Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and Spook-tacular Swaps!!



Karen aka Elphaba

Lots of eye candy for you today with a round-up of Halloween and Autumn swaps!  These little tinies are from one of my Flickr groups, the Matchbox Monthly Swap 2011.  In this group we sometimes have different partners than the one we send to.   Jen, who lives in Australia, sent me this fabulous tiny matchbox for the Halloween theme...
what creativity!!  lovin' the tag and the box

notice the skull drawer pull?

lovelies inside....altered bones, stickers, fabric, images, and a handcrafted necklace!

necklace close-up
Thank you, dear Jen, for all the Halloween treats!  You can visit Jen and her amazing art on her blog at

My recipient was Jan in the UK, and here's what I sent her..
all wrapped up...a card, tiny surprise, wooden spoon, and coffin matchbox


matchbox treats tricks!
You can visit Jan's lovely blog at  I'm sure she would love your visit!

I think I mentioned that I joined the Button Floozies, a wonderful button group hosted by the lovely Laurie .  You must visit the blog at to see the most delicious eye candy for button junkies!

Recently, BF's had a "Fall in Love with Buttons" swap and my partner was dear friend Heather at Speckled Egg.
Heather is not only a marvelous artist, but has an online store that tempts me more than it should! LOL
Find Heather and her store here:

Look at this gorgeous tin she created for me!

and all the gorgeous buttons!
Here's what I created for Heather...
box and card

Well, dear friends, as you can see I've been one lucky girl this week!  I'll have more to share next week, including a "sneak peek" at the lovelies I've been creating for my etsy store and an upcoming local fair.
Have a Spook-tacular Halloween!  And if you take a close look at me in my blog banner, you'll see me at age 6 in the costume I wore for Halloween...a gift from my brother's godparents who were stationed in Japan at the time.  I loved that kimono and accessories and wore it until I could no longer...then my girls wore it for Halloween.  I still have the kimono and one sock!  Thank you for your visit!!

Berlin Diary ~ Day 6

We're closing in on the last two days of our tour of Berlin, and today we're taking the train to  beautiful Potsdam.  Potsdam is a quaint little city about 20 miles southeast of Berlin, summer home of Friedrich the Great and his descendants as well as the site of the Potsdam Conference at the end of World War II.

The train's leaving, so hop aboard with us!
The front of the Sans Souci, summer palace of Friendrich the Great of Prussia
 Interesting is that Friedrich was influenced by many different cultures...French, Dutch, Asian, and the Ancients.  Here is a view from the front of the palace looking out to what appears to be ancient ruins...he had them built just for the view!

The back of the palace

"without worry"

Friedrich is credited with introducing the potato to Prussia and those saving the people from a Great Famine

He was also quite enchanted with himself!  This bust sits in the garden along with those of  Roman emperors

fantastic view from the gardens, which were modeled after those at Versailles.  You're looking at the back of the palace

a scenic moment in the gardens, with a view of an Asian-inspired gazebo

Peace Church and bell tower

entry to Peace Church

an entry/exit to the church grounds, small enough so that everyone has to bow to get through...a small act of humility

Potsdam's Brandenburg Gate....everyone has one!
After touring the palace we walked through town where the Dutch influence was apparent.

Prussian Army helmets

Children's Orphanage

Havel River along the Marley Gardens

Schotzie huggin' a tree in Marley Gardens

 Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, a direct descendant of Friedrich the Great, erected this palace for his son, Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany and his wife Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  The palace was named in the Duchess' honor.

the royal family lived  here from 1917 until 1945, when the Red Army closed in and took over the palace

Churchill, Truman, and Stalin

the red star of flowers was  a later addition by the  Soviets

the children's garden

children's garden and royal family quarters

the Conference room
 The day was coming to an end and we headed back to Berlin...dinner at the Alt Berliner Biersalon on the Kurfurstendamm...delicious and fun atmosphere!

Next Monday I'lll wrap up our trip with Day 7, our last full day in Berlin.  I'm so happy to have you travel along with me as I re-live these fabulous memories.  Thank you for taking the time, dear friends.  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Swaps ~ Part Deux

 It was a wonderful Sunday evening at the home of Tucson Swap Queen, Sandra Kelley, with eight Swap Queens in attendance.

Queen Sandra
Queen Geri and Queen Karina

Queens Kiera, Katie, and Julie

Queen Debbie with hostess Q. Sandra

the darling Kelley twins ~ Jacob and Mackenzie

a beautiful table was set, complete with a bubbling cauldron of  witch's ice

fabulouso chili with delicious salads

whole wheat corn muffins with honey butter...yummmmmmm!
And delectable desserts....chocolate brownies, rice krispy treats, and pineapple upside down cake...all fit for the Queens!

This was our Halloween/Autumn Altered Spoon Swap.  One of our Queens was detained at the last minute, so I'll just display the spoons without recognition so not to spoil the surprise for Queen Sharon.

Thanks so much to Sandra and all the ladies for an absolutely FANTASTIC are the BEST!!