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A Fanciful Twist's Profile A Fanciful Twist posted an entry A Halloween Celebration♥A Fanciful Twist
Hello there! It's still Halloween in my home. Won't you join in the fun? I intend to marinate in this magic a few more days. I can't handle how cut and dry November 1st becomes. No no no, not for me, I need a little more. My mom gave me the most charming menagerie of circus characters which worked perfectly for my décor this year. Sparkles and sweets galore. Oh Halloween, how I love you. Twirler in the midst! My dining table is soooo happy right now. Dancing and silliness abounds! What must she see in her crystal ball? I always love a zebra, don't you? Twinkle lights and glitter everywhere! It isn't Halloween without the green hand right? Owls and crows and berries oh my! We always need a really rude sweets eater to seal the deal, wouldn't you say? :-) And little white pumpkins to brighten the day. Witches and black cats, candy corn and caramel apples... Owls and bats... And don't forget Boo! The favorite word in our costumed acts! I'll never get enough, oh no sireeee! Give me this mayhem and magic more than once yearly, please oh please!! A curtsy and twirl and magical sparkly swirl! We loooove Halloweeeen! Oh my fellow Halloweenies, how I love this time of year. I'll have Halloween all weekend before I am fully prepared to change décor. It's been more than busy around here, as you know. I've had crazy personal real estate dealings (my previous career which I still keep a toe in for fun). Don't worry, the country house is not going anywhere. And, so many other things which I am going to tell you all about soon. I promise. It's all good, but different and sooo unexpected even for me. Like a crazy dream, this little journey. The twists and turns of life you seeee. But for now we have circus magic and Halloween bewitchings a plenty. I still have black painted nails and a jack-o-lantern by my bedside. The wonderful fairytale like quality of autumn is certainly here, what a thing. The blessing of seasons, how lucky are we?   Love, V       Ooops, I almost forgot... Our winner for a copy of Country Sampler magazine is... Number 1, how crazy is that? Linda! It must have been caramel corn luck :-) Please e-mail me your snail mail address ♥    [...] Hello there! It's still Halloween in my home. Won't you join in the fun? I intend to marinate in this magic a few more days. I can't handle how cut and dry November 1st becomes. No no no, not for me, I need a little more. My mom gave me the most charming menagerie of circus characters which worked perfectly for my décor this year. Sparkles and sweets galore. Oh Halloween, how I love you. Twirler in the midst! My dining table is soooo happy right now. Dancing and silliness abounds! What must she see in her crystal ball? I always love a zebra, don't you? Twinkle lights and glitter everywhere! It isn't Halloween without the green hand right? Owls and crows and berries oh my! We always need a really rude sweets eater to seal the deal, wouldn't you say? :-) And little white pumpkins to brighten the day. Witches and black cats, candy corn and caramel apples... Owls and bats... And don't forget Boo! The favorite word in our costumed acts! I'll never get enough, oh no sireeee! Give me this mayhem and magic more than once yearly, please oh please!! A curtsy and twirl and magical sparkly swirl! We loooove Halloweeeen! Oh my fellow Halloweenies, how I love this time of year. I'll have Halloween all weekend before I am fully prepared to change décor. It's been more than busy around here, as you know. I've had crazy personal real estate dealings (my previous career which I still keep a toe in for fun). Don't worry, the country house is not going anywhere. And, so many other things which I am going to tell you all about soon. I promise. It's all good, but different and sooo unexpected even for me. Like a crazy dream, this little journey. The twists and turns of life you seeee. But for now we have circus magic and Ha[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Something Whimsical This Way Comes! {Country Sampler Magazine Giveaway}A Fanciful Twist
Helloooo there friends!!! I'm so sorry I've been away for so long. I've got a million personal business, real estate, country building and things going on. All good, all fun, all stressful, all great outcomes. (I hope) But still so busy. And a new cottage in the country went up today. I've had little time to even breathe this month, my most favorite month. I could cry from how too fast it's gone by. But what can I do? Not much, life happens. But here I am today to share a magazine my country home and garden are currently in. And to share a giveaway! Country Sampler Magazine, Celebrating Everyday Life. Fall/Winter 2017 I've seen it in grocery stores and Barnes and Noble if you fancy a copy sooner. Jennifer Carroll did an incredible job with the entire magazine. It encompasses fall and winter, you just have to see it. Jam packed with goodness. Oh the fun and magic we've had! There will be so much more, I promise! I have not jumped blog ship. I've just had so many changes in my life, I need to readjust. Well, not so much changes as much as additions of goodness. All delightful, and all will morph with fun and madness I'm sure. But for now, we have some Halloween celebrating to do! And it doesn't end there, the magazine goes on with winter and Christmas in the most... Scrumptious way!! But for now, it's still autumn... Beloved autumn. Someday soon sure to find her way to Arizona. Where it is still summer but the nights are changing. I think I need an extra week of Halloween celebrations just to catch up. I might just do that actually.   So how about playing along for a copy of this lovely mag? Just leave a hello in comments, tell me how you are, what's going on. Anything really and I'll enter your name into the hat to win a copy. I'll try to come back tomorrow to draw a winner. If not, I'll be here Wednesday with fun pics!   My dining room has been decorated for Halloween since September and I still haven't even taken a photo. I need to do that asap don't I?   Lots of love! Bwahahahahaa, it's Halloweeeeen! xoxo        [...] Helloooo there friends!!! I'm so sorry I've been away for so long. I've got a million personal business, real estate, country building and things going on. All good, all fun, all stressful, all great outcomes. (I hope) But still so busy. And a new cottage in the country went up today. I've had little time to even breathe this month, my most favorite month. I could cry from how too fast it's gone by. But what can I do? Not much, life happens. But here I am today to share a magazine my country home and garden are currently in. And to share a giveaway! Country Sampler Magazine, Celebrating Everyday Life. Fall/Winter 2017 I've seen it in grocery stores and Barnes and Noble if you fancy a copy sooner. Jennifer Carroll did an incredible job with the entire magazine. It encompasses fall and winter, you just have to see it. Jam packed with goodness. Oh the fun and magic we've had! There will be so much more, I promise! I have not jumped blog ship. I've just had so many changes in my life, I need to readjust. Well, not so much changes as much as additions of goodness. All delightful, and all will morph with fun and madness I'm sure. But for now, we have some Halloween celebrating to do! And it doesn't end there, the magazine goes on with winter and Christmas in the most... Scrumptious way!! But for now, it's still autumn... Beloved autumn. Someday soon sure to find her way to Arizona. Where it is still summer but the nights are changing. I think I need an extra week of Halloween celebrations just to catch up. I might just do that actually.   So how about playing along for a copy of this lovely mag? Just leave a hello in comments, tell me how you are, what's going on. Anything really and I'll enter your name into the hat to win a copy. I'll try to come back tomorrow to draw a winner. If[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Hello October♥A Fanciful Twist
It's here! The magical month of auburn light and cooler nights. Herbs and petals come back to life. And so I happily gather. The beautiful scent of English lavender, basil and rosemary swirled together is just too good. The Hatter left us some warty pumpkins, just perfect for today. A celebration of seasons and colors explodes. Oh how I love you October. Perfect time to make another huge batch of pesto. I make a sweet lemon pesto, without cheese or garlic. It's divine. I'll have to share my recipe some time. But for now it's just a quick hello. To say yippeee and hoooooray! Our favorite month is here. Wait, is it your favorite month as well? It's one of mine for certain. You might have already guessed that. Thank you garden for all the beautiful flowers. I just looove these days. They seem to flow so quickly, so I want to immerse in every second of the day. The zinnias and cosmos are ever so tall. Swaying happily in the early autumn breeze. Warm days and cool nights. Sleeping with windows open and needing a thicker quilt at 3 a.m. Bliss I tell ya, bliss. To turn the sound of the air conditioner off makes me so overjoyed. Happy October my friends. I think we will have a Halloween party this year. It would be our 10th annual. I will let you know very soon. Enjoy these beautiful days!   Love, V       ps:  I joined in #Mabsdrawlloweenclub on Instagram, so hopefully I'll be sharing silly little drawings every day this month over there. Instagram.com/afancifultwist    [...] It's here! The magical month of auburn light and cooler nights. Herbs and petals come back to life. And so I happily gather. The beautiful scent of English lavender, basil and rosemary swirled together is just too good. The Hatter left us some warty pumpkins, just perfect for today. A celebration of seasons and colors explodes. Oh how I love you October. Perfect time to make another huge batch of pesto. I make a sweet lemon pesto, without cheese or garlic. It's divine. I'll have to share my recipe some time. But for now it's just a quick hello. To say yippeee and hoooooray! Our favorite month is here. Wait, is it your favorite month as well? It's one of mine for certain. You might have already guessed that. Thank you garden for all the beautiful flowers. I just looove these days. They seem to flow so quickly, so I want to immerse in every second of the day. The zinnias and cosmos are ever so tall. Swaying happily in the early autumn breeze. Warm days and cool nights. Sleeping with windows open and needing a thicker quilt at 3 a.m. Bliss I tell ya, bliss. To turn the sound of the air conditioner off makes me so overjoyed. Happy October my friends. I think we will have a Halloween party this year. It would be our 10th annual. I will let you know very soon. Enjoy these beautiful days!   Love, V       ps:  I joined in #Mabsdrawlloweenclub on Instagram, so hopefully I'll be sharing silly little drawings every day this month over there. Instagram.com/afancifultwist    [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Welcome AutumnA Fanciful Twist
It's official, we are all blooming again here in the desert. Our wilted little souls bursting forth again with vigor. The seasons are changing and the incredible heat that kept us locked inside for months is leaving us. I slept with my window open last night, heaven. Yipeeeeee! It's been a week of great weather and just like that, the insects are coming out and the flowers are blooming again. This morning I ran through my garden path and I had this overwhelming wonderful feeling of being alive again. This summer was just brutal and the shift in weather almost makes you want to drop to your knees and kiss the ground, I tell ya. I know it's impossible to comprehend for people who live in cold places. I get it, the cold makes you long for heat. But heat so hot you can not go outside during the day is just crazy. And so, that's probably why so many of you say you love me the best in autumn. Because I burst forth with so much excitement. Freeeedom! The basil is covered in bees so I've let it flower. No more pruning. I think to myself, their honey must be amazing. I'm going through the most interesting shift right now. About 4 years ago I started this journey, this adventure. People were coming back into my life. My life was begging me for some attention. Go out and play, leave your hidden nook! Even the hatter said, get out of the nest, gooooo! Certain people saying, please Vanessa, come out of the hills. Let's have tea. Let's chat. I've given my personal life almost 3 years of gobs and gobs and gobs of attention. Instead of being my little hermit self. It's been amazing. Huge and crazy things have happened, even I can't believe it. And now, with the changing seasons, I feel another change in me. Puzzle pieces clicking together. Like, everything is making sense. Why things happen as they do. I've noticed that a lot throughout my life. Challenges turn into lessons. Doors open, interesting things happen. The last 2.5 years have had soooo many unexpected happenings. I can hardly believe it myself, curious little life. All good stuff, mixed with so much learning - some tough, some easy. Some magical. But now, just like spring flowers swirling with autumn air in unison... My two worlds are swirling. Like paint in a can, making new colors. I never ever ever planned for my journey to unfold in the ways it has. But I guess life happens when you are not looking or planning. Just minding your business and bam. And just like that, things make sense. Why you had this challenge or that. And, the lessons and gifts are there for the taking, if you are open. I for one am open to anything How about you? Country girl and city girl have never gotten along so well in my world. I'm settling back into a new normal. I needed a big break from everything. I had not had a vacation in almost a decade. Just hunkered down, doing my work, planting gardens for years. Hey look at that, he's after a tiny spider. Eeek! It's kind of like the basil honey the bees are making. You never thought about it, and somehow it's amazing. It all makes sense and works perfectly together. And when bad things happen, they make the good that much better. And when good things happen, you are so grateful. You even appreciate the country more when you change the scenery every now and then. I guess it's all about finding a balance. I think about this on my autumnal garden path this morning. Furs running around. All of us overjoyed and happy with the cool fresh air. It clears the mind I suppose. If you do too much of one thing, at some point you will need something else. You can't eat peach cobbler every day. Eventually you'll want cherry or blueberry. And then one day you'll wake up and be like, I need an everything bagel now!! Our needs can be so extreme. So maybe, don't have the same thing every day :-) Today, try something different. Who knows, you might like it. There will always be cobbler, it ain&#[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Flower Dancing & Alice...A Fanciful Twist
I woke up one morning wondering... Is Alice coming to Fanciful, Arizona this year? It's been ever so hot, and although I long for a tea party, I simply couldn't find the perfect time. And plus, I couldn't feel Alice wanting to come out and play. Normally I get a jolt of inspiration for my tea parties just like I do for my art. I never know when it's coming, it just appears. But it's been sooooo hot, too hot for a tea party. And while I normally host in crazy heat, this year has been more intense temps. Like 115'F & pure sun. And so, I wondered if Alice would turn up for our 10th annual tea party? Slowly, characters started to appear just after that wondering. I roam antique stores, quietly unknowing, what will speak to me? And then there they were. The tea partiers themselves. And yet, outside, still too crazy hot. I woke up one morning recently, unable to hit the hills because for some reason the heat is really wiping me out this year. If I don't wake up early enough I have to wait until evening to do anything outside. So, this one morning I made a cup of tea... Walked into my cool studio and sketched on the blank canvas. Then I mixed up paint... Beautiful thoughts swirled. Mister Fancy pants sang in the background. Fresh blossoms hummed. And in one hour, there she was on a large canvas. Alice. And she told me... It's okay, have your party any time. Be free, be you, do what makes you happy. Art does that. If you make art too, then you understand. Your art tells you what to do. Sometimes when I'm really stressed out and confused Art says to me... Paint 3 paintings. Then you will know. Your answer will reveal itself. And it really does. You explode in so many emotions when you paint, that when you are done, you have this beautiful clarity. Maybe not always like that, but some version close enough. A peace lives within the wave of creativity. Sweet Alice reminds me of so many good things. Of a whimsical heart, in the power of believing. Of fairytales and endless hope. How time stands still in that creative space. A portal to a place where everything magical lives. Your deepest dreams and heart waves meet you for tea any day. As for our annual tea party, I think we'll wait until it cools down. Halloween is very near and I'm not going to have parties back to back because you all will be overwhelmed and I'll combust :-) So, Alice and her friends say to wait until the time is right. I've gotten so many emails and messages asking about the parties. Alice is always there, so perhaps we'll wait until spring. But it doesn't mean we can't wear our fanciest frocks and partake in sweets. Why no no no. Not with all those tiny blossoms and pretty pastels fluttering about. We must always partake in the enchantment. Ask ourselves, what our heart wants. Then follow it. On the theme of change from the last post,  I was just thinking... How hard we are on ourselves. How we think, if we get older or take a different journey for a while, that we have lost ourselves. I see so many friends feeling that way, as I have too in the past. It's a natural thing for sure. But, we are never lost. We are always there. We only think we are lost. I've been shown this soooo many times in my life. The space where your joy and magic lives is ageless. Just because you get older or grow up has no bearing on partaking in your youness. The question is, what do you have to do to get back in if you feel you've lost your way? If your muse feels lost, if you can't conjure up the frame of mind to create? What do you do? You go to your canvas. To whatever it is that you love to do and makes you feel like you. And even if you can't create, you take yourself to that space and you allow yourself to feel whatever feelings come to you. If you feel sad and frustrated, you feel it. Cry, have a fit. Purge. Sometimes you have to purge and release to get back to the [...]















A Fanciful Twist posted an entry And then it was September...A Fanciful Twist
Wait, did someone say September? I almost can not fathom how time flows by. Thankfully, I have this green space which helps set the pace. Because here it is still summer. Hot scorching unbearable sun summer. Which makes time and dates have altogether different meanings. I even titled my photos with the wrong name when I saved them. August. Such a beautiful name isn't it? How wonderful to be named after a month so romantic as that? And so we bid adieu and march along to the month of flutter and flurry. At least, that is how September makes me feel. As though I could lose my breath. Both from the excitement of autumn on the brain... And for the distress of not wanting to lose a drop of these magical days. My days are their own swirl of madness of sorts. Good madness, but madness nonetheless. Over the last couple of years there has been so much change in my life. Initially life changed gradually, oh about 4 years ago. And then, other characters stepped into the realm. People, places, change. Merging my city and country life all over again. Back to the city. Back to the people I once loved. Lunch with besties and laughs with old love. Who knew life would float about as such? It's wonderful. And yet amidst the change, everything stays the same. The flowers bloom and need water and talking to & seasons tick by. I am searching for balance. I like to think that I have balance, that I've got everything under control. I fight to believe that. I've always been someone who knows what she wants and manages her life relatively well. Or so I thought, haha! It took me some hard months to realize... You've got to just throw it all into the wind girl! Let go. Let life take you on this adventure it wants you to go on. How can you fight against something you really want? It's so odd isn't it? We resist change without even knowing we are resisting. Resisting something we actually want. How funny is that? What does life want for me you ask? What is it that I resist? This parcel of earth brought me the greatest joy I had ever known. I came here in my 20's I felt a void filled. I void I filled with art and flowers and standing still in blissful peace. I needed to stand still. To stay within my magical realm, for a long time. I quit my job at 30 and plunged into my art and my garden. It was beyond words. I needed that at the time. I still need it. I still love it. It is still my sanctuary. What I didn't know was that I needed other things too. New adventures, people, places, moments. So in 2015 I decided to meet up for tea with people I cared for long ago. That I had known since I was 25. The importance of filling my life with the people I love became crucial. Somehow time has new meaning to me. And I want to spend it laughing and clinking glasses and loving. And then somehow, after realizing this & venturing out... Your heart, life, the heavens - wants you to merge it all together. Have it all. Have a sanctuary, have love, meet your friends for tea. Go places, have faith someone else that is not you can take care of your plants and furs beautifully, and go. Let go. Be free. Do everything. I did not know that having freedom was challenging. That allowing yourself to have everything life wants to give you would feel so strange. I heard a show on NPR once, about how hard it is for us to embrace all this goodness that comes our way. How we feel more comfortable being sad rather than happy. How it's so hard for us to embrace joy. I thought, nope that's not me. And skipped off. But now, looking back at the changes in my life over the last couple of years... I can see now where I had been resisting all this good change. I guess it's the risk that change, even good change, poses. Leaving your cozy comfort zone. I used to loooathe that poster that[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry San Francisco♥A Fanciful Twist
Helooooo there! Oh what a long time no see. Too long really, but I took forever to go through photos of my latest journey. Might I warn of the longest post ever with too many photos. But I had to. You see - I went to a place dear to my heart. Where I went a lot when I was a kid and teen... In a state I lived half of my life in growing up. I went north. Where fog and ocean and wind whip together. And little trolley's ding up and down streets all day and night. On a mission of sorts. To San Francisco for a week. The view from my hotel room was sublime. I would open the window and just smell that air. Ocean and baked goods and salt and sweet. The scent is unforgettable. I took sooo many photos to share and it took me ages to go through them all. What a blast. Some days I went out with no camera just to enjoy the place again. The mission was to go to San Fran and surprise my mom who would be there for her birthday. I boarded a plane with an Irishman. Quite a thing seeing as how I had sworn off airplanes. I went everywhere on planes my whole life and then stopped one day. Well, you all know this. Found my beloved parcel of earth and got too many furs and gardens to go anywhere for years. Plus, I didn't want to go. But as they say, nothing lasts forever and now I'm into airplanes again. Imagine that? Well it helps to be on a journey with someone who knows how to fly planes and can save you if need be. Kinda sorta, haha! And so, we set off to surprise my mom at the ocean... Boy was she ever surprised beyond words. Her and my dad cried and so did the guy checking them into the hotel. We got there early and had some time to bash around town at. And then, the day my parents were arriving we hid in the café and watched. Almost missing them entirely. But we surprised them beyond words at check in. And went on to have the most glorious trip. Here are a few places I love... Cliff House. Or, the former place where cliff house once sat. Here is some history about it. Such a beautiful ocean at this spot... Lovely vegetation too.   Nasturtium at the ocean. Bliss. So interesting, read here for the story. Just love the ocean. Getting your feet wet. Finding a drift wood heart. Yes I brought it home with me. Mom and I could have stayed there for days, just right in the sand. Where ocean humidity poofs your hair. Such beautiful cool weather. The fog is its own character. We also drove along to all sorts of places. Homes I'd like to move into. And the gaspingly beautiful Palace of Fine Arts. Not to be missed. What a place. I guess you could sit there all day too. Watch the endless birds & flowers... Just dreamy beyond words. You can walk across the street from there and get a beautiful bridge and water view. Water and mountains and fog. So much to gasp over. And then the cafes a plenty. And Chinatown too. How can you not go to Chinatown? Just a variety of fun stuff. Traditional items and fancy things too. Bakeries.. And I did run into Zoltar who gave me a fortune. So fun! I would not leave my hotel window late at night. Shivering from the wind. Smelling that beautiful air. Listening to the saxophones and trolleys. The wonderful city sounds. The fog. The lights. I loved my view. I could have just stayed there. Shops and cafes and galleries aplenty. We would run up the hills in the middle of the night. Panting and laughing. Incredible sushi and restaurants. We found an organic grocery store up the street and went shopping. We made smoothies in the hotel room, so much fun. Just immersed ourselves in life there for a week. Hotel De France! There was something mysterious being filmed in a cathedral. And beautiful street flowers galore. We walked to Fisherman's Wharf and had clam chowder a[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Moon & MonsoonA Fanciful Twist
Why, hello there! Remember me? It's summer in the desert and there is all sorts of action going on. Thunder, lightning, lizards, puddles, fuzzy hair, pink skies and dream clouds! It's monsoon season in the dry desert. The earth is gulping rain and we are so glad to be getting a lot of it in the last 2 days. 4 inches just in one day, it was simply crazy wonderful. But before that, there was the last moon that shone so bright I could hardly believe it. The clouds slowly moved in. Oh summer clouds... Beautiful, incredible things. The drama of monsoon season in the land of dry earth is just, beyond words. I chase lizards around admiring their ombre bellies and incredible colors. I told him he was wearing my favorite shade of teal and he looked at me, and slightly smiled. It was a Mona Lisa smile really, but I'll take what I can get :-) We huddle on the porch in evening storms. The hatter on guitar, me thinking up lyrics. But my spoiled children just want to go inside and sit in front of the a/c. I guess humidity and fur don't mix. The other day I was running when it started to rain. I thought, I'll jump on my trampoline a little bit. Listening to good music, jumping in the rain. This was my exact view and then the sky turned super dark and I got hailed on. It was glorious, amazing really. I just laughed out loud to myself jumping in the rain and hail. Soaked to the bone. What a great morning. It rained soooo much the washes were pouring over. I was on my way to meet a dear friend and had to roll up my pants and take off my shoes to lock the gate because the street was a deep river.  It was so wonderfully dramatic. My hair didn't appreciate it at all, but my heart did. So fun! Water droplets everywhere. The desert is turning so green and slowly everyone who was getting torched in 115' endless days, is coming back to life We start to see dahlias and roses again. The gophers are trying to gobble up all my plants (at the root) so I've been dragging the troughs in the vegetable garden to the front flower garden to try to save them. I'm loving above ground planting, it makes everything easier. Filling the trough with 150 heaping shovel fulls of dirt was not fun, but I knew the outcome would be great. So I forged on. Well, it really wasn't that bad at all actually. I even tossed some seeds in and they sprouted 2, yes 2, days later. My boys and I set out to see what we can see each morning. Miles is on alert. Matty follows quietly. With his beautiful pondering eyes. You can see where the waves of water filled our parcel of earth below. It was fabulous Although I think my bathroom might spring a leak, darn! I don't mind. Anything for rain. Like jewels on petals at 6 a.m. I am loving these days so much. I've been journaling a lot. And even doodle journaling which is so much fun. I love chatting with people. We are all so different and yet so alike. I incorporate messages and thoughts in to my little doodle journals, of all the things that swirl in my mind from thoughts and conversations. About the importance of allowing oneself to feel. We should allow ourselves to feel our feelings. Not be afraid to feel. Sometimes we need a hearty laugh. Sometimes we need a hearty cry. Whatever it is. It's okay to feel. In fact, it's darn good to feel. Actually, we need to feel so we don't go bonkers. Instead of fighting feelings, we accept the feelings we feel, and in turn we feel better. Isn't it funny how that works? I was sooooo much better at allowing myself to be sad or throw tantrums (at home of course) when I was younger. As I get older I feel like, I reign myself in more. I say, get over it, to myself. I have to remind myself to feel and purge. It's so h[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Rose Water & Summer Goodness (winner announced)A Fanciful Twist
Hi there friends!! Happy summer, boy has it been hot?! I thought I'd bring you something wonderfully lovely for the weekend. My friend Nathalie at Beauty Counter sent me the most glorious rose water mist. The company is amazing, no animal testing, no bad chemicals. It's really music to my ears. Check it out here, Beauty Counter. It smells so lovely and is a wonderful way to keep your skin hydrated. I took some time to read about their philosophy and I was really impressed. No animal testing is very important to me, as I'm sure you would agree. Guess what?! Nathalie was kind enough to send me one to share with you. How fun is that? What a super snazzy way to start off summer I think, don't you? Just leave a hello in comments to enter. I'll come back and let you know who the winner is in a couple of days. So, make sure to check back in to see if you won so I can send it your way.   As for life around here... There have been beautiful clouds as we wait for monsoon season. I caught a weird bug so I took some time to just feel good and relax. And, it's been crazzzzy hot in Arizona. So, I've been working to keep my garden happy. The sun is just burning everything but I think it's hanging in there. The Hatter, aka Mister Lovee is building a new shed cottage for more storage. Can't wait! Hope you're doing great out there! Make sure you enter to win this. It's so lovely and the spray bottle is glass, which I love. You can easily reuse it. Thank you Beauty Counter and lovely Nathalie Gagnon! Peek in on their products, so wonderful. I'll see you soon friends, I promise!   Love, Vanessa     And the winner is! By way of random number generator, lucky winning number is... 29! Number 29, won fair and square! Sandra you'll need to buy a lottery ticket now :-) Email me your shipping address, thank you!   Thank you all for playing, that was so much fun! I'll be back super soon with a new post and lots of fun. <3           ps: I'll also send the winner the dried rose petals & roses from my garden used in this post.  [...] Hi there friends!! Happy summer, boy has it been hot?! I thought I'd bring you something wonderfully lovely for the weekend. My friend Nathalie at Beauty Counter sent me the most glorious rose water mist. The company is amazing, no animal testing, no bad chemicals. It's really music to my ears. Check it out here, Beauty Counter. It smells so lovely and is a wonderful way to keep your skin hydrated. I took some time to read about their philosophy and I was really impressed. No animal testing is very important to me, as I'm sure you would agree. Guess what?! Nathalie was kind enough to send me one to share with you. How fun is that? What a super snazzy way to start off summer I think, don't you? Just leave a hello in comments to enter. I'll come back and let you know who the winner is in a couple of days. So, make sure to check back in to see if you won so I can send it your way.   As for life around here... There have been beautiful clouds as we wait for monsoon season. I caught a weird bug so I took some time to just feel good and relax. And, it's been crazzzzy hot in Arizona. So, I've been working to keep my garden happy. The sun is just burning everything but I think it's hanging in there. The Hatter, aka Mister Lovee is building a new shed cottage for more storage. Can't wait! Hope you're doing great out there! Make sure you enter to win this. It's so lovely and the spray bottle is glass, which I love. You can easily reuse it. Thank you Beauty Counter and lovely Nathalie Gagnon! Peek in on their products, s[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Inspiration Palette of Bits & Bobs...A Fanciful Twist
I'm still in the bits and bobs my friends! I fell down the rabbit hole of playing with little treasures... And I really liked it. But you might have already guessed that over the years. My sister and I are both lovers of tiny things and this and that's. Keys to secret doors. Pocket watches that have stopped in time. Antique spools of thread. The list goes on... Oh how I love rusty things. I love collecting keys too. You should see all the rusty treasures I collected on the road over the last year. I put them in a huge jar and gifted them to the hatter for Hanukkah. The jar is crazy heavy. He's been giving me something called commendations for years. My commendations are always I.O.O.F medals & ribbons. Love them so. The old doll head is a 20 year ago find in a ratty little old stuff shop. It was in a case and quite costly, but it was labeled as an old Mennonite doll head. And so, I had to have it. Antique door knobs and sea shells sure make me happy too. Put it all together and you have another inspiration palette. Dried flowers turn into paper art don't they? I put all the treasures on a painting I am working on. I've been doing a lot of art making lately. Sculpting like mad and throwing paint every chance I get. It's such great therapy besides being my life calling and all :-) If you want some great inspiration filled with tears and awe... You must watch Chef's Table (whole series is magical), the episode on Grant Achatz is really something. Season 2, episode 1. ( I watched on Netflix) They are all wonderful episodes, but even though I knew his story, I still sobbed. I felt so inspired and encouraged about life in general, despite trials and tribulations. Life is hard, it's our job to put it into perspective and try to see the good. I've been practicing this thing... Whenever I have a bad or stressful thought I immediately say, throw away that negative thought and replace it with something positive. Don't catastrophize and don't spiral into the what ifs. Since I was 18 years old I've been on a quest for inner peace. Sometimes I'm floating on cloud 9 and life is easy, but sometimes it's more complex, as you know. It's just the way life is, so I find ways to make it better for myself. I love being happy and enjoying my days. If someone starts to tell me something I find very stressful I tell them, please don't tell me about that, it makes me sad. Can you give me a positive spin on the topic? It's also important to let friends know that, you get stressed out too, and when they try to lump all their problems on you it's a very unhealthy feeling for you too. I have friends I bounce my stresses off of and listen to theirs and it feels good to talk to each other. But other friends don't bounce back and forth, they just drown you. And then you have to say something. You can do it all with tact and kindness and honesty. Something like... "I don't know about you, but I want to keep my life as positive as possible." And while I like being there for people so much, there will be a scant few who over do the need to lean on you. By allowing someone to lean on you too hard, you not only do them a disservice, you do yourself one. It's important to say, I love you but I'm finding this very stressful. I tell my friends (and myself) things my dad has told me since childhood. Be brave and be strong. Don't drown in a glass of water. Isn't it so easy to drown in a glass of water when you are stressed out? My dad always says, it's important to talk to yourself. Talk out your worries and fears and put them into perspective. I talk out loud to myself while walking around my[...]






A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Finding your Inspiration...A Fanciful Twist
It's the tiniest things that inspire the greatest creativity. Wouldn't you say? It's important to keep your secret recipe near. The one that awakens your inner magic. Bits of this and a few bobs of that. Sprinkled all around to remind you where your heart's at. Just tid-bits of things you love and like. It's what happening in the secret garden today. Come on in. Sparkles, art supplies, tea cups and joy. Those are the first ingredients on my list. What's on yours? The sound of a little piano the Hatter gave me recently. (dear to each other forever) And the pruned morsels of spent tea roses. Add a few ribbons and other ruffled petals... For the perfect concoction called... Just what I needed today. Creativity comes in so many forms. It doesn't need to fit in anyone's box but your own. Whatever it is that brings you joy is the name of this game. To create the best elixir around. It creates cheer and heart happiness. To just take some time for your own nonsense and play. Crochet pieces from a big bag of estate sale findings. A smattering of your favorite colors. Swirl it all together... And you've concocted... Your very own... Inspiration palette. A palette that may only have rhyme or reason to you. But it's important to have fun. A little nonsense never hurt anyone. In fact, in can be the best cure to get you out of your creative slump. Bored, depressed, lazy? Toss around some glitter and petals and feel better in 15 minutes or your money back! Guaranteed ;-) I know I know, I'm so silly. Ridiculous even. But even I, who chose a creative path as my journey when I was just a teen, needs to remind herself to take it easy and go out and conjure up some creative nonsense. Throw a little tea party for one. As we get older we can start to forget the multitude of small fun things we enjoy. All the little things that make up the joys of our heart. What are the joys of your heart? The littlest things?   I have an impromptu idea. Lets make a list for each other, shall we? I'll give you three and you can share three if you so wish. Even things you love that you have forgotten to do for some time.   My first one is as seen in this post, playing with bits and bobs. Just the joy of standing in the breeze tossing petals and sparkles around. Second is making little doll clothes. I love making doll clothes, why have I forgotten to do this for a while? Third is to go into a very quiet antique store during the week. When no one is there, and just browse with no worry of time or place. Smell old books and look in every nook and cranny.   All of those things lead to finding inspiration for me. What about you?     Hope you're all doing good out there in your neck of the woods. Warmest vibes from me to you! See you sooon <3   Love, Vanessa          [...] It's the tiniest things that inspire the greatest creativity. Wouldn't you say? It's important to keep your secret recipe near. The one that awakens your inner magic. Bits of this and a few bobs of that. Sprinkled all around to remind you where your heart's at. Just tid-bits of things you love and like. It's what happening in the secret garden today. Come on in. Sparkles, art supplies, tea cups and joy. Those are the first ingredients on my list. What's on yours? The sound of a little piano the Hatter gave me recently. (dear to each other forever) And the pruned morsels of spent tea roses. Add a few ribbons and other ruffled petals... For the perfect concoction called... Just what I needed today. Creativity[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Petals + Dreams + Colorful Days of MayA Fanciful Twist
The busiest garden days are upon us. They bring the dreamiest petals, endless gifts. All the beautiful colors. The tiniest winged creatures & their wings catching the light. The sun at different hours of the day casting a glow in different ways. It's all a perfect recipe for dreaming. For thinking about what's next on the menu. What would you like to do? Have you given up on your dreams? Or are they dancing around you, just waiting for you to pluck one and plunge? The garden has so many of those answers. It dreams for you. It serves you beautiful platters of inspiration. It begs you to drag your easel out and paint amongst the birds and bees. It says... Here, take these miraculous incredible gifts I have for you. Green stems with petals on top. Wrapping round and round, scented too. Is it a dream? It's a living day dream, isn't it? The rows of roses mingle with cactus at the front gates. The snapdragon scent floats around, making you blissfully discombobulated. Or maybe it's just the dizziness from swinging on the swing, so fast and so high. The hummingbirds come right up to you. Hello. The sun illuminates their beautiful colors. It's all too good. It's just too good. This beautiful time of magical spring. When all you can whisper is, thank you... The hummers steal from the spiders... Treats from waiting webs. And I think to myself, maybe I can hear the ruffles of snapdragons singing. What a place, a garden. I know so many of you have gardens too, so I know you understand. The beauty, the joy in it all. The colors just take my breath away. I lounge in the garden chaise just watching it all happen. As birds fight for lunch. Cardinal swoops in for sunflower seeds. Doves hang around their girl's nest. Keeping watch (I love that). And delphiniums that turned from blue to white are blue again. The fresh soil must have replenished the acidity. As the sun begins to set colors take on a more wonderland hue. Hummingbirds zip around doing somersaults in the air. The dogs chase each other and I do my pruning. Always offering the cuttings too spent for vases to the garden angel. I love that moment where the sky turns so blue that everything looks fluorescent. My place of peace and dreams. I know I know, I say I'm done planting and then all my new dahlia tubers arrive. I have been enjoying working on some paintings lately. I've even been softening clay and playing with jewelry beads. Who knows what I might pull out of my rabbit's hat. My life has been on the craziest journey of wonderful happenings. Sometimes it's hard to invite even good things into your life when you are not one who likes change. But when you do, who knows the exciting and lovely things you may find? It's not so easy to be open to life flowing when you are cozy in your shell. But living in the day to day moment is really such a beautiful concept. As they say, the past is history and the future is just an invented story. But we always have the now. Embracing the now and new things it might bring. The most important thing we can do for ourselves. We worry about things that don't even make sense, don't we? The what if's. Which rarely happen. So why not just enjoy the moment? Last year I told myself that my new motto was always keep moving forward. And not in big ways, but little ways. Like, go hiking, go to the book store and find something new to read. Always something that keeps the flow of life going. Jump into your parent's 60' pool in your pajamas. Dance, just put on some music you love and dance. Try a new recipe, plant a new pla[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Plant a Garden & Watch Magic Unfold...A Fanciful Twist
Oh, the wonderful days of soil and sun are here. I've been ever so busy my friends. I need a really long nap, and I think I'll take one soon. Although I have a hard time napping, you? I have one too many pics to share to today. But, if you grab something good to sip, it might not be too long and crazy. There's endless garden magic happening. Is there really any other word better than magic that can properly explain spring? The fresh leaves, the golden sun, the good-bye to winter. The memory of what the garden looks like when it is full and lush. Grape leaves ready for dolmades. And snap dragons. Oh snap dragons. Can we just talk about them for a second? I never really longed for them, I never even planted them. I never was ever inspired to smell them. I never really gave them a second thought. I don't know why? And then I planted a bunch this winter. Dinky little things. I had no idea they could be perennials, could withstand winter and would grow so huge and fill my garden with so much joy. I mean, I see them in Disneyland and outside hotels. I just never thought about them for myself. I was wandering around the other day asking myself what that beautiful scent was. As I said, I have never felt compelled to smell a snap dragon. I'm not sure why I never considered them as I find them awfully beautiful. Anywho, I was wondering what the scent in the garden was. I could smell orange blossoms, jasmine and roses but what was the other element? Then I sniffed the snapdragons. WHAT? I went from color to color in awe. The scent was filled with memories. Almost like my mom's faint perfume. Or the faint scent of confections. Like faint cotton candy. So mild and so beautiful. Who knew? Did you know? And here I was giving all the credit to these beauties. I tell you, the garden teaches me something new all the time. The lady banks roses are in full bloom. Going crazy over arbors and little buildings in my garden. I just love poking around. Seeing all that goes on. Buildings being utterly devoured by roses. I wished for this years ago and almost have to rub my eyes everyday in disbelief. Oh lovely climbing roses. I just hope they don't cave in my buildings and arbors, haha! They're even hopping onto my office stoop. Fun fun fun! I just roam around in dream goggles. So utterly thankful to mother nature. Can't thank her enough. How can it be that such wonderful things can exist? Bright sun filled garden today. I tried to get Matty to pose for a photo, you know how much he hates them. And of course, in runs the ham. Smile and all. My sweeties. They were bickering with a hawk that kept taunting them. Squawking at them like mad. Huge wonderful creature. I had to sprint for my camera and took blurry pics just as he... Got ready to... Take flight! Isn't that so neato? I love those hawks. Watching them fly around and swoop down. I had to run out of town to my parents the other day and they would do the same to me at their house. My mom was amazed. She said the hawks never come that close to her. Maybe they thought I was a chipmunk or something? :-) My blog post would have ended there for today, but then I took more pics after watching the hawk. It's was so sunny and watching the flowers multiply and fill-in is my fave past time. I realize I may be a broken record. You may ask yourself, is this just a gardening blog? Does she ever post about anything but her garden? What happened to arting and crafting? Could she be any more boring? But when you've tried to grow things [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Of Wisteria and Pink BlossomsA Fanciful Twist
And then it truly was spring... Dreamy and magical. Colorful and inspiring. I vanished in a flutter of spring fever. Only I literally had spring fever. Complete with sneezing and coughing and all the miserable details of such things. But I had blossoms to cheer me up. Endless ones at that. I was down a couple weeks and am jumping for joy now that I feel better. Today was my first day back to my beloved hills, deep breaths and sunshine goodness. I could not be happier, I can't even begin to tell you. To get to smell the orange blossoms and wisteria. It's like coming back to life with spring. I needn't explain as I'm sure a rotten cold or flu has grabbed you at some point. The bliss of feeling well again is unlike anything. Just in time for one of the happiest times of the year. The rose bushes are getting so full and some are even gifting a few flowers. The peach blossoms are lovely as ever. Bobbing around in golden hour. And then, the truest wonderment I know of. Wisteria. Fairy tale magic. I can never get enough. I just want to stand in it forever. Let the little petals drop as all kinds of bees buzz around me. Even giant blonde carpenter bees. Flip on the fairy light switch and just swoon in the moment. Nature's enchantments swirling all around us. How lucky are we to get to enjoy spring? There are bird's nests popping up everywhere. Bunny burrows and groups of hummingbirds and their endless shenanigans. Zooming by at the speed of light. The cardinals come in like clock work for breakfast and all manner of little birds take baths all day. And the colors. The never ending candy colors of spring. Like a perfect palette of joy. And once the wisteria starts to drop away... It leaves a carpet of petals to tip toe in. Sigh... Oh beautiful spring, how can something be so wonderful I ask? I'm not sure but it seems too good to be true sometimes. This amazing gift of nature. Flowers flowers, everywhere. How can one not be inspired? Wonderfulness galore. I wander around my garden, dreaming away. I jump on my giant trampoline, watching my horse neighbor jump back at me and make all my same gestures. I dare him to jump over the wall. I jump as flowering branches hit my head and puffy clouds move by quickly. I smell the combination of apricot and orange blossoms. They remind me of everything. Of living, of joy, of crying, of being, of singing, of laughing, of dancing... The dogs chase me around as I crouch down and hide behind bushes. I see them running and then stop, where has she gone? I see them looking, wondering. And then they find me and tackle me with love. As though they have not seen me for weeks. Such a joyful wonderful time, this spring time. I hope you are all doing great out there in your neck of the woods. Waiting for spring or experiencing it too. The dreamiest of days are upon us. Time to dry some petals to save in jars. Time to swing in the hammock. Time to sit on the front steps and feel the warm sun on our shoulders. Such wonderful things indeed!   Sending lots of good vibes and warm thoughts out to you!   Love, Vanessa        [...] And then it truly was spring... Dreamy and magical. Colorful and inspiring. I vanished in a flutter of spring fever. Only I literally had spring fever. Complete with sneezing and coughing and all the miserable details of such things. But I had blossoms to cheer me up. Endless ones at that. I was down a couple weeks and am jumping for joy now that I feel better. Today was my first day back to my b[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Spring Magic in the Air...A Fanciful Twist
I can't believe it. It's so early but it's happening. Nature sprinkling its magic upon us where the desert meets the forest. Is it happening there too, where you are? The hatter gave me a fairy piano, sweetest little thing. And I'm collecting first roses. I just can't believe it. I don't know why spring always amazes me so, but it does. I run outside every morning to see what new leaves are springing forth. I'm having so much fun in my studio and trying to enjoy open windows and doors as much as I can before the real heat finds us.  Although we are having a heat wave now, which is a bit nutty so soon. The fruit trees are just sublime as they bloom. Peach tree pink makes me so happy. As wisteria blooms start to form. It's all happening right outside the window. I noticed yesterday that the roses that are gobbling up entire buildings in my garden are also intertwining with the wisteria. This makes my fairy tale loving heart crazy overjoyed. Early spring. What a gift. The cool evenings, the delicious light. Sigh. The bees are in love with the plum trees right now. They can't get enough. Go bees go! My babies follow me around as I do the morning and evening rounds. They look around at butterflies and birds, just watching nature flutter about. Our little guardian keeps watch intensely. Making sure that no one enters his dominion. Sometimes he won't even leave his post and join Miles and I roaming the garden. He just sits on the top front porch stairs, looking. Listening. Ready to pounce. But Miles and I are too bewitched by pink fruit blossoms and winding wisteria to worry. We leave that up to our Matty protector. Oh and did I mention the tiny clusters of roses? Oh my! I love love love these beautiful days. But I said that already didn't it? :-) As the day winds down I follow the garden path. Sniffing apricot blossoms. Their always familiar sugar and milk scent activates my memory bank. Golden hour sweeps in... And as everything glows I cozy back up in my studio. Enjoying it all, just like the bunnies and critters in my new favorite chocolate tin are. I've been going to and fro, doing so many things lately. I've been having fun decorating in the city a bit and working on some art here in the country. I'm thinking about giving the country pad a facelift too. I always want to keep this homebase no matter what, and enjoy it, so it's important to give it some love. The garden is calling my name again, tending garden is taking center stage. Our winters are so short, but I did get a nice little break from heat and early morning. Time to plunge in again. The quail are having babies and the bees are buzzing like mad. Nature knows what to do and when, amazing. I so hope you are having lovely days out there. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings in the garden. The gophers did a number on some rose bushes so I'm hoping and praying they make it. I moved them to pots and baby them like mad. I check them several times a day to see if there is any sign of life. I do see little red nubs forming, I may faint from joy if all works out. I've invested in ever so many giant pots and some of the other rose bushes I saved are doing incredibly. SO exciting!! Spring, what a time. We are so lucky to have these things called seasons. Aren't we?  Fill me in on your first days of March, oh and, welcome March! See ya soon, Love V        [...] I can't believe it. It's so early but it'[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry All the pretty petals...A Fanciful Twist
The most incredible days are upon us. Sun and breeze and green under our feet. Chamomile sprouting up through the dirt, tickling feet as we hang laundry. Golden hour illuminating Miley like an angel. Wonderful days, these early spring days. I was gifted gobs of beautiful flowers in such wonderful shades. And we've had overflowing glasses of the most sweet fresh homegrown orange juice ever. My sidekick was so adorable I had to grab my camera and take some snaps. Peeking through fresh sheets. Hanging out in that gorgeous light with me. Matty behind us watching, monitoring his land. Miles my big baby, playing games as usual. He steals anything cardboard. Paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls are his fave. He sniffs them out and runs away with them, amusing me so. Love this boy. I wish I could bottle the air and sun swirl. Cool air, warm light. Perfect. So perfect. And now I'm back to dreaming of swirling paint too. All shades of pink. Fuchsia, magenta, candy pink, baby pink, hot pink. Taking too many pics of the same flowers. Big fat roses bobbing around. Pink pink pink. And baby's breath for that perfect vintage measure. Flowers and pinks and roses and carnations and gerber daisies. Oh my! Making me ever so happy. Then we go back to our wash line. Country garden, vegetable garden. Golden light. Earth angel, earth angel... Almost time to start working in the veggie garden. It will be all above ground this year. There's a peach tree tucked in there, that grew himself there. Big and tall. Garden magic I say. But for now I madly enjoy these days. When you live in the land of sun, where it gets so hot in summer, the days like this week has gifted are like gold. Cool and fresh and beautiful. Before you have to water and toil in the heat.  Before you beg for rain.  There are these glorious incredible days.  To be savored to the last drop. I may sound melodramatic, but if you live in a very very hot place you understand. And so, you truly appreciate the days of open windows. Cardigans. Cold toes and down comforters. Late days of February, when bulbs are flowering and sprouts are sprouting. And all the living things start to think about bursting forth. My roses have so many beautiful silky fresh leaves. And buds forming too. I can't believe it. It seems like just yesterday it was summer. I think the universe right now wants me to paint in pinks. And keep cuddling in the chaise with the pups, as the faint string tunes of the mad hatter waft through the garden. The skies are clear these nights. Bursting with stars. There's curious tales of love and life adventures happening. And did you hear about the 7 new planets found? Perhaps warm, perhaps with water? Endless unknowns out there in the great big universe. But aren't we lucky to get to be here? Doing all the wonderful things. Bubble baths in winter, yes, that's one of my faves, I just remembered. What's one or three of your favorite life things? Mine are dogs, bubble baths and flowers. Things that make me happy day to day. Dogs & flowers I need. Well, off I go. Silly silly sillying along. And day dreaming too...   Love, Vanessa          Dedicated to my blonde. Yes I dedicate songs to dogs, don't you? allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VJcGi4-n_Yw" width="560">    [...] The most incredible days are upon us. Sun and breeze and green under our feet[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Of Hyacinth & Cozy DaysA Fanciful Twist
It's a bright grey day today. With big raindrops and chilly wind. The bulbs are blooming and candles are being lit. Hyacinths are one of my faves. The tulips and irises are peeking out too. I adore cold weather blooms, don't you? There's two very cozy boys, lazying about. Lazier than lazy day for them. I'm getting ready for a special celebration tonight. I shall get out of my afternoon pj's and brave the wind and rain. But for just a second, I'd like to stay here and sip one more lemon ginger tea. My little fox is so sweet when he is sleeping. I just throw sheets over my white slip covered sofa and everyone is happy. Easy to wash and comfy. The azaleas are waking up. How I love them too. I'd like to hang out with my boys here all day. But I must be on my way. Watering the pretty things. Wondering what earrings I shall wear. You know, all the difficult choices in life, haha! I'd like to wear the blue crystals on my chandelier. In fact I just ordered a pair in the same color and they arrived broken. It's kind of fun to get to dress wintery this weekend. It's not always possible in the land of sun. I love scarves and coats and warm hats. SO much fun! I hope to spend my Sunday ready magazines and working on a painting. I hope you are doing wonderful out there in your neck of the woods! What's going on out there?   Love, V    [...] It's a bright grey day today. With big raindrops and chilly wind. The bulbs are blooming and candles are being lit. Hyacinths are one of my faves. The tulips and irises are peeking out too. I adore cold weather blooms, don't you? There's two very cozy boys, lazying about. Lazier than lazy day for them. I'm getting ready for a special celebration tonight. I shall get out of my afternoon pj's and brave the wind and rain. But for just a second, I'd like to stay here and sip one more lemon ginger tea. My little fox is so sweet when he is sleeping. I just throw sheets over my white slip covered sofa and everyone is happy. Easy to wash and comfy. The azaleas are waking up. How I love them too. I'd like to hang out with my boys here all day. But I must be on my way. Watering the pretty things. Wondering what earrings I shall wear. You know, all the difficult choices in life, haha! I'd like to wear the blue crystals on my chandelier. In fact I just ordered a pair in the same color and they arrived broken. It's kind of fun to get to dress wintery this weekend. It's not always possible in the land of sun. I love scarves and coats and warm hats. SO much fun! I hope to spend my Sunday ready magazines and working on a painting. I hope you are doing wonderful out there in your neck of the woods! What's going on out there?   Love, V    [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Beautiful Life, with Twists & Turns & Fairy DustA Fanciful Twist
Hello there my friends. It is sunny and utterly lovely where the desert meets the forest. There are fresh rose leaves popping up and tales to share.   The promise of a new season makes me giddy. I almost can't sleep at night waiting to wake up and see what is happening in the garden. The hydrangeas just started opening their eyes. So exciting! Pruning winter petals and reflecting on all that is good. What a perfect time to tell you a little story. Especially since so many have inquired and I feel it's time to share. Here's a little story about life and its funny twists and turns. Several years ago (about 4, maybe more) life started to twist and turn and change for Mister Lovee and I, aka The Hatter. Our journeys morphed in different directions, but always staying best friends, confidants and above all family always. It's beautiful and amazing, journeys shift and veer, but love and respect is and was always there. And although we are on different paths now, we're still a hop skip and a jump from each other on this big property where there is room for all, two houses, four cottages & gardens to roam.  We laugh and get into tea party shenanigans all the time and love the dogs madly.  It's been a long time shift, it's not new, but I guess you all felt it and so that's the truth. He will always be and is Mister Lovee to everyone (as he is known round these parts), and he's my dear dear hatter. We are in very different places in our lives. I am going up those hills, hiking and exploring (literally & figuratively) as he encourages me endlessly to go go, fly butterfly fly, live your life to the fullest! You're young, go be free!  While he waves from his cozy chair, whilst blissfully playing his guitar, doing the things that make him happy. We started as best of friends 17 years ago, and best friends we will be forever more. Alsoooo... There's a new chapter unfolding in my life. Fairy Dust. The last couple of years some amazing, unreal & exciting things have happened. Which you might begin to see unravel here.  It's been this slow shift and change, but now somehow here it is. Life is beautiful and wonderful, there is nothing but goodness happening. Everyone is happy and the sun is shining.  The roses are thinking about blooming and I am utterly grateful for this organic way my life evolves and flows, like a gentle stream.  I am so grateful. And while I don't share my religious beliefs much here, I will say they are very strong and I always believe that if I put my life in the hands of the heavens, all will evolve as should. And it has. The most important thing is that life is wonderful, full of twists and turns and tales. I am living some exciting things right now and I can't wait to see how my journey continues to unfold. The other most important thing is that there is still art and tea time and thriftventures galore. There's dogs and dancing and hiding in the cottage with treats. Everything is so good for everyone. It's a beautiful life my friends. If you go with the flow... Sometimes it surprises you, sometimes is amazes you. It's done all those things to me and more, and I love it! My dad told me yesterday, you are a very lucky girl to have had these lovely things happen in your life. Such experiences and special people. Life is not always ea[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Free Printable Valentine Round-Up!A Fanciful Twist
Hello there! Valentine's Day is nearly upon us again. Can you believe it? Here we go with a round-up of all my free printables. Make sure to follow the links associated with each style to get the printable version. These are printable Valentine's I have made over the years. They are free for personal use. Click on the links that will take you to the printable files. Then give them a minute or so to open.  Here we go!   Love Birds, Elephants and Teacups ♥ Click here for printable PDF   You can mix and match faves of different styles as well. They are especially fun printed on card stock and cut out with scalloped scissors. Silly kitty!  Here is the printable PDF for the two above... Cupcake and Kitty Valentine's 2015 PDF    Print as many as you'd like. Have a blast!! Happy Valentine's day friends!!!  (Please give the PDF's a little time to open, they are large files so that they print nicely)   Owlie Valentine ♥ Click here for printable PDF      Fun Fungi Valentine's ♥ Click here for printable PDF         Sweet LOVE ♥ Click here for printable PDF   Bake Sew Sweet ♥ Click here for printable PDF     Love so Sweet ♥ Click here for printable PDF   I hope you will print some and enjoy. They are fun, easy and bonus, free. Scalloped scissors make them extra lovely me thinks. Little gifts from me to you. Enjoy!!   It's a little rainy today. Spring is in the air. I've been pruning roses like mad. I just love Valentine's day. As I've said before, I like to use it as an I love me day. Then I do nice things for myself. Like go to the bookstore, buy gobs of flowers I love, get a pedicure etc. Sending lots of goodness your way!   Hope you are doing extra lovely!! Love, Vanessa           ps:  Make sure you give the pdf's a little while to open.  The files are high quality which makes them large, so you have to wait a minute or two for them to load :-)[...] Hello there! Valentine's Day is nearly upon us again. Can you believe it? Here we go with a round-up of all my free printables. Make sure to follow the links associated with each style to get the printable version. These are printable Valentine's I have made over the years. They are free for personal use. Click on the links that will take you to the printable files. Then give them a minute or so to open.  Here we go!   Love Birds, Elephants and Teacups ♥ Click here for printable PDF   You can mix and match faves of different styles as well. They are especially fun printed on card stock and cut out with scalloped scissors. Silly kitty!  Here is the printable PDF for the two above... Cupcake and Kitty Valentine's 2015 PDF    Print as many as you'd like. Have a blast!! Happy Valentine's day friends!!!  (Please give the PDF's a little time to open, they are large files so that they print nicely)   Owlie Valentine ♥ Click here for printable PDF      Fun Fungi Valentine's ♥ Click here for printable PDF         Sweet LOVE ♥ Click here for printable PDF   Bake Sew Sweet ♥ Click here for printable PDF     Love so Sweet ♥ Click here for printable PDF   I[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Wonderland of Living Things...A Fanciful Twist
There's something wonderful going on out there.  I actually swooned when I saw this tender white poppy unfurling. Oh bliss! The promise of everything lives in growing things, wouldn't you say? So inspiring. And so exciting to see hints of spring. The snapdragons, stock flowers, poppies and petunias have thrived in the cold. Good to know. It's been very chilly at night. Case in point. Roses frozen in the birdbath. What a happy accident. One day they were floating in there. The next frozen. I have the Gene Boerner rose bushes to thank for endless roses, with even a few in winter. Petals in ice are oh so pretty. Or should I say, nice? It's lovely to see flowers doing well. Bobbing around in the breeze. So good for the soul. The colors make we want to swirl fuchsia paint around all day. The crows are still here, chattering away all day, I love them. And of course the cardinals, beloveds. I see other poppy buds forming here and there. I simply can not wait. Yes, I know, I did over-photograph this one white poppy. Almost to the point of being annoying. But it is just so new and fresh. Perfect ruffled petals. And then of course, no one can escape the magic of golden hour. I am enchanted. Transported. Inspired. In love... With growing things. But then, you might have guessed that already. It's just that, no matter what your day is like, the garden gives you a sanctuary. A happy place. Where hope thrives. Ah, such lovely things. I know I'm so sappy, aren't I? We're about to have a little heat wave here. It's been chilly and lovely, we'll see how warmer days feel. I'm not entirely ready, but the garden will love it. So, there's a positive trade off. I had a houseguest and lots of adventures. Which is why I wasn't here sooner. We had a ball, the river in the state park has been sublime. The dogs loved it. Picnics and sunshine and cardigans and beautiful life. Such lovely days there have been. I'll leave you for now with... A sonic journey into the Wonderful of Living Things... See you soon! Love, Vanessa   allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dYGGFFcpBvQ" width="560">       PS:  For some reason, my blog downgrades photo quality. If you'd like to see a more detailed photo simply click on the photo and it should open the clearer version <3[...] There's something wonderful going on out there.  I actually swooned when I saw this tender white poppy unfurling. Oh bliss! The promise of everything lives in growing things, wouldn't you say? So inspiring. And so exciting to see hints of spring. The snapdragons, stock flowers, poppies and petunias have thrived in the cold. Good to know. It's been very chilly at night. Case in point. Roses frozen in the birdbath. What a happy accident. One day they were floating in there. The next frozen. I have the Gene Boerner rose bushes to thank for endless roses, with even a few in winter. Petals in ice are oh so pretty. Or should I say, nice? It's lovely to see flowers doing well. Bobbing around in the breeze. So good for the soul. The colors make we want to swirl fuchsia paint around all day. The crows are still here, chattering away all day, I love them. And of course the cardinals, beloveds. I see oth[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Fairy Lights & Winter NightsA Fanciful Twist
Oh lovely winter evenings. The best part is plugging in the fairy lights. I love fairy lights all times of the year. But on these early winter nights they are extra beloved. Just as the pink light fades to purple snow mountains... I plug them in. Putting on the electric kettle as beautiful winter colors dance in fluffy clouds. I hide in here a lot these days it seems. With faux flickering light bulbs and signs of Valentine's day. Amor and all. I string fairy lights here, there & everywhere. Wonderful things on cold winter nights. Cozy in the colorful tea nook. Dreaming and plotting and planning fun things. On my little wicker chair. Lemon ginger tea. Fresh candied orange peels. Music, wagging tails. Mandolin in the distance. All is good on these loveliest winter fairy light nights. It's been chilly, cold for us in the land of sun. Not like you snow fairies. But still cold at night in the mountains. Thank goodness for my Miles cuddler to keep me warm. Matty just cuddles in his own bed and I cover him up as he snores. I love the Valentine vibe in the air. Pink and red make me so happy. I stroll around my garden pinching rosemary and lemon leaves. They smell so good. It's amazing how winter flowers do so well in the cold. I hope you're staying warm out there. I'm off to work on a new painting. See you really soon!   Love, Vanessa    [...] Oh lovely winter evenings. The best part is plugging in the fairy lights. I love fairy lights all times of the year. But on these early winter nights they are extra beloved. Just as the pink light fades to purple snow mountains... I plug them in. Putting on the electric kettle as beautiful winter colors dance in fluffy clouds. I hide in here a lot these days it seems. With faux flickering light bulbs and signs of Valentine's day. Amor and all. I string fairy lights here, there & everywhere. Wonderful things on cold winter nights. Cozy in the colorful tea nook. Dreaming and plotting and planning fun things. On my little wicker chair. Lemon ginger tea. Fresh candied orange peels. Music, wagging tails. Mandolin in the distance. All is good on these loveliest winter fairy light nights. It's been chilly, cold for us in the land of sun. Not like you snow fairies. But still cold at night in the mountains. Thank goodness for my Miles cuddler to keep me warm. Matty just cuddles in his own bed and I cover him up as he snores. I love the Valentine vibe in the air. Pink and red make me so happy. I stroll around my garden pinching rosemary and lemon leaves. They smell so good. It's amazing how winter flowers do so well in the cold. I hope you're staying warm out there. I'm off to work on a new painting. See you really soon!   Love, Vanessa    [...]






A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Rainy Day OrangesA Fanciful Twist
It's a rainy dark day in the desert. I looove rainy days, they add such a different mood in the land of sun. Time for snuggling with mystery novels. The trees in both the city and country are full of oranges. So many oranges I have not even made a dent. Even though I've been using them daily. I feel so lucky and grateful for them. I normally have fresh orange juice everyday so this is perfect. Just as with tomatoes and other home garden grown fruits and vegetables, there really is nothing like the sweetness and freshness of these oranges and lemons. Even the skins are sweet. The flavors are so robust and full when you eat homegrown goodies. I've made my first batch of candied orange peels and they've already been gobbled up. I know there is nothing worse than flash in photos or dark photos lit by lamps... But, it's all we've got for today. Lamp lit rooms. Freshness on a grey day. Last weekend I invented a new cookie recipe. I also made a huge sugar mistake that made me change it even more. Somehow I put in 4 cups of sugar instead of 1.5, haha! I was majorly multitasking and lost track of reality. So then I added two extra eggs and more orange juice and shaved rind. And another cup of flour. I saved the dough in the end and it turned out to be a good mistake. They are super chewy days later. The ones cooked until extra golden brown (not pictured) got super crunchy though, so there are two options. I topped them with a lemon drizzle. Orange and lemon sugar cookies. I'll make them again to test and then share the recipe. The infusement of oranges has hit the winter spot. They make me so happy. I always look forward to orange season in winter. So fun. Chomp! Seems I'm the only one who loves this weather though. Sulky sulky. Although, truth be told, he's very cozy and seems happy as a lark. So, I think he's just watching the rain fall and not sulking. Tea and flowers, oh my. Two of my favorite things. Yesterday was very rainy and dark too. I decided to deep clean & dust the house whilst binge watching The Jinx on Amazon. (with the HBO add-on) There's a part of me that is drawn to crime shows, I don't know why. I have to be in the mood, but I'm sure I get it from my dad. So of course I had to keep watching until the end as it was a documentary series. The end was, well, it was verrrry interesting. So I was up into the wee hours of the night. Then somehow, I got in a bidding war for an antique painting on Ebay at midnight. I'm not sure what's worse... Insane late night bidding on Ebay or someone binge eating at 2 a.m. in front of the light of the fridge, haha! Thank goodness I haven't done that since late night partying in college. Have you done either? Do tell! The worst part is, after I paid too much for this painting that I'm not sure I even really wanted (oops), I read some bad reviews about the seller that were hidden in there, zoikkks! Haha! I guess I deserve it. Who knows what I'll be receiving. Luckily I'm laughing about it. We'll see next week. Isn't it wrong that an antiques addict can be allowed to shop from her phone at any hour?! It's not right I tell ya ;-) Oh my, sooo funny! Anywho, it's a lovely grey day. Which I will revel in as 104' degree weath[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Of Pink Snow Skies & Rainbow Tea TimesA Fanciful Twist
The most curiously beautiful days have been upon us. With flowers and pink snow skies and rainbows, all happening at once. I was preparing a little tea time goodness when I noticed this out the window. I threw on my runners and hit the dirt, chasing that rainbow. Up the big hill and then over a ridge. Rainbow light. Is there anything more magical? It was spectacular. The brightest colors I have ever seen. It illuminated the entire area. Cars were pulling over to gasp. The brightness was astounding beyond words. It was truly spectacular. I got closer than this but those pics are a bit blurry. I came back home in a rainbow daze and set out to make my forgotten tea. Such beautiful days these winter days. Aren't they? So cozy and lovely. One thing you will never believe is that, that rainbow was a snow rainbow. Because at the top of the big mountains, above the rainbow, this had started happening... And down below, in my high desert garden, I was admiring my flowers. Snow and rainbows and poppies and snapdragons. Swirling all at once. I really couldn't get over it. But it was true. It was happening all at once. Oh, and a big group of crows has moved into my trees. Chatting all the live long day. Love them. Even though it's been sunny, it's chilly because of the snow on the mountain tops. So I tend my garden in a sweater as I watch the snow skies turn orange and pink... Rose gold and peach. Then dusty pink and lavender. All in a day, can you believe it? But wait, as the rainbows faded and more snow turned up, the sky was doing this to the west. Sunset. Yes, all on the same day. I just stood there in disbelief. I whispered to nature, is this for real? The beauty of it all. Imagine, if I had been inside I would have missed it all entirely. So glad I got to see it. Stand in it. It's very colorful around here these days. Did you know that you can be busy all day doing nonsense? I've been trying to discipline myself to work in the studio and such. However, after a fantastical "me year" of hiking and soiree-ing... I've learned one most important thing. I am sooo busy. Busy with nonsense, haha! Oh it's grand indeed, to have the luxury to be busy with nonsense such as... Planting flowers, chasing rainbows, climbing hills every morning, decorating, antiquing etc. But at some point you have to say to yourself... Get to work!!! I am such a Pippi of the heart. I try to exert discipline and before I know it I'm climbing a tree hanging things from it. Oh by the way, I'm sorry I alarmed people with my last post? I got several emails from people asking me if I was okay. And yes, I'm grand and happy and having a ball in life. I was just trying to convey the importance of finding things you love because life has ups and downs. But I wasn't insinuating that something is wrong, sorry bout that. I for one like to always have a path to the ups. And those wonderful things that make up who you are will carry you when you are falling. I can tell you this from experience. And my main goal in life is to always chase happy. I live for bliss. I love bliss. My sister says I'm eternally 17 years old. Anywho, I find myself crazy happy in life at this time and I think these are good times to reflect on what brings you joy. [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Beautiful Days + Fresh Snapshots + Life ChatterA Fanciful Twist
Oh such beautiful winter days we're having. Sunlight and cool air. Warm sun rays. A few flowers bobbing around. It's been so hard to come here because my camera has not been working. It's given me a whole year of grief but the last few months were the worst. My beloved professional camera who has been through so much. Rebuilt after I dropped it.  Years of pics. A new motherboard. But now it has ceased to exist and a new fellah has taken its place. Yep, new camera days are here. So, here we go, let's see how this bad boy works. It has me chasing sunsets... Noticing all the different shades of green. Looking for all different kinds of sunlight. Paparazzi-ing the 35 little birds that live in my rose arbor. Watching clouds and snow and... Of course, harassing my beloved children. Watching the little guardian. Ears up, ready to pounce. Little birds lined up on electrical wires. And you can imagine my glee when the sky turns purple and neon pink. Snap, and snap. Fire light through bushes. Candy sky dreams. Moon wishes. And garden twinkle lights. So, here we go. A new camera era & fresh snaps for the bloglette. I'm iffy about change, although embracing it more as I get older. Still, a new camera investment is always a crazy adventure. Sooooo, it should be fun. I'll be back to enjoying taking photos & sharing them with you. Instagram is easy to get used to, just a phone pic and you post, voila. You can find me there all the time. But actually taking your camera out for picture taking is a whole different kind of experience. Is it becoming a lost art in the age of phone pic ease? I had forgotten how incredible it is. So, hooray. New camera. The days have been so dreamy here, great weather. Not hot, but sunny and cool. I watched Bright Lights on HBO did you? It was so good and heartbreaking. Then I followed it up with Carrie Fisher's stage production of Wishful Drinking. So good. I was left very pensive after watching those two back to back. (I watched them through Amazon with the HBO add on) At how much we have to embrace and love every little morsel of life. How fleeting it all is. Living life as full as we can is everything. That's why I spent a bunch of cash on winter flowers. Hahaha! Excuses excuses. But really, it's true. Find things that will bring you joy and do them. Not to get all wacky weird, but once when I was around 18 or 19 I had my first traumatic break up where I totally lost myself. But that break up turned out to be the best thing ever ever ever because I was so sad that I was forced to get off the floor and find myself or die from pain. And so I searched and searched. And finally one day I asked myself, Vanessa, what would you like to do today? What would make you happy? And so I put canvases all over the floor of my garage and splattered paint. I even put paint on my feet and ran all over the canvases. Then I went to the garden center and bought tons of plants. And thus started my journey with the healing power of the garden. The point is, I stopped and asked myself the question. What would you like to do today, what do you enjoy? Not what do you want to do with your life. But what would you like to do in this moment. I think that's how[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Welcome January♥A Fanciful Twist
Happy New Year my friends! I always love January don't you? I love the fresh vibe it brings. And even though it's still chilly and cozy days, it has a certain crisp newness. I think it's so important to do nice things for oneself. I love buying flowers, so on a very rainy dark day I brought these home. Instant joy. Couple of baubles still rolling around. But for the most part I've put the holidays away. I love lighting my candles in the evening. The glow makes me so happy. Little snippets of happiness can make such a difference. My pink amaryllis not only got super tall but bloomed white. Which I thought was so pretty and unexpected. Stars get to stay for always. Little bits of magic mean everything to me. 2016 was a very interesting & wonderful year. I spent the year doing really special things for myself. I hiked almost every single morning, jumped on my trampoline and took care of me. I actually started doing daily activities in December of 2014. Then I got bored and ventured farther and farther outside my home. (or is it further?) Until going up big hills became my greatest joy. All things that are carrying over into 2017 because they've become part of what makes me happy. In fact I just got back from the hills a little while ago. I now yearn for fresh air and heaving lungs. I went so many places and really lived it up this year. I love my home in the country, my dogs, my garden, the mountains. But I found out, you can add things to your life. You don't have to take things away and change it entirely. But you can add things to make it that much sweeter. I'm not one who loves change, so the idea of adding things to my life worked out really well. The most important thing is that, somehow my two worlds of city girl country girl have melded. It's been great. And, as it has been reiterated in my life over and over again... I continue following the important path of being good to me. Searching for light and love always. And being my own cheerleader. Happiness has been my number one goal since I was 18 years old. Life is hard and so, I choose happy. Sometimes I let sad in for balance :-) My dad says you need to cry and laugh everyday. They say there are a lot of toxins expelled in tears and I believe it. I like happy tears too. Peace of mind and soul is so good. When I was young girl my dad used to tell me that you have to try to be brave and talk to yourself. Grab yourself and talk to yourself he'd say. So I do. It's the most interesting thing, talking to yourself. Do you do that? When I get anxious or overwhelmed I talk to myself. I tell myself good things out loud. It's not always easy. (sometimes you have to repeat good things to yourself a lot) I tell myself to be strong and that everything will be okay. And by golly, somehow it works. It really works. You can choose happiness. One day on NPR not long ago, I was hearing about how easy it is to choose sadness and misery. How as human beings we have become so accustomed to unhappiness that we cling to it and actually even sabotage happiness when it presents itself to us. Imagine that? I'm here to tell you, if you decide to be strong and good to yourself... If you te[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Merry Christmas + a Gift from me to You (Printable Freebie)A Fanciful Twist
Merriest Christmas Wishes my friends! Oh my, it's so near. I've had so much fun decorating and really celebrating the season. I decided it was important to take a moment and stop to share a little gift with you. I started this blog in December of 2006. Can you believe it? I'm sure those of you who still peek in know how thankful I am to know you're there. That I'm not talking to myself 10 years later :-) I could never repay you for being a part of A Fanciful Twist. But, from time to time I can make you a little treat or two. So, how bout some free printable fun holiday gift tags? This is what they look like below. 4 on a page. You can print as many as you'd like. But you must click here and wait up to 120 seconds for the printable version to open. Click on this link for printable PDF Just a little something from me to you. Remember you have to click on this link to get the printable file to open. It will take a little while to open because it's a high resolution crisp file for printing. I print mine on high quality card stock for best results. However, I tested them on everyday printer paper too and they are still cute. Just choose a higher quality printing level if you want them to look extra sweet. I realize this looks like my Mister Matty but it is supposed to be a fox :-) I like to cut mine with scalloped scissors and then just punch a hole in a corner and add a ribbon or string. Or simply tape them directly to your gift. You can write on the back side or front. Voila. Easy as can be. As for regular life tales... I'm in the throws of holiday madness. As I am certain many of us are. There's so much I'd still like to do in the baking department. And making department. But, I may have plum run out of time. I'm just finishing some big crafty gift projects. I'll show you after Christmas in case there is a sneaky peeker on here ;-) (aka Mombie) We're scheduled to have snow here on Christmas day. Normally we get snow in February so this could be a big treat. I have so many places to go and so many things to do in the next few days. I hope you are safe and warm and happy. May you have the most blessed and merriest Christmas season ever.   Lots of love, Vanessa     ps:  Click here to visit lots of other projects and ideas for Christmas. Including other styles of printable gift tags.   pps:  If you are going to have time to relax over the holidays and you love documentaries, I've seen a few over the last few months, I won't name them all but here's a few below.  I like to put on Netflix or Amazon while I'm working or at night before bed. Some I've found interesting were... Burt's Buzz (Burt's Bees). Sour Grapes A Year in Burgundy (watched this summer and loved). My Friend Rockefeller. Author: The JT Leroy Story (on Amazon, still watching it). I love art documentaries the most but I've seen them all over the years, wish more would pop up. Happy watching!! :-)  [...] Merriest Christmas Wishes my friends! Oh my, it's so near. I've had so much fun decorating and really celebrating the season. I d[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Christmas Magic in the Air ♥A Fanciful Twist
It's happening isn't it? The magic of Christmas is all around. Dancing on fairy lights. Twinkling about. The sparkle. The enchantment. The whimsy. It's here. I'm having a ball overdoing just about everything I can get my hands on. The mantle is loving the pinecones we made a couple posts back. And the nutcracker is holding court. I had an amazing weekend, well 4 days really. Celebrating birthday times with an infusion of holidays lights, shopping, dining, cakes and antiquing galore. I started last Thursday at the Irish dance Christmas show. And then overdid the fun all weekend and ended it with an antique market. Where he was waiting for me. I couldn't wait to dress up his antlers. Oh, I am so very in love. He sparkles in person too. I actually ended the weekend in prayer in a candlelight mass on Sunday night, oh soooo touching. I'm so grateful for all that is so good in life. Just a lovely time. So, where was I? Oh yes! My tinsel tree looks ca-razyyy. But I figure, if you are going to go over the top, Christmas decorating is the time to do it. All my handmade vintage ornaments now have a home. I haven't settled totally on my mantle décor yet. But this is happening now. Some years I go all fresh. Others I go all sugar plum candy. I suppose we know what this one is. The pine cone candles are working so well. I just love them. Wish I had made pink & lavender too. Next year for certain. Tonight I will go look at more lights. Huddle in my cottage sipping tea and decorating. I will make quince jam and Scandinavian rosette cookies very soon. I have all these elves and tiny houses I just could not finish in time. Should I make them New Year's elves? I dunno. What is wrong with me? I'm just on this wave of having no time lately. I need to really manage my time better. I'm just having so much fun. I've gotten entirely spoiled and rotten. Falalalalalalalalaaaaaaa! I'll ask Santa to put some sense into my naughtiest ways! For now.... I neeeeed some hot chocolate, stat!! Come on, let's go into the cottage and play. What are you waiting for?   Looove, V See you sooooon! Promise.       ps: Something utterly magical before you go... ♥  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cfRhQt4fZK0" width="600">    [...] It's happening isn't it? The magic of Christmas is all around. Dancing on fairy lights. Twinkling about. The sparkle. The enchantment. The whimsy. It's here. I'm having a ball overdoing just about everything I can get my hands on. The mantle is loving the pinecones we made a couple posts back. And the nutcracker is holding court. I had an amazing weekend, well 4 days really. Celebrating birthday times with an infusion of holidays lights, shopping, dining, cakes and antiquing galore. I started last Thursday at the Irish dance Christmas show. And then overdid the fun all weekend and ended it with an antique market. Where he was waiting for me. I couldn't wait to dress up his antlers. Oh, I am so very in love. He sparkles in person too. I actually ended the weekend in prayer in a cand[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry In the Tiny Cottage♥A Fanciful Twist
There's a little tiny cottage hiding in my garden. Where tea times and magic live. Always welcoming us in. There's mini pies made by me. And portals into wonderland. At least, that's what I believe. On cold days it's extra cozy. In ways I can not even convey. All the curious bevy of characters live there. Halloween, storybook, fairy tale. Whoever they may be, they hide out in there all day. Don't cry Humpty, you'll get some treats too. When I go in there my heart swoons. It smells like heaven for some reason, I don't know why. There is a scent and a feeling that makes my heart skip a beat. It is tiny but has tall ceilings that beckon you to sing. I like to snuggle in a little corner with a sweet treat every afternoon. I forget where I am, where this is. Tucked away, hidden in a tiny cottage somewhere. I put my mice on a fluffy tree I stole from Mombie years ago. As my little guardian sits by the very old peeling paint door. Watching and waiting, ready to save me from danger :-) I bought that door many moons ago from a woman who salvaged it from a big old farmhouse being torn down in Texas. I've painted it twice, needs some more. Over the years I've stuffed the place with things I love and cherish. If it makes me happy, it can live here. It's so pretty during the holidays, when I hang extra sparkly things. Mirrors everywhere for light and magic I say. Mirrors are my favorite accessories, they add such depth and brightness. And of course, we always need fairy lights. Always always. I'm just getting ready for today's tea and treats. Pop on in. Put on your fairy wings and transport. Here we go. Grab a tiny book and a little quilt. It's cozy as can be. A place for a grown girl to dream. Nothing more, nothing less. Just a little place to hide and play. No better time to enjoy your childhood than now and today. I enjoy it more now than I did then. That's the real gift isn't it? My tiny pie is waiting for me. Hope you're doing lovely. I'll be back really soon! Promise promise.   Love, Vanessa       ps:  There are ever so many fun holidays cards in the shop. Visit here. New ones too, never before seen! Pop on in if you fancy a peek xoxo  [...] There's a little tiny cottage hiding in my garden. Where tea times and magic live. Always welcoming us in. There's mini pies made by me. And portals into wonderland. At least, that's what I believe. On cold days it's extra cozy. In ways I can not even convey. All the curious bevy of characters live there. Halloween, storybook, fairy tale. Whoever they may be, they hide out in there all day. Don't cry Humpty, you'll get some treats too. When I go in there my heart swoons. It smells like heaven for some reason, I don't know why. There is a scent and a feeling that makes my heart skip a beat. It is tiny but has tall ceilings that beckon you to sing. I like to snuggle in a little corner with a sweet treat every afternoon. I forget where I am, where this is. Tucked away, hidden in a tiny cottage somewhere. I put my mice on a fluffy tree I stole from Mom[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Let's Make Sparkly Pine Cone Candle Holders!A Fanciful Twist
Hello there & hello December! It's all happening so fast, so I like to do crafts that bring me back into the moment. As you may know I have gobs of pinecones floating around my garden. I love them and their versatility, so I always try to integrate them in some way. You may recall the pine cone zinnia tutorial here? The other day I was collecting some and thought... Wouldn't it be nice to put candles in them and use them on my holiday table? And so, I set out to do just that. In doing so, some even doubled as little Christmas trees. So, here's what I did if you fancy a go. I'm told that I have loblolly pinecones so, I just used pliers to bend the top center back and forth firmly until it broke off. I had to pull out a few little bits piece by piece but it was pretty easy. (You can wash and dry your fresh gathered pine cones for bugs prior to crafting with them. I'll address that in the "ps" section of this post)   A new trick I discovered is how beyond easy it is to dip paint pine cones. Who knew? I never thought they'd take the paint so well. I just did it as a trial and error and it worked wonderfully. (some pine cones I just left as regular pine cones for décor) Of course, you can skip the painting part altogether and go for a more natural look, maybe just glittering or gold leafing the edges. For a painted look here's what I did. I first dipped them in white acrylic paint mixed with water to make white ones.  Then later I decided to make a teal mix by adding yellow and blue to the white. The white mixture (mixed in a small bowl), was a half cup of standard white acrylic craft paint mixed with one cup of water. I stirred that up and dipped the pinecones in with my fingers, making sure to coat them well. Later, to the white, I added a drizzle of blue and a bigger drizzle of yellow to make teal. I did not measure them but you can just add slowly until you achieve your desired color. These are the craft paints I used. You can do this with any color of your choice, the sky is the limit.  I set them on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels to dry (about an hour or two). After they were almost dry I removed them from the paint soggy paper towels and put them on cardboard to finish drying completely. Once dry I simply painted on some white craft glue and sprinkled them in glitter or fake snow. I alternated between the glitter and the sparkly fake snow. Then I set them aside to dry. (about an hour, sooner if you have sun or air flowing) Once they were totally dry I had the task of figuring out how to get the candles to sit in the pine cones. I could have made it easy by using tea lights, but I had my heart set on taper candles. The space I made by breaking off the centers was the perfect size, but now what? Hot glue doesn't work because wax will not stick to hot glue, haha! And who has time for epoxy or anything like that? Soooo, I took my pack of regular sewing needles... And with the pointy side down, I very slowly and firmly pushed the [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Rose Gold Autumn (winner announced)A Fanciful Twist
Oh you sneaky weather. It shifted just in time for the holiday season to begin. Casting rose gold tones. Even trees have decided it might be time to change. Rain and wind and golden everything. I still have flowers in my high desert garden but this might be the last week. I live about 45-60 minutes from central Tucson, up in a mountain area where it's high desert. Country rural but growing everyday. Just where the desert meets the forest, as I've said before. I can look up and see Mt. Lemmon from my front porch. And so up here, with the cold rain, I do believe there is a change happening finally. Yay. I made several marigold garlands that look so pretty dried in their curry colors. Twinkle lights are turned on... As the glittery cardboard stars of the season start to get made. So easy and yet so pretty and satisfying. Just draw stars on cardboard, cut, cover in glue and dip in the sparkles of your choice. C'est voila, a bit of magic. I have been painting and making things. It's about time I share some isn't it? I know I know. It so is. I will soon. Peering in a mirror in the studio, lights bounce from across the room. It finally is autumn. For real though. Although, it could be 80' on Thanksgiving. So how real it is? We just never know. I loved all your song choices. I am a huge music fan. Was raised with all the men in my family playing songs for each other late into the night. My mom plays her radio in her car like a teeny bopper. I was given a piano when I was around 3. So music has been an integral part of my life. I still play everyday and compose little tunes. But I'm not concert pianist disciplined, not that that would surprise you, haha! Being the weasel I am and all :-) But yes, I LOVE music. All kinds of music. My Ipod is bursting with all genre's. Truth be told, I also listen to my fair share of dance and pop music. The reason is that I hit the hills every morning and I need really upbeat tunes to keep me going. I am listening all the time and updating all my songs regularly so I don't get bored. People in the car with me are like, how on earth do you know all the current pop tunes? Do you think you're 17??! Hahaha! Well, that's why. But I also have classical, new age, orchestral, 80's, 70's, 60's, world beats and more at the ready. It just depends on my mood. But I can almost always listen to Fleetwood Mac, The Police, The Cure, Talk Talk, Journey, etc. without feeling like I'm not in the mood for it. I'll leave you with a sweet little tune. A little bit lovely, a little bit sad, a lot a bit touching. But mostly because to me it feels like autumn, when things change the most. From so many months of green and flowers to - Gold and grey and sweaters... allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/csqV1pS_7h0" width="600"> (Tiny Ruins, Bird in the Thyme)  See you very soon. I'm hosting a Thanksgiving shindig so I'm a bit swamped at this very moment. So, if I don't get back here, warmest loveliest Thanksgiving wishes from me to you. Thank y[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry This is Tucson + Giveaway FunA Fanciful Twist
Hi there my friends! The month is fluttering by at a pace I can hardly keep up with. I've been moving things all around the studio & it's so much fun. Somehow I've embraced some kind of crazy change. Fancy that? I know Halloween is long gone, sad but true. However I wanted to share something fun with you. A few days before Halloween I was contacted by a producer for the Arizona Daily Star (our local newspaper) online project called This is Tucson. They wanted to do a little feature about my Instagram account. Their article was done in such a nice way I wanted to share it before any more time got away from me. Click here to visit the page. I LOVE supporting local projects and I'm loving This is Tucson. I thought I'd turn up the fun of it all and celebrate with a giveaway for you! Was about time wasn't it? We can look at it as a holiday kick-off too. So, I'd like to giveaway something fun from my shop. The giveaway will include.. 1 Print & 2 card packs of your choice! Fun fun! That's an exciting way to get yourself a little holiday gift or start your holiday shopping for others. Isn't it? I hope you think so. All you have to do is leave a comment to enter and I'll hold a drawing in just a couple of days. Fun in the sun! Which I can say because we still have tanning weather in the land of endless sun. So here we go... Just say hello in comments or tell me your favorite song of all time. Or your top 3. Whatever you want, just leave a comment to enter <3 :-)   See you in a couple of days!!!   Love, V          [...] Hi there my friends! The month is fluttering by at a pace I can hardly keep up with. I've been moving things all around the studio & it's so much fun. Somehow I've embraced some kind of crazy change. Fancy that? I know Halloween is long gone, sad but true. However I wanted to share something fun with you. A few days before Halloween I was contacted by a producer for the Arizona Daily Star (our local newspaper) online project called This is Tucson. They wanted to do a little feature about my Instagram account. Their article was done in such a nice way I wanted to share it before any more time got away from me. Click here to visit the page. I LOVE supporting local projects and I'm loving This is Tucson. I thought I'd turn up the fun of it all and celebrate with a giveaway for you! Was about time wasn't it? We can look at it as a holiday kick-off too. So, I'd like to giveaway something fun from my shop. The giveaway will include.. 1 Print & 2 card packs of your choice! Fun fun! That's an exciting way to get yourself a little holiday gift or start your holiday shopping for others. Isn't it? I hope you think so. All you have to do is leave a comment to enter and I'll hold a drawing in just a couple of days. Fun in the sun! Which I can say because we still have tanning weather in the land of endless sun. So here we go... Just say hello in comments or tell me you[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Welcome NovemberA Fanciful Twist
Beautiful November. Brings big rain rainstorms. Tallest zinnias. And endless birds and butterflies. The hummingbirds and butterflies are obsessed with the flower nectar. The yellow belly finches want the seeds. The cardinals just turn up from cooler places to see what's going on, snooping around for pumpkin seeds. And so, the seasons are slowly shifting in these desert lands. Butterflies make me so happy with their funny faces. Fluttering to and fro. I've always felt so attached to them. Like we're part of the same family. But maybe it's only because Vanessa means butterfly. It could be a subconscious thing. Amazing creatures, don't we all love them so? There were too many different types to get them all at once. These few lingered a bit more. There are these 3 chatty hummingbirds too. Sooooo difficult to snap a pic of. I tried though. Yellow belly finches hang upside down from cosmos flowers. Their favorite seeds it seems. Beautiful wonderful November. A shift in the air but a garden still full. It could change any day. So for now, I just enjoy the dream. Or is it real? Could be both. Daydreaming with the butterflies. That's where I'll be ;-)   Hope you are doing wonderfully.   Love, Vanessa        [...] Beautiful November. Brings big rain rainstorms. Tallest zinnias. And endless birds and butterflies. The hummingbirds and butterflies are obsessed with the flower nectar. The yellow belly finches want the seeds. The cardinals just turn up from cooler places to see what's going on, snooping around for pumpkin seeds. And so, the seasons are slowly shifting in these desert lands. Butterflies make me so happy with their funny faces. Fluttering to and fro. I've always felt so attached to them. Like we're part of the same family. But maybe it's only because Vanessa means butterfly. It could be a subconscious thing. Amazing creatures, don't we all love them so? There were too many different types to get them all at once. These few lingered a bit more. There are these 3 chatty hummingbirds too. Sooooo difficult to snap a pic of. I tried though. Yellow belly finches hang upside down from cosmos flowers. Their favorite seeds it seems. Beautiful wonderful November. A shift in the air but a garden still full. It could change any day. So for now, I just enjoy the dream. Or is it real? Could be both. Daydreaming with the butterflies. That's where I'll be ;-)   Hope you are doing wonderfully.   Love, Vanessa        [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Magical Halloween Wishes!A Fanciful Twist
Hellooo there. I hope you are having the most magical scrumptious Halloween! I ran over to the computer to say hello and share some pics. Our Halloween feast is just about to arrive so I best type quickly. I made the most beautiful candy apples today which really were a fluke. I was missing enough corn syrup so I put in more sugar and didn't even really pay attention to measurements. They are so glossy and crisp. I used neon pink food coloring because I didn't have red and it worked out so nicely. I dusted them in edible stars and then... I spread the remaining candy on parchment paper to cool. I sprinkled it with edible glitter and edible stars. It's so beautiful in person, like stained glass. Can't wait to break it up soon. I'll take a pic, we might be onto something fun. The candy tastes so much like cotton candy, it's incredible. A tinge of that caramelized flavor, so nice. I used apricot branches as the sticks for the apples. Fun fun fun! I love today. Let the magic continueeeee!! I post regularly on Instagram, videos and pics. In case you want to peek in for some fun over there. www.instagram.com/afancifultwist Happiest magical Halloween WISHES! I must run now but I'll see you very soon. Cackle cackle!!   Lots of love, V       ps:  If you love Halloween feel free to visit our past parties right here.    [...] Hellooo there. I hope you are having the most magical scrumptious Halloween! I ran over to the computer to say hello and share some pics. Our Halloween feast is just about to arrive so I best type quickly. I made the most beautiful candy apples today which really were a fluke. I was missing enough corn syrup so I put in more sugar and didn't even really pay attention to measurements. They are so glossy and crisp. I used neon pink food coloring because I didn't have red and it worked out so nicely. I dusted them in edible stars and then... I spread the remaining candy on parchment paper to cool. I sprinkled it with edible glitter and edible stars. It's so beautiful in person, like stained glass. Can't wait to break it up soon. I'll take a pic, we might be onto something fun. The candy tastes so much like cotton candy, it's incredible. A tinge of that caramelized flavor, so nice. I used apricot branches as the sticks for the apples. Fun fun fun! I love today. Let the magic continueeeee!! I post regularly on Instagram, videos and pics. In case you want to peek in for some fun over there. www.instagram.com/afancifultwist Happiest magical Halloween WISHES! I must run now but I'll see you very soon. Cackle cackle!!   Lots of love, V       ps:  If you love Halloween feel free to visit our past parties right here.    [...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry The Eve of Halloween...A Fanciful Twist
I've so been enjoying the last few days of full Halloween immersion. Some parts of my house are still pastel infused. But spooky bits and bobs are trickling in. Dusty chandelier adds to the effect :-) I love haunted house tales, so this area is an ode to the haunted playroom. We've been watching lots of scary movies and eating too many treats. She looks quit harmless there, smiling with her dolly. But if you're in the room, in any angle but straight on, she looks like this. And that changes everything, doesn't it? Is she nice or wicked? You be the judge. I usually worry that I am not getting enough Halloween. If you are a Halloween lover you know what I mean. But this year I really have truly enjoyed it so much. Loving every minute. Taking some time to just enjoy and savor the season. Just beware of who's watching you. Ooooooo! We'll be right here, playing in our haunted cove. Waiting for the clock to strike midnight. The dining room has gotten some black and spooky infusions. There's sooo many treats. Not enough tricks though, but I'll leave that up to Matty and Miles. It's time for pumpkin pancakes and some dark honey my friend brought me. How are you out there? Enjoying the season? I love today and tomorrow, love love love! I intend to have more fun than I can handle. See you soooooon! I'll try to come back sooner than soon with more pics.   Love, Vanessa     Have you ever tried to play the Ouija? Clink clink! Any tales?[...] I've so been enjoying the last few days of full Halloween immersion. Some parts of my house are still pastel infused. But spooky bits and bobs are trickling in. Dusty chandelier adds to the effect :-) I love haunted house tales, so this area is an ode to the haunted playroom. We've been watching lots of scary movies and eating too many treats. She looks quit harmless there, smiling with her dolly. But if you're in the room, in any angle but straight on, she looks like this. And that changes everything, doesn't it? Is she nice or wicked? You be the judge. I usually worry that I am not getting enough Halloween. If you are a Halloween lover you know what I mean. But this year I really have truly enjoyed it so much. Loving every minute. Taking some time to just enjoy and savor the season. Just beware of who's watching you. Ooooooo! We'll be right here, playing in our haunted cove. Waiting for the clock to strike midnight. The dining room has gotten some black and spooky infusions. There's sooo many treats. Not enough tricks though, but I'll leave that up to Matty and Miles. It's time for pumpkin pancakes and some dark honey my friend brought me. How are you out there? Enjoying the season? I love today and tomorrow, love love love! I intend to have more fun than I can handle. See you soooooon! I'll try to come back sooner than soon with more pics.   Love, Vanessa     Have you ever tried t[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Here comes Halloween...A Fanciful Twist
Hello helooo! My favorite time of year is here. Only thing is, we are in an extended summer so it's hard to convince me that it's October. Still, I'm playing with pumpkins and having some fun. I've been very busy with real world things. Like endless classes to keep up my license from my previous career. I've kept it going for 15 years, no sense it letting it lapse now. It's good to have in your back pocket. But the every two year courses are brutal (boring and lonnng) and as you know, I'm rotten and don't like the real world. I'd much rather play and sip tea and paint and draw and have a jolly ole time. Good news is, I'm done until 2018, woo hooo! So, I hereby proclaim full Halloween immersion beginning now. I intend to watch endless spooky movies and live in a pumpkin the next week and a half. I have so many fond memories of childhood Halloween. It was like a block party of costume magical goodness. All the family members got involved, it was so much fun. Every house was decorated, everyone joined in. And, it was safe. Like a giant harvest festival of dreams. That's pretty much why I love Halloween so much. All the good memories and enchantment of it all. It was such a wonderful time in my childhood, so I adore it. My dining room has been very pastel the last month. Probably because it's so hot still, that the autumn transition has not yet taken place. I wanted autumn fun but adapted it to hot days colors. However, it's time to spookify things a bit. Soooo, here I go! Into Halloween goodnesssss. Lots of folks have asked about the Halloween party this year. I know, it's really kind of like, were out of time?!? Ooops! Let's do the time warppppp! I've just been so busy and I'm still tending garden full time because of the heat. I feel like I'm in an odd time warp of endless summer. I'm ready for a vacay from summer. I'm soooo excited for chilly days to find us desert dwellers somehow. It's time for a break from the land of endless sun. I'm melttiiiinnnggggg (insert cackle). Can autumn find us before the 31st? I sure hope so!!   Love, Vanessa   [...] Hello helooo! My favorite time of year is here. Only thing is, we are in an extended summer so it's hard to convince me that it's October. Still, I'm playing with pumpkins and having some fun. I've been very busy with real world things. Like endless classes to keep up my license from my previous career. I've kept it going for 15 years, no sense it letting it lapse now. It's good to have in your back pocket. But the every two year courses are brutal (boring and lonnng) and as you know, I'm rotten and don't like the real world. I'd much rather play and sip tea and paint and draw and have a jolly ole time. Good news is, I'm done until 2018, woo hooo! So, I hereby proclaim full Halloween immersion beginning now. I intend to watch endless spooky movie[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Pumpkin Bread Recipe + Autumn FlowersA Fanciful Twist
Pumpkin bread goodness... This morning I went hunting for my pumpkin bread recipe right here on the blog. I love getting emails from sweet folks telling me they love it so much. So, I thought, it's time to revisit this one. Mine are in the oven as I type. Here goes, yummm! Can you smell it now? Moist, warm, cinnamon clove ginger nutmeg infusion. The recipe for this bread is one I created after trying different recipes over the years. It is so tender and succulent. Mmmmmm. And smells like autumn heaven, I tell ya. It's moist and tasty as can be. Slices up like a dream... The pumpkin puree I use is from pumpkins that I roast from my own garden. These loafs are from some pumpkin puree I had from early spring, which I had frozen. The wonderful thing is that, pumpkin puree freezes beautifully. So you can have it all year long, until you get your hands on another pumpkin.   Of course, you can use canned puree as well.   These loafs are made using puree from a giant Fairytale Pumpkin. Which are some of the best for cooking. I did a post on roasting pumpkins here.   The house smelled so wonderful.   I made you a PDF printable recipe for this bread. So, if you'd like to print this recipe, simply click HERE.   Pumpkin Bread from ♥ Vanessa Valencia   28 oz. pumpkin puree (3.5 cups) 1 cup vegetable oil (I use extra light olive oil) 4 eggs 2/3 cups water 1 cup brown sugar 2 cups white sugar 4 cups all purpose flour 2 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger    Preheat oven to 350' F  Lightly grease or lightly spray your loaf pans with cooking spray (I use non-stick pans and a thin layer of cooking spray for these)   I fill 3 loaf pans with this batter because there is a lot of it. Which is great because there is enough to eat plus gift or freeze. I used...  2 -   9.25" x 5.25" loaf pans & 1 -   8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan (you can make muffins instead of a third smaller loaf which I'm doing today, and they're sure to cook up much faster, so keep an eye open)   In a very large bowl mix pumpkin puree, oil, eggs, water and sugars until well blended (I use a hand mixer on low to medium until mixture is really well blended).  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.  Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until it is well blended. (I use my hand mixer on low, and then I give it a good stir)  Pour into prepared pans and bake.    My ovens get really hot, and baked up perfectly at 42 minutes.  But you can go up to 50 minutes if need be. Some may even need more time. Just test your own oven's cook time and jot it down for future reference.  As you know, loaves ar[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Pastel Pumpkins + All New Halloween CardsA Fanciful Twist
Oooo October, how can it be? It's here so soon and with a few days in too. So exciting! My dining table is full of pastel pumpkins and stripes and Mexican paper flowers. I have not officially decorated because I've been so busy. With what you ask? Well, the extra fun news is that the shop is full of new Halloween infused cards. They are so pretty and fun, I just can't stop looking at them. They are printed by a professional card printer so they are commercial quality. Nice satin finishes and sturdy enough to be used as little art pieces. Tacked to the fridge or to be framed which I see often and it makes me swoon! There's so much to choose from, sprinkles and tea parties galore. The Whimsical Witches are a card this year too, wish you could see them in person. Light and bright autumn festivities. I think I'll make a banner garland with some of these for my mantle. Pumpkin cottage has tales to tell and... A very whimsical garden party is ready to send to your friends!   I've made up some new card packs too. Just in case it's too hard to choose. Bundled witches are waiting for you :-)   Unpacking, doing inventory, stocking, making parcels ready to go. It's been a busy beginning to a favorite season. The shop is bursting with Halloween goodies right here. I've also restocked favorites like floral spirit board, fortune teller & a bunch more. Take a peek. I'm shipping every 24 hours so Halloween card orders will arrive very quickly. I wish this season had a couple extra weeks in it because I just love it soooo! It's pretty hot here again, which means a lot of this is still going on, lovely... However I'm tending garden everyday still, and while I looove flower power, I'm ready to raise my white flag. I'm ready for cool temps and a huge break from the heat big time. I'm ready for fall everything. I'm ready, I'm ready! I've savored my summer to the last drop. Fall, I'm sooooo 100% in! Pleeeeease come on over.   How bout you? What's going on out there in your neck of the great big woods?   See you really soon, Lots of love! Vanessa    [...] Oooo October, how can it be? It's here so soon and with a few days in too. So exciting! My dining table is full of pastel pumpkins and stripes and Mexican paper flowers. I have not officially decorated because I've been so busy. With what you ask? Well, the extra fun news is that the shop is full of new Halloween infused cards. They are so pretty and fun, I just can't stop looking at them. They are printed by a professional card printer so they are commercial quality. Nice satin finishes and sturdy enough to be used as little art pieces. Tacked to the fridge or to be framed which I see often and it makes me swoon! There's so much to choose from, sprinkles and tea par[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Autumn MagicA Fanciful Twist
It's autumn, can you believe it? I wanted to pop in yesterday but I was in pruning madness. There are fresh roses springing up, as they do at this time of the year. And so my mind dances between summer and fall. I've been painting little pumpkins. Just a couple coats of standard acrylic craft paint does the trick. I'm so pleased with their bright cheeriness. The little turquoise ones really hit the spot too. Just remember that if you put a teal pumpkin outside your house for Halloween it means that you are giving out food free items to trick or treaters (such as little toys) for kids with food allergies. So, teal is the food allergy pumpkin color, isn't that cute? You can google the details on that if you want to know more. I never get any trick or treaters way out here, so my little blue babies will just be for fun. I'm feeling very colorful lately. Pops of happy candy colors and such. It was such a glorious hiking day today, the clouds were unreal. The air, the ambience, the entire weather experience was sublime. I post regular pics on Instagram if you fancy a peek. So, it was grey with dappled sun here and there and soft rain. Soooo perfect for the autumn mood. Lighting a few candles and starting to decorate a little. My new rose bushes (not that I needed any more, but you know) are doing incredibly well. Gifting gobs of roses over and over. Can't go wrong with a Gene Boerner rose bush I say. Stacks of happy colors, yay! I'm just beginning to decorate my dining table. I lost a day this week with rodent drama in my holiday decor shed. It was sealed shut but it's par for the course in the country. I ended up throwing away a lot and then somehow was inspired for something fresh and new. It was actually liberating to be forced to get rid of most of my old holiday decor. The good stuff was safe in bins or secure in the tiny cottage so no worries. Anywho, here I am painting pumpkins now, so fun. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with my decor. But fresh roses and pink and orange stripes are stealing my heart. Grey day (we love those in the land of sun) & happy mantle... Such a neat way to plunge into a new season. I think autumn is beloved by most isn't it? It sure is nice to get a break from the heat. I love October, it's not too far away is it? I just don't like how fast the next 3 months go. Need to savor each day. I just pruned 8 wheel barrows of a climbing rose that is eating my little gallery building in the garden. Currently used as an office but soon to be mine again. I need to rebuild my dear scarecrow, maybe as soon as I finish typing actually. I'm supposed to be at some fancy event tonight but somehow movies and pajamas want to win me over. Okay, they more than likely will. I've been going to bed very early and waking up very early. When I was a kid I'd fall asleep in restaurants a[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Autumn Air & Magazine WinnersA Fanciful Twist
It's happening isn't it? It's in the air, that wonderful crispness. Cold at night, hot at noon. Blanket chilly at midnight, sleeping with windows open. Pumpkins hanging around, all 4 somehow making it. I've never had so many pumpkins on a vine. I'm not sure what's going on but there are about 15 out there. I've never seen 4 in a row. And all I did was take seeds out of a rotting white jack-be-little from last year and plunked them in a huge pot. Granted it had fresh amazing compost soil, so that could have been it. But I think it's magic seeds for sure. We are all loving the weather. The boys are in heaven. Not roasting to death in their little furry costumes anymore. I've been all over the place. Visiting with visitors from Ireland, adding new cards to the shop. Bathing dogs. Trying to organize my life. The last year I've taken a ton of time for myself. Everyday hikes, lots of play time and shopping and refueling. Enjoying the heck out of life. I love watching the butterflies. I find I have this pattern where I go non stop doing things for 8 years and then all of a sudden one day I take a year off. I did it 8 years ago and now again in 2016. I really really needed some back to the real world time. I didn't even know I needed it until I had a chance encounter with someone special in May of 2015. That kind of jolted me out of the rabbit hole and into the world. It's been so much fun. But now I feel the shift again, where I am so refueled I can get back to my art and blogging more often again. Although I have been painting a bit throughout the year. I have a place in the city where I can go to and paint so I'm not always a country house hermit. Thanks to Mister Lovee who tends my gardens and watches the boys. I can go out and live a bunch. Have some freedom. It's been amazing. Lots of changes and lots of the sames. But all good stuff. And somehow it's autumn again. Just a few days away. I don't live in time anymore I've noticed. I don't care about my age or time. I just live and try to enjoy the moment. Not always easy, but we have to try. Pumpkin blossoms and garden spells are swirling up. A fresh new season, how exciting is that? The madness of the next 3 months is overwhelming, but I love it. I just takes lots of deep breaths and plunge. I love the ups and downs of life. The twists and turns and the beauty of it all. Thanks for being here. There. Kindred friends. It's always delightful meeting up with you. See ya sooner than the last time.   Love, V         ps:  The winners of the magazine (I picked up 4 to gift away) are... (chosen by random number generator) #3 Laura's Favorite things! #19 Dawn the Bohemian! #17 Laura, Dogsmom! #12 Cyndie Crow Brown!!   Okay friends, just email me your snail mail addresses and I[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Pine Cone Zinnias & Woman's World Magazine {a giveaway}A Fanciful Twist
Hi there friends, Happy September! In spring of 2015 I did a fun pine cone craft on a whim. You might recall? I had gathered some pine cones in my garden and noticed the underside look like zinnias. So I painted them, and sure enough they did look like our zinnia friends. This craft has brought more people to this fanciful land than I could ever imagine. Imagine that? It's been crrrazy and fun. I have not been able to believe the amount of visitors that pine cones turned to zinnias have brought. And super special thanks to everyone that has sent me pics of their own painted pine cones. I love them! This week my pine cone zinnias craft is in Woman's World Magazine. Fun fun! So, I thought to celebrate I would give away a couple copies. And, I thought we could also re-visit this fun flowery craft below. I'm amazed at how many people took an interest in this. Simply leave a comment to enter the magazine giveaway. And here we go with that original tutorial below...    ♥   Let's Make Zinnia Flowers from Pine Cones! Look at all those beautiful zinnias. But wait, what do you mean they are actually pine cones?? Yes yes, it's true. These are pine cones pretending to be zinnias. Pine cone bottoms that is! You see, these came about in the most curious and unexpected manner. One day very recently, I was sitting at my work bench, feeling rather lack luster. I had my hand on my chin, wondering what I wanted to make or do. I was actually rather bored that day, as I sat and stared at some less than perfect pine cones sitting on my studio work bench. I had collected them off the ground under my pine tree for holiday decorating. And here they sat, 3 months later. In my way really. I picked one up, tossing it about in my hand. When the most curious thing happened! I took my pine cone as you see below and flipped it over. I was looking at a regular pine cone as you see. But then by flipping it over... I found a perfect looking zinnia on the bottom side of the cone, as seen below. I gasped really, I was so surprised. So, I grabbed some standard acrylic craft paint, and painted a few pine cone bottoms. Pretty much just to prove to myself that what I thought I was seeing was true. With each stroke of the brush, a real zinnia emerged. I was utterly amazed. Zinnias hiding under pine cones?!? Who knew? After I painted some up I realized you could either leave the tops pointy, in their regular state, as below, or... You could use craft cutters to remove some of the pine cone petals and reveal a stem, like below. Either way works just fine. I think they are easier to arrange in a bowl if you just leave them as they are in their natural state. You can also paint your pine cone bottom white first and let it dry before applying brighter colors. Then add the colors of your choice. Don't be af[...]



A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Peach Picking SeasonA Fanciful Twist
Hi there friends! The seasons are shifting it seems. I can feel it in the air. Spring brought us these beautiful blooms. And in an amazing act of nature... They turn into fruit. Peach heaven. Time to pick my peaches! Never ever ever ceases to amaze me. The way that works. Bloom to fruit magic. Garden magic for certain. Incredible things happen everyday. I had a handful of pics to share of june bugs covering our peaches. Leaving them hanging bare with slimey pits and dripping guts. But then I thought, why Vanessa why? Just forget those. Spare your friends the nashtieness. And so I bring you the bunch that survived. Not an easy task, covering them and checking them one by one for weeks. Giant agave can't even protect them. So with our peach treasures we had trays of... Buttery brown sugar turned to toffee crunch topping peach crisp. The best peach crisp to date. Which is hard to believe since it's pretty darned good every year. I never measure. I just go, one handful brown sugar, two handfuls oats, one stick butter, etc. etc. The alchemy was just perfect this peach season for some reason. Gorgeous things, aren't they? I wasn't a huge peach lover until I had my own, from this very old rickety tree that was waiting for me, on this curious plot of earth. A few roses are turning up more and more as the nights really cool down up here. Oh summer. You torturous wonderful thing in the land of heat and sun. Sluuurrrpppping peaches in the garden. Swinging from the garden swing. Under a peach sunset. Simple living. Simply wonderful. How are you out there in the world? I know I always say I'm busy, but darn, I really am. My days just pass like nothing. Blink, it's another day. I wake up early, go hiking, tend garden and then my day starts to spiral away. It was a very eventful week with car issues and internet issues that all ended great. There was some stellar shopping and good decaf latte's. I've also been designing new treasures for the shop. Can you tell the weather is starting to change a little? I know I know, I'm obsessed with the weather. You tend to act like that when you live inside of a burning coal :-) I sure can tell though, I know I said that already, but it's so exciting! It's all just PEACHY!! ;-)   xoxo       ps: Miley's buzzed forehead is growing back. So, he decided to model with his kitschy crazy cat painting. Which is bigger in person than it appears, since he is closer to the camera and looks bigger. Thanks for all the painting laughs! I knew we were all still kindred. And for those who wondered... Yes the painting is signed, Hemmings. Interesting that someone threw it out onto the street. And then went through all these channels to finally arrive in my hands. Poor thing, it cleaned up well and[...]









A Fanciful Twist posted an entry Midsummer Tales...A Fanciful Twist
Hello lovely friends! August brings us monsoon season and fresh roses galore. Candy colored goodness. And so begins a second sort of spring in the high desert that lasts well into autumn. I think I'm stretching the midsummer title, but for us in the desert, it's still summer for a good long while. Thank you for such a bright and festive mad tea party season. As many of you know, our resident mad hatter had a garden accident on the morning of the party. Fancy trying to chop your arm off on my one funnest tea day of the year, oops! So, we ended up celebrating in the ER where he got all stitched up. I'll spare you any gory details but all the docs wanted a peek. Shark week was all I had to say about it, haha! He's fine and healing well.  I've been so busy with so much this and that of life. Hopefully I'm back on track now. I hope you all had a wonderful time at the party and enjoyed visiting one another. I decided that in the lingering spirit of the Cheshire cat and mad tea times I would share a fun story with you. It's a tale about a kitty kat. A kitty in a painting no less. How apropos, nooo? You see, there is an antique store I like to visit quite often. It has many rooms and nooks and crannies. You have to stay there a very long time in order to enjoy it fully. I try to pop in once a week. There was this one day, when I made it all the way back to the farthest most hidden room, that I met him... The kitty having tea. You should know, this was a huge painting I spied on a wall. And really, you'd have to be utterly committed to the subject matter in such a piece to bring it home. Mostly due to its sheer size. Yet for some reason it beckoned me. It also exhibits a vast quirkiness that is trying to act serious, which totally made me giggle. But the most important factor is that... I quite fancy myself a crazy cat lady. Although I'd like to say that, I never really quite understood that title given to lovers of felines. What's crazy about cats? What's crazy about people who find they like cats better than anyone else? And I tell you this quite honestly... If I was not cursed with the gravest cat allergy know to man, I would certainly be the mother to all the cats I could. (In fact I was the mother to a few outdoor cats in my lifetime, including Casey who lived 14 years with my parents. We found out about my dander allergy on my first trip to a pet store at 5. Hives and wheezing and a swollen lip, so sad) Big giant fluffy fat cats to be certain. And I would be proud to call myself a crazy cat lady. Mostly because crazy cat ladies are fabulous + animal lovers. And so... I fell hard for what I am calling The Crazy Cat lady painting. With roses to boot! I wish [...]