Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year, New Direction

"It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though limits to our ability do not exist. We are collaborators in creation."

-- Teilhard de Chardin

I have been lax about posting to my blogspots {yes, both of them} during the Christmas season. Once I completed the 120+ hand-made, home-made Christmas cards and got those in the mail and out into the world, I just ... rushed about trying to finish all the other holiday tasks!

Now that I almost feel recovered {yes, RECOVERED} from Christmas, I'm trying to make / find time to contemplate just what I intend to do with the beautiful New Year that lies ahead.

What are YOU going to do in 2009 that's new, different, altered, and most importantly - CREATIVE?

You may not be artistic, you may not even like art -- but you can be CREATIVE in so many ways - you can elect to read a certain author in the new year, in a genre you may have never before explored. That's being creative {and adventurous, too}.

You could choose a different way of relating to another person - someone you'd like to know better, or someone you'd like to get to know from the beginning. You could opt for being more "related" to your family and friends -- remember their special days {birthdays, anniversaries} and you could volunteer to just BE THERE for them when they need a hand to hold {some women do not like going to their mammogram appointments alone ... offer to go along, and then head out for coffee together afterwards, for a nice visit}.

Pick a new walking route, if that's your thing. Take in a new neighborhood from time to time, ON FOOT, and see what others in your community are planting in their gardens. Heck, PLANT a garden for yourself !!!

Try a new recipe once a week - better yet, share it with someone you love.
Learn to KNIT. Take up CROCHET. Finish that embroidered piece you started how-many-years-ago-is-it-now ???!!!

Whatever suits you, I encourage you to do something CREATIVE in the coming New Year.

Me? I'm going to take that Mixed Media art class -- six weeks of bliss -- I can hardly wait !!!

Yours in heading in a new direction in the new year,

Princess Magpie, aka DAH

Monday, December 22, 2008


My family SURPRISED me with a birthday bash last night ... and here are the photos to prove it:

What a party ...

Hurrah ...

... at last, I'm FIFTY !!!
Hard to believe, but Princess Mapgie has a birthday today.
-- PM

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Prince

If I am Princess Magpie {and I am!}, then this, THIS ...

is my Prince.

It rained steadily all through last night, and so far, all day today. It's lovely. Rocky decided that he'd like a fire in the living room fireplace while I finished cleaning out & organizing our infamous Hall Closet ... aka, The Gift & Gift Wrap Closet.

He asks ... he gets!


-- Princess Magpie, aka DAH
{and by the way ... there is a King in the household, but he isn't as cute burrowed in the afghan as Rock Star}

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The BEST Wishes of the Christmas Season

We received a Christmas card from a favorite bed & breakfast this week, and it's so simple - yet it moved me profoundly. It's Irish Green, with a gold foil bow {can you picture it yet?!}, with these beautiful words embossed on the front:

Peace ~ Serenity ~ Joy
Health ~ Happiness
Friendship ~ Warmth
Hope ~ Prosperity
Goodwill ~ Harmony

And because I have a most busy day today, cleaning out the Hall Closet {yes, the one that Mark said I had to sort out or we couldn't have Christmas Day here !!! THAT closet} and one quick appointment mid-day.

Christmas Greetings to you all ...
from your,
Princess Magpie

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'll take my INSPIRATION anywhere I can get it ...

... including STARBUCKS COFFEE !!!

Mark and I stopped in at the Montecito Starbucks yesterday before heading home, and the little bag that my Gingerbread Man came in said this:

Starbucks Coffee (in the logo)

flavors my senses
sweetens my disposition
stirs my imagination
nourishes my dreams

I HAVE TO ADMIT - I was mighty inspired after my Mocha Frappucino and my Ginger Man. During this oft-hectic and stressful time of year, I highly recommend a stop-off at YOUR favorite, local coffee bar -- be it Starbucks, or a private venture like my sister-in-law Kim's ESPRESSO MIO ... just so long as you get your favorite special beverage and maybe a little nosh ... just to take that holiday edge off.

Gleefully yours, a well & truly caffeinated

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Card TIDINGS to you all

As I near completion of my 125-card stated goal this year, I am already feeling a little bit sad that the project is about over.

I do want to have our Dining Room restored to its former, albeit naked, self. "Naked" because, to me, it looks best and most lived in when we are either entertaining and it's all set for guests ... or when I have a scrapbooking or card-making project spread all over the room, end to end. Those are the scenes that make me happiest.

We don't do near enough entertaining -- very little, in fact -- and my husband gets very upset if I requisition the Dining Room for my projects -- so these two weeks of card-making have been a little slice of heaven in the house for Princess Magpie. {other than the running commentary from the Mister}

this photo may explain why Mark gets mad at me for using the dining room?
Bless you for reading my blogspot, and for encouraging me on this 125-card journey. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
-- Princess Magpie, aka DAH
December 5, 2008

Beauty Within ...

"There is no one so ugly he does not have beauty within him --
no one so weak he does not have a great strength,
and no one so poor he is not endowed with richness ...
each person is of invaluable worth."

-- Sister Antonia

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A COLLAGE A DAY by Randel Plowman

Want to know what inspires me? Plenty.
Lately, I am very "taken" by the creative genius of one Randel Plowman, of Kentucky. Randel has a very cool blogspot, where A COLLAGE A DAY is posted ... check it out for yourself!

Someday, I aspire to ... SOMETHING creative each and every day ... be it a small collage, like Randel's, or a custom greeting card for somebody, or a page in a scrapbook, or an entry in my Watercolor Journal. Whatever it ends up being, THAT IS MY STATED GOAL.

illustration is called THE SECRET, and is one of Plowman's 4 x 4 inch collage works ... I love this!

Something creative EVERY single day.

I hope you enjoy A COLLAGE A DAY, the blogspot. Let me know what you think!

-- Princess Magpie, aka DAH

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself ...

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that a favorite mixed media artist of mine, Jane LaFazio, is going to teach a six-week {ie, six classes} MIXED MEDIA class down at the San Diego location of the La Jolla Athenaeum, beginning late January.

I read all the details, I printed it all out, and I thought about it for several days. Jane and I exchanged a couple e-mail messages, and I was convinced that THIS is the class for me.

So ... as an early 50th birthday present TO ME, I signed up for Jane's class.

To find out more about Jane, visit her website at www.plainjanestudio.com ...

To see what Jane's up to on a regular basis, you can visit her fabulous blog at www.janeville.blogspot.com ...

And to learn about the class I've signed up for, visit this site: http://ljathenaeum.org/school.html

AND just in case there's still room this coming weekend in her Watercolor Journal workshop, which I took a little over a year ago with my friend Cynthia, please visit Jane's website and scroll down until you see her December 6 workshop details. Held in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA, it is an amazing experience. You'll be SOOOO glad you took it, should you sign up.

-- Princess Magpie, aka DAH

Strength, Grace, and Wisdom

According to Sarah Ban Breathnach, who I frequently turn to for inspiration {lifestyle & creative}, what it takes to lead a CHARMED LIFE {and we're not talking "embellishments" here} is as simple as ...




"There is entirely too much charm around, and something has to be done to stop it."

-- Dorothy Parker

You may be thinking BAH, HUMBUG to Dorothy Parker for that one. But take a closer look, and you'll begin to see what DP and SBB mean when they bring to our attention all the glossy magazine images that make us think everyone ELSE has a perfect life, the most beautiful house {ah, but is it a HOME?}, is living a perfectly charmed existence.

Ain't no such thing, is what I say.

Being an {albeit retired} interior designer, and having worked many photo shoots for magazines and marketing materials, I am here to tell you IT IS ALL STAGED. Yes, the houses and/or rooms were delightful in some special way in the first place, or else they would not be the subject of said photo shoot. But I gaurantee you that what you see in the photo, and what you would have seen two hours prior -- or two hours post shoot -- are not the same thing. WE DRESS THINGS UP. WE CLEAN THINGS UP. WE STRAIGHTEN THINGS UP. WE TAKE PEOPLE'S "Stuff" AND WE HIDE IT. You have no idea !!!

That covers one aspect -- places we see in magazines.

The same goes for the beautiful models gracing the pages and our televisions -- of course they all have a particular beauty, a certain "look" about them -- that's why they are modeling or acting. But the stylist is responsible for getting them to that JUST RIGHT look you end up seeing. They sure don't roll out of bed looking all good to go. No sirreeeeeee. Being the daughter of a 40's - 50's-60's-70's fashionista, I am here to tell you -- what you see is NOT what they see when first they look in the morning mirror !!!

Mom used to tell me ... "if I don't look perfectly made up and put together, head to toe, front to back, each time I step out the front door -- who will hire me for their next convention / fashion show / appearance?" And sadly, she was probably right - but it was her BUSINESS -- MOM was the product.

So what does all this have to do with CREATIVITY?

Princess Magpie {that would be me!} is known for putting a lot of expectation & pressure on herself {yes, it's true!} for how things should turn out.

Take my Christmas Cards for example. I want them EACH to be so charming, that the recipient will keep it forever. PUH-LEEZ. For the most part, they won't know what sort of time, thought, love, and energy went into making the card -- and if I don't send them the "perfect" card FOR THEM, that will really appeal to them, making it impossible for them to toss it out after the holidays ... then SO BE IT. I have to put the love and energy into the cards, write our greetings inside, put the postage on, and SEND THEM ON THEIR MERRY WAY. And just let whatever happens to them next ... happen.

SO - my creative friends - NO PRESSURE. Make art because it makes YOU happy inside. Then release it into the world and JUST LET IT GO ... LET IT BE ... let whatever happens next, happen.

Get up each day, thank God for all your blessings, and put on your own version of


to keep you going all the day through.

That's where I was going with all that!

-- Princess Magpie, aka DAH
wishing a Most Happy December to you all

Monday, December 1, 2008

Multi-Generational Crafting

PAPER CRAFTING: not just for girls, and not just for the young. Here to illustrate my newest crafting theory, that it's a MULTI-GENERATIONAL SPORT,
I give you ... Frank's Story:

So yesterday afternoon, my dad stopped by, and since our youngest "grand" and I were in the dining room, that's where Dad took a seat. After about 10 minutes of explaining to him just what we were doing {making Christmas cards} ...

... we looked over and there was Dad, sorting out the scrap pieces of paper ...

... organizing them into a neat little "collage" on the table, and then he began reaching for the embellishments -- the bottle of Stickles {glitter glue}, packages of beads, rubber stamps {he opted for what he kept calling 'the pigeon' -- although it was clearly a Quail -- which is obviously, this being Christmas-time, a PARTRIDGE !!!}.

Before Dad left to go home, he said "Keep watch over my citadel". {the Cross, he said, was for 'protection' over the ranks ... he really got into this!}

Once an Army guy, always an Army guy !!! Only my dad could take scrapbooking materials and play FORTS with them.

-- Princess Magpie {aka DAH} -- and now you see where I get "it" from ...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Deck the Halls

Well, our halls are currently decked with assorted Thanksgiving fare - edible fare, of course. My now-famous Dressing, which is nothing more than an elaborate version of Mrs. Cubbison's dressing recipe {on the back of the box}, and pumpkin pies. No, we did not grow the pumpkins {we grew Jack O'Lanterns this year, but not eating pumpkins}. I did use the cutest darn cans of Evaporated Milk, though -- since this is my creative blogspot, Princess Magpie will now share with you a photo of those cute cans:

Aren't they the best?!

And the pumpkin pies turned out absolutely beautiful this year -- even the crusts, which I ususally "over-brown" {my nice way of saying BURN} ... are perfect. Photo can follow later. If you're still searching for that one fool-proof PUMPKIN PIE RECIPE, especially if you are a beginner in the kitchen -- trust me: you can trust LIBBY's. Do it exactly like it says on the label, and you will have success.

As for the Christmas Cards that have bedecked our dining room & breakfast nook for close to a week now, here's another sneak peek:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all,

Princess Magpie, aka DAH

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ARTISTICALLY Paying it Forward

So there is this cool magazine, beautifully edited and published, and oh-so-inspiring, and it is called ARTFUL BLOGGING: Visually Inspiring Online Journals {it is a Somerset Studio / Stampington & Company publication - visit them at http://www.stampington.com/ for more info on ALL their cool publications!). ARTFUL BLOGGING {the magazine}, in their own words, is where "Innovations in technology provide new and exciting platforms for artists and writers to share their creative work with the world."

In the Winter 2009 edition, there is a very sweet "post" on page 111 called "Pay It Forward", and it is dated August 12, 2008 -- it comes from the blog known as The Land of Lost Luggage, by Julie Prichard, which can be found at: www.lostluggage.typepad.com and I most highly recommend you VISIT her blog and look in her Archives for August 13th's entry -- you will love how Julie and her niece put together an Art Journal together, when gathered for days on end, preparing for a family wedding.

Introducing someone to ART, especially a child, can be life-altering -- for them, and for you; for us all. READ JULIE'S LITTLE STORY about "Paying It Forward" and I think you will agree with me -- it is SO worth it to take the time to do art projects with children. And grown-ups. And grown-ups who act like children, too!

-- Davi, aka, Princess Magpie

Sunday, November 23, 2008

in case you forgot ...

... what a MAGPIE looks like ... this is a baby.

I can't resist posting MAGPIE images for everyone to enjoy!

Happy Sunday, friends.
-- PM / dah

Proof of Progress from Princess Magpie

Okay, so my friend Lyn and I have determined that not only am I a bit of a MAGPIE, but I seem to be a MAGPIE who has ADD {attention deficit disorder}.
This came to light when she told me she has her Christmas Card design all figured out, and has done the shopping for the materials to make said cards ...
and I sat here wondering ...
What in the world is the matter with me?! I can't settle on ONE card design per season, I have to make MULTIPLE designs?!".

a few of the first two batches, standing all happy in their cute little boxes ...

But you know, variety can be the spice of life, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
And speaking of STICKING to it, I went to Mass at St. James last night ... with GLITTER on my face. Yes, I did. And Mark didn't even care!

my trusty XYRON, which can turn many things into ... STICKERS. including ribbon, which I have my friend Lyn to thank
for teaching me !!!
So here are a couple photos of the Princess Magpie Christmas Card weekend
{so far - there's plenty more to come}:

one design ...

and my Musical Inspiration ...

Time to get back to cracking !!!
-- Davielle, aka, PRINCESS MAGPIE

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Progress is Being Made

It is mid-day on Saturday, and God is smiling on me, that's for sure. I asked for RAIN, but since that's clearly (pardon the pun) out of the So Cal Question, He is giving me -- overcast. Nice. That, and some assorted Christmas music, is keeping me motivated ...

So by 11:30, I was partly finished with the first fifteen (yes, just 15) Christmas Cards ... the first batch is for our cycling friends, so a definite theme was the plan, and a design had to be worked out. By the time I got all the elements together, it was a cinch, putting those cards together.

Photos to follow.

Now, lunch is brewing (spaghetti squash as "pasta" and meat sauce - YUM !!!) and Mark is due home -- well, he was due home an hour ago. Whatever, more time to design the next batch of cards - lunch can wait!

Yours in getting ready for the holidays,
Princess Magpie (aka, Davielle)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fa la la la la ...

... la la la la !!!

It's time to get started making our 2009 Christmas Cards ... and yes, I intend to make them all from scratch. Ambitious? You bet. I quick scribbled The List out last night, while filling the bathtub {okay, so the tub is never FILLED, it's just partly filled - for any of you wondering why I would waste all that precious water - I don't} and The List turned out to be just over 100 people long. I'm sure more names will come to me, but for now, 100 homemade cards is A Lot to Process.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of the little mag, SCRAPBOOK TRENDS, November 2008, "Scrapbooking Gratitude" -- and was totally inspired by pages 52-53, "NOEL", by Kandis Smith. It's a darling, collage-style (with stitching, no less!) card -- and I was off and running {in my head, that is} with card ideas ...

Kandis Smith's NOEL card, the one that inspired all this Christmas magic !!!

Here's a few shots of our dining room table, aka, Princess Magpie's Workshop, with some of the Christmas card elements displayed ...

I'll do a "from this to THIS" photo posting later, when cards are done !

Meanwhile, although Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, I am putting on the new Faith Hill CD of Christmas music and rolling up my sleeves and getting started.
Now if the weather would just cooperate and COOL DOWN some, I'd be happy-beyond-words.
-- DAH, aka, Princess Magpie

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bee Inspired

From sunrise to sunset, each and every day offers us the opportunity to BE INSPIRED. From that inspiration, you might create the next custom greeting card for a special friend, or you may put together an art project to share with your children or grandchildren, or you might be moved to grab your camera and photograph something lovely ... and then share those photos with those who would appreciate them.

Open your eyes. Open your ears. Open your mind. Most importantly, open your HEART ... to the beauty that surrounds you daily. Your "everyday life" is rich beyond measure, but sometimes we get so caught up in our "To Do" lists, we forget to smell the rose outside our back door. We forget to turn on the radio so that music we enjoy can enliven our space. We forget to look for that which will inspire us ---

I admit, I hoard lovely things for "future art projects". But if I am not inspired to pull things together and actually CREATE something, then what is it all for?

PAPER SOURCE, a really fun and friendly chain of retail shops, has the perfect motto: Do Something Creative Every Day. {you can visit Paper Source online at http://www.paper-source.com/ or if you're fortunate enough to live near one, I highly recommend you make it a regular Artist's Date "stop" on your agenda}

This is my pledge. That I will not just dream of projects, I will not just collect ephemera and pretty papers for those projects, but I will FULFILL THE DREAM of those projects, by creating art and sharing it. Here. On this blog.

-- DAH, aka, Princess Magpie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

why Princess Magpie?

Welcome to I AM PRINCESS MAGPIE, my new blogspot for all things creative & artistic in my life. From musings to inspirations to actual art created, this is my spot.
Why "Princess Magpie" ??? Let me try to explain ...

From WIKIPEDIA, "Princess is the feminine form of prince (from the Latin princeps, meaning principal citizen). Most often, the term has been used for the consort of a prince, or her daughters, women whose station in life depended on their relationship to a prince and who could be disowned and stripped of the title if he so chose. As women have slowly gained more autonomy through European history, the title of princess has become simply the female counterpart of prince and does not necessarily imply being controlled or owned by a prince."

When Mark and I were designing and building our home, there were many times he would question a design element or feature in the plans, to which I would always explain, "Princess would like ..." {fill in the blank with anything ranging from Maytag Neptune stacking washer & dryer to farmhouse sink to limestone kitchen counters to solid walnut floors}. Finally, he sat me down and said "You really must stop referring to yourself as Princess - you're scaring me!".

As for MAGPIE, again, a very basic bit of lore is that "magpies love shiny things, and steal rings and other trinkets." Okay, so I don't steal stuff ...

But I am attracted to and tend to collect lovely things, not always shiny, but always charming, beautiful, and/or lovely -- for current or future art projects.

If one of you is so inclined to do further research on the Magpie, you may discover that they have quite a bit of folklore associated with them that I find ... totally unfair! Of course, had I done all this research on the Magpie BEFORE opting to call myself Princess Magpie, I might have chosen another creature that hoards shiny things.

But being the unsuperstitious gal that I am, I am not not not going to let those other silly ideas about this darling bird -- keep me from my chosen nickname. So there!

Thank you for visiting my new blogspot, I am Princess Magpie. I hope you will return again and again and again.

-- Davielle, aka "Princess Magpie" {but you can just call me Princess, if you like}