Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year :)

(I took this overexposed shot of Xmas bows and thought it looked a bit like fireworks :)

See ya all next year, sober and ready to go :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake.

This is absolutely our Family's favourite cake. It is very traditional. It is quintessentially English; along with cucumber sandwiches, scones and cups of tea.

If there is one thing I know about college kids they do not get many home baked goodies while at school, so this was the first thing I made for them when they came home. :)

I use the same recipe from my Delia Smith cookbook I have used for 20+ years. Delia is a mainstay in all that is good in British cooking (yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron but we do have some great classic recipes and this is one of those) I also found her online, so if you are interested in making this here is a link to the recipe for a Classic Victoria Sponge.

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas.

I wanted to wish everyone a safe, joyous, fun and love filled

Merry Christmas :)

Here are a few images from our Christmas Tree :)

(I was experimenting with night time light and no flash, I think these shots turned out pretty well :)

This is the first Xmas ornament I ever owned, it was given to me by the little girls I was a nanny for in Vancouver B.C. 30+ years ago. 3 little girls, 2, 4 and 5 all lined up outside my door to bring me a Dakin ornament each, one this Snowman, a Santa and an Angel, it was so cute, they helped me choose a place on my little Xmas tree to put them, the most wonderful part of this is the family I worked for was Jewish and had gone out of their way to make sure Christmas was celebrated in their house (well my room) for me. That was so thoughtful and sweet, it was my first Xmas away from home and in a different country.

Of course there are a number of trains on our Christmas Tree. :)

This sparkling Dress (on a hanger too) is the latest ornament added to my collection this year :)

In my Dreams, that is me on the Harley, not Barbie :)

I am toying with the idea of having Peyton Manning at the top of the Tree :)


Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rain, Rain and more, yep, Rain.

I am trying to be positive :) But we have had a lot of rain. I took this photo yesterday from the end of our street when there was a small break in the clouds. There is a river down there somewhere, no I couldn't see it either. We are pretty much stuck in the clouds and the rain makes me a little cranky :) Although, once I am out in it walking around with my umbrella I feel completely ok with it, must be my Britishness coming out. :)

Xmas shopping done, Xmas prezzies wrapped, Baking (needs to be done) Children, one home, one in the air, one packing :)

Have a Wonderful Day!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

College boys are coming home!

I am walking around with a permanent grin on my face. I am soooo excited. I am off to the airport today to pick up my youngest who is flying home for the Holidays :) He is done with the first semester of college and loved it but is as excited as I to be coming home.

On Monday I go back to the airport to pick up my other son who is flying back from college in England :)

Then on Tuesday my daughter flies home. :)

I have been cleaning and I planned the menus weeks ago, I am going to do nothing but enjoy the company of my wonderful children over the Holidays (oh and the Hubby, of course :) and be grateful every moment that they are happy to come home :)

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tacky Christmas Wreath.

I have a heart shaped wreath hanging on my front door for most of the year. Then as it gets closer to Christmas I think about replacing it with a holiday festive wreath. I have made various ones in the past but this one is so tacky I have surprised myself that it is hanging on my front door for the world to see. I guess I was bored with the big fake poinsettia flowers sprinkled with glitter (that sounds tacky too :) and thought I would chance things up this year by using materials from art supply boxes. I hoard used Xmas paper, ribbons, tinsel, cards, even candy wrappers with the hope of someday incorporating these items into a masterpiece, well a piece of art anyway :) So, you know how it happens, you are sitting there thinking maybe it might be a fun thing to do and before you know it you have ripped the lids off all the storage boxes and have rummaged thru the storage drawers to find what might work.

I found some copper wire, really sturdy old xmas wrapping paper, tinsel from old xmas crackers, bows and ribbon from last years parcels and voila, pretty much the tackiest wreath I have seen and because of that I kinda have a very soft spot for it. :)

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Little Christmas Men.

All 32 of them :) I have been collecting Christmas "Men" for a few years now. (Oh, there are a couple of Snowmen, an Angel, a Xmas Teddy Bear and a Penguin who also wondered in :)

Yes, I did cheat a bit, I purchased 2 a year, naughty I know but Santa is still coming to our house :)

I didn't buy one yet this year :(

I love the ones on springs that wobble, very jolly :)

I always have trouble decided who is going to stand next to each other (egos ya know) but I think this works :)

This guy just loves sitting atop of the Blue Ellie :)

I love the blue and white on his jacket and his silver shoes :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Steam Train!

Here in Portland we have the "Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation" For 2 weekends in December they run their 2 Steam locomotives as the Holiday Express. The trains are decked with Christmas lights and a possible Santa sighting. :)

My Hubby and I went out to see the train and take photos and were at the station when the families were disembarking, everyone was just chattering and joyful, the little kids happy, it was such a positive atmosphere of relaxed family time. (oh, how we miss that, but everyone will be home soon :)

It is so rare to see a steam engine, it is awe inspiring. It was a pretty gloomy day and still rather cold but I braved it to accompany my Hubby who is a bit of a steam enthusiast :)

I have to admit I do have a soft spot for Steam Engines, they were still running on a regular bases in England when I was a kid; my friends and I used to go to the local bridge and wait for the London train to go by, we loved being immersed in the warm smoke and hear the loud, thunderous machine roll under us, it was a huge rush, little did we know how dangerous the smoke was for us; I guess if we had known there would have been no fun in it.

Here are a couple of photos I took :)

SP 4449 Article Source: Portland Tribune.

Happy Holiday Travels :)
Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Giveaway Day is Here!!!!!!

We have a Winner!!!

I am so excited to announce the winner in my Holiday Giveaway on PoppyPlacePdx!!!!!

..........................................(silent drum roll) .................................................The winner is ****Emily****

Congrats to Emily, I really hope you will enjoy the colourful scarf. :)

I would like to thank everyone who participated, commented on my blog, went to my Etsy shops, hearted them and everyone who is now following my blog :)

Watch out for next month's giveaway!

P.S. "Friday Features" will return in the New Year :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Fun!

It has been below freezing here in Portland for the past week and with the windchill, well let's just say it is a little nippy. But the sun is shining and being the outdoorsy people we are here in the Northwest we go out undeterred. This past Sunday my Hubby and I went to a local area in Portland, we love, called Sellwood. It was bustling, regardless of the chilly weather, and people, I think, were just enjoying being outdoors.

This horse (well 2 horses actually :) and carriage were a fun addition to the festive atmosphere. I managed to snap a few photos as it passed us by. The horses were so calm as they transported some very excited children and adults back and forth along the road. The sound of the sleigh bells was very magical, I guess we truly do associate that sound with the Holiday Season. :)

Hope you enjoy! :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Moon in the Western Sky.

This is for Jenni from :)

Last week Jenni posted on her blog

Full Moon at Dawn

I am so sad that I did not have a camera handy this morning to capture the large full moon low in the western sky. Dawn was breaking so the sky was a lighter blue with tinges of pinks beginning to form on the tips of the clouds. The moon had a pearly glow as it lumbered above.The first heavy frost of the season was on the ground and things were coated in a fuzzy coat of white. The walk-way was slick and the grass crunchy. The air was very still.It was an incredible sight with the combining light of the rising sun and setting moon creating a magical mood.Sigh, no camera, so my prose will have to due for description.

Then I remember the month before I had taken a few photos of what she was describing, so here they are, not fantastic photos as they are shot thru glass (I wasn't going to go outside in my nightie, it was cold, wet and miserable, staying in the warmth of the house was the better option than going outside for amazing photography :)

Happy Monday!

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Friday Features"

It's Friday so that means "Features Time!"

I am happy to bring you another talented member of our Etsy community. This week it is a lovely Jewelry maker, Kelsi, from;

She has kindly answered some questions for us :)

Tell us a little about how you got to where you are creatively.

I have always been a person who likes to get my hands dirty. When I was young it was finger painting and play-doh. I never considered myself capable of creating artwork until I was at university where I had a professor for an art and religion course who gave each of her students
the gift of self-confidence in their creativity. My eyes were opened to a new world of self-expression, something I have tried to hold on to as best as I can since then. My main medium has been photography until April of this year. I was in Sydney, Australia feeling creatively
drained. I stumbled upon a jewelry supply website and the scale tipped from drained to full of inspiration. It was wonderful to find a new tool of self-expression, one that I can so easily share with others.

Tell us a little about your creative process.

Creating for me is all about the process. If I like the end result - bonus, if I don't like the end result but had a good time getting there, that's good too. With jewelry-making I shop for things that I like. I am incredibly picky so I spend quite a bit of time searching for the "perfect" collection of supplies. Currently I am working on my lounge room table, so I pull out all of the boxes and bags of beads, findings, pendants, etc. and lay them out in front of me and I start
experimenting. Very infrequently is there an end product in mind when I start - I enjoy the mystery of what might evolve from a work session.

What do you love about creating?

I love the inspiration that comes from finding something that I love - how do I incorporate it into my jewelry, how do I photograph it, etc. The inspiration is the addiction. Their is nothing like that feeling in the world. It keeps me going and keeps me creating.

What is your favourite item in your Etsy store right now?

I have fallen in love with the verdigris patina items. The earrings are relatively simple in design but I find them to be so complex. I love the patterns made on the copper by the patina treatment - not one piece reacts in the same way as another.

Domed Circle Verdigris Patina Pendant Earrings.

Why Etsy?

I had never heard of Etsy until I was home in the States visiting with a friend in May of this year. I started making plans that afternoon to get my things together and open up a shop. Etsy is a stroke of genius - I am amazed everyday by how well the site works to promote community and the sharing of ideas, techniques and the unique personalities of its sellers. I am very excited to be part of such a well-designed site with such a talented collection of artisans and crafters.

What do you love about Etsy?

I have never found so many items that I truly connect with in one place! I go to art fairs, markets, co-ops, etc. and I find maybe one or two sellers who have something I really am drawn too. The thing I love most about Etsy is that there are so many people out there creating beautiful work and sharing it with the world. It is wonderful to be able to find their work, pop it in my favorites section for the day when I have the money to pay for them - and it will happen!

Ocean Jasper Bird Earrings - made with recycled glass and sterling silver.

What do you do in your spare time?

I live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world – New Zealand -(I'm not bias or anything... :)) so in my free time I just like to wander around looking at things. Wellington is a great city for creative people. There are always gallery openings to go to, art stores to visit, people to talk passionately about the world with and friends to catch up with. My partner works quite a lot so when he has free time I am more than happy to drop everything and spend time with him. I also enjoy experimenting with my little plastic Holga camera, running and swimming.

Tell us 4 things about yourself that would let us peek into your world
or that you think define you.

1). I left the United States in 2005 for New Zealand on a solo journey of self-discovery (sounds cliche but it was exactly what it was:) ).

2). I feel fortunate everyday for the family that I have and my partner - he is my support, my love, and he who keeps the world light and happy when I get a bit too serious.

3). I love learning new things - usually through trial and error.

4). I have an intense desire to help make the world a better place in small and big ways.

If you could, what would be your dream life?

I would travel with my partner 6 months out of every year, living in different communities; experiencing their reality, their passions and their inspiration. The other 6 months I would work to help improve the lives of others who are less fortunate and struggling to make ends meet.
I would have several cameras, lots of film, a good pen and a moleskin journal with me the whole time - photographing, writing and living.
Here are some of the places you can check out Kelsi's work :)

Etsy shop:
Photography website:

Other Etsy shop:

I hope you enjoyed meeting Kelsi! I certainly did. Go check out her shops on Etsy :)

Have a Wonderful Weekend! :)

Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some New Photos :)

Well, I am very excited :) So I wanted to share these with you :)

Today, I actually posted a few of my new photos for sale in my Etsy shop.

Twilight over Mount Hood.

Sunset over the Siskiyous.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Other Poppy!

Poor Poppy, yep! That is my other Poppy :) She is being dumped on :(

Well, you all know by now that I love Red and so, when we had the opportunity to buy a convertible car multiple years ago it was an absolute no brainer for me. Poppy is a V12, 5.3 liter, XJS, Classic convertible RED Jaguar. Also, part of her was made at the Jag plant in the City I grew up in, unfortunately the plant had to shut down a few years ago, so she is a reminder of the once thriving Coventry car industry.

But as the seasons change she doesn't get to go out to play as much as she does during the Spring and Summer. So, like anything in our house if it doesn't move for a while you will find a pile of something or other growing on top of it and Poppy, unfortunately, is no different.

First it was the cushions from the outside furniture, waiting to go up to the attic, by the way they are still waiting and at this rate they may be still there when Spring rolls around. :)

The front end is covered with the boxes from that haul of wine we ordered after our trip to Napa in September. The wine fridge eventually arrived and so the unpacking of all those boxes that were in the hallway for months got underway. Click here to see.

Please, no comments about the rest of my messy garage :(


This was just the beginning, I wish I had taken pictures of the final pile, needless to say we had a lot of polystyrene to get rid of and cardboard boxes. Thankfully, we have a recycling place that takes polystyrene, I couldn't have put it in the land fill, I would not have forgiven myself. The cardboard all went into our weekly recycling bin. I love living in Oregon for lots of reasons, that it is one of the leading environmentally aware states really helps :)

She is so understanding :)

Here she is on a nice sunny day, posing for the camera, she does like to show off sometimes :)

Don't forget to enter my Holiday Giveaway.
Happy Painting/Creating! :) T.