About Me

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The beautiful Pacific Northwest
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I am artist of texture and color. I enjoy working with textiles, mixed media and the graphic arts. I am an avid cottage gardener with a love for pass along plants and big fluffy pink peonies and pink roses. Many of my tangible creations reflect my love of the garden and all its wonderful colors. I am not one who will settle for neutral colors as they bore me. I have been selling my creations online since 2002 beginning as a hobby and 10 years later my art is my full time passion.
Visit my website at http://MarionberryCottage.com
I am a regular contributor to http://ShabbyLaneShops.com magazines

29 June 2010

Fresh Raspberry Fool

Caneberry season is just starting here in Oregon and it is one time I really look forward to, This year I  thought I would share some of my fave recipes as each berry is available. The raspberries are just now starting and the strawberries ending. The recipe below can be used for any fresh berry, but I like it best with fresh Raspberries.
The recipe comes from my Splenda cookbook, so it is pure indulgence without all the fat and calories!

Fresh Raspberry Fool

1 1/2 cups low fat plain yogurt
8 tablespoons Splenda granular, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
12 ounces fresh raspberries
 4 Tablespoons heavy whip cream

In a small bowl combine yogurt,  4 tablespoons splenda, and extract. In a separate bowl, mash berries with 2 tablespoons splenda. Chill both at least 1 hour.

Whip cream with remaining 2 tablespoons splenda until moderately stiff. Fold cream into into yogurt mixture. Swirl berries lightly into cream/yogurt mixture, and pour into elegant glass desert dishes. Garnish with a whole berry. Serves 4.

140 Calories

24 June 2010

Rushing of the Bloggerette Sorority

A new sorority has been born, and June 25th is "rushing" day~I am pleased to part of this wonderful group.

We were all instructed to take this photo below
and create something with it

And since one of the requirements is that I be in the picture with my creation--here I am (yikes)

.
 Usually with these challenges, I try to do something with textile art, which is my most loved media. But thought I would play with some mixed media art using vintage elements

 Victorian Secrets Box
 Constructed with an old greeting card box, I covered with vintage wall papers. I overlaid the image and trimmed it with vintage hand made tatting

Lots of vintage buttons, rhinestones, bouquet brooch, even a little string of pearls and a key to unlock the secrets saved
a soft handmade doily graces the corner with a gold foil lining.

I hope you enjoyed, I had fun stepping outside the box--literally!


23 June 2010

Roses and June

My roses in the cottage garden--not so good this year. We have had a cool rainy 4 weeks and even the royal rosarians from the Portland Oregon Rose Festival said this was one of the worst years for roses in our area. They need sun! My roses suffered some of the worst black spot I have ever seen. Most the blooms are still quite pretty, but the bush looks awful. I snapped a few pics today, and while trying to edit out the bad leaves I started playing with some of the filters on one of my editing programs. Fun transformations, and I thought I would share with you!


click on the pics to enlarge to see the transformation



21 June 2010

Vintage Alphabet Party June


For the month of June, the challenge was to find something vintage that began with the letters I, J, and/or K
Certainly got me thinking---I came up with JARDIN which is French for garden, and ended being able to use all three letters!

Since many of my digital creations from vintage Images include French words, and I create lots of Keepsake pillows, and repurpose vintage Jewelry in designing them..here are a few examples



hope you enjoyed! this was so fun~



20 June 2010

Chaotic Creativity.....

I just loved surfing this weekend's blog party "Where Bloggers Create". I had toyed with the idea of joining in, but let's face it. it would take me a week to find the bottom of this chaotic studio to stage like some of the lovely photos you see in magazines. And I did see some of that in this party too--they were gorgeous, but actually functional?? hummmm.......
In my chaotic creative world I work outside the home 4 days a week, babysit my 2 yr old granddaughter one day a week and the other 2 days and every minute between squeeze some sewing, paper, and graphic art in. Also some church activities. My husband always reminds me "if you would get off the computer, you would get a lot more done" LOL ...tee hee, I think he could be right.....so here it is....my creative chaos--just as it is, not staged for a photo--threads on the floor and all and some of my garage sale finds that I repurposed for storage too.

 storing my buttons in baby food jars on a tea cup caddy

my "idea boards" cheap bulletin boards I covered with fabric


 Just a 3 prong rack I paid a buck,  holds my hanging creations

 This is other side of my "chaos"! Where the graphic art takes place as well as personal office space. 
And my coffee cup is always nearby.
That's "Floozie" in the right corner, my granddaughter and I named her!

I didn't even bother snapping a pic of the fabric storage, that is really scary, not like the nice neat stacks you have seen in the other posts. But I can say this, I know exactly what I have in there ;o)
My words to all you chaotic creators out there~Even if it's your coffee table, the closet, your kitchen table, it is the heart, soul, and beauty of your art that counts
  
it's all about the beauty of what you create, 
not where you create it~
 
 
oh nana, this place messy!






11 June 2010

A sad day at ArborOak cottage...

I love trees and being an Oregonian, I love evergreen trees. The Douglas Fir tree is a native tree on the west side of the Cascade mountains. You see them thick everywhere in the wild and the forests. They are grown as Christmas trees here and are plentiful. When we built our house 5 years ago, it was a lot on acreage that once was a Christmas tree farm with a few leftover trees standing. We had 5 on our lot. We kept 2 that were about 20ft tall. Now they are over 50 ft tall and the fence is like a pretzel from all the root pressure.



After a couple years, it became apparent these trees are not back yard trees:( and the last few years we watched them more than double their size with all the watering and fertilizing of the lawns around them. It has been a whole year of agonizing over not wanting to remove them, but knowing we had to.

So the day came today...and it was sad.
I feel naked with those trees gone it looks like someplace else, and the neighbors are not too happy losing the shade to their backyard. But they also may thank us that the tree cutter told us there was a big split starting in in one of them and the next ice or snow storm would have brought it down on their yard and possibly the house.

Big mess to clean up, but we don't have to do it! The bright news to today's sadness is that we will be planting 2 new trees in the same area that are more suitable to the area. And that is just wonderful in my book.

08 June 2010

My recent treasure finds

This project has a story to go with it....Before we went on our Caribbean vacation, they tore the old barn down just up the the road from us. Sitting out on the property was this old church pew that must have been inside the barn. Well as you can expect I got pretty excited and hoped no one would get to it before I did, but every time I drove by the property no one was there. My DH said he would watch too and offer them 20 bucks if he saw someone...well that day finally came...and the guy told us to take it. We wheeled it home on our hand dolly, the neighbors got a real kick out out of watching us...and one guy just shook his head...another who thought I might be a little nuts....Yes, it is chippy, but a little too chippy. This one is gonna be a lot of work. Right now I am using for my seedlings, but hope it will serve as seating on back patio.

you can click on the pics to see more details

Okay, now I am in a serious treasure hunt mode....last weekend I made myself go out to the garage sales. I really didn't think I would find too much, since the weather was iffy, and not too many sales going on. But with a short trip to the grocery store, the corner signs beckoning me where too much to resist. I was right on most accounts, lots of junk out there that did not interest me. The  last place I stopped at was poorly marked and I almost drove past it. What the heck, I stopped. Four elderly ladies sitting in the garage, it was apparently a group effort. I thought wow, this could be some good vintage stuff here. But I was wrong, just old junk. I turned away to leave and right behind me, under a table sits this little vanity bench for FIVE BUCKS. The seat is covered with vintage barkcloth fabric. I tried not to scream or show my excitement, I told the ladies I would take that bench, that I loved the pretty barkcloth on the seat. They all looked at me blank. I think they were happy I took it off their hands..and a little nuts LOL.So what you are about to see is the BEFORE pic. I plan on stripping it and painting it a soft cream color. And gently laundering that barkcloth and reusing on the seat......



I hope I will have these both finished before summer ends! I promise to show you the finished product too:)

04 June 2010

Our adventure in the Caribbean Day 11-13

I was in meetings for 2 days, so a bit behind here. I am going to finish up the tale of of Caribbean adventure today. Our last day on the cruise was a day at sea headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico. We spent a lazy day just plain relaxing. Becky and I did go to a "napkin folding" class, and now I can fold about 8 kinds of napkins instead of 2 LOL. After departing the ship, we checked our bags at the hotel, grabbed a cab and headed into Old Town San Juan.


The above pic is one of the side streets I snapped a pic of. I wanted to show the narrow brick streets of Old Town. Most of the streets are full of people and bumper to bumper cars. San Juan is also know for the decorative "doors". You see so many different colors.

 loved these balcony gardens!

I have to say the shopping was fabulous! Good prices, lots of variety. As you can see the "old farts" got tired and sat for a spell and let us continue on.
 
Above is the last gate to San Juan. San Juan used to be a completely walled in city to protect itself from its many enemies. Below ares pics of  Jim and I just to the right of that wall overlooking the harbor.

 
After shopping we decide to venture over to one of the two old forts of San Juan. The pics are below. These very old stone structures also were retrofitted and used by the US in WW2.
 Below is the other fort in the distance--we were warned not to go to the beach shown between these forts as is it is a very dangerous area.


Sadly, we must return to our hotel, and prepare for the next day's (Day 14) travel home. We had wanted to trex to San Juan's rain forest, but we needed one more day to do that.Maybe the next time...


Jim and I discussed our "first cruise" experience. We loved all the ports of call. It gave us the chance to get a flavor of all these islands and choose our favorites if we ever decide to do a resort vacation. There were many things we loved about cruising, but some we didn't. We decided, yes, we would probably cruise again someday, but we really we are "resort" or "condo" vacationers. We still call the Kona Coast of Hawaii our favorite destination, but would love to revisit St. Lucia and St. Croix sometime in the future. I hoped you enjoyed "traveling" with me in blog posts this week. Now I am praying this Oregon rain will turn into summer sun, so I can play in my cottage garden with my roses!

01 June 2010

Our adventure in the Caribbean Day 10&11

Okay, continuing on to our next ports of call...St. Maartin was on day 10. .St. Maartin is divided into 2 parts. The Dutch side is St. Maartin and the French side is St. Martin. The French side is known for its "clothing optional" beaches! We decided to just do a beach and shopping day since you could do both without having to get into a cab, so we didn't see that beach!
 The day we docked, there were three ships total and we were told there was about 6000+ visitors to the island that day!

We were able to eat lunch directly across from the beach and even got some local beer here too

 
After soaking the sun, it was time to shop. Even to we were told this was the best shopping, it was mostly expensive jewelry and high end clothing. Not too much local art, which is what I look for. The interesting part is they have 2 shopping streets--Front Street and Back Street...

Now on to St Croix Day 11 of our Caribbean Adventure. This is the island where you really see the American influence, since it is a US Virgin Island. By American influence, I mean a K-Mart store and lots of the same fast food places. They still drive on the "other side" of the road, but the cars have the steering wheel on the left just like the US. On this island we decide to do an "old folks" tour...a botanical garden, a historical sugar cane and rum making plantation, and a current working Rum factory.



I love this tropical cottage! It was at the historical W.H.I.M plantation

 
inside the plantation owners house

 
the old windmill on the plantation




a cactus garden on a tropical island? It is because this is the dry side of the island-gets very little rain



Last stop was a Rum factory..and they treated all of us to free Pina Coladas--as much as we could drink until the bus picked us up! Did I mention the rum was good on every island we have visited???

I hoped you enjoyed!! My next post will be a wrap up of our cruise and our day in San Juan, Puerto Rico


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