Valentine Heart Swap Reveal!

Oh, my!  I got a package yesterday which contained the five hearts from the Heart Swap! All five hearts are just amazing! And what makes them so special are that they have each been handmade by very talented and creative ladies. Without further ado, here are the hearts:



A big Thank you! goes out to Debby @ Cozy Blanket for organizing the event.  And, if you’d like to visit the creators of these hearts, here is a list of their blogs:

–  Sandie @ Retro Sandie

– Elizabeth @ Creative Breathing,

– Genie @ Climbing The Digital Mountain

– Pat @ All Is Bright

– Penny @ At Home In English Valley

Felt Licitar Heart Tutorial

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was participating in a Heart swap.  DH is originally from Croatia, and they have the most delightful custom of giving loved ones Licitar hearts.  They are traditionally made of honey dough, but I decided to do a variation on it for the swap, and make them from felt. If you are interested, I have written a tutorial so you can make your own Licitar hearts! Here are the five I made for the swap, and also a photo of a couple of the Licitars I have received:





A more detailed method of using butcher paper for patterns/applique can be found HERE.  And here are  a few more photos of the finished hearts:



Lampwork Beads!

I had another session in my lampwork studio. Sometimes, I try something new, and it turns out well. This time, so-so… most of the beads didn’t make the cut.  It’s really hard to see what the bead will look like when it’s red hot in the flame, until it cools. So, I have two bead sets today.  You can find them in my Etsy shop:


Thrift Store Vintage Finds

Recently, I came across a group of very interesting bloggers.  They are into everything vintage and artsy.  In fact, I was able to join a Valentine heart swap over at Cozy Blanket (more on that on another post).  Anyway, their activities peaked my interest, and the other day during running errands, I looked in at a thrift store in my town.  Way in the back was a woman with a little thrift boutique.  She had the most interesting things in her shop.  Everything was such a bargain, I couldn’t resist! – this after telling myself I need to purge my house of “stuff”!

When I look at things, I am always thinking of one craft or another that I can use them for.  I found these beautiful hand crocheted doilies:

ThriftStoreFinds1She even had a tin full of vintage buttons! I am hoping someone will have a button swap soon – the last one I was involved in was so much fun! Here are the ones I chose and brought home:


And even though Christmas is over for now, I couldn’t resist these two choir girls – love the era!


And finally, this little tin house.  I thought it would make a nice house for my little kiddle dolls from my childhood. When I came home, I checked on the markings, and it is illustrated by Gillian Tyler, an English artist, and produced by Dana Kubick.  It makes me wonder how it came to be in the corner of a little thrift boutique here in California…


Needle Felting… Ouch!

Ok, I decided that as long as I was in the “creative” mode, I was going to try some crafts new to me.  And needle felting is new to me. I purchased the supplies some time back with the best intentions of making something.  Well, I finally sat down and did it.  When I am creating, I like to multitask – knit, hang out with my daughter, yack away; make jewelry, watch a movie… Well, needle felting is NOT an activity that I can take my eyes off of.  During a couple of distracted moments, I jabbed my fingers with those lethal looking needles – and it was painful!  So, with a certain idea in mind, I started making a cat that turned into a teddy bear, and a bunny that did end up a bunny, but you can see that I got bored when I got to his legs, and just wound the wool around… I think this activity takes a bit more patience than I have. Or, I have not developed a passion for it yet, and therefore can only stand to sit there and punch away at wool roving shaping it into something recognizable for only so long.  I think for now, I will put aside the needles…  And here are the results of my efforts (they are cute, but I have no idea what to do with them):



January 2013 Garden & Best Ever Caramel!

My neighbor has an amazing Salted Orange Wheat Beer Caramel in her line of products that she has available at SunnysideLOCAL (I blogged about SunnysideLOCAL HERE).  I must say that it is the best caramel I have ever had – DH and my daughter also agree.  It’s made with organic ingredients and local orange wheat beer. What I love about our town are the unique artisans and merchants that make available equally unique and wonderful products.  You can find her produce and prepared foods at local Farmers Markets.

Jan2013Garden&SunnysideLocal1I am sure there is a lot going on around  the garden, but visually, the citrus are this months standouts. Here are some photos of the various citrus ripening in my grove: Washington navels, gold nuggets, tangelos, oro blancos, meyer lemons, and calamansi:


Digital Scrapbook Kit “Vintage Valentine 2013” Freebie

It seems like I just put away all the holiday things, and we are already into Valentine season.  Everywhere I go/look, there are Valentine decorations, and even Easter decorations! Well, I happened to stop by a most wonderful store in our town, Mozart’s, and felt inspired to do a freebie kit.


As with last years kit I made, this one is also inspired/based on a cute vintage Valentine card that I picked up at our local antique mall.  I included elements taken from my personal collection, added some CU items and here it is.  Please note, it is in two parts, and it is for personal use only. Enjoy creating with it!


And here are the downloads:

VintageValentine2013_1 VintageValentine2013_2

The Noduitgang!

Recently, DH and I met up with some friends from way back when.  We all met at an international graduate program in Delft Netherlands.  It was probably one of the most memorable year in my life.  We hailed from Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, and the States.  I can’t believe how young we were back then! Though it only seems like yesterday.  One day, it would really be neat to have a reunion in Delft with everyone!


And I complain about my son; wearing sandals during winter in California – look at these guys, shorts during winter in Holland! 🙂

More Lampwork Beads!

I seem to have regained my passion for creativity this year.  All the things that I enjoyed in the past and thought I somehow lost interest in have become interesting again. I have so many unfinished projects, as well as new ones constantly floating around in my mind these days. The weather has been a bit cold, but really ideal for lampworking, as my studio is still located in the corner of our garage.  Perhaps one day, a real all inclusive studio space of my very own …  Meanwhile, here are some more beads I made.  They are listed in my Etsy shop:


Epiphany Words


1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.
4. a literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight.

Last Sunday, at our place of worship, we picked our epiphany words out of a basket for the new year:
EpiphanyWords2013Mine is “birth” – I try to not read too much into the word itself.  As happens, I’m sure it will pop up in the most unexpected place and time.  Do you have an ephiphany word for the year?

Zentangle Challenge #101 “Phicops”

The Diva recently celebrated her 100th zentangle challenge.  I had taken a break from zentangling, but decided to try and participate again in the weekly challenges.  The new year starts off with a new tangle called “Phicops” that B-rad, the Divas hubby created.  It took a few times of draw/erase, but I kind of like the end result:

Challenge#101Phicops_BlogIf you’d like to try you hand at it, and/or view other participants tangles, go to “I am the diva“.  I find it to be a soothing activity – no pressure. You’re not being judged or graded.  In fact, everyone is really very supportive and kind.

Dr. Oz Three Day Detox

Woo-hoo! two posts in one day… As long as I was talking about eating well, I thought I’d mention the Dr. Oz three day detox.  I just finished day three! After a crazy month with all three kids at home, our good eating just went out the window.  Considering the boys eat like carnivores, my daughter a self proclaimed pescetarian (had to look that one up in the dictionary), and DH not eating wheat, I felt at times like a short order cook! The boys complained there was nothing good to eat, and their sister complained there was too much junk food in the house.  That compounded with two rounds of holiday cookie baking (so much fun!)… It was time to detox.  I’m not promoting it, but this three day detox works great for me.  It gets me going on the right eating track.  Start the day with green tea, followed by three very healthy shakes. If you want to try it, you can find the detox here: Dr. Oz Three Day Detox. I had to do some frozen fruits, as raspberries and such are out of season and hard to find.