Thursday, July 30, 2009


today was an incredibly busy day starting with doing the substitute posting on for Julie who is on vacation. She is so vibrant and charming that I could never do it the way she does but I was very positive and lively, and added lots of smileys (her trademark). The challenge this time is what is your favorite flower and as you can see, I picked Peonies - I found an incredible poem by Mary Oliver to use lines from (and posted the entire poem on the back so I can always remember it) and used some antique lace and a doily and also some K&Co Amy Butler stuff along with some Amy Butler fabric cutouts. come have some fun with us and show us your favorite flower - the DT did some fabulous stuff, layouts and 2 projects, and they are awesome!!!!!
I did this layout for the latest OLW challenge SWEET. I immediately thought of the fabulous def leppard song "Pour some sugar on me" and I was totally inspired. I used a striped piece of pp and painted on some gesso and some yellow and hot pink acrylic paint. Then while the paint was still wet, I laid on some funky yarn and some yellow sequins that I had won from KIMBO for NSD. We had bought some peaches while we were in NC and they were the perfect photo op so......

I have been painting like a mad woman and finished one painting today and am almost finished with a large mixed media piece - I will post both of them on Sunday.
Tomorrow I have to go to Miami to pick up my son at the airport as he returns from Buenos Aires.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sum sum summer challenges

I did this layout for the Kiddielit challenge and for the Creative Therapy challenge. I painted watercolor paper with 2 colors of acrylic paint applied with a piece of cardboard, scribbled with an oil pastel, and then added whatever came to hand and mind. The quote is from Charlotte's Web and I just added my own journaling below it.
this layout is for Let's Get Shabby - challenge was to use gingham and floral. The fabrics are a mix of vintage and new, and amazingly, I sewed them on! the photo is of me many many years ago up at Lake Okabogee (sp?) in northern Iowa.
I also completed two more layouts but they are DT work so I can't show them yet. I am feeling super inspired by some of the layouts I have seen lately on SIS and other websites, and trying to take advantage of that feeling and create a bunch.

Thanks a bunch for reading my blog!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Colors album

I made this Colors album a while back and thought I would post it since it sort of goes with the challenge at for favorite color. Come on over and join us in the fun - the response has been fabulous and Julie has created an outstanding blog! The cover for my colors album was made from bits and pieces left over as I completed the pages.
Purple - photo of a wallquilt I made inspired by lilacs. the background is gessoed and painted
Greens - light, avocado, and olive
Greens - bright - the photo is of our key lime tree
Yellow - the photo is of our sailboat at sunset on Christmas night 1997 in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida. The rest of the album photos are in the posting below this - I just can't seem to be able to post more than 5 photos in a posting - can someone help me? I am sure it's easy but I keep trying things and I just haven't stumbled onto the technique.
I'm back from vacation and trying to catch up on everything. It's fabulous that so many scrappers have posted layouts for These are a few of my favorite things and I am making sure to look at each layout and leave some comments. I find it so amazing and interesting how each person reacts to a prompt. Some of the layouts make me go - oh yeah, I love that color too.
We had a great vacation - my DH played golf 4 times, which was the main reason for our vacation, and went kayaking in NC. I did some shopping, took lots of photos, and had some fun times with my SILs. I had gotten someone to come in and feed my cat while we were gone - Hana was fine but I am exhausted from petting her since our return - obviously she thinks I should make up for all the lost petting while we were away. I bought a pattern for a really cool Christmas table runner and fabrics, a pattern for a really creative top and fabrics for it, some Liberty fabric for a top, some craft stuff at Hobby Lobby (we don't have one), some fabulous dark chocolates at World Market (we don't have one), 2 pairs of funky flipflops(summer clothes were on sale in Alabama), a beautiful sleeveless blouse for $2 at a consignment shop in Opelika, AL, a really cool knitting pattern for a cape made from lots of different kinds of yarn (if you knit, maybe you have heard of Prism yarns and their Wild Stuff, Cool Stuff, etc. which are lots of different yarns tied together - the skeins are color coordinated and lots of fun but EXPENSIVE so I have lots of leftovers and I thought I would create my own Chris's stuff. LOL! So I now have lots of new projects to work on.
I need to finish the binding on my tutorial wallquilt for the Year of Color blog and get busy on the layouts for TAAFOMFT blog and possibly enter a few more DT competitions that are going on right now - and, of course, finish my watercolor paintings.
So ttfn - I will be back on the weekend.

Colors album continued

Aqua - scene through a window in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas
Blue - trip to Sarasota scrapbook stores and lots of product labels Orange - state flash card and candy package
Pink - photo of quilt block I did for a Benefit quilt (block was in memory of my mother)
Red - background paper was torn across and strip removed. Then I created a strip of mixed papers and ribbons to fill in.
This was a fun album to make but I can really see how my style has evolved and how much better my photography skills are now.
I am still trying to catch up on everyday life. Today I have my watercolor class and tomorrow I am going down to the VA hospital in West Palm with my DH. We plan to have lunch at our favorite French restaurant and stop by the Whole Foods to pick up a few things.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Favorite things

I'm on vacation right now in Tennessee but I wanted to post my layout for the first These are a few of my favorite things challenge blog Be sure to come on over and join us in the fun.
I realize that white is technically not a color but I truly love the versatility and calmness of all of the variations of white. My house is basically decorated in whites and I just change the accessories with the seasons. This layout started with gessoed tissue paper and I just went crazy adding anything and everything white - finally I added a thin layer of gesso to the top.
I will write more once I return home - I took lots of photos in LA (that's Lower Alabama) and hopefully I can get some more tomorrow when we cross over the Blue Ridge mtns into North Carolina. I actually got to shop at a Hobby Lobby in AL and also replentished my dark chocolate supply at a World Market (we don't have either of these stores where I live).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sneak peek

This is a sneak peek of the project I will be showing on the Year of Color blog in August for multi-color. It's a super easy quilted wallhanging and I will be doing a little tutorial for it.
This is the painting I did in my watercolor class for still life. It doesn't have much "life" especially in the silver pitcher but it is my very first attempt at doing silver so I can't really expect it to be great. The lace tablecloth was very tedious.
I have been scrapping layouts but can't show them yet - very soon! We leave on vacation soon and although I will have my laptop, I'm not sure about how much blog posting I might do. This is a golf vacation planned and totally booked by my DH and guess what, I don't golf so I am taking my camera, paints, journal, a small quilt to be quilted, and lots of books. I hope to be able to get some great shots and watercolors of the mountains once we get to northern Alabama and Tennessee. I always love Asheville, NC so that will be a treat - fabulous restaurants and one of the best fabric stores I have even seen. On the way home we will stop at a big art supply store in Charlotte (just for me) and also spend a night in Savannah where I hope to get some pix and do some sketching.
Now I have to finish my laundry and do some packing - but also finish a layout for the Lift Up challenge today on SIS. I just couldn't resist! LOL!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One of my favorite blogs

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The first blog posting for is now up with intros to all of the fabulous design team, of which I am lucky enough to be a part. Julie, our fearless leader, has created a beautiful blog and if you go over and leave a comment, she will put you into the RAK drawing for a $50 Noel Mignon kit and if you become a follower, another chance. We will be posting the first challenge and layouts on July 15.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New layouts and some work in process

So I have been painting and sewing and scrapping like a fiend but I can't show much because the layouts are for DT stuff and the sewing is for a tutorial I am doing for the Year of Color blog in August but I can show you 2 paintings I am working on and a couple of layouts I will be posting for challenges today. The above pineapple painting was done a couple of weeks ago but I can't decide what to do for the background. It needs to be subtle so the pineapple really pops and I don't want to wimp out and just sort of do subtle washes of color around it. My DH suggested a subtle vintage looking map of Hawai as the background. What do you think? Any suggestions?
This next piece is quite larger (15 x 23) and is a mixed media piece. The tree was done by gessoing, crumpling brown Panera's napkins onto it, added torn pieces of funky papers, and painting with 3 colors of acrylic paint. The cattlea orchids are watercolor and there will be a third orchid to the right lower edge of the middle orchid. The current plan is to paint in leaves and a few stem/roots and then to use handpainted knotted ribbons to dangle down as the hanging roots. This is taking a while to do and hopefully I might finish it this week but probably not until after I return from vacation.

This layout is for the Category Stories challenge of what fictional character would you like to be. I have always related to Wendy in Peter Pan - she was a great storyteller, an excellent seamstress, and most important, she could FLY! I am able to purchase lots of older Golden books at the used book store for 25 cents, and I love to use them on my layouts. The striped paper and drama sticker are old, old Heidi Swapp, the polka dot paper is old Autumn Leaves, the brads are MM, journal card is not so old Heidi Swapp, and the little doodled flowers are from a magazine ad for Cynthia Rowley makeup.
This layout is for the Lotus Paperie challenge to use cut patterned paper - I cut the swirls from some old K&Co Amy Butler paper. I layered the buttons from my stash, the butterfly came from an RAK I received, and the vintage song page from an old children's song book I found at the used book store where I work. The photo is of my nieces.
My son is working on his graduate degree in Global Education and he will be leaving for Buenos Aires on Wednesday - he will be there for 3 weeks. I know he will have a fabulous time as he loves BA - he spent a year there in the 1999-2000 timeframe while we were in the Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad. I hope he brings me back some cool photographs.
Have a great week. I need to get busy sewing a blouse for vacation - have I mentioned this before? Probably. LOL! I got it cut out last weekend and the fabric has just sat there by the sewing machine so now I am under the gun and have to get busy or it won't be done in time.
Thanks for reading and TTFN!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another ribbon flower tutorial

I've been playing with the settings on my blog this morning - not sure yet if I like it but what the hey... The above layout is one I did to demonstrate a ribbon flower tutorial that I presented on SIS. this is a very simple ribbon flower and a fabulous way to use up those small scraps of ribbon you always seem to have left over and just can't throw away.
Cut a small (about an inch) circle of card stock (will not show in finished flower) and 5 or 6 lengths of ribbon as long as you want the diameter of the flower to be. (Mine are 2 1/2", 3", and 3 1/2") The wider the ribbon the fewer the strips. Sometimes if I want to use a certain colored ribbon and it is too wide, I cut it down to the size I want.
Layer the ribbons in a crisscross method on top of the paper circle. Then carefully holding the flower between your thumb and fingers, jab stitch up and down several times through all layers to secure. Be sure you get every ribbon. (If you are in a big hurry, you can staple through the center). Then sew on button or buttons as I did as a center or add a small flower on top, or you can use a cropadile to punch through all the layers and add a brad. Be extra careful to use a smaller hole punch than the width of the ribbon or you will cut your ribbon in half.
I have a little surprise - I have been selected for a DT for These are my favorite things blog that will be starting up this month. I have gone crazy on my first layout with textures and stuff - but no peeking until July 15. The other members of the DT are some really awesome scrappers and I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this group. I have added a link on my blog.
Have a great day - I need to get busy and finishing weeding my studio - I just can't create when it's a mess but the strange thing is that every time I am super creative the studio becomes a mess. Oh well.... I have my watercolor class later today and we will be starting a new session on still life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Collage Couture and negative space

Good morning, just thought I would post a few things that I have finished in the last couple of weeks that hadn't gotten posted yet. The above layout was done for the Lotuspaperie challenge to use negative space. the background is the cover from an old Neiman Marcus catalog and the journaling reads "Feet, what do I need you for when I have WINGS TO FLY - Frida Kahlo" I have always loved her wild autobiographic style and always get color inspiration just from looking through some of the books I have of her paintings.
A closeup of the elements in my collage Tide Line
I did this collage for my Thursday painting class - I gessoed a piece of cardboard, added brown paper napkins from Panera's and then began piling on scraps of papers and all kinds of elements including actual shells, corals, and a sand dollar from my travel stash. then I added a wooden heart pin that I had made with vintage buttons. My teacher critiqued it in class and pointed out all the graphic elements - triangular design, lots of circles echoing each other, etc. It's funny how instinctual those elements must be because this piece almost made itself and I had a wonderful and peaceful time following its path.

This final canvas was done over a 5 week period in the SIS Collage Couture class. It is virtually a sampler of the techniques presented in the class - gesso, acrylic paint, stenciling, image transfer via gel medium and via packing tape, imbedding of elements, collage elements, oil pastels, inking. I think it looks very masculine - I sort of started with the bird idea of nesting but as the collage developed, I found myself moving more toward the textual feather motif. Most of the vivid color elements were added in the last 2 weeks as I felt the piece was somewhat bland and needed sparks.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. Today I am continuing to work on a large mixed media painting of orchids and tomorrow I hope to finish sewing a new top for vacation and then attend painting class in the afternoon. Here in southeast Florida, we are truly in the wet season and it deluges us every afternoon. We were super dry this past winter and spring so we really need the rain to build up our reserves. One funky thing about all this moisture and humidity is that even with the house being air conditioned, some of my layouts are warping (I admit I am terrrible about filing them so they end up piled up for a while.) I need to file them in albums pretty soon. LOL!