Starting anew is always a good thing! Here is Vol. 1 of "Artful Living on the Bluff" for you to enjoy. While I am not contributing new material to this blog, please feel free to look around and then visit me at the new and (hopefully) improved "Artful Living on the Bluff" blog at

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Button, Button! Who's Got the Button??

This week I had some time so I went to garage sales and also stopped by a few of my favorite thrift stores. I'm always looking for cool stuff to sell in my vintage shop on Etsy called CarawayCache. I found some real treasures which will be available in my shop soon. The best of the treasures I stumbled upon was a tin full of vintage buttons! I couldn't wait to get home and start sorting, which is exactly what I did. I decided to sort them into color groups. Here are a few collections I ended up with:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oriole Nest

Last weekend we had a pretty good wind storm which knocked a few good-sized branches out of our beautiful birch tree in the back yard. We've been waiting for the branches to dry out a bit so we can burn them in our fire pit some nice evening. Today, while Dan was cutting some of those branches up, he noticed an oriole nest in one of them! Luckily, it appears the little ones had flown the coop well before the nest came crashing down. It was so lovely and intricate that I just had to take some photos of it! I would have never believed that a bird could build such an amazing structure! My batteries went dead while I was trying to capture the nest in all it's glory - I hope to take some more photos of it after I charge them up again. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Life on the River

In my first blog post I said that I would be talking about all kinds of things - the garden, fishing, beading, music... I have to say that I have been mostly focusing on beading and beadwork because... well... just because! I have also been involved lately with a community theater show which was in rehearsals for roughly 2 months. The shows went on last weekend and were a hit! (I hope to post some photos from the show soon!) Even though I truly enjoy being on stage and performing, I am also happy the show is finished so I can return to some of the other activities I enjoy. I LOVE TO GO FISHING! But, it seems to take all day when we go and I'm always a bit tuckered (happy, but tuckered) when we get home. It just didn't seem like the sort of thing I should do all day and then try go through a 4 hour theater rehearsal in the evening!

So since the show is finished, we decided to go fishing today to celebrate!

We relish living along the Mississippi River. Our small fishing boat has provided many hours of rest and relaxation out on the water -sometimes just toodling around, but most times, fishing.
Here are a few photos of our excursion today:

Dan's getting the boat ready to go!
Here are some views from the spot we were fishing in:
There were hundreds of turtles of all shapes and sizes sunning themselves along the shore!
We pulled the boat up on a small beach to take a look around...I took some photos of things I thought were cool.Here I am in my best fishing attire! I'm just too sexy for that hat ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Just a Piece of Sky

Woo hoo! I just found out that "Just a Piece of Sky" was featured on by Etsy seller "Daze of the Week" on their blog site! Visit the blog here:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inspiration Kits

One of my favorite creative activities is putting together inspiration kits from my vast stash of vintage goodies. Many times they are simply items which fit a particular color scheme but sometimes they have a unifying theme. Anything goes when it comes to the sorts of elements I will include: Ribbons, buttons, beads, quotes, game pieces, small toys, vintage jewelry pieces, fabric remnants and trims - all of these have been included in kits in the past. Most are gathered into a vintage-style tin or jewelry box while others are a collection of collage elements which are easily stored in a file folder for future reference. I hope you will try your hand at making your own inspiration kits the next time you need a creative boost :) If you feel inspired by mine, stop by my Etsy shop, CarawayCache, to see these and more!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Turban for "Radio Gals"

As some of you may know, I am in a rehearsals for a musical which opens the last weekend in July. It's called "Radio Gals" and takes place in 1927 Arkansas. The story revolves around a group of women who run an independent radio station. It's a comedy with lots of silly stuff going on. My character, Gladys, is a man-crazy, opera singing, artsy fart who meditates, reads horoscopes and is affectionately know as "Swami G". I volunteered to make my turban for the show. I thought I would share this little adventure with you!

I started out with an old hat from the costume department, some quilt batting, some pink polyester fabric scraps (Gladys LOVES pink!) and some vintage jewelry from my studio. I added some batting to the top of the hat to make it POOF out a bit and then covered it with a scrap of fabric. Then I took a long doubled-up piece of batting and wrapped it in a gathered length of the fabric. Then I wrapped that around the hat. After hand-sewing everything in place to be sure the original hat was completely covered, I added a silver-tone medallion and chain tassel to finish it off. Here I am wearing my finished creation, ready to summon the spirits of the great beyond!

I'm thinking about adding some more dangles and swags, but we'll see how crazy the director wants me to get on this! Tee, Hee! I love it!