Party Time Old and New Favorites Thursday Blog Hop

This mural (click on it to enlarge) shows how they networked and partied in the old times (some still do, yay!) but for this party you need to hop on the linky to add your blog.  If you don't have a blog, you can still follow anyone, anyway you choose, but bloggers only, add your link as Katie has outlined, below.

FYI the mural is by Eric Grohe, the photo is from Inspiration Sandwich.   Murals on buildings are one of my favorite things.  The retro look of this one is outstanding. ♥

Katie, thanks for inviting me this week to co-host♥.   Did you know Katie swam with sharks? No kidding, check out her blog. 

If you're already following my blog, (TY♥) please link up anyway and find some new blogs to enjoy.   I'll return your visits; if you are using the embedded or full comment box, it has a glitch.  I can't leave a comment, although the popup comment setting works.   

Edited to add: the link list has been removed.  Go to Katie's  blog to view it if you are looking for a particular link.  

Show and Share Time

I'm showing you what I sent for my most recent giveaway and sharing some interesting blogs and resources, if you haven't already seen them.  These are some of the brooches and ornaments I made and the photo collages were made on PicMonkey to show the gifts to you all at once,  I didn't want to show before I thought they were all delivered.    

I want to thank  Val,  Dee,   Debbie,   and Stacy  for mentioning the giveaway on their blogs.  Go and visit them, they are all lovely and talented women of art, jewelery, home design, and more!     

Thanks to everyone who made this giveaway fun, it was great to hear from

you by snail mail, email, and on your blogs.

I have another blog for you to read,
These Peas Taste Funny, Terry included 
my blog in a creativity post.  I was both surprised and honored.  She lives in the "fruit belt"  in the Niagara region of Ontario, that sounds beautiful.  Terry has photo tips, delish recipes, resources, and more.

This year seems to have gone by so fast, with the pre-summer heat in the spring and not much spring rain.  I would enjoy a long moderate autumn, what about you?    

Running With Fire the Olympic Torch in Wales

Now that the Olympic torch is in Wales, I am having a great time watching the live coverage as the runners relay through cities, small towns and villages in the mountains and valleys, at the coast, stopping at castles, town squares, and more.

I made sure to watch the coverage on Saturday as the torch relay was going through places where I have family and friends.  It was an overwhelming experience to watch the crowds both big and small cheer on the torch bearers.  Some were athletes, a few celebrities including Doctor Who, others; survivors of disease, disabled, and a blind man ran with his yellow lab guide dog. There were bearers of all ages including children and adults all the way up to their 80s.  It was a diverse and interesting selection of people to carry the torch.

I turned the volume up as loud as I could to listen to the happy voices, the Welsh accents, and to hear the kids and their parents.  Every so often a dog barked, there were lots of horns, cheers and applause and even one of those famous Welsh Men's Voice Choirs.   Flags were waved and buntings were displayed.  It was a giant street gathering.  It was lovely to see the kids running to follow the torch, there was such honest  excitement.

A friend had an amazing surprise and she's still walking on air.  After the torch relay was over, there was a knock on the door of the home where they had all gathered to watch the festivities.  One of the torch bearers came to the house with the torch.  Everyone at home had a chance to hold the torch and get their photo taken with it.  Wow!

The torch bearer in the photo is Danielle Price.

If you want to watch the Torch Relay as it goes through Wales and the rest of Great Britain, here are  two links: BBC, and  London 2012.  There are probably more links if you search, but the BBC is the one I watched today (May 26.)  Remember the 5 hour time difference if you're on the East Coast of the USA at midnight it would be 5am in Wales.

The torch relay lasts 70 Days, there will be 8,000 bearers, and 8,000 miles travelled ending in London on July 27, 2012.

Photo credits: CJ and LJ.

We Could Use Your Positive Thoughts ♥

If you're squeamish look away, but we could use your positive thoughts about this:
(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Last Friday afternoon (May 18) Lucy was at my side, as she usually is and as I was stroking her freshly washed back, I felt a lump.

Fast forward to Monday (May 21) at noon. The vet thought it might be just a fatty lump, or impacted hair follicles and did a small incision to attempt to remove the infection he couldn't see.

On the outside there was no inflammation, seeping, anything like that.  After opening her lump he decided it was better for her if he removed it and had it tested.

She came back home walking like a drunk lifting her paws and walking crossways, and with a drugged out tired look, but her tail was wagging so that was a great sign.

I would love your positive thoughts as I wait for the test results.  My previous sweetie, my beagle and his illness came flooding in and I know they are not the same at all, but when we are faced with the vulnerabilities of both our pets and ourselves, it makes everything more tender, precious, brief, and sweet.  ♥♥♥
Thank you!

EDITED TO ADD:  Late on Thursday I got the good news that Lucy's lump was a benign tumor.  I am thankful and relieved as you can imagine.  THANK YOU for your kind words and positive vibes and wishes, it means a lot!  If you were here, Lucy would thank you too, by giving you the pleasure of petting her.  She's always happy to meet and greet with a little lick and a nuzzle.♥♥ ♥

Big Girls Like to Dress Nice Too

Just wanted to share this image of a big girl with teeny bows.  Lucy came back from getting her hair and nails done last Friday and she had these two little neon green bows in the fur atop her head.  I had to chuckle.

There's usually a bow on the collar or a bandana, but she must have had a new groomer with a creative attitude.  Lucy doesn't like to sit still (even with the flash off) so this is the best photo I could get.  She's one of a kind; and she'll be eleven this December.

No matter how old you are, dressing up to feel good is nice.  Except when you're dog tired (pun intended.)

A Heart That's Green

This week has been a mostly non-computer week for me, so I am popping in to add this post for "Art with Heart" theme at Inspiration Avenue.  Please go visit to see more art and check in on Mondays to learn about the new theme.

My image shows an ornament (not yet finished) with texture plus some embedded bits and pieces.  I used PicMonkey  to add layers of effects and frames.

I still need to finish the edges, clean it up some, and maybe add paint.  The heart was supposed to be a robin's egg blue, but the color actually turned out to be a soft sage green.  Something in the material must have affected the color as I only used blue food coloring.  Still, it's a pretty color and maybe the green is what it wanted to be.

Today I am going to attempt to catch up on your blog posts and comments during this last week.

Thanks for visiting and hope your Sunday is a good one!

Just One Moment to Regain the Project Mojo

Help!!!  I seem to be lost in an avalanche of baggies.  Somewhere under these piles on the desk are projects I'm working on.  Some of them are nearly finished, some only halfway done, and others a wisp of an idea.

A few weeks ago I had a little setback and let that infiltrate my project mojo, which was a slow but steady pace.  Good, right?  I mean the slow but steady part.  

So, now the messes need to be put in their places then finding what I am looking for will be a cinch:

As long as I stop buying more supplies...  Ooh, shiny, pretty, awesome, ahhh unusual, this one's perfect, Sale!  Clearance!  Coupons...    Do you have these moments too?
My photo was edited/manipulated via PicMonkey.  In order to hide the real mess I thought to make it look dreamy, not nightmarish, since I usually avert my eyes in shame when I walk by the room where this mess is in plain sight.  Normally you wouldn't find a neater, more organized person- right I'll find her this week, for sure.  GPS anyone?

Linking here, here, here, here, and here.  All "Wordless Wednesday" links with photos galore.

Love Always Aceo Hands Theme

aceo  paper and collage New End StudioThank you Shelly and Loretta for this week's challenge, "Hands" for the Inspiration Avenue blog.

This is a digitally altered image of the original collage which is listed in my Storenvy shop. NOTE: Shop is on hiatus.  Check this blog for news and links to new shop.

The paper and collage aceo is at the bottom of this post.

Thanks for stopping by; click on the above link to visit the other bloggers participating in this week's challenge.

If you want to be a part of the challenges, just visit the IA blog on Mondays to find out what the new art challenge will be for that week. Don't forget to post your work and add yourself to the linky.

To everyone celebrating Mother's Day, be happy and enjoy your circle of love, family, and friendships.  My Mom is in a wonderful place, where the choirs of angels are entertaining and delighting the throngs; until we meet again, love always. ♥♥♥

bright colors aceo New End Studio

This is the paper and collage aceo.  All of the colors have more impact than the muted digital version above.

There's a bit of religion, class cultures, and realism throughout.  The woman is Wallis Simpson.

If you enjoyed this post, please take a look at more art and aceos by clicking on the label in the sidebar or typing into the search bar.

7 Step Basic Batter for Quick Banana Cake or Snack Breads

I approached this recipe with some of the knowledge I picked up by watching Alton Brown's Food Network show, "Good Eats."  Although I haven't seen that show for a few years, it was amusing and certain tips stayed in the library within my mind.

Alton used chemistry and trial and error to show how ingredients interacted with each other.  He had a whole cast of characters, sometimes silly props (reminded me of Mystery Science Theater) and  plenty of  terrific information.  Have you seen him lately?  He's lost a lot of weight.

Use my recipe with bananas, berries, raisins, apples, pears, just about any non-citrus fruit you like.  Make it without fruit.  I've used it with Nutella, too.  Here's my basic recipe:

Preheat Oven to 350F
Spray Pam or other oil OR use shortening to grease a 9x9 square pan.

2 cups Flour (mine is unbleached all purpose) 
3 teaspoons Baking Powder  (aluminum free if you can get it)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup of granulated Sugar (to your taste)
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (Canola) OR 3 Tbsp Melted Butter or Margarine Cooled to room temperature
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract OR not, depending on your taste
3/4 to 1 cup milk OR milk/water combo  This amount will depend on how pourable your  finished batter is.
Bananas, well ripened.  Usually two small or medium or one large.

1)  In a separate cup or bowl mash your peeled bananas with a fork until they are nice and smooshed.  
     Set aside.

2)  In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, oil, and extract and whip with a fork or whisk until eggs are     
     blended well.

3)  In a bowl add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon lightly until blended.  

4)  Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture.  Stir until blended.  If the mixture is not pourable like batter 
     and not too runny like crepe batter add more milk and blend.  Thin and runny is not good. 

5)  Add bananas last and fold in or stir gently.  

6)  Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake for 34 minutes, checking every 3 or 4 minutes with a 
     skewer/toothpick/cake tester until it comes out clean.  
     Ovens vary, my cake is usually finished baking in 38 minutes.  

7)  Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes.  If you are taking the cake out of the pan, gently 
      loosen the edges first.  I leave my cake in the pan, it comes with a plastic cover and I just put that on 
      after it is thoroughly cooled.   (Like a brownie sized pan.)

All ready to be served with a little whipped cream and diced walnuts on top.  There's Lucy waiting for her share.

There you have it, my basic batter, versatile and not so fancy that you don't have the ingredients in your local stores.

I like a little cinnamon in the cake, if you want spices just add to the dry mixture, add to your taste.  One teaspoon or more is the usual amount.  This would be nice without  bananas, sliced like little squares and spread with jam.

Enjoy with my favorite, Hot Tea, or cocoa, or even coffee.


Drilling for the First Time

Here I used the "posterize" effect and a few other features from the Picmonkey site.   
This was My First Time Ever using an electric drill and I loved it!  
Black and Decker where have you been all of my life until now?!

Linking to Aquariann and others on the list.
Linking to The Shady Porch