Friday, July 31, 2009

Now I Know My ABCs....

There are a lot of plastic sleeves in this album. Enough for 2 more rounds of ABC ATCs!

These are the most recent ATCs I've received from the group. Arent' they fun?! Has anyone ever eaten Kohlrabi? Teri posted a recipe on the ABC blog. It may look a little scary, but she says it's great! time won't you play with me! I'm in a group of very talented ATC-er's and we've been exchanging cards on a regular basis - weekly to be exact! So when one member asked how do we store ours, I thought I'd share it on my blog.

I found this album years ago while I was out thrift store shopping. I used to look for cheesy novels because you just never know when you'll need a silly phrase or word to add onto your art! Next time you're in a thrift store, check out the book section. Then look for one of "those" novels. I'm telling you, the cheesier, the better! LOL!! Anyway, I like that this album has small plastic individual sleeves in a 4" x 5" size. There's also a decorative slip of paper that sits into each sleeve. I centered my ATCs on this slip of paper and I wrote the title and name of the person who made it on the plastic sleeve. A Sharpie marker worked great for this. And to think, this album sat around collecting dust for several years. Who knew it would serve a purpose down the road.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Woes

I know this looks like I'm in a dryer, but this is how I envisioned myself in the MRI machine. LOL! The first thing I asked the technician was "Will I fit in there?" As it turns out, yes I did fit in there. LOL! Two rosary recitals later, it was over.

Click on picture to read words more clearly.

Being older definitely makes me not give a hoot what I look like if I'm not feeling 100%. Just get me home!

Thanks to everyone who sent me positive vibes and well wishes on my MRI. I'll know the results next Monday. I apparently have a tear on my rotator cuff but we need to know how large it is and when to repair it. Sigh. There goes the end of my summer. A summer bummer, as I'll call it, began yesterday with my MRI and I decided to journal about it "raw style" since I didn't feel like searching for words, pics, etc. This tells it all. Just click on the pics to read about my experience. Have you ever had a summer bummer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts

I had a little time to sit and enjoy some coffee before heading out for my MRI this morning. The sun was out and I was in no mood for laying in a noisy tube. Sitting outside helped take this unwanted but much needed procedure off my mind. Thoughts of summers past crept into my mind. I could almost hear Raymond and Gina splashing in the little cheapie pool with the liner that would get patched several times before getting thrown away by summer's end. I saw myself pushing Gina on the swing watching her go higher and higher asking her if she could see her auntie's house a few miles away. LOL! I could hear the basketball bouncing on the patio before someone would take a shot in the hoop. I could see Raymond chasing Gina shooting her with the super soaker. I looked at the corner and thought about the picnic we had in the back yard one summer cause there wasn't enough gas in the car to drive to the park. Then I heard my husband call out that it was time to go and I was brought back to the present. Summers. Kids. Here today, gone tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Adventurous Monday

Now I've seen everything!

Tam has created little meandering paths that take you on little stops throughout her garden. I love the bright orange flowers on this vine.

Here's another spot if you like basking in the sun. I was in the shade in the patio area when I got this shot. There are patches of Alyssum popping out between pavers on the ground.

If you touch the center on this flower your finger will go right through it cause it's a hole! I suppose there's lots of nectar stored in there for the birds and bees.

Isn't she cute? She's just as nice as can be too. Tam did washes of paint on all visible walls facing her yard - concrete ground included! The Lavender she's surrounded by has the best scent. So calming.

What an inviting bench. Tam has many plants in pots scattered throughout her yard. Notice the "Mother-in-law Tongues" in the background. She did give their proper name but I don't remember it. My tongue, btw, does not resemble this and I'm sure my daughter-in-law can vouch for that. LOL!!

Will you look at this cactus tangle! It's a wonderful mix and I'm sorry I didn't capture the whole thing. Look at the size of that trunk!

When I saw this door my jaw dropped. I love the color. Here it appears a turquoise color but in person it's more like a pthalo green. This is Rocco's front door btw and I hear that the inside is very artsy. That may be a future field trip and Tam will undoubtedly be our tour guide. LOL!

I got together with a friend to discuss a future art project we're collaborating on. We spent time pouring over details and brainstorming while having lunch outdoors. The weather was beautiful, the food was great and we have a plan which I'll share at a later time.

Did I mention we ran into a strange sign on the way to the diner? Just when you think you've seen it all. Unbelievable. Earthquake Zone, maybe. Tsunami Zone? Are you serious!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


As if I was working! Wait, I have been working. Samples for the workshop are near completion. If I would just let them be! There's always that last minute detail that I want to add. I made the decision to STOP yesterday night but I still have to add a couple more touches to my Asian mini journal before turning it in today. LOL!

Yesterday while I was on the phone talking to Nina from Stampin' From the Heart, she told me that she was glancing at the latest issue of RUBBERSTAMPMADNESS (the original stamping magazine) and she was on page 60 something looking at this picture of a woman that looked like me. Well, after reading the caption we knew it WAS me! Last April I took a break from cleaning my art room and stood (yes, I stood while taking a break!) going through the spring issue. Then I read this - take a picture of yourself reading this magazine and send it to.....! "Quick, get a shot of me reading this," I called out to anyone within earshot! A pic was taken, I sent it out and that was that. Until yesterday afternoon when I found out it was actually published! Thanks for letting me know, Nina! I'll be picking up that issue today. LOL!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'll be teaching a Mini Tag Journal workshop in mid August in the Los Angeles area. There will be three themes to choose from - 1. Frida Kahlo, 2. Asian Beauty and 3. Birds. A theme just means that some of the pages will be embellished with images from those groups.
Featured here is obviously Frida and you can see a little of Asian Beauty in the background which, btw, I still have to bind the pages together.

Here's a peek into my Frida mini journal. The sun was very bright and made one of the pages appear as if it's cut on the diagonal but it's not. I couldn't wait to start writing in this mini journal. I'll be sharing some of my entries with you later.

Here are the pages of the Asian Beauty Mini Tag Journal. I love color. Can you tell? LOL! I also love hunting down interesting images and incorporating them into art projects. I am not stingy and each student will get a kit filled with ephemera based on whichever theme they choose.

I have a huge stash of fibers that I collect and save for moments like this. Don't you just love the way it all hangs out? Each tag has gorgeous strands of fiber hanging off it's side and this will be included in each kit as well.

I have been MIA - Making Interesting Art! I'll be teaching a couple workshops in mid August and I had to work on samples for the shop where I'm teaching. I've been pulling all nighters and staying away from the computer, not to avoid the temptation of "visiting" with my friends, but because I've been tied down at the table.

If you're in the Los Angeles area on Aug. 9th, drop me a line if you're interested in taking this class. We'll be making Mini Art Journals with a theme which includes Frida Kahlo, Asian Beauty or Birds. I'm currently working like mad to get the Birds going. It's taken me one week to work on two journals from start to finish. Family commitments have slowed me down but I'm so determined to get this done and I'm almost there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Conventional Artventures

And so it began on a beautiful sunny day! It seemed that this day was on the mind of several more artistic souls who came in record breaking numbers compared to previous dates in recent years.

Sample boards are always filled with interesting rubber stamp art. I like the vintage feel of this Frida card. This sample was featured at Lost Coast Designs booth.

Here are the ATCs I received from the trade that took place during the rubber stamp convention. I wish I could take a picture of the mini frenzy that unfolds as swappers are trading but it's impossible since I'm a part of that frenzy as well!

I was very excited to read that Lost Coast Designs would be returning! I've purchased several stamps from this company in the past. This time around I purchased several Frida Kahlo unmounted stamps. Linda Malcom is the owner standing patiently behind the sign. I took advantage of this rare quiet moment to take a pic. Go to to get an eyeful of Linda's images.

I ran into a group of friends while checking the "prize board" outdoors. The weather was beautiful. From L - R, Pat (seated), Me, Sherry (from Ellie (my roomie from the Art Cruise in 2007), Jeri and Char (seated).

These are some creations by Tim Holtz. I like his stamping style and use of color. I like to visit him at to watch his demos. You can learn some great techniques from this guy.

Oh look! It's Alma and Anthony from The Cat's Pajamas! Don't they make a cute couple?! It was good to see Alma again. We used to trade cards at Stampin' From The Heart several years ago. You can get a better look of her swanky stamps at

Long lost vendors found once more! A gathering of friends! ATCs to
trade! Beautiful weather! What more could one ask for?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

After Midnight Artventures!

It was after midnight and I was on a roll. And yes, that is a stamped clock!

I dropped three colors of acrylic paint onto a blank ATC. My good-for-nothing-but-art-phony-credit-card waited patiently to glide paint across the ATC.

Each painted card had it's own personality as you can see if you click on the picture. My "paper people" who in the end turned out to be "Graffiti Artists" were just as individual as each one had been hand drawn and colored with pencils.

It was becoming a long night but the end was near as I stamped images in acrylic paints.

Finishing touches in black and white ink were added to each card. I played around with the placement of each Graffiti Artist before gluing him/her down.

I know what you're thinking. But I was on a mission with a goal to create just 8 more ATCs and I was pumped with enough caffeine to see me through it! All it took was a little paint, my good-for-nothing-but-art-phony-credit-card, some pre-cut ATC blanks and small figures I had previously drawn and colored with color pencils. I was in bed by 3:00 A.M. which may explain why I've been dealing with jet-lag sensations one day later. But it was worth it, as is most things dealing with art. For this girl anyway. Insert BIG smile here!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blooming Artventures

Look at how graceful this aging Queen Elizabeth rose stands.

My mother must have felt comfortable with the Tropicana Roses because she planted around three bushes. They must feel comfortable in her garden too cause look at them! Blooming madness, I tell you!

It bugs me when I don't know the name of a rose bush. This one blooms more now that it's older. In the beginning, it would give maybe five roses and that was it. I can't believe how many blooms there are now that's it aged. They're a beautiful yellow shade with a little blush. If I could take a rose bush from my mother's garden to plant in mine, this would be it.

My mother has the most lush rose bushes. She and my father began planting them over 20 years ago and those roses have grown like close brothers and sisters. Literally. They practically hug one another once they start blooming. One rose tangles into the next rose and so on and so on. My sister Becky and I were admiring them not too long ago and she made a comment to my mother that each one of us is going to dig up these roses and bring them to our homes one day. At the time I agreed but now I wonder if they'll feel at home away from where their roots began.

Roots. The ground from which you sprout from. I grew up in that house. My parents brought me home from the hospital as a baby to that same place. The place I couldn't wait to get away from once I turned into a young adult. Today as I stood in the living room talking to my elderly father about something he should NOT have done for his and my mother's safety I couldn't help but notice his eyes. They spoke to me as if to say, "How is it that YOU'RE telling ME what I can or can't do and how did this happen?" They looked so sad that I had to walk away cause I thought I'd start to cry. Long ago I'd taken my first steps in this same living room while he watched me with those same eyes only they were filled with joy. I don't like this growing old jazz. A friend once told me "golden years my ass." And I'm starting to believe her.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Artventurous Tuesday

I woke up this morning and I was in a pink and yellow mood. What can that mean? I journaled about that list I wrote at the beginning of my summer vacation. As I looked over it I noticed that I wasn't following through on most of them. OK, all except ONE of them. LOL!

Can you guess which thing on my list I'm sticking to? If you said "drinking coffee..." you're right! You may notice that woman on top of the coffee cups from an ATC I made last week. I blew her up on the copier so she wouldn't fall into the cup!

When I opened this page a paper napkin with tulips fell out begging to be used. How perfect since I didn't feel like painting this large page. And you know what else? I saw these tulips and thought "I'll never have tulips but I'll always have art." Tulips don't grow in my garden and they never will. No problem. But the art will always keep growing and growing and problem!

I got up super early today. It was one of those mornings when you can't get back to sleep. I figured instead of wasting time in bed trying to keep my eyes shut when they wouldn't, I should just get up and make some art. And so began my Artventurous Tuesday.

I started my morning by with a large mug of coffee and pulling out my trusty journal. I can't believe I'm very near the end. Seems like I've been working in it for ages. Well, actually I have. You see, I get side-tracked a lot with various art projects and life issues that I end up not being a very loyal journalist. BUT I do try to make at least 2 entries per week - 3 on a good week. Did I just hear the purists out there fainting?!

After completing a couple entries, I began searching for a new journal and found an interesting one. I may have to glue a 2 - 3 pages together though because the pages are not heavy enough to stand up to layers of paint. You know me and paint. As you can see from the above pages I always have to add color and sometimes one shade is not enough! Did you journal today and if so, what did you journal about?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Red, White and Blue Artventures

The streets are alive with the wild cries of children who can hardly wait for the loud thunderous sounds of fireworks!

Here's one child who looks forward to the wild celebration that takes place once the sun goes down.

American Color is a star book that I exchanged with Alma de la Rosa of before she began her stamp company. Go to her site to check out her swanky stamps. I'll be seeing her next week at the rubberstamp convention.

Here's a page from the star book Alma made. She's quite talented. Even back then I could feel she was bound for something big. This book she put together is filled with her interpretation of "American Color." The first page features a Native American and rightly so.

Here's another page from the book. I like the way Alma made a lot of windows featuring various cultures.

This is another beautiful layout. I love the way she stamped various background images as well.

Women have certainly come a long way not only in America but throughout the world.

Happy 4th to all. Remember, no one can silence you cause it's a free country.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Easy-to-Make Artventures

Need art in a jiffy and don't feel like cutting paper? Have a neglected deck of cards sitting around the house? You've got the main ingredient for the making of some ATCs!

You'll need to prepare the surface of your cards. Gesso will always do the trick but you can brush on a coat of white acrylic paint. It works for me as far as taming the gloss that decks of cards usually have. This will give your surface some "tooth" for the next coat of paint you brush on. Make sure to do this on the front and back of your cards.

Once your cards are dry begin gathering the materials you'll need to assemble your ATCs. I've been making faces for future projects so I had an idea what I wanted to do. I also had a particular color palette in mind so I gathered those paints. Text paper always makes cool skirts. I wanted to add a stamped image somewhere on the card so I chose something swirly.

You can see how I painted these cards in the following steps. Turquoise was the base color. I then patted down bits of Avocado. I added a little bit of Cranberry on each side of the card. And finally I stamped a swirl design in red on one side of the card. I also edged the card in red. This may look a little muddy to some of you but I like this grungy look. Oh, and I made templates for a skirt and legs for the little art doll that will sit on this card.

In the end this is what I came up with. Notice how each face is slightly different? That's because I can't duplicate the same expression twice. Or do I really want that? The skirt is different too. As is the way I placed the gold leaves. I never know what my hands are gonna put together in the end but I know I'll probably like it!

When life gives you a deck of cards, make ATCs! Which is exactly what I did today. There's a Rubber Stamp Convention coming to town soon and an ATC trade is part of the fun. I want to be prepared so I began working on some today. Actually, one of these is for the ABC ATC swap I'm in. The featured letter is H. Can you guess which one it is? Hint, "H" can stand for heart. Notice the extra hearts floating around the swirls on one of the cards?

If you have a deck of cards sitting around that you know you won't be using for card games, make a deck of ATCs. They're very easy to put together, don't cost anything if you use what you have around the house and addicting AND you can trade with others. No one in your neighborhood to trade with? Search for some online ATC groups. They'd love to swap with you. I may want to swap with you too but after the convention. In the meantime, start making some!