Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hemingway Cats for DeeDee

These pics are for our fellow cat lover, DeeDee and her honey, Steve! The kitties are still doing well at 'our' house in Key WEst! They are cuter than ever and we even saw them all over the island. Just Jack and the Goof seemed to know ....they were not happy with us when we got home.

Chris and Kristen even checked into an adoption program and you have to go through the Key West Animal Rescue place to get one of the polydactyl (multi-toed) cats.

Am so excited about all of us old folks having a reunion at our new place for New Year's Eve....!

Check out my Slide Show!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sunset at Mallory Square

We've been to Key West many, many times and the sunsets at Mallory Square never cease to entertain and awe me. There are vendors and street performers and a portable bar run by a Cuban man who made the best mojitos I've ever had in my life! Two of our favorite acts were the tight rope walker and the unicycle guy who juggled fire sticks. The latter kept up a light hearted banter with the crowd and the former kept us in suspense as he would teeter and almost fall often.

The highlight of any visit to Key West has the be the actual sun set itself. The drama is intensified by drifting clouds, sailboats crossing in front of each other and the oohs and aahs of the crowd at the constantly changing vista as the sun sinks lower and lower into the horizon. Most visitors toast as the last rays vanish and other applaud Mother Nature's gaudy goodnight.

The food we had was all awesome but the Key Lime pie on a stick had to be my all time favorite!

Today we are off with our friends to the villages of Matlache and Bokeelia on Pine Island...Matlache is an artists' colony with lots of fun, kitchy galleries and Bokeelia is home to an 'old Florida' restaurant that serves the best crunchy grouper! Kayaking was a blast yesterday and Jerry and I did about 6 miles~

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What a great weekend....

Friday around one I headed across the Everglades bound for the Stamping Memories store ( Thanks to Map Quest I managed to make the trip with nary a wrong turn! Josie's shop is a wonderful place, filled with the coolest stamps (both acrylic and rubber), inks, alterable items, great papers, rub-ons and stickers. It inspires one to scrap, to create! And I love the pink walls! She carries some of the latest and greatest and had just received a big shipment of goodies when I arrived. My Smoochie Girl, Reggie, arrived around 5 with her fun daughter and next came Lauri and her wonderful mom, Loretta. MOre of Josie's regulars and another Hilltop gal, Cathy, filled the crop. I did a make n take and we had such fun cropping until midnight.

Lauri had kindly offered to put me up for the night and she, her mom and I sat out on her lovely patio talking until around one-thirty. These are two very special women! Many thanks to you both for making me feel so at home and part of the family!

Sat. morning brought the Tower Class and we painted, papered and added tons of goodies to the front of the little drawers. We used Diamond Glaze to the flowers cut from one sheet of the paper to add dimension and to make the flower petals curl on the top of the tower.

We grabbed a quick lunch at the deli next door and back we went for the Coaster Class. Lo and behold! There was my old friend Susan from the old CK days who had heard I was teaching on 'her' coast and came to take my class. She is moving soon to Mass. Safe travels my friend!

I made it home in under two hours. At one point I looked down at my speedometer and, in the slow lane, mind you, I was doing 92...and that was keeping up with the traffic in my lane. Needless to say, I slowed myself down a bit.

As much fun as I had seeing old friends, meeting new ones and doing what I so love to do, teaching scrap booking to wonderful gals, as Dorothy so aptly put it, "There's no place like home"!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Top of the Morning Faithful Readers

I am off to Stamping Memories today after a short side trip to wish my sister HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANET....MANY MORE AND LOVE YOU! This is going to be a fun adventure across Alligator Alley and turning a bit south to Cooper City. Tonight is the crop and I'll be doing a make n take and hanging out with Lauri and Cathy (Hilltop Memories gals) and my Smoochie Girl, Reggie! I have not seen Reggie in eons and have hugs for her from Barb. The three of us have had some adventures together at a couple of Florida conventions. I first met Reggie at Beach Blast about 3 years ago when I was doing some work for Kim Hodges (

Tomorrow I teach two classes and then head home to my honey! Many thanks to Lauri for letting me spend the night so I don't have to hotel it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hall of Fame has been posted....

at various sb sites. The long wait is over for those brave enough to enter this Contest of All Contests. Rumor has it that there were only 500 entries this year which is unreal considering the numbers in years past which often exceeded the thousands. The criteria for the 'golden globe' of scrap booking was really tough. I actually 'know' two of the winners: Linda Harrison is one of the DT at Ruban Rouge and an amazing designer. Kip and I are on the Scrapbooks N Stickers DT with Linda too, which is a real honor! I've seen her work on display at the store and on-line and she really deserved and earned this honor. The second gal is Tracy Odachowski who is on a ton of DTs (my fave being the Hambly team) and who is very active at one of my 3 favorite sb sites, Scrap Village. Tracy, or Mama Odie, as she is known at SV is not only talented but a genuinely nice person. My hat is off to these two women! Bravo! (I'd take my hat off to the others but I don't know them, or don't think I do).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Time to.....

I have 5 of these kits left and will sell them for 15.00 plus shipping. What you get....the canvas, the paints plus a brush for each color, packages of the rick rack trim, pkgs of the rub ons, the flowers and buttons, the acrylic frame for the changeable photos, sand paper, directions, and the clock kit with working parts and numbers and a complete pkg. of the chipboard letters. The kit offers two directions (one for vertical and one for horizontal). If interested, please e-mail me at Thanks! I will leave this up through tomorrow.

MY Work Room (mine all mine!)

How funny that the only pics I forgot to take of our 'new' house-to-be were of my workroom. I know that many gals do not have a designated area or room in which to scrap and I also know how lucky I am to have the one I do have now BUT....the room here in this house is 10x12 at the most and, in this room, I have two of the Target craft towers, one of the smaller drawer sets, a computer armoire, a futon, a book case that holds my on-gong kits and projects and a work table. When extra company comes, the whole thing shuts down and out comes the futon (it has a real mattress on it and is solid wood so not very small if you get my drift). This room houses my computer, 3 printers, 2 scanners and my Wishblade along with my sizzix and two towers of dies. I have taken over the hall closet and had a closet guy work with me on the one in the small room. Cramped is not the adequate word to describe my current workroom.

All that is about to change as you can see by the pics. We are looking to replace the futon with a Murphy bed along a short wall in my new workroom. I'll get the closet guy out again to help me redo the closet and have him help me with a counter and drawers or at least give me some ideas. I love the shuttered windows, the double French doors that open out to the entry way, the niche above the closet for my altered projects (they now reside in boxes in the garage) and the sheer spaciousness of this light and airy room. A room of my own....I can hardly wait!

I leave Friday to lead a crop and teach at Stamping Memories in Cooper City and, thanks to Lauri, I don't have to spend the night in a hotel but rather with one of the fun Hilltop Memories gals. I will also get to meet Josie, the owner, with whom I have been e-mailing for the last six weeks and get to see my Smoochie Girl, Reggie after far too long a period of time. I've missed you darlin'.

I am also looking forward to our mini vacation with the kids in Key West. My son-in-law has never been so this will be such fun watching his reaction to the Conch Republic! Our balcony is said to overlook Mallory Square and I love sunset and all the festivities there. Yes, DeeDee, I'll see if the cat man is still there with all his trained felines and will get pics for you if he is!

Off to work on kits and classes. Have a great day all!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Supper at Pincher's Crab Shack

We met our St. Louis friends last night for supper at Pincher's. There are three or four of these restaurants scattered through out Lee County but we had never been to the one of the Caloosahatchee River in Cape Coral. It was a beautiful night and the food was rich, plentiful and tasty. The frozen margaritas were tart and fun served in little glass mugs. After dinner, which we ate on an open air dining area, people gathered on the dock to watch the sun set. Dolphin were putting on quite a show as two or three were rounding up fish for their supper. The lights on the bridge across the river to downtown Ft. Myers (now called the "River District") twinkled in the velvety night.

Good friends, good food and a good night! What more could we ask?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Busy, busy busy!

In addition to getting the April kit together for Hang Ten Paper Arts and preparing the kits for the two classes at Stamping Memories in Cooper City, Florida, we are now making another trip up to Tarpon Springs to be at our new house for the inspection on Tuesday. We'll probably go up Monday night if our house sitter can watch the cats. We'll come back on Tues. as E has to work on Wed.

I spent the afternoon with our friend from St. Louis and we are joining several others for dinner tonight at a restaurant down on the river. We went out to Captiva Island, took a nice walk to the beach and had lunch at Key Lime Bistro (pics tomorrow). While the service left a lot to be desired (it was one hour from the time we were seated until our meal came), the live music was great and weather was perfect for a meal out of doors...the food was great too. I had a grilled grouper sandwich with key lime aoili! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Off for a nap so we can head out around 6 for our supper date. Hope you all are having as wonderful of a day as we are!!!

Busy, busy busy!

In addition to getting the April kit together for Hang Ten Paper Arts and preparing the kits for the two classes at Stamping Memories in Cooper City, Florida, we are now making another trip up to Tarpon Springs to be at our new house for the inspection on Tuesday. We'll probably go up Monday night if our house sitter can watch the cats. We'll come back on Tues. as E has to work on Wed.

I spent the afternoon with our friend from St. Louis and we are joining several others for dinner tonight at a restaurant down on the river. We went out to Captiva Island, took a nice walk to the beach and had lunch at Key Lime Bistro (pics tomorrow). While the service left a lot to be desired (it was one hour from the time we were seated until our meal came), the live music was great and weather was perfect for a meal out of doors...the food was great too. I had a grilled grouper sandwich with key lime aoili! Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Off for a nap so we can head out around 6 for our supper date. Hope you all are having as wonderful of a day as we are!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

A few pics of our new home....

We wrote a bid and the owners (very nice people, btw) accepted it within the hour. The house is in a small subdivision and our (I love writing that) home backs up to a preserve. There is 40 or 50 feet of yard behind the pool and it is semi paved. We are thinking this would be the perfect place for a fire pit and some comfy our door chairs.

The master bedroom has a door opening out to the pool and a wonderful window that opens the room to the preserve. The shower is a double header (thinking water, shower with a friend? lol) with double sinks and a garden tub. There is a formal dining area, an amazing kitchen, to quote E with an eating area (we will be planting foliage out side this window that looks into our neighbors, nice people though they may be!)

We are about 5 minutes from historic downtown Tarpon Springs and the Anclote River with the Greek area and the sponge docks. Think of my bike rides and the pictures out there just waiting to be taken!

Scroll down for more pics....color me a happy camper!

Batch #2 of OUR HOUSE pics

and what I don't have pics of are my workroom (up front of the house, has French doors to the entry way and plantation shutters across the room wide arched windows) and the guest room (very nice sized). The bath between the two rooms has wall paper which needs to come down and the kitchen has a border of red peppers which will also be taken off.

We are writing a contract in about an hour

We visited the 'dream house' one more time, arranging our furnature in our minds and trying to figure out what would go where and how to buffer the noise from the street, we came across a neighbor out walking. We asked why so many houses on that side of the street were for sale and he told us that the road behind was being widened to another 4 lanes from the two existing ones with in a year to 18 mo. EEEKKKK! If we could hear the cars whizzing by now, what would it be like with 6 lanes?

We continued the search, not giving up the 'dream house' right off hand until....

We walked into the one on which we are placing a bid within the next hour. The papers are being drawn up right now and our realtor should be back here to the kids soon. Hopefully, the bid will be accepted by the time we get back to Ft. Myers and we can begin the packing in earnest!

Cross your fingers for us, faithful readers and friends! I'll put up pics when I get home.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lessons learned the hard way....

After six years of being active on one message board or another and having committed my fair share of mistakes, I have come to know this

1. Flooding the gallery is inconsiderate to others who would like their work shown as much as you would like yours. It bumps others off and some very lovely layouts go unseen as many viewers do not go beyond the first page of a gallery. Flooding the gallery (posting far more than a couple of layouts at one time)is considered by many to be showing off.

2. Post unto others as you would have others post unto you(r layouts). I have learned that a standard rule of thumb is to post 3-5 comments to others' layouts for every layout of your own that you post. It is just nice, you know?

3. Every mb has its cliques and some mbs are more inviting than others. Pick the ones that are open, welcoming and warm and stick with them. I am a small town gal by upbringing and find it easier to play on a smaller mb than a large one where I feel lost in the crowd. Find one that fits you!

4. Celebrate the joys and accomplishments of others! It is more fun to do the Happy Dance with others than it is to dance alone.

5. Ask how someone did something...if it is a technique on a layout or an avatar or a blinkie or anything that they know more about than you do. Not only do you learn something but everyone is good at something and we all love to help others. Allow others to contribute to you!

Feel free to add to this list in a reply...I'd love to get more tips. Thanks.

So, this old gal is off to find a house before E and I end up living out of our mini van with our two wild boys, Fat Jack the Cat and Goof. Wish us luck for all our

A step up or a passing fad?

Being an avid paper collector, I am always on the hunt for the new and the unusual with which to create my layouts. I like to keep current so the Hang Ten kits are always classic but fresh.

I have noticed that several paper companies are using either slick papers on which to print their designs or having parts of the patterns printed with a slick surface. Altered and mixed media artists have long been enhancing their projects with various applications to achieve a gloss shine. What is fairly standard for these artists now appears as new in the scrapbook paper industry.

A friend of mine from The Little Scrap Box reminded me that there was a paper company that attempted a shiny paper edition a bit of time ago that bombed with scrappers. I'm not sure if that was due to timing or what was popular at that time in papers. I am also not sure if the companies coming out with slick, shiny papers are doing this to put themselves apart from other paper lines whose designs are similar.

What I do know is that I like the shiny papers but they are sure hard to photograph! lol. Rouge de garance is a new paper line coming out of France. It is all slick paper and double sided. Its designs are graphic and the colors vibrant. As I've said before, the most cool thing about this is that the company issued 6x12 sheets as well as 12x12.

Now Stemma by Masterpiece Studios has also come out with several papers that also have a slick, shiny approach. The papers are made in China according to the removable sticker on the back. Where RdG papers are slick all over, Stemma has isolated elements on the papers which are shiny. The paper, over all has the texture of smooth wall paper, to me, which is how I can best describe it. It is single sided and the colors are similar to the RdG line. These would mix and match well.

The two I have here on the blog are Little Lotus and Lotus Garden. Will I buy more of these....absolutely. Do I think this is just another passing fad in scrap book papers? Only time will tell!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Take me out to the ball game!

Yesterday we attended the Cards vs the Twins Spring training game here in Ft. M. Of course we were rooting for our old home town favorites, The St. Louis Cards. Despite a sea of Cardinal red shirts and hats and even a sign that said, "St.Louis Snowbirds for the Red Birds", the Cards lost to the Twins 5 to 2. It was a beautiful day for a ball game: sunny, a few fluffy clouds and a wonderful breeze. The funniest thing about this whole thing was the fact that here we are way down in Paradise and, sitting in the same row is an ex-student of mine from one of my English classes from Hazelwood Central back in St. Louis. (cue "It's a Small World" music at this point)...many thanks to Kim Hodges ( for the tickets.

I'll post one more pic a bit later. I love how it turned out but this blog will only upload so many and whatever that number is, I missed it by one. Have a good one all!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Splish Splash....

Our friend, Chuck, takes the most amazing pictures. He caught the spray perfectly in this shot. We had all gone up to Gasparilla Island for the day when Chuck and Linda were visiting from St. Louis. It was a bit breezy when we first got there, but the day only got prettier and prettier.

I have been wondering lately why we don't go to the beach more often...we are maybe fifteen minutes max from the beach off season and probably 45 min. on a weekend during season. When we lived in St. Louis, we seldom went to the Art Museum or the Arch or any of the other attractions. Before we moved, we made a list of all the places in wanted to visit or revisit and, with the help of our friends, managed to check off almost every place. Now, every time we return "home", these same friends make sure we do something they know we would enjoy. Thanks Steve and DeeDee, Nick and Kay and Chuck and Linda.

I think E and I need to make a list of places we've loved to visit or talked about visiting since we moved here and make sure to hit some of them before we move.

We are off to a Cardinal/Twins baseball game today, thanks to Kim who is traveling on the west coast with her family. Our house inspection is the morning and we do not anticipate any problems in passing. Our neighbors, who are snowbirds, have offered us the use of their house should there be a gap in between the closing on this one and on the one we hope to buy. I will miss our neighbors and the little bit of family we have left living her but am anxious to get closer to the kids.

Have a good one.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Winter Wishes kits...a few still in inventory

If you have not scrapped your winter pics yet, this kit is perfect! It is a pretty and compact album with all the papers you see and more plus a stamp, ink, paint, and tons of embellishments....and a poem created just for this kit by Hang Ten Paper Arts. If you would like one of these kits, they are now $15.00 plus shipping. Please contact me at

We also have 4 of the clock kits available as well.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Been a busy bee

I have been in panic mode for a bit here as I can't seem to find uninterrupted time to get all the classes/kits designed lately. Companies not sending product in a timely manner also adds to the stress.

Yesterday, things started coming together finally. I am about 3/4 done with the prototype for the Expo class in Tampa and am loving it more and more. Friends helped me find a site for the charms I need to give this album the perfect touch and throwing in some new product by Cut-It-Up will put this class kit over the edge. I do love bling! I'll post this album when the date gets closer. This is the first time Hang Ten Paper Arts will be offering a class at an Expo.

I have the classes for Stamping Memories in Cooper City,Florida, almost ready to go. I picked up the last of the knobs for the embellishment towers yesterday and more of the ribbon I need for the Tropical Coasters mini album class. I am really looking forward to the trip as I'll get to see my pal, Reggie, who connected Josie (the owner) and myself plus I get to hang out with the Hilltop gal, Lauri who has so kindly offered to put me up for the night! Thanks to you both and Josie (

I don't have to do much for the classes in St. Louis at the CK Convention. Kim Hodges, owner of the booth, ScrapbooksNStickers ( has the kits and class under control and I teach, work the booth a bit, play and fly back home.

May brings the cruise to the Bahamas with the Hilltop Memories gals. I'll be teaching a Drink of the Day mini album on the cruise and having fun with my pals....and some people call this work? lol

I have April for the Hang Ten Paper Arts kit and June. Thanks to the wonderful Tasha Anderson at Rusty Pickle, my 8 inch chipboard coasters are winging their way to me tomorrow! I have a couple of hours scheduled for work on this kit later today. June is also my month with Di taking May in between. I love Di's kits and the classes she has coming up at Hilltop Memories crops are awesome! I'm using the Decor boards by Junkitz for the June kit and some of the coolest paper!

I am also working on a fun technique for my column at Deb's on-line store, The Little Scrap Box ( and some more layouts for Kim's booth. I love the 13x13 plastic hinged containers that Lisa, the owner of Ruban Rouge turned me on to. All the work I have in progress is each in it's own wonderful container, safe and sound.

Sometime, in between all this fun, I need to find time to pack. We close on April 30 and sure hope we have a home by then. We're back up to Tampa area on this coming Thursday to see the two homes again and make a bid on one. Cross your fingers for us, please!

I promise some teaser pics of upcoming projects, kits and classes soon!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mullock Creek Marina.."difficult to find, harder to leave"

Almost every Friday, we head to Mullock Creek Marina where the beer is cold and the view is refreshing. This is an old style Florida dive. You buy a six pack, the bar gal gives you tokens and you trade them to her for your beer. You can drink one or two and save the tokens for another day. The place is rustic and friendly and open to elements except for the one covered section and an over hang near the bar. Up until recently, you could not get anything more than beer here but the owner has added wine coolers to the selection. While the marina does not serve food, from time to time, someone enterprising will cook up brats and burgers or, like last night, a complete spaghetti supper for 5.00 (and it was good too)! On Fridays around 4, the veggie man and his wife show up with the back of their pick up loaded with fresh produce from Imockole, the near by farming area. Three ears of fresh corn for 1.00, huge tomatoes that are ruby red and so wonderful sold by the number not the pound, cabbage and shiny green peppers. Just writing about all the wonderful veggies makes me hungry! We have never left Mullock Creek Marina without several bags full. Oh, and did I mention the karaoke?

We have made this a rite of passage for all our friends from up north who visit us.
We all have the tee shirts (complete with pockets). We've taken shrimp there and chicken and spent many pleasurable Friday afternoon with our neighbors and visitors from up North. We will miss this place and the good folks who frequent it.