Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Your own estate sale ad...

These photos are some of my recent treasures. This time of year I'm just not sure what to do with all my stuff. I'm finding that having lots out in the cooler months, particularly at Halloween and Christmas gives a sort of comfort and warmth. I find that in these days of 90 degrees with a dew point in the 70's, I don't want to many things to clutter our home. I also am in the phase of cleaning house before I leave, so I'm especially aware of how much I have out right now. Some spring bits of this and that, summer of course, and even some autumn decor is starting to show itself. Yikes!Then this morning I saw this ad in the paper for an estate sale...

An Extraordinary Sale Thur & Fri 9-3, sat-9-12 This sale tells the 80 year life story of a fascinating woman who kept, saved, and acquired throughout her life. From her childhood: Baby toys, clothes (Shirley Temple dress w/photo), Storybook Dolls, charm bracelets more. From her High School & College days: a fascination for fashion and a degree in fashion design: Wonderful 50’s and 60’s CLOTHING & loads of accessories. FURS, Handbags, Sewing galore incl buttons & trim. She loved GLAMOUR: huge collection of JEWELRY (glitz, bling, and gold, stunning sapphire/diamond ring). She entertained: Royal Worcester "Viceroy" (for 12), fine Japanese Kyoto porcelain (bl/wh), loads of stemware, silver (Kirk sterl serv for 8) And she loved HOLIDAYS! Endless decor for every holiday of the year. From her mother: Wedding dress & more, Pottery: Rookwood, Weller, Red Wing; her Havilland, Russel Wright for 4, mahog tilt top tbl/chrs, vintage linens, fine applique quilt. Retro Furn: 50’s red sectional sofa, Funky light fixtures, Round Bed, Blk vinyl sofa. CONTEMPORARY FURN: lots of glass & chrome incl. a dining set w/6 pristine uph chrs, Etagere, great designer chrome rocker, Drexel china cabinets, Teak Lowboys, more. Framed tapestries, some paper ephemera, books, LP’s & 78’s, sheet music, lots of newer kitchen, frames, home office, QUANTITY household supplies...ABSOLUTELY PACKED and filled with surprises incl three filled cases of jewelry & smalls. A see to believe sale!
I love how this was written, so personal, so intriguing. Of course I plan to head over there tomorrow and take a peek inside this woman's life. It also made me think of what my own estate sale ad will look like some day. No, I'm not talking about my obituary, which will focus on family and what I spent my time here on earth doing, but my estate sale ad...what kind of stuff did I have. What would your estate sale ad sound like?

In housekeeping news of a different sort, the partner gitches in the Sweet and Sinister Swap seem to be all ironed out. The second blog is filling up quickly. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback. I'm glad you're enjoying the fun things I have planned. If you've paid and haven't seen your invite to join the blog, check your PayPal email address. I have several invites out there that haven't been accepted yet. If you need me to send your invite to a different email other than your PayPal let me know at


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bits of this and that...

Things are taking off in Sweet and Sinster blogland. The swap is full and partners have been given. The second blog with all the fun tutorials, projects and giveaways, minus the swap is over half full. We've had our first giveaway and the first tutorial will be posted this coming week. I think I'm all caught up on invoices for the second blog. If you've emailed me that you want to be in on the blog and haven't heard, why don't you shoot me another email at
I'm starting to pack for Art in Ashland coming up this weekend. I leave on Saturday morning. Can't wait for full day classes with Anahata, Pam and Amy! Also really looking forward to meeting up and rooming with some of my favorite gals Cassondra and Michelle. I know lots of others are attending as well. I'm getting so excited!!!
Here's some snippets of supplies for classes, treat bags for friends and trades. Love gathering goodies to bring to art retreats!
And a giftie for a dear blogger friend who just had a baby.
Hope you're having a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back to summer...

Wewh, glad to hear that many of you are pleased to have the Sweet and Sinister blog, minus the swap. I keep adding guest designers, so currently there are lucky 13 fabulous artists coming up with projects just for the blog! That is approximately one project per week heading up to Halloween. Our first giveaway is going on now. Click on the image at the right for more info.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming here on the ArtsyMama blog...

The third installment of JunkMama Journals is now posted HERE. If you enjoyed the post of Jennifer Murphy's studio, I think you'll enjoy the article as well:)

I wanted to share the other goodies I bought at the same sale where I found the amazing cigar box jack-o-lantern I showed you about on my last post. Here is another view of the box they carved the JOL face in. I'm just so intrigued with this handmade, primitive decoration. I would love to know more about the family and their Halloween traditions.

I'm busy getting ready for my trip to Ashland, Oregon for Art in Ashland in 10 days. I cannot wait for 4 days of fun and art with so many fabulous art friends and three amazing teachers!! I just ordered some more business cards and postcards with this image for some goodie bags.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Halloween mayhem ensues....

Nothing like some manic Halloween July! I am truly overwhelmed by the response to my Sweet and Sinister Swap in the last week. Within just a few days all 100 spots were taken. There has been a lot of begging and pleading, which I completely understand, but I am limited to that number by Blogger when hosting a private blog. So I have my wracking my brain to figure out a way to keep all of the Halloween-enthusiast blog readers that I have...which seems to be MANY...happy! I have come up with the plan of starting another blog, just like the first invite-only blog I produced for the swap. The blog will be just as fun...guaranteed...with all of the same amazing vintage-inspired Halloween project tutorials I have set up with guest designers just for the Sweet and Sinister blog, like Candice Carpenter, Jenny (Everyday is a Holiday) Heid, Katie Runnels, Heather at Speckled Egg, and many more! I also will have giveaways for vintage Halloween goodies, kits and other delights. I will have interviews with enthusiasts such as Sharon over at American Harvest, and a look at some wonderful Halloween collections. I will be posting several times a week. It's like a Halloween spectacular retreat over a 3 month period for only $10. That's the best I can come up with and hope that is satisfies the craving that many of you are having. Let me know at if you want to join in the fun. I really don't mean to push this, I just have had countless emails with very, very eager folks. It really depressed me to have to write so many "sorry but the swap is full" emails, so I'm trying to give you another option. Love all your energy! Speaking of, I found this homemade JOL above at an estate sale this weekend it's got to be one of my top 3 favorite decorations. It's an old cigar box from the early 1900's hand carved into a jack-o-lantern. I was beyond excited to find it for $1!!! There was also some concern that with all the members-only stuff that people who just read the ol' original ArtsyMama blog you see here, that they will miss out on my Halloween goodies. Not to worry, I have more to share than I know what to do with. You will see Halloween here as well, my sweets!
Ok, now back to Summer!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Sweet and Sinister SWAP is now CLOSED! I'm sorry to do this so quickly, but I have 100 participants and that's the maximum number I am allowed to have on the private blog. That is also about as large of a group as I want to handle for partnering up. I hope you understand. If you have an invoice outstanding, please let me know if you do not want to do the swap. If you do, please make your payment ASAP so I can get partners together. What a response!
***However, if you just want in on the Sweet and Sinister blog without participating in the swap, I am creating a blog just for all the tutorials, projects and giveaways without the swap component. This can handle another 100 readers. So if you didn't get in on the swap, but want 3 months of fun and inspiration, that is still open to you for the $10 fee. Let me know at
On the homefront, I'm still enjoying lots and lots of family time together. My sister and her family are in town for one more day. Today was extra special, we celebrated my parent's Ruby Wedding Anniversary...
40 years!!!
We went to a garden nearby and enjoyed watching the kids run around and took in all the gorgeous flowers.

Chloe gave Nana a big Anniversary hug!
Here are the girls...myself, my mom and my sister. Love it when we're all together!
We presented them with crowns and handmade t-shirts. My mom is showing the front and my dad the back.
More gorgeous flowers.
And a toast!
I love you mom and dad!!!
Laura and I got a chance to do some more crafting. Here she put together two banners from my kits.
And she made her own Delight picture. Fun!
Happy Day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First off, a couple of quick things regarding the Sweet and Sinister Swap. The response has been extraordinary and I can see that this year is going to be even better than last. I am very excited!! So far I have been keeping up with getting in touch with people immediately after receiving an email stating that you want to be in the swap. Make sure you provide your PayPal email address so that I can invoice you immediately. You will then receive an invite to join the private blog after your PayPal payment is received. Please leave me an email at if you are waiting on me for an invoice. When you join the blog make sure you leave a comment with your blog or flickr url right away so that I can add you to the blogroll.

I do want to mention that you can join the members only blog for tons of tutorials, giveaways, projects and loads of inspiration over the next 3 months and choose to not participate in the swap. That is just fine and will still be well worth your $10. I am lining up some terrific guest designers and goodies for all of you. Just let me know if you don't want to do the swap.

It's a thundery summer day here today in Minnesota and I had the most delightful morning sitting in a coffee shop with fellow artsy blogger Fiona. We met during one of the early rounds of Rhonna's 21 Day Challenges several years ago. We have several things in common, including enjoying vintage goodies, doing art journals and mixed media art, blogging and we're both librarians. The neat thing is Fiona does all these fabulous things in her homeland of Scotland! She is visiting her in-laws live right here in the same suburb of the twin cities as yours truly. Small world.

She was absolutely delightful and inspiring. It's always so fun to meet up with like-minded people and gush about finding vintage treasures, making art, traveling. It just blows my mind to think that we have so much in common, but she is off doing these things in a 1000 year old town in Scotland. I love it and hope to visit her some day! She has a fabulous tutorial for the Sweet and Sinister Swap that I can't wait to show all of you. She gifted me with the wonderful black and white vintage apron above in Sweet and Sinister style! Also all of the vintage Christmas ornaments you see pictured after cleaning out the attic at her in-laws. Of course the shortbread from Scotland is much appreicated too. Yum! Fiona is such a dear.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It's here!

I can see that you are all as excited about this as I back by popular demand is the Sweet and Sinister Halloween Swap!
Swap button created by Hope Wallace of Paper Relics.

This year is going to be a bit different. I'm staring a full 3 months early, because there is much to be done before the big day. Starting immediately I have a separate blog set up for the swap. For those that would like to join, the cost will be $10 (via PayPal). That includes a reserved spot in the swap, and access to the members only blog that will have frequent posts with sweet tutorials and sinister projects presented by me and some of my favorite artists. I will have giveaways, inspiration and tons of other ghoulish fun together for a full three months!
The swap itself will be similar to last year. I will take sign-ups until Sept. 1st. Partners will be assigned as people sign up for the swap, no later than the first week of Sept. Packages must be mailed by
Oct. 1st.

Your package for your partner should contain:

{something a little sweet}

{something a bit sinister}

Also...{a handcrafted item}
{a home decor item}
and {a thrifted item}

You and your partner can exchange information about what style you prefer. Swap items can be Halloween oriented, but they don't need to be. However, almost everything should be black or white or both (can be any shade of white/cream/antique white, etc.) A splash of orange in there is ok.
Please take the swap pledge and make a promise to yourself and your partner that you will:
Create a package that is one that you would enjoy receiving. The items are in good condition or handmade with care.
Please respect one another. If problems arise, try to work things out. If necessary email me as soon as possible.
Commit to mailing out on time so that your partner will receive their items before Halloween.
This is how it's going to work...if you are interested and ready to commit to the swap, please email me at or leave a comment here with your email address that I can contact you at. I will contact you and ask for your PayPal email so that I can invoice you the $10. When payment is received you will get an email invite to join the swap blog. Partners will be assigned shortly. Check the swap blog frequently for updates and tons of ghoulish fun!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet day...{and maybe a little bit sinister too}

I received my goodies from my swap partner Heidi for the Parasols, Pink Lemonade and Polka Dots swap. Did she ever stock me up with fun summer retro sweets. Check out this tray above and the cotton candy and taffy. I'm going to have a major sugar buzz!She also found some cute vintage finds, like these vintage trims (below) that she made into "sundaes". Now that's my kind of dessert!
So many fun things in this package.
Love this sign she made!! Thanks, Heidi So with all this sweetness going on, I'm thinking about hosting my Sweet and Sinister Halloween swap again. Remember last year?I'm not taking sign ups quite yet, but just wanted to put some feelers out there to see if people want to do it again. It won't be exactly the same. I'll have a few new tricks up my sleeve. I will be doing it early to give people plenty of time to get things ready for the best Halloween swap ever! I'm already getting in the mood.

More to come soon...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My summer vacation...

Just got back from a fun filled week with my family, my parents, my sister and her family in Northern Minnesota. Woke up each morning to a gorgeous sunrise....Ended each evening with yummy s'mores. Doesn't get much better than that! Here was our creation of a brownie with fire roasted marshmellow and graham cracker. Yum!It's always a treat to spend time with my sister. She and her family live in San Diego. They come home to Minnesota in July and for Christmas. We ran down a dirt road through the woods many mornings. Enjoyed the giggles and the heart-to-heart chats.Here is Chloe with her cousin Annika getting ready to enjoy the beach.
Chloe was always looking for treasures.
We of course crafted using the natural materials that she found.

Lowell drew pictures in the sand. Chloe also got an opportunity to fish for the first time.The big catch by my brother-in-law and nephew, Lars. Made for a yummy dinner!
Lowell enjoyed hanging out on the dock, boating and playing in the water.
Hubby and I even hit an antique shop. He had better luck than I did!
Our final day ended with a rainbow across the lake. A fitting ending to a glorious summer week together.