Thursday, January 09, 2014


I saw bits of blue in the pre-dawn sky...
 ...but it generally looks like a dark morning.
These icy landscape pictures are for you, Mersad.  :) 
Mersad is a talented young photographer living in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  For someone who travels and takes award-winning pictures of scenery, I am puzzled as to why you would request more glances out my window--LOL!  But I am more than happy to share my view of the world, Mersad...however small.  You can visit Mersad here.
We're having a heat wave...a tropical heat wave! (Remember that song?)
No lie!
It's 15 degrees right now and we're expected to get into the 20s today!  For the next week we can expect more of the same.  They're thinking maybe even hitting the 30s a couple of those days...whoohoo!! 
Okay...I have a lot of pictures to show you today, so I'd better get to it.  ;)  I was able to order more in January than I have for years!  I made my last payment on my jaw surgery in December (hallelujah!), Santa was kind (thanks Mom and Dad!), I also won an Amazon gift credit from Janie on her blog, and my grocery order was $50 less than I expected (but there was nothing essential that they were out of so I'll be fine).  You know how they say you shouldn't go to the grocery store when you're hungry?  Well, you shouldn't shop at Dick Blick when you're creatively starved, either--ROFL!  
I saw inspector Bob in the morning (always a delight--such a nice man).  He had no sooner driven away than my Dick Blick three boxes arrived with FedEx. (Those two rolls in the front are black and red faux leather for bookbinding covers--and all the bottles are on an old paint rag because they were frozen and I didn't want condensation all over the glass table top.)  
So exciting!!  New things I want to try.  I do watch quite a few youtube art and craft videos. 
I'm sure you're not surprised.  ;)  Saw somebody using this little tool with the five brushes (for faux woodgrain, I believe) on their gelli plate. 
I want to try mixing some of these alien sounding paints (except for the teal)... 
...with these thinning/flowing mediums for some really cool effects! 
Can use those mediums with any acrylic paint...and thinner sounds great to someone like myself who was at least somewhat used to watercolors and has been having a difficult time getting used to the very opaque (dead) acrylic craft paints.  ;)
Don't ask me why I put this in my cart months ago.  I will have to do a search to find out how to use it--LOL!  But does it not sound dramatic!?
I have never tried clear gesso. 
But have used so much regular white gesso that I needed to restock. 
Envelope glue...for when I make my own envelopes.  Always wanted to try this...especially now that I have an envelope punch board. 
I couldn't resist the baby (6" X 6") Gelli plate! 
And I got lots of different kinds of paper for journal making!  I have planned to start making journals this winter because in 2014 I hope to be able to make them well enough to sell a few on our neglected etsy shop.  (Leah is making coconut oil lotion bars and has some little travel sized ones for sale so far.)  I LOVE making the journals...and that takes me long enough...but you know how long it would take me to actually use them up--ROFL!
So I told you that I wanted to try all kinds of paper, right?  You may recall I already bought some mixed media sheets.  Well, hang onto your hats...LOL!  I bought some tablets...marker paper...
...bleedproof paper specifically for ink/pens...
...another manga pad with paper that markers aren't supposed to bleed through... 
...some Strathmore ready-cut hot press watercolor paper... 
...and then there was the final box to open with all the bigger sheets!! 
And I was too sore to do it for a couple hours--LOL!
In the meantime, one bottle of nail polish arrived in the regular mail (Amazon). 
Now, there's a little story behind this crazy multicolored glitter nail polish.  A few months ago I ran across a nail polish on Amazon called Clown Puke!  No lie!  The name alone has been cracking me up ever since.  I knew I had to get me some clown puke!  I wasn't sure I'd even put it on my nails, to be honest, but I knew I could use it in art or card making, regardless.
But Clown Puke is on the expensive side--as you can see here and they also charge for shipping.  I found this Kardashian nail polish for less (obviously a Clown Puke knock-off, right?  ROFL!!)--so I got it instead.  I guess these crazy glitter polishes are usually painted over white or a dark nail color, but mine is over clear.  It's still quite zazzy and sparkly, I must say.  Even only on the one pinkie nail. 
I know.  I am soooo easily entertained, aren't I?
This little phone holder/cover thingie actually arrived last week, but I forgot to take a picture until I was going to use it last night to go over to Dagan and Leah's. 
Took over a month to get here from Hong Kong... 
...but I love it! 
How can they sell them--see here--for $3.45 with no shipping costs...from Hong Kong?  It was supposed to be red and it's more rose colored, but for $3.45--who cares!  I hope it holds together.  (Was so nice not to have to worry about hitting cell phone buttons while it was in my purse last night.)
Anyways, I finally worked up to opening the big paper sheets box!!  On the top is a stack of Strathmore watercolor paper (15 X 22").  Oh, and when you buy the single sheets you often have to order a minimum of ten.   
OMG!!  I am in love!!!  Look at this Ingres paper!! 
Ever since I was first learning to make journals (4-5 years ago) and saw the Ingres and Stonehenge papers that came in all these wonderful colors, I have had it in the back of my mind that I would LOVE to make a journal with multi-colored pages.  I had no idea if the paper would be good for anything other than drawing with a pencil--but I didn't care.  I knew I had to have some one day!  And here it was--the gentle, soft Ingres (18.75 X 24.75")--in my hands! 
And the Stonehenge!!  (22 X 30")
Sturdier...more substantial...with a smoother surface. 
Oh, and in those two Canson plastic bags were--drawing paper and bristol paper.  Whoohoo!!  Do you know what this means?!  I shall be forced to take one sheet of each (write on a back corner which one it is in permanent ink) and totally test the living hell out of them all!  ;)  I need to know which ones can stand juicy watercolors, acrylics, mixed media, inks, markers...and which ones can't.  I need to know their eccentricities and preferences...especially if I might sell any journals with any of these papers in them, right?  Ahhh!  It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.  :)  
Going to be a fun winter!
Okay...Dagan was picking me up after work.  Leah texted me to bring a cart along.  Said I'd need it when I was brought back home because she had a couple cases of ginger ale (she didn't like--recommended for nausea, I think) and they were sending food from dinner home with me, too.  I wanted to use my big folding taller white cart that was in the garage.  Much easier to fit in the car than my little green metal one that doesn't fold, right?  
So, I grab the empty boxes to drop off at the dumpster as long as I'm going past and head out to the garage.  I put the key in for the automatic door opener...nothing but a creaky, strained groan.  For those of you who don't live in the cold country...the door was frozen to the ground.  So, first I had to kick the snow away from the bottom of the door.  Then I had to literally kick all along the bottom of the length of the garage door--try the key--no go--and repeat.  Finally--after the fourth attempt--the lovely loud crack (music to the ears) and an upward leap--could hear the cold metal engage and the door creaked slowly open.  Ahhh!  Life in the north.  ;)
Anyways, last night was our Christmas dinner and they still had their tree up.  We usually have a dinner some time after the holidays when things have settled down. 
We had a scrumptious, comfort-food dinner!  Ham, augratin potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce...with some baklava later for dessert. 
Yes, I do eat meat with Dagan and Leah a few times a year.  Usually it's been chicken.  I haven't had ham in years...local...smoked...and it was delicious!  They sent some of everything home with me--and a big meaty soup bone!  Bean soup is coming soon!!  And I'm thinking potato/corn/ham chowder...?  Strict vegetarians and vegans, please don't hate me.  This is the most meat I've had in the house in over three years.
We had to take a belly shot of Leah, of course.  There will be updates, never fear.  ;)
And I even had a few Christmas presents!
A couple candles and a pair of slipper socks (on my feet as I am chatting with you). 
When they went to IKEA last time they saw this tall colander and wondered if it might work inside my big pot to boil the noodles right inside the colander--so that when the pasta was done I could just lift the colander and drain the noodles right there without having to lift the heavy pot of boiling water across to the sink?  Then I could wait and let the water cool off before I had to move the big pot.  So, I am going to try it.  But right now, I am thinking bean soup with ham--LOL!  
 (I think after I dropped the big Pur water container they must have worried I might drop a big pot of boiling water one day, ya think?)  How sweet of them.  I hope this works.
Blurry!  Guess I'm still not used to the newer camera.  Anyways, it's already out of the box so I don't want to retake it.
It's the OPI natural nail strengthener!! 
Aha!!  I was hoping Leah would get this for me!!  We talked about it when we were shopping that last time...even stopped at the beauty shop place, but they were closed.  I have actually ordered some colored OPI nail polishes this month in neutral shades from Amazon.  Hoping that starting to do my nails and wear polish again (I go in streaks) will encourage me to leave my poor-dry-peeling-cuticles alone and not pick at them till they bleed.  A few of my clear polishes were still good, but the older colored ones were on the gummy side and wouldn't even dry anymore.  I guess they don't make nail polish to last over a decade--ROFL!  Not much of a girly-girl, am I?  It was definitely time for some new polish.
So, there you have it.  Was a busy, busy day yesterday. 
So chilly in here when I woke up that I cranked the heat up so it would kick in.  Karma slept next to the heat register under the table there.  As you can see, there is still a little bit left to deal with on the craft table, but then I am done in here.  
The bedroom is next...but it might be easier to just close the door for a while and let my body rest a few days...or weeks, right?  Maybe play with some paper?  LOL! 
I shall say goodbye for now.  Leave you with a picture of what little sun I've seen this morning.
I am sore so have had to take breaks and it's already noon and time for lunch!  Today I won't be up to much of anything at all, anyways--no soups or paper torture.  Especially because I have the Federal Housing appointment tomorrow afternoon.  Going to be a quiet day. 
The wind is pounding against the building.  Karma has retreated to her chair and is having a wild adventure in her sleep.  The building is crackling and creaking...kind of thawing out, I suppose, with the warmer 17 degrees and 2 degree wind chill factor--LOL!
Enjoy the rest of your week!!!  No promises, but I'm hoping to catch up with everybody over the next few days.  :):)
"Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free and unashamed."
William Saroyan  


  1. leah looks great! :)

  2. So many new toys--ENJOY!! "It's 15 degrees right now and we're expected to get into the 20s today! For the next week we can expect more of the same. They're thinking maybe even hitting the 30s a couple of those days...whoohoo!!" That's a heat wave in Fargo?

  3. So glad you included a baby shot. It's all so exciting! I just came across the series of baby shots I took of my daughter when she was pregnant with her first one. So, of course, I now have another photo album to create! LOL

    Enjoy all your new goodies!

  4. Congratulations! It sounds like it was a grand time with them, too. I love OPI, and I loved seeing Miss Karma, too! Happy New Year!

  5. I think you should use the glitter polish over the red I sent to you. Everyone would see you coming from miles away. How well I remember frozen garage doors. Once in Indiana it was so cold I couldn't unlock the front door to our townhouse. I'm glad you have so much stuff for playtime. I've received several boxes in the last week and haven't opened a single one!


  6. Sounds like you are warm and cosy and with lots of interesting and fun craft experimenting to do. There's something rather nice when the weather is horrible outside and you're snug and warm within.

    I love the nail polish. I'll look out for something similar over here.
    Glad you are enjoying yourself, Rita!

  7. That was a LOT for me to get through, but I managed! I do hope that you spend some down time, after all this adventure (and there's tomorrow). Love that shot of Leah's tummy! Fingers crossed for all to go well in that regard. :-)

  8. So much news to get caught up on! I see you survived the arctic weather and are experiencing a similar "heat wave" like MN is right now. Pull out the shorts for the 30 degree temps! It's going to feel downright hot, won't it? ;)

    Enjoyed seeing all the art supplies - how much fun you'll have with them; and the delicious meal. Yum!

  9. Goodness - you have been so busy!!! Busier than me, for sure!!!

    Leah looks splendid!!!

  10. That little gelli plate is very appealing. If all that stuff landed at my place, I would die of clutter.

    I am still trying to get rid of supplies as I can't think when there are too many ' things' in my studio!

    Do show ALL your makes!
    Leah looks magnificent....and happy too!
    Sue xxx

  11. Yes Leah does look good, the nail polish looked cool, something that could tempt me to wear it again. Haven't worn nail polish in years although there are so many cool nail polishes around now days.

  12. You have been a busy gal! I do my nails about every six days, mine split and crack...old age I think. I am a clear polish kind of gal:)
    Heat wave today and what glorious sunshine hope you got it too! I hope your appointments went well:)

  13. Lots of paper and paints and other neat things to work with. Have fun!

    That's some wild nail polish. lol

    Leah is looking great. Hope she's feeling okay.

    We had temps below zero the other day with windchills to -25. Today, we had temps in the mid 40s. What a change up. It was so rainy and foggy and downright gloomy when I drove to work this morning.

    Hope you're having a restful weekend.

  14. Super awesome goodies from Dick Blick, they all look wonderful! I cannot wait to see what you do with them!


I appreciate your visits and comments.
Have a really great day! :) :)