Thursday, June 28, 2007

I love you, Oliver!

This is a photo of our wonderful dog Oliver who died 6 months ago today. To understand that I would commemorate him 6 months later, you'd have to have experienced loving a dog or being loved by a dog. Oliver, also known as Ollie, was a shelter dog that I rescued at 2 years old. He was the friendliest little guy... everybody's buddy. He was gentle and enjoyed visiting Seniors
at homes. He wasn't a barker... just a lover. He licked the back of the mailman's knees when the mailman had his walking shorts on. Ollie was given rides in his mail truck. The UPS man would stop with treats for him even when I wasn't getting a package. He loved Dairy Queen cones and McDonald's cheeseburgers. This photo was taken on Christmas day playing with his favorite toy... a small rawhide chewy. Ollie was 14 years old and 4 days later died in my arms at the animal hospital. He's gone to a place where all of God's loved pets go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


A friend gave me this soft-sculpture of 3 lovely lady friends. I love it! It is so whimsical, colorful, and fun. There is a poem attached that says:
Some friends grow older,
Some grow wiser,
and a few become GENUINE characters.
I can relate to this as I age, life experiences increase, and priorities change. I believe we do become wiser, too... hopefully.

We're off to spend another day with my younger daughter tomorrow morning and I need to go to bed so that tomorrow comes quickly. There's NOTHING like being a mom!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mixed Media Painting

Yes, I'm certainly a bit off-season showing you this painting now, but I saw it this morning when I was digging through the basement storage shelves. It's so typical of the way I play with paint. I don't think of myself as a painter, but I love, love, love to play around with paint. I paint when I get an idea I want to try. I have a mitten collection... mittens from all over the world. I love the bright colors and patterns woven into those cozy hand warmers (I never wear gloves).

And I had to try a painting of a pair of mittens with patterns on them. I love anything whimsical, so 2 mittens alone in the middle of a canvas is 'just right' for my taste. This is acrylics on canvas, with paper added & a bit of yarn. Snowflake stamps pressed on a paint pad soften the background. I played with this paint/paper technique on 4 other canvases... then I was through. It was the process I was interested in rather than the product. But, I like it anyway.

Mysteries GROW Around Them!

"A pair of amateur sleuths solve classic mysteries set in gorgeous English gardens".
We love movies and watch a lot of them. When I stumbled across this British series on NETFLIX ( that is a WONDERFUL movie source ), we tried one DVD and then went right to Amazon and bought all 3 Series (although I couldn't seem to find series 2 for the photo.. where is it?). The main characters Laura Thyme & Rosemary Boxer are delightful and addictive. I won't give you their interesting backgrounds, but they meet when they are thrown together over a suspicious death and they use their gardening skills to solve it. Their friendship blossoms and together they look for gardening commissions. Mysteries seem to follow them. The episodes are all filmed on location in stunning English countryside settings. Kew gardens, Regent's Park, a Surrey vineyard and many beautiful English estates are a few of these settings. We enjoyed each and every one of the DVDs and we just started watching them again.
PS When we buy through Amazon we have had very good luck buying used DVDs.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Surprise, Honey! You made 'the blog' today! It's not our anniversary or your birthday or Father's Day... I just want to thank you for being my best friend. I am so blessed to be spending the rest of my life with you (and not a GOM... grumpy old man). I just want the whole world (literally) to know what a loving, kind, sensitive, and fun person you are. Thanks for loving me JUST AS I AM (sounds like Bridget Jones). And NO... I will not Go see SHREK III !!! XOXOXO

Sunday, June 24, 2007

What inspires your creativity ?

I have some incredible cookbooks that I have bought just for the illustrations. Susan Branch has written and illustrated so many wonderful books to explore. I own them all, but have never made a single recipe. I look through them and get inspired and find ideas for scrapbook pages, etc. Look at the wonderful flowered border on the page below. That will look great on a summer scrap layout.
The bubbles in the photo are some of the jars I bought. I lined them all in a row on my studio window ledge. I did a layout for one of my daughters with the actual plastic bubble wands glued to the page along with this photo of the jars... and of course the picture of her blowing bubbles on a summer day.

I love dishes and needless to say mine are colorful! I bought these in Positano, Italy and carried them between hotels during our month visit. I had grooves in my fingers from the string that they were tied with... worth it to me! Each plate is a different color and has different animals on it. One of the hotels we stayed at had stacks of these on a table and it was always fun to see if anyone got the PIG... he, he, he.

Books and magazines are great places to go for inspiration. These are knitting books... two by Kaffe Fassette. The photos are wonderful... I've browsed though them for many years. The sweaters are all patterned in beautiful colors. If you've not seen one of his books... make an effort. He has a website that is a reflection of all that he is. You'll have to google it.

Paper napkins are a wonderful inspiration... not the Dora the Explorer kind... but the prints. I have some tacked to my bulletin board in my study. And don't forget fabrics.

Everyone has a few special things that really SPARK their creativity! Things that speak to you... scream to you, and say, "How do you like my BEAUTIFUL colors?"... "Notice my shape?"... "You can do this too!!!"... and so on. Sometimes I get so inspired that I can't fall asleep because my mind is like a whirling dervish that is going around and around with ideas. It's something that connects with one of your 5 senses and excites you! And this can vary. Have fun exploring your world and jot down those ideas as they surface.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Decorating idea - Bathroom

I love to make changes... INEXPENSIVE... in our home. In the guest bathroom (also known as 'my bathroom') I change the colors with the seasons. For Summer I used lime green and blue this year. I only have to buy towels and a few small goodies to give it a totally different feel. The photo is of a small bench that is always in this bathroom. I like to sit on it when I dry and attempt to curl my 'straight-as-a-board' hair. To chang it's look I unscrew the top of the bench, and pry the staples off the previous fabric with a screwdriver. Then put a coordinating fabric (to my color scheme) on the seat and staple gun it underneath... pulling tight. Pop the seat back on the bench and put the screws back in. If you're reading this and thinking, "Does this lady think we're dumb & totally untalented?"... then the 'how-to' isn't meant for you. But, I have had people ask where I get all the cute benches. So, I'm really speaking to them. They probably are great with numbers or something... we each have our God given talents.

When the season ends, the towels are stored in plastic tubs with lids, along with some of the decorations. I throw in a fabric softener sheet to give 'all' a fresh smell. My tubs are labeled, so I just have to pull out the next season and put everything in it's place. It's a very quick job!

I like to check thrift shops, etc. for the little added touches... also known as 'goodies'. I store the pictures on the top of the tubs as they are changed seasonally, too. Ali Edwards had a blog about 'bathroom art' (see my list of links to reach her site) that she purchased at If you haven't been to, then pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and fasten your seat belt for a wonderful CREATIVE experience!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

We always hang large baskets of shade flowers on the lower branches of our maple trees. They're the first thing you see when you pull in the driveway. I love the look... my husband's idea!! He's so clever!

I was tagged by Isabelle from Scotland. What fun!

1. Where is your cell phone? In living room where I just talked to my daughter in D.C.

2. Relationship? Fun!

3. Your hair? Straight as a board!

4. Work? Play

5. Your sister? I'm an only child

6. Your favourite thing? My wonderful memories

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favourite drink? Diet Coke very, very cold

9. Your dream car? A lime green VW bug

10. The room you're in? Computer room/studio

11. Your shoes? Birkenstocks
12. Your fears? Snakes

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Healthy
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family
15. What are you not good at? Patience
16. Muffin? Raspberry

17. Wish list item? Health & happiness for my daughters

18. Where you grew up? Milwaukee, Wisconsin

19. The last thing you did? Watched 'Music and Lyrics' with Hugh Grant

20. What are you wearing? Diamond stud earrings with a sweatshirt & pj bottoms
21. What are you not wearing? I'll never tell!

22. Your pet? Gabby the cat
23. Your computer? Sluggish today
24. Your life? Fun & interesting

25. Your mood? Silly

26. Missing? My daughters, but they'll be home in another week... YEA!

27. What are you thinking about? Crawling in bed to read
28. Your car? Clean out inside

29. Your kitchen? My husband's territory

30. Your summer? 2 weeks at Green Lake & get out other house ready to sell

31. Your favourite colour? RED

32. Last time you laughed? Now

33. Last time you cried? At a movie

34. School? Have 32 credits beyond Master's Degree. I'm done!!

35. Love? I Love easily

Sam Goes to Archivers

Sam is three years old and if you ask him... he'll hold up 3 fingers. His mom Chris picked me up to go to Archivers with them. I'd love to offer to drive but with 3 car seats in their car, that's out of the question. So, camera in hand, I was ready to take a few pictures. Sam had not been to a scrapbook store... should be interesting!
OK... here I am! What do I do now? Run up and down and around? My mom doesn't want me to touch things... only supposed to look with my eyes. But, I spied some Spiderman stuff over here and I really like Spiderman!

My mom said I could have one... but, JUST ONE! Hmmmmm... I think I like this one the best.

My mom is showing me all kinds of things that she wants to buy. They're nice... but, I'd rather have a Tootsie roll.

Hey... maybe there's a Tootsie hidden under my mom's shirt? Nope... nothing here but my mom!

Maybe there's a Tootsie in her pocket? Hey, hey... there is! Good old mom... she knows what I like.

Thanks mom! You want a bite Mrs. Possin?? OK, then I'll eat it myself... the whole thing. Yum, yum, yum.

I have to go pot-ty!!! Now! Nope I'm not fooling!

Good thing I brought my 'tee-tee' with me. I can rub it on my face... smell it. You want to smell it Mrs. Possin??

Boy, oh boy! I get to carry the bag of stuff my mom got. Spiderman is in my bag... yea!

Wanna sit in the back seat with me, Mrs. Possin? You can sit in Ben's seat!

Yippee... we're out of here! I wanna play in my new sandbox. My dad built it and a dirtbox, too!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Taking the plunge into SCRAPBOOKING!

Everyone (actually 1 out of 3 households in America) was scrapbooking... except me! It just looked way too overwhelming. My daughters were both scrapbooking and I still avoided it. Several years ago... the last day of school... a teacher received a small 6x6 handmade album for her to put pictures of her granddaughter in. The album was simple, feminine, and made out of folded cardstock. I WAS SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!! "That I can do!" I wouldn't even have to fool around with photos... just leave spaces for them.
So, on the way home from school...with the whole summer ahead of me... I knew I could do this. I could make gifts! Gifts for my fellow teachers and other friends. I wouldn't have to deal with the big box of unorganized photos of my family... the sorting process of the pictures alone would be overwhelming (that came later).

I stopped at a scrapbook store and asked many, many questions... paper? glue? punching holes?
etc. I walked around the store and every new item I came across I would ask, "How do you use this?"

I left the store that day with several bags of scrapbooking goodies, and an idea for my first album. One of my teacher friends had just bought their first family dog. So, I just focused on dog paper, stickers, a few stamps & ink, and ribbon.

I did stop at Office Max and bought a GOOD paper cutter... a purchase I've never regretted.

During that first week of summer vacation, I completed the dog album... it was so cute. I popped it in the mail and I was ready to start another... or several. I made a list of friends names and an appropriate theme for that person. My 2nd album was for another teacher..."The Lake"... perfect for some of her photos of their summer days at their cottage.

And that was my summer.... making albums, trying new materials, trying new techniques, exploring every scrapbook store I could find, and reading Simple Scrapbooks, Creative Keepsakes, and Memory Makers magazines. I felt as though there wasn't a thing I couldn't make.

That Fall, when school started again, there were 6 pregnant teachers at our school. So I made each a 6x6 album for a baby gift.

And the holidays... what fun!! I had more ideas than time. At this point I still had not kept an album... they were all gifts. Tomorrow I'll share a trick for sorting out that box of unorganized photos... and getting organized!
I'm off to Archivers (my favorite store in this area) with a friend. Bye!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Ice Cream Parlor

A favorite summer spot... The Ice Cream Parlor! Nestled on the shore of Green Lake, this small red and white building looks just the way I imagine an ice cream parlor looking. It has darling old-fashioned ice cream tables and chairs inside... picnic tables outside. There is a GREAT selection of ice cream and sherbet... tastes soooooo good in this hot summer, flip-flop weather. Mmmmm... maybe I'll have ice cream for breakfast today!

The photo is of a 2 page 12x12 layout from my FAMILY album.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Yummy Dollhouses!!!

Both of my girls have dollhouses. We had a wonderful store in the area (when they were little) that had wonderful hand-made dollhouses and the money went to Easter Seals. My mom let them each pick out a house for their birthday. Wendy picked this house because it had a bathroom with a door and she thought it would make a great tornado shelter. Kristin picked out a chalet with scalloped trim (which I rosemalled) and an outside staircase. Kristin was born in Germany when I was teaching there and she felt this style went with the pictures she'd seen of where we lived... Bavaria... near The Black Forest.
Recently, Wendy's house needed some updating! So I made window boxes out of balsa wood and shutters, etc. Then everything got fresh paint. I did some wallpapering and stenciling in the inside, and went on a hunt for new furniture. Fun, fun, fun!!! A BEAR FAMILY moved in (found them on a website in England) and have enjoyed their new cave.
There's such satisfaction in starting a project and completing it. It's like weaving a basket... good for your mental health.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gabby Cat

Gabby the Cat got her name because she "talks" all of the time! She always wants the last word. She is the "queen of sleep" and her album is full of pictures of all her favorite napping spots.
Look who hopped in our bed and watched to see who would observe her cleverness. At this point she wasn't allowed on the bed, but we've given up fighting it. Welcome Gabby!! "Meow" She puts her little pink nose haughtily into the air and and tip toes off to another favorite spot in the house. She just wanted to win.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What book got you hooked??

This is Sam and he loves books just like his 2 brothers. His mom, Chris, has always made certain that there are a lot of books available for the boys to explore the illustrations and/or read. Chris & Kevin have made reading such a priority in their boy's lives! They just built a new home and have a wonderful room on the 1st floor that is a library for the boys. I'll get out there soon and take a picture of it... it's so motivating! It makes you want to drop everything and read.
This is Lauren and her mom, Jen. Lauren loves books!! She has baskets of them and chooses favorites for her mom to read to her. Having your child snuggled on your lap and reading to them, helps them make a wonderful EARLY connection between LOVE and READING. I applaud the families who make this an important part of each day.
The book that hooked me on reading (many moons ago) was Raggedy Ann in Cookie Land. And of course I read it to my girls when they were little. The original copy disappeared, but I did find a copy on Ebay. I did create a scrapbook layout about it.
What was "the book that hooked you?"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What do you know about flappers?

When I was working on my daughter Kristin's album, I had so many ideas for a layout using this photo. What fun to work around a flapper photo!! However, when I looked up "flapper" on the internet, I came across so many interesting facts about flappers and that era. I just thought... "Zelda" and "charleston". So I turned the page into a "Did you know..." page. I put the most interesting info into a bulleted list and the page worked so well. The picture told the story without any words... obviously she wasn't dressed for coffee at Starbucks. But the history of "flappers" was REALLY eye-opening!! Just another way of approaching a scrapbook layout... one of so many, many, many!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Future Scrapbookers

Jolie is the daughter of a friend of mine. I sat and watched Jolie as she put together this elaborate creation using a variety of art media. She was involved in the process for at least an hour. Her mom Wendy, is a wonderful scrapbooker and invites her 2 girls to explore the materials in their own scrap boxes. Jolie worked hard and intensely... her work is her play at that age. How wonderful to have a mom who encourages the exploration of these art materials and is such a good roll model as she works on her own layouts.
Meet her little sister Kenzie...
Kenzie is exploring the use of stickers. Why bother with paper when you have hands to stick them on! Isn't she a cutie? The powerful influence we have in children's development as parents!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Wendy and Darin were recently engaged. Congratulations!! I'm going to be a mother-in-law and couldn't be more delighted. The wedding date hasn't been set... both so busy with their work and at opposite ends of the country. However, next Spring looks good!

I made this "board book" album with just head shots of the 2 of them and added the text of the old song, "A You're Adorable" to each page. I gave Wendy the original and she's going to take it to Kinkos and have colored copies made of each page to make several additional albums. I've done this before when I'm making duplicate pages for both girl's albums. Embellishments copy with a very 3-D look to them. So... Barb in Iowa... a copy will be coming your way one of these days. Enjoy!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Scrapbook Layouts

I forget that pictures load with the last one on the top. So, if I sound redundant it's because I was writing bottom up. I'll catch on to all of this eventually. I haven't shared any scrapbooking ideas recently, so I'll share some tonight. In this photo Wendy was peddling hard to get up the incline and Shamrock was running along beside her. She said that his little legs were getting tired, so she picked him up under her arm and gave him a rest. I tore the paper on the layout to represent the mountain she was riding up.
In this photo Wendy and her Westie Shamrock are kayaking in Alaska. I love his little ears perked up at attention. They lived there 3 months while she and a friend got ready for a trek in Tibet. She made it to Mt Everest but wasn't there to climb. I was able to read about their trek on a website, and "lost it" when they said she had altitude sickness. But, she stabilized and continued on. The title on the layout was cut with my Cricut machine.

This is a 12x12 of Wendy's dog, Shamrock, getting a ride up the hill/mountain in Colorado in a friend's pack. Shamrock goes wherever Wendy travels and has already led "9 lives" during his adventures. On the layout I journaled up the mountain to draw your eyes to the steepness. The snowflakes were made with a good old fashioned potato cut and white paint. I added doodling on them and sequins for a little bling.
PS Shamrock is my GRANDDOG!!