Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Saucy Joanie"

Another great piece of ephemera....reminds me of Lady Joan. If you create something special with this beautiful old girl, please share it with me so I can forward it to Joan. ♥

Happy People Dancing on Planet Earth

Holidays making you feel a little blue ~ watch this video - I DARE you not to smile ~ get up and dance!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ephemera ~ Harvard Girl in Winter

Wanted to share this image with you ~ for Emily ~ who is in Boston taking graduate classes at Harvard.....miss you and can't wait to see you at Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finally Friday - Gifts Card/Tag (Two Peas In A Bucket)

Quick and easy ~ perfect for last minute wrap-ups when you've run out of tags. Also consider using pieces of the gift wrap to make the "boxes" ~ matchy, matchy, that's for me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Snowman Soup

I found this on youTube today - looking for quick Christmas gift ideas for teachers and friends. I've seen the "reindeer food" version before - but I love the snowman soup. This video uses Stampin' Up products (I used to demo for them, too) but you could use any snowflake or snowman stamps with your own cardstock. Also, vintage imagery would be great as well. For the labels that say "freeze dried snowballs" you could print a label by hand to match, or use print your own label sheet on the computer. This looks so fast and easy - it would be a great project for kids to make. Super idea. I mean, there's chocolate in it right? Off to check my pantry for some freeze dried snowballs!

Snowman Soup Poem

Here is the "snowman soup" supply list and poem (for the posted video above) - it's listed on several Christmas crafting sites - with variations on how many chocolate kisses to include....more chocolate is better for me! More ideas: stocking stuffer, gift basket filler, 12 days of Christmas gift, Secret Santa present......I better get busy :) ♥

1 package hot chocolate mix
1-2 Hershey Kisses
10 mini-marshmallows
1 mini candy cane or cinnamon stick

Place in a small ziplock bag or in a new mug - or follow the instructions below.

Attach this poem:

"Was told you've been real good this year.
Always glad to hear it!
With freezing weather drawing near,
You'll need to warm the spirit.
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick.
Add hot water, sip it slow.
It's sure to do the trick!"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thinking about Christmas

The leaves are all off the trees, and we've had more than one snowfall at my house (more coming next week). The kids already have their winter clothes, boots and sleds at the ready!

Is it just me or does Thanksgiving seem like a day of rest and lots of food to help us gain our strength for Christmas and the Holiday season? I can't believe I'm saying this because used to hate people who crowed, "I'm all done with my holiday shopping" - but "I'm done with my holiday shopping". I realize this is possible this year: 1.) because my youngest of 4 kids is in Kindergarten... 2.) I've really pared down the shopping list.... 3.) I hit a really great sale at The Christmas Tree Shop... 4.) I've been stashing gifts for the kids here and there as a make a little money from my eBay auctions. I may never be done with shopping this early ever again in my lifetime so this is my written proof. ♥ All that's left to do is the wrapping, baking and crafting. My three favorite things to do during the holidays. The hard part for me: getting all to the post office in time!

This vintage image is so inspiring to me- I have a shoebox full of old postcards from a nearby antique barn - I hope it inspires you to stay home, get cozy, and start your holiday crafting.

If you make something with this gorgeous blonde - I'd love to see it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vintage Imagery....Joanie on Holiday

I love this image - I've always called it "Joanie on Holiday". My dear mother-in-law Joan lives in Mijas Pueblo, Spain. She has suffered a stroke and seizure over the past weekend and is in hospital in Malaga. Feel free to copy and create something wonderful with this image. If you like what you've created, please share it with me so I can send it to Joanie. hugs and thanks ♥

Thursday, November 6, 2008

....and the Winner of Blog Candy is.... ~ CazJN ~

CazJN - you are the winner of the Blogspot Candy Giveaway - please contact me with your email address - I want to make sure you get your goodies!

Happy Stamping! I'm off to practice my yakkity sax :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back on the Sax.....

I realize this is a crazy blogpost title, however, I wonder if I'm a little crazy lately myself. As you may have read in a previous post, I have taken out my tenor saxophone again. For those of you who knew me in my youth and are cheering me on - I appreciate your support (thanks, Margaret ♥). I am also grateful to my family for tolerating all the tooting.......

While I was mulling over whether or not I had any skills or chops left, searching on the internet led me to an intriguing website and forum: and it's companion After lurking in the forum group for a month or so, devouring all the posts about technical strides in mouthpieces, reeds, ligatures and which saxophones were considered the best - I've just posted my intro. Both are a fabulous resource for all things Saxophone. It was encouraging and inspiring to read the posts from men and women, younger and older and in between, who have been playing the sax for years and those at every age just beginning to play. Thanks, Pete ♥. Who is Pete Thomas? - click above and find out for yourself - and don't forget to check out his shopping links...Pete donates proceeds from sales to APEC, Leukaemia Busters and IMC Burma Cyclone Appeal.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Stamping Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I dug in my box of unused rubber - and found this little cutie in my stash of old PSX. She's stamped in black permanent ink and colored in with Berol prismacolor pencils. I found a little bag of "collage" odds and ends and found this little kraft colored speckled oval - kind of looks like a cracker I think. Distressed it and sponged on some Antique Brown and pumpkin colored ink. The background paper was sent to me by my sister-in-law, I don't know who it's from - but I LOVE it. If you know, please comment so I can buy some more and give credit. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, layered with mounting tape and then layered on the cardstock......and speaking of Trick or Treat, don't forget to register for the "blog candy" - Stampland's new instructional dvd with lots of goodies from Darlene's duster demos - (Eclipse tape, dusters, and an assortment of unmounted and mounted stamps along with a brand-new sealed dvd!) Who needs more candy corn anyway?
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Spectacular Fall Foilage

Okay, okay.....I know I just blogged about this yesterday - but the rain from hurricane "Kyle" had a transforming effect - overnight! Compare the picture below to the one of the same scenery from the previous post - the change is soooo dramatic in one day!

Besides, the winters are sooooo long and grey - I can't get enough of this beautiful foilage.

Here are the colors of my favorite rainbow pad - ♥
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Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Officially Autumn in Vermont

The colors this year are spectacular and inspiring - it has been a few years since they've been so vibrant - the reds are incredible - next weekend is the official "peak" color of the season - I wish I had a rainbow pad that did justice to these hues.....these photos were taken early this morning from my back porch - I was afraid I would miss something if I waited.....very inspiring - if I could just find the time to mess with my stamps ♥

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Featuring Susan Fordyce!

I am so excited to post these two amazing works of art from Susan Fordyce, an accomplished artist and friend from Indiana - her compositions are unique and visually captivating - she takes detail in mixed media to another level of perfection..... I love them they are so intricate ♥
From Susan "...these photos were taken just as a record of work and the sea-image one was done after I framed it so was done at an angle. It is much lighter in color. The pearls sewn on it are real pearls and tiny bits of green glass that I glued on are about 200 years old...I love this piece...the other one just was tooooooo fun for me to do....they frame out at about 16 x 20."

Thanks so much for sharing these Susan ♥

Friday, September 5, 2008


My grandmother, "Nanny", passed away this week at the age of 90. I was unable to attend the funeral, but many serendipitous things happened. The amaryllis I always gave to Nan every year for Christmas I couldn't send this year since she was in the nursing home - I kept it, but it never bloomed.....until this week. ♥
The day I received the news of her passing, my talented new friend Anitra (from Anitra's Cute Art World) sent me an email with this gorgeous work of art attached. It couldn't have come at a better time - she used the sunflower from the slide show - I think it is stupendous. Thank you Anitra, you are an angel. Here part of the sunny email she sent to me:
"I am part Cherokee. My newest design “Apache Sunflower” is one of my first designs for my new Series Native Americans. I am excited to finally start using my long held and loved images from my dear friend Karen from Luna Girl Images! She has many beautiful images that she has composed into CD’s for sale on E-bay & Etsy. I have also another friend to thank and that is Lori Turner from Luluna Stamps for sharing her sunflower image with me! I feel very happy inside after a feeling as if I would never get the time to do another design my heart is full of joy!" Anitra from
Her blog is visually amazing - there are links there to her store on Etsy, as well as her eBay listings and more....♥

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Messing About

Well - I took out the vinyl tablecloth left over from Brownie craft time and decided to make a mess. I looked through my supply laden office and came across an over-abundance of "chipboard" (purchased at a rubber stamp convention over 2 years ago and still in the original bag). Thinking of a shadow box idea I used a ruler as a guide to cut the bottom of the box - 1" by 3" and to cut the clear acetate cover (slightly smaller). After stamping, watercoloring and cutting the Acey Deucy image to size, I constructed the sides and top. Dropped in a few pearls and beads and other fun things - decided I needed to adhere the dragonfly in a strategic place - then learned the hard way to mask off the acetate - especially before using wall spackle....yes girls, seal the "box" and smush in some tiny beads. After the spackle got a little drier, I used acrylic metallic paint in copper, silver, black and a tiny bit of gold and covered all sides. After the spackle and paint were dry, I carefully removed the piece of correction tape from the acetate. I'm not sure whether to use it as a magnet or put a pin back on it - but it was fun to - I didn't measure anything except to use the ruler as an eyeball guide.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Anitra's Cute Art World ~ "Mr. Otis Toad"

All I can say about the talented and generous artist Anitra Williams is W♥W and W♥W. My little man (he's 5) named the toad in my slide show "Otis" - as he names every toad he befriends. Anitra has taken Otis into another world - we are so thrilled - please check out her blogspot - - and read the poem she wrote to accompany this collage.........and prepare to be transported into Anitra's fantastical art world.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer blooms - an accidental gardener

After the snowiest winter on record and the 3rd rainiest summer ever in Vermont - I am truly grateful for the spirit lifting hues of my no-maintenance perennial fact, I am an "accidental gardener". I have no talent for it, no knack - I'm a dreaded "black thumb". Almost all the flower beds were lovingly planted many years ago by another woman who lived in this farmhouse. I had nothing to do with this bounty, I haven't touched them for fear I'd pull a weed that was something unrecoverable.

I wanted to share some of the recent photos I took (check out the slide show)- however, I think the blue hydrangea would be beautiful to use as a collage background....hint hint.....just my little tribute to a short, wet, but exquisitely colorful summer...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Abracadada Rubber Stamp Museum

This YouTube link is worth clicking on! A guided tour of the Abracadada Rubber Stamp Museum from it's curator, William "Picasso" Gaglione. Founder of the original Stamp Francisco and now Stampland with his lovely wife, Darlene Domel, Picasso is extremely active in correspondence art.

My daughter and I were lucky enough to catch up with Picasso and Darlene in New York City this past June for a special exhibition, "Mapping Correspondence" at the Center for the Book Arts. (look in the exhibit archives for Spring 2008 and check out the Flikr photos)

If you are interested in the history of rubber stamps, or just rubber stamps in general, check out this vintage video of the Abracadada Rubber Stamp Museum.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diva Darlene Duster DVD update!

from the insert, "Dusting can be fun?? Tapes can create? Stamp along with the Queen of Quick and Easy as she shows you step by step how to create using Color Duster brushes and Eclipse masking tape. In just a few easy steps you can become a duster expert, a tape transformer. Watch and see how you can add new dimension to ATCs, greeting cards, scrapbooks, altered books, journals and gifts. It is easy effective and entertaining."

As promised - Darlene Domel - the darling of the dusters - has sent me an exclusive preview (dvd insert) of her upcoming "Color Conversations with Darlene Domel" instructional DVD. If you have taken her classes or seen her live demonstrations in the Stampland booth- she makes sophisticated stamping fast, fun and fabulous. As soon as the dvd's and price information becomes available - I will let everyone in on all the details.
.......Congratulations to Stampland, Picasso and Darlene!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

vintage imagery

Real women mow the lawn..... Wear men's hats.....
Make fishing fashionable...
While looking glamorous no matter what......

Vermont is the perfect playground for scavenger hunters, pack rats, antique lovers, and ephemera addicts - a never ending supply of cool old stuff in shops, yard sales and attics. A few favorite finds from my ephemeramania..... I'm always on the hunt for old books with etchings and beautiful illustrations, antique postcards and old magazines and sheet music.
Freebies - please share your work if you choose to copy and use them - I'd love to see anything you might do - I have more time to scavenge lately than to stamp - and keep finding new things as I catch up on cleaning before the snow flies.......enjoy♥

mqhdiva - I found the original piano book for "Hair" and the beloved "Chicago Gold" - I know you could knock off the entire book. ♥

Friday, May 16, 2008

For Olivia......


My dearest and oldest childhood girlfriend - mqhdiva - sent me this on Mother's Day..

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The Invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Can you wipe me? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just got back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Carol, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, life changing truths after which I could pattern my daily work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great building. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished. to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son/daughter to tell the friends they are bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want them to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to their friends, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, sisters, daughters, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women......

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Imagination is a funny thing....sometimes it can lead to inspiration and other times to frustration - trying to create what you see in your mind's eye. I'm imagining that the snow in Vermont will melt soon and that the sunshine will spark my creativity and renew my spirit.....

dreaming of spring........

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Duster art.....

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Duster Brush Diva Darlene

Dabbling in dusters.....if you haven't seen the deliriously delicious Diva of the Dusters, Darlene Domel of Stampland, you need to seek her out at a convention near you (schedule will be posted soon). Her definitive demonstrations are delightfully divine! Rumor has it that a dvd of Darlene's Duster technique will be available soon......I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moms on eBay

Just wanted to give a shout out to my MSMs in my eBay Group......Thanks for all your help and are all so great.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

"Altered Art"

Click to enlarge...... (all images courtesy Stampland or vintage Stamp Francisco unless otherwise noted) on Stampland link to see all the great mounted/unmounted stamps in their catalog!

So many stamps, so little time......

Made a mess at the kitchen table - and played! Here are some of the results....

Monday, March 31, 2008

I hate being a newbie sometimes.....

I hate being a's's's embarassing.....that is why it is good for me. My MMB (Menopausal Mommy Brain) needs the work. A week later and not much better equipped to create what I want to here, but I'm learning and I keep on screwing up....but it's okay. Hopefully these samples will load this time....please newbie with me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Homage to Classic Rubber Stamping

Maybe it's because it's what I know, maybe because it's simple....or maybe it's just because I have always loved every stamp Picasso Gaglione and Darlene Domel have ever vulcanized...all I know is that the time has come for me to "get my stamp on"....and I only want to use my old school Stamp Francisco images and my newly arrived rubber from Stampland....

There is something sacred and simple about one-dimensional art. In the old days (yes the 1990s are now my "old days" weapons of choice were grey rubber brayers from Picasso and Darlene, one of their hand dyed rainbow pads, cover up and correction tape, a true black prismacolor pencil, black/brown ink pad of my own mixing....a newsprint pad and a handful of inked up, dirty, but much loved rubber stamps.....SIGH....

I may not be able to get the entire house clean, finish a home repair project,get the yard work done, or see any results of my many "Mom" hours.....but if I take a few minutes for myself at the end of the day.....I can stamp - I can feel that sweet sense of task completion - and return rejuvenated to my unfinished life business with a secret smile of satisfaction. I know that I will not be able to resist returning to the creative and satisfying experience of creating something I love with a rubber stamp. Yes, an obsession, an addiction....but I just can't stop myself and don't know if I ever want to be cured.

I'm jonesin' for some old school stamping.....