Category Archives: craftiness

Starry, starry night


Thursday night I took a painting class up in the next town. I saw a deal for it come up for half price and decided to just do it. I’ve seen people on the Kennett Design’s Facebook page doing the different themed paintings and they looked like they were having fun. I had to sign up for a specific class, so I chose one of my favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh. The painting was an interpretation of ‘Starry Night’ by Jarred Fisher, who I later learned graduated a year before Sean. So Jarred is studying under renown artist Nelson Shanks who painted Princess Diana and Pope John Paul I. Not many people get to do this. That was a cool thing to me when he told us.
Our inspiration
Van Gogh's Starry Night
We saw the original last year in New York at the Museum of Modern Art

This is what the studio looks like:


This is actually after the other table had finished their paintings!


Other examples of classes you can take.


The price includes the canvas and paints. We wet down the canvas first and then added the blue. We had a choice of two blues-I mixed them.

Then we added the swirls and stars

Starrynight5They we added the dashes in yellow with a dash of white. I think it’s coming together here!

StarrynightMy finished piece! That’s a Cypress tree in the front. Jarred and I had a discussion about why it’s there. In the original, there is a village down to the right. He says the tree is for dimension.

There are a few things I would change-maybe make it a little neater. I think it’s not too bad for a few hours work.

This young lady did a great job:



The studio owner took this awesome shots and posted them on Facebook. The other people were mostly all drinking their wine. I had water. No one offered me any wine or snacks, oh well.

Brian and Sean thought I did a great job.


But the main thing is I had fun!

I have a blue kitchen, so think it may go in there. We’ll see.

Watch for a post on Longwood Gardens Mum Festival! They totally outdid themselves this year. I was going for 1/2 hour and stayed for 2 hours!

Well isn’t that smashing?


Sean and I have had colds this week. He is sicker than me, but still is plugging away. I thought I’d be blowing my nose like crazy, well I have done that enough, but it’s the achiness that is getting to me. I wanted to do something distracting, so I pulled out my ‘Smash’ book. This is a book I bought over a year ago. A smash book is like a scrapbook, but you ‘jam’ more stuff into it. I tend to be a little more organized than that. Here is what I started out with:


That’s one of those fold up organizers I am using. The stuff in the top wants to fall out all the time.

This is my ‘Abbey Road on the River’ spread from when we went to the Beatles tribute event in Aug./Sept. 2011 and 2012.  We saw the guitar that George Harrison is posing with in this photo. I got a catalog in the mail and lo and behold, George was on the cover. I really liked the shot, so I used it in my Smash book.


I have a paper I hand wrote near George that tells about the Beatles tribute event. The pocket has the programs from the two years that we attended plus a postcard and bookmark The little ‘Peeps’  picture is because they are a sponsor. We probably won’t go again for a while as we weren’t happy with the way it was run last year.


It’s hard to believe our New York trip was almost a year ago! I wish I felt like I did back then. The left side has a bumper sticker from the 9-11 Memorial store-seeing that was a big thing.  There’s a receipt from the store and the little envelope holds a card describing the purchase of a metal cast leaf I bought (the tree will grow at the sight). The next page is a happier one-Sean holding an umbrella next to Radio City Music Hall (we had a  bit of gloomy visit the first night and day and then it got chilly and windy); a card from Tinsel Trading Company-a store I wanted to see that sold millinery and crafty things; and the  description of the caramels I bought from Dylan’s candy bar. Oh…the mustache is from the Lorax movie! He was visiting at Dylan’s.


Brian took me to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum around April 1st. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the exhibit, but I took plenty of shots around the museum. The one on the right is from the mailer and that’s the the pamphlet of from show. When you open the pamphet, A Rembrandt card (shaped like him) is there-see his foot? We saw a few of his works of art, plus I bought this in the gift shop.


In June, we had our Delmarva trip. I met up with a internet pal Rachael and we headed over to the art museum to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. It was great to meet her. I bought the Andy card in the gift shop (the Rembrandt one looks like this) and some postcards of his most famous works.

The last page I worked on yesterday was about the November election we went to see both the First Lady Michelle Obama (in August) and then President Bill Clinton a few days before the 2012 election. I have the email about picking up the tickets, the tickets in the holder, stickers and some ballot ends.


So on the health front, I’m still fighting these body aches and fatigue. I seem worse since I have had the cold. I missed work, but heard a bunch of others called out sick on Wednesday too. My cold wasn’t what made me feel blah-it was the body aches! I got an appointment at a rheumatologist office  at the beginning of March. I googled about menopause and arthritis and didn’t something come up! Seems there is a parallel. I am looking into going to another doctor  specializing in hormonal issues. At this point, I can’t hardly do anything without having to sit down in half an hour. I’ll probably call the doctor near my hometown later. I want to be able to add more pages to my smash book!

Keep my mom and brother in your thoughts and prayers as my brother’s Dalmation Baxter appears to be at the end of his life. Mom thinks he’s at least 13 or 14 (maybe older). He is in a lot of pain, it takes him 5 minutes to lay down and he has hardly any bowel control at this point. He is on medicine, but yesterday he was just so miserable. Such a sad time.

1912-2012 In Memoriam


It’s difficult to believe that 100 yrs have past and my late grandmom was only 8 years old when Titanic hit an iceberg and sunk coming from Liverpool, England to New York City on it’s maid voyage. I made the above collage several years ago and probably shared it back then. We got married on the anniversary of the ship hitting the iceberg, the 14th, but it sank a few hours later in the wee hours of the 15th. I was reading about a 22 year old actress Dorothy Gibson who recalls the chilling sounds of people calling out to be saved that haunted her the rest of her life.  We’ve seen a few Titanic exhibits over the years which were interesting and sad.


I can’t believe it’s Friday already! Monday really threw us for a loop because of my father-in-law’s nosebleed issue. I sure hope he’s not going to start getting blood pressure spikes as the lady in the dentist office (I had to go there on Wednesday to get a filling replaced-again) said that started happening to her mom because of hbp.

I’ve just been running around locally shopping here and there a bit while Bri was figuring out tax stuff which took several hours on the phone with his dad. I will be so glad when it’s all settled.

Tonight is a little party for my niece who turned 13 on the 11th. I bought her many different things from our travels here and there. I just made her a huge tissue paper flower.

Yesterday my middle brother was taken to the hospital by ambulance as he had chest pains at work. He was having them a bit a week ago and now he thinks it’s his gallbladder. They are watching him tonight. The hospital is 5 minutes from his new office building and where I’ve had some procedures. He was a terrible foul mood last week and yelled and cussed at me for nothing. His complaint was I don’t do enough for mom and there I was taking her to the eye doctor and grocery store. My other brother (I have 3) and me had our gallbladders out when we were in our 20s.

Hitting the road


It’s fun to get in the car and drive about 40 or so miles for a day trip. Sometimes we stop off at places on a whim. Like just last week, Sean and I headed up to Lancaster and turned down a road that lead through the towns of Intercourse and Bird-In-Hand PA. The first place we saw was ‘The Old Candle Barn’ in Intercourse, so we stopped. I had fun looking around and bought a few little things. I saw a button bunny design and would like to replicate it.

They wanted $35 for this. I just won 100 buttons from an eBay action for $5, so I think I can make my own.

We went to the Old Candle Barn’s sister store called ‘The Gathering’ where I got my mom a couple of red granite ware metal plates that have 3 divided sections. She has a red kitchen (my brother painted it this color).  The lady there couldn’t believe Sean was my son which was flattering. : )

We took a walk up the road and I took a few photos.

This is a neat grocery store with it’s neon ‘meat’ sign and phone booth you sure don’t see much of anymore.

Zimmerman's Grocery store
Zimmerman's light up meat sign
This gorgeous Magnolia was blooming. Pretty sure it’s a month early.
Magnolia already blooming
We didn’t go in here, seems many stores weren’t open
The Old Woodshed
Hmmm…the ‘Edged Weaponry Museum’-must have been lots of swords. Built in 1918.
1908 Weaponry Museum in Intercourse, PA
We got in the car and just a few blocks away were many more people and more shopping. I saw the general store and remembered the scene from ‘Witness’ where Harrison Ford slugged the ‘English’ guy for making fun of the Amish. Someone said he was a ‘cousin from Ohio’. Sean was driving and whizzed on by.
There seems to be more restaurants in Bird-in-Hand. Sean said we can drive down that way again some other time.
Today, Brian and I went up to Oaks, PA to the Pennsylvania Expo center. It’s about 38 miles away. We stopped for a bite at McDonald’s and went on up to the Sugarloaf Craft Festival. We had gone up in November and I thought it would be a nice change of scenery and something not too expensive to do. I had coupons to save us a few bucks off the admission price. There were many of the same vendors and it was fun to check out what people make and sell. I saw lots of photos for sale-gorgeous, but since they were framed, very pricey.
I got this as it’s very rare to find my name spelled correctly. I may borrow this idea for my etsy shop, but with my own twist. The people loved this seller as these mounted piece were only $10. I will make a pretty frame for it.

We spent the most $ in a candy booth! They had like 3 for $10 bags of stuff. I got my mom some Black Jack gum she likes there. Then I bought some small tubes of hand lotion-coconut and lime I think.

We were here about an hour. On the way home we were about to drive past the Valley Forge National Park. Brian turned in and we went to the visitor center and saw some neat things like long swords (hmmm…more edged weaponry-lol) and fossils they found in the park from prehistoric animals. The daffodils out front were all in bloom-pretty!

I guess George Washington slept here?? LOL Administration building

We then headed to a Big Lots and bought some food items and then headed to a grocery store to get meat for dinner. All in all a good distracting day for Brian. Tomorrow he will call the main office to find out about insurance and a 401k he had with the company.

Leap year and hump day!


It’s funny as we actually knew someone who had a birthday on Feb. 29th-Brian’s late auntie Rosemarie. I think she celebrated on the 28th the other years.
So to continue our NYC trip…..
Saturday we ate at the hotel’s free breakfast, one of the worst I’ve ever had. The eggs tasted like fish, so I’m thinking the container they were in had fish in them the night before? The hot water tasted like coffee and I had made tea. The next day I made a waffle as they had an iron which was much better. I mean, how hard is it to mess up scrambled eggs? Probably those dried ones they add water too. Ugh.
Sean went to the city an hour before we did for his conference. Through a few crafty ladies’ blogs, I saw where when they went to NYC, they went to a quaint shop with mostly vintage flowers and ribbons with paper items and cute items tossed it. We walked all the way to the store-at least 8 blocks so I could see it. Here I am in front of the Tinsel Trading Company on 37th St. :
Dianne in front of Tinsel Trading Company

Dianne shopping Tinsel Trading Company
And some goodies I bought. I could have bought many more things and I’m mad I didn’t at least get a yard of ribbon!
Tinsel Trading Company goodies
Tinsel Trading Company goodies
pretty glitter
The young woman in the shop was very helpful when we asked the best way to get to the next ‘must see’ location-Dylan’s Candy Bar. She told us to walk down (more walking!) to 3rd and catch the bus that will take us to 60th. Along the way we saw gorgeous architecture and brownstones.
Church of the Holy Innocents NYC

Wrought iron fence around 37th St.

Unusual building in NYC

Chrysler Building

What’s funny is we thought we could just pay the bus driver (public bus) as it said $2.25 a person, but when we got to the street, he wouldn’t take the money. Wow! I guess that happens a lot.
When we got to Dylan’s (this is the flagship store) we saw this guy-the Lorax from the new movie. I had to pose with him just for the fun of it!
Dianne and the Lorax at Dylan's Candy Bar
We saw some neat things here and bought a big (expensive) bag of stuff. I figured I don’t go to places like this often.
Dylan's Candy Bar

This was the landing to the bottom floor.
Dylan's Candy Bar
These were some of the many celebs and what kind of candy they liked. John Travolta likes Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Bill Clinton likes Payday!
Some Celebrities and their favorite candies
The lady from Tinsel told us that chef David Burke had a nice little restaurant in Bloomingdale’s which was across from Dylan’s, so we headed in that humongous store. Every few feet, someone tried to spray perfume on you and this one lady got me to try some $50 lipstick (which she applied)she said looked nice with my complexion. I didn’t buy it of course. Here’s what it looked like (photoshopped to show off the lipstick):

Before this photo was taking and we were waiting outside of ‘Burke in the Box’ and we heard a distant German accent. A young man moved and there was Dr. Ruth Westheimer! I think most people my age know her. And I happen to see that she is quite the Tweeter!
Dr.Ruth Westheimer
I did say ‘hi’ and that I recognized her accent and petite size. She said, ” I guess I should keep my mouth shut!” (I took the photo without her knowing). When I went to use the restroom,she was having a grand time as she was near it in a booth.
Our lunch was nice, grilled chicken for Brian and sliders for me:
Lunch at David Burke's in Bloomingdales
We decided to head to Grand Central Station as I read there were some shops there. It’s a neat place and had a few shops we looked in, but we were getting tired.
Grand Central Station

Grand Central station

We met up with Sean in Times Square again, but by that time it had gotten cold and windy again. Brian and I decided to go back to the hotel and at the last minute, Sean stayed in Times Square where he went to see ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not’ museum.
Later we went to Houlihan’s (bitter cold) and had a late dinner.

(Brian took many of these photos besides the ones of me). : )

Winter blahs


Turns out my cold was more than a cold. I decided to call the doctor yesterday and though I didn’t have to go in for an exam, the doctor called me in a Z-pack antibiotic as she thought it sounded like I had a sinus infection. I was a little feverish last night. One good thing, I have a good appetite, but I’m hungry all the time. I still have stuffiness, and a loose cough now. I have 4 more days for the medicine-only 1 a day.


Here’s a design I made out of a cardboard frame a friend sent:

It’s a photo copy from an old book of mine. Thought I’d give it to my mom.

I have so many winter projects I’d like to start, but my head hurts and it’s hard to concentrate.

I don’t wish this on anyone! Stay well!


Challenges on Flickr


There’s a fun group on Flickr called ‘Crowabout’. You have to ask to join and I wish I participated more in the weekly challenges, but I have about 6 ‘collages’ I’ve made over the last year or so. I actually use the elements a bunch in other personal projects, but the challenge is to use at least 3-4 of them in your collage. The collage can be digital, cut out, printed, (which I prefer) and then made into an ATC or whatever.
This is the one for last week. I like how Cupid is peeking over the top of the ATC.
I’ve been busy over the weekend with little projects as I am sick with what feels like a cold now-non-stop nose blowing today. Love those Kleenex cool touch tissues. Brian tossed some spaghetti and meatballs together for dinner.
Collage a Day No More
I used the girl, the border and words from a collage sheet.
Watching the Superbowl (but not ‘watching’ it like I’m really interested). Madonna is something for 53. She’s 15 months ‘older’ than me. I heard she has a young 24/25 yr old boyfriend and that disgusts me. If you are old enough to be someone’s mom, you are too old to date them. It probably won’t last. Look at Demi and Ashton.