Monday, January 21, 2013

Stray Cat Blues 3 Vintage Images featuring Kittens

I seem to have become a safe house for an abandoned tabby cat. I'd like to catch him and get him to the vet but he's very skittish. He turned up limping, and his right ear is ragged. There is a dose of antibiotics in his supper dish and a prayer on my lips. He was on my mind, ( he and the ancient gray tabby, who needed ANOTHER visit to the vet), when I was choosing images for a project.

Advent Star garland featuring Vintage Christmas Card images . The garland is about 4 foot long and will swag across my office window . I used one large, two medium and six small stars.

Only the large center star is the Singing Kittens, but I made three sizes for future projects. The medium and small stars for the garland are combinations of scrap booking paper, vintage and reproduced images.

The numbers are Papyrus in Bold 48pt, printed out and glued to 1 1/4 inch disks.

I finished up with some small  ornaments.

The project was inspired by a garland on Creative Breathing, where you can also find a plain star template and a wonderful tutorial.
Free images. Download for personal use.

Kitten in Boot.

Kittens in Basket Christmas Card.

Kittens and Basket double sided. 

Smaller version.

 Singing Kittens Stars in three sizes.

Large Singing Kittens Star

Small Singing Kittens Star

Medium Singing Kitten Stars

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"C'est vrainment! "

 Macaroni, bean, & ham soup simmers on the stove.

Fresh escarole, rinsed and chopped, ready to be thrown in for the last few minutes before serving keeps company on the counter with  a basket of fresh baked muffins .

The house is clean, the laundry done. I put in my gym time and my office work is caught up. The Pussycats are running surveillance on the bird feeder, so up to the craft room I go . . .

before I think of something else that 'has' to be done. 
Time to play with some of my favorite images.
 A Regency Miss whom reminds me of sweet Jane Bennet ready for a Christmas Ball.   Snarky Caroline Bingley in carriage costume looks on.  "I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings, and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall deprive you.'' Pride and Prejudice.


 Yuletide greens and delicate cups for taking tea. Handsome men and  Christmas pudding.
A vignette ornament  inspired by 18th century fashion plates.

Veronique declares Lady Hildegard's Christmas tree a charming custom.

"C'est vrainment! C'est manifique!" exclaims le Compte.
Teacup image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy.
Many of the fashion plate images, as well as the backgrounds used are courtesy of  EKDuncan, My Fanciful Muse.
If I am working on digital art for my own amusement chances are high that the image was courtesy of EKDuncan, My Fanciful Muse. I am forever grateful for her generosity with the images she creates!  If you haven't visited her site yet, I hope you do so soon.
I love to play with images from My Fanciful Muse to create digital art inspired by my favorite Regency books. 
Created with images courtesy of EKDuncan. 
"Before the Dance"
 (Inspired by the Regency period romance series The Six Sisters, by Marion Chesney.  Marion Chesney also writes the Agatha Raisin Series, writing as MC Beaton.)

Created with images courtesy of EKDuncan.
"The Wallflowers"  Inspired by the Lisa Kleypas series of the same name.

 Created with images courtesy of EKDuncan.
"Alliances are Formed" - Sense and Sensibility's Miss Steele and Fanny Dashwood.
Created with images courtesy of EKDuncan. 
"Mr. Darcy is Announced" - Pride and Prejudice.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Beach in January Post Sandy

It's January, and the weather is always a mixed bag here in New Jersey. This morning it is wet, damp, chilly and the western sky is the color of steel girders. To the east, thick rain clouds hang under the hazy marine layer. There is every shade of gray, blue, and purple.  It pulls you in, and if you have left your phone in the car studying it soothes out the rough spots in your heart and something in side you sighs and now traffic sounds fade and all you hear are the waves.    Cold as it is, there is an underlying softness to the air. The bulky sweater shirt is enough, and being cold feels fine now, cheeks not quite stinging, and the car heater will feel good, and even better, the knowledge that the power is  back on at home.
 picture by Clayton & Weiss

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dining room winter spruce up

It's six a.m. and the leaden sky feels pregnant with snow but the weather man assures me blue sky and warmer weather are on the way. Cold makes the scrape of the backdoor louder and the frost bites my bare feet when I nip outside with  kibbles and  water for the stray. There is always a stray. Maybe I can't save them all but I know God has His hand on them, and has given me a heart for animals so I take the ones who show up on my door as answers to my prayer, "Lord use me where I am." This stray is a large mackerel tabby with a scarred right ear.
 Overhead the cardinal couple  remind me that they'd like breakfast too. I love the bright dot of red and the stark charcoal slashes of tree branch against the pewter sky.  I slather a thick layer of shortening, seed, and fruit bits between slices of stale whole wheat bread and slip on shoes before going back outside.  I place one in the big plant container by the backdoor. Watching the birds up close is high entertainment for the housebound kittens.
When I bought Christmas fabric featuring cardinals and snowy branches I wasn't sure how I'd put it to use. But it was on sale and I had a coupon. Two of my three shopping rules - good enough!

 The fabric ended up being part of a cheap and cheerful winter spruce up in the dining room. I covered the side chairs with the cardinal fabric.
And the arm chairs with a coordinating plaid.
Dollar store garland - silver and gold  and red beads - and two boxes of inexpensive glass ornaments dress up the chandelier.
I bought the ornaments at Kmart, (yes, on sale, with a coupon, and I knew how I was going to use them). They are part of the Sandra Lee line and I am not impressed with the quality of the product but the color and shine are perfect.

I love the opulence of the over sized mercury glass candlesticks, the beaded place mats, and the bling chandelier against the oak and cast iron harvest table.
The pressed glass bowl is an estate sale find.
Along with the cheap and cheerful department store bargains and the estate sale finds the dining room spruce up included this china cabinet and a matching rolling buffet. This vintage Broyhill beauty was a curbside treasure. I added some lighting for twelve dollars. Ironically I had been looking at a similar piece for sale by one of my favorite shabby chic shops  - priced at $850.00.

 Best of all are the whimsical objects that through the magic of  time and familiarity fill me with that hopeful Christmas spirit.




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Confessions of a Cat Lady - Christmas Kitten in Boot Free Vintage card image

I admit it. I'm a sucker for strays. When the little calico turned up with her kittens it was love at first sight.
I tried to find them all homes, truly I did, but there were none to be found. I thought they were an answer to my daily prayer, "Lord use me where I am". 
I've come to see that they are really an answer to a different prayer. "Lord help heal my angry, bitter heart." 

"Don't worry Food Lady, I feed myself." says Shredder. (Shredder doesn't actually talk. )
I found this RhondasOriginals steampunk download on Etsy. The tree is full of fat and happy woodland critters.
The image below is of  a Vintage card I just purchased on ebay. It has not been tweaked in any way. The gold areas are somewhat reflective but  I'm finding it prints well as is.
 There you have it, confessions of a cat lady. Time to refill my coffee cup, remove a cat from some place it doesn't belong and vacuum!