Monday, July 21, 2014

These past few weeks

I've not traveled so much for work [yay!] 
and I've enjoyed having time to
 just be -
 You know what I mean ---
with no real agenda or time frame...
except for going to the office, of course....

 It makes me think retirement will be a really fun thing...
But y'all know ---- I'm no where NEAR retirement - ha.
 
I took my sweetie to the airport in Nashville a couple of weeks ago 
[for a fun fishing trip to Lake Erie]
and I spent the rest of the day just visiting with my sister - we did some 'find-the-label' shopping at Goodwill - we think it's a little weird that we can automatically pull out a label just by the look of the fabric [and I'm not talking design or color --]
And we found some sweet deals - but we only came home with some picture frames - lol -
I've had time to work on some art [and catch-up with my weekly art challenges -- 
but to be clear I'm not stressing over doing every-single-one 
because there's just some that don't appeal to me at all -]
 
Had a great time at the BIG BIRTHDAY BASH -  
See? My cupcakes DID look cute before the buttercream melted...
Ha.
Then I went back to Nashville [sitting in traffic for an hour] to get my sweetheart and we enjoyed a nice relaxing evening at Maggiano's - we LOVE that place -- 
I ordered this personalized cuff from Christy Tomlinson [isn't it great?!?!]
And I've discovered the Amazon [super] store [where you can buy just about anything your little heart desires -] and finally found my favorite red lipstick [revlon 626 - cha cha cherry] that should be here any day -- 
and I've joined Margie's new on-line class, 
complete with kit that should also be arriving soon... 
--- Been spending that travel check from June - ha.
I said a final goodbye to an old-time Mexican favorite...
No, they aren't closing... but the quality has gone so low that  I'll not be back...
Kinda sad, really.
But we've sure been enjoying 
eating local - eating fresh...
 
We saw some friends at the farmer's market the other day and they said something about being inspired by how HEALTHY we were eating - and....
 I'm not sure it's HEALTHY - 
because an awful lot of it is fried - 
but IT IS local and fresh - [no preservatives.]
 
And the grilled cake with berries and yogurt WAS delicious!
And, oh-so-easy with my grill pan that I got for Christmas!
I also had  Discovering Joy in Creativity Group meeting 
at our house again this week - 
I'm sooo enjoying this group of gals who get together each month 
to study The Word and do a little art too -- 
It's such a pleasure to see the things they are working 
outside of class!
WE MUST GET A GROUP PHOTO NEXT MONTH!!!
I've thought about it - 
but am just enjoying myself too much to remember to do it!

In other news...
My heart has been heavy for one of my sweet aunts and her family...
[Photo June - 2014 - credit - Jess Everhart]
She's been in the hospital this past week with a very serious heart attack... 
but is  home and resting now... please keep her in your prayers.
She's a sweetheart -- 
and taught me how to snap my fingers...
-- Tried incessantly to teach me how to whistle...
[but I still can't - lol]

Friday, July 18, 2014

Here's a little favorite photo friday for you --

I go to a regular crop each month - 
crop = gathering of gals who enjoy crafting together - mostly scrap-booking
This month we had a 
BIG BIRTHDAY BASH
 and enjoyed celebrating with games, make 'n takes, 
and a really fun cupcake contest.
How fun was it that it turned into a cupcake swap of sorts too?
These are just a few of the goodies that we shared - 
All delicious!
[Yes. We cut them into quarters so we could all have a taste.]
Yum.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sooooo.... I started another on-line class

and when I take a video class with her, 
it's like she's sitting right here beside me 
showing me how she works her magic -- 
So this class is all about summer, and farmer's markets, and cooking [yes! her sister is joining in with some fun farmer's market meals - perfect for me and my self-imposed challenge this summer, don't you think?]
 Well, apparently the farmers' markets that Junelle goes to have dogs everywhere!
[They aren't allowed at our little market.]
So she has lots of dog ideas this go 'round. 
And, I love it! 
I sooooo want to be able to draw a decent dog - lol.
We'll also be doing veggies, and bikes, and canned foods ETC.- all things that are fun and help hone our watercolor skills...She has challenged us to do a sketch a day.
And I agree - it's through daily practice that we get better and better -- 
I've accepted the dog-a-day challenge and I've stepped out to share some here -
[Don't judge harshly, please -]
Keep in mind that these are the first 'real' dogs I've ever even attempted -- 
Let's see if I'm improved, or found a dog-style of my own  by the end of class...
And won't you come on over and join us?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Been meaning to share

some of my more recent scrapbook pages with you -

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Are you like me?

Do you have a lot of half-finished [or barely started] projects 
stuffed in corners around your house?
I've decided IT'S TIME -
I'm going to do my best to get every single one of these finished this summer.
...and then find a place to sell them!
[It's mostly canvases.]
Ha.
- Because as much as I love each one, 
I really can't continue to hold on to them all - 
I'M RUNNING OUT OF ROOM!
This is a canvas that has been setting in my studio 
for two years - seriously!!!
I put this girl on there this past week -
and while it wasn't what I intended when I started,
I do kind of love her --
The background is fabric from a favorite skirt that was MUCH too long... her face is textured with tissue paper, and her dress is a baby wipe that was used to wipe off some spray ink ---
her eyes just grew into her face that way...

Monday, July 7, 2014

So here's a little something I created

for July [and yes, I hung it up before the 4th - but it will stay up all month long!] 
 
 My disclaimer -- I don't do a ton of decorating for the 4th, 
but instead, just add a few things to my regular 'spring / summer' decor' ---
Like my basket of apples on top of the wardrobe... 
A flag over by the candles on the mantle... 
A little wreath over the mirror on the buffet... 
Another flag and 'junk' bow* in the kitchen ...

Flag plates over the stove...
and some star art for the foyer 
[picked up at Hobby Lobby a few years back for 80% off! Yippee!]
+ some vintage 4th of July photos
... mostly off the internet, but 
that is my dad and one of his older brothers
back in the 40's in front of the flag!
But let's get back to the front porch---
I hung a flag on the door... and replaced the Queen Anne's Lace with my vase of sunflowers that I created after taking one of Margie's Spark Your Summer Classes*
[she always has such fun ideas!]
Then I decided I wanted to add a banner to the frame -
[notice, I DID paint the bird hooks white afterall.]
 So I gathered some leftover fabric, modpodge, 
and an old school folder before getting started...
I glued the fabric to the folder
[I used a brayer to smooth it out and a heat gun to dry it quickly.]
Then I made a pattern for my banner out of scrap paper
[roughly 3x4 inches] and traced it on the back of the folder...
I used my fiskars scissors to trim it all out...
Then hung it on the frame
[I added a couple of rag bows on each end.]
I used a strip of plastic cut from a grocery bag to staple the tags to - 
then I went back and stapled them all together.
The folder on the back gives each tag the stability it needs.
You could probably stitch around each one to give it even more stability!
[I didn't - ]
[It's a fun little welcome at night too!]
I like this idea and it was so easy to do 
that I might do some for different seasons!
Let me see some of your Fourth of July decorations!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Did I mention

that I'm encouraging the Bible Study / Art Group to use their books as art journals?
Here's some pages I've done so far --
On the left I simply painted around what I'd written in the book in answer to the lesson's questions - then I added two tiny flower stickers [that were just laying on my table - ] and drew in the stems and 'leaves.' [I'll admit, I used a ruler to keep them straight on the page...]
On the right, I stuck  down a little chipboard bird and a strip of patterned paper with butterflies on it... then I used alpha stickers to put down a thought we talked about during our time together:
Take Chances
Make Accept Embrace Mistakes
- I kinda love it
since it represents our discussion that morning -
On this page I traced my hand in the middle of doing the lesson [and it was fun to see that another member of our group had done the same thing!] and wrote inside it the words to the children's song - 
Look all the World over there's no one like me
- No one like me - No one like me..
No one exactly like me...
And on the other page I created Christian mandala - I wanted the cross to be the center... 
with the rest representing God's glorious creation...
I kept some of the words I'd written in during the study...
And of course, this one we've already talked about - 
but I included it here since it's a part of chapters one and two...
Would love to see how your using your art journal as we go through this study...

Monday, June 30, 2014

I had a bit of travel

this month for 
World Elder Abuse Day
... I had the opportunity to speak at several events and share how our State accepts reports, investigates, and assists those with disabilities and frailties who are no longer able to care for themselves or able to protect themselves from abuse, neglect, or exploitation. 
Last week I was in a different county every day - wheee
{I really love what I do - seriously -}
And this past week I was in two different counties --
SO ---I knew I was going to be over near a State Park we've not camped out in before on Friday and talked Craig into bringing the camper over so we could check it out --
The tiny dog came along ---
I'm loving her bright pink vest that helps us see her when she's out and about - 
I honestly thought Buck's Pocket State Park
was just 'around the corner' from Guntersville...
I had NO IDEA it was in the middle of no-where-land. Ha.
But. It. Is.
 And it WAS beautiful ---  
and isolated... with dry streams surrounding it 
with some of the biggest rocks EVER...
and tiny - tiny frogs
[y'all know I love those! - really!]
But there was something about the 'don't cross the road when covered in water' signs and zero cell service - no TV reception - no radio reception, etc. 
that was just a little toooooooo remote for us.
Add in a couple of live-in campers [in dilapidated campers,] a bath house that had only half the facilities working, and a playground that was mostly in dis-repair
... and well... we decided one night was enough for us.
LOL.
Been there.
Done that.
We enjoyed the day doing a little thrift shopping on the way home, and of course found lots of things we didn't know we needed...
I love spending time with no agenda with my sweetie!

Friday, June 27, 2014

We went back to

The Farmer's Market this week -- 
walked through in the rain...
And I've gotta say the crops are coming in!
We loved seeing the variety of fresh veggies available...
[and the flowers! Oh my!]
 I was pleased to see that the new potatoes were still available too.
We still had some yellow squash in the fridge so this week we bought
new potatoes, corn, green beans...
and, of course, a couple of those delicious cinnamon rolls!
Yum.
I'm sure you've seen this recipe floating around Pinterest - 
Green Beans - Chicken - New Potatoes
- baked all in one dish with spices and butter over the top - 
So I thought I'd give it a try ---
and it turned out pretty good - 
We had corn on the cob and fried squash to go with it -
Always good.
Here's our critique -
the baked dish was good....
but could have been BETTER with a little less spice...
And of course, being in The South - 
we 'd like for our green beans to be A LOT more done - ha - 
and the potatoes too...
But it WAS good!
I rinsed the leftovers off before storing them in the fridge...
they may be re-purposed into chicken salad and potato salad for the weekend.
and if you're on instagram: #farmersmarketmeals
I'd love to see how you're eating local / fresh!