"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In case you NEED some inspiration

Hey Y'all...
First of all, I'm thankful we did NOT get that snow that is paralyzing the East coast.  We may even be in the 40s by New Year's with rain...but at least it won't be snow.  Should melt the snow we have, too...now THAT would be a great way to start the New Year.

Next...while I usually like to work by myself when I'm creating, I've been quite interested in taking an online class that the wonderful Los Angeles artist, Mary Ann Moss, has been offering for some time now.  I've never had the "extra" money...and it seems that everytime we do splurge on something we want instead of need, something needing major repairs breaks.  Well, I'm keeping fingers & toes crossed this time, because as a Christmas/Birthday/Valentine's present, I am now signed up for her Remains of the Day online class

If you click the class link on her blog, you will see that Mary Ann is offering her journal class, as well as her Stencilry class at reduced prices until 12/31/2010.  Thanks, Mary Ann!

If you need a creative gift for yourself or someone you love, the time is right.  I'll be creating & journaling my way through the depths of winter here...and I'll share my adventure results...but NOT the class info...as I go along. 

This is a perfect class for me, as I can still work by myself, whenever I want to...which is most often in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep. Now to go clean through my piles & piles of paper & ephemera in preparation for assembling my first journal...yea!!!

BTW...my art piggy bank now has the goal of saving enough to be able to sign up for Kelly Kilmer's class, An Artist's Journal:365.   Kelly's blog is another one just jam packed full of inspiration & information...she has info on tape, pens, acrylic mediums, books, and art journals...and she shares it all with us through her blog.  Thanks to you, too, Kelly! 
***Update...Many thanks to my friend Bev for her gift to me of Kelly's class!!!  Love ya, Bev!***

Now go forth and seek artistic inspiration to start the New Year off right...I did.
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Y'all!

We're still trimming the tree and have lots of yummy munchies & libations for grazing tonight for Christmas Eve...and scrumptious food & libations for the entire weekend, actually. 
It will be a quiet Christmas with Phil, Me & Sophie Cat, just the way we like it.

With Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas to Y'all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Getting better...with a Christmas update

***UPDATE***  I spoke to Kimber on Christmas Eve.  She is spending a few days in an extended care facility & hopes to be going home soon!  It was great to hear her voice & get to speak to her directly.  A great Christmas gift, for sure!===^..^===

Just a quick update, a few days overdue.  Last I heard, Kimber is still in the hospital, but has been moved out of ICU and into a private room.  She's still in the hospital, but improving, it seems.  I'm hoping I can actually talk to her soon.

Thanks for all your prayers & positive energy...and Merry Christmas, y'all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prayers & positive energy are needed...

I just found out that one of my best art friends is in the hospital & needs our prayers & positive energy.

Kimber and I have been exchanging mail art & email for at least 9 or more years.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest & I was in Southern CA when we first met on-line & we've continued our correspondence since my move here.  Kimber has a blog, A Journey in Creativity, which is always inspiring to visit.  Many of you will know her from Yahoo groups & art swaps, too.

Kimber is in ICU, and has quite a battle ahead of her.  If you are inspired to send good wishes her way, please email me for her address.  I was the lucky recipient of many postcards & goodies from Kimber, as well as her Mom & niece during & after my hospital adventure in October & I know she would enjoy hearing from art friends.  I'll post updates here from time to time as I get more info.

Kimber...we're pulling for you to fight through this & get stronger each day.  I love ya, Kiddo!  Sophie the Cat sends purrs & head butts, too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'd rather be in Southern CA...

It's now all of 15 degrees F. here in Parma...with the wind chill it feels like 4!!!  Winter snow storm warnings through Wednesday morning...it won't stop snowing & now the winds are blowing in off Lake Erie. 

It's 77 today in Corona, CA...headed toward a lovely 85.  Sunny, of course.  A little warm for December for some, perhaps...but perfect for my liking.  The photo here is Sophie the Cat enjoying a little sun on our balcony, which faced West...if you look closely at the railing above her, you'll see it's almost Christmas 1999, as the garland with it's big C9 bulbs is up, complete with red velvet bows.  December & Christmas as it should be.

I'm trying to get into the mood to shape & then decorate our Christmas tree here...it sure would be easier there with the windows open, sun shining & warm breezes.  We have no sun, of course...it's Clevetown after all.  Snow is still falling & blowing around.  I'm keeping the curtains closed so I don't even have to look at it.
This is our front porch today...as "decorated" as it's gonna get...I'll bet you can't even see the big candy canes with their red velvet bows from the street today.  What a pathetic place to live.

Have I told y'all lately how much Ohio sucks???  Hell has truly frozen over & we live in it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Make it STOP Snowing already!!!

OK...enough with the SNOW already.  It's the beginning of the worst possible nightmare I can have...well, aside from that one where I'm forced to be a daycare/preschool teacher...that's the absolute WORST! 

I hate hate hate SNOW.  I know many adore it...come & get all you want.  FREE!  I won't help you cart it away, sorry...it's way too cold out there for me...but I'll smile in delight as you get what you want & our snow goes away.  The scene above is how ugly our backyard has become.  Snow...dead trees...gloomy...no sun...simply depressing.  If I could, I would hibernate until Spring.  The big problem is, here in NE Ohio, this sh*t will be around through April...winter lasts half the year here. 

Our Christmas should be sunny & warm...snow where it belongs to the north & east of us in the mountains of southern CA...with the windows open, dinner on the balcony, perhaps prepared on the grill...not here.  But here we are...stuck in hell & it has frozen over.  I've escaped from Ohio twice before...I just need to do it once more & I'll NEVER come back.  Won't even think about it. 

Maybe I'll wake up & all of this will be a bad dream...a horrible nightmare.  Please, Santa...just take this nightmare away & give it to someone who wants the stuff.  If you don't like to read whining about how disgusting snow & NE Ohio are...it's probably best you stop reading my blog until May...hopefully Spring will arrive by then.  If not, I'll be raising whining to an art form!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

Or Chanuka...anyway, it's the Festival of Lights and we celebrate it as Phil is Jewish.  We've had this brass Tree of Life Menorah for years...I bought it shortly after Phil & I started living together in Columbus, OH.  It's covered in multi-color wax drippings from lighting the candles over the years, but that simply gives it character.  This year it sits on front of a small curio cabinet in the living room & at night you can see the reflection of the flames in the glass.  Very nice.  Our Christmas will begin after Hanukkah ends.  Phil's Dad was not Jewish, so he grew up with both holidays, and, of course, Christmas is what I always celebrated.

The first year we lived here in Parma, OH, it was a challenge to find Hanukkah candles.  Parma is so NOT the Jewish part of the Greater Cleveland area, but I had no idea it would take me going to multiple grocery stores to locate the candles.  When I finally found them, I bought a bunch & we still have some.  Phil's brother & SIL gave us some candles, too...so we're set for a couple more years. 

Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah.  I do believe Latkes will be on the dinner menu.  The first night was a beef brisket, which ends up with a sweet & sour BBQ type sauce that it has braised in for hours.  I'm simply not a fan of most meats...beef being my least favorite...but Phil enjoys it so I make it.  I found the recipe in a cookbook written by Doralee Patinkin, Mandy's Mother.  I tweak it, of course...I always do.

Basically, it's easy to prepare.  I take a beef brisket...season it with garlic salt & pepper...slice a couple huge onions, usually red onions...put the onions in the bottom of a LeCreuset Dutch oven...place the brisket on top, fat side up.  Then cover the fatty top with a bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce...some brown sugar...and sprinkle that with cider vinegar...we like the vinegar, so I use quite a bit.  Then I add a couple cans of beer...just a cheap light beer like Milwaukee's Best Light...so that the brisket is half submerged in the beer.  Cover & braise in a preheated 325-350 degree oven for as long as it takes to get the brisket tender.  Check every hour or so to make sure there is still enough liquid in there & add beer as necessary.  Our 4lb. brisket braised for about 6 hours & took maybe 5-6 cans of beer during that time.  Be sure to slice the brisket against the grain so it's not stringy & reduce the "gravy" to a BBQ sauce consistency.  We like this served with mashed potatoes.  I forgot to take a pic of the finished brisket...maybe next time.

So to all of our Jewish friends & family...Happy Hanukkah!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This is my Mom carving the turkey on a Thanksgiving in the 1960s.

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours...my dinner is already made and waiting in the fridge for whenever I decide to eat it.  What's on the menu here?  Lovely jumbo peel & eat Wild Gulf shrimp...cooked last night in water and some beer, lemons, Old Bay, whole black peppercorns & celery seed...complete with lots of fresh lemon & homemade shrimp sauce...quite full of horseradish, thankyouverymuch!

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22,1963...where were you that tragic November day?

Forty seven years ago...how can it be 47 years ago?  I had celebrated my eleventh birthday just 10 days earlier.  I remember getting home from school that day to the news that JFK had been assassinated.  Tragic.  Extremely tragic.  I would have been in 6th grade & vividly remember watching the news coverage...even in the days before 24 hour cable news networks, all the news was focused on this horrific event. 

Fast forward to sometime in the summer of 1997.  We live in Dallas then & decide to go see Dealey Plaza.  I know I can't & don't want to go to the Sixth Floor Museum in the Book Depository.  I had an overwhelming sense of sadness standing on the grassy knoll in person.  Phil did not have the same reaction...he was born in March 1963.  One of those rare occasions where how young he is changes how we see things.

Rest in Peace, JFK...I for one will always wonder how our country would be different had you lived.  Had Bobby lived.  In my heart I believe it would be better.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween Postcard Tag Swap at Red Lead

It's beginning to feel like Halloween...mostly because of this fun swap over at Red Lead Paperworks.  They have a rather new swap blog here.  The current swap uses their fun postcard tags, along with their art stamps & collage sheet images.  Mine got mailed off to them just the other day...here are the rest of my tags:

Here's to all the fun of Halloween !

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've been having a terrible time with hayfever since August...but I've tried to take my mind off how miserable I am by creating some new stuff for my Artfire shop.  It's not posted yet...but I'll let you know when it is.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remember September Mail Art...mails Saturday

Saturday is the day to have your Remember September Mail Art postmarked.  Mine will go to the post office to be hand canceled...so that the postage stamps have a chance of surviving without heavy cancellation marks.

I found the postage stamps on eBay...an entire sheet of them unused...specifically for my Remember September Mail Art.  I was lucky to win them at a price not much over the sheet value.  "HEROES" says it all...we'll always remember the victims & heroes of this senseless act of violence against our country.

Think of them, especially tomorrow...may they rest in peace.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Remember September Mail Art Memorial

It's time to start thinking about a mail art project that I have been participating in since I first heard about it, which was in 2003.  It is the Remember September Mail Art Memorial, and I'm sharing the link here in hopes that you may be inspired to participate, too.

All the information you need is on the website for the Memorial...but basically, you create an envelope of any mailable size, with the Remember September 11, 2001 theme.  You put your address on the back of the envelope & you can add a personal message inside the envelope if you'd like to...the envelopes will not be opened.  Have your envelope postmarked on September 11, 2010...and it will be included in the Mail Art Memorial.  It seems like a great introduction to Mail Art for kids...with a history lesson built right in.

There are some archives of past envelopes on the website, from 2002-2005, and the other years will be added eventually.  The envelope above is the one I mailed in 2006.  I'm already thinking about what I will do this year. 

I vividly remember that tragic day almost 9 years ago now.  I didn't turn on the TV before leaving for work...we were still in Corona, CA then & the traffic westbound on the 91 for my drive into work was usually a challenge...creeping at just a few miles per hour for what seemed like forever.  On September 11, 2001, the freeway was almost empty...quite surreal.  I turned on the radio to hear what was happening & was shocked to hear of the attacks on our country.  Needless to say, it was difficult to concentrate on work that day as we huddled around the radios in the office.  Rumors were rampant of pending attacks on Los Angeles or other places on the West Coast.  We were allowed to go home early that day...and many of us sat glued to the TV to see the horrible images from NYC and the Pentagon & the field in PA. 

We must never forget that day...and how terrorism hit us in a major way...right here in America.  We must remember all the innocent lives lost.  Each year I mail my little work of art...and I hope you'll consider doing so, too. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hippie Beads & Butterflies

I know I've been a bad blogger...but I've been busy with a swap & some new creations for my Artfire Studio Shop.  Now I've gotta get caught up.

The swap was the one I hosted for the Red Lead Paperworks Yahoo Group.  The theme this time was Altered Patina Art Charms and my original post about it is here.  It was a wonderful swap, and as hostess I was able to see all of the charms before I swapped them out.  I love hosting swaps!

Each swap we do with the Red Lead Paperworks group includes a goodie bag that is sent along with the swap returns.  Since it seems that most people have received their swap packages, I'm sharing what I made with the goodies this time.  It's this necklace made with the Hippie beads I supplied for the goodie bags & the awesome Filigree Patina Butterfly charm provided by the girls at Red Lead. 

I love patina on brass & other metals, so the butterfly & other patina charms sold at Red Lead are just my cup of tea.  To seal the charms so the patina doesn't wear off, I used some MicroGlaze by JudiKins.  It works really well & seems to be sealing the charm nicely.  I have also used the Golden Glazing Liquid or Fluid Gel to seal the charms, but with the detail on the butterfly, the MicroGlaze seemed like my best choice.

I took my strand of Hippie beads (yes, I did wear beads like this back in the late 60s & early 70s) and strung them on thin beading wire with a looped crimp end attached.  You can see that end in the first pic with the detail.  I strung the beads randomly, adding a few others from my stash & ended with another crimp end.  The second crimp end is a "challenge" to get onto the wire & still keep the beads on it & not have the strand too loose so that there is a big gap between beads...but with some trial & error...and a lot of swearing... I was finally successful.  It was worth the "pain" as I really like how this looks.  Then I used some antiqued brass jump rings to attach the butterfly to the beads & ended up with this necklace. 

That's all for today...I'll be busy taking pix of my new creations for Artfire...I'll be sure to let y'all know when they're available.  Have a great day & be creative!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Bracelets in my Artfire Studio!

I've been enjoying a creative streak since I bought some Memory Wire to make bracelets for my Artfire Studio.  I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE beads & these bracelets show them off beautifully.  They would make a great gift for a birthday or just because...and they are priced so you can treat yourself, too!

Here are the other bracelets just added...and more will be added soon. 

I'm also working on some charm bracelets...so watch for that announcement in the days ahead.  You can check them out at Kitten Creates or click on the link in the right hand column of my blog. 

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July, 1962 style

Phil & I now live in the house I grew up in...a very typical 1950's style suburban tract house.  This neighborhood was a great place to live as a kid, since there were so many families with kids around the same ages as my brother & me.  We were all friends & if someone else's Mom told you to do something, you listened & did it...it was just the same as having your own Mom tell you.  Suburbia.

Now, many of our neighbors here are the same Moms & Dads who started their families' Ozzie & Harriet style lives here...we're all just older.  The kids are out on their own...some scattered across the country as we were before we moved back here to help Mom.  Many are still living in NE Ohio & always have...although personally, I cannot understand why, when there are so many better places to live...like Southern CA!  The neighborhood is what I'd call an older, established one...but there are now some young families moving in.  You don't see all that many kids out playing these days...times have changed. 

I remember so many years when we'd get up early on the 4th of July & dress in red, white & blue, then decorate our bikes or grab a flag & have a 4th of July Parade.

We would march up & down the street...first one side & then the other.  Life was good & we were living our parents' suburban dream.  I recently found these photos from 1962...you've gotta love that they're in black & white with very cool deckle edges.  I was 9 then, going on 10.  My brother, Bob, was 6. 
Here we are, in our 4th of July "finery"!

Bob was tall for his age...and this year he was supposed to be Uncle Sam. 
LOVE the crooked mustache made from cotton balls!

So on this 4th of July, 2010, I send you greetings from a far simpler age than the one we live in now.  Blessings to all our soldiers who are fighting to this day for freedom...& even though I do not agree with the wars we are now in, I admire & respect the sacrifice of our Armed Forces.  Blessings to the families of these fine soldiers, too.  May they all come home again safely & soon...very soon!

From Parma, OH to you, wherever you are...
Happy 4th of July, 1962 style!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Altered Patina Art Charms

I figured it's time for some art...so here goes.

I'm hosting a swap over at the Red Lead Paperworks Yahoo Group & we're swapping charms made with these awesome patina charms that Red Lead sells.  The charms are due to me by July 31, so there's still time to play if you'd like.  Just join the group & sign up for the swap in the database...all the details are in there.  You'll need to stop by Red Lead if you're lucky enough to live close enough for that....or order your charms from their online shop.  Then have fun creating...I sure did! 

The swap is 4 for 3...one of your charms will be shipped to Red Lead Paperworks to be on display in their store...cool beans!  The dragonfly charm above is staying here with me...and the ones I'm swapping are shown below.  I hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

I have many memories of playing with Dad.  Here we are around 1955 or so...playing in the sandbox he built for me.  It would later have an awning on top...and that awning would slide down poles at the side to protect the sand...probably from the neighborhood stray cats. 

My Dad, Ernie, was the typical 1950s/60s suburban Dad.  He was an electrical engineer by profession...and he would ride the bus to & from work so that Mom could have the family car for grocery shopping.  We were quite middle class...I didn't have the latest clothes and we did not lead an extravagant lifestyle...but we took road trips for vacations & we knew we were loved.

Getting an education was very important in Dad's eyes.  Once we started school, we had an encyclopedia in the basement...which we referred to quite often...no internet back then.  Trips to the library were common, especially if we had a big report to write.  Back then, the Parma schools rewarded "Straight A Students"...and you can bet I was one of them.  During the last 6 week grading period of each year, if you got straight A's, you got a pair of tickets to a Cleveland Indian's game.  Dad & I went every year while I was in elementary school.  In Junior High, the stakes were raised to something like 7 or 8 pairs of tickets...boy did we have fun at those games.  I made sure I got those tickets for him every year.

Dad was active in church, ran the Blood Drive, played baseball with a men's team after work...it was fun to tag along to watch him play.  He bowled, played golf, and provided a good home for us.  When Mom & Dad were married, he knew that my Grandma...Mom's Mom...would be moving in with them.  Grandma lived with us until she passed away in 1961.  Dad was a loving & giving family man...and I was definitely Daddy's Girl!!!

Dad & Mom made it possible for me to go to Kent State University in 1970...the first class to enter after the Ohio National Guard murdered the students.  I know it was hard for both of them to let me go...but they did.  I did not need to work my way through college, although I did have a job at a flower shop that I could go to when I came home for the weekend.  I was the typical strange art student of the day...and while that had to be difficult for him to understand with his extremely analytical mind & career choice, he always supported me & let me make my own decisions & mistakes.  He gave no criticism when I announced that a boyfriend & I were moving to San Diego...and that I had just quit my job at Halle's so we could leave before winter.  Dad gave me no unrealistic expectations for an easy ride in anything I'd do...and when I'd call crying about something I'd hear "no one ever told you it would be easy!" 
Realistic support...exactly what you need from your Dad.

Dad crossed over in November 1988...just a few months after my brother's wedding.  I was living in San Diego at the time & he was gone by the time I could get a flight back here.  Dad was only 66 when he died...far too young.  But the life lessons I learned from him live on. 

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I love you & miss you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Photos of my latest swap goodies!

I know I should have posted these awhile back, but better late than never, no?  The pile of wonderful surprises above is from Sandy of 521 Lake Street.  Her blog is delightful & I've had so much fun getting to know her through our latest swap.  I've been participating in these one-on-one vintage swaps through
A Swap for All Seasons for quite awhile now...and each one is more & more fun.  The next swap will be announced August 1st, so if you like vintage & you'd like to play, check it out.

The theme for our last swap was "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" and we were to send one item representing each category to our partner...as well as sending a vintage wedding photo.  The only thing that had to be wedding related was the photo.  Half the fun in these swaps is getting to know your partner through her blog & emails...and then wrapping & sending her some special treats. Here are my treats from Sandy...
The unwrapped gifts:
Something Old:
Something New:
Something Borrowed:
Something Blue:
And a Vintage Wedding Photo:
There was also a special package of destash from Sandy's studio...all wonderful art goodies that were new to me...awesome!
Thanks again, Sandy, for the wonderful swap goodies...and thanks to Linda from A Swap for All Seasons for being the hostess with the mostess for organizing another wonderful vintage swap.

Until next time...I'm busy working on more to list in my Artfire studio...don't forget the link is on the top right hand side of this blog.  Have a great week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Announcing Kitten Creates Artisan Studio on Artfire!!!

I've FINALLY done it! 

After months of saying I was going to open an Artfire Studio, Kitten Creates is up & running. 

I am currently offering my book thongs for sale, but will be adding other handmade items, vintage treasures, and destash from my studio. 

You can browse my shop here or by clicking the link on the right hand side of my page.  I would love to have you stop by & then let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spring Cleaning = Mystery Treasure Boxes

I know it's been awhile since my last post.  I've been busy with some swaps that will be blogged about soon...but I've also been working on cleaning up & reorganizing my studio.  Right now, it's in that stage I always go through when cleaning & reorganizing...making more of a mess than I had when I started.  Do you do that???  It seems I can't avoid that step.  No photos today...maybe after it's all cleaned up.

And while I've known this for a long time, my biggest problem is that I simply have TOO MUCH STUFF!!!  (I can hear that George Carlin routine about stuff every time I'm in my studio!)  It's all GOOD stuff, of course...because I like good stuff.  However, when you can hardly even get to the shelves in your studio because of all the stuff, it's time to do a serious purge of that stuff.

Here's where the Mystery Treasure Boxes come in.  I've started to fill some Medium Flat Rate boxes with an assortment of stuff.  It's all stuff I like to use or have too much of...or couldn't resist because it was a great deal in that clearance bin years ago.

I've moved part of the studio mess into the living room where I have some room to work & so far I have 3 Mystery Treasure Boxes filled up & waiting for new homes.  From the looks of things, I can fill many more boxes before I'm done.  I'm offering these boxes for sale...I'd love to be able to just share them, but since I'm still not working, that option is not available.

Here's the deal...each box sells for $30.00 which INCLUDES the Priority Flat Rate postage & Delivery Confirmation.  I can fit a lot into one of these flat rate boxes...the people at the PO are always amazed at that.  I'm not just shoving a bunch of stuff into a box...I'm making sure there is a good assortment of everything that's currently available in these.  They're great for mixed media, collage & art journals, any papercrafts.

Each box is an assortment of paper, ephemera, embellishments, stickers, fibers, ribbons, trims, vintage greeting cards, playing cards, tickets, tags, book pages, fabric pieces, vintage advertising & much much more wonderful stuff. 

If you'd like to take a chance & see what fun new-to-you things are in these boxes, please email me privately with your name and snail mail address.  Paypal is the easiest option for payment, but if you'd prefer to send a check, we can work that out.  At this time, this price is only for US mailing addresses since it's Priority Flat Rate postage. 

We are a non-smoking household, although we do have a sweet kitty.  I try my best to keep her hair off of my supplies, but she loves to rub on boxes & check things out, so if you're severely allergic to cats, this may not be the treasure for you.

Thanks for reading this no pix post...I'm heading out to work on packing up a few more boxes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Make ART not trash

I have to admit...I can look at many things & find an art use for them.  Bottle caps get carefully removed so as not to dent them...they can be used as the base for a magnet or charm.  Mesh bags that lemons or potatoes come in make great textures on a page of a journal & can be used as stencils, too.  But one of my favorite art supplies that never lands in the recycling here is matchboxes...yep...matchboxes.  Small ones from restaurants (if any restaurants still give those out)...and the ones from the large kitchen matches that we buy to use to light candles.  With some paper & paint & embellishments, they become great little gift boxes that are actually a gift themselves. 

This is an example of one I made for my online art friend, Bev.  I had some goodies to share with her & decided the matchbox I had just emptied could be part of her little gift.

I really liked the drawer pull on the drawer...I thought it was a nice touch.  You can buy this pull & some other styles from SkyBluePink in the Hardware category.  The girl image is from Red Lead Paperworks.

Here is a peek inside the matchbox...

You can fit a lot of little art bits into one of these.  Oh...and to make sure the drawer moves more easily when pulled out, I apply a bit of JudiKins MicroGlaze to the bottom & sides of the drawer itself & also to the inside surface that the drawer will slide on.

The small matchboxes are fun to use as a little gift box for a charm or a gift of beads & buttons and other small goodies.  The one below was sent to a swap partner of mine, Sally...that's a small fabric yo-yo as a flower.  These are so small & sweet...and a nice touch for gift giving.

So my advice is to take a look at that item you might be tempted to throw into the trash or recycling bin...it could be an art supply!  Does anyone have any other wonderful "hidden" art supply ideas???  I'd love to hear them.  Just leave me a comment...and keep making art!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Still waiting for SPRING !

I have to admit the snow is gone...the grass & trees are green...and flowers are trying their hardest to bloom...but it's still gloomy and cold here in NE Ohio.  We keep fluctuating from warm back to cold & it seems to take forever for it to warm back up again.  

To me, springtime means warm SUNNY days...I sort of remember SUN here.
Have I told you lately just how much I miss Southern CA?

Since I can't seem to have Spring weather, I guess I'll have to settle for making some springtime artwork.  The girls over at the Red Lead Paperworks Yahoo group are currently hosting an altered house swap with the theme "Fly Away Home"  Before the swap was announced, I had been working on the house you see above.  The chipboard houses that are used for this swap are so much fun to work with...and don't you love the chipboard bird, too?  The little 1" high picket fence seemed like the perfect finishing touch for this house. 

I still need to finish the 2 houses I'm doing for the actual swap.  This swap is due by June 1, 2010, so I'll be getting those done very soon & I'll share them in another post. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mom !

This is a photo of my Mom, Eleanor, when she was almost 4 years old...that would have been in 1929.  The original photo is hand tinted...and must have been quite an extravagance for my Grandma, who was a widow & single Mom back then.  The entire photo also includes my Uncle Ed...Mom's big brother.  I love this photo of her...little Eleanor...look at that huge bow in her hair!

Here's my Mom at the age of 21...in 1946...not yet married & looking forward to her future.   Mom & Dad married in August of 1951...and I was their first baby...a chubby little girl...in November 1952.  My brother, Bob, joined us in April 1956...and I threw a tantrum and tried to block the door when they brought him home...I wanted a sister. 

Turns out it was better to have a little brother to get in trouble...but that's a whole other story!

Mom crossed over in November, 2008...almost 20 years to the day that Dad crossed over.  She never recovered from his death & I know they are together somewhere over the rainbow.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm in the mood for...charms!

Yesterday was my art friend Kimber's birthday...Happy Birthday, Kimber!!!  Awhile ago I decided to make her a charm bracelet for her birthday.  The photo above is the finished bracelet.  She received it & loves it, so it's ok to share it here now.

(I know the pic could be a bit clearer, but we had so many gloomy days & I had to get it into the mail to her...so I did the best I could do).

I really enjoy making art charms...and attempting to make charms that have something to do with the favorite things of the person I'm creating for.  I find it makes creating the charms & sending the gift all that much more special. 

Enjoy your weekend, y'all!  We had tornado WARNINGS to the west of us & then to the east of us last night.  Here we got high winds, heavy rains, lots of lightning but no tornado warnings.  Tornadoes scare me much more than the CA earthquakes ever did.  Although...I wouldn't mind taking a visit to OZ!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Remember...May 4, 1970...40 years ago

13 seconds...
67 gun shots...
9 wounded...
4 dead at Kent State University...
May 4, 1970

In memory of...
Jeffrey Miller
Allison Krause
Bill Schroeder
Sandy Scheuer

All murdered by the Ohio National Guard...40 years ago today

Monday, May 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Pete!!!

May 3, 1919...Pete Seeger is born...and today he is 91 years young!!!

Happy Birthday, Pete...keep on singing...and keep us singing with you, too.  Many thanks for all the music you've shared with us throughout the years.  You are a true American treasure.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beatles & Stones ATC Swap

Well, I saw this ATC swap being hosted by Marion in Germany...and I decided I had to play.  I love Beatles & Stones music...but it was easy to come up with 2 favorites.  The ATCs are due in Germany by May 15th, so they're off to the PO tomorrow.  The swap is 3 for 3, so I made 3 of each...I'm keeping one of each for my collection...and 4 are winging their way over to Germany.  Marion can decide which one she wants to keep for herself & swap the other 3.  It will be interesting to see how many countries the artists of the ATCs I receive are from.

Remember...if you swap, it's always very nice to include a hostess gift for your hostess...I've hosted many swaps & it is a lot of work.  Fun, but a lot of work.  I've had fun gathering some US ephemera to share with Marion, too.   

Have a good weekend, y'all!