a few broken bones gangsters in my family

I meant to keep in touch a little better, but life has been happening.  I’m trying to adjust to it getting dark so early and cooler temperatures.  We are supposed to get hit with an arctic blast in the next few days.  Ick.

I took a bad fall the week before Thanksgiving and I broke some body parts.  It is never a good time to have something like that happen, but there is so much to do this time of the year – who has time to slow down?  This latest fall has prompted my neurologist to classify me as a high risk fall patient, which I have no idea what that means other than officially calling me a klutz.

Chicken wine and I have become friends – but only when I am stationary.


I’ve done a little holiday decorating.  Most of my decorations are up in the attic and that is a no go for sure.  So I’ll embrace the less is more look this year.


Before I took the nose dive I had decided to have an artist holiday open house.  I haven’t sold my art in a very long time and I thought I was ready.


I made a few new pairs of earrings like these and these.



I made these mixed media necklaces a bit ago, the earrings I just made.


It was fun to do some creative work.

I took photos with my cell phone of old photographs that Father Cottage has of my mother’s family.

This was my Grandmother her name was Edith Ivy.  I never knew her.  I used the photo to display a few of my other mixed media necklaces.


I was really inspired by this photo of my Grandparents.  I think they look like gangsters.


 I came up with the idea of using these old photos to create a display for the open house, with the theme Speakeasy.  I had a blast putting this together.


My fused glass work was put out on display too.


Bright colorful bohemian style fused glass earrings.


Dishes, wine bottle stoppers, napkin holders picture frames all brightly colored.


Just a bit of what I have out for the open house.  If you are in the area, stop by 10-5 Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10th & 11th.

Other happenings here at Our Cottage – we took on two rescue chickens about a month ago.  In their previous life, they lived in a coop without access to fresh air or grass. Their owner no longer wanted them, because they were not producing eggs.  After a few weeks in quarantine, they are now mingling with the rest of the flock and are loving their new life being free rangers.  AND they are laying eggs for me.

Say hello to Sweet Tea and Biscuit.


Sweet Tea is very timid, but learning to love being held.  Biscuit is very bossy and wants to challenge all the other girls.


Also in chicken land, Miss Daisy has been on the nest for 21 days today.  Hoping to hear some pipping today, but none so far.  Keeping my fingers crossed that at least a few of the eggs were fertile.


Well, I guess that wraps things up on my end for now.  I hope you all are well and enjoying this season of festivities.

Thank you for being here today.

xo, kim

P.S. Our Cottage at Red Dirt Farm is the new blog name.  Or at least we are trying it on for now.  What do you think?

repurposing vintage textiles

The first cut I made felt like a stinging stab.

Continue reading

follow your gypsy heart

Truth be told, my gypsy heart doesn’t wander too far from home.

It does, however crave change, no boundaries and open expression.

gypsy heart card 1

follow your gypsy heart note card by Night Bird Creations

As many of you guys know, I have been recovering from a cervical injury for the past year and half.  I’ve made great progress, but I am far from where I should be.

My team of doctors and physical therapist, placed me on a 30 minute limit at any time to any activity including creating my art.  That does not allow for me to get into my grove or to spiritually tap into the happy place that allows me to create.

There have been a lot of adjustments to my lifestyle and artless life.  I’ve enjoyed living vicariously through my artsy fartsy creative friends, both in the real world and on-line world.

 I have come to terms, (most days) with the fact that the kind of art I used to make, must change.

The passing of my mother in recent months has also left my heart empty and wanting.

I’ve had a lot of time on my hands to think about the direction my life is going and what the future will look like.  While I don’t have all the answers, I do know there are oh so many changes happening faster than I can put my finger on.

Some – maybe 15 years ago, I discovered a photographer/artist that hand colored her black and white photography.  I was awestruck with her work and have held on to the idea of some day exploring this media for myself.

Recently, I have found myself  fulfilling that promise and I am now working with both vintage images and my photography.  This is a process that I can happily work on for only a few minutes here and there, as it is a bit labor intensive.


hand tinting a vintage image with water-color and ink.

I use water-color, pencils, inks and dyes to transform images.  I then scan the image into my computer and begin a little digital manipulation to combine the two.

My sunflowers were of great enjoyment this year, as well as spending time photographing them so it seems only fitting that they are the first images I am working with.

queen of the sunflowers wm

hand tinted photography – queen of the sunflowers a note card  by nightbird creations

My heart says be brave, embrace the changes that are upon you and continue to dream…

Day 1 – October 8th our modern-day gypsy caravan arrives.


Almost 23 years of living at Coral Cottage – getting boxed up and ready to begin our next adventure.

You are invited on the journey.


Don’t forget to follow your heart.

See you later, Bye!


give away – as in free stuff

Know what?

 This has been kind of tough week.

 So I feel like doing something that would make me feel good.

I’m going to have a giveaway.  I’m giving away a pair of my up-cycled wood tape measure earrings.

Keep them for yourself or give them away as a gift.

tape measure earings

They hang from SS ear wires, they are made from vintage wood tape measure that I cut up, I’ve added an aqua color bead, and cogs from an old watch I took apart dangle at the bottom.

Easy Peasy to win.

If you are on Facebook give me a like on my Night Bird Creations page, leave a message saying you would like to be included in the give away.

Not on Facebook, then just leave a message here that you would like to be included in the giveaway.

Told ya it was easy.

Want to see another photo with description, go to my Etsy shop.

Good luck.

Winner announced on Saturday.

See you later, Bye!


fish crow

The common American crow is the Corvus brachyrhynchos the  call sounds like, caw caw caw.

I think they sound like they are laughing – when not giving that spooky scary haunted house on the horizon sound.

I happen to be one of those people who enjoys the antics of crows and ravens.

They are loud boisterous, travel in large flocks and they scavenge.

   Seemingly unpleasant traits.

They are also highly intelligent birds, that  I think get a bad rap.

While we were in Florida a few months ago, I was highly amused by Fish Crows, they are different then our laughing crows back home in Virginia.


these guys entertained me in the back yard for hours.

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I put bird seed  in my home-made record bird feeders.  They hang by shepherds hooks in the back yard by the water.

A brief fight with a red wing black bird.


I sat in the shade of the mahogany tree with the camera mesmerized by their antics.

Magnificent blue plumage sparkles as they hop about in the sunshine.



Fish Crow  –  Corvus ossifragus have a call that sounds like unh unh unh.

So if you ask them it they have done something wrong, they will reply unh unh.

The inspiration for my folk-art style pencil sketch is from these silly birds.

fish crow pixlr

I scanned the pencil sketch, then played with digital overlay.  Using new software it was a mistake at first, but then I rather enjoyed the different looks that I could achieve.  I tried several different styles, one of which is in the header of my blog.  Thank you Debra, for asking.

I’ve managed to accidentally delete the files with the other scans, and as of this time, I’ve lost the original pencil sketch.

Once the original is found, it will be available along with others at Night Bird Creations.

I asked the crow if he deleted the files and took the original but he said, unh unh.

See you later, Bye!



Threads that bind us together.

Last weekend, Mr. Cottage treated me to a trip to a few craft and thrift stores.

Honestly it isn’t an easy undertaking and I’m really lucky that he is so patient with me.

New embroidery thread.

The colors make me swoon.

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I always lose the color codes, and end up with a tangled mess of thread,  so I’m finally trying to organize and write down the numbers.


I used a craft punch to cut out the free artist pages from an old issue of  Somerset Studio magazine, wrote the color codes on the back and wrapped the thread as nicely as I could.


A sewing project using all vintage materials, except the sparkly button is a new find.


Each piece of old fabric scrap is sewn  to the piping and then the vintage buttons are hand sewn into place.


Burlap, a few french knots, pom pom fringe


The plan is to sew the finished piping on an old popcorn or chenille blanket that I plan to sew into a scarf.

Keeps my fingers busy and my mind in a good place.

I purchased this wool blanket from a thrift shop



I paid just a few dollars, it is in excellent shape.  My intentions were to cut it up and use it in a project, but for now we (the cats) are enjoying snuggling in it so much I can’t bear to take that away from them.

Going to the craft store and seeing  on the cover of  Haute Handbags magazine a bag made by my talented friend Debra of Monnie Bean Folk Art.  She has been published many times.  It felt good to see her work front and center.

monniebean haut handbags

Debra creates folk art that is very different from my glass art, but more in lines with  my mixed media work, and what my heart has been whispering to me to follow.  Debra crafts beauty with her words  and photography from her heart on her personal blog flowersmith-debra.  Her creations and her words have kept me inspired in the past few weeks. I can hear hear her whispering encouragement to me when I am sinking low and I know that her words are the threads to keep me going.

Coming home to a basket full of goodies from the girlfriends and these lovely orange Gerbera daisies.

So sweet.


The threads that bind us together.  Feeling the love y’all.

See you later, Bye!


vintage sparkle


I’ve been commissioned to create a necklace using all vintage pieces.  Though I have walked away for a while, from my art and creating to sell, I did accept this challenge.   I call it a challenge because, I’ve enjoyed not having the pressure on me to make and sell.

I explained to the woman who hired me, that I was taking time away from my craft and it might be awhile.  She was okay with that.

I was however, motivated to go shopping for the pieces that I would need to make the necklace.  My friend and I made several trips to local junk shops and the Goodwill to find just the right pieces.

 The hunt is most of the fun for me.

Sometimes, it is hard to walk away from all the shiny bling.

 I’ve been caught in the web which vintage rhinestone jewelry can cast.

I’m part raven, or magpie.  I love shiny sparkly things.

Here are a few photos of SOME of the pieces I purchased.

I may have gone overboard.

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I’ve played around with several different designs, but nothing has come to me just yet.  I have to allow the process to speak to me.

I look up from the table where I have been photographing the sparkle.


I get lost in another world of shiny sparkly  – wings.


Have a good weekend.

See you later, Bye.


Dragonfly fever

Hi Y’all mermaid Kim here posting from Coral Cottage South.

The strangest things happen at parties.  Ok maybe I should say the strangest things happen to me at parties.  Several years ago, Mr. Cottage and I went to a pool party hosted by the owner of a store that sold my art-work.  When we arrived most of the guests were already in the pool.   Immediately we saw them in the pool standing or floating or sitting on the edge of the pool with one of their index fingers raised straight in the air.  We did not know any of the people there, and barely knew the hosts.  I have to say my immediate thought was, what the heck had we gotten ourselves into?  What were these people doing?

Talk about people doing strange things.

Recently I was spotted doing the funky chicken dance down at my home in Southwest Florida.  Why you ask?

1-red dragonfly single 3

I saw for the first time, these red dragonflies.  I was enchanted immediately, as I have never seen a red one back home in Virginia.

1-red dragonfly pair

No easy task trying to catch a photo, I looked rather kooky running around dipping high and low trying to catch them in flight or sitting still.  Wow a pair of them zip across the surface of the water, snap!

Like so many, I too have been struck by dragonfly fever.  The shimmer of their iridescent wings, those cool rotating eyes and excessive speed in which they zip by.  Did you know, that they can fly between 20 and 30 mph.  Cool – huh.

Pond, lake, sea or pool – dragonflies skim the surface dancing and performing acrobatic feats.  I find it enchanting and inspirational.

 People ask me all the time where I get the inspiration for my art.  Most of the time it is from nature, dragonflies are no exception.  My fellow artists at Boardwalk Artisans must feel the same magic as I do, they have created some beautiful work, don’t you think?

Giclee Print by Mary Ellen Golden

Giclee art print Red Dragonfly from original watercolor by Mary Ellen Golden

Framed mini art tiles by The Coastal Soul

Tiles by The Coastal Soul

I’d say my fellow artisans have captured dragonfly fever quite nicely.

Note card by beach combers cove

Note card by Beach comber cove

Window panel by 3 Wishes Studio

Window panel by 3 Wishes Studio

Back to those people at the pool party – there were hundreds of dragonflies zipping around the pool and they were all sticking their finger up in the air with hopes that a dragonfly would land on them.  Once they explained what they were doing, I thought it pretty cool.

I’m off to catch a wave  and maybe a dragonfly too!


a mermaid tale by Coral Cottage South

Hello from Coral Cottage South – breezy thoughts from the west coast of Florida.

mermaid lives here

Ocean girl Collection

 I am enchanted by the idea, myth, folklore, fantasy of mermaids.

After I came home from my recent surgery the Animal Planet channel had a two-part special airing about mermaids.  The show supposedly uncovered evidence that there is truth to the existence of some form of mermaids.  I wasn’t feeling well enough to watch the shows, so I recorded them.

painted driftwood by Ocean Girl Collection

painted driftwood by Ocean Girl Collection

 I  admit I was lulled in to thinking there was some real proof and scientific evidence.  I was pretty excited.  Now before you go saying that was the drugs talking – I’m kind of embarrassed about my gullibility, but I have to admit there were no mind altering drugs involved.

 I really fell for it.  Hook, line and sinker – err get it?

 Well, sort of.  Any way the other day  the morning news mentioned these shows and that it was all a hoax.


 I have to just hit the delete button now and not waste my time.

For those of you out there that love the allure of mermaids and like to make purchases that support hand-made, indie artists,  I am sharing these lovely mermaid inspired art pieces from my fellow artists at Boardwalk Artisans.

mermaid platter by Sara Hunter

mermaid platter by Sara Hunter Designs

Sara Hunter Designs

Sara Hunter Designs

Magical, elusive mermaids.

Mermaid Note card by Beach combers cove

Mermaid Note card by Beach Combers Cove


Celest by Beach Combers Cove

Celest by Beach Combers Cove

Dolly a fused glass and metal mermaid by 3 Wishes Studio

Dolly a fused glass and metal mermaid by 3 Wishes Studio

Here is something we can all believe in  – the allure of the fantasy and the way my fellow coastal artists express their interpretation of such fantasy.

Boardwalk Artisans

Boardwalk Artisans – as featured in Coastal Living Magazine

I’m a proud member of The Board Walk Artisans.   My art as well as the work of my fellow artists that are featured in this blog may be purchased here.

Did any of you see the mermaid shows, and did you fall for it?

I’m off to catch a wave.