Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 favs and goals

The new challenge is up at and it is to show us your favorite layout or project that you made in the year 2009. The Design team had some fabulous picks of their own, and it's always fascinating to see what artists see as their favorite creation. I selected this mixed media piece - HERO - as my favorite project. I felt so inspired to do this in memory of my wonderful mother. It is quite simple compared to most of what I create but each element seemed just right. Be sure to get us your entry by Jan 14 - come on - this challenge is easy peasy - we hope to see lots of great layouts and projects!!!!!
I love this layout of my cat Hana - it so epitomizes her funky little self.
This is one of the first layouts I did for TAAFOMFT and it's one of my favs - very soft, lots of lace, totally me.

I loved making this fairy mask for Halloween - it made me think of fantasy stories, of Shakespeare, of magic.
and this is my favorite painting of 2009 - I know Dan would pick the first pineapple painting that I did. The above painting will be in an exhibition at the Vero Beach Museum of Art starting Jan 15, 2010.
And now for a little retrospection and assessment of 2009 (I got the idea from Bekka's blog .
In 2009 I wanted to take a painting class in watercolor - I actually took 3 and even had a painting exhibited
In 2009 I wanted to finish several quilt projects - I finished 3 wallquilts, a tablerunner, and a totebag; and I did a tutorial on the Year of Color blog on one of the wallquilts
In 2009 I wanted to sew 2 blouses (done), sew cushions for my living room couch (done) and knit a tank top that converts to a tee (did not get this done)
In 2009 I wanted to get a layout or project on the SIS Catwalk - I made it
In 2009 I wanted to win a scrapbooking challenge blog contest - I was fortunate enough to win several
In 2009 I wanted to get on a Design Team - in June Julie asked me to join the team for TAAFOMFT - I was, and still am, so honored and thrilled to be working with her and the other talented members of the team. Then, after applying for lots of design team positions, this fall I won a spot on the Harlee Quinnz Designs team, The Sampler for Scrapbookingsuppliesrus team, and the Scrapgal team - Yay!!!!!
In 2009 I wanted to read 100 books - I read 88
In 2009 I wanted to exercise more - I now regularly exercise 3-4 times a week - I need to do better on this
In 2009 I wanted to be more spiritual - I started a gratitude journal but stopped writing in it after a month or so - I have taken time to meditate more and to be thankful for what I had - but I know I could and should do more
In 2009 I wanted to try the NOT BUYING idea of only buying necessities, but after 3 months, I fell off the wagon and spent way too much on art supplies - but based on our budget right now with only 1 1/2 days to go in this year, we did very well on our limited budget and hopefully come in a little under budget - YAY!
For 2010 I want to
paint a lot (need to come up with a numeric goal)
sell some paintings
have my crafts financially support themselves
exercise more
work on being more grateful and spiritual
get my etsy shop up and running
save money for a trip to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver probably in 2011
get the tank top knitted
learn to crochet
do some minor improvements to our house
Do you assess your progress each year? I try not to stress about stuff but it really helps me focus on the big picture if I write the goals down. I have a 2 year plan right now to achieve certain things so I try to break the tasks down into manageable ones - and I always try to remember that sometimes life gets in the way and you just have to accept that - and sometimes life shows you that your original goals were not really the right ones - sort of like coming to the fork in the road idea ....
Well, this is a long posting so thanks for reading and have a great new year's eve and day! I will be back with you next year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Artz de Scraps and the holidays

A little announcement - I have been invited to be on the design team for . It's a fun blog devoted to altering items (this month it is a matchbox - see above) and the DT is very international. I enjoy altering things and find myself going a tad overboard sometimes with the embellishments. LOL! I envisoned this matchbox as a box holding the crown headdress for a miniature princess so it had to be super frou frou with lots of pink and gold. Hope you can join us for the challenges.
Christmas was wonderful - it's always a joy to be with Brian. We went to see Sherlock Holmes on Christmas day (fun but it could use some better editing. I did love the visuals though - it is so arty - very steampunk!). Then we came home for lots of hors'doevres including yummy shrimp, and for dinner I did a standing rib roast (absolutely delicious and the leftovers made the most incredible vegetable soup for Sunday). Santa was very good to me this year - a set of Kolinsky sable watercolor brushes, lacy lingerie, a bottle of my favorite Gitana sherry (super dry and absolutely incredible over ice!!!!), some dark chocolate covered cherries, giftcards to Michaels and Starbucks, a fabulous metal Pottery Barn reindeer (from Brian as Sarasota has a PB store), a Lenox porcelain reindeer, and some new potholders for the kitchen which I really needed. And something really unusual - on Christmas eve day we had 3 mail deliveries (I know, unbelieveable!) - in the morning with my Scrapgal DT stuff (yay!), around noon with normal mail, and finally at 4:30pm with my January Sampler for DT work. Amazing! I have to compliment the postal service on great service! Of course, getting all that product was like a present too. I took down the tree etc on Dec 26, thoroughly cleaned the house, and put out white accent pieces. I always find the house seems bigger and more open when I take the holiday stuff down - sort of zen-like - less is more.
Hope you had a super holiday and have a wonderful new year. I am swamped with DT stuff right now (a fun swamped!) and work - but it's all good! It's cold here this morning - 39 degrees - that is COLD for south Florida! It's supposed to warm up the next couple of days and then be quite cold next week but I plan to make lots of soups and bread, and snuggle up on the couch under a little quilt and read. "I love it when a plan comes together" - anyone know where that quote comes from? Hint - it is from an 80s tv show that Brian used to love.
Thanks for reading and ttfn.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a joyous holiday

One last holiday layout and then on to other things........ Love these Cosmo Cricket Early bird papers (I won the whole set a while back from Heather at Scrapgal) - I think they work perfectly for a vintage Christmas look - I did this layout for both Scrap the poetry (The night before Christmas) and for Scrapfit (C = Cosmo Cricket, A = alphas, N = Noel, and E= embellishments or ephemera).
And now for something totally different..........
This is a piece that I did for the latest Bad Girls Project 52 - make an arch, sea theme, and use pearls. I got to thinking about the merpeople village under the lake in the Harry Potter books and this is what I created. I went around my yard collecting twigs and I wired them together to make the arch - then I entwined the twigs with pearls, a button necklace, and some fringy stuff. I sprayed the cardboard background with 3 colors of glimmer mist and used the winter trees glimmer screen for additional depth. the sea floor is some crazy packaging that came in a box from an art supply store, I used real sand dollars and some old pearl earrings, and some glitzy ferns from Michaels , some vintage flowers that I won from Let's get shabby, and some wired ribbon that Kimbo sent me. (BTW, this is a temporary creation as there is no way I am leaving my strand of wedding pearls on this - Sarah, hold out for the pearls!)

When I think of the Harry Potter books at this time of year, I remember the Christmases and the crazy sweaters that Mrs. Weasley always made for the children. What happy Christmases - the joy of family, of presents, of feasting!
Here's hoping that you and yours have a joyous holiday full of fun, food, laughter, presents, and good memories - and oh yeah, lots of photos for scrapping.
Thanks for reading my blog - I'll be back on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday layouts from last year

These are some layouts that I did for Christmas 2008 - I did minis of the above one for family Christmas cards. This photo is of Dan, his twin, and his older brother as choirboys. Too cute!
Dan grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania; and winters are very cold, snowy, and long there.

This layout is a photo from my family - can you believe those lamps? They were my grandmother's - definitely not my style!
I think that my scrapping style has changed some in the past year - I can definitely see how I would improve these - taking some stuff off and rearranging other stuff - but it's good to see how your style evolves over time.
I have to finish cleaning the house, go to the grocery store, and bake one last batch of cookies. Then tomorrow I have a routine mammogram at 8:35 am - can you believe they scheduled me on Christmas eve day? I feel bad that they have to work at all but I remember that I worked on Christmas eve day for many years - the last 2 jobs I had, though, we got 2 days for Christmas so that was really nice.
I have selected the songs from Marit's Dutch Top 2000 songs that I am going to do art journal pages - I want to use the stencils from the fabulous book that Julie gave me - there are ones of a phonograph, headphones, tape player, fast car (what song do you think I picked for that one?), camera, and an Afro headed woman - and I want to use a new glimmer mist screen of some winter trees for one of my favorite Beatles songs. Gotta get busy as Brian is coming tomorrow afternoon and I won't have my studio for a couple of days.
Hope your holiday week is going super and that you have a merry Christmas!
I might post again but not sure, so enjoy yourself, eat lots of good stuff, and peace on earth!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reindeer games

I did this layout for The Sampler's 2nd challenge - check it out - there is a cool prize! BTW, somehow my tutorial for The Sampler was changed to tomorrow.

I am working at the book store today - I never know what new treasures will have appeared: it's always an adventure! I also really enjoy all of our regular customers - we have customers that come in at least once, maybe more, time(s) a week so they are like friends who share the reading addiction - I guess that means that I am an enabler!

Have a wonderful day and ttfn.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Solstice

Between Darkness and Light
by John Matthews

It is within the darkness and the silence
That the magic of Christmas starts;
Somewhere between the glimmer of lights
And the first breathless moment
When children come
Stumbling like new-born angels
Into morning light.
Within the darkness and the silence
We sit, watching wonder
Evolve into form; where we
Enter the ringing silence
In which the first bells of Christmas
Sound the music of the soul;
Where the morning joy begins
With a single carol
To a half-forgotten tune.
It is here, between the darkness
And the light,
That we wait, uncertain,
Seeking the moment
That challenges us to believe
In a freshly minted miracle
Born every Christmas Day.
Hope you have a wonderful Solstice! My day has been fantastic so far and we plan to have a yummy dinner tonight with a little candle-lighting ceremony. It is very cold here - 44 for our low and only 59 right now at 1pm but it is so beautiful with the sun so bright. (and I am thankful that I live here - I know how bad the snow in the MidAtlantic and Northeast was this weekend.) With breakfast we had an incredibly sweet ruby red grapefruit (we have a friend who gives them to us right off the tree), I made a pot of darjeeling tea, and then I finished the painting for my son - it is of Maroon Bells just outside of Aspen (I have lots of photos of Colorado from having lived there so long). I was just ready to have some leftover vegetable soup for lunch and the mailman came, bringing me some happy happy mail - thank you Deana and Jeanet. I will take some pix for a future posting - but I am so fortunate to have such wonderful and talented friends. I have 2 layouts that need to be adhered this afternoon and then exercise - Hana is curled up in a ball in her basket staying cozy. Of course, Dan is playing golf but -----he is wearing long pants!!!! LOL
I always get a little introspective at this time of year, thinking about the past year and making intentions for the coming year. I have often wondered how it must have been for earlier humans at this time of year when they saw that each day was getting shorter - measuring the shadow with a stick in the snow. Did they wonder if the darkness was taking over? and then the joy when they realized that the light was no longer receding and was, in fact, growing -- we are blessed because we know that this is just a turning point - so light a candle tonight and be thankful.
Looking forward to some fun times this week, some yummy meals, some delicious goodies, some intellectual conversation (LOL), some presents (I love presents and there are quite a few under our tree), some of my favorite music (I had the Nutcracker on the cd player this morning), and lots of love and joy.
Hope you have a great day and night. HERE COMES THE SUN!
Thanks for reading and ttfn

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Check out my tutorials

I have a blog posting that is supposed to appear on - just click on the Crop Spot - but as of right now - noon EST, Sarah's SEI posting is still the top one but I am sure by tomorrow my tutorial on Color using these 2 layouts as examples will be up. Both of these layouts were created using the December Sampler kit (I created 7 layouts from that kit - incredible!) For the above layout, I handcut the reindeer and painted the poinsettia.
I used lots of Webster's Pages in this layout and handcut the bird, the flower, and the title. We will also be having our 2nd challenge this coming week. Check it out!

This little table decoration was created for the and I posted a little tutorial there on how to make it. I think it would go very well with the Blue Christmas wall hanging that I did earlier but also you could use it as a New Year's table decoration. It's quick and easy, and the supplies are minimal.
I have been reading about all of the bad weather - lots of snow and cold - in other places and I remember how much fun snow was when I was a child but how much I hated it when I was an adult in Denver and had to drive to work - and it was always dark. Brrrrrrrr! It is cold here today and will get down into the 30s tonight which is really cold for here - our heat pumps are not designed to heat very much so Dan and I just dress warmly - we actually have to wear socks - what a concept!!!!!
Have a wonderful week - my son is coming over for Christmas and I am looking forward to seeing him again. We always talk at least once a week but we only get to see each other a few times a year so it's always nice (except that Hana is not happy!!!!! She comes into the room and sees us talking so she comes over to me and insists on being petted while she glares at Brian - and sometimes if we are sitting on the couch, she will jump up between us and climb on me - it's a riot!). I will post again this week with some new things that I have made and with some Christmas scenes around my house.
Take care, stay warm, and thanks for reading.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Please Santa I want s'more, and I got it!!!!!!

So I did this layout for the Sampler - it's of my S'more reindeer. If you ever camped out you will know what a s'more is but I will give you a little background. I was a Girl Scout for many years growing up - all the way from Brownie through Senior (I received the Curved Bar rank, which is equal to the Boy Scout's Eagle rank, and, I know you will find this hard to believe (LOL), I earned more badges than anyone else in our troop - I still have my girl scout sash with all the pins and badges (I feel a layout coming on). Anyway, if you ever camped out, you always made s'mores, a graham cracker for the base, a piece of Hershey's milk chocolate, and a marshmallow for the top - of course, the marshmallow had to be roasted on a stick in the campfire. And burnt was better - the outside of the marshmallow was a charred crisp but the inside was melted and usually burnt your mouth. YUM!!!!!!!!
This layout is made from 2 different pieces of Coredinations card stock, a machine ruffled piece of muslin, a ribbon, some cool pearly swirls, a Hambly rub-on at the top, and alphas.

I asked for s'more and I received some great news this week - I was selected to join the ScrapGal design team!!! I am so excited to be a part of this lively and creative group. Jamie from TAAFOMFT is also on this team. I also was selected for another challenge blog design team and I am excited about that too - it should be lots of fun - I even had to come up with a special blog name for myself!

As I write this, the rain has finally stopped and the sun is coming out - can you say steambath? We got 3 1/2 inches last night (Dan checked the rain gauge in our backyard). It was really storming last night - and raining sideways, but we really did need the rain.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend - I will post again tomorrow or Sunday with some new projects that I have finished.
Hope you are ready for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Very happy holidays

Yesterday was a wonderful day - beautiful weather. I worked at the book store and then we went to dinner at a great restaurant for their monthly wine tasting dinner - the wines were from Washington State and very fruity, and the meal was absolutelly out of this world - we started with a salad of shrimp over mesclun lettuce topped with sugared pecans and chardonnay dressing, 2nd course was roast quail over greens and rice, and the 3rd course was roast wild boar rib chops over fingerling potatoes and haricots verte - all with appropriate wines - It was one of the best meals that I have ever had. Then, when we got home, I had received 2 very happy emails about next year - can't say just yet but I am really looking forward to them.
Be sure to check out the wonderful blog and her giveaway. I wish I had discovered her earlier but her posting about priorities is just so moving and so right on target. thanks to Amy who had listed this on her blog.
Hope you have a great day - I am finishing a painting for my son and also a layout just for fun - wow! what a concept!
thanks for reading and ttfn

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's your favorite car?

Just a quick post before I go to work at the book store - the newest challenge is up at as well as the winners for the favorite holiday challenge - great stuff!!!!! Be sure to check it out and then play along with us - what is or was your favorite car, method of transport, or even some other ideas? The DT always comes up with some fantastic and innovative stuff so come on over!
Over the years I have had some interesting cars - a blue VW beetle named Gretl, a Toyota Corolla with a stick shift - I didn't know how to drive a 4 speed when I bought it but Dan rode with me on the way home - a long distance with both city streets and the freeway - and I learned to drive it so that I drove it alone to work the next day! It is amazing the stuff you can do when you have to! I had a bright blue Geo Metro with hot pink detailing. Today I drive a 1998 Buick Century which Dan inherited when his mother passed in 2004. It had very low mileage and even now, it only has 70,000 miles on it (11 years old!) I haven't listed all of the cars that I have had or even any of Dan's cars - he used to have an Austin Healy Sprite - fun, fun, fun! I did my layout about the 1993 Saturn that I bought when Brian graduated from high school, I gave him the Metro and got this car - very comfortable and easy to drive. The photo is a Polaroid that they took at the dealership when I picked up the car. The patterned papers are My Little Yellow Bicycle and Making Memories, and the embellies are just some that were in my misc box. The little girl - Sally - in the car is from a Dick and Jane calendar (from just a few years ago - I got it at the book store).
Hope you have a great day and thanks for reading.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Do you like my hat & some Christmas layouts

What do you think of my hat? I blogged about buying it at a neighbor's garage sale a while back. This pink paper (from The Sampler kit) immediately made me think of the hat because the netting and feathers are pink - but the color photo just didn't work so I changed it to black and white. I love hats, especially cloches and berets. When I lived in Colorado, I wore hats quite a bit and loved them - here I wear wide-brimmed hats to cover my face from the sun. Everything in this layout (except for the vintage card, baby blue polka dot circle (lilybee) the words (my style - old K&co), and of course, my photo. LOL) came from The Sampler kit from Scrapbookingsuppliesrus.
Now that I have finished all of my presents (except a painting for Brian) and my class, I feel like I have so much free time just to create anything I want - so I decided to do a few challenges. Julie, Sarah, Hanneke, and Jeanet have been doing the Sketchy Thursday challenges - and Julie is the December GD - so I thought I would scrap some Xmas photos using the sketches. The above layout is for the January GD contest - 3 kinds of patterned papers - I used Scrapinstyle (more 10 cent paper), some Cosmo Cricket early bird that I received from a Scrapgal contest, and some of the reindeer wrapping paper that came off of the gift that Hanneke sent me (an adorable leather reindeer bookmark who is now hanging out with the rest of the herd - thank you Hanneke!); 3 sets of 3 embellishments - I used buttons, star paper clips, and some stacked felt flowers (thanks to the RAK I received from Let's Get Shabby)

This layout is for the current Sketchy Thursday sketch challenge - I used some old old red holiday paper from Paper Adventures and some more Cosmo Cricket Early Bird. The chipboard is Basic Grey from last year, the stickers are old 7gypsies, and the alphas are pinkpaislee from The Sampler kit (did I use these alphas or what?????)

I was inspired to do this layout by one of Tim Holtz's 12 days of Christmas tags - the one where he used the metal paper and then painted it with alcohol inks. I tried that and decided mine was hideous - of course, I used aluminum foil from the kitchen but ..... I like the way the foil molded around the chipboard letters so I ripped off the painted foil and put on more foil but no paint - then I decided it would be perfect for a layout so I dug through some really old family photos that I have, scanned them (a little pale) and voila! I used some old autumn leaves paper, 7gypsies stickers, some more of the cool embellies that Christina Padilla of the Paper Cut sent me, some old thickers silver holiday stuff that I bought last year at Big Lots, and a few other little odds and ends. The red plastic bow also came from Let's Get Shabby.
So I just now finished my 6th layout from The Sampler kit and I have just begun to play with a Favorite things future challenge - BTW, today is the final day that you can send us the layout for the fav holiday - check back tomorrow for the new challenge!!!!!!!!!
Hope you have a great day - I am going to eat a little lunch, make some shortbread cookies from Dan's grandmother's recipe, exercise (belly dance), and finish the Sherlock Holmes story that I am reading (I decided to read some Sherlock Holmes to get myself in the mood for the movie that opens Christmas Day - we always go to a movie that afternoon and I want to see SH).
Thanks for reading and ttfn

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Christmas village and The Sampler Challenge #1

Welcome to the Christmas village - this is Stewart Lane (little houses from Martha Stewart at KMart several years ago)
This is the Russian Orthodox Church (a fabulous thrift shop find for $1 a couple of years ago) with its creche (from an import store) and the mansion on the hill (gift from a friend).

overhead view - Dan gave me the train station and one of the churches several years ago, the Santa and sleigh came from my in-laws long ago - you can't see it in this photo but down behind the mansion on the hill is another cottage nestled in some trees. And the building to the far left is a church that I bought a couple of weeks ago at Marshall's - what is really cool about it is how much like the vintage Putz houses it is - so fragile. We had some of the Putz houses and a church with paper like stained glass in the windows when I was growing up - I have watched them on ebay for several years but just too much. Anyway, I usually put the houses under the tree but then I saw Alicia's posting again this year for her village so I was really inspired Dan has gotten interested in improving the village next year and has been making some plans on how to structure it better and put some lights under it. He wants me to paint a backdrop of hills and mountains (sort of North Carolina style) and then we will hang some some cool snowflake ornaments from the ceiling. Through Alicia's blog, I found several sites with house plans and instructions so I downloaded them - I hope to make at least one house this week. It's always something.........
This is a layout I did for the first challenge for The Sampler kit
the challenge is to use 5 photographs in a layout and of course, use items from the December kit - I guess you know by now that I don't do multi-photo layouts but it is good to get out of your box so here it is. I used Basic Grey patterned paper, Core dinations card stock (it's awesome!), Prima flowers sprayed with Stickles, 2 kinds of pink paislee alphas, and ribbon - all from the kit. Be sure to check out the blog - you can see more layouts and cards by the other DT members and by me.
Today it's quite warm and muggy - we had a front go down over us the last few days so it cooled off a little and we had a little rain but last night it backed up over us so now it's bright sunny, humid, and warm. Most of our neighbors have their Christmas lights up now and the neighbors right behind us had a big party last night - they lit their outdoor firepit and were singing The 12 Days of Christmas among other things - so funny!
The county golf course where Dan volunteers is not having a holiday party this year due to the economy and all the cuts in local government spending and the bank that was going to sponsor a holiday thank you party for all of the library, gift shop, and book store volunteers also backed down. Signs of the times.........
Hope you have a wonderful Sunday and a great week - I will post some more layouts from the Sampler this week and next Sunday I will be posting on both the Sampler blog and on the Harlee-Quinnz blog so lots to do.......
and don't forget to get us your layout, project, whatever to what's your favorite holiday by tomorrow - a new challenge will be up on the 15th, and be sure to check out the elf cards at the top of the blog - so funny!!!! I bet you didn't know that I could dance like that - maybe I should go on Dancing with the Stars!!!!!!!!!
thanks for reading and ttfn

Friday, December 11, 2009

Paper, ribbon, or fabric tree tutorial

So, when I have dozens of things to do before Christmas, when I should be baking and sending out cards and applying for DT positions, I am creating yet another Christmas tree! I was leafing through some old holiday books at the book store on Tuesday and saw a tree made from ribbons and I got to thinking and.......
I took a 9inch high styrafoam tree, a box of big pearl headed pins and some smaller bead headed pins, and 7 different patterned papers (mixture of reds, greens, and Christmas multis. I cut the paper into 6inch lengths and then cut that into strips 3/8 - 3/4 wide (narrower is better) and pulled each end to overlap in the center like a bow. I stuck a pin through, being sure to get both ends and then stuck it into the tree tightly. Then, using my fingers, fluffed up the bow and sort of folded it so it would stick out. I continued to add paper bows to the tree, turning it and filling it out. When I got to the top area, I realized that I needed to make the bows smaller (4 1/2 x 1/4- 3/8) and use smaller pins.

closeup of the paper bows
I then set it on a small Starbucks cup from last Christmas (after Christmas I asked for some of the small cups at my local Starbucks). All in all, this took me 1 1/2hours from start to finish (of course, not counting the reading time in the book). I can imagine this done in any of the wonderful paper sets this year, but all I have are from earlier years - my papers were Anna Griffin and My Mind's Eye. But it would also be fantastic done in ribbons or in fabric strips - just cut strips with your rotary cutter of your favorite holiday fabrics but be sure to include some plains and maybe some vintage fabrics - the more the merrier!!!!!
I have done 3 of the Tim Holtz tags this year - I haven't had much time this past week plus I don't have any of the funky toys he is displaying. I did the one from yesterday with the metal but I used foil from my kitchen and it looks pretty cool - it's giving me ideas for a really funky layout done in foil. Maybe this weekend....
Hope you have a wonderful weekend - I am hoping to paint and scrap (but not making plans based on what happened last weekend - I learned my lesson).
thanks for reading and ttfn (hope this tutorial makes sense - let me know if you have any questions)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blue Christmas and something springy

I have been quite busy creating the past couple of days. I finally finished all of my Christmas presents on Monday and mailed them after work yesterday -whew!!!!! I had already finished all of my DT work last week so now I am just playing - yay!!!!! I did the above wallhanging for the Let's Get Shabby challenge blog - I used some Harlee-quinnz Designs Butterfly Gardens "Garden of Beauty" paper, wet the edges, and then molded it into the embroidery hoop. The doily is vintage and the flowers are mixtures of Making Memories, Heidi Swapp, Joannes, and American Crafts with vintage buttons as centers. The bear buttons are porcelain, and the glitz is old Heidi Swapp. the photo is a Waterford crystal ice bucket filled with white silk flowers on my dining room table last Christmas.
I did this layout just for fun last night using the colors for the Candy Shoppe Designs Bold and Beautiful challenge - fuschia, yellow, white, and black along with big alphas. I have been doing so much fall stuff and now Christmas stuff that I just had to do something spring-like. I am working on a daffodil painting and this is one of my reference photos. The journaling reads
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Bradstreet (a wonderful poet who lived in American colonial times). Isn't this an apropo statement for today - as they say, history doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes! The ruffled flowers are tissue paper, the background paper is SIS (purchased this fall when their paper was 10 cents a sheet) and the fuschia die cut paper is old Autumn Leaves . The die cut flowers and leaves are Basic Grey from last year.
I finished my watercolor class today and am trying to catch up on the Tim Holtz tags plus make some decorations for my house. I saw a wonderful felt deer on a website and I have drawn a pattern to make it as well as a small felt tree. I also want to make some little "Putz" houses for my village (photos to come) and maybe a small button wreath. Then I need to get some cookies made - Dan wants Scottish shortbread from his grandmother's recipe, Brian wants chocolate chip (for Christmas???), and I love meringue cookies and macaroons but neither works well in the Florida humidity so I will probably make some iced cut-outs and/or cookie press cookies.
thanks for reading and ttfn

Hi, it's me Hana

Hey guys, it's me Hana - Chris thinks that I am fast asleep under this quilt but she's got another think coming! I love to get on the computer when she isn't around - why does she think I am always curled up on the desk chair when she gets home? Duh! and I figured since Brookie takes over Julie's blog every once in a while, I could take over Chris's - after all, Brookie is only 3 and I am 5.
I really don't like the way Chris always is moving things around in my house but I humor her - after all, she feeds me and pets me lots purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - but this Christmas thing is way out of hand! She moved my chair and basket over to a different spot and put up this crazy fake tree - at least I can sprawl out under it and nap. and then she puts out all of these stuffed things that are way too big to be toys for me and anyway, they don't look like mice at all. This white one is Glimmer - I heard Chris talk about her - Chris's mom gave her to Chris a long time ago and Chris even added one of her Mom's old earrings - no way am I wearing anything like that!!!!

Look at all of these creatures - up on top of the television cabinet. I could get up there and knock them all down but it just isn't worth the effort - meyawn meyawn - this blogging is making me sleepy - after all, a cat needs about 18 hours of sleep a day and you just wouldn't believe how hard that goal can be - it's really difficult to sleep when there are geckos on the lanai and you need to keep them in line or at least, nip off their tails! yum! Chris says the reindeer to the left is a s'more, whatever that is - she likes chocolate but in my opinion, catnip is the only thing that matters! purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - the white reindeer are vintage plastic from the 50s and the silver ones are vintage mercury glass.

This is Rennie, a vintage Stieff complete with his ear button and yellow tag. He gets a lot of attention from Chris - I know she got him on ebay several years ago after lots of searching and bidding.
And then, here are the girls - sometimes we hang out and gossip. Chris received the little one up top from her mother, the big one from Brian, some crazed dude who arrives here periodically and I have to share Chris with him. I used to growl at him but now I don't bother - he's just temporary and I am permanent! purrrrrrrrrrrrr - Chris got the little red one from Dan last year (Dan is okay if Chris isn't around but things would be purrrfect if it was just her and me). the little red one has a glass of wine in her hoof.
so this has taken me a while to write and now my paws are tired - I am all tired - it's naptime but I forget which number this is - anyway Chris will be back later in the week - I know she has been crazed in the studio lately but - meyawn meyawn I need my beauty sleep

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Elves and books and mail, oh my!

Here are my little porcelain candy cane people saying hello to you - I received these as a Christmas present from a neighbor when I was 9 or 10, and cherish them (they are one of the few things I have from my childhood). Every year I love putting them out as they were always one of my favorite parts of the holidays. I remember Christmas growing up as somewhat of a minefield - my step-father was very volatile and unpredictable so you never knew what you would receive or how the holidays would go - some years were fantastic and others - well, enough said. But, as they say, that was a long time ago and far far away -----my Christmases as an adult and especially with Brian and Dan have always been filled with joy and thankfulness.
Some of my books for the season - the green bear is Erin - after our cat passed (after the hurricanes) and we had to live in the little trailer, I bought Erin, and he was our pet in the trailer. He still sits in his little chair in our living room all the time but sometimes he wears signs of the season (you should see him in his Mardi Gra regalia!!!) Also notice the button tree I made - more photos in a later post of some craftiness.
Tada! the finished painting from my intermediate watercolor class

and now for some thank yous for some happy mail - the above is a prize I won from Scrapgal

and this fantastic happy mail came from the Let's Get Shabby blog - I won a Christmas RAK and received these gorgeous cards (one of them was made by Jenneke!) and all of these fantastic flowers and embellies. Thank you so much - I am in craft heaven!
I have lots to do today - all of my plans (when will I ever learn not to make plans?) fell through about scrapping and painting last week as I got called in to work (so many sick people!). Yesterday it rained all day (thank you God for the desperately needed rain) but I went on the Artists' studio tour anyway - what fun to see how and where other artists create their magic! Today I hope to catch up on the Tim Holtz tags (only have 2 done so far), finish a wallhanging for Harlee-Quinnz, and maybe even do some fun stuff - scrapping just for fun - what's that? Actually I have an idea for an upcoming These are a few of my favorite things challenge that wants to be made, and that's always fun! Speaking of, be sure to get us your favorite holiday layout by the 14th (another week) - we would love to see them!!!!!
thanks for reading and ttfn

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Sinterclaas!

Happy happy Sinterclaas to all of my Dutch friends - Jeanet, Hanneke, Jenneke, and Marit!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Christmas Carol and a Card

When I read this evening that the prize this week for Sketchy Thursdays was Copic markers, well, I just had to do a card (but first I had to finish the dishes and then watch Man shops globe ) but here is my card - don't you just love that Cosmo Cricket paper - I won the entire set of Early Bird from Scrapgal and I think it looks really Christmas-y. the tag is Elle's Studio from the Sampler kit and the tree is fabric.
And then I just had to show you the incredible book I got for 50 cents today - it's a pop-up of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - only a little bit of it but the pop-ups are fantastic! I took a few photos (a little dark since it's night) but aren't they wonderful?!

The Sampler kit at Scrapbookingsuppliesrus was revealed today so hopefully I can show you my layouts soon - it's a great kit with a wide assortment of papers and embellishments.