Saturday, June 28, 2008

Off to the Tea Party ... Finally!

Updated July 1st ... and the winners are:




Many, many thanks to everyone for taking the time to stop by.


It's here, it's here! It's finally time for the long anticipated Mad Tea Party!

I had all these grand plans of making party hats and masks and goodies and such,
but unfortunately it was all I could do to get the gang together ...
Let me introduce you to everyone:

Queenie E:

The Girl With the Pearl:


(left to right) Penelope, May, Mathilde & Coco:





Almost everyone:
Now that we're all here, we are off to visit Vanessa and all her fabulous guests.
PS - I'll be giving away three of the Fairy Cork Dolls. If you'd like to be included in the drawing, please be sure to leave a comment. All comments received between now and 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 2nd will be included in the drawing.
Thank you for stopping by. Come again any time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tag ... I'm it

It's a first ... I was just tagged by that most charming Amber Dawn (sorry, I just couldn't resist ... she really is the Queen of Charms) ... here's the scoop:

The rules are: link back to the person's blog who tagged you, include these rules, list 3 unimportant things about yourself (** wait, I have to admit that there are unimportant things about me?!? ... uh, ok.) and then list 3 more bloggers who are tagged to do the same.


1. I have two standard replies when complimented, "years and years of practice" or "shhh ... it's a secret".

2. I'm convinced the most romantic line in movie history is from the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice when Darcy tells Elizabeth "and I love, love, love you ..." - I know it has everything to do with his delivery, but I melt every time I see that scene. *sighs*

... hmmm ... then again, it just might be "as you wish" from the Princess Bride.

3. I think I'm part crow (the bird) or octopuss because I really, really like sparkly shiny things.

who's next?!?

Donna over at Mice and Moonbeams (and be sure to check out her Princess Squash Diary's)

Sandy from Sandy's Creations (a real delight)

Carmen of Writing From Life (writing of life through the eyes of a mermaid)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wedding Party

The invitation read:

Do you love looking at wedding photos? I do. Let's see yours, please! On Thursday, June 26th, play along with me at my Virtual Wedding Party. Post photos from your wedding - they can be pretty or funny or just pretty funny! Tell us a story! What happened at your wedding? Did Aunt Marge trip and fall on the cake? Who caught the bouquet, and did they get married yet? We'd love to hear it. Don't spare any details.

Excellent idea, don't you think?




I thought that I would start off with two of my

most favorite wedding pictures ... EVER

Here's my Omi (Mom's mom) on her wedding day:

and this is Omi and Grandpa Pitcarin:

so romantic and dreamy, don't you think? *sighs*




Ok, now onto my own story ...

Before I share, I'll give you a little background info ... Don and I started dating in June of 1997. He asked me to marry him right around Halloween and we were married on November 22, 1997. Yep, five months later.

When he "popped the question" I wasn't even sure that he had asked. I was just waking up and actually thought that I was dreaming, so ... I didn't answer. The day happened like almost any other. That night (over a game of backgammon) he said, "you never answered my question" ... ok, so it was real ... and I said, "yes". That simple. It's important to note that I am the Queen of Second Guessing myself and almost everything I do. This was one of those rare occasions when I didn't pause and just reacted from the core of my being; I'm convinced it's the best decision I have ever made.

So, we sent out our wedding invitations (a bunch of post cards that I ... and he ... had collected throughout the years - some were of beautiful places, works of art, cute post cards, sweet ones, funny - they ran the whole gammit) and started planning - we had a little over a month to pull it off. Thank heavens for our moms and our friends!

We decided to have the wedding in the back yard of one of my dearest friends in AZ - we had just over 40 invitee's RSVP and the house/yard could easily accomodate that number. Don's mom and brother flew in a few nights before the wedding - it was the first time I met either of them ... thankfully, we had soooo much going on and soooooo much to do that there wasn't time to not like each other (and actually we all got along splendidly! - sometimes I am a really lucky girl). I put together all the wedding favors - a polished rock & a chocolate lady bug placed in a pretty piece of lace and tied with a ribbon. The food planning was easy, too: simple snacks out - cheeses, crackers, shrimp, nuts, veggies, etc. and after the ceremony Don would grill a bunch of sheesh kabobs - lots of veggies, filet & shrimp. We opted for fruit pies from Marie Calendars rather than a wedding cake ... we had so many pies that some of the guests would leave with an entire pie. There'd be a full bar (thanks to the mom-in-law) and plenty of great music (thanks to the house DJ).

Flash forward to the wedding day. Our friends came to help out, so even the set up seemed like a party. We all spent most of the morning setting up chairs & getting the food ready - there was tons of laughter in the house. My girlfriend (and hair stylist), Beth, came over to do my hair and make-up, so I actually ended up looking put together.

Friends started arriving and there was such a casual atmosphere ... pretty laid back, actually. The minister showed up ... and that's when we realized that our marriage license was back at our apartment - oops. My best friend, Tom (the person that was supposed to "give me away"), decided to jump into the nearest auto and fly back to our place to pick it up ... wouldn't you know it, he was in a fender bender and ended up missing the entire ceremony (the minister decided to go ahead with the service & planned to visit our apartment the next morning to sign the license). My mom had bought me a lovely eggplant colored Laura Ashley dress (completely inappropriate for a back yard wedding - and what was I thinking getting a PURPLE dress - but I loved it. I still have it and it's perfect for a nice dinner party). Don wore jeans and a lightweight long sleeve pullover (he looked/was way more comfortable than me). The minister was a strange duck. He talked about the wind in the trees and other more random stuff (while Kinu, our Shiba Inu, proceeded to lift her leg awfully close to his trousers) ... I don't really recall what he said, but I do remember trembling and I remember hearing Don say, "Yep" ... and his sweet kiss. Suddenly I was a Mrs. ... How weird. Cool, but weird.

My girlfriend, Jody, took a whole role of black and white photo's during and right after the ceremony and then did one of the cleverest things ... during our "reception" she snuck out to a one hour photo place, had the pictures developed and put a handful in one of those multi-picture frames.

This is my absolute favorite photo from our wedding:

Hmmm ... those two just might actually like each other, eh?




Random Tidbits (wedding related, of course):


We had a tatoo artist at our wedding (to do our wedding bands for us). Big mistake. Not the tatoo's, the artist (not so much an artist). Don's tatoo isn't great, but mine looked like a horrible prison tat, sooooo after the party dust settled we spent some time with a wire brush and that gritty orange soap stuff and tried to remove as much ink from my finger as possible. Not a pleasant experience, but it did help lighten the tatoo.


The minister showed up at our place the next morning to complete the paperwork. Remember how Tom was supposed to give me away? Well, he was supposed to come over to be a witness for the paperwork ... guess what ... he was LATE and missed the whole shebang ... we did have him sign our copy just the same.


OH! and the poor minister forgot about the cabinets right above his head ... he stood up too fast after signing on his dotted line and wacked his head so hard it made my teeth hurt!


Don's wedding gift to me was a beautiful wooden backgammon board.


Not long after the wedding (about 10 days, actually), Don and I moved to Baltimore, MD (and if you want to call driving 2000+ miles across country in a U-haul a honeymoon, I wouldn't neccessarily disagree with you) ... as we entered VA we were treated to one of the most amazing meteor showers I have ever seen.


We stopped someplace in VA and had a really crabby guy attempt to fix my wedding band; he was pretty clueless, too. I ended up having to draw what I wanted right on my finger and went over it with his gun (I'm left handed, too) ... it now looks like a messy XOX ... ah well. watcha gonna do?)


Sadie was born one week after our first wedding anniversary.


At the rehearsal dinner of my most funnelest girlfriend we were served some terrific food ... it was so good infact, there was a party crasher:

This praying mantis must have really liked the red frosting ... it was kind enough to pose long enough for me to get a few snaps (before picking a fight with me and trying to take my head off!)

That face!

If you've made it this far then I believe you have time for one more wedding tidbit ... I became an ordained minister just so I could perform the ceremony of my best friend (from high school) Tom - the same one that was in a fender bender on my wedding day ... AND for the beginning of the service I recited the wedding scene from The Princess Bride ...

"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.

Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam...

And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva..."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"I never Got to Thank You"

Monica over at Girl Gone Thread Wild shares some of the coolest stuff with us ... recently I came across "A Thank You Letter To My Oma (for charity)". She was prompted to write this beautiful thank you in response to this post: "I Never Got to Thank You" from Bill over at Loving Her Beautiful ... I checked out the project and it spoke to me ... so I posted a comment letting Bill know that I would be sure to send him a contribution before the weekend was through ... well ... that was June 6th ... I had sooooo many issues with this and totally got caught up in over thinking the whole thing.

I started (and scrapped) more than a dozen letters and find myself getting more and more despondent with each attempt ... I actually wrote one Thank You to the Moon & Stars that was sooooooo over the top, you'd blush in embarrassment for me. Seriously. (Though I actually do think that thanking the moon and stars is a pretty good idea).

Initially I started to write a thank you to Amy Walker. She was a waitress at the Jacksonville, FL Bombay Bicycle Company back in 1987 (I worked there, too, as a busser). That year for my birthday she gave me a slim hard covered pocket book of William Blake poems - one that has his artwork in it - and the coolest/lovliest crane card ... and for some reason this has stuck with me all these years (yes, I still have the book ... and the card). Sounds good, right? Obviously this girl had some sort of impact on me. Plus, I think it's pretty cool that I ended up with her last name. OK, good idea ... until it dawned on me that I can't recall anything about her other than she had shoulder length dark brown hair & left for Auburn shorlty after my birthday ... how weird. Does this mean that I have held onto her memory all these years simply because she wrote, "dip him in the water, he who loves to learn" on the inside of the book???

Then there's Mrs. Looman - an English teacher of some unknown grade ... how can I thank her if I can't remember what grade it was?!? I know it couldn't have been earlier than junior high and definitely before college. I've always liked teachers that challenged me and my thinking. She did that ... and more. Mrs. Looman had a groovy haircut.

How about H.G. Bergstrom who was at least 152 years old when I first met him. I was barely out of high school and working at a copy center. He came in with a 300+ page book that he had written and needed to make 3 copies of - this is over 20 years ago and 3 copies of 300+ pages was easily a four hour job - maybe more. That four hours was some of the best time that I have ever spent with a stranger. He was one of the most interesting men I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with. Believe it or not, we exchanged addresses that day and actually kept in touch for a while after that first meeting.

I could thank my dad for being such a great dad ... until he stopped being a great dad. Hmmm ... I sense deep seeded issues there. Probably not a good idea.

Or Robin ... my very best girlfriend for many, many (including the most formative) years. This was a girl that was a serious touchstone in my life ... I'm fairly certain the majority of good (as in proper/right) decisions I have made in my lifetime can be directly traced back to me asking myself, "what would Robin do?". Nope - I should thank her directly ... which leads me to a list that's at least a half page long of people that I need to write a Thank You to that I actually can ...
See what I mean? And where does it stop? There are soooooo many people (and places ... and even things) that have come in and out of my life and made an impact on me ... took part in shaping the who I am today. Aha! That's the ticket! A letter to the Universe ...

Dear Moon & Stars,

ok, so uber spouse thought it was a good idea to send Bill that whole thing. It was late and I was tired, so I did ... but for a few days after that I kept getting this nagging feeling about not doing the "assignment" right and I couldn't get HG out of my head, so ... I wrote this:

Dear H.G. Bergstrom,

I'm not sure you'd even remember my face, let alone my name, but it's been 22 years since I met you and I still find myself thinking of you often. You came into my life on such an ordinary day. I was just a kid working at a print shop and on this particular day you walked in with a book that you had just finished writing. You needed to make copies and I was lucky enough to be the one to help you (though, to be honest, I didn't feel lucky at first). The book was your history. 300+ pages. While we set to getting your task accomplished you shared with me so many of the stories that book held. Listening to you was such a treat for me. It also taught me so much more than I realized at the time. The years (and their wisdom) marked your face with kind features and deep laugh lines. Your life, adventures and the changes that you witnessed seemed so incredible to me, but your spirit is what I remember the most. There was a quiet gentleness about you, a calmness - you just might be the first person I ever realized was comfortable in their skin. That simple visit changed the way I look at the world. Because of you I know that everyone ... every single person ... has a story worth telling. A story worth hearing. Because of you I have been less quick to judge and more open to listen. I have had the pleasure of meeting people and hearing stories that I might not have if not for you and that wonderful day. Thank you for taking the time to talk with that kid, for sharing your story and listening to hers. Your simple gesture helped me become a much better person and I am forever grateful to you.

With a happy heart & much love always,


OK - your turn! Bill is still collection thank you's for his project.

Monday, June 23, 2008

am I making this more difficult than it actually is?!?

I worked on three different designs for the 2009 Diary Project. I wanted to keep them fairly simple graphics and I think I was pretty successful at that ... here's the thing ... now that I have the basic images to choose from, I need to figure out how they translate from the black and white Sharpie drawings to an actual page ... I thought that I would be able to ghost the images so they would be in the background, but now that I am working with the template, I'm not sure that's the best plan. In an effort to clear my brain (and because I think it would be fun for you to vote for your favorite design) I am putting the three basic graphics out for you to vote on. I chose to work on Friday, May 29, 2009 (go figure, eh?).

Please take a look at the following three images:
(you should be able to click on each image to view a close up)




Vote for your favorite by leaving me a comment in this blog post.
Feel free to share any suggestions that you might have.
(all pages due July 1st, but I will be working on the three designs between now and then, so ought to be ready to send in the design Saturday before the party at Vanessa's)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Party Favors

I had a great time putting together the party favors for my big 4-0.

Above is a photo of goodies that were included in each little box: stickers, temporary tattoos, a few plastic beads, a mango scented candle, plastic drink critters (for use at parties - each person gets a different critter to help remember who's glass is who's), a God's eye, a mini loaf of lemon poppy seed bread, a beaded bracelet (swarovski bicone crystals beaded on elastic thread), an assortment of 2"x2" washi chiyogami papers, a paper crane and a two sided pendant. Not pictured: a glow in the dark skeleton key ring and a dark chocolate truffle ... that I really should have known better than to send - I received word that at least three melted somewhere in transit ... ick. Hopefully they didn't cause toooooo much of a gooey mess!

Not too long ago I made a beaded
God's eye that wasn't quite so simple and was more time consuming than I had anticipated. For the party favors, I decided to get back to basics. I used little skewers and 100% cotton embroidery thread. Making them brought back a lot of good memories and were quite relaxing to do. Here's the complete set that I made (only 5 were actually shipped out; I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to embellish the remaining five ... time will tell).

I also wanted to make name tags for my guests, so wrote their blog names (with the exception of e.beck's - couldn't resist gettin "groovy" on hers) on a 4x4 piece of Bristol Board and doodled all around their names with my handy dandy fine point Sharpie (a favorite past time, dontcha know). Once the doodles were done, I decided that it would be cool to add a lil sumpin, sumpin ... I stitched over their names with embroidery thread. I think it added a cool little element:

Finally, I had so much fun making my first set of charms for the Black and White Charm swap that I wanted to try my hand at another charm type thing. I decided that a pendant would be good. Each pendant is two sided. The image on one side is a Sharpie sketch that I had done of Audrey Hepburn's eyes and the other side is the first Mandala I painted:

If you are interested in the steps, it was pretty simple. The squares are pieces of craft wood that I cut to size and sanded the edges smooth (slightly rounding the corners). Next I painted both sides with Mars Black acrylic paint. I attached my miniature artwork (just printed on 60 lb high gloss paper) with Modge Podge (believe it or not) and then applied about three coats of high gloss varnish. Once the varnish dried, I poked holes through the wood (with a needle), added the jump ring and strung it on the black cord. Viola! Simple and yet effective. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008



When Carmen (our dear sweet mermaid of Writing From Life) told me that she wanted to send me a little treat to celebrate my 40th birthday I never would have guessed that I would be receiving such wonderful surprise! I can't resist ... I just HAVE to share:

Make a wish?!? My wishes have been MORE than granted!!

I adore this "Discover" collage that she made & have it sitting right next to me here at the computer desk. I love to surround my space with things that inspire me ... this inspires me.

And check out this tasty treat! I have been wearing this bracelet since I received it (well, I did take it off to snap this photo & I do take it off at night before I go to sleep ... but that's it!).

... but WAIT! There is one more little treasure:

Isn't it the BEST?!? Carmen made me this most precious mermaid in the prettiest pinks and with glorious butterfly wings ... she's dreamy and most special to me ... I am truly honored to have one of Carmen's mermaids and will treasure her forever and for always.

My heart is full of love & thanks.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

***** MAD TEA PARTY *****


Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist is nearing her 200th blog post and is throwing a Mad Tea Party to celebrate ... if you're like me, just the air blowing in the right direction is cause enough to celebrate, but a good reason?!? Couldn't pass it up if I tried!
To add to the fun-filled-festivities, I'm going to toss in my own little party give-a-way (yet to be created) ... to be included, just leave a comment here (between now & Saturday, June 28th).
I guess this means I need to hit the drawing board!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

how does he do it?!?

I hit a bit of creative overload, so have been a bit of a slug for the past two days. In that same time (actually, since about 10pm last night) uber-spouse has painted five ... FIVE ... watercolors - including a riot of a kung-fu cat. He makes it look so easy. Makes me want to flick him. ok, not really, but I imagine some of you know what I mean.

I want, want, want to post pictures of what I ended up making as party favors for my birthday give-a-way. Unfortunately, I also want the treats to be surprises, so I have to wait. pisser. am hoping for some feedback on a couple ...

In the meantime, I found a really old "idea book". Seriously old ... it was from one of the very few art classes that I took back in the early 90's. I think it was a two-d class, so nothing earth shattering. A funny thing ... I pasted older sketchy type things in the book ... some from as far back as '87. EEK ... that's over 20 years ago! cuhrazy. I had forgotten about some of those old pictures ... like ornate, but cracked mirrors with odd reflections & those jagged cliff type sketches with a sigle flower or blade of grass growing up out of the desolate scene ... a few attempts at realism that aren't exquisite studies of perfection, but they aren't half bad (there's a rose that was done with a ball point pen that's actually fairly good) ... and letters/words - man, I must have done hundreds of thousand of letters/words throughout the years. It was nice to revisit the book.

OK, last night of sluggishness ... tomorrow I need to get started working on a few drawings for the 2009 Diary Project ... what I am thinking is that I'll pick my three favorite designs and then I'll let you lovely blogger buddies pick the one I submit. Yep. That's the ticket.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Karla & Beth's Vintage Workshop Birds & Bonnets Exchange

When I decided to take part in Karla & Beth's Vintage Workshop Birds & Bonnets Swap, I really had no idea what I was signing up for. This was the very first time I tried my hand at working with vintage papers and collage type things are definitely not my forte - I am a true novice in this arena ... I was pleased with myself that I even finished (chech here to see what I did). What I didn't expect was to be so blown away by the creativity and talent that soooo many people put into their gorgeous creations.

Take a look at the gems I received:

Above you'll find the front and back of one panel done by the incredible artist, Kathy L. Kathy has definitely inspired me to try my hand at using some different textures and layering with a little more height ... so lovely! You can find Kathy at her blog: Country Chintz.

This panel (front and back) was created by the very talented Nancy R from My Crafty Little Page. I really love how she used the fabric trim (so sweet!) and that feather is brilliant! I don't think the photo's do justice to the fine details Nancy made.
Above it the two-sided panel created by the amazing Brenda S. at Dragon Lady. I'll be honest - I don't know how she accomplished the one on the left. It looks like a collage and has a ghosted quality to it, but other than the ribbon at top and bottom, the piece is completely flush ... seamless. It's really lovely. I really like the gorgeous details that went into the side on the right.

The above panel is by the gifted Heidi N. from Liquorish. The two flower buttons are most impressive - the papers are really pretty and I especially love the sparkly centers.

These two (above and below) show the complete piece with all four panels attached. Feel free to click on any of the photo's to take a closer look.

Many, many thanks to both Karla and Beth for hosting such a wonderful event. They made this such a great experience; I would not hesitate to participate in another event like this ... and after all the amazing pieces I've seen, I have soooo many new things that I just HAVE to try my hand at.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Little of This and a Little of That

Amber Dawn is hosting another charm exchange, but this one is has an added bonus ... make 12 charms and get 10 back ... the remaining 2 will be part of charm bracelets that are being donated to the Pink Artists Drawing ... how cool is that?!? For more details click the button below:

And just in case you haven't yet heard about the Pink Artists Drawing, go here:

I imagine you just might be delighted.

(if you are interested in seeing the squares that I made, click HERE)

two more things ...

  • As I type this, dates are still available for the 2009 Diary Project ... go check it out (artwork isn't due until 7/1/08).


  • to the lovlies that won my birthday give-a-way ... I am getting really, really close and am pretty confident that I'll be able to ship them by Monday. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Phish and a little "Show and Tell"

I feel a bit of a ramble coming on ...

... first, Phish is currently playing (Billy Breathes). It's D's CD. This is so goofy ... D and I have been together for over 10 years and every time he plays this one (seriously, EVERY time) I ask him who it is - I REALLY like it a lot and I forget until the next time he pops it (I have a handful of CD's that I play and play and play simply because I like to sing-a-long and love who I love). Back to Phish ... so, D plays this CD earlier this weekend. I got smart this time - I added it to the 5 disc player and plan on listening to it for at least this next week ... I figure if I can get to the point that I can anticipate the next song then I'll remember who I'm listening to. I just visted their website (to get the links for all you loverlies) and saw that they are more prolific than rabbits. *giggles*

Speaking of websites ... a friend of mine has decided to sell some of her personal care products that are simply ... indulgent. :) I took a look at her site earlier and asked if she'd mind if I went in and switched things around a little. With her blessing, I have made some changes ... AND ... all of the photo's that are now on her website (with the exception of her adorable niece on the home page) are my photograhs. How cool is that?!?

Which leads me to the photo's that I used on her website:

Feel free to click on any of the above images to view them larger.

Go visit deirdre's INDULGENCE to check out her site and her stuff, too.

OK, so I have a question ... is there a market out their for photo's like these? I have been playing around with the idea that I would like to open my own ETSY store and ideally I'd like to sell other creations, but these are my photo's, so I think they's count ... let me know what you think.

Thanks! ~M~