Life on the creative side

Archive for August, 2011

Wild Waters!

Images of Irene stirring things up off the coast of NSB.

atlantic ocean stirried by hurricane


wind and waves on central fl coast


crazy surf

 Awe inspiring!

hurricane irene churnning up waves


after the storm

Thankful for the miss!

Blue Anter Studio Renovation

restoring old log house circa 1820s

That’s my man high up there on the scaffolding.

I mentioned in an earlier post that we discovered considerable critter damage in the ceilings of both the cabin and Blue Antler Studio. So, with repair absolutely necessary,  we’ve decided to take advantage of the situation and change things up a bit while we’re at it.  Work on the studio began by tearing down the ceiling; we striped away the paneling,  insulation and critter pooh, to expose the metal roofing.  The first step for the cabin  was to set up scaffolding. It sure didn’t seem so high thirty years ago,  when we were hoisting the logs up and into place.

Just one of the nests we found behind the ceiling, eeckes!

We want to recycle the tongue and grove; but first I’ll get it scraped, cleaned and primed.

The plan is to paint the ceiling and leave the rafters exposed.  Rigid foam board sandwiched between the tin and panelling will provide  insulation.  If you look closely you can see the expanding foam we sprayed into cracks for further insulation.

My hubby nailing up the ceiling while my brother cuts each piece to fit.

 It’s a lucky lady who has a handyman in her life, and I have two!

 Be sure to follow our progress!

Creativity Bling!

What a wonderful time we’ve had at Blue Antler Studio this summer.  My parent’s anniversary picnic brought family, scattered  all around the country, home to the ridge; my girls from North Carolina and NYC, and my sister from California. Their presence took our gatherings to another level, where we shared, supported, and inspired ideas. But all too soon it was time to say good-bye. So we prepared some beautiful food, poured some local wine and fresh cold water and local ohio valley winegathered in the Studio. While we talked and laughed Jane and Edna announced they had another surprise – big, blinging, creativity rings for each of us!

We are once again creating far from each other, but now we have as inspiration, our memories of a wonder time shared together at Blue Antler Studio and, of course, blinging creativity rings keeping us close in spirit.

  Miss you all!





How to Make Beautiful Gift Boxes, Creativity Inspiring Creativity

beautiful hand made gift boxes

handcrafted gift boxes made from photo copied imagesThe recent visit of my daughter Kate, the artist behind Twice Treasured, left all of us out on the ridge inspired by her energy and creativity. So after her too short visit, we gathered at the studio. Under the creative instruction of my sister Jane, in from California, and using beautiful images from the recent photo shoot for Kate’s Love, TT jewelry line, we crafted these beautiful boxes

For those of you who may be interested in creating some beautiful boxes of your own here are the instructions.


Template: Note (We used the same medium weight card stock for the template and the boxes.

  • Cut two squares out of your template material – (1) 7 ½ inch square and (1) 7 3/8 inch square
  • Cut a 2 3/4 inch square window into the very center of the 7 ½ inch square

Note (the window will allow you to see what part of the image will appear on the top of the finished box DO NOT cut out the opening on the box project)

Make copies of any image you want onto medium weight cardstock.

  • Take the larger template and use the viewing window to align the image as you want it to appear on the finished box. Then mark around the perimeter and cut out a square for the top of the box. DO NOT CUT out the small window.



  • On the back side of the square mark the center by drawing lightly with a pencil a line from corner to corner diagonally, forming an X in the center.
  •  With the back side of the paper facing up, fold each corner of the paper into the center point you marked with an X in the previous step.


Note (you should now have a smaller square with the image showing on each side)

  •  Carefully but thoroughly crease the folds.


  •  Next unfold two opposites corners.
  •  Now take the two sides that still have the corners folded and fold them again but this time lengthwise, in toward each other, meeting in the center and lining up parallel, make sure the corners stay in place. Crease well.

Note (the two sides should meet precisely in the middle and line up exactly parallel)

  •  Now unfold the parallel folds you just made.
  •  Refold the other two corners; you should now be back to the small square with image showing on top and bottom and all four corners touching in the middle.


  •  Next take the first two corners you made the lengthwise folds on and unfold them completely.


  •  Now you can fold the next two sides lengthwise toward each other meeting in the center (parallel to each other) and crease well just as you did to the other two sides.


Note (all the folds you have made so far have a memory and when folded in sequence will now make your box).


Now for the hard part: Take a deep breath…

  •  Unfold the lengthwise folds you just made and refold the other two corners; you are, yet again, back to the small square with the corners touching and the image on both top and bottom of the project.



  • Now find the center square formed by the creases you’ve made. With the corners still folded, place your finger on the corner of the creased square and lift the corresponding corner of the project. Your finger should encourage the paper to fold at the corner point of the crease.



  •  As you lift the corner up and toward the center of the project, watch for a dart to form on the inside  and for the two sides to rise up and together, forming a corner.




  • Press the corner together and severely crease the dart. (the dart should be pointing toward the center of the project)




  •  Do the same to all four corners.




Note (The project should still be at the point where the four corners meet making a square with the image on both top and bottom)

  •  Now one more time unfold two opposite sides.


  •  Once again refold the lengthwise fold you made earlier on the other two sides.



  •  Lift open the lengthwise folds to 90 degrees, forming the first two walls of your box.




  • While holding the first two walls in place, slowly lift either of the remaining two sides up – folding from the inner most crease inside the box. As you do this watch for corner darts to form and be sure to force the darts toward each other on the inside of the box.



  •  Wrap the rest of the extended wall over and down along the inside of the wall (covering the darts) and across the inside of the box – press into place.



  •  Repeat on the other side.


  •  Final,ly using the smaller template, repeat all the steps to make the bottom compartment of your box.


sandwich using seasonal produce

fresh summer produce sandwichI am so enjoying the wonderful summer produce showing up on the grocery shelves, roadside stands and farmers markets this time of year. So I’ve decided to take a moment andfarmers market produce share one of my favorite, easy, delicious sandwiches; it’s healthy to boot!


Tomato, cucumber, pesto sandwich:

  • Hearty grain, artisanal bread (I always slice it myself)
  • Beautiful heirloom tomato (sliced)
  • Fresh spinach
  • Pesto (freshly made or store-bought)
  • Cream cheese
  • Cucumber (peeled and sliced)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (I love, love, love coarsely ground, pink, Himalayan salt)

Heat olive oil in skillet and grill the sliced bread on both sides to a light brown,

Generously spread cream cheese on one slice of grilled bread and pesto on a second,

On one of the slices of bread, layer with the sliced tomato and cucumbers,

 Sprinkle with salt,

Add a layer of spinach,

Top with the second piece of bread,


Blue Antler Studio Welcomes Creative Comments

I want to thank all the visitors who have stopped by Blue Antler; I hope you will be inspired by stories, the images and the creative characters that populate the pages.  The number of visits is encouraging and motivating, but now I want to give a voice to my creative guests. With that in mind, I’m starting  a” Project Share” page as a venue for the free flow of creativity and support. You can visit the page by clicking on the Project Share button located on the menu bar at the top right of the home page. I hope you will take a moment to leave a comment, question or idea; and let’s get a creative conversation going.

 See you around the Studio,


Vertical Garden Of Succulents

vertical succulent potting systemI have a final note about the succulents from my daughter’s beautiful May wedding.

succulents as wedding decorationDuring the weeks leading up to the wedding I stumbled across an interesting discovery at the local Lowes home and garden center; vertical planters, seriously discounted.  Hoping it would be possible to repurpose the bouquet plants, I purchased three of the planters.  So a few days after the wedding I pulled out my lucky finds, gathered up the bouquets and the table decorations and carefully began to deconstructed the beautiful creations we had only days before assembled.  After removing the floral picks, wire and pens, and stripping away damaged foliage also creating a short stem; the plants were ready for their final purpose.

The process was simple. Using a potting mix for cactus and succulents, I filled the small compartments of the planter, designed on an angle to prevent the soil from washing out. Next I moistened and pressed the soil. Then, using a pencil, I poked a whole into the dirt of each compartment so I could easily insert the stem of the plants.

 Amazingly, most of the resilient succulents have thrived and are now art, a beautiful living painting, gracing my garden fence.


vertical succulent hanging system