Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas at Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow Botanical Gardens have done it again! Their magical gardeners have performed their wonders in creating these new hybrids of the peppermint variety, perfect for the holiday season. These particular specimens come from their most hardy bushes, the Ribbon Candies.

These magnificent selections will be forthcoming in the etsy shoppe! Once again we thank Eileen and Star of Star's Fault for their lovely tutorial found here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lineage of Love with Pam Garrison

Lineage of Love was actually my first class at Silver Bella. I'll admit I swum against the tide of everyone else's use of cabinet cards and other antique photos by using contemporary photos of my family from last Christmas. Although I love the beauty of old photos and fashions, I knew I would appreciate more an assemblage that contained my family. That and if I messed things up it wouldn't cost too much to replace these photos. I wasn't able to complete this project in class, so I was able to add some Christmas tidbits that I picked up recently, and pretty tinsels and more ribbons.

I currently have the finished piece resting on one of our living room bookcases.

Here is our fabulous teacher, Pam Garrison, with a student who wired a very large banner.

There were a number of very unique banners, some showing a baby aging through adulthood, some with themed photos (costume, Christmas). You easily see individual style coming out in the projects. Thanks Pam!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pecan Pies are done!

and the Fuzzy Navel Jello Salad (with peach schnapps, of course), vegetable tray, coconut squash (a souffle), and cornbread. We're off to my parents house tomorrow after church, with extra chairs and one golden retriever. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Silver Bella Shadowbox Class and Bracelet Class

My last class at Silver Bella was the Bundle Up Birdie Class with mohair artist Jennifer Murphy. We used pompoms, real twigs and acorn caps for Birdie. I took special care with the music paper when I adhered it to remind myself to make sure I built my box right side up. The music, of course, is now upside down. Jennifer Murphy's example had two banners, but I had seen someone use the phrase Baby It's Cold Outside. I adore that song (especially in the movies Elf and Esther William's Neptunes Daughter) so I had to snag it for my box. I finished most of this project in class, but took it home to add the pink mica before I hotglued Birdie in.

The other class I took Saturday was Kaari Meng's (French General) bracelet class. She has the most relaxing voice and was very patient explaing the how-tos for us novice jewelry makers. I've had no experience making jewelry, but have loved browsing her site for the visuals. I was able to complete this class entirely (whereupon I rewarded myself with a pretty polka dot jewelry kit from French General). There was a second portion of the bracelet that could be made, but I liked the way it was at this point. Sadly I lost the horseshoe charm that was glued to the large pearl rectangle, but everything else is still there. My favorite is the red glass raspberry on the far right.

I love the colors in this kit, the cranberry reds, pinks, and pearls blend beautifully. I've been able to wear this quite a few times already!

Hodge Podge Journal with Rebecca Sower

My first class Saturday morning was the Hodge Podge Journal with the sweet and down to earth Rebecca Sower. She led us through papering our covers, building the collage and hardware, with interesting details such as the cheesecloth sandwich. We used her vintage 2 hole punch for the covers and the papers inside. Rebecca gave us much of the papers inside, including the nice weight watercolor papers. We were able to add any of our favorite papers to her provisions. I love the vintage bingo card from my roomie Sue
Odd bits are what makes the hodge podge quite unique.

I try to remind the girls I teach that there aren't any mistakes in art, just opportunities for being creative. I had punched the wrong end of my back cover. Now I have a cute bit of lace on that end!

I was able to finish most of this in class (I only had to add the ribbons to the rings when I got home). I plan on using this piece for an art journal. Thanks Rebecca!

Silver Bella Vintage Circus Fat Book Swap

One of the most fabulous things about being a Bella is the mega swaps that were started last summer. Some of the swaps were mailed in ahead of time and some were brought directly to the convention. The Vintage Circus Fat Book is definitely one of the most amazing swaps I've had the opportunity to be a part of. Hosted by Wanda of The Rat's Pajamas, fifteen participants each created fifteen 5x5 inch pages. We mailed these in ahead of Silver Bella, so Wanda could put them together for us. The front of my page is on the right (the backs of the pages were decorated as well).
All pages can be seen on Silver Bella's flickr!

Monday, November 23, 2009

What Jo Creates

At Silver Bella's Saturday afternoon's luncheon we had the most amazing opportunity to hear Jo Packham of Where Women Create speak. I have loved WWC from the book and have it and all the magazines, discovering many favorite artists from within them. Jo gave us many insiteful tips on submitting to the magazine, and also a heartfelt speech about the insecurities of well known people such as herself. (If you have the chance to meet this amazing woman, be sure to take the opportunity to introduce yourself!)

On our plates before the luncheon was served we found these simply wrapped boxes. All of us (at about 200 ladies)! Miss Sweet Jo herself had created each and every one of us a beaded bookmark, the key is engraved with WWCreate, with an inspiring message inside the box. MAY YOU ALWAYS FIND NEW DREAMS TO CALL YOUR OWN, NEW ROADS TO TRAVEL, NEW DOORS TO UNLOCK.... All that I do is created From a Woman's Soul, Through a Woman's Eyes, By a Woman's Hands.
Jo Packham

I found it amazing that she had taken the time to create so many of these from her heart to women that for the most part, she did not know. I am touched by her generosity. Thank you so much Jo! (And my bookmark has already made it through the pages of one book, now residing briefly in a second, soon to enter the latest issue of Where Women Create!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Silver Bella Vendor Fair

Warning, eye candy overload. Friday night at Silver Bella involved wearing our dashing aprons, getting our hands stamped by Teresa's son and husband, and large amounts of drooling. I couldn't even get past the first vendor, Vintage by Crystal, without purchasing. I have a few of her tiny creations. This time I brought home a small girl on the back of Lucky, Santa's newest reindeer- a rescued vintage ornament. Here is a small part of Crystal's booth.
I wish I could remember who this kind lady was, she had some very pretty old paper and cotton santas! (Thank you to Wanda, who reminded me this booth belongs to Jocelyn of the Painted Fern!)
Annalise of Sugar*Sugar's houses were all sold instantly- aren't they gorgeous!

A crown from Whim & Fancy. She will hopefully have her reindeer kits up soon in her etsy shoppe.

Bit's and pieces from the likes of Raised In Cotton, Curiousofa, and more...

This pretty shop Willow Nest, needs to be begged up to open up an online source! I found many pretty baubles, especially a new favorite (mercury beads).

A snap from Jenni Bowlin's booth

Jennifer Murphy (with the youngun) and her Mother, also a bear maker.

Here Kari Ramstrom (ArtsyMama) is seeking treasures from Heather of Speckled Egg (I found a few treasures myself)

Needless to say I have hoarded a massive amount of sparkly bits and millinery, sprinkled with vintage paper and a little pink birdy from this lovely lady.
I hope to post more on my classes soon, but I am trying to finish a few of the more detailed projects to share with you also!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bella Social Events

Being a Bella is more than just crafty goodness and shopping, we loved meeting each other in various venues. Here I am with my roomies Kris and Sue Our first gathering was and Italian Buffet on Thursday evening. We tried spotting our favorite paper arts bloggers

Swap night was a very hyped (hyper?) social outlet. Glitter and Sugar giving everyone the giggles, and lots of eye candy in the form of supply and art exchanges.

I knew there were a number of people I wanted to meet (bloggers that I've posted comments with, shop owners, and great teachers). I found many of them on vendor night, including the sweet Jenni Bowlin (and thanks to her hubbie Jared for shooting the photo!)

Vendor night was where we all wore our Bella theme aprons, too. I almost missed getting a photo of mine, a perky sheer hostess apron found at Second Chance Antiques (next blog post). Black with metallic gold dots and velvet sash!

Another large luncheon, with centerpieces by Cari Kraft, and carrot cake and red velvet cake for dessert!

Even more photos to come!

Before the Bellas - Shopping In Omaha

I hope to show you many of the things I saw and did while in Omaha- every single moment was amazing! I came in extremely late at night on Wednesday, so the fun started Thursday morning. My two roomates, Kris and Susan went into the Old Market district. I love the old buildings and architecture, and the fun outdoor decor of the shoppes as they beckoned us inside. Second Chance Antiques was a destination for many of the Bellas. I fell in love with this piece, but left it behind (knowing that packing for home would be difficult enough) I knew someone would love it as much as I and it would find a new home soon.

I did spoil myself with many new crystal chandelier drops- but forgot to grab a cobalt one (in the dish on top)! Already I see another trip to Omaha in my future.
One of the permanent residents of Second Chance.

Look at all these lovely vintage music sheets!

Our first celebrity sighting. I'll take a picture with anyone holding a Reese'

More sights...

Some of the shopping was underground!

This little hidden alley is indoors, and we are standing below street level.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fab Shab Blossom in Artful Blogging

Only one more day until I hop aboard the train that'll whisk me away to the fabulous Silver Bella retreat. Aside from the fact my iPod will not cooperate with being charged and synced I seem to be fairly ready. I made a last minute run to the big M's last night to gather a few more supplies. I always love to check out their magazine selection, Stampington's lines being my favorites. I picked up the latest Artful Blogging because I knew Kari Ramstrom had written an article on her a Year of Color blog.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear... My photo, done for the fabulously shabby blossoms/nests tutorial on the blog, on the bottom of the title page!

My jaw hit the floor when I saw that, but the other shoppers at M's didn't seem to know that the whole world had stopped for a minute. Aren't they silly?