Thursday, September 30, 2010

TAAFOMFT and a September Recap

It's that time of the month - a new challenge is up at and it is What or who is your favorite fictional character? I had a hard time with this as I read so much and have so many favorite books (notice I went to books - some of the other DT members went to to television and movies for their favs - that's one of the things I really enjoy about the TAAFOMFT group - they are all so creative and come up with such diverse answers to the questions) but I had just finished Mockingjay (and had reread the first 2 books in the Hunger Games series) so the main character Katniss was really on my mind. She is so strong, clever, and true to herself and her loved ones, and ultimately she understands what her real task is and has the courage to accomplish it. If you haven't read these books, be sure to - they are classified as Young Adult but they are not children's books - the writing is good and the story is a very unique take on the classic good vs evil, government vs people.  I think you will really like these books!

When September began, I was full of enthusiasm and plans; today is the last day of the month and I will recap a bit for you. I joined a Triangle Knit along on Ravelry: the above photos are of the triangle free-range shawl that I knitted (4 different yarns mixed along with a stockinet border, garter stitch for the center, and random rows of lace. I also made a triangle pin from scrap fabrics and trims.
I joined the Fat Quarterly blog quilt along and sewed this quilt top - I still have to quilt it but don't have time this week to do that. I will probably get it layered and basted this week and then hand quilt it over the next few weeks.  For both of these projects, I used supplies that I had in my stash - can you believe that I never set foot in Michael's the entire month?!
I started a new watercolor portrait painting class on Tuesday; I love the teacher's method and hope to have something to show very soon.
Our budget was a disaster this month - repairs to both cards, Dan had a filling fall out (can you believe $225 for 15 minutes to grind off the rough edges and put in the new filling - no anesthesia?), and several other bills that were higher than expected. Thankfully we have enough but it's still aggravating. I did find a great French wine that was quite inexpensive and I purchased several cases for the winter. I won the bag of laces from Prima (yay!) and I was able to get quite a few art books and brand new books from the library - and I am sure I am forgetting some of the other things - good and bad - that happened this past month but THAT'S LIFE!
On to October, probably my favorite month of the year. I will be extra busy with 2 painting classes a week and working at the book store and gift shop. Sewing clothes will be one of my main activities this month, and I am in charge of the contest on Scrapgal this month so that will take some time - it will be fun - wait until you see what I have made as examples!
Thanks for reading this long post and have a super day!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Abundance is........

Abundance is having the time to play with some paints and paper
Abundance is receiving a box of fabulous trims, laces, and flowers in the mail (thanks to Prima)
Abundance is cutting strippons from a vintage chiffon scarf to use as a ribbon yarn in my Autumn wrap
 Abundance is a free Saturday at the McKee Botanic Gardens and my camera
Abundance is a sunlit and dappled path into the gardens
Abundance is Birds of Paradise in all their flaming glory
And Abundance is finding a truly inspiring book at the Used Book Depot and also getting out my autumn bowls with their messages of Abundance, Blessings, Plenty, and Harvest

Abundance is starting a new portrait painting class on Tuesday
discovering an Agatha Christie Miss Marple mystery that I have never read
finding a French wine on deep discount at the liquor and buying several cases
relishing the pears and apples that are in the markets right now
planting tomato plants for the fall growing season here
finishing a new quilt top - all ready to be quilted
discovering a new (to me) violinist whose music both excites and calms me
really getting into yoga and feeling such peaceful energy and no arthritis pain

Hope your Sunday is filled with joy and abundance - I have already done my yoga routine, and hope to watch football and the Dover race on television while knitting like a mad woman (I have a shawl that has to be finished by Thursday for a contest). No scrapping this past week but there will be several new things to be shown once October arrives.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The colors of Fall?????

I am busy at my easel this morning but just wanted to say hello and to let you know that I have a posting on the today so if you get a chance to stop, please do.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 2 P's - Prima and Pumpkins

I created this layout based on the Prima September BAP sketch so of course, it is totally Prima. I was going to tackle this one before month's end but this weekend has been the Scrapgal Crop and one of the challenges was to do a "case study" of another layout and lift it - I chose Jamie's wonderful example for the Prima Sept BAP (Jamie Dougherty - she used to be on the Scrapgal DT and now is on the Prima DT  - she is an incredibly talented designer). Come over to Scrapgal and join in the fun - you have until Monday night at midnight to enter the challenges and we have some super prizes and lots of great inspiration!
With all of the autumn and Halloween projects going on in my studio, is it any wonder that I painted some pumpkins and squashes. Speaking of, my DH read on one of his news sites that the pumpkin crop this year will be much smaller than normal due to weather issues, and that fresh pumpkins and canned pumpkin will be much more expensive. He is usually spot on with his economic information (just like the fact that coffee would increase and it definitely has) so I put canned pumpkin on my grocery list this week - our store didn't have any. Then yesterday when I was running errands, I stopped at a different chain and was able to get  3 cans - they only had 4 so I left one for someone else.
The budget is going pretty well except for the car repairs on both cars last week. Groceries were $61 this week. Yesterday I stopped at Goodwill (I am looking for a food processor -Dan read an article in the New York Times about food processors and some of the things you can do with them so I decided to look for a used one - (I have a small one that I use for chopping etc) - none yesterday but I did happen to find a wonderful wood table top easel (complete with brushes, palette, and acrylic paints) for $15 (they go for $50 or more) and a brand new topsy turvey tomato planter for $5. We are just ready to start our fall vegetable garden so this was perfect.
This past week has been super busy - I was able to get all the blocks pieced for the Fat Quarterly quilt along, knitted on my Ravelry triangle shawl knit along,  took my painting to the Art Museum to be in an exhibit, added yoga to my exercise routine, painted 3 small paintings and about 1/3 of a larger piece, read The Rebellion of Jane Clarke by Sally Gunning (very very good!), and also did most of the usual stuff. I feel exhausted just reading the last sentence!! I get somewhat lethargic in the heat of the summer and as it begins to cool (a bit!), my energy comes back gang busters - also, it is amazing how much you can accomplish when you don't go shopping except for necessities - I was just thinking yesterday how long it had been since I had been inside Target, Michaels, or even most of my thrift shop haunts. Using up what I already have is really empowering me to be more creative.

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.
Tuesday will be Mabon, the autumnal equinox.
We plan to celebrate with a good dinner and carrot cupcakes,
and give a prayer of thanks for our blessed lives.
Thanks for reading

Friday, September 17, 2010

Some fall lovin' and a Crop tonight

Mabon  (the Equinox) is next Tuesday and everything here still pretty much looks like summer but I am in a fall state of mind. I created this layout last week for the Scrapgal tag contest - you know, someone does a layout and then tag, you're it, and you have to do a scraplift of their layout - and oh yeah, did I mention that there was a time limit - I was on a great team so of course, we won. LOL!!!! Yay Chi-O's!!!!
This paper is MME So Sophie as is the title card, the flowers are Prima Madrigal, and the leaf charms and leaves are from Michaels. The photo is of North Carolina - sigh - so beautiful!

Don't forget to sign up at Scrapgal and then join us for the Crop tonight and tomorrow night - lots of fun challenges and some great prizes including several Scrapgal gift cards and some other cool RAKs. I am giving away a Ranger RAK so come on over and join the fun!!!!
Thanks for reading and hope you have a super day - I will be back on Sunday with a new painting (maybe more) and some other fun stuff!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Scrapgal blog hop and a little poetry

 Good morning! It's a busy day today - Scrapgal blog hop and the newest These are a few of my favorite things challenges so let's get started....

If you've just visited Cassie's blog and are here for the Scrap Gal Fall Haul Blog Hop, you're in the right place! But if you came here through your Reader, be sure to hop on over to the to get started. 
But I digress......................

the latest challenge at is up and it is "What is your favorite poem?"
I have always loved Emily Dickinson's poetry and one of my favorites is her verse about Hope
I used some wonderful Melissa Frances patterned paper (from Scrapgal) for my background, the vintage images and buttons are all from Gecko Galz, the feathered wing is a Christmas ornament from Marshall's bought after the holidays last year, and the poem is torn from an old book.  And you know that I couldn't stop myself from adding a few bits of torn fabric and laces from my collection. Hope you come over and see the rest of the DT layouts and then show us your favorite poem.

..........and now back to our regularly scheduled programming......................

  You should have arrived at my blog from Cassie's blog and you are now going to Donna's blog. Be sure to finish at the Galblog for a prize!

For more fun, games, challenges and prizes be sure to join us this weekend at the Scrap Gal Fall Haul Crop!  on the Scrapgal forum

I look forward to seeing you there. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some spooky sneaks

Lots of activity in the studio
I have also been painting, sewing, and knitting - a busy and happy month!

A little update on the budget:
Groceries this week $61 (fresh veggies and fruit, orange juice, bread, French rolls, pork chops, chuck roast, potatoes, onions, carrots, tea, cream cheese (I plan to bake carrot cupcakes & frost with cream cheese frosting), spaghetti sauce, tomato soup, 2 waters, eggs
Liquor store $68(8 bottles of wine)
New battery for Dan's car $98 (this was not totally a surprise as he was starting to have some trouble with starting the car)
Motor for my back passenger window $49 (totally a surprise - the window just started to drop and would not go up - Dan pulled it to the top and we taped it - this expense is just for the motor - it will get installed next week)
Refill my go phone $27
We will have to see how the rest of the month plays out
Sometime this next week I will receive my DT voucher from Scrapgal and I am trying to figure out what to purchase with it so I don't have to spend any extra - with all the new lines, etc., this will be difficult!
I was able to get Mockingjay (the conclusion of the Hunger Games trilogy) yesterday!
I finished Mockingjay this morning and it is excellent - if you haven't read the Hunger Games trilogy, I highly recommend it!

Just a note that we will be having a Scrapgal bloghop on Wed, Sept 15, and then a Crop on the 17th and 18th - lots of fun challenges and prizes!!!!!!!!!!!!
thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A few peeks around my studio

A little triangle knitting
cutting out fabric for a new quilt - lots of fun colors - turquoise, orange, yellow, tan, and lime green
lots of watercolor practice
We will be having a Scrapgal blog hop next week and a Fall Haul crop - lots of fun projects, games and challenges - I might just give a few peeks this coming week
I am also co-chairman of the October Scrapgal contests so I am busy, busy, busy creating Halloween projects - so love working with the MME Haunted flocked papers and the G45 Halloween in Wonderland papers.
I have also been reading some new books - Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith and Faithful Place by Tana French - both very good.  I look forward to getting Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins once the library gets it.  Are you reading anything fun or interesting right now? I would love to know.
 Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yet another fabric flower tutorial

If you get a chance, please check out my tutorial on the the Galblog today - it is on how to make the fabric flowers on this layout (these flowers are very similar to the fabric Prima Madrigal flowers).
Lots of busy and happy things happening in my studio over the weekend - I will try to post some sneak peeks tomorrow - Have a great Tuesday and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A new month

So you thought it was the beginning of September when it was really October Afternoon (manu of the month at Scrapgal) - I love the quaint charm of the thrift shop collection and used it in the above layout. The little line of girls was cut from an old book on sewing and the flower is a layered one -  Making memories paper pink flower for the base, gathered pale pink crepe paper for the next layer, and a yo yo made by Kimmie at Whimsical Twist (thanks Kimmie) for a topper.

As I said in an earlier post, I plan to keep super busy in September and NOT buy anything but necessities. This is the morning of day 3 and I have started off well :
Day 1 -Dan dentist - $183 for cleaning and xrays (yearly exam)
Day 2 - weekly groceries $60 (whole chicken, spare ribs, beef shank, bacon(on sale), bologna(on sale), bread, eggs, mayo(on sale), refried beans, pickle relish, romaine, tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber, radishes, green beans, cantaloupe, bananas, and 2 big jugs of water (our water is very chlorinated so it is pretty nasty to drink)
  gas for Dan's car - $32
  weed & bug killer for yard - $15
This morning Dan is working at the golf course and I will be working at the used book store today so no chances to spend any money.
I also got new bedroom curtains made for our bedroom - when we moved back into our house after the repairs from the hurricane, I had purchased some white Pottery Barn linen and cotton curtains on ebay for my studio - I ended up with 6 curtains rather just the 4 I needed so I put the extra ones away. I washed the ones that were hanging in my studio and they came out so lovely (even though it said dry clean only) and then cut and sewed the 3rd set to fit the windows in our bedroom - fortunately the curtains were 63 long and both of our windows are short - it was tight but I measured and cut very carefully and now they are hanging in the bedroom and look great - and I spent $0!!!! I will give the previous bedroom curtains to a thrift shop - they were a closeout at Lowe's and marked way down so that's why I had bought them - 5 years is long enough!

When I took the watercolor class several weeks ago, the teacher recommended a special book for us to read about the theory of painting by Richard Schmid (probably one of the best US or even world painters alive today). Unfortunately the book was written in 1999 and is out of print so - it is ridiculously expensive on amazon and ebay - $70 for paperback and $150 for HB - I took a chance and requested it from our library through interlibrary loan - and they got it for me - I picked it up yesterday and started reading it last night - it is brilliant and just so inspiring - I want to compliment our library for their fabulous service. Right now is a very difficult time for libraries in the US - so many cuts, and ours is doing the best it can despite the budget issues. Both the used book store and the gift shop in which I volunteer(work) benefit the library here (I also serve as secretary on the Board of the Friends of the Indian River County library which runs both stores) - I am so glad that I can help out as I truly believe that libraries are very important to the future of our society.

Let's see, what else have I done......I have also been painting everyday and exercising - I am going to step up the exercising a bit now that it is a little cooler (LOL!) and probably do more yoga also.

This long weekend will be quiet here - Dan will cut lawn and practice and play golf. I will paint, scrap, knit, cook, exercise, and read - and of course, there is lots of baseball, college football, and Nascar - did I mention that I am married to a sports junkie?!  I feel bad for the people who live in NC and on up the Atlantic Coast - I so hope the hurricane stays out at sea.  We were hit dead on by Hurricane Frances on Labor day weekend in 2004 and then by Jeanne exactly 3 weeks later. And then of course, several years later, watching Katrina on television and praying for the people who lived there and suffered through such devastation and then such mismanagement.

Thanks for reading - this ended up being a long post.

Hope your weekend will be wonderful - full of  happy times, yummy food, and good company!!!!!!!