Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sneak Peek...

I just learned that a piece I created in honor of my Son's wedding will be featured in the upcoming December issue of Create & Decorate. It should be hitting the shelves any day now... just in time for their first anniversary. Here's a sneak peek...

Tip of the day... use all those leftover letter stickers as masks! I used Krylon's Brushed Metallic Paints over the masked letters, which were positioned on the beveled sides of very large wall monogram letters, then peeled them away to reveal the sentiment. Find the details in the magazine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Chicken or the EGG!

I can hardly contain my egg-citement!!! One of our babies laid her first egg this morning! Only a fellow chicken lover can truly appreciate such a glorious day! I'm waiting with bated breath for our first blue egg!

RockCandy Studios Haunted House Kit

Here it is... a fun project to get your creative mojo revved up and ready to go this Halloween season. We've assembled lots of interesting elements, collage images and a detailed instruction sheet! Just add your imagination, a few dabs of glue, a bit of ink and a couple other common supplies to create your own Halloween decor piece! Click here to purchase the kit for only $16!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everything Grandbaby!

The little family! Chris, Sarah and Tonka at about 20 weeks. The baby's due date is New Year's Eve. What a way to bring in 2010!


Granted I may be a bit biased, but is that not the sweetest little profile you've ever seen!?

Bob built a sweet little cradle when we were expecting Jenn, and each of our babies slept in it as newborns. He disassembled it and is using parts to create a cradle for each of our kids as they start their families. Chris and Sarah's cradle has rockers from the original. I designed and sewed the bedding ensemble for the cradle which included pieces of eyelet from my wedding dress. The only thing missing is the sweet little bundle that will fill it.

Bob kept this little picture nearby as inspiration. The baby in the cradle is Chris with big sister Jenni standing guard. She was 17 months old in this snapshot.

Get Creative!

I was honored to be asked for an artist interview for the 5th birthday issue of this wonderful magazine from Australia/New Zealand. I would have been willing to make (an all expenses paid) trip to do the interview in person... if only! My copy arrived yesterday and what a beautiful magazine it is! Check out their website at

Get Creative
highlighted my book "Make it in Minutes: Party Favors and Hostess Gifts" I created two projects exclusively for the issue. The first was herbed sea salt in an embellished bottle to be used as a hostess gift. I picked fresh basil from my garden and blended it with the salt in my Vitamix. It was bright and fresh looking and tasting! I took it to a neighbor as a little gift. The party favors were little travel candles I created using metal favor tins. I embellished the outside of the round tins and matchboxes with decorative paper. I nestled tea-lights inside each tin surrounded by a bit of rock salt and tied it all together with a coordinating ribbon.

It's been a day or two...

How have I let so much time lapse without an update? Since I last posted I found out I'm going to be a Grandma for the first time, learned that the baby is a little girl, designed and made a bedding ensemble for the beautiful cradle my talented hubby built for this new family addition, I planted and tended a lovely garden, raised baby chicks, gathered lots of eggs and harvest lots of fresh organic veggies, helped put down wood floors in our house, took a couple trips, did some painting around our home including our big deck, welcomed our youngest daughter back home for a semester to finish her degree and cooked under the Southern sun! I've thought about this blog. I've contemplated interesting and profound things to write about on here and I've taken pictures with the intention of posting regularly.... well, I'm back. Surely by now my readership has dwindled to... well, probably just my Mom... but here's to starting again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trying to do our part!

Our attempt at sustainable living in our own backyard...

The hens (and the chicks), the organic vegetable garden, the herb garden and the heavily laden plum tree will provide plenty for the two of us... and the neighbors!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

It's like opening a treasure chest when unwrapping these naturally dyed eggs. We laid botanicals of all sorts onto fabric squares, then wrapped the fabric around our eggs and secured the bundle with rubber bands. Simmering away in a pan filled with onion skins and water, the colors were transferred to the egg shells. To our surprise the gingham fabric we used bled onto the shells for an interesting and unexpected effect. Yet another happy accident!

Growing Strong!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We've got the fever!

Spring fever, that is! Actually, I came down with it back in January when the seed catalogues began pouring in. As you've read in a previous post, Bob built beautiful raised bed boxes back in February. We finally had garden dirt mix delivered a couple days ago. 15 cubic yards to be exact.... didn't look like much, 'til you're shoveling it into wheel barrows and moving it, load by load down the driveway and to the garden. Several blisters and many sore muscles later, Bob managed to fill all the beds! I helped a little, but Bob did 90% of the heavy lifting. My man always amazes me with his dedication to completing tasks and his willingness to work his butt off... literally! Some people might do this job over a series of days, not Bob. Once he starts there's not stopping him!

Before the beds could be filled, they were tilled and the grass shoveled out, which, hopefully, will cut down our weed production!

Beds filled with Garden Mix. Compost will be next. Planting to follow in a couple weeks.

We started seeds under grow lights on our breakfast table. Bob rigged up a frame to hold grow lights over seed trays.

Our first sprouts in only three days. Micro-greens! I see a tender salad in our very near future.

The Girls

Our pretty hens...

Such sweet girls and productive, too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

That thing called LOVE!

Better than a dozen roses, a box of chocolates or a sexy nightie, my sweet man built me 5 raised garden beds for Valentine's Day. I love that guy! I took these pictures from an upstairs bedroom window. I think I'll take a series over the year to track our garden trials and tribulations.

A few weekends ago, Bob built some pretty nice digs for our backyard hens. You can see the coop on the far right-hand side of this picture. They seem quite comfy with the new set-up! We'll be adding to the chicken family over the next couple weeks. Soon we'll have a whole rainbow of eggs and an array of organic veggies. Come by for dinner sometime. I'm sure the menu will include vegetable frittatas!

Monday, February 23, 2009

One for ME!

This yummy wool has been taunting me ever since it arrived on my doorstep! The same day it was delivered, I got a freelance assignment with REALLY tight deadlines, so I forced myself to stay away from the luscious fibers. Yesterday afternoon I decided it was time to do something just for ME! This is my first fully felted project ... and I love it! I told Bob he needs to take me somewhere to be seen in my beautiful scarf! I look forward to wearing it with my black wool coat. Now, I'm just hoping for a couple more cool days so I'll have a chance to wear it! I think I'll make a coordinating wool clutch with the remnants.

Quiz, just for the heck of it!

What's Your Personality Type?

I don't really like these quizzes much, but this one was thought provoking. Give it a try! Then post the results in your blog and link to it in this posts comments.

Here are my results.... for whatever they're worth.

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. You break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wish you were there!

I've been promising some pictures... and you haven't let me forget! So here is a few I thought you might enjoy...

Let's start with this one on Laguna Beach... see, I was thinking of you! This picture makes me look like I belong on the show "The Little People" but I'm trying to squat down without getting my knee in the wet sand.

The entrance way to the Convention Center where the winter Craft and Hobby Show was held. Although smaller that last year's show, there was still more to see and do than we were able to fit into our days.

The show floor is full of color and texture and inspiration. These beautiful felted scarves were one of the things that really excited me. I love natural fibers and have always had an affection for felted wool.

One thing we always look forward to about the shows is meeting up with lots of designer friends, often over great meals. Around the table you see, Roann, Candice, Me, Niki, Carla and Jen. Great dinner, great friends, lots of laughs... priceless!

"Did you hear that _____ ___ __ _____? Tonight is kinda special!" was repeated many times as we toasted each other's successes.

Just a little something Tim and his buddies whipped up with their new Grunge Paper. You can actually sew through it and emboss it in the Cuttlebug. It's thinner than the original Grunge Board and much more versatile. BTW, they're discontinuing all the pre-textured Grunge.

Dang.... how did we "accidently" schedule ourselves an extra day in Southern California while our friends were suffering an ice storm back in Memphis? It was a rough day..... but someone had to live it!
Along came a bus oozing beach boys music and smelling of salt air, we just had to jump on board! Too bad we forgot to pack our surf boards and flip flops! Our driver took us to three beaches and told stories the whole way. I could amaze you with what I now know about Long Beach and it's history! Since we were such a small group we made some extra stops including walking out onto the rocks of Newport beach to the tide pools. Look one way and the homes were stacked like cord wood, look the other and all you could the see was pure nature. Whales are migrating in those waters this time of year so we'd hoped to get a glimpse, but didn't that day. (I think I may have seen two whales in the bay from the airplane the next day)

We had about 3 hours at Laguna Beach where we visited art galleries and several over-priced but interesting little shops. We spent the rest of the time on the board walk and beach watching the waves and a beach volleyball game. Our final stop was a quaint little seaside cafe where we washed down a cup of delicious clam chowder with an ice cold microbrew. Just Perfect.

Here are a few shots of our day on the beach....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CHA & Beaches!

I feel just a wee bit guilty for enjoying such beautiful weather in fabulous So. Cal. on spectacular beaches while so many of my peeps are literally freezing their butts off! Staying an extra day was truly a "happy accident!" We were picked up at our hotel by a bus with wood paneled sides and wood floors. When the driver opened the doors music of the Beach Boys spilled out to welcome us. We visited Long Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Although I'm not a huge fan of planned tours, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories and history lessons the driver shared as we drove along the Pacific Coast Highway. Since we were such a small group (4) he made a couple special stops just for us. We watched for migrating whales while we climbed on the rocks of the Newport Tidepools. The Pacific Ocean is truly spectacular. We ended our tour with a cup of clam chowder and a microbrew... priceless!

The show was smaller than normal for a winter show, but most of the people I'd hoped to meet were here.

While wearing my "designer hat," I was able to make quite a few good contacts, place several pieces for publication, and pick up several assignments.

While wearing our "RockCandy Studios buyer" hats, we discovered several really great products that we'll be adding to our line-up soon. We also learned some awesome techniques that we are excited to bring to the local area as classes, as well as possible online tutorials to add to the website/blog.

While wearing "Retreat Organizer" hats we were able to tell lots of people about our upcoming Mixed Media Melange. We heard repeatedly how great it is to see a new retreat in our area of the country. People were eager to check out our blog to learn the details and instructors/classes we'll be offering.

We'll be heading home tomorrow. I'll be posting pictures and more stories, so check back in a couple days.

Hugs to you all.....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

M3 Registration Packet

Click here to download the Registration Packet for Mixed Media Mélange retreat. Classes are very limited in size and are first come first served. Sign-up soon to assure you have a spot in your favorite classes and take advantage of the payment plan!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Only a few more hours 'til registration opens!!!

The idea for this exciting event was conceived amongst a group of kindred spirits after an artistic day spent together. We are thrilled to be bringing such an event to the Mid-South! We hope you'll join us for a weekend filled with spectacular workshops and classes, extremely talented artists, and like-minded friends. The peaceful setting of the retreat center is sure to bring out your creative muse.... Oh yea, I forgot.... Your Muse already registered! You'll find her in LaGrange Tennessee the weekend of Sept. 10-13th.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mixed Media Mélange=M3=M cubed

I know I'm just a tease, but I thought you might enjoy seeing a Photo montage of some of the amazing classes we're bringing to you at the upcoming retreat. Registration opens on January 15th, so check back for a link that will take you directly to the M3 website. But for now....

... this will have to do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CHA Sneak Peek...

Just a little sampling of one of the projects I've been working on. See I told you I was working! I always have plenty to keep me busy!

And yes, that's my Laura "Beth" and her sweetie, Trey. Aren't they a handsome couple!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Seeds are hope for the future!

I spent New Years eve searching for seed catalogs.... and loved it! Cheers!

Back when I was a "domestic goddess" I was a also a gardener. I think it's time to get my garden clogs muddy again. I get such satisfaction from gathering our eggs and cooking food that I know personally! Think of the money we can save, the satisfaction of gathering what we raise, the benefits of eating locally, the Vitamin D from the sunshine and the pure deliciousness of real organic Frrreesshh food!
We were looking at some old videos of when our kids were little and we lived in the Pacific Northwest. I had such fun reminiscing about a raised bed garden I made with the kids while Bob was on a Navy deployment. In the video we were trying to keep the bunnies out by building a barrier with tree branch posts and chicken wire fencing. The kids were stuffing their sleeves with straw and pretending to be scarecrows as they ran up and down the straw-filled pathways. Ahh... such sweet memories!
Bob and I decided we'll have several raised beds with some sort of self-watering system in place. Where I come from our self-watering system came from Mother Nature.... here in Tennessee, she needs extra help! I've been perusing the internet to find the best organic seed catalogs available, along with ideas and suggestions about raised bed gardening. I've ordered several catalogs and will be haunting the mailbox until they are delivered, then devouring them until they're dog-eared. I think I'll have to beg some advice about gardening in the south from a local organic farmer.

Now to stay focused on my tasks at hand... several freelance projects in preparation for the upcoming CHA trade show in late January. But... when I get back... you'll find me in the garden! I'll be the one with the hoe!

I love the anticipation of Springtime!.... my very favorite season of all!