Friday, October 29, 2010

Where The Heart Is

Fabric pocket page within 'Where the Heart Is' commission journal.
My liife continues to be interesting. Yesterday we discovered a pair of squirrels that were nesting in the eaves under the roof line of our home. DH was called home to tackle the problem, mind you he is not comfortable with heights, so having to crawl up the ladder of our 2 story home was not exactly an activity he wanted to be engaged in and that one of the entry points was right where the power lines come into to our home. Needless to say we took every precaution. We blocked 2 places we knew they were getting in and we checked through our attic access to be certain no critters had gained entry; an interesting adventure we would rather not repeat anytime soon.

Computer issues have also decided to continue to challenge my patience. I think I am winning one byte at a time. Today I am making progress on the commission journal and am almost done. Here are a few peeks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Today 'life' feels simple and quiet. Yesterday, I thought we were going to be blown right off the map, no make that, right off the globe. One report said we were getting gusts equaling a level 3 hurricane.
My daughter's had dance last night and while driving to the studio, a huge brank branch came flying down from a tree over the road and just missed us. Luckily it didn't hit anyone else either. I started envisioning myself in the middle of the Wizard of Oz and wondering when someone's house might just fall on me.
Lots of folks were without power and still are as of this afternoon. I count my lucky stars that we have power. I can't count the number of times we had to chase our filled leaf bags, that kept rolling down our street like giant tumble weeds or the number of branches I kept pulling off the lawn and out of the driveway, that kept coming off the trees. Our little jack russell; Jazz, kept running for the basement everytime another branch fell to the ground with a thud or that were constantly banging into the sides of the house and windows. Now I know what it feels like to live inside of a drum.
It was one windy, blustery day. So today feels so quiet and still, even though the wind is not quite done but compared to yesterday, it feels like someone flipped a giant switch and turned off the fan. 

I did manage to get a few pages done in the commission journal I am working on. Here are a few peeks of fabric pocket pages.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Joyous Pocket page
Commissioned journal for Janice.
I am slowly becoming friends with my new computer. Right now it is safe to say we have a 'love/hate' relationship. I keep having to stop to figure out what part of the system does the task I need it do. It is alot different than XP which I never had any issues with. In my mind XP didn't need fixing. SIGH. Moving on. I am 'joyous' however, about being back on-line and connected to my vitual life. What did we ever do without computers? I should know, I grew up without one. I survived my childhood without a cell phone, without an ipod, without my own tv and the only games I had were those that came in a box, Monopoly. Life. Scrabble, and if I was really bored; checkers.
Ya know what I think I want? A computer that can read my mind so that all I would have to do is look at my screen a certain way and it would know what I wanted it to do. The same look I give my teenagers when they ask me for money for something that they can't live without and they really needed it yesterday. This super computer would know what pictures I want uploaded and to where. It would know what I needed to say. It would compose it all without me ever having to touch the key pad. It would solve it's own problems with connectivity and it would block any and all spam, viruses, and everything else that I don't want my computer collecting. It would defend and protect my identity from all predatory sources. It would be able to keep track of my life without micro-managing me. And it would be so fast that I'd never skip a beat. Pretty much like my life before computers, life was as easy as taking a walk in the park.  Well almost. My busy life would be effortlessly taken care of for me and I could sit back and watch tv, eat chocolate, drink my latte in peace and quiet and enjoy all those things, in all my spare time, that all these gadgets are supposed to be giving me in the first place. Based upon my experience this past weekend. Our beloved gadgets have done just the opposite, they've taken away our freedom and given us an endless list of things to worry about. SIGH!!!!

I am pleased to announce this week's Follower of the Week and the honor goes to Jill. I have enjoyed sharing small tokens of gratitude and appreciation this month and have decided I will continue to do this on a monthly basis. The last week of every month I will randomly pick a follower to honor and send out a little something to make someone's life a little sweeter and I truly believe that when you send 'goodness' out into the world, it does come back to you. Just yesterday I had the sweetest surprise when I learned I had won a drawing on Dina Wakley's blog that I had entered and was being given free access to her newest on-line class; Art Journaling 103, which I gotta tell you to go check out. I am happy and moving in to this day with a huge smile on my face. I should point out that it is now almost 5AM and that I have been up all night. It's is now Tuesday. So I am going to finish this post up and go take a short nap and then I will enter the day with my eyes wide open. LOL.
I will leave you with another page in the journal I am working on.
Fabric page.
Bird collage element courtesy DJ Pettitt

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Frightful Night

It has been very frightful around here the last 24 hours.
Yesterday my day began with my morning cup 'o 'joe, sit down to check email only to discover that my trusty and true XP HP had died. Thus began my 'day of the dead' or rather trying to raise the dead. It was not pleasant. It was awful, the worst kind of horror, very appropriate by the date on the calendar. Was it Friday the 13th, maybe, but no, I am still shaking. Eventually I had to run recovery with a back up CD but I still lost everything on it. I do keep all of my photos on a removable hard drive and thus at least my photos reamained intact. We actually have 2 pcs in our home. An HP with Vista, when we thought the XP was on it's way out, but she had several lives left in her we were to discover. I never bonded with the Vista, it has never worked that great. I am using it to upload this post but it's a clumsy beast to work on and it was one of the first versions of vista so that should tell how awful this is for me...for those of you who befriended Vista. You are lucky.

So yesterday was spent trying to find a replacement PC at a low price. I don't care about bells and whistles, just have to have a reliable computer for staying connected, loading pieces to Etsy and maintaining my blog. Anyway, we found an HP in our price range, it's connected to the internet but Windows LIve Mail isn't working. I need to talk to my local geek guys at my IPS provider tomorrow to figure out what the problem is. Long story short. I was off line most of yesterday and am now trying to get caught up. Please let me yell and scream for just a second, that I HATE COMPUTER ISSUES. NOT FUN. Thus I am sure it is evil and dark forces at work, afterall Halloween is right around the corner.

I did manage to work on this quiltie which will be heading across the pond in a few days. I still have to do a bit of stitching on it but it's coming together nicely. I am sharing it just to see if I could get it up on my blog. I had to work between 2 computers. Win 7 doesn't have much a photo program on it within it's pre installed version. I found out I will need to buy the upgrade to make Win 7 even remotely friendly.  I was able to get my old XP back and running on some programs so I can still access my main printers and editing software that I know my way around on. I was able to get the photos up and have internet access on the Vista. Success. It just takes alot more time, grrrrrr. I must remind myself that things could always be worse. I am knocking on wood and crossing every finger and toe I have. Please cross yours too. I can use all the help I can get.

And one last note, I am finishing up pages for another commission journal I am creating, however all this PC trouble slowed me down so I hope to have some page peeks soon. So if you are watching, you know who you is a work in progress.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Familiar Objects

This quiltie is for this week's 'follower of the week' drawing here on my blog. That honor goes to Shabbychicshaz. This is still a work in progress. This is how it looks this afternoon.
I have been working like a crazy woman on another commission journal and am knee deep in papers, laces, trims and fabrics. I am also spending a fair amount of time chatting with my new art buddy; Lee. Oh we could stir up some serious trouble if we ever get to meet up in person. We are having a riot of fun chatting art and our shared Remains of the Day obsession. We are both wishing we were going to Art Journal Fest next week. Someday, maybe for now we are content sending super, long emails back and forth. I am loving the conversation and feeding our creative fires, bouncing around ideas and figuring out ways to bridge the miles. We will be doing something together and soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grow Bloom Thrive

I just finished putting the final touches on this journal which I just listed in my Etsy shop. This journal has a unique personality. It is loaded with pages that vary in size, some are lightly collaged, while others are surrounded in stitch and bits of fabric, laces and trim. Then there are the pages; some fold out to become longer, while others are tiny, offering a place for a special thought of photo. To date, this is my favorite journal that I have created thus far.

This journal is 8" wide and has an 11" back when fully closed and expands out to 25" fully open. The pages vary in size from the very tiny to a fold out pages that opens to 20.5". The pages also vary in height. I had a blast creating this journal. The journal opens almost completly flat, so it's a dream to work on the pages.

Of course there are 2 fabric pages with pockets with goodies. There are a total of 24 pages in this journal. Here are page peeks.

Collage elements by Roben-Marie Smith

Collage element 'tiny bird' DJ Pettitt
All other artwork and collage elements, 'lil 'ole me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


8" wide by 9.5" tall quiltie for this week's 'follower' of the week drawing, Kathleen Pequignot.
Another peek.

The whole shebang.
I really need to make more of these and make them into journals. I think I just might have to do that this weekend. Does anyone have any spare time they can loan me? Just a few hundred hours or so would do it. VBG!!!! Gosh, I have way too many irons in the fire but it's an idea just bursting with possibilities. I see many hours at my sewing machine in my future.


'Rising' commissioned journal.
Today I finished this journal and I couldn't be more pleased with how it all came together. I love these colors together so much. I have used almost all of the fabric which I picked up in a bundled packet. Making this journal was a pleasure. I love it when I am asked to create something for someone and am able to see the same vision that they see, in what they want created. It feels right when that happens. The inspiration comes from a place deep inside, where everything else falls away and you know it is good and true.

Fabric pocket page.
Another pocket page.

Creating this journal was absolute bliss.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Fabric page in 'Rising' journal
This is a fabric page I am working of for the 'rising' journal. The heart image is a fabric transfer of an acrylic painting I did a few years ago. The heart was created by laying down a puddle of water onto the canvas and drawing into it with watered down acrylic, allowing the colors to bleed into the water bath and settle wherever they flowed and then allowing it to dry. I took a photo of the canvas before adding other elements to it. Here is a pic of the finished 9" by 12" canvas.
 This week's 'follower' of the month is Kathleen Pequignot. Visit her blog, So Many Stars. Her work is beautiful and stunning. Thanks again to all of you who follow and share your thoughts.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Journals and More Journals

Commissioned Journal
This weekend I have been creating journals, lots and lots of journals and playing around with variations on how they open and enclose the pages inside them. 'Rising' is a commissioned journal I am working on. I used 300 pound Arches cold press paper as the base and was very surprised that my sewing machine cut through the heavy paper so easily. I love how solid and hefty this journal feels. It is 8.5" inches tall and 6" wide with a wrap around enclosure with a 2" spine that holds 3, 7 page signatures inside. The pages are a combination of cardstock scrap book papers and 140pd Fabriano Artistico watercolor paper. Several of the pages fold out to become longer pages and of course I had to have at least 1 fabric page for pockets and hiding places. This is still under construction but I already am pleased with how it's coming together.

'Just Let The Wind Carry You'
Fold-Out Portfolio Style Journal
'Just Let The Wind Carry You'

Fold-Out Portfolio Style Journal
This journal was created from a journal base I had designed and didn't like so I changed a few things on the construction and it became a portfolio style fold out journal. The journal is 8.5" tall and 11" wide when fully open. There are 2, 1" spines that fold in to the center when closed and fold out to reveal 2 seperate sets of pages. There are 2 signatures of 5 pages on each of the spines. 20 pages total. The left and right covers are 4.5" wide. I am having a blast with the style and will be making more of these down the road. 
'Grow Bloom Thrive'
Portfolio style journal.
This is another portfolio style journal. It is 8.5" tall and 11" wide.
The left hand cover is 6" wide and the right hand cover is 6.5" wide so the covers slightly over lap each other when closed. A button and tab will hold the pages within the journal. There are 2 signatures within this journal and many of the pages fold out to become longer. This journal has plenty of attitude and am excited to begin adding bits to the pages. Both portfolio style journals will be heading over to my Etsy shop later this week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Autumn Bliss

Autumn Bliss Hand Bound Journal
Lightly collaged and painted page.
It is a beautiful, sunny fall day here in Minnesota. The kind of day one should really be outside hower I am inside creating away the hours.  
I put the finishing touches on this journal today and it is now available in my Etsy shop. The journal is 6" tall by 5" wide with 20/40 total pages and a 34" wrap around enclose. There are 16 fabric pages; 15 with pockets and hiding places. Here are some page peeks.