Monday, March 31


I am violently ill!

While visiting #1 son, daughter in law and grandbaby, the fates (apparently) conspired against me and now I have a vicious, rather nasty strain of the flu. I am feverish, shakey, and otherwise praying for death. The gala report will be merrily given POST-flu (or, heaven forbid, post-mortem) in the next day or two. Meanwhile, could you pass the Kleenex and pour another glass of orange juice?

(More later)

Saturday, March 29


The Grand Hall of the Palace of AltAred Art was abuzz with conversation and music. Each guest would arrive all adazzle in their fabulous gowns...and were then announced to the awaiting crowd at the bottom of the Great Staircase. Guests included the Duchess of PinkingShire accompanied by her escort the Duke of Earl, Lady Catherine with her escort Sir Snaps A Lot, Madame "D" from the eastern Kingdom of Fairland, and of course, yours truly, the hostess and Queen of the Palace, Paula Clare.

Guests mingled as waiters in tuxedos served them champagne and other bubbly treats in goblets from silver trays. Seafood Appetizers sat around an enormous and elegant ice sculpture. The buffet tables seemed to go on for miles. Our pastry chef, Pierre, came out to personally see that things were up to his standards. (He even gave guests a recipe for FABULOUS banana crepes with chocolate hazelnut creme. Beyond scrumptious!)

The main ballroom was aglow with paper lanterns, white twinkle lights suspended in birch trees (which had been brought in from the undeveloped part of the Palace grounds) and the ambient glow of tiki torches. Sod was under foot...inviting all who attended to kick off their shoes and dance barefoot in the grass.

The orchestra played classic ballroom music: waltzes, foxtrots, swing, rumbas, tangos,

and even a rather "undignified" jitterbug or two. The dancing went on well into the night...the attendees would alternate between dancing, mingling, and keeping the waiters "hopping" as they kept the liquid refreshment flowing.

Ballroom bloggers were then called into the Grand Hall for an award ceremony, in which two lucky bloggers were given a plethora of Stampington Stamps and Altered Art Images.

All in all, fun was had by all! The Bloggers Ball may well become an annual event at the palace!

Oh, by the way...changed the header and blog colors again...the background for the header was created by the amazing Rhonna Farrer. Her stuff is the BEST!

More soon!


Friday, March 28


Greetings friends, bloggers and fellow party-goers! Only one day left before the big are just a few reminders to help make our evening together most enjoyable:

1. Don't forget to vote for the lighting scheme you are most partial to. This will be the basis for our Bloggers Ball decor.

2. Admission into the Ball (chat) is a photo of your Ball Gown. It can be made of anything, as simple or elaborate as you wish. And, oh! DO come up with your title and name so you can be properly announced once in the Grand Hall!

3. Arrive and stay til midnight...or as long as you can! I'll be your hostess and will (of course) be here the entire time.

4. Feel free to invite a guest...perhaps make an additional outfit for them, or ask them to quickly throw something together. Guests do not have an entry requirement.

5. Bring some of your favorite tunes "with you." We can get them on the player in real time so we can dance to them!

HAVE FUN! I will meet you all here at 6 pm (Central Standard Time) tomorrow evening. There will be a chat window...all you have to do is sign in and voila! You've entered the Grand Hall of the palace!

And, oh! Don't forget to go by and say hello to our court
Miss Chris will be with us in court jester attire (please post a photo, missy!) and will have us in stitches all evening!

Until tomorrow! PEACE!

Thursday, March 27


How I LOVE the elegance and glamour of old Hollywood...I double dog dare you NOT to sing along!

Look at some of the dresses created for another Bloggers Ball a couple of years ago:

More soon!


Wednesday, March 26


Greetings Dear Readers!

Only 3 days until the big gala! It's so exciting to see all the hustle and bustle taking place at the Palace. Florists, Decorators, Orchestra Members, Lighting Professionals...sheesh! Not to mention all the hub bub going on in the kitchen. Cooking for a few hundred people is quite an undertaking...even for the palace staff.

By the way, I've been creating spring decor like the proverbial "mad hatter"...behold "the goods"

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More soon!


Tuesday, March 25


Greetings readers! I hope you are polishing up your dancing shoes for the big Bloggers Ball on Saturday night? I have scoured and found some musical selections for our evening of dance and merriment, and would like to hear from YOU regarding your favorite tunes in the following genres:

Argentine, tango, Bolero, Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Hustle, Mambo, Merengue, Paso Doble, Polka Quickstep, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Tango, Two-Step, (nightclub, not country) Viennese Waltz, Waltz ,West Coast Swing. The song playing on the blog right now is by a musician named Louis Prima! Yes, that's right...SWING! How I love the jump, jive and wail!

SOoooooooo, leave a comment listing a song or two that immediately comes to mind when you think "Ballroom dancing." For me it was "I Could Have Danced All Night" (by Julie Andrews) I've already taken it off the player because there's just so much of that kind of thing one can stand. :-) However, I will be playing a ballroom song each day until the bloggers if you have any requests, get them to me soon...CHOP! CHOP!

Also, I have a bit of a lighting dilemma. I have a "vision" for the way I want the palace to be decorated, but I confess I can't decide which I like the best. Here are a few of the contenders:

LIGHTING SAMPLE #1: Simple, white, chinese lanterns offer a soft ambient glow but allow the table linens to take center stage. I just LOVE the lime green and hot pink!

LIGHTING SAMPLE #2: Ahhhh, the 1920s era pink is one of the lighting colors said to be flattering on EVERYONE. The simple chandeliers provide task lighting, but the pink glow is the real show stealer...the pink plumes on the tables are FAB, don't you think?

LIGHTING SAMPLE #3: Bringing the outdoors in! The lanterns are the colors of spring and are mimicked in the flowers on the looks like a garden where the ballroom belles will be the flowers!

LIGHTING SAMPLE #4: Okay, here's one for all of you dramatic HUGE japanese lantern that functions as the moon during the evening. No cloud cover, no deep shadows...just lovely, natural looking "mood lighting"!

LIGHTING SAMPLE #5: And finally the wildflower decor. Real trees and outdoor lanterns are brought in (even sod if we wish!) and the whole party is suddenly transported to the "veranda" where we may sip a mint julep or five!

Please cast your votes for the lighting sample of your choice on the poll in the sidebar...we will decorate accordingly! Oh! One more thing...take a look at this AMAZING ice sculpture for the buffet table:

More soon!


Monday, March 24


Greetings, my intrepid friends! I hope your Easter was meaningful and full of family fun and tradition!

I am here as the town crier to remind each of you that the Palace's First Annual Bloggers Ball is in 5 days! Join us Saturday, March 29th from 6pm to midnight. By the way, feel free to snag the invitation in the sidebar and post it on your blog! Invite your friends! It'll be SO MUCH FUN!

Do you have your scrapbook/altered art dress/gown for entry? It can be made of paper, fabric, flowers, sand, aluminum, chicken, ANYTHING (the chicken MIGHT get messy before the night's over) and can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. (AND it can be whatever SIZE you'll note my dresses all have 24" waistlines! That's the beauty of a VIRTUAL party...VIRTUAL waistlines!)

I want to show you a couple of dresses I've put together...(I just can't make up my mind which one to wear!)

This is a Raspberry & Chocolate Party Dress...with Sugar Flower. Next, Paula models a Fuschia Evening Gown with Diamond Swirls and Wings...

Finally, our Blogger's Ball Hostess models a whimsical little number called Rosebud which is a Cabbage Rose skirt and a pink cashmere sweater. With the organza wrap and vintage rose pin it is a vision in pink!

My next creations will be a bit more on the exotic side...Oh, as the Queen of the Palace, I felt behooved to create a designer tiara...behold! The amazing Designers, Teresa McFayden (of My Minutia and Bellatoria fame) and friend Cori Jones created the design! Isn't it FUN?!?

Isn't it just the sweetest?

Okay, now. For those of you confused and asking, "WHAT IS A BLOGGERS BALL?" Is it real? Do I go somewhere? is it a party? Well, YES! Let me clear this up for you...

A Bloggers Ball (at least MY version of such) is a VIRTUAL ball where bloggers come to my website at a designated time (March 29th 6 pm to midnight) and enter "Paula's Palace of AltAred Art" (with their entry fee...1 ball gown/dress of your own making) to join the court jester (Chris) and myself for a few hours of virtual dancing, food, recipe trading, music, (bring a list of your favorite ballroom songs) doorprizes (some virtual, some real) and stories. DING! DING! DING! THIS JUST ADDED: THE BLOGGERS BALL WILL HAVE A "PARLOR" (CHAT ROOM) SO THAT YOU MAY HAVE AN AUDIENCE WITH THE QUEEN! All you need to do is log on to my blog, and voila! The chat room will be right here! Basically, it's much akin to playing an online roleplaying game...except we will not be killing or maiming anyone! (unless some of you are REEEEEEEEEALLY bad dancers!)

As folks join the chat, they will be announced in the Grand can then begin to imagine yourself walking down the grand's an example of a "backstory" you could bring with you to the chat:

"The lights dimmed in the great hall...and the faint strains of music began to compete with the sounds of the arriving guests. Was everything zipped, buttoned and in place? Do I have lipstick on my teeth? She took a deep breath as she was escorted into the ballroom.

The Palace was alive with color and lights and music. Bursts of orange and yellow and red and pink seemed to be floating from the ceiling...paper flowers. Enormous paper flowers...tulle netting twisted and wafted through and around the ethereal garden above...twinkling lights dazzled her eyes. "Magical" she whispered to herself as her tuxedoed escort walked her down the great stairway.

"I hate entrances" she said quietly to the "GQ" escort on her arm. He patted her hand and tightened his grip on her if he were worried she would run away...overtaken in a momentary attack of anxiety.

The dancing couples on the floor, smiling and talking and laughing, occasionally looked toward the staircase to see who was joining the party...when they saw her, they slowed and then finally stopped. The music quieted as the Announcement of her arrival was made,

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Winged Duchess of the Enchanted Garden."

I curtsied, certain I would fall off my heels, smiled, and nodded. The dancers acknowledged me with smiles, a polite spattering of applause, and then commenced their dancing. My escort patted my hand once more and said,

"See there, that wasn't so tough, was it?" And then, in great Billy Crystal fashion added, "You look maaaaaaaahvelous."

I glared at him and feigned a smile as he laughed and then walked back to the top of the staircase to greet and escort the next guest. I handed my glittering wrap to the valet and then walked (consciously trying to "float" more than walk) to the refreshment buffet.

My dress was sparkling in the light, a blush of pink tulle wrapped around the creamy butter colored taffeta like ribbons of watercolor...the wings, attached to the back of the dress and glittered and caught the light, shimmering with the magical effect I had hoped for. "A garden above, " I thought, "and a garden all around me" as I watched the women dancing and twirling in the fabulous gowns created for this enchanted evening. One wore a dress the color of a California poppy...another a blue-violet like a bouquet of wisteria bursting into bloom."

See? Get the idea? Imagine the fun we'll have!?! I can hardly stand the wait!

I will begin posting the decorations, menu, and guestlist as we approach the date! Please RSVP by commenting HERE to let me know you plan to attend...AND, if possible, let me know what time you hope to arrive. This way I can be sure "the staff" is present to greet you at the door!
More soon!


Saturday, March 22


Greetings dear friends! A blessed Easter to each of you! Easter is absolutely my favorite Christian holiday...It's so very dramatic, you know? I've been indoctrinated since I was wee little, so I am seeing the holiday through definitely biased eyes, but I am POSITIVE I can hear the earth sing and shout early Easter morning! Truly a God that is alive and interested in our day to day lives is a miracle I can hardly wrap my mind around!

I donned an Easter bunny costume one year, and went hopping through the neighborhood, giving an "eyewitness" account of the resurrection story. I am glad to say the crowd that gathered were all interested to know what this oversized rabbit was up to. I was able to share the Easter story in a very dramatic way...and in a way that the "townsfolk" would HEAR me. It was great...then my son and I went hopping into "the hood" where we were immediately surrounded by 4 HUGE men who said they were going to make sure we were kept safe and that folks showed us respect. I'm in a BUNNY SUIT for crying out loud...and they were talking about showing ME respect! Just goes to show you, when something is done out of love, it makes us fearless. "Perfect love truly casts out fear!" I still have my bunny suit if anyone wants to borrow. :-) The Resurrection Bunny is on hiatus this year...

However, he HAS BEEN BUSY...behold the wonder of the Easter Eggs...not just ANY Easter eggs, tie dye PAISLEY eggs:

And he didn't forget to leave a few of the vintage variety:

AND, lest I not have ENOUGH eggs, I decided to "help a brutha (bunny) out" and make some of my own. They are SO simple to make...using an oval template cut out 5 ovals from cardstock...fold in half, and then glue one side of each oval to the next oval to create an egg...voila! Easy peasy...

And a final view of the whole Easter Egg Parade:

I pray you have an EGGSTRA special day...full of the joy, wonder, hope and life that is ours in Jesus Christ!

More soon!


Friday, March 21


Greetings dear reader! Today is the final day of the 21 Day Challenge by the ineffable Rhonna Farrer...I decided rather than make a journal (which I may or may not look at very often) I would plaster the quotes and gorgeous artwork all over my scrapbook room walls. They will provide ongoing inspiration, color, texture, and make a WONDERFUL border for the room! Here's a photo collage of said walls:

I have on my walls layouts and photos from Ngaire Bartlam, Elsie, Wilna Furstenburg, Teresa McFayden and other inspirational souls whose blogs and art make me happy and want to burst into creative jigs!

I know I promised colored eggs in vintage bunny holders, however today my hubby and I trekked to St. Louis (over 200 miles round trip) to go to an AMAZING Altered Art/Craft store. Red Lead Paper Works is unlike anyplace I have ever been. Their store is incredible. The place is just blooming with creativity and lively color. If you have not been to their website, you simply MUST take a look see...their website gives a "true to the store"'s a copy of their opening page:

We are sisters. best friends. craft artists. and the owners of Red Lead PaperWorks.

Chris Schwartz

Sharon Wisely

5 Things I Can't Live Without

5 Things On My Work Table

New Workshops at Red Lead...Sign up right here or call us...314-822-8288

Red Lead PaperWorks: we create!

NOW are you intrigued? Curious? DYING to get there?!?! Of course I spent waaaaaaaaaay too much money but, oh my. I've just never BEEN to such a fantastic place before. AND THEN... We went to a wonderful antique gallery in the same strip mall, and I found THIS: A FABulous 1929 Wooden Painter's Box!

It is beat up and used and splattered with paint and linseed oil...and the inside smells like...ART!

Note the groovy little hinges on the lid? The end of the lid flips out...which allows canvases and/or watercolor paper to slide in and out of the grooves on the inside edge of the lid!

AND it even came with old wooden, real camel hair brushes...

Of course I wasted no time loading it up...

AND THEN (yes, there's more!)We found some wonderful second hand stores where the proceeds go back into the community...THOSE fabulous finds plus the Easter Eggs Extraordinnaire tomorrow! Meanwhile, happy creating!

More soon!