Monday, March 31, 2014

Giveaway Winners!

    Thank you all so much for your comments! It means so much to have blogging as a way of connecting with people I would never had otherwise had the pleasure of meeting. Nor would I have been able to know the many talents you all possess. Without further ado...

                                             yes, I did this the "old fashioned" way :):)

  the winners are:

     So there is no confusion here are the comments also:

Winner #1 Susan (Ariel): "Linda Belated Birthday Wishes to you. Hope you had a wonderful day. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway. If my name is selected I would love to have the Journaling book package or the Watercolor Pencil set package. I'm now following you too.
Thank you
Susan"      I put your name in twice for this kit.

Winner#2 Susi: "Happy Birthday to you and your blog Linda- wonderful giveaway.. I would like to win..
the domono package would be my fav!
You made fabulous pendants too..they look great!"

Winner#3 Carola: " Happy belated birthday, Linda!! What a sweet idea of you to celebrate both your birthday and blogoversary with such a generous give away. I love package #3, the watercolor pencils. I thought I have been a follower for quite some while, but I couldn't find my name in the list, so I added myself as your newest follower!
I always love the quotes you add to your posts!"  Your name was in twice for this kit.

 Congrats!!! Please contact me with your mailing info so I can get your pkgs. out ASAP. Also please keep in mind that if you live outside the US it will take a bit longer. I'd really appreciate you all letting me know once you receive your pkgs. also. Again, thanks to everyone!

 Now, if it's OK Id like to sneak the above card in to the Simon Wednesday Challenge blog for the theme of "buttons" and to Freshly Made Sketches with the challenge to create a card (or two or more-as I did:) following this sketch:

   I've already begun working on Easter cards and am using this sketch!

Products used on my card: 5" x 7" white note card (Canvas Corp); pink card stock (The Paper Studio); patterned card stocks (The Glitter Mat Stack-DCWV); paper flowers (Spare Parts-The Paper Studio); clear stamp  (Mega Mixed Messages-Papertrey Ink); Onyx Black ink ( Versafine-Tsukineko); tiny button (Gary Burlin and Co.).

    "Appreciation and gratitude are a must if you choose to become the architect of increased happiness and your own fulfillment."   Doc Childre

Friday, March 28, 2014

Play Day Friday

  Reminder; my giveaway closes Sat. March 29 at midnight EST so if you want a chance  (or two) to win one of the packages you still have time. Go HERE for the post and details. Edited: this giveaway is now closed.Look for the winners names on Mon. March 31.

  Some weeks ago Suzy of Suziqu's Threadworks posted about some lovely gifts including a group of crocheted flowers she received. You can see them in this post. It got me thinking of how I used to crochet-A LOT- but it got away from me. Until I saw those beautiful flowers. I grabbed my hooks and some threads and began making some.

  Now , these flowers cannot compare to Julia's intricate beauties but they're a start :) The only thing I forgot to add to the supplies above is the ball of black yarn I used for the larger, heavier weight flower. Fun! The crochet hooks belonged to my grandmother-who taught me how to crochet. I still have sets of the placemats I sewed and crocheted years ago (a sample of each in the photo).  You really must visit the two blogs I mentioned above-especially if you love vintage and laces etc. Suzy's blog is stunning!

  I already used one of the flowers on a card. The following cards were made for the Simon Wednesday Challenge  theme of "anything goes with buttons". I am also linking to a new to me challenge- Freshly Made Sketches. Each week a DT member produces a new sketch design for you to create cards by. Check them out! Here is this week's sketch:

  And here are my cards:

 It was fairly easy to whip up three cards by keeping with a specific color palette and theme. These remind me so much of my great grandmother's dining room with the vintage flocked wall papers, patterns all around and of course lace.

  Products: 5" x 7" note cards (The Philadelphia Group); patterned card stock (La Creme Matstack-DCWV); Onyx Black Versafine ink (Tsukineko); UM clear stamps (Mega Mixed Messages-Papertrey Ink); "special day" rubber stamp (source unknown); assorted laces (JoAnne Stores); paper flowers (the Paper Studio); hand crocheted flower; buttons (vintage).

  My last project for today centers around the book "The Art of Whimsical Lettering" by JoAnne Sharpe.
I received my book recently-have already read it cover to cover and am now ready to begin the practices and techniques. I began by covering a plain composition book and making a title for it as suggested both in the book and in JoAnne's private FB group.

 The front cover:

                I have never used my washi tapes more since taking her classes and I love it!

 Front and back covers:

  Most of the papers I used are copies of my own hand painted or marbled papers. If you enjoy COLOR-LOTS of it, if you enjoy wHiMsY and perfectly imperfect, then you will LOVE JoAnne's  book!!! 
I'd love to know if you have it and /or in the FB group:)

 Besides the above mentioned challenges I am also linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, and Paint Party Friday. Let the weekend fun begin!

"Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul." W. Somerset Maugham

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Glitter, Vellum, and Tea

   Reminder: I have a giveaway (three actually) which is still open if anyone's interested. You can find all the details and comment in this post.

  We had a brief respite from the cold so over the weekend it was Spring cleaning -indoors and out for us. It felt so good to get out some lounge chairs (protected under the patio roof) and to put away my dark, heavy boots and clothing! Of course, it got very cold again with the threat of a bit of snow today so I've been warming up with these teas the last several days, steeped in a practical mug which keeps the tea hot for quite a long time:

   Usually I start with the heavier vanilla chai early in the day (after the coffee of course :) and then sip on the green or tulsi. I'm sipping the chai now and joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth and friends for T Stands for Tuesday.

 T also stands for transparent which is the challenge theme this week At the Simon Monday blog so I have quickly made a set of CAS note cards I can use for any occasion. The theme for the Simon Wednesday blog challenge is glitter it! so I am also linking there. Both of these blogs offer a generous $50 GC to a randomly chosen winner from the entries-EVERY WEEK, along with a new theme challenge. It's so easy to be inspired-especially with all the DT entries-really fabulously detailed projects!

  The cards:

  These four cards were made with glittered card stock from the Glitter Matstack by DCWV. I tried to capture the fine glittery patterns but think it's one of the most difficult things to photograph. Perhaps if you click for a larger view you can see the shimmer . They are really beautiful papers, and the best thing is - they are the perfect size as is for the large (5" x 7") white note cards by Canvas Corp.! Other products used are- felt butterfly, star gemstone stickers-Michael's, paper flowers-studio g, Nature and Inspiration Vellum Quote Stacks-DCWV, small rhinestones, Stickles glitter glue -Ranger.

 These last two cards probably took all of two minutes! Al I had to do was cut the printed vellums to the note card size, run a bit of glue (gluestick) along the fold and voila-instant lovely  note cards! Unfortunately I've had these vellum papers in my stash awhile so I no longer have the makers names.

  Really, anyone can do this and pretty vellums can be found online or in craft and scrapbooking stores. I think a set of these along with a book of stamps would make a great hostess gift!

                                         Drinking tea with a pinch of imagination!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Is Here!!!

  Well, at least according to the calendar:) We are still having below normal temps but it's slowly warming up a little as the days go by.

  Reminder: I have a giveaway post that is open through Sat March 29 EST and there are three packages up for grabs! Check it out HERE.

  Last weekend we celebrated St. Patrick's Day festivities in town and had a great time! We did however, watch the parade from inside Hotel Bethlehem where we met with friends for drinks and food because there was a COLD wind blowing and I was freezing!

                                                     Aaah, the Guinness did the trick:)

  I spent a significant amount of art time by working on my drawing lessons pages for my Draw Your Awesome Year class. Here are two more pages. I penciled everything in first then went over it all with Pitt pens-my favorite.

  Then I colored it all in with my Peerless watercolors:

  I also managed to do a simple journal page. JoAnne Sharpe has a newly released book The Art of Whimsical Lettering which I should have in my hands next week. In the meantime, JoAnne has started a private FB group specifically for those who have purchased the book. In this group, she has tips and prompts and allows us to share our drawings. The first prompt is to write and illustrate "just be" and this is what came to mind:

 Obviously, the lettering book is going to be a tremendous help to me:). Products: pigment inks, brush markers, Balzer Designs Mini Lotus Stencil, hand made stencil (sitting figure).

  I think the page also came to mind because I just signed up for another FREE three week meditation course called Finding Your Flow with Deepak Chopra and Oprah. It begins on April 14th. I have done his previous mediation series and  enjoyed doing a 15 min. meditation each day. It truly does make a difference and is so good for the blood pressure too. Perhaps you'll join me...

  Linking to Art Journal Every Day, Creative Every Day, Paint Party Friday.

     "Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn."    Lewis Grizzard

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Scottish Thistle Mug

  Before I get into today's post I want to mention my GIVEAWAY POST. Please go HERE if you want to see what's up for grabs and have a chance-or two- to win!!

 Anyone celebrate St. Patrick's Day??? Well, I sure did. Hubby and I spent Saturday in town (walking distance- very convenient) for the Celtic festivities. We anticipated seeing the parade from the street but after we got there the wind kicked up considerably and it was a cold wind so we opted to watch the parade from inside the Hotel Bethlehem while enjoying a pint of Guinness then meeting with friends to see their honeymoon pics of their trip to Ireland and grabbing a bite to eat.

  The two young men at the top left played for hours and were excellent!! We found a table on the upper level where it was quiet compared to downstairs and enjoyed watching the parade from the huge windows. Oh, the many dogs-mostly in dress were SO cute! There was also a violin exhibition where you could buy, trade, tune violins and even sign up for lessons. The dessert was a special Chocolate Guinness cake- which our friend had. I just had a crab cake considering I'd already downed enough calories with the two Guinnesses I had:):)

 I also bought a new Scottish mug from my favorite local Celtic shop - Donegal Square (a birthday gift to myself). They have a lovely restaurant with the most wonderful fresh brewed teas and now a pub too!

  The thistle is the official flower of Scotland. I thought this was such a beautiful mug... and I also bought it (and wore my plaid top and a Celtic cross necklace) in honor of George Donaldson of the group Celtic Thunder the group I mentioned the last two Tuesdays and in previous posts. It was a bittersweet Celtic celebration. George died suddenly and unexpectedly of a massive heart attack (thankfully at home though in Glasgow with his wife and young daughter-13) this past Wed. at the age of 46. Hubby and I had the pleasure of meeting him and talking with him on several occasions. Yes, he came to live his dream of singing and playing for a living all over the world , but he still left us too early...

  In between tears and festivies I kept busy by baking:

                                                     two dozen raisin bran muffins

  and having wonderful phone calls, e-cards, messages, and cards for my b'day:

     Thank you all for all the sweet thoughts and wishes!! Special hand made cards from my dear friend LuAnn (the orange, green St Patrick's Day card and the yellow dress card) and a retro looking origami dress card-LOVE) from my friend Patty.

   Mostly I began blogging for art reasons but there is no art to share today. If you wish to check out the art part I tend to post most of that on a Friday. Thanks for stopping by and happy T Day!!

  Linking to Bleubeard and Elizabeth for "T Stands for Tuesday". Feel free to join us for anything "T" and/or beverage related :).

  I don't know about any of  you but I am both a coffee and tea drinker so I definitely related to the following quote :
 "If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, March 15, 2014


          Edit: This giveaway is now closed. Please look for the winners names on Mon. march 31. Good luck and thank you for playing and celebrating with me!

   Today I am celebrating both my birthday and 2 year blogiversary and for me there is no better way to celebrate than with several giveaways. This is something I've done each year since the day I began blogging 2 years ago on my birthday day!

  Three packages are being offered and winners will be chosen at random from each category. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind before commenting.
    1. You don't have to become a follower, but if you do or you already are a follower please let me know and your name will be added twice into the one category you choose!

    2. Please SPECIFY WHICH GIVEAWAY PKG. YOU'D LIKE. If you do not I will add your name wherever I choose but would much prefer you get what you'd really like.

    3. Be sure I can reach you by email but also check back on my blog on Monday March 31st to see if you are a winner. I will leave commenting open (one comment per person please) thru Sat. March 29th midnight EST.

  The Three Package Details:

    This very slightly used book (Kaleidoscope) is filled with art journaling ideas and techniques! I had inherited this book and already own a copy. I am including a mini book kit which includes everything you need to make 3 books, and a set of bookmarks for you to art with.

 Package 2:
 A mixed bag of dominoes and bamboo tiles including a kit to make earrings, a kit to make three book thongs and three little plastic stands which perfectly hold the large dominoes. Here are some samples of the pieces I created to give you some ideas:

These are two book thongs-I have included supplies (except for imagery) to make three of these.

  This is a pair of earrings I made from the same kit-you decide what to do for the domino fronts. Here I glued on my handmade marbled paper, used a Krylon Silver Leafing pen on the sides and painted a thin coat of Crystal Lacquer over the paper front.

 Add a photo, a collage image, or use alcohol inks to create a pattern. Add a pin back, a magnet on back, or display it on a stand like this:

Package 3:
  A set of 24 Derwent Watercolour pencils (very slightly used-this was also a set I inherited and already own) and a new 5 1/2" x  3 1/2" Moleskine watercolor journal.

  I will also include a hand made item by me with your packages. Good luck and thank you all for making my blogging experience positively JOYFUL!

   "When I feel the joy of receiving a gift my heart nudges me to join creation's ballet, the airy dance of giving and receiving, and getting and giving again."        Lewis Smedes

Friday, March 14, 2014


 which means "cheers" in Irish (Gaelic). And that's how I will be celebrating this weekend with special events being held downtown for St. Patrick's Day! And in honor of that day here are two ATCs I made-both of which have been given away already:

   The backgrounds are fabric which I distressed the edges with a black inkpad. Stickers from AC Moore including the shamrock puffy chain. I typed out the word. The second one also has an image from ARTchix Studio. I'm linking these to Inspiration Avenue for the theme of "green".

  And yes, I am still creating canvases with a mosaic background inspired by Serena Barton recently. Most of you know what I am talking about but for those of you who don't I have links in this post and in this one.

 I decided to play with scale by working on two smaller canvases:

                            This is the base of a 4" x 4" stretched canvas covered in paper squares.


    Papers, images from ARTchix Studio, plastic scrap for stenciling, blue acrylic paint, mulberry paper, and a bunch of Distress Reinkers mixed with Golden Glaze Medium, black inkpad to distress the edges.  The next one is even smaller:

                                                                   2  3/4" x 2  3/4"

   Papers, image from ARTchix Studio, stencil, purple acrylic paint, dryer sheet remnants, a bunch of distress reinkers with Golden Glaze Medium, black inkpad to distress the edges.
   I'm linking these to the Simon Monday Challenge Blog for the theme "D is For Distress" .

   I'll also see you at Creative Every Day and Paint Party Friday. Paint Party Friday is celebrating  their three year birthday/anniversary/blogiversary!! Congrats and thank you EVA and Kristin!!

   Please come back tomorrow for a very special post and giveaway!!

    " May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten."
                                                                                                    Irish Blessing

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Treats

   Spring is getting closer but everything still looks so drab so I did a bit of shopping to brighten up our kitchen table and our bedroom! The best part is that I was able to double my savings that day with a special sale and coupons.

   I purchased these Fiesta table mats and I love how the colors say Spring and how they brighten up the wood table:

  And the new comforter set:

   I love it! The other set we had was mostly a brown with some blue and beige patterning. We had chosen the dark colors because of our dog :). But she no longer can jump up so high since getting new mattresses and she sleeps in the spare bed or downstairs.

  I'm not drinking tea today but I did make a teacup for T day:

  It's a traditional Japanese style origami paper teacup. I found this great site for creating origami projects and love to try something out once in awhile. I have already done lotus blooms, butterflies and foxes. Try something yourself! My only advice is to make sure the paper you use is thin. 

 This cup is the perfect size to hold a gift card or ATC as you can see here:

                                Or how about sending someone a few teabags in the cup?

  Last Tuesday  I mentioned a night out with a friend to see a live taping and show with Ryan Kelly of Celtic Thunder. Some of you kindly asked about it so here are a few pics from that evening. It was a long but awesome night!!! This was the third time I had the opportunity to meet up with him. Since this was a small gathering there was plenty of time for some of us to chat with Ryan at length (lucky me:). I mostly talked with him about the original songs he wrote for his latest solo CD, and about our shared love for animals. Ryan is just the kindest, most genuine person and he truly appreciates his fans.


 He signed my official CT sweat jacket,

               and his latest solo CD :)

   My hubby says I am now an official "Thunderhead" which is what they call the Celtic Thunder fans. He's not far behind though as he loves their music and meeting up with them as much as I do-well, almost (wink).

  I'll be stopping by for a "T" break with you and our wonderful hostess Elizabeth.

  Oh, thought I'd mention- it will be not just my birthday this coming Saturday (the 15th) but also my 2 year blogiversary so I will have a special post up announcing three giveaways!

  Linking to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T Stands For Tuesday.

     "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort."           Franklin D. Roosevelt