Creating with Graphics Fairy Goodness

At the risk of being labeled a Graphics Fairy groupie I thought I would answer a question a got the other day from a friend.  "I see all those pretty images but have no idea what to do with them, how do you come up with your ideas?"

I will totally admit that this took me aback since my head is full of about 1 million projects that I will never have time for.  I also get that not everyone's brain is the messy creative jumble that mine is but they do want to  craft at times so with that in mind I though I would walk through my process out loud- so to speak.

So while this is a tutorial of sorts is might be a bit light on some details, if you have a questions just ask!

My process began with seeing this cool  jewelry bezel at Hobby Lobby, it's unique shape called to me and I knew I was wanting to make a new fall necklace.. so far so good.  With the shape in mine I took a stroll through the fall themed images at The Graphics Fairy until I found this sweet oak leaf and acorn image.. can't get much more fall then that!

I sized the graphic in Photoshop with the bezel in mind - actual size of this piece is 1.75 wide and .95 tall, so not that big at all!

Next is cutting out the image. I used the bezel as a template knowing that I would have to cut smaller but also knowing it would give me the basic shape.

I then trim in thin little bits until I can get a perfect fit. With small fine pointed scissors this really is not so hard. I also used a bit of distressing ink on the image to give it a bit of age.

Next I pour a tiny bit in and smooth it around (photo missing) and then insert the image and pour on a thicker but not too thick layer of the glaze.  In this case I used Triple Thick  since it's easy to use and easy to find at most craft stores- oddly it is usually in the paint section.  Squirt the stuff on slow and easy to avoid air bubbles. Don't mess with it but do use a thin straight pin to pop any bubble that appear. I actually like a single bubble or two but if you mess with it a lot you will get lots of bubbles that will mess up the image.

Now I wait.. the first layer of glaze takes 3-8 hours to dry so I put it away and try to forget about it since messing with it always ends in disaster..

Later this week I will post part II of this adventure. If you want to get it delivered to your mail box sign up in the box at the top right of the page. I will also be posting it to Facebook so join the D.A. page at Facebook if you want to catch it there ( link on upper left of page)

Hair Styles Over 40 - My Favorite Long Hair Resources

Super attractive bathroom mirror shot!

A couple of years ago I put in place my personal plan to "get my groove back".  I had lost my groove (once again) and  had to spend some time digging around for it.  Part of that plan was paying more attention to my hair  and learning hairstyles for longer hair since mine was changing as I aged and I was not keeping pace with the everyday pulled to the back ponytail was not a style, it was a  desperation cop-out for sure. I had to be able to do better than that!

What once was a mass of thick, fast growing locks had slowed down, thinned out and gotten dry no thanks to my funky thyroid. Luckily I came from a people with an obviously high follicle count but what was once a fist full of hair that took the extra big  hair elastics now had me twisting those hair elastics 3-4 times to have them grip in my hair at all- ugh.

I was not ready to go into that good dark night of hair I could not love and had to cut short to manage so had to learn tips and tricks to make the most of what I have. This means learning new hair styles and  hair product, (sometimes 2-3 of them) to have hair I love and get compliments on (yes I am shallow, I want my hair to look so good that I get compliments on it- do you hate me now?)

The internet is a fan-freaking-tastic place to find about a million zillion hair tutorials with some being better than others. I thought  I might share a couple of my favorite long hair resources with you. But in a nut shell-learn how to tease that hair for natural volume and get a teasing brush!

I am going to start with my favorite for long hair girls. Natalia at Ma Nouvelle Mode  is beautiful and has rockin hair and some of the best most friendly tutorials out there.  I would also like to mention that her husband is wildly handsome but try to tear your eyes away from him and watch the videos..  In fact my  Mini-twists (which are actually little buns) were totally inspired by a tutorial she did last week.

Keiko Lynn is fresh and fantastic and about the age of my oldest child but I love her hair and really like being inspired by what she does and this sweet hair tutorial.

And for those who love braid of all sorts plus easy and fast do's ( me me me me me ) I give you Hair Dresser on Fire

So what do you think?.. I suspect the world of hair tutorials is saturated enough but maybe I will do a couple over the coming weeks, and maybe you would want to watch??.. after all.. would you really want to give up the chance to see me like this?

Needle Felting in Chattanooga

 Interested in a Needle Felting class here in Chattanooga TN?

Click here for last minute information!

Goody Hair for Grown Up Girls

One of the perks of going to a great blog conference is the Swag*. Bloggy Bootcamp was no exception! The people from the Goody Hair products company were all about spoiling us with some fantastic hair accessories which were cleverly displayed in the powder rooms where you could play in front of the mirror while you waited in line for the loo!

I will admit that it had been a long time since I had cast an eye towards any Goody hair products given my association with them and those little plastic balls-on-the-end hair rubber bands that I wore on my pigtails as a child.  But was really knocked back by the selection they showed off at bloggy. My inner  grown up princess is really rocking on this big blue jewel that I wore for the entire  conference day and then put in my hair again today!

The longer my hair gets the more fun it is to play with hair accessories and this one is going to been seen a lot this fall and winter I can assure you!.. Thanks to the folks at Goody's!...heck maybe even some pony tails and .... err.. ok.. not those, but I can assure you that there are other equally great products for big girls.. here are three of my fav's to get you started!

These OVAL SLIDES.. simple and elegant

This is a PONY I could rock!

Just PRETTY and perfect with silver jewelry

*Yeps, I got the stuff free but the love is all mine :)

Bikini Area Shaving- Wicked Wednesday is Back!

Uh, no idea why Blogger let this out early.. it was scheduled for Wednesday.. sigh.. enjoy anyway!

Dear all, I have had some questions  over the last year why I discontinued Wicked Wednesdays, and to say it is complex would be an understatement..but after some consternation I have decided to bring Wicked Wednesday back. These  WW posts are of a mature nature- reflections on sex in culture, sexual education, hot-monogamy  and more. I hope you enjoy them.. let me know what you think. ... this post originally ran two years ago and the products I mention are still my favorites.

Ah, the joys of the " big shave" know the one, from ankle to the naughty regions and then a bit more if you happen to heading to the pool or out for a romantic night.
If you are inclined to shave here are some great products that I can't live without. First off shaving is a pretty personal thing ( but when has that ever stopped me from talking about anything?) and it's pretty much an each to his/her own sort of thing. I for one feel better with smooth skin and it's safe to say that Mr. Domestic Anarchy also approves. So this whole thing works out well for the both of us and gives me free liberty to pursue the best of the best when it comes to shave creams and nifty shavers for smooth skin in the most difficult of areas to shave!

First off lets talk about shave creams, there are a million on the market and I would not give you a dime for most of them but I might possibly sell a vital organ if I ever did not have enough money to buy my favorite shave cream of all time. Coochy shave cream by Pure Romance is the Cadillac of shave creams and is so effective at softening coarse hair that it can be used as a beard softener for the guy in your life!

A little goes a long way so don't be put off by the price which is more than a can of that white puffy foam that you are currently stealing from your husband, but OH! so worth it. Coochy, is thick and smooth and great for your legs but even better for those delicate areas that need the most gentle touch when it come to guiding a razor into new territory. Put on Coochy with a bit of water and then wait 3-5 minutes for it to work it's magic, shaving becomes easy and "smooth" is the word of the day when it comes to results!

Next comes razors, on this count I am two different minds and when it comes to different body parts I have different razors for them. For my legs and underarms I have to admit to not being all that picky and will go with a good brand that I can usually find on sale at my local Target store. Currently I am using Schick Xtreme3 with Comfort Plus ( aloe and Shea butter).. these seem to do the job and for a pack of ten it was about $6.

When it comes to shaving other than my legs and underarms I am a die-hard lover of the Noxzema bikini shavers. These little dudes can sometimes to be hard to find so when I do I am sure to pick up a couple of packs at least ( easy to do at $2 a pack!). These things are tiny!.. I am talking that the razor width is about that of my thumb nail or maybe just a bit more. The handle is easy on the hands but I could wish for some grippy action since it can get slippery if the shave cream gets on your hand and the handle.

It would be a slow go to shave your legs with these little guys but for the more delicate areas it's just the right size giving you control as to not shave off something you might want to use later! No matter if you are just trimming up so your bathing suit covers the rest or if you are inclined to shave all that Mother Nature gave you this is the product for the job.

Country Living Fair- In Review

First let me start off with OMG!.. I was so excited to be able to go to this  creative event. I missed the Country Living Fair last year and have sat around  for a year pouting like someone who did not get picked for the dodgeball team waiting for my chance to roll around again.

I wish I had taken more photos but it seems in the face of so much wonderful I get a wee bit stupid and spent more time with my jaw hanging open in wonder than I did snapping photos. (On that note quite a few vendors had " No-photos" signs and I did respect those, so if you go please be aware of this little fact.)

We arrived mid-afternoon after a small navigational delay. The weather was stunning in Stone Mountain Park - Atl. GA.  where the event was held. A crisp, sunny fall day, PERFECT.  Parking at the event was $10,  and tickets to get into the fair were $16 each. I could gotten them for a bit less by buying early on-line but since the weather is dicey and so is life sometimes I decided that the extra $4 total was worth the walk-up price. 

There were no lines what-so-ever when we got there but I heard tell that at the  lines at the early-bird event were hysterically long.. so score one for late in the day shopping! When you pass through the gates you are in a "town-square" of sorts with  food vendors, information booths and the CL store ( which I forgot to go in-boo!) Off from there you find  long looped pathways bordered on either side by vendors of all sorts.  

As for who was there...  I suspect there might have been some sort of jury process for vendoring at this show since the booths there offered a pretty tight and consistent variety of items that would appeal to the reader of Country Living Magazine. I appreciated this since I did not have to waste my time on styles of art and home goods that do not fit my taste. Nor were there vendors for  tables full of  slightly mis-knit tubesocks (or does that only happen in the South ?). That is not to say there was not a good selection of vendors and products. From modern funky-junk sort of country to true primitive (or Prim's as they like to be called) it was all there. Add to that fabrics, gourmet food vendors and more.. very nice.

 In the end I only purchased a couple of things ( which I will feature later this week) but that was out of totally being overwhelmed, next year you had better watch out! :)

Top 5 best things about the fair-
5)Stone Mountain park was a great place to have it- nice and easy to access
4)Large selections of vendors with similar but unique products
3)Parking was ample, if a bit pricey 
2)Service to get big things back to your car for a small fee.
1) THE PRICES.. amazing.. really so affordable

A couple things I could have lived without -

Cafe food service was less than stellar, and VERY expensive - $12 for a serving of Chickenpot pie?

 Paved pathways were very narrow making even a small crowd very crowded.

Stollers.. EVERYWHERE - I love kids, I love babies, but antique fairs are not the place to bring them. Bless the mamas and daddies with babies in snuggly front packs and slings.

Dogs - Your dog no matter how wonderful has no appreciation for crafts, collectibles or antiques -leave him home unless he is a true service dog. ( yes- lady with the ancient peach poodle that I saw your dog take a wiz on that vendors  antique frame - I am talking to you)

People there to rip off the hard work of other and that is the only reason you came. (yes,  2 ladies in the tacky orange bedazzled shirts I saw you taking notes and sly photos and talking about your own craft fair aspirations)

Over all I could not have been more thrilled and I am counting the days  and putting my pennies in a jar for next year!  

Branding Isn't a Bad Word

In an effort to stretch it out and milk it for all it's worth  savor the memories I am going to be relating what I learned at Bloggy Bootcamp in little tiny posts over the course of .. forever. Honestly my head almost dropped off from learning so much and I suspect that I could post 20+ times on the topic and still not relate all I learned or do it near as well as these ladies did.

First off was Amy B.H*. ( for grins I am going to let you find her name.. she is just too fun!)  She spoke to us about branding in a tough love for bloggers sort of way that had most smiling and a few snivviling into hankies out of angst at the news that they were going to have to dig a bit deeper to find their authentic blogging self and put it out to the world since otherwise they were going to get lost in the sea of the other.... wait for it... 200 million blogs out there!

Amy had a lot of good stuff to say about branding-  most of which you can read here at her professional blog BE BETTER  But what I took away was the part about really being you, the best you, the unique you, the you that no one else is. Better yet how to capitalize on that to find your voice and get it out there with consistent design and presentation of that very unique you. Big order for sure but good words to hear. 

Branding gets SUCH a bad wrap out there..but as she pointed out, each time we get dressed unless we are blind and do it in the dark we are choosing to brand ourselves. That JJill dress, purple Spanx tights and black knee boots I wore was my "brand", "my story" that I was trying to sell people.. I hoped my brand said mid-40's but hip ( perhaps I failed..who knows).. Each choice we make is a brand, from the car we drive to the TP we put on the roll in our bathroom. Our blogs are the same.. what does yours say about you? Design?.. color?..theme?  Can people see the unique you when they come to your blog. They will make that determination in under 20 seconds.. again.. what is your blog/brand saying about you?

*I would also like to mention that no matter what don't hate her because she is so stink'n gorgeous (my bitter self tried and failed, she was too nice) that it's sort of rock start like.. she is also a great presenter, super nice to talk with and had on a pair of leopard shoes that were totally kick ass.

This is the first part of my series about what I learned at Bloggy Bootcamp, if you want to follow along please join the Domestic Anarchy  Facebook page (upper left) where I will be posting and adding daily tips as I remember them!  

Creative Price Tags a Tiny Tutorial

 As part of living the creative life I enjoy  infusing beauty into what can be the totally mundane. In this case I needed some  price tags / hang tags for some new pieces I am working on and it was the prefect time to let the creative side of me just PLAY.

I love hang tags that are little pieces of art themselves and have been known to tack them up on my inspiration board to look at again and again when the design was good. I hope the tags that I create encourage others to do the same, or at the very least linger with them a bit before putting them in the recycle bin.

I get a lot of questions about how I create my various tags since I do new tags for each collection I create- this collection will be called Reborn and when I saw this little finch graphic at the Graphic Fairy I knew it was just what I was looking for.

Tags are fast and easy with a little help from Photoshop or any other graphics enabled program. In the case of this design all I needed to do was add the wording and tweak the graphic for a bit more vibrancy

and then I printed it out on a multiple per sheet layout. I printed on some wonderful linen weave cardstock that really gives these a very upscale look and feel.

Next is cutting them all up. For this I love my guillotine style paper cutter which is totally NOT child friendly but makes perfect cuts a breeze but since I can't cut and shoot there is no photo but mine is like the link I included. ( Don't cheap out on this purchase, you want a strong sharp blade)

After that  I fiddle around with how to trim the cards. Sometimes with a simple corner clipper for a smooth rounded edge. Sometimes with something a lot more fancy like a scallop and dot or corner detail, it all depends. Heck sometimes plain is best!

Here I mixed it up a bit with this card to play with the flower shape and the negative white space in the card. I went with a simple rounded clip on the sides and the a detail punch in the one corner. I am really happy with these! I used some thin jute for the tie for the organic earthy feel it brings to the project.

What do you tags make a difference to you?

Creative Living and Loss

Pin It

One of my very favorite tea cups in the whole world as broken today. It was a total accident and no blame was assigned and no heads were laid upon the chopping block. Still the break-e feels pretty bad about it and I have been doing my best to assure them that while sad I am not really all that upset. 

This cup has brought be great joy for the time I have owned it and while I have lost it for that purpose  I will use the shards to create some jewelry that will be with me for even longer I hope. The jewelry will remind me of the  hours sipping hot chocolate and tea from it and my delight at the colors and the pattern ( anybody know the name of it?) which first drew me to it. 

Part of living a creative life is using what I have including the good, the special and the breakable and not saving these items for "someday".  To enjoy each minute I have had with these things until they pass back out of my life as part of the cosmic process.

To live fully in a creative mindset is about risk. Some risks are small, like that of a broken tea cup and others are larger and more painful than I could ever imagine, such as losing my son. But no matter big or small it's about being in the moment and possibly even making the very best of a  very bad moment. 

Even from the very hardest place I have ever gone I learned that I am stronger and more resilient than I could have ever dreamed. To see beauty again, to laugh, to create again in the face of such pain gives you a hope to move forward and helps you see that sometimes even losing your favorite tea cup is not such a bad thing after all.

Ok.. switching gears.. that was a bit

In the case of the tea cup, the shards are still just amazing, and I am looking forward to incorporating them into to unique jewelry pieces by way of some soldering work. Do you know about jewelry soldering? It is wildly fun and  I can get lost in it for hours!  I started out with a kit from Simply Swank and have built up my supplies from that point.  I am hoping to offer some classes this fall over at the studio..the host some craft nights thereafter.. I love sharing creative inspiration!

Have a fantastic weekend and  check back Monday for a post about my adventures at the Country Living Antique Market this weekend!!    And Bloggy Bootcamp Atlanta!

Thread Painting, something for everyone!

Just a quick note as I get packing for Bloggy Bootcamp Atlanta. So much to do and so much I seem to have hidden from myself!.. if anyone knows where I put my t-strap heels please drop me a line.. I sure would like to wear them this weekend!

In other news I am working on a thread painting project using this beautiful panel of autumnal poppies.. and some very pretty thread.   A lot of people don't know much about thread painting. It can be done in just about all of the styles out there.. from very traditional to stark and modern.   I am just playing around with it for a small " in the middle" project but for some people it is a full on passion.

I have a  gathered some good links for those who are interested in more about this intriguing hobby so have a look... and if you will now excuse me.. I have some shoes to find!

A great Tutorial  is HERE

The queen of the traditional art style is HERE

Thread sketching is HERE   LOVE this one!

Fresh and Modern is HERE

Have fun!.. embrace your creative nature!

How To Be Creative - Finding the Time

Last Friday I opened a dialog about what it means to embrace creativity from the prospective of homemaking and invited anyone who had a thought to drop me a note or leave a comment. I received a couple of very touching emails, one snark-0-gram, some thoughtful questions, plus the various spam offers to increase the size of my "member" ( who actually clicks on those??)

While what I wrote resonated with some it lead someone to wonder if  "being a creative homemaker" was yet another pressure that we are taking on at a time when there is so much going on in our lives - that it is an unreasonable goal. I spent a bit of time thinking about this since lets face it, I don't know any of us who are not really busy these days so this seemed like a valid question. (p.s. it was also very nicely written as opposed to the person who said I was little more than a Stepford-rehash- ahem!)

Let's face it, I nor anyone I know can be everything to everybody  and in order to take care of others we have to care for ourselves first!..  For me the expression of my creative nature and my desire to create is so strong and so apart of me that to ignore it is a recipe for one grumpy mama!  For others it's a part they want to nurture and explore further but thinking about when to learn to sew, or paint or do pottery seems such an impossibility that they feel cut off and shut down before they even get started!

One way I have found time to incorporate my creativity is to make it part and parcel of our lifestyle. Admittedly this can lead to things being a bit messier than is comfortable for some  but the rewards tend to out-way the down sides.

An example of  incorporating would be the fact that we have decided to only give homemade/personalized  gifts to those we cherish and attend their birthday parties and graduations etc..  I wrote back in April about jumping off the BIG BIRTHDAY  BANDWAGON and homemade gifts is one of our ways of practicing this with the added benefit of some terrific one-on-one time with my kids while we create special things for the people we love.

This weekend we had not one but two birthday parties so Sam and I spent a couple of good hours making and embroidering together.  I will admit to a total bad blogger moment in not getting any shots of the first project but did get my act together for the second project which was this snazzy insulated custom lunch bag for Sam's friend Marcos.

Sam picked out the very cute design from Urban Threads and then  attended the embroidery machine, switched the threads and sewed out the design. From there he told me how he wanted it to look, cut out the fabric for me, pinned and  fetched me cool drinks  and waved me with a palm frond while I sewed :)   We were a great team.  Both got what we needed- win-win at it's best.

Of course I am no fool and as the mother of 6 I know that when your children are younger that you have to be more creative with your time and talents but naps times, early morning and late nights all present times when the creative muse can be invited to play. I have sewn since my children were small, they sat in my lap at the machine, sat beside me on the floor and played with scraps and went onto sewing their own small things as young as age three. It is possible to find the time if you want it bad enough.  The average adult pends 4 hours a day watching TV, maybe that time could be put to better use?

Sharing my creativity with my kids is one of the best gifts I could give them. So no matter the sewing room or the kitchen they are welcome to come learn with me and for those times when I want to create alone, well that is why *I* can stay up late with out asking permission :)

Free Wine Label for Halloween Entertaining

Ohhh this was fun!... Wine is an easy hostess gift  but it can be a bit "expected" so why not add a little flare with only a small investment of time? ( Mind you who turns down wine??) This wine label could not be easier to make.

I created this custom wine label with a stunning image from the Graphics Fairy and then with a quick edit I made it my own with the Winsome Witch Wine typography which is pretty much perfect I think!  I have sized this label to be pretty generous so that it will fit over just about any other label that might be on a bottle but keep that in mind as you buy your wine for giving.   Just print off the file onto full sheet label paper, trim, and adhere and you will be ready to go in no time!

Due to condensation this label is best on red wine since the chilling and wet bottle of white wine will mess with the label.

15 days to Halloween.. are you ready?

Want a copy of the file?..  CLICK HERE

Creative Homemaking - What's in it for You!

Since changing my header I have gotten a couple of questions about what I mean when I talk about elevating Homemaking to a "Creative Art" and I have been taking some time to think about my answer since it is one that is close to my heart. 

Homemaking- As defined by Websters- The creation and management of a home, esp. as a pleasant place in which to live.

Creative Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work:

Creative Homemaking-

 Bringing together the best of practical wisdom and  original ideas to the art 
and science of running a home.

The Gift-
To make a home is a gift, but it not just a gift given to those with children, or those with money, or with a spouse, or a cat or even a natural inclination to clean.  Making a home and doing it creatively is about  finding the happy in the mundane, comfort in the storm, and pleasure in daily of tasks. It is about an attitude that you are doing and creating something meaningful and worthy of attention, you are creating  HOME.

The Shift-
Creative homemaking is a paradigm shift of the ultimate sort and is not associated with a particular religion or political stance. It lets you come to understand that your long list of  tasks for home and possibly children and spouse are worthy of your attention. You can be a homemaker and work full time or part time or not outside the house at all, homemaking is open to everyone no matter their sex or age.

The Lift-
Creative Homemaking helps honor your own need  for creativity and purpose while making a place that people desire to be. It attracts positive interactions and the lifting up of friends and family who are part of your life. It feeds your soul. It encourages learning new skills from the practical to the esoteric with the aim of finding the joy in making and doing.

The Rift-
Now don't get me wrong, life is not all wine milk and cookies even when you embrace the idea of being a creative homemaker. Toilets still overflow, children act snarky and you sometimes forget to pay the water bill.  How you react to such things does change as well as how you work to prevent those problems in the future using creative solutions and out of the box thinking. It's a new way of being.

I have only just scratched the surface of Creative Homemaking as as Art but value your input and reflection on this topic. So if you enjoyed this please pass it on via Tweet or FB "like" which you can do by clicking on the  icons below. Please  also share you thoughts with me via a comment or dropping me a line at

Have a fantastic weekend, be creative- no matter what that means to you!

Beautiful Thread for Everyone!

 So.. you remember last week when I gave away the super beautiful spool of Superior Threads Rainbow in the color Gypsy???   NerdySewist won that spool and it is currently winging it's way across the U.S. to her.. but I felt bad for the rest of you... I want you all to be winners!

And now you ARE!

yes.... all 12 who entered will  be getting a spool of Rainbows thread!

I got in contact with the wonderful people at SuperiorThread  and have arranged for a spool of Rainbows for each of the original 12 who entered the giveaway!

So if you are one of those 12 ( confirmed via matched email to your comment) please drop me a note at so that I can get your address and send you some thready goodness early next week!

Are you excited???

( I hope so, I am very excited to do this for you)

Balance at Anarchy

A wild rumpus was had! Time to clean up*

Starting this week I am moving to a M-W-F blogging schedule and I will continue to take the weekends  off.  This has been a hard choice for me since I love sharing and connecting with each of you through this medium,Twitter and Facebook but in pursuit of that elusive balance thing I am going to give this a try.

For quick connections I will be posting up items of interest on the Domestic Anarchy Facebook page so do make sure to join there if you are a FB person, and if you do Twitter please say hi to me that way since I really do enjoy getting to hear from each of you. 

** and finish painting and slipcover the sofa and re hang the art and.... and.....

Keeping it Hallow-real

For those wondering.. I am still working on it.. and there is not a chance I will  finish for this Halloween.. just say'n

See you Monday!