Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Beach house in Ft. Myers!

Here's a few pictures taken in the garden of the house we rented in Ft. Myers. I am amazed at the garden and how much work it must take to maintain this paradise. The pictures don't do it justice.
There were peaceful buddhas placed in several nooks, towering palm trees and trailing vines everywhere.
The floral scent as you pass thru is the icing on the cake!
If you are planning a trip to Ft. Myers, this is a great place to stay! The owners are really nice and very helpful. You can find info here. I'm not sure if this is the link we went thru, but there are many more photos here!

Ok. That's it for now. I'm busy busy making my holiday gifts! I will share some with you as we approach Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baby it's COLD outside!

Ok... not too cold! Actually a balmy mid 40's I think... and tomorrow in the 50's?
But compared to Ft Myers, FL last week... it feels like freezing.

Why Ft. Myers? Last week our little foursome took a vacation to Ft. Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, FL... we spent our Thanksgiving holiday there and took in some rays.
The weather couldn't have been better. Partly cloudy (mostly sunny), warm days (in the mid 80's at noon), and not a drop of rain! A little bit of heaven on earth!

Speaking of heaven, did you know that Ft. Myers is seashell heaven? We walked and walked for miles and collected tons, (I MEAN TONS), of shells. We collected a bounty of sand dollars (which are drying as we speak) and beautiful whole shells that you don't find many other places! That is because the waves just lap the shore (no surfing waves here.)

We walked out onto a sandbar during low tide and collected the most sand dollars there! there were also tons of sea stars, conchs and sting rays! Beautiful rays swimming in schools. I wish I had a camera that could take pictures thru water glare (bummer!). The birds were amazing. Cranes, egrets, pelicans, some orange beaked things (I will check on their names), sandpipers, gulls, and ibises... all were beautiful to watch!

The house we stayed in was a retreat all it's own. I will share pictures later this week from the garden "oasis". Dr. Nick B. (owner and master of this home & garden) has made a place where you never want to leave. But more about that later!

The kids had a great time. We mini golfed, got henna tattoos (not me - just Em), built sand castles and went fishing on a pier! Abby caught 3 crabs and a catfish that put up a good fight (good struggle for us!). She said her heart was pounding a mile a minute... and felt her chest... it really was!

One other place we had to visit was a chocolate store called NORMAN LOVE Confections. OMG! Beautiful chocolate and cakes! You just wanted to sit and stare at the pieces all day. we only had a few minutes before heading to the airport... so we purchased six pieces for tasting and then picked some to ship home! I can't wait til UPS arrives this week!

The flights to and from were on time and traffic was a breeze. Kids had fun on the airplane at at the various airports. We hope to return back there again and try the parasailing, dolphin and manatee watching and maybe a little windsurfing (a perfect place to learn with a good breeze, but no huge waves!)

We each took a moment to share what we are thankful for. I am thankful for my family and that we are healthy. Thankful that we love and support each other no matter what. I am also thankful for being able to create and share the things I love.

I am thankful for my friends and the unconditional love they provide me.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving with your families.
See you later this week! Can't wait to share the garden pics!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Houses

New houses for you winter birds!

My friend asked me to make a large collage birdhouse as a Christmas gift for her mom... something with a vintage holiday feel. So we found this 9 inch wooden birdhouse and i got to work!

Started with the usual collage covering with vintage book and hymn pages and then whitewashed with gesso. The roof is then painted in an ivory color while the rest of the house stayed whitewashed.
Then the fun begins! Lots of Old World Christmas images and embellishments. Pearls, jewel and satin ribbons. Ultra fine frosty glitter covers the roof and the words, "hope, believe and love" and stamped on the front.
I really hope she loves it!

Then I moved onto a few birdhouse ornaments. Again using the same techniques... these houses will surely find a safe place to rest on someone's Christmas tree! PS... snip the gold cord for mantel decorations!

Well that's it for today. If you live near me... hope you are staying dry and warm! This cold rain really calls for a hot cup of cocoa and a roaring fire...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Knitting Caps for Babies in Need


The SAVE THE CHILDREN 'CAPS FOR GOOD' organization is collecting knit hats/caps for babies in need around the world. (last year the program was under the name KNIT ONE SAVE ONE). Something as simple as a warm hat to a newborn can mean the difference between life and death. There is a ton of info, including patterns and guidelines, at www.goodgoes.org/caps. There you can also obtain an address for mailing these caps.
I am planning on sending a package of hats out in late January. I am happy to send yours in as well. If you live local to me (New Market, MD) please PM me and I will gladly send them in on your behalf.

So if you can spare some time and yarn this winter... won't you consider making & sending a hat to a baby in need?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Christmas Tags!

The holidays are fast upon us! Just two weeks til Thanksgiving.. and Christmas is not far behind! This time of year always feels like a rush... but this year I am committed to enjoying the process. The cooking, gift making and giving, taking in the meaning of the season and all the rest... I will vow to immerse myself into the spirit! (please gently remind me if things start to look crazy around here...)

This week I have started my holiday gift tags. All these tags are upcycled from 100% recycled file folders. So far I have two designs going up on etsy this week and following soon after at the stores. Each set of 4 is $4.50.

These tags are distressed and distressed some more using Tim Holtz Stamps and inks And finished with a shimmery glitter spray!

And these vintage style french tags have lacy beading and a jewel brad.

I will be making more of these tomorrow and later this week will probably be spent making more holiday cards!
Hope you are having a great week! see you soon!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More Calendar Pages

Just a quick one today. These are a few snaps of the newest batch of calendars. Going out to stores on Monday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LOOOOOONG Weekend Farming!

Where have I been? I know! It's been a long while since I've been on here.
I have been scrambling around both at home and on the farm!

Last week was the hectic Halloween prep... both in the neighborhood and at school and then we wisked away to the farm to help out... (and get away for a couple days... heehee).
It was a whirlwind several days. My head is still spinning.

We collected about a zillion eggs every morning and harvested a load of sweet potatoes, radishes and cabbages for the winter. It was so much fun being out there - actually being able to see the results of my dad's hard work!
The kids really enjoyed the "fun" and we can't wait to sink our teeth into the delicious foods!

In the evenings I actually found some time to finish knitting my socks! I used a pattern from the SOCKS A LA CARTE book. I borrowed this book from Stacie and discovered I love it so much, I bought one form Amazon last week! You can mix and match from many styles of cuffs, bodies and toes. And the BEST PART.... You knit with 2 circular needles eliminating the crazy double point needled!!! So easy to travel with and really easy to follow directions!

By the way, the yarn is from Deborah Norville collection SERENITY GARDEN YARN. Our Frederick, MD Joann's has a few left... but since it is not a winter yarn, I don't see them restocking this...

Anyway... back to work now for me. I am almost finished a new batch of calendars. Hopefully I'll have them at the stores my Friday... but might be monday. (another long story... )

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calendar Photos

Ok. I finally got around to taking some pictures of the new calendar.

I am really happy with how they turned out... I love the simple cute designs... something different from the usual distress collage on the past calendars.

These will be delivered to the Muse tomorrow and the rest will go out to art partners by next week!

Short work day today... got a lot to fit in! Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Fest Time!

This past weekend we went out to Shenandoah to a place called LONG BRANCH farm for a wonderful Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Gorgeous Views!!!

This was as close to any hot air balloons as we got that day... beautiful either way!

It was gorgeous weather outside... just crisp enough to be fall and sunny! It was a bit windy... which in the end made it difficult for the balloons to launch. So that was canceled... bummer.
But it was still an awesome day!New Friends!

We played with animals, ate great festival food and drinks (kudos to the 1st Thai vendor - very fresh and hot food!), entertaining shows and wonderful family and friends!
I will definitely be looking at tickets for next year!

Now we are settled back at home, it's back to business! I spent the whole day yesterday making new calendars... these have a different look to them. More "Japanese" in style. I will post pictures when they are finished. I am shooting for Muse delivery by Thursday and the other stores by the end of next week.

Found this giant hole in this tree... Amazing!

Well. I hope you had a nice weekend too! Have a fantastic week and see you soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall Scarecrow Card

Just a quick post today...
This week I did a few things. I helped Stacie prepare for a show she is having in Annapolis next weekend and I made more Halloween and Fall cards.
This Scarecrow card is a Stampin Up image and I used a masking technique to layer images on top of another. I love those Copic markers for blending and shading...
This card will be at the Muse by the end of today.
(as well as several Halloween cards!)
I ordered several new stamp sets for new cards which should arrive next week! I can't wait!!!
Hope you all have a great weekend. See you next week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Anniversary Cards feat. Cranes

Quick post today...

Today I am working on Anniversary and Wedding cards. Here's one listed today.
It features Asian Cranes (which symbolize peace) and are blended with alcohol inks.

Sometime soon I will start on new baby cards. All will be available on line and at stores (the Muse and Art Partners, Inc) within a couple weeks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New houses on Etsy!

Ok. So I finally added a few new pieces to the etsy store. By Friday I will also have a calendar and 3 new birdcage nest builders up as well!

Here's a peek at the additions:

The trees are starting to turn and it really is starting to feel like fall! Which means this weekend will be spent "fall festivalling" with cider and pumpkins! Hope you are planning some fall fun too!