Thursday, July 29, 2010

An Art Journal Page for the Caravan

I made a digital art journal page based on my 17 random thoughts for the Art Journal Caravan using Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Caravan Provisions #30 and Compendium of Dreams kits.

Don't you love the party elephant? Elephants never forget, right?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some recent purchases to share....and words of wisdom

Quotable Cards
Quotable Cards....from Rules for the Unruly: Living and Unconventional Life by Marion Winik   

Sidenote: In the fall, I'll be teaching folks to use semicolons. I'll be teaching a Developmental Writing class at our local community college. I've caught the teaching bug again....go figure.  

A little blurry...from Quotable Cards, too... a Quotable notepad....for, you know, writing down more ...quotes!

Bonus:  On the back of one of the cards, it says: Happiness may not be a destination, but you can visit Carefree, Arizona; Happy, Texas; Nirvana, Michigan; and Happyland, Oklahoma.

Roadtrip Anyone?

The Hardest Cat to Photograph.....EVER!!!!!

A little blurry
Two cats?
I think his face grew!
Now, that's a good one! Finally!
And this one is ok, too....

Either the cat's wonky or the photographer needs more practice.....let's blame the cat, shall we?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Artistic Mother .... I made some background papers, finally!

Week One - Made some background papers...they are not really that inspired, but they were fun and I made a good mess!

Watercolor and Salt

Oil Pastels

Bubble wrap, watercolors and watercolor pencils
My lovely mess!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

17 Random Thoughts (that came to me as I was driving to work today....)

Photo take in April....I was alone today!
1. I like Rob Thomas.
2. It's too blessed hot outside.
3. I'm glad my car's air conditioning works.
4. Robert Pattinson isn't really a good singer. (listening to Twilight soundtrack)
5. The only good thing about working on a Saturday is you can turn your music up.
6. Why wasn't I born rich instead of beautiful?
7. I haven't seen my daughter in 2 weeks, but I have to work today.
8. I'm going to make something good for dinner, but what, I don't know. I should have something healthy.
9. I have a 40% off coupon for the Blick Art store burning a hole in my wallet.
10. A few months ago, I wouldn't even go in the art supply store because I was afraid they would know I was pretending to be an artist.
11. The people at the art store are not snobs, they're nice and helpful. That guy Emmett is sweet and he doesn't think I'm pretending to be an artist.
12. Snobs are snobs and I try to avoid them. 
13. People may think I'm a snob, but the truth is I'm really shy.
14. I have focaccia in the fridge and I will use them to make something yummy tonight.
15. Actually, I think I'll ask my boyfriend (or man friend, as my mom calls him) to make dinner - he's a better cook.
16. iTunes genius chose Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" for the Indie Rock mix....that's kinda funny.
17. When I get home, I'm going to make a list of 17 random thoughts that came to me on my way to work today.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

100th post! Really? Me? I made it this far?

Whoa! I've stuck with this little blog for 100 posts - that's a feat for me since I've never kept a journal or diary more than the first...."Dear Diary, I bought a new journal and I PROMISE to write in it every day this time", yeah. I have countless journals that start and end that way, so that's why I'm a little proud to have made it this far.

Thanks for sharing this little experiment with me. Thanks for your encouragement, your support, your comments. 

A few more things I cherish...
A special thanks to my dear friend, Leanne for getting me back on the right/write track!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Family Art Day

I took the boys to an Family Art demonstration fair at the local Blick store. I've been planning to go for about 2 weeks, and I'm so glad that the boys were in the mood to try something new. Boys you ask? Where's Ana? My Ana's in Oregon for 2 weeks. She's my usual sidekick for these types of things, but I was pleasantly surprised that the boys were willing to go. Matt you may recognize, but the other guy is my nephew, Nick. The dude with the gray hair is a very nice, patient man who cheerfully allowed Matt to airbrush with his tools. Matt also made an Artist Trading Card, we painted on mini canvases (and just HAD to buy some to take home....they are such fun!), and the boys did Gyotaku fish prints with rubber fish. As, it was approaching 95 degrees, we had to leave before the pottery wheel and the spray painting demos started. Here's some photos:
  I'm thankful for this day to share something a little different with my guys, and I'll be on the lookout for other opportunities to share art with the kids.  Of course, I'll have to find something for my Ana, since she was a little bummed to not be here....of course, I'd love to be in Oregon, but that's another story.

How do you encourage the artist in the people around you, both young and old?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Artistic Mother or Here I Go Again....

There's been an idea I've been playing with for a little while. If you stop here by my blog often, you've no doubt seen it emerge. It's that idea that I may be artistic.

Shhh....I don't want to say it too loud, but I'm not sure why.

I've been caught up with self doubt about my "art" for many years. It's just a hobby, it's just a craft, I'd say to people who gave me encouragement....then I'd go back to painting, or making jewelry, or scrapbooking. Lately, though, with the encouragement of some wonderful ladies, I've begun to believe in myself....just a bit. I still struggle with the doubt that what I'm doing will mean anything to anyone other than me. But then, someone will say something. Someone else will "get" what I was doing. Someone might even say ,"Wow". (Thanks, Mom), and my heart soars. 

I feel firmly that I would keep doing what I'm doing without that extra boost, but I really like to hear those nice comments. See, back when I was singing in high school and college, when someone would complement me on my voice, I thank them kindly and quickly tell myself "they are only saying that to be nice". At the advanced age of 39, I am finding that had I believed what they were saying, my life may have taken a much different turn. While I wouldn't change what I have for anything now, I'm ready to accept the nice words and enjoy them for a while, rather than let that inner critic who silenced my singing voice get the chance to squash my dreams again.

No, I may never make a living as an artist. That's not what it's about for me. Though I would LOVE to be creative all day, my kids need a roof to live under and food to eat. It's about having the chance to explore, freely, what makes me really happy. I feel a little bolder when someone else likes something about me that I like about myself....does that sound selfish? Maybe a little...but the little girl who loved to sing and paint and play the piano and make things should like herself again, shouldn't she? Even if she's 39 now.

So, I've gotten this book, The Artistic Mother by Shona Cole and joined this group.....maybe I'll meet someone along the way who is like me and needs to feel that what she's doing is meaningful even if she is the only one it means something to. I've been slowly visiting the blogs of some other Artistic Mothers, and I leave a little genuine encouragement for them, especially when a post has the air of despair and the inner critic in them starts to take over their writing, and I ask that you leave a little comment if you happen to stop by and visit me. See, it means a lot more than you may realize. 

All right. I think this is the longest post I've ever written! I suppose I could have summed this up in one phrase and saved you the time it took you to read this:

Never, Never Give Up!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Art Journal page....Words of Wisdom - My Dream Bookstore

Took me all night, by I completed one of the weekly assignments for the Art Journal Caravan that I'm working on over at Scrapbook Graphics with Tangie Baxter and Amanda Sexton. I've added a tab for my digital art journal pages as well, in case you're interested. This week's itinerary had us focusing "Chasing Down your Dreams".

It's long been a dream of mine to own my own bookstore...surprise, surprise! In the era of the super bookstores (should I mention that You've Got Mail is one of my all time favorite movies?), the little bookshop I dream of is not likely to, I've created this one....come on in, sit down and grab a cup of coffee and a book off the shelf and stay a while....

Papers: Art Stomp, Tangie Baxter and Roben-Marie Smith, Every Life Has a Story, Digichick Designers
Elements from Studio Manu, Viva Artistry, Faith True, Gunhile Storide, Fresh Outdoors Collab, Impressions of the Sea Collab, Jen C Designs, Libby Weifenbach, Connie Prince
Bookcase: Dustybear, Sassy bookcase

Greatly sorry if I missed any credits

Don't refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase -- that's what wild geese are for.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
~Vince Lombardi 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yippee!!! It's my I'm Celebrating Cindi!

Ok - kinda goofy today since I LOVE my birthday. And, I'm not ashamed to admit, it's my 39th birthday!  I've made this little page....since today I'm "Celebrating Cindi"....

Also, here I am at the start of my 39th year, feeling like I might have figured a few things out, finally. For example, I can attest that you do in fact get more bees with honey than you do with vineager....turns out you were right, mom! I have this plaque on my desk:

I have a new project I am hoping to start a 365 Project to document the year before I turn 40 (which I hear the 40s are better than your 30s...from a number of reliable sources). I usually don't like to tell people when I undertake a big project because if my past is any indicator of the future, I will usually do 2 days and drop it. Hopefully, I haven't just set myself up to fail here....I can use all the encouragement I can get.

I plan to plant flowers today, have lunch with my mom, my guy and my kids, and hang out with my family in the evening, all things that enrich my soul. And yesterday, my sister made me this awesome cake:
How cool is that?!?!

Finallly, if you have the day off of work because the 4th fell on a're know it's really for my birthday, right? ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Beach...Souveniers...Part 2

I'm sure if you've been to the beach, you've come home with sand, too....I've come to realize, I hate sand. At this time in my life, sand is an enemy to be avoided.

Now, sure, I was delighted to see my kids digging in the sand, covering each other up, and I'm sure they were also enjoying covering themselves up in sand and then going in the lake (Lake Michigan, by the way), to rinse off. I know they enjoyed it...Matt even told his cousin that he liked playing in the sand more than playing with his Nintendo DS...whoa.

But dragging my heaviness loaded down with bags and towels and chairs and food through the hot sand, in my flip flops was not as much fun as it sounds. Eating sand in my sandwich (oh the irony) and drinking sand, hmmm. And then there's the sand I brought home in my bag and my clothers....didn't like it then either.

I DID like the sand in the lake, I liked how it shifted under my feet. I liked how it was solid, and if I moved, it moved too. I liked how through the clear water of the lake, I could see the ripples the waves made in the sand.

Next time (ha), I'll just have to be more prepared, and do this sand thing a little smarter. It might take a while to figure that out.

The Beach....I think you missed a spot....part 1

Ok, I've been a "stay away from the sun" girl for several years. This may have contributed to my Vitamin D deficiancy, which my doctor detected a few months ago. I've stayed out of the sun for a number of reasons- wrinkles, skin cancer....sweat. But when it comes down to it, the biggest reason is I get sunburned. Ouch. Even when I put on sunblock, I get burned. Case in point, yesterday, at the beach....I put on sunblock, yes I did....twice....and I still am left with spots of burn. No matter how much I put on, I miss spots and I don't know until later when my skin glows the ugly red of the burn.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Notes on a Saturday Morning

Some happy, some sad.....

Today is my sister's birthday. She wants to spend it at the beach. I haven't been to a beach since I was pregnant with my now 8 1/2 year old son. Of course, the first thing that ran through my mind was, "Yay, beach photos!" and the second was "Oh no, swimming suit!". I then told myself to shut up and enjoy it....I mean, it's the beach!

I'm transforming my unused living room into a place we can create in - I've moved the computer out of my bedroom, and restored my bedroom as MY room. I've also set up a table where the three of us can work on art projects. Matt's taken to it quite quickly, as he's been tracing Pokemon out of his books. I woke up to find this:

How Sweet!

And had a peaceful morning that looked like this:

Just 2 more days until my birthday....

The kids have been discovering the joys of bubble wrap....not the little ones, the BIG ones and they sound like firecrackers. Hmmmm....I like firecrackers!

On a sad note: A childhood friend's husband passed away suddenly yesterday. My thoughts and prayers are with her, their 1-year old son and their families. I'm still too shook up to observe my dessert tribute that I wrote about here, but if there ever was a time to stop and think about how important it is to enjoy the little things, it's when a young life is cut short.

I wish you a happy, peaceful Saturday! Enjoy all your blessings today, and every day, ok?