Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time is running out ...

A journal page in my Memory Journal ...

"Time is running out to capture memories of the heart!"
This is in my Strathmore Mixed Media Journal 9x12.  TH Tea Dye Distress Ink blended over the white background which was textured lightly with Gesso. That background was added to with a non-readable Text stamping in Momento Tuxedo Black and a small rose stamped with TH Vintage Victorian Distress Ink. On top of all that, I decoupaged the "Memory" text cut from a sheet of tissue paper ... and part of one of the new napkins with Roses on it ... both of which were gifted from my friend, Kelly Hoernig.  The face is one of Jane Davenport's Faces stencil. I scanned it, enlarged and printed on cardstock, coloured with Pan Pastels and Prismacolour. The tag was covered with more of the napkin, a Clock Brad attaches it to the page and a red ribbon strung thru the Metal Heart ring was glued to the tag upon which I wrote my thoughts in Red Sharpie:

My recent Birthday and a day yesterday where I kept forgetting one thing after another in large and small venues made me realize ... I must work faster on capturing the Memories I want for my keepsake journal.

My contribution to a Christmas Card Challenge - so fun!!
Christmas is coming soon!  :-)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Love Affair Begins

For my birthday, I received gift cards to fund an investment I'd longed for, for quite some time.  My friend Kelly Hoernig had gifted me a Pan Pastel sample she'd picked up for me at the Create Mixed Media Convention in Lisle, IL this Summer.  I'd longed to experience the Pan Pastels as I have enjoyed an inexpensive set of Soft Pastels I'd purchased through a craft de-stash group and knew the Pan Pastels were touted to be uniquely better!

And so ... my birthday present arrived!

Pan Pastel - 20 colour Painting Set and 6 colour Metallic Set and Tools
It didn't take long for me to start playing.  I chose an 11x14 Canvas.  My painting is a combination of two photos from the references available at Paint My Photo -- the swan, offered by Rachel T and the water lilies extracted from a waterscape offered by Craig Johnson.

Sunset Swan - 11x14 Canvas - Pan Pastels
Papa has encouraged me to save and invest in the other three key Pan Pastel Colour Sets.  I believe it will be a smart idea as I've already fallen in love with them.  :-)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Festive Fall

Another group challenge given this week was with art aMUSEment.  The directive was to create something using the colours of the Fall Season.

Now, if you know me even a little then you probably know that oranges, browns, rusts, and quite often, yellow too are not on my preferred palette of colour choices.  Not that I can't appreciate them ... just that they aren't my favourites.  :-/   This challenge made me turn up my nose. 

I didn't cry though -- I'm a BIG girl artist don't you know!  So I pulled up those big girl panties and walker-hobbled over to sit down at the desk!  I grabbed a book of vintage images and browsed to see what I might find (this time it was the Birds and Nature book) and saw something that, while not conventionally Fall oriented, had the Fall colours.  YES it just might work!

And so it did!

Autumn Is
This is an 8x10 Canvas Panel, based with an acrylic khaki tone mix.  The Fall colours you see behind the bird are all the colours taken from the bird - they were rendered through a myriad of stamping pads dyes and inks, blending with a make-up sponge wedge.   The bird was printed from the Book's CD-Rom onto cardstock with our HP Inkjet Printer, fussy cut, and distress inked around its edges with Vintage Photo.  White Prima Flowers were alcohol inked in orange and yellow and distressed for a little more colour before being given center dots of wooden beads.  The quote was hand-written and says:

Autumn is a second Spring
When every leaf becomes a flower.
--Albert Camus--

This is one of the times I so wish we had a better camera as it just wasn't possible to get a perfect colour match from either of the cameras used today. 

Oh! My grandson, Max, who happened to be running by and glanced into our bedroom, did a "Hey now!" when he spotted it ... he was very impressed with his Mimi's creation. :::beam:::

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Birthday Memories & Challenges

Birthday Album Front
Part of my 60th Birthday surprises came about through my daughter, Cassandra, who coordinated through FaceBook, a Celebration of Birthday Cards for me!  I received oodles and oodles of cards from family and friends near and far.  It was completely delightful and especially since I was stuck at home on my birthday due to a knee ailment which had landed me in urgent care a few days before.

I wanted to do something special with the cards and thought of a way to preserve them.  Last year, I found a small Christmas journal in the clearance section at IKEA's, an after Christmas Sale.  It was perfect!

I painted the grey snowflaked cover a pretty pink to complement the pretty image found at The Graphics Fairy (linked at right). I added the text to it with my graphics software program.

Birthday Journal - side view

The cameo and ribbon with sparkly buckle bling just finished it perfectly for my simple, personal tastes.

I adhered the card envelopes to the paper stock that came with the little album, and tucked in the envelope flaps.  This allowed me to slip the cards inside each one so I can remove and read the greetings inside the cards and on the backs of some, whenever I wish. 

I absolutely love having something special like this to capture a special birthday year of greetings and am so grateful to Cassandra for thinking of coordinating it for me!


Last weekend was a busy one, trying to catch up with group challenges as I'd been down with the knee for almost all of the week!!  David rearranged my creative center and moved my most used things within reach so I wouldn't have to get up or even roll to create anything!  Bless him! :-)

Fall Card

The art aMUSEment Group challenge was to use a stamp.  My stamp was the text:  Fall is when
nature turns to GOLD. 

This card was sent off Monday with a love note to my former mother-in-law. :-)

hope - dream textured art piece
The OWSE group requested we use texture (or modeling or molding) paste of some sort in our piece.

I used Liquitex Modeling Paste with stencils for the text, heart and flower heads.  Shimmering H20's were used for the corner pieces, text and textured pieces.

I am delighted, tickled and pleased to tell you that this piece won the challenge at the group!  

Yellow & Grey Combo Challenge
This week's group challenges have begun already! 

The card at right was challenged to use yellow and gray - a rather difficult combination!  This butterfly and pansies image is from a book & CD of vintage images I purchased recently (fantastic vintage images!) semi-fussy cut and adhered to dark grey cardstock.  I inked, embossed the greeting and then diecut and embossed the cut oval.  Yellow bling bits finish the ribbon embellishments.

More group challenges await this week.  FUN FUN!!  It always stretches me to try something new!!  Hope your week is offering you creative challenges too!

Monday, September 30, 2013

60th Birthday Surprises!

My girlfriend Krys and I became friends a long time ago, having met through our shared love of Victoriana.  Krys has shared her artistic designs and style through her skill with Jasc's PSP software, creating amazing digital designs, while I have toddled along with my outdated Microsoft's PhotoDraw II, intially creating digital designs but then taking my art into decorative painting, oil painting and now of course, the mixed media and art journaling.  Naturally, I had to haul her along into this latest adventure with me!  LOL 

Krys has continually amazed and delighted me with her beautiful creations and for my birthday, she surprised me with the following box, filled with goodies!  The box itself is beautiful decorated with rose tissue paper, green mirrored butterflies, hearts & bling, quotes and words of friendship.  The little placard is evidence of our history today and shared love of Victoriana.  The candles, hand frosted and tinted!

I love my Friendship Journal!!  Its absolutely beautifully filled with gorgeous images, embellishments and thoughts -- all again, reflecting our love of Victoriana, roses and friendship together.

And finally, I was gifted two beautiful ATC's that she had made (and I had drooled over! lol) using her personal bits of no-longer worn or broken jewelry to adorn the rest of the designs which incorporate the ATC Backgrounds she offers digitally through her ETSY shop, Fey Arte of Faeries
What is even more amazing and heart-warming to me is that Krys' is on a horrendously limited budget for her creative supplies and finds the most fantastic values to make a tight craft budget go a long way!  I'm SO proud of her for showing me (all of us!) that being awesomely creative doesn't require a big studio full of stuff!

Krys' 60th Birthday is late next month.  Boy! - I'm going to have to work hard to match the fun for hers!!  LOL

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seashells remind us ...

Another group challenge this week was to use a seashell as our inspiration.  I initially went to my favourite place for images, The Graphics Fairy, and found some lovely vintage images!  But, after attempting to colour them first with watercolours, next with coloured pencils and finally with alcohol markers - I realized I wasn't happy with the look I wanted.  Those coloured bits of shells were neatly stored for some future project.  :-)

So there I was, looking at my small box of mixed media odds and ends bits and spotted a little grouping of items I'd gotten on a recent adventure with my motorized wheelchair (I rode it all the way up to Tuesday Morning and Joann's and back home again! lol) -->  Batik Sun Stones Disks, Cowrie Shells, and small wooden disk beads.  AHAH!!!

A tag was begun.  This is a large tag, approximately the size of a saltine cracker box side (which is, in fact, what its made upon).  :-)

seashells remind us ...
The background was a free image of Batik Textiles resourced through my membership with RGB Stock Photos.   I loved the movement and patterns of texture amongst those beautiful colours! 

The Cowrie Shells and wood beads at the bottom were layered atop a small bedding of cheesecloth that was stained with a Victorian Rose colour.  I used a little bag of dried potporri bits to add texture.

The little shells postage stamp was cut from a 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper.  I placed it atop a little rectangular tag coloured in a golden mustard brown, trimed with a zigzag scissors and added little bits of glitter.  It says:  Live Learn Discover.

Another Cowrie Shell grounds the unknown author's quote, in a spray layout, which says:

seashells remind us
that every passing life
leaves something
beautiful behind

LOVE that!

Its finished at the top with more stained cheesecloth and a paper butterfly, embellished with a little more glitter.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Youth and Roses

Sometimes, you just need to create BIG and so I did over the weekend.   Not awfully big, mind you ... just sorta-kinda-maybe-big with an 11 x 14 canvas.

Youth and Roses
The inspiration came from the rose images on a napkin.  The background started with drywall patching tape, Crafter's Workshop Doodling Stencil and Liquitex Modeling Paste, a wallpaper fabric sheet (a 4x6 pad of 50+ variety sheets found for $2.97 in the clearance section at Joann's), and then acrylic paint (in several pink as well as green values) and gesso blended over all.  The napkin tissue was decoupaged next.  The birdcage was diecut with my Cuttlebug and then gesso'd and painted light pink, then glittered with a soft pink glitter.  The bird was a store-bought embellishment that came on a sheet of 8.  I printed on cardstock my butterfly embellishments (images from the Graphics Fairy, linked at the right) and printed the quote box which I did in my graphics program.  Finishing touches include the decorative sticky trim, stamping ink, Prima flowers and pearl flatback gems.

I loved this quote from Thomas More:

"What though youth gave love and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine."

By the way ... persistence paid off on this one.  My first canvas was either a bad canvas cloth or bad gesso - my acrylic paint wouldn't stick for anything!  lol  I had a big mess on my hands - literally!  lol  Thank goodness for a stockpile of canvases!  Even then THIS background went through four very different variations!  Next time, I shall make a note to take photos and show you the process ... it took, me days!  lol  :-)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Group Challenges

I am so blessed to be part of several artistic communities which encourage me as a newcomer to art journaling, mixed media and papercrafting to create a piece of art based on a weekly Challenge.  What makes it even more fun for me is that sometimes I can combine the challenges, which is what I did today.  :-)

Challenge 1 - use an apple as your inspiration
Challenge 2 - make a card without using any cardstock or scrapbook paper

Get Well Soon!
The base card is a sheet of "Kid Made Modern" watercolour paper from a $2.99 pad found at Target. The apple was done on a small section of a piece of paper from a Royal Langnickel "Essentials Watercolor Artist Pad" found in the $1.00 bins at Joanns.

Mixed Media included:
  • watercolours for the background card colour washes
  • watercolour pencils for the apple and its surrounding colour washes
  • Versa Mark Gingerbread Chalk Ink Pad daubed through a Crafters Workshop basket weave stencil,
  • a Sharpie marker for the handwritten text,
  • a corner punch on the apple paper corners,
  • and a little bit of gold ribbon.
If you're not part of a collected group of artists, I encourage you to find one.  The rewards of sharing your artistic endeavours with others like you, just can't be beat!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love Thoughts

In complement of colour and style to the "Best of Everything" design shared in my posting of August 27th, I did another 8x10 canvas board design - "Love Thoughts"

Love Thoughts

This was done with a combination of acrylic paints, watercolours, distress inks, Spectrum Noir, Prismacolour pencils, paper punch, store embellishments/die cuts.  The lady image is from The Graphic Fairy and background image is from Astrid's Artistic Efforts (those image resource links are also linked in my Fave's, to the right).

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Storage and Organization

If you're like me, you are constantly looking for ways to improve your creative work flow.   My creative center is a large corner computer desk and printer stand unit located in a corner of our bedroom.  What started out as a painting corner has now evolved to incorporate art journals, mixed media and paper crafting of all sorts!  The desk unit has adopted a three-tiered, 3-drawer 12x12 scrapbook paper organizer (which holds more than paper) and a 5-shelf bookshelf, plus two multi-bin storage caddy's ( the type used by our gentlemen in their garage! lol).  Additionally, I've had to get extra brush caddies for both watercolour and acrylic brushes along side my oil brushes.  It seems that I am constantly reorganizing things as my supplies and materials stash grow.

Watching my friend Jean demonstrate building a desk organizer on her U-Stream The Musical Scrapper recently, gave me an idea for a special need I had.

My Prismacolour Pencil collection has been a constant source of fuss because, for ease of use, it requires the colours to be separated by family.  I had four connected cubes, with separators inside, but for some time, its heaviness made it difficult to lift and turn around to get at colours in the two cubes at the back. I, hopefully, today have solved the problem.

I started with a small lazy-susan, added pretty paper covering to tubes made from light cardboard and attached each tube to the other, at the sides, for stability and strength.

The center tub is a larger clear plastic container, gesso'd white and covered with a coordinating paper.  It remains as a stand-alone unit, holding all my drawing supplies as well as my Prisma blending tools, Gamsol, etc.

Since I like to sit in my easy chair at night and colour, this will hopefully be a more workable solution.  :-)  I hope my idea, sparked from Jean's organizer, will spark something for you too!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Catching Up!

It has been some time since I shared what has been happening in my creative and/or personal world.  I thought it time to catch up with both as this is, in a way, a public diary as well as my creative diary. :-)

On June 4th, Daddy passed away.  We had been expecting it, but it is never easy to cope with the passing of a parent, and especially when its your last parent.  How does one become an orphan when one is almost 60?   My sister expressed a wish to gift the Newaygo Medical Care Facility with something in memory of their loving and wonderful care for both Mama til her passing in 2007 and Daddy til his.  I suggested that I paint something and since our parents' room had been in the Sunflower Lane wing, I chose complementary images of sunflowers from The Graphics Fairy, where Karen shares the most wonderful free images for our personal use. 
In Loving Memory ~ The Sunflowers
The canvases each measured 11" x 14" and were gallery wraps of 1-1/2" so they would not require framing.

Since then, I've finished another oil painting that had been started late last year and gotten set aside with all the fun of the mixed media and journaling.   This was gifted to my son Todd.  Its a screen shot from a popular sci-fi type video game which he enjoys.  :-)

The last week of July into August, both sons and families came for a visit!  It had been 4 years since we'd all been together and this Mimi was SO ready to love on all of her kids and grandkids!  To say a grand time was had by all would be an understatement.  It was heaven.  Pure heaven. I felt so blessed to have had the time together ... but it was so hard to say goodbye.

While they were all together, here, I asked my children to select their choices of my paintings.  Our walls were filled to overflowing and Mama has more paintings in works and now mixed media I want to display as well.  ;-)  They all worked together, choosing from the surplus and each got their favourites, which worked out nicely.  These walls became happily, rather bare!  :-D :-D

In our bedroom, we've put up a few of my mixed media vintage pieces, that both David and I particularly like.  Many of the backgrounds were freebies from Astrid's Artistic Efforts;  the key images were freebies from The Graphics Fairy.

Hope & Dream
The Best Of Everything

The Rose Girl

I have been a busy artist making cards, art journal pages, tags, and playing for the first time with Soft Pastels (which I already adore!) but won't try to catch you up with everything.    Here's a quick look at a few:
Collected Group 1

Collected Group 2

Thank you for taking time to visit! 
God bless and keep you in His care!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Its Clearly Black & White!

Did I mention on Mother's Day that Cassandra and Michael gifted me with a Cuttlebug, some embossing folders and a set of six Spellbinder Dies?  As well, David gifted me with a Joann's Gift Card and I was able to get a few more goodies for that Cuttlebug.  I felt and still feel entirely spoiled to the max with that gift -- I've wanted one ever since I first heard about ability to create one's own embellishments!  :-)

The Cuttlebug is rather a quiet little workhorse that, although not as sophisticated as the newer and bigger machines, is wonderfully fun and easy for a first-timer to them.   I've been playing and experimenting with it ever since and enjoying its capabilities!   I will pick up more dies and embossing folders over time as funds are available ... in the meantime, I'm thrilled with what I am able to do!

With some of the results from my playtime, I got the idea for an art piece done totally in black and white, with metal elements if possible.   Having watched my friend, Darlene, of ArteDar's Ustream one evening where she used Aluminum Foil HVAC Tape and embossed it, I thought I'd give it a try as well and picked up a roll at Walmart recently.  OH MY!!  It embosses SO nicely!  Yes, I know it did for Darlene too ... but she's well qualified in doing that as she's been doing Mixed Media forEVER ... whereas I'm a beginner!  LOL   I used the Cuttlebug Anna Griffin Brocade Embossing Folder, and then rubbed some acrylic black over the foil and then wiped it off, leaving it in the depressions -- it looked just like pewter to me!  And those embossed foil strips were the final puzzle to my project idea!

Its Clearly Black & White
Its Clearly Black & White - Upper Right

I started with a 9 x 12 Canvas Panel Board (canvas heat-glued to a hard cardboard backing).  Using the same Brocade folder, I embossed and loosely black-ink-swiped a piece of cardstock and when dry, I Decoupage'd it to the top right corner.  Then followed with a Decoupage of another Brocade embossed sheet of copy paper, left plain white, in the upper left corner.  Following, that, in the lower left, another cardstock (which matched the upper right's) was decoupaged in place.  And finally, lower right, was another decoupaged sheet of white copy paper that was embossed with little flowers (the folder came with my Cuttlebug) and left plain white.

Its Clearly Black & White - Bottom Left

The next step brought one of those "happy accident" thingies.  Using the Crafters Workshop Layered Beads TCW293 Stencil, I was stenciling the series of acrylic black dots on the mid-horizontal when the right side went wonky on me and I messed up the dots entirely.  O.o  I tried to wipe them off the white paper, but was only successful in smearing it ... very badly.  Necessity will rule, so that whole block was painted black and when dry, white gesso dots were stenciled instead.  At the time, I was not happy with myself, but after seeing the effect, I was thrilled!

Its Clearly Black & White - Upper Left

The next step was the decorative die-cut edging strips using Spellbinders Shapeabilities Ironwork Accents Die.  The top one is the cut - the bottom one is the relief from the cut.  These were done on light cardboard, then painted acrylic black and then I used a  metallic silver Gelly pen for decorative touches to imitate a pewter look.   Following those, were the Buttons Galore & More filigree corner pieces, which started out gold.  I painted them acrylic black and rubbed with metallic silver acrylic paint, again to imitate the pewter look.  All of these elements were adhered with Beacon's 3-in-1 Glue.

Its Clearly Black & White - Lower Right
The vertical embossed foil strips were laid down next and followed by the stamped Hero Arts Circle Lace doily image on cardstock which I fussy-cut and glued in place with the Beacons.   I specifically chose this rubber stamp as its image looks like its got tiny little gears and wheels which I felt would coordinate with the metal design elements.

Finishing touches include a previously purchased kit which had the upper right butterfly, the bird, the birdcage cage with a tag which says "Moments to last a lifetime" and the lower right clear tag with scrollwork and raised tag that says" Remember when".  

Its Clearly Black & White - Middle

The "Remember when" tag was placed atop a square cut from cardstock and edged with black & white polka-dotted ribbon.

The lower left butterfly was a free digital image, fussy cut and glued in place.  

The Cameo was another treasure from Buttons Galore & More.  I changed up the gold center with Faber Castell Gesso.  These Cameos are so versatile in that every part of them can be painted or inked to coordinate with your art piece!

So this concludes my first piece using elements created with my new Mother's Day Cuttlebug!   I love that little thing so much already!  :-D

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter To Self ...

Letter to Self
This month of May has been a real challenge because of the task given by Tracy Weinzapfel for our Mixed Media Monday's group's monthly challenge.   I thought previous challenges had been challenging, but THIS one was a challenge-topper for me, personally.

Tracy asked us to write a letter to our baby self and read her own letter to self as inspiration for us.  WOW - there wasn't a dry eye in the group by the time she got done!  :-)   But ... me.  UGH  What to share of a life filled with ... well ... just "filled" is enough for now.    I talked with my daughter Cassandra, who often helps me find focus and get to the crux of a matter ... and thankfully, found my "letter" ... brief, but centered on the important thing my baby self needs to know.

My letter is the tag which says:  

"Your life will be a tapestry full of dark and bright moments.  Throughout it all, hold fast in the Lord for He is the golden threads and soldered bits of love, light, strength and hope with every part.  

God will never fail you!  

I love you! --ME--"
Letter to Self - close-up

The page was created with layer upon layer of acrylic mixtures of Quinacridone Red+Burnt Umber and Quinacridone Red+Titanium White which were applied with a variety of painting knives.  Each layer was dried before the next layer was applied.   The finishing touches are painting knife dabs of acrylic Metallic Gold and fine metallic gold pieces of thread which were decoupaged in place.  The Tag was painted with the dark acrylic mixture and the text written in both gold gelly pen ink with a black fine marker underlay.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Moments & Memories

Tomorrow we celebrate Mother's Day.  For us, living with Cassandra and Michael, its a double celebration for her and for me.  Next week, we will continue to celebrate with a dinner out, which will then include Louise, Michael's mom, as she will be back from her travels then.

Mother's Day Moments of Memories
But today, Mother's Day brings special thoughts of Mama and her mama, my Gramma, who are both gone many years now.   I miss them both very much and that loss seems to grow stronger the older I become. My sense of loss for them is shared by others in our family, I know.  When we are together or even talking on the phone, so often our chatter will trail and wrap around them both as we share stories and memories.

My memories hold special moments of each of them at various stages of my life - gramma whistling in the kitchen to the hymns on the radio while she was making a pie for grandpa's supper;  mama sewing a beautiful wedding dress for my first Barbie Doll that I wanted so badly and got for my birthday that year; gramma sitting at the Hammond organ (which now resides in Cassandra's living room), playing "In the Sweet By and By" and letting us bang on it too whenever we came to visit for a while;  mama wrapping me up in her special flannel blankets and bringing me 7-Up when I had the flu; and ever so many other tiny fragments of gestures of love from both of them, for myself and others in our family. 

We love and miss you both, Mama and Gramma.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Femininity Is ...

Recently, my husband David and I were talking about today's young ladies and the differences between our generation and theirs.  Specifically, how girls today seem to need so many, or so few, things on their bodies in order to feel feminine.  

He made this comment to me:  "Being feminine is not your body.  Being feminine is a state of mind."

I felt his statement deserved a page presentation.
And, so I did.

Being Feminine
This page was made in my foofy "Feminine Journal" ... and the rose paper on that page just seemed the perfect place.  :-)  The image of the lady came from Free Vintage Digital Stamps and coloured with Prismacolor Pencils.  The doily, as well as the hand-cut tag, were coloured with a Spectrum Noir marker.  The flowers are all store-bought die cut embellishments.

Yesterday, I made a cute little tag inspired by Francesca Burras' video at One Little House.  Her tag had an adorable little cupie doll and was done in tone-on-tone yellows.  I did mine in the inevitable pink and green and vintage which I love so much.  :-D

Little Girl Vintage Tag
This was tucked into one of the pockets of my foofy journal and is my first decorative tag.  It was a fun little piece to make me feel creative in a day that offered limited creative time.

The tag was made from Bristol paper, cut in the size dimensions of Tim Holtz tags 3-1/8 x 6-1/4 and hole punched to emulate.  It was painted with Liquitex Acrylics mix of Hookers Green Hue Permanent, Burnt Sienna and Titanium White.  The image came pre-coloured from Free Vintage Digital Stamps.  The rest of the elements are stencils, stamps and markers.  A pale pink ribbon finishes the tag. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grown Up Plans

Monday's Challenge at art aMUSEment was to create a piece around "What did you want to be when you grew up?". 

Well now ... didn't that just set me back on my heels!   I couldn't remember ever wanting to be anything when I was growing up.  And then the worry immediately set in ... why didn't I have dreams of becoming something?  Was life so tenuous at that time that I never gave thought to it because I didn't think I'd live that long?   Well, of course the "duck and cover" drills in the 50's from the atomic bomb threats didn't instill any hopes in our fragile little souls ... but surely it couldn't have been that hopeless, could it?

So I called my sister (who's TWO years old than me *snicker*) ... did she have any memories of what I wanted to be?  No ... not that she could recall.   In fact, she couldn't recall any of us girls ever being asked the question!  Oh - of course!  That was before women were liberated ... way before ... so that explains it!!   We didn't get asked because it was a given -- we would become wives and mommies.   O.o   

Hmmm ... ok ... so when did I actually think of "becoming something else"?  It must have been when I was sophomore or junior year in high school and speaking with the school counselor about college preparatory courses.  Yes, that was it!  I had to have been 15 or 16 then as I started college at 17.   I'd had my first psych courses in 9th grand and I was determined to major in Child Psychology with a double major in Spanish so that I could work with multicultural children.

Grand ambitions I had then.  Ambitions that quickly went by the way side when my first baby arrived ... and I never ever regretted a moments loss for that other ambition ... I was quite happy to be a Mommy!  :-)

So this page is dedicated to the grand-wannabe who never was ... and I thank God for every single one of my three children who've given me five grandchildren so far!

Grown Up Plans
The background is acrylic stamping (remember that large sheet of shapes I made with foamies and showed you in an earlier blog piece? yeah - that stamp!), then layers of my home-made alcohol inks, followed by stenciling with white acrylic to help tone down and blend all the background colours. The children dancing was a B&W image from Free Digital Stamp Images blog which I printed on cardstock and coloured with Spectrum Noir markers. I used a decorative punch on the children's paper corners and then used washii tape at top and bottom. The children's background was done in watercolour pencil as well as watercolours. The vine was done in markers and the buttons are all from Buttons Galore and a bit of added bling with the gems. The yellow butterfly is a store-die-cut embellishment and the smaller one was another free vintage digital image from Free Digital Stamp Images. The tag was vanilla and Spectrum Noir coloured to coordinate and held in place with a pink and white polka-dotted brad.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Keep My Memory Green

I was sorting through some saved clippings of images from Better Homes & Gardens publication of 4-17-12 and found a luminescent moth in green and yellow glowing tones.  I remembered thinking, at the time I clipped it, that it was so pretty and might find a home some day in one of my journals.  Well, last night, I was reminded of our weekly challenge at art aMUSEment ... let green be the inspiration!  Then, as I was browsing that folder, I found my printed quotes on Memory, which is my "themed" word for the year, and there was this quote by Charles Dickens that read "Lord, keep my memory green."   And to top it all off, last evening I had downloaded a free darling moon image from a vintage ad offered through **Free Vintage Digital Stamps**

Serendipity ROCKS !!

Keep My Memory Green
This 8 x 10 Canvas was painted in black acrylic.  The lunar moth (which came from a Lunesta ad in that BHG magazine) and was carefully torn around the edges, decoupaged and painted black at the edges to help the transition.  The moon was clipped to remove the ad portion and decoupaged in place atop a small round paper doily, coloured to emulate moon glow.  Assorted stars, swirls and party confetti were stamped and stenciled in place to create the nightsky.  The quote banner was developed in my graphics program and printed on cardstock, cut and glued in place.

This piece is SO not my usual and really SO fun !!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bursts of a Lady

When I was searching quotes for my post "My Lady's Presence" I discovered a wonderful quote by Shelly Winters that I just knew a page had to be created for it.

And so I did!  :-)

"I had bursts of being a Lady, but it doesn't last long." - Shelly Winters
"Bursts of a Lady"

Bursts of a Lady

Quote by Shelly Winters
Bursts of a Lady
This was created in my smashbook using part of the paper within it for the upper left side above the Victorian Lady image.  Paper from an Anna Griffith's line completed the other half of that page and fully covers the right side.  The star burst on right was created with a Crafters Workshop stencil and Liquitex Modeling Paste, which when dry was then painted with a rose and brown watercolour mixture.   Two sizes of paper doilies were coloured with Spectrum Noir markers to coordinate and the smaller one cut into 4 sections for the right side.   Gold rose buttons were snipped of their button attachment part and glued to each of the 4 doily sections.  The center Cameo was originally white framed and dismantled to colour with Spectrum Noir marker, then attached to a gathering of lace which was also coloured with the Spectrum Noir markers to coordinate.    The Victorian Lady was a free vintage image (chosen specifically for her sassy look), coloured with the Spectrum Noir markers as well.  The label was one from a set in the Susan Winget line of papers and a marker used for the quote.

This is probably one of my favourite pages I've ever made in any of my journals.  LOL

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Lady's Presence ...

The Pout
I continue to practice sketching lady's faces.  Now, sketching is not my strong suit and the human form is a particularly difficult subject matter for a beginner to sketching. 

I've painted one portrait with Genesis Oils, which I named "The Pout".  My painting was based on a photo offered through Paint My Photo - Ning Group.  I adored this little girl's pout and the shared story behind the snapshot, taken by her grandma.   I laboured over every detail -- she was someone's little darling! -- and felt I'd done a passable job of the endeavour for my first portrait ... ever.

But ... back to pencil sketching portraits and so forth.  BAH!  I'm challenged.  :-(   I want little girl and lady faces for my art journals ... and I'm determined I shall learn them!   So I press on.
My Lady's Presence
Initially "My Lady's Presence" was sketched in charcoal and then I applied watercolour pencil.  When I was fully satisfied with the lay in of the colour, I then applied water.

One of the things I struggle with in flesh tones is that I don't have enough of the key colours in the watercolour pencils themselves.  After researching, it appears  that none of the key pencil manufacturers actually have a full sampling of flesh tones in their kits.  One has to piecemeal from the variety of brands to get them.  It appears Derwent had an Academy kit of fleshtones at one time, but my research did not offer a retail store with them.  :-(

What I will attempt next time, is a lay in of the base flesh tone in Prismacolor Premiere and then an application of the watercolour blending tones.  Perhaps that will give me what I need.  :-)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Five Words

"Five Words" ... just list 5 little words ... was the Challenge for April with Mixed Media Mondays with Tracy Weinzapfel.

Oh sure ... "easy peasy" you say!

Yeah ... but there's a catch.  (Isn't there always a catch?  *sigh*)

These 5 words need to describe you ... 5 words that people will think of when they are remembering or thinking of you.

See!  Not quite so simple is it?!?!

I never give thought to what others think of me really.  A little thought, perhaps, but in the long run, I am more concerned with what God thinks of me and how I'm doing down here.   As a Christian, my role is to emulate my Lord.  Well, as a Human, that takes a whole more work than one might imagine.  I won't even begin to list my faults ... there's not enough time nor blog for all of that.  :-/

I told Tracy earlier this month that I just felt I couldn't do it.   But, as a member of the group, I still felt like I needed to do this.  That's what a membership commitment means to me ... I participate.   If I can't participate because of life events ... that's different.  But, when it comes to something like this, I had to find a way to do it in spite of myself. 

And so I did ... and snuck it in still within the month of April.  O.o

The Life in 5 Words
The fan image was a free digital from Art By Jean
The rest was done with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers - a lovely product!