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

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!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December Daily - four more days

Merry Christmas everyone!

I am scheduling this post ahead of time as we are leaving on the 21st for our Christmas vacation in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Our son, Will, and daughter, Dana, her husband and their two little boys will join us there for a week. It should be a relatively low key, relaxing time.

Here are four more days of the December Daily. I will be catching up on the days we will be gone once I get back. I should have plenty to document!

Dec. 18 and 19

left - paper, portions of the Legoland brochure and photos; right - tree made from washi tape strips, journal card from Heidi Swapp, stickers and Stickles

the #18 card is hinged with washi tape and opens to reveal journaling and the photos

Dec. 20 and 21

left side - paper, punched trees, stickers (used the horizontal lines of design to journal on); right - papers, washi tape, stickers, journal card from Heidi Swapp (I wrote on the diagonal lines of the stripe paper about leaving for Mexico)

I wish you and yours a happy and blessed Christmas. I'll be back in about a week!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December Daily - second week

Today I'm sharing the second week of December Daily pages. I have been loving this as
 it makes you slow down and take notice of the everyday moments. 
I'm using up lots of scraps and stickers too!

Dec. 10 and 11

left page - lots of washi tape over paint; right - stenciled background

Dec. 12 and 13

left - paint, stamps, ephemera; right - paper, stickers, washi tape

Printed acetate tip-in

Dec. 13

right page with acetate tip-in open

Dec. 14 and 15

left - papers, stickers; right - large printed tag, water-colored journal card from Adorn It

Dec. 16 and 17

left - papers, stickers, washi tape, printable date journal card from Heidi Swapp;
right - papers, stickers, Stickles, drop down "recipe card" for journaling and photos on reverse side

Dec. 17 - flip side of journal card

Only one more week before Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying this special time of year.

Monday, December 19, 2016

More "12 Days of Christmas"

Days 4, 5 and 6 of the "12 Days..." Swap

Here are three more gifts from the swap I mentioned in the last post.

On the left is a sweet little pincushion mounted on a wooden spool; in the center is a pretty vintage music tree ornament; and on the right is a perpetual birthday calendar - so creative and useful! Each month has space for the 30-31 days so you can write birthdays for that month. Along with the calendar came the cute easel card (upper left). When opened you insert a little battery-operated candle and it glows through the vellum window. Neat!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Annual "12 Days of Christmas" Swap

I am in an online art group that does an annual "12 Days of Christmas" swap. 12 participants are in each group and you make twelve little gifts (alike or very similar) and send one out for each participant. You are assigned a number and that is the day that your gift is opened by everyone.

I corraled all my little gifts in a basket waiting for the first day to start opening (Dec. 13). Doesn't it look festive?!

These are my first three days' gifts. On the left is Day 1 - a cute pair of snowman earrings attached to a pretty tag. In the middle, Day 2 - a sweet tiny ornament with a wooden spool as a base.  And on the right, a children's-size denim pocket decorated for Christmas and filled with Jolly Ranchers.

This is such a fun activity and one I look forward to every year. If you've never done this, get some friends together and do your own 12 Days of Christmas project!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Documented Life unPlanner - December, Week 2

Before I share the second week's page, here is the Pocket Art Card (PAC) for the first week. The art challenge for the PAC was to use a photo transfer.  

I first collaged several text and music scraps to the background, covered it lightly with gesso and then coated it with gel medium. Once that was dry I did a gel medium transfer of an inkjet copy of a group of birds. I was pleasantly surprised that the transfer ended up just above a line of music so it looks like the birds are on a ledge or limb!  The transfer was a bit too light, so I outlined it with charcoal pencil and added some gelato for color in the background. There is a piece of washi tape at the bottom. Not crazy about this one, but it's done!

This is the weekly calendar page for the second week. I used a holly-patterned background stamp (Anna Griffin - very old!) with red ink for the background and then went to town adding stickers, washi tape, paper cutouts etc to get the details of the week in.

The art challenge for this week's PAC was to document what you are learning right now.  I am trying to improve my hand-lettering and learning to do brush lettering, so I wrote that out as my title. (I have a lot of practice to do!) The background is a gelli-printed paper.

Monday, December 12, 2016

November Artsy Canvas Swap

I participated in a recent "artsy canvas" swap where we had to use modeling paste in some way.

My canvas is 5" x 5" and I did a friendship theme.  The hearts, letters and numbers, and figure were all done with tinted modeling paste. The white dots are regular texture paste and then I added the mica flakes with a translucent paste. I hope the recipient likes it.

I received this cute canvas. I love the long orientation of it (3" x 9") and the way the artist used only half a tree.  The stars were added with modeling paste through a stencil and it looks like the texture in the tree is also modeling paste. It's hard to see in the photo, but the background is an elegant metallic gold paint. I love it!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

December Daily - First week

I've been pretty good at keeping up with my December Daily journal. Some days are less interesting than others so I'm adding other Christmas ideas on those pages.

The first page is simply an explanation of why I'm doing the December Daily. This is copied directly from Ali Edwards.

I added a monthly calendar on the next spread, just to see the month at a glance. Of course, it's not complete yet! I used little number stickers from the Target $ Spot and washi tape.

These are Days 1 and 2 when I was still in Albuquerque babysitting.  It's fun trying to find different numbers for each day. I am using up lots of scrap Christmas papers and stickers. I added photos printed with my new Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer (my Christmas gift to myself!) which I am loving.

On Day 3 I had just returned and was relaxing so nothing exciting was happening. Instead I added a copy of our Christmas card for this year. It's attached with washi tape at the top to reveal the page beneath and some journaling on the back of the card (second photo below).

Day 4 was spent decorating the house with a bit of Christmas decor.

Day 3 page flipped up

On Day 5 I received a goofy photo of my grandson, Carl, opening that day's advent calendar box and finding M&Ms - his favorite. I added that photo and journaled about it.

On the 6th, a friend and I went to McKinney to meet two other friends for lunch. We also did some shopping around the square. I collaged several papers, added a bit of stamping and used the lines of the paper for journaling.

Day 7 was an "art day" with friends at my house. One of my friends (thanks Julie) brought me a sweet gift wrapped in the pretty tan tissue paper with red shiny polka dots.  I used it for the background.

Day 8 was pretty uneventful so I used that page to add an old photo of my family from 1956 or 57. It was our Christmas card that year and we all had matching red and white "Santa" pjs. Too bad it was in black and white!

This is the last spread I've completed. I journaled about our past and present traditions. I also added a tiny shaker pocket filled with sequins, punched book paper stars and two circle stickers.

Reverse side of shaker pocket 

I am thoroughly enjoying this project! When finished, I will have a great memory 
book for December 2016.