Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October Surprise ~ Circle of Friends Swap

The Circle of Friends does a monthly surprise swap, you send one item of your choosing to your secret partner.  This is the first month that I have taken part and I had a great time creating this little piece for my secret person.

It started off as a bottle cap magnet with one of my favorite Halloween themes, Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.

Then I decided it needed something special to whisk it away to my secret partner.  When a small fabric bag crossed my path I snatched it up and died it a soft grey.  Then I decided to add a flower. 

I altered two straight pins to affix the flower to the bag.  So my partner can take it off and use it elsewhere. 

And finally I stamped the back with spiders.  I hope she likes it, I'm off to drop it in the mail.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Flowers ~ Marie Antoinette Swap

Marie Antoinette Mail Art (MAMA) has done it again, hosted a fabulous swap!  This time I decided to take part in the Ribbon/Fabric flower swap.  I've never made a fabric flower before so I had to do a bit of research and a lot of practicing but this is what I came up with. 

The swap was for autumn colored flowers and when I saw that I knew I had the perfect fabric.  Each petal is hand sewn and then I added the gold underneath so I guess it's actually two flowers in one but I love the way they look together.  Although my perfectly geometric brain really wishes the flower petals weren't so natural looking (all different and katywompous).

And here are the fabulous flowers I received in return.  I had to take a picture of the packaging because I just love the additional touches everyone always adds with pretty papers and ribbons. 

 Starting top left
Tabitha Campbells of Creative Wings hers is super soft and the prefect size and shape for my off white velvet jackets lapel!
Julie Anne Cooper of Georgia Art Chix she also made an ATC to match, I love it!
Wanda Buxton of Roses in Winter The two colors of fabric she used are splendid
Socrate's of Altered Meditations  so many fabulous layers and her center is a gorgeous vintage button with Latin on it (must go find a dictionary)
Last but certainly not least is Bobbi Ann Cook she made two for each of us! I love the black and gold one so festive for this time of year. 

I just love all the different textures and layers everyone did!

And here's mine again, I purchased the leaves and the centers from an Etsy Shop 32 North Supplies.  I reviewed them HERE

The side view

Like I said I always love how everyone packages so I did a real quick package for my flowers.  Took no time at all and in my opinion it completed my flower.  The leaves and the almonds are also from 32 North Supplies.  They were yellow leaves I spritzed them with some brown and green inks to tone them down a bit and match my flowers better.

Since this was my first ever flower swap I was really nervous.  I'm waiting to hear back from some of the ladies to make sure my flowers were up to snuff.  If so I already have a design floating around in my head for the winter flower swap.  This is so addictive and there are so many uses, not only in art but in my day to day attire!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pink for October in Cupcakes

Back at the start of October (what seems like eons ago) I thought it would be nice to do a Pink for October cupcake.  Well, it took me almost the entire month to get around to making them but here they are.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Sweet Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup champagne (room temperature) I used a cheep pink one
  • 6 egg whites (room temperature) (reserve the yolks to make sweet potato pie)
  • Pink food coloring (or a few drops of red)
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne (room temperature)
  • Pink food coloring (or a few drops of red)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. (This recipe yielded about 24 for me.)

In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. (I turned on my kitchen aid and did the next step while they creamed).

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture) alternately with champagne. 

Add the food coloring until you achieve the desired color, then add more.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

To Make The Frosting:

Beat together sugar and butter in an electric mixer until well blended, then mix for about 2 more minutes. 

Add vanilla, champagne and food coloring, beat on medium for another minute.

These are yummy and light and I think they are very pretty.  So for all you wonderfully strong breast cancer survivors, for those who support them and for those that have lost loved ones.  I hope you enjoy them and know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What We're Reading ~ Last Sacrifice & The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

This month I finished a series that I've been working on for quite some time now. 

There are 6 books in this series.  Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound and Last Sacrifice. 

It all comes down to now.
Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice.
The Queen is dead and the Moroi world will never be the same. Now, with Rose awaiting wrongful execution and Lissa in a deadly struggle for the royal throne, the girls find themselves forced to rely upon enemies and to question those they thought they could trust...
But what if true freedom means sacrificing the most important thing of all?
Each other.

I like Richelle's easy going style of writing and I enjoyed this YA series.  While I know all good things must come to an end, and in fact I sometimes look forward to conclusions I was thrilled to discover this little addition

Last Sacrifice will be the last book about Rose, but it'll be followed by a spin-off series still set in the Vampire Academy world. Side characters we know from the current series will now be our main characters, and there'll be a whole new storyline (not the last one told from a different perspective). It is scheduled for release in August 2011 and is called Bloodlines.

I've already added Bloodlines to my Wish List. 

I wrote various reviews for the books as I read them, please follow the links to read more.  

Once I hit Shadow Kissed (Vampire Academy, Bk 3) I read them straight through.  I think Shadow Kissed was my favorite in the series.  Blood Promise was, in my opinion, filler, everything she wrote was interesting but most of it wasn't necessary. 

I have also tried some of her adult novels and I like them also.  I've started the Georgina Kincaid Series and the Dark Swan series

*     *     *

But right now I am reading one of my all time Favorite Authors

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose is Lauren's 4th book in her Pink Carnation Series

Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation: to infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England. Every spy has a weakness, and for the Black Tulip that weakness is black-haired women-his "petals" of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipates that his own heart will be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in the shadows of a treacherous garden of lies.

Lauren mixes historical fiction, romance and a modern day storyline all in her books.  What I like most is how she weaves the modern storyline, that of Eloise Kelly a student working on her thesis, through the entire series.  You meet Eloise in The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and in the Seduction of the Crimson Rose she is still researching but her love life is starting to get interesting.  

Lauren neatly wraps up each historical romance line in each book so in the next one you meet a new romance, the characters continue to pop up every now and then but are no longer the main focus.  That way if you are not a particular fan of one storyline you don't have to read about it ever again.  Although I can't imagine how you could dislike anything Lauren wrights.

Another fun thing with this series is to see how Lauren has blossomed.  I hate to admit it but when I got to the romance sections of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation I laughed.  But now the scenes fit and everything seems to flow smoother. 

These are delightful reads, full of British culture in both the modern and historical plot lines.  Please check out her website for more information about her other books. I'll have a review for you next time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap

The other day I fond myself wandering/or blog surfing my way onto a fabulous Blog, An Artful Adventure by Cassandra VanCuren.  She is hosting a Handmade Ornament Swap and I just found her blog and her post so lovely that I couldn't help myself, I joined. 

So Head on over to her blog and check out the Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap, see if it sounds like fun to you.  I can't wait to start creating!

Silver, Brown and Verdigris ~ A sea scene

So a few weeks ago this beauty arrived in my mailbox.  What is it you ask?  Well, it's the first journal for me for this years Circle of Friends Journal Rotation, and boy is it gorgeous!

Look at all the texture and this wonderful clay piece Cheryl adorned the cover with.  It took me a while to get pass the gorgeous cover with all it's fabulous textures to get to what I was supposed to do. 

This year Cheryl wants the participants to "color in her coloring book" but she has picked the colors.  Participants are to use Silver, Brown and/or Verdigris. 

Well if you follow me you know I have no trouble using brown or silver, I just tend not to use them together but the real hick up for me came with the Verdigris, heck I had to go look it up on Wikipedia LOL. 

Once I discovered what it was I was really stumped, how was I going to mix these colors together and create something stunning?  So I did what I always do when I get stumped, I cleaned, and guess what I ran across...

Some fabulous mermaid collage images from Alpha Stamps that what do you know used brown, silver and verdigris.  I was in heaven, the perfect images and one of my favorite themes. 

One of Cheryl's other instructions were to go wild with texture, so I did.  But I didn't want anything to get smashed or damage the page in front of it.  So I glued a bunch of pages together (Cheryl always makes sure to include a bunch of extra pages) and cut out a window, creating a bit of a frame and more of the illusion of an under water scene.

I used a cement paste to create the texture, painted it solid white and then washed my colors over.  I was never and still am not pleased with the verdigris color, its too blue.

One of my favorite accessories is the leaf ribbon and I just happened to own it in green, brown and silver.  I brushed some of the verdigris paint over the green one to tone it down and then added miniature class beads and some glitter to it. 

And there is my last mini starfish, I do hope I can find some more but this project needed it.  And can you see my mermaid sillouets?  I bought a fabulous stencil from Alpha Stamps, traced them onto a sandy colored paper and then sponged on brown, verdigris (or the closest I had) and silver Sparkling H2O's.  I love the way they just kind of blend in with everything else.

Cheryl wants all of the participants to "sign in" by creating a tag and adding it to the front few pages of her journal like a table of contents.  I decided to make mine coordinate.  And look at me, I finally got the verdigris color right on the mermaid I created for the tag. 

I love my creation and it was hard to mail it out but I know that on its way to me right now is another fabulous Circle of Friends Journal that I will get to create another fabulous page in. 

If you are interested in joining us at Circle of Friends come check us out.  And just think, next year you could be playing in our Journal Rotations! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rustic Patchwork Pumpkins

Mr. Glitter Tart has been hard at work on my studio and this weekend I moved out of the dingy dungenous garage corner I was in and into a slightly more finished studio (the floors and some walls are done).  While moving my precious supplies I came across some fabrics I'd forgotten about and with the autumn air finally rolling in (temporarily I'm sure) the leaves turning color and my sewing machine reachable I was inspired.

I made three different sizes, although none are the same so it's more like size ranges.  These are the little ones, aren't they just so cute, the smallest one measures 9 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall, with the stem. 

And doesn't the medium size look great all stacked up together with one of my fabulous glittered clothespin magnets!  I think the medium is my favorite size so many possibilities.  The largest one of these is 24 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall, the smallest is only 17 inches in diameter. 

This is the large size, 30 inches in diameter and 7 inches tall.  I attached a fabulous appreciation gift tag that I received from Kimberly over at ArtJoyStuff  I was so thrilled to receive this one of a kind tag from her that I just had to showcase it!  Make sure to check out her blog and etsy stores her work is fabulous!

And guess what, you can get one, some or none :(  of these pumpkins by visiting my Etsy store, Glitter Tart Designs

I have had a great time making them and think that I will head downstairs and pull out some more fabrics and see what I come up with. 

Linking up to

All Hallow's Grim Giveaway Winner!

 Today was the deadline for my All Hallow's Grim Giveaway and I have a winner!

I ran the Random Number Generator and the lucky number drawn was.....

That's Kim's number of Tabby's Place

Please e-mail me with your address and I'll pop your prize in the mail tomorow.  Thank you all that entered I had a great time, and alas I'm down to my last cupcake, guess I'll have to make more ;) 

I'll be having more giveaway's in the upcoming months. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Alice and Dinah's Tea Club

Today I've been painting some furniture white and all of a sudden "Bum bum bum bum, Painting the roses red, We're painting the roses red, We dare not stop or waste a drop, So let the paint be spread! We're painting the roses red, We're painting the roses red!" starts running through my brain, very loudly LOL.  That's when I realized I haven't shared a tea pot piece in a bit.  Guess it was my minds way of saying, "hey you're not sick anymore go blog!"

So without further ado here is another one of my tea pots for the fabulous Alpha Stamps Alice in Wonderland themed tea pot swap. 

Everyone always remembers and dreams about having tea with the Mad Hatter but I've often wondered what it would be like to sit down with Alice and Dinah.  That was the inspiration behind this tea pot. 

I started with a background paper that I white washed lightly over, and cut out some tea pots from Alpha Stamps Collage Sheets, colored them and added a crackle glaze. 

Some black seem binding makes a wonderful base, It's just scrunched and then I added some bling. 

This is far from my favorite tea pot, in fact I think it is my least favorite which is kind of a bummer because I do think that Tea with Alice and Dinah would be quite nice (if Dinah can keep her fur out of my tea that is).  But not all creations are home runs and everyone's taste is different.

I have one more tea pot to share with y'all and I expect to receive some of the swap pieces pretty soon, I've seen some amazing creations shared on the Alpha Stamps Yahoo Group.  If you didn't join me in this swap please take a second and head over to read about the wonderful Christmas swaps Alpha Stamps is hosting!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spiced, Spiked & Just Plain Wicked ~ With a Giveaway

This All Hallow's Grim

Put the kids to bed
(or better yet, ship them off to Grandma's)

Lock the door!

With your special Ghoul!

Set your broom aside, you won't be needing it for a while ;)

Let's get cozy by the fire.

Oh, you see your self portrait.  Yes, I spent quite a bit of time capturing your fabulous features.

You must be getting thirsty.  I've prepared a special Brew and Spiced and Spiked Cupcakes just for your visit. 

Tipsy Hot Spiced Pomegranate Sipper

1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 thin fresh ginger slices
32 oz pomegranate juice (the good stuff)
4 cups white grape juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 1/4 cup Almond liqueur

Cook cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger in a cauldron over medium heat, stirring constantly (2-3 min or until cinnamon is fragrant)

Gradually stir in juices.  Bring toa boil over medium-high heat; reduce to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes.  Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a heat proof pitcher (not a glass one like I show, I waited till it cooled to put it in that) add liquor just before serving.

*There are a number of variations on this drink, if you are interested in a non alcoholic version, a cold version, or a fizzy version let me know and I'll post those as well.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with
Spiked Buttercream Frosting

oh you want the recipe, well this one's a secret, lots of secret herbs and spices and little tricks, a true spell is behind this one!

But if you really really want it I may be convinced, e-mail me at cmoh@earthlink.net

Good Aren't they!

What a wonderfully Wicked evening!

But, to make it even more Wicked I have a fabulously Wicked Giveaway for one lucky visitor.

A Wicked Banner and a set of Skull and Crossbones Cameos

Leave a comment for 1 entry
If you are taking part in the All Hallow's Grim Blog Party that a 2nd Entry
Currently Following or a new follower is a 3rd entry

Please leave a comment for each time you qualify for the giveaway.

I will select the lucky winner Tuesday, October 18th at noon.

Good Luck!
Can't wait, there are some in my Etsy store!

Well, I guess it's time for you to be off, thank you so much for visiting. 
 Hope to see you soon!

all other images were taken and altered by me

 please respect all artist work, give proper credit