Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I just got my "embellishments" newsletter from Cloth, Paper, Scissors and there is a tutorial for Kelli Nina Perkins "stitched" charm bracelet. Check it out!


Select: Sign Up Now for the free embellishments newsletter. Once you subscribe you will get the latest version and see the tutorial.

Here is a link to her blog http://ephemeralalchemy.blogspot.com/

gluten free

Another passion of mine is good food. I thoroughly enjoy food. Selecting (yes grocery shopping!), cooking, baking and...of course eating. However, I have started down a new path of gluten free eating. After a couple of recent books/discussions, a family reunion where is was revealed that several family members suffer from gluten intolerance I decided to give it a try. I am on week three and definitely feeling the benefits. Lucky for me I discovered Shauna James Ahern...author of

I found this book to be liberating that you can still enjoy food when it seems you are restricted from all of the "good" stuff. This book is about her journey. There are some recipes sprinkled in, but her passion to not give up on food is the main thread. This I love. I was surprised to see some negative feedback on Amazon. Take this book for what it is....hope for continuing to enjoy food. Her blog is wonderful as well. http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/ You have to check it out. Last night I made the spinach/chick pea quick dinner recipe. It was delicious. Everyone commented on the wonderful smells...even the ever questioning 14 year old! Today I am going to make the syrup for the strawberry/rhubarb lemonade. I plan to serve this over the 4th. I can't wait....my mouth is watering already!

Monday, June 29, 2009


Finally....as promised a charm explanation. I admit it, I am hooked...on charms. It is all about making pieces of art, whether it is funky, traditional, exploring new materials, pushing the limits (at least the limits you thought existed)....but on a small scale. So how did this addiction start...
I joined the yahoo Mixed Media Art Group a couple of months ago after learning about it through Crazy Art Girl Musings at this address http://www.alteredbelly.blogspot.com/ . Through this group I participated in my first charm swap. In addition to the group I was further inspired by the book A Charming Exchange: 25 Jewelry Projects To Create & Share and off I went. These are from my first charm swap. I submitted charms in a couple of categories: spring colors and mixed media. I love the different use of materials and interpretations.

The materials/techniques range from: soldering, origami, leather, stamping, shrinky dink, buttons, wood, small book binding, etc.

I then convinced my dear arty friends back in MN (we moved to Michigan this past October) to do a swap with me. Lucky for me...I created this awesome charm bracelet from the charms that we swapped. Obviously this charm bracelet has special meaning to me, having charms made from some very special friends. I need close ups of these beads....but the materials and techniques are detailed felted balls, wood burning, stamping, polymer clay, fabric beads, resin, fabric and more.

My most recent swap was through the magazine, Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Not only did I receive these charms, but also have connected with a couple of the artists!

These charms are: paper beads trio, miniature handwoven basket, bead with fringe yarn and smaller beads, tiny shell attached to two beads and polymer bead with a crystal.

All of the amazing charms swapped needed to be: under two inches and wearable (something that can be exposed to say water if washing dishes, etc.)

My arty Minnesota friends and I are planning another swap, this time with a blue/green/beach theme. I'll have to keep you posted! I encourage you to gather some friends and plan a swap.....I promise you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

4th of july project

Here is a quick, easy and fun project for 4th of July.

Supplies: large dandelions, hair spray and spray paint (red, white and blue)

Go find some large dandelions.

Before cutting the large dandelion, spray with hair spray. As an experiment I tried both the pump and aerosol and found no significant difference. However, if you are letting a young person apply the hairspray...you might want to go with the pump as you don't have to worry about the aerosol spray blowing the dandelion to smitherings (speaking from personal observation, of course). The hair spray will help you to safely transport your dandelions back home.

Then....you can spray your dandelions with spray paint. I chose red, white and blue in anticipation for the upcoming 4th of July. But whose to say you couldn't spray a bunch with hair spray and set aside. Then color according to the celebration....Halloween (orange and black), kids party (pink, orange, purple).......hmmmm. I better go get some more!

loving summer

How can you not love summer when you get days and moments like these.

We have been thoroughly enjoying the sand dunes. Seriously, I can't get enough.
I love how the kids can be free and themselves. No distractions.
Go have some distraction free time. Trust me, you will love it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Days

Finally....Summer has arrived. School is out. The weather has improved dramatically!... and we love every minute of it. Adjusting to a new schedule with the kids home from school. I am thrilled.

Been playing with ttv (through the viewfinder) technique with a Kodak duaflex II. I picked one up the other day at the local antique store. Today I spent some time, probably too much, trying to create a contraption to block out the light while I snap a digital picture of the viewfinder. Everything on line makes it seem so easy. Have I over thought this technique? My dear friend Amy would, of course, have just went for it.....I love having her voice to remind me to just go for it. I have lots more experimenting in the days to come. I will share more information soon. Here is a photo of our sweet golden, Tucker, who shadows me constantly.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Red Wings!

It is game six of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! We are HUGE Red Wing Fans...living in Michigan will do that to you. We have been blessed with such an amazingly talented and mature team and we couldn't be prouder. Hopefully tonight they can cinch the cup! In our excitement I made some "cookie bouquet" cookies to resemble the Red Wing Logo. The kids helped me to decorate and I have to say.....they look pretty darn good! Go Wings!!!!!

Yesterday was kindergarten graduation. The class gave their teacher her gift (the flower pot with all of their hands.) Not sure who was more excited, the kids leaped out of their seats giggling trying to find their hands. It was a very rewarding moment.

School is winding down. Looking forward to all of fun we will have this summer. I enjoy the summer time with the kids as much as they enjoy school being out.

ciao and.....................................................go wings!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

year end projects

As the school year winds down I find myself scrambling to get year end projects done. This year I helped my daughter's Daisy troop make a mosaic flower pot to add to the library reading garden. I made "girl" tiles for each of the girls to glaze. For 6 and 7 year old's...they did a great job. They are all so creative! I then attached the tiles to the pot, with some challenges.....always a learning moment! Added some additional tiles and viola....we have a keepsake for the girls to reflect on for the remainder of their years at their elementary school.

Since I have my kiln wired (thanks Dad!) I have been concocting lots of clay projects. For the same daughter's kindergarten class I had each of the students stamp their hands on a store purchased clay pot as a keep sake for their teacher. I then added their names and wrote the name of the school and year on the top.....as we hope she has many more years of teaching!

Need to get this fired so we can give it to her at graduation next week. Since I will be firing the kiln I have dozens of new "charms" to glaze and fire....I am quickly becoming addicted to making charms. I can thank Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine and Mixed Media yahoo group for lighting this new passion!

So with that being said....I think I need to go glaze some charms!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Dedicated to Amy

The launch. I have been contemplating this for a long time, too long actually. What has stopped me? That list is too long to bore you with. Excuses.

So in memory of a dear friend, who passed away suddenly five years ago...Amy...I dedicate this blog to you. You may have left us physically, but your spirit lives on. You would have been champing at the bit for me to get this blog going a long time ago. So with the mantra...what would Amy do...i decide to go for it. Thanks Amy!

My goal for this blog is to share ideas. In tough times, living creatively is not only wise financially, but for the spirit so very important. I think these tough economic changes were inevitable. We have become a society living with excess. So while we pare down our lifestyles, we can discover the riches we have within our creative spirits.