Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation. . .

Driving home tonight, I saw a sign in front of a church that said "Repent and Resist Temptation"
To which I thought of my very good friend Mr. Oscar Wilde and what his response would have been:
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself."  
-from The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sophronia Tries Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing, or  "shinrin-yoku" has many benefits to one’s health including lowered blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and stress hormones. Sophronia is taking it to the next level by actually bathing in the forest because in my world of make believe, that's how its done.

This was a fun project that I created for Alpha Stamps to get me out of the winter doldrums. Don't know about you, but even though I love wintertime I am ready for the green of Spring!

The base of the project is a 4x6 Shadowbox lined with Romantique Parisian Scrapbook Paper. I took Gold Stitched Leaf Ribbon and glued them onto the branches so that it looks like the birds are sitting on a "gold" branch.

My favorite part of the box is the "bubble" bath! I used the Tiny Flat Back Pearls and glued them where I thought bubbles would be in the bathtub, overflowing onto the mossy forest floor.

Mini Rose Buds are here and there in front of the tub, and Fancy Lavender Berries are popping up on the other side.  The luscious Reindeer Moss used for the tree at the end of the tub and around it is from my front yard ;)

The Taj Mahal Shadowbox Lid (shown in main photo at top of post) is covered with Floral Lace on Taupe Scrapbook Paper and then Platinum Stickles are used around the opening. Once the Stickles dried, I added the Green & Blue Mix Rhinestone Chain around the edge of the Stickles. Since it wasn't shiny and sparkly enough, I added a strip of Fancy Scalloped Gold Dresden Border at the bottom of the cover. Blingy dingy!

You can find the supplies I used here.  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018


NY Times Article from 1990 about Potpourri 

Article link at end of post.

What's That Smell? Probably, It's Potpourri

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I had fun dreaming up the Ghosts From Christmas Past using the Large Haunted House Frame set for Alpha Stamps. 

Walking through the forest you might come upon an old, odd home that is slowly being covered in moss along with the effects of time.

Looking up at the windows, you will find that there are many ghosts from long-lost Christmas times. 

Each room a memory of times long gone by, carefully maintained with the joy and wonder of a child.

No memory is too small for these wee angels to keep.

What memories of Christmas would these caretakers keep for you? The door is open, come in and find out. . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Ornies

One of my all-time favorite Christmas (Holiday, December, Solstice, winter, whatever) themes is mid-century.

What I really love and collect are the elves and pixies from that time period but snowmen and Santa are always a good choice for me as well.

Anyways, Alpha Stamps has a really cute kit out this month called the Ornaments Frame Set Kit that has a (you guessed it) mid-century vibe. Right up my vintage alley!

Using A Very Merry Christmas 6x6 Paper Pad for both ornaments I was in mid-century heaven. These ornaments are not only super easy to make, but they're also super quick to put together. The longest thing you'll have to do is wait for the glue to dry.

Trace the shape of the top layer onto the paper of your choice, cut it out, throw some glue onto the paper, and then slap it on. Paint the larger back piece a solid color Glue your image so that is aligned the way you want it to the top piece then glue your top piece to the bottom and there ya go. Now you're ready to embellish your ornament. 

I used the  Clear Plastic Round Dome for the Ornament Frame Set - Bauble and Twinklets Diamond Dust - 3oz Jar for the "snow" under the dome. To give the snowman a Liberache jacket, Diamond Stickles*  worked out perfect.

The Ornament Frame Set - Round uses the Retro Bottle Brush Tree Set - Green
Mini Candy Canes,  Mini Pine & Berry Garland* an image from the  Retro Christmas Collage Sheet  and a teenie weenie Christmas tree from the Retro Bottle Brush Tree Set - Green . Diamond Stickles is used wherever there's a "candle" glow on the image of the Christmas tree.

I'm sure that I probably left details out, for a list of supplies you can look here

Apologies for the bad photos - the lighting was not cooperating with me today.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


The butterfly the ancient Grecians made
The soul's fair emblem, and its only name –
But of the soul, escaped the slavish trade
Of mortal life! – For in this earthly frame
Ours is the reptile's lot, much toil, much blame,
Manifold motions making little speed,
And to deform and kill the things whereon we feed.
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Dia De Los Muertos Bandera

I started decorating my house for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos and thought / decided that the Mini Piñata I made a few weeks ago needed to somehow be incorporated into a banner. Of course I have no patience and wanted something quick, and this was whipped out in less than an hour!

Just noticed in the picture above how off center the smaller fireplace grate and cover are. No worries though on my part, I'm a little off center anyways so it seems appropriate, don't you think?

The first thing I did was take a screw eye and carefully insert it into the side of the piñata, closer to the top of the skull than the middle. Repeated that on the other side. Then put seam binding through the screw eye and a knot to secure it, repeating on the other side.  Set that aside and got busy on the Papel Picado flags.

To make the Papell Picado flags I used the supercalifragilousinexpialidociously cute Thinlits Die Set - Banners Papel Picado and the Heavy Crepe Paper Sampler Set. Once they were cut out, I glued some of the Wide Scalloped Dresden Border across the top of each flag. To secure the flags to the seam binding, I whipped out the 1/2" Scor Tape (that I hoard) and applied to the back of each flag. Press the flags down onto your seam binding and there you go...flags are secured!

To hang the banner, you will first have to attach the Mini Piñata to wherever you are going to hang it. I looped masking tape to the back of the piñata and stuck it onto the mantle. Then I used push pins for each end of the banner to hang it up.

Note: Yes I now that most people don't like to use push pins on their mantle or walls. However! If the push pin marks get unsightly on our mantle then I just sand over the hole, and rub gold leafing over it. (By the way, Slim Daddy thinks that I'm just enhancing the mantle, not covering up holes so you just keep that bit to yourself; y'all know how delicate he is when it comes to my tricks!)

You can view my supply list here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Mini Pinata Ornament!

OK, so how cute is this Mini Piñata Ornament?! 

I created this with the new Crafty Chica Die Set - Sugar Skull that comes with 4 coordinating rubber stamps. This time around I did not use the rubber stamps, but instead I used a lot of glitter and Stickles instead. Because...glitter!

To make this I followed the Mini Piñata video put out by the Crafty Chica. It's really quick, less than 2 minutes but it's long enough for you to get an idea of what to do.  Here are a few tips when putting your piñata together that I learned:

Washi tape is not sticky enough to work on this project. Trust me, use masking tape.

Don't try to make your pieces stick together perfectly, unless you want to drive yourself crazy. If there is a bit of overage here and there, that's ok because you will be covering it up with the crepe paper. (Which happens to hide imperfections perfectly!)

Be sure to lay down enough glue over the entire skull if you are going to cover it with glitter the way that I did. You may want to add extra glue around the edge of the skull or you'll end up with a white edge if you don't. (Or whatever color paper you're using.)

To outline the eyes, the skull,  the nose, and to draw designs on the skull Stickles works great and it doesn't run. (If you haven't guessed by now I love using Stickles for these projects; and may have an embarrassing amount of them.)

Give your Stickles and the glue under the glitter time to dry. My advice is to actually do the glittering
first thing, the day before you plan on working on the piñata if you can. Letting it dry overnight is ideal and doing so will save you a lot of frustration. Says a "friend" of mine.

Take a length of ribbon for your hanger, and tie a knot around the center of the ribbons that you're going to use to wrap around he piñata. Tie a knot at the top of the ribbon to complete your hanger. Then place ribbons on the piñata and bring them down, tie in a knot at the bottom, leaving the ribbons to dangle.

That's about it!  Have fun with it, and just think of all the things you can make with this die set - maybe a garland with a piñata on each end?!

Just about everything I used can be found at Alpha Stamps (of course!)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fairy Magic

There's an eccentric fairy who lives down the lane up around the fallen oak tree through the briars behind the mounds of moss between the rosemary bushes next to the stinging nettles on the island of Dunklebrook. Her name is Emdiella Humfridas and she is known for collecting odd items, shiny objects, old magical books and goblin whiskers, amongst other things.  

Emdiella is also known for making some very potent potions for whatever may ail you. (Although it's best that you don't know exactly everything that she uses for the ingredients or how they are obtained.) Oh, and never, ever bother her when she is writing down potion recipes as she is easily distracted. Trust me on this! Results could be quite...unfortunate.

This is her workstation and since it is so clean, I can only assume that there is company coming over to visit.

Edmeilla loves moss, roses, books and an assortment of her favorite ingredients that are right within reach. 

When Emdiella knows that company is coming over she rushes around trying to clean everything up. Good thing her worktable has a secret compartment, it makes it so much easier to just throw everything in there lickety-split! Bottles, labels, Fairy Tea, pens, pencils, paper, stray ingredients, whiskerless goblins. Whatever fits usually gets thrown in there. Regardless of her less than stellar housekeeping skills, Emdiella is a very gracious hostess. Unless of course, you happen to make her angry. . .

I had a lot of fun making this Matchbox Vanity Table for Alpha Stamps, and lately I'm really loving the muted, patina-esque, blue/green of Distress Paints in Evergreen Bough. In the past I would have wadded up tissue paper to get the texture that I wanted, or used molding paste but the problem with that's all you get is texture. I wanted texture with cracks!

I've been challenging myself to use what I have on hand from my art supply stash, which most of you know could get me nominated to be on Hoarders. I didn't have any Crackle, but I did have a tube of Kroma Crackle!

Kroma Crackle dries white, the thicker it is put on the bigger the crack. I ended up applying it thicker in some areas and not so thick in others. Being impatient for it to dry, the heat gun had to be brought out. After drying it, then the Matchbox Vanity Table was left out to cure more overnight.

Since I wanted the vanity to look old, I dry brushed the same base color over the white but also left some of the white showing through, and also watered down some of the base paint here and there.

I also used the Kroma Crackle on the ornate part of the vanity that normally would hold a "mirror". I put down one of my favorite paint colors, Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold first, let dry then dry brushed the Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold randomly on it. Inka Gold was then rubbed in to areas without the Golden paint, overlapped it every so often and then lightly added the Evergreen Bough paint. It took a while, but I loved the way that it came out. (The architectural element above the drawers was painted the same way.)

Since I didn't have any of the Nonbreakable Mirror Material on hand, I decided to fill the opening up with moss. However, I was out of the sheet moss! (Which was easily fixed since my giant oak tree in the front yard is very generous with its moss.) Once the moss was added, Tiny Pink Variegated Roses were added to fluff it up.

Quick tip: Use the Vintaj Metal Patinas on the unfinished, cast metal pieces like the Tiny Metal Jewelry Box if you don't feel like spray painting them first with chalk paint. (OK, I'm lazy and hate the smell of the spray paint.) I didn't have any problem with the paint not wanting to stick. Be sure to lightly file the item first, then paint with the patinas.

If you'd like to see the supply list, you can view it here.

I Can Resist Everything Except Temptation. . .

Driving home tonight, I saw a sign in front of a church that said "Repent and Resist Temptation" To which I thought of my v...

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