.....that's how we pass the time away in the merry ol' land of Oz! Oz Book swap page here. Guess my theme? Can't quite put your finger on it, huh? Well, okay - I'll tell you. It's the Poppy Fields! I know - that was a tough one - you'll get it next time. This book will have 20 pages, all with a Wizard of Oz theme. This ought to be a really good one. Aside from being one of my all time favorite movies, there is just so much rich material there for interpretation. I can't wait to see it. I'm sure it'll be a beauty!
These are my offerings for a 3 x 3 alphabet book. You had to make your art representational of your letter not just a bunch of fancy letters on the page. I had T, so I chose tag art. Most of the pages I did were the flowers with only a few being the others. It was fun and pretty stress free - which is important to me right now! They're off in the mail now and I should have the entirety of the book back sometime in mid March. I'm sure it'll look great with my numbers book!
My art journaling has never quite been where I want it to be. I sometimes have trouble translating from my mind's eye to the page. That is coming to a stop quickly these days. I've been participating in Kelly Kilmer's 'Prompt A Day' when I can this month. (see sidebar for a button to take you there!) It has been a blast! The painting techniques are great and the design & composition tips are valuable (I still have a floating dog - but I like it that way!) What I'm really jazzed about are the prompts! They are thought provoking but not of the 'dig deep into your soul' kind of thing. I don't live a life of angst and drama. I haven't had pain to the depths of my being - guess I'm lucky in that respect. And I don't want to delve into my inner nooks and crannies to make 'meaningful art.' Sorry to anyone who I've offended, but it's just not my thing. I have nothing against it, but sometimes I feel like people think that if it's not gut wrenching then it's not real art journaling. If it's fun and I like it - then it's meaningful to me. Kelly's prompts have sparked memories that may very well have remained tucked away forever. I love her prompts - they are fun and quirky. And I'm getting things down that most likely would have been lost forever. Truly - who's gonna care in the end anyway? Regardless, here are a few of my pages. I'm much happier with the way these look than some of the pages I've done in the past. The journal, by the way, was made in a Tracy Moore class. LOVE IT! The top pic is the cover. I'm thrilled to be creating pages inside that do the book justice. I can't wait to see what Kelly has going for February!
I went out back the other morning and found a lone dandelion in the midst of my lawn. It looked like it had just sprung, an icon there in it's solitude. I had to capture it. It was perfect.
The pansies that Kyle & Maddie planted for my birthday are perfect as well. Each one smiling up with their cherubic little faces.
My birthday roses are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. They are perfectly formed, a deep, rich color and have stayed fresh far longer than I could have imagined.
We had dinner at my Mom's house on Sunday. She has a pair of Costa's Hummingbirds that call her tangelo tree home. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the close proximity of the hummingbird feeder! They are tremendously active and very protective of that feeder. When you go outside, the male will buzz you quite frequently! Sounds like a little jet - or a huge bee! Chris got some great shots of the little ones. They're not as shy as you might think!
Another inchie swap - hmmmmmmm - really? Yes. This is for Valentines Day. It's pretty similar in design to one I did a while back for an 'Anything Goes' swap. But the design works and this is an entirely different colorway. We'll just call it a new edition. Hope you likes!
Well, today is my birthday. I have no regrets about my age for if I didn't have a birthday what would the alternative be? Not being alive? I'll take the birthday. I love my life and all who are in it. On the whole, it was a great day. I headed off for work as usual and met my boss in the parking lot. Lyn promptly sang to me as we walked in! Cindi was at her desk already and had left a package on mine. It had a neat bag in it that she cut out with her Cricut - that's a neat tool! Inside the bag was a sweet little PC mouse that her daughter Alex made. He now resides on top of my inchie shadowbox with the albino rat. ('nother story - 'nother day) There were also TWO bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos! (I just discovered those - Yum!) The card was the best, but I won't go into details here. I was showered with many good wishes, cards and gifts. Among them candles & hand crocheted towels from Carole, some fabulous office wall accessories from Lyn and a great gift card from Donna! Chris stopped by on his way to work and brought me a dozen roses. He is just the perfect husband! Throughout the day I was serenaded several times - once by the 4th grade band over the phone! After that Mr. O ran out and brought back a banana split!
Overall, I was very overwhelmed by the real and genuine happy birthday wishes I received. My phone rang often during the day with people calling just to say Happy Birthday. Everyone at my job is so nice and they have made me feel very welcome and a part of the team right from the beginning. Our motto is 'Hidden Hills Family .... Be In It.' You can't have a school community family if the staff doesn't feel it. And we feel it - it's great. In my nine years of being a part of this school, I never felt it more than I did today. Thanks Guys!
After I got home, the kids got several flats of pansies and repotted my large outside pots that I didn't do in the fall. That was so sweet! A pain-free back for me! They also gave me some awesome cuttlebug dies and embossing folders. I'm going to be digging that! We headed out to Flamingo Palace for dinner. We started going there about 22 years ago and it was one of our favorites for years and years. Then you grow tired of it. We hadn't been in quite some time and it was just as good as it always was! The kids loved it too so it'll be added back into our repertoire of restaurants.
My good friend, Boel, from home called, too. We've sort of lost touch over the last few years, so it was good to hear from her. We sure have a lot of crazy history! I had to cut the call short because the family came home with gifts and all, but we're going to pick up the conversation - hopefully - tomorrow. That could go on for hours!
It was a great day. I felt loved, appreciated and honored all day long. I have a fabulous family, great friends and phenomenal colleagues. What more could you ask for?
Now here's an interesting concept. Rolodex cards as art. What a great mode of display! I've just joined a monthly themed Rolodex card swap. Sounds like fun to me! Our first theme was Black and White. Now this card is a bit more 'scrapbooky' than what I usually do. But I just got a Cuttlebug. Can you tell? LOL! What a neat tool! I really got it for the awesome embossing folder designs they have and I haven't embossed one thing yet! I sure have die cut a lot though! The few people who have seen this card said, "But it's not finished. There aren't any hands on the clock," or "You forgot the hands!" Well, the text on the card says 'Timeless' - so no, there aren't going to be any hands on the clock. I just felt the need to clarify that. It will be interesting to see how this swap unfolds.
This is what I love about living in Phoenix! We're two hours from the ski slopes in Flag, 4 hours from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico and another 4 from the dunes in California. For people who don't fly, we couldn't ask to be in a better location! So we headed off to the Imperial Sand Dunes just outside of Yuma for New Years. The weather was absolutely fantastic! It was light clothing almost the whole time we were there. The wind was down all until the last day - the wind is death in the dunes. You can't do anything! We met several friends out there and just had a great time.
We stay out on Ogleby Road. I don't have the stamina for Glamis! This is the view from the top of Patton Hill in Patton Valley. It's a popular running hill and quite a ways up there! Apparently General Patton trained his troops in this valley. I'm not confident of the veracity of that statement, but that's what I've been told...... And this is the view from the top looking down. Click on the pic - those are actual sand cars down there. It's a long way down.....
The kids always want to take the sleds. They enjoy sledding in the sand almost as much as the snow! It's a bit slower of a ride though. Kyle likes to be dragged behind the Ranger on the sled, but that makes me very nervous!
Vendor row is always fun, but there wasn't a ton of stuff I was interested in this time. We got some awesome deals on goggles the last time, but they weren't making those deals this weekend. After the vendors, we like to stop at the sand drags for a bit. There wasn't a ton of stuff going on there, but some of the sand cars were HOT! There was an Arctic Cat UTV that was just screaming down the track - I had no idea those things could move like that!
The kids can only watch it for so long and then they resort to other forms of entertainment - like digging body-sized holes! It keeps them busy and away from the 'front lines' of the drags.
Wow! Chris took the kids up north to see play in the snow. I stayed home to play in the studio! They've only been to the snow once before and having grown up in it, I'm okay to miss the trip. They had a blast and the weather, while snowy, was beautiful and warm. Chris said he only had his long sleeves on most of the day - no coat!
The kids really had fun sledding and playing in the snow. They spent the whole day and even brought me a bed load of snow back to play with!
Here's a nice picture of some serious icicles. I remember seeing them like that - and worse! - growing up in upstate New York. We would run past houses & buildings that had them in fear that they would fall and impale us!They stopped at the local Quiznos only to find it closed. Look closely - click to enlarge, the roof caved in and the place is full of snow! Bummer for them! Everyone had a good time - what a great day trip!
Whew! I'm glad that's over! I always said I don't know how people with full time jobs get everything done - and I still don't! The holidays came and went and we decided - very wisely I might add! - that we weren't going to kill ourselves to make it happen. So the tree got put up 4 days before Christmas. Only a third of the decorations got put up. And the cards are still in the box! Our annual Christmas party fell by the wayside this year, too. It was sad, but last year we had 87 people! I would have had to take 2 days off work just to get the food and prep done. Sorry to all my pals out there - I just couldn't make it all happen this year. With a new job, I underestimated what it would take to make the holidays happen. I'll start earlier next year - I promise! Thanks for your understanding! Love and peace to you all and a very prosperous New Year!
Here's another page for a journal swap. Theme - Get Your Funk On! This was fun. I don't often work in bright colors and this got me thinking I need to get some more neon paint. I also discovered my 'newest' favorite art supply - Bingo Daubers! I had one in a box of stuff someone gave me from a garage sale. You know how people get stuff for you whenever they see it for cheap somewhere because they just 'know' you'll find a use for it? I have lots of that kind of stuff and very little of it actually goes to waste! So I'm pretty fortunate to have friends and family that feed my habit! That particular box came from my MIL, I believe - Thanks Char! Anyhow, I had a ball with this page. The colors, the dots, the cat with the glasses, and of course, the fringe! I'm just diggin' it. Hope you are too!
I just got some new Tim Holtz masks so I thought I'd get them out and play a little this weekend. Couple them with the Heidi Swap masks and you can really get some cool effects. I like the grunge of the 'Time" tag. That was a fun one to work on. Any chance I can get to incorporate my favorite Paper Artsy images cannot be denied! This was a take on Tim's November Challenge. The green tag has a much more damask feel to it. I used color washes for the background in a similar manner Tim used the ink pads in his challenge. I always have a spritz bottle of water mixed with gum arabic and gold pearl-ex handy, so that is what I used for both tags to mix the background colors on the craft sheet. Crackle paint on the grungeboard was highlighted with some rub-n-buff to give it a nice patina. The final tag I did quite some time ago for a colaborative book swap. I used Paper Artsy images again and the butterfly girl came from A time To Stamp. Her wings are done up with Twinkling H2Os for a nice sparkle. These were a fun stress releaser for an afternoon!
Since I have an office now - and a place to display some of my 'dalliances' - I decided that I needed to be rid of those pesky push pins. So I opted to make my own artful tacks. I took some dominoes that I had done quite some time ago, pried off the magnet tape - I have a stainless fridge now, so what's the use!? - and epoxied some thumb tacks to the back. I think they put those danged push pins to shame! The dominoes are mostly done with Staz-On and Sharpie markers. There are a couple of Chart-Pak transfers in there, too and some alcohol ink things. Then I started eye-ing the Rummi-Kub tiles and got to work on those. Chalk inks or Stazon for the backgounds. I stamp with Stazon and then color in with chalk pastels or prismacolor pencils. I went to Frenzy Stamper yesterday to pick up my Halloween book pages and got some Tim Holtz Fragments. These things could easily become an addiction! Just put some clear glue like Diamond Glaze, Dimensional Magic or Glossy Accents down on your picture and put the fragment on top of it. Trim the excess paper when it's dry and - Viola! - you have an acrylic tile! It's very easy and very cool looking. I found that I had a bit better luck when I weighted the Fragment after gluing, but either way went well. There's also an embossing powder bug and lizard thrown into the mix for fun. So, my bulletin board should be much happier now. It was thrilled when I took down the faded purple paper and the bear border from the last gal that had my job! That got replaced with a beautiful blue and green batik fabric. I've got to make that place my own!
Today marks the 17th anniversary of the best day of my life. It's the day I married my fantastic husband. I could never in my wildest dreams have asked for a man that is more compassionate, thoughtful, endearing or loving. He is everything I could ever want and more. He's an awesome father - I often say he's a better mother than I am! He's calm, level-headed and my best friend in the whole world. He knows how I feel about him, but I felt the need to share it with the world today. My public declaration. This picture was taken about 18 years ago, but the love is still there and even stronger than it was then. When I think of us, this is the image that appears in my head. Love you long time, my love - forever and ever!
See? I told you the swaps were keeping me in the studio! This is Boo Cat. Another Frenzy Stamper swap. We had to do 33 of these puppies! Yikes! That's about maxing me out! Anyhow, I wanted this to have a primitive look - no fancy stuff or tricks - except for the rhinestone eyes! It was another one of those - took much more work than I thought - but it was fun. The background is the credit card technique I credited in an earlier post - it's done on both sides. The cat is done is black gesso. Then I had to go back in with white gesso to put in the mouth, eyes and moon. The rest is pretty self explanatory.
I did learn on very valuable (to me!) trick doing this page. I was concerned about placing the tiny rhinestones in the eyes without getting any glue seepage around the edges. I don't really care for that - looks sloppy to me. I was envisioning placing each rhinestone with my self clamping tweezers and a teeny tiny drop of glue on the end, dropping them, making a mess, etc. YECH! I was dreading that! Then I had an "aha!' moment. I used the rhinestones that are made for clothing embellishments to be set with an iron. They have heat activated glue on the backs. I set them in place and gently heated them with the heat gun. As they warmed up I went in low until the glue melted - it's a visual thing that you get used to seeing after you've done a few. It took me less than 10 minutes to set all 70 eyes! (I did a few extra pages) What a relief that was! I was seriously considering leaving the rhinestones off!
I was planning on pouring some resin today, but we've had the evap cooler running now that the intense heat has backed off. It makes the house so nice and cool. It's much better on the skin and furniture, too. But resin does not like he humidity. It'll never set up right - stays tacky forever. So I'm kind of hopin git cools off around here quickly so I can play with the resin! I've got another Halloween project in mind, but I'm still waiting for supplies.... I hope they get here soon before I lose interest!
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