Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FIVE FREE GIVEAWAYS :-)

The rules are simple, leave a comment to this post (and this post only) between 12:01AM Thursday May 1 thru 12:00 PM Monday, May 5th.

Five winners will be chosen randomly Tuesday May 6th. The pictures below are in the same order as the names will be drawn. So, the first name drawn will win the new Cottage Collection recently added to Shabby Cottage Studio and on down to the fifth name drawn who will win the paper mache letters HOPE.

The Cottage Collection, packed full of fun and creative inspiration!

What can I say...it's Martha the way Martha does books.
This book will be sent via media mail.
Who can't use a frame, especially with a neutral Damask motif. And if you don't like the look of the frame, it's easily alterable or painted. :-)
This is a a cool magnet board?frame?...it is made of old metal , even down to the rust on the back. It has a great vintage look on the front and the flower shapes are magnets.

These letters are ready for decoration!
And please, stop by the Shabby Cottage Studio store
I don't do a lot of sales, so this is the time to take advantage of the great deal. Not just a few items, not just to clean out old inventory, EVERYTHING in the store on SALE!:-) It's my birthday, I want to share it with you! If you scroll down to the post below you'll see more information on the sale.
xoxo
Gail

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shabby Cottage Studio Sale Coming REAL SOON! :-)

Okay here's the deal my beloved blog friends. I was born the 5th day of the 5th month and even my birth year had a 5 in it. And I was born shortly before 12:00 pm.

So...Shabby Cottage Studio is going to run a SALE that starts at 12:01AM Thursday, May 1st for five days until May 5th Monday night at 12:00pm.

If you multiply my birth day by my birth month (5x5) you get 25...so Everything in the store will be 25% off! You do not need to remember anything like a voucher code, or have a coupon...the shopping cart will automatically deduct the percentage from your sub-total.

And every purchase will get a free surprise giftie included. Also any order over 75.00 (after the discount) receives Free Shipping!

If you only order a digital collage sheet and I'm not shipping a package to you then I will send you a free digital image.

Plus during those same times and dates if you come to the blog and leave a comment I am having not one, not two, but FIVE FREE GIVEAWAYS. So you have FIVE! chances of receiving something fun from Shabby Cottage Studio! Pictures of the giveaways will be posted when the sale starts.

So make a note of those dates and let's have some fun!!!!
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I also thought I'd share with you an altered composition notebook I did for my sister. Our Fun Friday challenge this week over at Etsy Cottage Style was roses. Hmmm, I said, right up my alley! And since I've been wanting to play with a composition notebook and my sister told me she was going to start a garden journal I decide to combine all that and here is what I created for my sister. I think she'll like it.

ciao bellas!

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Collage Sheets, a Birthday Party Sale and a Giveaway!

Well Birthdays are inevitable and mine is rolling around once again. So I decided this year to start a tradition! You're never to old to start traditions right? :-) I'm going to run a Storewide Birthday Party Sale...and that means EVERYTHING in the store will be on SALE. And I'm going to run a GIVEAWAY right along side the sale. Who knows I might do a couple giveaways!

BUT, I'm not giving you any more details yet until the sale starts. Except to tell you that it starts one day this week and ends one day next week. So, keep your eyes peeled here and on the Home page of the store for the announcement. ;-)

I've been working on some new Collage Sheets and finally have them added to the store. Here are two of the six I added. You can see the others here.

Asian Backgrounds
Ephemera Mix
Until next post, hope life is good to you!
xoxo

Friday, April 25, 2008

TGIF in the Country

This morning when I returned from the Post Office I stepped from my car and looked up across the road and this was what I saw. Something about it compelled me to go get my camera.

Cows under the old apple tree
A little closer look

This week has been beautiful and I have been weeding and mulching flower beds. I thought I would share what is blooming in my yard at the moment.
Closeups of a new Rose climber I just got.

The money plant is so pretty when it blooms.

This little bush is in it's last throes and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what it is? I inherited it when we bought the property and I would love to have more. My bff told me that in her neck of the woods they used to call them peach roses but that it isn't the proper name. When I tried to Google peach roses of course all I came up with were peach "colored" roses.

I finished some new tags and listed them in Etsy yesterday.




I have lots of new inventory in the store and just haven't had the time to list them here. I'll try to get htat done but if you're curious you can go to the What's New page and check it all out. :-)
And finally here is your TGIF Friday free image. Since I have flowers on my mind I thought I would give you aflower image. Enjoy!


I wish everyone a great weekend! I'm off to plant some sunflowers. :-)
xoxo


Thursday, April 24, 2008

How do you do it?

Are you old enough to remember Jim Croce? Bad, Bad Leroy Brown? I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song? Operator? Time in a Bottle? Croces was a singer/songwriter who died much to young and these songs are all old favorites of mine as I was a definite Croce fan. There is a line from Time in a Bottle that goes:

"there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them".

It's the way I often feel. I was recently asked "do you have a best time when you feel creative?" My answer was, "Yes, when I'm doing other things." :-)

I've spent the past year working on my Etsy store and my website store and I haven't been in my studio as much I as I would like. Building a website presence takes a lot of your time so those of you opening your stores remember that. ;-) I am not a nay sayer... in fact I'm one of those people who, if you tell me I can't do it...I'll do my darndest to prove you wrong. But it is not the simple "build it and they will come" theory some people want to subscribe to. It takes a lot of time and energy.

So I've not joined in a lot of swaps or round robins or blog parties or participate in challenges. And sometimes it has felt like, ahhh gee, everyone is having fun outside playing and I'm cooped up in the house. LOL I often wonder how does everyone do it? How do you find the time to be in so many groups, join in so many fun swaps, and blog parties and challenges? And raise kids and work a day job and take care of the house and everything that goes with that? Where in the heck do you get the time, let alone the energy???

So with these thoughts all rolling around in the back of my little pea brain I decided to just make the time, I feel like I NEED some play time or I might just begin to lose myself!

I belong to a group called Mixed Media and Paper Art over at Etsy Cottage Style on the Ning network and I discovered my friend Sherry of espritdart has created that little play time where I can start. We now have a Friday Fun Challenge and Prompt. This is a place where a challenge is posted, a theme issued and then those of us who want to play can work on this theme and post what we have made for the rest of the group to see. We can make an ATC, a 4x4, greeting card, full canvas, alter a tin, something digital...whatever we feel like doing with the prompt.

So,this week the prompt was Bird. Whoo Hoo, right up my alley! We all love our birds don't we?! Sherry was telling someone else to not "over think" this challenge and so I added that as part of my challenge as I do have tendency myself to sometimes over think creations. Last night I ran into the studio and with no forethought, just reaching for this and that, whatver was close at hand, I started and finished my challenge. And it was so much fun! My muse was so happy! She felt like she was on the playground with all the other kids.

So while
"there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them".
Sometimes you just have to stop and make that time.

So here is my little mirror challenge piece.



I'm pleased enough with it I think I will list it on Etsy.
Ciao Babies

Friday, April 18, 2008

TGIF and Another Sign of Spring

We all know that Spring is here when the air starts to warm up , the trees begin to bud and the daffodils and tulips start to bloom. But the other sure sign that Spring will eventually become summer is the grass needs mowed.

We live on a little over an acre of land and have a lot of grass to mow. It usually takes my DH about 2 1/2 hours to mow just one side. He will break the job up into two days. It is the one job I refuse to do. Not because I don't know how to operate a riding lawn mower (I do) or that I just hate mowing grass (I don't) but for the simple fact that I've been married over 20 years to this man and I know him pretty well. And around my house if I "learn" a job...it somehow becomes part of my permanent chores. So I choose to not "learn" how to mow the yard. I have enough chores, thanyouverymuch. ;-)

Last summer, my mom started saying she was going to learn to drive the riding mower and start mowing the yard as it would give her something to do. For the past 15 years mom has also been saying she was going to go get a job, "to have something to do". So we pretty much knew the lawn mowing was not something that would come to pass. (We love ya mama!)

This Spring she has started mentioning mowing the lawn again. I of course love to tease her, and jokingly was saying things like, "it ain't going to happen", I'll believe it when I see it" and "yeah,yeah,yeah,sure".

The other day I happened to look out my living room window and this is what I saw.

My dad, who is 78, giving my mom, who is 75, a rudimentary driving lesson

Mom's grin after I told her she just wanted to make me eat my words.


Ooops, one more thing he forgot to tell her!


And there she goes!!!


She did a darn good job for her first time! And I went in search of some salt to season the words I had to eat. ;-)


Here's your TGIF free image for the week. I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend. I know I will...the weather is going to be beautiful and my BFF is coming for a couple days. OK... gotta go clean house!!

xox

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Close up in the Studio

Are you like me? The studio is never organized enough? Always looking for something you know you have but can't find it? Do you find it frustrating? I do...because it slows down my creative time as I spend that time looking for things. And not always finding them!

And now that I have an online store and carry inventory I think it's worse. I must know where everything is in order to fill orders, and fill them as quickly as possible. So, I've been toying with the idea of re-organizing my studio. Yet again.

When I told my husband this, he gave me the old evil eye. Poor dear. I can not begin to tell you how many organizations over the years I have involved him in. Between borrowing his muscle and using his woodworking skills, it's no wonder he gave me the evil eye. ;-)

So for now I'm just thinking about what I need, want and absolutely can not live without. With these thoughts in mind I picked up Cloth Paper Scissors new special issue magazine this weekend, called Studios. I was looking for inspiration. And believe me there is plenty of studio eye candy here!



Don't I just wish I had some of these spaces! The size of some of these studios! Oh my. The little studio I call my own is about 9x12 with a closet, two windows side by side that take up most of one wall, and two doors on two different walls that use up valuable wall space. But it's mine. All mine. I can close the door at night on whatever mess I've made and not worry about it. So I do the best of using what I have and call it a blessing because I know not everyone can have their own separate space for a studio.

I've posted pictures of my little studio here before but I thought this time I'd share some close up pictures of where I do the bulk of my work. Who knows what might happen when I get down to the re-organizing. ;-)

Okay, picture this...my basic work table is L shaped and the short part of the L is to my left while I work at the long part of the L. Got it? :-) Next to the small part of the L I have a small chest of drawers. I'm going to start there, moving to my right, around the table.
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This chest of drawers butts right up to one of those space eating doors I mentioned. And I do mean butted! Packed right against the door frame. I had DH make me a box with pull out shelves for my larger papers. I stacked a shelf on top of that and these shelves hold miscellaneous "stuff' and my glitters. Drawers purchased to hold various and sundry items because I don't know where else to put them. A plastic hinged box and a papier mache box filled with laces.

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Next (still moving to the right, but to the left of where I sit) is my workhorse corner. More hinged boxes with ribbons and laces. shelves to hold boxes of buttons and findings and little embellishments and such. Punches, die cutting machine, tins holding dies and scrap chipboard. My Xyron (which I love), a bird tin holding my colored pencils, and a couple plastic containers for "little left over stuff I don't know where to put". You can also see part of my paper cutter. It stays right there and I do all my cutting in that one spot. I prefer guillotine cutters but am not satisfied with this one. The one I want is very expensive so I make do. :-)

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This is a shelf right above the area I just showed you. More ribbon, fibers, and large rolls of paper and my freezer wrap for when I want to print on fabric.

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Then in the corner are more drawers. I bought three of these at the Dollar store for $6.00 each. The top five drawers hold most of my images and are labelled , flowers, birds, people ephemera, transparencies/stickers etc. The bottom four drawers hold stamps.

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Collage packs I'm working on getting together for the store and requests. This corner gets really messy with papers.

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Here is a close up of the nifty tool caddy (above) my friend Liz bought me for Christmas one year. It holds my heat gun, spray cleaner, a tall bottle of glue, two sizes f forceps (great for putting those fairies in jars) my bone folder, straight edge scissors, pens, pencils. hold punches, two kinds of tweezers which I use all the time for picking up or holding those tiny things my fingers are to big for. And my trusty craft knife for which I need to buy stock in the company that sells blades!

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This funky little contraption is a close up of what you see in the above picture. It's a small lazy Susan about 5 inches in diameter. I told my DH that I sometimes needed to get things up where I can see better (great when I'm working on an art doll or putting a fairy in a jar). This is what he invented for me. Not only does it allow me to get things up higher, it spins so I can see all sides. And it's great place to lay things when I'm in a creative frenzy and don't have time to put things away.

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Okay, the next 3 pictures is the wall right in front of where I sit. Again, a myriad of small things that I like within easy reach. Glues, tools, decorative scissors, eyelet setter, my ATG gun etc, . But I really want an inspiration board hanging above me so I have to put my thinking cap on for this area.



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And to my right always a telephone book and an old hotel door card (could be a credit card). the telephone book (I save them) is where I lay things to glue, then I just rip the wet glue page off and toss. The card I reach for far more often than my bone folder for smoothing and folding things.
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Last but not least is a rolling drawer cart that fits under my table perfectly. Ink pads in the top drawer, two drawers of papers and two drawers of different size chipboard. The top compartments are great for my markers and ink sponges. It actually sits under the table and to my left where I can just reach down and open a drawer or rolls out conveniently to get to my markers.

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That's it. A little corner of my creative world. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

xoxo







Friday, April 11, 2008

TGIF Comes 'round again


Another Friday and another free image. This is one from my private vintage postcard collection. It was just one of those things, when I saw it I had to have it. So now I'm sharing it with you. Enjoy and I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend. Now, I have errands to run and miles to go before I sleep. Ciao babies!


xoxo

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sharing the Goodies

I'm behind in posting pictures so I'm going to jump right in and start sharing some fun items I recently received in the mail.

I belong to the ZNE Design Team and we did an April Showers Swap that was a whole lot of fun. I'm sorry but the chocolate is all gone, even the wrappers are missing and I really don't think I'm to blame...I mean is it NICE to fill a box full of chocolate goodies and then expect the recipient to BEHAVE and not EAT any of the CHOCOLATE before pictures are taken? I don't THINK so!! :-) You chilruns are evil to send such good chocolate to a no-account-lily-livered, weak-willed-chocoholic like myself! I hope you're ashamed of yourselves. I mean GEE! (Ermmm, can you send more please?)

But at least I have a pictures of all the other fun and lovely gifts that my postman brought me. Oh WAIT....it was THE postman...he ate all the chocolate! (heehee)

Such fun goodies!


And THEN (gee I'm using a lot of caps tonight aren't I?!)
I got this most beautiful, amazing piece of GORGEOUS are work in the mail from my friend and very talented artist Pam Carriker who has some exciting news to share on her blog, so go, visit Pam. Thank you Pam!!!! {{{I'm sending hugs!}}}

These new tags have been sitting around waiting for lights, camera, action! AND finally they got it, last night they were listed on Etsy. The blue ones can be found here.

while the pink and black Paris tags can be found here.


Then I'm happy to announce that we have some new inventory in the store. Two new stamp designs have finally arrived.

These Bird Lovers stamps are one of the larger sets and should make all you bird connoiseurs happy! There are 20 mix and match stamps in this set!


And this is another large stamp set, a brand new design for 2008 called Cherish
and it has 17 mix and match stamps. Great for any romantic project you're working on!



Two new fun items just in are these chipboard sets.
The Little Girl Outfit comes with the pockets and bow and buttons and collar. It is absolutely adorable!

The Little Folding House, which comes with a door and windows, trim and more has been moving fast! So many possibilities as it opens up and the inside can be embellished also!


And finally we have the Bird Notes and French Mail back in stock. We've been waiting for a month.


Well I'm tired so I'll sign off now. But I'll be back tomorrow with the TGIF free image. :-)
xoxo