the calendar says we are in SPRING, but in actuality, it’s been freezing like the dickens the past few days.  idk what’s up with our crazy midwest weather, but i hope we can warm up to somewhere decent, like the low ’70s, please.  thank you.

yesterday was the season opener here.  but OMG, mother nature was not very nice… it was a rather wicked cold, windy & rainy day (well, 1st half anyway)!  like the true die-hard that i am, i ventured out to the flea… lemme tell you tho, it was brutal.  not very many vendors were set up and the crowds were low, which is pretty unusual as this flea has over 500 vendors typically and a foot traffic of thousands of peeps.  you’d think we were in the  middle of february or something the way i (& many others) were dressed.  ugh, i could hardly stand it, but i trudged on, as did others.  i felt bad for the vendors, especially the ones who did not have tents or tarps to cover their stuff.  this was a bit of a disastous opening day… but as i was getting ready to leave, the sun made an appearance.  however, by then, i was thoroughly chilled and all too ready to go home. 

(i spotted these & thought of those two dudes, mike & frank, from american pickers… as they would say, “MANtiques”… i liked the shamrock sign, but @ 75bucks, took a pass instead.)

anyhoo, between shivering from the cold and rain and trying to look at all these items, many of which were getting wet from the sporadic sprinkles of rain, i managed to find some “smalls”, as they say in the flea-tiquing biz.  i was not looking for anything large, though i did spot a vintagey plant stand, such as this one here>>>

i’m debating whether or not to use this for plants or as some sort of organizational unit for my art & craft stuff.  hmmm, for now, it’s residing on the back deck.

on the way home from the antique flea, i stopped by a thrift store & found some other “smalls”, like this sweet dressy bessy doll by playskool (c. 2001).  for a buck fifty, i just couldn’t pass it up.  now, i’ll have to go find a dapper dan from the same era so she won’t be without her companion.  do you remember playing with these delightful playthings when you were little?  i do.  yep, so many hours of enjoyment.  years later, i also remember buying a set for a niece & nephew when they were very small.  even now, i think these dolls are the sweetest things ever… talk about the timeless quality of these sweet dolls.  for me, they represent fond memories, comfort & practical learning all rolled into one.  i just LOVE that about them & things like them.  don’t you?


ok, i’m skipping ahead of myself…  let’s back up to the freezing flea-market adventure, shall we.  here’s what i was able to score, despite my fingers going numb in a few places, hehehe.

well, one good thing about the rain, all these purty & inventive plant displays are well-nourished!

i did have an eye out for vintage tea cups & saucers, but didn’t spot any until i saw this combo… however, it turned out to be a garden stake.  oh well, better than leaving without at least one tea cup set, even if it is for the garden.

aren’t these vintage doll hangers just the cutest?

of course, i couldn’t resist these vintage buttons…

these vintage toy people had no faces, but maybe one day i will repaint them & give them their faces 🙂

the minty green of these toy trees caught my eye & for a buck, why not?

these were next to the trees above, so for another buck, what the heck… i’m sure i can find some use for them…

the same dealer where i found the above “smalls”, also had a big bag of these… a deal for $5… way cheaper than buying a couple of new scrabble games 3x that price. 

in one of the buildings, i came across a new vendor who sold BLING BLING and other fun vintage (costume) jewelry…  she had a $4 table and i couldn’t believe these were in this pile!  check it out>>>

i asked the dealer why $4 & she replied that they are damaged in some way.

well, could’ve fooled me!

they need a gentle cleaning and only the bracelet was missing a rhinestone…can you see it?  no, i didn’t either.  you can’t even tell, right?

when i was ready to pay, the dealer said, let’s just make it $15.  i was like, wow, thank you!! & i thought $4 a piece was a good deal.

what started out to bea cold, dreary & gloomy day actually ended up being a not so bad afternoon.  still cold and windy…

but at least the sun came out.  & a little SUNSHINE is always good for the soul.


desperately seeking treasures

i don’t know about you, but whenever i venture off into one of my antique flea market adventures, such as the one here, i don’t really have an ultra specific agenda in mind.  i just get up at the crack of dawn the day of the fair, make a beeline to the fairgrounds et voila, let my intuition take me where it shall…

there are over 500 dealers at this particular venue,  both outdoors & indoors.  today, i stayed primarily outside, as i wanted to make sure i got home before noon so i could tend to my many gardening chores.  most of my favorite booths happen to be outside, so it was just as well.  

i noticed some dealers i used to go to are not there today.  but not to worry, i ran into a couple of new faves that i discovered in last month’s season opener:  salvaged treasures & iowa junk gypsies.  the gals over at good finds, a local dealer,  were there… as well as the husband & wife team  (whose names i still do not know!)  who have their famous $1 tables.  on more than one occasion, i found a bunch of cab cards & vintage posties  that the husband gave me  for a couple of bucks.  sweet.  i always make sure i stop by their booth. 

then there is always cindy’s greenhouse…i always buy something from there.  last time i bought tubs & tubs of sugar snap peas.  ooooooooh were they ever yummy!   this time, i bought a couple of petunia hanging baskets for mom’s deck.  at $5 bucks a pop, they were a steal!

i ran into my pal, jean.  she & i always managed to bump into each other there lately, hehehe.  this time, she was at the iowa junk gypsies tent when i happened there.  what fun!  one of these days i will (& YES jean, i will! 🙂 ) head over to her antique mall, windmill antiques.  maybe sometime this week, before we head on our road trip out east (more about that later). 

ok, i took a bunch of pix…i’ve compiled them all in this slideshow:

if the seal song bothers you or is too loud, you can always turn it off…i don’t know how to adjust the sound.  anyway, enjoy!  i’ve got to scoot & finish working in the garden & then it’s back in the studio for me. 

have a super week!!! xoxo mary ann

impromtu weekend

peonyluv4in from my garden last friday, i picked the remaining peonies.  i felt i had to bring them in before their luscious blooms faded away. that would be such a terrible waste, you know?  so, i went to “rescue” my precious petals… i must have cut over 24 blooms!  their sweet fragrance was enchanting.  i took more pix of them, well… because i could & they were oh so charming. 🙂



(below btw is the old chippy desk that i am planning to use in my closet -turned-studio-space redo.)



i finished a couple of swap wips.  one was for jessica‘s red, white & blue tag swapred,_white,_blue we were to create 17 patriotic-themed tags. 4jrswap1 i also made a few extras as a lil thank you 4jrswap2to jessica for hosting this fun swap. 

pwants2i did mention that i finished making some tags for the swap hosted in the paper whimsy group…


i kinda, no totally,  goofed up & created 12 tags, instead of making only ONE tag & sending a variety of TWELVE napkins. 

pwants4 lol…i am not usually a dumkopf, hehehe, but i was/have been so overloaded lately with the art projects…so it was easy, yeah, yeah, to get mixed up!

pwants5luckily for me, the hostess was gracious & understanding & still let me play.  🙂  my bad will actually be their good because everyone will get one of my tags.  alls not lost then…pwants6after running some errands saturday morning, i happened onto a tag sale near the post office & found these lovelies…oppfm1

i was tickled to find such pretty things…& at good prices. always a good thing! 🙂


brdcllge3_edited-1i created these digi-collages for danielle‘s birdsong collage swapBirdsong_Collage_Swap_SMALL i had planned on printing them out & putting 3-d embellishies on them when the dh announced that we were going in to chi-town to visit his dad & other family last saturday afternoon. so i had to put my arting on hold…

we visited my in-laws & had dinner with them saturday nite.   it was nice to visit & spend time with my fil.  he’s been ill, but he was in good spirits.  we share the same birthday, hehehe.  we’ll have to stop by his house on the way back from our east coast road trip next month & celebrate together then. 

i had also been playing phone tag w/ my sis jo, who lives a few blocks from my fil.  i tried to give her a heads up that we’re coming to town on the fly…but i totally forgot that they were  spending a luxurious couple days downtown.  last winter, my lil niece, shioban (jo’s dd) won a guessing contest & the grand prize was an all-expenses paid, 2 night stay here.  omg, they had a taste of  the high life. it was hard for them to come back to reality, hehehe… i am sure my sis will blog about their adventures soon.  my sis & i did finally connect & we got together yesterday for dinner.  my bil put the kiddie pool together & my niece & nephew were in 7th heaven! ispool1

this past weekend was the 1st really disgustingly hot & muggy summer weather we’ve had.  we had been so spoiled with the cool, mild temps we’ve been having up until this weekend. figures the yucky weather would rear its ugly head on father’s day/summer solstice! 

anyway, inside the much preferred temperature range, hehehe, the kids sure love their uncle joe! 🙂 isluvuj1


isluvuj3whenever we go into chi-town to visit, i always find it hard to split my time evenly with my in-laws & my sisters.  but this weekend, we got to see both sides of the family, even if only briefly.  it’s virtually impossible to see everyone & do everything in a span of less than 2 days.  oh well, we gave it a shot…

by the time we reached home last night, we were, as you can imagine, exhausted.  lots of running around, trying to visit our families.  i had grand ideas that i would work on those digi-collages i created above, but nothin’ doing. as soon as i hit the pillow, it was lights out for me, hahaha. 

but this morning, i did finish up the collages.  one is for the swap dbss1& the other is for danielle. 

dbss2i always try, if at all possible, to create a piece of artwork for the swap hostess, especially if we are to send our works to the hostess.  then i typically will make something.  i may have mentioned this before, but i am becoming increasingly more comfortable with creating collages in my pse.  i find that i can whip something up relatively quickly, in a matter of few minutes, than in the traditional methods.  what an incredible timesaver, you know?  so wicked convenient & efficient, esp. for someone like me who has a crazy-busy art schedule!

speaking of keeping schedule, it’s back to the studio for me.  i’ve got teacup books to bind!  until next time, hope your week has started off on a beautiful note. 

& don’t forget these lil gems:oppfm3 &oppfm2

   xoxo mary ann

my summer plans




myjrnl 001a3

myjrnl 001a4 copy

myjrnl 002a5_edited-1

myjrnl 002a6 copy

myjrnl 003a7_edited-1

myjrnl 003a8copy

myjrnl 004a9_edited-1

myjrnl 004a10 copy

myjrnl 005a11_edited-1

myjrnl 005a12copy

weekend in montage

5.18.09 addendum



artwalk5a few months ago, my friend cj asked me to be her featured artist for a local arty event known as ARTWALK.  it is a 2-day affair.  since i had a bunch of artwork left over from the art event held last st. patrick’s day weekend (i was featured then too), i didn’t stress as much as usual to make new things (which was a good thing because it is still nuts n bolts at the schools).  i decided to advertise >>>artwalk3wasn’t sure how well this would go over.  but i was pleasantly surprised (actually more like shocked, hehehe)  when peeps actually took me up on this!  so now i have a few orders to fulfill in the coming days/weeks.

 i also wanted to experiement with these>>>artwalk4

inchie magnets, my newest creations!  they surprisingly were a hit.  many people bought these.  yay!


hopefully when i am finally DONE with all this school business, i will have the time then to properly restock my online shops (the website & etsy) with new stuff.   let me tell you, it’s hard trying to juggle my speech therapy practice AND my online stuff.  also, being a one-person operation doesn’t make things any easier either.  seriously.  i wish i could afford hiring a personal assistant.  it so would free up a ton of time for me & i can concentrate on the creative aspect of the business.  ahhh, maybe some day…  

anyhoo, i digress.  in the interest of time (as i have to scoot to school this morning), i made these photo montages of my adventures this weekend. 🙂

friday and saturday i was doing ARTWALK at my friend cj’s gorgeous shop  (thanks a million sweetie!!!! xoxo)>>>


there was a lot of foot traffic on friday night.  but i think the allure of FREE food was the main reason.  not much buying going on.  just a ton of socializing and slobbing out on enjoying the delicious complimentary refreshments. 

but i suppose that is what goes on sometimes at these kind of events when free goodies are offered. the “vultures” (as my bff calls them) come out of the woodwork.   it’s shameful but that’s par for the course, i guess.  you gotta put up with some grief in order to get your work out there. 

day 2 of ARTWALK, faired better.  thank goodness.  it was all day (10-4) and that’s when business picked up.  it was such a pleasant surprise.  it’s kinda overwhelming to go from “what do you do with that?!” (from the night before) to “i LOVE your artwork!”  gee, what a difference a day makes, you know? sure, there were still some peeps who came in just for the free food, but there were also interested buyers!   


i also met a man from a consignment shop/art gallery just over the border & we talked about possibly putting some of my artwork on consignment there.  wow, another unexpected thing. 

day 2 of ARTWALK definitely made up for day 1.  without a doubt. 🙂

then yesterday, i got up at the crack of dawn & went here>>>


it was a bit nippy at first, but it warmed up to be a gorgeous day.  it was super packed, as expected, on opening day.  i was NOT missing being a dealer there, like i had been last year with my sis, lil niece & mom.  especially all the hard work that is involved setting up & manning a booth.  did not miss that one bit!

i revelled in the fact that i could SHOP!

when i first got into the fair, i spotted this very familiar blue dress in one dealer’s booth.  wouldn’t you know it was the one i must’ve sold last year from my booth.  know how i knew it was my dress & not another?


i looked at the sash & when i owned the dress it had this wicked deep crease on the bow.  uh-huh…i was right!  the crease is still there!

 what goes around, comes around, right?

the thrill of the hunt yielded some very cool goodies>>>


& that’s just the small-ish stuff!  lol, i still have some large-ish pieces in the car, ha!  i was too pooped from my day-long antiquing adventures, that i left them in the car.  hopefully, i will get them out later today.  that is, if i am not too tired from working with the preschoolers.


on my way home from the antique fair, i was overwhelmed with the intensity of COLOR.


these past few days were a bit of a whirlwind, but they were oh so profitable, both time & money.   i came away with getting my name out there with the local art community, a number of custom work orders (yay!) and procuring some really great finds!


to be sure, it was definitely an art & adventure-filled weekend indeed. 


serve me more of the same, pls.

thank you in advance!


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…






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!


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?


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.


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



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.



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

welcome to my corner of bliss