Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Please meet Millie!!! Isn't she just darling??? This is an ATC done by Kristi in Birminham, Alabama!! She drew and colored her own image. I love her style, so simple, playful, and cute! I met Kristi online through a site called It is a site where people post their ATCs and you can swap and comment on other people's stuff. I was immediately drawn to Kristi's cards. I have four of them and will be posting the other cards throughout the summer. I have to remember to bring them home from work though, cause they are decorating my desk right now. I sure love the internet lately for all the great people it has brought me into contact with! Here is one shining example of someone who I would never have known, and now I find a kindred spirit all the way in Alabama!!! You gotta love it! Thanks Kristi, you work is fabulous!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

E is for Experiment

I have my first Alphabetica journal in hand and it is amazing!!!! This is Lynne's journal. We have not met in person yet, but I bet we will someday soon as she lives in a nearby suburb! As her title says E is for Experiment, which is a very freeing notion. She has given total permission to try new things. I spent yesterday trying to create interesting backgrounds on canvas paper. I used instructions from a book by Claudine Hellmuth. I tried four different backgrounds. The one I like the most is one I just improvised myself. The other ones did not turn out as well as the ones in the book. Anyway, I have all this week to practice before committing anything to Lynne's journal. I especially love the front of her journal. It is so smooth. All the colors go together so well and there is a finish on top of everything that makes it look like a professional book cover. All in all, it is gorgeous!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend......first of all, on Memorial Day let us pay tribute to all the soldiers and sailors that have been killed in war. What sacrifices they is awful to think of all the lives that have been cut short due to war. Which when I think of it,......wars are such a ridiculous notion. To fight and kill people???? As a way of resolving a dispute? This is just criminal to me. I lament the horrible side of mankind that could lead to such evil behavior.

Well, I guess I just had to make some comment on the meaning of Memorial Day. Now to totally switch gears...what I really wanted to talk about is something completely different. My memorable Memorial Day weekends............ you know the "secular" Memorial Day, the start of summer and all are some of my faves.....

-that time I drove my brother's car from San Francisco to L.A. to see my best friend Noreen
-that time we went up to my Dad and Mary's cabin in the Trinity Alps in northern California
-going to the Indy 500 (when it was a REAL race, not like it is now! Long story which you are probably not interested in)
-this Memorial Day weekend when I am going to a used stamp sale with friends and then spending the rest of the weekend hanging out with my dear husband.

Good times people!!!! oh, and above is an ATC I made!! The stamp is by Queen's Dresser Drawers. Check out her site she has the most awesome stamps!!!!!

Friday, May 26, 2006


Last night I went downtown to see Nixon in China. This is an opera by John Adams that was written in 1987. It is very different to see a modern opera. The music was so different than what I am used to with Mozart, Verdi, and Wagner. It was extremely great though! Very interesting to see modern clothing and references to the Apollo astronauts. It was fascinating to watch "Pat Nixon" dancing about. I went by myself, which I don't mind at all. I can really observe everything around me that way. I purchased a new stamping magazine and brought that along to read during the intermission. It was really a great time, especially as I knew I did not have to go to work today!!! Jane and I are getting stuff ready for a used stamp sale tomorrow. We hope to make money from our "old stuff" to get some more new stuff! Oh, and just so you don't get the impression that I am a total stuffed shirt opera loving nerd.......I blasted Led Zepplin and The Knack on the way home!!! Woohoo! Total cultural experience all the way around!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Jane's Alpha Queen

Here is the most AMAZING Alphabetica cover by my friend Jane! Isn't this the most gorgeous thing you have ever seen??????? I have already commissioned her to do a work like this for me!! I love this!!!!!!! Totally cool!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Alphabetica Cover

Well, here it Alphabetica round robin journal cover!! I have been thinking about it for at least a month and it finally all came together with old and new objects! There are 26 people in this project. The project is based on the book Alphabetica by Lynne Perrella. The participants are as far away as England and Italy and as close as Downers Grove, IL. There are gals in Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, California, and Utah. My theme is Names. I really love old fashioned womens' names. Whenever I make a card using old pictures I come up with a little story in my head about the person's picture. I love vintage pictures and old-fashioned names, so this seemed a natural topic. On the cover are two old postcards I had in my collection. I have been collecting postcards for a long time, and now these two hobbies have come together. The background paper is some vintage wallpaper I just recently purchased from Pam Garrison. I have to get a link to her blog because her stuff is just awesome. Anyway, I am up way too late (I know it is only 10:15 p.m. but for me that is late!). I will post some of the other pages tomorrow.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wonderful Weekend

Wondeful weekend........gorgeous weather, beautiful city skyline and Lake Michigan, time spent with husband, toot with girlfriends, and two cats live in my house!!! I am lucky!

On Saturday we went downtown to see a play. My Dad and Mary gave us tickets for Christmas and the play is in production this month. The Old Curiosity Shop based on the book by Charles Dickens. It was so good! The theater is in the historic Chicago water tower. It is a newly done theater with great seats and the set was very innovative. The actors were great and the story was so Dickensensian. From the Playbill, "Central to our production is Charles Dickens' observation that every life is a story and that compassion can be a balm in the face of the life's many unexpected sorrows." I am a big fan of compassion. (Well, who isn't?)

Mike and I also went to the Borders on Michigan Avenue before and after the play. It was a great Saturday down in the city. Just gorgeous. Blue sky. Not too hot. Great architecture! Chicago is such a great and lovely city.

Prior to the play Mike was instrumental in helping me make some decisions on my Alphabetica project. Design layout and background papers were his key contributions. It was neat to have his influence and opinion on the project. By the way, I am running late on this project. It was supposed to be in the mail yesterday. I anticipate that it will go out Wednesday. I have thought about the project obsessively for a month and have had performance anxiety I guess. But I got a good start this weekend and will have it sent to Beth in Wisconsin soon.

Today Trish made the trek to Downers Grove so that we could get together with Jane and finalize all our merchandise for the used rubber stamp sale next Saturday. But of course we had to squeeze in a little toot. We went down to Lincoln Park to show her a very cool stamp store, Stamp On In. Prior to our drive downtown today we witnessed the unveiling of Jane's Alphabetica is totally divine, droolworthy, and exciting! I am hoping to be able to scan a picture of it before she mails it off so you can see it. I have commisioned her to make me the same piece on canvas. It is AMAZING!!! It is also the first time she has ever done any collage work like it and so it is doubly amazing! I hope I can pull off the same kind of exciting cover for my journal.

Thanks again to Dad and Mary for the tickets!!!! Great play! I have to read the book now!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


This is the coolest card!!!! My friend Lorie made it and I received it in the mail today. I absolutely love it!!!! Last Saturday Lorie, Susan, and I went to a couple of thrift shops. She bought a couple of patterns for a quarter each, and put the picture of the little girl in this card! She also used the Simplicity brand name in the card. Simplicity is........a trip to Goodwill. I am so excited about this card. Thanks Lorie!!!!

Lorie is the person who got me into stamping! I said I had too many books to read and stuff to cross-stitch, and that I did not need another hobby! How wrong I was!!!!

Below is a picture of the brooches I got at Goodwill. I am planning to use them as decorative elements with cabinet cards. It was so much fun looking at all of the "cheap" jewelery. We went through several trays of costume jewelery to find things we wanted. I was so hepped up I wanted to go on a road trip of thrift shops and antique stores all weekend! It is so much fun to hang out with like-minded friends! It is the most fun ever!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Trial and Error

My friend Jane came over tonight. We wanted to try some techniques that we could use when we do the alphabetica journals. We need to learn tons more about things like Gesso and layering and building up colors. We started by mixing Gesso and paints on canvas paper. It turned out pretty cool. Then we tried the above technique which was featured at the Red Lead store in St. Louis. Jane went there a few weeks ago and found out about it. I guess it is pretty easy to see that we scratched/distressed parts of the picture and then painted the areas with very cheap watercolor paints. Lots of fun. Now, if I did this card over I would stamp the bottom sentiment in black and do the ABCs in the blue! Live and learn! If anyone reading this has any tips on how or why to use Gesso, please let me know. Anyway, we had a very good time just fooling around. We need to get our Alphabetica journals done though because they have to be in the mail on Saturday! Procrastinating again!!! I have thought about this journal for weeks and I can see it in my head. I guess I have performance anxiety. Will have to conquer that tomorrow after work!!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom! Happy Mother's Day to all my friend's who are Moms! Today I am so thankful that I have a Mom that loved me so dearly! She always thinks I am just wonderful (well, except when I never cleaned up my room and always took the scissors out of the drawer!). My Mom is beautiful, loving, funny, interesting, and full of life! Thank you for everything you do for me Mom!

Today, I also think of my Grandmothers. They were just the best. I miss them both everyday.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hang out with a dear little 5-year-0ld girl.....what a lucky gal I was to have such sweet love thrown my way. We got to sing and play around, and I just enjoyed myself so.

So, on Mother's Day I honor all those great relationships past and present between mothers and children....... how sweet they are.

Friday, May 12, 2006

ATC and a question

Here is a recent ATC I made. Those gals look like they are having a great time!

I just finished watching the movie "Match Point." It is a Woody Allen movie. Very different from his usual movies. This was set in current day London. It was so gorgeous! Granted, the characters were wealthy and so had access to opera, art galleries, top of the line shops, etc. It made me want to hop right over there. Then I started daydreaming.......and so I ask you a question.....What city in what year would you like to spend some time???? Tonight I would say London in about you?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rumi and an ATC

This is one of my most favorite ATCs that I have done. It is simply this woman's picture and the words are just cut out of an old paperback. Everything just fit together perfectly. I got the woman's picture at an antique shop. It was already tinted with color. Doesn't she look smart and funny? Like someone you would want to hang out with? That is the trouble with these old want to know more about the people in them.

I wanted to post my favorite quote for you. I first read it in the beginning of one of the books by one of my most favorite authors, Elizabeth Berg. It is also reprinted in Alphabetica, the basis for the round robin art journal I am lucky enough to be in. Let me know what you think of it.........

"Out beyond ideas of Right Doing and Wrong Doing, there is a Field. I'll meet you there." - Rumi

Rumi was a 13th century poet.

Monday, May 08, 2006


This is some of the fabric I got yesterday at Joanne's. We have a pretty terrible Joanne's here in Downers Grove, but I think this fabric is pretty cream of the crop stuff as far as pattern and texture, so I am quite happy with it. I am going to try to use it in my Alphabetica journal, glue it on cardstock and use it as backgrounds for cards, and for the upcoming Lesley Riley class. As I walked around Joanne's I remembered when I was little, and my Mom and her friend, Charlene would drag my friend Jill and I to the fabric store. We would just about faint from the boredom. It was truly a painful experience. Yesterday, though, I could see why people like looking around in a fabric store. Imagine if I could sew, boy I could have really done some damage in there!

My friend Jane returned from the great stamp store experience in St. Louis today! She brought me back some great stamps, paper, and new ideas for techniques. I want to try them STAT, but am too pooped at 8 p.m. to start a new project, plus tonight 24 is on and nothing supercedes that in this househould. My Mom returned yesterday from her Civil War battlefield trip. She is the president of the Chicago chapter of the Civil War Round Table, and I am very proud of her.

Well, it was a routine day around here, but those are the kind I like! Also, on the reading front...I am almost finished with the Anne Tyler book. It is so excellent!!! Run, don't walk, and get a copy!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Usually on a toot I buy about 5 books. There were a ton that caught my eye yesterday. My goal was to buy only one, the Anne Tyler, but then I walked by this book and the cover caught my eye. I started reading the first few pages and it looked like a great and unique story. The main female character is an astronaut! She is married and has a young boy with asthma. I read the flap and it looks like a very interesting domestic drama and has the added attraction of the main character having a unique (to say the least) job! I think she ends up on a trouble space shuttle mission. It is not science fiction as it is actually set before 2001. It looks really good and is up on my next to read list!

I also got the latest issue of Stamper's Sampler Catch Up issue! Fun! Will be reading that tonight and hopefully watching a movie! Oh, and today I got a rotary cutter, cutting board, and good scissors for cutting fabric, along with some assorted yardage of cool fabric in anticipation of the Lesley Riley class we are taking in September. Good weekend!


What is a toot you ask? A toot is when you go shopping with someone fun and you go to only fun stores to buy fun things. Historically, most of my toots have been with Mike when we go to bookstores. We have been tooting this way for years. That is why I have an excess amount of books in our house. Lately, the tooting has been with Jane or Trish and these toots have taken place at stamping stores. We get so hepped up in their we sometimes have palpitations! (only half kidding people!) Anyway, this weekend I went on a traditional toot with Mike! Well, only a half toot because we only went to one bookstore. (in days past we would have hit at least three bookstores!) Anyway, I am trying to not's my new plan, read the new books I get immediately and then go to the old stack. Its not like the old stack is boring or anything. There are plenty of books that I already own that get my reading juices going, its just that there are so many good books published each month! Yesterday, I got the aforementioned Anne Tyler. I started it and it is totally great! I am so engrossed in this book already. Briefly, it tells the story of two very different families who each adopted a baby girl from Korea on the same day. I can barely put it down. The characters are so interesting and loveable. And, isn't the cover just wonderful?

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Last year my friend Trish and I went to a stamping expo in Milwaukee. It was like Christmas morning tailor made for adults (stamping adults that is). There were lots of companies selling stamps....we went insane! This year we went back again with Jane. We knew it was going to be a good show when we were walking in from the parking lot and looked into someone else's car and saw a 12 pack of TAB and a copy of the Stamper's Anonymous catalog! Kindred spirits!

As an aside, you must know, and always remember, that TAB is the nectar of the gods!!!! I cannot live without it! and must have it at least three times a day, and especially with breakfast!

Anyway, one of our fave companies was Inky Antics. You can find them at They have darling stamps that are so much fun, as illustrated by today's post of the card to your left. They have great demos using "stumps" and Gamsol to blend in Prismacolor pencils. It gives a perfect and soft look. So, in addition to the collage look, I have been on somewhat of an Inky Antics tear.

The best thing about Inky Antics is that they have a forum and gallery on their website. I have met the nicest bunch of women on this forum. You should check it out. If you want to join a cyberspace community that is warm, welcoming, and funny that is the place. I have already been involved in image swaps and cards swaps, and the newest thing is an RAK group. That stands for random acts of kindness. You join the RAK group, submit your address, sit back and wait for hand stamped cards to hit your mailbox!! Of course, you need to send some out too! I sent out a few the other day. I have to finish the second half of my list still. It is amazing that something as solitary as being on the Internet can lead to actual friendships! Love it!

A Huge Thank You

A huge thank you is in order to Heather for desiging this blog site! She made the wonderful banner above! The look of this site is so amazing to me! I just told her that I liked blue and yellow and vintage images of women, and the rest is before your eyes! Gorgeous!

Heather and her friend Joleen have started a zine. The first issue is sold out, but you could subscribe to future issues. The subject of the next issue is dolls. I have the first issue and it is wonderful!!! The website for the zine is Also, Heather has a really cool on-line store that has tons of stuff for ATCs and altered art. That site is at

Thank you Heather!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Book Lust

Todays ATC is one that I was inspired to make after receiving the cool one by Jo Ann that I posted yesterday. I like the idea of taking a vintage photo and using the whole picture on the
2-1/2 x 3-1/2 ATC size.

Before the stamping thing, my main passion was reading. Our house is stuffed to the gills with books.......I have at least 100 books that I own that I have not read yet. So, it has come as quite a shock to find that I have not completed one book in the last two months. Usually I read about 70-90 books a year, so this is really a change. I think part of the reason I am reading less is because I have been spending time on the computer reading about stamping, part of it is time spent stamping/creating, and part of it is time spent running around buying stamping stuff. I really miss that whole "can't put this book down" feeling.

Today, while waiting for Mike's train to get in, I was browsing at Anderson's Bookshop. I clearly have been out of the book world for too long. First of all, in the window there was a copy of Anne Tyler's new book, Digging To America (i think that is the title) . I knew that was coming out but I had not seen it in person. I picked it up and actually said aloud, "How beautiful!" Well, the cover is really cool, but I admit that was totally nerdy to say. Also, I ran across a new book by Jeanne Marie Laskas. She wrote a book called Fifty Acres and a Poodle several years ago that is on my all time favorite book list. I was surprised to see a new offering by her. By this time I was practically levitating with excitement. Then I saw about three other good books.....Well, in the old days I would have just bought them all, but having become ever so slightly disciplined I think I will wait until this weekend..........

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A really cool story

It was sometime in April that my Mom, and my friend, Jane, and I went to a quilting and mixed media expo put on by the magazine, Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Prior to the show they sent out a call for ATCs. They were to have a wall of ATCs that were sent in by readers. You could make and send in up to five ATCs. Then, if you went to the show you could trade for as many ATCs as you made. Jane and I each sent in five ATCs.

The show day came and we were chomping at the bit to get in there and see what this wall of ATCs looked like. We went on the Sunday of the show, so the amount of ATCs was diminished, but there were still a lot of them. We had about an hour before the swap time so we stood there like two little stalkers picking out which ones we wanted. We were very lucky. They were going to let us pick the ones we wanted instead of just randomly giving out ATCs. So, we mapped out our strategy as to which ones we wanted to take home. There was one ATC that I had to have. If I could have only had one, this was it. Well, by golly, I got it (and four others!). I was so happy! Right after the swap my Mom met us for lunch. I was so hepped up about the ATC I had to contact the woman who made it. Usually people put their name and e-mail address on the back of their cards. On the back of this card was the name of the woman, Jo Ann, and her phone number. Well, I just called her right then and there from lunch at the expo center. Here is the cool part.......after explaining who I was and why I was calling out of the blue on a Sunday afternoon we got to chatting. She was so thrilled that someone loved her ATC as it was one of the first one she had ever made!!!! It turns out that Jo Ann is 73 years old! She had first read about ATCs in a recent issue of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion and just decided to try her hand at it!!! I think Jo Ann has done some other artistic things, but I am not sure. She does not have a computer and is not on the internet. We have corresponded a little so far, and hopefully will do more letter writing and ATC swapping in the future. I sent her some of mine recently and I hope to hear back from her soon! I think her style is so totally cool and exciting! Yes, that is her ATC in this post!!!! Isn't it divine???? It really gets my altered art mojo going!!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

and now before I go upstairs to watch 24, I wanted to have a picture at the top of my blog for the just looks cuter this way!!! Another recent ATC.......
I made my first blog entry back in March. Since then I could not figure out how to get back to the place where more entries are added.......can you say technically challenged......well that is where my new buddy Beth came in....she walked me through the steps on the for good or for bad, we have her to thank for the resurgence of this blog.

The name, Maude and Mozart, is a little unorthodox or "silly" as my dear husband called it. But, to me it is a mix of two of my loves....the wonderful, soul soaring music of Mozart and the love of all things of vintage......hence the old-fashioned name, Maude. The spur to get me blogging again (aside from it being a platform where I can browbeat others about all my favorite things), is my new membership in a round robin art project based on the book, Alphabetica by Lynne Perrella. Gals from far and wide are going to be sending art journals on to each other and eventually it will return filled with art. The people involved in this project are so talented!!! I am out of my league, but they are all so welcoming and lovely that I think it will be a great learning experience in a very warm and safe environment.

So, I will keep you up to date about all of those comings and goings. I reprinted my first entry just for the hey of it........ oh, and Beth also taught me how to upload a picture, so here, with excitement, is the first piece of art to grace this site, an ATC made by me!!


This is my first blog entry! It is so spur of the moment. Yesterday morning I was waking up slowly and I had all these great ideas I wanted to blog about! Now, it is Sunday afternoon, getting close to Oscar time, and I came downstairs from the bedroom from an unsuccesful napping session and just decided to see who offered a free blog. I pressed a couple of buttons and here I am! I hope I can get back to this same site in the future!I envision this blog as a total learning experience. I would like to post about books, movies, music, stamping, and all the things that I love. I read a ton of blogs everyday and hope to be even 1/4 as interesting as they are. I also hope to learn how to post pictures of things (which means finally learning to use our digital camera!). I would like to have a currently reading feature. I want to post all the lists of my Best Books through the years that I have been doing it also.Well, let's see how it goes!!!!!
posted by Laura @ 2:20 PM 0 comments