Changing Your Perspective

I’ve completed another project demonstrated by Jeanne Oliver in her Creatively Made eCourse! Thank goodness she leaves the videos available for 4 months so we can go along at our own pace. The first week was about accepting your gifts and this mixed media collage is one of the 3 projects from the changing your perspective second week.

I started with an 8X10 canvas board and created this collage altering a photo I saved from a paper company (Hammermill?) advertisement of a neatly half-shorn sheep along with some papers and products including Never Dull which is found in Wal-Mart’s automotive department. Lots of layering on, knocking down, and distressing – arty terminology – until I finally decided to leave the thing alone before I completely destroyed it.

half-shorn sheep collage

In the background I used an old book page with the name Irene on it so I kept that name exposed along with some other word snippets: eternal love, down the hill and across the road like a sacrifice. Full disclosure: I don’t really love the way this turned out so my feelings won’t be hurt if you stare and stutter wha?… at it. Yet, I do love mixed media collaging and already have ideas for how I would like to make some other artwork using these products and technique. It’s all very fun and all of the classmates are so supportive. Seeing the work of classmates and of guest artists is quite inspirational…visit Jeanne’s blog for information about how you too can use your gifts!


Birds on A Rail

It all started about a month ago; we were dive-bombed by a pair of birds whenever going in or out of the apartment – which is a lot because we are fun, busy, gals! Despite the high temperatures, little birdy insisted upon roosting on the light fixture! We tried to get them to move into our sweet bird house just a few yards away, but noooooo…

momma birdy sitting on her eggs

Finally they settled in and built an intricate mud and grass nest on the light fixture of neighbors who are gone for days and weeks at a time! They still occasionally swooped at us in the stairwell.

daddy bird guarding mommy

Viola! The 3 baby birds are out of the nest and now we are attacked, Hitchcock style, by 5 birds in the stairwell! Aeiii! And they are back to sitting on my light fixture! Now to get the other crazy, lonely, hoarder, neighbor to stop putting out a buffet of food for them and hose off all the poop!

the bird family


I Love Thrifting Day

We met thrifty gals and shopped 3 Goodwill stores today! Irene loved dishing with the ladies at lunch the best! I don’t have everyone’s info – sorry! DeeAnna, Lisa, another DeeAnna!, Elaine all found fabulous treasures.

We Love Goodwill!

I already found this lazy susan at another Goodwill store to use on our craft table and I kept looking for some containers to fit in the circle indentations to hold our supplies. The Stapleton location had tons of canning jars so 6 of these tall “quilted crystal” jars at 49 cents hold our tools wonderfully!

art supplies

At the Parker/Belleview location, we found this Ikea mini greenhouse for $4.50 (originally $14.99) so I can keep my favorite herbs growing all year ’round.

mini greenhouse

Irene found chapter books, a soft dress, and a cute scalloped-edge wooden container that is drying after she painted it with a sweet summer scene.

Journal Making

I won a free Creatively Made eCourse from Jeanne Oliver and what an awesome prize this is! The first week we already learned journal making and techniques, mixed media collage, metal and leather stamping, image transfer, charcoal drawing and we have 3 more weeks to go! The online video shows each technique step-by-step while Jeanne also demonstrates various products; materials meant for art and others found at the hardware store. Irene is taking the course along with me and she clearly understands and is also greatly inspired by the projects demonstrated.

As soon as the first journal making video finished, Irene immediately demanded we make one rightthisinstant! Because I already have quite a LOT of art supplies, ephemera, flotsam and jetsam, etc…we only needed to make a quick jaunt off to Goodwill (it was another 50% sale Saturday!) for some hardcover books to deconstruct. Our Journals are a perfect example of how each person can take the same instructions yet complete the projects to make them uniquely their own. I like the vintage look with muted colors while Irene was adamant that her journal would be “bright and now instead of olde-timey.”

Handmade Art Journals

Let me first explain that I again dropped my camera so now every photo is blurry so bear with me here. Aren’t these journals fab? A HUGE difference between our creative styles is that Irene doesn’t like to spend much any time planning while I over think everything until I’m in a state of paralysis! My dark ages graphic design instruction required that I use a ruler to meticulously size as well as a straight edge to cut anything. Eyeball, fold, and rip?! Surely you jest. Before I can reach for my exacto blade, the little Miss has already licked her fold and torn her pages to close enough size. “It’s okay mommy! Let it go…” I love her so much!

Journal favorite pages

I had a sheet of scrapbook paper that was already punched with my star-shaped paper punch so before I could trim that edge off, Irene screamed that she wanted it that way in case she felt like stenciling stars someday. She also made some custom sheets for my journal by crumpling white construction paper until it had a nice soft vintage feel.

Journal pages

I continued adding recycled greeting cards, leaf pressings, book pages, and old sheet music generously donated by friends – thank you Kelly and Ella! The journal is bound with silk ribbon from my stash and now ready for me to jot down thoughts, doodles or quotations. I have already started planning my next journal ideas!

Private Selection Bzz

Another food post! And with me trying to drop at least a stone! Let’s begin with the taste testing shall we? As you well know – or at least now consider yourself informed; I signed on to be a Bzz Agent which allows me to receive products to test and then report upon. Private Selection brand is found exclusively at the Kroger family of stores, of which I shop King Soopers. The range of Private Selection products with their stylish black labels are growing and they are delicious.

Private Selection chips

A large bag of Private Selection Sea Salt and Black Pepper Kettle Chips arrived with coupons to pass along to friends! Let me know if you want one! I love crunchy kettle chips and usually go for salt and vinegar so these were similar. The black pepper has a bit of zing but it doesn’t sear my taste buds so these are a great accompaniment to sandwiches, which everyone loves – right? Pack them with your picnic this summer and snack on them while watching football during winter. These don’t even need dip!

Kroger Private Selection goodness

More food!! I ate all of these items separately however. Meaning that I did not use the suggestion to make hamburgers with the Private Selection Angus Beef, which would have gone awesome with those yummy Sea Salt and Black Pepper Kettle Chips. Or so I assume as I don’t eat meat. Soooo…Lucky Cricket is a carnivore yet not fond of juicy burgers fresh off the grill. I hope this doesn’t deter you from inviting us to your next BBQ party…Anyhoo…she does love meatballs; with spaghetti, as swedish meatballs or even over rice with sweet and sour sauce. And I love that the Angus Beef is 85% lean and lookie! It came with a $1 off coupon for deli cheese for your hamburger. The meatballs were moist and tender so thumbs up from Lucky Cricket!

I am a dessert eater, hence the aforementioned need to lose weight, so I chose the Northern Spy Apple Streusel Pie instead of Cherry and the Coconut Caramel Flan Ice Cream; again, I did not eat these flavors together although you go right ahead if you want and enjoy. The pie was a petite size 6 inch and as with several of the Private Selection products, you can quickly put together a cozy date night meal for 2 of premium quality foods. I heated up my pie a bit and it was luscious. There was quite a selection of different ice cream flavors to pick from and the Coconut Caramel Flan was rich and creamy with flavorful caramel ribbons while the coconut was subtle with flakes to nibble. As new flavors and products are added to the line, there are great introductory sale prices so look for the Private Selection label during your next shopping trip!

National Donut Day

I hope you all knew it was National Donut Day today and enjoyed a free pastry to sugar start your day! Last weekend our awesome Sunday school group won the Helping Hands contest – bless their generous hearts! – and the prize was a donut party during class with both glazed and chocolate with sprinkles…mmmm. I was all set to hit up both LaMars and Krispy Kreme this morning even though I’m not really a donut fan as my sister will attest to – yes hard to believe we are related. Where was I? oh yes…wakey, wakey Lucky Cricket or keep your cute jammies on, let’s go!

But instead, she had the better idea to have me slave over a pot of boiling oil and serve up Beignets buried under a mountain of powdered sugar. Who cares about 1 free donut when you can inhale – careful of that powdered sugar! – an entire plateful of pillowy beignets with a mug of cold milk at Cafe Du Mom.

Lucky Cricket was covered with confectioner’s sugar and because I forgot to halve the recipe, she snacked on them the entire day, walking around with a powdered nose and sticky fingers everywhere. Yummy in our tummies!

beignets at Cafe Du Moms

Day One

So we all bolted out at daybreak to run miles and miles to get started on our New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get fit! Yeah? Nah…me neither. I’m not much of a runner but walking I like. I’ll walk the globe and walk your dog. My best memories were when out walking the dogs as they loved to sniff every blade of grass, greet anything that moved in the great outdoors, and run frolicking on ahead. Once they encountered a coyote pup and played a bit! And taking baby Lucky Cricket out with us was the best. It is so magical to see the world all over again through a child’s eyes: oh look! you’ve found a stick….and a rock…and a LOOK! A LADYBUG!!! I don’t know who got more excited, me or her. Good times.

I wish I had a photo to post but I didn’t bring the camera and that right there is a resolution for walkies: camera and sketchbook to accompany me/us in this journey. The best years of my life are yet to come…Happy New Year loves.

Women Owned

Hey all my fabulous fashionable friends! Did you see Good Morning America today?! Initials, Inc. was featured with a Spring & Summer 2012 sneak peek deal. The stylish Modern Women Collection tote bag (with free personalization), cosmetic bag (with free personalization), and wallet are all available for the half price of $44.50 in 6 color-ways. Order at before they are all sold out. Ordering will close Friday, December 30th at 12pm ET.

Initials, Inc. Modern Women Collection


It snowed – yeah! And now I have to dig out the car – boo! It appears I may be the only one living here in possession of a shovel so perhaps I can rent it out?

Buried alive

Here is something that still irks me: for years I single-handedly dug out our cul de sac in the old neighborhood without so much as a “thank you” from anyone. Yet the ex finally buys a snowblower and clears it in about 5 minutes and he is showered with thanks and a gift of scotch! Someone please explain…