"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Monday, April 23, 2012


Is it too early to be thinking about Halloween?  Not at my house!

It was an Altered Art weekend, recreating 30-year-old "Precious Moments" babies into the cutest little trick-or-treaters!   Originally, each baby wore a pink or blue t-shirt and white diaper.  Now they each have their own special Halloween costume.

First, we have our good little toddler witch.  She wears an orange and polka-dot diaper and real wool cape and hat. 

Next, our shy little clown. 

What pranks do you think they're conjuring up?

Some of the cutest costumes are babies dressed as bumble bees and lady bugs! 

At first, I wasn't sure what costume to give this crawling baby, then it became obvious - why not a black cat? 

And what's Halloween without a devil?  Makes me wonder what's going through his mischievous little mind!

Only 6 more months 'til Halloween!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Restored Blessed Mother & Snowbaby

Lately, it feels as if I'm being called to restore old religious icons.  I found this Lefton statue of the Virgin Mary who needed a little TLC.  Her halo and base were both chipped and she was just plain dirty.

After giving her a good scrubbing, I restored her halo and base using paper clay.  Her original colors were pretty, but I was drawn to painting her robes green and purple.

Green signifies Life and the Earth.  Purple signifies Royalty. 

I'm always so worried about painting faces, but I thought she came out just fine.  I also added some gold glitter to her halo.

A good coating of of protective high gloss finish, some light antiquing, and she's good as new! 

A vintage snow bunny beckoned me for some updating too.  His face was almost completely rubbed off and his white outfit just couldn't come clean.  I love vintage, but I draw the line at dirty.  I strive to keep the aged look of the piece, without it looking grubby.  I don't like having to wash my hands after picking up something old.  

After repainting him, I decided to try something completely different and changed his glittered white bunny outfit to sparkly blue and added some hair.  I'm feeling much more confident touching up faces at this point.

Have a scrumptious week!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Simple Blueberry Lemon Tarts

Is there anything better than a sumptuous dessert with less than 25 calories?!

If you love fruit as much as I do, you might want to try this extremely simple tart.


But, I cannot take the credit.  I found this this recipe at: http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/

These taste a bit like Lemon Meringue pie.  But what if you don't like lemons or blueberries?  Simple enough, how about vanilla yogurt with strawberries, or how about raspberries?   The ideas are limitless.

Here's the Recipe if you'd like to give it a try:

  • 15 Mini Phyllo (also spelled Filo or Fillo) Cups found in the frozen pie area of your grocery store.
  • 1 6 oz. Container of Low Fat Lemon Yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. Fresh Lemon Zest
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Powdered Sugar (optional)
  • Line a strainer with a coffee filter and add the yogurt on top.  Place the strainer over a bowl and sit it in the fridge for about 4 hours (I left mine overnight).
  • In a small bowl, add the stained yogurt (which has now developed a more custard-like thickness) with lemon zest.  Blend together and fill the phyllo cups.
  • Place a few fresh blueberries on top. 
  • Dust with powdered sugar (I forgot that part, but it was still delicious!)

Absolutely guilt-free! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Today's Estate Sale Finds!!

Doesn't a great deal just grab you in all the right places?!

Look what I found today at an estate sale for only $25 each!  Aren't they gorgeous?!   Creamy white with gold highlights.

The sale started at 8 am, but I couldn't get there until 9:30. I walked in and said to the woman in charge, "I guess the bedroom set is already taken, huh?"  She shook her head no and I hauled it upstairs as fast as my chunky thighs could carry me!  

Once I hang her window curtains and buy a wall mirror, her room will be officially complete (not counting little decorative pieces here and there I'm sure.  Shhh...don't tell Ted!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Madonna Restoration - From Shabby to Chic!

I loved the look of this time-worn statue of the Virgin Mary.  The paint was a perfectly aged creamy white. Little chips of chalkware represented its aging beauty. 

Then why did I restore her? 

What inspires you as an artist?   Are you a visualist who needs to see things to be truly inspired?  Or do you prefer the way something feels in your hands?  Maybe you're inspired by sweet music, words, or memories?

Inspiration comes from all around me, but what makes me truly discern what to do with a piece is how it makes me feel way deep down in my soul.

That's why I restored this statue.  Despite its beauty, whenever I looked at it, or touched it, an overwhelming sense of sadness came over me.  It didn't make sense, but when it comes to art, sometimes sense is thrown out the window.

Using paper clay, I reattached Mary's nose and filled in some of the deeper chips, leaving just a shadow of them to still show its age.  The part I was most nervous about came next - choosing the paint palette.

I knew I was going to miss her, but also knew it was time to co-create with the Holy Spirit and bring new life to her! 

I must have repainted her clothing three times before I finally got the right color combination.  The other colors looked good.  They were fine.  But then, in an instant, it all came together.

And what once was old....

Is young again.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Time for Some Serious Changes

Here in old Bucks County, I decided it was time for some changes.  It started with these vintage Napco angel figurines.  Sure, they're cute, but time for a face-lift.

"But, you can't change these old pieces," I said to myself, "And what makes you think you can make them look better?  You have no formal training in painting.  You're not qualified.  Just leave them alone before you ruin them." 

 I could almost feel a wink from God as I picked up my paintbrush and fought those negative feelings.

 We've all been given our own, unique talents and abilities that shouldn't be buried in the sand.

These angels, formed at least 50 years ago, now have a fresh new look, while still maintaining their beauty and grace.

I'm so glad to have pushed myself further and expanded my boundaries. 

Now it's your turn!  Aren't you tired of being afraid?

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Have you ever felt "called" to do something? And you're not sure why this feeling is so strong, but you know you've just GOT to answer that call?

That's how I felt when I picked up this Infant of Prague (a statue of the Boy Jesus) at our local thrift store.  He was just staring at me, with his two broken fingers and time-worn body.  I picked him up.  I put him down.  I picked him back up and put him back down.  And I walked away.

Thoughts of this statue would not leave me.  I picked him back up for the last time and brought him home.

He sat for months, patiently waiting for my time.

And that painting paid off!  He has finally been restored and refreshed.

Using paper clay, I sculpted new fingers onto his right hand, which is raised in a blessing.  The left hand has its palm turned upwards and holds a symbol of rule over the world – the imperial orb surmounted by a cross. 

Instead of the classic red heart, I decided to have Jesus wearing a "purple heart", to represent all those in the military who have been wounded or killed while serving their country.

Choosing a robe wasn't a difficult decision.  I knew I wanted him to wear green, which symbolizes Life and Hope.

I didn't dare touch his beautiful face!  The artist who created him back in 1950 did such a wonderful job, I wanted to leave it in its original condition.

One of the most surreal moments of restoring this old statue was the thought that my hands and the hands of another artist 62 years earlier, were working together to create this gorgeous piece.  Two minds, decades later, still working together.

As I sat painting, Mary came up to me, patted my back and said, "It's so good to see you working in your art room again, Mommy!"  Much like this statue, I've been restored and refreshed!