Friday, April 30, 2010

A FEW SHOPPE LISTINGS...

I finally made a little time to do a few shoppe listings. My hope is to get back on track in the very near future and try and build this poor neglected shoppe back up. Life sometimes gets in the way of the best laid plans.

I have listed six Nest Egg Supply Kits...
Each kit contains a hand woven nest, 1 dozen assorted hand painted half eggs, and a tiny hand stitched silk and paper blue bird. This kit can be tucked into a vignette just as is or it can be dismantled and each individual part used in your art work.

I also listed this Alice in Wonderland Collage...Sold! Thank you Sonya!
I was inspired to make this during the Alice Tag Swap that Karla hosted.


And finally, a half ledger dated from 1971-1973...Sold! Thank you Sally!
This would be a great paper source for your art work.


I had fully intended to have a new tutorial posted for you today but was away from home yesterday. When I got home I was not feeling well and woke up this morning feeling even worse. I plan to spend the day resting instead of working. In the meantime, I wish each of you a healthy and happy weekend!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A PARTY WITH PRIZES, A PLEASURE, AND A PAINTING...

Don't you just love a good party? Well, Karen of My Desert Cottage is having one and all the land of blog is invited! She will be hosting WHERE BLOGGERS CREATE II on June 19th, 2010. This is an opportunity to show off your creative space whether it be a TV tray, card table, kitchen table, converted closet, or full blown studio.

Jo Packham of Where Women Create will be offering these great prizes:

* The first prize is a feature in Where Women Create Magazine! Jo will have the tough job of handpicking the winner.

* There will be six random selections among the party goers for the following prizes:
2 - 1 year subscriptions to Where Women Create Magazine!
2 Sets of Jo's books - Where Women Create and The Book of Inspiration
2 WWC Charm Bracelets

For full details and how to sign up to participate, please visit Karen at this link. Trust me, you will not want to miss this party it was THE event of the blog season last year. It is a great place to meet new friends and be inspired by all the creatives here in the land of blog.

I had the pleasure of meeting a new blogger, via email, this week and she has decided to start her own blog and I'd love to introduce her to you. Marylin of Cordelia's World just got her new blog underway and I would love it if you would give her a warm welcome to the neighborhood. She also has a wonderful shop, The Colonial Hitching Post, where she sells a whole host of items from greeting cards, collectibles, collage works, books, and more, so pay a visit to her store, you might just find something you have been looking for.

It is also my pleasure to tell you about a new blog shop that has opened up, Lisa of Tarnished and Tattered launched her new blog shop this past weekend!
Lisa's art is amazing, you might remember that she taught me to make this in Artist Class: If it has not been snapped up there is the most amazing fabric collage featuring a tiny bird for sale over there, so go see! Congrats and best of wishes to both Marylin and Lisa on their new endeavors.

Here at the Quill I am still enmeshed in trying to settle into the new studio space. I dusted off my pencils and paint brushes yesterday and started a little sketching and decorative painting BUT, (and it is a big one), I am not a happy camper with the ensuing results - I AM RUSTY!
Yes'em I am, rusty as an old bucket set out in the rain too long, as the old sayin' 'round here goes. Diane, in case you are reading this, it is NOT like ridin' a bike, it does not come back so easy as all that.Use it or lose it comes to mind, well, I think I must be losing not only my painting skills but my mind as well with this little painterly project. It may just disappear altogether. I will at least finish the bird and the nest and then decide before I go much further and waste any more time on it. To be continued...(sorry about the yucky photos, the lighting in the new space is awful!!! working on that though)Did you notice that I gave you a lot of little linky things to click on today? Well, that is so I can divert the attention away from my lack of things to blog about here at the moment. Tomorrow I will try and finish the new free tutorial so I have something fun to share by the weekend, fingers still crossed that it gets done by then. Well, I am off to either finish this painting or to paint over it. Have a bliss filled day!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Monday, April 26, 2010

CREAMY DREAMY STUDIO...

" To think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted."

-George Kneller-Things are beginning to happen in the studio. Creamy dreamy things are taking shape and filling up the space. Chippy old wood, wavy old windows, stair spindles, wrought iron, cotton, linen, and lace - this will be my creamy dreamy new studio space!I hit a creative block in the design process of this space so I took a couple of days off after getting everything put away its new home. My daughter and I went flea marketing to see if we could find some inspiration. I came home with a divided organizer, three birds, two bumble bees, and a book but not much room inspiration.Frustrated, I decided to take a new approach and shop my own home and storage building using what I have on hand, knowing that if and when I find the perfect furnishings I can change it. This was the best decision. It forced me to look at what I have with new eyes and to see new possibilities.
I raided my meager almost dwindling to nothing architectural salvage stash that was left over from my antique booth days. I made so many trips in and out the building dragging things out for handy hubby to work his handy magic on that he said we should just move me to the old horse shed instead of dragging all that stuff out. No doing! Spiders live in there and the door has a habit of shutting itself then sticks and locks you into total darkness with the aforementioned spiders. Been there, done that, and no thank you!
The cutest thing was when my little grandson saw the new studio and his grandpa's new office. He went down the hall to turn on "Hannah's music" as he likes to call his favorite classical CD. He stopped in the hall and said, "What is this?" His little head bobbed left and right looking into each room but it was the studio he entered.He turned around in a circle taking it all in and immediately laid claim to one particular piece in the room declaring it was his. His eyes got as round as saucers when he spied the child size humpback trunk. He said, "Hannah, your room has a treasure chest and music notes!" In his little world there is nothing more exciting than surprises in treasure chests and music notes.While he ate supper I went out into the storage building and found a pirate costume that had been his dads when he was about that age and gave it quick hand washing and dried it. I sneaked into the studio and put some treats in the trunk. After supper he was so excited to get to put on the costume and open the trunk to find treasure. His favorite candy bar was among the treats, a " kitty cat" bar, (KIT KAT), as he calls it.His stamp of approval was all I needed to be motivated to move forward in the direction upon which I had set sail with every creamy dreamy detail. For the first act of magical creativity has already taken place in the new space. It was christened by a sweet boy of three dressed in a pirate costume who set a flight of fancy in motion with his maiden voyage of sailing across the ocean in his old iron bed bench pirate ship. The scene was played out with the soft strains of Pachelbel rising and falling like ocean waves accompanying his creative play. The art of discovery and imagination were the true treasures that revealed themselves as the old chest lid was lifted along with a "kitty cat" bar and other boyhood delights.
The first piece of art has yet to be created in this new room that I now occupy but if its maiden voyage into the creative realm is any indication, it promises to be a journey worth taking.

I woke up this morning with an inspired idea for window treatments, so I think I will begin to work on those today after another quick shop of the storage shed. I hope to get back to some more artistic things soon. I had started a new free tutorial before the move and I am going to try and get that done to share with you by the end of the week. ( fingers crossed) Thanks for hanging in there with me until I get things sorted out and back to normal.

I hope each of you are enjoying a dreamy day of your own!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Friday, April 23, 2010

THE APPLE BLOSSOM LESSON...

Meaning of the Apple Blossom: Love, Truth, Peace, Beauty, Honesty, Remembrance, and Hope of Better Things to Come
(FREE IMAGE)

The old apple tree at the farm was in full bloom last week. As I strolled beneath its blossom laden branches the sweet perfume of the flowers was intoxicating. The light aroma skipped on the wind enchanting my senses and lifting my soul to the heights of heaven.I sat on the earths cushion beneath the tree looking up at the soft hues of pink, white, and green against the expanse of cloudless blue sky feeling sheltered by the exquisite beauty and peacefulness being offered by its bower. Love planted this tree long ago, love of fruit, love of farming, and love of family. The tree was a gift to an avid gardener from one of her daughters. I sat remembering when the tree was but a twig and how she nurtured and cared for it year after year even though it bore no fruit. Life is like that sometimes. We hope and pray and strive towards something that seems like we are making a fruitless effort.Gardeners, in my opinion, possess one of the most beautiful attributes of God, patience. She faithfully and patiently tended the tree, staking its tender trunk enough so that it could bend with the wind and learn to be flexible but not bound so tightly that it would break in a storm. Her patient love taught her family those same lessons.


Her love and care for the twig like tree was done with the attitude of hope of better things to come. The twig strengthened into a sturdy trunk and began to branch out over time until one day little blossoms came to life and she knew her work would soon be rewarded with the sweet first born fruits.We stood side by side one warm sunny spring day inhaling the fragrant beauty of the finally full grown tree. Her hands were clasp behind her in her familiar stance as she gently rocked back on her bare heels enjoying the feel of the new grass underfoot. A wispy whistle-like hum blew across her lips into my ear, a long ago tune from her girlhood days.

The hum became words set to the tune, "...after the glory of the blossoms, comes the fruit of the apple..." I did not ask her at the time what she meant by those words, I just listened. All these years later I realize her lesson, our efforts are never fruitless, sometimes it just takes a while to see the fruit.
The old tree has bloomed and produced fruit many times over the years. Savory pies, sweet jams, tasty apple sauce, and fresh apple cake have been some of the blessed benefits of her efforts at preserving the fruit.

Her simple lesson of the apple blossom floated down upon me with a shower of petals loosened by the wind, and I thought I might have heard the low whistle-hum of the enduring gardener who taught me that patient persistence will result in glorious blooms, the hope of better things to come, as I wait for the sweet fruit that follows, the remembrance of this lesson well worth preserving.

I thought you might enjoy a taste of my Granny's cake so I am sharing her recipe below:

GRANNY GREGG'S FRESH APPLE CAKE

2 Cups raw apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin
1 Cup sugar
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Cups flour - sifted with 1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Cup oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 Cups chopped pecans
1 Cup coconut flakes (optional)

Cover raw apples with sugar and let stand for 20 minutes. Add beaten egg, stir well. Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Pour into buttered pan and bake 1 hour in a preheated 350 degree oven. Store in refrigerator.

Below are a few free apple blossom images for you to save and use in your art. Enjoy!
(FREE IMAGE)
(FREE IMAGE)
(FREE IMAGE)

I hope each of you have a weekend filled with fragrant beauty!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PROJECT RUN AWAY - STUDIO UPDATE...

"First comes the thought; then the organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination."

-Napoleon Hill-Yesterday I stood in the doorway of my new studio space wondering how in the world I was going to get everything all sorted out and put away. I could not see even one square inch of the floor or the eleven foot counter! I was eyeballing an old battered suit case pretty hard and thinking of running away from the whole project.That's when the idea hit me that this massive mess could be the next reality show on television! I could be a contestant competing for a clean room! There could be like challenges and everything! I can see it now...

First I am introduced to a massive mish-mash of a mess and given the challenge to " Clean it up!" by creating a crafty closet that is not only functional but stylish. I get two days for this challenge with a budget of $40.00, using what I already have on hand, a shopping trip to a home improvement center with 15 minutes to shop, and a handy man model to fashion the project. The snarky host will say, "Make it work!" and, I am off and running away with this project.(BEFORE)

A mad dash to the home improvement center nets one gallon of premixed paint, a box of flooring found on clearance for $10.00, and seventeen shelf brackets with a few cents to spare in the budget.

Back home the drama begins, the old flooring must be chipped out of closet, but wait, snarky host enters to announce that there will be a twist to this challenge, I will not be making over just one closet but two! Surprise, there will be a small addition to the budget, a whole $10.00! Yes! Another trip to nab that other box of clearance flooring before another contestant sees it! Done and done!

After much chipping and stripping the old floors are up, walls are quickly painted and edged. The handy man model comes in with an extra set of helping hands. He lays the flooring in a snap. Much debate goes into the next part of the challenge on the repurposing of the previous shelving to "make it work" for the new spaces. After much measuring and cutting, instillation begins. Drat, not enough material, there is going to be a huge gap in the middle and you know how fussy those judges are about about quality construction and flawless design. Never fear, I get innovative mixing something old with something new with the result of a modern vintage vibe and I win for the basic design of this challenge!(DURING)

Since I won that challenge I am not getting eliminated in the next round. In pops the snarky host to announce the next theme. With a flourish of his head, the host reveals the materials to be used in the next challenge. "OK people, you get a yard stick, two rolls of paper, and vintage beaded collar. Make it work!" What? Is he serious? "Just kidding!" What you really have to do for this challenge is to dress your model in a vintage inspired garment, think a picnic with Jane Austen, as well as make a stylish statement coordinating accessory for her to wear! Models come on out..."Sandy, meet your model, Inez. Inez, Sandy. Be sure and use the blue supply wall very thoughtfully, you can choose from any of these three categories to create your statement piece, wood, metal, or miscellany. Surprise me!You will also be creating a shoe for your model to wear. Here are your size 10 1/2 A shoe lasts, a bag of leather scraps, and your sewing supplies. Oh, and by the way, everything must be sewn by hand! Time is ticking people, make it work!" I hear a snicker from one of the head judges who is listening in, she knows this is an impossible task, the models have no feet! "Just kidding! There will be no shoe cobbling for this challenge."

I thoughtfully measure my model and decide to give her a vintage skirt. I get the garment ready but wait, there is an issue, she has too much junk around her trunk and the skirt won't fit!
So I quickly toss it over her head and pin up the fullness into a peasant blouse and drape on a beribboned, bejeweled, bird book mark. Now that is a statement fashion accessory! No, this will never do, too hippy chick and not enough Austen flick. This means I have to start over, no time for lunch!The snarky host pops into the room to check on my progress. "Nicely done, Sandy. The cameo is an inspired touch. Carry on!" I did not win this challenge, I took the theme a little too literal, better luck next time.

The last and final challenge is finally presented. Enters snarky host, "Good morning! For today's challenge you must use as your inspiration materials; a vintage decoupage purse, a flower frog, and a bunch of twigs. How exciting! You must incorporate one or more of these elements into your over all finished design. Use them thoughtfully and make it work! And remember, the judges and I will be watching!" My vision for this one blurs a little bit.These people must be crazy! I now know why this show is called Project Run Away, it makes you want to run away from the mess of it all and these crazy challenges. I spent a little time banging my head on a bottle of glitter during which I hear snickering coming from over behind the yardstick again. It is the snarky host watching me have a melt down. I straighten my sassy southern self up with a toss of my tulle and I think, "I will show him a thing or two!" As I dive into the fray of this last challenge I hear little whispers and comments between the head judge and the snarky host who are hiding out and watching what I will do next. They say that I will never ever make it all fit properly. I will buckle under the sheer pressure of the competition. This gives me just the drive I need to focus on the finish line and to keep my eyes on the prize - a stylish yet organized studio supply closet! With grave determination and sheer grit I dove into the mish-mash massive mess (say that three times in row really fast!) and did my very best.

I nervously presented my finished project before the snarky pin head host and the head judge. They quibbled over the design aesthetics and over the fact that I only incorporated two of the three inspirational pieces. One of them suggested "tacky" due to the plastic containers but the other recognized the economy of using what was on hand rather than replacing it. They can be such babies... In the end, my presentation for Project Run Away went well...(AFTER)

AND I WON!!! The closet is done!

...Returning to reality I realized that I had daydreamed my way through an unpleasant project and that nobody in their right mind would ever go for a show like this. I can now see every square inch of the floor and counter top with only a few more things to organize and then I will be officially moved in. I can now move on to the fun part - staging the studio with special decorative touches that will inspire me to be creative!

I hope you all have a happy day!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy
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