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

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Our third little grandson was born Thursday at 2:47pm - 5 weeks early! We weren't expecting him until March 4th! He weighed in at 5 lbs 4 oz and is 18 inches long - very tiny compared to all my own babies and my other grandsons. He's in NICU for awhile on oxygen and some antibiotics but is otherwise healthy. My daughter is doing well too - it helps to be in good shape and a marathon runner. Of course we hopped the first possible flight to Albuquerque to be with them. He was actually born just before we boarded and I received his first picture as I found my seat. Very exciting! Now we can hardly wait to get to hold him and snuggle. Still waiting on his name...

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Designer Today

I am one of the featured designers on The Little Blue House blog today! I won't repeat the post, but to learn more about me and see a few of my projects, check it out here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Documented Life Project Week 3

January 17

Art Challenge: Color Wheel

Journal Prompt: "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way." ~Georgia O'Keefe

This week was a challenge for me - I just couldn't achieve the colors I saw in my mind.  After a few do-overs, I ended up with this. I blended acrylic paints from red through the color wheel to violet, then sprayed some inks in places to enhance the colors. When I applied gesso through a harlequin stencil, some color seeped through to color the gesso.  I used a sprayed scrap of paper for the quote and cut it up to glue in place. The color wheel is a computer printout.  For the planner section, I punched numbers out of an old calendar, colored the circles with watercolor crayons and wrote details of the week in white Uniball Signo pen over black paint.

Friday, January 23, 2015

One Little Word - 2015 - What's Yours?

In 2006 Ali Edwards started a tradition of choosing a word for her focus for the upcoming year. Her "One Little Word" has become very popular and has grown into yearly workshops.  Choosing a word to focus on, meditate on and think about all year can have a huge impact in your life and decisions you make all year. Do check out her website and blog to learn more.

I have never done this before so I decided to jump on the bandwagon this year. After much thought, I have chosen the word "GROW."

I want to grow this year - in my spiritual life, my artistic process, in my personal relationships. I want to learn new things, try new artsy techniques, make more personal art. As a second (and related) word, I could have chosen simplify as by simplifying my work space and my time, I will be able to better achieve my goals to grow, especially artistically.

So many people are choosing their own words that this will be the focus of my next Mixed Media Workshop at the Little Blue House on February 6.  Students will create an 8" x 16" mixed media canvas to coordinate with their own word which will be custom-cut.  Here's my sample canvas and the information for the class.

          "One Little Word" 
           Mixed Media Workshop  
 Do you have one little word that you start off the new year                  with... or even just a favorite word? We are introducing a new Mixed Media Workshop called "One Little Word" with Susan Tidwell--- Come express & explore through Art.... Customize your 16x8 Canvas and Pick a Word of your own in this Workshop!
          Class Details:
            One Little Word Mixed Media Workshop

         Friday Feb. 6th 10am-1:30pm or 6pm-9:30pm
Cost: $40.00 

               Call or Come by to Sign Up for this upcoming Workshop! 

Hope to see you in class!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week 2

Continuing on with the Documented Life Project, here is last week's page.
Art Challenge: Gesso
Prompt: "The beginning is always today." Mary Shelley

I used gesso to prep both pages and then applied several acrylic paints randomly over the pages. Then I continued to add many layers: using gesso through a stencil to act as a resist; stenciling with modeling paste, stamping with different stamps as well as the edge of a credit card; adding spray inks; and freeform doodling. For the calendar section I cut book pages into an irregular scallop border, whitewashed with gesso and outlined with paint. The dates were handwritten on punched circles of painted papers. I painted the quote with diluted black paint and the end of a paintbrush.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Illustrated Faith Journaling

This weekend The Little Blue House is privileged to host Shanna Noel's Illustrated Faith Journaling Class and today we LBH gals were able to be students for the day and enjoy this amazing class.

When I first heard about this new faith journaling movement a few months ago, I was intrigued. What better way for us "creatives" to combine our creativity with our bible studies.

Shanna shared her personal story with us, how she started illustrating her bible and how her personal blog post just ten months ago sharing one page has mushroomed into thousands of followers, an upcoming website and a Facebook group. We learned a few do's and don'ts of what to use for supplies (bible pages are very thin so different media can bleed through) and listened to a recorded sermon from her pastor on a reading from Corinthians. Then we all documented what the scripture meant to us with handwriting, drawing, alpha stickers, stamps, rubons, watercolor, colored pencils and whatever we had brought with us. It was amazing how different everyone's illustrations were and how wonderful they all were!

So here is my very first entry in my new journaling bible.

I love that my art and my faith can intersect in this creative way. I look forward to a wonderful journey of personal growth, reflection and colorful creativity.

If you would like to learn more about Illustrated Faith, check out Shanna's blog: www.shannanoel.blogspot.com and the Facebook group "Journaling Bible Community."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Documented Life Project 2015

I really enjoyed doing the daily Rolodex art journaling cards last year. It kept me making art almost daily, even if it was just a little bit, and I loved the challenge of coming up with something different every day.  This year, however, I wanted to do something different.

Last year I followed along on the Documented Life Project which was started by 5 very talented and sharing ladies: Roben-Marie Smith, Lorraine Bell, Rae Missigman, Sandi Keene and Barbara Moore. The project basically combines a weekly planner with art journaling.  But I never actually did it!

I have decided to do this in 2015. There is more information posted here: http://www.art5academy.com/the-studio/the-documented-life-project-free if you think you might like to join (it's free!). This year they are using a large Dylusions art journal since the paper will stand up to more than the Moleskine planner that was used last year.  And they post a monthly "Theme", along with a weekly "Art Challenge" and a "Journal Prompt" to go with the theme.

January's theme is: The Blank Page & How to Face It.  The first week's art challenge was to use book paper and the prompt was "Be your own Goal Keeper." Here is my first page, incorporating a tag under which I wrote my goals. The entire spread was decoupaged with book papers and then watercolored over. The left side is reserved for the week's plans. I like the fact that I can document my year and incorporate it in with art.

This week's art challenge is to use gesso and the prompt is "The beginning is always today." by Mary Shelley. Have only gessoed the background - we'll see where my muse leads me in the next few days.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Calling All Art Journalers!

Come join me at our next Art Journal Workshop at The Little Blue House!

Art Journaling is all about you - your ideas, your images, your voice. Let’s take it even further this month by using a few photos of yourself, either current ones or ones as a child. I will show you several ways to alter photos and to integrate them into very personal, artsy journal pages.
We’ll collage and paint, color with Distress Inks and even make our own stencil.
Let’s start the new year off together making fun, messy and colorful ART!

When:  Tuesday Jan. 13th

Time: 10am-1pm or 6pm-9pm $25 

Come get Artsy with us... Call or Come by to Reserve your Seat!
For more Details & the "What to Bring" List visit our Website (HERE)---See you on Tuesday!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Grandchild #4

Kelly and Josh found out yesterday that they will be having another boy, due May 18th!
So, that makes four for four! I think our family gatherings are going to be
raucous and noisy from here on out!

We're so excited that we'll have four little ones three-years-and-under come May.
 Now that will keep us all busy...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Announcing - New LBH Media Team

Recently The Little Blue House sent out a call for applications for their new 2015 media team.  I am happy to announce that I was asked to join the team!  In 2015 we will add more focus on social media - the blog, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.  The team will be posting tutorials, product reviews and lots of inspiration on the LBH blog throughout the year.  For more information check out today's post here.

I feel honored to be in the company of so many talented designers and artists. I've listed the other nine team members below with a link to their blogs. 

Kristyn McElroy

 I'm looking forward to a great 2015! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

December Rolodex Card-a-Day - last month!

2014 is over and so is my Rolodex Card-a-Day Art Journaling project! I had a great time doing this and it really stretched me doing art every day (or almost every day).  

After a few months, I totally outgrew the original rolodex and I have now transferred the years' worth of cards into an old ribbon storage box that I was about to throw out. It is just the right width for the cards and 15" long!

This was the rolodex in early May - getting full!

Completed year - still need to decorate the box

Here are the December cards. You can see they are heavily influenced by the holidays!

Cupcake liner scallops, Inktense pencil background, magazine
words and Stickles

Cut down a postcard RAK from a friend

Words cut from catalog, poinsettia punch

Scrapbook paper, Santa napkin, stamps

Paper scraps, alpha stamps, die cut "merry"

Napkin background, tulle, stamp and brads

Dylusions spray ink, white Distress Stain Spray, snowman die cut,
embossed stamp

Quote printed from Donna Downey's site, spray ink scraps,
alpha stamps, thin washi tape border

Background cut from chevron shopping bag, multiple tree die cuts,
punched circles from polka dot glitter paper

Stamped snowflakes heat embossed, Distress inks and paint
splatters, metal tape

Napkin background, gold pen, Stickles, old sticker and

Free image from Red Lead, dry brushed red pain, ornament
cut from Christmas card, star washi tape

Cupcake liner tree, Christmas patterned paper, letter stickers

Distress ink background on WC paper, words cut from
new Dylusions journal wrapper

Gelli printed deli paper background, images and words from
brochure - to commemorate our Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo

Christmas Day - decoupaged napkin background, Christmas
card Santa, embossed stamp, gold braid and sequins

Paper and packaging from Nancy's 12 Days of
Christmas Gift Swap
Spray ink background, handmade paper torn and covered
w/ Distress Glitter, stamped words and snowman

Portion of Christmas card from Mom, background is piece
of shopping bag, Stickles

Postcard from Roben-Marie Smith included in my order, words
from fitness center ad

Happy New Year! Image from 1920's, metal-covered clock die cut
So there you have a years' worth of almost-daily art journaling! I used up lots of scraps, tried new techniques and stretched my creative muscles to come up with different ideas and layouts. I am not going to continue this in 2015. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's time for something new. I will be doing a few other yearly challenges, so stay tuned for what those projects might be!

Happy New Year! What creative endeavors do you want to pursue in 2015?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas in Taos, NM

Our holiday tradition the past seven or eight years is getting together at a mutually-decided-upon location for a "destination Christmas." We rent a house (or, as the family grows, two!), share the costs, everyone signs up for a meal and cooks/cleans that day and it is relaxing and stress-free for all!  

This year we chose Taos, New Mexico, thinking the little guys would be ready for a wintery Christmas.  We all had a grand time - the adults went cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and the boys enjoyed their first snowball fights and sledding. 

We attended the amazing bonfire-lighting ceremony and procession of the Virgin Mary at the Taos Pueblo at dusk on Christmas eve. It was quite a sight! Then at midnight Bill and I returned for Midnight Mass at the tiny San Geronimo Mission Church at the Pueblo. This was also an extraordinary experience - the Pueblo has no electricity so it was very dark when we arrived, with only a few bonfires still glowing. (Luckily we had our phones with us!) The church is lit with a few gas lights and the choir was accompanied by a pump organ. 

We had a white Christmas!
Home away from home for a week
The whole crew!
First snow and snowballs

They loved the sledding

Decorating their own little tree

Making graham cracker gingerbread houses - one candy for the
mouth, one for the house!

I feel so blessed that everyone still wants to get together each year and that everyone gets along! I cherish these times as I know it will become more and more difficult as our family grows and changes.

Hope everyone had a beautiful holiday! Now on to the new year!