Thursday, June 30, 2011


Each month my friend Heather in Australia and I have a exchange.  Some months it a pattern from a magazine, other times it's been a fat quarter of material.  At the beginning of the year we make a list that of what we will would like to do. And then  alternate each month who chooses what it is going to be. The heart above is one that I send to Heather in January but did not want to post it here until she received it, and then I forgot to do it.  I used heirloom sewing techniques to make the front of the heart using French lace & Swiss lace  alternating  with entredeux and the back of dupioni silk.  I hand dyed the venetian laced to embellish  and the photo is  a reproduction of a cigarette silk from the mid 1800. Last step was to sew pearls on. I left a small opening for stuffing once it arrived in Australia.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I have discovered something about myself - that timed challenges get my creative juices flowing. This past week there were 2 challenges that I participated in.
 Jessica had a speed scrap on Friday night. Every 10 minutes for one hour we were given a prompt to complete a layout.  The page had to be finished one hour later and posted in the gallery. I complete and posted this layout well within the time frame and won a small prize for my efforts.

The second challenge I gave to myself. I have been participating in the Art Journal Caravan for the past several weeks. This week our prompt was the verb do. There is no time limit when to complete a journal page, but the challenge to myself is to finish a page at one sitting and not get hung up on perfection. You can use your imagination to what the young lady is agreeing to ;-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fox in the City

I live downtown in one of if not the largest city in Canada. There has been a lot of buzz in the neighborhood this spring about wild life. Now to put things in perspective we have always had raccoons and squirrels.

This spring a possum has been sited in backyards and in the last few weeks we have had an almost daily visit from a fox. Foxy of Phinian as he/she has been affectionately named comes by most morning about 7 sometimes carrying a squirrel in his mouth. Some of my neighbors have been worried about their cats. But my money is on the cat.
I think it's wonderful that wild life is returning to our city and are able to co exist with us humans.

New York City

I've been traveling again. I flew to New York City on a family matter last week and was kindly put up by my cousin in his beautiful home. He and his family live  in a charming town which was founded in 1654 a short train ride from the city.

It rained almost the entire week that I was visiting which is not the best way to see a city. I spent most of the week "on business" but I did take one day to do some fun stuff even though it was raining.
My first stop was Lee's Design Studio on 57th St. near Columbus Circle. They had a good selection of paper craft supplies on the main floor and 2 more floors of things for the home.  I found the staff friendly and helpful.  I was able to purchase a box of Cavallini tape that I've been wanting and not able to buy here at home. I also picked up some linen tape and other bits and pieces. They had a small selection of Washi tape which I resisted!

I walked across town to 5th Ave. and had a visit to one of my favorite museums The American Folk Art Museum which is located at 53rd and 5th Ave, next door to MOMA. There was a wonderful exhibition of quilts on show. I took a few pictures of my favorites. The top quilt was made of wool from British Uniforms most likely in the UK. The second quilt is an American Crazy quilt from the mid 1800.
My most  favorite in the exhibition was a a quilt made by Yuen No Akari in Japan. She learned quilt making in California in the 1970's. The quilt was made of Japanese fabrics and handwoven silks. It caught the light and shimmered. Just beautiful!
After a cup of tea and a cookie I continued my travels along 5th Avenue looking in windows and people watching. I loved being back in New York, being part the energy and vibrancy of the city of my birth again. I'm always surprised how quickly I fall back into the rhythm of the city and how "at home" I am when there. And did not mind the teasing from my DH about my accent when I arrived home.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A babies laugh

The second week of  prompts from Art Journal Caravan was the word laugh.
Thinking about laugh and a quote that might work with it I came up with this journal page.
Seemed like an appropriate quote to use with a lovely new baby in the family. I'm enjoying the challenge of journaling from a word or a quote I find it's a non stressful way of  getting the creative juices working.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Canvas of Dreams

Yesterday I signed on to the Art Journal Caravan 2011. The Caravan started in January and I'm hopping on a bit late but what the heck, better late than never and  it will inspire me get some journaling done. Each week Tangie Baxter gives the Caravan a prompt and a optional kit to purchase at 50% off the studio price. This week the prompt was paint. My goal is to complete a journal page quickly without worrying that it will be perfect.
Here is the page I came up with today. The  digital papers and elements I used for the
for the page were in my stash, designed by Nicole Young called Little Moon Dreamer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Quick Page

My fellow classmates from the Art of Digital Design who contributed to the Kimono Kit are having a Blog Hop giving away a quick page on each blog.  I missed the
call ;-(   and did not get my quick page in on time for the Blog Hop. But, I am offering it on this blog  and if you would like to download it for your own personal use you can download it here. Both the cream and stripe paper used in the quick page were my contributions to the kit as well as the stripe corners. If you buy the kit, and I hope you do, you can see my contributions  under DDD (DianeDigitalDesigns).
The Blog Hop is going to start on Croppycatter's Corner blog June 6th. Have fun and collect them all.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Helping Through Art

For the last number of months I have been taking a class The Art of Digital Design at Jessica Sprague. Com , which has been a fantastic learning experience for me.  I very glad to report the class is finished, the test has been taken and pass (yeah!) and the kit that I made which was part of the requirement for the class  was critiqued by Carina Gardner . The critiquing was very helpful with lots of complements and also suggestions for areas of improvement. I'm now a CERTIFIED DIGITAL DESIGNER!!! Reality is I am nowhere near ready to be professional but it's a good feeling to have completed the class and passed all of the requirements. 

The graduates of the class decided we wanted to use our skills to reach out and help the victims of the earthquake in Japan. As collaboration we have created a Kit called "KIMONO" and with the kind help of Jessica Sprague.Com it is now up on the website for sale.

The kit can be purchased  at 25% off until Sunday June 5th, after that date it will be sold at full price.  All proceeds of the kit  will go to the RED CROSS to aid the victims of the earthquake in Japan. Thank you for supporting those in need.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Garden time

 I've not had much time for creative endeavors over the past week, my Grandmotherly duties taking priority. I did take time today to do a bit of garden work as I'm hosting a
 Brunch on Saturday morning in the garden. Most of the garden is perennials and did not need much work, but I hadn't' planted up the urns and large planters on the deck and in the garden. We  had it seems like  weeks of rain but the last several days have been HOT, and the poor garden was wilting. Hardest hit were the peony trees we moved in early April.  After a good soaking with the sprinkler system the blooms much to my surprise and pleasure perked right up again. You can see the bright pink blooms in the upper right corner of the photo above.
 After finishing for the day I took my tea, a book and sat to enjoyed the view.