Saturday, February 22, 2014

Altars, Frida and ATCs

A portable Mary Altar brings me hope.

A Frida themed ATC brings me a smile.

Vibrant colors bring me happiness.

ATC swaps keep me going!

Life has been busier than usual lately.  I joined an ATC swap, work is in full swing with loads of art projects and library books galore circulating, and my personal life has taken a change.  But I'm adjusting and surviving and that's good.

I received a portable Mary altar in the mail today from the artist of the Frida themed ATC featuring her pet monkey.  If you look closely at the edges of that particular ATC, you'll notice that it's framed with thorns inspired by Frida's self-portrait "Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird."  The card also features some characters she (Frida) painted.  My altar could not have come at a better time as my life is in somewhat of a transitional period.  A strong bout of asthma sent me to the hospital right before Christmas and the following week I brought my father home with me. Can't go into details about that now but prayers are what have helped me along this new journey.

I find this ATC trade very therapeutic and the cards I've received  range from faces of Frida to "things" related to Frida.  I'll have to show you my Thumbprint Frida in another post along with other ATCs I've received. 

Art and prayers.  For me they go hand in hand and have kept me from falling apart.  And chocolate helps too.  Lots of it.  LOL!  What helps you from falling apart?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Oh no, I need a new calendar!

Realizing that I needed a new calendar because the month January was quickly approaching and I knew there was no way I was about to head out into the public to buy one, I decided that recycling my 2013 calendar was the way to go.  I found a free calendar template and looked around for arty scraps that have been hanging around my desk waiting to be used for that "one day" project.  

I also decided to make my collection of tag girls the main feature of my "new" calendar.  Because my tags usually have a busy painted and distressed background, I knew that I'd have to place them against a calm piece of patterned paper so it wouldn't get lost.  After a few adjustments and additions of more found scraps, I was done.  
The tag girl featured for the month of January is Urban Chic.  She was one one of my last creations from a workshop I held at Stampin' From the Heart.  

If you're someone who's taken my classes and have a collection of tag girls, why not turn them into something functional for the time being.  My plan is to feature a new tag each month.  I just stuck a piece of double stick tape behind the tag onto the patterned paper for easy removal and glued the calendar grid onto the previous page. The hardest part is deciding which tag to feature.  Good thing I have more than 12! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Rescued crayons!  I can't believe they were headed for the school dumpster!  They're so perfect and look at those beautiful colors!

My stomach is getting butterflies as I begin to envision lessons that involve paint.  Lots of it.

You can never have too many paintbrushes.  In fact, I need more.  Way more.  Uh-huh.  Really.

Watercolor bottles, not Kool-Aid.  Need to refill and get ready for next week.  I love color.  Am I lucky or what?
OK, so maybe I'm exaggerating calling this the most wonderful time of the year.  For many it is.  Parents.  LOL! 
You only got a small glimpse of what I've been organizing over the past three weeks. 
Beginning very soon (next week) these supplies will be put to good use.  I have plans and I'm excited to get them started! 
You know how some people go scrounging through trash in neighborhoods, dumpsters, etc?  Well, I do my own version of looking for goods.  I wait till the end of the school year and go up and down the halls looking for treasures that have become junk to others.  Well I'm not the only one who does treasure hunting.  Upon my return from a brief vacation someone gifted me with a container full of crayons (practically all of them brand-spankin' new) that she found on one of her hunts down the hall!!!  Am I lucky or what?!  Crayons.  My first exposure to art.
Until next time, keep an eye out for found treasures.  You never know what you're gonna find. 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Tag Girls Finale

In the beginning there were four.

Six years later it would come to an end.
 Everyone worked their magic creating distressed backgrounds on six blank tags.  Angie left with blue paint on her face and it was good.  Carolee left with blue paint on her bangs and purple paint on the back of her pants and that was good too.  But everyone left with smiles and happy hearts and that was pretty good.  It was a bittersweet day.  It was my last class at Stampin' From the Heart.  The doors are closing at the end of this month. 
Many thanks to everyone who came out to do Friday night Make-it-take-its and occasional workshops.  It was fun and I met so many great people.  But HUGE thanks to Karen, the shop owner.  Because it all started when she gave me a few bottles of paint that had just come into her store and she told me "take them home and play with them."  And I did.  And the rest is history. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wishing for more leisurely weeks of summer vacation.

Less than 2 weeks of summer vacation left.  YIKES!

This summer was full of emotions ranging from happy to very sad.
Loosing a friend is never easy.  This summer I lost two.  Feelings of sadness creep in each day so I try to stay active.  But when it gets quiet, usually at night, I find myself grieving.  alone.  And it's hard.  I have tokens, little treasures and memories that I can cling to.  But I'd rather have them here.  In person.
Don't take anyone or anything for granted.  It's easy to get comfortable and then boom!  Your whole world changes.
The above journal page was created with scraps of paper I had sitting on my desk.  How appropriate that they were just the right pieces for me to use as I was thinking of two people who are going through some major adjustments.  The words next to the flower eyeball (yes, I was feeling very creative last night!) reads "Some times you have to go away to see where you have been."  
Hope you enjoy the final days of summer and that they're happy and full of appreciation for what you have. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

I remember that scent.
As I walked up to the house where I grew up the other night, a strong perfumed scent hit me like a ton of bricks and I was immediately taken back to the past.  It was the smell I'd encounter on walks to the park with my siblings on summer mornings.  It was the scent I would inhale as I would began my early morning walk to catch the bus while I was in high school.  And it was the scent that would greet me when I'd return home from a date with my future husband.  
The mysterious perfume would only be available for my senses during early mornings or late at night.  Until two nights ago I had completely forgotten all about it and then BAM!  Sadly, I don't know what it is or whose house it comes from and I've never smelled it anywhere else.  I only know it's one of the best things I've ever smelled and it reminds me of home.            

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Like it or Not....
I never look forward to this time of the year but like it or not it's something that needs to be done.  Never mind that it gets pulled and stretched and mashed it HAS to be done.  And at the end of the day I am thankful that I have something to get checked out.  Still, I prefer mashed potatoes over mashed boobs. 
I'm beginning to journal one thought at a time.  That thought is what came to mind as I got dressed this morning.    
So there I tried to stand with my feet planted on the floor (they were both trying to get me the heck out the door)and my arms outstretched with my head turned and chin up.  Less than ten minutes and four x-rays later it was all over.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  The whole time I tried to imagine myself eating a bowl of hot mashed potatoes with a dollop of melted butter on top.  It got me through it.
Stay tuned for my next journal thought.  I  Promise it won't be about one of my body parts.