Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Frozen Charlotte Halloween Dolls

I love frozen Charlottes and have a bunch in a apothecary jar but I wanted to do something with a couple of them besides just have them sitting around.
 I had made another dressed Charlotte before and wanted to make some for Halloween. It was like playing with paper dolls again. I would try different materials for dresses, netting, paper, plastic. I wanted them to be whimsical and fun.
 I love the hats and crowns made from scrapbook paper. The wings are made from shiny black pipe cleaners and the netting dress has rhinestones applied. The ribbon used is recycled sari silk ribbon. None off the dolls have arms but I love the look.  There are much cuter in person and so adorable all together but I have already sold the one in the second picture and have the others for sell in my etsy shop. I think I'll start a new set just for me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Experiences

This is a picture of a new hobby of mine, yep like I need another hobby. Cheese making! These are my photo's of making mozzarella yum. It came out wonderful and lasted 2 days. The taste is so much better than store bought especially for this Italian. We had it with bruschetta for dinner and it was wonderful. Next time I'm going to leave in a little more whey because it was really solid. The first cheese I made was an amazing lemon goat chevre. I've been eating that slowly to really enjoy it and my DH doesn't like goat cheese. In my house growing up it was a staple. My next try is ricotta with whole milk and cream, not the second whey cheese a lot of people make. The big plus is that I make all of these from organic milks which if you buy organic cheese you know it's a fortune to buy. I've been a cheese foodie for awhile and then I rented the cheese nun a documentary video from the library. I kinda like documentaries, I know but don't judge. Anyway I loved it and started researching which ones to start with. Funny thing was the whole time I was watching it,  I was sampling some sharp goat Cheddar's from Mt. Sterling. I suggest you do the same, it takes a little bit to get into it then it's great. She's a nun that decides to go to college and learn microbiology with a focus on cheese making and ends up with a doctorate and spends years abroad in France learning about cheese caves etc. Fascinating if you love cheese like I do. We went to whole foods this weekend and my DH let me purchase a couple to try and I'm going to start a cheese journal so I can remember which ones I love and which I don't because believe me there are some that I am just shocked they're produced. We enough about cheese ;}

I know it's been forever since I've posted. Sorry to say I was in the hospital and have been waiting on testing etc. Because I've had such a hard time sleeping I have also started to get up at five a.m. I never thought I would be one of those people, but the meds make it hard to sleep later. Anyway I've been using the opportunity to rise and shine and watch the sunrise. It really has been a wonderful experience. I walk down a couple blocks with my DH help and watch it rise in the prairie. We've been able to add a couple blocks over the last couple weeks and it's helped my stamina. Sometimes it wipes me out for the day though. But enough about that too!

I wanted to show off my newest treasures. I will be parting with some of them in my etsy shop but I just love them so much I'll have to keep most of them around for awhile. They're frozen Charlotte mini heads! I have never seen heads like this so small, I'm going to try and drill some for beads. My mind reels with projects I'd like to do with them. I may have to wait till I'm functioning better but inspiration has struck.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I can't get myself motivated today! I feel like Charlie Brown bummed out and feeling like life is beating me up.

I did sit down and order some nice new tools I needed for jewelry making and other things. I added and removed so many things I can't remember where I started but am looking forward to trying some new techniques. I have had some ideas for awhile but never the tools. So I sold several things on ebay I wasn't using and bought some stuff I wanted. I love ebay!!! Sometimes I'm totally blown away by what people will and will NOT buy. It's so true that one man's trash is anothers treasure. If I had the opportunity and space I think I would try to make a living from it, but my DH thinks the house is crowded already. I go to thrift stores and get stuff I think I can make a couple bucks off of and list them. Sometimes I'm so shocked at how much they sell for sometimes 10 x the amount I paid for them. I had a ton of the frozen Charlotte dolls and now have just mostly heads. I love to display them in a candy dish but my family thinks they're odd.
I love them!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Is it Spring Yet?????

I know the time of year states it is spring but we haven't really had it yet. The days have been chilly and really windy. I've only been able to work in the garden off and on a couple of days. I've been like a hermit the past couple of weeks and you'd think I would have been blogging, but I've been creating. Here are several of the jewelry pieces I've been working on and listing in my etsy shop. I've wanted to keep several of them but alas I need to sell them. I love the vintage steel bead caps I bought and used them for earring toppers.
I love the ones at the top with the chain mail and pearls they seem punk and romantic I may make a set for me ;>

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yea! Spring is Here

I just love spring and planting a garden, being outside and just taking time to enjoy life. I love being outside and putzing around the yard and planting herbs and veggies. Every year I go a little overboard on the garden and get exhausted with it by the middle of summer. This year I'm trying to plan less and relax more. I will plant all the herbs I can because I just love them, but I'm gonna cut the veggies in half. I love to grow giant pumpkins and since my little one will really be able to enjoy them this year I am already excited about Halloween. My last giant pumpkin only got to 70+ lbs but it was so fun watching it grow. We went to a little Harvest festival last year and took pictures of the massive pumpkins people grow for competition.

The picture on the left is my Dh and son. I have always wondered why people don't set the pumpkins upright when they start to get bigger so you don't get the flat side.
We put up lights in the backyard last summer and I'm really looking forward to sitting outside at night and drinking a glass of red wine. I'm planting herbs in most of the 15 or so pots around the covered patio. I plant several of the same herbs so I have enough for constant use and also start them at different times so when some are spent the others are just starting to come on for use. I usually start my garden by the end of March. I know people always say to wait but,  traditionally that is the real reason we have spring break for kids so they could get time off to help parents plant the farm. My onions are already coming up and the garlic, shallots and green onions that I left in the ground from last year. My rhubarb is just starting and the peach and apple trees are blooming. My grapes still look dead but I'm watering to get them going. I'm so excited for the season. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Son's Two Years Old

Wow,  has the time flown by this last year. The first year seemed to be a lot longer than his second. We had a wonderful birthday party for him and I made a triple chocolate shih tzu dog cake for him. We have three shih tzus and he just adores them. I had a bear cake pan from a garage sale I bought a couple years ago. So I decided it was time to use the pan and here's the result.
I think now I should of left off the little dark patches that our dogs have but oh well. The cake flavor turned out awesome but had a little sunken part in the center because it was so moist but frosting covers almost all faults. The recipe used brewed coffee and was so yummy. The frosting was from an older Hershey's cookbook and was great. The white centers are just melted white chocolate with semi-sweet. We couldn't stop eating it.
I also made these cupcakes with sprinkles and chocolate chips on top. The cookies behind were no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and were a huge hit too! In the picture is what was left from around 9 dozen cookies.  I had about twenty people of family and friends. I made a salad I just love and it was completely gone, by the end people were picking at the bottom for little bits to eat.
So here is the recipe:
I use seasoned rice wine vinegar Nakano if I spelled it right about 1/2c or more to taste
A really good extra virgin olive oil, which for people who aren't really sure is a first cold pressing olive oil. It will tell you on the package front if it is cold pressed and first pressing. I use about 1/4 c to 1/2 c. Heavy on the pepper. For about 6 c lettuce I use iceberg and mixed greens. Try and find a great blue cheese that you like, there are a lot of blue cheeses and it's worth taking the time to find the type you like. I like an Amish or Gorgonzola. Then I mix in 1/2 c or more dried sweetened cranberries, 1/2 c or more of toasted nuts. I like pecans and it is worth the time to roast them for 10-15 minutes in the oven on 350 degrees till they get a nice light brown and very toasted taste. Then I crumble them for the salad. That is the basic and then you can add from there what you like. Examples would be tomato, some people like bacon cooked crisp. I like a little ground flax seed and maybe sunflower seeds with boiled, diced egg and avocado. Mix it well and serve. We make a meal out of just this salad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keith Lo Bue workshop

I had a great time at the Keith Lo Bue workshop "Papering it Over". I traveled a little over three hours for the one day workshop in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Keith is very funny, he brought a lot of his jewelry to show and several tools for purchase. Here's a couple pic's of his jewelry and the one on the cover of  Belle Armoire Jewelry.

He makes his own chain for the pieces and I wish I could of taken that class too but I had to get back home. I was sad to see the picture I had taken with Keith was so blurry.

 Oh well, I was acting like such a groupie I had so much fun. I took several of my frozen charlotte dolls that I have for sale in my etsy shop with me and sold them at the class to help with the cost. The class was held at Scrap 2 It a new scrap booking store and it was a great set up to work in. Christine from the Artist Nook gets all of the artists to come but told us this will be the last year. He will also be doing the online Artful Gathering online classes so check them out.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Keith Lo Bue Workshop

I am so excited to be able to go this week end to a Keith Lo Bue workshop in Ft. Collins. If you don't know who he is google him NOW! He makes amazing found object jewelry and assemblage. I just got my Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine and he is featured on the front, which I will be taking for him to sign. I am only able to take a one day course but I can't wait. I should've booked the whole weekend but couldn't afford it and am now regretting not putting it on the credit card. I love the work he does and find it so interesting. When I show it to my DH he just stares and says "that's nice" he cracks me up! He doesn't want to say he doesn't like something I do so I get a lot of "that's nice honey". I like a wide range of art and his views are a lot more narrow. He's fully supportive and that is what matters. So if I make something worth showing and it's not too embarrassing I'll post it. I've started the search for found objects to bring with me and I still need to go through several boxes in the garage. I didn't start earlier because I know how I am. I would of started searching thrift stores and junk stores for elements and ended up with a suitcase to bring so I waited. But now I feel uncontrollable excitement and my bodies almost vibrating with the need to start the hunt. I'm one of those people that pick stuff up off the ground in parking lots and when I'm walking. I have a ashtray in my car full of acorn tops. I used to think I was weird but realize after reading blogs etc. I am not the only one. ;P

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Punkies murals

I decided to show everyone the murals I did for my son's room. Before he was born I found the cutest crib set for him. I really enjoyed painting his room and the whole nesting thing. I'm very thrifty but had to send the money on this set which was on discount by the way.
I did the whole room because I couldn't stop at one wall. We are going to be trying to move this year into a bigger house and I'm really going to miss this room. I have a wonderful upholstered glider recliner and just had a blissful time rocking him to sleep. The room feels so peaceful. I would really recommend doing something like this for your kids. The sense of accomplishment you get and it just makes you smile when you walk in the room.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A New Inspirational Book by Kelly Rae Roberts and Repurposed Necklace

Over the holidays I received a Barnes and Noble gift card and went to town looking for some art books for inspiration and instruction in my art. I ordered this book "Taking Flight Inspiration and Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings" by Kelly Rae Roberts and started reading it a couple days ago. With  a soon to be two year old I only get a couple pages down a day but how inspiring they have been. She writes like she is talking to my heart. I feel like a friend is talking to me and urging me to push myself more. Sometimes it's hard to know if other people feel like you do, if they struggle with things like you do. She has written and expressed so much about how I feel and what I think it's almost scary. As I explore more into this world of creating I have come to realize there are A LOT of women out there that feel like I do. I would recommend this book to everyone that wants to know more about themselves and where they want to be with their creative lives. I think our hearts sing when someone understands us and your heart will sing with this book. I was inspired to create a couple paintings that I will share over the next week or so.

Here's my jewelry work area, I don't know how I get anything made. I remember a quote that says " Creative people are seldom tidy". Hello that is me once I get started.
Well at least something came out of it here's my newest creation.

I love the colors in this necklace. This may be a keeper pretty much like almost everything I make.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Red Bling

I've kind of gotten into this red thing lately so I thought I would do a little "show and tell". I made these last week and have fallen in love with them. I've worn them with everything and they add a little pop of color.
The stone is a faceted rice shaped ruby with a cultured pearl and vintage ab rhinestone spacers.

This pair has small cultured pearls, faceted rubies with a vintage brass finding and a small pink bicone at the top, that I can now see is almost impossible to detect in the picture. I used smaller pearl head pins I bought a month ago on both pair. Love the Victorian feel these have.

Anyway here is a call for info. I desperately need to go to an artist retreat over the summer. This would be my second year to go to something. Last year I blogged about a retreat I took in Durango and I had a great time but want something different this year. I need something sort of in the state or near it. My Dh is a Principal and only is available in the summer to watch our son. They need some boy time and I need a vacation. I think it really helps me stay sane and him understand what it takes to take care of a child pretty much 24/7. The last one I went on was three days and when I got back they couldn't get enough of me ;P I know a lot of women think they couldn't leave like that but believe me it makes a huge difference in our lives when I return. Everything I do is more appreciated and I love and adore my time with them more. So please HELP!!! LOL

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Repurposed Necklaces and OWOH New Friends

I just want to say thank you to all of the new followers and everyone who came to visit after I left a comment on their blogs. I went around on that Wonderful OWOH blog hop and had so much fun seeing everyones blogs. I think I have over a hundred new blogs to follow now, I just couldn't help myself. I'm sad this is the last year though. I didn't know about it till 5 days ago and have been to 400+ blogs for visits. I'm going to try and complete the list even though it is officially over. What a blast! I am so excited by my new followers and hope I never bore you and your just on the tip of your seat waiting for my next post. I will warn though my grammar stinks and sometimes things seem so funny to me and fail to translate .

Anyway I realized I had failed to post two newer necklaces I made and wanted to do a little show and tell.
This is a vintage pendant  that I put on an assemblage necklace. The brass curb chain is textured and so beautiful then I added some vintage book chain and glass pearls with rhinestones. I've listed this one in my etsy store. www.repurposedbeauty.etsy.com hopefully this link works someone told me they had a hard time with the other link. This next necklace is a repurposed brooch into a pendant on some more book chain and a vintage Napier necklace. The pendant is much more beautiful in person.
Sorry it's a little blurry. I went to a couple thrift stores today to search out some new jewelry to repurpose. I thought I would also post a little picture of a project I did of my son Brayden and dog Frasier.

I made these for my husband's 90 year old grandpa because what do you get someone turning 90. He adores them, I also made a set for us and my DH dad. I just love them every time I walk by them they make me smile.
Then lastly, if anyone has any suggestions to improve my blog let me know. I started this almost a year ago but haven't done much with it and need to figure out the buttons and badges well maybe I don't need any stinking badges LOL. I hope you get that! Bye

Monday, February 7, 2011

Birds Nest Painting

This is my newest painting to go with the blue bird I did a little while ago. I love all the texture of the nest. I used torn tissue paper and sealed it with gel medium.  The vintage music and lyrics are from an old Bing Crosby song. I highlighted a section of lyrics with pencil that says "But it brings back sweet memories of you." Around the painting there are definitions for wish, memory and dream. There are several layers of paint then I removed some sections with sanding. I used hard candy crackle paint by Tim Holtz on the music then antiqued the areas with brown paint. Sorry for the slight blurriness if the photo I need a new camera. I am happy with how it turned out and am listing this one for sale on etsy. I'm still holding on to the blue bird though! ;) More birds for the next paintings. Guess I'm wishing for spring already. I love to garden and be outside and now that my son is a little older we'll be out a lot more than last year.

My Garden

I've been in the house I live in now for about a little over eleven years. I started to put in some perennials when I first moved in and as plants have died I've found different ones that work for me. I have a 250 square foot section just for veggies every year. In the rest of the yard I have 2 kinds of grapes, blackberries, rhubarb and a peach tree. I planted one of those trees that has several different kinds of apples on one tree and by this spring we should have a great crop. Around the yard I have lavender which I highly recommend. I love to go and just brush my fingers through it and get the smell of the lavender. Some years I hang it to dry and put a bunch of it on presents I give. I have a whole herb garden on my patio and then some throughout the yard too. My sage bush comes back every year and if I cover my rosemary right sometimes it will also. I have a large lemon balm bush but haven't really used it a lot but it is a nice plant for the yard. My peppermint just goes nuts and I have to really thin it back but when the dogs run through it they smell great for a little while. I have three shih tzu's. Frasier my male is on the header for my etsy shop. The funny thing is I have found several shops with shih tzu headers or avatars too. Ashley and Madison are the two females. If we had a bigger house we would probably have two more. We always joke about having a shih tzu farm, not for breeding just for having. They're the neatest dogs I have ever owned. Anyway, every year I pretty much plant close to everything you can imagine in the vegetable garden except corn. In southern Colorado area we get fabulous sweet corn from the farmers and it takes up too much room anyway. When we move I'll start with more fruit trees as soon as we move in. I really have never understood why people don't have at least one fruit tree in their yard. I eat organic whenever possible so I like to grow what I can. Shallots are so expensive in the store  and I really like the flavor so I do two rows of those and if I don't get to them they just come up next year. When the spring comes I'll start to show pictures. We will probably do giant pumpkins this year for my son. We've done them before and the largest was 74lbs. Enough with the gardening for now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New recipe and new art

I've recently got in a shipment of brass findings and have started to do some necklaces. I've never really used focals like this before. I love the vintage look and style and want to really show that in my work. Please pray for me though, everything I make I want to keep! I need to either sell some stuff or get another neck. Some of the beads and other findings I'm adding are vintage and some are new. I love being able to re-purpose old jewelry into new. Some pieces are so dated with their look but are really still useful to re-purpose. I like that everything doesn't need to be new and fresh. Pearls can have paint missing and chain can be worn.

Anyway I made this wonderful chicken recipe I got from watching Martha Stewart. She had on several guys that own their own restaurants in NY. One of them had a recipe for Buffalo chicken wing meatballs. I tried it and wow! I love them, no mess when eating them and the same great taste but a little less fat because you don't use the skins and they aren't fried you cook them in the oven. I used chicken breasts 2 lb and I cut it up in 2 in pieces then put it in my food processor and got it to a nice large grind. I did 2 ribs of celery the same way but a fine dice. Then added in a bowl 1 2/3 c bread crumbs(I just used what was on hand progresso Italian), 2 eggs, 2 tsp salt to the chicken and celery. I melted 1 stick butter in saucepan and then added the 1 c Franks original hot sauce mixed and used a 2 inch cookie scoop for the meatball size. I rolled them and placed them touching and came up with 46 meatballs on a cookie sheet then cooked them for 20 min at 450. I made my own blue cheese sauce instead of the regular blue cheese salad dressing. It was 2/3 c blue cheese, 1/2 c sour cream, 1-8oz cream cheese and 1/2c franks sauce in a sauce pan and heated till the cheese melted stirring constantly. It makes it much more intense than just mixing the ingredients and serving it cold. But once the sauce it done the first time and we ate more for a different meal I didn't heat it again. These turned out really spicy and so good. I would try it with the original before you go spicier or you could even put sauce over the top after they're cooked. This recipe was so much faster than doing the wings and about 5 fill you up where most people eat about 10 wings.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A New Direction

I've started to contemplate all the things I love and don't love about my life. I'm heading into my (gasp) forties this year and  I can't believe so much time has flown by. I was so busy running through my life I didn't take much time to really enjoy the daily things of living life. So this is the start of a new year and direction in my life I'm searching out more JOY!

 I have a small son , he's 22 months old and such a blessing. I've been taking more time when I put him down for a nap to hold and cuddle him before I put him to sleep. Then today I layed down in the bed in his room till he fell asleep and just enjoyed the music I turned on for him and listening to him sleep. The laundry will still be there when I'm ready for it but, I need to search out and enjoy the little things. Before I was always in a rush to get him down so I could run around the house and do chores, I think I've finally killed that sense of urgency to have everything perfect.

Another new direction I am taking is what I cook. I'm going to use up a lot of what we have in the kitchen then I need to cook healthier and more veggies. I've started to read that Eat-Clean Diet and the Maker's Diet books. I do pretty well with not having refined products in the house but we will still have the occasional boxed product and way more carbs than we need. So now I'm focusing on veggies, at least 1/2 our plates or more are going to be veggies. I know a lot of people think that there is only so much you can do with a veggie but I used to eat so much better and feel so much better. Here's to embracing the veggie! I have started making these green drinks at least once a day for all of us. The drinks have broccoli stems, kale, romaine, wheat grass, cucumber, ginger, spinach, two apples and some carrots. I know what you're thinking but they aren't that bad and we get such a boost of energy. I've filmed my son drinking them because it is funny. As soon as he sees it he starts to whine for it. I give him a straw and he sucks about a cup of it down. When you get to the end it's a little more like chewing it. I just add more water to his and he sucks the rest down. AMAZING HUH! The hilarious thing is because my son does it so easily my husband won't complain about it at all. HA!

So my goals for the year is: more joy, healthier eating, creating more art and taking more time to enjoy life!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blue Bird Love

 I love birds and what they symbolize.  I started several canvas's for more mixed media pieces. I love the textures and colors of this one. I'm starting to use new products like joint tape and heavy gel medium. I used to worry so much about what I would use because of the cost of supplies and I didn't want to have something turn out bad and waste all of the materials. It's taken me a long time to get over that thought process. One day  a girl I watched online gave a talk about some products,  art and her process, she kept saying something about getting over the "preciousness" of what we use. Then it just clicked for me to stop hoarding supplies and start using them. It's been a freeing experience! I've created more in the last year then ever before. My next project is a nest. I know it sounds a little wierd but I saw one once and loved it. I really enjoy the freeing experience of doing mixed media and not being so concerned about fine detail work. I would get so nervous trying to get everything so perfect I didn't get lost in the art and just feel the joy of doing it. Anyway I think I'll live with this for awhile then put it on my etsy site (or maybe just copies of it) ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Year to Create

Wow, the rest of the year just flew by. Before I knew it Christmas had come and gone and I hadn't posted for months. My son has been keeping me going and I started and finished a business class. I'm looking forward to starting my own business on-line besides the etsy shop and doing more jewelry and mixed media. I've temporarily set up a painting station in the middle of my kitchen. It sounds weird I know but it's the only room I can gate off from my son and still be able to watch him. Plus I have this huge counter top height table in the center where I can paint etc. I know I need to write more it is very therapeutic for me. Everything had just started culminating all at once and this was one of the extras that got booted for awhile.

I just picked up the latest "Artful Blogging" magazine and am so inspired by the beautiful blogs. I highly recommend the magazine if you've never read it. I have to say this is the first magazine I have read from start to finish every word. Usually I just read a couple articles here and there in other ones and focus on the pictures. My 22  month old son helped in the reading,  I would lay him down for a nap and read it out loud to him till he fell asleep.

I made several handmade gifts this year for presents and devoted a lot of time to the season so I haven't created much to sell. I did find a sorry little bunny that I painted. Here's the before and after.

I just love how she turned out with the hard candy crackle finish and pretty collar. I have a thing for bunnies so I pretty much think I'm keeping her.
 I have completed a painting but most of my time has been on the computer looking for found objects and vintage jewelry to repurpose. I've become a rhinestone addict. Not very many people still wear brooches or rhinestone but I love the repurposing of them into new necklaces etc. The Rosa and Josies blog has really gotten my creative juices going again too,  such lovely rhinestone creations. I'll be posting my new creations soon.