Monday, January 30, 2012

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 20 ~ The End!

Day 20

Well, here it is....my final page in the long-suffering Sketchbook Project Fun Journal. As a reminder, I started working in this journal waaaaaaaaaaay back in December of 2010, with the goal of doing a page a day in time to finish and actually submit it to the Sketchbook Project by the January 2011 deadline. Oh well. Such is life. I realized now that it's done, I'd have a hard time setting it free anyway! I have a few empty pages at the end where I'm going to write some notes on what I learned over the 20 pages.

On this page, the bottom half is actually a painted and inked up scrap of deli paper.  I used deli paper as my palette paper or just the paper below whatever I'm working on to protect my table.  I save most of them because they end up with such juicy color on them.  Below is a slide show of the whole book. You can definitely see a difference between my early pages and my later pages!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Art Journal Play

January 14 Art Journal page

I've been making some long-stitch sewn books using Arches Text Wove 100% cotton rag paper for the signatures and decided that before I made too many using this paper, I better see how well the paper holds up to wet media. I'd say rather well!

This was a scrap piece of the paper left over from making my signatures.  I used Adirondack color wash spray inks, acrylic paint, pigment stamp ink, and Dr. Martin's acrylic ink (the yellow), and the paper seemed to hold up rather well.  I don't think it's heavy enough to use for a book cover--I'm using inked and painted watercolor paper for those--but it looks like it'll work great for the signatures.  I'll share some photos of the books with you as soon as I get around to photographing them!  Lately, I've just been sewing them, taking out the sewing, and then sewing them again just to get the stitch pattern ingrained in my brain.  As I was cutting one set of stitches out last night, Sarah came running over and yelled, "Mama!  What are you doing!? Why are you ruining you book!?"  All in the learning process, my dear!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Project 365: January 18-24

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January 18: Sunrise over Heckscher Drive at Brown's Creek, taken from the parking lot of Chowder Ted's (in my pajamas...)

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January 19: Power lines on Heckscher Drive at Blount Island entrance. I am very often stopped at this spot due to train crossings...which are an ongoing joke on my Facebook page.

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January 20: We had a lovely day playing in the backyard...Olivia...

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January 20 bonus shot: ...and Sarah

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January 21: I had a book arts group meeting at the Island Art Association in Fernandina Saturday. This is a piece of the mosaic wall on the side of the gallery. The Island Art Association gallery is a must visit!

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January 22: This is my "Mama needs a break to go sit and think and breathe" spot, right where Fort George Inlet reaches the Atlantic Ocean. It's thankfully only eight minutes from my house!

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January 23: The tree from which last week's red heart leaf fell from. Even in the midst of changing colors and shedding its leaves, it's already shooting out new buds.

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January 24: Did a little scouting with a friend during lunch today. I knew I needed a "big guy" to go with me, since this building, Public School No. 4, also known as the Annie Lytle School, can be a bit spooky and inhabited by things you might not want to come across, so I asked my friend and student Chris Lamm to go with me and give me a guided tour (knowing Chris as well as I do, I knew he'd probably been in many times...probably at night...). We couldn't get in since it was just freshly boarded up after the fire last week, and I was not appropriately dressed to do some climbing, but we're making a second attempt soon... Because as my photo below captures so well...

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And no, Chris, I'm still not going  in the basement... :-)  Here's a little history on P.S. 4. I've been wanting to investigate for years (so yes, you are correct, I am not above trespassing in a creepy, haunted, old abandoned building in the name of a good photograph).

Thanks for checking out this week's shots! Click here for other Project 365 photos.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 19

Day 19

Happy Monday! One more page in my Sketchbook Project Fun Journal. The center rectangle of this is actually a baby wipe.  I use baby wipes to wipe my hands and stencils and such when I'm playing with other projects and straighten them out and save them if they have some pretty color in them. Funny that you can see the little bear face imprint just a little right of center!  I learned with this page though that the baby wipes are difficult to write on, so I kept it short and sweet, using a Sharpie paint pen. Before adding the baby wipe, I just smeared some paint around on the spread and then after gluing down the baby wipe, added some stenciling and some flower punches and some outlining.

We had a nice weekend around here. I had Friday off with the girls, so we played most of the day.  Saturday morning, I headed up to Fernandina to meet with my book arts group.  We practiced more long stitch patterns and worked on coptic a little more. I'm definitely hooked!  Sunday, we loaded the bikes on the back of the Trooper and headed over to the park to ride.  The girls took their first spin around the skate park and did very well!  I can't believe I didn't have my camera with me!  Next weekend...  

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Have a Songwriter on my Hands...

Walkin Across

I have a knack for song lyrics.  I can hear a song once, and then the next time I hear it, I can pretty much sing along with the whole song.  Being the family chauffeur, I've noticed that Sarah has this same gift.  I hear her singing in the back seat behind me all the time. Now the funny thing about this is that not only can she sing the kind of music I primarily listen to (country and lite rock), but she can also sing the current bubble-gum pop she hears at school and her father's hard and classic rock.  (Picture a cute little red-headed eight-year-old singing AC/DC's Hell's Bells!)

I've recently discovered that as she's been assimilating all these lyrics, she's also been absorbing the flow of song lyrics and how to put a song together. And, TA DA!, she's written her first song!  She sprung it on me recently.  It's not completely finished yet (I'm still teaching her the benefit of a "bridge"), but she's well on her way.  Here's her first verse of "Walkin' Across."  (Warning: If this Mama sees these words stolen by anyone, she will hunt you down and shoot you BEFORE she hires a lawyer to sue you. And then she will feed your dead body to Bigfoot.  I hear he's been spotted quite a bit recently in NY. :-)

I'm walkin' across the bridge
I'm walkin' across the sky
I'm walkin' across your heart
Now can't you see me fly. 
I'm walkin' across your soul
I'm walkin' across the seasons
I'm walkin' across everything
Can't you feel me breathing. 

Taylor Swift may soon be seeing Sarah in her rear-view mirror.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project 365: January 12-17

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January 12: In January, in Florida, some leaves are just now turning. This was in the parking lot at school.

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January 13: Ever wonder just how close those planes come to each other in the sky? Kinda freaky sometimes, isn't it?

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January 13 bonus: A Daily Dose of Awesomeness shot.

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January 14: Sunset from our back deck. I wanted to capture that one lone star top center along with the colors in the sky.

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January 15: Baking cookies with Olivia, the Cookie Monster

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January 16: Yummy navel oranges, irresistible.

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January 17: Morning pinecones, caught just before we hopped in the car headed for school.

Click here to see all my Project 365 2012 posts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sketchbook Project Fun Journal: Day 18

Spread 18 of my Sketchbook Project Fun Journal

Happy Tuesday!  Oh, how the days they pass! At long last, I finally got around to a few more pages in my long forgotten Sketchbook Project Fun Journal.  This is spread 18, a hot mess.  A while back the girls and I played around with some coffee filters, and when we were working on this page, I put one in. Pretty cool how it just melts into the page. It's actually the largest circle.  This page seems a bit dark and space-agey to me, but for some reason, I really love my little tree at the bottom. Subconsciously, I must have added it in there to bring the page a little more life. I have a couple more spreads of this book to share over the next two weeks, and then I do believe I'll call this one done.

One of my goals for this year has been to work through all the online classes I've signed up for over the past two years!  Thankfully, I know thyself well, so I only sign up for classes that are open ended; otherwise I'll just be wasting my dollars.  There are just so many wonderful classes out there that I see them and squeal "Oh!  I want to do that!" and immediately sign up. And then the reality of my day-to-day schedule kicks in, and I think "Now, when am I going to find the time to do this?" :-)  I just signed up for Donna Downey's Canvas Create this weekend. I really enjoy watching her Inspiration Wednesday videos, so I figured I'd enjoy a longer version.  Thankfully it's also open ended!

And yesterday, Kim Klassen's Beyond Layer's began. This one I think I'll be able to keep up with since I think it aligns well with my Project 365.  There is a bit of logic to my craziness, anyway.  Of course, these two classes are only the tip of the iceberg...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sweet Gifts from Kristin Dudish

Hands print from Kristin

Last year, I took Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons course, and through the course, we formed a group. And though that lovely group I met the lovely Kristin Dudish! We were paired for a Flying Lessons swap over the holidays and had a great time getting to know each other through Etsy convos.  Kristin sent me a whole list of great questions and then answered the same for me. So when she learned I've grown up around the beach and my favorite animal was a giraffe, she sent me these "just perfect for me" gifts she created. The hands in heart is just perfect for our beachy house, and the giraffe cards are the cutest! There are four in the set, all hand-colored.

Giraffe cards from Kristin

Kristin is one of the wonderful artists behind Paint Party Friday! Go check out her blog and be sure to read her Oprah story! What a great experience! Thanks again Kristin!

Friday, January 13, 2012

January Free Bling Friday!

Happy Azaleas photo pendant

Time for my monthly Free Bling Friday giveaway! Random.org picked comment number 13 as the winner of my December Free Bling, so congratulations to Janet from Fort Lee, New Jersey!

For January, how about a little something to brighten up a cold winter day?  Here is my Happy Azaleas photo sized down to a 1" glass tile pendant. To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight February 2, 2012. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, February 3.

Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice over there in the right column. And be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for specials. Thanks for stopping in! Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Project 365: January 6-11

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Friday, January 6: Daily Dose of Awesomeness. For those of you connected to me on Facebook, you know that we take a picture like this almost every morning before we head to school. Thought I'd share one here!

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Saturday, January 7: I found this spider web stretched between the back and arm of my green chair on our back deck, glistening with water from the morning fog.

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Sunday, January 8: The Remains...little petals that fell on the front porch steps as I was dead-heading my geraniums. Yes, it is January, and yes, I still have four pots full of blooming geraniums on my front steps. I had to bring them in when we got our first freeze last week, but they are still hanging in there very well!

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Monday, January 9: A little peek at our first day of class at the college.

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Tuesday, January 10: A very special journal I'll tell you more about next week!

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Wednesday, January 11: This morning, the view from Chowder Ted's was these gray skies over the marsh. Chowder Ted's is our great little neighborhood seafood restaurant, which is literally about 100 yards from our house!

So what's your favorite for the week?  Click here for other Project 365 photos.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Book Class!

Books from Eliza's class
Long stitch book (bottom) and coptic stitch book (top)
The Island Art Association in Fernandina Beach (about 20 minutes from me) offers great classes, but most of them I can't attend because they're offered on weekdays. As luck would finally have it, I got to take an artist books class up there this past Saturday with the lovely Eliza Holliday.

covers from Eliza's class
Pamphlet stitch practice (top) and ink and gesso cover for long stitch book (bottom)
The main thing I wanted to learn from Eliza was coptic stitching (which I must now practice daily to remember!), but I also learned another new fun technique for paper decoration using inks and gesso. The group was very interested in doing more classes together, so I'm hoping I've finally found a book arts group!

Kelly and Eliza
Eliza Holliday and me
Class books  from Eliza's class
Ink and gesso covered long stitch books made by the class

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Joyfulness, Hope and Excitement

Project 365-Jan 5

This shot just screams pure joy to me! This is my sister Kim and my nine-month-old niece Maxine during Maxine's first trip to the beach while they were visiting here over the holidays. It speaks of the joyfulness that can be felt during the holiday season as well as the hope and excitement of starting a new year. My sister hasn't seen this shot yet, and if she manages to not see this blog before her birthday, I plan to send her this for her birthday. (So Kim, if you are reading this, act surprised!)

As I've worked through this first week of Project 365 postings for 2012, I think I've figured out a good plan that will work for me and allow me to still post other things on my blog! I think my plan will be to do a Project 365 post every Wednesday, including pictures from the previous Wednesday-Tuesday in one post...kind of a weekly thing instead of posting daily. Notice I keep saying "I think." :-) Gives me a little wiggle room, right!? We'll give that a shot! I hope you stick with me!  Click here for Project 365 photos.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Morning Sprinklers

365 Days Project - Jan 4

After opening gifts on Christmas morning (and then waiting for the sun to come up...) our tradition is to eat a quick breakfast and then take the dogs to the beach. Usually we go to Big Talbot Island, but the weather and tides did not cooperate with that this year. We had a bit of rain and were at a high tide when we needed to get out there (so that I could get on the road for my surprise visit to Aunt Livy!), so that beach was underwater. Not to be defeated in our goal, we snuck in the north end of Little Talbot and took our chances battling a few raindrops. I kept my camera put away for most of the visit, but I did catch a few shots of the fam playing on the rocks. In this particular image, they are the "doing the sprinkler." How my eight year olds know about "the sprinkler" I've yet to figure out. They blame Just Dance!

Of course my husband's fondest Christmas morning beach visit was the Year of the Drive By (said with much sarcasm) a few years before the girls were born. You see the "drive by" was carried out by Toby, one of our many dogs. We'd just had a nice run down on the beach and came back up to the parking area about the same time some poor unsuspecting man dare come out of the pot-a-let. Toby darted that way and took a nip at his jeans without slowing down or missing a step. He never bit the guy, just scared the heck out of him in that one drive by moment. Then Toby headed off down the road with his typical "come on, guys, I was just funnin'" look. Oh, and I guess I should confess I stole Toby from a family that was abusing him (and that's a whole other story). So call me a thief who stole a dog who did a drive by. Classic. Click here for all my Project 365 photos!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cute Little Owls and Project 365 Cute Little Legs

Sarah shoes

Late last week, Benny came home early so I could get an afternoon of shopping by myself. He and the girls made a trip to the 100 Acre Wood and these were Sarah's shoes and socks of choice for the trip. I couldn't resist them! The girl's got style!  Click here for the rest of my Project 365 photos. 
 
Canvas Owls

And as for these cute little owls, we painted these on Monday at Yes You Canvas, one of my favorite places to play here in town. That's my friend Dana with us. We love our little owls!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Project 365 - Reading with Papa

365 Days Project - Jan 2

Christmas Eve, Benny's dad, Papa to the girls, came over and spent some time with us. Papa's health has been failing pretty rapidly over the past year and he's now living with Benny's brother, no longer able to live alone. While he was over Christmas Eve, he was sitting out on the back porch when I encouraged the girls to go outside and read to him. Sarah sat with him the longest, and I don't think either one of them ever knew I took this picture they were so engrossed in the book. I thought it was such a sweet shot of a tender everyday moment.  Click here for the rest of my Project 365 shots.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year and Project 365, 2012!

365 Days Project - Jan 1

Happy New Year! I hope you've had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a happy, healthy new year ahead of you. This year, my main goal for my blog is to participate in the Project 365, 2012, sharing 365 new photos in 2012, though given 2012 is a leap year, that mean 366 photos! Now, I know my track record for daily projects is not very strong (stinks actually...), so I'm not going to guarantee a photo a day, but my goal is to share 366 new photos none-the-less. (I realize this may mean 10 photos in one day with my natural tendency to procrastinate epically, but what the hey, I'll give it a shot anyway...) I'll still be sharing snippets of daily craziness as well as various art, jewelry and artist book projects I'm working on, so, whew!, that means I may be posting more than once a day at times.

I'm starting the year with my five favorite shots of the holidays, and what better way to kick it off than Olivia running into the new year while chasing a flock of birds. I took this shot while my family was visiting for the holidays, and we took my nine-month-old niece Maxine on her very first trip to the beach. I'll have a very sweet shot of her and my sister later this week. So please keep me on track and shooting daily!

Wishing you the best in 2012!  View all my Project 365 posts here.