Tuesday, December 23, 2008


A few of Jeff's sketches -- click on the images to see more detail.

After reading Kathleen's blog this morning, I thought about the passages of life. I remember when my son was born and his growing years. He loved Dr. Seuss books and drew very elaborate sketches that let me know he would someday be an engineer or something similar. His sketches were so detailed. Was I surprised when he chose computer programming? Not one bit. As years passed I remember the feelings I had when he left home, married and started his own family. I realized that although I would continue to be a mother, that "child rearing" stage of my life had passed. I was proud of him. He and his wife had two beautiful girls, and he adored them. Then one day he discovered a lump above his ankle which turned out to be malignant. I had just retired (the Universe knows what it's doing), and so I was available to accompany him to his chemo, radiation and surgeries. Many days we spent driving into Los Angeles, and I'm grateful for those days because we talked like we had never talked, just the two of us. He began to sketch again. He made his transition the end of February 2007, so it has been almost two years. His girls are growing up. His wife is working and being a wonderful mom. We all miss him so much. I'm posting some of his art as a tribute to his life. Peace.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

Three of the handmade ornaments I gave as gifts this year. Thank you, Susan, for the prompt!!

Button Box

The results of my rummaging through the family button jar and remembering the project in an Old Victorian magazine. Very nostalgic.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Button Jar

I started a project today -- an idea I got from an old Victoria magazine. I covered a box with "aged" papers and glued pearl buttons on the top. When it is dry I will tie an organza bow around it. In doing this I had to go through the "button jar" to separate the pearl buttons from the others. I started thinking about how this button jar came from my mom who was a wonderful seamstress. I continued to add loose and extra buttons to the jar over the years. As I sorted through the buttons I thought about my mom and the items she made for me - suits, dresses, prom dresses, etc. I can see her sitting at the sewing machine now. I wish she had taught me to sew. I looked at each button and thought about the history it might have had. Some of the buttons reminded me of past clothing I had. The clothes are long gone, but the extra buttons remain. There's the covered button to my purple suit with the fitted jacket. It was one of my faves. There were the covered buttons for my off-white suit and my blush pink suit. Some of the buttons were from my mom's clothes, and there were even some from my grandmother's clothes. There was even a little placket of tiny pearl buttons. I don't know what they were for, but they will be great in a collage. Such memories had me day-dreaming for at least an hour. Now about the only buttons that will go in that jar are extras for a sweater or jeans. I'm not adding a lot to it these days. Don't need the work wardrobe anymore.
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Metallic Rub-on Over Embossed Wallpaper

This is my version of Ina's fatbook technique. It works much better on a paper that is highly embossed. It's more difficult to put on an even coat in the flat areas. You can see where I put my finger down too hard to start rubbing. I did not have colors other than the brass, gold, bronze, olive set. Some red and teal might have been fun on this. Also this is just a scrap I had lying around so you can see where the paper had been folded. It's a fun technique to do, but I wonder if I could use a cosmetic sponge and save my fingers. I don't know how she did 120 pages. My fingers would have fallen off.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fun Techniques

These are two new techniques for me. The bottom image represents one of the techniques from the 120 page fatbook swap I did. This combed gesso with image embedded while gesso still wet technique is courtesy of Angela Cartwright. Thank you, Angela.

The image at the top is a sample of a technique I like called the bandana effect. There's a great tutorial for this here. Thank you, Lisa. Lisa has a terrific blog with so much to view and learn! I could stay on this one blog for several days.

Monday, December 08, 2008

First Digital Scrapbook Page

My first digital scrapbook page -- I have a long way to go on my photo editing skills, but I love Robenmarie's digital kits. This one is a free download, and it was perfect for me to play around with. Do see her shop on her beautifully updated website. She has some great digital scrap kits. You can find the free download along with other great scrap supplies at her shop Paperbag Studios.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Air Dry Molds

Not the greatest pic. The green one sort of looks like a sluggy four-armed octopus. It's really a mint green. These molds are a little larger than your thumbnail. They are perfect for embellishments. It took some tinkering as I was using the air dry type of clay. I did not want to bake clay. There are other things I bake, but craft clay is not one of them!! I tried powdering the inside of the mold but clay would not release. I tried freezing the mold with the clay. No luck. I tried refrigerating. No luck. I finally tried rinsing the mold in water prior to inserting the clay. Yay! That worked. That little residue of water in the mold released the clay easily. I had to let them dry for a good 24 hours and then barely sanded around the few rough edges. Then I painted with acrylic washes and quickly added glitter before the paint dried on the pink and green samples. I used my Krylon gold leaf pen on the turquoise sample. I saw a spread in Cloth Paper Scissors by Beryl Taylor and her embellishments looked so enticing. That made me decide I wanted to make some, especially since she makes hers with air dry clay. These little molds came from Mad About Molds They have great instructions and tutorials right on the website. They have over 800 molds to choose from. That should keep you busy. I never did recover from mudpie making as a child!!

The Trikke

Yours truly learning the Trikke. It's like two skateboards on training wheels!! It's somewhat like skating, somewhat like skiing. Believe me the downhill is just the greatest "high", but the real workout is uphill. I haven't mastered the technique quite yet for uphill, so I still do a lot of pushing off. Because my right side is dominant I push off with my right foot, thereby causing my right calf muscle and left butt cheek to be really SORE!!! This tends to make me walk sort of lopsided -- not a pretty site. Please, please God, let me get this technique soon! If you think it looks fun you can see more at Trikke's website. Or go to Youtube and entertain yourself for hours. There's one lady who is chronicling almost every day from the start of her learning curve. After watching her (and she's a hoot) I decided I KNOW I can do it.

Altered Journal

It seems like forever since I've posted!! I'm having so much fun, but I have certainly gotten myself into a lot of projects. I'm still taking my on-line Photoshop class, and I'm taking this four week class from Sarah Whitmire. My friend Michi invited me to join a class taught by a former contributing editor to Stampington - Sylvia Valle. Every Tuesday I take her morning and afternoon classes which involve rubber stamping and more. Plus my dh and I have started Trikkeing. I'll post a pic and link so you can see what it's all about. It is just so much fun and a real full body workout (but much more fun than the gym). It's just beginning to catch on in my area. However, it's not an excuse to forget about the gym, so I'm still doing that. Trying to keep up with just one or two on-line groups is getting more diffucult from a time perspective. Even though I'm enjoying every minute, I still like my alone time to work just my Muse and me!! So that's what I'm doing today -- well, after I run a couple errands.