Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Even though half of our vacation looked like
v v v v
it cleared up gradually and by the end of the week
we had some sun! Ugh. How predictable that we
would visit California during one of the biggest
storms in memory.
We've been forgiven by their Highnesses at home, 
although there was some initial pouting
and we had to promise not to do anything so 
thoughtless and self-centered again. 

I hope all of you are having the merriest Christmas,
or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or
Winter Solstice/Yule celebrations.

Yay! The days are getting longer!
At least for us in the Northern Hemisphere...

I'll be back later when things are more organized
around here...


Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm taking a slight blogging break while I visit family
for Christmas. I'll be back December 28 or soon thereafter!

I hope all of you have a splendid holiday
no matter what, when, or where you celebrate!

I feel bad I've not visited my blogging friends much lately
but I have been rushed right off my feet 
in the last few weeks.
I'm looking forward to having more time soon!

I'll leave you with some old Christmas pictures.
I love old pictures!

 My grandmother at the top, whom I lost when I was nine.
Yep, that's a Chatty Cathy doll in the second pic.
My brother saying 'how's my hair. I hate it when
they make me wear this hat'.
Third pic - a cowgirl outfit was the hot ticket that year. 
Bottom pic - my Nana, 
and Dave of the whiskey bottle fame.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Weekly Challenge at Inspiration Avenue

If only the whole world could put Peace
above all else on their holiday wish list.
No matter what holiday is celebrated.

But I feel like the little angel, sad that it's
probably not to be, even for a day.

Still, we can hope,
and do the best we can to make it happen!

"We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, 
we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds"
~Anton Chekov

And of course we can always remember this:
"In acceptance there is peace" 

Visit Inspiration Avenue to see
all the entries in this week's challenge. 

You have until Sunday Dec. 12 at noon est 
to enter your own creation depicting "Peace".
Each entry makes you eligible to win the
monthly giveaway, which is a beautiful framed
painting from Priti Studio!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Might as well...
welcome winter! 
It's coming anyway like those out-of-town guests
that show up in Christmas Vacation, one of my favorite movies.
Not that I have any of those guests mind you.

In fact, I'm going to BE one of those ~ 
we're going to California for Christmas, yippee.
I HATE flying, HATE leaving my kitties,
but LOVE getting out of the cold,
and LOVE seeing my family. 
Haven't spent a Christmas together in lots of years.
So it all evens out, I hope.

It's snowing today, seems a little early...

The phantom smell in the house is GONE.
No idea where it went, 
and I know it'll be back someday.
Had a chimney guy investigate this time.
He told us the ventless gas fireplace in the  bedroom 
should not be used (we never use it anyway)
and our chimney is falling down.
Never use that either, all of the thingies that
vent, vent someplace else.
So we're good there.
But he had no idea what the smell could be. Ugh.

New reason to hate Blogger:
I changed my background to something a little festive,
and now am unable to change anything in my layout,
So if you're wondering why you can't read
the titles in my sidebar, that's the reason.

Think I'm coming down with something.
Sore throat, yucky feeling.
So if I can, I'll work on my entry for
 the Inspiration Avenue challenge,
Once Upon a Time, and be
happy I got ANYTHING done today.

Enjoy the day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Inspired Friday
Want to avoid the crushing Black Friday mob?
Pick up some gifts on Inspiration Avenue!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Best Wishes for a 
Wonderful Thanksgiving Celebration!

 A Sale in My Etsy Shop
In a few short months, my Etsy shop will be 2 years old!
I am thankful for each and every wonderful customer!
Time has flown by, and now that Etsy has given us
a way to offer discounts, I'm gonna 
jump right on the bandwagon.

Purchase anything in my shop now through
the weekend, and receive 15% off
whether you purchase 1 item or 100! 

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving
and that you have much in your life to
celebrate and give thanks for! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogger Woes

Ugh, somehow, something got clicked
in my comments preferences, 
and blogger was having me 
moderate every comment. 
I thought I had had no comments, 
zero, for days. Until my Guardian Angel 
kicked me in the "patoook" (as my 
little neighbor used to say)  and said, 
Go moderate your comments, dummy! 

I am blaming my foggy state of mind 
on the weird smell  in my house, 
which has returned with a vengeance. 
It's that same smell of car exhaust.  
Some of you may remember me posting about this last February.
(and if you do remember that, your mind is super-human!)
It went away after several weeks and a  $100+ visit 
from the furnace guy, who said the furnace was fine.
I was just glad to have it gone, and forgot about.

Now it is back, and I can even smell it with the furnace off
and the windows open on a nice day, such as today.
And, so far, no one has been able to smell it but me!
I was even thinking maybe it was just my nose,
but I don't smell it when I'm not in the house...

Nope, he is still alive ~ it hasn't seemed to affect the cats. 
Although who would know, until it is too late...
They don't really talk about it.

Bleh. On a positive note, it's a beautiful sunny day,
breezy and in the lower 60s.
It's so easy to appreciate these days when
it's mid-November and you know there will be
very few more until winter is over.

One last note about Blogger, which is tormenting me lately ~
I am now unable to see my followers.
There is just a big space where my followers used to be.
I know you are still there, because my dashboard says you are.
The worst part is that I am unable to see ANYONE's followers,
and consequently can't follow any blogs anymore either.
Thank you, Blogger.

I'm trying to get to the bottom of it,
but I think it may not be resolved until I upgrade
my operating system which will allow me
to use a newer version of Firefox

Thank you all for your wonderful comments in the last few days!

I think I have comment moderation turned off now...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

IA Weekly Challenge

We may not always recognize our guardian angel!

The theme this week at Inspiration Avenue is


Off to join the challenge ~
I'm just under the wire this time....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

IA Weekly Challenge

The Helping Hand
The challenge at Inspiration Avenue this week is 


and dreamed up by moi, Magpie.
This very nearly was the first week
a challenge host didn't have an entry
in the history of Inspiration Avenue.
I haven't checked my facts on that, 
but I believe it has never happened.

Between a shortage of time and realizing 
I didn't have a clue when I set the challenge 
(and no clue all week either),
Sunday morning came around too quickly.

But I have something to enter,
maybe not my most labor-intensive attempt.
When I found this cute German postcard
I loved what it says about community.
I think a sense of helping out the community
begins early in childhood, when children
are taught kindness and empathy for others.
So the little boy carrying his sister over the stream 
 is the beginning of a sense of community and giving.

Pop over to Inspiration Avenue later today
to view all of the amazing entries!

If you haven't joined us in a challenge yet,
play along next week (theme to be posted Monday)
for a chance in our monthly giveaway.
Enter any challenge in the month of November
to have a chance to win
this framed, 5 x 7 mixed media piece.

See you over at Inspiration Avenue!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

IA Weekly Challenge

Happiness Is . . .
That is the prompt at Inspiration Avenue this week
brought to us by the lovely Priti.Lisa,
and a tricky one it was because I had 
much to choose from ~ all simple things.

I love a good book, a good strong cup of coffee,
a good garden, and...well... a very naughty cat.

It's not that I don't appreciate him pointing out to me 
the good parts of my book, but he covers up all the 
other parts that he doesn't want me to read. 
He's always rather irritated when there are no good
pictures of cats. Not that he likes other cats ~
he enjoys comparing himself to them
and bragging about how they come up 
far short of his handsomeness.

I just realized that this is a true collage ~ 
not a bit of painting going on.
Just glue and paper. 

Hmmm...maybe I should recreate it for
my sketchbook project, where
my theme is Adhere to Me.
I'm having a hard time figuring out
how to begin my sketchbook...

See all of the entries for the week
Gotta run!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

The challenge this week at Inspiration Avenue was
to create a piece from an enticing selection of words
given to us by Tammy of  Art and Inspirations.
The word I chose was "Wish".
I liked this vintage picture ~ I imagined she 
is wishing for something, 
but I have no idea what....
Maybe for the little bird to talk to her...

It's almost deadline time (what a surprise)
so I'll get this posted in a hurry and 
get it over to Inspiration Avenue.

Check out all of the entries HERE!

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday
Yay! I finally joined The Sketchbook Project.
Sketchbooks traveling around the country?
What a fabulous idea! 
I can see them with their little bags, standing in line at the airport,
taking off their shoes, going through the metal detector...
Or maybe they are going by car. I hope they can afford the gas!

I know I am late as usual. Everyone else probably
has their sketchbooks mostly filled by now.
My sketchbook has been shipped, 
and I am anxiously awaiting the mail lady.
Can't wait to get started!! 

Finished the first lesson in Tam's
free art class, Art, Heart and Healing,
a journal spread
Next is an altered board book  ~
I've always wanted to do one, and now that 
I have some motivation I'm going to try it!
Tam is such a great teacher and so inspiring!
Check her out at willowing.org.


Also on my desk this week is my  mermaid
from Suzi Blu's class. I admit I've been neglecting this.
Maybe because there are so many 
directions to go, I am stumped.

Ugh...glass beads, mica powder, 
stamps, modeling paste,
stencils, sea glass, fibers, 
fabric, tissue paper...
My head is spinning.
"Why don't you finish me?"

I'll work on her this week for sure!

 Finished! And sold!
I like her better with floaty hair.

What are you working on this Wednesday?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

The theme at Inspiration Avenue this week is

I like this quote from a poem
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
So I included it in a mixed media piece
of a girl standing under a harvest moon.

I actually got up the courage to wax this, yay!
I also applied beeswax to my "Pink" piece,
and will post it when I am able to photograph it.
It's too big to fit in the scanner.
The wax does add a warm glow,
and I think I like it.

Does anyone know how to get the wax
perfectly smooth with no marks from the iron?
I would like it better if the surface was smoother.

All of the entries will be on Inspiration Avenue
by noon (edt) on Sunday. See them there,
or better yet, create your own Harvest  entry
and leave a comment at Inspiration Avenue
with a link to your blog! With each entry you are
eligible to win the monthly giveaway.
This month it's an awesome
altered composition book from Pics by Shel.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekly Challenges

None of Your Beeswax...
 Or perhaps I should call this post
"Fear of Beeswax"

Since I've been taking Suzi Blu's classes, I've been
instructed at the end of each painting to give it a
nice coating of luscious beeswax. This sounds
good in theory, and looks amazing on Suzi's paintings,
but somehow I am sure I'll destroy all my
hard work by dripping hot wax onto it.
And then I will absolutely have to call it "finished"
since you can't do anything else with it once
you've applied the beeswax. Hmmm...
I wonder if that's the real reason...
Oh well, like Scarlet O'Hara,
I'll think about that another day.

So, this is the one that will finally get the beeswax.

The picture above was snapped sans beeswax because
I knew it was way past time to do the post for
Inspirations Avenue's "Pink"
and The Three Muses "Vintage".
And having nothing to submit
for either challenge was not gonna happen!

As soon as this post is finished, I will
be applying a coat of beeswax to this very painting.
With so much collaging and layering,
it definitely needs a topcoat of something.
WiSh mE LuCk!

In the mean time, visit both
Inspiration Avenue and The Three Muses
to see the (as usual) amazing entries to both challenges.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty
Since I am Ker-azy about black cats, I have to share
the latest treasury I have been so kindly included in.
My item might have the least to do with black cats ~
my collage sheet just includes the black cat from
Edgar Allan Poe's creepy story by the same name.
Still, 'tis the season for all things Poe, n'est-ce pas?

The curator is Vintage to New, whose shop is
filled with wonderful items fashioned from
reclaimed material. Check out her lovely bags!

If you love kitties, visit this  treasury to see
everything from cats eye glasses to
some wonderful paintings (my favorites)
and everything in between!

Have a cat-egorically great day!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Weekly Challenge

One thing I love about Mexico is the color.
No one there is afraid of color, that's for sure.
The more the better.

Another thing I love
is shopping in the outdoor markets.
I don't think I did it justice though ~
I didn't really get the image of the
sights and sounds and the hustle and bustle.
This painting is just a bit too serene!
But still, I hope it's a pretty picture.

Not too realistic either.
I'm wondering if a pretty girl in that country
might end up somewhere other than selling
curios on the street. And the little sleeping girl ~
at that age, a kid would probably
already be working a full day.

The last time I went to Mexico
(about 18 months ago)
the police were carrying AK-47s
and were very visible all over town.
Someone told us the mayor of the town
(Rosarito Beach) had just been murdered.
There was a lot of ill feeling among
the different political groups
and the police were trying to impose order.
 Or something. It was a little scary!

But still, that experience didn't
kill my affection for Mexico.
The people are so kind, friendly, and creative.
 The culture is fascinating. Ancient.

I understand that now it could be
quite a bit more dangerous to visit there.
It's a frightening time we live in!
And not just there, but anywhere.

Ah well, what can one do?
Painting pretty pictures helps...

Don't miss the entries in the Mexico
challenge over at Inspiration Avenue.
As usual, they are varied and amazing!
All of the entries will be in by noon (edt) Sunday.

Happy Weekend! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Look at these  
2 exciting projects
I've discovered!

One is a *free* online art class
offered by the wonderfully generous  
Tam at Willowing called
The Heart of Art
is a four-week course with a
new project each week! Yay!
(Did I mention it's FREE? )
The focus is on healing through art.
There's a video on YouTube
to watch for more info.
Class begins October 18.
I'm signed up and ready for skool!
I hope you'll join us!

Tam's other classes look awesome
and I have a feeling I'll be checking
those out too!

The next project is called
The Butterfly Project  
mandate is to remember the  
1,500,000 innocent children
who perished as a result of the Holocaust
by collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.

Please go to Two Dresses Studio
to read a very informative description
of the project. To participate
all you have to do is create a
handmade butterfly and mail it to either
Two Dresses Studio
mail directly to the 
Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas USA.

Update on Oct. 7: 
The link to Two Dresses Studio 
seems to be working sometimes
and sometimes not.
If the link doesn't take you there,
you can go directly
for instructions and an address to
send your butterfly!
Thank you!

Two Dresses Studio has done a
wonderful job of laying out all
the information and rules.
Check it out there!

This one is by
Abby Lazar
Jamesville, NY, USA

I hope you'll look into both of these
fun projects and join in!