Sunday, July 31, 2011

Technology Weekend

Resolving the Blogger issues went well yesterday so I figured I was on a roll and also bought a new computer.  I picked it up this morning and spent the afternoon setting it up and testing to make sure everything worked.  I did have to go back and buy new speakers because my "antique" ones wouldn't play nice with Windows7.  Internet Explorer 9 has a little learning curve to it but after Googling for some Help I got that working in a way I could make sense of.  This was a quick picture I shot of one of the dahlias in the backyard to check how this new beast would behave with the camera.  Those white flowers are part of mural that I painted on the side of our garage so we would have something to look at before the flowers come up.  I am using it as my wallpaper so click it bigger to get a closer look - it appears I have already uploaded a couple of bugs - YIKES!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Taking The Plunge

Whew, talk about stressful!  Google made some resent changes that left me in a situation where I had conflicting accounts.  The accounts were our family URL, which we all use for our email and my blog.  You can probably imagine how cryptic the instructions for resolving it were so I have been procrastinating. I knew that sooner or later they would close the little hole I was crawling through to get to Blogger so time for a deep breath and dive in.  I have been working at it on and off all day and I think I've finally got it!  This is a test to make sure I can still upload pictures and post.

Sadly, I think the list of blogs I follow (not followers of my blog) was a casualty of the changes I had to make.  I apologize to any of you who saw your number of followers decrease by one today!  I will be trying to make my way around and sign up with everyone again. 

Okay, I'm going to click Publish.  Fingers crossed!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My BirdSong Tag Book Arrived!

My tag book from Karla Nathan's Birdsong Swap was waiting to welcome me home from work yesterday.  So much creativity in a sweet little bundle that came wrapped in a vintage book page.
 This the cover Karla made.  Can you imagine making over a HUNDRED of these - Wow!  There is a cute little birdcage charm and a feather attached to the bottom left corner.  Click the picture to make it larger.
 The second tag is made by Marie.  I met her during Where Bloggers Create and had admired the tag on her blog so I was thrilled when one of them was included in my book.
 This tag is made by Andrea and it is finished off with a wonderful beeswax coating.  Yummy feel!
 I love the little poem on Stephanie's tag.  The back is decorated with a neat bird stamp and banner.
 Susan's tag has a hand-embroidered bird and is sewn to a paper tag.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Hand embroidery!
 Terri's tag is printed on muslin then sewn to a paper tag.  I love the fringe and the MOP button.
 This colorful little collage was made by another Kathy.  Such a creative variety of papers and images!
The last tag was made by Beth and it is a collage of wonderful vintage wallpaper and you know my weakness for wallpaper!
After I photographed it I untied the ribbon and added my extra tag I made for myself to the back.  Participating the this swap was so much fun and I am so pleased and honored to have each and every little piece of artwork. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Playtime With The Altered Book Project

I took some time out for play and finished up a couple of altered book pages last night.  I wish I had written down the blog where I saw the words on the left so I could give credit.  I saw it during the Where Bloggers Create party and it resonated with me.  I know this says it all about my art room!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cracked Pots at Edgefield

Last week we attended the annual Cracked Pots art show at McMenamins Edgefield.  For those of you who are not from 'round here, the McMenamin brother are brewers, wine makers and distillers.  They purchase broken down, but historic, old properties and renovate them.  The result is some of the most unique brewpub destinations you could imagine.  Their "rescues" include old public schools, hotels, and theaters.  This particular location is called Edgefield and was originally the county poor farm and later a nursing home.  You can learn more about it by visiting here.
 The Cracked Pots Art Show has become an annual event in mid-July.  Cracked Pots artists specialize in art from recycled materials.  In their words, "Cracked Pots uses art to encourage our community to creatively look at trash.  Reuse is at the heart of all we do.  Think before you throw."  You can learn more about them and peruse some thumbnails of each artist's work here.
I apologize for the quality of the photos.  It was overcast and near dusk when most were taken.
The front entrance to the main building which is now a hotel and event venue.  There are many buildings on the property and this is the largest.  The old architecture and workmanship is beautiful.  It's hard to imagine the original function was a poor farm!

There are two separate restaurants, one high-end and the a moderately priced brewpub with indoor and out door seating.  There is a large outdoor amphitheater that draws top name performers.  There are many tiny bars scattered across the property in what were once garden sheds.  Some seat as few as four people but you can purchase a drink and enjoy it as you stroll the grounds.
This is one of the side entrances to the main building. 
The property is still a small-scale working farm in addition to producing small-batch spirits.  There are extensive flower, herb, fruit and vegetable gardens.  There is also a small golf course.
Edgefield is the perfect venue for the Cracked Pots show since the property is decorated with unique, original garden art made from recycled materials. There are two of these archways made from old water pipes and plumbing fittings.  They are functional and water drips from the faucets to water the plants potted in retired beer kegs.
This garden gate is one of my favorite pieces.  This flower and vegetable garden is enclosed inside a wire fence with this old wooden door as an entrance.  I LOVE this!
It was too dark and too many people to get permission from the artists to take photos but I couldn't resist stealing just this one.  The garden art ran the gamut from wind chimes made from salvaged keys and bottle caps, mosaic hubcaps, glass birdbaths to jewelry. The15 foot fire-breathing dragon wasn't there this year but this giant seahorse made up for it! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Close-Ups Of The Secret Garden Book Plus A Couple Shout-Outs

I will start out with an apology for this very long post so soon after the Where Bloggers Create mega-post.  Alexa's Secret Garden Of Verse arrived back from Somerset last week so I wanted to show you the complete book.  I'll keep the words to a minimum so it isn't so long to scroll through but please read to the end because there are a couple of special events I want to tell you about.
 The book is sitting on top of the keepsake box I bought for it and I also included a copy of the magazine.
 You can double-click the pictures so they are large enough to read the verses I picked out.

Thank you for indulging me.  I can hardly wait to give her the real thing!

I also want to share a give-away Diane is having to celebrate her 200th post over at My Art Journal.  Be sure to check it out because she is giving away one of her lovely hand-painted boxes!

Plus! I want to point out the new button over on my sidebar.  Lovey at Fabric Photo Memories has put her beautiful book on a special sale.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Are you all exhausted from five days of blog-hopping at Where Bloggers Create?  I know I am, but in a very GOOD way.  Oh. My. Gosh.  So many wonderful creative spaces and so much inspiration.  It took me about an hour to start making changes to my art room!  I'll be showing some changes soon.
In the meantime I thought I would show you some birthday gifts I received from a sweet friend on Saturday.  She was on a trip where she had the opportunity to visit some antique malls and scored these delightful sugar bowls for my sugarcushions.  What a fabulous birthday present.  She also gave me these two books and a beautiful patio pot of pink and purple petunias.  I haven't been able to get a picture of those since we are enduring April in July here in Portland.  She knows me well!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Bloggers Create III - Welcome to My Art Room!

Thanks to the hard work of Karen over at My Desert Cottage we get to party again this year at "Where Bloggers Create III" - that's THREE.  The party officially begins this Friday, July 15th.   Last year was so much fun.  I think there are as many styles and sizes of art rooms and studios and creative spaces as there are bloggers and each one filled to the brim with that blogger's brand of inspiration. 
Welcome to MY art room - I am looking forward to visiting YOURS!
I will take you on a 360 degree tour around my little creative space.  The room has an odd shape because it is a portion of what was once an attached one-car garage.  It amounts to about a modest 150 square feet.  This is the view from the doorway.  I tried putting on a tablecloth since company was coming but it just didn't look "real".   Well, I guess this really doesn't either since the table is usually covered with a project or my latest picking haul.
This is looking back toward the door from the other side of the room.  I showed the closet doors last year but never shared the inside.  I have done a couple of projects inside there since last year so I'm opening up the doors this year.  By the way, I painted those folk art style pictures above the doors about 25 years ago.  I keep thinking I will get back into that style of art one of these days but we all know there are only so many hours in the day!
This dresser is a recent addition and sits behind the left closet door.  I punched round, scalloped labels from wallpaper and used them to label the drawers.  You will see more of that same wallpaper a little later. The top three shallow drawers are still empty.  I'm toying with the idea of sorting my treasures according to the three primary colors and then one of the big drawers for black and white.  Do you think orange goes with yellow or with red?
I found this sweet little white book shelf that happened to fit perfectly behind the right door.  It is really the top from a hutch and has two cute little drawers and a scalloped top. Fitting these two pieces inside the closet required a LOT of purging, let me tell you!
A closer look at the book shelf.  Hmm...  box shelf?
I have a "thing" for old Buxton-style jewelry boxes and I have quite a few of them.  Here is the funny thing - most of them are empty.  I really struggle with needing to have things out where I can see them and be inspired {and not forget I have them!} so I have no clue why I keep buying these jewelry boxes.  When I come up with the right use for them they will be sitting here waiting for me.  Undoubtedly with a few more friends by then - LOL!
This is an odd shaped room so this notch is the side of another, deeper closet on the same side as the big closet doors.  A perfect spot spot for a perfect vintage trash can for storing my rolls of wallpaper.  This closet will NOT be opened for blog posts.  It houses a water heater and it will take a lot bigger brain than mine to spin that into anything attractive.
But I can spin the door!  This is a close-up of the door to the other closet.  The vintage shoe bag is new since the last party. I love the floral pattern and the colors.  The curtain rods for hanging linens are still behind it and they are still visible all around the shoe bag.
Now we are moving on to the second wall.  I moved all of the magazines out of this bookcase this year because it is easily accessible so it makes sense to store more frequently used {or enjoyed!} things here.
A closer look...  more boxes, but at least these are either labeled or have been used for the same items for so long that I know what is in them.  Love that vintage postcard - the caption says "down she goes"!
Lots of little bits and pieces waiting for their day in the sun.
I am always on the lookout for apothecary jars because they are the perfect display for buttons.  Just like jars of candy - eye candy!
Stacks of vintage sheet music, old books and other ephemera.  I mainly select sheet music based on the graphics on the cover but sometimes the lyrics will ignite a little spark of imagination.  It's all good.
My big red, rolling tool chest.  This "Husky" girl offers SO much storage but all that red was kind of jarring so I made her a new outfit with the same wallpaper I used for the round labels on the dresser.
Glass buttons are my favorite so they get an eye-level nest on top of the tool chest. Glass rhinestones and clear glass are in apothecary jars.  Wood buttons and vegetable ivory get their own apothecarys in the back.  The compartments in the vintage satin organizer hold opaque colored glass, celluloids, tight tops, china, bone, some vintage button cards....  The small boxes in the front are vintage plastic and hold their own collections of plastic rhinestone buttons and vintage buckles.
There are also a few oddballs like a doorknob, a giant lens and a fuse mixed in - because I can.
Next to the red tool chest we have a little shelf of curiosities. 
Below the curiosities we have boxes and baskets filled with more buttons, a giant glass jar of buttons and spools and a little assemblage I made from a round cigar box.
This assemblage is one of the rare occasions where I managed to use some of "the good stuff", including a vintage lace hankie that belonged to my grandmother.  That vintage postcard just spoke to me and it seemed like the right thing to do.
Above the shelf of curiosities I have a mobile I call "Extra Credit" because the ATCs are made from those fake credit cards that used to be in the daily delivery of junk mail.  I wonder if those are collectible now??
The third wall, looking back toward "Husky".  Look down in the corner between Husky and my workbench...
...and you will find another vintage trash can.  This one stores metal cans that have been burned to patina them or are awaiting the patina.  Behind it, out of view, is a small bookcase that holds spray paints and other unattractive supplies and a large crock that holds rolls of wrapping paper, yardstick and other hard-to-store items.  No vacant square inches  around here!
Opposite the oak buffet "workbench" is the table you saw from the door.  I use vintage suitcases for storage underneath the table.  One holds tissue and wrapping paper and the other three are filled with family artifacts.
The self-healing cutting mat on top of the workbench was new this year, a Christmas gift from the husband, along with a rotary cutter.  LOVE both!  These tools just make so many things easier.  I don't know how I ever got along without them and I cannot recommend them enough.
More buttons on my workbench to entertain me while I work plus a new apothecary I just picked up the other day.  What?  Unused space?  I need to do something about that.
There are three wide shelves mounted on the wall above my workbench. 
The bottom shelf stores items that are frequently used so they are within easy reach.
Tiny drawers and jars attempt to keep the tiny treasures from being swallowed up in the chaos.
I have to use a stepping stool to reach the top shelf so it is used for things I use less frequently, things I plan to use "someday" and things I just like to fill up my eyes with.
I skipped past my sewing machine table at the end of my workbench this year.  It sits in front of the only window in the room and I just couldn't seem to get a good picture against the light. Now we are on the fourth wall where I have my desk.  The dresser in the corner has been mine since I was a baby.  I added the black paint and used fabric and Mod Podge to cover the drawer fronts.  It hold my printer/scanner and my old-school TV so I can watch American Pickers and Pawn Stars and Antiques Roadshow.  Okay, I'll just say it...  and Ice Road Truckers and Swamp People.  It's no wonder I don't get more done in here....
A little corner shelf above the TV holds more bits and pieces of inspiration clutter that I can't reach.
Another new project for this year was "respecting the lace".  Last year this drawer was a loopy, tangled mess of lacey goodness.  I made little tags from recycled cereal and cracker boxes covered with wallpaper then untangled and neatly wrapped each and every piece.  A huge project but worth the effort since I can now see and therefore USE what I have.
A little collection of religious items, my soldering attempts, a saltbox bird shrine and a bell to call the maid.  I need to fire that girl.  She's always goofing off somewhere and never hears me dinging.....
My simply perfect in every way custom desk my youngest son built for me.  He designed it exactly to my specifications and I love everything about it.  It tucks right in to the L-shaped alcove at that end of the room, the storage space towers eight feet high and there is no crawling under the desk to plug my camera in to the computer.  It just doesn't get any better than that.  I am so grateful!
Books and magazines above the desk.  The little tags identify specific articles I want to be able to find.  I put a little piece of blue painters tape on the spine of the ones I have been published in.
Pins and needles and pretties.  I am overly fond of what I call "poke sacks" of sewing supplies and notions.  They frequently include boxes, bottles and cards of pins and needles which I store in this jewelry box.  Makes perfect sense to me.  The white dish is filled with chandelier prisms and other sparkly clear glass baubles that caught my magpie eye.
More books, magazines, buttons, boxes of pens and markers and things I walked in with and just set down and if I move them then I would have to dust.  The insect leaning on the front of the two-tier aluminum serving dish is made from an old-school bottle opener and a couple "petals" off a collapsible vegetable steamer.
These two jewelry boxes hold my favorite mother of pearl and metal buttons.  The card catalog drawers hold tags, both finished and unfinished.
A big jar of mother of pearl buttons waiting to be used in projects.  They are so heavy I am afraid to put them in an apothecary jar so the poor things are banished to an old pickle jar.  At least I Mod Podged some pretty paper on the lid. 
 A plethora of mark-making tools and a little hand to give me a hand and remind me to do things.

This concludes the around the room tour of my little piece of peace.  If you have managed to read all the way to the end of this very long post I would like to leave you with these two parting gifts to take away and use in your own artwork.  Double-click them to enlarge before you save or copy them.

Thank you so much for visiting!