Sunday, December 30

december again . . .

i look so forward to december every year. christmas has to be one of my favorite holidays. i love the vintage holiday ornaments and christmas lights covered in snow. it seems we are always baking something together and my studio becomes littered with scaps of wrapping. there are secrets in the air and the tree smells so good. we make hot cocoa and sit by the tree waiting for that special night. now that i won't spoil the surprise here is what we sent my sister kris in florida.

the santa cup is only 2 inches tall and says 10 cents made in japan. tapegirl painted the merry monster and the snow bunny in the top photo. she has a new blog up--i know i'm going to love it!
i made the vintage stars for the ornament i gave away this year.
tomorrow i am taking down the tree and all the decorations. i guess i will pack away the tinsel and garland. school starts already on wednesday.
looking forward to december next year this is my calendar page for december 2008.
our art group is putting together a calendar with each of us taking a month. here is marilyn's february calendar to get you excited about valentines day.
i'll link up the other months as the gals post them. we get to see the whole thing at our January art group. cant wait!

and here are a couple more pages that i made for my nostalgic book of days.

time to say goodbye to the chex mix and dark chocolate orange sticks, sleeping in and staying up way too late! we are planning on making tempura veggies tomorrow night to welcome the new year. i hope you are planning some wonderful festivities for tomorrow.

happy, happy, julie

Friday, December 21

one spot left for february art nest. . .

a little bird told me there is one spot left for our february art nest retreat!

i guess you could put in a good word with this guy and say you really, really want to come. . .

then you could make a tiny paper chain and count down the 61 days until you would come enjoy 4 days with these amazing artists.

visions of mushrooms will dance in your heads ~~ anahata

nestled all snug in their beds~~ pam

a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer~~ amy

maybe send a tiny note with one of santas elfs to us here in the snow to say you'll go. . .

what. . .you didn't know santa used hotmail? he's a busy guy :)

merry, merry. from the nest

Monday, December 17

tinsel wreath tutorial

i am a bit of a vintage tinsel junkie. . .

so there was this big ball of green and silver tinsel at the antique store in Omaha for $1.00.
i couldn't resist. even though it looked a bit ratty and melted in places from sitting a little too close to those old big bulb lights on someone's tree fifty years ago. i had visions of little wreaths adorning all my packages.

i am working like a little christmas elf making a big pile of tinsel wreaths tonight and thought i would share how to make them.

the tinsel i am using is 1 1/2 inches wide. you could use a smaller tinsel and make a smaller wreath, or loop it around twice to get the fullness.

the bows are from dollar tree $1.00 for 12. they are a fun old looking velveteen ribbon with a wired silver cord twisted around the center. here is the tiny 1 inch bottle brush wreath that was my inspiration.

step 1. cut 7 inches of tinsel and gather together a small red bow, 5 glass garland beads, and Aleene's tacky glue.

step 2. form the tinsel into a circle 3 1/2 inches across. overlap the two tinsel ends and secure by twisting the silver wired cord around the tinsel. trim ends

step 3. put a bit of glue on one side of the glass garland bead and nestle it down into the tinsel.

this is last years tinsel wreath with the addition of silver stars and some foil garland.

enjoy, julie

Saturday, December 8

the nostalgic book of days

occasionally a small, worn book will call to me from the shelf and i will know right away what it will be.
that is how 'the story of the other wise' man came to be in my shopping sack and walking out the door.
published in 1895 with red cloth covers and gold printing it is rather magical. the story is charming and the slender size of the book a pleasure.
it has become the nostalgic book of days. i left a small space on each page to write about the day and to record my feelings as december 25th draws nigh. here is the beginning. . .

Thursday, November 29

gnome love. . .

this definitely falls in the creepy-cute christmas category.

these gnomes i bought off ebay in a bag of assorted weird christmas stuff. an odd weird santa, a particularly demented looking elf, lots of plastic reindeer, some adorable snowman package ties, and an angel corsage just to list a few of the things.
well these two gnome guys are really growing on me.
marina was testing out water color papers last night and i gave her one of the gnomes to paint.

how i adore this little painting she did!!
and here is the gnome guys brother (part pinecone i guess)

Wednesday, November 21

silver bella

look at frosty go! i had such a wonderful time at silver bella.
the weekend just flew by with classes, shopping, and vendors night. i met so many very talented gals.
i made this little frosty man in carolyn peelers class. such a vintage look dusted over with mica and posing next to the tiny bottle brush tree.

my first class was 'white christmas' with jenny and aaron. everything sparkling and dusted with glitter. it was such a fun piece to make!

vendors night was over the top fabulous! kari and i met finally in person and had such a fun time shopping together. my bags were clear full of holiday treasures.

this beautiful fabric collage was made by rebecca sower. i was so taken with the pale colors and the way she sewed the buttons and beads on the tree.

the box was gorgeous enough, but the letter cards inside were simply charming.

when i saw this collage in carolyn peelers booth i melted. i want to put it on the cover of an old book

my class with charlotte lyons was perfect. i brought my stash of wool felt scraps to use for the little house. it was fun to have kari in the class with me. she gave me the vintage bell earing i used on the ribbon. the perfect touch since i needed a bit of red. i would still like to add the text and something to the snowflakes.

charlotte's kit looked so charming with her card on top and doesn't she have the most beautiful eyes! her jewelry was stunning.

i still have two more classes to post about and photos of my cool vintage finds. . .

Monday, November 12

at the corner of happiness and frolic

you might not have believed that there was such a place if i had not taken a picture. it is just down the road from f & w publishing. this past week i was in cincinnati taking the step by step photographs for my book.
jessica and christine took such great care of me this week, it was really wonderful. i just loved working with both of them. here we are outside this wonderful old barn i found out running one morning. the three of us came back after lunch at the brown dog to take my author photo.

we took some fun shots durning the week at the photo studio. here is my editor jessica learning how to felt a bead

christine photographed all the step-by-step shots but she let me take this picture of her with the yummy spinach and bacon souffles from panera we had one morning.

each night after shooting at the studio i returned to this view. the fall leaves were gorgeous and this lovely white bed so very inviting.

i tried so hard to keep my nails polished and looking nice for the close-up shots. then one night as i was dying some felt swatches for a layout a package of blue dye burst all over my thumb and turned it bright blue! what do i do with a blue thumb? luckily christine fixed it for me.

i brought a big stack of books back to the hotel each night to look through. i spent hours pouring over corey moortgat's new book and i adored looking through the gorgeous images in the new amy butler midwest designs book with this gorgeous image her husband took of her fabulous necklace!

so now i am home again. still have stuff in suitcases and shopping bags, but i had so much fun today sitting down in my studio surfing my favorite blogs and checking out all the flickr photos i have missed. i think i have finally answered all my emails and have done enough laundry to get me through the weekend so time to relax. i have a whole week off for thanksgiving, i can't wait. . .
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