Friday, March 30, 2012

{Spring in Bloom}

Phlox in bloom let me know it's springtime!

All the flowers seem especially lush and beautiful this year.

Did you spot the teapot in the upper left corner? Charming!

I love phlox spilling over a stacked stone wall!
Hope your spring is blooming beautifully too!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

{Bubbles Tag & Parcel}

At our house the arrival of spring means it's time to blow bubbles! For the May Arts/Sweet Stamp Shop swap week, I put together a fun embossed gift tag and a parcel filled with colorful gumballs and bubbles in a bottle. Baker's Twine from May Arts pulls it all together. Visit the May Arts blog for the complete tutorial, or click here for a download. Happy Spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

{Waxed Linen Thread}

A collection of art supplies is as a good as a painting to me! I love to see my favorite tools or materials grouped together in a rainbow of colors. I recently found a wonderful supplier for waxed linen thread called Royalwood, Ltd. so I ordered several shades. I couldn't resist sharing a picture of them gathered in a colorful circle! The thread is available in 2, 3, 4, 7, and even 12-ply! That gorgeous deep red on the upper left side is destined for a bookbinding project that I'm working on right now. Just thought I would share this great resource with you! And while I'm at it, another favorite source for waxed linen thread {and many other bookbinding essentials!} is Volcano Arts. That's where I purchased one of my best tools ever the Japanese Screw Punch! Happy shopping!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What's on your Worktable? {Tags}

I'm working on a fun project that involves one of my favorite supplies - shipping tags! I'm getting messy with Distress inks, acrylic paint, pretty papers, and more. When I 'm creating a tutorial, I take lots of shots as I go along, and I loved the map-inspired palette of these tags. This photo, along with a peek at my worktable that I shared in this post, inspired me to create a special gathering so everyone can share the before, during, and after shots of their artistic creations and various art spaces.
We all share pictures of our projects when they are completed, but snapshots of our works-in-progress can be just as compelling! For me, creativity is all about the process, not the end product. If you would like to share your artistic journey, please add a link to a photo or post of your work-in-progress, your worktable in all its messy glory, or a beauty shot of your art space set up to begin working. It's amazing how our projects evolve as we go along, and always fascinating to see the tools of the trade for artists, crafters, and designers of all kinds! I can't wait to see what's on your worktable!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pinboard + French General

A couple of years ago at one of my favorite destinations, The Springfield Antique Barn, I found a rusty metal frame that had formerly housed a sign of some kind. I thought it would make the perfect inspiration board for my study, so I lugged it home and stashed it away till the time was right. My husband took it to work with him , where it languished for a few months. Then a couple of weeks ago, he brought it home filled with a piece of battered old sheet metal sporting the perfect industrial chic patina! I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to chippy, peeling, rusted, dented metal, but it's beautiful in my eyes!

My pinboard looks especially fetching today, because it's loaded with gorgeous papercrafting goods from the new French General line by Jolee's Boutique! This is the prize package that I recently won, and it's even more amazing than I expected! The letter stickers have a lovely linen texture, and I love the cleverly packaged ribbon, the beautiful paper, and the vintage-inspired ephemera! I'll be in a frenzy of crafting bliss whipping up projects with these treasures!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sparkly Bird & Roses Canvas Tote

Welcome spring with a sparkly tote embellished with custom fabric-covered buttons! You can get a detailed tutorial along with lots of photos over at the May Arts blog, or click this link for a download to save and print. Have a very sparkly day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

{french general}

Kaari Meng, the proprietress of French General, doesn't know it, but she has been a creative inspiration to me for a long time! Several years ago I discovered her online store in the pages of the beloved Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion magazine.

I was instantly smitten with her french-infused aesthetic, and immediately ordered one of the Memory Making Kits featured in the magazine. It arrived in a simple kraft box with a lovely red and white label.

I opened the box and discovered a treasure trove of vintage ephemera and findings, all in my favorite red, black, and cream color scheme, accented with white, silver, and green. I adored this box of beauty, and I've kept it nearly intact all these years because I simply loved looking at those gorgeous bits and baubles!

The box came with little tins brimming over with sparkly glass beads, buttons, and cabochons, Visual candy!

Luscious red velvet leaves, glittery fripperies, and delicate sprays of glass flowers took my breath away!

A passionate lover of books, I was thrilled when Kaari published The French-Inspired Home! I bought a copy right away, and carried it with me everywhere! Definitely a tote-worthy volume! I loved French-Inspired Jewelry, and spent many happy hours poring over Treasured Notions, a pictorial account of Kaari's enviable exploration of the fabulous Tinsel Trading Company.

In a happy little bit of serendipity, I found out that French General released a new line of papercrafting goods at CHA winter via EK Success & Jolee's Boutique! {Watch an adorable video about the product line here} Now I can happily hoard my treasures from French General  and easily purchase more at Michael's in the spring of 2012! I'll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of these gorgeous products, and I have a million ideas whirling around in my head for creating with them. It's a dream come true!

And, {saving the best for last!} I just discovered that I won a prize package of the new line via Kaari's blog The Warp & the Weft! I am thrilled and grateful, and I can't wait to receive my package of goodies in the mail. I'll be creating some fun projects and tutorials to share here on the blog, so I hope you'll stop by again! Thanks Kaari and French General for your inspiration, generosity, and beautiful vintage notions!