Friday, December 28, 2012

Two Final Challenges This Year

  I knew that once Christmas eve passed I'd again find more time for art. My last two challenges for this year are for the Fall fearless and Fly Challenge #6 and the 2012 366 Calendar Challenge.

  Here are the prompts for the Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge hosted by Jessica Sporn and Carolyn Dube:

Headline Prompt: Divided by God: What does “God” mean to you? How do you access”God” or the divine or the sacred in your life?
Color Prompt:
Metallics - gold, silver, copper, bronze, or all of them!
Quote Prompt:
“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart, is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” The Dalai Lama

  I chose to work with the color prompt and the quote prompt (which I seem to have been doing with each challenge so far-a theme within a theme I guess). Just added some thoughts on the headline prompt too.

  I created these masks/stencils out of cardstock. Usually I use a manila folder but this scrap was convenient.

  Here is my finished page:

  Drops of Payne's Grey Golden fluid acrylic, Metallic Plum Folk Art acrylic, and Stewart Gill Byzantia jewel tone metallic paint were randomly applied on the page and sponged around to cover. I painted a rectangle shape in Lumiere Metallic gold using the temple shape as a mask for the center. The yoga pose was cut from white cardstock, edges sponged with black ink and glued down. I "sloppy" wrote the quote in the figure. The temple was decorated with a red paint marker and a rubber stamp painted with orange acrylic. I then drew stars using both a gold leafing and silver leafing pens. The main star and letters are grungeboard I filled in with silver leafing pen. Glitter glue was added to the star. I finished the page by giving the figure a pink sparkly heart sticker.

  In answer to the headline prompt, what I can say for myself is that I access the divine sacred into my life thru nature, thru worship, thru meditation. I have had the privilege of visiting a local Hindu Temple several times, attended Catholic services, Protestant services, a Greek Orthodox service and have been honored to attend a service presented by the Dalai Lama. In all  of these places I have felt a divine presence. I feel that no matter where you are, if your heart is truly open to it, you will feel it.

  I look forward to next week's challenge where the guest artist will be JoAnne Sharpe. Feel free to join us anytime-and you'll also have the chance to win some great prizes too!

  I have participated in Kate Crane's calendar project since the  beginning of January this year. I really am thrilled to have a whole year of little notes to look back on. It's a project I'm continuing for 2013 too so here is January:

  I added drops of Folk Art acrylics over the pages in Light Blue, Icy White, Purple Lilac and Amish Blue then used a credit card to spread the paint. I added some marks with sequin waste and Mustard Staz-On ink, and two different sized bottle caps with black and red acrylic. I used foam letters (Making Memories) which I finger painted with some red, black and white acrylic paints. The foam numbers (Stamper's Anonymous) were stamped with Jet Black Staz-On ink.

  And now it's ready for the New Year! I used white cardstock for the regular squares along with a snowflake-like die(which is actually a doily) using my Grand Calibur die cutting machine. The bird on branch image at the upper left is from Retro Café Art and the image on the bottom rt. page is from ARTchix Studio.
Those yellow sticky tabs you can see at the top right are pages earmarked for each month this year :) I plan on adding a quote next to the bird but I'm going to wait until something jumps at me.

  Before I go I'll share a pic of the two trees I put up this year (please keep in mind I am not a photographer :), along with a photo of Annie-who was thrilled with her new toy hedghog and apple treats:

This little tree is adorned solely with handmade ornaments I have received these last few years from the friends I have met thru art (sorry, except for the plug which I keep up on the table lest our dog gets into it and brings down the tree). I can't tell you the joy it brings me and what it does for my heart. Even that sweet topper was handmade by my friend Cat Dodt-Ellis with it's beautiful handfelted acorns . Thank you all!

  And this is our main tree. We used to have a floor to ceiling one but now that it's just DH and I we downsized. This year I added mostly gold and red- silk poinsettias, fruit sprigs, cardinals and my gorgeous peacock which I have used as a topper since receiving it as a gift a few years back. I LOVE that peacock! Simple, but pretty nonetheless.
   Annie, patiently waiting for yet another apple treat!

 I'm linking up to Fall fearless and Fly, Paint Party Friday, Art Journal Everyday , The Kathryn Wheel, and Show and Tell Saturday #32 at Artists in Blogland.

 Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. May 2013 be filled with abundance and creativity and whatever else brings you joy. Thank you all for making my first not quite year yet blogging experience the best!! XO

  "Be a good human being, a warm-hearted affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief. Having a sense of caring, a feeling of compassion will bring happiness or peace of mind to oneself and automattically create a positive atmosphere." Dalai Lama

Friday, December 21, 2012

Creative Abundance

   First of all I want to thank you for all the get well wishes for my Mom. She is doing much better although it will be another week or so until the flu symptoms completely disappear.

  I have been struggling to feel good about making art and celebrating the coming holidays since hearing the horrific news of the losses of life at Sandy Hook in Newtown, CT. I want to share some links to four of my beautiful blogging artist friends who have so eloquently expressed the thoughts of many by using their words, their art and /or photos. Thank you to Jenny (Texterial) , Nancy M. James (Sugar lump Studios) , Patty Szymkowicz (Magpie's Nest) , -please scroll down to the post below Patty's link here to read the beautiful poem- and Shahrul (Such Pretty Canvas) -Shahrul has a link to a quick and easy project to make and send to decorate the new building in which the elementary students at Sandy Hook will return to. Thank you all for giving perspective in continuing to move on the best way one  knows how.

   I knew I wanted to look for a new online class to take for the coming new year but what I didn't expect was to find myself beginning one today! My friend Lenna Andrews (who had taken Julie Fei Fan Balzer's Stamp Carving 101 online class with me) had mentioned a class she signed up for on a recent post on her blog . The description was so appealing to me but I didn't think I could squeeze it in at this time. Well, as synchronicity took place quite quickly and things aligned as I believe they were meant to, I found myself signed up!

  I am now taking the class "52 Weeks of Creative Abundance"  being taught by Christi Wich at The Creative Underground. Here is the description Christi gives :

"52 weeks of do-able creative actions and projects that will help you uncover your authentic heart felt desires and passions, and re-connect you to your sacred truth and creative nature as a woman.
Throughout the course we will embrace what it means to be a woman...mind, body, and soul...and will actively set about creating our best and most joyous life. Opportunities for interacting and sharing with other creative women, whom are also participating in this journey, will be offered as well as introductions to a myriad of creative self care practices that are designed to help you tap into your inner wisdom and unique beauty."

 If you wish to sign up you must first join The Creative Underground group but it's only a click or two away.

  To  begin on the Winter Solstice is wonderful, for although it's the shortest daylight day of the year, it also means we will be gaining a bit more daylight each day after today. And that means before you know it, summer will have arrived :):)

  It was suggested to keep a journal for the class so this is the journal I'm using. I had done the cover quite awhile ago and set this moleskine journal aside to be used "some day". The background collaged paper was created by Helga Strauss, owner of  ARTchix Studio. She offered this master sheet on her blog as a free download. I added three small ARTchix Studio square collage sheet images, added ribbon at the top and bottom and titled it-not knowing what was going to go into it.
   This is the background for the title page and a first pre-class exercise, which was to make a list of about twenty things that feed your spirit and warm your heart. I made a heart stencil and meditating figure stencil to use along with soft colored inks.
  And here's my list:
  I am linking up to Art Journal Everyday and  Paint Party Friday.
  For those of you who will be celebrating any of the holidays this season offers I wish you and yours love and light.
    "Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us."  Johannes Eckhart


Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Hustle and Bustle...Full Speed Ahead!

  I do hope that in the midst of the busiest time before the holidays arrives you take some quiet time for yourself. We all need that.

  This post will be short and sweet. I won't be adding many details so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything. Besides still working on getting the main tree up and getting handmade cards together my Mom unexpectedly came down with THE dreaded flu earlier this week. Since  taking her to the dr. I have been helping her out each day, running errands and checking in on her (as she is alone with her dog) to be sure she's taking her meds, resting and getting enough fluids etc. At the end of each evening I take a few min. to meditate in peace and quiet and it is so very helpful.

  On to the festivities! I'll be sharing some ornaments I had made the other week, some cards I did get finished and ornaments I received in a recent swap.

  These are the cards-very simply done:

  I made these to send to relatives and some friends overseas. The yellow is just the paper I used behind the card while scanning. The image is one of my fave Stampington images. The girls' coats and hats are glittery and I added some dots and swirls of Liquid Pearls on the patterned paper.

  This is a series of vintage paper ornaments I made along with cards (which I forgot to take a pic of before mailing) to send to some of the art friends I met online and have  known for at least several years now and  who share a love of vintage images and style:

  Here's a card I made as a sample and have a handful of them partially done-they may get done in time and they may be for next year :)

  I wasn't able to get it to scan right-it's actually on a white notecard. The tree is from Magenta and it was heat embossed with my own mix of powders in greens and sparkle. A peace symbol charm was added at the top and the red strip is washi tape.

  The following are ornaments I made the other week using a freebie collage sheet from Retro Café Art. They offer free collage sheet downloads about once a month. If you so choose you can also use the sheet to enter up to three projetcs (on their Facebook page) for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate or six collage sheets. I think you can still download the vintage Christmas sheet.

  It's too bad you can't see the german glass glitter on the frames which I die cut with my Grand Calibur machine.

  You can probably tell by the one on the left that I printed it and my color cartridge went low. I decided to use it anyway. And the paper frame behind the image was die cut from mirror paper-very pretty and shiny.

  Again, I die cut the frames to make cute little Christmas tags which can double as ornaments.

  I participated in a holiday ornament swap thru ARTchix Studio recently. You can see the six ornaments I made here.

  These are the beautiful ornaments I received back:

  I know the one at the top left came from Sweden! The stiffened doily is all glittery and I have to say-every one of these has some sparkle and glitter and are just so beautiful in person!! They will have a place on one of my two trees along with handmade ornaments I have received over the last several years.
  I'm linking up to Paint Party Friday and Show and Tell Saturday at Artists in Blogland. Stop by these blogs and visit some of the other artists links-pure artistic eye candy!
  Leaving you this week with a quote so apropos at this time:
          "In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." Deepak Choprah

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flowers, Doodles and the Color Red!

   Merry Friday everyone! We had two gorgeous days of 63 F temps ( very unusual in Dec!) so I took advantage and did some xmas shopping. I only have a few things to buy yet but my cards need to get made and the decorating needs to get done. We'll see how far I get :)

  Back in October during the time we lost power I posted about the art I was creating using techniques from Traci Bautista's Doodles Unleashed book. You can see the art and read more about the projects here and here. I have continued to read her book and practice more of the techniques. The following art journal page is the latest one I tried which Traci calls "pipette drawings on tissue collage".

  This is how it began:

  This was a page that had leftover inks and paints wiped on from previous projects. Flower petal and circle shapes were cut from colored tissue papers and glued onto the page. Higgins Black Magic ink was used with the pipette to draw around the flower petals and circles, then I added some doodling. Oil pastels were then used to color in the flowers a bit and for some mark making. Caran D'Ache watersoluble crayons were randomly applied to background areas and spread around with a water brush. 

And this is the "finished" practice page:

  I added some gesso with my fingertip then went over some areas of the flowers, drawing in more doodle lines with the black ink. I did a little bit of spattering with the ink and considered it done.
  Here's a detail pic of the flower:
  I love the depth that is acquired by this technique!
  Also I did another letttering/doodle practice for this week's Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge #5 at Artists in Blogland and hosted by the uber talented Jessica Sporn and Carolyn Dube.

There is a new guest artist for each challenge along with great new prompts and art to inspire you. Oh, and there's always a nice prize pkg with the winner chosen at random just for playing!

  Challenge #5 prompts:

Headline Prompt: Lifelong Fan: What or who have you consistently valued or looked up to in your life? What lessons have you learned from people you admire?
Color Prompt: Your favorite color now or from childhood or both!
Quote Prompt: "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator; but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh." W.H.Auden
  I chose to go with the color prompt and the quote prompt.

  Yes, red has been my very favorite color for as long as I can remember! There are many pics of me in red from the time I was a toddler. I just love the energy of this color. I used  a calligraphy pen and Sharpie poster paint marker. "Laugh" is the last word in the quote above so I started with that. Then I "sloppy" wrote the entire quote over the letters and finished it with some thin, loose doodly lines around the letters. Another fun challenge!
  I'm linking up this week to Art Journal Everyday, Paint Party Friday and Fall Fearless and Fly. I'm currently working on cards and ornaments so my next post may be a festive one :) Have a wonderful weekend!
       " Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal." Source Unknown

Friday, November 30, 2012

On To The Last Month of 2012

  It is just amazing how fast the days, weeks and months go -well, even the years for that matter. I already know that Dec. is going to come and go with the blink of an eye! There are lots of cards to make, gifts to make and buy, cookies to bake, decorating to be done throughout the house and gifts to wrap for Christmas. It can be fun, but a bit hectic and tiring too which is why my favorite time is on Christmas eve when I attend a candlelight church service with my Mom. THAT is what reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas.

  Note: if you do not wish to read what I found out about that mysterious spider as seen in a pic in this post  you can just scroll down further for the art part :)

  Rest easy, I  promise there are no photos of any type of creepy critters. However, thanks to a commenter from Paint Party Friday - Karen Smithey, the spider was identified as an Argiope. According to Wikpedia it is also known in North America as the black and yellow garden spider, corn spider, and writing spider. They are harmless to humans but might bite only in defense. Their venom is not regarded as a serious medical problem for humans.

  Upon reading about the meaning of a spider's appearance in your life (in the book Animal Speak by Ted Andrews) I learned that it's about creativity and the weaving of fate. A spider teaches you to maintain balance and that everything you now do is weaving what you will encounter in the future. The spider awakens creative sensibilities. It can teach you how to use written language with power and creativity so your words weave a web around those who would read them.

  The chapter goes into much more depth and also presents questions you can ask yourself. Fascinating! Well, to me anyway :). So, spiders are a good thing!

  Time for art-yay! I missed last week's Art Journal Everyday and Paint Party Friday - too busy with the Thanksgiving holiday and making cards and necklaces for sale at a Christmas Extravaganza hosted by my friend at her neighborhood community center this Saturday. I may sell a good amount, or I may sell nothing, I just really wanted to do this this year.

  Here are some of the necklaces I've made:

  I had made similar ones over the summer to give to my beach friends. What I like about them (I have two for myself) is that they are a perfect length to just slip over the head and wear as is, or I've also opened the clasp and wrapped mine around twice for a very short necklace. I posted pics of some of the cards I made to take along in my last post but quite frankly I am not happy with the way they show in the pics.
  I managed to get my December calendar spread done for the final entry in Kate Crane's 2012 366 Calendar Challenge on her blog The Kathryn Wheel.
 It's a project I plan on continuing next year in a larger journal.
  This is the base of my calendar spread:
  I dry brushed four different acrylic paints randomly over the pages. I used Americana Primary Red and Yellow Green, Anita's Hot Pink, and Apple Barrel Pumpkin Orange.
  Here it is all ready to be filled in:

  I used the Magenta foam stamp set for the month and weekdays as I have done each month this year. The pages were decorated with stickers, sparkly rub-ons, and a glittery felt tree. Pretty festive don't you think?

  Here's a detail pic showing the sparkle:

  Aren't those tiny snowmen adorable? 

  And here is my Nov. calendar spread completed:

  I decorated what little spaces I had with autumn themed stickers-leaves, acorns and flowers. You can see how the background was created here.

  On one final note- it was a happy mail day for me as I just received a complimentary issue of the soon to be released Somerset Studio Gallery Winter 2013 issue!! I was quite surprised by the fact that I had sent the two published projects in over 2 yrs ago. One is a French inspired tag and the other is a Christmas ornament using a coaster and Christmas napkin. I honestly didn't think they had anything more of what I'd sent so long ago! I haven't had time to really look thru it yet so if anyone stopping by here has anything published in this issue I'd love to know. (Sorry about the lg. pic of this issue on the sidebar. First time I tried doing it myself. I'll get my son to help me adjust the size. Good thing he lives nearby :))

  Linking this post up to Art Journal Everyday, The Kathryn Wheel, and Paint Party Friday. Have a great weekend and I'll try to catch up with you over the next few days.

  "Over the winter glaciers I see the summer glow; and thru the wild- piled snowdrift the warm rosebuds below."  Ralph Waldo Emerson


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Wishes and Some Cardmaking


 To everyone celebrating Thanksgiving Day tommorrow-a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.Be safe in your travels.

 I made a few Thanksgiving cards similar to the one in the photo. I have been diligently whipping up lots of cards in preparation for a friend's community holiday gathering where local people will be selling a variety of products and handmade items. I had been asked to do this last year and didn't but I felt this was the time to give it a go. I've made 50 cards so far but also want to make necklaces. I have up until Dec 1 so I must keep at it if I plan on attending and hopefully selling.

  Here are scans of some of the sets of cards I've done along with matching envies. I just hate when a scan doesn't show them as well as I'd like but you get the idea:

  You can't see that the flowers on the papers are a bit  raised and shiny. There is also a little sparkly sticker that dots the "i". These have a birthday greeting inside.

  This is the somewhat masculine version of the same card. Again, the scan doesn't do justice! These papers are gorgeous and have a metallic finish.

  These are blank inside. The stamp on the envie is an old Magenta stamp and one of my very favorites for adding a simple little something to a blank envie.

  The sympathy cards were made with a layer of floral vellum. There is a sentiment inside.

  And lastly, this a very favorite (and popular) card of mine. It was first published in Stamper's Sampler some years ago. I absolutely LOVE this Hero Arts poppy and the simple elegance and delicateness of it.
  Well, that's it for now. I've got a lot of Thanksgiving day prep work for tomorrow's dinner!
"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Friday, November 16, 2012


   Gotta love a Friday-especially because it's art party time!  I have a new face painting to share along with another version of a continuous writing practice like my "Eye of the Storm" page from last week. First up is my "Smile" girl.

  This is how I began:

  First the page got a coat of gesso and then a base painting of pink and peach acrylic paints. I used an off white acrylic paint to make a somewhat heart shaped face.  For me I have found this to be the best way to begin a face shape! You can see my first face ever along with details on this post. The shape was then outlined in pencil, features were also drawn in. I then mixed gesso with peach acrylic to fill in the face. Golden's Cobalt Teal and gesso were used to deepen and outline the face (sorry, forgot to take a pic but you can see what I mean in the finished page).

  My completed "smile" girl:

  The hair was drawn in with a pencil and then the sections were painted with acrylic paints. I went over the hair lines and facial features with a black permanent marker. The eyes, brows and lips were filled in with markers and colored pencils.  I doodled in the smile necklace ( as I mentioned in my "shine" girl post I plan on doing a series of girls with word necklaces). Lastly I went over the hair sections with coordinating Twinkling H2O's for a shimmer although you can't really see how it sparkles here.  Definitely a different style and approach from my first-at least this time I dared give her two eyes, real brows and a nose :) I'm linking this up to Art Journal Everyday and Paint Party Friday.

  Last week I created a lettering practice page titled "The Eye of the Storm". Thank you all so much for your comments-I guess I didn't think it as powerful as it apparently was. For the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge #4 I chose to create another lettering practice using the color prompt along with the headline prompt and titled it "Within". (Ok, I just HAD to add a touch of red :) )

 These are all three prompts of which you can choose one, two or all three:
Headline Prompt: Security: What makes you feel safe and secure? What rattles your sense of security? Where do you go for comfort and refuge?

Color Prompt:
Cool colors  (blues, greens, violets, etc.)

Quote Prompt: You can't make a place for yourself in the sun if you keep taking refuge under the family tree.  Helen Keller
  This page was begun and completed  just like my "Storm" page. The red heart and lines are glittered.The deets are in this post. I have been participating in Deepak Chopra's 21 Day Meditation Challenge which began on Nov.5th. It is something I look forward to more with each passing day and have found myself going into a "silence" if you will without thinking when I'm in a place I need to remove myself from. This page expresses the centering thoughts of each day for the meditations. So, what makes me feel safe and secure, where do I go for comfort and refuge? I go within. I believe it's all in your heart-you just need to listen to it and go with it. Going outside and being with nature helps too. And just so this doesn't get too laden with serious contemplation I thought I'd share a photo I took when spending some time outdoors in nature yesterday:

  This funky looking spider (a bit bigger than the size of a quarter or so) was hanging on the shed door and tho I was quite fascinated by it(never having seen anything like it before) I had to get my pic and scurry him along lest an encounter with my dog which would not have been good for either of them.Wonder what the appearance of this spider means? I'm going to look at the book I go to quite frequently when an animal/bird/ creature unexpectedly appears in my life. The title is Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews. Excellent reference guide to animals and totems!

  Thanks for stopping by. Now off you go to visit other artists who have linked up. Be inspired and leave a kind word or two.

         "Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof." Khalil Gibran

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weathering The Storm With Art

  In my last post I mentioned riding thru the hurricane and power outtage by catching up on reading and making some art during the daylight hours. One of the things I did was to create two projects for The Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge. My first was zentangle/doodle art which you can see here.

 The second project isn't really a project, really just some practice sketching using the color prompt which is black and white.

  For this flower doodle I used a water soluble marker to sketch on old sketch paper. I then used a waterbrush and went over the lines, also brushing "out" to add shading and soft branches giving it a watercolor effect.
  Here's another example:

  This was sketched on a scrap of 90lb. watercolor paper. The two most important things for this technique to work is to use a water soluble marker in order to get the color to bleed, and to go over it with the waterbrush very lightly or you'll have a smudgy mess and lose all the detail- I know :)

  Now this kind of sketch practice I can handle-no pressure when using just one color. How about trying it in red, or blue? I know I will!

  Of course I had to get into some color next so I opened up my take along journal which I use for waste paint etc. and got to work!

 There was color to start with on the page but I neglected to take a pic until after I added more. I used a credit card to scrape some Golden's Cobalt Teal, Folk Art's Light Green and Violet Pansy acrylic paints over top. Then I made circles over that with my fingers and some white gesso and then some Golden's Paynes Grey Fluid Acrylic. Sorry, again no pic but you'll see it in the next pic.

  This is my completed "Eye of The Storm" page:

  I used a variety of markers and pens and wrote words around and around about Hurricane Sandy and its effects on the NE coast and how I was feeling. The idea for this continuous writing practice came from an exercise in Traci Bautista's book Doodles Unleashed. I know I've said it before but I love this book-it is LOADED with so many techniques and practices!! (in  this post I shared my very first "girlie glam" face painting using techniques from the book.) I finished my storm page with one last word layer using a white correction pen.

  Here's a detail pic of layers and lettering:

  What a great exercise-that felt so good! Give it a try- let it out on paper-do it with abandon- and you'll see what I mean. And if you do I'd love see what you come up with and your thoughts about the process. I'm linking up to the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge, the Art Journal Everyday challenge , the Paint Party Friday challenge and Show and Tell Saturday #28 at Artists in Blogland.
   On a final note: the election is over and whether or not the candidate for president  you voted for here in the US was elected, the most important thing to remember is that we are all in this together and in order for things to improve and change it takes cooperation and support.
  Thanks to everyone for your emails, thoughts and prayers regarding the storm and please continue to pray and help those who continue to suffer from the huge losses and devastation.
      "Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference." Anon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Catching Up After Hurricane Sandy

  Although I had a nice week long respite from TV, internet and sometimes even phones when the hurricane hit our area it's nice to be able to reconnect. Our area of town was without power from last Mon. thru Sat. eve. Two cell phone towers were down along with many,many trees and poles so at times one wasn't able to connect at all-that was a bit worrysome when there are elderly family members alone and in the same situation.
  The worst of it for us was being so very cold but we were also very fortunate in so many ways. We had plenty of food, a small grill to use and running water.With hubby's diligence between  nite work and then several times a day going between our home and our next door neighbors with extension cords for their generator hook up we were able to keep the fridge/freezers going for both our homes and could at least use the microwave, toaster and coffee maker while we ran the generator.

 So, here I am with some art to share. When my hands weren't too cold and I could function without gloves I spent much time in the art room trying out some new things in my journals and making cards to sell. I was lucky to have plenty of light during the day despite the lack of sunshine :)

 I'll begin with my calendar spreads. I've been participating in Kate Crane's 2012 366 Calendar Challenge  since January. Here is my October spread completed:

  You cand read about how the pages began in this post.

  And here is the Nov. calendar base:

  The pages were sprayed with Sunny Yellow spray ink then oversprayed with Terra Cotta and Olive Green (all Inkadinkado) using a scrap of lace and round plastic canvas as stencils. I stamped the dots using Dylusions Basic Backgrounds stamp and red acrylic paint. More mark making was done with a bottle cap and Goldens Fluid Acrylic  paint in Permanent Violet Dark. A sponge dauber was used with a light green acrylic paint for the larger dots.

  Nov. has begun:

 Card stock squares were glued on the pages. I've been using the same foam stamp set by Magenta for the month and days of the week for each calendar spread this year. A leaf punch (recently sent to me by my friend Lenna Andrews-thank you!!) was used with patterned paper for the days. Oh, that little blue tab at the top right has a spread earmarked for December :).

  I'm also participating in the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge .You can click on the badge near the bottom right side bar to check it out. Jane Davies is the guest artist for challenge #3. She shared some of her fabulous black and white paintings.It is Jane who first inspired me to play with black and white by painting practice pieces using only black acrylic paint and water.  I decided to take another step recently by doing a monochromatic watercolor landscape painting (for the last FF&F challenge) which you can see in this post.

  Here are the prompts for challenge #3:

Headline Prompt: Triumphs and Defeats: What do you see as your greatest triumphs or defeats? What have they taught you? Which have you learned more from?
Color Prompt:
Black and white
Quote Prompt:
Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  I've chosen to take the black and white yet another step further by trying my hand at creating my first zentangle. The page began by drawing a frame and banner with words(chosen from the prompt quote) in pencil. I read about this starting process from an article in Cloth Paper Scissors Nov/Dec 2009 issue. It was demonstrated and written by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. The letters and banner were then outlined with a PIGMA MICRON 03 pen and filled in with a PIGMA GRAPHIC 1 pen.

  I then drew in lines to make sections and doodled and zentangled away! I sloppy wrote the quote in one of the sections. Here it is completed:

  Although I missed last week's Art Journal Everyday and Paint Party Friday Ican't wait to visit some of the link ups which are so inspiring. As a matter of fact, because of one of the previous blog links I visited(so sorry I don't remember who it was now) I learned of Deepak Chopra's 21 day Meditation Challenge and signed up. I also learned more about it on Super Soul Sunday (which I LOVE!) on OWN (Oprah Winfrey's channel) when she talked with Deepak.The challenge begins today. My goal is to accomplish a meditation each day and then continue to practice it. Although I do take time to be in a quiet space I need to understand the correct way of breathing and proper techniques. I could have used it when weathering the storm.

  I hope and pray you are well and safe wherever you may be, and for those of you that suffered in the hurricane's path I pray for your recovery.

  " I've found that worry and irritation vanish into thin air the moment I open my mind to the many blessings I possess."  Dale Carnegie

Addendum: I'm linking this up to a new (to me) challenge "Show Me What You Got" hosted by Mary Walker. Thank you for letting me know abou this Mary!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Holiday Ornament Swap

   I don't know about you but over the years I have participated in TONS of various swaps-the majority being vintage inspired ATCs thru ARTchix Studio. It's been quite awhile since I've done a swap there and so when I recently discovered a day late Helga was hosting a holiday ornament swap my heart sank a bit. But then I got the word I could still participate-YAY!!! Swapping ornaments is one of my fave swaps because those I receive continue to add so much joy and beauty to my Christmas trees. Sometimes I put them all on one tree and sometimes I sprinkle them around.

  Since these are due to be mailed by Nov. 1st I had to come up with something quickly and get to work. This swap is either a 2/2, 4/4 or 6/6. Of course I went for the six! These were finished yesterday tho unfortunately too late to get to the P.O. With the huge hurricane Sandy looming over the NE coast I may not get out for a few days but we'll just have to wait and see. The predicted winds may have many of us without power.Ugh.

  I had 2 pkgs. of the Eco Shapes medium houses so that's where I started. ARTchix supplies used: Eco Shapes Houses s104-2, scalloped lace German borders g876, collage sheets: Tell Me a Christmas Story m338, Send Me An Angel m277, Merry Christmas m102. The tinsels are also ARTchix but unfortunately that product was discontinued. The silver baroque dresden is from Collage Stuff and btw, Lisa is having a big sale on Dylusion stamps along with many stencils/templates while supplies last! Patterned papers were glued to the houses and the edges were sponged with Distress inks in Fired Brick and Faded Jeans. Mrs. Grossmans snowflake stickers were added to the blue ones along with some glitter glue, and pointsettia stickers by Nicole were added to the red houses. I finished them all with little glittered felt tree stickers from Hobby Lobby. I cannot wait to see what I get in return!

  For any of you living along the predicted storm corridor I hope it doesn't get as bad as predicted. Stay safe, be sure every device is charged up, stock up on the chocolate, have flashlights and candles ready and check on your loved ones -especially the elderly.

                         " Chocolate won't solve anything but it's a fine place to start."