Friday, December 28, 2007

New Galleries

I spent hours last night trying to get a slideshow element to work properly from Photobucket. I gave up. Today, I downloaded all of my pictures to my NEW MacBook (Thank you, Matty!), clicked a button in iPhoto, and made a beautiful online gallery. Well, I made three online galleries, for artwork, cards and scrapbooking. Use the link on the right to check them out! .Mac may not be free, but after last night, I can honestly say that it's worth every penny! I love Mac.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's beginnning to feel a lot like Christmas

I'm actually caught up with the Christmas album, but not the scanning. Today It really felt like the holidays. With all of the sickness over the last month, we really haven't done any baking, or trips to the city to see the decorations; all the little things that make the holidays feel special. Well today, John John came over for breakfast before the Raider game, and after the boys left, the kids and I headed over to the bookstore for books for the kindergarten exchange and hot chocolate in the cafe. We spent a good two hours there, then came home for a little baking session. John brought presents for the kids, and while I was turing on the Christmas lights and Matt was outside saying goodbye, the kids decided to open them! I didn't mind though. Christmas morning is so overwhelming, I think they were more appreciative of the gifts having opened them early, so they could play with just those gifts tonight. While they loved the toys, nothing really can beat a cardboard box, so they finished off the evening back in their "space shuttle" and taking space walks through the living room. As Madeline said before bed tonight, "We had a really fun day."

Monday, December 10, 2007


I actually got in a challenge this week (can you tell I'm proud of myself?). Actually, this is a combination of the 4x4 Friday Mona Lisa challenge and the Created by Hand Tuesday collage challenge. The background stamp is from Stampington, and the text is Quietfire. The scan came out a little funky, but the background is from a technique I learned friom Tim Holt's 12 Days of Christmas Tags. I stayed up until 1 am last night playing with six of his techniques, until Max woke up and wouldn't go back to bed unless I went with him. Since it's almost one now, I should probably sign off.

Challenge links: Created By Hand
4x4 Friday

Friday, December 7, 2007

Daily Christmas Book

Oaky, I completely stole this idea from Ali Edwards (hail to the guru), but it gave me a great excuse to try my new Zutter Bind It All. It's a 6x6 made from my favorite Christmas line from Cosmo Cricket, some old chipboard dividers, and a Hambly overlay. I admit, I'm a day behind, but I should get caught up tonight while the kids are watching Frosty.

This is actually day5, full of sick children and make-up homework (yes, even in kindergarten they not only assign homework, they send classwork when you've been absent. Good grief!)
Dec. 1 we picked out a fabulous tree from the untamed wilderness of the Lowe's garden center.

Day 2 was all about decorating the tree and the house.
Day 3, sick kids making paper ornaments, Day 4 a shopping marathon for me. You know, ten years ago I would have jumped at an all day shopping excursion, but now, not so much. Next year it's gonna be all internet shopping, baby!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I've been participating in a great new Yahoo group, the Artist's Circle, which takes us through a project, one step per week. First we coffee stained tags for a book, and this week we watercolored some of them. I made my tags, and half of them were out of watercolor paper, so the pink and green tags above are from that. The lighter green tag is cardstock. The pink tag is just a colorwash, but on the green one I used the iron to move the color around on the tag. The cardstock one didn't turn out so great with the color wash, so I went back over it with watercolor pencils. It's still not so great, so I hope it gets covered with layers of something else later on.

(Sorry, no matter what I do I can't seem to get these in landscape!)

Now, it just so happens that the Created By Hand challenge this week is, whatelse? Tags! I dyed extra papers, so these tags also have the coffee and watercolor treatments. In the spirit of the season, Madeline became my little Christmas angel. I'm going to put them in a frame that has four openings, so Max will get the next two. Maybe I should make him an elf...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

4x4 Friday

The theme this week is trees, so I immediately thought of the scraps I had of my dad's tree photograph. My father is an amazing photographer, and his tree is one of my favorites. This bit was from an alteration I did in Photoshop using the plastic wrap filter. I inked the image with distress inks, and placed it on a tissue covered piece of cardstock. Not the best scan, I know, but my Elements isn't working so I couldn't clean it up.

Check out all of the great entries at

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuesday Challenge

The Created by Hand Tuesday Challenge,
Alcohol inks - love them! I probably use them most often on metal, but for this piece I used them on an overhead, then stamped it with the heart from River City Rubber works. In person, it gives the illusion of veins, which is really cool. These are the first two pages from an altered book I've started, and I'm not totally satisfied with it, to be honest. It might be partly due to the way I approached this project. Normally, I have a sketch of the design or project, or at least a clear idea in mind before I start to work. This time, I just tried to go with the flow. That's Matt's method, and I've always been amazed, and a little jealous, at how he can just pick up a brush and create. The background was made with metallic gold tissue that was over painted with arcrylics, stamped when wet, and inked with green and blue alcohol inks. I used the heat tool to dry the paint layers quickly, to get some bubbles and additional texture.

It is my goal to complete the whole book using spontaneous designs. We'll see if I can do it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

4x4 Friday

A new challenge! challenge was using a face, and in looking through my images I realized that I only had women. In fact, I've never really used men much in my art, so that became the new challenge. I found an old man in my sketchbook, and he seemed to fit so well with some more of those new Tim Holtz stamps. This didn't come out looking so great in the small size, but if you click on it, the enlarged version is a little better

For some reason photo scratching came to mind next, and I remembered that a few I had played with a year ago, after reading Karen Michel's great book, Altered Imagery, were in an envelope somewhere. Okay, so the shot is not just of a face, but now at least I've done something with it.

Speaking of altered imagery, do any of you have tips on successful image transfers? I've tried the techniques described by both Michel and Lynne Perrella, and haven't had much success. I just bought some Omni gel that I have yet to use, but I'd love to hear what techniques have worked for others.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Challenge Entry

This was a fabulous break from all of the design work I've been doing lately. I found this site, Created Byhand a posting on a Yahoo group, and the challenge of doing an ATC (or whatever) on a black background seemed to fit perfectly with the sketch I had done the night before. This came together so quickly - the background stamp is Tim Holtz (I just picked it up last night at MDW the text is River City Rubber Works . Pure fun.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Urine Nation

Reader Beware: Those with weak constitutions may wish to skip this entry. On the contrary, those with children or animals may find a sick sense of deja vu.

Phoebe, our cat, spent the entire day under our bathroom sink. She must have crawled in there while I was getting dressed in the morning, and because of the child locks, couldn't get out. We didn't discover her in there until we were about to go to sleep. This may sound terrible that she was not missed during the day, but she now spends most of her time hiding from the puppy, so we have become accustomed to not seeing her until bedtime. Well, since she was stuck, she was forced to go to the bathroom under there. At 11 o'clock at night I'm pulling everything out from under the sink, including all of the toiletries stored there and my hair dryer, and throwing them in the trash. Although I had doused it with enzymes, there was still the odor of cat pee to accompany me to dreamland.

The next morning, Max's pull-up leaked all over me. Then the toilet overflowed. All in less than twelve hours. These odorous events inspired me to finish this sketch that I had started a month or two ago. I think it is a good visual summary of my brain at this point in time.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Fun

This year, both kids were old enough to really enjoy Halloween. They decided a month ago to be Jedi (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, to be exact), since they are both Star Wars fanatics. Hmmm... I wonder where they get that from...

I made their outfits from a robe pattern, and it's sad to say, I'm still sewing with a button hole foot. Lee gave me a great old Bernina a couple of years ago, and it took me almost a year to realize that the foot it came with was a button holer! This is after sewing several skirts, a robe, pj bottoms and Madeline's Dee Dee Doodle costume with it! Can you tell that I'm no great seamstress? You won't be seeing me on Project Runway anytime soon.

The kids had a great time coloring their pumpkins with markers. So much so, I was surprised that they even wanted me to carve them. They couldn't wait to get their costumes on and go Trick-or-Treating, and as soon as it was barely dark enough, they were out the door with Matt. They actually spent an hour out, and were thrilled with the booty they brought home. I bribed them into bed by letting them watch The Great Pumpkin on the laptop in Max's room. It was a good night.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ah ha

Here's my personal layout for MDW. I put this off for awhile. 1. because I had no recent shots of myself and 2. I've never done a page about myself before. Well, I did the my heart mini-album, but I didn't put any pictures of myself in it. The papers are from Basic Grey's Recess collection. How appropriate - my favorite line in a school theme. Oddly, once I actually git started, this page came together easily. I'd never scrapped in 9x9 before, but I like the size. I really should do pages beyond the adventures of Max and Madeline, or they may grow up believing the universe revolves around them (okay, so maybe it does, most of the time).

I had a great "ah ha" moment on Sunday. I realized that many of the issues I've had with this blog, techincally, may not be my fault. I asked Charlotte to help me with my posts, and when I went to my settings on her PC, I discovered a whole array of options that simply do not show up on my Mac. When I post, I get spell check and picture insertion as an option, that's all. There had to be at least ten different options that came up in Windows! I ordered the new Mac OS (I haven't upgraded in about 3 years), so hopefully that will help. In the meantime, Charlotte gave me her laptop to borrow, bless her heart. Maybe this week I can play around with a few options and spruce this space up a bit! At least I feel more confident about my computer skills now.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We put up some Halloween decorations after we returned from Disneyland, but we really should have more. The kids are very excited about being Jedi this year (now if I can only finish sewing their costumes), and we've decided to have a Halloween Day tomorrow. We picked up some craft kits at Target, we're making pumpkin shaped cupcakes, and we definitely need to spook up the yard. I do have a few Halloween pieces I've made, and one more on the to-do list from a kit I purchased at Crop for a Cure. I can't wait to "fall back"; I could use that extra hour!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sleep, what's that?

I LOVE being a design team member for MDW, but I must say I have been working my you know what off for the last few days to prepare some samples for the store and for my first class (yah!). It's like art school, but without the grades and the harsh critiques. So, if you are not busy on Saturday, Nov. 10, I'd love to see you in my paper art hats class. Here are the Creative Imaginations treat boxes I did for the store (definitely want to use these for the holiday table) and a sneak peek at the hats class (we'll be making three). You can sign up for the class at MDW.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Disneyland was fabulous! I'm still sorting through the 256 photographs and putting together a sketchbook/mini-album of the trip, but I thought I'd post just one pic. On this particular day, we had been chosen as the Honorary Family of the Day in Toontown. We were able to go on stage with all of the characters during the Town Hall meeting, and the kids were escorted to Mickey's house to visit him first. The kids were all jumps and shouts about it... until we got on stage. A sea of strange faces looking at them suddenly turned them into shy children! Still, we were all thrilled.

I thought I'd post a picture of our family room art wall. The painting in the middle is Matt's, but the kids have taken over the rest of it. Since the family room is in limbo design wise right now, we've been enjoying adding their creations on the wall. It makes me happy. I suppose I'll have to encorporate some kid gallery space when we redecorate.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Chicken leg

Molly went back for her final suregry, to remove the pins, on Monday. Poor thing had to get her leg shaved, and now it looks like a giant drumstick with hot pink stiches. Funny, but while I was waiting for the nurse to bring her out, I felt like crying. Maybe it's because I could hear her whining. Or because I had been waiting there for over an hour. Perhaps it's just sleep deprivation. Or maybe it was the $750 bucks I had just shelled out...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hooray!!! I'm Queen Bee Today!

I got the call this afternoon - I made the design team! I was speechless! I'm still in shock. I'm very greatful that the kids were quiet and the dog wasn't barking when I got the call, but I ran and hid myself in the laundry room, just in case. I'll be at the new store next weekend for the Grand Opening and hosting a Make n' Take. I'll post more details later, and maybe I'll even figure out how to add a live link (hint, hint, Charlotte!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Queen for a Day

Here are the pieces I created for a template challenge for Stampers' Sampler. Originally, I wasn't even going to enter this challenge. The crown template didn't scream my style, but a few days later the idea for "Queen of the Road" came to me, and a theme was born. I created a book to house them, with envelopes that sort of pop up and fan out when it's opened, but I haven't finished the cover yet and I just wanted to get these sent off, so maybe I'll fill the book with something else. Funny, I always think I'll get so much more done then I do. Thanks to all those who visited MDW while the voting was going on. The new location opens tomorrow, and I can't wait to see the (larger!) store.

Monday, September 3, 2007

mini album at MDW

I took Madeline with me today to see my entry at My Daughter's Wish. I thought she;d be excited to see her picture in a store. She was more excited to see pictures of Molly and Phoebe! Go figure...

They only have the mini albums on display for voting. You can see pictures of mine below. It's the Day in the Life of My Heart piece (#11). They will only be on display until Sept. 8. There are some pretty fabulous books there! So many talented scrappers! They are having a big 20% off everything in the store sale, so it's a great time to stop by!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Final Design Team Pics

Well, it's almost time for customers to vote! Starting this Sunday, Sept. 2 through Sept. 15, customers can vote for their favorite entries. If you happen to be in the Walnut Creek area, I'd appreciate a vote! My Daughter's Wish is on Broadway, next door to Changes Salon and right across the street from the Catina Mexican restaurant. Even if you don't scrap, it's great eye candy!