Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Building Block Houses....

Oh, I just love making these little guys! I decided to go ahead and make a set for Christmas, Halloween and an Americana set for all the patriotic holidays! I continued using all sorts of ephemera to cover the sides and bottoms of the houses. A large variety of three dimension items such as rusty stars, an old brass key, buttons and typewriter keys were used for embellishment. I am going to make a set with a chicken/rooster/egg theme for my kitchen I do believe. My dearest put his foot down sometime back about halting the addition of any more feather fowl there but these will be small so maybe I can sneak them in!!!! :o)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little Building Block Houses

I found a bag of the most precious old building blocks at "the yellow house" antique shop last week and I am just now getting to play with them. Isn't it fun to take something and turn it this way and that until that little light bulb in your head goes off and you have idea??!!!??? That is exactly what happened with these little houses. Actually, my work space was a huge mess with buttons and snippets of papers scattered here and there. Out of that mess came my idea for the blocks and since my band saw is only a paintbrush throw away from where I work, I was sawing then sanding to add even more "age" to the blocks. Here is what I came up with. A little prim village of cottages covered with ephemera, antique buttons and stamps. I think I am going to make a set for each season.... Christmas, Halloween, Easter, 4th of July!!!!! FUN! FUN! FUN! The workspace will stay in disarray for a while longer ---- I am having a swell time!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

God Bless Our Native Land
Frances E. W. Harper

God bless our native land,
Land of the newly free,
Oh may she ever stand
For truth and liberty.

God bless our native land,
Where sleep our kindred dead,
Let peace at thy command
Above their graves be shed.

God help our native land,
Bring surcease to her strife,
And shower from thy hand
A more abundant life.

God bless our native land,
Her homes and children bless,
Oh may she ever stand
For truth and righteousness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prim Chicken Gourd - Miss Pitty Pat

I love painting on gourds!!! They are all unique in their own way and when cleaned, the surface is like silk! My stash is running low, but the Farmer's Market is up an running, so my gourd man will be back and I will be a happy, happy girl.

Turning an otherwise hum-drum gourd into a chicken is so much fun (and I give them all names). I decided to take my new favorite Terrye French design and see if I could paint it on a gourd. I am happy with the way this little lady turned out. Her beak, comb and tail are cut from wood (this takes some time, but well worth the effort). Her shawl is a piece of tatted lace and it is tied with a homespun "ribbon". She sits on a nest that rests on an old bed spring.
Stay tuned..... I am going to paint another chicken tomorrow. I think I feel a new trend taking shape in the studio!

Bliss at the shore....

We are home from our lovely beach trip. The planets were in alignment and the weather was just fabulous! Although there were forecasts of rain and thunderstorms, we had glorious days of sunshine and nights with twinkling stars. The food was wonderful --- we ate some of the best seafood ever!!! I am going to share a recipe for the lobster ravioli with you. Oh my, what a treat for the tastebuds.

I went to all my favorite shops, including Pickets. This sweet garden shop located in Seagrove is filled with the most unique things to delight lovers of rabbits and bunnies. The gardens surrounding the shop are filled with bunny fountains, sculptures and flowers growing in wild abandon.

Our "family photo" for this trip is a bit unusual.... I decided to take a picture of our feet in the swirling water and sugar sand. You can probably guess that I am the one with the toe ring and coral nail polish!!! Who says you can't throw caution to the wind at the beach??? The photo at the top is our beautiful Megan.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are we there yet???

The bags are packed and snacks are in the picnic basket. We are ready to leave early in the morning for our much anticipated first trip of the year to the Gulf Coast. The weather report says we might have rain, but we don't care a bit --- Rain or shine we love the seaside. Have a wonderful remainder of this week everyone. I will breeze back late on Sunday so hold down the fort in blog land while I am gone. Hugs and kisses to all of you!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Everything Old is New Again!

My vision problems have calmed down (I thank your for all your prayers and words of encouragement). I had a wonderful day painting on some "treasures" I found last week at my favorite little shop. Oh how I wish you could come a ramble through it with me.... it is an old yellow house just filled to the brim with all sorts of wonderful things. I spend hours there, just pouring over all the findings, thinking about what I could do with them. So, back to my painting.... I found a cake cover, a funnel and an old enamel lid. Here is what I came up with:

The lid is painted with a new Terrye French design. I just fell in love with her "Old Muslin Chicken" and had a great time painting her. The lid is now a towel holder but I think an old piece of lace or some old hankies would look just as nice.

The next whimsy is a funnel. I always think of my dear father-in-law who had a large cotton farm "back in the day" when I find pieces like this. He had all sorts of wonderful things in his barns and tool sheds. Oh, what were we thinking when we walked right past them and didn't even look their way??? I know he would have a good laugh about me painting on something as insignificant as a funnel.

Finally, I painted an old aluminum cake cover. Rarely do I find one without a few dents here and there, but this one was absolutely perfect! I love to paint on black backgrounds and this one was great fun to do. The wood knob is original to the piece and such a nice, warm wood tone, that I left it as it is.

Today I am meeting friends for lunch (I wish you all could come too!) and then going back on another treasure hunt at the yellow house. I have inquiries about painting an old watering can and another kerosene can, so those top the "must find" list. But..... who knows what other gems will be calling my name? Oh goodness, what fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Dear Blogging Girlfriends....

Oh, how I apologize to each and everyone of you for not keeping up with everyone in "blog land". I have been plagued by eye problems. I am so afraid that I will be "out of commission" for awhile that I am staying in the studio for hours and hours painting. That is certainly no excuse for slighting your lovely comments or not being here to visit your beautiful blogs. Won't you please forgive me? I promise to be back on schedule soon.... I am keeping my fingers crossed (as well as sending up many prayers) that everything will soon be right again with this dreadful retina situation. Patience is certainly not one of my virtues.

Monday, May 4, 2009

WOOOO HOOOO!!! My 150th Sale on Etsy!!!!

When I started selling my whimsies on Etsy, I had no expectations. I opened the little shop at the urging of my family and friends, mainly just to prove to myself and to them that I could do it! I had a sad "el cheapo" digital camera and absolutely no idea how to go about setting up for successful photographs but I decided that I would give it my best shot.

I have been totally shocked at the response to Apple Tree Cottage. I sold my 150th piece today and I want to CELEBRATE!!!!! This is a milestone for me ... what fun it is to putter around in my little craft space, spending my days doing what I love best. I am living a charmed life and I love it! Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me as my blogging family. You have been super!

Peter Rabbit Altered Book Birdhouse

One of dear Megan's favorite books when she was little was Peter Rabbit. so beautifully written by that gentle English Author, Beatrix Potter. I took a book that I found at a second hand store and turned it into the roof for a wood birdhouse. Although the book had fallen prey to crayon markings throughout, I was able to rescue some of the illustrations to decoupage on the sides of the piece. Other pieces of ephemera are scattered here and there. I gave a little extra dimension to the roof by adding a small compass and a glass bubble that covers a little picture of Peter munching happily on Mr. McGregor's carrots. I read of my friend, Bluebell, rambling across England and try to picture Miss Potter's countryside and what it must be like there. Oh, in my dreams, I go there to see all those bunnies and bugs she loved to draw.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beautiful Seaside/Seagrove Beach, Florida

I love to walk by the seashore,
On the clean white sand so bare.
I love to walk by the rippling waves
For I find refuge there.
I love to walk by the seashore
When a white fog's in the air:
when a pallid mist o' shadows the beach
And no breeze is stirring there.
I love to walk by the seashore
And watch the waves in motion,
I love the sea in all its moods
For God made the mighty ocean.

Come May 1 we begin to yearn for the sugar sands and peace we find on the Gulf of Mexico. We plan two trips (or more if we are lucky!) to our favorite beach on the planet at Seagrove, Florida. If you saw the movie, "The Truman Show", then you know how beautiful Seaside is. There is nothing better than walking on the beach early in the morning, watching the dolphins play as we make our way to Modica's Market in Seaside to have a cup of coffee and a lovely pastry. The atmosphere is so wonderful there.

We are off in a couple of weeks for our first trip. We will go again for a week with our family from Texas in July, but this time it is "just us". Breakfast at "Another Broken Egg" in Grayton Beach, seafood at "Captain Anderson's" in Panama City, more coffee at Modica's.... oh, let me go pack!!!