Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Package From Sweden

We received a package from Sweden today. My husband spent some time there years back and asked me to see if I could arrange a swap with someone through Swap-bot for some bliw soap. I contacted a Swap-bot member who was originally from New Jersey, now living in Sweden and asked her if she would be willing to do a swap. Much to my husband's delight she agreed. In return she requested David's Sunflower Seeds and Freedent Chewing Gum so we sent out 5 bags of seeds and 4 large packs of gum to her.

Funny thing is, my husband doesn't want to use the soap now that he has it! He's saving it for special occassions, he said. I thought I should ask him which occassions were the ones where "special swedish" soap should be used but I decided against it. I figure he's the one that wanted it so bad, let him do with it as he wishes. Anyway.... THANK YOU, GINA!!!

I was able to create a few little things today inbetween washing and folding clothing. I made a handful of magnets. All are about 1.5" or 2" square and are hand painted, signed and sealed. I think they're cute, if I do say so myself... What do you think?

That's all for now. I'm off now to prepare for my mom's arrival tomorrow. She'll be staying with us until the 5th so I won't be here much until after that. For my fellow Americans, have a great 4th of July! To everyone else, have a great weekend!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive...

For those of you who watched my Art Journal videos, you may remember me mentioning that I would eventually find a heavy duty paper cutter at an auction for cheap... Well, that day came sooner than I imagined! My hubby and I went to an auction on Saturday and there it was, a beautiful paper cutter, exactly what I have been hoping for! We managed to snag it for a big whopping $15.00! Steal! I was thrilled beyond belief! It is in perfect condition and looks rather new! No more hacking away at chipboard with scissors!!

We also snagged 6 chairs for our dining room table! The ones we had didn't match. Well, 4 were the same and then the end ones were different. It's nice to have all 6 matching!

I also snagged a new desk chair! It's fabulous! I spend a lot of time in my desk and work chairs and I prefer to be comfortable! My old one wasn't cutting it. The padding had worn down and it just wasn't comfy. At auction I found a chair that was is in like new condition and has springs like a living room chair but is on rollers like an office chair. Perfect and oh so comfy! Huge steal at only $15.00 as well!

We also won a ton of computer software and computer parts and components that the hubby wanted, and a fan for my son's room. It was a great day at the auction!

Yesterday my hubby decided to overhaul his office and cleaned and reorganized for the better part of the morning and afternoon. In his closet he found rolled up leather that he had purchased more than a year ago to make game boards with and never got around to them. He got the idea to cover his grey Formica desktop with it instead. I thought he was nuts but hey, I'm all for the hubby having a creative project that he's excited about since it's a rare occasion! He set about removing everything from the top of his desk, made a run to Home Depot for some sandpaper and contact cement, and started working on it in the late afternoon. By about 11pm, he was finished with the top and it looked like this:

Notice the grey edges and base? That's what the whole thing looked like before his redo. He had two different colors of leather and had to use both to cover it. He said he liked the two-tone look and I must admit, I did too.. At this stage he was pooped and went to bed.

Today, he continued on and started first thing on doing the edges with the help of our 9 year old daughter... When that was finished it looked like this:

Our daughter decided that the base would look good if it was painted the same color as the dark brown leather on top. The hubby agreed and ran with her idea. Back in the car and off to Home Depot again. Back with spray paint in hand, he was off and running. Here's what it looks like now, after paint:

Now all he has to do is treat and seal the leather, get a throw rug and his office will be complete!

A true man cave in the making! I think he did a fantastic job and I'm so proud of it! I'm also thrilled that he did something creative!

I didn't get my secret project finished, bah. I probably won't get it finished until sometime after the 4th as my mother is coming in from out of town to stay with us for a few days. We haven't seen her since Christmas so we're looking forward to it. I probably won't be blogging much either until after the 4th as we're pretty booked with activities. Maybe I'll have some video to share, I don't know, we'll see.

Until then, have a great holiday, create those works and hug your loved ones!



Friday, June 26, 2009

It Wasn't My Idea, But I Love It Just The Same

I've had quite a bit of response and questions regarding the "metallic flake" looking texture I have started using this week. I was asked if it was mica flakes, if it was paper and the answer to both is no. It is egg shells! I know, amazing, right? I wish I could take credit for this wonderful technique, but I didn't come up with it on my own. I discovered it by watching a video on YouTube. I was inspired and set out to try it and I LOVE IT! In the video she credits Gary Reef for the eggshell idea. Gary Reef is a mixed media abstract artist and really nice guy! If you get a chance, please check out his Ning site! I am embedding the video below for you to watch and see how it's done for yourself... enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Blog I Discovered

As I mentioned before, I am doing a private swap with a lady named Barb Thomas. Today I looked at one of her blogs ( and am dying to join in on her monthly ATC challenges! I'm waiting to hear back from her about how I can participate but I thought I'd pass on the link so that you could participate too!


I am involved in a private swap with a blog reader,
Barb at, where we both chose 3 pre-made ATCs from each other and then we agreed to also make 1 ATC in a crow/raven theme. Here is what I made for the themed card, I hope she loves it:

I also signed up for an ATC swap over at Williowing's Ning site and these are the two I created for that for Sharon Serrano Ahmed :

Now I'm off to bed. I'm hoping to be able to show you my latest project sometime this weekend.. stay tuned as I think it's going to turn out really cool!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Gift

For Father's Day I painted a portrait in acrylics, on wood, of my husband based on a little cartoon of himself that he always draws on receipts at restaurants. I waited until he was asleep and then hung it on his computer monitor in his office. He likes it a lot, it made him smile. He has hung it properly on his office wall along with some art that some of his friends have given him over the years.

I'm working on a new project which I'm very excited about! This project is for myself. I am working on a few pieces which I with eventually hang as a grouping on a very blank, empty, wall in my dining room. I'm hoping to be finished with the first one tomorrow and if so, I'll post a pic here.

I hope your week is going well!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Discover New Worlds

I moved to Florida in 2006 and since then I have heavily relied on my husband and his sister for social activity. It's always harder making new friends in a new state as an adult. We don't have the luxury of attending a school full of possibilities. We just kind of meet people here and there. It's even harder for me since I do not work outside of the home to meet new people.

I have made quite a few Internet buddies, but I'm really missing getting together for coffee, planning an art date, card night, grill outs, you know, those things that people do with friends! I used to do these things all of the time in Ohio, now I just need to make it happen here!

I'm slowly going out of my mind! 3 years is a long time to stay stagnant and I've decided that I've had enough! The first extra $100 I get my hands on is going toward registration fees for an art class of some sort at our local Art Center. I'm going out into the world to discover new things and new people!!

If you live close to Tampa/Clearwater, and are looking for art friends, feel free to contact me!

If you're a psycho or a stalker, please click the close button on your browser and slowly walk away from the computer while keeping your hands where I can see them! I've had my fair share of crazies and I think it's time to let the freaks play with someone else now!

Anyway, in honor of my new goal to go forth and discover new things and new people, I painted this piece, appropriately titled, "Discover New Worlds".

Have a great week everyone!



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Art Journal Fun

Hello Bloggy Friends!
I have been dedicating some time to catching up on things that I have been putting off... you know... laundry, mopping, organizing.... the usual. I don't live in filth, but I do tend to live in clutter until it angers me so much that I spend two days cleaning and reorganizing every room in the house. That has been my day today and will also be my day tomorrow. ACK! I did however take a small break and spent an hour or two playing in my art journal. Ahhh.. much better.

I so wish I could win the lottery so I could hire someone to do the cooking and cleaning around here! Then I could spend my days playing with the kids and creating art, guilt free! I'm guessing there are about a million of you out there whom have the same wish...

Here's what I did in my journal and now I'm off to fold more clothing....

(Being an adult sucks! :) )
Lots of Love,


Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Do You Think?

Hi everyone! I have had such a great response from the art journal tutorial I did and I thought it might be nice to ask all of you if there's anything you'd like me to show you the process of. If it's something I've made in the past and you're dying to know my method, just leave me a comment and I'll see about making a tutorial for it. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snapshots from Blizzard Beach

Here are a few pictures that were taken during our vacation of the kids at Blizzard Beach..

Ahhhh, summer!

More ATCs

Whoo hoo after trying every which way to photograph 2 of the ATCs I made AFTER varnishing them, and only getting pictures with shiny bits all over it, I decided to try to scan them instead. Well, duh!! So, yay, I have pics that aren't covered in spots to share! Here are the 2 ATCs I made for the HOME ATC SWAP...

... and here are the 2 ATCs for the Black and White ATC Swap....

...and here are the 2 ATCs for the Birds Atc Swap...

... and last but not least, here is the ATC for the Simple ATC #3 Swap...

Now I'm off to bed... more later...


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tea Time

Here is the ATC I finished and mailed out today for the TEA TIME ATC SWAP on SWAP-BOT..

It felt so good to wake up in my own bed this morning. It also felt great to get back into the studio! I'm working on a ton of ATCs for various swaps I'm involved in and I'll be posting more pics of them soon. For now, I'm off to the store.

Thanks so much for popping by and I always appreciate your comments! I have made some wonderful friends here in Blogland and there is always room for more!

If you would be interested in swapping ATCs with me, please feel free to shout out! I'd love to add your ATC to my ever growing collection!

Okay, I really have to get moving now, more later!



Home Again

My goodness! What a weekend! I am so sore! Lol. We had a great time but I am happy to be home and am now taking a vaction from my vacation. I plan on recovering from sore muscles and shin injury and scrapes for a few days.

I must say the show, La Nouba was FANTASTIC! and I highly recommend it if you find yourself in Orlando! We all sat in awe for the entire show.

Disney's Blizzard Beach was also fantastic! No sweating to death at this attraction! Us local Floridians don't usually plan outdoor activities late May through late September! But, the waterpark was perfect! Lots of shade and water! We spent the whole day splashing and laughing. Just noticed I'm using the "!" a bit much.....

The kids were angels 99% of the trip, the staff at the resort couldn't have been better.. my only complaint? The beds we had in our rooms were aweful!! You could feel the springs and I was oh too happy to return home to my waterbed!

I have an ATC I have to have in the mail tomorrow so I'll be doing that in the morning and I'll post it here too.

I didn't take any pictures of our vacation and only a tiny bit of video.. so I guess I won't be sharing anything from the trip. We were just having way too much fun to worry about recording it. It didn't help that I was terrified of ruining the camera in the waterpark either. So, it spent most of the day locked in the locker. Sorry.

Ok, I'm rambling and making very little sense so I'm going to get off of here and get some rest in my comfy bed! More tomorrow!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

So Very Excited

Hello everyone! I'm afraid I won't be making any art or posting any blog posts for a few days as I am preparing for a mini vacation this weekend and I'm very excited!

My wonderful husband is doing some work for a resort in Orlando and worked out a deal with them that in lieu of cash payment, he would accept a barter situation. So..... the Betterly clan is headed to Orlando this weekend for a mini vaction packed with activity!
We will be leaving our place at 4:30 am on Saturday and will arrive at the Driftwood Worldgate Resort at 6 am.

The kids and I will grab some breakfast and hang poolside for the better part of the day while the hubby works.

The Hubby will knock of around 6pm and then we're heading out for a bite for dinner. After dinner we're off to........
(OMG, so excited about this one)

I have been dying to see this show!!!!! Hubby scored tickets for all 5 of us to go to the show!! What an amazing treat! I'm very excited if you couldn't tell! ;)

After the show, we'll grab a treat and head back to the resort to fall into bed. Hubby scored a double room for us so we'll have our own space and the kids theirs but still connected through an interior door.

I have a feeling that none of us will have a hard time falling asleep after such a long day Saturday! I think the kids and I will nap in the afternoon just to be safe.

Anyway, when we get up Sunday morning we'll have breakfast at the resort, pack up our cooler and head off to......

Disney World's Blizzard Beach Waterpark!!!

Hubby scored 5 tickets for here as well! Whoo hoo!! We will be at the park all day having fun sliding and splashing! We opted to bring our own food and drinks instead of spending a small fortune to purchase things at the park. The kids are very excited, I'm very excited too.

We'll return to the resort Sunday night and then drive back home Monday morning.

Needless to say, I won't be posting much until Monday night or Tuesday. For now, I have to get my butt off of the computer and start getting our clothes and necessities packed so I don't have to do anything last minute. Ta ta for now, we're off to have a much needed weekend of family and fun!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Low Tide Exploration

We went to the beach this evening in hopes of a swim. Alas, it was low tide! It wasn't a total loss because we were able to see a ton of living creatures that we normally wouldn't even realize were there. Hermit crabs, Horseshoe Crabs, Giant Snail, itty bitty snails, etc.. Below is a video of clips from our exploration... Have a great day!



ATC With Movable Parts

Another Swap-bot Swap, for a group..

Moveable Parts ATC... finished and on it's way!

More later...


Friday, June 5, 2009

Petite Portraits

Awhile back I saw a listing on Craig's List for TONS of sample materials from an interior design student for FREE. I had no clue what I'd do with the stuff but knew I'd find a use for them sooner or later. When I got to the lady's home, there was even more than I had expected! Carpet samples, linoleum samples, tile, fabric, Formica, tons of stuff. I loaded it all into the van, brought it home and packed it away. Today I got out the Formica samples. I decided to make some Petite Portraits using them! They are just a bit bigger than an ATC. Without actually measuring them I'd guess that they are roughly 2.5" x 4". I strung some ribbon through the hole in the top and ta-da... marvelous!

That's all I managed to create today... but I'll be working on a few more and and ATC for another swap tomorrow. Stay tuned....


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another ATC Done for Swap

I signed up for the "Tarot card, Psychic, Magic inspired ATC!!" on I decided to go with the tarot theme and this is what I came up with:

Complete with Crystal Ball! I hope my partner likes it! I really enjoyed making it!

More Later....