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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Thursday, July 06, 2006

July 6, 2006: More Art Updates

Hello Everyone!

Over the past weekend I've been finishing up the handmade 'zines I've been making for a swap. I've made a total of 8 so far (just enough for the swap) and I'll be making more over the next couple of weeks or so for the people who I'm doing private 1-1 swaps with, or am selling the 'zine to. So far, I've posted the first 3 centerfolds (each centerfold to the 8 zines is different), so, I think I'll go ahead and post the next 5 centerfolds today. The first three are 'zines 1, 2 & 3, consecutively... and here are the next 5:

The above centerfold is for issue #4.

The above artwork is the centerfold for issue #5 (LOL I just noticed that the corner was bent in the scan!)

The above artwork is the centerfold for issue #6

The above piece is the centerfold for issue #7

And finally, the above is for issue #8. I had a lot of fun exploring with different techniques on these centerfolds. I find that the more I create, the more freedom I begin to feel in my expressions, which is truly a joyful experience for me.

I hope you enjoy the artwork! Thanks for stopping by!


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Monday, July 03, 2006

July 3, 2006: 5:09 pm

Hello Everyone! Well it's a Monday evening, but it feels like a lazy Sunday to me. I think it's partially because hubby is off work today (and he's usually off on Sundays, but wasn't this week) and asleep at the moment, and partially because I want an extra day this week so that I can finish my project on time! Ha!

Anyways, I promised a few more tea updates the last time I posted (early yesterday morning, or perhaps LATE LATE Friday night?)... so here they are!

I don't remember if I *told* you about my current romance with Yerba Mate. See, once upon a time, I used to drink mochas quite frequently -- and I loved everything about them -- except how they made me feel shortly after drinking them. I'd feel nervous, jittery, and physically ill. Like I was about to hurl! So, I had to give them up, but it was a sad moment for me because I really did love them. I especially loved my favorite chocolate almond mocha... It was so delicious, decadent, creamy... just... YUM!

About a year ago, I tried Yerba Mate. I was less than impressed, to be quite honest. I didn't really enjoy it, and I didn't *get* why people were so excited by this drink. But, then, one of my vendors sent me a sample of flavored Mate... chocolate flavor, to be exact! And I was hooked! It tasted so similar to my dearly departed mochas, but I didn't have the jittery ill feeling that I'd get from them. So I decided I must try working with them more!

I think I've finally managed to perfect the flavor I was searching for... my chocolate almond mocha! I should have my first batch available for sale by mid to late month July! yes, this month! Woo hoo! Be watching my blog for the update on my Almond Mocha Mate!!!

Other Updates: I will have a batch of my allergy relief tisane in late this month. And... DO I EVER NEED IT! The allergies are hitting me hard this year, I'll attribute that to the wet winter and spring we had this year. So much green... so much pollen! If you also suffer from allergies, I recommend trying the allergy relief... it is very soothing and really does help with the symptoms (without the side affects of the OTC meds).

Now for some artistic updates... I've been really working hard to get my zine project done! Here's another centerfold....

Anyways... that's all for now... have a great Sunday... errrr... Monday evening!


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Sunday, July 02, 2006

July 2, 2006: 1:22 am

Yep, a late night again.

I had actually typed out a long blog update earlier today (well, technically, yesterday) but I accidentally deleted it when I attempted to load a pic. Oh well.

So here I am again. I'm going to start with a tea update or two...

First, the tea of the month for July is *STRAWBERRY* ~ and is there really any more perfect tea for the middle of summer than my strawberry tea? In my opinion, no fruit represents the summer more than Strawberries. My tea has just a subtle strawberry flavor ~ a perfect choice for sun-tea brewing or perhaps you'd like to try my new iced tea recipe? It's the easiest way I've found to brew delicious iced tea every time.

Next... I'm sold out of my Liberteas Breakfast Blend, and I will have more in stock by the middle of the month. The same is true for my Chocolate Rose Romance -- although I didn't technically sell out of the Chocolate ~ I've blended a whole new batch because I've improved upon my recipe! A deeper, richer chocolate flavor -- more sinfully delightful goodness in every sip! This is truly a dessert tea worth trying... and with ZERO fat and calories, it's worth a second cup. (Note: the chocolate tea does taste better with just a dash of sugar and a splash of milk... but, even with these additions, the fat and calories are very low!)

I will be updating the blog this coming week with more exciting tea news.

Art updates!

I've been busy at the art table.

This is another centerfold to my upcoming 'zine ~ Discovering the Accidental Artist. As I may have mentioned previously, this is a zine unlike any other I've done, because each is handmade. I typed the text, printed it, and then cut and pasted it in to the pages of the 'zine. Every centerfold is different, making each 'zine a unique, one of a kind booklet.

This is the centerfold for copy #2.

I have really enjoyed working on this 'zine, because it's really challenged me, and also given me a chance to actually just... create art! After the crunch time of the projects that I've been working on, primarily the Sunergos zine, I felt exhausted. I mean, I did enjoy it immensely, however, there were times where I felt like I lost the artist inside me to a machine. So... this 'zine has really helped me get back to the artist within and has re-invigorated my muse!

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

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