Monday, December 29, 2008

More Dominoes


Sorry, I haven't been keeping up with the blog, but I've been very busy and have a dandy head cold that is keeping me down. And, if truth be told, I am reading a really good novel that is keeping me out of the art room

However, today the postman delivered my domino sized stamps from The Enchanted Gallery and I couldn't wait to try stamping. I will try adding some color tomorrow, but really wish I had some chalks. They could certainly be left black and white (or tan and black in the case of the bamboo tiles), but I think I would enjoy coloring them.

The hubster and I bought a treadmill today and it is being delivered and set up tomorrow. I absolutely cannot wait to start using it. I think I will start at 30 minutes or so at first and work up to an hour. Or maybe I will start out with about 1.5 miles and get up to 5 miles. After some time I would like to try some intervals of walking and jogging. Since the girls moved in with us I haven't been doing my workouts and have gotten sloppy and Rubenesque (fat).

I'm getting anxious to start my watercolor journal on January 1 and a little later in the month my Chinese Brush Work group. I really should also be drawing every day, but I'd better not bite off more than I can chew. My priorities are this: first - treadmill and art every day; clean house when necessary; eat when hungry; sleep when too tired to do art or clean house.

For now, don't forget to live in the moment!

Friday, December 26, 2008


I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a lovely day yesterday and if you didn't get what you wanted, maybe you should examine your behavior over the past year (at least that is what my 5 year old grandgirl tells me).

I thought this would be a good time to introduce you to my grandgirls. They are after all both my artistic muses and my artistic blocks. Muses because they remind me that art is fun and whatever you want to make it. Blocks because many times when I want to get into my art room, I am too busy tending them to have an opportunity to do so.

First up, the artists: the girls got mostly art supplies for gifts and they were thrilled as you can see below. We open gifts from each other on Christmas and have a meal at my house. This time the girls just had to try out some of their arty gifts right after dinner.

I couldn't find one where both girls were interacting with me, so this one of my little ham must be included. I am hoping her other grandmother (Mima) is still occasionally reading my blog now that she has moved hours away. This one really captures her personality.

And of course, you must meet the monkey. I swear this child will climb on anything she encounters. I am caught in that place where I want to protect her BUT I need to let her get a small hurt to learn not to be so adventurous. I must say she keeps me hopping.

We had a lovely, if noisy, holiday and it reminded me how fortunate I am to have my family within 20 minutes or so of my house when many of my friends with grandchildren must travel more than a day to see them.

I am hoping to get some art done today. I started a collage about a month ago that I put aside to work on other things and I think after having moved it a dozen times it is time to play with it for awhile today and see if I can get it to a place where I am happy with it. WHEW - I think that was a run on sentence if ever I did see one!? *-)

For now, don't forget to live in the moment.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Dominoes and Christmas Prep


I tried to get a picture of the lighted houses on top of the entertainment center in the living room. It is quite difficult to get them to show up like they do in person, but I think you will get the idea from this pic. These are actually my daughter's; we really like them and are glad to display them this year. Of course, the hubster is the one doing all the work. I use the word "we" quite loosely.

I haven't had much art time lately, but did prepare a few more dominoes using Golden's iridescent copper fluid acrylics. I really like the effect. The picture doesn't show the wonderful sheen very well, but I think you can get some idea of how they look.

I am waiting to receive some bamboo tiles I ordered as well as some stamps that are the correct size for dominoes. This should give me a lot more leeway. I am planning to stamp them first and then use either colored pencil or watercolor (maybe gouache) to color them in. I'll post when I have some to show.

I think I am going to get some time off for the next two weeks. The girls' father is home for the holidays and is eager to spend time with them. They are all coming out today to bake Christmas cookies. The little girls will love this. I think my dear son (whose birthday was yesterday - Happy Bday, Adam!) will be bringing his 5 year old daughter out for the baking extravaganza as well.

I need to make a trip to town for last minute shopping and to buy some groceries (including flour and sugar for the cookies) before the weather hits. My sister who lives 2 hours west of me had blizzard conditions with a 100 car pileup on I-94 near her. I am hoping it loses some of its fierceness before it gets her.

For now, don't forget to live in the moment!

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Blizzard and A Giveaway

We are snowed in. The hubster took the snowblower out around 8 am and is out with it again. We have almost 10 inches of snow.

Meanwhile, I found a really nice giveaway to tell you about. Angela Cartwright (yes, that one) is giving away the holiday edition of Pasticcio Quartz.You can read about it here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spellbinders Contest

Spellbinders is looking for some people for its 2009 Paper Arts Design Team. To find out all the details and enter, go here. I know I am going to try to get on that team. What fun that would be!

I have recently purchased a Wizard and am having a great deal of fun with it. I have mostly used it for making ATCs, but am looking forward to try using it in my other mixed media art projects and maybe try my hand at some greeting cards.

I have a very busy day ahead. The 1-year-old can now open all the doors and is into everything. I am literally following her around and removing her from anything I don't want her to touch. With her and her bigger sister and her Mom living with us, I have run out of places to put things out of reach. None of the things she is getting into are breakable or dangerous, but I think it is important for her to learn that she has limits. Boy, is she ever a little imp - I love her to pieces - lucky for her or I would probably be a lot tougher on her.

I am counting my blessings even as I throw my hands up in frustration - don't forget to live in the moment!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mid December Snow

We got a few inches of snow last evening and everything looks very pretty. It is quite heavy and wet, so the hubster and the little girls were outside today building a snow fort. The 1 year old didn't last long, so I didn't get anything done except for shooting a few pix.

I started the day by preparing beef stew in the crockpot. That gives the house such a nice smell in the winter. It was delicious and very easy cleanup, too. The baby loved it; the 5 year old had a bowl of cereal instead. She is the pickiest eater I think I've ever been around.

I have had a little time to try a few more dominoes and I am liking them more and more. I have ordered some round magnets because I don't think the flat magnetic sheet will be strong enough to hold them. I also ordered pin backs. I think I will make a variety of magnets and pins. For now I think I will do arty ones for pins and more traditional ones for magnets. I suppose if I am planning to sell them at craft shows I should have some with "kiss the cook" and "world's greatest _______" and perhaps "kitchen closed".

Tomorrow is another long day. DD works from 2 until midnight. The hubster is planning to take me out for breakfast in the morning. That will be nice. My next day off is Monday. I need to get some wrapping paper and get my gifts taken care of. I always put it off until the last minute. I don't usually enjoy wrapping, but I am going to try to look at it as an art assignment and maybe I can have fun this year.

It's late and I suppose I should turn in. See you later; don't forget to live in the moment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shopping and Dominoes

Yesterday was a day off and I made the most of it. A girl friend picked me up at 8:30 AM and we were off. After she had her mamm and blood work, we headed to Bob Evans for breakfast. It was delicious. From there, we headed to Best Buy. I was thrilled to find that I left that store without purchasing anything - I LOVE BEST BUY. From there we went to Toys 'R Us where I found a set of dominoes for $5.99. It was a double six set and included 28 tiles. I also bought a box of Yahtzee scorecards for my Mom.

From there we went to Target. I immediately hit the dollar area and found a really cute pair of mittens for the baby and Christmas socks for the two "big" girls (they are both 5). Next was a stop at Office Depot, where I found a nice set of 12 colorful Sharpie fine point markers for under $10. I have to tell you, it was very cold yesterday with an 8 mph wind that had the wind chill near zero. It was not fun to keep getting in and out of the car, but we had a lot of fun shopping once we got inside.

We drove to the mall and spent some time in a game store. My friend was looking for a Nintendo DS game called Line Rider. We looked at Best Buy and Target and this game store with no luck and then in this game store - still no luck. From there we went to Penney's where I was able to finish up my gift shopping.

We left the mall and went to Sam's. I didn't buy anything fun there, but did pick up some salmon, orange roughy, bar soap, and a bottle of wine for the hubster. By the time we were checked out it was 2 pm and we were thirsty, hungry and cold. We stopped at the Olive Garden for some soup and breadsticks before heading home.

All in all, it was a very successful trip to town.

When I got home, I started playing with the dominoes. I don't know if these few are done yet or if I will cover these and start over, but I am pleased with them at this point. I haven't decided if I will make pendants out of them or maybe attach a magnet to the back of each.

I really wanted to try to draw some faces on them, but haven't tried that yet. Maybe today.

I have to make a trip to the post office to mail some altered CDs for a swap I am in and then the rest of the day I will spend in my art room.

As always, don't forget to live in the moment.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Digital Art

It has been a very long and difficult week, but I am hopeful things are looking up. I have tomorrow off and am being picked up early by a girl friend and we are going out to breakfast and then doing some late Christmas shopping. I would also like to stop in at some second hand stores and maybe Big Lots.

I came into my art room late this evening and started playing around with Photoshop. I haven't been into digital art much lately and it felt good to play. I really like how this playing turned out. I think I am going to have to mix some digital into my mixed media art. I'd forgotten how powerful and surprising and fun Photoshop can be.

It's late and I'd better turn in. I'll post tomorrow after the shopping trip and hope to have more goodies to put up then. For now, don't forget to live in the moment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Back - Been Sick

I don't know if I have shared this weakness of mine, but I am severely lactose intolerant. I have been very careful for much of my adult life. I guess I have gotten complacent, but somehow in the past week I must not have been vigilant enough. I was so sick I could hardly stand up yesterday and am still a bit raw today. But I am surely on the mend. The penalty for ingesting milk products is severe and certain, but luckily nonlethal (although, sometimes in the midst of it I wish for any release).

At any rate, before the onset of symptoms, I spent time in my art room cutting up the many cardboard boxes I have been saving from the landfill. I cut them into 8 x 10, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 2 x 2, and of course 2.5 x 3.5 sizes. It is so wonderful to see the empty space under the table that houses my printer and my huge guillotine style cutter.

I haven't gotten any art done, but I have spent some very precious time with my little ones. I also spent several hours in ER with the hubster on Monday. He had been experiencing some tightness in his chest and has a family history of heart problems. Scary, but all the tests came back fine. He did a follow up visit at his doctor's office the next day and is scheduled for an echocardiogram next week.

The hubster has a three day craft show this weekend and the daughter works. That puts me home with two little girls. P doesn't have school tomorrow so a long 3 days looms. I will try to find time to do some art, but no promises.

Until next time, remember to live in the moment.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's Monday and A Day Off - Sorta

I have the day off, but since the daughter and her two little ones live with us unless either I or they go off somewhere for the day, it is not quite a free day.

The hubster and I went into town this morning. We browsed the dollar store for craft items and little girl stocking stuffers, went to Michael's for more little girl stocking stuffers and some Snow-Tex to finish my altered LP with, and then to Lowe's for a furnace filter, an extension cord for daughter's lighted village that we put up on the entertainment center and some super glue for me so that I can securely attach metal and other heavier objects to ATCs.

We then had lunch at the Ground Round. I had the lunch special - a cup of chicken noodle soup and half a TBLT wrap. It was delicious and left room for the apple pie and coffee that I planned on having when we got home. The hubster had a Asian Chicken Salad with dark greens and assured me that it was delicious. He, too, saved room for the pie and coffee.

Both daughter and baby were sleeping when we got home. The 5 year old was in school. The daughter had lots of running to do before picking up the 5 year old for ballet class, so I helped her get the baby ready and they were out the door.

I think I just need some very light colored letters saying something like "I've got your number".

And this one is done.

I am now trying to decide whether I should take advantage of their absence to play in my art room or pick up the living room and do dishes and sweep the kitchen. Maybe I can actually do all three.

I am trying with all my might to live in the moment, and you should too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kid Crafts

I found the cutest templates for reindeer and sleighs on a blog that has all kinds of wonderful ideas, not just kid crafts. Actually I am not sure these were meant for children to make, but the little one and I had great fun making them. The only thing I need to rethink is the paper I am making them out of. I need something more substantial. These are quite flimsy. I think when I decide on another material for them, we will make more and make them into tree decorations.

Of course, I made the mistake of saying to her, "You will want to color them brown with some black markings." She replied, "Nana, I am the artist and the artist is always right. I am going to color them all different colors and they will be beautiful." She was right, again!

These would make really cute gifts. She is thinking of making one for my Mom (Rena the great) and her Dad (he is working in another state and she misses him terribly).

Meanwhile, I am still not certain how I am going to finish my altered LP. I am thinking I want to come up with a material that looks like snow - either granulated looking or tiny little snow flakes-to tie all the different pictures together. I need to go shopping, but am still babysitting every day this week and I really can't do serious looking and browsing with a 1 year old and 5 year old in tow.

We have Monday off and I am thinking maybe the two of us (the hubster and I) could go into town and do a little shopping and maybe out to lunch.

Meanwhile, I have to get through the weekend. That's it for now; don't forget to live in the moment.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So Much To Do, So Little Time

This time of year is such a mixture of excitement and dread for me. With little girls around, I can't help but get caught up in the excitement, but for some reason there is a heavy feeling in me as well. I don't know for sure from whence this comes - the past, fearing that I will not live up to expectations, upset schedules, trying to fit another large piece into the living room (tree)....I really don't know.

I am trying to focus on the excitement and for that reason I have been looking for and have found some very cool templates to make Christmas ornaments. Actually the tuts are more for decorative elements to be on a table or shelf, but I will adapt them. My grandgirl who is in kindergarten would love to make something that will hang on the tree, so I am planning to spend the next couple of hours getting things ready for an ornament making session for this afternoon when she gets home from school.

Meanwhile, I have begun again on the altered LP I was working on earlier in the week. It is becoming a winter/Christmas themed piece. I don't have any of the pieces glued down yet and I haven't decided how to bring them all together so that they aren't just pieces of paper glued down, but I will perhaps have some time this evening to work on it more. I am very happy with the background and the chosen pix (I am recycling last year's Christmas cards), but need to do some serious thinking about making it gel and look coordinated and not random. I'm not sure I have expressed this very well, but I think I know what I mean. &-)

Better get to work on those templates for later with the 5 year old. That's it for now. Don't forget to live in the moment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

ATCs and 29 Day Giveaway

I was really in the groove yesterday. I'm thinking it may have something to do with rearranging my art space. I have a room dedicated to my art/craft, but somehow it still doesn't seem big enough. I guess it is like the saying goes - the more you have, the more you need.

At any rate, yesterday, I was in a place where things just flowed. I finished the day with a handful of ATCs that I am quite pleased with and I gessoed over the mess I made on the LP and then used a credit card to add some quinacridone magenta sparingly and then put a wash of pthalo green overall. I think it will be either a winter theme or a Christmas theme.

I have a couple of ATCs that I must get in the mail today - one to a friend who already sent me one and one to the winter of the November challenge. I also have some wonderful reading to do. The library called me yesterday to tell me that four of the books that I had reserved were in so I drove over to get them. Imagine my surprise when I found I actually had nine. They have wonderful titles like: New Creative Artist; Collage for the Soul; Altered Books, Collaborative Journals, and Other Adventures in Bookmaking; altered book collage; Collage Unleashed; The Decorated Page; The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain; and poemcrazy.

Many of these books were mentioned as favorites either online on blogs I read or in magazines like Cloth, Paper, Scissors. When I find reference to a book that is highly recommended, I get online and check to see if my local library has it. If they don't, I go to MelCat and can usually find it somewhere else in the state. The Interloan Library program is fantastic. They not only let me borrow a book from faraway libraries, but they have it delivered to the small branch nearby.

I just realized I missed listing a book that was at the bottom of the pile. It is Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces. It is a book about drawing cartoon-like faces. I think maybe it would be fun to share it with the 5 year old and we could do some drawing together. She gets frustrated trying to draw people faces that actually look like the person. I totally understand!

Another exciting giveaway to tell you about. Kristy will be giving away something for the next 29 days. How exciting is that!? Whether or not you are into freebies, go over to her blog and check her out. I'll bet you add her to your list of must-reads.

I will be babysitting every day until next Monday. I will try to get some art in and will surely spend some time devouring these books. I will post about which ones really resonate with me. Maybe it will help you to select books that you want to see.

Until next time, don't forget to live in the moment.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Book Giveaway!


This just in: Susan Tuttle's new book, Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations + Explorations has just been released in bookstores and online. To celebrate, she will be giving away one copy to an eligible person -- the random drawing will be held on Tuesday, December 16th at noon.

To find out how you can have a chance to win this fabulous book, visit Susan's blog, Ilka's Attic.

Don't you just love a giveaway like this.

That's it for now. I am working on some more art and will post my progress tomorrow. For now, don't forget to live in the moment.

Trying Some New Things

This morning I finished a girl I was working on and then made an ATC using some of the products from UAQ*.

I absolutely LOVE the PPA (Perfect Paper Adhesive) and will not be buying anymore gel medium for collage. I also used the Duo with both the Jewelz and the Gildenglitz. I am posting these two cards now even though I am not sure they are done. I think I need to add some color or wash to the words on both. Otherwise I think they look too stark.

I had such a lovely time with Tina yesterday. It is a real treat to spend time with someone who is of the "art" persuasion. Now if I could only spend some in person time with other friends around the world. Unfortunately, Australia is much far to go at this time. Maybe we could meet somewhere in between. Ah, to dream!

I am going to get some cleaning up done today and try my hand at some Christmas themed ATCs. It is very wintery here and snow laden trees get me in the mood.

Until next time, don't forget to live in the moment.


Monday, December 1, 2008

My New Favorite Art Store

Today is the day I'd been waiting for since the art day I had in Olivet in early November. One of the artists I met there planned to come over to my place and trade knowledge. She brought her Spellbinder Wizard and all her accessories to show me and I spent a little time at the computer giving her hints and tips using Photoshop.

We then headed to USArtQuest, which up to now may have been one of the best kept secrets of the Jackson area. I must say, it might have been easy to miss it. The sign out front is not very large and the drive is somewhat obscured by large, beautiful evergreens. What a lovely spot and such a gracious hostess/owner, Susan Pickering Rothamel. I knew as soon as she greeted us that I was at a very special place.

The facility is not only an art supply store, but there is so much more - they make their own paints right on the premises. They have a large, spacious, well-stocked classroom area where classes are offered throughout the year. I can't wait to take a class there. The entire building was decorated with a multitude of different styles of art using their products, as well as items from past classes. It was a wonderful afternoon.

And even better, Susan is having a grand redesign and opening of their retail showroom. There will be refreshments, demonstrations and prizes. All this is happening on Thursday, December 11, from 2 pm - 6 pm. I am so looking forward to it.

USArtQuest is located between Sargent Road and Race Road on Ann Arbor Road, 7800 Ann Arbor Road, to be exact.

While this is not the time of year to be spending on myself, I couldn't help it - I had to try some of her products. I have a feeling I will not be going back to gel medium any time soon. Here is a picture of the items I purchased. I will be spending my free time in the next few days/weeks trying out these products and will report back on what I think. I will also upload pix to show the results. I didn't buy the iPod there. That is just part of the clutter on my work table. *-)

Well, it is almost dinner time and then I am going to start working on some ATCs using these new supplies. I'll post an update tomorrow. Until then, don't forget to live in the moment.

Altered LP

I was really having fun with the altered 33 1/3 vinyl record and took pix along the way. I am really in love with making "people" with mismatched body parts and think I will do more with this. My original intent was to add a little more color to bring the pieces together and then add the words "About Face" arranged in a circle around where the label used to be.

However, I overdid the adding color until even after scrubbing a bit with a paper towel, the figures were too obscured. I then decided to make a face in the middle with the hole for a mouth, but I wasn't happy with that either. I am quite frustrated. I can draw a face well enough that I am willing to share it, but when it comes to painting said face, I can't do it at all right. I really can't wait for Paulette Insall to offer her faces class again in 2009 so that I can find out how to draw the face lightly enough and blend the paint well enough so that it looks natural.

I am having an art friend come over for the day to play with the Wizard and play with Photoshop for awhile. I think we might drive over to USArtQuest in Grass Lake after we play for awhile. I think lunch is also on the agenda.

Until next time, don't forget to live in the moment.