busy busy week!

My giveaway has timed out! I will be drawing a name and will do my best to have it posted here tomorrow!

This week has been (and will continue to be) sooo busy! I have the outdoor mural to finish before November 6th (see my in-progress work at right)! It will be here before I blink! So most days, I have been painting. Also, I have that safari mural (indoor) for my family members. I'll be resuming that when my Dayton mural is complete.

Then an opportunity for something very exciting this Saturday! I'm going to see the (former Broadway) musical RENT in Cincinnati, Ohio! I'd be happy enough to see the production with off-Broadway actors, but this particular traveling production will showcase two of the male leads from the original Broadway show, Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp! I am very excited! It should prove to be a wonderful show. More on that later.

Check back for my giveaway winner tomorrow!


the superpops challenge!

I am thrilled to have finished my SuperPops entry today. In case there is confusion, she is a cheery toilet tissue cozy!

She may seem a little plain, but I think that her 'rock-n-roll' attitude will amuse me daily in my bathroom at home. Not to mention, my cousin is dressing as Wonder Woman this Halloween, and this could be a cute gift to cheer HER space past Blogtoberfest???


something to brag about!

My fave giveaway of the day is at Sams Snippets blog. What a wonderful brag book!

I am excited because my own giveaway will be taking place very soon. Readers have tomorrow to enter, then I'll be choosing a winner! I plan on adding a few extra surprises, so join in!

the gorgeous giveaways keep coming!

My, how the gorgeous giveaways just keep coming during this Blogtoberfest-ival! I am so happy to have joined the group and simply been able to follow so many talented and crafty people! It's truly been a pleasure.

There's a wonderful giveaway recently listed by Kimono Reincarnate. You really MUST get over to her blog and check it out. If the lovely pendants, rings, brooches don't knock you out, the beautiful kimono fabrics certainly will. What a special blog!

Also sharing wonderful gifts with the Blogtoberfest-ers, is ChevGirl, melbourne epicure , sew what and more! Go to the giveaway hub at CurlyPops blog for more fantastic prizes!


spooky crafting

Craftastrophe. That is how this blog describes the shared works of some crafters-led-astray. I say this, but I confess that I am itching to generate some of this "knitted graffiti" (known as KNITTA, see right)--perhaps near my new mural in Dayton?

There is everything from the macabre to the downright disgusting on this site. For the sake of humor or curiousity, it is a fun discovery. But, I don't think I'd be using any tutorials off of this blog! hehe I mean who could resist this Bozo sweater? (below)

Arthur and I had a very fun night with friends on Thursday. The trip to the comedy club was great. I needed the laughs. There has been much more stress lately with respect to Mom's Alzheimers care. I want to keep her home forever, but logic set in this week and I know that for both her sake and mine, I may have to look into options for placing her in a facility that can give her better care. It's really a no-win, and very depressing. It was nice to have an evening where I didn't have to think about such things.


funny night out

We had a great time at the Heywood Banks show last night! I'm just so tired now. More in tomorrow's post!


"all around the country and coast to coast"...

I am sooo excited for tonight! My best friend Carol is taking Arthur and I (along with a good portion of her family) to see comedian Heywood Banks!

It is no secret, and I think his photo can attest to the fact, that Heywood is a bit of a crazy man! He performs novelty songs and tells funny jokes that you can take anyone - including your grandmother - to see.

It has been literal years since I've been to one of his shows, but it should be such a great night out...lots of laughing, which I could really use right now!

I had a chance to paint a little more on my downtown Dayton mural today. The weather was a surprisingly gorgeous 70ish degrees farenheit. Probably the last really nice day left this fall? This photo is less than flattering as my sister took it without my knowledge...lol

I've still not been sharing my submitted design...a good photo will be taken when it's finished, for all to see.

Don't forget my giveaway here.


blogs that brought cheer today

It was not a good today in my Mother's illness. Every day I watch her slip a little farther away, and sometimes it's overwhelming. We as a family have actually had to begin wondering if we can continue to care for her in a way that is worthy of HER. But, it will be heartbreaking for me if the time comes when I won't be able to care for her at home.

I have my two mural projects in progress right now but it's been hard to even keep on a schedule with that as I get little respite time from the caregiving. I'm trying to pull things together and finish up.

Then there is the matter of my knitting/crocheting. I truly love the process, but my focus being pretty much non-existent right now, I have trouble getting much accomplished.

I spent what little relaxation time that I had today (after getting Mom to sleep) reading more of the group blogs, and then suggested blogs. Here are a few pretty things that brought cheer and inspiration to me today.

Left, the dolls at the black apple...Top right, lovely crocheted grannies by rose hip...and, bottom, the "oh-so-cute" creatures of a bit of pilli pilli. Thank you so much, artists, for your talents!


beautiful Blogtoberfest bounty!

I was fortunate enough to win a Blogtoberfest giveaway today! My special thanks to Kate at Bib and Tucker! I can't wait to receive this beautiful yarn! My mind is already buzzing with thoughts of how to use this lovely fiber, though it's so gorgeous that one is tempted simply to look at it...it's a work of art!


baked potato?

I was able to begin my mural in Dayton today. It was a little cold outside, but I arrived mid-afternoon when it was warmest. I met my wall neighbor, Heather. She was creating this wonderfully colorful and cheery, sunshiney piece. And, I find that her style is much like mine, so our murals will look nice next to one another.

On the other side of Heather, her boyfriend Richard was creating the next work over. His is a spray-painted piece with very abstract, free-form and colorful accents. They both were very nice and we had great fun painting together. I think the best part was when Richard found a baked potato on the mean streets of downtown Dayton...lol...ah, city living and the trash that comes with it.

Next time out, I'm taking a broom ; )


more muraling!

I'm very excited to begin my mural in downtown Dayton, Ohio tomorrow! If you missed the introduction, see my link to that day's blog.

I picked up my paint today, and some brushes, and I am anxious to put paint to the wall. Approximately half of the 10 artists involved in the project have already begun. I went by the site while acquiring my paint and saw some LOVELY work in the other panels, so it's becoming more real and exciting all the time!

There should be pictures tomorrow, and more to share from my project.


its a mural blogtoberfest

Three babies coming in my family! I've been knitting and crocheting gifts, and getting excited about the new arrivals!

My cousin Kelli, and her husband Dallas, are expecting baby boy "Anthony" in just about three weeks! I've made her some fiber gifts, but I am also painting some safari animals in Anthony's nursery. Today was session number two of my painting, and I finished the zebra mother/baby. I think it's looking very good thus far! We decided, mutually, that we'd keep the animals a little more realistic rather than so cartoonish. It just seems that the mural can follow the child for more years if the style is not so babyish. They have some beautiful dark wood furniture. You can see the arched top of the crib in front of the zebras, above right.

Kelli is a nurse, and she tells me that babies see primarily in black & white when newborn. Therefore, I thought the zebras would be appropriate for little Anthony to gaze upon while laying in his bed.

Left, a small pict of session number one's detail...an acacia tree. Yet to come, a lion lounging on a rock in front of this acacia...a lemur...an elephant...snake...and giraffes (already in progress). Oh, and we cannot forget a monkey. There MUST be a monkey! lol

This weekend, I plan to start my outdoor mural in Dayton. Brrrr! It was in the 40s (farenheit) today! Let's hope for a warmer Sunday!


the bangles...

Ah, the 80s...they are making a comeback. Maybe not the music, exactly, so I wouldn't expect to hear the Bangles "Walk Like An Egyptian" anytime soon...unless you're listening to the classic new wave station of your choice?

However, after a brief stop in the craft store this afternoon, I was drawn to a malleable plastic (called "Friendly Plastic") of a very flashy nature. Simply melt in the oven and mold. After a few failed attempts (mostly to do with finding a surface on which to melt the plastic without fusing it to my ovenware - FYI...I used a Silpat mat non-stick cooking mat), I came up with a couple of turquoise and gold cuff bracelets that had an 80s edge. I had such fun with it as it's a super-quick medium to work with, with little clean-up.

Playing with the plastics reminded me of that other favorite technique from yesteryear...Shrinky Dinks. I had to go have a look at their Web site! Their question/answer page gives some excellent feedback on how, now, to use Shrinky Dinks in photocopiers and laser printers!

My brain is just aflutter with ideas for plastic crafts! I have a feeling I'm not finished with the acrylic just yet! *Hearing the Bangles in my head*


giveaways galore

I've been so excited to get involved in this Blogtober-festival! The giveaways have been fabulous and gorgeous pieces, and they've certainly inspired me to get more creative! So, whether I 'win' a freebie or not, I've already won!!!

Today, I was admiring giveaways from moo bear designs and GemmaJoy - who has created some wonderful pen and ink sketches of major U.S. cities. They're contemporary and well worth checking out. Each piece of her work is completely original as well! No repeats!

Then, there are the sites at which I just learned new things, like Judy's Bento Box, where there are some very cool ideas for nutritious and serving-appropriate meals, particularly for lunch.

So, keep blogging out there, and thanks for the great inspiration!


beautification and blogtoberfest...

The excitement is really beginning to swirl this week as I prep for the start of my mural in downtown Dayton!

Though we were asked to primer our walls before painting, someone was kind enough to do them all last week. I showed up on Sunday, and it was finished! Yay! (The priming is never the fun part...lol)

I should explain that the mural is all part of a city beautification project. New flower boxes and street improvements are to be added in the vicinity. The streets in question intersect at an overpass for a train trestle, the underside of which houses 10 individual inset panels - 5 on each side of the four-lane street. WHEW! That was a boring mouthful! lol

Pictured, right, is the blank canvas. 10 artists were selected, each to have his or her own panel. That means one 8'x8' square is my responsibility.

Unveiling of finished murals is currently slated for November 6, but due to delays on the part of the beautification committee, the date may be pushed back. Either way, I want it done asap!

Project theme was "garden". I'll not post my submitted design. Rather, I'll surprise you with the 'in-progress' photos.

Below, is a small detail of Dayton's "Garden Center". This small park and garden area sits right next to the overpass, and exactly to the right of my 'canvas'. The plot is a space for gardeners and artists to share a love of growth and recycling. Local artists have donated sculpture and mural services in the garden, over time, and it's a very unique piece of land in the middle of a metropolitan area.

More details to come after the weekend!

In the meantime, news of two giveaways that I submitted to today: a "surprise" giveaway from Blake and Boo makes two! Great idea for 'Blogtoberfest'! Very mysterious.

And, gorgeous kimono print fabrics at little tweetheart blog. Do check them out!


wristlet giveaway...and dreams of cupcakes!

I am itching to get back into some wool (no pun intended), with cooler weather on the way. It's my goal to make a shawl for a family friend, so I will be looking for some finger-weight yarn. While I dream of yarns to come, I also want to post my Blogtoberfest giveaway made of yarns past!

I'm giving away a set of fluffy pink wristlets crocheted from an acrylic/rayon blend of faux angora yarn. They're super soft and keep your wrists warm while crafting or blogging! All that you need to do to win this freebie is to add a comment to this blog, listing your contact information, and a winner will be selected at random to receive the wristlets and a few surprise goodies in the package. Entries need to be in by October 28th in order to be considered for the drawing. For a second chance at winning, please consider following my blog. It's new, but original concepts and a lot more information is to come in future months!

Now, onto more important things...like food! lol I was introduced to a new, fun blog today... cupcakes take the cake. Check it out to see how creative others are getting with cupcake design. Right, a few examples. Warning: it may make your mouth water! Pull up a cupcake and check it out.

Thanks for considering my giveaway. I've truly been enjoying 'meeting' several new blogger friends during Blogtoberfest!


crafting, BBerry and the giveaways!

Ah, day two gushing over my new BlackBerry smartphone. Yes, it arrived and I am anxiously awaiting a full charge of the device so that I can really dig into all the features. I'm a Facebook fanatic right now, so I am certain to be downloading that software! I need to set up a FB page for my craft blog! It would prevent all my crafty friends having to slog through my families boring posts! lol

I've been working on revving up my winter accessories inventory with colder weather coming on in the central United States. I've been making some crocheted wrist-warmers courtesy a free pattern from a very nice needlework blog called creative yarn: zen and the art of handicraft. I've linked the pattern here if anyone else is interested. Any knitters/crocheters out there should really take a look at this blog...lots of free patterns and all gorgeous!

Though I posted another crafty number from threadbanger this week, I really wanted to share this ultra-simple, yet fun, tutorial for a "scoodie"...the combination scarf/hood for cold weather.

I'm a little late on going through some of the giveaway pages, but this evening I entered my chance at the lovely gift that christopher & me is so graciously providing. A gorgeous little pillow-case dress! You really must have a look if you've not already entered. Lovely work and a professional little children's Etsy shop.

Tomorrow, I should have a better write-up of my BlackBerry opinions...lol...and, I am getting ready to tackle an urban mural in downtown Dayton, Ohio, USA. I have my own little 8 ft x 8 ft panel to paint with a "garden" theme. Pictures and more details coming very soon!

OH, AND I ALMOST FORGOT!...I have my very first blog follower today! I was elated! Thanks so much for joining me, Sam (at Sam's Snippets). I'm following you, too! (wow, that sounds rather 'stalker-ish'...lol)


blogtoberfest and my new BlackBerry

I'm ecstatic that I'm only approximately 12 hours away from my new BlackBerry phone! It's been ordered and is to be in the mail today!

I am making the plunge from the most basic and simple of cell phones (it barely dials and texts) to one of the newer touch-screen BBs. I can't wait to flex my thumb knuckles on that new screen...Facebooking and emailing myself mad in an effort to learn how to use the poor phone! Life has so little pleasures in store for me immediately that I have to cheer about mundane things like a new little electronic gadget. I only hope that it goes well and that I'm not trying to hurl the thing at the wall by tonight! lol

My days and nights are confused right now. As caregiver to my sick Mother, it's very hard to get appropriate sleep. I am trying desperately to keep up with the Blogtoberfest festivities, but see where my posts look like I have "every-other-day" listings. I have it as a goal to do better the rest of the month. Maybe I'll be posting from my BlackBerry? ; ) OOOH! I REALLY MUST KNIT OR CROCHET A NEW COZY FOR MY BB!

Speaking of Blogtoberfest, I've been checking out some of the giveaways, and the blogs on the list. Beautiful work, artisans! I recommend that all try to read as many as possible. There's so much creativity out there!
Here's what I found today...

Crazy Crafter has a lovely needle case giveaway this month. Don't miss a chance to visit her page for details on the prize and rules for applying.
Bellasia Creations, makers of some amazing jewelry, are offering a $30 gift certificate for use at their shop. It's not to be missed!
Also, a beautiful and contemporary pair of earrings on the planet treasures blog page. Don't miss out on your chances to win!


Happy Blogtoberfest!

So many fantastic Blogtoberfest bloggers out there. I am so glad that I joined the 'party'! And, I have been searching through as many blogs as I can daily. This is always a daunting task for me as I tend to go off on tangents that lead me away from my focus. I'll start to click on suggested blogs of bloggers, and friends of friends of bloggers, and - before I know it - I am far from Tinnie Girl's page. lol

So many beautiful artisans out there. Here are some of the fun October T-shirt ideas that I've stumbled on, and some that I have seen on Blogtoberfest blogs.

Just click on each option for links to the tutorials. The monster eye T was sampled from the blog of snailblazer, with reference to the Martha Stewart web site. And, the fourth option is actually a tutorial for how to make your own $10 wedding gown! However, whether you want to dress as a bride, princess leia, or a mummy, it is a very useful tutorial on how to successfully use T's as a fabric and costuming option. Hope you enjoy these as much as I did!


all that 'glitters'

I have been working on new original patterns for both knit and crochet...they should be coming soon. In the meantime, I am sharing a few cool things that I've found online for creative crafting.

While perusing Martha Stewart's web site today - specifically her crafts section - I came across a very fun and contemporary project that will allow you to make a 'pop' art-inspired piece of art with personal flair. The process is called "Glitter Painting".

The site allows you to upload a personal photo, and through a conversion from photo to vector graphic gives the photo a slightly contemporary and edgy feel. Application of glue and glitter takes your creation from shining to sparkling!
I plan to create a piece of wall art using a picture of my darling dog, Lola. Above, an example of the original photo and the transferred vector graphic.

Please click on the above link to visit Martha's site for clear photos of the process and samples of the finished glittered look. Also, don't think only inside the 'canvas'. You could apply the same technique to a paper version and add it to a wooden tray or greeting card, etc.
For more information on the photo to vector process itself, visit VectorMagic.

Also, check out a great idea for sprucing up a plain sweater with a crocheted border.



It was a tough day. Here I am, up at 2:30 am, honoring an obligation to 'blogtoberfest'. I have to pat myself on the back for the little accomplishments in life.
As caregiver to a Mother with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, I have an immense amount of so-called 'free time'. The problem is, it is very unfocused time. The distractions are plentiful in her day-to-day care and I have to continually remind myself that I'm choosing patience for her greater good. It can be very trying at times. Especially since I had been using this excuse of having so much free time to comfort myself over the total life change that caregiving was going to bring. I never know how much the situation is ruling me, or I am ruling the situation? I have boxes of unfinished craft projects, like my Pigurumi (pictured above). He's been in progress for literal years now. And, with three new babies in our family in coming months (and projects to finish for three baby showers), I don't see Pig's finish on the horizon anytime soon.
Following all of my fellow blogtoberfesters, visiting blogs new to me, has really inspired me. My goal is to pull myself up by the proverbial bootstraps and make some new creativity happen...finish some projects and give birth to new creations already floating around in my head - but, not yet on paper.
So, thank you to all my new blog friends out there for the inspiration! The wealth of talent out there is staggering. Craft, and blog, on!


plastic bags as fabric

There are so many resources out there, in the world wide web, for ways
in which to use those pesky plastic shopping bags. Many times I have
encountered recycled projects made from "plarn"...plastic yarn gleaned
from such bags. I even have my own knitted plarn lunch bag in progress
- a weighty project by the time you cut the bags and piece the yarn loops
together. Still, recycling is always worth it in this plastic world in which
we live. Not to mention, plarn can be introduced to water and is therefore
not only more durable than some fibers, but more easily washed. I was
perusing knit/crochet tutorials on youTube today, and found a wonderful
posted podcast from "Make Magazine" on how to fuse plastic bags for
extra durability and then create a fabulous messenger bag by sewing
your new 'fabric' together. Hope you check it out. If you're a fiber artist
and not a sewer, extend yourself to learn a new craft! The worst that can
happen is that perhaps your bag will be lopsided! lol

You can download the pdf version of the project instructions at