Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday morning happiness!

Happy Monday! It is "hotsy totsy" as my son now says here today...88 degrees at 8 am. And to think that when most people think of Minnesota they think of below zero weather. We get the full array here....from 20 below to over 100 degrees! I have already had a *wonderful* Monday morning surprise. I went to check Celine's blog and found that the Artfest 2007 brochure is up HERE! I am beyond excited for this!!! It is hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore.

Check out the **~amazing~** workshop leaders (LK Ludwig, Pam Garrison, Anahata, Nina Bagley, Traci Bautista, Lynne Perrella and TONS more!) This will be my first year. I hear how wonderful it is each year and awhile ago my hubby and I had a conversation about how the kids are now old enough that we could each take a weekend or so a year and do what we want...away. I AM THRILLED....can't wait for March 2007!!!

Anyone else been or plan on going?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

She book collaboration

I finally got started on my SHE book collaboration with Cassondra. I used an old 45 record album. It's fun and challenging. A different format for me, but neat to have little round "windows" to work with. It's inspired by the book She by Kobi Yamada. I first found out about the book and She philosophy from Heidi Swapp. It's full of wonderful quotes to use in your art, or to just be inspired by:) After doing my inspiration book last week, I felt a renewed sense of energy in my art. I feel like the top page really depicts my art aesthetic. The colors, the use of fabric and vintage beads, old sewing notions, the Victorian "rosette" thing I figured out how to make on my own from vintage crepe paper (inspired by Pam Garrison), the clothes in the photo, the models hair, I love it all. So glad I was able to bring it all together in one piece!
Speaking of inspiration, does anyone else watch Project Runway? I never thought I'd like the show, but I do get enthused by the projects that they have to complete. It always gets me more interested in fashion. Two very young designers with a wonderful vision are Vena Cava. The combination of art and fashion intrigues me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Yay...Blogger seems to be working again. This week I've been working on this fun little pick-me-up project to beat the heat. I was feeling a bit uninspired, so I decided to gather a bunch of fun stuff that really gets me going and make an inspiration book. I love it and know that I will continue to add to it. It's great fun gathering lots of little pieces, bits of fabric and pictures and color combinations that inspire me to create. Here are a few of the pages I worked on.

As you can see, these last few pages are Halloween. I *love* (I mean really love) Halloween. I think about it year round. Once July hits I start planning my annual party. I adore the vintage, primitive, folk art Halloween look!

This week I've been hearing about a lot of new products coming out of the summer CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) show. If you'd like a bit of eye candy, check out this link with pics of some of the goodies:)

Not new, but new to me, I used my Basic Grey Notch and Die tool on this project. What fun. So many uses!!

P.S. I'm totally gonna do this...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

I love my mom~ I love that I get to see her almost every day~ I love that we like so many of the same things ~ I love that my kids love her

I made my first strawberry pie ever from scratch for her birthday. Yum!!
It's so easy. Here's the recipe.

1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 package strawberry flavored jello, 4-serving size
1 cup water
2 pints strawberries, hulled
1 9-inch baked pie shells, cooled

Cook sugar, cornstarch, jello and water until thick; cool. Place whole berries the baked pie shell. Pour sauce over berries and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve with whipped cream or whipped topping.

Then in the mail came two new books by Elsie and Ali. *Love* these books! They are chock full of inspiration. Such different styles, but I get so much from each of them. Love their attitude!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday organization

I'm lovin' my new apothecary style cabinet. Kinda reminds me of an old library card catalog. It's helping me get organized with all the little goodies I like to use in my work and have stocked up on with the recent ephemera swap. By the way, all the swap packages are in the mail and should be reaching your mailbox soon!

I recently saw the idea of writing with chalk on blackboard painted furniture here and here and thought I'd give it a try. I didn't even need to use the blackboard paint. The chalk goes on great and can be easily wiped off without leaving a trace. Viola!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Anybody looking for a good read... a good book to work with? I came across this book last night at work. It was just published last month by Sera Beak. "A deliciously unorthodox approach to igniting your divine spark". Love that! It turns out the author, at 30, has had some amazing life experiences and is really inspiring. She has a fab web site and says her blog will be up in a couple of weeks. The Red Book idea started when she was 26 and kept a journal for her personal creative "prayers". She used phrases and collage to express her divine spark. This book is full of wit and humor and I think I'm gonna dive right in. I'm going to turn this book into my "red book" and work through it.

The first step is to state your intention, so here's mine.

I intend to live my life with creative abandon
Footloose and fancy free!
Be present
Be aware
Know my true self and celebrate her
Answer the question, "is that all there is?" with NEVER--there's always more!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Here are the first few pages of an altered scrapbook that I started on my trip. Just before leaving I received my Spare Parts Vol. 2 from Anahata. It was fun to break into that on my trip and use some of her goodies. I also used some wonderful things that I received from the ephemera swap, which, by the way, will be mailed out in the next couple of days:) I collected a lot of found objects that I've attached here and there throughout. I started this book the night we were having a really hard time with my son adjusting to his new surroundings. He is autistic (see other blog) and we weren't sure what to expect. I wanted to let out some of the emotions and frustrations I was having into my art. At that time I thought it may be a "curio" book of sorts into him and his unique perpective. Still not sure where I'm going with that, but I had fun nonetheless and here it is!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation...

Hello again!! Well, I'm back from "up north" and am happy to say we had a really nice time. We were up every day from sunrise to sunset. We started out with a lot of driving. Driving down to Milwaukee and then back up through the Twin Cities and up to a lake cabin near Brainerd, Minnesota. The kids fared pretty well:) I got a bee bite on my hand right off the bat. Ouch! My initiation to the north woods.

Here's Chloe and Lowell on the beach at about 6 am. My dear parents got up with the kids each morning at 5 am and let Joe and I go back to bed. What a treat! We swam in the lake quite a bit. It was wonderfully clear and very few weeds and such. The weather was quite warm, so a good soak a couple times a day felt delightful.

We also took a boat trip out on the lake and watched a lovely sunset.
And of course, what's a trip to Northern Minnesota without seeing some Loons?! We came back to the cabin, had a campfire and roasted s'mores. A "traditional" Minnesota summer cabin experience:)
I read about half of my Holy Cow book. What a great read! I also started a new altered book. I will share pics shortly. Check out this funky scrapbook store in a nearby town. Unfortunately it had equally funky hours and we never were able to visit when it was open.
We came back to the a HOT HOT HOT 100 degrees in the Twin Cities today. All in all a wonderful getaway with my family.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

On keeping a journal

I will be offline for the next 10 days, no email, no blogging...yikes!!:) I'm taking a trip, first to Milwaukee for a wedding, then a week with my hubby and kids, my parents, sister and her family at a cabin "up north" as they say here in Minnesota. Should be a fun time!

I was packing up my bag with books and such. Thinking about what kind of art I may want to do while I'm there. I picked up a book at work this week that they were withdrawing called Zara's Tales by Peter Beard. It's a wonderful scrapbook of "Perilous Escapades in Equatorial Africa". His memoir told as a tale to his daughter. I was thinking of altering it and making my own tales out of it. I *love* what he had to say here about his journals. I love the langauge he uses, the images he conjures up. Definitely going to journal my family adventure:)

"For years I'd been keeping journals, saving mixed-up scraps and clippings, dawdles and dipsy doodles, in daily diary layouts for the sheer pleasure of it, escapism: snapshots of buddies from school, snakes eating rats, rampaging rhinos, old photos worked on by the passage of time, bits of cloth, dry things, Captain Marvel and the Phantom, clipping from the Nairobi Standard, Picayune cigarettes, hog hairs, my hair, teeth and claws, run-over toads, fish scales, elephant tales, lizard tails, bits of bullets, bugs, twigs, seeds, plants, scorpion carcasses, snakeskin sheddings from lakeside lava rocks- all manner of minuscule jottings, scraps for a scrapbook- a homework assignment that nobody asked for. All glued down by the chronic scavenger. The pages would fill and fill and wrinkle in the gluing. It all meant nothing to anyone else but me, myself and I."

"See" ya in a week!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Read any good books lately?

Happy Independence Day!!
Check out Anahata's post today with her own twist on Independence it!!!!

I'm heading out on a family trip in a couple of days. We'll have plenty of time in the car, I'm looking for some book suggestions!!

I think I'm going to bring this one along. Sounds great and was highly recommended by Anahata as a crazy, funny book:) I'm very intrigued with Indian culture and the spiritual experience.
I think I'll bring this one too called Seeing Past Z. I'm in the middle of it now. Awesome book about nurturing the imagination and creativity.

I'd love to hear more! Thanks:)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Christmas in July!

Ok, these aren't all for me...but aren't they lovely!! The packages for the ephemera swap have been rollling in pretty steadily. Then today BAM! 4 packages came at once:) The postman had to come to my door with a big box full. Fun! Everyone's goodies look fabulous. Thanks so much for participating. We're still waiting for a few more packages from international players, before I can swap them out. I'm so excited to get some ephemera from all over the world. You guys are the best!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Artist Palette

Except for the blatant spelling error, I am pretty pleased with how this turned out. Lately, I have been intrigued by the concept of each artist having their own symbolic alphabet. I think that instead of having another formal "challenge," if you are interested, you can start an art journal with me and we can explore this concept together.

What I'm beginning with and following Anahata's inspiration, is to follow your impulse. She states that:

All you need to in order to create is to follow one impulse to the next. Like a game of connect the dots. One foot ahead of the next. To me creating artwork is a matter of impulse reactions to what is before you. Make one word, one brush stroke, one splatter. React to it. And then act on the next impulse you have. You needn't know what you are working towards or even what you want the outcome to be. All you need to do is react to each addition. This is how you will come to conclusions in your work you didn't know possible.

So that is what I did with this piece. I tried to follow each impulse without putting much thought into it and not let my censor in. It definitely evolved into what I am showing you here. I love all of these colors together. I have always been drawn to them. I have kept an issue of Elle magazine with Scarlett Johansson (love her!) on the cover for 2 years now, just waiting for the right time to use the photos of her in my art. I love everything about them. I finally challenged myself to use them here and love the feeling they provoke. I decided to use this as my cover for my new art journal. It is an old Better Homes and Gardens "Garden Book". I love the binder format so I can stick lots of bulky stuff in and I love that it has neat tabs.
Let's explore our individual colors, symbols and moods together and see what comprises our Artist's Palette!!