Sunday, October 30, 2005

Where does the time go?

Do you ever feel like sometimes you are simply wasting precious time? Where does the time slip away to? Lately this has been on my mind. It seems that somehow I manage to take one step forward only to get knocked back 3 spaces; leaving me to wonder what in the world is going on and how do I keep managing to end up walking in a never ending circle?

After all my futile efforts to establish a small bookbinding area up in my living room, my plans quickly came to a screaking halt yesterday when Amber and Chris needed my small kitchen table for a new apartment they will be moving into soon. Poof! My bookbinding table is gone, in its place, is nothing but empty space! Also gone, is the TV tray that I used while sitting in front of the TV. The tray allowed me a small area to create book covers and often sew my handmade creations.

Gone, Vanished, Disappearing.... my hopes, my dreams, my creations.....
Ok, everything except the mess left in its wake ......... all my efforts to organize and the supplies which now will need to boxed back up and taken back out to the unorganized studio and re-organized! Ugh! I'm dreading that........ where will I find the time to do it all?

I've been working on this area for a few weeks now, trying to make the small space work in my favor rather than against me, a few hours here and there as time allowed after I returned home from work. Mind you, my 8 hour shifts means 11 hour days when you figure in the time to get ready for work, packing a lunch, and the commute to get to and from work.
Oh, and yes, I'm working once again........ same job, same hours, the same ole' ..... well, I'm certain you can figure that one out. I received notice that I could return after my attempts to find work locally failed. I'd loved to have been able to have saved some of the headaches and hassles, but I guess that wasn't in the plans for me.

Someone remind me not to try this again, please. After all, I have a studio and shouldn't I have simply re-organized it to begin with? I certainly could have saved myself some valuable time, not to mention all my hard work. I'm also certain, I may have been able to crank out a book or two... Now, I'll begin taking a few hours here and there to move everything back to the studio, re-organize the total mess I've created, including the one I so feverish tried to escape, right up there with the job! LOL!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wouldn't ya know it......

Instead of cleaning and re-organizing, I'd make an even bigger mess! Desiring to work on the new art journal, I made a trip out to the studio and came carrying back in a paper organizer, two boxes filled with stamps, inks, and who knows what else. So now, the mess is back into the house. LOL!

I can see right now that I really need to simply establish a bookbinding area --- to be used for BOOKBINDING ONLY! Just the supplies needed to cover the book covers, binding supplies such as my rulers, awls, clips, wax linen thread, needles, ect. I definately will be needing to make the trek out to the studio for any other artwork, designing pages, embellishing, painting, and whatever else my little heart desires. This simply isn't going to work! I spend more time going out to the studio, gathering up supplies, placing them in a box, carrying them into the house, and creating than I would if I'd simply finish up the re-organizing there! So what is it that is assisting with me forming this bad behavior? One word: CHAOS!

{No, not chaos in the studio, nor the living room,} but our puppy, Chaos! I cannot seem to bring myself to leave him... he's too young to leave alone with free roam of the house while I'm out in the studio and I feel so guilty leaving him crated up for a few hours out of the day. The weather is changing, so maybe today, I can chain him outside where he can romp and play for a bit while I do some much needed organizing. While out in the studio, I came across some of the piles of papers, stickers, etc. and for the life of me couldn't make out what I'd intended for the madness of supplies, LOL! So, I gave up......... began looking for my Tim Holtz alcohol inks, which were no where to be found. I searched the house, in every conceivable container, to no avail. So, the search for them continues, this time by process of elimination as I begin to put supplies back away!

Yesterday, was a great day! I treated myself to a much needed haircut, highlighting, and style!
Sadie did a wonderful job on my head of thinning hair and was just as sweet as she could be! The new salon she is working in is decorated in a Country French decor that I loved and I was equally impressed when I saw the same Tina Chaden art prints adorning the walls. I instantly felt "at home". Since, I was gone most of the day, Don and I drove over to Fork & Finger's, a Mex-American bristo in Mansfield for dinner and a margarita! If I haven't mentioned their margarita's before, I am now! They are out of this world! I limited myself to only one as I made a stop at Old Navy in search of another new pair of jeans. I'm loving their boycut jeans, low ridin' hip huggers now that I've lost 10 lbs., LOL! I guess working does have it's advantages other than a paycheck and having one's own $$$ in your pocket! I also purchased a new sweatshirt for me, a thermal long sleeve and a dress shirt for Don, and a maternity top for Amber. Not too bad on the old pocket either for all that I got; gotta love that!

Today's agenda is filled with laundry, light housework, posssibly a walk for the pup --- gotta keep him happy! Don is off work today so maybe a short ride out to the quarry where Chaos hasn't been. Visiting the quarry would also provide me an opportunity to capture some autumn pics before the trees lose all their leaves. Well, I'm off.......... gotta get started! Why is that the hardest part sometimes?......

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Having decided to create an art journal yesterday, I used one of Kim's prompts to "Create an entry about your favorite word or words. Find a way to incorporate writing and imagery" from

I chose the word "Dance" For as long as I can remember I've loved to dance. The soul has rhythm; comparable only to the beating of one's heart." I used printed paper for my background since I am short on time today and various stamps were used in creating this. After I posted this in the 2P's Stamping Gallery, I noticed I'd wrote "rythym" vs. "rhythm" LOL! A mistake? No, it's what I, as an artist, like to refer to a lesson learned, LOL!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Creating dreams {Journaling added}

"Create[ing] dreams" isn't finished..... I'm quite certain I will desire to add a mulberry layer for texture and some additional embellishments. For now, I'm simply excited I've started!!!

I believe my journaling will have something to do with "Dreams Do Come True!" and how it is important to begin working towards achieving them --- bringing, creating, and making them a reality.... perhaps, manifesting themselves purely through one's hearts desires, passions, and wishes. Afterall, isn't that what dreams are made of?

Create Dreams..........

Background for journaling in my NEW art journal! I played and experimented with Rangers Resist ink, clear embossing powders, several stamps, and Colorbox Chalk inks that I have refills for, on regular white cardstock {Georgia Pacific brand}. I plan to add my journaling to reflect my dreams of one day starting this art journal! Definately "creating dreams" but better yet, making them come true!

I'm "ALL OVER" this...........

While browsing today on my favorite message board: I stumbled across this:

I've been desiring to begin an art journal, well, one that is more of an artistic exploration from start to finish. This thread was just the kick-in-the-pants I needed to get started! I bookmarked the blogger site and having a link in my blog will also remind me to check each Tuesday, hopefully......... I believe I am going to start today by decorating at least one page ay or possibly creating a cover. I think I'd like to use a variety of paper types and handbind my own book. Whoooo......hoooo......... the possibilities of this is exciting! Thank you, Kim, for inspiring me and promting me onward! {{{{big smiles}}}}

Every Now and Then........

I come across question, and yes, answers to my own questions, regarding different art supplies and artist mediums. This just happened recently and I decided it was such a great discussion regarding PASTELS that I've decided to add the information shared here within my blog. Here is my explaination of Pastels: Difference in types of them, techniques, and uses of...... {enjoy!}

There are two types of Pastels...
Soft Pastels which are more chalk like consistency and contain no oils and Oil Pastels which do. If I am remembering correctly the Reeves Pastels are Soft pastels containing no oils whatsoever. Another great brand is the Koss Pastels available from Polly's Pals and available in a 24 and 48 count. I love my Koss Pastels. I apply them with cotton balls, make up sponges, q-tips, and artist tortillions. Used with the Mona Lisa Odorless Mineral Spirits the colors become more vivid. Liquid Gum Arabic can also be applied to a cotton ball to assist with adhesion to cardstock eliminating the need for a Krylon Workable Fixative. I have used them with and without both gum arabic and a fixative with no ill effects as the pastels are designed to be rubbed in to the fibers of the cardstock and are slightly absorbed. Any excess can be brushed lightly away with a clean cotton ball or any soft paint brush. A good tip for cleaning your painting brush and keeping them soft and subtle is to clean them in Murphy's Oil Soap. Doing so will allow almost any brush {watercolor and acrylic} to be used for a lot of techniques and mediums.

Soft pastels are composed of pigments, gum {usually gum arabic}, and then pressed into a dried stick form for use similarly to crayons. It is "the artist(s)" who discover other uses to transfer the medium.

Chalks are the composed of the same products, except are more tightly bound, meaning they contain a higher level of gum arabic. I always found it fascinating that products such as those you mentioned and Craf-T are recommended for scrapbooking as by nature gum arabic is slightly acidic which would effect the archival quality!

Oil pastels contain the same products as soft pastels and chalks, although usually linseed oil is added for the oily quality and properties. It blends easier due to the oil and is often used when a more opaque quality - something that cannot be seen through effect is desired.

It is nice to know what artist supplies contain as many products can be toxic when mixed, omit hazardous gases, or become flammable.

Equally important, is realizing that if one purchases soft pastels, gum arabic in either liquid or powder form can be added to enhance the more "chalk-like" appearance, and also, linseed oil in liquid can be added to them to make up the consistency and blending properties of oil pastels. So, soft pastels and the purchasing of either product makes them very versatile. Just some food for further thought.

I've mentioned previously that I keep a notebook when I discover tips, techniques, and other valuable information regarding artist supplies. The information that I share here is usually taken from them, unfortunately I am terrible at jotting in where the information came from! Shameful, I know.... Anyways, I believe it is important to mention, once again, the greatest source of information for any art supplie comes directly from the manufacturer of the product. Don't hesitate to visit their websites or contact them for information, questions, and/or any assistance; most are happy to help! Their business relies on the artist who use their products and they will go above and beyond the call for help.

How Time Flies.......

It's hard for me to believe it has been a while since I last updated my blog. The past week has flown by, working in Delaware and the commute to work definately took it toll on all of us as I've been so sore I could hardly move, doing no more than what was absolutely necessary. Light housework, laundry, cooking dinner and cleaning up afterwards, and preparing my lunch for the next work day compromised most of my week. I wasn't even checking my emails with one exception, a call from my sis to view a pic she'd emailed to me.

This past weekend, I was forced to make a decision not to continue making the trip to work due the fact that Don isn't doing as well. Having been born with CP {cerebral palsy} which mainly effects his lower body, he is now falling more and more. He has an appointment on Nov. 10th in New Albany with Orthopedic Surgeons to discuss and begin the testing process for a full left knee replacement. Our family doctor recommended them saying the procedure itself will take a few hours, follow up care will consist of a 3 day hospital stay, and upon his return home, physical therapy.

On Saturday, Don fell in our living room just narrowly missing putting his head through the living room window by taking quite a hit to his head on the window sill. It worries me to be working in Delaware, car pooling back and forth, and even though I've been offered a ride to pick me up and bring me back home in the event of emergency, I choose to decline the offer. Me being here is a necessity.... so for now, the employment situation is back on hold which could be a good thing as both of us would prefer I find something locally, maybe even after the procedure has been performed.

Chaos is growing by leaps and bounds! On his second visit to the vets, he now weighs between 21 and 24 lbs. and is approximately 12 - 14" in height. If you've never tried to weigh an 11 week old puppy or measure their height, trust me it can be quite the experience, LOL! He is house broken, although we still experience an occasional accident --- just like a small child, he gets distracted playing and waits a little too long to tell you he needs out NOW! He can sit, beg {sits up}, lay down, and fetch on command; still has his puppy antics, grabbing my throw for himself to lie upon vs. getting his own blanket, the occassional grabbing a shoe or piece of paper to shred. Saturday evening Don and I took a trip to Pet Smart for purchasing some new toys and a 20 lb. bag of Science Diet Puppy formula. What a difference brands of foods make! His coat is soft and subtle, shining in the light.

On Sunday, we took Chaos for a ride in the truck to visit with Dennis, Sheila, and Shadow {Chaos' father}. Chaos liked to drive his dad nuts, wanting to play, jump and romp with his older canine companion. Over time he settled down.... We spent some time romping and running through the yard when Chaos noticed the cows in the neighboring fields as they bellowed. He became perfectly intent upon watching and sat quietly for 15 minutes or so before returning to his squiggly, bouncing, running and romping little puppy self. Upon returning home, the little guy was too tired to get too mischeivious, LOL! For the first time, he chose to sleep on the living room floor vs. seeking the sanctuary of his crate for sleeping.

I am planning to get my housework caught back up, begin once again on the studio re-organizing, and hopefully do some creating! I miss creating art!

A co-worker visited with me on Thursday evening and after a tour of our home and my studio, we spent a fair amount of time viewing my scrapbooks, handmade mixed media artwork, and handbound books. Cathy was entranced, telling me how she loves my studio, that I have talent, and how she'd love to learn to do something of this nature. Her mother is also into creating arts and crafts and had sent Cathy over with a beautiful bowl filled with potpourri, a string of Christmas lights, and a doily topper as a gift for me. {Thank you both, it is gorgeous! and I am enjoying its soft light at night}. Maybe we can get together soon for a day of crafting and creating; I know I'd enjoy that!

I am working on finishing one swap for the OFP group's set of January tags; hopeful to be mailing them out by the week's end. I also signed up for a smaller swap within another group, titled, "Hometown Ghosts or Mysteries" a mini-book swap where a small group of us will create a 2 3/4" W x 3 1/2" H pages for the books to be bound. The books will be bound on the top, the 2 3/4" W side, be double sided, with artwork on the front and the story on the reverse double side. I also should be receiving 2 art idea journals for the RR as it continues. Some more artwork from the ByHand Participants can be seen at:

My dd, Amber, is doing better as the baby continues to grow. Unfortunately, she's contacted a cold so I haven't seen much of her this week. Hopefully, we can visit and catch up with one another soon as she improves.

Well, I'm off to read my email, get caught up with a few group messages before my housework beckons me....... I hope everyone's day is a joyous one!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Seems this damn cold desires to keep its hold on me for yet a little bit longer. I woke up feeling its effects, sneezing, running nose, watery eyes. Will it ever go completely away???? I still have an antibiotic on hold at the pharmacy, however, $66 is a lot to shell out, especially when you know an antibiotic won't kill a virus!

Yesterday was a great day! Don and took a drive up to Bucyrus.... grabbed a hot ham-n-cheese from Hardee's; visited a farm market briefly before driving back home. He had to work from 3-8 p.m., so he dropped Chaos and I off at the park. Chaos loved walking through the park, chasing the blowing leaves, and romping around. He actually wasn't so bad to walk, if you don't mind getting tangled up in his puppy antics such as running back up to you between your legs or doing circles that entangle you a little bit more, LOL! After a bit I shortened the leash and we both did so much better. We walked to Michelle's so she could see him and she instantly fell in love. After visiting for a brief time, Chaos and I visited Mom and Dad. Chaos has also captured Dad's heart as well, both of them sat and ate crackers together, LOL! Chaos loved that as table food isn't allowed at home. Unfortunately, I didn't get to stay very long as Chaos desired nothing more than to be outside, running and romping. So, off we went walking up to the store where Chaos decided it was nap time so after snoozing for a bit, Don brought us home.

I tried to sit and relax for a few hours, only to keep being disturbed by the phone. I finally gave up trying to have a few minutes of "me" time and talked with some friends neither Don and I have had much time for lately. Sheila and Dennis invited us over for some chili, however, I wasn't up for a drive over to Galion so we went out to Denny's for breakfast instead. It wasn't soon after returning home that we both headed off to bed.

On my agenda today is to clean house! Pick up a little here and there, sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, clean bathroom, and do a load or two of laundry. Hopefully, I'll be done by the early afternoon so we can take a ride. I want to stop in Kohl's for a new pair of jeans, maybe a quick visit to Stampland or Stein Mart. It certainly hasn't felt like I've had a weekend off! Too much to do since I was sick the majority of last week.

We did get the windsheild in the truck replaced! Tried to get ahold of Tim once again for an estimate on the carport and laying the living room flooring. Hopefully, he can get to these two things before the snow starts flying!

Not anything new artfully going on... except the Month Tag swap; working has been taking all the time I have although that hasn't stopped me from dreaming about creating it, LOL! I've yet to set up my bookbinding area but I am still hopeful to accomplish that one night this week. I've a project in mind for a new book and will be focusing on the details of it soon. *until then*

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I finished up my design idea on January's Angel: Angel of New Beginnings today. I smeared on a little Vivid Aqua ink, heat embossed on some silver to represent the silvery quality of snow in moonlight, and added in a navy snowflake. In place of fibers or ribbon, I choose a strip of navy fabric with silver sparkles and a silver sliver adorn the jump rings on the tags.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

8 hrs. on the job whizzed by today........ I am wishfully thinking that tomorrow will go equally as fast. Besides being Friday.... it's finally PAYDAY! I know it is hard to comprehend that I so looking forward to a day off already when I've only worked 8 hrs. this entire week; but I don't count being sick as "enjoyable" time off work, LOL! "Enjoyable" to me would be the ability to find some time to do a little shopping over the weekend, knock out a few Christmas presents, and pamper myself a bit. I definately am needing some new blue jeans as I been wearing and ruining 3 of my best pairs. I've have however put it off, shopping/purchasing any as I have dropped 10 lbs., and in the event that I drop another 10......... I have plenty in a size smaller that I could wear; although treating myself to some new clothes would be fabulous!

Speaking of shopping, I was pleasantly shocked yesterday that after Heaven & I finished up creating cards to send to USArtQuest call for the hurricane Katrina evacuees to see that my Amazon order arrived. I poured over both books last night while relaxing and am anxiously awaiting some time to try some of the techniques featured within both books. Nancy's book features some awesome eye candy! and Mary Todd Beam's book is a fabulous read as well as very technique driven.

Things are going good on the home front; still in search of another Jeep for parts to fix ours; Don has an appt. tomorrow to repair the windsheild on the truck as it is cracked from a truck carrying gravel and flying debris' cracked it. When it rains, it pours, LOL!

Chaos is becoming a little holy terror....... more and more puppy-fied daily and definately has a mind of his own. He is getting very, very brave; raising a little more hell than any 10 week old should. His new favorite toy is a plastic bottle. He chases that thing all over the house. Who knew it would take so little to amuse him?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Just when I'm ready to return to work.......

I get a telephone call to take yet another day off.... seems DMI decided to do inventory of the warehouse. Such is life, I guess....

I managed to accomplish quite a bit on the home front yesterday. My new set of T-Fal Pots and Pans are now in the cupboards and my old set is being stored in the back section of my kitchen in cupboards along with all the misc. kitchen appliances formerly kept within the bottom of my hutch. I managed to clean my bathroom, living room and kitchen thoroughly as well.

Last night Don and I went to WalMart to pick up my contacts and a few things for the house. I splurged a bit and bought me a Sterlite 12x12 paper holder so that I can work on setting up a small bookbinding area within the bottom of the hutch. The paper holder will come in handy as I set up this area. One drawer will be purely for book board, while the others will provide me some room for printed papers for cardmaking. I've decided to keep my Fiskar's Rotary trimmer inside as it can be easily hidden from view between the hutch and the wall.

I'm hoping to be able to finish up working on the swap for the OFP Month Tags and Heaven will be coming over to assist me this afternoon to stamp out and create the Christmas Cards for USArtQuest request for hurricane Katrina victim's. I'm hoping to get them mailed out ASAP.
I'll try to check in later.............. *waves*

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I called my Dr's office at 5 min. til 5 after hearing nothing from them. They decided to give me a Dr.'s excuse for yesterday and today, and also called in a prescription for me. Checking with the pharmacy, I discovered it for a stronger antibiotic. Since I've only taken 3 of the 5 Zithromax; I decided to finish this prescription, not filling the other.

I made some Coffee Liqueur last night. Foldger's Hazelnut coffee, Kamora, topped with Redi-Whip, and sprinkled with some cinnamon and nutmeg. After drinking about half the pot of coffee, I was feeling much better, LOL! I slept like a baby, not tossing and turning, heck, I don't believe I even turned over once as I awoke in the same position I went to sleep in. I awoke to Chaos sitting at the foot of the bed, quietly allowing me to slowly stir around. Upon getting up, his entire little body burst into a wiggling, squirming bundle of joy. He is something else! I got my coffee made, fed him, and Don just took him outside to potty. He'll be ready to go back to bed for a bit in a few, right now he is contently playing with his toys on the living room floor.
Today's agenda for me is to rest up as I'll be returning to work tomorrow.

I spoke with my sis on the telephone last night, she called to ask how I was feeling. I was like, "how'd you know I was sick?" She said, "I do read your blog for updates." It is nice that we can use this to communicate with one another when time is short and our schedules conflinct with one anothers. We talked about me creating Amber a baby album, what I'm thinking and planning on doing; it is amazing that she & I think so much alike..... I read her a poem I found online that I planned to use as an intro for the baby's scrapbook and she said, "I used that for Lexi's album!" We chose the same color schemes and I was thinking of the same K and Co. Frame a Name album she used. Since she {my sis} has create one for Lexi as a gift to Sherry {her sister-in-law} and had some paper piecings and embellishments left over, she's going to create some pages for Amber's album as well. That will surprise Amber!

We also discussed ultrasounds, making some handmade gifts for Christmas. I told her I was thinking of making Amber a pregnancy journal with a matching pen and decorating a keepsake container for items that won't fit into the scrapbook that she'll want to keep. Mary suggested an acid-free photo storage box.. perfect!

Well, I'm off to check my email, check in a few groups, and start my day. May do a little light housework, just enough to keep some guilt away, LOL! *tootles*

Monday, October 10, 2005

French Photographer

Although not a new piece of artwork created by me, this piece is a favorite of family and friends that visit with us. It is created within a Jolee's 5x7 inch shadowbox. The photograph of a french female photographer was perfect for the artwork and co-ordinated beautifully with the printed quotation on twill that adorns the outside glass. K and Company toled puzzle pieces assist with adding depth to the artwork.

Make Time to Play

I believe I've mentioned email's that I receive that have that serendipity in nature for me. Today's really struck a cord in my heart as it's topic was to "Make time to play!"

"If we fail to nourish our souls, they wither, and without soul, life ceases to have meaning.... The creative process shrivels in the absence of continual dialogue with the soul. And creativity is what makes life worth living."
-- Marion Woodman

Stress, fear, negativity, too much to do and doing things for others at the expense of our own needs -- these all stifle our innate creativity. Relaxation, fun, meditation, and going after our dreams all get the creative juices flowing. Soul is always creative, always fresh and new.
How can you create more space in your life to allow the soul’s energy out to play?

"I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic, striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness."
-- Brenda Ueland

"I lived in solitude in the country and noticed how the monotony of quiet life stimulates the creative mind."
-- Albert Einstein

So, I did just that...... made preparations to PLAY! by ordering two new books off my wishlist. The first, Celebrate Your Creative Self: Over 25 Exercises to Unleash the Artist Withinby Mary Todd Beam and the second, Texture Effects for Rubber Stamping by Nancy Curry. I've borrowed Mary Todd Beams book from my local library on several occasions. It is filled with techniques and inspiration for the artistic soul. Nancy Curry's book, texture effects for rubberstamping was an amazon recommended book, that I discovered quite some time ago. Since, I was unable to do any shopping this weekend and have been down with this cold/flu, I though what is better than a little retail therapy and giving oneself permission to play?

Ahhh, much better.......

I'm out of the tub and dressed; my bedclothes and sheets are in the washer along with some detergent and bleach! I ran a sink full of dishwashing water with a Tbsp. of bleach in it so I can get what glasses, cups, etc. I've used thoroughly cleansed. Chant with me, "no more cold, no more cold"... LOL!

Chaos is truly living up to his name lately! It has been an adventure trying to get him from out of this biting stage he is in. He loves shoes, shoelaces, your barefeet, bites on your pant legs...... attacking them whether you're sitting or walking. Poor guy has been stepped on so many times, you'd think he'd discover the cause of that, ya know?

He now knows the word "crate" very well, and will even go put himself in it when told "No." in firm voice, LOL! The housebreaking is going well.... he goes to the door and barks. And what a bark it is, it pierces you....... makes you wonder how such a loud annoying noise comes from such a little cutie. He will sit and shake {in between biting your hand}. He has a stubborn streak and is very bullheaded, not easily distracted from whatever mischief he manages to get himself into, however, puppy treats work wonders and are given only when he behaves in an appropriate manner obeying a command.

He just now went in to put himself back to bed. His crate is his retreat from the world, there to comfort him when the day isn't as he desires it to be and when he has had enough of our world. It is a small miracle when you hear him go in an finally lay down, knowing you've at least a half hour of some sense of peace and quiet however short-lived it may be! He is definately a bundle of too much energy all in one place, hard to keep up with, especially when you are sick.

I am still working with him on being tied up outside. Some days he's good as gold and other days he whines and cries wanting to be back inside with us. He loves it when we're outside with him whether walking or running on the leash or meandering around on the back deck without it. So far so good with that one!

He also loves to ride! Gets all excited his entire body shakes at even the mention of the word. Unfortunately, he hasn't realized the danger involved and tries to stick 3/4 of his small body outside the window. It is hard work trying to hang on to him, squirming and wiggling, straining against the leash.... one day I'm hopeful it won't be this hard! that he'll be well-mannered and love being around other people.

I know he loves children. Hearing laughter from the neighborhood kids while playing, he stops whatever he is doing and listens intently, wagging his little tag back and forth. Hopefully, he will be a much calmer puppy before our grandchild arrives, although I'm certain that there will be some sibling rivalry going on as Chaos believes he's the baby! and that he is.... a spoiled rotten little guy!

Well, I best take advantage of the few moments that I'll be able to walk through the house without a little black furball attached to either of my feet....... I'll try to check back in later. Hopefully with some news from the Dr.'s office....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Still sick........

I didn't go to work today as I felt horrible all weekend and through last night. I am still taking the Zithromax and using DayQuil OTC. I wasn't able get to sleep until after 12:30 a.m. , must be something in the DayQuil....... I would have taken some Robitusin Cold medicine however, it really knocks me for a loop and I was going to try to go into work.

Anyways, around 4 a.m. Don woke me up. He said he didn't want me going in to work today as I tossed and turned and coughed most of the night. I dosed back off and awoke around 5 a.m. to call Shelley, a co-worker who we pick up and take home everyday. Don left at 5:30 a.m. to pick her up to take her to our carpool point and will pick her back up a little after 4 p.m. so Nancy, her babysitter, will not have to drag her two girls out in this rainy weather.

I went back to bed after talking to her, to sleep and awaken once again around 9 a.m. I think I broke a fever as I awoke soaking wet. I called Amber at work to let her know I didn't go to work and placed a telephone call to my Dr's office to see if they could work me into their schedule and provide me an excused absence slip for today and possibly tomorrow if he thinks I need it. Unfortunately, his office is booked solid so I am awaiting a telephone call back from him on what to do next. It really sucks to have to miss work, especially after getting my first 40 hr. work week in at this location, but I didn't desire to infect all my co-workers either!

I gargled once again with some saltwater which has eased my tender throat, took my antibiotic, and basically am doing as little as possible...... still in my pj's, as a matter of fact. A nice hot bath sounds good and I dol need to go get dressed so that I can pick up the excused absence and/or another prescription if needed. At this point it is a guessing game....... waiting for instructions on what to do. I can say that I am beginning to feel better now but will need to wait and see what this evening brings. It is funny how the difference of night and day affect a cold, and I definately have a head cold.

Well, I'm off of here to get my bath, get dressed, and launder my bedsheets and pj's. Hopefully, whatever this crap is, it won't spread; there's nothing worse than passing a cold/flu off from one family member to another and back again.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

January's Angel

Although the tags read, "Angel of New Beginnings" I think January's Angel sums up the tags that I've created for the OFP Month Tag Swap. I still need to color in the girl's face and her boots brown and plan to experiment using a technique before I add to it. So far, this is what the tags I've created for this swap looks like.

New things on the horizon.........

Unfortunately, I woke up with a sore throat this a.m. After gargling with some warm salt-water, I decided I'd better kick this cold/virus/flu whatever it is to the curb and got on the phone to my Dr.'s office. My Dr. is out of town however the Dr. covering called me in a prescription for Zithromax! which I took immediately upon pickin' up. At first, I thought, "oh, it's simply a cold due to the drastic change in the weather" but quickly decided I needed to do something as there are so many things going around from strept throat to the pneumonia. I've had some chills so I sure an antibiotic was on the horizon........

Being my weekend off and not desiring to miss any work, I'm simply taking it easy today. Resting up, drinking lots of water....... if only Chaos hadn't decided to take my velour throw, I'd still be covered up with it. He believes it is his......... and is now sleeping peacefully at my feet laying on top of it.

After checking my emails, I browsed through Two Peas In A Bucket Layout Gallery for Baby Album ideas, sat and made some sketches of things I liked, poems and quotes used. I'm desiring to create an scrapbook album for Amber and Chris and am thinking I'd like to have it finished by April so I can give it to her at her baby shower which I am planning to host here. I'm looking for shower favors and invitation styles to recreate myself as well. I think I'm going to simply use all pastel shades of Bazill colors --at least some of the more vibrant ones-- pink, blue, green, yellow and purple with a celestial theme --- half moons and folk art shaped stars. I'm working on a list of things to include and may even bind the pages into a book I make vs. purchasing an album. I definately have time to plan for it and will not actually begin working on it until after the holidays are over.

I spent some time reading Keith Smith's book last night. It is simply amazing and includes a variety of sewn binding styles for book arts. Having picked up my new "bi-focals" certainly make reading a lot easier without any eyestrain or headaches. After reading a bit, I decided to color in the images on the Month Tag Swap. I believe I've previously mentioned this.... Any ole' how......... Don is working today so I am planning on doing some cooking. I've chicken breast defrosting to parboil to make some Chicken and Noodles in an alfredo sauce and since it is chilly here today I've decide to bake a cake for dessert. Neither will take too long to do, allowing me plenty of time for some well-deserved R&R.

I'm hopeful that I'll be feeling better tomorrow as I'd like to get out for an Autumn drive with possibly a trip to Stampland or Scrapbook Art. I won't have a lot of $$$ to spend as our Jeep decided to break down......... it appears that we need a new transfer case for it. We're hopeful to be able to find one used vs. having to buy one. It is always something however, I am thankful that I've been working so we have some $$ to offset all these things without breaking the bank. Why is it that every time you think you are finally getting ahead of the game a little bit, you get knocked back three spaces? Such is life, I guess.....

Friday, October 07, 2005

What a busy week!

I finally managed to get in a full 40 hr. work week at this job assignment! I was extremely busy and believe that this week was a record breaker for the company as far as the production that was put out.

I'm hopeful that Chaos will adjust his schedule. He quickly adjusted to my schedule; crashing out early in the evening and waking me up around 4 a.m. GRRR.... I certainly miss that extra 25 minutes of sleep time. Hopefully, Don and I can keep him awake longer this evening........ he is awake now after a half hour "power nap". I am so proud of him... he is doing great with the potty training -- now going to the door and barking or whining. He is still in the chewing stage and his newest thing is learning to jump; it has been a challenge to get him broke from these two things. Luckily for us he isn't chewing clothing, shoes, furniture....... he prefers us, LOL! And darn are those little puppy teeth sharp. The adventure of having a new puppy continues....

Don has been a god-send to me lately. He's been taking care of both Chaos and the house while I've been working so there has been little I've had to keep up with except the occasional home cooked meal. I must be doing something right because today, I arrived home from work to discover a beautiful Autumn floral arrangement in an orange metal wagon style flower cart. The color scheme is autumn browns oranges, and yellows, with a touch of greenery. There are gorgeous roses, zinnas, and mums, and the smell is heavenly! The signed card,
reads "Thank you for all that you are doing for the both of us. I just wanted to say that I love you! Don" Isn't that just the sweetest?

I found some time this evening while Chaos power napped to color in a stamped image on all 12 of the Monthly Tags I created for on online swap. I discovered I was shorted approx. 6" of dyed hemp fiber, so I'll need to pick that up to complete one last tag. All that is left to complete is to add one more 3D embellisment and a co-ordinating accent ribbon to the tag for a more finished appearance. I do have one additional technique idea that I am tossing around just to provide my January tag with a more "frosty" appearance...... we shall see where that leads me. The good news is that I can experiment on some scraps from the tag before I actually try it on the tag themselves and I've plenty of time to do something else to them before I'll need to get them postal. I can say that they've inspired me to think "winter" in the creation of some artwork, especially some winter themed ATC's!

Need to run....... Don will be home from work soon, we'll be running to the Moose to register for the Friday night drawing and Saturday's Monthly drawing before heading on over to pick up a pizza for dinner from Tubby's. Yummm..... and best of it is inexpensive and easy! A hot bath and some warm pj's will be awaiting my return........ the perfect ending to a busy week. {smiles}

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Work is going fine.......

Monday whizzed by uneventfully..... I sure was tired after arriving home. A quick bath, getting into some clean clothes was a god-send, and Don and I went out for dinner. Upon returning home, I jumped into some pj's, propped myself up in bed to watch a movie and fell asleep, LOL! I guess working is one way to achieved a full nights sleep.

Chaos decided to be up early this a.m. 4 o'clock rolled around mighty early. Oh well, time for a cup of coffee, a quick check of my email, and time to update this blog a bit. Sorry, I don't have time to chat more right now, need to get dressed and head out the door by 5:30. At least we decided yesterday to stop by McD's for breakfast this a.m.

Not sure if I'll be updating later today or not as I'm looking forward to getting cleaned up, maybe a soak in the hot tub with a cup of coffee and watching The Amazing Race Family edition. Just know that all is well in our little corner of the world. {smiles}

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Well, we didn't make it to Michael's; however everything worked out well. Don & I went out for breakfast at Perkins. Upon finishing, we made our trip to Lowes and made all the purchases we needed there --- mostly boring stuff, caulk for window, 4 mil plastic for two of living room windows to cut down on a draft in winter; a new mop and broom, and I finally purchased the LR curtains that I've desired since painting the LR this past spring.

We made a stop at a local SB store, I was in search of a large quantity of silver eyelets as I needed 48 of them for the Monthly Tag Swap alone. The SB didn't have any, so I priced some white ones..... not as nice and in such a small quantity that I'd have spent a small fortune getting them. So, we talked about returning home and taking a ride to Michael's when I decided to check out JoAnn's Fabrics. I'm happy I did...... I found my eyelets, the 3D embellishment I desired, picked up some blue fabric with metallic silver sprinkled in it, and a roll of very thin width silver ribbon. As Don worked outside caulking the windows in preparation of covering them at a later date, I got all the layers, tags, and eyelets set and even managed to come up with some additional inspiration and got two of those completed on all 12 tags. So, my tags are near completion...... I still want to color in the stamped image, and need to add fabric, ribbon, or fiber to the tag. The good news is I can rest for a bit, work on them as the mood emerges!

Well, just out of the bathtub, in my clean jammies, checked my email, and am ready to go sit on the couch with a cup of Joe and unwind a bit. Will be hitting the sack come about 10:30..... to get up early for work tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to it!

The artful journey in creating the Monthly Tag Swap...

Yesterday I decided I'd better try to continue working on the Monthly Tag Swap and for some reason I was stuck in a rut regarding what to do next. So instead of creating anything else for them, I worked on cutting the stamped images out and adhering them together first before adhering them to the tag. I also decided to ink the edges of my tags using the French Blue Colorbox Chalk; since the cardstock is Bazzill's Whitewashed Blue and is a linen texture, I lightly touched it in a few areas to pull the texture out.

This morning I was still stuck for ideas to continue on the tags so I decided to browse through my Two Peas in a Bucket Book of Scraps to see what I had added that I desire to try to incorporate into my tags. Lying under my keyboard was a sheet of paper that I had originally brainstormed on regarding the month of January...... some ideas regarding the Mythology of Janus, gates, doors, doorways, portals, beginnings, endings, the progression of the past into to future, changes, from one condition to another, the remembrance of the passing year, a window of opportunity, etc. I had previously decided the color scheme I desired would be this whitewashed blue, mixed with a metallic silver cardstock, and a lighter printed blue paper that I chose simply because I already had enough of it to create the 12 tags. What I wasn't expecting was how wonderful it all seemed to come together! In my Book of Scraps, I had saved various artwork created by other peas and that I had seen done many times yet had never actually in my own artwork. It was a series of smaller tags, usually a group of three that had been decorated and embellished. Since I was desiring to add some text to my design, I thought this would work perfectly for a sort of title I had came up while brainstorming! So, I continued to pull up MS Word on my computer, created a text box, and typed in the "title". After playing around with it a bit in various fonts and colors, I stumbled upon one that I really like. What I discovered that once a title, quote, or saying is created inside a text box was that I could highlight it, hit the copy function, open a new blank document {simply in case it didn't work!}, and then, hit the paste function. It worked amazingly! So, I decided to format the title page into 3 columns, clicked after the pasted text, and hit the return key and continued pasting until the page was filled and ready to print. I did end up with a few extras which was another blessing in disguise as my page shifted along the bottom while actually printing and smeared the bottom row of text, so all is good!

I continued on working with the title to add to the small tags that I decided I'd keep using with the same color scheme and created them myself. Of the three lines of text, one set of 12 is now completed, and the prototype for the remaining two are created. Don is still asleep and Chaos has finally decided to pull my lightweight blanket out of my computer chair while I was up creating and has laid himself down on top of it. The little stinker! He's been so rambuctious this morning, full of mischief, it was great to see him finally worn out a bit. Knowing you let sleeping dogs lie, I grabbed my camera and took a quick pic! I cannot get over how much and how fast he is growing! All legs and puppy pals!!! He is going to be a big dog, as his paws are huge. Oh, and how can I forget about teeth....... he's all teeth... cutting in his back molars and wants to chew. Luckily, he is easily distracted, loves his toys, and chew bones. Today, is the first morning he actually came to me and whined to be let outside to potty. I believe we're making progress! {YES!}

Well, I'm going to get back to finishing the other two tags for my title.... hopefully, I can knock out all 22 of the remaining ones. I'm hopeful to do a bit of shopping at Lowes today and possibly take a trip to Michael's to see if they've a small object I'm certain I'd like to use as a second 3D embellishment on these. Wish me luck in Don agreeing to do so........... *tootles*

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Going back to work and other artful life news......

This upcoming Monday I will be starting the beginning of a new work week as I'll be going back to work in Delaware this week. The job assignment may only last a few weeks, however, I am gradually becoming more and more okay with that. I'll work only when work is available for us; so often it is work a week or two and no work for awhile. However, there is good news as it allows me to work a bit, continuing with income coming in and also allows me to be at home a bit, getting what I need to do done. I don't get to choose the days and times, however, I'm learning to welcome them. The good news is I know I'll have my weekend's free! It is quite a commute for me, and an 8 hr. shift ends up close to 9 1/2 - 10 hrs. days, the work itself is moderately tough, but not so difficult that I'm worn to a frazzle and unable to enjoy my evenings. The person I vented about being lazy is no longer working there as he was fired for his lack of effort. Shelley will be going back; one of the reasons I decided to take the assignment --- other than the $$$. She is a good person, a hard worker, and a delight to be around.

I spent the majority of my day cleaning house, running errands, and organizing yesterday. I finally managed to clean out my back kitchen cabinets to make room for some of our not so often used kitchen appliances, although my crockpot will certainly come in handy!

I believe I'm going to tackle the bottom of the hutch today. We recently moved into our living area and I fully intend to up a small bookbinding area here in the house. I will still be doing most of my page decorating and design work within the studio but this will allow me to do some bindings as time allows.

I also made it to my eye doctor's appt. earlier in the week. It seemed I needed to cancel it for one reason or another, so that is now behind me. My new "bi-focals" {yes, I'm aging!} and contacts will be in approximately 7-10 days. I could have certainly saved myself some $$$ by simply purchasing them in the beginning, however, I didn't seem to believe then that it would be that big of a deal for me as the Dr. stated I was borderline for needing them. I discovered I'm squinting and having a few eye strain related headaches while trying to read my favorite Stamp magazines and I haven't really put too much effort into reading Keith Smith's book that I recently purchased due to it so that is another obstacle out of the way. So now, I can get on with learning more and practicing a few new techniques! {Yippee!}

I haven't received any Art journals recently so I am looking forward to that. It doesn't appear we'll meet the pre-established deadline we set but I am certainly okay with that. I'm certain it will improve the quality of the artwork each of creates and will eventually receive back. You can find some of the artists who participated in both groups artwork in the recent issue of Byhand, located at:

I did sign up for a Monthly Calendar Tag swap with another group of online friends. There is a great line up of participants, each with the same passions of mixed media, collage, rubberstamped artwork and a touch of their own unique, individual styles. It is fun and interesting to watch as the artwork of each of them grows, changes, and evolves. The deadline {set for Nov. 1st} and the small number of participants certainly played a huge role in my ability to participate which made it nice to be able to join in. I worked on them a little bit a few days ago. Managed to get all 12 of the tags cut with one extra for me to determine the exact design idea for the tags to be swapped. My choosen month was January so I did a lot a lot of brainstorming on the idea only to turn around and be completely inspired in a totally new direction! LOL! That seems to happen a lot with my artwork, however, this new idea and design is something I am happy about and hopeful each participant will enjoy. Going through this creative process enabled me to use one of my new Tim Holtz stamped images in a fun way and I believe has assisted in changing my perspective in a lot of areas in my life. I'll post my creation for this once the swap has been exchanged so I won't spoil the surprise!