Digital Whisper 100 Themes Challenge #31 Flowers

I love love love  flowers!  I saw a bunch of pink tulips at the store, and bought it.  Tulips bring back many fond memories.  DH and I met in graduate school in the Netherlands.  We used to go to market every week and buy fresh flowers.  Growing up in Southern California, I missed the sunshine back then.  The flowers always brought a ray of light into my flat:

We even went to Keukenhof.  Here are some old photos that I took.   What great times we had back then!

And here are the credits:

Background & frames: Createwings Designs

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 17/52

Oh my, only week 17 of 52!  I really am running out of ideas right now.  I started off doing one thing, and it didnt work, so I cropped, stamped, colored, poked a hole, and hung a bead.  And , “voila” a birdie bookmark:

Drawing Lab 2011: Art Journal

When I got this assignment, I was really excited. We were to come up with an art journal using watercolors, stamping, collaging, drawing, embellishing, etc. It started off ok, then I was just trying to salvage it:

I was trying to use paper dolls that I drew as my theme.  I made the background too colorful, and the dolls didn’t show up, so I drew black around them (too much).  Then I had to try to pull it all together with the black… well, it was fun doing it.

Princess Bride Roses

I am not a Royal Watcher, but with all the media coverage of the upcoming nuptials, it put me in the mood for making roses:

These are hand torched/sculpted white roses, temporarily strung on a satin green ribbon. Perfect for making jewelry for that special “Princesss” Bride.  You can find it in my Etsy shop.

Zentangle Challenge #19 MoreMorris

This weeks challenge was based on the work of William Morris, an English textile designer, writer, and artist. We were assigned to use black stock paper, and draw with a white pen. Well, I went to five different stores looking for a white gel pen, either they were out, or did not carry them. So, I decided to draw this zentangle using photoshop elements:

My skills with the digital pen leave a lot to be desired, but it was good practice.  And here are some examples of the work of William Morris:

Beautiful Amaryllis

I just wanted to share some photos I took of my beautiful amaryllis that my parents gave me. It is in full bloom and just gorgeous:

I will have it planted in my front garden.  I just hope it thrives in our desert heat.

And here is an amaryllis poem byThomas Campion, a Renaissance English Poet & Composer:


I care not for these ladies that must be wooed and prayed;
Give me kind Amaryllis, the wanton country maid.
Nature Art disdaineth; her beauty is her own.
Her when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

If I love Amaryllis, she gives me fruit and flowers;
But if we love these ladies, we must give golden showers.
Give them gold that sell love, give me the nut-brown lass,
Who when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

These ladies must have pillows and beds by strangers wrought.
Give me a bower of willows, of moss and leaves unbought,
And fresh Amaryllis with milk and honey fed,
Who when we court and kiss, she cries: forsooth, let go!
But when we come where comfort is, she never will say no.

Scrapbook Challenge: Maya de Groot designs

This is my first scrap a page challenge. I downloaded a free mini kit by Maya de Groot. The challenge was to use this kit plus other kits from Oscraps, and make a scrapbook page with the word HOUSE or HOME on it. And here is my page:

This is a page of our first home.  We lived in Texas at the time, DH was finishing up his PhD, and I had left my engineering career to become a stay at home mom.  There I am with our oldest son.  We are standing inside our first home we were building.  Oh, such a long time ago… our son is now a Junior at the University.  And I was so much skinnier!     From Texas to Australia to California, and five houses later, here we are…  what a ride it’s been so far! 🙂

Here are the credits:

Background, house, rainbow, floral spray:  Maya de Groot Designs

Flowers and sun: Kitty Designs

Photo Frame: Joanne Brisebois

Happy Easter 2011!

When my children were younger, I loved decorating the house for all the holidays.  These days, it takes a bit more effort.  Since the boys are home from college for the weekend, I decided to do some decorating.  Of course, my daughter says she feels shortchanged, but in reality, she is hardly at home – or it seems so to me .  I guess I am at the age where I am a bit young to be a grandmother, yet my children are too old to get really excited about all the holidays, oh well.  Anyway, I went looking in the garage for the boxes of Easter decorations only to realize we REALLY need to do a major spring cleaning in there.  I spent a few minutes looking, and decided to forget it.  So, I am just making do with the decorations I had stashed around the house.  These bunnies my daughter made in elementary school are one of my favorites:

And to give my boys equal time, here are their artful endeavors from elementary school.  Not Easter themed, but this is what they liked making:

I do believe the creature on the left was meant to be me :-).  I may resemble her on my off days :-).  And to the right is no one in particular – just a monster I think.  And here are a few more photos of decorations I managed to find:

Cake Pops!

I had my first cake pop at Starbucks recently. The tiramisu flavored one is sooo delicious! I thought it was their invention, only to realize cake pops have been around for some time now. I came across this book, and decided to have a go at making them:

I was able to find a great recipe for the chocolate cake and cake pop at  The Kitchen.  It’s always more fun to have a purpose for baking – in this case, Easter, family, and friends!  I put on some old Beatles music, donned one of my favorite aprons and baked away:

As usual, Hiro was by my side waiting for something to fall from the sky :-):

The decorating part was a bit tedious, but I am quite pleased with the results.  The cake made from scratch turned out really good 🙂 Oh, and as usual, I changed out the oil with apple sauce in the cake recipe:

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 16/52

I made an Easter dress for my Blythe doll Hana with little chicks on them:

I also made Easter dresses for Lily and Freddie too:

And here they are on the fig tree:

For the blog hop list of artists, or if you want to join the challenge:
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Drawing Lab 2011: Sketch x 20

For this lab, we were asked to choose a subject and draw it at least 20 times during one sitting ( I drew 24).  I have a Betty Boop doll that sits on my work table and keeps me company.  My daughter won it for me from a claw machine when she was very young.  She used to run around the ice rinks waiting for her brothers to get off the ice.  This was before she started playing ice hockey herself.  And here she is:

The next day, we were to spread the cards out on a table, take some time to review them, and pick our favorites, and answer two questions.  Why do I like them? I like the first one because it’s cute, I like the latter ones because I improved in my detailing. What do they have in common? Aside from the first one, the ones I chose look better and they are more detailed

I think the ones in the middle were the worst since  I was trying different things, and frankly I was getting bored.  I picked up some speed toward the end and started concentrating and paying more attention to what I was drawing, knowing I was almost finished.

Button Swap Reveal!

Today is the Button Swap reveal!  Michelle Mach of Beads & Books is hosting this fun swap.  I have been fortunate to be paired with the talented and very sweet Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio.  Here is what Cindy sent me for the swap:

The main button is a beautiful Victorian brass with steel-cut detail, and the two other sets are also brass with ornate detailing.   Cindy sent me two, so I could choose the set I liked.  Well, I ended up using them all, and here is what I made:

I wanted to frame the buttons to enhance their beauty.  So I decided to use donut beads.  Well, I have several stone donuts, but they weren’t the right size, and even then, I would have had to glue the buttons on or quite possibly cut the shanks.  I didn’t want to do either, so I made my own donuts.  Since, I had paper clay around from my Izannah Walker doll ( yes, I am still working on that), I fashioned the beads from that.  After sculpting, applying gesso, painting, and collaging, I had what I wanted.  The collage is actually an Egyptian motif – it’s so small it can’t be seen.  Anyway, the process was fun and I like the results :-).

Cindy also sent me extra buttons & beads – so sweet:

I knew right away what I wanted to do with them.  And here it is:

I had so much fun making a vessel for the German Bead Babes Go Challenge, I made another one.  This time, I used Bullseye opaque glass to match the pretty mother of pearl buttons & beads.  I added a few of my vintage clear glass buttons as accents.  There was even enough to make a pretty matching earring set.

And finally, I thought, what could I make out of the big mother of pearl button?  Well, Cindy had packaged the buttons in a pretty brown box topped with a very nicely tied bow:

A couple of jeweled sterling branches plus a barrette = a very pretty hair accessory!  I know who will claim this one :-).

Thank you Cindy for all the wonderful buttons & beads!  And thank you Michelle for hosting this very fun swap!  Now, here is the list of other artists to visit:

*** Oh, and be sure to leave a comment – every comment left here and at other participating artists blogs gets you an entry for a giveaway at Michelle’s blog!!!***

1. Cat – Boo Beads

2. Cindy – Sweet Bead Studio   ***MY SWAP PARTNER***

3. Cory – Art with Moxie

4. Cyndi – Beading Arts

5. Dita – Alankarshilpa

6. Donna, Marti, and Michelle – Beads & Books   ***BUTTON SWAP HOST***

7. Erin – Treasures Found

8. Hope – Crafty Hope

9. Inca – Zerenity Design

10. Katrine – Army of Sock Monsters

11. Krista – French Elegant Jewelry

12. Kristie – Artisan Clay

13. Linda D. – Lutka and Co.     ***ME :-)***

14. Linda L. – Linda’s Bead Blog

15. Lody – Lody’s Beadworks

16. Lori – Pretty Things

17. Loretta – Loretta’s Boutique

18. Malin – Beading by Malin de Koning

19. Mary – MK’s Creative Musings

20. Maryanne – Zingala’s Workshop

21. Melinda – Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

22. Saskia – Perlendistel

23. Shannon – For My Sweet Daughter

24. Shirley – Beads and Bread

25. Stephanie – Confessions of a Bead Hoader