Friday, May 25, 2012

Do y'all know Pixie Hill??

Nichola over at Pixie Hill has come up with the most fabulous tutorial.  Well, let me be honest, everything Nichola does is fabulous so make sure you check out her entire blog and not just the tutorial. 

Nichola created this Adventure Theatre Walk through for Alpha Stamps (where they have everything on sale for a limited time).  So head on over to Pixie Hill, soak up Nichola's fabulous techniques

 like this one where she used clothespins to attach the roof


And get crafting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Art Share ~ Tea and Marie ATC's

A few weeks ago I shared some ATC's that I made for the MAMA groups Tea and Marie ATC swap.  You can view my pieces HERE

Well, the returns are here and I am thrilled and amazed and glad to have these in my collection.

Kris Dickinson's lovely pink tea drinkers

Marti McClure's Warm golden tones mixed with blue's

And lastly but certainly not least
Terri Gordon's stunning Marie sitting in a Teacup ATC.

As always I am looking forward to the next MAMA swap but until then I will ogle over these beauties.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dreaming Anistasia By Joy Preble

Dreaming Anastasia

Sixteen year old Anne thinks her life is pretty ordinary – until she smacks into handsome, mysterious, and okay, annoying Ethan on her way to chemistry class. Now Anne has powers she doesn’t understand, a history altering mission she may not want, and a growing attraction to this blue-eyed stranger. And Ethan- who at eighteen made some choices he’s starting to regret – realizes that Anne is the girl for whom he’s been searching – for a very, very long time. Stir in doomed Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia – who is definitely not quite as dead as the history books say – and Baba Yaga, the legendary witch from Russian folklore, and you’ve got DREAMING ANASTASIA, a contemporary YA fantasy that alternates between the voices of Anne, Ethan, and Anastasia as Anne and Ethan join forces to battle the bad guys and save Anastasia. Only problem is – no one’s quite sure who’s really bad and who’s good. And everyone has some secrets.

CLICK HERE to see the book trailer video.

After Reading Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox and years ago reading (and enjoying) The Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann it was hard for me to resist another book about twisting Dreams.  This one really caught my attention since it also threw in a fabulous historical mystery, what happened to Anastasia. 

The Good:  The story was original mix, you also didn't have to know about Baba Yaga (which I didn't) or Anastasia to follow the plot.  The Bad:  The characters themselves are far from original, Anne reads much like a Bella and Ethan might as well be an Edward.  I understand that this is a YA and that light romance is really popular but some more time spend on developing more interesting characters would have been nice.

The Good:  It is an easy read and written in a way that keeps you reading.  The Bad:  It is written from three different points of view, which isn't really a problem but sometimes the voice was so similar I had to go check who I was reading.  Also Anastasia's portion was not nearly as developed as Anne or Ethans (but then again she wasn't really a main character)

Overall I give this one 3 1/2 stars and plan on finishing the series. 

Since I had never heard of Baba Yaga I decided to do some research at the library to learn more.  I found a gorgeous picture book, Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave As told by Marianna Mayer and Illustrated by K.Y. Craft

This beautiful picture book relates one of the many stories of Baba Yaga the witch, and Vasilisa. The author offers no explanation about the source, but other retellings support it. Baba Yaga lives in the forest, in her house with chicken legs and her favorite food is human flesh. Vasilisa is a young orfan girl left to the care of her evil stepmother and her stepsisters. Vasilisa did chores and every menial task, her only comfort was a doll sewn by her mother that she always kept close to her. One night, their candle goes out and they are all unable to light a single light; so the stepmother sends Vasilisa to ask Baba Yaga for a light. Reluctantly, Vasilisa goes, but she is soon soothed by her doll, who tells her what to do. In the forest, she sees a white stallion and rider, then red stallion and rider and at last, when night fell again a black horse and rider. She soon approaches Baba Yaga’s fence of bones; the witch discovers her and tells her to come inside. When Vasilisa asks for the light, Baba Yaga tells her that she must work for her first. Baba Yaga tells her to cook and clean, each time a harder job than before, but each night as Vasilisa seems to be ready to fall, exhausted, her doll takes over the job. In the morning, everything is as Baba Yaga has commanded. She cooks a feast, separates the wheat from the chaff, washes, and cleans. Baba Yaga is surprised, but gives Vasilisa a harder job still: to find a lost needle in one of the haystacks and remove the dust from the poppy seeds. The doll helps again and Baba Yaga is finally satisfied with Vasilisa and lets her go, giving her the needed light, also she tells her that the riders are the daybreak, the red sun and the night knights. Then Vasilisa confesses how she was able to do the work. Baba Yaga does not like the answer, since she abhors anything to do with love. Baba Yaga gives Vasilisa the light in a skull and tells her not to forget to give it to her step mother. Vasilisa starts back to her house and she arrives at midnight. To her surprise, her family has been in a magical night ever since Vasilisa left; when Vasilisa gives them the light, the skull comes to life and engulfs them in fire, where they die. Vasilisa moves to town, finds a kind woman to live with and begins threading cloth, she does such a fine job that soon the tsar’s men purchase some of her cloth for the tsar. The tsar falls in love at first sight and marries Vasilisa, who always kept her doll close.

There were many similarities between other classic Fairy Tales which I guess is to be expected, this seemed like a Russian version of Cinderella but instead of a fairy godmother Vasilisa had a doll that helped her.  If you are at all interested I highly suggest getting this children's book, it is gorgeous!  Reading it didn't add anything to Dreaming Anastasia but I am still glad I took the time to look into it. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Read Along ~ Dreamhunter Part 5 Winner

Well gang, it's that time again, the end of another fun Read Along.  But have no fear I have not 1 not 2 but 3 books lined up for future read alongs, the only issue is figuring out the best time to do them.  I'm thinking the next one I do will be in September/October and then nothing until next year.  Any comments??? 

Anyway, onto the important part, the winners!

This week the winner has the option of a $5 Gift Certificate from Amazon, 1 PBS credit or the handmade item pictured below.

Drum roll please.....................................................................

Congratulations Cathy!

Please e-mail me at or contact me via FB with which prize you would like.  If you want the Amazon gift card let me know your e-mail address, the PBS Credit I'll need your user name and if you want the handmade item please provide your address.

But that's not all for this week.  There was a left over handmade prize up for grabs. To get a chance to win it, you had to cast the book and boy were there some fantastic casts posted. 

This one is mine.

Cathy posted the following cast

Chorley Tiebold = Tom Hanks
Grace Tiebold = Judi Dench
Rose Tiebold = Marion Cotillard
Tziga Hame = Daniel Craig
Laura Hame = Scarlett Johansson
Sandy = Matthias Schoenaerts
Cas Doran = Kevin Spacey
Ru Doran = Macaulay Culkin
Mamie Doran = Elizabeth Banks
Marta Hame = Cher
Maze Plasir = Nicholas Cage

I am absolutely in love with her Sandy, Matthias is a major hottie and Cher, wow what a great cast for Marta Hame!

Wende Came up with this cast


I think Wende and I were channeling the Sandman because Thomas Haden Church is exactly who I pictured and how I pictured the Sandman while reading.  I also love Alan Rickman he is one of my all time favorite actors, great pick for Maze!

Okay so I guess what you really want to know is who is the lucky winner...

Well, it was just Cathy's day

Congratulations Cathy!

On a side note one of the questions I asked last week was if you had any suggestions on improving the Read Alongs.  Discussion was one of the areas that seemed to be lacking, does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve this?  Should I start doing more through Facebook, start a Yahoo group just for the read alongs, or maybe skype?  Let me know what you think  so I can start getting things all lined up for the next read Along.

I am so glad everyone joined, I know this book was a bit difficult for many.  I would like to say that I enjoyed Dreamquake a lot more than Dreamhunter, so please do read on and let me know what you think.

Once again thanks for making this so much fun!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Sea Pronounces something...

Y'all know how much I love ocean themed items.  Well Leslie over at Alpha Stamps let us do a "free" project with a beach theme.  This is what I came up with.  All collage images and stamps are from Alpha Stamps as is most of the embellishments.

I made a bunch of flowers out of a seashell sequin mix.  I didn't like the product at first, I thought it was too shinny but now I love them and need to get some more!

Both ends are identical.  I painted the ends to match the decorate paper that I covered the matchbox in.  Got pretty close didn't I!

I think creating this miniature scene inside the shell was my favorite addition.  I was also totally freaked out to drill into the shell to hinge it onto the matchbox but it turned out to be ridiculously easy. 

The idea of having the shell open and an image inside was the only firm idea I had when I went about putting this piece together.

Well, that's my piece.  Hope you enjoyed looking.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Read Along~ Dream Hunter, Part 5

Hello again, and welcome to the final part of this read along.  This week please read the section called The Rainbow Opera then answer the questions below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift certificate OR 1 PBS Credit OR the handmade item below. 

This week I made a bolster pillow.  The grey fabric is hand died.  The word Dream I painted on using a fabric paint that is shimmery!  To finish it off I added a lovely black and grey flower and ruffles.   

As mentioned in prior posts, there is an extra handmade item left for one lucky winner.  For a chance to win my handmade book and The Dreamer's Dictionary create a cast for the book.  You can see my cast HERE.  For each character that you cast I will put your name in the hat to win this prize.  (If the above prize is not selected by this weeks winner I will pick another name out of the hat to win the pillow.) 

So without further ado

1.  What is the dream about that Tziga wanted Laura to catch?
2.  What was the whole point of Rose's campaign of making friends with Mamie?
3.  What happens to the Sandman during Laura and his escape from the Rainbow Opera?
4.  What dream does Secretary Doran have up his sleeve?
5.  What does erasing the 1st N in Nown's name do?

1.  Do you think people that are frightened feel pity?
2.  Are you surprised to learn that Laura's convict dream is about something that will happen in the future?
3.  Will you read Dreamquake, the finally to this series?
4.  Would you participate in another read along?  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Read ALong ~ Dreamhunter Part 4 Winner

Hey gang, another week has come and gone which means it's time to announce another winner!

This week the winner gets to choose between a $5 Gift Certificate from Amazon OR 1 PBS Credit OR the handmade gift pictured below.

So without further ado, the winner is



You can e-mail me at with the prize you would like or contact me via Facebook.  Please let me know your e-mail address is you want the Amazon Gift Certificate, your user name if you want the PBS credit or your address is you would like the homemade item.  Note on homemade items, I will mail them out at the end of the Read Along (in case you win more than one).

Okay now onto more fun.  Last week I said to start thinking about how you would Cast Dreamhunter.  For each character that you cast I'll put your name in the hat to win the left over handmade items (This is only for the handmade items).  The below item is available and there may be others, I'll let you know soon.

Okay onto my cast.  You can view my cast at you can create a cast there or you can just list your characters and the actors you have selected.

Chorley Tiebold = Aaron Eckhart
Grace Tiebold = Julianna Moore
Rose Tiebold = Emma Stone
Tziga Hame = Paul Bettany
Laura Hame = Saoirse Ronan
Sandy = Chris Zylka
Cas Doran = Colin Firth
Ru Doran = Kevin Zegers
Mamie Doran = ????
Marta Hame = Catherine Zeta Jones
Maze Plasir = Steve Bucsemi

Looking forward to seeing your cast.  Now I am off to finish up tomorrows prize.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Wish you were Here Beach Postcards ~ Alpha Stamps Swap

It's that time again, time for me to host another fabulous Alpha Stamps Swap.  Here are the details

"Wish You Were Here" Beach Postcard Swap!

"Wish You Were Here" Beach Postcards! You could interpret the theme as a summer vacation (at the beach), or beachy scenes (frolicking in the water, building sandcastles or sunning on the beach), or a scene from a beach destination (the shore, a scenic shot, or the boardwalk).

Create 5 different postcards and receive 5 in return, all by different artists!  Please do not send in more than ONE set (aka: maximum of 5 postcards).

Each postcard MUST have a beach theme using at least one Alpha Stamps' collage sheet or rubber stamp image. Please (3D) embellish your postcards and have fun with the names of the addressees! 
You are also required to use the ‘Kraft Postcards' as the item to be decorated.

I had a bit of a time creating my pieces, but here they are. 


I found some wonderful new 3D items on etsy that I included, don't you just love those pink bead flowers!


To sign up for the swap go to the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group homepage, you have to sign up by the 13th of May.  Pieces are due to me by June 18th.


I did have fun with the Written sides of the postcards, sending them to Migrating birds, fraternity brothers and 2 legged landlocked friends. 


There is tons more inspiration by the fabulous Design team members that you can view HERE, along with more pictures of my post cards.


I hope you enjoyed viewing my pieces and come join in the fun!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Read Along ~ Dreamhunter Part 4

Hey! So glad you are joining me again. This week please read the sections called Open Secrets and The Measures then answer the questions below for a chance to win one of the 3 fabulous prizes: 1 PBS credit, $5 Amazon Gift Certificate, or a Handmade gift.

This week for the handmade gift I decided to mix up some Bath Salts.  What could be better than winning these and soaking away the day with a book.  Prepare for a tranquil and serein night with this anti insomnia bath salt. The lavender fragrance with sweet-spicy undertones of apple and nutmeg will surround you and stay with you all night.

1.  What did Sandy Mason change his name to and why?
2.  What are the 7 types of Dreamhunter abilities and what do they each do?
3.  What did Sandy name the dream he and Laura caught instead of Starry Beach?
4.  What language did Laura sing to her Uncle in?
5.  Who is the letter Marta writes too and what are the contents?

1.  Why do you think the author included Sandy's character?
2.  If you were a Dreamhunter what type or combination would you want to be and why?
3.  Do you feel like the author was clear enough in her explanation of what Plazar did for Tziga?  Remember this is a YA book.

Next week when I announce the winner I will be sharing my cast for an extra oportunity to win the final prize come up with a cast yourself.  Each character you cast will be one extra entry.  You can go to storycasting like I do or just list your cast next week.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation ATC

A fabulous art friend of mine is hosting a Mystery Book ATC swap.  So you know I had to join because there was no way I was passing up an opportunity to create art around a book.

I selected one of my all time favorites, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.  If you haven't read any of her books you are missing out.  They are light historical fiction, with a present tense line also, mysteries with of course a bit of romance.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation takes place in both England and France so I tried to depict both.  I had a lot of fun with this one and can't wait for the returns.

We needed to include a summary of the book, I managed to type most of the jacket sleeve onto the back leaving some room for my information. 

I am secretly hoping she hosts more of these since The Secret History of the Pink Carnation is just the first in a wonderful series, it would be fun to make an ATC for all of Lauren's books.

Read Along ~ Dreamhunter, Part 3 Winner

Hey Gang!  So another week has come and gone and this past week we had some great discussion, some of which I want to highlight.

A few weeks ago Wende said that this book reminded her of a cross between The Hunger Games and Harry Potter.  This week Jenny said that it reminded her of the movie Inception (which I love!).  Does anyone else see the connections, does it remind y'all of anything? 

Jenny sees the world as kind of Steampunky and is bothered by the timeline.  I never saw the world as Steampunkish but because of the date header at the start of the book I always had trouble seeing it as anything but East Coast beach town in the early 1900's when I often wondered what New Zealand (where the author comes from) looked like then.  Because I very much doubt she wanted her readers to give her characters Bostonian accents.  I too struggled with how organized everything was, after all The Place was discovered less than 20 years prior to when the book takes place. 

Anyone have any comments?

Okay onto the fun stuff, the prize.  As always the winner this week will have a choice between a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate, 1 PBS Credit or the handmade gift shown bellow.

And the winner is


Congratulations!  You can e-mail me at or contact me via FB to let me know what prize you would like.  If you want the Amazon gift card please leave me the e-mail address you would like it sent to.  If you want the PBS credit please give me your screen name, and I will need your address if you would like the handmade item.

Onto a bit of fun.  I created a Treasury listing of things that reminded me of this book.  Take a minute to check it out, see some of the wonderful handmade creations.  I have almost bought the shirt a few times, now the only thing stopping me is that it is hot outside.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Altered Alice Challenge

Do y'all remember this?  It's one of my Tea Pots I created for the Alice in Wonderland Swap I hosted for Alpha Stamps.  But guess what it's being featured on The Altered Alice! 

Alpha Stamps is sponsoring this fabulous site this month.  Everyone that participates gets this wonderful Collage Sheet.

And one random winner will get the fabulous "Alice's Adventures" unmounted rubber sheet set!  On top of that a bunch of Alice items are on sale at Alpha Stamps.

This Altered Alice Challenge theme is "Anyway you go will get you somewhere"

Any way you go will get you somewhere, so this month's challenge at The Altered Alice is ANYTHING GOES! It's all up to you, and we can't wait to see what road you will take with YOUR project. Wonderland entries are encouraged; you will be rewarded with two chances at the draw instead of one. Multiple entries are fine as long as each is on a separate post. You have until May 25 to enter!

Head over to The Altered Alice site and check out all the wonderful inspiration they have and take a minute to create a piece and join in the fun!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Marie's Commemorative Tea Cup

Two of mu favorite themes, tea and Marie, combined into one ATC swap, how could I resits?  Well, I didn't.

This is my latest work for a MAMA swap. 

It was my first time ever using polymer clay to make something flattish.  I stamped a stamp into the clay to get the design transferred and then cut it out, smudging out the center image so I could replace it with an image of Marie Antoinette, which of course if from Alpha Stamps.

After baking, painting, more painting, glittering, gluing and embellishing this is the final result and I love it!  I did something different and I am so proud of it.  I hope the recipients love it.

Now of course I couldn't just send it as is, the ATC so deserved some pretty packaging.  This is what I came up with and yes, that is a real tea bag.  So those members that get my ATC's can enjoy a nice up of tea while opening their returns.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created.