Sunday, May 29, 2011

Paper issues new theme

We are going for a Father's day theme for the Paperissues challenge this time - this photo is of one of my DH's grandfathers. I just love it! I kept the layout pretty simple and had a fun time with the alphas.
Be sure to come over to Paperissues and link up your creations!

Yesterday I spent the entire day in the studio - I almost forgot to eat lunch but I finished a big project that I will reveal on June 1. I also finished another quilt block and cut out 5 more - hopefully to sew today but there is so much racing and baseball that I might not get it done. I went out to Big Lots this morning as they are having a special holiday "blast" and they had the little flip style video recorders for $20.  I want to record some tutorials for my blog and DH wants to use it for recording and analyzing his golf swing. Sounds like fun! LOL! I wonder who will get to be his camera person!!!
Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

May Prima Picks

I love the soft pastels of this month's Prima Picks but no time to do a layout or project - 
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

After I get off work today, I will have 4 glorious days off and no place to go or any obligations to do! 
My intention is to spend as much time in my studio as I can, finishing two paintings, a mini-book for publication, a Gecko Galz project for June, doing yoga, and working on quilt blocks.
We are having spareribs tomorrow night and then a honey ham on Sunday and Monday (I bought it when they were on sale at Christmas time). Add some potato salad, baked beans, lots of fresh veggies and fruit, and YUM YUM!
I am also saying thanks to all the men and women who have protected our country and allowed us to have such abundant and blessed lives.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Starting a new quilt

Now that I have finished knitting the African vest, I am ready to start a new project - how about a quilt? I was totally inspired by Amanda Soule's quilt from the shore so I put her mosaic up on the computer and pulled out fabrics that reminded me of the sea and the shore.

I am really attracted to the soft blues, sands, grays, and tans of the ocean and shoreline; but there also needs to be some sparks and contrasts - the yellows, greens, and blacks or browns. One block done, 24 to go!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kalahari vest and some fun things happening in the studio

My vest is finished - yay!!!!!! but I will have to wait until Oct or Nov to wear it since it's a bit warm in the summer in Florida to wear something like this!
I finished reading A Discovery of Witches - it's a fun read!
Some fun creating going on in the studio
Gotta head off to work at the book store
See you soon 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Free-range knitting without tears

Here is a photo of the back and one front of my Kalahari vest that I am knitting for the Jane Thornley knitalong on Ravelry. In the true spirit of free-range knitting, I deviated a bit from her original pattern. I am now working on the other front and then will have the 2 gussets to knit and sew it all together. The deadline is May 31 so I should be finished in plenty of time.
The choice of yarns was inpsired by a stock photo of the Kalahari desert that I found on line but I also decided to do a little watercolor sketch - the photo and sketch have some gold grasses in them and even though I had pulled some lichen Giotto ribbon yarn from my stash for this piece, somehow it just didn't work with the other yarns. The variegated orange ribbons in the vest (where the little bows are) are actually stribbons that I cut on the bias from a vintage silk scarf. I then zigzagged the strips together on the sewing machine - they knit up beautifully and are a lot cheaper than buying ribbon yarn.
Yesterday morning we watched the Endeavor take off.  We can see it once it clears ours and out neighbors' trees. It's funny but when we moved into this house 7 years ago, our tree was so much smaller - as they say, time flies!

I'm off to knit although what I really want to do is read - I am hooked on A Discovery of Witches , mentioned in a previous post. The book is so "spellbinding" (LOL!) Just picture if you will a funky witch who doesn't want to use magic, a hunk of a vampire (swoon!!!!!!), and lots of wired daemons all participating in a yoga class - and of course, an evil wizard out to get her. The book is very well written and moves quickly.
Check it out.

thanks for reading and have a super day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's your favorite photo????

It's the 15th and time for the newest challenge at These are a few of my favorite things challenge blog -
What's your favorite photo?
Be sure to check out the fabulous layouts by our incredible DT!!!!
I know that most of their layouts are centered around photos of their children but honestly I couldn't really pick just one of my son or just one of my DH and me or just one of my mother so I decided to go with one of my very special vintage photos - this photo is of my grandmother (who died before I was born) and her brother - I love their outfits, and that chair is to die for!
I created a collage background using elements from many manufacturers and sources
I like to use actual packaging on my layouts - it makes a statement about the world we live in right now - the colors and phrases used, and it's also about not wasting things.
Hope you like my layout and be sure to come over, check out the DT creations, and show us your favorite photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the worst of weeks, the best of weeks - lots of photos

Last weekend (NSD and Mother's Day) started out so nice - DH brought me a bouquet of roses, I scrapped, and then finished a painting - see above - it's a mixed media piece with 3 layers of watercolor orchids and leaves, and then knotted ribbons and yarns for roots (the photo doesn't really capture how bright it is.)
I did this layout for the doodling challenge at BPS
We had a lovely dinner of shrimp, French bread, and salad
I washed the dishes and then took my cup of tea and chocolate mousse into the living room to enjoy
instead I was suddenly overtaken by extreme nausea and rushed to the toilet to throw up
That night I was so sick and again on Monday morning - I had to call in sick to work and then threw up a few sips of tea and returned to bed and slept until 3pm - I was able to eat a little soup for dinner
Tuesday I was weak as a kitten but by Wednesday I was stronger and able to go to the art studio where I began to paint some cactus flowers
This is the beginning of a new mixed media piece - I have begun painting the background on a bigger sheet of paper and plan to make the cactus stickers somewhat 3-d, perhaps with toothpicks or?
On the way home from the art studio, I realized that my car a/c wasn't working properly - it blows cold out the passenger side but not the driver's side - I looked it up on the computer and will try a couple of things but at this point, I just don't have the money to get it fixed so it looks like I will be biting the bullet this summer - did I mention that I live in south Florida?! Once June starts and everything really shuts down here (many things are already closed some days of the week and almost all of the snowbirds are gone), I will probably only be going out a couple of days a week - the museum is closed on Monday so I won't be working there and the art studio on Wed is also shut down until Sept. So it isn't as bad as it would be if I had to leave the house every day.
Anyway, by Thursday I was totally back to my crazy little wired self and was able to run errands and paint. AND we actually had about 20 minutes of rain at my house late Thursday afternoon. I heard a sound outside and wondered what it was - we are in the midst of a terrible drought so the rain was a true blessing (and when I mentioned at work, no one else had had rain - so strange!) I worked on Friday at the used book store where I discovered a bundle of papers that someone had thrown in the trash bin - it was an old scrapbook with newspapers from 1940!!!! That baby came home with me!
Today has been a super day - a slice of sweet Florida cantaloupe for breakfast, cleaned the lanai, took 2 old rattan chairs and some other stuff to St Vincent de Paul and then scored majorly at their shop
I got this cool little loom and the loops for 20 cents - I used to make potholders with one like this when I was a little girl
this pile of books for $1.70 or something like that - and the really cool thing is the very top book by Georgette Heyer Footsteps in the Dark is one I have been looking for quite a while - I read about a new edition of it on Bas Bleu but our library doesn't have it (and with the budget cuts, they no longer do interlibrary loans) so I was super super excited to find it (it doesn't take much to get me excited!!) I also bought a Hot Cotton linen and cotton shirt for $2.50 - It's a black and white plaid and will look fantastic with my black capris, and I remember seeing it at Steinmart last year - yay!
Then I went to the library as they had some books for me
I have read great things about A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness - it sounds like my kind of reading - witches, alchemy, and vampires but all wrapped up in a very literary mystery.
Everyday Icon is a book about Michelle Obama's wonderful style
and I think most bloggers have read or heard about the Pioneer Woman
Drawing Conclusions is the brand new Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon
I also just finished the brand new Jacqueline Winspear mystery A Lesson in Secrets - very good!
I just finished baking a small banana cake (one very soft banana and I just can't bear to throw food away.) I used an old recipe (from 1930) that's in an old cookbook that my mother gave me a long time ago - it is the best cookbook and has so many delicious but inexpensive old recipes - waffles, banana cake, carrot cake, the best pie crust, and wonderful cupcakes.
The rest of the day looks to be a busy one - knitting on my African vest (pix tomorrow), pork scallopini, hot caramelized Vidalia onion roasted potatoes, and salad for dinner, and reading later this afternoon and evening while DH watches the Players golf championship and the Yankees/Red Sox game on tv 
Today is just a really super day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope that you have a wonderful day,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Beach music

I guess you know that I live in a beach town in south Florida - of course, not being a millionaire, I live about 3 miles from the ocean; but we have lots of beach access and I love going to the beach
Thought you might like a few pix 

the middle photo is looking to the north and this one to the south
and dead east at the Atlantic
These two crows made me think of Heckle and Jeckle (and for those of you who don't know who Heckle and Jeckle were, I guess you could say they were the Ren and Stimpy of the 50s!)
Hope you enjoyed this little view of my part of the world,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day and a little cropping

Hope you are having a lovely Mother's Day!
I received a beautiful bouquet of roses. I am so blessed.
Yesterday, being National Scrapbooking Day, I joined in with the crop at Big Picture Scrapbooking and played along with a few of their challenges.
the above layout is for the wood-grain challenge and thanks to Cynthia, who sent me the March Studio Calico kit, I had this fantastic wood-grain fabrip stuff along with the Cosmo Cricket background paper.
this layout was for the Outside the box challenge in which elements of your layout should extend beyond the edges of the paper. I hand painted these roses and used a vintage photo of my mother and her sisters (all mothers). There were 4 sisters and 2 are now gone - they are very much missed!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Let's talk about furniture

When we moved back onto the land from our sailboat ten years ago, we had almost no furniture (everything we owned was either on the boat or in a 5x5 storage unit) so I went garaging as furniture at garage sales is almost always cheaper than at thrift stores. I found this fantastic vintage wood couch for $95(it is very heavy wood and believe me, you do not want to stub your toe on the club feet!!!). It was painted a distressed white and had a blue cushion on it. I redid it with a distressed cream paint and had the cushion reupholstered in a soft cream/tan stripe.
Isn't the detail work just fantastic?!
Here it is with the matching pillows and some pillows that I made from silk shirts that I had. I measured the pillow forms and cut squares from the fronts and backs of the shirts (remember about 6-7 years ago when large Hawaiian type prints were popular - the thrift stores are full of them) making sure to center where the buttons and buttonholes were on the front. Then I sewed them together right sides together, turned them, ironed them, inserted pillow forms, and buttoned the buttons. So easy!!!!!
Here is a broader view of the corner of my living room (see how bright it is in the summer even with the drapes drawn). I bought the coffee table for $15 at a garage sale - it was painted a sickeningly bright yellow so I stripped it and painted it the same distressed cream as the couch. The funky lamp in the corner is from Pottery Barn - I got it free with reward points from purchasing my dining room set there. The rug is a Nain silk rug from Iran, purchased on ebay a long time ago. Silk rugs are very sturdy, feel great to bare feet, and age gracefully.
This is the view across from the couch - some of my wooden box collection on top of the television cabinet. The wood box on the right was hand made by my husband's uncle, who was a skilled cabinet maker for an old hotel. He made these jewelry boxes in his spare time.
Just to the right in the corner are 2 vintage prints of Nassau found in a thrift store and a pineapple watercolor by me.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek into my living room

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things making me happy right now

A new mixed-media piece on my worktable
a homemade chocolate chip cookie on a vintage plate
back of my Kalahari vest finished
 hand dyeing seam binding in coffee and tea (ended up too faint so I enhanced it with watercolor paint)
 seam binding sprayed with different colors of glimmer mist and Adirondack spray
Books that I ordered coming today!
Life is good!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I won a $25 gift certificate to by winning a Gecko Galz contest with this fan
I am a Happy Camper!
Thanks for looking,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just something I made

Just thought I would share with you something I made a while ago - like maybe a couple of years! LOL! It is a handkerchief holder that I hang on my bathroom door. I got the idea from Amanda Soule of Soulemama blog fame.  I cut a length of fabric 12 1/2 by 15 inches. I  hemmed the two 12 1/2 edges and then folded each end to the middle right sides together. I laid a piece of folded ribbon across one end and  stitched across each end and down a bit on the center opening. I turned the holder right side out and inserted a piece of cardboard 6 by 11 into the holder, and ironed it flat. I then filled it with handkerchiefs. Amanda Soule does not iron hers - she just launders them and puts them in so the family can pull one out whenever - but I am a bit more anal and so I wash them in the machine, line dry them, and then iron them. I lay down one, lay one to the right half way, fold over the first one, then lay one to the left half way, fold over the second one, and so on - similar to the way tissues are packed in boxes so when you pull one out, the next one peeks its end out.
I love the soft feel of vintage cotton or linen - so much more soothing and environmentally friendly than Kleenex or Puffs or Scotties or..........

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More sketchbook pages

One fish, two fish
Yellow fish, blue fish
or something like that!
Just playing around

Knitting like a fiend this weekend
and also reading some fun old books that I picked up at the library
I always love to read Georgette Heyer books when I am feeling a bit harrassed or down
They always distract me and get me through
I was complaining earlier this week about the increases in our homeowner's insurance and my health insurance
and then on Thursday we received the bill for our car insurance - it also increased by 15% so I called the company and was told that all car insurance in Florida increased 15%
I then got a couple of quotes from other companies and sure enough, that's right
I guess you thought I was kidding about the beans and rice by candlelight! LOL!
life is good
and I know that I am truly blessed to have such  a wonderful DH and son, a funny and loveable cat, a paid for roof over my head, tomatoes on the plants, paints in my palette, some bins of fabric and yarn, and lots of books
I watched part of the Royal Wedding on Friday before I went to work - was that not something?! 
What a fantasy! LOL!
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend