Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Little Digiland

Remember Paper Dolls? I remember going to the store with my mom (wish I could remember the store...might have been Woolworth's) and having dozens of paper doll books to choose from. I remember one I had with babies and toddlers, and I remember playing with them while in the waiting room of my Grandma's doctor's office. How delighted I was to find digital "paper dolls". These were made using the Ultimate Art Doll Collection by Tangie Baxter.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bloom Where You're Planted

This week's Art Journal Caravan Challenge was to take the statement, Bloom Where You're Planted, and illustrate it. Our guide, Tangie Baxter, who issues the challenges, admitted she just doesn't get what this means. I agree, it's vague. It can mean a number of things. It's one of those phrases that I've seen around, but never really zoned in on what it means to me. So that was the challenge. And here is my entry:
Here's the journaling:
What do you mean this wasn't the plan? You have a unique opportunity to show the world that it's not how much you have, but what you do with it that matters. Stop wallowing in what could have been. This is you life. It's all up to you to share your gifts with those who's lives you touch.Maybe you're here for a reason, after all?

This is me talking to myself. I struggle, as I'm sure many of you do, with why I'm here, and how I got so far off course. But maybe this is the plan. Maybe the change of plans was the plan, all along. I've recently started some new chapters in my life, as I've shared. And every time a start a new adventure, I want to remember this sentiment. It'll be my "kick in the pants" when I get overwhelmed with the direction I've chosen.

So, what does it mean to you? Something different? Similar? I look forward to your comments....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Night Family Art

Tonight, after dinner and homework, (and Dancing with the Stars....I had to see Jennifer one puts Baby in a corner), I twisted the kids' arms and got them to do a little art (Well, I twisted Matt's arm, Ana was all in....she loves to play with our art materials). Using an activity from Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim, we created "Picasso dogs"....drawing each dog body part and then turning the paper 90 degrees, and finally connecting the parts. We colored them in with Copic markers and hung them on the fridge!!!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ana's Homecoming Pictures and Photoscape

Hi - just a quick post with Ana's homecoming pictures. Thanks to her stepmom for providing the photos. I used Photoscape to edit them. Have you tried Photoscape? It's a cool application for editing photos - less scary than Photoshop, and it's completely free! I stumbled on it while watching YouTube videos a couple years ago (there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube for this program - just search Photoscape). Here's some photos of Ana that have been Photoscaped:

And here's the original:
And the original
 And this is the original

Some other pictures I've Photoscaped

Hope you give it a try!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Fall Layouts

I'm so glad fall is almost here. I love the cooler weather, the smells of the season and the rich colors. It was time for a blog header change, too....the fall '10 edition.

Some fall pages to share:
Kit: Pumpkin Spice by Laura Banasiak Designs
Kit: Artisia by Krystal Hartley and Amy Stoffel
Kits: Elements: Leaf it to Me Freebie, Studio Flergs; Repository, Studio Gypsy; Today We Learn, Rosey Posey; Bird and Frame, She Found her Bliss, Tangie Baxter; Font: Hobbes
For Monthly Scraplift Challenge at of Doodlebug's Innocent No More. Using Tangie Baxter's Compendium of Dreams; Remember the Time Add On, Studio Manu, Alpha and Stamps: Stampy Goodness, Heather Roselli; Destroyed Watercolor Brushes by The Shoreways; Elements from Altered Girl Talk by Viva Artistry
SuzyQ Scraps, Journey 365 Jumbo
The Digi Chick, Every Life Has a Story, Chapter 3

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget

Image from here:
So, today is September 11. Funny thing is 9 years and one day ago, I'd never have given it a second thought. I suppose that happened to people the day Kennedy was shot or when Pearl Harbor was bombed. And, although I remember when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up, and when Reagan was shot, I was younger then, not as interested in the world at large, just what was happening in my own life. I suppose another reason 9/11 sticks in my head is because I often hear the events of that day referred to by the date rather than the actual tragedy. But I think, even more so, I remember that date because I was in a very precarious position.

I didn't lose anyone I knew personally, but I was pregnant with Matthew, and he was born less than a month after the events on September 11, 2001. I knew I was having a boy, and my greatest fear was that I was bringing a child, a male child, into a world I no longer understood. Funny, I was thinking of my in utero child being drafted (and yes, I know, woman are fighting for our country, too). I even had a OB/GYN appointment that day, and naturally, I was worried about my blood pressure after such a shock. I was also sending my kindergartener to school that afternoon (but I decided not to). And I was afraid to let my husband (at the time) go to work downtown because there were still planes being hijacked. Also, I was feeling very shocked because he had done work in the Twin Towers on several occasions. Oddly, I think this was the time that I really felt like I had grown up, even though I was married with one child and one on the way. I think it was the first time I really felt my innocence was gone, and I started to look at the world with different eyes. I had always walked on the sunny side of the street, so to speak, and suddenly, I didn't know if that side would be ever there again.

Now, I realize these are not the kind of things that we are supposed to remember. We are supposed to feel pride and gratitude for the heroes on that day and the days after (and, believe me, I do). We are supposed to remember those who's lives were lost (and, I certainly do, too). But when all that has been recalled, it all comes down to personal memories. Those are the things that help us get in touch with remembering that day, nine years and 15 years and 20 years later, and  feeling grateful for what we didn't lose that day. A student of mine shared her reflections of that day in class last night. Her daughter was born on September 11, 2006, and she recalled praying her child won't be born on that date. To make her story more poignant, she is Muslim, and had her own concerns about her and her family's safety on that day and after.

We all have a story to tell. Some may be more painful than others, and some more angry. Feel free to share you story here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm writing my own story....and so are you!

I was in the shower this morning (where I do most of my thinking....sorry, try not to think about it too much) contemplating this little blog and how my life has gotten so full of late. Massive guilt for not posting overwhelmed me and I had to tell myself to stop. Take a breath and think about all the things I've been doing the last few weeks. I have a creative friend or two who are in full apology mode, always saying I wish I could have done more. To them, and, I admit, I am one of those "friends", I say, you do more than you realize. If you have young (or even grown up kids, right, Mom?), you give them copious amounts of your time, for good reasons. They need you. They need you to be there, to guide them, to wipe noses, and kiss boo-boos, and commiserate about broken hearts and hurt feelings. You willingly make sacrifices for them to have all the good things and the time you could be spending nurturing your own interests, so that they will become wonderful adults. That takes a lot of time. It's ok. And in case no one has told you lately, you're doing a great job.

I have a lovely friend, who has a lovely husband...really, both are the cream of the crop. I recently overheard her apologizing to her lovely hubby for not being there while she was taking some much deserved time to herself. How many of us do that? I'd venture to say...uh.... nearly all of us. No matter how wonderful and involved our husbands and partners are, they aren't us. They can never be us. And that's ok. That's why you're you and he's him (or however your relationship is set up).  I've realized that being the mom means you may see something that needs to be done or needs attention when you partner may not. It's like special mom vision, that goes along with the eyes in the back of your head.

I'm not going to get into a discussion about gender roles here, but I assume in saying this, that you already know that a mom is a mom and a dad is a dad. Or, maybe you have the privilege of being someone's favorite aunt or grandparent or teacher, which is also a great responsibility. Speaking from my own experience with my niece and nephew, I love them as if they are my own, but I also can be a friend to them, while letting my sister and brother-in-law have the hard part of raising them. It's one of my favorite roles in life.

After 3 paragraphs, let me get to the point, right? Being an adult role model for a child is a full time job. I make choices as their mom that I may not have made as that 22 year old college student. Sometimes I miss that freedom, but I choose to see it as just another chapter in my life (it's because I have all those books...). This "Mom" chapter is definitely a highlight of my story, and I don't want to feel the guilt in abandoning the world conquering college grad chapter or the spunky high school student chapter or the young married chapter. They are all a part of my story. It's a story rich with everyday miracles, choices, falls and missteps, successes and surprises. It's my story, and I wouldn't have it any other way.