Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 20-22 Journal Pages

Just a quick posting today to show off a few of my latest journal pages. It's cold and rainy here this week so I've been hurting. I'm thankful I can still make art even when I'm in pain. That's one of the things I like best about art, you can do it anywhere! I make a whole lot of art while laying in bed, not just working in my art journals, but also making ATC's, small painted/collaged items, hand-bound journals, postcards, mini art quilts, etc.

I have a bunch of cozy spots inside and outside my house that I regularly create in. One of these days I'm going to photograph all the different places I work just to show people that making art absolutely anywhere is indeed possible!!!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Banner

All morning I've been monkeying around with my graphics programs trying to create banners for my Art-Fire store. Their banners are so narrow it's hard to come up with an image that looks decent. The one I added at the top of my blog looks just terrible compressed to the 100 x 760 Art-Fire requires, so I won't be using it there. Though I like how it looks here, uncompressed the way it should be!!!!

I did finally come up with something to use, made from a digital collage I created, seriously cropped down & with text on top.

Here it is:

I also made up a bunch of collage sheets. I started with vintage postcard & cabinet card images, super-imposed them over my own landscape photos or journal pages, sized & retouched for quality then created full size collage sheets. It's a time consuming process, but I love doing it!!!! I'm out of my 28 lb. paper that I like to use for printing so getting to use them in my work will have to wait until I hit a supply store.

The little guy is spending the day with my mom & I hope to have a highly productive day because of it. There are at least three charm bracelets I need to finish, a bunch of items to photograph, journaling I want to do and a few supply orders to be placed. If I want to do all that I'd better stop playing with Picasa and get moving!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 15-19 Journal Pages

This week I've been altering a lot of photos for use in my journal pages. I had a whole stack of them completed and ready to go, but now I have no idea where they are at the moment. So I started doing another batch. I love the one I used on my April 15 page. The picture is one of my duplicates from my Provence trip and just seeing it brings back great memories!

Remember all the time I waited anxiously for my replacement Sakura Glaze pens to show up? Friday I was looking through my bins of extra markers and I discovered a ton of them in there! Three weeks without using a Glaze pen when I could've been using them all along. *sheesh* I really need to have some sort of inventory of my extra markers and pens. I'm always stocking up on them when they're on sale so I should've known the ones I sent in for replacement weren't the ONLY ones I had. Call it a Duh moment.....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art-Fire Update

I just finished adding two mono-prints to my Art-Fire store. You know, I am finding writing descriptions, scanning or photographing items and getting it all listed very time consuming! At the rate I'm going I'll never have a full shop!!! I hope that deco tape I ordered comes with photos of each kind otherwise I'll be spending days and days getting it ready for viewing.

Anyway, these are the two prints I added:



Lester's Wisdom

I knew an elderly man named Lester. I'd never met him, but enjoyed his postings on the paperbackswap web site very much. Lester is gone now, but thanks to one of the PBS members, his wisdom lives on. She put together a long list of excerpts from the posts he made in the members forum. In honor of Lester I now share some of these bits of wisdom, humor and life with you.

On aging:
• If I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have 1) saved more money and 2) waited longer to retire the first time.

• I'm about to turn 81. Life just keeps getting better. I don't recall having difficulty with turning 30, 40, 50, although perhaps the cult of youth was not so strong then as it is now.

I do remember when I turned 60 realizing that most of my life was behind me, and making a new resolution to make the best of every day, to find the good in every day. Since then I have been more mindful of my life, more aware of the seasons, nature, the small pleasures life brings, or can bring if you're alert for them.

• I certainly don't expect to receive respect because of my advanced age.
Presents are good, but respect not expected.

• ...and now my great-grandkids are going to school. Wasn't but about 10 minutes ago that I was doing the Blue Bird/ Camp Fire Girl dad thing ... for their grandmothers. Life goes so fast.

• What on earth makes you think that I have started to feel like a grownup?

I know that I have to act like a grownup, but it's an act. Sure, there's some wisdom that comes along with growing older, one hopes, and some perspective, and there ain't much that life can throw at me that it hasn't already thrown at me once already, but if you mean "grownup" to be the person who always knows the right thing to do, the one who can always be in charge, the automatic authority for all matters spiritual and temporal...

...then I guess my certificate of grownupness got lost in the mail.

• One of the benefits of this age is the amount of practice I've had in tuning out what I don't want to hear.

• Now that I'm very old, if I'm sitting on a bench at the mall waiting for my wife to choose between two apparently identical pair of black pumps, beautiful young women sit down beside me and start talking. I was feeling rather studly about it until my wife informed me that they do it because I look "safe." Of all the things I wanted to look like in my young and wild days, safe was never on the list. sigh Looking like Grandpa is not a chick magnet.

• It makes me nuts when I find out that people have protected me from something - in my case, because of my age. Don't want to upset Grandpa, now, do we. Makes me feel like a child, like I'm being discounted. That kind of thing just makes it worse when the truth emerges.

• Yup, old people don't have sex. Everyone knows this. We don't think about it, and we sure as heck don't do it. (eye roll)

• If you live your life with zest and continue to be curious about things, if you have something or someone that you care about, if you have passion about something - even if it's collecting... I don't know ... matchbook covers or something - but have a passion, you will likely never feel old.

Les <-- off to the gym and then will be fixing supper and then take the dog for a walk and then read some before wife comes home from work to enjoy said supper. This morning, I worked at my part-time job and did a couple of hours of volunteer work at the nursing home.

• Honestly, I never thought I'd live so long. I'm grateful to have seen so much and to have been able to love and be loved so much. As the song says, "Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste."

On education:
• I am frequently taken back by the deficiencies in the people's fund of general knowledge. There are people who can't tell you the century of the Civil War, who think George Washington commanded Union troups during the Civil War, who can't pick out names of Presidents from a list given to them, who don't know what H2O is, who - for heaven's sake - if you describe spontaneous generation of living things from non-living matter to them, think it sounds scientifically correct. If it isn't on TV, they don't know it.

And these are not knuckle-draggers, Missing Links. They're average people living average lives.

I remember some of my elderly relatives and their friends being highly upset that my K-12 education did not include Greek and included only 4 years of Latin.

• I don't think you have to be able to recite a recipe from memory, or name all the Presidents in order, or be able to describe the Krebs cycle on demand. But I do think a certain ... awareness of the culture in which you (generic you) live is required in order to live life fully and to understand and put into appropriate context the things you see and hear daily. I think anything else is mental poverty, and sad.

• Some of my grandkids did not have phonics, and those kids to this day don't read as well as their siblings and cousins who were taught phonics. If they come up against a word they don't know, they don't know how to deconstruct it. That's purely anecdotal. They're still all dedicated readers, however, regardless of which way they were taught, which I still think is as much as anything else the result of having all the adults in this family constantly walk around with a finger stuck in a book as a bookmark.

Something we always did was spell words we were using. "That's a horse: h-o-r-s-e" from the time they were babies. "Here's your milk: m-i-l-k." "Time for bed: b-e-d." Some of my kids to this day will do it unconsciously: "Man, it is hot h-o-t today." "Where are my keys k-e-y-s?" It always makes me grin.

• In 1776, a well educated person could have a complete command of science in all its branches, including biology, astronomy, and chemistry; know at least 4 languages, 2 of them dead; be able to recite the names of the emperors of ancient Rome in order; write a 1000 word essay on some abstract concept such as freedom; reel off pages and pages of the Bible and classical Greek poetry and the mediations of Marcus Aurelius from memory; - you get the drift. It was possible to know pretty much everything that there was.

Boy, can we kiss those days goodbye.

• The smartest, wisest, and most successful (in business and in friendships) man I've ever known had 2 years of formal education. He was almost entirely self-taught. I think no matter what your background, you can go on learning and learning and learning as long as you keep your curiosity sharpened and your will strong.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Decorative Tape

For a while now I've been contemplating selling decorative tape via my Art Fire shop. After much back and forth with myself on cost, setting up with wholesalers, etc. I finally made up my mind. I just finished placing an order for an outrageous amount of tape and will be selling it soon!!!!!! You hear that KELLY??????!!!!!! I'm gonna have a boat load of tape for sale. Just what you need right?????

I can hear some of you now, "Tape, why tape????? " Because it is one of the hottest, coolest art/craft items out there and you can never, ever have too much of it.

When the order gets here I'll post a photo of the enormous box of tape I foolishly, I mean WISELY, bought..........

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random Art Drop

I went out tonight to do a random art drop. This time instead of dropping a painting somewhere I left a hand-made art journal tucked on a shelf at the local library. This isn't the first time I've left a journal somewhere and it certainly won't be the last! I just hope whoever finds it puts it to good use. Who knows, maybe this little journal will start someone on the road to art journal happiness!

The front cover, made from an old concert program and an image of a film strip. I covered over the cover with clear packing tape. The spine has metal tape added to it for strength and interest:

Top View of the painted pages:

The note inside telling the finder what it is and some suggestions for how to put it to good use:

And finally where I left it:

I'd intended to leave it in the art section of the library, but our library actually has a pretty crappy art section. So, I left it in the spiritual/self-help section instead. I love how the 'Pick Me!' tag stands out so well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 8-10 Journal Pages

It's Easter and my boy came bounding out of bed at 6:45 all revved up and anxious to start hunting for his basket and the eggs the big bunny left. I wish he'd bounce out of bed that easily and enthusiastically on school mornings!

We had a nice anniversary day yesterday. Hubby gave me a wonderful card that actually brought tears to my eyes. The sentiment it expressed was so heartfelt and very much needed at this moment. Although we didn't go anywhere the day was great. Very relaxing and peaceful. Also, fruitful. I painted and collaged a bunch of journal pages and hubby managed to get the big brush pile burned. A good day for it too as there was a slow to heavy drizzle the whole time he was burning. The boy was exceptionally well behaved. So much so that I wondered if the Pod People had come and created a different child who just happened to look like ours!!!

Tomorrow hubby has the day off and we're going to lunch and a movie. I can't wait. It has been ages since we've seen a movie in the theater that didn't involve talking rats, cars, mice or robots!

A few journal pages from this past week:

April 8--two page spread:

April 8--left hand side:

April 8--right hand side:

April 9:
April 10:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy, Happy

I'm a happy, happy camper today--My glaze pen replacements finally arrived AND Sakura sent a 10 pack of Soufflé pens to cover my postage costs and to compensate me for the hassle. WOO HOO!!!!!!!!

Hubby and I are married 10 years tomorrow. We've been together for 20 years, owned a house for 15 years, been parents 7 1/2 years and married for 10 years. That's a whole lot of time and experience together!!!!!

My favorite journal page from the past week:

I LOVE the colors, the focal and the way everything came together so beautifully.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sakura Glaze Pens

It's been over 3 weeks since I returned my 22 defective Sakura Glaze Pens to the company and I've yet to receive replacements. Each day I walk to the mailbox with hope that they'll be there. Only to be disappointed once I open the mailbox and see that there's nothing interesting there except the usual bills, bank statements and flyer's. SIGH I hope they come soon. My journal pages are feeling the lack!!!!

April 3 & 4 Journal Pages

I'm finally getting around to scanning in my pages for the past week. Some weeks I do it daily and other weeks I let it slide until I have quite a few to do. Obviously, this is one of those letting it slide weeks!

I finished 'The Sixteen Pleasures' by Robert Hellenga What started out as a great book, full of unexpected wisdom turned into a rather muddled, convoluted story that dragged on too long. Pity as the first half of the book was above par.

It's dreary here, with high winds and biting cold. We even had a bit of a snow squall earlier. I'm getting tired of being cooped up in the house and long for warmer weather to be the norm!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Journal Pages

A few more of my recent journal pages. The first one is from March 31:

This one is from April 1:

And April 2:

The colors on the April 2 pages are more intense than they look here. I tried 4 times to get a decent photo of the spread and this is the best of the bunch. I wish it had fit on my scanner bed! That gives me great, no-fuss images!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009 Journal Page

I haven't been feeling very happy lately. This bothered me for a while. I kept thinking 'What is WRONG with me? Why can't I be happy????' This morning it came to me, like a slap upside the head from the Powers That Be. There is NOTHING wrong with not feeling happy every moment of every day. In fact, it would be even stranger if I, we, YOU, did all experience happiness like that. We're human beings and our emotional state is not static. Our emotions ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. Sometimes the flow is gentle, caressing, like a kiss from a lover in our youths. Sometimes it is tumultuous, raging, like the waves during a hurricane. And that's OK.

In fact, it is more than OK. It's the way it suppose to be. Which makes me wonder: Why do so many people spend their lives trying to convince themselves and others how happy they are? How totally and absolutely wonderful their lives are with nothing getting in the way of their joyous overflowing of happiness????? I know a lot of people like this. They spend so much time talking about how great their lives are, how they have happiness beyond measure, etc. etc. but you know what? I'm not buying it. No one can be that totally happy at all times. No one's life is so great that they never have a moment of sadness or a moment where they wish things were slightly better. Unless of course they're on mood altering drugs and even then I don't think they'd be totally happy.

Right now I say to you: Admit that you are not always happy. Give yourself permission to be sad once in a while. I'm not talking depressive, taking over your life sadness. I'm talking sadness that comes to you once in a while. The cyclic kind that's caused by stress, illness, a rotten job, LIFE in general. It's OK to be unhappy. The unhappy moments in our lives show us what happiness truly is. It makes us step back and look for the blessings in our lives, no matter how small. It's a necessary emotion that we, as humans, need. If we didn't have that then we wouldn't be here. We'd have ascended to a higher plane of existence where happiness and perfect balance are the norm. In other words, we'd cease to be human and become a Higher Being. Angel, Spirit, Light-Bearer, whatever you want to call it or believe in. A fine goal to be sure, but right now, at this very moment, I prefer to be human. To jump into the Void of my sadness and see what happens. Embrace the emotion and learn from it. And by doing so, I know that happiness will return.

I'm reading 'The Sixteen Pleasures' by Robert Hellenga right now. I have to say it is totally captivating! I've only read 59 pages so far, but in those 59 pages there have been many Wow moments that have made me stop and think. I highly recommend picking up a copy, reading it slowly and taking the time to mull over what has been revealed. And don't let the description of the book fool you. It is far more than a novel dealing with art treasures that were almost lost in a flood. There's life wisdom there. Deep, raw, personal and zen-like wisdom that makes you want to roll the words around in your mouth, tasting them to their fullest.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Few Pages

The last of my March journal pages. Actually, there are more but these are the last ones I'm sharing. I'm working on two journals this month so there will be lots more pages to come!
I jazzed up the focal image using my Latte pens. I LOVE those pens! the colors are so vibrant and the pens themselves flow nicely. I wish they'd come out with more colors. I'd buy them all!!!!!
I've been having some glum moments lately. This page shows some of what I've been feeling. the under-layer of writing is done in red. A great way to write freely, but still maintain privacy because red is so hard to read!

This page is smaller than the others. I love having various sized pages in a journal! It keeps things interesting!!!!!

April brings another month of Kelly Kilmer's A Prompt A Day classes. A lot of the journal pages I show on my blog were done using the prompts from her classes. If you haven't done so already, check the classes out. Seriously, you NEED to be a part of these!!!! Go sign up. NOW. You'll never regret it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


It's been a busy time around here lately. A few days of warm weather had me outside working in the gardens. I love being able to get out and do some work in the outdoors. My crocuses are blooming and the daffodils are all budded. Even though the temperature has dropped the past two days just knowing that those flowers are out there makes my heart soar!

I've spent the last few hours adding supplies to my Art-Fire shop. I had a bunch of unopened silver clay that I never used so thought the store would be a good way to get it to someone who will actually use it. My adventures with Art Clay silver and PMC were short lived. The materials are too expensive and you have to be conscious of every little bit of the clay and make sure not a speck of it is wasted. Scraping off my fingers, Teflon mat and tools just to save a minuscule amount of material, but a large amount of money, is just not my thing! Not that I'm wasteful, but I don't feel my creativity benefits from having to be so exacting and material conscious. I'm more of a wild, seat of your pants, live in the groove type of creator, ya know?

I have a nice journal all made, tagged and ready to be left in the wild. I think I'm going to leave it in the art section of the library. I figure if someone is in the art section they might have an artistic streak and would probably love to find an art journal there waiting for them. The journal itself isn't very large, but it's pages have been painted, an inscription is inside and a tag hangs from the binding saying 'Take Me'. Very reminiscent of Alice and the 'Eat Me' tags on the cookies she found. At least in my mind that's the way it is!!!!

I'll snap some pictures of the journal, both before it's dropped off and once it's in among the library books so everyone who comes here can see. I'll also get some new art work photos uploaded--journal pages and paintings--so you have some eye-candy when you pop in instead of just my blathering.

OH! And I NEED to get back down the road to get a photo of the car I saw the other day. The entire side had been spray painted with Shepard Fairey's Andre/Obey image and beneath it the words 'Free Shepard'. As some of you may know, Shepard is my *favorite* graffiti artist so seeing that car was a real hoot for me. Not that he did the work himself, but finding out another Shepard fan lives near me was a kick!

Enough with the fleeting thoughts for one day, I'm off to create.............