Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Birthday cont'd

See my previous post for more gifties and greetings that came in the mail already!

Since I work at the post office Saturday mornings, I was able to intercept Linda's package immediately as I sorted mail on this particular morning. The postage hadn't been cancelled so I was able to date stamp it myself. Now it's suitable for sticking into an altered book or something! It's good to be a PMR! (post master replacement)

Linda's greeting included photos of all the Queen Bee 5- the four corners
('cept me- but you'll see me later...).
Linda, is that you again in the center as a cowgirl tot?
A great use of inchies!
Another "keeper" to stick into a book somewhere.
I seriously think I need to start a birthday book now!

A piece of precious stitchery I admired on Linda's blog.
Linda took me seriously when I said, "send it to me!" It never hurts to speak up! :)
The red bird perched on the tall cup makes me think of her.
No, not because she is bird brained.
She just has birds on the brain!
The stitchery came unfinished, so it is up to me whether it will be a book cover, a framed piece to hang or something else altogether.
I have ideas.

From her Silver Bella trip, a precious felted heart, in signature Silver Bella blue!
The baggie next to it is just filled with mica flake sized glitter with a sequin tree inside.
So simple. So clever!

A felted acorn.
Linda didn't make it, but was sharing from her own nutty stash.
(Us squirrel-y types need to stick together!)

Thank you, SO much Linda for indulging me when I say,
"send me one of those!"
and for the personal touches you always add.
The birthday card is priceless!!!

Just delivered this afternoon in person...
home made vanilla bath salts and a vanilla candle (not home made)
from Ashlyn!
She knows we have a large Jacuzzi-type tub,
and in fact, covets it.
I can't wait to use the bath salts!
Thank yOu Ashlyn!!!

And from my darling husband.

Taking a huge risk here, posting my own photo.
The bathroom skylight is not kind to wrinkles.
(the ONE time the focus works perfectly on my camera!)
But here I am,
the Birthday Girl!
Is anyone sending me Botox for my birthday?


To ME!!!

Yep, on this day, approximately 40 years ago (I won't lie, I'm over 30!), I was born, in Belgium, in a Catholic hospital. I owe the unusual spelling of my name (the silent "h" in "Nathalie") to the Belgian nuns.

But I am already digressing from the intent of my post.... to share the lovely things that have been arriving in the mail for the past week!

In no particular order, here is Carole's envelope. First, a beautiful assortment of rubber doilies that were her grandmother's. I hate to use these for stenciling! They are so fine and delicate!

Paper "cards" and markers from a keeno game or something unique to New Zealand. I immediately thought, "advent calendar" since the numbers go high enough and I have them in 3 shades of newsprint paper. Love them!

Also from Carole, a Chinese newspaper (because I can't get enough of Chinese print) and some wonderful, colorful clothespins with native NZ birds on them.
Aren't the clothespins FuN?

A Cadbury treat native to NZ. Better than the package implies even... the long, flat, fish shaped, chocolate glazed, marshmellow treats are pink inside and taste like cherry cordials. OMG! I have them put up in a kitchen cupboard so I won't eat them all at once. SO yummy!

And finally, some of Carole's beautiful photography in the form of note cards. Scenes of NZ in the changing seasons.
I will enjoy using these.
I've already written one to my mom.

From Margaret, one of her teeny, tiny canvases. This one is about 2" square and frosted with that sandy gesso stuff she loves to use.

A larger than life close up so you can appreciate the details like I can.

I just love the larger than life hardware on such a small piece!

And an eye screw holds a flourish of ribbons.
Thank you, again, Margaret!
I am in awe to have something your hands worked on.

Just arrived yesterday... a decorated envelope of birthday wishes from Patty. A chic photo postcard of a vintage Parisian super model, some French pages, some Shakespeare ("As You Like It"), a scrap of pretty printed tissue and a gorgeous ATC.
I haven't even thanked Patty yet.
Merci beaucoup, Patrizia!

Patty can never send me anything I don't like, because we have pretty nearly identical tastes in "stuff". It's scary, really.

There may be more goodies in today's mail, but I will leave you
with what I bought for myself.

This typewriter key bracelet, from Joy's Jewels.
Because you can't sell on etsy, without buying a little too!
Happy Birthday... to me!
And thank you, dear friends, for remembering my day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Spend the Day With Those You Love

A heart is NOT the normal symbol for Thanksgiving, but I had to share this recent fleamarket acquisition. I bought it from a woman who was selling her mother's things. Her mother, who died 5 years ago, made this precious mosaic-ed heart and I had to have it, flaking tiles, missing beads and all. I thought I might repair the flaws, but now I am thinking not.
It's perfect just as it is.
Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 23, 2009

How to Pack a GIANT Envelope...

...With a teeny matchbox crammed with treasure.
Well, first you cheat and pack extraneous items that won't fit in the matchbox. hee hee hee.
This is supposed to be a matchbox swap!!! Hosted by Ooglebloops.

I joined, on a whim, thinking it would be nice to meet some new people
and swap with a different group of artist types.
Seems I move in very small circles, because who was I assigned as a swap partner,
but one of my dear blogland buddies, Patty,
with whom I have been swapping art for almost a year!

I'm not complaining though, because Patty and I have amazingly

similiar tastes. We would not shop well together since we

would most likely be going for the same "junk" and trinkets!

Can you believe all that she managed to fit into the matchbox?
I have a hard time repacking it each time I show off the contents!

An inchie Patty created along with one of my favorite items.

The matchbox came wrapped in this beautiful hanky. Patty said the couple made her think of me.
So sweet.
Maybe because my waist is wasp-thin and I wear long, flowing dresses for every day? ;)
How did she know?

My other favorite item. A gorgeous paper napkin.
One of the extraneous items!

I have yet to pack Patty's matchbox.
How can I compete with such a lovely array of stuff?

I know, I will send it in a
LARGE cardboard BOX!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Artist's Comforting Clutter

I told you I would share some of my auction acquisitions. Above is a quintet of antique beauties. The photo is a reproduction and someone paid a lot of money for the very contemporary frame to house their relations. Ipso facto, I got the piece for a mere $2.00. If it had been an original photo in a more period frame, it would have gone for more than I was willing to pay! I hate to tear up the frame (all sealed with backing paper and rubber wall bumpers on the back), but I want access to The Girls!
They will turn up in some future altered project.
This vitrified porcelain milk mug was a thrift store purchase,
but I plan to put it in my etsy shop soon.
I have it on display in the mean time so I won't forget about it!
Out of sight, out of mind!

A beautiful botanical etching with a tear in it (very brittle paper), given to me by my antiques store friend, Liz Keaton. I couldn't find my old push pins (plastic headed ones just wouldn't do!) so the print is displayed on a clipboard.
Works for me!

Another auction buy. A wood burned glove box from the early 1900s.

A hinge needs repairing, but otherwise it is in incredible condition for its age.
Inscribed on the bottom,
"To Pa, From Clara"

I got it in a lot with 2 other boxes.
No idea what I will do with them,
but the boxes were going cheap,
so I bid.
And won.

A box given to me
by the owner of the little junk shop in town.
He knows I like old cardboard boxes,
so he dumped out the bolts it held and handed the box to me.
"No charge", he said.
I was amazed.
The man rarely gives anything away
for free.

Don't you LOVE the way the corners are assembled?

A box of dominoes bough at auction for CHEAP.
If I told you how little I paid for these,
I would have to kill myself.

A drawer, likely the glove or hanky box, from an antique dresser.
The original knob was blue glass and didn't look right.
Liz let me rifle through her box of junk hardware and we both agreed
that this broken drawer pull was somehow perfect!
I still need to fill the naked key hole with something.

The blue glass knob?
You may buy it now in my etsy shop.

I used to collect owls when I was a kid in the '70s and am amazed to find that the nocturnal critters are making a huge come back. I am not a '70s collector, but know there are those who are. And since I am old enough to recognize the genuine article, I collect certain items for resale (fabric mostly because it sold well on ebay). I picked up this owl planter, just today, at the local junk shop, but you can find it now in my etsy shop.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Creative Space

Art by Celita Perillo (don't you love her name?!). I won this paper cut, entitled, "Wilderness Beauty", in her latest blog giveaway and today I found out that she is published! I am SO excited for her!
And now for photos of my summer palace (aka, "the back porch"). It is only truly functional when the outdoor temps are about 65* F. and the sun is shining. This is the southern side of the porch so we get this lovely greenhouse effect and there is no place better for lunch and afternoon tea.
And a little reading and art-ing.
I have a studio space elsewhere in the house, but this space on the porch is my new getaway.
You can't have too many retreat areas in your own home!

It is furnished with flotsam and jetsam, literally; the weathered shelf coming from the last auction I attended. (I will share more of my acquisitions in future posts). The clip boards are from thrift stores and will display art. They look pretty good empty too!
I probably shouldn't tell you that the pile of suitcases are TRASH PICKED. Really! I wouldn't lie about something like that! There was an estate auction in town and no one bid on these beauties (can you imagine?!) so the auctioneer left them. He didn't want to haul something back to his shop that no one wanted. Later in the day, the cases sat neatly in a row, on the curb by the house and I nabbed them before the rain got to them. I thought about resale, but each case needs refurbishing on the inside. In the mean time, they look fabulous piled in the corner of the porch.

I've added a few more items to the wall since I took these photos, but the atmosphere remains the same.

Warm, inviting and unhurried.

Time stands still on my back porch.

Even doing nothing here is time well spent!

Where is your sanctuary?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Heavy Metal ATC

Of the three "reduced paper" ACTs I've made, this one weighs the most. You see, the Key to the City is quite a large award to be given.
Yet, somehow she manages to hold it with just one hand!

If you look closely, you can see which city she got the key to! hee hee

I have to show you how lumpy this piece is too. The industrial sized clothing hook up near her head stands a good 3/16" up off the canvas. I sifted through a lot of metal sewing bits and that hook is the only thing that would "do"! At this angle, the honoree is dwarfed by the size of her award. That giant paper clip is nothing to be messed with either!

At this angle, you can also see that I've wired the key on. The paper bits are hotglued on, but the wire and metal bits are all wired (with "thread" from the screening- so it's got perfect patina) so I don't have unsightly adhesives gooping into view. The paper clip is merely clipped, but it's not going anywhere.

I've temporarily come to a halt after this one, but know I will do more (need more inspiring photos). Maybe I should also update my tetnus shot...

Monday, November 9, 2009

75% Less Paper Than Your Average ATC

THESE ATCs ARE SO MUCH FUN!!!! I even submitted my sewing machine to a little torture by forcing it to stitch the zipper onto the screening. The needle threader was some corroded piece of junk I found on the sidewalk once (or in a junk box, dunno, but I knew someday I would have a use for it!), but the little loop was missing. Can't have a needle threader without a threader thingy, so I took a piece of wire from a scrap of screen (like pulling thread from a frayed piece of cloth) and fashioned a threading loop myself-- and stuck it back into its holder. I like the bits of green paint stuck to the wire. I rubbed some paint onto the handle of the threader to give it a green patina (no, not original- but looks authentic, doesn't it?) since I had the color naturally occurring elsewhere.
I have one more of these "reduced paper" ATCs to share! Tune in tomorrow.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

85% Paper- free ATC

The other day, I had this hare brained idea to make up non-paper ATC kits to sell in my etsy store. Hmmm, better try making a non-paper ATC first myself. I liked the way it turned out, SO much, that now I'm thinking of making a bunch of mini art to sell. The kits will come later.
But no, maybe I should first try sending the piece (and others, yet to be made) to Somerset Studio to see if I can get published. The painted up fly screening (salvaged from an antique pie cupboard) makes this piece, I think.
You would never guess I was a pack rat, would you?
hee hee hee hee

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Own Anthropologie

I was enjoying a pot of tea while flipping through the Nov. 2009
Anthropologie catalog, when suddenly I looked to my right and saw that one of models had jumped from the pages and brought a snowball with her.
I asked her if she would mind posing for a few pictures since I liked how she planted the snowball on her teacup. So well photo styled! She must be a designer as well as a model.
She immediately obliged with a series of cheesecake poses that needed no encouragement from me.

I kid you not, this girl knows how to schmooze to the camera!

A master of the runway model "pout".

A candid moment.
By this time, I was just snapping pictures, not watching for a pose to happen.

Like all good models, this bite was staged. She wasn't about to eat a carb-laden prop! She has her figure to watch!
Besides, it was "too sticky", so she removed the offensive prop, drank up her tea (still in the cup) and the photo session was over.