Monday, September 27, 2010

off to munich and oberammergau

After spending a lovely crafty weekend at Art Bliss, I'm on the road again, off to Munich and Oberammergau for the Passion Play, and driving around southern Germany and re-visiting places where I lived years ago. Hope to have more photos to share on my return next week. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

creative fun in phoenix

The autumn theme of Carol Wingert's Heirloom Boutique class didn't bring the hot Phoenix temperatures down from 105+ degrees this weekend, but our hostess Patty offered us her beautiful home decorated for fall and a cool loft space for creating. Carol set each of our places with a rusty trunk full of vintage trims and supplies for making her "Bountiful Life" canvas book. Then to make sure we were awake, she started off the morning with a quick cupcake tutorial for the special cupcakes she had handmade for us.

From a big piece of canvas, we tore our book pages to size and began a day of layering, gluing, sewing, making ruffles, gilding with gold leaf, and waxing the embellishments for our books. My front cover includes vintage trims, a 7 Gypsies book board, feathers, flowers, a clock face, and even vines from Carol's back yard. On an inside page, a dragonfly flits among gilded leaves. As usual for me, there's still lots more work to do on this lovely layered fabric book.

Besides taking a day trip north to Flagstaff and doing some shopping, I also fit in a class with Dina Wakley at her local store The Creative Quest in Glendale. We had fun experimenting with her gel medium resist technique and creating a funky painted accordion tag book. Co-owner Kathie Shepard had a counter full of new Crafters Workshop stencils which we quickly snapped up to use in our books. Although I still have to add embellishments from Dina's kit and some journaling to my tags, I'm eager to use her gel resist technique on my journal pages. You can see it here on the cover side of my book.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

amy's inspired ideas

Before I jump on the plane heading west to the desert heat of Phoenix, I wanted to share with you a hot tip. :) My sweet friend Amy Powers has just published the first issue of her new online craft magazine, Inspired Ideas. It was my pleasure to see (sometimes through my camera) her delightful offering develop. Now you can enjoy it, too, right here -- and for free!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

60+ days

When Suzanne posted her beautiful self-portrait starting her 50-day countdown to her 50th birthday, I thought it was a clever way to mark the year's end-in-progress. But darn, I forgot and missed my counting date. Then this evening I needed to take a quick photo of myself for something else. Although I haven't found the right photo for that project yet, here's the come-as-you-are "self-portrait in a bathroom mirror" version, complete with bad lighting and bad focus, to mark 60+ days till my 66th birthday. (At least I'm IN the photo, which was no easy task.)

Dinner with friends on Saturday evening provided an interesting statistic to contemplate. Heidi, the young mother of a 3-year-old daughter, remarked that, among girls now 3 years and younger, one out of two is predicted to live to be 100 years old. Imagine!!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

new windows

Our little remodeling effort is nearly finished. It's been a long wait since this spring when we ordered another set of custom windows to open up the back wall of my "studio" room (actually the family room) for a full view of the woods beyond.

Cutting such a large hole in the wall required structural changes that required a county permit. Building the correctly-sized windows with French doors consumed time, too. So here it is September, with temperatures still in the mid-90s, and the air conditioner has been overwhelmed. The house has grown hot, but I'm happy to see all that natural light. County inspection scheduled for early tomorrow, then the finishing details can be added.

Through the long stretch of windows and doors, I'll be able to watch the tree colors change and day-dream to my heart's delight. Maybe even get a little work done with the doors open as the autumn temperatures cool.

First, of course, I'll have to re-organize my studio. Ahem.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

home in body but not in spirit

Although I'm home, I'm still missing Paris and thought I should share another photo.
Every day as I walked to the metro, I passed this wonderfully aged wall
of an old lycée.

This old school wall hints at what I'm doing to get my feet back on the ground
on this side of the Atlantic.
Through the fall, I'm taking a bunch of classes --
in Phoenix, at Dulles, in Dallas, in Omaha, and in NYC,
tucking in a side trip to Oberammergau to see the last performance
of the 41st year (during 375 years) of the Passion Play.

A route-numbered birthday is coming up this fall, too,
so I'm heeding the call of the road while I still can. :)
Is anyone else old enough to remember Nat King Cole or Chuck Berry
singing "Get your kicks on Route 66" (well before John Mayer)
or the 1960s TV series that drove a Corvette across America on Route 66?

Hope you are relaxing and enjoying your long weekend
before you start your list of autumn activities, too!