Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big Weekend!

Yep, this is it - the big weekend for summer. The one we've all been waiting for. The one I love to celebrate...

Canada Day of course - July 1st! There will be barbecues and fireworks and parades and (of course) lots of Canadian Beer. And Will and Kate are coming to Ottawa, our nation's capital, to help celebrate - what fun. Sadly, hubby and I are not making it to our homeland for the first time in many years - so we have to celebrate from afar.. and go to barbecues, fireworks and parades for July 4th instead (LOL). Whatever you plan to do, have a great (and safe) weekend...Cheers, Jewels.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Truly A Nice Week

...not a horrible week, not a stupendous week, just a really nice week with lots of little things to celebrate...
Like a great find at the Recycling Center - I've gotten to know the woman who manages it and she will some times tuck things away for me...
Like lovely old British magazines (here in Midland MI?) from the 1940's and 50's
Wonderful graphics for me to use...
And wonderful fashion spreads
There are  lots more but I think I will save them for my "art" (LOL). The ink comes off pretty easy - this is pretty old paper - not sure what to do to stabilize so looking for suggestions...

There was also an old Road Atlas - every page is a great shade of blue - good background papers...and at the Recycling Center - all they want is a small donation which I gladly give!

Kimberly's ATC showed up that I swapped for - the theme was Seaside Sweeties - she also made matching tags...
After a lot of rain (really, a lot) this week my garden is not looking too bad
The lilies are in bloom
And my front door chair is looking nice
Plus I have some new garden art - thrifted...
And new...

Today hubby and I did our first summer Saturday at the Farmers Market and then brunch at Cafe Zinc (pricey but worth it). We then headed over to Bay City to buy me a new pair of walking shoes - apparently I have to quit running (dang) as the knees can't handle it - so no more marathons (sniff, though I said I would never do it again anyways). Arn't these a lovely green. By the way, apparently there really is no difference between Running Shoes and Walking Shoes (unless the manufacturer does something specific) so I may sneak a little jog in here and there...
Finally, Miss Gwendoline - she is SO funny. Can you guess what she is fixated on (for over half an hour) in our back room? Nope, does not start with S. Nope does not start with B. Yes it starts with C (one of our resident chippy chipmunks). AND it had the nerve to stare right back at her - too funny. Enjoy Jewels

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cigarette Cards

Earlier I shared the ATCs that I made as part of the Royalty Mail Art exchange with Leslie and Beth.

The “kingly” images were one of those happy coincidences. My husband just so happens to have a book of Cigarette Cards from the 1930’s that his dad had collected. They cover a range of topics…

Kings and Queens of England
Radio Celebrities
And Movie Stars
My favorite are the wildflowers…which I also hope to copy and use in the near future (I would never use the originals – they will stay in this rather tattered journal).
There are dozens of them. Funny how we do everything now to discourage smoking through packaging. The new rules just adopted in the States will help with that (we've been doing it in Canada for quite some time). I did a quick check on the Internet – yes Cigarette Cards are a collector item though ours are not in pristine condition…

Not that it matters – they will stay with us for now (I certainly would not be able to retire by selling them, LOL). Enjoy. Jewels

Saturday, June 18, 2011

No Time

I really have NO time for putzin...none at all!
It's the weekend after all - so housework to do (argh) - this fella kinda reminds me of Don Draper - can you believe the next season for Mad Men is not until 2012 because of contract negotiations (that's two arghs)!!!
Groceries and other errands to run (argh) - I took a lovely hand made card I purchased from Barb last weekend (is that okay? Lenna would call it collaborative art :) I just want to give credit) and reinvented as an ATC - any ideas what the numbers I added are?
A trip to the vet for annual check up and shots (one argh from me, several from Miss Gwendoline) - this "Seaside Sweetie" is for a swap with Kimberly ...

...oh what the heck (everything, but the Vet, can wait)...Enjoy my latest ATCs.  I am up way past my bedtime...Jewels

Monday, June 13, 2011

Last of the Royalty

Leslie's mail art arrived over the weekend.

She has a wonderful picture of her Mum on the front. Her background is handpainted and stamped.
 The back has a "flower" she created (arrived all in one piece!) as well as ribbon. She used some interesting techniques with tissue paper to that don't show up as well. It celebrates Queen Elizabeth 1st.

She also included a little ATC - thanks Leslie. It was a fun swap! Enjoy, Jewels

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Just completed my latest Mail Art exchange with my Peeps in California (Leslie) and Michigan (Beth). They both received my interpretation of our theme for the month “Royalty”. I had already received Beth’s and I know Leslies’ is on its way. I was actually impressed how quickly and what good condition mine arrived given my Post Office (PO – which Beth says means Pissed Off too, LOL) challenges.
Jo gave me great directions for gel medium transfer which I used here. I had a postcard of Queen Victoria that I photocopied and then “transferred” on to wall paper. Here are Jo’s instructions which I followed and they worked (patience, it seems, has a lot to do with it – hard for someone like me who wants instant gratification!).

Using your inkjet printer, print off an image on regular paper (flip it if it has words or numbers to ensure they will end up the right way round). I actually colour photocopied my picture, though I could have scanned it first if I wanted to. Cut out the image as desired. Use Mod Podge gel medium, but you can use Golden too, cover the FRONT of the image evenly with the gel medium, not too thinly or thickly, for that matter. Place it face down on your page/artwork and brayer it to ensure total adhesion (I personally took a few seconds to really stick it down). Allow it to dry properly – Jo suggests overnight and I agree. I tried to hurry the process but got a much better transfer by just leaving it be. Then carefully dampen the paper and rub off the backing (I lightly blotted with a damp paper towel). Keep rubbing until you get the effect you desire. Different results are achieved depending on the surface the transfer is on – mine happens to be on wallpaper!Yes those are individual 1 inch squares I cut out using my little square “punch” machine (what was I thinking) – I got the idea from Ella Jane who used this technique on a journal cover that I really liked. Papers are from scrapbooking, old catalogs, books, stuff I printed out (We Are Not Amused)…
The back image is from a wall paper I found online and just loved – those Guards look like they are “dancing”. And we get a lot of mail from Britain delivered to Maple Hill so I have lots of the Royal Airmail stickers…Eveything was Mod Podged down to ensure it remained “stuck”!
I had a lot of fun with my little “gift” I included – a Royalty ATC (I’ll post more about those later)…
…and a fun idea from Kimberly on how to “wrap” – each ATC was put in a pocket with a letter to my friends. I really enjoyed this (though it took me a while to get going). Our next theme for July is “You Bug Me” and it has to be primarily hand drawn – should be interesting! No Picassos from me, that’s for sure! Enjoy. Jewels

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It Just Keeps Coming!

More cool things keep arriving at Maple Hill - I feel very fortunate...
Not to long ago Beth's "Royalty" Mail Art arrived - that's our theme for June (I just sent mine out but can't post pics till Leslie and Beth get theirs...)
She did a play on words (clever girl) - get it - Royal Tea!
The back is as nice as the front...
And she included a lovely little book as well with "tea quotes" in pockets.
It now sits with my tea cups in my Kitchen...
Another Beth I know sent me some vintage labels! I was bemoaning the fact I missed out on some she had for sale on Etsy - and guess what.
She just sent some on over - how nice was that! Notice the stamp (my Peeps are starting to know me so well, LOL)...By the way - Beth has art published TWICE this summer - both in Sew Somerset and Art Quilting Studio...

So Thanks to the Beths times two! You both made my day....Jewels

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Love Surprises..

...don't you. The nice ones of course. This past day I was lucky enough to recieve not one, but TWO, lovely surprises...
When I came home from work yesterday there was a package in the mail FILLED with vintage Valentine Cards.
They came from a member of our Guild who sadly lost her husband recently. She left Midland to be closer to her family.
The enclosed note said - I ran across these while packing and thought of you and your love for old things. These are probably 60 years old. I feel very lucky Caroline thought to send them to me - they will be well taken care of...
The other surprise is one I recieve once a year about this time - Roses from Hubby! He is a member of Kiwanis and this is the local chapters annual fundraiser. Thank you sweetie - they always put a smile on my face. And what a great way to start the weekend! Enjoy. Jewels

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekend Pics

We spent this past weekend in Canada at our favorite place. The weather was just wild going from high 30's F to over 90 F on the day we drove back (all in the space of 4 days!). Unfortunately the black flies (common this time of year) were out in full force which curtailed some of our walks around the harbour.
But I did manage to get out on one of the cooler and windy days (which helped).
Our area is known for wild orchids and flowers - the Trillium (did you know) is the official provincial flower of Ontario. There were plenty around. Unfortunately it has been a very cool and wet Spring so many of the other orchids I typically see were not out yet.

There were lots of lacey spider webs covered in morning dew...
Nature's own art!
A nice shot of the old Ice House on the neighbours property.

Did manage to pull some fresh asparagus from my very over grown garden.

On the way back we stopped for an outdoor lunch at a lake side park - don't know if you can tell how hazy it is over the water.
Miss Gwendoline, of course, couldn't care less - she was much more interested in left overs (LOL - you are so predictable my girl). Enjoy. Jewels