Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Morning.....

Up bright and early...
the candy consumption has begun!
Just wanted to wish you all 
Happy Easter!

 Hope you have a wonderful day
whatever you are up to.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Swap!

This year I participated in the
Easter Swap
Sandy was a wonderful Hostess!

I was paired with Marlene
Miz HoneyBee

I thought I would share with you today what
I made for Marlene....
 A chickie in a teacup....
This was my first Spoolie.
I covered the spool with decorative paper on top,
then covered the center with ribbon and vintage lace trim.
The little teacup was a gift from another swap
but it just said to me 
that it needed to be with this little gal.
The grass in the cup is actually some vintage christmas garland 
I found on one of my thrifting trips.
I thought making her a sweet little shawl gave her an added bit of whimsy.
I placed her inside the German egg container in the background.
Hoping to find more of those in the future.

I then stuffed the box with lots of goodies!
A strawberry container with
a pretty crocheted doily,
some Cath Kidston cupcake wrappers,
buttons and trims,
a glittered up pink birdie,
some vintage playing cards with bunnies and chicks and lambs,
and a few more surprises.
I also included the pretty paper straws and some napkins
to sweeten up an Easter snack.
There were a few more things I didn't photograph
but you get the gist.
One little chocolate bunny  made the trip too.
I had a lot of fun getting to know Miz B through her e-mails.
I hope she starts to blog more because she has a lot to offer!
I can't wait to share with you tomorrow
what she sent to me!
Hope you are having a blessed Good Friday.
We are off to bake Crescent rolls
and dye some Eggs!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Hi to all...
I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.
Just had a busy week!
Getting used to a different schedule for the family..
Loss of the first baby tooth for Little Keeper...
and March Madness-
not the basketball kind...
this ridiculous weather!
One minute it is 60 a few hours later
we have freezing rain and snow!

 I have to admit
this winter I have just been in a bit of a slump...
I think the lack of sunlight really truly bothers me.
Trying to drink more of the above.
Homemade juices with all kinds of fruits and veggies...
I even have to admit 
some days
 I just don't even want to clean the juicer out!
Hoping that the stretch for the next few days with
predicted sunny skies will help.
I've mailed out my Easter swap
and I'm working AGAIN at cleaning out my little
creative space.
Trying to get it organized.
I found some wonderful inspiration for the space..

I'm STILL working on cleaning out the storage space...
we only get there in waves...
bring home a load..
go through it...
decide what goes to the thrift store..
then where to put what we keep?

I have started to see the multi-purpose uses for a lot of my treasures.
Mr. Keeper has a BAD habit
of breaking pretty much anything
that I like.
I have so much vintage and I want to use it.
 Last week I decided to take several items up to the craft room.
One of my jadeite canisters got broken in all the moving about
so I took the surviving two and decided to use them to store paintbrushes.
Lots of vintage tins are headed up to be used to store bits and pieces
like stamps and buttons.
Hopefully this will be a nice solution.
It may be for the better anyway.
Seeing the things I love in my creative space may inspire me even further.
You may remember this 1940's dress
I found during the summer...
Before I wear it,
I was wondering if anyone had any tips
on how to launder a vintage garment ?
It is cotton and handmade.
Just leave me a comment if you have any suggestions.
I'd really appreciate it.
I'll be posting some more goodies that have come out of
the storage boxes and a few that were sent my way
this week.

Hope you are having a Happy and Sunny Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Retreat Happy.....

In 2009 I attended my first artists retreat
 My son was a little over a year old
and I was finding my way
in my new role as mommy.
I had put my artistic endeavors on the back burner
for several years.
I had a career that ate up most of my free time
in that when I was free
I was either physically or mentally exhausted.
I had been a wife trying to fill that dual role so many 
of my generation feels obliged to.
Home maker and career woman.
Time for my creative self was pretty much nil.
I found the Somerset magazines and Cloth Paper Scissors
to be good entertainment while I was
on my 4 months of bed rest.
After my little keeper was born I 
found myself in desperate need of ME time.

I had seen an advertisement for Art and Soul 
in one of my Somerset magazines
and was surprised to learn that they would be right in my backyard
in a few months.
I took a leap and signed up for classes right away.

That was the re-awakening of my creative spirit.
I have attended every year since
have made great friends and learned from some of the most
wonderful instructors.
Art and SOul will be in Va. again in the end of April.
I wanted to share with you some of the
works I have created while there...
This was one of the first collages I made.
Everyone in the class was headed in the same direction
of antique looking book /ephemera.
I was inspired to do something a bit more whimsical
and dedicated it to my son.
I tucked a note for him in the envelope on the tiny book on
the upper right hand corner.
This was a second piece I created that first day.
I have formed a great love for the teacher who taught this class
she is
 a Hoot and a Holler'
as we say in the South.
She is the most energetic
 and encouraging teacher.
I try and take one of her classes every time she comes.
This year she taught us how to make the most amazing
decorative papers using
 National Geographics!
If you go to the company page there is an artists gallery there!
It is quite a little phenomenon...
Here are a few of my finished pieces...
Once the papers are dried
we used alcohol inks to paint on them.
I really wanted to have the images almost camouflaged.
I just let the page speak to me,
I did not attempt to create something specific and I let my imagination run-wild.
 Tell me what you see?
These were very different for me but I really enjoyed them.

I jumped at the chance to take my first class with
She is so much fun and a very patient teacher.
We laughed so much that first class it took the edge
off being so intimidated by the soldering iron.
I don't even think I really finished my bracelet
because I was trying to be so perfect.
However I learned a tremendous amount.
I also take one of her classes every year she returns.
This is my absolute favorite piece I made in one of her classes...
Believe it or not I find the large soldered pieces to be easier
and less intense than the small jewelry pieces.

 Another fun and freeing class I took was with
The art of Silly...
Line drawing and watercolor with a whimsical twist.
I had drummed into my head that I had to be so realistic for
so many years by my art teachers when I was younger.
I was so excited after this class because it felt so natural
and that was a surprise to me.
I took a beginners acrylic class
and I must say I LOVED it.
I had always been a detailed water colorist
and i wanted to try something I was scared of.
I painted this with a palette knife!
There are many more
works I have created there over the past few years
that I won't drag out.
My point was not show and tell...
but to encourage you that if you don't
take time for yourself,
I also wanted to share my gratitude for
the awakening that ARt and SOul
provided for me
and continues to evolve in myself.
I know there are a lot more retreats held around
the U.S. and abroad.
leave me a comment because
I'd love to hear of any you have been to.
I'm always on the lookout to try something new.
I hope you will take a peek at the ARt and SOul offerings
and maybe I will see you there!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Happy St.Patrick's Day!
vintage St Patrick's Day card

The Kilt no longer fits little Keeper...
The great thing about them is they last a few
years because they are adjustable...
so here is a last look...
(this was taken a few years ago)
  at least the tweed Flat Cap still fits....
 This is one of my favorite pictures of him....
Whatever you are wearing this St. Patrick's day...
Hope it is a lovely one...
 By the way-
some of you mentioned you had never seen
The Quiet Man
it will be on t.v. tonight
on Turner Classic Movies
at 9:30 eastern time!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

In honor of our Irish roots....

Gearing up for the St.Patrick's day 
our little day always consists
of the annual
Corned beef , cabbage, and potatoes....
wearing a bit of green ,orange
if my son can still fit in his kilt this year he will wear that again! 
Although he may object this year...
For fun a little green milk and lucky charms...
(o.k. NOT Irish - but fun for the kiddo)
 a treasure hunt...
one of my most favorite movies ever...
The Quiet Man

 I have some Irish in my hubby's side of the family 
and now
 so does my sister.

With a new married name of
there is no dispute there!

I just thought I would share a few of her photos 
from their
Irish Honeymoon
 in honor of St.Patrick's day coming up...
 Love this shot she took of their rings - very fitting for the occasion.
This Panorama if of the Cliffs of Moher
sorry my side bar covers some of it....
This is probably my favorite one she took...
I just love the Celtic cross on the hill.
Hope you having a great weekend and are gearing up for
a little wearin' o' the green!
Happy Saturday Everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mixed Media Muffins......

I just knew those vintage 
 cupcake toppers
would come in handy for something...

It pays to be crafty sometimes...
Especially when dealing with a picky eater....

Happy Thursday everyone!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

We're off to see the Wizard....

I can't tell you
how many times I have actually
walked into a movie theatre
since Little Keeper was born ....
Maybe twice?

When my mom called and wanted to take
me to see the new
The Great and Powerful
How could I say no?

When I was a kid
whenever we would go to visit my
great grandmother towards
The Wizard of Oz usually came on t.v.
 at some point during our stay...
I have to say that it was a tradition 
 drop everything
and watch.
Mom or Grandma also made sure they would call down the
road to my Uncle's house 
 make sure to tell him it was on.
I'm not sure now if it was a joke
because he was a grown man...
if he really loved it too!

 I am glad this is the telling of a different part of the Oz story.
I read Gregory Maguire's
Wicked - The Life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West
before it was turned into a musical
and really enjoyed it.
Although when I heard they were making it a musical
I was shocked because there is definitely some content
they would have to leave out!

I wanted to share this old photo
That is my Great Grandmothers house
with my grandma and her Aunt....
Doesn't she look just like Auntie Em?
Whenever I see this 
it makes me think of Oz.....

What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Bliss dollhouse.....

I introduced you to that
lovely Victorian Dollhouse made by R.Bliss

Today I would like to share
my own little house with you...

 Research has been difficult.
I have only seen two or three others like mine.
One is the Clarke Museum in Eureka ,CA.
part of the Elizabeth Anderson Collection.
Rufus Bliss was the founder of the 
R.Bliss manufacturing Co.,
in Pawtucket, R.I.
from 1832-1914.
The company was purchased after his death 
and continued to manufacture toys until the 1930's.
The company was a pioneer in the manufacturing of
lithographed paper wooden toys.
The earliest ads for the company appeared in the N.E. business
directory in 1871...
If you simply web search Bliss Dollhouses
you will pull up all sorts of images .
The thing I think that makes mine special
is how well it was taken care of.
There is the small torn piece of paper on the gable
but other than that 
it has minor wear compared to the other houses I have seen.
The one that sold on E-Bay yesterday was full of water damage
stains and torn paper and cracklure everywhere.
Lets take a small tour of the 
Flower House
 The front door opens under the tiny plaque
with the manufacturers name on it...
Notice some of the details are printed and then there are also two
decorative spindles hanging from the porch.
 Look at all the lovely little details on the trims,brickwork , and even curtains.
Here is the inside...
A real piece of lace for the downstairs open window,
 and tiny hinges for the door ...
Some nice close ups of the beautiful papers inside...

When I purchased this a few years ago
I just knew there was something special about it.

I had one doll house when I was a child...
 This was me
Christmas Morning I believe in 1982?
I still have the furniture
 but  the house is gone.
I'm not necessarily a dollhouse collector,
I just buy something if I like it!
In the past few years I have grown to love the metal Marx Style dollhouses
and farms after I purchased a small dairy barn for my son
at a flea market.
I have been waiting for the right dollhouse for myself  to come along.
Funny thing is...
a few months ago my mother in law let me look
through some of my husbands childhood photos
and there he is with his little Marx Farm! 
(he still makes that deer in the headlights face when you take his picture sometimes ;)

I have really enjoyed having my little Bliss Dollhouse on display
but as I mentioned I will be putting her up for auction.
Time to let someone else enjoy her.
I know several of you collect dollhouses...
Do you have any particular ones or brands you really love?
I'd really enjoy hearing about it!
If you know anyone looking for a Bliss ..
tell them to keep their eye out for mine on E-bay!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Just had to share this!

I just had to share this
because it excited me beyond belief...
 This doll house made by the R.Bliss company
just sold on E-bay last night for...
drumroll please....
For days it sat with 9 bids at $600
and then in the last hour it went in a frenzy
with 16 bidders chomping at the bit!

I have to say I was surprised
because it had quite a lot of paper damage
and the inside looked to have water damage  and quite a lot of staining on the first floor.

Why was I so excited?
A few years ago I was at a favorite antique shop
and spied a small dollhouse with lithographed paper
It just spoke to me and I had to have it.
It was $45 and that was a lot to me but it just seemed so special.
It has been sitting in my living room cabinet for the last few years on display.

It is not as large as the one above
but it is excellent condition compared to the others I have been able
to find online.
The funny thing is Pinterest helped me find
out more about the little dollhouse.
Someone had pinned an exact picture of the one I own
and I followed the link to learn some bits and pieces about the
Bliss Dollhouse company.

I will share with you in my next post
 pictures of my little gem
and a tad of history about the company.

I hate to part with her
 I will have to put her up for auction.
The awful economy has put a freeze on the job 
Mr.Keeper was just hired for.
We don't know when or if he will start the job now.
Bills have to be paid and maybe this was why the little
gem came into my life for a brief time.
To enjoy and then pass on to someone else who appreciates it.
 Come back to see the darling townhome
and her fabulous interior!

Happy Thursday everyone!