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

~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, December 26, 2011


Recently, I hosted an ATC swap on Paper Traders with a "Legs" theme.  The backgrounds on my cards were all hand drawn and watercolored.


I made these paper ornaments for our 12 Days of Christmas swap on Paper Traders.   It's hard to tell from the scan, but I hand painted a pearlescent top coat to highlight specific elements before layering on the chipboard and paper punched pieces.

I also made some ornaments for friends and family... these were done by gluing vintage sheet music to wooden forms and then layering the bird images from napkins.  I got the idea for these cute button berries from Sassy & Sweet Notes - aren't they cute?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Holiday Letter, of sorts

This week I've received several letters and emails from friends and family - annual updates in the tradition of the Holiday Letter.  I've never been very good about writing those, much less getting them sent out and I suppose this year is no different.  I think it's because my life seems quite simple and, well, somewhat boring.  I don't have any exciting news to share or poignant photos to show off.  Mostly, I'm just glad to have made it through another year in relatively safe and sane fashion.  But, to bow to tradition and to appease those who complain that I don't share enough about my life, here's an update for the past year...

After my scary auto accident last winter, I purchased a new vehicle in late December 2010.  I am grateful to have a reliable car that gets good mileage and runs in perfect condition... it's also nice to have a few extra bells and whistles - automatic windows and door locks are an appreciated luxury!

My health hasn't been the greatest this year - I've struggled with my weight and a pervasive tiredness that had my doctor concerned.  After several blood tests, we discovered my Vitamin D levels were "dangerously low" (to quote my doctor) and the supplements that followed have gone a long way to helping me feel less like a walking zombie.  I recently joined back up on Weight Watchers and am hoping, once again, to find some success at the scales (after the holiday treats are finished off, of course!).

Work has been extremely busy for me.  I'm still working for State Farm (almost 16 years now) but splitting my time between two offices.  I'm grateful for the job and benefits - especially in this struggling economy - but working part time at each location makes me feel perpetually behind the game, always trying to catch up, never quite getting there, and feeling stressed out most of the time.  Thankfully, I work for two wonderful women whom I love and respect and who genuinely appreciate the effort I put into my work.

In May, I took a trip to Wyoming and South Dakota.  I was blessed to attend my oldest nephew's high school graduation as well as visit with my aging grandparents.  I often wish I had the time and money to travel to see them more often.  I am truly blessed with a wonderful and loving family.  In November, I flew to Cody WY to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, sisters, and their families.  They have such amazing and beautiful children and I'm a very proud aunt!

Christmas this year is spent here in San Diego, home alone... and appreciatively so.  I was lucky enough to get a four day weekend and it's been wonderfully relaxing - a welcome change to my normally hectic pace.  I've barely made a dent in my "to-do" list and am already thinking about when I can plan a little "stay-cation" in the near future to finally spend some real productive time at home for some cleaning and organizing that's long overdue.

When I'm not working and sleeping, I'm usually doing art or planning art projects for our Paper Traders group.  Moderating takes a lot of time and effort... even more so this past year as our membership has expanded and we took on the challenge of creating a group blog as well.  If you follow my posts here, you've seen some of the projects we've done this year.  I just wish I had more time to spend on the creative aspects as it's a nice counterbalance to my normal OCD tendencies  =)

In July, I was invited to be a guest artist on the popular Gingersnap Creations blog.  I was very honored by the recognition.  I was asked to create four original pieces - each one based on a different challenge.  It was a growing experience for me as an artist and I hope that I can continue to expand creatively.

I am really looking forward to the New Year - even though I know it's just another mark on the calendar, it always feels like a fresh start.  I am truly grateful for my wonderful friends and family and am blessed to have their influence in my life.  I wish each of you the very best this Christmas Day and I hope the year to come brings you many wonderful blessings!

With love,

P.S.  Here's a favorite Christmas short I'd like to share with you:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blog Challenge: Party Hats

It's time for another blog challenge over at the Paper Traders blog and the theme this time is "Party Hats."  I decided to make an actual hat for this one...

Blog challenges are fun to do.  Hop on over to Paper Traders and take on the challenge!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quirky Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is right around the corner?  The time has really flown by!  And it's also time for another blog challenge over at Paper Traders.  The theme this time is "Quirky Christmas" and I used some fun images from iTkUpiLLi (love her stuff!) to make this funny little ATC.

Blog challenges are easy - you can make any kind of art you like that follows the theme.  Come on over to Paper Traders and join the fun!