Friday, September 29, 2006

This, I believe

I felt like I was getting behind on the many fun challenges I had been taking part in. Then, earlier this week, I was listening to National Public Radio and there was an essay called "This, I believe" that was read on the air. The phrase intrigued me. I went to the web site and did a search. I found THIS! What an amazing project. It began in 1951, Edward R. Murrow encouraged people to write an essay about the beliefs that guided their lives. This project is continuing on today and you can read or listen to the essays here. I found them extraordinarily inspiring and it got me thinking about the beliefs that guide my life today. This was a very fun exercise to do. I feel like where I am in my life right now, as a mother of two young children, I'm constantly re-evaluating my values and what's important to me. Since time is such a precious thing, I want to make sure that I spend it doing what matters most. I would encourage you to check out these web sites and think about your personal philosophies and values that guide your own daily life. I also realized that I printed on patterened paper, which was part of Annie's challenge and also played with lettering, as part of Rhonna's. I guess a girl can do it all! Hehe:)
Check out for lots more inspiration! Go ahead, write your own:)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Haute Halloween

I just got my Vintage Halloween kit from Scrapologie in the mail. Whoohoo is it **gorgeous**, totally my style. Love all the details and fun, fun stuff:)
I picked up a copy of a new local magazine Called METRO today at the drug store. I've been feeling a little less-than-hip lately about not getting into all the fun local stuff that's going on. The Twin Cities is so vibrant. There's a lot of great theater, art, museums and clubs that I've been missing out on out here in the burbs with two young kids. I think hubby and I will have to make a point of having a sitter (grandma and grandpa) and getting out on the town a little more:) I was most facinated by the "Haunted Haute" article about all the wonderful things that local costume shops carry to make your Halloween costume a true fashion statement. Loved their ideas!
Finally, check this out on Teresa's blog. Now that's an altered book!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Inspiration: Lost and Found

Isn't this just cool!?! Love how it's set up and those assemblages are fantastic! I think I should cover my floor and walls with newspaper and just let me kids draw everywhere!! This pic is from my Anthropologie catalog. Can't get enough of that place:) The art is by artist Serge Rosenzweig. I guess the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie store will showcase a different artist every six to eight weeks. Serge Rosenzweig is first up with "Lost and Found". He is a French antiques restorer who creates collector's pieces out of iron fences and used gas tanks. Here you can see his work up close.

During Autumn, I find myself very drawn to found object art such as this. I love collecting leaves, acorns, wood, and whatever else I happend to find while walking in the woods. I love to turn them into a feast of color and texture, whether its in making art or decorating my home. It's such a tactile time. Whether it's the ooze of the innards of a pumpkin slipping through your fingers while you're carving a scary face, the bumps on the outside of a gourd, the dry crunching of the leaves or the crisp, tart bite of an apple. There are also such amazing colors seen all around. I find it very inspiring!!!

Speaking of which, the queen of inspiration, Rhonna Farrer, has started another round of her 10 days of creativity prompts. Jump on over here and join in!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Birthday fun

As the birthday week winds down, I'm feel very fortunate and upbeat about the coming year. I definitely was pampered a bit. On my birthay I got to sleep in and my hubby made me breakfast:) Then my parents took the kids and we went to a movie and out to dinner...a huge treat! We saw The Last Kiss. Wasn't exactly an upbeat birthday movie. I mostly agree with Kristi's review here. My sister gave me a very cool t-shirt and a subscription to Somerset Studio. Yay!!!

Today I went scrappin' with my friend Ginger and she gave me the most *amazing* ribbons from The Ribbon Jar. LOVE it all. Thanks, Ginger!
I also got some wonderful goodies from my friend Cassondra.

Wow, definitely doing the happy dance here:)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Learning to fly

Today is my 31st birthday. Overalll, I am amazed at where my life is, the experiences I have had. I wanted to make some sort of list of 31 things. I have decided on 31 events that have taught me how to fly. Some have helped me to soar, others I've stumbled to the ground. It's all there and that's what life is all about. (These are in no particular order of importance.)

1. April 11th, 1995- I met my husband at Ground Zero club in Minneapolis. He was throwing a rave there that night. The rest is history:)
2. White Sands National Park in New Mexico. Joe and I took a trip there for my golden birthday. I found it stunningly beautiful and intriguing. This trip was pre-kids. So I always remember it as a time when it was just Joe and I, footloose and fancy free!
3. Joe and I took a trip to Alaska summer of 2001. Saying I *loved* it is an understatement. I was ready to move there! The scenery was breathtaking and the time warp feeling of being so remote and wild made me more fully alive.
4. Going to a workshop with Mike Port and Natalie Goldberg at the University of St. Thomas (where I was in school) on Buddhism. Joe and I then started going to Clouds in Water Zen Center in St. Paul where Mike was the lead teacher. I have found Buddhism to be a perfect match for my beliefs and gives me a grounding when dealing with the messy things in life. I feel so fortunate that Joe and I are on the same spiritual path together.
5. I was a competitive swimmer as a child. When I was about 10 years old, I was doing the 100 butterfly and simply gave up in the middle of the race- stopped in the middle of the pool and sobbed. That event was extraordinarily humbling and truly taught me to never give up and I haven't ever since!
6. My labor and delivery of my son, Lowell, taught me how to endure unimagniable pain and was very eye opening about what my body can handle. Chloe being born was such a different birth experience and the "ease" of her birth helped me realize what a beautiful thing birth can be.
7. Being a parent has taught me how to soar and to stumble with grace. Each day has its celebrations and struggles and to just remember that it's all going to be ok!
8. Getting involved in the world of altered books when Lowell was just a few months old. The very first thing I made was altered fabric baby book for him.
9. Lowell getting a diagnosis of Autism one year ago turned our world upside down.
10. Going to Italy, alone, when I was 19 years old for a photography workshop in Tuscany with Harvey Stein.
11. Starting this ArtsyMama blog and discovering the amazing online blogging community (Michelle was my mentor-thank you!).
12. Finding the book A Reason to Live by Melody Beattie when I was 16 years old and nothing else seemed to give me hope.
13. Halloween parties at my neighbors house every year as a kid. It ignited my inner passion for all things Halloween!
14. Working at HANC, as a naturalist, and the amazing women that I met there and the friendships that we still all have.
15. All the traveling I did as a child. We took many, many family trips that helped educate, shape and broaden my perspective on the world.
16. Having Lowell start his Autism Day Treatment program at St. David's has given me hope.
17. November 21st, 1998- our wedding day. Being a wife has taught me love beyond love.
18. Growing up doing gymnastics all summer in our living room with my sister, Laura. We became such close friends and I've always treasured our relationship.
19. The car accident I was in this past summer really made me realize that your life can change in an instant.
20. Listening to Rebecca Walker speak made me feel so powerful and so happy to be female.
21. Going to library school, finding a path that fits me so well and the wondeful friends that I made.
22. The relationship I have with my parents. They are such an amazing help with my kids and *wonderful* support for me. I value the realationship we've developed as adults.
23. Starting work again very part time, as a librarian. It's great to have something just for me:)
24. Rhonna's first 21 day challenge. I worked on mindfulness and gained so much confidence in my artwork. It truly was from the heart.
25. Buying a house. It's been so wonderful to be homeowners. Feeling a sense of place.
26. Going to Green Lake, Wisconsin with my family, my grandparents and cousins each year growing up. My grandmother was an amazing artist and she really helped foster my artistic mind. We did many fun craft projects.
27. Going to raves with Joe when we first met. It was so much fun to loosen up and feel the music thumping through my body.
28. My creative writing class in college. This is where I found out about the workshop to Italy that I attended. I also got a chance to write through my depression story. That was very theraputic for me.
29. Being a competitive swimmer for 9 years has really shaped the person I am today. I learned so much about discipline, hard work and strength.
30. All the art events I have coming up in the next year that I know I'll be so inspired and rejuvenated by!
31. Nurturing my creative side. Have the support of my husband, my family and friends to pursue my dreams and live my life to the fullest. THANK YOU!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I *heart* junk!

My mom and I had the pleasure of going to the JunkMarket ladies Junk Bonanza today!!! You've probably seen their new magazine. They have so many creative tricks up their sleeve. I went away with an Autumn Glory sign and a couple of old shutters to get creative with. Boy did I have fun taking pictures:) The colors and the textures were amazing. They had lots of fun junk stuff and some gorgeous fall flowers and gourds! So sit back and enjoy a little photo tour of the junk sale!!!

On top of all that, I got my Designing with Color book today:) It's almost like a Freestyle part II. Looks fabulous! I'm off to bed saturated with color and ready to soak in all this inspiration!

Happy Birthday Lowell

It's my little man's 3rd birthday today!!! He got a very cool karaoke machine from his grandpa and LOVES it! He's gonna be a rock star:)

Here's a layout of Lowell showing off his new toy. I *finally* it got done for challenge #8 from Annie (based on Ali Edward's book)...using a stencil in a layout. I had major scrappers block on this one and totally resisted using a stencil, mainly because I have none. Then I was on the floor playing with the kids today and realized that I could use one of their cookie cutters as a stencil, hence the stars. I had also recently been inspired by the challenge for this week on the Freestyle blog to do a layout with stars and stripes. So here you are! After getting a wonderful package full of goodies from Poppy Ink, including these papers, chenille stems and whimsy "Hello my name is" sticker, it all came together:)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I'm all about the glitter lately:) Had fun using my new glitter letters on this one.

The journaling reads:
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of this earth are never alone or weary of life.

Found this cutie skele banner yesterday and couldn't pass him up. I just LOVE Dept. 56 Halloween decor. Goes so well with all my smiling glitter pumpkins:) It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Remembering where I was 5 years ago and where I am now....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Calling fall~

It's beginning to look like fall in my creative space!! I'm still loving my dresser and apothecary style cabinet that I house my art supplies in. It's all in our dining room, so it's the perfect place to display my art and other goodies. I really enjoy changing the decor to fit the season. Here is what it looked like this summer. I just started getting out my boxes of Halloween stuff, so I thought I'd decorate this area first for some inspiration. The acordian style book in front is from a swap I hosted where we all did little mini Halloween quilties. I love the little book I created with mine! All of the artists pages can be seen here. This time of year my home is a mix of my two favorite styles in decorating and in art~vintage and primitive.

In other news, I've been asked by Fiona to join a group called Creative Journey. And we are doing just that. Everyone picks a theme and we are going to do all kinds of fun techniques together all working with our individual themes. We will post our work and progress and end products on the blog. I will also be posting here. I'm really excited and have chosen the concept of home. This can be interpreted so many different ways. Our first exercises to get us going was a mind map and to start gathering pictures and other items for inspiration for a design board. This is going to be so much fun!

Monday, September 04, 2006

New blog

I made this layout for the very first Journaler's Junction challenge. This is a fab new blog by a wonderfully creative team, including the amazing Lu. I love her work!!! I'm so excited about this new blog, because it's all about journaling. The 1st challenge is "write it how you say it." So all day I thought about what words I say a lot. I realized that "it's ok" and "everybody is ok" come out of my mouth A LOT. That's my first reaction to try to calm myself and my kids when I feel the tension starting to rise. So I made this page of me soothing Chloe and journaled the following: As a mother, I find that I'm trying to diffuse the situation a lot of the time. Lots of crying and tantrums and one kid getting the other one going. I find myself saying "everyone is going to be ok" a lot for MY sanity and theirs.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fun stuff!

I went scrapbooking with a friend last night. Got lots done and saw some of the wonderful new fall line from Flair Designs and finally saw the new LilyKate from Basic Grey. I used it for this layout with Chloe and loved it so much I didn't want to cover any of it up. So I just hand cut this cute little purple frame around her, outlined it with my white pen and called it done. Perfect!

The BIG news is....after I found out about this on Pam Garrison's blog today, I thought it looked fantastic and figured it would be in some far away land. Lo and behold it's here in the Midwest, in Omaha. That's only 6 or 7 hours from the twin cities, so I am so there!! Teresa, founder of FoofaLa and the genius of Papier Valise is putting on this amazing pre-holiday paper event! I can't wait. I'm taking workshops from Pam Garrison (she has some amazing teaser photos on her blog), Carolyn Peeler and Becky Novacek. Woohoo!! Only 2 months away:)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy September!!

SO happy it's September!!! September is always a turning point in the year for me. I get energized in the fall...think more clearly...become more balanced. The final challenge in Rhonna's 10 days of creativity exercises was to use found art. When I saw this little calendar, I knew I had to use it in my layout. Have a great weekend:)