Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

Art Retreat

βσhσ Art Retreat 2010

As promised I am posting more information about the upcoming Art Retreat at my place!!!

In this post I’m just going to tickle your {artistical} fancy with a few pictures but if you click on the poster at the top right side of my blog you will have most of the necessary information. (or better yet click here!)

Now…step to the right, click the poster, leave a comment at the end and you will begin packing your bag for the most amazing, artistical adventure of your dreams!!!!

January 30, 2010 Posted by | Art Retreat | 3 Comments

Valentines 101

Making Valentines will forever bring out the kid in me!

It ranks right up there with baking and assembling gingerbread houses and finger painting!

Oh, what glittery↔gooey↔shimmery fun!

When I was in school {just a few years back}, art class was my favorite!

So now, as I work with a variety of mediums, it turns into a joyful experience.

I had a day of ‘sickness’ this week.  The day after I began working on these Valentines.  It seemed the perfect remedy as I slowly began to heal and ease back into ‘normal’.

I laid out a variety of vintage: papers, pictures and wallpaper.  I added to that  fun words, glue, stamps, paint and inks.

I worked in layers accomplishing depth and texture as I went along.

I backed each Valentine with a piece of vintage wallpaper then iced each one with a shimmery edge of German glass glitter!

As I worked on these I was full of anticipation for the upcoming Art Retreat.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the workshops that will be offered.   ♥ 😉 ♥

January 29, 2010 Posted by | collage, craftiness, Valentine's, vintage | 5 Comments

The nest!


a structure in which animals lay eggs or give birth to their young

a cozy or secluded retreat

move or arrange oneself in a comfortable or cozy position

I would have to say that I think I may have been born to nest.

Which is why, now that I have a few ‘girls’ that are very partial to nesting, I have a really, really hard time removing them to gather their eggs.

It’s painful for me {as I’m sure that it must be for them} to take them from their comfy little spot and rob them of there {potential} babies.

It just doesn’t seem right!!!  …but, I do it anyway {sometimes!}  😉

Remember Penelope?

She’s doing fine!  She was in the house for a couple of weeks then I had to get her adjusted back in with the others…a problem that I didn’t take into consideration until after I had removed her.

Now, Beauregard, on the other hand has been quite a handful.  He’s turned protective and a bit mean.  When I was taking the pictures inside the hen house I made sure that he was outside then I shut the little door so he wouldn’t come in and attack disturb me.  When I re-opened it, he was right there just waiting to get in and do his thing…so, I bent down real quick and snapped this shot of him.

That picture makes me laugh!

This picture makes me smile!!!

January 28, 2010 Posted by | chickens | 1 Comment

~: trois charmes :~

I recently met Pat when she ordered her ‘sisterhood’ charm through the MaryJanes Farm website.

She has since enjoyed ordering several custom charms for gifts and decided that now was the time to design another one, this time for herself.

These pictures show both sides of the charm necklace that will be going to Pat in Virginia.

Let me know if I can help YOU with any of your own special ideas!

January 27, 2010 Posted by | bespoke design, custom charms, soldered charms | 2 Comments

I met a gal…

…and within a few short hours she became my friend!

We met at a baby shower…

She liked what I made for the mommy-to-be and I loved what she made for the mommy-to-be…

We visited our way through the shower and when it was wrapping up she invited me to her home which was just next door.

She and her parents have been friends and neighbors with my aunt and uncle for many years.  I had seen some of the exquisite tatting that her mother had done for my aunt several years ago and had thought, “if I ever could squeeze in the time, I would love to have her teach me how to tat”.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make that happen and she lost her mother at 95 just this year but it was so much fun to get acquainted with her equally fascinating daughter.

She showed me the treadle-turned-electric commercial sewing machine, which was the only machine her mother used. (I’m still drooling)

She shared  with me a hefty stack of  fabrics and pellon that belonged to her mother.

She gifted to me this beautiful, vintage coverlet which was given to her by one of her clients.

It’s simply exquisite!

We had such a warm, inspiring visit and I’m feeling anxious for our next!

I have a large collection of, what I call, china hostess snack sets.  She had two of these {hand-painted from occupied Japan} which belonged to her mother…she said “would you please take them?”

Oh my!  I would be honored!

January 26, 2010 Posted by | collection, friends, vintage | 1 Comment

A charming give-a-way~

…Christina is having a give~a~way!    Go visit her at her blog, leave a comment and you just might win this…

Here a two views of this one-of-a-kind, 2-sided charm.

It was wonderful to wake up to a new, fresh covering of snow but as we approach this place called ‘mid-winter‘ it’s all too easy to dream of ‘spring‘ and fresh strawberries.

This charm reminds me of the freshness that comes with spring and the new opportunities that it brings as the ground awakens and the birds take to flight…as well as to nesting!

January 25, 2010 Posted by | bespoke design, collage, give-a-way | 3 Comments

National Pie Day!

I come from a looooooong line of pie makers.

Women who were dedicated to their families and homes.

What a lucky girl I’ve been to have such mentors in my life.

I’ve always been hopeful that just a fraction of their goodness would rub off on me.

It seems so fitting on National Pie Day to celebrate these women whom I’ve come from.

Last year I mentioned wanting to make a cream pie and it’s taken me a whole year to get to it.  My Grandma B. specialized in cream pies…possibly never opening a box of Jell-O Instant Pudding Mix.  Any time I make pudding, from scratch (which, btw, is the only way that I’ll make pudding!!!), I think of Grandma and how proud she would be.

In her later years, she often would make a Peanut Butter Cream Pie to share with friends and family.  Now, at our own family gatherings, that same pie often graces our dessert table adding to the plentiful variety.

When my grandma would make this recipe she would mix 1 c. powdered sugar and ½ c. peanut butter until it was crumbly • place that in the bottom of a cooled, pre-baked pie crust, reserving 2-4 tablespoons • pour over that the vanilla pudding of your choice (I used the Betty Crocker recipe) • Slather that with a thick layer of sweetened, whipped cream (w/a bit of vanilla added) • then sprinkle with the reserved peanut butter/sugar mixture.

My, Oh!, My ~purely delightful!!! I think I may need to go have that for breakfast 😉

January 23, 2010 Posted by | in the kitchen, recipe | 3 Comments

Farmgirl fun :~}

A {somewhat}  local farmgirl asked me this week if I would be willing to contribute a hand-made creation towards a gift basket with a ‘farmgirl’ theme for a silent auction.

I’m not too sure about all of the details for the silent auction but it just happens to be for the community where Rene’ grew up and the community where my son and his wife now live.

That added the ♥personal touch♥ necessary for me to get excited about it.

I got it done so quickly and in the mail, I may just tarnish my ‘procrastinator’ reputation but I was just in the mood to tinker…so, tinker I did!

January 21, 2010 Posted by | bespoke design, custom charms, soldered charms | 6 Comments

The rightful owner…

I am writing this as a follow-up to this post.  If you haven’t read it please take the time to do so.

It’s a very sweet, heartwarming story that I feel blessed to have been a part of.

The album made it safely to it’s rightful owners. It belonged to the family of the gentleman on the left.  He was one of five children featured in this album and the only one that is still living.  His father was an amateur photographer, therefore explaining the beautiful and abundant photographs included in it.    There is no way to fully know the journey that it has been on over the years.  It possibly made it’s way to the Pacific Northwest via one of the older girls.

Because of how I am, I couldn’t help but get emotionally involved in this story.   The first time I looked through it’s pages I began to feel connected.   From the first e-mail that went out, my contact has only been with the grandson (pictured on the right).  It continues to amaze me that his was the name we chose to send that first note of inquiry to.

With each bit of correspondence I have looked forward to his response especially upon receiving the album ~ which was…

“the album has arrived. Beautiful pictures!!
My grandpa was very excited —
Thank you again so much for giving us a wonderful gift”

He has been gracious and appreciative from the beginning and couldn’t wait to have the opportunity to sit and view the album with his grandfather.

Here is a photo of his grandfather, Bill {the only one still living of the children},  November 1927 ~ age 2 years & 8 months.

You’re just going to have to try to picture the smile that is on my face… 🙂

January 19, 2010 Posted by | vintage | 13 Comments

Custom work…

One of the things that I really enjoy about custom charms is working with the customer as she designs her charm{s} for that special someone or occasion.

As Kara has been planning a very special wedding for the end of this month she has included a variety of artists from around the country to contribute towards her special day.  I was honored to be one of those artists.  Over the course of about a week we corresponded back and forth probably no less than 20-30 times trying to come up with just the right design for the charms that would grace her decorated tables for her reception.

There is always that element of artistic interpretation that causes concern for me as I wonder if I am appropriately translating what the customer wants.

I literally cherish it when I receive a comment like this as I did from my last custom order…(thx. Cheryl)…

so far, this charm and experience with you has exceeded my expectations

I put a lot into them…and that includes a bit of worry!

As I was writing this, Kara called me on the phone.  She had just received her order and she  ♥LOVED♥ it!  😉

This ‘mention’ in the current MaryJanesFarm magazine has boosted sales too.   Working on this project with MaryJane and her peeps has only been a very positive experience.  Nice, nice people!

I’ll be setting up for a show tomorrow in Spokane.  I’m not so sure where I’ll fit into this one (as it is a spa show) but if you’re in the area, come say ‘HI’.  I’ve heard that it’s a very nice and well-attended show.

January 14, 2010 Posted by | custom, farmgirl style, Mary Jane's Farm, soldered charms | 6 Comments