follow your bliss

we don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here -susan l. taylor

Thursday, August 31, 2006

studio friday

This week's sf topic for Friday September 1st suggested by Gabi: ARTIST'S BLOCK. "You've heard of 'writer's block'. Well as an artist, I sometimes suffer from "Artist's block". What is this you ask? It's when you sit and sit and can't come up with anything. This can go on for hours, days, weeks even months sometimes.I want to know how you break free of Artist's block! " ~ Gabi for me, all sorts of ideas just sort of come to me...i don't know how else to explain it, they just COME...i'm always waking up from dreams with some idea for something...& if i do get a bit of an artist's block, i just try not to force myself usually because if i do that whatever i'm making turns out like crap & then i invariably scrap it & start all over!...what i tend to do is do other things instead like>>>gardening, yoga, reading a book, cleaning, washing dishes, making some dinner, driving somewhere, even go shopping! OR i simply sleep on it & almost always, an idea comes forth, typically in a form of a dream. i think for me if i get "stuck" on something, i let that go & do other things...i let the subconscious do the work for me... sorting it all out in the back of mind...& then, without force, the ideas just present themselves to me...& that works for me! {thanks tine & gabi for this interesting see how others deal with this, go here.}

just for the record...

my dh does not have a hairy chest... but our kitty, bailey, does! that's who my dh was holding in the spc pic a couple of posts ago, lol! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


it finally happened! can you see the huge silly grin on my face?!!!!ANGELA is *poof* gone! now, we've got TALENT going on on project runway! woo-hoo, i actually did a little happy dance when that french designer said to angela, YOU ARE NOT A JET-SETTER! okay?!!!! that's what i've been talking about along! {pardon moi as i get a bit over-zealous here...but really, that chick had to go!}... can't wait to tune in next week & see what the real designers dream up as they create in ooh-la-la PARIS...c'est tres en vogue!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


is the challenge for this week's inspire me thursday... this is where we were supposed to use paint & only paint as our medium... i used nancy's acrylic paint technique using an old credit card (except in my case, i used a piece of chipboard)...these two pieces here look aquatic to me (above & below)...particularly the second piece>>> reminds me of a lochness-type creature! then my herb society friend, elsa, told me about this art class where she learned to make backgrounds using shaving cream & acrylic paints...i thought i'd give it a whirl...& these are my attempts! this was kinda fun to do...reminded me of the time i worked with preschool kiddos & one of their art projects was this very activity, painting with shaving cream & tempura paints! but, i think next time i try this, i think i better buy some unscented shaving cream bec. the shaving cream i used here stunk to high heaven! pee-yew! Posted by Picasa

treasure tuesday

it's time for faith's treasure tuesday...& for this week, i've decided to share something that i received in the mail yesterday>>> something so totally unexpected, so heartwarming, so touching. i just had to share! some of you may (or may not) know that i do this semi-weekly meme i call, wysiwyg wednesday. i few wednesdays ago, i had given away some things from my studio {FREEBIES} & a gal who goes by the name, crafty metallyptica, was one of my lucky recipients... she had "won" a set of crafty books (gooseberry patch) that i no longer used. she tells me that she was so thrilled with winning these freebies that she felt compelled to send me something in return...this is the totally unexpected part, because as part of my wysiwyg wednesday rules, whatever freebie i giveaway, i do not expect anything in return, whatsoever! wasn't i SURPRISED to receive a package from her all the way from PORTUGAL! she sent me all these beautiful & thoughtful goodies, many of them things which she has either collected, like her dried leaves & portuguese stamps... & she lovingly sent me these vintage beads & cards that her own grammie had given her! i cannot believe that she would part with something so personal to someone like me>>>a virtual stranger... one whom she has never met & who randomly won something on my silly, just-for-kicks, meme! i am astounded by the utter kindness & generosity she has extended to me! never in a million years would i think my silly little group meme would have this sort of impact! wow, the power & magic of the universe>>> truly awesome! thank you tete {crafty metallyptica} from the bottom of my heart. words cannot express how deeply touched i am... i will treasure your gifts always! mary ann xoxo Posted by Picasa

enclosed spaces

has been the month-long topic for self-portrait challenge... & my most favorite enclosed space is in my dh's arms (with or without a cat or two)! i feel so {loved} {protected} {cherished} welcomed hugs from my dh>>> ain't life just grand? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

an invitation

i know it's wicked early to be talking holidays, but i would very much like to host a swap...a cookie swap to be exact. & it's open to anyone interested, blogger & non-blogger/lurkers alike... every year, my sisters & i throw a cookie swap at mom's, aka grandma's special the fab cookie spread that my sisters & i did last year. this was our section>>>there were more cookies opposite these tables>>>we had an insane amount of SUGAR at that party, lol! but hey, 'tis the season... now how are we going to do this, you ask? well, i thought it would be neat if we all exchanged a few of our fave cookie RECIPES (& if so inclined, you could send a dozen of your baked delights to your designated swap partner, BUT only if you want to & your partner requests for such)...okay? the main idea is to send your swap partner, say 2-3 of your fave cookie or dessert recipes, write/type it out on a standard index card...& for some extra oomph & festivity, why not enclose your recipes in a nifty handmade or store-bought booklet, envie, tin or creative container/holder of your liking & choosing... for example, last year, i made (an inordinate amount of) recipe booklets out of paper lunch sacks to give out as favors to our guests...i had made 3 different kinds of cookies & thus provided 3 recipe cards & stashed them inside the pockets of the booklet... a peek inside of what i'm talking about... a closer view of the front of the, you can be elaborate or simple in your design>>>that is entirely up to you...just don't forget to add your recipe cards... i'm hoping this will generate some interest>>>i think this would be wicked fun! don't you think? if you think so, please email me ( & oh yes, please let me know whether or not you would like an international partner...i will happily take names until october 1, 2006. after that, i will pair you up with a swap partner. once i've done the pairings, then swap participants will have between the weeks of november 20-december 4, 2006 to mail out their cookie recipes &/or baked goodies. i know that we all have some wicked yummy cookie recipes up our collective sleeves...why not spread the sweetness around? i invite you to join in on the fun as we pour some sugar all around the world! 8/29 addendum: i've created a flickr group, so you can click on "cookie swap 2006~~JOIN" >>>@ the top of my sidebar or simply click here. {smiles} Posted by Picasa


is the topic for susan's artwords...well, actually it was last week's because susan will post a new topic for this coming week...this piece literally came to me when i awoke this morning (you know, lately, i've been dreaming about lots of ideas for pieces...not that i'm complaining, mind you...but it is freaky how the subconscious works). again, i've used stamped images, alpha/word stickers, a few gems, scraps of tissue paper, leftover paper from projects & a "test" scrap of pink polka dots (a newly acquired foam stamp). i don't know about you, but i have an insatiable {appetite} {desire} to create>>>i truly believe that art feeds the soul. & i've a sneaking suspicion that i am not alone on this. bon appetit! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 26, 2006

flora no.2

(click on image to see it larger)
i've finally finished altering 6 envies for this swap that i'm in at crackerbox palace, my new fave stampin' store. the envies all look (mostly) like the one above. i took a totally white envie, stamped a swirl foam stamp with clear versamark ink & then took a dauber sponge & spread sea breeze ink all over the surface...i don't know if you can see, but the swirls pop through (thanks to the versamark ink)...i used two shades of blue ink for the stamped winged image, postage stamp, & text as well as two shades of green for the roses, floral medallion & dragonflies. then the last bit (& i learned this from my pals, angie wangie & michel) spread fairy dust over the dragonflies (it's hard to see the glitter, but in real-life, it's shimmery)...i thought i'd also submit another entry to wednesday stamper, which the theme is flora. *** i also wanted to let all my pals, both on & offline, know how deeply touched i am by all your well wishes & vote of confidence in me! your generous words of support mean more to me than you will ever know. i know in my heart of hearts that i am following my bliss. thank you from the bottom of my heart! much love & appreciation, mary ann xoxo Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 25, 2006

thanks arlene!

8/26/06 addendum:oops! i forgot about this cool card book & sweet *heart* stickers that was in the goodie box arlene sent me! the card book actually has some nifty projects....hmmm, giving me some ideas for my etsy shop... ************** a while back, i joined this "just a kid" swap hosted by ellia...& i got my swap package today! yay! thank you arlene for all my goodies>>> i love everything that you sent! {smile}...too fun& generous! Posted by Picasa

the cat's out of the bag

a while back, i posted some art work that alluded to changes...well>>> look who's going ENTREPRENURIAL {again}....c'est moi! i'm going to do some private practice work w/ my dear friend & colleague, allison. AND i am working on opening an etsy shop! this has been a LONG time coming & now is the time to move on to bigger & better things! i fly the coop on sept.6th... it will be so good to work for MYSELF again (i was in private practice the year we left maine) was incredibly TOUGH to work for someone else when we relocated to the midwest 3 years ago, especially after having had the taste of being my own boss! IT FEELS GOOD TO BE FREE, can i just tell you?! now i will have the time & flexibility to devote my wakening hours to MY interests, MY agenda, MY goals, MY husband, MY family, MY passions, MY LIFE. yes, this means, NO MORE wicked long commutes, waking up at ridiculously early hours, working long & hectic work days, having to be forced to work with people i neither like nor respect! THE reign of BULLsh-t is FINALLY OVER! thank goodness! & about flippin' time!!!! this is all GOOD>>>i can feel the excitement & positive energy in my bones. to take control of my TIME & to live the life that i have always imagined>>>are oh so much more valuable to me than money alone! life is too short & all that. i feel empowered. & that feels right. Posted by Picasa

friday's finds

is this week's theme for friday's finds! featured below are some of my collective finds {yes, i acknowledge that i am an insatiable collector of "stuff"!} dress forms of all sorts of sizes...the large one was a recent find (i spotted this & immediately thought of angie wangie>>>she's found one too, only much more antique-y) i couldn't resist these signs... & other stuff i like to collect>>>milk glass & tea things... many of my collectibles are actually put to functional use. one day i would love to open a tea room of my very own...{sigh} what collections do you have? i'd like to see please... either leave a comment with your link or of course, post them on flickr. Posted by Picasa

studio friday

This week's sf topic for Friday August 25th suggested by Jo: WHO!? "I am curious to see/hear/read who everyone takes their inspiration from - an artist of traditional media, multimedia, craft world, living or dead. Who would we like to have the chance to meet and speak with, or to thank for inspiring us? " ~ Jo i take inspiration from everything & everyone around me!!! they are all fair game as far as i'm concerned!!!! the inspiration that i might find in something, someone, a piece of art, a song, a billboard (like the one above which i spotted on the highway), nature, object, smell, fleeting image {the list can go on}>>>are my REACTIONS to it/them at that moment in time. my response to something/or someone who has stirred my heart & soul often prompts me to CREATE in the form of writing, collaging, painting, drawing or photography. in college, i had minored in art history. i developed a deep appreciation for all art through the ages>>>from ancient & medieval art>>>the "masters">>>to the modern & contemporary art that we see today. i have always admired both "representational" & "abstract" art...some of my fave artists are albrecht durer, rembrandt, tintoretto, eduard manet, van gogh, corot, paul klee, henry moore, georgia o'keefe, edward hopper, sarah lugg, anna corba...too many artists to name>>>there is no piece of art that i can't find something inspirational. in addition, i owe many thanks to michael's (& all other like it) craft stores, martha stewart, country living mag, & diy tv!!! i'm also inspired by the works of many of my blogging pals, blog art challenges, my offline buds, my sisters, my hubby, my extended family, children & even, sometimes, my patients! so you see, it doesn't take much to find inspiration...& as i have said before, one need only to {look} {listen} & {feel}!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

lucky gals

before i mention our lucky recipients of this week's wysiwyg wednesday, can i just say why, oh, why is that angela chick STILL on project runway?!!! did you see the dress she designed for laura's mom? NOW that was FUUUUUUGLY! okay now, back to our regularly scheduled program... since only 4 people left comments for stuff they wanted (because 2 graciously bowed out & they really didn't have to do that>>>it would have been totally okay if they joined in!), this is how it played out: lucky recipient of item 1>>> rhonda>>>double congrats for de-lurking (lol) & being the only one who wanted the wedding book specifically!!! now for the next 3 gals who played, well, dh did the ol'- grab- a- name- out- of-the- bag number & this is what happened>>> tammy gets item #2...yipee! {applause, applause} elizabeth gets item #3...yay! {clap, clap} & angie wangie gets item #4...whoo-hoo! {whistle, clap} well done ladies!!!!! thank you all for playing & wanting to spread the good karma around!!!! as soon as i hear from you via email, your FREEBIE will be happily shipped to you! the next wysiwyg wednesday: september 6, 2006... may the good karma SHINE ON you! Posted by Picasa


is the theme for mittwoch stempler aka wednesday stamper {grin}...& this is my entry for this week...i just adore flowers & plants>>>gardening is one of my biggest passions...& i love to grow my own flowers, veggies & herbs from seed. it gives me immense satisfaction & joy to watch a tiny seed grow into something so amazingly beautiful>>> & the process is sow easy! anyhoo, how'd i do this? well, i ink distressed a piece of white envie using inks by tim holtz. then i overlaid the inked surface with "crackle" stamp by stampin' up! then i used the 'honeycomb' clear acrylic stamp from the fresh flower elements set by christine adolph>>>this became the background. over this background, i used contrasting colors (tim holtz inks) to stamp more of the fresh flower elements (christine aldoph's). the face/wing image is from stamp-in-a-hand...the original stamp had the face embedded in a clock, but i snipped that off & re-attached the mis-matched wings to the face...the text at the bottom of the collage is from paper artsy. the green/white polka dot mat is scrap paper by making memories...check out more flora pieces here...& enjoy! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

bon jour!

"i never get tired of the blue sky." ~vincent van gogh Posted by Picasa

wysiwyg wednesday 5

i know it's late... but since i am still up, i will nonetheless post the FREEBIES for wysiwyg wednesday! yippee, it's that time again folks! click here to (re)aquaint yourselves with the rules... item 1: a 6x6 mini-scrapbook that i put together, a sort of "starter kit" was meant for a wedding present for someone (but sadly, the wedding was not meant to be) has paper already placed in the plastic sleeves (creme & lavender color scheme), additional 6x6 papers & an envie of embellishments...i don't know anyone getting married in the near future (& i already have started my own wedding book & my wedding colors were creme, brown & sage), so it's officially up for grabs! items 2 &3: a couple of thank you photo albums, never been used. can be personalized using enclosed alpha stickers....the top pic is the creme book & bottom one is the blue floral book... item 4: this cool hard cover book with all sorts of charming projects for home & garden...i picked this up in the clearance bin & when i brought it home, i ALREADY had this very same book! so you see, i really do not need two, lol! the ideas in this book are user friendly... welp, there you have it...another set of freebies waiting to go to good homes... if you happen to be interested in anything here, please, by all means, leave me a comment stating so. yes, this is OPEN to anyone...i'll glady take names until 10 p.m. cst & then announce the lucky recipients' names tomorrow, thursday 8/24/06...okey dokey? cool. i know you want to spread the good karma around, right? now it is getting wicked late & i've got to get some shut eye asap! bonne nuit et bonne chance (that's good night & good luck in french) y'all! Posted by Picasa
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