Archive | November 2009

The Beach In November

The last two weeks I have been zapped by the melancholy monster. It was awful. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t moving around much and the tv was occupying my time way too much. I am not a person to watch tv to begin with and somehow I got sucked into the couch potato routine. It was one of those times in life where you feel exhausted with emotions and just can’t seem to get motivated to do anything you normally do and like to do. Even my sculpting was put aside. I needed to get back to my clay but first I needed to get back “me”!

Then I woke up this morning, saw the blue sky outside and decided to take ride down to the beach today. The NJ November air was not as cold as it should be right now. A light jacket was all that was needed and the sun was strong with no clouds in the sky.

It was a perfect day to escape.

I hopped in the car and off I went. It was so nice to just sit on the beach and hear the ocean. I think it helped me with some of my thoughts and I tried to find some calm and peace just from the view. It is amazing how mother nature can ground me. I need to relinquish myself to her more often.

A quiet time on the beach and then a nice walk out on the jetty jumping from rock to rock — it was good exercise.

After the beach I went to the boardwalk and then to see the fish in the aquarium. Sharks, penguins, seals, eels and all sorts of sea creatures. As I watched them all swim in the tanks in such harmony it made me really peaceful. Here you had sharks with fish, and eels and other types of sea life. They were all friends and looked so happy swimming around in the tank. It just made me feel good.

I feel like I was revived and I hope it lasts .. at least a few more days. 🙂

Black Friday Sale – Bottle Brush Christmas Trees

I just listed 3 sets of Bottle Brush Christmas Trees. There are 5 in a set.
The have sterling silver glitter on them. They make a beautiful holiday display.

I hear once the sterling silver starts to age they look very nostalgic and antique. I have two sets in my house for the holidays and they are so beautiful!

Have a look at the Etsy Listing

I plan to do 3 more sets but not sure when! So get them now!

Thanksgiving and a bit about Friends

The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace. God bless you, God bless America, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving this year is sounding off thoughts in my head more about the latter part of the word Thanksgiving. GIVING. Of course thanking means your on the receiving of someones giving. But how often are you on the giving side vs. the thanking side?

This is not my writing but I do feel it defines a true friend very well.

Everyone wants a true friend, and many of us believe that we have a friend who can be called a true friend. What kind of relations do friends share? When can we call a friend a true friend, and when can our friends take us as their true friend. After a romantic relationship, friendships are the most important relationships we can have.

Though all of us have family and distant family, most of us rely on friends for advice, comfort and inspiration. How do we define a relation that can be called as one of true friendship?

The very first sign of a very good friend, not necessarily a true friend is that we are not worried about courtesies. You will call your friend at any hour and talk without any thought of time in your mind. Similarly, whenever you need support, you will call a very good friend and ask him/her to help you out. They expect the same from you. Another important trait of such relations is that we are not much worried about exposing ourselves. We speak about everything in our mind without worrying about what our friends will think. We are sure that they will take our talk in the spirit it was made. We are unguarded and open with friends in our talk.

A true friend is a little more than a very good friend.

A true friend will support you even if it hurts his/her own interest.

A true friend will understand your motives and needs and will be with you without any analysis or criticism.

A true friend will come forward to help without any request and be with us in need without showing it or expecting anything in return.

With a true friend, you can be sure that you will get help to the extent possible by him/her. Nothing will remain unturned. A mother is a true friend of her children. If we share such relations with an adult we can say that we are true friends.

A true friend makes no excuses of having work or appointments or anything but will be with you whenever you need him/her. In your hour of desperation, a true friend will support you even if the whole world opposes you.

A true friend is not an opportunist.

A true friend means to have someone who is like mother, as I said earlier. Instead of having hundreds of good friends, if you have a true friend, treat yourself lucky.

If you can also become a true friend of someone, you will be blessed, because it is much easier for all of us to expect but very difficult to give. Be a true friend yourself first.


This last paragraph is so important and probably what hits me the most as far as having a true friend.

“because it is much easier for all of us to expect but very difficult to give. “

How wonderful life would be if everyone, mankind, and all those around us were to love one another like a mother loves her child .. to give more than to expect. What a big family we would be, how many wonderful friends we would have?

I am thankful for my home, shelter, food on my table. I am still without a job in this economy, however I hope and pray this will change soon. When I think about what ails the world, what comes to mind on thanksgiving is how I wish there wast just more giving.

On this thanksgiving, my wish for all of mankind, all our friends, neighbors, and loved ones is to just think about doing more giving.

Thanksgiving. To be thankful, but to realize there is so much more giving that needs to be done in this world for peace, happiness, and love.

Taking a needed break

Happy Thanksgiving all and may peace be with you this holiday.

I am going to be taking a short break from the clay and the computer to deal with some things going on my personal life. I have to have some tests done next week and hoping all is ok for me but my mind is one great big fog right now with a serious lack of concentration. I think I just need a break for awhile from everything and to focus on me and my health.

I hope to be back in time to enjoy and celebrate in the Christmas holidays. Till then, have a great thanksgiving and wish you all peace and well being in this often tumultuous world these days.


Bottle Brush Christmas Trees

I have always liked Christmas tree displays so this year I tried making my own bottle brush trees.

These trees can be found in packs at Micheal’s and even Lowes. The brand I used was Lemax. They are those green village trees with the little snowy tips on them.

The trees were bleached to remove all the green dye. You remove the plastic bottoms and just immerse them in a tub with some bleach and water. Depending on how much bleach you use determines how quickly the green dye will be removed. Once the dye is removed, rinse them in cold water and let them dry. I put the trees in front of a heater to speed up the drying time; I am always impatient for project completion. LOL

Then I took the trees and submerged them into different colored dyes of red, teal, yellow, blue, and pink and even yellow. I used Rit dyes and also fiber reactive dyes.

Using white glue, I brushed the trees and then sprinkled them with glitters.

Some trees were left bleached/white and then sterling silver glitter was put on the tree. The sterling silver glitter ones will age and look pretty cool over time. Sterling Silver glitter is amazing. Of all the trees, these were my favorite and I plan to do a few more.

I placed some loose snow on my dining room hutch and made a beautiful holiday display with them.

Department 56 Heritage Village Display 2009

I have spent the last 3-4 days working on my holiday village. For 20 years I have collected the Department 56 Dickens Heritage Village. I started in my twenties and every year for Christmas I would ask for a new piece. I tried to add to it every year. I have many sets within this entire collection and most are retired pieces.

I have it setup on a timer so all the houses light up at the same time. I had to split the electrical so that half the houses are on one timer and the other. The timers are on opposite sides of the house because one year I blew a fuse when they were all plugged into the front wall of the house. When I added my outdoor holiday lighting that is what sent it over the limit on power. So now there is an extension cord that runs from the left side of the table down the wall to the dining room wall outlet which is the back of the house.

It takes quite some time to set up but I feel enjoy setting up my village more than a Christmas tree. This is just my thing! Love the planning aspects and the challenge of making it look like a real village.

This is the area that are the shops with the market street mongers. Fish Shoppe and the fish monger. I have flower monger, hats and canes monger, holly monger.

I also add some tiers and levels so it has some sort of design as far as height and depth. I have flicker bulbs set up underneath some wood twigs I bundled so it looks like a small bonfire. I have two bonfires setup and this is the one near the Bailey’s Blacksmith.

It is so nice to look at it for a few months during the cold dark season and it ads that much needed lighting in the house during this time of year. Despite all the snow in the village it sure gives me a warm feeling. I always want to shrink myself and go live in this village. It just seems like such a happy place to be.

This is Tiny Tim’s House and the roof Thatchers.

This is one of my favorite houses, the Norfolk Biffins Bakery and this house always is in the center of town and this year is next to the Christmas Card Shop.

Christmas Card Shop

David Copperfield is a set of 3 houses in this collection. This is also another favorite of mine because I just love Peggy’s Seaside Cottage; the upside down boat house. Fagin’s Hideway is in the background of this photo

You can view all the photo’s in FLICKR slideshow. I have many photos of the night display with all the houses lit up!! So go check it out! It is always a challenge to take those night photos and truly capture how amazing it looks all lit up.

I have 30 houses last I counted! This display will stay up until March.

Here is the entire display. It is about 8 feet long I think.

Baby Fairy Shaylea

I have another cutie pie baby fairy, Shaylea. She is approximately 4″ long if she were all stretched out. She is displayed on a floral setting that cradles her while she sleeps.

Her little outfit is my own hand dyed silk gauze. She will be listed on a 5 day auction on Ebay starting Tuesday, November 10th at 8pm and ending Sunday, November 14th.

My Phila. Miniature Show Goodies

Just got back from the miniature show. Ohhh how i love this show! So many things in the miniature world.

Since I don’t have a dollhouse hobby, I visit the show for all the luscious miniature trims, ribbons, laces and great fabrics. I spent 3 hours there and it surely does take that long to look through all the wonderful items. It is always so hard to choose. I seem to always come home with a lot of pinks, purples, blues, greens.

I see so many fairies and art dolls soon to be adorned with such pretty trims! I can’t wait to get started. Ohhhh …. they are all so beautiful I want to wear them on myself. HA! If only one day I can come back to earth as a fairy! 🙂

Lots of fabrics and some metallics. Really lightweight and drapey stuff!

Trims and ribbons and laces.

More fabrics that shimmer and are sheer. What lucky fairies they will be to wear these fabrics.

Philadelphia Miniature Show

A quick post before I go to sleep.

Tomorrow is the Philadelphia Miniature show. I have attended this show for 2 years now and this will be my third year. This show has the world’s finest Miniature Artisans!

The first year I attended this show I was in awe. It took me about 2 hours to see everything. Just about everything in the ‘real big world’ seemed to be available in the miniature world. It is truly amazing and I am easily overwhelmed by it all.

The first year I don’t think I made any purchases — can’t quite recall, however, if I did, they were small purchases. I am excited to go this year because I have a better idea of what I am looking for and need for my art dolls.

I hope to come home with lots of goodies. This show is really amazing if you like the miniature world. And wow, do you need some deep pockets for this show!! Mine are not deep enough but I will still manage ok. 🙂

Off to bed now….. tomorrow is a fun day ……. woooot woooot!

From Junk To Funk!

I am finally finding some time to blog about an artist I met at one of our local fairs here a few weeks ago.

Her name is Beth and her art business is called “From Junk To Funk”. I came upon her stand at the fair and was immediately drawn in to have a look. As an artist myself, I just love handmade items with uniqueness and interest, and also FUN!

Beth takes bottle caps (sometimes vintage) from soda, beer, juices, or any other great funky bottle cap and turns them into really cool pendants. She provides a chain with the pendant and a cool round tin box for storing your pendant. I had a hard time deciding which one to buy because they were all so beautiful. I think I was in her stand for about an hour (maybe more) and then I went back again the next day to look some more!

She has so many designs, like flowers, beads, skulls, peace signs, themes for interests such as art, dance, music. Such a huge variety to choose from. They look fabulous when you wear 3 different ones at varying lengths on your neck.

Her shipping and service is great and she can also make a custom one should you have an interest of a specific type.

I highly recommend her art and they make fabulous gifts at a real reasonable price. Not only do you get the pretty pendant on the front but a way cool bottle cap on the back.

I bought quite a few from her .. for myself as well as gifts for my friends.

Have a look at her website and see what you can find!

And here is her Etsy Shop

She is a real sweet gal with lots of great talent!