Friday, November 27, 2009

The Christmas Art Journal

Okay - I've got it put together, and thought I'd show you how it's turning out. Of course it won't be final until I use it as a journal.

I notice as I look at these, I have my page 2 in the 3rd page position. That #2 is a Santa shaped playing card...

The reindeer was in an unrelated pack of Christmas stuff. But he fit right in, didn't he?

This was an experiment. There are these transparent Hambly overlays that I haven't seen in stores around here. So I made my own: I printed a holiday pattern on a transparency film I had, and stitched a white piece of cardstock to the back with my mini-fake battery powered sewing machine.

Love this one.

That's a vintage Santa from the Night Before Christmas on the back of the preceding make room for a photo or journaling I cut the story lines into strips and stuck them on top of Santa...The facing page is a baseball card protector cut to fit and it will hold 8 photos or mementos.
Cut up a page protector, cut a bit of Christmas tree lace and stitched them together along side the lace to make a page pocket. Behind that you can see a vintage educational bingo card.

This might be my favorite page...I put together scraps from other pages to make the front and stuck them to a solid piece on the back.

Here's another one I particularly like. The girl is on two or three foam stickies for depth, and a photo or note will slide into the white card with the circular cutout below.
This one will have journaling on the front, and a photo on the back.

A vintage page with O Come Let Us Adore Him is the last page.

To be honest, I have about 4 more pages to make, but the binder rings are strained now, so I won't make more until I get bigger rings.

This has been a lot of fun to do. Now to see if I can stick with the journal part through December!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's on Your Table this Thursday?

The question is not Boxers or Briefs. Oh, no. It is Fresh? or Canned?


When I hostess, it's fresh.

How about you? And if Cranberry Sauce isn't your thing, what makes the Thanksgiving meal for you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Think Pink!

This made me smile, so I'm passing it along. Like the happiness pig...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A gift

Today was beautiful! This is one of the gifts it gave me - this is a sunroof photo, taken at the corner of two busy thoroughfares that really aren't landscaped. And yet, this was there. I recently read something that went like this - I don't recall who said it:

It's not what you look at, it's what you see.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is something I did recently in an online class I'm taking. The class is called yesterday and today, and it's meant to help you focus on words (journaling) and pictures. I'm miserable at words when it comes to my own experiences and feelings. You know, the serious stuff.

If you look this starts with all black and white (the past or heritage) and the second page ends in color (now).

These were scanned copies of originals so that I could get them all the same size without forever altering the originals.

If you've never done it before, try taking heritage photos and making a timeline - even if you don't paste them into some permanent arrangement - and see how striking it is to see your own lifeline materialize in front of you.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Blind Side

I've been looking forward to this since I read the article in Sports Illustrated or the WSJ - not sure which. It's a feel good for sure!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Molly's Folly

Ignore the messily hung tower on the towel bar. Ignore the clothes hanger on the window. Ignore the dog who has crumpled up the bath mat. Oh, and ignore that bath mat, too.

Now, focus on the shower curtain. Or as I like to call it: Molly's Folly. I call it that because it took forever to find the fabrics to put together to match my vision and then it was quite expensive. I'm not admitting how much. But a lot.

It's got black fabric on top with gold bees and gold piping and then the body of the curtain is a black / cream check and the black stripes have gold edges. It all goes together quite grandly and it was my "grown up shower curtain" back when I foolishly thought I would have a pulled together, color coordinated house.

So, after Molly's Folly had been hanging for about a year, a flaw in the fabric opened up in a totally random place were there was no stress and I safety pinned it. Then it got spotted with bathroom cleaner (read little bleach spots all over) and the hem got really dirty. So after letting it hang another year in such a sad state, I recently took Molly's Folly down and to the cleaners. I entered it into their "Can this Shower Curtain be Saved?" contest. I doubt it.

In it's place I hung two $29 dollar Simply Shabby Chic shower curtains from Target. See the cool ruffle above? Technically, only one shower curtain is in these pictures because I had to go to a second store to find a second curtain.

I've decided that they fit my lifestyle much better. And they lighten up the joint.
So we'll see about Molly's Folly and whether it can be rehabilitated. In the meantime, the plain white curtain will do.

Any Follies at your house?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blue Sky

I thought the afternoon sunlight was so pretty this weekend.

How glad I am that I have blue sky pictures to remind me that the sun will come back out.

I think the gold is just so pretty against the blue sky.

Sending a little Blue Sky your way...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Art Journal or December Daily

I became intrigued with a concept called an art journal recently. I wasn't quite sure what one was until I used my favorite tool, Google, and looked at a number of them. They seem to range from a collection of art techniques to art + traditional journaling and many things in between.

At this blog I found a concept I liked. It was a mix of the traditional scrapbook with the art journal. December generally gets away from me, and it's easy to lose sight of what Christmas is meant to celebrate. So, I thought I would do an art journal to help me slow down and focus on each day in December. Not every day will be specifically Christmas related, but I thought if I had to document the 25 days of December, it would help me focus. And I've always loved the Twelve Days of Christmas as a Christmas theme, and this journal reminds me of that.

The first principal is to build the foundation of your journal now, before the rush of December is on you. Then all you have to do is take your photo or jot down your memory and finish off each of the pages. I made a start on that this weekend.

I bought an acrylic cover from Etsy much like the one at the blog I linked to above. It helped me visualize (now that I've done this and made some pages, I can see what I'd like to do next time). Once I find some letters I like, I will add 2009 and possibly some more...I'm looking for some metal letters and numbers. The contrast with acrylic and chipboard will be nice I think.

The idea for me is to make mostly simple pages with some more labor intensive ones. You can see a brown craft paper edge on the lower has no design on it yet. I'm waiting for a package of Christmas ephemera to arrive from Etsy (I'm excited, it's vintage). The Joy page was made with card stock, photoshop and an HP printer. I'll add a small photo and journaling above. One page I think will cover traditions that I look forward to: nativity scenes, the caroler figures I put out, things like that.

This is some paper in the soft aqua color I'm in love with right now. There's a vintage combination of red and aqua that is my all time favorite - do you remember seeing it?

And below are two pages: one is a recipe card that I thought would be a cute way to note holiday baking that I can recall. My grandmother used to make fruitcake cookies every year, even though I can't think of anyone who liked fruitcake (besides me - I liked hers). And her favorite cake was a Lane cake - it only appeared a few times and always at Christmas. Then there was ambrosia (orange + coconut only) and my mother's fruit salad.

Behind the recipe card is a baseball trading card page that has been cut down to fit. It will let me put 4 2.25" x 3.25" photos in the sleeves on both sides. That one would be good for holiday decorations at home, or perhaps city decorations.

This last page is a canvas. I've painted it with sky blue acrylic paint and while the paint was still wet, stuck on a piece of acrylic. On top of that I sprayed something called Glimmer Mist which gives it a faintly pearlized appearance. There's a little drop of it on the bird, at the end of the wing. I will likely journal on some cardstock and then attach it to the upper front, and attach a corresponding photo to the unsightly back of the canvas.

Above are bits and pieces I have in a stash to use with the ephemera I ordered. The cardboard pieces I will probably paint white and then go from there. I loved the shape of the piece and cut in half to have two pages for this book.

Working on this book just this little bit this weekend has had the effect of making me look forward to the holidays more. And the art is a nice balance to the hustle and stress at work.

Already it's doing what I hoped. I'll share more with you when I make the rest of the pages.

Is there anything you do to help you slow down and focus on important occasions or holidays?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

October Color

This was last Saturday on the way to Moe's to get a salad. I stopped on a neighborhood street and took about 5 shots...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dear Dr. Vet

Dear Dr. Vet,

Just a quick note to let you know that Management has cut back on my food as you instructed.

Yea. About that: ttthhhpppptttt!

Management has shown no empathy, so I have taken matters into my own hands paws snout.

Tuesday night, I supplemented the lame amount of kibble you recommended with a stick of butter, wrapper and all (One merely has to keep one's eyes open around here for counter opportunities). Roughage is good, yes? Management then called the emergency clinic who said not to worry, that things might be a little loose but should be okay. Whatever.

Wednesday night, when Management showed no signs of learning from experience, I took an avocado off the counter when Management went to answer the phone - avocados are the good fat, and it was tasty. Except for the seed. I spit that out, but not until after crunching it into bits so that Management could worry about potential toxicity. Management googled avocados, avocado seeds and something about @#$%! golden retrievers but didn't call the emergency clinic.

Last night was slim pickings, until Management produced a chew that kept me occupied for an hour or so. That's what I'm talking about. Toss a dog a bone, why don't you?

I'll keep you posted, but my money's on me.

Your pal,


P.S. Cotton goes by the rules. But only because she can't reach the counter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I really like pumpkin pie. So I've been casting around for other pumpkin recipes. Last year I made a pumpkin and sausage pasta dish. Tasty ~ though with sausage as a key ingredient, how could it not be?

This year I came across a blog that featured Pumpkin Cookies. And they had lots and lots of comments raving about the cookies.

And I had all but two of the ingredients, and had to go to the grocery for soup ingredients anyway, so...voila! The first pan only had six. Just in case.

But after I tasted one, I was sold. They have butterscotch morsels. And cinnamon. If I changed anything, it would be to add a bit more cinnamon, like half a teaspoon more.

The dough is dense, not thin. And they bake up big and cakey. They remind me of teacakes, which my brother really likes. Excuse me a moment, we are under attach by squirrels armed with hickory nuts. They throw them at the windows, and the dogs are understandably indignant.

Definitely a keeper. I may take some to work tomorrow for taste testing. If there are any left.


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