Friday, January 30, 2009

Way too busy!

Good morning! it's cool and rainy here in south Florida as the front is just coming through. Thought I'd tempt you with some lemon blueberry poppy seed muffins, warm and crusty from the oven. Yum!
I have been a very bad blogger this week but sometimes life gets in the way. Sunday I went to the gift store wholesale market in Orlando (I volunteer at the library gift shop) and that took all day - we left Vero Beach at 7:30am and didn't get back until 6:30 pm. It was a very productive market and we brought back lots of jewelry items, finger puppets, and purses for the shop (but I think I would have enjoyed CHA a lot more and plan to go this July when the summer CHA is in Orlando). On Monday morning we painted mangoes in my watercolor class and then the whole afternoon was spent pricing all the merchandise that we bought in Orlando. Tuesday morning I worked at the library book store (we have both a used book store and a gift shop - support for our library is incredible - one of the zipcodes in our little city (big town?) has the highest rate per capita in the US for book sales). In the afternoon I started reading Brisingr, the new book by Christopher Paolini (the 3rd in the Eragon books) and began to work on a new layout. Wednesday was laundry day and I worked on a second layout (can't show them yet as they are for a DT call). Yesterday I pretty well finished them and now I need to do a third one and finish a project that I started. I got the items ready to ship to my partner in the Year of Color exchange and am looking forward to see what she sends me.
And then last night - tada! - I won a place in Wilna's he{art} class at SIS - I am soooooo excited! It looks like so much fun and I know I will learn a lot.
Winning the class is so awesome - one of my resolutions for 2009 was NOT BUYING IT - that is, to spend no money on new craft supplies (except adhesive and printer cartridges), clothes (except lingerie), and classes. My watercolor class was a Chrismas present. I have done pretty well this month - I bought some yellow and green fabrics for the quilt I am working on and I bought a few Christmas scrapbooking items at 75% off at Target. I have been very fortunate to win 2 challenges and receive some scrapping supplies as prizes and I won 2 RAKS - the latest Memory Makers magazine and a necklace, so my life is very good! In February we are having a quilt show here so I know that I will be tempted and in early March my BFF's sister is coming to visit and we plan to have our own quilting workshop day - we will be making really cool tote bags so I might have to buy some fusible batting etc for that. But I am trying.....
Have you seen the free class offered on - check it out - sounds like fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost weekend

No posting here but that's because I was soooooo busy - Saturday was full of errands, all day Sunday was taken up with going to the gift market in Orlando (I volunteer at our library gift shop and at our library used book store), and today I had my watercolor class (maybe a pic later) and pricing all the items we purchased for the gift shop. Tomorrow morning I work at the book store but in the afternoon I plan for some creation time and some blogging.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New layouts

about my love for knitting

My DH and his twin - I think the facial expression is so funny - like "nobody said there'd be kissing involved!" These are the 2 layouts I finished yesterday but the knitting one looks very little like what it looked like last night - this morning I decided the layout was awful so I ripped it apart and completely redid it.
I saw the first challenge listed for the Twilight blog - I am really thinking about it - colors, simplicity, theme. I won't have much time for scrapping this weekend as I have to go to the Big O (Orlando) on Sunday but I might work on the idea this afternoon after I finish my house cleaning. It was very cold again last night (30) but it is supposed to warm up some today and continue through tomorrow - three nights of 30's is miserable down here - we had 2 quilts and an afghan on our bed. I did take the plants back out on to the lanai this morning.
I also need to do my 52Q (from Emily Falconbridge's blog) card for this week - do you believe in fairies? I pulled out my vintage Fairies books by Cecily M Barker and am trying to think through which image to use and exactly how to use it. Decisions! decisions!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'm finally feeling better. Colds are definitely a bummer and a deterent to creativity - but now I'm back! I finished two layouts today but now it's too dark to photograph them so tomorrow I'll be busy. Today I received a totally cool prize from Crop Suey for winning the Scrapping across the universe challenge 6 - lots of vintage stuff (my brain is bubbling with ideas) and some chipboard and stamps so I'll be busy creating layouts this weekend. My first painting class on Monday was inspiring (somehow when you are concentrating on learning something new you don't notice that you are sick but when the class is over, you crash!) and I need (notice that - need) to go to Michael's on Sat to get a new flat watercolor brush (I ruined my one inch brush by using it for acrylics). Just going to Michael's is dangerous! Hopefully too, this will be the last night of COLD weather for a while - believe me, temperatures in the 30s are murder in Florida! The last couple of evenings I have been reading Hell's Bay by James W. Hall, a Florida novelist. His books are always set in the Keys so at least readingwise I am keeping warm.
I took the above photo in November but haven't scrapped it yet - sort of the boys of summer kind of thing = nobody on the beach.........summer's out of get the picture.

I'll post some pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In my lifetime

I have to say that I truly never thought that I would see this day in my lifetime. Even my husband, who is Mr. Stoic about most things, has had tears in his eyes. I am proud to be an American and ready for change. Let us all move forward together.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blue blue and more blue

I'm feeling somewhat better today but isn't it awful how colds just really wear you out? I had my first painting class this morning and somehow I didn't feel too bad - probably I was so intent on the teacher and then my painting that I sort of forgot I was sick - but this afternoon I feel tired and not particularly very creative.
Don't you just love these images from some old Victoria magazines? Usually I think of blue and white (Year of color blog colors for January) as summer colors - cool water, striped sundresses, espadrilles, and vanilla ice cream, and that's what almost all of the Victorias that have blue and white in them are - usually June. I think blue and white looks cool and clean, and of course we associate white dresses with warm weather. I remember when Dan and I went to Bermuda in the 1990s, I could only take one suitcase and part of it had to hold some clothes for Dan as he had raced over on a sailboat. So I took all matching blue and white things, many of which were Laura Ashley. I had white pants, white shorts, navy and white striped teeshirt, white cotton blouse with a Battenburg lace collar, a half circle skirt of navy with big pink roses on it, a white with blue print strapless dress, a pink teeshirt, white lace scarf that could be tied into a shrug, blue and white tote, navy blue hairbow and probably a few more things. But it was so easy to get dressed because everything matched.
Be sure to click on the above photo and read the poem.
Well, off to make some tea and read some blogs. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I caught a code

Some closeups of things in my studio (photos taken last fall as exercises for a photography class).
Do you think that you can catch a cold through the internet? Several people whose blogs I read have had colds, especially Alicia from, and suddenly yesterday afternoon about 5:30 I was slammed with a head cold. Fortunately I slept well last night but I feel very lethargic today and my nose just keeps running. Despite that "inconvenience", I was determined to get some things done and I did - 2 loads of laundry washed and 2 loaves of bread made.

We are having chili for dinner tonight as we watch the football games so I'll put that together in a bit and let it simmer. I have a great recipe for red chili that we got from a crazy hippie bar in Telluride, CO. Anyway, right now I am going into the kitchen and slice a crust from the still warm bread , lay a piece of dark chocolate on it, and fold it up. Sort of like the pan chocolat that we used to buy in Martinique, Guadaloupe and the Saintes. Maybe I should scrap that - I haven't really done very many layouts of our travels, only carnival in Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Doing some layouts of the Islands would definitely bring back some wonderful memories and make me feel a little warmer. LOL

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A-gCa zine Studio 360 part 2

Part 2 of my studio photos from this morning - today's big project is to straighten up the studio and clear off my easel as I start watercolor painting classes on Monday. As I mentioned in the blog just before, below, whatever, my studio was featured in the A-gCa zine just out and I am so thrilled - but I want you to see that normally my studio is a work in progress or rather process.

Stash diet layout for SIS - the pitcher is a thriftstore find from last week. The journaling reads - this year I am ...going to focus on the little things.
"There are no little things. Little things are the hinges of the universe." - Fanny Fern
I found this quotation in Sarah Ban Breathnach's book Simple Abundance (a great book about living a creative and meaningful life) and have kept it in front of me in many different places - on the sailboat it was on the front of my journal, at work it was on a paper taped to my computer monitor and here in my studio it is up on my picture board. Sometimes you hear the comment that the devil is in the details but really I think it is God (whether male, female or both) that is in the details. When we see a baby don't we marvel at her tiny perfect fingers and toes, as children don't we examine a ladybug to see her tiny legs and spots, and as artists after the first vision of the piece, don't we then examine the details and discover the intricasies of the work. Isn't that one of the criteria for great art - that every time we look upon it, we see something new - and it isn't that the art is changing - it's us. We are different people from moment to moment, day to day, year to year.
Enough rambling - it's cold this morning and I'm going to make a pot of tea and begin cleaning and organizing the studio.

A-gCa zine - Studio 360

OMG! I got on the computer this morning and went to my Google reader to check out my favorite blogs and discovered that the first issue of A-gCA zine was up and woo hoo! pictures of my studio were shown in it. Cynthia had actually quoted my crazed ramblings about my studio and my creative process. I feel so honored and thrilled that she included me in her blog, and she even showed the My Sweet Child layout which I did as guest designer for Scrapping across the universe. I took a few shots of my studio this am to show you what it usually looks like - kind of a mess as I am usually working on several projects at the same time so there are supplies strewn all over. I remember seeing a photo on Lisa T-O's blog Celebrating Creativity in all its forms of her studio after she had been working on several projects as a Memory Makers Master. The entire floor was covered with papers and embellishments. Blogger won't let me put any more photos in this posting so I will do a second one.

Valentine decoupage images for a project and some green and yellow fabrics for the quilt I'm working on.
As you can see, I was a girl scout and proudly post my sash.
A very very messy closet! The cardboard box is full of 2008 financial records to be filed away.
Hana, my assistant and best critic
I'm working on 2 layouts right now but neither one is flowing - I'll probably just shelve them for now. Sometimes when I organize supplies, I discover something that I've forgotten and it inspires me to do a new piece or finishes a partially done piece.

Sofabed for guests or reading spot for me

Friday, January 16, 2009

A year of color - blue and white

Just thought I'd share a few blue and white images from my studio. I'm loving it that I discovered the A year of color blog (subscription only so I can't put in a link but you can buy a subscription for the year for $12 from artsymama on etsy). the photos are so totally eye candy and the list of instructors/presenters is awesome. Believe me, if you are into scrapping or crafting with paper or fabric, you would recognize the names of many of the bloggers involved. I searched around my studio for some blue fabrics, buttons, etc. I found the baby shoes at Goodwill for 75 cents and I plan to make pin cushions out of them (I saw some in an ad for Somerset Home a while back). I love that the label reads "child of mine" - so precious. The little Stocking is one that I did when we lived on our sailboat - since everything had to be small, most things I made were small - don't you love the vintage buttons - my mother gave them to me long long ago).
I should be making blue and white layouts but, for some reason, I did one on Wed after I got back from going to the quilt shops in Melbourne with a friend, and it was green and blue (posted yesterday) and last night I did one for the Stash diet on SIS and for Creative Type (resolution), and it is rose, pink and yellow (because I used a photo of the little vase I purchased last week thrifting). I'll post it later.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You know its winter in Florida when . . .

yummy potato soup

my aprons - time to make a new one

love the light from this lamp in the kitchen - so warm and cozy, and cheaper than a fixture.

You know its winter in Florida when at 2 o'clock in the afternoon it is 57 degrees.
Okay okay. I know that most of you don't have any sympathy for us thin blooded Floridians but honestly our houses are not built for cold temps. I am sitting here at the computer dressed in a long sleeved knit top, a sweater, jeans, socks, and my cuddly slippers and drinking a cuppa Tazo Joy tea. I had vegetable soup for lunch and I will be making green chile for dinner - I have a superb recipe that I got from a co-worker when I lived in Denver. I took the above photos last night when I was making potato soup for dinner and then put together a layout with the photo of my cute socks.
I joined the year of color blog and since the colors for January are blue and white, I have been looking around my house for blue and white; I dug through my old issues of Victoria for some eye candy which I will share tomorrow; and I'm thinking through a blue and white layout. I was doodling in my journal and listing out names of songs with Blue in them and other Blue things like china and embroidery and clothes (I'm remembering when we went to Bermuda and my entire wardrobe was blue and white - mostly items from Laura Ashley. I need to pull out my Bermuda album and get some of those photos. Hmmmmmmmmm

Scrapping across the universe #7 guest designer

Here's my guest designer layout for the SATU challenge #7. I used a very special photo of my mother and me and surrounded it with fabrics(both vintage and new), a "Jane" paperdoll, and some Heidi Swapp, K&co, 7gypsies, and Lil Davis embellishments. The paper is an old daiyds one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vintage love and paperdolls

I worked at the book store this morning and found some awesome vintage books - 2 Ginn readers like I remember, an old falling apart the Volume Library full of all manner of subjects including children's poems and songs, a little Circus alphabet book, I hate to housekeep book with humorous illustrations, and a lime green paper shopping bag. My little pink cells are bubbling with ideas right now.
I am posting a paperdoll layout for the Eccentric Therapy blog - the challenge was to use a vintage paperdoll in a layout. I searched the thriftshops for paperdolls but couldn't locate any so ---- I used an old family photo and printed it on cardstock and then drew clothes for her a la 1956. I added appropriate vintage fabric scraps, a card of buttons, some classified ads from a 1955 Scottish magazine, a ribbon, and a fabulous rhinestone Scotty pin. The papers are Making Memories, Love Elsie, and Paper Adventures, and the stickers are 7gypsies.

January 12 of 12

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inspired by Amelie challenge - I won!!!!

I was checking my Google reader and saw that the Inspired by Amelie blog had a new posting (it's been a while) and guess what, I won the challenge from December. Woohoo!!! The movie Amelie is so inspiring - so colorful, so random, so funky. I always love the layouts designed by the DT members.

I also saw that Rhonna Farrar had instructions for blog backgrounds - I followed them and they worked beautifully except the border isn't big enough - I need the border to be wider a la Photobucket and that costs $ so for now my blog will remain the same but I am definitely getting some ideas on how to bling it up.

I spent the day taking photos (12 of 12), making a card for Emily's 52Q, doing laundry, filing all of our receipts and paperwork for 2008, ironing, and making a paper doll of myself - I used an old picture of me as a child and drew 4 outfits for me. I have put it all together in a layout to submit to Eccentric therapy - I still have to glue it and take pics. Tomorrow! tomorrow!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday blogging

Last night I made a layout for the Free Shopping thread on SIS. My "purchases" were a color scheme of pink and gray, masking tape, chipboard, and plaid or gingham. I had some really cute pictures of my niece Kate taken a while back; she had had her face painted and she was playing with Barbies so, ta da, barbie pink!
Yesterday I had an awesome shopping day - at the Humane Society thrift store I got a brand new box of Chesapeake candles (8) for 1.50, a hat box (I will use it for a sewing box) for 1.25, and 3 vases for 25 cents each, and a twig wreath. At Marshalls I got a beautiful pink and mug bone china mug to use with my new pink teapot; some super felt, button, and embellished ornaments; 2 gorgeous bras and panties to match; and a set of cards for a walking tour of Vancouver (I hope to take a trip to the Northwest this summer). At Target I got some Making Memories falala flowers and some ki memories Christmas acrylic stamps for 75% off. Totally awsome day!!
Have a great Sunday - see you tomorrow for making the most of Monday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Making the most of Monday - on Friday

Today = Friday but through Rhonna Farrar's blog I discovered and her making the most of Monday. I am like the author in that I am almost always supercharged on Monday (I may be dragging on Friday afternoon but Monday morning is the time for energetic list making) so I subscribe to the idea that Monday is a new beginning. So, starting Monday I will be making lists and checking them twice.
On other fronts, I have continued to cut out my yellow and green quilt and to listen to 1776 on CD. I should be finished with the book tomorrow but I have to admit this quilt is taking a long time to design and cut out. It will have 25 blocks and I only have 10 cut out. Of course this morning I had to go to the bank, to Booksamillion (unfortunately that's the only big book store we have) to look at the craft magazines, to Walmart, to the Humane society thrift (scored some paper dolls) and to Big Lots (scored some Autumn Leaves embellishments). That took several hours and then at lunch I started reading the Agatha Christie novel Nemesis and got a little carried away (I got interested in reading it when I read on the BBC website that it is the current Miss Marple being shown in the UK). Anyway tomorrow hopefully I can finish listening to 1776 and get quite a few more blocks cut out.
The photos are of a really cool folding metal (dessert) holder that I purchased at a garage sale.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Start - for OLW

I finished my layout for the OLW challenge due tomorrow - START. I kept seeing in my mind the word ST{ART} but couldn't figure out what to do with it. When I pulled out the Making Memories {}s and saw that I had both black and green, I decided to go with both, and the green led to plants, and that led to my Christmas cactus photo taken in early December. I thought about using a progression of the cactus plant blooming but then I thought that I'd attempt a drawing or painting of the cactus so I went out onto the lanai and sketched for a while to get the shapes of the cactus stems and blossoms. I painted the cactus with a combination of watercolors and acrylics but I think I succeeded in getting the general concept.

I am also posting a photo of the tessellation wall hanging on my design wall and the fabrics being used for my bedquilt. I'll be cutting out pieces this afternoon and listening to more of 1776.

Mistress Mary, quite contrary

I missed blogging yesterday as I was sooooo busy but maybe I'll do two today. Yesterday morning I made a layout for the Stash Diet challenge on SIS - to use what you had on hand and to use a nursery rhyme. I knew immediately the rhyme: Mistress Mary quite contrary as that was my favorite nursery rhyme. My first name is Mary (although I go by my middle name) and I used to think the poem was about me. I had an old kodachrome photo (isn't it awful the way kodachrome photos are deteriorating) of me at age 2 and once I got it out, the color yellow was what I wanted for the background. The shade of yellow was very hard to select as the photo almost has a greenish cast and I only have a few pieces of yellow cardstock (which I got in a Bazzill kit on QVC a long time ago). I'm not fond of yellow so I rarely buy yellow things or supplies. Then I wanted to do a flower from the tutorial on On Tuesday I had gone to the library and at the front of our library there is a big table where people leave magazines to give away - I had picked up the December issue of W and it was full of ads. I found an ad for a perfume that was in pink so I used the page to cut out the flower and then I knew that I would use pink for the accents. I also found an ad for Dilliards for perfumes and one of them was for Harajuku perfume and had photos of all of the little doll bottles. I cut them out for the "pretty maids". I painted the edges of the paper with paint and used lots of Heidi Swapp tapes. I have old supplies I got when I first started scrapping that I rarely use so I am determined to find new ways to use them this year. the whole layout came together in a couple of hours and I posted it to SIS in the late afternoon.

I also finished cutting out the 1 1/4 inch pieces for my yellow (obviously I am in a yellow mood right now) quilt and while doing that listened to some of 1776 by David McCullogh on CD. I am learning so much more than I ever knew about the American Revolution. I will look at the bookstore for some books about John and Abigail Adams, and their relationship.

I am also reading one of the books on my booklist for the year: Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. She is a writer of children's books who gets divorced 16-18 years ago and never again has a permanent residence. It's a very liberating book and even though I loved being in so many countries when we lived and cruised on our sailboat, I now like the stability of being in our home. Just last night at dinner, Dan and I were talking about how happy we are to live in a paid off house - it's like our little cave or lair where we can hide away and escape the economic turmoil. Sure, its "value" has dropped but it is still our home and since we don't plan to move any time soon, we feel good about it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Scrapping across the universe - I won!!!!!!

I was so so excited to look at the Scrapping across the universe blog yesterday and discover that I had won the last challenge. I don't know exactly what tangible thing I won but it's the thrill that they liked my layout so much. I will be a guest designer this month so I've got to get busy this week and do a really cool layout.

I worked at the bookstore this morning and found a treasure - 2 volumes of The wonderful world of Walt Disney from 1964 (I have since checked online and there were at least 8 volumes and they came in sets with cardboard boxes.) - Fantasyland and Stories from other lands. They have art from the cartoon movies and photos from the other movies and programs. I can hardly wait to look through them. They were in "used" condition so they were quite inexpensive. I can see some vintage Disney elements creeping into my layouts!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Monday

This morning has been super busy - laundry, some photos, some house cleaning, emails, and blogging (guess what, I won a copy of Memory Makers magazine on . I enjoy her blog and love her style of scrapping. She is a Memory Makers Master this year and really deserves it: her little blog tutorials are inspiring.) Now I'm ready to continue laying out my quilt and wall hanging in greens and yellows. I started on Saturday (I already had the fabrics pulled from my stash and a few bought in the fall and a few that a friend gave me) by drafting the pattern and templates. the quilt is one I saw in a Pottery Barn (I think) catalog and the wall hanging is a tessellation idea that I saw a long time ago (while we were cruising) in a borrowed New Zealand quilting magazine (I have already made it twice, once in lavendars and muted greens (spring lilacs were the inspiration) and once in reds, dark pinks and strong greens (poinsettias). This time it will be in a full range of yellows (think sunflowers or daffodils). I always enjoy the design process of quilting more than any other part - I guess that's why I have several quilts all designed and cut out but not finished. LOL.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Category Stories Nov, Dec & Jan

January challenge - I remember - a photo of us relaxing on vacation in Florida - probably in the fall sometime. I used some of my vintage buttons and the heron paper is from Stampington.

November challenge - Phone - I used part of a page from one of my vintage Little Golden Books - don't you just love the baby blue telephone? The OP tag is from a pair of leggings.

December challenge - decorate - I used some fake credit cards that came in junk mail and the store names are cut from catalogs.
I already posted my December (decorate) entry for the Category Stories challenge blog but I am reposting it here along with my entries for November (phone) and January (I remember). I really like the idea of telling stories through art, be it scrapbooking layouts or other forms. Layouts can be designed with photos, art, words, paint, ephemera, and embellishments - any and all things 2 dimensional (obviously some embellishments are semi-dimensional). One can also tell and/or illustrate stories through three dimensional artforms: collages, dolls, clothing, aprons, wallhangings, purses, and quilts. Just thinking about all of these forms, alone or in combination, inspires me to make some mischief!