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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mosaics and Memories

My children recently had fun playing with some of my stained glass project scraps.

We made use of the scraps by decorating a wooden cross into a mosaic.

They love gluing and making patterns and playing with shapes no matter what age they are.

Even though I am packing and trying to sort through things, I am still busy stitching to "calm" my inner nerves on our newest adventure. Here is my latest embroidery piece.

Also, our family is going through emotions right now in having to give our poodle, "Sweetie" to a new home. We can not take him with us over 1800 miles and then be renting a place where it is an additional $50 per month in rent to have him. My Avery Zefram, age 9, is most affected by this. So I have taken pictures to preserve memories.

Dragon in the Making

Wynston, my 11 year old has been busy again putting together wooden puzzles. He is in love with making these creations and his development of patience is coming along nicely.

The dragon is beautiful and he and I are trying to decide on what colors to add.

Also, he put together this sweet wooden butterfly puzzle for me per my request. He has also decided these would be lovely to send to his two aunts for Christmas.

We are in the process of packing and moving from Nashville, TN to Great Falls, MT by April 1st. The time is flying by so quick. I have been stressed over getting a place rented there and made great strides today in finding something. Now for the application process. Which leads me to push on getting our house rented out here in Nashville.

I am going to miss my home and yard. I wish we could have stayed to see the blooming pear trees in the front yard put on their blooms the first two weeks in the spring.

Wynston has been battling a very bad cold for a week now, but is busy working on a detailed wooden battle tank puzzle -- I think a ship in coming up soon!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Transcend Our Limitations

By Kaki Friskics-Warren

Each day, we have the opportunity to transcend our limitations and to be God's presence in the world. You can share your spirit through daily activities, but if you're looking for new ways to grow, visit these local websites for guidance: -- Hands on Nashville's website lists area volunteer opportunities for all ages and interests -- The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee offers options to support are nonprofits -- Find daily opportunities for "Five Minutes of Caring" (You can change the city on this site to fit your location)

Paper Dolls & Paper Puppets

In my looking into Alice in Wonderland things, I located these paper doll cards. I think they are so beautiful. I hope you like them too.

I have always had a soft spot of childish play left in me in my adult years. I have also had the wonderful opportunity of enjoying childhood and play in having my own children.

My daughter, Savannah Rose, has a fascination with paper dolls & puppets. She has been looking around on the world wide web and found this beautiful site. If you love making paper crafts or have a child who likes this pretend play, please take a moment and visit. You will fall in love.

I am also thinking these creations would be lovely on a Christmas tree as ornament decoration. I have some victorian reproduction cards that a friend of mine gave me many years ago that has a piece of ribbon loop on the back for hanging. I enjoy placing them year after year on my tree and fondly remembering my friend that I have unfortunately lost touch with these past few years. Anne, where are you????

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Drop Of Alice

a drop of alice, originally uploaded by identityseven.

I love exploring the internet to find pictures and interpretations of my favorite book character.

Bet you can't guess who....

I find this creative & lovely.

This would be fun to turn into an embroidery piece.

I know I have in me a quilt with an Alice in Wonderland theme . . . another day . . . another dream!

This Alice inspired item also has a different twist to it, but I could stitch this into an embroidery square also. The colors in the photo make me think of redwork stitching.

Owl Mosaic Mural

Owl with owls, originally uploaded by Gilberto Viciedo.

As I am heavily involved in packing for our big move from Nashville, TN to Great Falls, MT, to relieve my stress, I find playing on the computer helps a great deal.

All my supplies for working with stained glass and mosaics has been carefully placed in boxes. I am missing playing and feeling spontaneous in this art form.

Isn't it astounding the detail found in this mosaic mural of an owl?

Also, notice each miniature tile has an owl inside of it.

Photo by Gilberto Viciedo as found on

Friday, February 20, 2009

Special Huggums Dolls -- Madame Alexander

My daughter, Savannah Rose has high functioning autism with psychosis. She is absolutely lovely and turning 15 soon.

A few years ago we met a wonderful friend, Judith, who introduced Savannah to the Madame Alexander Huggums Dolls that were distributed in 1964. Her daughter had received one as a Christmas present when she was just 4 years old and had kept her doll in the family all these years.

This love for her daughter's original Huggums doll led Judith to finding others to rescue and repair. My daughter has become another on this mission and has fallen in love totally. She is now the proud mother of three and she loves shopping for their outfits and accessories. Her newest one is named Susan Jane and is pictured here.

History of Madame Beatrice Alexander

Dolls of Madame Alexander are highly prized throughout the world and are an 85 year tradition of fine quality and innovation. Beatrice Alexander retained control of the company for most of her lifetime, selling it in 1988. Her legacy was a vast number of dolls which have been prized for their attention to detail and history. The Company , started at the onset of World War 1, began by making Red Cross dolls , made from cloth which she and her sisters created in the kitchen of their New York home. With starting capital of $1600.00 she started the Alexander Doll Company in a Manhattan gallery. Influenced in part by the Lenci dolls of Italy, Hers became a resounding success. Although quite unusual for a woman to start and run a company in that part of the century, she had inherited quite a work ethic from her father , who ran a doll shop where she grew up. Impressed with the aura of Madame Lenci of Italy, she decided to improve her image by calling herself Madame Alexander. In the 20’s her husband Philip, began the daily operations of the company freeing her to develop ideas for new dolls. She had a talent for being able to provide ideas for new dolls to fit the times. During the depression her “Alice In Wonderland” doll became a huge success as were the dolls of “Gone With The Wind” as well as the re-release of “Alice” when the Disney movie appeared in 1933.

In the early 50’s Madame Alexander dolls won 4 awards from the Fashion Academy of New York. In the early sixties , Philip died and she recruited her son in law and grandson to help run the company. By the 80's the dolls began enjoying great success as collector items. The company was resold in 1995 and has continued to this day to produce high quality and elaborately costumed dolls.

As long as we have a desire for dolls, the legacy of Madame Alexander shall live on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Mosaic Mural

Last year I decided I wanted to learn how to do stained glass and mosaics. I signed up for a set of classes in the evenings at a local shop.

It was my first time working with glass, grinders, scoring tools, pinchers, foil, and soldering.

Then I took my knowledge and decided to go BIG -- my bathroom wall became my canvas. I worked on it from January till April faithfully. Then company came and went and more came and went. Finally, I picked up with a new determination and completed my creation this past November.

The grouting process was fun! It feels like making mud pies from my childhood days.

As you can see, I used textured glass. I also chose to leave some of the grout in the grooves of the glass as I like the look.

I have just found a wonderful site to give you some information if you are interested in exploring this craft / artform.

The possibilities are endless. The expression is rewarding.

Nashville -- Sights and Sounds

As I am getting ready to leave Nashville, TN -- my family's home for the past 9 years -- I am wanting to point out places I have been, things I have seen, and some wonderful unique landmarks. These are a few to begin with for now . . . more will appear here in the future.

The AT&T Building (formerly the South Central Bell Building and BellSouth Building, also known as the Batman Building) is a 630.5 ft (192 m), 32-story skyscraper completed in August 1994 and located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is currently the tallest building in the state of Tennessee.

Unlike any traditional museum you’ve ever visited, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts has become a magnet for Nashville’s rapidly expanding visual arts scene. With an exhibitions schedule that has new art flowing through the magnificent Art Deco building every 6 to 8 weeks.

The Wildhorse Saloon is Nashville's #1 Dining and Entertainment destination and a mecca of entertainment in America. To capture the attention of Nashvillians and country music visitors, on June 1, 1994, the history of the World Famous Wildhorse Saloon began with country superstar Reba McEntire hearding a stampede of live cattle through the streets of Music City, also known as Nashville, Tennessee.

The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is located in the shadow of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. The 19-acre park is designed to complement the Tennessee Capitol Building, give visitors a taste of Tennessee's history and natural wonders, and to serve as a lasting monument to Tennessee's Bicentennial celebration.

Here are some historical features to look for when you visit Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park:

Zero Mile Marker
Small Tennessee Granite Maps
Tennessee Map Plaza
The Railroad Trestle
The Rivers of Tennessee Fountains
Tennessee Flags
Pathway of History
World War II Memorial
Carillons and the Court of 3 Stars
CCC Memorial
The Walkway of Counties
Path of Volunteers

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nashville -- Home of Athena

Centennial Park
222 25th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: (615) 862-8442
Hours: Daily sunrise-11pm

Centennial Park, which housed the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, is a prime spot for an outdoor lunch break. Elaborate structures, monuments and memorials line the park, including the spectacular Parthenon, which honors Nashville's adopted sister city, Athens.

In the 1920s the Parthenon was rebuilt as a full-scale replica of the ancient Parthenon with one large exception. The colossal statue of Athena from ancient times was not in this replica.

In 1982 seven sculptors submitted proposals to recreate the Athena statue in Nashville. Alan LeQuire won the commission because of his skill and commitment to accuracy.

Athena Parthenos is 41 feet, 10 inches tall. There are about 12 inches between the top of her helmet and the ceiling beams. Her weight is estimated at 12 tons. The statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, in Athena's right hand is 6 feet 4 inches tall. Nike holds a wreath of victory preparing to crown Athena.

The Athena statue was constructed from 1982 to 1990. It stood in Nashville’s Parthenon as a plain, white statue for 12 years. In 2002 the Parthenon gilded Athena with Alan LeQuire and master gilder Lou Reed in charge of the project. The gilding project took less than 4 months and makes Athena appear that much closer to the ancient Athena Parthenos. In addition to gilding, the project included painted details on her face, wardrobe and shield.

Athena Parthenos is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world.

The Parthenon also serves as the city of Nashville's art museum. The focus of the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

The Parthenon is open year round Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 - 4:30. Additional hours during June, July & August: Sundays, 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rustic Sanctuary

Yesterday, I went to visit a good friend here in Nashville and took along my digital camera. I wanted to photograph her backyard -- a rustic sanctuary and piece of art.

I have been friends with her for nearly 5 years now and I have watched a transformation occur in her out of doors.

It has been truly inspiring to watch the creations with slate, stone, and rock as I don't think I have this large a scope of vision and talents to make something on this scale.

Also, the pictures do not compare to actually exploring in person.

I love the fireplace which is the most recent addition.

The beautiful antique table and chairs with the Coca Cola design are so eye catching.

What person would not want to climb into the swing hanging from two trees.

The wagon wheels are a piece of art to the scenery.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finished Creations

Wynston's Wolf --
Wynston has been busy at it again with his wooden puzzles. A beautiful dragon will appear on here in the near future. We are planning the painting and desired look right now.

He has already pulled out another new puzzle and is eager to get to numbering the pieces.

I finished a few pieces recently and wanted to show my work. I have not quite decided on what they will be added to but am developing ideas and layouts in my head. That to me is the fun part because I used to be unable to visualize things mentally.

This Victorian Cherub pattern was on one of my recent postings here. I wanted to not make it busy and chose to use on two thread colors.