Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's your favorite thing about Spring?

Come on over to These are a few of my favorite things challenge blog and see what the DT has created to show you their favorite things about spring - and then create your own layout and post it to Mr Linky!

Gecko Galz (thank you Leanne!) is our sponsor for this challenge so for this layout about Spring I used printable paper Here Comes the Sun from the Gecko Galz Strawberry Fields collection and ephemera from the Girlfriends2 collection. The flowers are Prima, the alphas are October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket, and the little umbrella is from a drink!

The prize from Gecko Galz will be a $20 gift certificate to use for any products on their website . Gecko Galz products include ephemera, paper sets, alphabet soup, digital stamps, project kits, cd collections of their papers and ephemera, and fripperies (glitter, ribbons, and antique pearl buttons).


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prima April Build a page - Say It in vintage

Inspired by the April Prima build a page sketch, I created this layout - everything is Prima, including the packaging for the Say it in crystals and Say it in Pearls, which coordinates so well with my title, Say it in vintage.  Perhaps you have seen the photo before, here on my blog; it is of some of my collection of vintage pins. I even used 3 of them on the layout. I also hand painted in watercolor the roses at the top and some underlying ones at the bottom.
This was a fun layout - complete abandon and totally frou frou!!!

I am re-reading the Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman (love the His Dark Materials trilogy!) and I got an audio cd from the library of Lyra's Oxford. I think it's about Lyra's life after the trilogy is over. So looking forward to listening to it as I knit.

Based on a recommendation by someone's blog (sorry I can't remember whose), I read the first book in Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar trilogy and loved it. I got it from the library and then I tried to get the 2nd book but apparently it is misfiled or stolen, and they don't have the 3rd book at all. I requested it via interlibrary loan but now I find out that due to budget cuts, there will be no interlibrary loans any more SO I have been haunting ebay and looking for the cheapest option - finally today I was able to order the trilogy for less than $10 and that includes shipping. I'm excited!!!  If you like fantasy and/or time travel, these are for you - I really enjoyed the first one but I warn you - there are lots of characters so when I receive the books, I am going to re-read it before I start the second one.

AND I am also excited - I just got an email that I can pick up the dvd of Black Swan at the library tomorrow - Yay! I have been waiting ever since it came out - I am now on the reserve lists for The King's Speech and The Tourist - 28 and 25 respectively!

Hope you are having a great week! It is very very hot and windy here - prime forest fire season! We are praying for rain!  thanks for reading,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Right now.................

I am loving seeing all of these baby tomatoes on our plants
I am loving a freshly ironed pile of cotton and linen vintage handkerchiefs
I am knitting like a fiend on my African vest
I am finishing up a couple of layouts
I am looking at a little painting of an iris that I did this morning in my open studio
I am pretty irritated by the increase in the cost of my health insurance - up 15% as was our homeowners' insurance (and next year it looks like we may get a 30% increase as the FL legislature is voting to allow insurance companies some pretty big increases)
I am wondering how children in Florida are going to get decent educations when the legislature has voted to decrease school spending to the level of 1976 (not percentagewise, to the actual dollar number spent then)
I am also wondering why other state governments are listening to our ex-governor who is going around promoting testing as the best way to judge school effectiveness - especially since our children as the guinea pigs for his experiment are proving that it doesn't work - they can answer the test questions but they can't think or reason
I am feeling very upset about the future in store for our children and our children's children
I am focusing on the little things that bring joy to my life - eating beans and rice by candlelight is very romantic!

Come back tomorrow for a new layout - my take on the Prima April Build a page

Monday, April 25, 2011

No rest for the painter or the knitter

Despite being sick last week, I did do some painting and knitting (most of the knitting was on the weekend).
I did this one just for fun!
I am knitting a vest with the Jane Thornley knit-a-long on Ravelry - I found this necklace that I had made a long time ago - I think it will add to the Safari flavor!
The project must be finished by May 31 so I have to get busy and knit knit knit. The back which you see part of above is about half done, then I move on to the fronts, the gussets, and the finishing touches. I probably won't be able to wear it until late fall, but I think it will look very exotic with jeans or black pants and a black top.
Hope you are having a good week. I just finished the Prima BAP for April and need to photograph it - hopefully later today or tomorrow.  See you soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Starting some new things

The past two weeks have been pretty gruesome around here - I think I told you that DH had the flu - he is now improving but still coughing up a storm. Believe me, you do not want to catch this strain (DH had gotten a flu shot in the fall but as he says, there are always new bugs mutating out there!). Of course, I caught it on Sat! It has been a miserable week but you know how you just do everything you have to do even though you feel wretched - and then you crash when you get home! I finally slept well last night and actually feel like I am recovering today (knock on wood!).
I was invited to join another Knit-a-long - it started this past week but I was too sick even to knit! The knit-a-long is based on Jane Thornley patterns and is to capture Africa in your creation. I found the above image of the Kalahari (our sailboat's name) on the web to use as inspiration, and above is a photo of my selected yarns. I also made some stribbons from the silk scarves in the photo.I have no money to purchase anything new so I shopped my stash and am using lots of leftovers.

As you can see, Hana is helping me select yarns, and she has deigned to model as my lioness muse!!!!!
Another sketchbook page -

Hope you are having a good week - I feel much better today and hope it continues over the weekend - I have some paintings in me that need to be released and I have to knit knit knit to catch for the lost week.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some peeks into my sketchbook

I am trying to paint a bit every day - my journal is filled with pictures but few words. I speak with my paints about the things I see, read, and remember.  Even though I live in south Florida just 3 miles from the ocean, I can still see mountains, rivers, and rocks in the lands in my mind; and I can imagine a young girl who becomes a swan in a fairy story.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I purchased this fantastic crystallized porcelain ikebana vase about a month ago at an art show here - I absolutely fell in love with this potter's creations but they were quite expensive! I was thrilled to find this lovely little vase in my price range - and here it is with a single hibiscus.  Just wait until the fancier ones are in bloom - we have a stunning pink variegated one with the coolest variegated leaves, and a double red one!

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A new painting

 I am trying to use every free moment right now to do the things I have to do so I can carve out blocks of time to paint and create.  This painting is my interpretation of one  in An Introduction to Flower Painting by Elizabeth Harden. During the workshop that I took last week, I was introduced to a wonderful painter from the UK, Shirley Trevena, and would love to get her books. However, funds are slim so I put them on my wishlist and hopefully will get them for my birthday later this year.  I thought that I had seen some of her work before and when I got home, I dug through my watercolor books about painting flowers - I discovered that she has several paintings and a tutorial in An Introduction to Flower Painting by Elizabeth Harden so I was thrilled and  also inspired by the many great painters who are highlighted in the book, so I have spent the last several days painting flowers.

Lots to do today - I want to bake some cookies to put in the freezer to have with our after-dinner tea in the evenings, and I need to finish some projects for submission and DT work.  My DH is almost recovered from his cold BUT guess who has caught it?!  Yesterday I vegged a bit - finished a book, watched The Social Network (very good!), and then worked a little on a fabric mixed-media project.

It's been a very productive week for me!

Thanks for looking,

Friday, April 15, 2011

What's your favorite "favorite thing" challenge?

It's amazing to think that challenge blog is almost 2 years old! So our challenge this time at These are a few of my favorite things is for you to select your favorite challenge that we have had in the past, and show us a new take on it.
I love flowers (bet you couldn't guess that?!) and I decided to revisit one of our very first challenges with a new layout about my favorite flower - My DH always used to send me flowers at home, now brings me a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day and my birthday, but the most fantastic time that he ever sent me flowers was when he sent me a bouquet on HIS birthday - he wrote on the card that I was his best present ever - swoon.........
I did this layout with the February Prima BAP sketch in mind, and all the components are Prima. I cut out and painted the heart and cupid (and added some butterfly wings to the cherub).
AND just so you know, here is the layout I did for the first What is your favorite flower challenge
Be sure to check out the other DT layouts and then create something to show us - a layout, a card, a project, whatever - we would love to see it! The prize is a gift certificate to Diana's etsy store!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prima April picks and my take on them

Here's my take on the April Prima picks - love the color mix of turquoise/aqua, peach, and pink
Here's their Prima picks page and below are some details of my layout
I used Sunny Day paper from the Fairy Flora Collection and laid my flowers on top of the printed ones. I painted some of the canvas flower and leaf Mistables with watercolor paint and then stitched the canvas to give it dimension.
I painted the big chiffon flower with aqua and lime in the center
 I painted another scrap of Prima paper with soft blues and aquas and layered it under a Prima transfer and then used Prima letters (I like the funky look of the mixed alphas) for the title.

I'm off to link this to the Prima blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jenni Bowlin Vintage challenge

For this layout I used a vintage Easter postcard that I inherited from my grandmother (in a box with lots and lots of postcards), part of the March Jenni Bowlin kit (which I had gotten with my gift certificate that I had won - still have another one to spend - maybe on the tart tins???), some vintage ribbon (be sure to check it out - I love the puppy/bunny/clown design on it), a fabric flower that I made, machine stitching, and some paint.

Be sure to come back on April 15 for the newest These are a few of my favorite things challenge!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No, I haven't fallen off the earth.......

I am just trying to catch up on life after having been in a fantastic workshop all last week.

Right now.........

DH is sick with a cold (his first this whole winter season) and I am washing my hands and gargling with Listerine so I don't catch it (knock on wood!)

somewhat sad that we had to turn on the air conditioning this week (I love having the house open) but it has gotten to 90 during the day several days and the humidity is quite high.  My hair had turned to frizz and we were feeling pretty miserable - Hana was not eating during the day at all.  She is so funny - after I turned on the air, she started laying on a chair that is just below an a/c vent - what a spoiled little princess she is!!!!

Counting the cherry tomatoes on our bush and checking out the blossoms on the other tomato bush

Sketching heads and figures, and playing with my paints

Reading a wonderful book the Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Making reservations for my trip this summer to Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver (I can hardly wait!!!!!!)

And creating some new layouts and projects for submission and display

Hope you are having a super week!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's your favorite color?

We are doing a special blog hop over at and our challenge is revisiting an older challenge from when we first started in 2009 - what's your favorite color?  For that older challenge, I did a layout in WHITE but right now I have to admit the GREEN/VERDE is my favorite color = perhaps because it's spring?!
I used a Prima mask and sprayed Lettuce Ranger color wash. The photo is a postcard that I bought when we were in Republica Dominicana about 10 years ago. The flowers and leaves are Prima, and the birds and ferns are K&co Botanical.

The journaling is the first lines of a poem called Romance Sonambulo by Federico Garcia Lorca - I used the original Spanish as I think poems are always better in the language in which they were written but the English translation is, " Green , how I want you green/ Green wind. Green branches."  It's a really wonderful poem - here's a  link to it.

Hope you check out the hop!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A few watercolor sketches from the workshop

I am taking a workshop this week taught by the fantastic Janet Rogers - Expressive Florals and Portraits. We have just had two days of painting fresh flowers  (see my sketches above) and now we will have two days of painting portraits. I am learning so much and having so much fun - what could be better?!?!

Hope you are having a great week!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I made Lemon Squares for DH's birthday!!!! Happy happy!!!!!

I painted in my sketchbook - see above and below

I worked at the gift shop and ran errands

I randomly picked a winner for the Cheesecake Factory gift card for the Paperissues blog hop -------

Please email  me at kalaiton at hotmail dot com with your snail mail address and I will mail you the card.
 Hope you are having a super day! the weather here is positively spectacular!!!!!!!!!! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Gecko Galz for April - a tribute to my Mother

I know that this is a bit early for Mother's Day but really everyday is Mother's Day -

I used Gecko Galz Tudor Rose Hampton Court paper and M is for Mother ephemera. I created the base by scrunching tissue paper and then layering it on cardstock and painting with gesso. After it dried, I sprayed it with Glimmer mists that sort of continued the look of the Gecko Galz paper. I cut out the ephemera and layered it along with Prima flowers around a photograph of my mother and me.

Next week I will be taking a 4-day watercolor workshop from Janet Rogers, a national teacher and painter. I am so so excited!!!! I have scheduled some posts as I know that I will be exhausted every evening.

Hope you have a fun April Fool's Day and a great weekend!