Thursday, April 30, 2009

Builders Paper known as Contractors Paper...an art studio must have

When Vicki taught our monthly art group the rubber stamp watercolor technique, she introduced us to a new product. She bought builders paper from the hardware store and cut it into large placemat size pieces for each of us to use as a work surface and protect the table we were working on. This instantly became our new favorite art material. It is 35 inches wide and the roll is 140 feet long. The best part is that it only cost $10.00 for the whole thing.

I’ve always used freezer paper over the work surfaces in my studio to protect them from glue, paint, embossing powders, stamp pads, gel mediums, alcohol inks, and anything else that can ruin a counter or table top. A roll wasn’t too expensive when compared to the cost of new counters if I screwed them up, but it wasn’t wide enough for my new work table. This covers the top, lies flat, and is very durable. It looks like a roll of common brown Kraft paper but builder’s paper is much thicker and all natural.

I found this in the paint department at my local Home Depot store. I am sure Lowe’s or any good hardware supply store also carries this.

Wednesday April 29th art card donation


Two weeks ago my monthly art group met and Vicki taught us how to make watercolor cards with rubber stamps and ink pads. It was so much fun and she provided an amazing array of specialty papers to mat our finished works of art onto.

I took one of my pieces and mounted it onto cardstock to make a crad and it was my Wednesday donation card for art this week.

I was given a gift of a new technique and I gave the gift I made away.

Las Vegas...nightlife





Las Vegas...it's more than the strip





Monday, April 27, 2009

Kelly and Kyle






March 2009
My baby girl just turned twenty-four and she is getting married. Kyle proposed and gave her an engagement ring for her birthday and she is so excited. Kelly is the first of my three children to get married and Larry and I flew to Las Vegas last week for the wedding, because that is where Kelly and Kyle live.

I sent Kelly and Kyle both an email letting them know how much I love them both and the first time I talked to Kyle on the phone he called me mom. Kyle promised to love my baby girl and always take care of her. That is, after all, what I really want--for Kelly to be loved and happy.

Kelly has some close friends to help her get ready and whatever Larry and I can do long distance, we will.

April 2009
Kelly called one night and gave me a website so I could see a picture of the chapel they thought about renting, but now they are going to be married on Mt. Charleston and have the reception at the Mt. Charleston Lodge.

Kelly sent another website with pictures of the dresses she is trying to decide on. Then she made a final decision on a dress and my job was to track it down. I spent about four hours on the web and making phone calls only to find out the dress will not be available until May. Not soon enough, so Kelly and Nikki took a day to power shop. Finally a phone call telling me she found a dress that she loves.

I spent several more hours looking at bridal flowers and trying to find a local florist. I emailed the pictures to Kelly to see what she liked and then called to place the order. Another check mark on the list of things to do.

I made the favors for the wedding guests and took them with us to Vegas. Small white organza bags filled with Sixlets (my dad always kept Sixlets in his pocket when he knew the kids, especially Kelly, were coming to visit). Kelly thought this was a perfect wedding favor.

Nikki is making the wedding cake. Neither Kyle nor Kelly eats very many sweets so they have chosen a gingerbread cake and a candy land theme.

Weather! Who would think weather would be a problem in Las Vegas. It’s Wednesday before the wedding and it is snowing on the mountain and it is 140 with the wind chill factor. The wedding is going to be on Mount Charleston (http://www.mtcharlestonlodge.com/mtcharleston/index.html) with the reception at the lodge. Forecast for Saturday is 650 so let’s hope the weather person has it right. A 5:00 PM wedding could be really cold.


It’s Thursday April 16th and it is really early. We are off to Vegas for the wedding. We are staying at the Silverton Casino and Lodge which is part of the Bass Pro Shop. Larry thinks this is the best idea of the whole trip. We arrived at 2:30 PM, picked up our car and missed the turn to our hotel. It’s okay because we are only one block off and going parallel to the freeway. A couple of turns and we arrived but the “Jill” the GPS navigator kept telling me to make a U-turn. Seems she thought we should be across the street.

We checked in, unpacked and waited for the kids to arrive for dinner. Kelly came through the door with a picture for me and Kyle had a kiss and hug for me. We stayed in the room and talked for quite awhile and then had dinner in the hotel. While we were sitting in the room we felt a jolt to the building and thought earthquake. The next morning we would learn it was a 3.1 with several aftershocks.

After dinner we discovered a 40’ Airstream trailer in one of the lounge areas inside the hotel that had been converted to a mini bowling alley. Two lanes and the pins were held up by ropes. We played several games and laughed the whole time. What a great idea. I wonder how much it would cost to find a trailer on EBay and convert one for the backyard.

Friday April 17th - Larry and I had breakfast downstairs in one of the restaurants and then did a quick tour of the Bass Pro Shop. The sales associate in the fly tying department asked us if he could be of any help. I told him Larry was looking for fly tying supplies for an upcoming fishing trip and I was looking for art supplies. I think I stunned him and he sort of backed away and said if he could be of any help to just ask him. We took pictures of the Bass Pro Shop motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers. We also watched the diver feed the fish in the aquarium that spans the entry into the hotel/casino and the Bass Pro Shop.

Larry had to work on a grant so I spent most of the day reading. I went out and found sandwiches for lunch and I read…and Larry continued to finish his grant writing. We went to dinner at The Salt Lick Restaurant inside the Red Rock Casino. Larry still has fond memories of the original Salt Lick in Texas that he frequented when he lived there.

Saturday April 18th – the wedding day and there is so much to do and the clock is ticking down. Kelly called a little frantic and said she didn’t want to throw her bouquet and give up her bridal flowers. I called the florist and they are making a smaller second wedding bouquet for her to throw so she can preserve her wedding flowers. Next it was time to pick up Jim at the airport and drop him off at his hotel, the Venetian. Kelly was getting her hair done so we went to pick up her bags and clothes. Back to our hotel so we change clothes and get ready. It has been a full circle around town and we are about to do it all again. Pick up Jim, the flowers, then stop to get Kelly where she is having her make-up done. Now it’s up, up, and away to the top of the mountain where prince charming awaits.

We arrived at the lodge and Kelly quickly changed into her wedding dress because we needed to get to the lookout point on Mt. Charleston where everyone was waiting for us. The phone rings and its Kim. There’s a problem with the cake and Nikki is in tears. Kim has it under control and now Kelly is worried about Nikki. Kyle calls and Kelly tells him we are on the way and to just keep talking on the phone.

What else could possibly happen? A traffic cop on the mountain just having a glorious day from his perspective giving out tickets to anyone and everyone. No, we did not get a ticket, but we worried about the unsuspecting guests who might get pulled over as they hurried to the lookout.

Kelly kept saying it’s just around the corner, but it wasn’t. Then Kelly would laugh and say this looks familiar, just a little bit farther. I think she must have been daydreaming when she was here before. Kelly tries to peer around the next corner looking out the front of the windshield as we continue up the mountain. We are looking for cars at every turn hoping this will be the lookout we are looking for and as we reached almost 8,400 feet we see familiar faces standing around a small turnout.

Larry is driving and Jim is riding shotgun in the front seat with Kelly sitting directly behind him. She ducked down quickly behind Jim when she saw Kyle to prevent him from seeing her until she walked down the pathway for the ceremony. The minister wants the wedding license and Kyle doesn’t know where it is. Kelly tells Kim that it is in her glove compartment. The photographer is all ready to go but we are missing a few of the guests. I have the bride’s wedding ring and instructions to hand it to Kyle2 and Kim has the groom’s ring. Finally at 5:30 PM, only a half hour later than planned, the wedding, is ready to begin.
The wind is picking up, the temperature is dropping, and everyone is looking for a jacket except the bride who is wearing a strapless gown and can only think about Kyle waiting for her on the other side of the walkway. 1 Corinthians 4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. And the two shall become one.
Pictures and more pictures then back to the lodge. Some of Kelly and Kyle’s friends didn’t make it up the mountain in time for the ceremony so they drove straight to the lodge. Dinner, laughter, and more pictures. Finally Kelly and Kyle could sit down and relax. I don’t think either of them had more than three or four bites of food because they kept visiting with their wedding guests, but love and adrenaline are probably all they need tonight. At one point Kelly asked me to hold out my hand and when I asked why she said she wanted me to hold her caterpillars. Well I pulled my outstretched hand back quickly and she laughed as she held out her false eyelashes for me to keep safe.
Time to cut the cake and we could only hold our breath. Kyle and Kelly are so much alike so we wondered if they would lovingly feed each other cake or would they play with it. They cut the cake and each took a piece, holding it up and smiling before smashing it into each other’s mouths. They were laughing and then took turns wiping the cake off each other’s faces before finally having to wash it off. Kyle and Kelly have found their soul mates and we wish for them a happily ever after life filled with love, laughter, and friendship.
Kelly’s dress is a long white strapless gown with a black satin band under the bust and down the back of the dress. She has white leather flip flops with rhinestones on each big toe. Kyle wore dress tan khaki slacks, a black shirt, and a black and grey stripped tie. Nikki caught the bouquet and Jim caught the garter. We even got a picture of Jim wearing the garter as a headband.
There were wedding bubbles for everyone to play with and the wedding favors to take home as mementos. Time to leave the newlyweds alone.
The only time I cried was when Kyle danced with me and said he really felt like part of the family and he loved me. A new son in the family and we are so happy.
Larry, Jim, and I headed back down the mountain to downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street. Jim had never seen the lightshow and it was early, only 9:00 PM. We arrived just in time for the start of the hourly show. We listened to the bagpipers performing, street artist painting with spray paint, and took tourist photos of the iconic signs. We dropped Jim off at his hotel because he was meeting a friend later that night and we headed home to our hotel room to unwind.
Sunday April 19th everyone was having lunch with the newlyweds at a Mexican restaurant called Lindo Michoacán. After lunch, Kyle, Kelly, and Jim headed off to Bass Pro and Larry and I went back to our hotel room. The kids called about an hour later and wanted us to come bowl with them in the Airstream trailer. There was a waiting line so the kids played pool, drank ice tea, and we waited our turn. When Kelly and Kyle had to leave, Jim stayed with us to visit before we dropped him off at the airport. We splurged on the way back to the hotel for decadent In-N-Out Burgers for dinner.
April 20th - Monday morning we had a power breakfast before some serious Bass Pro shopping for Larry’s annual Canadian fishing trip. All those tackle boxes at home full of flies, feathers, fancy string, beads, and leaders would make one think you had enough stuff, but just like my art studio that I keep stocking with new supplies, so must Larry find new super duper, the fish can’t resist, flies. We stopped off in the shooting arcade inside Bass Pro so Larry could try his marksman skills and he scored higher than Kyle and Jim did earlier…lots higher! We spent some time lying out by the pool, soaking up the sun and the warmth in the afternoon and it felt wonderful. We stopped at Hooters Casino to get more signatures for Dave M’s t-shirt before heading off to Red Rock Harley-Davidson. It was a huge store but we were the only customers. Larry bought something for his bike but I just couldn’t make myself buy a t-shirt with skulls on it.
Last stop of the day was dinner with Kyle and Kelly at BJ'S Restaurant & Brewery across from the Red Rock Casino. Five days and it went way to fast. I didn’t lose a daughter I gained a son.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Ribbon Ring



http://www.ribbonring.com/

I saw this ribbon organization system months ago on a website but could not find it locally. After CHA, Stampadoodle and the Paper Cafe began stocking the ribbon ring and I bought one the first day they were available.

I spent the next day organizing my ribbons by color and emptying glass canning jars filled with clothes pins wrapped in ribbon. The garbage can filled up as I opened drawers full of ribbon spools and worked on my new system. Vintage ribbons and seam bindings all have a new home where they can be seen an appreciated. I had forgotten I owned so many ribbons because they were tucked into so many different places and now the ribbons are dazling hanging on their tabs from an O ring on the back of a closet door in my studio. The only ribbons not hanging on this system are short pieces that are wound onto embroidery cards in a plastic see through fishing tackle box.

I am now going to order the jumbo size that holds 2" ribbons and wonder what to do with all the space the ribbons have vacated. The only problem I had with this system, is that my husband watched me pull my stash of ribbons out to organize and and sat in stunned amazement at my collection.

Unique Art Frames


What a great idea to create a new piece of art each day and if you don't like it, just make a new one. This would be a terrific gift for mothers day. http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/paper-pad-doodle-frame

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pat...A Talented Artist

Last fall while I was attending my Wednesday demo class at Stampadoodle, a wonderful artist named Pat volunteered to host an art group of anyone who was interested at her home once a month. It was going to be a mixed media group, all artist welcome. Wow! What a great way to meet other artist in a relaxed atmosphere and share what you like to do.

We have artist who work in clay from beads to dolls, glass plates to beads, knitting, stamping, watercolor, paper, I think we have it covered. Last night Vicki taught he a watercolor technique with rubber stamps and stamp pads. Vicki brought all the supplies and after we have played and stamped several pages of designs Vicki spread out a table full of papers so that we could make cards or bookmarks with our designs.

Pat had cookies and tea and we chatted about what everyone had been doing and upcoming plans. We watched Pat put her hens to bed in the most adorable playhouse looking hen house. They waited by the gate when it was time to go in for the evening and she said if she doesn’t give them a little treat they won’t sleep. I think she had seven and each on different and unique.

Pat makes the most incredible clay dolls that are not your average doll. They are whimsical and each little face has a story to tell. Pat is very modest when she talks about her dolls but she truly is an artist and you can see one of her dolls featured on the polymer clay daily blog: http://polymerclaydaily.com/2009/03/23/pattees-odd-times/

I am lucky to be part of group of artist who love what they do and share what they love.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Computer

Saturday night at 10:43 PM and I had the very basics of my computer up and running. You think if a computer technician copied everything from you old computer that he would then install it on the new computer. Well in a perfect world that would happen, but not in my world.

So I got home Saturday night expecting to just hop onto my new computer and get acquainted with the new features. No email. I could receive email but couldn’t send anything. About two hours later and we finally had it working, well sort of. Now while we were trying to make the email system work, we discovered the printer didn’t like the new computer. After several tries and the security software finally being told enough times that yes it was okay to allow a change we could print. Good thing because my EBay auctions just closed on Friday and I had to print packing slips and postage.

I opened up IE7 and clicked on my favorites to find an empty folder. I seem to have a folder on the drive with all my old computer information on it, but it is just sitting there waiting to be installed. Not so fast. I can’t download updates because it wants to put the updates in my personal folders and not the program files. Why? Well it seems my computer was set up and I am not the administrator. It’s a funny thing to own a computer but have no control over it. Good thing Larry was in charge of dealing with asking why instead of me on Monday morning.

All those programs I have that help me do my art work and keep me organized are all waiting to be installed one by one by guess who. No, that isn’t going to happen. Seems most of my editing programs are 32bit and my new system is 64bit so I need to search out and buy an editing program.

The screen is great. I can have two word documents up at the same time. The screen is HD so the colors are vivid and the sound system is amazing.

Well the tech arrives within minutes to do all that should have been done before last Saturday. Cross my finger, knock on wood, and several hours from now I will be a much happier puppy as Larry says it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wednesday 4-8-09 art card donation



This card uses a distressed double sided card stock. One side looks like Italian plaster has been scraped across it. The colors are blacks, gray, and white.

One of the birds is cut from flocked paper and the other from a printed card stock. They are both glued to a heavier card stock.

The red felt flower is topped with a chipboard button and glitter glued on top.

Three chipboard button hearts each have a red ribbon tied through them attached with thick mounting foam to give them depth.

The poem inside reads:

Just one tweet
That’s all it took
Love took flight
With wings of hope
You set my heart
All a flutter
Now true love soars
Forevermore

Monday, April 06, 2009

Auctions...Part II Herman Mille 4H Program

Last Saturday night Larry and I attend an auction to benefit the Herman Miller 4H Park. Our friends Dave and Dawn Johnson have been a part of 4H since their children were young and even though their children are now grown, they continue to support the 4H program.

Each year an auction is held to raise money to complete the buildings and grounds. The Northwest Washington Fair Expo Building in Lynden was filled with rows of tables filled with items that started at a $1.00. A live auction would follow later in the evening.

Larry and I opted to have a chili dog and soda for dinner before we got down to the business of checking out the tables. We found a spot at the back of the room where we could later have a good view of who we might be bidding against if we found something we wanted to bid on.

Our friends Brian and Nita who are both involved with the 4H program were there, also. Nita was planning on bidding on a Harley coat in the live auction. (Yes she won.)

We placed our bidding number on several items in the silent auction and then sat back down and splurged by splitting a piece of two layer chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. The size of the cake slice could have fed four people.

The live auction was about to begin and we had checked out the items, circled the items we were interested in and we were ready to bid. We lost a couple, let several go, but in the end we think we had the best items of the evening, at least to us.

We were the high bidders on the silent auction table for a gift certificate we will use for dog food; Nothing for the cat, but maybe Ally won’t notice.

Larry won the auction for a one half hour parachute plane ride over Whatcom County when the weather warms up. He has already talked to the gentleman who donated the ride and Larry is excited as he has never done this before.

The second item we won is an all day guided fishing trip for two on either the Skagit River or the Snohomish River. The gentleman donating this trip even offered a third option to Canada fishing. Larry takes a one week fishing trip each year and since we got married that has been the extent of his fishing. This auction item will be a real treat for him.

The fourth item we won is from Devine Gardens. Starting in mid May we will pick up a 30-40 pound box of vegetables at the Ferndale Farmers Market each Saturday through mid October. This was the first year that this item had been offered and I thought it was just amazing. We doubled checked that this was not a typo and really was 30-40 pounds each week. We won. Larry looked at me and reminded me that he doesn’t even really like vegetables. I told him he would learn to love them. Vegetable soup, sautéed, steamed, grilled, etc. Of course we will share with Michael and Ryan and Larry’s mom. If we are out of town on a Saturday, we will need the boys to pick up the vegetables or, as a back up, ask someone from our small group to pick them up and share. I can hardly wait until the market opens and we see what our first box holds as a surprise for us.

We wrote a check, collected our winning sheets and thanked our friends for telling us about the auction. The winning bidders not only took home a prize but helped a very worthwhile project that helps children have a safe place to ride their horses.

http://hermanmiller4-h.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A New Computer

My husband Larry is co-chair of the local Communities In Schools http://www.whatcomcounty.ciswa.org/ for Whatcom County. On Saturday March 21st, CIS held their Inaugural Friend and Fund Raiser for Education with an auction and Improv performance by local high school students. The event was held at The Leopold Hotel in the Crystal Ballroom.

The Leopold Hotel in Bellingham Washington was built in 1899 and was originally called The Byron Hotel. Leopold Schmidt was a brew master who established the Bellingham Bay Brewery and bought the hotel in 1910. The hotel was then named after him upon his death. The Leopold Hotel is on both the National and Local Historic Registry and is presently used for retirement apartments. During the 1940’s the hotel was a getaway for famous movie stars to relax in style.

There were a large number of auction items up for bid but I had my heart set on winning a new computer that co-chair Mark Knittel was donating from his business, Data Doctors in Bellingham. I was the successful the bidder and on Tuesday March 31st Larry and I met Mark for lunch at Busara, a Thai restaurant in Sehome Village and we talked about what I had on my current computer, what I needed to have on a new computer, and what I wanted to have on my new computer.

I want a speedy computer. I want to be able to have multiple web pages open, several photo programs open for editing my art, and word documents if I am writing poems or articles. Mark made several suggestions for operating systems, browsers, security software and computer back up recovery systems.

The pieces and parts have been ordered and Mark gave me the option of helping build my own computer when everything arrives next week. I know my limitations! I can use bits and pieces of almost anything to create art in my studio and I can use the more basic photo editing programs to help create my art, but much more than turning my computer on and I am lost. I decided that talking with Mark about what I wanted for a new computer was as close as I wanted to be in building it. I do want my computer to work when it’s built, so I will leave the technical details to the experts. I will bring Mark my old computer drive, my back up drive, and software; then they can synchronize, combine, merge, and mingle everything into one brand new, speedy, zip and zoom computer and then I can bring it home play.

Days! Just a few more days and I can kiss this noisy, slow computer good-bye.
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