Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ledger Love...Or, What We Did Before Computers....

To say I have an addiction to collecting ledgers is being kind. An obsession is more like it! I can't get enough of them and I cherish each and every one.
From the 1700's general store ledgers to the 1930's farming ledgers. They all offer a wealth of information and history. I thought maybe once a week or so I would share some of my favorites with you.
My all time favorite is a country general store ledger. It spans from 1891 to 1894 and has 834 pages of all of the transactions and accounts for those years. I love it even more because I have a photo of the store and I know some of the family history.

It came from the great Niece of SIMON HEBERLING and the store was called Heberling & Son General Store. Here is what the pages look like. I love how every one's name is written so wonderfully at the top. Mr. Heberling even has a special section in the back and for the account holder's name it just says, "Mother". Good Boy!

I can't believe they were willing to sell it, but at least it's in a good home. When I first got it in the mail I was so excited that I just randomly flipped out of order through the pages. About the 5th page I turned to had this name at the top and then I knew I was meant to have custodianship over this piece of history. Cool stuff.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That Ole' Black Magic.....

We got our new computer from Voodoo yesterday and I am SOOOOO excited! It totally rocks and I NEVER thought I could get so excited over a piece of electronics, but I have fallen in love:) When my husband first built it and ordered it to be made I was like, ok, whatever. He said it was the Ferrari of gaming computers and I was like, yawnnnn. But, once I saw it come out the box it was love at first site.
When we first opened the box it started playing music! It had a light activated music chip that was set off when we removed the top packing. The boys flipped out and of course spent the rest of the time in the bathroom turning on and off the lights to activate it. It also came with organic, chocolate covered espresso beans and Voodoo logo temporary tattoos and a tee-shirt. I love Voodoo:)

I love all the cool cut outs in the aluminum case. They remind me of Michelle Ward's art. The blue tubing (which I thought was just some new way to pimp out your machine) is actually liquid coolant that keeps the processors and video cards from overheating. LIQUID COOLANT!!! HOW COOL IS THAT? Totally! I am probably one of the most inept computer geeks of all time. Right, Lori?!? LOL!! So sorry for posting about this but, I think it's neat and thanks for indulging me. I may not have access to the blog until we get everything transferred and whatnot. In the mean time, I feel some art waiting under the surface ready to come out:)

I just thought of something! NO WONDER he didn't blink an eye at my little pile of books at the bookstore! I may just have to go back:)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Free Image Tuesday...Sweet Husband...

These are the wonderful things I bought at the bookstore yesterday. (We finally had to get out of the house despite the rain because the children were making us crazy:)
  • The bottom open book is a book of 2500 royalty free images called, "Scan This Book Two" by John Mendenhall. You may use them anyway you wish, even altering them in Photoshop and calling them your own. Can't beat that!
  • Then I got the newest Somerset Memories June/July issue which features another fabulous article by Linda Harre highlighting her grandson Chase's baby book. She was also in the April/May issue, which featured Chase's twin brother Hunter and his baby book. She is so very talented. Please run over and feast your eyes on her blog, Studio Stuff. It's one of my favorites!
  • The Bird and Nest stamps from Cavallini Papers & Co.,Inc. are something I have wanted FOREVER and I just grabbed them and ran! (yes, we payed for them:)
  • and the last book is called, "The Little Big Book of Birds" from Welcome Books. It has the most wonderful bird facts and tips for watchers. But, the reason I bought it is it has fabulous vintage images of birds on almost every page. And there are 351 pages. Sweet!

BUT, the best part is that my sweet man (who had herded the boys through the store so I could look alone) did not even blink an eye when he saw my pile of goodies. Thank you sweetie!

Here are the pics for today. I love the sad look in this beautiful gal's eyes. She must have broken lots of hearts. I included the gentleman (I use this term lightly because he looks a bit of a scoundrel to me:) because I think he looks like a younger Matthew McConaughey. Use these anyway you wish, but if you do please share your creation:)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Memorial Day Weekend and Cupcake Swap.....

I hope everyone is having a wonderful long weekend. We are having storms and rain and that's just fine with me. We have been under drought restrictions for over a year now, so any rain is good rain! Plus, the boys like to run around like maniacs in it:)
Cupcakes made from Paper Clay and covered with 1883 German text, rhinestones, paper box, Basic Grey papers, vintage Swedish tart tins, vintage photo reprint from my collection, acrylics, varnish, epoxy, glue and stain medium.

My husband pretty much has taken over the computer until Tuesday , but I wanted to stop in and post pictures of my cupcake swap. Sweet Colleen over at Frostings and Sparkles is hosting it and it will be shipped off tomorrow. I hope my partner likes it because I'm not a real glitter girl. This swap had me nervous because I have never done any kind of cupcake anything before. But, it's always nice to explore new stuff and discover new mediums. I used paper clay for the first time and I really love it. It is so much easier to work with than polymer clay and a lot more forgiving. I may experiment some more with it in the future. I received a beautiful tag from Karin and I used some of the tissue paper she used to wrap the tag in as part of the cupcake cup. I loved being able to use my vintage Swedish metal tart molds. Lord knows they would never see the inside of an oven at my house:) I covered the paper clay cupcake with 1883 German text and then stained it pink and added rhinestones for bling. I covered the round box with Basic Grey paper and then antiqued it with ink. Here you go Miz Smoochie!!! The sweet little girl can sit on top if you like, but she is not attached:) See you all tomorrow!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hey All You Fabulous Ladies!!!!!....

That's how I tagged an email to my Tag Swap Gals. Only I forgot that my husband and I share an email. So when they got the email it had a man's name attached to it and they all thought some pervert named David Miller had hacked into our tag swap group! LOLOL!!! It made us all giggle so the next time I emailed I tagged it, "Dude looks like a Lady!". Good Times:) I am loving all the tags I have received so far ladies. You guys ROCK!

Well, I AM talking to all of YOU fabulous ladies. This wonderful artist Gina at Joyful Purpose is going to teach an art journaling class this summer for the Free Arts for Abused Children program. She asked for some help and if you have anything that's on her wish list please consider sending it to help enrich the lives of these girls. It's a great cause! Here is a copy of the list: ( There is no mailing address yet, but I am sure she will update it:)

My wish list for the girls ...
We need the following new or gently used items (all items are tax deductible donations through Free Arts)
rubber stamps
ink pads
caran d'ache neo color II crayons
water color paint
letter stamps
hole punches
punches any shape
rub ons
(please, only items that you would use yourself not things you would throw away :) )
If you can donate any thing from the list please let me know -

I personally am getting together a great big box and I think my husband will want to kiss Gina for motivating me to do it:) Thank you all for your wonderful and uplifting words yesterday. I am amazed daily at the support and community I feel here. Love you guys!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Forgot Free Image Tuesday!!!.....

I added some extras to make up for my mistake:) These are called CDVs and they are about the size of a playing card. There is only one date and it's on the back of the green card with the lady. It says March 1st, 1876. The others are around that time also. The top two photos are from Vermont and the bottom two photos are from New York. I believe the two siblings are both boys! The baby's sash has been colored blue so I am thinking boy. You can tell with the older boy because of his hairstyle and he has a matching fabric "belt" around his waist. I wonder if the little boys hated wearing "dresses" and having their mother's curl their hair? I bet much fussing went on during picture day morning. The older boy is missing a button on his outfit. I can see him throwing a tantrum and trying to get out of his good clothes! LOL!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I feel...

I feel like these sweet, old shoes. Worn out, crumpled and dejected. The weekend went as well as it could have so that is a blessing. We traveled to Houston to pick up my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law and then we all traveled to Baton Rouge. My Father-in-law has what we think is Alzheimer's disease. He has no short term memory, but does not seem to comprehend his mental state. He seems to believe he is fine, but he is very short tempered and defensive so I believe he must know it's bad and is scared.
We had to go to his house in Baton Rouge to prepare for his move back to Houston with my Mother-in-law. They are not divorced, but he has worked out of state for the past 12 years. She has been getting ready to consolidate the two households and we needed to pack his house. His overall physical health is terrible (congestive heart failure, fluid around lungs and heart) and he is unable to even walk across the room without being so winded he can't speak.
Part of the mission for the weekend was to get rid of the things that they did not have room for in Houston. He has saved every car magazine he has ever owned since, well forever and there were boxes and boxes and boxes. He thought my husband would want them. But there were so many of them it's just not practical to keep them. They were so heavy we ended up buying a dolly to help cart them out of the house. He has been told we were coming to get the Baton Rouge house ready for weeks, but a few hours before we picked them up in Houston he asked my Mother-in-law why we were coming and if it was to help them decide where the furniture would go upstairs in the Houston house. Needless to say, once in Baton Rouge when he saw his things leaving the house he was not happy. But, I believe he simply felt so bad he had no fight left to fight.
I know they were just magazines, but they were important to him and now I feel terrible and sad. We saved all his model trains and his framed vintage car ads. We saved his hard back books and movie posters. His Fred Astaire posters and his Clark Gable posters. He even had an original "Gone with the Wind" movie poster. We were careful and went through every box. Why do I feel so callous and heartless? The whole situation makes me feel sad for everyone involved. My Mother-in-law is wonderful and handling things very well. We have a hard road ahead with this situation. I'm sorry to write about this, but it does make me feel better. Your sweet comments and support make me feel so blessed also. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Love, Jamie

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tag Swap and I'm Still Alive...

Here are the pictures for the tag swap I participated in over at Tammy's blog. I have never made tags before and it was fun! They are NOT the most polished tags and they are all different lengths and the backs are really ugly. I'll know how to go about it better next time. But, I loved using some of my cuties and copies of my letters from 1854:) I can't wait to see all the ones I get in return. I already have three and when I get all twelve I will take a picture for everyone to see.

I still have an ear infection and I am hoping the antibiotics kick in sometime soon. It has not been a fun week. I am leaving to go out of town tomorrow, so I won't be back on until Monday. My husband's father is not in very good health and we are helping him get ready to move from Baton Rouge to Houston. Wish me luck! Take care all you fabulous ladies!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Late Free Image Tuesday.....

Sorry this is late. I have been dealing with a sick boy since last week and then today found out I too have an ear infection and upper respiratory infection. Yeah for me!! So here I sit feeling terrible and like I have an ice pick in my ear. Anyhoo, thank you all for your sweet comments and I apologize for not visiting your blogs lately. Give the antibiotics some time to work and then I will be fit as a fiddle.

The image is the front cover of a children's book from 1902 that I recently acquired. I love it and the black and white etchings inside are beautiful. I would have killed to have had that cover picture at Easter time this year. Oh well! There are many more Easters to come:)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!...

This photo is the spring board for the art piece I made for my mother. I hope she likes it:) Happy Mother's day to all of you!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week....

Collage made from 1880's school book pages, vintage music pages, mid to late 1800's CDV card and vintage images of children from my collection, painted wooden egg , shredded paper, altered doll house books and vintage skeleton key.

This is the collage I made for the 7 year old's teacher. She is really great and just stern enough to get him motivated. It will be placed in a shadowbox, but I can't get a good picture because of the glass. (edited:Ok, got one ok picture of the shadowbox without the flash). Actually, I can't seem to get a good picture at all, so I posted both. Sorry! I miss teaching. I love staying home with the boys but I do miss the classroom. I miss that one moment that happens during the day where you know in your heart you are connecting with every child, you have their rapt attention and you are getting through. It's a total high.
edited to add: I just saw this at Stash Studios. Please keep this sweet baby in your prayers. I am so sad her family has to go through not knowing what is wrong.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Free Image Tuesday, Commission Piece, Wild Kingdom and Thrift Finds....

This is my new treasure and I am so very in love with the baby in her mother's arms. This is a full case ambrotype from the mid 1800's. It closes, latches and has the most wonderful detail on the outside of the case. Use the images, but please let me see if you do!! I hope the free images are useful to you.
This piece was commissioned for a new grandboy:) I removed the glass for photo taking purposes.
Check it! I'm a wild life photographer! I have never tried to take any pictures with my macro setting outside and we have this wonderful blooming bush and every evening it is covered with scores of butterflies and bees. The boys could watch it for hours. I love how you can see the pollen grains on the butterfly's tongue. It doesn't take much to make me happy:)

I got these yesterday at Helping Hands. The plates remind me of my grandmother's china service and were a dollar a piece. The brush is old, silver and made with horsehair. I payed 7 dollars, but had to have it:)
Ok, the silverware was in bins marked 10 cents a piece. So, thinking I would get some for assemblage pieces I started looking. All of the knives are stainless, but I did find some old silver plate ones also. Once I got to the spoons I hit the jackpot. All those spoons are almost 100 years old. (I have two more in the car) They are WM Rodgers & Son from 1915. I looked them up on Replacements, Ltd. and the cost to replace each is 17.99. The pattern is called International Hampden (silverplate, 1915) SWEEEETT!!!! I LOVE finding stuff like that! I get such a thrift high:) I think someone needs to fire the silverware sorting person at Helping Hands. Or not:)
Then I found these totally AWESOME 9.5 inch letters in the electronic section. See, it pays to look in every nook and corner. They are iron and so heavy I had to lug them up front to keep until I was done. Best part? 1 dollar a piece. Yes, I was a happy woman yesterday:)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

New Art and Tagged....

Vintage image reprint from my collection, Basic Grey paper, 1891 ledger paper, 1880's German text and Swarovski rhinestones

This is how I feel lately! I have good intentions, but the procrastination just washes over me. I even procrastinated being tagged! How sad is that?! So here it goes:)

Lori tagged me to list my 5 favorite sites in Blogland.

1. My good friend Cheryl over at Stash Studios. She is smart, savvy and a constant source of support and eye candy! She is a magician with fabric and bends it to her will. She also has a studio that I would give my right arm for:)

2. Miss Lori herself at Faerie Window. Her talent with paper mache is outstanding and her attention to detail gives everything she does superior quality. Her generousity and kindness shine.

3. Misty Mawn is an artist whose work never fails to move me. Her paintings are some of the most original and inspired pieces I have ever seen. She gives of herself in her art and also within the art community through her classes and the sharing of her knowledge.

4. Kelli Perkins at Ephemeral Alchemy. She is a artist with many talents and her style and personality are one of a kind. Her fiber art and assemblage pieces are my favorite. I have a new assemblage piece from her and I keep moving it to different places in the house to figure out where I can always see it:)

5. I can't stop at five and I want to include everyone on by sidebar. You can look and see I have many, so I decided to introduce you to some sites you may have never visited before. These folks give me great inspiration and I love to see what they have cooking in the studio.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Contact Paper Transparency Tutorial....

A couple of you asked yesterday how I made my wings for the botanical piece, so here is the technique. I am not sure where I first learned this method of making a transparency, but it was either from Somerset Studios magazine or Ms. Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop book. Both highly recommended by the way:)

Supplies Needed:

  • laser or toner print of image
  • clear contact paper
  • scissors
  • spoon (or if you are fancy a bone folder:)
  • bowl with warm water
Step 1 Choose an image that you would like to turn into a transparency. It works well with images that are not too dark. You must make sure that the copy you are using is NOT an ink jet copy, but a laser or toner copy. Ink jet copies do not work with this technique. Believe me, I learned the hard way:) I get mine copied at an office supply store.

Step 2 Cut out your image and cut a piece of transparent contact paper that is slightly bigger.
Step 3 Place the image face down on the sticky part of the contact paper. I then use a spoon ('cause I'm usually in the kitchen) to burnish the back of the image to assure it is completely adhered to the contact paper surface.

Step 4 Place image in a bowl of warm water until the paper is saturated. I leave it until the white paper turns grey.
Step 5 Remove from the water and begin to gently rub and roll the paper off the contact paper with your finger. This takes some time, but don't rush it or rub too hard because you can rub some of the ink off the transferred image. Sometimes once the image has dried there is a white residue visible. Just wet your finger and rub it away.

Step 6 Trim your image and use in your art project. You can glue it down, sew it, use eyelets anything you wish. I glued my wings down yesterday. Easy! You can also use packing tape to make transparencies, but you are limited by it's size. I like the contact paper because it can be sized to fit any image.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Free Image Tuesday...Happy May Day!!!....Artwords Entry #51....

Here are two tintypes from the mid to late 1800's from my personnal collection. I love how the tintype images were hand-tinted. If you use these please send us a link to your art:)
I received my beautiful May Day basket from sweet Lila. We were joined together in the May Day swap hosted by Kari over at Artsymama. I love it Lila and thank you for the sweet candle and journal. I love the natural papers on the inside. Today is also Lila's oldest daughter's birthday:)

This is my Artwords entry for the botanical theme. I paper pieced all the elements using handmade papers, watercolor paper and scrapbook papers. I made a contact paper transparency for the wings. I think she's supposed to be Mother Nature.


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