Sunday, July 29

A charmed journey . . .

Oh boy, what fun we had yesterday getting all dirty with Tim Holtz! My hands look I've been toying with engines instead of making wonderful art. The girls and I headed out before 6 yesterday morning toward Rubber Chicken Stamp Art in Gaithersburg, Maryland, for a day of classes with our favorite artist. We were so impressed with the first two classes we had signed up for that we begged to stay for the third. Tim and our gracious hosts at Rubber Stamp worked it out and we were in! How cool is that?

During the morning session -- Charmed Possessions -- we worked with dominoes, alcohol inks, mica, metal charms and found items to create these awesome little pieces that could be worn as jewelry or used in collage, or who knows what! (You can click on any of these images for a closer look. In fact, please do, since I wasn't able to limit my focus to any one thing.)

After lunch we turned our attention to Industrial, and made these little yummies from Bazzill chipboard, metallic dabbers, ink, fun bits-and-pieces of metal, electrical resistors and bulbs. The challenge in this session was to not use glue.These were the only projects I didn't complete in the allotted time, (or maybe I should say that this was the only class where I had left-over parts!) but the class was also pretty loose and open to interpretation.

Our evening class -- Road Trip -- was all about using found items, beads, and these cool little license plates (that we made from TH paper, acrylic tags and aged copper tape) to make charms to be strung on a themed necklace. Although the necklace was pretty well adorned by the time we finished it, he encouraged us to add our own found items to the piece as we discover them on our "journey."

One of the many cool things about Tim's classes is that he supplies all the tools you need to complete a project -- no basic kit in tow. We learned so many new techniques yesterday that my hands may look like a mechanic's for some time. Five hours of driving + ten hours of classes = fun, fun fun!

Friday, July 27

CKC Valley Forge

Lee and I went to CKC Valley Forge today. Oh my! Last year was our first time and we were overwhelmed when we walked through the door. After spending a full day, we were exhausted and well equipped with all of the newest and best in scrapbooking papers and embellishments.
This year we went in thinking that we were seasoned scrapbookers, had lots of paper and 'stuff' and probably wouldn't be buying all that much. Ha! I had to buy a shoulder bag to carry my booty before I got through even the first isle! I was practically dragging the bag by the time we got through the entire place. Oh wow! I think I now own every collection of the new Basic Grey, and let me tell you, it is something you want to own. Rusty Pickle also. I spent way more than I intended. But not quite this much. This was a check-out person's error. When this number came up, I said, "Does this mean I get my free book?" Even with the adjusted total, I earned my free book, by the way.

Tomorrow? A full day of Tim Holtz in Gaithersburg, Maryland! So excited! And such an early morning. More to report then!

Monday, July 23

Dog days of summer

“Apply dog logic to life: Eat well, be loved, get petted, sleep a lot, dream of a leash-free world."
Ahhh, such beautiful July days we are having here in the Northeast. Even the fur kids seem to know that something is really, really good about these cool days. So sorry to leave them (the days, not the dogs) behind us as we forge into the week.

Sad discovery in one of the pine trees in my yard. A lone egg. I suspect it was abandoned.

Thursday, July 19

And speaking of flying. . .

In the garden yesterday I saw what I thought was a little hummingbird. Very small -- maybe 1.5 inches long. It was flying around my impatiens, seeming to suck nectar from each flower. On closer inspection, I saw it wasn't a bird at all, but a bug, with legs and a fanned-out lobster-like tail. I'd never seen one before, so I looked it up, and it's a MOTH -- appropriately named a hummingbird clearwing moth. So, where have you been all of my life?

Monday, July 16


I am so into birds these days -- flying, new horizons, rising above -- and I made this card for my youngest son, who is presently struggling to rise above. The sentiment I included inside of the card came from Sadako Sasaki, and it reads: "I will write PEACE on your wings and you will FLY all over the world."
Okay, so it kinda sucks that the first readable definition in the background is the word "urine."
And I use this stamp {which I did on the back} by River City Rubber Works a LOT. Thanks Kristina!

Saturday, July 14

Feather your nest

I've been wanting to play with gel medium transfers and collage for some time, especially after haunting Claudia's blog! I absolutely love her work. It's so rich and complicated; in fact, I just purchased a couple of her little beauties from eBay. And then I read that Jill was playing with canvases too, and that was it. I don't know why I procrastinate about trying new things. Off to the store to buy all the ingredients to play -- canvases, gel medium, acrylic paint, etc., etc. Buying I'm good at --I rarely procrastinate about that! Oh, and some mat board to practice on, so I wouldn't wreck the canvas. Here's what I came up with. Liked it even on the mat board. Uh-oh. Look out. Collage artist unleashed.

Friday, July 13

Sneak Peak

Technology is a wonderful thing! Here is a first picture of Jordan and Kim's little bundle of joy at 12 weeks gestation. I think the little dumpling is waving.

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."

 ~Eda J. Le Shan

Sunday, July 8

Where were you at 7:07 (p.m.) on 7/7/07?

I was lucky enough to be planted on a large blanket in the middle of Antietam Battlefield with Jack, my father, Carolyn, my uncle, a bucket of chicken, and a lot of wine, listening to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and waiting for a fantastic fireworks display to begin.Patriotic spirit was all around.

A man's feet must be planted in his country, but his eyes should survey the world.
--George Santayana

Tuesday, July 3

Dog day Tuesday morning

Some days have two beginnings. I got up at 5:30 this morning at the insistence of my fur kids . . . fed them . . . let them out . . . went back to bed to read.

Apparently "reading" is an activity misunderstood by dogs . . . well, one dog anyway."Hey Mom, aren't you getting up?""HEY MOM, aren't you GETTING UP?""Mom, if you don't get up, I'm going to take your new issue of Somerset Studios.""Or . . .""Wait. . .""I'm going to steal the remote control!""GET UP!""Mom, I would NEVER be bad like Atticus, but do you think you might want to pet me?"I give.

Sunday, July 1

"Live in another realm. . .

". . . make sure there are birds."

So says Susan G. Wooldridge in her new book, Foolsgold.

I first learned of this book while reading Kari's blog. And then I found reference to it again on Jill's blog, and also on E.B.'s blog. It is a great book, it accompanied me on vacation, and I highly recommend it.

We shared our realm at Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, with deer.

And chipmunks.

Strange mushrooms with matching beetles.

And lots of family (Jordan and Kim in the canoe.)

Nieces and nephews in the tree.

And sisters gone wild. My sisters and me (in the middle).

"Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you being . . . how to live . . . "
— Eckhart Tolle

A good time was had by all.