Friday, July 30, 2010

IA Weekly Challenge

I originally had this idea for the Clouds
challenge at Inspiration Avenue
but didn't make the deadline..
So this week's theme is  Water, and
what luck, since it contains some
rather abstract water, I am
entering it this week!

It's for Suzi Blu's class ~ 
the next  step is bees wax, 
which I have NO clue about.
So before something disastrously
waxy happens to it, I am posting it here
for the weekly Inspiration Avenue challenge.

I keep humming the Talking Heads song,
And She Was

Do you know the song?
It's ancient, from the 80s I think.
(I hate to think of the 80s as ancient,
but 1980 was 30 years ago!! Yikes!)
“. . . See the lights of a neighbor's house
now she's starting to rise.
Takes a minute to concentrate

and she opens up her eyes. . . .”
It's a great song ~ go listen to it!
The whole album, Little Creatures, is great. 
I would put the music here
but I haven't figured out how
to do that yet :( 

Visit Inspiration Avenue to see all the entries
in the Water challenge! You won't be disappointed! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

How Not to Garden
Gardening tip of the day:
Don't plant grapes or oregano if you are going 
to turn your back for a few minutes.
I was aware that the one oregano plant I put in 
a few years ago was yards out of its boundaries 
and now looks like an oregano farm.
Every so often I yank a BIG pile of it out
so the surrounding plants can breathe.

But somehow, while I was doing something else
(painting and messing with art supplies probably)
the grapevine came down off its supports
and is snaking through the whole garden.
I had to hack it away from my rhododendron today,
and would love to get it out of the oregano.
But the whole mess is covered with bees!
They love the pretty purple oregano flowers. 

To top it all off, there is not ONE grape
on the grapevine.  If you read my blog post
in March you may recall that I gave it a 
severe pruning and I'm wondering if 
that is why there are no grapes?
Ugh, live and learn.
I think grapes are supposed to be
pruned in February ~ could that be it?

Another mystery:
My nectarine tree just up and died
with never a fare-thee-well.
Look away, it's that ugly.

The bright side:
Now I can see these beauties from the house.
They used to be hidden by the nectarine tree.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beloved Books
The prompt this week at Inspiration Avenue was "Books".
I found a book in my bookcase that I had forgotten I had
and decided to use it as my inspiration.
It's the first time I've done this much painting, pasting, and wetting of a journal page, and it gave me a difficult time with curling and buckling. But I got it to stay relatively flat to get a photo. My friend Luthien, of Pimp and Paint, gave me the idea of painting the back of the pages, causing them to flatten out. How did I get to be this old and not think of that?? Brilliant!! I haven't tried it yet since I needed to get a photo  fast, but I definitely will and I'm sure it will work! I guess they will curl in the opposite direction and *walla*! Flat!

Anyway, "Elizabeth and Her German Garden" is one of my favorites, and if you like gardens you will enjoy it. Written in 1898 by a rather aristocratic lady who adores her garden and likes nothing better than to spend almost all of her time outdoors. Many of her habits and philosophies are opposed to the views of the times and she has a witty sense of humor. She wrote quite a few other books and became quite well known, but this is her first and best known book.

This piece has turned out a little messier than I would like it to be, but for better or worse, it is what it is! That will teach me to start earlier! Visit Inspiration Avenue on Sunday to see all of the book entries. There are sure to be some wonderful entries because the buzz around the Avenue was that everyone loved this theme!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lots of Catching Up to do . . .
I have been so busy with plans for my son's transfer to a new school, that I have missed cruising around the blogosphere for over a week. I wish now I had gone through this when he was a freshman, and stayed with the same school for four years. Who knew there was so much involved in going "away" to school? But never mind, I'm going to forget about the whole thing for the weekend and concentrate on
and maybe even some reading!  
 Ahhh, my idea of paradise!

Just happens that the challenge at Inspiration Avenue
this week is "Books",  so it all ties in nicely.
And I WILL get something completed this week.
 I've already started my entry. I know, I know, most of you
are finished, but starting on Friday is early for me!
What to do next . . . wish I had some large stamps . . .
maybe I could learn how to make some.
Those of you who work in a moleskine journal:
how do you keep the pages from curling?
Once I add paint, the edges curl up something awful.

The other day I looked over my bookcase
hoping to get some inspiration  and came across a book
that I love, but had forgotten about.
"Elizabeth and Her German Garden" was written in
1898 by Elizabeth von Arnim.  I found my copy at  Alibris,
a great source for books new and used ~
if you love gardens and witty women,
you may like this book!

So, I've barely been able to get out in
my own garden in the last few weeks,
but a few things are doing nicely anyway.
Got an umbrella for a little shade,
 and if the humidity goes below
100% sometime, maybe I will sit outside!
This morning you could actually "see" the air,
it was that humid.

Can it be this late in the summer already??
I know when the black eyed susans are blooming , that means most everything else in my garden have already seen their best days. Except for the mums. Still waiting on those. Got to get some fall-blooming things. What are those, I wonder? Asters? Hmmm.
The birds luuurvvve this fountain. Sometimes I feel like a slave to the birds, making sure their water isn't too yucky and the pump isn't clogged. Watching them splash happily makes it all worth it though. No birds in this picture . . .

At least the annuals in pots are still cheerful.
I've got tons of pots, just haven't had a
chance to snap some pics.

Well, off to get something done on my challenge entry...

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Want to Make 
Your Own Blog Background?
A New Submission in the Supplies for Tutorials Exchange!

C'mon ~ You girls (and guys) are all creative people!  Admit that you've had some fantastic ideas for your own blog background, but don't have the technical know-how to pull it off. And admittedly, there are so many awesome backgrounds out there to use for free, that you've just put it to the back of your mind. I know I have.  

But, as fab as that freebie background is,
it's not your own unique creation, and
(horrors!) you may see it on someone else's blog!

Well, Sharon at Plumrose Lane (even though she is one of those who creates absolutely divine backgrounds that she offers for free) has put together a tutorial for the Supplies for Tutorials Exchange showing you exactly how to make your own. 

All you really need is, of course, a blog, and a graphics program like PhotoShop or Gimp, and most of you have one of those.
No knowledge of html required! 

Here is a background she created using two of my collage sheets
and lots of her own creativity:
 Divine, right?

To recap what the Supplies for Tutorials Exchange is all about:
An Etsy supplies seller agrees to offer free supplies (in this case collage sheets) to an artist who will post a tutorial showing how to make the piece that she/he created. In addition to posting on both blogs, it is also posted on the Totally Tutorials blog.
It's fun and a win/win situation for both parties!

HERE is the tutorial on Plumrose Lane
for how to make a blog background.
While you are there, be sure to check out
all of Sharon's extensive stash of goodies!
She also has an  Etsy shop where she offers custom blog accessories.

See you there! 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yankee Girls
I've been busy organizing my new blog and just realized 
I haven't posted here in a week.
But see, I *have* been working on something!

This actually fits 2 themes,
Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge
and a little game Suzi Blu thought up!

The theme at Inspiration Avenue is " Freedom"
so I went all patriotic with red white and blue.
An update on 7.5.10:
I forgot to mention that this started with a vintage image
of 2 girls on the beach. I lopped off their heads
and added my own heads! Plus so much paint and
do-dads  that you can hardly recognize the original image.
Good work, Gemma, for recognizing that it started
with a vintage image! Gotta love those bathing costumes. 

Suzi's theme is a Fourth of July  Petite Doll.
Suzi inspires such creativity that I want to
draw, paint, color, paste, cut out, 
and just make pretty pictures all the time.
But, alas, I have to do other things sometimes too,
so I get out my journal whenever I can.
This is all to say I am far behind and 
trying to catch up by September!

Her little games or challenges are fun because
you can put something down on paper
without worrying about getting everything exactly right.
It's all good. Cause there's no * lesson*, just fun.
Not that her lessons aren't fun. They are.
Check it out for yourself!
 Update on July 10, 2010:
The challenge at Suzi Blu's was won by Catherine,
our 'own' Catherine who is a former member
of Inspiration Avenue.

Also check out all the entries at Inspiration Avenue 
for the Freedom challenge!
They will all be posted Sunday afternoon, July 4.

Oh, and while you are checking things out,
I'd love you to visit my new  blog " On the House"
where I post freebie images whenever I can!
I'm hoping to post 1-2 new images a week.

Have a perfect Fourth of July holiday, 
all you Yankee Girls (and boys)!