Christmas Tour 2008

The tree in the den is rather loaded in ornaments.
There is everything from a peacock feather to the Statue of Liberty.
From a trio of butterflies to a pair of seashells.
Plus all the santas, snowflakes and other twinkling orbs.
Every room that is decorated for Christmas has a Nativity.
Without the birth of our Savior, there would be no Christmas.

We deck the halls stairs, too.

The pink tree in the 'parlor'.
When I say I like pink, y'all....I mean it.

Our largest, oldest, and most favorite Nativity.

A little wooden train set for the grandsons.
Something that is hands-on.
What could have happened to this happy little vignette?
Ummm, did I mention I have grandsons?
There has been a little 'hands-on' here, I do believe.

Have a Blessed Christmas!
Thanks for stopping by!
Go here to see eight or nine HUNDRED!!! more.


Computer Woes

You think she looks sad......you should see me! Because of some vendor-schmendor change-a-roo at Acer, there is a 2 week delay on the very important thingy that will fix my laptop. Yep, there is some sadness around here.

I shall pour out my angst into my art. Isn't that what all the great artists do?

Truth be told, we are enjoying a wonderful Christmas season. Those two weeks will fly by and all will be well in Who-ville once more.


Saturday ATCs

Enjoyed some quiet time at the old art table today.
These ATCs are the result.
I wish I had more to say. Maybe I will be wordier when I get my laptop out of the shop. I know......it's sad, isn't it?


Pardon me while I pat myself on the back.....

Remember that Barbara Mandrell song "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool"?

When it comes to cutting edge, I'm usually the one that's not even on the blade.

Last fall I wanted to do an art challenge that nobody else was doing and finally came up with banners. It was an original idea, at least to me. At the time, I had to search pretty far down into Google to find some examples to post. Since then, I have hosted two banner challenges and two banner swaps. Throughout the year I have seen more banners (and triangle art) being done here and there; they are becoming more common.

But today, on the cover of my new Paper Crafts magazine, I see this: "Trend Alert! Breezy Banners". Yes ma'am, I did! The 'moxie fab' spotlight is on "the trendy and versatile banner."

Now I'm not claiming that I invented banners, or was even the first to do an art blog about them, but I do feel rather pleased to find myself on the cutting edge! (Get it....paper crafts....scissors...cutting edge....oh, never mind)

Okay, I'm stopping with the patting now. My arm is starting to hurt.


I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. We had a busy one here at our house and enjoyed a blessed time with family.

The only creating I had time for was the cooking kind. I would sit at my art table for just a few minutes here and there, mostly pondering or organizing, but not accomplishing much else.

We did get a lot of Christmas decorating done, including the tree. Christmas shopping at 5:00 a.m.......?? Oh, no. I slept in and kept my tootsies warm!


and so it goes.....

A lot of ripping and tearing was involved in this page. Except for the scrap of tissue with the numbers, there were no rubber stamps used. Just paper, glue and some ink. A collage made of nothing in particular, mostly scraps, yet it tells a story. I like it when that happens.


All My Children Books

Someone recently asked me in my comments if all my work was in the same book. Actually, I have several altered books. When I started my first altered book about six years ago, I only worked in one book until it was full--stuffed actually:
I learned better.

Simple Journeys: the book that started it all.

When I started the second book that would
become Random Expressions, I worked on it almost
exclusively, but before it was finished, I started another.

Since then I have kept two or three books going at the same time.

I keep working in them until they are full. What constitutes full, you ask? I stop altering pages while the book still closes. (See pic #1) I leave several unaltered pages between the layouts then later remove most of them to make more room. I like to glue the back sides of all the altered pages together, which makes the book much nicer to flip through It is at this point the book is ready for a title and altered cover.

Here are several books filled or almost filled and waiting for a title and cover. This is the most challenging part for me--the title and cover is the book's identity, for goodness sake!

None of my altered books so far have a theme, (except for a seasons book and this little cutie) which perhaps is what muddles the moniker process.

There are a couple of titles bouncing around in my head. When a cover idea collides with them, I will let you know.


Yesterday's summer

I have to admit being very pleased with this one.
Ten bonus points to anybody who can tell me (without looking it up or from others' comments) the song and its artists quoted on this page.


I must be blue........

I just noticed the last two pages I did in my altered book were very monochromatically blue.

Technically, this one is not truly monochromatic......but let's not get too technical, m'kay?


Tag You're It! - Tic Toc

Clocks are one of my favorite elements to use in my artwork, so when I saw this week's theme at Tag You're It was Tic Toc, I had to play along.
I used torn pages from a book, a dictionary and some music for the background, then covered it in an acrylic wash and chalks. Next came the clock stamp and antiquing on the edges. The clock image is from junk mail and the chain is from an old necklace.
Thanks for stopping by!


A Song of Love for my Beloved
The young man is standing below the window of his beloved, serenading her on his guitar with a bouquet of roses at his feet.

My entry for the November challange at Mind Wide Open.
There are some outstanding entries, as always.
Hop over there and have a look.
If you like mine, by all means vote.
If you like somebody else's.....you can vote for them....
I won't be (very) mad.


Behold! What lovely pennants!

Eight of us arty blogging gals recently got together to do a pennant swap. The theme for this one was "fragrance names". Here is a sample of the incredible pennants created. If you were in this swap and have posted your completed banner, leave a link to your post in the comments.

Thanks Ariane, Amy, Barbara, Cindy, Linda, Lisa M. and Ruby Mae. You ladies are what made this a great swap!!


Jingle all the way!

My blogger friend Barbara asked me if I have my jingle on. Well Barbara, as a matter of fact, I do! I got my jingle on a couple of weeks ago while shopping at a mega craft store and was pulled inexplicibly toward the Christmas aisles. Oh, the glimmer, glitter, glitz and jingle! Oh, the shimmer, shine, sparkle and jingle! I couldn't resist a few bright baubles.

And a jaunty stamp or three........

Last Christmas passed in a going-through-the-motions blur as we waited for my grandson's liver transplant. His state of declining health overshadowed the festivities. He received his gift of life on Dec 30 and we have much to celebrate. I have a feeling my jingle, along with the garlands and the lights and the trees, will be all over the house, inside and out, before Thanksgiving.

Now of course there are some rules to follow in order to keep this search for early signs of emerging Christmas spirit going. Barbara instructed me to ask this question of three of my fellow bloggers, who must in turn ask the question of three of their friends. And as these things go, everyone you ask gets mentioned in a post and linked-to. So tell me, Amy, Tammy and Cindy: Do you all have your jingles on? I really want to know!



Altered diapers?

In a bit of a departure from my usual altered art, Amy and I created this ladybug diaper cake for a baby shower this weekend. And technically, I suppose it could still be called altered art since we certainly altered the appearance and function of the diapers. We were pleased with the outcome and more importantly, so was the mother-to-be.


When I saw the artwork above at one of Alan's clinic visits, I was very intrugued and made a mental note of it. Okay, I made a couple of written notes, too. Mainly so I wouldn't not ever think of it again, ya' know? A few days later, when I rummaged across the scrap of paper in my purse, I conjured up the mental notes and created my version of the piece:

The next time we were at clinic, I snapped a photo of my inspiration piece. Not surprisingly, I discovered I had not remembered a lot of details. (The old mental notebook is now a loose leaf binder.) Side by side, mine looks rather ........sparse...... unfinished...... Now that I have a photo I've refreshed my memory, I'm thinking about adding some finishing touches to my cat version. Some of their wacky original elements like maybe a door and some leaves........... Would that be cheating?


In which my co-workers wonder, "Maybe it's Maybelline?"

I wear Maybelline Intense XXL mascara. It is a two step process: a coat of white "volumizing" substance, followed by the black mascara coat.

In a mad dash yesterday, I stopped with just the first coat.

I had white eyelashes. All. day. long.

And nobody said a word.


Get time back

.....whatever that means. Sometimes I confuse even myself.

Experience the art. Yo.

I made two valliant attempts to get the color right on this photo, but it is still a bit washed out.


Fly or Sing?

Thanks for all your input on my last post. Because it was hidden there on the page all along, I've decided to call it Something To Say. Kind of ironic, since I posted it with the idea that I had nothing to say.

And now my page for tonight:

This page incorporated four punches. I didn't start out for it to be a 'punchy' page, but then I rarely start out with too much of a plan. But now that it is finished I notice how many punches I used. I got a lot of mileage out of the corner punch by creating lots of 'corners' along the edges. I got a nifty tag punch a while back that I've never used, so it got initiated on this page. The butterfly punch and music note punch round out all the tools.....unless you want to get technical and count the hole punch I used on the tag!
Someone commented that my pages are quite a bit more colorful than usual. Does that mean something deep and artsy or just digging deeper into the paint box? Hmmm.....


I have no words.........

........no, really, I have no words on this page, no title, no caption.
What does it say? What does it need? Is it finished?

I am always fascinated by your comments, how you interpret my pages, the details that speak to you. I will be looking forward to what you will have to say about this spread that I simply labeled "Green".


Good Friends

I hope you had a creative, restful weekend. We did here in our part of the world. Saturday I cleaned off my craft table until I could see the actual surface! *Applause!* I had forgotten what it looked like! The clean uncluttered surface inspired me to make this layout using an old background and bright new colors. I'm going to stare at this page for a while, hoping it will inspire me to clean up my mess! It is a vicious cycle, isn't it?


From the Heart

When he was 8 weeks old, my grandson Alan was diagnosed with liver disease. For the past 22 months our family, supported by God's grace and the prayers of a multitude, has stared down a beast known as biliary atresia. There have been many dark valleys, many hospital stays, too many emergency room visits, ambulance/careflight rides, ICU days, and countless procedures.

On Dec 30, we will celebrate Alan's 1 year liver transplant anniversary. We are on the mountain today, but we know there will be more valleys ahead, hopefully none as dark as we have seen.

Make no mistake, our entire family has been held in the grip of this beast, but standing on the front line 24/7 was my daughter.

Today is her birthday. This card is a tribute to her from my heart.

The text you see peeking out is the lyrics to a song that she sings, a song that she learned before Alan was born. She doesn't need to see them--she knows them by heart because she believes them, she lives them.

Happy Birthday, Amy.

The pathway is broken

And the signs are unclear

And I don't know the reason why You brought me here

But just because You love me the way that You do

I'm gonna walk through the valley

If You want me to


Cause I'm not who I was when I took my first step

And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet

So if all of these trials bring me closer to you

Then I will walk through the fire

If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen

When you lead me through a world that's not my home

But You never said it would be easy

You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me

And I'm all by myself

And I can't hear You answer my cries for help

And I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through

I walk through the darkness If You want me to

If you want to hear it, click here.

Thanks, Barbara for inviting me to This Thurday Its All About. This week's theme is "Art from Your Heart".


Boldness in Orange

There is just something about the color orange that appeals to me. I started liking it rather suddenly it seemed several years ago. It is just so versatile, so bright, so warm.

When I sat down to a blank page the other day, my hand reached for the orange acrylic paint. Many times if I don't know where to start, I start with orange. (The other times of indecision I start with pink, in case you haven't noticed.)

Prowling through my picture files, I found this vibrant blue butterfly. Don't you love how it pops off the page? Building around these two elements, the orange and the butterfly, this bold page came to be.

I have accumulated 5 alphabet stamps--I used four on this layout. Taking a cue from my friend
Linda, I incorporated some postage stamps. They are her signature piece. I have many in my file, but seldom use them.

A new white pen was burning a hole in my supply box, so you might see a little pen work here and there.


Fairy Sisters

Soft and pastel has been catching my eye lately. This layout was hard to photograph. Getting the pinks, blues, and greens vivid enough put a yellow cast to the background. After several edits, I settled on this one--a bit washed out in the upper left and a bit yellow across the bottom. And glittler is impossible to translate to the computer screen;. Just know that this page is very twinkly! :) Squeench your eyes and use your imagination and you'll love it!!


Just for fun

There is not much to be said about this page. It just sort of happened.
Every once in a while some whimsy just pops out!


Elegance & Grace

While I enjoy the challenges I often participate in, I recently decided to step back and do my own creating for a while, because I just don't have time to do both. I wish I did. This has certainly cut down on my blog traffic, but it has been freeing artistically.


A Happy House

Some of the happiest, most creative artwork can be found in a children's hospital. It does what it is supposed to--makes you smile. On a recent clinic visit with my daughter and grandson, a happy collage similar to this one caught my eye. I made a sketch to serve as a reminder and last week created my own version.

This is an 18x24 canvas with acrylic background collaged with various papers. I think this piece does what it is supposed to do--it makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile, too!


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