Friday, September 29, 2006

Chapter Two: In which I drink more lattes and collect more vintage photos.

Ahhhhh Friday night!! A night of puttering around with the seemingly endless weekend looming ahead of the working gal! I am hoping to get some organization, cleaning, and arting done this weekend. Of course, that is always my plan, and yet, I am sitting amidst clutter, filth and spew, and unfinished art projects. And you know what the they say about that road paved with good intentions!!!!!!!
Changing the subject from my bad is a new subcategory of collecting: Vintage photos of Brides With Glasses.....I have about four or five of these pictures. Here are the two I found yesterday.
Below is a really cool picture of a woman in what I think is a vintage costume from a foreign contry. If anyone knows what country this costume is from please let me know.
Below is a picture Jane said I should get. I think she is right, it is pretty cool. She looks like an upper crust New England lady. I wouldn't mess with her! Mind your manners! Watch your P's and Q's.
Lastly, I added six new blog links to my list of best blogs.....they are in a line at the right, the bottom six are the new ones. They are all extremely great and filled with totally inspiring art!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Never Say Never!

Interspersed throughout today's entry are some of the pages for Lynnette's alphabetica journal. The above page was done by Chris Culp. She used a picture of her grandfather's singing group. I love each and everyone of these pages!!! and if you scroll down throughout my blog entries you will see the other entries so far in this journal, cause I posted Trish and Jane's entrys' already.
Page by Lynne Gillis. Gratitude. I really love the background she created and the use of the Martha Stewart paint chip samples. Genius!
This is Barbara Smith's page. I love her work so much. She has such an individual style...everything she does is perfect!The page above is by the great and wonderful Audrey Hernandez. Her work is always stunning and so heartfelt.

So, what does never say never mean? Well, never say you will never need to go to a Starbuck's for any reason!!! I was sitting at work today and I started craving another Pumpkin Spice Latte!! I could not believe it! I mean I don't even drink coffee or this is all new to me. So, I hatched a plan.....I e-mailed Jane and asked her to meet me at 3:15 at the antique shop and I wouldl bring us each a latte! and so we did! and it was so therapeutic being amongst all that old stuff! We found some great pictures which I will be posting soon.

Lastly, I have a great blog to tell you about. It is full of inspiring and completely beautiful artwork. I have not had time yet to investigate the whole blog, but I can tell it is a gold mine!!!! It is Holly Loves Art by Holly Stinnett. Please go, get inspired, and have a great time. Check out Holly's Ebay and Etsy shops too!!! Ooooh, man this is some really great art people!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chapter One: In Which I Drink a Pumpkin Spiced Latte for the First Time in My Life or any kind of latte for that matter

This is the page that my friend Trish did for Lynette's Alphabetica journal. I am stunned by its beauty!!!! Isn't it wonderful? She is doing such lovely work these days!!

Scene: Starbucks in Downers Grove, Illinois
Setting: 4 p.m. on a Tuesday in September
Characters: Jane and Laura

Laura: Okay, my friend Bert made me take a sip of her Pumpkin Spice Latte last Saturday. You know, I never drink coffee and have never ordered a drink at Starbucks, but darn that Pumpkin Spice Latte has stayed on my mind. I really want one.

Jane: You know Laura, I have been trying to get you to drink one of these for a couple of weeks and you wouldn't try it for me.

Laura: Yes, I know, but Bert made me do it. She totally made me try it. And, boy am I glad she did.

Jane: You are turning into a total yuppie.

Laura: Well, if only I had the wardrobe and car to go along with that perception, which I don't. But I really like holding this Venti sized cup in my hand with this little cardboard thing around the cup. I feel very grown up. Wait till I tell my Mom and brother! They might have competition for those Starbucks gift certificates I give them every year for Christmas.

Jane: Okay, are you ready to go to Archivers?

Laura: Yes, let's speed off in your convertible with the top down while holding our Starbucks high in the air in a celebratory manner on this glorious September day!

AND SCENE........

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I Heart Bloggers!

Isn't this the greatest altered cabinet card????? I am in love with it!! It was made by the wonderful Deb Lewis! She has such great talent. You may visit her blog. The link on the side is Vintage Moon Studio.

Also, I had the most delightful conversation today with Miss Kim!!!! What a delight she is! So much fun and so easy to talk to!

Combine that with my new friendship with Miss Beth
who I can talk to about anything in the world,

and you can imagine that blogland is a really good place to meet some really cool and wonderful people! Consider me happy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Ephemera Queen is Singing Show Tunes!

This beautiful wall hanging was made by Beth. She made one for each of the Valley Ridge gals, and this scan does not do it justice. I vow that by the end of the week I will try to take a picture with our digital camera to see if I can get a better image for you because this is so gorgeous and so sentimental!! I just love it! I have it proudly hanging in our entry hall. Beth immediately applied the lessons learned at Valley Ridge and sent out a very meaningful memento.

Interspersed throughout today's blog are pictures/items I bought in Wisconsin and one from Indiana....such a world traveler.
Today's update is brought to you due to the orders barked out by the blog police. The police woman Kim demanded a new entry, so here it is missy! Another thing Kim is responsible for this week is lots of fooling around at work with a new toy. She sent me an email that in turn has led to about 50 other emails being sent to my friends, and so on and so on. Please go here to see what I am talking about, it can be used for great hilarity!!!!
What is this about show tunes??? Well, I have been inexplicably drawn to listening to them on Accuradio. I am stumped by this behavior, but I must say you have not lived until you are dancing in your chair at work with Midge while listening to Hugh Jackman sing "I Go to Rio." Try it, it's fun!
The back of this card reads: Bones and Bud, taken Monday morning November 7, 1910 at 9 a.m. I want to know more!
I love, love, love wedding pictures, and more specifically pictures of brides!!

I know this Vogue pattern looks pretty beat up, but I can cut out the drawings of the women and use them in something.

I finished the Abigail Thomas book, A Three Dog Life, and I can heartily recommend it. It is a fast read and a very insightful read. She is a very good writer. This week I am going to see Philipa Gregory on Thursday night (if you click on this link you will see a picture of the author speaking to a group of people. Look for the beautiful blond lady with a hot pink sweater, that is my friend Sharon, and I am sitting to her right, you can tell it's me by my baby blue Crocs! we went to see her the last time she was in town, watch out Philipa we are stalking you! Sharon is my most faithful author signing friend. We have gone to many, many signings and always have a total blast) and hopefully will see Jane Hamilton on Friday night. Both have written very good books and both are very interesting people! I love author signings and have not gone to them in a long time. I just found out I missed Joyce Carol Oates in this area recently, and that is a bummer.

Okay, back to my reading room for the current selection, the book about Princess Diana.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Glorious Sunday - Unhurried and Relaxed Edition

Einstein has nothing to do with this post, however I always say E=MC Squared Rules!!!! (the truth is my scanner won't work today cause I need ink ((no I don't know why the scanner doesn't work without ink, what am I Enstein???)) so until we go to the store I can't use it).

Anywhoo, I am starting to come down from last weekend at Valley Ridge. It is amazing how something so incredibly wonderful can take days to come down from! Today is a lazy Sunday which Mike and I will spend puttering around the house. He is the Comissioner for his fantasy football league so he will be checking out the NFL and I will try to catch up on some art projects; however last night we made stops at Borders and Barnes and Noble and I scored four books and the Publishers Weekly Fall Announcements (finally!), so I may spend the majority of the day ensconsed in my reading room (read as my bed!). I really need to finish a book today because I have spent the last few months of free time on the Internet as opposed to reading like a madman which is what I used to do. I need to read!

Last night was Mike's work outing at Medieval Times!! Did you ever see the movie The Cable Guy? I don't really like that movie, but they have a scene in which they go to Medieval Times which is kind of funny. Anyway, the basic idea is you sit in stadium-like seating, eat a dinner served by a "wench", and watch a jousting match, a falconer, and cheer for your knight. They don't serve your dinner with know cause they didn't have silverware in Medieval Times (which I seriously doubt that they had no eating implements, I mean come on!), but I had just purchased a new outfit for this outing and I was not about to get food remnants all over it by eating with my hands (and also I never eat chicken with my hands anyway!). So, I asked our "wench" for utensils and she said they were only for toddlers. But upon my second request she relented and I ate with plastic fork and knife! Victory for the high maintanence!

Prior to the festivities we stopped at Borders and Barnes and Noble where I scored the above-mentioned magazine and:

Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas

The Way We Were: Remembering Diana by Paul Burrell

I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors by Bernice Eisenstein

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I started Three Dog Life this morning and it looks very interesting. I read another memoir by Abigail Thomas several years ago. The title was Safekeeping. It was very good too.

Mike got two newly published books written by Jeopardy contestants and they look really good too!

Prisoner of Trebekistan by Bob Harris


Brainiac by Ken Jennings

And lastly, Mike showed me this hilarious video which I would like to present to you......

Weatherman versus Cockroach

Oh yes, and one last thing I discovered this week that is hilarious! Hoops and Yoyo these are characters for free E-cards that Hallmark has put out. I am serious, these two are totally hysterical!!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Valley Ridge Correctional Center

(Laura, Trish, Lesley, Jane, and Beth soaking up the fun at Valley Ridge Art Studio! )

This past weekend was spent at the Valley Ridge Art Studio with three great gals taking a stupendous class taught by one of my art idols, Lesley Riley!! Among other things, we spent the weekend making art and laughing like hyeneas (oh, and eating great food and shopping)! How to describe this weekend...........

(Beth able to focus and create wonderful art!!!!)

Let's start with why I took this class. Last Spring my Mom, Jane, and I went to a quilt and mixed media expo and we met the beautiful Lesley Riley and saw her artwork which consisted of fabric covered memory books and her trademark Fragments! Please go here to see and drool: Fragments. I bought Lesley's DVD and watched it and decided I needed to learn the tricks of her trade because her stuff just got me right in the gut.

(Looking through Lesley's stash!)

(Jane at the shopping wall!! )

We found a class that she was teaching at the stunning Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, Wisconsin. Valley Ridge is owned and run by Kathy Malkasian and her wonderful husband, Bill. They also have a wonderful greeter by the name of Bear who is a very loveable 11 year old border collie mix. Kathy and Bill have created the most calming and inspiring spot in Valley Ridge. The setting in the middle of farm country is stunning. The workshop classroom is top notch!! Their hospitality is unrivaled. The minute you arrive you already feel comfortable, and I had never even been there before! But, I am jumping ahead of myself. Our class was all day Saturday and Sunday, but we left Friday for a play day before class.

Trish spent the night at my house on Thursday night so that we could get up bright and early on Friday morning, pick up Jane, and then drive to Beth's house in Middleton, Wisconsin. The four of us have been working on an Alphabetica round robin project since May. We had not met Beth in person, but had talked on the phone and exchanged numerous e-mails. We arrived at Beth's after about a three hour drive and immediately delved into hanging out together in a very harmonious manner. We got a tour of Beth's home and her art studio. In the art studio the three of nearly fainted from excitement any number of times. Beth has set up her studio in such an inviting and inspiring manner. There was so much to look at and ooh and ahh over! What a blast. We decided that this winter when things are looking grim around here that we are going to Beth's house for a weekend of tutorials and making art! We also got to meet the truly loveable Sophie! (Beth's dog).

(Beth, Laura, Trish, and Jane at the Eagle Creek Inn restaurant.)

(Jane and Trish at Valley Ridge)

Beth made a lovely chicken tortellini salad for lunch and we were able to sit in her sunny kitchen and eat together. Following that we had mini-tutorials. Beth showed us how to transfer pictures from copy paper to fabric using gel medium. We showed Beth our favorite Prismacolor and Gamsol coloring technique. This was followed by a "Sassy Swap" in which we exchanged small gifts that we purchased/made for each other. What a blast!

After lunch we went shopping!!! First stop was a newly opened antique mall that was full of great finds for great prices!!!!! Wahoo!!! I will be posting some of these findings in the coming, buttons, glasses, was like the antique fairies knew we were coming.

Next stop, the Scrapbook Superstore!! This was really great because we saw products that we had not seen in the Chicago area!! We (okay really just Jane and I) were hyperventilating and becoming disoriented from excitment in the store! Trish and Beth kept their cool and did not make a scene. We found cool stuff from the Bohemian line of My Mind's Eye and Cosmo's Cricket! After a harried hour in that shop, we went back to Beth's and met her lovely husband, John, and wonderful son, Jack. Then we were off to Dodgeville for dinner at Culvers! We fully intended on having ice cream, but after our sandwiches and cheese curds we did not have room. We then finished the day's journey by driving to our hotel room at the Eagle Creek Inn in Fenimore, Wisconsin. We rounded off the evening by drinking wine, Tab, and wine coolers and looking at the stash we collected that day.

The next morning we were up early because I had decreed that we needed to get to class a half hour before it started. After continental breakfast we were off to Valley Ridge. What a lovely scenic route we had on County Road Q to County Road G! We arrived at Valley Ridge just in time to discover they had a wall of shopping there! Lots of wonderful 7 Gypsies products. We heartilty partook of this wall and also picked out our worktables and set up our supplies. We met Lesley, Kathy, and all of our fun classmates. The great think about taking a class from Lesley is that she is so down to earth and relaxed. She is there to inspire you, to help you when you need it, and to just generally hang out and share some laughs. She is a gem I tell ya! We learned tons of new techniques and ideas. My favorite was finally learning to transfer an image onto fabric using water or a gel medium!! That is going to come in handy!!!

We broke for lunch at 12:30 and boy was that fun!! We walked up the short distance from the workshop to Kathy and Bill's house where we had a sumptuous feast awaiting us!!! All served on fun dishes, some vintage! After lunch it was back to class for us!! We were in quite a frenzied state. I got so worked up that by the end of the day I could not even think. Overstimulation!!! (but in a good way!) Lesley generously shared some of her fabric pieces and images with us so that sent us into hyperdrive with the love of her style!

It was about at this point where Jane came up with the idea of the Valley Ridge Correctional Center! She told me that she wished that Valley Ridge was a women's correctional center and that we had to stay there and just create art all day! She said the room was fully equipped because there was even a refrigerator for pop! She was right, everything was there, the bathroom, the shopping wall, all of the supplies, and great people to hang out with. I thought this was so hilarious so I had to tell our teacher, Lesley. Jane was mortified that I told, thinking that Lesley would think she was some kind of weirdo, but it was too hilarious not to tell. I had already told Lesley what we call her DVD......"porno for women." We called it that cause it just makes us go Ooooh and Ahhhh all the time.

Saturday night we headed back to Eagle Creek. They have an attached restaraunt with great food. We were seated in our own little room at a table for four! We all ordered a drink. I had the classic highball. Beth had an Amarato Stone Sour. Trish and Jane had a glass of wine. That bartender was good cause my drink was smooooth! We all ended up ordering the same dinner, stuffed shrimp! It was so good! Wish I had some right now. By the end of dinner we were very tired, but not tired enough to go to sleep. Jane and Trish came over to our room and we laughed like hyenas until 11:30 when it was time for lights out. It was so great to hang out with friends and just laugh and girl talk. Having only met Beth the day before, we sure made a coosome foursome! We just jumped into instant and total friendship sharing secrets and laughs a plenty!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the other hilarious moment courtsey of Jane. On Saturday we were using pencil tip burning tools on one of our projects. As most of the class left the workroom for lunch Jane noticed that one of the burning tools was burning into a table. She reacted quickly to secure the situation.....when she was reteling the story that night she said she was "Fire Chief Jane reporting for duty!" It was so funny! and of course after already priming the laughing pump all day and then having a drink, you can imaging that we had a long, loud, and hearty laugh over that one!!!

On Sunday we were back in the classroom for more crafting hijinks. Beth was able to steadily work on her stuff and turned out some beautiful things. Trish also was very diligent on her project and it turned out to be a magnificant piece that honored her grandmother and the rest of her family. Jane and I struggled at times to get going, but we finally did and were quite happy with our projects. Jane, also, did a tribute to her grandmother. Her grandmother was a ballerina!!!!!!!!! Towards the end of class each student was able to show and tell for the rest of the class what they had made. That part of the day was riveting!! It was so interesting to hear what everyone had worked on and see all of the beautiful artwork! There was a lot of talent in that room.

We packed up by 4 p.m. and were back on the road home.........we all had a giddy feeling about the weekend. I am still on cloud nine..........The memories of our weekend at Valley Ridge will be around for some time to come.......

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Source for Great Vintage Photos

I have to share with you one of my sources for one of a kind stunning vintage is a shop on Ebay called Clancy's Classics run by the very lovely Marianne! She has the most amazing pictures day in and day out. It is a blast just to look and see what she finds. I don't know how she does it! All of today's pictures were purchased from her.
I expect to meet up with you here again next week as I am getting ready to leave for Valley Ridge Art Studio (well, la di dah!) to take a two day class with Lesley Riley!!! I love, love, love her art! My friends Beth, Trish, and Jane are going too, so I expect that we will spend the weekend creating and laughing riotously! If I can figure out how to use my digital camera I shall return with pictures!
So, until next week!!! Hope in the meantime you all have a great time creating, antiquing, reading, crafting, and living!
This last picture is so cool isn't it!!! I call it Study of Two Studious Girls in Pajamas!!!!