Sunday, January 30, 2011

Valentine's Card for Monday.

A Valentine card I made for my husband in 1993, not as old as some of my others.
The center cupid comes from a Victoriana Calendar.
I saw a heart of roses in one of my magazines and used it as the base of this card.  I lifted the center heart higher than normal,  so that silk roses would fit underneath and peak out.  I bet if I sent him this again this year, he wouldn't remember it!

Wallpaper book used for Valentine's cards.

A similar doily design to the previous one.  These cards are about 8" x 10" and I  found a wallpaper book to cut up for this one.  The frame was sprayed and covered with lace - also sprayed with silver.  I used thin foam strips to lift different areas this time.  This was before Scrapbooking, or the Internet to find papers of the right color or weight and I remember having the background papers all lined up so I could go over them with a roller and paint.  I think I cut up gift boxes for these.  Today I'm thankful for Bazzil's 500 colors and 7 textures.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine Card

This was a Valentine's card I made for my husband years ago.  I used to love making the large Victorian style with lots of cupids, lace and flowers.  Later I made more modern cards, but I think I'll go back to the old style again, especially since I have the computer to help me with images.
The base paper was dull purple velour, I wonder if this paper is still available.  The gold rectangle frame was taken from a large Christmas card, and the lace was sprayed with gold paint - it's much duller now.  I cut out most of the flowers and cupids from cards and magazines except for the center cupid and heart - that was a small card. I made spring coils from gold wire and epoxied them to the pieces for a 3d layered effect.  Now there are all kinds of goodies in the scrapbook stores I could use.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting ready for Valentine's Day

I had a table tree that had been filled with gifts for the little ones at Christmas.  It's been sitting for the longest time waiting for Howard to help put it high in the garage, but he's too late because the tree is now filled with all kinds of Valentine hearts and cards from Valentine's past.  When Howard saw it, he said he'd never heard of a Valentine's tree, and I said he's not in the know then.  I searched the Google Images and sure enough, there are many Valentine's trees out there.  I'm not the first!

I don't think the I can print the image above that I made in Photoshop.  I want to make Valentine cards for all the family and friends who didn't receive a Christmas card from us this year.  I was too busy, and it just didn't feel right sending happy cards after loosing a sister and sister-in-law last year, so the Valentine's cards will be to honor them.

Note:  Feb 10,  I ended up printing this smaller than its 12 inches and with a little  Stickles, it turned out to be a very nice card.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What do digital stitches have to do with YouTube dancing?

I've been trying to finish one of the kits I started so long ago.  I kept feeling something was missing so I tweaked, then I'd leave it for a while and fiddled around with it some more, and now I want add some stitching, but then didn't like my own stitches (that I've used on my own layouts for many years!), so bought some CU stitches that could be used for freebies, but now I'm back to making my own!

I started working on the stitches yesterday but got all caught up in YouTube.  I learned how to make real neat ornaments with my old Christmas cards, and then I watched videos of "happenings" - the train station where a couple starts to dance and before you know it, the whole place is filled with dancers.  I will will myself away from YouTube today!

Tam, I need a new lens to do justice to my tiny dolls, and nobody goes down to my basement - except the grandchildren.  That is until they get old enough to make comments like "You needn't go to the art store for anything, it's all here!"

Friday, January 14, 2011

My ex-studio is almost organized again.

I'm almost finished organizing my basement room.  There are four rooms in the basement; the laundry  and small book room ("library" feels too pretentious for my basement even though there are enough books to fill one).  I also have a clean work studio for drawing, sculpting, and sewing.  Then a back room for messy work -- it was once my painting studio where I could pour acrylic paint over the large canvas and as the liquid missed the catcher and hit the floor, it would find it's way across to the sump pump well.   Later I used this room to clean greenware and fire porcelain dolls, now it's storage.

Along with my painting,  I started making simple breadcrumb dough ornaments so that my daughter could sell along with her own darling animal ornaments at a Christmas Show and make some Christmas money.  After her first show, she and her friend came home all excited, even though the show had very few customers because of the fairly heavy rain, she sold nearly everything to the other vendors!   The following year I signed up for a very popular juried show, and I had to figure something "different" to sell so we'd have a better chance to be picked out of all the others.  I made some breadcrumb doll ornaments in period "costumes" (very different back then).  These proved to be the right choice because we had orders even before getting selected - from the selection committee.  This was a good sign for us.  At the show, we sold all the doll ornaments within the first couple of hours, and the following year was same.  When my daughter went away to college, I knew I had a good thing going with these ornaments to help pay for my expensive painting supplies, so continued on my own by doing shows throughout the year.

Too much writing for now - tomorrow I'll go into how I became a porcelain doll artist!
I also promise to get some of my digital stuff ready for freebies again very soon, it's sitting waiting to be jaypegged (I think that is a made up word), zipped and sent.  I just have to find the flower elements that I made long ago, that go with the papers!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas decorations - out!

I was busy Monday and Tuesday trying to get the rest of the Christmas decorations put away so forgot all about my "line-a-day". 

Before Christmas I worked for ages clearing and cleaning my basement studio, but it was so worth it because with nice warm lighting. it became cozy and pleasant.  I even thought I'd start working down there again, but unfortunately, it became a nice haven for the Christmas stuff so now it's a  wreck again! 

We've been plagued with the new "stink bug" from China, and they say Maryland will have it even worse next year, so putting all the decorations in the garage again is out of the question,  I have a suspicion that's were the hoards of bugs hide.  Howard thinks I'm too paranoid - and he's right!

I'm determined to claim my space again!  Anyone want a used kiln for miniatures or jewelry?  Come get it and it's yours!  How about a million Gourmet magazines?

Sunday, January 09, 2011


It has been so much fun checking all my old haunts and trips in England through the Google Street View.  This morning I took a walk from my old home to my old school and noticed the many changes.  The Victorian house that I lived in is very pretty now, and all painted white with flower boxes and a tree in front!  Back when I lived there, nothing would grow because of the smog.  Everything in London had a film of soot before the "clean air act".  I'm thinking of setting up a special blog of captured pictures and my journal writings from over the years.

Today I found "The Hoops Inn" on Google Street View.  I wrote the following in my journal back in 6/18/99:

THE HOOPS INN, Devon, England 

We stopped off on the way home from Bideford and ate supper at the very impressive looking Hoop’s Inn.  I had Lamb’s shoulder set on the most delicious creamy mint sauce, along with baby new potatoes, a vegetable mix of broccoli, carrots, and squash.
Howie asked about the large mixed grill - she said it wasn’t large by American standards.......wrong!!
It was the largest meal on the largest dinner plate I ever did see.  Pork and Lamb chops, steak, gammon bacon, liver, kidney, sautéed mushrooms, tomato and onions, extra large steak fries...........and a fried egg on top!  He ate most of it, but left the kidney and liver.

The Inn was very charming, and we were lucky to be one of the first diners, so chose a cozy window seated area.  The grounds and the beer garden were especially attractive.  Flowers filled the garden and were in full bloom.  We didn’t want to leave, but it was getting late.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Don't you love Google Street Views?

I have to re-date these posts because I first do them on a text file and don't always post it to the blog on the same day as I write it!

When Google sent out their fleet of cars with the nine cameras mounted on the pole and ball to capture the world street views,  I think it was for someone like me!  I can spend hours re-living the past just by going back to places we once lived or visited. 

This evening I showed Howard how we could go back to Devon, England and drive down the country roads with the hedgerows on each side via the Google Street View maps.  I found the area and pulled down the little figure to the street and voila, we were transported to Bideford!

  Bideford was one of Britain's largest port in the 16th Century.  We loved to amble up and down the narrow streets and along the quay where the fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats all sat and waited for the tide to come in.  I think we did see the water on one of our visits.
It was  fast "driving" through the Google Streets, but I found the quay and also The Kings Arms, where we stopped whenever we came to town.

On our last visit to this 17th century Inn,  we shared a tiny table (just large enough to hold our mugs of beer) with a couple of girls in their mid twenties.  The one girl told us how she'd hitched a ride to Bideford in her teens, got a job. and never left.

I tried to Google drive up and down the very steep narrow streets, but it was difficult - I kept crashing into buildings!  On our real visit to Devon (about ten years ago) we spent hours walking all over this town.  I found the Cemetery - this place held Howard's fascination with the age of the headstones, I think he must have read the inscription on every last one of them - I left him there while I walked around a bit and when I came back, he was writing one that fascinated him.  I know I still have it somewhere.

Tomorrow, I'm going to look for The Hoop's Inn on Google - this is fun!!

Friday, January 07, 2011

I'm trying for at least a line a day,  just until I get back into blogging.  Hope it works!  I'll try adding photos later.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kitchen Sponges

Hint from the weekend Parade Magazine
Kitchen sponge holds lots of bacteria and germs.  To eliminate them, wet the sponge and place in microwave for 2 minutes. 
I try to change my sponges before they get too bad, but it doesn't take long before they take on that kitchen odor.  I did the microwave method on two sponges and they came out looking new and smelling fresh.  I'll so this often now!

It was nice talking to dd, Lauren today.
Howard doesn't get "Lark Rise to Candleford".  It may be because he doesn't like costume shows, or maybe he naps or does a crossword and only listens to program.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Too Many deer

I counted 17 deer passing by in our back yard woods! 
And again the "Lark Rise to Candleford"  put Howie to sleep this afternoon!
This  evening, I watched Bourne something or other again for the umpteenth time, I never tire of these movies!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Another day!

Howie napped again through "Lark Rise to Candleford"

The dining area of our l-shaped open plan dining/living area always looked a bit crowded and cluttered, so when a designer gave me the hint to only place two chairs around the table if we don't use it everyday, that really freed up the space and I liked it.  For our family Christmas dinner, I completely emptied the area to fit the large table (with 2 leaves) to fit 9 - it did so pretty good, the children sat at an extra table set-up nearby.

Now I've pulled out the leaves and put away a few of the chairs I'm amazed at how well the remaining 6 chairs fit around the table so well, and yet still having a nice spacious area.  I think I'm going to leave all the extra bits of furniture and plants away from the space.  A couple of pictures on the wall is all it needs - plus a new lighting treatment over the round table.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Lark Rise to Candleford

Jan 3
I loved the new Brit  show this afternoon on "Afternoon Tea",  Lark Rise to Candleford, a British costume drama.
Howard said he napped through most of it!

"The Hoarders" was on TV - it was pretty disgusting, A really strange man collected rabbits until they took over the  house, and the second hoarder was a woman who  had all kinds of farm animals.  Her house was so full she had to sleep in the trailer with some of them.  She abused the animals and her grown children!

This show does help me clear out my clutter though for fear I'll end up in this show!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A nice visit

Daughter Linda visited with our grandson, Joey.  Linda borrowed the car for a "few" days.  Hers is sick and Jim's truck needs paperwork.  It was a good visit though, I think I have a photo to be made into a scrap page - coming soon!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Year

After all these years I finally realized that ringing in the new year via T.V. activities at Time Square, NY.  is not for me!   Last year it was agony watching folks in the bitter cold get interviewed by equally shivering hosts.  This year I popped in and out and at least the hosts had some sort of shelter, but the music on each of the channels I switched to wasn't that great for a New Year's Eve!
Mind you my ears don't help,  seeing I have to use a Bose headset in order to hear the T.V.  but since hubby expressed the same feeling, we'll rent a good movie or two, next year, and settle in with our Bacardi eggnog.