Saturday, March 23, 2013

Goodbye Blogger

I am sad to say that I have decided to move away from blogger.  Its been a little complicated to use properly and now with the lose of reader I feel like its better for me to move on.

Good news the blog will continue just over at Wordpress :D  Come by check out the new blog Life in a Different Direction . I am super happy with it, and with WordPress! Super simple to use and the features are amazing.  Glad I have tried all the different ways to blog I have learned so much in such a short time, and with actually blogging its a better way of testing out each service; so much better then reading a 'Dummies' book. Sorry Blogger, but I am still a Chrome fan girl!  AND totally addicted to your Google a Day Game! So I won't be completely gone, promise.

I hope all my readers will follow me over, the content is only getting better and better as I learn what I am doing with this whole blog thing, and of course you can always find me at  My shop is the next big move so make sure to watch for that; the goal is May 23rd Grand Opening! Super excited!!

Have a great weekend and enjoy y'all


Just a word of advice girls! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shaving Cream Marble Eggs

A friend gave me this easy way to make marble look Easter eggs,  I would using suggest gloves and tongs as you are working with straight dye not diluted.

First get regular shave cream not gel. You want to use containers that you don't mind if they get stained and spray a good amount of cream in.

Next with you dyes simply dot the cream.  Then with a toothpick swirl. Don't mix, just swirl together otherwise you will just get a nicely colored egg not marbled.

I used one pan and started with a teal green that I created by mixing colors together, blue and green.  Choose colors that you like you don't have to be super fancy or artistic, do what you enjoy.

This is my final cream mixture using a teal, orange and yellow dye.
Remember crafting should be fun, so play with it!

Now take your egg (hard-boiled or hollowed) and roll it gently through the mixture making sure to cover entire egg.  Gently set aside to dry I used the egg craft so as not to wipe off any of the shave cream.

Thats the teal color painted onto a piece of egg shell in the background.

I then added orange (red-yellow) and rolled an egg through.

Orange and Teal

Finally I have it some neon yellow and rolled one more egg.

Teal and Neon Yellow

Now the hard part waiting for the dyes to set on the egg.  Give it about 15 mins. Then simply wipe off the cream with a paper towel and viola gorgeous marbled eggs!

This is how I set mine to let them dry while waiting. 

I think these would be beautiful on an Easter buffet as hard-boiled eggs.

Beautiful Marbled Eggs

Enjoy Y'all

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Irish Heritage

I am a Newberry and my paternal Grandmother was an O'Hare.  I am the descendant of a long and proud line of Irishmen and woman.

The name 'Newberry' is actually Norman from Le Newbourg in Central Normandy, anglicized to de Newburgh, meaning new town.  The head of the family was Roger de Beaumont,  a powerful noble, he was a part of the Norman Conquest in 1066 with William the Conquer, his second cousin.  They battled by his side at the Battle of Hastings.  As reward for their service and loyalty with many English lands and titles.

Roger de Beaumont was nicknamed  'La Barbe' because he wore a beard and moustache, while most Normans were clean shaven.  It is said that this is him likeness can be seen in the 'Bayeux Tapestry' which depicts the feast after the Battle of Hastings.

My ancestors did not get to Ireland until the 1600s when Colonel Thomas Newburgh, was sent by there by decrees of King Henry VIII, then King James of Scotland and finally Charles I, to 'shire' or 'plantation' the country.

16th Century Irish Soldiers a wood craving by Albercht Durer

Donegal County countryside 

Then in 1725 my 5th Great-Grandfather was born in Donegal, Ireland.  When he was just a boy in the 1730s when he stowed away on a ship bound for the Colonies in America.  Of course he was discovered and was then sold into servitude to a blacksmith who used him as an apprentice for 7 years. The ship landed in Virginia and Samuel later settled in Montgomery, Bland County. He built a home called 'Newberry's Run'.  He assisted in the Revolutionary War by providing provisions and supplies to the troops under General George Washington.

The countryside of Bland County, Virginia 

His grandson, Henry Clay Newberry, was one of the original settlers of Texas, where my father was born.  In the 1930s his family left Texas for California.  They were forced from there land by the depression, drought and the dust bowl.

I never got a chance to discuss family history with my father, he passed when I was only 19 and at that time I was definitely not into genealogy.  His mother died of the Spanish Flu when he was only 6 months old and his father died when I was 4.  The family was a complete mystery to me, we (my brothers and sisters) assumed they were English who migrated much later then the 1730s.  This discovery of our ancestors was a complete surprise to all of us, and a welcome one especially for me.  I have been a life long Anglophile and this was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Pure gold. I highly recommend using to search out your ancestors and family history. My sons have used the family history in several papers they have had in history classes over the years. It really helped them be more interested in history when they could relate it to a family story.

I am a proud Irish-American.

Enjoy Y'all

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Easter Egg Tree

My mom was the original 'Martha Stewart', before we knew what that was.  We had dinner every night at 5:00 pm, deserts from scratch, her house was immaculate, her gardens were the envy of the neighborhood, she canned, and preserved everything it was possible to, made homemade breads, and candies, she sewed, darned, tatted, knitted, crocheted, embroidered, she had her own tool box, decorated for every holiday (and there was always a party too), dressed like a proper mid-century southern lady should, hat, gloves, and girdle always.  Oh and she accomplished all this while helping my father on the ranch and raising 6 kids. Does it make you tired to even read all that, it does me! She is my inspiration, especially for this project, it was her favorite.  I am not sure where she got it from but I can tell you some history about...

The Easter Egg Tree.

The Easter Egg Tree is a centuries old German tradition of decorating a tree with mouth blown eggs each spring.  The actual meaning has been lost with time but since eggs are symbolic for life it makes sense that this was an offering and celebration of springs arrival and the renewal of life each year.  I think they are just too pretty and making the eggs is for me a serious creative rush, working on such a delicate canvas as an egg shell and they are small so while you would think those 2 things would restrict your creativity not for me its the opposite, its a wonderful challenge.

Oliver the Ever-Curious, and man do I need a storage solution for my entry! 

This is how mine started, 6.99 from the thrift store, missing all kinds of leaves and really dirty, but I saw the potential as soon as I spotted it.  I had already started my eggs and had been searching for a display.  I had inherited the one my mom made years and years ago but it was long gone.  BF was trying to discourage me from driving up into the mountains to get a manzanate branch like mom's ('Honey I think that would be considered stealing') but nothing else was giving me the strength I needed.  Yes the eggs can actually be heavy, but this raggedy silk Ficus was strong and the branches perfect, it was just Ugly (with a capital U).  

Oh Dirty Tree, Oh Dirty Tree...

My first thought was to replace the whole basket but once I cleaned it and added new grass I actually really like the nature color of the basket, I will probably paint it in a few years for a refresh.  (Sorry for the blurry pic)

I started just by spending some time looking at it, getting a clear picture of the finished product in my head and it went relatively fast, considering I had been searching for almost 2 months and already had a vision.   Once I started removing leaves and branches I realized that this was not a discount store 39.99 tree. This was a top quality product with real silk leaves and steel branches wrapped in heavy duty vinyl, and the basket is thick and sturdy.  The bark has an amazingly realistic look, sorry I wasn't able to capture that in a pic. At this point I was even more excited with my tree and really got into decorating it.  After thinning the leaves and unwanted branches I stepped back and thought "now what, needs something else..." Bingo!

Spring blossoms, I always have a few of these on hand. 

Yes that's the ticket ;)
I was very pleased with the end result.  I had to make a few changes to the placement of the tree but I was just so happy to have it I was not at all disappointed to not have it in the location I had envisioned originally.  

Now the really fun part, hanging the eggs.  I used to have 3 big boxes of eggs, the results of 6 kids and 30 years of egg making from my family and a few from my boys.  Some of the eggs have not fared well over the years of use so I keep those packed away. Well one box got lost, somehow during a move, and another got damaged in leaky roof incident, but I am grateful for the ones I do have left and immediately went to decorating.  

My brother, J, made this one in the late 70s.  I just love the green on the lower one. 

This was in my Easter basket when I was a little girl, too cute isn't it.
These where made by my mom.  The one on the left is a pic she probably cut from a magazine, the other is her own freehand design. Told ya original Martha Stewart.

I made this sometime in the 70s not sure what its supposed to be but I like the colors.

My sister, C, made this one when she was 13. I know this because mom taught us to always sign and date our artwork. The pink and black has always been a favorite, its just dye and black ric rac, simple and beautiful.  Birds and butterflies are great for adding other elements to your tree, can't wait till April 1st I am hitting the stores for some deep discounts for next year.

I loved when it was time to make eggs, we usually started preparing right after Christmas.  Mom would start saving a few here and there from the ones she cracked, too bad I don't have any of the mosaic eggs she loved to make. They were part of the leaky roof batch and they all fell apart.  Then one day in mid February, she'd pull out a dozen or so eggs, the needle and spatula and we'd get to blowing (that night it would be breakfast for dinner).  I have seen other directions on the internet like this, but just try to poke an egg with a needle and it will crack.  Use the spatula method I use, just be gentle. We would do them in turns, sometimes it felt like my jaw was going to lock up and man it burned my cheeks but laughing at each other doing it was half the fun.  Then they all got rinsed well and set in an egg crate to dry. I can still remember rushing in from school everyday to check if they were ready.  After about a week she'd pull out her craft box and we'd get down to business.  Nothing was ever wrong, they were always beautiful in her eyes.  They were art to her. She shared her art with us. Now they are my art, and I am so happy to be able to share with you. 

This was a whole egg, till Oliver the curious knocked over the tree the 1st night and instead of throwing it away I improved it. Its still a work in progress, I want to write something on the card but am stomped. Any suggestions?

This is the simplest one I made this year. It's a water color wash and when I set it to dry the paint ran to one spot and created this.. I call it 'God's Eye'.  
I hope you will be inspired and create your own Mouth Blown German Easter Egg Art.    

Enjoy Y'all
Lizz, the egg artist ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Easter Eggs!

I know I promised that I would show you how we displayed the eggs when I was a little girl but I really want to show off some of my handy work.  I have felt very artistic, a sudden rush of creativity released by freedom.

And it has felt so good!  I haven't felt this creative in years.  It has to be a combination of the release from a bad relationship, leaving a stifling job, the security of my relationship now and perhaps even the bliss I feel in my new town and apartment.

I hope that these eggs can serve as inspiration for someone.  Just create. Create whats makes you feel good.

This is how the process starts.  Take a very large gauge needle, a long one, using a rubber spatula gently tap creating a hole in both ends.  Next run the needle all the way through the egg to break the yolk.  Now into a bowl blow on one end of the egg.  I didn't take pics of this cause its just not attractive.  It can also make your jaws hurt like crazy, makes your cheeks burn and be careful you might pass out.  Blow slow and steady, remember this is an egg, its delicate, but don't think if it cracks you have to chuck it.  Depending on how badly you can repair it with how you decorate it, covered in paper or fabric, wrapped with thread, or ribbon you can cover cracks.  If the egg is in pieces then its ok don't panic you can use them as mosaic pieces or do a half egg design.  Again this is about creativity.  You might have to run the needle through again to pop the yolk, its the hardest part to get out. Rinse eggs thoroughly.

Place the eggs in a carton for a few days turning them a few times to make sure they dry properly.

I also use eggs that I don't blow, especially if I don't get any broken during the blow out process. I like the broken ones.  These are just eggs that I cracked at the top not the middle while making breakfast or cookies.  I used a lot of eggs this month! 

My kitchen table has been unusable for anything else this month and I have had to keep a close eye on the cat!  

Looks like a rainbow exploded in my house! LOL

Wrapped with thread.

Colored with permanent marker.

A great way to hold your eggs while working on them.

This one started with a vision, random cut triangles glued in random pattern.

Cute craft papers and stickers are wonderfully creative resources.

A new technique a friend showed using shaving cream and dye gives a marbled effect.

Another view of the 'I Luv Spring' Collection I made a few years ago and my counter top display.

My bookcase display; goal for summer yard-sales find more spring and Easter decor pieces.

Asian Inspired

This is the egg that broke my obsession. My BFF gave me one of the pieces from her kids decorating kits and  I was so excited to use them I left her house and rushed home and sat down started using it! Eggs interfering with friends and blogging and BF! 
From this...

To this! Fabulous!

See how wonderful the broken ones can be.

So this is how I have spent my month... with stained fingers, up to the wee hours of the morning, surrounded by clutter.  But I am so happy with the results, it has definitely been a labor of love. 

I hope my mom can see them from heaven, because she is the one who taught me how to make these delicate and beautiful works of art.  

Thank you Mom for always believing in me and encouraging me.

 I hope you are inspired to create.

Enjoy Y'all


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Easter Decorating has turned into an Obsession!!

It all started innocently enough, wanting to share a beautiful, fun and creative family tradition with my stepkids.   I began innocently enough and then it started to grow, I realized it but had other projects and things going on so I wasn't concerned.  Today I realized it was taking over my life and I was obsessed!

I sent my BFF a text... "Eggs have taken over my house!"  I realized it when I was editing and organizing photos for this post and could fully see my addiction... Almost 250 pics... of eggs! And yes the majority are individual eggs!  WOW!

So I have decided to shut down the project.  I will be sharing with you over the next week or so, I don't want to blow up the internet or my laptop trying to do it all at once, but most importantly I don't want to bore you with what might seem like the same things over and over.  They really are different I promise and I hope you really love them all.. I know I do ;)

Without further ado... Easter

Ta Dah... I made these eggs a few years for a decorating contest at work, which I won!

All these eggs are hollow, when I break one I try to use the bits and pieces to make something different, waste not want  not, as my momma always said.

 I had recently purchased a scrapbook kit and while rummaging through my supplies to try and find some idea of what to do for the contest I found it and it was a 'aha' moment.
I have loved Easter since I was a child its such an amazing time of year, Spring, babies animals, flowers, fancy new clothes for church...

This little cutie was from my childhood... mom always found the cutest things to place in our baskets!

This one actually used to clip on to things but I think I played with it too much as a child  but its still adorable!

I had to blur the faces but I really wanted to show you a lacy doily my momma made, and this great flower box I got  for a $1 at my fav local thrift shop!

Don't forget to add some gorgeous color to your wardrobe too.

I Luv Spring was the theme I went with on these eggs and I presented them like this but in a basket not a silver tray. Tomorrow I will show you how we displayed them when I was a little girl.

Enjoy Y'all