Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Love, Love, Love

This month I joined in a swap by the always delightful MARION BOCKELMANN in Germany. This year the theme was BEATLES SONGS. Who doesn't love a beatles song?! The swap is for 3 ATC's (2.5 x 3.5 inches) in that theme. Here are the little cards I made:

The first one is called: "I Wanna Hold Your Hand...In Strawberry Fields Forever". I was just going to do the first song, but about 2 1/2 hours in I decided it had to have strawberries in it too. So I figured it would be ok to combine the two songs. These were done digital and I added crystal embellishments to them afterwards. The sweet graphic elements (boy/girl/bird/talk bubble) were created by one of my favorite artists: MINDY MURPHY LACEFIELD and they were sold through during the month of Feb when she was guest artist. Unfortunantly, they no longer carry them. But you should check out Mindy's etsy store! She has wonderful originals and prints of her artwork (and dolls, too!) that will make you smile!

This next card was done to the song "In My Life". As soon as I listened to the song, I had the idea to put a lot of the same man on the card and have a woman catching the eye of just one. I also put blue crystal embellishments on this one. I think this may be my favorite because it is something different for me - a new avenue. I like the edgy, quirky look of it. I may have to see if this one will translate to a larger background and print one out for our bedroom. I was going to embroider on this one, but they were just way, way too small for me to figure out how to do that with. So I may try on the larger one. :)

This last card is called "Octopus Garden". Aren't you surprised?! Heh Heh. This one has little star crystal embellishments on it and I think a copy may have to fit in my bathroom somehow. The cool octopus was found at Scrap Artist (link above) in a steampunk kit. Very cool! I changed his color and he just made the whole thing.

I know there are a still a lot of people who don't believe that digital art is "real" art (ie: paper, paint and glue). But let me tell you - I actually spend MORE time on digital pieces than glue and paper pieces! Because not only do I change/tweak/configure just about every component that goes into it, I spend a lot of time picking out just the right things to add. Not to mention cutting images out, which I'm still learning how to do with confidence. So, if you are of the naysayers, I say, buy yourself some digital scrapbooking/art elements, open up your photo shop and see just how long it takes you to put something together that sparks your soul. :)

And lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to direct you to a really wonderful and generous jewelry artisan in New South Wales. During the One World One Heart Blog event that takes place every Feb., I won an amazing pair of earrings from CARONBC. I was allowed to choose my pair and I chose ones called The Beach, because I have a very strong connection to the ocean here in California. Here is a picture that Caron took of them:

They are one of the prizes that I knew I would keep for myself if I won because I thought it would be really special to have an ocean connection on the other side of the world! Please check out her new Etsy Jewelry store CREATIONS FROM MOTHER EARTH BY CARON CHESTER. I will surely be adding to my collection when I have some extra fun money! I know you'll find something wonderful there too! :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eostre Greetings & Fun Times With Colorful Thread

Happy Eostre, Easter, Bunny Day, Day to Eat Chocolate Eggs Without Guilt - whatever you call it, I hope you are enjoying this spring day! It's not too spring-ish around here though - overcast, cold and windy. But since we are staying inside all day, we really cannot complain! :)

Above is the latest progress picture on my stitchery project. I'm enjoying all that I'm learning to do with this. I will definitely continue forward with stitchery in the future! I'd like to think that I could actually make even stitches and straight lines eventually, but I don't think that's going to happen! But that's ok! I'm good with the "artistic free-form" style I seem to have. Heh Heh! The big flower with the black border was a piece of fabric with a flower that I just sort of altered with stitches. It was crooked - of course - so I added the yellow rick-rack to cover the "bald spots". Snicker. The square by the birds' beak is supposed to be a garden - inspired by Maija of Maigirlz (I'm too lazy to get the link - sorry - look to the right on my list of links). My french knot flowers are all different sizes - not by design! But I always did like a messy, wild garden! I also couldn't decide on what color to use, so I put bright pink and yellow together on the needle and went to town.

I can see adding embroidery to a mixed media canvas piece. I wonder if I'll need a special needle for that? It's cool to learn new things and I hope to never stop learning on my artistic adventures! Have a wonderful day and thank you kind people for always being so supportive! I'm going to finally visit all the other stitch participants tonight. I didn't want to see too many and get discouraged at my very slow, crooked hands. But now is time to see what delights everyone else is creating. From the very few I have looked at, I know they are all going to be amazing! If you would like to check out all the delights, click on the I'M STITCHING ALONG link box near the top right! Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Hello Kind People!

I finally got around to doing some stitchery the other night after dealing with a very ill furry child (cat), buying new tires for the car that were so bad that I'm not sure they actually had any rubber left on them and generally wanting to hide away from the world because it's all so overwhelming!
What I did was 4 kitty cats representing my furry children Gabriel, Figaro, Leopold and Sally. And then I did a fabric heart that is a bit puffy with the stitching and I think is fun. Then I found another $1 stamp at Michael's - the bird! So I stamped the bird and then embroidered him by using big stiches that went long ways over the stamp. So he looks kinda fuzzy. Then I added the fabric hat and button, some grass stitches and some yellow ric-rac. The ric-rac, fabric and button were gifts from fellow stitcher JULIE FILLO! Thanks sweet friend!
I know none of this really goes together, but I am just learning the craft and wanted to just play. Next time - and yes, GASP I'm feeling like there will be more embroidery in my future - I'll pick a theme and go with it. :) For now though, I'm trying to be gentle on myself and not stick to any plan. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm A Big Fat Cheater!

Why? Because for my little square tonight I actually took up 4 squares! I didn't see no rules, man, so, ya know, I decided to be a bit of a rebel! LOL.

I really need to get a better picture of it, because there is orange and pink in a lot of the flowers. But my scanner is acting naughty and I'm too tired tonight to mess with it. Anyways, I found a stamp at Michael's for a buck and used that as my pattern. It takes up FOUR squares, so I figured if I cannot find time to stitch tomorrow, that would be ok. Which is good, because we will be out of town going to doc appointments and dinner, so I may be too tired to do one tomorrow. Again, I'm a rule breaker! LOL

And I have to say, you EMBROIDERERS out there are AH.MAY.ZING! I've gone through the followers and am wowed! AND, the support that this wonky-fingered stitcher has gotten from all of you been so touching!! Thank you so much! You guys ROCK! :) And even though I don't think my embroidery is ever going to be perfect or prize-worthy, I am indeed inspired to keep going from all the support! Thank you! :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

After an epic failure of a day yesterday, tonight I got back on the embroidery saddle and did two squares.

The middle I just filled in with yellow, edged with pink and added a button. I needed SOMETHING to cover up my mess from yesterday! LOL. The third is supposed to be a cute little owl. It kinda looks like a ghoul though. HEH HEH HEH! Oh well, I AM TRYING! And that's what matters, right?! :) I think once the 39 days are over, I'm going to try doing a larger cupcake - maybe 4 inches or so. I think I have had the best luck with it so far. And I think the larger size will be easier for me to work with. These tiny 1" squares are pretty rough on my wonky hands and I cannot seem to do fine little stitches. But I'm going to keep going! I'm no quitter! :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Day two of an embroidery journey? Epic fail. As in all 4 hours of attempting to embroider a flower. I tore it out and tried to just fill in the square and then add a button. Again, epic fail. So, I am thinking the stars are not aligned for me today and I will try again tomorrow. But the thing that saved my sanity, is the amazing comments about my cupcake! Thank you so much kind people! Because of you I am not going to throw all my embroidery supplies in a bonfire. Heh Heh.
Tomorrow is another day, right? That's what Sweet Sally McNally says, anyways. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mean Teachers & An Embroidery Journey

After telling a friend that I wished I knew how to embroider, she suggested I follow along with the 39 SQUARES blog. So I have decided to do this project for the next 39 days! Today I finished my very first ever embroidered sqaure. It's not perfect in any way - it's crooked, the stitches are uneven and it's a bit wonky. But, I DID IT!

This is a big deal for someone who was humiliated by her 7th Grade Home Ec teacher. All because I couldn't sew a round pillow. Or cook very well. Actually, I thought my cooking was ok, but the teacher refused to try mine and gave me a fail because I made german meatballs that happened to have anchovies in the recipe. I don't eat anchovies either, but I don't remember even tasting them in the meatballs! What. Ever. Anyways, I have only picked up a needle and thread when it has been absolutely necessary. Like to sew a button on the hubbies shirt. But I decided enough was enough and it was time to at least TRY to overcome that long ago humiliation. So yea, I am proud of my wonky little square. And I'll pick up the needle again tomorrow to make another one! And just in case you couldn't tell - it's a cupcake with a cherry on top. Toodles! :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Bounty of Kindness!

Four years ago, Lisa Swifka of A WHIMSICAL BOHEMIAN started a blog event called One World One Heart to connect bloggers from around the world. And during this even, each participant offered a door prize that a visitor could win. So not only do you get to meet wonderful artists, writers and other creative sorts, you could also win a really cool handmade gift by them! It's a win-win no matter how it plays out, right?!

Well, this year was the first time I visited each and every one of the over ONE THOUSAND BLOGS. Yes. You heart that right, ONE THOUSAND! Isn't that amazing?! I left comments on about 100 of them during my travels. Since I did not offer a stop along the magic carpet ride, I decided to leave comments for things that I thought my friends and/or family would like. This way, if I won, I could Pay It Forward and give the gifties away. Which honestly, is something I just LOVE to do! :) And as it turns out, I won several gifts from amazing bloggers! Wow! How excited was I to win?! Well, let's just say I had to celebrate with several cupcakes. Topped with sprinkles. And chocolate. And love. Heh Heh. And here are the amazing goodies I won from some super wonderful fantastic fellow bloggers (please forgive my horrible photos!):

1. The first one was from ANGIE HALL HAVILAND. Angie has been a fellow Yahoo Art Group friend of mine for several years and I just adore her art! From Angie I won this darling Tag Book:

Isn't it just the sweetest?! I love this little book and am very tempted to be a greedy little gopher and keep it for myself! But I think it would make me even more happy if I could give it away to another. SO, if you would like to win this adorable tag book, please let me know in the comments and I'll draw a name on March 3rd! Good Luck! Oh, and if you have a chance, do stop by ANGIE'S ETSY SHOP. There is always something delightful to buy in there!

2. The second gift I won was from LORRI LENNOX from Australia. It was wonderful Digital Gypsey Themed Collage Sheet. If you would like to see the one she sent to me, you can check it out at her ETSY SHOP. You can even buy it if you want! Wheee! I didn't want to post it here to protect her copywrite. :) Lorri is a wonderful artist and woman who gave away so many gifts for her OWOH blog hop! She has a big, generous heart and I'm happy to know her! And since she has inspired me so much, I want to give back to one lucky winner! I would like to give one person a set of ALL 5 OF LORRI'S DIGITAL COLLAGE SHEETS! So in the comments just let me know you are interested in winning this prize and I'll draw a name on March 3rd! Please note these are digital collage sheets and will be sent to your email address. :)

3. The third gift I won (I know! Can you believe it?! How lucky am I?!) was from AMY SANDOVA & THE QUEEN OF QUIRKSICAL. From Amy, and the oh so delightful Queen of Quirksical, I won a gift certificate to choose anything I wanted from her ROYAL ETSY STORE! Oh my, oh my, oh my! What a fun time I had shopping! Especially since not only did I win the gift certificate, but Amy declared a sale of everything else I wanted to buy in her shop AND free shipping! My goodness, could it get any better than that?! What I chose were three delightful treasures to give away to three people who are very special to me. These two wonderful beaded stars reminded me of the time I spent in physical rehab after a near-fatal car accident in Nov. 2000.

They had me bead a star similar to these to help me regain my some of my hand movement and coordination. And that star beading was also the first time my artistic muse sparked within me. So while it was a tough time, many wonderful things came out of it, including my desire to create art. :) So, the blue, red and white star is going to my Aunt Cheryl who visited me in the hospital nearly every day and became a wonderful advocate. The purple star is going to a friend who loves the color lavender as much as I do. I KNOW she knows who I mean. Heh Heh. This fellow blogger has one of the most generous hearts I know and I wish this star were made of diamonds and amethyst, because she deserves something like that. But I hope the love behind the gift will mean almost as much to her. :)

And this amazing turquoise necklace is going to my Aunt Dian in Texas.

She has been having some health issues lately and I know this artistic beauty will brighten up her spirits so very much! Once when we were all visiting Aunt Cheryl in Arizona, Aunt Dian had on the most beautiful turquoise jewelry and matching top. The color was so stunning on her and made her aura shine so brightly that from that day on, every time I saw that color, I immediately thought of her! So of course when I saw this beautiful piece in Amy's store, I knew it was what I needed to get with my gift certificate!

4. The FOURTH prize I won (I'm actually kinda embarrased to have won so much!!) was from the very talented GABRIELLE MADSEN of Canada. I won these amazing photo cards and a beautiful tag too:

Please forgive my photography. It really doesn't express the beauty of these cards at all. They are simply stunning. And of such amazing quality that they are suitable for framing! In fact, the one of the tree and the one of the feet, I am going to frame for two of my brother's as gifts! Seriously, they are that amazing! But the third one, with the white flowers, I would like to give away to one of YOU! The quote on it says: "Each time you remember the Truth of who you are, You bring more light into the world." Wow. Isn't that just beautiful? So if you are interested in winning this card, please leave me a comment and I'll choose someone on March 3rd. Perhaps you can frame it and put it near your art workspace to inspire you each day! :)

5. The FIFTH AND LAST, I SWEAR! The fifth I do not have a picture of yet as it is currently flying over the ocean to the top of the world from New Zealand! It is a pair of earrings from the talented CARON BC! If you scroll down on her blog, you can see a picture of the ones I chose called "The Beach" (the left picture of the three pairs). They were the pair I hoped to win if I was chosen and was so thrilled that I was! I love the beach, grew up on the beach and all things ocean themed really speak to my soul. And to now have a connection to a beach on the other side of the world is really cool to me! I have to admit that this was one of the few giveaways that I entered for myself. I felt a little guilty doing that, but thought if I won, that the universe was telling me it was ok to do that. Heh Heh. I'll be sure to post a picture of these lovelies when they arrive. Yay!

Wow. What a bounty of kindness, huh?! I think Lisa is an awesome woman to have started this blog journey! I am going to do my first giveaways for it next year when she hosts the 5th Annual one! I can hardly wait! I have a lot of ideas and think that 10 months should be enough time for even me to get some great giveaways together! Heh Heh!

Have a wonderful day and remember to let me know which goodies you would like to be entered to win: Angies darling tag book, the set of 5 digital collage sheets from Lorri or the amazing photo card by Gabrielle! Feel free to enter all three drawings if you want! And most important, have a fantastical, fairy-dusted day! Hugs, Tamara

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Project of Love

PS: Even if you did not cross paths with Kelli or know her well, I would still love for you to join in this book! The online art community is special in that we tend to support our fellow artists even when we never meet in person! So please do feel free to contribute to this special book to celebrate one of our own who has flown on to her next artistic adventure! :)
On Wednesday January 26th at 10:35PM my artsy friend Kelli Schwert (click on her name to visit her page) passed away due to complications of Stage IV Breast Cancer at the age of 39. She fought this cancer for over seven years with everything she had and then some! She used humor (sometimes "colorful"), many different medical therapies, prayer, cuddling with her cats, the love and support of family and friends (especially her beloved niece Julia) and art to help her through the bad days. I came to know her several years ago through her art, when she joined an online art group I had started. Right away I could feel what an amazing woman she was. She had spunk, an infectious humor, a real love of beading and miniature ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and best of all, she shared a love of furry critters (most notably her beloved cats!) that rivaled my own. She was wonderful and I felt truly lucky to have her in my life. I'll never forget her courage and strength in the light of such a difficult illness and I hope that others will share her story to inspire others. Because if strength, smiles and a positive attitude was all it took to cure breast cancer, she could have cured the world of it!

To honor this wonderful woman, I have decided to create a collaborative chunky book to give to her family. She absolutely loved creating and sharing art with others and many people have something they treasure that she had made and given them. And making a book about her is just a small way that we can pay back her generosity. To thank her for being a part of our community.

Below is the info for this chunky book project. Please email me at: scomerford(@)comcast(dot)net to sign up for this project, ask any questions and get my mailing address. And thank you for being a part of this gift for our Sweet Kelli Girl!

The Project: A 4"x4" Chunky Book. The theme is, of course, KELLI, but you can touch on any part of her life or loves that you wish to (see below for "about Kelli" section). You may also simply create an artistic page about friends, daughters, artists, angels, strength, love, life, etc. etc. Anything that would honor her life or bring comfort to her family. The page should contain the color PINK, but you can include any and all other colors. Our Kelli girl certainly loved colors and patterns!

What to Make: A 4"x4" page that is decorated on both sides. This should be on a heavy cardstock so it can be sturdy. But please do not use book board or chipboard. A piece of cardstock folded in half is quite sturdy and perfect for this project. You may add your personal info to the back or not, your choice. PLEASE leave aprox. 1/2" on the front left margin of the page (and the back right margin) free of embellishments or important pieces of your art. This book will be coil bound together as a lasting keepsake so there needs to be room to punch holes.
Due Date: Please have them in my hands somewhere around the end of Feb. (the 27th is the last Sat. of the month). That will give you several weeks to create something wonderful.

About Kelli: These are just a few of the things Kelli enjoyed:

  • Beads of all sorts, shapes and colors. She loved to make beads too with wonderful designs and colors.

  • The Summer and the beach. She really disliked winter.

  • Her favorite book was To Kill A Mockingbird

  • She loved camp songs and making up silly songs about her beloved cats.

  • She believed in God and in her own words said: "God is Love. Jesus would have never bombed any country, ever."

  • She absolutely loved 80's punk and new wave music like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, New Order and newer stuff like The Killers, Barenaked Ladies, Lucinda Williams and My Chemical Romance

  • Humor and laughter of all sorts. However, she did not like clowns!

  • The song Fix You by Coldplay always made her cry

  • CATS! She loved her furry children with devotion! In fact, I learned that one of the last things she did in this life was to make sure that her two remaining children were placed together in a loving home.

  • Color and patterns. Her hand-made beads were always colorful and fun, full of flowers, swirls, checkers, stripes and great color combinations (like orange and pink).

That should get you started. Thank you again for taking part in this collaborative project! I know Kelli will be looking down and loving all the creativity going on in her honor! She was such a special woman!

Please do not hesitate to ask me questions! Much Love, Tamara