Saturday, December 29, 2007

Belated Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a Prosperous and Healthy New Year!

I hope this finds you all enjoying a wonderful holiday season, doing things you enjoy! I apologize to my loyal reader (lol) for my e-absence; I have been out of commission with the yearly bout of creeping crud bronchitis. This particular nasty round brought along with it an inner ear infection that made me nauseous when I looked at the computer screen. I'm feeling much better now, and gearing up for a new year. I plan on offering several challenges thru the course of the year. So spend your next day or two prepping an art journal for yourself so you can play along with me! I will be focusing on the positive and on increasing happiness thru art.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pay it Forward

Pay It Forward
Belinda, Dawn, and a number of other talented ladies have posted this on their site recently. Now it is my turn! I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it forward) exchange. The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog, and follow thru. So basically, if you’re one of the first 3 comments, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make! Once you sign up, I'll e-mail you for your address. Then you copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work. I will send the giftees, and then post a photo here on my blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Look what the elves did!

Just LOOK what those naughty elves got into last night! Not only did they pull a panty raid, but they brought at least 5-6 inches of snow!

Now who do you suppose is having the most fun?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Merry mischief

Well, the naughty little squirts were at it again last night! Taking a ride on the mixer and baking cookies! They took little elf bites out of most of the cookies, and Mike noticed they particularly liked biting the stars off of the Christmas trees. At least they left us some to nibble on! And the dentist will be proud that they left Macie a brand new Barbie toothbrush and Barbie toothpaste.

I sure hope they are writing all these adventures down in a little elf diary somewhere!

Oh- and for Aileen from over at who wondered what elf shoes looked like- here is a quick peek!

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Elves have landed!

Merri and Chris, our holiday visitors

Does anyone else have elves that come stay for a visit? We do? We have 2 that came on Thanksgiving night and are going to stay until Christmas eve when they will return to the North Pole with Santa. We think that they are on vacation, and Santa told them all about a nice house that had good cookies and a little girl named Macie to play with, so they decided to come stay. Of course they still have to make daily reports to about Santa if we are all behaving or not. We think they are probably supposed to have visited in secret, so they act like they are frozen when we come into the room!
We came home from the store one day and just found them waiting for Macie! With them they brought the movie "Annie" and some popcorn. Macie instantly fell in love with them, and couldn't wait to pop popcorn and enjoy the show with her new little friends.

Off to bed they all 3 went, Macie tucking them in tight with their own little elf blankies. The next morning, we were shocked to find them playing checkers in front of the fire!

They also left her a little elf size Christmas card with a note inside, politely thanking her for sharing the movie and popcorn the night before.

For the most part, Macie is thrilled to find what they've been up to every night as she is sleeping. She keeps finding new ways of tucking them in each night to make sure they don't get out! And when we leave the house she keeps finding new boxes to keep them locked up in until we return. But somehow those little Houdini's keep getting out and causing mischief! The other morning, they left a trail of Barbie cereal thru the house. (Thank goodness they eat their cereal dry with no milk.

After the second day of escapes, Macie figured out how to wrangle them! She buckled them into her seatbelt with her!
We went out to the a family party and came back to more mischief! They were doing some sort of an act from the circus from the kitchen chandelier!
We've caught them sharing milk and cookies with Christmas bear, and coloring in a new coloring book they brought to share.The little teases have also been leaving us little mini polaroids of their late night antics. Just look at what one of the polaroids showed them doing last night! That's them~ jumping off the towel bar!
All in all they really are sweet, and don't cause too much trouble. Macie says she like them better when they bring a new little surprise (it's so funny, she gets a little annoyed with them when they touch her toys, puzzles and tea sets!)
So, that's what's been going on at our house recently. I wonder what they'll do next......really...Mike and I can't imagine what they might do next... anyone have any suggestions as to what we should be on the "lookout" for? I did notice some extra baking supplies in the pantry...I suspect cookies could be forthcoming some night, but after that, I really can't imagine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Elfin Good Giggle

No time to properly blog today, but wanted to start the holiday decor off right, and Dawn always has so many wonderful holiday ideas I couldn't help but peek at her blog first to mentally enjoy holiday art. Her hilarious creation at this site sparked Mike, Macie and I's own holiday giggle.
Please consider this our holiday card to you! (Thanks Dawn for the point in the right direction!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wow-where did the week go?

Did so much this past week, I don't know where the time went! It seems that here in the Columbus area, life speeds up in some sort of weird space-time continuum thing the week of the OSU-Michigan game! We had a chili cook-off and corn hole play-offs at work the Friday before the game and the Mayor came to award the prizes. It's the only day we can all wear jeans and sweats into the office, so everyone gets into the spirit. Although I am not a football fanatic, I enjoy the revelry. I've never quite seen any other town go so crazy for football. There are plenty of goings-on during the season. My uncle's company hosts a big breakfast every year to say "GO BUCKS" and thanks to his clients. The band plays, there are corn-hole tournaments, prizes and I've done face painting for kids and adults alike. It just seems as if as soon as the 'big game' is over you race screaming towards Thanksgiving. Throw in a couple of close friends birthdays to be celebrated, a FIL's birthday, and the presents and mailing involved with that all to get done BEFORE the "relaxing" holiday, and it's just a whirlwind of activity.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Garage sale challenge

I hostessed a swap recently that was called the Garage Sale Challenge Fatbook. The artists had all summer to peruse garage sales, flea markets and dollar stores to find their materials. Anything already in their studio was fair game and could be used to create with as well.

I was excited to see the creative and resourceful pages they each came up with.

For the first set of pages I did, I spent a whopping 10 cents for a misc. baggie of sequins, beads and confetti. I love the shaker effect the little window makes. I used cancelled postage stamps, old pages from a book, a scrap of fun foam run thru my xyron, and scraps of scrapbooking papers. I traced the image on deli paper from one of my sketchbooks, and painted and watercolor penciled for softness.

The second set of pages were leftover pages from a book, that I had used to test out different colors of paint on. I then used rubber stamps and several layers of paint. More stamps, and a couple different layers of color misters, and sparkle misters. I had the butterflies left over from a class I taught earlier in the year.

Neither page was any great work of art, but it helped me to look thru things I already had with a new appreciation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Flower Art Series

Over a period of time I've been working on a flower series of computer altered photo art. I take the original photo and then alter it digitally with my Wacom graphics tablet and Adobe CS 2 software. I have in mind a calendar, or maybe book of some sort down the road, but all the ideas have not been fully explored. Right now I'm just enjoying the individual pieces.

The Yellow Lillies piece is currently hanging in 2 galleries, as I did a small run giclee series. I feel it is my signature piece and I've used it for many different things, including my own ATC's. The original lillies were photographed in my parents backyard.

The Bougainvillea piece is my new favorite. I just finished it this week. The original photo was taken in February outside the door of our vacation condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mariposa the Studio Fairie

This is Mariposa, my studio fairie. She is a seed of the inspiration for the class I am developing. My Christmas presents this year will be an odd mix of Mariposa, and the exciting clay techniques I've been developing inspired by the wonderful paper techniques I learned while attending Lynne Perrella and Anne Bagby's fabulous "Ultimate Painted Page" workshop in February. I'm not posting any photos of the finished ornaments yet, as some of the people receiving them for gifties read this on a regular basis and have already been sniffing around for clues LOL!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Feeling Sistery.....

Lately, I've been blessed to "meet" some of the most fabulous, talented people through various online art groups. Two groups particularly close to my heart are The Altered Art Divas and The Sisters of the Secret Fatbook Society. Both groups have given me the opportunity to "get to know" some of the most wonderful, artistic, giving, open and sharing women I've ever had the priviledge to run across. It blows me away, the way they open their hearts and share their art in such a supportive manner. As a product of an "official art education" the support and positive attitude is something I can't quite wrap my noodle around yet. I pour thru their blogs every free moment I get, amazed at their daily creations. Amazed at the sheer quantity of wonderful work they are producing, just for fun. They challenge me daily to create just for the sake of creating, rather than "producing" for an end product, as I must do daily for my job. It is taking me in a whole new direction within myself, a place that I sort of always "felt" was there but didn't quite know the address for. For these artists I am so thankful, in this of all months to express thanks.

This is a piece I did in my art journal, inspired by 2 other tremendous artists, Anne Bagby and Lynne Perrella, and what they were generous enough to share with me. It sings what my words cannot about these artistic sisters.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Altered Book of Hope

For a while now, I've been working in a themed altered book, and I finished the last spread recently. I purposely chose the subject to lift my spirits, and it really did! Not only is it a collection of hundreds of wise sayings about hope, but it also was a place where I tried out new techniques with no preconceived notions. On the Dove spread in particular, I was working with home-made rice paper, and copying sketches from my sketch journal onto it. I loved how the paper disappeared into the background, but gave me my dove's outline to embellish.

For the cathedral spread, I just liked the mindless playing with stamps. It was one of the "background" pages I did that sat unfinished for a while. Then one day, it seemed as is the idea jumped out at me as I was flipping thru, and caught site of that un-blank page.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Beautiful time of year

I think this is my favorite time of the year! I love the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays! I love the planning, the decorating, the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, the eating, the cool weather, the time with family and friends... Thought I'd start going to that happy place by decorating my blog with a nice fall shot or two.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The man behind the throne...

And the final product!

Swap Carnage

Several people have asked me what it's like hostessing a swap. Well, I'll tell you, its alot of work, but it is rewarding in it's own ways. It's an honor to get to hold and touch and drool over so many pieces of art by so many talented artists. You make new friends, and you get to share the same passions that drew you to art in the first place with a ton of people who "get you"!

Here's a quick peek into this weekends binding marathon. Due to my arm injury, my sweet hubby jumped in and saved the day by punching when I couldn't do the repetitive motions. Mike is such a wonderful mate! Not only is he my best friend, but he'll jump in and help me with anything WITHOUT complaining! (He even acts mildly interested when appropriate!) He's very creative himself, and if I can't think of a way to fix it, or attach it, or pack it, he's sure to be able to. My Grandma always says I volunteer him out too much, but it's because I just KNOW he can fix it... and I'm so proud of him.

Come on in to the studio, and look at the carnage.