this crazy weather is NOT helping

Fall has always been my favorite season! The smells, the flavors, the cooler weather – – – gotta love it. Except for the past few years, we’ve been under attach. As soon as the summer heat slows down and the garden is getting slim pickins, the dreaded stink bugs start bombing our house. Literally walking outside is dangerous, because those little stinkers aim for us. I’m not kidding! The kids would hate to come home from school because there would be hundreds of stink bugs basking in the sun waiting for them to get out of the car. The sad thing was, if you looked across the street, those houses didn’t seem to have the polka dot decorations we had all over ours.

It was so bad a few years ago, that I actually resorted to using RAID. This organic girl was SO desperate, I had to do something. I hate to admit I had an old can of that toxic stuff in the basement but I couldn’t take it anymore. It did work at killing them, but you had to hit them with the RAID. And well, it was RAID! Then I tried EcoSMART Wasp & Hornet Killer {because I had it in the basement}. It was great because it would shoot really far away, so I could keep my distance. That got kinda expensive and a little overkill. Then I tried vinegar in a spray bottle {because I had a lot of it in the basement too – that’s another story}. It didn’t smell as nice as the EcoSmart and certainly didn’t kill the stink bugs as fast. The vinegar was also not very kind to some of my outdoor plants {vinegar makes a great weed killer}. Then my mom told be a friend of hers was using this…

dinny's stink bug spray

DAWN dish soap {the blue original one} and water! I filled up an old spray bottle with water and added a few pumps of DAWN. It worked great. We keep a spray bottle by each door, and a few upstairs. Any stick bug that is silly enough to land on one of our screens will get sprayed and then flicked off. We try and see how far we can flick them {one needs a little enjoyment while doing this}. Can you also tell I like METHOD Brand cleaners? This is only a few of the bottles I’ve saved over the years. They are great to reuse, wonderful sprayers and the older ones even had adjustable nozzles.

If the weather gets cool, WONDERFUL. the stink bugs seem to be fewer. But then it warms up again, and they are back. It’s a vicious cycle. The stink bugs don’t seem to be as bad as they were about 4 years ago, but I still won’t sit on the deck thru most of September.

The DAWN spray killer has been rather successful for us. But there is one downfall to it.

foaming door

When it rains, sometimes our screens foam up!

hand carved stamps

My latest crush is on hand carving stamps. With my family’s birthday season in full swing, I was feeling inspired to make some helium balloons. With my vintage Speedball carver in hand I made 2 stamps. Check out that price… $2.55 and it’s made of WOOD!

vintage Speedball linoleum carving tool

I really love to take something like this and simply stamp them onto paper with plenty of space around each stamp. It’s fun to see how different each stamp turns out with a variety of textures.

hand carved balloon stamps

Then I scan at high resolution and use Photoshop to clean up. Now I have 10 balloons that look unique. For me, that’s the way life is and my art should reflect that. For something like this, I don’t like each thing to look the same. They ended up like this.


stamped balloons

These balloons are available in my ETSY store HERE

My FIRST hand carved stamp was made using that very Speedball carver. It was for my high school art class. That actual linoleum was ridiculously hard and impossible to do any fine detail. Born to Run was just released and this Springsteen fan bought the album. Miss Bernarden was not thrilled with my topic choice, but I actually sold a few prints to friends. This was WAY before ETSY!

vintage linoleum block cut

Ever feel compelled to do something?

It amazes me how many times I feel the need to do something. Occasionally I act on these feelings, sometimes I ignore them and most of the time I don’t even acknowledge them {pity} .

While working on my swap postcards, I go with my gut on what to add. The words, extras, colors… I’m never sure what direction they will take and I just let my creativity go. While I was working on a particular postcard, I thought it would really work well if the heart had wings. No clue where that came from, but I ignored it and considered the card “complete” without the wings.

After I had mailed all of my postcards, I had one leftover.  While addressing a card to Joy, I realize that I had 2 cards with “JOY” on the front. It was ironic, so I couldn’t send her the one I was addressing, I HAD to send her a JOY card – but that’s ok, cause I get to keep the other one. My daughter got her favorite card with a special message added to celebrate an excellent ACT score.

On my last blog post, I got a comment that was kind, sweet and a wish that they would get one of my postcards. She was not on my list, so I contacted her for an address to send a postcard. Lisa’s site is called SPROUTING CREATIVE WINGS, so I added the wings to my leftover card and went to the post office for a stamp. I’m so glad I did! It felt right. Here is the final card

iHanna DIY postcard swap spring 2014

Now I think it is finally complete and on it’s way to another country.

Funny thing – – – I wrote this months ago and forgot to click PUBLISH. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to post it until today?!?!?!

Lovely Snail Mail!

Postcards have been arriving from iHanna’s Postcard Swap. Just look at these beautiful postcards…

Thanks Michelle for this one! My kids thought I made it – totally my style.


This one’s traveled ll the way from Hawaii, thanks Roscoe! I see the islands, don’t you?


I love the simplicity of this one from Austen, Texas USA, thanks Jill. Find more of her creativity on Jillybeans. I hope I got the orientation right, but I think it works either way.

dinnys garden | iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

This Delaware pigeon flew from Carol Stream, Illinois USA. Thanks for making me smile Mike!


What beautiful layering from San Franciso, California USA, thanks Kathy!


This beauty if from Richmond, Virginia USA, just love all of the bits. Thanks Ellen, nice to meet you too!

dinnys garden | iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

What good fortune to get this one from Washington State, USA. Thanks Stephanie, what beautiful texture!

dinnys garden | iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

Inspiration that’s blooming now…

Lately, I’ve been having fun mixing “real world” art with the digital world and realizing just how much I enjoy it. Since I  started art journaling, my art style has evolved into something more artistic and less structured or “designed”. The freedom while art journaling is wonderful – NO rules to follow and the only person I need to make happy is myself.

For  a future photoDUDS release I’ve been playing in paint and using my Gelli Arts Plate. SO many prints were created, I just couldn’t stop. By scanning the best bits, I have the control to position elements the way I want in Photoshop. That is freedom too!

Here are some of the bits after I have combined them in Photoshop.

dinny digital designs painted mixed media Photoshop

dinny digital designs painted mixed media Photoshop

dinny digital designs painted mixed media Photoshop

These are going to be 16×20 templates. Here are some of the details.

dinny digital designs painted mixed media Photoshop

dinny digital designs painted mixed media Photoshop