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Monday, September 17, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggity jig....

Been back from Europe about a month now, though it seems like we have only been back a couple of weeks since I have been extremely busy and crazy in many ways. 

Plans of moving dwindled fast until I decided "enough..." I cannot do this at this time and I need to make peace with the idea that I am going to be here for a little while longer. Then I started to look at the positive side of the situation. I actually love this house... I have made friends in town... and its a great town to raise my three kids as well.

I also had packed the house before our travels to Europe. So now while it was all packed up, I could do some changes and turn some things around. I started by getting rid of tons of knick knacks and clutter that had accumulated in the last 7 years I have lived in this house. I had a vision of what I wanted my home to look like, and if the item didn't fit the vision... It was a gonner. Had a big yardsale and the rest was donated.

While the house sat almost bare since everything else I kept was packed and stored... I started painting. Painted two rooms, the living room and dining room. My plan was to switch what used to be my studio into a dining room and dining room into a studio. So now my studio is in the front room. Slightly bigger, more lit and warmer in the winter. I do spend a lot of time in this room. Dining room is a little smaller, still fits the purpose of dining very well and we do not spend as much time in it except to eat. And not often either. We have an eat in kitchen too and we eat there most of the time.

While this is all a work in progress, I can still share a few pictures of what I have been up to.

The Tunisian traditional cage is a gift from my Dad. It came back with me from Malta... I love the swirls in the wire of the cage. Love the whole piece. Chair is a thrift find. Its a Swedish Gustavian style and its also a favorite piece.

While thinking of what I would like to use for pillow covers... I remembered I had some pieces from my hope chest. Yes, my mom had a hope chest for me and it did make it to the US with me when I moved here. (errmmm, had to leave the electric kettle and toaster behind because of electricity voltage... haha!!)
So here are some cotton tea towels that I think would work great as pillow covers. They are on my To-do list. 

I am trying to keep it simple

But then I added this window to the mantle, with old family pictures. 

Some furniture pieces I had were not exactly fitting my taste but had potential. Like this curio cabinet I had for a long time. It had a dark finish to it and the back of it was a mirror. I painted it in Egg Shell White and shabbied it a little with a wet sander. I covered the mirror with vintage wall paper from my stash then added chicken wire to the doors behind the glass. And VOILA... got all the country cottage charm worked onto it. 

And here are some accomplishments in my studio so far...

Two matching new (to me) units are great for storage, with lots of shelving and drawers and a desk space too.  

My garden urn for wall paper stash.

A vignette for inspiration

And the materials that are dominating my style and creativity... Cotton, muslin, burlap and twine...

So... What do you think so far? 

I am still working at it. Living room and studio are getting there but dining room is still far from ready. I will need to paint the room and some pieces of furniture. I am also, on the hunt for some vintage dining chairs among other things. All will be ready in due time. I have to sit and concentrate on the next issue of Creating Vintage Charm coming out this Fall. A super gorgeous issue filled with so many talented women and loaded with inspiration. 

Cover photo and art by Alice Wingerden

So until next time... 

Create on...

Hugs To All

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer in Malta

We're halfway through our stay in Malta. Its a very hot summer so we have enjoyed the beach to cool off, a few times. I'm always on the look out for pretty, vintage and decay and there is plenty of it around.

One particular place is Mdina, the historic city of Malta. Its a wonderful small city built on the northern part of the island. 

I was also hunting for treasures. I wondered if there was antiques to be found. Well, I have been coming across a few good places. . 

The mirrors are gorgeous. I just wish I had enough room in my suitcase.

I do miss my studio however. Two months is a long time. Not to fret though. I will get back to it soon enough!

While here, I feel refreshed and inspired. I have work cut out for me and I am excited. I have ideas floating and swirling in my head and I am taking my time to put it all together. It will all tie together when I return home. 

I am keeping my eyes on the goal. While enjoying the sunshine and all the beautiful blues surrounding the island. 

Hope you are having a great summer.

Hugs To All

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The transition phase!

While I may look like I am all packed up for a really long sea voyage to Casablanca to search for Humphrey Bogart,... 

or an archaeological expedition with Indiana Jones....

I am simply packing up ready to move... A rather long transition period due to some unfortunate circumstances, I am still waiting, packing and waiting to move. At this point, the date is sometime in August.
So in the mean time, everything is packed in suitcases and boxes.

My studio has been packed up since January. If you are a creative soul like me, then you should know how awful that feels to have all things that inspire creativity to be all packed up.

Its like my life is all packed up and shut in boxes, stashed away in the dark.
Its a horrible feeling that makes me even more anxious to get this over with and moved already.
These are the only easy accessible items I have, in suitcases. I had to reopen to take some pictures of past work for a project. Currently most of my work comes from a computer. I love what I am doing but the screen gets old and dull. I feel that a screen numbs my creativity. 

While still working away on my publication, Creating Vintage Charm, I have been also designing book covers. The first two were children's books. Now I am in the process of designing a third book cover, a novel based in the 1700's... right down my alley. I may tell you more about that later. 

I am also getting ready for a long LOOOONNNGGG trip to my home country in Europe, Malta. Mid June I will be flying there with my three little munchkins and staying there for two months. Then upon our return to the US, I will pack up house to move to Virginia coast. It is going to be one busy summer but its all good. I do not mind being busy. I also plan on hosting a creative workshop while in Malta. So I am working on the details for that as well. 

So I will pluck away at it until June, still packing away and getting rid of stuff. Working on my publication and other design works, preparing for the workshop while my two little ones hang around my neck and dangle with my arm. 

That's my life in a nutshell right now...

Hugs To All

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Window into old time Paris!!

As I am supposedly getting ready to move... I am decorating and preparing my new home...(all in my head I am... *smile)

I have a set of 4 windows we had pulled out of the kitchen here, when we remodeled and I held on to them but never really did anything with them. Until now!!

I finally set to work and finished the first window. I turned this one into a frame shelf.

I proudly announce that I used a MITER SAW for the first time to work on the shelf. 

I'll take a bow... haha!!

Well here is my Old world Paris window shelf

It works perfectly with my latest treasure find, the vintage Underwood typewriter.
It even has the ribbon still in it. I love it. 

The typewriter reminds me of Moulin Rouge... Christian, up in his hotel room in Montemartre, Paris typing away the story
about Truth, Beauty, Freedom and above all...LOVE

So you see... Now the window shelf and my Underwood typewriter make a perfect fit... 
Moulin Rouge, Paris and the young Can Can dancer...
The elephant....

 I am not hanging this shelf until I get to my new home and I cannot wait to play with a vignette including these.

Thank you for stopping by, until next time...

Hugs To All

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fairy tales and sugar plums, make way!!

Warning: This is going to be an extremely loooooong post.

Seeing that I have been slacking for sometime now. Geez, where do I start...

Once Upon A Dream
in Asheville, NC

I have yet to share with you pictures from the event. Pardon me everyone for the tardiness. But its never too late to share some beauty. The event itself was magical, lights sparkled everywhere, glitters sprinkled as far as the eye can see and hues of whites and laces everywhere captured a true prairie dream. Jennifer Hayslip did such an awesome job. I must have taken about 500 photos through the weekend. Boy, where would I fit all those? Well, enough chit chat... here are my favorite photos.

 Chapter I, Thursday night, welcome and vendor night

 Creation by Nancy Reffle

 Creation by Karen Ricucci Hillman

By Karen Ricucci Hillman

 Natasha Burns and her lovely goodies

 Sweet Francie from A Scented Cottage

 Sparkle and glimmer every where!

Driving to Caxton farms for second day of the event, Chapter II

 Love this photo of Natasha and Tiffany in the distance. 

 True fairy tale charm

 Sign by Karla Nathan

 Breath taking scenery

Sparkle and shimmer on every table 

Table setting, each one with a whimsical tree in the center and tiny mushrooms. 

 The most gorgeous mantle

 Even Laduree had a tiny play in the picture.

 Paper mache mushrooms created by Karla Nathan

Oh, and there is me... =)
Photo By Natasha Burns 

Me and Natasha. Long time friends, finally got to meet her.
Photo by Tiffany Kirchner-Dixon 

The third day was a tour at the Biltmore estate, home of the Vanderbilt's in Ashville, NC. I have already uploaded images online of the tour. Photos of the exterior only since no photos are allowed inside. You can see those photos HERE . The tour to the estate added to the fairy tale charm. What a beautiful place.

The event is also featured in my Winter issue of Creating Vintage Charm magazine including a tutorial the this beautiful mobile that was also a project we worked on in one of the workshops. 

Once Upon My Return
I got to work in my studio. I had taken a trip to Charlotte to do a photo-shoot of a friends artwork and installments in a boutique. Once I was done I figured I explore the city and there on a curb I saw a table loaded with books for free. I screeched the wheels (No I didn't... I am a very careful driver.... HA!!)
Anyway, I went to check this out and found a few very old hardback books I could use.

I have enjoyed altering books with mixed media in the past and figured I should do something I enjoy. So here is my latest pieces.

 First is my Once Upon A Time
The enchanting castle

I meant for this book to be a picture frame, but when I added the picture of the castle, it just fit perfect. I glued pages together except for one section where the castle is. I had so much fun creating this!!!

I have to explain how I do like that raggedy, worn look. I don't seam fabrics, I just rip fabric and let it fray. I     tea dye paper to give it more natural warm tone and old timey look. I also use antique gold paint for richness in colors.

Then it was Christmas and I was dreaming of Sugar Plum fairies and Pyotr llyich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker so hence the reason and theme of the next piece.

The Nutcracker's Dance of the sugar plum fairy

The whole time I worked on this I kept hearing the chime in the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies

Both books are already sold. The latest book I worked on is a journal in Rococo theme. Go figure!! I love rococo era art I just had to do this one.

The Swing by Fragonard

Well, this is probably a recap of Fall and Christmas together. I also took a trip to New York City with my oldest son. We had a blast. It was my son's first visit to the big city, while I haven't been there since 2000. I especially enjoy visiting around holiday time, looking at the pretty window shops and all the Christmas decor. You can see pictures HERE

Oh Yes!! I had to go to Laduree's. How could I not? Their macarons are sinfully delicious.

I think I took you all over with this extreme long post but I needed to catch you up. May as well spill it all out while I'm at it. I stay busy with the magazine and I also have to mention that within the next two months I will be moving with my 3 kids to another state. So my studio will be getting packed up, as the rest of my house as well. 

Until next time, 

Hugs To All