Monday, August 1, 2011

I Have Moved!!

You can now find me blogging away at
Thank you to all my followers and for all these years at Blogger!
I hope you come follow me over at the new place!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's a Done Deal!

Yes I did it!  I am ready to direct you all to my new home.  And I am admittedly very nervous!  It's a new venture, a step outside ye old comfort zone, after all I've been with Blogger for five years, and so, self-doubt crows loudly in my ear for the moment. But I tell myself that I'm old enough to realize I must ignore these taunts and just keep moving on.  And so I shall.

I even have my own domain now for the new blog.  You can find me at

And I'm having a giveaway to welcome you to my new home!  
So I hope you will stop by and link to me and I can be back in business again.

As some of you suggested in an earlier post,  I checked out Google reader, and my goodness I was surprised at how easy it is to use to follow blogs! No wonder you use it!  And by using Google Reader Subscription I found I can follow any blog I want, not just a blogger blog!  I have some friends on Typepad and Wordpress and have already added them!  I added the subscriber to my favorites so it's easy now, when I visit a blog I want to follow I click on the subscriber link I bookmarked, simply hit the subscribe button and BOOM it is added to my list.  Why did I not know of this earlier! LOL  I may be mad at Google for screwing up my blog, but this seems like a good thing they offer. 

So, fare thee well Blogger old friend. The time has come to move on.

See you my lovely friends at my new home!

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Thursday, June 2, 2011


Yep that is me, right here, right now.
You know I don't usually revert to my blog to complain but I need a moment. 

I think I am feeling my age.  It seems there is something in the air, and while it has been there for quite some time, here lately it seems even worse. Like a bad smell gone overly bad. Since I did recently have a birthday  I keep telling myself it's not worse, it's just me.  Getting old. 

What ARE you talking about Gail you might ask.  I'm talking about technology and change.  Everywhere I go these days I am confronted by change I don't want and don't even like. 

Now I don't mind change when it truly helps me and makes my life easier, or better or more enriched.  But not all change is necessarily good is it?

I used to like Google.  I still depend on Google to be my search can't beat it.  But I really don't want Google taking over the internet as they seem wont to do lately.  I can no longer get into any of my blogs easily and have to go about it in a convoluted manner because Google wants to connect all of me and my accounts to Google.  Whether I want to be connected or not. 

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I was thinking about this and I have made up my mind.  I am moving my blog.  I will keep you updated.  I am still working on the new one.  And I will gladly tell Google to keep their nose out of it.

I used to like Etsy.  But every time they make a change over there it simply makes more work for me.  Now I don't mind work.  I am an extremely hard worker and put in many, many hours working my businesses.  But I believe in working smarter not harder.  Because eventually I run out of hours in the day to get everything done.

If you present me with a change that allows me to do less clicking, less scrolling, less writing, less figuring things out, less key tapping, less anything...hey, I'm all for it! But when I have to do more of all this I cry foul! 

So I'm thinking about closing my Etsy store. Because when is to much, to much? It's  hard enough without these online companies constantly changing things.  And every time a company says...Hey Guess What! we've made a change to make things better, they are not usually changes for the better for me...simply changes that make what I do take longer. 

I don't hate technology, technology does help me run my businesses.  But hey, technology we don't need changes every few nanoseconds. Give me less steps not more! 

Okay lovlies thank you for the moment and your ear.  I feel better. 
Now I have to get back to work
because I hear someone else making a change I probably won't like either. ;-)

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bits and Pieces

A cuh-raaazy week.
Lots of pictures to share. :-)

First I want to thank my friend Suzy Quaife from  I entered a giveaway she was having and actually won!  That rarely happens to me so I was thrilled!  And I am so honored to have one of Suzi's gorgeous bags. 

It came wrapped so prettily all the way from NSW Australia!

   My photography skills do not do you justice Suzi dear!

Can you see all the detail?

And even sweet little goodies tucked inside.

Suzi's gift will be treasured forever.  If you have not met Suzi and her FABulous threadworks you are missing some real beauty.  When you visit Suzi's blog look for the pictures of her garden.  I told Suzi I would like to live in her garden.  It looks to be created of magic and fairy tales.

 Last week we were rainy and cold enough to turn the heat back on and kept us from getting the garden finished planted.  But now I do believe we are finally settling into late spring/summer weather.  The tomatoes are in and tonight Mr Shabby and my dad put in the corn.  Yum!

The Queen came to visit this week!

I inherited my bed of Queen Anne's Lace when we bought the house. 
Lucky me!

The Roses and Peonies are running riot!
This year they have a new guardian

Mr Shabby dubbed her Birdmommy.
She sits in front of a tall bird feeder and there is a birdhouse above her to the right that is filled with baby Starlings right now.  We have enjoyed watching mom and dad both diligently taking turns feeding their brood.

Of course I had to bring some flowers into the house!

To lovely not to enjoy them inside and out.

A close up of the Queen Anne's Lace.

I loved this image so much I had to play with it in Photoshop. Above and below are two samples of what the ladies are learning to do over in my new class Down and Dirty the Digital Way.
Aren't they fun?!  Texture can be soft and subtle just as much as it can be grungy and distressed.
I can teach you how to do this to your own images.

There is a new class starting over at Creative Workshops June 13.
It's called Whimsical Landscape Painting with Mechelle Harrison.
This painting actually starts with texture.  Come check it out!

Artful Gathering is picking up speed like a bullet train and we are being consumed with keeping track of a thousand little details, learning so much along the way.  Video segments are rolling in from our teachers and let me tell you they ROCK!!!!!!!  There is so much you can learn at this event.  So save your pennies and make some time  this summer for some fun!

Elizabeth Johnson is one of our Artful Gathering teachers and in her workshop she will teach you how to draw the most adorable little Bluebird and then add color.  Here is a little video of Elizabeth drawing a Hummingbird.

Mom, Dad and Molly taking a little break, enjoying the gorgeous weather and sweet breeze.
 Mousey is creeping behind the swing.  Mousey follows my Dad everywhere and she and Molly are good friends.

Happy Sunday lovlies!
  If I'm not posting as often you know I'm simply buried in work but that it will soon be better. :-)

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Journal Winner

Just in case you thought I forgot about the Journal Giveaway from our Birthday sale...I didn't. :-)  Just had a little craziness going on.

Our winner is Linda of Charmed Victorian!  Congratulations to Linda and thank you everyone who left a comment and came by the store to take advantage of the great savings!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Pretty Pretties

I wish I was better with before pictures because you would not have believed this box.  It was at one time a very old wood mailbox that was attached vertically to a wall with a cut out in the top for the mail.  It was dirty with smeared dark red paint and and an ugly lock.  I loved the primitive shabbiness of it, just not the dirt, the sloppy paint job or the ugly lock.  Mr Shabby cleaned it up for me.  I painted it with  a dry brush method so some of the dark wood would still be visible, and then I added the appliques.  I glazed the bottom half of the box and loved the two tone look so much I did not glaze the top.  The worm holes and old crackle may not show well in the photo, but along with the mail slot we left on the side, they add to the utter charm of this box. 

I really wanted to keep it but *sigh* I was good and left it at the Corner Nest with a price tag on it.

I wanted to keep this box too.

I used one the Bee Paris Crown single large single image I list in the store.

And the color is my new "favoritest" color.

 I just love how it turned out with all the texture.

Do you think these pretties seem to have a tough life?!

Miss Minny

Miss Gracie

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned surrounded by love and happiness!
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Birthday Bash Sale & Giveaway

Oh yes.  It's that time of year again. 
Gail gets another year older.
But we won't dwell on that! :-)

Instead we're going to PARTY!

Because it's time for our Annnual Birthday Bash Sale at Shabby Cottage Studio!
Here's the deal...
 except classes and gift certificates!

 Sale runs May 1 through May 6.  No codes, no coupons, just pile up the goodies in your shopping basket and we'll figure it for you.  Easy Peasy! 
Now is the time to take advantage and stock up on your favorite goodies, and even find some new favorite goodies!

Along with the Sale I always have a Giveaway and this year is no different.  I will draw one name from everyone who leaves a comment on this post, and this post only, to win one of my fabric collage journals.

So if you like the looks of the journal leave a comment, then come on over to Shabby Cottage Studio
and grab some goodies at great prices!

Happy, Happy Lovlies!
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Friday, April 29, 2011

Thank You!

You guys are the best.  Thank you for the shared information about Google Reader and your support.  I will never tire of saying means the world to me.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Thinking of Moving

                                                                                                       photo courtesy salihan

Yes, I really am thinking about moving.
My blog. ;)
I've been with Blogger now since 2006 and I think it was fun while it lasted but there comes a time when you have to move on and I may have reached my time. I am still thinking, but it's feeling like the thing to do more and more. 

While I have always appreciated the fact that Blogger is a free site and affords us tremendous design capabilities, it still has some limitations that don't allow me to do  some of the things I would like to do and have it look the way I want it to look.  Then there is this: for thepast year Blogger has just been giving me fits with formatting and spacing issues.  And I don't like the fact that if I have a problem I have no one to turn to for technical support.

But I think it all came to a head while working on the Artful Gathering site.
When it takes 2-3 hours to add and format text that should take 20 minutes I have to stop and ask, what's wrong with this picture? Then we found a new site and a new home for Artful Gathering and what a delight to work with!  And I actually got technical suupport.  And they answered me often within minutes! I couldn't help but think, how cool is that!

My only concern is that the new site does not have a "follow" button!  They have RSS reader service and apparently I can add something called Google reader.  I am on the horns of a dilemma.  I have now over 500 followers and I don't want to lose my friends! 
I'm thinking I would leave this blog up and put a big old moved sign with a link.

nothing is easy anymore.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lots Going On

Are you feeling like I have this month, like it's been crazy busy, and the days are slipping away as fast as water through a cracked glass?  I suppose part of that feeling is that so often we take on to much and then hurry hurry to meet those obligations, deadlines and timeframes.

I know I am guilty of thinking I can do it all.  It's not that I have a problem saying no.  Oh yes, I can most definitely say no. :-)  And have.  And do.  For me I think it is more that I tend to think some jobs won't take as long as they end up taking, or I put to much of my time, and of me,  into some jobs that truly don't need all that effort.  I suppose that is the perfectionist side of me.

One item on my forever, ever long, to do list was a new digital class.  And I finished it yesterday.  Yay!

Opens May 16

If you saw this image on my blog this winter and liked it, let me show what it looked like


I'm sure we all have photos like this

but isn't THIS more interesting?

Or what about this one?
It's ok right?

But now we've elevated it to art.

Would you like to put photos like these on YOUR blog? 
Do you create cards, scrapbook, create altered art in it's many forms?  I imagine you have oodles of inspiration right in your own photo stash you thought you couldn't use.  Now you can learn to create your own grungy, distressed and textured masterpieces! 
 You might think twice before discarding future photos.

Learn to work with layers and blending modes. You'll learn to texture using just one or two layers and you'll learn to texture with lots of layers.   I'll show you how to use a simple grunge mask to for a quick and easy way to grunge the edges of a photo, like Mama Cardinal above. 
Learn an easy way to lighten your photos without losing details and an easy way to watermark your photos for publishing to the 'net. 

So if you've ever wished you knew how to give a plain, even boring photo some PIZAZZ this is a good class for you!  You can wing on over to Shabby Cottage Studio  for all the details of Down and Dirty the Digital Way.
Beginners welcome! 
 I'm teaching this class with Photoshop Elements 9 but if you have PSE 5, 6, 7 or 8,  this class will work for you.

I also want to share some new information about Artful Gathering.
We have been using Blogger for our information and Registration site but have never been happy with it.  We felt it was a tad cumbersome and we couldn't lay out the information in the way we really wanted .  So I've been working on a new site and I was able to cross THAT off my to do list this weekend!

We have added a link to the new site on the Artful Gathering blog.  You will find us at  Eventually we will close the old blog.  Please come check out the new site.
We now have all the Workshop descriptions up and most of them have photos and prices.

Check out the Artwork page to see videos of each teachers artwork.  It is awesome!

And since this is an invitaiton only event don't forget to Register Now!
The event site opens June 25 and at that time Registered guests will be able to start purchasing classes.
You've got plenty of time left to save your pennies for this new and exciting online video event!

Check out Monica Zuniga and Pam Carriker Preview workshop videos!

Visit everyone at

So now my lovlies, you know what I've been up to this month. What's happening with you?!

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Freebie Image for You

Spring is in the air!

This 1911 ad is a free image for you.  Right click and then save to your computer.

The Artful Gathering blog has added class descriptions (as much as we have right now)
 for the July 2011 event!
Pop on over to the blog and click on the Workshops tab at the top of the page.
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