Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmastime Already??

Hmmm....I last posted my 4th of July stuff.  Guess it's been a while since my last update....

The holidays sure snuck up on us! I just put away some lingering pumpkin deco last week! But this morning I officially got in the Christmas Spirit by stomping around a tree farm and hauling a big, tall and skinny Noble fir home.
I think it's about 10 feet tall or so (maybe taller? It may surprise us once we get it inside :-)),  perfect to tuck into a corner of our family room. Good thing we have a 2-story ceiling in there!

Also Christmas-y are two swap creations I did to trade over at blissfulArt, a holiday card and tag.  I love to make the little pleated rosettes to layer up, and now it will be easier because a friend just loaned me her scoring board.....Score!

I added in a little bit of holiday de-stash for my partner, too.

The package from my swap partner got lost in the mail....crappy swap stuff always seems to happen to me (she says, whining).  But I still enjoy having an outlet for these frivolous little bursts of creativity.

Happy Holidays!

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!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Giveaway Winners and Belated Valentines

The Grow Your Blog event last month was so much fun... I visited many new-to-me blogs as well as old favorites, and had lots of new and old visitors here, too!  I also gained a BUNCH of new followers, which warms my heart so very much... I hope to connect with you all and form some strong friendships along the way!  I used the random number generator to find my two winners:

#1 The Winner of a soldered vintage lace pendant is ..... KAREN B. from Todolwen!

#2 The Winner of my "Uncle Marvin" Tote Bag is.... 
PATTY ANTLE  from Patty's Pretty Things!
Congratulations to you both, and thanks for visiting my little blog!!

This past week, I received three beautiful Valentine's tags from the blissful ART swap I participated in.  And here are the yummy creations:
little treasures made with LOVE by:  Darlene RollsCathee Stegall,  Kimberly Laws

They are each just dreamy and the workmanship is so impressive:
I always love Kimberly's attention to every little detail!

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day!  I pulled out my absolutely-perfect-for-the-occasion earrings for my dinner date with my sweetie...
...and had a heck of a time shooting a "selfie" to get a good shot of this tiny little heart-filled envelope :-)

Thanks again for all the blog love, and hope you all come back and visit again soon!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Love is in the Air...

NOTE: for the GROW YOUR BLOG post and GIVEAWAY, go HERE.

I recently got all pink and romantic with these tags created for a swap with blissfulARTswaps, featuring a favorite vintage image I've used before because I love it so much:
 I made and extra one to keep for myself...
and had fun pulling out every pink flower and trim in my stash...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Grow Your Blog" ...and a GIVEAWAY!

WELCOME, to new visitors and old friends alike!! So glad to have you stop by as you go through the massive list of bloggers that Vicki at 2 Bags Full has generously compiled.  Hope you can stay a while and have a look around, and then enter my GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!

I'll try to keep my post short, since you have many more stops to make, and also because I just had oral surgery today and am still recuperating (and am still a little loopy from the meds...)!  But I didn't want to miss the chance to meet and greet you!

I love to make soldered is one of my signature shadow boxes

A little bit about myself:  My name is Maggie, from beautiful Portland, Oregon.  I've been a professional illustrator and designer, mostly in the textile and home-sewing industry for many years.  As that industry has experienced a bit of a decline in the last few years, I'm finding more time to devote to my love of crafting and painting. I enjoy blogging because it has introduced me to a great many kindred souls out there who share many of my passions.  I like to use my blog as a journal of sorts, to share the projects I'm working on.  It also serves as a doorway to my Etsy shop, which is woefully bare right now, but should be stocked again soon with the soldered jewelry and angel paintings that I love to create.
Painting folk art angels is a passion of mine, and I recently started using miniature prints in my jewelry

This blog has also been a wonderful way to participate in various crafty swaps and challenges, and get to know the other participants through the sharing of our little creations.

It's fun to participate in the weekly challenges over at the Tag Tuesday blog

or to swap Artist Trading Cards at ArtJoyStuff...

or to trade crafty projects at BlissfulArtSwaps

Sometimes I share tidbits about my family.  My only child is far away for her freshman year at college (and I'm still adjusting to the empty nest!), and I lost both my parents since starting this blog --- so many folks out in blogland reached out with empathy and kind words of support.  How wonderful is that?!

I've spent many years illustrating for Simplicity Pattern Company drawing mostly little girls' fashions such as this...sadly for me, they use mostly photography these days.  I did, however just illustrate a woman's swimsuit pattern for them last first in quite a while.

One of my clients manufactures tote bags.  Here is one of my designs.

Well, hopefully you've gotten to know me a little bit through this post, and I can't wait to go through Vicki's list and get to know some of you better, too!!  I would LOVE for you to visit often and keep up with what I'm working on here in my studio either professionally, or just for fun...just click on the "Join This Site" button in my sidebar to follow along,  and I'll do the same for you!

And now, for my GIVEAWAY! Actually, I'm doing TWO GIVEAWAYS, so you have two chances to win! To enter, please become a follower (optional), and LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW on this post to let me know you've stopped by (make sure there's a way to contact you if your name is chosen).  Anyone can enter, and on February 15, 2014, I will randomly select two lucky winners. Here they are:

GIVEAWAY #1 -- One winner will receive one lace necklace similar to these pictured.  A snippet of vintage lace is encased between glass with a soldered silver frame and antique pearl dangle.

GIVEAWAY #2 -- A second winner will receive a small poly-vinyl tote bag imprinted with one of my collage designs (that little baby happens to be my Uncle Marvin, circa 1920! He'd probably roll over in his grave if he knew I added pink striped tights and fairy wings to his photo :-))

Good luck to you and THANK YOU so much for stopping by!  Come back often and we'll get better acquainted!