Friday, February 29, 2008

Let My Fingers do the Talking

I had a great time writing my first book review for the vintage indie blog. It's a great site-chock full of news and information for independent artists, shop owners and the like-all of whom have a love of vintage in common. Check it out at Scroll down for my "Off the Shelf" review and down further for my little bio (afterall, I may be vintage,too). I reviewed VintageStyle -inspired jewelry designs, the latest publication from Kalmbach Publishing and Bead & Button magazine.

Indie Editor Gabreial Wyatt is super-busy so she runs a lively and current blog. I found her from the Cottage Style Street Team for Etsy, on Etsy, Flickr and Ning. Hey, we're all a busy bunch. Check out Gabreial's two etsy shops for some cool finds.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bunnies and Chicks and Eggs, Oh My!

This really isn't a hodge podge. It makes perfect sense to me anyway. I'll call it a visual chronicle of my weekend. You don't see any eating or sleeping pictured here, do you? First off, we have Ma Bunny and her baby bunlets paper mache'd into an egg for The Shabby Cottage Studio Design Team February project. You can find the lovely papers and collage images here as well as projects from my Seven Shabby Sisters. Congrats to Shabby Sister Carole Dawn Brinkley, who just found out she is to be in the next Artful Blogging magazine by Somerset/Stampington and Shabby 'Mom' Gail Schmidt, owner of SCS, will be featured in Stampington's Digital issue coming out any minute. Stars*Go*Blue's Debora Lockard will also be featured.
Vintage Vavoom by the editors of Romantic Homes magazine is pictured because I am in the process of reading and reviewing it for my new gig on, run by the fabulous Gabreial, whom I met on the Cottage Style Street Team for Etsy. Search by the acronym CSST on for wonderful treasures. I'll also be writing about great little vintage indie shops found along the way in my travels, and reviewing other books and mags.
Next up is the darling chickie box I received from Vivian Neroni in our own little swap. The chick is hand sculpted paper clay, and the inside of the box bears a treasure. I just love it!
Finally, here is the handmade journal for the ZNE Artists and Poets group journal swap. My assignment was to make a journal for Allison Berringer of Canada. I chose handmade paper for the cover and inside, stamped birds and feathers on the cover, and a feather motif on the inside pages. Then, I embellished the cover with paper flowers, brads, glitter and feathers. I bound this myself with my new Zutter binder. Never you mind that I assembled it with the cover upside down the first go-'round. To complete the journal, I added fibers and beads to the spine, and put two poems inside. One was Trees by Joyce Kilmer for nature-lover Allison, and one was to be a favorite of mine, which I will leave you with here, by e. e. cummings.

anyone lived in a pretty how town

by E. E. Cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that no-one loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
no one and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Who Wants to Go Out when You can Just Nest?

I'm nesting when I should be flying. Something like that. I have to go to St. Louis Monday for a three-day trip for work, and instead of packing, or even making list, all I can think about is making nests. That, and finishing about a gazillion other art projects by Sunday night, or at least before my plane takes off Monday morning.

I did devote some time to shopping Friday night and Saturday, which is one of the first times I have ventured to a mall, or a non artsy-store since well before Christmas. I think my last clothes shopping adventure was October in Myrtle Beach. I've just been nesting throughout this relentless Midwest winter- which makes that first spring shopping trip that much more difficult. But enough about that- (I could have once had a shopping blog!)- now, back to nesting.

The pink birdie in the photo second from the top started my obsession. This one was actually made on the same Myrtle Beach vacation as the aforementioned shopping trip. I just recently sold it on ebay, and discovering other people liked little birdies in little nesties spurred me on to make more. So, The Little Love Bird above has been sent to my etsy site

Heather of Speckled Egg's Sweet Little Nest Swap encouraged me further with her swap, and the darling nest I got from Sarah of just added to the frenzy of hunting and gathering. So, If course one assignment was to make Sarah a nest in return (green birdie above). You can't see it, but it has a great rhinestone brooch to add sparkle to the front.

Then, I spied a darling paper clay Easter chickie paper box made by Vivian of and I asked her if she would like to trade for something. Sure enough, she asked for one of my pink curly bird nests, so that's her nest above also, "Little Miss Whimsy," with her "sneak peek" being the first photo. Vivian! Stop reading, and close your eyes!
I have two birdies and nests left to do- a yellow bird and a tan one, that one of my cats had a little fun with when I wasn't looking. That one will need a lot of vintage baubles added!

I'd keep going, but I have yet to make a handmade poetry journal for fellow ZNE Artists and Poets member Allison Berringer, in our journal swap. This, too, needs to go out Monday, flying off to Canada and not to Missouri with me. A couple last packages have to be done up by tomorrow night-western US ephemera for ARTchick Jeri of and an ephemera and supply goody box for Teri aka pumpkinseedmama on Flickr, and ebay and etsy and swapbot and ZNE and wherever else we all hang out~ another great reason to nest ~ the internet art and blogging and buying/selling communities!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Artists' World- Another Feast for the Senses

The crazily-amazing Lisa Kettell (she of soon-to-be-published book fame) and a gazillion other blogs and venues, such as The Faerie Zine, Moonfaires World, EFFA, Etsy, Flickr and more, has now created Artists' World Can you spot my piece of artwork included in the new blog's banner? Hint: Meow.
Lisa created this as a gathering spot for fellow artists to blog about their works, share marketing ideas, suggestions or just warm fuzzies, but as a public blog, anyone can enjoy the fabulous eye candy.
In another supportive endeavor, the wonderful Sadie Lou of Sadie Lou Who on etsy and Flickr has created an Etsy Cottage Style Street Team (CSST) to collectively market and promote the works of cottage style artists. Street Team members (like moi) and general members can use CSST in their Etsy listings to benefit from the combined talent and reputation of this fine group of artists. And likewise, Lynn from The Rose Cottage started a wonderful private network on for the street team and cottage sellers on etsy. So much supportive action right now! Couldn't have anything to do with the ebay furor, could it?
And just in case I don't have enough to do, I got promoted to moderator at the Yahoo! Blythe group which I pretty much asked for, because I am eager to be a part of a fat book dedicated to Blythe. This wonderful group was started by respected artists Heather Simpson-Bluhm and Shoshannah Jennings, she of Hannah Grey fame.
Blythe artists or artists interested in Blythe or willing to get interested should visit this group and consider joining! Lots of fun planned, and perhaps a fundraiser for the wonderful fellow artist Bernie Berlin of A Place to Bark Bernie is the author of one of the bibles of ATCs as well as the founder and tireless worker at this no kill animal rescue and rehabilitation site. She recently fared well in Parade magazine's voting to award grants, but the need for money is great and never-ending. Check out her blog, and grab the tissues.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

February is a Good Time to Nest

Heather of Speckled Egg always comes up with the greatest swap ideas, and her "Sweet Little Nest Swap" was no exception. I received a darling little "Treasure Keeper" nest from Sarah of Gypsy Mermaid Life (what a great name!) It seems like I got it almost as soon as the swap was announced.
It has sparkly little blue eggs, a skeleton key, flowers, beads, little tiny bottles of glitter and pearls, a tape measure ribbon and other things with which Ma Bird has absconded to make a nest.
I can't yet show what I made for Sarah....except for this sneak peek in the third photo. It's flying out of here Tuesday. I had so much fun, I posted one nest on Etsy last night and it sold by morning! So, off to the studio for more nesting! You can click the headline link to see more nest photos from other participants!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lilli Made My Day Blissful

I've often said I have no idea where I got the name for my blog. I like the name Lilly; I named my first Blythe Lilly. Mo co-worker has a darling daughter, age 1, named Lilly. And just recently I was partnered with one Lilli B., in Hold Dear's Mermaid and Seaside swap on Flickr
Now, I already do hold dear Ms. Hold Dear Michelle, who has become my "Somerset Sister" and a wonderful blog friend. But, little did I know I was about to "meet" someone else who lives up to her blog name. You see Lilli has Make Mine Blissful, a beautiful blog, showcasing her lovely skills. And when her package arrived here from Canada on Monday, there was so much gasping and oohing and ahhing, I thought someone might bring out an inhaler.
The pictures just do not do justice to the beautiful hand- and machine-sewn, quilted and embellished fabric book she made for me. It was presented in a lovely, decadent hand-made ditty bag with a little frame charm attached. In the various pockets (or nooks and crannies) of the book were bags of glitter and other page-appropriate ephemera. And, if that weren't enough, a smaller bag contained tons of vintage photos and ephemera, all delighttfully packaged. I have many more pictures on my Flickr site in my "swaps received" set at I would urge you to check out each and every one! I find my days are still blissful-three days later.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Faves This Day

Click on the headline to be directed to Flickr to learn more about this outstanding photos and their creators.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mermaid and Seaside Swap in Progress, SIP

My SIP is not a WIP any longer, as it is now packed and on its way to O, Canada. But, I can't post a full look, just sneaky peeks, in case Lilli might be reading. I figure these two pics don't give much away, and the bottom picture is a redux of some of the goodies Flickr swap hostess Michelle of Hold Dear sent to me when we first tried a Mermaid and Seaside Swap. I am still enjoying those treasures! A mo' betta view after Lilli gets the goods!
On to Heather's nest swap, my Valentine swap with Teri/PumpkinSeedMama on ebay and Flickr, and my Easter swap with Viv of I think the USPS loves me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Here's The Skinny on My Fat Skinny Book in The Altered Abbey's Skinny Book Swap

I have been waiting somewhat patiently for the return of my first-ever book swap, having joined back in about September The Altered Abbey's Skinny Book Swap. I first read about fellow ZNE member Chrysti Hydeck's background techniques in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine and noted she was hosting a swap. Although her three all originals books were already full, I signed up for the fourth book, copies or originals, in 4 x 8 inch format.
With the deadline of Oct. 31 looming right after vacation, I finished up my mostly all original pages in early Oct., and shipped them off to North Carolina. I didn't dream, and neither did Chrysti, that I wouldn't see my finished book until Jan. 30. It was well worth the wait! Not one page was disappointing in the least.
However, I cannot imagine Chrysti's frustration at coordinating over 100 incoming pages from all over the world, as well as a hoped-for 50 extra pages for charity auction books. Many of the original participants did not come through, and so many substitutions were needed at the last minute. On top of this, Chrysti created original covers and bound all the books. I wonder if she bound her own set into one big book of 100 pages?
This book is something I will always treasure and for now cannot stop looking at it! It has also inspired me to take on the Art & Soul "By the Sea" all originals chubby book (4 x 4) swap as well as the ARTchix By The Sea chubby book (up to 100 color copies), both due right around April 1, along with my 25 charms for the Art & Soul charm swap. Looks like my March is planned for me!