Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Friday



My little sister's bridal shower is this weekend. I'm excited and kind of nervous because I've never thrown a shower before. Those are the favor bags in the above picture. They aren't quite complete, but when they are I'll show you what's inside.
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Here are a few more things I picked up last weekend on my junk shop adventure ...

Postcards for collaging. The one in the upper right corner is a picture of Assisi, Italy.


Worn fabric and lace for fabric books. I found these at a yard sale specializing in quilts and vintage fabrics. Everything was sooooo cheap. Gosh it was fun.


These sheets of handmade paper are from Cottage Crafts Boutique here in San Jose. It's a store with offerings from over thirty crafters-- like a year round arts and crafts fair.


Moda Charm Pack from a quilt-and-yarn store.


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With Charlie hogging the blog lately, I tried to take a photo of Apollo last night to balance things out. He's the youngest of the two cats, but I worry he might have middle child syndrome. Guess who popped up just as I was taking Apollo's picture?

That Charlie loves attention.


So I quietly got one of Apollo sleeping. Love that little pink tongue.



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I'm sending you off with a close-up of an orchid from Charlie's garden. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


PS. You probably noticed I changed the format of my blog. I liked it the other way, but felt like making a change. Kinda like rearranging the furniture in the living room. It may change again in the next few days ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guest Blogger


Hi, I'm Charlie. My mom left for work this morning without her laptop. I’ve been wanting to see what all this blogging stuff is about. Looks pretty interesting, but she doesn’t write about me nearly enough. Let me tell you about myself.

My full name is Charles Kitten, but I'm also known as Prince Charles and Char-Char. I’m three years old. My mom often says she rescued me, but we both know it was the other way around.

I rescued my adopted brother Apollo, too. He’s a nice enough guy, but kinda needy.


I stay busy while my mom's at work. First, I take a quick bath ...


And then play with my toys … or whatever happens to be laying around on the floor.


After that I'm ready for a nap on the window sill.



In the afternoon I do my gardening. My orchids are looking good this year.


My mom bought me this bed. I think it’s funny to sleep on the floor next to it. You should see how mad she gets.


I don’t know why my mom bought me that bed when I have a perfectly good one with sheets and pillows and a duvet.



I enjoy an occasional game of hide-and-seek, too. I’m pretty good at it. Can you see me?


I'd like to tell you more, but it's almost time for my nap and I’m getting sleepy. We'll talk again soon.


Nite-nite.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fairy Godmother Giveaway


The Magic Onions is giving away one of these cute felted fairy godmothers. You have until Friday to comment. Who couldn't use a fairy godmother in their life?

I learned about this giveaway from Lisa at 5 Orange Potatoes, whose fabulous blog is dedicated to sharing how she raises her two creative, nature-loving daughters. The craft projects are incredible, and the photos of her girls are adorable.

Niles


My four day weekend was wonderful. I usually stay close to home on my days off because it feels like I never get to spend enough time there and I dislike driving on crowded roads, but this weekend I wanted to go to new places I’d never been before.

One day I ended up in tiny historic Niles, a one-sided railroad town with an abundance of bars and antique stores. (If you're familiar with this part of California, it's located at the base of the Fremont hills.)

The bars I could live without, but the antique stores were wonderful.


Oh, I had such a good time browsing in those stores. Lots of kitchenware, linens, toys, and furniture.


Nice wildflowers, too, growing along the main street between the shops.




My favorite store was Kiowa Rose. Best bead store ever. I bought this glass heart-shaped bead by Grace Lampwork Beads.



And these charms for beading and collaging.



Picked up these folk art prints by Swedish artist Stina Sunesson at one of the antique stores-- I’m still trying to fill the empty walls of my new apartment.




A snapshot of someone’s front yard. I guess you would call this a giant assemblage doll? Or just a really cool collage.


There was so much to look at that I couldn't take it all in on the one trip. I'm definitely going back.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Handmade Book


My latest art project is this little book. The pages are handmade paper by Alicia Telfer.



The picture of the woman on the cover is the work of DJ Pettitt (with a necklace added by me). I love using DJ's artwork in my collages. If you want to see some gorgeous handmade books, please check out her blog. She's fantastic.



I'm drawn to religious and spiritual imagery from all religions.

The text in the pictures above and below is from the book Thoughts on Solitude by Thomas Merton.



The text below is a poem by e.e. cummings.


The picture of the Buddha is a Pier One tag that was attached to a frame I bought.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Capitola


When I went to the coast earlier in the week, I was badly in need of a fun day that didn't involve crafting, blogging, or working. As much as I love crafting and blogging, it sometimes feels like my second job ... and it often feels like it's taken over my life. I've been having a hard time stopping.


Capitola was the perfect destination for a mini-vacation day-- it has many of my favorite things, like pelicans and a long pier and cute shops.



The colorful bungalows were a contrast to the fuzzy gray sky. Some day I'd like to stay in one of those bungalows-- the ocean is just a few steps out the front door.


That's my house at the top of the stairs. At least it is in my dreams. Wouldn't you love to live there? I'd be in great shape from going up and down those stairs every day.


Made a new friend while walking on the pier ....



This is Soquel Creek, which flows to the ocean.


Interesting architecture at Margaritaville, a popular restaurant and bar. While trying to find some info on this mosaic mermaid, I came across an
article about the artist, Terrie Read Kvenild. Terrie was not allowed to take any art classes until she got to college, and once there a professor told her she might as well give up because she had no talent.



Thank goodness she didn't listen.



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It's Memorial Day on Monday, and I'm taking an extra day off to make it a four day weekend. I plan to go back to the beach and do a little hiking, too. I'm going to try and make it an extra-special relaxing weekend so when I return to work I'll feel like I've been on vacation. Hope you have a great weekend, too.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beach, Shopping & Awards


Trying to escape from the oppressive heat earlier this week, I took a trip to the beach. Capitola is about a forty minute drive from my home on a good day when there aren't snarls of traffic heading toward the coast.



And I did escape the heat. It was FREEZING! And me in shorts. Ah well, I managed to enjoy myself immensely in spite of the bone-chilling wind.



On the drive there I promised myself repeatedly that I wouldn't spend much money. Ha ha. That didn't quite work out.


First stop, yarn shop. Yum. I picked up this Sirdar yarn and have already started making my umpteenth feather and fan scarf.



Second stop, antique store. I bought all sorts of goodies for making collages and handmade books. Oh, that place was heavenly. This is just a taste of what I bought.


Antique needle books with needles inside.



Zippered pouches made from vintage dish cloths. I certainly don't need three of these, but I couldn't choose which one I wanted so the owner gave me a deal. I might give one or more away in a giveaway some day.



Little envelopes made from vintage dish cloths. Perfect size for credit cards, gift cards, or business cards. I think the reason I like this fabric so much is it reminds me of the dishtowels we had when I was a kid.


Sewing machine trading cards. I'd never heard of these, but had to have them. They would make cute covers for handmade books, or as pieces of a larger collage.




I also bought antique postcards and a clock, as well as game prizes for my sister's upcoming bridal shower. So as not to overwhelm or bore you, in a few days I'll post pictures of the cute little seaside town of Capitola and the foggy, picturesque coastline.

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Melanie at A Country Dream gave me an award! She really gave it to me-- I didn't have to steal it.


Thank you, Melanie! I'm so happy. I love awards. But I have reservations about passing them along to other bloggers. One, I've noticed some people don't like to receive them, and I don't want to annoy anyone with an unwanted award. Two, some people receive TONS of them and I feel a bit silly giving someone their fourteenth lovely blog award. Three, I like so many blogs that I feel bad giving awards to some people and not to others.

That said, I'm going to pass along this award to a few bloggers I adore. I am doing this with absolutely no strings attached-- no need to publicly thank or link to me, no need to pass it on, no need to do anything-- unless you want to.

-Rachel at Not-So-Plain Jane for her humor and authenticity.

-Jen at Miss Punkie Pie for sharing pictures of her gorgeous Amelia.

-Sumea at skipping in the the meadow for her enthusiasm and loving nature. Her sparkly energy radiates from her blog. (Sumea, I know you already received this award recently, but yes I am giving you another one.)

-Emma at Little Brown Rabbit for her whimsical creations and for sharing passages from the writings of Eckhart Tolle.

-Kimberly at Niestz Vintage Home ... and fabric for simply having one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever seen.