Friday, August 31, 2012

Bleeding he(ART) Journal

 Mixed heart top down project: Last weeks mixed media entry to my Art Journal. 

 I admit it.  I completely CASed the project from Christy Tomlinson's tutorial here!!  Honestly, I love painting, I love using mod podge and gluing paper down, I love little doodle lines, I love working shading and shadows, I love working on a paper that is larger than 8-1/2" x 11".... I just need to see someone else doing all the thinking.... and I follow along and enjoy the results!! 
Who knows if mixed media art painting is for me, but my ART JOURNAL now has a least 16 pages filled with color, shapes, feelings, swirls, circles, paper piecing and more.  Would I do this again?  Certainly!  Would I take a class in person, or online to learn more about mixed media art?  Certainly!!!

I love art from the HEART!

Replace fear of the unknown with curiosity!
Brighten Someone's Day!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Off to Market (myself)

To SHINE is to market yourself!

And I quote mySELF:

 From a post at House of Shine.... If for instance, for this blog and your daily posts, sometimes you need to repeat the message a few times.  Someone may miss your blog one day and miss the fact that they could participate in a challenge, or they need a reminder to send out a YEP (yellow envelope project.). 
Repeat, repeat, repeat! 
If you want to get the message across.

If we are 'teaching' our children life lessons, it's repeat as well, but they(children) do by what they see.  So, if you push in a chair, open a door, help someone who is struggling ... people see what you do.  I think it's an insurance company (commercial on tv), and it's like paying it forward.... someone silently sees a co-worker cleaning up a mess, then the next scene is that person opening a door, the next scene is the struggling person helping their neighbor rake the yard.... and so on and so on.  
Repeat, repeat, repeat.

But I think you(Claudia, you wrote the original idea on her blog)  wrapped it up in a nutshell..... BASICALLY.... it all goes back to manners, old fashioned etiquette and respect, treat others how you'd want to be treated!  Take a moment, look someone in the eye and sincerely thank them or acknowledge them... If someone needs help opening the door, put aside personal bias and take one moment to help them, with a smile :0)

Why try to fit in, when you were meant to stand out!!!!

Never get tired of doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.

Rinse, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat!!!

Market yourself and SHINE!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From the Sewing Bin

This special creative greeting has only one stamped image on it.... the sentiment. 

Everything else is punched, trimmed, inked or distressed.  For some cardmakers, it would probably be easier to stamp a single image and be DONE with the card. I like a bit of the extra work, it makes this card different.  And I'm all about different.

I think there are about 8 layers give or take to this card.  When I distress the edges, there are two ways to do that.  Either I use a 'distressing tool' which is a disc with a scissor blade embedded in it... I can scrape it along the edge of fresh card stock and make the edge look worn and ripped.  Also, I can take a sponge, swirl it on an ink pad and rub the ink along the edges.... to help the look of being old, worn and tattered.

Banners and flags in celebration still seem to be popular in paper crafting.  Hard to tell from the picture, but I'm using some beautiful old white lace as the layer on the top.  I was lucky enough to get a stash of fibers, threads, buttons and other doodads from my mom who is a sewer.  She gets left overs from quilting sessions and some of that 'old vintage' stuff is just perfect for NEW paper crafts. 

What's old is new again! Love the bakery twine in tan and brown, and that huge brad almost looks like a button! And that is real stitching around the edges of the layers, with a real sewing machine! :0)

Change, is the only constant!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A BIG 'hello' from Thumbody

I've thought of doing this before....years ago actually.  Sissy was in first grade when I saw my first 'thumb' buddy we are talking about 10 years now!  Cute, super cute images just using my thumb squished in ink and then placed on the card... with doodles making the magic come alive on each creative greeting!!

You can write it numerous ways... Thumbody loves you, thumbody thinks your great, Hello from thumbody, brighten THUMB body's Day!!!!!

While surfing through Pinterest I stumbled upon I believe an Asian web page, where they took the thumb prints a step further and created these adorable animals!

Simple and cute...... and endless if you have time to doodle.

Have you ever had your fingerprints taken?  How many endless cop movies and tv shows have you seen where the criminal is hauled into a precinct and their picture is taken and the next scene some guard is painstakingly taking their finger prints for identification? 

I had my finger prints taken about 5 years ago.  I was at the county jail, but no where near any criminals or jail cells.  To become a paraprofessional in the school system in our city I had to have a background check, finger prints and all.
I was a bit nervous.  For no reason.... they don't even use ink anymore.  It's all digitized... I just rolled my fingers over some computer screen and I was done in less than a minute... no mess... at all.

With these kind of ink prints, I can certainly
brighten 'thumb' bodies day!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School

How can it be? 
 It's that time of year where moms are off enjoying their iced coffee in peace and quiet.  They're whoopin' and hollerin' down the grocery store aisles, they are relaxing in the soft bubbles of a pedicure vibrating chair. 

Around our neck of the woods, it's the first day of school!!!

Today was 'my' last first day of (public) school for my kids.  I told you a few months ago, but my job is slowly being phased out.  Although I will always be these two wonderful kid's mom... my day to day agenda has completely changed from: PTA meetings, team supporter, party planner, driver, snack provider, costume designer, equipment carrier, cheer leader, chauffeur and the list goes on and on.  The calendar looks pretty barren these days.  I say this with a little tear, and a big smile, because this has been the best job I ever could have imagined!!!

Maybe I have to test my own wings and fly the coop as well in a whole other direction, test the waters and see where my next adventure(s) will take me.  These fluffy wings of mine are a little rusty!!!

Who knew that sending them off that very first day would be filled with tears of joy and sadness and then 12+ years later, you are filled with the exact same emotions!!!  Well, at least I am!!
What a day! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flight 8:24

Although I haven't posted any pictures for a while, I am still mixed media painting in my heART Journal.  Here is a page from one of last months entries! Lot's of yellow with pop, pop, pop of red.

It relates to an earlier blog posting of mine Go (to school) The empty nest.  I should have punched out birds with wings, darn. I did the picture before I found the caption.  But I didn't know I was going to relate it to a theme for this weeks posting. (if only I could think that far ahead, NOT!)  Flying the coop.  End of the summer, back to school.... If you look closely, you can see the butterflies taking off from the bottom left of the page up to the right !

The birds are active this morning.  They actually line up to take turns in the bird bath and in our little fountain out back in our 'secret' garden.  While one is splashing and spreading it's wings in the little bowl, others wait on the rocking chair back, and behind that on the brick patio, waiting their turn to get a little bathing action.  It's a flutter of wings and squawking.

I think another reason I posted about the mother bird worried about her baby falling out of the nest, and darn, it would have been perfect to post it at the time... but Cooper, my trusty furry friend had to show me something he found in the back under a lilac tree.  There has been lots of activity outside my creative greetings home office... and sadly, Cooper showed me to a 'real' little birdie who had fallen out of the nest, to young to take flight it fell to the ground below.  He didn't make it. Is there any symbolism in all of this?

Amidst the squawking and feather fluffing, life and (death) still goes on.  Often times we notice the ones making all the noise!

Oh, heck.... going ahead, send some FuN MaiL
and brighten that quiet one's day!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not So Scary!

It's still a card, but its a happy scarecrow face!  I did lots of different paper pieces to add texture and dimension from the straw hat all the way down to the bandana knotted scarf.  Punched out flower pieces, eyes and faux stitched on nose and mouth.  A fantabulous little pieces of artwork!!! 

 A card, yet still a shaped card.... fun for me to create and FuN MaiL for some lucky recipient!
 These cards are the September edition for the Card of the Month clubbers.  They are such of reflection of what my mantra is.... sending cards that others can use to brighten someone's day!!
Here's what the cards read on the inside!!

Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Go (to school)!

It's that time of year, again!!

 Like I said yesterday, school and fall go together!  And here's a creative greeting card that you will 'fall' for.  Lot's of parents are kicking their little birdies out of the nest... it's time for them to go and spread their wings... even if they have to flap their wings a bit before they can soar!
We are staring to become empty nesters...

It was a real tough few weeks last fall, but it was like we all joined this new club. I made this simple one layer doodled card as 4 families within a few houses on our block were all sending off our first born to college. 
Here with Bubba at his apartment door!
For the inside I found a great quote that I think works: Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!
~ Steel Magnolias

I think a card like this could be some great FuN MaiL!! It truly is the little things that make a big difference in any life.

A few more friends are going through this 'new' stage in their life this fall.  Maybe they are able to handle it better than I did... however, as you know, I probably can make a creative greeting for 'any' event.
Brighten Someone's Day! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's the Next Season?

Although there are actually 30 days left on the calendar 'til it's official, once kids start back to school, most everyone automatically thinks its FALL.

Magazine covers I see, people I talk to, or blogs I visit  ... it's all about FallFall colors, fall cooking, fall activities.... there are even FALL type of creative greetings.

This FALL card was a bit of a challenge.  The punch outs on the sides had to be carefully centered.  I love how it turned out!  You could use any colors and make this card with any type of sentiment... from a birthday to a get well card. Down the center any type of punches could be used... snowflakes (blue cardstock), hearts (red/pink cardstock), cupcakes (any color cardstock), stars (red/white/blue cardstock).... are you getting any ideas?

Inside the card, because of the punched out sides, the sentiment would have to be vertical... and skinny... so you don't see the words exposed when the card lays normal. Hmmm, I might have to think about this style for future cards.

Anybody in your life need to be recognized, just because?

Somewhere, someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer ~ pinterest

Brighten Someone's Day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Girl and her Shoes

I have been playing along with the Mojo Monday Sketch challenge and am having a lot of fun!

Here is what I did for my creative greeting card last week, and below is how they set up the challenge sketch. I play along, but haven't posted my entries yet on their website.

There are a couple factors that make these types of challenges really fun for me:
A: as you know, I feel (slightly) guilty when I CASe a card (Copy and Share Everything)... that is the point when bloggers post their cards, to share, to show off.... of course I'm never trying to pass their idea off as my own, but there are some stinkin' cute ideas out there... and since I'm daily working on perfecting my 'copy' artist status... I can do a Mojo Monday challenge because I don't look at everybody's idea of the sketch... I do my own card first and then look at the real cool stuff others have created that I could have done  :0) ... but now I have even MORE ideas  for another great card!

B: I'm getting to use up a lot of my supplies on hand.  It is a real challenge to bring in different paper lines, embellishments that have been sitting in drawers and use doodles I've had in my bin for years. I'm actually cycling my own stuff!

So, did I COPY too close for the actual sketch???  ... It's supposed to spark your MOJO. 

I was pretty happy with myself the other day... maybe I have a twinge of scorn... I walked into Hobby Lobby with an open creative mind because I had just been on Pinterest (and, I had a few extra dollars in my wallet) ... or maybe I 'have it all' ... but I walked back out after browsing for 45 minutes... empty handed!!!  Maybe I didn't mention, but I tried to get a job there a few weeks back... and they didn't hire me.  That means something better is about to come along... don't you think??? 
Brighten Someone's Day!!
Have a great week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Opportunity Knocks

 Slowly but surely our lives are getting back to some sort of normalcy. 

 I read somewhere recently, "What is normal?" 

But I think we had been living a normal life.  Our 'normal'.  Dad working, kids playing sports and having activities and friends, excelling in school, going on adventures, and mom taking care of the home and family, and 2 dogs.  Things change like people who come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime!  And time marches on.....

It has been a stress filled summer, and the extreme mid-west heat didn't help matters.  We've had rain now, probably more than 3 inches in the past week. I actually got to mow the lawn!! Plants and bushes and grasses are starting to come back to life after being dry and dusty for months.  It's a time for re-birth... even though we are inching toward fall.  Strange, but things happen for a reason!

I'm missing Bubba, he's only gone back to the University of Iowa for his sophomore year for 5 days. 

His room is empty... well, not really... I said to someone... there are still some hockey dust bunnies around the baseboards and there is a funky 'boy' smell in the carpet.  He left stuff on the walls and there is about an inch of dust on the books and hockey pucks still on his shelves that surround some dusty window blinds.  Old t-shirts litter the closet shelves and electrical cords are popping out of the wall.   I  don't so mind the dust... and the room can be cleaned, soon.... I like looking in it to feel his presence!
 Before he left, he handed me back some of the cards I've made for him over the past years.  He liked them, but doesn't want to keep them...he's not sentimental like that,  he's moved on.  Above is his 19th birthday card.... I designed it to represent what his room looked like when I would open the door!  Sadly... he didn't get it!  He's got the future in his hands now!  I think I've raised two pretty wonderful kids!!!!  I think if opportunity knocks on his apartment door, he really has to take hold of it....because this life can take him anywhere.... he just has to take on some passion and take a little risk!!!
Inside the birthday wish pops up..... will he take the opportunities that are present for him in college.  I guess it can be a scary thing... what if you take the wrong ones?  A quote I saw somewhere, and I'm paraphrasing, "I don't regret what I did, I regret what i didn't do when I had the chance ". 
Opportunity knocks, will you answer the door?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Every 365 Days

Sorry I missed posting yesterday.
Did you miss me?

I am so awed and shocked about this social media stuff, (cell phones that get the internet, ipads, ipods, kindles, tweets, facebook... the list is never ending and growing every day) at times I can't grasp my head around it! 

 I've been to blogs where they are having parties and giving away things if you post a comment (nice stuff, you would be randomly picked by a number integer search or something like that, are those sponsored gifts they 'give away'?) . One blog links to another blog and then another blog and so on....I've been to blogs where they have 5,000 followers!!!!....thank you the four that signed up (if you are still with me) and for those of you who pop in every once in a while to see what's happening in our humble abode! Thank you for stopping by!  I hope I make you smile, chuckle and feel welcome!

If I had hundreds of followers I would be pressured into performing every time I posted great cards, exciting recipes, fabulous photos, amazing antidotes...
Although this little creative greeting design blog won't perpetuate me to the top... everything in moderation around here... I get to have a little bit of everything then in my corner of the world. A diary to write down my feelings, a place to show off my family and my designs, an outlet to express my opinions.  No pressure other than my own!

Wishing someone a Happy Birthday with the simple banner layered card above made me start to think of a quote I saw on Pinterest... If you started today, a year from now you'd have been doing it for a year.... or something like that :) 

If you started exercising today, a year from now you'd have... If you started working on a positive attitude, a year from today you'd have.... but I can't help myself and think... a year ago I took my oldest off to college for the first time, and a year from now... I will be taking my baby off to college  .... what a difference a year can make.  But the same can be said, what a difference a day makes!
Brighten someone's day! 
Send them some FuN MaiL....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wish for You

 It's a pretty wonky day out there today. 
 For the past two months we have been hitting 95 degrees of hot, hot sunshine by this time in the morning (9am).  Today it's barely 65 degrees out, very overcast with a few sprinkles here and there.  I guess I really never noticed so many things changing.... all at once!

But I'm always wishing for the best.

The card above reminds me of that old fashioned fabric Toile. Black and white.  Black boarder punch and a white bow tie ribbon. Simple!
Busy weekend.  Moved Bubba back to Iowa City.  Instead of the dorms he moved into an apartment with a room mate.  That's a big change!  So, we emptied his room ... bed, dressers, side table, lamps, clothes, tv, books and stuff and also moved a hide-a-bed couch. Thus the truck rental.  I had to drive that rust bucket home in the rain the other day.  It was only supposed to be 10 feet long.... it was more like 16.  It appears they charged are the correct rental fee....but that thing was huge.... and then on Saturday had to drive it over 215 miles west! I drove behind in the Pilot and we made the round trip in one day!

Here's Bubba and his dad outside his apartment #5.  The kid looks happy doesn't he?  All I can do is hope, and pray... and wish for him to have a great year at the U of I.   Be smart, make good choices, study hard and have some good clean fun!!!  I'm such a mom!

His bedroom is empty.... that's a real hard change!

Lastly, happy Left Handers Day!  I'm lucky to always be in my right mind!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Crew

The kids
 A few weeks ago we got the opportunity to go on a family outing.  To the Brewers game against the Washington Nationals, a baseball game at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  It takes about a solid hour forty minutes to get to the stadium from our house in Illinois. We had the luck for that evening game that we got to drive in a constant downpour for most of the interstate driving.  We've been having severe drought like conditions, and of all days... it rains cats and dogs.

Hubby and Me
The last few times we planned a baseball game outing, we then too had rain!  We were very lucky, however, the rain stopped when we got to the Milwaukee County line and the sun came out.  Humid, but clear.  I was 'afraid' I'd be sopping wet sitting in the stadium seats for a couple of hours.

Bubba & Sissy

It was fun (comforting) eating ballpark food.  Hot dogs, brats, beer and pretzels.  Yum!!!  But I must admit, I don't know how the average family could do this more than once a year.... tickets, plus parking, plus food... probably cost us over $200.  I feel like an old person.... I remember the day.... we could get in with the family plan and tickets and food and it would cost us near $40 for the whole she-bang.  Yes, times have changed!!!  And then on top of that, the Brewers lost..... they lost bad!!!!!
Sissy and her Daddy-o
Well, all I can hope for is that we created some family memories.  The kids one day can say, I remember we went on some fun adventures with my parents.  Those were good times!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

 Good dogs are with us for a little while to teach us how to love
like it's our job,
because it is!
Lessons in loving from our most constant friends.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Caught a Bug!

Sometimes it takes a moment, maybe a little longer than that to realize a theme, or a pattern, or even something coming back to me in full circle!

And then that 'aha' moment... it clicks, like it was meant to be, or I find the right spin to make it seem like it works. (insert evil laugh! ba ha ha)
Although not intentional, the last two cards in my picture cue for this weeks posting were summer bugs.  Cute and whimsical Miss Lady Bug out on a limb... and serious and simple Butterfly birthday wish.

The instant gratification of creativity that I get from making cards is awesome!

We had another aha moment in our house recently.  There was a small chance we would be moving, so we took some time to re-evaluate A LOT of things.  One thing was, we were hoarding paint cans in our basement work shop,  for that possible moment we needed to touch up a wall in our house ... in Wisconsin?  (we currently live in Illinois) 

We moved paint down here 6 years ago from our old house.  The previous owners hid paint beneath the basement stairwell.... I kept paint from painted chairs of 4 years ago... big cans, small cans, full cans.. almost empty cans!!!  Crazy... I don't want to contribute to the land fills... what to do if the city isn't have a used paint drive... so during this heat... we have had 32 cans of paint open in our back forty... trying to dry out!!!  Can I just say.... don't hoard paint for a rainy day!  Don't move paint from one house to the other....
go ahead
Brighten Someone's Day!!

This Mojo Monday is my layout inspiration for the top card.  I used the square one on the right!


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