mac attack

lately, i’ve become obsessed with all things macarons…  i am determined to learn how to make them…correctly & successfully 🙂  have been scouring the internet for the 411 on these delectably sweet french confections.  you might say that i’ve gotten “a big mac attack” wicked bad.  a week ago, i ordered a sampler box from http://shopsucre.com… i received my goodies the other day, but was  disheartened to find that pretty much all my macarons were damaged…there were crumbs everywhere!  yes, i have contacted the company & told them all about it, even sent pix like this one: 

to express my disappointment and dissatisfaction.  i have not heard a response from them, suppose i never will.  but companies need to be told when their products arrive damaged & not as described…   and above all, how all  that simply is not acceptable… yadda yadda…

oh well, instead of getting my knickers all bunched up in a twist, i decided to make lemonade, so to speak.   i took what macarons i could salvage from the “wreckage” and set up a little still life that i could sketch and paint.  don’t get me wrong, the damaged macarons were still delicious.  heck, they should be!!!  omg,  after paying a premium for these rather high-priced french cookies, one tends to expect nothing but the best!  so, long story short, this is precisely why i want to learn how to make my own macarons… so i will never have to be crushed by, well, crushed  (& overpiced) macacrons again! 🙂

i guess the moral of my lil tale here: when the cookie crumbles, go ahead & enjoy the crumbs 🙂

TEA 4 u

want a chance to win a copy (there are THREE extra copies!)?  then say so in this post & leave your name & contact info to sign-up.  drawing ends sunday, july 5th at midnite cst.  bonne chance!

xoxo mary ann

weekend in review

i’m starting to see the light at the proverbial end of the tunnel…

this weekend was not only the most productive one in a very long while, but one that was filled with lots of studio time & antiquing jaunts (two of my most favorite things to do). 

yesterday, i went to mad city where i found a ton of fun arty-crafty stuff from the scrap n stamp garage sale.  i found some really good deals on gently used stamps, papers, ephemera and tools.  i forgot to take pix of my loot because i got so engrossed on working on some wips, like these…

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i got to work on my tcup pages for the itty bitty vintage tea cup book swap that i am hosting in the fyb ning network. 

i also started working on these altered tag wips, but i am no where ready to take pix.  i hope to work on them some more tomorrow afterschool.

a few weeks ago, i made this tussie mussie for the paper whimsy swap.  my partner was patricia s.  & she received it the other day & says she is delighted.  i am so glad as i am relatively new in the paper whimsy swaps & don’t know many people in there.  but i do like the paper whimsy products and their fun art swaps.  i am such a sucker for good art swaps, especially ones that have a good track record & peeps who make seriously fab art!

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4patricia1then, not too long ago earlier this week, i received my wonderful tussie mussie from my partner, sandee h.fromsandee1

i love the greens and blues…reminds me of the sunny, blue sky days we’ve been having lately (& it’s about time too!)…

then i completed another wip for maria rodarte‘s marie collage swap.  swappers were instructed to create a mixed media collage utilizing a stretched canvas, dividing the canvas into 12 spaces.

4martha1 this is what i  made for my partner, martha b.  & this was what martha made me!frommartha1don’t you love when artists are given general set of instructions and then the fun part is seeing each person’s interpretations?  my collage is in excess/chaotic mode (lol), while martha’s collage is more orderly and restrained…n’est ce pas?

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thanks martha for your wonderful collage piece and for the sweet card and fabulous extras.  merci beaucoup!frommartha3

(the stamp, crown and birdie are magnets!  while the bird textile is a wonderfully handmade pin! LOVE!)

i also got a chance to update my booth over at the antique barn.  after this past month, i had some empty spots that i had to promptly fill up.  lots of holes in the shop…so i went on a mini-buying spree and first chance i got, i filled in those bare spots.  ab3

on one of my recent antiquing forays, i came across a vintage foamie mannequin that now proudly displays this sweet vintage prom dress.  the dress used to hang, rather forlornly i might add, on the curtain rod in the closet.  but not anymore, thanks to the handy dress form that i snatched up the other day.

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i also needed to spruce up the closet area.  it was not being well-utilized. so the one day after school, i went to one of my antique haunts and scooped up a bookshelf that had been painted white (perfect!).  i placed this new find in the closet…ab1

where it now showcases new merch i just put in. i found a couple of cool signs too and more miniature dress forms.ab4

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i can’t believe this pretty little lefton pink birdie dish was actually someone’s ashtray!  omg.  who in their right mind would dig their disgusting cigarette butts in this pretty little dish?  such a crime, is what i say!  lol, so i rescued it from some potential smoker looking for a pretty little ashtray, ha!ab7

this area was looking a bit disheveled, so i had to tidy things up in here.  someone had purchased the vintage slip that was underneath this pretty checked apron.  so in its place, i added the crinoline skirt as the mannequin looked kinda “naked” with just the apron, hehehe.ab9

this green shelf had a bunch of holes too.  so i had to pluck some items off other places to fill in the gaps.  ab10

i might stop by the shop after school tomorrow to see if i need to tidy things up so more.  sometimes i can’t believe i have all this “junque” to even have a booth at all!  but i am super grateful that things have been selling in there, especially nowadays with how the economy is and all… the mall owner, mark, told me recently that i have a following now, after only being open since february!  wow, that was pleasant surprise.   also, a few times, when i was working in my booth, some kind customers actually have told me that my booth was their “favorite” booth.  another, wow.  that’s nice to know that i’m doing something right. 

idk, i just pick up things that i like and don’t mind reselling.  i figure, it’s better to buy what you love.  because chances are, others will too.

🙂 

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okay, it’s getting late…just wanted to recap my weekend activities. 

less than a month left before i am a FREE BIRD, hehehe!  i can’t wait.  it won’t be long now. & soon, i will be an extremely happy camper.

until next time, have a super week! xoxo mary ann

spring fling virtual tea!

it’s parTEA day!

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spring has sprung!   🙂

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you can’t go wrong with fresh cut flowers.  & pink to boot!

sfvt4  yummy herbal tea to whet my whistle.  hmm, difficult to choose, so i will try them both, hehehe.

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fitting vignette, don’t you think?  (btw, this sweet art block will soon be available in my shops soon.  my latest creations…).

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this gorgeous tea set & other accoutrements were found at my friend’s cj  fabulous shop.  i couldn’t wait to use them for today’s parTEA, hee!

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i also snatched up this oh so charming half apron that cj herself made.  i thought it was very springy & i also love the fabrics (i actually have them in my fabric stash!).

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i also won this beautiful lap quilt in cj’s recent st. patty’s day giveaway in her brick & mortar store.  i thought it would make a lovely topper on my duncan phyfe side table.   

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 sfvt11 many thanks to all of you who participated in today’s virtual tea.  have a beauTEAful day!

xoxo mary ann

think spring!

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welcome to my corner of bliss

a virtual holiday tea run slightly amok

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omg.

we had our little tea party earlier today, but it was nothing short of  mayhem.  not exactly the kind of (relaxing) holiday tea that we envisioned…but nevertheless, we still managed to have some semblance of tea (& survive). lol!

you see we had additional guests at our tea party, which included 4 little (& might i add, highly energetic) boys.  they were sweet but oh so BOYS!  poor shioban, my lil 6 y.o. niece….she had five boys (her twin brother & the 4 little pals) to contend er, play with.  [ note to self, do not bring delicate vintage tea cups & saucers when there are 5 little boys running amok around at next tea party… unless, of course, i actually want to make pretty mosaic art from the  vintage tea cup shards.]

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when my sis told me that she invited her friend & her family, i had no idea that our holiday tea was going to be overtaken by 1st graders and preschoolers!  talk about a bull in a china shop…make that FIVE bulls here.   it was NUTs n BOLTs can i just tell you?  omg. 

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oh sure, the kids were having a gay ol’ time from their standpoint:  the house was in full christmas regalia, candy & cookies to be had at every turn, & yummy food too…& did i mention, toys?  yes, my niece and nephew have lots of them.  yes, i felt like i was back at school (where i work) as i kept the children contained entertained with card games & arts n crafts.  how quickly did i get into my speech therapist mode,  trying to tame these sugarloaded wild beasts  [ahem] excited, eager & energized children? yeh, wicked fast!   

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the day started innocently enough.  i set out  making a few batches of sugar cookies with my sister’s kids helping me with cookie decorating.  they looked so darned cute & content as they sprinkled edible sugar glitter & colorful bits onto the cookie cut-outs.  they were such great helpers.  i told them they were my “elves”.  they got a kick out of that.  things were running smoothly so far. cookiepix11

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then the witching hour guests started to arrive at noon-ish (as our tea was set for 1 o’clock).  my sister’s friend wanted to help us with the tea time prep. it didn’t take long before the festive holiday music playing in the background was getting drowned out by exuberant shrieks coming from the kids’ room. 

welp, i guess you can figure out where this is going, can’t you? yeh, uhuh. 

 little chitlins overloaded with sugar & bountiful energy + trying to host a (serene)  holiday tea party = NUTs n BOLTs.       

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seriously, the notion of a relaxing, simply elegant holiday tea totally went out the window when a bunch of small children were thrown into the mix.  you can just fuuuuhgedduhbowit when you have an out of control mob scene er young, excited- that- christmas -is- coming children around. 

don’t get me wrong.  i love children & work with them all the time….just sayin’…  i wish we could do it all over sans les enfants.  you know what i’m saying?  yes, christmas is for children.  but please, holiday teas are for grown-ups.  OKAY?!  can we make that a standing order?  🙂

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i write this to explain my tardiness for posting my tea time pix in the flickr group.  here we are, the hostess’ of the virtual tea & we were late to our own party!  but can you blame us?  we had small children running amok about?!   you try having a tranquil tea time with small, sugarloaded children around.  let’s see if you can orchestrate a dainty tea party with little bulls messing about?  yeh, i thought so.

in retrospect, even though we didn’t have the holiday tea party of our dreams, the children, on the other hand, had a BLAST. i guess in the big picture, they will carry with them happy christmas memories.  right?

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[sigh] what are you gonna do?  i am sure there will be other tea times (sans les enfants) to come in the new year.  i’ve posted a bunch of pix in the vintage tea room if you want to see how we managed.  my lil sis & her new hubby came by & the kids at that point were doing some gingerbread art making.  who would’ve thunk that they would be interested in making some kiddie art, hehehe?  my lil sissy’s two kids were at her ex’s for the weekend, but my sis & her new hubster came by with some goodies.  they wanted to make some gingerbread art to take home for the kids…

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i wonder if it was really for them??  they spent hours making theirs, hehehe! 

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even though our vision of a fab holiday tea didn’t exactly pan out, we still found comfort and joy with each other.  after all, isn’t that what matters at the end of the day?