Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Wow, another holiday! The years seem to come and go so quickly, it doesn't seem that it's been a whole year since we've had to pack and move, since my hubby was in the hospital. Last year this time was a difficult time for us, to be sure! I'm very glad that we aren't experiencing the same hardships we did last year!

One thing I've learned over the past year, actually, I think I've learned it just recently, is that I need to quit spreading myself so thin. I need to not try to do too much at once. This seems to shut the muse down faster than anything else... I never feel so uncreative as when I have too much that I'm committed to get done. I need to really pace myself better. I guess this is a resolution for the new year perhaps?

I end up committing to more than I can accomplish, and then I let everyone down because the muse then shuts down... and it's as if I can hear her laughing at me! She's a cruel cruel muse, to be sure.

The calendar auction went off well! It got up to 61 dollars! I was shocked and so very pleased that we did so well for Robin's cause! The lady who won the auction seems so very happy with her calendar as well. The yahoo group also seems so happy about the calendars... as I said, I couldn't be happier with them! They are simply gorgeous! I'm gushing again!

So, for the next week, I'm going to try to play CATCH UP and get a few things done that I've needed to get done! I'm nearly there, really. It's just that things are so spread out that I feel like I'm wallowing in chaos. Which is kind of weird because I usually thrive in chaos... but, not lately... it's like there is a big part of me that is just saying HEY... you need to get yourself organized a bit. Until you do you just can't create.

*sigh* -- that muse of mine.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12, 2006

It's been kind of a dreary beginning to the week... we've had a lot of very cold, very wet weather, and so I've not had a lot of energy to focus on the things I need to get done! Hopefully that will change soon!

Anyway, this is just a short update, I wanted to post the link to Robin's ebay auctions. Here is where you can find many GORGEOUS pieces of art that have been donated for Robin's cause. You can learn more by visiting the link and clicking on the 'me' page.

I hope to get the extra 2007 EccentricPastiche calendar up for auction there soon as well, so if you're interested in that, please visit the auction site often and look for it!


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 2006

Hi Everyone! How is the holiday season treating you?

I've been really busy. Mat & I went out shopping during black friday. ACK! so did everyone else in Southern Washington, and they all went to the store we went to! Every year, after we shop during black friday, we say "we're not doing that again next year!" but when black friday rolls around the following year, we're looking at the ads and plotting our shopping strategy!

We did get some pretty nice deals for our daughters though, and I also got a new toaster oven for my polymer clay for just 15 bucks! So, it was worth the trip!

As I said, I've been busy. I've had my yahoo group swaps to swap out -- we've altered ornaments again this year! Plus I've done a few other outside swaps.

THE CALENDARS ARE FINISHED! Woo hoo! The finished product is SO COOL! 8.5 x 11 calendars, printed in full color. Each month features a unique piece of art from a different artist! S0 I've been busy shipping those out too! I'm nearly finished though!

And it looks like we might have one left over! If so, we may be auctioning it. More details to come.

Some Tea Updates:

My all-new-recipe Chocolate Rose Romance will be on the tea cupboard shelf next week! This is the same great tea you all love, but, I've added even more rich, decadent chocolate flavor! I'll post a link to it as soon as I have it ready to sell!

I will also have my special Allergi-TEA! It's not really a tea, as it has no tea leaves in the blend. It's a very special blend of herbs that have been proven (on humans!) to help alleviate the symptoms of allergies. (In other words, it alleviates MY allergy symptoms!) Every spring my allergies begin acting up, around the end of February, and continue throughout the spring and summer. They lighten up a bit during the winter months, but then start again during the early spring.

I don't know about you, but my allergies make me absolutely miserable! I've been working on this recipe for some time, trying to get just the right balance of herbs that also tasted good... and I think I've finally achieved it!

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday, November 27 -- 8:38 am

Good morning! I'm not much of a morning person...

Last entry, I posted one of my recent cab cards, I have a few more today...

The above altered cab card I call "garden" -- I wasn't sure exactly what direction I was going to take this one, I was mostly just playing with the root/branch stamp I recently obtained, and then I found some great ephemera -- catalog pages from an farming catalog! So, from that, the whole garden thing started to evolve.

This one I call 'king of paisley' -- I LOVE paisley... I love how the colors blended with the joint compound. I don't usually use such bold coloration on my altered cab cards, but I felt like the image was strong enough to handle the colors. I had fun with this one.

This cab card I call 'secrets'. I really like this one a lot.

This morning, I go to office depot to pick up the calendars! yay!

Well, that's all for now, I'll post a few more pictures in my next entry.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nearly a month since my last post!

Wow! I can hardly believe that a month has passed since my last post! Time really has flown by these past few weeks!

Can you believe it's already time to be decorating for the holiday? I'm almost in a state of shock of how quickly it's here again. This year, my tree will be even better than last year, having hosted yet another series of altered holiday ornament swaps this year, we will have a tree filled with artistic ornies... no frosty colored bulbs! woot!

Well, so I have a few updates... first, my tea of the month club members can expect to see their teas arriving this next week. The tea of the month for November is Orange Grove. I felt it was an appropriate tea to enjoy this time of year, when the oranges are ripe and ready to enjoy!

December is quickly approaching, so I thought I'd clue you in to the December tea... for my tea of the month customers, the tea of the month will be 'customer's choice!' -- so they'll get to choose thier favorite tea. What that means for those of you who aren't a tea of the month customer, during the month of December, you can simply key in the code "teamonth" (no quotation marks, no spaces) in the coupon field and receive a 10% discount off your entire tea order.

Now, how about some artsy updates? I've been pretty busy artistically, because I do have a lot of different projects on the fire at the moment. First, the calendar pages are all in now, and Monday afternoon, I'll be dropping the pages off at the printers! By Friday, I'll have the calendars in, and begin preparing them for shipment! I can hardly wait to see the finished project!

For those of you who might be scratching your head wondering what the heck I'm talking about... I hosted a calendar project this year, where various members of my yahoo group signed up to create the calendar art for a given month. Each sent me their page, and so our unique calendars will feature art each month from a very talented artist! I'm very excited!

You can see my my page for March in the last blog update (October 21).

Other projects that have kept me busy: My ornament swap. I'm in all 4 groups, making 4 sets of 6 ornaments: 1 set is 'something glass' -- where I have altered ordinary glass bulbs, using paints, embossing powder, mirror chips and resin. The result is pretty cool. I'll snap a pic of them before I mail them out, and post it here soon.

1 set is "something polymer clay", another set is "ATCs" and the final set is "found object". I'm particularly thrilled with the found object ornies, I used the hot beverage sleeve from my local coffee house that's right next to the post office. A few days last month it was really cold on the walk up to the post office, so I decided to stop in and enjoy a chai before heading back home. While the chai is not as good as my own Masterpiece Chai, it's still quite good and it was hot, so it did the job of warming me up after being in the cold, wet weather.

Anyway, using these hot beverage sleeves, I cut them in half, and then fashioned a tussy mussy cone. Then I painted the cone gold, being careful not to distort the existing image on the sleeves. (the sleeves have a coffee cup pattern -- which I prefer to think of as a teacup pattern! -- on them), then I outlined the cup pattern with glaze pens to make the image pop. Adding eyelets to loop a ribbon for hanging, and then I filled the tiny cones with burgundy and green flowers... it's really very nice, almost vintage looking, like something you might see on a victorian tree! Anyway, I'll be sure to snap a picture of them also before I ship them out.

In addition to the ornament swaps, I also host a monthly freestyle ATC swap, which I just finished swapping out. WHEW! As I said, I've been busy! Not to mention the 2 charm swaps that are upcoming, as well as fat book pages that I need to get busy on!

Want a pictorial update? Alrighty. I've also signed up recently for an altered cab card swap. It's a 4/3 swap, and here are the first 1 of the 4 cards...

For this first card, while I was altering it, I kept noticing this man's eyes, as they were very dominate in the photograph. I kept hearing that song "Behind Blue Eyes" and so I gave the man blue eyes and went from there.

Well... that's all for the moment... I need to go get busy! Thanks for reading along!


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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday, October 21: 3:13 pm

Hello Everyone!

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since my last update... I've been very consumed with the Gleaner zine swap. Now that all the packages have been mailed off and out of my studio, I can try to get it organized! Ha! Good luck with that right? I should keep it that way, as sort of a horror display since halloween is coming up!

I've also been working on a little art...... here first are a few ATCs I've worked on for my Monthly Freestyle swap. This time around, I decided to go with an Asian Theme. I call them "Asian Serendipity with Bird 1, 2 & 3" (from left to right). Here they are...
I find that I'm a lot happier with my ATCS when I space the time that I work on them... that is... when I work on them frequently, I find that I'm less inspired to do them... but when I work on them on a more occasional basis, I'm a lot happier with them.
Since these are the first I've done in some time, I'm happy! :)
Another project I'm involved in is with my group is a calendar project. There are 13 artists involved in this project... Each of the artists is to create 1 piece of artwork (8 x 10.5 inches) for a full sized calendar, and mail it to me. Then I'll be taking the finished pages to Office Depot and having them turn the artwork into a printed, 8.5 x 11 calendar!
The artwork that's been submitted thus far has been astounding! I really am proud to be part of this group!
The page that I made changed a bit from the beginning, as I was originally supposed to do the month of May... but then with a couple of people dropping out and a few people joining in to replace them... I now have the month of March. Rather than doing a collage which is what I would have typically turned to... I decided that I'd do something entirely new to me! Needle felting!
WOW! I had so much fun with this project! I really love needle felting... yes, it's takes a lot of time (a little more than 8 hours!) to do a piece (the reason it took me so long is because I don't have one of those nifty needle handles that hold several needles at once... guess what's on my Christmas list now?)... but I SOOOO loved doing it! Here is my finished piece!

What do you think?

Thanks for reading along!


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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday -- in the wee hours of the morn!

Hello Everyone!

Don't ask what I'm doing up this late. Actually, I'm a night owl, which is really quite inconvenient now, because both of my girls are in school. Fortunately, I'm able to go back to bed after I get them both off.

I've been finishing up the Gleaner zine swap... I should have all the boxes out the door by this time next week! At least, I hope so! I have really loved hosting this swap, but, wow, so many awesome 'zines... and it takes up SO MUCH space... of which I really don't have a lot to spare to begin with.

It's really forced me to become a little more organized, and I'm hoping that those new found habits will carry over into my life after the swap is over and done with! *keeping fingers crossed!*

I've also been working busily on my Paris chunky book pages for a swap with another group. Fortunately I'm not hosting that one!

This past week, I did receive some really amazing mail --besides the amazing zines I've been getting -- I recieved my recipe chunky book that was part of a swap for my tea group, Brunch_Scones_Tea -- this is a group I co-own with a fabulous lady named Valerie. We 'inherited' the group from the group's founder, who decided she needed to break away from a few of her groups a couple of years ago.

Anyway, this group had a recipe chunky book swap, and I recently got my book back, and it's simply gorgeous! I was really very pleasantly surprised, for a group that isn't 'art' based, there are some very talented folks in the group!

And here's a pic of my latest deco spread, for Linda's "It's My Year" deco.

This one was a lot of fun... I really enjoyed working with the vivid psychedelic colors for this one, it was almost like I needed an excuse to break away from my tendency to work with muted, vintage-like colors! Not that I dislike working with those colors either. But it was fun to change it up.

Hmmm... wanna see the cover of my zine for the Gleaner 'zine swap?

The spine is covered with a strip of fabric that I tore. I basically did this to cover up the stitching (and also to ensure it will stay in place!). My stitching isn't the greatest on here, but I guess that should come as no surprise, since I'm hardly a seamstress. I was going to make the cover a color copied cover, but, I decided to save the color for some of the pages inside. (Too expensive to color copy these days! Ack!)

Anyway, the 'zine is basically about... tea! Which... kind of leads me to my tea updates. I don't really have a lot of new news about tea... just kind of a reminder that my tea of the month this month is my Masterpiece Chai. There was a little bit of confusion with that, because I had originally thought I'd do my Caramel tea this month... so... if you're a tea of the month customer and would rather have the caramel, I'll do that too!

In addition, since my Almond Mocha Mate took so long to be made available, I am also extending the special pricing of this tea for the full month of October.

OK... so that will about do it for me this evening... thanks for reading along!


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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just a quick art update!

Hello Everyone!

I just want to take a minute to post a couple of pictures... I've been working on decos lately (in addition to the 'zines!) and I have one spread to share with you... this spread is from the Merry Mermaid's deco (Betsey's deco). The top is the left side, and the bottom is the right side. The shiny thing in the upper right corner of the top picture is a shell with a mermaid charm... it looks a lot better in person than the scan shows because of the reflection...

This was a really fun deco to work in.

thanks for checking it out!


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Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday, September 22

Hello Everyone!

Let's start out with a tea update! Well, without further delay, my Breakfast Blend will be ready for shipment on Monday! Sorry for the many delays on this one, but unfortunately, the estate Yunnans I obtain for this blend were on backorder, so I had to wait. . . I'm glad to have it back in stock though... I've missed it! If you've been meaning to get yourself some of this blend, I recommend ordering right away, because it sells out quick!

Secondly, my Almond Mocha Mate is ready for shipment! This is my tea of the month for September. Although it's a little late ... it's well worth the wait! I'm sure you'll agree when you try it!

Next, my Honeybush with Vanilla is back in stock! This is my absolute favorite way to enjoy honeybush, with just a gentle touch of vanilla. It's smooth, slightly sweet, and oh-so-good! Plus, it's so good for you!

Finally, my Shangri-La is back! It was sold out for a brief time, but I'm happy to report that it's back in stock. This is a delicious blend of high quality Assam Black tea & Green teas from China, flavored with exotic tropical flavors! A uniquely delightful flavor that will excite your tastebuds!

And now for my sold-out list... I'm currently sold out of:

Chocolate Rose Romance -- I hope to have this one back in stock by November, as it's one of my favorite cooler weather teas. When it is back in stock, it will be a whole new sensation, as the flavor is even richer and more delicious than before!

Momoko Melon -- This one went fast! I will have it back by early spring to enjoy for iced tea season!

Now, how about an ART update? I haven't been as productive as I'd like to have been over the past few days, I've been working a lot on the 'zines but not much on anything else. I have, however, completed a monthly challenge for a yahoo group in which I'm a member. This month's challenge: we were sent small drawstring bags made of muslin (these are the same bags that I sold at one time -- they're reusable tea bags made from unbleached cotton), and we were to do something with it!

Every member of the group did something a little different with their tiny bag... one person used it as a binding for a journal, one used their bag as an embellishment for an altered bottle... these are just two of the many examples! I love these kinds of challenges because everyone starts out with the same thing but each interprets it in their own way and makes something unique! Here's what I made:

A mini-purse/tote bag. I used alcohol inks, fabric paints, india inks, and a couple of different fibers on the bag, then I strung beads onto a small gauge wire and attached it to the bag.

Here's the other side of the bag:

I have a few projects on the 'to do' list... including several decos that are waiting for my attention, and I need to finish up my altered rolodex cards for this month's swap.

Hey, speaking of yahoo groups, have you joined mine? Here's the link.

It's a fun, art-filled, tea-inspired group with a relaxed atmosphere -- the objective of our group is to help foster and nurture the creative spirit! If you're an artist looking for a home, consider joining us!

Thanks for reading along!

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hello Everyone!

First, let's start with an art update... I've been busy at work on my 'zine... a one-shot, swapper mini-zine for the Gleaner zine swap that's due at the beginning of October, as well as issue #2 (at long last!) A lot of exciting new developments have occurred on that front, but I'm not going to reveal all just yet.

Aside from my 'zine, I've also recently worked on a canvas, this one is a mini-canvas, just 4" x 5", and I call it Tea and Roses.

This one was a lot of fun, and I haven't worked on a canvas in some time, so it really felt good, kind of like an escape!

Now, how about a tea update?

My tea of the month for September is my Almond Mocha Mate. It will be available by Monday, September 25th. Sorry about the delays on this one, they were unavoidable.

My Breakfast blend will also be ready for shipments on that date.

Well, that's all for now, I'll update you more later! Thanks for catching up with me.


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Friday, September 08, 2006

September 8, 2006

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick update... here's a deco layout I made for Catherine. Her deco theme was "I'm Getting Married in the Morning."

I was really unsure what I was going to do with this theme, I mean, yeah, I had lots of really wonderful vintage & antique lace, and even the beaded rose from some wedding dress fabric, and the neat "cherish" ephemera. But, I didn't really have a 'subject' for the deco... until I found this great image on a greeting card that I had in my stash! I love the 'art deco' style of it, and it played nicely with the embossed texture of the background paper I chose. Although it doesn't show up here, I painted the embossed paper with pink twinkling H20, so it has a nice shimmer to it. The background on the other page is made with tissue paper that I painted with the same twinkling H20 paint. The tissue paper absorbs a lot more of the pigment of the paint, so it gives the paper a whole new texture... something I'm going to have to explore with more!

I hope Catherine likes it!


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Monday, September 04, 2006

September 4, 2006: 2:43 pm

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well. Me... well, I've been caring for a young one who has a touch of the flu... so that hasn't been a lot of fun. As a mother, I always tend to 'over worry' about my little ones, even when they get bigger... but especially when they're young. My youngest (the sick one) is 5 years old, and she has been so very healthy over the past couple of years that it really throws me for a loop when she comes down with something.

Anyway, I think I shall start with an artistic update since most of my 'spare' time has been devoted to some artistic endeavors. I've been working on decos mostly, I've signed up for quite a few, and it would seem that no sooner do I finish a deco that I get a envie in the mail that has another deco in it (or 2 or 3 more decos!)... so I do have a bit of catching up to do as far as decos go... so I've been trying to do that.

Recently, I've sent off 2 decos, one that was called "Land of Make Believe." I really enjoyed working in this deco, because it allowed me to go back in time a little bit and reminisce about my childhood. I was pretty much a loner while growing up -- in the words of my father "I was a very unhappy child." -- I think it had less to do with unhappiness and more about my mood disorders, but, that's a different story all together. But one of the things that my father based that synopsis upon was the fact that I had very few friends growing up. I preferred to be alone... I would spend countless hours playing alone and would grow impatient when I was cast into a situation where I would need to play with someone else. I guess I just felt like nobody really 'got' me... I felt alone, even when I was with others.

I don't have a picture of this deco to show you, because it was in a round accordian style deco, and I felt it would be difficult to scan. Basically, though, I explained a story about one of my favorite childhood past-times -- I pretended to be "mother nature". Remember those old margarine commercials that would say "It's not nice to fool mother nature?" -- well, that was me. However, in my gameplay, I didn't eat margarine, instead, I would play in a woodsy kind of area (when I was staying with my mother at this time, she lived in a very rural community, and it was easy to find a place to be mother nature. Later, when living with my father in an apartment complex, it was more difficult, so I would pretend to be mother nature behind a flowered bush!) and pretend to be mother nature, waving a magic wand and casting spells onto bugs, leaves, trees, whatever. It was silly, but then, most child-play is, isn't it?

The second deco that I recently sent out was a deco that celebrated the artwork of John William Waterhouse. Here is the layout that I worked on:

It was a beautiful and fun little deco made of dark red paper bags. I used dyed and painted napkins to accent the background, which allowed me to utilize the beauty of the burgandy color already present on the bags. Because it was made of a bag, I also made a little tag to slip inside of the bag opening. Here is side one of the tag:

Here is side 2:

The next deco I've worked on is one for me... my Paris deco. I have always been intrigued by the beauty of Paris...

The above pic is the cover of my Paris deco.... below is my spread for the deco...

Now, how about some tea updates? My breakfast blend should be ready to go around the 20th of this month. Same for my tea of the month... this month will be my Yerba Mate Blend called Almond Mocha Mate. I look forward to being able to enjoy both of these again!!!

Thanks for reading along!


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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16, 2006; 8:42pm

Hi Everyone!

I've been busy! I've been working on zines mostly, so I don't have a lot to show you, but I did manage to squeeze some time in for a deco!

This deco spread was for Melinda, her deco theme is "mama always said." Since I was never really close to my mother, or my step-mother, I decided to do this spread as a tribute to my beloved Gramma who died in November 2000. I still miss her so much. Here is the spread I did for her:

the right page includes a poem that I wrote called my Gramma. Here it is:

my Gramma

my Gramma always believed in me
even when nobody else did

even when the rest of my family
thought I was a waste

because I didn’t have ambitious
career goals

because I’d find fellowship with a tree
rather than with ‘my own kind’

because I’d rather paint by myself
than be with the family

my Gramma understood this
she understood me
my Gramma loved me
even when I didn’t love myself

a downen


that's all for now!


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Sunday, August 13, 2006

August 13, 2006: 3:53pm

Hi Everyone! It's been a couple weeks since I've added to my journal, I've been kind of busy with things, and haven't had the time to update as I'd like to.

Tea Updates: First, my LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend (I've been having several requests for it!) will be ready to go by the end of August. Watch the website and this blog for more details as they become available.

My Chocolate Rose Romance will be ready right about the same time.

August Tea of the Month is: Summer's Harvest, and it's almost sold out! Hurry and get yours at this exceptional price now!

September Tea of the Month isn't really a tea at all! It's a Yerba Mate! A very special Yerba Mate! My Almond Mocha Mate will be up on the website when it becomes available at the beginning of September.

I debated with myself for quite some time about carrying Mate because it's not actually a tea (but then, neither are rooibos, honeybush or fruit/herbal tisanes!), but once I concocted this blend I knew I had to! CAUTION: This flavor is highly addicting!

The inspiration behind my Almond Mocha Mate was my favorite Mocha drink that I used to indulge in. Unfortunately, coffee doesn't agree with my system, and I always end up jittery and even nauseous! So I had to stop drinking my favorite mocha... a delightfully delicious coffee drink with a delicate flavoring of Almond Roca, my favorite candy! So good!

When I first tried roasted Mate, I was intrigued. While the flavor of plain Mate leaves a bit to be desired (at least by me!) I recognized a certain roasty flavor to it that was somewhat reminiscent of the roasted coffee drinks I used to enjoy! So I started playing, first adding chocolate (Hey... if all else fails, add chocolate!), and then a little touch of toffee flavoring. I was pleasantly surprised with this flavor combination but felt that it could be enhanced just a little bit with the addition of a vanilla cream and almond flavoring... and what resulted was this unique flavor combination! A rebirth of my favorite Almond Mocha, but without the jitters, and without the nausea!


Now... on to some art updates!

I've been busy at my art table... here are some Cabinet cards I altered recently... The top one is the cabinet card before I altered it, and the bottom one is after... of course, you probably could have figured that out for yourself, huh?

I call this one "Ain't Life Grand." This little boy looked so irritated about having to have his picture taken, and in that fancy frilly dress, no less! My mind started thinking... a trans-diva in the making, for sure!

Here's the next set...

I call this one "A Long Time Ago"

I've been having a lot of fun altering the cab cards! If only I had enough time in one day to do all these things I love to do! :)

Thanks for reading along!

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Not much to say today...

Hi Everyone:

I don't have a lot to say today, but I figured I'd go ahead and update my blog with some of my latest art while I have a chance, since hubby has a day off today and I won't have much time on the comp.

This first piece (to the left) is a piece I made for Flory's puzzle, she chose a 1960s theme. I am not sure why I find certain themes more challenging than others, but for whatever reason, I found this theme challenging for me. I do like how it came out though.

The last puzzle piece for the set of 7 that I created is Crystal's. She chose a 'fantasy' theme -- think dragons, fairies, and other cool, mystical & magical stuff.

It's a little difficult to see this piece, because it's a dimensional piece so I had to take a pic of it rather than a scan. And because there are a lot of sparkly, shiny embellishments on there, they reflected in the picture.... so like I said, it's hard to see... but the piece is nicer than the picture reveals. At least, I think so!

Also, Crystal is a jewelry artist, and makes some really fabulous pieces (my daughter loves her site!) ... you can check out some of her creations here.

Hmmm... some other things I've been working on.... I've been working on my Accidental Artist Zine... just a few final copies that I need to finish. So I have 2 new centerfolds for those....

As you can see, I've been kind of going through my Asian inspired funk... not a bad thing... it just seems like whenever I go through these "funks" that everything has a touch of Asian influence in it. The above centerfold is for issue #9.

Yep, another Asian collage! LOL The above image is of the centerfold for issue #10. These issues will be finished by today, and I hope to get a couple more finished, so that I can close the chapter on this zine.

Speaking of zines... I'm going to republish my first issue! For those of you who are familiar, my first issue of EccentricPastiche is a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh. I have had a demand for more copies, and one of the copies that was mailed in February got lost in the mail... I think I've allowed for sufficient time for it to arrive, I guess it's safe to assume that someone else is enjoying my 'zine! The saddest part of this, is that I also included a gift along with that issue, so, the gift has also gone missing.

OH well... for the most part, USPS is reliable, right?

Anyway, I'm printing a very, very limited run of 10 copies of the 'zine... and selling the remaining 9 copies to the first people who speak up and want it! Email me if you're interested!


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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Another Break for Art!

Hi Everyone:

Our weather lately has been weird! Earlier this week, we had some heat waves, and today, it's overcast and even a bit chilly! Like I said, weird.

Anyway, I've been working on quite a few things... since I'll be heading to the printers within the next day or two (I hope!), I've been hard at work on a zine that I'll be contributing to a swap I'm hosting and is due early October for the Gleaner Group. I've also been finishing up the puzzle pieces (which I did finally finish) so that I could send out the puzzle swap packages to my group.

Here are a few more puzzle pieces that I've worked on:

This first one (to the left) is for Nancy's "Sweets" puzzle.

The piece to the right is for Teresa's "Wine" puzzle.

I really enjoy doing puzzle pieces... each has a unique shape so it's fun to play around with the images to get them just right.

Um... ok, so I guess I should have a tea update or two, huh? Well, my breakfast blend has been delayed, unfortunately, due to backorders from my vendors. I hope to have the blend back in stock by mid July, and I'll keep ya posted on that!

Have you signed up for my newsletter? I try to keep my newsletters limited to once a month... sometimes I get excited about something and make it more than one a month, and sometimes, well... I forget to make one at all (which reminds me, I do need to get started on a newsletter within the next day or two!) Every newsletter contains a special DEAL on my teas that's not available elsewhere, so it's definitely worth the subscription price! (FREE!)

I've also been working on DECOS! If I let too much time slip by I am soon BURIED with decos... so I try to keep on a timely schedule with them. Also, I know how exciting it is for me to get one of my decos BACK... so, I can only imagine that it's that same kind of excitement for the other people in my deco group when they get theirs back. If you're interested in decos or possibly joining a deco group, click here for info on my favorite.

The most recent deco that I've worked on was Marianne's "Old Movie Classics" (Below).

I am, by no means, an old movie buff, so I felt a little intimidated by this theme... to me, "Police Academy" is an old movie classic! ha! Well, one night I needed to sort through some of my miscellaneous images, and I came across some Charlie Chaplin images someone had sent me in a RAK package, so I chose to do a chaplin theme for this deco. I used an antique gold metallic tissue paper that I wadded up for texture and then used an inkpad to bring out the crinkly texture for the background, and I thought it kind of played nicely with the "silence is golden" layout.

I hope Marianne likes it!

Anyway, that's my update for now... I have a couple more puzzle pieces and a few other things to show you, but I'll save them for my next update or two! Thanks for reading along!


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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Zines, Zines Everywhere!

Hi Everyone!

I just love 'zines. I can't explain why, exactly, I just do. Of course, I should probably explain a little bit about what a 'zine is... at least, my definition of a 'zine...

'Zine is a self-published magazine. There are many different kinds of 'zines out there, cartoon 'zines, 'zines with political agendas, personal 'zines, literary 'zines... but my favorite 'zines are "art" 'zines. These are 'zines that have some sort of artistic slant... some have 'how to' type of articles, some have interviews or articles about other artists, and some are pure eye candy, with a stunning array of artwork upon which to feast your eyes! Most art 'zines, though, are a montage of these different things: artwork, how-to's and interviews & articles. They aren't always just about art, they are about different aspects of life.

For example, one of my earliest zines is my popcorn issue. I listed my favorite movies and movie characters, talked about life in and out of the movies and even had a round robin story written by several artist friends. It was all wrapped up in a retro-style wax popcorn bag. It was a fun 'zine, it wasn't entirely about art, but it was something that I still considered an art 'zine.

One of my favorite things about 'zines is all the goodies that come with a 'zine! I have often described the opening of a zine like christmas morning... you remember... you wake up extra early, and the first thing you dig in to is your stocking filled with candies and small trinkets and toys. Well... a 'zine is a lot like that experience! Not only do most 'zines include little fun inclusions (usually, art zines have fun little goodies to use in art: fibers, beads, baubles, and other ephemera), but the articles and artwork inside is also a fun gift!

I also LOVE making 'zines. I tried to explain my love for making 'zines as sort of a completion for me... it's my way of expressing my art and my passion for art with words.

What started this gushing over 'zines was recieving two fabulous 'zines in the mail today! :)

Anyway... I have some new artwork to share! Here's are some puzzle pieces that I worked on recently for my yahoo group's puzzle swap:

the piece to the right is a piece for one of my group members, Carol, and her chosen theme was Tuscany and Provence.

The piece above ^ is a piece I worked on for Brenda's puzzle. Brenda chose a vintage theme.

The piece to the left is a piece I worked on for Janice's puzzle. Janice chose "Purple" as her theme. It's a little hard to see all the detail in this picture. I'm a lot better at scanning than I am at photography... :) But I needed to photograph this puzzle piece because it's got a lot of dimension to it.

Now... for a quick tea update!

August's (Yikes! August already!) tea of the month is Summer's Harvest! This is a great blend of High Grown Ceylons with the delightful summer flavors of Sun-ripened Peaches and Apricots. It's one of my favorite teas to serve iced!

So that's all for now, thanks for reading along!

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A little early...

I'm posting 'tomorrow's' blog entry a little early, because I just have this feeling that tomorrow, I'll forget! And since I'm here and trying to procrastinate doing the dishes, I figured I'd go ahead and add to my blog.

Tea of the Month Club members:

If you haven't received this month's tea shipment, it will be arriving soon. All orders will be shipped by Thursday.

I wasn't sure which tea I'd make my tea of the month for August. But I let a few of my tea club members decide for me, I received quite a few emails from my members requesting that I make Summer's Harvest the tea of the month for August... and so Summer's Harvest it is!

I've also had a few requests from customers that used to be tea of the month club members but have had to drop the membership... to bring the membership back! So I will be working on that, and look for it in the coming weeks on the website! In the meantime, if you just can't wait, please email me and I'll set something up for you!

Last... but not least.... time for an artsy update!

I finished 2 more altered Carte De Vistes. Here's a before & after of the first one, I call the finished piece "Key to the Castle"...

Next, this one is called "birdman" -- the original photo was kind of "creepy" -- he kind of looked like he belonged on the addam's family or the munsters! So, I kind of went with this idea, and turned him in to a guy who turns in to a bird monster at night.

So that's it for now, I hope you enjoyed catching up with me!

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July 18, 2006: Winners of the Contest!

Hi Everyone!

Well, for those of you who frequent my tea website, you know that I ran a grand opening contest to celebrate the unveiling of my whole new site! Well, I've finally had a moment to sit down and collect myself... so I am ready to announce the winners of the contest!

The winner of a full-sized tin of tea *Winner's Choice!* and an Empress Style Tea Strainer is:

Tamma W.

The 3 runners-up, each winning a $5.00 gift certificate are:

Doris P.
Thomas F.
John R.

I have emailed the 4 winners, and they have 1 week to respond to my email. If I don't hear from them, then I will hold an alternate drawing and award their prize to someone else.

NOTE: The $5.00 gift certificate must be used at and can not be redeemed for cash.

Anyway, I hope to hear from my winners soon!

That's all for now. Tomorrow, I'll have tea, tea of the month & art updates! yippee!!


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Friday, July 14, 2006

July 14, 2006: another quickie...

Hi Everyone: Just gonna take enough time here to post a new pic of a deco spread. This one was for Sharon's Ooolala! Deco......

There's a lot of sparkle on this deco, with rhinestone embellishments and stuff, which don't come out very clear on the scan.

I also finished a deco for Cheryl, called "children's literature" -- unfortunately, I forgot to scan it before I packaged it up... hopefully Cheryl will scan it for me!


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006: Just a quick post

Hi Everyone! *wondering if anyone actually reads this, or if I'm addressing everyone to no-one*

Anyway... I just have a quick update today, I have another altered CDV... this one I'm happier with than I was my first...

The left side is kind of blurry because the musical symbol is dimensional and lifted the card away from the glass of the scanner.

Thanks for checking in...


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Sunday, July 09, 2006

July 9, 2006: More Art

Hi Everyone!

A real short update this time, more pics than words! This first one is my layout for Laurie's Belly Dancer Deco...

This next pic is my first attempt at altering a Carte de Viste. (A carte de viste is a smaller Cabinet Card)... I'm still a little unsure about this... since it's my first one... I'm not sure if I like it or not... What do you think?

So, that's it for now. Tomorrow, I will probably have a couple more Carte de Vistes... since I need to make 3 for an upcoming swap......

Thanks for checking in with me!


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Saturday, July 08, 2006

July 8, 2006: Tea & Art

Hi Everyone!

I'll start with a quick tea update. For those of you who are awaiting your July tea of the month package, it will be shipped by Wednesday of next week! This month's tea is Strawberry... it's perfect for Iced Tea brewing! The strawberry flavor is subtle and sweet, and very refreshing! Just the ticket to quench your thirst on these hot summer days!

August's tea of the month will be Blue Eyes! (Another perfect choice for iced tea brewing, and a delicious treat for the kids! Shhh, Mom! don't tell them it's a healthy drink, they'll never know!)

Now... for more art updates. As I promised with last night's update, I bring you my Asian Deco. This is the cover of my deco, which I will send out on Monday to begin it's round robin journey:

This deco actually took me a long time to get started. A big part of the delay is due to the fact that I had a lot of 'zines to get finished, but another part was that ever lurking fear... I had something in my head of what I wanted, but I couldn't express it.

This deco doesn't quite match the original idea that I had in my head, but I actually like it better than my original plan... so, I guess that's a good thing!

I had some fun in my photo processing program this morning and tried a few effects. Here's the cover using the 'antique' effect... I think I actually like the pic better antiqued! It just sort of adds to the whole feel I was trying to convey with the deco.

I also did the first layout for the deco...

Thanks for checking out the blog!


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Friday, July 07, 2006

July 7, 2006: Decos!

Hi There!

I've been working on Decos today! It feels good to finally be working on something other than Zines. I love 'zines... but, sometimes, you need to do something else! :)

The theme of this deco is "Mystic Mermaids" and it belongs to Sharon. This is side one to the layout I completed for her. It looks better in person! The scan kind of came out blurry.

Here's side two!

This was a fun deco to work on.

I've also worked on the cover and first layout for an Asian Deco (my deco) and a Belly Dancer Deco that belongs to Laurie. I'll post pictures to those at a later time (the decos are still drying!)

Thanks for stopping by!


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