Thursday, November 3, 2011

Soaking up more ...

When my kids were in Montessori preschool, the director likened their little minds to sponges soaking up everything possible for them to learn.

Well, I guess I feel that way too about art. So ... I'm taking yet another class to learn, grow, experiment, and just PLAY!

Fellow Brave Girl, Jeanne Oliver, creates gorgeous vintage art.
Just look at all this artsy goodness ...
Online class begins in January but registration is open now.
To join me, go to


Friday, September 16, 2011

Lost in a Blue Friday

Today I'm finding myself in a blue mood - maybe it's the gloomy skies this morning or the busy weekend we have ahead of us, maybe it's stress from the last busy week(s), or that "busy" has become an all too common response to the question, "How are you?" lately. In the midst of this constantly busy life I realized this morning that I feel lonely. How can you feel lonely when you can't even keep up with your full calendar? Somehow, I can. Somehow, today all of our frequent moves and starting over is hitting me full force and, unfortunately for you (IS there any of you?) I've decided to share it on the blog.

This week I've been focusing on some home decorating. It's been an on-off project for the last year as we settled into our most recent home. While I'm hoping - no seriously praying - that this is our last house and last move and last start over, I'm also reluctant to decorate it. Partly this is out of spite - a home is something that is built over a long period of time and can't just be created in a year with new furniture and paint and silly store-bought accessories. I've always wanted our home to tell our story. I've wanted it to be welcoming to guests but more importantly I've wanted our kids to feel a part of it and feel the memories attached to it as they grow. How can I possibly create this when I keep having to start over!!? The home decorator in me is trying really hard to just make it comfy and inviting but the nearly 50 year old woman in me is just so sad that no matter what I put in here it feels too new when I feel old and it won't really tell our story. Our story is too full of beginnings. Just when I think I'm getting to a middle and putting down some roots and creating some real history, we end up starting over with another beginning again. Today I just feel so ungrounded - like I have been yanked up so many times I don't have any roots left to put down. Worst of all, I don't feel like the roots matter anymore. I want them to.

So, as I try to get out of this funk today and focus more on the house projects I'm supposed to be doing (curtains for my girls' rooms, painting my son's room and several other rooms that haven't been touched yet) I can't help feeling like I'm simply going through the motions of creating a home. Why? For myself and my family, you would think, right? I wish that was enough for me. It's not. I want to create warmth and charm and some form of fabricated history so others can see it and share it. I want people in my life. But starting over makes that so complicated. You see, they (whatever potential new friends we might find) are very busy people too. They are busy with their old friends and family that they've never had to leave and start over without. We are too far down on their wait list. What if, by the time we move up on that list, we end up having to start over again? With the fear of that happening - all that time wasted investing in new relationships - I find myself too tired of the waiting, too tired of being disappointed and moved away to invest any more time drawing people in. Focusing on the house for awhile seemed a good distraction. It's not really working.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heading back to the classroom ...

... to teach.

I've lined up several paper art classes to share at our local Hobby Lobby (on Rt. 59 in Aurora). Here is the docket for this fall:

Canvas Autumn Mini Book ($35)
Tue. 10/4   9am-12pm or
Sat. 10/8   1pm-4pm

Handmade Journal ($30)
Tue. 10/11   9am-12pm or
Sat. 10/15   1pm-4pm

Scallop Mini Book ($25)
Tue. 10/18   9am-12pm or
Sat. 10/22   1pm-4pm

Paper Quilt Box ($25)
Tue. 11/1   9am-12pm or
Sat. 11/5   1pm-4pm

The Notebook ($25)
Tue. 11/8   9am-12pm or
Sat. 11/12  1pm-4pm

Altered Frame ($25)
Tue. 11/15   9am-12pm or
Sat. 11/19   1pm-4pm

Hoping to get plenty of folks interested. It's always a pleasure to meet new people in these classes. I'm excited to expand my circle of artsy friends. Contact me at if you'd like to join the fun!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Playing "Catch-up" ...

OK - so school has started and the scramble is on to try and
catch up on all the things I've let go all season.
Yeah, right!

I think instead of getting bogged down for too long with that lengthy list,
I will try to savor at least one thing this summer gave me:

In the midst of my lovely landscaped yard I planted a few tomato plants and an herb garden.
While enjoying fresh tomatoes and a variety of fresh herbs just outside my kitchen door is wonderful itself,

nature left us something even more wonderful.
In said herb garden, a mother rabbit burrowed and treated us to a couple weeks of peeks at her babies.
Although only one of the two survived and all too soon the burrow was deserted, we all enjoyed their presence for the time we were allowed a view.
Through this time, I found myself nostalgic for my younger days.
Perhaps the farm finds the farm girl even here in the suburbs.

For your viewing pleasure:

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Lazy Days of Summer ...

... yeah, right!

I think we've been busier in our household now than during the school year!
I will admit it's at least more fun things for the kids but it's certainly 
more of a juggling challenge for me.
Anyone feel that way, too!?

In an effort to maintain my summer sanity, I am trying to find ways for art to
fit in to our busy days too.

With that goal in mind, the ping-pong table in our basement was temporarily (or at least Greg sincerely hopes it's temporary!) converted into an art table for "She Art" Girl canvas art.
 (see and her She Art Workshop)

My daughters and I have seen 8 girls take shape over the past 3 weeks. They each made one for their room:

Here is Mackenzie's -

and here is Paige's -

I have been working on a girl for my oldest son's lovely girlfriend (Hi Allie!) and 5 girls to donate for a charity auction benefit for the Idaho Health Care Association. Special thanks to Christy Tomlinson for her permission for us all to use her workshop design to create for the auction and special thanks to Jana Darrington for this fabulous idea and opportunity to share our art with others!

Here are my 6 from their simple paper covered canvas beginnings ...

transforming, layer ...

by layer ...

by layer ...

by layer ...

by layer ... to these finished beauties.

How fun it's been creating these!! Each girl is a little piece of me and touches me in different ways as she "becomes" art. It is sort of bittersweet to send them off to the auction but I'm hoping they will each find the girl who fits them perfectly.

So ... lazy summer days?

Maybe not as many as I'd like yet.
But, here's to summer art days at least - tucked in wherever I find a place for them.

Thanks for looking.
Hoping you get to enjoy a few lazy days of summer yourself,

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art on Hand

I was feeling quite pleased with myself awhile back when I had the idea to
make up the foundation of a few of these exploding photo albums to keep on hand for last-minute gifts.

All I'd need to do is decorate the covers to personal the gift and I'd have a handmade gift on short notice.

I made 8 of these to "keep on hand" and within a couple of weeks
promptly used each and every one of them.

So much for keeping stock on hand ...

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

End of another school year - Teacher Gifts

OK - a little chilling away from Blogger and the computer, and, what do you know, photos magically upload like a dream!!

So here is the entry I'd planned for this morning but aborted:

Why, oh why, do I stress myself out making special teacher gifts at the end of the year?
 I always tell myself in March to get a jump on them but I never seem to decide what to do until May and then I'm scrambling. When my girls see how cute the first one is they suddenly decide they simply MUST gift all their teachers, not just the main. I'm such a sucker for this. So, here are the 3 designs of this little correspondence portfolio. I made 2 of each design for the SIX gifts the girls decided to give.
Inside, each held 4 handmade notecards w/ envelopes, 6 sheets of stationary, and postage stamps.
Inspiration for these came from an online class (Mouse, Paper, Scissors Mom) I took from Heidi Swapp and Jessica Sprague. Thanks, ladies, for taking me through the first one. Now I'm hooked.

Thanks for looking.

Giving up for awhile!!!! UGH!

I've spent the past hour trying to upload photos to the blog as an update on the art that's been happening around here. It's been fun, I assure you (the art, NOT the past hour!), but there will be no photographic evidence displayed here until my temper cools and my photos are able to load.

The problem??? Likely, many.

1. I am a technological pre-schooler (OK, probably even that is tooting my own horn since there are plenty of pre-schoolers less intimidated than I on the computer) so if systems change on me unexpectedly I am paralyzed. I can be heard more than once a week declaring how much I detest computers and my lack of skill.

2. I am not a photographer. I do not own or know how to use photoshop and have BARE minimum photo editing skills (i.e. I can crop and do red-eye redux and change pics to black/white but I don't know how to resize my photos to download - which is probably pretty important here, I know).

3. I do not have unlimited hours to spend in front of the computer "training" myself in all these necessary modern skills to make my blog easier to maintain let alone the upgrades I've dreamed of having on it.

4. I am convinced our computer is extremely tempermental. It has a mind of its own - works when it wants to, or not, at whatever speed it feels is appropriate, even though we supposedly have the highest available.

So ... for now ... I'm calling it quits with the blog and admitting defeat. I've wasted enough of my precious little creative time on it. If you'd like to get in touch with me to find out what I've been up to, please feel free to email me at

I'll be in my studio now trying to do a little creative/anger management therapy.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Working on Wonderful

"I don't want to make money. I just want to be wonderful." -- Marilyn Monroe

I read this quote yesterday and it hit home.

For the last several months I've watched fellow Brave Girls blossom into the most incredible entrepreneurs and artists while I'm still trying for formulate the vision for my own future. At times I put way too much pressure on myself to come up with something that will be successful. I'm not much closer to capturing the vision yet but I've been dabbling in many artsy things and having fun with it.

This quote hit home because, no matter what, I just want to be so stinking proud of what I do in all aspects of my life that I feel wonderful about who I am. Money wouldn't hurt, but this ... this would be the ultimate.

I think there was more to Ms. Monroe than met the eye.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"She Art" mixed-media love

I'm in the middle of this wonderful online art course called The She Art Workshop. It's taught by the uber-talented Christy Thomlinson and is SO MUCH FUN! This was my first project.

I made it for my daughter Mackenzie who is always drawing mermaids and who touches everyone around her with her magical smiles. I LOVE this process of creating art layer by layer. Christy, you may have created a mixed-media monster!

Isn't she just the cutest mermaid you've ever seen?

Thanks for peeking.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dabbling ...

I have unofficially declared 2011 my year to dabble in new art techniques and just have fun learning and playing.

So ... a little show and tell of what I've done so far.

Graphite on paper.

Watercolor on paper.

Watercolor Pencil on Bristol board.

Color Pencil on Bristol board.

And in case you're thinking I'm going all high brow, here is a paper crafty piece of pure FUN I did in a Paperbella e-course by Teresa McFayden last month.

Paper Lady's Slipper
More things yet to come.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sharing a little LOVE ...

I finally got off my butt and created AND COMPLETED a project again. Been in a rut lately. Also still been in copy mode. This was a book design I saw on Heidi Swapp's webshow last year before Valentine's Day. I've wanted to make it ever since and decided not to allow another Valentine's Day to go by without doing it. So a month ago, I glimmer misted all the pages. I've been taking the photos since December and sort of putting the book together in my head. Now, here it is.

Thanks for looking.
PS - I'm really not a pink person so this was a step out of my usual color box. I like it though.