Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hello - Is anybody out there?????

I just thought I'd pop on for a moment this evening and say HI to anyone that is still watching for me and my crazy posts. I know it has been almost 6 moths since I lost popped  in to say hello. So let me quickly catch you up on what all has been going on. . . .

First of all Lizzy's wedding went off without a hitch! It was beautiful and she is happily married now! We couldn't be happier for her and Richard!!!

But soon after this glorious day (about 4 days) My overwhelming joy and excitement turned to worry and fear. Mom announced that she had breast cancer and had known for awhile but didn't want to spoil Lizzy's big day. So the very next day we started another journey in my family with hospital visits and tests and lots of unknowns.

Once the tests were done and the port was installed she started chemo. Eight rounds of 4 weekly infusions was the plan. Sadly we only made it through one of those weekly treatments before things went south for my poor Mom. She contracted the MSSA bacteria (a sister to MRSA) and ended up in the hospital for 10 days. While she was there she had to have her port taken out as they believed that was the entrance for the MSSA and they replaced it with a PIC line. Once she was home she was on hi powered IV antibiotics for 4 weeks - anyway that was the plan. She ended up having a terrible reaction to the antibiotics in week three and had to stop those and have her PIC line removed. Her oncologist told her she was no longer a candidate for chemo and their only course of action was to take the breast now. She knew from the beginning that she would lose the breast but the plan was to shrink that fast growing, 6cm tumor first. So they scheduled the surgery for last Wed. Of course now we got to play with the ins co. They decided on that Monday that her surgery was not going to be covered! It was 1pm on Tues (the day before the surgery) that she was finally given the okay from the Ins co. This only happened because Mom's surgeon told them that Mom would be dead if they had to wait the 14 days they wanted to investigate the necessity of this surgery.  Mom had her surgery on Wed morning and came through like a trooper! But all is still not well, the cancer has spread and we do not yet know what all this will mean for her.

I hate to be "Debbie Downer" tonight but I wanted to share why I have been gone so long and recruit as many prayer warriors as possible to help us as we fight this battle. So for now I will be away a little longer as I spend time with my Mom and help her walk this journey.

Until we meet again. . . .

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Burlap, Lace and Pearls. . .

Well, seems like I will not be soon getting the burlap dust out of my house! Although these were not bad at all. These burlap covered canvas boards were a life saver. No trying to stretch and stabilize the burlap to make the covers of Lizzy's guest book or the table numbers. 

I do not have the best handwriting so I was surprised my numbers turned out so well. I hand wrote them on the boards and then with glossy accents and a toothpick glued each little pearl on. 

This is the cover of the guest book. It is not bound as of yet - I will be picking up the "special" paper for the pages on Saturday at The Occasional Artist  and then I can start putting photos in it and bind it. We are putting Lizzy & Richards engagement photos in it and people will write around the photos. 
The flower is one of the handmade flowers I made for the wedding bouquets - hopefully it wont be a bother when people are trying to write in the book?

I started working on it last night and was going to surprise Liz. But she popped over unexpectedly so she saw it all out. I cannot tell you how happy I was that she "caught" me - I had put the wrong date on the end paper! That could have been a real disaster!
It is hard to tell in the photo, but the end papers are a beautiful shimmery ivory paper. It really looks lovely!

We are less than 3 months away now and we are doing pretty good at marking things off the list. We are also doing pretty good at adding things to the list too!
Have a great week!
till we meet again. . . .

Friday, March 7, 2014

His Word. . .

So, yesterday I told you I was working on a really BIG canvas - well, it is FINISHED!!!

I have never done anything this big or this linear before but I am super happy with how it turned out and I am ready to do another one!

This piece is called "His Word" and came from a Scripture I have been studying in Psalms. It is Psalms 107:20. The full verse is actually "He sent out His Word and healed them and saved them from the grave".
The entire canvas is covered with vintage Bible pages - I used the whole book of Psalms to cover this canvas. In the corner here you can see that I hand wrote the scripture, but as luck would have it (or maybe God planned it this way) the Bible page net to it is actually Psalms 107!

I thought I would show you the steps involved in case you would like to give it a try!
 My supplies included: 
16x40 deep profile gallery wrapped canvas
An old Bible
Lots of painters tape
Matte Medium
Black & Asphaltum acrylic paint 
Vinyl sign letters
Paint brushes
Spray Matte Sealer
Clear Varnish

I created my design on just a piece of paper drawing it to 1/4 scale to fit on the paper (easy math on this canvas each inch equaled 1/4"). You will keep the border covered with the tape until the very end. This is hard because I kept wanting to pull it off to see how straight my lines were. You will also want to paint the sides of your canvas at this point. 
TIP: let your canvas dry for at least 2 hours before you start adding your tape so you don't pull off any of your pages. 

 Just keep masking off each layer of your design and painting it. I wanted to add my scripture in the very center and I am no good at lettering so I used vinyl sign letters to make my words. I masked off the area and then painted it with a glaze (Asphaltum brown paint and water) so the print from the Bible pages would show through the words. Once the brown was dry I attached the vinyl letters and painted black paint over top. When it's all dry you can pull the vinyl letter right up and you will have your beautiful brown glazed letters showing!
 Keep on going! I set a timer and let my paint dry for 30 minutes for each layer
It might be hard to see in this small photo but the addition of the charcoal pencil makes a HUGE difference. This step is well worth the time and the dirty fingers! The first picture shows the pencil added on the just the bottom half of the canvas. 

I would love to see what you come up with if you give this a try!

My canvas is already hanging in my studio as a constant reminder that God loves me and that His Word does heal!

Okay one last picture. . . .
Just because it wouldn't be me if I didn't share my first calla lily bloom of the season!
Isn't she pretty?

Have a great weekend friends
till we meet again. . . .

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Art just for ME!!!

I decided to take a little break from wedding prep this week (well after a tasting on Monday and a meeting at the venue on Tuesday that is) and make some art just for me. It has been awhile and I have missed getting my hands dirty (which they are now). So here is what I worked on yesterday - it is called red letter prayers. I have been studying prayer and healing in my personal Bible study time and wanted to honor the things that God is revealing to me. I also wanted a tangible reminder of these valuable lessons, so what does Marta do? She creates ART!

 This canvas is 12x16 and there is lots of texture in this piece and as you can see LOTS of red! There is also quite a bit of gold (maybe too much? I am not sure yet)

 I used actual Bible pages with some of the scriptures that I have been focusing on
  The Hebrew letters at the bottom spell Yaweh (Jehovah to us Gentiles) It was supposed to say Yaweh Rapha (the Lord that Heals) but I was short one letter to spell Rapha. 

 The main scripture goes all the way around the canvas edge in red (they are the words Jesus spoke). 

 I have another BIG canvas in the works drying on the patio right now
 It is a BIG one - 16x40! This is the biggest canvas I have ever worked on. And I am using a really old Bible for this one. I have been saving this Bible for just the "right project". I am also trying some new ideas so wish me luck that I haven't wasted all of my Bible pages and this big canvas!
Here it is in progress - although right now it is completely covered with the Bible pages and is drying 

I hope you will take some time to do something just for YOU!
till we meet again. . . 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Whittling Down my MOTB To-Do List. . . .

Well we are 3 months and 1 week until the big day and I have been keeping busy making all of the goodies for Lizzy's wedding and trying to get well. That stupid flu bug left me with a nasty "hanging on" cough that just wears me out! But I am making good progress and tonight I felt as though I had gotten so much done already that it  was time to clean everything up and take a break for a week or so (we'll see how that goes). 
So I decided this was a good time to show you all what I have been up to. . . 

This is the banner that my Monkey will be carrying down the aisle. I still need to finish the pole (cut it, paint  it and add finials and ribbons) but Try as I would tonight I just could not cut that wooden pole with the only rusty hand saw I could find around here. I will have to get Gary to take care of this for me later.  

 After a lot of hours and even more frustration I finally got the stems wrapped on all of the bouquets! I had a devil of a time figuring out how I wanted to cover all of those ugly wire stems. 
 I ended up wrapping them with twine and adding little pearl pins and Liz & I are both happy with them. Now we just need to find the perfect ivory satin ribbon for the streamers and these will be complete! We are having a hard time finding that perfect ribbon so if you are local and know of a good place to buy nice ribbon I would love for you to share. Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Mike's and SAS were all a bust. I wish the Lace Place was still in business!

Liz is using frames as part of her centerpieces and I got those all done this week as well!
 I only had to buy 4 frames - I had the other 10 so that was nice. I just had to take them all a part. . .
 Prime them. . . 
 Paint them all this bubble gum pink. . .
 Then dry brush them with white paint. Stain them with a brown stain. Dry brush them again with gold paint and then seal them. Ta Da!!! Look how pretty they turned out! Who would have thought that pink would end up looking like this?
 This is "sorta" what her centerpieces will look like - a frame with a clear mason jar full of baby breath, 2 smaller blue mason jars with tea lights and some classic love story book pages punched into hearts sprinkled around. Also there will be lace under the frame and Liz informed me that the frame will sit at an angle on the runner - not straight like I have in the picture.

 She is also doing a candy/treat bar at the reception and these are all of the jars we will be using. I got them all washed and realized one was cracked . . .back to the store and then back home to get them wrapped in burlap and lace. I ordered little pink scoops that I will wrap the handles with twine and pearls. It's going to look so pretty once all of the goodies are in there! 

UPDATE: the little pink scoops arrived the very next day! So they are now all dressed up and ready to attend the wedding

 Aren't they cute!

Lastly I finished all of the table runners tonight - YEAH!!!
Burlap makes such a mess when you are working with it!
Originally we were going to add a wide ivory scalloped lace to the whole length of the runner, right down the center. But that would have taken about 50 yards of lace and at $6 a yard that was just a waste of money in our opinions. So we decided to fringe the ends, tie the fringe in little knots and then add a ribbon. It just didn't hang right and since I am the only one in my family that can tie a bow, that would mean on the day of the wedding I would be busy tying 30 bows! 
 So I came up with this - just a pretty ivory lace across the top of the fringe. The "stitch witchery" that I used to attach the lace kept the fringe from continuing to unravel so we got to eliminate all of those tedious knots. This was much faster and ya gotta love SAS - I got 15 yards of this lace for $3.75 total!!!
 Here's my whole box of runners - all rolled up and ready to dress the tables at my baby's wedding!
I still have the Guest book to get done and several other things but we are coming along quite well since we had so little time to put this celebration together. 
Monday we are doing her food tasting. She has hired a chef instead of going with a traditional caterer or restaurant. So he is coming to MY house to cook for Lizzy, Richard, Richards parents and the 3 of us here. You know what that means. . . gotta scrub the house - especially the kitchen! Always something to do right?

Anyhoo - that is my life these days - just busy being the Mother of the Bride and loving every minute!
Have a great weekend Friends
till we meet again. . .  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentines Day. . .a day late

I was so hopeful that I was on the mend - then I woke up yesterday with my fever raging again and no ability to function at all. I had hoped to post a new doodle for you as my Valentines to you all but I did nothing but lay in bed all day. 
So here is my Valentine to you all, just a little bit late. . . 
Feel free to print it out and get out your markers, pencils, pastels or even your kid's crayons and just have fun coloring! I did this one last month and even colored it in. It was TONS of fun to color, it just turned out so bright and cheery! You can't really see it here but, I added lots of glitter and gel pens to make it even brighter. 

But you gotta be careful when you have all of your pens out on the table. . . 

As you can see in the doodle below I accidentally grabbed a turquoise glaze pen instead of a light blue glitter pen when I wet to highlight my clouds! I didn't have much choice but to finish coloring in the clouds. I also ran out of my #19 yellow pen while I was doing the border. So all in all this is not a fav of mine. I might have to print one out for myself to color and give it another try. 

Can you see the differences (not just the color) from the printable I posted on Thursday? I added some more doodley details - I hope you will add some of your own touches as well if you are printing my doodles!

Well time to go lay down some more. I guess I am glad I moved my class that was scheduled for today to March - there is no way I would be on top of my game!!!
Till we meet again. . . 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Boo Hoo. . .

So my last post was titled "YIPPEE!!!" today is not so yippee - Gary and I have both had the flu all week! Actually he got it on Saturday night and I came down with it Tuesday night. Sadly poor Gary has been on vacation all week and the only place he has been is the bed and the backyard. He is actually moving some today and looking more human. And I am trying to keep up with him. My fever is gone and I have been able to hold my head up this morning. I spent my morning doodling and figured I'd share with you guys in case any of you are feeling less than human . . .
It will print out on a 8.5x11 sheet of paper for you - enjoy!!!
till we meet again. . . 

Monday, February 10, 2014


They are ALL finished now except for the decorative wraps!
I am so excited to have them finished and pleased that it took less than 2 weeks to do. 
The bouquet in the center and the one in the close-up is Lizzy's. The little bouquet in the background is the one for the bridal toss. 

The star shaped flowers in this picture are made out of my Mom's wedding gown - the button centers are from the sleeves of my Mom's wedding gown. The lace inside the centers of the 2-toned flowers are from my wedding gown (hard to see but it's there).

Next project - the guest book!

Speaking of books. . .  did any of you local gals get signed up for my hand painted journal class? It is coming up this Saturday at the Occasional Artist 

Well it's late - time to go to bed - I got a sick husband to take care of in the morning!
till we meet again. . . 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Here Comes the Bride. . .

Four months from today the wedding will just be a beautiful memory! 
But until then I have lots to do to keep myself busy!!!

I have been working like a maniac on the flowers and I am happy to say that I have ALL of the flowers made! 
 And they are all separated into pans for each of the 6 bouquets

 I am working on putting the stems on each of the flowers now
 Just a close up of some of the flowers

I even have one of the bridesmaids bouquets finished. Well, all but the wrap that goes around the stems.
 It really isn't lopsided - It is just leaning inside the mason jar. 

I also got the toss bouquet done tonight. 

See that box in the picture below? Those are bandaids and trust me, I have used tons of them!!!
 I cannot believe how sore my hands are. Between the hand-sewing, hot glue gun, cutting and wire twisting my little hands are just raw. Yesterday I made 37 flowers and I had bandaids on almost every finger. Then I stabbed an unprotected finger with the needle and blood was gushing. All I could do was yell at Gary to get a towel so I could save the flower. Sadly he could not move fast enough :( 
People have asked me why I am working on this so early, and my answer is simple - I want to be able to actually use my hands on the day of Lizzy's wedding! They are so sore and ugly right now, but they still have time to heal!

Well, I hope you all have a GREAT weekend!

Till we meet again. . .