Saturday, June 29, 2013


On Thursday morning Donna picked us up at the hotel.  She has a gorgeous little mini cooper perfect for DJ, Eileen, Jacquie and I.

DJ had this HUGE suitcase with her but after ascertaining that she did not have a dead body in it we were fine!

We arrive at Donna's Studio at about 9:00 am.  Her studio is just fabulous!  Charming, cozy, full of wonderful art supplies and Donna's art on every inch of wall space!

 From the teal and black colors of the wonderful doorway to motivational notes on the windows, Donna Downey Studios will feel like home the moment you walk through the door.

The store is to the right of the studio where the workshop takes place.  SO MANY WONDERFUL THINGS!

 After breakfast provided by Donna's mom - we are ready to rock!


This past week, on June 19th my friends Eileen, Jacquie and I went to Donna Downey's studio in North Carolina to take a four day workshop with DJ.  That was a dream come true for me.  I have always admired her work and longed to take a workshop with her.  I really thought I was going to have to go to Italy to do it!!!  Well, thankfully I did not have to go that far, although I would have "sacrificed" and made the trip!

DJ Pettit

I love going to Donna's studio.  Not only is she a fabulous artist, but she and her husband Bill make you feel like you are their new best friend every time they see you.  Going to their studio is like visiting an old friend.  A friend with LOTS and LOTS of very cool toys!

Jacquie and I flew from Miami to Charlotte where our friend Eileen was waiting for us after her trip from New York.  Eileen is the greatest person and I love her dearly.  She too had wanted to take a workshop with DJ so this was just perfect.

The workshop involved created one of DJ's awesome journals with fabric, buttons, lace and oh yea, paper!  If you have lived under a rock and are not family with DJ's fabulous work, google her!!!  You will  be amazed at the wonderful work she does!!


DJ designed this project just for our workshop!

We were not really thrilled with the idea of sharing sewing machines with 22 other women so  Jacquie and I had discussed buying a sewing machine in Charlotte and returning it after the workshop.  Tacky, I know, but it is what it is.

We took a taxi from the airport to the Hampton which is a couple of miles from the studio.  This is the hotel where most of Donna's "guests" stay and I really like it.  We were all starving and walked across the street to this great little Mexican place Jacquie and I ate the last time we were there.  In search of a sewing machine and without a car, we asked the waitress if there was a fabric store close by.  As luck would have it, there was one in the same shopping center along with a Tuesday Mornings which we love also.

We went first to Tuesday Morning and were thrilled to see that they had a sewing machine though not so thrilled that it cost $300!!  However, as obsessive as we are, Jacquie bought it any way.

We then went a few doors down to Hancock Fabrics.  We went a little crazy looking for lace and fabrics (surprised?).   I saw this adorable little sewing machine (Janome Mini) and for only $80.00.  Eileen told me that Lynn Perella had told her that she travels with that sewing machine as it only weight 5 Pounds! PERFECT!!  Jacqui returned the sewing she had purchased and we each bought a Jaome Mini (after seeing ours, a lot of the ladies went and bought one of their own!).  Great little machine!

One of my posse - and we are ALL enablers - told us that this little beauty was on sale at Home Depot online for $59 and FREE SHIPPING!!!  Well, can't pass that up!  I bought two of them so that we can use them at next year's Keys 4 Art (exciting new about that later!)

We ended Wednesday night watching TV and looking forward to meeting DJ the next morning!!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My AHA moment

Last night I was on a very small clip on TV in regard to a case I am involved with.  Very small but not enough to disguise how fat I am!!!  I had no idea when it was airing but my assistant called me and told me it would air at 10.  So I watched.  And I watched. And I had what Oprah would call an "aha" moment.

I am over weight.  About 45 pounds over weight and I hate it.  I really do. I knew I was over weight.  I have known for a while - but SEEING myself, really SEEING myself was a humbling experience.

Okay so this is the moment where those of you who love me or are just kind say.... Oh, you are not THAT over weight;  You have so much on your plate;  blah blah blah.  Nonsense.  I am over weight.  Period.  I will get hate mail telling me how "being over weight is not a crime", how "you can be over weight and be a wonderful person" - blah blah blah - all that is true.  But it is no less true that NOBODY wants to be over weight.  Yes, you can be a wonderful person but I would rather be a wonderful and HAPPY person, thank you very much.   If you are happy being overweight - good for you!  I'm not.

I can find a lot of "reasons" for it - menopause (which, by the way is kicking my ass), 100 units of insulin a day, the fact that I SIT all day in my office, or simply my love for rice, potatoes, pasta and dessert!!!  But I hate it.

But see, being overweight is not like being blind or unable to walk.  It's is  not a permanent, unchangeable condition.  It is not easy to lose weight any more - not at 52 - but it certainly is not an unattainable goal.

So what's the problem?  Lack of motivation; laziness; lethargy; complacency; all of the above?  I really think it's a neck and neck race between laziness and complacency.  Ugggh.  I am SO not the type to "settle" for something that makes me unhappy.  And that is exactly what I have done.  I don't say that in contemplation of a pity party - just stating a fact.

I have written posts about this before and all I have actually DONE about it is gain more weight.  Not very encouraging and certainly not a successful endeavor.

My good friend Jacquie - God bless her - is encouraging me to walk every day.  "Get up early" she says; "you will enjoy it" she says.  No I wont.  I am NOT a morning person - AT ALL - and can not think of ANYTHING more boring or depressing than walking - iPod or not - just for the sake of losing weight.  Not going anywhere - just going around and around.  I see people walking and I see a bunch of hamsters in a cage going around and around on a wheel.  Really??  Nope.  Not for me.   I love you Jac - but I don't see it happening.

I was put on an insulin pump on Tuesday.  I will hopefully need a lot less insulin so THAT excuse is no longer available to me.  In the end, diabetes is like that damned hamster wheel - eat... gain weight/high sugar... high sugar/insulin... insulin/hunger... eat!  Yep, a frickin hamster.

Okay so I digress into an "almost" pity party...

Today I went to see a Zumba class.  I have always wanted to do Zumba.  I love music and I love to dance which totally offsets my hatred for gyms and machines that are meant to torture you into submission.   You think twice about stuffing something unhealthy into your mouth - not because you are "disciplined" (that's a bunch of shit!), but because the idea of getting on one of those machines makes you want to stuff your finger into your throat and throw up that wonderful, sinful, fattening Twinkie you just ate.  Yes, it's true - please don't patronize me by saying you actually "enjoy" working out - who BELIEVES that?  Nobody.  It's like those people that "love" Starbucks.  Really?  You need a damned masters degree just to order a cup of coffee.  You guys only pay $85 for a cup of coffee because it makes you feel good to order a cup of coffee in 30 words or more.

Don't give me that - "oh I LOVE the way I feel when I work out!"  Bullshit!  You hurt like hell the next day and just want to roll on the floor and die.

But Zumba?  I can do that - I think.  I will let you know if I don't drop dead of a stroke in the middle of a merengue.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Eileen's Lace Journal

My muse and I have been arguing about these pages for a couple of weeks now. We have been looking through the amazing pages of the others in this challenge; beautiful pages bursting with lace, flowers and images. Gorgeous pages you can look at ten times and still find something new each time.

Of course my muse is prideful and insisted on making something just as "over the top" as everyone else! And, normally, I would agree with her. But the more I went through this beautiful book the more I knew that I wanted my contribution to Eileen's book to be simpler and "clean". I wanted these pages to be where the eye can rest from all the wonderful lushness my friends have previously contributed.

So, much to my muse's chagrin, I did what my heart pushed me to do and did it MY way.

This is the front page layout:

A wedding garter belt made a great "frame" for one of my favorite vintage pictures.

Front page:

Back page:  I made the little flowers when I was going through my crochet flower obsession!

Inside pages:

Simple but really sweet.

I hope Eileen agrees with ME and not my obnoxious muse!!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lynn's Journal pages are done!

Okay, so I had to use lace after all. Sue me.

This is the back page for Lynn. It gives her room to add a special embellishment she may have! The flowers are Prima and the embellishment is Wendy's blossom bucket

The lace makes the front page look prettier and I added a Prima flower to the front page too.

Will be on its way tomorrow!

Now to work on Eileen's lace journal!

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Kristina took the girls to a photo shoot today.  These are pictures she took with her phone.  How gorgeous are my girls?????

Maddie's face tells you all you need to know!

Lynn's Round Robin Journal

I have to admit I find it difficult now to work with anything but fabric and lace! Lynn"s beautiful journal is next for me on the Kindred Souls Group. Her theme is Paris. This is where I started:

No clue what to do but I started thinking about what makes me think of Paris. Beautiful women in even more beautiful dresses.... Cobblestone streets..... Street lamps.... So I pulled a few things out...

I cut some card stock with Tim Holtz's cobblestone strip die. I had no idea what to do with it after I cut it so decided to use it as a stencil. Will it work?? I have no idea!

Pulled out this old fashioned street lamp, I have had this for a few years probably and wanted to use it now.

Finally, I pulled out Julie Nutting's fabulous stamp. This particular stamp reminds me of a playful woman I can see walking up the cobblestone streets of Paris!

This is what resulted by scrapbook paper and gesso? Yuch!! But I refuse to stop! I am on a mission here!
I had fun dressing up Julie's fashionista!
Distress acrylics over gesso. Not happy!
Used Wendy Vecchi's embossing paste over my cobblestone "stencil" and was surprised by how great it worked!
After putting some distress inks and paint on my street lamp, I wanted it to look like it had glass. I glued a piece of Mambly screen print behind each lantern and filled it in with glossy accents.

It's still wet here but should look really nice when its dry!

After coloring the cobblestones with rust colored archival ink and muting it a little with vintage photo distress ink, the cobblestones look great! I stamped some Parisian images on the background, added a doily and my fashionista with some pop dots after making her a hot blond! I also added a piece of lace. (I HAD to put SOME lace!)
Next I added one of the pins I made.

Ok, my fashionista looked a little boring so I fancied up her dress a little!

Ok!!!  The front page is done!!!  Hope Lynn likes it!  Tomorrow I will do the back page and send it on!