After a long green weekend...

How was your yours?

Mine didn't quite go as planned but was still ok. The weather was nice so we spend most of the weekend cleaning up outside. The rampart, I mean hedge, had grown so high that my 6 yr old thanked me for "cutting the trees". We also (finally) took on the-firecracker-plant-that-almost-ate-Tampa. I wish I had taken a picture of this thing. Imagine The Trouble With Tribbles but with flora & you've got the idea....

About the only other thing I did was design a new business card for my long neglected art supplies shop, ColorTheSky on etsy. I had a free printing from Uprinting expiring today so I pulled this together. Ignore the grey stripe - just stuck it in to separate the front & back of card.

How's your business card stash? Like to try & win a set of 500 custom printed business cards from Uprinting.com? Click here. Then leave a comment stating what you will use them for. 1 winner selected on 3/10.

If you missed last Thurday's post and want to check out some fantastic eye-candy, click here. The supremely talented photographer behind the etsy shop, Elle Moss has generously donated one of her photos & a set of postcards to the current Thursday Giveaway. All who leave a comment before 3/11 will be entered in this fantastic random drawing.

Well, gotta run. Hope you all have a creative week!


You're selling what on Etsy?

Check out this irreverent link before Etsy admin shuts it down. It is a forum thread about a rather, ehem, unique item for sale. Most will find it either funny or offensive


New Giveway - fine art photo and postcards from Elle Moss

Oh man, you guys are sooo lucky!

The incredibly talented photographer, Elle Moss has donated some fantastic prizes for the new Thursday Giveaway. I have admired her work for quite some time & will admit to doing a couple of clumsy cartwheels the day she agreed to sponsor this random drawing.

Elle's ethereal images offer a glimpse of other worlds.

Dive by Elle Moss

some whisper dreamily

Equus by Elle Moss

while others make you do a double-take

Wooden by Elle Moss

and question what you see.

Throughout this post, click on any image for more info & to visit her Etsy shops, ElleMoss and Alicebgardens. You may already be familiar with Elle's photographs. Her art has been featured on Etsy as well as in a number of magazines, books, and galleries. Visit her Etsy profile for a list of publications & exhibitions.

This ingenious artist describes herself as

Flower Girl by Elle Moss

"a Saline, Michigan photographer & stay at home mom,

who's work focuses on surreal self portraiture

and nostalgic still life images."

Now, go on - explore the magical world of Elle Moss. Just make sure you pop back here to enter the random drawing.

Online shops:

Plus a collaborative shop:


And Blogs:

Ahh...you're back. Now wasn't that fun?

Ok, here's the moment you've been waiting for. On 3/11 one lucky winner will take home these great prizes from Elle Moss:

One 5" x 5" square format image, winner's choice. Elle states that photos "are printed on archival luster paper. They are printed through a printing house that works only with professional photographers. It will be signed and dated on the backside."


A set of 7 postcards, each with a different image. These are "Printed on heavy cardstock with a matte finish. They are blank on the back and measure 4.25 x6.25 ." Click the pic for a closer look.

How do you enter? Simply leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 3/11. Just make sure your contact info is either in your blog profile or in the comment. Open worldwide with free shipping to winner. See - easy peasy.

Special thanks to Elle Moss for sharing her images with us today and for donating such wonderful prizes. Also, thank you to all who comment and enter these Thursday Giveaways. It is your interest that keeps them coming.

1 Lucky winner will be Over The Rainbow with joy today!

Good Morning. Hope you're keeping warm today!

It is even chilly here in sunny Florida today (at least by my thin-blooded standards).

Many thanks to the 114 folks who left at least 1 comment over the last 2 weeks. Each of you were entered in today's random drawing for this Over The Rainbow Bracelet from Kimmsmith.etsy.com. So with help from random.org the winner is....

A hearty congrats, Joaness! I bet you will love this bracelet as much as I do.

I originally bought 1 for myself from the online charity Shop, Hearts For Haiti. To read more about H.F.H and the jewelry designer Kim Smith click here.

Many thanks to Kim Smith for sharing her fantastic jewelry & for donating to the Hearts For Haiti shop, where 100% of proceeds (after etsy & paypal fees) goes to Doctors Without Borders. (Since opening on 1/14 they have collected over $30,000.00 for DWB from sales of donated items).

Want to see more of Kim's colorful creations? Visit her etsy shop kimmsmith.etsy.com.

Want another chance to win some fantastic prizes? Pop back later today for the newest giveaway announcement.


Sign and Sunshine

Ocean House

This weekend my Dad reminded me of this photo I took in his back yard about 10 years ago. A large print hangs in his office. He's a doc & one of his older patients recognized the sign. He told my Dad all about working at the Ocean House Fish Market "back in the day". I love hearing stories like that.

Lucky Me! The sweet Midwestie Lady has given me the Sunshine award today. Supposed to go "to bloggers whose positive and creativity inspires others in the blog world." Now I don't know that I exactly fit the bill, but I do say Thank You! I'm now supposed to pass it on to 12 others. (Twas hard to pick just 12.) Click on the links below to visit.

Persimmons Gal
Go Flying Turtle
The Rusted Chain
Starry Night Impressions
Will Oaks Studio
Junque Revival
Joy To The Blog
Just Jingle
The Fab Miss B

I know lots of folks don't bother with blog awards but if these folks choose to play along here are the basic rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award to 12 bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Even if they are too busy to play, these bloggers are worth visiting, so pop by and say hello if you get a chance - okay?

I'm on a bit of a ramble today but 1 final note. Last chance to enter the random drawing for Kim Smith's Over The Rainbow bracelet. Just leave a comment before 1 a.m. EST on 2/25 to enter. Also pop back tomorrow - I'll announce the winner as well as the new giveaway prize.


Runaway Random Tuesday Thoughts

Hey there? How have you been?

I haven't RTTed in what feels like forever. I'd say I've been too busy, but how hard it it to toss some random bits in a pot & let it simmer? Oh wait that's Stone Soup. Well, same idea, just don't get any celery stuck in the keyboard...

Am in a bit of a rush though so here are a few fun finds. You may have seen them around - if so scroll to the bottom & go see what The Un Mom has been up to.

Love this stop-motion animated papercutting video - thanks to All About Papercutting for pointing it out

Many thanks to Glenda of TwoCoolTexans for sharing the link to American Science & surplus. They sell everything from robot parts to squirrel underpants - talk about 1 stop shopping!

And to Choklit for pointing out the Guardian interview with Helene Bonham Carter on life with Tim Burton - "We're the bonkers couple"

Gotta run but 1st a question - remember flip books?? You can find some fun ones over at fernandafrick.etsy.com & on the matching blog The Thumb Cinema (love the name!). Here's a fun peek at some of the books in action:

Need some more random goodness?


Grab a button & click yourself over to The Un Mom, where all the chaotic kids hang out.

But....before you go, have you signed up for my 2 newest random drawing? If no, clickety-click for details.

2/25 prize is this Over The Rainbow Bracelet by Kim Smith

3/10 prize is 500 custom printed business cards from Uprinting.com

All set? Now get outta here - shoo! This week I'm hooked on the anime Blood+ and have to go get my fix now.


Musical Monday -- Jeff Magnum

Hey there - I can't believe it is Monday again.
Do I say that every week? I must be getting old.

I was looking for something by Mark Mothersbaugh today & ended up over at Pitchfork where I heard this instead. I like it.

Yep, Supposed to be black - just audio. It can also be found in this interview with Chis Knox about what music he was listening to every 5 yrs. Worth checking out.

Want to hear some random Monday music or share your own? Click the button at the top to visit Diane and co. over at Good Morning Glory.
Couple of heads ups:

Mixed Media Monday is Giggles & Laughter

Next Wednesday's prompt for Mix it Up With Melange will be Mirror.

(I'm not so much into the giggles but I think I've got Mirror covered if I can steal some time)

That's it for today - hope you are off to a creative week!


Studio Tour #21: Liz-Anna's Lakeside studio

Hi there. How are you? Ready to go?

Today we are off to British Columbia. No, not for the Olympics. We've been invited to visit the lakeside studio of artist Liz-Anna Waugh. I first met this creative lady on Etsy where she has an online shop, LizAnnasOnTheLake. Pop on over when you get a chance - you will find an assortment of handmade paper, cards, and mixed media art.

Liz-Anna makes her paper out of all sorts of materials, from recycled materials to plant fibers. She also creates with dried flowers, twigs, and even moose poo ... yep, you heard me right. Now that is some serious recycling! Click on the moose photo to find out more about this unique process.

photo by August Meutzner (& nicked from Liz-Anna's blog)

Well, it looks like she is ready to show us around, so let me get out of the way.

LA: My studio was the first room in our new house to be finished. In fact, there is still much to do in the rest of the house but, as long as I have my creative space, I'm happy.

Designing a space to accommodate everything I do was a challenge. I struggled between my desire for a space that is fully functional and one that is aesthetically pleasing. There had to be some compromises as I realized that, to make the space fill all my needs, form had to follow function.

LA: My studio is constantly evolving and changing as I gather new ideas for storage and organization from blogs like this one and magazines dedicated to creative spaces (Cloth Paper Scissors Studios and Somerset Studio's Where Women Create). The arrival of one of these publications usually inspires me to re-organize something or, at the very least, to give my studio a good cleaning.

So, join me for a tour. I'll show you how I try to make everything work in my 16' x 17' space.

LA: This is my studio. I can look out at the lake from every workstation and the windows let in lots of light which is very important to me.

LA: Sewing area. Baskets hold my small dyed and printed pieces sorted by colour and type (batik, devore', marbled, etc) and larger baskets under the table hold large fabric pieces.

LA: Art and scrapbooking area. I'm an art supply junkie so I like lots of shallow drawers and tool caddies. No digging to find things. I love this old drafting table!

LA: Wet area. I have a hot plate here and a nice deep sink. This is where I make paper, dye fabric, make soap, body butters, and lip balm, and dip candles.

LA: Office area. Shelves house all my books and other reference materials. My computer supplies and peripherals, packaging, and bookkeeping are within easy reach. The large flat file stores papers, collage elements, pressed flowers and beading supplies.

LA: This antique armoire is the perfect mini-shop to store finished goods waiting to sell.

Thanks for showing us around your studio space, Liz-Anna. You have some fantastic storage. And what a view!

There's Always A Way Out by Liz-Anna Waugh

Thank you, readers, for stopping by. Pop back in 2 weeks for a new studio tour. In the meantime, want to see more of Liz-Anna's organic art or read about her creative processes? Select the links below:





The Necronomicon

Many thanks to dbvictoria for bringing this bit-o-fun to my attention. I was an avid Lovecraft fan as a kid & even played Call of Cthulhu for awhile. (I'm going to guess this probably won't surprise some of you...)

If you're a DIY sort who is also into Lovecraft, make sure you spend some time over at the blog Propnomicon. Always something interesting happening over there

Love how this video fits with Illustration Friday's prompt today -propagate. Click the prompt to see how others interpret it or to add your own spin this week.


Enter to win 500 custom printed business cards + Free Shipping

Hey there. How are you today?

It has been a strange week here, but I'm trying to get back on track.

We've got a new giveaway from those generous folks over at Uprinting.com. They are donating 500 custom printed business cards to 1 lucky winner - will it be you?

Prize details:
500 Business Cards for One (1) Winner
Sizes: 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (skinny card)
Paper: 14 pt gloss cardstock, 14 pt matte cardstock or 13 pt recycled uncoated cardstock
Specifications: Full Color Both Sides; Offset Press; 3 Business Day Printing
Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping
Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only

To enter this random drawing, leave a comment stating what you'd like to promote with your new business cards. Please leave your contact info if it isn't in your blog profile. You have until 1 a.m. on March 10th to enter. 1 winner will be randomly selected later that day.

Uprinting.com is a great company - very easy to work with. And it is really convenient to order business cards online. I've used Uprinting for several projects & have been very happy with the results. I have to mention here that they are giving me a set of business cards for hosting this giveaway. I just love these guys!

If you haven't seen them yet, here are links to some of the items I've had printed online:

Business cards
Blank greeting cards
Gallery wrapped canvas

So, leave a comment. Enter this great giveaway. And start designing those cards - you may just be the lucky winner.


thanks for your patience

Hey there. Giveaway delayed 1 more day. Cleaning up the office flood is taking longer than I'd expected.And I got food poisoning....and broke my toe.

....yeah, it has been a challenging week

Too tuckered to focus. Off to make dinner & hang out with my little guy. Many thanks for your patience! Please stop back tomorrow -

I really will post Uprinting's new random drawing, I promise.

Oh & if you're looking for something to read, there's always Random Tuesday Thoughts.


Click the button to visit The Un Mom. She & her linky followers are just bursting with controlled chaos today


Musical Monday & OWOH winner picked

Good Morning - feeling awake yet?

Me? Not so much....so here's my music today

This version is a bit quieter than the one on my Racket in the Attic CD which I play much to loud some mornings. It is not quite doing it for me today tho' - might have put on some espresso & switch over to my Monday Morning standby, Tank from The Seatbelts. I know I've mentioned this 1 before but if you haven't heard it yet, click through & turn up the volume.

Looking for more Monday music? Visit Diane over at Good Mourning Glory. Just click the button & get some linky. Then add your own if you want to share.

Topic Change:

Today 1 random winner of the One World One Heart Giveaway takes home my original drawing/painting Climbing.

climbing by Stacey Merrill

Many thanks to all who entered the One World One Heart Give away! In case you missed it, OWOH was started 4 years ago by the blogger A Whimsical Bohemian. The idea was to get a bunch of bloggers doing a giveaway on the same day, not so much for the free stuff - more like a kindred spirit kind of thing. This year 1,088 OWOH bloggers from 40 countries are giving something away today. Kinda cool. If you'd like to see a linkable list of participants, click here.

So, with the help of Random.org,

Today's winner is Top Floor Treasures!
Congrats !

And thanks again to all who participated in the OWOH giveaway as well as those who let comments. If you have a blog & want to play along next year, keep an eye out for A Whimsical Bohemain's announcement in early 2011

By the way, here is a link to the Thursday Giveaway ending 2/25, a fantastic bracelet from Kim Smith

Also, if you pop back later today I'll be announcing a new random drawing from those fantastic folks over at Uprinting.com. Right now I've gotta get some coffee ....

NOTE 7PM: Spent the last few hours dealing with a flooded office. Not my studio, the day job office. And everyone else is at the International Toy Fair this week. Sigh. well it needed a deep clean anyway. I feel like the snowmen in this post so I will wait until tomorrow to introduce the new Uprinting.com giveaway. Thank you for your patience


IF - Adrift

I was renewing this piece today over at my etsy shop & it seems perfect for the Illustration Friday prompt, Adrift. If you have a few minutes visit I.F. & see what others have posted. Or better yet, add 1 of your own! If you do, please let me know - I'd love to see your interpretation.

A reminder - 2 random drawings later this month. Click for details & to enter:

On 2/15 one random winner gets my artwork, Climbing (which was inspired by I.F. by the way)

On 2/25 one lucky person wins Kim Smith's Over The Rainbow bracelet.
To enter this drawing simply comment anywhere on this blog before then.

Hope you have creative weekend!


New Feature & Prize: Kim Smith + her Over The Rainbow Bracelet

Over The Rainbow bracelet made by Kim Smith
for sale at Hearts For Haiti

I Love This Bracelet!

Last month while visiting the nonprofit etsy shop Hearts for Haiti I stumbled over this colorful bracelet. It is made of memory wire, plated glass pearls & seed beads by Kim Smith from Kimmsmith.etsy.com. Beautiful piece, great price & free shipping - I decided to make it mine. Plus I loved knowing my $ is going to a good cause.

All money spent at Hearts For Haiti is donated to Doctors Without Borders once etsy & paypal fees are removed. As of 2/8 Hearts For Haiti has raised $29,079.92 (after fees) If you have some time, please check out this fantastic shop. A variety of items have been donated by hundreds of Etsy sellers and all shipping is free.

I love my new bracelet (it is even prettier in person) and decided to share. I contacted Kim and she made another for Thursday's Giveaways. I then purchased that bracelet from Hearts For Haiti & will give it to one very lucky winner.

To enter the random drawing for 1 Over The Rainbow memory wire bracelet, leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. on 2/25. That day 1 winner will be selected using random.org. The bracelet is one size fits all. This drawing is open worldwide & prize ships free. Make sure you have contact info in your profile or comment.

Kim has also popped in today to share some of her colorful thoughts and photos. Kim lives in the UK, where she creates the vibrant bracelets that she sells in her Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for dropping by, Kim. What would you like to share about yourself today?

KS: I'm a beadaholic! I am married to Ian who is so supportive and praises my work always. I have 2 boys Kristian 17 and Jamie 8 who are football mad! I sing to myself all day whilst beading.

KS: I love walking to gather inspiration, watching my boys play football, lunching with friends and spending time with my supportive family. I love all sorts of crafting and I'm constantly amazed by the beautiful things that people make. I love anything that is different. I dream beads and constantly come up with new colour mixes so my journal is always to hand.

When did you 1st become interested in beading?

KS: My first encounter with beads was when I was about 5, my grandad gave me a big bag of coloured beads, I strolled through the park on the way home happily with my mom when a huge dog bounded playfully at me, I lost every single bead and cried all the way home!

KS: I have been beading now since 2007. My sister used to make jewelry and I always admired her; she tried to show me how it was done one day, it was fiddly and needed patience, it just wasn't for me even though I had always loved beads since childhood! I was made redundant from my job quite a few months later and had lots of spare time on my hands and was very bored so I decided to have a play but kind of doing it my way, from that day on I became addicted!

How do you choose the colors & patterns for each design?

KS: My inspiration for colours can come from the most bizarre things such as a colour combinations on a shower gel bottle, wallpaper, fabric, a pattern on a dress or a gift box.
KS: My main inspiration though is my garden and childhood memories of the hours I spent in my grandparents award winning garden full of flowers and orchards! My nan and my mom taught me every craft I know and always inspired me! The inspiring feedback from customers and other artists makes me want to keep doing what I'm doing and I love every moment of it.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kim. It has been great fun! Also thank you for donating your fantastic Over The Rainbow bracelets to both Hearts For Haiti and
the new Thursday Giveaway.

Many thanks to all who take the time to enjoy this visit with Kim today. Please leave a comment to enter the random drawing. If you simply can't wait to get an Over The Rainbow bracelet of your own, click this link to visit Hearts for Haiti where there is another one for sale. They are also available in Kim's Etsy shop, Kimmsmith, along with an assortment of other colorful & affordable jewelry pieces.

We Have A Winner of the Curious Hearts Papers from Stton

Welcome back to another Thursday Giveaway!

2 weeks ago I announced the random drawing for 5 Curious Hearts Papers from sponsor stton.etsy.com. To see the original post showing prize photos click here.

Everyone who left a comment on my blog since then was entered into this morning's random drawing. And the lucky winner is

Sandy from sandy-meinewelt.blogspot.com
Congratulations Sandy!
I will contact you today with directions for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to Teresa from stton on etsy for donating this fantastic prize. She continues to donate similar items to the non-profit Etsy shop Hearts For Haiti.

If you would like to purchase a set of these Curious Hearts Papers, visit Hearts For Haiti. Then put into search "5 Curious Heart Paper Goods". If nothing comes up, that just means they need to relist. Simply click Contact Hearts for Haiti on the right side of their shop and ask them to relist for you. Paste this link into your request: http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=24276527

Once the volunteers at this collaborative shop relist the papers, you can purchase. At $3 plus free shipping you can't beat the price! After the etsy & paypal fees are removed, the remaining $ goes to Doctors Without Borders. You get to shop and donate to a worthy cause, so it is a win/win.

By the way, thanks to all who stopped in & left a comment. I am running another giveaway which ends 2/15. The prize is one of my original drawings. Click Here For Details & to enter.

If you're wandering the blog-o-sphere later today, please stop back here as I will be announcing the new Thursday Giveaway prize. Thanks for popping by!


Labyrinth Of Love

Labyrinth : a complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost - sounds a bit like Love to me...

Finally got a chance to finish this piece started 3 weeks ago. It was inspired by Mixed Media Monday's prompt Games People Play, though I suppose it also fits this week's prompt - Romance.

By the way, thanks to the good sports who tried to guess what I was up to with the work in progress photos. (I always love to play)

So here's the final. It's an upcycled maze game, measures 5.5" sq x 1" h. Your goal is to get the metal ball from 1 heart to the other without dropping it in the holes.

This one was a lot of fun to make. I disassembled, sanded & stained the original broken toy. Then securely added the mixed media collage & walls.

It is available at ArtSnark.etsy.com - just click on any photo to visit listing. This piece is also customizable. I can add a message +/or hanging hardware to the back. There is also a flexible plastic front piece which can be added or not, your choice. Any questions, just let me know.

By the way today's Mix It Up With Melange prompt is Love Letters. Had it been Love Notes, I 'd have been covered (wink wink). Click on the prompt to see what others are up to or to add your own mixed media love letter.


By the way, last chance to enter stton's giveaway of 5 faux vintage Curious Hearts paper goods. Just leave a comment on this blog before 1 a.m. (EST) on 2/11. Click Here For Details. 1 random winner will be announced tomorrow.

Also On 2/15 hundreds of bloggers participating in the One World One Heart giveaway will be picking random winners. I'm giving away my Original Watercolor Climbing. Click Here for Details