Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm sure that you have seen the old adage "Use it up/Wear it out/Make do/Or do without" and I have tried to follow that much of my life - that is, living within my means and living as green as I can. But just this weekend I saw this adage "Do what you can with what you have where you are", and I think it sums up pretty much where I am right now. A good way to remind yourself (and myself) of the abundance in our lives! I suppose it doesn't help the consumer economy numbers (if you can believe anything you read) but I know that I am happier and healthier doing and living without money or ego problems. Next time you are inspired by a project that you read about in a blog or magazine, stop for a moment and think how you could use that inspiration within the text of what you already own in supplies - you probably already have items that would work beautifully and add your personal touch to the layout, canvas, quilt, or altered item. So far this year (now 5 months in) I haven't bought any scrapping supplies and only 6 tubes of watercolor paint (to replace empties), 4 conte crayons, 2 frames and mats, 8 fat quarters at the quilt show, and a couple of journals for $1 each at the used book store. All totaled to $140.  I have gone through my supply closet and pulled out some UFOs (unfinished objects) so I will be finishing those in the next few months and continuing to create new pieces with what I have.
Here's a sketchbook page that I did this week - as you can see, I was playing with circles (the watercolor wet into wet circle idea came from Water Paper Paint by Heather Smith Jones (from the library) - it's a cool book "exploring creativity with watercolor and mixed media"- lots of cool ideas and written in a  fun style). I was sitting there playing with paint and pen, and realized that the top I was wearing (a Liberty top from Target a couple of years ago - this top was in the children's department) had incredible stylized circular flowers so I just had to draw one. So fun how life and creativity run together sometimes!

Hope you are having a fun and creative week - it is truly summer here - so hot and humid with thunderstorms every afternoon - some in which we get rain and some not. We were supposed to get rain with Beryl but we only got a bit - everything is so dry and brown here but that's pretty normal for this time of year. Summer is really longggggggggggggggggggggggggg in Florida! I am so thankful for our air conditioning and I just hibernate in my little studio cave this time of year.

This afternoon I am going to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with friends - really looking forward to it!

Thanks for stopping by
and hope you find some time to create every day,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Just playing around

today was a crazy day with lots to do (laundry, yoga, making potato salad, par-cooking baby back ribs, etc.) but somehow I got distracted with playing with paper.
As you might have guessed, two of my joys in life = good coffee and chocolate - either dark or white! The soft colors of this layout just appeal to me right now - the darker flower is Prima but I hand made the other flower.
For the second layout - also in soft colors, I used a photo (I also am planning a painting of this)  that I took when we were in the Bahamas in the 1980s pre-Atlantis. We actually stayed in the hotel complex that was remodeled to become Atlantis and this was the canal that ran to Nassau - it no longer exists as the whole was widened and dredged so bigger boats could come and go. I used a scrap of fabric from my stash, a painted scrap, some actual Bahamian stamps, and a bit of this and that.
And finally, for the latest paperissues challenge - to use a bee or honey in the layout. This layout is mostly of older Jenni Bowlin products - but I think the bee stamp is Studio Calico
Hope you are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend (I will be busy eating and watching racing - both Indy and Nascar),

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sewing for spring

Time for a little sewing -
I purchased these fabric scraps when I was in Portland, OR last summer - just some remnants of Japanese fabrics - don't you love the subtle patterns! I only had so much so I had to think how to use them. I came across a vintage pattern in my stash that showed tops in which the fabric (a single pattern) was cut in different ways (some on the grain and some on the bias) and then sewed back together to create an asymmetrical top. I played with my fabric and the pattern to make it work - and I really like the result - totally unique.
I am now working on a second top from another piece of Japanese fabric - it too was not quite enough so I was very creative in how I cut it. Here you see it pinned onto Bella (my model) and ready for sewing this week.

Hope your week is going well and thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just a little more cropping

A few more layouts that I did this past weekend - I love how this one came out - so full of color and energy! The yellow/black combination is always a winner - really makes you sit up and notice! The challenge here was all about texture - acrylic paint applied with bubble wrap and then spread with my fingers (I love to get messy!), then stamping, and sequin waste and ribbons - all fun stuff!

This challenge was to scrap the impediments to your happiness - after some thought, I realized that I want to do so many many things and yet really only have a short time left to do them - I must prioritize and focus on what I want most, and do those things - be a better painter, travel, be healthy, etc.

Perhaps this layout was extra meaningful to me because I have been unable to do as much as I would have liked this past winter. I had a bad eye infection for more than three months so my sight wasn't very clear and I was totally exhausted much of the time as my body fought the infection. Fortunately I have been completely well for the past month and have been trying to catch up (painting, knitting, sewing, cleaning, and scrapping like a demon).   Since I went to the eye doctor and got the all clear, I got my hair cut, bought all new makeup, and sewed some new tops (blogpost later this week) - life is good and I am so grateful that I am blessed with a wonderful DH and son, and so many good friends!
I combined two of the challenges in this last layout - to use a particular quotation (if you click on the photo, I think you can read the quote) and to think about things that you loved as a child and also love now - I have always been a cat person (we also had dogs when I was a child so I like them just not as well as I like cats) and I have always loved to draw, to paint, to create. I combined these two loves in this layout.

This was a fun weekend - hope yours was also lots of fun and filled with things that you love!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hopping and cropping

This past week has been a big one scrapping wise for me - definitely having fun and in the groove! I visited all of the Prima and FC DT blogs, and am now putting the FC gelatos on my want list.  Isn't it great when you can see so many creative people in action playing with new toys!!

I also joined in with the Crop on Scrapbooking from the inside out and did most of the challenges. I am using lots of hand painted papers and accents right now - they seem to really fit in with my whole aesthetic. The top layout is a collage that I created with watercolor paints and lots of paper scraps - can you tell the 7gypsies black and white ones?  The photo is of an abandoned bird's nest that I took last fall - I love how the bird used brightly colored yarn in her nest.  The second layout is just a simple one about my need to create every day.

I will have a few more layouts tomorrow.  Did you create this weekend? (by the way, the Crop deadline is this Friday so you can still get in on the fun)

Thanks for looking,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scrapping with 3 cool chicks

Up until the past week or so, I haven't scrapped at all (several reasons why) but I have lately felt the urge so the little workshop at Three Cool Chicks worked perfectly as an inspiration. I actually did 5 layouts (well, one was a card) this past week. Above are the two final ones - using woodgrain and using baker's twine. I haven't purchased any scrapping things in a while so the remainder of what I  had fits totally into a priority mail box with the side cut open (the papers and cardstock) and a bin about 9 x 15 that holds all of the misc stuff like journaling cards, alphas, flowers, ribbons, tags, etc. You can't really read the title on the top layout - it is of metal alphas but it reads Hana (her name) and the bottom one is of a photo I took at the Chinese pavilion in Epcot (don't you think that the funky roof would make a cool painting?!) and I used a Martha Stewart tag from a package of Christmas ornaments as the title - Golden Traditions.

I printed out a bunch of new photos yesterday for more layouts - I am thinking about painting some backgrounds and I am also quite intriqued by some canvases that I saw on Marit's blog in which her students used tissue paper and gel medium to create beautiful pieces of art. SO it will be a busy week!

What are you doing this coming week?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This past week....................

This past week.......................

I have been enjoying a bouquet of flowers that I received for Mother's Day
I finished my helix scarf (pattern was in the Jane Austen Knits Fall 2011 magazine)
I made brownies - yummy!!! Wouldn't you like a bite?
and I have been sketching, painting, and scrapping up a storm.

Today I am headed out for a little thrifting and other shopping (hoping that the Jane Austen Knits Summer 2012 is available at Joann's or Booksamillion).

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for dropping by,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A thank you to Julie T-W

Some time ago sweet Julie (you know who you are) sent me a special package filled with things that she knows I would love - and of course I did!!!  She sent me some of the coolest papers - textured whites and creams with leaves embedded in them - so beautiful!  I have been playing with the papers for a while now and I painted these flowers onto one of them.  AND then because Julie is one of the most talented scrappers that I know, I created a layout using my painting:

I made the flower by cutting lots of canvas circles, wetting them, and wrinkling them so they dried all crumpled. I then sewed them together in the center and hand painted with watercolor paints so the flower matched the ones on the paper.

Thank you sweet Julie, the Scrap Angel!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Felicity card - for Three Cool Chicks

So are you following along with the letsgettrendynow Three Cool Chicks fun little workshop?  What a great little kickstart to inspire you (and me) with challenging you to use certain elements in your layout or card!

On Monday, the challenge was to use or to make a banner (I am still working on that idea) and on Tuesday, to use a doily in your layout or card. I often purchase vintage linens at thrift stores or garage sales (always so inexpensive) and I found a set of vintage fabric embroidered coasters that have just been sitting in my linen closet. The Chicks's challenge reminded me of them SO I dyed one with the remnants of this morning's coffee, cut it apart, and the sewed it to distressed cardstock along with a fabric scrap (from the top that I just made - the fabric is from a shop in Portland where I visited last summer). I used a gingham scrap and then some crazy Prima trim that I had won a couple of years ago - the trim is very strange with sequins and such and frays badly so I wadded it up and hand sewed it like a flower. I cut the definition from a vintage dictionary that I have and it was done.

I am looking forward to seeing tomorrow's challenge. Check it out and be sure to play along!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Birds of a feather

When I read the latest challenge on - Birds of a feather - I just knew what I wanted to create - actually some ideas that had been jumbling around in my head......

Perhaps you have figured out from my blog that I love to draw and paint!  I have been trying to draw or paint something every day so I purchased a wonderful sketchbook of handmade paper last year and have been filling it with sketches and paintings BUT I wanted to do something for the cover. AND I have been playing with pen and ink - in the course of which, I carved points onto a couple of feathers that I found a while ago (one of the feathers fell off of someone's Carnival costume in Trinidad, I picked it up, and have saved it all these years).
 I decided to decorate a small pottery vessel (purchased at a thrift store) with ribbons, laces, a selvage scrap that reads "free spirit", a journaling card reading "Discovery", and a small metal bird cage purchased a long time ago at Michael's. Inside the birdcage is a tiny bird on a little swing that actually swings! I then decided to alter the sketchbook to match - with journaling cards and ephemera (some Making Memories and some Gecko Galz) along with real feathers. I have now placed the feather pens right by my laptop - what a fun look on my desk!
What are you creating today?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Right now

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

I am enjoying a lovely bouquet of hydrangeas, mums, and freesias that I received for Mother's Day.

I just have 2 more Mondays volunteering at the Art Museum library until Fall (the Art Museum is closed on Mondays from Memorial Day to Labor Day - have I mentioned that I live in a ghost town in the summers?!) 

I only have 10 more rows to knit on my helix scarf and it will be finished (I tried to get it done yesterday as my Mother's Day present to myself but.....)

I created a mixed media altered art piece on Saturday for the Lessology blog - need to take pix and post it this week.

I painted 5 out of 7 days last week.

I just need to hem and put buttons on a new top that I made for myself.

I just got the new book by Katharine Howe from the library - The House of Velvet and Glass - hope to start it tomorrow.

I am waiting anxiously for the new movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to finally play here - the previews look great!

What are you doing this week?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day
to all of my friends on the web and in real life

Saturday, May 5, 2012

When the going gets tough, the tough go to etsy

Even though season is over here and most of the snowbirds are gone
therefore, most classes and activities are finished until November
Lots of things are still happening here
in my house and studio
I am almost finished with the helix scarf
I made myself a new top (blogpost coming)
and a sarong skirt from some vintage Liberty fabric
(actually it was an old A-line skirt that I took apart and made into something new)
I am reading some great new (and old) books
I am baking lemon spice bars (so good with very little fat -
I might just post the recipe - it's an old one of my mother's)
I am sketching and painting a couple of times every week
I am listing some items on etsy - yarns, patterns, and various other items
I hope to add some small paintings and cards very soon
so please check it out 
I lost my etsy link on the sidebar so here's a link to my shop
My shop name is MCAtelier

I will be back very soon with some fun projects