31 December 2011


All my best thoughts and wishes to each of you for a happy, healthy 2012 in which you will find all of the time you wish to create!

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Don't forget to right click and save the larger image!  Enjoy!!

22 December 2011


Since returning to work in November, I have had little time to create and so not much to post.  I have been starting my mornings by visiting your blogs, which keeps me inspired and feeling connected to all of you!  June at Dezinaworld posted a Christmas video this morning and I thought I would do the same.  Ok I confess!  I have never posted a video and had no idea how easy it is.   The hard part is choosing.  I wanted something Canadian, then after a lot of listening something fairly current.  This one offers 3 Canadian icons; Celine, the Canadian Tenors and the song by Lenard Cohen.   Have a listen!

11 December 2011


Although I have the "I'm Participating" button on my sidebar, it really has been more like "I'm Watching"! LOL

As I had both the dies for this one that made a great start.  Don't you find that when you don't have the basics a lot of time is spent in creating the alternative?  I am typically at my most creative when I have only the barest idea of what I might do and go digging through my stash.

My background stamp is from Heartfelt Creations, the bow and pine cones are MS, I used Soot crackle paint on the candlestick, black Zing on the swirls and Picket Fence crackle paint on the candle itself.  The red berries are a drops of Glossy Accents and MS red micro beads.  I used C'Ordinations stock with a kraft core for the die cuts.  I was surprized to feel a Victorian elegance coming from my tag once I had finished the candle and stopped there.  I may repeat this one!  Thanks as always Tim for the incredible inspiration!

I really want to know!  Do you use your tags?  And what do you do on the back of them?  LOL

10 December 2011



Sometimes a little something simple is just the thing.  Still in their cellophane packet these were 12 for 10 cents, maybe from the dime store?  Is the dime store part of your memories?  I recall wooden floors and the candy counter and being introduced to Sea Foam by my friend Deb.  Breath deep and take a moment for a bit of nostalgia.


2 December 2011


Now that I am back to work and I am so often away from home, it (work) often gets in the way of crafting and blogging fun!  I had a little time this morning to look through my images and see what I might post for you.

After taking Mary Green's "My Christmas Gluebook" course, I am looking at ephemera with a different eye.  I believe this piece has many possibilities, don't forget to click to enlarge and save the second image for the best resolution!

Mary has her monthly collage challenge up now, do check it out!

26 November 2011


If you haven't seen a demonstration of what difference a little "fixing" makes, well here you go.  My sweet friend Heather did her magic on Santa.  So now you have a choice!   This is a gif file.


I suspect this one is from the 50's, no markings of any sort and obviously meant to hang.  Though he has a couple of spots to fix up, he's lovely and I hope you might use him.  If you want to learn how to do the "fix up" check out Heather's tutorials at "My Artistic Adventures".


I was thrilled to find this at a Vintage Flea Market here in Victoria recently.  It is printed paper lace sewn onto a long strip of blue silk ribbon.  I have tried to scan this so that you could save the lacey edges if you wanted to fussy cut.  A sweet something to slip into a stocking...

18 November 2011



It seems like there is no time between Halloween and Christmas and I always have trouble letting go of the former :)  This 6 inch hang tag advertised a 1950 Christmas Savings Club.  Remember to click on the image and then click again on the larger image to save the best resolution.

15 November 2011


I have been chosen  as a "Ginger Gem" over at Gingersnap Creations for my entry in the Raven Challenge!  It really is a honour to be amongst those singled out at Gingersnap Creations, I couldn't be more excited or pleased.  This is a second for me, the first being for my Halloween House last fall.  My favourite season for creating art...

13 November 2011


I saw a book box sometime ago and knew that this line from Graphic 45 would be perfect for this  With no real directions (but some great pictures from Lesley D! And my poor attempts to convert from a Finnish blog) I managed to get the innards together.  I will finish up the inside cover when I've decided what gift for whom goes in!  It was fun to do something quite different.  Lots of fussy cuts, Stickles, popdots and a flower crafted from binding wrapped around foil.  And last a few Bedazzles in the center of the poppies for some additional sparkle and texture.


I picked this business size card up at a Vintage Flea Market here in Victoria on Saturday.  The "Will address a meeting for Women only." intrigued me.  On the back in much smaller print is some information about a meeting for men conducted by Rev B. Fay Mills.   Not really expecting anything I did an on-line search.  The Rev B. Fay Mills was quite a well known Evangelist from the 1890s well into the next century.  I couldn't find a picture of Mrs. Mills that would be interesting to have.  Still the card conjures all sorts of little stories in my head - do you do that too?


As we go through the lessons from Mary Green's "MY CHRISTMAS GLUEBOOK", I have been using her monthly collage challenge sheets to apply the lessons and create my own first Vintage Gluebook.  Some pages are better than others but I am learning!  I will use a Victoria Scrapbook from my stash to hold the pages and I want an authentic look.  I am (so far!) using only Mary's images, original images from my own stash and glue!  No ink, no stamps, no other techniques... my latest three pages.

I will share my completed "Christmas Gluebook" with  you soon.  My first on line course with Mary, this course (at a very modest fee) includes detailed lessons, interaction with Mary and the other participants plus all of the images for the book and many, many extras.  Do check out what she offers!

11 November 2011


From left then clockwise;  Cub Sturdevant (my dad) WWII US Army served in the Pacific,  Marge Morisette behind (my mom) US Army Nursing Core, Fort Sam Brooks, San Antonio, Texas (Korean War),  Jean Buchman (MIL) WWII British Army served in England, Wally McLean (SIL) WWII Canadian Army served in Europe.

ECHOES OF SPRING - Vintage Gluebook Page, Green Paper Challenge November 2011

Well I missed the deadline (!) but this was still a fun page to do and I am quite happy with it.  I am taking Mary Green's "My Christmas Gluebook" on-line course and was inspired to practice doing gluebook pages using her November challenge. Check her site out if you aren't familiar with her work, a great place to find different vintage images and inspiration always!  After completing this page, I will go back and use the previous challenge images to create pages for a small Victorian 8x11 scrapbook from my stash.

The coloured images are from Mary's challenge image sheet.  The vintage (1945) wallpaper down the left side, the music sheet and cover (1921) are from my stash and are the originals. The wallpaper is quite a bit lighter IRL and about an inch on the left side is covered by the book binding so only the merest bit will actually show in the book.  I have taken Mary's advice to heart in actually using originals and as I learn her gluebook techniques really, really try to only use paper and glue.  I am determined not to use ink, stamps and other embellishments as I put together this Victorian Scrapbook for an authentic look.  But I am considering glitter..what about the German Glass Glitter?  Just saying.

20 October 2011


I haven't entered a challenge for ages and when I saw the Rogue Redhead Ravens Challenge over at Gingersnap Creations  (http://gingersnapcreations.blogspot.com) well I just had to play!  Do go and check out the marvelous creations!

I admire my crafty friends who can sit down and plan out their projects ahead of time..sigh  I never quite know what I am going to do until I spread out a good pile of stuff and just dig in!  My friend Marilyn split a paper mache witches hat with me so that is where I started...along with the silhouette of a raven that she sent me.  That woman can cut a template or stencil like no ones business!  I took the easy route printed the silhouette out on card stock, backed that with another piece of black card stock and fussy cut it.

I painted the hat orange, mostly covered it with some Soot Crackle Paint and then all of that with Rock Candy Crackle Paint.  Considering how the raven would show against the dark background is how I came to the idea of cutting out a witchy Halloween tree (MME) and using that as a major part of the background.  Added subtle texture with lots of opaque black glitter on globs of Glossy Accents, some Straw Distress Ink and then dimension with bits of Halloween floral trim.

I built up the forest floor first with a ragged strip of cheesecloth misted a pale orange and dabbed with Orange Crackle Paint and some green acrylic paint, then topped that with a row of grey Bloomers (these came on a card with other colours, honestly I never thought I would use grey! and it a mouldery mummy grey to boot), dabbed a bright lime green acrylic paint here and there which I topped with green glitter (MS) while wet and finally a bit more of the Orange Crackle Paint.  I also used that green (with glitter) to sponge in a bit of foliage around the tree.

The raven has one foot upon a tiny pine cone.  Behind that I layered together a big orange flower - really just to create some contrast. The glittery net, paper flowers and button were part of the Bella Creations Halloween Embellishment kit.  I couldn't resist cutting out a crescent moon, adding a bat and wiring that above!  I didn't set out to do a Ravenscape but I do think it is fun!  A bit of a diorama on a hat - who would have thought LOL

16 October 2011


Ok,  well it was blue moon I had in mind when I started...Midnight Blue Sky just doesn't have the same panache!  Halloween seems the perfect holiday to grab a paint brush, work out a little idea and just have some fun.  There are many truly gifted primitive artists but the folkish, naive nature of the genre just lends itself to letting any of us brave enough to wield a paint brush giving it a try, even if it is just to do a background.  Which is good place to start.
I have really mixed it up here...the moon is a die cut from the Bella Creations Halloween Embellishment kit (created by Heather), I've stroked the blue sky with Glossy Accents and covered that with a lot of black opaque glitter, added lime green glitter to the foreground and faux stitched with a Pigma Pen around my curious jack-o-lantern and moon!


One of the challenges in a group I moderate at Bella Creations (Celebrer La Fete) is to do a Halloween tag inspired by anything Tim Holtz!  I used a challenge Tim offered from 2008 at this link to create mine;

A plastic spider done up with several colours of Stickles adds the final perfect touch!  Do come and have some fun with us..

15 October 2011


I really have neglected one of my favourite sites Gingersnap Creations for quite some time.  They of course are doing Halloween up right!  This will be my submission to the "Horror Story" Challenge!  Whether you adore Halloween or not do go and see what is creepy and dark!

I really have no answer as to why I haven't followed the latest vampire craze as I have been fascinated with vampires since I was a child.  But I am looking forward to the whole renewal of "Dark Shadows"!  I remember getting quite anxious if the school bus was a few minutes late getting me home worried that I might miss the first few minutes of the show!  Barnabas was my favourite character, who was yours?

I found a few images of old movie posters online earlier this year and knew they would be the focus of a new Halloween banner for me.  I have hung this across a small mirror in my stairwell and yes I can still see my reflection in the mirror! LOL

Some yellow and black poisonous flowers and spray from the Bella Creations Halloween Embellishment kit (check out the kit and the domino book tutorial) , some silver bat peel offs (you really can't see these in the photo), a sparkly black bat (K&Co) edged with White Enamel Accents (love that stuff), the center medallion is MS on all three pieces and some fabulous black paper which I picked up at DeSerres backs the image.  The creepy bat hanging at the bottom LOL  found at a local thrift store and is one of those glow in the dark things which I inked up with StaZon in black and glued on with Glossy Accents.

I folded some white crepe streamer in half, sewed a running stitch along the folded edge and used that to frame the central image.  A line of chunky black glitter on top of the stitching line, lots of black ink to add some decay (and red in the appropriate place!)  I used the same orange and black smudged pp with bats on all three pieces as the background (GCD).  Can you make out the "Slayer's Kit" on the bottom right corner?  The slaying sword (some sort of key thingie that the DH sharpened for me!), a cross and a vial of Holy water.  The hanging piece is a metal mold (which I have been hoarding, so it was good to actually use one!) that I inked with a number of different inks, embossed and then glittered!

The third pennant has some of the same basic elements but then stands out with the addition of the fangs!  My favourite piece LOL  A set of rubbery fangs found in the thrift store package of Halloween odds and ends.  Made over with a bit of red ink and glitter...with a bit of drippy, glittery blood below.  All in all a totally blood thirsty project!

13 October 2011


Bella Creations Design Team member, Cathy B's  Halloween Shadow Box inspiration for her group Nuances De Couleur was the push I needed to haul one of the Maya Road Shadow Boxes I have been saving (read hoarding) out the closet!  That and a day of scrapping planned with my Halloween Stash and scrap pals Marilyn and Marlene at Scrapbook Parade.

I started by spray misting the entire box with LuminArte Shimmering Mist in Key Lime.  I used scraps to pop dot a background in each frame, the images I used around the outside, Lisa's Altered Art, were matted in black and then pop dotted on top of the scraps. Added a bit of Stickles and a little bling here and there to the frames.  The central frame contains a fuzzy, red eyed spidey and web corners from MS.  The felt ghost and word "trick" are Making Memories, the glitter cat is K&Co.  The velvet scalloped ribbon ..can't recall.  If it's mine I almost always have a bit of vintage something on it!  Digging through my Scrabble games for tiles and realized I could use a rack!  Some black paint and a shine with Goosebumps.  I used Glossy Accents to adhere the rack to the box and tiles to the rack.  I recently talked to someone who wasn't aware that Glossy Accents is an excellent "glue" so hence the mention.   I am making progress on my Halloween gifties..:)

Check out Cathy's group Nuances de Couleur at Bella Creations!  There is a lot of Halloween fun happening!

6 October 2011


Lacee has revealed her Vintage Halloween Embellishment Kit and what fun it is to work with!  Mine has just arrived and already I've used it on two small prim canvasses I had under way!

The moon with verse is an exclusive die cut created by our Ms Heather and the ribbons and jack o lantern button on the BOO piece are from Lacee's sweet little kit.   The cat is an image offered in my group  Images d'Autrefois.

This sweet Halloween tryptic is the work of our Ms Starr!  She has done a wonderful job of showcasing many of the elements included in the kit!

For details on the Vintage Halloween Embellishment Kit click on the title of this post!  Happy Haunting!

5 October 2011


On the 5th of each month the details of the three main challenges and sponsors for each are announced (see my sidebar), along with the reveal of the Design Team projects.  So here are my three;

The Bella Unique Challenge is all about trying techniques.  This month it is making and embellishing crepe paper ruffles.  Lacee always provides a tutorial that you can follow.  The "crystal ball" belonged to my grandmother and I believe dates from the 1960s.  This would have been used to present your flower(s) in a competition or perhaps used for a table centerpiece when the Garden Club came for luncheon.

The Tres Chic Challenge is about using a certain style.  This month it is Romantic Grunge.  I have reworked a piece that I wasn't happy with from last year and I now think it works.

The third main challenge is the Bella Muse.  This month you have the choice of two images to use in your project which again are provided by Lacee.  I've used one of them to create my Halloween cards.   The patterned papers are Memory Box and MME.  I've used a bit of ribbon, black fringe, an MS dimensional sticker and Stickles.  I adore using chocolate foils and cupcake papers to create borders, medallions, toppers or swags. Here I sprayed a yellowed paper liner to set the Raven on.  The "Bella Witch Hat" is from Lacee's October Vintage Halloween Embellishment kit (also revealed today) to identify the mysterious Ms Gulch!

Why don't you come and join us for the fun!  Click on the title of this post to go directly to Bella Creations!

2 October 2011


It`s time for some new challenges at Bella Creations!  Why don't you join me in one of the groups I moderate, Celebrer la Fete, and have some fun making Halloween Crackers!

Here in Canada many of us follow the English tradition of having decorated  "crackers" at Christmas dinner.   These have paper poppers in them that you and someone sitting next to you pull, this sounds like the noise from a cap gun! They are typically filled with a tissue paper crown (which is worn throughout dinner), a riddle or joke, a small candy and gift.
Doing a Halloween version has been on my list for awhile.  I have taken the idea of a Halloween countdown and done seven.  Each one is filled with 3 tiny treats (keep it simple!) and are meant to be opened one every day on each of the 7 days before Halloween.  These are for my daughter`s three children who are 5, 3 and 18 months - I think winding them up towards Halloween for 7 days before is enough! 
I have used toilet paper tubes (these are 4 inches), sheets of crepe paper (cut 10 inches long and wrapped 3 times around for fullness), scraps of patterned paper (cut this a quarter inch or so short of 4 inches wide so it is not right on the edge of the tube) , narrow ribbons, Stickles, I made the rosettes using the Tim Holtz die and chipboard numbers.
I think these will look great in a big bowl!  As these are meant for children, I made them as simple as possible; no inking, inexpensive ribbons, scraps of paper and went for a mix of colours instead of trying to match everything up.
I am still using Christmas Crackers that I made with fabric about 15 years ago.  You can use tissue paper, gift wrap, fabric etc instead of crepe paper.  I know my daughter will let the kids open one end of these to tip out the candies and then they will be whipped out of sight and saved for next year!
Your challenge is to make at least one Halloween Cracker by October 31st.  The prize determined by draw will be a fall themed RAK from me.  Come along and have some fun with us!

26 September 2011


I've linked this post to Terri at Artful Affirmations do go and check out the lovely posts.  You can't appreciate the time and effort everyone puts into their oh so lovely posts until you try and do one yourself!  I will try and do better..

This snack set is part of my "good china".   After I was married my MIL encouraged me to pick out a china pattern.  Once I saw this Royal Albert pattern "Brigadoon", well that was it.  The pattern featured a Scottish Thistle and my favourite colour blue with soft lavendar and green. The family name being McLean it was a hit all round.  The majority of my set was purchased by my MIL for birthdays and holiday gifts.   It's a soft and sweet pattern that I hope will find favour with one of the family in the future.

24 September 2011


Lacee Broyle`s September Embellishment Kit ``Sew Vintage`` is full of the sweetest bits!  (check it out by clicking on the title of this post or the picture on my sidebar)  Inspired fellow DT member Maggie  challenged us to covering the box the kit came in using the kit bits!  What fun!  This will be a sweet gift enclosure for one of my girls..


Yesterday was a beautiful warm and sunny fall day.  This morning I woke up to the fog horns, a peek out the window confirmed a fairly light cover of fog but not just in the distance.  I've been meaning to take my own pictures of the Fisgard Lighthouse this summer to share but these much better pictures from the lighthouse sight will just have to do LOL

Isn't it a beauty?  It is a National Historic site and we are so fortunate to have it in our neighborhood!  The next batch of company will be an excuse for a visit...why make an excuse well that just is how it is right?

This picture gives you a better idea of the setting.  The Olympic Pennisula mountain range (Washington State) on the horizon to the right.   That tip of land on the left would be the Naval base and just to the left of that would be the city of Victoria proper.  In front of this picture (see how directionally challenged I am?) is a road which has a small lagoon on the opposite side.  Bordering the other side of the lagoon is Hatley Castle which has much local history.  Above the lagoon (and not with a view of the lighthouse but a view over to the mountains) is where I live.  Let me know if you post an  "In My Neighborhood" and I will come for a visit!

20 September 2011


These are a few pieces of a chocolate set that my mom bought at an estate sale in about 1962, at the time I am quite sure my mom thought it was a tea set.  It was her first antique purchase and started for her (and me) a lifelong love of all things old.  I considered myself fortunate when I was included on a road trip to hunt antiques. At one point mom opened a small antique shop in our home, so I grew up surrounded with fine china and glass pieces particularly.   Its my birthday today and I wanted to remember my mom in this special way as it was always something we shared.

These pieces are marked Royal Hamburg which I have never found on another piece.  I believe the set to be RS Prussia Dogwood blanks (mold 256).  Circa 1880 to 1910. The painting is very like the RS Prussia patterns Jonquil or Narcissus but is in fact much more ornate with more luster and gilding.

BOO BELLA! A Halloween Bingo Card Banner!

We got Halloween going on in the BOO BELLA! group at Bella Creations.  Why don't you come and join in!!

My goal here was to create a fairly simple banner.  Really this one is all about the assembly of different elements, no complicated techniques and I used what was in my stash!  My base and inspiration is the Jenni Bowlin Halloween Edition Bingo cards, all edges inked with Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink.

The top border on each is a strip of green, black and orange ribbon as I wanted to use those three colours overall.  The bottom border is a candy punch from MS, a strip of vintage orange velvet ribbon and some fun pom pom trim.  Black satin ribbon to string them all together, black tulle for some fluff and a bit of orange organza added,  MS skeletons!  Platinum Stickles around the edges.

The running Jack O Lantern scrap is from Paper Valise (check them out for wonderful bits!) I need to highlight his face so that he isn't lost.  I punched out and inked a moon to set him on.  A vintage owl button and the Jack O Lantern button from my stash.  The center medallions are all from MS.   The "rosettes" are old yellowed cupcake papers which I misted in a different colour for each.  Fringed with my pinking shears. Edged with more glittery Stickles!  The gold centers are chocolate foils (cupcake papers and chocolate foils are a newest obsession!).

A vintage owl button and a candy corn button from my stash.  The "candy" is from MS.

The bat and metal Haunted House brad are Making Memories.  Eeek is K&Co.  Hope you enjoyed looking and are inspired to create a little Halloween for yourself!