Thursday, November 15, 2012

I've Been Published!

Once upon a time, long, long ago....well, actually it was September of  2011. I sent in a piece of artwork in my first attempt at being published in an art magazine. I had no idea what kind of chance I stood, but I decided to give it a try. If you'd like to read the post I did at that time, click here. The original theme/challenge was published a while back, so I knew it didn't make that cut. They let you know up front that they may keep the art for a while and publish it in one of their other art magazines.I have long been a fan of several of Stampington's publications, so to me this is a big deal! (For more about Stampington and their many publications, click here.)

After this much time had passed, though, I began  to wonder if I should contact them to be sure I could get my original back. It was a complete surprise to me yesterday when I received an advance copy of the Winter 2013 edition of Somerset Studio Gallery. At first I couldn't figure out why it had come in the mail until I looked more closely at the cover sheet packaged with it. I was quite excited then, and quickly paged through until I found it! Wow! It had my name and everything!! The magazine will be on the stands beginning December 1.

I have received so many encouraging comments from family, friends and coworkers as I've shared this news. Everyone has been so kind, and many have suggested that I consider other venues for sharing my work. Thank you, everyone for such great support! And thanks to Stampington for including my work!

Till next time,

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breath of Spring

Spring in Minnesota is usually heralded by potholes after a long, difficult winter. This year, we had an unusually mild winter, with very little snow, so the potholes are hardly a problem at all. March has been amazingly warm, with the trees budding much earlier than we normally expect. The freshness of spring seems to inspire the desire to clean and freshen indoors, too. What I'd really like to do is swap out all the drapes and bedspreads with lighter, fresher choices. While I'm at it, why not get some new throw pillows and placemats! That's not part of the budget, and I don't have room to store all that "off season" stuff! (It's hard enough finding storage space for all my beloved Christmas treasures.)

So, next my thoughts turn to art projects I could do. These don't take up a lot of room, and I don't spend much on supplies. Now if I can just think of something...

A few months back, I saw a call for art based on the color chartruese. Thinking I might submit something, I got out one of my old book covers, and glued down odds and ends of paper. Next came layers of paint and spray ink. This has become my favorite way to create a background. There is no way to ruin it, because another layer of paint or glaze will fix anything. I also enjoy creating the look of texture by using a material called sequin waste. It's what's left after the sequins are punched out. It's available with a variety of hole sizes, and works really well as a stencil.

I ended up with a background with a lot of pink and green, and a little blue as an accent color. I didn't achieve chartreuse, but I loved the way it looked. Perfect for spring! The board sat tucked away until I came across it last week.

I decided I wanted something three dimensional, using a bouquet of flowers. I went to the craft store and bought three small sprigs. After I brought them home, I cut them apart and arranged them in a single bunch. I wrapped strips of dictionary pages around the stem ends to create a neat bundle. I had a piece of green polka-dot ribbon I'd saved from a gift, and there was just barely enough to tie a bow.

Next I found a spring quote somewhere online, and printed it in a font that I thought fit the theme. A little ink helped the white paper blend into the whole. 

Finally, I used some heavy-duty adhesive to glue my bouquet down, and left everything to dry. I took the completed project to work to enjoy on my desk. Every day when I walk in, I enjoy seeing it there to greet me!

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For the Love of Books

Part of my daily routine, and probably yours as well, is checking email. I subscribe to email updates from various blogs as well as from a couple of internet groups. Recently, in one of the daily digests, I saw a post about mysterious paper sculptures. I followed the link and was delighted to read about a series of paper sculptures that had been anonymously left in libraries. I would love to have been the person who stumbled across such a treasure, tucked away in a quiet spot. I invite you to take a look at these amazingly beautiful and intricate sculptures, obviously a labor of love from a dedicated bibliophile and artist. I'd like to think that even in this day of e-readers, there will always be a place for physical books. There's nothing quite like the adventure of stepping into a library to explore the riches available at no charge. I have spent many happy hours in libraries!

If you'd like to see these for yourself, click here, sit back and enjoy!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Morning Sunlight

Morning Sunlight by rjs4579
Morning Sunlight, a photo by rjs4579 on Flickr.

I heard about a couple of new iphone apps for photos recently and decided to try them out. I took a boring photo of a large crock in the living room. Very unremarkable! I started by adding a filter with Filter Mania and saved the change. Then I opened the photo in 100 Cameras and added another effect. It was really fun and easy! The 100 Cameras app I got is the free version, but I may have to upgrade to the full version to have access to everything.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Calendar

As soon as I saw this project featured on One Lucky Day, I knew I would want to do it for my desk at work. Mine turned out a little differently from the original, but I'm very happy with it. I had some trouble finding the 7 Gypsies book board that the project called for, but eventually I was able to order it online. I didn't take a picture of the back, but the original book board was bare chipboard on that side. I glued down some scrapbook paper and sanded off the excess.

I downloaded and printed off the calendar pages, and went to town with inks and stamps to decorate them a little. I had the beaded dangle from a purse I'd used a couple of summers ago. After the purse was tired and worn out, I kept the dangle thinking I'd use it for something some day. I tried it out draped across the top, and liked the idea, but I was stumped for a while trying to figure out how to attach it at the top. I dug through a box of odds & ends and came across some old cubic zirconia earrings that I no longer wear. I used a Japanese screw punch (a book binding tool) with the smallest size drill to make holes, and poked the earrings through, catching links in the chain. I put a plastic earring back behind the board, and cut off the excess earring post with some strong snips. Then I put in a drop of strong adhesive and let it sit to harden for several hours. It did the trick!

Since the hard work of creating the calendar pages was already done for me, this project didn't take too much time to complete. I love quick projects like this! It didn't cost much to do, and I get a little happy thrill of satisfaction each time I look at it. It's a small way to add beauty to my day.


Monday, January 16, 2012


I had the opportunity this past December to have a short visit with my grandfather. Yes, that's right. My grandfather. People are always amazed when I mention that my grandfather is still living. Not too many people my age are able to say that. We made sure we got caught up on all the news.

After enjoying a short drive, I wanted to get some photos before we had to leave again for the next leg of our journey. We positioned ourselves in front of the tree, and I was surprised to get a big, strong hug! He's still amazingly strong for someone who is 94! I love this photo and thought it would be perfect to use with this cute new frame I bought recently. It's made by Seven Gypsies (love their products), and is designed to stand alone without any support.

The three small sections were just right to spell "joy". I took my cue from the blue I'm wearing and the purple he's wearing. I inked up some chipboard letters, and coated them with a crackle glaze. I used gold pigment ink and embossing powder around the edges of the three blue squares and the frame itself. Then, just for fun, I tried a new product called Bronzed Fragments on the photo. I put down some liquid glue and pressed the fragments on top. I'm going to take this to work and enjoy having it on my desk.

Photographs are so great for reliving memories!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Massage as Therapy

Massages. Are you for them or against them? I am a big fan of a good massage, myself. I know there's another camp, though, that can't stand the thought of having some stranger touch them. Doesn't bother me one bit. Massage, manicure, pedicure, you name it and I'm in. The only part I don't like about manicures and pedicures is that they want to talk to me. I'm not a big fan of chatting - just do your thing and let me relax. Now with a massage, the room is quiet and warm. There is usually gentle music playing. The masseuse only says what is necessary during the process. Just the way I like it!

Today for the first time, I had a therapeutic massage. Now that's a completely different animal from a "feel-good" massage! I've started seeing a chiropractor, and part of the therapy is regular massage. I've got some really tight muscles and knots in my back & neck, and have had for years. We'll see how it goes, but I'm hopeful.

The room was quiet, warm and dim. The massage bed was heated, with warm blankets. Soft music played in the background. So far, so good. That's where the resemblance to a salon massage ends. Boy, did she work me over! There were places on my back where she even used her elbow to get to some tough spots. She told me at the beginning to let her know if it was ever too much. I'll admit it hurt, but I never felt that I couldn't take it. I sense from the amount of discomfort that I truly need this. 

I came home and took a hot bath after supper, and followed the advice to use icing afterwards. For those of you who know my weaknesses, it wasn't chocolate icing! I think a little ibuprofen at bedtime is in order, too. Tomorrow we'll see if I can move at all!

Here's to good health!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Just a quick post here with a layout I did recently. While we were visiting our daughter recently, she gave us a copy of this photo of our little grandson taken at daycare. The weird blurry spot at bottom right is where I blurred out his name. Too bad you can't see it, though, because I used some really cute letter stickers. They're red with tiny white polka dots. This all came together pretty quickly. Based on the colors in the photo, I knew that the large snowflake would be a great photo mat. The red & white numbered paper strip is cut from a larger piece. The stars I punched out, and I dug all the other embellishments out of my stash. Somehow, no matter how much I try to use up what I've got, it always seems like a drop in the bucket. Do you think it's because I keep bringing things in?

Till next time,