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Indulging in the Process!

Process versus age old discussion, with folks firmly entrenched in one camp or the other, at least for the most part. I happen to love both; I enjoy getting a product, but honestly, even if the product is a complete and utter flop, I enjoy the process.

Especially if it involves paint and collage.

I always end up with a paint filled canvas on my hands, and this time? Well, this time, I even sported several bright green streaks in my hair, which made me smile each and every time I caught a glimpse of them. I just may put a colorful streak in on purpose the next time I get my hair done. Who knows?


Seth Apter, an utterly awesome teacher out of NYC, taught two marvelous classes at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA, this past weekend. I absolutely loved both of them, but I have to confess that Sunday's was my favorite, by just a wee bit of an edge.

Saturday's class involved making grids for book pages, and then, as Seth puts it, breaking the grid.

I love grids, and you'll find grids on many of my inspiration boards/pages. I found out though, that I don't much care to make them, ending up getting a bit bored with all those tiny pieces and making them fit together without gaps. More pieces seem to end up stuck to me than to the book pages.

Don't get me wrong, I love my book; it uses old book covers in a very cool way, and there's no sewing involved. I will confess that I will grid one of the pages, (probably one of the smaller ones!), and then do my own thing on the others, and Seth would be the first to tell you that he's cool with it.


Sunday's class ....well, that's when I ended up sporting a green streak in my hair. Sunday's class was all about layers of paint - brushing it one, stenciling it on, blobbing it on (How's that for art lingo?), spritzing it, flicking it, and spattering it, plus so much more.

If you make a "mistake," paint over it.

Layer after layer after layer of paint, both on the cards and on me.

It's a great exercise in not getting too attached to your product, because most likely, you'll be covering at least part of it up with a new technique.

And, I'm good with that.

The cards you see above are just a small part of it; they entered this world as a cheap deck of playing cards.

Yes, I gessoed and painted 52 cards. They are in various stages at this moment, with these 8 being the furthest along in their journey.

After the paint, comes collage, and somehow, fitting them together is this very ungridlike way floats my boat.

I don't get frustrated; I love it, in fact, and I spend countless hours playing with the variations.

I need to work a bit more on painting the backs, and I'll be journaling on them, basically a card a week. 52 cards = 52 weeks, an ongoing project.

In the end, they'll become an artist's book, bundled and tied between two covers.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got more collaging to do!

I'm a Cover Girl...and a Give Away!


I'm a cover how much more exciting can life get? Check out the bottom row, smack dab in the middle. Those photo cards and quotes? Mine!

I am so pleased to be in this book; Lesley is a fantastic artist, a superb teacher, and just a wonderful woman. She's been published several times, for her transfers, her gathering of illustrated quotes, etc. I'm lucky enough to be in this round, and I find my work alongside some pretty amazing artists.

Never forget to play and to ask, "What if I....?" because that's how this got started. I had my TAP out to work on another project (art journaling) and thought, "What would happen if I tried TAP on an index card?" So, I sized and edited a few photos, and the fun began.


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Here are a few photos that I used, and you can see the index card lines on a few of them.

Each card had a quote on the back...a recipe for a good life!

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Go visit Lesley's blog here for a chance to win the book. She'll be giving away copies over the next several days.

And, please, just "PLAY!" You never know where your "What ifs?" will take you.

Sunday Morning Musings

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Outside my window rusty colored leaves glisten in the sunlight.

I am thinking about this thing called family...ever evolving, ever changing. Some threads of it lost, and some found again.

I am thankful for chances to reconnect and discoveries to be made.

From the kitchen comes the sounds of grandpa making breakfast for Dom.

I am wearing pjs and a robe, enjoying the Sunday morning quiet.

I am creating journal pages, fun images in photoshop, and photo pages for a colloborative project.

I am going to be working on lesson plans, creating tests, and the like.

I am reading and rereading A Field Guide to Now. 

I am hoping to get outside in the sunshine and fresh air for awhile today.

I am hearing the furnace kicking off and on.

Around the house apples await their journey into applesauce, toys are strewn here, there and everywhere, and the rugs scream to be vacuumed.

One of my favorite things is Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee.

A few plans for this week: to grade 70 social studies booklets, work on finalizing grades ( It's the last week of the quarter!), and claim some "me time" in the art studio.





































Behind Closed Doors

Door closed
Isn't it gorgeous? And wouldn't you love to know what's inside? I'm part of a Yahoo photography group led by Catherine Anderson. Catherine comes up with the most amazing ideas using our photography. All sorts of books are created, and while we know our theme, we never quite know what will arrive on our doorstep. One set of books came enclosed in a basket inside a tupperware container. The container served as the shipping box! And, if you love photography, please do check out this book; it's awesome!

Our theme this monthi is portals...gates, doorways, windows. I cut along 3 sides of the door, so that it would open. Behind the opening is another photo of what's inside. I have no clue as to what's really beyond this wonderfully purple door, but here's what I imagined.

Open door
While I'm not Buddhist, the religion, and Buddha himself fascinates me.  The quote reads, "God enters by a private door into each individual."  Whatever we choose to call hiim...Yaweh, Buddha, Jesus...he is special to those who believe in him. I think what I love about Buddha is his peacefulness.

On the back of all of this is another photos; for this I chose a photo you've seen before. I absolutely love this window, and I love the quote as well.


All 26 completed photo pages are enroute to Catherine. I spent hours with the exacto knife, and even more hours taping down photos and matching edges. I'm happy with my pages, think that they're worth the time, and I can't wait to see everyone else's.

Sunday's Musings

Outside my window leafy green trees dance and sway with the breeze.

I am thinking about today's dinner - smoked chicken and farmers' market veggies. Yum.

I am thankful for a hairdresser who knows what to do with my hair and who loves to "play" and change up my look periodically!

I am wearing sage green capris and an old white tshirt....nothing that would suffer from an accidental splattering of hair dye.

I am going to give my house a good once over tomorrow morning.

I am currently reading The Sixth Wife.

I am hoping for a good night's sleep.

On my mind is getting rid of some of this "STUFF," and creating a sense of serenity.

From th kitchen come the sounds of Phil blanching corn on the cob...more farmer market goodness to be savored later.

Around the house rest boxes and boxes of stuff from my parents' home. Photos to be gone through and sorted out for my brother and sisters, as well as different odds and ends that need a new home.

One of my favorite things dark chocolate covered pretzels. Sweet and salty...oh, my, goodness!

I'm creating journal pages that make me smile.

A few plans for the rest of the week...get ready for Alex's christening, paint my toenails purple, and smile at the new goodies from Chico's in my closet.

From my lens...

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Twilight over Oyster Bay, Assateague, VA


Packing Up a Life

I have to tell you, packing up a life absolutely stinks. Big time.

We spent Saturday at my dad's home. Hedges were cut and the grass mowed.

8 boxes of Goodwill items packed up, most of them delivered. I don't even want to know how many more there'll be.

2 large trash bags filled.

2 boxes of things coming home with me...simple things, like a coffee cup I remember mom using. An old pie tin to hang on a kitchen wall. Nothing huge, nothing valuable, unless of course you count the value of the memories.

It was hard work, but not all bad. Meals were shared with my sister and brother. Laughter rang out many a time.

But still it was hard. The home we shared is beginning to look more like a house. We're slowly stripping it of its personality. So it goes.

So, I collect bits and pieces of memories, and I honor my dad when and where I can.

I'm part of a photography yahoo group. Differnet themes get posted, and you sign up for the ones that appeal. We recently shot our "intention" words.

At first, I chose "stillness" since I seem to be seeking it. But as the deadline appeared, I dithered, not sure it was "the word."

In the end, I chose "Taste." As in tasting life, all that it has to offer! All the my dad taught me to appreciate.

Our wonderful and beyond creative leader, Catherine Anderson, posted pictures of the covers over here.  She always finds the neatest way to bind our photos together.

The front of my page looks like this:

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A good deal of the photo ending up getting cropped out, but my idea was to show some of life's gifts to be tasted....a new baby, brightly covered silverware that makes me smile, Broadway Shows, a trip to the Outer Banks, sea turtles, and so much more. Precious wonderful life!

And the back of my page looks lie this:

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Oh, dad, I love you so much. I wish I could "fix" you or at least understand what causes you to do what you do. There's just no making sense of it.

But, I promise you this.

I'll taste every single bit of life that I can!

Sunday's Musings

Outside my window there's a beautiful blue sky. Pansies are appearing outside stores and are begging me to take them home.

I am thinking how very much I have to be grateful for, despite all the craziness and despair around me. I am thinking that I really need to hold onto all that is good.

I am thankful for lazy Sunday mornings with Phil and time to journal while waiting for my dye job to take.

From the kitchen fresh strawberries and blueberries await, along with a chicken to be roasted.

I am wearing a pair of Chico's clearance jeans ($9) and a yellow tshirt.

I am creating pages in my journals and am glad for the time to sort life out a bit.

I am going to be typing up a math practice test very shortly.

I am reading Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult...just beginning it, really.

I am hoping to get through this Daylight Savings Time bit without too many headaches.

I am hearing the steam cleaner from downstairs where Phil is doing the carpet.

Around the house all is clean and tidy. Phil, God bless him, cleaned while I had my hair done.

One of my favorite things is a trip to Anthropologie for some visual inspiration.

A few plans for the week: type and correct math tests, get some packages into the mail, and begin to clean out a closet or two.  Oh, and of course, make some art!

A picture I'd like to share...

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Alex and Uncle Chris share a smile.

Flashcard Art!

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I had the pleasure of talking with and listening to Patti Digh this past gift to myself in a week full of baby shower preparations!

Patti gave herself a gift to celebrate her new books and book tour - the fabulous boots you see above. Yup, I took a picture of Patti in her boots, simply because i wanted to create this "postcard" for myself as a reminder of the six commitments to creativity found in Patti's book, Creative Is A Verb.

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The first order of business? To rearrange the rows of chairs into a more intimate setting. We pushed the table into the background and pulled our chairs up close. Patti wanted Thursday night to be a conversation, not a reading or a lecture!

We talked not only about the six commitments, but really mostly about those roadblocks we set up that keep us from being creative. One common one? Not doing anything until we have the "right materials." In her book, Patti challenges us with both short and long term ideas to try...with only a black pen, some index cards, and maybe a package of crayons, but just an 8 pack please.

Crayons too juvenile? No, as Patti explains, "Thee is magic in a pack of crayons!"

So, armed with an index card and a black Pitt pen, I produced a self-portrait in just a few minutes. Here it is...

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We talked afterwards about what went through our heads as we drew, all the deadly comparisons we make. Throught provoking - so many of us are so very much alike.

And, check out that rock! Produced by the Queen of Arts herself, we each chose one without looking. Not sure where I need to jump quite yet, although I have some suspicions!


Martha, Martha, Martha!

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Martha and I? Well, we're out of control. You could say that we're definitely not underachievers!


 - 40 envelopes were stamped and embossed with a baby pin

 - 40 matching note cards were stamped and embossed with a stork and the word thanks

 - gift cards were tucked into pillow boxes, adorned with ribbon and a butterfly

 - a oversized baby bottle was filled with candy for guests to estimate the number of pieces

 - a tiny baby bottle was filled with safety pins, another estimation game

I am so glad that Martha and I are nearly out of time. The energizer bunny ain't got nothin' on us! It needed to get done tonight though, since tomorrow evening Phil and I go to see Patti Digh!

I took this picture in NY this July - not so far from the Saratoga Springs area. Phil and I took a wonderful little ride along the Hudson. It will be the back side of a page in a photo book collaboration. Yesterday's photo is the front.

Guess what I'll be gluing together starting on Sunday.