One morning, in early November, I took a few stem cuttings from the Geranium growing in a big clay pot in our garden. I placed the cuttings in a vase of water and gave it a nice sunny spot on the window ledge. Apart from changing the water every few days, I literally forgot about it.
Now, I have a vase filled with lovely strong roots and the sweetest little red blooms :-)
Two of my mixed media pieces are in the Winter 2013 Artist Spotlight pages of Somerset Studio Gallery.
I Heart this Earthly Life has been on my blog side panel for a while, Fox Sparrow singing to my soul ♥
I've picked up many discarded books over the years, the majority have pages torn out and are scribbled in making them perfect for Art Journals.
One day, an idea for a painting came to me, but I had no canvas available. Suddenly, I realized that the covers from these books made for an instant canvas!
You can paint directly on the paper. Depending on how old your book is, the paper may be thin, in which case you will not want to add a lot of water to your paints. If you'd prefer, you can glue on a piece of watercolour paper.
Birds, especially Sparrows hold a special spot in my heart.
Also in Somerset Studio Gallery are some of my Dear Friend Mini Bags.
Our little picket fence enclosed country cottage front garden was created with the birds, butterflies and bugs in mind, is completely chemical free, and almost maintenance free, left to it's own doing. Even the spent flowers look lovely to us, and we leave them as long as possible for the Yellow Finch to have one last feast on the Cosmos.
Since I love to send friends home with gifts (from the kitchen and garden) I make up little mini bags to hold the seeds. Super easy, recycling brown paper shopping bags and adding a little watercolour painting and garden themed quote.
In the Winter 2013 issue of Sew Somerset, is my Power of Words Offerings Pouch.
Following a serious car accident, I turned to my books of quotes often, finding myself gravitating to the positive messages. I began writing out favourite affirmation quotes and carrying them with me. They found their way in my purse, my pocket, I had them tucked in the corners of mirrors around my home, and placed them on the dashboard of my car, reminding me to live life in the present.
I truly believe in the power of the written word which is where my idea for a little "offerings" pocket came about. An expression of my belief that a few kind words speak volumes.
Made from a recycled pocket from jeans and 2 of the waist band loops, slip through a belt and fill with inspirational water coloured cards.
Share your cards freely ~ you never know who may need to read an uplifting message xo
Thank you so much to all those at Stampington who help make Artists dreams come true ♥
I get into "Christmas mode" as soon as Halloween is over.
And if I wasn't already excited about Winter and the Holiday Season approaching, I definitely am now, especially after spending a few lovely, relaxing (and inspirational) days in New York.
Visiting some of my favourite stores like Pottery Barn and Anthropologie & the fabulous Christmas Tree Shop and I couldn't wait to get home and display my new finds.
The weather has been gorgeous and hopefully will continue so we can start some outside decorating this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing the house all lit up with twinkle lights.
Each Christmas I try to make something special to let each person on my list know how special they are to me & create a little package that is a gift in itself. A few packages are leaving the country, and a few won't leave the house :-)
Dawn @ The Feathered Nest is always so generous with sharing her gorgeous vintage images & she posted a few that I fell in love with & they became the focal point in the gift wrapping. I like to make little tea/coffee stained tags , stamp a special message & attach the tiniest of bells with a little twine.
A walk with Archer always has me coming home with pine cones and leaves and twigs, and these nature finds are being incorporated in my artwork.
A few weeks ago, my Daughter & I were at a Church book sale.
We found some wonderful books ~ some to keep for ourselves, a few we found to give to friends who had mentioned wanting to read a particular title, and a few to turn into Art Journals.
I squealed with joy when I came across a Tasha Tudor book ... "Old Fashioned Gifts" ♥
& the title of this book "Lines to Live By" filled with page after page of lovely quotes and sweet black and white sketches.
I've been using the Maple Leaves that have fallen from our tree as book marks :-)
our lives are spent
gathering what we love...
we call that place
Perfect safe keeping spots to press them.
Had just enough bran left over to make a batch of Every Morning Bran Muffins to take on our hike with Archer. They are crisp and chewy on the outside & lovely and soft on the inside.
I like to sprinkle an assortment of pecans, raisins, sunflower and in Celebration of October ... pumpkin seeds on the top.
I love the look of European style parchment paper muffin liners (much more than bought muffin cups). They are easy to create ... pull out about 5" from parchment paper roll and cut. The length and width of the paper will give you 3 good size muffin liners. I dampen the parchment slightly which makes it easier to press into the muffin tins.
EVERY MORNING BRAN MUFFINS
1 cup bran
1 cup raisins or chopped dates
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix the bran, raisins, milk, salt & sugar and let stand for about 30 minutes to absorb. Sift dry ingredients together into wet mixture and stir to just moisten. Spoon batter into muffin liners & sprinkle asst of fruit and nuts on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
A pot of tea, some finger sandwiches & tray of sweets and you have the perfect
Girlfriends Autumn Tea ♥
I cover my table with a pretty cloth, use fallen leaves from our Canadian Maple scattering them all over the table and write each guests name on a little chalkboard slate.
At each place setting I like to have something my friends can take home with them.
A small clay pot with a plant or herb, a seed package with seeds from my garden, a wrapped posy...
This year, I decided to make tiny pumpkins.
These little teeny jack be little pumpkins are made using up scraps of chenille upholstery fabric, a fallen branch and real pressed leaf.
They are so small they can fit in the palm of your hand. Stuff firmly so they can stand on their own. Perfect for sitting on your desk, kitchen table, mantle or windowsill all Autumn long.
They are super quick and easy to create ~ this is how I made mine ...
JACK BE LITTLE PUMPKINS
Cut fabric of your choice 4"W X 3"L.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric.
With needle & thread, baste along bottom seam - pull tightly and stitch in place.
Turn fabric right side out. You will already see your pumpkin taking shape :-)
Add a small amount of fiberfill.
Run a basting stitch along the top - pull tightly and stitch in place. Using your finger, tuck gathered fabric down into the pumpkin.
Add a small drop of hot glue and push a small piece of fallen branch into the hole.
Add a tiny pressed leaf.
For a small cutlery pouch, I used some fabric remnants I had. Like the pumpkins, these are fast and easy to create in no time. Perfect last minute crafts.
GATHER CUTLERY POUCH
Cut fabric 8 1/2" W x 10 1/2"L.
Pin a strip of ribbon the width of the fabric and sew into place.
On a small piece of muslin, stamp the word GATHER and stitch in place half way down pouch.
Create two rosettes by ripping muslin strips 3/4" W x 15"L. I like to start my rosettes by creating a knot at the end of the fabric. This will not only give you a sturdy place to hold on to as you start twisting the fabric, but will give some depth to the look of the rosette. Then just simply twist and add a few dots of hot glue to hold as you go around.
Attach the rosettes above the word GATHER.
Fold right sides together and sew down length of fabric. Sew along bottom seam.
Turn right side out.
Add a few beautiful leaves and tuck in a little "I am THANKFUL for you because ..." note before you add the knife, fork and spoon to the pouch.
Saturday mornings are spent going to garage sales with my daughter, and one of my "can't pass up" things are old Scrabble games. Because of this, I have a big container of scrabble pieces which I like to use in creative ways. For my Autumnal tea , I chose words & phrases like THANKFUL, BLESSINGS, AUTUMN & FALL IN LOVE for each place setting.