"The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit,
the greater your capacity to create."

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, December 29, 2008

Brainy

I found this exercise on Bevlea Ross' blog... very interesting stuff! Based on the descriptions, you'd totally think I was a "leftie" but it was actually very difficult for me to see things that way... well, you'll just have to check out the link to see what I'm talking about! Turns out, I'm a "rightie" which makes me feel more confident in my creative abilities =)

http://soularts.typepad.com/soularts/2008/11/left-brain-right-brain.html

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beauty's Eye


I have been wanting to practice more techniques out of Bernie Berlin's ATC Workshop book. The background here was made using her Leafing Pen Resist technique. I had a little trouble with my first attempt - the acrylic paint on the stamp just pulled the leafing right off the page... so I tried a new piece with graphite black archival Brilliance ink instead and it did the same thing! But the rest of the stamped image came out nice so I used it anyway =) There is a lot of gold on this card - in the background, on the bottom edge, the circle around her eye, around the words, and the german scrap - but I like the feel of lots of gold on this card... even the lady is wearing gold bangles on her wrist! On the german scrap, I rubbed black acrylic paint over it to give a distressed look... I also used some Tim Holtz Distress ink around the card and the edges after sanding everything down a bit. The only thing I'm not happy with are the word blocks... but once they were glued down, they weren't budging - LOL!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Asian Collage

After spending all day yesterday cleaning and organizing my art room, I was anxious to sit down today and create something... so I made this ATC for the monthly Winner-Take-All lottery on Paper Traders. I think this card turned out very nice (of course, I'm very partial to all things asian) but I am stumped for a title - what to call her???

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chrysti's 29 Days

I love this time of year - the Spirit is infectious and the best part is always the giving. I love to do something special for the special people in my life and it's been hard this year with money being really tight... plus, I never have enough time to do all that I'd like - ideally, I'd make personal gifts for everyone (handmade is really the most treasured, in my mind) if I could ever find the time.

Chrysti Hydeck is spreading this giving Spirit on her blog, Art by Chrysti, and doing a giveaway every day for 29 days... such generosity deserves to be recognized and applauded - and shared! Check it out: http://chrysti.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/29-days-of-giveaways-for-you/

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

These are the handmade Christmas ornaments I made to send to friends and family... I had a lot of fun distressing these - lots of sanding and ink!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Spirit

On Monday, I got out all my Christmas CDs and have been singing along in the car every day. I love Christmas music - especially the hymns, they're my favorite... but I like some of the fun and popular ones too. Tonight, I felt so moved by this song that I've heard and sung dozens of times but it just seemed to touch me this time around - Christmas Spirit performed by Diamond Rio:

Christmas Spirit - Diamond Rio

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Wrap Up

So, my holiday road trip was both good and bad - it was wonderful to spend time with my family who I only get to see about once or, if I'm lucky, maybe twice a year; it was disappointing that it went by too fast, though! It was nice to be able to drive there and thereby take as much stuff with me (and not be limited by airline bag restrictions) as well as bring lots of good stuff back, too.

But the drive home was NOT good, by any means... I raced a snowstorm all day long and it finally caught up with me about 30 miles from my home - and then I crawled through the worst traffic I have ever seen for another FOUR HOURS! At times, I wanted to cry from frustration and exhaustion but Mom reminded (via cellphone) that someone up ahead had probably had an accident and was having a much worse day than me! Actually there were several accidents, and stalled vehicles, and slide offs, and snow plows, and it just went on and on.

All told, I spent 12 hours in the car that day - the day after I had been been soooo sick with the stomach flu... so for two days, I ate little more than crackers and 7-Up. Needless to say, going back to work the next day was very difficult - difficulty concentrating, tired, weak - and here it is mid-week and I still can't stomach anything but the most bland food.

So, I guess I had more bad to say about my trip than good but really I don't feel that way about it... it just didn't end well and I guess the ending is what sticks with you. The fun stuff included a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, a mountain drive with my Dad, arting with my mom and sister, making gourmet candy apples, celebrating two family birthdays, playing with my little niece and nephew, taking my nieces to a movie, and of course listening to my Broncos win a terrific football game!

It's hard to accept that it's already December and I have so much to do before Christmas... I don't know where I'm going to find the time to get everything done - Yikes!

RAK

When I returned home from my Thanksgiving trip, I found this wonderful surprise in my mailbox - a Random Act of Kindness from Lucy in Oz. Isn't it gorgeous? I feel so spoiled!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Angels


These are the pages I did for Letha's tip-in journal on Paper Traders. Her theme was "Angels". I also made some charms for her to attach to the binding of her book. For these pages, I used the same technique as I did on the backgrounds for my zetti cards. I didn't originally plan to use these large columns and arch so I probably should have moved the applied music text farther out toward the edges... I also should have stamped the background images a little darker because you can barely see that they're even there. Still, I like the soft effect.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Superheroes




I finally received Fred's round robin journal from last year's project. After an extended stay in Germany, this book finally made it back to the States. His theme was "Superheroes" and this is the spread that I made. I'm not super-excited about what I came up with here but I think it's cute and it fits the theme and I'm glad to have it done. I created my superparents at HeroMachine.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Home for the Holiday

Friday afternoon, I hit the road and drove 600 miles to visit my family for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. It was a long drive getting here - over 9 hours - and mostly in the dark but the weather was good and I didn't run over any wildlife on the way (by biggest fear of driving alone at night in the middle of nowhere!)

As usual, the time is already flying by... I'm hoping to get some arting done while I'm here with my Mom (she's my muse =) but most of my time has been spent creating a mailing and webpage for our upcoming family reunion. I really enjoy working on detailed projects like that so it's been a lot of fun for me.

I also hope to make it to the movies sometime this week... I want to take my nieces to see "Bolt" - that hamster in the previews just cracks me up! Also, I'm dying to see the new James Bond movie "Quantam of Solace" - I think the new James Bond is totally hot!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Third Anniversary Project

Above is the inside of the mini frame I decorated for Paper Traders' third anniversary project. Below are the front and back covers. The challenge for this project was "A Celebration of Art" utilizing the number 3 in some way. The covers are strictly rub-ons over a sponged cover.


Vintage Family Holidays

These are the hanging ATC's I made for Teri's "Vintage Family Holidays" swap on Paper Traders. You can barely see the ribbons behind that are the hangers for these cards, which can be used as ornaments. I was very limited with images and inspiration so I relied heavily on these gorgeous rub-ons from The Paper Studio.

A Little Bit of Whimsy

These are the altered playing cards I did for our monthly challenge on Paper Traders. This month's challenge theme was "A Little Bit of Whimsy." Although I am generally happy with my images, I struggled with my backgrounds... I'm going through one of those uninspired phases where I can't seem to think outside the box.

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by my sister, Letha, in Wyoming. She is a quick blooming artist who is bravely trying new things... check out her blog - it's lovely!

Here are the rules...
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules.
3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
4. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.
5. Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged.

So, here are my "six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details":

1. Like my sister, I too am a night owl - I can easily stay up to the wee hours every night but it is a huge challenge to get up each morning, regardless of how early I force myself to lie down each night. I compensate by sleeping in on the weekends =) I have been known to sleep past noon on a Saturday!
2. Unlike my sister, I really LOVE chocolate. I recently joined Weight Watchers and cannot eat it much anymore so I treat myself to Tootsie Rolls instead... or Fiber One breakfast tarts (they have one that's chocolate fudge).
3. Since I'm on a roll with this sister-comparison, I'll continue it by saying that I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. I know how and can follow any recipe with good results.... but it seems like such a wasted effort as a single person. The WW plan works much better with home-cooking so I have started making a large casserole or crockpot meal once a week and then freezing it in individual portions to eat later or take for lunch at the office. Maybe someday I'll have a family to cook for and then it will be something that I enjoy doing because another thing about me is that I love to do things for people I care about =)
4. I have a dual personality. At the office, I am uber-organized, work quickly and precisely, and am always dependable and responsible. At home, I am very nearly the opposite... to an extent - I let things pile up and I can be quite lazy for a time and then I will get to a point where I look around and realize that I can't function unless everything is in order and I will go on a cleaning binge!
5. I've never been outside the U.S. And I lived only 15 miles from the Mexican border for over 7 years but never crossed over. I've also been close enough to see Canada but never made it there (yet) either.
6. Maybe this is a manifestation of number 4 above, but I struggle with my art - sometimes feeling led by my muse and other times wracking my brain to come up with something creative. I think my work reflects this - it alternates between being much too neat and orderly and other times bordering on quite good (if I do say so myself =)

Ok- here are my six friends:

Veronica - a new friend in the art world who has a lovely blog and a great appreciation for life's blessings
Steph - who is always terrific about leaving positive feedback on my blog. She does some fun art and dollmaking
Outi - a Flickr friend who makes fabulous jewelry and clever ATC's
Lucy - an Aussie who has is very creative and has a special way with texture
Kim - I love her spirit and humor and she's such a brave artist with amazing results
Hermine - from the Netherlands - prolific and talented, she's quite an inspiration

Check them out - they're all fabulous in their own way!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Artist's Palette

These are the pages I did for Connie's round robin journal on Paper Traders. Her theme was "The Artist's Palette" and she asked us to use paint and try to expand our abilities by challenging ourselves. Since I am still in the early stages of exploring my drawing talents (as in, do I have any?) and I am not very inexperienced at watercolor either, these pages were definitely a challenge. I found the water especially hard to do. I'm not sure if you can really see all the details in here or if the scan washed them out but there are swirly white places to give the suggestion of foam and spray.


I should have taken the quote to heart and exercised a little more patience in writing it out... my lines tended to slant upward and the handwriting is sloppier than I would have liked.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hanna

My most dearest friends, KC & Carolynn, recently welcomed their third child, Hanna. Isn't she beautiful?
Her daddy took this picture. He's trying to start his own photography business and you can see more of his work here: http://www.kcknoopphotography.com/Site/Home.html

Weighing In

Those of you who know me personally are probably aware that I joined Weight Watchers this summer at the advice of my doctor. I had been averaging a loss of about a pound a week for the first twelve weeks... and then I started gaining it back =( Over the past two weeks I gained back 3 pounds and I was feeling very depressed about it because I thought I was doing a pretty good job of following the plan.

It was with some trepidation that I went to my Thursday weigh-in tonight... and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had lost the three pounds I had gained - Yea!! So it's just a reminder to myself (and anyone else who is struggling like me) that persistence pays off. I'm sure I'll hit another plateau at some point along the way but I will just have to keep pushing through =)

Reflections on the Election

I just want to preface this post by saying that the feelings expressed here have been weighing heavily on me throughout this election process and most especially the past couple of days since the votes were tallied. I sincerely hope that no one is offended by my opinions but I have a need to express what I am feeling and this is my personal blog created for this express purpose. It is my First Amendment right and I choose to exercise it. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I acknowledge that many of you may not agree with me and I respect that… I hope you will respect my right to say it anyway.


I have to admit that I am disappointed in the outcome of our recent election. More than anything, I am disappointed in the vast number of american voters who, in my opinion, have shown an inability to think for themselves, to research facts and separate them from fiction and exaggeration, who believe everything the liberal media tells them.


But the biggest disappointment to me is that the greatest fear about this election became a reality: racism reared its ugly head and tipped the results in its favor. If you look at the hispanic vote, the white vote, the asian vote, you will see that they were split between the two major candidates – this shows me that these people may not have agreed on the issues but they stood up for the side they believed in. However, according to the exit polls, the African-American vote was 95% for Obama. That proves to me that their votes were primarily RACIST and not based on issues at all. Racism is discrimination based on race – any race, any kind of discrimination – and it’s wrong, every single time. Case in point, I heard that on the Howard Stern Show they took the policies of McCain and credited them to Obama then presented them to people in Harlem. Overwhelmingly, these people agreed that these issues were what they voted for – some even said that Sarah Palin was going to make a great vice-president! It is apparent to me that these people voted for Obama because he was black – not because he was representing the issues and ideals they stood for. The color of a person's skin is not an appropriate reason to elect the president of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth.


In my opinion, the socialist agenda of the Democratic Party is the exact opposite of the American Dream. The American Dream tells us that if we work hard, we can achieve our goals, that we will be rewarded for our efforts. I see the Democrat Liberals as self-appointed Robin Hoods who steal from the rich and give to the poor – a poor who, in too many cases, make a living off the hard work of others in a parasitical manner. There is no incentive for those receiving handouts and free rides to do anything but take what is handed to them while the rest of the hardworking taxpayers carry the burden. That’s not the American Dream… it’s the American Nightmare!


My vote was based on choosing the candidate who best represented what I feel is right for our country – not the most charismatic person or the person who had the best rhetoric and especially not the person who had a certain skin color – but the person who had the right course of action. Anyone who knows me knows how patriotic I am. I cannot sing “America the Beautiful” without crying like a baby. I stand with my hand over my heart and sing along whenever I hear our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I have stood in airports to applaud our returning military. I send letters and care packages to our servicemen overseas. I love God and country with my whole heart. And I am proud that we are a country of opportunity and a place where anyone can be anything they choose to be. I do not care that Barack Obama is a black man but I do care that he has laid out a course that I believe will be detrimental to this great nation. Please do not misunderstand me... I am not withholding my support for our new President-Elect; in fact, quite the opposite: I feel that we all need to pray – pray with sincere hearts – for this man, our new leader, to be blessed with insight and courage to make decisions that will strengthen and heal our country. May God bless America!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn Splendor

This is the spread I made for Keron's tip-in journal on Paper Traders. I spent a long time trying to decide what to do for her... she's such a talented artist and I want so badly to create something up to par for her book. She had asked for something with neutral, muted colors in the genre of a nature guide or diary so that was my inspiration for this page. Originally I had planned something totally different but it just started to look too "scrapbook-ish" and I set it aside and started over. I hope that she likes the final result as much as I do =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

SNOW!

It's snowing! It's SNOWING! IT'S SNOWING!!! I am so excited that we are getting our very first snow of the season... Woo Hoo!!! They've had some snow in the mountains already but this is the first to fall at this elevation and they're saying we could possibly get up to 3" by morning. Yippee! (Can you tell I'm excited? =)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Teaching, No Greater Call

So, today I was sustained and set apart to be a teacher at church - I will be teaching the second Sunday lesson in Relief Society. Because of Stake Conference in November, I don't have to teach my first lesson until December 14th. It's on "The Second Coming and the Millennium" - luckily I have plenty of time to prepare!

Twos and Threes


This afternoon I worked on getting caught up on the 52 Card Dress-Up challenge for Paper Traders. The them for the TWOS in my deck of cards was "Medieval" while the theme for the THREES was "Animals".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Turn that Frown Upside Down!

So, my day did not get off to a good start and despite my best efforts, it was not getting any better! But then, I checked my mailbox and... Ta Da! My first issue of Somerset Studio magazine arrived - Yippee!!!

Every other month, I save my Michael's coupon and then I go from store to store trying to track down an issue before they're sold out... but this year for my birthday, my wonderfully awesome Mom bought me my own subscription and now I'm going to sit down and peruse the first issue - that kind of artistic inspiration has got to brighten anyone's day, right?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Zetti Newbie








Connie is hosting a zetti ATC swap on Paper Traders. This is my very first attempt at this quirky genre. My mom, her friend, my sister, and I all went in together to buy a couple of grab bags of rubber stamps from zettiology rubber stamps, which I used on these cards.

I really LOVED my backgrounds even though they got pretty covered up by the images and pen art. I took colored card stock and attached some vintage german text and then applied a light coast of gesso, then smeared some watercolors over the top; finally, I distressed everything. I also used some very lightly inked rubber stamp images to add a little depth to the backgrounds. You can't really tell from the scans but the pen lines are opaque, glossy, and raised - I used Souffle pens for them. The images are simply rubber stamped in black ink on white cardstock but I like the contrast between the stark imagery and the other colorful elements.

The most fun thing about zetti is that it seems anything goes... it's just fun and funky!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Letha is GREEN

I am so in awe of my sister's latest work that I just had to share a link:
http://thismuseofmine.blogspot.com/2008/10/slowly-getting-there.html

She is really growing by leaps and bounds as an artist and I am envious of all the time that she has to art and expand her talent. Her hard work really shows and this latest spread for her round robin journal on Paper Traders reflects this... it's complex and oh so gorgeous!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cutie Two Shoes









These are the paper shoes I created for Connie's "Cutie Two Shoes" swap on Paper Traders. Don't you think these would make adorable Christmas ornaments?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fall Color


This morning, I got up early and headed into the mountains to see the fall color. I love this time of year and many of the leaves will be off the trees in another week so this was my best chance to see them. I drove from Colorado Springs up the back way to Victor and then around to Cripple Creek and back down... for those not familiar with this area, it is near Pikes Peak on the southeastern range of the Rocky Mountains. It was really so beautiful and some of the most breathtaking sites were not in a place where I could pull off the road to take a picture. Regardless, photos don't do justice to the real thing. I have an album on my Flickr with the photos I took today... you can see them all (both the good and the bad shots!) here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elysian68/sets/72157600648611493/

Monday, September 29, 2008

Go Fish

Awhile back, when I was doing the intuitive watercolor, I made this background but just couldn't really see an image there... so I decided to add the fish instead. I used souffle pens to add the gills and speckled scales. The letters for the words are rub-ons and the air bubbles are "crystal" stickers.

I'm putting this card into the monthly Winner Take All lottery drawing on Paper Traders... wish me luck!

Take Flight


This is the spread I made for Hermine's tip in journal on Paper Traders. Her theme is wings. I wanted to use those little winged seed pods but they were just too fragile... so I came up with these dragonflies instead. It's hard to tell from the scan, but the wings are all glittered and a couple of them have pop-up dots underneath.

Gypsy Music


I made these cards a couple weeks ago and they were just too simple... so last week, I pulled them apart and added the ribbons and torn papers under the words - much better!

These APC's (altered playing cards) are for the October monthly challenge on Paper Traders. The project is a "52 Card Dress Up" and each month we decorate a different set of numbers based on the topic set by the guest artist. I am the guest artist for October and I chose "Music" for my challenge.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Illustrated Poe







I made these cards for Teri's Illustrated Poe swap on Paper Traders. The images of all the ladies came from magazine ads. This swap was quite challenging for me mostly in the way of resources - I just could not seem to find images that would fit the theme. All things considered, I'm pretty pleased with the final results.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lenna's Row House Swap - revisited

Today my mailbox held a wonderful surprise - lots of beautiful row houses! I received a house from each of the following artists:
  • Rena Matus (a lovely house with butterflies and a pretty turquoise key with a dangle)
  • Dottie Mucha (a gorgeous turquoise house by the sea with copper trim)
  • Louise Lucero (an artistic house with pink curtains, a cute little butterfly, and the word "love")
  • Cynthia Weed (a creative fabric house with an adorable little girl that says "housesitting on a summer day")
  • Shannon Sawyer (a lovely bird house on one side and a cute play house on the other)
  • Fiona Brockie (this cute little house has an asian background with a butterfly girl transparency and an angel peeking over her shoulder)
  • Martha Franklin (a pretty little white church with sparkly stained glass windows)
  • Kara Klein (a clever little green & blue dog house)
  • Cathy Dodt-Ellis (a sweet little pink & blue crackled house with a heart over the door)
  • Sharon Walworth (a beautiful antique looking house with bronze and cream elements)
You can see photos of all the houses in this swap on Lenna's website. If you are one of the artists listed above and would like to send me a link, I'd love to include your blog address in this post!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome to my journal


This is the welcome page that I created for my Hands round robin journal on Paper Traders.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Scared Lady


I made these ATC's for Teri's "Something Witchy This Way Comes" swap on Paper Traders. The object was to take a song title and change it to something spooky. I used songs and images from My Fair Lady and I call this set "My Scared Lady" instead.

Flying Machines


I made this spread for my sister's "Winged Things" round robin journal on Paper Traders. This actually goes in last year's journal, the same one I did the Bee spread for... but I had this flying machine idea and wanted to do it too!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Green Tiger Press

For my birthday, my coworker gave me all of these great pictures from Green Tiger Press. They're so awesome and I hope I can come up with some amazing way to utilize them...


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ATC Giveaway

Another great blog giveaway to check out... Shari Beaubien has a ton of ATC's to add to a lucky someone's collection: Shari Beaubien

Birthday Blossoms

Today I got a wonderful surprise at the office - floral delivery! I received a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses and lilies with mylar balloons in a lovely green ceramic pot from a dear friend who moved out of state recently. Not much else can make you feel more special than having flowers delivered =)

Halloween Giveaway

Paper Imagery Designs has a fun blog giveaway for Halloween (one of my favorite holidays!) They have some cute stuff up for grabs so go check it out: Paper Imagery Designs

Monday, September 1, 2008

Birthday Blessings

I have received several birthday blessings from friends and family today... funny and pretty cards and sweet emails... some cute personal items from friends, including a tube of yummy blueberry lipgloss... and a beautiful card from my parents that made me cry! It spoke of how proud they are of me, which just means so much to a girl who's greatest childhood fear was disappointing her parents - that was the worst punishment, even more than spankings or being grounded, when I was a child. I certainly haven't made all the right choices along the way, but I guess I turned out okay =)

Rainbow Tree

A friend sent this to me this week and I could really relate to it so I'm sharing it with all of you...
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.