Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend in Nashville

Dh and I just got back today from Nashville. I won Employee of the Year(2007) for my hospital and the corporation gathers all winners from all of it's hospitals and treats them to a weekend at the Opryland Hotel. Their corporate offices are located in Nashville, so that's why there. At first, it didn't seem I was going to be able to participate in all this, since the hospital I work at is one of 9 being sold. So my hospital gave me money to take a trip, hence our weekend getaway to Helen, GA. On the day we arrived in Helen, I was called from work to be told that the corp. had changed their mind about me coming to Nashville! How wonderful was that! Two trips!

This weekend was amazing! We didn't have to pay for anything. We were wined and dined and were able to take a couple of tours on the company, as well. Friday evening was the awards banquet complete with entertainment by a talented group of performers some of whom were impersonator singers. I forgot the group name. I'll try to remember to look it up.

On Saturday morning, we took the historic mansions tour, where we saw the Belle Meade home, famous in the horse world, and then the Belle Monte mansion, . Lots of lovely antiques and 19th century furnishings, but we couldn't take pics inside. Then we were driven into Nashville, got to see some of downtown, like Music Row, and were then treated to lunch at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Saturday evening we had supper at the Wildhorse Saloon and then got to go to the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman. This was a wonderful experience! The performance lineup included: Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, Jack Greene, Dan Tyminski Band, Jo Dee Messina, Keith Anderson, Randy Owen, Tracy Byrd, The Whites, Jan Howard, The Time Jumpers, George Hamilton IV and V, Jesse McReynolds& the Virginia Boys, and Restless Heart. Not being a lifetime follower of country music, some of these were not known to me before, but every single one was so talented and the entire show was very enjoyable.

The Opryland Hotel itself is incredible and LARGE. It's almost incomprehensibly big and there are plans to add on to it.

Thrift store finds last week

Since I've not posted in a few days, guess I will need to catch up. It has been stressful at work lately, so I took off a little early one day so I could go by the Salvation Army store. There are no great thrift stores in our town anymore. The best one in our area is about 30 miles from my house and it just seems to far to drive when I'm off with gas so high. I envy all the yummy finds I see online on blogs. The S.A. store here is ok, as in they are fairly well organized and pretty clean, but if anything is vintage, as in even from the 80's, they have it marked like it is an antique. I have a flea market booth myself and some of this stuff is too tacky to even sell, much less have it priced so high. BUT, when I go back this tacky stuff is no longer there, so I guess, someone wants it that much, go figure. For example, they will have a sofa with ripped and stained fabric, not antique, just vintage, priced at $200.

Oh well, my finds were 2 gingham aprons-$2 each, bird plaques(that I want to "antique"with white paint), a book box complete with note cards for only $1(it's pretty as is, but I may alter it one day), and several baggies of scrapbook or teacher scraps for 25 cents a bag.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Skinny Book Swap

I have been waiting to post this until the book was swapped out and I got mine today, so I'm going to post my page anyway. I'll take pics or scans of the book later on, as I get time.

I participated in Book 4 of Chrysti H. of the Altered Abbey's Skinny Book swaps as was announced in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. This was the last deadlined swap I signed up for, as during the process of getting this one done and another calendar swap done, both my Dad and my Mom's health declined. I have become superstitious about signing up again for a swap with a deadline, cause it seems like things always go wrong. If Chrysti had not extended the deadline some because of people dropping out, it would have been hard for me to get these pages done.

Well, I received the completed book today and it is so gorgeous! It will take me a while to really go through it and look at each page and each artist and take it all in.

Today's pic is my page except I guess one or perhaps more people got pages without the wording on them I intended it to have as this scan didn't and I didn't notice it until I'd mailed all the pages to Chrysti. There is supposed to be a banner that says "you could see her soul within her eyes" on the collaged pieces below the girl. The girl is a drawing I did from a National Geographic photo several years ago. She reminds me of my Mom as a little girl and even myself some when I was young, except that I never had long hair when I was that age. The background is collaged & whitewashed pieces from a vintage French textbook and then it is embellished with some torn ephemera like vintage music, letters, and flowers made from the same vintage letters and old buttons. After seeing all the wonderful pages in the completed book, I really hope others are not disappointed in mine. Well, it was what the muse brought to me at the time, so there it is.

Thanks to Chrysti for all her hard work in getting these books together, as it seems like it was really hard due to people dropping out completely after committing. I appreciate getting to particpate in it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I have won, too!

I can't believe it! I have won 2 prizes so far. The first was a really awesome pair of earrings from Gemma. You can see the paint brush earrings here
Aren't they they coolest?

And, I just found out I won a beautiful handpainted mirror from Lisa Oceandreamer, who sponsored the whole OWOH event. For the winner announcement, she has written a story which you can see here:
and the mirrors can be seen here:

Later in the afternoon, I won a 3rd prize! A very special breast cancer awareness atc from Wendy. You can see it here
This will be special to me, cause I have lost a grandmother, first cousin, and friend to breast cancer.

I am almost beyond words. As I told Lisa, these will be special remembrances of a special event and I will always treasure them.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I drew the winners of prizes this morning and have notified them, either by email or on their blog. The winners are:

she won the first drawing which was for the decoupaged/collaged heart box

Jo Ann at
who won my second drawing for the collage tag canvas

Congratulations to both of them!

Thanks to all the participants for their generosity and to Lisa for all the hard work she put into making the One World One Heart giveaway work. It has been a very fun & exciting event for me, being new to having a blog. I plan on going back and spending more time on the OWOH blogs as I didn't do more than just scan them quickly so far and I know I just touched the tip of an iceberg of wonderful information about some wonderful people.

Today's pic is some Valentine's decorating I did last year, I think. I've been bad this time and not really put anything out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thrilled with response to OWOH giveaway

I joined up, but feared that no one would find their way to my blog or would look and not be interested! So I am thrilled with the 84(as of 9pm, Monday) entries! I thank all of you for your sweet compliments about my art and blog. It is so kind of you to take the time to offer encouragement and much appreciated.

If the entries go over 100, I will be giving away both prizes, the heart box and the tag collage, along with a few surprises as well. I have tried to enter the giveaways of all those who posted entries on my blog that were participants. If I missed one, it was accidental or on a couple, I was having trouble with the blog hosting site(usually blogger) not letting me pull up the comments part to be able to leave one. It probably has to do with my dial up connection speed and not with the blogger part, actually, now that I think on it.

There are so many wonderful and talented people offering up some amazing prizes. I keep thinking surely I will be lucky enough to win just one prize, but it is as much fun, if not more, giving away a prize(s) as it is hoping to win one. It's kind of like Christmas, when I will wait to open my gifts until I've watched all my family open their's first, cause that is the "bestest" part of all.

On to another subject completely. You all may laugh when you read this, but I get blockbuster movies through the mail(not the funny part), and I just last night started watching the Electric Company episodes that I had gotten. Was bummed out that the first season disc 1 was broken, so I had to start with Disc 2. I remembered watching this as a family grwoing up and so thought I must have been perhaps a preteen when it came on. Upon hearing the dates of production, 1973 or so the beginning, I believe, I realized I was a teenager when I watched this the first time. While at Mom's this evening, I remarked on this, and she said she remembered us all watching it, Dad included, and totally enjoying it as entertainment. My brothers are only 16 months and 4 years younger than me, so we were all past the learning-to-read age for which the show was produced. I had forgotten that Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman were on that show. Wow, they looked so young then! Remember Fargo North Decoder? It was a really cool show!

Also, I have been renting the episodes of Northern Exposure. I will note that I hardly ever watch TV and when that show first aired we were busy in the life of raising 2 girls, approaching teen years, and very involved in school activities. Also, I worked third shift, and so watched even less TV than I do now. Dh and I had caught some episodes in rerun and I loved those, so it dawned on me to check with Blockbuster and see if they had any to rent. I have watched a couple of seasons now and have to say that is some of the best TV I've ever seen. The acting is good, the scripts are very clever and intellectual. It is funny, sad, and entertaining. In a little internet browsing, I've discovered the same people who brought us St. Elsewhere also did Northern Exposure. St. Elsewhere was a show that I did manage to watch when it aired the first time. I did miss some episodes, but watched a lot of them. They are alike in that they are often quirky and catch you off guard with events or themes. Is there anything like this on the air today? I would love to know if anyone knows of a similar type show.

Oh well, I'll quit rambling. It's been a long day, but YEAH, I'm off tomorrow and the next day. For today's pic, I'm cheating and posting a skinny book page that I did a few months ago. The them was postage. Since this one was about love, I thought it might do for Valentine's.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

One World One Heart Giveaway

I am excited about participating in this. This is a webwide event being sponsored by Lisa Oceandreamer. The concept behind this program is to bring people together by linking those participants creating a web within the web. All you have to do to be a part is explained in detail at the One World One Heart blog and since I'm not sure of the rules of copying that material here, I will let you go there and read for yourself.

I am a new blogger, so please forgive any amateurishness of my posting or blog. Hopefully there will be some interest. For my giveaway, I am offering a collaged/decoupaged papier-mache heart-shaped box. When I first thought of joining in, I couldn't think of anything I had done that anyone would want. Then I remembered this box which I had started and decided that it would fit right in with the theme and the date of the giveaway. So on February 14th, I will draw a number and give this box away, that is, if anyone signs up, lol! The box is decorated with various bits including vintage postage, a vintage stamp, and pieces of ephemera and paper. It is antiqued with gesso and paints and glazes, both inside and out and top and bottom. I will also be including some extra surprises so that I am not just sending an empty box. Please make sure there is a way to contact you, so no anonymous posts. I will let you know you've won, so you can send me your mailing address.

I will mention that I do have pets, 2 dogs and a cat, just in case someone has animal allergies. I did my best to avoid including any pet hair in the making of the box, but you never know. My kitty likes to jump on my art table to supervise.

Thanks for checking out my blog and participating in my giveaway.

Editing to add I will end the drawing as of 8am CST on the morning of the 14th. Hopefully I'll be drawing and announcing the winner that morning before lunch, as I will be going to help my Mom some that afternoon, since it is my day off.

I am amazed that I am getting as many responses, since my blog is very new and not very out there. If the number goes above 100, I will give away a 2nd prize, which will be the tag collage which I posted about previously. Hope that this will be an acceptable prize, even though not very Valentine-ish. It is 3 coffee-aged tags collaged and glued to a antiqued map-covered canvas. It ended up being about immigration. My grandfather immigrated to the US around 1900 from what was then Germany(he was just a young boy). So this piece made me think of them coming into New York all those years ago.

Here is a pic of that prize possibility

Not sure why that is not clickable to make it bigger, but here is a link to the original post so you can see the canvas better.

Valentine Image Giveaway

For the last couple of years, I've wanted to do this, but didn't have a blog yet, so that I could include the link to be able to participate. Lisa Vollrath is kind enough to share the images in return only for linking to the site on your blog. Find the link here:

She is a very generous person with her art and how-to instructions, taking a lot of time to make them easy to understand. I've had her sites saved as favorites for a long time.

Friday, February 8, 2008


A long busy week at work is now over! Lots of sick people! Please take care of yourself and your loved ones! Take your vitamins! Such stuff as mono, strep, flu, pneumonia and then the complications from those illnesses.

I've just discovered the One World, One Heart Blog giveaway. I would love to participate in giving something away, so I'm going to have to think on it to come up with something. It may have to be a collage/assemblage art pack or something similar, cause I'm not sure I have anything like a completed piece of art that anyone would want or that I would want to give away.

Today's art is one I ended up giving my Mom because I wanted her to know how much I admired her. She raised us in the 60's with an advanced for the time view of home responsibilities, that is, there were no men's jobs or women's jobs. My brothers and I shared in jobs around the home, like cleaning, mowing the yard, helping in the garden, etc. Unlike how my dh was raised, where men did the outside jobs, like mowing and carrying out the trash(see how limited male responsibilites were in his upbringing) and women did everything else like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping,etc, etc. etc. My brothers turned out to be great husbands(as far as I know, anyways, lol!). I, on the other hand, entered into marriage with unreal expectations, I guess, about how spousal roles would be, given my dh's spoiled raising. The only thing he ever had to do in the house, was help straighten up his room. So, though I love my husband, and he has gotten better over the years, this created the major source of stress in our marriage for years.
Well, you can see that is a sensitive subject for me, since I rambled on about it so much. To get back to this collage piece, I started out with a National Geo map glued on a piece of matboard and then layered a gold tissue paper over it. A Breck woman takes center stage along with a vintage postcard of a flower, bits of other ephemera, and her crown is metal from a rusted air filter with the jewels being loose cabochons(?sp).

Friday, February 1, 2008

Who Is He?

This is an assemblage piece, one of the first. Actually I've only done a few so far. This one came together after just getting a man's valet tray, at least I think that is what it is, and wanting to do something with it. In a matter of just an hour or so, it was done. The bottom is a domino box that slides open to reveal a withered knot from a tree branch, with the roman numeral 3 to symbolize the trinity. Most of the symbolism will be obvious so I won't bore you with all of it. There is a glare in the photo and it looks like I need to do better with the Windex on cleaning the old mirror behind it. I set up the vintage cross-stitched silhouettes on either side to represent our search for truth.

Relaxing day

Enjoying a long, lazy day of being a slug in a cabin in the mountains of northern Georgia with my dh. We plan on shopping and sightseeing this weekend so we gave ourselves permission to relax today. Or I should say I gave myself permission, as my dh doesn't have the female guilt problem that I do with allowing such a thing as a day with no purpose.

I've finished a book that I'd been reading on a while, Postcards. Started on another, Chasing Dragonflies, and enjoying wireless internet, which is way cool. We have dialup at home and this is so great to visit all the blogs, many of which must have large file-sized pics, and see pages load instantly complete with lovely photos and not blank boxes with red x's. Because, of course, almost everyone has high speed connections these days and most of you won't even know what I'm talking about. At the same time I am enjoying this feast of blogness, I am listening to Pandora online radio, with my own customized music station, and wonder of wonders it is streaming music with not a single skip. Dh even got to listen to one of his sport analyst's radio broadcast this afternoon online which he wouldn't have been able to pick up in this state on the radio. Also, the cabin has a large flat screen HDTV with movie channels, so he is going to be spoiled rotten by that. Life in the 21st century is pretty amazing.

I don't have any scans of my stuff on my laptop, but I do have a few pics taken of earlier work. Today's pic is a 4x4 page done for a chunky book, Faces, in which I did all different pages. Think it was 25 or so.

Talked to my Mom and she said it rained back home, so that is wonderful to hear. It rained here most of the evening yesterday, but after a year of seeing so little rain, it was comforting to hear.

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