Mix it Up Monday: Altered Book Completed!

Green Book 2

I finished up this book before we left for vacation but didn't have a chance to photograph it.... and realized there's a whole new learning curve in photographing books! I shared the signature covers with you here. I made the cover from a $1 bin book from Michaels (and had so much fun with it, I went back and bought 10 more of those $1 books after I finished the cover!).

Green Book 1

Green Book 3

I cut the original pages out and set them aside for another project. Then I covered the cover with kraft paper using PVA glue. From there I gessoed over the kraft paper and added layers of colored tissue papers and stenciling with both stamping ink and spray ink. A little more gesso smeared here and there and a few more squirts of ink for good measure, and she was done.

Green Book 6

Green Book 8

I then waxed both the cover and the signature pages with Judikins MicroGlaze. Thanks to DJ Pettitt for that little trick. It sealed the papers, taking away the tackiness from the gel medium, and really made the colors pop.

Green Book 10

For the pages, I did three signatures of acid free card stock, sewn with a simple pamphlet stitch (I'm a fan of simple stitches). I made the signature covers a tad smaller than the rest of the pages, and I may change that up next time, but overall, I really enjoyed this process, and I see many more of these in my future!

Green Book 4

Glimpses of Boca

We had another wonderful stay in Boca Grande, my 32nd summer vacation there! And I love it just as much and want to stay forever just as badly every time. Here are a few shots from our week.

Kelly and Girls Boca 2011

This was just before heading down to South Beach Diner for dinner.  We took the golf cart everywhere, and there were no hair dryers or make-up allowed all week.  Heaven!  I don't usually go for the mother/daughters matching dresses thing, but the girls picked these out and they were on sale, so I couldn't resist.  And I love Fresh Produce dresses, perfect for the beach.   


A bit of the island's lovely flora.  Gasparilla Island, the seat of which is Boca Grande, is full of hibiscus in all shades.

Goofy 2011

We can never resist a goofy shot.  Click here to see last year's goofy shot. 

Girls on beach

Miles of wide open beaches. 

Clouds coming in

Storm clouds coming in from the east.  The condo cluster second from the right was our home for the week.

alien clouds

Oh, how I wished I had my tripod when this storm rolled over; this shot was handheld. This cloud formation reminded us of something you'd see out of a science fiction movie, with the aliens about to land!

Now it's back to work!  I hope you all had a wonderful week.

Boca Grande Bound


We are off for our annual vacation to Boca Grande. I caught this shot of Olivia last year during our funny beach photo shoot. It's amazing to see how much she's grown in just a year.  Look at that snaggle toothed smile! You can see a few more pictures from that shoot here. We had lots of fun! Boca Grande is my favorite place in the whole world, and I've been going there every summer since I was 12 (that's a lotta years, my friends...) Now we're continuing the tradition with the girls. See you next Friday!

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 14

Day 14

Sharing another page from my Sketchbook Project Fun Journal today. If you look back over the previous pages, you’ll see I went in a totally different direction with this one and I really like it. I love using up scrap deli papers that have been used as paint pallets or worktable protection. I learned this trick from Roben-Marie Smith. Roben-Marie is such a dear and so incredibly talented. I'm happy to have had the chance to spend time with her in person!

For this page, I started with a map scrap (I’m addicted to maps), and then just added the used deli paper and did some stenciling over that. I love letters and numbers too and find that I pop them into my work pretty regularly.

Speaking of which….I just signed up for the Sketchbook Project 2012. I know that my track record for this so far is rather poor, given that I signed up for both 2010 and 2011 and didn’t finished either book on time (okay, I’ll admit I never even got started on the 2010 book), but I’m a glutton for punishment and willing to give it a go again! My theme for the 2012 book is “Writing on the Wall.” I thought that was the perfect choice for me with my love of words and letters. Anyone else signed up for 2012 yet?

Tuesday Treasury Shoutout: Team FEST Does Flag Day!

6-14-11 Flag Day FEST Etsy Team Treasury

Happy Flag Day to those of you in the States! And thanks to SoapMakerMonica for including me in this great Florida Etsy Street Team treasury. My Kicking Back with Glory photo is first row, first spot, and one of my Old Glory pendants is second row, fourth spot. View this treasury is all its clickable glory here, visit the FEST team blog here, and visit Monica here!

Mix It Up Monday: Altered Book

Signature 3

I’ve been working on a little altered book project here and there over the past few weeks, so I wanted to share some of it with you. These are the signature covers. I’m becoming addicted to spray inks and stencils and that’s mostly what I’ve used here.

Signature 2

I did the signature covers a bit smaller than the actual pages themselves. The covers are on Canson mixed media paper, and the pages are acid free card stock. I’ll have the full book to share with you as soon as I can get it photographed. I just stitched it up last night!

Signature 1

Last Day of Second Grade!

Last Day 2nd Girls and Teachers
With their teachers, Mrs. H and Mrs. G
The day the girls have been counting down to has finally arrived: today is their last day of 2nd grade. These first and last days are also those bittersweet kinds. They are a reminder that our kids are growing up into wonderful people...and they are a reminder that our kids are growing up way too fast!

Last Day 2nd Girls and Coach P
With Coach P
I remember when my girls were just little tiny things that could easily fit in the crooks of my arms, and I had no trouble carrying them both around at the same time. Now it's getting harder and harder to carry just one! They are getting so tall! We have a growth chart in the playroom downstairs, and they've both grown two inches since the first of the year. Now it's time for Summer Camp! Wish I could go to Summer Camp... :-)

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 13

Day 13

Happy Thursday! So here for you is the true testament of just exactly how far behind I am in posting these Fun Journal pages. I created this page the day the girls created their Christmas presents for their Granddad and Papa (so, um....that means they were done December 2010!). You can see them here. I just did the same process in my journal as they did on their canvases. Interesting to see the difference in our hand sizes! Their canvases was 4” x 4”, and their little hands barely. My sketchbook open is about 8” x 11” and my hand barely fits! I’m a tall girl (5’10”) with long skinny fingers. This was fun to do. We love to get messy, and painting your hands is the ultimate in mess making! We used basic Apple Barrel craft paints from Michaels and some letter and number stencils. The light brown smudgy paint on my wrist was due to my lack of patience. I had closed the book while the 13 was still wet and it imprinted over to the other page, so I tried to doctor it up a bit!

Tuesday Treasury Shoutout: Triple Love!

Team FEST 7-7-11

These treasuries were all so pretty, I just had to share them all today.  First up, check out all this gorgeous work from my Florida Etsy Street Team members, above, thanks to IanSolLuna.  That's my Looking Up photo top row, fourth spot.  View the treasury with clickable links to all this gorgeousness here.

From Grazim 7-7-11

Next up, thanks to Grazim for including me in this summer themed treasury above.  My Fairfax VA Tulip is bottom row, first spot.  This treasury popped up less than 30 minutes after I listed this photo, so that's a double thanks!  View the treasury with clickable links to all work featured here.

Orange and Rust 7-7-11

Last, how about some orange and rust love, this one thanks to choosejoystudio (and I just love that name). My Desmond's V-8 is featured first row, first spot.  See all the clickable loveliness here.  Thanks everyone!

Mix It Up Monday: A Sweet Little Visitor

Dove Bird
Happy Monday. We had a little visitor this weekend. Benny and the girls were swimming in the river Saturday when a sweet little baby dove bird came struggling towards them. It was obvious she was drowning, her wings completely soaked, unable to lift herself out of the water. We’re not sure where she can from, but we scooped her up and put her in a crate (a cat carrier of all things) until she could dry out and get her bearings. We could tell she was quite young, her wings appearing not fully developed. We lined the carrier with newspaper and gave her some birdseed and water.

For the first couple hours, she just sat there, shell-shocked. We weren’t sure she was going to make it at all. After a while, she started moving around a little bit and eventually started picking at the birdseed. Before going to bed Saturday, we tucked her in, covering the crate with a towel so Tink and Savannah wouldn’t bother her. By midday Sunday, she had eaten more, dumped her water bowl and was standing on top of it like a throne, and had pooped (always a good sign, right!?). We decided maybe she was ready to go.

Benny took her outside and sat her on a post covered with shrubbery in the front yard. And there she sat, just looking at us like she was saying, “What the heck do you want me to do now?” I had a basic 50mm lens on my camera for this shot, so you can see I was very close to her when I took it. She let me take as many pictures as I wanted, and then when we backed up a bit, she hopped down from the post and walked around a bit under the shrubbery, still very close to us. Soon, she started preening, stretching out her little wings and cleaning them. We sprinkled some birdseed there under the shrubs and put a little bowl of water in there and decided we’d come back and check on her in a bit.

A little while later, Benny went back out to check on her. As if she were waiting for him, she hopped back up on the post we had placed her on, looked at him for a moment, as if saying thank you, and then took flight, flying up into a nearby pine tree…as far as we were concerned, her first flight. Hopefully she’ll hang around and look in us from time to time. Any little visitors like this ever come your way?

Update: Lucky for me, this week's Texture Tuesday challenge over at Kim Klassen's blog is to use words along with one of Kim's textures.  This picture just happens to fit that bill! :-)

June Free Bling Friday!


Time for Free Bling Friday! Random.org picked comment number 29 as the winner of my April/May Free Bling, so congratulations to Jesselyn!

For June, how about some lovely little pretties for your ears.  Here I've wirewrapped gorgeous blue glass briolettes with sterling silver wire, and hung them on sterling French wires. To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight Thursday, July 7. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, July 8. Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice over there in the right column. And be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for Fan specials. Thanks for stopping in!

A Little Garden Party

Tulip-Fairfax VA

I’ve been reading Kim Klassen’s blog for a while now. She has super great tips on using textures and layers in photography, and if you are so inclined, you can join her Texture Sisters list and she’ll email you free textures to use in her work!Each Tuesday, she hosts Texture Tuesday, so I thought I’d play along this week. The theme this week is Garden Party. I captured this lovely tulip while visiting my sister and new baby niece Maxine back in April and used Kim’s “nature’s beauty” texture with it. What do you think?