Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Key To A Perfect Gift~Aesthetics

If you're struggling to find a perfect gift for mother's day or for a dear friends birthday, this idea might do the trick.

1. Find a book that you can purchase from a antique store. This is important because the book needs to look old. If you find a book where the title alone captures your attention but you don't know about the story, get it anyway. Books can be used to decorate. Even if the person never cracks it open, they can still place it on a shelf or tuck it under a vase to raise the vase a little. Each time they look at the title they will think of you and how clever you are.

Examples Of Themes:
-I have a friend who loves castles. How about, I Capture The Castle?

-For a Jane Austen lover, anyone of her classics.

-If your mother or friend is an early riser how about, The Hours Before Dawn by Celia Fremlin-I have no idea what this book is about but it looks old and the title is a clever nod to your friend or mother's early rising habit.

You get the idea. By doing this they will know you took the time and thought of them.

2. For a tea lover, find an old tea cup, even if it's slightly chipped (it adds character) get it as long as its aesthetically pleasing. For a coffee lover find an old mug or one made to look old.

3. Purchase a book mark that reflects the theme of the book. You can custom order them from me.

For a Christmas present my friend commissioned several book marks from me. They were gifts to a lumber family here in Oregon. So, for the dad and brother, I found some original clippings about the language of a logger. They turned out really cool because they were from 1936 and in this case they were original clippings. For the two girls, I made two whimsical cat lover book marks and for the third girl I made a fairy bookmark.

Now put all three elements together and you have a very thoughtful and aesthetically appealing gift.

The picture is my favorite theme. I love anything British, so the book is, I Capture the Castle, The cup and saucer have several chips in but they are still pretty and functional. The bookmark I made with clippings from a 1798 London Herald newspaper. So so cool.
I will be putting the book mark on etsy in the next few days. If you would like to purchase it ahead of time please email back at the above address.
Ahhhh, now I think I'm going to sit down, enjoy my tea, and relax.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brick Tea/Interesting Info

Did you know the tea that was dumped over board at the Boston Tea Party was brick tea?

You did?

I always invisioned millions of Lipton (Okay, maybe Earl Gray) tea bags floating about the harbor or on an intelligent day, I invisioned loose leaf tea (the kind you get at Teavana).

But never in my wildest daydreams, did I invision brick tea.

In fact, I didn't even know it existed until I purchased a brick at Fort Vancouver Historical Reserve. I even tired it. It is very good and smells yummy.

The brick shown above is from the same Chinese company that supplied tea to the Hudson Bay Company of London in 1845.

Brick tea was very popular with the fur trappers because it was so concentrated that it only took a small amount scrapped into a cup of boiling water to produce a great cup of tea.

There is your history lesson for today.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Favorite Coffee Mug

Lately, I've been pondering the importance of a good coffee mug. One you love. One you cherish. One that makes you smile when you reach for it.

I basically have tons of coffee mugs but I tend to only use three or so, over and over, again. This week, I'm into the mug, feature above. Thanks Mom!

My mug selection comes in waves like a song you download from ITunes, play to death, stop listen to, then rediscovered the next month.

But I often wonder, why do I only use three out of the gaggle I own? Is it something about the size? A sentimental feeling for who gave it to me? The way the hot mug feels in my hands? Or could it be the design I tend to stare at while I'm mulling over my next scene in my book?

Does coffee taste better when you drink it from a mug you really like?

These are questions that may never be answered but are worth pondering.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I'm Working On

One of my favorite holiday's is St. Patrick's Day. But it's the holiday with the cheesiest decorations. I mean really do we need more plastic shamrocks? Do Irish people decorate with this crap? Probably not.
Okay, I do have shamrock lights that are plastic. But there are no Leprechaun's with shiny black hats in my house.
Up top is a sneak peak of my latest piece a Celtic Collage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh Summer Hurry Up!/Started New Job

This is the beginning of my second week of work.

Things I learned last week:
  1. What PFA means- please find attached. Like duh!
  2. The meaning of "Generation Gap"- yep it does exist.
  3. Gap doesn't cover the full depth of the distance between a well seasoned woman of . . .shall we say forty-something and non-seasoned 24 year old. Maybe crevasse would be a better way to put it. Generation Crevasse hmmm I'll have think about it.
  4. I now know how to instant message or as hip people say IM. Yippee! I feel alive!

Four things in one week. I can't wait to see what I learn this week. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Posted Two Items On Etsy

I posted my march madness basketball collage on etsy and my shoe collage (featured above) on Etsy.

I love the shoe collage and I love to say shoe collage really fast. Try it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

March Madness

Here is a sneak peak of my March Madness basketball collage.

I hope you like it.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Valentine Movie List

As Valentine's Day approaches everyone needs a little romance. Here is my list:

1. I Capture The Castle -is one of my favorite books and a wonderful movie. It is a must.

2. Love In a Cold Climate- So so very British. Nancy Mitford, the oldest of the famous Mitford Sisters wrote this book. The PBS adaptation is very good. Just remember to enter a room while saying-F-r-e-s-h (you'll get this once you see the movie).

3. Wives and Daughters, written by Elizabeth Gaskell this is a wonderful BBC production. So romantic and it has a very happy ending.

4. North And South,- No this is not the one about Ory Maine. This is another romance by Elizabeth Gaskell. Richard Artmitage is in this and does a wonderful job. He is UKlicious.
That's all for now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Battle Map Art Work

I finally got this baby done and mounted. It still gives me chills, mixed with a feeling of pride in our countries past.

To us, this map is history, but if you had any sort of imagination (as Anne Of Green Gables would say) you could picture yourself in those turbulent times. Reading the paper, thinking, is this the end of the United States? Will the Nazi's, with their deadly U-Boats, take over the world?

The fate of America was in the hands of the men at the left of the article. "Oh heavy burden".

When I first saw, touched, and read this original newspaper, I thought of how the map resembled a board game with a potentially deadly outcome of course. The Commanders didn't know if the chances, decisions, or orders, they took, made, or gave were going to work.

A wrong roll of the dice, a bad decision made, a incorrect command, and all could be lost. It's from premise that I took my inspiration for this piece.
The poker chips and dice are vintage from the 1940's. I added vintage sheet music from one of my favorite songs, "When The Lights Go On Again". It's a song of hope.
Note: And of course the Swing Time Designs is not on the original.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Gilligan! Look Out! And News Around Ann's World

I took the top picture a couple of summers ago in Friday Harbor. The guy in the dingy looks just like Gilligan, don't ya think? Too Funny. And let me tell you the Clipper did not slow down for him. They just honked their very loud horn. You should have seen him scramble. I could just hear the Skipper yelling, "Row Little Buddy! Row!"

News flash:
I am feverishly working on getting my book cleaned up to send to a contest in May. Sometimes I wonder, "Will it ever be clean enough?" I'm on page 283 I only have a few hundred more pages to go. :)

More News:
I might have a full time job. A range of human emotions are going through me right now.

Great News:
I sold the football collage to a woman with very good taste who resides in Aurora, IL. Thank you thank you my lovely woman with very good taste.

Current News:
I am starting a new piece of art work. It's a collage of vintage shoes and some handmade handbages. Very fun. I will show you what it looks like soon.

That's all for now folks!

Oh, my little boy Joe wants me to tell you he is a Super Star Sports Guy.


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