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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still changing things around ~

We have a big eat-in kitchen, no formal dining room but I still like to treat it like one. Who says you can't have your china hutch, a chandelier and buffet crammed into your eat-in kitchen?? Everyday beauty, it's what makes me smile.

We live in a three bedroom ranch with a bonus over the garage and now my 21 yr old son has also converted the garage to his living space as he starts back to college the first of the year. (I'll have to show you his amazing space) So we make what we have work for our family.

I don't know if you've looked back in my blog and were able to see the sheers that I had on this bay window but I've decided to try something else for the winter months.....do you want to take a guess at what that window treatment might be :) ?

You guessed it, drop cloths! I'd saved the panels that I put together for my room at The Plum Tree and thought they'd look really neat on these windows. I love combining the elegant with the rustic ~ hopefully tomorrow I'll take a new photo for you to see them hanging and you can let me know what you think!

I'm so sorry for the dark photos, I took them at night but I love the soft glow of the lamps ~





I thought I'd group a lot of the bird things on the buffet, next to the window ~ Don't you just love this top half of an antique bird cage, placed on an old mirrored plateau, placed on a newer but slightly tarnished (yes, I love tarnish) cake plateau. And what is in the cage? a sweet nest left behind from the cardinals this past spring ~

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday ~

Surround yourself with things you love, things that make you smile!

xxoo, Dawn

P.S. As a courtesy to Heather of Speckled Egg,
I've changed the name of my tutorial store to
Lessons from the Nest
. . . it's really a better fit, don't you think?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Found ~ good stuff &
A few changes around the house

I hope you had a great weekend!! Ours was really productive. Don't you love it when you have those days where everyone's in the mood to get something accomplished so you work together to get it done?

Our living room was needing a total overhaul, rearranging the furniture, dusting (ugghhh) and editing . . . which as you can see from the after photos below, I don't do very well! I just love cool old stuff and love to have it all around our home. I'll be sharing more photos as things get hung on the walls, too. I don't care for the matchy look, we like a more "collected" look ~ The mantle still isn't finished, I've just been playing around with the arrangement ~




Saturday I stopped by Books-A-Million and found this book to start me on my way with Photoshop Elements 7 ~ it's a bit more simple than the other books I looked through, maybe it will help me get started off on the right foot!



Saturday also included a trip to The Plum Tree! I found this amazing old book (I love it Deborah!). What is it about these books and their covers falling off, I just love them!!




Plus I picked up the new Romantic Homes at The Plum Tree and found Romantic Country at Books-A-Million ~ I love them both!


I have to show you this beautiful fairy tale book that Cindy GAVE me because she knew I would love the illustrations and I DO!! It really is wonderful, thank you so much Cindy ~




And lastly, I found this adorable, happy baby photo at The Plum Tree too ~ I'm thinking she needs fairy wings, don't you? Feel free to take her to use in your artwork ~



Can you believe it's almost October??? My goodness the time is flying by, but I do love fall and our leaves here in Georgia are just beginning to show signs of turning. The temperatures are supposed to really be cooling off this week too!


I hope you have a wonderful week and great Monday!!
xxoo, Dawn

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I just love chubby little birds ~

I found this illustration in neat old children's book and loved this little bird ~ my plan was to make a pattern out of him, maybe stitch him onto some fabric to have that redwork look . . . wouldn't he be adorable stitched on something for our little grandbaby?


A sweet old photo for you to use in your artwork ~ can you believe how young these sweethearts look?



I'm so excited, I ordered the soon-to-be-released-this-coming-Monday new version of Photoshop Elements!! I guess the next thing I should buy is one of those "dummies" how-to books . . . I used Photoshop several years back while working as a graphic designer but was much better at text and just started learning about photographs and color correcting. So we'll see what will come of this new software. If you know of a easy-to-understand book I should buy to help me learn it, I'd love to know what it is!!
I hope your Saturday is great one!
xxoo, Dawn

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thoughts on sharing ~


When working on my artwork, I often think to myself, "I need to remember to share this idea with everyone." Funny how blogging pulls that out of you . . .
sharing techniques, ideas and inspiration.

Many artists are afraid to share "too much" or are constantly worried that others may copy their ideas. I find that I actually WANT others to create what I'm making ~ or if I've learned about something that works, it's so neat to pass that knowledge on.

Creativity is like the fishes and loaves story in the Bible . . . as you share your ideas, they feed other's creativity and then they are inspired. They in turn want to make something wonderful and as they share, their creativity continues to encourage others and so on. Don't you agree? And even if you create something that I've made, yours will be YOU . . . mine will be ME, as we all have our personal style and our artwork will always reflect that.

So don't ever hide your light, talent or ideas for fear of others "stealing" it away . . . go ahead, give it away and you will be inspired to always be creating something new and wonderful to share that will be uniquely "you" ~

Halfway there ~

There's something so relaxing about creating artwork. Music plays softly in the background of my little crowded artroom, piles of beautiful images surround me, sheet music, old books . . . it's truly like playing. I move the images around, changing their arrangement, tilt my head and squint my eyes to see how I like the composition. These are simple pages in the nature journal, not many images but the simplicity gives what is there a sense of importance.

I love the ruggedness that's happening with it as well. When you are someone bent on perfection, rugged can be hard! Earthy, not perfect, but all the same wonderful. Just like nature ~


I'm halfway finished with this journal. I wanted to show you my progress so far . . . and it all started with several pieces of paper and two pieces of cardboard ~













What lies behind us and what lies before us
are tiny matters compared to
what lies within us.


I hope you have a wonderful Friday!
xxoo, Dawn

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A new journal tutorial at
The Little Speckled Egg!

It took till the wee hours of the morn this Thursday but I finally finished the tutorial and have it up for sale!!! The tutorial shows step-by-step how to create a small journal, using a very simple and quick construction method and using materials that you probably have around your home right now. I've added a special page of tips, tricks and ideas PLUS a page of images to use in the journal. Find it here at:
The Little Speckled Egg tutorial blog

Here is a photo of the journal just after constructing and ready for embellishing:


Each and every page is layered with beautiful images and paper to allow for jotting down thoughts or notes.



I'm still decorating the journal that I've used in making the tutorial and should have it for sale very soon ~ These would make such wonderful gifts personalized for each recipient . . .



Happy Thursday dear friends!!
xxoo, Dawn

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The beginnings of a journal tutorial ~

I am so excited about the tutorial I'm working on now . . . you can see the beginnings of it in the photo below! It's a handmade, from scratch, nature journal ~ and the neat thing is, I'm learning too as I make it!

The nature journal that I finished a few weeks ago was created inside of the complete cover of a small music book. It was really wonderful to work with but the chances of finding another is slim to none. Soooo....I thought, why not construct one myself! And believe it or not, the method that I've used is not hard at all ~

I'm still shooting step-by-step photos of the embellishing process and hope to have it in my store, The Little Speckled Egg by tomorrow evening.

I just get the biggest thrill making things! What is that??!! The neat thing about these small journals (and I'm finding that I'm becoming more and more "green") is that they can be constructed out of simple things that are around your home.

Plus, they don't have to be "nature" journals, you could make one to take on a special vacation or trip. How about creating one to give to a sweet mom-to-be to jot down her thoughts while in the hospital having her baby and after she's met her sweet angel? It would be a treasured keepsake ~ Boy this is starting to sound like a serious sales pitch but I'm just excited about the possibilities!




A spare copy of the sheet music cover printed on thin muslin, hmmmm.....I've got to think of something neat to do with this ~ I love looking at it!! I've got it pinned to the back of the advent calendar so I can stare at it ~




On a totally different note, I've had this crazy idea and some of you may have already tried this. I've always loved this precious, chubby bluebird and I bought some molding compound at Michael's a few weeks ago. I would like to attempt to make a mold of this sweet baby and make some from plaster! Have any of you tried this? Should I use plaster of paris? Who knows, I may not be able to create a decent mold but I want to try!


Can't you see a chubby, cream colored, slightly antique-washed little bird??

Today it was absolutely GORGEOUS here in Georgia.....it's like you have to soak in each and every beautiful fall day before they all vanish ~

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday sweet friends!

xxoo, Dawn

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sweet gifts and a pumpkin harvest!

My dear friend Dorthe of Den Lille Lade in Denmark sent me a precious gift, just because . . . she knew I would love it and Dorthe, I so DO!!! How precious is this little Flower Fairies book??? Thank you so much sweet friend! Who would have ever thought that I would have such a thoughtful friend so many miles away? This land of blog makes the world a much smaller place ~





Another friend I met through my blog, Sharon, sent me a big box of lace, ribbons, jewelry and fabrics . . . Sharon, this is amazing!! Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness ~ There are so many wonderful supplies to create with!





Can you believe all of these treasures?? I just had to share the photos with you ~


I've been so excited about fall, cooler temperatures and the gorgeous deep blue sky, I had to created a little harvest of my own . . . I've been wanting to make some of these fabric pumpkins forever and finally did it!! One is made from muslin as I had already started it but the other three are made from . . . you guessed it! Canvas dropcloth. They look like I painted them but I just made a mixture of instant coffee, cinnamon and a little vanilla and painted it onto the fabric. Cooked them for about 3-4 minutes in the oven (scary, they could burn sooo fast!) and then finished putting them together. They kind of look pumpkin colored don't they?

I did paint the leaves green plus I stained them with the coffee solution as well. You know what else I did?? Used my brand new jigsaw to cut my stems from a tree branch that had fallen in my yard! I love power tools!

I still want to add some aged tags that say "Harvest Time" or "The Frost is on the Pumpkin" . . . I added a little clear glitter to the tops so they would have a little bit of a frosty look ~ I'm going to put these in my Etsy store . . .






Also, look what I found on Ebay ~ The Water-Babies book! It was such a great price, 5 bucks or something but when I got it in the mail and opened it up . . . the only illustration in the whole book was the one that I've pictured! The seller didn't list an illustrator but I guess that was why ~ oh well, I guess I could always read the book!



I'm so excited about one more little thing that came in the mail Monday (it really was a great mail day!) . . . a little bitty tripod for my digital camera!!! I'm finally going to start on the nature journal tutorial now ~ it's so hard to hold the camera, press the button and have both hands to actually create too!! This should be a very helpful little thing ~

I hope that each of you are doing so good. If not, I pray that you will be soon ~ and thank you always for stopping by to see what I'm up to!

Happy Tuesday dear friends,

xxoo, Dawn

Monday, September 22, 2008

I just love fall ~


A wonderful giveaway!!



Jackie at Fat Jak Originals is having a giveaway on her blog for one of her beautiful pieces of artwork and YOU get to pick out what it'll be!! Just click HERE to visit and comment to win ~


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