Friday, December 30, 2011

I dream of a place...

 Where everyone gets to sit on a throne...
 Where kids get to try on silly hats and goofy glasses...
 Where there are enough monkey pens for everyone...
And where everyone lives in tiny metal houses...

And that place is Lynn's Paradise Cafe (except for the part about the metal houses.)

The only thing better than Christmas is a post-Christmas get-together with friends.  Gaye and I had another lunch at Lynn's funky, funny restaurant, where our table this time was a vintage game table with a glass top, with a train track and scenery below our plates of food.  Said scenery included green plastic forks as trees.  A little shopping, a little gift-exchanging, and a lot of friend-time to end out the year.  The journal pages above are the end of that calendar-style journal.  Seems like Jan. 1, 2011 was just here a few weeks ago.

Gaye's metal work skills continue to amaze me.  The little house book fits in my hand.  Such detail!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas.   Be Nice.

(No, I don't know these girls.  It's from

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's not All about Christmas

If you are one of those people with a birthday sometime around Christmas, well, I hope you get some you-time in there somewhere during the holiday rush.

And especially if you are my favorite sister...
Happy Birthday!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sugar Coma

I blame the person who first gave me the recipe.  (Yes, CN, that would be you!)  It is sometimes called White Trash.  When people ask me for the recipe, I call it Holiday Mix, cause it sounds, um, classier.  Either way, it's addictive.  Most years, I make a bunch for gift-giving.  I usually end up with too much. What a shame... (heh heh heh)

In case you want to make some, here's the general recipe:
2 cups thin pretzel sticks
3 cups Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Cheerios cereal
12 ounce bag of M & M's *
Peanuts as desired (*or skip the plain M&M's and the peanuts and get peanut M&M's)
1.5 pound white chocolate (I use Kroger White Bark)

Mix all dry ingredients.  Melt white chocolate in microwave as directed on package.   Pour melted chocolate over dry mix and mix it all well.  Spread on wax paper to cool.  Store in sealed containers. 
So easy, even I can do it!  I usually use the whole package of white bark, then add a little more of each of the dry ingredients. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

He sees you when you're sleeping

He knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sakes!

If you can't be silly at Christmas, then when can you be silly? 
(I know, I know... it's a year round activity for me, but that's beside the point.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

That Geo Paper

I'm thinking that geo paper I made a few weeks ago looks really spiffy as gift wrap paper.
P.S. - Dear Santa, please please bring me some big sheets of Arches Text Wove for Christmas!  I need to make some bigger sheets of this paper.
P.P.S. - I've been good this year (take my word for it, no need to ask around...)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Digital Christmas

I love Christmas and I try not to lose sight of what it's all about.  Still... I saw this YouTube video last year and really got a chuckle out of it.  It is worth re-visiting again.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bookie Lookie

I have been smitten for a while with little vintage slider boxes that contain labels and other office supplies.  The best ones are the ones that look like little books.  I check eBay sometimes to see what's out there.  Bidding can go really high, really fast on the good stuff.  Some people even sell the boxes empty, but I like them with contents.
I decided to cover some matchboxes and see how that would look mixed in with my vintage boxes.  I gathered some papers for covers, but by the time I got ready to make covers, I didn't use any of those papers and used my good old stash of security envelopes instead.  I put a white sticker on what would be the foredge of the fake book.  One of my vintage boxes even has fake pages and dividers.

It turned out pretty good, but not the same as the vintage ones.  Plus the matchbox is smaller.  But at least I got it out of my system!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quick Fix

I have some loose ends I need to tie up so I can move on.  When I posted about making Geo Paper (from Jill Berry's instructions), I had one more sheet of paper left with the black sumi ink lines drawn on it.  I decided to stamp some of the sections with a number/letter collage stamp.  Then I decided to paint the sections with the Peerless watercolors I got last summer.
The Peerless colors are very nice and bright (I guess they have to be pretty concentrated to come in the form of a paper sheet.)  However, once I used one color, that page was wet.  Turning the pages back and forth to use other colors presented a problem. 
 In my head, I would have come up with some kind of clever palette design, but since I was impatient, this will do for now.  I cut squares from each color and put it on cardstock using double stick tape.  Then I clamped  the cardstock to cardboard for sturdiness. 
I'm sure there will be a very clever, more interesting solution coming in the future.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's a good day when...

You know it's going to be a good day when it involves a selection of pretty waxed linen sewing thread.
You know it's going to be a good day when your friend from Alaska comes for her yearly visit. [photo not availble]

You know it's going to be a good day when your friend lets you use her Vagabond machine.
[This is one of my favorite pictures of Gaye, taken at Stampaway in Cincinnati last August when she had just purchased the Vagabond machine.]

It's definitely a good day when you all get to play and make books, then have a fabulous lunch and play some more.  And then have peanut butter ice cream.  Too bad I did not take more pictures of some of these things, but I was too busy having fun!

Gaye has been busy designing new books, and the three of us used different embossing folders to make our cover designs. 

I copied Gaye, and put some green stamp pad ink on one of the clock parts to make it show up better.  When I got home, I decided to add more ink to the rest of the front and to the back.  Just a light amount to bring out the design. 

We had lots of fun... it was just one of those fun play days that we all need more of!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Don't Panic

Have you started your Christmas shopping?  (Or finished your Christmas shopping if you are an over achiever.)  Mailed your Christmas cards?  You have all the time in the world - or so it seems today.  Check with me in about 24 days and see if I say that!

Maybe you like to keep track of the countdown, read Santa's blog, follow Santa's tweets, and read some really silly elf jokes.

Just don't get too caught up in the frenzy.  Remember to take the time to enjoy the music, the lights on a still quiet night, relax with a steamy hot beverage with some baked goods, enjoy friends and family, and don't forget the real reason for the season.

Then you can be all la-dee-da.

(Pictures are from friend Gaye's house from my visit a few weeks ago.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Over the river and through the woods

On a map-making journey I go...  (You must sing that to the tune of whatever song that first part is from.)

As usual, I was not actively looking for something new to embark on, but it found me instead.  I recently got Jill Berry's new book, Personal Geographies.  For a long time, I've had this idea for making a book with maps in it.  I have saved maps from places I've been (art fairs, parks, campuses, etc.), with no particular purpose yet, just knowing I would need them some day.  Jill's book is different though, and it has my mind going in many directions.  I have actually been reading her book, not just looking at the pictures (as so many of us do!)  I like the way she makes maps of different events and places from a childhood memory, things like that.  They can be like a regular map, or in the shape of a hand or body or the sections of the head.

All these ideas will have to wait for now.  The idea file in my head is getting full.  For now, I played with making "geo paper" using the tutorial on Jill's blog here.

I will put more layers over this and play some more later..

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November Rolls Along

This time next week, it will be December.  How can that be? 
Remember my square-a-day journal for November?  It's rolling along.  I missed a couple of days and need to go play catch-up. 

I have learned a couple of things.  One, my day-to-day life is pretty mundane and boring.  Two, when I do have something to say, a one and a half inch square is not enough space.  For one day (Nov 19), I handled that by making a small pocket to go on that square on the calendar.  Then I inserted a piece of paper in the pocket, with more room to write.  Works for me.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving (in the U.S.)  I'm not a big turkey lover, so a couple of bites of the Thanksgiving turkey is enough for the whole year for me!  Now pumpkin pie, that's a whole 'nother story!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Internet Hypnotized Me

Does this happen to you?  All I remember is that I logged on to catch up on email and favorite blogs, read some postings from yahoo group digests I get... you know, the normal stuff.  One of the digest emails had a link to somewhere.  That had a link to a You Tube video that I clicked on.  That video didn't interest me, but the videos listed to the right had another one that looked interesting.  And the next thing I knew, I was off making a mini book.

It's been a while since I made a "meander book".  And I had never seen one from a sheet of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper.  But when you think about, that's a great size for a meander book.  I used a double sided sheet and had it whipped out in no time - scoring, cutting, and folding.

I have not embellished it yet, but maybe I'll use these cool vintage playing cards that Gaye gave me.  I think Girtie Giggle and Willie Whistle would like to live in this book.

I have to go catch up on email now.  Wish me luck as I once again try to enter that black hole.

P.S. - Instructional video on the meander book is here.  It makes a nice 3 x 3-inch book.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Off on a Tangent

Meanwhile, true to form, she was soon off in a totally different direction, and had to drop everything and make a book.

Yes, I suddenly found the need to make a book I saw in the recent publication Pages, put out by Cloth Paper Scissors.  (I also found out that even though I like the immediate gratification of downloading a publication, I still print out sections at a time because I have to have a print version in my hands.)

This is a fabric cover, using some scraps from previous play sessions.  Spine is ribbon and beads (three needle sewing technique).  Pages are bristol and scrapbook paper.  For now, the closure is a piece of fabric pinned on to hold it closed until I decide what to put there permanently.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ready for my close-up

I had to get away from the postal book and paint something.  I have been re-visiting some books and articles on texture projects, and I think this two-page spread probably has ideas from several places.  I know it started with gesso on the pages, with scribbling into the gesso before it dried.  Next came layers of paint, some circles, number stencils, more scribbling, and collage.  The postage stamp has a quote by Abraham Lincoln, and that's the quote I used on the page.  It was done quickly and I'm not that happy with my lettering, but this is a journal for play.  Emphasis on play, not perfection.

My favorite thing is to isolate sections of the pages for close-ups.  I love seeing the close-up detail on my computer screen, and I sometimes use these pictures for screensavers.  Of course, that close-up also magnifies imperfections that I don't want to see, but mostly it helps me remember (temporarily) that I did something I was fairly happy with.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Come Fly With Me

Meanwhile, back in the postal book... (surely you didn't think I had abandoned it?)....

In all my rummaging around in my old stuff, I found some old philatelic publications I had saved.  They used newsprint type paper, and one was an oversized publication.  I remembered immediately why I saved it, in spite of the fact that it was too big to store anywhere.  When I had mailed in a subscription renewal one year, I had used a Huck Finn postage stamp, then drew a long fishing line coming from his fishing pole, and stamped the image of a fish at the end.  They evidently did not get many decorated envelopes (plain as it was), and they published it.
I cut out the article and put it in my postal book. I also cut out the title from the cover page - which to most will look like I'm just documenting the publication. Only I know where the little cat-tooth holes are. Since it used to reside on the bottom shelf of the bookcase and since it stuck way out from the other books, the cat I used to have (known as The-Cat-Who-Chews-Paper) was always chomping on stuff like that. So it has its own personal memory for me.
I also came across an article I had saved from another publication. This article mentioned small airlines that were around in the 1920s to carry mail to obscure places in Canada and Alaska. It showed a postal cancel for Patricia Airways. Hey, that's my name! Back when the article came out, there was no Google. Yes, youngsters, there was a time when there was no Google. Hard to believe it has not always been around. So, off I went on a search, and I found some postage to print out and a rate card. Perfect for my book!

And, a few more pages in progress...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

If It's November...

If it's November, I must be in Tennessee.  Actually, I just got back from Tennessee. And you know how much I love seeing this stuff.
I know it doesn't look pretty in that picture, but a field of cotton really is a pretty thing to see. In the old days, they would put the cotton in trailers, and drive it to the cotton gin. A big suction thing was put in the trailer and it sucked out all that cotton. It eventually gets cleaned and separated from the cotton seed and debris.
As I've mentioned here before, now they leave big blocks of cotton in the field.

When cotton was picked by hand instead of machine, there never would have been this much cotton left over. But machines are faster you know. Maybe someday in the future, one of us will be wearing a cotton shirt that came from one of these blocks of cotton.

Around this particular field on a sunny November day, everything looked otherwise dead and abandoned.

But the sun was shining and there were birds flitting around in the dead tree stumps, singing their little hearts out.

Sometimes, if I'm not too antsy to get home, my return trip might include a detour to the lake area. This is taken atop Kentucky Dam. Bright sunny day, but bitter biting wind.

When I daydream about winning the lottery, my daydreams always include a lakefront cabin somewhere around here.