrift store find and I was amazed to pick it up for less than 10 bucks. But today as I was admiring the coppery hue of Quintessa, I took another look at my copper bull.  I don't know who the artist is; it was hammered out of a big sheet of copper, and I love it partly because Taurus is my zodiac sign!