Saturday, February 28, 2009

etsy gift guide!

i was thrilled to discover that my houndstooth journal has been included in the "writing it down" category of the etsy gift guides!  the selections for these gift guides are chosen by etsy staff....i am so honored to have been chosen for this!!  thanks so much, etsy staff!

Friday, February 27, 2009

work(s) in progress

my worktable overfloweth with supplies for lots of different projects.  busy hands keep my creative heart very happy!  now, the hard part is trying to decide what to do first....
hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

play day

my sweet friend martha invited several of us over to her studio playhouse yesterday to show us how to create some of the fabulous backgrounds that she makes!  this first one is a collage of different papers, and then layers of paint and glazes on top (my scanner is not very "orange friendly" person, the colors are more muted than this).

this blue background is much more simple and looks like it's waiting for some hand-lettering.  i'm thinking about using a very opaque white paint for the letters.  now, i just need a great quote...and lots of calligraphic practice time(!) order to finish this one.   thanks, martha, for sharing your wonderful studio with us...i had a fantastic time!!  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

please be patient, black pants

i've been on this road before.  it's the one where i'm walking along, minding my own business, and then i see the sign:  caution - you are about to enter the "your favorite black pants are getting too tight and you really shouldn't be wearing them any more" zone.  and that's when i realize that i am precisely one fun-size snickers bar away from the point of no return.   oh yes, the road is all too familiar, and it's usually by the end of february that i come to grips with the fact that my ever-expanding mid-life mid-section is a definite indication that i've strayed from my original goal...the one where i pledged to eat a healthier diet, thus helping said black pants to fit properly.  so, no more chips (of the potato and chocolate variety) that somehow snuck back into my diet while i wasn't looking.  and in the meantime, i'm begging you favorite black pants, please be patient with me...and give me just a little more stretch until i can get things under control!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

cutie patootie

i have always been inspired by baby stuff.  i love the calming colors, the simplicity of the artwork...and all of that soft and cuddly cuteness!  it's a little world of happy all its own.  and i was oh so happy to make this little book for sweet macaulay (my good friend martha's daughter) who's first child will be born within the next six weeks!  each page is a pocket that holds a piece of cardstock...perfect for mounting a photo, writing thoughts, or using as a scrapbook page.  and, it was made with lots of love for sweet macaulay and marc...and their little world of happy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

inspiration monday

this is a calendar book...for the year 1993...that was created by artist susan riecken.  i've loved this book for sixteen years.  it's literally travelled with me across the ocean a few times, and, to this day, i consider it to be one of my most treasured pieces of artwork.  and here's why:  the original calendar that susan created was done so using rubber stamps...that she hand carved from Eberhard Faber Rub-Kleen erasers.  her carving tool of choice was an X-Acto knife fitted with a number 11 blade.  every date, letter and illustration is a result of a hand-carved rubber stamp, some measuring only 1/16th of an inch tall!  susan has included lunar phases, solstices, and equinoxes, along with quotes and fun-facts throughout the calendar.  each time i look through this treasure, i try to imagine the amount of hours that went into this project.   i have such appreciation for her passion in completing such a masterpiece...and i'm truly inspired.  click on image for a better view of this wonderful artwork! 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

share the love

sweet cristi of 2ifbysea nominated me for this wonderful "Spreader of Love" award!  and to make sure that i keep the love goin' around, here's what i need to do:

1. The winner may put the logo on their blog.
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to their blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

so, in keeping with all of this, here's who i'm passing this award on to:

 lisa lectura of llcreations
jenn over at noodle and lou
kate, a.k.a. shibori girl

thanks, cristi, for this very sweet award!

Friday, February 20, 2009

bluey green scene

chloe of LittleGreenShoot has put together the most beautiful etsy treasury...and, i'm so honored to have my blue and green batik journal included amongst such gorgeous items!   click here for a better view and to find out more about these stunning items (but hurry, because it expires on saturday!).  thanks so much, chloe!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

dragonfly, dragonfly

i stumbled upon this paper and went crazy...and you know that i bought extra,  just to keep my paper stash happy!  finds like this really make my day, and when i noticed that little faux postage stamp, well, that was the cherry on top!  don't you absolutely love it when a plan comes together?! 

handmade, coptic bound book with decorative paper wrapped around italian velata signatures. 
you can find this journal on flickr and etsy.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

five minutes from home

i am so blessed to live five minutes from the beach.  and typically, i get side-tracked with life and don't visit as often as i would like to.  so, this morning before running errands, i decided to take a quick stroll on the sand...and i'm so glad that i did.  the ocean breeze will carry away any burdens that you arrive with...and those little birds, well, they make life seem so much less complicated!

Monday, February 16, 2009

inspiration monday

i can't think of a better way to become instantly inspired than to be in a room filled with other artists.  and thanks to my sweet little dutch boy giving me a workshop for valentine's day,  i was able to spend the afternoon with some of my favorite people, in my favorite rubber stamp store, doing what i love most...making this fabulous book, taught to us by our friend christy hawkins.   as most of  you know, i don't usually add paint to my work...and, our first activity was to paint the canvas cover.  so, with heart beating rapidly and palms somewhat sweaty, i started to move some paint around and was pleasantly surprised with the results!  of course, this would be a great time to mention that my best buddy martha (who is a fabulous painter!) was sitting next to me and coaching me along the way!  we laughed (i made so many dumb mistakes and had to start over so many times it was crazy!), shared ideas, and had a wonderful time just being creative!  and, martha and i are getting together again this week to start on some art journals!  i'll keep you posted on that...and in the meantime, you can see martha's beautiful journal here!

p.s.  inside this book are 96 tab-like pages, all different sizes.  this was really fun to put together, and i'll be making more of these!  click on the photos for a larger view!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Luv 'ya!

happy valentine's day to all of you sweeties in blogland!!  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

curbing an antsy appetite

i have been feeling creatively restless lately.   i have a long history with this restlessness...mainly because my problem is that i want to do it all (well, maybe with the exception of macrame, and that's only because i did enough of that in the 70's to last me a lifetime!).  i have a very strong yearning for learning, and supplies for all of it!  so, today i'm trying to curb my antsy appetite by carving some rubber stamps....i find it very relaxing, and as long as you keep the sharp blades away from your fingers, it's quite stress-free.  and, if all goes according to plan, i'll have some new designs that i'll be able to stamp onto the blank pages of my handbound books (emphasis on the if all goes according to plan part).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

bird coptic

i just finished my latest coptic book structure.  this one has the most beautiful collaged-look decorative paper...and i really love the bird that's featured center stage.  and i got so involved in sewing the book together, that i completely forgot to add some other papers around each signature inside (of course, i noticed this omission after i was finished sewing the book together!).  so, still wanting to add a little interest to the text pages, i decided to take my scraps,  paper punches, needle, and thread, and sew some bits and pieces here and there throughout the book.  i'm loving the end result...and it seems to have satisfied (for today) this crazy obsession i have for sewing on paper!
click on each image for better view 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

hello pink

  when i have a chance to play in my studio, i will usually end up picking up my calligraphy nib, mixing up a batch of lamp black gouache and just having some fun.  i'd like to eventually have journals...many journals...filled with stuff like this.  i've realized recently that i'm not having nearly enough fun in my studio...and times, well, they are           a-changin'!
p.s. in the Barbie world of valentine's cards, here's what i'm it pink enough?!  :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

inspiration monday

here are some fun freebie projects to get your week started off creatively!  just in time for the 14th, martha stewart is offering this free "valentine's wheel" download.  it's easy to put together, and your sweetie will love reading all of the fun messages!  click here for details!

also sharing their creative genius are evan and nichole of little brown pen.  they create sweet, colorful, digital designs that are perfect for stationery, calendars and gifts.  and, the best part is that they come to you in a printable pdf...which means that you can create as many note cards, tags, etc. as you want!   now, they've generously offered this cute pinwheel stationery set through real living magazine. click here to download, print, cut and enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

{brick wall} blessings

if nothing else, i think that my run-in with the brick wall yesterday may have knocked some much needed sense into me.  i tend to roam around in many different directions at once, and sometimes a sturdy road block is exactly what i need as motivation to focus and make some overdue decisions.  for example, my original ACEO cards have been available in my etsy shop for so long that even the spiders have moved on to make new cobwebs somewhere else.  so, i've pulled out the originals and made some prints to create note card sets.  and it's very possible that the spiders may move back in, but in the meantime, i'm reminded that blessings can even be seen in brick walls.  and speaking of blessings....

i received these cute, cute tags in the mail yesterday from my sweet friend jes as a result of winning her give-away!   each one of these tags has been hand-stamped, with sparkly hearts glued on, and adorned with fun, colorful ribbons!  i absolutely love these, jes...thank you so much!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

bricks plus mortar equals setback

after a morning spent in my studio, this is what i have to show.  oh, i didn't create it, i just ran right into it.  and, i'm actually still seeing stars!  thankfully, i have a very hard head and i'll be back at it tomorrow...with a sledgehammer to knock that brick wall down so that i can continue to move forward (that's the plan, anyway!).  ugh!
photo courtesy of bigfoto

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

a tag and a jackpot

i've been tagged by the very sweet and very talented lisa lectura!  the rules on this are simple:  share the fourth photo from the fourth folder in your computer files.  so, here is my "apple a day" print that i finished several months ago.  the apple was painted with watercolor and then i used gouache for the hand lettering.  and....

tess hosted a giveaway recently and my name was chosen out of the hat!   look at all of these goodies that she sent!  lots of bits and doodads to make some fun cards, a handmade ATC card, and, most importantly a piece of original artwork by tess!  thanks so much for your generosity, tess!  :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

book of faith

this is the third journal in my "book of..." series, and i think that it may be my favorite.  not only am i happy with the way it looks on the outside, but i'm especially loving this book's purpose...a special place to record scriptures, prayers and inspirations.  

small envelopes in coordinating colors are scattered throughout the inside pages...perfect for holding special thoughts, prayers, blessings, or praise.  you can see more photos of this journal here on flickr.  

Monday, February 2, 2009

inspiration monday


art, art, i want you.
art, you make it pretty hard not to.
and my heart is trying hard here, to follow you,
but i can't always tell if i ought to.

during those times of creative block, you may find yourself repeating that frustrating question, "what is my creative purpose?".  and i believe that part of the answer is found in the word "passion".  if you have a passion for, say, painting, but just can't seem to paint right now, have peace in knowing that you'll paint again when it's the perfect time for you to paint.  it's in's part of who you are.  so, consider this interruption to be a time of rest...we all get a vacation from work, summer is our reprieve from school, and so it goes to expect a break from our artwork as well!  and while you're resting,  you never know when inspiration will strike...i understand that "great ideas come from great bike rides!"  :)
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