Friday, July 29, 2011

A horse is a horse of course and I wouldn’t want it any other way for PPF


One of my favorite TV shows as a kid and even as an adult was a show called Mr. Ed. 

The idea for the show was taken from short stories written by Walter R. Brooks and featured a talking horse.  Of course this horse would only talk to his owner, Wilbur Post and since this horse was a bit of a troublemaker quite a few mishaps ensued.

We all know Mr. Ed as a Palomino (His real name was Bamboo Harvester) but how many of us know that the pilot featured a chestnut gelding?  And how in the world did he manage to move his lips on cue in the days before computer animation?  One story was that they applied peanut butter to his gums and moving his lips was an attempt to remove it.  In reality they did it by putting a piece of nylon thread in his mouth—at first.  Eventually Ed actually learned to move his lips on the cue of his trainer with no thread at all.  Horses are amazingly smart animals!

And what of the voice of Ed?  Who brought Mr. Ed’s voice to life? The credits don’t mention anyone but Mr. Ed. The mystery voice actually belonged to a B cowboy movie actor named Rocky Lane…never, ever credited!

Mr. Ed (Bamboo Harvester) reportedly died in 1970 but mystery surrounds his death.  Ed has become the equine version of Elvis.  Did someone give him a tranquilizer by mistake?  Did they euthanize him? Was it really him that died in 1979 or a horse used for still photographs?  Have you seen Mr. Ed? 

Be sure to check out all the great art to be found at  PAINT PARTY FRIDAY  Many thanks to Kristin and Eva!  

And…remember if you want to be included in my year in blogging giveaway be sure to say so!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Never make coffee when you are in desperate need of coffee

I think the title says it all.  If you are staggering around from a night with little or no sleep and are dying for a cup of Joe, perhaps it a good idea to get someone else to fix it. 

My husband usually gets the coffee ready to brew at night before he goes to bed.  Then all I have to do it push the button and in a few short minutes, a hot steaming aroma permeates the air and I pour a cup to  help grease those rusty wheels.

Once in a while, he forgets or is just too busy.  On those mornings any of the following scenarios may result.

1.     The coffee can is nearly empty.  I realize, too late that I should of bought some the day before.  I wet my finger and dip it in the coffee dust at the bottom of the can, and eagerly lick it off.  It just doesn’t seem to do the trick.  And besides it tastes awful.

2.     I manage to get a brew going.  After a few minutes I follow the enticing aroma. I discover that I have forgotten to put the carafe on the warmer.  I find a mini ocean of the steaming hot liquid encompassing the length of my counter and floor. And there is no quicker picker upper for that mess.

3.     I ready everything I think, and after waiting for 20 minutes or so I wonder why I don’t smell the coffee.  It’s a fact; coffee needs water, so why didn’t I fill the reservoir?

4.     I manage to brew a good pot and after four cups with no effect I realize that I have grabbed the can of de-caf I keep for company by mistake.  Note to self:  Keep the de-caf in my kitchens equivalent of Siberia.

5.     I manage to get a pot brewed and it does the trick but is not very satisfying taste-wise.  It is either weak enough to put in a babies bottle or so strong that it makes Starbuck’s seem weak by comparison.

6.     And last but not least, I get the coffee ready and I know it will be perfect, but after I wait with patience I do not possess, I find, I forgot to push the on button!

I think it’s time for a coffee break, don’t you?

Don't forget my year in blogging giveaway...just say in the comments that you would like to be included.  I certainly wouldn't want to put someone's name in the hat who didn't want to be included!

Some more of my fav blogs...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five more fantastic blogger lists and giveaway

4 x 6 print in frame

Today I would like to list five more of my favorite bloggers in keeping with my year in blogging celebration.  I also would like to announce a giveaway.  On the day that marks my year in blogging I will draw a name out of a hat and that person will win a limited print of my original pencil drawing of  “shaking hands across the world”, matted and in a 4 x 6 frame.  Wait!  I’m not stopping there.  I’m going to draw again and that person will win a set of hand-painted wooden boot magnets.  How do you enter?  Just say you want to be included and your name will go right into the hat.

Hand-painted Wooden boot magnets

Now for more fantastic blogs

1.     As most of you know I run a Tack Shop and have been involved in the horse industry for many years.  So it comes as no surprise that I really enjoy visiting my blog buddies who also love horses.  How about viewing some their really terrific equine art and feel the love. *** *** *** *** ***

2.     In the early days of my blogging I wondered…are you there?  Is anyone there?  Fortunately the answer came through the comments and following of some fantastic bloggers.  Liz, Ladycat, Jen,  Lee,  and Franz.  They made me feel as if blogging was no exercise in futility.  Thanks to you I am still here. *** *** *** ***

3.     I mustn’t forget my Canadian neighbors who make my life better just by being my friends. ***

4.     Those who create wonderful jewelry and wearable more inspire me with their skills.  Liz and Jacinta are two that come to mind.  ***

5.     I also want to thank Wanda and Stacey for being the kind, sweet souls that I know them to be.  You make my life so much better.  ***

Vistit these great blogs but soon there will be more to come….

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shaking hands all over the world with—more to follow

In 12 days I will have been blogging for one year.  353 days ago I started this blog.  354 days ago I had no idea what a blog was and asked my daughter.  Since then I have made many blogger friends from all over the world.  It’s been a lot of work in addition to my usual schedule. Many times I wondered if my words just floated around in cyberspace—unread. 

This post contains none of my usual humor.   It’s not about a blog party or displaying new creations or craft instructions. I simply want to say thank you to my all my creative blogging friends who make it all worthwhile.  If I don’t mention you now, believe me, I will in the future.  For the next twelve days I am celebrating my Blogoversary with a giveaway, and plenty of blog love.  So here’s to you…

In order to keep this shorter so you can visit all these wonderful blogs, I am listing 5 at a time.  The next 5 will pop-up soon…and then 5 more will materialize.  So when you see the shaking hands—you will find more fantastic blog links.  Just so you know they are in no particular order…they are all fantastic!!!

1.     Heather is a talented illustrator.  When you are down and not feeling particularly happy, visit her blog for a guaranteed smile.

2.     There is one very talented family living in the Northwestern United States.  These sisters prove that creativity is sometimes genetic.  From creative art to paper mache Santas they are sure to inspire awe with their unbridled talent.  Be sure to visit the blogs of Maddy, Maggie and Marlene. *** ***

3.     If it’s computer tutorials you desire along with your beautiful art then be sure to visit Geri.  She has also started a listing of blogging artists so blog on over and get on the list.   and

4.     Bloggers who give up their precious time hosting blog parties, like Kristin and Eva for Paint Party Friday,  Mmm for Creative Tuesdays,  Sophia with Sunday Sketches and Diana at Sweet Saturdays make blogging even more fun. ********* ***

5.     When I think how small the world has become with the internet I think of my dear non U.S. friends.  Valerie in Germany who creates wonderful tags and cards, and Judy in Wales with her wonderfully beautiful paintings and whimsical Greeting cards. ***

      Thats all for today, more coming soon!!! Heres to a big  :-)  ((((   )))) and laughter

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pupper vs. Kitter Round 2

My daughter thought her dog was lonely so she got him a kitty.  They are trying out for WWF.

 and afterwards....they hold hands as they sleep

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out of the Barn for Paint Party Friday

5 x 7 Acrylic

I once walked into my daughter’s high school art classroom and on the table was a still life set up.  It wasn’t the usual apples or pears, far from it.  There on the table was an internal part of a car motor.  Don’t’ ask me what it was because to this day I couldn’t tell you.  All I know was that it was metal with a lot of little wires, screws, and totally unidentifiable metal parts.

 The drawings that resulted from this still life were quite frankly…awesome.  It’s all about thinking outside the box.  Maybe no one would want to buy a painting of a transmission (except perhaps someone who works for AAmco) but it wasn’t about saleable art.  It was about  challenging oneself.  Isn't this why we paint?

So I figured I would set that odd thing on my imaginary table and paint something out of my field of capability.  I’ve painted many horses in my time, this time I painted something with a bit more Horsepower.  My entry to Paint Party Friday is a departure from the barn and into the garage.  Please visit Paint Party Friday to see all the wonderful art and artists to be found right here…PAINT PARTY FRIDAY

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lightweight foam luggage tag

Lately when I travel I notice that everyone and I mean just about everyone has black luggage.  When I bought my luggage I wanted colors, but my husband who is Mr. conservative, went for the usual…black luggage.  When you check your bags and try to get them off the belt after your flight they all look the same!  It is necessary to put something unique on your luggage to identify it as yours, and then you can get out of there and onto your trip quicker.  I have designed a luggage tag that is as unique as you want it to be.  My tag is big… but lightweight.  You can cut yours down to make it smaller if you so desire.

You will need:

2 foam door hangers in contrasting colors

Inkjet paper…you can print your name from a computer or just write it with a sharpie. 

Disappearing marker

Hole punch, scissors

Tacky craft glue

Paper edger in desired design (optional)

Mod Podge or similar decoupage glue

Small paintbrush

Sharpie maker if you are printing your identification

16” of flexible plastic string (used for beading)

Small foam shapes (optional)

1.     Choose two colors of foam door hangers.  If you would like a shorter tag, now is the time to cut each hanger off 3 inches at each end.

2.     Place them together with the door holes at the opposite ends.  You will have a recessed door hole at each end.  (If you are making a shorter tag you will only have one door hole since you cut the other one off.)  Using the disappearing marker mark the center of recessed area on each door hanger.  You will not be putting any glue on this area. 

3.     Using the hole punch, make a hole in the center of the non-door hole area of the hanger. 

4.     Line both side together so that the hole you punched is in the center of the door hole.  (This is the top of your tag)

5.     Spread some tacky glue onto one side making sure you do not put glue in the door hole areas.  Press together and let dry.

6.     Print your information onto the inkjet paper  and cut to approximately 5 ½” x 3 “ for the longer tag and  3” x 2 ½” for the shorter tag. Trim with paper edgers if desired.

7.     Spread some decoupage glue or Modpodge on the back of the paper and the tag front.  Attach and let dry.

8.     You can glue foam shapes in the recessed door hole areas if desired or just leave as is.   Attach a piece of flexible plastic string through the punched hole and attach to luggage.

Shorter style luggage tag

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stinky socks, the best bait

I recently read an article in the paper that said scientists have discovered that mosquito’s just love the enticing aroma of a stinky pair of socks.  What? Did I say stinky socks?  Yes indeed that is exactly what I said.  So what are they doing with this odorous information?  They are planning to use it as bait to attract and poison mosquitoes!  Truth as they say, is truly stranger than fiction.

So what can we expect now that the mosquitoes jig is up?  If you were one of those insect rights activists that always disliked those blue glowing bug zappers as it  electrocuted to death those nasty mosquitoes you may be in luck.  Instead of the constant bzzzzzt, bzzzzzt you will hear nothing.  You will, however be treated to a view of some pretty ripe smelling socks dangling from a line.  I just hope the wind is not blowing your way.

High school lockers with its attractive lode of sock bait will become the new gold mine.  Your athlete son will find a new source of income.  No more mowing lawns and delivering papers, all he must do is lace up those nasty sneakers and let nature do its work.

All joking aside, what the scientists are actually doing is synthetically creating the stinky sock odor in a lab.  I sure would like to be a fly on that wall, not a mosquito mind you, a fly.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Losing weight-- the cheetah way

5 x 7 acrylic "sweet"

I decided about a month ago that it was time for me to lose the baby weight, especially since my baby is well past the drinking age. 

I know I shouldn't have let those pounds creep up on me.  I was always slim.  So since my husband and I are recent empty nesters I felt that now that I wasn’t cooking for a herd anymore, it would be a bit easier to diet.

Oh no, I said that awful word—diet.

Just so you all know I have already lost 12 lbs, and a dress size.  I didn’t buy expensive frozen food from TV ads, and I didn’t take diet pills. I did it the old fashioned way.  It really wasn’t that much of a sacrifice and I found out that you could lose weight by eating!  Yes I really said eating.  One shouldn’t define the word, diet as a major sacrifice.  A diet should just identify an organisms sustaining food source.  For example…a cheetah’s diet consists of antelopes.  See, that doesn’t sound like the Cheetah is giving up anything!

A few changes are necessary, I know. I never ate breakfast, since I was never hungry till lunch. So I started forcing myself to eat a breakfast even if I wasn’t hungry.  I found that if I count calories (sorry there is no easier way) and write down everything I ate in a day, I could see there were several things that should be limited for the time being.

Did I really need a pound of butter on my toast?  Did I really need two slices of toast or would one be sufficient?  Do I really need high fat dressing on my salad?

I discovered that I liked the taste of food without the little extras.  Salads tasted better without drowning them in dressing, croutons and bacon bits.  I also found that fruit was a great substitute for dessert.  I will never totally give up chocolate but I didn’t have to.  Special K makes a cereal that has chocolate pieces right in the box.  And it was really satisfying. 

I amped up the exercise.  Just walking the dog is a wonderful way to stop and smell the roses as well as dropping a few calories from lunch.  The key I found is to do something you enjoy!  Cheetahs happen to like running at 70 MPH and I’ve never seen a fat cheetah, have you?

I learned that a binge was no reason to get discouraged because tomorrow is another day and everyone needs to let loose once in a while.

I still would like to lose 20 more pounds till I lose the rest of the baby weight, so I intend to keep up my no sacrifice regimen.  Pretty soon I will be looking as fit and svelte as ….yup you guessed it, a cheetah!

Be sure to check out all the great artwork by the super talented artists at paint party friday!  That's where I am headed!! J

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bookmarks - young artists = fun

Very pretty colors by Summer Stillufsen
Age 8

In my recent post I included a horse bookmark for kids to color and I promised that I would feature them on another blog post.  Well, let us have a drum roll please, because I want to unveil the beautifully colored bookmarks by the daughters of my blogging buddy Heather who is an amazing artist and it sure looks like the apples don't fall too far from the tree!

Oooh so pretty by Saylor Stillufsen
Age 6

And while we are on the subject of bookmarks....

When you are reading a book and you are in need of a bookmark you do not possess, what do you grab?  The following are some of the usual bookmark substitutes.

1.     You rip a piece of paper off of anything within reach.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  A torn piece of junk mail works fine and you can be happy that you are now recycling.

2.     You grab grandma’s letter and mark your place.  As a bonus, if you get tired of reading the book, you can read the letter.

3.     You stick in a grocery receipt and in the middle of Pride and Prejudice you wonder if you should add more fiber in your diet.

4.     You stick a pencil or pen between the pages.  The disadvantage of this kind of bookmark is that since a pencil or pen is not flat, rolling may result and thus causing you to lose your place.

5.     You dog-ear the page. If the book belongs to a friend, however, you won’t be very popular when you return it.

6.     You stick in a used losing lottery ticket.  You have found a use that doesn’t cost and doesn’t pay.

7.     You rely on your amazing memorization skills.  Good luck with that. You were on page 58 weren’t you?  No wait, I think it was page 85.

8.     The best solution is and will always be a real bookmark. I think Summer and Saylor have that covered!

If  If you would like some more printable coloring pages my friend Judy from across the pond has posted some very cool ones...enjoy!  Judy's printable coloring pages

Monday, July 11, 2011

Horse bookmark for kids to color

Ah, summer days, warm sunny times filled with picnics and reunions, camps and vacations.  Then, there are the times where there is absolutely nothing to do.  For those times it’s best to find a nice comfortable place and grab a good book.  The same goes for the kids.  Take them to the library, and pick up a few books for them.  I hate to sound like a bossy nitpicker but are you really going to rip off a piece of junk mail to keep your place?  And if you are planning on returning those books to the library without the librarian giving you the stink eye, don’t you dare dog-ear those pages.

What to do? Print the original coloring book--mark full size on cardstock.  Then, give it to the kids and let them color away with colored pencils, crayons, whatever is on hand.  In reality horses come in tons of colors, but don’t stop there-- anything goes.  You can even date it, sign it on the back and stick on some laminating film, inexpensively found in any dept. store.  Instant memory!

I would love to see the decorated bookmarks because I know that kids are more creative than any of us.  Email me a jpg. and I’ll put them on the blog.  Enjoy!   

Friday, July 8, 2011

"The First Mate" for PPF

"First Mate" acrylic

My husband loves his boat.  He loves boating.  Me, I am not into boating all that much. I go, because marriage involves give and take.  He’s gone to Horse shows, art galleries, and chic flicks with me, so boating is my give.

When we bought the boat my husband talked me into taking a Coast guard class. This class convened once a week for several weeks.  I don’t remember how many weeks exactly.  It think I blocked out that memory, but I do know it was quite a few. 

I have sat through many a boring college class, and listened to monotone professors drone on and on about World War 2, but this class took the cake.  Husband dear loved it…guess it’s a guy thing.
The class was separated into two-parts with the first being rules, regulations, safety, and techniques while the second part involved navigation and mapping.  I sat through the part one, doodling and twiddling my thumbs and passed the test with flying colors earning my certification.  I guess something must have sunk in.  When the navigation part started, however, I just had to grab my purse, kiss my husband goodbye and go shopping while he learned how to find his way back without a GPS. (Which he uses exclusively now by the way)

We go boating at least once a week if it isn’t raining.  I still don’t love it.  The waves rock a bit too much when you are zipping along.  I bounce up and down in the seats, and being as I am not exactly small-breasted, parts of me are bouncing that just shouldn’t be bouncing…I am thinking this can’t be good.  Somebody might get hurt. 

There is, however, another female in the house who just loves to go boating, and it just happens to be a four legged one. When my dog, Maddy sees my husband getting the cooler out and heading for the truck she is right at his heels. So my husband has a first mate…guess it’s not me.

I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday, which is so much fun that you should join in.  If nothing else just go visit all the wonderful artist and art to be found right here….PAINT PARTY FRIDAY

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Man vs. woman

When it comes to men and women it has come to my attention that some things are just not very fair.  What follows is my list of the unfair.

It is unfair that men are most often the ones with the long lush eyelashes, no mascara needed.

It is unfair that gray hair on men is distinctive and on women it’s just old.

It is unfair that men are most often better at operating the DVD player, forcing women to watch movies with car crashes and explosions.

It is unfair that shoes for men are pretty basic; often the same color, and they don’t have to be uncomfortable to be stylish!

It is unfair that when a woman sees another woman wearing the same dress at an event it’s a crisis, but men can wear the same suit with no issues.

It’s ok for men to pass gas, after all boys will be boys.  Women on the other hand must sit tight, and I mean tight.

Do you really think it’s fair that men can pay $11 for a barber to cut their hair while women often pay upwards of $50 to go to a hair salon?

It is totally unfair that men don’t have to have mammograms.

When they decide to lose weight, men cut out beer or soda and the pounds come off.  Women have to cut out everything else.

Men may labor at a job they hate but women go into labor.

It’s pretty unfair that old rich guys can hook up with young beautiful women and no one calls them a cougar.

To be fair, I am sure men can make their own list balancing it all out…. but as for me, I’ll stick with mine.  Feel free, girls, to add any of your own unfair things that I may have missed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer Break, Summer Fun

"The Beggar" ACEO

I can’t ride rides.  I get sick and it’s not a pretty sight.  I know my limits and I haven’t sat my derriere on a ride seat ever since I was little and my dad  (who loved rides by the way) convinced me to ride the scrambler with him at a local fair.  After the ride was over I reeled over to the nearest trashcan and unloaded my cotton candy, hot dog, funnel cake, and popcorn into that receptacle, albeit slightly used.

Everyone else in my family loves rides and we are within driving distance from several nearby Amusement Parks.  Summer comes and Amusement Parks are always on the agenda.  I am nothing if not a trooper so I tag along and Amusement park myself on a bench.  I bring a book, and I people watch. 

I think that watching people is the most enjoyable way to spend a summer day. Especially when you are just sitting on a bench in an Amusement park.  Everyone is busy having fun and no one is going to stop and say,

 “Hey Buddy, take a picture it lasts longer.”

You can people watch with abandon. 

You can count how many people are wearing sensible shoes. Would you believe there are quite a few wearing four inch heels?  Ouch!

You can count how many are wearing flip-flops (it’s a very large number, I’ll tell you that)

You discover that most people have the expected 2.5 children.  Two are running around like banshees and the half child is peacefully sleeping in the stroller.

You can feed the overly tame squirrels and birds, which happens to be one of my favorite parts.  Last time I had a squirrel follow me around for half the day picking up the popcorn I’d toss.  And if you happen to be on a boardwalk, you’d better guard that slice of pizza because those gulls can be rather snatchy.

And most of all you can sketch Americana at it’s finest.  Just stay away from the trashcans.

The theme for Creative Tuesdays this week is Summer break.  My entry is an ACEO of the squirrel that managed to eat more popcorn than I did during my last visit to the Amusement Park.  Please visit and see all the other wonderful artistic summertime fun.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Quick and Easy project for Paint Party Friday and July 4th….Celebrate!

Patriotic Cowboy Boot Fridge Magnet

I just love cowboy boots.  They come in a myriad of colors and the wilder the better.  So I decided to decorate the fridge with an easy magnet painted in minutes and you can too.  It makes a great party favor as well!  Please enjoy all the wonderful creativity at

You will need:

Magnetic sheet with adhesive

Small amount of watercolor paper

Acrylic paint in navy, red, white and black

Small paintbrush

Pencil, ruler, scissors, graphite paper to transfer pattern

Modpodge or other acrylic finish

Small sequin and tacky glue

1. Print full size pattern. Transfer pattern to paper side of magnetic sheet.  Cut out.  Transfer pattern to watercolor paper.  Paint the watercolor paper as shown.  (See photo)   Let dry.  Add a coat of Modpodge over the paper boot to protect it and let it dry completely.  Cut out watercolor paper boot.

2.  Remove the paper backing from the magnetic sheet and attach the painted boot to the adhesive.  Trim off any excess magnet so that magnet and paper match up.

3. Add a sequin to represent a spur with a dab of glue if desired.

You can also make this a recycling project if you happen to have a advertising magnet that is big enough.  Simply paint the boot on watercolor paper as before and then glue to the advertising magnet.

HAPPY JULY 4, 2011!!!!
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