Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pretty Stationery

Wouldn't it be wonderful 
to receive a handwritten letter
on a beautiful piece of stationery?

I included the versions below so you could
personalize with your own images
or use them in other projects...

I used beautiful graphics
from these sources:

Thank you!!
"Never lose an opportunity
of seeing anything that is beautiful; 
for beauty is God's handwriting,
a wayside sacrament.  
Welcome it
in every fair
face, in every fair sky,
in every fair
flower, and thank God
for it as a cup of blessing."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Sweet Collections...

You know ~ all it takes to start 
an official collection is 3 of one thing...

So what do you collect?

I collect quite a few things, 
under the criteria mentioned above...

cookie cutters, wooden boxes, baskets, old chairs,
vintage postcards, books, canning jars, candles,
architectural salvage, little white bowls, crocks...

and I even have a collection of tarnished spoons,
which was inspired by this photograph.  

I love this verse...

By wisdom a house is built, 
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.

~ Proverbs 24:3-4 ~

Hope you're having a Sweet Saturday!!
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Neutral vintage gift tags

"Look not at the days gone by 
with a forlorn heart. 
They were simply the dots 
we can now connect with our present,
to help us draw the outline 
of a beautiful tomorrow." 
~ Dodinsky ~
Hope you can put these gift tags to good use!
I found the original ephemera here:

Pen flourishing (original image had a black background)

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Springtime Gift Tags

"I love Spring anywhere, 
but if I could choose, I would always 
greet it in a garden."  

~ Ruth Stout ~
I am happy to share these lovely 
Springtime gift tags with you!

The floral tags actually look better on the screen
in a darker version, but I lightened them, 
because the printed result is much better.

I couldn't have made them without 
wonderful sites offering free graphics online.
Here are my image sources:

Vintage labels in background: page 1 & page 2

Two images I used from my personal collection.
They're free to use as well:


No matter how long the Winter, 
Spring is sure to follow.  

~ Proverb ~

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Summer of '62

 "You are worried about seeing him 
spend his early years in doing nothing.  


Is it nothing to be happy?  
Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?  
Never in his life will he be so busy again." 

~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762 ~  

A few days ago, my Aunt Elaine shared this photograph on Facebook.  It includes herself, 5 siblings, and her mother.  The youngest brother wasn't born until the Summer after...

Love all that blonde hair!  
My dad was 5 years old then... 
the same age his grandson is now. 
He's the little boy sitting off to the right.

Mom asked our family over for lunch yesterday afternoon.
As I was getting the kids ready, I had a last-minute idea to print this photo out for Dad.  I changed the photo to a sepia-tone and added a background texture. 

Here's the result, which prints out to 8"x10".
I'm not sure where this photo was taken, 
but I'm sure my aunts and uncles had a lot of fun there!

Wishing you a great day... 
maybe with a few fond 
childhood memories thrown in!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Advertisement inspired Clip art

After seeing this post at Knick of Time, I was inspired to create some free clip art for you....  

Hope you enjoy my illustrated interpretations of:

'Good Morning' brand coffee
Lavender scented fine soap
C.M. Berry's Amazing cure-all ointment

   I also came up with a few 'Home Sweet Home' graphics as well as a quaint English cottage.  I couldn't decide what the cottage should be advertising... what do you think?

One last thing...
If you use any of the clip art, 
please leave a comment... 
I'm always interested to hear...
or see... how others use my art!
Thank you for your visit!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sweet vintage girl ~ Printables

I shared this set of printable gift tags 
for Valentine's Day yesterday...
I knew my mom would love the little girl holding her doll, since she collects German dolls from this era.  After talking with her this morning, she asked if I could make a printable 8x10 collage or cards using that image.  So I got busy ~ here's what I made for her, and am sharing with you...

~ Printable 8"x10" collage ~

~ Printable cards ~

I think she could be cute used as art in a 
little girl's room year-round, don't you think?
Add a few pretty buttons or some glitter, 
and transform her into something truly special!

Thank you for stopping by, and have a Sweet Saturday!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentine's Day ~ printable gift tags

It wasn't hard to find inspiration for these 
pretty Valentine's Day gift tags.
Aren't the little girls so sweet?

I created this collection of printable gift tags with free images online.
Here are links to the original sources:

The images are free to save 
and print for personal use.

Had to include this quote, as it is how I feel about my own sweet little girl...

 "A daughter is a miracle that never ceases 
to be miraculous...full of beauty 
and forever beautiful...
loving and caring and truly amazing."

~ Deanna Beisser ~

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tale of a Noisy Bucket

This morning, I woke up with the sound of my husband's alarm... it was 6:00.  I lay in bed listening to the wind and rain blowing outside.  Lovely day to stay warm under the covers.  I drifted off to sleep, but about half an hour later, I heard the little pitter-patter of footsteps coming down the hall, pausing at my door.

Looking over, I could make out a fuzzy form, but couldn't tell if it was my son or daughter.  I asked, "Who is it?"  Olivia quietly responded, "Mom...can I come to your bed?"  I said yes, so she ran and eagerly jumped under the covers, nestling in close to get warm.  I asked why she was up at such an hour, as she's usually my late sleeper... she said, "The wind blew over a bucket outside, and it was really loud... it's rolling around now, do you want to see?"  I reminded her, "Mommy can't see without her glasses."  Not to be deterred, she scrambled out from under the covers to grab them off the dresser, and left for the bathroom.

I heard the water running shortly, and so I just looked up at the ceiling, listening to the little noises she was making.  She came back, gingerly holding them (by the frames, so as not to smudge her handiwork), and attempted to place them on my face.  Really, she did a pretty good job... I didn't even come close to losing an eye.

Side by side, we crawled over to the window... and there was the bucket.  We stayed there, on the edge of my bed, for just a moment.  I glanced over at my little girl... her hair was illuminated by the outside light from the garage.  Perfect in all it's crazy curliness.  Her eyes were wide as she took in the morning scenery.  I hesitantly broke the silence, asking if she'd like to share a few cups of morning tea together.  With eyes now at their maximum widened potential, she shook her curls up and down in agreement.

By this time, her brother had heard us stirring in the next room, so he was up too.  We sang our "good morning" song, and headed downstairs, as I now prepared tea for three.  Zachary asked for cinnamon tea right away, and Olivia balked at the idea.  "Yuck mom, I hate cinnamon... except when it's in cinnamon rolls or on cinnamon sugar toast!"  She chose an herbal tea.  They both wanted rolls with butter leftover from our dinner last night.  I prepared myself a cup of cinnamon tea last, and sat down with my little ones.

Mom called and we talked for a few minutes, ending with Olivia singing a little song she just learned about mothers and chocolate cake...  We finished eating and Zachary went off to play with tractors as I got Olivia dressed and ready for the bus.  She paused to say goodbye to her brother, and then it was to the end of the driveway we went.

I knelt down and took her hands, as we always do, and as I started to pray, Olivia stopped me.  She asked if she could say a few words to God... so I of course said okay.  "God, thanks for knocking that bucket over with the wind this morning.  It was a great idea!"  I smiled and we finished praying just as the bus crested the hill.  She turned around, smiled and waved goodbye...

Thank you God for all your great ideas!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

"An Evening in the Country Store."

An evening in the quaint old country store!
While Winter's feet were kicking at the door,
And Winter's white-nailed fingers striving hard
To raise the windows he himself had barred;
Save when he chased upon their weary rounds,
Through tracks of air, his yelling tempest-hounds.
Bark louder, storm-dogs!  To our dreamy sight,
Your voices made the fire-cheer twice as bright,
Promoting high beyond a moment's doubt,
The value of the dry-goods shelved about.

There's little you'll be wanting, cheap or dear,
That has not something somewhat like it, here;
Whatever honest people drink or eat,
Or pack their bodies in, from head to feet,
Want what you may, you'll get it - search no more -
Or imitation of it - in this store.
The body's needs not only here you'll find,
But food here, too, for the sympathies and mind;
For in one corner, fed by many lands,
The small post-office dignifiedly stands,
With square, red-numbered boxes in its arms,
Well stocked with white and brown envelope charms.
Here the little girl, irresolutely gay,
Asks if there's "any thing for us to-day";
Here the farm lad, who wider fields would seek,
Comes for the county paper once a week.
Through this delivery port-hole there is hurled
Printed bombardment from the outside world;
The great, far world, whose heart-throbs up and down,
Strike pulses, e'en within this quiet town.

The quaint, well populated country store!
A hospitable, mirth productive shore,
Where masculine barks take refuge from distress,
In the port of and evening's cheerfulness.
The rusty stove, with wood-fed heat endowed,
Shoots hot invisible arrows at the crowd,
To which the chewing population nigh
Send back a prompt and vigorous reply,
And find time for side-battles of retort,
In various moralled stories, long and short:
From one that's smart and good enough to print,
To one that has a hundred hell-seeds in 't.
Here laws are put on trial by debate,
Here solved conundrums, both of Church and State;
Here is contested, with more voice than brain,
Full many a hot political campaign;
The half surmised shortcomings of the church
Are opened to some sinner's anxious search;
And criticisms the minister gets here,
From men who have not heard him once a year...

~ Will Carleton

The above is an excerpt from "An Evening in the Country Store," published in 'Farm Festivals' copyright 1881.  The illustration accompanied this poem, but the artist is unknown.

"Mending the Old Flag."

In the silent gloom of a garret room,
With cobwebs round it creeping,
From day to day the old Flag lay-
A veteran worn and sleeping.
Dingily old, each wrinkled fold
By the dust of years was shaded;
Wounds of the storm were upon its form;
The crimson stripes were faded.

'Twas a mournful sight in the day-twilight,
This thing of humble seeming,
That once so proud o'er the cheering crowd
Had carried its colors gleaming:
Stained with mould were the braids of gold,
That had flashed at the sun-ray's kissing;
Of faded hue was its field of blue,
And some of the stars were missing.

Three Northern maids and three from glades
Where dreams the South-land weather,
With glances kind and their arms entwined,
Came up the stair together:
They gazed awhile, with a thoughtful smile,
At the crouching form before them;
With clinging holds they grasped its folds.
And out of the darkness bore them.

They healed its scars, they found its stars,
And brought them all together
(Three Northern maids and three from glades
Where smiles the South-land weather);
They mended away through the summer day,
Made glad by an inspiration
To fling it high at the smiling sky,
On the birthday of our nation.

In the brilliant glare of the summer air,
With a brisk breeze round it creeping,
Newly bright through the glistening light,
The flag went grandly sweeping:
Gleaming and bold were its braids of gold,
And flashed in the sun-ray's kissing;
Red, white, and blue were of deepest hue,
And none of the stars were missing.

~ written by Will Carleton, published in 1873

I love how the girls came together despite
their possible differences ~ to accomplish something
far greater than themselves.

 "Coming together is a beginning.
Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success."

~ Henry Ford ~

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friendship's Garden

"In friendship's fragrant garden,
There are flowers of every hue.
Each with its own fair beauty
And its gift of joy for you." 

~ Friendship's Garden ~

Don't those blooms look so nice in winter?
I took these photos in my gardens last year, 
knowing that sometime I'd need to see a little
reminder of what will eventually return 
after the snow and ice melts...

Thank you for stopping by today!
Hope you're having a Sweet Saturday!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sweet Little Note

Today I want to share my favorite postcard with you...

There is a booth at my favorite local antique store that specializes in postcards and old photographs.  I stop there often, if only to look through the lovely images.  On one such visit a few years ago, I happened to be looking through the flower-themed postcards.  I found this Lily of the Valley image beautiful, but was captivated by what I found upon turning it over...

I love that Mr. Alden Hopkins found a way to send his wife 
her favorite flowers, even though he was miles away.  
What a sweet man to send his wife such a note...

It traveled from New York to Ohio, 
from a Mr. to a Mrs.,
and after nearly 60 years... to me.  

I'll be sure to hang on to their sweet little note... 
and treasure it always.

Hope you're having a Sweet Saturday!
Thanks for stopping by!

~ Read Janet Martin's poem 'Rags' 
partially inspired by this postcard. ~

Friday, January 6, 2012

Handmade & painted textures

Thought I'd share a few original 
textures created by my family.

Feel free to download any of the images, 
or recreate them yourself.

A few months ago, my son inspired 
the creation of herbal tea 'watercolors'.
First is the original, then in sepia. 

Not long after, my 6 year old daughter used acrylics 
to make a beautiful design with the palms of her hands... 

I figured it was my turn to try something 
a little different.  I used a broccoli floret for a brush.  
My favorite parts are the swirls created 
by twisting the broccoli. 

Below is a digital combination of all the textures.

I used our textures in digital collages, 
combined with beautiful sunflowers.
Here are the results...

I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday
Check it out to see what other artists are up to!
Thanks for stopping by & have a great day!