Sunday, May 31, 2009

Making progress

After I got the boys to bed tonight, I worked on my canvas a bit more. Still building layers of texture and movement around the face. Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll get to start laying paint on again. I have to tell you a bit of interesting tidbit about this canvas. I knew I wanted a larger canvas to work with for this piece and I couldn't afford to go buy a large one... they are really pricey. So, I found this 16x20 in my stash. I've had it a good while and had, at one point, just collaged scraps onto it. No meaning, no rhyme or reason. Anyway, I figure it would work for this project just fine. Well, while I was painting on it, I actually found 2 words, very clearly in print on the bits of ephemera that I'd glued down probably 2 years ago, that are EXACTLY part of the story in this piece! Coincidence? I think not... there is no such thing. Yet, I'm still stunned. This tells me it was THE canvas for this piece all along. It's just been percolating for 2 years! Anyway, I added more texture using torn bits of tissue paper and then wound fiber around on top. I like the winding length for movemnt as well as the fibers that fray out. I think it will look neat once it has been painted over.

Tomorrow, Max starts his summer reading enrichment class at school. He'll go through June 25, 4 days a week, 4 hours per day. I have a couple of haircuts scheduled in the morning and then a counseling appt. in the afternoon. The rest of the day will unfold as it goes. I also have to catch up on a mountain of laundry! There are only two washers here at the apartment complex... since it's a really small complex... so I may need to take a load over to my mom's when I drop off the boys where they'll stay during my counseling appt.!

Well, gotta' get to bed. It's pretty late here.

Showing off

I wanted to show off my gorgeous Venetian glass pendant. I know I posted photos of the necklace itself but it's so much prettier on. Sam took a picture of me wearing it this morning.

Now, I'm back in my pajamas after church and gonna' kick back with my boys for Star Trek VI this afternoon!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well, last night, I had a horrific headache and got rid of it taking Excedrin at bedtime.. .meaning.. I was up almost all night. And, for the first time ever, I got out of bed to paint! I started my new painting as a new "chapter" of my personal story so it won't be pretty. I will show this one in progress... always a scary thing to do. Sharon inspired me to paint without an initial sketch but to let the face emerge on it's own. Also, a recent painting she did had a lot of blue undertones in the skin and I was drawn to it over and over again. I carried this into my painting as I now realize the significance of the color, which I am not going to explain at this stage of the game. ;P
I took the first picture at about 1:30 this morning.... really bad lighting. I then started adding paper mache' strips of fabric and plaster. I will continue adding other textural layers for movement around the face.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Catching up... finally...

Well, yesterday I declared it a pajama day. It's the first day in MONTHS that I haven't had to go somewhere so the boys and I, on our first day of their summer break, never got dressed all day. Heaven!!! I spent the day going through paper piles, organizing things, putting art stuff away, cleaning out piles of stuff that have been driving me crazy... and... I have a clean desk!!! Wooohooo! I also spent some time hanging more stuff on my walls. I'm still not finished but my apartment is finally starting to look like MY apartment, with the exception of the hideous white walls, which I detest. Here are a couple of snapshots of some of the wall space:

This last picture is a grouping in my bathroom. My vintage window frame is pre-civil war given to me by my sister-in-law. I love it but it doesn't show up well at all on a white wall. I added some little groups of things to add some color. And, by the way, I'm so in love with Poster Tac! It's so great for creating a montage of small pieces of art like ATC, postcards, etc...

I teach a private art class every Friday to a sweet 13 year old girl. She's working on an altered book. I snapped a couple of pictures today of Kenzy paying really close attention to her painting. It was so cute. He was really into it. It looks like SHE's the one giving private classes!!! He's a very good student, wouldn't you say?

And look what this little stinker did yesterday! He found a cup with a little bit of milk left in it, tipped it over so he could drink the puddles! He's such a mess! Garfield would have stiff competition with this cat. No finiky eater here. I swear he's part goat. I've yet to find anything he won't eat. He practically attacked me over a mango this morning.

After class today, my step-dad (my hero) came and switched out one of my ceiling fans. I had one from my house that I LOVE and when Chuck renovated the back room in the house, he took it down. So, I got it and Fred put it up for me today. It's a larger fan, so more cool air, and it has more lights in it so I get way more light in the living room area now.

I took Sam out to my mom's around lunchtime. It's his turn to spend the night tonight so now it's just me and Maxman. I ran a couple of errands and then Max and I came home. I got a headache and hit the bed with a heat pack. It seemed to help but has come back since I've been up. Tylenol isn't helping and I'm out of Excedrin. I think I'll have to pull out my migraine meds shortly. I hate how they make me feel so I really hate taking them. BLEH!

Since Sam won't be here in the morning, Max and I are planning to go hike the mountain. He loves going and Sam hates it. So, it's the perfect morning for us to go hike. Then, I'll have to run Max out to my moms, drop him off, and run back home to get ready to teach a book binding class here at 12:30. It will be a relaxing and fun time. I took a ream of paper to be cut this afternoon and have to pick it up in the morning.

Well, I want to go spend a little time with my little man. I do love my boys like crazy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time flies

Well, the week has gone by so quickly. I noticed in my last post, I mentioned the possible sale of my antique dressing table... IT SOLD!!! Woohooo! As much as I loved the piece, I'm glad to have to space in my apartment and really glad to have the money from the sale. What a blessing!

I spent a lot of time early this week finishing up 6 commissioned journals. I wanted them finished by the last day of school so I could deliver them and not have to think about them any more because I'm itching to paint! But I had 2 art tables, the dining room table, and the ironing board completely covered in 'stuff'. So, I'll finish cleaning up today since the books were delivered yesterday and I can put away all the supplies. All artists know that you get to a point of the 6 inch work space and you have to clean up so you can mess up again. ;P Anyway, here are the 6 journals completed. They are all 5x7 in size. There was actually a 7th but I delivered that one and forgot to take a photo first! Oh well...

And these three are my personal favorites... tempting to keep!

On Monday, I realized that I hadn't thought of "end of the year teacher gifts". Panic! Thankfully, I had a few photo books already made and Sam liked one of them and chose it for his teacher. Max, unfortunately, did not think the other choices were good for his teacher because "She likes blue". So, Tuesday, one top of finishing these journals, I had to make a photo book from scratch and forgot to photograph that too! But, it is made similar to these but only a single signature and no tie closure.

So, I have a painting swirling around in my head... but another documenting "my story" so it won't be a pretty, feel good painting... but it will sure as heck make me feel good to get it out! I also have some sewing stuff I want to do and have a couple of class proposal samples swimming in my head that I need to get done as well.

I'm teaching my private art class tomorrow and have a couple of people coming over Saturday for a book binding class. It's my reconstructed book class. So, today I will be taking a stack of card stock to be cut at the Office Supply and I have to go to downtown Glendale to purchase more Tyvek tape... or I might see if I have a Tyvek envelope laying around and recycle that. The tyvek is what is used to reinforce the book spine when reconstructing a new journal from an existing book cover. I think I need some more wax linen thread too, while I'm at it. I have a huge roll of black and burgundy but I'm finding that brown and white are staples as well and since I went through all the brown and white that I had doing the journals, I need to get more. I should check out e-bay for some deals.

So, now kids are out of school so today, we will make our posterboard calendars for summer, write up our list of things we want to do or get accomplished this summer. Set up some play dates, etc.. I also have to talk to the boys about a schedule so I can have some uninterrupted work time in the mornings and "our" time will be after lunch. We are all adjusting to there being a working mom in our family.

Our public library is offering "culture passes" this year allowing you to go to different venues around the valley for free! So we want to see what is offered and make some plans with those to different museums.

Max starts his summer reading enrichment program on Monday. It runs from June 1-25th... 4 days a week, 4 hours per day. Vacation Bible School starts June 8th but since Max will be in his summer school program, Sam will be attending VBS without his brother... not that he cares! I'm sad Max will miss it though.

Well, my tummy is rumbling so I need to eat some breakfast!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Today, I decided to try selling my 4 teacup/saucers sets that I love. They are Franciscan ware made in the 1930's. I love the color of green, which is why I bought them. They are in perfect condition and it's hard to believe they are so old. I listed them in my etsy shop. I figured that someone might actually get some use out of them instead of having them sitting in my cupboard taking up space. Aren't they pretty? If anyone is interested in purchasing them, holler at me, will ya'? I even thought of using them to put into gift baskets with theme or doing flower arrangements in them but no... I'm gonna' see about selling them. I'm suppose to have someone coming to look at my antique dressing table tomorrow after church. Crossing fingers and toes that it sells since it's taking up valuable space in my apartment.

On another note, I had a really nice day today with my boys. We have spent pretty much the whole day together. I did do 2 haircuts though. But, I bargained with Sam and talked him into agreeing to climb the mountain with me... you don't have to bargain with Max for that kind of stuff... he loves it.. Sam hates it. i let him take his camera, promised as many stops on the way up as needed (like... 10!) and feeding critters at the top. Then, if he made it to the top, I'd take he and Max to Starbucks (used my last gift card). They made it and had a great time feeding the squirrels and chipmunks. We did a Starbucks stop... Max loves Chai latte's and Sam got a smoothie. Then, we went to get our next Star Trek movie (coupon for free rental) and came home and watched it. We had some good snuggle time too. They have taken a few breaks to play on the computer a little but we've mostly hung out together all day. I did get some laundry done today too.

Now, I need to eat something... eek... at 10 pm!!! But I never ate dinner and am now hungry. I also am pretty beat! I'm hoping to get some work done on the commissioned journals I've been working on. I had problems with two of them and have to start over from scratch with those. I want them all finished by Wednesday, the last day of school.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another class sample

OK, so today I did another mixed media fabric postcard sample and got the class proposal written and sent out. Here's the second sample for the class:
For the gesso transfer, I used a photo of the Chihuly glass balls. For this one, I used clear gesso instead of white. A little bit of a difference in clarity. This one was done all by hand instead of machine.

And, yesterday, I got to see Fran and hear about her trip to Italy. Look what she brought me back from Venice!!! It's it absolutely stunning?! I need to have one of my boys take a picture of me wearing it. I tried to use photobooth but it just didn't do the pendant justice at all. I don't think any photo can, truly. It's so amazing!

Whew, now to focus on what to work on next... I have book commissions to get finished.. better go there....

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This week I struggled to get my bearings back from a very emotional weekend last weekend. Just when I was gettin' my groove back, the crazy emotional stuff hit again this weekend. I feel like I'm on the worst roller coaster ride of my life... and anyone that knows me knows that I HATE roller coasters.... and I mean that passionately.

My morning actually started pretty well. I got up at 5:00 and got ready for my hike. I headed to the mountain and got there around 6:15. I now take a stash of peanuts and sunflower seeds for all the little chipmunks and desert squirrels. They are so stinkin' cute! Several baby chipmunks today too. They would come up and eat right out of my hands. So, I had a good hike but felt a headache coming on when I was driving there... it was intensifying on the way home. I had to stop by Safeway because I actually mapped out my grocery shopping this week by looking at sales, printing online coupons, clipping coupons, and dividing my list by stores. Today was my last stop for a few last things on my list. I stocked up because the sales were so amazing. I purchased sale items and added coupons with the sales and ended up spending oh, like $48. but my savings today was over $40.!!!! That's the best I've ever done. We now have a ton of toilet paper and cereal, among other things... but those were huge deals. I actutally got 6 boxes of cereal for less than $8.!!! Ya'll know how expensive that stuff is now!?! This week, I also got milk on sale at Fresh and Easy for only $1.59 a gallon! My kids have suddenly gotten really into drinking milk so we go through a lot. So, I got some great sales. Got home from the store and the headache was really cranked. I ended up laying down with a heat pack and taking Excedrin. It finally went away and then, well, that's when the crazies really started for the day. I'll spare the details.. just know it's been a hard day.

Anyway, my weekend plans got thrown into a tailspin and it was difficult to recover today. I finally did manage to refocus and get one class sample done for another mixed media postcard class that I will be proposing at a different location in town. I want to create another sample to go with the class.

This one is fabric, paper, and a gesso transfer onto fabric as a focal point. All machine done except the french knots...which I LOVE doing. That's about as productive as I was able to get today. Around 6:00, I took the boys to Blockbuster and rented the first Star Trek movie. We love having a series to go through and there are a zillion Star Trek movies so, we knocked out the first tonight snuggled up in my bed.

When I uploaded pictures today, I found this one I'd forgotten about. Sam built it for me on Mother's day! Isn't it totally cool? I love the guy on the ladder!

I was suppose to meet my girlfriend, Kelly, at the mountain early tomorrow morning and had to cancel since I unexpectedly have the kids this weekend. I'm bummed. She and I planned to meet a week ago. Going early on weekends is the only time I can go now because it's gotten so hot that if I go after I drop kids off at school, I don't get there until 8:00 and by then, it's already roasting. Boohooo! I"m not ready for the heat of summer! While I really hate swimming, my kids love it. My swim suit is now really too big after losing weight so I need to find another one for a really reasonable price. I just can't spend $100. on a suit. We now have a pool here at the apartment complex and it's just too hot to sit out and watch the boys swim without getting in myself or die of heat stroke. So, this week, I"ll be in search of a swim suit... Gosh, I hate shopping for something like that. UGH... DREAD.

Well, it's getting late so I'm heading to bed. Maybe a cup of tea first. My newest love... Stash green/white tea combo. YUM!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trying to get the groove back

Well, after having sick kids and being housebound for 7 of 9 days, I'm trying hard to get back into the groove of things. On top of that, life stuff has been really, really hard. When I'm drained emotionally and mentally, it wipes me out physically so it's been hard to get focused. All those housebound days really messed up my exercise routine too... and that's a huge thing to keep me focused. So, when the boys went to Chuck's for the weekend, I hiked the mountain Saturday morning. Boy, did I feel the time lapse and coupled with the heat, I felt a little sick by the time I got to the top. So, Sunday morning, I got up at 5:00 so I could be at the mountain by 6:00 with hopes of beating the heat. It was MUCH better! And I remembered to take a few peanuts for the chipmunks and squirrels. They are so stinkin' cute!

Friday, I completed all my kits for both of my upcoming classes at the Creative Quest. See:

This first kit is for my TLS fusing class. I made the pouches from a book page to which I sewed a piece of organza. The pocket itself, could but used in the class.
These are my postcard kits complete with fabric for the base, bits for design, timtex with fusible web already ironed to it, and some fibers. I've also written out instructions for this one too. Still need to do that for the TLS class.

I also taught a friend a book binding class on Saturday. That quiet time was so nice!

Yesterday, I picked the boys up before church and afterward, we went to my mom's for lunch. There was enough time for my step-dad and I to play a game of Scrabble. He almost quit on me when, for the second time ever, I played all my tiles in one play getting the extra 50 bonus points. Mwahahahahaha!!!!! We then took the kids to see Hotel For Dogs. It was pretty cute.
Of all the days, I forgot to take my camera to mom's with me. The boys and I got photobooth photos at home.. and I could only manage to get them here in front of the computer one at a time. But here we are:

Sam drew me a picture of himself that he was so embarrassed because he thought it was so bad... but I LOVE it! I'm going to hang it in my bedroom. He also wrote the sweetest thing in a paper at school: "What makes my mom special" This is what he wrote but anyone reading this that sees us in real life, do NOT tell Sam I put this here or he will die! But it's sooooo special to me, I have to share it.
My mom is special because she has red hair. She is nice because she helps me with my homework. She helps me when I'm hurt. She also takes me places I like. My mom also takes care of me. That's why my mom is special.

There is a little picture of me painting that he drew. This will be one of my most treasured possessions forever, from my son who finds it very difficult to express his feelings and emotions. This is a big deal coming from him. I love my boys!

Just got back from a 45 minute walk and now have to get some work done on a commissioned journal before my counseling appt. today. Gotta' run!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

more sickness

Well, Sam finally got back to school on Tuesday and then Max got sick. He's been home 2 days now. Max was complaining of a headache and saying he didn't feel good before school so I kept him home. I really thought he was faking yesterday because the minute I dropped Sam off at school, he perked right up, played all day, never complained about anything, and never ran fever... no symptoms... until last night. Then he started running fever. Since he has run fever all day today, he'll be staying home tomorrow as well. I'm really tired of sickness in the house. I hate being completely house bound for days and days on end. I really haven't accomplished much with at least one of the boys here. Anyway, gotta' go finish up dinner. I'm in the midst of putting together class kits too! ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

A short catch up

Well, I have had a sick son since last Friday. Thankfully, he finally woke with no fever so he can go back to school tomorrow!

It's been a really, really hard and emotionally draining week. I've had several nights of passing out around 9:00 just from the emotional exhaustion of life stuff.

Yesterday as the first day in months that I had a pajama day. I knew I couldn't go anywhere with Sam sick so I stayed home all day in my jammies. I was finally able to shift my thoughts and got a lot accomplished. I got several things organized in my bedroom and hung pictures on my walls, etc... Still have several pieces to hang but I'm making decisions about them.

Tomorrow, my friend, Lynn, is suppose to come over and help me make class kits for some of my upcoming classes! I love spending time with her. She makes me think and she makes me laugh.

Today has been another emotionally draining day and I can't wait to get kids in bed so I can go to sleep! Sorry there isn't much to talk about for a catch up!