Sunday, August 31, 2008

Love, hope, peace

Front of

Interior of

This is an assemblage piece done a year or so ago. Again, I'm posting from work, so I'm stealing pics from my webshots to use. A coworker gave me an AOL box she got in the mail. Another friend and coworker, Kim, (who sometimes read my blog but never comments!) either had one of these boxes, too, or Anita gave her one. Don't remember for sure, but, we challenged each other to do something with the box rather than just sticking it away. So a few weeks into the challenge, I sat down with the box and this was the result.

Sorry for the bad photos, but it was hard to not get a glare on the front. I cut a hole in the top of the cardboard box which opens like a book and glued in the front of a greeting card transparency of cathedral windows(have forgotten which ones these are). Gessoed the box, inside and out and then painted with several layers of paint, distressing them some. Added a rusted hook and a jewelry piece to make a question mark and on the bottom another rusted piece of metal with the word "seek".

For the inside, I made a cross out of polymer clay and glued it over the backside of the opening in the lid with a military button that has the word "peace" in the center. The entire wording is "where there is love, there is hope, where there is hope, there is peace". Some got cut out of the picture by the bad photographer, lol. Other embellishments are self-explanatory, I guess, except in the photo it's hard to see there are 3 rusted nails glued at the bottom of the right hand side.

To explain some of my thought process. I pray and wish for peace, hope, and love in the world and in my world, but feel that it is important that we find it within ourselves first and foremost. Then, even when we can't control the world around us, we can be at peace with ourselves and maybe start trying to do our part to share that with others in whatever way we can. For me this is intertwined with my religion and my belief in God, so of course, this is represented as well in this piece.

Ok, I don't think I was thinking straight when I posted about the giveaway. Between working 12 hours a day, doctor's appointment for the BIFOCALS, and life stuff(like trying to get the stupid wireless thing to work), I don't know how I thought I was going to get something ready for a prize. Obviously, my brain is fried. Must be those drugs I did in the seventies! Have decided to make this a combination 100th post and birthday celebration giveaway. So, this means I will take entries until September 14th. Also, instead of just using the entries on the one post below, I'm going to enter a person's name in the drawing for each day they comment on any posts until the 14th. Does that make sense? So if I blog 10 times between now and the 14th and you commented each of those 10 days, your name will be in the pot 10 times.

Hope you all are having a lovely holiday weekend. It's just another weekend to me, but that doesn't keep me from wishing those of you who get a holiday to have a good time and be safe!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm officially getting old!

Well, I have a birthday coming up next month, in a couple of weeks actually, when I will have lived on this earth for 48 years. With that to remind me, I know in my deepest mind how old I really am, but most of the time, don't feel that age(except some mornings after working 3rd shift now, lol!). So I wander around in life with this conscious concept of me being younger than I really am. You know, avoiding the long, close looks in the mirror. Don't misunderstand, I'm not REALLY bothered by being middle-aged and fully appreciate every moment of every day of every one of those years as the blessing they are. I'm just talking about the way I kind of wear rose-colored glasses about my age and my weight, too. Maybe you know what I'm talking about and perhaps it's not a bad way of thinking. A small amount of self deception might be allowable.

Ok, get to the point you say! I went to the eye doctor today. Bet you know where this is going now?!?! Yep, heard one of those bad words, right from the mouth of the sweet, cute, & young optometrist who is now in practice with the one I've been seeing almost my entire married life. From someone who was probably born about the year I was married, I heard the dreaded "B" word. He tried to be polite and say "transitional lenses" but I knew what he was trying to break to me gently. Yes, Ms. Thompson you need BIFOCALS!! I had a feeling it was coming, but had deceived myself because, like I said before I'm pretty good at that. I believe I've even posted here on my blog about thinking that perhaps it was just my astigmatism getting a little worse. Nope, it's gonna be bifocals. If I say the word a lot maybe the impact will lessen.

The pic above is of a chunky book page done last year for a swap with the theme, "Faces". I gave old Ben a youthful, hippy look. Thought it went well with my posting theme today. What I dreaded about getting to the bifocals stage was the bother of it all. I've seen so many OLDER people struggling with their glasses and the transition from working up close to farther away vision. I've always told myself that because my nearsightedness is so bad that maybe it would counteract the tendency toward farsightedness, but guess it doesn't work that way. The good news was neither the nearsightedness nor astigmatism is any worse. Sweetie pie, baby-faced doctor man assures me that starting out with no-line bifocals when I first begin wearing "transitional" lenses will be the way to go. It will be easier to get used to it that way, he says. Hhhmm. I remain to be convinced and I'm still fairly put out. Maybe, if I stick a flower in my hair, wear rose-colored glasses, and wear a headband like buddy Ben here that will help? Nahhh, guess I'd just look like an old hippy in transitional lenses.

100th post Giveaway

Just realized that my next post would be number 100(well, the count depends on where you look on blogger), so I want to have another giveaway. Not sure what all will be included yet, but any comments on this post will be entered in a drawing for the prize yet to be decided upon. I'm thinking right now there will be an art item or 2 made by me, some ephemera and fabric or trims, and I'll just have to see. Will try to look at the interests of the winner, as well, when deciding on what to send. I'll take entries until I'm off again which will be next Wednesday, September 3rd. Thought this picture of Max went well with the giveaway, since he looks so happy. This was taken back in the spring on a disposable camera that I was trying to use up the rest of the film on. Such a sweet buddy he is!

Edited to add: I'll post a pic of the giveaway when I decide what it is and to clarify, Maximus, will not be part of the prize, lol.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prize winnings in the mail yesterday!

Got my goodies from Beth at Lasting Impressions from the Heart from her contest to guess the identify of a bug. Beth makes some of the prettiest things. I envy her talent at stamping. To start off with was the lovely card with matching stamped envelope and then there is a floral bookmark, In Life's Garden tag, Art Deco Lady pebble, and the beautiful bird pendant with jade and gold beads. She also gifted me with a bag of different color bamboo tiles, so I can try my hand a making a pendant, too. Love the colors of all it it! Wasn't I the lucky one! It was a bright spot in my day yesterday.

Had some kind of stomach bug or something, so I didn't get anything done yesterday that I planned to do before I went back to work last night. I almost called in sick to work cause I wasn't sure I would be able to make it a 12 hour shift, but went ahead and hoped that it wouldn't be a really busy night. Thankfully it wasn't bad at all. Enough to do to make the night pass, but not so bad that I couldn't keep up with it.

Still working on the laptop/wireless card miscommunication issue. Someone called me yesterday from AT&T to help me with it, but I was sick at the time and couldn't answer. Maybe I'll have a little time when I get up from sleeping today to talk to someone. Any one had any experience with Vista on a Dell laptop and a Sierra Wireless card? Worked just like it was supposed to with my older desktop on which I had dialup. I was getting the wireless device to be able to use it with my laptop, wherever I was, but so far no go. Very frustrating!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Received an award!

From my friend, Jeanie, at the Marmalade Gypsy, I received the following award:

I thank her most kindly for thinking of me. According to Cyberspace rules in the eUniverse of eAwards, acceptance of this Excellent Blog Award requires me to tag nominate 10 virtual victims excellent Bloggers. I don't know 10 bloggers closely and Jeanie and Beth would be 2 I would nominate, but Jeanie nominated me and Beth as well, so I'm going to break the rules. For now I nominate:

Kim at Kim's Treasures

Not getting as much done this week as I hoped. Seem to have been gone a lot, especially this weekend and all the way through yesterday, when I've hardly been home at all. We did get to see the girls & their dh's in their new apartments in Tuscaloosa on Saturday evening. They have their new homes fixed up really pretty. It was good to get to see all of them as we've not seen any except Holly in several weeks. The weather driving back was pretty bad. The tropical storm was moving in and the wind was pretty strong. Yesterday we had a good bit of rain, a lot of it slow and steady, which is great. We were getting a little dry around here. I was at Mom's, planning on doing a good bit of yard work, but it rained me out of that. We did get some errands run and some other things done.

Today I'm still working with getting my new wireless internet device communicating my laptop. This is the 2nd one they shipped me. It is working with my desktop computer very well, but not with my laptop. I'm not having great success with AT&T's technical and customer support. They keep you on hold forever before they answer and then transfer you to someone else where you stay on hold again before talking to a person. They say they will call you back so you won't have to call and hold so long and they never do. Very frustrating!

Needless to say, I'm kind of ill right now, from trying to deal with that for the 2nd week in a row. Also, we ordered new cell phones(we were entitled to free updates) and when mine arrived but not my dh's, I had to try to track it down. DHL delivered my new phone yesterday and the replacement wireless card/device, but not his phone. I went online to track it and it said it was shipped and delivered by UPS. Got to looking at the location delivered to and it said "side door". Went back outside to look again on our COVERED front porch with no sign of it there and walked around the house to the totally unprotected from the weather, uncovered side door to the garage which we never use and there it was, propped up at the bottom of the door. The box was wet, but thankfully the phone was in a plastic casing and seems to be ok. Can anyone explain to me what sense that made? We have no outside dogs, so there was nothing preventing him from leaving it on a chair or table on the front porch. Oh well, I'm sure it was a man, so there you go!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

New journal pages

These were done night before last. Last evening I was breaking beans while I watched a couple of movies. One was Saving Grace and the other the Great Debator(which I've got to finish watching today). Both completely different but good movies. On the journal pages, these were done in one of the composition notebooks. I glued down the images first, except for the star, flower, and butterfly, and then gessoed around them. I have some old art paper that I got at the thrift store. Not really sure what kind it is because there was no label. I had played around one day with alcohol inks on this paper and some rubber stamping, using several oriental stamps because I thought they went with the colors. I pulled these and other scraps out of the batch I keep on or near my art table. After I gessoed and it dried, I added several colors of acrylic paint, mostly shades of green, a dark metallic gold, a little pink and black, just daubing it here and there. I decided to use the gold to make some borders on each page and then the black to tone it down some and add a little more depth. I would go back with a little more white gesso in some places. Also used a charcoal pencil and some art markers to add color around the star and to either side of the temple. The bottom picture is the left hand page and the top, the right hand one. My scanner is small.

No planning and no theme in mind. I was just trying to let my subconscious take control and my conscious mind was fairly well pleased with it after all was said and done. A little dark in color to actually journal on, but these might be a spread that doesn't get written on or it could be one where I write something I don't want to be easily read.

I've got to finish putting up the green beans. Going to put them in bags in the freezer. Also picked 4 more large baskets of tomatoes. Not sure if I'm going to do more salsa or what. Guess I need to be making up my mind about that. Hopefully we are going to see the girls & their hubbies in Tuscaloosa later on today. We need to take down and bring back some furniture, but they are predicting possible rainy, stormy weather so we'll have to see what happens.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More good fortune

I've had such good things happening lately, that it's kind of scary. Must be the Irish in me that makes me slightly superstitious. First of all, this week, I won a giveaway from my friend Jeanie's blog, The Marmalade Gypsy. She has a handsome yellow cat in whose honor she's named the blog. Jeanie is always having grand adventures and posts wonderful photos and writings about her travels, art, and just general interesting information as she works for public broadcasting. She recently completed a wonderful vacation and offered a giveaway souvenir package to those who posted and I won! I'll be sure to post a pic of the goodies when they get here!

Then, this week I received a "ton" of jewelry from a friend from work. She had an Aunt whom she helped care for in her final days who was an avid collector of many things, and I do mean many! Her cousins live in other states, so that is why she offered to help with her Aunt. They came back to try to deal with all their Mom's stuff and it is so overwhelming that they are giving most of it to thrift stores or throwing it away. There was a basement and house full of a lifetime of collecting. Which is reminding me to declutter and try to keep my hunter/gatherer instinct under control. I told my friend, Rebecca, when she talked about her aunt's jewelry and some of the other things she collected, like glass shoes, that some of them can be worth some money and that her cousins might want to have an estate sale. She said that there is just too much to deal with and they don't have the time to be away that it would take. I had told her that if she ran across some broken jewelry bits and pieces, stuff that wouldn't be worth anything to resell, that I would love to have them for my artsy endeavors. So she emailed me this week that she was bringing me some stuff and that was what I was eagerly anticipating was a single box of broken jewelry, BUT these are pictures of what she and her cousins gave to me. She said her cousin asked who was interested in some jewelry and to just take it to her. I'm am going to make some collages or some type of art incorporating some of the jewelry and give it to them. That is all the payment Rebecca would consider. I've only just gone through them briefly and will have to sort and be deciding how I'm going to store them.

Oh yes, I almost forgot there was a bag and a basket of some sewing notions, trims, fabric scraps, embroidery thread, couple of quilt squares, and a pretty floral handkerchief. And a set of 4 lovely fashion prints, unframed, as well as a small wooden box, ideal for assemblage.

I'm feeling guilty, really, ovewhelmed. I won't need to buy any jewelry ever. I never knew there were that many kinds of pins in the world. I don't think any 2 are the same. It is really amazing. I have all kinds of ideas going through my head for projects. Will have to continue the decluttering/organizing process that I've started at the house, though. I am making a list of housechold chores and never-got-around-to-it things that I hope to make headway on a little at a time during my weeks off between the weeks to work. Maybe that will help counteract my Puritan feelings of guilt and gluttony. Is there such a thing as an Irish/German/Puritan?

Well, I need to get off here and get some of that work done, lol! Funny I'm feeling less energetic than I did the last week I was off when I had that horrible cold. I think my cold medicine was hyping me up then.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Thought this would be appropriate for Sunday, this being the front and back of one of my composition book journals. I covered these primarily with gift bags bought at the dollar store, cut up to use the different patterns and the word ANGEL on the bag. Filled in with painted book pages scraps, gold metallic tape, and on the spine, brown duct tape. The cover embellishments are a gessoed and paint washed tag made from patterned wallpaper, heart done on scrap paper, and a puzzle piece. I first saw these done by Lisa Vollrath, who generously shares so many tips at her site and who also sells some pretty cool stuff. I feel more able to play in these journals because all together they only cost me a couple of bucks or so. I also use these as notebooks for daily stuff, Bible study notes, and have made them as gifts for my dd's and their hubbies to use as a planning notebook or study notes. I need to make one for my nephew. He saw one of mine and asked for one, so if you read this Tad, I've not forgotten. He may have just been being nice, as he is like that.

Still in the middle of my work week. It's been both awful and not so bad. Found out we just had a full moon, so that may explain the busyness. It really does get crazier, sometimes literally, at a hospital when there is a full moon.

On a good note, though, I've almost shaken the cold. Still have sinus stuff but the cough has just about gone away.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Revisiting some old atc favorites

Whiter Shade of Pale atcs

Mainly because I am at work and don't have access to my computer files, I'm borrowing one from my Webshots album again. These were some atcs done for a song title themed swap. You made 3 and got 3 different ones back. I chose one of my favorite songs, Whiter Shade of Pale, and interpreted it in 3 different time periods. These remain some of my favorites even though these were done early on. Wish I had saved a better quality scan of them. I wouldn't mind having the middle one done on a tshirt. Have you seen where you can have any image done up on several different things on Cafe Press? No affiliatation with them, just think it's a great concept.

Not much going on except work in my life right now. I'm planning what I want to do for my charm for the Tie That Binds project. Have ideas, but will have to play around to see if I can get things to work like they are in my mind.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Salsa and my 2 dd's

This is the salsa while cooking. I used my Mom's old cast iron pot to cook 2 batches and then for one, just chopped and combined and froze it like that without cooking. Have no idea if that will work or not. Couldn't find it mentioned as an option for putting up salsa online, but hey, by the time I got to the 3rd batch I was tired and ready to get it all done. Plus, I wanted to try to have a salsa more like freshly made.

I probably didn't do something right, having only a recipe of ingredients and bare instructions given to me by my dmil from a cousin of hers. It took a LONG time to cook down to a thickness. Perhaps I should have tried to get more of the juice out of the tomatoes, but I was using primarily a Roma-type tomato which didn't appear to be really juicy, until I started cooking, then it was very liquid. The first batch I tried to follow her recipe, except I added cilantro, lime juice, and much less sugar than she used(see I'm really bad at following directions, always go my own way). Also, I roasted some poblano peppers for use instead of green peppers, cause that is what we have from our garden. I didn't have as much green pepper as called for in the recipe, but I'm not a big green pepper fan anyway.

It still tasted too sweet for me, good, but more like a spaghetti sauce taste. So on the next batch I only added a tablespoon or so of sugar, figuring it needed a little to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes, lime juice, and vinegar in the recipe. It's pretty good, too, but then that's why I decided to just chop and freeze the last so it would be more traditional. I'll let you know how that goes, it may be too mushy. If nothing else, I figure I can use any of the batches I made as a basis for chili or soup.

Also, just on a whim, I'm showing pictures of my 2 dd's. No relationship between them and salsa, except they can both be a little saucy sometimes(ha ha, pun intended). While browsing through shots trying to decide what to post today, I ran across the one of Holly, my youngest, where she caught a LARGE catfish last month fishing at a neighbor's pond. She's not every been one to like fishing, but went because her hubby loves to fish. Emily is the one who loves to fish. My dh, Emily, Holly, and her dh all went fishing. Emily's dh and myself stayed behind to cook supper. They were all about to quit and come in, since nothing was biting, when Holly got this big "bite". She had a brim hook on her line, for those of you who know what that is. Personally I don't, not being a fisherwoman, but that is what I was told. So evidently the fact that they were able to bring this big fish in without the hook breaking off was a small miracle. She was very proud of herself and so was her hubby, even though he didn't catch anything.

And because I'm showing a picture of Holly, I have to be fair and show my other dd, Emily, my oldest. The two of them have a light hearted competition going about who is my favorite and, of course, I always tell each one that the other is, which is part of the joke. They know I don't mean it and that I love them both the same. The reason I took the photo of Emily is that I want to try the painting techique I've seen done, I think by D.J. Pettit, where you start out with a photo glued on a collage canvas and then paint over it. I already had a closeup of Holly that I want to use but had none of Emily. Another project on my mental to-do list. I also joke that I'm going to have to live a long, long life to get to all my things to do.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tomatoes on Tuesday

Here are 2 baskets of the tomatoes from our garden. As you can see they've not been washed yet. There are about this many more. I'm about to try to make salsa and put it up in the freezer. Never tried this before, so I'll let you know how it goes. I've got lots of chopping ahead so need to quit wasting time on the internet!

Also wanted to show the flea market buys from this weekend, the pineapple box and the cute sugar and creamer set.

I've added a new banner on the side. I'm excited to be participating in making a charm for the project Ties That Bind. Here is their mission statement:
Our mission is simple in concept. Artists united in their creativity to benefit Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Our project: Ties That Bind. A hand made doll created with heart and soul, donning hand embellished men's dress ties and hand born charms. 100% of the profit goes to the OCRF, in support of their mission to help ovarian cancer patients and their loved ones.

I'm pondering and praying about what to make that will be worthy of the project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

School starting back

In honor of that, here are some pages from a calendar swap I did last year. I've not really felt artistic lately with my head all stopped up and been keeping pretty busy besides. For the swap I had the month of September, so I ended up doing my pages mostly about school, even though most start back in August. Artistic license I guess you could say. When I was young, September was the month you associated with school. I still remember the butterflies I felt in my stomach every year when that time neared. I don't know if I really enjoyed learning that much, which I do, or if it was a combination of that and the excitement and nervousness over the possibilities of a new year. Do you remember the innocence of the years before you started feeling peer pressure? How you were just "you" and that was all there was to that. You didn't worry about whether that was good enough for anybody else. Isn't it funny how you return to that way of thinking when you get older? Too bad we waste all those years and time on all that junk. Hooray for those who are able to remain true to themselves. Well, my little bit of philosophizing for today, lol!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Battered and rusted

Making you look at some more of my photos. Holly fusses if I don't post regularly and would prefer that I post every day. So here are a few more closeup shots.

One is a shot of a very rusted iron table that a friend gave me several years ago before she had to move. I took this pic as a possible background element. Of course, I planned to sand and refinish the table, but have never gotten around to it. It has reached the point now where it is almost garden sculpture. We never use it anyway and I think it would probably require sandblasting and rewelding in some spots.

I have set up several sitting areas outside, but we rarely use them. My dh feels compelled to be near a TV and then it seems to either be too hot or the mosquitoes are too bad(which they are right now, really bad!) or something. I'm hoping as the dd's and their hubbies and hopefully grandchildren (in the appropriate time) come to visit that we'll be able to utilize our outdoor areas more. I will go sit out on our deck by myself when it's not too hot, but as it is on a southeast corner of the house, most wind is blocked, so in the summer it is unbearable out there. Those of you in more moderate climates should appreciate your temperatures. IF my screened-in porch was completed instead of being forever in the "pergola" stage, that would be a great option for a hot weather retreat, BUT it is not. Again, those of you with husband's who finish construction projects be thankful or who are able to hire projects like that to be done. I will say that what my dh does build he does extremely well, but it seems to run in his family to never complete things. And to be honest, I'm a bad procrastinator myself, so I'd better not say much more along those lines.

Here is another shot of a butterfly, this time from above. Notice how battered it's poor wings are! Does anyone know what kind of butterflies these are?

The top photo is "One Ear". He was a gift from one my brother's and dsil and not too long after I got him, was knocked over by our very hyperactive lab puppy. Bunny survived the fall, but unfortunately we were unable to save the ear. I still love "One Ear" anyway and he now helps me remember Dexter, who was stolen from us when he was only about a year old or so. He was a full-blooded black lab who was not the brightest, but was very, very sweet.

I've been keeping myself out of too much trouble this weekend. Yesterday, I priced and took a few things to the flea market, paid our rent, collected what we'd made(which unfortunately was not much), and then browsed around while I was there. So I had to buy a couple of things, you know! They called my name. I'll try to take pics to share. One was the cutest sugar and creamer in a booth that must be going out of business since they had 75% off everything. It is off-white, with black trim and with little black and blue chickens and flowers and the wording "Just Between" on one and "Us Chickens" on the other. Ended up being only $2. I have vague plans in the back of my mind for my kitchen in which I utilize blue, silver, white, and black, so this would fit in well with that. Also bought a wooden Hawaiian pineapple box for $12. Right now it's holding fabric napkins on top of my frig, but I know it will always be useful storage and I felt like that was a great price. Heck, you can't buy plastic storage bins for much less than that.

Also, in between this and that, I've been cleaning and repainting my front porch. Took everything off, washed down the vinyl siding on the walls, cleaned and then restained the floor decking, and cleaned the chairs and "stuff" before putting it back.

Next big thing I want to get accomplished before I go back to work is to get the salsa made. I've got all the ingredients now, just to get the time. Need to go to Mom's tomorrow and run a couple of errands for her.

Update on the cold: it's not gone away, but is now in my throat and upper chest. Still not too bad. Could be a lot worse. I've been hoarse since yesterday, though. Hope that goes away before I have to go back to work.

My apologies for being so chatty! Maybe it's because I've been unable to say words, so I'm having to get them all out of me somehow!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


by me?!?! I took my camera outside yesterday on impulse to try to capture a few closeups of nature around my house. I didn't plan anything but closeups, because at the moment my flowerbeds are not picture ready. They have been fairly well neglected the last several years, except to kill weeds. I've only planted a few things here and there. But I digress, as I often do, lol! It was later in the afternoon, approaching dusk, and the temperatures were very pleasant for the deep South! There was a breeze blowing, so it was a little hard to catch a good photo of the butterflies on the butterfly bush. The branches were rustling around some in the wind. There were a good number of butterflies catching a ride on a waving flower and some bees out for a late supper. I noticed the Black-Eyed Susans blooming, so I zoomed in. Just played around trying different things on the camera. I'm not a photographer, for sure, but think I managed to catch some decently good images. I did some others of textures that I'm hoping to play around with in photo editing software as backgrounds or some such.

I didn't manage to shake the cold off, though it's not as bad as it could be as far as congestion. I'm taking cold medicine to try to keep symptoms from getting too bad, but still feel shaky, achy, weak, and nauseated at times. So there is my whine for the day about it! I'm stubbornly trying to get some of the things done that I wanted to, just at a slower pace. Still it is good to be off work and I'm thankful for that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Set Kermit free!

I gave into my impulse to drive to town to the Salvation Army. Normally I won't do this unless I have another errand to run, because it's a 30 mile round trip, but I thought I'd try to catch a few yard sales, so I let myself go. I'm thinking I'll start trying to do a little yard sale shopping on my Friday or Saturday off. I didn't have a plan for the yard sales today, so I just tried to look for some on my route in and they were all disappointing, so no luck there. I did find some things at the S.A.

The top photo shows all the finds and the other 2 some closeups. I almost literally laughed out loud, when I spotted the little wooden school desk, which was just $2. I've left it just as I found it for the photo with poor Kermy tied up. I'm not sure I want to imagine what game this child was playing, but I do plan on setting Kermit free! For the desk, of course, I have plans on altering it, as I plan to do to all the other little chairs I can't resist buying. There is just something about chairs in miniature that I can't pass up.

Other buys were the floral trim for $1, dangly silver earrings also $1(in closeup), scalloped edge metal blackboard plaque for 50 cents formerly the property of Lindsey Kaye, 2 rusty rakes for $1 each, vintage paint-by-number picture in wooden frame-$1(the price is written on the glass and not ON the picture), and a wooden desk organizer for $2. My plans for the rakes are to either hang them on my barn outside or use them as wall hangers somewhere in the house. The desk organizer will be repainted and possibly used in the studio or maybe resold at the flea market.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What are you doing?

Sharing another compostion journal spread. The left hand page is on top. They started out with pink color-washed pages. On the left page, I glued a vintage photo of a road with old cars sitting beside it (Don't you wonder why someone took the photo?), text words, picture from a vintage Danish encyclopedia, and a bit of paper from a shorthand book. The right page has some more shorthand paper, some pictures and words, and bit of journaling hidden under the pocket page in the middle. For the pocket page, I folded the page in the middle inward long ways and then up in a triangle at the bottom. To make the pockets, I then pasted on striped watercolor painted page from an Oriental book and a butterfly. There is a tag on the front from crayon-colored cardstock and then a torso tag in the back pocket which was cut out of some old college work pages of my dd's. Each tag has journaling on the back. I used crayons here and there for added emphasis and extra marks and words.

Enjoying my first real off day. Yesterday was kind of, but since I had worked the night before it, I was so tired it didn't really feel like one. Though I think I'm getting a cold(one of my coworkers has one), so I'm loading up on vitamins, especially Vit. C, and cold medicine. Feeling achy all over and in my throat. Hopefully, I'll be able to fight it off before it gets too bad. My immune system is usually pretty strong, but maybe the change in shifts threw it off kilter. We've just returned from taking our camper for a repair. Now I just need to decide where I'm going to get started with all the things on the to-do list.

BTW, do any of you have a good recipe for homemade salsa? I know I can and have looked them up on the internet, but thought I'd ask in case you had a tried and true recipe. The tomatoes are coming in pretty good right now and then I've also got some Poblano peppers and some hot peppers that I can add to the mix. Thought about roasting the Poblano's first and using them like that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here are the beautiful goodies from Kim

In the first photo is a picture of everything that was in the 2 boxes and the second shows a closer picture of all the cards Kim from Kim's Treasures made and included, along with the oh-so-cute little tote bag decorated with one of the cute yo-yo's she also made. Sorry the pictures are a little dark, but if you click on them to make them bigger, it looks better. I love all the colors of the cards, the bag, and really they coordinate with the main prizes, too. I told her I almost squealed with delight when opened the boxes and my family will tell you that I'm not a squealy, girly-kind of girl. The cards are so pretty! I really envy anyone who has the ability to make such lovely, professional-looking cards, as my rubber-stamping abililites leave much to be desired. I'm sure I will find it hard to ever actually use the cards, since I'll be wanting to hoard them for myself. Love the birdhouse, compote, and plate, too! Everything really! I wanted to get this post in before I went to take a nap.

BTW, I was notified by one of my art friends, Beth, that I won a prize from her blog, too! I was one of her visitors who knew the identify of her mystery bug, which was a katydid. Beth has a blog I love to visit to see beautiful photos of her flowers and lawn and what she's been up to with her art. She is a blogging buddy whom I've actually had the pleasure of meeting in person, as she just lives in Tennessee. Her gracious mother, Lottie, was kind enough to have me come stay overnight so that we could all visit along with another art group friend from New York, Jane. All very wonderful ladies!

So, wow, I really am being greatly blessed lately!


Teabag lady

dis·com·bob·u·late [dis-kuhm-bob-yuh-leyt]
–verb (used with object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing. to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate

That is me this week and actually trying to get this post to work! This is my third attempt. I thought this composition journal page suited the way I feel! I'm just about to finish up my first stretch of 7 days to work. Yay, I've almost made it! It has been pretty busy most of the week, but, hopefully, all weeks won't be that way and also as I get a routine at work of what I need to do and when, it will be better. I can see now where some prep work at home the week I'm off will be essential, like making sure groceries are bought, housework done, etc. My dh is not the best to help in those departments, despite almost 28 years of my trying to improve him! We were camping the days before I worked this time, so I came into this week woefully unprepared at home. I've made it fairly well, except for the discombobulation, that is! I've felt goofier than usual, having to really concentrate to make sure I'm doing my work accurately. Physically, my old bones have been a little achy at times. But, I'm about to be off for 7 glorious days!

I'm posting from work on my break, so I'm not able to post what I really want to, which is to show you all the lovely goodies I got from Kim's blog giveaway. The boxes, yes, 2 of them, came yesterday, but I've been home only long enough to sleep since then, so no time to take a good picture and get on my computer at home. Suffice it to say, for now, that she was so generous and that I was totally thrilled with what she sent. In additon the the items that she pictured, there were also some beautiful surprises that I can't wait to share. Maybe later today after a nap!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Black and white atcs

Here are the 3 atcs that I finished for Susan K. for our swap. I really hope she likes them. They will be going out in the mail tomorrow. As you can see they are a totally different style than her's. These are pretty simple in composition, but that is the way mine usually are. The top 2 were both done from beginning with an image out of a magazine picture that is gessoed. This is a technique from Bernie Berlin's book on ATC's. With the middle one, I didn't do much more than add the central image, the heart, and some ink lettering and drawing. On the top one, I did use more gesso to blur the image a good bit, pencil and ink to re-emphasize the parts I wanted to and then watercolor pencil to add a light touch of color here and there. For the bottom one, "2", it was kind of the same technique, except the beginning was a black and white map image which was gessoed, the the central image added, and then swirls around the outside are some of those "tattoo-look" decals, not sure what the technical term is for those, flocked sticker swirlies, and again a little more ink drawing to fill in details. On all 3 atcs, the edges are finished with a black ink stamp pad. For the butterfly atc, the entire wording is "in her mind's eye...she was a butterfly". It's completed on the back side.

When I finish a swap up and get ready to mail, there are always those moments of self-doubt about whether what I've done is really just crap and I suspect sometimes it is, but then you just have to take a big breath and just send it on its way and hope for the best.

BTW, I linked to Bernie's blog and if you have not visited it before check it out. I visit it frequently to see the remarkable animals she saves. If you are at all tender-hearted, prepare to cry, because she shares amazing stories and pictures of her animal rescue work. She has a side bar where the book I'm talking about is mentioned.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Creation and grape harvest

Our grape vines were covered this time, but we don't have time to deal with them right now, so we let a neighbor have them to make wine. This is a picture of how many grapes there were, except I think he ended up picking this many more after I took this photo. We have 3 or 4 vines which are about 5 years old. I've not pruned them yet, because I don't know how, so the grapes did very well with not much attention. We are going to find out how and prune them back this time.

To show a little art, this is the front of an altered board book which is a work in progress. I had no plan in mind when I started working on the front. I'm usually just winging it, not being a plan ahead kind of person. This was the result. It is going to be a book about the 7 days of creation. I have the first spread started, but not sure if it is done, so no picture of that yet. This work was not recent. Don't want to mislead that I'm getting all this done right now. Since I didn't finish the atcs I'm working on due to jet lag from shift change at work, I didn't have a scan of them to show. I've put this out on the work table, so I can be thinking how I want to do the pages.

The cover was begun with paper scraps which I colored over with layers of paint glazes and some rubber stamping with white gesso. Then I glued on some more paper pieces including a postage stamp with butterfly wings on either side and at the bottom three polymer clay bird eggs with 3 leaves to symbolize the Trinity.

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