Friday, May 30, 2008


obviously not my photo--comes from here
I shall be very busy over the next couple of days getting ready for the VAAM Gallery's reception for the china painting exhibit, which will be an afternoon tea. The menu will consist of cucumber sandwiches, Victoria sponge, shortbread, scones, and tiny cheesecakes along with the usual accoutrements of lemon curd (I am making), clotted cream (or something like it--I'm also making that), jams and, of course, tea. I'm responsible for the cucumber sandwiches and shortbread, and for the flowers which I'm almost more excited about than anything else because our roses are blooming at the moment and will make such a gorgeous display. We're dressing up for the part, too, so I shall try to get photos.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

more photos from kc

There's a lot of interesting architecture in Kansas City. It is typical of other large cities settled in the midwest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Indianapolis, Indiana and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This is a turreted corner of an old building in downtown KC. The building has been restored and seems to be in use as an office building on the main level and apartments on the upper floors.

Country Club Plaza was built in the style of Spain and shows a lot of Spanish/Moorish influence, such as this light sconce.

This is a ribbon display at Paper Source, a wonderful paper supply store on the plaza.

Despite my mouth watering, I purchased none of the above. In fact, I only got three rubber stamps at the whole store. You'll see why in a moment.

These fellows seemed to be acquainted with Lesley for some reason. Hmm.

The reason I was able to exercise such restraint at the Paper Source is because I'd already blown enough cash at All About Scrapbooking. But what a lot of lovely things! I did get grungeboard and will try to give a review of it for those of you interested parties. I also got the package of Basic Grey ribbons at half price, and a discount on one of the stamp pads. Check out the cute K & Company brads. The package at the bottom that didn't come out well is a set of transparencies from 7Gypsies.
I am feeling quite a bit better today although still dealing with a very sensitive stomach and a general aversion to food and food smells. Should be good for my diet!
Have a great Thursday, everyone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

i have returned

We're back after a fun weekend in Kansas City. Surprisingly, we went to all the places we'd talked about going. That's surprising because often what happens is we have so many things on our to-do list we don't have time for some of them.

This is City Market, Kansas City's farmer's market. As you can see there is lots of produce on offer, as well as fresh flowers, both cut and bedding plants.

There were shops with bulk spices, clothing, candy--all kinds of stuff. There were also food stalls with meals cooked outdoors, right in the shopping area.

We chose to have lunch at the Blue Nile, an Ethiopian cafe. It was delicious.

Here's our lunch. I had lamb, David had chicken, and we shared the vegetables (lentils, collard greens, cabbage, potatoes, carrots). There were no utensils; everything was eaten by means of thin pancake type bread. It was a fun and interesting experience.

This is one of several bridges across the Missouri river which divides Kansas City, Kansas from Kansas City, Missouri. If you've ever read or heard of Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, they were set on the Missouri river.

Country Club Plaza in downtown KC is a wonderful place, not least because of all of the public art on display.
This horse is one of my favorite pieces. It stands outside a Chinese restaurant.

This young man was making friends with a bronze penguin, one of a set of three.

This fountain is between lanes of traffic on one of the streets downtown.

I'll post more photos tomorrow.

We had a wonderful time up until Sunday evening when I became the victim of apparent food poisoning. I will spare you the nasty details except to say I lost 8 lb. in two days. I was very glad to get back home and into my own bed. I'm home from work today, resting and recuperating.

Friday, May 23, 2008

goin' to kansas city, kansas city here i come

We are looking forward to our trip to the big city, or what passes for a big city in these parts.

The Kansas City skyline at night. Big enough for me!

We will be visiting my famous youngest brother Eric, who happens to be a professional magician. When he's not doing that, he's a professional drummer in some KC jazz establishments and around the area. Such talent.

We will also connect with these lovely people, Brad & Lisa, my other (also younger) brother and his fiancee, who will be in town with her children to go to Worlds of Fun, a big amusement park in KC.

I also plan to connect with a little shopping.

Kansas City has a branch of Paper Source which is a fun store.

There are also any number of good scrapbooking stores. I'm only going to go to one, though, which I know carries a Tim Holtz item I want to try out--grunge board.

We will visit City Market, a great outdoor farm and art market near where my KC brother lives.

We also plan to sample some famous Kansas City edible fare. The Blue Nile is in the City Market, so maybe we'll go there for lunch. And no trip to KC would be complete without a barbecue meal--Kansas City is famous for barbecue and jazz. I'm taking clothes with elastic waistlines. :-)

A not-to-be-missed attraction is the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, to which we've been many times, including on our honeymoon (yes, we went to KC then too--newlyweds and newly college graduated=no money for an expensive honeymoon). It is a wonderful museum. Here is a photo of the atrium.

The museum was built in 1933 in the beaux art style and is three marble-floored storeys of art history. Fabulous. It even houses part of a 15th century French cloister, one of my favorite parts of the museum.

You can read more about the museum here if you care to.

Kansas City is home to the fabulous Country Club Plaza, built in 1922 in the style of Spanish architecture and European art. It has some wonderful fountains including these below.

The Triton fountain is my favorite. You can read more about the Country Club Plaza here.

We are planning to enjoy ourselves. I'm also planning to take my camera so I can share the sights with you next week.

I also want to mention that our wedding anniversary (Sunday) is also my dear mother's birthday. David jokes that she has no reason to forget our special day and we have no reason to forget hers. So happy birthday, Mom, we love you very much and appreciate all you do for us.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

i think i need an intervention


Seriously, is there a 12 step program for people who can't seem to get enough crafty stuff? 'Cause I'm there.

All of this (and a bit more) came from another new internet store I found called Articus Studio Design. Great stuff and very good prices, too.

I finished two more garden swap pieces which I neglected to photograph and now they're in their parcels and ready to go, so it's too late. Bummer.
I have two bits of good news. The first is that my husband and I will be going to Kansas City this weekend to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary. I promise not to shop. Much.
The second bit of good news is that DAVID HAS A JOB!! Whoo-hoo! In his field, just what he was hoping for. So this weekend will be a double celebration. Thanks to all of you for your prayers, thoughts, and well-wishes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

this & that

Here's the reverse of the Juliet card from yesterday with a few additional touches. I stamped it all over with Staz-on ink and a background stamp, then embossed a butterfly in gold. I think this card is finished and ready to be sent to its new owner.

And this is for Ethel & Edna, who was curious about the dolls I've made. This is Dreamgirl, taken when she was part of my fiber exhibit last summer in the VAAM Gallery.

I'm enjoying fresh flowers I cut this morning, white peonies, peach iris, and false indigo. This has been a wonderful year for spring flowers. Everyone's gardens have just been lush, especially iris and peonies so far.

Have a great Wednesday, all.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

finally creating (a little!)

After what seems like weeks of sorting, separating, categorizing, and stashing, I'm beginning to see enough light at the end of the tunnel to not feel guilty spending a little time actually creating something. Here is an artist's postcard that will be part of my garden swap. (For those of you who are concerned that what you're swapping isn't "gardeny" enough, stop it. You can define 'garden' as closely or as loosely as you want.)

This is Juliet on her balcony, which presumably looks out over a garden. At least it does in my world. I used a piece of Latin text scrapbook paper, walnut ink, embossed and painted rose stamps, a picture of Juliet herself, and a piece of tea-dyed scrim. It isn't finished yet but I like it so far.

On the back of the postcard I've used something new, or at least new to me, Ranger's crackle paint. See the fine crackling? I like it because it is crackle and paint all in one. It comes in about 6 colors. I got mine from Quilting Arts.

Ahem, you remember me moaning about how much stuff I have? Well, that fact doesn't seem to have stopped me from getting more. At least this is stuff I didn't already have. I have found a new web based company, Alpha Stamps, that has some of the coolest stamps and collage ephemera I've ever seen. Just yummo. I couldn't resist. Actually, the Juliet picture above came from them.

I got a few unmounted stamps as well, but since they don't photograph very satisfactorily I'll just tell you what they say: "a little something from the art fairy", "ars artis gratia (art for art's sake)", and "silence your inner critic". I also got a stamp of a ruler, a row of buttons, and a female harlequin. Very cool, and a wonderful store which you should check out immediately.

By the way, Dylan had a great time on his field trip and was feeling very smug about carrying his lunch and lemonade bottle.
Have a terrific day, everyone.

Monday, May 19, 2008

true confessions

OK, so I'm still sorting things out in my studio. What do you think I have the most of? Fibers! This entire drawer is packed to bursting with all kinds of fibers. I found fibers I don't even remember buying, and the worst part is that after I took this photo I found even MORE fibers. How ridiculous. I should sell some of this stuff on Etsy, at least the stuff I have duplicates of. Golly.

Ati's swap arrived in the mail on Saturday. As she says, it turned into more of a landscape than a true garden, but isn't it lovely? Thank you so much, Ati.

It's a spectacularly beautiful day here today. Dylan is off on a school field trip to an outdoor museum. He was very excited. He has a sack lunch and a bottle of lemonade--he's all set.
Have a great Monday everyone.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

a good time was had by all

We had a lovely evening yesterday, celebrating Christopher's 18th birthday. Here he is with Dylan who always contrives to be in the photo somehow. Chris is not a fan of having his picture taken as you can see. At least his hands aren't in front of his face and he's not diving under the table, a tactic he used in younger years.

The food was all good and we did indeed have both steaks and brats, per Chris' request. Very little left over, too, which surprised me a bit.

And then on to the presents. Chris got the MP3 player he wanted, among other very nice things.

Here's the red velvet cake. If you knew Chris you'd think the candles fit his personality to a T.

And blowing out the candles, of course.

We had a very nice evening, perfect weather, and Chris was pleased with the celebration.

Hope you've all had a lovely Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, May 16, 2008

gorgeousness in the mail

I'm definitely coming out the winner in this swap thing. Have a look at this:

From Maureen, these two gothic arch cards. I'm really fascinated with this shape. Aren't they lovely?

Genie really outdid herself with this selection of beautiful things. The tiny painting I just adore. And the little charm on the right is so cute.

Look at this great piece from Gail V. It's red chili peppers, and she told me in the note enclosed that she grows peppers, then strings and dries them as gifts for friends. How cool (or warm, as they're hot chili peppers). Note the radish ribbon border. It's one of Gail's favorites, so I feel really lucky to have rated its inclusion in this piece.
Needless to say I'm having a great time with this swap and not the least bit blue anymore.
This Sunday our second son, Christopher, turns 18. I can't believe the time has gone so quickly. Sounds trite, but it's absolutely true. We're having family over for a barbecue on Saturday evening to celebrate. The menu (chosen by Chris) is grilled steaks and brats (he's a true carnivore), creamed corn (homemade), sauteed green beans and almonds, tossed salad, and red velvet cake. I'm also going to make that raspberry ice cream I mentioned several days ago because I want to try out the recipe. I will get some photos of Chris on his birthday to share with the rest of you.
Chin up, everyone; it's Friday! Unless you're one of my Australian readers, but you know what I mean. :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

fruitful evening's work

I spent the evening last night doing more sorting and putting-away in my studio. Obviously this is taking much longer than I had anticipated. The good news is I'm making progress; the bad news is that there is nothing very interesting to show, certainly nothing photo worthy. I have received the first swap pieces from a few people but I haven't photographed them yet. They are all lovely, so I will post photos soon.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post. We are amazed at the prodigious performance of our iris and enjoying them so much.
Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

gratuitous beauty

Another stroll around the garden last evening led to the following photographs. I love iris. My MIL grew up calling them "flags".

We got these iris rhizomes from a neighbor whose plants had become very overgrown. It has taken about three years to get this well established, but they're certainly producing now.

I love this bronzy-gold colored specimen.

A couple more things from the VAAM Gallery exhibit, both by my extremely talented friend Michaela. I love these whimsical chickens.

Michaela, in addition to being a wonderful painter and potter, does the most wonderful busts, usually of people in the local community. She has even done one of me! This is Harold, who has been instrumental in the restoration of the McPherson Opera House which houses the VAAM Gallery among other things. It is an extremely good likeness.

And this is another of my garden swap items, a little banner. I'm having fun with this and the first items should go in the post later this week.

Have a super Wednesday, everybody.