November 26, 2013

He Eats Like a Bird

This is my son, Jeremy.

He eats like a bird.

I submitted this layout in one of the challenges during Cocoa Daisy's Fall Crop earlier this month, and
I won!!
 Happy Happy Joy Joy!!

Somehow the kid keeps growing.  He's 14 years old and over 6 feet tall!

The challenge was to use various types of stitching, including some specialty embroidery stitches.
 These bird footprints were inspired by a stitch called the "Y".  

He tells me, "I'm just not a food type of person."

I added these stamps on the back of my journaling card with one of the funny quotes Jeremy has been
known to say in response to our wonderment of his lack of culinary inclinations.

I'm waiting…perhaps impatiently….

Seriously.  I cannot wait.  I'm a bit on pins and needles about it.

I wonder if he will leave the nest with his little birdie appetite.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself for my paper and embellishment choices. :)
Birds, feathers, the background paper echoing the footprints, a stamped nest and a clock for my waiting and wondering, the ruler as he grows, and the train schedule that mimics meal times.  High five!

This is my son, Jeremy.

And also, he hates this layout.  Just thought I'd better mention that.  :(
Luckily, I can still take him in an arm-wrestling match.
I tell you though, don't challenge him to a battle of wits.

He'll annihilate you.

Scatter some seeds on the ground and RUN!


Have a great day!

November 11, 2013

Bunny Canvas

Our little bun-bun, Edward. *sigh*  We've been missing him, as he passed away earlier this year.  He was the best rabbit.  We loved having him hopping free about the house, and snuggling in like a pup when we'd eat dinner at the coffee table or settle in to watch TV.
I know you are resting in peace, little guy, except when you are happily bouncing from cloud to cloud
 or having your ears and face cuddled and petted by your loving angels.

I made this canvas for Remember When a few months ago, using some papers from Fancy Pants and inspired by this post on Pinterest.  

Various papers from the collection were cut into 1/4 inch strips, randomly chosen, and trimmed to size

Heidi Swapp Color Shine painted on the edges.  I think I use that stuff on almost every project!

Pierced holes and embroidered around the edge of the silhouette
sharpens the shape and adds a finishing touch

This was a super fun project, and a great way to use up scraps!  Thanks for stopping by and having a look!  Have a "hoppy" day! ;)

November 04, 2013

Monochromatic Poetry

I have this funky CD, Death By Chocolate that I bought on a whim at some point because of the band name and the cool album art.  Turns out it is a bit of a family favorite.  It's kind of 60's-psychedelic-lava-lamp with British spoken word and school yard chants and school book recitations(?).  But it's, well, smarter than that.  Very hard to explain.

The One Little Word this month is "Color" and I immediately thought of some of the short tracks on this CD which are titled with a color's name and then a monologue of objects and feelings about the color are listed.  It's quite poetic.

I thought I would do my own version, using the same colors from the album but with my own associations.  Knowing there would be a lot of handwritten words on the page, I opted to collage my title from letters cut from a magazine.  I think it also speaks to the seeming randomness of the poems themselves:  a bunch of unrelated words that together create cohesiveness due to the single color they conjure; the letters, all of various color, font, and size yet they come together to form words.


large envelopes
high school jackets
Pee Chee folders
#2 pencils
baby food and jaundice
rain boots
banana slugs
curried chicken
school buses and taxi cabs
flowering weeds
pollen, saffron, sulphur
Burning nostrils
caution tape
Bump Ahead


cotton candy
swimming pools
worn denim
Mom's eyes
bubble gum ice cream
cartoon elephants
tropical seas
chlorine and clean laundry
robins' eggs, candied and real
Restful napping in a hammock

For a couple  of the colors, I couldn't think of enough items to fill the space I'd painted, so I just repeated my words to fill up the area.


popsicles and Happiness
orange peel smiles
pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns
monarch butterflies
campfires and construction vests
Fall leaves and Halloween
San Francisco Giants


wallpaper and carpet
my teenage telephone
grass stains
damp forests
eucalyptus scented lotion
army men
split pea soup
spinach and herbs
concert smoke
Pop-pop's face after a roller coaster ride

I painted this face on a piece of deli paper placed over a magazine ad, loosely tracing the model's face with black paint.  Once collaged onto my background of blocks of color, perhaps you see that the idea was inspired by the CD's cover art.  


fire trucks
scraped knees
stop signs and stop lights
spaghetti sauce
red cheeks
Kool Aid moustaches
Santa's suit and Rudolph's nose
Chapstick and cough drops

Thank you for stopping by and checking out this creation!  Head over to OLW to see all the fabulous and COLOR inspired pieces by the designers and readers alike!  I'll be linking up to Friday's Art Journal Every Day feature on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog, too!

September 23, 2013

OLW #75: DO

Word Up at OLW this month is "Do".  And, to go with the theme, I decided to participate by just DOing the first thing that came to mind.

The Force was with me.  I thought of Yoda and his famous wisdom:

I stuck him into my art journal, and then scattered a few glow-in-the-dark stars across the page with the intention of misting over them, but I got a little scared of the reactivity with previous layers of color and water-reactive media that were already on the page.  This was a "Do Not" appropriate crossroad.

I love how the layers built up and that alphabet stamp. :)    

Instead, I pounced some acrylic paints atop the stars with a baby wipe, then used a white pen to better define their shapes.  

So, while this is sage advice from the great Jedi Master, as far as quotes go it can't rival my favorite from Bart Simpson:

"I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try…"

How's that for commitment? 
I'm off to make a Might Do list for today.  Lol!
And you?  For one, I'd head over to One Little Word and check out the awesome inspiration put forth and then join in on the fun!

Wishing you a wonderful and PRODUCTIVE Monday! 

September 12, 2013

No Worries

Today I'd like to share a couple projects I made inspired by another canvas-making technique from Alma Stoller's Mixed Media class.

I made these little shadow boxes from the lid of an ink pad, and added a soda can tab to the back for hanging.

I have a bunch of Worry Dolls in my stash left over from this project.  I was thinking about how far Jeremy has come in the past few years and how I don't worry about him or his future the way I did when he was younger.  So, what do worry dolls do if they are not given worries?  They chill out and relax!

The swing is made from a cardboard coffee cup cozy.
They look a little frightened, don't they?  Lol!  

This one I made for a friend's baby shower this past weekend.  I stitched up a "Mother's Work" heart pillow, too, to give her a place to hand over any worries--big or small--that come with being a mom.

I think I will make a little series of these scenes--worry dolls on vacation or something. :)  I am obsessing over putting a couple into a little canoe!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you a worry-free day!

September 06, 2013

Queen Bee

I'm taking an online mixed media class by Alma Stoller, and having so much fun!  I think it is just what I needed to get the ol' noggin jump started with some fresh ideas.

Alma's voice is soothing, the music that leads into each video lesson is lovely, and the techniques and materials she teaches with are resourceful, often recycled, and innovative.  She really speaks to my true heart.

She presents many ideas for making "canvases", surfaces to art on, and the first one I needed to try was making a stitched surface from magazine pages.

I gessoed over the page to prime the surface, then used a brayer to apply some green and yellow paint.  I had this song, "Honeybee" by Steam Powered Giraffe stuck in my head for a few days, and stumped over what to do next, decided to scribe the lyrics onto the background.   This lead to me looking for an image of a bee on the internet to collage on top.  I added some spray ink and gesso'd stenciling; meanwhile, those Googled links had me thinking about the plight of the honeybee and it's impact on the ecosystem.  "God Save the Queen," I thought, (queen, as in queen bee).

I stamped with StazOn ink on some scraps of canvas and stitched them to the piece.  The crown was freehand cut from a cardboard coffee sleeve and spritzed with Heidi Swapp's gold lame Color Shine (I love that stuff!)

I love the way this turned out!  It is the first thing I've made in a long time that I've felt a strong love for and had to find a place to hang up in the house. :) 

I'm looking forward to exploring more techniques in Alma's class!  

Thanks for having a look!

August 22, 2013


I laughed out loud when I checked out the August "Word Up" at One Little Word and saw that Karla had posted a video of the classic scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where Veruca Salt demands a golden goose:  "I want it NOW!!!"  Yes, a classic for sure, and oft quoted in a fit of jest with, perhaps, a pinch of sincerity in an effort to loose the internal pressure of impatience.


I closed my eyes and focused on the word.  Thoughts of wanting for myself quickly rippled out to encompass more and more people, things, my family, the nation, the world.   Ideas discarded one after another as being too small for such a powerful word.  Kind of like being careful not to waste one of the Genie's three granted wishes.

I collaged bits of a paper towel I had been using to blot and wipe ink and paint from another project.
 I love the texture, and enhanced the red radiating lines left from a stencil with red paint.

And then, my thoughts drawn back in again. To me.  What do I want?  What could make me a more powerful center that sends ripples into the world?  Well, something has been invading my peace, my ease of being, my ability - even my desire - to interact with the world.  My hips.  My hips don't lie.  

I'm actually embarrassed and feel quite vulnerable admitting it here. :(  Yes, my hips, especially the left one are in constant, CONSTANT pain.  I think it's because I am physically crooked.  My hair stylists have always had to deal with my off-horizontal shoulder line.  Since Junior High I always thought I had a knack for picking out pants in which the right leg was an inch or so shorter than the left.  I can only sling a purse on my left shoulder; it just slides off the right.  

Sitting at a desk job seems to exacerbate the condition, and stretching, yoga, walking, and ibuprofen don't seem to be making a lick of difference.  I feel like such an old lady.  I try to mask the pain in public, but when I get home my family gets to hear me whine and wince and groan.  It's debilitating.  I'm so over it.

So here's what I WANT:

"I want my pain to go away.  I want my strength and flexibility restored.  I want a solid plan of action.  I want to know my intentions are rightly focused on the path to health.  I want to dance and run and leap.  I want my life back.  I want to feel like myself.  I want to know that there is "getting to the other side" of this, because I want out."

Sometimes I feel like world peace would be easier…

Thanks for listening.

August 18, 2013

A Tale From 6 Year Old Me

I found a book at Goodwill the other day.  Actually, it's more like it found me.  It wasn't shelved; it was "randomly" sitting out on a piece of furniture as I walked by.  ("Randomly" in quotes because I don't believe The Universe deals in randomness.)

"Living Artfully" by Sandra Magsamen at

Naturally, the title drew me in, but when I sat down to read the preface, to see if it was indeed a book meant for me, I was surprised that the story there was one I had read on a blog (I apologize for not being able to find which) just a day or two before.  And if that wasn't a big enough sign that I was to buy and read this book, the half-price-tag-color of the day was yellow, and so was the $3.99 sticker on the spine. :)

So, I'm reading it, and I'm liking it, and on page 56 in Chapter 2 "Imagine the Possibilities: Rediscovering Your Creative Power" there is a quote by Pablo Casals:

Which brings me to this post's title, A Tale From 6 Year Old Me.

This is not an "uncovered" memory, but rather one that I've always remembered.  I think because I felt so misunderstood by my 1st Grade teacher, whom I liked a lot and trusted.  Do you remember this sort of paper?  Newsprint with a blank area for drawing and a few lines below on which to write a sentence or two?

Available at

Well, on one particular homework assignment, I wrote like this:

as opposed to this:

Note the letters of each are the same height, and differ only in width.

Why did I do it?  Did I have a longer story to tell and needed to make sure I could fit it all in the confines of the paper?  Was I experimenting with developing my own unique font?  Or was I merely bored and messing around?

What I remember is Mrs. Crosby pulling my mom aside when she picked me up from school and asking her what table I did this work on (huh????) and telling her not to allow me to do my work there anymore.  My guess is that she assumed a grainy wood table was to blame for corralling my pencil into such a penmanship atrocity.  (Um, it was a laminate table if I remember correctly…)  

The memory inspired me to write dear Mrs. Crosby a letter:

Mom, I know you were just as perplexed by Mrs. C's demand.  And you have always told me that I am a marvel.  Thank you for that.  I love you!

August 02, 2013

Mad Haiku Skills

One of my favorite things in life (besides my aforementioned devotion to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups) is word play.

Oh my gosh!  Rhyming, alliteration, puns, double entendre, clever slang, speaking in accents, mispronunciations, spoonerisms, etc.:   I LOVE IT!!

So, when we had dinner with friends a few weeks ago I was highly entertained:

My hidden journaling.  
That "Like" stamp is from Urban Outfitters.  It comes in a set of two,
 the second being a "Dislike" stamp.  I had to have it!

I emailed Mrs. H., or K-dog as she is sometimes known, to get a recent picture of her men-folk to memorialize the Haiku Hijinx--I was still laughing about it 2 weeks after the event, surely a sign that a scrapbook page was in order!

5-7-5 is the number of syllables in the three lines of a haiku poem.
Most of the products here are from Cocoa Daisy's May Kit, "Record Label".
Also loving Ronda Palazzari's Kaleidoscope stencil--the yellow painty areas. 

Here's a closer look at the haiku I wrote to capture that moment in time:

Todd sent me a text earlier this week from a number I didn't recognize, asking for my email address.  I asked who it was requesting this personal information from me.  His response?

 Yep!  All in haiku!!!!!
He's an unstoppable force!!!
And I so love it!!

(See what I did there?
That is also in haiku
Friggin' addicting!)

Comments accepted 
in haiku or otherwise. ;)
Have a great weekend!

(Booya!  I did it again!)

July 27, 2013


Revlie put forth the word FIERCE for this month's inspiration at One Little Word.  I quickly slapped the word onto a piece of scrap paper and posted it in my art-ing space.  What does "fierce" mean to me? 

My first conjuring while contemplating this powerful word was Tyra Banks and her modeling mojo. But, I already blogged about that, so I continued my meditation.

Tigers.  Tigers are FIERCE.  

I pulled some newspaper out of the recycle bin to see if I was capable of painting such a majestic beast, roaring with fierceness.

The section of paper I grabbed caught me off guard, and my mind-picture of "fierce" was wadded up and reborn with powerful metaphor and a comparative feeling of smallness.

The Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting crew in Prescott, AZ, who lost their lives on June 30, 2013 battling the Yarnell Hill fire

I decided that I would continue with my idea to paint a tiger on the newspaper.  These 19 men epitomize fierceness.  

In an article at Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo described the Hotshot crew:  "These are the guys that will go out there with 40, 50 pounds of equipment and walk five miles. They'll sleep out there as they try to develop fire lines" to protect homes.  Roy Hall, an incident commander with the state forestry commission said, "They are the elite of the ground firefighters.  They're highly trained and highly specialized.  They are a younger generation.  That's the tragedy of it, that lives would be lost of such a young group," 

I added the names of the nineteen to the flames.  I am humbled by the courageous choices so many men and women of the world make, that they are able to sign on for danger, go through extreme training and preparedness to step up to protect others; not just acting on impulse when a situation arises, but planning aforehand to be the one to call.

Thank you, with fierce appreciation and gratitude.

July 15, 2013

Whispered Wish

Hello!  I wanted to share this little 8x8 inch piece I made for my local scrapbook store, Remember When using Prima's Fairy Rhymes line.   I didn't think I'd be able to make something with these papers that "are so not me," but I did, and I love it! 

I started by brainstorming my thoughts on fairies, and "Fairy Rhymes" dictated there be some poetry.

A little poem I wrote about dandelions.
Did you think of the floating seeds as fairies when you were young?
Do you still?

One of the challenges I find with papers and bits with people, fairies, cherubs, etc. is finding a photo that won't compete for attention.  The eye is naturally drawn to faces.  I decided a photo without a face was a good solution, and the little fairy peeking from behind it would help draw attention across from the main fairy to the photo.

I love how this Prima Distressing Tool can be used to age a freshly printed photo.

It's ok to whisper your wishes, even though I know some superstitions say your wish won't come true if you say it out loud.   I've always taught my kids that if you keep your wish inside, then you are also keeping it from some human helpers who could assist in making that dream come true.  

A bit of fussy-cutting to make a recessed frame in the design.

So, do you have any wishes you'd like to whisper in my ear, or shout to the world?  :)  The fairies are also listening!