Sunday, November 25, 2012

Boys and Girls a Lot Has Happened Since My Last Post.....

If you can make out the words in my journal you will see that I have taken on another position at the day job.  I was asked to help teach art and after a long and thought-out process, I said YES!  I'll still be managing the library but now I'll be doing it with glued up nails and possibly painted fingertips!  WOW!  How's that for a change?!!  The family is happy and excited and I'm well, full of ideas!!!
The five year-old Pilgrim below turned 29 last weekend!  I can't believe he was only in Kindergarten.
We celebrated my birthday on Thanksgiving and I know I have a whole lot to be thankful for.  This little tot was thankful she got to sit like a big girl at the dinner table in her bright pink high chair.  Here she's seated on her grandma's lap as the birthday song is being sung!
My life has been one artventure after another and for that, I'm truly thankful.  Hope you're all enjoying the left-overs of a long traditional holiday weekend.  I know I am.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wishin' and Hopin'

Awake is the New Sleep

I found a tiny square with the words "Awake is the New Sleep" in an old Indie/Rock Music magazine.  It fit with the way I've been feeling lately.  The recent time change has me feeling sleepy way too early and if I go to bed I find myself laying in bed super early with my eyes wide open.  Then I get up and find myself getting sleepy before I leave for work.  
This page was created as I was struggling with a decision which will bring a new change in my life.  It wasn't easy finding my answer but I'm sure I made the right choice.  I'll share it with you in my next post.
Hope your sleep patterns don't have you sleepwalking.  Night.     

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rubber, Baubles and Vets

Rubber.  It's a Good Thing.

 I'm very proud to say that when I went to the rubber stamp convention this past weekend,  I kept my rubber budget low and I was very much in control!  I'm getting better.  I even had enough money left over to treat my son, hubby and daughter-in-law to take-out fish and Baskin-Robbins ice cream!  YAY!  To have missed the convention because I "have too much stuff" would have been committing a rubber sin.  Really.  I mean, who am I kidding.  Who are WE kidding?  Those of us who find ourselves saying "I have too much...  I need to weed out stuff...I don't need another stamp....blah blah blah."  Nonsense!  There's no such thing as TOO MUCH RUBBER!!!  Now, that being said I hope to post some pages of my journal using these new stamps.  I've already stamped a page where there was a huge space begging for words.  Pat pat on my back for using my new found rubber.  HaHa!  
OOO, and I found some really cool beads.  Rubber conventions have it all.  Paper, rubber, ink, paint, beads, ephemera, magazines, books and lots of happy people.  I bought these baubles to make bracelet and earring sets for my sisters for Christmas.  Shhh, don't tell.
Can't let the day go by without giving all the U.S. Veterans a big shout out and high-five for their dedication to our country.  Daddy, you're one of the bravest soldiers I know.  To be a young man drafted and sent to a foreign land where you were greeted by bombs and bullets is something I know I could never endure.  When your legs got shot up and you were sent to Japan for surgery, recovery and rehab, you went back to the front lines without complaining.  Another thing I could never deal with.  BIG THANK YOU for being the best not only for the U.S. but for the four of us you raised.  Love you and big hugs.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Autumnal Uncertainties and Delights

What to Do?

The noodles in my brain have been getting too much exercise lately.  On Halloween I was asked to THINK about something.  Thankfully I was given reasonable time to make a decision.  I thought having time on my side would make it easier for me to decide my answer but I was wrong.  Sleep has been restless and it seemed that each free moment was spent trying to figure things out.  Can I?  Will I?  Maybe?  No.  Well.  Hmmm.  And so it went on like that for nine days.  Having time to make a decision is not for me.  I mean, this is BIG.  For me anyway.  I figured that one way to help me distract from my answer was to do some art journaling.  It helped.  But I only kept journaling about IT.  To be continued....
Guess who went to her second rubber stamp convention?  YES and you should have seen her face when her eyes fell upon a vendor demonstrating a technique with glitter!  Right then and there it became clear to me.  This child will be a glitter princess!  There was so much for her to see.  There were no dull moments.  I mean, look at her!
She did her best to not miss a thing but given her age a nap took priority.  It's good to know I have a normal grandchild.  sigh.  
Those of you who read my blog will have to wait to learn what the heck I'm talking about up above in this post.  In the meantime I'll continue to post pages from my journal regarding this "mystery."  In due time I'll reveal the details.  My kids don't even know.  Are the noodles in your brain working overtime?  Hurts a little, huh?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Political Artventures

Late Night Artventures

I was watching a commercial promoting a movie about America last night.  I loved the way the U.S. colors were splashed across the screen in no particular order.  I decided to make something similar in my journal and since election day was in the near future I chose to create a political statement.  
Today as I left work with sore feet and a tired body, going out to vote was not at the top of my list.  As I drove past the polling place I became very discouraged as I saw the line of people out on the sidewalk.  I drove around three times before I found a parking spot around the corner.  By the time I walked up to the building the line had moved inside.  I saw an elderly woman being helped to a seat because she was not in good health, I saw a young woman surrounded by 5 little girls waiting patiently in line and a very confused but ready to vote (probably for the first time) young adult.  Suddenly my feet didn't feel so sore anymore, my tiredness had lifted and it felt good to be there exercising my right to vote along with these very diverse and dedicated individuals.
So did you get out to make your vote count? 


Monday, November 5, 2012


Playtime Journal Entry

I did a lot of playtime with my children.  I made "play-doh" for their little hands to mold the time away with, we made cookies, planted seeds in the garden and we even had a picnic in the backyard (on the floor of the concrete portion of the patio) but I never once got in the crib with either one of them!  
You can imagine my surprise and huge smile when my DIL e-mailed me pics of my son and granddaughter in her crib enjoying a little "Daddy and Me" time.  If you had told me 16 years ago that the boy who was good at giving his opinion when it was least appreciated or not even asked for would be climbing in the crib of his baby girl, I may have not been so hard on him.  But a momma's gotta do what she's gotta do when faced with the teen beast.  Well, maybe I should take a little credit for attempting to tame him.  I mean, look at him will ya.  He's playing with a baby and a lamb!  In a crib!  sigh.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


80 What?  How?

My mom recently celebrated her 85th birthday.  Eighty-fifth.  As in eighty five.  Wow.  Talk about someone who has stood and watched changes all around her.  
Mom is the fourth child out of 13!  I say is because all 13 children are still living.  She was born and raised in Los Angeles in an area that is now surrounded by high-rise buildings and small warehouses.  It was probably because of her strict Catholic up-bringing that she would do the opposite with her own children.  Don't get me wrong.  We did not get off easily and we did get corrected, if you know what I mean.
During the 60s I remember her enjoying music and listening to Pop and Soul radio stations.  She thought she knew the lyrics to some of the popular songs but we didn't say anything, we just let her sing.  She loved songs like "I Can't Help Myself" by The Four Tops and "Baby Love" by The Supremes.  
When it came time to tell me about the birds and the bees, that's what it was called back then, my mom did not hesitate to answer my questions although I wished she had.
My sister and I were having lunch one afternoon when we heard some stomping sounds coming towards the kitchen.  It was our mother streaking through the kitchen.  Butt naked.  It was the "trend" back then.  We laughed so hard as she ran past us!!
My mother's hearing is now almost gone so she doesn't listen to music. Her leg gives her problems so streaking is a definite no-no.  But she still does not hesitate to answer any questions.  Although sometimes I wish she would.
Happy Birthday Mom....and many more.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Halloween has a special place in my heart.  

Last Sunday as I was driving through my old neighborhood, I passed the building that was once a little mom and pop market that had the best candy counter.  It was at that counter where I first discovered Lemon Heads, Apple Sticks, Hot Cinnamon Sticks, Sweet Tarts and during the Halloween season, Wax Lips and Wax Harmonicas.

Isn't it funny how some things are almost forgotten and not thought about until years, even decades later?  That is exactly what happened to me today when I asked myself what was my favorite Halloween costume.  I thought about all the hobo outfits I put together at the last minute, sometimes adding a patch or two onto an old pair of jeans.  I thought about the time I was a Gypsy, a very happy Gypsy because I got to wear make-up.  And then I remembered "The Dress" and what it turned me into one Halloween back in 1968.
On my 12th birthday I received a wrapped package with a tag that read "Para Linda."  Strange how that one little detail just entered my mind.  I can't remember what kind of wrapping paper it was, but I remember the tag with those words.  It was a gift from my grandfather.  When I unwrapped the package my 12-year-old eyes fell upon the most beautiful piece of fabric they'd ever seen.  It was soft and shiny like satin and the colors were amazingly beautiful in various shades of blue.  My grandfather told me to make something out of it and so a year later, I did.  A year later.  HA!  Some things never change.  To this day it takes me a while to get going on a project.  Anyway, a year later I decided to make a dress.  It was the summer of 1968.  My sewing skills were zero but I had an idea and based on that, "The Dress" was born.  It was literally handmade.  All the stitching was done by hand and when I did the top stitch (I didn't know that's what it was called) on the neckline,  I made sure to keep all the stitches tiny and evenly spaced.  It looked good and I wore it several times before I decided to make it my Halloween costume.
I was going to be a Hippie and I was going to wear "The Dress."  With a couple strands of beads, sandals and my hair down, I had transformed into my costume.
As my brother, sister and I went trick-or-treating from door to door we came upon an elderly couple.  It was rare to see Mexicans in our neighborhood back then and so when my siblings and I shouted out "Trick-or-Treat!"  the elderly woman who answered the door and who laid eyes on me first, exclaimed "Hey, you're a Mexican!"  To which I replied, "No, I'm a Hippie!"  Cause really, that's what I was.  LOL!
So what will you be this Halloween?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Autumnal Jaunt

I was recently inspired by scraps of paper and paint.
It helps to have a clean desk too.  I spent a good amount of time (six hours minimum) vacuuming, dusting, organizing and purging my art space this past Saturday.  I ran into this journal, an almost empty bottle of paint and a couple pieces of scrap paper.  Then I forgot about cleaning my room.  

I still have a somewhat untidy art room but I have two new pages in a journal and I'd call that an improvement.  Now, if I can just keep it up.....      

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall's Gift

Wishing you a peace-filled fall.

These painted, stamped and embellished envelopes should have been in the mail during the month of August.  They'll be in the mail first thing today!  I applied the same painting techniques that I use on my tags.  I wasn't sure how well the thin paper would hold up to acrylic layers but they held up fine and I like the soft texture the paper developed when the paint dried.  For those who have taken my classes, try painting on envelopes to see what I mean.  You may not want to part with these envelopes but they make great partners for arted up tags or cards you send out.  By the way, I've started painting my own faces and the two models below are samples.  I have a long way to go but I'm pleased with what I've done so far.  Practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect.  I don't know how many times I typed that in Typing 1 but in my case, practice makes it almost perfect for me.  
Yesterday Penny and I received a package in the mail from my friend Carolee.  She has taken several of my classes and knows all about Penny.  shy smile.
I'll have to wait for Penny to grow a little more before I can read this exciting book.  I'm thinking of other titles to start getting now!  Thanks Carolee!  This book has a great story line.  It's about a little girl (Penny) whose grandma is an artist (BIG HA!) and her grandma lives in the kind of building I could see myself living in if I didn't have a house!  The author (Devon Kinch) and Carolee, nailed it!  
Fall is off to a great start.  Enjoy the peace it brings.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

O.N.E. Really?

Has it really been a year?

A beautiful dessert table created by Penny's mommy and Grandma Carmen.  Grandma Carmen made all the sweets including the birthday cake!

Penny has to have inherited the crafty gene.  There's too much creativity in this family.  Look at the cute bag my niece made to hold her gift.  

It was a beautiful day.

In Los Angeles no party is complete without a pinata.

 I think you've probably guessed by now that this was a lady bug theme.  I don't know how my DIL found all the lady bug accessories but she pulled it off and it was a big hit with everyone from this little one year old to the 83 year old couple (my parents)!  
Thank you Penny for coming into our lives.  I always heard that being a grandparent is different.  People should have been telling me it's AWESOME being a grandparent cause that's what it's like being your grandma.  AWESOME.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

June, July, August, September?!

In June, Frida and I picnicked together.

In July there were fireworks!

August brought heat-breaking temps.

And now you say it's September?!

Wha' happan?  Age, that's what happened.  Summer lasted a lot longer when I was a kid.  Oh well, I already know from past years that this year will zoom by so fast that before I know it, it'll be June all over again.  YAY!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Journal Journey

I'm about to reveal a secret.
I haven't journaled in close to a year.  Once upon a time I was very good about sitting down anywhere just to jot down my adventures, cut and paste a few words and paint pages in vibrant colors.  Take the journal below for example.  I took it everywhere.  I painted several pages at a time.  The main color washes I used on these pages were done in hues of yellow/orange because it was a very, very hot summer.  And I have the words to prove it.  I used to collect words to use in my journals.  I still have envelopes full of them.  What happened to me?     
I seem to be drawn to smaller scales of art these days, including a 20 lb cutie-patooie.    

 When I'm ready to get back to recording my daily thoughts, I'll know.    
In the meantime I have some interesting reads from past journals and maybe they'll inspire me enough to splash some paint, use those eclectic phrases or words I've been saving and do some writing of my latest jaunts.  Lord knows I have a few journals just waiting to be used.  Yes, a few.    

Did you ever get in a journal rut and how did you get out?

Monday, August 20, 2012

33 Years and Counting...

It IS possible to stay married to the same person for 33 years!  

We met in the summer of 1972 and we've been together ever since.  We survived a brief separation due to Uncle Sam but through letters (remember those)  we stayed in contact.  Fortunately Jimmy was able to find a base close enough so that he could visit on weekends.  When he was finally free of his duty and settled into civilian life, we decided it was time to tie the knot.  I know this man really loves me cause if it was up to him, we would have made a quick trip to Las Vegas instead of having the garden wedding I wanted.  I compromised by keeping it small.  We've done a lot of that throughout the years.  Compromise.  I think that's one of the key elements to our survival in the unpredictable world of marriage. And lots of laughter.  If you can both laugh at each other without taking it personal, you've got a chance of making it last.  I've probably shared our story before.  Thanks for reading it again. 
I had so much fun this past weekend at Stampin' From the Heart with a group of dedicated woman who painted, stamped and glued the day away!  They are my kind of people!!  The subject of Josephine Baker came up and I mentioned that I have used her beautiful face to model some of the outfits I've created for my art dolls.  Just thought I'd let you take a peak at them.
Hoping you have a wonderful Monday.  I'm off to Olvera Street in Downtown Los Angeles.  I love the smell, feel and food they serve over there!  A great place to spend an afternoon with my better half.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Runway Line-Up

Artful Runway - A Tag Project this Saturday, August 18!

Who would you choose to grace the cover of your book?
I'm partial to blues and greens so I chose Marina to grace the cover of my Runway Tag Book.  At the last minute I decided to add one more Art Doll to the line-up.  SEVEN TAGS!!  Marina  may look familiar to those of you who have taken my workshops in the past.  She was introduced at my second Make-it-Take-it several years ago only she's sporting a different fin, new hair-do and the background and colors have changed slightly.
Your tags will sit safely in pockets attached in your book.  This book is super easy to assemble.  Believe me, with seven tags to paint, stamp and embellish, I do not want to make this a stressful workshop.   
Please consider joining me this Saturday for a fun and relaxing day at Stampin' From the Heart in Los Angeles.  But you have to call the shop by Thursday to make sure I get a kit together for you.  Call 310-391-0466 to save your spot and to get more info.  Hope to see you!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hot Artful Runway Artventure

This Runway Tag is brought to you by the color HOT.

The colors I used on this tag where largely influenced by the current heat wave we have been experiencing in the Los Angeles area.  Actually there is another influence.
During the summer months of my youth it was not unusual to find me at my grandmother's home.  She was a working grandma and my aunt who is nine years older than me would have the "pleasure" of making sure I was safe and tried hard to keep me clear of mischief.  Once my grandma was home she and I would spend what they refer to these days as "quality" time.  She showed me how to make sherbet using Kool Aid, sugar and evaporated milk (honest, I recently looked up the recipe cause the only ingredients I could remember were Kool Aid and evaporated milk).  We'd make super simple but super delicious cakes from small boxes of Jiffy cake mix (do they still make those?) adding hefty doses of freshly squeezed lemon juice in the Jiffy icing (which also came in a small box). 
One hot summer night we took off to Kmart for a little girly shopping spree via the bus because my grandma didn't drive.  We headed over to the dress dept and there hanging on a T-rack for all to see was the latest-coolest-psychedelic-looking dress I ever saw.  I was drooling and my grandma sensed it.  We found my size, purchased it and zipped back to her home.  Once there I tried it on.  Don't ask why I didn't try it on at the store.  Well, the dress didn't quite look right.  In fact, it looked funny.  OK, the dress made my head look BIG and it hung sort of strange on me.  It was also a little tight around my chest area and I didn't have much there to begin with.  Needless to say as soon as my grandma saw me in it she began to laugh uncontrollably.  So did my aunt.  And so did I.  LOL!  We quickly discovered that we purchased a Girl's size 7, not a Junior's!  We took it back and I can't remember what I got but I'm sure it was cool cause my grandma was cool and she would never buy me anything that screamed HIDEOUS.  
I miss my Grandma Della but I have a lot of great memories about our times together.  The dress that I put together on the above art doll was influenced by that ill-fitting dress from that late run to Kmart one hot summer night long ago.  Funny how it seems like yesterday.