Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Muse

I'm a regular fan of a magnificent and thought provoking blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life.

They have a couple of amazing sites. Makes Me Think is an AWESOME place to get little true life stories in a few sentences. Its amazing to read and will totally brighten your day!


But our muse for today comes from their site Thought Questions. Talk about some inspiration!!


First of all...just answer the question.

Is it the sunshine, rain, or wind?

Is it how the world smells this morning? Like coffee? Like fresh cut grass? Like baby lotion?

Is it your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, co-workers, neighbors?

Is it your job, hobby, recreations, sport?

Is it your work, art, meditation?

Is it you God?

Ok...now that you've defined it, what does it LOOK like?

The question isn't just about what your joy IS, but what it LOOKS like?

Then lets move on to the illustration itself...what a gorgeous, bright blue sky and a vibrant yellow flower. I feel a bit like I'm laying in a field of wildflowers, looking up at one in particular framed against a bright spring sky.

So tell me...

What does your joy look like today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

22 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

Saw this on Stacy Julian's Blog and HAD to play along:

1. The body God gave to me to bear and nurture children is amazing. Seriously, my first pregnancy was one long AHA! Moment.

2. My relationship with God changed dramatically for the better once I had kids. I keep thinking, “I wonder if God feels this way about me.”

3. Children GET way more than adults give them credit for.

4. The words a three-year-old hears and correctly incorporates into their own speech will really awaken one to what gets spoken in the home.

5. If you believe, they do to – whatever it is you believe in. Choose wisely where you place your faith.

6. Love and laundry grow exponentially with children.

7. The floor will never be clean enough again.

8. I can function without sleep for weeks on end. Its not ideal, but it can be done.

9. Mommy time is essential to sanity

10. Bandaids are a cheap way to make a little one happy. Even when they don’t have booboo’s, apply with abandon. The decorated one’s are the same price as plain, so go for it.

11. Reading is essential. It’s a life saver. Its an imagination starter. It simply must be a part of what you “do” with your kids. Every day. It is the most useful and valuable habit you can foster in your child.

12. Crafts are messy, giggly, seriously, outrageously fun.

13. Play music, dance and sing.

14. Say “yes” as often as possible. They will not ask “Will you play with me?” “Can I help?” “Will you hold me?” “Will you sing with me?” forever. Take the chance while you have it.

15. Stickers have magic healing powers.

16. Have adventures - Dance in the rain. Walk in the creek bed. Explore bugs and turtles and frogs.

17. Pretend, pretend, pretend…In the three years I’ve been a mom, I’ve been to the moon, dressed in a princess dress, run from dragons, been attacked by the tickle monster, eaten strangely flavored lollipops, consumed mountains of calorie-free ice cream…its so much fun!

18. Practical, simple answers are best. Nothing is apparently as complicated or emotionally difficult as adults appear to believe.

19. Friends are only as hard to make as it is to say, “Hi. My name is _______. What’s yours?”

20. If it is climb-able, you WILL find your kid on top of it at some point.

21. Little boys are as fascinated with princesses as girls – just in a different way

22. Take pictures and write things down. You won’t be able to remember all the important stuff. (See #8)

What's on your list?

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun with Monday Muse

There are about a thousand ways to interpret this weeks Monday Muse.


Lets start with products for scrapping or card making this one.

If I was going to scrap this, I would have to start with a gorgeous turquoise background much the same way that she did. How about this Bazzill Basics grasscloth texture paper in Whirlpool?


Then we can build some layers…perhaps one of these Jillibean Soup Basic’s papers…or a combo of them:




I would probably add something like this Doodlebug paper, appropriately called Tutti Fruiti:


And this one from the Bobunny Press Sweetie Pie collection called Squeeze:


For embellishments, lets start with these Alphabeans letters from Jillibean Soup. Pink? Or Green? Or yellow? I can’t decide.




Add in these Anna Griffin Isabelle collection border stickers:


And I’d get that banner effect with one of these Sassafrass Flag Banners from the Nerdy Bird collection:


Maybe add in some brads from the American Crafts Blue Skies line:


I also found this bright right pile of hand made buttons from TessaAnn:


I also found these other amazing things from this inspiration:

Lets just start with candy. I really loved the look of those malted milk balls. These Ice cream malted milk balls from Oh Nuts are perfect:


And how about these Rainbow Twizzlers from Candy Warehouse:


Saw this wonderful card on Elle’s Studio blog


How about this necklace from Ella Scott Jewels appropriately called a Jelly Bean Necklace:


Love the look of this birds water bottle from Paper Source:


And lastly, this Tutti Fruiti Tutu from Noodle Noggins. It makes me wish I had a girl!


So…how would you use this muse?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Muse

This week’s Monday Muse is from Amy Atlas, a high end dessert table designer.

Seriously, how have I missed Amy Atlas? She appears to be everywhere…

And a dessert table designer? This sounds like something I would totally be into! Desserts? A million GORGEOUS desserts!?!?!?!? Where have I been?

A quick browse around her site and blog will provide you with tons of visual inspiration for a multitude of projects. I was pretty impressed with her kids birthday party tables…but then, I’ have my children on the brain 24/7.

Today’s Muse is from a bar mitzfa that she designed…I chose it because it feels like sweet spring time:


Pink, yellow, spring green, and orange on a turquoise background…divine! There is an exquisite symmetry to this shot. And I love how she uses the same object – such as those lollipops in the center of the image – in different sizes and colors. And that banner!  Amazing!

Look at this reinvention for a cake stand…do you have an object or an idea that could use creative reinvention?


Her arrangements are purposeful…they may appear random, but you know that every pieced was placed very purposefully to get that “random” effect.


She makes everything so crisp with custom labels, spotless glass containers and bits of gorgeous ribbon.


And what an array of objects in similar colors…


So…what do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Fill-In - 10 Things I Love About My Body

Today’s Friday Fill-ins didn’t have anything that actually sparked my imagination…

So for today’s Friday Fill-In, I’m stealing an idea from Fun Mama – Deanna and listing 10 Things I Love About My Body…

Those of you who really know me will know that this exercise is a huge challenge…why is that, exactly? Why is it so hard for women who are not necessarily supermodels to appreciate their bodies?

Ok…here we go:

1. My eyes…they are blue. I remain to this day the only person in my family with blue eyes, kiddos included, with the exception of my Grandpa Q – from whom they were inherited.

2. The STELLAR way my body handles pregnancy. Seriously…I figured out while pregnant just how marvelous the female body is…we grow human beings in there! And mine didn’t gain too much weight and stayed outrageously healthy the whole way through! Go body!

3. My voice – I can sing. I will give credit where it is due – God gave me an amazing gift in my voice. I love also that I also have the ability to memorize songs very quickly – its another gift.

4. While we are on the subject – my brain. My hubs is fond of saying that I have a heavy head because my brain is so big. HEE HEE!! I am a smart cookie – but lets just not talk about some of my life choices, k? I prefer to think of those as lapses of the heart, not the brain! Onward…

5. My hair. My momma blessed me genetically amazing hair. Its thick, healthy, grows fast and doesn’t act up no matter what strenuous process I put it through. Seriously, I use a hair dryer EVERY DAY on the hottest setting and my hair still manages to stay soft and healthy!

6. My back – its strong, straight and able to handle the huge weight I often carry on my shoulders.

7. My lips – even at nearly 40 I have full lips…no collagen needed…though I do often admire Angeliina Jolie’s lips, I’m quite satisfied with mine.

8. My curves – or as Fergie would say “my lovely lady lumps.” You know I’ve longed to be a ballerina for a long, long time. I came to grips some time ago that it just wasn’t going to happen. I have the GREATEST husband – he tells me regularly, “You look like a WOMAN, not a little girl!” Yea…I’m signing on for that sentiment. I am a woman…why should I look like anything else? Cuz the magazines say so? NOPE!

9. My laugh. Its loud. Really loud. Its not a quiet little simper. There is never a doubt that I think something is funny. I think some people find it annoying. I don’t care. Who decided that laughing should sound a certain way, anyway?

10. My very fair skin. I long for the day when being fair skinned will be a mark of great beauty, a sign of society. When that day happens, I may just be one of the most beautiful women EVER because I’m so fair. Until then, I’ll be proud that my fairness keeps me out of the sun…and that makes me look younger than most other women my age (who have not had work done).

So, there you have it…

10 things…

Are you up for the challenge?

What do you love about YOUR body?

Peace, ya’ll!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Technique Journals

I’ve been pondering technique journals for awhile, now.

A technique journal is a place where you play and with different techniques, but also where you note HOW you did something…that would be what works, what doesn’t, the steps you follow, etc.

This is different than an idea journal or an inspiration book because it is filled with things already tried, as opposed to things you might want to try or that inspire you to try.

Its different than an art journal in that art journaling is about journaling, where a technique journal is about the techniques with which you play.

I think artists sort of naturally keep logs of their work, but don’t necessarily note what works and what doesn’t or why a particular project got abandoned. Scrapbooking as an art creates a technique journal as you create pages. I don’t know if most scrapbookers do this, but I put a little label on the backs of my pages with the supplies and techniques used so that I can have ready reference later.

Certainly the advent of digital has made it easier to keep technique journals in some sense. Digital brushes are saved, colors stored and photographic actions are recorded as a matter of course when creating digital art.

I’ve somehow always assumed that teachers and home-schoolers are naturals at technique journals. I imagine them having vast files of “things that work” stored away in notebooks, journals, or file boxes. I suppose I come at this assumption very naturally. My mother is a teacher and can to this very day look at cookie cutters, markers and a hole punch and concoct an absorbing craft for my 3 year old based on some technique she’s used with students in a classroom.

My grandmother kept gardening journals. These are technique journals of the most detailed kind….what kinds of seeds were used, where were they purchased, where in the garden where they planted, what was in that same spot last season, how were they planted and cared for, what was the weather like, what sort of extra attention were they given, what was the crop yield. You can see that journaling a technique under these circumstances is a huge amount of valuable information for the next season.

My assumption is further reinforced by homeschoolers such as Amy Anderson who has been digitally storing her own technique journal via her blog (she wouldn’t necessarily call it a technique journal, but I am.). She has parlayed her vast collection of things tried into a successful blog and on-line business. When she’s discussing a particular technique, she tells you all about what materials were used, how they were used, whether or not it works, what sort of variations she might do, and she always posts pictures of the resulting work. For example, here are pictures of the happy experimentation her daughters did with bingo daubers:



Because technique journals are the place where an artist stores work in process or ideas tried but not necessarily successful, they are hard to find on the internet. Artists don’t necessarily show works in process or divulge the secrets that might make their art different from others.

I came across these in my pursuit of what a technique journal might look like in real life:

Heidi Swapp posted her technique tag book from Ranger University. I found this an inspired idea – using tags to try an idea out, jotting some notes on the back and then putting them on a key ring. This could be a hugely successful way to store “trying” without taking up much in the way of space:




Patti Van Dorin has a post about a fabric/quilting journal. This thing is so lovely! Her blog is about art journals, so you may find tons of inspiration there if you go take a look.


The Fancy Pants design blog has this wonderful flower techniques album by Jolene Pienaar. I thought this was the most amazing idea – a technique book dedicated to a very specific area.


Marie Wise has an amazing set of posts about the color pallets she tries out for paintings…it resulted in these technique pages:



I have a friend who is a card maker who gave me instructions for a card technique in a most unique way - she printed the technique instructions inside a simple card then did the technique on the outside of a card. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of that one readily available, but you can imagine how this might turn itself into a sort of technique catalog.

I haven’t bothered to keep a technique journal up to this point. But I’m considering it. Mostly because I don’t often get the opportunity to just play and when I do, its hard to pick up where I left off.

It seems to me that I would have an easier time of finding my groove if I could pull out my technique journal and look at what I was trying out last time I had a few seconds to spare. It would also give me an opportunity to evaluate sketches, products or tools or to mature my own style.

Its also a reminder of artistic growth and maturity…how have I grown as an artist? What have I tended to shy away from? What have I embraced?

I think it would be an interesting exercise…

What do you think?

Peace, ya’ll!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fun with Monday Muse

Wow, oh, Wow does THIS muse light me up!

You see…I’m a LIST person…

There are SOOO many options for scrapping this muse…

For starters Shimelle Laine has a Digi-kit called “Write It Down” on Two Peas…You can see lots in inspiration from the digi-kit HERE.


My Minds Eye has a line called Life Stories that would make wonderful scrapping pages for a list of things to do before you die…


There are also the wonderful interpretations of ledger and notebook paper that Pink Paislee always seems to include in their lines like this one from the Queen Bee collection called Worker Bee:


Collage Press has a die-cut notebook paper that would lend itself to document lists.  This one would look so good handwritten:


You could document your list in one of the wonderful Jenni Bowlin mini notebooks:


I found tutorial on how to create a bucket list or a Life List HERE

Love the book All About Me

There is also My Listography that has some interesting lists to think about.


How about this To Don’t List from Knock Knock. I would put things like "panic" it on:

There is 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. I’d have a hard time choosing wehere to start in this book, but it’s a fascinating list..


I also found Stroke a Martian and 99 Other Things to Do Before You Die: Plus 5 to Do Afterwards
from the editors of New Scientist Magazine. This is a serious list…and an interesting one…I personally love the thought that went into this one.


What would you do with this muse?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Muse

Today, I have been blogging 5 years....

Yes, folks, it is my 5 year blogiversary!

I started this blog a completely different person...and its amazing to look back and see all that has happened in the last five years.

I quit a job I'd had for 10 years.

I moved to the east coast.

I've had two children.

Its is no less amazing to see what I wanted that has NOT been accomplished.

I have NOT been published for my scrap art (ok...I haven't really TRIED all that hard, but still!)

I am still not a stay at home mom (for some reason, this title has the allure of "king of the world" for me.  I want it!)

I have not written a book - an idea that I have had since nearly the beginning of this blog.

While I would love to offer you a packet of goodies or a free tutorial, I have not prepared such bounty in time to actually do this blog post...

so...I will instead inspire you with my Monday Muse.  This one is about LISTS and LIFE...something that I find very appropriate on my 5 year blogiversary!

TODAY’s Monday muse is a TV show…its called the Buried Life.

Here is the premis:

Relying on goodwill, guts and gumption Duncan, Ben, Dave and Jonnie travel the globe in a purple transit bus to complete a list of ‘100 things to do before you die’ and to help and encourage others to go after their own lists. For every item they complete on their list, they help a stranger achieve one of their dreams. Everywhere they go they ask the question: What do you want to do before you die?

Here is a sample:



If you click HERE you can see their list. If you click on any crossed off item you can see a little video blog of the item being accomplished.

So…tell me…what’s on your list?

Obviously stay at home mom and write a book are on mine....

But, what do you want to do before you die? Have you tried to accomplish any of the things on it?

My husband is fond of saying, “You never know until you ask.” Have you asked anyone to help you finish any of the things on your list?

Tell me about it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Words

As a lyricist, a blogger, a scrapbooker, a journaler, a reader...I know the power of words.

How carefully, I have crafted songs and blog entries in an attempt to get my point across about general topics without necessarily giving away the inspriation.

How purposefully, I have read books, jotted down quotes and stored the words of wisdom in my soul.

How blessed and cursed I have been to hear my child use my own words in his budding speech.

How painfully aware I have been that my words will contribute to the shape my child's personality takes.

Learning language is critical to our development as human beings - because it is through language that we are taught the concepts and details of all other disciplines. If you have doubt of this, try to explain without words to a 3 yr old why they shouldn't put their finger into an electrical socket. Without words, our only means of explanation of a concept is natural consequences. While powerful, natural consequences are not always the safest teacher...as in the electrical socket example.

Words are power.

They contain an essence that either builds or tears down, that either nourishes or deprives, that either nurtures or neglects.

How many times I've been hurt by the words of another...and how many times I've hurt.

It seems to me that God gave us a weapon more powerful than we are capable of handling when He gave us our tongues.

The Bible is filled with scriptures on the tongue...but the one that always gets me is James 3:8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Full of deadly poison...

Proverbs 12:18 says Reckless words pierce like a sword

Deadly poison AND a sword!?!?!?

I've been following Brene Brown for some time now.

Her insights are powerful.

You see, she challenges to me to think long and hard, to pray continuously about how I speak to myself.

The truths about which she writes and studies affect me so much so that I will actually avoid her blog if I'm down in the dumps or short on time.

I avoid her and my Bible...why? Becuase I know that by reading the Truth in my Bible or the challenges she places in her writing, I will have to examine something in myself and pay attention to something important I have been neglecting.

This week, Brene has been celebrating worthiness on her blogk. This statement cought in my throat:

So many of us have knowingly created / unknowingly allowed / or been handed down a long list of worthiness "prerequisites."

These are the "I'll be worthy when..." statements we feed ourselves, the things we tell ourselves have to be done before we matter.

I was dumstruck.

I have so many of these prerequisites in my life...

When I lose weight.

When I have enough money in savings.

When others think I am good.

when my house is spotless - all the time...


ANd the list goes on and on and on...

Have you ever thought about how you speak to yourself? Have you ever thought about how recklessly you speak to yourself?

I find that I base my worth on things that in the longest of runs have little or no value to me I wish to be, the me I am promised in God's word.

This has me asking questions...lots and lots of WHY questions...

Why do I not shed my "fat girl" internal image and really experience the joy of exercising and living a life committed to healing and health?

Why do I not make time to care for myself?

Why do I not insist that my quiet time with God is more important than the 1000 trivial things I manage for my family every day?

Why am I not worthy of a housekeeper so that I can have some of my time back?

Why do I allow my creative spirit to be shelved for more practical tasks?

Why am I so busy and yet so...empty?

My self talk is poison! My inner tongue is a SWORD!

But words also have a positive power.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us The tongue has the power of life and death...

The tongue has the power of life!

Have you ever heard some one use the expression "speak life"?

No easy task. We try to speak life with our son, instructing him how we want him to behave and focusing on the positive, rather than always telling him what we don't want or warning him to "be careful."

But...I don't do this with MYSELF.

I am not speaking life internally.

I am not giving myself permission to live...in the now...and for the reasons that give my spirit wings. I am not coaching myself in a positive way!

So...today...I'm in a hurry to vow to make things different.

But I won't...I won't hurry this process...

I want to make things different.

I've said this before...but in my haste, I have slipped backwards into the habit of negative self-talk.

In my busy-ness I have ignored the Still Small Voice of God that says, "You are MINE child. You are a KINGS KID. You are WORTHY. and I LOVE you."


Words they'll try to shake you 
Don't let them break you 
Or stop your world from turning 
When words keep you from feeling good 
Use them as firewood and let them burn


Today...I'm just going to stop, listen, and feel how amazing it is to know without a doubt that I am worthy.

I'm going to start a fire...

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fun with Monday Muse

The Monday Muse this week has TONS of layers, and yet a lot of structure. I would definitely, definitely distress each element.

To scrap this muse, I would start with a very very pale blue cardstock – probably something in the range of the Bazzill color Powder:


I would probably use one of the Winter Tree Glimmer Stencils from Tattered Angels and create that gorgeous tree in reverse with a combo of the colors from the Nature Collection:


Everything about this photo screams 7 gypsies to me and their new product line Avignon that was debuted at Winter CHA is PERFECT. I would build my layers out of these papers.


To get the newspaper effect, I would use 7 gypsies gaffers tapes in Venice.


My final element would be to layer some of these Prima Felt Branches in the foreground of the layout to get some depth.


What about other inspirations?

I love the modern interpretation of a shadow box that Colorystory designs is doing:


This photo frame made from a vintage window is a great idea. I found this one in Waste Not recycled art.


BH&G has this fabulous idea – a chalk board message center. I found many versions of this, using just about every size and shape of window frame available.


Sassy Trash has a couple of gorgeous interpretations of wall art using an old window frame and tree branches from her yard here: This is just one of her variations:


But, my favorite find this time: this Daisy Bouquet Necklace from CR Design gallery. JUST beautiful!


So…what would you do with the muse? Show me!! Link us up!