Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Welcome to my Virtual Open House. Come in and warm yourself. It's a cold 36 deg. outside at the moment and will be about the same when Santa comes to deliver his presents. The house is decorated with lots of lights outside, Christmas tree inside, and many of my most favorite items on display for everyone to enjoy. Santa is one of my favorite images for Christmas. I think he embodies for me much of what Christmas is all about. Not because he brings presents, but because he gives from the heart and because he doesn't expect anything in return. Well, perhaps some cookies and milk and a carrot for his reindeers!

So to make sure Santa has his cookies, my DS and I baked a bunch of cookies today. Think there'll be one left for Santa?

Upon entering my foyer, you'll be greeted by three ceramic Santas I painted way back in the late 80's. There were so many ceramic shops then, but now, it's hard to find any. I barely did any type of crafts then and my hubby spent all his spare time detailing model airplanes. My mother-in-law pointed me in the direction of ceramics and I did these as one of my first few pieces way back in the late 80's.

From my foyer, we enter the living room. My collection continues. Here are some store bought Santas I have. I add one each year to this.

Times changed, and the ceramic stores closed. I still wanted to do art, so I did some paintings on my own. Here are three santas that I painted once I couldn't find any ceramic stores.

ornaments my son and I made

and more Santas. This time as cards I sent out. There are no art stores close to me here, so I turned my creating to scrapbooking, cards and ATCs. Now that my local scrapbooking store is closed, I wonder where my art journey will take me.

I hope you enjoyed a little bit of the time you spent in my home. It's been my pleasure to show off my collection. I'll be giving a hostess gift to one person picked at random from those that leave me a comment here. I don't have a pic of my gift, but it will be one of my coasters. There is an example of it further down in one of the other posts. Of course, it's a Santa! I've got a selection of images you can pick from and I'll make it especially for you. Thanks for stopping by. Next on the tour is Tami's house. Just click on her name and just like magic, you'll be whisked away to her home. Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a very joyous New Year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Cards

This is one of the cards I did for this year's Christmas Cards. Cards are not forte and it takes me a bit to figure out the paper and the mix of all the hundreds of emblishments that are out there. So, I decided, why not just do an ATC. Well, now that was right up my alley, so this is what I came up with. It's one of my all time favorite stamp (by inkadinkado). As you can see by other posts below, I've been using him quite a bit this year. I then tried a bunch of different backgrounds. Patterned papers, watercolored paper, stamped paper, and finally 2 different embossed paper. The ATC was much easier to do then figuring out what to mount it on! lol I finally settled on this embossed one and added a ribbon to just tie the colors together. For the ATC, I colored using markers, pencils, watercolors, and inks. I added textured snow for the cuffs and the hem of Santa's robe and around his hat. To finish it off, I glued on pearlized looking snowflakes. I hope the ladies that get this version of the card, like him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ink spots!

I was coerced...I mean...I joined a swap for melted crayon backgrounds. This was a very good friend of mine's first swap! We used crayons which were melted onto the background. Then whatever image showed up, that's what we needed to refine and paint/draw/do whatever needed to bring forth! I realize that once I've painted this and shown you the result, you can tell what it was supposed to be. But my gosh, in their raw form, I had an incredibly hard time reading these crayon melted ink spots!! I mean, I ended up doing 32, yes, you read right, 32 backgrounds before 3 spoke to me. Thankfully, these two were very easy for me to spot and bring forth. The other, well, let's say I'm going to have 29 backgrounds for something! I had an extremely hard time letting go of the leopard. If anyone knows of where I can join therapy for letting go of one's art...point me the way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I've Done....

I saw this on CattyCat's blog and loved it. So, here's my "done" list. If you want to play along just copy this and then bold the things you've done.

I HAVE . . .
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars (often)
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (stayed up most of the night watching it)
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world (more than once!)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo (my family would disown me!! lol)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (does almost count!)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch (I'm mostly self taught)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (would never want to repeat that one!)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (shhh, I won't tell if you don't)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (aren't they beautiful)
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing4
9. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Hmm 47 out 100. Not too bad. I've never bought a new car, nor seen some great art in Paris, never been to Russia, or on a gandola in venice. But I have walked on the great wall of china, and slept on a train, seen fabulous sites, scuba dived, been on a cruise and seen disney world. However, all pale next to being blessed with a great family, terrific friends, and receiving so much love to overflow my heart.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

I joined an ornament swap this past September and waited till the last possible moment to make them. It was for a blind swap with one partner. There was a dollar limit, but it could either be handmade or store bought. I figured I'd make some. If they were tacky looking, then I'd buy some. These are what I made. The Santa image and the swirls are stamped. I painted the background white, stamped and then colored with watercolors. Added some texture for the fur area, and glued on some snowflake emblishments. The back of the ornament is stamped with a Christmas postage stamp, some snowflakes and more swirls. The snowman is a free hand painted design on a dark blue background. He's one of my fav. designs for winter. The back of the ornament is painted red and a pine bough design added.

I know my ornament swap partner doesn't check out my blogs, but I really hope she'll like them. I sent a matching Santa coaster to her too.
Since she received my item later than anticipated, I added the coaster as an appology and as an added gift for the holidays.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One stamp challenge

I joined a stamp-a-thon this weekend and Friday's challenge was using one stamp as the main focal image. First picking out "THE" stamp was a bit of a challenge, and then not making them all look exactly alike was challenging. I guess that's why they call it a "challenge"! I could have added a lot of doo-dahs and different papers, but...I had just cleaned my studio area and I didn't want to make a huge mess again. I'd just done a collage-a-thon recently and I make such a huge mess that it takes me forever to dig myself out again. So, I added different images to each and colored them using watercolor crayons and inks. I made the little black/white emblishments and added those to each pic. Adding color to any image is my first and true love so that's the way I always end up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Austin

Yesterday was our youngest son's 7th birthday. Where does the time go. I know we all ask that question, but no one really seems to be able to come up with a good enough answer. I can't seem to get enough pictures or memorabilia to preserve these times. I wonder sometimes if I spend too much time behind the camera and not enough in front of it! To celebrate his birthday, I made this cake for him. He's all boy and loves his trucks, especially monster trucks. It was such an easy concept which my husband came up with, and even easier to put together. I baked a chocolate cake and covered it with chocolate icing. To make the dirt mounds, my husband and son crushed some cheap cars. I placed them in the bottom center of the cake, added some smashed cupcakes on both sides of it and covered it with ligther chocolate icing. Placed some monster trucks on the cake and around it and duh dah...a monster truck cake! The trucks were part of his birthday presents. He loved it! And so did the kids in his party. We celebrated it at a gymnastic center where they hold a ton of birthday parties too. The kids jumped on trampolines, climbed ropes, ran on bouncy tracks, and my favorite, swung from a rope and jumped into a deep pit filled with foam cubes. Watching them trying to get out of it was like wastching someone in quicksand. Shh... don't tell anyone, but if they would have let me, I'd have jumped in too! Ah, to be a child again, filled with such innocence, wonder and just sheer joy of the moment. Love you Austin.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Whenever I've used stamps by stampscape, I've always watercolored them. That took quite some time to get the colors I liked. This time I tried sponging the colors using various ranger inks and viola! A finished piece in a matter of minutes. Of course, I wouldn't want you to see my practise pieces! I've got three different stampscape stamps here: The background (trees/rocks/late), the little boat, and the circling birds.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I got a chance to play today with some new stamps

This is a new set from "Inkadinkadoo" I just got and am so in love with it. It's definitely my style. These ATCs are colored using ranger inks. The first witch is colored using just two colors while the second witch is using a few more. I really liked the more colorful card, but my DH wanted one with just blues and golds. So I did that one for him. I added all the little dots and some of the stars at the bottom.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm so excited!!

We have our local county fair this weekend. I've never entered anything in it before, but this year I decided to enter photos and some artwork. I entered a few for myself and three photos for my DS. Out of all my pics, I won 3rd place in the black and white category. It's a pic of the Abbey behind the Royal Palace in Edinborugh, Scotland. It was a rainy day and pretty overcast, but, the Palace and the Abbey was just gorgeous. I won 2nd place in all my other three entries. However, I didn't take any pics. As soon as I get them back, you know I'll be posting pics.

My son took the other two pics. One is of crimson tiger lillies taken at the Pike Market in Seattle and the other is one of the mountain ranges we saw during our cruise of Alaska. He entered the Junior categories for Nature and black White. He won First place in both categories! Here's the sweet part. He won the overall Junior Champion because of his pic of those tiger lillies.

For our first time ever entering any photo competition, I'm so thrilled. Now to enter a few more!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Are you an Artist or a Crafter

To be or not to be, an Artist or a Crafter. That is the question or in some cases the dilemma. I ponder this question often when I'm signing my work. Am I really an artist, or a crafter. I've painted, stamped, stitched, sculpted and glued most of my adult life. I've worked with wood, canvas, cloth, clay and paper... So, who am I and what is really the difference. I think I've finally figured it out. Perspective. In the eye of the creator and in the eye of the beholder. By definition from Webster dictionary, a crafter is someone who is a creator of great skill in the manual arts. An artist is a person who creates art. Having read that definition and countless others, I can see why it's clear as mud what the differences are! In one definition I read, the difference was the formal training between the craftsman and the artist. Now, that I think might be the true difference. If I'd gone to a four year collage and majored in art, would I then have the confidence to call myself an artist. Not having done that, does that then mean I'm any less of an artist. I think not. I did years of "craft shows", some of which were juried "art shows". I spent countless hours improving my skills. I sign all my artwork because it's my creation. So I must be an Artist. Now does that make me any less of a craftsman. Well, going by the definition, I create with great skill in the manual arts. So here's my Ah Ha moment, I must be a Crafty Artist! lol

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award

I received this fantastic award from Jan. It's an incredible feeling to know that not only did a friend stop by and leave a comment, but they left you an award too. Thank you. I'd like to pass this award along to some of my favorite bloggers:

Kim: She has a very creative and eclectic style. Her collages are beautiful and look so effortless. Unless, of course, I'm trying to do it! I've got one of her ATCs as a magnet on my refrigerator and just love it.

Ethel: I absolutely think she's the queen of vintage. Her cards are timeless and elegant.

Christie: She always seems to be experimenting with something new and fun. Due to Ike, she's had some damage, but I pray that she'll be back and creating very soon.

Beth: She's always got terrific tutorials on her blog. They're easy to follow and her examples are fantastic.

Julie: I just love her journals. They're fun and quirky. Definitely an artistic style I gravitate towards.

Debbie: She does fantastic coloring and her monday comics are a must check.

Deborah: I think her cards are always so polished! I'd case everyone if I could.

1. Pick 7 of your favorite blogs
2. Winners can put the logo on their blog.
3. Link the person who gave your award to your blog.
4. Name the 7 that you are giving the award to with their links.
5. Leave a message on their blogs so that they know they've won!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sunflower Fun

Sunflowers are my favorite flower. I painted this for a friend of mine as part of a swap. I wanted to make this special for her, so rather than stamping one or collaging it, I painted this one. I loved this card. Wish I'd painted one for myself too! Ethel at "The Paper Quilter", had a link on her site where you can turn your art into even more fun art. I tried the Andy Warhol look with mine. Not too shabby, I think. It was a lot of fun experimenting. Here's the link to the site. You never know how yours will turn out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September's Collage-A-thon

I joined a group of traders that do a Collage-A-thon nearly every month. For September, I really thought I'd get a lot of cards done. Afterall, it was a 3 day weekend. But as holiday weekends usually go, everyone seemed to have plans that included me. My oldest had an all day concert he went to. Once out, seemed like DH and the youngest DS had shopping plans and lunch plans. I did manage to get some time and make just four ATCs on Saturday. These are all made from wall paper cutouts, stamping and punches. The backgrounds are colored with inks. Not quite traditional collages, I think, but fun nevertheless. I have a ton of mess on my table expecting to make more on Sunday or Monday, but again, things were planned with other family members, and I just didn't get to my table to play at night. Oh well, now I'll have more cutouts and items ready to play with for the next one!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Collage ATC

This weekend, I'm participating in an ATC "Collage-a-thon". That's where you make collages all weekend and trade as you go along. This is one of the ones I've done so far. Sometimes, they just come together, and other times, it's a lot of glue and a lot of sticky mess and nothing truly worth showing! Here I used one of my favorite stamps, the black floral looking piece is from an ad for a dove soap, a book page, geometric pp and a swirly stamp on the bottom. The image is colored using inks. I really truly hadn't meant it, but when I looked at the finished piece, it looked like a face to me. I'll post more as I go along.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Daisies in Pink and White ATC

I love to combine my passion for painting and ATCs. I look at everything and wonder how I can make an ATC out of this. This is a painting I did last night on a black background of daisies and bleeding hearts. The style again is tole. I really like this style because it's more playful than its more realistic counterpart. There are a multitude of dots all around the border of this card. I might have gotten carried away with them, but I think it adds a softness to card and keeps your eye from wandering too far off into the darkness. I'm trading this one out, but I think I'll make another for my own collection.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tole ATCs

I painted these ATCs freehand using acrylics. This style has many names; "tole", "folkart", "telemark", and even "rosemauling". It all means the same. It is an old traditional style of painting done on furniture, decorative items and china in the scandanavian countries. I started painting this about a year ago, and really love it. To me, the colors really pop on the black background.


Hit Counters
Sierra Trading Post