Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays ...

As in every home it has been very busy here. Company has arrived and the holidays are in full force. I am taking a break from company and adding this post as once again I have been away from this blog too long. This will change for 2010.

I am going to start the new Year off with a giveaway for my followers. There are only a few of you so the odds of winning will be high. YAY

I have joined the group at Creative Every Day and encourage you to do the same.

I will also be part of the One World One Heart Giveaway and also encourage you to join the fun. Check out the link on my side bar.

2010 will be a great year - can you feel it also?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Creative Every Day - 14

This was the view outside my window last night. Sunsets are one of my favorite things - along with whiskers on kittens. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CED - 13

Late again in posting my pictures. Tonight I had issues with my camera and loading the pictures. Anyway, I did a little more experimenting - love pink hair !

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Creative Every Day - 12

Today I painted the body of the cloth and paperclay doll I began months ago. I wanted a raspberry color but could not get the mix right. I've done it a million times but for a small amount. So, pepto pink it is. Still, I like it and will make it work.

Posting every day really does motivate me - I am sure I am not alone in that feeling. Thanks to everyone who visits - this is fun.

Here is the doll painted black after the paperclay was applied.

My Pink Lady

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Creative Every Day - 11

Hello - I have been doing alot of 'practice' paintings. Trying new colors and experimenting with faces and hair. Especially eyes. I am not looking for realistic. Just unique and fun. These are painted on cardboard salvaged from a box. It works very well and it is less expensive to experiment on salvaged cardboard than a nice canvas or board. Sometimes I gesso the cardboard first. Here's a tip - don't use the cardboard packed with the books from Amazon. It warps. (Unless you want that effect.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Every Day - 10

For Creative Every Day a photograph of the orange zinnia in my garden after the first frost of the season. I was very taken by the zinnias this year - to the very last. :-)

Did I miss day 10? It is after midnight. oops

Monday, November 9, 2009

Creative Every Day - November

I decided to join the Creative Every Day challenge hosted by Leah Piken Kolidas . The idea is to do something creative every day. You don't have to complete a huge project, just do something creative. The challenge began November 1 but I joined late. So this is my first contribution; a water color painting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Squam Experience ...

From September 16 - 20th I was one of over 100 people that made their way to Squam Lake in New Hampshire for the Squam Art Workshops. There is alot written about the location, food and beauty of Squam Lake so I will not cover that here. My little view of that time is about my classes.

My first class was in a large room with a huge fireplace along one wall complete with a crackling fire. There were twinkle lights wrapped around posts and a long wall of windows that looked out over the lake. The class was 'Book in a Day' taught by Marisa and Christine.

Everyone was greeted with the statement 'We believe in hugs' and arms opened and folded until everyone had received their hugs. I could not have felt more welcome. We watched demos of various bookmaking techniques by Marisa and Christine and then spent the day cutting chip board, poking holes with awls, cutting and folding paper, playing with glue and embellishing with paints, photos and just about anything else imaginable. The supply of material was endless and inspiring. I left the class with the book shown below and another still in process. I also left with a new passion for bookmaking. Thanks so much to Marisa and Christine for sharing their knowledge and providing a supportive and fun environment.

This is a collage of the first book I made. It was so much fun to make and I love the result.

My second class was 'Creating a Painting in a Day' a class also taught by Marisa. I knew Marisa through her e-course and was familiar with her paintings. She is very generous with her knowledge, a skilled artist and is sincere in her desire to see everyone succeed. I just knew it was going to be a great class.

We were in the same lovely room with the crackling fire, twinkle lights, hugs and beautiful views of the lake. I felt very much at home and comfortable. I listened to Marisa speak about her process and I began to feel encouraged and brave enough to just pick up a brush, dip it in paint and well - paint! Then a wonderful thing happened. Something sparked inside me like a connection that had long been lost and then suddenly repaired. I could not wait to dive into the paints. When I finally put my brush down and looked around me everyone was smiling and to me it appeared as if they were very proud of what they had accomplished - just like me. This class will remain with me and inspire me for a very long time. Thank you Marisa.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay at Squam beyond the first 2 days due to personal reasons. Sometimes life just takes these twists and turns that we can neither predict nor control. All that is to be done is to hang on and go for the ride.

As a result I could not attend my third class, provide my book for 'show and tell' or say good-bye to some of the really wonderful people I met. It is disappointing but I have been a Red Sox fan my whole life and as we sox fans say 'There is always next year'.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Choices ...

It all began when I found Marisa Haedike's blog Creative Thursday. Marisa's colorful paintings and delightful characters along with her podcasts made me a frequent visitor. When she offered her first e-course 'life in the fish bowl' I signed up! This was the first in a series of Good Choices.

By taking Marisa Haedike's e-course, I learned more about the on-line world than I ever would have on my own. The class consists of weekly podcasts with a follow-up video that together provide advice, questions to ponder, her own experiences and lots of encouragement. Marisa is a successful artist and a natural teacher with a unique viewpoint and a desire to inspire others to follow their dreams.

Everyone has the option to share their own personal experiences in a safe and supportive environment. AND if they choose to share, you have the opportunity to get to know other bloggers and peek into their unique on-line world. It is all so exciting and supportive.

Yup, a Good Choice. Check in later this week for another Good Choice. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful Days ...

Fall has to be one of my favorite times of the year. The beautiful clean crisp air and warm sun combine to make the days like heaven on earth. When I checked my blog today I could not believe how long it had been since my last post, so here are just a few things that have been grabbing my time and attention.

The wonderful butterflys that are visiting the last of the flowers in my garden. They literally flit all over the yard which makes watching them so much fun. They are also not always willing to 'sit' for a photo and that makes it even more fun.

I am still completely enchanted by the zinnias in my yard. I must have at least a hundred or more pictures of them as they change constantly so there is always something new to see. This is a gold zinnia and one of only 2 or 3 that made an appearance this year.

This little gold zinnia also has a kiss of pink. Just beautiful!

Our shed was just about ready to collapse so a new shed was in order. It is in a new location just to the right of the original. Today was a gorgeous day and we stained three sides of it with a redwood stain. Prepping the space and building the raised beds took alot of time this fall. I am glad this project is just about over.

This is the book I made at Squam in September. I really enjoyed that class and will add a post about it soon. The class inspired me to plan several other books and I am slowly gathering the supplies needed. I cannot wait to get going on them.

I hope you are all enjoying the fall also. Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Fall Garden and a bit of SAW

I attended the Squam Art Workshops last week. It was my first time there and I am certain it will not be my last. There is alot to think about and process so I will keep that for another post.

In the meantime, fall is here and the cold nights are taking a toll on the flowers in the garden. They are still beautiful...just a bit tattered is all. I hope you enjoy them.

The variation in color and petal shape is amazing. It is always a surprise to see what comes from the seeds planted in spring.

A gorgeous bud that is so architectural in shape. I love the black outline.

The long thin spidery petals appeared this year. I don't remember these from any other year I have grown zinnias...but I love them.

This poor little zinnia is really fading.

This is a view of the underside of the flower below.

This flower has amazing color - this picture does not do it justice.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DQS7 ...

I joined my first Doll Quilt Swap I found on flickr. It has been around for a while because they are up to DQS7. If you are a quilter and you have not participated in a swap, try it out. It is fun to see everyone's contribution and since your swap partner is a secret, there is the fun of designing and making your quilt as well as the anticipation of which quilt will be sent to you. It is a great surprise to receive the package from your mystery swap partner in the mail.

When you sign up for the swap you can comment on the things you like. My partner's comment was the following:

'My likes are things that are fun and colorful- I love the little houses people are doing and I love log cabin blocks. I like the more contemporary designer prints and am not such a fan of things that are overly cutesy. I love images from nature and I prefer bright fun colors over darker or really washed out color. I hope that helps!'

I really hope her request was met. What do you think?


I am completely honored to receive this quilt. It is so very beautiful with it's scalloped edge and florettes with a bead center. I just love it! It was made by the very talented member of Doll Quilt Swap Sewz4fun. She also included a fun package of ribbons, flowers, ric rac and buttons for use in my doll making. AND she included a handmade card. She is one very talented woman.

Thanks so much!

I hope to be included in DQS8 in January.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I am ready for my close-up...

As you probably know that line is from Sunset Boulevard, one of my all time favorite movies. I was finally able to get decent pics of my completed doll. The strawberry red hair was not intentional but I like how it came out. Her name is Betty. What do you think?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


warm weather and a bit of rain will make flowers grow and bloom. The Dwarf Orange Cosmos one week later.

I hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Update on the Orange Creamsicle Garden...

Here in the northeast we are still wondering when summer will arrive. We have had lots of rain and unusually chilly and humid days. The rain has been great for the lawns as ours is normally pretty sad looking by the time August rolls around. This year the lawn is still wearing it's spring colors; several shades of lush green. We love the tapestry of texture and color that comes from allowing clover and other 'weeds' to grow in with the grass.

Anyway, I started seeds for dwarf cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers in the Orange Creamsicle Garden. I had to completely replant it when all the seeds failed in the heavy non-stop rains of June. What did grow became salad for the chipmunks. We had late afternoon sun yesterday and this is how the garden looked. Still a few empty spots where sunflowers have been planted.

Dwarf cosmos ready to burst into bloom. Come on sun! I decided not to show the zinnias as they are pretty sad looking. Almost all their leaves have been chewed and ripped. As long as they are still able to flower I will be happy.

Here is the garden from another view. The white butterfly bush is beginning to bloom. The iron head board in the back will have morning glories but they too are barely growing. A few good weeks of sun will get them moving.

Then there are the coneflowers and day lilies. Whether there is alot of rain, no rain, sun or no sun - coneflowers and day lilies will grow. Gotta love them!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My New Passion...

On the right side of my blog is an icon for a group I joined called 'Cloth and Clay Doll Workshop'. Through a series of videos, Jane DesRosier demonstrates how to complete a doll from beginning to end. One of my favorite parts is her demonstration of the use of paper clay to sculpt the head and face. As I watched the videos it became very apparent to me that this paper clay stuff is very cool.

The other day I completed my first ever 'sculpture' and I love it. Do I think it is a great work of art? No. But in just 45 minutes I was able to create something that looked pretty much like a face and hair. I am enjoying this so much that just about all my other projects have been put aside until I complete this little gal.

This is a view of the head just after sculpting that also includes some of the tools I used.

This is a closer look of the head. This is also just after I finished the sculpting. She is definitely not perfect and she does have spooky eyes that seem to follow me.

This last one is a bit hard to see, but on the left is the same doll shown above with a black base coat and the first coat of her dress. On the right is a second doll I started. I wanted you to see what the doll looks like in the beginning before sculpting the face.

I will post other pictures as she progresses.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Early Morning Visit...

I love waking early - especially if it is a non-work day. I open the kitchen door that goes out to a screened in porch and my three cats run out and jockey for the best spots to watch the chipmunks and birds. One recent morning the cats burst back through the door and scampered around desperately trying to hide under something - anything! They had been startled by the black bear that stops in every so often. He usually grabs a feeder filled with sunflower seed and then slips back into the woods as quietly as he arrived.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Win a Madsen Cycle...

I realized today that I placed a link on my sidebar to the contest to win a Madsen Cycles Cargo Bike but never mentioned it. I heard about this giveaway around the same time SEWN and SewMamaSew had their giant giveaways. So, I was busy checking out all the web sites and entering giveaways. By the way, I didn't win a thing. Except some new friends and that really is what it is all about - right?

Anyway, I digress - back to Madsen. Please click on one of the links and check out this giveaway. It ends soon and my motto is (as always) you cannot win if you don't enter. Brillant - right? The giveaway ends this week - July 15 - so go ahead. Clink on the link. It is a gorgeous bike and just the thing to save on gas.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rain, Rain and More Rain...

This spring has been very rainy. We have only seen the sun for 7 out of the last 39 days. Today was one of those wonderful sunny days and some of the flowers in my garden shook off all the rain and just blossomed. Here are two of my favorites. The first photo is of Pink Canterbury Bells and the second is of large greenish-yellow day lily. These wonderfully resilient flowers are among my favorites and I wanted to share.

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As you can imagine, all this rain has kept us indoors on weekends. During a recent storm, as I worked on the doll for the Cloth and Clay Doll Workshop, my great little Quality Control expert examined my work.

Progress is also being made on the quilt for the Red Barn Quilt Along. All my stripes have been sewn and I am in the process of cutting them into blocks. I am enjoying this so much and slowly making progress.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Red Barn Quilt Along ...

I am so far behind on this quilt. This weekend I cut my strips and sewed them into strips of 6. I am now in the process of cutting the blocks.

This has been alot of fun. I do look at the flickr site to see everyone else's work. But the more time I spend there the less time I have to sew. You know how that is, I am sure. If you are stopping by from the Red Barn Quilt along, please say hello and leave a link to your quilt. I would love to see your work.

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Spring Flowers - Iris

Here are a few of the Iris from my spring garden. I hope you enjoy them.

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