Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Digital Collage - Lost Heart

Tonight I just felt like I needed a break from my studio. I have all sorts of things drying and in various stages of incompleteness. I thought I would work on a couple of collages and then go back to scissors, paint and glue. I need to complete something.

The background for this collage is from a graffiti wall in Mexico, the image of the house is an old North Carolina farmhouse that has been walked out on. Literally it looks like someone just up and left. The door is wide open, the screen is torn, the yard is all overgrown. Inside is empty but not vandalized. The girl is another graffiti photo I took in London - attributed but unsigned to Jef Aerosal.

The past few days I have seen or heard so many heart breaking stories from friends, neighbors, and the ones I love. I keep reminding myself that these are just small bits from a much larger picture. A picture filled with hope, kindness, and love. The title of this collage says it all.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Look What is in My Tree - Felt Birdies

This weekend brought a couple of new felt birdies to my house. I am finding that making these little birdies are extremely relaxing. They just sort of form themselves. The smallest one is the top one, he is about two inches high. The blue bird thinks he is so pretty - he has a large head. All ego. These little birds just make me smile. This is a great project for when you are watching a movie or a show.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Digital Collage - Birthday Girl

This is my attempt in working with some rolled paint backgrounds and the paint bucket on Photo Shop. I have always loved this photographed. The two siblings standing so proud by the door, the little boy with no shoes, and off to the side the neighbor kids watching - hands in mouth. It reminds me of this wonderful photo of my second birthday with the neighbor kids hanging over the fence. The gawk factor. Obviously, this must be a day to remember, the girl seems dressed up compared to the boy. I am thinking it is her birthday. And for one day she gets to be the center of attention.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Freebies - Girls Girls Girls

This is my favorite little model and I think this is my favorite picture of her.

A pink rose on pink Saturday for you.

She looks so sweet, and ready to be up and going.

Her eyes are so beautiful and full of expression.

She looks so vulnerable, the Julia Roberts of her day?

I almost forgot to post my freebies this week. I have no idea where my head is. It must be all the rain. Yes, I am blaming it on the rain... I hope you enjoy all of these.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art Creations Friday - Life Can be Quite a Ride

This is my entry for Art Creations Friday. They gave us this sweet little girl image and told us to make art with her. I am working on cutting and pasting things with photo shop so I thought putting her arm around the birds neck would be a challenge. I watch these birds everyday. I find them fascinating. I want a ride...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Three Muses Challenge - Windows

This week the Three Muses Challenge is windows. Ooh, one of my favorites, right up there with doors. I really wanted to play around with this theme. Windows can mean so much. I think we give each person a little glimpse of who we are when we see them. A window into our self. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes not. Then, the longer they know you they think they "know" you, "know" how you think, how you feel. Not so. We are forever changing. Our windows are clean, dirty, open, closed, the screen is on....

Theme Thursday - Script - Night

This morning when I checked the Theme Thursday theme - script, handwriting - I knew exactly what I was going to do. The Graphics Fairy had this beautiful piece about the night and fairies. The writing was just lovely. I knew the woman with the long beads I wanted to use and I grabbed the bat wings from my stash - The Graphics Fairy has some awesome bats , too. The Gothic arch is a photo I took in England several years ago. So, here you go.

I am thinking she is a girl who longs for the night so she can be the person her inner soul is telling her she is. I think we all need a time and place in our life to let those feelings out. I think Halloween gives us the opportunity to dress up and play with those feelings. Anything that includes chocolate has got to be okay.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall is Here!

Fall came in with a blast this year. As I turned off the lights last night the lightening show started. There is something so soothing about lying in bed watching the lightening and following asleep to the rain. All across the South we are one big rain storm.

I have been watching the weather channel and watching all my old friends and neighbors in Atlanta deal with an unbelievable mess. There is nothing worse than flooding and water damage. My heart goes out to all of those people.

Out local paper just did a spread on Hurricane Floyd and the tremendous flood that North Carolina went through in 1998. Living through that flood really opened my eyes to the power of water. Nature is a very powerful thing. I am giving you this last September image. She looked like a powerful muse to me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Digital Collage - Letter Home

My final circle collage. I will cut this down for an ATC. I will cut it down a bit on the sides. It is for the Yahoo group Altered Designs.

This young man is a mill worker from North Carolina. When I see him I thank my lucky stars I never had to send one of my sons off to work to help support the family. I usually get a phone call every Sunday or Monday from my boys. I tried to pretend I was his Mother - waiting for the letter home that week. I love how he has outgrown his jacket. The hat gives him a rakish more mature than his age look, hiding the little boy beneath. He is ten.

Digital Collage - Life in Black & White

One of the Yahoo groups - Altered Designs - them this week is circles. I like circles and thought I would see what I could come up with. So I spent the early morning working on several digital pieces. Circle is the underlying theme.

This collage felt like it should be in black and white. When I first saw her I thought she has that look in her eyes that says "trapped." Of course she is trying to make the most of life - under someone else's terms. That is all I am going to say about that....

A Background for You - Circle 92

Blender Pen Solution

Last week in one of the technique Yahoo Groups Rena found and shared this recipe with us for refilling your blender pen. I decided to make some up this morning and play around with it. It worked great. So thank you Rena and here is the recipe.

Blender Pen Solution

1/3 glycerine
2/3 distilled water
1/4 teaspoon rubbing alcohol

This is for a 1 ounce bottle. Put is a dropper bottle. Rena said you can fill a Tomboy pen by removing the fine line tip with a twisting motion with pliers. I made up a double batch and put them in these pens:

I figured I did not have a blending pen so why not make my own. I marked these pens so I would not get them mixed up with the ones I fill with water. I figured it was a money saver idea to share.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Survivors

I love these trees. They are on an island I like to go to and just walk and think. They always remind me that life gives you all sorts of twists and turns, blows you around and then sets you down. Through storms and high winds they stand, twisted by the winds, yet they continue to live - grow. I hope you will find inspiration in their strength.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Speaking of Blue - Freebies

This is the last weekend of summer which tends to make me a little sad. I love the laziness of summer so I am always a little blue to see it go. This week I thought you might enjoy these "blue" sweeties.

Apple Dump Cake

Here is a little something I found in the daily paper. The recipe sounded too good to be true. It sounded way to easy, so of course I had to try it. This is a fun one. You can throw this together with the kids or impress guests or that someone special in your life. It is Easy Easy Easy.

2 21 ounce cans of apple pie filling
1 standard size box of yellow, white or spice cake mix - I have used the yellow and the spiced.
1/2 cup butter - one stick

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the apple filling in an ungreased 9by 13 inch pan
Pour the dry cake mix into a bowl and drizzle with melted butter.
Mix well with a fork, it should be crumbly.
Sprinkle this mixture over the apple filling.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes until lightly browned.
Serve warm. Vanilla ice cream and or whipped cream is good with this.

Four Letter Words - Blue

Blue Collage Sheet #1

I made a couple of collage sheets with blue images in them. I am posting this one tonight and will have at least one other posted by this weekend. I have been out and about taking lots of pictures. My studio time has been working on blocks - hopefully I can share some of that over the weekend. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this collage sheet.

Turtles Turtles Turtles

Photo by Susan Rust National Geographic

Good news on the local turtle front! Tuesday night the first nest of Leatherback turtles in 20 years hatched. A hatch is described as "boiling sand." As the turtles hatch and dig their way out of the nest the sand looks like boiling water. The turtles then head for the light of the moon which is suppose to take them to the ocean. With all the development if it is a moonless or cloudy night then the lights of civilization can disorient them and they will head away from the ocean and meet certain death.

On Tuesday night there was no moon, there has been great anticipation of this hatch so the nest has been watched pretty continuous. As the 120 hatchlings hatched a "moon" was designated to lead the hatchlings to the sea. A lantern is set above someone's head and they walk backward to the ocean leading the turtles.

The Leatherback turtle is the fourth largest reptile in the world. They range about six feet by six feet and weigh up to 2000 pounds. There carapace is soft which makes for problems when they encounter propellers and boats. These are incredible creatures. We are so proud to have had a nest here in eastern North Carolina.

Mother Leatherback laying her eggs. This photo is from the Brian Skerry.

Turtle Nest

I thought you might like to see what a nest looks like on our beaches. The nest is first marked off with stakes and tape. Then a runway to the ocean is made and also staked and taped. These sand curbs help keep the turtles focused on moving down and out to the sea. Pretty cool.

More Turtles

Just when you think life is good - sometimes it gets better. On Wednesday morning the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center set free nine loggerhead turtles that had been rescued and rehabilitated. That made 31 turtles in the past three months they had released.

This is a local organization that was set up and is run by the mother of Karen Beasley in her memory. Karen had a love of the sea and in particular turtles. She had gone to school here to study marine biology - turtles in particular. As fate sometimes has it, she was taken to soon to fulfill her life long dream. Her parents and in particular her mother - Jean - started this organization as a memorial to her daughter. It is incredible the work they do. The training young marine scientists, vet students, and volunteers receive can not be found anywhere else on the east coast. This is one of my favorite organizations. Check out their web site.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Little Felt Birdie

This weekend I went through a bunch of my felt roving and needles. Trying to contain everything in one place or at least in several like containers. Then I went through several felt and fiber magazines and felting books. That was enough to inspire me to make something.

The little felt birdie here is my first attempt at making a creature. I was not prepared for the eyes though, so I substituted a bead. Not totally in love with the bead, but it was a start. Now I have to find some good eyes. I have several other birdies just waiting to see so they can sing...

Lunch Break - Painting up a Storm

Thought I would check in and say "Hi" to all. I have been finishing and starting some major projects the past few days. I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was so strange to see football on the television again. I could definitely feel fall in the air for the first time.

I am in the midst of a huge painting project at my house. Thank goodness it is inside. It is still warm here. I found this cool paint can on Wikipedia and just had to put my own spin to it. Hopefully, I will make it into the studio tonight to do something creative....

The Red Barn

I have this fascination for old buildings, particularly barns. I have always felt this way. At first I thought it was because I loved horses and they live in barns. The smell of hay, dirt floors, animals, and leather were perfume to a little girl. As I grew older and acquired my first barn I realized they were so much more. An extension to the outside, the garden, a place to work on messy projects, a refuge from the rain, a place to hide, a home for a lonely rooster, soft sounds, wood groaning. So began my love affair with the barn.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coca Cola Pot Roast

It has been a while since I have shared any recipes with you. Now that school has started and the lazy days of summer are over we have to start planning meals. The older I get the more I enjoy cooking and experimenting. I hope you will give this one a try. It is wonderful.

This is a old recipe. When I got married for the first time my Grandmother sent me this wonderful cook book. Along with it some of her own "special recipes". Through the years, through the husbands, kids, and life I have relied on many of her recipes. Some I have modified with healthier ingredients and some are just plain ole good the way they are.

Please remember I am a Southern girl who grew up in Georgia. We love our Coca Cola. Do not leave out this ingredient, it makes the roast so tender it just melts in your mouth. This is a great meal to cook on a day you know you are going to be busy and just plain ole wiped out. Serve with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese with a balsamic vinegar. Yum...

Coca Cola Pot Roast

1 beef roast - I usually use around a 3 pound roast
1 package of onion soup mix - I use Lipton's
1 to 2 12 ounce cans of Coca Cola - no diet drinks
1 bay leaf
red potatoes halves or if they are the tiny ones you can use them whole
A bag of peeled carrots or if you have them fresh use them
fresh mushrooms whole or sliced
celery - I use pieces about 1 1/2 inch long
If you really like onions then pearl onions are good or a Vidala onion chopped in large pieces. Feel free to add or remove any vegetable. Use what your family likes.

Put Roast in large crock pot. Sprinkle roast with onion soup mix. Put vegetables around roast. I like to put the carrots around the meat and then pile on the rest. Add a bay leaf. Add Coca Cola to almost cover pot roast and vegetables, drink any leftover Coca Cola.
Cook all day on low - 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
Will serve around 8.
The liquid makes wonderful gravy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Freebies - Vintage French Postcards - Girls

Isn't she sweet with her toy pup?

Love her yellow roses.

The green ribbon is so pretty.

Such a sweetie!

A vision in yellow.

Here are some little darlings for you to use in your artwork. I was having a hard time trying to decide what kind of freebies to use this week and so I asked a blog friend - Jan Richards. She suggested vintage girls or ladies so here you go Jan and by the way a belated birthday wish to you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Shelf of Journals

This is a shelf of journals I have in my studio. I made these journals from paper sample books.
I cover the front an end pages with decorative paper, ephemera, and photos,etc. Then I put three eyelets down the spine and attach fibers and tags. The tags I use to put the dates I started and ended the journal on. This way if I need to reference something I can find it.

The paper sample books make for interesting journaling as no two piece of paper are the same - texture, weight or color. Also, the size of the papers are all different. It is a whole different format. Many of the pages are quite small and then others fold out. I will share with you some of the process later this week. Lunch is calling.

Journal Pages

It has been awhile since I have posted any journal pages. I am still working on several journals. My focus lately has been on the "Alphabet Journal" not so much my personal journal. Over the weekend I decided to get up an hour earlier so that I could do one page or backgrounds for my journal. By the end of the day my mind is feeling like grape jelly. Here are some of this mornings efforts.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Enjoy Your Labor Day!

Enjoy your Labor Day. I hope it is a day spent relaxing with friends and family, good food, an interesting conversation.

September - Another Week Gone

It is hard to believe we are already one week into September. Where is all the time going? It is like everything is speeding up. This weekend was a little sad in that I always think of Labor Day Weekend as the end of summer. Here is another magazine cover. I am using these in my personal journal to mark the week and special days. Doesn't she look like she is on the last sail of the season?

Sunday, September 6, 2009