Which is my favorite? It’s a Tie!

My mom sent me a great text recently: “I have access to lots of ties – want some for your crafts?” You betcha and yes ma’am!

So here’s some of the lovelies she picked out for me. What should I do with them?!

there’s art, upholstery, book covers…the possibilities are endless!
crowns and a feather, we’re spanning some decades here
the white and tan beauty in the middle defies tie-dom with its texture and lack of definitive creases – I think maybe it’s aiming toward sash-dom…on a party dress…

The purple one to the right of center might be my favorite (after I sing “Sailing” by Christopher Cross and “Lime in the Coconut” in honor of pineapples everywhere…wait, there’s no pineapple involved in that song?! P.S. I don’t want to talk about watermelon right now…unless you can quote a song that mentions it).

These ties are pure gold and all my thanks go to my mom, who took the time to pick them out and mail them to me. I can’t imagine what I’ll make with these beauties…any ideas?


Encyclopedias from the 1940’s

Oh what a great (free) find today!!

Cover image from the 1940’s encyclopedias…ah the dreams…!

A few months ago I signed up for a site called nextdoor-dot-com (syntax to avoid spam) that has turned out to be a great app that keeps me posted on neighborhood happenings (I think it’s US-only in scope but surely there are others?) Subject matter ranges from lost dogs (I’ve posted in this category more than once, maybe because I live on a corner?) to police/criminal activity (good to know!) to free stuff (be still my heart!)…so an overall amazing channel to tune into as it relates to the streets around my house, right?!

This morning someone two streets over posted a note about “boxes of encyclopedias from 1947-49 with spine damage and some mold.” I think keywords “boxes” and “mold” might have scared off the average person, but this crafter was all alerts on the ready! Turns out it was just a few stacks of some vintage books I’ve been trying to manifest for about 2 years. Maps and everything y’all…and I’ve only seen a tiny suggestion of the possibility of moldish tendencies on one picture. a.k.a. A Gold Mine!! I’ll be stamping seahorses on these pages very soon…

Without Further Ado and For Your Viewing Pleasure
(my two favorite introductions)

The spine and cover already intrigue me – they almost look like leather!

Random Pages

So I started opening books at random pages (before M. started frantically boxing them all up – I think he only got the “mold” alert and was a little worried…understandably).

The first page I opened: “Hostesses of the White House”
Different book: We’re learning how to make arrowheads now…

I honestly didn’t try to find the CA map too hard (I still don’t know which parts of the alphabet I have in this book set – they went into boxes way too fast), but this opened up pretty quickly during my photo search and I latched onto the kismet.


This is part of a six-page spread on animals and plants you’ll find in the “Rain Forest.”

Zoiks right? I can’t wait to look through all these books in my non-copious free time in which I am preparing my future artistic career. Getting right on that…but really, what a fun find. I better become a Certified Organizer immediately to deal with my ever-growing craft supply (I just made that up, but I feel certain people are making money doing that today…DIY!!).

Coloring meet-up!

I love the meetup.com site – such a quick way to find folks nearby with similar interests! Usually my groups meet in other parts of town, but tonight I got to attend my across-the-street neighbor’s meet-up for coloring!! So fun! Our hostess provided lots of books and coloring tools, but what really interested me is how many folks came with their own supplies, and in same cases pictures already started that they wanted to finish (and their own portable ott lights…I WANT!!! My ott lights have a very heavy base and are not fun to tote around the house, much less across the street.).

I also need to order a set of gel-pens immediately, some of which must have glitter in them. Because of this y’all!

dragonfly wing (w/ glitter pen!!) thru a magnifying circle on my ott lite!
dragonfly wing

(be sure to click on it for a close-up of glittery goodness)

Unfortunately I didn’t have an ott light while coloring this, so the detail could be better. But who cares about that when there’s shiny glitter!!

(plus I like how my stalwart home ott light provided a magnifying circle)





A broader picture. I think he needs more color but I ran out of time. I’ll tend to him later (with my new glitter pens…mwhahaha!)

Actually I think pencils could fill in some of those spaces nicely…(calm down crazy artist who needs new supplies all the time.)


Another thing I really liked about tonight’s meet-up is the camaraderie and support between artists. We really took time to look at each other’s work (past and present), commenting on things we loved and giving support and encouragement for stuff not yet done. We all need that extra nudge past the “I think I hate this” moment that usually precedes an amazing work of art. My favorite advice is to put it away for awhile and look at it again later. Amazement usually follows, if even just at the magnitude of the effort and the obvious step forward it represents from your past stuff. We’re moving forward all the time but it seems so hard sometimes to note that forward progress while it’s happening.

I can’t wait for my March time off to focus on these (most important) things full time! Sabbatical here I come!





Inspirations and Invitations

Oh the hard-working postal folks brought me some fun things today! I was in meetings all day at work so the fun was doubled when I slogged into the house with my information-worker self and saw two exciting packages addressed to me!

One was from my mom and included some beautiful patchwork squares I’m definitely taking to PDX as part of my art stash. The card cover speaks for itself (thanks mom!!) (there’s even more inspirational stuff inside of course. snippet: “Anything that you believe you can do you have always done.” Mom Historians are amazing, am I right? ).

I decided to use a paragraph break to separate that from the fact that I used my best bartender skills to swirl those quilt patches for best camera effect (nobody knows what I’m talking about, right?…).

quilt squares and card
Inspiration and supplies from TX!







In the same load I got something from my Art and Soul Retreat friends in Portland!!

Art and Soul Retreat, Portland, OR
Art and Soul Retreat Portland, OR









(that’s a bottle of bubbles with a tiny wand attached to that huge card deck)

Art & Soul Retreat cover
The following pages hold cards for each of the classes i signed up for.








If you’re available to travel/attend I would love to see you there: Art and Soul Retreat.