Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Travel Journal Giveaway
at Inspiration Avenue for The Fairies’ Tea

Win this hardbound mini travel journal by joining the
Fairies’ Tea Party over at Inspiration Avenue.
Its 3.5 x 5.5-inch size is perfect for stashing in
your bag or even your pocket when you're traveling.

Fill the unlined pages with thoughts, sketches, mementoes, whatever.
There are plenty of pages...I don't know how many, but the thickness is
3/8" when squinched together. 3/4" counting the covers. You won't run out!

This was a bear to photograph, sorry for the sub-par photos.
It wouldn't stay open very well on its own, and since I'm not a lighting genius
(or even very good at it lol) it was hard to light the different angles.
The left side above is not that dark!

If you'd like to win this or other prizes, join up with The Fairies Tea
over at Inspiration Avenue! The winners will be drawn from the party participants.

See you there!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Twilight Garden

Diane asked the question this week at Inspiration Avenue,
“If you could be anywhere . . . where would you be?”

Pondering this, I couldn't come up with a single destination.
There are so many places I hope to go!

So I thought about what environments I enjoy.
The beach is tops on my list, but I didn't have time for an ocean picture,
since landscapes and seascapes are not something I paint regularly.

Then what came to mind is how lovely it is to be in a garden!
(Especially a wonderful garden that someone else takes care of. :)
When I'm in my own garden, I'm usually working and 
don't take the time to stop and soak up the beauty.

So this is a fantastical garden that could be anywhere ~
the South of France, Mexico, a tropical island, 
lovely England where they are passionate about gardens. . .
Anywhere that flowers grow. 
Add a comfy arm chair and I'm wishing to go there right now :)

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday as well as Inspiration Avenue.

I must have had thoughts of placing chairs in the garden
when I did these pages in a board book last year.
This chair is not so comfy though and I doubt I'd stay seated very long :)

I still have 2/3 of the book to complete . . .
this reminds me that I should get back to it!

Paint Party Friday has the most amazing artists
giving us a peek at what they've been up to lately.

Inspiration Avenue is having a party!
Check them both out!

I'm off to take a look!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

July and August Round Robin

Journal Pages 
for Lisa and Kat


 I missed posting the pages I did in July in Lisa W's journal.

I'm going to make this a double posting of both
Lisa's and Kat's journal pages.

Two reasons I like this are

1~ Both Lisa and Kat are writers as well as artists, and the pages
all have something to do with writing, reading, and books.

And 2~ It looks as if I have been very busy, completing 4 journal pages at once!

Actually I have been busy...I feel like that chicken running around without its head.

I love this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I can't believe I'm pointing this out, but
I misquoted him on the page. It should read:
“Draw your chair up close to the edge of the precipice and I'll tell you a story.”
I hope the meaning is the same and I have not destroyed the grammar.



I'm enjoying making paintings about reading and books...
I may do some more :)

There are some really great quotes about writing.
Maybe because most of them were said by writers,
and of course they have a way with words!

After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. ~Philip Pullman

A word is dead / when it is said / some say / I say it just begins / to live that day. ~ Emily Dickinson

Kat loves mandalas, trees, and books
so I've managed to get all three on these two pages!
A bit busy perhaps, but I'm liking it somehow :)

So, I'm off to finish my giveaway for

a blog party going on at Inspiration Avenue.

Stop over, sign up for the party, and register to win some fab giveaways.
If you would be so kind, grab the party badge
and post on your blog to help us get the word out!

More giveaways will be posted there every few days!

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fairy Goodness All Around!

This fairy is here to remind you that
everyday has goodness within it.
Sometimes you have to look real hard.
Sometimes it's disguised as a cup half empty.
And sometimes it shows up like a great big cake on a silver platter.
Just keep your eyes open!

“Just living is not enough” said the butterfly fairy, 
“one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
~ Hans Christian Andersen

Fairy postcard available in my Etsy shop.
Original mixed media collage, 4 x 6 inches.

This is for Inspiration Avenue's weekly challenge:

Fairies is the theme, courtesy of Lou Anne, the Misplaced Mermaid.

And, speaking of fairy goodness, please join us at Inspiration Avenue
for  The Fairies’ Tea, a blog hop not to be missed!

There will be giveaways, freebies and all around enchantment
as bloggers host fairy tea parties all over blogland
on September 23, 2012!

Would you help us spread the word?
Visit Inspiration Avenue, grab the code for the party button,
and place on your blog sidebar to tell people about
this magical party! As the days progress, stop by again 
and register for some lovely giveaways!

All will be revealed by the fairies, as luck would have it,
in fairy time. So stop back here and there often
to see what they are up to!

Meanwhile, visit the blog post below this one to 
read more about the Fairies’ Tea.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You're invited to 
a very special party!
"Listen closely, and I'll tell you all about it!"

The fairies are having a tea party!

I suppose it won't be a secret any longer,
because Inspiration Avenue has found out and invited  

Fairies love to sip the dew that gathers on Lady's Mantle. It makes them just a bit tipsy!

We hope you will save the date, September 23!

It's a blog hop, so arrange your own fairy tea party on your blog.

If you are so inclined to offer a giveaway at your party,

I'm sure party-goers will be thrilled!

There will be giveaways and freebies at Inspiration Avenue!

Be sure to serve green tea!

A fairy's  favorite color is green

Put on your party finery...

"Farewell, my lord, I'm off to The Fairies' Tea Party!"

Can you see the preparations underway?
Of course not...the fairies are keeping it top secret!

Everyone will be there!

"Will there be truffles?"

Here is your official invitation:

Head over to Inspiration Avenue
to grab the button for your blog.

Sign up over there so they know you'll be attending.
They will add your blog link to the list.

Invite all the 
fairies you know
 as well as all 
your human friends!

Are fairies human? Or not?
Hmmm... must find out.

A button for your blog is waiting for you
over on the Avenue!

Be sure to stop back here 
AND at Inspiration Avenue on September 23
when the magical tea party will
be in full swing!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Look Ma, I'm Zentangling!

I thought I would try my hand at zentangles, since it's the challenge at 
Inspiration Avenue this week, brought to us by Jenn.
I never thought it was something I would enjoy doing, 
but I hate backing down from a challenge!

It's supposed to be relaxing and meditative.
But at first, every time my pen would do something I TOLD it not to do,
the tension would appear. It was making me twitchy!
I know, I have control-freak tendencies.
When I look at it, I see every mistake right away.

Eventually things calmed down and I was able to keep going with it,
even relaxed somewhat. But I would not say it was the meditative, zen-like 
experience that some report! I guess I don't lean toward the
pen-and-ink, black and white type of art in the first place.
Although I admire it greatly.
I'm not that exacting. And I need color! I couldn't resist 
putting some green on my mooka-like appendages.
They remind me of tiny plant shoots just emerging from the soil.

So I guess she is a zentangle goddess.
I'm sorry I added the shading to her face.
Would have looked better without it.

See more zentangles over at
Inspiration Avenue Link

And keep tuning in to Inspiration Avenue in the weeks ahead
for some special events! We are adding some exciting new artists 
to our team, and have some fun ideas to share with you!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pink for IA and The August Break

This week . . .
the Inspiration Avenue challenge theme is 
So many people are passionate about pink, 
especially Cindy, the hostess of this week's challenge!

I've posted a photo partly because I've been busy working in
round robin journals lately and not a bit of it is pink.
And partly because I'm trying to keep up with a photo a day in August for
I'm doing so well...it's August 2nd and I haven't missed a day lol!

(I had fun playing with some garden photos for the first post.
There's also a recipe for some yummy dill pickles :)

More delectable pink at
Inspiration Avenue Link

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dill Pickles!

I'm ready to make my eighth jar of dill pickles.
The cucumber vines are reaching the end of their productivity.

These little cukes are the ideal size for pickles
if you don't let them grow into fat dirigibles lol.
Which I did. With a few. Some of them turned into
fat gourd shapes with a bulbous bottom.
No matter, they all go into the pickle jar and are just as tasty.

No matter how many pickles I make, they won't go to waste.
We seem to have a fondness for anything containing vinegar in this house.
Pickle anything, and we will eat it!

The one thing we don't agree on is sweet versus dill/sour.
Sweet is my favorite, but hubby won't touch a sweet pickle.

Yes, that's a grape leaf at the bottom of the jar.
I read that a grape leaf will help the cukes retain their crunch,
and since my backyard is home to at least 4 million grape leaves,
I went out and picked the finest ones I could.
The pickles are quite crunchy, and now I am afraid 
to leave out the grape leaf. So one (or two) go into every jar.
I figure it can't hurt :)

This is my entry for The August Break.
I love the idea of a photo a day in the month of August.
I hope I do better than I did in 29 Faces.
All I can do is try.
I'm sure most days I will post only a photo.

If you've never made pickles before and want to try it,
I think this recipe makes a pretty tasty pickle.
These are refrigerator pickles, which don't require
a complicated canning procedure. (At least it's 
complicated to me, because I've never canned anything
before, and don't have any of the equipment.)

These will keep for several months. Although I can't attest to that
without a doubt because they never last that long here!
All you need are good-size jars with tight lids.
Mason jars are great, but so are old pickle jars.
Just use the 'sanitize' option on your dishwasher if you have one,
and the jars are fine to use. Otherwise, make sure they are very clean.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Ingredients (per jar)

2/3 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1.5 tablespoons salt
(These do not turn out overly salty, but you can cut down the 
salt a bit to 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon sugar
(don't worry, this will not make your pickles sweet)

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

3 cloves garlic
(I slice each one in half)

8 sprigs fresh dill

1 grape leaf (optional)

3-4 pickling cucumbers
sliced lengthwise into quarters 

Bring the first six ingredients to a boil in a non-reactive pot. 
Remove from heat. I let it cool just slightly, 
but there's no need to cool completely.

Meanwhile, put the last 4 ingredients into a clean jar. 
I like to put the grape leaf, garlic, and dill in the bottom 
of the jar and then add the cucumbers. Tightly pack the cucumbers,
put as many as you can into the jar.

Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers (I use a 
small ladle to help prevent spilling). Make sure the brine 
completely covers the cukes. Tap the jar on the counter top 
to release air bubbles and add more liquid if necessary.

Cover jar with a napkin or clean towel and leave on counter top
until just about cool. Then screw on the lid and put in fridge.

Ready to eat in 24 hours. But, if you taste one within minutes,
it is already pickle-y! Don't do that though, they really need at least 12 hours!
Remember, these must be kept refrigerated, and will keep for 2-3 months.

Happy August! 
(Where has the summer gone?)