I was recently asked to make a keepsake invitation box for a girl who’s “fun”. Her aunt asked me to make it “fun & funky” to fit her personality. The invitation itself was so colorful it was easy to design around. We decided to make sure it had lots of color, so I extended the bands of color around the sides of the box. I hear she loves it!
Art Nites is going to be at the Robin Hood Springtime Festival! We’re going to lead off a different painting every day. The Faire runs every Saturday, Sunday, and Memorial Day from May 21 to June 5, 2016 (11 am to 7pm). Combo Tickets to the festival/Art Nites painting will be available soon…more details to follow!
Here’s a stained glass Bat Mitzvah invitation box with a matching photo frame. I was originally asked by one person to make the box, then a few weeks later another customer asked for a box – for the same girl! So I suggested the photo frame. I don’t make them too often because they’re just as much work as the box (maybe more!) and so little of the actual invitation remains. But in cases like this, I think it works great. I did ask my first customer if she was okay with it before I proceeded as I didn’t want her to feel like her gift was lessened in any way. The second customer okayed it with the girl’s mom so we were good to go.
Here’s a simple but pretty wall hanging for an invitation. This one was for a wedding. It’s made with textured glass called Everglade. The swirls in the glass make it special. I used decorative brass corners plated in antiqued silver, which I added just a hint of gold powder onto. The frame uses a traditional picture framing “sawtooth” hanger. This way you don’t have an unsightly line showing through the clear glass!
Today I finished this box with a scalloped copper foil edge. Somehow I always manage to get a copper “paper cut” from the scalloped foil! Oh well. This box was made for a dancer, using the playbill for the show. I made a copy of the inside page, as only half of it shows to the front. I then put it on the inside top lid. I made a scan of the original. Brought it into photoshop and cleaned it up to print onto the orange paper
Several people have asked about my invitation boxes with pressed flowers and I realized today that I don’t have any pictures of them here! The only item I have with real flowers is a shadow box made with dried flowers from the bridal bouquets, but they are three-dimensional, not pressed flat.
Some of the flowers I press myself, after all, I am a member of my local garden club! I press some purple and blue hydrangeas, violas, larkspur, delphinium and some greenery. Some flowers my mom presses for me, hydrangeas and Queen Ann’s lace, mostly. The more exotic ones come from Washington state, from a mom who home schools her children. I recently was able to purchase real 4-leaf clovers!
As for the invitations, usually they are arranged onto the invitation itself, or sometimes into the border. Here’s a few:
So now that we’re all thoroughly sick and tired of winter, I’ve finally made my snow video of Finn! So I don’t have kids, just pets, humor me.
This week is officially Finn’s anniversary of One Full Year in his Forever Home – with me and Steve. So I figured some kind of online recognition was required.
A year ago this month I began my months-long search for another dog. We had lost our wonderful little cocker spaniel, Maxwell Highland, to cancer nearly six years before and Steve just hadn’t been ready to welcome another dog-child into our lives. He surprised me during our drive to my parent’s house for Christmas 2011 by saying that he wanted a dog. We decided that we would get a rescue dog.
We weren’t prepared for how difficult it is to get a dog in New England. First, I tried to get this adorable spaniel/border collie mix from a shelter in Boston:
We filled out all the paperwork and waited. The name they had for her was Spot, and I’m thinking, “What kind of name is that for a girl?” I had decided to name her Bailey since to me she looked like a circus dog. Steve thought of Zuzu Bailey after one of his favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. But as I would be bringing the dog to work and there’s a lab named Zoey who gets called Zozo I was thinking Zuzu was too close to that. We had a phone interview and some of our friends were called for references. Then after several weeks we were told that we were 4th in line for her, so most likely we wouldn’t get her but that they would keep us on file in case we saw another dog we liked there.
Next, we filled out forms for Earl the Boykin Spaniel. After reading up on several spaniel breeds we were most intrigued by Field Spaniels and Boykin Spaniels. We wanted a dog that would be larger than a cocker spaniel but still have the same kind of spaniel cute floppy earred look and happy disposition. But we missed out on him as well.
He was scheduled to be put down because they didn’t want to infect other dogs in the kennel, so they said I needed to act fast as there was no way to reserve him at the shelter. I was able to secure transport for him the next day, but he had already been adopted by the time I called to arrange it all. I then tried for two more Boykins, one in South Carolina who ended up being afraid of men. The other was in North Carolina, but listed from a shelter in Ohio. That shelter couldn’t believe that New England has a shortage of dogs and was puzzled by the fact that I was willing to drive all the way there to get him. Boy, was this getting difficult!
He had been down south and was being treated for Heartworm Disease and had been very ill. Again, after filling out all the paperwork and waiting for a few weeks we were told that he had gotten a great home.
I was applying for only one dog at a time, as I thought that was only fair. I didn’t want to get a dog, and then mess up another dog’s chances of getting a great home by applying to more than one. Many of my friends couldn’t believe it took so long and that I kept missing out on the dogs. They urged me to just go to a pet store or a breeder but after learning about how many dogs get put down at shelters I just couldn’t.
Then my friend Audrey called me about a dog that was in a local shelter. Her groomer told her about a cocker spaniel that she was asked to groom but it was so matted she told them it should get done by a veterinarian. Audrey and I went to see the little fella. He was rust and white, and true to cocker spaniels, he piddled from nerves when we said hello to him. Then he sniffed me, must have smelled the cats and the goats, sniffed Audrey and smelled her dog, and he decided we were okay. I spoke to the woman at the town hall about getting him, only to find out that I was again, 4th in line. They had to keep the dog for several weeks since he was a stray before they could let him go to an adopted home.
So finally after four months of searching I saw a dog that had just been listed as he hadn’t been on the site that morning, and he looked exactly like what we wanted! They listed him as a black cocker spaniel/field spaniel cross, about 1 1/2 years old. I ran to the living room and shouted to my husband, “I found our dog!” And he was like, “Yeah, like you haven’t said that 8 times already.” But I showed Steve the listing, he liked the pics and I filled out yet another hour-long form and sent it off. It turned out that the rescue organization was only about 10 miles from our house. It was the American Lab Rescue, and I had a friend who had a contact there whom I had emailed in December, but as they mostly did Labs, I didn’t expect that we’d get a dog from them. So I sent my contact an email and she promised to help if she could. Our references were called, we were called by one of their people, then Finn’s foster mom spoke with us to see if we were a good match for the dog. Then the dog had to go through what I decided to call the “cat scan”, to see how he reacted to being with cats, since we have three. We were told he hid behind the humans when the cat hissed at him, so he passed. He was still in Alabama, so once we passed the home inspection he was cleared to ship up to Connecticut to us! We paid for him via paypal and saw that the tranport company would send us updates to a website where we could keep track of his 2 day journey. These transports are amazing by the way – check it out.
Then, the day before Finn was to arrive, Audrey calls me to say that the little cocker was back at the shelter. The people who had gotten him let him LOOSE on purpose, near the shelter. The lady from the town hall called them to see if the dog got loose by mistake, only to hear the people say that they didn’t want him since he wasn’t potty trained! I couldn’t believe that anyone would let a dog loose on a 4 lane highway! They could have just brought him back to the shelter and if they didn’t want him. At least he wasn’t hurt. The lady at the town hall remembered talking with me and she thought I’d give the dog a good home, but as Finn was already on his way, I had to say no. I hope that he got a good home.
So here’s the first pic of Finn when we got him off the transport: he ran into Steve’s arms and into his lap for a hug. It was as if he was saying, “I’m yours, take me home.” Finn has been part of our family since Easter weekend, and from the start he acted as if he’d always been here. He takes things in stride, loves everything and everyone. We didn’t even know he could bark until he wanted to play with Zoey at work! I expected a rescue dog to have issues with trust or attachment or some kind of training problem, but we really got lucky. He is amazing and it breaks my heart to see that there are so many dogs in shelters that don’t get rescued and end up with their lives cut short. We were told that Finn had only one more day to go before being put down but the ALR organization came in and saved him.
I voted today. I can’t say that I’m exactly thrilled with any of the choices I was offered, but I feel that you can’t complain if you don’t participate. Every election I still find myself eagerly optimistic that the winning candidates will benefit the world in a positive manner. And I’m sure they all think that they’re going to, regardless of their personal ideology. Somewhere along the intervening months things just don’t seem to get done in government, at least not the way I always hope they will or even the way the candidates promised.
I’ve decided I’m a Romantic Realist, can that be a party? Maybe we could start using that instead of Independent. That’s what I’m registered as; I find it difficult to admit that I’m married to a Republican, though. Steve claims he randomly chose a party years ago without knowing what they stood for, just so he could vote in a primary. I’ve been with him for longer than I care to admit, and I’ve yet to hear him say he’s ever voted in a primary! I’ve always been an independent sort, and I find many times I’m a “middle of the road” kind of person. It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, most times I do – I just prefer to think that I keep an open mind, can see two (or more) sides to an issue and nothing’s clear cut left or right. So I vote, eyes wide shut like my cute dog Finn and keep hopeful thoughts.
I remember my mom used to say that she would vote for whomever my dad didn’t, and Dad would reply with, “She only votes to cancel me out!” After the election Mom’s station wagon would sport a bumper sticker that said, “Don’t blame me I voted for the other guy” or some such.
This year they’re both going to vote for the same candidate – imagine that. Things DO change.
A glass box is a great gift to mark a special occasion. I make them for sweet 16 birthdays, weddings, bat mitzvahs, anniversaries and also for other events such as graduation. Here’s one I made this summer for a graduation gift that doesn’t scream “graduation”. They can even swap out the charm with the date if they like for something else. I love the clear textured glass as it gives it a sophisticated look and will fit in with any decor.