"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18.2

Thursday, May 26, 2011

And the Winner Is...

...going to be getting a big box of cool stuff in a few days!

So, with a bit of fanfare...

...and a drumroll, please...



wait for it

wait for it


I'll be getting your goodies box into the mail tomorrow!

Thank you to all who entered. I've enjoyed reading your comments and I hope that you enjoyed
Giveaway Day 2011!!!

It's Over!!!

Giveaway Day is now officially closed. I will post the winner,
chosen by Random.org, tomorrow morning at 9:00 EST.
Thanks to everyone who entered and especially to
all the new followers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On the Soapbox Again: Body Image

I'm a big girl. I haven't been "pleasantly plump" since high school, and I've been shopping in the plus-size section for about 30 years now. It grieves me to see the term "weight problem". Okay, if you're so heavy it's robbing you of your health and ability to live a relatively normal life, then that's a problem. Aside from that, why can't we just accept that "this is the size I am. I may have been smaller, or even larger, at one time, I may be smaller or larger in the future. But right now, this is me. AND IT'S OKAY."

My legs are fat and stubby, but they get me from place to place. They ache from fibromyalgia and my left knee is tortured by RA, but these are my legs, and I love them.

My arms are flabby and the batwings swing back and forth like crazy. But these arms hug my grandchildren and friends, these arms connect to my hands that paint and knit and sew and play the piano and create art... I love these flabby arms.

My belly and backside make me resemble a gigantic apple. So what? That's the way they are at this point in time. I can't say I love them, but I accept them, and I do not hate them and I do not hate myself because of them!

Now here's where the fat is a good thing: at age 57 I have no wrinkles on my face. None. not even crow's feet around my eyes. Why? The fat keeps 'em filled out! LOL

Ladies, I'm not saying you shouldn't try to change your size and shape if you want to. I'm not saying, "Fat is where it's at". What I am saying is don't be ashamed of yourself right now, don't put your life on hold "until I lose [x number of] pounds". I've got news for you, if you cannot or will not feel good about yourself now, you still won't when you've reached your "perfect" weight. You'll just find something else to focus on and be unhappy with.

I remember sitting by the pool 30 years ago in my black polyester slacks, roasting, and wanting more than anything to be in that pool with my children. So one day I went shopping for a bathing suit. There were only 5 to choose from, 4 dowdy black ones, and 1 bright, shiny blue one. Guess which one I bought? The blue one! It really brought out my eyes. (batting my eyelashes rapidly) And I went to the pool, dropped my cover-up and jumped in with my girls and we had a blast. Oh, that water felt so delicious in the hot sunshine!  Oh, the days I had wasted not enjoying this!
There was no way not to notice the shocked expressions on the faces of the other polyester-clad moms. After about 2 weeks, one of those moms showed up in a bathing suit. After another week or so, several more ladies sporting brand new bathing suits jumped into the pool and cavorted about with their children and had FUN! I'd like to think that having one person break the unspoken rule that fat people can't appear in public in a bathing suit was the catalyst for other women to pluck up their courage to come out of the [black polyester pants] closet!

Be brave ladies! Resist what the media tells you that you should look like. Refuse to accept rudeness from people who think it's okay to disrespect you because you're a woman of size. Love yourself just the way you are!
I must confess that I have to preach this message to myself from time to time. In the Bible, James 4.7 says, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." The devil loves it, delights in it, when he can keep us imprisoned in self-hatred. Resist, resist, resist! The scriptures also tell us, in Psalm 139.14 that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made...". I am thankful that what God sees as important, and the only thing He regards as important, is what is inside in our hearts.
My hope and wish for you all is to learn to love yourself, warts and all, and understand that what is in your heart is what really counts.

Giveaway Day, the Sequel

So, Giveaway Day is actually 3 days. It closes tomorrow - Wednesday - so if you haven't finished visiting and entering, you better get busy!

Thank you for so many nice compliments and comments. I really am getting excited to put all the names in the hat and randomly draw out the winner. It could be you!

PS: several of you left comments but no way to contact you if you're a winner. You may still leave your info in a new post.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Here - Giveaway Day!

I'm so excited and I hope you are too! Today is the day you could be a winner - on my blog as well as on many, many other blogs participating in Giveaway Day. Click here for a list of all participating blogs and shops. You have 3 days to visit and enter, so grab a cuppa and start clicking!

To enter here at the Seesaw, simply post a comment telling me what you like about my blog and you're entered. It's that simple. Be sure to leave your email addy so I can contact you should you win.

And of course, it always makes me do the happy dance when you become a follower!

So what might you win here? Take a look:

And some closer views:


It's going to require a bit of strategy on my part to fit all this into one priority mail box! But I will, and it will be shipped out to the lucky winner on Friday, May 27. (Sorry, no international shipping)

The giveaway closes at midnight on Wednesday, May 25.
On Thursday, I will announce the winner.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

PS: If you are the winner and I cannot contact you, that would be so sad!
Be sure to leave your email addy or other method of contact.


Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived an ordinary woman who had a nice career in civil engineering and land surveying. She was very good at her job, and the paycheck was quite handsome.

One day, this woman realized that this was not what she wanted to do with her life. She didn't want to wake up in her senior years, look back on her life and think, "That's not how I intended it to be! My first love, my real love is music. That's what I want to do!"

And so, she quit her job (a move she does not recommend unless you have savings to live on for a while, which she did not). After a couple of rough years she found herself living once again in the neighborhood where she grew up. And after floundering about for a few months, she found her first piano student. Within a year, her students numbered over a dozen.

Fast forward 19 years, more or less. I'm sure you've figured out that the woman in the story is me. Today my students performed in their Spring Recital. As they performed, one by one, I thought about how blessed I am.

I am blessed because I am able to make a living doing something I truly love to do.

I am blessed because my students are funny, smart and loving, and because we laugh a lot at lessons and generally have a blast.

I am blessed when my students laugh at my corny jokes and walk in to their lessons just bursting to tell me a new one.

I am blessed when the lesson is finished and the student exclaims, "Already?"

I am blessed by the students who began lessons as young children and are now in high school and still love to play, still enjoy their lessons, and who count me as a special person in their lives.

I am blessed when former students, now in college or married, attend the recitals and hug me and say how much they've missed me, thank me for teaching them, and tell me they still enjoy playing.

I am blessed when former students who have gone on to major in music in college, email me to say, "Thank you for making me learn scales and cadences and theory! So many of the other students are struggling because they weren't taught those things."

I am blessed when parents tell me how they appreciate the way I make lessons enjoyable and how I relate to their children.

I am blessed when my students sit down at the piano in front of a hundred or so family and friends, and although nervous and scared, they play their pieces and always make me proud!

I am blessed when, after the recital, students want to have their picture taken with me.

I am blessed because God has allowed me to learn that a big paycheck does not ensure job satisfaction. Teaching piano is not especially lucrative in dollars and cents, but to me it is fulfillment, and it is joy.

Some might say I'm lucky or fortunate - I know I am blessed!

I hope you are blessed in your life too.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

See the Goodies Here!

Don't forget: Monday, May 23 is Giveaway Day! Dozens of bloggers are participating by giving away handcrafted items and/or supplies! Be sure to visit me on Monday - entering couldn't be easier. Just leave a comment and you're entered!

And to clear up a bit of confusion:
anyone can enter the giveaway
at any and all of the participating blogs.
On Monday morning I will post the link to the
Giveaway Day blog entry where you will find
a list and links for all the participating blogs.
And you can enter to win at all of them!

Please post about my giveaway on your blog!
Link back to this post so everyone can see the photos.

Ever had one of those days that had absolutely no respect or concern for your to-do list? Yeah, that's the day I've had. I promised you photos of my giveaway goodies today, and technically it is still Saturday, so here you go!

There's so much included, I had to do two separate photo setups!
Here we have some floral rubons, some Nostalgics stickers,
a bit of Dresden trim, a box of photo splits...

...two sets of embossing markers and a set of watercolor crayons...

...some ribbons, paper measuring tapes,
a bag of tiny bows and fabric flowers,
tiny word charms, used postage stamps ...

...some plain chipboard shapes and board books to alter...

and much much more!

I'm very excited about this giveaway!
Hmmm, I wonder who will win my big box of stuff...

Who Would Be A Mermaid Fair?

"Who would be a mermaid fair, Singing alone, combing her hair
Under the sea, in a golden curl With a comb of pearl, on a throne?
I would be a mermaid fair;   I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair; And still as I comb I would sing and say,
'Who is it loves me? who loves not me?' "        
Lord Alfred Tennyson, The Mermaid

The Artist Trading Cards Yahoo group recently hosted a Mermaid ATC swap. These were very enjoyable to make, and I hope you will enjoy seeing them!


It's very difficult to see in the scans, but I handpainted the mermaid on each card,
as well as a few accents in the images, with metallic watercolors
to give them an under-the-sea shimmer.

I also used some decorative buttons that I painted with metallic acrylics
and added teeny-tiny beads to the ocean floor.

And for the finishing touch, fibers at the border.

This one is my favorite - I'm an avid fan of
John Waterhouse's exquisite paintings of beautiful women!

Don't know why, but my scanner just did not like this one!
It isn't actually cut off on the right side, it just appears to be.

I'm curious: do you suppose mermaids use shampoo?

That's it for this post!

Don't forget: May 23 is Giveaway Day!
Click the link in the sidebar for more information.

May 23: May Giveaway Day!

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Just got a bit snowed under. But now I'm back. Remember that giveaway I've been promising? Well, here are the details:

Click here!

May Giveaway Day!

May Giveaway Day is now officially a tradition at Sew,Mama,Sew! Mark your calendar for Monday, May 23rd! Anyone with a shop or blog can give something away, and there are loads of folks signed up to give away handmade items, supplies for making your own handmade items, as well as supplies for sewing and knitting!

Why should you participate?
  1. You'll be exposed to blogs with great ideas!
  2. You will get directed to shops with wonderful items!
  3. You'll have the opportunity to win a cool prize!
  4. You know exactly when to tune in!
So come visit me on Monday, May 23 for a chance to win a huge assortment of scrapbooking/collage supplies from me! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment - it's that simple!

Giveaway will close and winner announced on May 25; prizes will be mailed out by May 30. Sorry, no international shipping.

Check out my blog tomorrow and Sunday for pictures of the great items I'm giving away!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Definition of "unrealistic": going out for lunch on Mother's Day and expecting to get your food before dinner time. My mom and dad, my two sisters, my nephew and I decided that this year, instead of cooking, we'd go out for Mother's Day. We  made reservations at the country club for 1:30. I will give them credit for having our table ready. At 2:50 we received our food. It was very good - but 2:50? Really?

But then, as mothers like to do, my mom quelled our complaints with, "Well just be thankful you got your food. There are starving children all over the world who would wait for days for good food like this!" Okay, she's right, of course. But my sisters and I looked at one another and cracked up. At 57 years old, I'm still my mom's little girl. Life is good!

Here is the card I made for her. Which, of course, as the reigning Queen of ProcrastiNation, I finished at 1:30 this morning. There are four - count 'em - four layers of foam taped glory, plus some Ice Stickles to give it a punch of bling.
The image is from The Graphics Fairy.

Hope all of you had a wonderful day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

When You Care Enough To Send Handmade

This is probably the most beautiful sympathy card I've ever seen. Anyone receiving this would know you really care. To rephrase a well-known tag line: when you care enough to send handmade. 

This was made by Robin Shakoor, and you can visit her lovely blog, Designs By Robin, by clicking here.
She also has generously posted instructions on how to recreate this card yourself.
Don't forget to leave her a comment on how much you love this card!

100 for 100 Blogcandy Giveaway!

I know you're going to want to visit Gerri Herbst's blog, It's All Treasure, to enter her 100th follower celebration giveaway!

Gerri went through her stash and came up with 100 treasures to give away to some lucky person!

And although I'm encouraging you to enter,
and I sincerely wish you the best of luck,
really, truly, deep down in my heart - I hope I win!

For Mothers...

So I decided to go ahead and post the Mothers canvases before I run out to do some errands.

If you've seen my other canvas posts you already know that the square canvases are 6x6 and the rectangles are 6x8. I used lots of bits-n-bobs from my stash: old buttons, pressed flowers and ferns, postage stamps. Plus vintage images from the thousands I have on file!

I love the sentiments I used on these. Wish I could take
credit for them, but no. Also wish I could remember
where I found them - again, no!

Thanks for taking a moment to look. As always, I appreciate your comments. And I would love for you to become a follower!

Be YOU-nique!

Well, chickadees, are you ready for some more canvases? I hope so because I got more comin' at ya!

In my teen years, my Aunt Frances was very special to me. Her husband was in Viet Nam and she was here  with three young sons, two of whom are now deceased.

One summer when I was staying with my grandmother in Williamsburg, Aunt Frances lived two blocks over. She loved for me to come hang out, and I loved being there with her. She loaned me her copy of Valley of the Dolls, which was scandalous in those days! And when I had one of those nasty summer colds, she fed me orange juice and soup to help me get better.

Aunt Frances has passed on now, and I cherish my memories of her.

I don't remember where I found this quote, but I loved it, especially since most people I know would say I'm unique, which is much nicer than weird!

These canvases are 6x6, lots of layering in the backgrounds,
with pressed flowers and ferns. old buttons, vintage images and other bits-n-bobs on top.

I hope you enjoyed these canvases and would appreciate your comments.
And go ahead and click on that "follow" button while you're here! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

In my next post, I will share the last of my canvases -
all about Mothers! I'll try to get that up today.

I Love A Giveaway!

I'll bet you do too! You must check out Raeven's blog, Raeven's Nest. She is a lady after my own heart and is having a great giveaway soon! A Strathmore art journal and a set of Pitt pen brushes - and maybe some other goodies thrown in for fun!

While you're there, check out the rest of her lovely blog and leave her some comment love!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Smile Because You Are My Sister...

In a continuation of yesterday's post of my friendship canvases, today I'm sharing the ones I did about sisters.

As before, the square ones are 6x6 and the rectangles are 6x8. Lots of glueing, painting, stamping and stencilling in the background.  

Real pressed flowers and leaves, old buttons, bits-n-bobs from the stash, and of course, vintage images on top! But no foam tape - what was I thinking?!?

Ignore that man behind the curtain... uh, no, that's not right...
Oh, yeah, ignore the date stamp on the photos! My camera has issues.

The sentiment on this next one makes it my absolute favorite! I had orders for lots of these. I customized them to the number of sisters (and some brothers too) that the client wanted.

I also had orders for similar canvases to commemorate loved ones that had passed on. The clients supplied me with photos and a list of any specific elements they wanted, such as a favorite Bible verse, favorite hymn, hobby, etc. It was quite fortunate that I had a stash of old hymnals that a church was giving away a few years back!

Making those was very special, but I also felt such a deep responsibility to deliver something that would touch their hearts.Unfortunately I have no photos of those. Big sigh...

Again, thank you so much for visiting and taking a look.
I appreciate your comments so much -
and you know I'll be doing the happy dance if you become a follower!

Have a great day!

Vintage Images Make Me Smile

I love vintage images! Back in the Fall, I created some mixed-media canvases for a bazaar. They were a huge success - I even had to take orders! What a problem, right? Anyway, each one is unique, and I actually had the presence of mind to take photos before they went on their merry way. Once in a while the ole noggin' gets spunky!

Today I'll post the ones about friends and friendship. The square canvases are 6x6 and the rectangles are 6x8. 

Please ignore the date stamp from my camera - it has added that same date since I bought it. I would turn it off if I could figure out how!

I used sewing pattern tissue in the background, along with layers of paint, stamping, stencilling, torn bits of music, etc. On the top layer I used some real pressed flowers, which BTW become translucent when you glue them down with gel medium, so I had to touch up with paint! Also used some very old buttons and other bits-n-bobs from my stash.

I will probably make more of these - if so, I think I'll mount the focal images on.... FOAM TAPE!

I hope you enjoyed these, and I thank you for taking the time to visit. Your comments are very much welcome and appreciated. And I do the happy dance when you sign up to follow!
(Don't go for the mental picture.)

I Won the Lottery!

I'll bet that caught your attention! And I really did win the lottery - the Music Lottery at the Outlaw Women's Scrapbook Emporium. For April the theme was music - which is near and dear seeing as how I'm a musician by trade! At the end of the month a winner is drawn at random and wins all the art pieces entered that month. How cool is that? So my mailbox will be brimming with some fabulous music-themed art in the coming days. Yay for me! Oh, yeah, and this is the 4x4 I entered:

And you know there's some foam tape in there in a couple of places - because I love me some foam tape!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm so excited!

I've been chosen to be a Ginger Gem at Gingersnap Creations! I entered my Geisha 4x4 in their April Challenge #97. Be sure to check out their website for all the other amazing entries and to get details on current swaps - they have a new one starting every week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fairies Are Everywhere!

And I'm not talking about the ones I've dated! Sad, but true.

I've seen fairies mentioned on so many sites in the last few weeks: fairy tags, fairy ATCs, fairies everywhere! Over at Alpha Stamps there was a Fairy Garden Book page swap that I signed up for. The samples made by their Design Team were amazing!

We used a chipboard binder shaped like a garden gate for our books, and decorated 4 of the 8 inside pages for the swap. I'm finally finding time to post mine!

And if you watch all nature's things, you might just see a fairy's wing.

Being the hunter-gatherer (translation: hoarder) that I am, I had some large-scale floral scrapbook papers from who-knows-when in my stash; they were perfect for these pieces. And we established in a previous post that I am a lover of the foam mounting tape! One of those papers provided the background, and I cut the daisies from the same paper and mounted them on two different thicknesses of foam tape to create lots of dimension.

The fairy riding on the butterfly is from the Vintage Postcard Fairies collage sheet at Alpha Stamps. The frame said "Merry Christmas" - definitely the wrong season - so I cut a frame from another scrapbook paper in my stash and added it with foam tape - of course. There's also a skeleton leaf, some green pearl stick-ons, and some other bits from ancient scrapbook papers.

Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets...

This one also uses images from Vintage Postcard Fairies. The floral paper for the background was rather bold, so I sponged it with a little off-white paint, but cut a few blossoms from the same paper to use "full strength" with the fairies. Lots of fussy-cutting, lots more foam tape, a little bling - and voila!

There are faeries everywhere, under bushes, in the air.

This one was really challenging, but probably my favorite of the group. Again, I sponged the tulip background paper to tone it down a bit, but fussy-cut some of the tulips to use with the fairies.

The fairies on the tulips are also from the Vintage Postcard Fairies, and the framed fairy is from the Green Fairies collage sheet, also from Alpha Stamps.

Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly.
(No explanation for why this scan is wonky - didn't notice until now.)

Vivid purple and yellow crocuses on the background paper, also sponged. Used a couple of the blossoms to frame the scene. All fairy images are from the Vintage Postcard Fairies collage sheet. I used some white Dresden trim for the frame and some lavender pearl stick-ons at the corners.

Now I just have to stalk the mailman until my return pages arrive!

I hope you enjoyed these and would appreciate your comments.
And I would be thrilled for you to become a follower!
Thanks so much for visiting!

"Think Spring!" ATCs

Another swap at the OWSE Yahoo group I participated in was Spring-themed ATCs. It was a 5 for 5 swap - I'd like to share with you the ones I made. Warning: this is a rather long post because I'm including details about each piece. But it's perfectly fine it you just want to look at the pictures!

The first one is built on a background image from Dawn at The Feathered Nest . (If you love FREE vintage images, and amazing assemblages, then you really need to check out her blog!) The colors were a bit faint, so I handpainted over the flowers at the top to give them a stronger presence. The small piece, "It's Spring", is mounted on foam to give it dimension. The pansy image is from a scrapbook paper I've had for many years.

And the little pewter dragonfly in the bottom right corner is actually from a bobby pin! At the dollar store I found a set of 8 bobby pins with little pewter-looking butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs attached. So I just took my handy-dandy pliers and un-attached one! Love me some dollar store!

I am a huge fan of the foam tape! This image was found online; I printed out two copies, then cut out certain blossoms and mounted them on - you guessed it - foam tape! Again, added a little handpainting to strengthen some colors. And for a little bling, glittery glue in the flower centers.

This one may be my favorite, although I nearly died in delivery. Another image from Dawn at The Feathered Nest; this time I made three copies, so there are two layers of foam-tape goodness, with one having two thicknesses to raise it even more. A little velvet ribbon and bow trim across the bottom and finis! BTW, those are actual postage stamps I used on these ATCs.

I just fell in love with this image - what a precious little girl, communing with nature, talking with the birds. Only the bird received the foam-tape treatment this time. Oh yeah, and the little "It's Spring" piece. Added some fabric roses at the bottom, and a bit of velvet ribbon and a corner filigree at the top.

No, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. Apparently my scanner was demon-possessed when I scanned this one, and I was supernaturally blinded so that I did not notice. And now they've all been mailed away and I have no way to rescan. Such is life. Another internet-found image, more hand-painting on the blossoms, more foam-tape, pewter butterfly from the afore-mentioned dollar store bobby pins. This time I painted the butterfly yellow, which hardly shows here, and added a coating of Judikins "Diamond Glaze". Almost looks like enamel.

I love how the trim on the left side turned out: Over a painted strip, I glued tiny white rick-rack - so cute! - and added a piece of narrow ribbon, green with white stitching down the middle. Then I glued itty-bitty blue seed beads in some of the rick-rack valleys.

I really enjoy participating in these swaps and now I'm looking forward the receiving back the ATCs created by the other OWSE artists!

PS: I have tried to find the sources for the other images I used, with no luck. If you have any information, please let me know so I can give proper credit. Thanks!

Oriental 4x4

I'd still rather have sushi! Be that as it may, here is another piece I completed for a swap at Outlaw Women's Scrapbook Emporium's Yahoo group.

The theme was "Oriental". It doesn't show in the scan, but I hand-painted with shimmery watercolors over the kimonos, the building, and the flowers in the background. Also the two figures as well as the writing are mounted on foam so they are raised from the background. It gives the piece a neat dimensional effect.

And, since I can't leave the back unadorned, I made another Shoji screen, which opens to reveal my personal information. After I made the first one (for the Geisha swap) I vowed "never again"! But they're so darn cute, so I suffered through making another one. Sigh.

 Thank you for looking, and I would love to hear your comments!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Queen of ProcrastiNation

Wow! When I finished with my last student of the day and closed the door to the outside world, for the first time in a couple of weeks I could let out a huge sigh of satisfaction and relax! I love to sign up for art swaps and challenges on several different online sites - and then before I realize it, the end of the month has arrived and all those pieces of art are due!

Admittedly, I AM the Queen of ProcrastiNation and have many, many loyal subjects. So I have no one to blame but my own "I'll do it later" self. Whatever! Everything is done and either posted or mailed. Now on to the challenges and swaps I signed up for in May. Let the procrastinating begin!

Finally I have time to post some of my creations to share with you.

First is a 4x4 I made for a swap at Outlaw Women's Scrapbook Emporium (OWSE) Yahoo group.

The theme was "Dance". As long as it pertained to dance, no further restrictions applied. I have always loved this quote by Faith Whittlesey: "Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels." Once I decided I wanted to use that, the rest came together easily.

I found the images online, except for the yellow circle with flowers; that came from an insert in a Somerset Studios magazine who knows how long ago; it was actually a perfume label, but it fit the style I was after, so I used it to frame Fred and Ginger.

And I like to dress up the back of the work too, so I used a photo of the famous couple dancing.

BTW, the illegible scrawl at the bottom is my signature. And no, I'm not a doctor.

Hope you like these. Thanks for visiting, and I love it when you leave comments!