Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve & goal sheet freebies

We're at the end of another year. I hope that 2019 brings peace, good health, love and happiness to all. Last year was rough for me and I didn't use my goal sets much. Too much to keep up with. I do intend to make good use of them this year so I'll be able to look back at the end of 2019 and see what was going on in my life. So far I've got the first quarter goal sets completed. I added a page for those who do overall year resolutions, as well as a page to recap the previous year. I hope these will be helpful to some of you.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Geeting

Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday! Used Source Christmas Fields by The Everlasting Story to create card. Resource can be found at Creative Market.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

It's almost here & freebie

Actually I'm pretty much ready. If I finish as planned,, I won't have to do anything on Christmas Eve. Just relax and watch mass from the Vatican. Hope all is well with you. Don't imagine I will get back to blog until after Christmas, maybe even New Year's day so I wish you a wonderful Christmas as we remember the greatest gift. May 2019 be a good year for us all.


Thursday, December 20, 2018

A little Christmas freebie

The tree is finished and the windowseat looks festive. The wreath is on the door but will need replacing next year. Getting ready for our Italian Christmas. Since we've had the blues about Christmas, we decided to shake things up this year. No traditional ham dinner. We are doing Christmas Italian style and invited my 80 year old aunt Sissy, whose family was originally from Naples, and her boyfriend, an 81 year old man she grew up with, John E. John E is of Greek origin so he loves many of the same types of food my husband and Sissy enjoy. My husband is doing all the cooking too! There will be an antipasta spread of various olive types, roasted red peppers, a soft goat cheese for spreading and caponata to put on crackers. He's making his famous lasagna, beef tips cooked in homemade tomatoe sauce, a dish that is composed of potatoes, spinach and red pepper, and garlic bread. I'm making up a dessert platter with slices of my fruitcake (better than traditional Panetone), some traditional raibow cookies (from a local restaurant), fudge, chocolate chip cookies (okay, not Italian). Decided to try my hand at making some anise biscotti for my husband. I don't care for anise/licorce at all but he loves it. So we will add that to the platter too. Since it turned out so well, I intend to make some amaretto biscotti too.

Hope your preparations are going well.


* sorry about link error. Must have been hurrying.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Today is my son, Jeremy's birthday & I've got a gift for you.

On this day 41 years aggo I received the best early Christmas gift - my son, Jeremy Ryan. He was actually due on Pearl Harbour day and, oddly enough, a baby girl was born on that day eight years later. The little girl, named Berkeley Rushka (I might be spelling it wrong - it's Russian for Rose and her paternal grandmother's name) would grow up to marry my son. It never fails, each December 13th I wake up near midnight. My son was born minutes into the 14th. He became my Christmas in many ways and when he isn't here with me on Christmas, it just feels so wrong. But he and his wife will be working on the holiday and then going home to celebrate their first Christmas in their new home. It's a long trip from Mechanicsburg PA to Virginia and when they do make it they have to hit all the stops: her Dad in Fredericksburg, her sisteer and their friends in Richmond, Jeremy's Dad and his new wife in Zion Crossroads (near Charlottesville), then here in Norfolk. Getting to be too much.

Anyway, since I am procrastinating getting work done and waiting on return call from my Baby J, I thought I'd give you a little gift.
These had been made for my CU line so you may use as commerical.

Hope your holiday preparations are coming along nicely.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It's Dec 9 already? (There is a freebie at bottom of post)

Thought I'd just check in. Seeing lots of snow in North Carolina and western Virgina but here in Norfolk, it's 40 degrees (feels colder) and raining. Not complaining, mind you, as I don't have to go anywhere today. Friday was DIL's birthday. Had sent a gift by Amazon that I know arrived but card with gift certificate was probably late due to Post Office taking off in honor of former President George H. W. Bush. Tried to call her but her cell just rang, didn't go into voice mail. Could have been working. Yesterday we had Larkin (8 yr-old granddaughter) all day. Took her with us to husband's former employer's retiree holiday luncheon. Afterwards we took her to see the new Grinch movie and later to dinner at Pollard's. Pollard's is a chicken restaurent that has been around in local area for ages. Since she likes beef liver and onions that hubby cooks, he thought we should introduce her to fried chicken livers (not for me - ever!). They had fried chicken livers and mac ' cheese (which she loves). Larkin said the livers were okay but she likes her Papa's liver and onions better. I didn't want any more poultry as I'd had some turkey at the luncheon. Just got mixed greens (like homemade) and sweet potato fries. By the time we got Lil' Princess, as my husband calls Larkin, home, we were ready to just chill out for the rest of the evening.

I'm supposed to be doing lots today but can't get it together. The last few days we have been fighting ants. Terminix did exterior pest control the last of November so we were surprised when we found these ants in the computer room. Talk about annoying. Put down ant traps which they showed no interest in visiting. Remembering that they aren't supposed to like strong smells, I saturated cotton balls with tea tree oil and placed them around the countertop that runs the length of one long wall. Its where both our desktop computers plus printer etc are located. How icky to be sitting here typing or scrolling and find an ant happily crawling across your hand. It makes me feel itchy all over! Next wiped countertop with vinegar, again using strong scent idea but this time I used a non-flamable spray along baseboard and other areas. Still see one or two but hoping they are dying off. We had a few coming in around seam at kitchen window earlier but I'd squashed that problem and haven't seen any more since last week. Then today I go into dining room and found a few on the table! I am not happy. More vinegar wipedowns, more spraying. It seems to be happening to lots of people in the neighborhood too because last time I was in the grocery store I heard a couple older women trying to figure out which was best spray and traps to buy. Crossed fingers I cure this problem soon.

Running some laundry now while hubby naps in the recliner. Can't do anything in living room while he's there so another day slipping past before I can get into window seat of bay window to get decorations out. Don't even have a wreath on the door yet because it's in the window seat too. I did get my crocheted water bottle carriers finished and will be packing those up tonight. Made 8 for the girls in my lunch group as Christmas gifts and we are having our Christmas lunch Tuesday. Since we like to go on little excursions & like to take water along, I thought this would be a practical gift. Made them with long straps to go crossbody so you can take your water along but have hands free.
Yes, that is one male silhouette. One of our group has Parkinson's and her husband usually accompanies her since she might have a seizure. The goodie bags will also have a small assortment of candy.

Some time ago I had made some Christmas overlays under my CU brand of Sher Scraps 4 CU. Maybe you can do something with these.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Last zip of Autumn elegance freebie

This is it, the last of Autumn Elegance and the last of regular posts, at least until next year. As I said earlier, I'll probably post a little something during December but I am not planning on having a regular schedule, not planning on making large kits. But check in now and again and you might find some surprises.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sale you won't want to miss at e-scapeandscrap

Have to share this sale news with you.
Lots of beautiful kits on sale for $1! I love G & T Designs, but you know I don't buy much breing on limited income and also designing myself. However, at $1 per kit, I had to indulge. The kits I bought will be wonderful for my art journaling. Trying to do at least a page a day. Here are a couple new ones. The first was made with G & T's Inked Again & my stamp of a gentleman:
And another (not G & T):

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

*** Big oops! This post should be

Thanks readers for letting me know about this error.

I was looking through my collection of quotations, hoping to come upon something inspiring to begin this post. Or just anything that caught my eye and seemed meaningful.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

― Marcel Proust
Giving thanks for the gardeners in my life.

Last week of Autumn elegance. Today's zip goes back to a more generic autumn theme.

Page I made with "Pom poms" from Anita at Just Art

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Holiday Weekend and more Autumn Elegance

Sending big hugs to all my internet friends. I appreciate all the lovely notes I received and wanted to give you an update on things here. Near last minute we learned that we could have Larkin for the day on Thanksgiving. Hubbby picked her up at 10 a.m. and didn't take her back home until about 9 p.m. She is still very active at age eight and still shows attention deficiet problems despite being on medication. Hasn't grown much but her hair has darkened and seems to have red highlights in it now. Larken is a very loving child, sometimes smothering in her need for attention and affection. But overall it went well. When we told her Tyler, who is her half-brother, was going to try to come for dinner, she got so excited. Hasn't seen him in a long time. (After H.S. graduation, Tyler wrote his mother a letter breaking off all communication with her because of her addiction and other behaviors, but mostly because even when he tried to visit and be with her, she ignored him.) Tyler had a prior commitment he couldn't get out of with family in Suffolk but called to say he would still stop by as soon as he could. He got here just after our dinner and it was heartwarming to see him and Larkin reconnect. She wouldn't leave his side and smothered him in kises and hugs and massaged his head. It wasn't a lonely day after all. But we were so tired that we decided (my husband instigated) this would be our last Thanksgiving at home. Just too much for two old people with disabilities. Next year we will head to a restaurant for a meal. My son, Jeremy, called just before hubby took Larkin home. Our card and housewarming gift (check) arrived on Wednesday so he wanted to wish us Happy Thanksgiving and also thank us for the gift. Wanted to be sure we could afford to do that. He and his wife understand retirement isn't always good financially. But our parents had helped us when we bought our house and we wanted to do the same for them. Thanks to a little left-over from my inheritance, iit was possible.

Did you have a good holiday? I sure hope so. Did you go out for the Black Friday sales? We stayed inside away from the mobs but I have done the Black Friday thing in the past when the children were young. I checked out Amazon's Black Friday sales but all I bought was a Barbie playset for Larkin's Christmas and a small gift for my husband, which wasn't on sale.

Unfortunately, I got a shingles outbreak yesterday - just one small patch - and started the antiviral. It seems to be helping - no itching, little pain, nothing spreading. But it sure wipes me not! I have slept so much these last few days.

Now here is today's zip of Autumn Elegance:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! & freebie

I imagine a lot of us are preparing for tomorrow's big meal and family and friends gathering to give thanks for our many blessings. Just wanted to quickly leave a note to thank my readers and give you a little Autumn Elegance zip that is Thanksgiving themed:

See you again on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More of Autumn Elegance & some family news

I'm happy to read the comments saying you are enjoying this series. And I so appreciate all the sweet comments of support and understanding. I know I'm not the only one for whom holidays are difficult this year and my heart goes out to all the others. We did get some surprising news yesterday. Our grand-daughter, Larkin, whom we haven't seen in months is available to have Thanksgiving with us! My husband will pick her up Thursday morning and return her around 7 pm or so because she will be spending the weekend with her aunt. Grandson, Tyler, is on his way home from University of South Carolina. Poor boy gets spread thin trying to see all his family when he is home but when we told him we will have Larkin (one of his half-sisters) here on Thursday, he said he is going to try to get out of other commitments so he can come here for dinner and visit with Larkin. It doesn't look like it will be lonely after all! Got an e-mail from son today with photo of the snow they got in PA this past Thursday, a day before their big move to new home. But the move went okay and they have until 12/31 to clean up the old apartment and move any of the small stuff left there. He and his wife will be working during Thanksgiving and Christmas too this year. Sure miss them. Maybe we will be together for the holidays next year.

Running late today. Here is zip 17:

*** Will be posting your Thanksgiving zip tomorrow instead of Thursday.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Extra freebie and announcement

I'm feeling down; the holidays will be difficult, sad. I'm having trouble getting motivated to do anything and just wish I could turn the calender to January. I used to enjoy the holiday season so but that was then and this is now. Still haven't gotten back to myself since Dad's death and can't muster the energy to do all I used to do with cheer. I won't continue to whine but just want to say I've come to a decision. The Autumn Elegance kit will continue, with zip 21 being the last of it. I will not be doing a Christmas kit next month. Shouldn't be a big deal really as there will be dozens of free Christmas kits available to you on other sites. Further, I don't plan to blog much in December, at least nothing on a regular basis. I'm certain I'll pop up from time to time with a little something like some of the stamps I'm working on or maybe experimental papers, templates, whatever. I need time to finish up some personal business before year end. I hope to start 2019 in better shape physically, mentally and spiritually. I intend to have my home clean and organized and a plan to better keep it that way. I intend to get back to doing some crazy quilting, write on a regular basis, work in my art journal, maybe get a little travel in. I'll continue to meet twice a month with my lunch group (they lift my spirits), get my pool exercises in 3x/week, and play in PS. In short, this is not the last you will see of me.

That said, I have a stacked paper that didn't quite fit into any of the last Autumn Elegance zips. Didn't make a preview as it is just the one paper. If you want it, here it is:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The first time I saw a gingko leaf was autumn of 1985. I'd parked in front of the Virginia Commonwealth University gym on Franklin St and as I walked around the car to put money in the meter, a golden yellow leaf floated down and landed on me. I was charmed by the lovely fan shape. I also remember something I misinterpreted that day. There was a faint nasty smell like vomit nearby and I hurried away thinking someone had drunk a little too much the night before. Only recently did I learn that the female gingko tree drops it's seed pods in the fall and until the outside dries, they emit a nasty smell like, yes, vomit. Gingkos are popular trees in many urban planning designs but cities have learned to plant only male Gingkos because of the nasty seed pods. And yes, the nuts (they don't smell) inside those pods are used in ginko biloba supplements.

Today's zip includes some gingko leaves and the zip is a bright departure from yesterday's woodsy hues.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Whoo's there? A little Autumn Elegance freebie

Gloomy, wet and windy today. All I want to do is sleep but I've got a chore list to complete. Hope you like owls because today's zip has an owl theme.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Zip 14 of Autumn Elegance freebie

Getting ready to head out to dentist. They need to make another impression. Sure hope he isn't going to have to numb me for this because at noon I'm meeting the girls at Bahama Breeze for lunch. Had a surprise visitor yesterday, The guy who cuts our grass was next door. He'd persuaded that man to have his grass cut and it really needed it. It was over 6" in his backyard. After awhile we get a call from the grass cutter telling my husband that a big black snake with red stripe came out of neighbor's backyard and was headed towards our house. Now the grass cutter is a younger guy - about 30+. He couldn't do something about it? My husband is 67 and has bad neuropathy in his feet; he sure can't move fast. So snake was gone when hubby got out there to look for it. Can't you imagine, I'm a little freaked out?

Today's zip has 2 papers, ribbon and bow, border and frame. Thank you all for kind comments. Hope you like this one too.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday freebie

Hope you are having a nice weekend. We finally have some autumn weather but mixed in are a couple hot days. That's Tidewater. I got to the dentist, something I neglected while Dad was ill and in the aftermath. Knew it was going to be bad. For sure, I knew there was a molar with an old filling that had cracked and I'd need a crown there. Thursday had that started and have a temporary crown. Also painful jaw because I have TMJ and it always hurts after having to hold my mouth open for any length of time. The bad news is I need two more crowns; the good news is that one of them is for a tooth I thought I'd have to lose. It's a bicuspid that cracked years ago; the dentist I saw for that emergency didn't do a great job and it has been problematic off and on.

In other news, I finally went to the shooting range with my husband to try out the 22 handgun he had bought me for our anniversary. I don't like guns and didn't really want to mess with it but he got it for my self defense. Maybe he's right, as crazy as things are now and old as we are, we sure can't run from danger so if someone tries to break in and harm us, we should be prepared to defend ourselves. To our shock, I did very well at the target shooting! My only problem was difficulty pulling the slide back but we've fixed that now. He'll drag me to the range every now and then so I don't forget what to do. I hope I never have need to use it.

Here is today's zip of Autumn Elegance:
Nice and colorful, don't you think? Tomorrow while hubby watches football I'll have to get next week's zips together.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Let's get a little woodsy with this zip of Autumn Elegance freebie


I entered a November challenge at Just Art using a kit called Whimsical Winter for Rosie Designs.
Here is my first page:
I made a stamp of a public domain photo of sledders in Central Park and tried to give it a ghostly, memory feel.

There was some cute wordart and little birds that I used in this page:

Having a lot of fun with art journal pages as you can see.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy November! Autumn Elegance 9 freebie

I've had a very lazy day, accomplishing nothing. Got some extra sleep. Nice!
Here's today's zip:

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween! freebie!

Sorry I didn't post yesterday but I was on a road trip to Cape Charles with 3 friends. We drove through the historic area to look at all the old Victorian houses that have been all spruced up in fanciful color combinations. Love the gingerbread trim and those wrap around porches. One huge house that sat on a corner had been all decked out on every side for Halloween. We visited the shops, took a break in a little cafe, then headed to the beach. Cape Charles has a huge fishing pier on the sound side of Chesapeake Bay. Before walking the pier, 3 of us decided to walk down close to the waters edge. (The fourth was wearing canvas shoes and was afraid of getting them wet.) We enjoyed walking up and down in the salty breeze. The water was really clean, unlike the bay side where all kinds of debris washes in and beach visitors are prone to leave junk too. It was very pleasant until the 3 of us decided to climb back up to the area leading to the pier. We chose a different place then where we had stepped down onto the beach. I got to go first. And suddenly what had apeared to be hard packed sand gave way when I put my foot on it. I was pitched forward and landed from the waist up in some kind of seaside plants that has spikey seed pods (I forget what we called them when I was a kid). From the waist down it was mostly sand. Fortunately my head and neck didn't make impact with the pods but elsewhere I had many many of the prickly things clinging to me. Most were on my left forearm and elbow because I'd put that arm out when I was falling. But they were also stuck through my shirt to my breasts and stomach, and a couple pierced my jeans on my calf. We used a tissue wrapped around our fingers to pick the things off but some of the spikes broke off in my skin and it was hard to grasp the bits above the skin to pull them out. There were a few I couldn't remove until I got home and used tweezers. My left palm, elbow and foreman are still painful after digging the spikes out. Such fun! But I wasn't about to destroy the day so we walked the pier, watched the lone fisherman up there catch a sea bass, watched the sand pipers (so cute) running in the surf looking for tasty bits. We drove a little further up RT 13 but didn't see anything interesting so stopped and had a meal at Stingray's Restaurant before heading home.

In other news, my grandson, Tyler was elated his Boston Red Sox won the World Series.

My son and DIL bought their first home yesterday, a townhouse in Mechanicsville, PA.

Last night after tending to my wounds, I decided to spend the rest of the evening with my husband so didn't post. But the 8th zip of Autumn Elegance is Halloween themed anyway and here you go:
Hope you have a safe and happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Shout out to GrannieEv

Waving at you from Norfolk, VA! Thanks for note about Vicki's group and Just Art. I'm in both too. Getting braver as you can see because I've been posting in the groups more. Do you go by GraanieEv in those groups? or are you Evelyn B R (I'm abbreviating) in Vicki's group? I'm on FB too (though I don't check in often) in case you want to chat. Hugs!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Recommended reading

I know many of you enjoy art nouveau and are also avid readers.
I just finished reading M.J. Rose's Tiffany Blues

This novel was such fun! Selected artists are chosen to study at an art foundation run by Louis Comfort Tiffany at his Laurelton Hall estate. Rose describes Laurelton Hall in rich, exquisite detail. It is the 1920s in New York: Prohibition, speak_easies, art, romance, and mystery. Mr. Tiffany himself is a character. A delightful page turner.

More Autumn Elegance

Writing this on Friday in advance. Yesterday I made my three month visit to pulmonologist. Thought the breathing test went easier and was surprised to learn I've lost another 2% of lung capacity. Down to 70% now. But the PA said it might just be change in temps and sinus problems contributing so nothing different until I go back in January for re-testing. Afterwards I ran some errands and then went for my flu shot. Turned out I was eligible for the Prevnar 13 pneumonia vacine which pulmonologist had said he wanted me to have. So I came away with flu injection in right arm and pneumonia one in left. Yes, my arms are sore but so long as I don't get sick from either, that's okay. Temps here fell to 52 degrees and it is raining but tomorrow might be clear. Still working at art journaling. Made a page for a friend who is grieving for her mother. Have ideas on two other pages but they are more complicated so still just planning.

For Saturday we have this following zip which includes a little doll who is ready to go out for a walk among the falling leaves.

I've got a zip ready for Tuesday but have got to get busy this weekend to ready the following week.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

More Autumn Elegance & art journaling

Think I mentioned that I joined Vicki Robinson's art journal group? There are a lot of deep, heart felt things I'd like to do in art journaling but words have always been my thing. I can't draw or paint like my son, Jeremy. I'm approaching art journaling digitally and to get into the habit of creating pages and become brave enough to tackle serious issues, I'm currently working mostly with quotes. It's still a way to experiment with creating more "artsy" textures and so on. Here are the most recent pages, some very simple indeed.
I love a lot of Rumi's quotes. In this page I was focusing on background texture.
This one just a whim on an October day in the 80s! Today we are at 55 degrees.
Another light hearted one
Picked up this quote on-line and found it perfect for the art journal group where many people are just starting out in trying art journaling

And here is your next Autumn Elegance zip. This one will make you crave a chilled glass of wine.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Another week flown by and another freebie

Since I've had a lot of health issues this month, I've had more time to read. In bed, I usually read from my Kindle. Did you know, even if you don't have a Kindle you can download a free Kindle reading app for your computer to take advantage of a lot of free or almost free books on Amazon? One of the lastest I've read was Near Death by Glen Cooper. To quote from Amazon, here is info on the author:
"Glenn Cooper has a background in archaeology from Harvard and practiced medicine as an infectious diseases specialist. He was the CEO of a biotechnology company for almost twenty years, has written numerous screenplays and has produced three independent feature films. His novels have sold over six million copies in thirty-one languages. He lives in New Hampshire."
I've read three of his other books, The Tenth Chamber, The Resurrection Maker and The Devil Will Come and all were good reads. Let me tell you a little about why Near Death was interesting. Ask yourself these questions: What if there was absolute proof that an afterlife exists? How might that effect religion and society? What if there was a way you could briefly sample the afterlife while still alive? Would you be willing to take a risk? How do you think that sample might change you? Cooper's protagonist is a neuroscientist who had a near death experience as a child and has examined numerous reports of near death experiences to determine the commonalities. He is convinced there must be something happening in the brain in those moments and becomes obsessed with understanding what happens in near death experiences and reliving it again. A bizarre series of murders brings an FBI agent in to investigate. Read to see how it all ties together.

For today we have a couple papers, an overlay, bow and frame.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Today we have a little fruit,a journal card, double frame and bright papers.

Have been fighting chronic fatigue and headaches again. Trying to do a little art journaling each day, even if I don't finish what I start and finish on a different day. Here are a couple recent pages:
You'll recognize the kit.

This one useed Vicki Robinson's "Breathe:

This last was inspired by a photo I found on-line and a quote I know:

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

More Autumn Elegance

Pre-scheduling because my son and DIL will be dropping in for a visit on their way home (PA) from Nags Head. Expecting more company this week too because grandson will be coming home for fall break.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

New freebie begins _ Autumn Elegance

I'm back with a new freebie. Took awhile to get going on it because I had a couple days of sinus and migraine headaches. Think the weather (ie hurricanes) had something to do with it. Hope everyone is doing well and escaped the wrath of the storms.

This kit, Autumn Elegance should run into November. I do not plan to make a separate Halloween kit but I will have a day - on 10/30 - with some Halloween elements. Looking ahead to having a Thanksgiving day zip too. Most of the Autumn Elegance kit can be used in layouts for both holidays.

Here's a journal page I created with Rosie Designs "Purple Moon"

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Last of Mermaid Journal freebie

We've come to the end of this journal kit. I didn't think I'd carry it out so far but there are about 40 papers in various states and lots of elements and word art. In this last zip, you get another merman and merbaby.

I'm going to take some days off to work on an autumn kit for you.