Saturday, September 24, 2011

HOME Multiplied with Koi Watercolors

Welcome to my home, and my other home, and my other one, and another and .... yes, I got carried away painting whimsical homes! :)

I had been reading about Koi watercolors for a while. Some of the artist bloggers that I visit use Koi watercolors, such as Lori Vliegen and Alisa Burke, and I was anxious to try them.

At first I wasn't so sure about them ~ a little plastic tube of water and a cheap looking synthetic brush that screws on the end? Hmmm, I decided to at least try them out before passing {more} judgement.

I scribbled a little on some scrap watercolor paper to get the feel of the tube and brush and then painted this tall skinny house (also seen in my last post here):

I must say, I am impressed! I really like the vibrant colors and once you get used to not sloshing your brush in a jar of water (which I enjoy doing!) it is fun to paint with the water brush. It was so much fun that I did a whole set of more tall, skinny, whimsical houses...

... and cut them out individually. I think they'd be sweet matted and framed as a set, either in 4 separate mats and frames, or in one large mat as I showed in the photo at the top of this post.

I would LOVE to create beautiful, soft, flowery, romantic paintings, but for some reason I always end up going back to the fun and whimsical art. Oh well.... maybe next time!

Now that I've tried and like them, I'd like a larger set and a larger brush! :)
Any one out there reading this blog that uses Koi watercolors or another brand? I'd love to hear your preferences. Feel free to leave a link to your art in the comments!

Take care and God bless,

P.S. Visit this link to see more of my Koi watercolor homes.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Seed Has Sprouted

The girl from the toppling tower of too much has been busy...
busy going through boxes of all of her bits and bobs,
checking what she has in her stash,
making note of what she might put to use,
and what she can let go of and only keep in her heart.

For she has found an extraordinary* joy
in digging through old things forgotten
and new things hidden,
knowing that some will stay and some will go
and all will serve their purpose in one way
or another.

As she sorts and sorts
and divides into this box and that
something feels different within her.
It's as if a little seed that was planted long, long ago
has finally sprouted and has begun to grow...
growing higher and higher...
branching this way and that...
reaching for the daylight that was once hidden
by the toppling tower of too much...

Please come back for another visit as the girl shares more of her heart and home.

What bits and bobs do you have that need to be cleared out
so that daylight and creativity can burst through?

these snippets of
The Toppling Tower of Too Much
are light-heartedly written and whimsically illustrated by
Lana Manis (c)2011
* extraordinary ~ thank you to Minnie the maid for providing us with her amusing enunciation of the word.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How Bright Is Your Light? ~ Guest Post

The folks at OttLite and I have been visiting each other via social media (blogs, facebook and twitter) for a while now. They are always friendly and ready to help. 

Most of my readers do some sort of handwork that requires good lighting, so I recently asked someone from LiteSource (a retailer for OttLite) to do a guest post on my blog about lighting for your craft room or studio and Charlene has written a very helpful post!


How Bright is Your Light?

If you’re sewing or working with crafts, lighting plays a key role in your creation. Dull or poor lighting can strain your eyes, cause a headache and even throw off the hue or tone of your project’s actual color. With OttLite natural lighting technology, you will be able to see things in their true color state. Words will also be clearer and squinting should no longer be necessary to view fine the fine details of your craft.
Whatever your hobby may be, there is an OttLite for just about everyone. Even if you just want to save on your electric bill, OttLite can help. The following examples are a few suggestions below that might make working easier on your eyes!
Below is a photo of a great, versatile lamp that is made for a craft table. Say hello to the Jupiter Magnifier Lamp from The Lite Source. This lamp is adjustable and also includes a handy magnifier to see your creation up-close.

                             Jupiter Magnifier Lamp
Another great lamp that can come in handy for artists of all types is the 3-in-1 Craft Lamp by OttLite. This convenient fixture, also sold by The Lite Source is fully adjustable. It appears as a floor lamp, but can be converted to meet your needs with included hardware. The added clip is a great way to hold your work when you need an extra hand!

                                                             3-in-1 Craft Lamp

Here’s a perfect tool for viewing things on the go. The Mini LED Flip Light is a take-along light that can be easily stored in your purse or pocket when out shopping. Instead of coming home with an off-toned fabric swatch or paint hue, you can see its true color before you even purchase it!   

Whether you are an artist, knitter or seamstress, proper lighting can definitely be beneficial to your work. The following link shows a video about how an OttLite can assist you.
Here are few testimonials about how OttLite Lighting helps crafters with their creations. Feel free to check them out!  or
Why not feel good about the light you’re in? If you would like to try an OttLite, The Lite Source offers free shipping and a free OttLite bulb with your order. For more information, visit:
Here’s to a bright day!
~Charlene Marie

Thank you so much, Charlene! I'll admit I don't have an Ott Lite yet, but it is definitely on my wish list! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


... here we are on Monday evening and I am not ready as mentioned in my last post about the Toppling Tower of Too Much. I'm finishing up orders (it's so hard to say no), we attended a family birthday dinner over the weekend, and I just haven't had time to take photos of all the things I am letting go.

Please bear with me and one day this week I'll continue with the previous post. I have work to do tomorrow, there will be a guest post Wednesday, so maybe I can do it Thursday... fingers crossed! :)

Take care and God bless,

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Toppling Tower of Too Much

Once there was a girl who loved life
for life was a lovely thing.
She loved everything about it.
She loved the people in it.
She loved the music in the air.
She loved the smells of nature.
She loved the colors around her.
She loved learning about the old ways.
She loved learning about the new ways.
She loved creating things that looked old.
She loved creating things that looked new.
She loved reading about things both old and new.
She collected books and magazines about all that she loved.
She collected bits and bobs
of this and of that
and of these and of those
in the hopes of re-creating all that she loved
for others to love... and to enjoy.

Perhaps, she decided, she loved too much?

For one day, it dawned on her
that she did not find joy in all that she loved,
that some of what she loved
had grown into a toppling tower of too much.
How could this be?
If you love it, it must bring you joy.
But this girl thought about it
and pondered about it
and pondered some more
and realized
that she can love and enjoy from afar,
that she doesn't have to surround herself with everything she loves,
that she could hold many of these things
in her mind
and in her heart,
that she doesn't have to create everything she loves for others to love,
that she could tell them about these things
so that they could learn about them,
that she could still share her love of all things lovely
sometimes from her hands
sometimes from her heart
and still find joy!

And so this girl has decided to offer things
from her toppling tower of too much
in hopes that others will enjoy
learning about lovely things
and creating lovely things
for themselves and
for others.

{to be continued...}

The Toppling Tower of Too Much
light-heartedly written and whimsically illustrated by
Lana Manis (c)2011

Do any of you ever feel this way?
I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. :)


You are invited to come back Monday evening
to acquire any or all of the things this girl
has decided to pass on to others.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just Because

Here is a scan from a children's book of the late 1800s.
Feel free to use it in your art.

Take care and God bless,

Sunday, September 11, 2011


All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. Psalm 22:27

God bless America.

{photo of the World Trade Center cross courtesy of Wikimedia Commons}

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Photo Story of the World's Longest Yard Sale Pt.2

I hope you enjoyed Pt.1 of the World's Longest Yard Sale (otherwise known as the 127 Sale) blog post! I had so many photos to share, I split it up into 3 parts. 

I don't know if taking so many photographs was such a good idea. I am feeling remorse over so many things I left behind. This wonderful iron piece was only $10. I went back the next day to get it only to find that the vendor packed up earlier that day and headed back home to Nashville. This was probably my biggest regret. I would have looked great hanging on the front porch.


There was plenty of glassware for the collectors!


Looking for a license plate?

More gorgeous glass!

A camera crew arrived while we were there. I don't know which station they were with, but they had all sorts of equipment and folding chairs, a hair and make-up artist, assistants in tow with bags and notebooks, reporters practicing their stories, etc. It was fun to watch but we didn't hang around long. Jess and I had more shopping to do!

Several booths had old store signs...

Maybe this was for the thrifter who had the best find?

I didn't even see the sewing basket to the right of the candy dish until I was back home editing photos...

Don't know if this horse was old or not although I think it was old. I didn't get very close to examine it, but I loved the way it looked!

Wish I had bought this. I could have made it into a rustic farmhouse coffee table.

Of course I had to take a photo of this 40+ pound book!

More burlap sacks... think these were for coffee...

This wedding cake chandelier was gorgeous when the sun light hit the crystals!

I didn't have (nor would I have spent) the $300 that the seller was asking for it.

More signs...

And more lavender glass ~ or is it called amethyst glass? Either way, the bottles were gorgeous!

I resisted buying more jewelry pieces. I have several drawers full waiting to be used in my assemblage necklaces as soon as I find the time.

I know Roger could build this for me. Wouldn't it make a pretty display case?

Tennessee honey! Delicious!

And this one left Jess and I wondering "what in the world???" Could someone please tell us what it is?

That's it for part 2 of our World's Longest Yard Sale trip. I'll have the last post ready in just a few more days.


I've been painting more pumpkin watercolors! I'll be sad when fall is over and I need to choose a new subject.

These were finished last night. They are 9" x 12". I'm not sure if I should sell these un-matted and unframed, or perhaps in shabby white frames. What do you think?

The following ones are already listed in shops:
{available at TDIPT Mercantile}
{available at TDIPT Mercantile}
{available at TDIPT Mercantile}

I shared a few pumpkin watercolors I recently painted and wasn't sure if I'd sell the originals or just prints. I have decided to sell the originals and they can be found on my TDIPT Mercantile page.

{this one has a spiderweb in the tree and is for sale in my Etsy shop}
and in my Etsy shop as seen above.

I have larger ones painted that will be sold unmatted and unframed so that the buyer may display them however they wish.

I'm still wondering about a scanner for artwork, as mentioned in this post. If anyone can suggest something, I'd appreciate it. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Take care and God bless,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Photo Story of the World's Longest Yard Sale Pt.1

My daughter and I spent a day at the 127 Corridor Sale this year. With the high cost of gas, we chose to shop local instead of driving for miles and miles and miles. We stopped at 3 locations where vendors had gathered, all in Fentress County {our home county and the place where the idea for the sale originated}.


{first stop}

{lovely queen anne's lace on the side of the road where we parked}

The weather had been hot all week, but on Saturday it was overcast for quite a while and a bit cooler ~ at least cool enough to be bearable till the afternoon.

You can believe it when they say there's something for everyone! 

{$6 each ~ I don't know why I didn't buy these!}

{love the little aqua jeep!}

{the engraving on this was so beautiful! I think it was priced $45}

{Jacks, anyone? They were in their original jar! About $50, I think}

{100 bucks}

{these were so pretty grouped together}

I saw this crown crock sitting on a table and had to take a photo... I knew I couldn't afford it. I started to walk away and as I went around the table I saw the price sticker on the side of the crock. You won't believe it...

{my ABSOLUTE favorite find!}


{took this shot at home just so you'd believe me}

Yes, you heard me... FIVE DOLLARS!!! I grabbed the crock right away and held on to it! :D
When I found the guy who had the items for sale, he jokingly said I took the photo of the crock so he couldn't price it higher to me, lol! He said it had been $20 {which was still a deal I thought}, but it was the next to last day of the sale and he didn't want to haul it back to Indiana where he lives. 

{I'm trying to be careful with it so that pieces don't flake off. Don't you just love the crazing?}

I was so inspired by this piece that I painted a watercolor of it:

and have the finished, framed painting listed at TDIPT Mercantile.

{this was so pretty and yes, I did buy it for 1/2 price to use on something I make}

{these sheep were adorable, but too high for me at $40 +}

{as soon as I saw these chenille ornaments I thought of my friend Stephanie at Old World Primitives}

{lock it up!}

We didn't realize until we were leaving that we had parked soooo far down the road from our first stop, but as you can see it was a popular stop!

I hope you enjoyed coming along with us! Check back in a day or two for pt. 2 of the Photo Story of the World's Longest Yard Sale.

Take care and God bless,

p.s. click here for part 2