i'd like to thank you for all of the wonderfully heartfelt Christmas and anniversary wishes that you've left for me and my little dutch boy! i can't begin to tell you how much i appreciate your visits to my little blog.....and your gift of friendship is certainly at the top of my list of "most favorite things"!!!
thank you from the top, middle and bottom of my heart for all of the love and happiness you share with me! please consider yourself hugged in a very big way!!!
i'm also sending out mega-thanks for your tremendous support of my etsy shop this year!!! it's because of your confidence in my artwork that my blessings journal was nominated and accepted into the etsy voter last week (thank you to all who may have seen this and voted!!). and now i'm thrilled and honored to have been selected as part of the group of runners-up and have my journal featured in the member's choice gift guide!!!
i'm as giddy as a schoolgirl over this!!! thank you SO much for helping me to dream these artistic dreams, and actually see them come true.....
you are the absolute BEST!!!!
you can see more of the etsy gift guidehereand the member's choice guidehere.....congratulations to all those participating!!
time to get out the paper........traditional holiday wrapping, brown craft, the comics section from the sunday paper, recycled brown grocery bags, freezer paper, computer printer, colored tissue, torn apart catalogs, etc......
and the ribbons........traditional ribbon on the spool, twine, jute, raffia, thin strips of colored paper, thin strips of torn fabric, burnt out strands of lights, fabric ribbon, lace, grosgrain, yarn, etc......
and the tape, scissors, gifts to wrap, a nice mug of hot chocolatey happiness, holiday music, and your favorite wrapping buddy......
it's time for a good ol' fashioned wrapping party!! bring on the inspiration goodness!!
my sweet bloggy friend patty schaffer designed these absolutely adorable santa cuties.....and in the giving Spirit of the Season, she's offering them to all of us!! all you have to do is download the file, print them off, and cut them out!! thank you, patty, for your sweet generosity!!
head on over here to create your tags and give patty a big holiday-thanks-a-bunch-shout-out .....and click here to see patty's other fabulous paper products and designs!!
i always look forward to decorating our Christmas tree because it's just like taking a walk down memory lane. every year when i pop the lid on our box of ornaments, it's almost like opening a time capsule!
some ornies are handmade by ourselves (this blue polka-dot ball is something that i created about 15 years ago during my "ceramics phase").....
......while some have been created by others
(this cute angel was made using a cotton boll, picked directly from the cotton plant in alabama).....
some have a way of bringing a tear to my eye
(made by our son in day care...was that really almost 20 years ago?).....
some have come from far-away places
(my mom and dad brought this handmade treasure back from germany 25 years ago)......
and then there are those that simply bring a smile to my face every time i look at them
(this was a gift from our dog's groomer.....a clear glass ornie filled with our sweet molly's trimmed hair! it's one of my all-time favorites!!).
enjoy the stories that your ornaments are telling, enjoy gazing at your decorated tree, enjoy the memories, and most of all, enjoy the Christmas inspiration!!
my sweet bloggy friend becky shander continues to amaze me with her artistic genius and giving spirit. not long ago, she treated me to this gorgeous little journal created from repurposed dryer sheets and other fabulous materials.....a true treasure, to say the very least! and then this week the mailman brought me this beautiful little parcel.....a precious little birdie lovingly created from the heart, and the perfect masterpiece to hang from my favorite vintage-style glass knob (and where i'll see it and be inspired by it every single day!).
using cotton batting, tea-stained dryer sheets, and a variety of vintage fabrics and lace as her palette, becky reminds that beauty can be seen in the simplest of materials. i love her clever use of jute twine as the "nest", and i must admit that the sweet pearl bead eye, along with her fun stitching here and there, are the perfect finishing touches!
becky, i could never fully express to you just how much you have touched my heart with your generosity in creating this for me! i am so blessed to have met you, and i thank you so very much for sharing your creative self with all of us!
becky shander is an accomplished and published artist.....please visit herhere!
my footwear affair with my mary janes continues. i absolutely heart them. i know it sounds strange to be so attached to a pair of shoes, but they make me happy. so when my little-dutch-boy-santa treated me to these mary jane slippers as an early Christmas goodie, the happy continued.....and i mean, we're talking giddy-like-a-schoolgirl-jumping-up-and-down-kind-of-happy!
oh, and they come in girly pink, too. bring on the happy!!
our sweet little neighbor came over the other day to help us with some outside holiday bling. she was in charge of stringing the porch lights.....don't you just love the way the teenage mind works?!! it looks fabulous at night, and i think that santa will be quite impressed (and he will definitely be able to find us!!)!
this is what happens when i'm supposed to be working on my holiday-to-do-list, but i'm inspired to create a little doodle instead. and it looks like these little friends of lenny have been distracted by playing reindeer games (a la brady-bunch style) instead of prepping themselves to pull that heavy sleigh on Christmas eve! oh well, it's monday.....and a little "inspiration distraction" can be a very good thing!!
when i saw this paper, my memory reminded me of a time when my favorite outfit was a pair of stonewashed blue jeans and a beautiful brown suede fitted jacket.....you know, the kind with big leather patches sewn on the elbow section of the sleeves (which kinda indicates how far i'm going back in time!). for whatever reason, these denim blues and brown flourishes really spoke to me. isn't it amazing how one little piece of paper can provide such a random slice of joyful nostalgia?!
and speaking of random, the number 45 was chosen for the giveaway...... which means that darlene over at a dancing mango will be receiving a set of holly jolly note cards!! congratulations darlene! i'll be contacting you shortly for your address!
and thanks SO much to everyone who participated! your sweet comments and support mean more to me than i could ever express!!
since this is the first Christmas in our new house, the decorating is going a little slower this year. i'm not really sure where to put things, and well, you know how it goes.....some of the green on our "greenery" from years past is starting to look a little worn and tattered. so when i found this green holiday goodness at michael's the other day (for 50% off!!), i was thrilled! i decided to poke it here and there in a weathered wood wreath......
but instead of hanging it on the wall, i placed it around our shell collection on the round table in our living room. i really enjoy using simple items in an unexpected way.....and i'm so loving the "coastal Christmas" feel of this!!
p.s. there's still time to leave your name in the hat for my holly jolly giveaway!! i'll be randomly drawing a name tonight, so click here to enter!
it's the first day of december and i can't think of a better reason for a giveaway!! this is a card design that i created last year, and my little friend lenny thought it was high time to get them back out!! each note card is a print of my original calligraphy and watercolor onto white classic linen card stock, and there's a blank piece of confetti text paper inside to give you a smooth surface to write your own message!
this will come to you packaged with six cards and six white envelopes.....and all you need to do is leave a comment (just one comment per person please!)! a name will be randomly chosen on this thursday evening and announced on friday!
you all make my entire year so holly and jolly......and i thank you SO much for your visits, your comments and your sweet bloggy love!! :))
edited: comments are now closed and a name has been drawn! thanks to all who participated!
he's the elf-in-chief and provider-of-inspiration here at elvie studio.
this morning he whispered in my ear that it's time to break out the polka dot santa hats, and cute little elf shoes with bells on them......because the season of "most wonderful time of the year" has officially begun!! woo hoo!
after having so much fun with my halloween food pyramid, i couldn't resist creating one for Thanksgiving! this one is based on the traditional food pyramid, the recommended guide which suggests we less of what's at the top, and more of what's at the bottom.
which kinda explains where turkey is on my priority list, as opposed to pumpkin pie with whipped cream.....hee hee
i am SO thankful for each and every one of you!! i wish you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving day!!!
it's Thanksgiving week here in America, and it's no secret to those who know me that i'm certainly inspired by food. i love every aspect of preparing a good meal.....and it's so much fun to think of my kitchen as a culinary studio! the peeling, chopping, and shredding of the ingredients is really no different than mixing paints, threading needles, or sharpening pencils. the stirring, sauteeing and seasoning of the food is much like the painting, sewing or drawing of a piece of artwork. the aromas of a dish setting up the anticipation of it being served, is likened to the beating of our hearts when we see our artwork coming to fruition. and the sharing of our meal with others is certainly no different than the thrill of offering a much-labored-over masterpiece to a loved one. whether we're cooking or crafting, we're creating from the heart.....and what could be better than that?!
i'm feelin' good from my head to my shoes, know where i'm goin' and i know what to do, i've tidied up my point of view, i've got a new attitude....
what is it about going to the hairdresser that puts a song in my heart and a skip in my step.......a little snip here and some color there, and suddenly i'm a new person!
and then there's the practical side of it.....at this point in my life, i look at a haircut as a form of weight loss (lame, i know.....but there's huge psychological potential there!). whatever it is, by the time i'm done, not only do i have a new 'do to show off, but i feel so good that i can almost hear patty labelle singing in the background (now there's a hairdo!!).....
the other day i was running errands and had just enough time to stop in michael's.....just to see if there was anything new.....or heaven forbid maybe something that i don't already have (highly unlikely, but always possible, i suppose). as i was running through the paper aisle, i must have left shopping-cart-skid-marks on the floor when i spied this!! and there were lots of fun coordinating papers to go with it, too, so i immediately thought of creating a journal......to give those sweet little birdies something to perch on....
you can see more photos and information for this journalhere
i've traded in my doodle pens for a glue brush today.....trying to get caught up on some new covers and blank journals. there's something about the mindless act of sloshing creamy glue around on paper that i just love (either that, or maybe it's just that the fumes start to quickly take effect, causing me to love just about anything! yippee!). there's nothing more satisfying than having lots of yummy journal covers finished and ready for sewing.....and then realizing that i got all that done just in time for my mid-afternoon chocolate break!! woo hoo!
we've been treated to some "fall weather" here in florida, and it inspired me to create this little doodle of some of my favorite autumn things! i decided to make a little video, and of course ran into some editing issues (which is videography speak for "i forgot to press the 'record' button when i was painting the first part"!!!), so it's rather short.....
i hope that this gorgeous weather inspires you to put on some cozy socks and your favorite sweater, so you can go outside and rake some of those fall leaves into a big pile....and jump in it! then come on inside for a nice bowl of warm soup, a mug of apple cider.....and maybe a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert!!
one of the most fun things about keeping this blog has been getting to know all of you.....and after yesterday's brownie post, i've learned that there are an awful lot of brownie whittlers out there!!! woo hoo!! and, of course, i couldn't let this discovery go without creating a little doodle.....
my sweet tooth is reminding me that it's 3:45 in the afternoon......and that means chocolate!! today's pick: brownies.....in the form of an eight-by-eight inch pan of pure chocolatey happiness!
but, here's the dilemma: do i cut a piece large enough to satisfy my cocoa craving, and then be done with it?
or, do i cut a more lady-like square, and then do the "brownie whittle"......you know, when you cut a small piece, and then go back a few minutes later and cut just a sliver (to even up the edges, of course), thereby saving on mega-calories by eating such a tiny piece......and then repeat the whittle as needed (to even up the edges, of course).....or until the entire first row is gone, and then proceed on to the next row.....
this month's issue of cloth*paper*scissors magazine features an excellent article by sandy bartholomew on how to create your own zentangles. she takes you through the basics of how to get started, and especially encourages lots and lots of play! and while i absolutely love the instant texture that's created by doodling in a 3.5" square, it didn't take long for my mind to wander towards letterforms and words. so i started "word-tangling" with my name.....
and then my initials.....
and then just a simple "hi" that might look fun on the front of a card!
so yesterday i was a little bummed over the fact that i had gone to the air show and forgotten my camera, therefore missing all kinds of great photo opps of air-acrobatics. and then comes along my precious friend paulette, maker of lemonade out of lemons, and sweetly suggests that i create a little doodle out of that red bi-plane doing the loop-de-loop-thing-in-the-shape-of-a-heart i was telling you about.....and i thought what a great idea!!! so, here's the way it's been recorded in the memory card of my mind.....and when you've got a red colored pencil, a white gel pen, a chalk pencil, and your favorite pair of magnifiers, who needs a camera? :)
the stage was set: it was a beautiful sunday afternoon.....and we were watching none other than that world famous blue angels at the jacksonville air show! mother nature certainly did her part by providing blue skies with not a cloud in sight, a perfect 75 degrees with a slight breeze blowing off the gorgeous atlantic ocean, and lots and lots of glorious sunshine.
we had all the essentials: sunglasses, cute, floppy hats.....sunscreen.....VIP passes.....food and drink tickets.....a bottle of water.....the camera......what?......we did bring the camera....right?......
so, therefore, i'm left to just tell you about the perfect shot that i missed of the red eagle bi-plane against the azure blue sky doing the loop-de-loop in the shape of a heart (yes, the shape of a heart and it was fan-tas-tic). or the photo op of five blue angels flying straight towards us in delta formation, at a speed and g-force that would curl your hair, over the atlantic ocean, and then splitting off in their own direction.....and of course, from where i was sitting, it would have been framed out with a palm tree on either side of the formation. oh, yes....this was naval-aviator-magazine-front-cover-type-stuff, and instead of showing you photos of this magnificent event, all i can do is tell you about it!
moral of the story: always be prepared, so when inspiration strikes, you won't miss it......and find yourself at the end of the day with nothing but a program and a used wrist band....!
here's a little sneaky peeky at the top secret project that i've been working on.....and actually, i'm still adding some finishing touches (maybe a little blingy beadwork!), but the sun is going down as we speak and i wanted to get a photo before i ran out of light (drat that daylight savings time!!). this is my third project that will be included in the book that chrissie grace has been writing.....and should be published by this time next year!! this has been one of the most exciting projects that i've ever worked on, and i'm SO very thankful to chrissie for giving me this opportunity to participate!! you can read more about chrissie's book here......and in the meantime i'd better get back to work!
every once in a while i like to get out my stash of batik fabrics, pet them, and remind them just how happy they make me. and today, i'm going one step further and actually using them for a special project.....and if life will cooperate and not interfere too much, i'm hoping to give you a little peek tomorrow.....or that's the plan, anyway!
p.s. thank you SO much for your sweetness and love about my blessings journal.....you absolutely made my day!!! :)
i received this wonderful award from the lovely lisa holtzman at art, lettering & life! lisa is a very sweet and talented lettering artist, and her blog is filled with beautiful examples of her gorgeous, expressive calligraphy! lisa's warm, friendly blog makes me feel right at home every time i visit her. thank you so much, lisa, for your kindness in thinking of me for this award!
and in receiving this award, i would like to pass it on to each one of you! i could never express to you how much i enjoy visiting your blogs, and just how much inspiration you provide to those in blogland! and to go along with this award, i'm also giving you a huge cyber-hug for all of your visits to my blog, and all of the wonderful, heartfelt comments that you leave for me!
thank you, thank you, thank you from this very grateful blogger!!
"some days there won't be a song in your heart. sing anyway."
sometimes the inspiration just isn't there......and for those days when you really want to get humming, here are some ideas to tuck into your creativity songbook:
*grab a coloring book and box of crayons. it seems simple, but everyone finds comfort in coloring....and it's great fun to be a kid again!
*create some color washes onto blank paper using two or three colors of paint. just moving some color around with a paintbrush is inspiring, and you'll be happy to have these wash papers in your stash for a later project!
*spend some time curled up in your favorite chair with a good book, or even your stack of catalogs! my pottery barn and anthropologie catalogs never disappoint when it comes to inspiration!
*call one of your art buddies! having our own work space is fabulous, but it can also be lonely sometimes. good friends always have extra inspiration that they're willing to share!
*what's old is new again! look back at some of the artwork you created a year ago.....can you embellish upon the same idea? how would it look in a different color.....what happens if you use watercolor instead of acrylic?
*and my personal favorite that really gets me singing..... eat a piece of chocolate!! and yes, it's okay if it's on top of ice cream! (this one's a little tricky, and may need to be repeated once or twice before inspiration truly kicks in.... )
no tricks here, just lots of treats.....and i hope those little goblins get here quick before i eat all of these little packages of happiness filled with chewy caramel, fluffy nougat, cookies, peanuts, and lots of chocolate!!
you can tell that halloween is almost here! i went out to get the mail today and spied this little bat hiding in the bushes.....
and then i noticed them hanging out with the jack-o-lantern.....
and they've even found their way into my studio and seem to love my fabric stash!! but, these aren't just any bats, they're martha stewart bats, and super easy to make! you can find the video instructions and template here!
p.s. i didn't have any spray paint for the clothespins, so i just used acrylic paint and it worked like a charm! have fun! :)