Thursday, January 31, 2019

Recently - National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea month in Canada.  I am just making it under the wire.

I chose Chai Green Tea in a small 3 cup teapot paired with a pottery warm toned square mug.  Placed on a bamboo placemat.

I warmed up some baking I bought for Christmas and it is time it is consumed.  They are savory tarts.

It was served with Peach Ginger Chutney.  It is so good.

Stay warm with a cup of tea if you are affected by the Polar Vortex hitting the eastern seabord of North America.

I read this most of Saturday.  I enjoyed it very much as it was quite similar to the Kate Morton books I have read.

The story spans the 1920s and the mid 1950s.   It takes place in New York, London and Paris - how bad can that be.

Newlywed Grace Monroe doesn’t fit anyone’s expectations of a successful 1950s London socialite, least of all her own. When she receives an unexpected inheritance from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d’Orsey, Grace is drawn to uncover the identity of her mysterious benefactor.

Weaving through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London, the story Grace uncovers is that of an extraordinary women who inspired one of Paris’s greatest perfumers. Immortalized in three evocative perfumes, Eva d’Orsey’s history will transform Grace’s life forever, forcing her to choose between the woman she is expected to be and the person she really is.

The Perfume Collector explores the complex and obsessive love between muse and artist, and the tremendous power of memory and scent.

I found this book at the thrift store yesterday.  I normally would not peruse the children book section but I have been watching this show on TV since the fall.  Good programming is very difficult to find on TV these days.  

I like to have physical reminders of the good things in my life and the 20 minutes I spend each day provides me with positive and inspirational programming.  Sam has the cutest laugh.  The watercolor art in the show is very good for my soul.  

So I thought there may be one of the books in the section and there was!  Not one of the stories I have seen on TV yet but I will read the book and await the segment on TV.

I did read the book through because I am not a quitter.  

I did have to pause and question whether a murder investigation story was what I wanted to put into my head before I fell asleep at night.

I did not suffer bad dreams as a result but I will be more discerning about the content of the books in the future.

The story has a good ending but not before betrayal, guns, and murder.  It was a quick read.

It was in the bag from our Welcome to my Kitchen Fellowship group so back into the bag for someone else to read.   If they ask I will give them my thoughts on the book.


Photo Blogging Challenge - Jan - Books

01 - Photography

I have always taken pictures.  I have gotten more into photography in the last couple of years.  Of course the internet is wonderful but I love books.  

I have picked up a few books on photography and purchased one book from a local photographer Daryl Benson.

I have a Flickr account where I join challenges to improve my range of photos.

 02 - Fiction

I discovered author Kate Morton in 2018.  She is an Australian writer who writes in my opinion epic stories.  The ones I have read span 50 - 100 years.  They are addictive and I do confess that each of these books was read in long reading sessions.  There is a lot to keep track of so short sessions may make it difficult to get back into the details of the story.  If I had to read them in shorter sessions I would document the characters and some of the salient details as I read to allow me to get back in the story faster.

I generally do not purchase books.  I lead a fellowship group and we have a monthly book swap so I have been able to access books without buying them.   These were too compelling for me not to own the books.  I bought the first two from thrift stores but I confess buying the last one retail.  
I was introduced through a fellow blogger who had written a review of the Forgotten Garden. The Lake House and The Clockmaker's Daughter followed.

03 - Scrapbooking
I did quite a bit of traditional scrapbooking about 10 years ago.  I had a couple of friends who were doing it.  We would get together had have full day sessions.  I enjoyed organizing and documenting my life on those pages.    

As a paper crafter I had all the stuff to move into the craft and as an avid photo taker I had lots of pictures to document my experiences.

I really want to get back into it now that I have more time. 

Many of my friends have turned to digital scrapbooking or just producing photo books.  There is a certain temptation do go down that road with all the paper I have it would make sense to turn it into something useful.

The industry has changed so much in the last few years. 

04 - Paper Crafting

I have been an avid card maker for decades.  I facilitated a card making group for the last 15 years but the craft is in great decline.  My group has been disbanded due to lack of interest.

I collected many magazines and books on paper crafting before the internet became what is is today.

I am reticent to get rid of them and so they sit on the shelf for now.

I am concentrating on making photo cards now that it is my focus.

05 - Software Development

These books are remnants from a previous life as a software developer.

They are large and heavy books on average. 

Now they serve as weights for paper crafting projects and do the job very well.

I am sharing in the Photo Blogging Challenge hosted by PJ at L'il HooHaa

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Christmas Card Challenge - Jan - Silhouette

I chose a stand-by image for me which is the Holy Family Silhouette.  It is a digi stamp that I can color as I like.   I added the greeting below the image and printed it in a warm blue green.

I printed it on quarter sheets of pale green card stock.  I ripped the edges on all four sides. 

I paired it with a granite blue green card stock for the base.

I used a push pin to create a hole for the silver star brad I placed on the printed star.  The layer was then adhered to the card base.

I made these during a nice visit with a card making friend.  We met last week and we spent 1.5 hours catching up on our Christmases etc. and kept our hands busy.  We met at a Seniors Center which worked really well.

We will do it monthly.

Friday, January 25, 2019


I have tried a couple versions of this drink.  

I read about tea infused hot chocolate here.  I decided to try it as it is 2 of my favorite drinks.

LuAnn suggested making the hot chocolate mixture from scratch but I just used what i had on hand.

This sample is Jasmine Green Tea with the off the shelf hot chocolate mix.   It does a different flavor dimension to the hot chocolate.  For me, it is adding caffeine to caffeine so it may not be an evening drink.  

I have tried it with Earl Grey Tea which was very good.

My textile project is complete but I will not reveal it in full until it is submitted to the show in April. 

It was a lot of work and an interesting exercise in using different skills.  Lot of needle work and my right hand was very sore at the end.

Check back here April 13th to see the finished piece.

I picked up this book in early December but only recently finished reading it. 

It is written by my aunt.  She worked on the research, the writing and publishing over an 8 year period.  My aunt inherited my grandmother's journals when she passed away. 

This provides good historical information regarding the ancestry of my grand parents.  It documents the birth of the fourteen siblings in my aunt's family, some of the moves which took place in my grandmother's life and some excerpts from the journals. 

I provided some insight into the family life of my mother and her siblings.  I will have a few questions for my Mom when I see her next.  I am sure she has read her copy by now as well.

My niece has organized a bit of a luncheon before we meet at the book launch in early February.  I am looking forward to see family and speaking to many of those personalities in the book.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019 Cardmaking - CH - Class 1

I taught my card making session at CH tonight.  I had some enthusiastic ladies participate.

This card features music paper cut to leave a small border on an ivory card. 

The flower was cut with the Sizzix Flower, Leaves & Stem #4 from black card stock.  The stem was cut to fit the length of the card. 

I poked a hole in the center of the flower with a push pin. I placed the gold sequin and Prima paper flower onto the tiny black brad and inserted into the hole I made.  I pressed the prongs apart on the inside of the card.

With no greeting it makes a great card for any occasion for a music lover.

This card makes a great one for the guys in your life.

I chose a grey card and cut the designer paper to leave a small margin and adhered it to the card front.

I wrapped the black ribbon around the card front and tied in a square knot on the front left. 

The black label was cut with the Stampin Up Deco Label framelit. I printed the pelican and punched with 2" circle punch.  It was adhered over the ribbon with 3D foam tape.

I started with a deep teal card.  I cut the polka dot designer paper to leave a small border and adhered it to the card front.

I cut the flower from copper card stock with the Sizzix Daisy #4 die.  It was adhered to the card front.

With a push pin I made a hole through the card front for the brad which holds the two handmade paper flowers (teal and terracotta) in the center of the flower.

The greeting was printed in a warm blue then punched with the Stampin Up Artisan Label Punch. 

It was adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Welcome to my Kitchen

It was Welcome to my Kitchen today and a lady who now lives in a lodge was our host.  When a couple from the group visited her in the fall she asked if she could be host.  We decided to give it a try.

It was cold this morning but our plans to car pool went well. The facility has little parking but the street parking was adequate.

We had 25 ladies in attendance.  Our group is growing and meeting a need.

The food was great as usual but we increased the contributors to accommodate the amount needed for the size of the group.

Our devotion presented the principle of targeting. When in a motor vehicle we can manage obstacles by focusing where we want to be not the object in the way. 

Psalm 121 was read. We can use the same principle in our spiritual lives by focusing on the help and not our problems.  We had 6 ladies from the lodge attend some of which had connections with ladies in the regular group.  It was very good.

I have prepared a survey and I will compile the results to see where we are going with the group.

At one point this afternoon we had large fluffy snowflakes coming down on a very cold day.

I took a photo of a couple on the windshield of my car.

My macro lens did a decent job of capturing the structure. I was happy with these results.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


My work is progressing on my art work for the gallery show.  I now have a plan.

I cut felt with Sizzix Flower Layers #10 in three colors - purple, turquoise and light blue.  I took them to the ladies group last night and sat with needle and thread. I put stitching on the large ones and chose to put glass e-beads in the center as you can see on the inset. 

I am working on coloring my background and have determined with colors are permanent.

I have installed a command hook in the kitchen for my apron.  It is very near the electrical panel and I was concerned about putting nails in the wall.  This option makes it safe and changeable.

It is now ready for my sunflower apron so I need to put that project on the to do list.

I was inspired by the creative process I have used for the art show.  It lead to my painting this water color of a lady holding a red umbrella during a summer rain. 

I tried salt to create the rain drops but did not work so well so when I got home I added spattered blue spots with a paintbrush snapped against a stick.  I did it from quite high up and I am happy with the results.

I am happy several projects are moving forward so every day has new things to do and try.

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Christmas Card Challenge

Selling cards has become very challenging so this year I have decided to focus on the layered cards I want to give to family.  I have indicated a general theme next to the month and my focus to use the tools I have in my collection.  I want to use what I have to bring the amount of supplies down again this year.

Here is the list.

2019 Christmas Card Challenge
Holy Family Silhouette
Bethlehem Border
Penny Black Die
Penny Black Manger Die
Stampin Up Set
Come to Bethlehem Stampin Up Set
Baby Manger Rectangle Stamp
Cricut Christmas
Star - Bethlehem Star Cricut Joy of the Season
Bethlehem - SMD Bethlehem Digital
Dove - Dee's Distinctively Die
Large Words
Joy to the World Stamp
Christmas Digi
SMD Manger Art
Holy Family
Gentle Peace Stampin Up Set
Mixed Media
Christmas image using variety of materials

If you are making your own Christmas Cards this year and need some inspiration please follow along.

Bound - Project 1 - Art Album

I received this book Bound - 15 Beautiful Bookbinding Project by Rachel Hazell for review just before my crazy craft sale season started in October so I am just getting around to making my first project from the book.

I have been looking to develop some photo related products. After some research, I found several handmade Instagram Albums which I thought were a good idea.  We need to get those pics off our phones.

It paired well with the Five Hole Pamphlet project in this book so I moved forward.

I needed square pages to accommodate the 4x4 Instagram photos.  Of course, I am very familiar with that format as I used it all the time in my photo calendars.

I started with a piece of paper 4.25 x 11 inches which is half of a letter sized sheet of card stock.

After printing a bit on it I scored it at .5 in, 5 in, 9.5 in.

I created holes on the spine at the center 2 1/8 inches and at .5 from the top and bottom edges of the 4.25 inch. The book was too small to have 5 holes as the project in the book.

I chose color thread to provide some interest.  The half inch flap on the left helps to keep the pages in and the large flap on the right provides place to document the 12 pieces inside the album.

The stitching is start from the outside through the center hole, go up to the top hole through to the outside again, down the spine to the bottom hole and then through the center hole to the outside again.  Before making your knot make sure the 2 threads are on either side of the length of the spine.  Pull taut and double knot.  I left the thread long enough to tie the album closed.

Version 2.0
I decided that I could improve on the design so I took another stab at it.  By cutting the card stock in half the other way 8.5 x 4.25 I could get a cover that was 4.25 inches square when folded.   I decided to put the index on the inside front cover.  The pages are cut just a smidge under the 4.25 inches to allow for the stacking of the pages. Still plenty of room for the 4 inch art.

I embellished the thread lengths off the knot with E-Beads.

I produced a tag which provides the buyer with how the album can be used.  It  can be filled with Instagram photos, Mini Paintings (watercolor or acrylic), Poetry, Comic Strips, Drawings, or Everyday Pics

It can be used for: A Photo Album, Flip Book, Portofolio

Makes a great gift for: Bridal Party, Grandparents, Clients, & Friends.

Monday, January 7, 2019


I bought this glass ball at the thrift store recently.  I love the colors in it as they are cooler than in the one I already had.

I have hung it in the east window so the morning light hits and provides splashes of color into my space.  I love the blurred background of the trees outside.

It is bigger than the other one at four inches and it required a sturdy hanger.

This is an experiment I did last night.  I am considering entering a show for art made from textiles. 

I took some pieces of white felt and applied some liquid acrylic and let them dry over night.  I was not sure what would happen.   I am very happy with the results. 

I am going to move ahead with the project and keep you posted here.

I just love glass.

These are a few glass ornaments I found at thrift stores in recent weeks.  They were not Christmas ornaments so I waited till now to show them. 

I love the texture on the largest one which is a peachy pink color.  The other with the star etching is similar in color.  They work well with the pink bowl.

The gold glass ones are nice as well.  Not sure where they will come in handy but for sure it will happen.

I am working on photographs for cards. 

I thought that watercolors would be appropriate for the art gallery. 

I sprayed the palette and the brush with a bit of water to add interest to the composition.

I love the variety of colors.

I attended a presentation on Golden Paints last Thursday as a member meeting of the Allied Art Council.

It was presented by Samantha Williams-Chapelsky who is a Golden Artist Educator.

The presentation was filled with lots of information on all the Golden Products.  I was very interested in the High Flow Acrylic which is the hot pink bottle in the photo.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Christmas Thank Yous

As per tradition I used paper from one of my gifts to make my thank you cards.

It was great to add these owls to my cards.  I chose burgundy, green and brown as my card bases.   I did have to go around the scotch tape which meant different shapes of decorative paper.

I made a large greeting which I printed on ivory card stock then punched out with the large 2" circle punch.

I used a coordinating ink color to smudge the edge of the greeting.

I really appreciated the gifts I received.  The best was spending time with family for a full day on Christmas day.

Our gift exchange for adults was a bunch of consumable gifts.  I got beef jerky and smoked cheese.  I swapped out the bottle of red wine for mulled spices.

AAC Gallery - Photo Cards

These are the 5x7 A7 cards I took to the gallery today.

I have no idea what will sell so it was a guessing game.

AAC Gallery - Photo Coasters

With good sales in December at the gallery I brought 3 more sets today.

This is the sunlit mountains called the Three Sisters in Canmore.  I was on a trip with my sister.

This set has 4 of the same photo.

The top is well protected with a layer of Modge Podge and a layer of matte spray acrylic.  The bottom has a layer to protect the furniture.

This set has Wild Stripes in the form of tigers and zebras.

The set contains 2 of each photo.

This set is called Winged Ones and features a Bumble Bee on a Globe Thistle.

The Blue Morpho was taken at the Butterfly Conservatory in the Niagara region of Ontario.

Above is the Goliath Birdwing Butterfly which a very large butterfly which I photographed at the same Conservatory in Ontario.

The Lady Bug is sitting on the silver leaf of the perennial Forget Me Not plant.