Friday, February 29, 2008

Almost Daily Art Journal ~ Stacked

Stacked ~ All my recent pages.... unfortunately I'm done for today as Don will be arriving home soon. I really don't want to stop as I'm so excited about how this all taking shape!!!

CED 2008 ~ Almost Daily Art Journal ~ The Best in Others

Although I'm almost certain that I am not done creating this page, I've decided to post it anyways. I love the stamped quote, that reads,
~ Martin Waldo

I believe I want to write some personal journaling of when that has occurred within my life. I can think of so many people that this quote could pertain to, so, perhaps... I'll just write it like generally style as a message to all of them!

CED 2008 ~ Daily Art Journal ~ Another reminant

I thought a mannogram of my first initial was perfect for adding to my book. Unfortunately, I didn't wait until the modge podge was dry before I stuck my fingers into it, so it's a little rough and distressed, kinda like me! I really like this on the black background and may have to cut some black cardstock up to use within this book as well. You know it's going to need some --- just to balance things out.

CED 2008 ~ Almost Daily Journal ~ Name Plate

While sitting, spending time with Don, and daydreaming more about what I desire this book to be and become, I gave a little bit of thought to how I'll keep the pages of journaling together and think perhaps I'll bind them together that way --- individually, like little sections that make for the larger whole, once all together. As I sat and pondered on those thoughts, I suddenly realized that I would need a book libris to indicate that this book belongs to me. I also knew that whatever I created I wanted it lay only on a portion of the finished pages so the idea of using a large tag occurred to me. I also knew that I want this book to represent parts of me that make up who I am so it had to contain lots of pieces of nature because I'm sort of like a magpie that way. What could be more perfect than using a nest, eggs, and birds? And some fallen feathers? I believe I may just have to add an actual feather to this sometime on down the line.
As I began working to create this, I suddenly realized I have no "egg" stamps. Well, other than the ones in the nest stamp, but I wanted these eggs to be larger. That's when I remembered an old trick that I learned while attending a European Papers ATC Exhibit of using a stryofoam plate to create a stamp image. So I dug out a plate, cut it to my desired size, used the end of a paintbrush to indent it using pressure. Once my egg was drawn, I cut it out, took a piece of gift wrapping tape and created a handle for the back side of it and used the remaining piece of the plate to mix up my paint choice of robin eggs blue. Once stamped onto the tag, I used a fine tipped black pen to outline the shape. Easy peasy........

CED 2008 ~ Almost Daily Journal ~ Ordinary Miracle

This page came together in several stages. First, I stamped the quote on regular white cardstock, then decided I'd like to cut it into strips. Instead of simply adhering the strips onto the background, I thought it would look cool attached to a piece of cardstock instead. Then, the cardstock shouted out it needed to be layered, so a piece of printed paper was torn and aged with distress inks. I couldn't resist adding on the rub on letters to spell out "Ordinary" As I was assembling this page, I thought about the results of my book pages, stacked all together and realized that was my dream for this book's finished results, to appear put together using "ordinary everyday" items to make it appear "as a miracle" once it is complete. I also know that I want to have a tactile feel so what better way to achieve that than to use fabric to layer and adhere it together.
Edited to add:
AS The stamp is hard to actually read here, here's the wording:
Magical things happen
every day, if we allow it.
of daylight, of the stars at
night, a flower. A dandelion is
a miracle .......
If you open yourself to miracles.

CED 2008 ~ Almost Daily Art Journal

Aspire To Be... Family... I love all these face images on this Postmodern Design Portrait Cube. While looking at it today, I thought it would make a lovely composition stamped on small tags. Of course, the standard white string had to go and what better way to dress them up than to use some ribbons and fibers. While digging through my stash of stamps, I came across this "aspire to be" stamp, and I suddenly realized that those faces could resemble Don and I and our children as we aspire to be family --- well a blended one anyways. The large sewing snap was added just because I love it and it provided the perfect compliment to the lace edge.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

CED '08 ~ Almost Daily Journal' con't.

For the past week, I've been working towards getting things prepared for creating in my "Almost Daily" art journal. I've made trips to the studio, sorted through and organized supplies, purchased a new Fiskar's cutter! {my guillotine styled one is simply too heavy to be lugging around!}, stamped some images on scraps of paper and cut those out, and today, I cut a 3' stack of cardstock and printed papers just for this project. I figured I don't need to attempt to try to re-invent the wheel with every collage I create for this journal so those pieces will come in handy while I work and journal. I've still a long way to go on this project, supplies to gather up yet, determining a space just for them within our home, and creating the actual pages that will one day bring it all together.

Today, I couldn't resist the urge to just create something and the pages above are the results. I started with creating the collage for the title page of this section of my loose leaf book using an image that was shared through Flickr. After cutting it out, adhering it all together, I began working on the journaling. The journaling is personal in nature but I'm willing to share. My pages read, "God's promises."

Lately I've been pondering about promises - the ones I make to myself and to others. In truth, I rarely make promises because I consider them sacred. Promises end --- one of 2 ways --- either kept or broken and I figure them literally as being as good as one's word. People who keep them have integrity; while those wo do not honor them cannot be taken seriously or trusted. Sometimes, others forget how powerful their word is, and when promises are made haphazardly or unconsciously, they fail to realize that someone may have created certain expectaions that may not be fulfilled and those leave disappointment and distrust behind. Then, there are those promises that we make to ourselves --- the ones we forget about over time as they begin to slip away from conscious mind.... like after a early heartache that was followed by the promise to NEVER trust Love again. Those promises slip deep into our conscious minds and without realizing it, we keep fulfilling them, over and over, like a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is until one day, we awaken to remembering and ask to be released from them. I might also ask for love, light, and healing to be sent to those I inadvently disappointed and hurt and Seek wisdon to do my best from this point forward, to help me to be TRUE to my Word --- just as God's word is to ME and to others. And I ASK God to help me make promises tha I truly intend to deliver... But just for today, I PROMISE to focus on God's promises. Promises I know, in my heart of hearts, that I can trust and believe wholeheartly within. Because... ~ He is the Lord, My God, and He promises to never change. {Malachi 3: 6} ~ He is full of mercy and grace and overflows with love. {Psalm 103:8} ~ He created ME in his image with a Special Blessing. {Gen. 1:27-28} and delivered me from the darkness. {Col. 1:12-13}

These thoughts have been sort of lingering in my mind for some time now so I'm hoping that by getting them out and down on paper, I can begin the process of letting go and learning to trust again. Hopefully, and with God's assistance, I can do that with intregity this time around.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Travel Moo

Madonna of the Trail
A statue near Springfield, Ohio. Image taken from a photograph.

Friends Moo Card

I'm playing "catch up" today as I've had my dear little grand-daughter, Alexxis, the last several days. Poor thing hasn't been feeling well and a trip to the Dr.'s discovered her left ear and her throat is red. Thankfully, no other tests were performed on her as Grandma had a hard time simply holding her hands and arms down just so the Dr. could "look". But today is "My day!" and I'm creating!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CED 2.18.08 - Faux-finishing home decor...

While the guys repaired/replaced the broken water line, I did some online research into decorating and home decor. When I was laying in our nice, soft, warm bed, prior to waking, I remember dreaming of creating this beautiful home, starting with the outside and working in. The images in my mind's eye were so beautiful and vivid, you could reach out and touch them. Needless to say, it's too cold to actually do anything outside, so my mind quickly began considering what I could do inside, so I browsed discovering things I like and love, and before you knew it, I was up, dressed, and ready to go to Hobby Lobby.
On my last visit there, in search of some Sophisticated Finishes, I had spied these beautiful black and white rosette styled plates. I knew I should have picked them up because on this visit, they were nowhere to be seen, let alone purchased. I know better than to do that, but didn't heed the advice that I so often give --- if you see, want it, buy it! Right there and then... Darn it! I certainly missed out. Perhaps, I can find them again in another store; at least I certainly hope so...
But all was not lost, as we did manage to discover a lot of neat items at 80% off! We purchased a set of crown bookends, that had sustained minor, yet repairable damage; an ornate wire decorative assessory, a few small magnetic frames, a decorative accent lamp and shade, a silk planter with some tropical themed plantings, and a beautifully textured toss pillow. Then, we ventured over to the picture frame area of the store, where I found two gorgeous style frames perfect for assisting me to create a grouping on one of our endtables or scattered about the living room, and on sale for 50% off.
The finishes were not what I was looking for, but after reading Rhoda's blog @, I knew not to let that stop me. Rhoda has successfully refinished a lot of her own home's decor items and you can find step-by-step how-to information there. Her home is beautiful, filled with lots of second-hand and recycled treasures! Anyways, after returning home, I quickly removed tags, temporarily placed some of the items around our home, set up a re-finishing station, and got to work.
The crown bookends were a bit damaged on top. I wasn't quite certain what was on top of them, but believe I remembered seeing them with a small cross on top of them once. I didn't pick them up then because I didn't like the look that those crosses added, but since they were damaged, I loved them! A quick sanding with my Dremel tool, wiping them down to remove any dust, and I was all set to refinish them. The bookend on the right side of the photograph above is more accurate of how I purchased them, only they were all gold-toned in color. I added the black using acrylic paint and touched up the left one using one coat of the Renaissance Brown metallic glaze, both will received the same treatment, and one additional coat before I'm finished with them.
The frame, right behind the right bookend pictured, was also a bright gold with splatters resembling an aged technique. Way to bright for my taste, although I loved the style of the frame itself. A quick wipe down to ensure it was clean, two coats of black acrylic paint, a layer of the Renaissance Brown metallic glaze, and a layer of Antique Gold Rub-N-Buff, produced the beautiful effect you see here. I believe I may add a light coat of lacquer, just to protect the faux finish, at a later date. I added a photograph of Don's godmother, Evelyn, to the frame. It is only temporary, as I quickly printed it out onto copy paper, instead of making the trek out to the studio for photo-quality paper.
In the background of the photograph, is the $8 accent lamp and lampshade. The lampshade was a separate purchase --- at 80% off, it was a steal! for only $1.60

Behind the scenes....

As I puttered around our home yesterday morning, following my morning routine, making coffee, and heading to the computer, I kept hearing the sound of running water. Not quite awake yet, I simply figured I needed to go jiggle the handle on the toilet, perhaps it is what I am hearing running? You'd think after 3-4 trips, it would sink into my head that the toilet has nothing to do with where the sound is coming from, but, "No. Not here." LOL!

It wasn't until Don woke up a half hour or so later, that the realization hit is that we have a broken a water pipe somewhere between the wall of the laundry room and the bathroom. We had this problem before, near the end of last winter, and believed we had the problem fixed. An older outside spicket that is was no longer in use, was the culprit. Our heating/ac/plumber friend, cut the line and had capped it off, so problem solved, right? Well, little did we realize that when a water line is capped off, pressure inside the line builds, and is more likely to the possibility of freezing and bursting when temps fall and the winds blow up under our home, resulting in yet another repair.It had turned moderately cold , with winds blowing, and a light snowfall of approx. 1-2" accumulation overnight, setting up the perfect conditions for the pipe to break. Sheesh, somedays you just can't win. Anyways, after having the water line repaired and instructions given to prevent this from happening again in the future, we are all set once again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

CED '08 - 2/18/08 and a birthday update!

I've managed to find time to be CED this past week. Spent some time with family, loving on Alexxis, watching her grow... time to clean our house, think about what I desire for my life, time to be grateful for all that I have, family, friends, and to celebrate the simple joys of life, as well as other things that have required my attention.
It felt wonderful to be creating again this past week and I'm excited to have the opportunity to do and explore more. Thank you to those who visited and left me a comment on my "Moo!" card. I'm excited to participate further.

Thank you to everyone who sent me a birthday card, called, sung or said, "Happy Birthday!" to me, and gifted us with a gift. {Bob & Carmella --- we'll certainly enjoy those bottles of California wine!} Thank you to Don for making me a wonderful birthday cake, purchasing the MM Embellishment Center for my day, for giving me $$$ to spend on whatever my heart desires. And spend, I did... along with engaging in my love to travel!
Today, we took a trip to Home Goods, where I purchased myself a new bulletin board to use as a vision/inspiration board. I cannot wait to begin actually creating it, using my hands, finding pictures of the precise images I desire, and placing them perfectly on my vision board to incorporating my mind, my vision, developing my subconscious mind to attract what I desire in my life through the Law of Attraction. Those you see on the above photographs came in the packaging and are beautiful images of Venice and Florance, Italy --- someplace I'd love to one day travel to!
I also purchased two new 5x7 picture frames as I've been desiring to create a grouping of frames on one of our end tables within our home, so these are for beginning that process. I'm excited to begin the hunt for a few more, an 8x10, and a couple 4x6's. You know how you find the right ones when you see them... {smile} Mom recently gifted us with some of her B&W pictures of Don as a child and some photographs of other family members, which I believe I'll scan and copy to use within this grouping. {And I cannot forget Aunt Alice's wedding gift of her wonderful frame and photograph.}
We made another stop into Scrapbook Art at Polaris. I didn't purchase too much, but got quite a bang for the bucks I did spend! I was able to take advantage of a "making room for CHA items" sale, and utilize a $15 in-store credit! Gotta love that! So what did I purchase? Two 8" MM chipboard letters, P's, of course for Partly Paper; 4 new stamps - one Rhonna Ferror acrylic and three Fontwerks red rubber stamps for journaling with; a Carolee's Creation AdornIt for Alexxis' album; and a tin of Maya Road Chipboard Crowns. Did younotice those two crushed velvet ribons? Aren't they luscious? I only purchased a yard each, something I'll probably desire to kick myself over later. Anyways, I also managed to save some of the $$$ I was given. I'm thinking I'd love a Moleskin journal, just to art around in and junk up, and a few more bottles of Golden's Fluid acrylic paints on our next trip to Dick Blick's.
I found some time to seek some new inspiration through the pages of Somerset Memories, Somerset Studios, Artful Blogging, Cloth Paper Scissors, and a Book Art book, and through some "new to me" blogs. I've really been desiring to get my links added here, so I need to focus on that and get some categories for organizing them together. Perhaps, one day soon....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!!!!

And, here's some quotations I received in an email, just for the occassion:

Listen to your heart

"To know how to choose a path with heart is to learn how to follow intuitive feeling. Logic can tell you superficially where a path might lead to, but it cannot judge whether your heart will be in it."
-- Jean Shinoda Bolen

"When you have compassion and surrender to your own heart, you are surrendering to the hidden power in your heart, God. You are surrendering to love, because God is Love, the cohesive force of the universe that connects us all. Surrender is not just a religious concept; it's a power tool for listening to the voice of your spirit and following its directions. When you surrender your head to your heart, you allow your heart to give you a wider, higher intelligence perspective. Remember the phrase, ‘The real teacher is within you.’ Very simply, that teacher is to be found in the common sense of your own heart."
-- Sara Paddison

"Surrender is faith that the power of love can accomplish anything... even when you can not foresee the outcome."
-- Deepak Chopra
Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Sad State of Affairs...

Earlier today, I ventured outside, in the cold, snow, and sleeting weather and made my way out to the studio. I hesitated to even open the door, not knowing what state or condition it would be in after the recent upheaval of moving Amber and Chris' items from storage there into their new home. I was remembering, quite clearly, the "rush" to get their things loaded up using our truck, our Jeep, and a family member of theirs, Brandon's car loaded up. As I flipped the switch to turn on the lights, my first impression was of how much room I now have! My second thought was "what a mess!" I discovered some items from the garage had to be moved so that they could get to what was previously stored there was now in my studio! A few pieces of furniture that we own had to be moved out of the way. My rug and leather recliner, that we specifically purchased for use there are now located within our home and in its place is a larger blue recliner that we exchanged. My much loved Tina Chaden artwork is in the recliner, along with so many other items that I attempted to bring into our home to make our home the "home" I desired it to be. I loved one half of our living room, but there was no "ebb" or "flow" or anything that seemed to bring some sense of balance or order to our home. So those items were packed up in boxes and returned to the studio. What a mess I've made!!! It felt somewhat heart-wrenching. I worked for a bit, clearing off the back work bench, picking up this, that, the other, re-locating like or similar things together, and as I worked my heart broke a little bit more as I began remember all the hopes and the dreams I once had for it and the art that I so desired to create there. I had to leave, to come back into our home as I had put Chaos outside, and upon hearing his whining, discovered it is now raining sleet. Poor puppy! As I turned out the lights and reached to close the door, my heart whispered, "I'll be back. I promise to lovingly begin to take care of you." I felt my spirit begin to soar....{smile}

Make A Moo or Two...

While blog-surfing today, I discovered yet another fun challenge blog! I've never made a Moo card but have seen a lot of lovely ones online and on flickr. A quick google search told me that they're 1 1/8" x 2 3/4" - approx. half the size of a regular regular business card. Having a lot of pre-printed photographs from my recent "inchie" and "art block" creations, I decided to join in. This week's theme is "Romance" - perfect for February with my Valentine's Day Birthday right around the corner!

Moo Cards originated here: and are often created to trade with other artists and Flickr members. I'd love to one day have 100 or so of my own creations printed up. Definately something I'll have to put on my "Someday" list! Anyways, here's my first "Moo" ever!

CED '08 - Feb. 12th

Recently my thoughts have once again returned to getting my studio back together, the art that I desire to create, and getting some handmade books created once again. I discovered as we traveled yesterday, I had so many ideas running around in my pretty little head that I regretted the fact I had nothing on hand to write anything down on. So many thoughts, desires, to do lists, appointments.... and no organizational methods what-so-ever to keep track of it all. Well, that isn't necessary true either, I do write my hopes and dreams down here, but without a laptop to have access to when we're on the road, even this seems sort of useless...
Today, I recitified that by creating myself a little journal jotter. It measures 8"x 4.5" and contains 30 text weight papers, 60 if I use both the front and back sides. I folded and created 5 signatures of 6 pages each and created the cover by utilizing an old calender from 1994 that I'd picked up at a local thrift store. I was drawn to all the photographs of Gardens from all over the world. Not all the pages are full sized prints like the one I used, so perhaps, one day, I clip them out and utilize them in other pieces of my artwork. Gotta love recycling! The calender is also filled with garden inspired quotations as well as information on the photographs it contains. The picture I used for my cover features snowdrops, winter aconites, purple crocus tmmasinianus, and Crocus "cream beauty" which line the path of a winter garden somewhere in Berkshire, England. Without the calendar, I wouldn't have know that, LOL! The jotters binding is a very simple one, utilizing an approximate 1/4" fold in the cover of the calender page placed a little off center. I used perle cotton cut approx. 6" longer than needed and wrapped each signature through the inside center over the cover and tied it one! To decorate it up just a bit, I added a piece of ribbon which I threaded under the perle cotton and tied on top over a piece of silk flowers. The white floral tape, adhered onto the front, says, "so delicate".... resembling and mirroring some of my thoughts and feelings lately.

Recent events...

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were a blur of events and happenings. We spent time with Little Miss, assisted a friend, helped Amber and Chris get moved, and spent some much needed time with my husband.

Yesterday, we made a road trip to Columbus, stopping into Michael's and Border's bookstore for me. I purchased a bottle of the Sophisticated Finishes in Blackened Bronze metallic for refinishing the mirror, a can of Krylon's Make It Suede textured paint simply because it has been on my wish list for a very long time, a dotto adhesive refill for my hermafix dispenser because I love to use it for masking when stamping, and a jar of Martha Stewart's bronze glitter because on my last trip I put it back and resented doing so.

I discovered I've been way out of the loop when it comes to new scrapbooking supplies! As I've been attempting to use what I have vs. stock-piling more and more --- but WOW! Are there ever some beautiful papers out on the market now. Nothing like anything that I have in my stash, but I resisted purchasing any simply because I know I've enough to organize and get to using already. I don't know how that thought is going to stay with me, so I'm enjoying it as long as I can.

One item that I discovered and instantly fell in love with is Making Memories Embellishment Center. Don appeared as I was looking at it and asked if I'd like to have one. Would I ever? So, needless to say, I have received a few early birthday presents. Michael's did have a 40% coupon, and we don't receive their flyers, a discount was offered to us by signing a paper. We purchased two sets of the larger plastic jars and one of the smaller ones, so in essence the storage containers were free with the price of the unit at full price. I love the fact that if I decide to put the embellishment center to use in the studio, the jars are plastic. I love the look of see through containers, and have been attempting to avoid the use of glass in the studio because of the concrete floors. Here's a picture:

I am, however, still undecided about where I'll actually put and use it. Reality says that I'm not going to get out into the studio every day, so I'm considering setting it up somewhere within our home. I love the versatility of this, I just need to determine what and how I intend to actually use it.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

CED '08 - Altered Candle...

While I had the Renaissance Brown metallic glaze out, I decided to spruce up my otherwise, plain looking candle by adding the glaze to the metal rimmed tag and the stamped butterfly. If I'd know I would one day desire to do this, I would have embossed the butterfly for a more textured effect. But, there's no rule that says that I cannot create another one and put it "over the top!" {LOL! How's that for "resourcefulness"?}

CED '08 - Art Blocks

Creating "Art Blocks" isn't an original idea of mine; I've seen many, many variations of these utilizing everything from photographs and stamped images, but creating a set for myself has been on my list of things I desire to create for quite a long time.

I'd purchased eight of these 3"x3" blocks at Hobby Lobby or Michael's some time ago and am just now getting around to adding something to them. I sort of fell in love with creating "inchies" and hadn't had the opportunity to create any lately, but I did have some oversized pictures printed out for other uses that I knew I could use, so I ran with the idea.

These are a still a work in progress, as most of the blocks only have 2 or 3 sides of them completed and I've still some unfinished blocks that I haven't touched yet. I'm thinking I'd like to mix in some 4"x4" ones as well. Perhaps, they'll look wonderful stacked pyramid style in the living room wall niche or stacked on a side table.

Yesterday, Alexxis arrived and quickly scooped up my recently painted canvases that I'd taken down so I could hang up the mirror to avoid any injuries to her, Chaos, and the mirror itself. Amber and I laughed so hard as she tried to carry the canvases around with her as they are nearly as big as she is. Being the kind hearted mom that I am, I took them from her and placed them on top of a box that is filled with items I am no longer finding useful in our home, but yet are still usable. I've gifted that box to Amber, Chris, and Alexxis, telling her to keep what she wants, toss or give the rest of it away. Needless to say, my recently painted palms will also be finding their way into her new home since Little Miss Adorable seemed to love them so much. I somehow get the feeling that after I complete this set of blocks, I'll soon be creating another set for you-know-who! LOL! Perhaps, Mommy and Daddy would love to hang the canvas prints over their new fireplace and use the set of blocks to dress up their mantle. I'm even excited for them and cannot wait to lend a helping hand to help make the new place feel like "home" to them.

Art Blocks #2

These are the same blocks, with different sides showing. I believe I'm addicted to creating these as there are so many possibilites of what you could do with them. Since I'm creating them myself, I can see all the possibilities of exploring colors throught the seasons, customizing them for holidays, using letters to spell out a word like, "Spring", "Love", "Family" or even using them to create one's favorite quotation or just one that speaks to you.

Speaking of quotes and quotations, I have to admit that I love them! Just recently, I while going through some of my many piles of magazines, I decided to write a lot of the ones I found down in my last years weekly calander. Now there's quotes, sketches, appointments from last year, to do lists, names, birthdays, and addresses in that little old calendar. I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to throw it away! Do you have any favorite quotes? What do you do to organize them all? Do you have a quote book or other special means of saving and collecting them? I'd love to hear them.......

Friday, February 08, 2008

CED '08 -Feb. 8th

While waiting on another creation of creating some Art Blocks to dry, I created another collage style page for my "almost daily journal". I wrote the text, "Today and Everyday... radiate love & understanding" since I was inspired by my early morning bible reading yesterday. God definately knew that I needed to hear those words as I was tired yesterday and Alexxis was a bit cranky and showing her "terrible two's" side of her personality. I believe I actually held her a little bit tighter during our afternoon nap. We both needed that time together, resting comfortably in one another's arms. {*insert warm fuzzies here*}

Another "home decor" item...

After Amber picked up Alexxis, Don and I had more errands to run. Picking up dog food for Chaos, replacing the flood light bulb that is embedded in the drywall above my kitchen sink that blew when Little Miss discovered the light switch on the wall when I sat her up on the countertop so I could take a moment to stir our lunch that was cooking on the stove. Since I knew we'd be in the area, I decided last minute to make a "quick" dash into our local Hobby Lobby to see if they carried the Modern Options Sophisticated Finishes so I begin working on refinishing the mirror we'd recently purchased. Of course, I'd have no such luck, but I did discover yet another jar of DecoArt's Elegant Finish in a Renaissance Brown metallic glaze. I'd previously used this to sponge on a wooden shelf that I desired to have a metallic bronze finish to hang near the jacuzzi outdoors, so I purchased yet another jar of it, hoping I grabbed it in a different finish from the one I'd previously purchased. Throwing in tube of Antique Gold Rub -n- Buff, a couple paint brushes, and I was on my way --- until I saw a sign 50% Home Decor items. So naturally, I had to browse a bit! As I made my way, towards the checkout counter, I made a turn into yet another direction, the clearance aisle, and stumbled upon even more items that I liked. It was then that I spotted this wooden pineapple-y shaped thing that I felt would fit into our living room perfectly - except for the bright gold finish. Knowing I had the glaze, I thought "why not?" try this out on this? I had nothing to lose, except the price of the item. If I didn't like it, I was certain I could try something else on it at a later date.

After arriving back home, I set up a kraft paper covered TV tray near the couch and began working on it while watching the first episode of Survivor. It's a little bit of a shade lighter than I'd like, but I believe I can touch it up a bit more once I make the out of town trip to Michael's for the Sophisticated Finishes. Here's my finished, first step, results:

The candle that is shown in this vignette, was created by me a few months ago. I simply tore the edges of a piece of brown cardstock, added a layer of white with a scrapbook transparency, stamped a butterfly and cut its outline out, added a metal rim tag I'd written "Paris" on, making the "A" in "Paris" in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, and wrapped it with jute. It has yet to make it back out to the studio. Perhaps, one day soon, when after Amber and Chris begin moving and I set out to re-organize and re-group! {Do you get the feeling my life consists of a major "someday" list?} LOL!

CED '08 - Feb.7th

Sometimes, the creativity bug strikes bites at the most inconveinent moments. Yesterday was one of the times; like an hour before Little Miss was due to arrive, but I thought perhaps I could accomplish something simple in the short amount of time I had to create within.

Many, many months ago, I had the desire to begin a visual journal, only I didn't desire it to be create in a book style, limiting me to what I could and couldn't do, the size of the pages, adding embellishments, and struggling with a binding so I finally decided on creating with loose leaf pages and just allowing the ideas to flow. Somehow, some way, down the road, I can struggle with those --- I just don't desire to have to deal with all that right now. So, I finally figured out that there's no time like the present to get started so I jumped in creating a cover for "whenever" came.

As I worked on creating it, I struggled with coming up with a title for my journal and I had to resign myself to knowing that this will project will definately be yet another ongoing process, just like my gratitude garland is.There's simply too much going on in my life for me to be able to make any type of commitment of my time; too many directional pulls, and so many other things that I desire to do, complete, and finish. That thought lead me to my "Almost Daily Journal" title. I like it. Simple. Effective. and exactly what I intend it to be: "almost" daily.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

CED - Doing what feels right!

Yesterday was an extremely busy day! Don and I ran a few errands, stopped by the Social Security office to file my name change, only to discover my ID is also expired and has to be changed first. After receiving a verification from them to take to our state's BMV office, I was feeling a bit frustrated with all that has to be done, so we stopped for a nice, quiet lunch out. At Pizza Hut, I ran into an old friend and once studio buddy. Kathy's re-uping her consultant status for Stampin' Up! so she'll visit with me soon and I'm hoping to place an order with her soon.

Later in the afternoon stopped in our favorite flower shop so that I could pick up a "pick-me-up" gift for my hairdresser, who's been having a very rough time lately. I didn't pick up a vase of these star gazer lilies but I have to admit I was very tempted to purchase a vase filled with them, some carnations, and pink larkspur for our home. However, I resisted . But only by sticking my head into the cooler and breathing in deeply, LOL! These stargazer lilies set amidst a variety of roses, the scent was surely was heaven! So, I did take a moment to stop and smell the roses!

While there, I found a pink wire heart shaped basket, a resin cardinal, and had our favorite florist add a small bird's nest under the figurine and a few pieces of greenery surrounding the nest and on the top of the heart as it sets on it's side. A card that read, "Just because..." and we were off once again to deliver it.

We visited with Rita for awhile as she only had one client and her next appointment didn't show. She showed us her apartment that is currently being renovated/remodeled next to her store. It's in an older building downtown and her salon is situated next to it. It's been a work in process for her for over a year now so Don and I offered our services of scraping the old, peeling paint off of the ceilings where she'll be having two loft style bedrooms situated. The remainder of the space will be all open to the extremely high ceilings and will be absolutely beautiful once done. I was thinking I'd be able to get up there in the next several days, not realizing that I'd have Alexxis. So a quick telephone call, a trip to Lowes for some necessary supplies, and Don and I scraped all the loose paint off her ceilings from 5:30 - approx. 8 p.m. I worked for another half an hour sweeping up our mess and will need to try to get back there to do some further cleaning. There's areas in the ceiling where the paint wouldn't come off so I'll need to do some sanding with a hand sander when life allows me some free time. I'll have Alexxis the next several days and Amber and Chris will be moving to their new home soon, so I have a lot to keep me busy for awhile!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

CED 2008 ` Back to decorating thoughts and ideas.

I've spent the last several days deep cleaning and de-cluttering our home. While I was working my imagination was completely entranced upon some of the home decor changes that we're desiring to make, mainly to our living room area. I found myself returning to once again look at this ceiling light fixture from Minka Lavery's Belcaro Collection.

We both love it's traditional old world, southern Tuscany style. It's intrincately master carvings taken from a 17th century farmhouse style, and the aged champagne glass globe reflects the champagne countertops that we've carried into our kitchen. We're drawn to the semi-flush mount style and the walnut-y finish should blend nicely into the rooms aged bronzed lamps that reflects the old world look we're striving for, without appearing to matchy-matchy.

Since this area is adjacent to our main living room and right out in the open, we truly desire that "lived in" appearance here as well, yet an area for formal entertaining when we share company with our family and friends. The fixtures measures 14.5" H x 18" W x 18" D so it would be a nice replacement fixture for the ceiling fan that is currently in the room. It's warm glow, also appeals to me as this fixture will be more for an ambient lighting effect in the room, while the lamps provide us light for task lighting.

On Sunday, Don and I took a road trip and made a stop into Home Goods. {I so love that store!} We saw other mirrors in this same size priced anywhere from $49.99 and up to and over $100.00's, so finding this one for $19.99, we felt as if we'd stumbled upon the bargain of the day! Upon hanging it, in it's temporary location to protect it and Chaos and Alexxis from injury, we instantly notice how it adds additional light to our home by relecting even more light into the room. The mirror's finish isn't exactly what we desired, but I believe by using some of Modern Options finishes and some rub-n-buff, I can darken it to one we do desire.

You can see, in the mirror's reflection, the ceiling fan that we're desiring to replace and the niche in the wall that we haven't quite figured out exactly what to do with. I've been thinking of mimicing the appearance of a faux fireplace mantle here. Perhaps this mirror hung over that area , it's certainly large enough, and the addition of a large, thick, darker. aged wooden beam resting upon some intricately carved acanthus leaf corbels would add a touch of architechual detail the room currently lacks.

We are also desiring to add at least one large live palm to the space to soften some of the hardscaped areas of the room, mainly behind this leather recliner. We have to have access to the outside light switch, so a plant placed here would be perfect!

We believe with these additions, a few accent pieces upon the finished mantle, and we'll be where we desire to be on this half of the living room. I'm still searching for something lighter for replacing the heavier tapestry style curtains that hang on the picture window. I don't won't to do away with them entirely, just replace them seasonally during the Spring and Summer months. I'm thinking something a bit heavier than the gold sheers, green or even a soft burgandy/rose color?

I'm also remaining hopeful that just possibly this summer, I can get back to staining some wood trim to replace the currently white painted window trims with. At least in comparison to replacing the flooring in this space, and some of home's remodeling, these decorating projects won't require us a lot of cost and as much hard work.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Every so often...

I'll remember a sweet memory. Sometimes, its a certain smell, something I overheard, or a sound that will trigger a memory, but today, I just couldn't quite put my finger on what reminded me of this memory from so many years ago.

I was in the kitchen, dicing up potatoes for home-made potatoe soup, humming to myself while Little Miss played quietly on the floor near my feet. As I turned to rinse the diced potatoes, it hit me! A sweet summer-y scent with a mix of the mysterious. It was something that I've smelled befored and a warm feeling surrounded me like a hug. As I set back to working on my soup, my mind wondered what in the world was that smell? I knew it. I tried to re-capture it, but it was long, long gone. So, I turned my attention back to creating soup, getting Alexxis and I some lunch, and later while cuddling her on the couch, my mind once again returned to wondering about it.

This time, I could smell it again, like it come out of nowhere on a gentle breeze, lingered for a moment, before it was gone. As I laid beside Alexxis, both of almost drifting off to sleep, I remember it! It was the scent of Strawberry Musk perfume! It was the first perfume I had ever purchased for myself, shortly before I turned 16 years old! I remembered that day like it was yesterday as I paid for my purchase and I remember how proud I was because I had earned the money to pay for it all by myself. It was my birthday present to me, from me! The perfume was only an ounce, but it came in the prettiest bottle! A red strawberry glass shaped bottle that the cap attached to a gold chain. But it was the sweetest most heavenly smell that captured me.

Tonight I did an internet search, I didn't discover any strawberry musk perfume but there are a few incense companies that manufacturer it. I may just have to make a purchase, and remember my sweet 16th birthday whenever I desire.

Good News!

I'm gaining my studio back! Amber and Chris just signed for a new 2 bedroom apartment in a nice area of our town. Soon to be gone are boxes and a couch and a few pieces of furniture that Don and I have stored but have decided to let the kids borrow for awhile. Now, I'll be able to finish the re-organization and have a quiet place to create within and fill with my own and other's artwork!

I worked my tail off last year on the reorganization, got it nearly 75% completed before going to work outside of our home and working too many hours to be able to enjoy it. I'm excited to get back to it and be able to remove some things I've drug back into our home, LOL! I'm terrible, I know. Anyways, I'm ecstatic! and cannot wait to get out there working on some of the ideas I've had to put off for some time now. Soon.... very, very soon!