January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

my little girl's note to their ill and in bed for days Momma

January 21, 2011

Art Finds Friday - January 21, 2011

There is a glass window to the forest
we see our last days here
winter is mild about us now
the low cool gone
the blankets stripped back
revealing what we should have
known before
we always forget the leaves
that came and went
the branches bare and struggling
to find their breath

I know spring will come
and breathe life into our days too
fact’s happy speech!
So I will enjoy this lingering winter
before the sun’s white gold
takes our sorrow.
by shona cole

 Check out these photos of a decaying Detroit!  

And this beautiful blog, Jean Jean Vintage.

I will be taking some classes at Art Unraveled in March. I am going to learn about using resin on paper and a few other classes too.

January 19, 2011

Partial stamping

In an attempt to make a stamp my own often I use only part of the whole stamp. I altered paper bags to make embellished envelopes with this method:

Step one
Ink only a portion of the stamp that you are using. It can be a little difficult to get this right, the stamp pads are generally rectangles, which makes it hard to avoid inking the bits you don't want. An alternative to ink pads is to use paint or stamping markers. Stamp by PaperArtsy.

Step two
Once I trimmed the image I drew some pencil lines on the stamped and then painted it in with watercolor paint.

Step three
I added some more partial stamps to the edge pattern. Stamp by Jenny Doh. Then I tore off the bottom edge (I had stamped it with some more of the circles but it looked too much)

Step four
Rummage through your scraps left over from other projects and your scrapbook papers and play around with colors until you are happy with your layout.

Step five
Stamp a small paper bag with a large stamp. Let the stamp go over the edges, this is another type of partial stamping.

Step six
Glue the image panel onto the paper bag. I wrote the words 'Happy Birthday' on the left. There you have it -  an envelope for a gift tag, card or small gift.

Alternative card layouts:

Some other pieces with partial stamps:
Here you can see the full and partial Jenny Doh stamp

January 18, 2011

Wishstudio post


I am back for a second year at the Wishstudio.

So what are the 'requirements' to be a part of The Artistic Mother club? ... (it is not so hard)
 Check out my article today!

January 17, 2011

Between me, my kids and the world

Why do people on TV and online cuss so much?  It makes my job as a mom harder and restricts my freedom.

There are good programs out there that I want to share with my kids but can’t. Take Project Runway for example. My girls love fashion and creativity, which is the focus of that show. But we can’t enjoy it together because of the cussing and sexuality references. Then there is YouTube. My son loves to watch top ten soccer goals on YouTube, but I have to do the searches and hold my hand over the comments area because there is invariably someone exclaiming in the worst terms why this collection of goals or that player sucks.

Now I can’t do anything about other folks’ freedom of speech and I am no prude. I can watch an R rated movie with the toughest of the rest. I just wish people could find a less lazy way of expressing themselves. Cussing is the quickest way to complain or show emotion. I know this to be true because I have been a cusser – have you every seen an Irish movie that wasn’t loaded down with profanity? It goes with the territory, but that does not mean I am not trying to raise the bar for myself and my kids.

Since I refuse to reject the world and become a separatist not allowing my kids be a part of the modern world, I will continue to oversee and limit what my kids do and see. I understand that my role as a parent includes being vigilant and ready to step in between my kids and the world. And who ever said being a parent would be easy?

But what makes me sad is that that cussing is only the tip of the iceberg. I think of all the darkness that is in the world that my kids are yet to see and my stomach clenches. I think of their happy, innocent minds being polluted by evil. Uhhh. 

I can’t protect them forever. I can try to educate my five kids so that they will make wise choices in what they hear, see and do. And I can and do pray for them. I pray that the Lord will protect their bodies, minds and hearts from bad things. 

And I can take time to expose them to the good things too, fill up their minds with art and color, stories and happy experiences. I can continue to light candles to push back the darkness. I just wish sometimes the darkness wasn’t so pervasive.

January 14, 2011

Art Find Friday - January 14, 2011


For Christmas I got some photographic equipment - a tripod, 60mm lens and a light kit. Perfect for photographing 'things'. I am having fun setting up 'beauty shots' of things I am making. My girls, 8 & 6, totally are into it and have done most of the 'staging'. It is a fun thing to do together. I say 'Hey, I have another card to photograph' and they go in and pull out papers and bits and bobs and then I just have to push the button! So fun.

Here is my light kit set up. The lights came with canisters, but I prefer the light without them.

lights on!
My first beauty shot. Thanks to my girls for the decorations!
This is a card I made with Jenny Doh stamps and glimmer mist from Stampington & Co.


If you love before and after pictures, then check out Kristy's blog  Life-n-Reflection. You can see the power and beauty of photoshop actions. I love the vintage look. Kristy sells her actions at her store on Etsy and on her blog.


For all you quilters and crafters you have to see this video for Etsy's Handmade Portrait series. It is an amazing video by a quilter spoken as if from a future world. Very cool, and his quilt is good too!

In my bid to be positive this year and not check Drudge headlines I am spending my breakfast computer time only looking at art and craft related websites. One of the first I go to is the Etsy blog, there is always something interesting to read there on by folks living an artistic life. That is where I found this video.


Anthropologie, the catalog came in the mail this week.

They have an Anthro video site over at Vimeo which is so beautiful.

January 07, 2011

Art Finds Friday - Jan 6, 2011


I am delighted to announce that this year I have joined Jenny Doh's CRESCENDOh design team. It is so nice to have this deadline and inspiration to get me creating. Maximus has become such a challenge at 14 months, zooming here and there, pulling things out of cupboards and drawers, by the evening without a strong reason to create I find it hard to not give into the desire to veg. You know what I mean Momma?

My first card made using CRESCENDOh products has been posted here. It is a kind of Workshop - I describe in words and pictures how I went about making this card with these Alice in Wonderland stamps.

I am full of ideas for things to make with the CRESCENDOh stamp lines and looking forward to creating lots in 2011 despite my crazy toddler!


Tara Sophia Mohr is hosting an online workshop: Living Your Brilliance: Quieting Your Inner Critic and Reclaiming the Driver's Seat in Your Work and Your Life. Doesn't that sound nice? I am really practicing quieting my inner critic this year. My word for 2011 is positive. Specifically, I am determined to be more positive about myself! I am often so positive about the world around me, my kids, other artist's work, other folks blogs and books and on and on, reserving all my negativity for myself. I am so tired of feeling down about myself. I want to feel that what I choose and do is okay. So Tara's course sounds right along those lines.

You can win a spot on this course over here at Shelley Kommers blog Oiseaux (I love Shelley's collages, so her blog is always worth a visit). This giveaway is open until January 9th, so hurry on over.


If you grew up in the 80's then you probably loved George Michael's Careless Whispers. Guilty. But oh, Seether has done an amazing re-make. I can't get enough. I am not really into that video.....

but... someone has put Seether's song to the best bits of the movie 'Twilight'. Check it out here on YouTube.  Let me rant for a minute - I loved Twilight... yes it was cheesy but it captured perfectly the emotion, the awkwardness of new love, Edward's agony and desire, the first desirable male since Mr. Darcy. It inspired me to read all the Twilight series books (in like a week). I felt the coloring of the movie really complimented them... but then Summit stole the project from director Catherine Hardwick, who is first and foremost an artist, and gave it to directors who made the other movies into blah, blah big Hollywood movies. New Moon and Eclipse lack energy, the edgy coloring, the raw longing, the passion of the books and the first movie. They are simply wooden. Worse - pieces of plastic covered wood. Like toys you would see in Walmart rather than on Etsy. Sigh. Such a shame.

Another Seether song I love is 'Broken' with Amy Lee.....

The singer of Seether and Amy Lee were a couple when they wrote this song and I was thinking I wish I could create some art with my mate..... but then I remembered 1) my commitment to being positive towards myself... so I am not going to lament my lack of singing talent/creative opportunity. Check. Re-focus. 2) My husband and I have made some, no, the ultimate art - our beautiful children! 

Re-focus. Positive. Create.

January 04, 2011

Where my time is spent

family walk

All the same for you, for me

time moves away,
spilling sometimes
so fast I see my children grow
inches as I plow my feet into the earth

and so like you I go about my life
walking with my people
soothing the baby crying for his momma
chatting about the fairies on the pop up page

brushing my floors, wiping the sink
replacing toilet paper
finding the sippy cup, the naked doll, Nerf darts
folding the Christmas tree skirt

and meals, measured out and relentless
a constant reminder of our mortality
heat, cool, texture, color
the sacred rite of motherhood

and at last
journaling my mind
listing my goodness and plans
looking ever outwards
and ever inwards
reconciliation measured in
a thing actually completed and mailed
in a photo posted and acknowledged

and so it goes
and so it goes

to this year I bow, we all cheer
for what we will accomplish
with our tiny mouths.


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