Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Miss Linda Lou from the Bday Queen

Sunday is my good friend Linda's birthday - let's hear it for miss linda lou! The birthday queen wishes lots of cake, ice cream and presents to you!

For Linda's birthday a group of us, led by the wonderful Miss Tina, decided to shower Linda with some ATC's.

Here's my ATC for Linda:

I decided LInda also needed a birthday card so here's what i sent her:
As you can see I don't think there can ever be enough birthday or enough crowns for said birthday. When it's your day - you are queen (or king as the case may be ) and you rule!
(all the alphabet stamps are Purple Onion Designs btw!)
I know i've been absent for the past few days. I did indeed finish Harry Potter - omigosh it was wonderful. I tried my best to drag it out but i finished it pretty quickly. And i've even gone back and read the last few chapters again - it was so good. (So good in fact i've gone back to the first book and have about 30 pages left to read on that. Re-reading them all might be just what i do - after reading the last one going back to re-read them kinda puts it all in perspective. I know some of you non-HP people think I'm crazy but guess what? i don't care!)
Ok. I keep forgetting. A few weeks back I rented a wonderful double DVD set - documentary I'd love to recommend to anyone who enjoys true murder mysteries. I don't know why I find them fascinating but I do. For example I loved the book Fatal Vision - and the mini-series they made from it - just amazing. Anyway the documentary is called The Staircase. Our Blockbuster had it so I'm sure yours will too. I'd originally seen some of it on a free Sundance weekend on TV. I was so excited to see it was available to rent - and i highly recommend it. My husband and daughter and I watched both DVD's over two nights. We really didn't want to stop watching but it got too late so we finished up the following night. Get it...
Tonight we rented Premonition with Sandra Bullock. I'd be interested in hearing what anyone else thought of this movie. It started out one way and ended up in a completely different place (and as far as I was concerned the movie lost its way).
alrighty - cyalata

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

EDM #94 - Draw a spoon (and i'll throw in a fork for free)

i was looking through that list of challenges while i was drinking coffee one night. I have a habit of leaving the spoon in my coffee cup/mug (don't ask me why - I just do). I started looking at the spoon and recalled buying this set of cutlery when i first moved into my own place many moons ago. In my single days - yes that's a long time ago.
I think i bought the set at the Monkey Wards (Montgomery Wards for those of you who don't remember it - here's a Wiki link - Montgomery Ward ). I certainly didn't have a lot of money back then and couldn't be too choosey about things like my everyday fork knives and spoons. Things like that don't wear out too easily, and me, being one who doesn't throw useful things away, i still have them. They're functional.

So i was looking at the spoon and thinking I should draw this spoon and then i thought i must be crazy because the decoration on it was a little intricate. Then i thought - well of course i'll draw this spoon. You see - for all the simple stuff (design/art wise) i find myself doing - i really love intricate pattern. It was a little challenge i couldn't resist. After i'd finished it using an HB pencil i thought it might be fun to give a fork a go - but this time no intricate pattern. I did the flip side of a fork thinking that might not be so hard. Using a pen and crosshatching - well, it was quite difficult. Harder than the pattern. GO FIG

Monday, July 23, 2007

EDM #7 - Draw a bottle from the kitchen

here's a drawing i did last week. Been doing a little this and that and didn't get a chance to post it or some of the others i've been doing. regardless, i did this in my sketchbook with a Micron 005. That is a mighty fine line (i'm not talkin about the quality of my drawing LOL - but how very fine that tip is) but it seem like a good choice. I'd been doing so much crosshatching and more of a rendering of objects lately - well i needed a break. So i went for more of a simple line drawing. I was thinking about which challenge to try next and was in the kitchen rooting around in the cabinets looking for something that would be interesting to draw. I love this bottle and had forgotten about it. It's one of those Good Season's (salad dressing) bottles - but it's probably some kind of collectors item. Its an oldie (but definitely a goodie). When my mom was preparing to move out of her house in New Jersey, tons of stuff was making its way into the pile for a garage sale. I had to rescue some things :-) Silly things like this bottle - that have memories attached to them - at least for me.

Anyway I'll be posting some more drawings this week. In between reading. As you recall the book (Harry Potter #7 of course!) arrived on Saturday. I gave it to my daughter on Saturday afternoon. She'd finished her school assigned summer book (actually she's got to read another but i wasn't going to be that mean and make her wait to read Harry until after that one too!) and set off to begin Harry. Saturday afternoon I was tormented by her squealing out loud a number of times! She read for about 4 hours and then had to go to the park for the play she's tech-ing for. She didn't get home til about 11:30 pm Saturday nite and I know she went to bed around 2 pm. She is a fast reader - and she had that book finished before noon on Sunday. Really. I thought she was still reading and when i returned from the grocery store Sunday morning she said oh yeah i finished the book and then she got this HUGE smile on her face. and she squealed again. I told her to stop it. She's a cutie that one. Off I go... things to do.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'm a Rockin Girl Blogger and He's INDAHOUSE!

yes I am - my sweet friend June told me so. She nominated me for this wonderful little award at her wonderful blog Simply Elegant Paper Crafts and i cannot tell you how tickled i am. Looky at this cool icon i get to put on my side bar

It took me a little while to find the source of the Rockin Girl Blogger - but if you're interested check it out - Roberta Ferguson Now I get to nominate 5 of my favorite girl bloggers. Fortunately for me, June already nominated the fabulous Jean (of Snap out of it Jean There's Beading to be done! - once you start reading that blog you'll find it is impossible to not smile or laugh out loud) so that leaves me still with five choices. so here are my five (i know so many more but i only have the five):

  1. Donna at Under the Red Roof

  2. Barbara at Smith411

  3. Sue at Wandering Star

  4. Michelle at So Listen Up!

  5. Joan at Drawing on Nature
All you ladies can now nominate 5 Rockin Blogger Girls whose blogs you love to read

oKAy - now onto other big news - he's indahouse

My husband came up the stairs and handed this to me and we both smiled - REAL BIG! The final Harry Potter book - arrived just as Amazon promised. My daughter and I decided we wouldn't be going to the Borders to pick up our copy of Harry this year. We read an article in the Washington Post a few weeks back. The article said it had become some people's idea of fun to go past book stores upon the release of the newest book and shout theeee most important revelation in the book at the folks waiting in line to purchase the book. We figured we weren't takin any chances! We love these books. We're both hoping things work out the way we want them to. We both have our theories as to the outcome of Harry and friends. Anyway, the book arrived and Eliz and I just had a little ceremony of sorts - opening the box etc. She gets the first crack at the book. She's finished reading her assigned book for the summer (As the Future Catches You: How Genomics and Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth

that sounds like fun doesn't it - well i told her she had to get on that this week or I was getting first crack this year! She didn't let me down LOL!) so now she's got it and she never reveals anything until I've finished reading. Right now I'm re-reading HP and the Half Blood Prince to refresh myself of all things Harry so i'll be prepared! Okay i really gotta move on for the day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

And now for something completely different

I am constantly reminded that having kids brings me to places i have never been before. Figuratively and literally.
The other day my daughter asked if I'd mind if she helped out with a local theater company. (translation for those of you without teenagers - or teenagers who do not have their license yet: can you chauffeur me everyday?)
Her good friend from school is in a Shakespeare production. They've been in a number of productions at school together - either on stage or behind the scenes. He knew she might be interested in helping out. I said sure and to get me the particulars. Turns out the play is being staged at an outdoor theater in a local historical park right here in the 'berg. (Everything around here is historical - heck - it's Virginia.) I'd heard of this park but have never been to it. And i'd always wanted to take a look. It's really surprising that I hadn't been there before - I used to do a lot of Girl Scouting things and I think i've been to just about every other site to see in the 'berg. Anyway this place is absolutely gorgeous. I brought my camera back yesterday when I dropped her off because the place is just so beautiful i needed to get some pictures. I didn't get as many as I'd liked. As I was on my way out of the grounds someone came up behind me and as there is only one road in and out - i had to move it. But here are a few photos i thought you might enjoy seeing:

this one is on the way into Morven Park. It's not the best (daughter was getting a little impatient with me and didnt want to be late LOL)

this next one is just past a parking area - cool gates huh?

then you drive past that brick wall for a short while and you come to this large clearing and see this

i cannot convey how large this mansion is - but if you look closely - or click on the photo for a better look you'll see a crane - some kind of construction vehicle. That might give an idea how big this place is - immense. i drove a little farther on and took another pic

after you pass the mansion there is a road that takes you along to some other houses and structures on the property that house other museums (for hounds and hunting and also one on carriages). It was a good place for me to turn around (there was also a sign that told me i'd better as there is a private home out there as well... i have no idea whose that is)

on my return back past the mansion i took this photo -

this clearing is opposite the mansion - on the other side of the road i was driving on.

Cozy little place huh?

One more picture - totally magical - they have gardens (with a greenhouse) where i believe the actual production is taking place. Just past the mansion, before you reach the parking area i saw this (hadn't seen in on the way in)

Gorgeous huh?
It is really something else - and all on the other side of my town. Amazing what treasures are just around the corner. The flip side of this beauty - when you go out there at night - it is totally spooky. There are NO lights. I take that back - i saw one small light in one of the administrative buildings but it was the sizze of the postage stamps in comparison to the entire place. When i was driving down the road to get to the parking lot the other night I had the feeling i was in The Blair Witch Project or something (that place isn't too far away either - in Maryland - maybe a half hour from here where they did all the filming). It was pitch black. The kids are all using flashlights. I'm worried one of them is gonna break a leg or something (what a mom i am huh?) There has been a lot of cloud cover lately so when i saw pitch black - i mean you could barely see in front of your face. The light from town was on the other side of the park so it didn't help much.
Well i need to do something productive today - and since i just heard the washer stop - i guess that means a few more loads of laundry at least! see ya lata

Monday, July 16, 2007


That word - CRABULOUS - was coined by my daughter a few years back. I did a scrapbook page about it. (i know i have a picture of that layout but i can't find it!) We'd gone out to her favorite restaurant for her birthday dinner. She dined on crab legs - her favorite thing. That night before she went to bed i asked her - so how was your birthday? to which she replied - CRABULOUS! The kid's a corker, i tell ya.

The word came to mind while i was working on this card. Not that the card is especially fabulous or crabulous but the stamp set sure is - and so is my friend June - who gave me the stamp set. Well actually June would be FABULOUS (anything with the word crab would never describe June - she's got one of the most sunny personalities ever! Yes, June - you do!) Let me back up and explain. Last Friday I had a date to meet up with my good friends, Mary and June. I've mentioned before we get together and make things (and do a lot of talkin!). Not long after Mary and I arrived at June's, June told me she had a surprise for me. I was going to have an early birthday! (i told her i ain't getting one year older one second earlier than i gotta..... ). Then she presented me with a cute little gift bag. Of course there was an adorable card made by June which you can see here and inside the bag was the Crab & Company stamp set I'd wanted so badly. She and Mary were quite the clever ones - keeping this gift a secret from me - knowing I'd wanted to order it but was holding off. Then not realizing it was being retired - I was quite upset at myself for stalling. My craziness over this silly little set of stamps drove me to even email StampinUp! to ask them to kindly reinstate the set for the Spring/Summer catalog (Which btw - June & Mary - they actually replied and told me just what you said Mary - it will be in the next catalog! But now i don't need it - i have it!) I know - what's all the fuss over a stamp set? Well its just the cutest darn thing and that crab - THAT CRAB - he's just adorable. I laugh literally out load when i look at him. And although it doesn't look like something i normally would use - look over my stuff - it isn't - i was obsessed with that stamp set. And I am fortunate to have a sweetheart of a friend who heard me say it quite a while ago - and ordered it for me - and then surprised me with the set for an early birthday gift. I know i'm a lucky girl to have a friend like June.
Not to mention a sweet friend like Mary - also a gem. BAck to Friday - we were joined by another sweetie - Holly. Great addition Holly was to our little girl fun fest! I'll hav to post some of our little creations tomorrow.
A quick note on my card here - it looks a hundred times better in real life. I don't for the life of me understand why the sand area at the bottom of the card scanned up white.... the whole bottome section of the card is a sandy color. Whatever! ok - gotta run!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

breakfast with Harry

well practically.
we (husband and daughter) wanted to see Harry Potter this weekend. We never go to the opening - we are not fans of crowded theaters. Originally we thought it might be fun to go to the Air & Space Museum out by Dulles to see the movie.
(if you're not familiar - the main Air & Space is in Washington, DC - the National Mall Museum - is about an hour from here. This is the one everyone knows -however, a few years ago they opened another out by Dulles Airport called the Udvar-Hazy Center to house all the stuff they can't display on the mall - obviously all those planes and space shuttles take up a lot of room and there is room to spare out here in Northern Virginia).
Anywho - i went to the website for Udvar-Hazy - saw the info on the IMAX theater there and decided to check out the times for the movie. Then on a whim i decided to visit the Fandango website to see where else it was playing. I was surprised it was going to be showing in our little theater in town called The Tally Ho . When we first moved here 10 years ago we saw a number of movies at this little theater, then it closed. It reopened it 2002 much to our delight. It's tiny but it's practically around the corner. And it only shows 2 movies at a time. In this age of multiplexes showing 20 features at a time its a little bit of yesteryear. Just wonderful. And the really great thing is that the first movie time was 11:30am. Perfect.
So not exactly breakfast with Harry - maybe brunch says it better. We drove downtown (total of 10 minutes - parked in the town lot - its free on Saturday!) - and walked to the theater. We sat down in the Duval Theater (that's for Robert Duval -yes that Robert Duval. He lives not far away in The Plains, VA I believe. We see him often in the newspaper - doing lots of fundraisers and such for the local hospital for example) and the movie began. We loved it. We are HUGE Harry Potter fans - and this one didn't disappoint (only thing i wish is that they could be even longer! I believe this book was the longest so i wished they could've included all the details. The first half hour was a compression of about 200 pages in the book!) All in all we were quite happy. If you plan on seeing it you won't be disappointed.
A few more ATC's i made for a few friends using my Purple Onion Designs stamps:

Friday, July 13, 2007

M&M's, potato chips, pepperoni pizza and the big guy upstairs

we ordered pizza as is our custom on Friday nite - i cook enough the rest of the week - Friday is my night off. I picked it up, brought it home and set it in the oven to get it all warmed up. While i was waiting i rememberd my son (who happens to work at the pizza place ) told me the other day to check the label on the pizza box next time we ordered. I was pleased to know that the management is pretty major - nice to know my pizza experience is not too small a concern for the big guy.
(ok.... his name is christopher but the whole thing won't fit. my son assures me no matter your affiliation - they got all bases covered. There are also managers named Jesus and Mohammed.)
ok that was fun :-)
some cards i've made recently:

i know they're entirely different. i'm kinda all over the map lately. The enjoy card was more for fun and the 'thinking of you' was for a very dear old friend who i know was having a tough time today.
Okay - i've also promised to post some ATC's i've made recently. some of you have seen these over at 2peas but for the benefit of some friends who don't go there -here we go:

I made the POD girl atc (by the way isn't she a cutie pie? she and her mom can be found at So Listen Up! ) and that got the ball rolling. I thought i'm going to make some more ATC's using my favorite rubber stamps - from Purple Onion Designs. I actually made a few more (ATC's are sorta like potato chips - well for some people its potato chips - me - its M&M's. once you have one you can't stop. you get the idea. Insert your favorite junk food you can't stop eating, k?) but I think i'll save those for tomorrow or the next day. have a good nite all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

EDM#30 - draw a chair or anything else you feel like

i was a little antsy the other night while watching television. (More often then not i take up my sketchbook and pen/pencil and start doodling or drawing while 'watching'.) The television is in the family room in which there are three places to sit - the couch, a love seat and this - which is slightly smaller than a loveseat - so i guess you can call it a chair. So here's my chair. It's a rather soft cushy chair - that little item at the corner of the pillow is one of my cats toys. That toy finds itself all about the house - usually wherever i am (i think they believe its like a dead mouse - they present it to me quite often as a gift - you cat owners will know what i'm talking about). Anyway I think the drawing looks better IRL - holding my sketchbook at arms length. however you can't exactly hold your computer screen away at arms length now can you (unless you've got a laptop i spose)
I should mention that i wasn't sure i was done with this - i kept on holding it away - looking - adding more - then finally decided i better stop.
Oh yes - before i forget i wanted to say thank you for all the kind words on my previous post. it means a lot - the positive feedback is so very encouraging and i appreciate your taking the time to say it.
ok.. hoping to post some of the ATC's and cards i've made recently later today or tomorrow. have a good one.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

EDM#1 - Draw a shoe

well in this case a flip flop
(when i was a kid we called them thongs but that's another discussion entirely now isn't it)
i decided i'd give this one a whirl as my flip flops were right there - just waiting for something to do. I also decided i would like to give crosshatching a go - it is one of those techniques i admire so much but have yet to master. I've been admiring (no, actually i've been staring at with drool coming out of my mouth - remember tracy to shut your mouth) the drawings of andrea joseph for a while now. She does such lovely pen work - the cross hatching is something else! dareisay it... yes, awesome (i hate that word when its not used properly but in this case it is theee only word).

so i set out to give the cross hatching a try. i think my problem is i get antsy - trying to finish and then i get sloppy. Regardless i enjoyed the attempt. its not my best - but that's ok. gives me plenty to shoot for. And i thought i'm gonna be brave and show stuff i'm not absolutely thrilled with - i have to get over my shyness when it comes to showing my stuff, right? (if you all knew how i agonize every time i put something i have done on here... you'd laugh.)
oh yeah. the drawing is in my sketchbook. i used a Sakura Micron 01 pen.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

illustration friday - twist

Yes i am doing a collage for Illustration Friday this time.
I've been on a little ATC jag for the past few days. They're fun to do.
I needed to make a few ATC's and was looking for some images online. I stumbled upon this image of a woman knitting and she looked just a little scarey to me - in that wrapped-too-tight kinda way if you know what i mean.
Anyway I have a most wonderful friend Annie who just happens to be on a knitting binge of late. She's a knitting machine! Fortunately for me, Annie has many wonderful traits which include a fabulous sense of humor. I am sure she will be amused by this little tribute to her.
oh if you're having trouble reading it, it says:
"While her knitting was perfectly straight, Annie, herself, was a little twisted."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

cos its been a few days

i've been enjoying my quiet whilst the family is doing beach. And i've been accomplishing a few things... mostly Suzy things. But a few other things as well. I can't show them yet but i will soon. Let's say i'm having a good old time making ATC's (artist trading cards - similar to the ones i've posted previously except these ones aren't heritage.) Anyway it's been very quiet. I did have my Mom over for a few hours on Sunday but other than that its been quiet. No one around to distract me - well except my cats. My one cat, Frankie is our krazy kittie. He will show up at breakfast time and hover closeby hoping to get to lick my cereal bowl. Then he'll go off for a few hours and I won't see him until he's decided it's time for a snack. He loves Pounce. Then he's off again sometimes not even bothering to come around at dinnertime. He knows Holly will make sure dinner is waiting for him. How does she do this you ask? Well she'll go to the pantry door and meow. If i'm not in the kitchen area she will find me and meow. Obviously she doesn't wear a watch but her time keeping skills are impeccable. She knows when its dinner time. If standing and meowing by the pantry door fails - she then goes to her food dish and meows then takes a bite - as if to say - hey this bowl is almost empty - time to fill it up! If that doesn't work she'll return to the pantry. And wait. If i'm really preoccupied (ususally i'm making food for everyone else about that time) Holly will become a total pest doing a combination of all the above. The meowing gets a yelling quality to it. She is quite a character. Isn't she adorable? She is, as Eloise would say, my mostly companion. And I just love her to pieces.
Oh - while everyone was gone I rented myself a movie - Vera Drake. (yes Barbara i got it) It is an amazing movie - and if you visit the website and listen to the interview with the director you find out that there was no script for the movie - they make it up as they go along - which makes it even more incredible. Yes it is political but it is extremely thought provoking and worth watching - although not for children. ok... i'm off to run some errands. Everyone is coming back today.