Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On line classes

So, I thought I had sworn off online classes.  I can't even begin to tell you how many I have signed up for and then never made it through to the end.  For me, it's been a *huge* waste of money, especially when there is a time frame in which to complete the class and I can't seem to get it done - for whatever reason.
But guess what - I CAN'T RESIST!!!

So, this summer, I have signed up for a one-week class over at Big Picture Classes that is being taught by Amy Powers of Inspireco. It is a Happy go Lucky Stitchalong.  We are going to stitch in a grid pattern all the things that make us happy.  I've seen some of Amy's stitching projects and I can't wait to get started on my own. Below is a photo from Amy's site of a work in progress.

I know how to do some embroidering but I'm hoping to learn more techniques and gather more ideas and for $10.00 for the class - I thought, "why not!?!".
I'm also in the process of trying to register for a class on Paperclay sculpting over at Artful Gathering.  Do yourself a favor and if you haven't checked out this site you are not going to believe all the amazing classes being offered this summer.  I wish I had the time and the money to take each and every one!
The class I am originally signing up for will be a six week class and will be taught by Christy Meyers of CC's Whimsies. I've admired Christy's work for a long time and can hardly wait to give this a try.

(Photo from CC's Whimsies site)

My first foray into paperclay sculpting was over a year ago when I attended Ann-Denise's Gurlie class at the Paper Crown. 
Then, this past February, when I attended her Valentine Makery, we made a Valentine Paper Clay Doll:
I had so much fun making these dolls and I keep imagining how fun it will be to learn how to sculpt a face on a doll. Have I mentioned that I attend a doll club here in Tulsa?  
The Dolling Dames is primarily a group of ladies (and one man) that create mostly cloth dolls.  But any of you that know me, know I can't just limit myself to one medium!  ;)  
Tomorrow night is my live class at the Paper Crown with Jackie - can't wait!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Look at this beautiful butterfly that came to visit my butterfly bush! 

 I just love lavender, don't you?  There are three varieties planted in my back yard and this year I'm going to try to make lavender oil.  It is so soothing and calming.
These pretty flowers make me happy.  
I'm trying to buy mostly perennials for my gardens but it's always so tempting to purchase the beautiful annuals that I see everywhere. 
I'm going to Oklahoma City this week to take another one of Jackie's *fabulous* classes at The Paper Crown.  Wait until you see what we are making.  It's going to be fun.  :)  Enjoy this short week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birdsong Gifts

It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of my artsy friends.  Arriving at Birdsong Two this year, these cake boxes were waiting for each one of us.  Karla made the beautiful tags to adorn them.
 Inside each box were the most beautiful and thoughtful gifts from the sponsors of this years event.  The thought that goes into the packaging always amazes me.
 Don't you just love this beautiful sachet from Tricia Kay Johnson?  So pretty!  Although I want to use the sachet, I almost don't want to disturb the beautifully decorated bag it came in.
 I love this tag sent to us by Laurie May.  I'm going to add it to my journal
 Tami made this adorable peat pot decorated with a sweet bird. Inside was a birds nest necklace and a package of bird themed embellishments.
 When I arrived, Tami also surprised me with a birdie jello tin filled with goodies.  It was beautifully packaged but I didn't take a picture before I opened it.
 Nora surprised all of us with these amazing candles she had made special just for Birdsong Two!  She also surprised me with a bird themed water bottle, a note paper packet, a movie, a floral jewelry tray and a beautiful bird charm necklace.
Isn't this cute?  Linda made these floral decorated spools covered in seam binding.  It doesn't show in the photo but there is a precious bird charm attached to the safety pin. I love it!
Laurie is always over the top generous!  Greeting me upon my arrival, she handed me this wonderful packet of ephemera.  You would not even believe the wonderful treasures she packed in there.  Not only that, each and every item was so lovingly packaged.  I'm still "ooohing" and "aahhhing" over all the treasures.  I don't know where she finds all this goodness but I'm so thankful for her generous heart in sharing!
 In addition to the packet above, in our swag boxes, Laurie also gave each one of us another packet of precious treasure.  A little bird on a spool, a sweet fiber bird nest, some pretty lace...
 The button floozies provided this bag of buttons for each of us!
My friend Terri from here in Oklahoma sent this sweet sponsor gift filled with bird themed images, vintage lace, buttons and ribbon.  

 Ellie gave us these amazing dried roses.  These were perfect for some of the projects we worked on over the weekend.
There were other sweet and thoughtful gifts throughout the weekend.  Someone made beautiful fabric flowers for each of us. I'm sorry I don't know who to give credit to.  I asked a couple people and got different answers but I want to say "Thank you!" and I continue to wear mine very happily.  Suzanne surprised me with a little swan like the one she decorated her matchbox with. I sat next to Jeanette who had all kinds of embellishments that she shared with the group. Just click on each picture to enlarge it and see up close.  I'm telling you - the generosity of the ladies who attend this event is amazing to me.  As I'm typing this, I'm sure there are ladies that I'm failing to mention. I treasure each and every wonderful gift.  I have all my treasures in my craft room and they certainly make me smile and remember what an incredible weekend we had!
I wanted to make a special mention of something that Nicki did.  A few weeks ago when I went to Ann-Denise's High Tea, we had a White Elephant swap. I chose a gift from the pile and when I unwrapped it, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful tea cup with a bird on it, the lovely napkins, the ribbon - just the whole gift was something that I loved.  I was hoping that nobody would take it from me, but unfortunately another person wanted it too and took it from me.  I ended up with another lovely tea cup and ephemera so don't feel sorry for me!  Anyway - Nicki saw how much I loved her gift and she went out and and reassembled the same gift and brought it to me at Birdsong Two!  

I'm telling you - I just *love* the ladies I have met by going to these events.  Not only do we share a love of crafting and creating beautiful treasures, but these are some of the best people (in their hearts) that I have known. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Birdsong Two Swaps

So, everyone knows that when you attend an event, the one thing you don't want to miss out on is the swaps.  As a rookie event attender, I missed out because 1.  I didn't know what to expect and 2. I didn't feel like my creations would be good enough when compared to the others.  Let me tell you this - if you miss out once, you will *not* let that happen to you again!
So, last year when I attended Birdsong, I signed up for the Frilly Paper Bird swap. Click on the link if you want to check it out.  At first, I had creative block but once I made a decision on how I wanted my birds to look, I was thrilled with how they came out.  However, in the interest of time, I didn't participate in Beth's Journal Page swap nor the Matchbox swap and when I saw those amazing creations going around, I almost couldn't believe my eyes.  I vowed that this year, I wasn't about to miss those swaps!
For the matchbox swap, I created a sweet lace covered box with a little, handmade bluebird on the top. We drew numbers to determine which box we would go home with.  Each and every matchbox was absolutely beautiful but I was lucky to receive this adorable box from Rhonda - another Oklahoman - who attended Birdsong last year too!
 When I opened this little treasure, it was packed full of amazing goodies.  Wanna see?
 Can you believe all this was neatly packed inside?  If you click on the picture, you can see a larger image.  Stamps, tiny colored pencils, ribbon, charms, buttons, bird related images, lace, a key, a jar of beads, and a few little handmade pieces too.  I hit the jackpot! Thank you Rhonda!!
 Next, I signed up for Beth's journal.  I created a page for Karla's journal last year but I didn't participate in the overall swap.  Since I didn't have a journal from last year, Beth was sweet enough to create a cover for me.  Cute, isn't it!?!
 I don't know who this first page was created by but I love the colors and the key charm the bird is holding in its beak.
 Below is a precious page from Tami of Vintage Connections.  The pinks and blues are so eye catching and that precious nest that has an egg!
 Marj Sell was a first time attendee to Birdsong Two but she didn't let that stop her from joining in on the fun.  Marj is a scrapbooker so I bet making a page was a breeze for her.  I love the simplicity of her page.
 Grace was one of the girls that came from Iowa this year. You probably can't tell from this picture but that numbered diagram of the bird is on vellum which is layered on top of a piece of nature inspired paper.  The fern is real and along with the burlap, this page has great texture.
 The next page is from my sweet friend Nora.  That beautiful piece of lace is so her!
 On the left is the back of the first page and on the right is a second page that I swapped with her.  I probably broke the rules but I got back one of my own pages in my journal and she wanted it so we just swapped again.  I ended up with two of her pages which I love!  I can always make myself a page, right?
 Sweet Laurie from Indulge Your Shelf hosted a "SING" banner.  Do you recognize my "i"?  The
"S" was made by Barbara from Iowa. She also hosted the Matchbox swap.  The "N" was created by Nora - recognize her style? The "G" was created by Rhonda from Oklahoma! It's funny how these things work out.  I can't wait to get my banner strung and hung (hahaha!)
 Laurie made these precious bags for us to use to swap. It was a great idea to keep things organized.  We each had a bag with our name on it and on the back of our tag was the names of our swap partners. Then we had a safe place to store our letters after the swap.
 The final swap was a charm swap that was hosted by Gail Sell.  We had to make 16 charms and send them to Gail to put on a necklace.  As usually happens with a swap, some charms were late, some didn't get mailed to her previously, and to top it all off, it's a LOT of work to attach all those charms to a chain! She attached the ones she could and gave us the others to attach for ourselves.  My charm is the little glass bottle. You really need to click on that picture and look at all the artistry and love put into creating all those charms.
So now you see why I didn't want to miss out! I totally overextended myself and drove myself a little insane by signing up for all four swaps, but in the end, I'm so thrilled that I did.
Next post I'll share all the wonderful gifts from the Birdsong peeps as well as the sponsors.  Were we ever spoiled!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Birdsong Two Projects

I'm sorry I  made you wait so long for this post but here it finally is.  I love to attend art retreats but the problem with me is, if I don't finish the project during the allotted time for class, the project comes home and never gets finished.  I'm determined to remedy this problem however and I'm thrilled to report that this morning I put the finishing touches on all my Birdsong Two projects and now they are done!
Lisa McIlvain from Tarnished and Tattered taught this adorable Faerie Theatre.  
Everyones projects came out so different but so sweet.  Some people were prepared enough to bring their own photos to personalize the project.  Plus, as with all the other projects we worked on this weekend, we not only got kits for our projects but there was an entire table filled with additional "stuff" to use if we wanted to. 
 Karla taught this sweet fairy vignette.  We constructed the mushroom out of screen and covered it in vintage paper and pretty mica flakes.  As with Lisa's project, there was tons of stuff we could add.  I waited until I got home and added the rosy looking flowers.  Also if you look close enough under the mushroom, you can see the sweet little bird I added too.
 Beth Leintz from Gathering Dust from taught us to make this fun collage.  She taught us how to create dimension in our work - something I need to make use of.  She also taught us how to do contact paper transfers.  I didn't end up using one on this but I can't wait to try it out.  I love how my collage turned out!
 Finally, Karla taught how to make this beautiful vintage watch necklace.  She collected all vintage beads that were just perfect!  I actually finished this *before* I left Birdsong.  I absolutely love it!
I still need to blog about all the sweet gifts and of course what swaps I received.  Better get on that.  :)