Monday, November 30, 2015

SANTA IN THE SHADOWBOX



Another shadowbox for other friends.  This one reflects my own experience hundreds of years ago when I was only five and cruel friends gleefully told me there was NO Santa.  I ran all the way home to ask my mother if this could possibly be true.  Did Santa Claus exist?  One look at her face told me the truth and I burst into tears.  I was heartbroken.
The magic of Christmas had disappeared.

Later I decided that of course Santa lived and brought our gifts on Christmas Eve.  Of course he did!
And that is why he appears in the huge window in all his rosy-cheeked glory.



But will the little girl turn around and see the eternal Santa Claus who will restore enchantment to Christmas?

Or will she turn her back on him forever?
You must decide for yourself.
We all must.



This week I'll be linking to Simply Shabbilicious Fridays at the
Shabby Art Boutique.  Their direct link is on the right of this page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

CHRISTMAS IN SHADOWBOXES


I love making vignettes in shadowboxes and Christmastime lends itself to this creative task.  Here is a little Victorian scene I created for close friends and I hope they will use it year after year when they decorate for Christmas.

I found the wonderful old desk in my supply closet, no doubt a remnant of an ancient dollhouse.  I wrapped up small pieces of wood for Christmas gifts.  The darling little girl was found in a vintage photo on Pinterest which I hand colored.

The snow covered scene outside the huge window was painted by Arthur Rackham in the Golden Age of book illustration.  The tiny Santa figure was cut from one of my decorating magazines.  My Christmas tree is decorated with lace, jewelry and beads.



The wreath was cut out of a magazine and moss and faux berries were glued on.  And the smaller window shows part of the same Rackham painting.  Merry Christmas, everyone!


Saturday, October 31, 2015

MAKING CHRISTMAS PRESENTS




I love to make Christmas presents for close friends.  This year I was inspired by Tilda designs.  I tried to order Tilda paper products from my friend, Kerryanne, at Shabby Art Boutique, but as she lives in Australia and I live in the USA, I couldn't afford the postage!  However, Amazon sells Tilda books so I bought several of those and printed out some of her lovely designs.  Since the designs I picked were mostly in shades of rose pink and sky blue, I chose scrapbook paper in those shades to make the above sewing box.  I buy wooden boxes at Michael's whenever they are on sale, so I had plenty to choose from.




I chose a large box so there would be room for scissors, thread, buttons, bobbins, fibers, sewing tools, a pink tape measure and a needle case.  I found among the many things I have bought, knowing I would use them someday, some clear tape printed with inches which was perfect for covering the edges of the sewing box.  I also had tape printed with fancy scissors which naturally marks where my friend's scissors will go.  (The dried leaves in the first photo are to cover my friend's name should she read this post.)




I must admit that I enjoyed putting together this sewing box so  much that after Christmas I want to make one for myself.  It was fun!  I loved finding just the right buttons (all of which I had) and sewing them to the Tilda button cards.  The fibers are wound on Tilda cards as well.
Isn't she a talented lady?


This shows the inside of the sewing box cover which features a strip of scrapbook paper which looks exactly like a tape measure which holds a needle case and whatever sewing tools you want to slide in.

I also used thin wooden strips covered with the flowered scrapbook paper to make compartments so your sewing box will remain neat and pretty and not become a horrible mess as mine often does.

Although Tilda designs are lovely, you can design your very own button cards,  needle cases and whatever else strikes your fancy.  And there is gorgeous scrapbook paper out there, Ladies, that will pique your unique creativity.
HAVE FUN!

This week I'm linking to Kerryanne's Shabbilicious Friday party and Rooted In Thyme's Simple and Sweet Fridays.  There are direct links on the right.

Friday, October 16, 2015

SANCTUARY IN A WORLD GONE MAD

My beautiful backyard

I picked up a prescription at Publix for my tummy which felt like giant hands were squeezing and pummeling it into submission.  Then like a good girl, I had my flu shot.  After buying every bland food the store had I trudged outside with a very cheerful bag boy pushing my cart.  Only I couldn't find my ancient banged up car anywhere.  I grew more and more desperate as we went up and down the parking lot.  I tried to breathe deeply and visualized my tiny, peaceful porch at home where I would soon be drinking iced tea.
                          

    Finally, I told him to go back inside where I knew he was needed. He gave me a sweet, pitying look and ran back into the cool aisles of Publix.





I really,
 really wanted that iced tea!  I would sit on my pretty porch and read my Anne Tyler book and drink copious amounts of cold lemony tea as my three black cats happily slept.



Oh, dear God, there was my car!  Right where I had thought it would be--how could I 
have missed it? 

 You're old and forgetful. 

 I started loading my bags into the car.  They had apparently mated and had children in the time it took to find the oldest Toyota in the world.  Fretfully, I pulled a warm bottle of water out of its plastic halter (which would live forever) and drank half of it in one long gulp.  At last I could drive home and enjoy my own small piece of paradise.



I smiled to myself and started the car.  Only a lady had stopped her car directly behind mine and I couldn't get out.  I motioned to her to back up, but she couldn't as another car was only inches away from hers. They both wanted my space and neither was prepared to move.  I motioned to her to move on, but she ignored me.  "Drive on! I can't get out!"  She looked the other way.  I got out of the car and shouted, "You have to move; you're blocking me!"  She stared straight ahead.
  
Too bad you don't have a gun.

I moved closer to her car and hissed, "Drive on.  Now!"  Then I got back in my car and began to back up.  Finally, Crazy Woman got the message and drove away.  Then I screamed
"Back up!" to the man in the next car, but he wouldn't budge.  Carefully, very carefully, I maneuvered my car out of the space, missing him by inches.  Faster than a speeding bullet, he shot into my space.



I drove home in a daze, through the never-ending construction, over the freshly painted lanes which would be changed tomorrow.  I thought only of Crystal Light Lemon Iced Decaf Tea.






At last I was home in my sanctuary, settling gratefully into my chippy wicker chair, holding Anne Tyler in one hand and a frosty glass of tea in the other.  The cats slept on.
The world is too much with us....












Thursday, September 3, 2015

THE LAST DISPLAY OF SUMMER



Yesterday it was 100 degrees here in Florida and of course it rained again as it seems to have done every day since Time began.  When will we enjoy the cool breeze of Fall?  (Don't tell me that Florida has two more months of humid heat before it feels like Autumn. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!)

So I decided to call this post The LAST Display of Summer in defiance of reality. Next week I will create my first Fall table display in rich tones of gold and burnt orange.  Scarlet and brown.  I may have to buy fake Fall leaves at Michael's but I'll do it as Fall is my favorite time of year.

But let's not forget all the ripe beauty of Summer--plump, juicy fruit at the Farmer's Market, the exploding pinks, purples, reds and yellows of summer blooms, their sweet fragrance scenting the
garden.I'll miss them.

Fiery sunsets on the beach as the air cools around us.  The swelling red tomatoes climbing up their wire supports making our mouths water as we picture juicy slices in our sandwiches. And frosted glasses of iced tea with the tang of lemon and fresh summer salads on the table.

                      
 And the desserts of summer--to die for! Fresh strawberries from the garden baked in a flaky pie. Homemade ice cream! Ice pops made with fresh fruit juice.




             And let's not forget the most joyous summer pleasure of all: stepping out of the scorching summer heat into a frosty air conditioned room.  Ahh
    BREATHE DEEPLY
           and pray for Fall.





This week I'm linking up with Simple and Sweet Fridays at Rooted in Thyme and Shabbilicious Fridays at Shabby Art Boutique.  Their links are on my Blog Roll on the right.

Friday, August 28, 2015

COTTAGE HEAVEN --Where Cottages Are Born


I love cottages!
I have always loved them and never have I lived in one.  Hence, the name of this blog--My Imaginary Cottage.  But how I would adore a real one!  I have tried to make every house, apartment and condo look like a cottage and I've succeeded fairly well with the inside.





But the outside is another story.  So today I began thinking of a delightful fantasy.   What if there were a place where quaint cottages were waiting to be born and given to just the right person?  Someone like me and all you cottage loving bloggers out there. 
  That would indeed be Cottage Heaven.  

Colorful, unique cottages would be dreaming inside eggs until someone wished for a tiny cottage.  Just the right one would awaken, burst through its egg and float through the air until it landed ever so gently in the midst of a small forest bending its leafy arms around the tiny house.  The sweet fragrance of many flowers would drift through the quiet rooms.



I think I'll dream of my perfect cottage tonight.  Who knows, my dream home may float down in the cool night air and softly land in a green and leafy spot scented with wild roses.  And I will search forever until I find it.


If you would like your own copy of Cottage Heaven and Where Cottages Are Born, they are for sale at my Etsy shop Flying by Moonlight.
Simply press At My Etsy Shop at the top of my blog.


Monday, August 24, 2015

SOFT TISSUE DAMAGE AND A LONG GREEN SNAKE


I have been sitting in my cottage/condo a great deal lately while  groaning loudly from pain.  My doctor said the pain was the result of soft tissue damage and referred me to physical therapy.


Well, PT is wonderful and I started feeling somewhat better right away, but I still wished to do nothing but sit in a chair and watch the cats do cute things like sitting in a shoebox.

Unfortunately, real life will interfere with one's leisurely recovery.  No rain had fallen for days and my plants were visibly wilting and crying out for water in their leafy voices.  However, at my condo THERE ARE NO OUTDOOR FAUCETS so large, heavy containers of water must be carried out over uneven terrain.  Naturally, I almost fell carrying the water and righted myself at the last second. I found out the next day at PT that almost falling is as bad as actually falling and I had sprained my inner thigh and it really hurt.
"Linda," said my kind, smiling physical therapist, "you must never again carry out big jugs of water for your plants."  But..... "No, you must get a long stretchy hose you can screw into your bathroom sink."

I dared not refuse because Liz might not put the big, padded warm thing on my leg and I was addicted to its healing warmth.  I wondered where I would even get such a thing and how would I hook it up? But I couldn't let my plants wilt and die a slow painful death.


Enter Elvis, my magic son-in-law who could do anything.  He had a Plan which he outlined with enthusiasm and then he was off to Home Depot for supplies.  My daughter, Jeanne, and I just sat on the sofa, stunned and impressed as we had never been handy.  Elvis was back in a flash and in an incredibly short time, the Plan was put into action.  The second hose would live outside, but part of it would go through the screen and into the porch where it hooked into the first hose which would be uncoiled and stretched into the bathroom and attached to the faucet.


You can see the hose snaking out through the screen above.  I was dying to see how the whole thing worked so I snaked the first hose through the living room and into the bathroom, then twisted it into the faucet and turned the water on.  We all went outside for the great Reveal.  I pressed the sprayer and water sprayed everywhere.  If I listened carefully, I could hear the small leafy voices crying,
THANK YOU!


We were all overjoyed!  Well, perhaps not all.
Molly bounded out to the porch this morning to look for stray cats in the vicinity and saw what she took to be a very long green snake coiled under the chair.  She literally leapt into the air in shock and beat a hasty retreat to safety.



Friday, July 31, 2015

REDOING THE OLD AND CREATING THE NEW


In the past few weeks I've done lots of small things to the house including a makeover of this old cabinet.  Aqua drawer pulls were added and the inner panels of the doors were covered with beautiful aqua and cream scrapbook paper.  I played around with the finish, adding a bit of aqua paint here and there and sanding the 



edges a bit to give a more vintage look.  I searched the house for more white and aqua pretties I could display.  The white picture frame that looks like a church shows your blogger at five and my beautiful mother. I think this refurbished cabinet will feature an ever-changing display.




I found this little beauty at Hobby Lobby in the Christmas display!  Here in Florida we're all fainting from the heat and stores are sneaking out some Christmas things already.  It was a plain cardboard holder of tiny boxes and was meant to be used for an Advent calendar.  But I wanted a place I could store all  my little tiny things which are so easily lost among the wild dust bunnies which often live at my house.  So I got out my stash of paper and cardstock scraps and voila!  My motto is nothing will ever be wasted.

Then the real fun began as I gathered tiny bits and bobs from various places in my studio and chose a box to place them in.  And I have many more to go!



Have you ever seen Gillian Anderson in
 Bleak House?  Gillian is far too young and beautiful for the role of Miss Havisham, who was jilted at the altar many years ago and has worn her wedding gown every day since. The dress is somewhat the worse for wear so I tried to convey an air of despair and decay with tea dye and distress ink.  

Now I shall get on over to Shabbilicious Friday at Shabby Art Boutique and link up!

          

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Very First WHERE BLOGGERS CREATE Party! 2015



This is my airy light-filled studio which is surrounded on two sides by deep woods.  Here I have my fabric stash, my craft tools, my collection of beautiful papers, my papier mache houses, my American Girl dolls and many things I have created over the years.

I am often joined in my creative endeavors by one or more of my three black cats who contribute a great many long black hairs to my projects.  I am sometimes joined by Murphy who tries to help me write my blog.
  

I painted an old cupboard white and covered the insides of the doors with a beautiful sheet of wrapping paper covered with colorful envelopes.  Inside are stored beads, inks, stamp pads, art stamps, small tools, embellishments, clay, sandpaper in different grades and paint--lots and lots of paint.


Here is where I sit to write my two blogs.  Underneath the computer screen are many, many books on sewing, crafting, collage, quilting, decorating--you name it, I've got it!


I picked up my elevated work table at a garage sale years ago for $5.  A matching chair came with it so I think I got a very good buy.
Underneath are more books (surprise!) On this table I have colored pencils and pens, markers, scissors, rulers, brushes, small tools, glue and various paper and chipboard goods.

The entire closet of my craft room is devoted to my fabric stash, wrapping paper, cardstock and stacks of scrapbook paper separated by color.  Two huge drawers under the bed hold current sewing projects and MORE fabric.  And you will see large pretty boxes all over the room filled with the kind of supplies that make an artist's heart beat faster.




Thanks for visiting my studio.  Come back anytime and you will find me
right here!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

MY SHABBY FAIRY GARDEN


I couldn't stop.  The fairy who lives here must have a tiny garden as well as her tiny shabby cottage.  So out came the sheets of moss to create a lovely lawn and moss covered foam balls became beautifully clipped shrubs.  Still another topiary was created in a rusty watering can I had saved for many years.



Our imaginary fairy, who in my fertile little mind looks like a flower fairy painted by Cecily Mary Barker, would need a place to sit outside and watch the sun set and listen to the birds.  A small patio was painted blue and a huge bowl of berries and apples was set there in case our fairy should get hungry.  She would sit in the wrought iron chair at twilight.  A hook for a hanging plant was set up but unfortunately I'm still figuring out how to make one.  I do have lots of jewelry wire.... 

Glittering square tiles form a path to a lacy white wicker confection which holds flower pots, a green hose (twine) and a lovely pair of clippers from an embellishment sale last year at Hobby Lobby.  A tiny pond sits next to a gazing ball made of one drawer pull screwed into another.

A lovely china bowl makes a beautiful sink for washing clothes, dishes, fruit and vegetables or our fairy's tiny hands.  And what is that gracing the wrought iron arch leading into the garden?  Wisteria in full bloom of course!


Our fairy wishes she had a larger house and garden as there are so many other things she would like although she does spy a cherry tart on her dinner table.  Tomorrow is another day.

This week I'll be visiting link parties at Simple and Sweet Fridays at Rooted in Thyme and Shabbilicious Friday at Shabby Art Boutique.  Direct links to these sites are on my blog roll.