Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Pink Wednesday sunburst!

A lovely Pink Wednesday to all of you peeking in!! I just took this picture moments ago in the midst of a sunburst. A typical Northwest spring.....raindrops and sunbursts throughout the day. One thing I did notice though, the blossoms on this rhodie are much smaller this year than in past years. Blame it on our unseasonably cool weather. They may be small but they're still just a beautiful!!

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be on the sofa. Shhhh. We'll just keep this between you and me. ;o)

Warmest pink bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you! And BIP's! (Bears in Progress)

I owe big Thank You's!! First, a big thank you to all those who came to my second Flourishes event. Gals (and their hubby's!) came from all over.....near and far! Some traveled three hours to get here! I am humbled and grateful for each and every one of you. My only wish would have been that the wind wasn't blowing so cold and fierce for those who came in the early morning hours. Bless your hearts!!

A second big thank you for all the well wishes!! I'm fine. I'm resting.....and, if I didn't have bears to work on, I'd be bored out of my mind!! This resting thing is not my cup of tea. It never has been. That's exactly why I'm having to do it!! ha!

So, here I am with BIP's. 15 of them!! I'm getting antsy to sew up my new little three piece bear. If it turns out well, these little bears will be tucked in stockings for the holidays. A sweet, fairly inexpensive little bear treat! These little bears will have the same look as the one's pictured (they both sold at Flourishes this past weekend!) only they won't be jointed. Cross your fingers that the first prototype is the only prototype!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bed Rest. Doctor's orders.

I get it from my mom. The Type A personality thing. All things to all people.....perfectly. I go, go, go like the Energizer Bunny. It's all good until I couple it with a bad diet, lack of sleep and worrying about things that I have no control over.

The long and short of it....SMACK!....I've hit a brick wall physically. Apparently even the Energizer Bunny's batteries eventually run out of juice. Who knew?!!

So, it's bed rest for me for the next couple of days. I've worked around that though. I'm sitting on the sofa with one of those little bed tables in front of me so I can work. (Right about now I can hear my mom say, "Aleta Kristine!!" with a totally exasperated tone in her voice. Hi Mom!") Well hey, artist totals need to be run and checks issued! Not only that but I have to get back to the business of bears. So, sofa resting is as good as I can do.

Warmest bear hugs for a lovely week!

P.S. I'm leaving you with pictures I took Friday afternoon but didn't get a chance to post. I love having photos to ponder over. What worked? What didn't? What direction to take next? I may not be able to move much physically, but mentally, I'm sharp as a tack! The last quick thought......paint. I'll save that for another post. :o)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tarnished silver, black and old books.

Lest you think everything is pink, white and frilly.....a balance! Old leather bound books and suitcases, tarnished silver and bits of black.

I'm down to the wire now! It's time to finish all the last minute details. I will try my very best to post pictures later this evening. It all depends on how long the last minute details take!! It's almost 7am now......ready, set, gooooooo.....

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Under my umbrella, ella, ella...ay, ay, ay.....

Yes, it has been a looooong week. Good, but long. And....I forgot Pink Wednesday!! Criminies!! I think what threw me off kilter was stopping to take time to spiffy up the Portland house for a showing on Tuesday. Do you know how hard it is to work on displays when your fingers are crossed for a house sale?!! Ha!

I've got to get going again so I'm leaving you with one lonely picture....taken last night as the last raindrop (crystal teardrop!) was hung. This is the April Showers! Oh, how I wish you could get the full effect. What fun!! May Flowers comes tomorrow as I scout for blossoms! Enjoy the day!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Starting to fill in the blanks!

There is still a lot of work to be done! It's getting there though!!

A spot for pink and white!

This is just a morsel of the front door display. Umbrellas go up tomorrow!! Fresh flowers on Friday!
Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ready, set.....display!

The floor is set and now it's time to display all the merchandise!! This is the really fun part. Oh, you should see all the boxes and boxes of treasures!! Here is a tiny sample of the goodies from Martha Kohley, Vintage Trifles. Sweet little moppets in peat pots with vintage posies on their heads, baby shoes with nests tucked sweetly inside, mixed media collage boxes and vintage white stacking benches. And this is just a tiny sampling!!

Oh, and about the wall I painted......well, let's just say that after the show it will get a redo. The space is so large that the color disappeared! Note to self: If the color looks great in the house, it needs more saturated color in the shop. (sigh) Oh well!! It's a good thing I love to paint!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Umbrella mystery....solved!!

After sending an e-mail out to all my neighbors, the umbrellas have been found!! They were on the porch of a neighbor four acres over. Silly UPS. I think sometimes they're just moving too fast for their own good.....zipping here there and everywhere! All's well that ends well and that's what really counts, right?!!

I spent the morning painting polka dots on them. Aren't they pretty?!! LOVE them! The beauty of these umbrellas is that I'll be able to change out the dots whenever I get the whim to just by painting over the existing dots. Reuse, recycle!! Red for 4th of July. Orange and black for Halloween. The simplest things tickle my fancy. Polka dots. Who knew? ha!

These umbrellas came from Another big thank you to Alice for the great tip. I had no idea you could paint your own umbrellas until I read through all the colors and styles. Wow! They have lots of umbrellas to choose from. Me, being Miss Picky Pants of America of course, had to make this a do-it-yourself project as soon as I saw the word "paintable". Why have everyday average when you can have supercalifragilist pink, aqua, and yellow polka dots?!!!

It was easy peasy. You take a three inch disc sponge (available at Michael's) and swirl it in craft paint. Then you dab it off. In this case I used two glass Pyrex dish lids for my paint palettes. Then you lightly swirl the sponge onto the umbrella and follow up with your paintbrush to give it a handpainted look. Did I not tell you, easy peasy?!! All twelve umbrellas took just under two hours to do. Now wouldn't these be spectacular at a wedding, bridal or baby shower? Golly goodness, what fun!!

Enough fun though, it's back to work for me. I finished decoupaging music sheets onto shelves of a primitive cabinet today too, but, I still have to put the second coat of paint on another cabinet and stuff three bears. It's Flourishes week! No rest for the weary!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. Yup, that's Max in the picture....aka Mr. January. You know how he loves having his picture taken! It also shows you the size of the umbrellas....a nice 32 inches big!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sneak peeks!

Artist goodies started arriving today for Flourishes!! Yay!! Oh, what special treats are in store. Baubles and bangles and Bohemian belts! Ledger paper, wallpaper and paper house kits! And certainly not to be missed are the little purses filled with all sorts of treasures for the mixed media artist...big or small! All of this from Tammy Gilley, Tammy Gilley Studios. Fabulous, fabulous stuff!!

Jan Chandler, Sassy Cat, brought more of her oh so soft! and cushy chenille pillows. Two things to note about her pillows: they have top of the line, down-like hypoallergenic inserts and, the pillows are made in the envelope style so the insert can be removed and the chenille sham may be washed!! Smart. Pretty, pretty pillows. Functional. Love, love, love them!!!!

New to Flourishes is Brenda Hopkins, Garden Chic Gals. As her business name implies, she's bringing in lovely things for the garden. Sweet iron birdbaths, obelisks and shepard hooks and trellis's made by her husband. I'll get some pictures of some of those lovelies tomorrow. My camera battery seems to need more frequent charging. I guess I should take the disk in and have all the pictures printed and I won't have that problem! Another thing to add to the to-do list. ;o)

Today Bill and the crew installed the new sound system. Hooray!! Music while I work!!! Life is grand! It would be a banner day if only I could locate who's porch UPS delivered my umbrellas to......cuz it wasn't my porch. (sigh)

Tomorrow, Randy Parman, Madison Park Antiques, will deliver his treasure trove of antique delights. He always brings me great things! He really has a great eye for all things lovely.

While I wait for his arrival, Bill and I will be going over the floor plan and making all the necessary adjustments. AKA: moving furniture!! I love moving furniture around. Bill is not so fond of it because invariably I will move one really big cabinet to two or three different spots and then put it almost exactly where it was to begin with. Well hey, sometimes two inches over that way really does make all the difference! Ha!!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crowns and Flourishes!

Happy Pink Wednesday! Work has begun in earnest for the next Flourishes event on April 26th. Tomorrow artist pretties start arriving!! Yay!! Pretties like this crown made by Martha Kohley, Vintage Trifles. (Hey lookie there! I did a link! woohoo!) Martha has some of the crowns she'll be bringing posted on her blog so be sure you peek in! They'll make fabulous Mother's Day gifts, don't you think? Martha will also be bringing some sweet little potted flower babies. Those are shown on her blog as well. They're darling!!

My paper parasols should arrive tomorrow. Oh boy, do I have plans for those! Pink polka dots. Teardrop crystals. Think April showers! Imagineering is the easy part. It's making it happen that can sometimes be the challenge. Cross your fingers!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, April 14, 2008

Unexpected gifts!

Can it be that Bill and I are old enough to be celebrating our 27th Anniversary? Egad! We are!!

Friday marked the day with tickets to a Circ de Soliel performance and a truly unexpected gift in the mail. The tickets were a gift from our amazingly wonderful and generous children and son-in-law. The coolest kids on the planet, I tell ya!! Thank you Justin, Brittany and Jeremy!! We had the best time!!

The gift in the mail was from one of my dear collectors, Debbie. Debbie and her family drove down from Seattle (a three and a half hour drive!) to attend our first Flourishes event last month. I was so busy attending to business that I didn't realize that she was taking pictures of the whole event; people who came, displays and pictures of my family. So, when I received this album in the mail I was just floored and started to bawl like a baby. I hadn't the time to take any pictures myself, so I thought those moments were lost to memory. (And we know how fleeting that can be!) Bless her heart, Debbie captured those moments for me and put them in a lovely album to keep them safe. A gesture so incredibly thoughtful. I am so very grateful and touched by her kindess. Thank you, Debbie.

My family, my friends and my collectors who I think of as friends. I am truly blessed. You are the flowers in my garden!!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Big Ta Da!

Well, here they are. All finished.....finally. Whoohoo! Party in a blog post!! I'm still working on getting all the details uploaded onto my website so it will be awhile yet before they're available. Actually, it will be later this afternoon, now that I think of it. It's Gracie and Walker's turn to go to the vet today!!
Just for fun, I'm posting a picture of the bears when I was just beginning to work on the details. What a transformation, huh? I love before and after pictures!!

The loveliest Thursday to you!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pink Wednesday Pretties!

These are the sweet pink pretties I found this past weekend. A marvelous hat box with pink roses, a totally yummy soft cotton damask tablecloth, two of the most charming handpainted pictures of rose bouquets (these just may be keepers!) and three pink bauble ornament thingies. What are those called anyway? I think they're from the fifties.

It promises to be a very busy Pink Wednesday! I picked out a paint color for one wall in the gymnasium. Now I have to slap it on to see if I like it! I also have to finish those last two bears. They're giving me grief already so they just may miss tomorrow's listing. I also have to take Max to the vet for an update on all his shots. Now doesn't that sound like a fun time?......getting the cat into the carrier. Tomorrow it's Gracie and Walker's turn to go.

There is a method to my madness for taking them on two different days. You see, Gracie and Walker are my oldest furries. They know that when the cat carrier comes out, someone's going to the vet.....for a thermometer up their hmmm, hmmm and a shot. Max is the youngest. He still thinks that a trip to the vet is an adventure. Not always the sharpest tool in the shed, that one! Ha! So, he goes first. Gracie and Walker think all is well. Max was the one to go to the vet. Here comes the fake out.....the cat carrier is left in the laundryroom as if "mommy forgot to put it away". Next day, it's time for everyone to get brushed and the laundryroom. Bingabangaboo.....into the carrier they go. Next year when it's time, I'll leave the carrier in the familyroom. Pretty clever for a ditsy blonde chickie, huh?

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. A special Thank You! to Anonymous Alice for the heads-up on the paper umbrellas!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Five done! Two to go!!

Yup. Five done!! I'm only showing one today though. Camera battery = charging. I'll show you the whole gang on Thursday providing everyone behaves. Not you silly! The bears!! ha!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Few Pretties

Our big adventure yesterday was nearly a bust! We went to six sales in all corners of the universe and came away with just one thing! A pink tablecloth. (sigh) So, what do you think we did? We hit the antique malls in Troutdale and Oregon City!! We hadn't been to either mall in ages so we really didn't know what to expect. Much to our delight we did find a few things. A little something for the house. A little something for the bears. A few little things for Flourishes!!

These pictures encompass Friday and Saturday's mall shopping. I've saved a few things aside for Wednesday....because they're you'll have to wait for Pink Wednesday for that little peek.

The top picture is all about my favorite creams and whites. I tried including the display case but it turned out really dark. Well, the case is really dark....but not for long!! It's yearning for a coat of paint!!

The second picture is a close up of some of the cream and white goodies. I love the picture of the woman in the oval frame. Serene with a bit of mischief, I think! Oh, and those candlestickes!! They're sterling silver filigree, though you wouldn't know it by the picture. They're most charming!

And last is a picture of the little sailor outfits I found for the bears. They all have little issues. Hey, who doesn't? (wink) They're sweet as can be regardless of their issues. Bill also found some pinbacks to pin on the shirts. I don't know if you click on the picture if you can see them well enough.....there is one of a picture of an Admiral with a boat attached by a ribbon. How cool is that for a sailor bear?!!

So, there you have it. Our Friday - Saturday escapades!! A little bit of folly for not a lot of loot. Woohoo!!

What's on the agenda this week? I'm back to Flourishes on Wednesday!! I'm hoping it warms up enough so I can do some painting in the gymnasium. I'm also on the hunt for rice paper umbrellas in yummy colors. If not, it's on to Plan B! What's Plan B? Hmmmm. I don't have one yet!! HA!!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, April 5, 2008

It's time for airbrushing!

Lots and lots to do this weekend.....including airbrushing and putting the finishing details on these bears. They're almost done!! Yay!

Bill had an early afternoon yesterday so we went over to Monticello Antique Marketplace and had a bite to eat and a cruise around to see if any of the dealers had anything that jumped up and screamed BUY ME! Nothing screamed but a couple of things whispered! (insert a wink here)

It was only 4:15pm so we thought we might as well take a little ride over to Sellwood to have a peek at what Stars Antique Malls (Yes, I did say malls, there are three different buildings!) had to offer. Oh, my.....more whispers and one scream! Ha!

Today we're off on a big adventure! We have a whole list of sales we're going to. The best part? It's not raining.....yet! Ta ta for now. I'll take pictures of everything tomorrow!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pink Wednesday Violets

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta