Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Envelope Book

A great friend of mine told me today that he had lost his job, he had been unhappy there for a while but this was fairly unexpected. He's a really lovely person who is amazingly talented and always looking out for everyone, often to his own detriment. Anyway, I'm having dinner with him tomorrow and wanted to surprise him so I made an envelope book for him. I have to admit that I thought it would go faster than it did but I'm really happy with the result. I had a fabulous picture of his sister dressed as a geisha from when she was really young that I had been saving so this was the rainy day to use it.

Anyway, 5am is going to get here fast so I'm heading to bed!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Quick ATC

I want to try and do some type of art everyday and Claudine Hellmuth's Quick Collage inspired me to do a quick ATC. I'm going to add my updated contact info and send it to a friend at my old job as a way to say hi and keep in touch. I know it's not what I would've done if I had more time, but it was a good exercise to just focus on color, focal point, etc. It's girly and bold at the same time and it reminds me of my friend so I hope she likes it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Soldering Zen!

Seriously folks, I had a zen moment tonight while soldering. Maybe it was finally being content in my job, first day today, and being relatively happy with the state of things or that I finally learned that less really can be more. Whatever it was, I was able to solder my microscope slide pins in a little over an hour (12 of them) and normally it would've taken me an hour to do 5. I realized I have been using waaaay too much solder and a tiny amount does the entire thing. I'm thrilled with how they turned out and that I can get them into the mail to my Mom on Weds (drying time on the pinbacks). Anyway, I love the new job and am having a good art day ... I'm pretty sure this beats a good hair day hands down!

Have a great Monday guys!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

More pins... soldering begins!

I've got all the pins done and now I just have to solder (which is my least favorite part) but I'm hoping to get better with practice. These turned out great and I'm really pleased with the results. I need to get started on some new projects. I want to create an altered book to submit to Somerset Studio and I need to get my scrapbooks from our trip to Europe last fall done. My goal is to have the scrapbooks done before the year anniversary of our trip (I have until October!).

I start my new job tomorrow so I'm really nervous but excited at the same time. I'm hoping to be able to juggle my time better and really do some time management to fit everything in so I'll see how it goes.

p.s. If you haven't seen V for Vendetta or Inside Man both are amazing and well worth seeing. V is especially great for getting some art ideas.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I've been working on some jewelry for my Mom and I've had a lot of fun working on the mini-collages for microscope slide jewelry. They were scanned prior to soldering since it's easier to get the flatter images. I've got 4 more waiting for foil and I'll post those later.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Weird Weather

I woke up today with a horrendous migraine so I didn't get as much done in the art dept as I had hoped. I worked on some jewelry and got two necklaces done, although I have to re-string one so by the time I'm done it'll be three, but it's good practice for me. I was also inspired by the ATC I did for the swap and altered a $1 photo album to hold the ATCs I make and receive. This was a fast and easy project that could be great for gifts and I'm all about stocking up so I can have holiday shopping done by October... well, that's the plan. Tomorrow should bring better weather and my headache should be totally gone so I can enjoy my last day off before I start the new job!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cowboy Boot pics

Blogger is giving me a hard time adding this photo to the last post so I'm adding a new one. These are a pair of boots I bought as part of my Cowboy inspiration brought on by reading Deb Trotter's blog. I love them and at 70% couldn't resist!

German Scrap Swap for ArtChix

I took advantage of my free time to finish my swap projects. This is my ATC for the German Scrap swap for Art Chix. I really like it but sometimes feel like I'm not working hard enough or it's not "arty" enough but I love the simplicity of the colors and stark image vs what's she's thinking but sometimes I feel like I should've done more, added more layers, painted the background, etc and really struggle with whether or not I've done too much, not enough, too simple.

This is my first ATC so I'm cutting myself a little slack and have decided I really like it. I'm anxious to see what everyone else has done with the theme (we had to use 1 image and 1 bit of black German scrap). I love the German scrap from Art Chix and find it alone can inspire a thousand ideas!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Family has packed up and headed home! We're shopped out (I have the blisters to prove it!) but it was fun and we had a great time. The rain didn't slow us down at all and we certainly did our part to help with the economy. I got some great boots, a few pair actually, inspired by Deb Trotter's blog that I've recently found myself addicted to, so I'll have to post pics. I've got a few days before I start my new job and I've got high art hopes.

Keep you posted...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fools for Love Pin

I've finally finished my fools for love pin for the art chix swap. It had to include an image and an art bit from Art Chix so I used the German scrap with the stars. The lace came from my antiquing trip to Canton a couple of weeks ago, seriously, you can't go wrong with 10 yards of lace for a dollar! I also used the German glass glitter, in pink, for the bottle cap from Paper Valise which turned out great. I love the sparkly and in pink it's the perfect girly touch. I was really happy with how they turned out. I'm inspired enough to keep practicing the soldering, not my favorite, and hopefully use family pictures to make ornaments for the families for Christmas. I think those, along with a feather tree, will be a big hit for the holidays. We'll see how it goes!

My husband's family should be here in a couple of hours and they aren't going to let the Texas rain slow them down. We'll hit the malls running!

Have a great weekend guys!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Woo Hoo!

So I've been swamped and a little worried, anxious, etc about finding out if I got a new job I've really wanted and I found out last night that I got. I'm thrilled and will have some free time for art now... unitl the new job starts!

I'll have pics to post for the jewelry swap tonight.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I'm adding a couple more photos so you can see all my help with the studio project. The ham looking right at me is Abby. Maya is the more mellow puppy acting as a rug! They are adorable and I'm not biased in anyway... honest!

Light at the end of the tunnel!

The room is almost inhabitable again! My husband remarked on how much bigger it appears and I'm thrilled that I can find everything when I want it. I'm adding a few photos of sample CD's I'm playing with to see what I like. My brother is a musician and I would love to get the cd collages to where I"m happy with them as they'd make a nice gift for him.

I'm still struggling with finding the hours in the day... do you think they'd notice at the office if I set up a little mini-studio - a little gel medium, some great vintage finds and a few odds and ends to alter and I'd be set. Maybe since were basically paper free my overwhelming large scrap pile would get noticed. It's something to ponder!

As for the cd's I've just been adding paint, pearl ex, gold leaf and stamps until I find something I like. I want something more ethereal than heavy layers of collage but I'm not quite there yet. Oh well, it's fun just playing and as long as AOL keeps sending me free trial disks I won't run out of canvases!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Studio space clean out update

Two large bags of trash and 4 unnecessary rubbermaid containers later, may studio is slightly more organized but still in desperate need of cleaning. The husband and I have spent the weekend doing some clean out of our separate spaces. He's been going through his game room and organizing all his stuff while I"ve been doing the same in my area. We've decided to have a garage sale and my sister-in-law and mother-in-law have graciously volunteered to come help us. This is a huge offer since my sis-in-law is a 2nd grade teacher and they wouldn't be able to come down to help until JUNE. In. Texas. This won't be pretty.

I removed two large bags of trash and several contains that turned out to be helpful in terms of clutter vs actual storage so I'm definitely making progress. The thing is that all this cleaning has made me realize that I'm stuck on the notion that I have to be surrounded by tons of things to be creative. I've amassed all of this stuff that I can't even see and expect it to inspire me. I'm really going to make a conscious effort to try not to buy things unless I really love them or I know exactly what purpose the object will serve. I've done a lot of collecting of things that I "could probably use" vs "yep, gotta have some of those plastic baby penguins...(as a for instance)".

On an arty note, I've been working on soldering my slides for my swap and I have to say that could be going better. I think I've been adding too much solder and it's pulling the foil off the slide. Not sure what the problem is but it's unfortunate timing since we have family coming in next weekend for 4 days so the studio space will have to fulfill it's supporting role of second bedroom so my time crunch is on to get the space back together, solder figured out and deep cleaned for my mother-in-law (no garage sale can't happen now as this is purely a pilgrimage to shop... plus, it's 91 already here).

Yes, 91 in March. Gotta love Texas!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Altar/ Alter, whatever it takes!

So I'm a firm believer in inspiration. We have to surround ourselves, and create for ourselves, experiences that help us to think about the world in a way we normally wouldn't. For me at least, this is what helps me stay inspired and keeps me wanting to create. When I don't spend time traveling, looking at art, looking at things that inspire me I start to feel disconnected from the world a little bit. I feel much more engaged when I'm able to incorporate a picture I actually took into my art... I remember what it was like in that time and place and helps me set a certain mood or invoke a certain emotion with the piece. To that end, I have a fun little travel altar in my bedroom that has a few things from when I traveled to Europe or picked up that reminded me to keep dreaming about places I want to see.

For example, I got the double decker bus and globe in a great kitschy store on Portabello road in London. The Queen card from a street vendor by Kensington Palace... which I never found but I did find a shoe store where I picked up a great pair of suede mary janes with purple stitching (trust me, they're adorable!) but when I see these things I laugh and remember how much the husband and I loved London and what a great afternoon that was and I make a collage or a piece of jewelry with that same sense of whimsy.

I guess the point of this long rambling message is to keep things around you that make you smile, make you think or even make you cry but with items that evoke a feeling because that's what spurs us on to create and be connected to the world.

Also, I'm adding the photo of the pin up girl bracelet I made so I would finally have something to show the hubby that would keep his attention instead of a passing "yeah, that's neat"... this time, he noticed what I used in the bottle caps! :)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Altered Cirque Book is DONE!!!

I finally finished my altered cirque book and am really pleased with how it turned out. I had a lot of fun playing with the colors, not that you can see much since I covered it up, but it was fun to dig through all my stamps and ephemera to see what I could use.

Next, I really need to finish my jewelry for the swap. I've got the bottlecap additions done but it's a major ordeal to get the soldering iron out so I'm going to need to clear a space first. I've uploaded pictures of a few pages of the cirque book.

p.s. you'll notice I couldn't help but add sparkle!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


We went to Canton today which is a large flea market/antique show that's held the weekend before the first Monday of the month. I know, it's very confusing! It's a little over an hour drive from our house and we were there bright and early. I got a great deal on some vintage necklaces and handkerchiefs. I'm thinking about wrapping jewelry I make in the handkerchiefs and them putting them in a gift bag just to make the gift a little more special and feminine.

I found a great deal on ribbon and lace and took the opportunity to stock up. I found some great ribbon that I think I can use in the family portrait collages I want to make (like the one I made for my dad. The photo is in an earlier post).

I'm working on jewelry for a swap for Art Chix and I hope it turns out. I've been working on the idea for a week or so now so it's time jump in and see what happens.

Have a great weekend guys!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I'm still working on my altered cirque book and thought it was going great, but now, I'm not sure how happy I am with the progress. Some pages are ok, but others aren't what I would like and I get frustrated. I just have to remember that it's all part of the process. I did discover that peeling paper is great! It gives the page a great texture that picks up paint and adds depth that stamping and transferring, etc just won't give you. I'm going back in.