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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Raja" featured on Etsy Finds email! Yay!

How cool is this?? I'll tell you how cool - over 2000 views of "Raja" alone, 64 new hearts for "Raja" and 30 new shop hearts for CindyCaraway!! What a wonderful surprise :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Red and Green goodie bag!

Here is the collection of red and green fabric, trim and other goodies I collected to get me going toward my very first "holiday-specific" jewelry project. I try not to buy stuff new but this is just screaming for some little gold jingle bells... :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Morning Coffee - Travel, Creativity and Inspiration

Great video... 'nuff said.

I also enjoyed this one quite a lot - (Please try to ignore the annoying ad at the beginning!!)

I found both of these videos on Anne Kata's blog. Wonderful blog, fantastic photos and projects - browse around, make yourself at home, you'll be glad you did! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Morning Coffee - Random Act of Culture

This a wonderful video showing a "Random Act of Culture" by the Philadelphia Opera. They joined with over 600 singers and did a surprise performance of "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah in Macy's. I wish I'd been there!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lady Grey of Winterset "mood board"

 Just put together a little treasury "mood board" for my next fabric piece. Visit this treasury collection here - be sure to visit these wonderful shops! :)

Morning Coffee Quotes

"When you lose, don't lose the lesson."
- Unknown

"It is our decisions and not our desires that determine our destination."
- Andy Stanley

"There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go."
- Tennessee Williams

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
- M. Scott Peck

"We wish to be happier than other people; and this is difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are."
- Charles De Montesquieu

"I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a happier and better man."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Losing feels worse than winning feels good."
- Vin Scully

"True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen."
- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"If you are truly serious about preparing your child for the future, don't teach him to subtract, teach him to deduct."
- Fran Lebowitz

"All looks yellow to a jaundiced eye."
- Alexander Pope

"The person who knows how will always have a job. The person who knows why will always be his boss."
- Diane Ravitch

"It is the false shame of fools to try to conceal wounds that have not healed."
- Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

"Those who have free seats at a play hiss first."
- Chinese Proverb

"In an industrial society which confuses work and productivity, the necessity of producing has always been an enemy of the desire to create."
- Raul Vaneigem

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Icy Blues and Silvery Grey

Having posted "Lavender Wine and Sage", I am ready for my next fiber jewelry project! I'm pretty excited about this one and love the color palette which was inspired by another page from the mail-order catalog (as my last few have also been!).

I'm thinking about calling this one "Lady Grey of Winterset" - don't know why... it just hit my brain while gathering the pretty trims, fabric and other goodies inspired by this page:

So I picked out icy blues and greens along with pewter or silvery grays and taupe. I know alot of people make "mood boards" - mine are more like "mood bags" because everything gets tossed into a big zip-lock bag so I can see everything clearly. Here are some shots of the contents of my "mood bag" for "Lady Grey" - Enjoy :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lavender Wine and Sage FINISHED!!

It's late and the light is not optimum for taking pics but I had to show you the finished product! Better pics coming soon! :)

Large Letter Postcards for the Armchair Traveler

I'm on a roll!! Yesterday was a marathon photo session for the rest of the vintage Large Letter postcards hanging around my house and I'm getting them listed in my vintage shop on Etsy. There are lots to chose from and more getting listed daily. Here are some you can find there right now:

Morning Coffee - Single Use Plastic Bags

I am not a fan of plastic. Despite this fact, it is nearly impossible to live your life plastic-free (although Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish is trying her darnedest). We have several totes and bags that go with us on shopping trips. I carry Chico Bags and Envirosax with me everywhere and, yes, they are made from plastic but they are not single use bags. They are made to travel, they are strong and compact and, if looking good is important to you, the Envirosax are pretty danged beautiful and come in a multitude of designs, sizes and color schemes.

Anyway, Beth has been an advocate for living without plastic and one of her pet projects (one of many!!) is to get rid of single use plastic bags. Well, earlier this week Los Angeles did just that by banning single use plastic bags! Yay!

Here's a snippet and a video from Beth's blog (posted on Nov. 17th):
Yesterday, L.A. County voted to ban single-use plastic bags. And this morning, Green Sangha — an organization I’ve been part of since 2007 — released an awesome new video by filmmaker Ben Zolno of New Message Media. Watch, enjoy, and please pass it on to your friends. The message is serious.  The medium is total, addictive fun.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lavender Wine and Sage - part 2

Here are some in-progress shots of my latest fabric creation called "Lavender Wine and Sage". This piece was inspired by a page from a mail-order catalog which you can read about here. All of the rosettes and flowers are made by me as well as the crocheted lace around the edge. The pretty fabrics are from the beautiful stash I ordered online. I would love to hear what you think!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Morning Coffee Quotes

Northern Wisconsin - Summer 2010
"It's useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk or running for political office."
- Shirley McLaine

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."
- Seneca

"Eating my own words has never given me indigestion."
- Winston Churchill

"Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools."
- Napoleon Bonaparte

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd."
- Max Lucado

"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything."
- Albert Einstein

"Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next."
- Franklin P. Jones

"Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile."
- Bertrand Russell

"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity."
- Jean de la Bruyere

"Necessity teaches even the lame to dance."
- German Proverb

"The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern."
- Ronald Reagan

"I have to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to know butterflies."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance."
- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

"Time is the justice that examines all offenders."
- William Shakespeare

"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory."
- Franklin Pierce Adams

"I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."
- Clarence Darrow

"He is rich who owes nothing."
- Hungarian Proverb

"The strongest of all warriors are these two --Time and Patience."
- Leo Tolstoy

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NYC Marathon

I've been a big blogging loser lately but at least I have family members that have some get-up and go! My brother-in-law Dave ran in the New York City Marathon this past weekend. He ran it in 3 hours 12 minutes and placed in the top 2000 runners (I can't remember the exact number) out of some 45,000. Way to go, Dave!

He sent this video that shows time lapse of the race starts. If look really close you can see Dave in the first wave. He's wearing a dark T-shirt with a number on the front... he, he... just kidding.... He's in there somewhere, though.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lavender Wine and Sage

Last night I put together another collection of fabrics, trims and goodies inspired by another page from the catalog. The main colors are lavender, wine and sage accented with silver. I'm thinking maybe another nacklace project...

Here's the original tear sheet...

 ...and my little gathering of pretty things!

Morning Coffee - perspective

Here is a video to watch when you need a little perspective...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Harvest Cuff Bracelet

Yesterday I talked about finding color inspiration from a mail-order catalog. This set me to work on a fabric cuff... actually, a series of fabric cuffs... based on one of the pages torn from that catalog. Here is the first, called appropriately, Harvest Cuff #1 :)

Here it is next to the inspirational photo
Several more Harvest cuffs to come!
You can find this cuff and others for sale in my jewelry shop on Etsy.

"Dark Dream" is available on Etsy!

You can find "Dark Dream" for sale in my jewelry shop on Etsy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Orange, Green and Brown

I don't usually enjoy getting mail-order catalogs... actually, I hate it.... most of the time. There are a few that I have actually asked to be sent to me and one arrived today. When catalogs like this make their way to my doorstep, the first thing I do is leaf through and tear out every page that intrigues me. I get very little design inspiration as I loathe copy-cats and refuse to be one but there is a wealth of color inspiration to be found! This page in particular has inspired my next fabric project.

 I loved the combination of orange, green and brown with an ever-so-slight touch of violet and so gathered together a little bundle of pretty trims and fabrics to match the scheme. Here are a few photos - I hope they offer some inspiration to you, too!