Dec 24, 2011

Dec 22, 2011

Christmas gifts

As promised, here are the lovely things my pals sent me.

Tammy send me this cool glass carrier. I love it. It could be used for food or crafty goodies. Tammy also makes amazing tags, and this one will join some other ones on my tree.

Ramona sent me a timely box of bath salts, scented soap (vanilla, my fave), some glitter tags and a wall decal.

Thank you SO MUCH, my friends. This Christmas season is proving to be the most difficult yet.

xo Lee

Dec 15, 2011

A Lovely Giveaway!!

So, I'm realizing that I'm sounding quite whiney lately. Things are about the same, but at least hubby is working here and there.

I have received some wonderful stuff in the mail the past week or two. I'd love to show you, but the  camera is dead until the batteries charge. Ahhhh, kids. **I promise, I will add pictures this weekend!!

Anway, Ramona sent me wonderful box of goodies. This is pretty generous for a gal who lost most of her crafting/art supplies in a flooded basement. She is a gem of a blogging friend, and I can sincerely say that I wish I knew her in person!! She's a talented artist and crafter, wonderful mom, and manages to live and breathe her faith, act, run, and be politically active!!

Tammy, my BFF of 30 years, sent me a cool vintage looking glass carrier. It could be used for a ton of things, including drinks!! Tammy is extremely talented. She has this way with paper that I can only dream about. She has perserved through a lot of adversity, and still manages to have a smile on her face (with gorgeous teeth, I might add!) She has moved quite a few times, and manages to make each house a warm and cozy home. Her taste in impeccable, and Tammy is an amazing hostess. SIGH. (Can you tell I miss her??)

I know I've touted her talents many times before, but seriously, you have a chance to win a gorgeous bottle brush tree in her 4 year blogging anniversary (geez, how long have I been blogging...).

Go visit HERE

to win THIS:

And P.S. Katherine is giving this cool stamp set away. If you win it, please share...

Dec 4, 2011


Yeah, I know I've been a bit of a slacker lately... I have a pin to send to Lily, an ATC and some other things to send to Shannon, and I'm still thinkng about Terri's prize....

Things have been crazy here. Crazy like crying every day, hiding it away from everyone. Wandering around the house. Trying, trying, so hard to believe something good will happen soon. Feeling like this life of mine has become very surreal.

I know lots of people are struggling. Me too. I'm running out of steam.

I'd like to say I'm in the Christmas mood. Like to. But, I'm just hanging on, hoping Santa really does come this year.

Anyway, the biggest thing to remember is WHY we celebrate Christmas. I believe. I really do. And I know thing will be just fine.


Nov 19, 2011

Art Appreciation

First, let me thank Ramona and Terri for giving me shout outs on their blogs! Both were kind enough to go check out some new-to-me blogs, and enter my giveaway. Ramona received a box full of stuff (which she thinks I should sell), and Terri's prize is still in the planning stage! Lily chose a rose pin, which is about half-way done.

Shannon, one of the go-see-this-blog people, has asked for an ATC. Let me just say, that is a small canvas to work with!! Quite a challenge for me, as I have become accustomed to working in the 5x7 size, esp. with the Paper Digital Arts challenge groups.

I pretty much love the way this came out, BUT, and yes there is a but, the colors are a tad muddy for some reason. Hmmm, maybe a brighter white for the base. The other thing, her right hand is a bit goofy. When I enlarge the photo, she's holding a staff/wand in a funny way. What I really need is a tiny little buttlerfly to perch on top of the staff! Oh well, I think I may have to re-do this card.

Our Interpretations group came to an early end. Attention and effort was definitely waning. Then, when a member lost a spouse very suddenly, our fearless leader Kim (check our her link on the right side of my blog) decided it would be a good time to close. Too much going on in this member's life right now.

But, I did do a page for the translucent theme. I was inspired by the art done at sea by sailors, full of shells and whatever they could find. However, mine is more like a tribute to a sailor from a lover or wife.

Now, there are things I don't like. For instance, I should have paid attention to the book page I used. I had to white wash the front, because I felt like the content of the page was distracting. In hindsight, a sheet of music might have been better, or some lovely letter in Spencerian writing. But, I was playing with Mod Podge and glued about 6 pages together to make the base, so I wasn't really thinking about it. I suppose I could have still used book pages, then glued something else on top. Oh well. Leason learned.

PSA- the lovely silvery translucent scrapbook paper buckles when you glue it. What a pain. I can't imagine trying to use this stuff in scrapbooks- it would drive me crazy. I guess if I had glued it just around the edges, it might have flattened out more. I cute a piece to fit the opening (trying to conserve the lovely stuff) and then ran some glue about 1/4 inch outside the edge of the oval. Hrmph. I don't think I'll use it again.


Nov 14, 2011

Retro Cafe Art LOVE

So, one day I was over at FLICKR and checked into the latest updates from my contact list.
I was looking at Debrina's sPaRK*YouR*iMaGiNaTioN's photostream, and she had a giveaway for a sweet tin, in conjunction with Kris over at Retro Cafe Art.
So, I hopped on over there- and it was LOVE at first sight! (or site!!). Anyway, after browsing all of the amazing collages, etc., I picked up her blog button and put it on my blog.

Sad to say, I didn't win anything in the giveaway, but lovely gal that she is, Kristin sent me an email and let me choose 2 free digital collages, FOR FREE!! Is she an angel or what??

I picked the one below, and one of Mason Jars with French labels. I chose the faeries, because they were used to make sweet little faery jars with the mason jars.

Currently, mine are half made, but I wanted to share this site. Kris is constantly giving away stuff over there. Now- if I could just get her to give me some of the ATC sized mica....

hugs, Lee

Nov 10, 2011

Winners winners winners

Well, at least four of you out there went to go see these lovely blogs.. so,

Lili at Fearless Nesting a ROSE pin,

Terri at Pringle Hill Studio

Shannon from Tin Roof Studio an ATC,

and Ramona- from Better Than We Deserve, a box of goodies,

you all win!!

Tell me what you'd like, then I'll get to work!!

Thanks and a big shout out to those blogs!!

Nov 8, 2011


Many heartfelt thanks to those of you who chimed in with some good thoughts! Or condolences- whatever.

I'd like to say it was just the day, or that I'm better, but it's the same. Today I walked around thinking "I can't take much more." I'm hiding in the bathroom, crying. Crying in my car. My shoulders aren't feeling so broad these days. Not so strong. Chris and I vaccilate between holding on to each other, and circling each other warily. Each of us is a bit raw, a bit tender around the edges. We don't speak of the disappointments. It's the elephant in the room.

I told him to just find a job, anywhere, even if he has to be in another state. OUCH. Not where I saw myself. Not what I signed up for, this move to Maine. It was supposed to be for US, together... not far apart. Not in different states. But that dream is gone. Just gone. It must be something else...

Which leads me into this-I have been reading Shannon's  (I believe that's her name) blog Flower Patch Farmgirl for a number of months now. Like many bloggers out there, she recently wrote a 31 day series on the topic of her choice- Letting go. And boy, it really touched me.

Basically, for me, it means coming to terms with the move here, with letting go of home, of expectations, of how I thought things would work out here. Because frankly, they haven't-- not even close. Perhaps I am too busy fighting what God wants of me. Not what I want- what HE wants. Perhaps I am too busy grumbling to myself to hear what He is telling me. I don't know. I'm just putting it out there. At this point, we have made one bad decision after another. I'm thinking I need to make another type of decision. Like- to be STILL. To pay ATTENTION. Because obviously what I'm doing isn't working. I'm not sure of how to do that, exactly. I can admit that I'm damned scared to hear the answer.

What's God telling you?

Nov 6, 2011

Bloggy Love Time!! And a Giveaway!

As I have mentioned before, I am a member over at Paper Digital Arts, where I have been involved in the Interpretatiotins mixed media altered page swap. You can look through all of the photos that members have uploaded, and I have to say, that I REALLY love Shannon of Tin Roof Studio. The girl has serious talent.

So I followed her member page over to her blog, which as LOVELY art- and what do I see NADA, NOTHING, NO COMMENTS! Very sad. Very sad.

And then, I find the same thing over at Lynne's Gypsy Art. Great art, no comments. UGH.

So, here's what I'm proposing... head on over, leave a comment on both places, then let me know.

Up for grabs- your choice:

1. a box full of stuff from my stash- to include lace, metal number tags, a vintage laundry pin, maybe a mini-bottle or two, some glass glitter, and tons of other stuff.


2. a rose pin from my etsy store, which can be customized to what you would like.


3. a piece of art, your choice- ATC, 5x7 a la Interpretations pages, or a themed piece.

I'll pick the winner thursday, November 10.




Nov 5, 2011


I wanted to post something cool today. Some post about the latest art piece, or my silly boys, or some such thing. Something funny and smart and, well, maybe not so honest...

So what exactly do I mean by that? Well, like some many others of there, in so many places, things aren't so hunky dorey here. We are really struggling. Questioning every. single. decision we've made in the pat two years. Everything. Not so confidence-inspiring.

Maine is a beautiful place to live, but that's about it. Truly. The pay scale is terrible- I cut my earning potential by ONE-THIRD just by moving here. The job market stinks, just like every where else. Real estate- ha!! We couldn't sell this house if we had to. I wish we could. I really do. My bags are still packed from when we landed almost two years ago.

I'm scared. Every single day. Chris, my amazing husband, is home from school- pumped for a job that isn't materializing.  I still work part time- all the crappy employers around here post for part-time jobs- good luck finding full time.

So now what? I don't know. Keep holding my breath. Keep being stunned that I am almost 45 and in a sinking boat. Keep trying to be grateful for what I do have- at the moment, anyway.

Anyone want to buy a small farm?

Oct 30, 2011

Wow- a flounce on a two year old post.

So, I received an comment this morning on a post that's two years old, on one of my favorite photos. I had labeled the post Another Gypsy Woman. Apparently:

That is not a Gypsy woman is a Ruthenian woman from Ukraine and the picture is from a popular New York book called something like "The Faces of Europe. From an anthropological point of view she has not a single gypsy feature, look at the nose, face structure, and everything. You need to make a research before you label someone...

1. Thanks for the heads up.
2. I clearly stated in the post that I didn't know where the photo was from, only that I loved it.
3. I do not have the time to check your sources, so I'll take your word for it.
4. Maybe I'll blame it on artists license....

Anyone have this happen?

Oct 23, 2011

Paint it BLACK- wainscoting, that is.....

I received an email this morning, from a gal who did a search on black wainscoting, and was directed to my blog. hahahahahahah Who knew??

Anyway, it lit a fire underneath my proverbial arse to get some pictures taken and posted. So, let me just say a few things... I primed and painted the wall with Country Beige, which is really a warm white. Ditto on the trim and doors, but in semi-gloss. I painted the newer doors, and they immediately looked better. I haven't painted the old doors yet, because I am loathe to cover these beauties up. Stripping pain off old door is a pain. Hubby told me to go ahead and paint them, but 1. I ran out of paint, and 2. we have other doors in the house that are already white, so I'm he's going to move them.

I primed the the wainscoting with a primer tinted dark gray, then topped it with semigloss black. It turned out beautifully. The only problem is, it really does show dust along the bottom (read cat hair). The semigloss seems to attract everything, like static almost. Maybe paint can do that, I don't know.

I didn't paint the heat register because I wanted hubby to pull it off the wall, sand it, then repaint it before putting it back up (which we did in our last house with great success. Although, he sandblasted it at work that time, so maybe that's the key to reviving registers... 'cause replacing them is expensive- we've checked). He said no, just paint it..... OK, added to the list, meaning I haven't gotten around to it yet.

We took the louvered doors down, and it turns out they were  broken in the middle. Still very usable, but hinges had been added in spots.  I didn't paint them because 1. they're broken, 2. it would take a lot of work, and 3. because the shelves still wouldn't be usable once the bed was in place. And although this house is big, it is short on closet space (as most old farmhouses are).

So I bought some (cheap) curtains, spray painted the silvery curtain rod black and, voila!! (And just in case your wondering, they aren't hung all the way to the right to the doorway because that is a brick chimney under there. But I could fake it by extending the rod.)

WRONG COLOR. You probably can't tell from the pictures, but they are too blue. And too short. (I had planned to add a gorgeous swatch of fabric to them for added length).

The next issue it brought up is this: if I hang some gorgeous cool fabric there (read TOILE), what. the. heck. do I do with the windows?? I think drapes would be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fabric for this relatively small room. I'm thinking shutters?? Prepainted white??

Which brings up the next questions, if I pick a patterned fabric for the drapes, what to put on the bed? A solid fabric? I think I like the idea of white drapes on the closet, with a gorgeous spread. Or maybe not, maybe toile in the back, with a solid duvet cover. I love this crushed velvet bedspread we have now- it has a very subtle floral pattern, but it's not right for the room now.
I have a really nice headbord that is medium brown. I'd like to paint it, and the ugly sidetables a color, but white? Black? Gray? Something else?? I guess it depends on the fabric I choose for the closet- if we keep it draped.

So, now I'm stuck. Any ideas?

I like having blinds, in the summer time there is some serious brightness by 5 in the morning! And I like the insulating factor of drapes for the frigid winters.

So, come on gals, give me some ideas~~ Lee

Oct 13, 2011


Yes, that's me. Feeling like a loser parent these days... Got a phone call from Adam's kindergarten teacher, who wants to do a RTI (response to intervention) plan on him. Why, you ask?? Because he doesn't know some of his letters (about 6, the end ones like X, Y, Z).  Oh.

OK, so my first thought is- isn't that what kindergarten is for? To teach him letters and numbers and sounds?? Apparently not. He's supposed to already know them.

My second thought is, why didn't I notice it? Am I too consumed with my own time, hobbies, laundry, putting away laundry, stripping beds, vacuuming, bill paying, taking care of the animals, barn work, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.?? Oh yeah, and my job too.

Apparently he can't sing the ABCs right either. You know, the middle part, yeah.... the part that I correct him on when we do sing it. Yes, that part... Now, I thought he could sing it. I didn't realize it was a problem. So, do YOU ask your kids to sing the ABCs to you, so you know if they can??? Me neither. So, I guess I suck as a parent.

So, in addition to being in school all day, we have to school all night. The kids get home at 3:30. I give them a snack and some time to unwind. Now, I've started at 4:30 with computer time on IXL (math))- which I have to do for both. I've started Adam on Starfall too for ABCs. I have to do reading with both kids. And spelling with Jason. And capitol and lower case letters with Adam. And somewhere in there is supper time and dishes.

So, I know this is the job of a parent. I know that some work at home is expected. I guess I've just been clueless. But when do the kids get to be kids? And what responsibility lays with the school? I'm not sure. Tell me what you think.

Oct 9, 2011

Apples, Apples Everywhere...

... and not a single one to eat!!

OK, not really, but our apples are not the gorgeous ones you see piled up at orchards. Ours are the real deal, not sprayed, full of dings and dents and bugs.

But they taste pretty good. The boys and I cooked them up and fed them through the fruit mill to make applesauce.

I got about 6 quart bags full, then gave up and fed the rest to the ponies. The apples take a lot of prep because they are dirty and buggy and need to be cut in half and trimmed up before going into the pot.

But it was a chance for the boys and I to be outside together. Can't complain about that!

Oct 2, 2011

Soon She Will Wake

It's raining cats and dogs here, the fire is burning and keeping us warm, so I figured now was a good time to post!

This is the latest page for the Paper Digital Arts swap Interpretations. This September's theme was dried flowers- which, of course, I had none! I even tried to go buy some at the small local store- nothin'!

So, I improvised and used paper flowers. They were roses, rolled fairly tightly and glued, so I just peeled them like onions.

The words are lyrics to a song called Shadowlands, by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. You can listen to it here.

Ah, soon she will wake

When love is in the
air she breathes

Of course, the symbolism in the piece is pretty obvious. She cradles her heart in her hands, hopeful for what married life will bring her.

I tried using a birdcage instead of a house, but the one I picked just didn't work.  You can see how changing just one element in a piece can totally change the tone of it. Instead of looking forward to her life in her home with her husband, the birdcage would have implied that she would be trapped.
This page was heavily inspired by a piece called LIFE by Susie over at Gathering Up Bits of the World. I happened to be blog surfing, and came across her's, which is now bookmarked! Something about her page just really stuck with me.

I think we must be very careful not to copy, and to give credit where it is due. However, I also believe that each piece of work we do has our own stamp on it. It was a great opportunity to try new techniques with shading, color scheme, etc. Backgrounds are not always a strong point for me, and I just loved the look of hers.


Sep 25, 2011

Embrace Change!!

I received an email today from Natalea that she got my package and canvas yesterday! She loved her's too- which makes us both EVEN!

Her topic was "embrace change." We all need reminders to do that, right??

It took me awhile to find a quote that I liked. I originally wanted to take the "one door closes, another opens" route, but I couldn't really solidify the total image in my head. I thought about a building with lots of doors, different shapes and colors, but the canvas took a different direction.

Some art comes fast and furious, some not. This was in the latter category. And not in a bad way, either. It just took days and days, layers and layers of glue and paint. I first painted the top of the canvas blue. Then glued the green grass (patterned scrapbook paper). Next came added paint in blue, white, and yellow. I edged in brown ink, outlined in black ink pen.

The drying time actually gave me time to reflect and move the canvas along. In the end, I was very happy with the total picture. Eventually I built each little house, without gluing anything down. That my friends, was the key for me. I switched houses, women, even roofs, until it finally was finished.

Enjoy! And remember, nothing is static. Everything and everyone changes- how you react to that change is up to you.