Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve Fun

I spent the afternoon making these new tags.
It was lots of fun!

And I had almost as much fun styling the photographs!

I don't usually go out on New Year's Eve. While I love to dance and listen to live music, I'm married to a musician. I guess I could go out to where he's playing, a local club that's a couple steps up from a dive. But he's not an available dance partner, and as much as I do love to dance, I don't really want to dance with strangers. And I do look a bit lame just sitting there by myself. . . I've considered taking a book, but that would really be entirely too rude! So tonight I am at home, happily sorting through my postcard collection and reminiscing about the past.

As kids, my brother & sister and I went to Nana & Grampa's house. They planned such a fun time -- party hats, noise makers, a special dinner. Mom & Dad could go out to a party and not worry about getting home in time for a babysitter.

One year, during college, my brother and I played Risk, the board game of world domination. He had champagne, I didn't. I trounced him!

In my 20's my friend Madora would come over and we would have pageants -- we would bring out all the dress-up clothes we could find, I remember some fine feather boas, and try on the most outrageous outfits. She was dating a musician, so no dance partner either. I had forgotten about those times, they were fun.

Hope you all have a wonderful time this evening, whatever your plans.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Gift

When my kids were born, I discovered my favorite job . . . mom. I was in my mid-30's and had always worked. But I didn't want to go back to a full time job, so I found ways to earn money creatively -- I made crafts which I sold to shops and at craft & Renaissance fairs, joined an antique co-op, rented antique mall spaces. When they started school I went back to librarianship on a part-time basis and threw myself into PTA, eventually becoming President at their elementary school. I spent a lot of time at their school and a lot of time with them!

My kids are now in their early 20's. They are both very independent, hang out with their friends, my son works a lot, my daughter lives at college . . . it's as it should be. I have been missing the time when we all lived together, especially their elementary school years. (
sigh) Today feels like someone rolled back the clock! For Christmas, we got them each a Kirby game for their Nintendo DS systems and right now they are on the couch playing a joint game, cheering, giggling like little kids, asking and answering about the game, and thoroughly engaged with each other.

The two of them playing together is my favorite gift, and getting to evesdrop is second fav.

Peace on Earth and in your homes, Goodwill to all men, women and children.
Merry Christmas.
~ Marilee

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

My lacy Dogwood. The flash caught the falling show.

A Japanese Maple "Coral Bark" hybrid. My son has been nurturing this tree since it was a twig!

The top of our fifty foot Holly tree. Our neighbors love seeing this from their windows! I like this arty photo. . . more falling snow catching the light of the flash.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reorganizing My Studio

I wanted to write about fixing up my studio. But all I had done was move furniture --it's a bit of a mess. So, I pulled a few things together for a nice picture and viola! It cleared off my worktable and made me smile!

I have re-situated the studio 3 times, trying for the perfect place in my barn. I finally settled on a 6' x 9' alcove farthest from the only heating vents (brrr), but with loads of built in shelving.

Or it might seem like loads if I didn't have so much stuff. That's one label, "cool stuff for collage." There's vintage sewing notions, buttons -- lots and lot of buttons, paper, fabric, tags, brads, broken bits of jewelry. And of course supplies like scissors, glue, paint, brushes, stamps & stamp pads.

I think I will move some of the books into the house or better yet the library's book sale and make these shelves storage places for vintage paper and ephemera, photographs, fabric and . . .

. . . more buttons, and more ribbons!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Pretty Little Christmas

A few of the vintage ornaments I have collected or inherited.

Wrapping gifts beautifully was a specialty of my grandma. At Christmas, she gave one gift to each grandchild. She had exquisite taste, her gifts were wonders . . . and the presentation was just as important to her. She lived to be 96 and at her last Christmas she still wrapped beautiful boxes! So for this Pretty Party, I thought what better thing to do than get those presents wrapped and do it in Grandma's style. I think she would be pleased I have continued her tradition.

The paper is all inherited from Grandma, I've added some embellishements she would have loved! I made an origami pinwheel cuz the gift inside is related. My daughter might read this and I don't want to give it completely away!

The paper flowers were originally all white. I used the edge of a red Sharpie to duplicate the flowers on the wrapping paper.

It's a good thing my son is so easy going and accepts all my little quirks. . . cuz this is the least frilly of the gifts that he is getting. He likes vintage cars and old coins. I thought he might like this treatment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Gift

A couple weeks ago, I put together this collage/altered art kit. As you can see, it has a wedding theme and lots of fun stuff I have collected. I was awfully proud of myself for putting the piece together, for finally getting artwork up for sale on eBay -- it's the first thing I have put up by myself. I thought it looked good and wanted to share this with someone who would understand the joy of making art and attempting to sell it.

I took a photocopy of the photo to my friend & neighbor, Amy, who is an artist. She creates wonderful cards, stationery, graphic images. She has recently taken to copying old photographs and affixing them to glass containers which hold scented candles. She adds funny captions and buttons. She has turned her dining room into a shop and it is so fun to visit her there. She's awful busy with a family, a business and a second job -- still whenever I go visit, she's grace itself.

Last weekend I was again at her shop, this time for her holiday open house. Her mom was there and Amy showed her mom the photocopy of my wedding piece, told her of my dreams to open an antique shop, raved about the great "stuff" I have . . .

So, in the spirit of the holidays and to say thank you for all her support, I put together this collage. It was so much fun. I already knew she liked the board with the 9 squares and images. It was my starting point. I looked for things that are rather graphic in nature, found a great old photo she can copy for her candles, added new and vintage photo corners cuz she told me she likes them, even personalized it with the anagram game letters of her name. I didn't glue anything down, so she can put it together this way, another way or just use the individual pieces as inspiration.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow when I will bring it over and give it to her. I'm really awful about getting gifts, but I sure do like to give them!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

In Which We are Introduced....

Two years ago, we gave our grand old victorian a major renovation. Every week there was something I wanted to write about -- the perfect closet, pink bathrooms, the old furnace, my contractor. Working on a house and having guys there 8 hours a day does bring up issues! It made me think of my childhood, and my family and I loved sharing my insights.

Six months before, my daughter and her best friend took a year off before college and were living and volunteering out of the country. They sent the most amazing emails, including us all in their adventures, introducing us to the families of the village, giving us a sense that we were there. I loved their emails and they inspired me to write about my own adventures in what at times seemed a foreign country!

A few days ago I purchased the winter 2008 issue of Artful Blogging. I was so impressed by what truly are "visually inspiring online journals." And I was inspired to start my own Artful web journal, musing about art and life.

Here are a few of my favorite things ~ a mesh evening bag that belonged to my mom; I love the feel of it! A compass for when I get lost and coupons for wishing. Lustrous pearls. Buttons ~ carved mother of pearl and some pretty pink ones thrown in for good measure. Vintage millinery flowers from old hats & corsages.

Sparkling rhinestone buttons and broken jewelry bits. Old skeleton keys to locks long gone. Crisp white linens which I actually enjoy ironing! Sewing notions ~ I do not think I have ever found a sewing box at a flea market or estate sale I didn't like. Shelley tea cups, like my mom used to use for her bridge parties.

So, I have done it. My first post. It took quite a while as I was learning how to place pictures where I want them and such. Still, I am pleased. I hope you are too. ~ Marilee