Friday, July 4, 2014

Land of the Free

Happy Independence Day!

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Birthday Girl

Hi, this is Dan, Maggie's husband, guest blogging today. Actually, unbeknownst to her, I've snuck into the Mag Rag to post a message on this very special day,

Maggie's 60th birthday!

I thought it would be fitting to tell her blog followers just how amazing she is and how lucky I am to have had her as my wife these past 37 years. I find it difficult to believe so much time has passed since I met this gorgeous woman and even more difficult to believe she married me.

Pictures show that we've aged a little, but when I look at her today, I see the beautiful college girl who swept me off my feet and created my fondest memories. I see the artist who continuously awes me with her creations and ideas, and inspires me with her gifts. I see my best friend who challenges me, who laughs with me, and who forgives my screw-ups. I see the loving and patient mother who raised our daughter and helped a father to understand that love is patience and action. I see my confidant, my encouragement, my better half, certainly. But most of all I see the love of my life, the one who will always make my next day better.

Happy Birthday Margy! We're growing older together and I couldn't be happier! I love you--always.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Variations on a Theme...

I've been doing more paper crafting lately, snipping and layering away.  On my last post, I showed the little springtime ATC I made for a swap.  I liked that pretty floral illustration a lot, so I decided to use it again for a friend's birthday card, since it was already scanned and in my photoshop files.  Here's the new card:

This is the ATC I had done earlier:

 The flowers were originally on the cover of a seed catalog from the early 1900's. 
Such a great, vivid illustration!

For my friend's card, I photoshop'ed her photo in the midst of the bouquet. I tried an old-school crafty decoupage trick from long ago: I printed out another copy of the flowers, fussy-cut the two tulips and layered them on top, elevating them with a little foam lift for dimension.

So a little later, another friend was retiring....and since I really liked the summer-y look of the yellow dots with the colorful flowers, I kept with that theme for this card, too, using different flowers:

I did the 3-D layer trick again with the large roses and the butterfly wings:

My husband's birthday is coming up.....somehow I think one more variation 
on this flowery theme 
may be a wee bit too 'girly' for his birthday card!  

Saturday, May 3, 2014


After a dreary winter, it's so nice to be enjoying a beautiful spring.  The last few days have been glorious in the Pacific Northwest, and the sunshine works wonders on my morale!

My last couple of projects reflect the's a Springtime ATC created for Kimberly's
"Tea in the Garden" swap.  I'm enjoying working a little more in Photoshop, combining a vintage sepia image of a little girl with an old colorful illustration of a teacup, then placing that image on top of a gorgeous old seed catalog cover, adding some shadows here and there for depth.  These are all fairly easy steps in Photoshop, but I am still such a newbie and always feel like celebrating when something actually "works" and I haven't broken my computer in the process! The teaspoon is a separate cut-out, which I've raised up a bit for dimension. Little pearls and rhinestones, plus tiny flower clusters and itsy-bitsy hair bows complete the three I sent off for the swap.

I also did a spring-themed project with BlissfulARTswaps in April:  "Spring Nest".  Here's what I traded with my partner:

Now each month, the newly-formatted task is to create an ATC (or a tag), plus a card, along with a small assortment of de-stash crafty items (not pictured) for your designated partner. I decided to decorate the envelope with washi tape to make it coordinate with the card...  I love how it turned out, and think I'll do that again (I'm always a little stumped how to best use washi tape... are you?)

The ATC has a 3-d wire nest. It was an extra one I had, left over because it was too big to fit into my soldered shadowbox pendants (see sidebar photos).  I went out in the yard for a couple of tiny twigs for it to nestle into.

My partner, Alice, sent me a wonderful pile of springtime goodness!  I don't believe she has a blog, so I can't link up to her site.

Her ATC and cards (she sent two!) are very sweet...

and she sent along a bunch of fun stuff I'll love to play with on future projects:


ooops, I spoke too's going to rain today, and looks like we have more dreary days ahead :-(  Come back, sunshine!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pink, Black and Bling! ~ and I didn't buy a thing!

I love it when a swap has a great theme, one that sets very specific parameters to work within.  Kimberly's latest ATC swap at ArtJoyStuff was "Pink, Black and Bling" and here's the bling-y confection I came up with ~

I made three of them for the swap, each with their little pink organza bag ~

I wanted to send Kimberly a little thank-you gift, and went to my stationery stash and found the perfect card ~ 

I actually found a whole BOX of these . . . I remember picking them up years ago at a church rummage sale for a quarter!  Want some? ~ I believe there are now 11 of them remaining in the box . . .
and I tucked this bling-y black cross inside ~

I have about 12 of these left over from a jewelry class I taught . . .

It amazes me what I can find when I dig through my endless stash of STUFF.  Leftover bling-y charms from another project, little organza bags I had stuffed in a cupboard for some unknown reason (probably to hold birthday party treats for my daughter, is my guess), tiny pieces of ribbon and trim that I can't bear to toss, endless bits of pretty papers . . . you get the idea!  I love these little projects that let me JUSTIFY MY HOARD :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Easter is around the Corner

I am finally adding a few new pieces to my Etsy shop, and I think these would be great for Easter!

Several crosses, set upon vintage watch faces and text from old Bibles seem perfect for the season ~

This one has background text referring to the resurrection on Easter: "believed" and "the third day" peek out from beneath the other elements.

I also added a couple of necklaces with prints from my angel paintings. This is one I haven't featured before ~

The back of the pink angel pendant reminds us to "be joy-ful"
The back side of another cross pendant has another great reminder that we are "blessed".  Love how the word "Halleluja" is visible on the antique German text in the background.

I'm so happy that Spring looks like it is finally here: trees are budding, bulbs are poking up, and the sun is shining!!  "Blessed" and "Joy-ful" are perfect words to describe how Spring makes me feel!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Vintage Papers

I had fun making these ATCs for a swap Kimberly at ArtJOYStuff hosted... her rules were that only vintage papers could be used.  So, I dug through old postcards, old papers, old photos, and old wallpaper (I have a very crumbly wallpaper sampler book from Sears & Roebuck, dated 1930.  It is moldy in spots, falling apart and disintegrating...and I LOVE it!), and started playing.

I wanted a bit of 3-dimensionality, so I attempted to make rosettes using vintage sheet music and book pages.  Some of my papers were so old that they tore as I folded, but I managed to make a few tiny flowers that remained intact.

Kimberly shipped off the swaps a couple days ago, and I can't wait to see what I get in the mail next week!

Besides playing with old paper, I managed to take a fun little trip to the beach earlier this past was so good to have a mid-week getaway with my husband and dog for a few days.  Staring out at the ocean is just good for the soul, and the change of scenery was rejuvenating for all of us.

The beach was pretty much deserted mid-week, so we had it all to ourselves.  Quiet, relaxing...and, like I said, SO good for the soul!