Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden and Another First!

Well I know many of you will say "what's the fuss, we've been at it for ages" but this past weekend was the really first decent one to get into my garden. My mother always says "Don't plant before Victoria Day" and this year was no exception!
Lots to do including inventory of last year's pots, purchasing of annuals, general clean up.
I seem to be invaded by Violets suddenly. Last year I planted one (ONE) pack and it has spread like wildfire - not that I mind - they are so pretty and will last.. Will probably live to regret it.
Otherwise, nothing is really in bloom so no more pics - except for my latest "garden art" - hubby and I picked this up last year on our jaunt up north to Frankfort, MI...Reminds me of all our Monarchs at the cottage!
As for my first (I've had so many in the past year) - a mail exchange of ATCs. Isn't this lovely from Kim who does a weekly Tuesday swap! I also appreciate very much the packaging - I think it really shows how much people care when they take the time to "pretty things up" before they pop in the mail. Kim's them was Lavender and Lace - and when I opened her envelope there was a wonderful fragrance from the lavender seeds she included.

And this is what I sent in exchange from my own collection (actually this one is mine - I had extras I made last year). Think I will do this again! Enjoy, Jewels

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Book Delivery

Wahoo! My Little Books for Lenna's swap arrived safe and sound (separation anxiety is, well, a pain!).

I wanted to box it up nice for Lenna as I know she loves getting Mail Art - and I had some fun with the book theme!
I also made Lenna a little hostess gift with one of my favorite quotes from Louisa May Alcott (sounds like something Aunt March would say?). Yep thats good ole Dewey Decimal in the background (what else would you expect from a librarian LOL). Can't wait till everyone sends theirs in so Lenna can start sending them back out! Cheers, Jewels

Monday, May 16, 2011

I've got MAIL!

Recently Leslie asked if anyone would be interested in starting a Mail Art Exchange with her. Because I have absolutely nothing else to do (yeah, sure), I immediately signed up.

I agree with Leslie, it so much nicer to recieve "fun" things in the mail. I've been very envious of the great stuff Jo and Lenna receive...For our first exchange we did a little "getting to know you" and provided information on our home towns. This was Leslie's lovely mail from California - the lamb did arrive "decapitated" but fortunately I was able to recover the poor head stuck to another piece of mail - immediate surgery was required! The back is cool too - I get a little glimpse of her studio, and the artist herself. Leslie added a few items
for my ephemera collection.

Beth also decided to join us - turns out she is just up the proverbial road from me in the wonderful state of Michigan. I love how she spelt out my address with letters - and I think those little Scotty Dogs are just grand (I'm a sucker for Scotty Dogs - but don't tell Miss Gwendoline). Beth was also kind enough to tuck a few things into her envelope.

Mary, who happens to live in the same town as Beth, participated too. She bravely stuck fake snow amongst other things on to her envelope! And it all arrived just fine. Note the little fabric square - turns out we are both quilters. Sounds like she is a cat lover to (x 4!)

I did a little twist on mine as I was heading to my second home in Canada - so my mail was international.

What can I say, I'm very proud of my retirement home "to be"!
Funny but it turns out Beth and Leslie (who grew up in Ypsilanti) both are familiar with Ontario - it really is a small world!
We are off to a good start. Our first official theme is Royalty as a tribute to Kate and Will (just seemed right LOL). Of course its a theme that could take you in a gazillion directions so everyone has been having fun coming up with their designs. Enjoy! Jewels (p.s. if this post seems a little out of whack - IT IS - I am really fighting Blogger these days - the new way to load photos is just not working for me - any and all advise welcome!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Little Book Swap

Creative Lenna started a Little Book Swap a few weeks back. I've never made books like this before so I thought I would give it a go - and have learned a lot along the way...

My first book came together quite by accident. I had thrifted some old stationary just when the swap started and thought it would be ideal as a book cover. I did trim it down a bit to be a truly small book.

I used a technique I learned from Lenna using napkins to decorate the inside cover of the card.

My last post I shared the 4 ATCs I made to put inside - didn't they turn out well!

The facing pages are old sheet music and stamped with gold ink. Actually I used a lot of ink on this book!

The front cover with the message to "enter". The back cover includes a vintage stamp - hard to tell from the photos but there is just a trace of red throughout the book so this actually matches everything well. Anywho for my first book I was pretty happy. (Finished size 3 1/2 x 5 1/2)
Now my second book is entirely different. I used a one page technique (specific folding and cutting creates a four page book - very cool) which through trial and error finally got everything to line up properly. I have this old Danish gardening book that I thought I would use, just to be different. Use the Google Translator to find out what the title is.

This shot shows the back cover - the little graphic is from a Danish gardening association.

I think the inside pages kind of give away the type of gardening the book was all about. The text pages are originals that I treated with gesso and paints - you can't tell from the photos but it adds some subtle colour. Just hope the person who gets this likes it! (Finished size 2 3/4 x 4 1/4)
I'm debating a third book but the clock is ticking and I really need to get these in the post before Lenna's June deadline. It has been a lot of fun trying something different!
Mind what your doing! Jewels

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wow - A Week...

...has gone by already since we came back from Vacation. We had a splendid time despite rather wet weather (Miss Gwendoline agrees). Ate, drank, watched (as best we could on our poor old TV) the wedding - and slept an awful lot.

When we arrived we found our newly installed woodstove which we had not seen yet -isn't it lovely! And such a difference.

Plenty of animals arounds - herons, geese, a crazy woodpecker who thought our steel roof was a good way to get our attention (the rat a tat tat was something else) and Jack Rabbits EVERYWHERE - including this fellow dining on our sceptic bed. There was some snow still at the start but the rain and temperatures finally took care of it all.

Our little harbour was actually pretty low when we first arrived, but all the rain seemed to bring the levels back up looking at the before/after pics.
Got the canoe out of our living room (LOL) - you can see it out on the deck.

The village was pretty quiet but the locals were obviously starting to get ready for the season - a lot of cleaning up going on.
The Pub that burned down last Fall is slowly being built up again which everyone was very happy about - they hope to open again mid Summer.

And I got some art projects in - Mail Art to folks I am exchanging with... more on that later

Progress (?) I hope on my Little Book Swap - these ATCs are going into one of them...

And some other ATCs "just because"...

We took The Tank and she did really well but needed a good "bath" when we got back. I'm hoping to catch up this weekend and get life back to normal - though I am seeing ALOT of yard work that needs to get done (sigh, it never ends!). Heard my new favorite phrase on BBC1 the other day - to all my friends "Mind what your doing". Cheers, Jewels...