Sunday, January 30, 2011

Because Everyday of Your Life is Valentine's Day...

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
I try very hard to keep our little tearoom as our imaginary salon of escapism, but sometimes I have to come back to real life. I am posting a new collection of my silk brooches in my Etsy shop this weekend, and I have created two brooches in honor of "Wear Red Day", which is February 4th. Starting today and throughout all of February, I will be donating 50% of the proceeds of the sale of my red and black anatomical heart brooches to The American Heart Association.

If you aren't aware of it, "Wear Red Day" brings more attention to the issue of heart disease in women. Contributions assist with continuing public education. Many people do not know that heart disease is the number one killer of women and you do not have to be older for heart disease to affect you. I had my first heart attack at 38. On Christmas Eve, I quietly celebrated my 10th year of survival. My most recent incident happened this past May (I blogged about it here.) At that time, they implanted a stent into my heart and they do not expect me to have any other problems.

Because so many women miss their symptoms, and they are often different in women than they are in men, here are some of the ones you might not expect:
-Shortness of breath
-Dizziness or lightheadedness
-Sudden pain in your jaw, back, arms or stomach (mine starts in my jaw, but quickly moves to a heavy, painful pressure in my chest, followed by severe pain and tingling in my arms and hands.)
-Nausea and/or cold sweats (one of my hospital room-mates thought she had the flu)
-Depression, anxiety and very often, an impeding sense of dread (Is this our intuition speaking to us?)
-Sudden and unexplained fatigue
-Increasing or worsening bouts of heartburn.
-Sleeping difficulties (many middle aged women experience this, but when it occurs when other symptoms, you should take it as a warning.)

You do not have to be overweight, you do not have to have a high cholesterol reading, you do not have to have any sort of sugar problem, you do not have to be older and you do not have to have previous family history.

If you experience these symptoms, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. I felt terrible in a way I had never felt before, but it can be much quieter than that. DO NOT drive yourself to the hospital and do not let someone else take you. The EMTs have treatment they can administer even before you reach the ambulance.

Stay alert. Stay alive.

(There's great information at the Livestrong site too.)

And what will I be wearing on February 4th? I will be wearing this t-shirt. I got it in Paris when Mr. V and I were there for our first anniversary. If doctors hadn't known how to help me 10 years ago, so many things in my life wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have been married. And I wouldn't have gone to Paris at all.

Everyday with my love Mr. V is Valentine's Day for me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Am I The Last?

Hello Again, Dear Friends!
Above is my submission for the weekly challenge from The Three Muses. The topic this week is "Fashion". As I have been visiting my fellow participants in collage challenges, I have thought to myself, "Am I really the last person to have not yet done something with the Mona Lisa in a collage?" I cannot think of another icon of fashion I would love to work with for a collage challenge on fashion!

I gave her just a bit of an update with some rather goth make-up and by straightening her hair. I let her wear the same outfit she has worn since she first put it on in the 16th Century. However, I did add some touches of purple and a black rose! Since she has been living for such a long time inside The Louvre, I chose to place her outside in Paris, on the banks of the Seine, in front of the beautiful, intricate Hôtel de Ville.

And on her head, she wears a beret of sorts. But if you look carefully, you will see there is something a bit unusual about it. I constructed it from an image of a drop of water, which proves that you can make a hat out of anything in the Virtual World!

I do hope that Lisa del Giocondo, the subject of the painting would approve of her make-over!

(I was able to see her from afar, during our visit to The Louvre. Behind the pane of glass which separates her from her adoring fans, hundreds of flashes from cameras lit the room! It struck me how like the paparazzi her visitors to the Louvre were and what a celebrity she remains!

(Original image of the Mona Lisa and image of the painting behind glass from Wikipedia. Image of drop from Flickr. Image of Hôtel de Ville from Harmonica Goldfish. Black rose from Itkupilli.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Which Painting Would You Sit?

Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
The Faery of Creativity must have paid me an extended visit from the Aether in the last few days! I have been inspired to create collages for not one, but two of my very favorite challenge blogs! Above is my submission for the challenge on the Three Muses blog for their excellent challenge "Artist of Choice".

When we lived in Washington, I used to visit The Philips Collection, a museum close to where we lived. The museum has several paintings by Pierre Bonnard. I loved them all and could have sat in front of them for just hours and hours. I have chosen "Le Fenêtre Ouverte, 1921" (The Open Window) as a currently favorite piece. I have wished many times I could sit inside one of the paintings like this one and so here I am! Of course, that is not a picture of me now, but maybe it is me from another time?. Whoever this lady is, she is enjoying a cup of tea, the sunshine, the singing birds, the scent of flowers...

Thank you to the nice ladies at The Three Muses for coming up with such a fun challenge!

And so, I would like to know, in which painting would you like to sit?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Very, VERY Late...

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
I do so hope you remember The Midnight Carnival you attended here in October. Well, a few days later, this poor thing wandered into the festivities quite late. However, he was forgiven because of his cuteness. We now have a VERY tardy participant, Monsieur Bruno, the Amazing Neon Tattoo-ed Man! He had wandered this way because of Mr. Rick, one of the new contributors to Kirsi's extra fun collage challenge, Collage Obsession. M. Bruno is my submission to The Carnivale Pazzo (Crazy Carnival), Rick's first challenge for us.

In the future, I will be expecting a bit of promptness and decorum when it comes to the events held at The Tearoom!

Very naughty indeed.

(I do believe he already has eyes for Mademoiselle Absynthia, who sells beautiful treats at The Carnival! But his heart is still mending from a torrid affair with our very own Mademoiselle Lina, as you can still see the tattoo he bears of her lovely face! Such scandal!)

Images for Monsieur Bruno: Original image from Rick from Collage Obsession, black roses from Kirsi of Itkupilli, Lina from Keeper of the Nest, top hat from Karen of The Graphics Fairy and "Blue Moon" and backgrounds from Marsha of Tumblefish Studios.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Today is the Day!

Greetings Dear Friends!
Our Dear Friend Mimi of Bonjour Romance has outdone herself this time! The January edition of "Belle Inspiration" is out and there are just so many beautiful articles and photos inside!! If you haven't subscribed yet, here is a link so that you can see what I am so excited about! I have been loving this magazine since it first came out this fall and as I mentioned yesterday, having my tutorial for my "We'll Always Have Paris" banner included in this issue is such an honor!

And, here are some images of some of my new silk brooches, available on my Etsy site. When ordering, please use the code "belleinspiration" for 10% off on your entire order until February 14th!

The Lovers -One

Rose de Blanc

Watching You

Soyons Discrets (Let's Be Discrete)

Heliotrope Parfum

Rose Verité

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Day of Surprises!

Dear Friends,
You may wonder where I have been hiding. I have been tucked away in the Attic of Creativity, away from The Tearoom, but now I am back! I have some surprises for you!

First, the most recent edition of "Belle Inspiration" will be published tomorrow. For those who don't know, it is published by Mimi, of the "Bonjour Romance" blog in Paris! "Belle Inspiration" is the online magazine she publishes and she is graciously running a tutorial that I wrote in the newest edition!! I am so honored! In the tutorial, I explain how I have made a "We'll Always Have Paris" banner to decorate your home! I have so much fun creating art projects like this and I am just so happy to share my ideas with you! If you haven't yet, you can order your copy of "Belle Inspiration" here. It is just so beautiful and so much fun! I love looking at it, sipping a cup of tea, making note of all the great recipes and ideas from it that I will try.

Second, I have also been busy creating a new line of items for my Etsy shop (which is also called "The Gossamer Tearoom", in case you haven't visited yet!). In the past, I have mainly made cards and cardsets, bookmarks, calendars and a few small collage sheets. But what I have been working on recently is something completely different! I have created a line of beautiful brooches made of silk! I have many images to choose from (and I'm creating more all the time), but if you have an image that you would like to have made into a custom design brooch, please contact me, either through e-mail or Etsy convo. Also, if you happen to want to buy them without the pin backs, I am happy to sell them to you! They would make the sweetest little pillows in a dollhouse or vignette! These silk brooches are beautiful and unique. The images are gorgeous printed on the silk and they are so soft!

Below is a very brief video preview I made of some of the designs I will be offering in my first collection. (The music is "Burnout Eyess" by oOooo.) The new collection will debut tomorrow in my Etsy shop!

It is so nice to see you all again, Dear Friends and thank you for stopping in to see what is new in The Tearoom!

Monday, January 10, 2011

All Is Not As It Seems...

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,

Won't you please have a seat on this comfy couch?

But wait, is this really what it looks like?

You won't know until I reveal all on Friday!