Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mixed Media Mayhem Art Journal Peek

I am having a blast taking Roben-Marie Smith's Mixed Media Mayhem Workshop.  Check it out at  She is amazing!  I have been busy creating this week.  Here is a little peek....

I will post the final creation later.....Have a great day!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our 19th Wedding Anniversary Celebration: St. Louis Style

Troy and I dream of going to Paris, France together someday.  We would love to go next year to celebrate our 20th anniversary.  We couldn't go to Paris, so instead we decide to head to St. Louis, MO.  It's a French settled city, right?  That counts!  LOL!  Wow!  It's hard to imagine we have been married nearly 20 years. The Lord has seen us through so much.  We are truly blessed.

Our first stop on our agenda was the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  Such a beautiful place!  It was a 100 degrees, but still worth every minute. 


Glass sculpture chandelier just inside the entrance



Home Garden (check out the size of the cabbage)


Center for Home Gardening annual bed

Boxwood Garden

Founder of the Garden

Henry Shaw's Country Home, Tower House

Henry Shaw's Mausoleum

Gladiolas in the Bulb Garden

Rose Garden

It was so hot!   We were melting so we left a little early, and headed to our B&B.  We stayed at the Park Avenue Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Historic Lafayette Square. 

Park Avenue Mansion is a beautiful Victorian style townhouse built in 1874.

Courtyard and side view of building

They even had a goldfish pond

Our lovely room!   Lafayette Suite
We had a view of the arch from the Lafayette Suite.

Our innkeeper thought we were coming on Monday.  He and his wife miscommunicated.  She was on vacation in Wisconsin, but he was awesome and upgraded our room at no charge.  In fact, we got the nicest suite.  Troy wanted to reserve that room anyway, but it was $160/night+.  Out of our price range.  He made up the room  While we waited we went down to the Park Avenue Coffee shop for a cool drink.  I got an Iced Mocha, and Troy got an Iced Thai Latte.  They were so refreshing.  It was such a quaint neighborhood.  They even had a canine hitch on the side of the building for man's best friend.  So cute!

So much more fun than the franchise hotel!  It was such a delightful place, so warm and homey.  Elegeant and special. 

We got dressed up for dinner and headed out to the French Bistro, Vin de Set.  It was a upscale bistro.  We had indoor rooftop dining and a lovely view of the St. Louis Arch.  Their food was amazing.  We ordered cheese for an appetizer.  They had lots of cheese to chose from, but we chose Delice d'Bourgogne (cowsmilk, buttery sweet like Brie) and Bellavitano (creamy, raspberry ale soaked).   

It was served with Strawberry Chutney, Mango Chutney, Mustard, Red Wine Olives, and Pickled Brussel Sprouts (very tasty), and bread.  They also brought out bread served with Olive tapanade, olive oil and some sort of butter.  YUMMY!  Strawberry Chutney is to die for!  I must make some of my own with the strawberries from our patch.  We had a lovel salad with mixed greens, caramalized onions, sunflower seeds and gouda cheese served with the house vinegarette.  Troy ordered the 12 oz Pork Chop with mango salsa and seasoned vegetables.

For my entree I ordered the Steak au Poivre, grilled beef tenderloin medallions with yukon gold mashed potatoes, seasoned vegetables and brandy-pink peppercorn sauce.  The picture of my plate was too dark, and didn't turn out well.  I think our waiter thought we were nuts, cause we kept taking pictures.  We don't normally celebrate this extravagantly, but it's fun every now-and-then.  Troy always has a camera in his hand. It's a Gilmore family thing! 

After dinner we wanted to walk along the riverfront by the arch.  It was such a hot night.  It was probably still 98 in the shade even at dusk.  We were walking up and down the riverwalk trying to find the best place to take our picture.  We couldn't find one.  The sun was going down, so we just snapped a photo while Troy held the camera. 

We drove around downtown St. Louis.  We loved the St. Louis City Hall.  What an amazing piece of art.
The moon was rising over the arch on our way back to the B&B.

We were so full from dinner we didn't have room for dessert.  We decided to wait and go to Bailey's Chocolate Bar in the Historic Lafayette District.  It was very much out of our normal comfort zone, but it was very romantic.  Troy had a Blonde Brownie with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce.  I had a Cocoa Pumpkin Bar with Cinnamon Ice Cream.  It was YUMMY!  It was very strange to see people coming to the bar for "dessert" in limos.  However, they were probably there for the drinks.  Not me...Don't drink.  We had some yummy fancy dessert though.  It was a magical evening with my awesome husband.
The next morning we got up to enjoy our morning coffee in the library.

We opened our gifts.

Trying to guess what was in the box.

He even wrapped it special, cause he said I would. :)
It is the cutest little set of Windsor and Newton Watercolors.  I just love it!

Troy's wrapped gift.

He is so silly.  He had to take pictures of the gift wrapped.  This was a special handmade gift to celebrate and mark our 19 years together.

I painted a canvas for our special memory.  He liked it.  It made him cry.  This picture is not good.  I will have to post another picture later.  I used Christy Tomlinson's tutorial techniques for inspiration. 

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast prepared by our innkeeper. 

The meal was delicious.  It was a puffed pastry stuffed with Cherry filling and nuts.  topped with cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with syrup.  Served with two sausage links and a slice of cantaloupe with yogurt and grapes.  We checked out and went to do some antiquing. 

We started at Cherokee Row in St Louis, but it was a bust.  Everything was closed on Monday.  We decided to head to Alton, and drive up the Scenic Riverway.  We did a little antiquing, but again not too much was open.  We still had a great time.  We enjoyed just being together.  We ate lunch at My Just Desserts.

They are famous for their chicken salad.  Troy enjoyed a sandwich and salad.  I enjoyed the Chef Salad with poppyseed dressing.  It was a quaint little "country" restaurant in an old warehouse.

They served their water in a mason jar.  It was fun!  Reminds me of when I was a kid and my brother always drank his tea in mason jar. 

We made one last stop at the Pink Elephant Antiques on I-55 on our way home.  It was such a great time being together.  It was nice to not have an agenda, and to just take it as the day unfolds.   I look forward to growing old with you.  I love you, Troy.  Thank you for a special weekend!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Scrappy Quilt Journals, Pattern Paper Mailers and Gift Bags

I found this quilt panel at Salvation Army several months ago.  It was a remnant maybe meant for a valance, but I'm not sure.   I didn't have anything in mind particularly when I purchased the piece, I just liked the colors.  I also purchased several craft paper journals in the dollar bin at Michael's the other day.   While I liked the heavy chipboard covers, it wasn't what I needed for my scrappy quilt book covers.  I will use the other covers to make some repurposed journals with my own papers inside.  I used my thrifty find to create the covers.   I embellished them with various papers, lace, and scrap fabric pieces.  The craft paper journals already had holes punched in them.  I used an awl to poke a hole through the quilt cover.  I then used my husbands leather punch to enlarge the holes.  This was necessary to allow a ribbon to hold the journals together.  Here are my latest creations.


They are all gifts for someone.  I can't wait to give them away.  I wanted a special way to package each gift.  I remembered a tutorial I had watched from  She is so inspiring, and a great teacher.  She has an amazing tutorial using old pattern paper to make gift bags.  I decided to make my own. I also made a mailing envelope.  It's such a great way to use up scraps, but to personalize a gift for someone special.  I hope you will try it for that someone special in your life, too.

Gift "Bag" Package

Mailing Envelope
Happy Crafting!