Guess who's been up in the studio making a mess in preparation for making art? I thought I knew what I was looking for, and I was pretty sure I knew which drawer it would be in, but alas, I was wrong.
So I've gone through 3 drawers in one of my fabulous IKEA cabinets, each filled with clip art and vintage photos and alphabet stickers and tape measures and so...much...more! And then I got distracted and forgot what I was looking for, and began creating piles all over the farm tables.
When I realized I'd veered off the beaten path, I started sorting and refilling the drawers. And all those piles that never belonged in any of them? They're still on the tables.
The girls are coming over to play on Thursday night, so I've got to tackle those piles and find new homes for them. And then I've got to get back to the business of finding what I was looking for in the first place.
I spent a few hours on Saturday with my grandsons. Jackson turned 3 yesterday and I don't know where the time went. And Baby Luke? Oh my, I hated to wash my hands or bathe or change clothes after holding him for the better part of 5 hours because I could still smell that new baby scent.
Sigh. Isn't he just adorable? I hope they're enjoying the fact that he sleeps a lot because trust me, it won't last.
And then he'll be 3 asking "what's that" about a thousand times a day like his big brother. I'm hoping he'll catch on to Mimi's prodding and start saying "excuse me?" instead of "huh" all the time. But right now he thinks that's the funniest thing he's ever heard and he giggles, then says it in a squeaky voice while tilting his head, and then giggles some more.
And I'm sure it's just wishful thinking but doesn't it look like Luke might have my strawberry blonde hair? Possibly? Just a hint of red in there? Though if he has blonde hair like his daddy and his big brother, I'm fine with that too.
I'll be back later with photos of the studio. I bet you'll be able to figure out what we'll be making when you see the piles turning into kits.
Jackson spent his first night away from home with Mimi & Papa. We were thrilled. He didn't know he was staying. While we were up in the studio playing with water colors and rubber stamps and trying out all my paper cutters, Mom, Dad & Baby Luke slipped away.
He wasn't upset at all and only asked about them 6 or 8 times over the course of the next 24 hours.
In addition to creating art we played with cars and horns and a guitar that I didn't give him at Christmas because it was too loud. And after a very few minutes, I stashed it away for a future play date. No way I'd send that home with a new baby in the house; my daughter-in-law would never have forgiven me.
He eats often, but like a bird, so imagine my surprise when he ate my supper after eating his own! That'll teach me not to plan for the unexpected. I was told he loves McD's pancakes so I made pancakes yesterday for breakfast. He ate 2 of the 4 on his plate. Perhaps they didn't measure up. Or perhaps it was the fact that he spotted the iPad.
The photo above was taken after pancakes, with the boys in their pj's, playing with the ipad.
Don't know why I didn't think to take pictures in the studio, or outside yesterday playing in the sunshine, or during that 45 minute Mr. Bubble bath time fun. Mimi's got to do better.
Would you believe it snowed at my house all day on Saturday, yet it was just warm enough that it didn't amount to anything.
Oh sure, it was pretty. And the dogs enjoyed eating it, followed by a fluffing out with the hair dryer.
And some of the kids in the hood threw snowballs and made snowmen, but with hour after hour of flakes, I expected far more accumulation no matter what the weatherman had been telling me for days and days.
Of course if that had happened, I wouldn't have been able to go visit my new grandson on Sunday. I delivered roasted new potatoes with garlic & olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkled them with freshly grated parmesan cheese when I pulled them out of the oven. They were one of the side dishes for my chicken casserole. They hadn't eaten all day so as soon as I came in the door we were turning on the oven, and in less than an hour, a late lunch/early dinner was on the table, complete with crescent dinner rolls and more.
My mother beat me there by 5 minutes, so I let her hold Luke most of the afternoon. Seemed only fair since I'd already been to see him twice at the hospital and this was her first visit.
Jackson played with my iPad for a little while, but for once thought playing with all his little cars and trucks was a better idea. I held the baby for an hour, fed him a bottle and changed his clothes, but his eyes were open less than 5 minutes during my 3-hour visit. Turns out he doesn't like being naked and screamed his little head off until I got his legs tucked into a clean onesie. Putting on the t-shirt didn't help at all. Nope, he had to feel fabric on his little legs before he was convinced he was dressed. Note to self: Go buy that boy some of those sweet little gowns with the drawstring bottom for quick changes!
The girls are coming over Thursday night for a bit of fun in the studio so tonight I'll be putting away a few new CHA purchases that arrived last week. And tomorrow I'll be planning something fun for us to do during the project portion of our meeting. Ooh, can't wait.
In August you'll find me at Stampaway in Cincinnati, rolling out 4 new classes.
My first two classes are on Wed., Aug. 7th:
I know you won't believe this, but the first class is
A Portfolio of Cards
I know it's a shock, but it's true.
And they're great!!
My second class on Wednesday will be a 4 hour marathon of techniques from 4-8pm.
Talk about a great way to kick off a convention week!
A Bouquet of Techniques Shadowbox Collage
Now that's a mouthful, isn't it?
A 4 hour class deserves an impressive title, or at the very least, a long one.
And it's not just a techniques class...we're housing our bounty in a huge glass-topped shadowbox! Need to post some photos, don't I?
I can't have too much fun on Wednesday night though because I've got my favorite class on Thursday morning from 8:30-10:30. Oh my, that sounds early, doesn't it?
Art Inspiration Boards
I knew I wanted to do something great this year, so back in December while fighting the flu I asked myself what would knock my socks off, and sure enough, I've come up with the perfect class for that.
And since everyone knows I'm the Queen of Techniques, I came up with one more class to keep us all happy...
and to show off my newest line of rubber stamps:
An Accordian Book of Tags
Truth be told we'll be using my line of rubber stamps in all my classes, along with hundreds of stamps by other manufacturers.
And inks and sprays and paints and stencils and more.
You know I can't teach a class anywhere that doesn't include Dyan's new Dylusions Sprays. Oh my, the new colors are even more fabulous than the originals.
And Tim's new Distress Paints have me swooning for sure!
Planning to attend Stampaway August 7-10th?
Planning to take any of my classes?
For those Lovelies who take all 4 of my classes this year, I have
I have a fewstudents like my girl Tammy who have signed up for all of my classes in years gone by, but that was a total of three. This is my first year teaching four, so that calls for a celebration, right?
Don't think you'd want to rent a car in CA and drive 500 miles from LA to Sacramento and beyond? Think again. I'm going to tell you a few things you'll miss if you don't consider it.
Like driving through the Grapevine which I'd never done before. And luckily the snow that had it closed earlier in the week was gone from the pavement and only to be found in the shaded areas of the mountains on either side of the curving highway.
Also saw wind turbines in great clusters. Farms they call them. Wow.
Pyramid Lake. Astounding.
Last Thursday we set out with my sister-in-law, Patty, for a day of shopping near her home in Rancho Murieta. First stop was in Amador City. Their tourism department calls it "the essence of California gold and wine country". Tiny little winding road. Just one block and then the road curves on out of town. Simply pulled over in the curve and parked the rental car. Not a parking lot or meter at the curb. Nope. Just a paved spot to pull off in front of the bakery's new home, which was getting a face lift while we shopped.
At the Kitchen Store I got a mortar and pestle (been needing one of those) and the sweetest little hand-carved ladle you ever saw, with a hook at the top of the handle for hanging on the edge of your pot. To think someone took the time to whittle that just for me. Quite pleased. Lots of the shops were only open Friday-Sunday, so next time I need better planning on my schedule of shopping excursions. We did find a few antique shops open so we could wander around and browse.
Next stop: Sutter Creek. Oh my, this place is truly the Jewel of the Mother Lode as their tourism department describes it. Patty steered me right into the Fine Eye Gallery, telling me it was the best shop in town, and have mercy, she was right. In fact, after dawdling in there forever, touching everything I could reach twice, we continued working our way up and down the street, and I had to go back to make my purchases. (Should never have doubted her.)
We weren't hungry yet when she suggested lunch, but off we went to Susan's Place. (Sigh) Note to self: no french toast for breakfast next time if we're headed out shopping in Sutter Creek. Just plan on brunch at Susan's.
Now if you've met me and spent any time at all with me, you know I'm prone to either love something or hate it. Fell in love. Still in love. Can't wait to visit again.
When the waitress brought out my lunch, I oohed and aahed over the presentation. Picked up one half of my sandwich and took a bite. Then set it aside, grabbed my camera, and began taking photos. Seriously.
But that's not all. I then asked her to bring me back the menu so I could copy the description of my Cranberry Turkey Sandwich:
A chutney of cranberries, blueberries, walnuts and green apples, layered with roasted turkey breast and fresh greens. Served on a Telera roll with a garlic, feta and cream cheese spread. And all sandwiches and wraps are served with a side salad of mixed greens.
Have mercy. If I've eaten anything prettier or tastier, forgive me, because it's gone right out of my head now, replaced by this masterpiece. I never even touched the salad. Couldn't even eat the second half of my sandwich. Make a note: don't eat french toast 9ish if you plan to dine at Susan's 11ish.
More shopping after lunch in Sutter Creek took us into the Gallery 10.
They had some pottery that sent me over the edge. Fat, naked chicks with mouths wide open. A huge, heavy vase with one of those fat chicks, complete with pearls. Couldn't even lift it to get the price. And then knew I couldn't carry it back in my luggage, or afford to have it shipped. Would worry it would get broken, or the freight charges would bankrupt me. But, oh, I wanted one of those pieces and still do.
And then we arrived in Jackson.
May I just go on record now as saying that the last time I tried to parallel park with any degree of success was during my driving test in 1970? Unless there are 2 or preferably 3 spaces in a row that I can pull into, I keep driving. Patty is pointing out spaces. Ha! Seemed insane in a rental car with no backup camera. Oh, how I missed my Lexus on this trip.
We cruised through town, through a valet parking lot, back onto the open road to circle back around and try again. Finally found one (or two or three in a row) I could manage.
Now she was thinking it was time to head home for cocktails before heading off to the country club for dinner, but we couldn't be rushed. We just had to check out the National Hotel which had been newly renovated. Simply marvelous!
And do you see that red building in the photo above? Just to the right of the hotel? I found a goldmine of old photos in there and nothing could prevent me from looking at every single one. Seriously. Found quite a stash I couldn't live without for upcoming classes. Just you wait and see.
And just to the right were 2 more doorways...one went to another antique shop upstairs while one went down a very cold stairwell to the downstairs shop. Handmade pillows were tempting, but required far too much real estate in my luggage for the trip home. Pity.
Wandering back up the street we peered in the window of yet another shop, only to be waved in by the friendliest gentleman ever. Turns out he wasn't the owner. He and his wife were friends of the owner, sitting on a bench inside for a bit of a chat. And of course hubby stayed up front swapping stories while we shopped in the back. An afternoon of delight. I thanked him for encouraging me to come on in. Quite neighborly. And we encouraged them to come on down to NC for a bit of antique shopping since they'd already been to Maine. If you're coming to the East Coast from California, why not come on down?
Then it was back to Patty's for appetizers and cocktails, before heading over to the club for steak dinners. And then we put on our jammies and watched "Undertaking Betty" with Alfred Molina, Christopher Walken and Brenda Blethyn. Help me Rhonda, we all laughed our way through it, which set off my coughing and sent me racing for my cough syrup with codeine so I didn't have to miss a single second of the frivolity. A real hoot!
Friday morning we were off to San Francisco, but of course that's another story. Now aren't you glad I rented that car and made that drive?
It's not fair that I get to visit California once a year and I arrive to temperatures colder than those I left behind in North Carolina.
Not. Fair. At. All.
If there's any question that I haven't bounced back from my extended bout with the flu, I spent 10 days in CA, driving from LA to Sacramento to Rancho Murieta to Sutter Creek to Jackson and finally to San Francisco, and didn't take a single photo of the views, or much else. Just not clicking on all cylinders yet.
Snap out of it Linda! I did take a few photos at CHA, but again, too few. I watched Tim demo his new Distress Paints, and brought home the tag he made me, but didn't take a picture of him. Sorry about that.
Watched Dyan with her newly "dyed" red hair wow everyone during demo after demo. Took photos of her art displayed in the Ranger booth, and a couple of journal pages she had on display,
but nope...no photos of the Queen herself.
She's got new stamps, new colors of ink (love her sprays), new stencils (great silhouettes),
and a journaling block which she used on 2 of the photos above. See that wavy edge? That's done with the block. Both these photos look like she traced around it and cut them out. I watched her trace the wavy edge onto pages of her journal and then use scissors to cut off the straight edge. Of course I loved that idea.
Why doodle hearts and squiggly lines when you can simply stamp them instead? You know I'm right.
And I've always been a fan of her quirky expressions. She's got new stamps with a few great ones that I simply must get.
Maya Road always had great displays. Loved this little book.
Visited Susan and Jim in the Clear Scraps booth every day, even making a bracelet out of one of their new borders.
Great samples on display...from great designers...