Sunday, October 31, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Swap!

Recently, I joined an on-line group called ABC (Altered Book Club), to learn more go HERE.

The idea is to learn from other artists who love playing with paper, creating collages, cards and other fun crafty things.  Wow, is there a lot of talent out there.

I am excited to be participating in my first EVER swap with the "12 Days of Christmas" theme.   For those of you who don't know what this type of swap is, it is best described as; twelve people making twelve 5 x 5 cards that represent ONE of the 12 days of Christmas song.  We then mail them to one person, who will in turn, mail back to each of us, a set that represents all twelve days.

Cool, huh? 

I've always wanted to do this and I am so looking forward to receiving beautiful, handmade cards created by some very talented artists.

When I receive mine, I will share them with you (should be around Dec. 1) in the meantime this is the wrapping for my card......which was "Two Turtledoves"!

etc. 014 I put each card in a cellophane bag and then glued a piece of sheet music, a piece of red paper and a white piece stamped with a bird cage and decorated with two little birds, cut out using a Cricut.

PA100001 Voila! Two gift wrapped Turtledoves!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Bake Cupcake..........

For the last five years I have had the pleasure of participating in a fun and successful Holiday Art Show and Sale in the historic little town of Aurora, Oregon. This show is sponsored and organized by the members of the Aurora Art Association.

This year's event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4 and 5 with a Friday night artist reception.

However, I have been a bit of an "art slacker" this year.  so I've got to get busy.......sooooooooo I started mixing up a batch of "no-cal" cupcakes, like these.......

Christmas  01 015

Pretty cute and pretty easy.....want to try one?

All you need is a Bingo card, or cardstock or watercolor paper.  These cards are about 5 inches by 6 inches in size. If you are cutting your own card, I would suggest 5 by 7 inches, then it will fit into an 8 by 10 mat and frame, when you are finished and ready for framing.  It is always good to go with standard sizes, when you can, it makes life easier.

Christmas  01 009Dilute watercolor or acrylic paint and apply a wash in your favorite color or colors.  Let them dry.

Christmas  01 010Then cut out the cupcake cup shape out of scraps of scrapbook papers or other paper.  The frosting top is best described as "cloud-shape".  Glue down the cup and add the frosting using Modge Podge, a glue stick or whatever adhesive you have on hand.

Cut out a small red cherry, to add to the top.  I drew a black stem on the cherry with a black fine tip pen.

Christmas  01 011Now, just for fun, use a crayon or artist's oil pastels (which I used) to outline the cupcake and add some doodles.  Then, if you like, add a word, or a sticker or rub-on at the bottom.  For sure, a sprinkle or two of glitter would add a great touch, too.Christmas  01 012  Because of the odd size of mine, I glued a piece of red paper, cut slightly larger than the bingo card, to the back.  Then I glued that to a piece of heavy white paper for framing.  Otherwise, I would have to cut my own, or pay someone to cut a mat for each one.

That is why I recommend using a 5 by 7 piece of paper, then you can buy a standard 8 by 10 mat and slip it in a frame and you're DONE!

How's that for fun and easy!  Make a cute inexpensive gift for a friend!

Join me at  Sue Loves Cherries Rednesday to read how other bloggers are using their "red".  For the first time I am, also linking to Vintage Thingie Thursday and Southern in my Heart's Inspiration Friday.  

Thanks for visiting, please come again and remember I love comments and followers. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Changin' up for the season.....

It's time to cozy up a bit, the weather has changed and we are using the fireplace I decided to change display on top of the entertainment center to something with more warmth and texture!

So, I went for this............

PA170023I've mentioned before that I collect miniature buildings, most were made for train sets but not all, example, this corrugated metal barn someone made by hand. 

The old school clock came out of a school room in Portland Public Schools.  It is what is called a "slave" clock because it ran off of the clock in the principal's office.  I guess then no one could cheat on the time and get out of school early (haha)!

PA170015On the other end, of the display, we have an old game board from  a game named after the famous Nellie Bly! 

Remember, I collect Bauer pottery and these are two of our vases. 

PA170034My favorite copper footed bowl hold crochet thread. Next to it sits my, I can't tell you how much I love the texture of this, roll of upholstery webbing and on top of that another wonderfully textured stamp, probably for wallpaper or fabric.

PA170014For more texture...another of my loves....the velvet red apple sitting in a silver candy dish!  The butterfly preserved in it's specimen box and, you can barely see, the piece of a wasp's nest next to it.

PA170019Getting up close and personal with the carved wood stamp.....gorgeous!


I don't often buy books just for decor but these guys were the exception....beautifully bound with a bronze/copper and lovely soft turquoise.  To die for!!!



Thanks for allowing me to show you some of my favorite things, hope you will stop by again soon! 

The scary part about a month....we'll be putting out the Christmas decor......where does the time go?

Today I am linking to Metamorphasis Monday, Blue Monday and Tabletop Tuesday

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Summer's last hurrah........

This is it....or pretty close....the rains will begin, they say on Friday, and not let up much until February, probably....but today was the perfect, sun-filled, 70 degree fall day!

So, we made the most of it by taking a short drive to Champoeg Park to walk the dog. 

Champoeg is an historically significant Oregon State Park, that lies in the north end of the Willamette Valley, about 15 miles south of Portland on the beautiful Willamette River.........pictured here..................

PA200038and here......................................................

PA200039and here.........................................................

PA200046 The Willamette, pronounced Will-am-et, flows south to north from Eugene to Portland.  It divides downtown Portland's eastside from the westside and empties into the Columbia River on the western edge of Portland.

PA200048Champoeg Park marks the spot where a handful of men voted for Oregon's becoming a part of the United States, instead of England.   They voted to set up a Provisional Government which started the process toward statehood.

The vote was in 1843, but this marker was installed when Champoeg Park was built, by the state, and dedicated in 1901.  This marker designates the exact site of the signing.

PA200054 (3)

PA200052 (2) This side of the marker, and two of the other sides, list the names of the original signers of the document.


Between 1843 and 1901, there was a major flood that wiped out the thriving community/river port that was located on the Champoeg Park site. 

Fortunately, descendants of those early pioneers realized that this location was of such historical value they wanted the area preserved.  This beautiful state park is the result of their efforts.

PA200051PA200047  Picnic area of the park....which is a very popular spot throughout the summer, on any weekend there would be a crowd of people in this area. 

The park includes several miles of walking/biking paths, picnic areas, overnight camping and a boat ramp, and since it is close to home, we come here often for family gatherings and, sometimes, just to walk the dog!

PA200041 (2)What dog wouldn't LOVE all those trees!!!!

For the first time, I am joining the party at Southern in my Heart's Inspiration Friday.  Come join the fun and don't forget to leave a comment. 

Thanks for the visit!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Salute to my Dad and the U of O...........

I'm starting this blog with a salute to a special angel, who is today sitting in heaven with a huge grin on his handsome Dad!

The University of Oregon has gone to first place in the national college football league, a FIRST for any Oregon college team!  The season has just begun but, if, they continue to play as they have the U of O has a pretty good chance of being in the playoffs for the national title.PA170002 

The story goes, that when my folks first moved to Oregon in 1939, my Dad, who loved football, wanted to support one of Oregon's football that time Oregon State was the program to beat....and Oregon was struggling.  Typical of my Dad, he went with the under-dog, so for 50 years he was a staunch supporter of U of O football.  He passed away in 2000, at 92 years of age.

He was never able to attend college, but no alumni could have been more supportive of his school, than my Dad was of the U of O.  He went to as many games, as possible, or listened to them on the radio or T.V.  The year they played in the Rose Bowl, he was there!

So until this football season ends, my Dad's hat is going to sit on top of the T.V. so he will have a front row seat!

In the meantime and on to other things happening in Oregon, I've redone a the small oak table I use for an end table and given it a more "fall-ish" look!



I filled an old baking powder can (how about that price) with some of my dried hydrangeas, added some worn old books and a birds nest full of rubber stamps, from the day!

PA170007 PA170006 That is one of my collages hanging on the screen and sitting on the floor, next to the table, are a couple of my mixed media paintings.  Here is my favorite!

PA170012I am joining the party at Sally's Blue Monday and Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphasis Monday

and A Stroll Thru Life's Tabletop Tuesday !  Remember I love to hear from you, thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Time for a change....

We are going into the second week in October, I guess it's time for me to accept that summer is over and fall is here!

We've had some of the best weather of the entire summer, recently, but...alas....that too will end!  So, let's change up the front porch and get in touch with our "inner-fall-self"..........

PA100040PA100033Added some recently dried hydrangea flower heads to a basket and a branch of dried eucalyptus, m-m-m smells good too, baby pumpkins and tiny flowerpots fill the wire basket.  Moved mama hen and one of her baby chicks out of the flowerbed and up to the porch.

 PA100044    Few more pumpkins and we are really to roll!

I'm joining the party at Metamorphasis Monday and Blue Monday.  Remember I love comments and followers.  Thanks so much for visiting.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Simple Blue.....

Wanted to participate in Sally's Blue Monday AND play with "Picnik", which is a photo editing site that offers a free download you can use to jazz up your photos!

So took some photos of the kitchen/dinning area that wears a lot of red, white AND blue during spring and summer.

blue 008

One of my favorite pieces is this old, milk-painted blue cupboard that we use for storing canned goods.  Also, makes a nifty resting place for these old crockery bowls.

I confess I am one of those grandmas who, normally, would have several photos of her grandchildren on this side of the frig......but every once in a while I clear it for today, at least, you can see the cool Dad's Root Beer metal chalkboard advertising sign sans photos!

blue 010I like the Picnik cropping tool but I'm not sure I totally understand the brightness option.  I love the drama that can be achieved by cropping!  See the photo below for the BEFORE so easy to eliminate stuff you don't want to show and to highlight what you want to showcase!

blue 009For those of you who have been using these tools, this is old news, but to a relative newbie, like myself, it is so much fun to experiment with these tools.  I think the end result is so much better, visually, and I've only begun to explore the possibilities.

No blue, actually this red and white photo was another opportunity to play with Picnik...more cropping fun!

blue 002I know there are other photo editing downloads available. Next, I plan on exploring Picasa but this one is certainly easy to use and does seem to improve the quality of the photos. 

I use a point and shoot Olympus that takes a decent photo, but it could be better, so I am hoping to improve the quality with these programs BEFORE I rush out to buy a new camera.

Hope you enjoyed my red, white and blue world and my photo experiments.

In addition to Blue Monday, I always love being a part of

Metamorphasis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch and Sue's Rednesday be sure to visit all of the parties, you will love what you see!