Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Birthday Celebration #6

(projects by Martha Stewart.com)

Whew! The week is just flying by. Due to complications with dd's tonsillectomy, we haven't been getting any sleep the last 2 nights. I didn't have a chance to get on here yesterday and post. Hoping the teen will continue healing now so I can sleep finally.

Today's post is all about paper. My sister-in-law's baby shower was on Saturday and I tried not to be a complete paper hog but you should have seen some of the beautiful wrappings and trappings the presents came in. I did manage to bring home some shimmery confections and polka-dotted tissue papers, perfect for working in my next collage.

I do have a thing for paper. Doesn't matter what type of paper it is. Have you ever petted paper? I have. New scrapbooking papers, old book pages, colorful foreign newspapers all catch my eye and ideas just flow through my head. What does this have to do with our birthday celebration? Paper is involved in many parts of a birthday so today we'll discuss gift wrapping & gift tags.

I'm a gift wrapper. I do use the occasional gift bags but really find the process of matching papers and the creasing, folding, taping to be fun and therapeutic in some ways. I will admit I'm lazy when it comes to gift tags. I usually just slap on a sticker and write the name on it. What do you do?

Gift Wrapping
How to Wrap a Gift
Make Your Own Paper
Creative Giftwraps
Gift Wrapping
Stamped Wrapping Paper
Spatter Painted Gift Wrap
Wrapping a Gift Instructions/Video
Wrapping Awkward Gifts
Martha Stewarts Gift Wrapping (seen above)

Happy Birthday Tag
Free Printable Gift Tags
Felt Tags Ideas
Birdie Gift Tags
Fabric Gift Tags
Free Tag Templates

Speaking of paper, today's gifts are all about the paper. (pictures will be forthcoming as soon as I take them.)

1 - A mix of papers to use in your art work. Wallpaper, tissue paper, vintage wrapping paper, napkins, book pages, dictionary pages, foreign text pages.

2 - A mix of paper scraps; handmade, painted, scrapbook, stamped and cardstock papers.

3 - A pile of unique and plain gift tags you can personal and decorate! I'll also include some watercolored scraps you can use for tags as well.

To win one of these prizes, please leave a comment and tell me a favorite gift wrapping idea you've done or seen or gift tags you like to make. ** Earn an extra 5 chances to win by joining my email notification system (Feedblitz in the right column) and then comment on the post you want your extra chances put in for you. **

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Birthday Celebration #5

(Cards are my DD's altered set.)

Today's post will be short and sweet (as short as my wordy mouth can make it) because my brain is full of a huge to-do list for my sisters-in-law's baby shower tomorrow. I'm so not prepared. I'm supposed to be thinking up games, buying food & party favors. It's been a busy week.

Speaking of games, maybe its a throwback to when I was a kid but I love to play games. It's not often I have a party where we have adults playing games but my ideal party would have such. Even board or card games would do. I think the tendency is to have 'adult' parties where you don't play games because you're 'grown up now'. PUU-SSHHA! I think you're never too old to play at least a round of Rook. I mean, who said I was too old for Pin the Tail On the Donkey? Some of my favorite games are: Spades, Rook, Bunko, Charades (ideas) and Balderdash.

Have you ever played Tripoley ( or Tripoli, I think it's called?) We have this mat somewhere in the game closet that we used to play with, 15 years ago when DH was in the military. You lay it out on a table and I think you play 3 rounds of a game and people rotate chairs according to how they play? I can't remember exactly, but its a card game. I need to get that mat out and play. It brings back good friends memories.

One game our extended family likes to play sometimes, evolved on a Thanksgiving. It's Bingo, but we called it 'Thingo' for the holiday. We've played this game several times and its a running joke now because my parents usually plan it and they give gifts for wins. Things like gift cards to the gas station and food places, packs of greeting cards, soaps with plastic fish in ihem, little shampoos & shower caps from hotels. lol It really is a fun game and we have an old fashioned metal cage bingo game to use.

Adult Party Games
Party Games
Family Games
Card Games

Today's giveaways are some of my favorites.

1 - I have these 3 boxes. Full of game pieces, cards, chips, dominoes and more. You will get a baggie full of pieces to use in your art, plus some scrap papers to help you alter the pieces. If you're not an artist, please note that in your comment so I know if you're the winner to reward you another prize.

(game images borrowed from ArtChixStudio and VintageIndie respectively)

2 - I'm sure you've seen the necklaces I make in my Etsy shop. This will be a custom gift. I will be making a domino necklace, complete with chain, in the color you want. It will probably be similar to the Reflect necklace, but who knows, I don't tend to plan ahead when I create.

3 - Last present. This beautiful little envelope book has many pockets with cards inside. Use it to store your favorite ATCs or maybe pictures of your kids, grandkids or even pictures from your latest birthday party!

To win one of these prizes, please leave a comment and tell me your favorite game/s and/or a fun game playing experience.

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

NOTE #2: Feature Friday is postponed for this week and next but will return on October 10th. I know you were wondering where it was right? lol

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Birthday Celebration #4

Oh goodie goodie goodie. Now we come to the very best part of the party! CAKE!! Do you have a favorite cake? I sure do. It's just like this Jello Cake recipe except we use lemon cake mix, poke holes with a straw and then pour in cherry jello. It's super yum.

(Picture borrowed from SoCalCameraHappy's Flickr account.)

I always love cake time. Yes, the food is good, the family and friends, the fun. All good stuff! But the cake is my favorite. I mean its not like we eat cake everyday, so its a specialty. When its time for cake, my family sings the regular Happy Birthday song, usually in key. However, my mom always used to sing a different song which has remained my favorite. I sing it to my kids on their birthday.
(Sorry, couldn't find the tune to share with you.)

My sister in law loves ice cream cakes, I do too. I found a recipe online on how to make your own instead of purchasing an expensive one. I'll have to try that sometime!

Cake & Desserts:
Cakes & Cupcakes
Coolest Birthday Cakes
All Occasion Cakes
Grownup Birthday Cakes
Cake Recipes
Birthday Desserts
Fancy Dessert Recipes

As for coffee to serve with your cake, my favorite is dad's coffee. We call him the coffee connoisseur. He buys green coffee beans, roasts & grinds his own (my fav is usually Ethiopia Organic although dad also buys coffee from a small family farm in Hawaii. I'll try to get a link for you.) He collects over 100 vacuum coffee pots, all old and he presents his coffee in a french press. It's a delectable experience. What coffee do you love?

Etsy Cake Finds
Etsy Coffee Finds

Today's prizes are going to be so fun! It's all about sewing. Sort of.

1 - First prize is a 10 yards mix of various ribbons, vintage trims and laces I have. Not exactly what you see here, but they will all be good. You remember my large ribbon collection don't you?

2 - One winner will win a wonderful pile of fabrics (not exactly what is shown, that's just a sample.) I have shiny, patterned, solids, rough, thick, thin, vintage, new. I have so much, I'd love to share some.

3 - DD made this raw organic wrist cuff awhile back that I think is super cute. It should fit a wrist of about 7". Mine is 8" so it just doesn't fit me. Boo hoo. I will also include some fabric so you can make your own.

To win one of these giveaways, just leave a comment on this post with maybe your favorite cake/cake recipe, coffee or anything else fun to share.

P.S. I just had to share a couple things that happened this week (that have nothing to do with my celebration, although they are reasons to celebrate!)

Someone emailed me and said I was on the FRONT PAGE of Etsy this week. How exciting is that? Never happened to me before. One of my collages made it into someone's wonderful treasury and voila', lots of exposure. Oh! And the piece that was in the treasury sold. I'm a little sad. It's a favorite piece (see below.) I guess I'll just have to make another. lol I also sold the fun owl piece.

Last week I entered a drawing and actually won! I won this gorgeous collage AND she threw in a new pack of Tim Holtz Grungeboard (Grungeboard Elements Harlequin is the set I rec'd.) I've always wanted to try it out but never have. I foresee some fun projects in the near future.

I have some exciting things coming up in October to share with you. Artsy things I'll be working on. I can't wait to get started! What are you working on right now? Gearing up for Christmas yet? You only have 90 days after all. (for Kersten, here's the ticker you were waiting for. Happy now?! lol)

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birthday Celebration #3

Okay, I think we're back in the drink! Teen is resting all day, little one is doing her schoolwork (with my help of course.) But this means I have time to write another blogpost in between lessons.

Speaking of drink, the food and drink at a party are always fun to plan. On our combined family gatherings we tend to have party favorites, everyone's specialty dish. I love to make Chicken Enchiladas or Buca de Beppo inspired Tortellini. One of my sisters in law is the cheesy potato maker, while dad makes the best crab chicken you've ever laid teeth on! (I'll have to share these recipes soon.) One dinner we had a lo-country boil Can you say yum?!

Foods & Snacks:
Easy Party Foods
Party Snacks
No Bake Cookies (the best!)
Appetizers & Party Recipes
Scrumptious Nachos
Toffee Apple Dip (yum!)
Dinner Party Recipes
Easiest Dinner Party Ever

Drinks & Punches:
Party Punch
My favorite Punch (we add lime sherbet & floating strawberries to it)
Holiday Punch
Autumn Punch

After Dinner Foods & Coffees:
Coffee Recipes
Coffee & Tea Recipes
Almond Biscotti
After Dinner Mints

For today's fortification, I thought I'd share another drink with you (like the Mocha Frappa something something from Monday.) My dd makes the best Whipped Vanilla Mocha Javas.

As an added bonus to my giveaway, I'm leading you to another giveaway on another blog where you can win all sorts of goodies! And it benefits Breast Cancer too! Go look. But Don't forget to come back!

Today's giveaway items are:

1 - The 4 cards I made for my project for Altered Pages this month. I can add sentiments or leave them blank for you to embellish.

2 - 2 bottles of Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in Aqua and Green. I think I opened them and tested the colors but just never got around to actually using them! My loss, your gain.

3 - Prize is 1 set of ephemera, listed in my Collage Curiosities Etsy Shop. You can choose from Birds/Animals, Flowers/Food, Travel, Asian, People or Words set.

To win my giveaway items, leave a comment on this post with the favorite foods to have at your party. If you have recipes, I'd love to see!
Here's a list of recipe sites from my bookmarks.

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthday Celebration #2

Oh my goodness. The day has just gotten away from me. Look! It's almost Wednesday. You'll have to forgive the lateness of this post. We took dd to the hospital for tonsil surgery this morning, came home late afternoon. It's been a busy evening of dinner, taking care of kids and collapsing in the bedroom. I think I even took a 20 minute nap after eating my food! lol Stress can really wear you out! But teen dd came through the surgery swimmingly and is hopped up on drugs watching movies as I type. lol

I know this is supposed to be a lovely birthday post but I have no more gas in my energy tank and haven't had a chance to write up a fabulous post. Please forgive.

I do have a giftie or two to give away still!

#1 - Seeing as today has been all about my dd, I'm giving away a free 1 year subscription to
Domino Magazine. It's her favorite magazine to read. This would only be for a USA winner.

#2 - If the winner is outside the US, they win 3 collage sheets from my Etsy Supplies Shop which are totally downloadable to use in art, to make cards and more. (I will then pick another winner for the Domino subscription.)

I hope this will suffice as a nice giveaway until tomorrow. Tell me your favorite magazine to read and why. I'm always looking for new reading material!

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Celebration #1

Oh! I'm so excited for this birthday celebration to begin! I have many ideas to share and several things I've been wanting to give away including art, supplies and who knows what else? It will be fun. Now mind you, I'm not organized in any fashion so these daily posts won't probably pop up at the same time everyday. It's just whenever I get a chance to type them (plus dd is having tonsil surgery tomorrow so I'll be a bit busy taking care of her too.)

Let's get started! I figure if we're going to have a party, we need to decorate. Right? Isn't that one of the first things you do at a party?! I'm a lover of all things vintage and streamers galore, pretty plates, china cups, noise makers of course. I can envision a pretty table setting of flowers, and lovely dishes. (I found the book below that looked like it might help with table setting.) If I was having an outside party, I'd love those little japanese lanterns with lights, wouldn't you? What's your ideal party decor?

Remember the banner I made awhile back for the Vintage Party Swap? You can make one too! I found a couple tutorials with detailed instructions. I also found some fun links for centerpieces, making your own pinata as well as decorating tips.

Decorations & Table settings
Fabric Banner Tutorial
Paper Banner Tutorial
Family Tree Centerpiece
Birthday Number Centerpiece
Unicorn Pinata
Themed Party Ideas

I know decorating can be time consuming, so you could probably use some fortification. Here's a recipe for a Mocha Frappuchino - Coffee cubes recipe: 2 Cups hot coffee 1/2 Cup sugar 1/2 Cup cream -> Mix and pour into ice cube tray & freeze. - then take said frozen cubes out of freezer and complete the following as per video - take 6 Frozen coffee ice cubes 3 Tablespoons of favorite chocolate syrup 1 Cup of milk toss into blender on the "pulse" setting, have at 'er and enjoy.

Today, as a giveaway or giveaways, I'd like to offer the following:

#1 - I have this altered bottle I made awhile back. It will be full of a MIX of old buttons from my collection (not just the pink you see.)

#2 - I'm giving away 20+ sheets of stickers, some letters may be missing from some sheets, a lot of them are full and complete.

#3 - And finally,
I thought I might share one of my favorite Fingernest rings. The winner will have their pick of any from my Etsy shop. Take a look over there and tell me your favorite jewelry piece I make! Oh, and tell me your ideal party decor!

The prizes will be awarded on my October 6th birthday. They will be randomly picked by Random.org of course. I'll be giving away prizes every weekday this week and next! Good luck!

(NOTE: There are 10 posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's My Party!

My birthday is October 6th, 2 weeks from Monday. I'll be 30 something or other. I have a fun event/idea to share with you , but first I'll share some of my favorite birthday memories.

12th - My father took me out for my first father-daughter date. We went to a steak place and I remember being served my food and given a sharp steak knife to cut with. For some reason I remember that so clearly like I didn't usually use sharp knives! lol

16th - This was one of my favorite birthday celebrations. My father was a minister in NY. We invited everyone I knew to a party in the church's fellowship hall. 65 teenagers came! We made pizzas, decorated cookies, there were 'stations' around the room of things to do. Bob for actual goldfish, pass the lifesaver on a toothpick, that marshmallow game that Ellen plays on her show, Twister & other games. It was a phenomenal party and the cops were only called once (by the neighbors for our shaving cream fight outside.) I rec'd 16 care bears that year as gifts, and it was the first time my boyfriend kissed me (not my first kiss but...)

20th - This birthday we were stationed in the California desert for DH's Marine Corps training. A group of us decided to make a weekend of it and head off to Palm Springs. We stayed in a hotel there, ate at a wonderful italian restaurant and checked out the schmancy stores in the area the next day.

24th - I have video of this small party. DH was again stationed in the California desert and we had close friends over for a little to-do. It was my first year as a mom to little Alexandria. I miss those friends and wish I knew where they all are now.

26th - Mom and I went away for the weekend to St. Charles, just outside St. Louis. We had the best time shopping in little antique, food and thrift stores. We keep saying we're going to do it again soon.

There have been many wonderful birthday celebrations since, most consist of DH and I going out to dinner and a movie. Quality time alone. We don't go out together often because of the children. Not sure what our plans are for this birthday. We usually have a combined party with my mom and sister in law since we share October birthdays. DH and I might go out to this restaurant for breakfast, that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (yes, we're Food Network junkies! lol)

My Idea: Because I like birthdays and I like to give away things; I'm thinking... Starting Monday (Sept. 22nd) I will be posting an item/items each weekday to give away, so you can celebrate my birthday with me! Just leave a post on each gift you would like to win! Winners will be announced on my birthday and maybe some other surprises.

Don't forget to check back each day! It will be fun! There will also be fun birthday-ish ideas like tutorials, party planning and fun recipes (not to mention regular posts of art projects etc that I normally post.) I'll even share my favorite cake idea! (Feel free to share this on your blog so others may join us too! You will get an extra entry for the drawing of your choice for sharing this on your blog. Just let me know in one of your comments.)

What has been your favorite (or what would be your ideal) birthday celebration?

(NOTE: There will be 10 subsequent posts with giveaways for my birthday celebration. Don't forget to sign up for EACH post's prizes.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plucky Painted Pumpkin

Someone twittered about a new tutorial for creating a fabric pumpkin. I had just bought muslin fabric the night before. So while the kids worked on their math, I painted panels for the pumpkin and pulled out scraps to use as well. After painting (acrylic paint mixed with textile medium) and cutting, I sewed swirls and lines on the pieces for added texture.

The stem is a bit different from the instructions because I can't find my supply of felt.
I think the fabric I used is the same as what was used to make the pillows my mom gave me for my birthday one year (she bought them at a store.) DD thought I cut up the pillow! lol

I think it turned out cute. I might make a bigger and a small one to have a grouping of them for the Thanksgiving table.

Fabric Pumpkin Tutorial
It's originally from this blog: Schlosser Designs

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm so uber excited! I've been waiting months and months to share the crown I created in the spring. However, it was accepted by
Altered Arts magazine so I couldn't share just yet. The magazine is now out so its CROWN TIME!

Here's the article. (I see in the article the jewelry is broken and hanging down. I guess they didn't catch that.)

Here's the crown pics. All images are from
Altered Pages.

I can't wait until the crown is back home in my hot little hands. Of course I made it to fit my head. lol

Monday, September 15, 2008

Painful Memory - Creative Therapy

Working on this catalyst, was a bit difficult. I don’t talk about personal/painful things with many people, some my closest allies may not even be aware of. But I think of them often. This catalyst reminded me that is okay to have painful memories. It’s how we react, change and grow through them that makes all the difference. They define the person we become. I find that a memory is painful when it involves love. Love for family, kids, parents, what coulda/shoulda been. If they didn’t involve love, we wouldn’t care as much and thus, they wouldn’t be painful. Sometimes I think, do I love too much, care too much? Should I buffer my feelings up against the rocks and act like everything is okay? I’m not very good at that. I have to continue to love. I tried to make a piece that involved baring my soul but some things are best just left unshared. I wrote my memories on little slips of paper and slipped them into the heart’s tubes. They’re there for me to remember, share with a loved one if I want to, or to put away and move forward. Whatever I choose.

Technique Highlight:
Canvas has been covered in modeling paste, with various shapes pushed into it while wet to leave impressions. I covered it in a crimson paint, and rubbed brown and copper paints into the crevices and over the piece for definition. The ‘LOVE’ is handpainted. The heart is made of magazine pages, rolled up and glued. I cut them to size and glued together in the shape of a heart (painting & stamping each ‘tube’ before i glued it into the heart.

This week the catalyst is giving away a yummy prize of a 50 piece oil pastels set from Sakura of America. Oh how I wish I could play along for the prize! I can't, but you can! Go see how!

P.S. Don't forget to Bookmark this website so you can find it again. On the top right you'll find a button called 'Bookmark'. It helps you add this site to your Favorites, Stumbleupon, Del.ici.ous, Digg, My Space, Facebook, Spurl, Technorati and more social networks. Pick your fav!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

'Who R U Voting For?'

(piece made and for sale by Amanda Kindregan)

This seems to be the question of the day. Who are you voting for in this election? My sister in law even asked me. I hear people talking about it (or read it in their twitter posts, blogs, articles, the news, and more) all day long. DD asked me who McCain was yesterday again and was calling one of her Playmobil pirates 'McCain' the other day. Apparently he was ruthless on the high seas! lol

I get politics. I understand we should vote, and I do. Usually only in big elections like this though, not in city stuff. DH always chides me on city voting day when he comes home from voting with his little 'I Voted' sticker on his shirt.

Politics are just not my thing. I hate to watch ads and nasty debates. I'm of the 'why can't we just get along' faction of people who don't like to watch a boxing match. Don't get me wrong, I'll fight you tooth and nail for my children and family, but politics? I'd rather not lose friends over a potentially intense and possibly devastating argument over whether Barack Obama or John McCain is the right man for the job. Or if you think Joe Biden and Sarah Palin are/aren't the right running mates on the tickets. I don't think you'll ever find a politician who believes in EVERYTHING you hold true, right down to the minute details. Its just not going to happen. That's why you have to weigh the good and the bad and see what is best for you.

I'm doing that this time. I watched all the conventions, democratic and republican. I listened to the main speeches. I'm actually discussing politics with my DH (he's in shock really. Usually he only gets that type of discussion from one of my SILs or the 'guys'. ) I understand the importance of this election with the possibility of an african-american president or a woman vice-president. It's an interesting contrast.

I get it. I'm just not sharing who I'm voting for because I consider that an intensely private thing (right up there with 'did you shave today?') It's not like my endorsement or denouncement of a certain candidate would influence you one way or the other. But I will be voting, you can count on that.

And that is my soapbox speech about this election.

*steps down, turns over soap box and refills it with the art supplies.*

For election related crafty items (totally not made by me because I have no time), visit Etsy under Politics, Election, McCain, Obama, Democrat, Republican, Palin, Biden, Vote.

(P.S. Don't post with who you're choosing and expect a debate. Also don't respond negatively that I 'should' be willing to debate out loud. I don't have to. It's my choice. I love my commentors but as I said here, I'm not a political fighter. Thanks for reading this though and comments are always welcome.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bloggie Awards & Weekend

I'm always flattered and slightly shocked when someone actually thinks of MY blog when they hand out awards. And I've received 2 in the last week! So fun.

Fancy Picnic (remember her?) sent me this Brillante Weblog Award. Isn't that sweet of her? I've already received it once and blogged my choices here, so go look at those fabulous blogs and Fancy Picnic too for massive inspiration!

Altered Attic considered me worthy of the 'I Love Your Blog' award. So sweet. Always nice to hear I'm not the only one who reads my blog! lol Thanks so much to her for this honor.

What are you doing this weekend? We had plans to attend the
Renaissance Festival they hold here for a couple months but the hurricanes down south are pushing all sorts of rainy weather up our way. I'm sorry, but I just don't feel like slodging through a soggy field to watch people joust in the muddy muck (or whatever they do.) DD has her heart set on wearing her Halloween costumer early though. lol

Sunday we're heading to church and then dinner at my parents' house. Mom invited dh's and my whole (small) Sunday School class over for dinner potluck. It should be a fun time. Hoping to get some art time to myself today. Maybe if I hand money to the kids and ask DH to take them to the mall? lol

P.S. Kris Hubick of Retro Cafe Art is having a drawing for free collage sheets! Go get em'!