Monday, February 28, 2011

Doily Vest

Inspired by Chantal Johnson's "Pieces from the Past" vest in a recent issue of Belle Armoire (or was it Altered Couture? I get the two mixed up and I didn't write it down). And then Jill of Gypsy Brocante came out with these gorgeous pieces and when I showed that blog post to Mum while I was in Australia, she decided we should take a stab at it.

Here's the work-in-progress. It consisted of Mum holding up doilies (mostly made by my great-grandmother), my approving and she pinning them onto the tank top.

I think it needs a little reworking, especially at the back. And I need to tea-dye that white doily.

And that's a peek at an item on my to-do list....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby, sweet baby

I was fortunate to win one of Sandy Babb of Quill Cottage's prizes.

I open up the little box and see this:

You know how you get a two year old the best Christmas gift ever, and all they rave about is the packaging?

Aren't they just adorable?

Oh, okay so do you want to see my darling prize?

The box is so sweet ....

but inside...

sooo pretty. Oh, what was inside the box?

This looks really complicated to make and done with such attention to detail!

There was also this wintry tag.

Thanks Miss Sandy!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thanks, Ralph

This was a beautiful post yesterday:

Carol Wingert writes "Be Yourself". Go read it, it's really affirming.

I wanted to save this quote, though, to use in my journaling some time.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Psalm 139

I've read Psalm 139 a bunch of times. It's in the Compline service in the "Lauds and Vespers" book that the monks at Mt. Calvary use. But last week, these verses leapt out at me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

The psalm might be familiar to you, if you read the beginning:

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways....

I was reading it for Thursday Vespers in the "Benedictine Daily Prayer: A Short Breviary" book that I'm currently using to pray with. [Woah! Amazon says its out of print!] Last week had been particularly tough, not just deadlines, but some other stuff as well, that I don't want to go into. The whole Vespers was exactly what I needed to hear from God right then and there.

But back to Psalm 139. This is the translation in "Benedictine Daily Prayer":

If I say: "Let the darkness hide me,
and the light around me be night,"
even darkness is not dark for you
and the night is as clear as the day.

My eyes opened. If I make darkness my choice, if I choose to turn away from God, not to see Him at work or acknowledge Him -- He's still there, shining as brightly as ever, burning away the darkness, as if I hadn't chosen to turn away at all. Still loving and caring for me.

Sometimes, I'm just gobsmacked at how immense and powerful God is, beyond comprehension. This was one of those "a-ha" moments.

Thanks, God. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yesterday, I was Featured Friday

I was a featured artist at the Vanillery Garden blog yesterday.

I answered questions that Natalie had sent out and then she went through my blog and added pictures! (I was supposed to send her pictures too, but I forgot and she very graciously, with all her deadlines, dug them out.)

It strikes me that I do not, as yet, have a particular style. But take a look at the pictures, if not to read the interview and let me know what you think.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Artful Pages class: have you signed up?

I first heard about this class while I was away in Australia. I've taken classes from Hope Wallace Karney and Mary Green before, and I think Lisa McIlvain taught in Mary's "Garden Party" (I think it was called) combo workshops last year, so I'm very excited to learn more from each of these gals and discover a new (to me) teacher: Lenna Young Andrews!

Class starts February 20, so it's not too late to sign up too!

I still have classes ongoing: Natalie Neumann's "Mori Cupcake" is wrapping up soon (sooner than I'd like, it's been a wonderful, affirmative community), and Suzi Blu's "La Sirena" class remains open until May -- which is good because I have about three paintings I still need to complete. Am working on the face for the next painting, which I have sketched out the layout.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aussie Goodies...

The weight loss plan kinda went out the window while I was on vacation (surprise, surprise). But can you blame me? Look at this delicious vanilla slice:

I bought a couple of cookbooks so that I could make this, and my other favorite, the super-rich chocolate caramel slice. I thought maybe I would cook something from the Biscuit & Slice Bible every other week or so.

I need to find a substitute for dessicated coconut though, which is a frequent ingredient in these, partly because its hard to find in the U.S., and partly because my husband's allergic to coconut flesh. Any ideas?

(Edit: I found my answer. Rolled oats is apparently the most common substitute for it. So I can go ahead with those recipes. But perhaps not for a week or so...)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pretty things

My mum doesn't have a blog but I had to share this beautiful arrangement of pastel Christmas ornaments on her coffee table. Isn't it lovely?

She said that they were too pretty to put away after Christmas.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My first White Wednesday...

Although it isn't really white. Kind of more of a yellowy ivory.

It's my christening gown, and mum gave it to me on my last trip home and it made it safely back in the checked luggage!

It was originally my Mum's wedding dress and she cut it down for my christening gown. Actually, I'm not sure that either of my brothers wore it. Don't think my youngest did. (Perhaps Mum can pipe up here...)

I am not sure what to do with it. It took no time at all to hang out the creases from packing it. I don't want to keep it tucked away in a closet. The color of it has already darkened from ivory (the color of the flower embroidery) and so I don't want the sun to damage it even more... (I like how its aged though...) so hanging it up where it gets sun isn't an option either....


Oh and this is my first White Wednesday, hosted by Kathleen of Faded Charm.

The Great Ocean Road

So I'm not going to bore you with a lot of holiday snaps, so here are just a couple. I took a ton of pictures to use as color inspiration for the mermaid paintings as part of the La Sirena class. The different colors of the ocean were so varied and beautiful.

This would've been a really good picture if I'd taken my hat off.

I stepped to the end of the path at Lord Ard Gorge and saw this and bounced. This is the shot used to show the pirate ship anchoring off the coast in "The Pirate Movie". I saw that movie over 16 times when it came out on video when I was a teen. Not sure how it would stack up as an adult but I can still sing most of the songs :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm back from Australia!

I scheduled a few posts while I'm gone, but it may take a little while to get caught up on comments and your blogs. I hear it's been pretty darn cold in a lot of the U.S. I guess that means those of you caught in the big freeze would think that 107 deg Fahrenheit weather would be nice!

But 4 days of it was not so much fun. Especially when it didn't cool off at night and all we had in the bedroom was a ceiling fan! (Thank goodness Mum's lounge room had air.)

A bigger update a little later ... meanwhile, what have y'all been up to?

Friday, February 4, 2011

First La Sirena painting done

I learned one really shouldn't spill glitter onto melted wax.

Also used mica flakes in her halo:

Also, I need to learn how to take photos of paintings. Only the tail pic turned out good. That, or I need to start using a different camera.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Glimpse of art

I was cleaning up the guest bathroom, saw this and had to take a picture: