Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Summary of My Year....


Time is ticking and here we are at the end of another year....and it's been a good one for me even though I didn't follow through with my word for the year which was focus. This year I don't think I'll pick a word or make any resolutions. I'm just going to be open to whatever happens. I want to enjoy each day without putting pressure on myself to think about a certain word or check something off my list.

For me 2011 started with snow! 
Yes, even in sunny southern California 
some areas do get snow....


February brought "fame" for my little studio....


In March I participated in a postcard swap....
These are the ones I made.



In April I worked in my art journal....



More art journaling in May.
And this spread is still not finished!
It looks just like this after all those months.

Postcards I mailed out in June....

July "Imperfections"

I managed to do three months of index cards....

In September I put my first group of paintings
in the salon where I get my hair cut....

October brought more journaling....

I painted more in November....

And in December I began making winter girls....

I guess overall I accomplished quite a bit....this was just a sampling but it shows how I didn't focus on anything for very long! I like to keep switching things up. Today I might paint, tomorrow I might do some collage, and the next day it might be journaling but I almost always do something each day even if it's just a little doodle. I plan to continue with that in 2012.

A huge thank you to everyone who visits my blog, who leaves me comments, who follows me....I am inspired by all of you to keep making art and sharing it with you. You've changed my life in such a wonderful way. I love you all!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!


I think I'm going to take the next week or so off. I know I just did a blog break not that long ago but I want to enjoy the holidays with HB, and Blogland seems to be fairly quiet right now anyway. I might pop in now and then and I'll most likely read a few blogs here and there but I won't be posting much. I'll be back soon with more art!

Merry Christmas to all my friends and I hope Santa is good to you this year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Handmade....Almost

 Lee and I decided to do a Christmas card swap. She got hers mailed to me promptly and on time. This is the gorgeous card she sent to me....

It has layers of collage, sparkly jewels and beautiful colors. The tree trunks are made from bits of lace! I love it. Thank you, Lee, for suggesting a card swap. I always love getting a piece of your art.

My card, however, was late getting mailed and then it took forever to arrive at its destination! My first idea for the card just wouldn't work out and I must have ruined three or four cards. Then I saw something I had gotten as an advertisement with a magazine and the light bulb went on! I saw what I wanted to make and even though I knew it would be late arriving I began. The card finally made it to Lee so now I can share with you what I did. It's made from junk mail!

Here is the card I sent to her....




What do you mean, it doesn't look like a Christmas card!! 
That's only how it began life but this is how it ended up....




You can't see it in the photos 
but the little square in the center among the stars says "Merry Christmas" 

I used some hand painted papers and some scrapbooking papers to cover all that black, and washi tape to cover the edges of everything. All those little emblems and tiny bottles of Chanel that were hanging on the strings got covered with gold stars. And then it was ready to mail. Since it was so large I didn't have an envelope for it so it just went in a priority mail envelope.

You can make cards from just about anything....even junk mail! Lee, I hope you don't mind that your card had another life before it became your Christmas card.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

FFTT and A Couple More Girls

First of all, I've been absent from Food For Thought Thursday for a few weeks but I'm back to share some food with you. Like everyone else, I've been busy making Christmas cookies. My kids are easy to do gifts for at Christmas....all they ever want is a box of Mocha Nut cookies! So this year I've made three batches of these cookies, one for my son, one for my daughter and one for us.

They're fairly simple and easy to make, 
which is a good thing since I have to do so many.


This is basically all you need!

Mocha Nut Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream these together. Then add:

2 teaspoons instant coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix this together and then add:

2 cups finely chopped pecans 
(I use my food processor to get them very finely chopped)

Refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours.
 Shape into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheet and bake at 325ยบ for 15 minutes.
 Cool and then roll in powdered sugar.

Note: these cookies are very fragile when you first remove them from the cookie sheet but after they cool a bit they're much less crumbly and easier to handle. I send these through the mail (to Alaska and Delaware) and they arrive safe and sound. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the finished cookies because they're all gone!

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And now here are two more winter girls I did yesterday....



I don't know how many more of these I'll make. I have so much fun with them but I should be making something else or I'll be overloaded with girls in hats and scarves!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Winter Girls....

You know me....I do something and then I can't quit making more of the same! I love making these little winter girls. I had a stack of 5" x 5" canvases all prepped and ready to go so it was easy to continue with this theme.




I gave each girl rosy pink cheeks and you probably can't tell but each one has glitter on the background plus some of the papers I used are glittery, too. This is a great way to use up tiny bits of paper you have been holding onto for a long time.

I also printed out some of my art and made some more blank cards. I tried selling my cards on Etsy but didn't have any luck so now I just make them for myself.


I like using these when I want to write a note to someone or when I send out ATCs. Just another way to share art.

Now I'm off to do more winter girls! It's another cold, damp day and I'm staying inside where it's warm!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some Little Bits of Art....

Today it looks and feels like winter here. We're in for a rainy day and it's gloomy and gray outside. So I've been playing in the studio. I have on a sweater and my warm snuggly slippers and the paint and glue are flying!

Recently I took a little ornament class that was fun....


The one above is done on a small 3" x 3" canvas.


This one is a little different. I started with a recycled box from the kitchen. I don't remember what was in it but it's about 3.5" x 4.25"....I filled it with plastic shopping bags until it was fairly solid. Then I used masking tape to close it, added strips of paper cut from a book, some paint and the little girl. This is one of my favorite kinds of art to do....use what you have.


You can see the box better in this picture. I may put another girl on the back or maybe just a phrase or something like that. She could sit on a shelf or on the desk and remind me to bundle up when it's cold outside. Is it cold where you are?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New ATCs and Some Trades....

Recently I've traded ATCs with several people and I've been slow posting them. So here they are....


from Andria (above)




from Fran


from Mary


from Teresa

I haven't traded ATCs for quite some time and it was fun doing it again. 
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I made these ATCs a few days ago. 






I just blobbed on some watercolor paints in red and green, then filled in the background with black and added some white dots sort of like Alisa Burke does. Fast, easy and fun. Other than that I haven't been spending much time in the studio. No painting, no collage, no anything and I'm getting anxious to get my hands dirty.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Some of This and Some of That and An Early Christmas Present....

I've been busy today. Somehow I've managed to lose all the audio on my desktop computer! I was cleaning out unused programs and I must have deleted something crucial. So now if I want to listen to anything it has to be on my laptop. Crap!!
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I managed to keep myself busy with some art so I wouldn't get too upset about the computer. I finished up a painting I was working on earlier but I'm not happy with it....


My idea was to have really bright colors in the hair and surround them with black so they'd pop but it didn't work out so good. Oh, well, you live and learn!

I also did some more simple ATCs. These were made with one of my collaged paper sheets so they aren't anything unusual....


There's more but I'll just put them on my Flickr page if you want to see them all. I don't want to bore you with too many ATCs all at once!


I used some Christmas paper scraps to make another over-sized postcard. Again, nothing unusual. One side is above and the other is below.


So that's what I've been doing today. 

Still no Christmas trees up in our house. But I do have a really great present! I don't know if any of you saw the announcement but Flora Bowley is doing her first ever online class!!!! It's my Christmas present! I'm so thrilled and happy that finally I get to learn from her. She does incredible in-person classes but they're always someplace really far off so when I heard about the online class I was jumping up and down. Now all I have to do is contain myself until February! It's not gonna be easy!

Monday, December 05, 2011

The Last of My Blog Break....

Hi everyone. I've been so caught up in things that I almost forgot to do a post today. And even though November is over and done with I'll still show you more of my AEDM projects that I did while I was on blog break.

One afternoon while I was getting my hair cut, HB hung some of my new art at the salon....



Calypso looks right at home hanging there in the middle! This wasn't part of AEDM but I wanted to show you.
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I made another one of my over-sized postcards. 
It's been mailed and received so I can show it here. 
This is one side....


and below is the side where the address goes....


I also worked on some more mandalas....


I drew these from the start....
I didn't use the templates for either one....


I hope you can see the one above. 
It reminds me of an old TV test pattern!

And last, I made several sheets of collaged paper to use as ATCs....


This is the only one I remembered to photograph!

So I think that pretty much finishes what I did for AEDM while I was on break. Since then I've just been working on things I can't show. I did a Christmas card swap with Lee but I don't think she's got hers yet. When she does I'll show you what I did for it.

Now I'm off to make some more ATCs. I haven't done them for a long time and I'm having fun with them again.