Thursday, October 31, 2013

florida life

my husband and i were both born and raised in pennsylvania.  he taught at the same school we attended.  both of our boys had him as one of their teachers.  most of our families live there.  our world was a small world in so many ways. so it is quite amazing to me that we are now living in florida.

if you had ever told me that i would move to florida, even as little as 5 years ago,  i would have laughed, thinking surely you were mistaken.  but lo and behold, here i am, living proof that god works in mysterious ways.

in june of this year my husband officially retired ( a bit early) from school teaching.  we listed our house in pennsylvania and it was sold in 6 weeks.  we closed almost immediately and had only a week to clear it out.  it happened so quickly, and as i look back, in some respects that was good, because i didn't have time to "think" about things.  i just had too much to get done in such a short period of time.

my whole life was in that house, and while i did really well over all, i will confess i had literally an hour where i cried.  i did have overwhelming feelings hit me, mostly in the"letting go of stuff" that i had in storage.  my husband and his two friends were loading up the dumpster and just wanted me to make decisions faster then what i could process.

my husband was positive we didn't need a u-haul and that we could fit 30 years of our life into the back of our ford escape.  i trusted him and i thought if he thinks we can do it then we probably can. as i write that i ask myself, really?  what were you thinking woman?!  little did i know that the sentimental side of me would want to bring so much more then actually would fit into the back of that car.

we packed the truck (beverly hillbilly's style), attended the closing and headed out on our journey to florida.  we made it in 2 days time, much to the chagrin of my husband.  he had more of a 3 or 4 day trip in his mind.  the first day we stopped in virginia at our friend's house and spent the night.  the next day we drove from there to our house in florida.  it was a long, grueling day, but i knew we'd be so happy to wake up the next morning in our own bed.  we were.

so here we are.  enjoying our new life as floridians.  i love the sunshine, the warmth, and the ability to be outside nearly every day.  i'm making new friends and learning to be independent in so many ways.  it's all been a really terrific experience.  i am truly blessed.

since the move, i've been asked many times, by so many people, to share photos of my home in florida.  we've been busy working on it since my husband retired, and while there are things i'd still like to do to it, i'm not sure i've convinced him it should be done, so i will continue to work on fine tuning my "wearing-him-down skills".

in the meantime, consider this blog post the first installment of photos to show you the little slice of paradise i live in and the place i now call home.
here we are at the front of my house.  i love the little white picket fence because it feels so quaint and charming.  that is jasmine growing on it and when it is blooming it smells divine.  here are some of the other beautiful flowers i get to see and smell by that little white fence:
a deep peach hibiscus

a brilliant fuschia daisy

a fragrant yellowish pink rose

in the first photo, if you notice the burgundy awning,  that is something new we did to the house this summer.  we decided that when we enclosed the front lanai we would put it up to help with the heat of the sun.  it's been a most welcomed addition.  not to mention, it also adds character to the front of the house.
i hand painted this sign a few years ago when we first bought the house.  it was so bright and colorful initially, and despite the multitude of coats of varnish i put on it, the florida sun has managed to strip the color.  one of these days i will get around to repainting it.  so for the moment, you'll have to imagine the sign in bright shades of yellow, pink, teal and blue with red hearts.

i hope you'll be intrigued to come back and see what is behind that little white picket fence.  there is so much more to see at nicholas place.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

stampotique challenge time

this week at stampotique, jenn, has asked us to create a card with more than one fold. i like making cards like this because it is something out of the ordinary.  i used the sentiment chair up stamp, the love you heart, the velvet chair (one of my personal favorite stamps) and jasmine to create this card.

if you would like to join in on the fun you can find all about the details by clicking the above link.  If you play you will have a chance to win a $30.00 gift certificate towards Stampotique stamps, and really, who couldn't use more stamps?!

Friday, October 25, 2013

i'm a winner

look what i won!  turns out i am a winner on violette's blog anniversary giveaway.  what exciting news this was today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Submit artwork to RubberStampMadness!

MUSIC is one of the themes for the Summer 2014 issue of RSM. We'd love to see what you stamp on this topic. Perhaps include your favorite song or musical instrument, singer, band or orchestra in your artwork. JEWELRY is the second themeWe will publish a variety of stamped jewelry. Click here for details: Note: If it's easier to send in a jpg of the jewelry, rather than the original piece, send that to  Dec.10 is the final postmark date or e-mail date for artwork submissions.

Monday, October 21, 2013

shades of yellow

over at deviant scrap, tumble fish studio has put out a new digital kit called shades of yellow.  i did an altered envelope - a cut and paste sample - for the release.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

my new grandson

meet my new grandson, jackson joseph nicholas.  he wanted to be born early but still pretty big at 6 lbs-5 oz and 19-1/2 inches long.  his older brother benny looks like he loves him already!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

stampotique challenge time

it's stampotique challenge time once again.  carol has asked to create something that is spooky for halloween. i used my stamp blessed skellie to create the main focal image.  it's all paper layered and then watercolors to create shadows.  i used my stamp squiggle arms to create the breeze in the sky. the moon is from stampotique, too, as well as the owls, the fence, the pumpkins and the swirl weeds behind the fence. i used a lot of stampotique stamps to create this journal page.

if you would like to join in on the fun you can find all about the details by clicking the above link.  If you play you will have a chance to win a $30.00 gift certificate towards
Stampotique stamps, and really, who couldn't use more stamps?!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

stampotique challenge time

It's stampotique challenge time once again. sam has asked to create an atc.  i used my brand new stamp stacked love for the focal image, but to create the background i used design cubein stitches,  and the sentiment from the stamp tall word collage.

to create the background i used  ranger tissue scrap and then used gesso and ranger distress paint to paint over it, except for the bird.  i used stampotique stamps in soft brown to add another layer of interest.  i embossed my love stamp in black and used markers to color it in.  i stamped creative on a scrap piece of paper.  i added fringe to the bottom of the atc and secured it on the background with machine stitching.

if you would like to join in on the fun you can find all about the details by clicking the above link.  If you play you will have a chance to win a $30.00 gift certificate towards Stampotique stamps, and really, who couldn't use more stamps?!