Sir Pied Piper Paul Monday, Feb 15 2016 

The Incredible Sir Pied Piper Paul…..

It is on this day I would like to pay tribute to an amazing man. He does all he can to attend and promote every single art, music, or spoken word gathering of all the poets, painters and musicians in the Poconos. If you want to take in any art form, music, film, a bit of culture perhaps, he is the one that knows all the happenings…Sir Pied Piper of the Poconos my friend Paul. Most simply call him paparazzi Paul. I see him as Much Grander than them all. Selfless and kind, an honor to know. It took me a decade to finally meet him and hug my dear old/ new friend. A decade after he published my story. “Rebecca’s Weary” in his Forwardian (Magazine)

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https://lamarellecouture.wordpress.com/…/rebeccas-weary-an…/

He also works tirelessly on The The Forwardian Arts Society, Forwardian Performing Arts Society, & Films Sought for Forwardian Film Festival he is dedicated to them all.

He asks for nothing, nothing at all. His one wish would be to have his magazine in print for all to see, something tangible for people to hold. He cares not if it is in Black & White or glossy color or gold, just a legacy of years dedication to the arts from deep within his Soul. He deserves so much more. It is my hope that someday he will hand me that first printed copy and I will be well enough to have our first cup of coffee that we have waited so long for. (And geez lueez a new camera please).

THIS IS WHAT I PROPOSE….

For over a decade we have been planning a show, one with my art along side the perfect pairing of his poems…..his written words are sublime, like pieces from another time. They take me back to a time when love letters where written and sealed with melted wax. Cracked open by the recipient to reveal brave words of admiration, loss and true love. He really is a true romantic, a humble man and one of the greatest poets of our time. Not many know that about him, his poems read like something out of a dream. I am so very honored to know you Paul, you will always be in my prayers and my heart.

So, God I ask you on this day, please make this happen in your grand way. I leave it in your hands Lord to pair our talents for many to see. NY is where I wish it to be, but you know best. He is greater, kinder and more selfless than most he promotes. He deserves to no longer simply be known as Paparazzi Paul. For he is Paul Adam Smeltz, the greatest poet of them all. I love you and all you do, in case you thought I forgot about you. My Darling Sir Pied Piper Poet, I honor you.

And to whom ever can make this happen I do vow, I will donate ALL the proceeds of my paintings in half. One half for the Forwardian and the other half to the charity of your choosing. For the one that makes this happen will be making a dream come true. Not just for Paul but for me too. God Bless and thank you…… Marelle

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The Divine Destiny of Making Royal Crowns Saturday, Jan 23 2016 

By Marelle Couture

 

It always begins with one single piece.  It may be brass, tarnished silver, broken jewelry, wood, or even glass.  Something catches my eye and the process begins.  Each crown is created in the same way…..every piece of the crown is dependent on the others.  Like dominoes in reverse.

 

For this crown I wanted to create a grand piece of art with many surprises hidden in and around.  Only pieces of age and wisdom, tattered by time and memories are used.  I feel like I am giving a second life to something that had great meaning to someone from long ago.  My hope is that it makes them happy, not forgotten.

crown process

It is a slow process adhering each piece together.  Many different methods are used depending on what materials I am using.  For this crown a special industrial epoxy was used for much of it.  In some cases one single piece would take days for the epoxy to cure before I could continue.

That beautiful beaded bottom fabric was once on a beautiful vintage dress.  All torn and tattered….all but for it’s best feature, the collier.  The little cherub, a milk pitcher, even an old train token.  Anything is fair game.  We have smashed type writers and old clocks that stopped ticking years ago.  And for what?  You know the saying…” You can’t take it with you.”….. but that does not mean a little piece of you can’t live on.  I wonder who the woman was that wore that brass headband or the one who used the upside down thimble holding it in place.  The love that was put into each piece of clothing she sewed or sock she mended, now sits atop a crown of great stature.

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Old key holes, not ones you can buy at a craft store…no no no.  These you find at salvage yards, estate sales and on it goes.  Do you see the fishing lure on the left?  That was mine from my own tackle box.  It was given to me by my father, I prefer live bait so on the crown it went.  I always always put a lil bit of me in each and every piece I make.  Not just the crowns….in everything.

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The details in this crown are abundant.  The tiny cherub is now surrounded by many new creatures, treasures and he now delicately holds the Blessed Mother charm on his wing.  This is what I wanted when I started this piece.  Surprises from every angle.  The more  you look the more you see.  Many of my pieces have little containers or pill boxes you can open.  Some owners of my work may never even find them….it makes me smile.

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Surprises abound and surround this piece of wearable art.  The furs I use are and always will be vintage. I use torn coats, outdated for some reason or another, shawls, hats, etc.  You may not agree with my reason for using it at all.  That is understandable.  I am and always will be an animal lover.  My father and I use to stop even on highways to grab a turtle, or hurt bird.  Cars flying past us on windy upper part of Route 23, where no one can see what is ahead…all to save a snapper turtle.  I detest animal cruelty in all forms.  I am also a realist….sadly there is a market for fur items.  We all know this, I feel and I pray by using vintage fur, perhaps that is one less animal used for fashion.  I also believe it pays homage to the creature that wore his or her coat with pride.  That is why Hopscotch Couture will never ever use new materials, not fur, not silk, etc.  Not on my watch.

           Heavy is the head that wears the crown…….Wear it well.

 

Photographer Presley Ann
Model Kristina Schroeder
Hair and Makeup by T Cooper Mua

This majestic crown below was created with the same attention to detail.  Like all the crowns before and after this one…..I allow them to become the Divine Destiny of their previous owners…..Decadence by Design.

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Antique drawer pulls, buttons, and chains.

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Wings from a broken angel that once graced the top of a families Christmas tree.

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Another Brass Beauty…..

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One of my first.  It started out as a vintage beaded headband and the rest was left to circumstance.

These last two are works in progress.  One Brass…One Glass.  I can’t wait to see their Divine Destiny.

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For you see we are all works in progress.  Broken bits here and there, with patina from scars of long ago.  We are ALL here creating our own Divine Destiny.   And we are ALL Decadent by design…just consider the artist that created you.

Marelle Couture

Dream Wednesday, Jun 25 2014 

http://insideetsy.blogspot.com/2011/04/hopscotch-couture.html

 

I would rather spend my whole life chasing an unattainable dream than to live out my days in mere mediocrity.

big crown

Professional Photos of Some of my Pieces Thursday, May 16 2013 

So many fabulous professional photographers have been photographing my pieces with stunning results. Here’s just a few.

This one below was taken by Vanessa Powell and appeared briefly on OMG Insider during a bridal gown segment.

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Vanessa also shot this award winning photo using a Neck Piece of mine as a Head Piece.  I adore this stunning work of art and have it framed in my home…..it is so Blessed.

 

alaska3 To see more of Vanessa Powell,  A Thousand Words Photography check out her page…    A Thousand Words Photography by Vanessa Powell.

Vanessa is currently on another collaboration photo shoot with some of my statement pieces.  I can’t wait to see her new works of art.  She has amazing vision.

 

Other photographers has been amazing me with their vision when shooting some of my accessories.  This one is absolutely my favorite by Anna Nicholas from the UK.  She used my feather sash as a head piece and it looked amazing.  I actually made these into some postcards.  This is why I love having these amazing photographers shoot my pieces, I get so inspired by their work.

 

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And again unique uses for my pieces by the ever so creative Anna…..A feather neck piece turned feather crown.   Statement vintage couture bridal neck piece and Haute Beaded Bridal Hat looking smashing on this fabulous young man.

 

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DSC_9705a  Photo by Anna Nicholas, Hopscotch Couture Bracelet.  To see more of Anna’s Amazing work click here….

http://www.fashionablephotography.co.uk/

 

I will bring you more photos as I can, there are so many stunning ones I know you will enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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God’s Greatest Masterpiece…. Friday, Mar 8 2013 

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The Look Book Monday, Sep 3 2012 

The Look Book

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Every artist has that inevitable task of putting together the portfolio. The look book if you will. I remember way back in high school getting the low down on how to assemble the monstrosity of a portfolio to show to potential learning institutions. It was black, bigger than me, with a zipper that ran around the edges. Not the most convenient nor inviting forms of display. It certainly didn’t beckon one to look inside. Nonetheless that was the way back in the day.

Time rolled on, jobs poured in; I was now a mural artist. Big blank canvases with the permission and a pay check to paint away. It was a wonderful messy job and it paid the bills for myself and my newborn son. Those works of art were captured on film and put into a plastic protective photo album. Nothing fancy, after all I was always found with paint somewhere on myself. It was kept in my brush bag. For every mural job came onlookers interested in my work and seeing what else I could create. Out came the painted photo album. Today I can’t imagine doing that kind of work again. It was very difficult especially with a baby at my side. It paid the bills and I paid my dues so it goes… par for the course of being an artist.

After that I took years off from art. Laziness is what I attributed it to, wasting my talents. In actuality I had a very rare heart condition that is usually detected and corrected in infancy. My aorta was completely shut. For those in the medical profession that may be reading this and saying, that is not possible, I assure you I can back up what I am proposing as a medical miracle. No more no less. There is no medical reason why I survived past 7 days of life, never mind being 34 with two children. I underwent massive open-heart surgery and took a year to recover. I sill have a few kinks to work out but lets face it, I am simply not in the mood for a second open-heart procedure. To put it bluntly….open heart surgery sucks.

Okay, so here we are a year later. With a brush in my hand a couple tubes of old oil paint and nothing but olive oil and a dusty canvas standing in front of me. I must of stood there for an hour. It had been so long and I felt so lost and far behind my artistic goals. I prayed often, not in the conventional sense but just conversationally. So I said I don’t know what to do. And the answer was simple…..just paint something, don’t concern yourself with technique or brush strokes or anything like that…..just paint. So I did paint….it was the most personal piece to this day and will never be shown. It is my version of my heaven. It is where I go in my mind whenever I am too ill to physically move forward in this world. It is my own personal oasis where everything I can not do here I can easily do there. Everyone should have one. It is most comforting. I can honestly say that for at least 14 years of complete bedridden illness, it saved my sanity and kept me fighting as I do to this day.

Let’s move on…..for a year after that first painting I experimented with all types of things on canvas. I had built up quite the collection of fine art gallery ready pieces. But the question lingered…what to do with them. I remember so clearly the day, the place, and the overwhelming sadness of having this accomplishment and not one clue as to what to do with them. All I wanted was for them to be seen; that was all. Above my bed hung one of my pieces as a headboard. As I lay there in tears I lifted my hand behind my head and just felt it. The old beads and crystals swirling in a most beautiful pattern. A treat for the eyes but in that moment I found it to be a treat to touch. Then the answer came as it always does, right on time,……I bet blind people would love to view these. Bingo!!! Within minutes I had it all planned out. One month later I was exhibiting my pieces to the blind convention in Harrisburg PA. The president of the PBA came up to me and said…”I have not had sight since I was 5 years old, but, when I touched the portrait of the boy I got a image in my mind. Keep up the wonderful work you’re doing.”

I have to pause here to say how amazing it is to have accomplished something that was considered impossible and the mere idea was laughed at by many. I managed to put an image into the mind of a man without sight. For each and every person that touched my pieces all walked away with an image but no two were ever the same. Every painting took on a new view depending on the mind that was processing the touch of the piece. My greatest show of this blind exhibit, The Hopscotch Hands on Exhibit for the Blind, is one I was unable to attend. With the van full of my work on my way to the Bergen Performing Arts Center I had to pull over and dial 911. I had been feeling awful for a while but no one in my area could figure out the cause. Within 20 minutes in the hospital I was diagnosed with endocarditis-a heart infection. I would be in the hospital for quite some time. The show went on as planned. My brother and his friends rallied and got the paintings there and hung them up. The Blind Boys Of Alabama were having their concert there along with my show. I was elated. I didn’t care that I was not there. I was on the phone and I got to read all the comments in the mailing list book from the attendees. Thankfully the show had such a great response the gallery asked if I would mind extending the show for an additional 6 weeks. That was exactly how long I was to be on IV antibiotics. It worked out perfectly. When I showed up to pick up my work I had to laugh and cry at the same time. I got to see it and it filled me with tearful joy and my brother had hung some of the pieces upside down. It was wonderful and still makes me smile as I write this. The greatest show I never attended.

bridal look book

Now this endeavor absolutely required a professional portfolio. A sleek black 12×24 photo album with the black lined plastic pockets. You can find them in any fine art store or catalog. I put all my newspaper clippings, painting and pictures of my exhibits carefully arranged. I was so proud of my work.

Unfortunately I hit another speed bump and it lead to 8 years of illness. Surgeries, infections, more surgeries, and next thing you know years spent in bed seem never ending. Yes I spend many hours in my very own heaven. How else does one cope?

I began making smaller things that I could make on a tray or my lap. Mostly just for myself, a purse for my doctor visits and tiny gifts for the nurses that took care of me at my hospital stays. I even made myself a very elegant eye mask. Sleeping in the hospital is….for lack of a better word….a bitch. I say if you’re going to be ill be fabulous doing it, whenever possible. I started having breaks in the stream of diagnoses and would have a week or two when I felt pretty well. I would work like crazy, making as many pieces as possible. One day I kept saying I am going to sell these. That one day came about 2 years ago. My daughter opened a shop on Etsy and started selling my creations. She wants so badly to go to college and this was a way I could help her accomplish that.

We did better than expected in that first year and I am still not fully recovered. The final diagnosis has been made and it isn’t the best news to say the least. So I work as hard and as fast as I can to create pieces that have already been made in my own heaven. Each and every one I already made in my mind, now it is just a matter of bringing them to life. I have so many yet to make and will continue regardless of my physical limitations for my mind has no limits. My ideas are not even my own, they are gift given to me during my visits to heaven.

So why the title Look Book?   Your look book or portfolio, if you prefer, not only holds your art pieces.  It, in fact, holds pieces of your heart, soul and your life’s purpose.   So choose it well.  After all it is your legacy bound together in a single book.

Well, the time has come to compile the creme da la creme of my work and assemble them into a album. Not just any album as it turned out. I certainly could have Marelled a store bought one or just did another presentation in a long sleek black number. After all, it is the way it is done. Then I stumbled upon Dragos. There are no coincidences in life and the people we meet along the way are a part of a bigger plan. Even if that person happens to be all the way from Romania. The minute I saw his work I knew he was the one to make my portfolio. My Look Book. Captivating is how I would describe the leather hand bound covers he creates. The work of an old world master. He only uses tools he has made and takes great pride in the details. To be honest I was so in awe by the cover I didn’t even give much though to the rest of the album. But, Dragos sure did. I was going to do a post of his work when the album was done but today I received pictures of the inside. Just the pages blew me away. What he has started was a book worthy of heavenly creations. I will proudly post the finished album but I couldn’t wait to show what he has done thus far. I am to write back to him to tell him how I like how it is coming along. I am just going to send him the link to this post.

Without further ado, I give you Man Dragos….An absolute Master of Book Binding.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/dragosh

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Hopscotch Hands on Exhibit for the Blind Interview Thursday, Aug 9 2012 

Hopscotch Couture: One of a kind finds blind art exhibit interview

By Rachel A. Pugh, Weekender General Manager
Feb 15

A Touching Art Exhibit

Making something new out of something old is always fascinating to me. I had the opportunity to meet Marelle, a local designer who takes things from the past and turns them into beautiful pieces of art and accessories. Here’s a closer look of the artist, her company and her beautiful vision.

I started making the couture bags about seven years ago, and it just sort of took off. Some have been sold to women as far away as Spain, Brazil and Australia. Now they are my favorite item to design.

It really wasn’t any one thing. I have been drawing and painting since I was a small child. I did my first portrait at the age of five. I have never wanted to do any other line of work. It feeds the soul, and that, to me, is better than any other job I can think of.

A lot comes from women from the past. I just love vintage and Victorian items. I also look at what people are wearing, what is trendy. Sometimes I just start a piece and see where it goes.

Most of my vintage jewelry came from a lovely little lady I met, I call her mamma. She and her husband had been collecting jewelry for over 60 years. He passed away, and I bought most of what she had. Everything else comes from estate sales, auctions and online vintage stores.

At first, this was just an idea I had — to make a tactile touch exhibit for the blind. I sent out e-mails to blind councils to see if it was even possible, or wanted. I was invited to bring my art to the PBA convention in Harrisburg. The exhibit was very well received. When the president of the PBA touched a three dimensional portrait I did, he said, “I have not had sight since I was five, but, when I touch this painting, I get an image in my mind.” That said it all! I felt like I had accomplished the impossible. I put an image into the mind of a man who could not see. The blind understand faces, and I am told that is why my exhibit works. My exhibit has visited several blind conventions and centers. I have been asked to do other celebrities, such as, Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz,” Paul McCartney and Lucille Ball. This exhibit gives me great joy and satisfaction. I have also learned that the blind do appreciate art, if given the chance to view it, in their way.

I think I am all over the map on that one. Besides purses, I design jewelry, hair pieces, hats and custom clothing. I paint murals, modern art, furniture and portraits. I have even done the program covers for the Pocono Raceway and logos for businesses. My most accomplished medium, however, is pastel portraits.

A painting called “Sara’s dress.” It is a mixed-media piece of a little girl’s pink dress. It is just so delicate and touching. I just love the subtle pink and beige colors. When it comes to my jewelry and purses, I keep the pieces I like. Sometimes it is hard to part with something as personal as your art. You leave a piece of yourself in everything you create.

I sent some of my work to the Lambert Castle in New Jersey, that was alongside many other artists. Besides that, at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in New Jersey, my exhibit was shown alongside of The Blind Boys of Alabama — they are Grammy Award-winning gospel singers. I also had a show at the Kirby Center alongside the Trans Siberian Orchestra Revival. For quite some time I have been doing solo shows, the first one at Allure Salon and Gallery. If I could find other artists willing to participate, I would love to include them in this exhibit.

Art Exhibit from Allure Salon and Gallery

As strange as it sounds, it is modern/vintage and sometimes borders on avant-garde. I do have a saying for my accessories, “Only One for the One and Only You,” so I try to create a variety of different pieces, for a variety of different women.

Absolutely, I have done many consigned pieces. If you can imagine it, I will find a way to design it.

The very first interview and meeting with the wonderous Princess Laya Monday, Jun 18 2012 

With dozens of pictures on file I knew what she looked like.  My eyes gazed over the dinning area of the bistro and immediately I knew it was her.  Even from the back she stands out.  Her attire is colorful and bright.  As I approached the table she turned around as if sensing my arrival.   It was her eyes that struck me and that beautiful smile.  Her pictures did not show the warmth I held in my gaze.  In one swift motion she was up on her feet and giving me a big hug.  She is indeed a beacon of light.  A beautiful soul with an amazing story to tell…..

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Excerpt from her new book….

“That call to those distant loved ones, embedded a quick realization of the why I’m still alive…as I looked at my brother, cousin, and officers who were called to the scene. Could you imagine…??? I guess you know, right after my attempt he continued to still cheat and lie; yet, I almost took my own life! Can’t put it all on him, although he’s what initiated it…it wasn’t just him!”
I only asked her three questions the rest of the time was spent planning her wardrobe and the very busy book launch schedule.  You will soon be seeing her everywhere.  For now we are enjoying our uninterrupted dinner.
Here we go…
1.   Why did you write this book?
If you would have told me when I was younger…I would be an author…I would’ve probably thought you were crazy…!! This book was not something I wanted to do; however, I felt an obligation and responsibility to tell the truth…not just about myself…but…to force you…to tell the truth…ABOUT…YOU…!!
2.   What do you hope people walk away with from reading it?
I hope people walk away mad…because…anger brings about change…!!
3.   What is one thing you want people to know about you before this book is released?
I want people to know…I’m just like them…and I’m…NOT…judging them…, but I want them to finally be free…because acceptance…is one thing…but denial…well that’s…another…!!
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I will continue to bring you updates on her book tour and TV interviews.

Find Your Own Way Thursday, Mar 15 2012 

FIND YOUR OWN WAY
There are times when an artist is bursting with

ideas. So many so fast so hard to keep up. The

biggest hindrance to that flow, an outlet. How

long can someone store piece after piece? I

love my work, I live it and I live in and around

it. With no where to go, no where to show, one

gets stuck. I never thought it was lack of ideas,

lack of inspiration, but, in fact, lack of

audience. Inspiration comes from those who

view that of the artist soul. Without that, one

can’t sustain all the work and discipline needed.

Years, many years ago, the artist was revered,

treasured. Held up and supported by royalty.

Allowed years to create a masterpiece. How

many of us can spare years for one piece of

art? What an amazing piece that would be.

No, you have to be fast. You have to have

plenty of pieces and you better know someone

going in.

I found my own way. I really didn’t care who

saw my work, I just wanted to bring joy to

someone, anyone who would appreciate it. I

stumbled onto the idea that it can be viewed,

just, change the way it is viewed. No one

thought painting for the blind was a great idea.

My shows have all been solo shows. Shows

with award winning performers and celebrities.

I just love what I do and the fact that it is being

viewed is all the inspiration I need to keep

going. Selling my work is great, but showing it

is spectacular. Having one person say, I really

enjoy your work will keep me going for quite a

long time.

Find your own way. Other wise, know

someone and have plenty of money to get

noticed. My first and most adored painting was

done on cardboard. I know of an artist that

was a wall street millionaire, who, now lives in

a small cottage and paints beautiful landscapes

on paper bags. He has had some solo shows as

well.

Find your own way. As an artist, you must

create or you will get depressed. A depressed

artist can not create. A real catch 22. FIND

YOUR OWN WAY.

Marelle

Spring is in the air, yippeee!! Saturday, Mar 3 2012 

With spring comes change.  I thought I would welcome spring with a fresh new blog…ta da!!

This year we will all see more changes than ever before, not just in fashion, in everything.  I’m sure some of you have felt it.  Either everything, and I do mean everything is going great, or, everything is going down hill.  Fast and furious is the pace of this year.  It brings to mind over and over something Winston Churchill once said…”When one finds himself in hell, it is best to continue the journey til that is no longer the case.”  I can’t say I know much of this man, but, I do remember great quotes.  So I say, hold on it is gonna get a wild ride.  If things are not so great right now, hang on, in an instant it will change.   That is the one thing I know with all my heart, there is a balance in this world.  So if your being hit hard, then, something great is about to happen.  Like that song…”What a difference a day makes….”

With this amazing oportunic year I have really just let go and let my creations take on in all directions.  If you have read any of my other posts or know me at all, you know, I claim no rights to my talents….I am simply a tool for the creator of all creators.  Sometimes I look at what I have made and I am in awe.  “Where did that one come from?”  Oh yes I will talk to myself, my dogs and whoever may be listening.  I am sure my neighbors have deemed me a nut.  I live in my world and I like it here.  You will see some truly amazing new accessories coming to the shop, HopscotchCouture.   Especially for my brides, headpieces unlike anything you have ever seen.  The beauty of what I do is that not even I can duplicate any of my designs.  Using all vintage materials and no patters ensures that one of a kind means just that, One Of A Kind.

 

This year I even plan on doing some tutorials on how to makes these bouquets…and other fun pieces.   Yes it will be a big year I can promise you that.

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