Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Display Bottles of Treasure

Ever since I found these glass spice bottles at a thrift store, I knew I wanted to fill and display them in my bathroom as if they were lotions and ointments to dab on to promote beauty, grace, patience, kindness, etc.
But I lacked the perfect shelf.
I could see it, but I didn't own it--- yet.
The (empty) bottles collected dust for hmmm, 4 months(?)
awaiting the appearance of the perfect shelf.
Two weeks ago I found the perfect shelf!
It was ugly, but only 10 cents.
Then last week I stumbled upon the perfect wooden architectural element at Hobby Lobby
(to make the perfect shelf more perfect).
Over the weekend I got socked in by the weather and in a fit of cabin fever,
tackled The Shelf Re-do Project.
Perfect timing, you might say.
I just lacked certain tools, (a saw!), but improvised with an old kitchen knife and hammer.
Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.
The knife idea worked perfectly!
Ready for paint.
I painted the ornamentation and edges of the shelf with a yellow ochre base and let it dry,
so when I applied the white top coat and wiped it away in places, the base color showed through.
It looked just as I had hoped-- perfect!
The finished wall arrangement in my bathroom---
just as I envisioned it.
Yes, I think it's perfect.
I love it when a plan comes together!
The square architectural piece was another thrift store find--
cost me just one dollar.
You have to know that the things I envision don't always happen or go as planned.
So I'm giddy that this project did!
Now go make something!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Breakfast Party

When I told an acquaintance that I was going to a Christmas party at 9 in the morning, she was surprised, but the Corder Home and Community Club has always had their Christmas get together as a Saturday potluck brunch.
Really a very good idea when you think of how busy the holidays get with evening events.
And who doesn't like breakfast food?
(Sausage and egg casseroles, stuffed French toast, cranberry nut bread, blueberry muffins, apple cinnamon muffins and fresh fruit!)
This year, Dana Lineback, opened her gorgeous home
to us and lavished us with her skills as a decorator and impeccable hostess.
Every table had a sumptuous display
to tantalize the eye and feed the spirit.

You will find it no surprise to learn
that Dana used to own a floral shop and retail boutique. 
Her skills as an "arranger" are evident everywhere in her house.

 It is a gift to enjoy a home
that I did not have to decorate or clean.
And I treasure the knowledge that somebody somewhere has a baby grand
 in their vestibule.
God bless gracious hostesses!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Altered Mail Art From SANTA

There are rare, but unique opportunities to use my creative talents as a member of the Postal Service.  Like impersonating Santa to a couple of little, letter writing, girls on the rural mail route!  The route driver (Loucinda-- a good friend of mine) retrieved the letters, addressed "To: Santa" on her rounds one day and asked if I would write replies and create envelopes that looked like they traveled from halfway around the world.  But, of course! Happy to help out! 
I just left space for a real first class postage stamp in the upper right hand corner, because it needs postage to be delivered into a mail box.
The return address?  "North Pole", (zipcode) "00001"
A word of caution--- if you "try this at home", don't stamp "Air Mail" on the envelope unless you know your post office won't charge you $1.10 (Airmail) to mail a First Class domestic letter (currently 46 cents). I thought about this after I took artistic license with the rubber stamp!  Loucinda worked around that by having the envelope cancelled by her postmaster (boss) before delivering it herself (an official mail carrier).
It's good to be one of Santa's Helpers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Beautiful Girls


Rebecca (9), Victoria (17 yesterday!)
Victoria is very gifted with an iPhone camera!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

My friend Kelly has a sister and brother-in-law in the gourd business.
It's their first year and the selection is amazing!
The stacked pumpkins above are called
"Cinderella Pumpkins",
and a small "stripe" pumpkin tops them off.
I helped haul some around and arrange them for retail presentation.
Rebecca helped too.
Open Thursday- Sunday from now until Halloween.
On Hwy 13, North of Higginsville, MO.
Hay bales, corn shocks (stalks) and mums available for purchase too!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rockin' the (Denim) Apron

So I got this idea to take denim jeans, bought cheaply at the thrift store, trick them out with some western themed applique (a shirt bought at a resale boutique), added boullion fringe for a Dale-Evans-meets Mae-Wes look and made a rocked out apron.

I wore it to Higginsville's "Country Fair"
with a pair of skinny jeans (I've lost over 30 pounds this past summer);
 "new" red cowgirl boots and a hat, both bought at a local flea market.
I'm rockin' the red these days.
I made Rebecca a more "hip" apron with flowers
cut from a 1960s fabric remnant and some fibery fringe 
bought for a different a project (years ago) that I never completed.
Rebecca looks better in the cowgirl hat than I do!
I also made a "prairie" version with appliques of
(tattered and stained) embroidered linens
and a crocheted lace edging for the bottom of the apron.
I gave it to my antiques friend, Liz, whose shop we are photographed in (above)
and I didn't get a photo of the apron before I gifted it to her!
(bad blogger, bad blogger!)
The theme and medium possibilities are just about endless for this basic denim apron.
I'm thinking of painting one with acrylics--
denim is just unprimed canvas after all!
You may take the idea and run with it---
just link back to my blog and let me know so I can see your creation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's a New Day

I have taken a long hiatus from making art (all summer!) but last night made an opportunity to pick up a paint brush.  I had bought a (9) pack of 8x10 canvases at Walmart last week, with the thought that I would paint a visual quilt of them and include my kids in the project. Over the summer I painted the walls in my living room "lightening bug butt YELLOW" (a very cool yellow, not sunny warm), so I am purposely painting (and commissioning!) art that pops on that color.

I wish you could see the true colors of this first canvas-- the pinks are not lavender and red, but the color of cotton candy and salt water taffy.  I can only do so much with color correction. ha!
And doesn't everyone have a jar of sequins in their paint box?
(Stuck onto the canvas while the paint was still wet.)
I have put away the browns and blacks and vow to paint in only vibrant colors.
My house is starting to reflect that and my life is also.
This is a new day and I'm dreaming in color!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Morning, Glory!

I made the mistake of buying morning glory seeds one year.
I mean, would you pay for dandelion seeds?
No you wouldn't.
I haven't had to seed them since, in fact I could sell the seeds now. Ha!
They have even hybridded themselves-- the deep purple and white plants
got together and made pinkish offspring.
They are very pretty, if you are up at the crack of dawn
and catch them in bloom before the heat of the day withers their faces.
They do a lovely job of camoflaging my homely front porch.
But not for long!
The porch will soon be painted a clean, bright white,
so the vines have to go.
No need to be sad though.
The 'glories will be back next year!
(Whether I like them or not!)

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Know Those Pottery Places...

...Where you paint on bisqueware and then they glaze and fire it for you?
I took my kids to the Chartreuse Moose in Warrensburg and we had a blast!
I have to give you a tip though.
There are all kinds of figurines and lidded boxes and stuff that cost a small fortune to paint,
but if you want value and usefulness, choose a plate!
The plate above was about 8" in diameter and cost just $7.00,
the same as a tiny 2" figurine that requires little imagination
and will take you just 15 minutes to paint.
Choose a plate and you have a blank canvas for a more personal design...

I took almost more time decorating the back of the plate,
because it served a very special purpose.
A special message for my kids, whose names decorate the plate's front side.
I gave this plate away, but plan to return to the Moose to make another for myself.
Maybe a whole set of dishes!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Published!

For those of you who follow me, you might remember
At the urging of my good friend Linda, I submitted them to GreenCraft (Somerset Publications) and not only did the editor accept my bags for publications, but also requested I write an article to accompany the photos!
I got a 5 page feature!!!!
When I got my comp issue, I discovered that my hanky bag had also been added to the Gallery section at the back of the magazine.
So to celebrate, I am offering 2 yard lots of lace snippets for embellishing your own bags and creations (samplers and small stitcheries).
You can find them in my etsy shop (sidebar).
I am also working on offering ditty bag kits made from hankies and napkins.

Friday, July 19, 2013


This lovely pot was a gift from a friend and soon after I got it,
 looked like it was "done".
You know, the blooms looked like they were finished and there was only green plant left?
But I figured something green growing was better than a pink pot of dirt, so I kept watering it to keep the plant alive and whataya know-
the plant started blooming bigger than ever!
So don't give up!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Child's "First"

A child's "first"s...
First tooth.
First solid food.
First steps.
First haircut.
First bike ride without training wheels.
First day of school.
Here's Rebecca's most recent "first".
"Mom, look! 
My First Time to pick up a chicken!"
(we were visiting with friends Robin and Amy who have a unique collection of chickens--
Rebecca is holding a Polish).
Hurray for memory-making summer adventures!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Piano Project: Part1

Come September, when my daughter Victoria may be asked,
"What did you do on your summer vacation?"
She can say,
"I painted a piano blue!"
(But there's more-- to be revealed in future posts!)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dog Tattoo

Summer is here and the sidewalk chalk is out.
My talented daughter, Victoria, did this grafitti on our back patio.

Then our yellow lab, Lucy, took a lie-down to cool herself on the shady concrete...

...And monoprinted her backside!
Can you say, "butt tattoo?!"
Okay, technically her thigh, but it's still funny!
Hope your summer is full of serendipity!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Toad in a Hole

If you've been watching the news, you might know
that the midwest has been getting a little bit of rain.
It's been puddling in some unusual places.
Rebecca found this toad in the in the mini pond formed in the roots
 of our ancient maple.
A very cool discovery!
Wish I had such a lovely grotto-like setting to bathe in!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Rebecca had a tea party on our back patio and she wanted a centerpiece for the table.
I helped her cut some irises and just put them into a coffee mug
(something that would not easily tip).
She proclaimed them the most beautiful flowers in the world
and instantly sensed a photo opportunity.
"Mom, take a picture of me!"

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Thank God irises bloom, in spite of my lack of attention!
A corner of our yard is an overgrown, abandoned garden.
It requires bulldozing to clear the area and start again
(no exaggeration)
and somehow we just don't get around to it.
I don't have the ability to operate heavy machinery
 and my husband is never home long enough to get it done.
So again, thank God for irises.
They add a refined beauty to our corner "wilderness".
I hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Cat Man: An On-line Collaboration

Many years ago, I happily joined in a "Library Card Project",
headed by Femminismo.
(If you click on her blog's name, you can see her wonderful journaling and Haikus.)
Each participant was sent a library book pocket and an excerpt from a story she had written
and were asked to illustrate that bit of her story.
She now has the story published on her blog, along with her collection of illustrations.
It's a very cool story that I am honored to be a part of.
You can see it all here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Remember Me 'Til Niagra Falls

I love tacky vintage souvenirs.
I normally gravitate to souvenir plates, but when I saw this painted slice of wood,
I couldn't resist!
I got it for next to nothing at my favorite little thrift store, The Classic Shop.
Just as I thought, the Niagra Falls vista looks stunning hanging in my kitchen!
It's right at home with a Norman Rockwell calender
 (compliments of my local bank),
The Last Supper (on a plate)
and a reproduction wall phone that really works.
I don't know why, but the slice of wood made me think of painted saw blades.
The germ of a new collection...

Friday, May 3, 2013

One For the Record Books

No, this is not a photo taken during this past winter.
It was taken this morning.
May 3, 2013.
A record breaking May 3 snowfall not seen since 1905.
Normal for Canada, but not for Missouri.
It looks peaceful, serene, and even pretty.
But it's highly destructive!
(dramatic music- dum, dum, DUM!)
The trees have all leafed out, because it is spring (duh!)
so the heavy, wet snow had plenty to cling to.
This is our poor old maple littering our backyard, its crown splintered.
I hope we don't have to take it down--
it's the only thing between our house and the blistering summer sun
and helps our air conditioning bill.
Although I'm not running the a/c today!
A lot of trees in the area suffered similar damage--
the old hardwoods that can't bend much under extreme stress.
What's sad is that in a day the pretty snow will all be melted (or washed away by rain)
and only mud and the carnage will be left.
All from a 24 hour freak blizzard.
Life can change that fast.
On a lighter note, it's good to have a friend on a day like today.
I bought this tin of toxically bitter throat lozenges for the package.
Wouldn't you?
Just inhaling the vapors from the packet inside is enough to clear your sinuses!
Having the heat on in the house has made my throat dry (just like it's winter all over again)
and I tell ya, one of these babies numbs my throat and makes my sinuses feel like a wind tunnel!
If they didn't work so well, I'd have a hard time eating them.
They look like brown Necco Wafers and taste like Vicks VapoRub
laced with pure, black strap molasses.
The actual ingredients are eucalyptus oil and licorice with just a trace of sugar
(sugar is listed next to last)
How's that for a flavor sensation?
Happy Spring!