"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cowgirls rule!

I'm off to Waxahachie for a weekend of fun, fun, fun @ the 3rd annual Paper Cowgirls Art Retreat..."the biggest little art retreat in Texas"! I'll be back w/ lots of goodies & lots of pictures.

Aren't the boots too cute? I know I won't get many wearings out of them but I had to do something since I couldn't copy Ann-Denise & glitter them up. ;o)

I haven't visited w/ all the party-goer's in the Where Bloggers Create Party II (I haven't even returned all the wonderful comments that have been left for me *blushes*) but next week promises to be a slow one (oh please God, let it be!) so I will visit you all when I return from Paper Cowgirl. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Paper Cowgirl swap spoilers...

Today I want to share the last of my Paper Cowgirl swaps (you can see the previous ones I've created in this post). I don't want to wait until after the swap to share them w/ y'all, as by then Paper Cowgirl will be over & I'll be running behind for something else. ;o) So if you are one of my swap partners & want to be surprised, back outta this post now.

I have a different take on creating for swaps than some. I don't let the personal taste of the recipient dictate the overall look & feel of my creation. And I don't want them to try to mold their style into mine for my gifts either. Call me arrogant but I feel that I can create something myself to suit me & my own personal taste. When swapping, I want the swap I receive, to reflect their style, taste & creativity.... I think the gifts carry more memories, meaning & significance that way. Hopefully my swap partners feel the same way. And if not, maybe they'll be understanding about it. LOL

I had already signed up for the 16 blossoms swap & the 21 ATCs swap when the "I'm a Rodeo Queen Sash" swap was announced. Even though I already had a full plate, I couldn't resist signing up. I'm sooo glad I did...I had soo much fun creating the sash. I love it & hope my pardner does as well.

I cannot tell you how badly I have mannequin envy. You all have vintage (or at least vintage look-alikes) & mine is wire, ugly & hard to decorate. *sigh* But hey, I have a wonderful collection of amateur rose paintings! ;o) You can see more of them in this post.

I backed a satin scarf (was the perfect length & width...lucky!) w/ a wide piece of lace ribbon to help add weight & body, then layered a lace scrap & glittered DREAM letters.

I made a mini-mum-like decoration where it joins at the hip. Most true rodeo queens wear their sashes tucked into their pants though & let their HUGE trophy belt buckles be the star. Little known fact.... I was on the rodeo team in high school. But I was a hippie chick who just happened to love horses so I didn't fit in very well. I wish I had a copy of the picture of our group in the yearbook. Everybody's all decked out in down vests, big buckles, cowboy boots & hats & there I am in a mini-skirt & go-go boots. LOL

I made an extra blossom to decorate the sash.

And I recently scored an old, dusty shadow box full of vintage Cracker Jack toys. For a dollar! What fun! There were a couple of cowboy items so I glittered them up & used them on the sash.

Some of the best advice my mother ever gave me (& she's given me a lot! LOL) ..."always be the guy wearing the white hat."

And as if I didn't have enough swaps to make, I had to sign for the "Not Your Mama's Vintage Hat Swap". I happened to get my friend Joanna @ Sweet Finds as a partner. I know her & know her style (she's in my art group) & it's very similiar to my own so I'm pretty sure she'll be happy w/ her swap gift.

I love this pillbox...it's one of my favorite hats out of my collection. This shot shows it's wonderful taupe color & pleating better. I didn't want to add too much & cover up that pleating so I kept the altering pretty simple.

I decoupaged a styrofoam wig head w/ sheet music to present the hat on & of course, Joanna gets to keep the wig head too.

I know she loves frozen Charlottes (who doesn't?) so she'll probably love this.

I used a vintage rhondelle as a "crown".

And I FINALLY finished up glittering the 21 boots I stupidly thought would be a great, unique way to present the 21 ATCs for the ATC swap. The ATCs slip right inside the boot...cute but OMG, what was I thinking? They were soooo labor-intensive! I'm not even that happy w/ them as they really needed more attention that I had time to give 21 of them. But I am sooo done w/ them so they'll just have to go looking a bit amateurish.

Now I'm off to have my nails done. Need my hair done too but my grandson begged me to come pick him up today so I'm just going to have to go to Paper Cowgirl w/ ratty hair...gotta keep my priorities straight. ;o). Connor's 12 & his mom is letting him stay home by himself this summer. But he's been spending a lot of time w/ me since school let out; helping w/ Paper Cowgirl projects & housework. You think he'd be living it up playing video games & such at home by himself but I guess he'd rather hang out w/ his "old Honey". I feel quite flattered & loved! Grands are better than...welllll, better than anything!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where I create....

It's here! It's here! The 2nd annual Where Bloggers Create party, hosted by Karen Valentine @ My Desert Cottage. Karen has gone to a lot of work to host this little shin-dig so be sure & stop by her blog & thank her for her hospitality.

I'm so happy I could play along today. I wasn't able to attend last year's party as my studio was beyond a mess....it was a disaster! I started re-doing my studio in May of '08...I was using all flea market furniture & everything needed a coat of white paint. But I was keeping the grands full time that summer & it was slow-going. Then my son had his accident in July of '08 & it was a whole year before I could even think about my studio (his accident is explained in my profile). Anyway, by then, bags were piled up on top of other bags (a whole year's worth!) & the task was overwhelming. So I let another six months slip by before I tackled the project again. But this winter, I was determined to have my dream studio & began again. It's been a tough year though & I had a hard time meeting the deadline for today's party. But meet the deadline I did! Just barely!!! I do still have a few things to paint (although nothing major except a bow-front cabinet..mostly just jewelry boxes & the like) but I'm not gonna let that stop me from playing along today.

Anyway, I am very pleased & proud to welcome you into my studio. I just love it! This is the view as you walk in the door. I can't provide you w/ a panoramic view but I am gonna try to swing you around the room so you can see it as well as possible.

What are you waiting for? Come on in!

Click on any picture & then click again to enlarge for details.

As you can see, my work table is very, very large. It's an old drop-leaf that I've had for at least 10 years. Fully extended it's 12 feet long but it also has 3 removable leaves in it so when it's broke down & all the leaves are removed & lowered, it's only about 2 feet by 4 feet. I kept it on my front porch for years before I had the idea to use it in my studio. You'll see more of it later in the post.

Thsi inspiration board (it's just to the left of my work table) was one of my most recent projects. I am soo happy w/ it! I took an old frame I've had forever, painted it white, backed it w/ a board I decoupaged w/ sheet music & had hubby staple chicken wire on top. It has mementos, vintage flash cards & assorted doo-dads on it.

And more treasures on the shelves underneath. I painted the shelves too. I painted nearly everything in the room, in fact. So that's one of the many excuses I have as to why it took me 2 years to finish the room.

There is some stuff from blogging friends that you might recognize.

This art doo-hickey thingamabobber was something I bought at a local antique mall.

Love it's quote!

A treasured old photo of my kids.

My Alice tag book holds a high place of honor on my inspiration board.

I added a few sheet music titles that have special meaning.

The one above alludes to this vintage print of a little girl blowing bubbles. My goal w/ my studio was to decorate it in a manner that would indulge, encourage & inspire the little girl inside me. It's why I painted it pink. But I didn't want a harsh, garish pink. I wanted something lighter...I love this shade! I'd tell you the name of it but I can't find the paint chip. It's a little darker than in this photo but not much.

Thsi is an old photo of my mom, my sisters & I. I'm the taller, prettier one. ;o) I remember that day so well. My father had taken us shopping for cowgirl hats, boots & outfits...he really dudded us up, didn't he?

The card catalog box was a recent estate sale find...I use it to store my paper scraps in.

A crown I created out of vintage earrings & a cheap foam crown from Michael's.

I draped the hutch topper, on my work table w/ an old wedding veil & used some of my collection of sheet music as a backdrop.

My workspace w/ works in progress. Hubby installed a roll of brown craft paper under the table & then ran it under a yardstick. I can glue, glitter, ink, whatever I want & then just tear the paper off & throw it away. That was definitely one of his smarter ideas. I'm on the lookout for a vintage yardstick to replace the ugly Ace hardware one but it seems all you artists keep cutting them up to use in your projects so they're kinda hard to come by. LOL

At one end of the table, I keep this printer's tray, full of baubles & beads. Would you believe I bought the printer's tray @ a garage sale for only a dollar? It takes up a lot of space on the table but if I need more room while working, I stack stuff on top. It's great being able to see all my bling out in one place w/out having to dig through drawers & jewelry boxes. Most of my collection is in my bedroom though cause I wear vintage jewelry almost every day.

I love my window valance of old frames. Wish it was a better picture of it but I had to close the blinds & then it was too dark & I over-exposed it trying to correct it. Sorry! A photographer I'm not! I sooo want to take classes this summer. Anyway, I hung an assortment of coat hooks over the windows & then hung frames from the hooks.

One of my many birdcages around the house. This one is an old Hendryx w/ stand...another sheet music cover & tweet birds reside within.

Thsi mosaic topped shelf is actually a wine rack. It still needs to be converted to a bookcase...for now it holds magazines & Somersets.

The "slipcover" on my desk chair is just a throw I have tucked in & gathered up in back. I love the color of this room. It's a wonderful shade of pink that is very close to pink depression glass but it is soo hard to photograph!
My friend Tia @ Domestic Underground made the tattered rose on the back of the chair ...love it!

My printer sits on an old, tin pie safe from 1909...I keep all my puter papers & plain cardstock in it. Although I want to move the printer to the closet after I clean out the closet. This is where I should make a confession, probably. Anything I couldn't find a place for, got put inside the closet or the armoire you'll see in a minute. I'll share those storage areas w/ you after they're all cleaned up. ;o)

My blog on my monitor.

This is one of my favorite views in the studio...it shows the little kids' table & bench w/ my bench & table. Awwwww! It gives me a warm & fuzzy. My bench seat lifts up & I store sheet music inside. Excuse the black cords...they're running to the lights I was using to try & counteract the rosy glow of the room.

This is the armoire I was talking about. It was one of the first projects I began in my studio. Like I said, I can't show you pictures of the contents because it is packed full of crap but you can see the inside in this post.

The antique sign is from a business in Ft Worth...it went out of business many, many years ago though.

On top of the armoire.

Love the basket full of trims & flowers. It's quite large so it holds a lot. The lace draped bookcase will be replaced w/ a bow front cabinet (destined to hold my hats ala Karla) as soon as I paint it white. But I wouldn't hold your breath if I were you. It seems to take me forever to do the paint jobs. I don't see how y'all whip them out so quick!

I still need to paint the little end table on the left so pretend it's white. The dresser holds all my stamps, crepe paper, etc.

My grandson says my doll parts "creep" him out. Good! Sometimes little boys creep me out, so we're even. LOL

This next picture shows the room's truest shade of pink, I think. Although the room gets a lot of light, the pink casts such a rosy glow that it's hard to photograph, even in good light.

I knew as soon as I bought this big, wire basket that it would hold my wallpaper rolls; some vintage, some not.

"The best & most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt w/ the heart." How true!

This is the crown I made @ last fall's Paper Cowgirl art event. I love it!

Get a load of this! When I was uploading the pictures of the crown, I remembered that I wanted to get a picture of me in my crown, in my studio for this blog party. But I'd had 2 grands all day, wsa trying to get pictures of my studio and finishing up swaps for Paper Cowgirl .... I had nooo make-up on & looked really, really tired. Hubby offered to stand in for me so I took him up on it. LOL Isn't he a goober?

Back to the studio...love this little curio. I plan on backing it w/ wallpaper but haven't gotten around to it yet. It was cheap, gold plastic before I painted it but it was only $5. I got my money's worth, huh?

Do the doll parts creep you out too? They kinda speak to me & I like that. Wonder what that says about me. ;o)

My play room...don't you love it?

OK, this has been fun, hasn't it but honestly, it was a whole lotta work too. Can you imagine how Karen must feel? Whew!!! Better her than me! LOL Sorry Karen but I'm only half-kidding...I can only imagine the amount of work you put into this fabulous party & I thank you for your hospitality!

Now I'm off to see some of your creative spaces but there's a whole lot of participants in today's party & I still have to finish a couple of Paper Cowgirl details. It'll probably be next week before I get around to seeing some most of y'all. But I can't wait to see the incredible spaces that nurture your creative side.