Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: On The Other Side?

Is he the prisoner, or are you? This photo was taken of one of my brother's friends back in the early 90's grunge days. Teenagers are totally into posing for photos... when they don't have to smile that is!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Walk On The Sand Clears The Mind...

Yesterday was a really strange weather day... windy, cloudy, and very warm. It had to be over 60 degrees! Which, in a New Jersey winter is like a heatwave. So I took a walk down to the beach. It was so nice. And theraputic too! I was feeling a little under the weather (no pun intended!) and it was good to get out of the house and stretch the legs. And what a place to stretch them! I'm pretty lucky.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and I'm sending wishes for a Happy and Exciting New Year to all of you. May 2009 bring wonderful things!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Stop Fighting What Is

One of the things I'm learning in life is that if I'm in disagreement with how things are... I can create suffering in my life. And that's no fun! Everything is what it is... my job, my life, the economy, my car that needs the fuel injector cleaning and new filters, and so on. And the more I get mad at things and don't accept what is actually happening... the sadder I seem to be. So one of my new mantras is, "stop fighting what is!" And here I have illustrated that point with one very amusing "flea market family" photo I acquired for my collection... and then I added the "WHAT IS" in Photoshop.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Got Some Snow...

Over the weekend, we got a little snow here on the coast of New Jersey. Not much really... less than an inch. But everything looked so pretty. It was nice. Rain on Sunday washed it all away. Until next time...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sticky-Back To The Rescue!

Okay, so this winter, I took my wool coat out of the closet, just hoping that none of the moths we usually get over the summer thought that it was a tasty treat. But, to my surprise, a kitty cat must have snuck into the closet and seen it as a scratching post! The back of the coat near the bottom had a giant nest of undone fibers, sticking out everywhere! Aw crap. And I just loved that coat!

So I hand wove all the fabric pieces back together and glued them in place with Liquid Stitch. But the glue kind of made the coat look like it was dirty. So then I tried to paint over it with acrylics, but just couldn't get the color right. Then it looked like I sat in something! Sigh.

So, I remembered we had a Sizzix die of a flower and thought—as a last resort—I'd try to cover up the area with flowers using Claudine Hellmuth's Sticky-Back Canvas, Studio Acrylic Paints and some vintage buttons. I'm so happy about how it turned out. Now I can go out in public again! Yay.
*Note: you'll eventually need to tack down the edges with Matte Gel Medium, as the fibers won't hold forever.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Minute Gift Idea...

For all those women in your lives... mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmas, cousins, friends, teachers, bosses... who really need to learn to take time for themselves... who have been through a rough year... or a tragedy of loss... or just need a kick in the pants... This is one of my most favorite books:

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Each chapter is a day of the year and is only 1-3 pages. For example, the first chapter is January 1. So as it teaches you day-by-day how to appreciate yourself, take time for yourself, notice the little things and such... it goes through all the seasons and has anecdotes and rituals perfect for those times of year.

A very good friend of mine gave me my copy after a very tough episode in my life and I'm telling you it changed the way I look at things. I think I'm going to re-read it again this year. Happy shopping!

©photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ode To My Favorite Treat...

Okay, so I don't usually buy ornaments for myself, because I've gotten so many over the years as gifts that I have enough to decorate two trees! But hey... it's a cupcake... I had to!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Portrait Of A Barber

This photo I took as part of my college courses. The assignment was simply to... take portraits. We had to shoot at least one roll of film and print our best photo. Well, I went around to all the people I knew and had them pose, but try and act natural. But this photo of a complete stranger... a real barber on his afternoon break... was my absolute favorite. I told him, "just pretend I'm not here." I think that worked! This photo captured more real emotion than any others I took.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recession-Proof Holiday Shopping...

So I did things a little bit different this year when it came to holiday gift shopping...
I decided, since we're in the middle of this economic crisis, that I would shop for my presents in the wonderfully quaint towns I live so close to. I thoroughly enjoyed perusing the shops in Asbury Park, Spring Lake and Manasquan too. And do you know what? There was no pushing and shoving... every shop owner made sure to greet me and say thank you before I left (even if I didn't purchase anything!)... and every single place wrapped my purchase up and put it in a nice bag! The towns were filled with bands belting out Christmas tunes, carolers, trumpeteers, lots of Santas, and even a stilt-walking juggling nutcracker! I really enjoyed supporting these local businesses.
How is your Christmas different in this recession? Do tell...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Busy Weekend, But Good Kind Of Busy!

Whew! I really did a lot this weekend, but it was relaxing, fun and holiday-ish!
• Bought, set up, and decorated my Christmas tree
• Started and finished the majority of my Christmas gift shopping
• Took myself out to lunch at Pete & Elda's
• Decorated the house
• Vacuumed up lots of pine needles!
• Took a well-deserved bath
• Wrote out Christmas cards
• Cut my mom's hair
• Put away some stuff in the studio
• Played with the kitties, and
• Organized some photos
Now, I'm going to finish making dinner, watch the Survivor Gabon finale, and try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Craft Night At Ranger

Tonight some of the girls stayed late and worked on sample projects for Ranger's upcoming trade show for the Craft And Hobby Association. We played around with Melt Art products and Child Safe inks. Everyone did such a good job and we always have a fun time.

©photo by Bonnie Egenton

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bake It Or Buy It?

I have to say that I love sweets. But I'm not a very patient baker. So, typically, if I want something to satisfy... I'll go to the bakery and buy it. But sometimes I need a quick fix. And these sugar cookies are just too cute.... and tasty!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Flea Market Family

In much of my artwork I love to use vintage photos that I find at flea markets, antique shows, rummage sales, and the like. I try to buy them for 50 cents and I usually can find them for that price or pass them by if they are more expensive. I also tend to be drawn the photos of strange looking people, and they usually go for less. Funny. Cheap and interesting, not a bad deal. I call them my Flea Market Family.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Nothing Is What It Seems...

Will she live happily ever after? You know, I'm beginning to think she will. In fact, I think she's living happily ever after right now! But enough about me...

I absolutely love this photo and purchased the original cabinet card for more than I usually spend because... this is a photo of a little boy! From what I could gather—and I've heard this more than once—in Victorian days, parents would dress up their boys to look like girls for the first couple of years. I've heard that the gypsies would steal little boys, but not girls. I've also heard that it was easier for changing diapers and such... but that wouldn't explain the really cute hairdo, now would it?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's Holiday Time!

It's time to clean the house... and find the perfect tree... and decorate with festive lights... and start my holiday shopping... eat too much... drink a little more... and of course...

It's the perfect time to appreciate our families, friends, little critters, the roof over our heads, the money in the bank... and all the little things.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't want to work...

Tonight I was supposed to work on a freelance project... a logo design. But guess what? I didn't feel like it. My mom and some of her friends were going out to dinner at one of my favorite pizza places. So I chose fun. I had a wonderful meal and a good time. I deserve it.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ocean Grove Critique Group

Tonight I'm going to an art critique group right here in my hometown of Ocean Grove. The group gets together the first Wednesday of every month and there are all types of artists! Last time I brought some of my freeform collages... this time I'm going to bring my altered birdhouse purse that was featured in Haute Handbags. Should be fun!

©photos by Debbie Tlach

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Vintage Signs

Okay, so I absolutely love retro signage from the 50's. All those cool metal structures with their tacky colors and bright neon. I just can't get enough of them. This is one of my all time favorites, from a car wash in the Seattle area. It even rotates... Bonus!

Monday, December 1, 2008


This past week I was lucky enough to be on vacation. It usually works out that I have a couple of days left before the super busy season at work... and it's nice to have a full holiday week to relax and do fun stuff at home.

But much to my surprise, I did not want to have fun. I wanted to nest! I guess like a little birdie who's settling down for quite some time, I really wanted a clean home in which to while away the hours. I did manage to get some things accomplished in the beginning of the week... laundry, sorting stuff, cleaning, organizing. But after Thanksgiving I just relaxed and did lots of reading. I guess I just needed a break.