About Me

My photo
Sublimity, OR, United States
I am artist of texture and color. I enjoy working with textiles, mixed media and the graphic arts. I am an avid cottage gardener with a love for pass along plants and big fluffy pink peonies and pink roses. Many of my tangible creations reflect my love of the garden and all its wonderful colors. I have been selling my creations online since 2002 beginning as a hobby. After 10 years I quit the day job to pursue my art as a full time passion.

31 December 2010

as 2010 goes away....

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. 
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. 
~Ellen Goodman

Happy New Year friends!

29 December 2010

What I accomplished in 2010...

I got my guest room makeover done!

If you remember, I teased all of you a bit with elements that I repurposed for this room. This room makeover is one of the features in the New Year Romance issue of 
Shabby Lane Shops Magazine.
To see the full article, the magazine is available for purchase on my website 
Here are a few of the pics--click on them to see full size! 

I am tagging onto Southern Hospitality's Blog Party
Top projects for 2010

Hope you enjoyed!

26 December 2010

Vintage Alphabet Party December

It's the last party of the year!

The last letters of the alphabet Y and Z

For Y, I choose vintage fabric Yo Yo's. these became popular back in the 1930's and 1940's. Little fabric rosettes shirred into circles. They were most often made into quilts. They were popular again in the 1970's when they were fashioned into "hippie vests". In the mid 90's, patterns were introduced and more recently plastic templates became available making them extremely easy to make. 
I love to use them in my textile art too. Here are a couple examples of past work.

For the letter Z, I chose (and yes I am dating myself here)
Led Zeppelin
mid 1970's rock group one of my faves back in the day
so how's that for throwing something unexpected in?
Wasn't a Zeppelin also a blimp??

Hope you enjoyed...if you want to join our party, hop over to

24 December 2010

Christmas Greetings around the globe

I wanted to send Holiday wishes to my many friends I have made around the world this year!
Since I added the google translator to my blog, many of you have visited regularly and I also had the opportunity to visit so many of yours too.

Froehliche Weihnachten

Feliz Navidad

С Рождеством Христовым

Feliz Natal

즐거운 성탄


Buon Natale

Χαρούμενα Χριστούγεννα

Joyeux Noël

Vrolijk Kerstfeest


God Jul!

Gledelig Jul

Hyvää Joulua!

Mele Kalikimaka

Boas Festas

Suksan Wan Christmas

Merry Christmas!

21 December 2010

Christmas helpers

While one is the "cookie queen" helping her mommy make cookies and keeping busy...

while the other is keeping busy "undecorating" the tree and looking pretty innocent (and pretty cute too)

ahhh, I love my cute little granddaughters!

18 December 2010

A favorite at Christmas

I had to send this recipe to my daughter this morning, so thought I would share it here too. I got this recipe from Woman's Day Magazine December 1992~ I have also seen this variations of this recipe called Buckeyes too. This one is the closest to the Reeses candy I have tasted! Love it for the holidays with sprinkles too!

Peanut butter balls

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening

mix powdered sugar, butter, milk granulated sugar and vanilla until blended. Mix in peanut butter. Line pan with wax paper Roll heaping teaspoons full into 3/4" balls, place on pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Melt chocolate and shortening in a small glass bowl at 1/2 power in microwave for 30 seconds, a little more if needed. You can do in a small saucepan on stove too. Just be careful not to get it too hot, the chips just need to be melted.
One at a time with a toothpick, dip balls in chocolate, let excess drip off . return to pan and before chocolate sets sprinkle balls if desired. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks

11 December 2010

The joy's of decorating for the holidays...part two

Okay, the monster tree finally got decorated. But taking a photo of it proved to be a monster too.This time of year available light is at a minimum, so I used my big 300 watt floor lamp I use in my studio~hence I got shadows and never could capture the beauty. Ahhh, if only I was a professional photographer.
So if you were expecting a pink tree....sorry. I love pink for Christmas, and I reserved a place for that in one of the photos below...but I also love the old Victorian style. My house is a misson craftsman style, so Victorian works well in my living room.

click on the pics for more detail

the Joyeux Noel banner is new this year. I had it custom made by

this is my "shabby" place with the white tree and white santas

Stay tuned for "part three"  I still need to decorate outside!

07 December 2010

Western Oregon winter sunrise

I shot these photos just at sunrise this morning!  This was the most magnificent December sunrise I have seen in some time~it literally took my breath away. You can see the Cascade mountains and the snow fields in the second photo. Click on the photos to see full size

I thank the Lord everyday for blessing us with such an awesome view of the farmland, hills, and mountains right outside our door!

TREE UPDATE~ I know you have been waiting to see my Christmas tree. Well, let me tell you, this has not been easy. Not only did I lie about NOT getting a 12 ft tree, but I think this one was well over 15ft. But I got it trimmed down to about 12ft. I had problems with the stings of lights, so I bought new ones, only to have one bad string. So at this moment, I am on day 3 of decorating my tree. But the lights all work now so I trudge ahead...stay tunned

04 December 2010

The joy's of decorating for the holidays...part one

I didn't feel much like sewing today. So I sat down and designed a new Christmas blog here. I love pink Santa's and this is from a vintage Christmas card that was pretty beat up, but I managed to get his "pinkness" out of it!
My daughter and I attended a wonderful Christmas Brunch at our Church today, then headed over to one of the local craft bazaars at the middle school. I took 40 bucks, spent it all, and wrote two checks! I did actually buy a couple of gifts, but most of it was for myself. I met an incredible young talented gal whose art composition was just amazing. Hard to describe her look. A bit rustic prim style as she used lots of burlap with dark brown and burgandy colors. But she also mixed in a lot of old world sparkle and glitter, a vintage sheet music. I am looking forward to seeing her non Christmas creations too.
Below is one of the pieces I bought from her....Just love how the rustic bell forms the "o". Simple elegance.

Below are some lovely Victorian art from a new local artist
The framed mixed media piece will be perfect displayed with my "Joy" above
I also picked up some lovely bookmarks which will be given as gifts.

Below is a plate on a pedestal...for FIVE BUCKS!
this is going to be wonderful in a table centerpiece!

Now to get myself away from the computer and actually decorate my home. Tomorrow we will go to my brother's tree farm and cut a tree. I promised myself NO 12 ft tall tree this year. Just too hard to decorate!
When that is done I will share. I am excited about the fireplace mantle this year...I have lots of new elements to add, so will be sharing that too!

30 November 2010

The vintage alphabet party for November

The party has already started and I am a little late!

This month the letters were W and X

First a Washboard, no clue if this a reproduction, it was a found object by my hubby, he loves these as long as they look old!

a vintage sample box Washing soda!

for X, I  took a cue from Melody because I could not think of anything!
So here is X-mas....a vintage 1958 Napco candle and floral set that was my grandma's. I display it every year. I treasure it so much, it reminds me of Christmas's spent at the farm.

Want to join the party??
Hop over to Etsy Cottage Style blog to get the details!

27 November 2010

Sharing Christmas Art

click on pic to enlarge

Every Christmas season at my church the artisan group I belong to is asked to display some holiday art. I usually submit something I have stitched up, but this year I decided to do some a bit different. With a 25 cent frame I picked up last summer at a tag sale, vintage sheet music, printed copies of vintage greeting cards, vintage lace, glitter, crystal and pearlized beads in a pile....I came up with this lovely wall display! It felt good to do something a bit outside the box. Most of the church members will have no idea I made it since they will expect soft art from me! Opinions and critiques please...I am just a beginner when it comes to mixed media art:)

24 November 2010

from my family to yours

Thanksgiving Blessings to all!

isn't this banner gorgeous??? no I didnt make it, a blogger friend did and she made me a Christmas one as well...I will reveal that one and who she is next week:)

19 November 2010

Give thanks!

A "Give Thanks" party at the Vintage Nest blog has begun today!

I have so much to be thankful this year, I could almost write a book! But I will spare all of that and simply say a little prayer of thanks

Thank you Lord for my good health, and the gumption to get up and work out 5 days a week and the energy to work a day job, and come home to work on my art passion for my website. Also a husband that understands my need to always be busy and not complain too much when I am in my studio hours on end.

Thank you Lord for my my daughter, son in law, son, and 2 lovely little granddaughters that bring so much joy to my life, that they all live close by.
Thank you Lord for giving me the strength to deal with some of the tough times I have endured this year along with the many new friends I have made along the way.

And thank you Lord for pink roses, as they are most favorite!

18 November 2010

My website is featured today in 
Rose Haven's Annual Christmas Stroll the shops!

The 2010 STROLL  began on Wednesday, the 17th and runs through Thanksgiving Day

Make sure to become a follower of Jan's blog so you can stroll all the featured shops everyday!

Coming soon---a giveaway for the holidays~I don't do these too often, but when I do, they are fabulous!

15 November 2010

a tribute to a special lady

Recently a special friend passed on to heaven. I felt I needed to share the fond memories and the way she impacted my life as an adult. Alena was 95 when she passed, I expected a few more years out of her because her mom lived to be over 100...but Alena was one of the lucky ones who was of sound mind and in great health ~ the Lord took her in her sleep, a woman of great faith.

Alena hired me to work for her at Montgomery Ward in 1971. I was the tender age of 18. I was only going to work there a few months because I had plans to marry a guy in the Navy. Well, that didn't work out, so I stayed. In fact, I ended up working for that company for almost 25 years. Alena in a way was sort of a "second mom" to me. Being single and a gal who loved to party, I would drag myself into work some mornings with little sleep the night before. Sometimes she would scold me, other times she would send me get something to eat before I started work. My coworkers always told me that Alena would be so worried about me when I would go out of town driving long distances. Alena did not have any children of her own, so I guess she took me under her wing. The lady was a fabulous seamstress. She constructed some the most beautiful tailored clothing I had ever seen. Those were the days when it was cheaper to sew your own clothes rather than buy them. Often she would critique my own work, telling me ways I could improve on my sewing skills. Alena knew I would not eat Asian food, but took me to a restaurant that only served chinese and I had no choice but to try it. Need less to say I eat it all the time now. What both she and I didn't realize at the time, was that her influence was shaping my adult life. Her zest for life, attention to detail,  strong work ethic and faith were rubbing off.

A few years later Alena retired, and I took over her management job. When I was married she played the music at my wedding. (also a talented organist and played right up until she passed) She was there to visit me after the births of each of my kids. We kept in touch often. Thru the years the contact was less often usually only thru Christmas cards. Or I maybe ran into her out shopping. A world traveler, Alena continued to travel until last year, it was one of her passions to see and experience all there was out there. Her husband died in 1993.   It was there, at his funeral, that I witnessed her strong faith again. I hope she now knows what a remarkable impact that had on me. I was so impressed on how she handled his passing, as if he just moved on and she would see him later. Since then, I am no longer afraid of death, knowing my soul moves on to something more glorious.

So Alena, this is for you. I know you are basking in his glory, reunited with your loved ones.Until we meet again my friend!

09 November 2010

My stress free Holiday shopping strategy

I recently had lunch with a long time friend who worked in retail management with me several years back. We relished the fact that we both can relax now that we are now not the poor souls that have to work those awful retail holiday hours. I even had a few years that I actually hated the holidays. After I left the retail zone, it took me a few Christmas seasons to really get back to enjoying the traditions again. After reminiscing, we compared shopping strategies for low stress holiday shopping. I decided to share some of mine with you. These are just my opinions, maybe not yours. I have been on the other side of the counter, so many of these are tried and true. If you are into low stress Holidays....try them!

*Veterans Day is traditionally the retail kick off day to holidays--this is when everyone decides they should get started shopping. The stores will be busy on this day and most likely short handed in help. You will probably have long checkout lines. If you must shop this day, go very early at opening or after the dinner hour. If you can get all your shopping done before Thanksgiving, you are a true hero.

*The day after Thanksgiving (often referred to as Black Friday) Unless you are into crowds, shoving and total chaos, forget the early bird specials. Not worth the trouble in my book. If you keep an eye out in the ads prior or later in the season, most of the same stores have coupons and specials that you can get the items at the same price. My daughter and I do shop the day after Thanksgiving, but we treat ourselves to a tall latte  then hit the stores about 10am...most of the crowds have thinned out.

 *The first week of December. This is the hands down best week to shop. Best selection and the stores are relatively quiet and the sales are good.

*Best time of day to shop is early before noon or the dinner hour, this goes for the weekend days also.

*The last weekend before Christmas. Probably the worst time to shop. Shoppers are starting to panic, items are picked over, and the clerks are pretty much toast.

*Christmas Eve....this always cracked me up. The guys are all out buying at the last minute. The lingerie and housewares departments are their favorite haunts. Not a good time to shop. Shelves are wiped clean and many unhappy shoppers looking for what they can't find.

*The day after Christmas....crowds again all returning what didn't fit, or they didn't like. There will be some good buys but not many. The stores are all picked over. Maybe a good time to buy next years gift wrap and decorations. Your returns can wait a week, or go during the dinner hour when foot traffic is down.

Some options to not ever having to use the above strategy~
*shop online! I do a lot of that and many of the sites offer free or discounted shipping. Best to order no less than a week from the holiday so no one is disappointed.
*Handmade or homemade items. I do lots of this too, but there are those who don't appreciate those kind of gifts so retail shopping is still necessary. My husband still brings up the shirt I made him in the 70's
*Last resort--and my brother did this many times when he was single. One stop shopping at the Liquor store!

Here's hoping you have a wonderful Holiday shopping experience! (feel free to help yourself to the vintage images too)

Every Saturday

where we reside

where we reside
The ArborOak cottage