Monday, April 13, 2015

Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Large mixed media artwork I did based on the mystery kit we had. This hung over the fireplace in the living room for our party.

My husband and I attended a fantastic Murder Mystery Dinner Party a couple of months ago and I thought it might be fun to share some photos and inspire you creative types out there to get together with some of your fun friends and family to share an exciting experience like the one we had.

The host and hostess were my lovely sister and brother-in-law. And it didn't hurt one bit that my sister is a culinary artist in the kitchen. We didn't just dine together. We feasted.

Now, there are a multitude of Murder Mystery Themed Dinner Party Kits available in stores and on-line. It has become quite popular in recent years apparently, so there are quite a variety of creative themes to choose from.

The one we had was set in a 1930's English mansion. Found here on Amazon along with several other options.

Each couple received an invitation several weeks in advance with a description of the character they would be playing and suggestions for costume attire.

Throughout the evening we would mingle, eat, and "play out" the scenes by reading and improvising with direction from our individual "scripts". We could ask questions and write down clues and information we gathered in little notebooks so at the end of the dinner we could all guess "who dun it".

Sources for decor & outfits: 
Thrift Store, Thrift Store, Thrift Store....
Party Store/Halloween costume store
grandma's closet
DIY simple sewing project for maid's cap and apron found pinterest
printed vintage black & white photographs to replace the ones in frames throughout the home for the evening
real (or fake dollar store flowers to make table arrangements)
lots of candles for atmosphere
old books and newspapers
chess board
fake pearl necklaces (from the kids dress up trunk)
large black & white feathers
lace doilies
old record player (that also played cd's to use for part of the party- music & introduction that set the stage for the evening)
white sheets to use as fabric tablecloth over long folding tables or dining table if large enough

Photo Op:
We also created a photo booth area using some sheer curtains hung across the wall as a backdrop. Our outfits were the main attraction so our only other props were a couple of chairs and a stool (could use some vintage furniture piece if one was available). Then we added in a fake gun, long stem rose, fake long cigarette holder (made very simply out of thinly rolled black and white paper), and some silly mustaches.

Each party guest received a souvenir CD about a week after the party with all of the photos from the dinner party.

The absolute best thing about the evening was enjoying the experience in the company of great friends and family.
And the laughter....there was a lot of laughter.
Totally. Not. Appropriate. ;-p

Friday, December 5, 2014

Photo Shoots & Inspiration

Photo Shoots in the Fall and near Christmas time inspire me (but then, really, so do photo shoots in the spring and summer and well, anytime).

I'm in love with being able to see such great ideas from other people on Pinterest and then go try out variations of my own, or come up with something new. Maybe some of these images will give you a little inspiration too.

Happy Holiday Season!

Thank you to all of my lovely friends who allow me to capture these special moments.
I truly do enjoy every photo shoot.

Now if I can just make sure to get some "dressed up and posed" photos of my own family this time of year.

On with the photos....

With each of my own examples I am also including a link to a Pinterest Board that has great examples, tips, and articles from other wonderful sources.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Artful Interiors

I've just added a new page to my blog.

This one is all about painted and decorated spaces!
Something I've been doing for quite a while but just never really advertised all that much.
So I'm taking the leap and putting this one out there and hoping to build up this part of my business because it is something I truly enjoy getting to do for others.

Be sure to click on the tab at the top of the page labeled Artful Interiors to take a look.

Maybe I can help you on your next painting/decorating project.

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Art Therapy

Sometimes the thing we need is not so much the end result as the process.

Art is a lovely form of therapy for the creative soul to express the things that won't come out in words.

To let go of all that needs to be released.
 To reveal what we hold inside.
 To laugh, to cry, to shout.
 To turn up the music and let the paint brush dance.
I become immersed in the free flow of color and texture and personal expression.

The colors and textures of an extremely fulfilling art therapy session. 

"The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him."  - Exodus 15:2

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pictures from Flea in the Field

What a hidden gem right here in Anna! 
The Flea in the Field event was held at a quaint country place just a couple of miles down a picturesque winding road outside the city.

There were big open fields where vendors set up their tents to sell all sorts of things: organic beauty products, quilts, antiques, jewelry, stained glass, vintage accessories, art, and handmade products of all kinds. 

Our friends John and Robyn Beazley (Beazley Auctioneers) held an exciting auction. 
Here are the two re-purposed vintage doors that Jeremy and I turned into hall tables to sell.

I also had a booth at the event and sold a few crafty things. 
Lisa, the owner of this lovely property, has a huge old wooden greenhouse that she turned into an event area. The curved open roof structure of the old greenhouse was covered with chicken wire and she strung white lights over the whole thing. It was reserved for vendors who are also Etsy sellers. I was able to set up in this area (which was a blessing because it greatly helped in blocking some of the strong winds we had that day). 

There is so much potential for this venue! With the old white farmhouse, the red barn, the big open greenhouse, the gorgeous fields, trees, flowers, the hen house, and other old out! It is a perfect place for events like this and others. I am so excited to work with Lisa in the near future on designing promotional materials for her and discussing creative ideas. Can't wait!

A few pics from my booth.

Art for Missions:  I used some of the small shells that the kids helped me gather on the beach at Rabbit Island in Cambodia to make some special necklaces to sell to raise money to support missions. 
I will have these necklaces for sale in my Etsy shop very soon. (posting new items this week)

Much love and prayers for Mandi, Meredith, Shaela, and Dan!

This is a poster I designed to promote Artful Gatherings
I really love doing these painting parties with people and I hope that this will be a part of my business that grows this year.

* This was a card that I handed out for Artful Gatherings. I put one of my paintings on the front and all of the party information on the back with a discount offer. 
I put magnets on them so people could hang them on their refrigerator. 

If you are local and you want a card so you can get the discount on a future party just message me. :)

And I made these two postcards to promote my photography 
......they also include a discount for future photo session if anyone is interested. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flea in the Field

Here's a really creative and fun upcoming event for everyone!

I am excited to be participating this year for the first time.
 If you are in the "north of Dallas area" the weekend of April 12th you should definitely come check it out. See all the vendors, bid on something great in the auction, have some yummy food and enjoy the fun atmosphere with friends and family. 

Here is the ad I designed to promote Flea in the Field. :)

Look for it on facebook too and share with your friends!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stripes on the Ceiling

I recently spent the better part of a whole day up and down on a ladder with my arms in the air and neck craned back looking up in order to create a pattern of lovely stripes on a little girl's bedroom ceiling.

Thankfully I met a sweet new friend that day....... the little girl's grandmother, who kept me company, showed great kindness, shared stories and helped with the task immensely.

If you ever get the crazy idea to tackle a task like this yourself here are a few tips that may help you along the way:

  1. Have a can of paint that matches your ceiling color.
  2. Measure your room and plan out your stripes in whole numbers if possible or at least fractions that are easier to keep up with. Try to measure so that you don't wind up with a partial stripe if possible. Ours were 9.25" wide and made 17 equal stripes across the room so that it started on a colored stripe and ended on a colored stripe.
  3. * A standard roller is 9" wide
  4. Mark your  measurements with pencil on the ceiling on opposite sides of the room (beginning from the same end so they match up)
  5. Do a chalk line before you try to put your tape up so that you can get really straight lines. (great to have a helper on this)
  6. Tape to the inside of the stripe that is going to be your ceiling color.
  7. Use a small roller on an extension handle to roll ceiling paint over the edge of the tape on the sides that will be painted with your new color......this will seal the tape to the ceiling and assure that any paint that seeps under your carefully placed tape will be the ceiling color and not the new color.
  8. Roll on your new color with the standard roller and then go over the edges with a small smooth roller. 
  9. Do your edging by hand with a nice smooth brush made for cutting in.
  10. If you get paint somewhere it shouldn't go.....wipe it immediately with a wet rag or towel.
Good luck!  Here's a look at the process...... (notice we also lowered the light fixture and removed vent cover before painting.

P.S. Don't move that ladder yet! lol  (inside joke with my helper, ha, ha....disaster averted thankfully)

Now, most importantly you will probably need a major neck and back massage after a job like this.

Happy painting!