Monday, August 31, 2009

Nature Inspired.....

"As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens."

~Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping~
Thank you all for your sweet get well wishes, I am indeed much better and gearing up for tomorrows big event...meeting my fresh from God newborn granddaughter! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!

I wanted to share a hot off the press publication with you that I have been eagerly awaiting, Nature Inspired by Tracie Lyn Huskamp. This is a wonderful book that teaches Mixed-Media techniques for gathering, sketching, painting, journaling, and assemblage. Tracie has combined her teaching with a unique style that lets you explore nature through art. I love her combination of paper, paint, fabrics, and photos to make one of kind nature inspired works of art. Just look at these beautiful journals...
In this book you will learn about capturing nature with photography, collecting assemblage items, artful techniques for making nature prints, sketching and painting from your photography, techniques for creating backgrounds for your artwork, as well as creating projects from all you learn. Some of the projects include nature journals, jewelry, and nature assemblage.You can visit Tracie's blog, The Red Door Studio, where you can learn more about her book and view some of her nature inspired art. If you would like to take a peek inside, visit Amazon here and click on the Look Inside This Book feature. The book is available through Tracie, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. As you can see it is already on my work table ready to be put to use.A huge thank you and congratulations goes out to Tracie on the publication of her new book. I wish her much success!

Miss Sandy

Friday, August 28, 2009

Blog Inerruption...

(image source ~ Flaming June by Lord Fredrick Leighton)

This blog is interrupted until the room stops spinning, my knees quit quaking, and my head quits aching. It seems I have a lovely virus. I hope you all are well and enjoy a great weekend.

Miss Sandy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Playin' With Pretties, Your Opinion Please.....

I spent a little time playing in my studio yesterday with some ideas for items to list in my new shop. I know realistically that I cannot keep it stocked with artwork as I can't produce it that fast, so, I have been playing with some ideas of ephemera packs, supplies, or kits for creating with.

Mostly I was playing with packaging ideas and I would love to get your input. I am toying with the idea of a unique pocket filled with vintage ephemera as one item. The two I created yesterday are just samples and still need some improvement. Here are the pockets...They each have a little pocket on the front for tucking in small ephemera...Some ideas for what I would tuck inside the small front pocket...The contents could include two "finish me" tags, I use scraps from projects to cover the tag base so a background is there just waiting to be finished up with your embellishment, a vintage post or greeting card, a little vintage ad or recipe, themed color images, a punch out image on vintage book paper, and a small tag. The bundle would be wrapped in a bit of lace with a final embellishment of some sort or trinket, in this case an old key.(NOTE: I would not be including some of these exact images as shown in the above photos. I don't own the rights to some of these images, these are just samples of stuff I have been using on other projects on the work table and they were handy for using as props.)Some ideas for stashing in the larger pocket...The contents could include large dictionary pages, writing tablet paper, vintage map page, handwritten pages from an old notebook, vintage ad, Latin and French lesson book pages, vintage greeting card, and old photo. Contents would vary and change from packet to packet but would include two dozen pieces of ephemera plus the envelope.Is this something you would be interested in? I am trying to come up with things that I love and would buy myself.I also thought of some smaller paper bundles and embellishments like these...They include a small roll of wallpaper (1), vintage sheet music (2), and ledger pages (2) all tied up in tulle with a monogrammed tag.The little bag of paper punches include snazzy circles (6) and sweet little birds (6) punched from various vintage paper sources. What do you think of either of these or similar products?Well, that is all I had time to play with since I had an opening ceremony to attend. Yes, I made a couple of Etsy purchases and decided to have myself a little opening ceremony. Beth (Gathering Dust) said it sounded like the Olympics and really she wasn't that far off. The rules of the Etsy Olympics are very simple, the fastest one to click on the buy button wins!I really placed well over at Beth's Etsy place, she even sent me a congratulatory card! Could you not just die over the cuteness of this vintage card? Beth is bigger than me, I never would have let it go. Nope, I'd of kept it all to my stingy little self. Thanks Beth, I LOVE IT!I love this little bundle of lace all tied up in gold seam binding, this is how Beth sent me my Etsy Olympic winnings...OK, back to the games, I won the cracked porcelain watch face! I thought I placed pretty well in this event.Next I cleaned up in the Cameo Category! I got the Cameo Queen and Dust Rose awards!This next one was a sporting event called Shootin' from Your Canoe and I won this little brass and gold affair!Now we are really talkin', this is where the stakes get high, the Watch Case Awards. I placed in two events here and won the Wrist Watch Award complete with monogram, they got my initials wrong but that's OK, and the grand prize of them all, the Pocket Watch Case award!I also made a purchase from Rolling Hills Vintage on Etsy. I adore seam binding as an accent on packages and artwork and she had some is the most delicious color of green. It was packaged up with a pretty little snippet of ribbon and a sweet little quilted heart. The stamped tag will be fun to play with once the seam binding has been all used up! Thank you, Beth and Anita, for the swift service and great goods!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I think the shop name will be Quill Cottage Creations. This one got the overwhelming votes from you. I hope to set a final opening date soon. I want to get some things worked up to stock it first as well as work out pricing and shipping details.Now, I'm off to dream up some projects to accompany those great pieces I just got.

Miss Sandy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Give Away Winners.....

Thank you all for your sweet congrats on my second year of blogging. I truly feel so inspired and blessed by all of you. I promise to get to all the comments very soon and pay you all a visit.

The winner of the Nature Assemblage and ephemera pack is...Laurie of Indulge Your Shelf!The winner of the Nature Journal and ephemera pack is...Lili of Lili M.!Congratulations to both of you! Please email me your mailing information, my email link is on my upper sidebar, and I will get your packages in the mail by the end of this week.

Thank you all for playing along and stay tuned, I'll have another little art piece to give away in the next week or two.

Just to let you know I will be out of pocket for a day or two so I may not post again until around Wednesday. In the mean time, have a great week!

Miss Sandy

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Serendipity Sunday: Love and Marriage .....

Serendipity: Making a delightful or unexpected discovery

"Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." ~Mark 10:9 (NKJV)~
This weeks delightful discovery was movie my husband and I watched together last night, Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron. Most of you have probably already seen the movie as it has been out for a while now. I am not a huge movie buff so I did not see it when it came out. The movie is about a fire fighters struggling marriage and how having a Christ centered heart and home can impact one of the hardest roles in life, that of husband and wife.

I know a young couple about seven years into their marriage that have hit a rough patch in the road and their marriage is on the skids. After seeing this movie, I intend to encourage them to watch it together.

I wish I had begun my own marriage with Christ at the center. We were five years into our marriage when we almost gave in and gave up. My husband recently told me that had it not been for my determination to make things work out that he would have given up. It was a long hard struggle to make it work. The real blessing came to our home when seventeen years into our marriage we came to know Christ. Through His redeeming power we were able to begin build on a new foundation of faith and everything changed...for the better.

One of the movie quotes says, "Fireproof doesn't mean that a fire will never come, but that when it comes, you'll be able to withstand it."
Marriage is hard work and often love is a choice rather than a feeling. No marriage is fireproof, the marriage itself, as well as each partner, will be tested, tried, and refined over time. As this is a movie about fire fighters, one of the richest quotes in the movie says, "I have learned that you never your leave partner ~ especially in a fire." This quote can be directly applied to a marriage situation. It would be so easy to walk away in the heat of the moment rather than to stay and fight to put out the flames that lick and burn at all marriages.

There are some principals in this movie that can be applied to even the best of marriages and my husband and I had a long discussion about that last evening. Even in a good marriage you can take one another for granted or forgo those little courtesies or extra acts of kindness and expressions of love that let your partner know they are valued and appreciated. We intend to dare to love one another differently than we have in the past or even in the recent present.

I will be honest with you, the acting is pretty bad but the message of this movie is so powerful. By the time the credits roll you really will not care about the acting ability because you will be too busy feeling your own feelings and thinking you own thoughts about your own relationships. This movie moved my heart, provoked my thoughts, and propelled me into prayerful action. I give it a two thumbs up!

A Marriage Prayer:

Bless our love, Oh Lord, we pray,
Keep it strong by night and day;
Bless our marriage, firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out;
Bless the union and the call,
Let Thy peace lie over all;
Bless our hearts that they might prove,
Ever open to joy and love.

Bless our ideals, often shining and bright,
Letting in God's revealing heavenly light;
Bless the love a~blazing here,
With smoke ascending like a prayer;
Bless the love that dwells within,
Keeping our hearts pure and free from sin;
Bless our marriage that it might be;
Fit, O Lord, with eternal unity.

Miss Sandy

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Happy Scrapper.....

"I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter."
~Freddie Mercury~

I recently found a few little paper treasures at one of my favorite antique stores, Jennifer's, in old downtown. I love old Victorian images and these authentic pieces of Victorian scrap were a real find. They consist of two types of images produced in the Victorian era, picture sheets and embossed reliefs.

"Publishers produced picture sheets from the early 1800's that were uncolored, or at an extra cost, hand colored and were sold by stationers and booksellers. These sheets were intended for children to color or draw from. Many times the images were cut out, much like a paper doll, to play with while some of the better images were placed in albums or scrap books.
Embossed reliefs originated in German baker's shops where they were used to decorate cakes. They were later used as decorative images for Valentines and Christmas cards. They were also used to illustrate historical or popular events of the times." (information source)

To learn more about these wonderful paper pieces you can visit The Scrap Album.
The pieces I purchased were obviously once mounted in an album. By looking at the backs you can see were a gum adhesive had been applied and some of them have bits of paper on the back from their removal. A few even have little pieces of tape where the dealer repaired them.I have a mixture of three types of scrap: picture sheets, embossed relief, and cut outs from what appears to be a newspaper or magazine.I scanned three of the larger embossed images to share with your for your artwork, just click on the image, save to your computer, and enjoy!

This lovely lady draped in green looks like one of those images you see on an old cigar box.

I love this sweet image of a little boy clad in blue velvet.

This image has a different feel, texture, and quality than the others and it seems as if it may have been printed and coated differently. The coating is hard and sort of cracking but I find this gazing beauty with her tattered edges one of my favorites.

I have to wonder who collected them, why they chose certain images, and did they know that they would be enjoyed by far removed generations?

There was one odd image in the bunch and as soon as I saw it an art piece popped into my head...
Remember that shadow box I used in the nature assemblage in my give away? Well, here is the back that I removed from it with the image, a hint at a new project...Next week I will share with you not only the completed artwork, I feel another give away coming on, but also an incredible and generous gift I was blessed with through a precious blog friend. Until then I'd better get busy, I just got a call letting me know that my little granddaughter will make her appearance earlier than expected. She will arrive on Sept. 1st!

Please pray for her safe arrival. My daughter-in-law is so ready to deliver her. She is at that miserable part of pregnancy and our hot humid weather is not helping. Gorgeous grandson keeps going in the nursery and asking, "Where's the baby?" He has not quite got the concept yet. He talks about her and calls her by name but I am not sure how he is going to react to the actual event. I think he is going to be a great big brother. Darling Daughter and I have been out shopping for both of them, she is so excited to be an aunt again.

It is so funny, my daughter-in-law is having the baby but I am the one in nesting mode. I have been rearranging things to make room for two little visitors instead of one and think I have come up with the perfect solution. I'll show you next week after I get the project complete. It looks like I have a lot of projects to finish up in a weeks time but who cares? I am one happy scrapper, great paper finds and a sweet new addition to the family, life is good!

Have a happy Saturday!

Miss Sandy
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