Sunday, November 30, 2014

Carried away with stickers

Bella Blvd. stickers do rock.
And I used them all.
 Well most of them anyway..
 As  you may or may not know from a previous post I
was whining about my lack of mojo
in addition to my thoughts and fears on hosting
the Murphy Traditional Thanksgiving.
So I borrowed one of Shimelle's favorite designs and went from there.
In addition, I didn't lay anything out - I just went for it.
I love how it turned out - simple and sweet.
It was alot of fun cooking and planning and it had a bit of stress going on.
okay alot of stress going on.
But it was fun to do - 20 people showed up
and out of them 6 kidlets who
ended up at their own table that worked out perfectly.
Since I was running about like a maniac all day - this is the only photo I got.
And it has to do. 
Imperfect photo - scrap that baby anyway and tell your story.

My man carving up that 25lb turkey.
And of course we dined on all the prerequisite sides and desserts.
The weather was lovely and all 20 were seated on the lanai family style.
(outside people - and yes I'm bragging about it)
And that is what the Murphy Tradition is about.
You have to come to Thanksgiving dinner - no excuses ever
and if you have friends or acquaintances that
have nowhere to go - you bring them.
Or else.
It's how they rolled for generations.
And this year me and Tom (not the turkey) were extremely
pleased to open our home.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Posers at the South Venice Jetty

It was a beautiful day to visit the jetty.
The sun was out.
The breeze was calm.
The critters were about.
As well as the boat cops - which were also fun to watch.
Ice cream would've made it perfect.

This guy laid right on the pathway
and it didn't matter who sashayed on by.
He didn't move.
He didn't even get nervous with a camera lens in his beak.
Must be a pro.
This guy was sandwiched between 2 fisherman.
And he was totally hypnotized as the bait was swinging
back and forth and back and forth and back and forth
 on the line.
 And then got over it and flew away....
 And there were plenty more where he came from.
Lurking about on the rocks.
And a beautiful anahinga spreading his wings to dry.
 Ever on the alert.
 And my all time favorite poser.
I even got a catch light in his eye.
I love pelicans.
And anahingas.
Oh and there were dolphin heading out.
Wasn't fast enough for them.
This time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My mojo seems to be on hiatus so I've been preparing for Thanksgiving

The Murphy Traditional Thanksgiving is at our house this year. 
Anyway, getting ready for 20 people began with lists. 
Lots of lists.
Do you know how long its been since I've done a turkey?
Like forever.
No pressure there.
Tom the turkey is thawing as we speak.

Yeah you'd think it be cut and dry 
but noooooooo....
Traditional, Corn bread, Chestnut to name a few.

Then to STUFF or NOT to STUFF.



PICK-ONS........ hor duerves 
for those of you not speaking Murphy.


OH MY....
And then there's the pressure of competing with sister-in-laws
that make all that look EASY and I can tell you
they NEVER broke a sweat.
The only reason I'm sweating is because its hot.

 Anyway it appears my mojo has done got up and gone.
I'll be back......
I hope.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A bit of whimsey and play on diecuts

Remember these diecuts from this post ?
Well I finally decided that they needed to be on a page.
When I started this page I wasn't going with this photo but
it just works.
More or less.
 You'll also spot my homemade enamel dots.
Loving all the colors.
I also used that negative space of the bee added one on the top.
Because I could.
It was looking kinda plain so I went nuts with
a Hero Arts stamp I had laying around with some grey ink.

Love it. 
We don't normally take good pix so you gotta roll
with it when it happens.
Love this one of Tom and his new hat.
He's manly enough to be roll with the flowers.
And the bees are fun whimsey.
Be Mine.
bwahahaha - he has no choice really.
Because that's how we roll.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Watercolors, stamps and embossing powder

I didn't think of taking a photo of the paper until
you guessed it after I mussed it up some.
Its a 12x12 of a photograph of trees.
A forest of trees.
I wanted to make a "home" for a photo and embellishments
so I laid down some gesso and watercolors.
I added the dotted stamp with black ink and then brought
out the distressed embossing powder.
 I tend to forget about embossing powder - it does add a cool layer.
I also got to use my new tree die cut from Spellbinders.
Again its gotta lot of intricacy going on so I used wax paper in 
order to get the die out without losing limbs or leaves.
I also heard a suggestion that dryer sheets work too - I'll try it next time
and give you an updated. Unless you already tried it.
Then let me know.
 Scattered the trees about and then layered up with
goodies from the Paper Issues Swag Bag - from different months.
Love the tree with the banners.
  I did put the page and colors together with no photo in mind.
And then I had to make a custom size because silly me
I glued down those striped banners.
Therefore, the photo size is 3x1.75.
Which is a good thing because it was a small photo and
anything bigger would be really blurry and pixilated because
its a digital photo of the original.

I think it works rather well with a heritage photo.
That is a photo of my great great grandmother Mathilda Anderson
and my grandpop (her grandson) Bill Schneider.
I did the journaling between the embossed dots at the top and
I only know the players in the photo,
not a where (just guessing) nor a why.
Guessing the date is about 1920 - because grandpop looks about 20.
But I could be wrong.

Studio Calico, Paper Issues Swag Bag, Spellbinder die, Tim Holtz distress embossing powder.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adding a piece of history in my album

This was a tough, emotional page to create.

It's an incredible tribute that means so much to many people,
including myself.
I didn't know what to expect when visiting this site, but just
being there was overwhelming emotionally. 
Even if there wasn't a "formal tribute setting",
if ground zero was still a hole in the ground,
it would've have still been emotionally overwhelming.

That's how powerful it is.
It was an amazing, emotional, and surreal experience.
As I sat down the other night to create this page I became
caught in the emotions from the memorial and then thought
 how do I create a page that will honor, respect, revere 
this memorial that represents such a horrific
part of our American history.

I used my words and a couple of the photos from the 
911 Memorial article that I had written for hubpages. 
It describes the memorial, emotions,
and pride I had as I soaked it all in.

Amidst the cement and mortar, cranes and tarps is a peaceful, calm carved out in a place where one the most horrific attacks on America took place, killing 3,000 Americans in 2001. 
Another day in American History that will live in infamy.

Since the site is still under construction and as the towers arise from the ashes, you will see there are tarps and cranes everywhere. We had just missed seeing the installation of the floor on World Trade One that marks its milestone of surpassing the Empire State Building. The new tower is beautifully magnificent, and on our cabbie’s informed say-so found that the entire building has already been rented out. The American spirit lives on. And you can’t help but feel proud.

As you step around the fencing, there is a sense of calm even with all the people mingling around. We gravitated immediately to the south pool. As you approach, all you hear is the sound of nature, and as you close in on the pool, you begin to hear the cascading water. Around the pool is a railing, with the names of the fallen. It’s awe- inspiring and simultaneously tragic. 

There are two pools, north and south, each set in the footprint of the two buildings that were hit by the planes. The names are sorted out by which plane hit what building, and there are electronic directories set up at various sites, if you want to find where a specific name is located. Also included are the names of the fallen from the Pentagon and first responders; inscribed into the railing of the south pool.

Tributes have been placed here and there; people honoring friends and loved ones. And you can’t help but trace the inscribed names as you stand at the pools, even if you didn’t know them. As an American I felt a sense of camaraderie and respect for their bravery and pain that made the memorial real and surreal simultaneously. I also found myself wondering if I could or would be that brave in the face of horrific circumstances. 

The acoustics at this site were perfectly engineered in which nature plays a role in the soundproofing. Plans show that eventually there will be a total of 400 swamp white oak trees planted as well as grass, making the site lush and green. Granite seating is available throughout for meditation and rest.

As people mingle around and pay their respects, you can feel the prayers rising, and as you step away from the pools, the sound of the cascading waters recedes, and there is a hushed quiet of respect. 

As the construction continues and the towers arise, it shows that America continues to stand tall.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The last homemade tag found a page

Love that I completed that goal.
 You guessed it - the orange flowers tag.
 I did add a bit more to the cluster to bring it on down some.
 The black strip was originally longer - but it looked dumb as it 
became blank when I decided I wanted to 
highlight Annie's 3-year old picture in the frame.
it does go fast doesn't it.
The butterflies and birds were punched from a big blue flower
that looks like the orange flowers - only blue.
I thought I could wrangle 3 butterflies out of it but alas
one had to be a bird.

Total mix of papers - 
from Bo Bunny to Graphic 45 to Studio Calico.
My go to it seems my Kaiser Craft collection of goodies.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

and the Second-to-Last Homemade Tag is on a page....

As of today - there is only one tag left.
I feel pretty good about getting all of these on pages.
 Very close to meeting that goal.
 Digging the layering with bits and pieces from Paper Issues Swag Bag
and Kaiser Crafts.
 Love the anchor die cut - I found that I have used it a lot.
I hand wrote the title resembling the old EK success word ones.
I love those - Tim Holtz has a similar word thing - be cracks wasn't 
one of the words lol!

This is such a great photo. 
Cavin cracks me up with his fun laughter
which I'm sure Mz Amelia had something to do with.

Bo Bunny, Paper Studio, Kaiser Craft, Paper Issues Swag Bag.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Amazing Sand Sculptures on Siesta Key Beach 2014

As always they were totally amazing...
 the detail is phenomenal...
 the artistry exquisite...

It was amazing to watch the artists work.
They had a delicate touch at times...
Other times a more direct approach was used...

Oh and the weather as you can see was absolutely gorgeous.
So after a quick bite - we headed to St. Armand's Key to check out 
the ice cream at Kilwin's and all the other shops.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

From the crop - fifth kit to page

I've taken this photo three times and still blurry.
I completed this page at home because I thought it needed sewing.
And to my shock nobody dragged a sewing machine to the crop.
There are actually two thread colors - I first used a grey - and
it just didn't show up - so I went back over it with white.
Love the simple cluster with the bow and die cut.
 Added some thread just because I thought it looked cool there.
And wa-la.
I did different sewing things in different corners.
It helped I think.
I love the Studio Calico paper - it fits.
Love the Dear Lizzy stamp its a favorite.
A dog and his girl.
Doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From the crop - fourth kit to page

I didn't have any Halloween papers, per se.
So I rifled through my papers and kitted some Basic Grey.
And didn't that work out great.
 I also got to break out my monkey die once again.
And wasn't that fun.
 Love the Evalicious camera and arrow and the tags were as one
until I whacked them apart and BG as well - different line.
One of my favorite things about BG - most of their lines can work together.
 Lawn fawn pins. 
Love those pins and they were fun with the theme.
BG candy corn and envelope - that finally got worked into a page.
And the thickers give it a fun look.
Love the documentation of the costume to kid.
Curiouser and Curiouser!
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