Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mysterious Flowering Sucker Vine

I'm not very good at identifying plant life.  I know what a daisy looks like.  I know what a rose looks like.  And a few other things.  But not much else. 

I have this vine growing in a pot on my deck.  My mom gave me a clump of it a couple of years ago, and when I got home, I put it in the pot while I decided where its permanent home should be.  Needless to say, it never got transplanted.  She may have told me what it is called, but I don't remember.

Most of the time, I forget it's there, because it stays dormant most of the year.  With this summer's drought, I figured it had finally died a sad, neglected death.  Then we had some rain, and it leaped from its sleep and began its routine.

First, it extends it long, spindly vine - reaching and searching for anything to attach its little suckers to.  If it can't find something, it contorts itself backwards and attaches its new growth to itself.  Occasionally, it sets forth a little red flower, such a brilliant red that it's almost fluorescent.  The flowers only last a day, so I have to act fast if I want a picture.

And with all that fascination right on my deck, that's how this nature study came to be.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pretend You Know What You Are Doing

I've been practicing sketching my nature objects. 
They didn't look so great sketched in pencil.
They didn't look so great when I added watercolor.
But once I outlined them in black and scribbled a few notes, I could almost pretend I knew what I was doing!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Whoooooo Do You See?

I have been hunting and gathering in my yard.  I'm taking the online class "Ode to Nature" by the talented Alisa Burke.  Go see her post about the art of collecting here.

In my immediate surroundings, I have an abundance of sticks and weeds!  However, I do have a long list of nearby places to venture out to when I get the chance.

Meantime, these walnut shells make me laugh - don't they look like little owls peering at the camera?
 Feather collection:
 Off to collect more things....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Postal Book

What do you do when your postmaster retires?  Especially if she is a friend more than a postmaster, one who "gets" the crazy stuff you send and receive through the mail....

You make another postal book and wrap it like a package.

I am happy for her, but it's hard to break in a new postmaster....

Sunday, August 5, 2012


When August rolls around, it's time for Stampaway in Cincinnati, Ohio!  Hard to believe this is the 20th year. 

Gaye and I headed up to Ohio on Friday, where she taught two classes - everything went well, and it was great to see familiar faces again. 

Friday night is always a treat with the Preview Party - shopping, eating, visiting, and of course checking out what people wear for the costume contest.  The theme this year was Prom Night.  The first people we saw were Mary Jo McGraw and Elaine Madrid, decked out oh-so-fine in their prom attire (even though Elaine had a dead critter around her neck!) 

Later when we saw Mary Jo at the booth, she had added "Chaperone" to her dress.  Too funny!  I could have watched her demo all night - she was making amazing journal backgrounds with stamps, Micro Glaze, and pan pastels.  You can see what she's up to here.  And of course Elaine's booth (Carmen's Veranda) has always had the fun-nest stamps over the years.  You can find Carmen's Veranda here.
This lovely trio of Prom Queens were found at the Coffee Break booth.  Left to right, the most lovely Chris Meador, Kris of Coffee Break, and Bianca.
As usual, the Stampers Anonymous folks were dressed to the nines.  Ted was hilarious with his long hair and pink ruffled prom shirt, but those teeth!  These two had their "hillbilly" teeth and had the accent down pat. 
I always look forward to seeing what these ladies come up with.  Last year, they were four identical flower pots for the Flower Power theme.  They really outdid themselves this year, when they came as the prom limousine.  I cannot imagine the work that went into this!
And there they go.....
They eventually had to ditch the limo so they could shop.  We saw their limo "parked" in the hallway later, complete with orange traffic cones around it.  Honestly, no detail forgotten!

It was fun shopping old vendors and new.  Jenni Bowlin was there with all the great products she sells (journal cards, stamps, papers).  They also had a lot of vintage things, and I bought this L&N train record book.  Most of the pages were blank, but some had train maintenance records written on them. 
I got a couple of rolls of fun tape from Coffee Break, stamps from Stampers Anonymous, and some Dylusions stamps and stencils. 
After we shopped a little more Saturday, we hit the road south around mid day.  The World's Longest Yard Sale was the same weekend, and when we crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky, the first stop was Covington, where we know there are a lot of booths up and down Main Street.  Gaye is the yard sale professional.  Nothing will keep her from this event.  Not even 100 degree temperature!  Me, I'm a big wimp.  Hate that kind of heat and humidity.  But we only get this opportunity once a year, so we were not deterred.

We shopped one side of Main Street, then stopped to rest and cool off inside at Chez Nora, where we had a burger for a late lunch.  Outside, we finished up the other side of the street, where I bought several ink bottles.   
The trip was great overall as always.  Way more fun and exciting than my description here, but I am one tired traveler today and have a hard time being clever!  Happy August!!