Sunday, February 13, 2011


Just a short post to explain my absentee-ism.  Not being a fan of winter, and having a studio in a separate building from my home (that has heat/air, but requires an hour or so to have an affect once it's turned on ... and additional $$$ on the electric bill), I've been in "hibernation" waiting on spring, and warmer weather, to arrive.  Look forward to returning soon.  Happy Valentine's Day to each of you!

PS: Today, I'm on a quest to find an online art class that will offer a glimpse of some new techniques, and not require too many supplies to be transferred from my studio to my computer desk, ;).  I would love any recommendations you may have to offer!

Monday, December 27, 2010

1st Christmas Snow Since 1969!

I'm hoping everyone had a happy and safe Christmas with family and friends, as I look out upon our latest snow storm ... that happened to fall Christmas Day, ;).  We haven't had snow in mid-North Carolina on Christmas Day since 1969 ... when I was 3 yrs old and thus have no recollection of it, so I was beyond THRILLED to see snow falling on this year's Christmas Day.  We stayed home for the holiday, with my mother-in-law joining us for Christmas dinner that we'll be eating off of all week, but afterwards we just couldn't resist taking our "children" out to play in it, and hopefully get a good picture for next year's Christmas card!  So, I share with you pictures of Boomer and Gracie, our 4-yr-old Labrador Retrievers ... whom just happen to LOVE snow, just like their Mom.

Their Daddy made snow balls for them, to throw ... but Boom, being a bit lazy and "thrifty" like his Mom, grabbed this one out of Daddy's hand before it could be thrown, and then quickly gobbled it up like it was the best Popsicle he'd ever tasted.

Gracie Sue had to fight for her snowballs, ... but she won!  It was so fun watching them play in the powdery snow, and made our Christmas that much more special.  Without children (i.e., doggies), life would not be the same.

So then we made them pose for a few more "Christmas Card" shots, poor children.
A snowball or a treat helped to get these poses, no doubt.  However Boomer is so black that alot of "back lighting" was required to see him, more than a blurb of black fur.

Gracie wore her festive collar proudly, while Boomer would not have anything to do with it ... boys, phewy!

So this morning, we're left with 3" of snow ... but I promise it was more yesterday, ;).  Three inches, five inches ~~ whatever ~~ the children are still ready to play!
Here's wishing each of you a special Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year filled with much prosperity and success!  Thank you for visiting "my children" and me here.  Now I'm off to see what I can accomplish today, after a day of leisure around the house yesterday, ;).  Hugs ~~ Jeanne

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas...Card!

Since I can't mail a card to each of you, here is my "greeting card" to each of you ~~ "May we each find peace and always."  Wishing each of you the very best of Christmases, and a wonderful 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Time!

Yes, Christmas is coming quickly ... only days away now.  I've been busy preparing, at work and home, and am looking forward to this year's first "Christmas gathering" at my home tonite with my niece and great niece.  In all the rush, I realized I haven't posted in awhile, so I will share a few pics from my "first job," at River Twist where I spend the greatest portion of my time as a sales associate.  We've had three weeks of festivities within the shop, with many friends and family visiting us during our weekly Sip 'n Shops, and we're very thankful for everyone whom has visited us, as well as those whom may appreciate us otherwise.  The above photo is a pic of one of my favorite pieces; it's a Mark Roberts original of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus that I think is grand.

This is a display at the shop, that includes a sign painted by my boss that I love ... "Darn, I forgot to be good," among many of the Mark Roberts fairies that we stock, as well as several moss reindeer that sport some of the fairies...and a few Sid Dickens memory blocks on the wall in the background.

  It wouldn't be appropriate to show pictures of River Twist's shop without including a tree displaying some of our owner's favorite colors ~~ amber, yes, amber!  Admittedly, it's grown on my in the past several years, and is very pretty when combined with red.  This is a tree that graces our back entryway.

And this is a site that has graced us twice in the last two weeks ... just a dusting of snow that has been gorgeous when falling, and has quickly dissipated so as not to cause too much difficulty with traveling.  This photo was taken of the rooftop of my husband's "storage" building.  I love snow falling, as it reminds me of Christmas and the mountains of NC.

These are a few of the gifts that I adorned with some of my book-page posies.  I love these packages ... and wish I had more time to make more posies to go on them!

I hope everyone each of you has a fabulous Christmas/Holiday Season, and finds much to be happy about through the season.  Merry Christmas to all of you!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Spirit

Admittedly, I don't decorate for Christmas at home (shame on me, I know!) considering I don't have children, very few guests ... and two doggies with big tails that prove to be "weapons of mass destruction."  However, both of the shops where I work are fully decked out, very festive, and thus I enjoy their decorations and still feel like "I have decorated" nonetheless!  Above is an old rusty iron urn filled with fresh cut holly that resides outside of Beverly's Down The Hill, although the urn and iron base are from!/pages/Jamestown-NC/River-Twist/70403216527 ~~ much prettier in person, I must say.  (And YES that's a vintage shutter with a moon and diamond cut out behind the urn ... just waiting for a creative soul to add it to their treasures!)

When I walk in Beverly's front door, to the left of the entry, I see this beautiful holiday display.
This Christmas Tree is decorated with vintage ornaments that bring back memories of trees we had at home during my childhood.  The white piece of furniture is a BEAUTIFUL "secretary" with stained glass and wood panel insets; I love this piece.

Below is another view of the entryway.
I apologize for the lack of photographic "abilities" in this lighting, but I just couldn't resist sharing this photo as it shows a glimpse of a beautiful mantel that my "big sister"/coworker recently painted that is stunning IRL, and mimics an earlier piece she did shown below, in better lighting:
This was a kitchen cabinet out of an old castle from a local country club ... that looked NOTHING like this before Marcia painted it, and it is the talk of the shop currently ... and looks much better in person.  (Gosh, I need some photography lessons!)

Following, are the Christmas decorations Marcia put together for the dining room table.
The palm trees that we decorated with lights and white poinsettias can be seen the the left foreground.  What fun!

And, now to take you back in time a bit further, the following is a photo of a "retro"  Christmas Tree:
Remember these white trees ... with the spinning color wheel underneath it???  And what about that television, lol?  This definitely takes me back to my childhood, in a good way.

Lastly, I FINALLY began my Christmas shopping with more purchases from Tasteful Designs!

Vintage flatware upfitted into letter openers and key chains ... along with a wrapped Baby Spoon Ring (for me, ;-)!  I'm hoping this artisan will return to the shop this week, so I can purchase some more gifts from him ... now that I've actually created a shopping list and know what I need.

So today, I'm off to embarrassingly shop the "Big Box" shops, as my nine-year-old great-niece wants another Moleskine art journal and journaling supplies, and I've GOT to hit that Department Store for some Lancome facial cleanser ~~ gosh I hate shopping the big stores.  But sometimes it's necessary, I suppose.

Afterwards, I will work on addressing my handmade Christmas cards, and HOPE to draw enough inspiration to attempt to gesso the face of my current girl on canvas that currently has the Big Googly Eyes, ;)

Wishing each of you Happy Holiday Season (I suppose it's too soon to say "Merry Christmas") and much creativity with all of your endeavors!  Happy Holiday Hugs to each of you!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gifts and Such

Oh, it's the season of giving!  Unfortunately, and admittedly, I find that I discover more items for myself ... than others ... during this shopping season.  That proved to be true on Small Business Saturday at the shop ... when a local artisan came in to solicit our owner to carry their unique, handcrafted fork and spoon jewelry items.  The shop's owner was on vacation in Aruba, and thus not available, and the owner is our sole purchaser.  Admittedly, I ignored them at first, KNOWING that I would want at least one of their pieces for MYSELF.  But, after several minutes of constraint, I just couldn't help but admire the pieces of jewelry that the father, mother, and daughter were wearing!  The father makes all of the pieces himself, being inspired by his daughter whom encouraged him to make her a spoon ring a couple of years ago, and as they say, the rest is history!  I LOVED his work, and just couldn't let them get away without purchasing a piece.  I convinced myself that I "had" to have a piece, not only to enjoy personally, but ALSO to show our shop's owner what unique pieces they have to offer in our shop, ;)!  I loved that he was including vintage keys into many of his pieces, and thus those pieces are what caught my eye and held my attention.  Although the fully-wrapped rings he had made from baby spoons (even your OWN baby spoon, if you still have it around for him to use for you!), were another attention grapper for me, as were several other pieces, but I had to remain focused, as I didn't have much to spend ... on myself.  So I selected the above pictured bracelet as my purchase piece for myself, ;) ... but my coworker did his best to convince me that I needed the matching pendant to go with it.  While I would have DIED to have both, I stated that I just couldn't justify buying TWO pieces for myself (remembering that I was SUPPOSED to be buying for others during this season).  As I rustled to get the correct change to pay the artisan, my coworker whipped out his wallet, and said, "I owe you a birthday gift anyway," and preceded to pay for BOTH pieces!!!  I was SO grateful ~~ what AWESOME pressies, right?  I want to wear them daily!  Here's another shot of them, showing a slightly different view.
They are such unique and beautiful pieces, that totally fit with my newest obsession for vintage silver "serving pieces" ;).  And ... I HOPE to obtain a gift from this artisan ... for someone on my gift list whom LOVED them also, ;)!  Although the piece in mind was a one-of-a-kind piece that the artisan wasn't ready to sell, ...but I hope he will change his mind!  It was a GORGEOUS bracelet, made from 4 forks (if my recollection is correct) interlocked with a vintage key ~~ so stunning!  If you would like to see more of this artisan's work, he has a Facebook page that can be found under Tasteful Designs Jewelry or (if this link doesn't work for you) search for "Tasteful Designs Jewelry" on Facebook!  His page is new, and he doesn't have pics of his pieces wrapped with vintage keys, but hopefully he will soon.

So, reverting back to Small Business Saturday, I HAVE to tell you about it ... if you haven't already heard so. American Express sponsored this past Saturday as a day devoted to Small Businesses, in which AMEX would credit their cardholders $25 on their statements if $25+ was purchased using their AMEX card on this past Saturday at a Small Business ... HOWEVER, they have now EXTENDED the deadline for purchasing through DECEMBER 31, 2010!!!  What an AWESOME thing!!!  For artisans whom accept AMEX, this applies to YOU also, so get the word out!!!  This is a great way for folks to obtain a "free" gift for someone on their list, ... or for themselves.  Go, AMEX!  Small Businesses are what support our local economies!

Also, on Black Friday, our local television news channel showed up at our shop twice, doing a story on "Big Box versus Small Shops!"  I was working the shop alone, as it's typically not a busy day for small businesses, and I thought I could handle it alone, ;), having the past seven years to go by for experience of what to expect.  I was PLEASANTLY surprised to see that it was a great day of shopping for us, and even more so surprised when  FOX 8 Local News showed up TWICE during the day to film a story about small businesses on Black Friday.  I am thrilled to see the locals supporting their small, locally owned shops, that keeps their money in our local economy versus sending it overseas, ;).

I cannot close without sending a warm, heartfelt "get well soon" to my dear blogging friend Emelie, whom fell and broke her leg in the days preceding Thanksgiving.  I miss you terribly, Emelie, and hope you are healing nicely, and on a quick road to recovery!  Sending you blessing for healing and peace, and I truly can't wait for your return to home and "blogland!"

Now, wishing each of you a happy holiday season filled with much peace, joy, and all the things you enjoy most!  May we all find a special gift for others ... as well as ourselves!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving and Memories

What is Thanksgiving, without memories of family and friends, renewed cherishing of items used within gatherings of previous events, and a look forward to this week's gathering?  While cleaning and preparing for this year's Thanksgiving dinner, I am reminded of Thanksgiving days spent with family and friends in years gone by, and am looking forward to this year's celebration.  As my family grows smaller, and traditions have faded, this year I am finding new traditions for the holidays ... and new passions within the holidays.

Old silver serving dishes are quickly becoming a new passion for me, after recently discovering a few silver pieces at sales and a local flea market.  Not only do they remind me of family gatherings of years past ~~ as my Grandmother, and Mom, would always break out their best pieces to serve the big Thanksgiving dinner, something I never understood until now ~~ but today I see the simple elegance of silver serving pieces in a new way.  They add so much sparkle, "vintage-ness" and charm ~~ even if they do require a bit of extra clean up before and after the dinner!  Pictured above are some of the pieces I will utilize in serving Thanksgiving dinner at my home this year ... and for years to come, I hope.  The pottery bowls were my Grandmother's and Mom's bowls, that were used during many happy family occasions years ago, and these bowls have been stowed away in my cupboard just waiting to be used again!  Nothing fancy, but oh the memories they bring.

As for the silver pieces, I can only imagine how my ancestors would scrub and scrub to get them shiny and sparkling.  But for me, I am finding charm in a bit of "aged" finish within them that allows their age and "servitude" to shine through.  I cleaned them lightly with a silver cleaner, and love the effect of some of the patina showing.  Okay, admittedly, I understand the pitting this can bring on in silver pieces, and realize that not everyone can appreciate the charm in a bit of aging on silver.  But for me, today, I love it ... and I hope my guests will understand, also!

Wishing each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and many things to be thankful for.  As for me, I am very thankful for family, friends, the simple things in life, and the ability to share these things with others.  Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families!