Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jackie's Blog Giveaway

Over at Stitchworks Jackie had a giveaway a short time ago and I would love to show the handstitched piece she sent that I had won. It came all the way from England and I am thrilled! It is a gorgeous piece with hand stitching, lace, and goodies featuring some fabric with pounded flowers. I love the muted colors and the hand work. Beautiful! Thank you, Jackie.
A close up of some of the yummy hand work:
An even better photo of the flower pounded fabric:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

As American as...

.....Apple Pie? The last pie I made Dave suggested that I should have taken a pic of it before we dug in, so today I did just that. This is from the last of the apples (at MY house anyway) Cheri and I picked. There were enough to make 2 batches of filling so I am attempting to freeze the filling to be made into pies later on. This one's still warm so I will have to wait a bit to try it, but mmmmmmmmm......sure smells good!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nuts and Leaves

Cheri and I have been busy lately gleaning any apples we can find along with pears, black walnuts, and chestnuts. We've made two huge batches of apple butter in the past week. I have many pears from two different trees that I will attempt to turn into pear butter when more have ripened. Hopefully there will be enough in the next few days so I can take some pear butter with me when I visit my mother and sister in upstate NY next weekend. We shall see! Even though I grew up in a rural area, I don't remember any chestnut trees so was amused to see their bristly pods (I think they look like mini hedgehogs!):
I have been chronicling the changing of the leaves on our property here. This will be the first full year living here so it's rather interesting. On a breezy day you can hear the MANY acorns (we have 3 types of oak trees) dropping through the branches and bouncing off the ground. It's surprising that we have hardly any squirrels eating these nuts since there are so many. I guess it's easier to eat from the neighbors' bird feeders! Just a few of the trees:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Journal Pages

For the past week I have been elbow-deep in gesso and paint. I've been working on prepping pages for a small journal (6X8). I think it's a Stampin' Up journal that I purchased several years ago when I was selling the product, but I can' be certain. I had already made a cover with an inset embossed metal design that I painted with alcohol inks so I just needed to work on the pages. I added more pages (a snap when it is wire bound) to make it nice and thick, I ended up with 24 pages (48 sides). It took a few days and two heat guns to prep each side with gesso and even longer to paint each one. I did end up with plenty of paper towels to use later on, though! I used several techniques to paint and several different types of paint (acrylic, fluid acrylic, Lumiere, heavy body Golden acrylic, spray paint, watercolor crayons and pencils), several stencils and masks, some tape, and a sponge roller. I wanted to show a couple of pages in progress (although I painted the pages in the book, I dismantled the pages to satisfy my urge to sew on them.......probably backwards, but HEY, it's my journal! lol). April just recently sent me a goody package from AZ and the transparency frames were sitting on my table so I sewed a couple of the flowers to these pages.
The page below shows one of my new favorite techniques, I wrapped rubber bands around a sponge roller, ran it through the paint and then onto the page. To me it looks like snake skin! The base layer for the top page was brushed on acrylic paint; the bottom page was painted with my fingers.

Sew far Sew good! Now, back to the studio to sew some more stuff on!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Wow! I actually won another give-away! The stars have been aligned right lately. A big thank you shout out to Jackie over at Stitchworks for the beautifully handworked give away. Go check her blog out...........NOW! Thanks, Jackie!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Etsy Update

I added a couple of Do-It-Yourself Card Kits to my Etsy store today, both Halloween (pictured to the right in my Etsy listings) and Autumn shown below. Each kit contains enough supplies to create 6 unique cards. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Plants and Zentangles

The month of August was rainy here on the mountain and there were multitudes of mushrooms growing everywhere! Every day was a new adventure walking in the woods here. Later I'll show you what the fuschia mushroom looked like after it grew, but for now I want to show you a bit of the huge colony of orange mushrooms that were across the road. I counted over 25 in one clump and several others nearby! The last colony of these we saw were growing out of a tree stump, but these were growing from the ground. This photo is of the little clump, I love to get close-ups because the dew drops turn orange:
Last year I took photos of a strange almost ethereal plant that I assumed was a mushroom, then thought nothing more of it. That is, until this summer when Cheri mentioned that it might be the rare plant, Indian Pipe. I found the photo, sent it to here, and sure enough, it was the Indian Pipe. The photo didn't show enough of the surrounding area to be able to pinpoint where the plant was which was disappointing, but I did find, a little while later, another colony growing close to the house across the road. I flagged it, watched it turn black and forgot about it. THEN, Cheri and I took a nature walk in the woods behind the house and found two more dead colonies......but wait, there's more! A week or so ago I found 3 more colonies at the front end of our street, in one area there were 2 new shoots just emerging from the ground! So we took photos. When I returned to check them out 2 days later an animal must have thought the shoots were tasty, they were sheered off at the ground level. The established plants were fine. A few days later I found several more colonies, all in different growth stages, actually on the property. It will be interesting to see if they grow in the same spot or not next year. They may be rare, but not near my property!
This is one of the new shoots that was eaten:
This colony is fairly new, as they age the flowers and stalks begin to turn black. You can see a little of that happening on the edge of the lower right flower. They have a pinkish hue to them which is gorgeous!
And finally, my newest obsession is Zentangling! I found several blogs and sites that give great directions for tangles. I even watched a couple of videos at the official Zentangle site. I've been practicing every tangle and found that even though I almost skip some of them, they really are fairly simple to create. This is my first actual Zentangle using some of my favorite tangles and one I even created myself! Every night I end up doodling for almost an hour, the time flies. I have a couple of ideas to create in mind, but I need to become much better at Zentangling and work on my shading.