Monday, December 29, 2008

Last Journal Challenge of 2008!!!!!

Attention my little band of faithful journalers! Here is the very last challenge of the year.  I hope we can convince a few more readers to join in the fun! You don't have to do every challenge or be able to get it done in a week. Feel free to drop in and do any of the challenges that appeal to you!
Last week's theme was I BELIEVE... and I posted my page here.  Does anyone else want to share?
This week I propose a SELF-PORTRAIT journal page.  I went with this idea because I got a very cool book for Christmas titled, Mixed-Media Self-Portraits Inspiration and Techniques by Cate Coulacos Prato.  I spent Christmas Day doing some of the exercises.  You can approach this theme any way you want to.  Make a realistic self-portrait, a stylized self-portrait, an "inner you" self-portrait, alter a photo by drawing or painting on it, do a digitally enhanced self-portrait.  Many people have trouble using themselves as a subject because we are so conditioned to be hyper-critical of our faces, bodies, etc.  Therefore, I challenge you to jump in and fearlessly make a journal page that somehow represents YOU as you are right now, or as you see yourself, or make yourself over into your artistic vision of yourself!

Snapshots of Christmas

Here's a peek into my house  all decorated for the holiday season.  I thought I'd share before I have to pack it all away again!  The first photo is my new snowfamily I got the day AFTER Christmas because it was such a good deal and they were so quirky and cute!

Here's a close-up of my tree, I was trying to go for a subtle Dr. Suess theme. But, no one else in my family "got" my theme idea, even though they all said they liked the tree.  Maybe I need a striped Cat in The Hat Topper next year.  
I love how my altered ice-skates look hanging at the end of the bannister!  I forgot to rotate this photo, so you'll have to tip your head, sorry!

I promised I would post a pic of my packing tape sculpture all lit up for the holidays! It WAS a conversation piece, but I think many family members and friends thought I was very strange to wrap myself in tape, cut it off and tape it all back together.  Oh well, everybody has to have a hobby, right? 
Here is my little kitchen island and you can see my Santas up on top of the cabinets.

And, finally a larger shot of the tree.  I really like it and it still reminds ME of Dr. Suess!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Goody-Goody Who gets the goodie packages????

Thank you so much for sharing your treasured holiday memories with me! My son, Weston, drew the names for me and the winners are...
Diane,  Joanne Huffman, Megan, and Elena !!!!  I will be sending the amazing ATC goodie packages to all of you. I am wishing everyone a very joyous holiday filled with love, laughter, and  some good old-fashioned drama thrown in for fun!  My wonderful friend Peggy gave me a blog award and I will post it tomorrow.  I am hosting Christmas Eve for my family and am having a party Saturday night.  I will be sure to take pictures and blog about the exciting days ahead!  Have yourself a merry little Christmas and let your heart be light!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I Believe...

Here are my journal pages about my childhood Christmas traditions.
It was so fun to go through my old photos and chronicle the holiday images that stand out as special.  I love the matching robes my mom made us and the photo of 6 year old me sitting on the floor surrounded by
recently ripped off wrapping paper!
No matter how we were struggling financially, my mom always worked hard to make Christmas magical for us!  As I read through the comments people have shared about their family traditions and childhood memories I was struck by how often it is the little things we remember and cherish the most.  The sights, the smells, the tastes that mean Christmas to us.  I think it's wonderful that so many families are continuing these special traditions with their children and grandchildren.  If any true blue diehard journalers will actually get to a new journal page this week I have a new topic.  In honor of the holiday season I think the topic WHAT I BELIEVE... is appropriate.  
These pages can reflect any kind of beliefs that are important to you.
A reading workbook page I was doing with my students today had the title, I Believe in Art.  I stopped and told my students that I DID believe in art and we were lucky that we can still do art and music in our school.  So I am sure my pages will have something to do with what I believe about educating children and how art enriches us as people and as a society.  Remember to leave a comment to have a chance to win one of 4 great ATC goodie packages. I will draw Tuesday Dec. 23 at 8:00 P.M. California time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Visions of Sugarplums...

Do baby Santa suits EVER go out of style? These photos of my younger sister and I just crack me up! I am 18 months old and I look a little dazed by the whole Christmas experience!
I do remember the silver tinsel that my grandma and my mom loved to hang on the tree.  When we were a little older we liked to walk around on the carpet shocking each other.
I guess we were just electrified by the Christmas spirit!

I hope we have some more comments about favorite childhood holiday memories. I will draw the names for the ATC goodie packages Tuesday evening December 23rd.  I have really enjoyed reading about the different traditions and special memories that made  lasting impressions.  My family always enjoyed singing Christmas carols together.  I learned many Christmas songs in school and sang in holiday concerts.  I have my students perform a gingerbread themed show every December and I teach them several holiday songs.  They absolutely love it and want to practice all the time.   Unfortunately many classrooms are not allowed to sing with children at all! So we need to take the time to teach our children and grandchildren the songs we love or they will not be passed on.  I  even force my teenage son to listen to the radio station that plays Christmas songs all month long whenever he's in the car with me! Hahahaha( Can you hear my evil little laugh?) Well I think that preserving a treasured tradition is well worth a little 14 year-old eye-rolling don't you? 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Altered Ice Skates

Here is my latest holiday project.
My friend Barb, from Wisconsin,
found these way cool vintage ice-skates and sent them to me. They are from the 50's and have a plaid flannel lining and the fake fur trim.  I wanted to art them up and hang them from the end of my bannister for Christmas. When I googled vintage ice-skaters I found these wonderful photos of Ann Boykin Thomas on Flickr. I e-mailed her son and asked if I could use them for this project. He graciously said yes and added that his mom would have loved the idea!  She was a skater in New York in the early 1950's.

These ended up more streamlined than I had originally planned.  After adhering the photo, I added the ribbon laces, the white pop-poms, red rick-rack and the big bell. I wanted a retro feel but I didn't want to overpower the images.  I feel very proud that I finished this project and am able to include them in my decorating this year! Thanks Barb, Bill, and of course, I thank Ann for being such a beautiful ice-skater and inspiring me. I'd love to hear what you think!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Princess of Procrastination ..

I could have done my goddess page with that title, it's up for grabs if anyone else fits that particular bill.  When I scanned my journal pages for the previous post, the spread was done in a vertical format and the middle got cropped out. So, here is the middle that ties the two pages together ( in my mind at least).
It's my hands holding scissors and a paintbrush. The bottom page is a skirt filled with all the distractions I have to bounce between trying to balance my must-dos with my want-tos.  The lines vibrating out from my hands are all the ideas fighting to be brought to fruition.  My hands are always happier when they are cutting, folding, gluing, stitching, drawing, painting, or just plain doodling!   

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Count Your Blessings page 2

Here is the second page of my journal on last week's theme.  The bottom photo of my "art posse" got cut off because my journal is a little larger than my scanner bed. I posted this photo in an earlier post- if you want to see it  you can click on the words- lost photo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Better Late than Never !!! This week's Theme...

I started back to work today after a month off and I am pooped!  I knew I would have to post the weekly journal theme late so I've been thinking and thinking about this one.  Since we've had some serious, thoughtful themes and since this is a month a lot of us do and do and DO for others I think it's time we INDULGE ourselves!!!!  I challenge all of my fellow journalers and yes, even those of you who have not taken the plunge yet!  This week embrace your inner DIVA,  your GODDESS, your supreme, royal, fabulous, uniquely YOU!!! Design a page or two to honor the part of yourself that reigns over whatever it is YOU reign over! I want to see you as a DIVA, Goddess, queen or princesse and what IS it that you are the BEST at, what do you RULE ? Celebrate what makes you ROCK !!!  Of course, me, being the one who always thinks in pictures, I will SHOW you my inner DIVA and I want to SEE yours. But some of us prefer to TELL and DESCRIBE and we can READ about it. Come on people, I want to see crowns, capes, castles, shields, wands, and whatever power symbols you come up with to illustrate your vision of your awesomeness!!! 
I am posting photos of last week's theme from my journal. Even when I'm counting my blessings I have to do it in PICTURES!!!  Have fun and please share what you create!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, Monday, da da, it's a new theme!

I hope you're hearing the Mamas and Papas song right now because that's what I was thinking when I wrote the title! OK my little band of faithful journalers, I know that
Peggy and Ophelia have posted their words to live by on their blogs. Thanks for sharing! 
This week we are all going to be busy getting ready for Thanksgiving and family visits. Let's try to carve out some time ( holiday pun!) to work in our journals.  In the midst of being bombarded with bad news and uncertainty we can all take a little time to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS!
Write or draw or collage the things that you love in your life! What is your cup overflowing with?
What do your family and friends bring to your life? What keeps you going during tough times?
What everyday experiences fill you with joy when you stop and pay attention?
I hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend and enjoy the people you are celebrating with.
I am looking forward to sharing our collective gratitude lists and compelling journal pages. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Words To Live By...share your pages!

Here are the pages I did for Monday's challenge.  I hope we have more people share their pages and words this week. Peggy finished her page right away and posted it on her blog!  BTW the words on the Buddah say "create art" not EATS art!
Click on the pages to see the details. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day of Words

I just learned from Diane's blog that Nov. 19th has been declared a day of words and bloggers are challenged to post a poem today.  So, in honor of my recent 24th anniversary I  will post a love poem.
                                       Love's Philosophy
The fountains mingle with the river
     and the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of heaven mix  for ever
    With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
    All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle,
      Why not I with thine?-
See the mountains kiss high Heaven
     And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
    If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight  clasps the earth
      And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
    If thou kiss not me?
                    Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Monday and the New Journal Theme is...

Happy Monday!  Did you do a page on the Season of Change page? Peggy, Cathie, and RoseMary have posted their pages on their blogs! Go check it out and please share yours as well!  This week I thought it would be fun to think about  WORDS TO LIVE BY.  What words inspire you? It could be a favorite quote, poem, book, or the lyrics of a song.  Journal about the words that mean something to you.  I'll be thinking about which words I will journal. I love using quotes and I often  use song lyrics to express themes in altered books round robins.  But, when I think about words I live by I hear my mother's voice and my teacher's voices.  Simple lessons we heard over and over as children do seem to be the ones that I still value as  an adult.    I can't wait to learn what words you live by!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Journal Theme...Here We Go!!!

Greeting fellow journalers! The very first weekly theme is SEASONS OF CHANGE, feel free to take this theme in any direction you wish.  You could journal about the season of the year and what it means to you, or the season of your life you find yourself in now, or you could explore the idea of change.  It will be interesting to see how many different interpretations we have when we share.  I  will start a blogroll for this challenge so we an click on each other's blogs when you leave a comment and want to share your journal pages.  I look forward to learning more about what my artistic posse has on their minds.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Art Journal Challenge!

Here are 2 sizes of wirebound journals and I like to art up the covers!  

1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to GET READY!

I'm so excited to officially announce our weekly visual art journal challenge. I hope we will have lots of people join us for inspiration and sharing! We are starting with a cozy group of 6 and hope you will want to jump in anytime!  Here is the master plan.
1. Get a journal with sturdy pages that you will love to work in.
     I like the wirebound ones that lay flat and can handle 3-D embellishments.
2.  Check here every Monday for the week's theme.
3.  Interpret the theme any way you feel inspired to- the sky's the limit!
4.  Share with the group by posting a comment and linking to your blog  to share a photo.  If you don't have a blog you can e-mail me a scan and I'll post it here.
5. You can share anytime after the theme is announced, but we'll try to shoot for Sunday as sharing day.
6.  Give each other friendly, supportive feedback !
7.  Check in every Monday for the new theme to jump start your muse!

Run out and get a journal and we'll post  the first theme  Monday.  If you have never done art journaling  before, here is a great tutorial from Teesha Moore.  She has fantastic ideas to get over the intimidation of the blank pages.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let's start a weekly Art Journal Challenge...

I  was inspired by Ophelia's blog to start a weekly art journal challenge and share it on my blog.
If anyone wants to join in I would love you to share comments and photos of your journal pages.
My goal is to challenge myself to explore more meaningful topics in my visual journal.  Our art journals should be a safe place to try new techniques and express feelings and ideas. The results are not to be viewed as finished art pieces but as works in progress and visual pathways of our journey through life.  I tend to stick with the same themes, colors, and have totally stayed away from  any dark or negative topics.  I want to be able to express the spectrum of emotions and 
a fuller range of thoughts and ideas.  Because I am uncomfortable doing this verbally, I don't want to continue to ignore or push away the less positive issues I deal with.  If I work on a visual expression of both positive and negative aspects of daily life I think it will enrich me as an artist and as a person.   I will post the first theme Monday and we can see who is  interested in  joining the challenge.  We can work on our journals during the week and share comments and photos the following Monday.  No stress, just sharing our interpretations on a common theme.  Let me know if you want to join in!

Friday, October 31, 2008


You Have won a pair of Halloween ATCs if your name is  Scary Cheri, or Trisha too, or Eileen the paperqueen !  Please e-mail me your snail mail addresses so I can pop these babies in the mail for you!  Do you think I'll scare all the little kids when I answer the door like this?

Happy Halloween ! It's almost time...

for the ATC give-away drawing. I thought I'd take a trip down Memory Lane and post this pic of a 15 year old me dressed as Paul Stanley of KISS !  Two of my neighbors and my little sister, Melissa, rounded out the group costume!  Can you tell we are in sunny Southern California?  When my kids were little I loved making their costumes every year.  My youngest has only wanted store bought costumes after the mummy that came unwrapped incident! Now he's too old to Trick-or-Treat and he'll hand out candy with mom.  I think I'll find and appropriate tune to add to my playlist now. Happy Halloween everybody, I hope you get your favorite candy tonight!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I got an award !

I got an award from Diane because she just discovered my blog!
I am supposed to pass it on to 4 blogs I visit regularly and 1 new blog I just found.  So, thank you Diane and the Million Dollar Friend Award is passed on to...
Sandee in Connecticut, Barb in Wisconsin, Beth in California and Tinker in California! The new blog I just found is Diana in Canada.
Please check out all of these cool blogs and enjoy the amazing artwork.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spooky Halloween give-away !!!

Leave me a comment on any post from Tuesday - Friday at 5:00 P.M.  Pacific Standard Time
and you could win  one of these pairs of ATCs! I will pick 3 winners!

More Halloween ATCs

Halloween ATCs

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seven Random Things About Me !!!!!

Here are the rules for the tag game
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Post 7 random things about yourself
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post
4. Pass on the tag
Here are the lucky seven I am tagging...
Julie Bergmann
Julie Molina

Ahhh! Seven Random Facts...I've Been Tagged!!!!

My East Coast buddy, Megan, has tagged me to post  7 random facts about myself and then tag 7 other bloggers. Ok, here goes! I will post my facts and then check the blogs of who I intend to tag to make sure they haven't been tagged already!

1.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with BOTH A.D.D. and A.D.H.D.
who knew? hehehehe
2.  I don't mind getting messy with
art stuff, I never wear an apron or gloves.
3. I bite my nails to little nubs !
I had acrylic nails for awhile, but when I had to choose pretty nails or regular art supplies... I'm living with the shame. 4. My maternal grandmother was married 10 times and my mom has been married 5 times. I am still on # 1 and next month it will be 24 years!  6.  I love to dance at concerts and parties !  7.   My favorite band is Simply Red and I'm going to see them in concert in March, I better go practice my moves!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh Baby!

Here is the first page I did in my new
art journal.  The clown images are from Gaby's blog. She has tons of cool free images!  I have a week of teaching, conferences and cleaning my classroom and then...I'm off-track for a month!  I am planning to get a lot of art time in with my friends!

New Art Journal

I  started a new art journal this weekend!  I have a small one going but I needed a bigger page to try out new techniques and just play around with materials.  This is 10 x 10 and I will keep working in both books.  The images on the cover are from Lisa's Altered Arts. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sugar Skull for Julie!!!

I made this
for Julie because she loves 
freaky stuff! I couldn't believe I forgot it when I packed up for the art party!
Well Julie- here it is and I'll be mailing it to you!