Sunday, March 31, 2013


 I have an old shadow box that I have hung up in my guest room that I just love.  I have put little 'windows' of nature in them.  I go on nature hikes often and love to pick up bits and pieces of the woods.  I have found several types of fungi, and dried them for my windows.  As I collect antique animal salt and pepper shakers, I thought this was the perfect place to display them.  The green frog is one of my favorites, and the wolf howling at the moon just HAS to make you smile!

Saturday, March 30, 2013


I was so delighted to travel north to my Mother's home for a few days this week.  We always get together and enjoy crafting at least 4 times a year!  This week we decided to make birds' nests for the Easter season.  We bought some air dry clay (We used Crayola brand for this project) and rolled out some eggs.  As you can see, I used about an inch of clay, and just rolled it between my palms.  I set them out to air dry...however, as you can see in the finished and painted eggs in the top photo, they are cracked.  This is because we got overly eager to paint them, and dried them in a 200 degree oven.  The clay cracked because of this.  We should have let them air dry at least 24 hours.  However, we loved that the eggs were cracking, just like a chick was starting to hatch!!!  The nest was super simple to make.  We bought some party shredded craft paper, and in a plastic bowl, added some half and half white glue and water.  We tossed it like a salad, and draped it entire mess over plastic wrap encased custard bowls.  We let dry over night and just took them off of the bowls and flipped them over to hold our painted (with acrylic craft paints) eggs.  So much fun, and a great time...Thanks, Mom!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013


As I have undoubtedly mentioned before, I LOVE faces!  I hide them all around the house so that they can peek at you unexpectedly from different places and give you a surprise and smile.  I found this cheerful Bacchanalian face at a thrift shop for $5.00.  He has a part of the carving broken off at the top right, but is very usable (if you like smoking a pipe).  I have hidden him among small dried gourds and pomegranates in a large wooden bowl.  The colors seem to go together, and he seems to be very happy there!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


I am lucky enough to have a small house in the country, with a very large master bath.  I call this my 'room of zen' as it has a lovely garden tub with space for candles and my collection of Asian items that I love to look at.  Many a bubble bath has been enjoyed here! I have a love of color, and found some interesting old pieces, such as this tiny turquoise figurine with the dragon on his shoulder.  The ginger jar is very old, and tiny as well, and I discovered the ivory carving of the warrior in a box of things from an estate sale.  I like to create little diaramas about the house to delight the eye and capture the imagination!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


This paperweight was the very first thing I ever 'collected'.  I was 10 years old, and my mother took me into an antique shoppe. It was dusty, fascinating, and this mille fiore paperweight caught my eye.  I bought it with my own money, and it started me on a lifelong odyssey to discovering secret treasures to feather my own little nest.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Spring is here, and with it comes a lot of work to get the outdoor rock garden cleaned up and inviting to the birds and people!  My teracotta rabbits from last year are about worn out, flaky and chipped, but I love the worn look about them.  I will be hiding them among the rosemary bushes, and letting them peak out at visitors.

I found this lovely little cast iron bird at an early garage sale this year, and my hen and chicks were happy to nest him, chips and all.  He is so sweet...

This lovely deer is about 18" high, and perfect to look over my rock garden and tumbling rocks water feature.  I got the fountain up and running this week, and am now worried about my timing, as it looks like we might get one more snow before April.  Better get outdoors and unplug it!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I wanted to make some really impressive thank you cards this week, so I did a bit of research and chose iris cards.  I folded a basic 4x5 card from white card stock.  For the Kimono, I cut out a robe shape from the front of the card.  I then folded strips of origami papers in various tiny prints, and taped them on from the back of the cutout shape.  I even threaded a thin ribbon through as a belt!  For the fan, I just cut several rectangles of patterned paper and used double edged tape to secure them for a  background.  I then cut a rectangle of white card stock out, and cut a fan shape out of it.  I cut strips of patterned paper, folded them, and taped them on behind the cutout (there are much better instructions on how to do iris folding online).  I drew a few lines, added a stick on jewel, and had a fan!  This was so much fun, and I literally had paper scattered throughout the house, as the 2 cats had to help me with the process.  The cards came out so pretty, I might even frame them!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I am lucky enough to have a sculptor for a hubby who loves nature as much as I do!  This is a 3 inch morel mushroom that he carved out of wooly mammoth ivory.  I am constantly moving it from place to place, finding new and unexpected places to admire it!

Friday, March 15, 2013


When you are a collector of everything, you have to pick your favorites, especially if you move often.  I spent a year hunting down the one set of china that I wanted to treasure hunt for, and here it is...Thousand Faces china!  The teapot is classic Thousand Faces.  The beautiful colors of the glazes, and the pattern (if you look really close, you can see all of the tiny faces painted on it), and the gilding.  I have spent years hunting down just the tea set with a few plates here and there.  It is always a triumph when I discover a piece in a tiny shop somewhere.  The thrill of the hunt has been just as important to me as the pieces themselves! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


As an artist, I find that some of the simplest things are often the most fun to put on your walls!  I am thinking about cutting my own palettes and hanging more of them when I use them up.  Dual purpose art!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I am excited about this find!  It is an old wire egg basket.  The design is beautiful, and closed it is easy to hang on the wall, but you can take it down and expand it to make a rather large basket.  This one opens up into a 10x10 container for holding eggs, apples, or anything else you want to put in. 

Monday, March 11, 2013


I decided to try to make some cheerful cards this week.  This is created from an apple print.  I cut an apple in half, and dabbed the cut edge (after drying the cut edge with a paper towel) with acrylic craft paints. I then pressed the apple onto some heavy cardstock. When the paint was dry, I drew in the apple seeds with a felt tip pen and cut out the shape.  I antiqued the edges with a brown ink stamp pad.  Meanwhile, I printed a basic card out on my computer with just the words of several kinds of apples.  I cut a square of decorative plaid paper, antiqued the edges with the brown ink stamp, and put it all together with double edged tape.  I admit to having some difficulty figuring out how to get the words on the card to go in two different directions (being technically inept with word programs), but a bit of experimenting and learning a few new words helped! I am very pleased with the outcome, and it was so much fun to do the apple stamping!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Crump, TN Flea Market
 I am so excited! The season has finally started to head to the flea markets and do a bit of treasure hunting.  This weekend was overcast, but warm, and there were tons of people out to sell their 'junk' and barter.  It was so crowded at the Crump, TN Flea Market that we had to park in the bushes!  Lots of fine bargains to be had, and interesting treasures to be found.
Produce is coming in from Florida and Arkansas!
I have to admit that my main priority today was looking for some new potatoes.  The produce that is coming up from Florida and Arkansas is beautiful, isn't it?  I bought my baby potatoes, a ream of fancy parchment paper for the computer ($1.00!), a curly walking stick and a Victorian hand crank doorbell.


 High up near the ceiling in my kitchen, where few think to look, is a large, cast iron bull that I have named Oscar. He is named after my Uncle Oscar, who was a born and bred Iowa farmer.  He lived the life, breathed the life...raised crops, raised animals, til the day he died.  His kitchen was stocked with the basics.  No cupboards, just an old sink and a wood burning stove that turned out the best biscuits I ever remember eating.  My hubby discovered Oscar the mascot in a tiny antique store in Corinth, MS. He brought it home and gave it to me for my birthday.  One of the best things I have ever received!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


My mother did not collect much that I remember when I was a child, EXCEPT spoons!  She inherited a few, found a few, but they were dear to her heart.  Here are a few of them that I have hung in my kitchen.  I have inherited them all now, and hope to find a way to show them off to better advantage.  I admit to not polishing them, though most of them are silver, or silver plate.  I love the warm patina that age brings, and even the slight blue tinge.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I had a lot of jewelry left over in my keepsake box from childhood, just junk jewelry, but they meant a lot to me.  I wanted to do something special with them, and came up with this.  The frame is just stretcher bars in 8x10 that I painted dark brown.  After some research, I decided to use epoxy as my glue, and started layering on old mismatched earrings, broaches, seed pearl necklaces, silver chains, and even a few bits of broken pottery, such as the child's teacup my daughter had when she was little.
 Some of the jewelry came from my mother's bits and pieces as well.  Above is a broken piece of an old rice bowl that she used for many years.
 I had some polished stones from childhood, as well as a few seashell necklace bits.
 I threaded a fake pearl necklace throughout the piece to give it continuity, and scattered pearl beads to add to that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I discovered this wonderful silver plate fruit bowl the other day at the flea market. Some people might not consider it a good buy, as most of the silver is worn off, and it really should be replated, but for $2.00, it wasn't the silver that appealed to me  I was amazed at the delightful meadow scene that decorates the bowl. So intricate, warm and exciting!  I have discovered birds, bugs, snails and flowers delicately ornamenting the rim of the bowl. It is about 10 inches around with 3 feet.  The metal is warm toned, and perfect for holding apples on my kitchen island!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I am a soul searching for comfort...looking for that peaceful moment in a hectic day that will give me a chance to lay back and concentrate on just being grateful to be alive!  With that intro, who wouldn't want their bath to be a bit romantic? I found these paper parasols many years ago in Chinatown, San Francisco.  I decided it was time to use them to diffuse the overhead light when I was nearly blinded by the sight of my body in the bath!  I love the soft light that the parasols let through, and as to the other problem...I use a LOT more bubbles in my bath!

Friday, March 1, 2013


This is my favorite corner in the house.  A cup of tea, a good book and a kitty.  'Nuff said!