Thursday, September 25, 2008

An Enchanting Day in New Hope, PA.

During Mid Summer, My mom and I decided to take a drive out to New Hope, Pa, which is about a 40 minute drive from our houses. Its a peaceful drive filled with lots of lovely scenery.

Our day was a beautiful one, sunny, and pleasant, we started off with great parking outside the Landing Restaurant which over looks the river and the bridge into Lambertville, not to mention some resident ducks who stop on by for company, LOL!
or for some freebie food...As the wind whisked on by, we sat and enjoyed or lunch, taking in the beautiful scenery that surrounded us. I especially love how The Landing created an outside European Bistro feel with all the umbrellas. I just love the grouping of pretty umbrellas and parasols, gives a nice warmth and inviting atmosphere.

If the seating area excites you so will the surrounding gardens and the beautiful house which is the main restaurant. Here I am in the Garden around the front of the restaurant.

After lunch we headed over the bridge to Lambertville to explore one of the many antique shops and artsy boutiques. On our walk to one of the stores, I saw this window display and became instantly inspired, I just love the beauty of natural things such as eggs or eggs in vintage style candy jars. Isn't this display great.

Once we explored some of Lambertville, I drove us over to Peddler's Village about a few miles past New Hope, this quaint shopping center is so picturesque, they even have signs up that say: "Perfect Picture Opportunity". When we arrived I stumbles upon this grouping of sweet flowers that looked like they were the entrance to Fairyland, Don't You Agree?

This image above is one that had those picture perfect signs and I have to agree with them, its picture perfect from this angle, looks like a pathway to a storybook shop, speaking of storybook shops, there is the most lovely garden shop called: Village Flower Shoppe is half housed in an old mansion style conservatory, the rest a house front. A few shops down is a wonderful Toy Shoppe called: The Village Toy and Doll Shoppe, which reminded me of my fave toy store: Toys in the Attic which used to be in Montclair, NJ, til is closed there a few years back. I couldn't resist buying some goodies at the toy store including giant sized sparklers, LOL, they are huge, a doll and doll book. This store has an amazing collection of dolls, amazing, they have the most Madame Alexanders I've ever seen in one place, and did I mention everyone there is super nice. There is also a magical spiritual shop called Journeys Spirited Gifts which is so warm and inspiring inside, plus a great paper and card place I bought wonderful piano paper sheets at called: The Paper Chase and a scrapbook store called Creative Inkling which I didn't make it to visit at:

As we walked around, complete with coffee and tea in hand, I found some really magical things and spots. I love to capture the magic I see in the form of photographs, they can help one re-visit their journies or memories they had. For me, its about capturing the magic of the moment and sealing it up to enjoy over and over again, like we do with our jar fairies, or butterfly collections, preserving them for all to see and enjoy.

Speaking of Magic I love the Hobbit syle houses that Peddlers Village has throughout, I want one in my backyard. For this image I added more to it, to resemble a Hobbit House or Colony by using some digital paint shop techiques.
I had been to Lambertville, New Hope and Peddlers Village about a week before with Glenny, he took the day off and the two of us went there and spent the entire day lunch, snack,(love scrumptious sweets from the bakery at peddlers)

dinner, exploring, and meeting new friends, below are some of the snapshots from that visit, which consist of the adorable: Giggleberry Carnival which has an indoor carousel,

games, small rides and other adorable things for kids to do, or for me too, LOL. I must say the Wonderland Characters inside Giggleberry are the cutest, straight out of a Wonderland Book and is located near that gorgeous Village Flower Shoppe, I mentioned before, here are some pictures of the outside and the inside garden, which I think is just so enchanting! Don't you Agree?

This Robin's Egg Blue piece of vintage pottery was gorgeous, as were the surrounding statues and vignettes, like the Rabbit Water Fountain, looks like it could be sitting in Wonderland's Garden.
I took so many pictures the both times I went, just so much to see and do, you never know what you will find the next time you go exploring in New Hope and surrounding locations! I recommend walking shoes and a camera with lots of memory space. Magic and Joy! Lisa!

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Fave Art Book: Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle!

On Sunday Afternoon, the weather was beautiful, sunny and September Warm, I decided to grab my coffee and new book, to read it on the front steps of my house, while I waited for Glenn.

Over a month ago, I came across the book: Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle!By: Tone Finnanger Which is published by Tilda Publishing-David and Charles was released on the market in July 2008 and is to me one of the best holiday and vintage style books I have seen in awhile, One look inside and you will be instantly inspired as I was.

This book was originally released in Norway, and the designer/artist has written several books for the same publisher: David and Charles some of those books include: Sew Pretty Homestyle, Crafting Christmas Gifts and Crafting Springtime Gifts, not to mention: Tildas Haus written in German.
Here is a preview of some of the projects and pages inside this gorgeous book. Even if you don't sew, the colors, the images, the prints, the fabrics can inspire all of us, even the paper crafters, The Fairy Makers, and Santa's Holiday workers too!

Before I forget, here is a wonderful award I received from the Great Kellie of Paper Cat Designs
Who took the time to think of me with this amazing award, Thank You Kellie!
A Moment of Vintage Splendor!
The other day I happened to be in Montclair, NJ, the place i lived in as a toddler til around the age of 4 years old, I remember taking strolls to the park with my Grandmother and going to visit the giant bear in the window at a local shop which my Grandfather used to take me to see when I couldn't sleep and if the full moon was out, it would be a double trip, he would say:"Lets go to see the Man in the Moon and Mr. Bear!" I eagerly agreed, complete with my Casper the Friendly Ghost Stuffed Animal and Blanket. Boom within an hour I was sound asleep.

Living in Montclair was wonderful, even when we moved, my mother and I would take the ten minute Drive from Maplewood and either stroll down the artsy Church Street, always paying visit to my fave store at the time: Toys in The Attic, where I would be or my mom would buy me handmade toys, art kits, dolls or Muffy Vanderbear. It was like being in Santa's Workshop all year round. After a long stint Toys in the Attic finally closed a few years ago. When I was there during their final days, the owner remembered my mom and me, Know what, I bought another Muffy Vanderbear, okay maybe 3 of them and what does my mom do, buy me one too. That was a great day.

If we weren't on Church Street, we could be found off Bellevue Ave in Upper Montclair at this delightful Book store and Vida a fabulous vintage style jewelry/accessory store, with a run to the amazing Applegate for Ice Cream Sundaes.

Now that I live close to 40 minutes away, I don't get there as much as I should. Teh whole area has developed even more into a mini NYC, with more stores expanded to side streets, top floors and more. The Starbucks is in the former Haynes Department Store Location, and other old art deco structures house any fab stores, some reminiscent of the 1900s, into the Gilded Age and the 1970's. Lots of Vintage Gift and SUpply STores have sprung up, including the store: Parcel. Several Art buddies I know love going to explore around Montclair and informed me I needed to take a visit to Parcel, located on Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ.

Parcel is a delightful store, although small in size, a typical boutique sized store, you will still be there for over an hour exploring the adorable and whimsical vignettes located on shelves, table tops, every nook and crany of the store. Know matter what decade of vintage you enjoy, a little piece of each is waiting for you inside. From 1900s to the 1980's, everything in between, to modern all in there. It has a Tinsel Trading feel to it, which is quite nice.

Above are these adorable 1960s Party Pins which are housed in a scrumptious box, they looked so sweet, I had to own a few. I bought some for a project, which is yet untitled.

This little wizard boy sits magically on the shelf above the party pins, waiting for someone to buy him so he can spred his magic to you.

On the Paper rack there were tons of wonderful paper sheets, which we all know I love paper, so I purchased several of these sheets for more untitled projects. I buy with ideas in mind for projects which dance around in my head, waiting for their day to surface.

I love glass, my studio has tons of apothecary bottle, glass candy containers, glass cookie jars, cake stands and lids, ornate glass vases, etc, all holding my fave shine brite bulbs, dollie parts, gems, jewels, shells, and more, not to mention my penny candies (sour sugar cherries, sour licorice, rootbeers I get them at Cracker Barrel and they come in parchment bags).
Parcel houses some of their candies, their doll parts and oddities in jars, and ornate glass vases too, which I believe add to the charm.

I bought those delightful party pins, several paper sheets, some vintage postcards, new cards, ephemera, an adorable beyond words Charlotte Doll with frosty pink hair, Tiny Dutch Dollie, party sticks, moon face lip balm, and some other goodies, my mom, bought a Dutch Dollie, postcards, greeting cards, and other goodies. I had a wonderful experience, the two young girls working in the store were very helpful and so sweet.

As an artist, a publisher and designer, I'm always on the hunt to find new and exciting things to inform you all about, to expose secret hideaways which fuel the soul, the creative muse inside us all. I want to find things, places, people, who can bring us to a world of magic and joy so that we may create our own secret place where we can wear a Regal Crown and head to a Fairytale Soiree, dancing the night away!
Have a magical day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ART JAM In Long Island
Art Jam Gals: Terri Ventura, Me, Pam Huntington,Suze Weinberg and Linda Ashton!

Over a month ago, my dear friend Terri Ventura planned an Art Jam event for a few friends at her home in Port Washington, NY (Long Island), which is a beautiful victorian, straight out of another time, the interior is a complete vintage museum, from almost every decade and her studio is even more amazing!

Notice the what I call, The Jars of Magic, in which Terri houses found objects in each one! Eye candy for the treasure hunter from tiny dolls to games pieces and jewelry bits, each jar is truly one of magic. After exploring her studio, each of us, spent some time looking at all her vintage pieces which could be found through out the house, from old metal lunch boxes on the stair case to dress forms which played home to all kinds of jewelry and fabrics.

Before starting our adventure, we munched on scrumptious treats such as cheese filled coffee cakes, cheesecake, cookies, coffee and tea. to charge our bodies for a day of artful fun. Terri provided each of us with our own jewelry holders, chains, bits and pieces, all vintage from her collection, everyone creating their own theme, I choose a vintage Prom meets Ballerina Theme which I will be wearing to Silver Bella in November.

Everyone's pieces were gorgeous, one lovelier than the next. From Suze's to Pams, Linda's, each were stunning works of art. There were even a few extra guests who joined in on the fun, inclusing my mom Joan and Terri's friend Laura!

After a fun filled day of creating, we headed to a wonderful Sushi restaurant and finished our night over Sushi, Tempera, Miso and fun.

The Art Ladies at the Jam each are a talent of their own:
Terri Ventura:
Terri is an amazing jewelry designer and artists who creates gorgeous vintage works. I'm proud to say Terri and I are flying to Silver Bella Together, along with Pam Huntington, all three of us with be gal pals over in Omaha in November.
Pam Huntington is a brilliant Artists who teaches workshops all over the country, including Artfest.
Suze Weinberg, what can I say she is BRILLIANT, in every way, from her heart to her works! and her product line, is amazing, I love my melting pot, utee and beeswax, heck I love it all! Then there is the amazing Linda Ashton.. as terris stated: "Milliner Extraordinare", her works are simply divine and one of her pieces will be in next years Home Companion as part of an Art Jam at Tinsel Trading, NYC. Stop on down to Tinsel to visit Linda!
Also, when you get a moment stop on by Teresa Mcfayden's site for Silver Bella info and to check out the artists who will be there teaching!
Terri, Pam and I will all be vendors at the event. I'll also be hosting a pay and play at my booth, its going to be exciting, plus I will be there on my birthday and so will my fave: Mary Engelbreit, who is the inspiration behind what I do, I've been a fan since her first line of greeting cards, I must have been around 9 years old visit her site at
More on Silver Bella and sneak peaks soon!
Magic and Joy!

P.S. Here are some more fab pictures from the day:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Artful Workshops:

I have a series of great workshops coming up this year and next, at the Newark Museum, Summit Visual Arts Center both in NJ, CHA in CA and Zne Convention in Pleasanton, CA in Mid April-May, and several other workshops currently being scheduled, check my blog often for dates and times, not to mention some book signings in early winter with the release of my new art book: Altered Art Circus by Quarry Books!

I am teaching a new workshop at the Summit Visual Arts Center, located in Summit, NJ minutes from the train station, from 10am-4pm called:
Bewitching Welsh Witches Hats and Tea Party. All students will learn to make their own welsh style witches hat from scratch and relax with some tea and scrumptious treats.

I will post some hat examples this week one is a shabby chic pink toned hat, the other a gothic vamp style..But you can make whatever you want!

Below is the class description on the Summit Visual Arts Center Site/Brochure:

"Augusta Hall, Baroness Llanover is best known as a patron of the Arts in Wales. Her interest in costume led her to create the design of the Welsh national costume. A typical Welsh hat from her era is similar to the witch hat. In this class, escape to Wales for a true artful event, create your own boutique chic witch hat from elegant fabrics, trims, organza, flowers, birds and more. Learn basic sewing, hat design and millinery concepts. Whether you are attending a costume ball, giving away tricks or treats, or having a tea with friends, this class is perfect for you."

To sign up/attend the workshop visit the link below: