Saturday, July 5, 2014

Silver Linings

Silver Linings

During the last year and a half I have had the opportunity to look for silver linings.

" When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining -- the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories -- all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven't."

Those close to me know that I am a quiet, reserved person, one who chooses to not share much of a personal natural here on these pages....  but I have decided that by sharing, I can perhaps be of support to others and to let others know that they are not alone in whatever hardship they find themselves in.  

The beginning of 2012 brought with it news that would change the day-to-day life of both my hubby and myself.  My beloved hubby of 34 years was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body Dementia.  I was heartbroken to say the least.  My hubby has been my rock and consistent, loving support all of our time together.  We have taken on different roles, he and I, as we walk this new path together, hand in hand.  I am now a caregiver and all that that implies. This is my life now and I want to fully experience every aspect of it and stand in the blessings that are there to wash over me.

I knew from the beginning that I had a choice to either suffer in feeling sorry for ourselves,  to remain stagnant in despair .....but the survivor in me chose to center in on the little things every day to be grateful for. My energy focuses on positive attitude, gratefulness, faith, family, and the love that is ever present and graces us through every day.  I realize I can't change the diagnosis but I can choose how I react to it.  I refuse to waste my time  and emotional energy on things that are beyond my control. That does not mean there aren't days with tears, exhaustion, and frustration....those days are the days I allow the love we are surrounded with to lift me up and bless me. I have learned that while every day may not be what I would perceive to be "perfect" it is what it is and it is perfect in it's own way.  They, too, bring gifts.

Friends and family have been there to hold me up.  People who unconditionally share their loving support in every way they can. 
   
(Charlene Gray, Me, Diana Salvucci-Smith and Vickie Orlando)

Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending three glorious days with friends in the San Francisco Bay Area antiquing at Remnants of the Past, sharing meals with fabulous people, laughing, shopping, hugs and just "being" with soul mates.  With the support of my sweet daughter-in-law and step-son, who cared for my hubby,  I was able to take a few days off  from caregiving and play....such a welcomed respite.  Thank you to all of you...that includes you, Ann and Mark Hammes, for welcoming me into your home and for your amazing hospitality.

Part of my coping has been to throw my creative self into my home....surrounding myself with the beauty that I receive so much joy from.  
Let me share some of my antiquing finds with you and decorating make-overs. 




A beautiful antique cupid plaque (about 2 1/2' x 1') now graces the opening to my fireplace.

I adopted these adorable children......I love antique photographs.  The hand-painted pink and white tones brought these little ones to life and look perfect in my shabby chic living room.  The frame was originally gold which I painted with white chalk paints and rubbed with gilder's paste.


Recently, I updated the look of my sofas by making a slipcover using white quilts I purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond.  It was a simple project.....with a little sewing and wrapping the fabric around the sofa much like a gift and securing with pearl-headed pins.  I then replaced the original pillows with handmade, white linen down pillows which I purchased from a fabulous Etsy person.  The vintage pink throw pillows, vintage pink throw on the left and touches of antique lace, were the finishing romantic touches I was looking for.

When I go to antique shows, stores and flea markets, I purchase items that I have an emotional response to....not knowing what I will do with them at the time...but am confident they will find a home somewhere.  I purchased two beautiful early 1900's petticoats.  I loved the color, the drape and romantic feel of each one.  After I washed and pressed them, I decided they would look great as window dressings.  Using pearl headed pins again, I attached them to the top of my current white drapes and hung a lace trimmed antique napkin across the top to finish it off.  I am in love! Who would have  guessed that petticoats would be hanging in my living room as window treatments.....looking at treasures beyond what they were originally intended and created for lend themselves to being repurposed for wonderful things indeed!

The pink and white Dresden Doll I purchased, is a perfect accent to my coffee table display of shabby chic lantern and antique bottles.


Have I told you that I collect antique pitchers?  Well this fabulous ironstone/transferware pitcher now holds a special place.  Look closely....and you will see a sweet bird and nest. It is sitting on an antique, plate and doily. 


Shopping with friends who really know you and who can spot pieces just waiting to go home with you, makes the hunt even more fruitful.  The Art Deco silver dresser mirror was just that piece....thank you Diana Salvucci-Smith!  I also purchased from the same French vendor the lovely antique French photo/frame and beautiful bible.....they all now grace the top of my bedroom dresser.

Now on to my studio.  Antique doll heads...of course, jumped into my flea market cart immediately as well as Edwardian frills and frocks.

An antique hat mannequin....perfect for displaying my vintage and antique hats.
These finds (the size 18 1/2 mannequin and awesome cabinet of drawers and shelves) were purchased a few months ago at Three Speckled Hens Antique show.  As a result of them moving into my studio....my dear friend, Vickie, and I worked for hours rearranging everything to accommodate them..."where there is a will, there is a way" and "out with the old, in with the new"....thank you Vickie.
One can never have enough doll heads.....


These wonderful antique dollies stand gathered waiting patiently for me to create a new class with them.....
Just love these dresses of yesteryear....what can I say!


These are but glimpses of my "Silver Linings".....small glimmers of hope and beauty.  I choose to look for happiness within the opportunities that bless me every single day.

Wishing you all a fabulous 4th of July celebration!  


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Petite Retreat - Oct 3-5, 2014



Petite Retreat - Sugarplum Fairy


October 3, 4, & 5, 2014
Diana's Studio
San Luis Obispo, Ca
Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff


Won't you join me in my home studio for another exciting Petite Retreat here on the Central Coast of California.  This time we will be designing a Sugarplum Fairy doll....yes can you believe it.....something new for me in that it is not jewelry.
What can I say.....I love dolls and I would like to share with you my new passion.  In this class, students will :
- Work with paper clay
- Work with molding paste
-Work with epoxy clay
-Design a pair of soldered (torch) fairy wings
-Paint with acrylic and chalk paints
-Transform paper flowers 
-Paint your doll's face
-Be a costume designer
-Assemblage
-Sprinkle glass fairy dust everywhere
-Be ready for the magic to begin


Class Fee:  $190
Kit Fee:  $30

Kit includes:  doll form; paper flowers; wire and soldering supplies for wings; molding paste and stencils; glass glitter; apoxy clay;  face mold; doll stand; styrofoam ball; use of glue guns and assorted tools. Please note: Speckled Hens Antique Show tickets are not included.

Retreat Schedule:
Friday, October 3 - class 10am - 5pm
Sat, October 4 - Speckled Hens 
Sun, October 5 - class 10am - 5pm

Three Speckled Hens
The Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show will be held in Paso Robles, Ca just a short 40 minute drive north of San Luis Obispo.  My friend Vickie and I attended Speckled Hens last month and had so much fun and came home with lots of new treasures.  Tickets will be purchased at the entrance.  

Reservations
Space is limited.  Your space can be reserved by emailing me and making a deposit.
dianafrey@me.com
I do accept personal checks, PayPal or credit cards.
Students will receive the Student Supply List and other pertinent information upon registration.

Hope you can come and play!!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter




Wishing you all a Happy Easter!

I know I have been "MIA" for several months now and wanted you to know that I am still here.  My life has changed in many ways during the last year and it has resulted in less time to visit with all of you here on my blog. ....so sorry. I will catch you up soon.  I am working on revamping my blog and hope to have a "reveal" of new things to come within the next few weeks.

Today is a gorgeous spring day.....hope you enjoy celebrating Easter with loved ones in whatever way is significant to you.  For me it is a time to embrace Love, Gratitude, Hope, Forgiveness and the promise of the Resurrection. 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

SALE SALE SALE








Hope you all had a festive Thanksgiving celebration with your family and friends.  I had such a great time with all of my children and their spouses and grandchildren joining us for a day of laughter, food and family bonding.  What a joy to have us all together!

And now we look forward to Christmas....just around the corner.  I am working at putting the autumn decorations away and decking the halls with bottle brush trees, silver balls, glitter, angels, and good cheer.  I love this time of year.

And to thank you all for your continued support of my artistic adventures, my Twisted Sistah DVD is now on SALE through Creative Workshops (click on the badge above for details) and my Etsy store....only $75. 
Perhaps it would be an item on your "Santa's Wishlist".




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Virgin No More


Art Camp Virgin No More

A little over a week ago I was surrounded with loving friends, making art every day, dining on delicious morsels of lovingly prepared food, walking the beach taking in nature's bounty, and filling my heart with laughter and rejuvenating my spirit….sound like heaven????  Yes, I was at Terri Brush's Art Camp in Lincoln City, Oregon.  
Ten of us friends all gathered in one beautiful beach house at Art Camp…..such giving souls.  Trick or Treat came early to this small town on the Oregon Coast as artfully designed totes, a collaborative between Diana Salvucci-Smith, Sandy Navarro and Vickie Orlando, were gifted to each person.  The totes were soon filled with gifties each one of us brought to share in celebration of our treasured friendships.  Diana Salvucci-Smith created the beautiful beach fairy necklace for each of us (see above). 


The three vacation homes you see above housed all the camp participants.  Ours was the sweet little blue house in the center.  Terri makes each guest feel so very special and pampered.  Look at the cute name tag that welcomed me on the door of my bedroom along with a Victoria Secret bag on the bed complete with delightfully scented body cream.  Thank you, Terri, everything was perfect!
A gathering of my art sisters in our little Blue House…Jan, Diana, Cindy, Charlene, Joy, Sandy, Vickie, Laurie, Lori,  Doreen and Kadee. 
We had the usual fun of taking photos of all of us.  Top photo of our host and instructors: (L to R) Terri Brush, Colleen MoodyNatalie Summers Hansen

Then we have a photo of Thelma and Louise who insisted hanging out with us and getting into all types of shenanigans.

Third photo:  Charlene, Me with the big nose, and Doreen….such fun. 

More fun!
Look at the fantastic projects we worked on during the three days.  The day spent with Terri was filled with playing with fire and solder making slider beads, soldered focals and wrapping it all up with leather cord….loved it!
For two glorious days we played with Colleen Moody in designing wonderful sculpted mystical creatures.  We played with paper clay, sculpted, sanded, painted, and dressed each creation with glee.
Fabulous witch's hats complete with lights were created in Natalie's class.  I have mine displayed on my kitchen table now with one of Colleen's little witches standing guard nearby.
 Look at the sampling above of the diverse creations that resulted from Colleen's class…..amazing!! (from L to R) Awesome vulture queen by Lisa….this piece was jaw-dropping amazing in person….really!!!; Diana Salvucci-Smith; Joy Campbell and on the bottom we have Miss Sandy Navarro and her sweet girl.
These are the woman who kept us fed with wonderful food, our houses well equipped with fresh linens every day and goodies.  Thank you to all.
Walks on the beach with friends, or in solitude, were very welcomed and so fulfilling and nurturing to me.



And of course we did our share of shopping.  We first all met in Portland at Monticello's for an amazing shopping spree and lunch. And then later at Art Camp, I purchased this fabulous doll(s) from Colleen.

This 4-day, little slice of heaven, respite was just what this girl needed.  If you haven't experienced Terri Brush's Art Camp yet, I encourage you to do so…..just the best gathering of art sisters ever!!


Monday, September 30, 2013

The Winner Is!!!!




Thank you all for participating in the Creative Workshops Blog Party.  Hope you had fun visiting all of the instructor's blogs and seeing all of the great classes they are offering at Creative Workshops.

I was thrilled with the response to my giveaway drawing.

I am happy to announce the winner of my "Twisted Sistah" on-line class.

*******Karen Matthews*******

Congratulations Karen!!   You will be contacted by Gail Schmidt of Creative Workshops regarding access to Twisted Sistah.  
Enjoy!!


Monday, September 23, 2013

TWISTED SISTAH CLASS GIVEAWAY





 What a pleasure it has been to have my Twisted Sistah on-line class hosted by Creative Workshops for the past year.  The response has been fantastic.    Thank you to all of my students and to Gail of Creative Workshops.  Gail has been working non-stop for several months up-grading and moving the Creative Workshops  website.  There have been some amazing changes made as a result of the move that everyone is sure to benefit from…..including videos will now be available with iPad access….I am astatic about that one.   With the new dedicated website comes a store and blog.

 Here are the important links:



Creative Workshops is all about the mixed media art class experience: inspiring those with artistic yearnings, or imparting knowledge of a technique that is new to someone else, who hadn't thought of doing something quite that way. 

A few highlights about Creative Workshops:

  • *  Available online 24/7 to fit your schedule. You can watch videos as often as you want, when you want. AND ipad access! 
  • *  You get instant access with your receipt to any Open class you purchase. No waiting for us to send you an invitation, no more confusing membership to join.
  • *  All video content is available from the first day a class opens so you can work at your own pace. Doesn't matter if you are a turtle or a rabbit!
  • *  Once a class opens there is no take down date to worry about so no pressure to be done by a certain date. If a teacher must retire a class (very few do) we give you 6 months notice.
    Do you want to be kept abreast of all things Creative Workshops? Especially new classes (we're adding all the time) and teacher class sales? We offer several choices to keep informed : newsletter subscription, blog subscription and Facebook.


To celebrate the opening of the new Creative Workshops website many of the teachers, including myself, are giving away a free class.  Nineteen instructors will take part in a…... 

Blog Hop Party taking place September 23-29.  The giveaway winners will be announced September 30.

Here's how it works….

 Anyone who wants a chance to win a free class must leave a comment on this post.  Then hop on over to each of the other instructors (links below) and leave a comment on their blog. The idea of the list is that you can follow the party trail from blog to blog, leaving a comment on each blog you visit, therefore, increasing your chances of wining a free class.  Every class giveaway will be different because the instructors are generously each giving away one of their own classes.   You have an opportunity to potentially win several free classes.

Please be sure to indicate your blog address or email in your comment so that the lucky winner can be contacted. 

Blog Party Instructors (click on the links below)


Good Luck everyone! Remember - leave a comment on this post to enter in the giveaway.
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