December 20, 2010

Where I will be all week

Where I will be all week - 

Just like you I am sure....

Prepping for Christmas. Time with the kids. Time cleaning the house for family. Time cooking. Time crafting and thinking about art.  Time reading poetry (I have a couple of new poetry books to read, yeah!)

Wishing you all well for the Holiday season and thank you for visiting my blog.

December 18, 2010

Where I will be today

Huntsville State Park, which looks like the Fall has never passed, for the wedding of two of the loveliest people, I mentioned in my blog yesterday, Michelle and Anthony. 

L for Lopez... and Love

Some handcrafted decorations made by Vickie and Molly, Michelle's sisters

I was there yesterday to help set up the wedding. But due to my little guy's constant need for movement and attention I couldn't help as much as I would have liked. Fortunately, Michelle has some very talented sisters and friends & devoted family who spent the day decorating the lodge where the ceremony will take place.

Today it is all about Michelle. And Anthony of course!

I snapped these at the rehearsal Friday night. I realized I need a tripod, so when we do it for real today my photos will have more clarity. Thankfully I am only the assistant photographer, I am doing the grooms pre-wedding shots and the guests, Shannon Mucha everything else (plus hair and make up!!). I don't think I could handle the burden of all the formals. It is a lot of work to remember all the shots, I have a new level of respect for wedding photographers!

Michelle and her father rehearsing their entrance

and it is a big day for Lily as the flower girl, Zeb, Shannon's son, as the ring bearer.... I can't wait to share photos of her dress and Zeb's suit!
Lily and Zeb rehearsing their departure from the wedding

This is what I am spending my art time on today. But Sunday I will start working on some pieces for CRESCENDOh as I received my CRESCENDOh stamps in the mail! Yeah! I had just cleaned up my craft table, but I guess I am going to get it all messy again.

December 17, 2010

Art Finds Friday


Beautiful, feminine, story filled, layered photography. Vanessa Ho Fine Art Photography. Thanks for the link Shannon.

Necklace by Alyssabeth
Alyssabeth just recently signed up to be a part of this blog. I visited her blog and it is full of lovely feminine, shabby chic, mixed media treasures. She has listed lots of handmade Christmas things recently, being the season and all that. Worth a look.

While I was visiting her I saw a post about this necklace. She was selling it on her Etsy site. Now she is not, as I bought it! A Christmas gift for myself! How decadent.


I love watching Roben-Marie Smith's workshop videos. They are more than just a workshop, how to do this or that, they show her creative mind at work. Roben-Marie leaves little out, you see in fast motion the whole project from start to end, it is like you are watching her hands think, especially in this video! Her videos are generally over 10 minutes in length, so it is best to choose a time when you have a cup of tea and want to just enjoy watching someone else's creative process. My girls like to watch her videos with me. I find it soothing to watch her work. Her latest one, sewing a gift bag, is over on her Vimeo channel here.

She inspired me to sew on paper again! I needed to make some gift bags for the girls and this was perfect. I used an old skirt of theirs to make these bags:

Scrap fabric gift bags inspired by Roben-Marie Smith, beanie baby bear prop courtesy of my 6 year old daughter

Before I could get them filled and on the tree Laura & Lily took them outside to add to their fairy house that they were building, so I don't know if they will make it back inside the house to act as gift bags!

I am off today (Friday) to help set up for Michelle and Anthony Lopez's wedding, a young couple at our church (if you follow that link to the photo - my husband gave Anthony the hat as a man to man wedding gift!). Shannon Mucha did an awesome job on their engagement shots see here, here and here for some of my favorites.
It is a DIY wedding - everything is handmade and very 'them'. The colors are brown, green and yellow. I will take pics of everything and post them, it is going to be unusual and beautiful. 
I am assisting Shannon as she photographs the wedding. I am in charge of photographing things and guests and then holding the clip board as Shannon photographs the family groups.
My Lily, 8, is the flower girl in the wedding which is on Saturday, she is going to be beautiful in her white satin dress, brown sash with yellow flower. Shannon made the flower girl basket - it is wicker with a plume of feathers and a wooden flower. I added green velvet flowers to lily's white shoes in keeping with the nature theme. What an honor for her to be a part of it.

December 16, 2010

4 inspirations

1) Line and form

2) Perspective

3) Color

4) Flora and fauna

Thanks Shannon for the photo inspiration and the enjoyable walk to the park.

December 14, 2010

December 13, 2010

Raising a daughter

Being a parent is a whole lot of work. Beautiful work that pulls you in so many directions. I have been aware recently of how independent my kids are, how well their personalities are shaping and how one day I will no longer have the influence over them I have today. I want to do today what is best for each of them. Like every parent I worry is it enough? am I on the right path?

I have been thinking about 

raising a daughter

Raising a daughter
By Shona Cole

she is young
her smile easy
her long hair crumbly, in need of a brush
she is in costume today
there are pools of clothes all over the house
her putting on different faces
looking for her space, her season of self

I have labored long beneath her form
she will not hear me one day
so today I whisper ‘you are OK’
the stage is something silver,
bright but mean, a frozen pond
a long winter that wants our time
that stamps it’s foot when we falter

I am powerless
shaken, poured out

I wake each morning with
her name on my lips
I am scared for her
I pray, I pray
to my Father
‘Lord, let her glide graceful
to the self you planned,
let me see, let her be’

    now the desert
    dust of who I once was and
    nothing besides remains. *

* This line is from the great poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

December 11, 2010

This day

Before the birthday
of mine
was this day
this stepping out
in new shoes
dapper, handmade outfits
on the way to the modern
world, but not quite

the timeless hymn
the same trees
in infancy
today great towers
of knowledge
arching over time
with the slow joy
in the creation of new
reasons and patterns

this day, this flicker of life
that all ancestors bear
and give along
to the next and the next

this day that could have existed
for anybody else
but didn't, was theirs,
their moment,

but is now yours.

By Shona Cole

December 10, 2010

Art Finds Friday kind of sleepy and not quite organized enough

You know I just didn't get around to posting my regular Art Finds Friday post today. I do my posts the night in advance and last night I was just plain tired. I did the dishes after dinner and went to bed leaving the kids to put themselves to bed. Mark and I watched an episode of 'Band of Brothers' and went to sleep. I slept for 12 hours (minus night nursings, say about 3)!!! 

I did do some art yesterday - carved a stamp from a photo of a flower, collaged it with photo of Grandpa Kelly and my mother as a little girl. I am working on something else today. And everyday. I get down about not creating anything really new, but I remind myself 'it is better to do something artful than nothing at all'. I cling to that. It lifts me above the gravity pull of negativity and tiredness.
Oh and I did find out that I am going to be part of Jenny Doh's CRESCENDOh Design Team in 2011. Yeah! More projects to work on. I am so excited to be joining the team, and what a great team Jenny has assembled so far. I will let you know when I am added to the list.

Have a lovely, productive artful weekend.

December 09, 2010

My Inventory

Save for her voice
from upstairs
drifting loose
I am in the quiet
alone with my thoughts
this notebook
taking stock
pulling strands

the walls around,
I feel them knowing,
understanding better than me
why I came here
it is as if they can see the future
and won’t tell me if it is good
or if it is bad.

The mended memories of home
cloudy today again
the open fields, closed
the empty rose beds
my grandfather dead this long time
his grave, my blood, unvisited
until now
in my memory that often
forgets it’s place

I put my pen down
I can no longer hear her voice

December 08, 2010

Workshop Wednesday - Mini calendar holder (with download!)

I loved making this project. I love this mini calendar. I love that is it not digital, but tangible. I love mini anything.

So here are the steps to make your own:


Scan in your vintage photos and collage to your computer. Save as jpegs.

This is photo is of my maternal grandparents sitting on a blanket with a friend. Granny and Grandpa Kelly are the ones on the left. They look so happy. Grandpa died when I was 11. Granny Kelly was always so happy and enthusiastic about our family. Once she told me if she had been younger she would have liked my Mark. And man, she would have LOVED my kids. I can hear her saying 'Oh Shona, they are so lovely'. I know she would have been proud of me. One day in heaven we are going to have a time catching up!!!
Before she died she bought us the fridge we still have. I was meant to get a new one this Christmas as part of my kitchen re-do, because it is white and my kitchen black. But I just can't get rid of it! I asked for computer speakers instead.

Anyhow, on with the tutorial....

In Photoshop Elements (PSE), or other photo program that can combine photos, open all the images that you want to combine.

I use PSE 8, so here is what I did, it is the same procedure for other versions of PSE: In PSE open a new file. I always set the dimensions pretty big, like 4000x4000, 72dpi so I have room to play. (My regular image files are much larger than scanned images, but I prefer to use the dimensions I always use.)

Drag each file over into the new image. (You may notice, that after I added in my collage file I then rotated the original 180 and picked a portion of it to drag over)

 Line them up side by side, you want to make a long narrow image combo.

Crop the image, flatten all the layers and save as a new jpeg.

Open this image in Word. Re-size the image so that it is and print onto heavy cardstock. My calendar holder image was 7 1/4 x 3 3/4. Cut this card out and fold in half.

Inside of folder

Add a pocket to the inside of your holder. Add some collage elements to this pocket, and possibly some rubber stamps and a paper clip. This will be where you store your mini calendar.


**You can download my Mini Calendar and skip to Step 7!**

I am sure there is an easier way of making a calendar, but I am most familiar with Microsoft Word, so that is what these steps cover:
Open a new blank document.

Insert a Text box.

In the text box create a table. Format it to 7 columns and 8 rows.

Open a copy of the 2011 calendar and type in January's dates on the appropriate days. Choose a font you like. I used Kingthings Trypewriter (not a typo) from I love this font and it is free!

This is the scan of a rubber stamp that I carved from a photo I took!
Add an image you may like.

Download a PDF of this calendar here!
 Copy and paste January and adjust to create February and so on.

Print this onto cardstock. Trim.

STEP 8 (finally)

Insert the mini calendars into your pocket, minus the one you are using - one of the months will clip onto the front of the pocket inside the folder!

It took me a long time to create this calendar, so to save you that time, why not use my mini calendar?

It's a free PDF for you to use for your personal projects.  

I added a paper circle around my people after I printed the folder.

back view of my Mini Calendar Folder



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