Sunday, December 31, 2006

Good-bye's been fun!

Wow, it's the last day of 2006! Can you believe it?! For my Christmas Journal page I made a mosiac background of some of the art I made this past year. I had so much fun art and blogging! Thank you all for visiting and for your encouragement. On my blog birthday post, I shared many links to many, many projects I worked on this year. Fun stuff! I hope to do many, many more in 2007. I know there was a lot of interest in my Book of Dreams project this past year and I really hope to put together something fun like that again soon. I also really, really look forward to attending ArtFest in March and teaching at JustBe in Oct. You know I'll be sharing all the glorious fun here on my blog:) Here's to an **artful** New Year!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas layouts

I got a couple more of my layouts scanned (yea, bad scans..I know). I LOVE the new Basic Grey Blush paper I used on this cookie making layout:) Wow! Can't wait to use it on some upcoming projects. I think I'm going to start doing some of the *52 challenges* in Elsie's book. I'm feeling a bit rusty (and behind) on my family scrapbooking stuff. I really enjoyed doing the challenges that Anne posted from Ali's book awhile back. Really got me to try new things. Anyone want to give them a whirl with me?

Out and about

Haven't had a whole lot to post on in the last few days. I haven't worked on my art, because I've been out and about having a great time with my sister and her family in town. Yesterday we went to the Mall of America and saw the World's Largest Gingerbread house (below). Pretty cool! Look at all of those chocolate bars and that lolly!!

Then my sister and I went out last night and cropped at a local scrapbook store. I worked on some of the pictures that we had taken over the last few days. I got a few layouts done, but this is the only one I was able to photograph in daylight. Very basic and clean for me, but I thought it was fun to put family pictures of both sides together on the same layout. I framed it in a black 12x12" frame and have it on my wall.

I'm going to try to catch up on my Christmas journal tonight. I only have two pages left in my book, so I think I'll end it with Dec. 30th and 31st. Reflecting a lot as 2006 draws to a close and looking ahead to great things in 2007!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

{Day 27} Visions...and a birthday!

{Day 27} journal prompt is on sleeping and dreaming. About rest and rejuvenation the week between Christmas and New Year's. Since I have two small children, who have no idea about the concept of "sleeping in" my sleep schedule hasn't changed a whole lot. They still love to get up at 5 am! However, one thing I have noticed is that I have been having very creative, vibrant dreams. This has affected my perspective while awake. I also noticed that as soon as Christmas was over my color palette changed. I have become inspired by candy-coated colors. Maybe my friend Jenny is rubbing off on me:) So immediately I thought about the phrase "visions of sugar plums danced in thier heads..." because that's what I feel like right now. Life is so full of vitality and inspiration:)

I've been having such a great time with my sister over the last week. Yesterday we celebrated her birthday. My mom and I found this fab Dept. 56 Glitterville hat. Couldn't be more perfect!! Happy Birthday, Laura!!! Hope you're enjoying this week, whatever you're up to.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

{Day 26} The day after...

{Day 26} is a very different entry in my journal. First off, I was thrilled to find out that our Christmas journal prompts go through the 12 days of Christmas, ending January 6th. The "day after Christmas" page was about what we do on this day, whether we celebrate Boxing Day or go hit the sales. For me, we drove down to Iowa to visit my cousins and spend the day with my mother's side of the family. We had a great day. However, for my journal, I chose to do a simple page with a different theme. The challenge of the day was to use something in our layout that we would normally throw away. So I looked through the daily paper and was very intriqued by this picture I found. It was a couple of girls dressed with angel wings walking down the street. I loved the picture and wanted to use it on my page. I looked through the wonderful new books my hubby gave me for Christmas (below) for a technique I could try. It sure has a different feel, but appropriate for the day:) There was a little blurb with the picture stating that its part of the celebration of the Passage of the Traveling Saint, which Equadoreans participate in. I was touched and felt like it belonged in my journal. I used the word hope and wrote my journaling bit about how after the holiday's are done, it's a time for rejuvenation and reflection on our hopes and dreams for the new year!

Here are the wonderful books my fabulous hubby gave me for Christmas. Love them all!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

{Day 25} Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Hope your day has been shiny and bright!! I spent the morning with my sister and her family and my parents. We opened presents and had a nice meal. I only see her a couple times a year, so it's always wonderful to have time together. Here I am with my sister and our husbands. I have a few pages left in my journal, so I think I'll keep going until New Year's:)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

{Day 23 and Day 24} Happy Holiday's!

Wow, thank you for all of your wonderfully kind comments and encouragement. It means so much to me:) Happy Holiday's to all of you, my blogging friends!
Hope you have been enjoying your holiday festivities. I was waiting for a prompt from Shimelle for our Christmas Journal about stockings. I have a love affair with Christmas stockings. I simply adore them! I have always loved my felt and sequins Snoopy stocking from my childhood and still put it up each year. I also now have another favorite stocking, the sock I made at Silver Bella in Pam Garrison's class. It's made with vintage wallpaper and fantastic vintage trims. I just love it! So {Day 23} in my journal was just my cup of tea! I love the whole concept of Christmas stockings and Christmas Eve night~santa claus and little gifts~it's just all so whimsical and fun!! I especially love handmade stockings and the look of patchwork crazy quilting. It just brings a magical homemade feel to it all!

Today {Day 24} is about recording our Christmas Eve memories. We spent the day with my husbands dad, his sister and her family. We had a grand time and all the kids had a ball! I used a napkin from our meal as the background, because I loved the pattern. Now I will sit down to a cup of Christmas tea, and relax in childlike anticipation of Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 22, 2006

{Day 22} To Do...

With Christmas just around the corner, here's what I have left to do: wrap presents
fill stockings
make sugar cookies
make a snowman
sit down to a glass of wine with my family

{Day 20 and 21} Feeling the love

Catching up on my Christmas journal here. {Day 20} was about unexpected mail or gifts. I was deeply touched by the amazing gifts that we received from Lowell's therapists. These are the same folks that receiving the cones that I made:) I just can't say enough about them. His music therapist gave us a wonderful "greatest hits" CD of the music that she uses with the kids. Lowell loves it and clearly knows all the songs! The lead teachers gave us a book, "Changed by a Child" by Barbara Gill and an amazing photo scrapbook of pictures of Lowell during the year at Autism Day Treatment. Of course I sat in the car crying as I paged through it. The cards are from his speech and music therapist. I am so touched by their compassion and hard work on a daily basis. They never cease to amaze me with their love:){Day 21} was about where our house is right now as far as getting ready for the big day! My eyes were glued to the windows yesterday as it snowed all afternoon and turned our brown, bare Minnesota landscape to an amazing winter wonderland!! So this is the direction my page took on. I took a picture looking out our front window, you can see our tree on the left. The top picture was taken at 1 pm in the afternoon, when it just began snowing. Then in just a few short hours everything was glistening with white powder. Fabulous!!! This truly was just the final touch we needed for the holiday festivities!!Here are the layouts together. Obviously had a snow theme going:) Then, once the mailman trugged through the snow and delivered our mail, I was so excited to open up a package that came from my dear blogging friend Lilli. There were many layers of beauty here....
First, her wrap and tassel were a gift in themselves. Gorgeous!
Then was a lovely handmade card. Perfect!
Finally, an amazing handmade tote bag. Wow, this is stunning! Here are both sides and the inside is even gorgeous!!! Thanks so much for your beautiful gifts, Lilli!
I got this too cute for words gigantic star from Jenny and Aaron over at Everyday is a Holiday! They are the sweetest ever:)
Also received this wonderful handmade card from Norah's. Her art is just amazing!!

The holiday season has been filled with so much beauty and grace and kindness from others. My heart is full of joy!!

~*~Happy Holiday's to you and yours*~*

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I'm still working on my Christmas journal pages for the last couple days. I just wanted to share a really special time I had with some great friends last night. I have a group of friends that we all have sons the same age and they are on the Autism spectrum. We gather once a month and are a "support group" of sorts and also just really great friends. I love the conversations we have sharing our joys and our struggles. I feel like I can always turn to these women to find hope. We really help each other get through some tough times. So I made each of them a HOPE sign for their home. I put a little vintage bird on top of each and included the following poem:

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune--without the words,

And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

They seemed thrilled with them and it was so much fun to give such a personal gift. I just wanted to share this wonderful Christmas memory with you because it means so much to me:)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

{Day 19} Dear Santa...

Today for my Christmas Journal I wrote a letter to santa. Yea, I know, it's probably a little late, but you never know:) I love this oil painting print by the artist George Hinke in the book Jolly Old Santa Claus. At work the other night we had to withdraw a copy we had of the book because it was in bad shape. I knew I could use the prints in my art and this one is just perfect! I love working at a library:)I know I've shown you these cones a million times, but today they are going out to Lowell's therapists and interns. I can't wait!!!

Also wanted to share a book I got at the library last night, Living Artfully by Sandra Magsamen. Awesome book! Totally inspiring to make your life a work of art:) She expands the concept of "art" beyond our normal limitations. She discusses how living creatively can take on so many meanings. I've just started it, but I already bought my own copy. It's that good! Check out her web site too. So much fun stuff there.

It made me think about how I feel like keeping this blog is truly nurturing my artful living. It helps me to find time to play, to make some sort of art, without judgement. Just to throw a piece of me out there to the universe and share a part of my heart. I love it!

Monday, December 18, 2006

{Day 18} Holiday dinner plans

What are your dinner plans for the holiday's? This was the prompt for {Day 18} of my Christmas Journal. Yikes...hadn't thought that far ahead yet! It was fun to look through magazines and dream about the perfect Christmas Eve dinner. We will be home with the kids, it will be before all the hubub of Christmas Day. My parents will be making the big meal on Christmas Day, so the evening before is my chance to start our own tradition. This is what I came up with. I wanted this page to be tactile, so I first put down a piece of my grandmothers vintage lace behind the photo, added another piece on top with a stick of cinnamon to remind me of the scents of holiday cooking. Then hand wrote out our little menu. Makes me hungry just looking at it!

I found this delicious looking picture and recipe for biscuit-topped turkey pot pie. I love pot pie and it seemed so warm and hardy for the big night. I thought spiced cider would be good and a waldorf salad. Then for dessert chocolate-carmamel bread pudding. YUM! This actually is part of our Christmas Eve tradition. When I was young and we would drive to Iowa to be with my moms family on Christmas Eve, we always had bread pudding, so here is a re-vised version:)

Chocolate caramel bread pudding

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 c. heavy cream
1 ½ c. milk
2 TBL cocoa powder
½ vanilla bean (seeds scraped and pod reserved)
1 large egg
5 large egg yolks
¼ tea salt
½ c. sugar
7 c. challah bread, cut into 1” cubes
1 ½ tea unsalted butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz. caramel candy chews

Make the pudding: Place the chocolate in a large bowl and set aside. Place the cream, milk, cocoa, and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, and strain into the bowl of chocolate. Gently stir to combine and set aside. Whisk the egg, yolks, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Pour the cream mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously until combined. Place the challah in a large bowl, pour the egg-and-cream mixture over the bread, and let sit, tossing occasionally, until the bread absorbs the liquid- about 30 min.
2. Bake the pudding: Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10 inch deep dish pie pan with butter. Gently mix chocolate chips and the soaked bread together. Spoon half of the pudding into the pie pan, sprinkle with half of the caramel candies, top with remaining pudding and caramel. Tightly cover the pie pan with aluminum foil, fit it into a 10 by 15 in. roasting pan, and place them on the middle shelf of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until the level reaches half way up the sides of the pie pan. Bake for 40 min., uncover, and continue to bake until the liquid has set and caramel is melted- about 20 more minutes. Serve warm.

After writing all that out, it seems like a lot of work, but definitely sounds yummy!

I know I've seen Matthew Meads fabulous holiday magazine written about on many blogs. It really does have some fantastic holiday food recipes and gorgeous pictures! He has a web site too!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

{Day 17} Sprinkle fun!

{Day 17} for Shimelle's Journal your Christmas class is on the perfect gift. This year I made lots of gifts. I'm not sure that they'll have fall into the category of the "perfect" gift, but they certainly are as personal and heartfelt as you get. I tucked pictures of them into a pocket for safe keeping:) I journaled on the back of each tag about who it was going to and why. The challenge for today was to use ribbon, which is always a treat to dig into my stash.

We made sugar cookies with my kids today. Nothing gets me in the holiday mood like sprinkles! Chloe ~*really*~ likes sprinkles you can see! Lowell was more interested in dumping out the sprinkles and then refilling the container. To each his own. The cookies turned out festive anyway!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

{Day 16} Gratitude

{Day 16} for my Christmas journal is about what I am grateful for. When thinking about expressing gratitude, I thought of those wonderful paper chains we used to make as a kid. Many times one would write a kind deed that was done on a strip of paper and compile all of those thanks into a chain and hang it on a tree or mantle. Such wonderful sentiments! So I wanted to make a paper chain of sorts on my page. I had seen a different design for a chain in a magazine recently and used this shape here. I then wrote on my chain all of things I am grateful for this holiday season:)

Friday, December 15, 2006

{Day 15} Welcome!!

Today's prompt for my Christmas Journal was about visitors during the Christmas season. When I think of people visiting, I couldn't help but think of the greatest welcome symbol of the holiday season, a wreath on the door! So I made a page that has a little door that opens and reveals my journaling about who will be our cherished guests this holiday season. Thanks for visiting:)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

{Day 14} Frosty the Snowman

was a jolly, happy soul....
LOVE that song! Today's Christmas Journal prompt was on Christmas songs. ~*Frosty*~ has always been my favorite! I was so glad to be able to use my favorite Christmas card ever on this one. He gets to be king of the snow! I have come to realize that I'm having so much fun with these journal entries, because I'm getting lots of inspiration from things that I've kept over the years that mean something to me. Now I have a place to have them all together in a meaningful way. Two posts in one day..woohooo...I'm all caught up on my journal:) Have a great day!

{Day 13} Presents, presents...and more presents!

This one was easy. Not quite the aesthetic appeal, but descriptive. The prompt for our Christmas Journal for {day 13} was to document our tradition for opening gifts. We have always gone youngest to oldest in my family and I love to help pass out the gifts...always have! For this layout I wanted to use some of the those sticker tags, because they remind me of the the tags that my mom put on the gifts as a kid. I don't think they were stickers then, but were generally the same with little pictures on them. I then put photos of everyone on top of the tags and drew arrows showing our order for opening gifts. Nothing fancy today, but fun in it's own way! **edit- I just re-worked my whole page because my husband informed me that I forgot him in the original. Oops! I feel awful. Sorry Joe, I love you!!!!
I continue to make Christmas gifts like a madwoman:) Here are a few more of my creations. For those of you that were asking about my cones, they really couldn't be any easier. I cut cardstock weight scrapbook paper to 8x8" and then just played with rolling them until I got a cone shape. I hot glued the end down so that it would stay and viola!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas past and present {Day 12}

Lots to share today. {Day 12} for my Christmas Journal is about christmas past. What's changed? What's stayed the same? Shimelle's creative challenge was to use something that you thought you'd never use on a layout. After seeing this cute little tree that I got on a gift from Bonnie last night (more on that later), it reminded me of a gingerbread house my mom and I made out of Fimo clay one year. We made all kinds of little candies out of clay and put them on our Fimo house. I have such fond memories of my grandmothers gingerbread houses (this is my sister and I as kids with one of them) we decided to make one that will last year after year. So using my little Fimo candies in a layout had never occured to me, but seemed perfectly appropriate here! Thanks for the great challenge, Shimelle!

I also got my Poppy Ink kit in today's mail. Great stuff and such untraditional Christmas colors, love that!! I cannot wait to use that little crown stamp:)

From the library, I got the book Journal: The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Amy Zoe Mason. Have you seen this? It's a fictional book about a "found" journal and the whole story is done as an altered book. Brilliant!!! Take a look inside. Sooooo cool! **edit: I just finished reading the book and the story is not that great at all. I really like the concept of an altered book to tell a story. Is certainly worth a browse at the library.
Last, but certainly not least, I went to Bonnie Rose's UnVeiling last night of her new studio. To say it was ~*~FaBuLouS~*~ is an understatement. Here she is in her heavenly room!
Check out that amazing dresser in the background! And the lattice above her head...simply gorgeous!!
Look how organized she is...and this is only one of her scrap rooms!!
It was so much fun to hang out with Bonnie and her friends. It was really great to see Kyra too! I went to high school with her and haven't seen her since:) Bonnie, your studio and your home were truly a delight. I know you and your hubby worked so very hard and it was really a magical night. Thank you!