Sunday, January 31, 2010

What's your favorite outfit?

The new challenge is up at These are a few of my Favorite Things - what is your favorite outfit? Do you like to hang out around the house in sweats, do you have a favorite comfy sweater, or does a very special outfit always make you think of your little ones? Whatever, we want to know. The DT created some fabulous layouts and now we want to see what you create.  I fell in love with this Old Navy sweater a couple of years ago when I saw this ad in a magazine and then I saw the ad on tv and just loved the Ingrid Michaelson song. My birthday was coming up and I was visiting my son in Sarasota so I got both the sweater and the cd as presents (we don't have an Old Navy where I live). You will notice in my photo of the sweater that the sleeves look a little different on mine - that's because the sleeves of the sweater were made for a giantess. I have somewhat short arms and usually have to wear petites so I hemmed the sweater to fit me.
I did this layout for the Scrapgal blog 2 weeks ago - I did a short tutorial on how to make silhouettes. Everyone seems to be doing layouts with this particular Webster's Pages paper and it is fascinating how different scrappers have used it. I have a new tutorial coming up on the Scrapgal blog this coming Tuesday for a Valentine wall hanging.
I have been working on a small watercolor of camellias - should be finished today or tomorrow. I am also doing some brain storming and writing about my artistic philosophy and goals - basically, an Artist's Statement. I need to write a short bio and get some paintings listed on etsy. Always so much to do but it's all good. As you get older, you must be more selective in your goals and in your focus on the goals - it's so easy to get distracted and stray into other activities, but then you realize that the goal is just as far away as it was. I am not really into doing the one word thing but every week so far this year I have written FOCUS on the top of the page in my weekly Book of Days. I found an old unused the Goddess Book of Days at the bookstore and it is filled with inspiring stories of the feminine heroes and goddesses. I still have an old book of days from our cruising days - it was filled with the paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet and I always found them so very inspiring. Just yesterday I was following a link to a blog about CHA and the author was writing about  a mixed media portrait class that she was taking from Suzi Blu - she started showing drawings that she had made based on the paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet - what a small and exciting world! 

thanks for reading and have a wonderful Sunday and coming week.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I woke this morning to the cheery sounds of bird song - it has warmed up quite a bit and many of the birds who moved south during the cold weather have returned. Unfortunately many of our bushes and trees were bitten by the cold and dropped their leaves so they are look very wintery and the homes of their current and previous inhabitants have been exposed. I spied this nest at the top of one of our alamanda bushes - and wouldn't you know - the birds in my yard like to decorate their nests with scraps of yarn and fabric! Oh, I know birds don't intentionally decorate but it's fun to imagine.
And along these same lines, I did a small framed piece for the current Bad Girls project.
I have been busy busy finishing up DT work and painting, and reading. Currently I am reading Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. It is an incredible book about a forty year old American woman who visits Egypt in 1921 during the Peace conference in which Asia and Africa were carved into many of the countries we have known in our lifetimes and in which the seeds of World War II and many of our current problems were created. The writing is brilliant, and I have to stop occasionally to think about what I have just read.
Tomorrow the new These are a few of my favorite things challenge will be posted as will the winners for the current challenge (better get us your layout today) and I will post my layout.
Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Art journaling, knitting, and other stuff

Thankfully I am now recovered - the cold only lasted 5 days but it was a nasty one. Unfortunately Dan isn't feeling too well today - he isn't sure if it's the cold - but he did go off to work. I made this art journal page for A Year in the Life of an Art Journal or something like that - I saw Jenneke's page and Michelle's page so I decided that I had better do mine. For my art journal I really wanted one of those Donna Downey canvas albums like Michelle has but since I have very little to spend on scrapping this year, that was out of the question so - I looked through my craft boxes and found an old Bobunny 9 x 9 chipboard binder with 6 chipboard pages in it. I dug through my fabric scraps and found some heavy cream cotton and some batting scraps and I made some pages by sandwiching batting between 2 pieces of cotton and sewing around the edges and also around the binding end leaving room to punch holes with my cropodile. It worked quite well and here is my first page - What is holding me back? (sorry this is a little blurry). The cool citrus paint is an Adirondack acrylic paint dabber (got it from Scrapgal) and it is perfect for messy people like me - and isn't the color cool!

This layout is on Harlee-Quinnz Designs Scents to Remember paper - I repeated the lacey curtains with pieces of vintage lace. The flowers are all Prima. I will enter this in the Blue Moon vintage challenge. HQD is going through some changes right now but they will be releasing some new products in the next month.

So, I have to admit I need a change of pace sometimes - last week before I got sick, I made new curtains for my kitchen, new napkins, and a new apron. I also cut out a black and white apron for the Tie One On blog challenge - need to get it finished. I think the Prima Donna Downey canvas aprons are charming but again no funds - so I found an old piece of canvas in my fabric stash and cut out an apron - now to embellish it!!!!!
I also changed my internet browser from Explorer to Firefox and so far I am loving it - I had been thinking about this for a while but the straw that broke the camel's back was on Saturday when Explorer decided not to let me read my gmail - anyway, I have misplaced my favorites list so I was redoing it and got fascinated by Ravelry (a fantastic knitting site) and started following links (and you know how that goes) and found an incredible knitter who does exactly the kind of knitting that I like to do - sort of free form with gorgeous yarns. Jane Thornley is her name and she has several free patterns on her site that I am so wanting to do. I spent this morning digging through my meager 2 containers of yarn to come up with some fun stuff to work with so I can make this scarf - (see below photo courtesy of Jane Thornley) - Isn't it just stunning? I will have to break down and buy a little bit of yarn and ribbon to do this so hopefully I will be able to begin knitting it sometime in the next month. I could do it in whites and creams right now but I think it needs some darks and sparkles to make it really dazzle! I have some fantastic beads to use on the ends.
 She also offers workshops and trips to some places that I would love to visit so can you believe I was perusing her blog today and when I looked up at the clock, over an hour had passed!!! I was just dreaming of fun places to go and things to do. Do you ever do that?

Thanks for reading and have a great day. I just received my February Sampler so I have to get busy with it - what fun!!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Challenges, sketches, and watercolor

This post will be heavy on photos and light on prose as I have a bad cold, and my brain is not functioning very well. I did the above painting as part of my painting a week goal - I am happy with the flower and leaves but the background bothers me - I think it is competing with the flower too much - I will try another approach this coming week.

Join us over at Scrapgal for a challenge this week to do a layout, atcs, art journal page, whatever about your dream. (Since we can't all go to CHA, those of us staying at home are dreaming about it.) You have until Thursday, and Kim will be giving a RAK.

Numbers 5 and 6 of our sketch contest at Scrapgal - in total we will have 8 sketches (2 more will be posted tomorrow) and you have until the end of January to do them - we will be giving a prize!

This layout is for The Sampler Challenge 4 - come on over Scrapbookingsuppliesrus and click on The Crop Spot to view the sketch challenge and the DT layouts.
Thanks for looking and have a great week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In with the new and some happy news

The new challenge is up at and it is to use your newest supply. This is my layout - I bought some funky Ranger inks at Tuesday Morning (very inexpensive) that are brightly colored and have scents. I was working with them and got the coconut creme (it smells like suntan lotion) ink all over my hand. The heart card is new, and I made the crepe paper flowers from Jenni Bowlin turquoise crepe paper ribbon. Be sure to show us your newest supplies in your layout - the prize is from Blue Moon Scrapbooking Kits and it is awesome - wish I could win it!!! also we are trying to get 300 followers on CSD so come on over and become a follower.

And now for some fantastic news - one of my goals for 2010 was to sell a painting, and I just got a call this morning that my Cattleyas painting that was being exhibited at the Art Museum sold!!!!!!!!! I can't express to you how thrilled and motivated I am by this. I feel so thankful and blessed right now.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday and week. I am going to watch the football games this afternoon and hopefully finish the hand quilting on the quilt I made from my mother's fabrics. I would like to get the binding done this week. And one of my other goals for this year to finish a painting a week - this week's one is not finished yet so I want to finish it tonight or tomorrow.

thanks for reading and ttfn,

Friday, January 15, 2010

Artz de Scrap, These are a few of my favorite fragrances, & a WINNER

I created this little shrine for the current challenge at Artz de Scrap - the challenge is actually to alter a metal beverage can and the tutorial on the blog shows how to cut the can, paint, and turn it into a flower magnet but you know me - I can't leave well enough alone so on January 1st - a very cool and rainy day here - I dug a coke can out of the recycling bin (Brian drank coke while he was visiting us for Christmas), washed it, and started cutting. The day before I had bought a bunch of huge silk flowers and a lot of eucalyptus at a thrift store so I cut apart a lily and hot glued part of it to the bottom of the can and part of it inside the can base. I added some pieces of an old potpourri flower and then finally the porcelain angel in the center. Come join us in the challenge.

And now - THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!!!!! The new challenge is what is your favorite fragrance, and you will love the responses from the DT - all kinds of things: so wonderful, so surprising, so romantic, and so funny! I thought of all of the different fragrances that I have loved and worn over the years. I cut out watercolor paper in the shapes of the various bottles and painted them with watercolors, and finally added photos, embellishments, and journaling (I know, what a concept, me doing journaling?!)

the first page is Chanel No 5 which always epitomizes class with a capital C to me - little black dresses, pearls, Audrey Hepburn. My mother wore it some when I was growing up (as a nurse, she rarely wore perfume). I wore Chanel No 5 as an evening fragrance for many years. the second page is Jean Nate., an inexpensive line that was around long before Bath and Body Works. It's a lemony-citrus scent that works great in the summertime. I usually wear a citrusy scent in the summer but this past year I found a really cool lime and verbena scent, and the year before that, it was pink grapefruit - but this whole range of fragrances always is soft and just seems to whisper summer. Next is Laura Ashley No 1 (no longer made). I wore lots of Laura Ashley when we moved to Jacksonville and I loved the floral notes of this perfume. And then, there's KL, a perfume I wore in Denver. Dan brought me a bottle back from Chicago when he went to a trade show there. He told me that he saw a 5 foot high bottle in the Chicage Saks 5th Avenue but all he could afford was the regular size - it's a fairly heavy scent - I liked it but never bought it myself.

So, of course if I liked Laura Ashley, obviously I liked Ralph Lauren. Times change and I moved out of that phase. LOL! Then comes Beautiful by Estee Lauder. After my mother retired, she started wearing fragrance all the time and her favorites were always by Estee Lauder. I always associate the fragrance of Beautiful with my mother. Finally, the fragrance I have been wearing in the winter for quite some time - Crabtree & Evelyn Lily of the Valley - clean, soft, flowery. When I was growing up in Missouri, our house faced north, and there was a shaded corner on the northeast side of the house where our covered front porch jutted out. This entire shade area was filled with lilies of the valley, and everytime you walked out of the front door in warm weather, you could smell them ----- such a wonderful memory!

And there you have it - all of my favorites. Please join us at TAAFOMFT and show us your favorite fragrance - you have until January 30th. We would love to see them - I am always amazed when I see the layouts of the DT and of the contestants how many happy memories of mine get triggered!
Tonight Dan and I are going to Art by the Sea, an exhibit at the Vero Beach Art Museum; and guess what, I have a painting in the show!!!! I am really looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful pieces of art tonight. This morning I went by the only art supply store in town because she is going out of business and everything is heavily discounted. I feel very badly for her but I was able to purchase some brushes and paints that I could not have afforded otherwise. We have a small Michaels and a Crafts n Stuff but neither carries quality supplies (or the big name scrapping stuff) so it forces you to order online - sort of a viscious cycle for small local merchants - I don't know what the answer is - it's just one of those dual-edged swords I guess.
And before I forget, the winner of the art journal books is - per the random number generator - from 1 to 15 - it is 12, and that is *Kim*
Kim, please email me your address at kalaiton at gmail dot com, and I will mail you the books. I have some more books that I will be giving away in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A flower and a prayer

I finished this painting of a past its prime magnolia earlier this week. I am working on a series of paintings of magnolias in different stages of development.

I was so inspired by Julie's, Michelle's, and Jeanet's layouts for the STM song Say Hey that I had to make one of my own. I just love that song and listened to it several times yesterday while I was working on this LO. The photo is from Carnival 2000, when we were living in Trinidad.

This is a shadowbox that I did based on a class I took last year with Wilna Furstenberg. The big heart is papermache, it is edged with part of a feather boa, and the metal heart is an earring. Wilna's project was meant to be a valentine but I see it more as a prayer and poem - I have always love the simple yet profound poetry of Emily Dickinson and this little phrase speaks volumes. (This is for Scrap the Poetry)

And now a little prayer for the people of Haiti, who have so little and now have even less. The horror of the earthquake is unimaginable to me - I feel like anything that I have experienced in my life can be nothing compared to the incredible devastation that they have endured. In times like this, I realize that my little complaints are trivial, and I pray that things are not as bad as they appear right now, and that if they are, that aid from other countries can alleviate some of their suffering.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a good day. I am ever grateful for my life, my health, my husband, my son, my cat, and all of my good friends IRL and on the web.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Playing catch up

I will start out this post by admitting to one and all that I am a candy *ss about the cold weather - it is totally wearing me out as our house is so cold, our plants are withering and brown, and I am so concerned about the animals here, especially the birds. You can all expect produce to be expensive as all the crops here have been devastated as well as all of the fish farms (did you think that tilapia, catfish, etc. came from lakes or the ocean?) I know it is so much colder in other parts of the US and Europe and I totally sympathize (having lived in northern climes most of my life), but this weather is really miserable for Florida and for the Bahamas and Cuba.
Anyway, I am trying to stay busy and also trying to keep up with all the scrapping and painting that I need to do. The above layout was done with the January Sampler kit from Scrapbookingsuppliesrus - the kit is filled with bright cheery papers and embellishments, a cool mini album, wonderful flowers, and some fabrics - check it out! I so love this Hambly bicycle paper and I find myself using those red October afternoon alphas on everything (I need to see if they come in some other colors too).
this layout is for the Let's Get Shabby summertime inspired layout - their poster example has a sunbrella on it so - just looking at the bright colors makes me feel a little warmer (I wish).

this is a card for the Sketchy Thursdays card contest - the prize is a set of Copic markers and I am dying to win those.

This is for the Sketchy thursday's GD contest from a sketch - mine went off on its own tangent - I made the ribbon flowers for a tutorial for Scrapgal - I am loving the turquoise and brown together. The photo is of a brass compass rose that we have on our front porch - it used to be on our sailboat so it really means a lot to us. We also have some of our old anchors sitting in the flowerbeds - that always gets comments from people coming to the house for the first time.

This layout is for the Artastic Pro Hart challenge - I had never seen his work but after seeing the painting shown as the inspiration on the blog, I goggled him, and his work is brilliant - so happy to learn about a new (for me) artist - I am surprised that art journalers don't mention him as an inspiration - he does 2 very different styles of painting, and the bright semi-abstracts would make great art journal prompts.
So ------ now to do the linkys but before I go, be sure to get us your favorite layout at
and your top 10 resolutions and your sketches 1 and 2 at
I finished a painting on Saturday so at least for one week, I kept my resolution to finish a painting a week - I need to get quite a few finished so I can put them in my etsy shop (I will announce it here and put a link on the sidebar). This weekend I have a painting in the Art by the Sea show at the Vero Beach Art Museum, and there will be a reception at the Museum on Friday night - it's supposed to get up to 70 that day and I am really hoping that it does because I want to wear something that looks arty and not look like a bag lady (which is what everyone looks like as we don't really own heavy coats so like yesterday when I went to BAM and Michaels, I was wearing an undershirt, a long sleeved teeshirt, a cardigan sweater, a light wool blazer (from my working days), a big scarf that I had knitted several years ago, jeans, loafers, and SOCKS.) I know you are laughing but it worked, and I was warm. Dan and I went to a gallery opening last Friday and I wore an undershirt, long sleeved tee, and a patchwork jacket that I had made from Japanese fabrics when we lived in Jacksonville - it was relatively cozy. Dan is golfing today and he was definitely bundled up.
I need to finish and get busy painting - I worked all weekend on DT stuff for blog posts, Valentine stuff, and altered items, none of which I can show just yet - but it's fun. Thanks for reading, hope you have a great day and stay warm! Don't forget the RAK in the previous blog - I will announce the winner on Friday when I post the next Fav Things challenge - see you then!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter delights, some layouts, & a RAK

It is so so cold here, but we are trying to stay warm. Bundled up with an undershirt, a long sleeved teeshirt, and another shirt or shawl. At least I am getting to use some of the beautiful knitted scarves and shawls that I have made. I took the above photo after dinner last night - an empty soup bowl - because there is lots of soup making and
baking happening - French bread every other day, banana bread, and chocolate chip cookies.

Sketch #2 of the Scrapgal Back to Basics Sketch contest - come on over and join in. This layout is of Crate Paper (manu of the month and another contest) and old Making Memories diecut paper. Hana looks so stressed, don't you think?

this layout was done for the Scrapgal yearlong challenge of 10 thing lists - the January prompt is resolutions for 2010. the pp is Cosmo Cricket; the alphas are pink paislee, October afternoon, and Making Memories; and the epoxy sticker is K&co. The picture is a postcard of one of my idols, Frieda Kahlo.
I thought since it is the beginning of the year, I would do a little RAK. I have noticed many people doing art journaling or wanting to do art journaling so I am offering 2 books - The Artful Journal - a spiritual quest and Kaleidoscope - ideas + projects to spark your creativity. Just leave me a comment and I will randomly select one next Friday, Jan 15.

Today is quite a bit warmer but then tomorrow is supposed to be miserable so we are enjoying today! Lots of sunshine - I am doing laundry, will finish a painting this afternoon, listening to Charlaine Harris's book Dead as a Doornail on my cd player, going to a gallery opening for a friend this afternoon, and then out to dinner, probably Mexican, tonight. We watched Julie and Julia on Wed night (got it from the library) and loved it. I have reserves in for several other movies and also for the 1st season of True Blood.
I have been hand quilting a quilt at night (so warm and cozy as I lay it over my lap) - I made the quilt top the year after my mother passed - it is made of fabrics that she gave me the last time I saw her before she passed (not really what I would have picked) - I put it away and finally last summer I was able to get it out and finish the borders and now I am quilting it. I think the problem of finishing it was the finality of it all - the fabrics remind me so much of her. I think she would like it. and once I am done, I will show a photo of it.
Thanks for reading and hope you have a wonderful weekend. Try to stay warm and I will be back on Sunday - be sure to comment for the RAK!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Something sweet and some challenges

I am now officially a Candy Shoppe Design Lollipop Girl, and my lollipop name is Lemon Zinger (I don't know if you remember but Celestial Seasonings used to have a wonderful tea named that - maybe they still do but living in Colorado when they first started, I worked for a printing company that did some of their printing and they used to bring me tea when they came in to check proofs so I have a soft spot in my heart for them - even though I know they were bought out) - sweet and tart. Above is a layout I did to show my new lollipop name - I painted part of the background and made the straw flower on my little loom.
Then, the first Candy Shoppe Design challenge for the year is up - show us something about you and be sure to use an "I" prominently in the layout. Check out the great DT layouts. I decided to do a little something about what I hope to accomplish in 2010 - I want to paint a lot more, to love spontaneously a lot more, and to laugh out loud a whole lot more! the background is Cosmo Cricket Early Bird, the small frame paper is Webster's Pages Home for the Holidays, the alphas are thickers, the rub on is lilybee, the lace is Prima, the fabric is Amy Butler, and the flower is an orchid from Michaels. This challenge runs until the middle of the month so check it out!

Over at Scrapgal we have several contests and challenges going on so be sure to come over, sign up, and join in with the fun on the forums and gallery. The above layout is #1 in our Sketch contest for January. I sprayed and masked the background with 2 shades of glimmer mist and the winter trees glimmer screen. The papers are Basic Grey Nook & Pantry and Webster's Pages, the rub ons are Hambly, and the stickers are Basic Grey Indian Summer. The photo is of Brian long ago in Aspen. Every October on the weekend near my birthday we would take a long weekend and drive up to Aspen to enjoy the changing color of the aspens and maybe a dusting of snow. We always ate breakfast on Sunday at the Hotel Jerome, and one year John Denver sat at the table next to ours. He was obviously a regular and went over and grabbed a pot of coffee off the sideboard, filled his and his companions, and then asked us if we wanted a refill - what a great memory! There was also an incredible outdoor crepe wagon that made the most delicious cinnamon crepes (I think I have a photo of that place - I need to scrap it). Our last year in Colorado we actually drove down to Santa Fe and Taos, and it is one of my favorite sensory memories - it was late late afternoon as we drove into Sante Fe and you could smell the spicy mesquite fires burning - it was so cozy - the hotel had a big fireplace in the lobby and it was so romantic and exotic - great memories!
Well, this started out as an intro to Candy Shoppe and an invitation to join in challenges on CSD and on Scrapgal, but it became a trip down memory lane, or should I say, a trip up memory mountain - thanks for reading and have a great first week of 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to all! I am looking forward to a great year of creating - painting, scrapping, sewing, knitting, and one of my goals for the year is to learn to crochet. Here is a layout I did with the January Sampler Kit from Scrapbookingsuppliesrus - I love color and this year I want to get more adventurous with my use of it - mixing and matching, just playing! The background paper is jillibeans, the flower is Prima, the journaling card is My Mind's Eye, and the hearts were cut from some MME paper.
Hope everyone is safe and warm this day, and looking forward to the new year. We will have a quiet day at home with a yummy honey ham for dinner (lots of soups, etc. in the next few weeks), baked sweet potatoes, marinated black eyed peas, and slaw. Hope you have a great day and I'll be back with more layouts (I have been a scrapping maniac this past week) on Sunday.