"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Valentine Row House Swap

It's a new year with new swaps to join in my online group.  The first one I've joined is for swapping three Valentine-themed "row houses."  I made three similar ones and sent to three people. I will receive three from others in return. 

The houses had to be created on heavy card stock, chipboard or watercolor paper and were to be between 3.5-4" wide and 6-7" tall.  They are due by the end of January, but I finished mine a few days ago and have already sent them on - so happy to be ahead of the deadline!

These are in a mixed media style with lots of paints, stenciling, stamping and collage. It's hard to see, but I added drywall tape behind the corrugated hearts for additional texture. The scallops are hand-cut book pages covered with gesso and some doodling.

Can't wait to see what I receive!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Calendar/Planner/Life Documented for 2017

I can't believe it's been ten days since my last post! Where does the time go?

We spent last weekend in Austin with our two grand boys there since we hadn't spent Christmas with them. It was a quick trip but, as always, lots of fun and hugs and kisses. They are growing up way too fast! 

The Documented Life Project (Art to the 5th) gals are not continuing the project this year so I decided to do a mix of the last three years on my own. This will be much less structured. The part I loved most about the past few years is the memory-keeping aspect of the project, so I will continue that.

I decided to use a Traveler's Notebook (Midori-style) which I created out of plain papers with a kraft cover. I think I will be able to get half of the year in one.  I printed out monthly calendars to put in the beginning of each month for a monthly view and punched and stamped divider tabs for each month. I will use one half of each open spread as the weekly calendar and the other half as an art journal/memory-keeper. Some uneventful weeks will just have some art; other eventful weeks will be more "scrapped." I've also added various washi tapes along the edges of all the pages which looks so yummy.

Week 1

Week 2

So far, I'm loving this format and am enjoying the process. it's not as involved as last year and I'm hoping I will spend less time on the planner and more time working on other art.   Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Documented Life unPlanner 2016 - Finished!

I spent the last few days of 2016 finishing up the last few weeks' of December in my Documented Life unPlanner. Whew! I did it! All 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days of 2016 in three (yes 3!) stuffed, lovely binders. I got behind sometimes, due mainly to our travel schedules, but I did keep going... This will be wonderful to look back on in a few years and relive all the memories.

So here are the last few weeks.

Week 2 - Dare 2B card

I used a tag that I had gotten at a demo at a scrapbook convention ("be a blessing today" was stamped on it already). I added washi tapes and inked the background. "Dare" and "2" are stamped.

I added the List Ten for Week 3 on the back of the tag.

Week 3

The background is acrylic paint. Lots of washi tape and stickers. We had the boys this week so I had several activities to add.

The PAC challenge for this week was to add crayon. I used Distress Crayons for the background over collaged book text and also colored over the stamped trees with them. I doodled with white pen.

Week 4

This was Christmas week as well as leaving for Mexico. I stamped with red paint and a chevron roller stamp (love that stamp!) for the background. I used labels for journaling and also wrote inside the white stripes. The "believe" card for Christmas Day is attached with a washi tape hinge and opens to reveal some journaling and photos.

The art challenge for this week's PAC was to use colored pencils.  I was inspired by the colors and metal work of Mexico. I bought a small silver heart ornament there and drew it on my card. Both the heart and background are done with colored pencils.

Week 5

This background is watered down acrylic paint, stamped with white flourishes (barely visible).

I couldn't leave the back of this page plain, so I added some artist paper and then journaled about the year and the experience.

The PAC challenge was to use gold paint or ink. I used a "mop-up" page for the background and added a few artsy stickers. Then I stenciled the leaf with gold paint and edged the card with the paint. I "stole" Rae Missigman's idea that she used on her card - adding 365 tiny marks to symbolize the 365 days of 2016.

 I added the five PAC cards to a cut down page protector and embellished the edge with circle stickers cut in half.

Monthly Pocket Picks

I had lots to include for this month. I picked up a postcard in San Miguel of all the pretty, unique doors. I used that for the first "page" of my monthly pocket picks and collaged photos from a brochure on the back.

Then I used a page protector for the other items, mostly photos, for the rest of the month.  I added photos from babysitting Carl and Mitchell on the front and photos from our trip on the back of a large black tag. Then I fused smaller pockets on the right edge to hold other miscellaneous photos from the month. One pocket is filled with gold sequins for New Year's Eve.



Here is the third binder holding the last four months' of the year.

And this is what a full year of my life looks like! It spreads out to about 12 inches when not contained with a book band!

Can't believe it's done! Now I need to decide what to do for 2017. I'm thinking of using another Traveler's Notebook for a planner/art journal. I guess I'd better hurry up and start, as we are already a few days into January.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My December Daily 2016 - Finished!

Happy New Year everyone!
I wish you a very happy, healthy and creative 2017!

This past year was the first time I've done a December Daily and I've enjoyed it so very much! It has been so much fun documenting the "big" events, such as our trip to Mexico, but also just the everyday moments that I don't want to forget.

Here, again, is the front cover. I used a Traveler's Notebook that I made which is about 4.5" wide by 8.5" tall.  Today, after all was finished, I had to attach twine to close it! It is so full and filled with yumminess!

The last day's page I posted was Dec. 19, so here, in order, are the remaining pages for the month.

Dec. 20 and 21

Dec. 22 and 23

The Dec. 23 journal card is attached with washi tape
and flips to reveal a photo and journaling.

Dec. 24 and 25

For the 24th the kraft pocket is part of a little gift bag I received from a friend
and it holds two journal cards with journaling and photos.
The flap with journaling on the 25th opens to reveal more photos.

Dec. 26 and 27

Dec. 28 and 29

Again, for these days, not much was going on - we had just returned from Mexico
and I rested! On the 29th I journaled about the Starbucks red cups.

Dec. 30 and 31 (NYE)

Not much going on for the 30th so I made a list of favorite Christmas movies.
For New Years Eve I used gold number and letter stickers and gold washi on black and
white paper and added gold sequins all over the page (hard to see in photo).

Back page and inside back cover

Since I had one page left, I added some 2017 goals. The back cover has a list of prompts for Dec. Daily for ideas.

WHEW! Finished! I love it! I most definitely will be doing it again next year!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Remaining gifts of "12 Days of Christmas" Swap

These are the last four gifts I received in the online "12 Days of Christmas" swap.

On the left is a gorgeous etched glass ornament; on the right is another ornament - a jeweled bauble.

This is a handmade box that opens like a book to reveal six handmade cards nestled inside. 
So unique!

This shows the inside "top" that covers the cards. You can also see one of the cards. These will come in handy this year for birthdays and other occasions.

This is a darling necklace made with a wine cork! This, too, is very unique!

And a sweet little "JOY" banner. Each triangle is only 3.5" tall. So cute!

I was assigned Day 10 and I made a mixed media ornament. I used gel medium to cover the clear plastic ornament with torn book text papers. Then I painted, stamped and collaged on bits of green patterned papers. I stamped "joy" on tissue paper and then glued it in place, doodled around the tree and tied a bow and hanger with baker's twine.

Here are all twelve before I sent them off.

I couldn't find suitable boxes for them so I made pillow boxes with heavy yardstick and sent them in padded envelopes. 

I hope everyone enjoyed them! I love this annual swap as it's such a fun way to start off the Christmas season.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Recap of Christmas Vacation

I returned from our fabulous family Christmas trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Tuesday night.  We had a wonderful time in this lovely, quaint, artsy city but it was also good to be home!

The entire family was supposed to join us, but various circumstances prevented three of our daughters and two of our grandsons from coming. We did enjoy having our son, Will, from San Francisco (about to move to Hong Kong!) and our daughter, Dana, son-in-law and two grandsons from Albuquerque with us for the week.

The weather was perfect - cool at night and in the early mornings and mid-70's during the day. We rented a beautiful home with lovely terraces, an open-air dining room and gorgeous views.  The best part was it came with a cook, housekeeper and gardener. I was in heaven - what a let-down to come home to reality! Here are some photos I took of our home-away-from-home.

Front door - right on street!
Open dining room

View from courtyard up to first terrace

View from first terrace up two flights of stairs to rooftop terrace

Looking down to middle terrace/view of city beyond

View from rooftop terrace of town and churches

The city of San Miguel is hilly with narrow cobblestone streets and almost impossible to drive through. We walked everywhere or took taxis up the hills! It is steeped in history and so picturesque. I especially loved walking along and peeking into all the doorways that opened into large courtyards and plazas. It was fun to be there during the holiday and experience some of their Christmas customs. The church bells rang often during each day and more so on Christmas day. As is the Mexican custom, fireworks were set off for several days and on Christmas Eve well into the early morning hours.

La Parroquia - the iconic "parish church" on the main plaza

Nativity set up in center of plaza with live animals

One of the streets outside our house going down to the center of town

Typical streets - love the vines and bougainvillea

Love the colors of the buildings and, if you look closely, you can see the traditional 
cut-paper banners (Papel Picado) spanning the street

Portico on one side of plaza - note the piƱatas that were hung all over town

Another side of the plaza, near the church

This was a pretty outdoor eating area. I loved the sign they had out which read "No texting; pretend this is 1995."

 Pretty fountain and courtyard

Of course, I must also post photos of my little ones. This was on Christmas morning opening stockings. They were amazed that Santa managed to find them in Mexico!

Drew-age 4; Grant-age almost 2

Now I must rest and catch up on my December Daily and Documented Life unPlanner (only one more week!)