Friday, December 31, 2010

My favorite layouts for 2010

It's hard to pick favorites but sometimes you just know that the layout, project, painting works or that it means something very special to you. You can tell from this group that I selected from 2010 that I love to make my own flowers and embellishments.
This year was a bit stressed for me scrapping-wise. I worked my patootie off for 9 months of the year doing so many layouts for DT work, and then, after all that happened in October, I have hardly done any. I was so burned out and really just plain tired of scrapping.
I have gotten some mojo back the past couple of weeks and been painting a lot and scrapping a bit. I have decided that DTs are generally not for me (Julie, don't get stressed - I love love love TAAFOMFT - there are several TAAFOMFT layouts in the above favorites!) and if I apply again, it would only be to selective ones.
I did submit some layouts in November to a real magazine and have received notification about their publication in the spring (I will let you know when and who when it happens) so that makes me feel very good about the artistic merits of my work.
Thank you for reading my blog, and hope you had a productive and overall good year!
Tomorrow starts a new year and I am ready for some new challenges and goals.
What are your goals for the new year?
Have a joyous and safe New Year's Eve! (we are staying home)
and until 2011,

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I love the timeless style of Jenni Bowlin

Hey hey hey
it's time for the new challenge at TAAFOMFT!!!!
Who is your favorite scrapper?
I had a difficult time with this one 
as I don't really have a favorite -
I enjoy seeing layouts and projects by many many designers, especially the other team members
like many other scrappers, as I was learning to scrap, I went through periods of
liking certain scrappers' styles: Elsie Flannigan, Heidi Swapp, Ali, you know who I mean
but then I stopped paying much attention to other people's styles - I might
use a technique or layout sketch but mostly I do my own thing;
I have always like Jenni Bowlin's classic simplicity -
I like that her collections always work with previous collections -
the red, cream, and black look is so totally chic

Be sure to check out the DT's layouts and then show us your stuff!!!!!!

AND check out the DT call - I love creating with the other members of the Design Team and I know that you will too - we would love to see your application - check out the details on the blog.

Also, be sure to post your new layouts or projects on PaperIssues - anything "NEW"


Monday, December 27, 2010

Working hard in the studio

Drawing and painting like a fiend lately -
above is a view of my easel/worktable several days ago - I am using an old vanity for a side table
My desk with new printer - Yay! on sale!
The television to the left is our old one (DH bought a new flat screen this summer) - it is not hooked up to cable but I can watch dvd's on it 
Painting that I am currently working on - just a beginning......
Busy busy busy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

Rise, happy morn! rise, holy morn!
Draw forth the cheerful day from night;
O Father, touch the east, and light
The light that shone when hope was born!
--Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shiny Brite Revisited

Just a few days ago I posted a photo that I had taken of a box of vintage ornaments -
I loved the look of the ornaments so much that I was inspired to paint them

I discovered on Tuesday that I could not find our Christmas stockings - I determined that I must have put them away up into the attic with the other holiday decorations that I did not use this year SO
I decided to make some funky new stockings - I drew a stocking pattern, dug through my fabric stash and found some black for Brian (I think he only owns black teeshirts. LOL!), a funky teal and rosy-grape for me, and then for Dan I selected blue to match his eyes BUT when I mentioned it to him, he said that he wanted a golf stocking complete with pin, flag, and even a "ball" - ASK and ye shall receive!!!! I sewed some Prima flowers onto mine and an old beaded lizard onto Brian's. They are pretty primitive but definitely quick and easy.
Just 2 more days until Christmas - I have to work until 4pm on Christmas eve but I know that lots of people have to work much later and some people even on Christmas so it is really no big deal for me. I plan to cook a brisket ahead of time for Christmas Eve dinner and then warm it up with barbecue sauce when I get home.
Hope you are having a great week!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow and icicles in Florida?! LOL!!!!

a little "snowman" in my studio
and some "icicles"
Hope you are having a good day and this gave you a little chuckle!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A day filled with joy

"Night goes with silent steps
round house and cottage
o'er earth that sun forgot
dark shadows linger:
Then on our threshold stands
white clad, in candlelight
Santa Lucia"
The sun is shining brilliantly today, belying this being the Winter Solstice; but we are truly reveling in the light and warmth
The moon last night and this morning was so beautiful, so ethereal:
it was so big and luminous I felt like I could just reach out and touch it.
It made me think about early peoples who saw these same sights, only they were surprises -
joy and fear experienced simultaneously - what could this mean? 
Sometimes when I read how afraid and anxious people of today are, I wonder what happened to make us that way - where is our sense of adventure, our feelings of self-reliance and hope, our belief in something higher? Today I am so filled with a deep happiness and peaceful spirit - I am blessed in so many ways and I am so grateful for all of these blessings.

A few random photos and thoughts -
the buds on my cactus plants are like timed photography - each time I look at them today,
the blossoms are opening a bit more
I baked some Mexican wedding cookies this morning (used the recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Book - she recommends that you wait until the cookies are cool before you roll them in the powdered sugar - I have to agree with her). YUM!
a basket of cards and tags on my coffee table
and a mix of old and new decorations -
I was given the Mr and Mrs Santa and the candy cane man (there are 2 more that you cannot see in this photo) when I was a little girl
my son gave me the wonderful Pottery Barn woodland stick reindeer last year for Christmas - I think the reindeer looks like something out of a fantasy novel, don't you?
I got a special little surprise today - the local library called me this morning and they had been able to get 2 books for me through interlibrary loan. I had read about these books on a blog from the UK and was really intrigued but knew that our library didn't have them. The librarian told me that she could find only one copy of one of the books in a participating library in the US and that she was very pleased that they would send it here. I am super excited to get the book - it is Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons and was written in 1937. I had read Cold Comfort Farm many years ago (actually I have read it several times and seen the movie with Kate Beckinsale) but had never seen any other books by Gibbons. What a lovely surprise!
The other book is the Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green and was originally published in 1878, nine years before the debut of Sherlock Holmes. It was one of the first examples of detective fiction and actually was one of the best-selling novels of the nineteenth century - and just think, it was written by a woman!
Well, I have rambled on quite a bit today - thanks for staying with me and I hope you have a lovely evening. We are having pork chops, sweet potatoes, and some leftover stuffing for dinner along with a bottle of some special wine. I set the table with extra candles (by the way, did I  ever mention that we always eat by candlelight in the winter months - that means when the a/c is off - usually Oct 15 - May 1) and put out holiday napkins and funky snowflake napkin rings. I got a beautiful white poinsettia for the table for the holidays.
and ttfn

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shiny Brite

Busy week ahead
Tuesday is the Winter Solstice - Have a merry Yule!
Errands, laundry, cleaning, cookie baking, and lots of painting and sketching this week
getting ready for Marit's Top 2000 music fest

hoping my Christmas cactus(es) bloom this week(lots of buds)
watching the Nutcracker on DVD
making some New Year's intentions and goals
working until 4pm on Christmas Eve
Have a great Sunday!!!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A little bird went to the thrift store

Busy busy busy!!!! Just a quick hello before I go to work at the used book store. I finished 2 small projects from the December Gecko Galz bird-themed ephemera - the above card (also used some scraps of papers from prior months, a Maya Road flower, some vintage flowers, and a feather)
On this tag, I sprayed peacock Glimmer mist chalkboard and added paper scrap, ephemera, laces, feathers, and flowers. One of the super things about the Gecko Galz ephemera is that you can print out whatever you want and there are so many great choices.
I went to a thrift store on Wednesday and really scored:
I found this incredible vintage scrapbook - it is 12" x 14" and the inside pages are heavy-weight creamy tan paper - this is so so perfect for a sketchbook or artist journal - and the price was right - $1.25!!!!! I also found a wooden wall thread holder for $2 (usually $20 at Joann's) I love seeing all the lovely colors of my thread displayed above my sewing machine. In addition, I got a Bead Trends magazine for $1, a lovely white and cream linen dress and jacket for $8, and a Dockers shirt for $2 - happy happy happy!
Hope you are having a great week - it has been bitterly cold here this week and we broke the record for coldest temps 2 nights in a row, but today it is lovely and about 70 degrees so I am enjoying the warmth.
I am in the midst of a new painting and hope to finish it this weekend for show and tell! LOL!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easy peasy

The new challenge is up at and it is so easy peasy - just show us your favorite layout/project of this past year = how easy is that!!!!!! My favorite layout was one that I did for a TAAFOMFT challenge - my favorite band - and I went totally out of the box and decided to do a layout about my wedding ring and engagement ring.  We have a super prize this time so be sure to check it out and show us your stuff!!!!!!!!

I have been a drawing maniac this past week as I work towards some new paintings. I rediscovered ink pens, specifically some old fountain pens that I had in a drawer, and am really enjoying drawing with them. It has been unbelieveably cold here - breaking records no less - and I am sitting here bundled in a shawl with a cat on my lap - so cozy! I just finished watching another Jamie Oliver holiday cooking show and am super psyched for the holidays - even my DH has gotten into the cooking mode and this morning he made meatballs!!!!! I froze them in packages and we will be enjoying them for several months.

Hope you and yours are staying warm and happy - and thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just 2 weeks until Christmas

I painted these portraits of Julie T-W's daughter Brookie a month or so ago but didn't want to show them - I gave one of them to Julie and she showed it on her blog so I can now reveal them. Above is sweet little Brookie in her Belle Halloween outfit.
In the photo for this one, her teeshirt had lots of printing on it but I was simplifying the picture a bit. I really enjoyed the portraiture class that I took this fall - I have to admit that I would never have attempted portraits before it but now find them a good challenge and lots of fun.
Today has been a super day with lovely warm and sunny weather. I worked at the gift shop this morning but this afternoon I have made fudge, mixed up batter for cut-out cookies (dough is in the fridge - they will get cut out tomorrow), watched Barefoot in London on FoodTV, and finished my seasonal wall piece. It is hard to get the textural feel in photos and also the gelatin sequins don't shine in the photo like they do in real life.
I hung the piece on the wall behind my tree of birds.

I have been making some plans (intentions) for 2011 - it will be the Year of Living Abundantly - a year where I appreciate and use what I already have and where I spend very little. I have found a couple of sketch book challenge blogs that I plan to follow, and I have been making notes about crafts/projects on which I want to focus. I am putting together some kits for myself - rediscovering things in boxes and bins in my studio - I guess you could call them FOUND OBJECTS - a sketching kit, a fabric work kit, paper kits, paint kits. I plan to paint even more next year and return to some of my previous loves - fabric creations (including quilting), beading, and knitting; but you will also see plenty of scrapbooking pages and altered projects. It's going to be a fun and creative year!!!!!!!

And now it's time for me to start the Chicken and Leek pot pie for dinner - I am adapting a recipe that I saw on Jamie Oliver's Holiday program that was on one night this past week. I love Jamie Oliver's style and put one of his cookbooks on my Christmas list. We'll see............

Speaking of cookbooks, what's your favorite and are there any ones you want? I love the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and although I don't own any, I get them from the library from time to time. Another favorite is Mark Bittman's (he writes the Minimalist cooking column for the New York Times) How To Cook Everything; and I love Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros (I have a couple more of hers on my list - it's a long list as I like to give Dan and Brian lots of choices - LOL!). The photos just make me drool! I have been thinking about adding a book list in the sidebar - maybe cookbooks, craft books, favorite novels, what I'm reading right now - what do you think?

Hope your day is as great as mine is, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All through the house......

Today is a cold but sunny day in southeast Florida and I am so glad that I can stay at home and be warm (well, sort of) and play. I started out this morning with coffee, blurfing, yoga, and oatmeal. I was going to paint but somehow after I read, my fabrics insisted that I pull them out and start playing. I sometimes wish that I could be more free and random in my art but I know that usually I feel better if there is some structure and organization. I was super inspired by Jude Hill's seasonal piece so I began to design one of my own. The above photo is of the fabrics laid out - the piece began to change a bit while I was sewing it together, and I hope to finish it tomorrow or Thursday. I think it will look pretty cool hanging behind my village. I am also thinking about doing a reindeer piece - I did a little sketch and I think it might work.
Other things that I have done today - since it is feeling like winter
played with a layout for Category Stories
brewed tea in my crazy cat teapot
baked scones - after all, what's better than tea and scones?!
made beef vegetable soup for dinner tonight - it is simmering right now, and the whole house smells yummy!

Hope you are having a great day - I am finishing yet another cup of tea and getting ready to sew some more on my Winter Forest piece - I was digging through my embellishment box and found some vintage French gelatin sequins (bought many years ago when I lived in Denver) - I think they or else some tiny vintage mother of pearl buttons would look really cool as stars in the fabric sky - who knows where this is going? It reminds me of the incredible quilts in the book Moonwise by Greer Ilene Gilman - I will have to re-read that - it would be perfect winter reading BUT right now I am re-reading The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman - love that trilogy - and also on my coffee table for reading before Christmas is my old copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (we watched Scrooged last week one night and I remembered how much I loved it - definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies!)

Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with progress on my Winter Forest

Monday, December 6, 2010

Down holiday lane

Dashing through the snow.........
Walking through a winter wonderland......
It's Christmas time in the city......
and in the village!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Multi-tasking - blogging and petting my cat at the same time!

I am sitting on the edge of my chair - literally and physically on the edge since Hana has decided that she needs to be close to me since it is a bit cool here - plus she needs extra petting (not sure why but she has her reasons) so I am trying to blog and pet her at the same time. It's been a busy day - I braved the elements this morning to do a little shopping (the weather was nice earlier today but I hate having to fight the crowds at the shopping area - almost all of our stores are within a 6-8 block range - the mall, Target, Sam's, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Michael's, you name it so that particular area of town is a madhouse during the holiday season). I got there early but it was still hard to find parking spaces. I know you will find this hard to believe but I went to both Target and Michael's and didn't find anything I wanted to buy. I did buy some black pants on clearance at Beall's, some socks at the Dollar Store, and some groceries and a Poinsettia at Walmart - and I got cat food for Hana at Pet Supermarket so I did help the economy a little bit. I really do not enjoy shopping so I always try to get as much done as I can in one trip, and then I treat myself to a Starbucks!

The above tag was inspired by one of Tim Holtz's 12 days of tags. I love to see what he creates but since I have very little of his products, I try to create tags that are inspired by his with the products I have on hand. This year he has been using dies on almost every tag, and since I don't have a die cutting machine, I am trying to figure out how to make them with what I have and with what I can cut out. I used his method for making a flower from his tissue tape but I used some old Heidi Swapp tape instead.I also drew the branch with a black pigma pen, not stamped like his, and the little holiday tag is Gecko Galz ephemera.
This is my finished Autumn Pralines & Cream wrap for the Jane Thornley knit a long on Ravelry. I am a bit burned out on knitting right now but will be ready to start something new after the holidays.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend - I am off to watch some football on television.
Thanks for reading