Thursday, August 31, 2006

the REAL me

Rhonna's creativity exercise #9 was to be real. Real in our lives, our art ~ authentic. So here's me with my hair on fire, telling it like it is...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To frolic...

I had great fun with challenge #8 from Rhonna. The task was to select a random word from the dictionary & art journal about it. So I came across this word ~jink~ I had never heard it before. One definition is rambunctious play or frolicing. So the real exercise in this for me was to find a picture depicting the word that resonates with me. I love how Chloe frolics..I mean, jinks... aross our living room floor with her hair waving in the breeze. Too cute. The large picture is printed on a transparency, because I thought I may do something cool with it, but nothing came to mind. So I had to take the picture at a funky angle because of the glare. This exercise was a lot of fun. Try using the word "jink" in your vocabulary today:)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


This one is kinda funny. Day #7 of Rhonna's creativity exercises was about dreams. The task was to do a journaling exercise and then scrap something about your dreams. All I can think about lately is how I need more sleep! My kids were both up today by
4 am. What the!?! So my dream right now is to get more of just that...dreamtime. So I kicked back, daydreamed a little and made this page. I wouldn't mind that Anthropologie bedding in my dream bedroom either:) On a more serious note, thinking about my dreams all day I realized that I truly am living my dreams. I am so thankful for all that I am blessed with.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Orange makes me happy:)

Ok, so I'm combining yesterday and today's creative exercises from Rhonna. It's the weekend, do you blame me?! Yesterday's challenge was to do a color study and today is a 10 minute layout. I thought about color all day, but didn't get around to making anything. When I saw today's challenge, I just went for it. Whatever was in my head...and at my fingertips. Wow was that fun... and to tell you the truth, I like it better than a lot of layouts that take me forever. It seems more "me" and it should, since I just played. What a concept:):) I'm also finding that I'm combining techniques that I did for the other challenges into the new ones. For instance, I went with more of these swirly things that I did on my doodling layout. They're a blast. I also used a chenille stem here, never done that before. Rhonna is genius. It was fun to just use what I have on hand since there's no time to dig. I have always loved this picture of Lowell and just stole it off the refrigerator door! I can also see other influences coming into play. Yesterday I was paging through Teesha Moore's new issue of Art and Life and maybe caught a bit of her vibe here as well. Love it!

I also just have to share this very cool, very retro-vintage Halloween kit from Paper Bella that Christi just told me about. Oooh la it! There was another scrapbooking kit club that was going to have a vintage Halloween kit. I can't remember the name of it for the life of me. I know that the owner as a blog and I can't remember the company or the name of the person. Ugh! Ring any bells for anyone?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quilting +scrapbooking= fun!

Happy Weekend! I just finished up Challenge #6 on Annie's blog based on Ali's new book. The challenge was to create a quilted look on your page. I love quilts and I love chenille, so I combined all of it into a patchwork looking page. I love these challenges to help me think outside the box and get caught up on my scrapbooking too! This is Chloe when she was just a peanut. I hadn't looked at these picture in awhile. Too cute:)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Creativity Exercise Day 4 {Repetition}

Rhonna's challenge for today was repetition. I ended up with this simple layout, but there was so much going on in the process. At first I over-thought the whole thing and couldn't decide what I wanted to duplicate over and over again. I remembered that I had lots of postage stamps and have never used them in a layout, so I went from there. Then came the hard part, what to do with them? After lots of trial and error, I decided to use them as a large frame around this picture. The stamps seemed fitting since I titled the layout "Something to write home about...." honoring the progress that Lowell has made this summer. I also attached an envelope to enclose a note on what this summer meant for Lowell. The layout turned out very meaningful to me, even if aesthetically I'm not thrilled about it. These challenges are really giving me a creative workout.

Gypsy Girl

I am having so much fun with Rhonna's creativity-exercise-a-day. It's really pushing me to try new things. Challenge #3 is to take an idea from your sketchbook/idea/inspiration book & incorporate it into your page. I was very inspired by the colors, lines and shapes in this photograph.

So I got out my stash of papers and went to town. This is what I came up with using some of the same color combinations, stripes and circles.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I am ArtsyMama...hear me roar!

Did I really just have an hour to myself while my parents took the kids to the park, jammin' away with my Poe "Haunted" CD working on this page for Rhonna's creativity challenge? I do believe it I did. Nice!!

Is this really my 3rd post today!?!

Oh, here come the kiddos, better make dinner:)

Doodle Bug

So Rhonna, you all know Rhonna Farrer~ queen of the 21 day challenge~ now she has something new up her sleeve. She's posting a creative prompt each day for 10 days. She started yesterday, so I'm trying to play catch up. Here's my first one in response to the challenge of...{try something *new* something you've never done before on your layout}. So I tried doodling (and used a few rub ons!), kind of a lame attempt, but I am soooo not a doodler. It really intimidates me, I don't know why. It's supposed to do the opposite. So I thought I'd give it a shot to free myself:) Just making this swirly title pushed me outside my comfort zone! I also used crayons for the first time on a layout and have always wanted to try big swirls with paper, so I tried it all. Fun stuff! Now I get to crank the music for today's challenge!

Dear Lowell...

Woohoo, finally got my "off center placement" layout done for Annie's challenge #5. I had fun writing this letter to Lowell. He's come so far this summer. The Autism Day Treatment program he started is amazing! Hard to believe summer is almost over.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Halloween in August

Yes, yes, I's only August and here I am breaking out all these Halloween crafts. Well, I've started to get out my boxes (and boxes and boxes) of Halloween decorations and wanted to make something with some of my tiny Halloween curios and wonderful fabrics. So here you are, an old antique printers drawer full of bits and pieces from my Halloween collection. Love how they all look together. Lots of fun vintage inspired pieces....AND you can find it for sale over on my Etsy shop here with several close up pictures:)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

*200th post*

Wow, this is my 200th post! I've had this blog less than a year and try to post as often as possible. I have found it to be such a wonderful way to communicate with all of you out there. The community I have found blogging is amazing and awe inspiring. thank you:)

I wanted my 200th post to be special, so I have some exciting news...I've gone Etsy! I now have a shop. I only have one thing in there now, but hope to add frequently. I made this neat {BOO} banner this weekend since it's never too early to start thinking about Halloween! I'm also working on a shop banner. In the meantime, come check me out!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Tonight we saw the movie Little Miss Sunshine. First movie we've seen in a long, long time. LOVED it!! Total quirky, laugh out loud, feel good, indie movie:) Go see it!

Check out the cute web site with lots of fun interactive stuff:) Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Scrappin' frenzy

These challenges are really helping me catch up on my scrapbooking:) I just found out that on 2Peas they are posting challenges from Elsie's book. I couldn't pass it up!

The first one is Work Those Words: whether it's a quote, a list of favorite adjectives or computer generated phrases, journaling on strips of cardstock is a great way to add visual excitement to your page. Be creative and cut a favorite quote into pieces to add to your design. Check out all the others here.
The next layout is challenge #3 from Ann(i)e's challenges inspired by Ali's book. The challenge was to use just a bit of pattern as an add-on to a circle. Choose patterns with coordinating colors, punch and tear them, and adhere them to a punched circle. It's a great way to get a bit of pattern onto a layout. I never use circles in my layouts, so this was a lot of fun:)

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Red Book {interview with Sera Beak}

Sera Beak is so cool! I posted here about her new book, The Red Book. I was so intrigued with concept of turning an art journal into a spiritual quest that I did an interview with her. She graciously answered my questions and I am so inspired by what she had to say...

AM: How and when did you know that the journaling you did in your own Red Book became something deeper and more universal?

SB: I was given the red book, as well as a shopping trip to a craft store, as a birthday gift by my older sister the day after my grandfather died. Watching my grandfather pass away broke something open in me, I was pretty raw, and so when I received this new journal I was ready to try something different with it. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, but I did know that this would be no ordinary journal filled with daily recaps. To prep the book and myself I made my dedications clear on the first page where I placed 2 photos. One was a photo of an icon of the Hindu goddess Kali that I took while I was living in Calcutta (Kali represents a very strong and powerful aspect of the divine feminine). The other was an old photo of me at about 2 years old, standing on top of a rocking horse jumping and singing gleefully. Naked. My older sister gave me this hilarious photo to remind me of how free I was as a wee one. Glitter and paint and the question *How Intensely Do I Exist* fell around the photos and set the personal and devotional tone for the book.

AM: What was your creative process for working in your Red Book? Did you use quotes from others, come up with your own quotes?

SB: When I finally sat down to write in the red book I did it, oddly enough, via my computer. One night I lit a few candles put on a favorite CD and just allowed things to get real quiet in my head. I started listening to a deeper part of myself. And soon enough a sentence fell out of me onto the screen. The sentence was *Come forward now. Closer still Till closer has meaning no longer*. I didn't analyze its weirdness, I just printed it out, cut it from the paper, and pasted it at the bottom of a page in the red book. The phrases continued pouring out of me and I knew that no matter what the hell they sounded like to anyone else, for me, the experience of writing them was deeply sacred and new and extremely healing. This was no new agey channeled woo wooness. It just felt like me meeting Me, for the first time and it was incredibly powerful. So I continued to let her rip. And, because I dedicated the red book to unleashing my new voice, I never used quotes from anyone else.

AM: You said you used a lot of magazine images in your collage work, did the images you created become symbolic for you?

SB: The simple phrases, or prayers, became the root, the main art of the red book, but they took up hardly any space on the big white pages, so I looked around my Cambridge apartment and grabbed the only sliceable medium available: fashion and yoga magazines. I used ads for mascara, Gucci perfume, laundry detergent, as well as typical spiritual images.
The media images grounded my obtuse words and my phrases gave mainstream advertising flashes of sacredness. And yes, the images I created did become symbolic for me, as did the process of creating them. I was finally mixing and matching my outer world with my inner voice.

AM: When did you then take the next step from keeping an art journal to writing a book on spirituality? That is quite a leap of faith...literally:)

SB: After graduate school, I moved to San Francisco and took a temp job while I was figuring out what to do with my comparative religions degree. The job afforded me a lot of free time sitting in front of a computer. And one day, burned out from web surfing, I started casually writing about the process of creating the red book and what this form of creative journaling might ignite in other young women. After typing out 25 pages in one day I realized I had a lot to say on this subject and after a few weeks of writing, my boyfriend read some pages and suggested I try a book. By this time, it just felt natural and good for me to continue writing. I always tell people that if I had sat down one day and said "hey, I'm gonna write a book for young women about spirituality" I would have most likely spontaneously combusted due to the pressure I would have put on myself. It was all about baby steps for me. The real leap of faith happened when I decided to try and get my writing published. I was taking my voice, which was very private and new to me, and trying to making it public. I was terrified. But I pushed on because my passion for this material outweighed my fear.

AM: Do you still work in your own Red Book?

AB: No. And I've told myself that that's because I've been buried in the time-consuming book writing process and that I use other creative outlets, but this interview is making me realize how much I miss that interaction and experience. And you know the original red book is only half full, it's waiting for me to continue.

AM: Anything else you'd like to say to us fellow journal artists, spiritual beings, travelers on this path?:)

SB: Thank you all for existing and inspiring others (like myself) to go the distance. I witness your creations and it makes my own spirit wiggle free. It's contagious, and real, and so very powerful. I believe that to create is one of the main reasons we're here. So do it up - no matter what you do or don't believe about spirituality. Redefine that word through your art, through your daily life, through your colorful and honest self expressions. And watch the universe sway in awe of your bold beauty.


What a gorgeous day it is here today in Minnesota. There's a hint of autumn in the air. Crisp and breezy, baby blue sky with white fluffy clouds. I love that it's August!

I did another page in my She book collaboration with Cassondra. I rarely work in black and white, but was so inspired by this picture that I just continued on with the style. It was hard for me to get messy and just let go with this. I like the result. I love the black velvet letter stickers:) I also received the She book Cassondra started and enjoyed paging through it, admiring her art and enjoying the texture and the dimension in her pages. To see her book, look here. She does such amazing work and it's even better in person. I will get mine off for her to work on and get working in the one that she started. I love collaborations. So much fun!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Challenges galore!

I didn't make it to the next round of Last Scrapper Standing. Oh well. Now I just get to cheer from the sidelines:) I have been working on Ann(i)e's fun challenges based on Ali Edwards new book. I'm loving these. They're really getting me motivated to work on my daughters 1st year album. I also am really enjoying the challenge of doing things that I would never think of doing on my layouts. Thanks!
This first one (above) is to go to your scraps, pull out six pieces of patterned paper that are big enough to be square punched. Punch one square from each scrap. Now punch three photos. Place all nine squares together on a 12"X12" piece of cardstock. Journal around the outside of your square. Voila'-a wonderful example of a completely random pattern assortment.* I changed this a bit and did 5 photos and only 3 patterns and one quote.The second challenge is instead of cutting everything into squares and rectangles, take an angular approach! Take a large photograph and cut the bottom at an angle (I did the side). Use ribbons to define the edges of the photograph. Stack layers of triangular paper underneath the photo to create a playful look on your page. *After seeing the challenge on the freestyle blog to crop your picture, I decided to do that with the second picture. I like the look:)

I was playing a little catch-up, so here is the third. Art patterns. I combined Lowell's handprints (which is art in itself!) with pictures of his other artsy love, music!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

LSS Dare #1

Here's my humble contribution to the Last Scrapper Standing contest. Dare #1 was to have all of your journaling ON your photo. This was a challenge, since I don't do this often. I made a layout in memory of our beloved cat, Abba. He was our Halloween cat. Since I'm really into vintage Halloween, I thought I'd give this page a whimsy nostalgic feel. I aged the photo using walnut ink, then wrote out my journaling. I then added a few more words with Portfolio oil pastels. Check out the 2Peas gallery for tons of inspiration from the other participants. Amazing work! This was so much fun:)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Celebrate her...

A new page in my She book collaborative:)
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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Busy week

Haven't been on the computer much. My hubby's dear grandmother passed away this week and we've been busy with the wake and the funeral today. Lovely service, lovely woman. We sure will miss Lola.I got my Land of Nod catalog today. LOVE their stuff! I'm really into nursery and children's art lately and came across this artist (above) Maria Carluccio. Doesn't this just make you happy?!! Sure cheers me up:)

I'm going scrapbooking tonight. Hope to catch up on my summer pages. Also want to work on my page for the Dares "Last Scrapbooker Standing" contest. Wish me luck:)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fanciful August!

This came in the mail yesterday from my lovely friend Cassondra. Isn't it just the cutest banner you ever did see?:) I think she was inspired by the article in the July/August issue of Somerset Studios magazine by Pamela Garrison. I love it! Thanks, Cassondra:)

I also found a step by step here with Pam on how to make them:) Wish I would have seen this episode of That's Clever on HGTV, here's another project she did on making a paper dollhouse. FUN!