Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tuesday is Almost Here

4/1 Update: Looks like the auction was a great success. Thank you to everyone for all of your support and for sharing this wonderful project.

It's been a long day, so I will be pulling a winner from my giveaway hat this weekend ... stay tuned!

3/31 Update: With just under two hours left to bid, the auction has raised nearly $3000.00 (not including any donations made without bidding)!! Woohooooo!

Time is running out

to see an incredible slideshow of all the contributions, please stop by THIS POST.

Also, there's still time to enter my giveaway (bet you had forgotten ... good thing I remember!) ... go HERE for all the details (entries will be accepted till 10:00pm EST).

YOU can make a huge difference ... Visit the Auction right HERE

Thank you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Still Smiling ...

Maggie from Magpie's Collectables sent me this wonderful postcard:

This was such an unexpected surprise - click on the image to take in all the detail she added to the piece ... simply a postcard? I think not! This is definitely a remarkable piece of workmanship - I love the added thread work and the little beaded touches.

Maggie drew her inspiration from a photograph that I took:

To see the rest of the photo's from that day, feel free to visit THIS post.

Thank you, Maggie!

In other happy news, not one, but two lovely ladies were kind enough to bestow the Sisterhood Award on me. I have to admit that I am still uncomfortable with these kinds of awards, but
this award is presented to blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude ...something I strive to do ... and is from two ladies that I admire quite a lot ...

Sue from Barton Originals has me drooling over her latest "Kindred" doll series - you really need to shoot on over HERE and check them out. Be prepared, you just might fall in love.

Michelle from the Studio at Crow Haven Farm, well, she simply delights and amazes me with all of her creations and her super generous personality - you can visit Michelle right HERE ... and don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to shop.

The requirements of accepting this blog are:

1. put the award logo on your blog and/or post

2. nominate five other blogs that you feel show the spirit of the award.

3. to let the nominees know about the award, comment on their blog.

4. Link to the nominees in your blog post.

5. To show gratitude and friendship to the person that gave you the award, link to them in a blog post.

I just can't narrow this down to five people - everyone I visit teaches me and inspires me to keep on keepin on - try new things - be brave & simply try ... in light of this, I'm offering the Sisterhood Award to you all (you too, Seth, you can be an honorary sister!).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Flowers, a Pelican and a Frog

Thank you to everyone that took the time to comment on my last post - the response that I received was better than I would ever have anticipated. I started feelin a bit twitchy about having it still at the top, so thought I would share some new photos.

This tree is in my neighbors yard ... it's just now beginning to bloom, but before you know it it'll be completely covered in these wild blooms:

This one below is from the desert rose in our yard (at least that's what folks around here call them - they have a crazy gnarly trunk similar to a fig tree, but some amazing tropical looking blooms). It bloomed last year when Don first planted it, but not as much as it's going to this year - there are still about a dozen or more blossoms just waiting for their moment to bloom:

Two years ago Sadie and Don planted a bunch of marigolds up against the backside of the house. That first year they did really well, last year not a single one came up and suddenly this year they have decided to come back ... here's a loner from the bunch that sprouted (pictured much larger than actual size - gotta love macro):

And here is one strange visitor - we're a few miles in from the peace river and about the same from the gulf, so NEVER see pelicans in the neighborhood ... until yesterday:

This guy (am assuming here) has decided to visit our yard - even let me get fairly darn close to take pictures, too ... so odd. Today he was hanging out across the street at the neighbors and when Sadie and I got home from errands, Don said he had a heck of a time shooing the pelican out of our garage! Maybe this guy is tired of the beach ... OR maybe I'm wrong and it's a girl looking for a safe place to build a nest! (guessing here - don't know the habits of pelican's). Personally, I find it kind of cool that the pelican decided to come around.

Finally, as some of you may know, sewing is so NOT my forte. I would love to say this is an attempt at modesty, but honestly, I am not a good seamstress ... in an effort to change this (and because I really like funny little plushies) I have been trying to sew more and more ... I went to a baby shower yesterday and made a pink and brown frog for the new baby ... I'm not sure how well it was received ... seems to me the mom-to-be wasn't very impressed. Ah well. Can't always bat a thousand. Because of this (and because I have lots of pink and brown fleece left over) I decided to make another one ... this one is about half the size of the first (measures 7"x4.5") and instead of stuffing it full of fiberfill (since I am nearly out), I decided to stuff it full of lentils (uncooked, of course!) ... it has no features and not a single embellishment (like its predecessor), but I think I love it! Here's the pink side:

and the brown:

hehe ... didn't take forever and a year to do and the little critter makes me giggle. This is from a simple pattern I found somewhere on line (sorry, I can't seem to find the link anymore, but if anyone recognizes it, please let me know and I'll be happy to add the link) ... I think I need to make more pink and brown froggies.

Wishing you all things that make you grin! ~M~

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's in a Collage?

I recently joined a study group and one of the first assignments was to pick a journal and personalize it. The journal I picked was one that I have had for a few years - the cover is really pretty all on it's own, so I decided to combine that task with another collage assignment and collaged the end pages both at the front:

and the back:

I have already completed my first journal prompt, but thought I would hit you all up ... so, what do these two collages tell you about me? Inquiring minds want to know, so if you are up for it ... humor me & share your thoughts

Friday, March 6, 2009

the Fates Keep Smiling on me ... and I am Grateful

I don't know if it's the Universe telling me to keep on doing what I am doing or if I just happen to be sitting directly under the lucky star, but whatever it is, I have been getting showered with some serious mail love ... first as a direct result from this years One World One Heart event.

First up, Waxela (a.k.a. SpiritMama) offered to send an ATC to everyone that opted to follow her on blogger ... that was an easy choice and not long after I received this lovely little ATC (the colors are actually quite a bit richer than they appear in this photograph).

are you feeling the peace?

Plus, I was lucky enough to actually win two different One World One Heart giveaways.

The first from
Lorraine over at Love of Collage. Lorraine seems to be one creative crafter! Check out the fabulous little bag & Alice domino charm:

The bag does close, but I wanted to show it open - check out the details. The colors are so vibrant and I just love the way it's stitched together. It should also be noted that "Alice in Wonderland" is one of my all time favorite books, so it's even more special to me. I am so thankful to have been the winner of Lorraine's prize!

but WAIT ... there's MORE!

I was also the lucky winner over at
Dot's (Dot's Life & Art) ... she sent me one of her original Amelia dolls - I cannot begin to explain the sweetness of this precious little creature. Her fabrics a scrumptious and she's so lovingly embelished with lots of little beads & stitches.

Dot even filled the parcel with all kinds of extra little goodies that I am still drooling over.


OK, there's one more lucky win ... not too long ago I stumbled across a new blog called Water Blossoms that features the amazing art of Margaret Storer-Roche. She does beautiful illustrations in both watercolor and pen. Recently she celebrated her one year blogaversary and had giveaways to boot ... what are the chances that I would win one? Couldn't tell you, but I did! I won one of her incredible feathers ... but notice that she tucked my prize in a cards with one of her original designs:

The detail she puts into her pieces boggles my mind. I love that the feather is a bookmark (that's my story and I'm sticking to it), because I get to use it and look at it every day.

Also, Chris @ Prism Trail must have really, really liked her cranes, because she sent me a little package with some of her "freshly minted" tiles. I love these little pieces ... go check out more of them HERE ... isn't that a GREAT batch?!?

I am really looking forward to seeing the tiles she received and what she ends up creating with them.

Yep. I'm seriously feeling loved.

In my own art news, I have WIPS without pics, so all I have to share are three ATC's that I doodled at the new job:



I hope you enjoyed my little bit of show and tell.

Cheers! ~M~

Sunday, March 1, 2009

the Auction is now LIVE!

That's Right!

(Click the above image or HERE to be directed to the Auction Site; please note that to
bid on items, you will need to register for a free account ... I did and it was a breeze!)

To read the official announcement, please click HERE ... not only has our host supplied all the important details, she has also included a list (with links) of all the participating artists ... just don't forget to come back and enter my

*** CONTEST ***

Take a look at the following shrine details numbered 1 through 9

Leave a comment on this post (or email me with your answers - my email is listed publicly on my profile) listing 3 of the artists featured and your name will be tossed in the hat once. List 6 of the artists and your name will be entered twice ... List ALL 9 featured artists and you'll get not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR entries in my giveaway! ... and don't go getting all clever on me by commenting your 9 answers 90 times - everyone has a limit of 4 entries.

And considering I came up with this contest by the seat of my pants, the PRIZE is going to have to be a SURPRIZE ... at least for a little while.

Please feel free to pass on the information - the more people that know, the better!

For more information about the shrines I contributed, please click HERE.

Two Shrines

(Click above image to be directed to the auction site)


But first I thought I would give everyone a little history as to how I got involved in this project (you might want to grab something to drink, kick back and relax for a bit ... I have a feeling this isn't going to be a quick post).

In November I visited Yoli's blog and came across THIS post; the timing couldn't have been better. I had just recently participated in my first "Dia de Bloglandia" event hosted by Susanna & Stephanie. Since it was a first, I had to do some research about Dia de los Muertos. The traditions & expression of the holiday spoke directly to my heart and soul. I truly enjoyed the process of making items, gathering others and simply erecting the shrine for friends and family that had passed. There was a real sense of healing in honoring these people that had touched my life (you can see the shrine HERE), so when I saw Yoli's post, I jumped in feet first ... the brain caught up a little later.

I committed to contributing a Cigar Box Shrine/Memory Box to benefit the Street Children of Oaxaca. I cannot explain why, but I felt a really strong urge to do a shrine in black & white ... once I began the process, my muse insisted that red be included, too. As for the cranes, it has been long believed that cranes not only bring luck and represent longevity, but they are also symbols of peace. How appropriate?

The birdhouse was cut down to a one inch depth to fit inside the closed box; there is a crystal heart attached just inside the opening of the birdhouse. I folded the cranes from squares of (just over 1") washi paper. Once all were folded and open, each one was dipped in a setting agent to strengthen and allowed to dry. Once dry, I painted half of them black and the other half white with acrylic paints and then sealed with a gloss varnish. The birds were strung along with black and white glass beads and clear Swarovski bicone crystals. Each string is suspended from the "ceiling" of the box. The three cranes at the base are attached.

Once all the elements were attached, I added the design in white acrylic paint to the inside cover, box front (has the name of the piece "Osmosis") and the sides.

Here's a detail of the interior:

This second shrine was an experiment for me ... I have a tendency to play it safe when it comes to use of color, but I really wanted to push my personal boundries and go for something bold and coloful - on the lines of more is better. I had tons of fun working on this shrine.

On the right (interior space of the box), I glued down a fragment of the cloth I had used on the first shrine (for Dia de Bloglandia) ... it felt right to honor that experience in this piece. I also used part of the same Our Lady of Guadelupe image. Our Lady is surrounded by pink and green sequins with Swarovski crystals set in here and there. The sides are bordered with red and gray textured glass tiles. The little cards are from a miniature tarot deck with bold images and are floated on small squares of stacked wood chips. (More were used on the outside box lide and outsied edges) The base has six swirly irridecsent shells attached. The flower stem is made of green sequins, the center of the flower is a yard pebble and the petals are small pieces of turquoise. The bit of lace at the top is actually a veil suspended from the inside and can be pulled back over to "hide" the interior.

On the left is
a cross made up of bits and pieces and set in a thick layer of gel medium that's been liberally dusted with a coarse white glitter. The first outline is made up of light green glass chips and tiny red Swarovski crystals. The next is a slver textured ribbon and is followed by a border of pink sequins - the rest of the background is super fine citrus glitter with many coats of high gloss varnish over it.

Here's a detail of the box interior:

Both Cigar Box Shrines are available through the Auction to benefit the Street Children of Oaxaca located HERE ... take some time to look through the catalog of offerings and feel free to share the link with all your friends and family. The more interest we can generate, the better!

"Just one person MAKES a difference"