Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kip's Non-birthday celebration

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men are often subject to change. E had run to the store for something and about ten minutes after he left, I heard a big boom. And sure enough, a transformer in the area blew. Sure am glad we have sky lights in the bathroom or I'd probably have looked a bit like a clown trying to comb hair and put on make up in the dark.

So, no electric=no a/c (and it has been in the upper 80s/lower 90s here today), no stove, noooooo lunch for the Kipper on her non-birthday!

Moving on to Plan B...after Kip and I shopped at RR, we headed home. After she 'opened' her non-birthday gifts (i use the term 'opened' loosely as I was out of wrapping paper), we took water and headed down to the lower lawn while E showered.

Our next stop was one of the restaurants here that we had yet to take Kip...Rusty Belies. I love the place! In addition to great food, the view is amazing. It is a bit of old Florida with a boat repair business on one side and shrimp boats tied up on the other. We ate on the open air porch right on the water and got a great cross breeze. We started with the complimentary hush puppies, followed by the great onion strings and then our lunch. Kip had the fried shrimp; I got the shrimp po'boy and E got the cheesy steak sandwich.

Of course, I had to tell on Kip and the waitress brought her a non-birthday treat at the end of our meal: a fried banana fantango...or something like that. It was so goooooooood and the Kipper shared nicely!

So, the power is back on...obviously and E and I will be dining on the muffalatas we could not serve for lunch as our supper!

Hey Kip buddy! Hope your non-birthday was a good one...and yes! you still have a few days left to be in that "other" age bracket!

So, someone we know is having a BIG b'day

this coming Wed. It is our very own Kipster! And, rather than cart her b'day gifts to Bonita Springs and give them to her there, since she is coming over for lunch today after we hit the 40% off Sale at Ruban Rouge, we'll come back here for lunch! and she can open her gifts then.

I'll post pics later just in case she roams through my blog before we meet up! So, stay turned. I think she will like them!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Day in the life...

We took a drive out to the beach not long ago as we had been told the waves were really big due to the storms moving our way. Ahem, the teller of this tale was in error...the Gulf was like glass out at our beach. I did get this great pic of one of our feathered friends though and any trip to the beach is a good one, high waves or not.

Today, after E shopped and I cleaned, we headed down to the Sponge Docks for one of the little craft fairs that come through town from time to time. We did pick up some fliers for some spices and a E bought me a starter for a yellow Plumeria...we had one in Ft. Myers that was torn to shreds by one or the other of the hurricanes that ripped through in 04 or 05.

The boys were just pulling up as we pulled in and we are now watching football...well, some of us are and will soon bar b que some yummy stuff. I'm starving so hope we are eating soon.

Hope your Labor Day is going well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Tinkering Ink layouts for Janet's store

Janet, who owns Scrapbooks Etc. in Bonita Springs Florida gave me some Tinkering Inks papers and embellishments at a crop and asked that I do a few layouts for her store. I have done 5 so far but since I am going to give these to her at next weekend's Hoe Down Crop, I am pretty sure this is it.

The first layout is of my friend, Jadee's darling youngest daughter, Hanna. Her oldest daughter, Paige, has also been the topic of many of my layouts. I have to 'rent a kid' to do child layouts as we are still working on a grandbaby...I use the term 'we' in a general since! lol

The second is of E's cat, Just Jack (yes, we each have a cat...mine is Goofy). My friend, Jill, gave us a star jasmine as a thank you gift and Jack loves to sit among the branches. He plays king of the hill up on his perch.

And, the last is of my great niece and good scrap buddy, Kaela. Isn't this a cute pose. We did a photo shoot last time she was here. Shame this goes to the store or I'd give it to her mom.

My tee is up on the site at Gypsy Rose Paper and there are some new, and very funny, downloads.

You will also notice that I have added a store to the list on the left. Retired Let's Do Lunch has the cutest little chipboard houses. Karin, the owner, and her company will be featured at Scrapbook News and Review in Oct. in my column, "Featured Manufacturer" and I am using her darling little house for the Haunted House kit that will be available through Oct. 1 with tons of Little Yellow Bicycle products!

Off to crash on the couch and veg out! Have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend! And to my Louisiana friends, stay safe and dry and I am praying that Gustav sputters and stops smack dab in the Gulf.

TGIF and happy Labor Day Weekend

Top of the morning to you all. I hope whatever your plans for Labor Day weekend you have a great and safe one.

We're back to one car today until we can get the ol' gal, our van, towed to where our car guy has his shop. We pulled into the drive way after taking Kristen to the airport for her weekend trip to St. Louis and E couldn't get the car out of "drive". Hoping against hope that this is something simple, but time will tell.

We had a great morning yesterday. E had to go to the bank and I had to return my library books so we hopped on our bikes and cruised into town via the park and the Pinellas Trail. After we ran our errand, we stopped at Tulas' Trailside Cafe and watched the bikers on the trail and life in a small town while we ate a great breakfast. I felt like a regular Jessica Fletcher (Murder She Wrote tv show).

Today is run run run day. We need new towels for our bathroom, new Crocs for E, and a fill up on a bunch of stuff at SAM's Club.

How come it is every time I find a gal who cuts and colors my hair exactly like I want, she moves leaving no forwarding address? This is the second stylist who has moved shops and I loved this one even more than the first one who I adored. Hope the new gal on Sat. morning can listen to me and 'see' my hair the way I want it. I've had a couple of them inbetween who didn't.

Hope to finish up two last projects off my desk and then scrap a bunch of some new papers here that are making my fingers itch to play and an idea spinning out of control on what to create with them! Wish me luck.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cindy, Happy Stamper, ( gave me this award and I am excited a)because I felt I had lost touch with her and b) this is such a nice thing to get!

The rules...
(1) The winner can put the "I :heart: your blog" logo on their blog. Isn't it cute! :))
(2) Link the person you received your award from.
(3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
(4) Put links of those on yours.
(5) Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated.

so here we go ( and don't worry if you don't see your of these gals will nominate you for sure!)

Roz: because she is such an uplifting person and a Smoochie Girl (SM indicates other Smoochie Girls) to boot.(

Carla: she is far too much fun and is often my partner in crime (

Linda: she tells it like it is day in and day out and I admire that about her (

Chris: my morning coffee gal(

Kip: because today is her last Open House of her teaching career and she is funny to boot (

Laura: she hosts the meanest game of BINGO I've ever played and I don't play games
last but not least
Pam from KnK: our DT leader and my wine thirty buddy extraordinare! (

Playing haus frau

And am mercilessly cleaning out drawers and shelves in my work room...some things go into the trash, some go into the RAK box and some get marked for lss garage sale. About to take a break and hit the pool! Hope you are having a good one!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Song List is updated

Please let me know if you have any requests...fall songs, back to school songs, etc.

There are some I can't take off yet: Seal (I love his voice), Red red wine (my pal Pete's and my theme song), Crazy (my anthem), Blue Bayou (just because)

and for my dad: Teresa Brewer's Put another nickle in...

but I am open to ideas...

Finishing up some layouts

I have a stack of layouts that are half done or a quarter done that I usually take to crops to finish. But, the stack has been growing and growing and...well, you get the picture! So, I decided to tackle a few of these each week. This is our new house. Guess I can't call it new anymore since we've been here for 15 months now and my "new" car, Hot Mama, the transformer car! I love it.

Anyway, this is the latest of my efforts. Now where did I put the New House album?

Have a good one!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quick post

Check out my Painted Ladies tee shirt I made today.
This was such back to your regularly scheduled program and thanks for looking!

Black Market Paper Society kinda day

The September kit from KnK is awesome and chocked full of goodies...felt paper from Doodlebug, tons of Black Market Paper Society's newest and greatest line, lot of texture, which is the theme for this month. There is grunge board and buttons and brads and a Hambly tranparency... And the velvet flowers...yummmmmm.

So I did these two layouts and a tri fold card which won't go up for a bit. And, I finished with my Back to School project kit for KnK which goes up for sale on Sept. 1, I think. So much fun!

My dad is back in the hospital with some problems from the chemo so any good thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's a new week in Paradise

I finished this layout for Janet's store, Scrapbooks Etc. in Bonita Springs, Fl, last week and just never got it posted. I love the vibrant colors of the Tinkering Ink papers and found paint to match with Claudine Helsmith's new line of paints, Studio. I sanded the edges of the letters. I cut out the flower shapes and layered them on foam squares for extra dimension. Hope Janet likes this one. One more to go!

Rob is coming over later for steak as we are celebrating his new full time job with PODS. He starts training Sept 2. He was originally offered part time but two days later, they called back to offer him full time employment! Yeah! The guys will spend the rest of the afternoon or early evening watching some football and that leaves me free to play here in my room. Double Yeah!

I have a new download from Gypsy Rose Paperie to play with along with some goodies left from this month's KnK kit. If you haven't seen that yet, you need to get yourself over to the site and take a look...this kit is loaded to gills!

Will post anything fun I come up with later today. Right now, if I don't clean up the room, the health authorities are going to slap a condemned sign on my door.

Hope your day is a good one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou"

Well, no bread and the jug of wine was actually a very nice bottle of pinot gris but 'thou' was there x 2. Yesterday we headed up to Snookers for our Friday afternoon happy hour. It gets us out of the house and we meet new people plus the added bonus of chatting with our favorite barkeep there, Suzie!

We came home and thought about how long it had been since we just put on some cds and relaxed on the lanai. It is usually just too hot and muggy to do this in the summer here but we've had lots of cooling weather thanks to Tropical Storm Fay (who hasn't been as kind to all parts of our state...hope everyone is recovering fast).

So, we loaded the cd player with lots of wonderful music, grabbed a nice bottle of wine and headed to the back. We talked; E looked through cooking magazines and I read the recent Coastal Living and Southern Living mags...picking out some fall plants along the way for E to put on our garden list.

Andre Bocelli, Chris Botti, and Sarah Brighton filled our souls, the wine did the same for our senses and we chilled out! Love evenings like these.

Friday, August 22, 2008

So, I finished my article for the Oct. 1

and thought you might like a sneak peek (taking a clue from my friend Kip who is a real tease!) and have posted bits and pieces of the projects for the article entitled Paper Crafting for a Halloween Party" or something like that! lol

We are getting rain and wind but nothing like the West Coasties here in Florida have been getting. Stay dry you all. Or as dry as you can.

and Smile's FRIDAY!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One closet down and so much yet to go!

It was purge time here for me. As long as the house was in utter chaos anyway from our necessary de flea-ing (thanks cats!), and all I could really do in between loads of laundry was organize, I did. I only got as far as the closet here in my work room and that took most of the day. Talk about a purge: I have a bit over one foot of paper put aside for a scrap yard sale, tons of stickers and tags and frames and an assortment of smaller tools I just had to have and never used. I even went through some of my stamps as well. And I feel so much better!

I discovered over 70 layouts that I had never put in albums. Those are at least sorted by category now which will help me with the next step. I think I am avoiding the actual putting the layouts in albums because I know I'll have to add pages to the albums to make them all fit...hate doing that!

And today, well, I have a project due that I need to finish and write directions for and I have an article to write on Halloween paper crafts and I have this horrible mess on my work top to take care of first. But the day is young and nothing else is on my agenda to work I go! Think of me kindly as you go about your, little ol' me, slaving away trying to find places for things that don't have places! lol

Oh, and it is time for some new tunes on my player here so will put that on The List too!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sun is out and the Surf is up...

The storm seems to have passed us by leaving behind lovely breezes and lower temps. We got a lot done and the lanai and front porch gleam. I even had time to do some playing in here. The layout is one I did for Janet, who owns Scrapbooks Etc. in Bonita Springs, Fl. She gave me a bunch of Tinkering Ink papers and goodies to create some layouts for her store. This is the last of three I have done so far. Hope you like it Janet...I'll bring them all to the Hoe Down Crop!

I also played with the second free downloaded image from Gypsy Rose Paperie. I posted that project here:

If you would like to roam over and take a look, it would be appreciated. This one was fun to play with as I printed the image onto canvas paper and used diluted inks to add color.

Hope your weather stays fair and you have a great day!

Go Away Fay

and she did. Tropical Storm Fay,which looked like she might disrupt our lives for a bit, made landfall way south of us and is heading ne up the state. Hope the effects from her are as minor elsewhere as here. Spent most of yesterday helping Kristen get her second grade classroom ready and helping E bring in the outdoor furniture. Since all we are expected to get now is some showers later, we'll use this time to deep clean the front porch and the lanai around the pool.

I hope to do some 2x2s and 4x4s later this afternoon and will post those when I get them done.

Have a good one!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Free download from Gypsy Rose Paperie

Checked out the site this morning and there is a wonderful pair of vintage ladies available for a download (thanks GRP) so, rather than worry about the possibility of a tropical storm affecting us come next Tues and watching the boring weather channel, I played with the images. This is just one of them. I printed it out on a sheet of Jacquard ExtravOrganza silk and, before I peeled off the backing, I painted on Stickles, Lumiere paints and Krylon ink in gold with a small tipped paint brush and edged the image with the same.

I made some faux watercolor paper with chalk inks on vellum. I learned this oh so pretty technique from Regina, the owner of Owl and the Pussycat Stamp Store in Ft. Myers in a class I took from her about five years ago. It remains one of my favorites. I tried the same technique on glossy paper and loved it too. I ran the glossy version through my printer for the "Thinking of You" and embossed it with gold. The vines and swirls are a K & Co. rub on, cut to fit and then painted over in places with Krylon gold.

Off to play with the second image. Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Remembering Home

While this probably belongs on my altered art blog, not as many visit that blog as this one and I wanted to share this as I know a couple of my cousins and my sister read this one. (I will blog on the altered art blog today too).

I grew up listening to stories about the 'house in Hudson (Iowa)' from my mom's sister, Marion who was known to most of us as Aunt Mommie. She spent many happy days with her paternal grandparents who lived there. The house is long gone and my aunt died about eight years ago but, for many of us, the memories remain. She even had an artist friend do a rendering of the 'house in Hudson' from a photograph. I elected to do a collage inside a tray I picked up on sale at a craft store.

The baby in the picture is my aunt a bit over a year old and the house is the one in Hudson.

(I've been experiencing a bit of vertigo lately and will be starting new meds today so hopefully will be able to be more punctual about my blogging).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thank heaven it is Thursday

These were two of the layouts I did for Scrapbook News and Review last month for the column I write called, "Featured Manufacturer". For July, I focused on Memories in Uniform which also donated the {Life}Jacket album that was the give away on my blog not too long ago.
The first layout is of my Uncle Edward, my mother's brother. This is one of the few photos I have of him and I went according to the dates my Nana wrote on the back of the photo. The second layout is of my Uncle Harlan in France in WWII. His division was with Patton and I ended up with a bunch of his photos that he took and had sent home to my aunt, his wife. The dog tags are his official ones and were in a tiny box with the photos.
Amy Alfaro, who with her husband, owns Memories in Uniform, has such great products for military and vintage scrapping.
I woke up with vertigo for the second morning in a row. Unlike yesterday morning, this time it is not going away. I am ok if I sit upright and move my whole body rather than move just my head. I had this once before and have some meds for it. Off to dig them up.

I did finish the tray I have been altering fo the past couple of days and will post it tomorrow or Sat., depending on how long things take to set up and dry. It is all about my great grandmother's house in Hudson Iowa with a great photo of my Aunt Marion at about age one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lost days

Eons ago a bunch of us started a circle journal round robin with each of us picking a theme. I still have Pam's book and Linda's sitting here waiting for inspiration. Soon, I promise. Anyway, I took the circle journal to heart...I love designing within a circle anyway! My theme was "The hats we wear". The group for the exchange is diverse in ages and interests and I thought it would be interesting to see what "hats" each sees herself wearing. The second photo here is of the sign in tags.

My grandmother worked in a hat factory before she married and I have the most wonderful photos of her in huge hats like these on the cover. These came from an old ad from a magazine I found in a thrift shop in Dunedin long ago.

I am also a collector of wine images. I am in the process of creating a wine journal for E and I so we can keep track of the special ones (like our favorite Amarone) and when we had each. I am hoping to incorporate some of these vintage wine images into the journal.

Other than laundry, I am not up to anything special today. We are heading to town for lunch at Snookers and to see our favorite bar keep, Suzie!

Hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to my Tuesday

This is an accordion album I did about a month ago. Not sure where I got the antique keys but the sheer ribbon is something I picked up at a convention from Patricia DiBona, and artist whose work I love. I've been waiting for just the right project and have only about a yard more of it.

I just got word today that I am one of the fifteen contenders for Guest Designer at Gypsy Rose Paperie ( and that some of my work will be on their new site soon. The final selection will be made on Aug. 30 and make it or not (and of course I hope I do) it is such an honor to have made it to the top fifteen. If you are a lover of the lovely and the ephemera of years past, this is a wonderful place...and, right now, on the blog, the company is having weekly give aways for posting.

Speaking of lovely, if you have not signed up the Hoe Down crop in Bonita Springs, Florida, (knkclub in conjunction with Scrapbooks Etc. Scrapbook Store), you better hurry. There are only a few places left and you don't want to miss Gerri-anne's amazing mini album class or Janet's card class or Colleen's layout class.
Both companies will have stores and some of my kits will also be available for purchase. (contact Gerri-anne at for information)

By the way, the coffee cup in the picture is one I made back during my paint on porceline days. We had a photo exchange at our house among our friends who all stay at the beach at the same time and I made these mugs for everyone as momentoes. I am down to two!

Hope your day is a good one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Greek to me...

E has been on a Greek cooking binge lately and for that I am eternally grateful. Talk about a wonderful mix of flavors!

This is arni me kanela(accent over the e in the last word) or Cinnamon lamb casserole and is made with olive oil, lamb and cinnamon, of course, onions, clove, red wine, red wine vinegar, chopped tomatoes, seedless raisins, a pinch of sugar, a bay leaf, salt and paprika to garnish. It is often served with a Greek yogurt topping with cloves, salt and pepper. YUM!

The second dish is Spicy Aromatic Chicken or kotopoulo pikantiko (accent marks on the second o in the first word and over the a in the second). This one calls for chicken pieces, skinned, lemon wedges, olive oil, onion, garlic cloves, white wine, tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, clove, allspice, salt and pepper, artichoke hearts and black olives. This one is a 'be still my heart' dish.

Slightly to the back in the photo is the Greek lemon soup. We first had this soup at the Greek food festival here in Tarpon Springs and it was so good that E just had to learn how to make it.

All of these recipes are from World Food Greece by Susanna Tee (Thunder Bay Press, San Diago, CA).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Good company! and belated posting

Jenny, Tony and Kaela stopped in for a short visit on their way to Disney before Kaela starts back to school. Although Chris has to work, Rob and Kristen made it over for E's (now)famous Spicy Greek Chicken, Lemon soup and olive bread with a yogart cucumber spread. And this is what we do when we are together...
Kristen and Jen get caught up on each others' lives. Jen, Kaela and I scrap a bit. Rob plays some kind of game with Kaela which she swears will teach him how to cook. Tony works on real estate and watches football with the guys. E cooks amazing goodies to nourish our tummies and souls(pics to follow tomorrow) and, with lots of help from everyone, I clean up.

Unfortunately, we got some bad new this weekend from my dad that he has lung cancer. He will be undergoing radical and aggressive chemo starting this Tues. I know he was in all our thoughts during this visit and will continue to be.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Short Ride to the Sponge Docks

The sun was out and the breeze mild when I started today's biking adventure. By the time I had cleared North Anclote Park and got onto the Pinellas Trail, the clouds had moved in and the wind had picked up. When I felt a few drops and the thunder started booming at me, I made tracks for home ASAP. I only got a bit over 7 miles in today.

This first picture was taken of the marsh lands looking north. My house is to the right of the white buildings on the right (condos) and back from the river by a bit. We live one mile from Dodecanese Blvd. which forms the main drag for the touristy part of town, the historic Sponge Docks.

There are candy and soap shops and tee shirts and hand embroidery places and upscale clothing stores mixed in with deep sea fishing excursions along with boat rides out to Anclote Key where the lighthouse can be found and tours of the bayous just off the river.

The restaurants are plentiful and serve authentic Greek cuisine along with fresh fish markets.

This is a working port too with shipbuilding across from the Sponge
Docks and many sponge boats. Tarpon Springs is still considered to be the Sponge Capital of the World and we have a sign to prove it! lol

Coming up on the 16th is the Greek Wine Festival and we are going for sure. This little town sure has tons of festivals and all we have attended have been great!

Our company coming has had car problems so won't be here until supper time. Guess what I am going to do meanwhile.