Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en

Just a quick note today, to extend warm wishes for a Happy Hallowe'en to you all.

Today I will be cleaning and cooking, preparing a feast before the trick-or-treating this evening. Each year we have a meal at the 'the good table' and set an extra place for any spirits who may want to partake with us. It is a time to remember those who have passed.

Tonight I will sip some wine and reflect on the passing year. I will resolve to remove the negative obstacles on my path and look toward creating a brighter future.

Before bed I will lay the cards and toss stones, and meditate on their meanings, accepting the guidance they provide.

Somewhere in there I'll also make brownies... because I am certain my kidlet will hoard his candy stash from his dear old mum and dad. I don't blame him one bit. ;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Cheeky Snowballs and Holiday Schedule 2013

The first batch of snowballs of the season are completed! Woo hoo! Yay! Hip hip hooray!

While the regular sized snowballs dry on my mantle, these little mini fellows are already gussied up. I'm sure my house will look like a blizzard has struck by weeks end with all that snowy glittery goodness messing the place up :)

For those interested in my holiday selling schedule: 

The ONLY craft show I am doing this season is at Applefest Lodge in Brighton on November 9th. It's a teeny weeny show with only a handful of vendors but I'll be there with bells on and lots of nice things in tow.

I have an exhibit at Impresartio Artisan Market in Cobourg for the month of December. I ALWAYS have work available here and I love that shop with all my heart (and Rebecca is the bees knees.) Not sure when the 'opening' will be but I'll post when a date is firmed up.

The studio will be open a handful of days in December. Want to come and poke around for holiday gifts at the studio? Excellent. As soon as my schedule is sorted I will post a list of 'open door' days. These will likely be mid-December.

Finally, I WILL be reserving items specifically for the etsy shop. I will post on the blog and on the facebook page when the listings are live.

Smoochy boochies lovely people!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Good Morning: Wishes and chills

It's another chilly morning here. I do like chilly frosty mornings. I'll take them over sweaty, stinkin' hot boilers any day. The dog is MUCH happier too. It's the husky in him... poor thing is miserable in the heat of summer. We're both feeling rather perky today.

The frost is starting to form in earnest now and it's beautiful. Everything is edged and embellished in cold glitter.

Even our BBQ is pretty. Just look at that landscape of ice.

Thank goodness for the abundance of inspiration for the winter projects that I'm working on.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pleased toadstools

I am smitten!

I've made harvested a big batch of these funny toadstools. They are rather pleased with themselves. I'd be pleased with myself too if I were a red spotted toadstool.

My camera and the weather are not cooperating today, but once I can grab a few good snapshots there will be a couple of these listed in the etsy shop (however most will be heading over to Impresario Artisan Market for sale at some point this weekend).

ETA: HERE are the listings that will be available for the time being. There is one large and one small toadstool listed.

And one last picture for good measure :)

Morning Inspiration: Frost

It's getting nippy. The past few mornings have see a bit of frost on the ground, but I do believe today takes the cake with beautiful little shards of ice covering everything in the shade. It's quite beautiful. That lovely frosty coating and then the sun reflecting off of tiny bits of ice. Some people would say it glistens like diamonds... but I prefer glitter ;).

Getting these shots was an interesting process because as the sun quickly rose and the air warmed those little bits of ice melted... and fast! You could see the melting right before your eyes. Fascinating and sort of sad at the same time. All that hard work Jack Frost put into placing that ice just-so and 'poof!' it's gone.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sweet Sentiments and Spooky Peek-a-boo tag

Graphic 45 is revealing MORE gorgeousness on their blog today. It's day 8 of their sneak peek at their brand new collection "Sweet Sentiments". Being a big fan of butterflies, flowers and vintage images, I can't wait to get my hands on it!

There are a ton of great projects and eyecandy on the blog today so hop over there!

One of the projects mentioned on the blog (and actually rather spooky, and not sweet at all) is my peek-a-boo tag.

Heck, there's even a viddy tute to go along with it!

And the supply list:
Graphic 45 Staples:
Regular Tag Album
Petaloo Flowers and leaves
May Arts Ribbons
Gina’s Design Small Fence and Gate Set

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


So I tossed another bunch of clay bits into the fire pit. Here's the haul that came out...

Notice how every piece is fine and dandy except for the nice moon face at the bottom... the ONE piece I would have like to have survived. Such is life. *sigh*

I AM happy that those lovely bits at the top left came out unscathed because little hands made them! Here's a better look at what young visitors created when they popped by the studio the other week...

I love the work kids create. Perhaps because it's made with interest and excitement and not toward some unrealistic end. Kids, generally, get true joy from the process of making.

Finally, all those little squares on the bottom left corner are this little city of houses. They are currently standing at attention on my kitchen table waiting for some arty affection. I think they are rather nice lined up in neat little rows. Perhaps they need a town to call their own.

Oh! One last little note. There are three new large mandrakes available in the etsy shop...

 ... and a handful of brand new mini mandrakes too!

Two mornings of inspiration

I was distracted yesterday by the absolute abysmal functioning of facebook and did not post the morning inspiration. Here is the delayed photography:

It is quite true that I have encountered many friendly slugs recently. A quick search of their symbolism and qualities as a totem revealed that they assist us in letting go of the gunk we carry. They also encourage reflection of the mysteries around us.

Today's inspiration come from our vegetable garden. Strewn across the soil are all of the tomatoes that did not make it into our sauces, salsas, salads or baskets and bags to friends and neighbours. I am sure that the birds, bees and other winged things will enjoy a little harvest party with them before we clean them up and pop them in the compost heap where they will feed next years spoils.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Into dreams

"Into dreams" Mixed media collage on canvas measuring approx 6" x 12". 

A new piece created for the Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre in Northumberland. They are hosting  their 30th anniversary art auction on November 8th. Details for the event are available HERE.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Twinkle-Twinkle Mother Goose Box

An inexpensive box gussied up and made pretty as can be with the Mother Goose collection. This piece would be very cute in a nursery or child's room. Even better, this box would be a great way to package a sentimental shower gift. The colours in this collection are fabulous and just exude sweet childhood joy. I especially like that the pallet is gender neutral and would be entirely appropriate for all little ones
You can check out more photos on the Graphic 45 blog (along with more sneak peeks of 'Couture'), and if you'd like to create your own, here's the supply list:

Graphic 45 Mother Goose Collection
Mother Goose
Graphic 45 Staples
Plain Wooden Chest
May Arts Ribbons
Black Glitter
Paperclay Moon

Morning Inspiration 10.18.13

I love mushrooms (and toadstools and fungus and lichen). Funny, I'm not a big fan of mushroom soup... although I did once have a delicious bowl at very fancy dinner party. It's really not their flavour that grabs me. It's how they grow. They pop up, seemingly suddenly, anywhere they like. They are yellow, white, red, purple and brown. They are smooth and soft, gelatinous, poisonous. They grown in lines and circles and clumps. And then they wither back into the earth, as magically as they arrived.

I am certain that this particular mushroom MUST taste like flakes of white chocolate that crumble and melt on your tongue. Don't worry, I am not nearly brave enough to taste it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Instacraft - A Review

So I was contacted about reviewing a craft book. This book:

InstaCraft: Fun and Simple Projects for Adorable Gifts, Decor, and More [Paperback]  
Alison Caporimo , Meera Lee Patel

It's a cute book. The format is interesting. A full page, full bleed, photo on the left and simple supplies and directions on the right. There is nothing so complex in this book that it requires more than a single page of direction.

Projects are divided by categories: Spray, Cut & Hang, Write & Paint, Pin & Fold, Tape & Glue, Dip and Stamp.

There are some really cute projects in the book. The Checkmate Chess Jars above are adorable. Then again, there were a few projects that left me scratching my head. A ball of twine spray painted gold? Really?

The crafts included in InstaCraft were a little too simple for my crafty-self but I can see them appealing to those who just want to craft on a whim and have an hour to kill. The skill set for the projects in this book would be beginner level and many could be adapted for tween crafting. (Go! Go! Crafty kids!)

Overall, it's a pretty book with very simple crafts for people with limited time/skills. Those who are a little more skilled may find it more useful as an inspiration, to spark ideas and go on to create greater things than the projects within.

Now that I've given you the down and dirty, Ulysses Press was kind enough to send an extra copy for me to give away! Just leave a comment below and a winner will be randomly selected next Friday, October 25th!

International entries are welcome (just be aware that it could take AGES for your prize to arrive). ONE entry per person please AND please be sure that I can contact  you.

P.S. Another copy is available on the Pixie Hill facebook page, so hop over there for a second chance to win!

Morning Inspiration 10.17.13

This is the Schwab - Gilbert Hideaway. Every day I place it on a stump near the old Troll hole. Every day it gets knocked down. I suspect our Troll is displeased.

The Troll hole was abandoned when the tall Black Locust tree above it was struck by lightening and had to be chopped down. Half of that tree is still standing but entrance to the dirt cave below is blocked by giant logs from the felled portion. Almost immediately after our poor Troll was forced from his home, a snake moved in. Not a nice snake who looks after the place in Troll's absence. A horrible snake who has eaten at least one of our toads!

Our Troll is not impressed.

Rebuilding a home for our dear Troll must be moved up the priority on our to-do list.

The Tea Party

Here is my latest 'completed' piece for my December show at Impresario Artisan Market. I'm calling it "The Tea Party". I was going to add wings and hats on those lovely ladies but I think the piece is done.

The butterflies are copies of old scientific illustrations. The slugs and birds are hand painted over the collage work. The beads and lace were all taken from an old wedding gown (which was already torn up btw). And those ladies really were having tea! Here's the original photo I found at a flea market. Just look at that wallpaper!

Measuring around 36" x 24" this piece is HUGE as far as my work goes. I do have one more large collage piece planned for the show, but then I think I'll come down to earth once more and dabble with my tiny things :)

Here are a few detail shots for a better look.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Typography Postal Station No. 45

I'm so excited about today's post!

Today I'm being featured over at Papercrafter's Library! Can you believe it?! Me! ME!

AND, as if that weren't exciting enough, they are revealing one of my very favourite projects. Postal Station No. 45!
Very often, when little people come to visit my studio, they will discover that imps, elves and faeries have left them miniature mail. I thought that it was about time that they had a proper place to work from, so I created this post office for them.

The base of the piece is a Mini Album Display Case from Ginas Designs. The drawer has been upturned and hinged to the top to create a spot for secret messages (or hiding candy). Graphic 45's Typography line embellishes the piece, it's stickers providing perfect classic advertising posters for the little place. Inside there are stacks of little letters and brown paper parcels waiting for delivery.

Want to see more? Head over to the Papercrafter's Library for more pics of this fun little project.

Want to make your own? Here's the complete supply list:
Small wooden table
Red Thread
Miniature Books and Scrolls
Pen Nibs
Tacky Glue

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Graphic 45 Sneak Peeks - Couture

Graphic 45 is sneak peeking their new line of papers this week called Couture.

I have one word: 'Swoon!'

Here are my favourites from what I've spied so far.

"Gorgeous" ... Um, yes, yes you are!
Day one sneak peeks can be found HERE Day two is on the blog right this minute HERE but be sure to visit their blog often and take advantage of their "Win It Before You Buy It" contest :)

Morning Inspiration 10.15.13

I am always amazed at the number of mushrooms and toadstools that grow here. I spied these in the old mossy stump where the pixies live. On the lawn to the west, behind the house and across the tiny bridge (seriously, it's only about 3 feet across), there are more mushrooms than you can imagine. One day soon I'll show you!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We usually mark the occasion quietly, and this year is no exception. A little feast for our family of three and puttering around the garden and house, preparing for the chilly season.

I thank my lucky stars every day for this enchanted life, but today I will be extra mindful. I will not grumble while doing laundry, I will be thankful we have clothes on our back. Dishes will remind me that food was on those plates. Making beds, a reminder that we have somewhere safe to sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Saving Halloween and Religious Tolerance

A letter to the school board superintendent on the issue of Halloween:

Last year X Public School decided that the students would not celebrate Halloween. No longer would October 31st consist of costumes and parties, instead children would be invited to wear orange and black. The same thing is occurring this year, and again I am deeply unhappy and disappointed. Last year I took my concerns directly to the board but as they clearly have not been considered seriously I am writing directly to you.

I am displeased about this for several reasons and I would like to share those with you, because I think they are valid concerns, and I believe they need consideration.

While there were many whispers and much tittering about why X did away with a traditional Halloween, the ultimate reason this holiday is not being recognized at the school is for the benefit of those students who do not observe the celebration. While I appreciate the sensitivity of this issue, I would like to point out that to most people, Halloween is completely secular. Thanksgiving is secular, and yet there has been no interruption to the traditional Thanksgiving meal provided for all of the students. Vegetarians, celiac, the allergic, and omnivores all join for a traditional turkey feast inside a neighbouring church. Birthdays are announced over the schools PA system. ‘God’ is mentioned in the national anthem. Valentine’s Day hearts and Easter eggs are not ignored.  All with no harm done.

So why is Halloween being treated differently?

Is it out of respect for those few families do not observe Halloween based upon their religious beliefs? If so, I should like to point out that in being mindful of the feelings of these few, my own religious convictions have been offended. You see, I happen to be pagan. Halloween is one of (if not THE) most important observations of the wheel of the year. As a pagan, I find it distressing that the school has stripped Halloween of every bit of meaning and pared it down to the mere recognition of two colours. This is the equivalent of taking every Christmas or winter holiday image and symbol and paring it down to nothing but a square of red and white. If X Public School is striving to please every religious fragment in their community, then I must insist that they consider my objections to the bastardization of this holiday on religious grounds as well.

It is getting silly now, isn’t it?

In an attempt to spare the feelings of a few, every single one of the children at that school is losing out. For over 300 years, Halloween has been celebrated in North American as a secular holiday. Nevertheless, they have discarded the value of tradition and become censorious to the point of absurdity. The school has picked at the bones of tradition until there is no meat left, and only when bare considered them acceptable.

While I may hope the costumes and parties will be reinstated at X Public School, I certainly will not hold my breath. As children we proudly showed off our homemade costumes, giggled, carved pumpkins and told spooky stories and silly jokes. Our children are offered scraps of what should be. They are given the next best thing to nothing. Even an offer from the local arts council to work with the children, creating costumes and engaging them in other activities was met with the response ‘Waste an entire day on art?’ Yes, Halloween and art will surely be the demise of us all.

Truthfully, what bothers me above all else on this issue is the way in which this has been handled. The complete lack of transparency has been abhorrent. I do not lie to my child and do not appreciate being put into a position where I have to explain to my son that the administration of his school has lied to him. He is supposed to trust and respect the people in his school community. Now, not only have they whittled down Halloween into a watery nothing, but they have lied as to why it has been done. If this issue is so important to the school that they are holding fast, despite complaints about the same being done last year, they should have the fortitude to be plain and honest as to why they are standing their ground.

Einstein once said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” Applied to the current situation, this is far more frightening than any ghoul or goblin.


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Mother Goose gets cheeky

Graphic 45 is featuring loverly layouts on the blog today. Included is this cheeky little 8" Mother Goose layout.

It's a messy, smudgy, realistic representation of childhood... well, childhood as it is in this family anyway ;) And who is that messy little blighter? That would be me.

Once a mess maker, always a mess maker.

For more pics and beautiful layouts by my fellow design team members hop over to the Graphic 45 blog.

Spot On
small safety pin
metal brad
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Trinket Pin

Morning inspiration 10.09.13

For the past few years my husband has taken to mushroom hunting. He grabs a knife, and takes our son for a stroll through wooded areas, looking for these particular mushrooms. They grow on trees, sometimes too high to reach, and are edible. I never noticed them before he pointed them out. Now that small flash of white upon dark bark catches my eye. I make a mental note of their position and tell him where I spied them for his next wild mushroom hunting expedition.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Morning inspiration 10.08.13

Behind our property the local golf course has a wild field. It's a lovely place to walk, and daydream. Right now much of the milkweed there has dried and cracked open, it's fluffy white seeds ready to fly.  I love milkweed. It's like a fairy tale plant. It is the sole source of food for Monarch Butterfly larvae and when it goes to seed, it sends wishes out into the world. You can't get much more magical than that.

For those unfamiliar with the plant, here are some extra photos.