Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Very Full Post!

Hello friends....so we all survived the chaotic eating fest that we call Thanksgiving..
right?
We didn't lose anyone to turkey overdose did we??
I hope your Thanksgiving was as great as ours.
I had both my boys at the table and that always makes me smile.
Now on to Christmas!
Just before the holiday, I took a trip to visit my high school friend
Roberta, in Pennsylvania.
Roberta took me to the annual 
Christkindlmarket
in Bethlehem, Pa.
Christkindlmarket is a lovely holiday market that runs for 5 weeks during Nov. and Dec.
This year it was held at the location of the former Bethlehem Steel works .

 Look at the massiveness of this place! 
It reminds me of a giant futuristic space ship or
maybe a lost city rising from the earth.
Very cool

Wouldn't you love to go exploring? 
These look like old relics of the past..right?


Well look whats on the other side!
A fabulous modern Performing Arts  Center,
Levitt Pavillion.
Now that's preserving history in a wonderful way!

Ok...now let's go holiday shopping
at
Christkindlmarket

 Nutcrackers anyone?
I put up a bird tree every year and I spotted a few very pretty ones in this shop.

I thought of Amy from Maison Decor blog when I spied this purple beauty.
Amy has a vast collection of purple transfer ware and I think this little guy would fit right in.

 German blown glass ornaments anyone??

 One booth had a huge array of delightful advent calendars of all sizes.

This little guy came home with me.
As much as we enjoyed browsing this part of the market, I really was disappointed that there were not any handmade decorations.
Well turns out there were two separate markets
One was imported business's and one was independent artists.

What do we have here...
I do believe it is a real breathing artist working at her craft.
Now that's what I'm talking about!

These stunning stars were made by the 93 year old mother of the woman above.
Incredible..right?
I brought home a large star and one of the smaller ones.
I hope I am still creating when i'm 93.

Her daughter makes the most beautiful decorations from straw.

Isn't this cross lovely?

I loved meeting This lady, Katherine Fox-Haney of Nazareth, Pa.
Katherine makes the most wonderful Santas.
I was immediately drawn to the feed sack Santa. So unique.

I talked with Katherine awhile and she told me she uses her dear father's face
on all her Santas
Their stories are her father's stories.
How special is that??
Katherine's Santas are some of the prettiest I have ever seen
I love and the simpleness of them...not overdone at all.

Say hello to Lucille Gruppo, another wonderful doll maker.
Lucille's mother Josephine, was an expert crocheter, but when she suffered a stroke, it
left her unable to hold her crochet hook.
Determined to help her Mom regain her yarn skills, Lucille asked her Mom if she could just crochet a length of chain stitches.
Her Mom did manage that and would go through balls of yarn crocheting simple chain stitches.
Unbeknownst to Josephine, Lucille started incorporating these lengths of chains into her dolls.
The strands became hair, mini headbands and garment trim on the dolls.
Knowing this brought a smile to her Mom's face.

Sadly Josephine passed away in 1992, 
but Lucille keeps her Mom's memory alive
by sewing a tiny shell onto a cheek of each doll. 
The shells come from a necklace once owned by her Mom.
I think Josephine would approve.

How about a handmade beehive candle made from beeswax

Or maybe a pine or cinnamon scented beeswax dipped pinecone.
I brought one of these home too.

Any hat wearers out there?
These knitted and felted hats were so beautifully made.
Unfortunately I am not a hat wearer, but love seeing other women in them.

As we were strolling down the aisle, 
I noticed a print that looked familiar.
I bought this print back in the 90's at the International Quilt Festival
when I lived in Houston.

Meet the artist
Diane Phelan paints scenes of Americana and quilts and she has also started having her 
art printed on fabric.
All in all, Roberta and I had a great time and ended up with some 
treasures.

Another reason I was in Pennsylvania was to show off my Annie Sloan chalk paint.
Roberta bought this reproduction dough box at an auction.
She follows my blog and decided her box needed some ASCP TLC.

After looking at a few colors we decided a neutral tone would work best.
Goodbye brown...
Hello
VERSAILLES

Versailles was perfect...neutral with just a soft hint of green to it.

Roberta loved how it distressed so smoothly.

She especially loved how her vintage Stangl looks right at home
on her new dough box.
Just look at that lovely wax sheen.

On the drive back to Virginia, I came upon these adorable creatures.
Fellow motorists...
Pay no attention to the crazy lady who comes to a screeching halt
for a good photo-opportunity.
Just smile and drive on.
Now for a real treat...

This past holiday weekend the morning and evening skies were perfect for the most 
stunning sunrises and sunsets ever.
Between Mr. Secret Agent and myself, we managed to capture
most of them....
Enjoy!

Sunset


Sunset

Sunset

Sunrise
Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise

Sunrise over my home

Sunrise

I don't know about you, but I never tire of 
Sunrises or Sunsets

Don't forget...if you are anywhere near Warrenton, Va. 
be sure to stop in and say hello at 
Around noon I will be doing a ASCP demo on a lovely 2 tired accent table and will be giving it away at the end of the day.

I will also be doing an Antique Sheet Music Ornament/Wreath demo.
So come say Hello and enjoy some Holiday refreshments and maybe get some gift shopping done.

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello friends...I know I have been a little MIA this past week,
 but I have been very busy
with lot's of friends
family
and business
Often they all overlap!


I wanted to take a few minutes to be sure to wish all of my cyber friends
a very
Happy Thanksgiving
May you and your families
take the time to stop and 
share with each other something
that you are 
thankful for this year.
I am thankful for the good health
of
my sons and Mr. Secret Agent
My extended families health
My wonderful friends here on the  Internet
and in my little town of Warrenton
and beyond
My growing business
and the new friendships that endeavor has spawned.
So enjoy your turkey dinners
and pumpkin pies
and 
come back for more creativity after.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oh Autumn..Why must you tease me so?

Hello friends....happy to see you here.
It seems the days are going past me at such speed lately.
I am trying to savor the last of
 Autumn's beauty
before it is gone for another year.
This past Sunday
Mr. Secret Agent and I
went on a kind of 
'Date Day'
We headed out in search of 
Autumn.

We drove down Rt. 211 towards the quaint little village of
Looks like someone installed new golden wall to wall
 or should I say curb to curb
carpeting.
Doesn't 
Mother Nature
have a great eye for color?

This carpenter has been crafting the most wonderful tables
for as long as I have lived here.
His store sign always makes me smile.

We took a few less traveled side roads and guess who we found?
Aren't these guys 
Adorable
The little one on the left ran right up to me.
We chatted for a while and
he told me that he loves living on this farm
with his friends.

He invited us for lunch, but we gracefully declined.
we had more adventures ahead.
He was sad to see us go

We drove towards Old Rag Mountain 
and found some lovely small settlements nestled at the foothills of
The Blue Ridge Mtns.

 
The Shenandoah Valley is really a spectacular
place to live.
Every season brings a new beauty.

I think you would be hard pressed to find another state with more 
miles of  wonderful
horse fencing.

Mr. Secret Agent was in his element when we
discovered this tranquil waterway.

Dreaming of Fly-fishing
We found posted signs on trees that declared it a public fishing
area.
The state stocks the Rose River with trout and opens it to the public.
Mr Secret Agent liked this.
Take a good look guys
this is most likely the last 
sighting of
Mr. Secret Agent


We stopped by the Sharp Rock Vineyard 
and walked around a bit.

They have a very serene spot to sit and daydream.

I wish you could hear the calming sound of the rushing water.
This water is so crystal clear
We could see every pebble and rock at the bottom.

In some areas the color is intense 
and in others it is very subtle
and fading fast.

Just when you think all the leaves have fallen...
Bam!
You come across a beauty like this.
So after three hours
looking high and low for 
Autunm
we headed home

Only to find great color was right in my own 
backyard.
My lollypop Cleveland Pears
in all their glory.
My own Japanese Maple trees are glowing with a golden/russet color.

The Maple tree I planted 10 years ago
 is dropping her 
golden leaves
to carpet my lawn.

The Bradford pear trees along my driveway get more intense
every day.
Soon the birds will be snaking on the berries.

After spending most of the day
hunting down
Autumn
We drove up our driveway
only to realize
We had it all along...
We just needed to look.


Until next time...be kind and stay creative.