Friday, July 31, 2009

rainy day art

rain, thunder, lightning, and some more rain make for a great excuse to spend a little time doodling with some watercolor pencils in my moleskine journal! enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

it's all in the presentation

it would seem that i've gone "card crazy"....thankfully, not the "credit" kind of card, but the "preferred customer" type of card. i have discount cards, points cards, and punch cards for stores that i don't even go into any more. so, when the sweet lady in anthropologie asked me if i'd like to sign up for an "anthro card" during my last visit, i hesitated....but quickly changed my mind once i discovered that it came in this cute little floral drawstring pouch. i know.... i'm a total pushover.

and then, a few weeks ago this came in the mail.

tucked inside is a discount card in celebration of my birthday. pushover, or no pushover, i'm just crazy over this little cute is this?!!

and now i'm off to use this little goodie. i've got my anthro card, my discount card....oh, and the hook, line and sinker that was used to reel me in! :))

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

dryer art

i noticed a great project by becky shander in the premier issue of art quilting studio magazine. becky creates beautiful envelopes using dryer sheets....and i was so intrigued that i just had to try it!

first, rescue the used dryer sheets from your laundry room trash can and iron them flat by using a low temperature on your iron.

fold dryer sheet in half and use a template to sew an envelope shape using a straight, zig-zag, or decorative stitch around the edges.

tuck a sweet little something inside and sew a button or decorative ribbon on the flap. the dryer sheet is transparent enough to give the recipient a peek inside.....

....but it's a lot of fun to open it up, too! i followed becky's example by using a piece of cotton quilt batting for my card. then, i tore a piece of watercolor background (that i made a long time ago) into a heart shape and finished it by sewing a favorite Scripture address to the front.

and then, since the dryer sheets smell so good, i decided to make a little "sachet" to hang in my closet. just tuck one of your favorite images in between two layers, sew around each edge, and then attach a ribbon for hanging!

edited: i've had several comments about the darker envelopes in the first photo....becky says they are "dyed" using a 50/50 solution of coffee and water. soak for five minutes and then wring out moisture and lay on paper bags to dry. then iron flat.
click on any image for a better view

Sunday, July 26, 2009

inspiration monday

i found myself on one of those "one-thing-leads-to-another-scavenger-hunts" today. for some reason i started to think that my one year blogiversary must be getting close, so i went back into my archives only to discover that i completely missed it because it was back in june! but what i didn't expect to discover was that i became inspired by looking through many of my posts from a year ago! not so much because the blog posts were anything special (believe me, they weren't), but because i could see how i've grown over this past my artwork, in the way i express myself, and the way i see things around me. and speaking of growth, i'm so excited about how much our wonderfully fantastic blog community has grown...and that's all many, many thanks to you!!
try this: revisit some of your very first blog posts. i promise that you'll see growth on many levels....and i'm hoping that you'll be inspired!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

let the sun shine

keep your face always toward the sunshine....and the shadows will fall behind you.
walt whitman

wishing you a weekend filled with sunshine!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

return of the blank slate

one of the best ways to find out if you really love doing something is to not do it for a while. with our recent move, it's been about 5 weeks since i've made a new journal....and i've really missed it. there's something about sloshing glue across paper that makes me feel like a kid in art class again (and something about the smell that can make me a little woozy after a while!).

the gathering of supplies, the poking of holes in paper, and the sewing it together with waxed linen thread immediately takes me to one of my all-time favorite comfort zone!

and finally after a little glue and a little stitching....the return of the "blank slate" watercolor journal! it's been a while since my etsy shop has seen one of these....and i absolutely loved making it!
you can read more information about this journal here

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

presents....and precious gifts

they say that great things come in small packages (especially the really small jewelry-sized packages!), but i've discovered that fantastic things also come in medium packages! my little dutch boy surprised me with this new toy for my "30-20" celebration, and i am absolutely thrilled!! i must admit, however, that there are an awful lot of dials, numbers and letters on this and i feel somewhat clueless....but my dutch boy knows me so well that he arranged for classes for me! yippee for new toys in medium-sized packages! and for all of those precious gifts that don't come in packages....rah-rah-shish-boom-bah and many thanks to all of you for your sweet, sweet birthday wishes, hooray for the 30-20 club, and a big woo hoo and mega-hugs to my little dutch boy for making every day of my life a wonderful celebration!

Monday, July 20, 2009

inspiration monday

yesterday i was 49 years old, and today....well, today i've moved on into my "fifth decade of life". me and my precious friend martha (who by the way treated me and our friends to a fabulous luncheon at her playhouse-studio last friday to are the absolute best martha!!) have decided that "the fifth decade of life" is not only too much to say, but sounds way too instead, today i am "30-20". okay, stay with me here for a sounds so much better than 50, don't you think?! and just to clarify, i'm not trying to be an age that i'm not. i celebrate every new smile line on my face....they are proof positive that i lead a very blessed, happy, and laughter-filled life. and, to be honest, i've already been 30 and 20....i don't need (or want) to be there again! but there's something fun and snappy about saying "30-20"....and today, that's exactly what i want to be: fun and snappy! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

in the garden

i've probably mentioned before that the only green thumb i'll ever have is one that i paint on myself. my lack of patience combined with my tendency to "over-love" plants makes for a really scary horticultural story! but so far things seem to be going well in our new garden (probably because i've been too busy to start "helping" it). like these hydrangeas, for example.....they are beautiful balls of flowery happiness and i could never have enough of them!

and here's one of my new little friends who stops by frequently for a sweet drink. he's the cutest little thing and i really could just sit and watch him all day long....

and here's the beginnings of my little herb garden. it truly is one of my favorite spots to far my sweet basil, peppermint and garlic chives are thriving! their sweet fragrance and fresh taste is absolute culinary heaven....and i just love that "barefoot contessa" feeling i get each time i go to snip a little herb goodness!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

carving a party

today seems like a cupcake kind of day (or is it just my sweet tooth acting up again?). and where there's cupcakes, there's got to be a party, right?! it's tuesday and i can't think of a better reason for a party....and a cupcake!
you can see the subtle colors better by clicking on the photo

Monday, July 13, 2009

inspiration monday

i've been enjoying the blog of kristina werner for almost a year now and she provides the most fabulous card-making videos every monday (on her blog) and friday (over at two peas in a bucket). she has a graphic, fresh style that i just love and all of her designs are easily completed in a short amount of time....does it get any better than that?! visit kristina for inspiration any day of the week!

Saturday, July 11, 2009 stages

i've been working on this project for chrissie grace, and am all too aware of how taking an idea from your head to the finished project definitely goes in certain stages. for example, when i received these fabrics from chrissie, i left them out for inspiration, and then when an idea came to me, i sketched it out.

then, with my sketch in mind, i started to lay out the fabrics to see which ideas would work....and which ideas wouldn't work (and keeping fingers crossed that there would be more ideas that work, than don't work...yikes!).

then comes the cutting stage.....this is the one that makes me nervous. i have a certain amount of fabric to work with....if i mess it up, i'm toast. i've vacuumed the floor, done the dishes, eaten three snacks, checked the mailbox, took my dog outside, and swept the back porch, all as a means of "cutting procrastination". i even called my "think-outside-the-box-she's-an-artistic-genius-art-therapist-cheerleading-best-buddy" martha for a pep talk. of course, we ended up talking about lots of things unrelated to the "cutting procrastination" (which is part of the whole procrastination process), but in the end, her advice was simple, sweet and effective: "say a prayer and pick up the scissors". and that's exactly what i did. i'm loving my little pile of cut scraps....and very much looking forward to the next stage....the one where the plan starts coming together....fingers and toes crossed during this stage!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

blue butterfly

the butterfly has long been known as a beautiful symbol of change and transformation....and to me, that makes it the perfect adornment for a journal. i made this coptic journal several weeks ago and even had some thoughts of keeping it for myself. in building our new house, we've watched it transform from a plot of dirt to a two-story dreamhome....this journal would be the perfect place to record the details! and it was a good plan, until i realized that time has completely gotten away from me (again!) and the pages have remained blank. lots of changes have taken place since our move, but it looks like my good ideas and intentions coupled with a serious lack of time...well, that never seems to change!
you can learn more about this journal here in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

five minutes

after almost three weeks of packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and cleaning some more, i'm finally starting to feel "at home". today i took five minutes to do something creative in my, did that ever feel great! now, i'm off to smell some flowers....

Monday, July 6, 2009

inspiration monday

setting up my new studio has been so much fun....especially now that i have space to put out all of the things that make me happy and keep me inspired! my picture ledges from ikea hold favorite artwork created by many of you (i'm slowly but surely building up a wonderful collection!). this ledge is holding artwork (left to right) from my friend judith leitch, "scatter joy" by kathy davis, the sweet little yo-yo sent to me from carol sloan, a fabulous "happy journey" print by julie king, and a beautiful piece of original brush calligraphy by eliza holliday.

my other picture ledge is showcasing (from left to right) one of my favorite diane duda prints, a calligraphy piece that i made for my little dutch boy, a happy print from the very sweet jenn over at noodle and lou, and a canvas that i painted via karen gartel at altered diva workshops.

these two little goodies are perched above my peg board....i just love to look up and see this colorful "nourish" mosaic that chrissie grace created.....and then there's the fabulous "go in the direction of your dreams" card that the very talented paper artist jen over at colorfly studio surprised me with one day!

and one huge source of inspiration in setting up my studio came from my sweet friend gina lee kim.....she was so kind to share photos of her incredible studio space and i just went nuts when i saw it! if you haven't already seen it, treat yourself to some studio eye candy here!
please click on images for a larger view!

Friday, July 3, 2009

celebrate america!

wishing you a very happy 4th of july.....celebrate america!!

p.s. your sweet, sweet response to my last post has put an incredibly enormous smile on my face that will take me into next week! thank you so much for your encouragement and good wishes.....i heart, heart, heart each and every one of you!! :)))

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

welcome to my new studio!

come on in and stay a while! after working on and off for a week now, i think that i've finally reached a point with my new studio where all of the organizational work is done....and now it's time to play!! (my new space has a lot of natural light....unfortunately, my camera sees it as glare, so my apologies for some of the photos)

looking from one corner to the other....

....and this is the view from the other side of the room. i love my peg board hanging on the holds all of my tools so they're always within reach!

a few years ago i made this little desk....the top of my little dutch boy's old drafting table sits on a base made from two small bookcase units (on each side) from target. also from target (don't you just love that place?) is the black stool and the small baskets that fit perfectly in those little cubby holes!

from ikea, this is the expedit bookcase turned on its side. the picture ledge above is the ribba.

my computer armoire and stamp cabinet all freshly painted and sitting proudly here in the corner! and i must admit that i totally splurged on those fabulous glass door knobs....from one of my all-time favorite places, anthropologie!

more books, artwork and other favorite things!

thanks for letting me show you around....i'll be showing some more detailed photos over the next week!

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