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

Friday, February 29, 2008

A lightbulb moment

No, not an artistic one, but I wish! This is actually a "dear husband" one. I returned from my trip to Chicago to the microwave not working and instructions from hubbie (who had left on a business trip) to call the repairman. Of course, it's no longer under warranty. The Maytag guy arrived this afternoon. To make a long story short, he reset the circuit breaker and removed the burned out bulb - for a total of $59! I think he felt truly sorry for having to charge me the minimum, so he told me where I could get a replacement bulb for less than a third of what it would cost from him. So now the microwave is working again!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Easter Banner

This is the Easter banner I created for one of my online group's "Easter banner mingle." It is approximately 8" tall and almost 6" wide at the top. I used torn pastel papers which I overstamped with a large flourish stamp and white gesso and added vintage German glass glitter on the edges. The bunny image is a freebie from Dover I believe and the glitter embellishments were from Michael's $1 bin. The top edge is covered with a ruffle made from pink crepe paper streamer. It's going in the mail today to Mary Lynn.

Canvas Collage Class

It feels so good to be back to my art room and making art!!

Tonight I taught a beginning collage class to a ladies' Pokeno group. There were 15 in all and they had a choice of the Heart or Egg Hunt collage, done on a 5 x 7" canvas board. Most of the students do not scrap or stamp or even craft, but everyone had a great time and were able to go home with a finished canvas in less than two hours. The only difficult part was having students in three different rooms - I did alot of moving around and repeating myself!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm home

I'm home from Chicago! It was a fun time with my three daughters and the one who had surgery is doing fine now, but I'm glad to get back to the warmer Texas temps. Last night it snowed several inches in the Windy City and this morning as I walked a few blocks from the apartment to catch a cab, I ended up "plowing" the snow with my carry-on roller bag. It was hard work as the snow kept accumulating in front of the bag and the wheels were useless in the wet snow and slush! I'm sure it must have looked hysterical!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Windy City

I've been offline for several days. I'm in Chicago for at least a week as my daughter had surgery on Monday. She's home now and I'll be "nursing" her for awhile. She's doing great and recuperating quickly.

This is the first time I've been up here in the winter - ooh is it cold! Yesterday was -25 to -30 degrees (yes, that's a minus) with the wind chill. And I was walking to the bus stop! You can't believe how people dress here - hats, gloves, scarves up over noses, boots, heavy coats. It's hard to move when you have that much on! It makes for a high degree of anoniminity when all you see is two eyes! But even then, it's cold!

I'll be home in Texas next Tuesday. If it warms up any, I will try to post some Chicago photos.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Row Houses

As promised, here is the photo of the six "row houses" assembled. I attached two pieces of sheer ribbon along the backs of all the houses and then covered the backs with patterned papers. These now can stand all in a row as pictured or they can be folded accordion-style for a book. I like how these turned out. They would be cute decorated for various holidays or even as a family photo collage. Thanks Jeri for the idea and for setting up playtime to make these.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone has had a wonderful, happy Valentine's Day. The above image is a free Dover clipart image that I am sharing with you for this special day.
How did you spend Valentine's Day? Did you get candy, flowers, gifts? Were you able to spend some time creatively? I wanted to share this special e-mail that came today from http://www.artellawordsandart.com/. I have copied it from their newsletter, Artellagram, and I couldn't have said it better. (Be sure to check out their site - they have alot to offer.)

A Word from the Creative Surge General

Even though it's become such a commercialized holiday, I believe it's important to remember that Valentine's Day is not only about sweethearts and romance, it's about all kinds of love. One of my favorite kinds of love is the kind of love that we feel when we are actively engaged in creativity. If we're not doing it regularly, it's easy to forget how good creative love feels! In fact, many studies, including one in December 2007, by The University of Texas at Austin, have proven that people who regularly engage in creative acts are healthier and feel better. Why is this so? Here's a report from Artella's Creative Surge General with reminders for all of us!

The Top 5 Ways Creativity Is Good For Your Heart

1. Creativity is relaxing. When we engage both our mind and body in something that we enjoy, our bodies release powerful hormones that relax us, undoing all kinds of damage caused by stress in day -to-day life.
2. Creativity is a healthy distraction. There is no better way to forget our troubles, challenges, and pain than to get involved in meaningful creative projects. A creative project is a great way to focus on what IS working in your life, rather than what isn't.
3. Creativity gets our heart pumping. From the adrenaline that gets going when we're happily engaged, to the often quite physical nature of art, creativity gets our insides moving and shaking. Painting, sculpting, writing (especially via longhand), and running around town looking for "art junk" at flea markets is GREAT exercise. :-)
4. Creativity gives our self-esteem a boost. Endless studies have been done on the effects of positive self esteem on general health. When we create something that we're proud of, we get a huge psychological boost that has endless rewards. Think of the small child who shows off a drawing and says "Look what I did!" We all need a healthy dose of that kind of pride!
5. Creativity offers great opportunities for connection with others. You share your art or writing with someone else and it sparks a meaningful conversation . . . you post your work in an online contest and others comment on it . . . you collaborate on a creative project to create something from two heads instead of one . . . you donate your work for a charitable cause that makes a difference to others. These are just a few examples of many the kinds of connections that creativity can provide. They all remind us that we are not alone on this planet, or in our pursuits of creativity. Connection with others makes us healthier and happier, and truly part of the fabric of the world.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, on behalf of everyone at Artella Land!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Altered Houses

What a fun day! Two of my online friends and I met in McGregor (near Waco) at one of the gal's houses and played all day making these houses. Jeri had them all precut for us out of matboard. There are six different shapes and sizes. We each decorated three of two different shapes. Then we exchanged houses so we ended up with two of our own plus two from the others. They were so much fun to make! We used bits and pieces of papers, lace, ribbons, tags, German scrap, buttons, flowers, mica, brads, chipboard and vintage images.

The two houses above are mine. The first one was the largest of the group and approximately 4 1/2" by 8." The lower one was the smallest at 2 1/2" by 4."

These two were made by Jeri. I love how she perched the three little girls above the stamped swirl on the "8" house and turned tiny tags upside down on the second house. The word "explore" is topped with a thin sheet of mica attached with brads.

The last two were made by Livia. The black gate on the first is a premade German scrap piece and I love how she attached the left side and hinged the right with a darling girl's figure underneath. Can you see the stamped bees flying up near the roof? The second has a vintage woman's image layered under a window cut from an old text page and a stamp forms the dormer window. I love how Livia watercolored the window panes for shadowing and the pen details around the upper window. Do you see the bees again?

Tomorrow I will finish this project by attaching them together with ribbons run along the backs. Then it can be folded as an accordion book or simply displayed as a linear grouping. I will post another photo so you can see it all together.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Altered Coaster

This is a coaster that I altered for one of my Yahoo group's "Red" Lottery. Every month there is a theme and anyone who wants to participate makes an art piece using that theme. At the end of the month, there is a random drawing and the winner receives all the art! The lucky winner then gets to pick the theme for the next month. This is the first time I've participated. Since I love the color red, I just had to do something this month.

There are many layers on this, as nothing seemed to work as I originally planned. Isn't that the way with art? You imagine one thing and start working and the piece just develops on its own after that. I gessoed the coaster first, then added bits of various torn papers, then gessoed over that. I then used a red ink pad direct to the papers, but it turned out way too pink. So I sponged on red acrylic paint - several coats to get it more red. I stamped the background with black ink and a favorite Stampington flourish and the Tim Holtz stamp with white paint. The image of the impish child is a freebie from Giuseppina Cirincione"s book, Collage Lost and Found. (She has some great projects in this book and offers many images for copying.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Heart Mingle

One of my Yahoo groups has a monthly "mingle" and February's theme is "heart." So this is what I came up with. It's a balsa wood tag that I found in the dollar store. I painted it with red acrylic paint, then adhered some torn papers and a piece of lace. The heart stamp is one of my favorites from Stampington. I stamped it three times - watercolored one red; tore the middle section of another and antiqued; black embossed the third and cut out the sentiment. These were all layered on white cardstock which I cut out with pinking shears and added an old button. This will be going to Amy.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I love cupcakes. So, when I saw a darling little cupcake salad plate on someone's blog, I just had to have it! So off to three Targets I went with absolutely no luck - no plates anywhere. (I guess I wasn't the only one wanting one.) I finally broke down and bought the cereal bowl, just to have this cute design. Isn't it just too cute? And, it's so appropriate for this week! Hmm, now I might need to bake some cupcakes...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Free Valentine Images

In my previous post about the two sites offering free Valentine images, I had typos so neither link worked. I have corrected this, so you can now link directly from the post and go to the free images. Check this out before the 14th - they won't be up after Valentine's Day!

I think I have mentioned this source previously as well, but if you like vintage images of children, go to http://stores.ebay.com/Lisas-Altered-Art She has the cutest collage sheets.

Friday, February 8, 2008

5 x 7 Collage

I just finished this 5" x 7" collage. It's done on a canvas board and I punched holes at the top with the Crop-a-dile and threaded ribbon through for a hanger. I love this sweet image - she looks so innocent. This is various torn papers over which I wiped a thin, random layer of acrylic paint. I also dry-brushed red paint around the edges, glued on buttons and stamped the swirl. Very quick and easy - the hardest part was finding just the right image!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Free Valentine Images

Here are two sites that are posting a different free Valentine image daily from now until Feb. 14. Be sure to read their "angel policies" which spell out how you can and cannot use these free images. All they ask is you post a link to their site on your blog or any Yahoo groups you belong to.



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Artful Blogging

Have you seen Somerset Studio's new Artful Blogging magazine? The second issue (Spring) just hit the newsstands and it's as fabulous as the first issue. I LOVE this magazine. It is filled to the brim with delicious blogs of all kinds. It's eye candy to the max!

On another note, did you notice my new header? Kris (krislhurst.blogspot.com) made this for me. And, yes, that little girl is me - many years ago!

Monday, February 4, 2008


I purchased this darling ACEO on Etsy a few days ago and it arrived today! Isn't it the sweetest? I love the colors and those little girls are precious. The artist is MaryAnn McKeating and you can check out her Etsy shop at http://www.followyourbliss.etsy.com/.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tough Week

It's been a roller-coaster ride this past week. On Monday one of my very dear friends, Jean Baughman, passed away after a long battle with cancer. We had known each other for 26 years and were kindred spirits. From our very first meeting, it was like we'd known each other forever. We could talk on the phone for hours at a time or sit up half the night talking. We first met through a stitchery group and spent many hours stitching projects together. Later she became enamored with watercolor and I moved into rubber stamping. She was always one of my biggest supporters and always encouraged me. I will miss you terribly, Jean - rest in peace.

On another note, my husband had a heart ablation in December at which time they took a CT scan which showed spots on his liver, thyroid and lungs. After many doctor appointments and tests, we finally got news this past week that everything looks fine (he still hasn't had tests for his lungs though) and that was a tremendous relief!

And, finally, Recollections (the scrapbook store where I have been working for 10 months) closed yesterday. It was heartbreaking to see the inventory slowly depleted and the store an empty shell. The associates were all very close to each other as well as to many of the customers - they were friends and "family," so it was very hard to say goodbye. Hopefully everyone will stay in touch. It was a fantastic job - more than a job really - and is a great loss. I must keep remembering what our manager said, quoting Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over; Smile because it happened..."

So, life goes on and maybe there will now be more time for art...