"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Do you solder?

I just learned how from Charlene @ My Heart's Ease & I LOVE it! I learned how out of a desire for the charms, not thinking that I would actually enjoy the process but playing w/ liquid metal is fascinating! Bet I can talk hubby into making some charms w/ me too. ;o)


It's a lot easier than I thought it would be too. I am not mechanically inclined but was able to pick up the technique fairly easily...though it was probably more of a testament to Charlene's teaching skills than my soldering ability. ;o) Now all I need is practice, practice, practice. And a soldering iron, stand, glass casings etc. LOL

This was my first charm to create. Charlene thinks the first project is easiest if it's not an inchie & she's right. Isn't the image she provided just gorgeous?


After, doing teh above beveled piece, I created the little cherub inchie below. Not bad for a beginner if I do say so myself.


What a fun craft! No wonder everybody is doing it!

My Easter cake box swap has arrived

And was it ever packed w/ goodies! Bryanna @ The Canary's Cupcake was my partner & we clicked w/ each other from the get-go. She seems to have already "gotten" me & we've only known each other for a month. The cake boxes we made, & even the contents, were very similiar. Although she's a much better cake decorator than I & I'm afraid, she was a bit more generous as well. I don't know whether to feel bad or good about that. ;o) But thank you for everything Bry...you were too, too good to me!

Isn't her cake beautiful? She's a very talented cake decorator! Looks real doesn't it?

Look at how perfect her tiny roses are!



As you can see...she packaged the contents beautifully.

Look at all she managed to pack in that little box! Vintage book pages, vintage sheet music, little vintage greeting cards, wish tickets (been wanting some!), silk roses, lots of lace & trims, wallpaper scraps & vintage hankie...

See the little Queen Bee card she sent. My grands call me Honey so how appropriate, huh?


She sent a bag of what she called "mermaid trinkets". Not knowing that I have plans to make an altered mermaid doll. These baubles will the perfect adornment for it!


She also sent a bag of miscellaneous "bits". Love the empty watch face...it'll be really cool as a minitaure shadow box, won't it? And the little crystal charms are destined for the necklace I am making out of the metal roses Karen Valentine sent. And notice that tiny little bottle?


It's full of the teensiest, tiniest little rhinestones you have ever seen! Aren't they too cool? They'll never leave this bottle. I'll probably use the bottle in some altered art project but the rhinestones will stay inside...LOVE it!


But the Pièce de résistance was this absolutely charming charm bracelet she made out of vintage buttons. I adore it Bry!!!! Absolutely adore it!


Look at how she layered buttons & beads...tres' chic!



Bry also didn't know that I collect cameos but included this cameo button on my charm bracelet. I'm telling ya... the girl gets me!

I treasure my bracelet Bry....& I am very appreciative of the time & effort (& buttons LOL) you put into this lovely bracelet. You were too, too good to me!

I thought I went all out but I guess I have a lot to learn about swapping. ;o) Here's the cake box I made. See how similiar our cakes were?



Our contents were similiar also. I sent vintage seam bindings, blingy cross, an old baby shoe, paper roses, lace scraps, vintage button cards, chocolates, etc. And notice that I lined it w/ a vintage hankie? It's really weird how much our boxes looked alike & how similiar most of the contents were.


I included this fairy paper doll, I made from Sandra Evertson's book Fanciful Paper Projects. If you like paper crafts...you'll love this book! It doesn't show in the picture very well, but the body is made of lace, I glued onto card stock. Although Sandra's book includes all the elements needed (except glue) to complete each project, I like to use real accents to add a bit of dimension.



And isn't this little pipe cleaner doll I made (also from Fanciful Paper Projects) cute? Although, frankly...she looks pretty meager compared to the gorgeous charm bracelet Bry sent. Oh well! Maybe next time I'll get a crappy swap partner & won't feel so bad. LOL

You know I'm only kidding w/ ya Bry (sorta!)...I LOVED having you for a swap partner!!

Sandra shared a neat idea of gluing a paper face onto a wooden bead & I used cotton batting for "hair".


Partners like Bry sure make swapping a lot of fun!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Alice is in the house!

My Alice tags arrived last week but I was waiting to post about it until Lisa @ Tarnished & Tattered & I exchanged our tags ( we wanted to make sure we had one of each other's w/out burdening Karla w/ special requests) but I had to cancel our get-together because of my back problems. :o( We couldn't wait to post any longer so I'll post about her tag when I receive it.

Isn't this tag book awesome! I am so proud of it!!! Thanks too all the contributors & especially to Karla @ Karla's Cottage, for all her hard work.

This is the cover, made by Karla. She hand drew the Alice & then photo-copied it for our tags. Check out all the wonderful details! The book page ruffle at the bottom, the rose out of vintage wallpaper....


the tiny, tiny, tiny "drink me" bottle, full of glitter....


And the wonderful door into Wonderland. LOVE it!!!


Isn't this next tag by The Gypsy Magpie sweet w/ all the flowers...it's like a bouquet!

And teh graphic simplicity of this next one by Melissa Sele @ Charm School Jewels is really charming, isn't it?


I almost went w/ a design much like this one by Suzanne Crowley (I don't think she has a blog). Too cute!


Jessica Rodarte @ Kids napping? I'm Scrapping! paid such attention to the details! Look at the stamped Alice ribbon & notice the tiny little A of hearts charm?

This next tag is one by Karla herself. When I saw it on her blog, previous to receiving it, I actually gasped, I loved it so much. I almost cried when I found it was in my book. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

I wish the photo captured the awesome craftsmanship this next tag has. Sandy @ Quill Cottage printed on fabric for the Alice & created her dress out of tissue paper. It's fabulous!!! I neglected to get pics of the backs of the tags but most (w / the excepton of mine *blushes*) are just as beautiful from the back as they are from the front. Hmmm...wonder if I over-looked taking pictures of the backs "accidentally on purpose" to keep from even more embarrassment in showing my unadorned back.

The next tag is mine. I can not tell you how honored & proud I am to display my tag alongside the works of such artists.


A friend & her teen age son recently came over & I was showing his mom some of my recent creations & he asked "are you an artist?" I answered, "yes, I guess I am." Pinch me, I'm dreaming!!!! ;o)


This has been a fantastic swap for many reasons....I loved creating the tags, loved getting the tags & the tag book is a wonderful treasure...but the best part about it was Karla. I have admired Karla's work in magazines long before there was even any blogging. And of course y'all know how fantastic her blog is! But to find myself friends & exchanging art w/ a woman I basically idolize (I love everything about Karla...love her style, love her home, love her down-to-earth goodness, love her sense of humor, love her relationship w/ her grand, love her open heart & I LOVE her talent!) is like a dream come true. And if you think I gushed about Karla a lot in this post, wait until you read a future tribute post where I talk about how long I've been an admirer of her's. ;o)


Have a good weekend everybody! I don't know if my back is any better but I've given in to taking pain pills so it sure feels better LOL...thanks for all your concern.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A couple of swap sneak peeks!

Hi y'all! I wanted to share a preview of a couple of swap packages I sent off today. I'll share lots more pictures later after they have received them. The first one was an egg carton exchange hosted by Christine @ A Work in Progess . Christine is also my swap partner for the May Day Tussie Mussie swap ...she's a very, very talented photographer. You should check out the incredible photos on her blog.

Anyway, the By The Dozen egg carton exchange was a whole lot of fun to put together & I think Christine did very well in pairing me w/ Jane from Mamie Jane's....we seem to have similiar tastes & style . Here's a little peek at the egg carton I decorated... I hope it's not too froufrou for her.



And I'm also in Cassandra's cake box swap from her Pretty Spring Things ezine. And she also did VERY well in partnering me up. Bry @ The Canary's Cupcake is my partner. She & I have already become friends & I look forward to getting to know her better. Here's a preview of the cake I sent her. Hope she's happy w/ it...I'm afraid my cake decorating skills don't compare w/ hers. :o(

Only one more swap obligation to fulfill & I'll be free to sign up for more swaps! ;o)

Hope everyone is doing well. I've had a shoulder injury for some time now that I'm finally seeing a Dr for (ultrasound, deep tissue massage, exercises ARGGGH!) but unpacking Easter decorations threw my back outta whack & I've been laid up for 3 days. It really sucks...I'm overwhelmed w/ things on my to-do list & Easter is almost upon us. Since I didn't do Valentine's I feel compelled to decorate for Easter. But I think it's much better today so I maybe I'll get something done. I could always go low-key this year.

Nahhhh...not my style. It's either all or nothing. ;o)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

There's still time but you gotta hurry!

The butterfly exhibit @ the Ft Worth Botanical gardens will be over on April 3rd. And it's an awesome exhibit...a must see! Grouchy & I took our butterfly-loving granddaughter, Miss Caralyn last week & had so much fun.

















Caralyn dressed appropriately for the occasion & wore one her many butterfly shirts. If isn't pink or has a crown or a butterfly on it, then she ain't wearing it. ;o) She really is crazy about butterflies. For Christmas this past year, I gave her a beautiful children's tea set...it's covered in butterflies.





This next butterfly is incredibly large...w/ a wing span probably of about 8". This side of it is interesting looking w/ the eye spots but the top sides of the wings are a beautiful iridescent blue.



I tried to capture a pic of the blue sides but never really could. This is as good as I could get...sorry!




Here's the cocoon house.



Lots of cocoons!


We got to see them release the "new" butterflies but this picture didn't capture them. Many of them dropped immdediately at our feet & we had to stay still until the butterfly guy picked them up. You are not allowed to touch any of the plants or butterflies in this exhibit...good thing we left Coleson AKA Mr Grabby @ home.











This woman was pregnant & must have been releasing some pheromones that made the butterflies want to land on her.




The most beautiful butterfly in the garden!




Not gonna be many butterflies flitting around today though. It was a beautiful, warm 74° yesterday & today the high is only 39°....but it's supposed to be back up in the 70's next week. That's Texas!