Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

and the storm has passed...

the weather on the east coast has been quite unruly over the past few days and even though i am a few hours from the coast, i have felt a bit of anxiety over this storm.  our bad storm this past june is still very fresh in my mind.  the winds were terrifying.  and then we lost power for six days and it was so, so hot.  and we were so unprepared.  i felt more prepared this time, but whenever there's strong winds, there's always some worry about the big, huge trees that surround our house.  i was woken up several times in the night by the wind and it was hard to get back to sleep, lying there and hearing the trees creaking and cracking.  i imagined that they were falling all over the place.  but when i woke this morning, i went outside straight away to assess any damage and there really wasn't any.  only one large branch fell.  just inches from our car.  we did try to park it between trees last night.  i feel so lucky.  i know others have not been so lucky.  i have you all in my prayers.

this morning i delivered about half of the items in my etsy shop.  they are on their way to a holiday craft fair in Roanoke this weekend.  i have been working hard these last few weeks on new journals and things for Christmas.  the ones i've shown here are for my etsy shop and i hope to get them all photographed and listed in the next week or so.

i hope to be a part of a craft show here in Lynchburg in December.  i'm crossing my fingers while i wait to hear if i've been accepted.

i feel blessed that the ideas have been flowing so freely.  it isn't always like this.  sometimes the ideas just don't come as easily.  the whole summer was kind of a dry spell for me.  but since the kids have returned to school, i feel like i've settled into a routine that's working for me.

i used a birthday gift certificate to purchase some beautiful handmade papers from our local art store.  they are so beautiful, it was hard to cut them, but i did and i feel like they add that special little something to my journals.  the one above is my favorite.  it is thick and soft and almost feels like fabric.

i added a few pieces between signatures to a black leather book.  i tore it and left the edges rough.  it gives the book a nice rustic look.  i'm thinking of making a small, simple book and using a piece of this paper as the cover.  it's just too pretty to hide inside a book.  some day i would love to try making paper myself.  but for now, there's a lot of beautiful paper out there for me to try.

this piece of leather is sitting on my table today.  it's purple metallic.  i only have one small piece and i'm still mulling over the design of this book.  of course, i don't have any purple waxed linen for the binding but this purple silk just caught my eye.

and maybe some of this wonderful swirly purple paper...yup, i think i've got it now.  back to work...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

how to win friends and influence people...

i'm not trying to make you jealous or anything, but this is my snack this perfectly moist, luscious, red velvet cupcake with delicious, creamy, butter frosting.

my younger daughter baked these treats last night, late into the night, and this morning she packed them up and put them in her tote bag and hopped on the school bus.  lucky me - she left a few behind.  this has recently become a weekly event for her.  she is a freshman in high school this year and i'm sure you all remember your high school days.  some of us more fondly than others.  it can be really hard as a freshman - adjusting to a new school, making friends and just finding your niche...

and as she is becoming known as "that really cute girl who brings tasty treats every week" she has made some new friends.  and as she has gotten to know more people, she has started to feel more comfortable in her new environment.  and more confident.  and brave.  and i see my little girl blossoming into a beautiful young woman.  and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a little autumn and the winner...

autumn is really arriving here in Virginia.  the leaves are turning the loveliest colors of red and orange and yellow.  i love it when the wind blows and the leaves fall in a slow flurry like colorful snow.  only better, because it's not cold.  fall is my favorite season for sure.

yesterday, when i stepped out to get the mail, this branch was hanging by my door, so i snapped a picture and only later did i notice the little raindrop dripping from it.  i love that.

lots of acorns this year.  they make a tiny knock on the roof each time one falls.  and they are fun to crunch under your feet...

...but only if you have shoes on : )

i've eaten way too many of these lately and i would show you, but this bag is actually empty.  i've made a promise to myself not to buy any more, as i have no willpower.

oh, and finally, you were wondering who the winner is?  i got a little carried away this morning as i gathered all sorts of pink goodies from my studio shelves.  i've filled a nice size box with it all and tied it up with pink tulle and a pink ribbon.
and the winner is...
  Scarlett, email me with your address and i will get your box of pink in the mail to you.

this was my first giveaway and it was small, but fun.  and really, since only six of you entered, i want to send each of you a little something as well.  just a little tiny something that i made up this morning just for you.  to say thank you.  for reading my humble little blog.  and taking the time to comment.  and for making my day a little brighter.  so, if i don't have your address, send me an email and i will send out your little surprise as well.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

pink is the color of hope...and a giveaway...

pink is the color of hope...

 and the color of courage too...

pink is the color of understanding...

and the color of warmth...

i've always wanted to do a giveaway and so now i shall.  i will be gifting this sweet little trinket box, made by moi, to one lucky reader.  in honor of the color pink and all that it stands for...

it is filled with hope and beauty.  a sweet garland of pink flowers and cut out paper butterflies on a length of pink velvet ribbon.  and in the very bottom, a snippet of a hopeful poem.  and that's not all.  i will also send the lucky reader a sack of goodies - papers and fabrics and little surprises from my stash, all in shades of pink.

to be a part of the giveaway, you simply need to leave a comment on this post.  i will put all of the names in a pink hat and choose one at random next Tuesday.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Woman Becomes a Warrior...An Inspiring Guest Post...

Today I am stepping out of my usual blog fare to bring you a guest post with the beautiful Heather Von St. James, a courageous mother, wife and survivor of mesothelioma cancer.  

Heather and I connected recently through my blog and I was deeply touched by her story.  My own life has been impacted by cancer, as i'm sure is the case for many of you as well.  I deeply admire Heather.  She fought hard to win her battle against cancer, but she didn't stop there.  In her words to me, "My journey with cancer was a terrifying one and I'd like to turn my pain into purpose and become someone that other people can look to for guidance, inspiration, and hope in situations like my own. "

She is a true warrior.


A Woman Becomes a Warrior

When I was 36 years old; I thought my life was going pretty well. I was a new mom with a beautiful baby daughter, and I was blessed with a great husband and supportive family and friends. I am thankful for that support system, because I never could have guessed how much I would need them.

Before my daughter was even four months old, I found out that I had cancer. My cancer diagnosis completely caught me off-guard and changed my life. My doctor explained that I had malignant pleural mesothelioma, and that this type of cancer was generally caused by asbestos exposure. This heightened my confusion. How in the world had I been exposed to asbestos?

It turns out that I was unknowingly exposed to asbestos during many years of my childhood. My hard-working father spent his days working on construction sites. His main job was stripping and installing drywall. Tragically, these materials contained asbestos. My father was working hard to provide for his family, but he was also wearing clothes home every evening that were contaminated with asbestos dust.

Like most children, I would run to greet my father each night when he walked in the door. I can still remember how dusty and dirty his clothes were when I hugged him. Over time, I received more and more exposure to asbestos. After remaining in my lungs for many years, the exposure finally resulted in malignant pleural mesothelioma.

The Mayo Clinic was only aware of one mesothelioma patient that was as young as I was. I began treatments for mesothelioma at the age of 36. In the past, the faces of mesothelioma were almost always older men who had worked in the trades fields or in the military. I certainly did not fit the typical profile.

However, I eventually discovered that I was not alone. Many older women started being diagnosed with mesothelioma. These were the wives that received secondary asbestos exposure from their husbands each day for many years. As they completed their chores at home and rode in their cars, they were breathing in asbestos dust from their husbands' clothing.

There are also more patients like me. We were unwittingly exposed to asbestos in our home as children. It seems unfair that something that happened many decades ago could now be resulting in cancer, but no one ever said that mesothelioma is fair.

I am sad that more people are receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma, but I am also very hopeful. There have been some wonderful advances in treatment for mesothelioma, and more patients are able to recover and enjoy a high quality of life.

The mesothelioma community is filled with some of the most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet. We have truly become a family. We laugh together, cry together and work hard every day to advocate for our disease. Mesothelioma is not an easy trial to endure, but we are all stronger because of the battles that we have faced.

If you would like more information about Heather and mesothelioma cancer, I have put a link on my blog list.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


a few weeks ago, i told you that i would show you some things that i had found on etsy recently.  not only do i sell my art on etsy, but i shop there as well.  i buy a lot of my creative supplies on etsy and occasionally i buy things just for fun.  one of my favorite places to shop is here.  she wraps each and every package, no matter how small, so beautifully.  she has inspired me to do the same.

i adore the little bundles of dyed silk that she sells.  i have collected quite a few colors and in fact, i have a large glass jar on my work table filled with this silk.  it is beautiful to look at and it adds that special bit of magic to my projects.   

i found this charming little harmonica here.  i love how she includes extra little charms with my order.  i used this little harmonica in the making of this book.  it really works too!

these elastic hair bands are comfy and fun to wear.  they look good as a bracelet too.  you can choose your colors here.

i love to get things from another country, don't you?  the wrinkly little envelope with mysterious stamps and markings.  exciting.  the little pouch is a nice touch.

i purchased this bracelet from an etsy seller in Bolivia.  her shop is filled with all sorts of cool bracelets and other jewelry.  i have a few other things in mind for christmas gifts.

these are not etsy finds, but i thought i would show you anyway.  from an unexpected stop at an antique shop this weekend.  i can never just drive past - if i did, i would then spend hours thinking about what i might have missed.  so i saved myself some stress and stopped.  i found an old tea towel to make ornaments out of, some shabby old postcards with writing on them, and a dirty, but fabulous lace cuff.  

this tiny little thing is actually a book that my sister made me for my birthday a few months ago.  she is a super talented writer and artist too.  we owe it all to our mother, who is also an artist and all around great mom.

it is filled with little gilded pages.  i'm still trying to decide what to write in here.  something inspirational for sure...

and that's about it.  these are my shopping adventures of late.  now i'm off to chop up my tea towel and sew up some ornaments...

Monday, October 1, 2012

single hearted...

These are two friends whose lives were undivided;
So let their memory be, now they have glided
Under their grave; let not their bones be parted,
For their two hearts in life were single-hearted.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1822-

i sold this piece yesterday and i snapped a few last photos of it as i spent some time this morning getting it ready to be shipped to its' new home.  i'm always a bit sad to let go a piece of my art.  after all, everything i create has a little piece of my soul included.  but sharing is good for the soul too and i hope it brings joy to the person who chose it.