Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New house numbers

When I was in Spain about 15 years ago, I bought some beautiful house numbers that I was going to frame and hang on the house. Somehow, between starting a BSN course, getting married, and moving to Myrtle Creek I didn't do anything with them. I had a renter in my house for 4 years who decided to use the numbers and glued them to a rough brown board. They stayed that way until they were removed when I had the house painted this past year. I didn't want to rehang them on that ugly board. My neighbor does some woodworking. I asked him if he could outline the numbers with moulding and cut the ugly brown board even with the edges so I could paint it white. He agreed if I bought the moulding I wanted. A couple weeks ago he returned the finished product to me. A couple screw-in hangers, some chain and a cuphook and now it's hung by the front door. I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

Quilt Guild Potluck

You will see three posts for today which are actually the ones for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that didn't get done until today. So....Tuesday was the Christmas potluck for the quilt guild I belong to. Quilters are good cooks, so the food was delicious. Good friends, good food and good conversation.....can't beat that. It was the perfect occasion to wear my Christmas sweater that I've had for many years. I made some lemon poppyseed muffins using my friendship bread starter. They turned out really well. I did get to bring a couple home to eat myself.


I'm so not in the mood to decorate, but I found two of these swags that I used to put in the flower boxes in front. They were the perfect lengths to attach to my new railing around the front porch. So, I've started doing some Christmas decorating. I've also unearthed two artificial wreaths I made several years ago. I'm going to clean them up and add some new pics to them. So, you'll be seeing them here in a day or two.
It's been cold and overcast here today. Makes me wish I had a fireplace. I'd snuggle up in a quilt and read.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4

No photo today. I went to church and then did the grocery shopping. It was my intention to go to the Messiah which is sung by a community choral group each year. But I started reading a good book after lunch and lost track of time. When I realized what time it was, it was too late to get out there in time. So, I've addressed quite a few of my cards and that's the extent of my Christmas preparations for today. Guess I must have needed the break.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cards

Most years I have made my own cards, but this year losing a sister-in-law in September and my father-in-law in October and having a cataract removed in mid-Nvember just didn't leave much time for me to collect my thoughts to make a card.

So, today I went in search of a nice, inexpensive card. Luckily my local Hallmark store was having a $5.oo off sale and these pretty cards were just the right price. I came home, wrote my annual letter to friends I only hear from at this time of year, and printed off a photo of Eli and me to enclosed with the letter.

All I need to do is address, stamp and send them. Perhaps they will even arrive by the 24th.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2nd

Today I went to the annual Christmas Fair that is held at our county fairgrounds. There were so many vendors that they filled four buildings. I was looking for unique tree ornaments for both my granddaughters. I think I found good ones for each of them. Not much else caught my fancy. There were lots of jewelry, potholders, baby blankets, wood carvings and everything Christmas. I took several photos with my phone but none of them turned out well enough to post. However, there was one other item that I just couldn't resist. This angel is so unlike any of the other angels that I have collected over the years that I just couldn't let her stay there. So, she came home with me. The lady who made her told me that the jewelry had been some of her mother's. That made her even more special to me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Daily

After wavering for several weeks about whether I would document this Christmas season or not, I finally decided today that it will be do-able on my blog. I'm not really in the frame of mind to go all out this year. I'll be spending Christmas in Portland, but have decided to do a bit of decorating here as well.
So today's effort is to put out my Christmas flag. I don't know how long I've had this particular flag, but it's been awhile. We're having beautiful clear and cool days, so he looks pretty good hanging out there.
In other news I'm starting a class at BPC to try to make better use of my time. I really enjoy Karen and read her blog at least a couple times a week. I'm hoping to figure out where I waste the most time (think computer) and use that time to do things I want to accomplish (quilting and art).
Here's to December.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Using stencils

I'm taking a weeklong classes from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer on using her great stencils that she has designed. Today I learned about using products with too much liquid and those that provide crisp edges. I was so enthusiastic that I just had to try it out. I used a 12 X 12 Dalia stencil in my weekly art journal. I used Pumice Stone Distress ink for the stencil and then used Jenni Bowlin's Chicken Feed ink with a blending tool over the rest of the page. I then dropped some ink blots of Maya Mists Earl gray and Sunflower Yellow over the page. I LOVE how it turned out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teacher of Piano

Some time in the past couple of months, while trying to 'declutter' my scrap space, I found a business card that was my mother's. When I looked at it, I knew I wanted to tell her story of being a teacher of piano. Recently, I found these two photos when going through another stack of 'stuff' in my scrap space. So, this layout was born. The most recent number stencil that was an add-on for my monthly Cocoa Daisy kit provided the perfect background. As any musician knows, numbers are an important part of being able to play music.

The journaling recounts her college education in the heart of the depression and how her dream of being a concert pianist, or a school music teacher had to be put on hold. She taught piano many years to help support herself until she married. Several years later, she again took piano students into our home to add to our income, never forgetting her dream. She again returned to college to get her teaching certificate, but my father's move for a new job ended that just when she was to start her student teaching. She didn't have the energy to start all over in a new state, so continued to teach piano students until her 70's. Her dream was totally broken.

Looking back, I'm so sad for her that circumstances stopped her from realizing her goal. And I'm sad my father was so selfish that his job could not have been put on hold for my mother's dream.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Farewell to Dena and Zoe

My sweet neighbors Dena and her daughter Zoe will be moving to Texas in just a couple short weeks. I met Dena through the local scrapbook store and we found we lived only a few blocks apart. Zoe was only about 3 or 4 years old at the time. They visited me frequently and we scrapped together with another friend, Tina.

Dena is very talented and has been on several high profile design teams in the scrapbooking industry. I remember when she was struggling to be published. She's come a long way since then.

Zoe is precocious. Having a conversation with her at 10 years old is like talking to an adult. She loves to cook and bake. How many 10 year olds know what cream of tartar is? Zoe does. When I first met her she was terrified of my dog, Freckles. Now she loves all dogs. It's been quite an adventure watching her grow up.

We had a farewell luncheon and visit at our mutual friend's house yesterday. Delicious salad, bread, iced tea and cupcakes were on the menu. We had such a good visit.

I will miss my young friends and wish them well in the new adventure they have ahead of them.

Friday, July 29, 2011


One of my favorite roles in life is Grammy to little Eli who is two. Recently she and her mama came to visit me and we got this photo of the two of us. Usually I'm behind the camera when I see her and realized that I hadn't gotten a photo of us together in a LONG time. Note to self: hand the camera off more often.

Eli is a beautiful and very smart two year old. She has been bi-lingual since she started talking. So, there are times I don't understand what she is saying. She and her mother converse in Spanish most of the time. I think with time, she will realize that she needs to speak English when she is with me. But she gets her wants and needs across very well in either language.

She's on vacation with her parents for a couple more weeks, so I'm counting the days until they come back and I can see my sweet grand-daughter again. Love you little Eli.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mixed media canvas

I've never done a canvas before, so this was a new experience. This past weekend Cocoa Daisy had their Spring Crop with challenges, classes, and just plain fun. One of the classes was on how to create a canvas project. Lisa one of the Cocoa Daisy Design Team members showed us step by step how to make a canvas using a handcut heart for a mask. While it was very pretty, I decided to use the techniques to create one with my OLS for 2011. It was really easy to do and fun to play with all the techniques. I like how it turned out and will definitely do this again. Thank you Lisa and Cocoa Daisy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Farewell, my little friend

I couldn't even think of doing this post until today. It's been a week since I received the phone call from Sara letting me know that you had gotten out of the house and into the path of a utility truck. Your death was instanteous, so you did not suffer. You craved freedom, digging under the fence or waiting for that moment of inattention when the front door was open. It was really just a matter of time until this happened. But I'm so sad that it has.

Sara rescued you about 6 years ago when you were about 6 years old. You had been neglected and closed in a bathroom for hours at a time when your owners were gone. You had serious anxiety issues. Sara worked with you and loved on you until your anxiety lessened and you became a friendly, loving, bouncy furry friend.

When Eli was born two years ago, you became her guardian and patient pal. You never growled or became unpleasant when she pulled your hair or crawled in your bed with you, or gave you hugs. You learned early that you could discourage her by licking her hands and face. She loved to feed you and learned to give you gentle pats and hugs.

You usually spent a couple months with me each year when your family took vacations or were gone on business trips. You made yourself right at home with Freckles and me. Freckles seemed to enjoy your company and would run to find you when it was time to come in from the yard. You dug holes under my fences, too and got away a couple times. You would come prancing home after you had a chance to investigate the neighborhood (you could have been run over here just as easily as home). I loved your affectionate and bouncy personality. And will always remember how you walked with your tail in the air like a pom-pom or a flag. You loved to go on walks and were a perfect walking companion - just my speed with no pulling. And you never barked, but just made a growling sound deep in your throat.

So, farewell, my little friend. You are missed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quilt Guild

Today was the last regular meeting for this year of the guild that I have belonged to for 3 years. Since I'm somewhat quiet, it has taken me this long to really get to know some of the ladies. I love this group....they are so helpful and encouraging. The next meeting witl be a potluck in June to vote on the next year's officers. I won't be able to go as I'll be recuperating from my surgery, but my name is on the ballot for secretary. There are two of us, so it's not a sure thing. I would look forward to being an officer and getting more involved and becoming even more acquainted with members. We'll see.

And since no post is complete without a photo, here's my layout for LOAD for today. The prompt is to use emphasis. And the whole subject of LOAD is 'back to the basics'. So my layout seems rather plain, but it is basic and speaks to Eli's growing sense of independence.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two things

First I want to give a shout out for Big Picture Classes and Stacy Julian. She's offering an new and revised version of her Library of Memories. And she's offering it FREE to alums of the previous LOM classes. That class revolutionized how I scrapbook, how I keep track of photos and how I organize my albums. So I'm a big fan and will be taking the new class which starts in June - just in time after my hip surgery.

Second, want to post this layout I did for a challenge at Cocoa Daisy, which is my favorite kit club. I've tried several over the years and it's the best around for me. The challenge was to do a layout of a visit to a theme park or a fair and use flags on the layout. Humm....I haven't been to either in many years, but I remembered these darling photos of Eliana from her first time skiing at Whistler. Found a sketch in my folder....sorry, but I didn't save the source. When I was sorting through patterned paper a month or so ago, I found this lovely snowflake pp and set it out for a snow layout. Perfect for these photos. The strip on the left is from my bits and pieces drawer and was the perfect blend of colors - I even punched the circle embellishment from that pp. Made the flags from some hatpins from a past CD kit and some leftover cardstock. None of the journaling cards I had would work, so I made my own by tracing around one from Making Memories. Really happy with how this turned out.

Want to encourage all you scrappers out there to make use of your scraps and older pp. It's a real money saver.

By the way, Eliana is only 22 months in the photos and LOVES the snow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Design team

Poor neglected blog...sigh. Seems I have been too busy with other things, but a recent design team call for Cocoa Daisy - my favorite kit club - brought me back. I don't think I've ever applied for a design team and probably stand little chance of making it, but if I were ever on one, I would want it to be Cocoa Daisy. I love their kits and have since about 2007.

So, yesterday I got busy and made a layout of a recent telephone conversation with Eliana who is going to be 2 years old next month. She's fascinated with the phone and loves to talk. Her language skills are improving every day with new English and Spanish words. Yes, she's bilingual thanks to her mother who is a bilingual teacher in an elementary school. Eli's babysitter is also a Spanish speaker. I'm not, but I've learned quite a few words over the past year. But I digress.

I really wanted to document Eli's current pronounciations, especially of my name which has gone from Nana, to ammy, to gwammy now. She's the light of my life.

So here's the layout.

Monday, March 21, 2011


this layout was a response to a post on Write. Click. Scrapbook to go through an older stack of patterned paper and sort out what you wouldn't use. In the process I found this older pp by BoBunny that was perfect for the photo of Eli I took a couple weeks ago when Greg and I took her to the park up by them. The sketch is from another site, The Studio Challenges. The two tags I used to frame the photo are from K & Co and the sticker letters are from ADORN it. I have no idea where the other embellishments came from. So glad I found this pp and was able to scrap this sweet photo.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

LOAD 211 Day 3

I'm loving this month's LOAD. There are wonderful layouts in the gallery to provide inspiration and the prompts are also interesting. Today's layout is a totally different type of design - not one I do very often. It has lots of embellishments - I had a kit from Basic Grey (Olivia) that had lots of fun chipboard and papers that I loved. So, here it is.
I love these photos of Greg, Sara and Eli that were taken when they traveled to Denver for a family gathering.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Started today. I love LOAD - love the prompts, the 'lessons', the work of the other participants, and the lovely comments that I sometimes get. I had a meeting this morning so didn't get started on this until after lunch. Very simple - two colors of cardstock, some buttons, and some letter stickers. I love this photo of one of the pelicans that wandered throughout Mykonos town. They were huge - at least 3 feet tall from feet to top of the head. This will be part of my Greece travel album.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Paint Job

I've been planning on having my house painted this next summer. However, last Monday my interior designer friend called to let me know that one of the best painters in town was free to take on a new job on Wednesday. The weather was to be mostly clear with no rain until Sunday. So, I called and made arrangements to have the house painted much sooner than I had planned. Here is a shot of the back part of the house with the new paint colors. It's so much more cheery than the grey-blue with white trim that I had last weekend. I'm beyond thrilled with the result.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas 2010

I'm trying to get some of the Christmas photos scrapped. This is Eli with her dollie that mama and dad-o gave her. She loves dollies, but seems to have a fetish about taking all the clothes off. This time she put them in the washer - and even knew the right buttons to push (not strong enough to close the door tightly enough yet). She then took her dollie in and wrapped her in a blanket. Such a good little mama.
There are lots of other photos to put on paper, but haven't gotten that far yet. Christmas was so much fun with this little one who didn't understand about the wrapped boxes until she had unwrapped, with some help, a couple. She kept getting distracted and played with each thing before looking for another. So, we had a leisurely morning. Next year may be a different story all together.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Favorite 10 in 2010

I created 118 layouts in 2010. That's plenty to choose just 10 that I liked the most. Really it made it far harder than if I had created fewer. So, here they are. They cover the gamut of style, subject and photos. I think I can begin to see a common style.

There you have it. I look forward to creating many more layouts throughout 2011.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

OLW January

Here's my title page for the One Little Word binder for this year. I've had this beautiful crocheted butterfly for months and never used it. It's the perfect extra for the title page. I've also done the photo page, but not going to post that here. I still have the definition page to do, but lack the correct page protector for it. On order, but not here yet. So, I'll post that later.
So far, January is going well. I'm enjoying thinking about my word each day. I'm walking each day and feeling much better with the exercise. I'm also spending a few minutes a day going through papers to weed out what is no longer necessary. Next I'll be moving onto a closet that is filled with stuff: sorting, tossing, passing on, organizing what is left. It feels good to finally be taking some action on things that have been hanging over my head for several years.
2011 will be a good year. I can feel it.

Monday, January 3, 2011


once again I'm participating in Ali Edwards' one little word. I've chosen a word to be a guide for what I want to see during the year for the last 3 or 4 years. This year my word is release, as in let go. After looking up the definition of my word in the dictionary, I found that my word has many other definitions. I think I will open up myself to whatever definition seems to prevail.

Originally I had thought to let go of unrealistic expectations, to let go of stuff that I no longer needed or wanted - both physically and emotionally, and to let go of preconceived notions I seem to have regarding this stage of my life. In other words, I wanted to cut to the chase. We'll see what happens.

To start with I have begun decluttering my home. I went through all of the Christmas decorations and culled out those that were worn out or no longer appealed to me and also set aside some that I will give to Eli in the years to come. Those tubs are put away much lighter that they were when I took them down the first part of December. The past couple days I have been going through a box that contains most of my household papers. It's amazing what stuff I have saved. So far, I've dumped 12 pounds of paperwork in the recycle and I'm only 2/3 of the way through it all!
This photo shows it in the wastebasket before it went in the paper recycle.

And here's the box that was once so stuffed full that I couldn't even get another piece of paper in it. I expect it will be only half full when I finish.
Already I feel lighter. I think this OLW will be just fine.