Glimmerbug Handmade Art

handmade and unique whimsical art

Weekend Wrap Up and Highlights: Newport Mansions and Vanderbilt's Zillions

Kids, PersonalJill AdamyComment

We’re the type of family that really likes to just hang out at home on the weekends. It’s relaxing and since we consider this house our “vacation year round” house, it’s always exactly where we want to be.

But this weekend, it was a little different. While Saturday was spent running errands (and selecting field hockey equipment for camp this week!), Sunday was a tad bit different. It was go-go-go for all of us! In fact, as I sit here typing this blog post on Monday morning at 7:30, all the kids are still fast asleep in their beds, recovering from all the hectic activities they did!

My oldest and youngest went with dad and a friend to Comicon in Boston yesterday. They all love comic books, anime and that sort of thing so they were super duper excited to go in and see all their favorite characters as well as all the costumes. People really get into this! My daughter and her friend got dressed up in costumes from their favorite anime shows and were thrilled when they were stopped in the convention center to take pictures with some other kids that recognized their costumes. My son, who is about the biggest Star Wars fan there is, dressed up as Jango Fett. He’s 7 and this was his first time at the conventions and my husband said that he just walked around stunned with his mouth agape, not believing all that he was seeing. So adorable and so so glad they all had a great time.

My middle child and I aren’t really into that sort of thing. So we decided that we were going to take a ride to Newport, RI and take a tour of a few mansions. Just a little backstory: She’s 9 and is completely obsessed with gilded age people and has studied the big tycoons of that era: Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Frick… all those big wigs. So going to Newport to see some of the “cottages” that these folks lived in was an absolute dream come true for her.

The Marble House

Owned by Alva Vanderbilt and her husband (who gifted this to her for her 39th birthday) who was, as I understand, about as bad ass as they come for that era.

This house was just ridiculously opulent and over the top decorated with so much gold and marble, we could hardly keep our eyes on our head. What really blew me away was the ceilings in this house. Just incredible how much detail went into every inch of every surface.

The Breakers

Owned by yet another richer than rich Vanderbilt heir, this one was just too much to even take in! The sheer size of this place was over the top. My daughter and I walked around just stunned by all of the decor and how intricately decorated every surface was. It’s just staggering to think of people actually living like this.

It’s funny how when you go into a place like this and it’s just so palatial and extravagant and you think, “Could I live here?” And the answer both my daughter and I came up with was, “No thanks!” It’s gorgeous and all… and all the possible room you could ever want to run around in, but it’s also very uncomfortable and not welcoming. Now, believe me, I know that wasn’t the intent of making it a comfy house when it was constructed. But I can’t help but think about all the kids that this house has had as residents (both as heirs and as the staff’s children). It’s mind blowing to me to think of these little kids who had to be so prim and proper, and be so ultra careful not to break anything, touch anything or speak out of place. Gracie and I both agreed it wouldn’t have been a good fit for us or our family!

As I look through all the photos we took yesterday and all the gorgeous decor we saw, it inspired me to create some pieces based on these rooms, ceilings, alcoves and architecture that we were able to see in person. The color combinations are fabulous and the ceilings… I can’t get over them. Have I mentioned how much I love the ceilings in these homes?!?! Makes me see lots of great ideas for future art projects and paintings based on these designs!

Recycled Snowman Ornaments are My Favorite!

Christmas & Holiday, New Art!Jill AdamyComment
Adorable little snowman ornaments are all handmade from recycled paperboard and decorated with an eye catching black and white ribbon.

Adorable little snowman ornaments are all handmade from recycled paperboard and decorated with an eye catching black and white ribbon.

I don’t know about you but I absolutely HATE throwing away cereal boxes. It drives me nuts! I look at these large areas of paper board and try to think what I can do with them! I end up keeping pretty much every box in my storage closet until I figure out a good use for them. From ATCoins to ornaments, I’ve been able to use every cereal box my kids have finished for about a year!

This week, I decided to use my 2.5” hole punch to punch out some circles and glue them together to make thicker pieces. I painted them white and aged them with darker brown paint. Then I cut out some carrot shaped noses and painted those orange to adhere to the snowman face and make them a little more 3 dimensional.

I love how cute they came out! They’re fun and have such sweet little faces that would just adorable on a tree or decorating the neck of a gifted bottle of wine.

You can check these out in my shop here!



New Art Pieces Available! Come See What's New!

Christmas & Holiday, Flowers, Mixed Media Projects, New Art!Jill AdamyComment
New paintings and ornaments are now available in my  online art shop!

New paintings and ornaments are now available in my online art shop!

With summer fast approaching a closing date, I’ve been trying to create some new pieces to add to my online art shop. Small works of art that are easy to find a special place to sit and cheer up a room! It’s no secret that I love flowers so most of my pieces focus on flowers because they bring such joy and happiness to my own life. Simplistic and colorful. Those are two of my favorite things!

I’ve also been busy creating some new holiday pieces to share with you. A bunch of new handmade ornaments. As I’m sure you’ve read, my family recently moved into a new home and this coming Christmas will be our first in this house. There’s a lot more room here, so I’m thinking of putting up several more holiday themed trees throughout the house. I’m sure this will be an ongoing venture for the rest of my life because I’ve only just begun this whole thought process! But, I figure, let’s get a head start on creating some new ornaments that I’d personally hang on my Christmas trees!

Living in New England, there are barns about every 15 feet! And I love them! Especially the ones I see in our new town. So I’ve painted 3 small canvases and turned them into ornaments. Perfect for a farm themed tree!

Living in New England, there are barns about every 15 feet! And I love them! Especially the ones I see in our new town. So I’ve painted 3 small canvases and turned them into ornaments. Perfect for a farm themed tree!


I’m also a total snowman freak and leave those little guys up til Spring arrives! I love happy little snowmen and colorful, vibrant scarves and hats. So I’ve painted a bunch of those too! They’re also available in the Ornaments section of my online shop.

Aren’t they ridiculous? I just used flat little canvases that are 4” x 4”, did a few layers of paper, paint and doodles and they came out so sweet!

Aren’t they ridiculous? I just used flat little canvases that are 4” x 4”, did a few layers of paper, paint and doodles and they came out so sweet!

Of course, all these and more to come will be available in my online art shop as well as in person at the Bolton & Harvard Open Studios in September. If you are in the area, stop on my and check out my art, say hello and have some laughs while you’re here! I can’t wait for it!

New York City 2019 and Updates on Life

Kids, PersonalJill AdamyComment
Times Square view from our hotel at the Marriott Marquis. Hello “Good Morning America!”

Times Square view from our hotel at the Marriott Marquis. Hello “Good Morning America!”

After a few harrowing weeks of dealing with some pretty scary issues with my elderly mom who lives with us, we decided at the last minute to surprise the kids and take them away for a few days to their favorite places in New York City! Because my mom lives with us and I’m her sole caretaker, we don’t get to go away at all because she can’t be left alone in the house for longer than an hour or so. I guess I could have hired someone to come in, but she wouldn’t have liked that (and neither would we) so we have stuck very close to home since she moved in with us over a year ago.

I’m so lucky because I don’t have the type of kids that have to go, go, go all the time or constantly bitch about going to Disney or why we can’t go on vacation ever. They’re happy with picnics on the town common or going to a movie for a few hours. I’m so thankful that these little kids are mine because they make a very stressful situation a lot more tolerable and enjoyable.

That being said, there have been tears here and there because we can’t just go on a whim to do something as a family. There has to be planning involved. Scheduling a CNA to come and take care of my mom so that we could drive them back and forth to my mother-in-laws house. That sorta stuff. Needless to say, it’s been a rough patch for everyone.

My mom fell a few weeks back and has been in the ICU and now a rehab facility. For now it’s the right place for her because she’s really having trouble with confusion (no doubt because she hit her head so hard when she fell in the middle of the night) and physical limitations after the fall. Her depression is also heartbreaking and concerning so it’s really the best place for her to be now that she needs 24 hour skilled nursing care. So… as you can imagine, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for everyone here, especially these 3 little kids who really needed something positive to look forward to and get excited about.

We decided to take an impromptu trip to NYC and visit some of their favorite places that we all enjoy together. Because we could only get away for 2 nights (I had to be back for another CAT scan for my mom on Friday), we packed in as much as we could and had the kids pick what we did and where we went. Staying at our favorite hotel, the Marriott Marquis, is always a must. I don’t think it’s because of the view as much as it is the elevators that are open to the entire lobby and soar quickly up to the top of the 45th floor! The kids LOVE those elevators! The front desk clerk is a wonderful woman who really gives the kids the royal treatment every time we’re there. This time, she said she had a surprise for them and gave us a room looking directly over Times Square and the famous New Years Eve ball! Plus, we were able to watch the Good Morning America set and see Michael Strahan himself walking around the set outside below our window!

The kids chose to have dinner at our favorite restaurant, Becco, over in Hell’s Kitchen. If you haven’t been there yet, definitely go. It’s outstanding and they have “all you can eat” pasta, which is our favorite thing in the world!

The appetizers at  Becco  were amazingly delicious as usual. The caesar salad was to die for.

The appetizers at Becco were amazingly delicious as usual. The caesar salad was to die for.

Every day at  Becco , they have a “pasta symphony” where they have 3 different pasta dishes that are “all you can eat.” When we were there, they had the most delicious three cheese pasta, spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and a braised short rib and ziti. Scrumptious!

Every day at Becco, they have a “pasta symphony” where they have 3 different pasta dishes that are “all you can eat.” When we were there, they had the most delicious three cheese pasta, spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and a braised short rib and ziti. Scrumptious!

Once we left Becco and started the walk through Hell’s Kitchen, down 46th towards 8th Avenue where we went to our favorite gelato shop to indulge in some sweets after such a fabulous meal. Amorino is a little hole in the wall that features the most deliciously rich gelatos I’ve ever had! It’s usually completely packed with a line out the door but it’s worth the wait. Especially when you pick up your cone at the end of the counter and it’s shaped like a rose! Complete with a delicious little macaroon perched on top!

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The next day we spent at our favorite place in the world (next to our house): Yankee Stadium. It’s like a home away from home where we all have such a wonderful time, indulging in our favorite baseball players and all the great food that Yankee Stadium has to offer! Hubby got great seats too, which was so awesome! My middle kid is the biggest Yankee fan (especially since my dad died last year, she’s sort of thrown herself head first into being obsessed with them like he was.)

After about a 1 hour rain delay, the game went on and our team won! What a great time we all had, being with the other fans and watching all the action and home runs happen right in front of us! We were all hoarse from the hootin’ and hollerin’ we did as we cheered on the home team! And to walk out of there listening to Frank Sinatra croon was epic for all of us!

Learning about flying a boomerang from the fantastically fun guy at FAO Schwartz.

Learning about flying a boomerang from the fantastically fun guy at FAO Schwartz.

Our last day was spent over in Rockefeller Center at the FAO Schwartz store, Lego store and American Girl store. The kids had never been to FAO before so it was pretty cool seeing all the neat toys and different things that you don’t see at Walmart or big box stores. The Barbies alone were just fantastic!

So that’s what’s been going on with us and what we’ve been doing to keep busy over here. With summer winding down and still a ton of stuff on our “Bucket List” to do, we’d better get moving on checking off some more stuff on our list of activities!

Christmas In July: Vintage Seed Packet Ornaments

Mixed Media Projects, YouTube Videos, Create with Me Projects, Christmas & HolidayJill AdamyComment
Vintage Seed Packet Ornaments for a Garden Themed Christmas Tree

Vintage Seed Packet Ornaments for a Garden Themed Christmas Tree

Moving into this country house has inspired me to decorate it in vintage and country themes. Right now, in the middle of July, we’ve got an Americana theme rockin’ over here that I absolutely adore! I think I’ve signed up for about a thousand country farmhouse style magazines so that I can really find ideas that work for our house and decorate it so that it’s beautiful each season. Of course, shopping for all new stuff comes with a hefty price tag and I’ve got to be careful not to spend the “family fortune” on all the shopping that I need to do! But I’ve been lucky so far… I’ve raided every clearance department at Michaels, JoAnns, HomeGoods and Hobby Lobby and I’ve found some great stuff to put out for our Americana home.

But that got me thinking. With so many rooms in this country house, I’m going to need a lot more Christmas decor than I’ve got. And here I was thinking I had too much at the old house! Well, time to start putting together some ideas for Christmas decor so I can have that ready to put up in the late fall.

I’ve always wanted to do a garden inspired tree and I think this year, I’m going to do just that! I’ll probably put it out in the entry way or maybe even out on the back porch that is covered in screened in. I decided I’d try and make my own ornaments/decorations for some of my tree ideas.

If you’d like to see how I made these, head on over to my YouTube channel and watch the quickie video to see how these came together. Pretty quick and easy, if you ask me! Just find some free printables online (mine I found at Pinterest but also have them available for you here) or check out what people on Etsy have for downloads. I buy a ton of stuff off of Etsy for printables!

And what’s great about this little art project is you don’t need a ton of supplies. I just used the printables, some paperboard (from a recycled cereal box), scrapbook scraps, jute twine, a hole punch, a black stamp pad (to make these look aged) and some Stickles for bling. Of course, you’ll also need a glue stick, but who doesn’t have a million of those!

Now I’ll have to take a look around at some local shops to see if I can find some miniature garden tools to add to the tree that I’d like to put up this Christmas. I’m super duper excited to see how it turns out when the time gets closer! I’ll probably start decorating the day after Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderfully creative day!

Video Premiere! New DIY Garden Inspired Christmas Ornaments!

Announcements, Christmas & Holiday, Create with Me Projects, Mixed Media Projects, YouTube VideosJill AdamyComment

On Thursday at 12PM on my YouTube channel, I’ll be premiering a DIY video to show you how I made the most adorable vintage inspired flower seed packet ornaments for a garden themed tree I’m planning on putting up this Christmas. Super easy with stuff you probably already have lying around your art room.

Join me at 12 and check it out!

Happy Fourth of July! Here's How We Decorated!

Our Country Home, PersonalJill Adamy

Sadly, I don’t have a ton of 4th of July or Americana decorations to put up. Our old house was more of a contemporary colonial with a very open floor plan and not a ton of personality so just the bare minimum of decorations worked. But this house is a completely different story. It’s full of charm and character and I’m off to the races decorating it in the farmhouse theme.

As I retrieved the box with the 4th of July decorations in it, I realized that I really don’t have that much to decorate with. Well, (note to self) that will have to change! But for now, I worked with what I had and also made a banner for the mantle out of card stock and and image I printed off the internet (I just needed to distress it a little bit).

I’m happy with how everything turned out but now I know I have to stock up on more stuff for next year in order to make it a truly Americana 4th of July!

Since this is our first year in our new town, we’ve never celebrated a fourth of July here and weren’t sure what to expect. My girls were to participate on the Softball Rocks parade float so we got them to their drop off point and then staked claim to a nice shady spot in the downtown common to watch for the parade. Not sure what to expect, we didn’t think it’d be a huge parade so my 83 year old mom sat with us in what was turning out to be a pretty hot day!

Much to our surprise and total happiness (as if we could love this town more!), the parade was absolutely adorable and fantastic. All the town committees and groups as well as a bevy of old antique cars, farm stand floats, emergency personnel vehicles and candy being tossed from all the participants (which made for a very excited little boy of mine!) were so much fun to watch. And to top it off, my little ladies loved being on their softball float with their teammates and coaches, singing to lots of tunes as the live band of dads played on from their stage on board the float. Adorable! Fun! And totally small town America. What a town! My husband and I just sat there watching it all like two idiots with dopey happy grins on our faces. Neither of us can believe what a wonderful little town this is to live in, raise kids in and enjoy life in. It’s just full of such nice, friendly and family-oriented families that want to enjoy their kid’s childhoods like we do our own. It’s like we’ve all got the same ideals and morals towards how we want our kids to grow up. It’s wholesome. It’s quaint. And it felt like home from day one.

Farmhouse Decorations for Our New Country Home

Our Country Home, PersonalJill Adamy

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a decorator. I love to look at what people do and admire everything they create in their homes to make them look so beautiful. The past two homes we’ve lived in have been newer builds with the typical builder grade finishes. Not much imagination or specific details to either, but I loved them both just the same. They were perfect when we lived in them and we loved living in both for the time that we spent in each.

Moving to this home has been a dream come true and has allowed us to create our own sense of style. My husband and I have always loved the farmhouse theme, and now that we live in this older, country house in such a beautiful and idyllic setting, we’ve put ourselves full force into decorating it in the farmhouse style.

The couple that we purchased this home from took immaculate care of it, so it’s definitely not a challenge to find things that work in this house. So last week, while my kids were knee deep (not kidding) in cow shit on my mother-in-laws farm, I went and raided the clearance racks over at Hobby Lobby and Michaels. And boy did I find some great stuff!! Check it out:

What I’m finding that works for me is looking at various photos online and in magazines and saving them to a notebook or to my phone so I can emulate the pics that I see that I really like. For instance, I found this photo on the Hobby Lobby website and really loved it. But I didn’t want to pay full price for everything in the photo, so I used some artistic license and found a few other decorative pieces on the clearance rack at Michaels that I think work just as well for my living room! (The photo on the left is the Hobby Lobby version; the photo to the right is my interpretation using the clearance rack!)

Well, that’s it from here today! Kids just got home from the farm last night so we’re spending the day chilling out and enjoying being at home after 13+ hours in the car yesterday!!!

Have an awesome day!

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Our New Baby "Sundae" the Baby Cow Has Arrived!

Kids, PersonalJill Adamy

Yesterday was a long and awesome day! Hubby and I drove my kids 6 hours to spend the week at my Mother In Law’s farm in upstate NY. We always have a good time in the car as we make the trek across state borders and the kids were super good even though it was quite a long car ride.

Once we arrived, we wanted to just sit out on the deck and relax for a bit before we began the drive back. But as we sat there, my mother in law said that one of the cows was about to give birth in the field (which happens to be right in her back yard!) So off we all ran, into the pasture to watch the miracle unfold! None of us have ever seen anything like this before but it’s a weekly occurrence on the farm so they’re totally used to little farm babies being born.

We got down to the field just as our farmer was pulling the baby out from mama. My kids (and us) were in complete awe of what we were seeing! Baby’s first breath and how mama cow knew exactly what to do once the baby was born. This was the first calf for mama cow and she did great!

Our new baby calf is named “Sundae” or “Sunny” for short. My husband and I left shortly after Sundae’s birth to start our 6 hour drive back home but my oldest daughter spent pretty much the rest of the day and night out in the field with Sundae and her mama documenting everything that went on, including her first steps and her first drink of milk.

Once the calf was born and mama took a break from cleaning her up, she is given a few buckets of water that is filled with vitamins for her after the birth.

Once the calf was born and mama took a break from cleaning her up, she is given a few buckets of water that is filled with vitamins for her after the birth.

As mama drank her vitamins, our farmer had to tend to the baby’s umbilical cord with iodine to help fight any infection after the birth.

As mama drank her vitamins, our farmer had to tend to the baby’s umbilical cord with iodine to help fight any infection after the birth.

Our farmer has been doing this since he was a child, so he knows exactly what to do when one of his girls becomes a mama. Loves his animals.

Our farmer has been doing this since he was a child, so he knows exactly what to do when one of his girls becomes a mama. Loves his animals.

Once Mama was finished with her vitamin drink, our farmer was showing us her teeth because my son was wondering how old she was. Who knew that cows only had bottom teeth! And our farmer was telling us that because she has 4 teeth on the bottom, that means she’s approximately 3 years old.

Once Mama was finished with her vitamin drink, our farmer was showing us her teeth because my son was wondering how old she was. Who knew that cows only had bottom teeth! And our farmer was telling us that because she has 4 teeth on the bottom, that means she’s approximately 3 years old.

Quite a wonderful start to their summer school vacation at “Camp Grammy”!! I don’t know how you can top that! I still can’t get over that we got to see this baby calf be born and how exciting it was for all of us to witness. And I’m thankful to mama cow that she waited for us to get there before the baby made her entrance!