Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Fling

Nursery? Stamp Store?

Stamp? Garden?

New flower? New art technique?

Journal entry? Flower planting?

Lately I find myself getting just as excited over the color of a flower as I do over the color of a bottle of paint or ink. When I go to the nursery section I find myself touching and examining flowers as if they were a sheet of decorative paper or a new stamp! Bringing new art supplies and flowers home is equally fun. There are plans I make for each one....how and when to use the new paint colors; how and when to plant the flowers. Where to place the stamped image; where to plant the flower. Should I try a new technique? Should I try a new flower? At the end of the day it doesn't matter what I choose to do because they both bring me happiness and a colorful life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

ATC Artventures

While I was pouring through my ATC album I noticed several of my own cards which were never swapped out. I either made too many (mysterious man in nest), forgot to attend an ATC meeting and got stuck with several (pumpkin dressed for Halloween), made some with a group (the chess pieces, lady playing cards, floral dimensional types) or just had one left over from trades. If you'd like to trade any of the above with me, drop me a line. Unfortunately, I have to keep my Vintage (V is for Vintage - alphabet ATC collection) which I cannot part with but I wanted to share it with you on my blog. Same goes for the one with people pointing up to the Virgin Mary - part of another collection.

I'll wait a week to hear from anyone who wants to swap 3 for 3 or less. Click on the picture to get a better look. Drop me a line. Let me know. Let's talk. I'm listening. LOL!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nature's Artventurous Woes and Wows

Am I the only one with gardening woes? I've shown you mine, now show me yours! It's true, as written in my journal, that rust and brown look a whole lot better on paper than they do on rose leaves.

Some girls like bad boys, I like delicate flowers that have no business growing in my garden. But I can't help myself. LOL! I love hydrangeas and I've seen mounds of them scattered throughout Los Angeles in people's front gardens BUT, and this may be a big reason, they're usually planted in front of older homes. They must be a different variety from the ones they sell today. Those suckers are out in hot weather and don't look droopy like the one in my journal page below. OK, show me your droopy flowers; I've shown you mine!

Oh but look at this guy. The vibrant blue hues are what drew me to him. I could not resist leaving him behind. This bad boy has proven to survive the miserable heat we had last week. Although the flower heads got droopy, they made a great comeback and even the leaves retained their healthy green color.

Look at what I discovered. Another hydrangea that I thought was a goner! This one gives me pink flowers that fade to green. Really nice. I had to prune it down but it didn't take long before there'd be new growth. If you click on the pic you can see another hydrangea next to it on the ground. That one does just great and it's a Lace Cap Hydrangea. I've had it now for about 15 years and it loves being in the ground. It's starting to grow blooms. I'll show them to you later.

I forgot there was something in this pot and so it was no big deal when I sat a plastic chicken in this pot. WELL, last week I decided to move the chicken and look what she laid!! LOL! I forgot that a few years ago I planted some yellow Calla Lily bulbs in here!!! They did bloom for a couple years and then the chicken sat atop and that was that. OH, I'm so glad I removed her. Now I'll have some yellow lilies! Should I clean out the pot first? Maybe that debris is doing it good.

This has been an interesting week. Hot one day, cold the next. Warm. Then windy. And then there's the garden. Beautiful one week. Strange the next. Am I the only one who has roses with rust? I would have been outside pruning these diseased branches but the wind was so strong yesterday that it toppled my patio table and umbrella onto the block wall. It was kinda funny actually seeing the umbrella hanging across the wall peeking into my neighbor's yard. LOL!!

If there is anyone out there BOLD enough to show me your gardening woes, do it! I've gone blogging and have seen only the BEST. I have to admit, even I only show my best but I'm so bummed about this rust thing that recently appeared on some of my rose bushes that I had to share it with you. Just keepin' it real. What can I say. OH, and am I the only one attracted to flowers that are too delicate for her region? Why do they sell them then?! I guess I should have kept those hydrangeas indoors like the lady at the nursery said to do. But I have cats that get curious and sometimes they like to jump and investigate "new" things. Ugh! In the ground under a shady spot they will go where I insist they do well or else! On the other hand, I went to Home Depot yesterday and bought this beautiful Aloe Vera plant that had a very thin graceful flower blooming out of it, a pot of four individual blooming pink lilies called Lilium Stargazers, and guess what? I could NOT leave this new type of Hydrangea that will bloom the entire summer! It's a pretty powder blue color and the directions say to plant it in the ground. YAY! THERE IS HOPE! We'll have to see how well this one does. I'll keep you posted and
hopefully it will all be good news! So, how does YOUR garden grow?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hot Artventures

I couldn't sit long enough to write in my journal this weekend. Too hot. Like upper 90's to 100 degrees hot. It's purely visual. On this page I was reflecting on my time in the garden. The colors represent the heat and how I managed to pull it off. This background is a spin-off from a similar one I used in a recent Make-It-Take-It workshop. A few participants asked me if I'd consider teaching a class on using these painted backgrounds for their journals. I typically use this technique on large tags but I'm trying them out in my journal to get a feel and so far so good.

This page is my "wonder" page. As in "I wonder when....I wonder why...." etc. Click on the stamped image to see the "wonder woman" a little closer. I did a lot of thinking while I was working in the yard and it helped me to deal with my recent struggle. Fortunately, my struggle is nothing that a trip to the gardening center can't handle! LOL! This is another background that was recently taught in a workshop. It's interesting to use this technique on a larger format rather than on a tag. I can get used to this.

I would have to choose the hottest weekend of the year to do some gardening. Any other weekend I would have gladly declined to work in the yard amending soil, planting new flowers and dividing overgrown lilies. But I was bit by the garden bug and there was nothing I could do about it. My lower buttocks (is there really such a thing or is it just me? LOL!) and upper back thighs are beginning to feel a little better. I managed to bend over an inch more today. And when I went outside to check out the new plantings, they were still standing up straight and not droopy! Mission accomplished.

My current journal spread was kept to a bare minimum. Just art, not words. The heat kept me from sitting in one spot to write or search for words. Did I mention it was 98 yesterday and hit 100 today in Los Angeles? Anyway, the art I created was based on the last two days of being out in the garden. It actually became my escape from the realities of stubborn aging parents. I love them both and only want what's best for them and sometimes they don't get it. I suppose I can thank them that I went a little overboard with my debit card in Home Depot's gardening center this past weekend and for forcing me to get out in the yard and get dirty! So, THANKS MOM! LOL!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mail Artventures!

My friend BT, a gardener from Ireland, sent me these ATCs! I got them in the mail yesterday and all I do is pick them up, stare, touch put them down and repeat. LOL! I love the textures that each one has. She just started making ATCs recently but you wouldn't know it. As you can see, she is not afraid to layer it on! LOVE those textures and images.

Thank you Gina (aka BT). You made my day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Art For George and Nana

A dear friend lost her dad early Easter morning. As I sat down yesterday afternoon to work on a journal page, the colors of the ocean splashed across the pages and next thing you know, saved words came pouring out. This is for George.

Yesterday was also my friend's mom's birthday and she was going to pick some flowers to plant in the patio in honor of her memory. Violet was her favorite color. I found some hands that looked as if they'd been gardening and decided this page would be for "Nana." She loved the color violet. The inspirational words are there for my pal, Jolene. Pick one or as many as you want, girl.

Mr. George and his lovely wife, whose name I only remember right now as "Nana," were taken out of the asphalt jungle by their daughter Jolene and brought to live in Corona del Mar. It was pure joy for them to be near the ocean and breathe the clean fresh air that only it can bring. They enjoyed being around their "girls" and spent their last years in their loving care.
I can't think of a better way to grow old than to spend it in a beautiful environment with family. Jolene, if I can be half the daughter you were to both your parents, I will have done good. God bless you and your family for all you've done. You're good people.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mellow Yellow

The recent sunny days must have had an influence on me. Just look at my mellow yellow journal spread! Found words and images saved from long ago come together and work as if they were made for one another.

Friday, April 10, 2009


It's been an artful day and a well deserved one after the stressful week I had. I truly understand the meaning of TGIF! And to me the meaning is even sweeter because this is the start of a short but sweet vacation! One week of staying up late and sleeping in. What more can a girl ask for. Sweet bliss.

I had great fun tonight and it was good to see my friends and make some new ones at Stampin' From the Heart. Jeri, Ellie, Gail, Kate, Charmaine, Roxy, Sherry, Gina, and Michelle - it was great to see you again. And to my new friends Marilyn, Jocelyn, Margorie and Ms Boss, it was big fun playing with you tonight and I hope to see you all again. Marilyn, I sincerely hope that was your name because my mind is starting to fizz, your journal ROCKS big time! Everyone loved the idea of you painting in it rather than on the tags and a few of you asked me to consider doing a workshop where you can paint spreads in your personal journals and add the altered art doll as well. This sounds very doable and I'll keep you posted as to when we can do this.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a stressful week at work. Lots of deadlines to meet and "others" that it felt wonderful to wake up to a brand new day and have it end with like-minded people. Thanks for the great kick-off to my vacation! I smell big fun ahead and see many magical days ahead!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Something new

As I passed through the garden I had to stop and smell the geraniums! I love the vibrant magenta of this ivy geranium simply named "Linda." It keeps coming back year after year and this is the first bloom of the season. Actually, it blooms off and on throughout the year but this is the first flower of "spring" which makes it special.

This is the title page of my journal. When you think about it, journals don't really have a title page do they? But this one is special because it's "fake" as in a not-for-real journal and it's for that reason that I had to give it a title. Click on it to see what it says. This is a clue as to what's inside the daily pages.

Roz from rozwoundup suggested a thin journal because it's only going to hold a month's worth of writings, sketches, etc. All my journals are fat and so I had to work fast to put a thin one together. I had an empty box from taco shells and chose it for the covers. I exposed the words "mission" because I look at this journey as that - a mission. I think it worked out nicely and the book easily lays flat to write in and for scanning. I'll share some of those pages soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artventurous Happenings

I'm on a mission and it's called "International Fake Journal Month." Yes, there really is such a thing and it began April 1st, no kidding. It's all about taking on a new persona or being the same only in an alternate universe. Those are Roz's words and you can read more on it at http://rozwoundup.typepad.com . Just scroll down until you find the post about the fake journal project. She has another blog specifically for this but I can't remember it but she'll have the link for it.

This is one of the collagey tags we'll be making this Friday night at the Make-it-Take-it. It's all about the acrylic painted backgrounds, collaged stamping and the embellished art girl.

I've been working on some ATCs and they're ready to be sent out. Can you tell I've been having fun? Why is it that putting art supplies back where they belong is not as much fun as when you bring them out?

Here's another collaged tag sample. I love the way those giant tags give you lots of room to play on.

Here's the other side of my "Fake Journal." I've actually written on two pages. I'm a little behind on my entries but I'll try to catch up soon. Did I tell you I'm a "shop owner" with NO budget? Feels great not to have to worry about money.

When it rains it pours which is what happened recently. I haven't been online because I didn't have a computer to get online with. It crashed last week. At first it was difficult. How odd it felt to not sit in that familiar chair and click the "ON" button. As the days went by the guilt started to set in on not keeping my blog current. And then there was the Make-it-Take-it that's coming this Friday. How could I get a visual up on time for that?! Well, I found that there are actually ways to keep occupied while not consumed by a monitor and keyboard. It's called art.