November 17, 2011

Turkey Hunt

It's getting close to the Big Day, Thanksgiving, my most favorite holiday of the year!  A day of delicious food, family, and gratitudes galore, steeped in traditions that without might make the day seem less than whole.

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep the little ones entertained with all the cooking and football and napping that is happening around the house.  When my kiddos were small we spent some time making pinecone turkeys.  You know, with the construction paper feathers tucked in between the scale-esque seed wings?

We went on a walk to gather up a few pinecones for the project, and I was surprised at how small some of them were.  Easter egg sized, really.  *Ding!!* And that's when the idea for the annual turkey hunt was born.  We collected even more pinecones and made quite a gaggle of gobblers.  (Technically, a group of turkeys is called a "rafter" but my fondness for alliteration sometimes trumps *ahem* truths.)

As is the case with the springtime egg hunt, the turkey hunt will start off with the birds being hidden by the grownups, but the game usually continues as the kids then take turns hiding them for each other!  Ah, a little respite for the chefs and sports fans as the little ones entertain themselves for a while!

By the end of the long weekend, we would pack the turkeys up till the following year, keeping our rafter in the rafters.  

A fun tradition, indeed!  So, will you be making some turkeys for your own hunt this year?

November 14, 2011

30 Days in Your (Art) Journal

I am two weeks into a 30 day online class from Julie Fei-Fan Balzer about the daily practice of art journaling.  I have been fascinated with this concept for about a year now, and in January started an art journal at the encouragement of Julie's Art Journal Every Day online community.

Art Journal Every Day

The things that make Julie's concept of art journaling so doable are a) there are no mistakes and b) spend just 10 minutes a day.  I started out really strong, enjoying the daily ritual, experimenting with paint and sketches, writing in a bit of the day's happenings.

While I've kept at it, adding to my art journal here and there, I admit that my practice changed as time went on.  I wanted to spend more and more time on each session, time I just didn't have.  So instead of limiting myself to the 10 minutes, I'd just skip day after day, waiting for an opportunity to play around without a time constraint.

A couple months ago I had a mind to change the focus of the journal, and use it as a life book/catch all.  I started adding To-do lists and grocery lists to blank pages, just trying to get back into the habit of cracking it open on a daily basis.   Not. Very. Inspiring.

When Julie announced that she would do an online art journaling class, I thought that would be just the thing I needed--having someone hold my hand and inspire me to get back to the basic premise of "just 10 minutes a day".  Boy, was I right!

Julie's video lessons are always so straight forward, and getting to see her talk through her process with the choices she makes is really helpful.  She really makes you feel that there are no wrong choices, no bad decisions.  And, she is sticking to that 10 minutes!  She sets a timer at the beginning of each lesson, and off we go.  After the video she types up a bullet list of take home points, and she always lists supplies she used and substitution possibilities so that you really tap into your creativity and don't feel like you need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff.  

Here is what I've accomplished in the past couple of weeks:

I am thoroughly enjoying myself!  I can't get over the culminating results of what only 10 minutes a day can become!  If you would like to join in or check it out, click here or on the "30 Days" icon on the right column of this blog.  

Thanks for visiting and letting me share with you!

November 03, 2011

The Eyes of Lost

This past summer we found that the TV series LOST was available for streaming through Netflix and made an almost nightly ritual of watching it as a family.  The kids, 14 year old J-Girl and 12 year old J-Boy, were so into it, and it was really cool to watch a "real" show with them.  My babies are growin' up!

And I am ruined for watching live TV.  I can't deal with all the commercials, so love my DVR and Netflix, and can't fight the indulgence of watching multiple episodes at a time, or at least not having to wait a suspenseful week for the next installment.

Watching this way, there may be some artistic subtleties that would go unnoticed if having to wait seven days for the next episode.  In LOST, you might be surprised how many opening scenes begin with a close up shot of someone's eye.  We would laugh every time!  It became a family inside joke to the point that we were screwing around with the cell phone camera and taking pictures of each others eyes one day.  At that point, I knew a scrapbook page was in order.

When the creative lovelies over at Punky Scraps put together a challenge including of all things, a picture of your eye, I knew I had found my muse!  While only 2 items needed to be included to fulfill the challenge, I think I got all but one on this page.

Here's the list of elements they challenged to be included in the layout:

     Hessian/Mesh (I had to look that one up: hessian=burlap)
     A tag
     Steampunk imagery
     Your own handwriting
     Black mist
     A picture of your eye(s); what do they say/mean to you?
     Lace of any kind

And here is my resulting layout:

Bazzill Cardstock; My Mind's Eye and DCWV papers; StazOn and Distress Inks; Stampin' Up and unknown stamps; found mesh, burlap, and transparent box; Elco 19g wire; Craft Essentials paint; Sharpie, Uniball, and Stampin' Up pens

Ok, so the fun began when I printed out the pictures of our eyes.  J-Girl had just opened a new package of sewing machine needles and I found the plastic packaging under the dining room table and toyed with the idea of doodling a TV set to go over one of the eyes to play up the visual of what the essence of this story is.

I didn't have any black mist, so I diluted some black acrylic paint in a little mister bottle.  The result is kind of gray, and if you have seen the show, perhaps you will recognize my ode to the Smoke Monster.

I was multi-tasking as we combed through thrift stores and costume shops last month.  I was hunting for one of  those  lapel pins with wings that commercial pilots used to give kids when they'd fly for the first time (back when a budding aviator could tour the cockpit!).  No luck, but while surfing the net last week, I came across an awesome alternative idea and instructions for making DIY paperclips over at The Sweetest Occasion.  I had found the perfect way to incorporate metal into my project, get an airplane on it, and give a nod to that fateful flight number:

I will definitely have to work with making more paperclips!  It was very empowering to wrangle that metal into the shape I wanted it to be.  In that respect, I have always admired metal working artists; to take a medium that is seemingly impervious to change and heat it and pound it into submission at the mercy of the artist's imagination--incredible!

Thank you for visiting!