Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tim Holtz Tags

I'm posting twice today because I'll be gone much of the rest of the month and want to get my holiday tags online.  I've been obsessed with following Tim Holtz's "Ten Days of Tags" at . He posted  instructions for a new Christmas tag each day for 12 days in a row. He posted at midnight so of course I had to stay up until midnight every night to see the new card.  He uses tons of supplies and gives 25-45 steps for making each tag. Early in the process I spent much time looking for supplies both in stores and online. On Day 1, I went to 6 different craft and art stores finding only 1 or 2 items at each store. Later in the week I was much luckier and found many of the supplies on-line. They have not arrived yet but I'll continue learning the techniques once they arrive even if it is after the holidays.
    These pictures are from Day 1 (click to enlarge). Of course one tag wasn't enough; I had to make five. I'm not happy with the end result but did learn a lot of new techniques. I tried to improvise with materials I had on hand and they didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. My favorite is the one in the individual photo. I didn't use the grunge board on him that was really supposed to be grunge paper which I didn't have.

Grandchildren's Birthdays

November and December bring a rash of birthdays to our family - anniversaries too; so I've been busy trying to get cards made and out to those who might enjoy them.

My granddaughter Kiera is into the 1920's in fashion and make-up so I made her this card using scrapbooking paper. She seemed to love the card.

Danny turned 20 today and I sent him this card because he loves animals. They usually have 2-3 dogs, 5 birds,  8-9 cats, and a variety of smaller animals at any given time.

It's fun for me to watch my growth as I make cards and do other paper art - each year's cards seem a little better with more detail and precision. They also seem to enjoy the handmade touch from "grandma" almost as much as the gift that accompanies it. Tyler turned 21 in November but he seemed too old for a handmade card. Maybe next year I can think of something more appropiate for a 20+ year old young man.

Thank God for grandchildren!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Brother's 50th Birthday

We're off to Vegas this week-end to celebrate my baby brother Paul's 50th birthday. Two sisters and their husbands are coming from Michigan, my husband and I from San Diego, and brother Paul from Denver. It should be a fun time for all of us. Since our parents both died before he was 21 he had few momentos from our family so I made him this 12" x12" wall hanging so he'd have at least a few pictures.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day of the Dead

I planned a Day of the Dead evening for a group of my friends. It was a lot of fun planning it. I made chocolate skulls by melting white chocolate into a form from Michaels. I decorated the table in tiers with a lot of candles,
marigolds, food, and then we each added a photo of someone
we wanted commorate. We took turns talking about the person in each photo. It was a very caring/sharing evening bringing us even closer together as friends.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Southern California Beauty

Carlsbad has a wonderful climate for growing flowers year-round although spring is still the best. The pictures are from the roadside along the freeway. The second photo is at the bottom of a freeway entrance.

The bell (on a tall post) in the top photo is like one of the Mission Bells on the El Camino Real. The El Camino is a road following the route the Catholic Monks followed as they came from Mexico to Northern California. They formed missions one day's walk along the way.

We had relatives here from Michigan last month and took them about 40 miles north  to the  San Juan Capistrano Mission. It is one of the best maintained of the whole mission system. Even though it was originally built in 1776, we were able to view many of the original walls and furnishings.
    San Juan Capistrano is also known for the return of the Swallows each year on St. Joseph's Day (March 19).The swallows are reputed to leave on October 23 to migrate to Argentina, and then return again on March 19. Locals told us they almost arrive within a day or two of that date.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I'm lucky enough to belong to a group of 10 women who share our lifes through story and conversation. At 65 I'm about middle in age for group members so our interests run from dealing with grade school problems to multiple medical problems. Some of us sit cross-legged on the floor and others hobble to the nearest rocker but none of that is important as we laugh, learn, and cry togehter. One of my "sisters" from the group sent this card with the comment that it shows "we are concerned with the environment & help each other on building self-esteem and positive attitudes when the waves come upon us".

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Wonderful Work Space

For 30 plus years I've wanted a work space where I could find things when I wanted them and didn't have to run from room to room getting paper, glue, scissors, etc. Finally a couple years ago we decided we were going to retire and stay where we were; so we had California Closets redo our whole office/craft area. My first requirement was that I have a table large enough to work on and cut 45" fabric - therefore the penninsula. It is 40" wide and 7 1/4' long.
I have plenty of bright light with a patio door and front porch only a couple yards behind my desk. To the left of the entrance I store my 12 x 12 paper in a basket made for old newspaper storage. Next to that is another bin which holds artists pads, books, & paper odds & ends. In the boxes underneath I store all my adhesives in one and assorted paint supplies in the other.
Of course, my dog Pepe loves to hang out with me as long as I toss a ball now and then.
I have my computer and office material on the opposite side of the penninsula.
My books are in a cabinet at the other end of the room. Near the printers and other computer equipment. I have magazines in a basket near the sewing machine which is just behind the 12 x 12 paper storage.

This is pretty close to heaven for me. I spend about 80% of my free time at one side or the other of my lovely penninsula.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Altered Bottled

After taking Carol Murphy's Eucaustic wax class, I decided to stay on for her afternoon class making Altered Bottles. Because I hadn't planned to take the class I didn't have the necessary supplies with me; so during lunch break I ran out and found a nicely shaped bottle. Unfortunately it was filled with lemonade; so I had to drink that before class started.

The main technique we learned was using wax (in this case bee's wax) in conjunction with beads, buttons, and other ephemera. I was surprised how easy it was and am pleased with the end result. When drippin wax on the bottle some of us chose to drip over the beads and buttons while others preferred to leave them free of the wax therefore allowing more detail to be seen.

Fallen Hero

My heart is heavy as I mourn with hundreds of thousands others at the death of Teddy Kennedy. In my eyes he was a great man - far greater than his two assassinated brothers. He lived long enough to work for the dreams of "Camelot". Unfortunately he leaves us with still much to be done. Yes, he had his moral weaknesses and deadly indiscretion but in the final tally this man was my hero and I will miss him and his determination to help those in need. As a high school senior I watched JFK's inauguration and felt the hopefulness of youth. Many of those dreams have fallen along the way but I still remember "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." That is the path, I think, that Teddy Kennedy tried to follow until the end. My hope is that the next generation will continue to carry on with that dream.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Mixed Media project finished, yeah!

I finally finished the class project from Carol Murphy's Enucastic Wax class at Stamping Details in Poway CA. It was my first experience using waxes and I loved their ease of use and the wonderful effect they create. We used gold, black, and brown. I want to try a project using pastel waxes - would love to see how they look.
We also used Mod Podge, gold leaf pen, tacky glue, and various other embellishments.
Stamping Details is a great shop for Mixed Media artists. Lots of classes and the largest selection of mixed media supplies I've found in the area. The staff is also wonderfully helpful.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Water Adventure

I had quite an experience on Friday - a definite adventure. Our 2 daughters, grandson and his friend were here for the week-end; so we decided to go to the Carlsbad Lagoon for an afternoon of water sports. We rented a kayak and a paddle boat. Everyone else went off into the water while Dave (my husband) and I watched from shore taking pictures and enjoying the day.

Now I don't swim but for several years now,I've had a dream to take a long term kayak trip; so I decided to take the opportunity to start practicing on a kayak. I told the boys that hubby and I would take the kayak for awhile ( Mistake #1); I don't swim (Mistake #2); but I was smart enough to humble myself and go ask for a LARGE life vest (Positive #1) so Dave and I paddled off enjoying the thrill of the adventure (Positive #2); we safely got as far as we wanted to go (Positive #3) turned around and headed back with me at the paddle (Mistake #3) when a speed boat comes by and we started to rock and then roll our little kayak; Oops we went into the water (remember I don't swim) so I tried to touch the bottom - no bottom plus I now have a mouthful of very salty water. Now what? Hold my breath and float - good so far; but now what? As I start to panic,Dave yells to grab the edge of the kayak which is now turned over. Easier said than done but I was able to grab the edge still hanging onto the paddle - Dave is on the other side thinking I'm under the kayak and panicing. So I kick and kick all the while hanging onto the kayak and paddle - heading towards shore. Then my grandson's friend sees us and they come running to our aid. Our daughter, Andrea, arrives riding her paddle boat and now the fun starts. Dave gets out and sees I'm alive (Positive #4) and he heads to shore. I'm still on my back trying to float, stand up, or anything else that will get me into an upright position. Oops the bottom is very slippery and I can't stand up but just keep sliding back down; so I hang onto daughter my and the paddle boat (oops again - I'm going under the paddle boat and am afraid I'll pull daughter and boat on top of me. Once more Grandson and friend to the rescue. They pulled and dragged me until I was finally on solid ground.(Positive #5).

I'm laughing and embarrassed; Dave is stressed; and the kids have one more adventure to add to our family history.

In all a positive experience: I've taken a kayak and I survived. Don't know if if still want to take that extended kayak trip - maybe learning to swim should come first.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A New Adventure: Starting a Blog

How does one start their first blog entry? Seems easy enough until the empty template pops up on the screen - so much to say and so many directions to go but wait I'm opening myself up to others seeing my scattered attempts. Maybe it would be best to skip this adventure. No, I'm going to do it. So back to "where do I start?".

Ok, let's get going. It's a sunny day and the beach is only a couple blocks away - good day to be outside. But then every day is a good day to be outside here in Carlsbad, CA. I'm retired so I could play with the dog, work in the garden, work on one of my craft projects, talk to my husband, clean the house, call friends, read, watch TV, start a blog. Maybe I'll do a little of each. Life is good here by the beach.

Have a fun filled day.