Saturday, March 10


Greetings, dear readers!

I have (yet again) been delivered a box of happiness;(I've discovered via my under cover work with the Crafters Anonymous that this box did NOT come from Sandy...although there was a letter. And I THOUGHT the letter said "Sandy M" however, the writing is a bit like a pharmacist's and I can't say FOR CERTAIN that's what it says...if YOU (dear generous soul) WHOEVER you are, would like to "out" yourself and confess to this gift of glorious craft mania, please do so. I'd love to say thank you properly!)

Sandy at 521 Lake Street. (I think she must be on a cleaning spree...still (?) lol ) but I benefited from said spree with a box of assorted crafty goodness: papers, embellies, trims of all sorts, lots of borders and red and aqua...Sandy dear friend, you know JUST what I like! THANK YOU

As you may have heard, my cooking skills are...well...unique. One recipe (other than Thanksgiving meal with all the trim) has given me fits for as long as I can remember: the elusive No Bake Cookies. (You know, the oat and peanutbutter variety?) Do NOT MOCK ME! I have never made them with any success, and, like my pumpkin pie (and fudge) you have had to eat them with a spoon! However, feeling a bit more confident in the kitchen, and wielding my best kitchen PROWESS, I decided to tackle them. Behold, the results:

When these little morsels actually "set up" (or whatever it is they do when they become cookies and not blobs on a sheet) I HAD to celebrate! I made some little flags out of this fab new goodie purchased from Etsy:

27 fab little playing card size stickers...each has precut stickers on each sheet, circles, and rectangles. I got the brill idea from this woman and her amazing blog...Attic 24

she SOOOOOO inspires me...with her colorful crochet...oh how I'd love to be so talented!

I went a little crazy "pinning" her stuff on my Pinterest Boards...I just LOVE ALL OF IT! Anyway, SHE is the one who found the little Etsy shope that sells the Masking Sticker Sets. And she made wee flags for some of her sweets, and I thought they were the most adorable things I'd ever I did likewise.

And I made a mini-bunting as well...for my beloved Irmi pincushion (via Elizabeth of Creative Breathing) girl and her little dog...YAY! Let's celebrate! Edible cookies you DON'T have to eat with a spoon! HUZZAH!

And the sticker sheets make the buntings and flags easy peasy...they are precut with circles and rectangles...

So you simply peel, fold, snip...peel, fold, is truly therapeutic...and just the thing when you're not "up to" a major creative event. Sometimes, I just like to do mindless crafting, you know? Something that doesn't take a great deal of creative thought, but keeps my hands busy while the hubs and I are watching TV...

Anyway, another successful cooking adventure...(I'm trying to remove the thought from my head, "It's about time for a cooking disaster...") Perhaps I'm on a roll?!

Be sure to check out my other posts to stay up to date on the "state of the kitchen"

More soon!

Sunday, February 5


Greetings, dear reader!

I have a confession to make...I have been feverishly in the throes of trying to create/complete Christmas presents for my nieces...due to the financial nightmare that was our late 2011 situation, I hadn't the funds to purchase the gift I initially wanted to get darling niece Emileigh:

Behold the amazing book offered by Anthropologie:

It was $40...and while I LOVED it, I couldn't afford it. So I decided to create one for her myself...

I started out with a 9.99 black cloth bound sketchbook, various washi tapes and stickers, papers, and fabric odds and ends...The image on the front and back cover are Graphic 45 Steampunk papers...aren't they fabulous? The letters are from Michael's $1.00 bin...I should have gotten 40 packages of these letters...I LOVE them!
 I incorporated hand painted papers and original brown paper bag collages...images from a clearance rack kids book (written by Madonna...the illustrations are fabulous...The English Roses)
Do you remember my niece Emileigh is the one with the Etsy shoppe? I created a headband much like the ones Em makes for the sketch of this particular English Rose...I love how the page turned out...I just cut and organically began to assemble the book as ideas came to me...(as many of you know, I don't do too well with a "pattern" or a detailed 'plan') lol!
 And then created pages where she can cut, paste or sew designs and/or photos to the page...

 Again incorporating my own personal art in several of the layouts...

 And hand drawing frames, and borders on the pages...
 I actually sewed the fabric to this page...and stapled ribbons at the bottom...I love how it turned out...
Funny how many of my creations "take on" the aqua and red theme...although I had no intention of incorporating that into her book necessarily...
 Here I used stickers and a measurment card from a tape measure/washi tape package...and button stickers!
 Emileigh's friends are as talented and adorable as she...I'm sure she'll want to add photos of her friends in their fashion/trendsetting ensembles!

 so space for those pics was a MUST...(lots of blank pages before and after for additional drawings/photos...
 And this is my favorite page...a page that pays homage to patterns...chevron, stripes and dots...
And here is the back of the book...there are lots more pages, some blank, some with other surprises on them, but I wanted to share with you some of them so you could get a feel for the book...not a Hywel Davies sketchbook to be sure...but something I hope she'll like just the same...

Next? Working on amazing niece Aria's photography sketchbook! FUN! More soon!

Paula Clare

Friday, January 27


Greetings, dear readers!

After only a few days to recover from the first "Random Act of Kindness" that landed on my doorstep, I awakened to even more goodies arriving at my mailbox! Behold the Valentine-y goodness:

What wonderfully, quirky and inventive things to send! See the vintage "Cootie" and the bag of little Sherriff's Stars? LOVE! And the heart-shaped measuring cups and spoons are just utterly adorable! 
There are candy hearts (and a tube of Valentines M&Ms which have mysteriously "evaporated" (so says the guilty hubs) and darling cupcake liners...and rubber stamps and vintage valentines and...and...
Wait a minute...did I say CUPCAKE LINERS? (Several were Mary Engelbreit) hmmmmm....I'm starting to think this has the earmarks of a certain someone...I shall continue to ponder that notion. Meanwhile, back to the goodies...
And crepe paper and ribbon and twine and cupcake toppers! (See my darling little Owl? A creation from Elizabeth at Creative Breathing) OH! And look at the Hello Kitty book (HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY KNOW I'm a "closet" HELLO KITTY fan? SPOOKY?!?!) And see the mousepad UNDER the Hello Kitty book? A vintage Shasta...a "for no reason" gift from my dear friend Sandy McClay at 521 Lake Street. (In fact....I'm starting to think MANY of these goodies have Sandy written all over them....confessions?)  
See this fab little travel cup? I got it at a dollar store a thousand years ago...but here's the GREAT thing...not only does it keep your Earl Grey piping hot, but it has a clear insulating cup so you can change the look of it! It was just Christmas sweater paper, but NOW, I used the darling little sack some of my treats were in to make an adorable, vintagey Valentines Day travel cup! I just LOVE the little skunk! Isn't he sweet? This vintage pattern is one of my faves. 
I can't wait to get started...I think I shall make celebratory cupcakes first! Isn't blogdom an amazing place? So many incredibly generous, kind and wonderful women...

ALL THAT TO SAY, WOW! Thank you dear friends (both known and unknown) for making me feel special and loved!

Love and hugs to you all!
Paula Clare

Friday, January 20


Greetings friends in blogdom!

I am writing to you in a state of ... of... shock and awe! 

(Okay, that's not my best "shocked" and "awed" face, but it's one that lets you know how much I'm smiling!)

In the past two days, I have received some of the most amazing things in the it my birthday? No....Christmas? No....whatever could it be? Just friends in blogdom being their amazing selves? YES!!!!

Look at the goodies that have come my way! Some from Renee at My Vintage Mending (THANK YOU, Renee!) and another "friendly sender" from "Friendship Lane in the Heart of Ohio". I cannot get over how sneaky this sender was...there wasn't even a postmark on the package! HOW do you do THAT? Must be a friend with a secret-weapon friendship with the postal carrier...or ... or ????:
 October Afternoon papers...MY FAVORITE of all papers! Christmas Style (oh so retro!) and Campfire and 5 and Dime! The very papers I've been secretly coveting for weeks!

 Darling vintage storybooks and (SWOON) a vintage coloring book...10 Little doubt to go with all my vintage cowboys! LOVE! And more vintage images on storybook cards! So SWEET!
 And doilies and pipe cleaners and vintage papers and craft supplies and little tiny, Eastery goodies just SCREAMING for an altered art ... SOMETHING! (Tiny shadowboxes inside easter eggs? Little book/turned shadowbox)?
 And a valentine fabric "tussie mussie" (what is it Jenny B. of Allsorts calls these?) Anyway, one of my very own! LOVE! And the little cowgirl hankie shall have a revered place in the canned ham...I'm framing her in a barnwood frame! And buttons and trims and all the "matching" goodies that go with October Afternoon papers...OH HOW I LOVE THEM! This color scheme is so very ME, don't you think so? And vintage valentines and Christmas, and... and...
It's just all so kind, you know? I mean, my husband is always taken aback by the generosity and friendship of "virtual strangers" ... but *I* know better! I know there is nothing "virtual" about our friendships...blogdom is a REAL place where REAL kindred spirits meet and inspire and create and share with one another! I am feeling like Queen for a Day...especially when I cannot think of a single event or "reason" for such amazing kindnesses. 
LOVE the Lipstick hankies...a fish and a pig...with lipstick! SO kitschy! I LOVE them! I'm beginning to wonder if this was part of a well devised conspiracy????? Anyone going to "fess up?" Or is this all just incredible random kindnesses finding the same doorstep?

Regardless, I am feeling amazingly blessed and very, very fortunate to have such awe-inspiring bloggy friends. Kisses and hugs to all...I'm off to play!

Paula Clare