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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring in the Desert


My dear friend Charlene gave me some very good advice yesterday. She said "Girl, come up for air!!!" So I decided to take a little time out from working (If you can call it that. I'm having to much fun for it to be called work) and share some pics I shot yesterday of my family out in the back yard. This is the love of my life... and my husband. (Just kidding!!!) I mean the love of my life and my dog Rocky.


And here he is with my sweet baby girl Jasmine. She was very interested in the tiny beep that the camera made while focusing. I was pretty far away and she heard every beep. (Those ears are pretty powerful)


I didn't have the shutter speed quite fast enough for this shot but I like it anyway.


I love the expression on Rocky's face. He's keeping his eye on Jasmine because she is notorious for stealing his sticks.


This morning I decided to go for a walk and shoot just a few of the homes with wildflowers in their yards. In the Spring these wildflowers are EVERYWHERE! Some homes have the entire front yard covered with them.




Well that's it. I'm sure things will slow down a bit soon and I will be back visiting everyone with vigor!! Thank you all for kind words of support for the biz and for those of you who did posts about my new design biz... well, I cannot thank you enough!!! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Introducing...Valentine Design

I feel like I have been a bad Blogger lately. Many of you have left me sweet comments over the last 3 weeks and I have failed to respond to many of you. Does it help to know I have a good excuse??? I have been working like crazy on a new very exciting project.
(Well it’s exciting to me anyway) Many of you know that I got laid off of my job 3 weeks ago. I took a look around and decided now was the perfect opportunity for me to pursue some passions. I began this project for many reasons...
1. I love Blogging
2. I love the women who blog
3. I think we all want to have a beautiful blog.
4. I love being creative
5. I love to help other people
6. I like a challenge
7. I really needed a job!!!

And so my friends, I would like to officially open the doors on Valentine Design!!!

My concept for Valentine Design is to provide very personal one on one help with any issues that bloggers might be having. I really enjoy the detail work!! I will also offer custom backgrounds, headers and accessories as well as some pre-made backgrounds and some free stuff too! There are several pages to look at, all accessed from the Navigation Bar at the top.

I would really appreciate it if you would all go over there and have a look around. Then drop me an email with your feedback. I need to know both the good and the bad so I can fix anything that needs fixing.

Of course I would love to help any of you who would like the help! I can’t wait to get started!!!! If you would like to see a few of the Custom designs that I have done, you can go visit Dawn at The Feathered Nest, Shellagh at Ticking and Toile, and my dearest friend Devon at Blumensnapdragon. Devon is a budding jewelry designer and does some beautiful work. I know she would love you to visit and join her followers.

Oh, and one more thing... I would sooo appreciate it if any of you were so inclined to do a post announcing the new site. I think I'm gonna need all the help I can get to get the word out! Thank you my friends!!! Talk to you soon!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Cool Blog for antique images!!!!


While visiting some Twitter friends the other day, I came across this great blog that shares the most wonderful vintage images. He sells some in an etsy shop, and has some really cool compilation CD's, but you know... we love those freebies too! The name of the blog is artifacts-antiqueimages and you will love all the cool things that are being shared over there! Drop on by and say hi!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bringing out the bunnies!!!


It's time to break out some of my favorite seasonal decorating things. I made these bunnies last year and I had a really hard time putting them away. I'm actually a little late getting them out this year. I wanted to do a tutorial to show you how to make them but I just haven't had the time... (I'll tell you why soon!) But I can try to describe what was involved. They are really quite easy and very fun!


Both of these bunnies were made from those resin figures that are made to look like traditional chocolate bunnies. You can get them this time of year at JoAnne and maybe TJMaxx. I painted them and then used an umber glazing liquid to antique them. I also used a bit of sandpaper to give them some more wear and tear. The boy got a collar of brown crepe paper folded lengthwise to give a double ruffle and a piece of vintage tinsle. Then I covered a small wooded box bottom with paper and used the tinsle on that too. The basket was not hollow, so I glued some cheesecloth to the top and made some little eggs out of paper clay to go on top.

The girl got much the same treatment except I made a little skirt for her out of ribbon and little ribbon roses. She got a fur trim collar and moss in her basket and a tiny bit of mica flake for shimmer.


I didn't have to change the big bunny very much. I just added a rustic gauze collar around his neck.

This bunny was a lot of fun. He was also one of those "chocolate" bunnies that I painted and antiqued. I made the wagon out of an old tin. (Like for sucrets, or mints) The wheels were made by inserting a small dowel into store bought (Michaels) wooden wheels and gluing them to the bottom of the tin. I use a piece of heavy paper to cover the dowl as well for extra support. The fence is made from wooden popsicle sicks (or craft sticks as they call them in the store) I printed out the vintage seed packet from my computer, added the green moss and topped the wagon off with some tiny terra cotta pots from Michaels.


This bunny really just got a few paint changes and a coat of vintage mica flake. Bethany Lowe designs make some and you can usually find it at Christmas time.


This chick was already yellow and crackled. I added glitter AND mica flake to him. I made the stand from a cardboard box. (They sell paper mache' boxes at JoAnne) I printed out some vintage Easter postcard images and used them to cover the box. A little ribbon and lace trim, some moss and more little eggs (covered in glitter of course) and we're done!

That's my little Easter mini Tutorial. Hope you are inspired to go out and bring home some bunnies home for yourself.
If you have any questions... email me. I'd be happy to answer them if I can.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I've joined the team at Artist Class!!


I am so happy to announce my participation in in the April Garden Party at Artist Class. This is the first time I've done a tutorial like this and it was so much fun!!! I thought long and hard about what kind of project I would do and I came up with this birdhouse. I wish you could see it in person because it looks even better than it does in these photos. I wanted to do something where you could learn techniques that you could use over and over again and adapt to many different projects and I think I succeeded. I would LOVE it if you would all go check it out! There are going to be some great projects this time around! If you use my coupon code you will get $10.00 off the class fees (which are already being offered at a discount for this event) Just click on the link at the top of my page to be taken where you can sign up. Registration starts tomorrow!!!! I hope to see you there!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New goodies for my Bedroom


It's been a while since I showed you any progress on my Master Bedroom re-do. I really want to get the doors all painted before I show you the "after" pics and it's been raining every weekend here for what seems like a month! (I'm not complaining) But now that I am free from the constrains of going to work everyday, (I'm feeling much better by the way...thank you again for all of your wonderful comments) I have had the time to get some things done. Still no painted doors but I did make some pillows!

I have been seeing the ribbon and fabric roses around everywhere lately. The ribbon roses are very pretty but I LOVE the look of Gale Payne's shabby fabric roses. You can find her at The Wizard of Once Was. Gale's pillows were the inspiration for my own creations. I wanted to purchase some of her gorgeous pillows but since losing my job, making them was definitely more practical. So... Thanks Gayle for your wonderful inspiration!



This one I made by tearing strips of the fabric and then weaving the strips to form the fabric again. I left the seams on the outside to give it a nice shabby look. The pearls are a vintage bracelet that my mom gave me


This was made from some gorgeous white linen that I got at JoAnne for 50% off. Linen is a wonderful fabric to work with and I love the way it feels on the pillow. I coffee stained some white cheesecloth and made the roses by tearing strips of fabric. There is one rose made from a burlap ribbon that turned out really well too.


This one was made from natural cotton duck, a couple of vintage doilies, more roses and some wonderful gauzy fabric that I am now out of and really bummed. Time to search for something to replace it!!!


In addition to my pillows, I also have a new favorite art piece in the room. I did a swap with the extremely talented Lisa over at Tarnished and Tattered. I have coveted Lisa's beautiful altered bottles for a while now and she agree to do a swap with me!!! This little lovely arrived at my doorstep on Saturday. It is so cool, and she took the time to think about what I might like. I can honestly say... she was spot on!!


The rustic shabbiness of it is so beautiful. Thank you Lisa!!! I LOVE it!!!

Hopefully I will get the bedroom doors painted, and will be able to show you the rest of the bedroom very soon. Have a beautiful day my friends!!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Where am I going???


“In this life, it doesn’t matter where you are, but in what direction you are moving.” I’ve always loved that quote. The problem is... right now I don’t know which direction to go. I got laid off from my job this week. It was a job that I loved. I got to play with dogs everyday. I managed a dog grooming shop and it was a great shop with great clients and beautiful dogs. But the economy has taken it’s tole on the business and my dear sweet wonderful (ex) boss had to lay me off and start working in the shop herself. Now, instead of being employer and employee we can just be friends. But I find myself mourning the loss of this job more than I thought I would. I wake up every morning and realize I won’t be going in to the shop. Now if I was able to take an early retirement and just spend everyday creating in my studio, keeping a beautiful home, playing with my dogs and maybe take some classes... then I would be in heaven. But I have to find another job. And I’m scared to death. The thought of going to work everyday to a job I don’t like makes me sick to my stomach. My husband hates his job and I see how it affects him. The careers that I would be good at are the types of things that have really been affected by the times. I’ve never had to go out searching for a job. They have always just come at the right time. (I suppose I have been lucky so far.) I believe I will be okay. I really do. I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed because I truly have no idea what I want to do now. What path should I take? Which direction should I go? I just don’t know. Fear of the unknown can be pretty debilitating sometimes.

Thank you all for letting me vent my feelings. This is the first time I let the tears really fall and I feel better because of it. Next week I must start my job search. Maybe I’ll be lucky and find someone who is looking for an artist/interior designer/dog lover/control freak/perfectionist!!! Hey, it could happen!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring vignettes and a slipcover


Spring certainly feels like it has arrived in my part of the world. Temperatures this week are hanging out around 74 degrees. So, I thought I would put together a few spring vignettes. I don't have the wonderful natural bird's nests that are all over the country so I make due with nests from the craft store and I try to spruce them up using moss and feathers and twigs.


They are resting in some little silver dishes that I have found at garage sales over the years. I buy those little compotes whenever I can because I always seem to find a use for them.

This nest IS real and was given to me by a sweet lady. She was having a great sale with several vendors right in her front yard while I was visiting my friend in Oregon/Washington last summer. In fact some of you North Westerner's might know exactly who I am talking about because her sale was happening at the same time those Barn House Boy's were having one of their big sales. I wish I could remember what the name of her shop was. Anyway, I asked if her nests were for sale and she just gave me one. Very sweet.


This is what I have so far with my apothecary jar. It's not quite right, but I haven't been able to come with anything better. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.


A couple weeks ago I finally got tired of looking at my golden oak dining table. It's not that I don't like oak. It's just that there is SO MUCH of it in the house. Again, there's that painting stumbling block that is my husband... so I decided to slipcover it! I knew I didn't want a traditional tablecloth, and then I got the idea to make something fitted. I had an unused matlesse bedspread that was queen sized so I used that and purchased the ruffle trim from JoAnne with a coupon. It took half a day and about $7.99 worth of trim. I'm really happy with and it helps to lighten up the whole room.


I hope you all are having a wonderful week. Mine's had it's up's and down's but I'll tell you about that in another post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Giveaway winners!!!


I want to thank you all so much for coming over and helping me celebrate with my 500+ Followers Giveaway. I cannot believe I am now up to 665!!! You guys have all made me feel so special. The random winner of my box of goodies is Cami @ Creating Myself. Congrats Cami!!! (I'll be sending you an email shortly) And now for the bonus prize.... You guys just blew me away with some of the most heartfelt answers ever. It was obvious to me how important Blogland is to many of us. It was VERY hard to choose a winner as there were quite a few comments that really spoke to me. I have chosen three to share with you all. All of them describe exactly how I feel about blogging.

Sharon @ Shardon Exclusives said
"What I love about blogging? Let me count the many ways, I can create and you pat me on my back..bloggers encourage not criticize..they inspire not draw me down...they care, really care..when there is a hurt we pray for one another...we are supportive of each ones talents and encourage us to think outside the box....
On and on and on...there are tremendous souls who give and give and keep on giving.
I struggled with getting started but now I can not remember life before my blogging friends came into it. 
Thank you so much for this opportunity to express a fraction of my heart, 
Sharon"

Cheryl @ Basic Living said:
"I love blogging, though I've only been doing it a short time, like you, for so many reasons. Obviously I love the friendships and support you develop from your interactions with other bloggers. I love the whole concept of people being willing to "wear their hearts on their sleeves" so to speak. People can be so closed in "real life" sometimes, but in blogland, people are willing to reveal themselves in a more intimate way than imaginable. I love that! 

My favorite thing about blogging, however, is it's not just something I DO. It has become an extension of who I AM. Does that make sense? Blogging causes me to really THINK about the way I live life, because I know I'll probably be blogging about it later. That doesn't mean I do things just so I'll have something to blog. No. But knowing that I will be blogging, sharing the most authentic part of who I am (through my words and artful creations), I want to LIVE fully. I want to create with passion. I want to be the best version of ME I can. If something can inspire one to live daily life with such purpose, it must be a truly wonderful experience.

I just read on someone's blog the other day (sorry, can't remember whose!) that according to an 1800 something version of Webster's Dictionary, Romance means "a style of living". 

That so spoke to me because that's how I want my life to be... ROMANTIC. That doesn't mean I want roses and candy and hot passionate sex (though I'm certainly not knocking those!), but it means I want to live in a style that feels true, authentic, and inspiring! Blogging inspires that in me.
"

and lastly Rose @ Bella Rosa said:
"Karen amor, what a beautiful and sweet Giveaway! I love visiting you and seeing what new beauties you have created and you like so many of my favorite blogs not only nourish my heart, but you inspire me with your beautiful creations...you ask why I love to blog...it is this reason above and the fact that even when I feel I have nothing to add of beauty for my own blog...I can visit all of you and replenish my creative...wanna be heart...When my heart is hurting from life's losses, I know visiting you all makes my heart stronger as do the comments that the wonderful friends I have made here leave on my own blog...it is like a huge group of friends that helps to pick you up with love and support, who share not only their beautiful creations and how to's but also their beautiful hearts...where else can you come in your pj's with your hair sticking out every which way and if your like me, still have remnants of yesterdays make up and yet...you and my other sweet friends never complain as I visit and laugh, cry or just think while I visit your wonderful blogs, I can come back as many times as I like and go back through your older posts and no one minds when I ask my silly questions about all your how to's and I am so thankful for that...I thank you and all my other wonderful friends in Blogland for this every time I visit and leave you smiling. Besos to you Karen, for always making my visits so special :) Rose"

As I said it was very hard to choose a winner so I just put three numbers in a box and picked one. So, Rose... you win the bonus prize! It's not much but I do hope you enjoy it!

I hope you all have a wonderful and HEALTHY week, as I have had a nasty cold for the last 3 days and I don't wish that on anyone!


Hugs!!!

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