Friday, March 31, 2006

Day Five: This Extraordinary Life

Ugh...feeling in a rut today creatively. I love Rhonna's quote, so I tried to do something with it. I'm feeling a huge amount of gratitude for life itself. As little two-year old Alec is sticking it out, taking his last breaths, I realize that I AM part of something extraordinary and that is living my life creatively. Reminds me of my all time favorite poem The Journey by Mary Oliver. I could read it over and over everyday and it would always move me. I wrote the last few lines on my layout. I'm in awe over the art I've been seeing, I'm in awe over being alive, creating! I'm having a hard time putting that out onto the page, but I feel it and that's what's most important:)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day Four: For all my friends!

In honor of all of YOU, all my online buddies, who encourage me everyday to Come Out and Play! Here's a quirky page to say a huge THANKS for reading my blog, commenting and supporting my artistic endeavors. I am ever so grateful. Poppets seem to be all the rage, so I decided to make a few hand drawn cuties of some of my cyber gal pals: Rhonna, Michelle (a sweet life), Melba, Michelle (twisted reasons), and Lilli. I don't even pretend to be able to draw, so they're done in good fun...please don't be offended:) Wouldn't it be great if someday we could all meet up for tea...or maybe at Melba's JustBe gathering!! EnJoY!

Digital masterpiece

I'm going to do today's challenge entry on gratitude for all my new online pals. Ladies, you are truly amazing! You made me feel like a million bucks yesterday when I was actually feeling quite terrible. THANK YOU for that! Your comments and support really keep me going. I have met such amazing people during my short time as a blogger. I'm sicker than a dog today, so my pages probably won't be done until tonight. I wanted to share an amazing layout a new digi friend of mine, Jennifer Pebbles made. I sent her a picture of my son and she created this beautiful masterpiece. I'm in awe. I really need to figure out this digital thing:)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day Three: Healing

Today I am feeling just icky, so I will cherish any sleep that I can get. I don't get sick very often, but when I do, it hits me hard. It also makes me realize how grateful I am for my health. Yesterday's layout was simple, today I feel like I created a mess. It got more and more busy as I continued to add and add. I think it expresses my twisting, swirling mind right now. I had fun using sandpaper on the picture of me sleeping a la Karen Michel's Altered Imagery. It expresses that scratchy, rough throat that I have today.

I don't mean to be such a downer. I was truly overwhelmed with love and support yesterday from all of your comments. WOW!! This challenge is so inspiring. I spent a lot of time visiting other blogs and was blown away by the fabulous art we're all creating. I agree with Rhonna's passage today about working through our stuck parts. That's how we grow. I also need to let go of the last round. I really enjoyed the work that I created and feel like I'm trying to live up to that again. This is a new opportunity for me to try different techniques and I need to embrace that. Here's to a healthy, healing day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Day Two

I'm posting my Day {Two} page bright and early. On my husband's birthday, I fully embrace my gratitude for him. He gives me strength and hope and humor. I am so grateful to share my life with him:)

I'm having a harder time finding my flow working in this altered book, but I'm enjoying the challenge. I'm hearing that many others are feeling blocked. Let's all support one another to show up and express ourselves..that's what it's all about!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Day One: Gassho

Starting out day {ONE} of Rhonna's 21 day challenge with a big heart and a gassho (that's what I'm doing here) realizing with gratitude how much I have to be thankful for.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Rhonna Rocks!!

But you already knew that Rhonna Farrer, the diva of the 21 day challenge is **fabulous**. I was thrilled to get this very generous package from her in the mail today. Look at all those Autumn Leaves goodies:) My lss doesn't carry her line, so I was giddy to get my hands on it! Can't wait to use it in my 21 day challenge art journal. Have you all seen her Cafe Press "store"? You can get everything from messenger bags, to t-shirts, to aprons..and tons MORE with her designs! I'm in heaven:)

I also got the latest edition of Scrapbook Answers magazine, which has an accompanying cd with Rhonna's "Spring Fling" kit. Again, fabulous stuf...BUT I know exactly **zero** about digital scrapbooking, so don't even know how to begin to use it. If anyone is willing to be my tutor, please let me know THANKS!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

First step towards gratitude

I'm so excited to be doing another challenge. I've even recruited some friends to try it out. {Hi guys!!} Looking forward to seeing everyone's fabulous work. Looks like a huge turnout this time 'round. We officially start Monday, the 27th. Here's all the info. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

With gratitude we begin...

In anticipation of starting round {two} of the 21 day challenge, I've been contemplating what habit I'd like to work on and have finished my cover. As I mentioned during the last challenge, I have been quite moved lately by the life of a little guy named Alec. He is two years old and is dying from a brain tumor. He will probably be gone within a week. In this post, I worked with looking at what is right in the world, rather than what is wrong or unfair. So I have decided to capture what I am thankful for each day through photography and art over the next 21 days. I would like to get into a habit of counting my blessings. After all, each day I can be truly grateful for being alive! I know gratitude journals have probably been overdone by the likes of Oprah and others in the past several years, but can gratitude really ever be over done? So the journey begins....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

21 Day Challenge....round {TWO}

For anyone that missed the first round of the amazing Rhonna Farrer's 21 Day Challenge...she's doing it again. Yay!! You know I'll be there, and many of my friends from the first round. It's based on the theory that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So pick a habit, and do an art journal exploring your journey for 21 days. Try it, you just never know how much it could transform your life! Check it all out here. This book is just aching to become an altered art journal. You could even use one of these Ali Edwards Manifesto journals. Is there anything that woman can't do? She rocks! Stay tuned for me to post my daily artwork. Anyone else on board?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Scrappin' time

I was doin' some regular ol' scrappin' tonight. Nothing fancy, just getting the pictures down on paper, with a little journaling. Working with some recent pictures of Lowell making the transition from his crib to his big boy bed...and sometimes the hallway:)

I had a fun day today getting to know Kirsten Hegman for the first time. What a super sweet gal:) She invited me over to scrap at her house. Sounds like a good time to me!! She's local and has just started a really fabulous company called Those Were the Days. Can't wait to get involved!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Welcome Spring!

Still waiting for it to feel like it here in Minnesota. I've been trying to make it happy and springy inside while we wait for mother nature to catch up. I also caught the spring cleaning bug. I have been picking up and actually cleaning things like a fiend. I normally don't have tidy bone in my body, so when the urge strikes, I roll with it. It's feeling much more fresh and airy around here.

I am feeling really inspired lately. I am getting antsy for the new Freestyle book by Autumn Leaves to come out. I have it pre-ordered and heard from the lovely Danielle that it ships next week. I can't wait! It looks so funky and freeing:)

In other exciting news, the CK Hall of Fame winners were announced! I'm so excited that someone at 2pea posted links to all of their work here. Check it out!! The art is truly fantastic! I was blown away by Vicki Boutin's work and am seriously considering subscribing to Scraptiv!ty now. Check out the amazing layouts she did with their kits. She's on their design team. Fun stuff! Has anyone ever done a scrapbooking subscription kit? I'd love to hear what you thought of it. Is it worth it? One thing I like about Scraptiv!ty is you get their neat gel stamps with each months kit. I'm not a stamper, so it would be fun to try some that coordinate with the papers you receive. You know how Minnesotan's are about hometown talent. We go nuts! So I was thrilled to see some local HOFers. Nisa Fiin and Jessica too, who just moved away:( Check out this amazing album of Nisa's. Love the colors!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I was inspired by Pam's dear one post, where she did a "thank you" piece of art for all of the kind comments she receives. I am always so touched by all of the comments people leave. They really mean a lot to me. I know many people arrive at my blog each day and leave without a trace. I truly appreciate those that have left comments supporting my blog and also on the new job, which will have an accompanying art journal (more to come on that!). I have been posting more of my art, and you have all been so kind and encouraging. Thanks!

I cannot answer each comment, but each and every one is taken to heart. I try to answer all questions posted. Sometimes if an email is not left, and you don't have a blog, I have no way to reach you. I also wanted to mention that I did add my email in my profile (click on the link) if you ever need to reach me:)

So in the spirit of spring and gratitude and growth, I made this Bloom page today. I feel like this winter, through my art, I have planted many positive seeds. May all of our seeds now bloom into something beautiful!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Talkin' about YOU!

Have you all seen Kirsty's Challenge? You know I'm always up for a challenge, are you?

It's super easy, just scrap a 6x6" layout about YOU! She's got prizes and all kinds of stuff, but do it just for fun. As Kristy says, "Make memories about yourself cos ain't nobody else gonna do it." Have fun!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Random happiness

Check me out! Introducing *Diva ArtsyMama* created by none other than Rhonna Farrer. What a cutie:)

The big news of the day is I got the library job I mentioned I was interviewing for awhile back! I will be working at the reference desk and doing programs two evenings a week. This will be my first professional librarian gig after getting my Master's. Should be the perfect way to get my feet wet again, after being a stay-at-home-mommy for the last 3 years. I'm so excited!

I got my Amazon package in the mail today with the new Nate Berkus book Home Rules, a brand new book on art journals called Visual Chronicles (these two sisters also have a blog) and Altered Imagery by Karen Michel, who also has a blog. Can't wait to kick back with these tonight. Mmm....happiness!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tribute to the {21} gang!

The 21 day challenge is complete! Here is a final picture of my chunky book oozing with motivation to keep me with my habit of mediatating each day. I also wanted to post links to many of the other lovely artists who participated in this challenge with me. Their work was very,very inspiring and kept me on track. Thanks girls:)
Our fearless leader Rhonna, Lilli, T:o)ve, Christi, laura t., Rhonda, Randell, Gudrun, Heather, Karin, Katie, Lene, Fiona, and Sharma. For those of you that weren't able to participate, rumor has it that Rhonna may start another challenge in the future. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 13, 2006


Day Twenty One~ the last day of the {21} day challenge

This art journal started simply and is going to end simply.

I have arrived, I am home
In the here, In the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate, I dwell

What a wonderful journey this 21 day challenge has been. Thank you Rhonna for starting us on this wonderful voyage together and motivating us to keep going. You are so very inspiring! Thank you ALL for all of your kind comments and support along the way. I hope to continue on this journey with you.
I learned a lot about myself during the last three weeks, including:
* I tend to create more freely and spontaneously during the day than at night when I'm tired.
* Showing up is half the battle.
* Being supported by a group of people can be so much more motivating.
* As Michelle wrote to me today, trust the foundation that I have built. Thank you!
* Doing nothing is much more difficult than it sounds:)

Gambatte~ Keep going

Wake Up!

{Day 20}
I'm feeling much more creative today. Got my spark back. Feels oh so good! My husband got a t-shirt with this phrase on it for Christmas from the Zen Mountain Monestary. This process has been a gradual awakening for me. I hope that it continues.
Waking up is the very nature of the teaching and the practice. Be alive in every moment, and by waking up yourself, you will wake up the world!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Just Breathe!

{Day Nineteen}

Click on picture for better view

Is this my fear of the end? I suddenly find myself completely blocked when working on my pages and am coming up empty handed. This is really just the beginning of my newly formed habit. I tell myself just to breathe. That's all I need to be doing right now. I try to breathe from my hara, the physical and spiritual center of the body. An inch or two below the navel. I added a journal page on the hara that I did six years ago in my art journal. I have come back to it many times to remember to find my center.

"To see from the center, breathe from the center and move from the center leads us to a sense that the locus of our being is centered in the hara. And this sense, this feeling, this practice can change our lives."
Breathe! You are Alive

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I am Home

{Day 18}
We're on the last few days of Rhonna's {21} day challenge. What will we do then? Keep up the new habit...I'm hoping!! I'm really starting to have some profound insights, which is truly wonderful.
My book is starting to get so chunky these scans are getting a bit distorted. I love the substance it is starting to have. I find myself paging through it, feeling my truths surface. So simple, yet so profound.
When we live in the present moment, it is possible to live in true happiness. Our true home is in the here and now.
Click on picture to view larger

Friday, March 10, 2006

What is not wrong?

Day seventeen
The healing spring sunshine is illuminating the house today and it feels so good! I've been feeling meloncholy knowing that little Alec's condition has worsened. Last night it got me in a tizzy about what is wrong with the world. In an effort to gain some sort of insight, I read through Thich Nhat Hanh's book no death, no fear and found it ever so comforting and just what I needed to hear. Today as the warmth of the sun promises new life and growth, I embrace what is not wrong. There are so many things that are so right. This is what I must cultivate. Click on picture to view larger.

Word Cloud

Something fun to try on a Friday morning. These are the words most frequently used on my blog.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Look into your hand

Did anyone else watch the finale of Project Runway last night? I had not seen a single episode until yesterday and Bravo played the entire season as a marathon run so I thought I'd check it out. I taped it and watched it all in about 3 hours last night. I'm glad that Chloe won. Not only does she have a fab name (my daughter is also named Chloe:) but I picked her as my favorite from the very first episode. I really liked her sense of style and thought she was very talented. I found the show to be very inspiring.

I find myself inspired by fashion all the time. Many of you have asked where I get the pictures that I've been using on my art journal pages. Most of them are from Anthropologie catalogs. I love this style and have poured over these catalogs for years. I've kept piles of them forever, but have never used them in a project. I was thrilled that they seemed to really work well for my style on this journal and have found the pictures to be extrememly inspring. As you can see, I played with fabric on this layout. I love how it adds texture to the piece.

For those of you that have read my blog for awhile, you may remember that my young daughter's hand seemed to sneak it's way into many of my pictures. I was moved to use her hands touching my hands as the main focus of the meditation:
Whenever you miss me, look into your hand and you'll see me immediately.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Letting go of knots

Day 15 of Rhonna's {21} Day Challenge
Hope you're not getting tired of me posting these. I'm almost there!! I'm so happy that along with developing a daily habit of meditation, which is what I set out to do, I also developed a daily art journal habit. I really hope to keep both up, since they seem to go hand in hand and are helping me in so many ways. Today's entry has more writing on it than usual. I was working with my internal knots. I've been dealing with some difficult emotions lately and used this entry to remind myself how to Let Go and get those knots untied!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Just smile!

On Day Fourteen of the {21} day challenge I am reminded that something as natural as a smile can be so transforming..


The following passage is from Thich Nhat Hanh's book Peace is Every Step. Every word in this book drips with insight.
If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything. When a child presents himself to you with his smile, if you are not really there, but preoccupied with other things, then the child is not really there for you. The technique of being alive is to go back to yourself in order for the child to appear like a marvelous reality! Then you can see him smile and embrace him in your arms.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mind Layers

Day Thirteen-
Rhonna's {21} Day ChallengeDay 13 was about continuing to work with my mind and my thoughts. I created a row of pictures of myself playing with my kids, my husband and family, my spirituality, my hobbies. These depict the things that I think about a lot and continually arise as I'm meditating. They are the layers of my mind.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Beginner's Mind

For Day Twelve of Rhonna's {21} day challenge, I explored what is known as Beginner's Mind
This is the mind that is innocent of preconceptions and expectations, judgements and prejudices. Beginner's mind is just present to explore and observe and see things as they are. Without approaching things with a fixed point of view or a prior judgement, just asking "what is it?" This is easier said than done:)
I feel like this art journal challenge has really fostered my beginner's mind. Since I don't have a lot of time each day to do my entry, I try express whatever comes to mind first. I create my art from a non-judgemental state. It is what it is. What I was feeling at that moment. I have found it to be a very remarkable experience.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Donna Downey was here...

and I had the pleasure of taking a class from her today! Here we are in all our glory.

I'm on the left (in orange), Donna in the middle and my friend Ginger.

She had posted on her blog last week that she had a cancellation this weekend and was free. A local scrapbooking store here in Minnesota snatched her up and I was lucky enough to find out. My friend Ginger and I met there and had a blast hanging out with Donna and making these very cute decorative journals. We used new Wild Asparagus paper. LoVe that paper! And, yes, Donna really is as nice in person:)

Friday, March 03, 2006

Out of my way!

Another great quote from Rhonna today for day eleven of our
We're half way there!
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal. Henry Ford

I listed the obstacles (excuses) I need to work on that keep me from meditating:

*There's not enough time in the day

*I need to get to sleep

*My mind is too cluttered

*I have other things I should be doing

I'm off to take a class with Donna Downey tomorrow morning. Can't wait! Hopefully I'll come back very inspired:)

List Friday: Craft Confessions

I loved the Pomegranates idea for List Friday this week, so I’m participating for the first time. The topic is Arts & Crafts, as in list the arts & crafts things you have done in the past “when you didn’t know better”. You know, the school/scouts/mom/kits variety. We're poking fun at these, but I do feel that arts and crafts are fun to do at any age for any reason and support them fully just for the sake of doing something creative. I started making my list in my head as I went to sleep Monday night. I found a couple of pictures, so here we go…

1. Shrinky dinks- LOVED those! I thought I saw that they were back.

2. Stained glass animals, houses, you name it. I loved putting those tiny little beads of glass into the mold with a toothpick and watching them melt through the oven window.

3. Sun prints with my grandmother. She used to make cards out of them that were quite lovely.

4. Little tiny boxes folded out of old Christmas cards

5. Seed/shell/rock pictures

6. Paper mache anything! I loved the smell of the flour “glue” and dipping the strips of newspaper into it. Then wrapping the paper around a balloon. Ah, the memoriesJ

7. Just a few years ago my mother and I made a gingerbread house out of Fimo clay.

8. Friendship bracelets. The kind with the funky patterns out of embroidery floss.

9. Those little safety pin thingies where you put beads on the safety pin and then attach to your shoe. What the?!

10. Frosted Styrofoam Easter eggs that my mother made each year. Here’s a pic. It’s the small egg in the foreground of the picture. Has anyone seen these before? I remember them so well. Of course I’m blinking in the picture (see SPT Blinker). And what’s the crazy looking cat/bunny easter basket. Yikes!!
11. Here’s my candy entry. It’s a wreath with candy people on it. This was done only a couple of years ago (when I did know better) inspired by none other than Mizz Stewart. Is that good enough for extra points? Hehe.

So there you have it!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

You are what you think

Rhonna's quote for Day Ten sure helped me out of my hum drum thought patterns today.
{Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character, for it will become your destiny. Frank Outlaw}
I made a pocket to add slips with positive things that are happening. I'm planting those seeds of good things going on. Watching to see what will become of them.

Art and Blogging {Misty Mawn}

This art is by the AmaZinG Misty of Mistyeyedart. She is half of the dynamic duo of ladies that just started up Inspire Me Thursday. She is a mixed media artist, clay thrower and blogger extraordinaire. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about Art and Blogging.

AM: When did you start blogging?
Last Summer...June 2005

AM:What was your motivation?
MM: hmmm....I guess I started it with hopes that it would inspire me to create more and share what I have to offer.

AM: Who is your audience/readership?
MM: Other artists, moms, friends....?

AM: Does your blog circulation matter to you?
MM: a little maybe, it's exciting to see people respond, but it's not why I blog

AM: Do you use your blog as a social network?
MM: I guess you could say that. I have met so many great people from blogging that I call friends.

AM: Has blogging changed your creative process at all? Are you inspired by other bloggers?
MM: I don't think it has changed my creative process at all, but pushes it more! Yes, I find inspiration from many other bloggers!

AM: Do you feel it's expanded your audience? Made you more accessible?
MM: Yes, it has also made me realize that other artists, writers, people, aren't as untouchable as I once thought. Just because I am an artist doesn't mean I don't relate to others that are not and vise versa.

AM: Do you sell your work on your blog?
MM: No...I use Etsy and Ebay, but I do have links on my blog to those sights.

AM: Do you find inspiration online?
MM: Yes, very much! I love to find it and hope I share it as well!

AM: Do you participate in any online communities? If so, which ones?
MM: A few... SPT, Illustration Friday, Mixed Media Collage Artists, and of course Inspire me Thursday!

AM: Blogs can be very intimate; do you enjoy showing a different side of yourself?
MM: I show the only side I know...I very much hope I am the same person everyone out there perceives me as.

AM: What is a typical day like for you?
MM: Get up at 7:30... take my daughter to school, check emails read blogs, spend time with my son, pick my daughter up, make lunch for everyone, read books to my children, nap time for my son, art time with my daughter, Tea time for me, figure out dinner, run errands, bath and bedtimes for my little ones, time to work....Art time! Get to bed around 2am, sometimes earlier.

AM: Do you find the computer has distracted you from your art?
MM: It can, if I let it. I need to a find balance between the computer

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I am reminded that...

Day Nine
{21} Day Challenge
Tonight I meditate for Alec. He is a two year old little boy that has been given 6-12 weeks to live. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor last September. My heart aches for him and his family. I breathe in love, peace and healing and breathe out resentment at how life can seem so unfair.
The epoxy words read
Believe ~ Dance ~ Sing ~ Hope

Three choices...

Rhonna's quote for Day 8 of the {21} day challenge
There are three choices:
Give up
Give in or
Give it Your All!
I found day eight to be about staying the course, keeping on track, staying motivated!
These quotes helped a lot.
I used the picture of the bed, because that's where I've been meditating. It helps calm and soothe my very chatty mind.