Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Project

I decided to take advantage of the holiday week and start work on a new porject. There is some sewing that I have wanted to start but always seem to put it off.

This is how it all started. I had one of those charm packs from Moda and a pattern for a tote bag. First I had to lay it all out to decide what order I wanted all the squares in. Then came the sewing and there was lots of it. It took me three days to get to the next picture.

Here is the finished tote bag,  I really like how it turned out. I ended up machine quilting a 1/4 inch inside each square. The handle has a lot of topstitching on it so it is really sturdy. The whole bag is lined with fusible fleece, which is something I didn't even know existed before I started the project.

This is the back, there are no pockets here, but there are 2 big pockets inside the bag.

This show the front pocket.  I even made a bottom insert out of foam core and covered it in fabric. What a fun project this was.  I was amazed how long it took me but am happy with the results.

Friday, December 30, 2011

My Chosen Word

Its that time of the year again where there is all this releasing of the old, welcoming the new year and all that jazz.  I don't do resolutions but I do choose a word to focus on for the year.  In 2011 I chose focus and it was a pretty powerful year.  I managed to keep my focus on the things that mattered to me.  I managed to follow my heart.  To take on challenging things and to complete them.

This coming year I will be creating a new site, launching a new business and really start doing what I think I was meant to do.
In addition in January I am starting a course to becoming a Muse Group Facilitator.   

With all these new endeavors on the horizon my word for the year is:

I wish for success with both my coaching business and the Muse Groups. In addition I want to success in other parts of my life. I see lots of change in 2012 and I see it as all positive good things coming to me.

Have you chosen a word yet?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book of Days


There is a new fun thing to do in the new year.  Effy Wild is hosting a journaling event called Book of Days. Here is how she describes it on her site

 Beginning in January 2012, I send out two or three e-mails a week containing my musings on the subject of journal art and memory keeping. Along with my musings, you get links to videos I produce that feature ways to create a sustainable art practice, journal art tips and tricks. links to resources I find on line that inspire me and are bound to inspire you too!

It looks like its going to be quite fun.  She is using an old book as a journal and already has a few videos up for you to get started.  You can sign up here  Oh its also free.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate. Happy Hanukah to my Jewish Friends and Seasons Greetings to everyone else.

This is what Santa brought me. I have been wanting a macro lens for a couple years now. Sure will be fun to play with this baby.  I have lots of other goodies to share but that will wait for another day.  Have a great time today no matter what you end up doing.  I think we are going to go feed the ducks later.  We have no snow and the sun is out.  A beautiful day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Ponderings

A Merry Christmas Eve to all of you. I hope you are all ready and relaxed and ready to have a wonderful time. This season I am finding myself doing things I have never done before that really enrichen my experiences. First the Secret Santa event I talked about earlier and now last night another fun event. A friend invited us over to sing Christmas Carols around a bonfire.

The night was cool and clear, a million stars were out there. What a beautiful night. We drank hot chocolate and spiced cider and gathered around the fire like people have done for since the beginning of time. We had a few people who were pretty good singers so they led us in a series of Carols. We even sang ones we really didn't know the words to and it was such a delight. It evoked memories past and created a new one I treasure. There is something about being outdoors in all kinds of weather that seems to resonate with me. I usually hibernate in winter but I see now that needs to change a little.

Now its time to show the little bit of Art I have been doing.

This sketch was rendered in a moleskine watercolor sketchbook.  I just grabbed the first pencil I found.  It was a 4H.  I usually sketch in2B 4B and 6B so this was a bit of a challenge but still fun.  I added a wc wash in the background for a bit of color.

This little collage in also in the same journal  The picture has a disaster drawing underneath it.  Sometimes I cover up disasters with collage.

Todays journal page started out with experiment with a stencil and led to writing with a dip pen and embellishment with a brush pen.  I loved the connection between the older lady and the young child in htis picture. It led to writing about all the stories we hold inside that truly need to be shared.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Christmas Is All About

My good friends Kara and Kristi along with their sister Katie organized a secret santa event that I took part in.  They lost their mother to cancer this year and wanted to do something in her honor.  Merri Ann had always done this with her children.  We had nine families that many people bought gifts for this year.  We all met, grouped gifts together and then we took the packages out.

Here I am with friends A'lana and Jeff. Jeff and I went with one group to take this most awesome Jeep bike to this little boy. His parents were going through a rough time and he had his bike stolen that summer. A generous friend bought him the exact bike he wanted. First he saw the sled we had brought and he yelled "a sled", he was very excited. Then he saw the bike and screamed "a bike" and he got right on it. "How did you know, " he said. One of us replied that we were Santa's helpers. We high five'd him and enjoyed the moment.  I ended up hugging the mom on my way out, she was almost crying and I was too. To see his joy and excitement at seeing this bike is a memory that I hold as one of my best Christmas memories ever.

This is my friend Trish, she took the above pictures.  We all came together afterwards and shared all the different stories we had experienced. Gifts had been given to families, single people and an elderly couple too. What a magical evening this was. I am so blessed to have been able to take part in making someones Christmas truly magical.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

Its the Winter Solstice today. Most of us know this day as the shortest day of the year. After this date days are longer and eventually the sun will be coming back till we reach the Summer Solstice or longest day of the year. I always like to celebrate these two dates. It makes me feel closer to my ancestors and connected to the natural world.

This year I added journal pages. This first one symbolizes the darkness of winter. It can be a time of reflection and letting go. I like to write down the things in my life that I am willing to let go of on a piece of paper. Then I place them in a fire and let them go. It is a simple ritual but it is also full of meaning.

This page represents the return of the sun. I used a piece of embossed wallpaper as the sun and decorated it will alcohol ink and re-inkers. The background was created with Neocolor II watercolor crayons.

I loved this little video, what fun.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Hobbit

Now for the most exiting news.  The trailer for the Hobbit is out  and it is amazing.  The casting of Martin Freeman as Bilbo, fantastic and Richard Armitage as Thorin, wow what a presence he has.  I think he is going to be my new crush. All the dwarves amazing.  It's going to be a long wait.

Oh its onYoutube today so you can watch it here instead

For my new viewers you won't know that Lord of the Rings was an obsession for me.    Sarah and I went to the movies in costumes I had made and had such a fabulous time.  I can quote sections of the movies and have read the book several times.  So seeing the Hobbit looking to be so good is really exciting.

Visiting Jolene

I visited my friend Jolene the other day and she gave me these fun things.

This is a folder made out of Christmas themed paper and sewn together.  What a great idea.  I love it.

It was filled with papers and pictures and fun things that I will love to put into a Remains of the Day journal.  How perfect is that.

Plus this beauty, she is a plastic table cloth to use as a stencil.  I have been looking for one of these for ages.  Jolene is such the best kind of friend to have.  Thanks so much.

I took this page from the other day, addd some words and embellished with a brush pen, I like it now.

I was talking to a friend on Facebook all about oil pastels and so then I had to pull them out and use,  These are artist grade pastels made by Sennelier and they are really wonderful to work with.  The background was made earlier with WC crayons and the figure was drawn in pencil first and then I used the oil pastel.  These pastels are so creamy, I really like them.

Here is a collage I worked on over the last couple days. Sure is great to be doing some art again. I hope you ar finding time for it too.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Painting Faces

 This is great video to get you started on painting faces. I wish I had seen something like this years ago.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Rescued a Hawk

Do you remember this Hawk I showed the other day. Well he ran into our picture window and was knocked out. We brought him into the house to help him survive.  I gave him some reiki and still he stayed asleep.

Here he is in the cat carrier we kept him in. He sat for the longest time just breathing but had no other movement.

He is starting to wake up.

It took 45 minutes for him to come back to life.

Here Dave is releasing him.

Then he flew to this tree. He is fine now. It is very satisfying helping a bird out when they are in distress.  We were not sure that this one would survive but are happy that it did,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Today's journal page, it feels so good to be doing them again.  This started out with the card with the dress.  I used Neocolor II WC crayons to extend the color into the background, then stamped with a word stamp  I drew the lady in pencil on old book papers and attached her with gel medium.  She was painted with Portfolio oil pastels. It was the first time I tried a face with them. The flower was white which I colored with stamp pad ink. I added a small jewel in the center.  I used glossy accents to glue it down.  Its my all purpose glue for embellishments.  After writing I thought oh I shouldn't have used my own handwriting or perhaps I should have printed it, but alas its too late now so all is good.

The report back on Dave's eye is that it could have been a stroke, no way to be sure.  Other tests they could do are way way way too expensive. So they will just let it be for now and check him in a month to see if the swelling in the nerve goes down.  If that happens some vision could return but if not then he will just have to adjust to having one eye that doesn't work very well. Not the best news but there are many people out there in his position who do just fine.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Hodgepodge of Things to Share

A few collages that I have been working on, not sure if they are finished or not, or if I want to journal on them or not so I will let them be for now.

A lot has been going on so I guess its time to put it out there. My husband Dave has been having problems with his left eye. He can only see around the edges. His optical nerve is swollen but they do not know why. He had an MRI and that came out clean, then they took blood to run tests and see if there is an infection and those came back clean. He has another appointment today so hopefully they will have some ideas. If it turns out that he had a stroke in they eye they can not do anything. His other eye compensates so he can still see, but his depth perception is off and he gets tired easily. We are hoping for some new information from the eye specialist.

Then yesterday my good friend Terri, one of my Glitter Sisters who has been battling stage 4 breast cancer for the past year and a half got an even worse blow. Her oldest daughter, her rock, the child who has helped her most through this was killed in a car accident. The family has experienced so much loss it is hard to think on how they will manage this too. My heart just aches for her.

I have managed to get some baking done, here are some of the cookies Sarah and I decorated. The tree is up and the rest of the decorations are in place. I have all the gifts bought and wrapped. So time to get back to doing some art.  Which of course means a major clean up of the studio.  I wish there were studio elves who came by and took care of that part. It funny how now that I have the space cleaned up and the time I don't know what I want to do. Should I pick up unfinished projects and get back to them, should I start something new, oh so many choices. Do you ever find yourself in that predicament?

This sharp-shinned hawk was in my backyard last week. He stayed for quite awhile and then he was gone. I had never seen this particular hawk before so I thought it was pretty cool.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Sketches 12-11

In todays sketch I used a magazine image as a starting point. Head on over to Sophia's blog to see more sketching. There are some awesome artists who take part.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Do you have the Christmas spirit yet?  I am going through the motions, not sure I have it yet. Its been cold and sunny here, no snow which is unusual for us.  I have spent the last couple days baking and shopping wrapping and all that jazz. I've been listening to music vis Spotify.  Do you have a favorite Christmas Cd?  I have been listening to Michael Buble's new Christmas CD it is pretty nice.

I have one gift I am trying to finish up.  I keep doing other things instead of finishing it.  Do you ever do that? Its something I need to mail so I really need to finish it. I planned on doing just that today but instead I have been wrapping presents which led to making gift tags on my Cricut, and before your know it the day is gone. My studio looks like a cyclone hit it and there isn't any art being done.  Soon I hope.

I hope you all are having some quiet special moments amidst the chaos of December.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Am Going On A Cruise

Tomorrow I will be going on a cruise, ok its actually a virtual cruise. Its graduation day at the Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Course. My classmates and I are in fro some fun adventures to be sure. First I needed to pick out a dress.

This lovely work is by Alexander McQueen.  Since this is quite a magical cruise I will also have the body to fit into such a creation.

A girl has to have an awesome pair of shoes so I went for a pair of manolo blahniks. As you can see on a virtual cruise price is not a consideration, and of course my feet will never hurt wearing these beauties. I'll be dancing all night.

The Queen also needs a new tiara for the occasion, so I chose this one with spirals in it since that is my favorite symbol.

Don't I look just fabulous, I know you can imagine it too.  All my classmates are also going in some other fabulous outfits.  So far we have a mermaid and fairy and some awesome purple concoctions that I just loved.

Have you ever done anything like this? I know my friend Janet has done a trip to the Oscars before, along with her date and dress and the whole shebang.  I always thought it was a cute idea but never took the time.  I really encourage you to try this it is really so much fun.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Time to get back at Sunday Sketches. I started this in church and finished it at home, my try at an Asian face.  Head on over to Sophia's blog to see more Sunday sketches.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Remains of the Day Swap

This is showing just a little bit of the bounty I got in a swap with the Remain of the Day Yahoo group. We swapped 10 for10 items and I did 2 sets. The idea was to share some of your finds with others, I got some really cool stuff.  So many of the swap participants did way more than ten, myself included.  It was like Christmas opening up all the packets.  Today I plan to sort it all in appropriate piles. I got bingo cards, paper, playing cards, wallpaper, napkins, ledger papers, embellishments and more. I even got a couple stamps and a book.  What a fun swap this was. Now the fun begins as I get to use all of these new things.