Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

This is my vision board I made last night. I was having a hard time finding images I liked or a focus but more joy seemed like something I would love to have. I also loved the idea of that writing nook and just chose images that pleased me. Things I want in the new year like better eating, a healthier body, time in nature, walks with my dog, more time for play and plenty of quiet time. I think its going to be a great year.

I haven't chosen a word yet but I think I will do another post on that.

As to whether this is the end of the decade or not I guess it depends on what year you start with. If you start with the year 2000 then it is the end of a decade it you start with 2001 then it will not until until next year. Not a big deal anyways.

More end of the year musings

I know some of you get The Notes from the Universe in your mailbox I discovered that Mike Dooley now has a social site. The link to join is here If you don't receive the
notes then go here to sign up. It is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

One of the cool thing on the TUT site is an online vision board maker. Its full of fantastic images and you can upload your own too. What a great tool. Speaking of vision boards, today is the perfect day to do one. Today is just full of extra energies that make it more powerful.

* Its the end of the year
* Its the end of a decade
* There is a full Blue moon
* There is a lunar eclipse
* The moon is moving into Cancer which has strong feminine energy.

Now tell me do you need any more reasons to work on a vision board for 2010 today? You can join in at or do one the old fashioned way, with magazines and glue and poster board. Being the overachiever I am I will probably do both just because I can.

Another fun thing to do on the last day of the year is to do something you love to do and really want more time for in the new year. So I am about to take my dog out for a walk and then I will do some painting in the studio. We all want more time for creative pursuits so I will end the year doing them and start the new year tomorrow by doing the same. How will you spend the last day of the year?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A year in review

I have been thinking about the coming year and wondering what kind of year its going to be. I want to choose a word to focus on and have had difficulty choosing one. I am not sure why. To know where we want to go I really do think it is important to see where we have been. So I took a little tour of my blog to see what I did this past year and these are the highlights.

A new kitty came into our lives.
I joined in on the 12 Habits of Highly Creative Women book blogging group.
I participated in Art journal January with Misty Mawn.
Took a photography class.

I finished weaving a shawl.
I participated in One World One Heart, my painting went all the way to Israel.
I met my muse Zoe.
I interviewed author Jill Badonsky.
I painted a face on fabric.

I took a journaling class with Kelly Kilmer and did a journal page every day for the month.
I made ATC's out of cereal boxes.
I made Tree Flags using watercolor crayons.
I learned the coptic stitch and made a journal using it.

Took a stenciling class with spray paint with Mary Ann Moss.
I finished a woven shawl.
I had surgery on my hand.
I participated in a matchbox shrines swap.

I took Julie Prichard's Layer Love class.
I took a trip to Yellowstone.
I interviewed the artist Violette.
I went a wool trek to Utah.
I got a new lens for my camera

I participated in the Wreck this journal book blogging group
I wrote a guest post on Meet your Muse's blog
I hired a professional coach to work with me.

I started a new blog and became the Queen of Creativity
I decided to write a book on creativity
I was featured on Jamie Ridler's website

I participated in a magic wand and inspirational cards swap.
I ordered my very own moo cards with my art on them
I took Stitched and Stencil class with Mary Ann Moss
I made three aprons
I rediscovered cross-stitch and finished some projects
I traveled to some out of the way spots in Idaho

I did the Artist Way with an online group.
I joined the blogging book group on the Joy Diet. Did a weekly collage on the different chapters
I collaged a clipboard
I participated in National project the Aha Moment
I took Mystele's Gut Art Class

I visited the Laurence Rockefeller Preserve.
I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary.
I got a new computer a Mac this time.
I participated in my first GPS Street Team challenge.
I took a Point and Shoot journaling class with LK Ludwig.

I participated an won Nanowrimo.
100th post giveaway.
I took Painted Layers class with Misty Mawn.
I painted a landscape.
I made Teesha Moore's journal out of 1 sheet of paper.

I made Star Garland.
I participated in the Create and pass journal project at Art from the Heart.
I made 3 dimensional snowflakes.
I drew a Zentangle.

I am amazed at all the things I did last year, You may also find it interesting if you take a little tour of your blog too. It may help you decide where you want to go next.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some of my gifts

Here I am trying out my new trekking poles. Dave and I took Flynn out for a walk so I got to try them out. I thought I would be waiting to use them when we go hiking in the summer, but now I realize how valuable they could be in winter too.

My sister Marianne was in Italy this summer and her gifts came from there. This Paisley shawl is one of them although it is more gold and purple than the picture shows. She also sent the bracelet and key chain below.

I was gifted with jewelry from several people. The beaded bracelet was made by my friend Kate and the fused glass pieces by my sister Peggy.

This quilt was done by my friend Celeste, Its here own design and was stitched entirely by hand. It is only her second piece, take a look at the beautiful quilting.

This journal or portfolio cover was also made by my sister Peggy, its just beautiful. I am not sure how I will use it yet, it will hold a legal size pad so some sort of notebook will live in it someday.

My daughter gave me this book, which I have been wanting. Its part of a series I talked about before.

What are your favorite gifts this year?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Art Journaling is out

I found this at the store and its a wonderful issue full of great ideas. I have been wanting to get some of those Pan Pastels that Pam Carriker is always talking about but haven't done so yet. The first time I attempted they were out of stock and the second time I thought do I really need these, they are pretty expensive so I talked myself out of them. Maybe I will get a set soon because I really want to try them.

I pulled out my moleskine journal and took a pencil drawing I had done previously and added regular soft pastels to it, painted the background and then added words.

This page I just played with color. I painted the page with the same colors as the previous one but tried to make it lighter when I mixed the paint. Then I added some white gesso over it to tone the color down even more. I liked how these images blended well with the colors.

This is an exercise from the class with Misty. I had an extreme amount of difficulty coming up with the right shade for the skin tone and then to try and remake that mix was virtually impossible. I either need to make bigger amounts or figure a way to duplicate what I am trying to do. This face has a zillion colors buried underneath it. I finally got tired of working on it. Although the class is over with I am still doing the exercises.

Oh if you are interested in painting faces Misty is teaching another class, this one is on strictly on faces where the one I took was on backgrounds and collage too. Information on the class is here She is a wonderful teacher so the class will be great. I won't be taking it since I have decided to take a break from classes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I woke up this morning to gently falling snow and all the trees in my yard all frosty and pretty. It really looked like Christmas once more. I spent the morning in the kitchen making apple pie and lemon bars and then headed out into the frenzy of last minute shopping. I was out early so it wasn't too bad.

Trees do look especially beautiful with some added snow to them.

I like the look of these two trees one virtually dead and the other full of life and both look beautiful all covered in frosty white. I just love mornings like this.

Its just about time to be putting Christmas Eve Dinner on the table so I would like to wishing you all a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday that you celebrate at this time of year. Have a wonderful time with your family.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A few snowflakes

I have been making snowflakes with my Cricut machine. I bought one of the limited edition cartridges the other day. It makes all sorts of snowflakes, both two and three dimensional. I made a series of them and then hung them in my house. They seem to twirl on their own and are kind of fun. I poke holes in the top and strung them with fishing line.

I love how these are all really pretty.

This one has birds cut into it.

This one has bunnies featured.

There are angels in this one.

Here are trees to delight you.

and even snowmen. The cartridge has a whole group of designs that are really fun to cut.

This is a cross stitched piece I finished in October, I finally managed to turn it into a wall hanging and put it up. Its been so satisfying working on these little decorations and getting them put up. I like to have something new each year. It makes the decorating more interesting and I do have fun making them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A tote bag and some pages

Now that I have given this gift I can show you. I took a face I painted on fabric with Neocolor II watercolor crayons and I made a tote bag from it. I love how it turned out and the recipient was quite happy with it too!

I have been playing in the paper bag art journal and finished up a couple of pages. It felt good to be working in a playful mode again. Here I have used black gesso and I really liked the way this image looked on black, the colors are pretty true.

This one began with just the pink spray painting and evolved into talking about the faces we put on everyday. It is so interesting how pages evolve.

This page started with excess paint from other projects and then the images with the legs, I kinda like the way they look like ribs. The girl is an image I have used before and probably will again. I really like it.

Its great to be doing Art again. Sometimes just taking a few minutes a day to be creative really makes a difference in your entire day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally Some Art

I am participating in this journal round robin over at Art from the Heart. It is done in one of those Japanese folded moleskine journals. The journal started in Norway and has been to England, France, Canada and now the US. They started with four journals and the postal service lost one of them. There was a lot of art in that one so its heartbreaking for that to happen.

I got the journal on Wednesday and haven't felt up to doing it but I knew the next person is anxiously waiting. I thought I could do it this weekend but I got a burst of energy last night and this lady was the result. I like her even though her nose is kinda wonky but that is sort of how noses are in real life so I decided to let it be.

I can't begin to express how good it felt to do this page. The background was fun to create and the face came together easily. I learned more about mixing colors which is something that holds me back. It felt so good to be creating again. I also managed to finish the last gifts I have been working on. It feels great to have the obligations over with and to be able to enjoy doing some fun holiday things.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Stars Have It

Its been a couple rough days with this cold. I thought it was going into my lungs so I made a hasty retreat to the the Doctor's office only to find out I was wrong. I did not have strep or fluid in my lungs just an ordinary cold. Could have fooled me, I haven't felt this miserable in a long time. Thankfully I am feeling better today.

On Tuesday I got together with my friend Kate and we made these garlands. Its a garland of metal stars. I glued on decorative paper to make it festive and added some ribbons and wala a new decoration. I haven't figured out where I am going to put it yet. This project took really a long time but it was fun doing it with another person.

Now you would think that a face like this would be innocent, don't let that sweetness fool you. This little girl chases everything and gets into to everything, but at least she hasn't climbed the Christmas Tree yet.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gifts of Gratitude

One of the things being ill does for you is besides slowing down you are forced to look at your life a little differently. I've spent more time doing nothing in the past couple weeks. I found reading again and picked up my knitting once more. When you slow down there really is time for more. This is a wonderful book on Gratitude that I have in my bathroom. I picked it up to read today and thought I am really grateful to be alive. Life is such a precious gift. Gratitude can put all your issues in perspective.

Today I am grateful for:

...The way my barren willow trees look orange when the sun hits their branches and there is a blue sky behind them. Its quite beautiful in its simplicity.
... the winter landscape this morning that looks frosty and cool
... the birds at my feeder busily chatting away.
... that I am feeling better today.
... that my house is almost all decorated.

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Delights

Its been bitter cold here but its supposed to end in a few days. I ventured out yesterday and had lunch with a friend, ran some errands and managed to pick up a sore throat somewhere. The meds I am on lower your immune system and I had forgotten that. I don't recall being near anyone who was sick so I don't know how I got it. It is annoying to say the least. So today I didn't even get dressed and slept most of the afternoon away, I am sure I needed it.

After seeing these wonderful lists on a few blogs like Kim and Sherry I thought I would try one of my own. Just a list of things you like about the holidays, a focus on the positive.


Hearing my favorite carols once more. This is my favorite.

Beautiful falling snow that covers my trees in a blanket of white

Real Christmas trees - We always have a Grand Fir because it smells the best

Peppermint Bark

Seeing little kids excited about what Santa might bring

Seeing the lights in my town, people have some amazing displays

Fresh baked cookies

Getting Cards in the mail especially those with hand written notes

Wrapping my gifts, making gift tags.

A Miracle on 34th street with Natalie Wood B&W version

Those sappy Hollywood Christmas movies on Lifetime

Candle light

Afire in the fireplace

My daughters smile on Christmas Morning

Gatherings with friends

Sending out Christmas Cards

Some years actually making all the cards

Making my own snowflakes

Decorating the house all a new

The years I have had a sister come for Christmas.

The list goes on and on..... What's on your list.....

Monday, December 7, 2009

One ornament on the tree

We got our tree on Friday but due to a lot of things its not decorated yet. On Sunday I found this cute Eiffel Tower ornament that reminds me of my trip to Paris. Its the only ornament on the tree.

I also have a small aritficial tree that I like to do a theme on and this year its birds. Here is the cardinal that I bought in honor of my mom. She really like to see the cardinals in our yard back In Michigan where I grew up. We don't have cardinals here and I miss seeing them. Lately though I am seeing the image everywhere.

Then I saw these cute felt birds at a craft store, this one has a glittery hat and wings.

This one had a cute knit stocking cap on that I couldn't resist. I usually go for birds I can recongnise but these two were so fun looking I had to bring them home.

Of course I have to have a crow too, so its on the top. I will be taking them off adding lights and more birds but just thought I could share a little of what is going on here.

Yesterday we bought a new TV so now my house in totally disarray. We have the new 46" TV on a table. The old entertainment center next to that. Then all the DVD's and VHS Tapes out of the cabinet are in laundry baskets or on the kitchen table. Stuff that was also on top of the entertainments center piled onto my fireplace mantel. So I can't really do any decorating till will figure out how everything is going to work and where I am going to put it. TV guys come tomorrow to set up the HD and DVR. Its a slow process so I may not get to decorating till the weekend. It will be great when everything is set but for now we deal with chaos.

I have been trying to take it easy which is not real easy for me. I have been working on Christmas Card addressing and a little cleaning. I've got some sewing projects to work on so I just do them a little but at a time. This removing stress from your life is a real challenge.

I hope you are all finding some quiet amongst all the hustle and bustle of the season

Friday, December 4, 2009

I love this

I found this on Rice Freeman-Zachary's blog and its wonderful. Get the tissues out. Rice also has done a whole group of posts on getting organized that are wonderful. Scroll down to find them, they are well worth reading.

I am feeling a little better, getting used to the meds I am on. Thanks for your support.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Contest Winner

I finally got around to choosing a winner for my 100th post giveaway and the winner is Kim from Queen of Arts I chose the winner with a random number generator. I will pack up the goodies and send them to you when I am feeling a little better.

Now for my not so great news, I will probably be blogging less and not visiting your blogs as much so if you don't see a comment from me its not that I am not looking or don't care about you I just have to focus my time elsewhere for awhile.

After a little incident at my neighbors house on Tuesday where I was almost turned over in a ditch. I know again already, I am saying the same thing to myself. I thought my neighbors horse was outside the corral and went to look. Anyways a farmer neighbor of mine pulled me out. In looking at things now it was perhaps one to many stressful situations for me.

The past few months I have been doing too much but thought I could do it all but I am realizing now I need to step back a little. To make a long story a little shorter I have developed Bell's palsy which is an inflammation of a nerve that causes paralysis on the right side of my face. Treatment includes taking steroids for a small amount of time.

Usually when I am taking medicine it seems to affect me stronger than most people. So now I don't have the pain in my face but nausea and that cloudy feeling in my head that lets you know you are on heavy meds. I know that will go away in a week as soon as I am done with them. It can take up to two months to really heal this and I have a 20 percent chance of it reoccurring. So I have decided to slow down my life a little. I won't stop blogging but I probably will only blog a few days a week.

I am still in Misty's class which has one more week and in a new one on Revising a Novel which lasts 4 months but they are both self paced so I plan to do what I can and not put any undue pressure on myself. Maybe slowing down a little won't be so bad after all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My first Zentangle

Why I was in Missoula, I thought I would try a zentangle. There is a nice article on how to do them in Cloth Paper Scissors. After doing a few patterns I could see a woman so I left that blank and drew a face in pencil This was really fun. I think I will be doing more of these. If you are interested in these I suggest you check out the zentangle website. In all their old newsletters they have different patterns you can try and all sorts of great information.