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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year...

New mojo!!

HELLO and Happy New Year's Eve!!

After taking a much-needed hiatus I am back and rarin' to go.  OK, just one more day (tomorrow) and THEN I'm back, and I'll be kicking off the New Year with a super fun project that I made for my dear friend Heather Hudson who I met in Blogland about a year ago.  I don't remember how, but I came across one of her exquisite vintage creations one day and tracked it back to her blog My Artistic Adventures and was instantly smitten with her delightful projects and humor.  Her blog inspires so many "sigh" moments and it ALWAYS inspires me to get busy and create more vintage things than I usually do (and vintage is my favorite decorating theme!).  And she's a computer whiz with all sorts of valuable tips on making your blog better and more functional.  Her blog is a wealth of all sorts of information, even recipes and YouTube tutorials!

Heather also has an Etsy shop where she sells her darling vintage collage sheets.  I have a growing collection myself and my goal for 2014 is to use them very regularly because vintage cards and paper crafts are what I'm happiest making.

Heather is a member of many design teams (the woman has unflagging energy) and she has decided to open up her own challenge blog using her designs on the 2nd and 16th of every month.  The challenge blog will be called, My Artistic Adventure Challenges and I am excited that she asked me to be a guest designer for the very first challenge.

You will want to check out the RULES page here.

She is also offering a 15% off  $5.00 or more code: MYARTISTICADVENTURES  good till the 16th of Jan.

Please check back on on the 2nd to see what I created for this very first challenge, and don't forget to pop in to see her Etsy shop.  You'll be very glad you did!  And, if you like, you may post her challenge blog button to your blog too.  Even THAT'S gorgeous!

 My Artistic Adventures

Happy crafting, and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013



Today's post is a few days late because a large ice storm smacked North Texas last Friday and knocked out my internet for nearly a week.  The streets were slick, many trees lost branches, and sadly there were several traffic fatalities as this area doesn't really receive that much snow and ice throughout any given winter and so we're not really prepared for it.  Having lived in Colorado some years ago I'm quite careful when driving on snow, but ice is a whole different ballgame.  I had to get out on it twice for very short trips, and it was very slow going the whole way.

I also had the pleasure of dealing with a sinus and ear infection last week, so needless to say, I'm a little behind on all of my holiday preparations.  My husband's birthday is this Saturday, my mother's coming for Christmas shortly thereafter, and my stepson is coming for New Year's.  I'd better get in gear, right?  So my craft room is, for the time being, taking a short winter's nap, but to keep in the spirit of things, I thought I'd share some pictures of the lovely scenery after all the ice rained down on us.

This is not snow.  It is all ice.
It was beautiful, and there's nothing like the hush of the air when the landscape is blanketed with, in this case, ice.

The oak tree is late losing her leaves this year.

The White Fringe Tree in the backyard. Her autumn leaves are my favorite.

What in the world is THIS?
This is Sweetie's first experience with snow and ice.  She weighs over 50 lbs. but still wasn't heavy enough to break through the sheet of ice covering my backyard.  Yes, that's a piece of a gutter pipe in the foreground. Three guesses as to how it found its way to the ground.

This is my vitex, a lovely shrub that blooms in June.  Normally it's upright.  Not anymore.  It's also one of her favorite shrubs to gnaw on, and now it's down on her level.  She's quite happy about that.

My heart breaks for this tree.  There was damage like this everywhere.
We were incredibly fortunate in that none of our trees lost any limbs.  The damage up and down the neighborhood was devastating, but my little corner of the world was spared.

My lovely golden creeping juniper.  Hopefully the damage will be minimal.

Our roses bloom well into December and sometimes into January.  I think not this year.

And one last photo...

"Well, the birds aren't using it."


Monday, December 2, 2013

It's a start...


Thanksgiving has come and gone, I took a couple of days to recover, and now I've decided I have to face the craft room once again and get back in the saddle.  So I've started things off by opening my art journal and trying my hand at it.  Goodness, it's been weeks and weeks since my last entry and I confess that it felt like I had to start all over again.  I'd forgotten everything!  In fact, it almost feels like I've forgotten how to work with paper at all.

I'm still keeping with my theme of change and starting over, hence the sun (new day), butterflies (evolution) and the sentiment. The background is various shades of liquid acrylic paints brushed hither and yon, then various stamps in dark turquoise and black archival inks.  The sun was made with just two colors of paste acrylics, a bright yellow and a bright red.  Look at what those two do to each other!  I used the edge of a flat brush to put the movement inside and also for the rays, set off with a bit of charcoal pencil shading.

The butterflies were stenciled with a couple of shades of Neocolors then stenciled on top with a dark blue shimmer paint.  The bodies were finished with a dark grey Copic marker.

My mother gave me the idea to use a sewing pattern for the paper underneath the "Change" sentiment.  You seamstresses out there will recognize the diamond symbol as a construction symbol.  This type of paper is wonderful as it practically disappears into the background when applied with a gel medium, leaving only the printing and the stamp.  I will be using much more of it.  As an aside, the pattern itself was from that for baby overalls that I made for my son back when he was 3 years old.  (He's now 29.)  Awww...

The sentiment was printed on the computer, fixed with a spray fixative, then applied with gel medium and brushed with yellow shimmer paint, outlined in red Neocolor blended with a wet brush, then edged again with a black charcoal pencil and smudged.  I love a new day dawning, don't you?

Thank you so much for joining me, and please forgive the absence.  These things happen, and I look forward to sharing fun projects with you more and more in the coming days.

Hugs to you all.  And as always...

Happy crafting!!