29 September 2011

Playing Around

I have been playing around with my two new books:
Both books are helping me to experiment with mixed media. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time but I've been afraid to open my jars of Gesso or Modge Podge... and just what does one do with oil pastels anyway? I have found that I like water color pencils. Oh my, they are fun.

So here are some of my pages. I have decided I am not out for the artistic part of this yet. I'm just in it for throwing things onto my pages and feeling the different art tools that I own.

This is not art.... trust me.

I'd never used gel pens and expected something totally different from this. They are supposed to resist what you put on top of them. Hmmmmm. I was so afraid to paint on plain paper. Weird... but the Gesso offered such a nice protection to the page, it was amazing.

I was supposed to rip out magazine pages for a theme and I just listed some things I love. Then I painted over with Gesso..... I don't quite like that look but maybe I had too much Gesso or I worried too much about covering what I had laid down. The flowers were playing with a variety of pens, pencils, etc. Just feeling the way the mediums went onto the paper.

Sandy had sent me Aplets and Cottlets and I just couldn't throw the liner paper away so I glued it down with Modge Podge. I found out you cannot paint over that stuff! I had to use crayons. The little plant hanger was with water color pencils. Note to self: black is a very powerful pencil.

I enjoyed the doodling with this page. I needed to fill in every thing but was having trouble doing that. I really did want to leave white space. This was a happy lesson.
Again, I went with the "things I love" theme and decided to make some skyscrapers to list what I love since skyscrapers are near the top of my list. I couldn't find a pen I liked to write with so that will be my next experiment. Just get out all my pens and write away to see which ones I'll use for what projects!
All in all, these two books are forcing me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. Way beyond it! I am playing with art supplies I've had for years and just moved them from one place in the cupboard to another. I am excited about that.
And lastly, I hope to be able to really fine tune what art supplies I carry with me on my next trip to France. I had packed way too many last time. More art supplies and travel books than clothes! But I'm not a fashionable kinda gal so who cares?!

26 September 2011

Hooray!!! She Does It Again!

Our eldest daughter, Danette, is a cancer survivor. Last year was her first time ever taking part in a triathlon for women who have cancer, have survived it, or know someone who has, etc. It is called the See Jane Run Triathlon. Hers was in Pleasanton, CA.
We were not able to go and watch her with this amazing athletic event, but she shared some photos.
Oh... not only did she finish the race, but she came in #13 in her age category which I think is 40-44.
She came in 18th last year so she got stronger this time around.

Getting ready to swim 400 yards.

They mark their ages on their legs.

Coming in after 11 miles of riding that bike!

The final leg of the triathlon is just that - running 3 miles!
Look at her, I bet she could go another 3 miles! You go, girl!

25 September 2011

No End in Sight

I know I am obsessed with these dang caterpillars. If you walked outside and they dropped from the trees into your hair or down the front of your shirt, wouldn't you become obsessed too? They just do not stop. We try to eat outside and they drop down out of nowhere ... etc., etc., etc.

So this is a shot of our driveway by the garage. Maybe a 7" by 12" area.

They start with just a few nibbles.

Then a few more.

They continue until they have stripped the leaves down to the center veins.

Remember, this is a tree that I'm working hard at knocking them out, hosing them off, or shouting at them to leave us alone!

Normally, I cannot see inside the tree to these branches. Now, it seems the branches is what we see most of all. Yes, I'm obsessed - they are even in my dreams. When I close my eyes at night and before I open them in the morning, I see caterpillars.

22 September 2011

Talk Like a Pirate

Tuesday was Talk Like a Pirate Day at our local library. The official day was Monday but our library is only open three half-days a week and Monday isn't one of those days. Since I am the new president of the Friends of the Library for our branch, I figured I best play the role even though I can't talk like a pirate no matter how hard I try! I managed "scurvy dogs" and "walk the plank" and "aaaarrrrrgh!" and that was about the extent of my pirate vocabulary.

There were games, activities, scavenger hunts, refreshments, prizes and just plain fun. My favorite was this "I SPY" game where they had to find objects in this "Pirates' Cove".

21 September 2011

It's Here!

Oh my gosh! I pre-ordered this wonderful book by Alisa Burke called "Sew Wild" and it arrived yesterday in the mail. I am so excited that I decided to treat myself to the book today. I didn't even crack open the cover yesterday. So today, while Jack is walking the aisles of the hardware stores and roofing supply places, I'll be snuggled up soaking some art tips from my book.
(Please note that this is NOT my usual behavior because I am known to peek inside a gift way before it is officially time to open it.)

18 September 2011

Bible Covers

Okay, I can post this photo now that the Bible covers I made for Amy and Ashley have made it to Virginia. Amy's ended up too big so I may just have to make her another one. ;o)

16 September 2011

The Pregnant Scrapbook

My France scrapbook is pregnant! It keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Obviously, I am going about this the wrong way. I already have three bags full of papers I've tossed out but it looks like I need to toss more. This photo is my scrapbook currently. I have about this much more to add! I haven't even covered Normandy, Lyon, Switzerland, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and the last trip to Paris yet.
But everything has such a great memory and it is important to me so what do I do? Hmmmm, okay, I don't have to keep the ENTIRE train schedule book, or the ENTIRE Sudoku puzzle book or the sugar cubes I never used in my morning coffee and maybe I can toss out some of the empty wrappers from numerous chocolate bars?
It looks like I'll be going through this book again and again and again to lessen the load. It's a good thing nothing is glued down yet. Oh, and this doesn't include any photographs. I think I'll put those in a photo album. That will be another problem: squeezing 1,000 photos down to 60 or less. It's a small photo album.

The fun part is looking at all of this and recalling the memories attached.

(Mom, Jack, Ina and Warren, you are all in these pages with me!)

14 September 2011

Check out my YouTube Video!

What a fun and exhausting day! I walked 1/2 a mile to get our mail. I unlocked the box and heard this "baa.... maa..." and looked up to see two adorable goats running straight at me. I hurried off the roadway and walked back towards where they live.
They were so cute and behaved almost like dogs.
I tried to say "good-bye" and shoo them back home but they kept following me. I got so far that I got worried and turned around back to their house. I told the owner the goats had followed me. He said, "That's what they do." (Um.... okay..)
I asked, "Will they find their way home?"
Unplussed, he said, "Yes."
So they followed me to the horse barn. I figured I would give them oats and while they were eating oats, I'd run home.
Well, I opened the tack room and they followed me. The horse got upset and chased them out into the field and into a corner. So there I was trying to get between the horse and the goats. The horse wanted to kick them or rear up at them and they wanted to crawl into my arms!
Around and around we went until I finally got them out of the horse area. Yup, they followed me home, the oats were of no concern to them!.
Once at home, they started to eat every plant Jack and I have managed to keep alive!
It was another 20 minutes with me chasing them around the house and trying to get the ATV out of the garage while keeping them out of the garage. Oh my! I was tired to say the least.
Then I had to start and stop and call them or "baa" at them to follow me. I led them home and closed their pen with them inside. To heck with the owner!

(If you can't open the youtube, this is the address:)      

13 September 2011


Our forest is so stressed right now. I have taken to wearing a wide brimmed hat when I go outdoors to keep the caterpillars from dropping into my hair. Yes, they were doing that and I'd itch for the rest of the day just thinking about it!

Now the oak trees are showing stress signs too. Although this fungus is beautiful to look at and watch it grow in size, it is a sign of an illness. (Or so I understand.)

08 September 2011

My Market Bag Made You-Tube!

I made numerous market bags to give to special women who worked around me last year. One was for the secretary and I worried that she might find it too floral. In response, she sent this:

Sites featured in the video are:
Rogue River Gorge
Clearwater Falls
Whitehorse Falls
Watson Falls
Toketee Falls
Fall Creek Falls
Crater Lake
Rogue River Lodge

What fun! Thanks, Sharstin, I'm happy that you like your bag.

07 September 2011

Poop Patrol

I've been busy trying to save a couple of trees and an old rose bush that the tent caterpillars want to call their own. I start my mornings with a cup of coffee then I check the patio for CPP (caterpillar pellet poop)! There is a ton of it every morning and evening. According to the internet, it is good fertilizer. Like I should sweep it and haul it to the garden!
All I know is that it is hard and hurts the bottom of my feet. Yes, I can usually be found barefooted - (Kari did not get her shoe fetish from me!)
I "wash" down the tree of any caterpillars I can manage to get and then hose down the deck. Hosing down the trees has become rather therapeutic.

06 September 2011

Where's Amy When I Need Her?

Well, house is clean; now to get on with the BIG project that I want to do while Jack is away and that is making my scrapbok from my 2006 trip to France.
My problem is this: It took four years to prepare for the trip and I have four years worth of paperwork, references, ideas,  etc. to squeeze into the album along with the crazy things I saved to put into the album. ... like my worn out shoe inserts!
I could use Amy right about now... the Scrapping Queen.
OH my.... I just realized this doesn't even include the 3,000 photos I took! (I might have to ask Jack to extend his trip by two months!!)

I color coded my spreadsheets for the most expensive to the cheapest. I tracked whether the 1-star hotel (many hotels ended up being negative 1-star!) had a shower in the room or not. One spreadsheet is of all the places I wanted to visit and how much the trains were from one pit-stop to another vs. whether to use my Eurail Pass or not! I printed out the European keyboard to study.
Hours and hours and hours and hours of reading and typing and exploring ... all with a dial-up connection on our computer.
Now ask me....go ahead, I know you are dieing to ask me.....
"Did I follow my script?"
My answer is this: My new mantra became, "Serendipity...... Serendipity..... Serendipity..."

Preparations for my next trip will take up much less forest products!

05 September 2011

Cleaning Machine

In the two days that Jack has been gone, I have cleaned more than I can imagine. It started last Monday after our trip to CA; a burst of energy came out of nowhere and hit me right in the middle of my solar plexus! Late last night, I decided to finish bleaching down the grout in the kitchen tiles. Whew! I am like a one woman cleaning machine. I'll let you all know just how long this burst of energy lasts; I hope for awhile because my "To Do" list is still way too long.

04 September 2011

What's For Dinner?

Anyone who knows me well would know the answer to that question!
Popcorn for Dinner. Popcorn for Lunch. Popcorn for snacks!
One good thing about being home alone. ;o)

02 September 2011

Off on the Red Eye

Bags are Packed....
         Jack flys out tomorrow on the Red Eye back to Upland. The siblings and cousins are gathering to make those very difficult decisions.... basically, what type of a facility Mom should move into. Arrrgh! I do not envy them the task and the emotional roller coaster ride that just seems to continue.
     I will remain at home, killing catepillars!
     Seeing Jack's luggage being packed again reminded me of this great song by John Denver. (The same link as above.) Circumstances aren't the same at all, but the song comes to mind whenever one of us is leaving the other.