Saturday, December 10, 2011

A lot of albums!

Imagine my surprise when a customer ordered SIX different albums as Christmas gifts!! Holy moly!! The order came mid-November and I really need to get them in the mail in the next couple days.  Here's a sneak peek at the covers & a couple inside pages......

The customer was kind enough to provide me with very specific quotes, titles, and specifics. Sure made my job easier!! Now, only one more to finish this weekend..

1) A wedding album in eggplant & know how HARD it is to find eggplant papers????

2) A smoky blue/brown wedding this one!

3) 18 mo old little boy

4) a 4yr old little girl who loves sparkles & pink

5) And an 8 yr old girl who loves purple & fashion

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Week Two in 30 Days in Your Journal

This week was a totally different look on the journal page. This is so not my style---I'm much more linear---but I really enjoyed doing it. It allowed me to write longer journal entries on the 8 & 10 tags/cards. And I got to play with some new Tumble Tie Dye sprays by SEI.

I have to say I'm really loving this class---10 minutes a day in just the right amount. It makes you excited to come back & it doesn't feel like a "have to" task. I had some extra time on one of the days so I worked ahead with painting a few other pages. Now they're just waiting for art/journaling next week. Yay!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days in your Journal

November is a very creative month. Several websites are offering prompts or techniques to work in your art journal every day. This particular spread is from Julie Fei Fan Balzer's 30 Days in your Journal class. I love how she only spends 10 minutes a day and comes up with a fabulous spread.

This week has been full of ups & downs for us so it was a perfect week to start! I still want to add more color and textures to this page, but I love how it's turning out. I know, I know, the dates are wrong but my mind is pretty much mush this week---besides, it's a's for me & I'm okay with it!

The other site I'm watching is NaNoJouMo (National Nonstop Journaling Month) by Dawn DeVries Sokol. I don't really have time right now to do the pages but I'm saving the prompts & will definitely work on them after mom's move is finished.

Can't wait to start this weeks spread with Julie---she is so stinking creative & funny!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Holy cow! Has it been a month??

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post!! But so much has gone on (aka "life") that blogging kind of get set aside.

Each day, my phone alarm goes off at 3:00--it tells me it's time to make art! If I didn't do that, I don't know if I would find the time. Art, no matter what type, is so relaxing to me---I can't imagine not being able sit down and play for at least 30 minutes if not longer.

During those times, I've been able to do a few journal pages for a friend (wants the decorated book to write in) and also myself. Plus a few custom wedding albums for my Etsy store. I could make those things in my sleep!! LOL

here's the page I started the other day & finished up today. It's a smaller book than I usually use---one made in a Kelly Kilmer class at Art Unraveled (love the canvas cover!!). I'm taking an online lettering class so this is kind of practice.....

My inspiration was this awesome painted paper on the bottom left. That was one of my few purchases at AU and I got a whole bag of scraps---they are gorgeous! After that it was just pieces I found and some doodling (I may do more of that). I have to say I love my letters......week 3 of the class. Super cute for a page like this---I hope we learn some elegant ones, too.

How YOUR month been going???? Hectic as mine??

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Art Unraveled

This was my first year at Art Unraveled and I have to say it was so much fun!!! A list of classes & instructors so long that it was hard to pick classes!! I started out with 3 but at the last minute added a 4th---I think maybe next year 3 will be enough. By the end of the week, driving back & forth to Paradise Valley every day (40min to over 90min each way) and having classes from 9-4 really wore me out!! Maybe if I had spent the night one time it would have helped.

The 4 classes I took were a "double double" cloth journal,  Mapping Identity in the Visual Journal, One Palette, and Spirit Book. It was all about the art journal for me this year!

Double Double with Jane Eileen

This is a sewn journal with pages on both sides when you open it. I took it cuz I wanted to learn about sewing a journal and because I thought the style was quite unique.  I'm not quite done with it---I wanted to add some of my own touches but haven't had the time yet.

This is the front (right side) and back (left side) of the cover. I want to sew a ribbon across part of it to tie it shut and I still have to add the "binding" down the center.

This is the inside of the journal all folded out (the pages will go in here).....
.......and the sides folded in.  it was so much fun picking out the scraps to use---the instructor generously let us choose from her HUGE tub of fabrics! And the binding was a piece of cake---just fold it over & sew with a zig zag! Looks just like seam binding!

Mapping Identity in the Visual Journal by Journal Fodder Junkies

This is a photo from the instructor's book---I certainly can't draw like that!!!  It was more about the concept than the art in this class. About finding what forces affect your life (family, health, morals, etc). I used a road visual---the intersection at the center was me & the roads leading to that intersection where the forces in my life. If you cut a "hole" (the squares in the pic) to the next page then you can expand on that particular aspect. It's definitely a work in progress to find out what shapes yourself.

One Palette by Pam Carriker

This was probably my favorite class! Pam is an awesome artist and teacher! We used watercolor products that I've not really experimented with before. And those I have, we found different techniques to use with them.

First we took a huge paper and folded it 4 different times to make 12 "pages". When you unfold it, you color each page (front & back) individually then as a whole. Basically you're just adding color (monochromatic) to the entire sheet. It looks strange as one piece but after you finish painting & folding it back up, you separate all the pages with a bone folder to get a book like this......
Now you have pages intermixed showing the colors from each side of the big paper. When it's cut down into pages versus one huge sheet, it really looks cool!
 We wrote words on some of the pages, added a few stamps & splatters, and on this one added a color wheel we made with a coffee filter!

You can see we didn't cover the entire page when we were painting---I think it gives it so much more depth with the colors done around the edges and some simple stamping! Now it's just waiting for me to actually turn those pages into something meaningful to me.  Thanks Pam!!!

Spirit Book by Kelly Kilmer

I love taking classes from Kelly!! She comes to our LSS a couple times a year and does an entire weekend of her classes--what a treat!  This class was the first time I had used a sheet of canvas to paint & use as the journal cover. 

This is the inside of the book---we folded in the sides a bit & I'll sew the tops & bottoms to make little pockets. Slip in notes, zentangles, photos or whatever to use on future pages. It was so much fun added acrylic paint, stencils, detail doodling and stamps! The primed & unprimed sides of the canvas too the products so differently!!

Then we started making pages---Kelly loves using images from magazines & books combined with decorative tape, stamps, and transparencies/stickers.  This is my favorite page that I made---can't wait to do something with it!!

I think I'm good on empty journals now! LOL  Now if I could just get myself to write in them instead of just making the pages........

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hands of Grace by Dianne Greco

When you least expect it, strength is just around the corner

From the Publisher

In the Hands of Grace tells the story of Susan Appleton, a woman who married well, lived the life of plenty, and lost most of it when her husband was killed in a car accident. She managed to walk away from the lap of luxury and her husband's greedy family with some insurance money, a summer house on eastern Long Island and her well paying, highly stressful job as an assistant gem broker in Manhattan's Diamond District. Then, she gets fired. Once again she is forced to cope with a sudden, unwelcome change. 

During the weeks that follow, she constantly worries about her son, her finances and if she will ever find another job. She also faces the long unanswered questions she has avoided since her husband's death about whom he was with at the "business meeting" the night he was killed. She meets up with her neighbor, Grace Burton on the day she is fired and is amazed at how safe she feels around her. With Grace's friendship and clairvoyant gifts, Susan learns the value of simple pleasures.

My Take

Sometimes we think things can’t get any worse…….until they do. You feel like you’ve hit rock bottom and the “pity party” begins. But like any party, there comes a time when you have to move on. That’s what happened to Susan after her husband was killed, she lost her home and then her job. She wasn’t sure what to do with herself so she decided to start connecting with people again, including her son. Susan knew that events of the last several years had taken its toll on her son but because of her schedule, she didn’t know how he was coping. Now was the time to find out.

I’ve found in most Christian novels, there is a “grand-motherly” character---the kind that you want to just want crawl into her hug and have her say it will all get better.  The kind who gives love and comfort along with words of wisdom. In Hands of Grace, that character is Grace, Susan’s next-door neighbor.  Grace sees the good in everyone and even sees a little bit of the future. She is full of insight about her friends and doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind. We would all love to have a Grace in our life to help guide us to being the best we can be.

I really enjoyed Hands of Grace as a “good read”. Yes, the characters had some depth but the book itself was a light read, almost predictable. It seemed as soon as Susan began her journey to know herself and her son, good things happened. There really wasn’t a “bad guy” to stir up controversy or challenge the main characters, but that’s what made it such a light and easy read.  I’d give Hands of Grace a 4 out of 5 stars. 

I received a free copy of In the Hands of Grace from the publisher through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Dianne Greco lives in beautiful Port Jefferson on Long Island, NY with her husband, son, dog and two cats. When she isn’t working in her gardens, she works at the lovely Emma S. Clark Memorial Library which gives her countless good reads and the inspiration to write.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Where has the time gone???

Someone told me today that it had been awhile since I updated my blog....and they were right! I've had several projects completed lately--even taken photos but just haven't had a chance to get them out there. Sure wish there were more hours in the day......

I'm gonna work backword and start with my latest project---a pillow! Now I haven't sewn since junior high a hundred years ago......  I made a skirt with an elastic waistband an a pocket. Ugliest thing I ever saw but that's what the home ec teacher made us do (do they still call it home ec??).  So when I saw Julie Fei Fan Balzer's "It's Sew Easy" course online, I knew I had to do it! Found a great, simple machine at for only $80 & free shipping which made it perfect!  The pillow is just lots of strips of material pieced together but I love it!! It has a flap on the backside to take the pillow form in & out so the cover can be washed.

Before this project, I was putting together some old kits & I made this one from 2009 (how could it have been that long?). This was taught by Wendy Vecchi of Studio 490 stamps. I love her style so I had to finish this as a treat to myself.

I've also had some time to work in my art journals. This is just one of the pages I have done lately which I love. It was actually started with a background to try out an itty bitty rolling pin with fun foam glued on in lines. Since then I've made a couple other rolling pins---which will show up sometime soon here.  Then I loved this picture out of a magazine..... so they just had to go together.

So that's what I've been up about you????

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