Monday, January 15, 2018

Staying In = Staying Creative

 What crazy weather!!! Last Friday it reached 65 F and despite a full day of rain I still managed to sit under cover and take in that wonderful warm air a bit. And then, Saturday I awoke to heavy gusting winds and a temp of 11 F-WHAT???? And it's been cold since so I'm getting lots of play time in in my art room.

 Trying to stay ahead making simple pages in my calendar journal, like this one:
                                       
 Napkin and printed online freebie sentiment. Sharing my drink with the gang over at T Stands For Tuesday.

 I got a new craft toy over the holidays and I must share it with you because I absolutely LOVE it!!
There's so much talk about the Misti stamping tool and I've seen it demoed but honestly did not want to pay the crazy high price for it. Well, Tim Holtz came out with his stamping platform (much more reasonably priced!) and after researching it online I bought one with a 50% off coupon from Joann.com. For someone like me that does a lot of stamping and card making, sometimes making sets of them, this is such a time saver. And the precision stamping results  are fab-even for those layering stamp sets! Here are a few pics of the platform and how I have used it to  make 25 (so far) card backgrounds for this coming year's Christmas cards:):)

           My note card on the plate. I made tabs from washi tape on the disc magnets for easy removal.

 The card back was masked with post it notes to protect it from getting inked as I was using a large stamp.

         Stamp is in place and inked -ready to close the lid and stamp.

 This stamp is called Christmas Sweater Background and from Simon Says Stamp. Love this pattern!


                                                      Voila!

Speaking of Simon Says, this card is for the Simon Wednesday Challenge (patterned paper):


  Made my own background using Altenew halftone stencil. Other products: white notecard, cardstock; Altenew Layered Cupcake stamp and die set; Archival inks- Buttercup, Turquoise, Black; Staz - On ink-Spiced Chai; Marvy Ochre ink; Stickles glitter glue. (Yes, I used the stamping platform to make 6 cupcakes:)

 For the Simon Monday Challenge (Birds of a Feather) and Tag Tuesday (anything goes):


 Products: Stamps- Wall Art Set (Wow!) from Simon Says Stamp, Bokeh Dots set (Ellen Hutson), Bird Tags set (Invoke arts); various Distress inks; white gesso; red marker; Tim Holtz Chit Chat stickers; manila tag; feather.

 Also did a bit of abstract painting, photoshop play, and a journal page:


      Dots of colors on page then scraped down with an old credit card.


                                                      Hue change in PSE

                       
                                            Hue change and watercolor effect


                                           Hue change and glowing edges effect

 I had pretty much paint left from the scraping down so I put it on another page:

YUK!! So I covered it up:


 I love how the magazine page of buildings blended right into the painted background! Joining  Art Journal Journey (theme is New Year, New Adventures), and Paint Party Friday.

 Wishing you a fabulous, creative week! Looking forward to stopping by to see what you've been up to lately.

" Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks."     Mark Rothko

Monday, January 8, 2018

BRRRRR!

 Well, winter has certainly settled in in our parts. We haven't had a day in the 30's F since Christmas eve-it's been SO much colder than that even - yikes! To top it off we've had record lows with winds taking us in the single digits and well below zero. Fortunately we've gotten very little snow with it (although now we are getting a mix of sleet and snow as I'm typing) . Edit:We got just a coating on the streets and sidewalks-but enough to make things slippery.
 Lots of layers and comfort foods have kept me warm, beginning at breakfast:


Nothing like hot oatmeal with cinnamon and a big mug of coffee! Sharing with Elizabeth and friends for T Stands For Tuesday.

 Staying indoors also allowed me time to purge while putting away all the Christmas decorations, baking and making a big pot of minestrone soup, and of course play time in the art room. Got my small gel plate out to make backgrounds in my 2018 calendar journal (which you can see here) :





 A journal page :


This is a page in my calendar journal. The Bristol paper pages aren't meant for lots of paints and layers so I'm keeping it simple and trying to use up clip art from my large stash. The background is a deli paper gel plate print. Linking to Art Journal Journey hosted by Erika N. with the theme of 'New Year, New Adventures' this month.

 Another page from the same journal:



 An ATC using my word of the year for the Simon Monday Challenge theme of 'Winter Blues' this week:


 Products: white card stock; blue, turquoise metallic paints; Peerless watercolors; Archival ink pads- Maroon, Jet Black; Bokeh Dots stamp set (Ellen Hutson); face stamp (Dina Wakley/Ranger); washi tape (Recollections); Tim Holtz Idea-ology Chit Chat sticker; Moonshine sequins (Simon Says stamp).

 I'm also joining Paint Party Friday later this week. Be well, and I'll be seeing you...thanks so much for taking the time to pop in!

  " Our self expression is meant to be a manifestation of the silence of our hearts." 
                                        Matthew Fox

Monday, January 1, 2018

A New Year and New Beginnings


  Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you and your families enjoyed the holidays. Ours was mostly quiet and peaceful. We also pretty much stayed in as it has been brutally COLD the last week or so (in the single digits-brrrr). So I've had plenty of time to get creative and reflect. But first, I want to share this very special fabric art that arrived from Elizabeth of Altered Book Lover:

                                                                 front

                                                              back

                                                           detail

 I know I didn't do justice with my mediocre photography but this is utterly charming!! How thoughtful and kind to use that special French themed fabric. And oh how I love all the stitching and loose threads along with the darling paw print on the back(thank you Squiggles and Bleubeard:)! Thank you, thank you dear Elizabeth; I totally love it!! And speaking of, I have this to share with T Stands For Tuesday- hosted by Elizabeth:



 These are from our last trip to Cape May, NJ. I have shared food plates before from Oyster Bay Restaurant as we just LOVE the food and atmosphere here! We usually sit at the bar. I tried something new (top) - a vegetarian Mediterranean Flatbread with a balsamic vinegar reduction. It was sublime (and so big I took half back to our room for lunch the next day)! Hubby had his usual crabcake sandwich along with a side of waffle fries. For those of you who have asked how he can eat so much, along with all those luscious and rich desserts-well- he's a runner, a cyclist, he lifts weights, and he boxes!

 On to the art. I'll list the blogs I'm linking to at the end since several of my projects will work for the challenges.

 First up:


 My word of the year on a journal page. The art in the center is from a We Moon calendar from a few years back. I added the quote. I had been watching and listening to the Women Unleashed online sessions the last two weeks and this word came up to me repeatedly. What I manifested was to TRUST that the universe works FOR you; not against you.

         Did you choose a word, or for that matter did a word choose YOU?

 I created this page around the New Year full moon - the wolf moon - along with one of the lessons from the Radiant Faces online class (I still haven't finished them all after signing up a few years ago):


It's supposed to be a self portrait of reflection and the opportunities the full moon brings. Acrylics, stabilo pencil, uni ball gold and white pens, pearl medium (for the moon).

I decided kind of last minute to do a new calendar journal for 2018 and chose a different format:


The cover so far. It's a Strathmore 5" x 8" mixed media journal I covered with a handmade specialty paper I had gotten from Dick Blick some years ago.

 The inside cover and intro page:


 Patterned papers are from Stampington. The silhouette on the left was a leftover scrap piece I pulled from my stash. The words on the left of the image say "the life you always wanted" How about that!

 The first week's spread:


 The whole year will be done in this manner-weekly entries on the left and a bit of art on the right. I added the words digitally and printed my journal page to fit. I'm thinking of doing mostly collage, stamping and ink for the art pages and keeping them fairly simple.

 Still with me?  Thank you! One last project:


Texture Detail:

 Products: embossing paste; Tim Holtz Honeycomb stencil; Dylusions ink sprays- Bubblegum Pink, Calypso Teal, Lemon Zest; Tim Holtz wildflowers dies and Small Talk Occasions stickers; Versafine Onyx Black ink.

 Joining these places this week: Art Journal Journey (theme of New Year, new adventures hosted by Erika this month); the Simon Wednesday Challenge (Anything Goes); the Simon Monday Challenge ( Something New); Moo Mania and More ( Welcome); Tag Tuesday ( New beginnings); and Paint Party Friday!

 " For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning."     T S Eliot

Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Festivities and Art


  Hello lovelies! By now most of the holidays being celebrated have already begun or will soon be here. I am finally caught up myself and did make some time to make some Christmas projects. But first I want to share my favorite little Christmas tree in our home. It's the tree completely decorated with handmade ornaments from various swaps I participated in over the years, along with some gifted pieces and some of my own ornaments too. It brings me so much joy year after year to think about each person who made them.





 For my peeps at T Stands For Tuesday hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth I have  a few pics from our trip to Cape May earlier this month:



 While in Cape May we have breakfast at the  Ocean View restaurant at least twice and it's always so much food that Bill ends up finishing some of mine. The extra toast goes to feeding the seagulls;) And often we then skip lunch and just go out for dinner. Food, coffee and service are always excellent! We must try lunch or dinner sometime.

 I spotted Bill's brother from another while walking about one night:


 We have always called him the Grinch because he does NOT Christmas shop at all, he does NOT do any decorating (and complains every year he brings the boxes down from the attic), and has nothing to do with the cards either. But he's a genuinely good guy so we deal with it, and he is good in so many other ways. And as a bonus, if I buy my own gifts I get exactly what I want:):)

I painted two pages in my watercolor journal since I hadn't done anything with watercolors in awhile:



 Sorry about the odd angle on the second one. I was trying to capture the shimmer from the Wink of Stella glitter pen on the ornaments.
 Products: Peerless watercolors, Twinkling H2Os, Pitt pen XS Black, Deco Color red marker, Wink of Stella brush in Clear, Versafine Onyx Black ink, clear stamps- Waltzingmouse Stamps).
 Joining Moo Mania and More (Christmas).


 I made a bunch of these lace angel ornaments to add to some gift packages. Joining the Simon Monday Challenge (party!)

 My last calendar spread for this year is complete:



 acrylic painting. The page was prepped with black gesso to start. I am also joining Art Journal Journey once more with the theme of "Let's Celebrate" hosted by Sheila, and Paint Party Friday.

And some final thoughts for you:

                                              sunset in Cape May

 As the sun sets on the year 2017, may the new horizon and journey take you to your hearts desires in the coming New Year! I appreciate all of you for sharing your art, your lives , and the time for leaving your comments, and especially to those hosting the challenges.

                                              Merry be your Christmas,
                                              peaceful be your home,
                                              joyful be your family,
                                              blessed be each one.
               

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lots To Catch Up On


 How is everyone doing? I have so much catching up to do. First I was MIA because Bill and I went to Cape May for 5 days to celebrate the Victorian Christmas festivities as we did last year. We had mostly sunny and fairly mild (50's F) days. The coolest day was our day on the beach by the lighthouse -the air was crisp and there was a cold breeze. However, that did not stop me from doing this:


 Let me tell you -that water was CCCOLD but I always dip my toes in no matter what the temperature. I didn't last very long though:)

 A few pics about town:



First up- for the gang over at T Stands For Tuesday- after settling into our room we went for a late lunch at Delaney's Irish Pub-a place we always visit at least once each trip. As you can see Bill was praying I get the dessert photo taken quickly :):)



Just two of the many beautifully decorated homes we passed by each night. These were on the way to the caroling and tree lighting ceremony.

                           It was getting very crowded as we neared the park.

The lighted tree. Just spectacular to see in person! Not easy to get a pic as throngs of couples and families were getting pics taken in front of it.

 Sadly when we got home it was only just in time for our great Aunt Betty's funeral. She passed away in the hospital. I had seen her just before we left and had that feeling it would be the last. As difficult as it is, she did live a long (just shy of 91) mostly good life and she will forever be remembered in our hearts.

 Also while away, I did get some wonderful happy mail. I had won another $50 GC- this time to Altenew, and the pkg. arrived! I just haven't had the chance to use anything yet, but once the holiday frenzy settles... I also received my order from the Simon Says Shop - a few dies and things to make Christmas cards. I may only get a few of these done but will keep them in mind for next year:)

 For the Simon Wednesday Challenge  ("gift it"), Try It On Tuesday ("twinkle, twinkle"),  the Simon Monday Challenge ( "Christmas/Winter Holidays") and the new challenge at Tag Tuesday (Christmas Memories) I made this tag:


 As hard as I tried I just couldn't capture the glitter on the snowflake, words or poinsettia. It looks so pretty in person.

 I also have the first part of December's calendar page and art completed:


A close up of the cardinal:


and then I digitally added a sentiment to my page-just for Art Journal Journey hosted by the talented Sheila this month with the theme of "Let's Celebrate!" :


 I am also joining Paint Party Friday later this week. It will be a pleasure catching up and making lots of visits- I sure have missed everyone!

 "Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving; make every day a holiday and celebrate just living."         Amanda Bradley