Saturday, May 23, 2009

All is well.

Thank you all for your caring comments. All is well here, and getting better. I can't get into details, but I just want to say I miss you all. I can't visit any blogs due to time constraints, but wanted to say hi, and thanks! I'll be talking to you again in the next few weeks, I hope.
God bless you all.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am leaving unexpectedly, go and help my son and daughter-in-law with the kids. IN GERMANY! I have asked Teri to remove me from the ABC ATC's list, since I don't feel I can play at this time. I am so sorry to mess you guys up, but I must go and will not have time or supplies with me to carry on with this challenge. I appreciate your understanding, and I will be watching to see what you all come up with, for sure!

Best wishes and lots of love...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Inchie Cactus Monday!

Inspired by Soulbrush to try doing INCHIES, I decided to cut up a cactus ATC I Had done earlier today and use the inch squares in my Cactus Monday ATC! Here it is...kind of a cool idea...I like it. Something to play around with in the future, for sure!


In memory of a magestic tree!

You know this is sick when I am mouring a tree...but I find myself doing it more and more when I see senseless destruction! This morning, I did a few ATC sized prickly pear things...but they did not meet the cut in my I tried a larger paper and started drawing and then used Sharpie pens to draw it out and fill in. It is very basic, but conveys my feelings.

Wanted to show you my one pad that I planted in the front garden between all my kalenchoes! It was all curled up, but was the most perfect green one I could find in what was left along side of the road after it was cut down and taken away. See it in the middle there!

Claude from "Random Rants and Prickly Plants" said the tree could regrow if the root was left in place! Better than that, it has 4 ft of trunk still in place! I wonder if it will grow again??? Now I am excited to see! Thanks, Claude! Here is a close up of my pad.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I am in shock and am mourning.

Tonight I was out walking Doozey, with my Mom walking my brothers dog...and we discovered a neighbor who had a 15 ft. high spineless Prickly Pear...thick and lush mind you...and...

We discovered they had cut it down and just threw everything on the side of the road for the trash pickup. They must have done it in time for the Thursday refuse pick up, because sadly, all that was left were a few dried up scattered pads in the swale. My Mom took 3 to get rooted, and I took one.

OMG...If only I had known...I would have BOUGHT THE WHOLE DAMN TREE from them!!!

God only knows how many years it took it to get that big. I never took one pad off of it, since I was respectful (the owners did not live there, and the house was for sale), and then they go and do this! I wanted to cry.

Am I over-reacting? I don't think they knew what they had.

I just ordered a Prickly Pear Cookbook, on Amazon tonight. I am seriously going to start eating it for the health benefits...high Vitamin C, high antioxidant, and a rich source of flavanoids, including kaempferol, quercetin, kaempferol 3-methyl ether, quercetin 3-methyl ether, narcissin, dihydrokaempferol (aromadendrin, 6), dihydroquercetin, and eriodictyol. These flavanoids are responsible for its health-enhancing benefits. It is good for diabetes, weight loss, and boosting immune system.

I think I like Cactus on so many levels. It is just a true love affair for me! Good to have so many blogger pals who understand my passion!

NOW...I am off to draw the coolest prickly pear tree you ever saw with my sparkle gel pens, in tribute to the loss of a beautiful old tree.

Goodnight! xoxo-Julie

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh my gosh!

Can you believe I actually not only got my "Candy Bar Heaven" ATC into the envelope to send to Teri, and forgot to take a picture for the blog...but I actually did it twice, after I realized it was addressed to her in Arizona (but she is in Wisconsin now)!!! Oh is all adressed again to go to WI, and I will have to ask Teri to post it on her end, if she wants to! Old age is all I can blame! LOL!

I finished the second book of the Twilight series. It was called "New Moon". It wasn't quite as good as book #1, but it still had the power to keep me reading...and had a new twist of two in the plot, which was nice.

Now I am ready for #3, called The Eclipse. Our local library has limited hours now (due to renovations), and I have to get there by 5pm, which can be tricky! It is open on Saturday just in case I can't get there tomorrow. I sure hope they have a copy!

Our county did a Read Together, a few years ago, and we all read "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston. I just saw a commercial that said that it would be a movie on TV, starring Halle Berry this Friday night! I have to catch that! I just looked it up and this particular version was actually made in 2005...I just have not seen it yet myself.
Can't wait!

Hope ya'll had a grand Thursday, and will have an even better Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New ATC coming up!

I had thought of putting some gold leaf onto the ATC in my last post, and then today at my weekly meeting at work, as we passed our giant jar of chocolate miniatures around...all those little golden packages got me to thinkin!

I have almost finished my newest ATC, which is called "Candy Bar Heaven"...I should get it posted by tomorrow night...if I haven't hit another creative block...I am thinking it needs just one more little thing...or does it?? may have to decide!!!

Have a happy Thursday! It's watering day for I am elated!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An ATC design question!

Someone told me if I crinkled up a peice of brown paper bag, then painted it with Gesso, it would look like leather. There must be a clear Gesso, because when I painted mine with white Gesso, it just looked like a white crinkled up paper. I actually used an opened toilet paper roll, cut to 3.5 x 2.5 size. The pic on left is the back, and on the front side after painting on the Gesso, I added some brushed on blue calligraphy ink. From this point now I am stumped as to what I might do to turn this into a work of art! Maybe I should trash it, but something keeps telling me not to. I think it already has a neat look to it. Anybody got any good ideas???

Potted cactus and ATC storage

I wanted to show my new cactus, sent all the way from Texas...all potted up in their new homes on my kitchen windowsill! They will get a watchful eye and a little extra moisture here and there to get their roots going and then move to their outdoor tire garden, where (I hope) they will live out their long, long lives! I didn't tell you, Claude, but it was such a surprise that you sent me a peice of cleistocactus winterii. I had been wanting this same plant, and didn't know the name, and it seemed like a bit of the universe in action when it just arrived at my door like that!!! WOW! It kinda gives you the chills!!!

Below is my modest little red notebook where I store all my ATC's in baseball card pages. My local trading card/book store is 1 block from my house and they sell the trading card sleeve pages...each page holds 9 ATC's perfectly. I like to sit and look through them all whenever I add in a new this page that holds cards from the my blogger friends in the Netherlands, England, and California!

Just for kicks, I counted all my cards and I currently have 64 ATC's! Such fun!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Surprises in the mail today!

Oh wow...I couldn't believe I recieved TWO surprises in the mail today! How fun! First was a box from Claude, from Random Rants and Prickly Plants...each type of cactus wrapped so cutely in paper and labelled! I was very careful to be sure and photograph each one with the tag in front! I am terrible at I.D.'ing plants, and have an aweful memory for all of them!!! Thanks Claude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now to get them planted in my tires!!!

Next was a card (so beautiful) from Lynn, at Getting My Feet Wet! Look at this gorgeous ATC card make from fabric and sewing embellishment!!! I love it so much, Lynn!!! It is my only fabric ATC!!! It fit into my storage system perfectly too! It has such a glitter and shine to it...right up my alley! Thankyou Lynn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check this out! Her information is printed on the fabric backing also!!! Very nice!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

D is for donut!

This was hard for me, but looking at it in optimal lighting and with my doodled butterfly covering one yucky's not bad!
Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday! AND, don't forget, as Tootsie says, it's FERTILIZER FRIDAY! I'm going out to throw a little around after work, myself!
Hugs- Julie

Looky what I got...Claude and I are winners!!!

SAM (Secret Aging Man), husband of Walk 2 Write, posted a rock identifying challenge on their blog, and both Claude, and I were winners! I'd say Claude was a bit more of a winner than I since he kinda knew the second rock was some sort of petrified poop (and I didn't)...but SAM kindly let me win too, so it was a lot of fun for me! See what I recieved in the mail today? A box with my name on it (NO...MY NAME IS NOT "FIRST CLASS", lol):

Filled with all sorts of really neat rocks! Purdy ones, too!!! Yee-haw! (I really love the amethyst one)!!! Oh, my gosh...I thought I would win just ONE rock, but 5??? WOWZERS! I just love them all, and SAM...thankyou so much!!! I enjoyed the challenge...I want to take a geology class now! He even gave me hints as to which geology class might be best, which I truely appreciate! Thanks so much, SAM!
He even labelled each one, and gave me a paper he wrote up about each specimen! I was very intregued by the Barite Rose, since this is the stuff that is used in Barium enemas and swallows...tests given at the hospital to determine intestinal conditions! Not fun tests either!!! I have not taken one, but have gotten many people ready to take them over the years!

Thanks again SAM! I love them all!!!!!

Look what I found!

I must bake this! Luckily we have prickly pears for sale at our markets here, and I can also find them around town on abandoned plants. I think this sounds like it would be very interesting! Maybe for Mothers Day??? Have any of you out west ever tried something like this this???

Prickly Pear Quick Bread
From Jean Groen

About 12 prickly-pear fruits
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Scald pears for 1 minute. Peel, halve and seed them. Scoop out 1 cup fruit.
Heat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Put fruit in a large bowl with melted butter, sugar and eggs. Mix well. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into fruit mixture and mix until well moistened. Pour into prepared pan and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Place in oven and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (For muffins, divide batter among 12 muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.) Makes 12 servings.

Approximate values per serving: 240 calories, 5 g fat, 42 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 413 mg sodium, 19 percent calories from fat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Turning to altered art!

Well, I know this is gonna make you say "What they heck, enough is enough of her darn sketchbook already"!!! BUT.....OK...last night I decided to make and place a butterfly on each page too. I know it is weird, but the happiness I am having by adding a butterfly is measurable! So thought I would show you what I did. I know this first one, I should have cut out more precisely, but I kinda liked having the paper be on there too...a little different. These butterlies are all drawn using milky or gel pens on white sketch paper, then cut out and glued into my sketchbook. I am just enjoying the gel pens more than microns! I added some sparkle to areas also...

How bout a little tiny guy for a breast landing!!! LOL!

And a beautiful blue butterfly!

Claude had some interesting ideas for a round thing starting with D...(door knob or drum)...but I think it may have to be donut!!! It is calling me...what can I say?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prickly Pear Syrup for ya!

Here is one place to buy the syrup (there are others), which was the lowest price I found kinda quickly...I think I will buy this bottle! Check it out: HERE!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A late evening Cactus Monday Drink!

On Cactus Monday:
How to Make A Prickly Pear Martini

You may have heard of the Prickly Pear Margarita. Well, here's an excellent Martini cocktail made from the prickly pear cactus fruit.

The redish-purple prickly pear fruit is high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and is said to reduce many hang-over symptoms.

Things You'll Need:

Cocktail shaker
Cocktail ice
Limoncello liqueur
Prickly Pear Syrup
Dry vermouth
Fresh Lemon
Rim sugar
Step 1: In a cocktail shaker with ice, add: 3/4oz Grey Goose® La Poire Vodka, 3/4oz Limoncello liqueur, 1/2oz Pêra™ Prickly Pear Syrup, 1/2oz Dry vermouth & 1/2oz 7-Up®.

Step 2: Shake vigorously & strain into sugar rimmed martini glass. Note: If you don't have a glass rimming kit, simply slide a lemon wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip into a plate filled with white or colored sugar.

Step 3: Finally, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Typically, a quarter or half lemon will be sufficient. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Here is a little TAG that I picked up over at Soulbrushes place...and ABC tag...
A - Age: 52 short, yet fast moving years!
B - Bed: with Doozey by my side!.
C- Chore you hate: all...but mostly mopping of floors!
D-Dog: Doozey the Great!
E - Essential to start your day item(s): coffee
F - Favorite color(s): orange and yellow
G -Gold or Silver: silver
H - Height: 5' and 7.5"
I - I've come to learn: life must be fun, or it's not worth living!
J - Job: nurse
K - Kite: maybe do a little kite flying with my grandson when he gets home to the states in the next few months!
L - Living: do what you want to's your life!
M - Mood: sleepy
N - Nicknames: Jules
O - Owl or Eagle: Owl
P - Pet Peeve: lateness
Q - Quote : "Prior planning prevents poor performance"
R - Right or left handed: right
S - Siblings: 1 brother, 1 sister
T - Touch: hugs, kisses,...
U - Umbrella: rarely used during our last 3 years drought
V - Vegetable favourite: potato, hands down
W - Want: to visit the Metropolitan Munseum of Art, to visit Arizona, California (any day), Mexico and South Africa, and the Canary Islands.
X - XXX: well....?????...what???
Y - Yo-Yo: dieting
Z - zebra: love to watch at Animal Kingdom, Disney World, Orlando, Florida

You are all tagged, I want to know more about you.

C is for Cantaloupe!

Done with pencil, gel pens and White Out!

Now, if only I knew how to spell!!! Thank God for Wikipedia!!!

I watched the movie Twilight last night and it was very good, but I was glad I had read the book first, so I would know little things (like how intoxicating Edwards breath is to her), etc. I picked up the second book in the series, called New Moon, and it is as fat as the first! Yikes. I'm afraid to start it, cause I don't think I will want to put it down!!!

Happy Sunday to all!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Revised sketchbook

Well, I went crazy today and decided that I could not take the pages in by book that showed the printed artwork and words from the store! I cut more pages from 2 more large store paperbags, and then I took my book apart and took sheets (before folding) and glued the printed sides of each together so that I had 2 clean sides. I know it is a bit indulgent to glue two pages together, but it does make for a cleaner book. I am happy now!

I had one bag that had lighter paper and it looks real good mixed in. This one page here is where I had to rip off some handles, so it makes a ratty kinda funky look...I like it! I had a total of 11 folded pages in the end, so I put a lighter page about every 2-3 pages, and it is all mixed in and lovely.

I finished it off with some green twine I had laying around (instead of the too-short ribbons I had in it the first time. It still lays out perfectly flat. I tied the three holed areas off individually, and then my twine peices were so long that I brought them all together in the middle and tied a bow. I ended up with 32 useable pages in my newly revised book. I would have 34 if I had used paper bag to line the covers!
Now on to letter C.

B is for BREASTS!

All (or at least some) artists must think alike!

Well, jusdging from the comments of a few of you, there is some interest in this idea of doing alphabetical sketches of round things! Ha! The idea was my daughters (who is an artist)...and I find it so interesting that some of you also like the idea! Well, today I will work on her suggestion of the B sketch...which will be BREASTS! LOL! I af anyone wants to follow along and do a sketch of a round B item, feel free to join in the fun, and let us see what you do! This will be fun! Come back to this post to let me know if you post one on your blog!

On a side note...I think I MUST see the Twilight movie now, as I heard yesterday from several people what a FANTASTIC movie it was, and people who have seen it, have watched it many times, they are so enthralled...I, being the so fickle and easily swayed person that I am...can declare that I have changed my mind and also feel I must read the next book in the series! Oh goodness...what have I gotten myself into??? will love the first book, girl!!! Evidently a lot of people across the globe love it! As Claude pointed out, it has become a sensation!

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!!