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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rest in Peace Dear Clare

Clare Davis

Today we said good-bye to a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was my neighbor, three doors down, when we first moved to Texas. Even after we moved ten years ago, we still kept in touch through scrapbooking as she would come into The Little Blue House for supplies or classes and ask me for advice.

In 2011 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite surgery and chemo, it recurred in 2015, just under her 5-year survivor milestone. She valiantly battled it for another two years.  She leaves her devoted husband and 15-year-old adopted daughter and many loving friends.

She was a light to everyone who met her and a sweet, kind, gracious and loving person. I am blessed to have known her and will miss her, especially her beautiful smile.

It is never easy to bury a loved one, but so devastating when she's only fifty years old.

We know you are in a better place now. Rest in peace, dear friend!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Memorial Day weekend while also remembering our brave soldiers and their families (past and present) who sacrifice so that we can enjoy our freedoms.

On Saturday we made a quick, one-day turnaround trip to Houston to spend the day with Bill's almost 92-year-old aunt. She broke her pelvis and is recuperating in a rehab facility. It was a relief to see her doing well. We were picked up at the airport by her granddaughter who we haven't seen in ten years, so that was a nice "extra."

This is last week's planner spread. I painted the background with acrylic paint and then used a baby wipe through a stencil to remove some of the paint, but it's hard to see and mostly covered up!

Sunday was the last day we were in Albuquerque with all the kids and we went to an art/interactive installation in Santa Fe called Meow Wolf. It's almost impossible to describe but is a combination of art, "haunted house," jungle gym etc. I cut up the brochure to make a tip-in at the top of the right page and then journaled about the experience in the remaining space. The flower in the lower left corner was stenciled onto the inside of a security envelope and then cut out and embellished with black doodles.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 3

We left on Wednesday night for Albuquerque in order to babysit the grand boys on Thursday. We were going in for the weekend anyway, as our son (who has moved to Hong Kong) was in country and wanted to see the boys and the rest of the family. Albuquerque was the easiest meeting point. It was a whirlwind weekend and we just returned late last night.

This is my planner spread for last week. I collaged a napkin on the left page and then lightly gessoed over it, as there was bleed-through from the previous page. On the right page I used watercolor for the background and then practiced sketching a face in Mindy Lacefield's style. She has a sketchy, cute, quirky style that I wanted to try.

This Traveler's Notebook insert is starting to fall apart as it contains almost five months' worth of pages. The right page was tearing away, so I added paper tape on the back and washi tape on the front to help reinforce it. At the end of May I will be transitioning into a new notebook.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 2

This is last week's spread. It was a quiet week - puttering around the house, going to doctors and trying to get well again!

I follow a talented Australian art journaler on YouTube (LittleRavenInk) and she posted a spread a few weeks ago using blocks of color and doodled borders. So that's what I tried for this week. I quite like it for a change! The background is left white with watercolored blocks (using my Jane Davenport "Mermaid Markers").  I also used several planning stickers from Reset Girl from my stash.

This notebook is getting quite chunky! I will be able to get through May but will have to make another for the next several months. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Interesting Week - "Fat Book" Swap

So, after ten days of this awful "cold," I finally got in to see the doctor. It turns out I had severe allergies and also a sinus infection! I'd never had one before so had no idea these symptoms might mean that. Anyway, feeling better each day now that I'm on some meds!

My husband has also been sick but with slightly different symptoms, including a fever. Took him to the VA ER on Thursday and, after 8 hours, an IV and lung x-ray, we found out he has pneumonia! This is the second year in a row even though he's had the shots! 

Despite all the doctoring, I've managed to get a few things done this week. I finished 17 little 4" x 4" pages for a "Gypsy Fat Book" Swap. Mine are all slightly different since I used a variety of papers, fibers and buttons on them. I'm even a bit early getting them off to the swap hostess since they are due on May 28. I can't wait to see the 16 pages I receive in return. They will be bound into a fun, chunky little book.

Here they are all laid out before mailing.

And a few to show the similarities and variety.

The backgrounds were covered with paper from a Boho collection from Michael's and pieces of napkins. Then I used a dimensional lavender paint through a stencil which came from the same collection. The gold feathers are stamped on vellum and then fussy-cut (what was I thinking since I had 17 to do!). The gold German "scrap" border is something I bought at one of my first conventions probably over fifteen years ago and the images I purchased on Etsy.

In addition, I managed to finish 6 Easter scrapbook layouts for my grandsons as well as a layout for Mitchell's second birthday. I'm happy to be caught up with those once again!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - May, Week 1

This is one of the first week spreads I've actually completed during the same week! Feels good to be in town for awhile, even though I've been sick with a horrible cold since I returned.

This is last week's spread. I used pink acrylic paint for the background, floral fabric washi tape for the dividers between days and the Art to the 5th date stamps.  It was a pretty quiet week, especially since I was sick and didn't feel like doing much.

For the right "artsy" spread, I used an old technique of making a colorful background and then drawing (I used a floral stencil) an image and filling in the background around the image with a solid, darker paint. I blended it out toward the bottom of the page and then stenciled with an irregular dot stencil to make the transition more fluid.  I love how this came out! You never know until you do it what will actually be revealed. And I like the final touch of white pen against the dark background.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Documented 2017 - Week 4, April

The last week of April I was back in town for a few days before heading out once again for Austin for birthday celebrations.  This is my weekly planner spread.  

I used acrylic paint for the background and old silver "stitching" border stickers for dividers. I added lots of ephemera from the week along with a photo of Mitchell on his birthday.

His photo is added with a washi tape hinge so that it opens out to reveal the information underneath.

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It feels good to now be working on the current week!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I'm Back and Catching Up once again

My life seems to be all about catching-up! Returned from Austin late Sunday night. We celebrated Mitchell's second birthday on Saturday with a big party with friends, then again on Sunday with family.  His actual birthday is May 1. I think he enjoyed himself!

I finished my 30-Day Art Marks Challenge as soon as I returned.

Day 27 - Connected

The background for this page was a gelli-printed scrap and I added yellow watercolor crayon to it. Then I just doodled random connecting triangles with white pen and filled in with black pen.

Day 28 & 29 - Dotted and Inside

For the dotted prompt, I painted the background, added a strip of artist paper and then filled in the page to mimic the paper.  The white pen dots fill the background as well as the red circles.

For "inside" I used a scrap painty paper, drew a feather in the center, than painted the background with gesso. Some of the color from the background shows through. I outlined the feather in black and added details inside with colored pens.

Day 30 - Numbered

This background was a messy paper towel that I glued to the page. Then I used up a very old set of white number rub-ons.

Last page! Finished 30 prompts in 30 days. I loved working in this tiny booklet handmade from lots of scraps. I just wish I hadn't been traveling so much this month because it's more fun to actually create the art each day rather than having to play catch-up.