Thursday, July 31, 2008

It is Definitely the Humidity

Making my way upstairs for bed last night (ok, early this morning), this is what I saw. Can you believe how much condensation is on the outside of that window?! Welcome to Missouri in July--high heat and humidity--pleasant, huh?

Signed, "Staying Inside Where It's COOL!"


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Mom and Two Daughters...

spells FUN!

I got home last night from three days of girly time...girls' weekend...or, what was eventually entitled, Women's Weekend. Whatever you call it, I had a wonderful time spending it with my two adult daughters.

Late Sunday morning, first daughter and I drove two hours to second daughter's home and the party began!

Meals out, shopping and pedicures...

refueling stops and gossip...

reminiscent conversations, catching up chats...and LOTS of laughter!

We even took time to craft. We painted, covered and embellished these small matchboxes. We also bought supplies for another craft but it turned into a 'take home craft' when we ran out of time.

Aren't these just the kinds of times that memories are made of?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just Imagine It

A couple of days ago, I was in our kitchen making myself a little lunch when something on our deck caught my eye. I really couldn't believe what I was seeing but it made me laugh right out loud. Of course, my camera wasn't anywhere nearby and I was sure by the time I fetched it, this crazy scene would be gone.

To my delight, things continued so I chanced a run for the ol' "brownie" (remember those funny little cameras?) and positioned myself for some shots, blurry shots more than likely. Delighted again, my subject practically posed for me! It was so great! Usually these goof-ball squirrels run for the hills when they see me! But, beep...beep...beep, there I am taking the best photos of that rascal, through a double-paned glass window, no less!

Long-story-short, no photos to share with you. Believe me, I'm even sadder than you are...oops, sorry for the assumption. But let me tell you what I saw:

Imagine a rusty iron bird sitting on the corner post of a deck. Yes, exactly, just like the blurry one in that photo up there! Now imagine a fat, furry squirrel sitting on the bird's back, munching away on his little squirrel lunch. One can barely see the bird for all of the scrunched up squirrel sitting on it's back. He's looking my way and posing and my mind is already thinking up the fun things I could do with such a photo...squirrel wearing cowboy hat, squirrel riding carousel, etc.

So I ran (ok, walked fast) to the computer and popped in the media card and nothing. Take it out, pop it in again (times 5, 10?)...restart computer...turn off computer and turn back on. Nothing, nothing, nothing! Arggghhh!!! I put the media card back into the camera and CARD ERROR. Noooooo! I got out 'the book', the instructions and blah, blah, blah but no fixes for my CARD ERROR.

I'm a great believer in technical equipment having the ability to heal itself if given enough 'alone time', say, oh, a couple of days worth. Can't prove it, can't even think of an example, but I hold on to that belief and always try it in these situations. No luck again this time.

Part of my disappointment was not being able to share the actual sight of it all with others. I know it wasn't exactly earth-shattering, never-before-seen stuff but it was silly and sometimes we all need a little silly. Fortunately, I remembered that you all are creative, imaginative people and I could describe it, you could imagine it and still experience some silly! Go ahead if you like, give it a try!

Great work, everyone!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rejected...or just not selected?

I wanted to show you a photo of a mixed media canvas I completed recently.

I enjoyed the process a lot. The canvas is 6 by 12 inches, an interesting size, especially turned vertically. I did a lot of layering with acrylic paints, gesso, rubber stamps, ephemera and the tea cup is an image transfer using clear packing tape. I've been encouraging myself to be less precise in my creating--more free, more loose. I don't know that I've come very far yet, but I do like slapping on paint and gel medium. That's a start, right?

I made this piece for ClothPaperScissors' Tea Party Challenge. The magazine was looking for mixed media art for their November/December 2008 issue celebrating home and hospitality. I'd never submitted anything to a magazine and thought I'd give it a try. I do like taking a theme and going with it.

ClothPaperScissors posted the results on Friday. My piece was not one selected for publication...oh, well. I do have to admit I was disappointed and felt rejected. And I wondered what to do with the canvas now. Do I want to keep it and forever be reminded of the disappointment?

Today, I was thinking that my blog could use an update and maybe I would show pictures of my Tea Party canvas. But how would I write about it? Could I just say 'this is something I've been working on and this is what I did'?

I decided to upload my photos first and when I looked at them I was aware that I still liked this piece even if it was rejected. And then I realized that it really wasn't rejected, it just wasn't on the list of those selected and that made a world of difference in my thinking.

But, even more, it helped me take a step towards seeing my art through my own eyes and not letting it's value be determined by others. For me, that's huge...and it feels GREAT! Now I know that I'm going to keep my Tea Party canvas and it's going to be a reminder of some valuable growth that happened today! Halleluja!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh, I'm just looking for something...

The past few days I've been working on some of my works-in-progress trying to finish up one or two of them. I usually have two or three different projects going at the same time. It seems to be the best way for me to work.

But right now the number is four and the negative side to that is finding some work space on the ol' craft tables. Due to my tendency towards piles, my available work area is routinely minimal...but zero was becoming a problem.

Clean up became the priority and I was doing pretty well. Until the inevitable..."hmmm, what's in this box?" I'd gotten the box out over a month ago, remembering some great vintage gift enclosure cards I thought I had. My grandmother worked for Hallmark decades ago and gave lots of cards to my mother who continued to use them for years.

Well, you already know what happened. "No time like the present! I'll just see if I can find those cards real quick."

Now, when it comes to greeting cards, I'm a major pack rat, but the box didn't seem to be too full. Didn't matter. Over two hours later I not only found what I was looking for but had looked at everything else too.

Thought I'd show you a couple of my finds. I think they're as sweet as can be!

Clean up? It will just have to wait for another day:)


Monday, July 14, 2008

Thanks, M!

Last week, one of my favorite bloggers, Michelle (3rd Eye Muse) graciously gifted me with this lovely award. Michelle is quite an artsy gal and an inspiration--her cheerful, encouraging spirit is appreciated more than she knows. This sweet recognition? That's Michelle being her special little self!

Now the rules say I am to pass this gem on to at least 7 other blogs, but I just can't choose!!! That's why it's taken me 5 days to finally write about it! I thought, if I waited, it would be easier...nope! Well, maybe yep--I still can't choose 7 but the rules said at least 7. Sooooo, my nominations are listed on my sidebar under "some of my favorite destinations". Each one deserves a nomination! They're my favorites for as many reasons as there are names. The one thing they have in common is the connection I feel when I visit them...Gems, they surely are!

Oh, the rules also say to create links to the blogs I nominate...okey-dokey, same sidebar list--how handy! I invite you to click away and see what I mean!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Karla's Craft Day

Last month, when I went to Karla's Bloggers Tea Party and we toured her studio, I blogged that I could have spent hours in there. Well, yesterday, my dream came true! Karla invited local crafting bloggers to her place for Craft Day!

Karla, Gwen, Beth, me, and Shawn holding her daughter, Bethany.**

Gwen doesn't have a blog yet, but all of us were encouraging her to jump in. She lived in France for a while and is going on a two-week buying trip there soon. She brought a laundry basket full of French papers and prints, ribbons and lace (just to name a few) that were incredible.**

She gave each of us some of her ribbon, game pieces, tiles and book pages.

Karla made us tags--I love everything about mine, so pretty! She also shared some vintage wallpaper, a vintage ledger page, blank tags and cards.

Beth brought us vintage price tags and red & white cord wrapped onto the sweetest clothes pin.

Such lovely, generous women! Geez, I brought Skittles! I need to get myself better organized!

This is Beth (in her new estate sale hat) and me using Shawn's Cuttlebug die-cutting, embossing machine. I had no idea it did such cool things!**

All of us were embossing everything in sight--book pages, cardstock, sheet music! Inking the raised areas is really pretty.

I used one of the die-cutting plates to make lots of pretty flowers...and borrowed some of Gwen's new Cavallini rubber stamps, also pretty!

Karla showed us how to use her binding machine and I made two little books. I used a piece of the wallpaper she gave us for the cover on one of them.

Everyone brought a dish for a potluck lunch--it was delicious. Shawn also brought her homemade marshmallows and, oh my, they are so good! She said she makes different flavors too.**

Isn't Bethany darling?! She looked so cute trying on Karla's hats!**

Thank you, ladies, it was such a fun day! There's nothing like laughing and sharing with friends who love the same things I do!


**A big thank you to Shawn for sharing these photos! I had forgotten to take my camera with me...once again, I need to get myself better organized:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mind Wide Open Challenge

A lot of you know Gail Schmidt of Shabby Cottage Studio, and a lot of you may already know about her creation of a second blog:

Gail says the new blog is dedicated to inspiration, creativity and play! There will be monthly challenges and projects and tutorials. (Click on the above Mind Wide Open image to check it out.) The first monthly challenge offered the most lovely vintage photo to work with, using any medium, and a word prompt for inspiration--"remembrance".

I started the project by searching through my supply of papers. I came across a scrap of text about necklaces, bracelets, brooches, rings and an emperor and jewels. It reminded me of my daughters' days of dressing up (smiles) and the sweet photo seemed to fit right in with my theme. This is what I 8" x 10" mixed media piece on watercolor paper:

The background started with a layer of gesso then acrylic paint. I adhered a printed paper napkin with matte gel medium and my inspiration text at the top...more paint, rubber stamping and three Lumiere metallic acrylics for some shimmer...

Hmmm, I'm not sure the shimmer is showing up in the photo like I fact, I also used metallics on the corrugated mat but that doesn't seem to show up either, oh well! As you can see, I finished up the piece with assorted fibers, teeny little heart-punched tags (representing this mother's love) and a vintage clip-on earring--of course.

I enjoyed the challenge a lot. It's fun to have a jumping off point already in place that then allows 'play' to be the biggest part of the project! If you'd like to see what others have created using the same photo you can go here.

So.....I can't believe my luck--hubby says maybe I should be playing the lottery! Sharon of My Vintage Studio, who just happens to also be a design team member at Shabby Cottage Studio, held a July Give-Away on her blog and my name was drawn to win a gorgeously embellished vintage bottle! How exciting...THANKS, SHARON!