Saturday, January 30, 2010

estate sales and a mild obsession

i went back to the estate sale yesterday and bought 4 of the blue glasses. aren't they gorgeous? what can i say - i'm obsessed!

Friday, January 29, 2010

botanical class and another try

i really wanted to draw some flowers this past week, so i swung by trader joes before class and picked up a sweet little pot of daffodils. another student was giving me a few pointers before class started and then she said "yellow is the hardest thing to do in colored pencil - i stay away from any yellow flower". which i promptly thought: GREAT, leave it to me to pick a tough subject.

overall, i am please with the outcome. the darkness of the leaf on the very left is a bit troublesome to me, but i can't figure out how to fix it. one thing i am happy about is the intensity of the color in this drawing. after a few critiques, i realized that i had not been putting down enough color in my previous drawings. this time around, i made sure to saturate the image with the colored pencil, rather than letting some of the paper show through.

camellias are up for next week!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

estate sales and a very high, high

i headed out to a local estate sale yesterday morning and it was the worst of the worst. the sale where you walk in and immediately smell smells that don't belong in any ones home, and see stains on the carpet that shouldn't belong in any ones home and you feel sorry for the person who once lived in this house and you have the need to flee on the spot. i walked around for 2 minutes and met this woman who promptly told me about an insane estate sale she had just come from.

i mentally jotted down the foreign directions to a street i had never hear of and somehow miraculously made it there. let me tell you that this estate sale made my day. there was more glassware and dishware in this house than i have ever seen in my life. i mean, this woman could have run a catering business with all the serving pieces she had. my two glass collections are fenton hobnail milkglass and fostoria's americana pattern. i think the above glasses are real fostoria and i almost fainted when i saw these glasses and their price tag. i bought all 18 tumblers for $18 total! seriously, these retail in antique stores for $10-$12 each - i couldn't believe it. i wanted to wrap and bag them up in fear that someone would come around and tell me they were mis-marked.

i left with this acrylic owl napkin holder in my bag as well. i couldn't leave him without a home. in addition to glass, this woman had a huge obsession with owls. owl clocks, owl trivets, owl salt and pepper shakers, owl planters. you name it and it was for sale in owl form.

the craziest part is that this sale was not a true estate sale. the owner did not pass away - she merely got married and her husband told her that he had everything they needed and he wasn't letting her bring any of her s**t to his house. hilarious!

oh, and i am probably going back tomorrow, i am a tad bit obsessed :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

botanical class and beginnings

i started my botanical illustration class a few weeks ago and so far so good. the people taking the class are so nice and encouraging. it's crazy though - 10 of the 13 "students" have been taking the same class for over 5 years. so it has turned into a sort of thursday painting group between a bunch of friends.

i haven't drawn since i was in college, which, was more years ago than i like to remember. partly it is like riding a bike, but another part you are clueless. i sort of stare at the page for a while willing my hands to pick up the pencil, but something always stops me. the first week i messed around drawing carrots and beet leaves, trying to find my footing with the art supplies again. this past week we drew a bitter melon (illustrated above). it is a strange vegetable/fruit from india that only one in the class knew what it was, let alone had even tried it.

i broke out my 20+ year old prisma color pencils for this drawing and i don't think it turned out too shabby for rusty old me. of course there are things i am not happy with, but there are more things that i AM happy with. as i said, the women in the class are so encouraging and that in turn makes me want to continue. since it is winter, there won't be many flowers included in this class, so i might have to go to the grocery store and pick some up for me to draw on my own. i am thinking miniature tea roses or those huge white things that look like daisys, but really aren't.

i'll keep posting my drawings, no matter how embarrassing and hopefully we will see some improvement :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a baby shower and lots of love

today, along with 3 other girls, i hosted a wonderful baby shower full of love for JoyAnn over at JoyaJewelry. it was so much fun creating crafty decoration items, i found that i couldn't stop. the banner above says "congratulations" on one side and "it's a boy" on the other. i used mailing cards found at an office supply store and tons of glitter. the best part of the banner is the sweet little white and silver glitter birds which hang from the bottom. they were a christmas decoration find from target, but i think they can be useful year round. i'll be posting a tutorial for this banner soon, so stay tuned!

my friend jessica made these cupcakes with the most amazing wrappers. she actually hot glued doilies together to make them - such a good idea!

this is where i get a little obsessive. i bought some scrapbook paper, cut it into strips and taped it to water bottles to cover the ugly label. they blended into the party seamlessly.

and last, but not least, the guests walked away with small bags of sugar cookie birds. i stamped a message onto each card, and glued a fabric heart to the back. loving the look of the over sized cards tied to the simple plastic gift bags.

there was so much good food (thanks kim and jessie), laughter and friends. it was a great afternoon all around.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

swag and solutions

this swag lamp was purchased over a year ago at a yard sale and i just got around to beautifying it this past weekend. well, actually 2 were purchased - one orange and one yellow, but my husband broke the yellow one, oops :) new wiring, new chain and a little white spray paint and i thought this swag was beautiful. i had dreams of reintroducing the swag lamp to society. but now i am not so sure.

my bedroom has orange accents which makes it blend in perfectly. it is hanging over a white circle ikea side table which sits next to a leather couch. i like it, but there is something that reminds me of a bug light. you know the kind with the crazy color that zaps bugs and no matter how much you try, you can't stop looking at the bright light? when this is lit, all you can see in the room is this glowing orange globe. so, help me out... to swag or not to swag? that is the question.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

fostoria and a new use

last friday was the best day! i went junking with 2 of my friends and brought home so many goodies. my favorite has to be this fostoria, americana fairy light candle holder. my mom gave me a set of fostoria plates, the americana pattern, and i love them. the geometric pattern reflects light so beautifully. i am always looking to expand my collection, but they are pretty desirable these days, so most of the time, items are out of my budget.

i came across this cute 2 part ball, with a 2 inch hole in the top. the ball splits in half which is how you get the candle in. the vendor had a note on the $4.50 price tag saying you could use it for candles or kleenex - how perfect. i bought it without hesitation for it's uniqueness and price. then the funny part of the day was when we went to a church run second hand shop and i found another one for $1. of course i had to buy that one as well. i split a box of kleenex between the 2 balls and now one sits on my desk and one on my bathroom counter.

love "off the wall" uses for things!

Monday, January 18, 2010

tips and lessons

i'm over at little alouette today, dishing out some small business design advice. they are one of my favorite clients - and who wouldn't love their adorable wee toys found here!

and last but not least, the shot of me at the end of little alouette's blog post was taken by the amazing jessica ashley of peachtree photography :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

message heart door hanger

as promised, here is my tutorial for a sweet valentine decoration. let me know if you have any questions and happy crafting!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the lists keep growing and growing

isn't it the best feeling to check things off your to do list? i have been tackling a very long list for a few weeks now and am finally seeing the light, no pun intended! my etsy shop is getting some love with new lamps, shades and aprons after being neglected for more weeks than i care to count. i am getting the house organized with a ton of purging and i am getting the business part of my business in order.

i have a fire under my ass lately and it is producing nothing but good ideas which i can't wait to implement.

check out my etsy shop here and stay tuned for a sweet valentine's tutorial in the next day or two.

Monday, January 11, 2010

the beauty of paint and a little love

i now have a dedicated area for sewing and i couldn't be more thrilled! a few month's back, i bought this sewing machine table from a yard sale for $15. the lines scream retro 60s office furniture and it has 2 regular sized drawers and 1 extra large drawer i am using for scraps. i decided to bite the bullet and have it professionally painted this time. i have refinished a ton of furniture in my day, but the finish never seems hard enough and i definitely want this piece to be around for a long time. ross refinishing in atlanta did the custom lacquer paint job and it turned out excellent. it's as shiny as a department store makeup counter. of course the paint color needed to match my Linwood Avenue brand, so i chose "myth" from pratt and lambert. below is the before picture when it was in desperate need of some love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

atlanta gift show and a belief in possibility

yesterday was a whirlwind for me - from a 5 year olds birthday party to the atlanta gift show. i had been wanting to go all week, especially when i found out that kelly rae roberts was going to be there signing her wall canvases. the only problem is that getting into the show is like getting into fort knox! it is strictly for registered vendors and store buyers, etc. but we pulled a few strings and i literally found out i could get in minutes before i left to drive into town.

the show is HUGE and amazing! we arrived a bit early for the signing, so we headed to the cash and carry section of the temporary jewelry vendors and well, got a bit carried away. i have had my eye on a pearl and rhinestone black and white bib necklace from a local store for a while now which sells for $198. the first booth i went to had an almost exact version for $17.75, seriously, it was fate.

after shopping a bit more, we headed up to the demdaco permanent stores where the signing was going on. we had to wait in line for a bit and then it was our turn to meet her. i have mentioned this before, but kelly rae was one of my first customers on my etsy shop and i can often catch a glimpse of one of my shades on her blog posts. she is as genuine in person as you think she is from reading her blog. i just love her! her story makes you believe that it really does happen,you really can make a living being in artist. and that good does come around as long as your heart is in it!

believe in possibility... that's my motto for the new year :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

and time goes on

i can't believe my youngest munchin is 5 tomorrow! shortly, we are headed to the local jumpy place for his party and the house is full of excitement. i must admit that i like the planning part of the parties rather than the parties themselves. i typically go crazy with cakes - i love making (or attempting to make) crazy cakes for them. this year, after much searching with the youngest, we decided to have a campfire party. i found the cake instructions on and the cake was pretty easy to make. and i am sure the kids won't mind all the frosting i had to use to cover up my mistakes. seriously, this cake is loaded with frosting! the recipe calls for pound cakes, because they are really dense and easier to stack, but i cut a 13x9 cake in half and doubled it up for each log.

as part of the goodie bags, i loaded the kids up with sugar in the form of smores kits. i simply filled clear bags with 2 graham crackers, one hershey bar and a handful of marshmallows.

in addition to the smores bags, i ordered mini flashlights, glow in the dark bugs and campfire sticker scenes to put in each bag.

love party planning and pulling everything together. my only wish is that my boys birthdays were in the summer so i could have the parties at my house and really go crazy!

what was your favorite birthday party from when you were little?

Friday, January 8, 2010

"snow" has finally made it to georgia. yep, this is it, and guess what, pretty much every school within 50 miles of the city has been canceled. not a one hour delay, not a two hour delay, canceled for the whole day! (can you tell through my sarcasm that i had a lot planned for today :) i jest, i jest, i know that ice is the real issue here, but when it's called a snow day, shouldn't there be a bit more snow.

actually is is pretty cool to see how excited my little munchkins get. they bundled themselves up in their snow gear which is used once a year and made it outside by 8 a.m. and were back inside by 8:17 a.m.

i have vivid memories of sitting in front of the tv before school hoping that the foot of snow we got the night before would be enough to cancel school. but somehow it never was, full school cancellations in pittsburgh were hard to come by, typically just an hour or two delay. but that is what we were used to. it snowed and life went on. so whenever it snows in atlanta, i have to chuckle a bit to myself at the mass hysteria.

i love living in the south with the sun and warm weather, but sometimes it weighs heavily on me that my kids aren't growing up with seasons. they will never put plastic bags on their feet before putting boots on in order to water proof them. they will never spend all day sledding until their fingers and toes are so numb that they are forced to come inside. they will never know the agony of standing at a bus stop for so long that when the bus finally comes, you hate to bend your leg and feel the touch of frozen jeans against your skin. but the one thing snow brings that i absolutely miss the most is how the nighttime sky takes on a peaceful glow - the moon glistening off of freshly driven snow will put a smile on my face every time!

what is your favorite part about a truly snowy day?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

plates and lineage

i stopped by a local antique store today in search of an old camera, but instead left with 8 of these sweet little plates. even though i don't use my maiden name anymore, i had to have them. i have a soft spot for anything personalized with an S - i guess it somehow keeps the old me alive!

they are not in the best condition, but for a total of $8, i couldn't pass them up.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

and more handmade goodies

i often get asked where my creativity comes from and i definitely know the answer to that one - my mom. i will tell her about a new craft/art i saw and her answer usually is "oh, tiffin, i was doing that in the 60's". well, i guess it is true that everything does come back around.

i don't think arm warmers were around in the 60's, but these were definitely a welcome gift that i received from her. i love them, especially the flower embellishments and the scalloped edges - i have a hard time figuring out which pair is my favorite!

and they couldn't have come at a better time - temperatures in the teens in atlanta! who ever heard of such a thing.


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