GPP Crusade #42

Two posts in one day. Crazy. But I have been busy having fun! Michelle Ward creates an art journaling challenge every month. I missed last months, couldn't let that happen again.
Welcome to my Strip Ease:

I haven't had a chance to journal on it yet, but I am thinking about taking a white out tape dispenser and making some white vertical lines (to follow the tear lines) and then journal on the white line. We shall see...

I'm off to play!


More Than 30

I have been enjoying reading about other Art Journalers on this site. And then, Connie offered an opportunity for anyone to add their own interview and art images. So, without further ado, here is mine:

* How long have you been Art Journaling?
I started scrapbooking when my daughter was born 10 years ago. It was my artistic outlet, creative moment, and journaling all in one. In November 2009, I found a copy of 1000 Art Journal at the book store. I was hooked. Obsessed. Then, I found an online class for making a journal. I haven't stopped since. Making the journals is fun. Making pages is a little daunting, but I am getting better. I even have pre-prepped pages!

* How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?

Art Journaling has made me realize that it is okay to make things for myself. I always felt selfish if I wanted to keep something I made. I should be using the finished product to make money for the household. I spent so many years making scrapbook pages and altered albums to sell, that not having a monetary goal was a little hard to work around. Now, I go to my Art Studio and I create just for me. The other impact of Art Journaling for me is that I actually stop and acknowledge a feeling or thought. I don't just push it away to sit and stew for later. I have epiphanies about myself. It is a lot like doing yoga. It's a time for inner reflection and self preservation. I love that!

* What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?
I am still experimenting to find my favorites. I have played with acrylic, watercolor, pens, sharpies, colored pencils, watercolor crayons and pencils, and charcoal. After taking a journaling class from Julie Prichard, I am really starting to like acrylic backgrounds. However, I really like how fast I can get a background with great texture by using watercolor. I still want to try ink pads for backgrounds. Charcoal pencils for shading and pop are probably my favorite drawing tool, with Sharpie Fine Tip markers being second. Who am I kidding. I love all art supplies and really couldn't give up a single one :)

* Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?
I love so many different images that I have come across. There are a few that I am starting to recognize their style, and it pulls me in everytime. I enjoy Danny Greggory's work. Pam Carriker's shades of grey work. Julie Prichard for her style and teaching ablilities. The pages that are dog eared in my Art Journal Magazine: Debbie Shannon, Kate Crane, Aimee Dolich, and Nancy Lefko. I think this list could keep going, but that's a start.

* What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?
Art Journals are for playing and experimenting. I have had to keep telling myself that each one does not have to be a finished piece of work. Find your own style by doing things that work for you and that make your heart smile. If you have to work at a technique or a style, it probably isn't for you. Do what comes naturally.

* Where can we contact you...give us some link LOVE!!




* Short Bio.
I am a mother of 2, wife, art teacher, and artist. My family and I live in a tiny (less than 800) town. The internet is my connection with other people who have similar interests. I feel me education in Art is limited. I am the type who likes to know as much about something as I possibly can. I have been making or creating something as long as I can remember. It might not have been pretty, or functional, but I had fun doing it. When something catches my interest, I become obsessed. I am a life long learner and am so happy when I have a fresh pile of books and magazines to dig through. Google is my best friend *wink*

Don't Forget

I spent a quiet day without kids and husband. The in-laws took the kids for the day and Chris is off being a handyman.

At first I wasn't sure what to do with my day. Originally, I was supposed to be taking a class at the school. I had no other plans. What to do? What to do?

I worked out.


I visited on the phone with my sis.

I played with paper. The results are here.

There was some fun news in my ETSY email. I'll share that on Sunday :)

Don't forget to comment on my "What Do You See" post and enter to win a goodie giveaway. Last chance will be on Sunday. Hmmm. Sunday will be full of fun things!!

Have a great Friday night.

P.S. Check out the treasury that I created on Etsy. Load of Eye Candy!!

Too Much Coffee

I took some pics of one of my journals this afternoon. You can find the others on my Flickr (see the sidebar).

The plan is to go work in it some more. But, I think I have had too much coffee. I'm jittering out of my seat and not really focusing on any one thing. Love coffee, hate the jitters :)

I have started a new painting as well. Would like to work on that too, but I keep putting it off. I procrastinate and find other things to do when I start self doubting myself. I'm working on that, but it still happens.

If you haven't visited before, or haven't read my blog for awhile, be sure and check out this post. I am doing a giveaway for a "surprise" package of goodies. Be sure and participate!

Okay. I'm off to eat something and drink some water. No more coffee ;)


What Do You See

Morning :)

I spent the day playing in my room. Paper, sewing machine, glue. Yum!

You can see my latest creations in my Etsy shop. I thought it might be fun to do something different. How about some goodies? I think it's time for my first giveaway on this blog. Are you ready?
Go to my shop.
Look around.
Come back here and post a comment with a link to your favorite item. What do you like about that item or the shop. Even better would be a constructive comment on what I could do to make it better.
That's it.
That's all you have to do.
I will number the comments and put them into a random number generator. The winner will get a goodie bag full of fun items. The drawing will end on the 1st of August (Sunday). Tell your friends!

It's a rainy, glorious day here. I think I will work out and then go play some more. Time to start gathering some fun things to be shipped out to some lucky blog reader!



It has been quiet around our house for a few days. Still busy, but a different kind of busy.
Everyone is finding something to do that makes them happy, or that isn't stressful.
Chris and I worked on the shop. Finished the siding as far as we could (waiting on one more box).
Chris built a ledge in my studio.
I did laundry. Finished "The Outlander". Played in my art journal. Worked on a lesson from Chaos and Calm.
Kyla and Hayden had a trip with friends to the water park in Missoula.
Then, Kyla went to a friends for a sleep over.
Hayden played outside chasing grasshoppers and being a boy.

Today. What to do today. I should workout. I should fold all that laundry (no thank you!). I have ideas swirling in my head that I could start in my studio.


Maybe I will finish this cup of coffee and then decide :)


ATV's, Bikes, And Art

We rode the Mommy-ha and 4-wheeler up to Wallace Lake. It was a full day of playing. We packed a lunch and visited with the camp chipmunks. Then, we chased fish in the shallows of the lake.
After lunch, we rode up the ridge road. I took pictures of the valley and all the flowers I could find (except those indian paintbrushes...I was on the bike and having too much fun to stop *wink*)
We were gone until dinner. I found my second happy place. The feel of the warm and cool breezes. The smell of hot pine on a summer afternoon. Wildflowers. I am a forest child :)

Today, I spent the day reading and doodling. I finished two pages in my art journal.


No Work and All Play

We have been playing.
And playing.

We love it!! It doesn't get any sweeter than this.

The drive was 47 miles down the Salmon River. We drove until the road ended at the edge of the wilderness.

At Corn Creek we ate a picnic lunch, played in the water, and built a sand fort.

Then, we drove 7 miles back up the river to a sweet sand beach and set up camp. After a dinner cooked on the fire and more playing in the water we laid on a blanket in the sand. As the sun set we were able to count the stars as they appeared. Bats swirled above us. Soon the starts were to many to count.

While we relaxed and enjoyed Mother Nature on our blanket there was a buzzing sound. I thought it was in my hair. I did a quick flip and sweep, snuggled back up to Chris and heard it again.
It was under the blanket.
We beat on it.
We squished.
We laughed.
Chris pounded his fist on it.
More bat watching and star gazing.
Hysterical laughing.

I found my happy place on a sweat beach down the Salmon River :)



How do you get fridge size cardboard home when you only have a Nissan Altima?

You duct tape it to the roof! When the kids want to make a fort, they want to make a fort. I obliged :)

The really fun part was when the tape snapped as we were starting into the underpass. I had to flip around and Dad jumped out and grabbed the cardboard in between passing cars. Amazingly, it wasn't run over and it landed on the side of the road. I flipped around again into a parking lot and we redid the tape. No problems the rest of the way.

The girls loved it. They played for hours and when little Sophie woke up from her nap, she wanted to "go in her house and draw".

Cardboard is amazing. Something so simple combined with a powerful imagination and you can be or do anything.

Bring on the cardboard!


Welcome to the World

She is here.
Baby Gracelyn arrived around one a.m. on July 14th. She is 8 lbs. 5 oz. and about 19 1/2 inches long. She is so calm and happy. We have spent a few hours each day visiting. It's hard to share her :)

Mommy is doing well. She should be coming home from the hospital today. Besides chasing Sophie around, I am supposed to be scrubbing bathrooms. I suppose I should get on that. Yuck.

In between naps and playing in the pool, I have found a few minutes to paint some journal backgrounds. Then Sophie decided to help. I now have a number of backgrounds painted by her and Kyla. Should be fun working them in.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea. I'm so happy you are finally here!!

Aunt Rhoda

Come On Baby

My sis just called this morning. It looks like there might be some action soon. I'm hoping it isn't false labor. My thoughts keep flipping. Do I drive now? Do I wait? Do I drive now?

I'm thinking. I pack. I drink some coffee. I drive.

Even if it is false labor, it's going to be soon. I might as well be there.

I knew that I if I immersed myself in my projects this would happen. Right as the ideas start flowing, I am called away. Oh well. That's why we have paper right? Make myself a few notes and come back to it after I get some cuddle time with Sophie and the new baby :)

Here is what I created yesterday. More to come in different colors and sizes:

To see more fun details, you can visit my Etsy shop.

I'm off to drive. Might have to stop at the bakery in Salmon. Yummy!!


The Three "R"s

I have a surprise. Something fun being listed on Etsy. I'm just waiting for them to fix a bug so that my price will actually show up.

Today was spent doing some household things. Who says you need groceries? And then I spent the evening creating. Here is to hoping it was a good idea and that everyone else thinks so too.

It is made from scraps of fabric, left over tag board, and papers that just happened to be the right size. Reuse, reduce, recycle. It's the best way to be green.

Tomorrow is the Farmer's Market in town. I'm hoping to enjoy the sights, get some kettle corn, enjoy some morning sun, and feel like I am just starting my summer :)

Happy Friday,


Sweet in the Middle

Good Morning.

Today feels like one of those days. You know the one that you could use to fill out one of those "10 Best Things About Today" lists.

The sun is shining and I went outside and enjoyed watering the plants in the rock garden while I drank my coffee.

I have become a member of the Bookbinding Etsy Street Team. You can find all they have to offer by searching bookbindingteam on etsy.

After 5 days of working on this inspiring hunk of paper, I have finally finished it and am having a go at selling it:
You can find it in my shop.

It is a little scruffy, inky, shabby, and rough around the edges, but it is oh so sweet in the middle.

The idea merged from two wonderful online classes that I have taken.

The first "Remains of the Day" is offered by Mary Ann Moss. She teaches you how to take all of the little things left over from bigger projects along with memorabilia and other "scraps" that you have piling up and turn them into a piece of art.

So, I took bits of that and mixed it with all of the wonderful techniques and ideas that I have gotten from Julie Prichard and her Super Nova Journaling class.
Next, I will be making my own hybrid version and I am very excited to head back to my play area and start on it :)

Hope you all have a wonderful day, the kind that makes it easy to fill out your "Top 10" list.


Simply Beautiful

While I was cleaning out windowsills yesterday (not my most favorite chore), I caught a whiff of something most delicious.
My rose bush. Right outside the window. It smelled so wonderful that it was distracting!

After cleaning, I went out to fetch some blossoms to cover with vodka. Extract some essence so I can smell them again in the middle of winter.

How simply beautiful is this:I have wanted to do this for a couple of summers now, but always forget. It never fails that I remember when the blossoms are less than fresh and are starting to fall off. But not this year. I have a lovely little jar that will make me smile when it is cold and dreary outside. It's a yummy way to hold on to summer :)

Home Again...

We are home again.
All that running around was fun, but it is nice to be back home in our own space.

Salmon was good. Hospice ice cream. Class reunion. Sidewalk sales. Fireworks. It was all just yummy!

I sat in the shade at my dads with a cup of coffee, a scone, and some art supplies while my kids ran a lemonade stand.
One of their first. I say "one" because they had one the night before at their papa and yaya's. I told them they would have to do a marketing report about each location.
Its summer.
I'll let them skip that part.
I also let them skip out on the bill. I funded the stand. They made the cash :)

Now all the running around and visiting is done (and we did A LOT!!). It's time to get a few things done while I wait for my sister to call and tell me she is in labor. That makes for some long, thoughtful days.

Happy July!!


On The Go Creativity...

It's the best weekend ever in Salmon (my hometown). We always hit the "Hospice Wagon" for fresh homemade waffle cones and ice cream. Parades. Sidewalk sales. Demo Derby. Fireworks.

But, these art projects keep calling my name! I have always taken a book or a small project home. Now I pack a bag with pre-planned goodness so I can play when I have a minute here and there.

Wouldn't 3 or 4 days of alone time with just your art supplies be fun!! No cooking. No laundry. Just stop long enough to make more coffee or tea. Some toast. Maybe a nap :)

Here are some products of my latest creative outburst:

Sea Green:

Tangerine Orange:


They were super fun to make. I took this online class from Julie at Land of Lost Luggage.

You can see more pictures of them in my ETSY shop.

Happy Fourth. Be Safe!