Thursday, March 28, 2013

A garden is...

Our garden in early spring.
Temperatures are still in the 40's and 50's,
but the pansies growing in the birdbath manage
to survive...

The grass, after the second mowing of the season,
is beautiful and green, even though
the butterfly bush is not yet ready
to bloom...

A beautiful garden is so much more than flowers.
It needs some structure, along with a
chippy-paint old chair...

...and some bird ornamentation.

It may still be cold outside, but that shouldn't
keep us from dreaming of the beautiful days
to come!

I hope that today you are walking in the garden of your dreams.
As always, many thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A fine mess...

Good morning friends! I hope that all is well.

Below is a shot of what's going on in my studio. A mess of "stuff" all over the bed...fabrics, old photos printed on muslin, vintage lace, flowers, and trims. And perhaps some other things not yet pulled out. Just laying there doing nothing. Or, possibly, something. Take a guess...

Hint: Today marks my 97th post! Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A baby, a cat, and Easter bunnies...

Greetings from The Perch! I hope that you are well.

This will be a short post. This morning my dentist blessed me with the crown on the tooth that I recently had the root canal on (so far, so good!). Although I feel fine, I am in the middle of a project and don't want it to sit too long before I get too lazy to continue working on it (more about that in my next post).

Just a couple of little pictures to share...

My grandson, Jason, doesn't seem
to think too much of his first encounter
with the Easter bunny down in Florida...

On the other hand, our cat, Ollie, seems
to love the North Carolina version.
Pardon the shadows, but there was really no time
 for picture-perfecting, as he's a little skittish...

I hope that you're having a great day. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Books I love...

I love books! OK, I said it. I'll say it again. I love books!! I love to go to the bookstore. I love to peruse the offerings Amazon. I love looking at old books in junk stores and on EBay hoping that I can find one that will give me inspiration for some art. I even love the smell of a new book and the way it feels when you open it for the first time. (No Kindle for this gal!) I love mystery books by my favorite authors, I love books about the history of the United States, particularly those of the Civil War era. I love gardening books. I love home decorating books. But mostly, I think I love inspiring books about mixed media art.

Over the years I have amassed a collection of books in the latter category, and every now and then I flip through one that I haven't looked at in a while. I looked at a couple last week, and decided that I would share some of the titles with you. In case you haven't already noticed, I have added a new area to my sidebar called "Books I Own and Recommend". I will be adding to this category every now and then, and I will link the titles with the location at Amazon where you can purchase the book. NOTE: I do not currently have any type of referral arrangement with Amazon, and am just doing this for your convenience. You can also often find used books such as these on eBay, and perhaps on other websites.

Below I am showing you scans from the two books you see on my sidebar.

This book, by Maryjo and Sunny Koch, is a
must-have book if you love collage and
assemblage using antique photos and
ephemera. This is a scan of the cover...

...and this is a scan of one of the pages...

...along with a scan of a beautiful

The following is a book by L. K. Ludwig,
and who can resist anything that she creates?

Below is a page showing how to print on
black paper with bleach...

...and here is a scan of one that I did myself.

I hope you enjoyed this. If you think that this is worthwhile, please drop me a comment and let me know.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some collage pieces...

Hello friends! I hope that you are having a great weekend.

I've been going through some things up in the studio, and came across a few collage pieces that I'd forgotten about. I had submitted them to Somerset Studio for publication in the July/August, 2012 issue, and they were actually printed! Since I didn't have a blog at that time, I thought I'd share them with you now. Here are a few pictures, along with a scan of the page that they appeared on.

Below is a picture of the three pieces. The theme for
that issue was "A Somerset Summer". Of course,
for me, Summer usually means happy days spent
in the garden...

And here are some shots of each individual piece...

Below is a  scan of the page that they appeared on.
It didn't scan too well, so you might have
to click on it for a better view...

They were fun to do! I'm hoping that a creative phase will come my way soon. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring...

Hello friends. This little girl is coming your way to say "Happy Spring",
even though in this area we are about to have high temperatures that parallel our normal highs for January. Who can figure? I guess that we'll appreciate warm weather even more this year, whenever it finally comes.

I hope that you can find a use for this sweet little old photo. May flowers come your way soon.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast at the Sisters' Cafe...

A sweet hello to you from The Perch!

In a small town near where we live, there is a very special place that is called the Sisters’ Café, and my husband and I go there every Wednesday morning for breakfast. It is a family operation owned and run by two young sisters, with a third sister also working there. We have tried many places for breakfast from Florida to Massachusetts, but the food served at the Sisters is unparalleled. More importantly, it is the kind of old fashioned place where the patrons share tables with each other, the owners and waitresses call you by name, coffee is refilled before requested, and you don’t have to tell anyone what you want to eat, as they all remember what you like from one week to the next. I knew that I wanted to make them a gift of fabric art, and when I saw this picture of the three Victorian ladies, I knew that this was the photo that I wanted to use. I attempted to evoke the spirit of the small country café with the use of specific materials such as the old wooden spoon, small vintage tart tin, and old fork, along with a little "artistic license".

I had actually submitted this piece to be considered for publication in the Winter, 2012 issue of Sew Somerset. It was not accepted, and I'm OK with that, as "you win some and you lose some", but unfortunately I did not get it back until this Monday and was unable to give it to the gals as a Christmas present, as I had originally intended.

Below are some more photos of this piece, hand-stitched with love!

A closer view...

The top section. I applied crackle paint to the
wooden "café" letters...

The tart tin with a decorative brad top glued on it.
The stem and leaves to this "flower" were created with
modeling paste and Lumiere paint...

Detail of vintage leather glove and old fork...

Beading and leaves on the bottom of the piece...

I am going to give this to them tomorrow, and I hope that they like it.

Do you have any special places that you like to go to for breakfast? I hope that you have a "delicious" day!

Chippy whites and a little boy's dress...

Good morning friends!

In my never-ending quest to become a better photographer, I took some photos of our entryway the other day while there was some nice natural light coming through the front door. I guess I'm living proof that someone with a good camera does not automatically take great pictures, any more than is anyone with a fine sewing machine a great seamstress! I'll keep trying. Mainly though, I like these photos because they portray two of my loves, namely, chippy whites and old children's clothing.

Burlap "welcome banner"...

I love the chippy paint on this old fireplace
mantel top...

Beautiful little boy's dress shown with
an old photo of a boy wearing a similar
dress. Can you believe that the Victorians
dressed their small sons in dresses?

A close-up of the dress showing all
of the tiny buttons, along with the belt, which
has another two buttons! When I was ironing this,
I couldn't help but wonder how much
time a mother spent buttoning this dress,
for a boy no less! Not to mention how
hard it was to iron these...

Be thankful for ready-to-wear children's clothes!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A little bit of decorating...

Good morning! With Easter on it's way, I thought I would share a couple of photos taken of the ornaments on the little Easter tree that I bought last year. The black background is the shelving above our fireplace. I love these little ornaments!

Of course, I do believe that there should be a touch of black in every room, so what about this centerpiece from the April issue of the Martha Stewart Living magazine? I think I'll try something like this next year. Don't you think it's a nice deviation from the normal pastel theme, especially for us grown-ups?

Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

Here's to being creative, even at Easter time!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and some good recipes...

To all my Irish friends, I hope that you're having a great St. Patrick's Day today. Though neither my husband nor I are Irish, I did make a great Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe yesterday, letting it cook while I put down some pinestraw in the garden. A couple of years ago I searched the internet for a good recipe that went above and beyond the "throw everything in the pot with the packet of spices that comes with the meat and boil the dickens out of it" venue, and tried the one below (scanned along with my little comments!). If you're like me and feel that "boiled equals tasteless", try this one. It is worth the extra work and I think that you'll like it! Click to enlarge and print out if you'd like.

It's no secret that I love to cook, so here is another recipe that I tried at the beginning of the week. The recipe is for Roasted Cauliflower Soup, from Miss Mustard Seed's blog, and you can find it here.  She offers some  lovely photos and step-by-step directions for making this. I think that you'll enjoy this one as well. My husband really loved it, too! And it is as good re-heated as it was the day I made it. By the way, I did roast the cauliflower, which would have even been good by itself as a side dish!

Eat well!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Adding more to the collection of "stuff"...

Greetings from The Perch!

Today I am going to attempt to do some very late decorating for Easter, so I am sending you just a quick hello. I thought I'd share some photos of a few things that I acquired over the last couple of weeks. Of course, I haven't had much time for any creative pursuits since we returned home, but I'm hoping to find some inspiration from my finds. I did, however, do a lot of hand-stitching on fabric collage pieces during the evenings while we were camping last week, and hope to share the finished products with you soon.

 On old tintype of a grandmother and
grandchildren taken at Coney Island, NY...

A group of vintage beach post cards (purchased
as a set from eBay)...

Three beautiful vintage photos. I couldn't resist the
outfit on the little boy, the adoring little sisters, and
the beautiful family with the gorgeous baby carriage...

...and another group of vintage photos. I love the
one on the left in the middle as it looks like it was
taken at a baby's birthday party...I'm thinking of using it
for a birthday card for my grandson's first birthday...

An ecru lace umbrella, which I purchased in
Savannah. It is new, but I have given up on trying
to find an old one. Where in the studio will this
sweetie go? Hmmm...

A close-up of the lace detail on the umbrella...

Yesterday I took a quick trip to Vintage Village,
and bought these old satin roses and perfume bottle...

...and this old hankie and sequined barette...

...and stopped at WalMart for pills for my headache
and found some ribbon that forms roses, some lace,
and some beige cotton machine quilting thread. I am
thinking that I spend way too much time hand-sewing
my fabric collage pieces, and should start using my
machine. Projects are taking way too long...

I guess it's a good thing that I am addicted to cheap art and decorating finds instead of fancy purses and shoes, or I'd be headed for trouble!

Have a great day!