Monday, July 30, 2007

July is Finished!!

I've got it done just in the nick of time! Just kidding. It didn't need to take all month but I fooled around with this or that so it did.
Now, the story for this page goes back to my childhood. My family didn't have a lot of money and there were six of us kids. My parents moved to Clarke Dr. (same one as on my June page) when my oldest sisters were finishing high school. We didn't have the money to go places or to take summer vacations so my parents did the next best thing (which really turned out to be the best). They got us a pool!
The pool wasn't big and it didn't have a diving board but the times we had in it! The first thing my parents did was get the Red Cross out to teach the neighborhood how to swim so they didn't have to worry. Then it was Marco Polo, playing sharks (till we scared ourselves right out of the pool and into the house), baseball and volleyball. Every summer was spent in this pool with our friends.
And that brown table, well that was there for most of the years I can remember. It fit right in that spot. We ate dinner there and partied there too. We went through a number of umbrellas.
Over the years all the shrubbery grew and Dad would cut it back to keep it from overtaking the whole area. He'd prune it back to almost nothing; we'd think he might have killed some of it but it would grow back and get all bushy again.
Some of the special times connected with this pool were 4th of July parties and sitting on the roof of the house to watch the fireworks. Sometimes we went to where the fireworks were done but that would be after a day partying by the pool or else we would go to El Monte Park for a picnic, come home for a swim and then do fireworks. The other special times were all but my oldest sister's weddings. You see, my second oldest sister got married on one of the hottest August days anyone could remember (her cake was tilted in the pictures due to the icing melting). Our wedding receptions were held at our house with a keg of beer, lots of food, punch and the pool. Yes, guests brought their suits and went swimming but that wasn't the highlight. It started with this August wedding and the brothers of the groom. They threw the groom into the pool while he was still in his tuxedo! Of course, every man wearing a tux ended up tossed in and that was the start of a tradition that was passed down through every single one of our weddings!
So, you can see why I wanted to bead this page. Half my life's memories are tied up here. I don't think my parents had any inkling when they got this pool for us kids just how much it would end up meaning to us.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I thought I would share some pictures of the rainbow and double rainbow we had this afternoon. We had rain to the east, north, south, and west of us but all we got was a sprinkle! At least the mountains to the west feed our well!

Just for Fun - A Blog Thing

Your Birthdate: November 15

You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.
You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.
Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.
You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.

Your strength: Your intense optimism

Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents

Your power color: Jade

Your power symbol: Flower

Your power month: June

Friday, July 27, 2007

July Update #2

This is an update on my July page. The picnic table is all done. Now I just need to figure out how I want to add the fireworks. Afterall, July may be about swimming but it's also about fireworks and the 4th of July! I only ripped out the umbrella twice; whoever said "measure twice, cut once" wasn't thinking
about people like me! I looked and said this section
is green, this one is white, checked it again, and
then put in a whole section of white where it should
have been green! I am really getting to know that
frog well who says "rip it, rip it"!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Have you heard of the book "Kaleidoscope" by Suzanne Simanaitis? It's a book about creativity I picked up just before I saw the BJP project being offered. It was my way of reaching beyond myself hoping for new ideas. Now, thanks to the BJP and Robin I am finding a whole new world but still am working my way through this book.

One of the projects is a journal. She has you do some pre-journal work to get ready for the journal which she calls a postcard journal. I won't tell all the steps in case someone else is going to try this but it was fun; a timed artistic free-for-all workout! Then you put the journal together supposedly with notebook binder rings of which I bought too small a size so I took the advice I gave to CC and made my own rings out of #18 copper.
Because I had already used silver eyelets I now had to blend colors so I put some multicolored foil leafing on the front. Now I have placed some of my what-if's (the placement of which I rather like) on the front. I need to put something with a bit of white in the window of the slide frame as I want to write J o u r n a l on white to add to the red strip on the right. Oh, I also bound the edges of the covers in copper tape.
My pages are different pieces cut up from the same and similar as the covers; they are cardboard too, some corrugated. Actually all this decorating is not part of Suzanne's directions - I just couldn't help myself. Later in the book she shows a way of journaling on these pages but I haven't got that far yet.

If you've read the book or done some of what is in the book tell me, what do you think of it?
I've finished the cover now and have added a picture of it to this post. First, the triangle was too smooth and plain so I stamped and embossed it with red just for some texture. I used seed beads for the bit of white and silver I needed in the middle of the pink frame. The JOURNAL strip was too white so I smudged just a hint of gold onto it and edged the strip with some copper embossing powder. With the copper heart wired into the frame I felt I mixed the silver and copper well enough and I am quite happy with how it turned out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fish Carving

Busy making my ATC's with my kindergaarten background, I decided I wanted to stamp on one of them and not knowing which of my few stamps are angel stamps, I thought to make my own. So, I pulled out my cheap little break-off blade knife and some Speedball Speedy Cut Printing Block rubber, drew a quick picture and proceeded. I drew the picture in pencil, turned it over and rubbed it firmly with my fingertips while it rested on a small piece of block I had cut off the larger piece. That's all it took to transfer the design. I ran over it with a sharpie pen and then started carving trying to keep in mind not to undercut and lose part of my carving which I must have done as I lost one dot and had to glue it back in place. This picture shows the block half carved because in my enthusiasm to start something new I forget I should take pictures all along the way for my blogging friends to see! I had heard these blocks cut like butter and those comments aren't kidding. Trying not to cut too much is the hard part.

After I was done with the carving I went back to one of my background pieces I had made earlier. First I stamped and embossed white shells to change the background a bit. Then, thinking the fish wouldn't show up very well on the bright background I glued a ragged piece of tissue on and then stamped the fish over it. The tissue took away too much of the brightness so I took the same trusty ol' knife and scraped away some in the center of the card. That was better. The card was too plain though, so I added sequins (I finally got to use a few!) for fish air bubbles.

I really like my fish carving; it reminds me of a wooden printing block. I am not quite as happy with the ATC so now I need to come up with another project in which to use the fish. First I will just print some in different colors on different papers and put them in my drawer for what if's (quite often that is how I work: what if I lay this on there, how does that look? No? Yes? hmmm.. well, let's try this...)

I think my fish could be used with fabric ink for a border on
a quilted cat block or in shrink plastic for card tack-ons. I'm sure I will think of other uses.

Friday, July 20, 2007

July Update

Okay, I think I have fixed my water. I tried to show the depth while keeping the horizontal surface intact. I can see it takes some practice to do a good job here. I am happy enough with it that I am not going to rip it (there goes that frog again) out again. I kept the duck! He was no problem. Now on to the tables and umbrella.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Well, I have been tagged for a meme. Sue in western wa did this to me. The version she had which I guess I am using is:

Five things to do before I die:
1. Get high speed internet!
2. Have a maid.
3. Go to Ireland. My maiden name is O'Keefe.
4. Take lots of art workshops.
5. Get a degree in theology.

Five things I can do:
1. Spoil my grandchildren and I do enjoy it!
2. Make art. Lots of it. Especially for gifts.
3. Enjoy my cat and dogs.
4. Bake/cook. I like to bake more than cook but oh, one can't eat too much of it.
5. Take walks. Which I should do more of, just ask my son.

Five things I cannot do yet:
1. Act silly any ol' time. I included this silly picture of me with gift wrap someone put on my head just before taking a picture just to practice this one! This was Mother's Day this year.
2. Just play. No goals, no necessary end product, just play for it's sake alone. Even as a kid I had trouble with this.
3. Make professional quality art.
4. Go visit my kids or sisters any time I feel like it and stay as long as I want.
5. Live by my daughter and grandchildren. (James, she doesn't move around like you do.)

Five things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Seeing men being kind to their families.
2. Seeming capable as in Mr. Fix it all.
3. Overall intelligence.
4. Like animals.
5. Sense of humor.
And my husband fits the bill!

Five celebrity crushes:
1. Hillary Clinton who I admire for her drive and determination in a man's (still) arena.
2. Mia Farrow for loving her adopted children and standing up for all children.
3. Grandma Moses for taking up art, a new undertaking at 90 years of age.
4. Bob Barker for urging people to be responsible for their pets.
5. As you can see, I just am not up to doing celebrities, couldn't think of anyone else to fit here.

Five people I would like to do this:
1. Tally
2. Sunni
3. CC
4. a2susan
5. the family jewels
If any of you have been tagged for this one already, just pass it on.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I was stitching away and kept getting more and more uncomfortable with my pool. Can you see what I did wrong? I was building the walls of the pool instead of describing the flat surface of the water. I was trying to show how the pool goes from shallow to deep but this was not the way to do it! So, FROG! (I believe that is what Tally called the process of ripping out). Try, try again! I never did like that saying but there is no way I can leave it like this.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I have been having fun playing around with ATC's again. This time I thought I'd make a whole page of background. I think I'd call this background Kindergaarten! It was fun and relaxing to do. I colored with markers on bristol board. Then I cut it into pieces without trying to find the "best" parts. I thought I would just work with them the way they turned out. A minor challenge - the best kind! I have several more to play with.

Looking at the two enlarged cards, one with hearts and words of love is for my sister who just lost her husband. The other started as a doodle by another sister. We were at a party given by
yet another sister. Tena was playing a game and
getting bored so in her boredom she doodled this
pitcher. I asked her if I could keep it; she thought I was nuts for wanting junk but said okay. Now I have used it; I knew it would come in handy sometime. I am pretty happy with what I am doing with these. They are bright and cheerful which fits me well. Hope they brighten your day as well.

July Page Started

This is my July page so far. I left a lot of the top paper on to help keep the page clean while I work on it. Living in the dusty desert and having so many pets in the house makes it hard to keep the desert brown from invading every single thing. Can you guess what I am beading a picture of? If not I guess you'll have to wait to find out! Check back again. I love the visits to my blog. Oh, I will tell you that the little yellow item is a duck! I couldn't find anything small enough so I made one by connecting small beads.