Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hoping for Cooler Weather...

More tags.
I made one 6"x6" collage
on water color paper,
then cut it into 3 tags.

Garden Musings

I've abandoned the studio for a week of trying to get a garden cleanup in gear.  I have help this time with removing some crepe myrtles that have been causing problems and some shrubs that don't look healthy--and trimming and shaping up other trees and shrubs.  

I've been digging up and transplanting some plants and then having trouble getting the dirt out of my fingernails.  Taking long breaks in between bursts of activity early in the morning and calling it quits by about 11:00 AM.  The heat and humidity take a toll.

My garden choices have not always worked as well as hoped, and while I love my tickseed coreopsis, they have a tendency to fall and sprawl after a wonderful early summer display.  The rest of the summer, my failure to keep them tended results in a sorry show.
Wikipedia image

So...I've dug most of them up and kept only a few off-shoots that I replanted in pots until next year.  I will decide what to do with them then.

I want something cleaner for the garden now.  Less cottage garden, less complicated, less demanding.  I've also cut back the golden ginger and will move some of them later and try to keep them in control.

Our summers come so early and last so long now (today will be another 93 degrees according to my weather app--and it is Sept. 25th!)  that garden chores have become too onerous and unpleasant to keep up with for 6 months of the year.  Time to consider a garden that requires less upkeep, yet still proves soothing to look at.


What I've enjoyed recently:  The Chronicles of Christoval Alvarez by Ann Swinfen is a wonderful 7 book series set in the late Elizabethan period; The Lost Girls a debut novel by Heather Young; and End of Watch by Stephen King (not yet reviewed).

Hope everyone is enjoying the last week in September!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Books, Mail Art, Stamps

Intasar Khanani is one of my favorite
YA fantasy authors.
She is giving away five sets of
 Thorn (a retelling of the Goose Girl) and Sunbolt
 --two YA fantasies that I loved.

I reviewed them on my book blog
here and here.
If you are a high school librarian,
check out Intasar's Library Love Give Away 
and maybe 
you will win one of the five sets for your students.  :)

In the Studio

Folded a tag to make a pocket.
I'm not sure where I saw this idea,
but pockets are always fun!

I ordered some tiny new rubber stamps 
and tried them out on scrap paper,
brown paper, and on tissue from an
old pattern that I've been using in collage.

The tiny card with the bones was 
 in my Halloween stash.
(I cut it from some packaging that I saved--
sometimes the packaging is as wonderful as the contents.)

It was a tight squeeze, 
but the card and stamps fit right in the pocket.

 Bits of painted water color paper--
I made several of these a while back
and should make some more
because all of these tiny things are fun!

I'm adding tea bags to tags, post cards, and envelopes. 
--tea bag house--
I ended up liking this side better 

I placed a feather in a tea bag,
then added it to a grungy tag
I'm busy making more tags and some 
Halloween mail arty stuff.
Because it's fun.  :)

Outgoing Mail

to Cheryl in NYC

to Mila--another tea bag added to a postcard
 to Max
 to Bryce Eleanor
The cat images on B.E.s card above are from TomCattCreations,
 and I'm having fun with them.
Stamped on some dictionary pages
and glued them to the card.

Included with my stamps was a cool Halloween tag and 
a paper bag with stamped images that I will cut up and use for collage!
I LOVE lagniappe.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mid-September Already!

For the last several days, I've been creating new envelopes--some of them are anticipating October and Halloween.    Painting and collage are messy pastimes, and my hands are frequently covered in paint, ink, and glue.  The studio is a disaster, and each time I make an effort to clean and straighten something turns up to distract me (ooh, I found an image, a favorite quote, a tag, what if I cut out this, don't I have ____ SoMeWheRe?).  Still, slowly, but surely, I'm replenishing my supply of envelopes.  

Incoming Mail:

My grands were here when this one arrived,
and they loved it!

Even the back is wonderful :)

I love this stamp on Cheryl's postcard!
and I think I will!  Read more books, that is.

Outgoing Mail:
 Sticker on the back is from Naomi Bulger  :)

and the backs--
so you can see the return address labels 
Naomi sent in her Snail Mail Kit!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mail, Stitching, Reading

I still have some  incoming mail that I have not answered
or taken pictures of, but will be getting to them soon
now that I'm getting back to my usual routine.

Outgoing Mail:

 And I forgot to take a picture of the letter I sent to Hannah!

(While the kids were here, 
I forgot a lot of things 
or just didn't get around to them...
like writing letters or doing chores in a timely manner.)


I love the purple stamp and the way it matches the purple on the envelope!
 and another one of Jacque's lovely cards  :)

 from Emilie
 love the New Orleans stamp

 from Naomi in Australia,
one of her beautiful gouache envelopes! 
 with lots and lots of stamps!
 and all kinds of mail art ephemera
in her snail mail kit!


In 2012, I took one of Fee's old shirts and began cutting 
and manipulating
and adding scraps from my scrap bag of blues.

I wanted a boro jacket--
which meant I had to make my own, 
so I cut off the collar and reshaped the neckline.
Cut off the sleeves and the length and altered the front.
It was a slow process,
and the more pieces I added,
the slower it got--with each additional layer
harder to push a needle through.
Here it is when it was almost finished.
I don't think I took a picture after finishing completely.
I tried for a style similar to the Korean Hanbok tops.

In 2014, I started altering another
(not that it has done much good, 
I still get paint on my good clothes.)
There were plenty of scraps from the boro jacket project,
and even now, I'm still recycling those blues.

Instead of cutting off the sleeves,
I shortened them in various ways,
and then began adding pockets from
some of my eco-dyed fabrics, and
embroidering, and adding
other embellishments.

If I want to watch any of my shows,
I start adding scraps to the shirt.
or embroidering

 I don't think ahead or plan.
The purpose is to keep my hands busy
and to experiment.

Maybe in five more years or so,
the thing will be full of patches and embroidery,
but there is plenty of room left for play right now.

:) And this isn't the only shirt I use for keeping my hands busy
if I decide to watch Netflix or Drama Fever--
I have another one I use for a studio shirt
and keep adding embroidery to!

Fortunately, most of the time I would rather read,
saving my fingers from being punctured with embroidery needles,
but right now I'm on a binge catching up with Downton Abbey,
so the blue shirt ends up with more patching and stitching.


Since 2006, I've participated in Carl's annual R.I.P. Challenge.
If you enjoy the occasional Gothic, spooky, or ghostly book,
check out the link to Carl's challenge.  :)

Over at A Garden Carried in the Pocket,
I've been thinking about past challenges
and contemplating what I will read this year.

It is a great lead-up to Halloween!

Monday, September 05, 2016

Labor Day

Mila and Bryce Eleanor--
when legos are not available
and parents are outside....

 Hallie and Bob(cat)--
Couldn't meet a more cheerful little one
than niece Katy's kiddo.

The camp was bustling with aunts, uncles, and plenty of kids.

The last week has been a busy one!

Now it is time to return to a more routine schedule, 
but I loved having my Baton Rouge grands for a week.  :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

End of August

I took Max and Mila to Altitude, the trampoline park, yesterday.  An hours worth of bouncing all over the place was enough to deplete my energy, and I was just watching!  

The above pic is from the Altitude site.  I wish I'd had my camera with me; getting pictures from my phone to my blog always presents a problem.  M & M were all over the place--from the regular mats to the Ninja obstacle course.  :)  

The last of the postcards using the 
steampunk mail carrier figure I
made several years ago.
A thank you to Iliana, a friend from my book blog,
who sent me a book.

To Melody in Singapore.
Melody  is also a friend from my book blog,
and a regular correspondent!
Because the letters take so long to get
back and forth,
we send postcards in between.

I didn't like the face before it was painted.
I don't like it now, either.
...maybe a hat would improve things.
Nope, not so much.
Will re-paint face and hope for something better.
Then the hat may stay or go.
I am not sad to see the end of August,
but summer here is not over until 
the temperatures drop into the 80's.
We do love those cool snaps.  :)