Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last Minute Photo Shoot

I am really liking Allison Tyler Jones' photography course I'm taking through Big Picture Scrapbooking. Today we had to turn in this week's assignment so I had to pull something off after work today. It turned out I had the most fun doing an impromptu photo shoot with my co-worker Wendy tonight. We grabbed a shawl and walked outdoors to a little alcove and shot about 70 photos.

I was happy that I got some good shots in. The "cheddar bisque" building provided a nicely colored background as well. Wendy insisted she was not photogenic but I found her to be very much so. I hope she likes the photos when I show them to her tomorrow.

I really liked the ones where her natural personality showed through. This last one is one of those. I can't wait for next week's lesson.

I finally got my blue horsey ribbon in the mail today after waiting with some anticipation. I won this gem of a piece of artwork and was so excited to get it. It's really wonderful and I will post a pic of it soon after I've given it its rightful place on my inspiration board.

Last piece of info for today... Gracie now wants popcorn every night. I happened to drop a piece several days ago and she ate it. Now every time she hears the popcorn bag, she runs and sits at my feet waiting for a piece. Last night she even reached into the bag with her paw. I just don't know how she got to be such a snack cat.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


One of my favorite photography subjects is flowers. On this 12 x 12 page, I selected a collection of favorites and put them all together. Don't you find that colorful flowers are just so cheery?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cookies, Coffee Cake and a Successful Garage Sale

I got lucky last week finding these oh-so-pretty cookies at work. They were leftover from a luncheon, so while others snagged the lasagna and salad, I absconded with these photo-worthy morsels.

Aren't they lovely?

So lovely, that Gracie decided she must have some for herself. See the little white paw at the top of this photo? I couldn't keep those little paws off. She wanted to eat all the sugar sprinkles. I'm sure she would have gotten to the actual cookie had I let her. She really must keep off the pastry. I don't know how she developed that sweet tooth since we never feed her our food.

Today I had a garage sale to get rid of things I've been saving since last Fall for this. I had a very successful day and luckily, I got rid of the large items that were taking up a lot of space. It was pretty crazy initially. I advertised a starting time of 8:30am and people were coming around starting at 7:30am. A few insisted that I had advertised a start time of 7am. I let them know that was not me; it was actually a different house in my city. People were rushing in as I was still setting up. They wanted everything in my garage including my toilet paper!
After closing up the garage sale, my mom, sister and I went out for lunch - we were starving by this time. We went to Hobee's located nearby. When the waitress brought our check over, I noticed she also had this wrapped coffe cake with a balloon attached in her hand. I was thinking it was someone's birthday and she was bringing it to them. Well, all the other servers and some cooks were with her and she handed it to me. It turns out they were celebrating the 35th anniversary of the restaurant and for every check number ending in 35, those customers were given a Hobee's special confetti coffee cake. It was such a great surprise - I only wish I'd had my camera with me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paper Bella Birdy Bird Layout

A year or so ago, I saw the Birdy Bird in Teresa McFayden's Paper Arts Jubilee book from Paper Bella Studio. I so loved this little bird that I made my own and used them in this scrapbook page. The second photo shows the same layout, but with the pink file opened to show the other bird and journaling inside. No, I won't be 21 again but that's ok. In my twenties, I was focused on college and career and I missed out on the creative things I had loved. I suppose it's natural at that age, but I'm so glad that I've found my creative side again. I sure missed her.

So Much Excitement

I am entering Silver Bella mode now - the message board has a lot of activity and I'm enjoying reading all the welcoming messages from previous Bellas and the excitement of the new Bellas. From all appearances, this is going to be one fabulous group of artsy, crafty women. Soon, the swaps will start so there will be lots to do before the big event. I'm counting the days.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Beautiful California Sunset

Today it was 87 degrees. Late this afternoon, an amazing cloud formation appeared.

As it got darker outside, the sky began to turn pink and blue. These buildings belong to Oracle, which is headquartered near these wetlands.

And as it got even darker, the cloud formation began to take on an orange glow.

Even though I had been outside walking earlier, I had to run back out with my camera to photograph this incredible sunset.

I ran all around my block trying to get shots that were not blocked by houses.

Half of the sky was clear and blue, while the huge cloud formation took on more color and moved across.

It was almost like a rainbow cloud.

But so, so, pretty.

In the Pink

Today it feels like summer. I still have my fluffy red comforter on my bed and I so want to take out my white quilt with tiny pink flowers and put it on. It seems that every time I do this, the weather does an about-face. Within days, I will be wishing for my flannel sheets once again. Well, it's just a matter of time and the winter wear will be put away. And I'll finally have my pink and white, Rachel Ashwell inspired, room back. I can't wait. Maybe I'll take one step forward and put my pink flannel sheets on!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Designer Duct Tape

Have you seen this new duct tape? I saw it in a magazine the other day, it's from I think this has possibilities, although I'd love to see a design in pink. ;-) What would you do with this duct tape?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ribbon Roses, Anyone?

Just a view of my rose board adorned with various ribbon roses. Some await their leaves, while others wait for a chance to go out into the world on a sweater or jacket.

A Little More Love

Just a little more cupcake love to wind up the weekend.

Gracie and Nip made it to the vet yesterday in one piece. I, however, arrived with a bump on my head and a punctured finger. Chasing the cats around the house for the big capture can be hazardous sometimes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cupcake Love

I can't get enough of cupcake photos. I urged my sis to buy these cupcakes this week but only because I wanted to photograph them. I'm really not that big into super sweet desserts, so I didn't want one myself. And, it didn't take much urging since she loves desserts.

But, alas, they called out to me. So I shared the red velvet cupcake with her. The cream cheese frosting was delicious, as was the cake. But, oh, so sweet! I broke out into a sugar induced sweat that stayed with me for an hour after eating half of it.

I didn't touch this one except to place it on the plate! After the half red velvet, I was good for quite a while.
I was more than happy just to take their photos. How much more fun is that?

But, I'm never alone when I set up my shoots.

Well, you know Gracie has to be a part of every photo shoot. Especially if it involves dessert.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This & That

  1. The girls go to the vet on Saturday -- Nipper must be captured!

  2. Spring asparagus is really good right now. Roast it in olive oil and add some shaved parmesan cheese before serving. Ummmm...

  3. The weather is beginning to warm up ... that makes it a great time to start walking more and take more outdoor photos.

  4. I don't think I can listen to the news so much anymore. It's not that I don't want to stay abreast of current events, but at some point it really becomes depressing. Why don't they have a positive-news channel?

  5. So glad it's Friday, even if it was a short work week. :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Day Off

I had another day off today - I didn't get quite as much out of it as last week because I didn't get a full night's sleep. Consequently, I wasn't feeling very creative today but I did manage to get my car smog certified and pick up my vacuum cleaner from Sears service department. Small gains but I'll take them.

I did manage to spend too much time on the computer though. I keep finding so many more interesting blogs to read and I must spend close to three hours a day (and more on the weekends!) just surfing through those. Do any of you have this issue and if so, how do you handle that? I'd love to be doing other things but the blogs are so compelling. It also takes little effort after a long or intense day at work. That being said, I do enjoy it!

Ferry Building, San Francisco

If you've never been to the farmer's market at the Embarcadero, you must go. So much to see, taste and smell. Some signs are eye-candy, too.

And some displays, as well.

Unfortunately, the Scharffen Berger factory is closing (Hershey's bought them and is moving production elsewhere). Hopefully, this shop at the ferry building will remain open.

So many shops, so little time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Silver Bella, Anyone?

Yipee - I'm a Bella! I have always wanted to attend Teresa McFayden's annual Silver Bella paper arts event. I'm not big on flying, which is one reason I don't attend events that are not in driving distance. However, last week I decided, if not now, then when? It's time to live a little and no vacation makes me happier than an artsy event. So I picked out my workshops, printed my spreadsheet and was at my desk prior to 6pm tonight when the registration link went live. Within 5 minutes I was in with all the workshops I selected! I had emailed Teresa a few times last week to make sure I had all the information. What a sweetie she was - I can't wait to meet her, the instructors and all the other bella's attending. Only 7 months to go - the countdown begins!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Inspiration Board

While I was out shopping last week, I stumbled upon this inspiration board at Marshall's. I had torn out pages of similar boards from catalogs for the last few years, always intending to make one. I have so many wanna-be projects that I should know that it is not likely I would get around to it very soon. So, I decided to spring for it especially since it matched my decor. I'm really happy with it - it looks better than this photograph. I posted up some items on it that were on my plain bulletin boards. I have some new items for it so I'll be changing some things up periodically. After all, a girl needs some inspiration!

If the Shoe Fits... I'll Wear It!

My days off are over (almost, I still have this Wednesday off) but I did get a chance to do a little shopping last week. I'm thrilled with the new shoes above. My coworker had told me that she was at Marshall's recently and saw a pair of "Sharon-shoes". When she described them, I knew they were "Sharon-shoes". Knowing that the merchandise turns over quickly, I went there the next day to see if they still had them. I did find them, but they did not have my size. They were a great price and just my style (plus, I needed another pair of black shoes for work) so I was dissappointed to see they only had a few boxes left.

The next day, I was shopping at Trader Joe's when I decided to drop into TJ Maxx in the same shopping center. I rarely, if ever, go into there but since I was off work and having a leisurely day, I decided to browse. Imagine my surprise when I saw the same shoe (albiet $5 more and with a different brand label). And, they had one pair in my size. Score!

It was also time to replace my fitness shoes. Another score. Great shoes, great price, great box!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter and Happy Spring

Wishing you a happy Easter and happy Spring today. While I don't celebrate Easter any longer, I have fond memories of getting the fancy, candy Easter egg from See's Candy as a child. How much fun to wake up to the surprise of chocolates and candies covered with colorful foil wrappers in a special basket. My little sister and I would wear our matching Easter dresses with matching Easter hats and new patent leather shoes on as we went to church. Yes, fond memories.

On a sad note, I broke my bunny's ears today. I had the water hose stretched out to water further down, when it knocked the bunny over onto the cement. I tried using Super Glue to fit the ears back on, but they would not stick at all. If you know of another adhesive that will stick, please let me know! He now looks more like a squirrel.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'm A Winner Today!

I had a great surprise this morning. Ann-Denise Anderson from Whim and Fancy Designs Crepe Paper Creations notified me that I was the winner of her Paper Cow Girl give-away. I won the Blue Horsey Ribbon shown here above from her website. I'm so excited! She's a wonderful artist - please check out her website if you've not visited there before. I will proudly display this ribbon on my new inspiration board. So much fun!

Friday Already

Got my taxes done - yeah! I used Turbo Tax this year; it took a while to complete but it was easier than doing it all by hand again. I worked on it from about 10 am to 1pm yesterday, not letting myself do anything fun until it was complete. I felt a huge relief afterwards so I could get on with enjoying my second day off. Actually, since I was on a roll, I did spend some additional time sorting and filing other receipts and paperwork that had been piling up. It was good to get rid of it as it really just piles up quickly. Then, I took some photos around the house, read a bit and just hung out. It was a perfect day to nest with the overcast skies. Here's Gracie above posing for Easter with the topiary bunny.

Speaking of nests, I have several around my house. These little gems live inside a terrium I found at a flea market a few years back. The yellow background is my wall downstairs. Isn't it cheery?

This one is currently living in my dining room. I love having little birds all around my home.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New-Found Treasures

Love my new treasures! Last Saturday, I went to a few garage sales looking for "treasures". Garage sale season begins every spring. I wait for it every year after going through winter without any. I went to four of them and two were really good. I got the above stained glass butterfly placque for .50. I thought I would give it to my older sister, but it just might have to stay with me for a while.

The little bird and baby bird in next was another one perfect for spring. I could imagine these little guys taking up residence in a new project yet to be dreamed up.

I'm always on the lookout for napkins at a good price since they are so expensive in the stores. Just .50 each again! The yellow one with the rooster will go great in my yellow French country kitchen.

More nature themed finds... The big ball with mossy stuff on it would look wonderful in my garden but my mom found a home for it by the living room. On of my favorite finds is the set of two cones made from soft, dry-grassy material. And, the bag full of leaves and flowers will make great adornments.

This sweet little sugar and creamer is bone china from England. At $5, I thought it was well worth it. The violets are actually more lavendar purplish which is not a color I have in my home. However, they look so much like the setting that my grandmother gave us as a child that it just brought back sentimental memories. It was the most I paid for anything, but worth it for the nostalgia factor.

Here are the birdies again, sitting in their nest by the crystal swan. Little Sister collects these glass objects so I picked this up for, I think, $1 for her.

The little squirrel was for a co-worker of mine. She called in one day to say she'd be late because a squirrel had gotten loose in her kitchen. It was so crazy, we haven't let her forget it and we leave squirrel presents on her desk. She didn't say anything about him but he's still sitting next to her computer looking friendly enough. I'll check Craigslist Friday night to see if there are any interesting garage sales nearby on Saturday. Not that I need anything, mind you.