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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Postcard from Paradise

2011 - many sad and difficult times through the year, but a bright and hopeful ending, the last day being spent at the beach with my daughter Stephanie.

I wish all of you a very happy, healthy, love-filled 2012!

Fort Myers Beach, Bowditch Point

Friday, December 30, 2011

Side trips.....

What a wonderful treat my side trip to Long Island was!  A beautiful location, beautiful home, and one of the most beautiful, wonderful people to share it with.
Looking up at the home I visited.
Brrrr.....there's a cold wind blowing down here!



Lunch in a lovely old town.


Having good food, good wine, and fun with my sweet.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Returning from the lost....

Having been gone far too long, I will ease back into the fold by sharing my new favorite place (besides the beach) to take Sophia.  It's just a few miles from the house, so we visit several times a week.



The pond's bank has receded due to our lack of rain.  Sophia loves to explore here.  There are trails in the scrub and a fenced, off-leash dog park as well.  If no  other dogs are on this trail, however, I cheat and let her off leash, because she is usually quite good about coming to me to get her leash put on if necessary.  Where would I be without my best friend?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shell gardens

My muse kicked in, so I've been playing with my stash of shells.  Would you like to see my little shell gardens?  Here are a few.....click on the photo to see it closer up, if you like.




Simply create your arrangement, and resin them down!  The more shallow the container shell, the easier it is.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Where Women Create....


Actually, where I create!  Several years ago my husband and I decided to add on to our home to establish two master bedrooms, one being for my mother during the winter months.  Since then her health and vision have declined, and she no longer stays with us for the winter, but the room above the new master bedroom is still my get-away, my bliss, my studio!

I am a very lucky person to have this room, so I'd like to share it with you!  Come on, let's go upstairs....


As we walk up, you'll see some of my photography on either side of the steps.  These pictures are of one of my favorite gardens, the Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston.  I can change the photos at any time with other themes I love to shoot - the beach, birds, Florida wildlife, or  my pets.

Historically, photography is my newest creative passion.  I'm exploring how to incorporate it into my collages, create collages by cutting and regrouping my photos, and collage by using only bits and pieces left over from these cuttings.

Isn't it fun to think back on how this creative journey began?  As a little girl, there was always Barbie and the crude clothing I would cut from Mom's leftover fabrics....furniture and rooms I would create from anything I could find in the house, and dead frogs I would dissect with sticks when I found them.

By 12,  I was sewing my own clothing (with help from Mom), at 16 I began quilting, and somewhere in my 30s I discovered stamping.  Then the floodgates opened!  To this day, I have to force myself not to learn something new, to learn more about what I am most interested in.  Do you have this problem?  Oops, I digress, back to the tour....

Oh, what's that big canvas at the top of the stairs, you asked?  The largest collage I've ever created, and one that is near and dear to my heart.  The circle of small pieces is made of inchies collected in a year long inchie trade with artists from all over the world!  At the center I began with January's inchies, and wound my way out to December.    The flowers are napkins!








To the left, as you stand on the landing, you will see two lovely girls painted by my friend (and one of my favorite artists, Christy Sobolewski, aka Gulfsprite).  I own several of her pieces, and have my next order in for one of her cut-out journals.

"Red Balloon", the top painting, reminds me of my youngest daughter, and the bottom one reminds me of my oldest daughter.







We're about to turn to the right to see my large, open space, which is about 17' X 23'.  See what I mean by lucky?  When we met with the architect I asked for lots of windows for natural light to work by, a bathroom with a utility sink, and a closet.  The rest was up to me!






As we turn to the right at the top of the stairs we see my study nook.  I love to curl my legs up in that cozy chair to browse books and magazines, or simply sip something delicious, thinking of ideas for future creations.  This wonderful rug was an estate sale buy for a bargain!  Not fully shown is my very messy sewing table on the left.  That funky sewing seat is a refinished and recovered garage sale find and even has a compartment under the lift-up seat!  The bookcase against the wall holds smaller art treasures and gifts, magazines and books, office supplies, and an old garage sale find manual typewriter.  The bookcase to the right holds more books and magazines, vintage laces and textiles, and other fiber art materials.

 favorite things                                        sewing/office supplies                             Sophia, my Dane



This stash of lovelies rests in the bookcase that walls off my small nook from the largest workspace.  Before I continue, I'll add that I have three of these bookcases, which were purchased for only $30 each from a fascinating little shop that, unfortunately, went out of business several years ago.  Everyone loves a bargain, right?  Had I not been forced to give up my faux finishing business at this time, I'd feel guilty about capitalizing on their loss, but others were enjoying my materials at a bargain as well.  So here's another "stack" of bargains, my old suitcases and baskets, all of which were purchased at - you guessed it - garage sales!



My fabric stash is stored in the suitcases, more trims and larger vintage pieces in the picnic basket (trash picked with pride), and messsages from the heart which I made from them all proudly displayed.

Onto the area that NEVER, I repeat NEVER looks this clean, because when I work on a project it, and everything I think I might want to incorporate when creating it, is spread out and left out!  
One of my favorite investments is the paper cabinets holding this old (yep, garage sale find) art deco glass door which serves as my painting table.  The paper cabinet on the left holds  mostly stamps, on the right, paper.   Parallel to this is another table where I cut, paste, stamp, ink, sort, etc...although, I must confess, it sometimes spreads over onto my paint table....
Lovely little paints, pearl ex, alcohol inks, etc.,
are stored in this
vintage treasure.
The door.....


And the majority of my paints and tools
are stored here.


Oh, my, this is a long tour - I'll hurry it up a bit....we'll jump sides and see where I store my overflowing ephemera, ink, ribbon, etc. collection...


Drawers full of
yummies!
Vintage text - want
some?  

More vintage text
sources - I have
far more than I need!

Where I store my
current inchies,
images and
backgrounds for
inchies.
Fun stuff!
The far wall on the
right of the studio - storage.
The decoupaged suitcase was
proudly trash-picked
and made new!

A chandelier to re-create,
display torsos, collections
of art, mine and others', on
the closet door.
There is still another table to show you, where I work with encaustics, but it is a mess, so I'll leave you with these images....
Art I have created, traded, purchased, or won,
here and in the photos that follow.





And I have detained you long enough..it's time to go downstairs.
Thanks for visiting!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Bloggers Create Blog Party

I had so wanted to participate this year!  However, my husband has been in and out of the hospital this week with heart problems, and I just haven't taken the photos and written the story yet.  I'm so sorry.  My studio is relatively clean, however - been working on that for weeks!  Maybe I can get this done this weekend....until then, please accept my sincere apologies!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A few days late, but....

what can you expect?  I am having the summer from hell.  :)  This week's inchie theme is love......I can only imagine a love like this.....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Birds of Paradise

Yesterday's bike ride and beach visit to Sanibel offered opportunities to watch birds in their habitats.  Pelicans, of course, are abundant here.  Click on each picture to see it larger.



Lift off...





Landing - beak first for a fish!















Delicious!  See it in the lower portion of his pouch?




















The small blue heron is not rare, but not seen as often as he does not usually hang out in public places.  This one was in a wetland in the Bailey Tract.


And the yellow crowned night heron is quite rare and was an exciting spotting for me.....I had to move quickly to get off my bike and take these two pictures before he flew away.

Checking me out!

Doesn't he look frightened?