Monday, August 31, 2009

Sneak Peek at my tech for KNK/September

Gerri-anne asked me to play with the Heidi Swapp Invisible 12x12 chipboard sheet that was in the KnK kit for September. I tried about 7 different coloring methods and my tech, which goes up the first of every month, will show what worked and what didn't and how to get some special effects. Amy, from KnK's design team used a mask on the chipboard and you have to see it to believe it...way to go Amy! You can see her layout here: on the home page and here, on her blog: Leave her some love. She is one talented lady!
Thanks for looking.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Biking over the Anclote

The changes in the seasons here in Paradise are subtle and, unless you watch carefully, the only indication of fall is a slight dip in the temps. Because we bike every morning and usually take one of three routes, we have seen evidence of late of some indications that fall is not too far away.

Our favorite bike route is through the nature preserve over the river bridge and onto the Trail. We do anywhere from four miles upwards to ten a ride and this is one of the best parts of any of them. One morning we spotted a roseate spoonbill feeding in the shallows, another time a manatee was making its way through a pass at low tide and still another, we saw a school of fish having a jumping contest as we rode over the bridge.

The little fat bunnies from this spring have grown into fat big rabbits and they watch us from along side the woods. Berries in purple and red are starting to show here and there and some of the marsh grasses are changing their hues. We don't get the incredible color display of the northeast and mid west but we do get a few glimmers of autumn now and then. I can no longer imagine living anywhere but here in Paradise!

Hope your weekend has been a good one.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thanks Lisa

I went cropping last night with Jackie, Jean, Natalie and Diane and got lots of projects started. I could have done more but I left my pictures at home on top of the Had such fun with these gals!

Lisa, the owner of Ruban Rouge in Palm Harbor Fl., mentioned that she was donating the unsold items from the sale room to teachers in the area for use in their classrooms. She suggested I call Kristen and up she and Chris came. We gathered supplies for some projects she does with the kids plus enough items to do the end of the school year scrapbooks I teach to her second graders...yeah! So, many thanks to Lisa and people like her. Our teachers can use all the help they can get.

A short bike ride this morning with yoga at ten and then I am going to do some of the challenges being posted at the cyber crop at ACOT (www.acherryonthetop). Some fun prizes to be won there this weekend. Roam on over!

E is fixing what we call "Jadee's Dad's Ribs" tonight on the charcoal grill and I am salivating already. The ribs are coated with a mustard base and put in the fridge over night and you can only imagine how good these are.

We are meeting friends for lunch tomorrow on the river. They leave for ten days in Costa Rica and we want to wish them bon voyage.

Hope your weekend is a good one!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered am I....

I played with an old torso today to create this Witchy Woman (more pics and the story behind my Elphaba see my altered blog

I am unblocked and ready to create what needs to be created tomorrow! Have a great evening all.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bayou Bliss

E is off doing jury duty today so I rode by myself. As much as I love riding with E and walking with K, they are mostly people on a mission: get there and get back. There is little dawdling, not much oogling and few long pauses for refreshment of the sight and soul. They do always pick lovely destinations with enchanting vistas but the goal is to ride or walk. Don't think I don't appreciate this admirable trait in them: they keep me on task and focused which I certainly need. BUT, I am, by nature, a dawdler and a gawker and, if I see something like the new berries on the side of path, I'd like to stop and touch them perhaps or see if they have a nice aroma or, at the least take a picture of them for remembrance.

When I walk with Kristen, I tell her to go on ahead. She wears a monitor and keeps her heart rate up etc. I meander and meet her on her way back. When I ride with E it is not always Speed Racer...we did stop for quite some time on the bike path bridge over the Anclote to watch the spoonbill roseate in the shallows. So I do get to stop and smell the roses so to speak from time to time and I do enjoy their company.

Which brings me, as usual, in a round about way, to my solo bike ride today to Spring Bayou here in town. Riding through town during the week is an adventure with the traffic but, once I get on the back streets, I'm safer. I rode to the bayou, got off my bike and ambled around the rim of bayou snapping shots as I went. What a joy...birds floating on the water, long wisps of Spanish Moss wafting in the breeze, a fish jumping now and then and a boat slowing circling the basin...yummy! My soul is filled for today and often that is all it takes to last me a week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lazy Day

I skipped the bike ride this morning in favor of helping my daughter, Kristen, start her new batch of second graders get situated on the first day of school. I helped meet and greet, check in supplies, organize them and put them away (the supplies not the and get some papers put in binders. Then to a chorus of a dozen and more mispronounced, Goodbye Mrs. Eickmeiers, I took my leave. I am sure this batch, like the ones before them, will end up calling me Mrs. Owens' Mother...and I don't mind at all!

While I was gone, E did a bunch of yard work trying to fix a drainage problem we have on the side yard and then we pooled it. He napped after and I read a book on the lanai and dozed a bit myself. Chicken on the grill soon and another great day in Paradise.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My last reveal for September kit at KnK

So far I've done 3 12x12 layouts and 1 card and I have enough product left to do either 2 more cards or one more layout. These kits are loaded to the brim with goodies. To order, go to and they say in the ads, supply is limited!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Weekend

I was just thinking abut weekend traditions. When E and I were teaching, Sat. was our day to hang around the house in our jammies in the morning and then, if we did not have plans with friends, we'd, take a walk or go down to the little lake, weather permitting, and E would fish while I'd read from a blanket on the grass.

Now that we are retired and every day is a weekend if we so chose, we still try to make the weekends special just because. Sometimes we go to a green market or bike down by the bayou here in town rather than ride the trail. We check the paper for local festivals and events and select one every weekend or so or plan on having friends over for dinner.

Today is Sat. and the week kind of got away from us so we have made no plans. But, who knows what adventure is lurking just around the corner?

Had a great evening scrapping at Ruban Rouge. Lisa is always a trip and, while Jean could not make it, Jackie and Co. were there to welcome me. We missed you Jean. I made more progress on my notesbooks that I am altering for Christmas gifts and they are posted on my altered art site: If you are in the Stocking Pals group and want a preview, look away...if you like surprises, don't. I'll give these out ala grab bag style so who knows who will get what. I am having fun with these and finally using a bunch of my stamps that have been begging me to ink them up and get them dirty!

So, back to the weekend traditions thing...what is yours?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good Golly Miss Molly...what a great day!

On my way to meet Cathy (W.O.T.E.)for lunch at the Chicaboom Room (oh, I do love saying that), Jo, my oldest friend in the whole wide world...qualifier: we've known each other since we were 15 which, in a blink of an eye, will be 50 years!called me and asked me to stop and check out another place for her and her sainted husband, Bill. I had just stopped at one place off Alt. 19 and stopped at the second on my way home. Meanwhile, she had me laughing so hard I almost peed my pants, which is a whole other story.

And on to lunch...I think there is something refreshing about having a younger friend whose interests are so different from mine. While Cathy is an avid scrapper, she is also a dancer: ballroom, salsa, name it and her toes are set a tapping. She is also my Mary Kay dealer (ok...rep. That does sound better, doesn't it) and is a wonder. She and I get together from time to time to catch up on each other's lives, enjoy each other's company and just have a good laugh. Thank you Cathy for being my joyful younger friend. She reaffirms to me that the 'younger generation' is NOT going to hell in a hand basket but rather there are 'young 'uns out there with common sense, values and who can have a good time too.

So, this is what we had for lunch...her salad was the steak salad medium rare and mine was the salmon...and very yummy! She had the most interesting drink for lunch. It was something called a Dirty Ho (a wheat beer whose co. name starts Ho something and a shot of raspberry liquor) and it was so good. I had my usual boring Pinot Grigio and next time, Cathy, you can order for me. Now doesn't that sound like such fun thing to say to a waiter when you are out somewhere...oh, I'll have a Dirty

And then, the icing on the cake...our builder in Ft. Myers and friends from our Ft. Myers days, Jackie, found me on face book and it looks like we are going to be able to spend some time with her and Seth toward the end of Sept. They are from Baton Rouge and we have spent some delightful times with them...can't wait!

So, hope your day was as much fun as mine and your lunch half as delectable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Everything is coming up roses...

and gardenias and geraniums and lavender and lilacs and ground lilies and...well, you get the picture. Our garden, which first suffered from a freeze or two last winter and the a drought of sorts, is loving the humidity and the rain we have been getting. Our rosemary, oregano, tarragon and basil are thriving and the lemons on our little tree are getting fatter and a bit more yellow, pulling the branches towards the earth.

We are still doing daily battle with our tiny ants around the lip of the pool but our too friendly neighborhood black racer seems to have moved on. We were not terribly hospitable to him/her. She did so enjoy watching us swim from the gardenia bush but I think the thrill is gone as we have not seen her in over a week. Pulling up the ground cover near the bush may have helped too.

We are hoping to get the paver guys back this winter to finish the work on the front porch and redo some of the pavers around the pool that need some sand shoring. Company coming in Sept/maybe Oct/and November, plus over the holidays so want to get big projects done around visits or put off until next Spring.

Hope everything in your corner of the world is coming up roses too....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Boy! was Fia surprised.

When Frank asked Susie to help him plan a surprise party for Fia, she asked me to help. Mostly what I ended up doing was being the balloon lady and offer a couple of suggestions and dear Susie did all the rest. And it was a great success. Over the course of the afternoon, about 30 different people stopped by to help Fia celebrate. Miss Vickie was there herself and gave us the covered band platform to use until the band showed up as it was sprinkling a little now and then. The weather, other than the sprinkles, was cool and we had a nice breeze. Happy Birthday dear Fia!

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Here! The September KnK Club kit....

What a bright, cheerful kit G-a and Sonia composed for this month! Way to go gals. I love the colors and all the goodies in the kit. I have created these two layouts, started another and finished a card and I only got the kit on Thurs. This is a kit that almost scraps itself. I'll be using every last drop of the this one for sure.

(I'll post some of the pics from yesterday's surprise birthday party tomorrow for those who were there or who are interested). Have great day!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A special day


Saturday, August 15, 2009

From our friend Chuck

Our friends, Chuck and Linda, do mission work with their church in Jamaica two or three times a year. One of the areas in which they work is in conjunction with an orphanage. What I did not know was that when children are designated to an orphanage in Jamaica, they can not be adopted. The orphanage Chuck and Linda are associated with through their mission is in need of assistance. Chuck is doing a fund raiser and the details follow in the email he sent us this week. Do as your heart tells you...and thanks for reading.

I need Help.

I’d like to ride the Katy again, from Sedalia to St. Charles, as a fund raiser for our Jamaica Missouri Partnership. I did it last year and raised over $200. This year I’d like to try to raise $400 or more. I have a target goal in mind- a new computer for the children at Pringle Children’s Home near Carron Hall in Jamaica.
So, here is the plan. I will take my bike on the train to Sedalia. Ride to Booneville. Ride to Jefferson City, and then ride to Hermann. The next week, after a little rest, I will ride from Hermann to Augusta and then finish by riding to St. Charles. God willing.
So, how can you help. Please pledge a donation to give me the moral support and impetus to do the ride. I need some help with changing inertia to a moving force rather than a sedentary force on the sofa.
If you can help please send a check to
Missouri Mid South Conference --United Church of Christ
411 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, Mo. 63119 Attn. Laura
And please let Laura know the check is for the Jamaica Missouri Partnership.

What do you get out of this? Hopefully we get a slimmer Chuck. And, if you request it, a picture of me and my bike (frameable) somewhere scenic on the Katy Trail, and the satisfaction of knowing that you helped me and a bunch of kids in Jamaica. That’s the most important part- Helping Jamaican kids.

I completed the first 3 days of the ride. Aug. 11,12, 13. Help me finish next week.

Chuck Adams-

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Never too early for Halloween ...

I've had this hinged shadow box for a month or so now and I've been waiting patiently for the muse to come visit again. I thought about birds (yep, still workin my way out of that obsession)but took a pass. Then, the other day, I was blog hopping and came across a gal who loves H'ween even more than I do. She has set up a blog just about the holiday and is knee deep in memories and preparations. When I can find her blog again, I'll post it as I would like to thank her for the inspiration to use the shadow box for a H'ween decor item.


The shadow box is about 2 inches deep and measures 10 1/4 x 12 inches. It has an attached easel on the back and I picked it up on sale for 9.95 at Tues Morning (love that store). The front is hinged and stays closed with magnets. Now I wish I had also bought the one in white.

I bought the tiny lights at a craft store and downloaded the haunted house from a free on line site. The witch and her cat perched on the tree limb are from a vintage postcard a friend sent my aunt in the late 40s.

I still have the pumpkin to do that sits on the front porch and would like to back light it as well. Tomorrow is another day and for now... I like it! I am also putting these on my altered art blog as it is starving! lol.

Thanks for looking. Click on the photos to see each one larger.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What do you get when you....

take twigs, Golden Gel Medium, a spider web transparency, Stickles, a vintage postcard, a free clip art download, Pearlescent watercolors, a thin sheet of tin, glass etching gel and a frame?

Well, we shall find out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Funny what makes us laugh

We get our paper early in the morning and usually read it right after our bike ride. Yesterday, our routine was a bit different and E brought it in right away. "Look at this and tell me what you read," he says to me. I had to do a double take. Talk about irony as the ad over the headline caused it to speak more accurately than the real one did. Charlie was a sh_tty hurricane for sure.

We were lucky living in Ft. Myers as the hurricane struck 17 miles north of us and the residue of the storm passing that close to us caused so much damage in our area and what happened to those poor people further north of us was horrific.

We had only been in our new house for about 7 or 8 months when E, who is an avid news and weather watcher, made a trip to Home Depot or Lowe's for ply wood and began nailing us in. We had been warned by my step dad to stock up on propane for the grill and food and water so, when the storm turned with only two or so hours notice, we were as prepared as we could be.

We attended our first pre hurricane party that morning, roaming the couple of streets of our development with neighbors helping others secure their homes and drinking bloody mary's hosted by a sorority sister of my daughters who lived down the street. We watched our 5 inch battery operated bl/wt t.v. in the inside bathroom on dining room chairs as the storm grew closer and closer. The cats huddled in the shower.

It was during this storm and it's aftermath we learned the true meaning of 'good neighbors'. We grilled breakfast and supper with Ed and Deb every day while the electric was out, swam in the increasingly green pool to cool off with the people in our community and were served hot coffee every morning by the one guy in the neighborhood who had a generator.

We woke the next morning after Charlie to find one of our palms blown down across the road and a huge tree on top of our lanai. What woke us was the sound of multiple chain saws at work on the tree to remove it so we could get out. The younger guys in the neighborhood had formed a brigade to assist each homeowner in whatever way they could. E joined them. We were without electricity for five days which was minor compared to some who lost it for months. The last day our food would stay good, we all gathered grills of all makes and models into our drive way and had a massive bbq. Everyone brought what they could and the feast was amazing. The fellowship even more s.

Out of adversity, we formed lasting friendships with some of these neighbors and forever memories with all. This headline brought all this flooding back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lovely day on the river...

Ever since E discovered the River House Reef and Grill in Palmetto and we went to lunch there for our anniversary, we knew we wanted to let Janet and Bob know about it. They live (half the year) not too far away on Anna Maria Island. The food is fresh and tasty, the view lovely and it is just their kind of place we thought. To test this out, when Janet mentioned a ways back that they were heading down to AMI from Pennsylvania for a week, we booked a date.

We had a pool warming gift for them and I had found a tea pot (Janet collects them) shaped like a cup cake (Janet makes them lots)for her belated b'day. Giving gifts in person sure beats mailing them.

The guys had been wanting to discuss our next get together this coming winter. It is our turn to host and Bob wants to learn more about the local sponge industry. The last time we got together the boys cooked non stop for us while Janet and I sat on their balcony and watched the day go by. The guys (one a 'chef' and the other a baker) worked together like a well oiled machine, bobbing and weaving in and out, cooking and cleaning without a single mishap. This is amazing as they had never cooked together before.

I recommend the flatbreads at River House. E was not that thrilled with my seafood one as he thought the basil pesto a bit bitter...I loved it. We all got something different and agreed the food is worth the drive.

Til next time, pals.

Off this morning to yoga with Sandy. Hope everyone has a great day!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Off on an adventure

today. We're biking first and taking care of some laundry and yard work.

My friend, Sandy, and I are headed to her club on Monday for another session of yoga before she leaves for hurricane season (and Ireland).Thanks Sandy and I hope I don't fall off the tread mill first; I've never been on one in my life.

I am finding more and more people who love this form of exercise. According to my scale, 9 lbs. to goal weight and I'd like to stay a couple under the 155lb.s that was set as goal. My 'cute' clothes are starting to fit again and I even squeezed into a couple of pairs of capris that Kristen

Off and biking,

have a great one!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

EEEK...forgot to post my layouts from

yesterday's reveal at This is my second and last reveal for this kit. I've has such fun working with the product and my tech was a dream to write. Thanks G-a, you and Sonia put together some amazing kits!

Welcome to the Weekend

Our Friday was lovely: no Green Market since the days have been changed due to summer heat but we did have a nice stroll around Dunedin and watched part of a dedication stone to the military heroes. We went to Peggy O'Neal's for an early lunch, followed by a visit to our favorite nursery, Earthscrapes Garden Room on alt. 19 and may have found the arbor for the front porch to afford us a bit more privacy and provide some more shade. The manager is checking for us on matching waist high fence. We'd have to clear this with the architectural committee here as this is rod iron rather than the white plastic everyone else has.

Had a blast at the RR crop. Should Linda, Gerri-anne and Lisa every go into cahoots to present a scrappy event together...look out Tampa. These women know scrapping and know what it takes to make a crop not just good but great. It was good to reconnect with some of the RR gals and to catch up with everything. Lisa has a great sale on and boxes and boxes of new stuff coming in. I'm meeting Jean there on Wed. (supposidly to see her T. Collins projects) but we're also hopeful to get a sneak peek. I did make a bit of progress on my notebooks and, after a few more stamp sessions should have 5 of the 10 completed.

Those of you who were asking about my vintage pen nibs, ink bottles and giant old camera stamp, Artful Illusions ( Kip and I discovered them at the last Stamp Fest. Oh, and I heard Stamp Fest has moved locations this year and will be held in Feb....too excited. Hoping this company will be there again.

Also heard from the new owner that the creative festival usually held in ST. Mary's Ga will be back in 2010...are we in Dawn? If anyone else is interested, you are welcome. Miami Dawn and I have been talking about this for eons. I'll post details when they become available.
We drove through St. Mary's on our way to Savannah and it is the cutest little town on the river filled with lovely old homes, many of which are B&Bs, darling shops and lots of fun restaurants...we ate on the front porch of one facing the river...lovely!

So, biking with E this morning followed by yoga at the community center and then pool time if it doesn't rain...hope whatever your plans, your day is a good one.

And a wave to LIsa, Jean, Natalie and Jackie et al for a warm welcome at the crop.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Lobsters and Shrimp and Soup...oh my!

E is in his element when he knows we have people coming over for supper. He has spent the day tap dancing around the kitchen in his little size 14 Crocs creating the most amazing Carribean Black Bean soup...a dollop of sour cream on the top and a few cilantro springs for presentation and ooh ooh...the perfect accompaniment for what Suzie and Justin brought over last night to share...fresh caught Fl. lobster and shrimp right off the boat. And, they cleaned and cooked them for us too! Justin fixed the shrimp on skewers with a blend of Jamaican spices and the lobster tails with a garlic aioli and we chowed down. E had finished off the meal for us with his infamous apricot brownies. (these are the ones the Book Club girls fell in love with when the meeting was at my house) I figure roughly about a gazillion WW points last night but sometimes ya just have to give in to the temptation. I wouldn't have wanted to insult our guests now....

We're off to the Green Market in Dunedin today. I just love looking at all the pretty veggies ad we are out of tomatoes. Tonight is the crop at Ruban Rouge. Local gals, check out Lisa's blog for some news: she is moving the crop room back into the store and has the back room filled with 75% off stuff to clear the way for new product! This is the last crop in the crop room. Meeting a couple of pals there.

Hope your Friday is a good one!