Fall-O-Ween Day 4: Textures

Wow, we're on day 4 of the blog hop. Are you having lots of fun? The ladies so far have done an amazing job, don't you think? Gudrun, Sandy and Roseann designed some wonderful projects for you. Today we have the lovely Kari Carr leading the way on the topic of textures. Go to her blog. Check out her thoughts on textures of fall and her wonderful design especially for you. If you are making the projects, you can post yours here.

Thank you for writing your great comments. I read each and every one of them and so do my kids. They think that you're awesome!! They asked me if these were written by all of my friends? Of course, I replied!  

I love all of the textures that you see when fall rolls around. I love the persimmons, pumpkin farms, the apple trees, haystacks, twigs and trees. My friends Dar and Bob have the most awesome property. There's a stream running through the property and a foot bridge. You can click here to see some photos of their property. Beautiful, right? 

I also love how my local shops dress up their storefronts. I'm so lucky to live in such a funky little town. Green's & Beans Floral Studio is one of my favorite spots. 

The Write Touch is a beautiful shop with all sorts of gorgeous handmade cards. [Did I ever tell you that paper is actually my first love? I designed handmade cards before handmade cards were popular.]

The sunlight that shines through the leaves on our walk to school is so happy and bright.

Fall is all about knitting for me too. I recently contributed a design to this lovely book. 

Most of you who have followed me on this blog or on Facebook know that I love to photograph flowers for enjoyment and for my website. You can check my website for the latest photographs.

Take your camera and go out this weekend. See what sort of textures inspire you. It's a nice little exercise to boost your creativity and it's thoroughly enjoyable.

Did you catch me on Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski? We had fun and he ate my cranberry-banana loaf [even though he and Jeff are on a no sugar diet]! When I walked in, he gave me a stack of stuff so that I could prep for my visit. I went through articles on the increasing cost of cotton, Joe Cunningham and Amy Sedaris' books, the pattern that he is cross stitching right now,  and a few magazines. I haven't studied this hard since my last organic chemistry test in university! Funny thing, when I walked downstairs I saw a familiar face. I don't know Amara very well but the hoarding expert's son and my son are in the same class. How funny!! Then I sat down for the first segment. It was interesting and fun. I sat out for the next few segments and then back for the last segment. By the time we were finished it was getting late, we chatted and then the guests said our good-byes. Thanks, Mark, Jeff and Taryn!  You can download the program on iTunes or www.toginet.com. I will have a drawing today for a signed copy of the current [and his first as editor] Fabric Trends magazine. All you have to do is make a comment.
Here's a view of his "green" room where I sat and looked read over the stuff that he gave me. 

Yes, he is actually working on this piece which may take him 27 years to do. It's called, "And They Sinned" and I believe that it is about 4 feet long.

Here's the signed copy ready for one winner!

Don't forget to visit the other designer's blogs to see what they're up to today! Gudrun, Sandy, Roseann, Kari, Terry, Heather, Terri, Carrie, and Pat
See you tomorrow!! xo, L

Choose Your Own Adventure

You are on holiday in the Philippines. Having arrived in Manila, you quickly get the hell out of that carbuncle and head north. With a couple of days to blow so decide to check out the former US military towns of Subic and Clark.
Today, Subic is one of the biggest ports in the region and continues to reap the benefits of the infrastructure left behind by the Yanks. It's not just the town plan they left behind, either: walk around much of Subic and it'd be almost indistinguishable from a boring American suburb. Low-lying hotels and convenience stores fringe the sidewalk, people drive on the right, there's a gun culture and the music of preference is putrid hip-hop.
You're only in town for a day, and the first stop is Treetop Adventures, a zip-lined day out for adrenaline junkies, teenagers' birthday parties and tourists light on imagination. The rides/experiences aren't anything you haven't seen before, but to give it a local twist, the owners have employed an Aeta – a descendent of the native tribes – to give a demonstration on “jungle survival.” In practise, this is a lesson in the genuinely amazing flexibility of bamboo: one piece can be used to make cutlery, crockery, glassware, an insect-swatter, a back-scratcher and, eventually, to make fire. You sit watching a man who looks remarkably like Ashley Cole from certain angles, as he masterfully conjures red flame from a big piece of grass. It's all harmless fun.
You spend the afternoon back at the hotel, before going out for a couple of hours on a yacht. You've never done this kind of thing before and can only afford to do so today because the hotel offers it as a package for their guests. Still, spin it the right way and you'll be able to sound really posh to the folks back home. You were supposed to be out here for sunset, but gathering storm clouds make for much better pictures anyway.
Photo: Wee Mo
Photo: Wee Mo
The next day you set off for Clark, a couple of hours to the south. In American times, this was a major military base, but nowadays, the airfield is used by budget carriers. Despite being half a world away, you are reminded that simply having an airport doesn't necessarily change a town into a destination.
You're here to experience the Puning River Hot Springs, a slightly odd mish-mash complex that offers thrills and relaxation, almost simultaneously. Here you can be buried up to your neck in volcanic ash, which does something or other for your circulation, and get painted in mud, which does something else for your skin. There are traditional foot massages too, but the real kicker is a complex at the head of a riverbed that hosts half a dozen hot springs. You jump in an ageing Jeep driven by a mad Catholic and hare off up the baking valley to check them out.
Photo: Wee Mo
The place is clearly being renovated when you get there, which is a bit of a pity, but despite of the crushing heat and humidity, you decide to go have a look anyway. You follow a guide to the northernmost pool, which is naturally maintained at 36C and offers a neat view of the rest of the complex and the men hauling rock below.
The guide talks: “The men here are only receiving 200 pesos a day,” he says shaking his head and smiling nervously. “They work all day with the sun.”
As you look down at the men crawling over the grey volcanic rock, it dawns on you that they are all Aetas. Is that right? If not, can you do anything about it? What to do? What to think?
Option A:
These fortunate men have employment in one of the poorest countries in the world. The Philippines offers no income support or healthcare and although the pay is hardly mind-blowing, it is pay. If they work hard enough, they can at least provide something for their families and by having any kind of work, they can win some self-respect. Things are said to be much worse in Manila, and realistically, they were given the same opportunities to better themselves as any other Pinoy. Hell, as they're all the same race, they probably have some kind of union and have gotten jobs here with far more ease than most folk. They likely get to borrow any materials and tools they might need for home repairs too – they'll might even steal whatever the foreman doesn't agree to as well. Yeah... yeah this is fine. Time to undress and have a dip.

Option B:
You feel a little sick and can't meet the eye of any of these poor bastards, dying in the merciless heat. If they took absolutely no holiday, they might be able to buy the camera you've got hanging around your idiotic neck in 10 months. Look at their wretched fate! Breaking their backs for £3 a day, humiliated, downtrodden, shat upon, despised. This slow, grim genocide is the fate of all native people, and the fact that the Americans used to govern this place probably gave the locals form... Hell, they'd have been no better off with any colonial tyrant in charge. You already feel like you want to cry out, to do something for these dirty, dusty folk but you're further nauseated by the knowledge that this is precisely how Filipinos abroad are exploited. You stumble back to the 4x4, staring at the ground, knots in your stomach.

If you agree with Option A, turn to page 11.
If you agree with Option B, turn to page 14.

Fall-O-Ween Day 3: Tastes

Gudrun and Sandy had awesome posts and even more awesome designs for their special day. I'm lucky to be in such great company. Today, Roseann Kermes is sharing her thoughts on tastes of fall. Hop over to see her surprise for you. I'm sure that it will be a wonderful treat!
For me, I enjoy Halloween a lot because of the fun that you can have with it. I'm not so into the gore of the festivities but more the fun and silliness that goes along with the holiday. Having kids in elementary school gives me the opportunity to get really silly and to test the ideas out on them.

Yesterday, I got busy making the things that I like to make during fall and especially Halloween. First up, do you remember the cranberry-banana loaf and the tags that I introduced you to at the last blog hop? I made a loaf yesterday and it was the best one yet. Yum! I also updated the tags and the colors of the tags to reflect a Halloween theme. Check them out.

Ooooh, witches, wizards and zombies. What do you serve them when they come to the door in search of a party? Why, some spirits, of course!

Add some sprite, throw in some gummy worms, and top it with a cranberry-flavored ice cube that's shaped like a skull and some pumpkin-flavored Pop Rocks! Yum! Watch out though because there's a lot of pop and fizz going on.

For the less adventurous, the wizard has kindly brewed three of his favorite flavors of hot chocolate. So delicious. Do you think that the guests will choose white mocha, hot chocolate, or the orange Halloween hot chocolate?

What do you do when they're hungry? I think that some dragon's snot is in order. It is a delicacy you know, on account of the fact that dragon's are a scarcity. Oops, I think that this dragon lost some of its brains too.

If you can't find the real thing then you can make your own concoction. Just add some mint chocolate ice cream to your lemon-lime soda, drizzle some syrup and add some gummy brains. That'll do it.
Some of the witches and wizards may have lost their wands. We can help them out by lending them ours. Ours are yummy pretzel sticks with chocolate and sprinkles on top!

Oh dear. The guests don't like our offerings thus far? Well, here's something that's sure to satisfy their hunger pangs. We had to find a few crocodiles for these. Not an easy task indeed! Can't find any crocodiles, you say? Well, try this recipe, cover it with white chocolate instead, and add a gummy Lifesaver, chocolate center and some icing.
When it's time to go though, your guests will need to take some treats with them just in case they get hungry along the way. These specimens will fill their tummies.

Rat bones, eyeballs and worms are oh so delicious!!

For us humans, we also love green curry and shrimp soup. It's a rich soup made with coconut milk, shrimp, green curry paste and basil.

These awesome cookies that our friend, Jenn makes over at here look so delicious too. Do you have any special treats that you like to feed your ghoulish guests or what are your family favorites?

Remember that I'm going to be a guest on Creative Mojo With Mark Lipinski. Call in between 3 and 5 p.m. and join the fun! Details here on his blog.

Hop over to all of the other blogs to see what they're up to today. Gudrun, Sandy, Terri, Kari, , Heather, Carrie, RoseannTerry and Pat are sure to tempt you with their treats!
xo, L

Fall-O-Ween Day 2: Scents

Welcome back and a great thank you for participating in this fun blog hop. Yesterday, Gudrun did an awesome job with her special day. Next up, we have the wonderful, Sandy Gervais. You'll have to pop over to her site to check out her special project and what she has to say about our topic of the day, scents.

This is a tough one for me because I have allergies and I am overly sensitive to a lot of scents. In fact, when I was in the mall the other day, I went to Bath & Body Works and, unfortunately, I couldn't stay in there for very long. I made a few quick selections for gifts and bolted out of there. I did find these really adorable antibacterial lotions. Check out the names. So fun!

I do love the scent of apple cider and cinnamon wafting through the house. It's a very relaxing thing to me. This tea from the Crate & Barrel is nice because it isn't as sweet as actual apple cider. I love to add a cinnamon stick to add a little extra flavor.

My most favorite scents, though, are the crisp, fresh air that you can breathe in when it is a clear, autumn day and the smell of rain on a not so clear day. My kids love it too. What are you favorite scents for fall?

See you tomorrow. Remember to join me on Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski tomorrow. I'm going to be on for different segments so stay tuned from 3 - 5 p.m.

Check out what the other designers are doing today. Gudrun, Sandy, Roseann, Kari, Terry, Heather, Terri, Carrie and Pat have some wonderful thoughts on scent.
xo, L

Fall-O-Ween Day 1: Colors

Welcome to Fall-O-Ween 2010! I am so excited and am so glad that you're here to follow along. There are 10 designers who are participating this time around. On each day of the hop, each designer will blog about the topic of the day. On the special day of the hop, she'll have a FREE project designed especially for you and the hop. At the end of the hop, there will be a super grand prize. All you have to do to be eligible is comment to on all 10 of the blogs while the blog is going on. The prize consists of all of our favorite products and the total value is $500! To get started, read about all of the themes of the day and who the designer of the day is right here. Today, hop over to see what Gudrun's up to. I'm sure that you'll love her wonderful surprise for you.

Today's topic is colors. Oh, how I love colors. Fall is my favorite season. I love watching the leaves change their colors and seeing all of the different hues.

A few years ago, a good high school friend married his sweetheart in a canoe in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We were lucky because we were hitting the peak of the changing of the colors of the leaves. We had to paddle to a bridge to witness the couple exchanging their vows underneath a bridge. 

Afterward, my hubby and I drove around the east coast and all I can say is that it was awesome to drive around a curve along the Cabot Trail and be surprised by a wall of leaves of a million different colors. It was a beautiful day and a trip to remember!

I saw a similar colors at my lovely local quilt shop the other day. Toby, the owner, was putting together a few kits and she had a few beautiful autumn quilts on display. This one was so pretty draped in the corner.

You can check out my website and journal design too to see my latest take on fall flowers.

Do you like to make autumn-inspired designs? What are your favorite motifs? Leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, ghoulish ghosts? 

I also have a special invite for you. I'm going to be a guest on Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski. My good friend, Mark Lipinski, has an awesome new radio show and its all about creativity and inspiration. Do tune in on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at http://www.toginet.com/. If you miss it you can download it from iTunes. You call in too at 877-864-4869! Join us for some fun. I'm sure you be entertained and inspired.

See you tomorrow! 

xo, L