Friday, December 9, 2016

WRAPPING CHRISTMAS IN BLUSH TULLE

 I added ivory and blush pink ornaments to my Christmas creation and then wrapped the whole tree in blush pink tulle.  I wrapped my gifts in soft colors and painted and glittered two papier mache houses (more to follow next Christmas.) There are many, many angels on my small tree and I love them all.


Since my new faux tree was pre-lit, I was free to use all my lights elsewhere.  My whole living room sparkles now.  And look--another angel.

Down below is a closeup
of my painted houses with Santa in the doorway and happy children in the windows.



Below is my children's tree complete with Santas, bears, mice, a nutcracker, two puppies and three jolly Christmas mugs. Did you notice--almost everything is red!



My last tree is below--flocked, decorated with tiny ornaments in gold, bronze and copper, curled gold ribbon and enveloped in blush tulle. 


























    MERRY CHRISTMAS and a JOYOUS NEW YEAR!

This week I'm linking up with Rooted In Thyme and Shabby Art Boutique.  Their direct links are at right.  Go and see the gorgeous creations.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I'M BACK! AND IT'S ABOUT TIME TOO.


I finally got some of my many small Christmas trees decorated.  I made or painted most of the ornaments, but some may look familiar.  The little angels with cascading ribbons came from our shabbilicious creator, Kerryanne, who graciously provided a free printable of the angels as well as instructions.  I think they turned out beautifully and I plan to use them every year.

I painted the large papier mache ornaments in pastel colors and then glazed them with light streaks of a pearled white paint by Martha Stewart which catches the light.  On this tree I only used white, pastel or clear ornaments.  While I did not crochet the snowflakes, I did make the tiny white mittens and winged boots.

I saw the mittens and boots on a lovely tree in a decorating book years ago and they had been handmade by the authors in white felt and decorated with gold thread and tiny bells.  The boots were a bit more difficult as they needed black soles and golden wings. The tiny elves who would wear the boots must have very long narrow feet.


I am not quite finished as I am painting small houses to rest in the "snow" under the tree and I need to refurbish poor Santa's robe above as I have had him for many years and his lovely hooded robe appears to be disintegrating.  Never fear, by next week old Saint Nick will be beautiful again.  He has a long night ahead of him on Christmas Eve and the very least I can do is make him warm!



Sunday, July 3, 2016

CALICO, MY OUTSIDE CAT




As you all know, I have three black cats with personality plus.  But I also cherish two outside cats--a blue-eyed white and gray beauty who is very shy and a darling calico who is always hungry.  She comes bounding up to my front door every morning when I come out to pick up my paper, looking very hopeful and making excited little cries.  When I bring out the bowl of food, her joy knows no bounds and, immediately, her little head is down in the bowl.  This happy scene is repeated at dinnertime when she greets her food as though she has never eaten before.
                        Calico was right in    the middle of the scene at left until she saw my camera.  She disappeared instantly and returned to finish dinner only when I was safely inside.
Last week there was a day when Calico never appeared to claim her dinner.  Had she gone to the movies to escape the heat?  Was she in the library reading cat books?


The next day when I looked out my bedroom window there was Calico violently throwing up.  I began to worry that she had eaten something toxic.  Or was it the heat index of 105?

The next day Calico never appeared and I looked everywhere for her.  But the following day she quietly came up to me when I was getting the newspaper.  I went inside and fixed a small bowl of food and a big bowl of water and set them down before her.  She looked at the food but didn't touch it.


I tried to pick her up which she had never let me do, but she backed away and then disappeared into the woods.  I was frantic.  What if Calico was very sick and I couldn't catch her to take her to my vet?
So I prayed.  
I prayed that God would make her well.
I prayed because I realized that I loved her.

The next morning when I opened the door Calico came flying up to me, chirping happily.  I fixed her some breakfast which she greeted with her former cries of joy.  She appeared twice more that day and ate each time.  Now I know that cats can get sick very easily.  And just as easily they recover.
And yet...



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

SPRING BEGINS

HUNDREDS OF PINK AZALEAS

Spring in Florida is beautiful--cool evenings, warm golden days and new leaves sprouting on the bare trees.  We value our Florida Spring all the more because it is ephemeral.  Spring bursts forth in all its brief, heartbreaking glory.  And then it is gone.



Winter in Florida seems dull and brown to me.  I can still recall the snow covered field next door when I was a small child in New York (hundreds of years ago) and my dad pulling me through the gleaming snow on my little red sled. But that summer we moved to Florida and I never saw my sled again.




So I endure the dead grass of Winter because I know that Spring is about to leap from the ground in wild bursts of color.  Tiny leaves and velvet buds about to open suddenly dot the landscape that I know were not there yesterday.  I strongly suspect faerie folk worked their magic by starlight while I lay dreaming of
Spring.




What if I were to go beyond this gate into the forest tonight; what might I find?  Perhaps winged creatures creating more Spring beauty for the coming day.  Dawn approaches.....

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'VE PAINTED EVERYTHING WHITE! STOP ME, PLEASE!




I should never have bought all that white chalk paint because it turned me into a maniac and I ran madly from room to room, painting everything I saw--tabletops, chests, bookcases and my ancient chandelier, which as you can see in the small photo was painted in dark reds and greens.  The tabletop in the small picture was dark, damaged and depressing.  Both have now been painted matte white (many, many coats of chalk paint) and waxed.  If the floating butterfly looks familiar it's because the original was created by   Kerryanne at Shabby Art Boutique  I made two copies of it and glued them together.  I also printed the butterfly on fabric and put it on a pillow.  The other pillows have fabric versions of two of my collages.
                                                                                                           When I forced myself to
 put down my paintbrush (after painting many other things, but I shall spare you)I decided to recover the pillows on the sofa.  I found some lovely cotton dishtowels at Home Goods and decided to  make a ruffled pillow cover. I  cut the stitches on the old cover made from Pottery Barn napkins and made something new.


   
                          I wanted a different look so I made the ruffles very long and only slightly gathered.  This pillow used two of the dishtowels, but there's one left--just enough to cover a smaller pillow.  I have other ideas, but.....
you will have to wait until next week.  Besides, my hand hurts from all that painting.      



This week I'm linking with Rooted in Thyme and Shabby Art Boutique.  Their links are on the right.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A BURST OF CREATIVITY!

After all  my Christmas goodies had been carefully wrapped and put away for another year, I suddenly became wildly creative!  My cats thought I had lost my mind as I was darting about my cottage, assembling paints, card stock, twine, glue and a bird I had created months ago just waiting to find the right spot.  I had found two unpainted frames near the dumpster where people leave the strangest things (I prefer to call them Found Objects.)  Many a found object has been rescued from oblivion by an artsy lady and stored in her craft room until she finds just the right use for it.  I painted and distressed one of the frames and decided to use some cardboard hearts from my ever expanding stash.   The hearts were covered on one side with pastel papers and on the other with paint in shades of teal and aqua.  The cards were carefully arranged so that
                                                            the colors looked good next to each

other on both sides.  I then strung

the hearts on twine and attached
each end to the frame, the aqua
sides facing the living room and the
pastels facing the kitchen.

But it needed something more--my bird!  Alas, the bird was only covered with papers on one side.  Of course, I didn't have any more of the same papers, but I made do with similar colors.  My bird was duly glued to the middle of the frame and

VOILA!

I was finished.


There are more projects I want to tell you about, but we'll wait until next week.






This week I'll be linking with Shabbilicious Fridays at
Shabby Art Boutique.  Find their direct link to the right.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

THE WHITE CAT EMERGES FROM THE FOREST


I am one of those crazy old ladies who feeds stray cats.  They are always shy, but seem thrilled to be given a hearty meal and a bowl of clean water.  My darling Molly was a feral cat, but over the weeks of being fed and given a soft bed under the bushes, she lost her shyness and eventually sat on my lap.  She came inside a couple of times to investigate and the third time she stayed and is now a part of my family.


The strays come and go and sometimes one disappears, but I don't like to think about that.  But one day a beautiful long-haired white cat was sitting at the edge of the forest in back of my "cottage" when I looked outside.  She was staring intently at my windows and glimpsed me as soon as I appeared.
Smiling, I asked in a soft voice if she was hungry.  Her blue-green eyes grew very round.

"Would you like some food?"


Well, of course she would.  Word had gotten around the woods that a lady was very generous with the cat food (the good kind) and all you had to do was stare intently at her back windows until she spotted you.  Within a few minutes the lady  would appear with a big dish of hard and soft Fancy Feast.  White Cat would run into the woods and hide (she remained completely visible of course and continued to stare intently at my face.)  I would cheerfully announce that lunch was served and disappear into the house.  She would creep out of the forest, looking around to make sure she had not been seen and then fall upon the food.  I would run into my bedroom so I could watch her eat.  She broke my heart.  The poor cat ate as if she were starving and licked the dish clean.  After that White Cat was a daily visitor.  Sometimes she came twice in one day.  And she was not fussy; she ate whatever I would put in front of her.  When a storm was predicted a few weeks later, I worried about her.  I had taken to placing towels warmed from the dryer in her favorite spot and watching her sleep there during the day and through the night.




I knew the storm was coming so I took out her dinner and set out the warm towels  in a protected spot.  My three black indoor cats were of course very interested in all this as they sat on the windowsill watching intently.  Naturally, they disapproved as they believed the food I was giving White Cat and the others was rightfully theirs.  So I climbed into bed, got under the covers and hoped for the best.  As always, I was soon joined by the Three Musketeers and we all sailed into Dreamland.

The next day I was horrified to find that a huge tree trunk had fallen at the edge of the woods, bringing with it broken branches and tangled vines.  White Cat's bed was covered with vines and small branches and she was gone.  White Cat was easily frightened and must have been terrified when branches began falling on her.  I did not see my beautiful cat friend for three days and I prayed that she would return unharmed.

On the fourth day I looked out the window and there was White Cat looking as she always looked--hungry.


Friday, January 1, 2016

THE ENCHANTMENT OF CHRISTMAS IS . . . . FLEETING

Everyone knows I love Christmas.  I love walking among the fragrant trees and choosing one which speaks to me.  I love carrying the boxes of ornaments to my tree and unwrapping each one very carefully.  Unbidden, a memory pops up of our Christmas angel dressed in turquoise velvet who perched at the top of our trees year after year.  We adored her.  Around the third year our lovely angel's head began to slowly revolve; no one knew why
or how to stop that rotating blonde head.  But how could we give her up?  We couldn't of course.  But Jeanne and Sharon said our Christmas angel was "creepy."  I had fleeting thoughts of Linda Blair in The Exorcist which I immediately banished.  But what if pea soup exploded all over our glorious tree?

Guests would laugh nervously as they eyed our  teal angel.
"It's a bit eerie, don't you think?"  Yes, we did.  I could no longer eat pea soup.  I tried gluing her head to her body to no avail.  And then one year she was gone.  Had I in a drunken frenzy after 
half a cup of eggnog somehow disposed of her unnerving splendor?  Had she gone to Christmas Angel Heaven?  And would she be allowed in?  The mystery remains unsolved.

I also like to buy and make presents and wrapping them is even more fun.  The beautifully adorned gifts are set out in early December so I can enjoy them until Christmas.  Unfortunately, they're a bit dusty by then and some have been given attention by my cats.  Their inventive additions are often claw marks in the paper, chewed on ribbons and pulled out bows.  Sometimes a bit of kibble is thoughtfully left on the gift.


Jeanne offered to cook Christmas dinner this year and I of course would help.  I would make my famous corn souffle, the dressing and dessert.  Except.....Elvis offered us all some very tasty eggnog which didn't have that cloying sweetness of most eggnog.  Being very thirsty I slogged down the entire glass in record time.
After about fifteen minutes my eyes glazed over and I said to no one in particular, "I feel a bit peculiar," and sat down on the nearest sofa.  "Was there any liquor in the eggnog?" I said rather stupidly.  "Oh, yes," said cheerful Elvis.  "Three kinds of liquor; I found a new recipe!  It's good isn't it?"
Illumination flooded in.  "Oh, yes, quite...delightful."  I decided to lie down for a while.  After driving twenty hours straight from Wisconsin, Sharon decided it would be wise to make the corn souffle, the dressing and the dessert herself.  At one point I heard one of my grandchildren say, "What's with Grandma?"
I did not hear the reply.


While there is a great deal to be said of Christmas Present when one's children are grown and one's grandchildren no longer believe in Santa and we all can sleep late on Christmas morning, those memories of Christmas Past when we rose before dawn to see the wonder of all that Santa had wrought still make me misty-eyed. 


The girls' excitement at seeing all the presents, some too big to wrap, the thrill of knowing Santa Claus had done his magic,  eaten his cookies and fed his reindeer while they slept, dreaming of Christmas, is enough to make me long  for those halcyon days of Christmas Past.