Friday, September 30, 2011

Garden Party ~ Altered Pages Altered Board Book Swap

 Altered Pages Yahoo Group hosted an altered board book swap.  Participants altered a book to send to one partner, the theme was open.  This is what I came up with. 
All floral collage images are from Altered Pages

 I've never done an altered book from start to finish, I've always elaborated with other artists so this was a huge undertaking for me.  I hope you enjoy my Garden Party. 

Page 1 and 2

 My book starts with an invitation to a Garden Party.

Page 2 has a lovely image (all adult female images are from Artfully Musing Free Downloads) of the party hostess.

The frame is one that I make and I'm trying to get some in my Etsy shop.  You can't tell in the photo but it is shimmery.

I told a little story with my book, I hope you enjoy it.  The story portion will be in italics.

 Page 3 and 4

Lady Heidi Hydrangea and Princess Penelope Poppy are the first to arrive and they brought their prize winning cake.

 Next comes Countess Isabel Iris with her gaggle of puppies.  I count them at night, instead of sheep, when I can't sleep.

The dogs hat is from Altered Pages

Page 5 and 6

Followed by the Deacons wife Daphne Daffodil who has the most lovely singing voice.  How magnificent she has brought the Church linens to top our table with.

I hate to tute my own horn but I love how I added the rhinestones to the music notes.  I think I would have enjoyed music much more if there had been rhinestones on my sheet music in high school.

Oh how wonderful her Royal Highness Roberta Rose is here.  And she is accompanied by her charming daughter Bethany Bluebell.  What's she looking at?

I did a lot of work on the background of this page.  All the depths don't show in the pictures.  I stamped a column of roses and then a column of crowns painted them and then did a wash over them.

The little girl is from Altered Pages

Do you see the hidden roses?

Are you ready for the next page?  At the last minute I did the different layers of crepe paper to try and make it look sky like. 

It's the Butterflies!  They've decided to join us.

The background paper is glittery as are touches of the butterflies. 
All Collage images on this page are from Altered Pages

Page 9 and 10

Now let's sit and chat a bit.

I used real tea leaves to decorate the edges of the rosettes, it makes the entire book smell scrumptious!

Would you like some fresh strawberries from my garden to go with your cake? 

Page 11 and 12

Oh how the time does fly.  It's growing late and time to say farewell. 

Again I played with crepe paper, light blue for daytime and black for night I love the effect it gives the page. 

This is the final page in the book.  It's supposed to be a Thank You from the hostess to her guests or vice versa.  I needed more space than I had left over to give the proper credits for each page. 

 See, it barely all fits and I am sure I left something out!

The back cover is simple. 
I love my altered book and had a very hard time mailing it out today.  I  hope who I mailed it too (shhh it's still a secret) loves it as much as I do. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lime in the Coconut ~ Practical Magic Blog Party Giveaway Winner!

Remember my lovely giveaway?  Well, it's time to draw a winner.  Here is a quick reminder of what it up for one lucky Witch.

Little Black Dress Natural Soap (black like the soap the aunts used in the book) from Wicked Soaps
Lilac scented soy candle from T - aromas (the flower that grew out of control over Jimmy's grave)
and a pair of socks, blue of course

So I pulled out the cauldron and filled it with all the names of the wonderful Witches that stopped by and said hello during the Practical Magic Blog Party.  I owe you all a big thank you for your kind words and I hope you enjoyed the party as much as I did.

And the winner is............

Ricki Jull Treleaven of Art @ Home

You have 48 hrs to contact me at

Thank you all for stopping by and keep watching I have more giveaways coming up soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All Hallow's Grim Blog Party

Magaly Guerrero of Pagan Culture is hosting an All Hallow's Grim party and I've decided to join. 

It's fairly simple, Magaly likes her  holidays like she likes her fiction:
sweet, sexy, dark, and bursting with bloody fun.
So if this is up your Halloween alley come and join us.  I think I've got a fun idea, now to just see if I can pull it off.  Hope to see you there.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Put the Lime in the Coconut ~ Practical Magic Blog Party and a Giveaway

Hello, and welcome to my Practical Magic Blog Party post. 
 I am so excited that you have stopped by!

Please come in and sit down, pour yourself a tall glass of iced tea (yes, I know it should be a margarita, but the pitcher I used is my grandmothers and I only ever remember her serving iced tea out of it so that's what I do with it of course) and have a cupcake. 

This year my party post has more to do with the book than with the movie. 

In preparation for the party I decided to read the book and did a little Read Along over the past few weeks that was great fun.

I created a bookmark for each section of the book.

Anyway, enough about what I have done let's party! 
What is Practical Magic?  Well, after reading I've come to the conclusion that it is the love shared in a family, most specifically the bond between the female members. 
For generations my family has been sharing this bond and I am so proud to be a part of my family and to have the rich history that we do. 
So without further ado, I introduce you to who I know as "The Three Crows"

Whenever my maternal Grandmother pulls out this picture she loves to tell us about these women, how they got the name "The Three Crows," she says back when this picture was taken it was considered making it if you owned a black silk dress got dressed up and took your picture.  When their picture was developed someone said they looked like three black crows and well it stuck. I kinda think they look like witches but then again I did add hats to the image ;)

My Grandmother is an excellent baker and somehow I got lucky enough to inherit some of her talent, I'm sure one of these ladies possessed the ability also.  So thank you for helping with the Lime in the Coconut Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
zest of 3 limes
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coconut cream
3 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut (a little less than half a bag)

For the frosting:
1 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of two limes and juice of 1
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For the Garnish:
3 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut; lightly toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. and line 2 cupcake tins with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lime zest and mix together until the sugar is moistened and fragrant.
3. Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time.  Add the vanilla and mix until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the coconut cream to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry mix.  Mix until just combined. Fold in the shredded coconut.
4. Fill each prepared cupcake liner 3/4 full. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.
5. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting.
6. Cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lime zest and juice until well combined. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth.
7. Frost the cupcakes and finish with a sprinkling of lightly toasted coconut.

Good Aren't they!

Now meet my father's great aunts and grandmother, all 7 of them!  Harriet, Amelia, Bertha, Winnie, Neddie, Leatha and Carol (whom I'm named after)

Oh my, you would think with 7 of them that they would manage to keep the spiders off the table!  Or do you think they invited him? 

And here are some very special guests, this is my mother (on the right) and her little sister. 

Their father grew the most lovely roses! 

Speaking of sisters, here's mine and yep that's me on the right in blue, trying to stay out of trouble. 

"If a woman is in trouble, she should always wear blue for protection. Blue shoes or a blue dress. A sweater the color of a robin's egg or a scarf the shade of heaven. A thin satin ribbon, carefully threaded through the white lace hem of a slip. Any of these will do. But if a candle burns blue, that is something else entirely, that's no luck at all, for it means there's a spirit in your house. And if the flame should flicker, then grow stronger each time the candle is lit, the spirit is settling in."
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, pg 129.

Quick someone check the candles!

My girls say the candles aren't burning blue, phew that's a relief!  Have you met my little ones?  Well, here they are two more sisters for our party.

Look at that my trouble makers in blue!  And I think she's trying to get more than her share of the cupcakes. 

Oh well, it's a party after all but you have to wash your hands first. Yes, of course you can use the Black soap the aunts make and oh I have some for one of you too! 
It's my Practical Magic Giveaway.

Little Black Dress Natural Soap (black like the soap the aunts used in the book) from Wicked Soaps
Lilac scented soy candle from T - aromas (the flower that grew out of control over Jimmy's grave)
and a pair of socks, blue of course!

How can you win this? 

Well it's simple just leave a comment (with a way for me to contact you)
Taking part in the Practical Magic Blog Party (that's a second entry)
Took part in my Read Along (that's an entry for every time you answered questions)

In your comment let me know how many times you qualify to be entered.

I will take entries till Wednesday the 28th at noon.  Good Luck!

I am so glad you stopped by my party, hope you had a great time, I did.

Please come back soon!

Safe Journey, it's stormy out and you know "Lightning, like love, is never ruled by logic."  Wouldn't want your umbrella attracting the wrong kind of attention ;)