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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I have survived my vacation!

I have survived another vacation. Our vacations are always a 22 hour straight drive "back home" through  Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri (misery..we go from St. Louis to Kansas City, from KC to Iowa) Then Iowa to South Dakota and my parents farm. It has become bittersweet the last couple years for us as my husband's mom has passed and his family group gets a bit smaller. It is easier to ignore that she is gone when we are away, but when we go "home" now she is no longer there. I am blessed to still have both of my parents. My dad had some health scares earlier this year but they seem to be straightening out a bit. They promised me when I left that they were not planning on dying this year.

  This year the first grandchild was getting married..our nephew Levi married his sweetheart Brooke. I didn't get any pics of the wedding and all of the dance looked pretty much like the one above. I fought with all my settings trying to find one that worked in low light, fast motion..blahhh. Oh well. I pretty much kept my camera in my purse most of vacation!
 My grandson Hunter and son Jack thought the dance was pretty cool. The DJs passed out glow necklaces and sticks and flashing glasses to all the little kids...some who immediately turned the necklaces into glo "whips"and smacked the heck out of each other.
 My mom and dad.
This is the youngest grandchild my sister's son Xzander with my daughter Hope. He is such a squeezy happy little man. He came back later in his jammies to check out the partiers. A great time was had by all. The older nephews performed an impromptu interpretive ribbon dance using the chair sashes as ribbons to Jewel's "Hands". (there may have been a bit of alcohol involved there) My mom hit the dance floor after dad went to bed and joined us in  Usher's "Yeah" and Sir Mixalot's "Baby Got Back"..(I think she had her hearing aids turned off! ) Too much fun. The rest of vacation was a blur of seeing friends and more family and a BBQ at our son and girlfriend's house. Not enough time!

 Our younger daughter had to stay home and work..she got an internship at UT in the Chemistry department as a research assistant for the summer. I felt bad for her because she reeeeeeally wanted to come with but I was glad to have someone holding down the  fort at home. She made sure my garden stayed alive as well as the pets. I came back to a jungle! This hydrangea is in bloom and huge! My husband threatens to chop it down all the time because it is growing into the satellite dish for the tv and it sometimes messes up the reception. Hence the chickenwire cage to the upper left..I am trying to keep it trimmed and away! This is ONE plant and it is 8 foot across now!
 My squash doubled in size and I have even eaten a couple.
 The tomatoes got huge..the lettuce is insane...
 The cucumbers are just starting and will be over running me soon!
 Hydrangea close up..I think this one is Nikko Blue.
 The one on the other side of the path must have different PH of is blue and lavender.
 A wild Queen Anne's Lace. This is a weed here but I leave it if it isn't a problem.I have also heard it called "wild carrot" and one of my romance novels told of women picking those black seeds out of the center to eat as primitive birth control! I have no idea if that actually works or if those are even edible, so please do not try that!
 This is butterfly weed which I planted. I hate to think how many I weeded out though thinking..oh that's a weed!
 These echinacea I literally pulled up out of the path where they sprouted this spring and plunked back into the flower bed..they didn't seem to mind!
 These are the wild blackberries I fight constantly in this flower bed. The prickles are mean! I just gave up and left this one for already has berries!
 This is a butterfly bush that has come back from being chopped down 2 gets huge!
And lastly a hollyhock from seed I got from my mom..of course nowhere near where it was planted! Oh well. This year I seem to being doing the best with things I never even planted! I guess that would be "Bloom even if you were never planted"? This week I am busy listing some things I did get a chance to buy in my Etsy shops and getting back in the groove of home and work...this morning that included my morning bath being barged in on by both the grand dog and after I shoo-ed him the 4 year old had to come tattle on the 10 year old. I know someday I will be missing days like this! Hope you have a great week! 'Til next time.. forget about being planted, just BLOOM!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Adventures in Mixed Media Collage Assemblage

 Hi guys! Here is what I have been working on lately. I have admired mixed media assemblage for awhile now and have finally taken the plunge. I have made things previously for myself but never for hopes of sale. It really is something that I feel inspired about while I am doing it though..and even when I am not doing it and trying to sleep! (What if I tried...) This is paper collage on a wooden substrate.
 If you look closely, the background is a assembled paper quilt block made from antique paper. The pink lines on the ledger paper inspired the direction of this piece.
 These vintage belt buckles looked like topiary trees to me! Nothing against Tim Holtz, but I like to use all original vintage pieces. I feel it makes my things unique to me, not a recipe. I even made my own stamps for this!The luna moth is a photo my daughter snapped between college classes last year.
 I used vintage images from my personal stash, vintage hardware and vintage wallpaper cut outs. I'm not sure this piece is finished yet..I may add more color and possibly attach items to the top and bottom is hard for me to be "Done"!
 I was inspired to do a bit of an icon..this image had such a serene, madonna like she became The Madonna of the Rising Sun.
 Then when I was editing these pics, I played around a bit in Picasa and loved the results! My loving husband bought me the simpler Photo Shop program months ago and I really do need to get it out of the box and play with is just so damn daunting to me!
 This one looks waxed..
 I love color..I like to take 4 different colorful ones of these and make a project out of those!
Too much fun. It is amazing what happens when you dip your toe in the pool! This will eventually be in my etsy store and I have more 3D assemblage pieces in the works. Stop back and see me again! Happy creative swimming! Julia