Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i'm blue--time for a swap

Who would like to swap with me? I'm going to be making garden-themed things (don't know what yet) and I encourage you to do the same. I'm going to hold open the entry for this swap until May 10 to give everyone plenty of time, and I'm not limiting the number of entrants--you enter, I'll swap with you. I don't have any parameters on what you should make, just that it should have a garden theme.

I'm doing all this because I've been feeling distinctly down in the mouth and I'm trying to hoist myself back up again. Maybe you can help!

Just sometime between now and May 10, either post or e-mail me that you'd like to be part of the swap. I will answer everyone individually so you'll be sure I got your entry. If you have any questions, let me know.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I couldn't resist snapping this photo of Dave and Rusty, having their Sunday afternoon snooze. Rusty is definitely the most affectionate of our cats. He's also the gutter sitter.

I got a special delivery in the post yesterday, this ATC from Genie, complete with a handmade card and ebellished goodie. She correctly surmised that I'm a sucker for the color pink. We agreed to swap recently, and I sent her this ATC of mine.

The sun is shining here today and the lilacs are in full bloom. Hope it's beautiful where you are!

Monday, April 28, 2008

happy news

I am thrilled to report that my brother Brad acquired a fiancee over the weekend. Here he is pictured with the lovely Lisa whom we are absolutely tickled pink to welcome into the family.

Lisa brings two sweet children to the family as well, adding to Brad's three boys. They bring my parents' grandchild total up to 12. Big hugs and heartiest congratulations to the happy couple. We couldn't be more pleased.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

a little progress

I had really hoped to have more done this weekend, but I suppose I should be grateful for what has been accomplished and not aggravated by what hasn't. I suppose my list of things I wanted to get done was a bit overly optimistic. At any rate, we did get the wallpaper border up in my studio:

Dave covered the wall socket plate in a fancy fabric for me:

And he gave the floor a couple of coats of white paint. That's Fuzzy, reclining on the new floor.

In the crafty line I did finish up these three birdies, my own design although Elizabeth makes wonderful bird totems as well.

These are destined for VAAM Gallery's new show featuring our china painters and themed around "Tea in the Garden". Hey you Brit readers, I'm helping with the reception which is supposed to be a high tea. So far we're planning on shortbread, scones, cucumber sandwiches, Devonshire cream (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) lemon curd, jams and, of course, tea. I'm thinking Yorkshire Gold. What else do you think? Cakes? I'll take any suggestions. Of course it's not like anyone here will know if I totally screw it up but I'd like to make it nice.

We're still plugging away on the studio, but so many other things come a long to take our attention elsewhere. I'm sure you know how it is.

Hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend.

Friday, April 25, 2008

everybody's waitin' for the weekend

Including me. I have so many things I want to get done in the next two days I can't believe it. I will finish the painted silk scarf (having finally figured out how to steam set the dyes), complete the set of quilted fabric cones (only one more to finish), make up some stuffed bird totems (already started), plus paint my studio floor and the metal shelves, put up the wallpaper border (or cause it to be put up by hubby, or some combination thereof), and hopefully take delivery of my new rug (HOORAY--can't wait to see it), put it in my studio, and MOVE IN!!

I'm just a little excited.

Alas, I have no photos for you today, but I will tomorrow, I promise.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

one more project :-)

Last night I got a wild hair and decided to do some silk painting. Actually I decided several days ago to do this, which is why everything was all ready for me to apply the dye last night. The instructions and all materials for this project can be found here. I have bought most of my dyes and dyables from Dharma. They're great to work with and very responsive to any type of question.

I meant to take photos at various stages, but I got carried away until I'd applied the last color. Oops.These dyes require steam fixing to make them permanent. Not quite sure how I'm going to do that yet, but since this is the learning curve piece I feel I have the latitude to the figure it out.

This is an ATC I am trading to Genie. It started out as a piece of tissue paper painted with acrylic inks and sewn to felt. The blue fibers are trapped beneath a layer of purple chiffon which I sewed down in concentric rectangular shapes, which you can just about see. I had forgotten I had this key charm but I was glad I found it because it seems to be just what the piece needed to finish it.
Hope you all have a fantastic Thursday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

apple blossom time

Since it was cold for so long, things have been really late blooming this year. This is our old apple tree in the back garden, finally putting forth some pretty blossoms. We usually don't get many apples from this tree because there's a freeze during the bloom time, but this year may be different.

Tulips are in full bloom now, too.

Picture of the floor pour! This is my DH, David, working hard to mix the floor leveler compound. Note the dust particles in the air.

The finished product. It isn't perfectly smooth, but since the main objective was simply to fill in the big ugly cracks in the floor and not necessarily to have a surface level enough to lay tile on (which we wouldn't do anyway), we think it worked well and are happy with the results. I cooked DH a lovely dinner after this, by the way.

It will be painted with white floor paint very soon.

I have also ordered this:

and purchased this at the hardware store.

We're also in the process of painting my gray metal shelves to be more in tune with the new colors. I will hopefully be able to start moving in to my "new" studio this weekend!!!! Photos to follow, of course.

Have a spectacular Wednesday, everyone, and to my English blog friends, happy St. George's Day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

monday once again

Did you ever have a weekend when you actually got quite a lot done but it seems like you didn't because you were working in so many areas at once? That was my weekend. We made progress outside (clearing flowerbeds, mowing, etc.), in the studio (priming and pouring the floor leveler), housework wise (laundry, cooking, kitchen, general clean up), and I even got some studio time in (finished all but one of my quilty cones) but it seems like not that much happened. However, we press on.

I have decided that my ugly gray metal shelves will not be reintroduced into my lovely newly redone studio, so they will get a makeover as well with coats of spray paint in white and two shades of pink. I'm beginning to think my boys will feel distinctly ill at ease in my studio, judging by how they react to what they call the "pink aisle" at Wal-Mart, ie any aisle featuring predominantly girly things. Did I mention I'm the lone female in my house? Well, apart from one of our cats, that is.

Jules had this fun meme on her blog, more revealing than most I think. Feel free to copy it into your own blog. Let me know if you do it so I can go have a peek!

The hubby meme

How long did you date? Nearly four years

How old is he? He's 48, I'm 47. We're 11 months apart.

Who eats more? He does, which is no fair because he doesn't show it.

Who said “I love you” first? I did. I'm much more impetuous than he is.

Who is taller? He is by 5"

Who sings better? I do, although he has a pleasant voice too and has sung in school and church choirs and small groups for years.

Who is smarter? Depends on what you're talking about. I like to think I can figure things out more quickly than he can, but he arrives at the right conclusion, too, plus he's very mechanically minded and can repair just about anything. He's a whiz with electricals and has a much better grasp on higher math than I do (I'm hopeless in that area!).

Whose temper is worse? Me, definitely.

Who does the laundry? We both do.

Who does the dishes? We both do.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does.

Who pays the bills? I do, with his input, but I'm the one who writes out the checks.

Who cooks dinner? Usually me, although he enjoys grilling out and sometimes will cook breakfast for supper, breakfast being his favorite food group.

Who drives when you are together? Usually he does.

Who is more stubborn? He is. Hands down. He can always wait me out, which goes to my impetuosity.

Who asked who out first? I'm not sure. We were in college at the time and our first few dates were to campus events (movies, plays, etc.). I can't remember who suggested going somewhere together first.

Who kissed who first? Uh, I did but he didn't resist!

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? We're both a little stubborn about this, but we never have a big disagreement for long, thankfully.

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine. His live 1500 miles away.

Who proposed? He did (I'm not THAT impetuous!)

Who is more sensitive? Me. I'm also the biggest worry wart.

Who has more friends? We both have lots of friends, but he's a real "people person", the kind who never met a stranger.

Who has more siblings? We have the same number. He has three sisters (two older, one younger), I have a sister and two brothers (all younger).

Who wears the pants in the family? We consult each other especially about important things, but I feel comfortable deferring to him in most things unless I just completely disagree, and then we have a discussion. That doesn't happen very often. I think it is important to present a united front, especially when you're raising children.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

more stuff, and something for cathi's mom

Well, I can't say these were accidental purchases so I'll call it retail therapy. Went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to get a few things and, as they say, one thing led to another. I didn't buy nearly what I could have, though, and considering all the lovely stuff they've got at that store I think I was quite restrained. The flowers and green buttons on the right are actually brads and are meant for scrapbooking but I put them to other use. The little wooden box was only .99--how could I resist? I'll alter it or something. The pink items are actually cotton scarves which I will make into curtains for my studio.

Cathi's mother has been undergoing chemotherapy and Cathi has asked for folks to send cheerful cards and such to her, so I thought I'd oblige. These will go in the mail tomorrow:

My mother and mother-in-law have both had brushes with cancer and are both long term survivors, for which our family is extremely grateful. I hope Cathi's mom will be one too, and that these little things and others she receives will be encouraging to her along this journey.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

cat blog friday on saturday

A mixed bag of things to post today. First this photo of #2 son Chris with Tiger asleep on his tummy. Chris is probably our biggest cat lover.

And here is Rusty in his favorite place on a sunny day, the guttering at the edge of the roof. Of course, when he gets hungry he cries to be rescued and we have to pull him in via the attic window. Silly kitty.

Here's Chris again with his entry at the student art show. This is a piece from his elementary design class. (His is the one nearest the left edge of the photo.) BTW, Chris' shirt says "don't drink and draw" with what looks like something akin to a Jackson Pollack work.

Last night we drove to Salina, about 35 miles away, in spite of ever-increasing gas prices, to have a bite of supper (Burger King--whoopee) and do some shopping. Look what I found at the dollar store! A mulberry paper photo album, tiny floral notepads and sticky notes, pens, an adorable little floral cardboard chest with 2 pullout drawers, and raspberry chocolate, all for just a dollar apiece! Best bargains I've found in a long time.

It is sunny and gorgeous here today, so of course we're going to stay indoors and work on my studio. Makes sense to me!

Have a glorious weekend, everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

better times a-comin'

I'm shamelessly inserting this photo (from on my blog because I have nothing of arty interest to report. We visited my parents last night as they have just returned from a visit with my sister's family in Washington state, so I accomplished nothing other than preparing supper last night (which was spaghetti, for anyone interested in that tidbit).

This weekend promises to be sunny and beautiful and we plan to pour the floor leveler in my studio (hurrah!) and do some work outside. I've got the wallpaper border ready to go up also, and will post a photo or two of that.I also plan to get some studio work done (at my dining room table), finishing the flower ATCs from my last post plus hopefully starting an embellished felt piece I've been thinking about for my upcoming fiber exhibits this fall. I've also GOT to start planning the workshop I'm doing in September as part of the VAAM Gallery textile/fiber arts exhibit. Good times ahead.
Happy Friday to you all.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

rainy thursday--now updated with photo

I am completely without arty photos to post today I have only one arty photo to post today, primarily because I didn't do much in that direction last night apart from fiddling with some new ATCs that I didn't finish and therefore didn't photograph only took one photo of. After I finish these off (think leaves and maybe a dragonfly button, plus I like the green ric-rac thingy) I think I'll put them in my etsy shop. These are iron on flowers, by the way, not something I made. Is that cheating? I thought they were cute.

I did address three envelopes for three of my 150th blog post winners (see preceding post) who have already breathlessly e-mailed me their addresses, so those will go out today.

In doing my usual blog roamings today, I checked into Dale's place and found I could get in on a wild-woman challenge. If you're interested in participating, migrate to Dale's blog and get the details.

I hope it's nicer where you are. We have 100% chance of rain today. Glub glub.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

without further ado... are the winners of the prizes, in the order drawn (drawing by my handsome assistant, Dylan), coupled with prizes in the order listed in my 150th blog post:

Winner of the wallet: Denise

Winner of the double inchies: Cathi

Winner of the bracelet: Britt

Winner of the bookmark: Liz

Winner of the postcard: Dianne

Winner of the hand-dyed fabrics, ribbons, buttons, etc.: Kate D-S

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all for making my blogworld a happy place to be.

The only trouble with doing something like this is that I can't send something to everyone who entered, which makes me feel kinda bad. But then again, I plan to have lots more giveaways at various times as the spirit moves me, so keep checking in. You never know when I'll get the itch to give something away again!!

last chance!!

This lovely photo comes from

Today is your last chance to put your name in the running for the drawing in celebration of my 150th blog post. Please go here to comment, which will enter you in the drawing.

I will post later today when my helper (Dylan) is home from school and can draw the names for me.

Good luck all, and I hope you're all having a great day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

manic monday

***UPDATE*** I almost forgot to remind you to comment on my 150th post in order to be involved in my giveaway!

What is it about Monday morning that always makes me feel like I have to rush around? Maybe it's just switching gears from the weekend, I don't know.

In a previous post I featured my husband Dave sealing the floor of my studio. He did not appreciate the photo as it didn't feature him from a very flattering angle, in his opinion. ;-P So here he is painting my studio and you can actually see his smiling face:

Here's another shot of the paint job, which makes the color look like hot pink. It isn't; the photo above is a much truer indication of the color. That is indeed a hole in the ceiling where we're going to put an access panel to be able to reach our kitchen sink trap. See my teeny, ugly window? There's another one just like it a few feet to the right. I will just have to cover them up.

I'm still making cones when I'm not doing taxes or painting. Here's a rather awful photo of the latest one, which also allows a view of my hideous ironing board cover, a topic previously covered.

And here's a cone before it becomes a cone:

I used a beautiful piece of panel lace sent to me by Julie when she sent this lovely assortment of stuff. The largest button came from her, too.
I will use these pretties to hold dried roses and such.
I hope you are all having a fine, sunny day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

this, that, and the other

Before I forget, let me direct you to this blog post where you can post asking that your name be put into the drawing for my 150th blog giveaway. Take a gander at what's up for grabs.

It has been an interesting weekend at our house. Busy, but good.

I wanted to post a photo of Dylan with his origami crane, of which he's extremely proud.

Next, lest you think our current troubles are keeping us from forging ahead in certain areas, here's my hubby David sealing the floor in my studio. It was a smelly job. Thank goodness for fans and open windows.

And here is proof that I'm actually painting my studio in the threatened colors. That's Raspberry Fizz on the right and Orchid White on the left. Need to be stirred, obviously.

Finally, for those of you who requested to see my spiffy new hair color(s), you can just about make out the 'cabernet' and 'mango' hues so artfully applied by my stylist Rachel.

I like it. It suits me.

My song went over very well at the variety showcase last night. The event was well attended and turned out to be quite a good fundraiser for the community theatre group.

Now I must finish our taxes, then paint the studio. More photos of that to follow.

I hope you are all having a relaxing Sunday.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

We had a bit of an excursion this morning, to Sheila's Garden Market, our favorite place to buy spring plants. Here's Sheila's sign, out by the highway. #2 son Chris was driving, accumulating experience for his drivers course this summer, so the photo was taken out the car window.

Sheila's has such cute garden decor, such as the sign below.
I thought this was a charming tableau.
And a row of colorful metal pots overhead.
Here is Dylan with his friend Tyray, who came along with us. Mugging, as usual.
This is so cute. A painted child's chair.

Enormous pots, with David's hand in the photo for size perspective. Not sure what I'd do with a container that size.
Sheila's has about an acre of every kind of geranium you ever heard of. I usually do a planter for my mom for Mother's Day, including a geranium from Sheila's. This is an ivy geranium specimin.
A lot of very nice planted pots.
Since the weather is still so cold here overnight (supposed to be in the 20's tonight, for example) we decided to just get a bowl of lettuce plants for now, but we'll go back to Sheila's to pick up pansies, petunias, etc. for container planting later on.
***REMINDER*** If you want to get in on my 150th post giveaway, you have to go to yesterday's blog post here and post a comment saying you want your name in the drawing, which will be on Tuesday April 15 (tax day!!).

Friday, April 11, 2008

150th post

According to Blogger, yesterday was my 150th post. Unless you add up my actual posts, which indicate I still have four to go. So I've decided to split the difference and call it good. Therefore, this is fair warning that on Tuesday next, I will draw names to give away the following:

One patchwork wallet (so, so cute, additional photos here).

Three double inchies from the same patchwork piece. Closeup here.

A lovely bracelet made by moi, featuring hand-formed (by moi's hands) sterling silver links and clasp, handmade (not by moi but by various fine upstanding hot glass artisans) glass beads, swarovski crystals, and a Hilltribe silver charm.

An embellished bookmark which will be much more embellished by the time it goes to its new owner (think beads, ribbons, buttons, etc.)

This very cute and whimsical postcard, also cut from the aforementioned patchwork piece, signed and dated by the artist (that would be me!).

PLUS--a selection of hand dyed fabrics, ribbons, buttons and other goodies (see here, here, and here --scroll down).

You'd better strike while I'm in a generous mood. And that includes you lurkers who never post. I know you're out there!! Please indicate your wish to be included in the drawing by commenting on this very post. I will put reminders in every day's post up to next Tuesday.

In other news, I have foolishly agreed to participate in our community theatre's variety showcase tomorrow night. I will be singing "Moon River" from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's for anyone as old as me who is able to remember that far back. It was written by Henry Mancini and made popular in the US by singer Andy Williams whose voice I adore. In preparation for this foray onto the stage I will be getting my hair cut and professionally highlighted (in subtle and tasteful shades of pink/burgundy/violet--I'm not kidding) tomorrow. I may post photos of my hair, who knows.

I hope you are all having a happy Friday.


It occurs to me that I may have been less than clear re: how I'm giving things away to celebrate my 150th post. I will give each item to different people, for a total of six giveaways in all.