Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A hand full of spring...

Here are my first couple of pages for my round robin swap book with Lilia.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Think spring..

Well folks, I finished the cover for my round robin book with Lilia. It looks a little flat because I scanned it since it's dark out right now so I can't photograph it. This project is a lot of fun because I'm using some of the goodies from the swaps I've been in recently. I'll keep posting as I complete more pages. The book itself is made out of brown paper lunch bags. Makes for a fun little mini-book.

I love working with all this spring loveliness as we "brace" for another big snow storm here in Minnesota. Will spring ever come? Ok, I know it's only February:) Speaking of spring... if you're in the spring swap, your little sprite brooch should be arriving in your mailbox very soon. I've only heard from a few people. Please let me know when they've landed safely in their new homes. Thanks!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Starting something new...

What do you do when you start a new project? How do you begin your brainstorming? What is your creative process like? When I start, I have a theme in mind, then I start getting out all my "stuff" that has anything at all to do with that theme. I may end up using most of it, or I may end up using very little. Getting some initial images in my mind and a color palette really energizes me to get going. Later the project begins to take on a life of its own.

Now that I have all 35 swaps in the mail (wewh!!!) I'm beginning a fun little round robin with sweet Lilia over at Flea Market Studio. I adore her work and can't wait to see how our collaborative project ends up. We decided on a loose vintage Spring theme and are each going to start a book. We will do a few pages in the book, send to the other person and they finish it up and send it back. So we each end up with the book that we began with and have half our work and half the other persons. These are great fun and a nifty way to collaborate:)
So for the spring theme I gathered some of my favorite vintage style Ruby Stella papers and bunch of trims and some fabrics that I've been finding lately. I love them all. I'm sure I'll end up adding lots more papers, buttons, images and other goodies. They are all very different styles, so I'll have to decide which ones I want to use. Having this all in a heap really helps me begin thinking about what I want to create. So this is my little bundle of spring loveliness that will be transformed in the coming weeks into a "Pocket Full of Spring" book to send on its way!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cabinet of Curiosities {Destination and Reflection}

Well, we are on our last prompt for the Cabinet of Curiosities Challenge that Bonnie and I have co-hosted. What fun these several weeks have been and seeing everyone's interpretations of the theme each week has been awe inspiring!! Hope you've all enjoyed it as much as we have.I'm curious what you all do with your work, do you display it in your home or studio or keep it in a drawer for safe keeping? I tend to display mine and wanted to show a couple of my "Cabinet" challenges here. I went and bought an orchid last night. I needed some greenery in our house. It seemed for a bit there that spring wasn't far away, and now the snow and sleet have come and spring is fleeting, so I needed a little pick-me-up. I thought it looked nice with the green of the {Collections} collage and the {Inspiration} framed piece. This little plush owl (below) is from Anthropologie and I paired it with my {Explore} assemblage. I liked the comforting look of it all together, so I thought I'd share.On to the topic for the week....destination and reflection. I know, I know, art is all about the journey not the destination. I agree. However, when we come to the end of a project like this one, you can't help but want some sort of closure. I consulted Julia Cameron's book Finding Water (one of the sequels to The Artists Way). She talks about how we must finish a project to get that burst of energy and inspiration to propel us to start another. She talks about finishing anything, whether that is mopping the floor, mending clothes, building a shed...or finishing that little art project that's been sitting in your studio for months. Then we can start another. So that's what I did!
I took my first online class from Shimelle last fall. It was called You Think You Know Me. She picked ten topics that we were going to dive into and make a mini book about ourselves. This was a somewhat daunting adventure, since I never take pictures of myself and rarely scrapbook beyond my family...mainly my kids. I wanted to take on the challenge. I had just recieved this card (above) in the mail from my sister and it inspired my color palette and mood for my book. So here's how it started...

I bought this mini album by Making Memories that had a (somewhat) clear cover and put the card inside.

Here are my first five pages that went smoothly. The biggest challenge was finding pictures of myself that went with each "mood".

That's where I stopped, and it sat...and sat for several months. I had it displayed and visitors would look at it and I vowed to finish it some day, since it really was a fun book to make. So after reading about getting creative energy to start something new by finishing something unfinished, I took on the task and did the last five moods. Again, it was hard to find the "right" pictures. After deciding to venture into some old photo albums from my childhood, that really helped me finish this project up.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this seemingly unrelated project. So for this week, think about some things that are unfinished in your life. Is there something that you could complete that would give you a burst of energy to start that project that you've been thinking about? Maybe its finishing up the other themes for the Cabinet of Curosities. Maybe it's something unrelated. If you are caught up with everything in your life (lucky you!) then do a piece of art on this theme of ending a journey, reaching the destination and reflecting on where you've been. Can't wait to see what you all come up with:)

Finally, here's something to think about....
Destination: all the discoveries beyond the horizon that are whispering your name. How do you recognize them? When they appear, your senses will celebrate exuberantly. Here's to whatever comes next!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happiness is...

Each season I change out the paper and pictures in this huge frame (above). I always put my favorite scrapbook papers of the moment and current pictures of my family. I had been hoarding my new Basic Grey papers because as Marilyn said in my comments "they're too beautiful to cut up!" I totally agree. So I decided that I wanted to look at these beautiful papers all the time. I put them in the frame with pictures of people that I love and hung it on my wall. This hangs on a big open wall in our living room that you see as soon as you walk in the house. It makes me happy....the colors, the flowers, the people, making it all into art. So this is what I have to show for Bonnie's happiness prompt:) It makes me smile.

As far as the swap is concerned, I'm so flattered that people want to swap. I want to make sure I get my swap sent out to everyone interested.
Today I mailed to:
Susan E.
Hagit R.
Debbie S.
Delsie C.
Michelle G.
Laurie R.
Dawn R.
Jeanne S.
Elizabeth S.
Natalie H.
Angela D.
Vickie C.
Maria H.
Angie B.
Ellen P.
Carol R.
Michelle L.
Joan E.

Have addresses for Sue B. and Tricia S. and will get them out this weekend. Edit: Also have addresses for Daisy L., Fiona S., Robyn B., Tricia S. Thanks! If you are not on these lists and told me you wanted to swap, I need your address! Please email me at
Have a great weekend. The last prompt for the Cabinet of Curiosities Challenge will be here on Sunday. Do we have anyone still with us? Hope so!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another world...

First off, if you have not gotten an email from me with the details of the swap and want to participate, please email me at I have a few that said they are interested and I have no way of reaching them. Thanks! So last night my husband surprised me with my Valentine's present. I was clueless (and skeptical) at first, having never heard of the movie. He said to trust him, that he thought I'd like it. Sometimes it's scary (in a good way!!) how well someone may know you. I love that my hubby really gets me deep down inside, knows what my artistic process is like and feeds it. Stretches me to try new things that I normally wouldn't feel would be my style. Awesome..xoxo, Joe!

Ok, back to the movie. It was just released in the US, so we had to wait for it from Amazon. Has anyone seen the movie MirrorMask? It is quite the feast for the eyes. Definitely the most "artsy" movie I've ever seen. Very, very cool stuff. The sketches that the girl in the film does are wonderful. She places them all over her walls and they become "windows" between real world and the fantasy world she ends up in. She looks through them from the fantasy world and sees how her "real world" self is not who she thinks she is.
Here's the official web site. Summary: MirrorMask is the compelling story a young girl who runs away from her family's circus and finds herself in a twisted landscape of floating stone giants and flying books. To find her way home, she must first find the MirrorMask and, in the process, discover the secret behind this strange world.

Analysis (from here): It's a wonderfully demented fairy tale filled with fanged cats out of Escher sketches and prickly spiral staircases to nowhere, but at its core is simply a girl wishing her sick mother would get better. It is a thoroughly surreal scene, a circus by Salvador Dali come to life. What follows is a lovely journey through a fantastical landscape. The young girls (Helena) mother falls sick, and Helena herself, wishing to join the real world, finds herself instead in the Dark Lands, a twisted world where fish fly in schools through the air, insulted books return to the library of their own volition, and everyone wears a mask. It is a quirkily charming place, yet it is also dangerous. The movie (and book) are written by Neil Gaiman. You may have read some of his books. Here is his site and blog. The amazing artwork is by Dave McKean.
I'm not even sure what to say about it. Still working through all the imagery in my head. I do know that it got my creative juices flowing. Such a different style than my own art, but so much inspiration there. Some of the masked creatures reminded me of Zettiology stuff. Ever since reading an article by Teehsa in her Art and Life zine about creating another world through art, I've been facinated by this idea. It is something that I do not do. I think that's the scrapbooker in me. I tend to use images of family and friends, things in my real life. When I try to use old photos of people I don't know, I tend to loose the connection. I feel like I'm creative, but not sure how imaginative I am. Something interesting to think about. For those of you that use a lot of other images in your art, what is your process like for choosing those images? Do you feel like you're creating another world with your art? I'd love to hear peoples thoughts on this.

Monday, February 19, 2007 glad to see such a great reaction to my swap idea (see post below). Can't wait to swap with all of you. Please email me at if you commented that you wanted to participate. Anyone else wanna play? The more the merrier!

Wanna trade?

I've been making these sweet little ladies in earnest lately getting ready for ArtFest at the end of March. I guess trading pieces of art is a big thing there. I wanted to have something unique and that fit my style. So I used several different papers from the new Basic Grey lines (love them all!!) and made these paper rosette brooches (they have a pin on the back). I put a vintage picture of a little girl holding two toad stools in the middle and as you can see added a bit of ribbon, or crepe paper or both as a "tail". Used lots of fun vintage stuff from my collection. Each one is a little bit different.Since I'm having so much fun making these, I thought in the spirit of ArtFest, I would host a swap here on my blog. It would be a one-for-one swap. You will get one of my little cuties here and in return I would ask of you any kind of your art- your style (could be an ATC, collage, mixed media art, fabric, papier mache..etc.) you choose. The one caveat is that I would like to have a spring display in my home of the art work I recieve. Since I am really into the toad stool, woodsy, flowery, birds/egg/nest stuff lately, I would like it to be along that theme...whatever way YOU want to interpret that. Sound good? Anyone interested? I'm thinking that we'd send to each other by mid-March so that I can have them before I leave for ArtFest. I think it will be fun:) Wanna play?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fun with vintage hats!

My mom and I went to an estate sale today as a little pick-me-up since I was feeling a bit better. We found these fabulous vintage hats that look great on Chloe...don't you think?! Too fun!!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Blogger girls!!!!

I knew I was eagerly anticipating the new (March/April) issue of Somerset Studio magazine, I always do. It was the first mixed media art magazine I ever bought and every issue inspires me beyond measure. May I be so bold to say this may be the best issue yet! Art paper by Pam Garrison
So after a week of a bad cold turning to pneumonia, now turning to sinus infection (can you say pain!!) I was thrilled to see my spankin' new issue in the mailbox today. ask. To start with, it has articles on several of my favorite blogging artists. Yes, there is a fantastic article on Pam Garrison. Love her...her work...and her blog! The Artist Portfolio is on none other than Keri Smith. Hers was the very first blog I read. Still love it! This issue just seems to be jam-packed with extra inspiring stuff. There are multiple articles by Michelle Ward *another* one of my favorites, one about getting out the spray paint and going for it with your art! A beautiful article on creating a secret book of boxes by Linda Harre.There are some fun artist papers contributed by Pam (scans shown). Love these!
Art paper by Pam Garrison
" To me, art is mostly about life experience, participating in nature. It is not separate from everyday life. I don't believe that art is a 'thing' or a 'craft', like painting or collage. That is an expression of my 'art'. Art to me arises from a way of perceiving the world....I no longer define art as product." Keri Smith
There's too much to mention, so go...splurge a little and buy yourself a copy. You won't regret it. Ok, so I'm off to bed now. Let's just hope by morning it doesn't feel like someone is standing on my face.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

{Getting cozy}

In an effort to conjure up some summer warmth and health I made a layout with a sweet pic of Chloe from last summer and some fun new vintage inspired paper by Brenda Walton. Still waiting for the new issue of Somerset Studios to show up in my mailbox. The other day Andrea shared some sneak peeks of the wonderful article on Pam. Can't wait to see it! In the meantime, if you haven't gotten enough of Alicia's (aka posie gets cozy) fabulous abode from Romantic Homes magazine articles recently (can we ever really get enough?!) HERE is an amazing slidehow (54 pics!) of her delightful home. You are bound to be inspired and try a few ideas in your own home. I'm definitely going to do the adorable apron as a window curtain one. Enjoy!

However, I did get some *fabulous* packages in the mail recently. Here is a very fun and spring-inspired box filled to the brim with lovely goodies from Bonnie in South Africa.
Love all the pink and greens.

Also got a fun goodie package from Michelle. Totally made me smile, ladies:)

Thanks so much!

Card above created here. Try it, it's fun!! Or maybe it's the geeky librarian in me:)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy {HeArT} Day!

This is going to be short and sweet, since I seem to have caught a case of pneumonia just in time for Valentine's Day! No fun:( I wanted to wish you all a fabulous day and hope that it is filled with love and hugs! Here are a few goodies I recieved in the mail recently that made me smile. The heart is from Tia and the fabric scrap card is from Laurie. Lovely! Thanks so much ladies:)Here's a little treat for my parents from the kids.
Have a great Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cabinet of Curiosities: #6 {Collections}

Hope you're having a good weekend. I know I'm posting this early, but I think that some of you like to work on the challenges on the weekend, so here goes!

Is there something you collect?

col·lec·tion [kuh-lek-shuhn]:
1. the act of collecting.
2. something that is collected; a group of objects or an amount of material accumulated in one location, esp. for some purpose or as a result of some process: a stamp collection; a collection of unclaimed hats in the checkroom; a collection of books on Churchill.
3. the gathered or exhibited works of a single painter, sculptor, etc.: an excellent Picasso collection.
4. collections, the various holdings of an art museum organized by category, as painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, or film: the director of the collections.

Maybe you collect teapots, figurines, santas...or natural objects when you take walks, or like many artists- ephemera from times past. I've been enjoying Lynne Perrella's column called Collectors Choice in Somerset Studio magazine for quite awhile. She talks about how "collections" are different than "accumulations." She said that collections speak to you, they have a story.

Think about what it is that you collect. Maybe it's quotes, or beautiful vintage paper...

I had a post a bit ago with a call out for photographs from all of you. I knew that people visit this blog from all over the world and I was interested in seeing one snapshot of something in your life. Thank you to all of you that answered my call! I collected them all together, along with the emails that came with each one. It was great fun to hear a little bit about each picture through the stories that you told. Pretty amazing. I made the two pieces of art in this post using your photos.

The challenge for this week is to make some sort of art out of something that you collect. It could be using the actual objects or maybe photographs. Anything you want to do. This is total freestyle art. I can't wait to see all the precious collections out there and how you choose to share them with us! Have fun:)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Keeping warm...

Did you all see Betz White on the Martha Stewart show today? You can watch it here. She made these fabulous wool felted little lattes. I first saw her work when I took the picture above at Craft-o-Rama here in Minneapolis last December. She has a fabulous blog here and she mentions she's writing a book that will come out later this year! Yay:) I've got to give these a try. Adorable!!

Happy Friday!!!

I know I've been posting a lot of stuff this week. I usually post more of my art and less material indulgences, but since this weeks topic for Cabinet of Curiosities is Inspiration, I like to show the things around me that I find in everyday life that inspire me. On a deeper level, my real inspiration comes from my husband, my kids, my family. Their support means the world to me. I am also so very, very inspired by the amazing artists out there in the blog world and those that don't have blogs. I've been trying to provide links to a lot of my favorites this week. I made an inspiration book this summer that you can see more of here. I still love to page through it and play with different patterns and colors that inspire me.Then there's the everyday stuff that inspires me, like movies, books and getting fun, fun stuff in the mail to use in my art. Which leads me to these pictures. ALL of these fabulous goodies came from Nina for the Crafty Valentine swap that was hosted over on the greenbeanbaby blog. Wow!!! The vintage buttons at the top are my favorite. She included *tons* of fun vintage finds, candy and even goodies for my kids. Nina was over the top in indulging me. Opening her box filled with (literally) dozens of little gifts wrapped up was like a dream. Thanks, Nina!!

This gorgeous little package is from Little Pink Studio. Absolutely divine!Finally, this enormous heap of swappity goodness is from an ephemera swap I was in. Hope you all have a great weekend! We'll see you back here on Sunday for prompt #6!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Marie Antoinette a good way!

I feel like the only person on earth that hasn't seen the Marie Antoinette movie. For others like me, our chance will finally come when it comes out on DVD next Tuesday. In the meantime I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the art and images that have been circulating online inspired by the film. Here are just a few of my gleanings. Enjoy! Artwork by the amazing Lisa Kettell

These flowers are by French artist Lyndie Dourthe. After looking through her website I realized that the picture I used on the bottom right in this collage is also her work. Amazing stuff!

This reminded me of Rose Hips fabulous post about Marie Antoinette and yo-yos. You know how I LOVE yo-yos! Ullabenulla also had a fun post on Marie here. She has one of my favorite blogs. So inspiring!!

Love all these *amazing* dolls that Heather Louise creates! Here's one from her Marie Antoinette collection.

Pam and Lesley both hinted at Marie related projects on their blogs this week. Can't wait to see what they're up to! Pam also has some Marie Antoinette related eye candy on her flickr favorites.

Well, hope you enjoyed the little tour and can't wait to see the film next week!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ye Old Curiosity Shop...

That's what I feel like today's post is. A little of this, a little of that. Actually, check out the real Curiosity Shoppe. Crafts, Kits and Curios for the Creatively inclined. So much fun stuff! What about Prickie. Seriously fun button badges goin' on here, folks. Have you checked out the Creative Thursday blog? Or seen Steve Harrington's work? How about Treats and Treasures of a journal keeper. Love this! These is just a few things in blogland I've been excited about lately.Ok, so I got my pretty little hands on the new Basic Grey Stella Ruby line and just look at it....perfection!!!! Now I'm really going into paper rosette making mode.

Also got my pink and brown swap stuff from Paula. She even included the pink Fiesta bowl. Someone told me this morning that it is retired. Lots of fabric, papers, handmade flowers, buttons, stickers, ric rac, flea market finds, handmade items and more. Love it all!
I guess that's it for now. Like I said, totally random:) Be well.