Saturday, May 30, 2009

Celebrity Sightings and Such....

Kristen Duncan - Miss USA - has come home for the week. She is a local girl and has done us all proud. The headlines were - Miss USA Comes Home for Food Family and Fun. Don't you just love it? Her Dad was asked what she wanted to eat and he said baked chicken. Poor guy - he has three gorgeous daughters and a son. He probably has not had a lot of sleep since they hit the teen years. She has got to want something more than baked chicken, Dad. Kristen has been visiting the schools, her alma mater, the hospitals, etc... I am hoping they are feeding her more than chicken.

Yes it is true, at least that is what the local paper says... Poor Kate, the nannies and body guards are trying to spend some quiet time here at the beach in North Carolina. They were spotted at the airport, then at the ferry to Bald Head Island, and the twins were seen buying sharks teeth at the gift shop. [Girls you can find them on the beach, they are the really black shiny things.] The great thing about Bald Head is you park your car in a lot, get on the ferry, a half hour ferry ride, off the boat and into the golf cart. No cars allowed. They must have to use a half dozen or so golf carts to fit them all in. Oh, a little advice - keep your cart charged at all times. They are electric and tend to die out quickly.

It is a small island with a lot of golf and beach, there is a light house, and a couple of good restaurants, maybe four stores. Lots of deer and believe it or not alligators. Hope they brought a lot of dvd's, food, and sunscreen. No way would I want to be on Bald Head with 8 kids. I don't care how many nannies you have. Maybe with a bunch of girl friends or a romantic weekend with" the man" might work. Maybe Kate is planning down time with each kid. I hope they all have a great time.

Yes, that is Kris Kristofferson. I actually saw him two weeks ago, probably before this picture was taken. He was downtown hanging out with the crew. He looked pretty good for being 72. Oh also heard he was very nice, his drinking and partying days must be behind him. They just finished up another film - "Provinces of Night" with Kris, Val Kilmer - I did not see him unfortunately - Hilary Burton and Hilary Duff. I did see an interview with Hilary Duff on the local news channel, the girl has lost her baby fat and seemed quite normal.

Any hoo, the film industry is really big here. They just built the second largest underwater special effects set which can be turned into two sets if needed. I am told this is a really big deal. They already do most of the crime scene stuff - bodies - you see on CSI and Bones here. Pretty gruesome stuff. But the artist in me thinks they probably have a great time doing it.

So, that is what is happening in my town this past month. I do wish I had caught a glimpse of Val though.....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Graffiti 4 by 4's

I have not spent any time in my studio that is worth mentioning lately. I can't really tell you all I have been up to, because I turn around and another week is gone. One thing I did this week was drive the last chick around to work and school. His car was in the shop and he had places to go and things to do.

I am one of the few people who really enjoyed driving the kids around. It was like having them totally to yourself with out all the distractions of home. I learned a lot about my kids in the car. They seemed to open up and talk. This week was no different.

Classes are in town and this means I can take a quick jaunt to the river front. My camera always is happy at the river. This week I found a lot of graffiti which then sent me on an internet search and to various web sites. I was trying to figure out what some of the signs and "tags" mean. Some were incredible. I especially liked a kid from London who calls himself "Jef Aerosol". The stencil of the boy is one of his.

The 4 by 4's are watercolor paper painted, stamped and collaged with various images and pieces of old mail. Something to warm up with so I can get motivated to finish off a few projects.

Something Fun to Eat for Everyone - Pizza

This is really a family recipe - meant to be made by several people together. It is a fun thing to do when the kids are "bored", the teens are driving you crazy, and the garden is starting to grow, or after a nice visit to the farmer's market. I like to grill the vegetables along with the dough they put in the broiler real quick to melt the cheese.


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl and pan
2 packages of yeast
5 cups of bread flour/ maybe a little more for kneading
1 cup of plain yogurt
dried oregano to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon salt
a handful of Parmesan cheese

Mix yeast, sugar and water and let it sit for atleast 5 minutes in a bowl. It will look kind of bubbly.
Add yogurt, olive oil, salt, oregano, Parmesan cheese. Mix it all together.
Start to slowly add the flour at about a cup at a time. Mix it in. It will get to be hard to mix with a spoon. At this point, dump the mixture onto a lat loured surface. Mix the rest of the flour in by hand until it does not stick to your hand. At this point the dough is pretty elastic - press it and it comes back.
Now roll the dough into a ball. Coat a bowl with olive oil. Place ball of dough into bowl and cover with a towel or plastic. Leave for an 1 1/2 hours, the ball should have doubled in size.
Dump the ball onto a flat loured surface and "punch it down" by pressing it flat with the palm of your hand. I like to put a little oil and flour on my hands.
Cut it with a sharp knife into four equal pieces. Let each person have a dough piece. Make a ball and flatten it with a roller or your hands. place in an oiled pizza pan and even it out and make a nice edge.
Let it sit for 30 more minutes so it can rise again, this way when you cook it it will be very soft. this recipe will make four crusts.


8 to 16 ounces of mozzarella cheese
3 ounces of feta cheese
8 ounces to sixteen ounces of pesto
fresh tomato, squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc...

Cover your hands with a light coating of oil. Work the pizza crust in the pan to you get desired thickness. Then cover crust with pesto, cheese, tomatoes, etc. Take the pizza to the grill and plate on the grate just on the edge of your coals. Cook for ten to 15 minutes until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted. I like to grill my vegetables separately then add them at the end. Enjoy!

Home Sweet Home - Tag Book

This is my tag for the art-e-zine groups "Home Sweet Home" tag book swap. There were 12 of us and we each made 12 tags with the "home" theme and sent them off to Evie Zaccardelli in Scotland. She made covers and sorted and put them all together and sent them back to us. It was a very organized and fun swap.

I used one of my original door pictures mounted on a game piece, an eye from one of Stamper Anonymous blown up, and the girl is from Gayle at Paper Whimsy. [ She has such delightful images.] I think it is important to do something to complete the back of a piece if it is going to be handled. It just looks finished to me. For my tag's back, I used an antique map of the James River in Richmond. I used a house template to put all my info in. It just takes a few extra moments to complete the back, yet gives it such a whole look.

If you would like to see the whole Home Sweet Home Tag book go to It is very cool. Thanks again Evie for hosting this swap.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Pre Raphelite Painter - Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Sidonia Van Bork

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones was one of the most popular Pre- Raphelite painters. He was liked by all of his fellow painters. Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones was English born and raised. He was great friends with William Morris and his wife. They had studios in the same place and eventually collaborated on several projects. This led to Burne-Jones working for the Kelinscott Press. There he illustrated one of the most incredible books, Chaucer 1896, the Press ever put out.

Sir Edward was very into the whole medieval chivalry thing. The Arthurian legends were right up his alley. He also loved the classics and they are ever present in his works. Through his friendship with Morris he went on to design some beautiful stained glass, tiles, jewelry, and tapestries with these themes. Many of these stained glass pieces you can still see today.

The Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts has three windows. The Oxford Brotherhood has several windows as does All Saints, and Christ Church at Oxford. In Somerset England at St. Mary's there are several windows and the green dining room at the Victoria and Albert Museum is decorated with his windows. There are also some windows in churches in Birmingham.

Sir Edward Coley Burn-Jones was also a painter. His bread and butter so to speak. He is thought to be the best of the Pre-Raphelite painters. I think this is because he is able to tell the story with one picture. You can see a story in each of his works. It isn't about one person in his work, it is the whole.

I personally enjoy his windows, just because they are so different. Many of his paintings you will recognize right off the bat. They, too use the same model Rossetti used as they too, were great friends. Burne-Jones was the most respected of the Pre-Raphelites. He was able to bring the brotherhood into the fore front of the times. I hope you will enjoy this smidgen of his works.

The Wedding of Psyche

Song of Love

Sleeping Beauty

The Mirror of Venus

The Heart of the Rose

Love Among the Ruins

Four Letter Words - Read

Monday, May 25, 2009

Digital Collage - Star Spangled

It has been a way long weekend. Weather was great, the food was good, the company was delightful. The news says they think only one person drowned/can't find the body, 50 plus rescued from riptides on Saturday, all beaches were closed today to swimmers, and all the tourists left earlier today. Ahh, I need a vacation from the vacation.

Of all the "holidays" I find this the hardest. A day to remember the dead, who died for this country. Sobering. When I got home today I turned on the television and during every break they would roll the names of the dead from North Carolina. Heartbreaking.

So I sat down and did this little collage. She represents the many women and children who supported and waited for their family members to come home. All dressed up reminding all of the liberty they were granting to all.

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day. Please take some time to "thank" a veteran and remember those who have served and given their lives for our freedom and way of life. Embrace your family and those you love.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day Freebies

These are in honor of those who have served this country and their families. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for my freedom. I know it is a bit early, but I am sure lots of you are heading out to spend time off with friends and family and might need an image or two to whip into a card or something.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Puzzle Round Robin - Eyes

This is the puzzle piece I did for a local puzzle round robin. The theme for this puzzle is eyes. I wanted to do something that wasn't flat. There are three different heights going on here. I can not wait to show you some of these puzzles. Each one is so incredible. I think the owner of this puzzle is going to really enjoy the finished piece.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I've been tagged.....

Tagged. I have been tagged by Anne at El Milagro Studio and Beverley at Bunny's Girl. I am to name six things [I am taking this literally and naming things - not people or family, my pets, etc.] that make me happy and tag six more people. So, as my six I am tagging you all. You know who you are. This Monday share your happiness...

1. Number one has got to be waking up to the sound of the waves. I can't think of a better way - well maybe one or two - of starting off the day..

2. A good book. Now this is a way to go anywhere and everywhere. Getting lost in a book has always been a favorite past time.

3. Chocolate - particularly - truffles are a favorite. They make me happy, especially when added with a good book.

4. This is sort of a combination of things that make me happy. Traveling and antiquing. I can't think of anything I would rather do. Adventures are always had when combining the two. [This picture is from Taco - off Flickr].

5. There is nothing like walking into a really good grocery store and being able to buy what ever you want and having a half dozen choices for just one thing. If you travel a lot to other countries, or see someone from another country in one of our stores you realize what a privilege this is.

6. Last but not least are my cameras. They make me happy. Being able to look through the view finder opens a whole new world for me on a daily basis. They remind me of how blessed I am.

Quote - Happiness

Friends - Weathering the Storms

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Speaking of Journals

It has been a whirlwind of activity in my study and studio lately. I am getting ready to put my house on the market and have been "de cluttering" . As if that is possible. I have been slowly packing up some of the things I will not need in the near future or things that are "personal". Breaking my foot made me realize that I really need to be closer to the boys. The last boy will be leaving to start at another college soon. My other son that lived here is now an ocean or two away - happy as a clam I might add. So the move begins.

I always number and list what is in the boxes in "the book" . It also has lists and receipts for materials and what to do's. This time I thought I would use a journal or composition book. Here are a couple I made. The Zetti Journal was for a swap a few years ago and I made one for me, too. The other two were made for a journal round robin I started a few months ago and I decided to go in a different direction and made something else. I will share my journal when it comes home.

Any way I thought I would share with you these Journal Covers. It might inspire you to make a new journal today. I am doing the journal catch up today and enjoying the rain storms that come and go. Hope you are all having a creative and relaxing day.

Four Letter Words - Book

A Little Collage - Fill Her Nest

I made a little collage on canvas board this weekend. It was so hot yesterday that I needed to cool off by late afternoon. My studio called. I have had this image sitting on my work table for about a month. I added the bird nest digitally and printed it off and it just sat there. She is so thin and straight. I love how her head is turned looking at something other than the photographer. I painted and glued random paper then covered and wiped off gesso. I also gessoed and wiped the metal pieces. I wanted a sort of neutral look to them. Anyway, she's going to be attached to a journal cover.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Little Present for ME....Steampunk Heart

This beautiful three inch long Steampunk Heart is from Linda East. I have admired her hearts for sometime. Anything Steampunk makes my heart race anyway. So when Mother's Day was around the corner and my boys were asking what I wanted I asked for $5.00 from the four of them that are in North Carolina [my other son would just have to wing it]. I then ordered a heart from Linda - with money left over. Woo Hoo. It is beautiful and came on this lovely chain. I have a thing for hearts - glass hearts, silver hearts, etc. This one is so unique and I deserve it.

Digital Collage - Birds and the Bees

In this collage I used the same little girl with the bird. I used a couple of different backgrounds and played with her dress a bit. It seemed better to leave everything pretty simple here.


Digital Collage - Lettres

This little girl seemed so sad. Her dress a tad too big. I wondered if maybe these were taken after a funeral. Maybe the photographer supplied the clothes. Any way she touched me. The stamps are from Tim Holtz, the little bird is an art-e-cats freebie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Aggression Cookies - This or This

A friend sent me this picture of this door with a note saying she was hoping this was not going to be what her kids were doing all summer. Usually she sends them to various camps, and where they worship has a program for the kids during the summer. Because of the uncertainty of these economic times she has decided to cut back and do a lot more home involved things. She asked me what was she going to do when they said "I'm bored". I have a lot of suggestions for that. This is one of my favorites when two kids can't find anything to do and start picking on each other.

Pull out the bowls and make aggression cookies. I let both kids make a batch. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups brown sugar packed firmly
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups softened butter
optional - raisins, dried apricots, cranberries, almonds

Dump all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mash it, knead it, pound it. The longer and harder you mix, the better it tasted. Really. Roll the dough into small balls. Bake on cookie sheet - non stick kind in 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. promise no one will be bored or edgy after this. Top off with a glass of milk and a good book.

Awards and Such

I have gotten several awards lately. All of which I feel quite honored yet somewhat overwhelmed with. Deciding whom I should turn around an award them to is always hard for me. I enjoy every one's blog. Each one is so unique and teeming with information, artwork, photos and most of all stories. I love the stories of what is going on in people's lives. I will try to hand out some of these awards, I won't meet all the requirements like one a day for ten days. I will try my best to live up to these awards and encourage others with their blogs. That is the best I can do right now.

My sweet dear friend Sandee of Sandee's Sanity honored me with this award. She is so talented. Her blog is just full of beautiful things. Her collages really speak to me. She is one busy, but organized lady. I would like to pass this award on to Robin of A Robin's Nest blog. Robin is also incredibly talented. It has been so fun to meet and become friends with so many of you this past year. Robin is one of these friends.

I have always enjoyed the idea of giving an award as a pay it forward idea. Sort of just saying "I like what you are doing and keep it up". Denise from Bless This Mess gave me this award. Who could not love a blog called bless this mess? I don't know about you but everyday when I walk in the door of my studio I am hoping for a little blessing. Thank you Denise I really appreciate this award. I am going to give Linda East of Jewels of the East this award. Linda actually has two wonderful blogs. I met Linda through one of the yahoo groups. Her altered books are fabulous. She also does a ton of other stuff. Please stop by and visit her.

This award came from Gayle Page-Robak of Stampers Touch. Please stop by her blog. Be prepared to spend some time there. Morning coffee is good at Gayle's. She is a designer for several companies, and my goodness she does some beautiful things with their products. Truly inspiring. This award you are to send out once a day for ten days. I am not sure I can do that but I will try. So right now I am shouting out to Gaby Bee of Colorful Adventures. I am awarding you this Lovely Blog Award. Go check out the dress on her blog with the roses and rust pieces, it is wonderful.

Rho gave me this award back in April. Her blog is Just Rho. I hope you will hop over there and send her a big get well. She had back surgery and is feeling a little blue with her recovery progress. She is hoping to get back into her art and enjoy the summer. Recovery always takes longer than you think. I am going to give this award to Andrea of Mixed media Art Quilts. She is a wild west girl who is so talented in many ways. She brings the flavor of her surroundings with her art.

Freebies - Trade cards - Hats

This week I decided on "Hats". Nothing makes quite a statement as a hat. I wore a big ole southern bell hat for one of my marriages. In the summer, a straw hat is a necessity when working in the flower beds or sitting in the sun. Hats are great for the "bad "hair days. Pull your hair in a pony tail and put on a baseball cap and you look like you have been working out hard. Nothing can complete an outfit like a hat. Remember in the movie with Dianne Ladd when she goes to Italy - Under the Tuscan Sun? There is the blond woman who wear's the big black hat and looks so fantastic. Why don't people where hats like that any more? I guess they are hard to sit in a car and drive with. Any way here are some trade cards from my collection. Enjoy.

She reminds me of Rembrandt.

Is this beret Prince sings of?

I love this simple sailor hat.

I love her coral necklace and bejeweled hat.