Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Am Not

I was visiting Jenn's blog  yesterday and saw that she has posted a unique list. I thought I would play along.

Things I Am...


1 - an early bird. I'm more of a sleep-until-you-feel-guilty-for-being-a-bed-slug type person. I'm also a night owl so you can see why I don't want to get up anytime soon...

2 - a chronic wallower in self pity. Can't stand it. I have times when I'm complaining about my life/hair/weight/house, etc... but I get to a point where I pull myself up by my garter belts and say 'Okay, what are we going to do about this situation?'

3 - punctual. Yeah, not one of my strong suits. Life is short, why do I have to be on time?!

4 - a purple lover. I don't like it. I would go so far to say I hate it. Loath it. Don't think it should be one of the colors in the color group. Just sayin'...

5 - satisfied with mediocrity. Those who know me should know this is true. I don't like ordinary. I don't like to be like everyone else. Of course if one was honest, I'm probably as normal as they come because what is normal but whatever is unique to you? I just am not a go with the flow type person who only does things to fit in with others. I guess that's what I mean by  not being mediocre.

6 - a girly girl. I tell hubby he is lucky I'm so low maintenance. I only own 2 pairs of shoes, clogs and flip flops. I used them exclusively during the year until one falls apart and I replace it with the exact same style if I can find it. I only wear lipstick and the occasional mascara. I didn't used to own much jewelry until a friend started selling Premier Designs jewelry and I had a party. I probably get my hair cut every couple years and I'm not happy about that either. I'm hugely content in jeans and tee shirts and I don't own a dress or a skirt.

7 - a latte frappe froo-froo drinker. For the most part. I've had the occasional drink from Starbucks if I go there with the teen or mom but I much prefer a glass of iced tea.. Hot tea in the winter..

8 - a mealy-mouth. I'm a fighter. I'm the go to gal in our family when there is a problem. I remember my parents calling me from Georgia (I live in Missouri) to ask me to call their cable company to fix a problem. They know I will fight for them. I'm hugely protective of my kids and husband and have regularly offered to beat someone up (ie: a bully, a co-worker or boss) that was hurting my loved one. I've never had to do it but the offer still stands. :)

9 - stagnant. I have to try new things. I've owned several businesses, have lists a mile long of art techniques to try and books to read. I'm sure I would not run out of things to read  until the day I die. I like change. I'm always amazed I've lived in the same town in the same house for 15 years. But with a family you have to take them into consideration. If I was single, I'd travel all the time. Maybe write books on traveling, get paid to see the world, have no permanent home. This would be the life for me. My youngest brother is this way and seems to love it.

10 - a small animal lover. I don't like things that can crawl and go 'bump' in the night. Nope. No hamsters, tarantulas, snakes, lizards or even fish really. I'm quite content with cats and dogs.

What would be on your list? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Table Scraps Tags

(Painted paper scrap found while cleaning studio. Love it.)

Remember I was lamenting the work I did on these cards and how they sucked? Well, I gave up on them for now and created other things to send out with my book winners' packages tomorrow. Yes, I'm that behind but I hope people will still love receiving a wonderful gift in the mail, albeit late.

All the tags, trims, stamped and collage images are from Red Lead. I call them my Table Scrap tags because I used scraps I had gathered in a pile on my desk, from cleaning up. Sometimes I do my best creating that way... Kind of like a mystery pile!

The 'For You' stamp and the 'Mail Art' sticker are off a package from a friend in England. I couldn't stand to waste them. So is the 'Destinario' wording glued to the top of the fencing on the tan card. Always fun to use up little bits and bobbles.

While cleaning I found a couple corset tags I made and blogged here. I'm sending those out as well. The corset and lady images are from Altered Pages.

DH helped me clean my studio this week and when the tables were cleared he saw all the paint on the tables (You can see the paint under the tags above. I'm not really a neat painter and don't care if paint gets on them.)

He said, "Oh, this is kind of neat and colorful, kind of like a kindergarten class."
I said "You mean like an artist studio?!"
He said, 'Oh, yeah, that too."
Eyeroll from me. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Crown Will Fall

I'm a part of the Raven Altered Book swap at Altered Gypsy. Of course I'm behind, but what is new? It's been a summer of no muse. Would you believe I actually entertained the thought (TWICE) of just packing it all up and getting rid of my studio? That's how discouraged I've been feeling. No ideas flowing in the braino, no hot ideas off the press, nothing.

However, I've been behind on these two altered books and I like to meet my obligations. So hubby helped me clean the studio once again today and I thought I'd sit down and force myself to do something. I started by perusing through a stack of Somerset Studio mags. I made of list of every technique or special thingie on any art piece that caught my idea. I also wrote down any random ideas that popped up because of looking at the books, no matter how silly. This helped me come up with a few ideas for a spread. (click for closeup)

The little antiqued bottle is filled with cuttings from a Raven feather. The Poe image is from Altered Pages, the Raven w/saying stamped image is from Red Lead. Mixin' it up today I guess. The background with swiped with different paints and then I laid stencils over it and spray painted. It was fun to do.

This page I worked on last month. (click for closeup.)

THe vintage lace was added to the edges because I cut the page the wrong size and I was determine not to waste the paper. The middle dark paper is mulberry paper, the RAVEN letters are iron on soft fuzzy/felty type letters. The queen and tree images are from an old calendar a friend sent me from France.

It was an idea I had because I had read raven lore that stated Ravens are considered royalty. They hang around the Tower of London (also known as the Bloody Tower where in 1483 the 2 little princes were brought and disappeared, assumed to be brutally murdered) and the Tower Green where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. The superstition goes:

“If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.” 

Read more here on the Ravens and Bloody Tower.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Well Dunk Me In Milk and Call Me Heaven!

I'm craving these. I took this picture last week when the little one made the most scrumptiously delicious peanut butter cookies. The key to good cookies is undercooking them. Seriously. The dough is some of the best peanut butter dough I've ever had and I've had a lot believe me. Here's the recipe.

Anyway, today I'm craving these. They're not good for eating healthy and I'm so trying to do that this week. DARN DARN DARN! (channeling Herman Munster stomping his large feet!)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fourth of Julyin'

I was reading back through previous posts, mostly about the holidays and I liked some of my July 4th posts so  much I copied and pasted bits of them here to share with you. You can read the full shabangs here: 2009, (didn't blog July 4th in 2008 or 2007), 2006.

Do you have favorite plans or traditions for July 4th? We always find ourselves invited to one friend or another's parties. This year we're heading to my brother's house for a quiet fourth. Just BBQing, maybe some games, lots of laughing, hollering at the kids to keep their wet bodies outside and a few fireworks.

We're not big fireworks-blowing-up-people. I mean we enjoy them, but we don't go all out and buy $200 worth like my brothers tend to do. I do enjoy the little things though. The black snakes, the little flowery things that spin after you light them, in all sorts of colors, the white bags of gunpowder stuff you throw on the ground to pop... But my favorites have always been the sparklers. I buy a lot of them and we play with them throughout the year. There is something special about the very first one you use. It's almost a superstition with me, I have to write my name in the air first before I can make shapes and whirly swirlies of any kind. 

I'm looking forward to all today's food. One of my favorites is corn on the cob. I don't know what it is about your first piece of corn on the cob, on the 4th of July, but it's pure heaven. I don't muck up the flavor of my sweet corn with butter, salt or sugar. BLECK. I like it natural, sometimes grilled in the husk on the grill. There is nothing better.
May your holiday be wonderful, surrounded by family, food and wonderful fireworks. I'm hoping to see a display of fireworks from where we'll be at tonight.  I hope they do one of those wonderful chrysanthemum flower fireworks in the sky that is all different colors. That one always makes me smile.

What is your favorite thing about July 4th?  

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Bloomin' & Producin'

It's a busy weekend of outdoor weather, gardening, dinner with friends. Tomorrow is the holiday and we'll be visiting with family as well. Today is all about the yard though. 

My front garden has only 3 bushes and lots of little plants that the teen has planted. Some have been dying, we're not sure why, but some are thriving. It will take us a year or so to keep filling in the spaces that remain. We've been picking out perennials of lavender, mint, herbs to plant around the two hydrangeas and one azalea (I think that's what the other one is??) that they gave me last year for Mother's Day. I can't wait until its all full and stuffed with gorgeous plants. I'm going to go back and replace the old wood frame with embedded brick trim, to match the trim holding in the bushes on the opposite side of the porch. Picture the bed full of red wood chips as it was last year. They just disappeared this year. Weird. It's a work in progress...

This year we started a raised bed garden. We have two of them. Dh and the teen put the second one together this week and I couldn't find anymore vegetable plants at the stores so I'm going to buy zucchini seed since they grow quickly in about 45 days. The first bed has 2 kinds of beans (climbing and bush), 4 kinds of tomatoes (some for salad, salsa and spaghetti sauces), mixed peppers, hot peppers, 2 kinds of cucumbers (baby and regular) and watermelon. Nothing like stuffing it all full, huh! It's overcrowded at the moment. I may move the baby cucumbers  and bean bush over to the new bed since they're getting crowded in the old bed. 

See our little makeshift trellis DH and I built? It's nothing fancy but it will hold the beans as they grow. I can't wait for the fruits of my labor to be ready for harvest! 

Right now I can see 3 hot peppers, 2 adorable little peppers, some cherry tomatoes still green and some eency weency teeny tiny beans. So fun when something you worked on finally pays off. Now lets see if we can keep the birds from eating everything... The squirrels keep stopping by to see if they can find a snack. Urgh!

Happy Saturday to you!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Just sayin'...

I suck at card making. I know, we've discussed my aversion to card making in the past or maybe its all been a conversation in my head but I hate making cards. Okay, I like making cards when I go to a class and the pretty card is all planned out for you. But this coming up with something original nonsense is killing me! I thought, 'I'll work fast, not over think and just slap them together. Like I did the recent ATCs I made.'

I like them! They were fast thinkin' art. Nope, can't do it this time. Cards are my nemesis, my Achilles heel...

I can only get so far. I stamped all the backgrounds, glued on pretty stamped images, bits of ribbons and lace. Stamped some more images. Tried coloring with pens and colored pencils. Thinking of adding words maybe... None of them are speaking to me and I don't send out artwork that I don't like. The pieces made are just not meshing with the images I have floating around in my brain. Nope.

Do you find you struggle with a certain type of art? Have any suggestions for my poor cards?

(P.S. This is not a thinly veiled attempt to garner public sympathy and pity thumbs ups on my artwork. It really does suck, in my mind at least! I think I need art therapy or something. :) Maybe I need this book. Or this one. Or maybe this one?! Is shopping considered therapy?!!! Where's my credit card?? )

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Plastic Years

The end is near.
I just know it.
My fingers are starting to feel all pruney.
The end of the time fondly known as the plastic years is coming to a screeching halt.

Once upon a time, a thrifty young maven (that's me for those not in the know) went to a yard sale. A Going-Out-Of-The-Church-Daycare-Business yard sale. Everything was marked off, discounted and had to go. I found the usual; fun toys for the kids, homeschool materials, things I could resell on Ebay, etc... 

And then, like they had a beacon of shining light on them, I saw 4 boxes. 4 ordinary boxes but plainly marked with what they were. I got semi-excited because I usually purchase the same said items in a smaller 50 piece package, every two weeks at the grocery store. But these were massive quantities. 2000 per box. 3 of one kind, 1 of another. I figured, expensive right? I got up the courage to ask (thinking I was crazy and what was I going to do with so many?) and found to my utter shock, they were $5 a box! 

Surely these at original purchase were around $40-50 a box. I tried not to hop up and down because by now, regardless of if I needed them, I WANTED them! Think of all the time they would save me? But, even though they were cheap cheap, me being the thrifty girl, had to talk them down. I offered a low-ball amount and they smiled and said SURE! I bought them for $2 a box! At this I do admit I slightly clapped my hands but I don't think they noticed. 

I stuffed them in my car before they could change their minds and drove home. Halfway home I started worrying and trying to figure out how to explain myself to the family who were going to roll their eyes and wonder what we would ever do with all those boxes of goodies? Well? Who's laughing now?! We are on our very last precious pieces of plastic forks (spoons disappeared long ago.) 

Someone better learn how to wash a dish, and it ain't going to be this savvy maven either...

NOTE: It's time for the book winners. Yes, I almost forgot again.  Here we go. I'm awarding all posters with a book because I only had 5 posters and I found an extra of one of the books. So see there? It pays to post! Everyone's a winner!
Shirley won 360 Degree Life
Karen won 360 Degree Life (had an extra)
Janelle won Bridegrooms
Trisha won The Last Christian
Joanie won Indivisible
Please send your addresses and I'll get them right out to you. Janelle, I have your address and haven't sent out your other win so I'll mail them together. Trisha, I'll give you yours when I next see you. :)