Tuesday, April 7, 2015

T stands for This and That

Hi everyone! I've been playing around with my newer sewing machine (I have two) which has a lot of built in fun stitches and thought today would be a perfect day to share my experiment:
This is a quote from "The Wind in the Willows". It is quite tedious since you have to program in each letter individually (by selecting a number) and add underlines for spaces that have to be later trimmed off....no deluxe sewing machine model for me, LOL....but I was beyond thrilled with how it came out, AND how it fits the spine of my altered tea quote book perfectly! Now I have even more incentive to work in this book so I can work on the cover.

The experiment came about because of an idea I have for a quilt that I am making, but I will leave that post for another day! Instead, I will leave you with a few new beaded flower arrangements.
Hot pink tulips in a triple vase

Pastel daisies in an aqua bottle vase
Purple violets in a green bottle vase
 Thanks for stopping by today! I'm linking with Bleubeard and Elizabeth for T Stands for Tuesday!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Second Look on the Second

 Since this year marks the 50th anniversary of the film, "The Sound of Music" and since it is one of our favorite family movies to watch together, I felt this post was perfect for Bleubeard and Elizabeth's Second Look on the Second.  It was first posted in 2007, when I was highlighting our European trip to 24 countries. Here is the original post....

The next beautiful journey took us to Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart. We strolled through the beautiful gardens of Mirabel Palace, built in the 1600s and many spots were pointed out that were used in the filming of "The Sound of Music". I could just picture "Maria" dancing around this fountain and gardens! Of course, when we returned home, we had to watch the movie for the millionth time so we could ooh and ahh and say, "Look, we were standing right there!". Ah tourists!

We visited the Salzburg Cathedral, a Baroque style church that was also where little Mozart was baptized. This was a beautiful Cathedral-the Baroque style evokes a lot of movement which was evident in all the paintings. It also contained 4 huge pipe organs. The dome was hit by a bomb in WWII and was restored in 1959.

Browsing the town of Salzburg you see narrow cobbles streets filled with shops & restaurants. Many of the shops still had original iron signs hung outside that displayed pictures of what kind of service the shop offered. We saw where Mozart was born and a home that his family lived in later on.

Our drive took us next to Vienna where we were to spend the night. The evening's entertainment was a classical concert in the Vienna Palace featuring the music of Mozart, Strauss and Shubert. All three lived, work, and performed in this Palace. The music was, of course, amazing and was supplemented by ballet dancers and opera singers. Even if you don't like classical music, you could not help but be awed by this performance in this location.

Thanks for continuing the journey with me. I hope you enjoyed this look back as much as I did! Wishing everyone who celebrates a Happy Easter or Happy Passover!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

T Stands For Trying New Recipes

Hi Everyone! Quite a bit of snow has finally melted, but I think it is still going to be a white Easter this year.  As you may know, Easter is a holiday that floats around on the calendar--it can sometimes fall near the end of April, so this year it is an earlier date. Usually by Easter, I like to have at least the front yard raked up so it looks nice, but that won't be happening this year!

I found a very cool recipe book by accident while looking around our public library's website....
This is the neighborhood where my husband grew up! As well as having mouthwatering recipes (especially if you are Italian) from the different store owners, it is a very comprehensive look at the area. From the local church to the histories of many generations of families that have run the same stores....it is a gem to us. There is one store that we know the owner of very well--he was my FIL's best friend. My FIL used to take our DD when she was a toddler over to the store to watch him make the mozzarella cheese. Within 30 minutes of opening this book, I was scouring the internet and bought us our own copy! 

Here is the first thing I made...
Homemade gnocchi with a Mediterranean style sauce with olives and capers. My Mother used to make gnocchi (potato pillows) although she called them cavatelli which technically they weren't since she made them with potatoes.  Dennis & I were just talking about gnocchi since his mother made them too, and I was saying how I wanted to try making them.  After looking for recipes on the web, they seemed way too temperamental and complicated. I think some of the more well known chefs get carried away sometimes.  Anyway, these were very easy to make--yes, time consuming to roll and cut by hand--but that is some of the pleasure for me.  I can still see my Mom sitting at the table making these with love. The sauce was so good that I will be making it this Saturday night with manicotti (not homemade pasta) when our DD and her boyfriend come for Easter. Bleubeard and Elizabeth's T group will see my beverage that night was wine.

Do you ever read a book and love it so much you have to purchase your own copy?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

APC #27

Hi Everyone! I can't believe it is the final week of Claudine's Altered Playing Card Challenge! I am so proud of myself to have keep up and completed every single week!  A big thank you goes to Claudine for all the wonderful techniques and tutorials--I really learned a lot! This final week was about embossing; something I know I can do, but did not really turn out well on my cards.
One reason may be that I have a limited, rather old supply of embossing powder. Another could be what I used as the background.  I let them dry for hours and even gave them a blast with the heat gun, but....
the embossing powder still stuck all over the place on this first card.  It wasn't all that bad, but since I did not really like it, I covered it up as much as I could. The huge stamp helped cover up the worst of it and complimented the background color.  The shell heart was cut from a jewelry company catalog--it's funny, I never realized it was a mosaic of face parts until I used it in this piece.
I liked my second card a lot better! The oil pastel frames the stamps nicely and the cut out birdie I had sitting on my desk for a few weeks--he just jumped in!

Here is a quick look at all my cards together:

Thanks for visiting and all your kind words and encouragement during this challenge.  You helped me to keep going!

Monday, March 23, 2015

T Stands for Another Tea Journal Page

Hi everyone! Well, look at me...I am actually early for tea this week! As you probably know, I usually post on a Tuesday, but the link is open starting late Monday afternoon to allow those "across the pond" a chance to participate, too. Elizabeth is just thoughtful like that. Go here to see her post for this week and take a look at her awesome art and tutorials.
I had a chance to play in my altered tea journal. I was stuck for a good quote to use, but once I loosened up and decided it did not really need to be a "famous person" quote, I found just the one: "Life is like a cup of tea...It's all how you make it!"  I let the quote guide me and just played.
I used some torn mulberry paper as the background and then started adding whatever I came across in my hoard. The tea bag rose at the top left corner was simply made by cutting many layers from the tea paper (at the same time), rotating them and adding a rivet in the center with my crop-a-dile. I found a variety of directional words and decided to put a positive optimistic spin on all of them. My cup of tea today was French Vanilla Chai--YUM!
The opposite page holds the rest of the quote, as well as, another tea bag flower, and perhaps my favorite element--the key!

Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, March 20, 2015


I made it just under the wire again to finish my altered playing cards for Claudine's challenge. This week was eaten up by several full days out, so I was glad the theme was an easy one--monochromatic, which I know you already know means using just one color in various shades.  White and black are also permitted.
My cards are pretty simple so I'll only make a few comments.
This was one of the cards that I had created some texture on, so after covering with the lighter aqua color, I used my finger to lightly rub the darker highlights just on the "hills".  I did the border the same way.  My moose punch came in handy this week as did a piece of washi tape that is truly aqua but looks greyish in my photo.  I added some highlights on it with an aqua marker and also circled the quote.
A metal stencil, acrylic paint, and a paintbrush was used to make the sunflower design. It is quite messy when I removed the stencil, and I covered up as much as I could with my favorite white pen. The quote just came to me as I was listening to the weather forecast of 2-6" of snow today! Really?! I rubbed darker green around the card's border with my finger as I did on the first card but neglected to take a photo.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy First Day of Spring! Have a happy creative weekend everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2015

APC #25

Hi Everyone! It has been a ridiculous week here of internet connectivity problems in the part of the house where my laptop resides, which I hope are all sorted out now.  In the end we upgraded our internet to the highest speed for a smaller payment for month (figure that one out!) and added a signal booster.  That kept me from visiting much this week--I'll try to catch up over the weekend, but for now here are my altered playing cards for this week's challenge.
I wound up having a lot of challenge with this set of cards, mainly because I was again substituting what I had in my stash for what Claudine used. She used glossy paper this week with reinker ink to make awesome backgrounds. I used:
because it was the only glossy paper I had other than some blank glossy cards that I wanted for their original purpose. They were also rather thick.
Since I was using some kind of "generic liquid color" (not sure if it is ink or dye) that I had available in 3 colors, I decided to go with a floating medium since I was not sure alcohol would work.
I came out with two nice papers to use, along with a few book pages to use in later art. What I did not realize is that if you swipe through the paint with the glossy side of this paper, it does not dry. No really, not by the next day, and not even after I smooshed a lot of it off making a pattern.  I found this out because I actually used what I thought was the wrong side when I made the green one. So I remade the red one, seen above and glued them to my playing cards.
For this first card, I pretty much followed Claudine's technique, trying to make stenciled stars with my not dark enough ink pad ink. A little outlining later and at least I knew where the stars were.  The houses were cut from various scrapbook paper and doodled. Despite pressing the papers between books, I still could not get them to apply to the cards and stay flat.
The wrinkles are more evident in this second card.  At this point I was so frustrated with all the time spent working on the internet that I just wanted to get the card done.  Some hasty grass was drawn, bugs outlined, washi tape applied and then the frog. The frog is a rub on--an old one I might add that I had the good sense to try to rub on a piece of white paper that I planned to fussy cut and glue on.  No amount of rubbing made it come off so in the end I just cut around it and glued it on with gel medium. Since the visible side is actually the one that would be adhered to the paper I plan to put another coat of gel medium just over the frog so hopefully it won't come off or stick to anything.

Phew! What a week! Thanks for stopping by and sticking with this long-winded post! Have a happy creative weekend everyone!