October 31, 2011

* Studio Progress and Dia de los Muertos

If you've come acallin' from Natasha May's Haloween Party you are in the right place ... just scroll down a little.  I'm busy babbling about my studio.  Under all that nonsense is a Day of the Dead journal spread.  Let me know what you think.  I'll be visiting you all sometime today ... can't wait to see what you have been up to.  By the way ... thanks for coming on over, and "Happy Halloween". 

Today some progress was made in the studio.  Felix came and painted the other little table.  Tomorrow he will complete the pink bookcase ... we ran out of paint.  I spent the day in the studio putzing and organizing which was fun.  Like starting all over.  It will take a little time, but will be well worth the effort.  Here's what's shakin'.

Some of my drawers actually look like this:-

With all the fabulous Halloween projects on your blogs these days, I must have been inspired.  I went back up to the studio tonight and while I was organizing came across a tin punched catrina I had been saving for a nicho.  All of a sudden my muse said ... let's go.  I rounded up everything I could find and did a double spread in my journal.  For the very first time since surgery, I really got into the zone and had fun!  YEAH!  You have no idea how happy that makes me.  I thought it would never come back.  Anyway ... I had fun and here's the spread.  You will notice Frida and Diego are in the gathering.  Couldn't do a Dia de los Muertos piece without them.

Happy Halloween everyone.  Valerie, I hope your party is a doooozie and you have buckets of fun.  You've been so looking forward to this.  Thanks for dropping by to all of you, and your comments make me so happy.  xxoo Donna

A man should not leave this earth with unfinished business. He should live each day as if it was a pre-flight check. He should ask each morning, am I prepared to lift-off?
Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, All is Vanity, 1991

October 29, 2011

* Organizing The Studio ...

I must admit the studio got OOC on me!  That's short for Out Of Control my lovelies.  I never did have proper shelving and organization.   Frankly, it's gone from bad to worse.  Lately it has made me cranky to enter the room because of the piles of stuff everywhere.

Today Felix and Marta came to help me move things, clean things and paint things. I must say the term 'help' is used very loosely.  I haven't lifted a finger except to point it in the general direction of what has to be done next.  I tried to move things yesterday, managed some, but my new knee was not happy with my efforts.  I sucumed to help.  It will probably take another day to finish painting the shelving, then I will begin to see what I can do with the space.  It still may need more adjustments, however I thought I could begin with this and see what else is required.

Carolyn casually suggested before and after photographs.  It will be a good reminder for me as well.  Here's what it looks like at the moment.  YIKES!

Felix painting on the terrace off the studio.

One pink set of shelving will go on either side of the window.

Meanwhile, my table is as messy as it's ever been.  As I said, stuff piled everywhere.

and other excess has been moved in front of the fireplace.  hmmmmm.

Still have a place for Habibi and I to sit down while we try and get this place back together!

Thank you my darlings, for taking a moment to stop by and say hi.  Hope you are doing something wonderfully creative.  xxoo  Donna

This is my new motto for getting this room in order: -

"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go till you come to the end; then stop."--Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

October 28, 2011

* It's Officially Fall

Fresh oranges fill a huge crate at my little tienda.  Not an orange crate I am used to seeing in Canada.  You know the kind.  The oranges are packed perfectly.  Tissue paper wraps and protects each one.  This orange crate spills over the sides, not only with oranges, but with the stems and leaves still on and still fresh.  Just picked oranges.  Oranges that give off such a sweet fragrance when touched to my nose, I may swoon.  A huge palm leaf basket sits close by.  Filled with fresh strawberries, ready to be plucked from their resting place and eaten.  Long succulent green beans spill over into the shelf from the brown bag in which they are stored, and beautiful brown mushrooms wait to be taken home for comida.  I adore this time of year.  I live on fresh orange juice, squeezed in Mexican juicer, snack on juicy strawberries and include beautifully fresh picked vegetables in quick sir fries.  It's an abundant time of year. One has to be quick when buying the fresh produce.  By tomorrow afternoon there will not be much left, and we will be waiting for the next truck from the ranchos.

Managed to make a card.  Not much happening in the studio though.

So, thanks again for dropping in and spending some time with me.  It's the weekend yet again.  Hope you have a good one.  xxoo  Donna

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
George Eliot

* Giveaway! More Bootie Added ...

As I mentioned when I announced the celebration and giveaway, I have added a few things to the bootie.  Since we are very close to Day of the Dead here in Mexico, I thought a few pieces would be fun to include.

Mexican paper cut banners

This would make a great centerpiece for Halloween art!
Don't forget to click on the picture in the side bar of this blog.  That will take you to the post where you will find directions for entering and other important details.  ALSO ... check back from time to time.  More bits and pieces will be added before the draw.

Thanks for dropping by my Lovely's!  Have a great weekend.  xxooDonna

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs

Stay hungry, Stay foolish.  

October 26, 2011

*News of the Day and Thinking of Australia

It was chilly this morning.  Up to the studio Habibi arranged the pillows just so. He looked very cozy indeed.  I had to grab the camera.

The view from the terrace was lovely.
And the Bottle Bush tree I was so afraid was dead in the spring has flourished.  All is well with my world.
Yesterday Allyson and I went to the carpenters shop and purchased a couple of book cases and a table.  They need to be painted, which I'm really hoping can be accomplished this weekend.  This will give me some glimmer of hope that the studio is beginning to be organized!  It's driving me a little bit nutty!

They will be painted the same vibrant colours as the studio in contrast with whatever wall they are positioned on. 

My little succulent garden

is doing well.
A couple of days ago, one of my girlfriends from Australia called and we chatted for for almost an afternoon.  It felt so good!  She has just had a hip replacement.  We were saying how much fun it would be to be healing in the same room.  Distance ... the last frontier!  It got me thinking about the last time we were all together. It was Australia 2004/05.  I ventured down unda for nearly six months.  They passed me from person to person, until one day someone drove me to the airport and sent me home.  ha ha.  We did have a grand time.  Today I got out what few photographs I have left and did a spread in my journal.

Nothing more to report for the moment.  Hope all is well in your world.  Thanks for stopping by.  xxoo Donna

I sometimes ponder who I might have been had I never met these women so long ago.  They definitely changed my life for the better.  I love you all dearly! 

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
- Anais Nin

October 25, 2011

* Double Spread in my Journal ..

My first attempt at drawing a somewhat whimsical face.  It turned out to be 'me'.
 Thanks for stopping by my lovely's.  I know you are all busy creating something wonderful.  Can't wait to see.  xxooDonna

" The loss of love is a terrible thing; they lie who say that death is worse."

October 24, 2011

* What's it all about Alfie?

I'm actually in a bit of a slump.  Mid way through healing I think.  Cranky too.  Tried to go back to my painting today, however was so impatient and cranky, gave it up.  Better not to go there when I am feeling like that.

I did get a couple of pages done in my journal, and tried a little experiment with my bird cage die cut.

As banner type things seem to be all the rage, I'm experimenting to have a few hang in my studio once I get it organized.  

Now, the other thing I wanted to talk to you about is Habibi.  I'm quite worried.  He's having trouble sleeping! :o) This was the photo I took first thing this morning.  He didn't even move when I got up.

I should sleep so well!  he he
  A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
John Lennon

October 22, 2011

* The kindness of friends, and a journal page

Sometimes life brings with it delicious surprises.  Take this blog for instance.  When I first began, I was doing it strictly for my own amusement.  That has changed.  Now I find myself doing it to connect with like minded people and to share a little of my life with you, who have become part of my life.  I do it to be inspired by others, and see what wonderful things you are creating.  You are, my dears, truly amazing!

Today is a good example.  There have been many such days since my surgery.  It's called a "good mail day".  So many of you have sent delightful mail, cards, letters, comments, emails and phone calls.  Yes, I must say, much of it has caught me off guard.  I want to let you know, I am grateful.  I want to say a special thank you.  In many ways, it hasn't been easy to go through this knee replacement basically alone, in a foreign country. Certainly not something I had anticipated as my knees gave me no sign of what was to come when I moved here.   Your thoughts and actions have lifted me up in so many ways.  You make my heart sing.  I am enclosing photos of the fantastic mail I received today.

hand made collage postcard.  Absolutely exquisite.  Jane, you are so lovely!

An incredible photograph, taken in Bali.  My dear friend Diane just attended an opening of her friends photographs.  This one is entitled 'Late Bloomer'. 

The next two photographs are

part of the same card.  I'm really getting into this Halloween theme.  Thanks so much Tiffiny.

And Patty!  Thank you so much for thinking of me.  It was so lovely to hear from you.  Your card is beautiful.

Dear Diane .. thank you!  What would I do without you.  I feel like I could walk right up the side of this doodle and fall into all that love.  
Allyson was here to assist me with a few things today which was so helpful.  I'm stocked up on groceries again and she even cooked me a couple of meals for later.  Today, the flower lady who comes to my door had tuberoses.   Naturally, I couldn't resist.  The house tonight is filled with their magical aroma.  I did wander up to my studio this afternoon and create a double page spread in my journal which I will share with you.  The content actually surprised me.  It is what it is.

Well, my lovelies, that's it for today.  Thanks so much for taking time to stop in and have a peek.  xxoo Donna

One's home is like a delicious piece of pie you order in a restaurant on a country road one cozy evening - the best piece of pie you have ever eaten in your life - and can never find again.  After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.  ~Lemony Snicket

* Finding my mojo ...

Must admit, it's not easy finding my mojo after surgery and during this healing period.  Naturally, I realize I'm being impatient, it hasn't been quite a month.
Today I did get a few things completed.  Still feeling 'flat' though ... hope that doesn't hang around too much longer.  I really really want my old energy back NOW.  he he

made a card

did some

mail art

wrapped a package

made a card

and completed a double spread in my art journal.  I thought it would be lovely to begin using some of the wonderful cards I have received this year, not only for my birthday, but also after surgery.  They are treasures and it will be lovely to look back and remember.
Thank you all for dropping in.  Hope this week has been a good one for you.  xxoo Donna

Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a f@*$%load of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.” - Dave Eggers

October 20, 2011

* GIVEAWAY ... Read all about it!

Come Join The Celebration.  My Dearest Blogger Friends.  Finally, (and about time too) I have managed to get a package together to celebrate the 100th (now 111th) person to check up on me on a regular basis.  I am so honoured to have this much interest in my blog.  YOU, my dears, are my inspiration!

Now, please understand I have not been able to get out and about to shop.  Still hobbling around with a fair amount of pain.  I have however, raided my stash and compiled a little bundle I hope you will be able to put to good use.

The draw will be made on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd, 2011.   You will have TWO chances to win.

1.  You must be a 'friend' of this blog.  If you are not already, you are only a 'click away'.  Please join me!

2.   Leave a comment on this post.

3.   Post my "Giveaway" button , which will link to this post, on the side bar of your blog.

Here's what's in the package.

Added:  November 22, 2011

This just in:  October 28th:  More bootie added.  Day of the Dead stuff to make your Halloween art more FUN!

A package of vintage papers, including interesting pages from Victorian era Sears Robuck Chicago Catalogue

Vintage postcards, world stamps (off paper) and a bundle of hand made papers.

Envelope of Christmas tags, bag of vintage buttons, bag of rhinestones, and some flower petals to play with.
Good luck to all of you.  It is truly my pleasure to have you here.  xxoo Donna

Psssssst!  a little secret.  Keep your eye on this post.  I could be adding to the bootie during the month.  Wouldn't that be fun?!

It is my belief when we find people though our blogs, we are connecting with 'like minded people'.  Even though we may never meet, we have a tremendous amount in common through our creativity, and we are indeed part of each others tribe.

"There's an old proverb that says you can't choose your family. You take what the fates hand you. And like them or not, love them or not, understand them or not, you cope. Then there's the school of thought that says the family you're born into is simply a starting point. They feed you, and clothe you, and take care of you until you're ready to go out into the world and find your tribe." - Grey's Anatomy