Here I am with my best friend in the whole world, Renee'. It took me thirty-two years to find her! I used to hear the expression soul-mate and I really couldn't get it, then I met Renee`. I believe men and women are just too different to be soul-mates. So, ladies, if you have one out there, it will be a girlfriend.

About Me

My photo
I am fifty years old and a recent empty-nester of three grown children: nearly 19, 26 & 30. None married, no grand-babies:( I have been married one time for 34 years so far. I am the sixth of eight sisters. I've done a bit of traveling. My restless daughter took me to New York, Paris and London. I love to scrapbook, do needle art, beading,quilt, sew, decorative painting, home decorating and anything else that inspires me after looking at a magazine, HGTV, or the web! I enjoy having internet friends and think of them as modern day pen-pals.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pennsylvania, DC, Winthrop, Seattle, Denver & I'm back.......

     The closest I'm going to come 
to being president.

My friend once said to me, "All excuses are equal."  That whirls around in my head every time I try to think of a good enough excuse why I can't or haven't or won't be able to do something.  Based on that I have no reason to offer why it's been so long since I've posted.

Since I've been away one of the things I've done is visit Pennsylvania with my baby sister, Patty.  We went via DC and rented a car.  Now that was quite  an experience.  I live on the west coast where we have INTERSTATES.  I live about three hours from my son.  I live on one side of the Snoqualamie  Mountains in a tiny farm town while he lives on the other side in West  Seattle.  In order to travel to his home I drive the highway I live  on for 40 miles then ease onto INTERSTATE 90. After driving for two more hours I take a couple of city exits and turn onto College Street.  Voila!  I'm there.  We have no tolls or turnpikes, just 70 MPH freeways with the occasional inconvenience of road construction.  
For those of you that live on the east coast you know it's not quite like that.  We rented a GPS and made 50 turns (maybe not 50, but a lot!) between DC and U of P.  It was interesting to see the differences in other parts of America and the drive was beautiful.
Moving on.....What took us to U of P was a museum exhibit titled The Lives They Left Behind.  It honored the lives of Willard State Hospital patients.  After the hospital closure hundreds of suitcases were found in the attic of one of the buildings.  Ten years and painstaking research revealed a brief look into how many lives were stolen away, held captive, not for mental treatment, but to keep the hospital operating. To see much of the exhibit online, google: The Lives They Left Behind. And for moving, real photos of this hospital and more check out the work of Matthew Murray at and click asylums.
I also turned 51 while I was away (September 12) . I celebrated with  my great  friend, Diane, by taking a trip to an awesome little cowboy town named Winthrop, WA and doing a bit of shopping and eating. What  is a trip if you  don't shop and eat?
                                                                                                   This is one of the views between my home and Winthrop.
I love to drag my family to home shows --not Street of Dreams, where movie stars live-- its too far from my league and I can't think that big.  But really nice homes where I can say, "I want to put that in my kitchen."

This is my baby, Victoria, on my birthday, on the home show tour.

I've  also flown to Denver to see my best friend, Renee.  I really need to learn more about America.  I had no idea Denver was desert.  I thought it was this mountainous ski resort where all the stars go to ski.  After going for a visit I found out that it is no closer to the mountains than I am where I live.  Clearly, I should have paid more attention in Geography.

Nevertheless, I had a fabulous time.  We went to an Arts and Crafts Show, Yard Sales, craft stores, worked on crafts and watched mega movies.  While she was at work I rearranged ALL of her furniture, rummaged through her garage for decorator items (she's downsized from a huge home to an awesome townhouse) and redecorated.  It was just like playing house.  And she's a fabulous friend, so she totally loved it, which made it even more fun.  When she moved in she told the mover, "Just put the furniture wherever." and he did.

When I left home I had  one carry-on.  When I returned I brought 2 carry-ons, 1- 50 lb bag and 1- 49 lb bag.  Luckily I fly on a guest pass so I am allowed extra baggage at no fee.  But, I still had to leave a few things which she will bring out to me in a couple of weeks.  However, I got about a half hour from the airport when they called and said someone had taken my bag and I had hers!!!  Because I wasn't using MY luggage but borrowed luggage I didn't even notice.  I was the LAST one off the plane and there were only TWO bags left so I took them.  Of course I was so over-packed it was the first time I have ever packed my purse.

I was really lucky the other person noticed because I live three hours from the airport and traditionally I come home, dump my bags in the living room and open them 3-4 days later when I'm not exhausted.

But I arrived home with all my treasures and fun was had by all.  

Next week my amazing friend, Shelly, arrives from Alaska for a few days of eating, scrapbooks and shopping---there isn't much shopping in Fairbanks.  And we're going to enjoy our Indian Summer.  It's below zero with snow in Fairbanks while it's still in the 50's with sunshine here.  It will seem like a heatwave.

I met Shelly at least ten years ago at a scrapbook conference when I arrived on time--I swear EVERYONE else was early--and the meeting was in progress.  My group was waaay in the front, so even though there were, literally, 100 empty chairs I slipped into the chair next to Shelly and we've been best friends every since!  It's a good thing the meeting started early and Shelly sat in the back.  Smile.  It's been back and forth to Alaska every since!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Honey, I'm home.

Wow, I've been away a long time and I wasn't even on vacation.     Like many of you I've been busy with the joy that can only be found in preparing for "back-to-school".  Colored pencils have given way for ink cartridges, yellow pads for copy paper and back-packs for messenger bags.  My baby, 19 year old Victoria, , is moving to her very first apartment.  She is excited and we are all excited for her.  For the first time she would rather shop for home decor than clothes and she dared to utter the words Martha Stewart.  We are enjoying the hunt for used furniture on Craig's list and she's discovered the magic of over-time at her job.  In the midst of all this activity I've tried to carve out the time required to complete my Alice in Wonderland Apron for the Hot Mama Apron Swap.  I had ordered my fabric and, of course, I miscalculated.  Actually, I didn't calculate at all.  As is typical of me I just looked on line, chose a couple of prints that I liked and ordered willy-nilly.  I didn't have a pattern in mind and in the end decided on an original design.  Nevertheless, with the closest fabric store 30 miles away, I chose to do creative design work.  I'm pretty sure I took out more seams than I sewed and I had to dye my own trim, but in the end I was very happy and I hope my partner, Kathy Fuller, is as well.  In addition we were to include three additional items.  I selected: 1) A mint-condition 45 RPM of Neil Sedaka's Alice in Wonderland  2) darling miniature cake candle for the tea party  3) AIW Hot Pad  4) Vintage Hankie 5) ribboned ring of skeleton keys.  I hope this reaches Kathy quickly and brings her the same joy I had creating it.  Have a great tea party Alice!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Built Them Myself

     This isn't my lawn furniture but, rather, my garden furniture.  I find it quite charming and I actually take pride in it.   I built both the bench and the chair with lumber salvaged from the fallen barn of a friend. On the bench is a galvanized double bucket with a single handle in the center, a gift from my best friend Renee', and, of course, the birdhouse on the chair is from other girlfriends.
     I built these pieces some time back so they're a little rickety but still, when I am in my garden, I am both in the company of friends and proud of my simple achievement.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The weeds faded in the beauty.

     Up near the Idaho border is a nice small town named Spokane.  It's Eastern Washington's answer to Seattle, without suburbs and everything their 3 million people bring with them.
     Nevertheless, business took me there today and just across the street from my meeting was this charming home.  I'm crazy for a picket fence and when combined with flowers my heart skips a beat.
     I walked closer as I fumbled around in my purse searching for my camera in an effort to take a few snapshots.  I will keep these images with others to daydream over on quiet afternoons.  
     The closer I got to the garden the more apparent it was how neglected it had become.  Still, as I stood there with the setting sun streaming through, the beauty of the garden caused the weeds to somehow disappear.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

From Me to You.

     This is a little piece of my summer.  I live in a small farming community in Southeastern WA, far away from Seattle, rain, crowds and, unfortunately shopping.  My county has only three towns and I live in the largest one with around 6000 residents and 50 miles from our county seat.  
     I'm not much of an outdoor girl but in the spring I like to get out and plant a few flowers.  This is my floral birdhouse, a birthday gift from friends a few years ago.  To assemble, I pound big 16 penny nails into the roof-top.  I remove bedding plants from their plastic containers and firmly push root side down onto the nails.  Turn plants at different angles beginning at the top standing up, gradually turning sideways until hanging varieties are facing downward.  After they feel secure, cover all exposed area with natural Spanish moss, this will enable the plants to both hold moisture longer between watering and prevent soil from eroding.  
     I usually plant two varieties of birdhouses.  The other style is deeper in the bottom and the flowers are planted around the base rather than on the roof.  I use the exact same method, focusing more on the hanging variety flowers.  This one I hang in my tree.  Particularly the roof style wouldn't require a special birdhouse, nearly anyone would work.  But, if you decide to create one of your own, they require more flowers that you might think.  So, save yourself an extra trip to the store and buy more rather than less, or just count off spaces on your birdhouse roof and it will give you a good idea.
     Have a summer flower kind of day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday"Lucy"

In honor of her 46th birthday I want to introduce my baby sister, Patty.  She's Lucy & I'm Ethyl and in this snapshot we are at Disneyland, about six months ago. It's a "We took it ourselves snapshot", the type where you hold the camera out as far as you can and hope that you're both in the frame.  This generally takes us about three tries.  

Patty works for Alaska Air and a funny thing happened on our way to Orange County.  We were actually going to San Francisco. But Frisco was fogged in and the planes to Frisco were backed-up leaving us, literally, 45 seconds to decide whether to wait for a plane to Frisco or to book for Orange County.  Patty had never been to Disneyland and we cracked under the pressure.  Okay, it wasn't that dramatic.  It was more like: "What do you think?''  "I don't know, what do you think?"  "Well. hurry up, we have 45 seconds to decide."  "OK, Look out Mickey Mouse, here we come"  So, actually, it was quite easy.  Who wants to hang around an airport when you can just walk onto a plane---free?

Moving on....The reason we lovingly refer to Patty as Lucy is she frequently has some sort of scheme up her sleeve and I, foolishly, am always dragged into them.  Hence, I have been appropriately dubbed Ethyl.  One of Patty's favorite expressions is, "You got some splainin' to do." and, of course, any fan of the old I Love Lucy shows knows that Ricky usually ended up saying that to Lucy at some point during the program.

That was great for Ricky and Lucy but when Patty cooks up a scheme it usually begins with, "You can't get arrested for this."  Any sane person would run, particularly since she is not a lawyer, but faithful Ethyl is there for her every time.  That's why she's the baby sister and I'm the...I'm the, well, you know what I am and foolish just doesn't cover it.  But next time Lucy calls and says, "I need your help.", I'll put on my ever-faithful Ethyl hat, get into my blue Buick and be there for her.  

I hope she's right about that pesky little jail thing because I've been too close a time or two.  Smile.

Happy Birthday Patty.  Let's make it to 50 without jail-time.  Smile.
Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa                 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paper or Plastic?

I signed up for the paper bag swap--my first swap--with great excitement.  I tried to think of something new, marvelous, amazing.  Then, I went with an old favorite: a lunch bag scrapbook.  My partner was Sherry, designer of those darling maiden dresses.  The one thing I knew about Sherry was she liked Cowboys and I had a too-cute sheet of cowboy paper I'd been saving for a special occasion.  

I started with the cowboy paper on the cover.  I have a fun technique which is to spell my titles, in this case "giddy-up", in at least 1" letters.  I then cover the lettering with  FOIL Electrical Tape (I buy it at Wal-Mart $3-$5). I use a stylus to outline the letters and in this case I drew a lasso around the outside.  At this point I rub over it with dark ink and wipe it off with a tissue to leave shading in the grooves left behind by the stylus. On the inside I did a variety of pages including fabric covered and a pull-out page which can be a bit tricky.  I have a darling little rubber stamp that reads "photo here" which I confess to overusing!

But, as always, my favorite is what I consider my signature page.  A manila envelope accordion page with co-ordinating tags. It looks amazing (I think), but is really quite simple.  
I begin with 5 or 7, always an odd number, of small manila envelopes. Decorate with rubber stamps, inking, glitter or nothing at all.  Cut tops evenly creating five matching "pockets".  For a cute effect trim each successive pocket 1/4 inch shorter than the one before it.  Now you are ready to glue them together.   Glue each to the other securely down the center allowing room on the sides for "flex".  Finally, securely adhere the outside envelopes to opposite pages tucking the bottom deep into the "bind".  You are now ready to add your decorated tags remembering to trim each one to match the co-ordinating pocket.  The tags are fun for photos, quotes, show tickets or any memory you would like to tuck inside.

I've used this technique many times, always with a different spin on it, usually in altered books and I am always happy with the results.  If you don't have access to or simply can't afford the envelopes (which can be kinda spendy!), it is also effective to make mock envelopes from paper.  I have used this technique as well with equally good results.