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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - last week of November

We returned from Austin last night from a fun weekend. On Saturday I helped the boys make gingerbread houses (I had forgotten how frustrating those can be!) and then yesterday we rode the North Pole Flyer from Cedar Park to Bertram and back to Cedar Park. This is a 2-hr. steam engine special event excursion similar to the Polar Express and features a visit with Santa, hot cocoa, cookies with Mrs. Claus, a coloring page activity, elves reading the exclusive North Pole Flyer book, a Christmas carol sing-along and an elf making custom balloon creations. The kids had a blast!

Today I finished the last week of November in my Life Documented 2017 planner.
This will be my last entry as I will move into my December Daily for the month of December. 

The background was done with a watercolor "smooshing" technique where you add any water-soluble medium on a piece of acetate, spritz with water and smoosh onto your substrate. It's an easy way to get a unique background. 

The right page is another quirky collage using some digital collage sheets I mentioned in previous posts. I am having lots of fun with these!

Friday, December 1, 2017

More Collage

At the moment I'm enjoying making quirky collages (ala "craftyhodges" on You Tube).  I took her recent free mini-online class and am hooked!  I've been cutting tons of stuff out of magazines and have purchased a few of the digital collage sheets from Mischief Circus online which she recommends.

This is a recent collage I made to add to my collage journal made from an old magazine. It's a traveler's notebook size - about 8.5" x 4.25." The face and eyes are from two different magazine images, the hair is part of a plant and the remaining pieces and background are from the collage sheets.

Joanne (crafty hodges) recently posted a video with instructions for this adorable banner (here's the link - the banner starts about halfway through) . When I saw it, I just had to recreate it! It's pretty much the same as hers and was so much fun to make. This will hang somewhere in my art room.

Entire banner - quite long - spans width of two closet doors

Here's a closeup of the left portion.

And a closeup of the right portion.

When you read this, we will be on our way to Austin to celebrate our son-in-law's birthday, to babysit while they go out on a date night and then on Sunday we will be going on the Polar Express with the grand boys! Looking forward to this fun experience. I'm sure it will be very scrap-worthy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Scrapping is what I've been up to this week. Trying to keep up with four albums for the grand boys!

Here are a few layouts I've done. I'm also trying to use up stash and not buy more paper!

Two similar camping layouts for Drew and Grant
Two first day of kindergarten layouts for Carl and Drew

Two layouts of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for Drew and Grant

Single page layout for Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating (also did three others for the other boys)

Single page layout for Carl loosing his first tooth Thanksgiving week

This brings me pretty much up-to-date but there will be many holiday layouts soon to come! For someone who never scrapped for my own children, I'm making up for it now!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving - and I'm back!

We're back from our Mexico Thanksgiving trip for dental work and I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones.  We spent Thanksgiving Day finishing up at the dentist and had tacos for dinner! Actually it was quite relaxing and a nice change from the usual hectic turkey meal!

I'm caught up on the past two weeks of my planner.

November Week 3

I used acrylic paint for the background both pages, numbers and days of the week cut from a calendar, washi tape for dividers and some very old flourish and word stickers.  On Wednesday my two besties and I had our annual baking day for Thanksgiving and Christmas cookies. I used a little image from Crafty Secrets as a flip with a photo of some of our cookies on the back (see below).

The collage on the right page is from an old magazine and I added some legs from a clothing catalog. The hat is actually an upside-down martini glass from an ad!

November Week 4

For this week's background on the left page I used Distress Ink and more very old stickers. The right page is decoupaged with a napkin - isn't it a pretty one? I added some glitter tape at the top and bottom and a few word stickers.

The "flips" are portions of my boarding passes. The photo on the right is of my husband and I eating a very untraditional Thanksgiving Day dinner in a little local open-air taco shop in Mexico.

Only five more days of November and one spread until I move into my December Daily for the month of December. How is it possible that this year is almost over???

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - November Week 2

One more week in my planner. It was a fairly uneventful week for a change! The background of both pages is watercolor. On the right page I smooshed a few more colors with the yellow, added a doodled border and a tag that I received in a swap years ago! The quote is a stamp.

We are getting ready to leave for Mexico today. We were supposed to go tomorrow, but the flights are all filling so we are going to go to Albuquerque tonight through Houston, and then on to Phoenix, Yuma and Mexico tomorrow. And, no, I won't be lounging on a beautiful beach for Thanksgiving - I will be completing my dental implants! Hopefully this will be the last dental work for awhile.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Can you believe that all the stores are already in full-Christmas mode? In fact, there were sales of Christmas trees the week of Halloween! Whatever happened to waiting until after Thanksgiving?

Well, I'm caught up in the fever too. Since we will be gone for the week of Thanksgiving, I decided to start preparing my December Daily book so it will be ready for Dec. 1. Last year was the first year I've done this and I have really enjoyed looking back on that traveler's notebook. At the time, you don't think you are doing much, but in retrospect there were lots of events and special moments. (It doesn't hurt that I have four little grand boys to document as well!)

This year I am going to continue in the traveler's notebook standard size ( 8.25" h x 4.25" w).  I will do one day per page.  This size is perfect for me - not too big to intimidate or be able to complete, but  big enough to document and decorate. And, if not, I can always add a tip-in.

Here is my cover:

Everything I used on the cover was from my stash except the acrylic title which I just bought at Tuesday Morning. When I saw it, I thought it would be perfect for this.  The charm dangle was given to me in a Christmas swap a few years ago and I was waiting for the perfect place to use it.

And inside front cover:

I added a pocket on the left for bits and pieces I find to add to the book. The right page is entirely made from a Michael's ad, even the borders!

December Monthly Calendar:

This calendar has mainly washi tapes and a stamped label for Christmas Day.

Back inside cover:

The main image again is cut from the Michael's ad and layered with printed paper and card stock.

My December Daily is now ready for December 1. I can't wait to start filling it with December memories!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

My last spread in the Round Robin "True Colors" Altered Books Swap

I finished the last spread in the last book of the "True Colors" altered book swap several weeks ago but never got around to posting it here.  

This gal's chosen colors for her book were turquoise and grey/silver. The book was quite large - each page was about 10 inches square - so there was a lot of surface to cover! 

She is part Cherokee so I chose this beautiful Indian girl image which I printed in black and white. The background is many layers of Tim Holtz tissue wrap, washi tape, and inks and paints.  I used texture paste through a large feather stencil in the upper corners.  I also used Versamark ink smooshed randomly over the pages and heat embossed with silver embossing powder for added texture.  The die cut "dreamer" was also silver embossed.

Here is the full spread. (Unfortunately, the colors aren't true - the middle photo shows a better representation of the actual color.)

Left page (you can see the embossing powder texture here)

Right page

It was serendipitous that she came through town just as I was finishing the page so I was able to meet her for lunch and present this to her in person. Her book is now finished and is very lovely!  I am waiting for mine to be returned - can't wait to see what everyone did with my orange and hot pink color scheme!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Catching up on planner pages - Oct. Week 4 and beginning of Nov.

I've done so much traveling/babysitting this year that it seems all I do is play catch-up!

October - Week 4/5

This was a long "week" so I used both pages to include the last days of Oct. I used acrylic paint on the background and then used many washi tapes, stickers and photo flips to document all that happened during this busy time.

November Monthly Spread

The background for this spread is also acrylic paints. I used a very old sticker border on the right edge. The decorative border on the bottom is from a mail advertisement.  I used a small leaf punch to punch out the dates from an old calendar.

November - Week 1

I used a roller stamp with acrylic paint for this background. I used the Art-to-the-5th date stamp on orange card stock and punched with a one-inch circle punch. The quote on the right page is a freebie from a You-Tuber Patreon account and the pumpkins are a stamped image I colored with colored pencils. I also added a photo of Mitchell since this was the week he stayed at our house.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

MIA - Life Happens!!

On the 26th my daughter and her boys from Austin drove in and spent the night and we all flew to Kansas City the next day. We were there to celebrate my mother-in-law's 90th birthday. She is in assisted-living but still can get around a little and is alert and cognizant. We took her to her favorite Italian restaurant for a birthday lunch on Saturday.

Mitchell was so tired he fell asleep just before we got to the restaurant and he slept on the floor during the entire meal.!

On Sunday we all flew back to Dallas; my husband drove home; and I drove down to Austin with Kelly.  Monday we looked all over for pumpkins as the ones they had gotten earlier in the month were rotting. The two pumpkin patches had none and were closed. We ended up at the grocery store which only had small pie pumpkins left.  That night the boys carved their pumpkins with their Dad.

Then on Tuesday, Halloween, my husband flew in and we went to Carl's school for his kindergarten Fall Festival. It was freezing cold and windy so we were glad it only lasted an hour! The kids all wore their costumes and it was really cute. Each of the 6 classes had 2 booths of fun/learning activity games.

And then it was trick-or-treating time!  Carl was Pikachu - Kelly made stripes on the back of the yellow pjs and also the tail. The costume even made it through the school day intact.

Mitchell adores the Moana movie and was Maui.  Kelly made the leaf skirt, necklace and hook. She had bought tattoos to put on his chest and arms but since it was so cold she got a t-shirt and just drew them on with Sharpie. Mitchell didn't know the difference.  He had refused to wear the wig for days, but that night he wore it! It really finished the costume off nicely.

The next day we came home and brought Mitchell with us for three days as Kelly had to work and her babysitter was unavailable. He was a joy to have - such a sweetie and no homesickness or missing Mom and Dad.  I had ordered him a suitcase for his first solo trip. He chose a Minions theme and loves it.

So, this week there is nothing planned for a change and I hope to catch up on everything and get back to arting and blogging! And resting

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Another retreat project - Christmas mini album

This is a Christmas mini-album created from long, black "policy" envelopes and bound with a coil binding.

Front cover

Pages 2 & 3 with a pocket made by cutting off one of the envelopes

Pages 4 & 5 - page 5 is the other portion of the cut envelope above

Pages 6 & 7

Pages 8 & 9 - page 8 is a regular black tag

Pages 10 & 11 - page 11 is a larger envelope with a flap

Pages 12 & 13 - Page 13 is a small, hand-cut kraft tag

Pages 14 & 15 - page 15 has a pocket at the bottom
created by a piece of patterned paper

Pages 16 & 17

Last 2 pages - page 19 is the inside back cover

I have set this to post while I am away. We are currently in Kansas City to celebrate my 
mother-in-law's 90th birthday! Kelly and her two boys are joining us and great-grandmother 
will get to meet 2-1/2-year-old Mitchell for the first time.

We will return just in time for Halloween. We'll be going down to Austin to trick-or-treat with the grand boys!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fabric and Lace Book

This is the fabric and lace book made during my retreat. It is filled with vintage lace, doilies, buttons and ribbons. The images are printed on fabric. Enjoy!

Inside front cover and first page

Pages 2 and 3

Pages 4 and 5

Pages 6 and 7

Pages 8 and 9

Last page and inside back cover