Canon Creative Park!

Oh my gosh, I am in paper craft heaven!!!  Girls day in Japan is coming up, so I decided to poke around the web for some Girls Day crafts.  Well, lucky for me, I stumbled on Canon Creative Park! If you are into paper craft, scrapbooking, card making, art,  calendars, and just about anything to do creatively with paper, you have to visit Canon Creative Park.   I’m planning on making a Girls Day display.  The display I’m showing is a bit ambitious for me right now, so I will do a simpler one.  They have simple as well as more complex things to make.  You can find projects for any occasion, and interests.  I felt like a chicken without a head trying to decide which project to download and do. Best of all, everything is free to download!  Of course, it is personal use only, and my one advice is, to make sure you download “letter size” (for here in the US) when given a choice.  Here  are some samplings of what they have:

Girls Day Court:

CanonCreativePark1Mother’s Day Card:


Valentine Mobil (Or maybe even Easter!):


A Wedding Couple:CanonCreativePark3a

Easter Bunny:CanonCreativePark4

Graduating Duo – I can make it for DD in June! CanonCreativePark4a

Year Of The Snake – how cool is this!CanonCreativePark5

Ship with sailors – too cute!CanonCreativePark6

Circus toy shadowbox? I think it actually moves:CanonCreativePark6a

Saint Basil’s Cathedral – looks really challenging:CanonCreativePark7

A Halloween Mobil:CanonCreativePark8

Santa Decoration:CanonCreativePark9

This is just a tiny sampling. There a hundreds more to look and choose from. Now get going! – Canon Creative Park.

Blythe Physical Challenge #75 “Blythe Channels Her Favorite Starlet!”

BPC#75 is Blythe channeling her favorite starlet. In this case, Hana is portraying Audrey Hepburn playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady:

Take one: “I ain’t dirty! I washed my face and hands before I come, I did.” says Hana…


I made a quick hat to match, uploaded a poster into PS, stood Hana in front of my monitor, and took the photo.  A bit of a glare, but the best I could do 🙂

An Outing To Palm Springs!

After finally finishing the digital graphic art barter project, and our tax info prep for our accountant, I thought we deserved a nice day outing to Palm Springs.  Had to get DD away for a bit too –  she was getting a bit antsy/nervous about college acceptances and such.  So, the three of us headed out to Palm Springs.  It was a beautiful day filled with antiquing, thrifting, walking around downtown, shopping, and eating!

Here are the windmills on our way to Palm Springs:


DD with Marilyn!017mod

DD again with Marilyn:026mod

Me with Elvis!038mod

And a view of the moon outside the restaurant:055mod

Great day!!!

AAUW, Math Science Conference, & U of R

I recently had lunch with a friend that asked me, “What do you do to keep occupied?”. Well, I seem to be asking myself that very question more and more these days.  My youngest, dear daughter will be graduating HS soon and moving off to college in the fall.  I chose to stay home with all three of my children, and am now at that fork in my life… not sure which way to go and/or what to do. For now, I keep busy enjoying DD’s last year home, lunching with friends, being creative, and joining organizations with a cause.  So, I spent the day with my local chapter of the AAUW getting ready for the Middle School Girls Math And Science Conference.  We had a walk through of the venue, The University of Redlands.  Yes, our little town boasts a University.  It’s a quaint private school, and I took my camera with me and got some pics.  I even played with my manual mode, aperture setting, and tried being a bit creative by taking some angle shots:

Some artsy things on campus:


Winter in California:


Do you see the water droplets?


Very Southern California: Palm trees


The Admin Bldg:


Memorial Chapel: Snow capped mountains in the distance:


Trying to be creative here:



Unfortunately, the U of R is not on DD’s list of schools – It’s apparently too close to home…

Blythe Physical Challenge #74 “Who Do You Love?”

I’ve been looking for something to do with my “girls”, and found this fun Flicker Group called “Blythe Physical Challenge”.  Every two weeks, they come up with an idea wherein you are challenged to photograph your Blythe doll in real life human situations and places.  At the very least, it gives me a chance to play with my dolls, improve my photography skills, and stretch my creativity!

This weeks challenge is to take a photo of Blythe in public showing who she loves.  This  being my first challenge, I ventured out as far into “public” as my front driveway.  It’s just as well since I was flat on my belly still in my pajamas trying to get the best angle for this shot.  As I am doing this, I’m thinking to myself, OMG, I am turning into a crazy doll lady!!! Kind of like the crazy cat lady, but not as bad ;-). Just kidding – no offense intended to all the crazy cat ladies out there.  My sister is a crazy cat lady…


I call it “A Mother’s Worst Nightmare”.  Of course, Olive (my newest Blythe) has to fall for Raphael, the teams “bad boy”.  Aside from the fact that he lives in a storm sewer, and didn’t go to college, he’s not so bad I guess… at least he’s one of the good guys, and  doesn’t sport tattoos or plugs – wait, he doesn’t have ear lobes!

I always wondered why I kept the boys toys after all these years. I bet they never thought their mom would be playing with them now ;-).

If you want to join in the challenge, head on over to the Flicker Group. Oh, and here is a funny discussion about how many cats you need to qualify to be a crazy cat lady “How many cats do I need to get to become a crazy cat lady“.

Officially A Thrifting Enthusiast

Well, I can say that I am officially a thrifting enthusiast!  Even dear daughter has joined me in this somewhat amusing pursuit.  We have different interests, but it is really fun to have a companion to go thrifting with.  We got past the musty smell, and the need to wash/hand sanitize our hands pretty quickly :-).  DD has even found popular You Tube videos of converting thrift finds into cool outfits and accessories – she has yet to put this knowledge into action.  Anyhow, here are some things that I found recently. I love the retro Dickson figurines, and vintage puzzles in cans:


I’m thinking this green angel might even be a cute Saint Patrick’s day decoration.  And I found this old children’s book with the cute illustrations (always thinking of the digital angle):


I love crafts, so when I came across this binder full of old craft leaflets, magazines, and catalogs, I was thrilled!

Thrifting_Feb2013_3And, there is an odd side to all of this.  It seems sad and strange, but we have come across lots of old photos and albums still with photos in them.  When I think that these photos once belonged to someone, and now just sits in the corner of a thrift store, it kind of makes me sad that there weren’t family members or friends interested enough to keep and cherish them… Well, DD and I decided to buy one of them, and brought it home.  I am of Japanese descent, and we found this album full of photos from a Nisei Week celebration from the ’70s.  It shows photos of a parade with the queen and her court as well as the Japanese American War Veterans.  DD and I are thinking of mailing the album to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles:


This is about it for our recent thrifting adventure.

Zentangle Challenge #106 “The Year Of The Snake”

Whew, I made it! – I think… The deadline is Saturday night.  This weeks challenge is “The Year Of The Snake”.  Dear oldest son was born in the year of the snake – intuitive, creative, diligent, intelligent, wise, great thinker, materialistic :-), careful in choosing friends, & confident, to name a few snake characteristics – it’s spot on! Anyway, here is my snake:


Lampwork Beads And Easter Swap!

I’ve got a few more lampwork beads that I have listed in my Etsy Shop.  My Valentine decoration will not be put away for a few days longer since dear younger son will be coming home for the long weekend – yay! But, my mind is already on the next holiday – Easter! With that, I made some birdie beads along with my usual roses. This time, the elusive blue rose:


So cute!


And, Sandy over at 521 Lake Street is hosting an Easter Swap! It’s not too late to join!


Actually, there is still Girls day on March 3rd, and Saint Patrick’s day on the 17th… I think I will be crafting for those holidays too!

Happy Valentines Day 2013!


Valentines Day is not one of the holidays I usually go all out decorating for, but after seeing all the cute and wonderful things in blogland, I decided to notch it up a bit.  I wanted to do a lot more creating and decorating, but as usual, time kind  passed too fast.  I did manage to make a pretty garland, and join in the heart swap. I even managed to get a shot of curious Koko:


Here are some of my original Annalee Valentine characters:


And near the hearth, I gathered all my Licitar hearts and Croatian decorations:


Now, I just need to bring in the tree branch, and hang the swap hearts!

A Manzanita Branch…

I have always admired my neighbors manzanita branch that she has suspended over her counter in her beautiful kitchen.  Well, after Dear Daughter asked me to keep the Christmas Tree up all year to decorate it for all seasons, I had an idea.  I decided to get a branch, and decorate it.

Branch1Big manzanita branches are not easy to come by, so I improvised.  With the help of my friend Maria and her truck, we collected a big branch from an empty lot in town, and hauled it back home.


I have no idea what kind of tree it is… DH was not too thrilled to have a tree branch in the house, so for the time being, it is “curing” in our back patio.


Considering we live in a ’70s ranch, I will have to trim the branch to size and figure out a way to make it look nice in the house 🙂

February 2013 Garden

I picked some Washington navels for a friend.  They are sooo delicious!!! And they don’t call them navel oranges for nothing – this one is an outie for sure 🙂


More signs of life… The transplanted grass looks really sad, but on second glance, there are green shoots near the roots – yay! And the hollyhocks are spreading year after year. Looking forward to seeing them bloom.


Flowers in the garden! Pretty rosemary and lavender!


And finally, a sunflower in the grove.  I think the poor thing is a bit confused. It seems to have been managing alright until the last cold spell but seems to be struggling now to fully bloom… Perhaps if the weather improves? I’ll keep watch.


Zentangle Challenge #105 “Dansk”

This weeks challenge is brought to us by Margaret Bremner, using her tangle “Dansk”. When I saw the tangle, I thought “hair”, so this is what I drew: