Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sorting And Organizing

"The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable."  Robert Henri
Does this ever end?  I'm on to the next big job of sorting out and organizing.  One job that I dreaded tackling were the files that I have in my workroom.  Once upon a time they were neat and organized.  I am just tired of knowing I have information or a pattern or idea of something located SOMEWHERE in the piles of papers.  It's going to be a process, but I have begun to tackle it and making great progress.  I'm at the point that I have weeded out many of the things I know longer am interested in and many things that are copies.  It should be a few more days till I have everything sorted out in a way that will make it easy to find the information or ideas that I have saved as reference.  

Once this job is completed I'm moving on to tackle the cabinets and other storage in the room.  With the  amount of space I have now I can continue to move things around and spread them out to make it easier to locate materials.  With solid doors on the cabinets (which I thought of removing) I'm thinking of placing simple labels or coming up with something a bit more creative to mark them.  With slatboard on one whole wall, the materials that I want easy access to are right at hand.  I'm so glad that years ago I invested in the "elfa" storage system from the Container Store, though I need to reorganize many of the wire baskets.

Happy that I'm making progress. I do like to work on more then one project at a time but, I find it difficult to work when too much mess is around me.  I'm hoping to make a video of a "tour" around my space to share.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's Not Junk To Me

"To be truly creative, you have to work beyond what you know.  Pushing the envelope is what being an artist is all about."   John Ferrie
It snowed again yesterday and through the night.  Some people will think I'm a little crazy when I say the winter really does not bother me, but it truly doesn't!  We are at a point in the season that you must realize that we may still get snow but it will be short lived.  But once the weather starts improving that the time to get out and get back to visiting the flea martkets in the area.  There are several in the area that are worth making a visit too.  The most famous is the "Kane County Flea Market" located in St. Charles, Illinois at the county fair grounds.  This one happens to run year round, but is a "MUST" when the weather improves.  The buildings are used during the colder months and have a good variety of vendors.  BUT, in spring, summer and fall when vendors set up all around the fair grounds, that's the very best!  I like to frequent several resale and "second-hand" shops around the area too, though I'm itching at getting out to the flea markets.

Yesterday while out shopping I came across a new publication that I would like to share for anyone else who likes to get out there and "hunt" down that great find.  The publication is called "FLEA MARKET style". The editors of the issue are Ki Nassaur ( and Matthew Mead (  I recommend it for anyone who likes flea markets, vintage, recycling, reusing and finding bargains.  It's filled with ideas and information.

It's put the bug in me to get out and start searching for those wonderful little finds.  It's worth a look!
I have discovered some wonderful blogs and sites related to this that I will be sharing with any readers out there.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Message To Readers

How did you find your way to this blog?   I"m curious and hoping that you will help me find out how you found your way to read my blog.  Are most of you finding it through Facebook?  If so you can add your name as a "follower" by way of "networked blogs".  But you may not be a Facebook friend or fan and found your way to the blog in another way.  So in the sidebar I have recently added a widget by Google.
Just click on the icon with the word FOLLOW after it.  This will take you to a box that lets you sign in to follow the blog.  By doing so you can then easily leave comments.  I would love to hear  what you have to say and what interests any of the readers.  Either way, I hope you will become a blog follower!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On To The Next Round Of Things To Do

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney
(Red tulips and baby's breath in cut glass vase)

(Just some desserts)

Just one or two more things about Valentine's and such.  We had a very enjoyable visit on Sunday with family and friends.  With everyone's help we had a  wonderful spread of foods to share.  The sun was shining brightly even though the temperature has still below freezing.

Now it's on to getting back on track with creative projects, sewing, quilting and working around the house. It's about time to start the "spring cleaning".  With all the closets cleaned out and reorganized, the general cleaning work can begin. Looking forward to getting out to some "resale" shops and the area flea markets for some interesting "finds" to be use when the basement family room is finished.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched.  They must be felt with the heart".     Helen Keller

Wishing you a day filled with love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Heart #12

"Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts".    Greek Proverb
(Handmade paper heart shaped book. Covers are collaged with pink tissue, pearls with an image embossed with a rubber stamp. Pages have inclusions of flower petals and glitter.)

One more day till Valentine's Day!  We're in the process of getting the house ready for tomorrow.  We are having a Valentine's Day Brunch Buffet tomorrow with our kids and another family, who happen to be very close friends to all of us.  Everyone is helping out by bringing something.   I still have to get the dishes and glassware out and arrange the buffet area and decorate the tables.  Which means I haven't much to share with you in today's post.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hearts #11

"Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart."   Unknown
( Altered journal, collage, no-bake clay embellishments colored with Perfect Pearls)

Two days till Valentine's Day!  This is a really, really late post today.  There was much going on today.
Finally getting a short post set to publish to the blog.  After that I'll be watching the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.  While watching, I'll be frosting the butter cookies that I baked last night, cutting the Krispies treats into heart shapes and making some fluffy cream cheese frosting for the chocolate buttermilk cupcakes.  Sounds yummy to me, how about you?

Have you made your valentine's yet?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hearts #10

"A hundred hearts would be too few ... To carry all my love for you".  Unknown

Finally posting photos of the heart shaped ornament/card that I made to share.  Now that these two are complete it may be time to do more, maybe a different size, all one color palette or different materials.

Using a Sizzix Big Shot and a large heart die, I cut several hearts from a variety of patterned and plain papers.  If desired, the plain papers can be embossed using an embossing folder or left plain to write personal notes.  Use other die-cuts, stickers or any other related embellishment on the pages.  Adding a touch of glitter will make it sparkle.  From the ribbons, I hung a heart charm and some beads.  In the first photo the card is closed with a thin metallic ribbon (Kreinik).  Place it in a cellophane bag or other unique envelope and deliver it to that special someone.

So I'm set to bake my butter cookies tonight and decorate them.  Another treat that I'm be making are strawberry flavored rice krispy hearts for the family.  They were a big hit last Valentine's Day.  In place of the ordinary marshmallows, Kraft has strawberry flavored marshmallows at this time of year.  I add a little more strawberry flavoring and sprinkle on tiny white, pink and red hearts from Wilton. I use a couple different size cookie cutters to cut the treats into heart shapes.  Place them in a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon or cord.  Give the sweets to all your "sweets"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Addition to My Blog

Just a quick note to anyone who is reading this blog.  I just added the "Followers" gadget from Google to the blog.  It can be found just below the photo of my book, "Altered Art for the first time".  I realize that some people who have Facebook pages are following the blog through "networked blogs".  Now those who happen upon it that are not "facebook friends" can also follow and hopefully post comments.

Heart #9

"Where so ever you go ... go with all your heart".   Confucius

(Set of graduated size boxes made with velvet paper, then stenciled with colored stencil paste.)

Another late post today.  Had a busy morning with Tess. Once her daddy came to get her we were off to do some grocery shopping for the "Valentine Day's Brunch" we are hosting on Sunday.  We normally get together just after the holidays with a very close friends and the family.  Because of the difficulty of so many schedules it was postponed till now.

I'm heading down to the workroom to finish embellishing a valentine ornament that I started and want to share with everyone.  Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heart #8

"One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter".    James Earl Jones

( An accordion card filled with verses and mixed media embellishments)

Today's post is a little late but  there haven't been much time to sit and get something written.  Tess is with us today.  After arriving very early this morning, she fell back asleep and slept late.  We have had a busy day since then.  Now it is nap time.

We are also getting more snow today.  It's been coming down steadily since very late last night.  At least six inches has accumulated and they say we could get at least another six or more in the area.

I have taken out ingredients for making dough for my favorite butter cookies. Once the dough is made it has to chill well before it can be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.  Of course I'll be making heart shaped cookies.  There a numerous butter cookie recipes out there and I have tried a few to compare them.
The closest to my Gramma's is probably the one from Martha Stewart.  Sharing Gramma Schoumacher's Butter Cookie recipe with you:
          1 cup butter, usalted, softened
          3/4 cup granulated sugar
          1 egg
          3 cups sifted flour
          1 tsp. baking powder
          1/2 tsp. salt
          1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
          2 Tbsp. cream or milk
     Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.
     Add the  dry ingredients into the butter mixture a small amount at a time.  If the dough seems
     too thick, add the milk or cream 1 Tbsp at a time.  Add the vanilla and mix it well.
     Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill well.
      Divide dough into quarters.  Roll out dough, one quarter at a time on a lightly floured
      surface.  Cut shapes using desired cookie cutters.  Decorate with sprinkles or sanding sugar
      before baking.  (OR decorate with icings after the cookies are cooled.)
      Bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes on ungreased, parchment covered sheets.
     (When using butter the cookies can burn easily.  Be sure to use a timer and watch them.)
Once my baking is done I will show the finished product!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Heart #7

 "The  greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart."      Anonymous

 (Stamped image, colored and mounted on a small canvas)

Yes, the Saints win!  No I didn't watch ... I like football but I'm not into all the crazy Super Bowl  hype.  And the fact that our team was not a part of this makes it even more reason not to make a big deal out of this.  BUT, I was so glad to hear that the Saints did win.

I had plans to get some things started today but must admit that I didn't accomplish much at all.  Don't we all need days like that?

We went out the hung the curtains that I made and have to admit they look very nice.  It made a huge difference in the way the room looks now.  Forgot the camera, so I can't share photos.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heart #6

"For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it".      Anonymous

Today happens to be Super Bowl Sunday. So who do you want to win?  Mike's making a crock pot of chili for anybody that comes by today.  There is some light snow in the air.  (More is forecast for Monday thru Wednesday.)  I finished the panels that I was sewing.  I believe it was the fabric that was causing the sewing problems, but I'm still taken the machine in for a "check-up".  So it's time to get back to quilting, sewing, crafting and making some things for Valentine's Day next Sunday.  I'll not be able to share anything handmade today, but I'm in the process of constructing a ornament/card made from hearts.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Heart #5

"Today, see if you can stretch your heart and expand your love so that it touches not only those to whom you can give it easily, but also to those who need it so much."      Anonymous

Today is going to be filled with a lot of little things that must be done.  This post will be short.  Above is another "heart quote" to share and a few photos of hearts throughout the house.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Heart #4

    " Where so ever you go, go with all your heart".     Confucius

Today I have two things to share with you.  Yesterday I mentioned that I was working on a felt pouch to protect and hold my iPod Touch.  I did finish it last evening.

 It's a very simple design that is put together with Fabri-Tac glue and a few small stitches here and there.  I had several different ideas for embellishing the pouch, like buttons, beads and some sparkling jewels, but chose to just do an simple blanket stitch around the heart shape with red metallic thread.  I was concerned that carrying the pouch in a purse or pocket it would get bounced around and the add-ons would loosen and fall off.  On the opposite side of the pouch is a small pocket to hold the earphones.

The second thing to share is another magazine I came across on Wednesday while grocery shopping.  There is a special interest publication by Better Homes and Garden called "Mixing" available till April 27th.  It is filled with a wonderful variety of recipes.  Fresh ideas for meals and treats.  Each recipe has a photo to correspond so you can see how the finished dish will look.  I don't remember seeing this publication before, but for some new twists on some meal ideas it might just be worth picking up. And also check out the website ... that's worth a look too!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Heart #3

"Educating your mind without educating your heart is no education at all".     Aristotle

Working today to finish up on curtains that I am sewing for my son and daughter-in-law.  They moved into a larger house this fall and are in need of some new window treatments.  Many windows had either original, old, dusty out-of-date colored shades and some had nothing.  The family room has been painted in a new color palette.  The "country blue" shades just don't look too good.

The panels are about complete, but the sewing machine started acting up.  After several attempts to solve the problem I gave up.  So today I will be looking to see if the problem can be solved or else it will have to go in for repair.  Luckily I have a back-up machine, not the best, but it will let me finish the hems.

Last night while watching and listening to "inspired at home's pajama party" on facebook, I made a neat little holder for my iPod Touch.  It's made from wool felt.  Going to finish up that later today too.  I'll post a photo when it's complete.  It needs some embellishing!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Heart #2

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye, 
but only a few that will catch your heart ... pursue those"   Michael Nolan

Sharing a little project I made a while ago.  Again it is a mix of materials, like metal, felt and paints.

Working with metal is fun.  Just like other mediums that I work with I like to push its limits. I will have to share some other pieces that I have done using metals.  For now enjoy my "Faux Enameled Heart Pendant".

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


January is gone and February is here.  I had an idea to share something related to "hearts" for the first fourteen days of February, ending with a Valentine wish to you.  I'm one day behind.

Truthfully, this is an idea I had for a while, but I've been so busy with a number of things that nothing is prepared.  So my plan is to come up with some idea each day and I'll surprise you and myself.

The first "heart" is the front of one of the cards that I had made for Beacon Adhesive display at CHA.
One of my favorite things to do is combine materials.  Felt was die-cut using a Sizzix Big Shot and dies, along with card stock for the inside of the card.  The little crocheted heart is leftover from a project I did last year for Valentine's Day.  The ribbon and button are from my stash of embellishments.  Simple materials, put together in a simple way too say
"I love you".