Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Attention to the Links

I will probably not be posting too much this week as I am on vacation from work and hanging out with my friend Noreen and her family who are here from California. We are antiquing, eating, and laughing mostly.

I wanted to draw your attention to my links section....I have added more links of websites that I visit regularly........please check them out!

Hope you all have a wonderful week and I will talk to you towards the end of this week! Don't forget the little contest below, if you have not a told a story about the picture below, please do so or at least read what is there in the comments, they are hilarious!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

H is for Helen - my entry into Trish's Alphabetica journal

H is for Helen! It all started with this picture I got last weekend.....her name is written on the back, Helen. Then on another friend's blog (www.arttealife.blogspot.com ) there was a pink challenge, and the rest is history. I did some stuff I have never done before on this one...you can see it better in person, but I used paint on the scrapbook paper and also used decorative foam stamps with white craft ink. I put some pink Stickles on the ribbon.
This is the sign in page in Trish's journal for the letter H. I added two ATCs that are pertinent for Helen and changed the ribbon to a pink color. Also, for the first time ever I used rub-ons to spell out Helen's name....they were fun!

I had a great time with your journal Trish! It is so cool the way it is laid out!!!! Can't wait to see it when it is all done!!!

Key Buys People!

At Archivers last night I used a coupon and got the Soufle Pens by Sakura for 30% off. I have been wanting them for a long time because I have been wanting to put colored puffed up polka dots on vintage photos (why, is it that I don't crave cleaning the house and cooking healthy meals, no I crave puffed up polka dot putting!!). I love the look, and expect to see a lot of polka dotting people!
Also, we ran across a box of flocked chipboard alphabet and number sets by Provo Craft. They are calledMon Petit and they are so beautiful!!! I, Laura Duet, heartily endorse them!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dry Eye Friday Contest!!!!! (Friday Blog Part Two)

Here is an ATC I made in January. I used those cool Photo Twin markers to color in parts of it.
The above and the following two pictures are ones that Jane got cheap at an antique shop! I think they are all unique and totally cool. At first I thought the one above had the woman and three little girls in the picture, but then I noticed that the child on the right is a boy. Anyway, I made up a story in my head that the woman is their beloved nanny and when the kids grew up, they each had noble type jobs (nurse, vet, and teacher) and they worked hard and make sure their nanny had a good life in her golden years. (No, I am not smoking anything over here!)....Anyway, if you have read this far I just thought of a contest! Between now and next Friday, all people who leave a comment telling a story about this picture will be eligible to win some wonderfully photocopied vintage images selected by me! Isn't this fun! I will enter all the names of the paricipants in a hat and Mike will pick the winner! Like a mini-essay contest! It does not have to be a long story, just a few sentences! I hope a lot of people (all 6 who read this blog!) participate! Go ahead, make my day!!!
The back of this picture says it was taken at Coney Island!
Isn't she just the cutest!!!

Special Dry Eye Friday Mini Summer Vacation Extravaganza

I love, love, love this card from my Inky Antics buddy Michelle! I think she did a fabulous job with the colors and the whimsy here! I have it sitting by my computer desk so I can look at it often!

The title of this blog entry refers to the fact that my eye has been bugging me lately. Very itchy and red. I went to the ophthalmologist today and she said that it was very dry and that was the problem. Seems that may be a common problem as you "age." Oh, man you hit 44 and everything is getting loosey goosey! Anyway, she gave me some lubricating eye drops, and now my Mom can say I told you so....because she has been telling me to use drops for moisture for a long time! I will wait for your phone call Mother!

Anyway, this entry is also called mini summer vacation as I am off from work until July 6th!!!! My best friend Noreen (friends since 1977 and counting!) is coming to town next week and we are going to hang out extensively! Also, hope to get the house in order and play in my stamp room! Tonight, we (Mike, my friend Jane, her husband, Mike) are going out to Portillos where I will have the lovely Chicken Pecan Salad, and then Jane and I will be checking out Archivers. Not that we need one more thing in the world, but we came up with a couple of things anyway!!!

Anyway I wanted to show you all these neat things and more (but it seems that blogger only lets you put four pictures on a blog entry??), so I will post some more pictures in a few minutes. I am home early from work and it is all quiet on the Duet front with just the cats, me, and my dry eye here for company. I think I need to put on the Buena Vista Social Club CD and come back for more posting!

Oh my goodness, this is just breathtaking isn't it???? This was a RAK from my friend Debbie from the Inky Antics forum. She made this!!! Took a small composition book, and used scrapbook paper, stamp, rick-rack, index card divider things and came up with this little piece of genius!!!!!! I still have not entered any addresses in its pristine pages, but I will because it deserves to be used and loved! I mean I love it already, but you know what I mean!!!!
As promised, here is another top notch and totally great ATC from Kristi who lives in Birmingham, Alabama! The title of this one is "Amy and Annie." I love this so much!!!!

This is a stamp from Rubber Baby stamp company. They no longer are in business, however the owner, Paula, has a kit club that is just too fabulous. Here is the link: http://www.paulaskitclub.com/ It is a monthly club for which you pay in advance, and when the kit comes it is like Christmas morning!! I am showing the above little number because I learned this idea from Paula.....stamp once in black on white paper, stamp image again on scrapbook paper, cut out, and voila....Paper Dolls!! You can really dress up all your lady images like this!!!!

ETA: You cann get ALL OF PAULA'S STAMPS AT WWW.STAMPFRANCISCO.COM!!!!! Great site with tons of great stamps!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Late Night Thoughts

The above postcard is from my collection of vintage cards. I have been collecting them for over ten years and they are such beautiful things. My Mom and I started going to postcard shows a long time ago and we spend the day together going through tons of cards and spending too much money because there are such treasures. This is a card by a woman artist, Cecily Shand (1898-1979). She has a "light delicate Art Deco style" that is just amazing!! What do you think?

Here are some recent thoughts......

* I was totally late to this party, but the CD "American Idiot" by Green Day is pure genius! Especially the song "Holiday!" I bought it to listen to on my drive out to my friend Trish's house and I could barely stop!

*Also prior to the same car trip, on a whim, I picked up a CD by the Buena Vista Social Club. This is another masterpiece!!! If you like Latin music this is a must have. Basically, it is a bunch of famous Cuban musicians playing together. It is simply marvelous!

*Oh, and I got that new CD that features Mark Knoffler and Emmy Lou Harris and it is VERY good too!!!

*I am excited because tomorrow after work I am off to find the new edition of Somerset Studio. I got a glimps of it at Trish's house because she subscribes. There is something about Paris on the cover I think. Also, I want to get the new issue of Oprah magazine because on the cover it says it is the Summer Reading issue. That is so up my alley! As I have said before, I would like nothing better than to spend the summer at a cabin on the lake reading all day long!

Okay, it is 10:06 p.m. and that is past my bedtime on a "school night." Hope all is well with you my internet friends!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My friend Jane's Alphabetica pages for Audrey

These are the pages that Jane Maley did for Audrey Hernandez's Alphabetica book. Aren't they totally amazing!!! I love the color choices, so remniscent of the beach and the ocean. Audrey's book is about children. Jane chose the letter S, and created this artwork based on "Sally sells seashells by the seashore." I love this page so much!!! Jane, I think you did a stellar job young lady!!!!!! I think Audrey will approve!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ephemera Part Two

Here are a few more pictures that I got on Saturday.....great finds. I have the fever now! Luckily, Noreen is coming to town from Hermosa Beach, CA and we are going to go antiquing the week after next!

Ephemera Central

These are the five Stein sisters, Emma, Anna, Minnie, Hannah, and Katie.
Playbill from the 1930's with lots of great ads in it for $1.
I can't believe I got this book for only $3! It is beat up a bit, but that is perfect for my purposes. The illustrations are just divine!

On the back of this picture is written, Helen 1920. Isn't she adorable!!!

Trish, Bertha, and I had a great time at the antique malls this weekend. We went to two huge malls and the last one was open until 9 p.m. on Saturday night! That was so exciting to be able to spend the whole night browsing. We each found some total treasures! We started the day by eating at Cracker Barrel, which can only mean Hash Brown Casserole! If you have never tried it...get some today. You will be addicted. Basically we spent our time together laughing, talking, reminiscing, shopping, and eating!! I never heard of the snack food Combos before, but yikes those are good! Anyway, there is nothing like spending time with your best girls! I post a lot of what I bought, but there is even more! Can you say "kid in the candy shop!"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Congratulations are in order!!!

Congratulations to my friend Bertha who just graduated from nursing school!!! She was at the top of her class and is going to make a very wonderful nurse!!! First of all, she has the total "nursing sense of humor" and also she is so very compassionate and smart! Bertha has overcome unsurmountable odds to achieve this very high honor and I am so proud of her!!! We have been friends through all weather, fair and foul, and very dark, and I am just so happy for her I could burst! To celebrate, Bertha, Trish, and I are having an old-fashioned sleep over and then a day of antique shopping! What fun!!! We have been through a lot together and it is so great when we can celebrate such a big achievement! Above is the collage I made for Bertha.......I hope she likes it! Again, Congratulations Bertha.....you have done us so proud! I love you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Healing Hands

I lost my mind about 50 ways today.....really bad day at work....I truly thought I would not make it through the day.......but I did...and it was all because of the help of friends, my husband, reading, music (Beethoven, Wagner, and Brave Combo), and playing in the stamp room. A big thank you to Kathy, Karen, and Melissa at work who provided hugs, laughter, and therapy.......thank you to my wonderful husband for his soft tones, hugs, and allowing me space to just be. I read a little and then got a burst of energy and worked on a very important collage for a friend. It is a surprise for her so I won't go into it right now (will post later after she receives it), but it is the very first time I worked on canvas with Gesso and gel medium.....It came out pretty well. It is quite simplistic, but it is a starting point...and it means a lot to me to have finished it. I have been thinking about it for about a year for heaven's sake! So, the day comes to an end and I am able to make an entry, which is really great considering that I thought I would just sleep through the night!!! Now it is only 8:30 and we can watch TV and read some more! I would work more in the stamping room, but I can't find anything and have no space to work as every surface is covered with paper, stamps, ribbons, etc. Next job is to organize in there! Lastly, what would we do without family, friends, books, and art????? I would be lost!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I've Been Tagged (by one of most favorite artists!)

This is a card I made recently. It has nothing to do with the post. Just a pretty picture...

Very exciting! Cris Cunningham has a most beautiful web site full of art she has made that is truly stunning in every way. It is the embodiment of a look that I can only hope to achieve some day. Please visit her gallery immediately at http://www.vintageartist.com/gallery/main.php She also has a blog at http://www.vintageartist.typepad.com/ Somehow through the magic of the internet she knows me......... I think because I left a comment on her blog once and she wrote me back with the nicest e-mail....and thus an internet friendship was born...... Today Cris tagged me with a fun internet questionaire...please go to her blog to see her answers and following are mine:

1. Waitress (for about 5 days)
2. Certified Nursing Assistant
3. Psychiatric Intake Worker
4. Author escort (very briefly)

1. Baby Boom
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Austin Powers: Gold Member
4. Star Wars

1. South Holland, Illinois
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Davis, CA
4. Highland, Indiana

1. 24
2. The Office
3. Rescue Me
4. Lost

1. London
2. Estes Park, Colorado
3. Carmel, CA
4. Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

1. www.splitcoaststampers.com
2. www.inkyantics.com
3. www.CNN.com
4. http://pamgarrison.typepad.com/pamgarrison/

1. Bread and cheese
2. Shrimp Cocktail
3. Taco Bell bean and cheese burritos
4. Pizza

1. Age 12 at either of my Grandma's houses with them
2. reading in bed with a bunch of books and magazines
3. Bainbridge Island, Washington
4. In a cabin in the woods with all my best people right next door and down the road

I tag Heather, Beth, Audrey, Trish, and Jane...........(if they read this!)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bonus Round

Well, mail call was lots of fun today!!!! I got some stamps that I ordered from the lovely Stamp On In in Chicago. This is a fantastic stamp store located near the Lincoln Park Zoo and Tower Records! Check out their website.....http://www.stamponin.net/ Terry and Rick are the owners and they are a blast... Every time we go there we end up hanging out, laughing, and talking stamps. Such fun! Well, anyway I ordered some Amuse stamps through the store and they sent them out...The card above was made by Rick....isn't it the cutest?? He makes great cards! Woo-hoo...new books and new stamps!!!!

Tooting with Mr. Mike

Mike and I had such fun yesterday!!! We went to the annual used book sale that is held in two huge tents!! I love to just look and see what is there. After picking up a bunch of books there we had lunch and then went to Barnes and Noble and Half Price Books! We were quite self-indulgent!

Above is a page from a book of children's sheet music I got at the used book sale for one dollar! There are several more pages with cute illustrations too! I got 3 other books to alter or use for altering!

and here are the titles I got throughout the day (does anyone really care? The only reason I am typing them in is cause if I heard someone went on an all day book toot I would want to know what they got, in its entirety!)

1. Organizing Your Craft Space by Jo Packham (people who know me, feel free to laugh now! I got it for the pictures of cool spaces basically).

2. Collage: Lost and Found (subtitled Creating Unique Projects with Vintage Ephemera)

3. A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
4. Forever Erma by Erma Bombeck
5. Baby Doctor by Perri Klass
6. The Liar's Club by Mary Karr
7. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
8. Di and I by Peter Lefcourt
9. Comfort Woman by Noral Okja Keller
10. The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland
11. Q and A by Vikas Swarup
12. Ursula, Under by Ingrid Hill
13. I'm No Saint by Elizabeth Hayt
14. Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper
15. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
16. Kiss Tomorrow Hello - essays by various authors on being a woman over 40

Needless to say, all bets are off on a disciplined routine of summer reading (you know read what was on the list on a previous entry). Now it is willy-nilly time people!!!

Let me know if you know of any of these books or will be reading any of them!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fun, fun, fun

Today was a ton of fun!!! First of all it was Stamp Camp day!!!! Trish, Jane, and I went over to Lorie's and had a great time. We each made a ton of cards and laughed a lot! Great to spend time with stamping buddies!!! Thank you for the fun you guys!

Then I came home to my prize winnings! I guessed the answer to a question correctly on fellow alphabetica girl, Kim's blog, and she sent me a beautiful prize package of many, many, many Daisy D papers and embellishments! It is literally a treasure trove!! And I know Kim doesn't know it, but Daisy D is one of my all time favorite scapbook paper makers......I will put that prize to good use. Kim is a wonderful photographer....Please check out her website at http://www.kimberlykwan.typepad.com. If you are in Arizona you can get a beautiful and unique portrait done!!! Thank you so much for the wonderful present Kim!!!! It was so exciting to come home and open it and I can't wait to start using it!!!!!

Totally great day.......

Friday, June 09, 2006

A good book and a MEME

I just finished this book last night and it was fantastic!! It was totally hilarious and a blast to read. It is a memoir of a woman who grew up in the 1970's and 80's. She landed a job at Rolling Stone magazine, so interspersed with her stories of growing up the oldest of two sisters she intersperses antecdotes about interviewing famous people. Great summer read! Run, don't walk to get your copy. I was laughing so hard during the first chapter I couldn't believe it.

MEME: I have been tagged! For the first time ever. First of all, let me say that I do not know what MEME stands for, so please if you know, do tell........Heather tagged me from her blog to complete this MEME.....

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. IN the search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. List one holiday or observance.

here is mine for a birthday of January 1:

1673 - Regular mail delivery begins between New York and Boston
1939- The Vienna New Year's Concert is first held.
1983 - The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

1752 - Betsy Ross
1864- Alfred Stieglitz

ONE DEATH (this one was way too early, think of all the great music we could have had!)
1953 - Hank Williams

National Laura Day!!!! I mean New Year's Day.......

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Just finished watching a wonderfully passionate and moving movie titled, "Yes." It stars Joan Allen. She falls in love with a Middle Eastern man......it is quite a literate movie, big thoughts and also a lot of passion and living of life on the edge.......though that cannot be done in day to day life it is a lot of fun to watch it on the screen........now listening to some "soul music" A Midsummer Night Dream by Mendelssohn.....if you don't have it and want to hear it, let me know I can send you a copy. It is so dreamy and passionate. Art...in all of its forms, visual and auditory, is the basis of deep feelings....long-buried feelings come to the fore when one is enthralled with art.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Kane County Flea Market Pix

These are some of the photos and postcards that Jane and I found at the Kane County Flea Market on Saturday. Beth, please note the girl with the umbrella. She is going to be traveling by umbrella to your house!

My page for Lynne

Here is the first page I did for the Alphabetica journal project!! This is for Lynne's book which is titled E is for Experiment! I was lucky to start with this idea because it gave me some freedom and a push to try new things! I incorporated several things I have been reading about lately but have never tried. First of all I used a piece of canvas paper which I first heard about from Audrey. I painted on it with paints and some special stuff Jane got in St. Louis that gives it shimmer. Then I used some fabric (a la Lesley Riley) and stitched that onto some Anna Griffin paper. What was really cool was that I used my Grandma's old pinking shears to cut the fabric and a big old needle I found in the drawer of one of her pieces of furniture that I inherited. I used some cross stitch thread that I have a ton of. I blew up the picture of the little girl reading, cut her out, and then added some stamped words and the ABC. Oh, and I used my favorite Photo Twin markers to add a little pink to the flowers on her table. I like it.....I am trying to aspire to a look that I admire in others work...not to copy their look, but to learn their techniques and make my own style.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Unruly and undisciplined!

Isn't this the cutest? (She says in all modesty!) The stamp is from Inky Antics!! I do not own it, but when I saw a card made with it I asked the kind lady who had it if she could stamp and send me some of the images! Cool! That is what is great about being in that Inky Antics RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) group. People send you cards and you can ask them favors.....

Regarding the unruly title of this post....Mike and I just returned from dinner out. I had the lovely Chicken Pecan salad at Portillo's. He had the lovely double cheeseburger. Then of course I finagled us over to Archivers and the book store. (Don't worry Jane, there was nothing good at Archivers!!) However, I scored two more books (The Story of My Life by Helen Keller and But enough about me by Jancee Dunn), Legacy magazine, and People magazine. Woo-hoo! I am not going to read the book, The Dead Beat, mentioned in the previous entry. I started it this afternoon and could not get into it. (for those of you keeping score at home!)

Tomorrow is going to be fun, fun, fun!!! Trish, Jane, and I are going to a new stamp store we have never been to and then to the Kane County Flea Market. Beth tells me that is a really great and we should find lots of cool ephemera!! I am excited!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Summer Reading

If I could do anything over a summer it would be this: Spend July, August, and September at a cabin with a screened in porch at a lake near a cute little town that had a book store, a stamp store, and antique shops........Town would be a ten minute walk through tree-lined streets. The neighbors would be fun and interesting and we would have bonfires and games of Trivial Pursuit. However, I will be staying in my own little town and going to work.......but be that as it may....I can still have my list of summer reading!!! Here are the books I am starting with.....

1. Wolf Boy by Evan Kuhlman (I will actually finish this tonight! Great book).
2. After the Deluge by Douglas Brinkley (non-fiction about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina).
3. My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman.
4. We are all Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
5. Long Way Back by Brendan Halpin
6. I am no one You Know by Joyce Carol Oates
7. Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates
8. Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by Judy Fong Bates
9. The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson
10. The Girls by Lori Lansens
11. The Boy Who Fell Out of the Sky by Ken Dornstein
12. Falling Through the Earth by Danielle Trussoni
13. Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden

All of these books and many more are in my house, so I shouldn't need to buy anymore, but if you saw my Amazon.com wishlist you would know that I am incorrigible! oh wait, I just remembered Fannie Flagg has a new book coming out July 4th! (I loved, loved, loved her book Standing Under the Rainbow!!! Hint, hint if you need a summer book!).

Anyway, if anyone looks up any of these books on Amazon to read a synopsis, and then decides they want to read it please let me know!!!! We could read it at the same time or something!

Lastly, I would love to know what books others are reading now or this summer!! Please let me know!

Here is to long summer evenings and good books!!!