Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Countdown '12

Since I haven't paid to post more pictures and haven't done anything more than download wordpress, I will link to the picture of our "countdown calendar" here.

It is really simple.  I googled "free mini envelope template" and chose one I wanted.  Then, I printed it out at 60% since even though they all said mini and I unchecked "fit to page", they still were giant.  Once printed and cut, I traced 24 on Christmas scrapbook paper.  Angelo actually cut most of them out and helped to fold them.  After the glue dried, I put in strips of paper (cut from one sheet printed from Word) with an activity that would work for that day.  Some are simple and could be done any day and some are days that I will need to be teaching or taking advantage of weekend hours to make gifts and DH will take Angelo out for a while. This was one of my rare moments of planning every day for a month.  The last time was this time last year... and I still switched some activities as needed.

So, the list includes:
See holiday trees at the Carnegie art museum
Put up our tree
Make gingerbread houses at the library
Make small crafty gifts
Make cards
See gingerbread houses on display at Market Square
Help make gifts for our baby and baby cousins
Ride Shenley Santa train
Make hot chocolate (from scratch) and read a Xmas book (we checked out a bunch from the library)
Decorate paper grocery bags for gift wrap
Package, address, stamp and mail gifts and cards (he's been getting a big kick out of writing things out for family, so it's not as boring as it may initially sound.)
See "Wreck it Ralf"
Put up lights
Make ornaments
Train ride at Station Square
Science kit (been saving one- he loves them!)
See "The Guardians"
Make cookies
Color and glitter Christmas coloring sheets (tons of free printables out there)
Make a mixed media winter/holiday themed painting
Eat a cookie and read a Xmas book (we'll read these as he's interested too, but the cookie will be a little extra something)
Go to open art studio at the library
See miniature railroad at the Carnegie Science Center
Open one present

Since we have a membership to the Carnegie museums and we have all the materials/ingredients for making things, really only the Shenley Santa train ride (not very expensive at all), the train at Station square (only $1) and the movies (ok, movies are expensive these days) cost anything.  But, we will all have fun and spend lots of family focused time together.

Since all this making and fun-having will take up a lot of time and since I'm likely transitioning my blog elsewhere, I'll be taking a bit of a break here.  Be sure to check back to see where the Vinegar and Glitter blog ends up! :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Shipping in My Etsy Store Through Cyber Monday!!

OK, this is totally lame.  Apparently, I'm out of storage space on this blog and have to pay to put any more pictures up, so I don't have a picture to go with this really cool bit of info I have for you.

However, you can go to my Etsy store: and see all of the pictures of my listings there.  There are a few costuming items, a few very gift-able items and more listings coming soon- hopefully tonight!!

Through Cyber Monday, I'm offering free US shipping (shipping in the US)!!  Offer ends Nov. 27th and all orders placed Nov. 21st - Nov. 26th will be shipped Nov. 27th-28th.

Buy handmade for the holidays!!  Please share this to help spread the word!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, friends!

With the picture situation and all, I may be moving this blog soon.  Will let you know!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Piano Lamp

From approximately 3rd-4th grade, I took piano lessons.  Sometimes I really liked it.  Sometimes I would hide quietly and hope my mother forgot to take me.  Since I had 2 younger siblings at the time, that happened pretty often.  Really, I'm glad I had the lessons.  It helped me easily learn to play the xylophone, marimba and chimes in middle school band- which meant I got to go on the King's Island trip... honestly, my entire reason for joining.  But, also, I believe it really helped me to feel and know music more easily when it came to dancing.

Regardless of how I felt about the lessons, I was really happy when my Mom uncovered the lamp to my piano.  It sits on my art table now.  It's a red-head dancing... apparently, I see myself in her. :)

Sadly, I'm still on the look-out for the interior pictures of the house we stayed in in Cass.  I synched my phone and it said all was well, but can't locate them on my computer. :-/  Mercury is in retrograde, so hopefully it isn't a permanent issue.

Speaking of Mercury in retrograde, besides being a time of miscommunication, confrontation, misunderstandings and other nasty things, it is also a good time to re-work, re-do and finish what you started.  Unknowingly, I started going this direction yesterday when I started working on cleaning and organizing our hall closet again instead of going to the fabric store to buy cute stuff for the baby toy patterns I just bought on Etsy.  Even though buying the patterns is a way to start projects, I decided I'm going to use as much fabric as I can that is already in my sewing room.  Initially, I started planning ways to use the orange fleece left over from a Halloween costume a couple years ago.  That's re-working/picking up where I left off.

Anyway, since progress on my closet isn't very exciting, I found these lamp pictures that I took a couple months or so ago and forgot to share.  :)

Hoping you are able to re-work, re-do and put old issues (which come up during Mercury in retrograde) to bed. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Halloween Train and Trick or Treat

Down the stairs from the Company House we rented to the store/depot/museum, which you can see  in the picture... very close!!

Our little guy loves trains, as I'm sure I've mentioned.  Growing up, my family visited Cass, WV- a historic lumber town, home to the Cass Scenic Railway, and where one Irish line of my family can be traced back for many generations.  The Slavens were the original settlers of the area, so with the veil being so thin between the worlds close to Halloween, I'm sure many ancestors accompanied us on this visit.  We stayed in one of the company houses and as soon as we got there, I was overwhelmed with nostalgia.  

The Halloween train only runs once a year on the last weekend of the season.  They did a great job of making the day full of fun. The train was decorated and full of costumed passengers and staff.  At the station, they had candy for the little ones and a fire to stand by.  Our costumes were thrown together and not too fussy, but still a lot of fun.  Angelo was a lumber jack and I didn't really think about Cass being an old lumber town until we got there.  Him staying warm was my main concern; not sewing a separate costume was the other.  

Angelo's costume didn't arrive until Halloween, so he got to wear it to the mall trick-or-treat and the rescheduled-due-to-Hurricane-Sandy neighborhood trick-or-treat.  His late change of mind for his costume meant we got big discounts on the pieces.  And the obscure choice was really impressive to me; though we went with bought pieces, it was still assembled from various sources, not an all in one package.  This is what he was going for.  The red rubber boots Doofenshmirtz got later and you'd have to see the Phineas and Ferb "Wizard of Odd" episode to get the reference. 

Even though not that many people were out for trick-or-treating on Saturday, it was still fun and even felt like the real thing.  Can't complain about more Halloween!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween ATC's From the Darkside

These are the other ATC's I made for another one of this month's "from the Darkside" swap- "Halloween" of course.

These ATC's started out as regular playing cards, were sanded and then color washed with acrylic paint, then stamped with a Tim Holtz stamp.  The witches are vintage photos I altered in photo shop, siloutted and then adhered.  Then, the final details were added; glitter glue on the top one and glitter marker on the bottom one.

Check back tomorrow for another Halloween report. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Party 2012

 As you can see, the pumpkin party _did_ actually happen!  There were power tools involved.  Many pumpkin seeds were roasted and then eaten while watching Halloween movies.  This was a great party- a fun theme made even better by the awesome company.  Our last one was about 2-3 years ago and while I'd love to do another next year, I'm not going to write it in just yet... we will have a 6 month old then!!! :)

While I didn't get my house all piled up with sparkly and rusty bits (or do a lot on my "would like to" list due to growing a human being and most of my energy being devoted to baby and Angelo), we did have more decorations up outside for this party than on Halloween due to Hurricane Sandy blowing by.  We were very lucky and only had rain and one night of 25 mph winds; no power outages.

This post started out as a Halloween round up since I just found my camera cord today and wanted to report our festivities before the mood was completely fizzled out.  But, there were too many pictures for one post, so look for another one tomorrow and the next day. :)

Hoping your Celtic New Year celebrations were great!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Masters of the Macabre

These ATC's are for a swap I'm participating in and just sent out:

As you can guess, the theme of the swap was Masters of the Macabre and of course, I chose Poe as the Master of choice.

Mod Podge papers, vintage paper*, ink, Stickles and a journal stamp and Raven sticker* made up these ATC's.  (*on the second card)

In other news, A has recently changed his mind about what he wants to be for Halloween (or forgotten his original choice), and his new choice is a LOT simpler, so that has freed me up to work a little bit on my Folk Art witch.  Tonight, I sculpted the head- something I'd never done before- and so far so good. It has to dry for a few days.  Next, I'll tackle the hands.  Whether I actually finish it before Halloween or not, I'm not sure, but considering I'm not sure where the book is, I'm impressed I've gotten this far.  I may have to make up the clothing patterns, but all this just means my witch will have a more individual personality- great by me!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Vintage Car Assemblage

Just a peek at the assemblage I made for my friend from way back, Jimmy.  So many of these pieces I found laying on the street or in a parking lot and didn't know exactly what I'd use them in, but now they've found their homes.  

The full details of how I put this together and some more photos will be in my e-course/e-book whenever it comes together.  Baby steps will get it to completion... :)

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Figment Art Festival

We went to this interactive Art Festival last weekend.  Though there weren't as many exhibits or activities as the video in the link shows, there were enough to tire us all out.  What a great concept- to teach children to touch, climb and otherwise participate in an artful experience.  Plenty of costumes and wacky songs, spontaneous dancing and hooping abounded.  
Before doing anything, our water baby had to check out the lake.

Then, to climb on a robot panda.

I painted with a plastic shoe, Mr. Potato Head arm ...

and a dinosaur...

while A swam in a pool of stuffed animals.

A few marks by me and many by others.

The parachute was super fun.  I think the parents helping to move it up and down had as much fun as the kids running in and out, rolling on top and cackling with glee.

I love living here. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Castle and Mermaid Tags

This is a castle themed tag I made for a recent swap.  The background is an acrylic mono print I made with metallic paints on water color paper, stamped with metallic pigment ink.  The stamped castle image (oops, stamp way upstairs and can't remember who made it) is colored with chalks, Prisma pencils, glitter gel pens and glitter glue.  The metal spot at the top is vintage.  Stickles around the border.

Something I rarely do, but am happy with the way it turned out: I added adhesive foam squares for a 3-D pop.

This tag was made for a fairy/fantasy swap.  The background was made the same way as above, but a different stamp was used and it's a vintage button vs. metal spot.  The stamped image is from Enchanted Gallery and was colored with Prisma pencils, chalks and highlighted with Stickles.
I thought I kept the image that showed the details best, but it's a bit blurry at the top.  :/

Next, I'll be able to show you an assemblage I'm working on.  It's close to complete and I'm pretty excited about it.  It's one I've had in my head for a while, so it went together fairly quickly.  A friend really liked an assemblage I made for my Dad and requested a piece of mine for his gallery of local artists, so it is loosely based on that one, but has its own distinct theme and details.  

A pile of fabric has arrived for some Fall sewing projects- all for Angelo.  I'm hoping the fact that I won't be able to use the sewing books for him next year (his current size is the largest in the books) will motivate me to get on that ASAP.  That and the fact that Halloween month is already here and the boy needs his costume!!

Hope you are enjoying the creative energy that comes with the season!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Glamor Girls in Jewel Tones

This is a piece I did in my 4 x 4 art journal.  The first couple layers were made with brushes that had a little paint left over and needed used up somewhere.  Then, I sprayed some mica ink, added an Art Chix image, some paper from the Mod Podge "Podgable Papers", a couple paper flowers, some iridescent ink over the paper and flowers and some fiber from novelty yarn.  The edges are inked with metallic pigment ink.

Thought I'd show it next to the initial layers of the background next to it (sprayed mica ink), just because I liked it.

This is a spread I did in a new altered book- another themeless one since the themed ones can end up too much like work or at least make me obsess over what I can do in the theme and I lose sleep.  The first layer is "Broken China" Distress Stain (Ranger), followed by some "classic teal" Claudine Helmuth paint (nice stuff).  Then, I added some dictionary page pieces, another Art Chix Glamor Girl, some mica ink spray, drops of iridescent ink, Stickles and novelty yarn.  It isn't finished.  I have a few ideas about where I want it to go, but it will be what it will be.

Beginnings of a background: some "classic teal" paint and a couple colors of mica ink spray.

Another background beginning: bubble wrap stamped "classic teal", some sprayed and some swiped mica ink.

It felt good to get back into making things with no goal or "purpose" other than feeling good.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

DIY Room Freshener

This is so simple to do, I'm not sure why anyone would use the chemical-laden, hormone disrupting, cancer-causing commercial air fresheners.

All this one involves is using a 3 oz. travel spray bottle, filling it about 3/4 full of water and adding about 15 drops of orange essential oil and about 2 drops of lavender essential oil.  Shake before use.

You can also spritz this particular formula on your hair for a little extra shine or for a nice perfume.  You know how smells always last longer in your hair?  You can take advantage of that fact here.

Orange oil is especially good for oder removal and is even recommended for improving the Feng Shui of a room.  If you made one of only lavender or lavender, ylang ylang and maybe some geranium oil, it would be for a great for spraying in your bedroom before bed for a nice, restful sleep.    

There are plenty of aromatherapy formulas out there, so you're sure to find one you love.  A couple awesome things about essential oils: most are naturally anti-bacterial and if you whatever you don't mix with a carrier oil/other essential oil or water lasts forever.  The 3 oz. bottle is nice because you will probably use it up before it goes bad.  If it smells rancid, don't use. (That makes sense, right? ;)

Just be sure the oils you use are actually essential oils and not "fragrance oils" or you risk just making a nasty chemical version.  There are some oils that shouldn't be used for certain conditions, so be sure to research that.  The ones I've listed are pretty safe and can even be used during pregnancy. (Except don't use lavender directly on little boys.  There's a possibility it affects their hormones.) sells plenty of essential oils and their service is great!  If you use this code: ZEV497 then you get $10 off your first order of $40 or more or $5 off your order of less than $40.  If your order is over $60, you get free 1-3 day shipping and they always fill orders fast!  I do get credits if you use this code, but I really am very happy with their service and it sure beats using up gas and time driving around to find all the natural products I need.  They even have non-perishable food.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pinterest Finally Pulled Me In

If you want to see my boards/follow me on Pinterest, I finally caved and can be found here:

Of course, there is a Halloween board. :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Art Nouveau Artist Trading Cards

copyright 2012 Narah Kimberly A. Minardi  all rights reserved

copyright 2012 Narah Kimberly A. Minardi  all rights reserved
After working so long on my Art Journaling workshop, I finally signed up for a couple of swaps.  One was for an Art Nouveau ATC swap.  Enchanted Gallery made the stamps I used for the main images and for the swirls on the 2nd ATC.  The floral background on the 1st is from a stamp by Stampfrancisco.  The very first layer (on the illustration board ATC form-which I love- so sturdy!) is a wash of acrylic paint, followed by the stamped background using solvent based Staz-On ink.  Then, I covered the cards with a piece of mesh fabric that Angelo picked out- a wine gift bag he picked up and said, "Mommy, you can use this in your artwork!"  He was right, of course! :)  Next, I adhered the Inktense and water color crayon colored images (color blended with a damp brush), that were accented with glitter marker and dimensional paint. Last came the gold ribbon and gold glittered dimensional paint around the border.

Lest you think I'm somehow not obsessing on Halloween still, today I picked up some polyester stuffing and am one step closer to creating my Folk Art witch.  Also, my dining room mantel is already decorated with Halloween festiveness. 

My belly dance class at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Educational Center starts in 11 days!  We moved the time up so people working downtown wouldn't have to kill so much time between work and class.  

Hopefully, my next post won't be so long in coming.  Hope you didn't suffer too badly while I rested. ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You're Reading the Blog of a Published Artist!

Really!  For real!  This morning, I walked out the door to take Dana on her walk and there it was- a large envelope from Stampington and Company.  Of course, that delayed the walk for a few minutes while I looked for my artwork.  Seeing Edgar Allen Poe on the front of Somerset Studio Magazine, I knew which piece it was, but seeing it there on the actual magazine page was something I just had to do!

It's very interesting to me that this is the first official art magazine I'm in when Halloween mania is in full swing 'round here (and never officially goes away).  How could I not enter this challenge, though?  Edgar Allen Poe!!  I'm a fan. :)

This issue isn't available on newsstands yet, but when the September/October Somerset Studio magazine is out, be sure to pick up a copy!

The middle image to the far right is mine!  Yep, right there on a magazine page!

And because it's hard to read my name (My Name!) and the description due to the spine, here's a close up.

This is my original scan of the art before I sent it off.  If you know Poe, then you'll understand the words.  :)  BTW, I would be flattered if someone shared this, but please credit the original source and note that others should do the same.  Thanks!

I do realize I'm being a bit of a geek about this, and I am perfectly ok with that. ;)

So, the news about the magazine was this morning and then this afternoon I found out that we have enough people registered for my Art Journaling workshop to hold it!!  There are still spaces left, so if you'd like to take a workshop with a published artist, be sure to sign up!! :D

I am overwhelmedly grateful. :)