Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

I did this layout for my one hour/one layout challenge at Kit n Kaboodles Halloween Crop this past weekend. This is Mr. Stevie, my grandcat, who was not a happy camper in his witch's costume this past Friday evening at the kids' Halloween Party. Poor fellow!

I am off for most of the day today volunteering at my daughter's elementary school, helping with her little second graders. This ought to be fun. I use to help her in her class room once a week when we lived in St. Louis and helped most of one week last year before we moved up here. Some how I just got out of the habit. This is one I need to acquire again.

E has his stress test today and am hoping all goes well. I doubt we will have any results today but he has an apt. next week so we'll know more then.

My friend, Dawn, has started a great challenge blog. It starts Nov 1 and I can't wait to get started on it. I'll share the link as all are welcome to come play. Kudos to you my pal.

Hope that works! If not, I'll try to fix it.

Things have been a bit off key here lately...just lots of annoying things piling up...little things like missed e-mails, misplaced items, forgotten to-dos, my computer mouse malfunctioning...I feel a day of play coming on to just put things in perspective.

Poor Kip with her bad back. Hope you are doing better today!

Happy Boo Day to all!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What a great weekend

We had such a nice Sunday. We biked in the morning with E on his spiffy new bike. It was far too hot to bike to the Greek Festival at St. Nicholas' as we had planned so we parked the car at the old Train Depot in town and hiked a few blocks. It was probably a good thing because after all we ate, we sure needed that walk!

We split an order of pastitsio and muousaka. These came with rich, warm bread, a side of Greek salad and the portions were more than generous. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We visited with the bakery folks for some time and finally took one of almost everything. My still favorite...baklava. It is so sweet my teeth itched! lol We watched all the cute kids in native costumes dancing and then headed home.

We sat around the pool when we got home with a glass of wine. E was reading a Greek cookbook he got as a gift a few Christmas' ago and I was finishing off a paper back. We had to call Rob as we mucked up the tv again and could not change channels and find our jazz! Thank God for the I am sure they often just shake their heads and worry about having to put us in the "home".

Lots of errands and hopefully some crafting/creating on today's agenda.

Next event is the upcoming Wine Festival in Safety Harbor next Sat. Anyone want to join us?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Party time!

Kristen and Chris had such a nice Halloween party at their house last Friday evening. I went over when she got home from work to help her set up and then E and I came back for the party later. We had a fun evening and it was nice meet their friends.

Yesterday was the first cyber crop at Kit n Kaboodle and it was so much fun. It was a small group but this company is on the go so I am sure the next one will be much bigger. So many of us on the site and the Dt company from other places which makes it even more fun!

I'll have to post my layout on the blog tomorrow that I did for my Trick or Treat challenge. I gave everyone one hour to complete a one page layout but they had to use H'ween colors, a black cat, witch's hat, pumpkin or ghost somewhere on the layout and it had to have journaling. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with...entries are not due until Tuesday.

Today we are off to the Greek Festival here in town. We are thinking that with traffic and the narrow twisty streets here, we will ride our bikes. Thinking of heading to town around noon or one, have lunch, walk around, listen to the music and watch the dancing for a bit and then heading on home.

Only a couple of days now until the NEW Hang Ten kit is revealed at This one is by Miss Elle and she is a wonderful designer. I've seen her oh so cute project and have to say, this is a must have and will sell out fast so don't delay in placing your order for one on Nov 1.

Love to all

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kindred Spirits

My new friend, Sandy, invited me over for lunch and crafting at her house yesterday. She lives about ten minutes from me and has such a lovely home. The lunch was a delightful combo of chicken salads, fresh greens, fresh roll, olives and home made mince pie (so yummy). She invited two or three others over to share their love of crafting and creating. Sandy had it all set up for us to make a darling project and her crafting room is to die for. She has done fiber purses, clay creations, jewelry, and shrines and all are amazing. These women are all so creative and open to trying new things and techniques. I want to learn with these women and from these women.

The project Sandy had ready for us resulted in necklaces which I wore home. She had tons of papers and transparencies from which we could select what we wanted for our two sided necklace. I went with all black and images of my favorite theme: vamps from the 20s and earlier. I plan to make several of these in colors for holiday gifts. What a fun day with kindred spirits...thanks Sandy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wired for sound

Poor E, he had to sleep in all the rigamarole last night and has to wear it until he returns to the cardio dr. late this afternoon. He has a stress test scheduled for H'ween afternoon and we are hoping all this will help the experts get the root of the problem with his erratic heartbeat.

I am having lunch with a charming new friend I met while teaching my class at Ruban Rouge. She has very creative talents as evidenced by a lovely paper purse and broach she sent me. I am looking forward to this.

Tomorrow I will be heading over to Kristen and Chris' after she gets home from work to help her decorate for her H'ween party that evening. E and I were going to go a 2 retired people, but caved and bought costumes...we are two vampires. The cape and teeth are a concession to K. I'm giving a pass to the bloody lips. Hope to have some good pics for Sat.'s blog!

I bought the craft mat that Tim Holtz recommended and that we used during his classes at Ruban Rouge and I have to admit...

I LOVE IT! I get so stubborn sometimes about trying things and usually end up eating my words.

My friend, Miami Dawn is getting a challenge blog up for those of you who are like us and our friends. The proposed name "Outlaw Scrappers" pretty much says it
I'll update when I know more myself. We pretty much decided that our gang (pardon the pun) is a pretty talented group and we can learn so much from each other. We are hoping that lots of scrappers/altered artists/paper artists will join in the fun. We'll post a basic challenge and then watch and learn from we can all do with this... we love techniques so that will hopefully be a big part of this whole sharing.

Off to bike...I'm heading down to the sponge docks today. E is staying home...we'd hate to have one of those wires short out or fall off.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Feta burger by E

This is what we had for supper last night and it was far too yummy not to share. E says he wishes I had taken the shot from the side, instead of down onto the burger so everyone could see the layers.

For those who love feta/burgers here is the recipe from Cuisine at Home and modified by my resident chef, E.

Makes 4 burgers (and they are biiiiggg) and total time is about 45 min.

For the Feta Sauce
Process; stir in 4 oz of feta, crumbled, 4 oz of cream cheese, 1/4 c plain yogurt, 1/4 c pepperocini peppers, sliced 2 T scallions,sliced and 1/2 t lemon zest minced with salt and pepper to taste.

For the burgers
Shape, stuff and grill; top with sauce
2 lbs ofground chuck seasoned with salt, pepper and ground oregano
2 slices red onion (1/4 inch thick

Serve on
4 hoagie rools, split, toasted , red leaf lettuce, tomato slices and thinly sliced cucumbers.

Preheat grill to medium-high.
1. process feta, cream cheese and yogurt until smooth. Add peppers, scallions and seasonings, pulse to coarsely chop and set to one side.
2. Shape ground chuck into 4 portions and to the size of the hoagie rolls. Add seasonings
3. Top patties with grilled onions, grill burgers on oiled grate fro 4 min., flip and grill for 2 min. moor. Spoon 1/4 c of Feta sauce on each burger over the grilled onions and continue to grill all for an additional 2 min.

Serve on hoagie with lettuce, cucumber and tomatos

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To each their own

I am a one page layout kinda gal. Back in the day, I thought one pagers were lame and could not imagine filling an album with one photo/one layouts. Ahem, boy have I crossed the street!

I started scrapping like most others through CM but left the flock shortly thereafter when I discovered the lss not too far from school. A stamp catalog also led me astray with its fun layouts and borders and just a couple of pictures per layout.

I think what finally did me in was working on DTs. The goal of designing for a site is two fold as I see it: sell the product and show various ways to use it! The more layouts a person can do to do this, the more product will be sold. I now design backwards in addition to doing one pagers almost exclusively. I get the papers, embellishments etc., create the layout and then find the picture to go with it...or pictures, which brings me to my next point.

I believe that a one page layout can serve the same purpose as a two page spread in most instances. There are so many ways to include many photos on a one pager just like on two. This is far more of a fun challenge to me, than trying to do a two pager that has balance, focus and continuity.

Because I create my layouts differently, I have found myself taking pictures differently as well. Instead of taking 25 shots at my great nieces recent 6th. b'day here, I focused on her and the joy in her face. The fact there was a cake (took a pic) and many presents (took a pic) and lots of us here to celebrate (took a picture) was plenty and these few could be incorporated into a mini album on the larger page. The best shot I got out of the few I took is priceless...Kaela with a huge bow on her head! Adding any other pics to this one would detract from the oh too cute-ness of that one shot.

Yes, I still do a double page spread from time to time but it is a real stretch for me. I still keep a chronological album of our adventures and numerous other albums for other things but you can count the two pagers on one hand.

That being said, I understand those who do two page layouts and their reasons for doing them and honor their choice. And as for journaling...well, let's talk about that another day! lol

Monday, October 22, 2007

Making it ours...

This is the first house either of us have owned that belonged to someone else first. The only exception is the 90 year old farm house the kids' dad and I attempted to rehab and I really prefer to put that whole ten years out of sight and AS E often says, we bought a pool with a house attached when we bought this one. The previous owners, very nice people too, had neutral colors through out. I understand the marketing reasons for this but now the house is ours and we are slowly but surely settling in.
The first room we redid, but did not repaint, was the guest room, also known as Kip's Room despite many claims to the contrary. It is now the way we like it, filled with my antiques and E's bears up on the ledge above the closet. The guest bath has been livened up with citrus colors and new lighting has helped in the dining room and great room. The next room was my workroom and I could not ask for anything better...lovely cabinets, huge workspace and now a pretty pretty carpet.
We have repainted the kitchen but with the same Tuscan gold that was in there and added our huge wine related collection to the ledges above the cabinets.
This brings us to the great room which was painted a dark olive green on three walls. We tried sheer scarves to replace the neutral swag over the room wide doors to the lanai and pool but that was just not it. So, off we go to every paint store and home improvement place in town. Home with about 50 paint samples, narrowed down to 3. In the end we went with the one you see. At first, while wet, it looked like someone had thrown ketchup on the walls but it has dried the color I wanted, a kind of rusty red. I love it!!! It is dramatic and warm and welcoming and I keep roaming into the room and just sighing! We are making this house our own!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Super Sunday

I had such fun at Creative Scrap Shack's Halloween Bash Crop yesterday. ( My challenge was to used 3 shapes derived from Halloween candy on a layout. I used the circle (Tootsie Roll Pops), a rectangle (Mini Snickers bar) and a triangle (Candy Corn) on my layout. I can't wait to see what the rest of the gals come up with. There were so many wonderful and creative challenges posted, it is amazing. And the laughter didn't seem to stop! As usual, during the crop, I spent more time chatting than I did scrapping so I am hoping to do some of the rest of the DTs challenges today. The deadline for completing these is midnight central time tonight so there is still plenty of time to hit the site, sign up and play!

Knk's November kit is up and out and I've already completed one of the layouts. This flocked paper is so much fun to touch, I was almost not going to use it! lol. I am trying to break away from using so many circles on my layouts as I felt they were all starting to look a bit alike. These last two layouts of mine have been fun and challenging myself is great.(

My friend, Chris, from Creative Scrap Shack, and I have taken a vow of sorts to start the "bring back the deco scissors' movement! Anyone care to join us? Lots of what might be considered to be be passe is becoming 'in' again and the poor scissors deserver a replay. Join us!?!

I'll try to get some shots of our new living room color! Very dramatic and i am loving it. E finished all but some touch up work yesterday and it looks like dynamite.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hot off the press

CK has responded to the pressure put on them to do the right thing. Who says we don't have impact and sway?

This was posted at 2Peas and on Scrap Smack today.

October 20, 2007
CK's letter

Dear Creating Keepsakes readers and scrapbookers:

We would like to thank you for your loyal dedication and continued commitment to scrapbooking and our Creating Keepsakes (CK) magazine. Without the support of our loyal readers and scrapbooking partners we would not be where we are today. In the spirit of continuing our editorial mission and fulfilling our commitment to you, we want to address the recent incident related to our Hall of Fame (HOF) contest.

We have been reading your comments and dialogue on the Creating Keepsakes message board and we internally investigated the error that has caused us all great concern: awarding Hall of Fame recognition to someone who submitted work that was not solely their own.

Our review has found the primary cause of our error. Staff changes on the CK and Hall of Fame editorial team occurred at a critical juncture in the production of the HOF book and the new team was not fully briefed on this assignment. The specific breakdown came just as the HOF book was going to press. One of our staff was called by a winner who requested a photo credit be given to another photographer for one of the winner's photo entries. Given that the rules of the contest dictate contestants submit their own work, we should have disqualified this person's entry accordingly. Unfortunately, our staff person did not understand the ramifications of the winner's request and simply added the other photographer's credit to the HOF book after the publication had already been proofed for printing.

We acknowledge and take full responsibility of our mistake and we assure you that it was not done with any bad intent. We deeply value the trust of our readers. We have read your messages and want to explain our action plan outlined below to help rectify the situation and assure you it will not happen again:

1. We appreciate the winner's forthrightness in notifying us that the photo credit should be given to another photographer. Unfortunately, as a matter of fairness to our other contestants, this winner has been disqualified.

2. As part of the contest rules, all potential winning entrants must sign an affidavit confirming that their entries are solely their own work. Although we received signed affidavits from all such entrants, we now have evidence that such a measure failed to protect us against all errors. In order to satisfy both our and our readers' concerns that no other errors occurred during the HOF contest, we are now resubmitting this affidavit to the other 24 winners for final verification thereby underscoring its importance to the integrity of the HOF contest.

3. One week after receiving the newly signed affidavits, we will announce the 26th place 'winner' (Honorable Mention) and add him/her to the 2007 Hall of Fame. The winner will receive the prizes and cash award granted to the other 24 winners.

4. Upon receiving their second affidavit should other 2007 winners come forward and acknowledge that their work is not solely their own or fail to return the second affidavit, we will disqualify them and add the next-in-line Honorable Mention(s) to the 2007 Hall of Fame, providing the prizes and cash award accordingly.

5. We will print a special The Scrapbook Hall of Fame, Volume 9 supplement to honor the new winner(s) and re-acknowledge those winners. This special printing will be poly-bagged with Creating Keepsakes' February 2008 issue, which will deliver into subscribers' homes and onto newsstands late December 2007

6. We will move forward with our 2008 Hall of Fame contest, but revised rules that will be published on our web site by November 1, 2007 and in the January 2008 issue of Creating Keepsakes. To avoid such errors in future contests, all relevant staff members have been appropriately informed and educated on contest rules.

Certainly this has been a challenging situation for us all. We are painfully aware that our error has deeply upset many of you, our cherished readers and scrapbooking partners. We value you and your trust that you have placed in us and we will continue to do everything we can to maintain your faith in Creating Keepsakes.

We hope our response to our error is seen as a step towards maintaining your trust.We deeply appreciate your support and hope you continue to enjoy our magazine, scrapbooking events and book products for many years to come. If you have any questions to comments, please contact Lin Sorenson at

With our sincerest apologies,

Dave O'Neil Lin Sorenson Brian Tippetts
Chief Executive Officer Editorial Director CK Editor-in-Chiefxxx

Happy Hour at Miss Vickie's

When we taught high school in St. Louis, Friday afternoon happy hours were what got us through many a tough week. The location was often announced at faculty meetings earlier in the week or via a phone chain so every one knew. These happy hours provided us an opportunity to vent and deal with stress, to connect as people other than teachers and to just plain have fun.

We have missed these happy hours since our move to Florida. We did find a fun dive in Ft. Myers and, during the cooler winter months, would meet up with our neighbors at Mullock Creek Marina for a cold beer or two.

Yesterday, E and I decided that we needed to celebrate Friday. Being retired and not on a set work schedule, we often let one day blend into another. We joke that we get the newspaper so we can keep track of what day each is.

We discovered Miss Vickie's through an acquaintance of our son, Rob. We've been several times and really enjoy the laid back atmosphere of this bar and grill on the Anclote River. We can watch the boats head out to the Gulf and see sponge boats returning home with their finds. The lighthouse is about a 5 minute boat ride from this place and there are rental boats available. The specialty of the house is boiled peanuts and our visit was not complete until we had a small bowl to accompany our brews. We always get the cajun sauce and am never disappointed. I had never had this Southern treat until Miss Vickie's.

Don't forget the Halloween Bash cyber crop at Creative Scrap Shack today. Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Morning all, and a happy Friday to you. We are pretty much taking the day off here in Paradise. We have lunch out on the agenda and a Happy Hour visit to Miss Vickie's (a bar and grill) on the Anclote River scheduled for later in the afternoon.

It is muggy and very hot here today so we elected today as our no walk day. We'll be back on schedule tomorrow rain or shine. I wish E would get his least that way there is a bit of a breeze and the urge to bike faster (more breeze) is good!

He is painting the great room this weekend. We've selected a brownish red. It is very dramatic but I think it will be a lot prettier than the dark olive that the previous owners had. It may take some getting use to but so do all changes we make in life or even in something like a room in a house.

I am pretty well over the whole HOF/CK scandal. As I told someone, at least now we know we are not paranoid. Now we know what many of us have suspected, that several if not many of the entrants are pre picked for the 'contest'. And is CK going to make this right...I doubt it. The book is already out in stores and I seriously doubt that they will make the HOFers who broke the rules and used photos by others rather than their own to step down. CK will do what it has always done and wait til our interest wanes and we move on to the next excitement in the sb world. Is it right? No but it is human nature.

I am so glad our dear pal, Mama Jayne and her family are ok. A big tornado hit up her way in Pensacola and right near where her husband worked. Glad you are all ok my friend!

Will post pics if I take any from lunch and Miss Vickie's. Everyone can use a little R&R! I have some cleaning in here to do first so I am ready to play at the cyber crop tomorrow at Come on over and join the fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Thursday

KnkClub has the November kit on line at the site and it is so lovely. I've been having far too much fun with this one.

And, for a huge paper sale in the works, Carman, who is the owner of Creative Scrap Shack just put tons in her store at 50%, don't walk to this one!

I'm making progress on the article and am feeling pretty good about it so far. I've got the scans of the panels that Somerset is going to use and have been working on my first draft.

I've also been doing some fun things for both KNK and for Creative Scrap Shack and can't wait until I can put them up here &/or reveal them on the sites. Both companies have done an incredible job with the kits and I could not work for two finer places or with any more fun and talented women.

We're off to walk soon. E has been referred to a Cardiologist as he has been experiencing increased heart palpitations. His dr. said this was precautionary for now and that what we have been doing (losing weight and exercising) is the best we could be doing for his heart! I'll rest easier when he has seen the Cardio guy!

I've been having trouble with some e-mails lately that have been sent to me via the hotmail addy. If you sent me an e-mail and did not get a reply, please resend it to the address or contact me by leaving a message here. Thanks and sorry for anyone whose e-mail did not reach me.

Have a great day

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Late Breaking News here in Paradise

About two months ago Somerset Memories requested my Italia panels art piece for publication in one of their issues. I was incredibly excited since this and my other hinged panel piece that they previously published have both been labors of love.

Today I got a phone call from the editor of the magazine (and the only magazine to which I still submit) asking if I would write the feature article based on my Italia ablum for the Feb/March issue...ah, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

I have a deadline coming up fast as the e-mail she sent two weeks ago never reached me...remember all my computer problems? I found my scans of the panels that the magazine wants to feature and have started the introduction I am sure this process will undergo many revisions in the next two weeks but I am excited beyond belief.

Thanks Somerset!
I have to tell you about my New Zealand friend, Clare's brother and his new book, Everything He Hasn't Told You Yet. Here is the link that Clare sent me and it says more than I can. I'm calling Barnes and Noble today and see if they can't get me a copy. Maybe Clare can even get me an autograph. She has read the book and says it is wonderful and not just because her brother wrote it.

We got our new Christmas tree yesterday and it is going to be lovely. The one we had last year lost all its lights around the middle and, half way through the holidays, we found ourselves stuffing all our left over twinkle lights hither and yon to light it back up. It went bye bye shortly there after. We looked all over for our new perfect tree and found it a Home Depot. It has new soft lights shaped like acorns on the branches and is so pretty I can hardly wait.

For the past five or six years, we have been collecting hand blown and hand painted vintage looking Santa ornaments, some by Reiko (sp?) and some by others. While we were on our search for the perfect tree, we visited the Christmas Shop in Clearwater and found our ornament for this year. I'll take a picture later but this Santa is very special with tiny glasses on the tip of his nose and a beautiful robe of white with holly leaves and berries on it...lots of bling and glitter!

I just finished Paula Deen's autobiography and I loved it. She is such a down home kind of gal and we seldom miss her show on the Food Network. She reminds me of many of my friends, just gals being themselves and enjoying it. The other book on my bed stand is the newest biography of Grace Kelly. I've read a couple of chapters and it is pretty good so far. I'd better hurry though as my books are due back tomorrow.

Don't forget the crop at Creative Scrap Shack on Sat. This is one of the most creative bunch of gals and such wonderful senses of humor.(

Also, the November kit for Kit N Kaboodle was released today and it is amazing! Roam on over and take a gander if you don't believe me. I'll post a pic of that kit later along with my new Santa. (

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love Fall mornings here in Paradise

It is a mild morning here with a wonderful breeze right off the Gulf. There is a slight salty tang in the air and the palm fronds are swaying. E is off on the morning walk without me. I'll bike later and want to head down to Spring Bayou to get some pics.

I've a couple of things to finish up and then I want to play with my Bind-it-All. Linda saw how much I wanted one, and actually sold me hers before she could even get it out of the box...what a pal.

Be sure to roam by the Creative Scrap Shack today and tomorrow for a fun set of challenges going on there inspired by Football Season. And mark your calendar for the crop this coming Sat. It is a for sure good time with the gals at the Shack and wait til you see the wonderful stock of goodies that are in Carman's store. Wowzer!

I'll post some pics later of the oh-so cute felt stitched flowers that Gerri-anne has for sale in the store at Kit N Kaboodle. I forced G-a at gun point (heat gun that is) to sell me some out of the back of her SUV in the parking lot at Creep Over on Sunday. Yummy!

The pic is one of the few good ones of both the Kipster and I. Usually one of us has our eyes closed or, more likely our mouths open or a button get the picture. This is on the front porch of the wonderful old hotel where we stayed this past weekend.

My dd has a Halloween party a week from this Friday and that following Sat/Sun is the Greek Festival here in town...can't wait. The first weekend in Nov., there is a Wine Festival in nearby Safety Harbor and Kip may be coming up for that. Mary Mary has even talked about meeting us all there for the fun. Bet you thought I'd forget, didn't you Mary Mary? lol

Love to all and enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Good to be home

What a great time I had this weekend. Nothing beats hanging out with a bunch of gals who love to have fun, are very creative and love to laugh. Kip and I had our usual misadventures on our trip back to St. Pete and then I headed a bit more north to my home in Tarpon Springs.

The kids are on their way home from a corn maze and will come by in a bit. It is so great having them live so close. I am spending Halloween Day at K's school helping her with her class party. Starting in Nov., I'll be giving her a half day or a day a week as a classroom volunteer. I loved the time I spent in her classrooms in the past and have such fun with the little munchkins.

Creative Scrap Shack Challenges go up tomorrow and there are some great ones coming. This is an incredibly talented group of women who belong to this wonderful community.

On the way home from Kip's I thought about all the ways I am blessed and being a member of a couple of great communities is one of the many blessings. I can sit by a cyber fountain and have coffee in the morning with a delightful bunch of tootsie dippers, I can have my second cup of java in ICQ with my pal in Ill, chat with my Ft. Myers gals, the Hilltop Memories cuties and end my day with WineThirty with my pal, Pam on IM. I have friends from one coast to the other and have actually met many IRL. The older I get, the more important my friends have become to me. I have the Tampa gals and my Twinks on the other side of our state with a couple of the Rubber Suiters just down the coast along with the infamous Ft. L gals and our very creative Miami Dawn with my beloved Anne, Pete, Moni and Janet or the EBs like Maria, who always has our bail money close at hand.
And the Bench Warmers...bless you all.

Certainly can't leave our St. Louis connection who keep us in touch with our "home". Love to D2, Steve, Jadee and her beautiful babies, Chuck and Linda, Nick and Kay and on and on.

I live in a lovely home, in a darling town, in a great state and live does not get any better than this.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pumpkin, pumpkin...who's got the pumpkin

Linda handed out naked pumpkins to all of us and challenged us to create. Kip and I elected to do our for our homes while other...coughGerri-annecough elected to go all out to win the prize for the contest: a free ticket to Winter Retreat. Ahem!

I inked my pumpkin, brushed it with Stickles and put on the leaves. I loved how it turned out especially the Tim Holtze Grunge Letters that I inked, sanded and reinked.

Here are some of the amazing creations this wonderfully creative group turned out for this fun part of our weekend crop.

And then there is G-a's diomrama completed with blinged SUV and 'blazing' campfire.

I'll let you know the winner tomorrow and post the costumes from the costume contest. Kip and I went as Kip and Jules.

My pal Dawn

The last time Dawn and I got together which was the MS crop, we talked about how we both would love to do monthly challenges and how we might set up a group to participate. We scrap but we wanted to go beyond. We've done CKUs; we've done what is next.

When in doubt, start at home.

Dawn and I are sitting here at Creep Over retreat and yesterday I asked her what she had done creatively lately. And today, she went into overdrive! My God, that woman has come up with such a cool idea that I am awe struck. Eons from now, when you see these amazingly cool boards being duplicated elsewhere, I'll be sitting her gloating....I know the gal who did it first! YEAH to get her autograph before she starts charging!

Gettin' Pretty Scary....

Any road trip with Kip is an adventure and the one to Sebring was no exception. We laugh far too much and have far too much fun. We swing from slap stick to Thelma and Louise. What a joy this friend of mine is to me.

And, any time spent with the amazing, mystifying Hilltop Gals is an experience not to be missed. A couple of glasses of vino, a rock or two on the front porch of this historic hotel with the smokers and creative mode takes over.

Kip and I had bought these small chipboard books a while back with the intent of creating tombstone treasures because of the shape of the books. We both began and finished our books last night. There are far more pages than these pictured and now to take the pictures to fill our little books. That should be easy because tonight is the costume party and contest and the judging of the pumpkins.

When we arrived, we were each given a 'nekkid' pumpkin and told to pretty it up. I'll post mine later. While, there are far cuter ones on the display table, I love mine. I even used Tim Holtz new Grunge letters them!

If you can see the front of my tombstone treasures book, the title is done with the Grunge letters. I painted them black and then sanded off the embossed swirls. I covered each with Crystal Lacquer to get the shine.

Off to play! Love to all.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Tricia from Creative Scrap Shack tagged me and here is how this works.
The rules are as follows:
1) Link to the "tagger" & post the rules.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself- random / weird facts.
3) Tag 7 people & link to them.
4) Leave comments on their blogs, so they know they've been tagged.

So, if I tag you.....follow those rules!!!!!

1. Tricia

2. Seven strange things about me
1. I like mustard on my scrambled eggs
2. Touching cotton balls gives me the willies
3. I have to have my feet bare when I sleep no matter how cold it is.
4. I have to have at least a sheet over me when I sleep no matter how hot it is.
5. My honey and I taught together for over 20 years before we became more than friends
6. I have always lived within one mile of some kind of water: stream, river, canal, ocean, gulf.
7. I attended ten different schools in my thirteen years of public education.

I tag Linda, Kip, Jayne, Susie, Mary Mary, Kath, and Michele (the links to their blogs are to the left under Check It Out.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

One more day in Paradise

Got good news about Minnie, my lap top, who went in for her 50,000 mile check up (or something like that) yesterday. Armed with my free tune up coupon from Staples, off she and I went. While it was hard to leave my pal there as she looked so forlorn, it was all for the best. There is nothing major wrong with Minnie other than she needs more RAM to run the programs I have installed. So, without further ado, and with another sale coupon, she'll be coming home today with added goodies. The tech is checking out her burner for me too as I was only getting one cd out of every 3 or 4 to actually burn.

So, my Minnie will be ready to take to Sebring for the Creep Over Retreat this coming weekend. Kip and I are planning on leaving her house around noon with a stop planned at Violet's lss and, of course, the little shop next door to it. Of course, Kip thinks we are off to Nicolette's or was the Nicorette's? lol

We each bought a little chipboard fold out book not too long ago. The tops are rounded and she and I are each doing our versions of tombstones/Halloween for these at the crop. I have my paper and embellishments stash all ready. And, of course, I am taking my little haunted house for show and tell. It will make a good center piece or a deco for our room at the historic Kennilworth hotel in Sebring.

It is suppose to be cool so am bringing some sweats for the sit and rock on the front porch with the smokers.

I got a layout done yesterday and have two more in the works. The first I did was for Creative Scrap Shack DT's November kit and the papers, etc in this kit are so lovely. I've also been working on my tech for November for Kit n Kaboodle so have been a busy girl. That is the way I like it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Last night's dinner was brought to us by the letter E

About two years ago, Gerri-anne and Barb were over at our house in Ft. Myers for something and E offered G-a a taste of some leftovers from a dinner we had for friends the day before. The 'taste' was Mango Chutney which E fixes to accompany the Thai Curried Game Hens that were the main course. Things intervened and only now has G-a and Barb been able to have the long promised Thai dinner.
E also served Cucumber Raita, gingered wild rice and the sweet mango chutney with a lemon mousse cheesecake in cheery sauce for desert.

I promised them I would post these pics today for Kip who, unfortunately had to return to her beloved Mudgie/Mugsey/Mopsey, the dog. E promises you Kip to recreate this meal just for you. Perhaps you, Anne and I can convince him to cook this for Anne's visit?

Enjoy your day. I'm working on a layout of Timmy Holtz and myself...and distressing the daylights out of it! LOL.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What a great day we had

Gerri-anne and her sign for "Kip's room"! Too funny how this whole sign thing has transpired. We are now hanging the different signs on the closet doorknobs in the room...I'm sure Janet M will want to bring hers to add to the collection since she actually started this trend! lol

Now, on to Tim! and his side kick, Mario, whom we grew to love and adore. These two classes were amazing. I can hardly count the number of techniques we did...distress inks and distressing embossing powders, glues of all kinds, chipboard, making our own books with hand stitched bindings and spritzing on colors and inks, beeswaxes and and and ...we can home saturated in fun and information.

Tim was funny, talented and patient and Mario was just a gem. I thought Miss Elle was going to put him in her tote and take him home with her. The classes were packed full of great ideas, loaded with technique and I wish I could have afforded to take the other two that G-A and Barb have headed off to take today. They are sharing and caring and I can't wait to see what they bring home. They'll be coming back here for supper before they head back to Ft. Myers. E is cooking Thai chicken in a bausamil (sp) sauce with mango chutney. We had his infamous apple pancakes with a scoop of ice cream and toasted pecans for breakfast yesterday and his southwest Salsa Sausage casarol for breakfast this morning.

Kip headed out the door a bit ago loaded with left over containers of the Pistechio (sp) from last night, left overs from this morning and a slice of tonight's desert pie. I can't wait til she sees G-A's sign!

More pics tomorrow. The circle of canvas cover books are the ones our group created (with a little help from

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tim Holtz is here!

Well, not at my house exactly but at nine this morning, we'll all be attentively sitting in the design studio at Ruban Rouge hanging on his every word. To me, he is simply the maestro of inks and, those of you faithful readers of my blog, know how near and dear to my crafting are inks.

Gerri-anne and Barb got in yesterday evening and the four of us headed out to Rusty Bellies Restaurant on the Anclote River at the end of the Sponge Docks. We couldn't get an outside table like we wanted which was to our benefit. It poured about ten minutes after we arrived. G-a treated us to a wonderful supper and we all had a nice glass of vino out by the pool.

We'll be meeting up with some of the Hilltop Gals (Michele, Linda, Elle and, of course, the Kipster who is spending the night. It will be a hot time in the old town tonight.

More later...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Pretty scary...........

When we lived in Ft. Myers, I would decorate the whole screened in front porch for Halloween with the pumpkin lights all around the eaves. Our ghosties would dance in the front yard and we'd have some fun when the kids came trick or treating. Our house is different here and we've made some changes. I hung one strand of the pumpkin lights inside my shuttered windows in the work room, a second strand hangs around our Witchy Woman (whom we have had since St. Louis)and, one of the lights is on the front porch. Our ghosties still dance in the wind and we've had some neighbors stop to look. I can't find my Halloween wreath since we've moved but I am sure it will turn up eventually along with the several other things I seem to be missing. This is such a fun holiday....enjoy!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Only 29 days until Halloween

and it is getting pretty scary looking around our house. We have our dancing ghosties up in the front yard, the jack 0 lantern lights in my window facing the street, and the witch is on the front porch lit with still more jack o lantern lights.

But the crowning glory this year has been the new addition: my labor of haunted house. Kip and I bought some paper mache houses at Hobby Lobby on our way to Winter Retreat last year. I fell in love with the houses and had Jayne pick me up the biggest one they make. My "haunted house" is almost a foot tall and nine inches on the sides. I used a variety of papers and stickers and the roof is actually some metal sheeting by Provo Craft that I cut to fit (with a little help from E). Inside the house I placed 2 battery operated flickering candles to produce an undulating backdrop to the images on the windows. I've had such fun with this. Hope you enjoy it too.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It is step closer to Friday

I can not wait to get my paws on this November Bountiful Harvest kit from Creative Scrap Shack ( I hope the image of all the amazing goodies packed into this kit can be clearly viewed. I have tons of pictures from our fall trips back to St. Louis still to scrap and this kit is just perfect for this. You can order yours through the link. Don't dally too long...these go fast.

A second kit you won't want to miss is Di's new one for Hang Ten Paper Arts. You can get a sneak at it at www.hilltopmemories. Di always comes up with the cutest projects for the Hang Ten kits and is one amazing designer. Hang Ten also has a surprise announcement coming up soon!


We finally ate a Louis Pappa's restaurant. Everyone we've met has asked us about this when we tell them we are from Tarpon Springs. But, there is no longer a restaurant here in Tarpon, only the corporate headquarters. And is amazing food and we will go back for sure. The Greek Sangria is to die for!

I just realized I have something booked for every weekend this next month.

I'll put them all on my side bar. Have a great day!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy First of October

The MS crop was lots of fun and my class went well, despite the 'hecklers' know who you are you funny girls! I got my circle journal completed along with lots of other projects and layouts which I will post later. I handed this off to Lisa L from Kit N Kaboodle and am awaiting mine from another member. There are only 8 or 9 of us in this so it is not going to be like the time I was getting a CJ every two weeks! I decided to make mine a "true daily double"/a true CIRCLE journal and used the 8x8 chipboard circles from Rusty Pickle. My theme is Women and the Hats they Wear. I have used this theme in a CJ before with such wonderful results and the women in this CJ group are so talented, I can't wait to see how this goes. The "hats" in my CJ are the jobs and roles we take upon ourselves as women. I asked each member of the CJ group to pick one of her "hats" and use two facing circles to explore this. I wanted the journal to be rich and lovely so selected a vintage look to my entry. My grandmother worked in a hat factory before she married and never left the house w/o one. I wanted some of this heritage reflected in my CJ. The last photo of this lot is where everyone signs in. I'll replace the large O ring with some hand dyed silk French ribbons I have in my stash when I get the journal back. It is easier with the ring for the participants to remove the panels they need.

The last pics are my scrap area at the MS crop. Jackie did an incredible job with this event! Bravo! It is a wonder with all the 'scrap crap' I took, that I had any space in which to create....but I did and had such a fun time.

I know that Kip has more pics on her blog so I am off to take a gander. Want to join me? I'll buy the coffee!