Thursday, August 28, 2014

August Favorite Month...

August is my favorite month of the year.  I love Summer and August is all Summer for me.  There are also eleven birthdays celebrated in this month of August.  My daughter is the very most special as she was the first person I ever knew with an August birthday...except me.  Happy Birthday Jenifer Michelle!    I know I have shared in past years that having an August birthday growing up was not much fun.  No cupcake school class parties...summer and school was out.  Now I know lots of August people and I am so happy to celebrate them.  I made this Peridot colored pearl and Swarovski crystals bracelet for my "twin" birthday sister...of course she is years younger than I.  Happy Birthday Suz.

I also made this fabric envelope and gifted it in August.  It has a little green bead zipper charm.

My neice is August born and I recently got to visit with her when she and her husband flew out here from Michigan for a West Coast vacation.  I created this blue bracelet with a very blingy skull bead just for her. Happy Birthday Meg.

This is one of those wonderful pocket cards I have been making and it contained a gift for someone else this month.

Now for a "little" project I am working on.  Most of my ribbons are jumbled in this container.  When I need a ribbon I either cannot find it, cannot untangle it, or I don't even bother to look.  I hate to stop what I am creating and run to the store for ribbon.  So I decided it is time to untangle this mess and see what I do and do not have in the ribbon department.

Of course I had a rack of hooks I paid 25 cents for at the thrift store one day.  Mr. C grumbled a lot but hung it up for me where I wanted it.  Thank goodness we agree this is MY room and I can close the door so it doesn't have to bother him with its artsy cluttered ways.  I even had the large binder rings to hang on the hooks.  Tiny investment for a big return.  This is just the beginning and now it is much fuller. I love how the colors and widths of ribbons look hanging where I can see and utilize them.  Note to self:  "Do not buy anymore ribbon for a really long time!"

And Happy Birthday to Sandy along with a huge Thank You for these beautiful pink roses, tulips and carnations she sent to me.  Happy Birthday Blessings to all August born.  Thank you to each of you who wished me Happy Birthday here and on FaceBook.  I am very blessed and grateful.  Mr. C was extra generous to me this year and I no longer have to want for an iPad Air, Invisible Glass Shield or Zagg Keyboard and cover.  (I normally do not announce gifts but this was such a surprise and now I shall no longer be whining about not having one!)  Thank you Mr. C so very much for such a wonderful surprise! He knows how terribly non-technical I am and couldn't imagine why I wanted such an item.  Now to learn how to use this amazing gift.  I know lots of you have iPads and know lots of tips so I am all ears.
Our weather continues to be Fall like and cooler than normal and still with no rain what-so-ever.  Today I saw trees that are already turning Fall colors.  School is back in full session around here.  Summer is over and so quickly I might add.  Now on to lots more as August comes to a close.  Creative Bliss and may you be enjoying your days to the fullest...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lotus Paradise Gathering...

Last evening Mr. C and I hosted one of our car clubs at our home.  This is our Sacramento chapter of the Golden Gate Lotus Club located in the San Francisco Bay area.  Normally we drive "down the hill" and all meet at a restaurant.  It was suggested to round robin and meet at our homes so I volunteered to be first. What was I thinking?  Ahhh...Yes, this is so worth all my anxiety and preparations.  You probably know by now that I am a certified car enthusiast.  This is my driveway and there are nine (9) Lotus's parked here. Three of which are very rare and here they are at my home (of course one of them lives here).  Isn't this just a beautiful sight?!!

If you are eagle eyed you will see an interloper amongst the group...a Mini Cooper S but it is still British and the owner does have a Lotus that he couldn't bring last evening.  He drove quite a long way to be here.

No bad view in my opinion.  The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a BBQ on the deck.  Then Mr. C previewed some car and motorcycle events that the boys loved seeing.  We girls chatted and enjoyed the late evening.  Even with long drives ahead of each of them they didn't leave until after 11:00 pm.

The little green Lotus is an Elite and very pristine.  Under the "bonnet" is an engine that is immaculate.  The entire car is so beautiful.  I had not seen this car before and it was such a treat.  Absolutely gorgeous!

This is another of the rare ones.  It is an Elan and so little and well maintained.  It was nice to meet the owners as I had not done so before.

It was a wonderful evening of beautiful cars, great people and lots of enjoying one another's company. I am so glad I volunteered and was the first to host the group.  My driveway never looked so awesome! Thank you for indulging my car passion.
Our weather has been very much like Fall.  Days are pleasant and not too hot and nights are cool.  Leaves are falling from the Oaks along with Acorns.  Still no rain and we have had to cut so far back on watering due to our well running dry at times.  I have become very frugal with my usage of water and not letting the faucet run mindlessly.  Water is such a precious commodity.  Still praying for rain.  I know some of you have too much and would kindly share if only you could.  Mother Nature does her own thing.
I have lots to share in upcoming posts.  It seems I am so far behind.  I still have some trip photos and I still have some studio photos.  I have not just been sitting idly by eating bon-bons as Mr. C would say.
Today I will spend sorting all the leftover party stuff and canning tomatoes.  One of our couples brought gallons of tomatoes from their farm.  Freshly picked just before they arrived.  I'll be in the kitchen...
Creative Bliss and Waning Summer Smiles.  What are you busy creating or doing or enjoying?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Learning Lettering & Practicing...

Learning lettering at my age sounds so silly to me however I am taking classes with my friend Lindsay, Creator of Cuteness.  Lindsay breaks all the rules I was taught in my early years.  This is such a fun way to spend a little "ME" time.  The tools are simple...paper, pencil, white eraser, black pen (or any color you like) and some fun colored pencils and/or watercolors.

I promised to address an envelope and mail it to Lindsay.  I used the "wave" method of addressing.  Then a note to include inside and let Lindsay know I am practicing.  Lots and lots of practicing.  Only ten (10) minutes per day is my homework.  I was waiting for an appointment and found the time perfect for a little lettering practice.  Just keep a pencil or pen and some paper or a small journal handy and let the fun happen. I have been spending lots of time outdoors doing clean-up yard work. Our weather is wonderful and cool for August so I am taking advantage of it.  Not using water is a challenge as I normally would like to hose down dirt and rock walls.  We still have had no rain.  If any of you have that flooding and too much rain we would be very thankful to have you send it to us.  Hoping all are safe from surprise flooding across the East coast. Summer Bliss and Creative Joy...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Halloween Happening Here...

Pumpkin Patch ATC.  I was playing in my studio and wondering what I shall be creating for a couple of Halloween swaps I am participating in this month.  Yes this is August but now-a-days holidays happen much sooner than their actual month such as October for Halloween.  I put together this little ATC which is still one of my favorite things to create.  Mr. C who normally can't be bothered with anything I am making came along and said this is really cute.  So now we are keeping this for ourselves.  Thank you Mr. C.

Here is how I function...or my studio.  I have shared many times that this worktable Mr. C custom built for me is about 5' x 9' and just my height so as not to have to bend over and hurt my back.  How I manage to fill the entire surface is beyond my comprehension.  I merely begin to gather my supplies and the next thing I know I am working in a tiny little space of inches.  Does this happen to you or am I all alone?

Here is the other end of my huge table.  If there is any horizontal surface I manage to fill it up.  Right now I also have a 4' x 8' folding banquet table in this same room and I completely filled the top of it too.  Other projects that I will share soon.  This has to be some sort of affliction.  I am trying my best to use what I have and not buy something for everything I think I need.  If I am organized I realize I already have something that will work just fine.  My goal for the short term is to sort and purge as I am going along.  I managed to complete one little shelf in the cabinet you see in the background.  Hey one little shelf is better than nothing and it is a beginning.  Why do I save so much?  Our local Neighborhood Center of the Arts will be receiving some crafty donations very soon.  I have given them lots through the years and they are always so very grateful.  Yarns and thread cones for their weaving programs along with beads and papers and such.  There is a lot of talent in these very artistic people.  I shall be donating all my polymer clay supplies as I am not using them myself.  

Here are some ATC's I completed.  I really had fun creating these little Artist Trading Cards.  Now I really must concentrate on the swaps I need to mail in a week or sooner.  Halloween theme and Orange...certainly I can put together some fun destash for this challenge.  Remembering to "use the good stuff"!
Our weather has been quite nice for August.  Not too hot but just right.  Of course we are still bone dry here.  Mr. C and I have been doing some repairs at the pond.  The deer and bears break down the edging around the walkway each year.  So Mr. C has been pounding stakes into our extremely hard clay dirt and making all better...except his thumb he hit with the sledge hammer.  How he has such strong bones that don't break or crush is a blessing indeed.  He doesn't even complain...after the intial barage of expletives!  Bless this man who works so hard.  I have been picking up pine needles, leaves and tiny little rocks to help him. Our home is my joy and I truly am a homebody.  Traveling is wonderful however being home is where I am happiest.  I hope your Summer/Winter is bringing you some wonderful and refreshing hours of joy.
Creative Bliss and lets make something that brings us pure pleasure...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lavender Museum France...

While in the South of France touring the Provence and Luberon regions we stopped at this wonderful Lavender Museum.  Musee de la Lavande and you can click the link to read more details. I love lavender and had read about this stop long before we traveled.  Mr. C was kind enough to indulge me and we had a lovely visit.  The tour is quite interesting.

The grounds are lovely and quite perfect for resting and even bringing a picnic lunch which we did not have with us.  We did sit and enjoy an ice cold water and snack we had.

This is a copper still.  Did you know they distilled lavender oils from the lavender plant buds in copper stills? Very amazing to see how it has been done for decades by this family that decided to share their love and livelihoods of farming lavender with this museum open to the public.

Lavender is very interesting and I did not have much knowledge of fine lavender before visiting here.  I am so glad we stopped and learned more about something I truly adore.

Yes they have a fine boutique and Flat Fanny and I did some shopping.  We purchased some fine lavender essential oil.  Only produced and sold here...not in the States.  I already have some lavender essential oil I purchased in the local health foods store.  Now I know the difference.  I have been using a small spray vessel filled with my infused lavender oil for refreshing my face in dry and/or hot conditions.  I carried it with me on the planes and trains and used it when I felt less than refreshed.  Just a light spritz and ahhh.
Here is the recipe I use.  It is from Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey with Michele Bender.
1.  Fill a large pot with 2 quarts water.
2.  Cover the pot, bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour to remove impurities. Check to be certain water isn't boiling away.
3.  Remove pan from heat and add 5 drops pure (not synthetic) lavender essential oil.  Stir to blend and replace the lid.
4.  Let the lavender water steep until cool.  Pour into spray bottles.
5.  Store extra lavender spray in a cool place.
This spray can be used to refresh rooms, car interiors, bed linens, clothes in the dryer and hair and face.
You will want to spray this in a non-conspicuous area until you are certain you like the results.  Your lavender essential oil may be different from my lavender essential oil.
August is already on a fast track.  Fortunately we got some light rain yesterday and today it is misting.  I am so very thankful for any moisture we receive in this Dry Drought Ridden state we are in.  I have been busy with my semi-annual Whooly Thyme trimming at the pond.  Not much happening in the studio or sewing room.  I have plans for projects but just need to get myself motivated and busy.  I think I am still in vacation mode or maybe Summer lazy days mode.
What are you busy doing these days of August?  I understand school begins very soon.  So early compared to years ago when it began right after Labor Day.
Summer Sunshine Smiles...or...Winter Cool Sparkles to each of you.  Creative Bliss to all...