Friday, July 27, 2012

Consider A Doodle

Consider a line, a squiggle, a full-blown doodle...or a Zentangle!

We've all done it...doodled on something...the margins of a bill while talking on the phone, in a magazine, your school notebook, or in the Yellow Pages.

You might want to take it to the next level and try a Zentangle.

(Photo courtesy of Jane Monk Studio)

A Zentangle is simply a way of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. 

(Photo courtesy of Jane Monk Studio)

Amanda first introduced our group to Zentangle last year.  Even her children and their friends were "Zentangling" and having so much fun.  Upon doing a Google search, I was amazed at how extensive this art form is. 

(photo courtesy of texasdoxiemama)

(photo courtesy of Mariƫt of Studio ML)
I love this clockface!

(photo courtesy of Sandra Kay Strait)

(photo courtesy of Sandra Kay Strait)

The art of Zentangle is more than just basic creativity and artistic outlet.  It can also help with hand/eye coordination, insomnia, stress and anxiety reduction, anger management, relaxation, and is even used as an addiction therapy tool. Zentangle can be used as a stretching exercise for artists, as well as help with inspiration and self-esteem.  After learning that, who wouldn't want to give this a try.

Here's a few gorgeous Zentangle blogs to visit:

A book for beginners is one way to start.  There is also a kit you can purchase, designed by the creators of Zentangle. 

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at

happy Friday everyone!
warmest wishes,
Marilyn :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

French Bistro Labels Tutorial....

by Julie Collings

i adore sweet little packages~ a tissue paper bundle, a fabric envelope, or even a brown paper sack with a handmade label. these French Bistro labels are my favorite thing right now for a quick and darling little gift.

here are 7 ideas to decorate your labels that will celebrate the holidays all year long. after the labels have been decorated you can attach them to your parcels with a glue dot, glue stick, or glue gun.

1. love you valentines day label
punch 2 hearts from vintage music paper and glue the first one to the label, fold the second in half and glue just along the fold. type or print out the words Love You and cut out and glue on label. thread a pretty string on a needle and poke it through the top of the heart and back up through the label. tie on a tiny heart charm.
2. sweet birthday candle
trim the bottom 1/4 inch off a birthday candle with scissors. layer a birthday candle, bit of tinsel, and a paper flower on the label and tie with tinsel string in a knot.

3. spun cotton snowman
remove the chenille stem and chenille scarf from the spun cotton snowman and cut him carefully in half using an exacto blade. cut the back of the paper hat off with scissors. twist back on the chenille scarf and glue your snowman down to a label.
4. holiday holly berries
tie a bundle of sugared millinery stamens and a lacquered holly leaf on a label with a narrow silk ribbon.

5. summer sequin flowers
arrange 3 tiny daisy appliques in a row across a label. using the seed beads and sequins from your collection or a vintage sequined fruit, sew with a needle and thread through the daisy then the sequin then the bead and back down through the sequin to the back of the tag. tie off your thread on the back after the last sequin flower.

6. pastel Easter bouquet
clip a little bouquet of forget-me-nots from an Easter hat or posy and tie with a pink silk ribbon to your label.
7. spooky Halloween spider
glue a black glittered die cut halloween spider to a label and type or print out the word Boo! and glue to the top of the spider.

you can order a set of these labels in my shop Vintage Handmade or leave a comment below by August 1st and one lucky winner will receive a set in the mail.

happy packaging,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Organize to suit! (Organization tip # 2)

      As I posted last month, I was getting a craft room finished and wanted to organize it in a different more catchy way than plastic type bins. I wanted my containers to have a vintage look and be out on shelves for me to look at as well as  store my favorite stashes.  If you don't know me by now, I have a bit of a hoarding tendency and have been collecting containers for awhile now. Old suitcases are among the many things I collect. Here are some of my finds.
Can you tell I LOVE old suitcases?

      I thought about storing old ribbons in one of my suitcases but it was always a mess so I built (once again with the help of my awesome husband) a "Ribbon Storage Suitcase".

Here's how-
  •   First, select a suitcase that's sturdy, deep enough for larger ribbon rolls, and one that you don't mind drilling holes in.
  •    Second, measure the holes in your ribbon spools so you can determine the size of dowels you will need for your ribbon to spin freely.
  •     Third, measure your suitcase to see how many rows of ribbon you'll be able to fit. *( Tip- You'll want your suitcase to be tall enough for the larger size spools of ribbon, enough space between dowels so spools will have plenty of room to unroll, and still be able to close.)
  •      Fourth, measure and cut your dowels to fit your suitcase crosswise so when your ribbon is on the dowel it will pull toward the front of the suitcase.
This used to be my grandmas old suitcase.

  •         Fifth, measure and drill holes in your suitcase, snug enough so your dowel won't turn with your ribbon but loose enough that you can take your dowels out to add new ribbon or take a roll off.
My awesome husband

  •      Sixth, arrange your ribbon to fit and insert dowels. *( Tip - You may need to give your dowel a tap on the end to get it started in your hole,)
Ribbons GALORE!!!

  •       finally, arrange your ribbon so it hangs over the edge of your case, store mini rolls or trims in the side pockets and close. Pull ribbon out as needed!  *(Final tip- if your suitcase closes a bit tight you can simply open the side you need the ribbon from, thus keeping the rest of the ribbon neat!)
They seem to roll out just right! (Maybe they'll even press out on the way. lol)
     Now I'll put my suitcase away on a special shelf built just for my treasures, (or junk as my husband likes to refer to it!)
Part of my awesome craft/work studio
      I'd love to hear or see creative ways you store your ribbon and other various craft supplies!

                                                 Have a blissful summer day, Shannon

Friday, July 20, 2012

Life Is Beautiful- A World Of Inspiration

The world shines about me,
luminous as the moon, smiling like a rose,
and a sweet benediction flows through everything existing.
How beautiful life is.
Hamza El Din

Life is beautiful don't you think?  Each day I 
marvel at the beauty that surrounds me.
Like this pretty pink rose with rain kissed petals that stood proud in my garden.

All around us there is BEAUTY
(Photo credit)

(image found on Pinterest)


"The eye is the most refined of our senses, the one which communicates most directly with our mind, our consciousness".
Ronald Dahl 

The world around us can be a wonderful influence in the art we create.  Nature and color are a beautiful inspiration for our creative hearts.

I love this pretty painting by Rebecca Sower

I found this nature inspired painting on Pinterest
(So Sweet)

Look how color comes to play in these wonderful but simple paintings by Christina Romeo

(I adore the beautiful simplicity created with beautiful color)

I am so thankful for this beautiful world we live in- for the magic and color it brings.  
I am always inspired by it.

Remember to slow down from this busy world in which we live.  Take time to explore…..

xoxo Lorraine

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Surprises

Summer reflection!


Summer surprises!  By Deb Beeton

I love the quote from the movie Dan In Real Life when he says about life, "plan to be surprised!"
The summer is half over and it has been full of some unexpected surprises.  I have captured some in pictures!  These unexpected surprises have made for some memorable experiences as a family, this summer.  So glad we can record our experiences so we can go back and recall those moments of surprise and smile and laugh!  I hope you enjoy some of our pics!

We were on our 6500 mile trek in the RV in June.  All 8 of us. No kidding.  27 days,13 states.  In an RV.   Need I say more?  (Oh yeah!!!!.) We saw sites and learned a lot of American History and church history along the way.
Some of my most memorable sites were surprises along the way.  They were not so famous places, but interesting nonetheless.

 We were walking around the Boston Commons and this beautiful little yard caught my eye . Right in the middle of busy Boston, Ma.

We made an unexpected stop at beautiful Walden pond in Massachussetts!  My kids were not excited about another "stop" until they saw it and we took a dip with some friends! (They were happy about the stop afterward)

We went to the Plymoth Plantation in Massachussetts and stopped at a beautiful little park.  Look what came to greet us!

                           As we walked closer to a  pond in the park, we saw this quiet sight.
                                                                     Surprised us!

Look at this incredible antique french wall paper in Abraham Lincoln's bedroom!  Love it!

We got home from the big trip and Surprise!  Our bunny had babies!!

                            In Utah on the 4th of July we were doing our traditional water slide in  RockCanyon.                             Surprise! I didnt go down this year!

  My favorite aunt was showing me her beautiful flower garden (hydrangeas - also my favorite) Look how beautiful these colors are!

                              She told me to look at the nest in her lilac bush and look what I saw!


We went to oceanside for our yearly reunion and  Surprise! Russ got stung by a stingray in the ocean!  Doesnt look like much, we laugh now at how small the mark is.  (that tiny red mark) I guess sting rays really hurt. (We learned you must put your foot in the hottest water you can stand for 2 hours and it takes the venom out!)  Luckily no infection.

We love to get up in the morning and go walk on the beach.  Who doesnt love these moments?  We collected little surprises along the way. 

Wouldnt these be cool to put on a sailors box or in a mosaic?

While we were on our beach trip, oldest daughter's boyfriend came to meet us, now their engaged!  Surprise!

                                                                      I love these kids!!

 Maddie ( my oldest) getting married August 24th and Michael 19 leaving to Richmond, Virginia for two years!

Surprise! Life keeps moving on!   Good thing we made some fun memories together this summer!!

Happy Summer!

Friday, July 13, 2012

What do you do in the Summertime???

What do you do in the Summertime?  When all the world in green?  Do you swim in a stream or lazily dream and watch as the clouds go by???? Is that what you do??? So do I.
the last few weeks we have been on vacation enjoying the laziness of summer, catching up with family and friends, saluting America's flag, and standing in awe as children discover the beauty of the earth.

 I sometimes forget how magical summer is, the little miracles that happen every year.  Here is a baby bird that fell out of one of our nests, the girls found it and made it a home, they fed it with a medicine dropper.  I didn't have the heart to tell them what would happen next.

and cattle drives ( a major summer event in our little town).   I am a farm girl, and this is a beautiful sight to me, right outside our home we watch a few times a year as this farm families herd thecows right down old highway.  The cows usually run amuck through a few of the yards and cause a little havoc, but we don't mind a bit. 

To encourage family time and to make sure we do some of our favorite things in summer,we make a list of things we want to do.  Everyone contributes and we put it up somewhere so that we can see it everyday.  This is our list from 2010.  Usually i forget to take a picture.  I laugh that it says "go to Sonic" we love happy hour.  Another item on the list is have a camp out in the backyard, parents included, that is always a fun one!!!  

Here is a darling Summer list from this adorable blog

I hope you are crossing off some of those items on your Summer bucket list. 

 Here are few more of mine.

Make these Lemon buttermilk popsicles, to eat after a long bike ride.

Dreaming about this and the possibilities

and i am going to get better at this.

enjoy your summer and go out and cross a few things off your summer bucket list.