Thursday, November 30, 2006

Getting Ready for the Big Snow

It is supposed to snow like crazy tonight. Starting at Midnight. That means we will wake up to a Winter Wonderland and have to shovel our way to work. It is so pretty, but it really makes moving about difficult. To that end, I got gas in the car and went to the grocery store after work. I was like a little Polish lady (no harm meant, I love little Polish ladies!)..anyway I just mean I was planning ahead and readying things which I usually never do. Procrastionation is my middle name. Yes, it is on my birth certificate. My parents were aware of this the minute I was born!
I found some more great blogs to share with you.....

Artsy Mamma

Pixie Genne

Visual Chronicles

And here is the lovely Christmas lady that is the current incarnation of Maude! I wonder how Heather took out the Merry Christmas words? She is a whiz that one!

Don't forget to use any of the Christmas images that you see around here!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Come one, come all and get your BLOG BANNERS!

Isn't the new blog banner just stupendous!!! It is me to a tee!! All of the elements came together perfectly! It was made by the lovely Heather Simpson-Bluhm! She is so talented! I sent her the scan of the Christmas lady from a vintage postcard and she did the rest. And the rest is quite a bit! Absolutely gorgeous! Sometimes I catch myself coming here and just starting at the banner!

Now for all you bannerless people....Heather is going to start doing banners for customers! Wahooo! She is working on getting everything set up on her blog so that you can talk to her about getting a banner done. The charge will be between ten and twenty dollars depending on what is required. She is setting up a service sheet over the next few days.....This is very exciting news! I am already working on my winter banner ideas!!!

Remember, feel free to use any of my vintage Christmas images in your art work. I hope to post something new everyday or so. The postcard above is one of my most favorite! I don't know when I started loving little birdie images, but now I go nutty for them! They are so sweet!

Okay, assess your banner status and plan accordingly!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Morning

Isn't this sweet??? It is from a Christams card I received a few years ago. I save almost all of my Christmas cards from year to year. Throughout the Christmas season I will be posting my faves and also my favorite vintage Christmas postcards that I have collected over the years. Please feel free to use any images you like in your art work.

I found another really great blog that I am adding to my links on the side. The name of it is Small Treasures. I don't know very much about the very talented woman who runs it except that she lives in Germany. Talk about beautiful work!! What a treat for the senses!

I found another line of Christmas paper I could not resist. Dasher by Basic Grey. I am making (translate "starting") another Christmas project with this paper. It is so cool because it is mostly blue...which is my favorite color! Oh great, I just went to the site to put in the link to Dasher and I see that the store where I got it did not have all the papers. Now I see even more cool papers in this line!!! I don't think my love of patterned papers will ever end!

And lastly, for one more ooh and ahh moment.....I purchased a piece of art from Linda Harre's Etsy shop!! Can't wait for it to arrive, but in the meantime, here is a sneak preview! Isn't it just wonderful! She has more items in her shop that are equally as cool! (in case you want your very own artwork by Linda! and who wouldn't??? Her work is stupendous!)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Triple Lucky!!!

Look what I found at the book store this evening!!! This is as good as Christmas morning as far as I am concerned. Three new magazines by Stampington. AND, on the cover of Legacy is artwork by one of my most favorite artists, Linda Harre!!! She is a GENIUS!!!! Please visit her weblog and Etsy shop if you are not familiar with her work. Her stuff makes me want to leap in the air with joy! It is just the best!
So, it is Friday night and I am off to my reading room to get inspired by these magazines. How wonderful! Have a great weekend everyone!!!
I am sure I will be creating up a storm after reading these magazines!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful day full of family, food, and fun!

Today I am ever so thankful for:

My husband, Mike
My mother, brother, father, and Mary
The memory of my beloved grandparents
My cousins
My bestest girlfriends
Hanging out with Noreen
My blog buddies
Buddy and Pal
Basic Grey paper
John Irving
Chicken pecan salad at Portillo's
fountain pop in a styrofoam cup
Barq's diet root beer
almonds and grapes
vintage buttons
Doris Day
Kids in the Hall
sourdough bread
Taco Bell
bubble gum
Steve Martin's Let's Get Small album
the ocean
solitaire with cards
Lisa's Airplane Trip
Flatiron building
blue skies
rainy days
Woody Allen movies
bagels and strawberry cream cheese
The Who
The Mavericks

vintage photos
Renee Fleming
antique shops
A Fine Balance
Indy 500 races before 1997
good mattresses and pillows
the Golden Gate Bridge
Harry Potter
Sanfratello's pizza
cozy blankets
Dwight Yoakam
The Office
Publisher's Weekly Fall Announcements
Somerset Studio and Legacy Magazines
Loretta Lynn
The Beatles
Carol Shields
childhood trips to Disney World and Rocky Mountain National Park
Elizabeth Berg
Harriet the Spy
Yo Yo Ma
Bainbridge Island
popsicles in 1974
cool cars
rubber stamps
round robins
All In the Family
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Book stores
Magazine stands
Signed Artist Postcards from the 1920's
Star Wars
Dick Van Dyke show
New Carlisle, Indiana

and I thank you for reading this list! Please feel free to post a list of things of your own in the comments section!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Life is just a Bowl of Fairies, Part One

AMMENDED ENTRY ON 11/20/06: Just wanted to say thanks to Jane for the title of this blog entry, thanks to Trish who took all of the pictures, and thanks to Beth for putting all of our fairies in this bowl on her dining room table for the photo opportunity! I was just standing around drinking Tab during this time!

This past weekend Jane, Trish, and I went up to Beth's house in Wisconsin. We spent the entire weekend engrossed in either shopping, talking, eating, sleeping, and best of all....crafting! We had talked over the previous months about some projects we wanted to try. First on the list was "making fairies!" Above are the finished projects! Aren't they just dear!!! Close-ups to follow in the entry below and future entries, but this picture is just a great representation of our weekend!

Here we are arriving on Friday night to the beautiful studio set-up that Beth had ready for us! Wine and Tab for all!!! Friday night was spent showing and telling with various art works, vintage postcards, and ephemera.

Saturday morning we woke up (too early for some!) had breakfast and went to Madison for a stamp/scrap expo. There were only a few good vendors there, which was good for the cash flow. We all managed to find some great stamps and accesories and finished the first part of our day with lunch at Noodles and Company. Delicious. Oh, we squeezed in a trip to the local scrapbook store too!

That after afternoon and evening was spent in various stages of creating at Beth's house. In adition to the fairies, we all wanted to try our hand at altering cabinet cards and you will see some of those below. Total blast! Beth also showed a technique for backgrounds with tissue paper which was very cool. I was working on one of my proposed five Christmas memory books which was very time consuming, but very fun! Please see Beth's blog (Seaside Dreamer) for the one she did with Fruitcake paper by Basic Grey. Her book is perfectly stunning! Anyway, sneak peaks of that to come in the future as I did not get very far on Saturday night, although I did manage to stay up until midnight (miracle!).

Sunday morning we lounged for a bit and then had to run errands to Kinko's, Starbuck's, and Archivers. And then lo and behold, a trip to the local antique mall ensued! This mall is so top notch and the prices are so first I was all...oh we don't need to go there...and then when I set foot inside I was on a true antique high and did not want to leave! Total treasures were found and I am determined to figure out my digital camera so I can show you!!! We arrived back in Illinois in the early evening hours having had a wonderful weekend of friendship and creating!

Life is just a Bowl of Fairies, Part Two

This is Jane's wonderful Wish fairy!!!!!! She is so gorgeous!!!
Beth had masks for us to alter. See below for a before shot. This is the way cool Winter Queen mask that Beth altered prior to our arrival. It was so gorgeous. This is a before shot of Trish's work area. She and Beth are the tidiest workers. Jane and I are kind of sloppy and I tend to take more than my share of space, just ask Trish! Also note the wine bottle! Makes for happy crafters!
We altered cabinet cards! Finally! We have been wanting to try this forever. I don't know why we did not do it before because it was lots of fun! This is Trish's first card and it is gorgeous!!!! She did a great job with the border and her hanging apperatus, love the vintage button on the top! The phrase Trish used on this piece (Oh how happy are they) is from an old Methodist hymnal that Trish had.
These are two of Jane's first altered cabinet cards ever!!! Very impressive and totally cool!
Here are Beth and I at the beginning before everything was strewn all over the tables and floor! Please note how wonderfully she had everything set up for us all!!! It was like going to a great art retreat but it was at someone's house, which was even better cause you could totally relax!
This is one of the fairy wands that Beth made! Pure genius!
Another great cabinet card from Miss Jane!

Our wonderful hosts!!!!!!!! John, Jack, Sophie, and Beth! Thank you so much for having us over! You guys are the perfect hosts!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

M is for Manners

Here is the page I did for Lynette's alphabetica journal. For the background I used a piece of vintage wallpaper from a pack I purchased from Pam Garrison. The picture of the very proper lady is one I found in an antique shop and I colored her with a lovely shade of pink Prismacolor pencil. I went to the used book store specifically looking for an old etiquette book and found this one from the 1960's. It is Hilarious!! The page featured above is about luncheons and it actually says to greet your guests at the door and have "the servant" take their coats or something like that. Servant??????? How many people had those? I suspect not a lot, cause no one in my family had one! My how far we have come from those days.......when reading through the manners I would say that some are certainly outdated, but many of them should be practiced again!!!

I am off for a weekend of extreme fun in Madison, Wisconsin. My friends, Trish and Jane, and I are going to our friend Beth's house to spend the weekend creating! We have an agenda of things we want to do too! We are going to practice altering cabinet cards, make Christmas journals, show off a technique Jane and I learned with alcohol inks, and just generally have a grand old time. Oh, and there is a stamp expo in town too!! New stamps!!! (just what I a true stampaholic does not need, but it can't be helped!).

Let me know if you understand what I am talking about in the next statement......... I want to make four separate Christmas journals using the patterned scrapbook paper lines by Basic Grey (Blitzen and Fruitcake), Cosmo Cricket (Wonderland), and Daisy D's vintage Christmas line, Mistletoe Memories. I am obsessed with all of these papers!!!!! and I bought all of these papers! Now, who knows what I am talking about?

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Vintage Postcards

When I first started collecting vintage postcards I concentrated on holidays. I soon amassed quite a collection of Thanksgiving cards. I think the three that are on this blog entry are my favorites. Of course the one above is kind of ironic as I have never made a turkey and most likely never will......

This year I am going to be at work on Thanksgiving day. For the past three years at Thanksgiving Mike and I have gone to my Dad and Mary's home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. I will sorely miss not going this year as it is truely one of the most wonderful places I have ever been. I would move there in a heartbeat, but Mike is a tried and true Chicago man, and how could I ever move that far away from my Mom, brother, and all my dear girlfriends! Sometimes I fantasize about taking two months off from work and just going out there to hang. We do plan on getting out there in the next several months though.
Anyway, don't feel sorry for me because I have to work. I volunteered to work Thanksgiving so I don't have to work on Christmas!
I will try to "showcase" some more of my Thanksgiving cards in the days leading up to Thanksgiving......and then we will move onto the Christams cards. Such a fun and special time of year!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Birthday Goings On

DATELINE: Saturday, November 11, 2006 Trish's Birthday; Day of Fun and Toots

Participants Above: Laura, Trish, and Jane

We started off at Cracker Barrell where the best breakfast in the world can be ordered. That is a picture of us after imbibing said breakfast (if anyone can ever beat their hash brown casserole I would love to know about it!!). We sat by the cozy fire and thought dreamy thoughts about our upcoming day!

After breakfast we hit an antique shop, a resale shop, and a cute gift shop in Wheaton, Illinois. Found some more great ephemera. Oh, yes, and we also stopped at Starbucks so we could turn Trish onto a Pumkin Spice Latte. She was not that impressed with them. More for us!!

We had scheduled a class at our favorite stamp store for the afternoon portion of our festivities. This is us with Dave in front of Stampology Chicago. If you want to find a warm, friendly, and fun place to shop for stamps, paper, ink, etc., this is it!!!!!!! Dave and his wife Sue (pictured below) own the shop and it is an A#1 place to go!

Our class was built around using Tim Holtz distress inks and the new daubers from Ranger. Wow! Great products!!!! Jane had to leave us soon after class for a previous dinner engagement (Booooo!!!), but Trish and I soldiered on and went to Archivers where we found some excellent Christmas paper by Cosmo Cricket. Then my Husband Mike met us for our favorite salads at Portillo's!!! Perfect day!!! So glad I got to spend Trish's birthday with her.

This upcoming weekend the three of us are off again to go up to Madison, Wisconsin for a stamp expo and to hang out at our friend Beth's house. We have a real agenda of all the stuff we want to make and experiment with!! Can't wait!!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Trish!!!!!!

Laura, Bert, Trish circa 1989!

November 11th! Today is Trish's birthday!!! Happy Birthday to my friend Trish!


This is what I wish for everyone:

A Friend who:

Stands by you through thick and thin
who always makes you feel valued and invaluable
someone who you can hang out with and just do nothing OR
someone you can hang out with and do the stuff that makes your soul sing,
someone who is really nice to everyone,
who is giving and kind,
who takes care of you when you need help, and
who you can count on no matter what,
who knows all your secrets and loves you still,
someone you could hang out with for days on end......

I wish you all a friend like this......Me? I am lucky, I have a friend like this. Her name is Trish!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Night! Random Thoughts!

Pictured on today's entry are four of the postcards I bought last Saturday at another postcard show! I think the fashions and the photos of the early 20th century are just stunning! Picture number one tells you what movie Mike and I ended up going to on Friday night.....The Queen. It is the story about Queen Elizabeth and what happened with the royal family in the days following the tragic death of Princess Diana. It was really very good. Mike knows that I love Princess Diana and am still devastated by her death. It was really sweet of him to hold my hand during the parts of the movie that dealt with that because it still takes my breath away. He liked the movie too so it was a fun night out.
There has been no posting of my art projects because the one project I have been working on is a secret one for the 12 Days of Christmas. It has taken a lot of my time, but it is worth it cause I am in love with it!! Hope all the recipients like it too.

Anyway, I planned to come home from work today and work on something, but I just don't have the energy after work to really get into anything. I put clean sheets on the bed and watched some Oprah shows on Tivo. After this blog entry I will get under those clean sheets to read the million magazines I have upstairs, along with three new books purchased on Saturday night when we stopped by Borders. I am currently reading, I Remember Running by Darcy Wakefield.

This is a memoir written about the author's experience of contracting the fatal neurologic disease ALS at age 33. Of course, it is completely heartbreaking and awful, but the underlying theme about rising above hardship and adversity comes shining through. Lots of life lessons are contained in this book.
This Saturday I am going with friends to a class at a local stamp store, Stampology Chicago, and we are taking a class using Tim Holtz' distress inks, alcohol inks, and daubers. That should be a real gas. It is also my friend Trish's birthday that day so we are going to make a whole day celebration out of it.
Lastly, I made a little list in my purse journal about all the upcoming art retreats in 2007 that sound good to me. Some of them, like Artfest, are already closed for enrollment, but I just find it fun to carry around this list! If not this year, then next year I hope to get to one of these shindigs.

Artfest: March 28 to April 1 Port Townsend, Washington (which is only 40 minutes from my Dad's house!!!)

Artfiberfest: October 17 to 21

Art and Soul: Hampton, Virginia May 3 through 7

ARt Unraveled: August 2007

The only problem is that I get so overwhelmed (in a good way) in classes that I can hardly work on the project. Every time I take a class I say to myself this is the last class! But then I realized you don't have to do perfect work in the class, just learn the techniques, meet new people, and enjoy the process!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Night! Random Thoughts!

It is Friday night! Mike and I are going out to dinner, and maybe to a movie (or Borders). The movies I most want to see are only playing on the north side of Chicago, of course!. Those would be the movies, "Babel" and "Little Children." "Babel" looks very interesting, and I just finished reading the novel Little Children and it was very, very good.

"Borat" is getting very good reviews, but I am sure that will be a mob scene on the first day of release. I am also interested in seeing "The Queen," but don't know if Mike wants to see that. I told him that he could pick the movie.

The illustration above is French. 1920's I think. From a French magazine called Gazette Du Bon Ton. Go look at some of them on Ebay! Very amazing!!! I love that Art Deco style! I have been wanting to get one for some time, but they are very expensive!!!
Buttons!!!!!! Why don't button makers put today's buttons on cute cards like this!!!??? These button cards make me so happy!!! I don't think I will ever use them on anything because they are so cool, but when I see stuff like this in an antique shop I go nutty!
Well, this is a disjointed entry, but I wanted to get something up here before the blog police write me a citation.

Ooohhh, I do have something important to say. See that picture over on the right at the top of my blog roll, for the 12 Days of Christmas? I got invited to be in this project!!! Wow, the caliber of people who are involved in it is very high, so I was very honored to be included!!!! What a fun idea! So go check it out and maybe start your own 12 Days of Christmas!!!