Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Journaling

Thoughts of my niece came to mind during my recent summer journal entries.  It was two weeks before Easter that her boyfriend was killed in an all too familiar and horrible manner many city youths  encounter while being at the "wrong place at the wrong time."  A day or two after his death she announced to both sets of parents that she was pregnant.
I can't even begin to know or understand the pain she is going through.  My sister tells me that my niece still cries and looks out the window as if she's waiting for him to visit.  She's been receiving incredible support from both families and this support will probably remain throughout the journey of her child.
I'm quite sure that the day Alexandrea is born (she's being named after her father) it'll be a day filled with heavy emotion.  I can't imagine the mixed feelings of joy and sorrow as the mother of Alex holds her deceased son's child for the first time.  Will she see her son as she holds this baby?  Of course the same holds true for my niece.  Will she see Alex in her child when she begins to laugh, smile or frown?  Will she have his quirks?
One thing baby Alexandrea and my niece will definitely have is support from family.  We're a large group and there's no way these two will be left to fend for themselves.  I suppose, now that I think about it,  she's really NOT "alone" as it's entered on the top journal page.  But she'll probably wish she was as we're a family always wanting to get together.  LOL!           

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Late Night Artventures

The other night I was addressing a couple envelopes.  A birthday tag was inside one and bits of ephemera from my last workshop where nestled in the other.  My original intent was to address those suckers and get them to the post office pronto.  But you know how it is when the crafty gene nags at you.  Out came the ink pads, rubber stamps, paper scrap stash.  Oh, and I found a baggie full of inchies that I made a couple years ago!  It's amazing what you'll find when you're not really looking for it.  LOL!! 

Early evening turned into early morning.  Why can't I just leave good enough alone?  There's always something more to add.  With me anyway.  To me the word  "Simplicity" is the name of a pattern company.  LOL!
I have a confession to make.  I have NOT journaled all summer until yesterday!  I found my summer journal from LAST year.  YIKES!  I honestly don't think it was supposed to be a "seasonal" journal but as MY life would have it, that's exactly what it's turned into.  And I kinda like the concept of having a summer journal.  So here I am one year later making 2010 entries.  Will this become a tradition?  It feels pressure-free to imagine having a "summer" journal.  Come September and away it will go. Back to it's little corner where it will silently sit and wait until the summer of 2011 comes along.
My youngest sister lives in a small city (approximately 40,000) where the average person makes 30K per year, if you're lucky.  Her city's situation is what stimulated me to get working in my journal.  The residents of her city have taken to the streets and their small city hall protesting the ridiculous salaries that the city manager and others have given themselves in this not-so-well-to-do area.  The City Manager makes close to 800K which is about 400K more than the President.  He has since resigned along with three other crooks but if you ask me they should have been handcuffed and fired and that's just what my little sister shouted to them the other night as I watched her on the late news channel!  Can you image the pride that set within my heart as I watched her stand there shaking her fist in the air telling it like it is?  Yes, this was a big sister's moment.  And I was inspired to write about it.  Good job, Rachel! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Family Artventures

I have a collection of quirky stamps from the Lost Coast rubber stamp line and I decided it was time to do something with them.  These stamps have blank faces and so the idea of "Not Your Momma's Brag Book" was born.  It only made sense to me that the faces that would fill the blank spaces on these stamp images would have to belong to family members.  Out came the round punches and in went the faces.
The thought of scrap booking has NEVER appealed to me.  But painting, collage and stamping has ALWAYS held my attention.  As I combined all three art forms, I discovered that I could actually live with pages featuring partial pictures (namely "a face") and not get nauseous.  LOL!!

I've never owned a brag book but the possibility of having an altered one pushed me to gather my supplies and create one.  I have to say that I was satisfied with the results and am wondering how Linda of Lost Coast feels about designing new stamps featuring men and cats (and dogs).
"Not Your Momma's Brag Book" is not only my own little personal bit of family artventure, but a workshop I'll be hosting on Saturday, July24th at Stampin' From the Heart in Los Angeles.  The shop's blog is featured on my sidebar where you can get more info on this workshop.  You can e-mail me if you have any questions.
Not Your Momma's Brag Book, it's a good thing!       

Monday, July 19, 2010


This morning as I was pruning away and dead-heading flowers, I could hear the little girl next door playing and squealing (in that way that only children can) and I was taken back to yesterday.  Well, it felt like yesterday cause it really doesn't seem like 20+ years ago that my children were making the same sounds of laughter, chatter and amusement in this same yard that I was standing in. 
Isn't it interesting how the brain plays tricks on us and is it fair for it to do that to an old sentimental fool like me?  What started out as a regular chore turned out to be a short trip down memory lane.  I suppose when you stop and think about it, having something to fondly remember is better than forgetting all about it.  So thank you to my still actively-functional-brain for taking me back briefly to yesterday as I worked in my garden today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MITI Artventures

This Friday, July 9th, I'll be at Stampin' From the Heart in Los Angeles hosting make-it-take-it night.  The fun will begin at 4:00 and run until 8:30.  You can come in whenever it's convenient for you and you have the option to make one, two or all three tags at $5.00 each.  All materials will be provided by me.  
Together we will paint, stamp and embellish 8 x 4 blank tags.  I love how the backgrounds appear to have an aged look and how all the colors work together.  You'll also receive a handout with color formulas that you can use over and over again to make more tags at home or to use on the pages of your journal.  FYI, when I create these backgrounds, I make sure that the color combinations are not repeats from previous classes.  If you've been taking my workshops over the past 3 years, you should have a nice little handout stack by now.  And just think, each one is as individually unique as you!  Hope you'll join in on the fun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday which means tomorrow is Friday but who cares cause from now until late August, everyday will feel like Friday and for that, I'm EXTREMELY thankful!  WOO HOO!!
I was working on a sample for a Make-It-Take-It and as I completed the tag I realized that growing up during the turbulent era of the 60s and early 70's is something else  I'm thankful for.  Although I didn't know it then, I was learning valuable life lessons.  I was being shaped.  And, I'm very surprised to say, it took me until recently to see it but like the saying goes, better late than never.  I was raised in a predominately African-American neighborhood and at school I was only one of a few Mexican-American students.  In high school, the numbers changed to near equal numbers of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and Anglos (wow, look at all those "A's!" HA!).  And we were all female!  I'm realizing that the experiences I had of being exposed to young people of various cultures purged me of potential stereotypical assumptions people sometimes make about other groups.  And it's for those experiences that I'm thankful for.  In fact, I'm even more thankful for those than of having to go back to school in late August.  Life lessons.  You never know when one is gonna bite you in the ass.  LOL!