Thursday, August 31, 2006

Art journal page

The most recent assignment in the class is to try a gluebook-style page. Gluebooks are where you glue down various bits of papers, magazine clippings, etc. Some use it to glue down bits of receipts and other papers that they come across during the day (basically a visual record of their day), others take random bits of paper and turn them into an art piece, and many do a mixture of both. After browsing the links the instructor provided, I ended up joining a Yahoo group that focuses on gluebooks ... looks really interesting! They provide challenges and daily prompts for members to use if they want. I used one of their challenges to make this first gluebook page in my art journal.
The challenge is to take a magazine and, while keeping your eyes closed, fan through and rip out 3 random pages ... no peeking! Then make a page using only elements from those 3 pages ... you can open your eyes for that part LOL! I got the pages out of a copy of Oprah's magazine that my mil had given me awhile back. It's interesting how this spread ended up accurately representing my feelings about our homeschool curriculum decisions for this year. I glued the elements on a previously painted black background that I first doodled on with a white pencil to make it look like a school chalkboard.

Booking through Thursday 8/31/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. What is your favorite kind of reading? Novels? Biographies? Mathematical textbooks? Fiction novels are my favorite ... and within the genre, I like various kinds. Christian fiction, murder mysteries, stories about the Amish are the current biggies.

  2. What do you like best about your favorite kind of reading? What keeps you coming back to that kind of book? Following a gripping story? Watching characters develop? Being educated about things and places you didn't know about? Letting your mind relax into someplace completely different? For Christian fiction, I enjoy reading about others who are struggling with life, just like me, and are overcoming their struggles with God's love. For murder mysteries, I love trying to figure out whodunit. And for Amish fiction, I love peeking into their simple, yet also complex, lives and relationships. In all cases, though, I love series best ... when I find a character or group of characters that I really like, I love the continued chance to read more about them and really get to know them.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Art journal page and new reading journal

I completed another art journal page today ... this one is about food and it's unhealthy tie to feelings of love and security in my life.

And, inspired by the reading journals of Eliece and Linda, I decorated the cover of a new journal for recording books as I read them. I'm looking forward to filling it up so that I can remember what I've read ... much more fun than just a simple list, don't you think?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Booking through Thursday 8/24/06

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Have you ever wanted to travel to a place described in a book? All the time! I'd love to see Anne's Green Gables or see the places that the Sisterchicks have visited or wander through Narnia (though I don't think that's going to happen in this lifetime LOL!) and many more.

  2. Have you ever ACTUALLY travelled to a place because of the way it was described in a book? No, but maybe someday ....

  3. And if so, did it live up to the expectations, feelings, emotions you expected from the book? Did you feel like Anne was going to come romping around the corner of Green Gables? Was it as if Jo was upstairs at Orchard House, scribbling on a story? Or was it just a museum, or just a city street? Like Abbey Road without the Beatles? As you can see from question 2, I've never had the chance yet, but I sure hope that if I ever do visit some of these places, they live up to the vision I have in my mind! But I would say it's important to travel to these destinations with an open mind and not base all my expectations on the author's depiction of the location ... remind myself that the author was, after all, writing a piece of fiction LOL!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Art journal pages

A couple more pages I made to remember some good journaling ideas given in the art journaling class. This is so fun!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another clipboard

I just had to make one more for the birthday party ... too fun!! Love the almost instant gratification of this project. Hope they all like them as much as I enjoyed making them! I'm off to wrap ...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday was my 38th birthday (mmm ... cake and ice cream ...) I can still remember when I thought 40 was sooo old, and now here I am pushing it LOL! Thank goodness I don't feel as old as I thought it was.

I got a little birthday money from my parents (hey, it's not just for little kids, you know!) and I found just the perfect way to spend some of it. I signed up for an online class called Fun Art Journaling. Over the past couple days I have had so much fun ... and I still have about 10 weeks to go! Our first assignment was to grab a journal and create a title page, then journal a couple pages about how and why we want to journal and what we hoped to get out of this class. I decorated the cover of a composition notebook for the title page, then did a 2-page spread for the rest. Here are the results:

Definitely fun!! For the cover, I glued on a black and white scrapbook paper and then doodled in the white spaces with various markers. For the 2-page spread, I wrote over an acrylic wash (that I'd already done a couple months ago) with more markers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Scavenger Hunt art

On the artexplorations group, we recently did a 2-part scavenger hunt. For the first part, we swapped a bag of stuff (pictures, trim, papers, etc.) with our assigned partner. Then for the second part, we were assigned a second partner to make a piece of artwork using the stuff we received from the first partner. My first partner was Gina in OR. I sent her this bag of goodies and she sent me an envelope stuffed with some really interesting things, including waxy milk bottle tops, cool papers that I think are mulberry papers(?) and some neat pictures. My second partner is Linda in MD, who in turn made me a beautiful piece of artwork using stuff she received from Lois in IL (which is too funny because Lois lives less than 20 miles from me LOL!) Here's the piece Linda sent me last month.
In turn, I needed to make something for Linda. While Gina sent me some really neat stuff, I was having a hard time grouping things together ... so many different styles and colors. I knew I would need to add some of my own stuff in order to make a complete piece, but it was all in boxes from the studio redo ... yikes! But I finally got some stuff uncovered and found some things that would work ... and this morning I buckled down and put them together. I'm so pleased with how it turned out! What do you think? The picture shows yellows that are brighter than in person ... they're more rusty orange in real life.The background papers, phrase, picture of the 3 miners and the neat green ring (which is the outside edge of one of the waxy milk bottle tops ... so cool!) came from Gina's package. I just added some PO stamps, a little piece off a tea bag package and an interesting picture from a cereal box. A little rubbing with a sepia stamp pad over the top of the papers before adding the ring helped blend all the edges. I love the leathery feel the piece has ... let's hope Linda likes it as much as I do!

Creative Organizing

I recently stumbled upon this fun blog called Creative Organizing and liked it so much, I put it on my list of daily blog reads. In this blog, personal organizer Aby Garvey shares fun ways to organize your life, and includes little challenge projects for making organizational tools fun and pretty so that they'll actually get used ... love it! A couple of her projects included making over clipboards and magnet clips. I just had to do these! I already had a clip that I'd received from my local library, so I turned it into my own menu holder. Maybe I'll actually start making weekly menus again ... it is really nice to know what's for dinner *before* 5:30 p.m.!

Then I just *had* to make some clipboards. I got some boring old brown clipboards from Wal-Mart (for only 97 cents!) and made the green one for myself (using the side of a gift bag) and the bee and ladybug ones for my girls (using scrapbooking papers) ... I'm not sure yet what my clipboard will be for, but I plan to use the girls' boards for their daily to-do lists. I think they'll have fun checking off their chores and stuff with these pretty things!

While I was making them, I realized they'd make great gifts for an upcoming birthday party we're attending. So, after another trip to Wal-Mart yesterday for more clipboards (I only needed 2, but I went ahead and bought the last 8 LOL!), I made these two boards for the special birthday girls. I hope they like them!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Booking through Thursday 8/17/06

Booking Through Thursday

This week's questions were inspired by Caroline. She can't read The Joy Luck Club without thinking of potstickers and wontons... And no, we're not talking about cookbooks here. Please leave those out of this discussion. ;-)

  1. Do you enjoy books that have cooking or eating scenes in them? I love food, so, yes, I do love cooking and eating scenes in a book! Reading about someone cooking wonderful sounding food makes me wish I was there watching and ready to perform taste tester duty. Can you guess I love watching cooking shows, too?

  2. Have you made or eaten anything that was inspired by a recipe or scene in a non-cooking book? I can't think of anything I made myself, but I have tried several dishes at restaurants that were similar to something I'd read because the author made it sound so good. If I wasn't surrounded by a family of picky eaters, maybe I'd be more willing to try making something myself LOL!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Booking through Thursday Meme

I discovered this meme blog on books and reading while browsing through some blogs and just had to play ... as an avid reader, I love to talk books! The meme blog posts a few questions every Thursday about, you guessed it, books and reading, and others post their answers on their blog. Even though a new set of questions will be posted tomorrow, I decided to go ahead and answer last Thursday's questions today to get the ball rolling.

Booking Through Thursday

  • Do you plan ahead for your reading? Work off of a to-be-read pile? A reading list? Or do you wing it, choose whatever you're in the mood for? I don't really plan ahead too much, but I do keep a running list of books I want to eventually read. And I almost always have a pile of books to work through at any given time. I take my kids to the library every Friday and I usually pick up a few for myself at that time (depends on how many I still have waiting at home). We keep our library books on 2 shelves in the playroom (one for their books and one for mine). When I finish a book, I take it back to the shelf and pick out another one. If I'm reading something in a series and have the next one on the shelf, I'll usually pick that one next. Otherwise, I just pick whatever interests me, or sometimes I might pick a book that has to go back to the library soon LOL! I don't follow any current reading lists, but I occasionally read them looking for books that sound good, and I also check out books that are recommended by people on my various Yahoo groups.

  • If you do plan ahead, how far ahead? Do you have two or three books waiting in queue? Or are you backed up by dozens of volumes waiting their turn? I don't plan too far ahead ... with kids, and with homeschooling, I don't have alot of time for personal reading. I usually have about 6-7 books on the shelf waiting to be read (though currently I have about 20 books waiting because so many books became available through the library's reservation process in the last 3 weeks ... yikes! I better get moving if I'm going to finish them before they're due!) I also listen to books on tape, usually while cleaning the house and cooking dinner, and have 3 in the queue right now.

  • If you do not plan ahead . . . well, *never*? What about if you're reading a series? Or someone gives you a book for a present? I guess I do sort of plan ahead ... I like to read series in order if I can. And if I have more than one book by the same author on the shelf, I usually read them all in a row, by publication date. But otherwise, I just grab the next book that looks interesting.
  • Thursday, August 10, 2006

    More quilts for the show

    Well, I'm finally getting around to filling out entry forms for the upcoming quilt show. I wanted to do this over a week ago, but I couldn't get the darn form to print out! Had to wait until the next guild meeting to pick up a handful. Since I need to have these turned in by the 15th (only 5 days away ... yikes!), I decided I better get cracking LOL! It was like strolling down memory lane to jot down info about why I made each quilt and all the details about how it was pieced, appliqued and quilted ... *sigh* ....

    In addition to the seven quilts I mentioned in a previous post, I'm also including the Burning Bush quilt and this cute little wool bunny. This is the second time I've entered quilts in the guild show, but my first experience with judging. For the last show, the organizer opted to not have the quilts judged in order to encourage everyone (even those who didn't think their quilts were "worthy") to enter at least one quilt. The organizer for this year's show has included judging, but has given us the option to determine whether a quilt is part of the judging or not. I'm a little nervous, but also anxious to hear what the judges will say about my quilts. I'm looking forward to reading the critiques ... maybe I'll get some tips on how to improve! Now if I can just figure out how I'm going to print out the pics ....

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Calendar journal -- July 2006

    I love art journaling, though I don't get to do it every day. A couple months ago, I stumbled onto TracyU's flicker pages, where she shows her amazing calendar journal pages, and realized this was the perfect way to jot down the highlights of each day, even if I didn't have time to do more elaborate pages. I started with June, but I only have about 1/3 of it filled in (mostly on the weekends) ... I found I really need to keep the journal open and accessible so that I can write in it each night or at least the next morning. But I didn't beat myself up about it ... just moved on to July. I did much better ... not always remembering to journal immediately, but usually at least within 3 days or so (though there is one day that I can't remember what we did, hence the question mark LOL!) Now that my studio is getting put back together, I have room to leave it out all the time, so hopefully for August and future months, I'll do better. I don't know what's more fun ... decorating the page or filling in the journaling!
    July's page done with Sharpie markers.

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Baseboards and beyond

    Alright! The baseboards are installed and look much better than the old ones, don't you think? I love 'em!

    <--Out with the old

    In with the new-->

    Now for the really fun (and also really hard) part ... finding room for all the stuff LOL! For the last few days, I've been moving stuff from the pile in front of the fireplace bit by bit and trying to find places for it. I found that I need more and better storage containers to help sort stuff like rubber stamps, beads, threads, etc., so today I stopped at JoAnn's and bought some colorful baskets and plastic containers in various sizes ... all 50% off, love it! This week I hope to do a better job of sorting these things and getting them into the containers. Once I start doing that, I should be able to see if I need any more containers. The only thing I haven't been able to find is the perfect storage system for under the cutting/pressing table. I was looking at those plastic rolling carts, but I don't think they'll be sturdy enough. The search is on!
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