Monday, September 29, 2008

Going Green, Another Miss Sandy Misadventure...

"The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelist and poets."

~Christopher Morley~(photo source)
I have been really good lately at staying out of trouble, mostly. I blame this little incident on trying to be politically correct and "going green" as is all the rage right now. With high fuel and food prices one must do what one must to conserve. It is always nice if you can also have fun doing it.

A week ago handy hubby and I went flea marketing and came across my dream "going green" machine. I got so excited when I saw it that I started hopping up and down so he could see me trying to flag him down all while squealing, "Hurry, it's green, it's green!" He looks at me with that one eyebrow cocked look of his that says, "Oh brother, what did she find now?" But, he was pleasantly surprised as he stepped into the booth. I held the handle bars and my breath as he inspected it.

First he checked all the snazzy silver spokes.
Then he clicked off and on the cool bullet head light.He checked the condition of the super springy leather seat.He kicked the tires and wiggled the fenders.The price tag was inspected then after a rattle of the chain, checking the kick stand, commenting on the cool condition, he looked up and grinned. "Let's take this green machine home!"I about rolled over everyone in the isle to get to the checkout. We loaded it up and took it home. Once home the tires were aired properly, the chain oiled, a quick wash, and then it was time for a test drive. This is where things went a little awry.

I have mentioned before that I am vertically challenged and truth be told, a kids bike would have suited my height better than this 26" beauty but I was not going to let that hinder me. This might be the time to mention that I have not actually been on a bicycle in, oh about 25 years! Not to be deterred I thought of that old saying, "It's as easy as riding a bicycle. It all comes back to you." or at least I hoped it would.
My first hurdle was actually getting on the bike. I rolled it over to the edge of the carport and hopped up on the rocks outlining the edge and climbed on. So far so good. Then I pushed off and pedaled, OK it was really more of a wonky wobbled down the drive. Handy hubby and darling daughter are watching and start yelling for me not to go down the rocky steep drive but to head for the field! A little too late I try to turn and find myself staring at a fence and very big oak tree with not enough space between the two to get through. I tried to brake, which worked great, only I could not quite touch the ground to stop so I just kept gently rolling until my face was in the fence. My hands were splayed through the weld wire and the bike was the biggest blingly ankle bracelet you have ever seen. I hovered there hugging that fence dazed and amazed that I was alive!

I dusted the dirt off my handle bar and pushed my green machine back up to my starting point. Both of handy hubby's eyebrows were shot up in and, "Are you sure you want to try again?" arch. I grinned and got back up on the bike. I aimed for the field and away I flew. There was no wobble, I was really rolling! Then a flash of black began to criss~cross in front of me. It was my little dog Sophie! She started to nip and yap and run in circles around the bike. I thought I was going to use her for a speed bump. I got tickled and started to laugh and yell at her to stop or to get out of the way all the while trying to keep at least one eye on where I was going.
I was laughing out loud, wind whipping my hair, and I felt like Mr Toad of Wind in the Willows on his wild ride, I was flying! We must have caused quite the commotion because just my luck, the one neighbor who can see our house happened to be home, sitting on a lawn chair, by his garage, and was witness to my wild ride. He got tangled in his lawn chair when he jumped up and ran out to the end of his drive to watch me fly by the fence laughing like a loon and scolding the dog. I could hear him cracking up as I cranked my way up the hill. Once I thought I was out of sight I swung both legs to the left and made a 10 point landing, on my fanny! When I dismounted I was on loose gravel and my feet just kept sliding. I never lost my grip on the handle bars and there I sat sprawled out grinning, this time with a big green belt buckle wrapped around my waist!

When handy hubby arrived to rescue me from myself I looked up at him and said, "I did pretty good didn't I?" He shook his head and said, "I guess so, you are still alive anyway! And, DON'T ride this thing if on one is home!" I told him I only messed up because audiences and dogs make me nervous.
Handy hubby says it is great to go green to conserve on fuel costs and all but he is not so sure that the medical bills I am likely to incur will offset any savings.I have secretly been going out to the barn every morning and rolling my green machine out, after the neighbor leaves for work, and I fly through the field, up behind the writing cottage, through the back yard, around the pool, across the driveway, and back to the barn. You know the greatest thing? I laugh the whole time I am flying and I feel young, carefree like a kid again. I am having fun!

So, what do you do for fun? I am trying to decide between a vintage look wicker handlebar basket or a traditional wire one. Which would you choose? Handy hubby says I really need one to carry the first aid kit in!

Miss Sandy

Friday, September 26, 2008

Giving and Receiving.....

"Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will it be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

~Luke 6:38 (NIV)~This morning I was visiting Dawn at The Feathered Nest and was really touched by her post,Thoughts on Sharing. Dawn is one of the most giving people I have "met" here in the land of blog. Her topic today touches on giving and inspiring one another in creativity. I truly believe that by living out this Biblical principal Dawn is being blessed beyond measure. Her artistic dreams are taking flight and she joyously shares them. She is generous with tips and techniques as well as images to inspire others to be creative. In the spirit of her generosity and in honor of her latest creative endeavor, Nature Journals, below I am sharing some images with you that I hope will fuel your imagination and enhance your artwork. Enjoy!

This first image is a favorite of mine. I love the brilliant colors. This is from a 1946 calendar.
How about a sweet little piece of sheet music from a child's song book?
The one below is from an old storybook entitled, Spring is Coming.These next images come from an old instruction book on how to draw flowers. They would make great back ground pages to collage on. When I scanned them bits of the under pages bled through because the paper was so thin. I started to rescan them and use black card stock to block out the bleed through but decided not to as I liked the added texture.This is a new favorite, a needle arts magazine entitle, HOME ART. How perfect is that title for this image to use in our art projects? I did three scans because this is a very large publication. The first one is centered. The second one is moved over so you get the whole pixie. The third one is positioned so you get all the birds.
Don't forget the vintage calling card at the top of the post! I thought it represented the giving hands of my friend, Dawn.

Speaking of generosity, thank you all for your kind comments on my silly little pixie post. She was a fun, fast, and easy project. I enjoyed crafting her story as much as I did bringing her to life. Thank you to all who so generously give of your time to visit here.

Now that we have covered the giving on to the receiving! A little birdie brought me some mail today.
I went over to visit Laurie at Charming Designs and saw one of her darling blue birds perched on a hand painted baby shoe.My heart dropped a beat because I knew that one was mine. Somehow our emails were not connecting properly and I was frantic to get my hands on that little bird. After many messages left on blog posts we were finally able to connect and I secured this little blue bird of happiness for my very own! I have long been an admirer of Laurie's work but let me tell you, it sells F.A.S.T.! Laurie, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creations! On top of the package was this beautiful hand painted tag.Here is my blue bird of happiness! He makes me happy just to look at him! LOVE this artwork!Just look how perfectly at home he has made himself!If you would like a chance to be a recipient of one of Laurie's charming designs, go here to sign up for her give away. Laurie is giving away one of her charming little charms. (Laurie's photo) Here it is a work in progress:
Hurry on over, a winner will be drawn on Monday!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Miss Sandy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Pretty Pink Blossom Pixie Tutorial...

"All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust!"
~Peter Pan~

(photo source, Magpie~ Pixie)
Recently while visiting Beth of Gathering Dust, she posed a question about any ideas for what one could do with those old pink plastic hair curler pins. I left her the suggestion of turning them into cupcake picks, after a thorough cleansing of course! As I was sifting through some miscellaneous odds and ends I found one lonely pink plastic pin that begged to be made into something beautiful.(photo source)
I listened to her tale of woe, how she had lead a useful and helpful life, been practical, serviceable, even helping to make others beautiful. With a sigh she said she wished to be something more than what she was. She longed for freedom beyond a darkened drawer by day and prickly restless nights keeping watch over twisted tresses. She felt quite used, being carelessly plucked and poked around, with no one being mindful of her feelings.(photo source)
All of her companions seemed quite content with their lot in life but she yearned for something more. She knew that she was different and she held onto hope that someday things would change. Her usefulness was short lived as progress was made in the design of hair curlers and she was discarded for irons and rollers that plugged in and were quicker at their job. She found herself tossed into a bag of bric~a~brac and buttons, an odd assortment of companions indeed! There she lay until I found them in a flea market, castoffs in need of a home.

This time, it was with a contented sigh that she relegated herself to a darkened drawer as she saw how very often a hand reached in and partook of its treasures. Said drawer having been left open a time or two gave her a chance to peek at what was happening to the chosen one. Much to her wonder and amazement, new life was being given to each one who was lifted from the drawer. They were finding their way into works of art, things of beauty, sometimes still practical in nature but with service that sparked the imagination and creativity. She quietly positioned herself back where she had lain and waited in joyous hope for her debut. Her day finally came when she and she alone was chosen from the treasure trove. With much anticipation she held her breath to see what she would be. Little did she know that she would be a pretty pink little Blossom Pixie!

She lay very still among some pretty petals, glue, scissors and snips and watched in amazement as she saw, could it really be, the dust of a Pixie?
A pretty pearl center was removed from a silky white blossom. The center was snipped away and she felt gentle fingers wrap it around her neck like one would drape a fashionable scarf. Once secured, a tickle of a brush was felt as glue was applied, followed by a sprinkle of Pixie Dust!Next beaded stamens were tied in a knot just under her silk petaled scarf, another dot of glue and she had arms not just one, but two!She quietly watched as more posies were plucked and taken apart. Their petals were tickled with a bit of glue and the gentle hands sprinkled them, oh how her anticipation grew!She watched as another stroke of the brush dabbed in glue was feathered across the stamens, more Pixie Dust added here too! The then fingers separated another pearl from a pale pink silk petals and reassembled the sparkly stamens, pearl and petals into a crown!She felt the dusted petals begin to glide over her torso, first the smallest was fastened in place. Two more layers were added to this petticoat race. Suddenly she was enveloped in a blossom gown!Jade green eyes and ruby red lips were brushed into place. She was complete! Her dreams had come true she thought as a smile wreathed her face! She felt herself lifted, floating on air. No longer a practical pin for curling hair! For the very first time she stood upright. She gazed in the mirror with utter delight!She turned to me with a face that reflected rapture and glee, tentatively asking, "Could I really be?"My response was, " Yes, you are a Blossom Pixie!" "No more pinning, pricking, and holding hair in place. Your reward for faithful service is beauty and grace."

"You have always been a Pixie deep down in your heart, helpful to humans, especially those in need. Faithful in your duty and doing a good deed."

"You were playful with the children while mother went to rest. In the land of make believe you were a soldier who stood at attention doing your very best. You were also a ballerina fond of music and dancing. Across the bedspread stage you went, merrily prancing."

"Now you have reached your full potential and your wish is well earned. You are no longer ordinary but uncommonly beautiful. Everything is made beautiful in its time. You are now free to live a Blossom Pixie life becoming a great explorer of the caves of the ocean deep where secrets sleep, or finding out the source of hidden streams that flow into beautiful dreams, or you may reside in the recesses of enchanted lands where pin curlers turn into Pixies under magical hands."

"Well done thou good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in the little things, enter into the joy that this new life brings!"
Dear Pixie has already started her adventure into the land of Make Believe. She wandered past an enchanted cottage, the home of a tiny elf.Knowing that Pixies in general do not have wings he suggested that she try travel by an enchanted glass butterfly! She took this brilliant blue one for a test fly.A soft landing was made in a nearby tree that was home to a sweet little birdie. Dear birdie had a magical nest, upon a powder puff did her egg rest! Pixie left with a feather in tow, tucked in her crown of glitter and glow!The last I saw of dear Pixie Blossom, she was perched on a toadstool getting ready to glide away, perhaps she will return to tell us of her adventures some day!I hope you enjoyed this fanciful twist on a boring tutorial. If you read Pixie's story very carefully you will find a moral to this tale. What do you think it is?

Many thanks go to Beth for sparking my imagination by asking a simple question and to Nancy for the Pixie Blossom supplies and cute little yellow bird that I won in a give away a while back and for Pixie's mode of travel, the blue glass butterfly too!

Miss Sandy
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