Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TUESDAY TAKE-OUT #2: December, Winter, Fairies

I'm a little late with the Tuesday Take-Out today. On the plus side, though, it won't go away! Feel free to use these images for any project you like, but don't sell the images themselves. (No problem selling what you use them for.)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today I'm joining up with Vicki, over at Cherry Chick for ME Monday. It's a party for those of us who love Mary Engelbreit's art, and it's SO simple--just post a photo or two of something Mary Engelbreit, or inspired by her art.

My choice for today is the delightful cup and saucer set I got from my daughter, December.

Can you read what the cup says? It's "Won't you BEE my honey?"

And this is the shelf it will live on. Just as soon as I make a little room for it!

Really, that won't be hard. There's an old sugar jar that doesn't need to be there, and a little ceramic flask. They can go, and that will be that!

Stop over and see Vicki if you a fan of Mary. She has some GREAT jewelry!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Time again for Sunday Favorites, hosted by Chari, over at Happy To Design! To join in the party, click on the link in my left sidebar, which will take you to the easy-peasy instructions, or just click the link in the first sentence, which will take you to the latest installment. I've chosen another poem, this time from a blog post back in 2002:

My family & me, when I was 10 or 12.
Yes. That's a skunk, our darling Taboo.


The winter I was twelve
A squirrel,
I think it was a squirrel,
Got into the engine compartment
Of my grandfather's car.
It must have felt like Heaven,
An oily, black, warm
Bliss was short-lived.
My grandfather, all unawares,
My gentle grandpa,
Drove the car
Into town
And back.

It was the smell that informed us, finally,
Of tragedy.
The smell.
Four decades later I wonder:
Where was that tiny corpse
That grandpa could not extricate it?
We suffered for weeks,
Tearing full-tilt through snowscapes,
Windows down
Coats buttoned
Eyes streaming.

I do not care for dogs.
That winter I would happily have been one,
Head out the window,
Face forward,
Tongue flagging
Icy crisp

Friday, November 26, 2010


Seen any good fences lately? Post them in your blog, and the drop the link into Mr Linky below! I'd love to come see them! And please grab my button from the left sidebar and put it somewhere in your blog or blog post, to spread the word--the more the merrier, yes?

These two fences I spotted a couple of weeks ago, when I got lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Did I have my camera with me? Oh, nO0ooo, of course not! But I made a point of coming back, which would've been a Lot easier if I'd just written down an actual location. Wandering up and down and around streets looking for all the world like I'd completely lost my sense of direction and was trying to find Planet Earth by following the bread crumbs made a Whole lot more sense, lol. I did find them again, though, and didn't even run out of gas doing it.

The first time I saw this, the family was outside--Mom, Dad, and two little ones. I'm guessing we know who painted the fence, and I love the thought of the parental units allowing their children this spontaneous burst of colorful creativity:

This was part of another fence. What struck me was the way a wrought iron section seems to be sandwiched between the boards. (By the way, I used a filter on this one. Click on it to see what that did.)

And this last photo isn't of a fence at all, but i had to shoot it. From the driver's seat, while stopped for a traffic light. I just liked all the meandering curves and lines, which I accentuated with those fabulous filters:

Your turn! Show me your fences! (I have an show/sale all day today, but I'll be looking forward to evening, and the pictures from you!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TUESDAY TAKE-OUT #1 November & ThanksgivingI

From time to time I've posted backgrounds and photographs for people to copy and use. This marks the first of what I hope will be a long series of free clip art. These are royalty free images, so use as you will, but please don't sell them (except as pieces of the art you create, of course). I do plan on selling the entire collection at a later date, so for now, at least, that option remains mine alone.

Just right click and copy. This is a set of Autumn/Thanksgiving clipart.

Oh, I do just want to say that if you do take a helping of clipart, I'd love a comment saying so. Giving away things makes me smile--knowing there was actually a recipient makes me smile even more!

Monday, November 22, 2010


A while back I signed up for an Ornament Swap, over at Marsha's SassyMiniDolls. The idea was to create or buy an ornament to send to your partner, and when they were all exchanged, Marsha would post them on a virtual Christmas tree. Well, I love all things Christmas, and I adore Christmas tree ornaments, so I was in quicker than Kris Kringle!

Marsha will put the tree up on November 30th, but in the meantime, I wanted to show off the ornament I created. It's right there at the top of the page. You can't read the ribbon, but I hand-stamped it with "Christmas Joys winging their way from Oregon". My little bird will soon be singing on Lily's tree, over in England.

And now that I've shown off mine, why not look at some other bird ornaments, over in EtsyLand? I found these that delighted me:

Yellow Bird in His Soft Nest is by Moonsty and Floonsty

Pink Robin is by The NightJar

A lovely Upcycled Eco-friendly bird by From My Darling

And last this Tidings of Joy Bird, by Pink Buttercream

I love all the little birds I found! (And I have to say the last one reminded me of mine, only better!)

So now then, how about you? Do you love Christmas ornaments, too? Do you have favorites?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


It's time for a Sunday Favorite! You can join in on the fun, too. Chari, over at Happy To Design, is our hostess, and you can find her very simple rules by clicking on the button in my left sidebar. Got a favorite entry? Re-post it, and drop the link with Chari! I'm doing a bit of a montage here. The picture above is one my daughter Sarah did some years back, and I loved. I'd still like to see it as a t-shirt.... And then there's this entry, not a favorite for happy reasons, but because it's important. We need to protect our children, and this is an easy rule for them to follow with strangers.

From July of 2002, an entry detailing a conversation with my nanny charge, CJ: I was fixing little CJ's breakfast yesterday morning when he walked into the kitchen.

"Ani," he said, "Did you hear about that little girl who was only five years old and she was playing at her house with her friend and a man told them his puppy was crying and to come with him and help and maybe they could have it?"

"No, I didn't," I said, with a sinking feeling. "What happened?"

"One little girl was kinda smart and she stepped back a few steps," he said, "but the other little girl was kinda not so smart, and the man grabbed her, and he took her and he killed her. And now they found her body."

Jeez. Why? Why?! Why would someone do that? And why should a six-year-old ever have to know they did? But if he doesn't know, then he's in danger himself.

I was so saddened, it took me a minute to say much that was helpful, but I suddenly remembered a 60 Minutes segment on the subject.

"CJ," I asked, "What should you do if a grown-up you don't know asks you for help? Say, his dog is lost or sick? Or he can't find his daughter? What should you do?"

He thought. "Say 'no'," he said, and then, "Step back."

"No, CJ," I said. "RUN!! Run as fast as you can to your grown-up--to Mom, or Dad, or your teacher, or me. Run! Do you know why?"

"Yes. Actually,no." he said. (He and his sister are both so cute that way. They want so badly to be able to say they understand or know everything, but then they back off that yes answer. Every time.)

I answered my question for him. "Because grown-ups don't ask kids for help. Not kids they don't know. Never. When a grown-up needs help he asks another grown-up. They don't ask kids."

He was listening, paying close attention. "So, if a grown-up you don't know asks for help, what do you do?"

"Run," he said, "and go tell my mom or my teacher."

"How fast?" I said, and at his perplexed look, I answered the question for him again. "Very fast. Because grown-ups never ask kids for help. If they do, there's something wrong. Run and find your grown-up as fast as you can."

I repeated this to his older (almost 8) sister when I picked her up from her Reading Evaluation.

Please, people. If you have children, tell them this! Little kids want so badly to please, and they're trained to obey. They love to help, and learning when not to can save their lives. Let's not lose any more of our precious little ones. No more.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Seen any good fences lately? Post them in your blog, and the drop the link into Mr Linky below! I'd love to come see them! And please grab my button from the left sidebar and put it somewhere in your blog or blog post, to spread the word.

I did a quick U-turn when I saw these fences. Dusk kept them soft-focus, a few too much so to even show you, so I'll have to go back, but here's what I did get:

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Still playing with ATC's over at Swap-Bot.com, although right now it's all I can do to keep the obligation balls in the air, so play is WAY down on my list. But not non-existent!

The idea, with this ATC, was to create a collage from junk mail or magazine images. This is what I made:

Pretty simple, really, once I found the cat and orange images. Then it was just a matter of adding in the fish, and a pair of earrings from a catalog. But I was happy with the final effect.

Now, you aren't allowed to sell ATC's. They're for trading, which is why they're called Artist's Trading Cards, but people can and do sell ACEO's, which are pretty much the same thing, except they're called Art Cards, Editions and Originals. I wondered what Etsy would have, and found literally thousands! Here are three I loved with "cat" themes:

Dancing Cats, by 3Crows

Tortie Cat with Fish, by AlisonEKurek
Mr. Darcy, by TaraFly

Clicking on the ACEO images will take you to the shops where they can be purchased. Aren't they wonderful?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


It's time for another Sunday Favorite! Click on the button in my left sidebar to see how you can join the fun--it will take you to Chari's blog and the instructions.

This is from the summer of 2002:


You used cleaning the kitchen
to show me how angry you were,
chattering the silverware,
clattering the plates,
and toppling the cups
into their positions on the upright prongs
of the dishwasher.

You used the dishes to show me.
It worked.
You broke my favorite glass
we both wept.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Oh, I am SO late doing this! I actually found a couple of really great fences yesterday, over in the Hawthorne district, but (have I learned my lesson yet?) did not have my camera.

Then, instead of getting back there today, I took more time than expected to get art over to Trillium, checked in, and displayed in the store, and ended up snapping a couple of fences through my car's window whilst sitting at stoplights. Dusk was coming on, but there was still just enough light. Of course, once I "got the fences home", I had to play with those lovely Photoshop filters, too!

This last fence is from my cousin Darla! It was such a delight that she'd participate, even though she doesn't have a blog. I'd never even thought about that: You can send your fence photos to me if you don't have a blog, and I'll see your Friday Fence Posts get published here, so get your camera, and start clicking that shutter!

And now it's your turn! Create your Friday Fence Post for your blog, and put the permalink in Mr Linky down below. Also, please grab the button from the left sidebar, and put it somewhere on your blog page, so other people can join the fun. I promise to visit every fence and leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Time for a Tuesday Tute! I haven't turned this into a meme (yet!), but if you have a tutorial you'd like people to see, feel free to put a link to it in a comment. You'll get at least one visitor: ME!

From me, today:

There’s a chill in the air, but there’s fun on my hands! We’re talking darling fleece wrist warmers here, and a quick-as-a-wink gift to make. Here’s what you’ll need:

• A scrap of fleece, about 12” X 18”
• Buttons, bows, or other low-profile furbelows
• Thread

Begin by cutting two rectangles from the fleece, each 6” X 8”. Before you cut, check for stretch. You want to have stretch across the 8” side, which will wrap around your hand.

Fold each rectangle in half the long way, right sides together, using a ½” seam allowance. You should have two tubes now, each 3” X 6”.

Slip one of the tubes over your hand so that one edge of it just covers your knuckles, and the seam is at the outside edge of your hand. Feel for the bone at the base of your thumb, and for the first knuckle of that thumb, and draw a line between the one and the other.

Slip the wrist warmer off and flatten it so that the line you’ve drawn is right on the edge of the fold. Notice that the seam will NOT be on the other edge, but will be turned to the underside. This is important, because it allows for the thickness of your hand. After you’ve cut the thumbhole and put the warmer on, the seam will have magically moved to the edge of the warmer.

Cut a sliver of fabric out where you’ve drawn the line. Don’t worry about making the cut too narrow. You can always enlarge it if you need to.

Cool! Now you can decorate them! Use buttons, or little appliqu├ęs, or a bit of embroidery, near the knuckles, roughly centered.

When you know what you want to use, slip the warmers on, lay the adornments in place, and mark. Doing it that way is important, because I promise you, when you take the wrist warmer off and look at where the mark is, you’re going to think you’ve got it wrong! Centered will not look centered, but that’s an illusion.

Sew your trims on, and you’re done.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SUNDAY RERUN: Library Fine of $1642.25?!

It's time for a Sunday Favorite blog post! Click on the button over in my left sidebar to join the party over at Chari's, and post your own favorite!

A favorite photo of my cousin Angie

This is one of mine, from my other blog, posted on June 15, 2002.

Not long ago my Uncle Darrell was going through some stuff up at Grandma and Grandpa's old place, when what should he run across but a library book his niece, Angie, had checked out, oh, eighteen years ago, and never returned. It seemed like a perfect opportunity for a little fun.

Angie, at about the age she was when she checked out the infamous library book.

Darrell knew someone who worked at the school, and got her to give him some of the school's stationary. Then he wrote Angie a letter to the effect that the school had been going through old records and trying to put some of them to bed. Part of that organization effort was to get people with overdue books to ante up. Their records showed that she had checked out a book in 1984, and not returned it. The fine for that would be $1,642.25. Oh, and she'd need to buy the library a replacement, too, if she didn't still have the book.

In the meantime, Darrell enlisted the help of Angie's mom and sister. He gave them the book, and Angie's mom, my Aunt Charlotte, put it on her bookshelf. When Angie got the letter, she ran with it over to her mom's place (literally--they share a driveway) in a panic. Her sister, Cindy, was there.

Angie was panic-stricken all right, but she maintained that it had to be a mistake--she'd never even checked that book out! Cindy said, "I don't know, Ange. Seems like I saw that book just the other day..." and walked over to the bookcase, and "searched" through the titles. "Yeah! It's right here!"

Angie was totally freaked out. For exactly as long as it took Charlotte and Cindy to call Darrell so he could share in the laughter. At Angie's expense, of course. Thank goodness she's a good sport. Our entire family is still enjoying the joke.

Friday, November 5, 2010


It's Friday! Seen any good fences lately? This is the place to let us see it, and it's easy: Post your fence photo on your own website/blog, and then paste the URL to your post in Mr Linky, down below. And please grab my button, in the left sidebar and post it somewhere on the page so others can join the fun, too! (Highlight the photo, right click, and select Copy as HTML from the dropdown menu that appears. That will give you the code.) I promise to come by and see all your posts, and leave a comment!

The picture above shows only a part of a fence. I took it because I liked the rickrack effect of the curving brick edging the path. Ceili is clearly interested in a visit to that inviting door!

I really liked this aging, interwoven fence, and wish only that the several other photos I took had actually turned out. They're worth clicking on, to see full-size, I think.

And now it's your turn!

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