Friday, October 30, 2009

What's your favorite trip/vacation??????

The new challenge is up at so come on over and check out who won the Seasons challenge and the great layouts done by the DT for the new challenge, which is What's your favorite trip or vacation?
I did the above layout about our first sailboat trip to the Bahamas back in early August - I did layouts for all the challenges up to this one back then as I was concerned that if we had a hurricane, I would not be able to get them done. So when I went back this past week to photograph this one, I wasn't thrilled with it so I did another layout
of a trip to San Francisco when Brian was a child. I used a sketch idea from the latest Bad Girls project and I actually sewed the fabric squares on like a quilt. However, this layout didn't excite me either but now it was crunch time so I sent in the Bahamas one.
Do you even feel like that about your layouts - that something is missing or there is something too much or somehow it's missing the point or.......... lately I seem to be going through a stage where either something works right away or it just won't seem to come together. I have 3 layouts piled on my side table in varying stages of completion but I just can't seem to finish any of them. Somehow I think my style is evolving and I am in the middle of the transition not sure which direction to take. The same seems to be true of my painting - I have been learning so much in my watercolor class, a totally different way to paint than I have been doing, and I am trying to distil and translate what I want to do in my work.

This layout I did for the 2 challenge for The Paper Cut - how you feel about the Twilight books or if you are not a Twiler, then something about you. I suppose you could take this layout either way. The photo is one that Marit did some arty stuff to back in the early summer (thanks Marit) and I printed it on a colored paper so it looks sort of vintage - I wanted it to blend with the cool background paper (this is paper from an old Somerset magazine - I love how they always have papers in the magazine - unfortunately they are so expensive that usually I just look at them at Booksamillion and drool. I scored a few older copies at the thrift store. Yay!!!!)
Hope you have a great weekend - wish I could be in Phoenix with Julie, Deana, and Sarah - what fun!!!!!!! I have to work today and tomorrow but I plan to do some painting also, a little reading, and start a new knitting project - I pulled out my 2 plastic boxes of yarn and my old pattern books - I think the rhythmic and meditative feel of knitting will be good for my creative psyche.
Thanks for reading and ttfn

Monday, October 26, 2009

Prima picks

Just a heads up - go check out - Prima is giving some gorgeous stuff away!!!!!!! I look at the photo collage and I am so inspired by the colors.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Little Randomness on this glorious day

Good morning on this glorious Sunday morning. Since the weather changed to fall/winter mode, Florida is a great place to live. Yesterday when I talking to my son on the phone, he remarked how alive he felt and how much he looked forward to the cooler weather - his word for the 6 months of summer was "brutal." As you can see from the above photo, I snipped the rose bud this morning and brought it into the house - so beautiful and I can see it every time I walk through the living room.
Sunday is always a quiet but busy time for me - Dan always plays golf and I am alone in the house usually doing laundry, putting the roast in the crockpot, having a cup of tea, just living. I was raised going to church and Sunday school; and during my adult life, I have gone through periods of attending church and not. After returning to the US in 2001, I began attending a church and really looked forward every week to going - I felt so inspired and peaceful after the service, and the pastor was just so inspirational. Then he was moved to another church and the new pastor was much more hellfire and brimstone, and I left church feeling unsettled and even unhappy. I decided to quit going and to find God myself, and I think it was a good decision. I smell God in the fresh laundry drying on the clothesline in the sun, I feel God in the bread dough that I am kneading, I taste God in my tea and cinnamon toast. Anyway, I hope you are having a glorious day or night no matter when or where that you are reading this.
I have had a lovely birthday week, and the reason it was a week is because I admit to being a little paranoid about putting out information on the web so I have listed my birthdate as different dates and/or years on different sites - close but........ Anyway, it's been fun receiving greetings for several days AND yesterday I received in the mail a beautiful postcard of a painting by Dutch artist Marjan van Zeyl called The Pink House, and some fun Dutch scrapping supplies and paint brushes from Marit, a friend from SIS and Harlee-Quinnz. Thanks Marit, it was so fun to open the happy mail!!!!!

Yesterday Tara Anderson had a little blog celebration on her blog the Pink House, where she asked some fun questions and had a couple of challenges. The above photo is a 4 inch square piece of art - the background is actually a photo of my watercolor palette from yesterday afternoon - I loved how the colors had run together and mixed so I snapped a pic. The Bouchon card is from a fantastic French restaurant in downtown Asheville. Absolutely divine food!!!!!

Another challenge was to create a tag, and this is mine. I started with a piece of Prima packaging, added a Target tag, some fabric, ribbon, buttons, and metal frames. It's sort of a baby boy theme as that's what the packaging says - softly boy buttons - so I will save it for a shower present or use it on a layout with a baby pic of Brian. I began to get some ideas for Christmas tags but I have a couple of DT assignments to finish first and some painting to finish for my class on Wednesday so the tags will have to wait a few days.
For my birthday this past week, Dan and I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and then afterwards he took me to TJ Maxx for a little shopping spree - I got some new towels for my bathroom, some fancy teas, and a few other little things. My house is done in pales - whites and creams - and I change the accent pieces for the seasons. Both bathrooms are done in white and cream - white towels in mine and cream in Dan's, but my new towels are the most delicious shade of pale aqua, and they have stylized embroidered flowers in espresso, caramel, and white near the bottom - so luscious and beautiful. I put out bottles in the bathroom that are in those shades and the room looks totally redone. Happy happy happy! It's so funny and synchronitic that just had a posting on Friday about aqua.
And before I close, I have a little favor to ask - please vote for Jenneke's layout on . She is a fabulous scrapper and is on the TAAFOMFT design team (speaking of, get us your layouts on your fav time of year - we have received such fabulous layouts but we want to see yours too!!!) A couple of months ago, she and I were finalists the same month and I was fortunate enough to win so this time it's her turn - she so totally deserves it - her layouts are always so alive, so colorful and filled with fun and unique elements.
Well, this is a pretty long post and I need to check on the laundry. Have a fabulous week filled with beauty and creativity!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Join me for a little walk around my yard

This past weekend the weather broke here and we were able to turn off the air conditioner (our electricity bills will plummet! Yay!!!!!) and open up our house. Today is a quiet day - Dan had jury duty this morning (he is one of those people that gets called up every couple of years while I have only been called up once - and at the time we were in Trinidad so I didn't get the notice until after the jury was due) and I am cleaning house and ridding out. I want you to know that I actually filed every single one of the layouts that was piled up waiting to be filed. This was a major job!!!!!!!!! Fortunately I had picked up a couple of 12x12 3ring binders at the thrift store so I had enough binders even to create a These are a few of my favorite things binder and a Harlee-Quinnz binder. I can't tell you how happy I am to have the layouts put away!!!! While I was working with layouts, I also did something that probably would make some people crazy: I actually ripped apart a bunch of old layouts that I didn't really like or that I had made specifically for a challenge and the LO didn't mean anything to me - I saved the photos, alphas, and any embellishments for future use and in some cases, I even saved the paper.
I just had lunch on the lanai and was noticing how fragrant the rosemary in our yard was so I was inspired to walk around the yard taking a few photos.
Roses are fairly difficult to grow in Florida as it is basically too hot for them but we have one small bush on the shady side of our house that has 6-8 blooms a year - in the cooler months. Today I saw that it had one bud.
Our key lime tree is loaded with limes - I usually use them to make key lime pound cakes - except they are not really pound cakes as they are very low fat and made with yogurt and vegetable oil. I might be persuaded to share the recipe - the cake was originally a lemon cake but I substituted key limes. Tonight we are having tilapia for dinner so I will slice a couple of limes for garnish.

This is a basil plant that has grown up wild - I had a vegetable and herb garden last year and this basil apparently came up from seeds from the old plant - actually there are about 8 basil plants - amazing!!!!
And here is the fragrant rosemary just outside the lanai. I just love the scent of rosemary.

This is a fancy hibiscus that is also just outside the lanai - notice the varigated leaves. We have a beautiful red double hibiscus just beside our front porch but it doesn't have any blooms right now. We also have gigantic allamanda bushes across the back of our yard and they have bloomed so much this summer they have literally fallen over from the weight of the flowers. We also have ixora blooming along the front of our house. We also have lots of azalea bushes and they are riotous with blooms from February to April.
I need to finish my cleaning so I can do some painting and scrapping.
Tomorrow I will be doing a posting on the Harlee Quinnz Designs blog so come on over and check it out. Today Larissa has a posting on making a little paper doll from Harlee Quinnz ephemera and paper. My blog will be for a small wallhanging and instructions on how to make the velvet fabric flowers that I have been making for my layouts.
Hope you have a great day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Love at 1st bite and some other layouts

(Edited October 22). I won the challenge on the paper cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I saw a posting for a new challenge(on the SIS board) blog about the Twilight books, and the first challenge is how you first found out about the Twilight books - in January 2008 I had joined the Big Picture Scrapbooking reading room, and Twilight was on the reading list for the summer. I got it from the library (had to put it on reserve) and I was hooked!!!!!!!! I put the other 2 books on reserve and devoured each one. Then it was a long wait until Breaking Dawn so I ended up rereading the other 3 books.
This weekend A Million Memories is having an online crop so I joined in on 3 of their challenges. The above challenge is one of those food ones where you select menu items and then they tell what those items represent in scrapping supplies - I had to use glitter, handwritten journaling, polka dot paper, buttons, and a black/white photo. this is one on my last pieces of Lily Bee paper that I won from Scrapjacked - I just love these papers!!!!!! I received the envelope and part of the flower in another challenge from Scrapgal.

This layout was for an Ad challenge. I used lots of Harlee-Quinnz Designs Cowgirl ephemera. The paper is Fancy Pants, which I received in a prize from Butterfly Crafts, and the stamp came from the Scrapgal prize. I purchased those awesome buttons in Trinidad (they have an entire section of Port of Spain that is filled with fabric and notions stores. I got these in a store where you pick up a basket when you walk in and then you just walk around the store and fill the basket with buttons - ABSOLUTE HEAVEN!)

This layout was for a sketch challenge in which you scatter something small in a diagonal across the page - circles of paper, flowers, whatever. I cut out butterflies from an old butterfly identification folder, the paper is from SIS (I finally broke down and bought some of their papers when they were reduced to 10 cents each). I took the photo when we were in North Carolina a year ago.
Last night we attended the most incredible concert - CHRIS BOTTI!!!!!!! Not only is he a fabulous jazz trumpeter but he is super cute! The music was just so awesome - it was in a fairly small venue - an old movie theater that had been recently renovated to have stage shows., and he is so personable - well, I just can't say enough good things about him and his band, and his special guests. Just the best!!!!!!
It's quite cool here today! We have had a very drastic temperature change - on Friday it was 91 degrees, the cold front went through Friday night (unfortunately no rain - Sept is usually our rainiest month but this year we didn't even have an inch - we are having a pretty bad drought) so yesterday it only got up in the 70s and then this morning it was 49!!!!!!!!!! That's cold for Florida, but today it is so refreshing - sunny with brilliantly blue sky. I have red chili on the stove for dinner. YUM!
Hope you have a great week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I am the daughter of a HERO

I did this little canvas as a tribute to my incredible mother who passed 9 years ago. I still miss her and find myself thinking during the day - I need to remember to tell Mother ..... then I realize that she already knows. If anyone goes to Heaven, she did.
I used the cover of an old book for this canvas, gessoed it, painted it, glimmer misted it, and used some Barbie packaging for the dress form, papermached over it, and added the dress made from an old sewing pattern. The belt is leftover yarn and I added pieces of shells and coral for the necklace, belt buckle, and ends of the belt.
Hope you have a great weekend. They are forecasting a cold front to come through tonight so that tomorrow will be much cooler (we have broken records for heat the last 2 days) and it will get into the 50s tomorrow night (I will believe it when I feel it). But I am ever hopeful!!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

TAAFOMFT new challenge - join me at the beach

When Julie told us on the DT at TAAFMFT that the challenge for Oct 15 would be, what's your favorite season, I knew immediately what I would do: I love the beach here in south Florida in the fall and winter when it is pretty much deserted. I love to walk along the edge of the ocean and let the water tickle my toes as it ebbs and flows. I love the feel of the sand on my bare feet (the original pedicure) and the breeze as it ruffles my hair (granted my naturally curly hair is frizzing like mad but we will pretend that this is a movie and things like that never happen in movies). One day last fall I drove out to visit a friend who lives on the island and I stopped at a public beach park and took some photos. I loved the flipflops just left by the side of the path - so perfectly Florida!!!!!!
I have lived in 4 US states and several foreign countries in my life time but I have lived in Florida the longest - the summers are hellishly hot, humid, and endless but fall and winter are idyllic. Right now the area where I live is deep in recession - we have 15% unemployment and so many empty houses it blows my mind - we have several subdivisions that are completely empty except for a very few occupied houses (they look very spooky at night) . But I know things will turn around and hopefully some things in Florida will change - hopefully we will develop some industries here other than tourism and low-paying jobs, hopefully our schools will improve, and hopefully the divisions between the super wealthy out on the islands and the rest of the population on the mainland will not continue to separate so badly. Anyway, when I walk on the beach in the early morning, I feel hopeful - that anything is possible, that all things are possible. When I look out onto the ocean, I know that the whole world is out there (and I am speaking of every form of creature). We are all linked, and when I am at the beach, I am always reminded of the vastness of the universe, and yet how it and we are so very connected.
I did this layout last fall (just after I took the pix) for the Cathy Zielske graphic design class at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It was a good class for me as it forced me to make very simple and graphically correct layouts, but I have to admit they are not my style and although I have an entire scrapbook of 36 layouts, almost none have even been posted on the web.
When I saw this sign about the land crabs as I was leaving the beach park, I just had to snap it - it made me think of land sharks and well, the layout took like 10 minutes. If you click on the photo, you can read it much better.
SO..........come on over to and check out the winner of our time of day challenge - all of the entries were so great - it was really hard to pick a winner! And see the fabulous creations by all of the other DT members - I am so lucky to be a part of this incredible group of creative and fun women. You should read our emails - no, wait, better not!!! LOL!!!!!
Dan and I don't work today so we are going out for lunch - Yay! Tomorrow night Brian is driving over (mostly because he is attending a conference just north of here) and it will be super to see him. Then on Saturday night Dan and I are going to see and hear Chris Botti - Yay!!!!!!!! I hope to join in the A Million Memories online crop this weekend and also do some painting.
Have a great day and ttfn

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lost and found

I have been listening to The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown on audio CDs while I paint and scrap. It is very fast-paced, totally predictable, and selling like mad. I painted these paintings on Saturday and designed them to fit into these thriftshop frames.
I did this layout for Larissa's perfect life challenge on SIS. I had a lot of fun with this - I had taken this photo of Hana a while ago and have been saving it for the "purrfect" layout. She is such a sweet little fur person - so affectionate but also demanding for attention - I found her at the Humane Society and she was about 9 months old and had already been spayed and declawed (front only). I would never declaw a cat as the pain must be hideous and then they are defenseless. She is so gentle and is always patting me with her paws but she never even attempts to go outside the house or screened in porch. She is now 4 1/2.

I made this layout with Harlee-Quinnz Scents Remember Lucky Stripe and Paper Indian papers, and used a Harlee-Quinnz Butterfly Gardens Garden Icon stamp (can you believe it came out perfect!!!!!!!!!! I have been a stamping fool lately and I guess my technique has improved). The rub ons are making memories and pink paislee, the 2 is Heidi Grace, the die cut is daisyds, the ribbons Michaels, a real brass buckle off of an old canvas belt, and a handmade felt heart with embroidery and a nautical tie tack. the photo is of Dan and his twin sailing on Chinook, our small sailboat in Jacksonville (this is not the sailboat on which we lived. We sold Chinook when we bought Kalahari.)

So I have been busy creating this past weekend. Tonight we are going to a wine tasting dinner - all the wines have names like Spellbound and Devil in them. It's a Hallowine dinner (sorry for that but that's what the restaurant is calling it).
I will be back on Thursday with the latest These are a few of my favorite things challenge. You have one day to finish up this one - your favorite time of day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Glimmer Mist and Harlee Quinnz - what fun!!!!!!

I used the cool glimmer mist technique that I saw on a video on Michelle's blog - I used glossy card stock on the left (there's a 2nd piece per the video but I have already used it on a layout and can't show it yet). The 2 pieces on the right were done on scraps of photo paper and it took the glimmer mist totally differently from the glossy card stock. I also kept the paper on which I did on the spraying (regular card stock) and it is a really cool background. These papers are even cooler in person than in the photo - and they were so much fun to do (of course I ended up with mist all over my hands. LOL!)
I did this layout for Harlee-Quinnz Designs using Harlee-Quinnz Butterfly Gardens Summers Garden paper for the background. I cut out leaves from the Sunlight Bower paper and painted the leaves with watercolor paints. The pictures of Henry the 8th's wives, the patterned paper behind the photo, and the little cutouts all came from the Harlee-Quinnz Henry's Wives ephemera sheet. Other elements are Maya Road flowers, Making Memories brad, leaves from Michael's, cardboard spritzed with Glimmer mist, and a purple velvet flower that I made and added a vintage button.
The quotation reads - Autumn is indeed the crowning glory of the year. ---Rose Kingsley

I will be doing a blog posting on the next Friday. It will be a tutorial for a small wallhanging that you could also use as a card. Each DT member will be doing 2 postings a month.
It's a quiet weekend and that is always a blessing. Dan is glued to the television watching sports - golf and football. I went into the gift shop for a while and then did some work on the computer when I returned home. I am trying to paint this afternoon but you know those days when nothing seems to work - well, this is one of them so I should probably just quit and go read for a while. I will be making stuffed peppers for dinner and I baked a carrot cake yesterday so we will have a piece for dessert. - Hana just came in and told me that she needs to be petted - her psyche is suffering from a lack of attention so

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ten things about me

quotation reads -
Let us dream of evanescense, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.
- From THE BOOK OF TEA, Okakura-Kakuzo

So Julie T-W gave all the DT members of These are a few of my favorite things an award(?) to list ten things about themselves so here's my contribution:

1 .One of my grandfathers was a circus clown
2.Astrology books always say that my birth date is in Scorpio but a former co-worker did my chart and I was born in 29 degrees of Libra - no wonder I have such a terrible time making a decision - I mean, there are so many options.......
3.I really like The Host by Stephanie Meyer better than the Twilight series
4. I love Prosecca and Pouilly Fume and Fousse, especially from my vintage Fostoria crystal
5. I was introduced to scrapbooking by one of my son's former girlfriends
6. I am going to bake a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for my birthday
7. We have tickets to see Chris Botti next week
8. I have a MA in English Literature; my specialty is 19th Century English lit
9. Depending on my mood, I like most kinds of music except opera
10. My hair started to turn gray when I was in my late 20s and by the time I was 35, it was 65% gray. I had it colored back to my original color which was a dark blond/light brown with auburn highlights for a while but finally just said this is ridiculous, got it cut very short, and let it grow out au naturale.

Anyway, so I don't know to whom I should pass this award but if anyone who reads this wants to do it, have at it!

I have had a pretty good day today tidying my studio and finishing some DT and GD work. Have a great day and tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Masks and misteries

I have been playing with masks and misting this afternoon. I made the leaf mask for the Scrapgal Halloween challenge today. I began with a scrap of grungeboard (thanks to Lisa), I sprayed it with 2 coats of meadow green glimmer mist and then spritzed it with black cherry and coffee shop. I cut out the mask and then cut leaves out of the scraps. I love how the grungeboard curves with a little coaching. I then glued Prima leaves, grungeboard leaves, a Heidi Swapp flower, a small Prima glitter flower, and a bling gem onto the mask. I laid it on the piece of waste paper that I used as a mat and discovered how it made a nice vignette.
The top photo is a staged photo I did this afternoon for a design piece that I am doing next month as a Guest Designer but you will have to wait until then to see why I took the photo and exactly what it means.
Hope you are having a great week. And be sure to get us your favorite time of day layout by next Wednesday, October 14.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


and the winner of the Lavendar and Lace RAK is

Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 1 Unique Numbers Per SetRange: From 1 to 18 -- Unsorted
Job Status:


so that is - I need to go look - McMGrad89

Congrats and email me at kalaiton at gmail dot com with your address information.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Water before color and some happy news

Happy Sunday! The above is a painting I finished yesterday of bouganvilleas - the first time I ever saw them was when I was going to college in Mesa, Arizona a long time ago. We have lots of them in Florida and they grow wild in the Bahamas. I have always loved how they look like little paper flags dancing in the breeze.
Here you see the start of my big painting for my class. I have drawn basics of the scene onto the sheet of w/c paper (very difficult to see in this photo). This morning I wetted the paper and then stretched it onto the board and stapled around the edges so it didn't buckle when it dried. This sounds simple but since this was the first time I have ever dealt with a full sheet of w/c paper, there was quite a bit of cursing along with a few tears, and then finally I got out one of my w/c books and used that artist's method and it all came together. Now I am ready for class on Wednesday. Oh, and did I mention, the staple gun ran out of staples and I couldn't seem to get it to open to replace more staples and ...... and ...... Finally the staple gun magically opened and voila!!!!!
And now, for some really good news: lately I have been submitting lots of layouts for publication, and on Friday I was notified that Scrapbook News & Review will publish the layout that I did with the photo of our house after the hurricanes for the Forward Progress challenge blog. I did add a little journaling to make it fit the category. And yesterday I was notified that Scrap n'Art will publish the Joy layout on which I stamped the background with 2 Harlee-Quinnz stamps. So guys, all I can say is if you want to get published, you gotta submit layouts!
Time to say ttfn and go watch some football.
Have a great week!!!!!!
p.s. Be sure to comment on the previous post by midnight Monday night (any time zone) to get your name in the drawing for the RAK for my bloginversary on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

O hushed October morning, and a RAK

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled......
- Robert Frost

One of my very favorite poems, but then October is and always been my favorite month.
I made this little wallhanging yesterday afternoon after seeing Jamie's wallhanging on her blog and on Scrapgal. I used an empty cheese package - you know the kind that is sort of a very thick cardstock - for the center, glued a piece of scrap waterpaper on the back - on which I had painted and scribbled with watercolor and oil pastels in similar colors to the leaves, stapled the leaves on (from an on sale sprig at Michaels), and glued on the little resin top that had broken off of a wine bottle fancy cork and some leftover variegated yarn in bows; and onto the yarnends, I tied little gold leaf charms (not sure you can see them in the photo). The holder is a piece of old cream ribbon intertwined with the yarn. Finally I added 2 7gypsies word stickers.

And now ------Tuesday, October 6 will be my bloginversary so I am having a RAK. Please leave a comment on this posting and you may win the above prize. I wasn't sure what to call it - Purple People Eaters, Purple Passion, Lavendar's Blue, but I finally decided on Lavendar and Lace. it includes some lavendar and purple papers, lots of ribbons, Heidi Grace chipboard, 2 alphabets, a stamp (which I don't think you can see near the ribbons, some buttons, some lace, some fabric, some handmade yo yos, a handmade velvet flower, and a handmade fabric flower, and some other little coordinated stuff. SO...............leave a comment and you might win!!!!!!!