Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Oh, the frustration...

We leave on May 10 for a week in Oceanside, CA. We just booked the condo this past weekend and are fortunate to have gotten it at all since they usually book a year in advance. We will take the boys out of school for a week and hate to do that but, we also are going before summer rates go in affect June 1! I'll be doing "classwork" with the boys each morning hopefully, on our balcony overlooking the ocean! I'm so excited! However, I've had incredible frustration in ordering swimwear stuff for my boys! Because they are both so fair and I have already had numerous surgeries for different skin cancers, I am very protective of their skin. I purchase swimwear with build in UV protection of 50 and buy long sleeve, one piece suits. This year, I wanted to get suits that look more like diving suits. They are full length. Well, very few companies carry them. I have spent so much time online trying to find them! So, I finally find some and order them along with matching hats. I found matching water shoes at Lands End in their overstock section. (For some reason, bees are very attracted to the beach in Oceanside and I had the unfortunate luck of stepping on one our last trip. NOT fun! So beach shoes are non-negotiable!) OK, so I have everything ordered and coordinated. Then, I get an e-mail saying the suits are out of stock. I find another company that has some that will still match the hats and shoes and order from them, paying about $40. more for the suits... only to find out that they can't guarantee arrival before we leave since they are shipping from Australia. In the meantime, I also find out the the original company #1 now only has one of the hats I ordered! ARGH!!! I ended up cancelling orders from both companies, ordering identical suits they had last year which do have the long sleeves but knee length instead of ankle. I ordered matching hats at the same site and they all match the shoes. Everything was in stock and I paid extra for expedited shipping. The total was less for all of this with shipping that just the suits would have cost! So, if nothing else goes wrong, all turned out better in the long run. But boy, all the time I have spent on this computer over those suits! I think the suits may fit for two years but if not, then next season, I'll order swimsuits in the middle of winter!

Monday, April 28, 2008

An Experiment

For months now, I have been thinking of a little experiment. I'm not much of an experimental artist but every once in a while, something pops into my mind. Well, this is what started it... I have a few paint palettes that are slick plastic. After my acrylic paint dries on it, it peels right off. If I've done a lot of mixing and playing around on the palette, the peeled paint splotches look especially cool. Anyway, I've been saving these "peels". So, today, I spread some Translucent Liquid Sculpey clay on a piece of watercolor paper and added my paint peels. Some were fairly thick with layers of dried paint so I took scissors and snipped it up into shards. I then covered this with a non-stick teflon sheet and heated it with my iron fusing all of the bits together. This is what I got!!!
OK, that's if for tonight. I'm waiting for The Bachelor to come on! Have a few more things to clean up in the kitchen after dinner and another load of laundry to toss in...

Collage Mania preview open!

For those of you who are regular visitors to my blog may remember the collage I created for Collage Mania...well, the preview for Collage Mania is now open! This fund raiser is for the American Cancer Society. Please go visit and look at all the collage pieces up for auction!


And the three winners are:
QuirkyTina (very appropriately named for this drawing, I might add!)

Congratulations ladies!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A new Journal

I feel like I'm sorta' getting back into the creative groove a bit. I made a new watercolor journal as a vacation journal and made a fabric cover for it and finally got to do my original binding idea in it. I really like it and have a ton of ideas swimming in my head for other journals. And my binding method allows for a more 'flat' laying page when working and also allows for room to add things without totally bulking up the book. Anyway, here is my little travel watercolor journal!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I am really enjoying all the quirks comments coming in. You guys are cracking me up! However, the scary part is some of them sound like quirks I would like to incorporate into my life! Eeks! Do I need more? I'll share one more. I have a slight obsession with things looking balanced. I'm the one always straightening things on walls in Dr.'s offices, etc... and I get really weirded out with my food on a plate. When I go to a restaurant, I often have to spin my plate to make sure it looks right before I start eating. I only remember a couple of times where even that didn't work and I had to take my fork and move food around on my plate before I could eat it! Another is that when I cook, it totally ruins my appetite if I taste the food while it's cooking. I don't taste but go by look and smell and once it is on my plate, taste and add salt or whatever. I've tried to flex on this since my DH is a phenomenal cook and says you MUST taste. I've learned to compromise... sometimes. An even better solution... don't cook! ;)

Keep the comments coming! (see last post)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Give away time again!

I found a ton of these and think I'll sell some but first, I'd like to give a few away! (If you happen to want to purchase some of these, let me know. I also have some of the green ones in 8x8 size). Anyway, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me one quirky thing about yourself and A WAY TO CONTACT YOU if you are the winner! In fact, I'm going to give 3 away and you get your choice of color! These mini albums are 5x7 in size and would make a great little journal, scrapbook album, or gift item! I have them in pink (more of a rose, actually), navy, and green. And, to start you off with the quirkiness, I'll tell something about myself. I always organize my dirty dishes by the sink and clean all the counters before I start the dishes. If all the dirty dishes are nicely stacked and organized, it makes the mess look less... and if the counters are all cleaned up right away, it looks like there's less to do as well! ;)
Now, leave me a comment and spread the word! I'll be using the random number generator and choose the winners Monday morning!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pink moon and art

This was the first time I have ever waken to a pink moon setting in the western sky. I managed a quick snapshot before it sunk out of sight.

I finished up another sample for Hannah Grey and am contemplating the next thing...I love Angela Cartwright"s photography! This image is from one of the transparency sheets from HG of Angela's images. Since I finished that huge canvas last month, I've struggled getting back into my art. Part of me seems a bit frozen and I hate it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Another winner?

Well, the winner of my drawing has not stepped forward and there is no contact info for her so... I am drawing again. The new winner of the travel stamps is.....drum roll please.....Margaret! Congratulations! I'll be in touch!

Coil Binder?

OK, so I'm thinking of purchasing a coil binder. However, I have no clue what to really look for in one and there are so many brands, I don't know where to begin. Anyone have any thoughts or opinions based on their own purchase of one... or many?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hannah Grey Design Team sample

This is an altered book cover I created for a sample for Hannah Grey. When I say altered, I actually mean recycled. It is the cover off of an old book. Notice the torn edge at the bottom? The transparency is one by Angela Cartwright but they eyes, which are a transfer, are done from a transparency of my own personal stash of images. The wire, hem tape, transparency, and sequin waste used for texture are all from Hannah Grey and the Golden's products used can be purchased through them as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A gift in the name of recycling

I made this little kitty today as part of a gift for a baby shower I am attending on Saturday. The body is a recycled sweater and is oh so soft! The face and ears are recycled silk clothing! It's a little funky looking but fun... and I think will be a cool cat for a teeny tiny girl whose mom measures her growth on paper plates or against her daddy's shoes! Eeks! LOL! Emolyn Kate was only 2.7 lbs. at birth but in fantastic health. She is now 4.7 lbs. and doing great at home! She's almost 2 months old already! Wow, where does the time go?! I'm so anxious to meet this little peanut, finally!

And the winner is.... drumroll....

Bonnie in WI! Using the number generator, number 6 was chosen so Bonnie, since there is no contact info for you left in the comments, I hope you read that you have indeed, won the stamps so please contact me so I can get them mailed to you! You have until Friday. Friday I will choose another winner if I have not heard from Bonnie....

Thanks for playing everyone! I'm already scheming for my next give away.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My little skateboarder

Max has a slight obsession with some famous skateboarder named Tony Hawk. He's trying to change his name to Tony by bringing home his school papers bearing the name. He told his teacher at church that I changed his name to Tony. He now owns his first Tony Hawk skateboard and thinks he is the coolest thing on the planet. Here he is in full gear with his new board.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Time for another Give-Away!

Soon, it will be high travel time as people all over the world take summer vacations. I thought these rubber stamps would be a great give-away and encourage some creative juices to flow and document your summer trip! There is a little catch in the drawing this time around. Along with leaving a comment, you must tell me which of the previously desert photos is your favorite and why! ;) There are a few posts made over the past couple of days with desert photos so don't miss any! they are all so unique, including the ones taken by my 8-year-old son! So, just leave a comment with your thoughts and don't forget to include contact info. If you don't have it on your own blog. The drawing will be on Wednesday! So let's play and get ready for those trips!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

SALT challenge

This week, the SALT challenge (http://saltfaithchallenge.blogspot.com/) is about God's presence. I am daily very aware of God's presence but especially in nature. And being at the botanical garden's the past two days for countless hours, His presence was boldly known. And I loved little treasures such as this:

And how can anyone look at these amazing and beautiful things created by God and not powerfully feel his presence and love? If He created such things just for his pleasure, because He is the Creator and must create to be true to His character, and pays such incredible detail to these things, how much MORE does He love and care for me? Yes, these past two days at the Desert Botanical Garden made me keenly aware of God's presence all around me. These things bring me peace.

A day with my son

Max spent the night with my mom last night so Sam and I got up early this morning and I took him to the Botanical Garden for the first time. I don't think Max would like it and Sam didn't think so either. I gave Sam my digital camera and let him loose while I used Chuck's, which didn't have a freshly charged battery so my camera time was limited today. Sam took about 275 pictures before he used up all the battery in my camera! I think I need extra batteries! Anyway, he loved the garden and said, "It's like a zoo for plants"! And that is exactly it. And today, we covered the ENTIRE garden. By the time we got home, I felt like I walked around Disneyland all day! I'm dead tired with aching feet and legs. Anyway, I think I may have created a monster... you guys should have seen Sam with a camera! He went nuts! And most of his pictures turned out fantastic! Here are a few of my favorite shots taken by Sam, my 8-year-old!

I took this one of Sam towards the end of the day. I caught him sitting and just daydreaming a bit while watching a lizard.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Desert Botanical Garden

This morning, I went back out to the Desert Botanical Garden all by myself. I got out there around 10:40 and left at about 1:30, just in time to pick up kids after school. And I still didn't get through the whole thing nor did I take time to sit and paint, which was the intention! Instead, I took an hour long personal tour learning all about different desert plants, then at lunch, and then just walked while oooing and ahhhhing. I took about 80 photos and am thrilled with the outcome of them! I can't post all of them and it will be hard to choose my favorites but here are a few. I need to load them to flickr maybe. Ya' think?
Anyway, I'm taking Sam tomorrow and going back again while Max is spending the night and day with Granny. I just can't get enough!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another journal page

This morning I finished another journal page that I had started on Tuesday. Here it is:
And, look at these cool cones I found and have now listed in my etsy store:
They are 12-1/2 inches tall and hollow. These have so many possibilities, don't you think? Art doll body, cool trees begging for lots of embellishment, or turned upside down, they can have hangers added, embellishments, tassels from the bottom, and since they are hollow, filled with goodies! Aren't they so cool?

Creative Catalyst

This weeks creative catalyst( http://creativetherapy.wordpress.com/) is "something you remember from your childhood".  I had several thoughts running through my head when I walked out my back door and the fragrance from the blossoms on my China Berry tree caused me to freeze in my tracks.  It was so overpowering I almost couldn't breathe yet they smell so good!  I was immediately taken back into my childhood remember times at my grandparents house where most of my best childhood memories took place.  So, I decided to do a journal page using the China Berry tree as the springboard for this week's catalyst.  Here is what I journaled:
Most off my best childhood memories were times spent at my grandparents homes in Mississippi.  I spent countless hours climbing trees.  While the Mimosa was the easiest to climb, I always had a determination to climb the China Berry tree.  I was lured by all those berries!  I was told that my great-grandmother, being poor, got creative and boiled the skin off dried china berries, dyed the seeds with food coloring, and strung necklaces.  I was so delighted to move into this house in Phoenix with a China Berry tree right outside my studio window.  It brings me great joy, shade, bird watching entertainment, and this time of year, fragrant flowers that threaten to overpower my senses- a little bit of heaven.
To create this journal entry in my watercolor journal, I used the actual leaves from the tree with acrylics and stamped with them.  Since the leaves have a sort of waxing texture, I first had to coat the leaves with gesso in order for the paint to stick so I could use them to stamp.  The berries are created on Chinese text, which I thought fitting... and you know how I love asian things!  ;)  I'm thinking I need to get a bunch of the blossoms to press.  Since they are small, they would be perfect to use in fused pieces  once they are dried and pressed!  I need to do that today before I forget and then they will be gone for another year.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Up close and personal

with a bee meaning business!  At Bible Study this morning, I took a walk with my camera.  Here are a few shots I got of things around the property but the busy bee is my favorite!

Do you sleep like this?

I'm thinkin' blood would be rushing to the head.... by the way, this is Phoebe!  

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I have spent the entire morning adding things to my etsy store.  I have more I could add but etsy is often loads slow as cream risin' on buttermilk.  I just can't deal with it any more today!  So, if you haven't checked out my store in a while, there are almost 40 listings there right now so go treasure hunting!

Friday, April 4, 2008

journal page from the park

Here's my watercolor journal page from the park yesterday.

Chuck's new baby

Well, my hubby has been drooling over Mini-Coopers since they came out.  He decided to sell his BMW SUV and he found his dream.  At least the mid-life crisis is a fast car instead of a fast woman, right?  LOL!  Anyway, he's been researching used ones forever and he finally found this baby only a year old with about 6500 miles on it and all the "stuff" he really wanted.... in Carlsbad, CA!  He flew out on Monday, picked it up and drove home Tuesday.  He's one happy guy.  And, as you can see, he's not the only guy in our family crazy over it.  Actually both boys like it but Max is just nuts over this car!  Isn't he cute behind the wheel?

Is it really Friday already?

This week has flown!  Here's a bit of catch up:
Monday: Max was home from school sick with the stomach virus still.  So plans I had needed to be cancelled.

Tuesday: Women's Bible Study- we are doing watercolor with meditation on Psalm 23

Wednesday: Fran and I had planned to go back to the Desert Botanical Garden but she wasn't feeling up to it since she'd been out running all the day before so, I went out to her house.  We watched 2 Quilting Arts shows via Tivo, chatted, she looked things up in her books preparing for her European trip while I gutted books to make collage packets.  I had to leave by noon since my boys had early release.  Sam's two best friends from school came with us for the afternoon and I took them to play at McDonald's while I read. Then Chuck and I had a meeting that evening so our trusty babysitter was here.

Thursday: I spent the whole morning at church.  This week has been our week of non-stop 24/7 prayer.  The entire sanctuary has been turned into a quiet, peaceful room of prayer with various interactive prayer stations.  The theme is The Lord's Prayer, which is what part of my large canvas was for.   It's an amazing experience.

After school, Sam went home with a friend so I brought Max's two best friends with me and took them to a park.  While they played, I painted!  I need to photograph the journal pages so I can post them.
Last night, about 10:00, Sam woke up very sick.  I didn't know if he caught the virus Max had earlier this week or if it was the huge bag of hot cheetos that he ate cuz that time last night was the only time he was sick.  I kept him home today but he's been totally fine and normal.  I dunno...

Today:  Well, I have worked on some journal stuff, gift stuff for a friend, and done boring house stuff like laundry, dishes... blah, blah, blah....

Here's a picture of a journal spread I did last night.  I read Teesha Moore's lastest "Art & Life" zine and was very encouraged to get on with journaling in a more intuitive way.  I think this spread is somewhere in between intuitive and planning.  I certainly didn't over think it and it's in now way anything like Teesha's amazing stuff but it's mine.  I just used images I had already torn out of magazines and stashed.  I think this came after spending 3 hours at church this morning!  I had really wanted to go back today but Sam being home changed the plan.  I'm thinking of getting up around 5:00 tomorrow morning and going for a couple of hours before my kids get up.  The 24/7 time is up at 7:00 tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Ritz!  I used the number generator and it came up with number 20 so Ritz, send me your snail mail address and this little journal will be on it's way to you!  Thanks everyone for playing!  I'll be posting another give away soon!  I like doing these!