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Middle Age

I admit, I’m not a daily blogger. It isn’t that I don’t have anything to say…. believe me, I have PLENTY to say. I just don’t always feel like typing. There was actually a time that I popped in to write and (oh the shame) it had been so long that I’d forgotten my password! Yea, that’s lame. I fell away from blogging for a while because I started to feel a bit insecure about my blog after reading so many of the amazing blogs out there by so many younger women. It seems that the cool blogs out there are either young moms who specialize in photography, art, cooking or that specialize in one specific art/craft. Where does a blog from a middle aged grandmother with fibromyalgia who doesn’t specialize in one specific thing but rather dabbles in a multitude of things fit in? And who in the heckfire wants to read a blog by me anyway?

When people start a blog it is always with the hope that others will take the time out of their day to stop by, read and leave a comment on each and every post. We hope that thousands of people are not only reading, but talking about and sharing our blog. I am a fan of quite a few blogs. There are times I stop by every day and other times weeks go by before I visit again. But life gets busy and there are plenty of times I’d rather be watching Once Upon a Time or Buffy the Vampire Slayer than catching up on my blog reading.

So I’ve decided that I’m quite content to have a blog to call my own and I think I’ll stop worrying about whether or not it measures up to the other younger, cooler, more creative blogs out there.

I’m a middle age grandmother who loves photography and creating. And I’m HIP!!!

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We Still Believe In Faeries!

I was so excited to realize that it was partially light at 6:15 as I drove home from work tonight!  I know what that means!  Do you??  It means longer days are headed our way!  Sunshine!  Flowers!!  Coffee and tea on the patio after suppertime!  And it also means that my creativity will soon be fueled by springtime and summer!  Finally, my long, dark, dreary days might just be behind me (for a season).  Life can be dark and dreary enough even WITH extended daylight hours.  Hopefully I’m the only one who feels that way.

 

In this last year or more I have withdrawn into my own protective shell because of all the worries, physical pain and financial burdens that have faced us. I’m sure my family members would LOVE it if when they ask me how I am I would say “AWESOME!” and actually mean it.  I don’t know about any of you but it’s easier to go about life acting as if things are pretty okay than to really open up and say what I REALLY think and how I’m REALLY feeling!  Here’s hoping that from here on out we each MEAN it when we say we are “great” or “awesome” or even “just fine.”

 

Now, after that little break…. let’s get back to the sunny days ahead of us!  This last month in Craft Swappers Unite! we held a fun contest that netted some really awesome results.   The challenge was broken into three categories:  Artist Trading Cards, Jewelry and Altered Art (boxes or bottles).  The contest ran for 2 weeks only and 1 person from each category won a $10 gift card for Amazon. Many of the ladies were instantly ready to begin another challenge which meant my mind went into overdrive trying to come up with something to top the last one!

 

Hopefully this challenge will be even more fun to participate in!

 

So, in honor of spring and for continuing to believe in Faeries…. I give you our “Faeries Forever” Spring Challenge!  In this challenge you may choose to create a Faerie garden OR a Faerie home.  If you are extra ambitious (Ms. Mary! <wink wink>) you can create both, but they will count as one entry.   Pinterest is crammed full of Faerie/Fairy Garden ideas that are just amazing if you need inspiration to get started.  The home itself is a bit trickier.  I found a really cool post on Craftster.org that got me thinking about what the INSIDE of a faerie’s home would look like.  This one is called The Borrower’s Box, so named after the darling little thieves in Mary Norton’s literary work “The Borrowers.”  (because I’m sure I needed to explain that little tidbit!)  Take a look at The Borrower’s Box and the Faerie Gardens to get your juices flowing and then, following just a few requirements laid out here, jump on the band wagon and create!

 

REQUIREMENTS:

 

Each participant must be a member of Craft Swappers Unite as that is where all of your pictures will be submitted and where we can gather and chat about our creations. You must JOIN the  Event “Faeries Forever” on Craft Swappers Unite to be counted as a participant.  The voting will also take place in the event page on March 31st.  If you are not yet a member of the group, you are invited to join us on Facebook.  We are an awesome group of artistically minded people who enjoy sharing our work with each other and often hold swaps and contests such as this one.

 

Each participant will pay $2.00 (US) to participate. (please check Craft Swappers Unite for payment information)

 

All entries must be submitted by March 30, 2014 and will be voted on by all participants on March 31st. The winner will receive EITHER a gift card for Amazon or the equivalent in the form of a paypal payment.  If we have 10 entrants, the winnings will be $20.00.  None of the money paid in will be used for anything other than the gift for the winner.  If we have more than 15 entrants, we may discuss the possibility of having 1st and 2nd place winners and gifts.

 

6 of the following items MUST be included in your garden or faerie home:

A matchbox

A mushroom (handmade of some sort)

Buttons (your choice of how many)

A ladder (handmade or store bought miniature)

A mirror (broken pieces of, or a tiny mirror)

A miniature handmade table

A planter box

Miniature windchime

Paperclip

An umbrella

A stone pathway

A hammock

A wooden spool

 

You are not LIMITED to those items by any means!  Please be creative!  Surprise us with what you come up with!

 

The garden can be made out of something as simple as a wooden box or as crazy extravagant as a marble planter/pot.   The home can be made out of something as simple as a shoebox if you wish.  Whether you choose to create a garden OR a home you must choose 6 things from the list above to include in your Faerie Creation.  Both the garden AND the home are required to have a DOORWAY.   The other absolute requirement is that somewhere in the home or garden the saying “We Still Believe” or “Clap if you Believe” must be clearly displayed.

 

Although buying miniature items and creating a garden or home would be simple and sweet I URGE you to use your own creative ability to create pieces to include in your work.   Please take at least 3 pictures of your work in progress (this can include your final entry photo).

The top three creations will be featured on this blog in April.  

Alrighty!!!  Let’s get crackin’ and usher in Spring all proper like!  I’m sure ready for it!

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First Set of Artist Trading Cards ( ATC )

Happy Middle of the week Everyone!

I hope that the first part of your week was restful, fun, exciting, low key (insert whatever word you want here).   And now, we are halfway to next weekend!  WooooooHOOOOOOO!

I have successfully created 18 ATC (Artist Trading Cards) this week and have begun to swap with other creators.  :)  So far, I’m addicted but haven’t quite decided what medium I enjoy creating in.    I am so intimidated (yet fascinated) by all of the ATCs on YouTube and Pinterest it surprises me that I’m willing to continue at this point.  I just LOVE the idea of trading with others around the world so I can have a collection of OPATCs (my WAY cool acronym for Other People’s Artist Trading Cards).

One of my problems as a CADD (Craft Attention Deficit Disorder) is that I burn HOT and fast when I find something I love to do and find myself bored and ready to move on to something entirely different.  Pretty certain there isn’t a medication I can take to overcome this issue.  :/  Oh well.  Of course the problem with CADD is that I can never truly perfect anything I do.

Here are a few of the ATC cards I completed this week:

Bird
Twitterpate
Music
Sunshine

I’m pretty fond of them.  :)  I am working with polymer clay and yarn as an alternate medium for the ATCs right now.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

I hope the rest of your week is WONDERFUL!  Thanks for stopping by! ~ Dawnee

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Creating Beauty, Hopefully!

I had such high hopes for today!   Until a blasted migraine swept them away.  :(  Ahh, well…. it is easing now and so I have decided to at least get started on  a project to carry over to tomorrow…. a fresh new day.

I have become hopelessly obsessed with ♥Artist Trading Cards♥ as of late.

I am 35% sure that 75% of you know exactly what they are, but for those who don’t:

Artist trading cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern trading cards baseball cards,[1] or 212 by 312 inches (63 mm × 89 mm),[2] small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets.[3] The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland.[4] Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.) or even metals or cloth. The cards are usually traded or exchanged. When sold, they are usually referred to as art card editions and originals (ACEOs). — WIKIPEDIA

A few years back I participated in creating and swapping Digital Artist Trading Cards and enjoyed it very much.  Now that I am spending more and more time with physical art and elements I thought it would be fun to get my online facebook group involved in creating and swapping.  So far, we have around 10 people interested in participating!  I’m very excited about that!  (By the way, if any of you are interesting in joining a lovely group of people who enjoy creating and sharing their creations online, our facebook page is:  Craft Swappers Unite!  You would be so welcome to join!

I’ve been spending most of my migrainey day pulling ATC’s over to a new board on Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/jstdawnee/atc/ .  I hope you’ll take the time to pop over and check out what I’ve found so far.  Links and pics are fighting with me today, but I did retain a slight sense of html writing even with a migraine!

First Crack at ATCs

ATC

Do you, or have you ever created ATCs?  If you have pictures, I’d really love to see them!

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The Beauty in Being a Nerd

I have to admit to you here in a public declaration that I am a complete nerd.  NERD!

Dictionary.com gives this definition of nerd:

1.  a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person.

2.  an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit:  a computer nerd.

I’m sure there have been people in my life who would put me in the number one category, but I am referring instead to category number two.

I have always found people who are SO devoted to something like, say….. Star Wars a bit goofy.  They camp out all night at a theater to see the newest release and come dressed as their favorite character.  They use phrases from the movies in their daily conversation; “may the force be with you!”  They collect memorabilia from the movies and gather together at conventions for a weekend of All Star Wars All The Time.  Pfft.  Nerds.

I learned that I was a nerd when I caved in and read the Harry Potter series and then watched all of the movies surrounded by my family and friends who also shared in a common love of all things Harry.  (Bless you JK Rowling!)  I will say that though I read newsclips about the actors and actresses in the movies and watched all of the interviews with cast and author, I never did actually join an online group of like minded people.  Nor have I ever gone to one of the movies dressed as a favorite character.  I DO however have a poster on my bedroom wall from The Sorcerer’s Stone.  It is looking rather aged these days, and I sure would love a replacement and a movie poster for each of the consecutive movies.   :)

One of my hand doodled cards

My TRUE nerdiness is arts and crafts.  I can’t stop looking up new ideas, be it crocheted or knitted hats, altered art, doodling, sculpting with clay, steampunk related anything at all, fairy gardens, Artist’s Trading Cards….  (see here for a complete view-able showcase of my nerdiness -Dawn’s Nerdiness)…. I’ve even created a Facebook group for other people who share my affliction!

So in the true spirit of nerdiness and creativity I am dedicating the next few months to sharing my creations and what I find here on This Beauty I See.  I hope you’ll stop back by and see what I’ve come up with!

Thanks for reading! ~ Dawnee