Wednesday, August 31, 2011


 Eleven years ago today I made the best decision of my life. 
 Without the support and encouragement of my fabulous husband I never would have learned how to frame, picked up a stamp or ventured into the world of blogging.
So from the bottom of my heart I must thank Kevin for making me the person I am today.  For standing by me when things weren't the way we planned and for giving me everything he can and everything I've dreamed of.

Now, that's the extent of my sappy, back to my regularly scheduled snark ;)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Under the Big Top

 I was lucky enough to get my name in for Kimberly of Art Joy Stuff Tuesday Trading Card Swap last week.  Her theme was Join the Circus and this is my take on it. 
 Hand scrunched yellow satin, died puffy thing and a paperclay star are what I think really makes this piece. 
One of the things that are harder to see is the enhanced background I did.  Decorative paper stamped with a swirl that I coated in Tim Holtz green distress glitter (makes it look vintage in my opinion) and there is a ticket stub behind the clowns head.  

 And guess what!  I'm going to be selling those fabulous stars in my etsy store soon.
Want to get some before anyone else? Leave me a comment let me know what colors you want and I'll make them for you right away! Right now I have gold, red, blue, green and silver (still working on black and white) and they are all shimmery!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It's been a few days since the kick off of the Practical Magic Read Along and everything is going great!  So far six people have entered this weeks questions and a chance to win one of the prizes.  I must confess I feared this little idea of mine would be a flop and am thrilled that it's not.  So I thought I would provide some better images of the handmade item I made for this weeks prize (if that is what the winner selects).

I created this bookmark with themes from the Superstition section of the book. 

And decided to include one of my Glittered Clothespin Magnets so go along with it. 

The two women are actually my fathers aunts, I thought that was a fun touch.

Hope you enjoy and if you havn't checked out the Practical Magic read Along it's not to late to join.  This coming up Friday, September 2nd we will be discussing the second portion of the book and you have until this thursday at noon to answer this weeks question which can be found HERE.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Practical Magic Read Along Superstition

Hello most fabulous Read Alongers!  Welcome to the first segment of our Practical Magic Read Along. 

So here is how this is going to work, below you will find a few questions.  Answer them to the best of your knowledge in the comments section.  Please number your answers (you do not need to re-type the questions) and leave a way for me to get in contact with you (e-mail, blog address, PBS nickname). 

For each question you answer correctly I will enter your name in the witches hat for this weeks prize (1 PBS credit OR $5 Gift Certificate from Amazon OR a handmade gift by me).  You have until Thursday September 1st at noon to answer the questions.  The winner will be announced on next weeks Read Along questions and have 48 hrs to claim their prize.

This weeks handmade prize is a Bookmark and a Black Glittered Magnetic Clothespin

1.  Where do the Aunts live?  (I'll accept 2 answers if you give both you'll get your name in the drawing twice).
2.  How did Sally and Gillian's parents die?
3.  What is the Aunts Specialty?
4.  Where did Michael work?
5.  After Sally and the Girls moved to New York, when did they visit the Aunts?

Bonus:  What are the cats named after?  List as many of their names as Possible. (Each correct name will get your name in the hat).

Just for Fun:  Which sister do you like more?  Are you like one of them?  If you have seen the movie, how do you feel about the changes the screen play made?  What do you think of Alice Hoffman's writing style?

I hope you are enjoying the book!  Can't wait to see your answers.  Please feel free to leave any type of comment about the book, I will answer them all and share my opinion (so if you don't like the book it's okay to say so). 

Next week (Friday September 2nd) the Questions will be about the Premonition portion of the book.  See you then!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Melrose Tea Cup with Maple Tea Scones and Homemade Devonshire Cream

This week I wanted to share my favorite purchase I made while traveling cross country.  I'd planned on posting it with my shop reviews and then realized that I bought it at a shop that was so busy I didn't take any photo's of.  So instead I'll share a fabulous tea/breakfast recipie.  Stay tunned for some cross country shop reviews, coming in the next few weeks. 

My favorite thing about this cup is the color, it is such a wonderful peacful shade of greenish blue and the gold is a perfect compliment.

Can you beleive I got all three parts for $7.50, the store was having a 50% off sale, I wish I had had more time to peruse the shop but I was traveling cross country and on a time line.

Maple Tea Scones with Homemade Devonshire Cream

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour (the original recipe calls for 3 cups of all purpose flour but I ran out and subsituted)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup milk (whole)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375

Combine flour, baking posder, baking soda and salt, cut in butter with a heavy duty electric mixer until resembles coarse crumbs. 

In a 1 cup measuring cup combine milk, syrup and vanilla.  Add to the dry mixture and stir until a sticky dough is fomed.

Turn out onto slightly floured work surface and kneed about 6 times, until holds together. 

Roll out into a 1" thick round and cut with a 3" cookie cutter.

Place cut scones on a greased cookie sheet and cook for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

Devonshire Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (sifted)
3/4 cup sour cream

Whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form, add the sour cream and beat until fluffy.  Scrape into a covered container and refrigerate until serving.

I sprinkled cinamon sugar onto the Devonshire cream when I served these.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Lilith Rising

Well the time has come and gone to enter the Alpha Stamps Halloween Giveaway and guess what, even with my studio being a far cry from what it use to be I managed to make something. 

Lilith Rising

The idea for this piece came about in a round about manner.  The image of the woman with bat wings was the right size for a domino book and I'd spent the morning cruising a number of retro images.  So when the two art forms crashed together in my mind I envisioned a sort of pin up calender, innocent on the outside, devilish on the inside.

I used 2 regular sized dominoes and coated them with Tim Holtz alcohol inks (mushroom, latte and slate).  Then I stamped the innocent looking bats (this particular stamp is no longer available but there is a wonderful Bat stamp available HERE).  The first one I stamped didn't go on very well so I had to fill it in with a sharpie but it works. 

The wings are my very last set from Paula's Kit club, it only bothers me slightly that they aren't bat wings since I ended up going with a more fallen angel thing.  But if I had THESE I would have used them.

To the left is a close up of the back of the domino book.  Again I used the Tim Holtz alcohol inks and stamped the Belladonna Drops bottle image from the Poison Rubber Stamp Set using archival ink. 

The charm is another last from a Paula's Kit Club but Alpha Stamps has the most fabulous Halloween charms.  Go HERE to see them all.

To add some more texture to the domino I affixed some black DMC floss and 2 different shades of whisper fiber, to me it looks like a ragged spider web.   

I love the way the book looks all tied up (used a black silk ribbon) from the top.  I think the wings triple it's overall size and make it as impressive (or daunting) as coming face to face with a fallen angel would be.

You can get a better picture of the details on the outside of the book with this picture.  I used black rhinestones all around the outside rim of the dominoes, they are not as shimmery/reflective as I normally use but there was something about how the light just seems to get sucked into them that worked so well on this. 

And here she is, Lilith in all her glory.  I have to admit I was nervous about using a nude image in a challenge piece, I considered draping her with a black silk ribbon and adding rhinestones to her tata's, but everyone that I spoke to said they thought it was fine and that I shouldn't compromise my vision for a 'what if I offend people' thought. 

The accordion folded paper is a natural/handmade sheet of paper.  I stamped the Laverck's Instant Relief stamp (also in the Poison Rubber Stamp Set) in black and then dusted the paper with black and pink (very very lightly, more flesh toned than anything) inks.  On the opposite side I used a spider web decorative paper.

I had a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around how to really make the skeletons pop but after a bit the light bulb came on.  I stamped the image onto transparency film and then painted the opposite side with white acrylic paint.  They really do stand out in real life, and are very detailed, it's a great stamp.

The finishing touch on the inside (and it actually came before putting Lilith and the skeletons on) was some black Dresden.  Alpha stamps has a wonderful collection of black Dresden and it can all be found HERE.

Well, keep your fingers crossed for me and go vote!  Voting opens at midnight the 22nd on the Alpha Stamp Blog

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Make it Work

In the famous words of Tim Gunn, "Make it work" I made my studio work.  Right now I am in a small corner of the garage until the basement gets a make over.  It's not pretty but just wait till you see what I've been making in it (there will be a post of art tomorrow, long overdue I know).

A bit of overflow, I have to have all the items here handy, so they simply had to come out of the boxes.  Odd thing is everything that's still left in boxes I seem to need now also...

It's a mess but it works!  Next time I post about the studio it will probably be before pictures of a space that I have been dreaming of for years.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Practical Magic Read Along

Next Friday is the 1st instalment of my Practical Magic Read Along giveaway. So between now and then go get the book and read Superstition, the first portion of the book.

When I post the first set of questions answer them in a comment and you will be entered to win a $5.00 gift certificate from Amazon, 1 Paper Back Swap Credit or a piece of my artwork. I promise I won't make the questions hard.

Please help me spread the word and feel free to grab the badge and link it to my page.   I have to give a shout out to my little sister here, she spiffified the badge I made, she is a Photoshop Jedi! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

32 North - An Etsy Store Review

A few days ago (5 to be precise) I ordered some items from 32 Degrees North Supplies a new to me Etsy store.  I was looking for some items to use on an upcoming swap I joined for autumn themed ribbon/fabric flowers.  The items I needed in particular were leaves and something to put in the center of my flowers.  I did a search from stamens and this shop pulled up and I was in heaven!

  The items shipped to me the same day I ordered them and arrived yesterday!  They were well packaged in a clear cellophane bag wrapped inside newspaper.  I am most pleased with my purchase, the descriptions of her items were spot on and I will be purchasing from this store again. 

The fabric behind the items is what I plan on using to make my flowers so you can see how perfect the colors match (I will be aging the yellow flowers a bit). 

 Now to find the time to make my flowers. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Cookin'? I'm cookin'!

The Bloggerette Sorority is hosting a Recipe Blog Party and those of you that know me know how much I love to cook, so I couldn't let this party pass me by.

We are still recovering from our cross country move and I don't have a studio set up yet (hopefully today I will get a makeshift studio up and running) I've found that I've been spending more time in the kitchen. When this party was announced I decided to just take pictures of what I make on a regular basis, kind of give you a glimpse of our lives. The photo's that follow and the foods that we ate are not necessarily our favorites. Maybe one day I'll share those with you.

So without further ado, here is a week of cooking by the Glitter Tart.

Sunday 7th August: We eat a fancy breakfast before going to church, eat out for lunch and normally clean out the fridge of any weekend left overs. But my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is bake.

Double Chocolate Malt cupcakes with Cherry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Years ago my husband and I were watching a Food Network program and a woman won with these cupcakes. When I was in the grocery store I saw the missing recipe item that had been preventing me from making them all these years so I snatched it up and came home to make these.

After reading the reviews provided on the Food Network I changed the recipe what follows is what I did, you can go HERE to see the original recipe.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coco powder (the key is to have a really good one, like Godiva)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder (make sure it is fresh)
1 tsp baking soda (make sure it is fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1 1/2 cups malted milk powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
2/3 cup veg oil
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For Buttercream:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tble vanilla extract
3 tble whipping cream
2/3 cup black forest cherry preserves
1 tble brandy
Malted Milk balls (for decoration)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 regular 12 cup cupcake pans with paper liners

Combine flour, coco, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt - whisk until blended

In a separate bowl whisk milk, malted milk powder and espresso powder. Add oil and eggs, whisk until blended. Add to flour mixture, beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fill prepared cups halfway (do not overfill these are fabulously fluffy).

Bake 15-17 minutes, they should spring back when touched and a toothpick should come out clean (make sure you don't accidentally stick the toothpick in a chocolate chip, so if the toothpick doesn't come out clean, check it again)

Let cool in pan for 2 minutes then move to a wire cooling rack.

While cupcakes bake prepare the frosting. In an electric mixer mix the sugar and butter on low until combined. Add vanilla, whipping cream and brandy, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the cherry preserves mixing until incorporated. Transfer to a pastry bag (I used a Ziploc bag with a whole cut in one corner). Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and top with a Malted Milk Ball.

Taco Tuesday

When we lived in California a friend of mine started a tradition, taco Tuesday. A group of us would go over to her house every Tuesday and eat some kind of Mexican food. The tradition seems to have stuck with me because come Tuesday I made taco's.

My husband and daughters prefer soft shelled taco's while I like the hard shells. So we purchase a kit that has both shells and the seasoning, but I made a mistake this week and got a kit that didn't come with a seasoning pack. Good thing my spice cabinet is extensive.

I added the following spices to ground Beef while browning it (and I will never buy a mix again)
Chili powder
Ancho chili powder
Chipotle chili powder
Garlic (minced)
Adobo seasoning
Black pepper

The rest is fairly self explanatory, a can of refried beans, some Spanish rice and then my favorite taco toppings, extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, onion, salsa, lettuce, avocado, and sour cream.

Wednesday 10th August: Hump day is easy day here and we went out to eat at Milo's. My oldest had been asking to go since Monday.

Thursday 11th August: My In Laws own a restaurant and brought us a bunch of really good meat so I decided that I should cook some of it up. I am not a griller, that's husbands terrain, so I decided on Beef Stroganoff.

Beef Stroganoff

I made a mistake with the meat, I do it frequently and it makes me mad every time. DON'T CUT THE STEAK BEFORE COOKING! inevitably you will overcook the meat, just like I did. If you cook the meat whole it is easier to monitor the wellness. However if you like your meat well done (which I do not) then pre-cutting is fine.

6 Tble butter (divided)
1 lb sirloin
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1 container of mushrooms
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp tarragon
1 cup sour cream (room temperature)

Melt 3 tble butter in a fry pan (make sure pan is not too hot, don't want to burn your butter). Once pan is hot add the beef, brown both sides. Remove meat from the pan and set aside (cut into 1" strips if you cooked the meat whole).
In the same pan add the onions, cook for a minute or two, just long enough for them to soak up the yummy pan drippings. Remove them from the pan.

In the same pan melt the remainder of the butter and add the mushrooms. While cooking sprinkle with nutmeg and tarragon. Cook about 4 minutes then add the sour cream. Do not let the sour cream simmer or come to a boil (if using an electric stove I suggest removing the pan from the heat for a few seconds). Add the beef and shallots, stir to combine, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately over your favorite pasta, I like it over egg noodles.

I also served a salad with red onion, mandarin oranges and balsamic along with some good crusty bread.

Friday, every Friday is Pizza Party Picnic at our house. I ordered from Domino's this week while the family was at the pool. When it arrived they came home and we ate on the floor in front of the television. Ginger Ale for the kids, bear for the husband and red wine for me.

Saturday 13th August: The in laws came up to help us with a bit more of our unpacking. My mother in law loves Margarita's (I am not a huge fan but I'm taking part in the Practical Magic Blog party in September. One of the main scenes in the movie is "Midnight Margarita's" so I figures I should see if I can make a good margarita).
Margarita for the Mother in Law

We love to grill on the weekends, my husband recently got a Big Green Eggs so we have been grilling a lot. We did hamburgers this weekend (that I, in my haste to eat them, forgot to photograph and there were no left overs). I served my father's potato salad (the only potato salad I have ever liked) and baked beans.

But the real attention went to desert. This one is fast easy and so scrumptious!

Brownies topped with Moca Rum Frosting

I use the simplest and cheapest cake like brownie mix (if your brownie mix doesn't call for at least 2-3 eggs it is not cake like)
Follow the instructions on the box (a lot of mixes have instructions for cake like in small print at the bottom of the instructions section) for the brownies. These need to cool completely before you cut them (I have a fancy pan that a friend gave me that makes perfect cuts).
1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup coco (use a good one like Godiva)
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup milk (I use whole milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp dark run

Stir butter and coco together. Stir sugar and milk alternately together. Mix together and add vanilla and rum.

Top brownies with a generous dollop, add a raspberry (I've used strawberries too but I like the flavor of the raspberries better) and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Sunday 14th August: As I said at the start of this post we go all out for breakfast on Sunday. I wanted to make Banana-stuffed French Toast with Chocolate-hazelnut sauce but I didn't have all the ingredients. Guess I'll do that next week. So this week we had

Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips
and oven fried bacon

There's nothing really special about this one, I used Bisquick pancake mix, tossed in some chocolate chips and followed the directions.
To oven fry your bacon (which is so easy and much cleaner than putting it in the microwave) you line a pan with tin foil, lay the Bacon out and stick into a cold oven set at 400 degrees F. Walk away for 17-20 minutes. And done!

Well, that's a week in my kitchen. Tonight we are cleaning out the fridge of left overs and going to attempt to make some frozen margaritas.

So glad you stopped by and I can't wait to see what everyone else has been cooking!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Practical Magic Blog Party and Read Along

Last year a blogging friend of mine took part in a Practical Magic Blog Party, she invited me to join along but my plate was already full. So imagine my joy when I discovered that the mind behind the party, Anna of Frosted Petunias, is hosting it again this year!

She has set up a separate blog for this event and you can visit, learn about it and sign up HERE

After much deliberation I have decided that I want to host a Read Along leading up to the big night of celebration.

What's a read along you ask? Well, it's a low stress don't even have to get dressed book club type thing.

So, first things first, you will need a copy of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman. This book has been out for a while so you can probably pick up a copy at your local library, it is available now on PBS for 1 credit and Amazon has a number of used copies (starting at $0.01).

Then you will need to read it (yep, I said it, you have to read it LOL). Have no fear I'm going to give you plenty of time. Each Friday starting August 26th I will post a few questions. Anyone can answer the questions and if you get them all right you will be entered to win a weekly giveaway ($5.00 gift certificate to Amazon or 1 PBS credit or a piece of my art). The winner will be drawn randomly.

Giveaway Dates (winners will be announced the following Friday so you have an entire week to answer the questions
August 26th questions on Superstition
September 2nd questions on Premonitions
September 9th questions on Clairvoyance
September 16th questions on Levitation
September 24th The Big Day! The Practical Magic Blog Party (can you image what I'll do then or giveaway then???)
I'll post more details as the date for the kick off of the Read Along gets closer. For now please help me spread the word.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Glittered Clothespin Magnets Tutorial

You know you’ve seen them, clothespins covered in glitter, and you know you want them.

Well, here is a relatively pain free, step by step tutorial on how to make your own. However if you simply don’t have the time, or the touch, you can purchase them from my Etsy shop



Wooden Clothespins
Acrylic Paint in a shade close to your glitter tone, this doesn’t need to be a high quality paint.
Old paint brush
Glue (Mod Podge and Crafters) any glue that dries clear would probably work for the glittering portion of this tutorial. I also use Mod Podge (high gloss) for the sealant portion of this tutorial, so if you decide to use a glue that doesn’t dry clear you will need a separate sealant. You will also need a glue to affix the magnets, I use a fast drying craft glue.
Glitter a fine or superfine, the chunkier glitters, in my opinion, make clumsy, childlike looking magnets. If you are interested in the colors I used please message me.
Magnet strips these can be found at any craft store, I cut mine to size so finding the right shape is not necessary. They should however be as flat as possible.

You might also want:
Wax paper, Heavy duty cardstock (to catch glitter), cup of water (to clean out paintbrush), damp paper towels (to clean up glue/paint drips).


I like to lay out a sheet of wax paper to work on top of and have some to clip the clothespins on while they are drying. Having wax paper between the teeth of the pin prevents the clothespin from sticking together, in other words, gluing it shut.

If working with more than one color at a time I suggest having a few sheets of wax paper and some water (to clean your paintbrush) handy. The separate sheets will keep the colors from getting on one another.

Step One: Applying Acrylic Paint to the Clothespin

The thing that I think is most important in making your clothespins is to make all the sides that show pretty. That means painting the entire clothespin.

So start with the top, make sure to get the top edges.

Work your way onto the sides, yes you are going to get paint on your hands. If you like you can always wear a pair of gloves.

And finally make sure to get the insides just for good measure. That’s why you want to use an old paintbrush, so you can work it into those hard to reach places. Also make sure you get enough paint on the metal bits.

Step 2: Allow time for the clothespins to dry completely

In this photo you can see how I am using the wax paper. I have clipped my painted clothespins onto one sheet and have them resting on another. Since most of the back of the clothespin is going to be covered with magnet it is fine to paint it and lay it down.

You want to use a fairly clean sheet of wax paper; anything built up on the sheet will stick to the wet paint. You also don’t want the clothespins soaking with paint. They should have a nice coating but not be dripping anywhere. Remember this is going to be coved up, I do this step to add depth to the areas that get glittered and to clover up the boring wood on the parts that don’t get glittered.

Step 3: Apply the glue for Glittering

For this step I change up what I am working on top of to a heavy weight sheet of cardstock (you can use a junk mail flyer or anything) that has been folded. I do this so that any glitter that falls off of the pin can be easily transferred back to the glitter jar, don’t want to waist any of the good stuff.

I’ve also cut smaller strips of wax paper and continue to have the clothespins clipped to them. Since we are working with glue it is now more important than ever that the clothespins not end up glued shut.

Using your old paint brush apply a thick, but not goopy, layer of glue to the top only of the clothespin. You want this to be as smooth and even as possible so that you get an even coating of glitter.
Make sure you don’t have any dripping down the sides. The glitter must be applied in stages and any glue running down the sides will mess up the view from the side.

Step 4: Applying Glitter

Lay your top/front glued clothespins on a flat surface and sprinkle glitter onto them. Make sure you get it fully covered especially along the edges.

Allow time for the glue to dry.

Step 5: Glitter the sides

Following the same procedure as step 4, apply glue to the sides of your clothespin and then sprinkle with glitter.

It is especially important during this step that you don’t get glue on the top or inside the clothespin. If some of the glue does get on the top (already glittered portion) or inside, wipe it off as best you can.

Allow time to dry.

Step 6: Sealing the Glitter
I like to use a high gloss Mod Podge for this step, you could try a spray sealant but I can’t guarantee the results. You could also skip this step but after time your glitter will come off.

Apply a thin, even coat of glue to all the areas with glitter. If you use Mod Podge it will be easy to tell where you have the glue since it is white (unless you are making white glitter clothespins).

Allow time to dry completely.

Step 7: Turning them into Magnets

 You can decide to leave them as they are at this point or make them multifunctional by turning them into magnets.

You can purchase magnet strips at most craft stores. I’ve found that even the strip ones are a little to wide for the clothespins so I cut mine. Using a sharp pair of scissors trim the magnet to the desired size.

Apply a small amount of glue (I use a quick drying craft glue) to the backs of the clothespins where the magnet will go. Even if you get the sticky back kind of magnet I recommend this step, I’ve found that many times the magnet doesn’t stay stuck.

Affix the magnet to the back of the clothespin and allow time to dry.

All Done and Ready to be used!

You can purchase already made Glitter Magnet Clothespins from my Etsy shop at

Mention this tutorial and get free shipping on your entire purchase now until Dec 1st 2011.

Please DO NOT duplicate or alter the artwork in this tutorial. Please use for inspiration only.

For a printable version of this tutorial please go HERE