Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Step Right Up

Time for another round of Wednesday Hodgepodge, at From This Side of The Pond...  I hope you'll join me as we take a look at this week's questions!


1.  When did someone last suggest that you "chill out"?

Answer:  That would probably be yesterday, when I was quickly...    No, frantically trying to take the garlic bread out of the oven, before it might start to burn. Dearest Son saw this happening, and knows his mother WELL!  "Energy..  Good energy, Mom.  Remember your blood pressure", he tells me!

2.  What most recently caused your heart to melt?

Answer:  I think it was when I saw a video on Facebook, that showed a baby, after having been fitted with a new hearing aid/device of some kind, could now hear his mommy's voice for the very first time... People seem to re-post that one a lot, but it makes me cry every time.

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.  An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."  Your thoughts?  When did you last experience an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

Answer:  Hmmm..  Well, I think my job is an adventure EVERY DAY!  At first I hated it, but now, honestly I love it!  Another thought comes to mind, though.  A friend asks me to come to a quilting class every Saturday morning.  I like to stay home Saturday mornings because it's my only day where I can wake up and just be LAZY for the morning.  No alarm clock!  No makeup, no fuss!  No slamming down that fast cup of coffee, and racing out the door!..   BUT, the last couple of Saturdays, I decided I really should go; if not for myself, then at least for my friend...  Well, it turned out I really had a great time, BOTH times! 

O.K., fine...  I don't imagine you could classify a quilting class as an "adventure".  But no need to twist my arm this time around.  I think I'll be going again this week.  As you can see, I'm making a new set of place mats for my dining room!

4.  A Wendy's Frosty?...  Root beer in a frosty mug?..  Or a frosted chocolate cupcake?  Of these three, which one of these frosty treats is your favorite?  

Answer:  Oh, as much as I love a Wendy's Frosty, I'm afraid the chocolate cupcake has got it all over the other two contenders!  I LOVE cake, in any form..  8" double-layer, 9" triple-layer, sheet cake, cupcakes...   It's all good, but most especially with chocolate frosting!!!

5.  Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony?  Explain why...

Answer:  I would say like a circus.  The transition into the new year was rough for me.  Things are slowly, gradually, getting better.  I'm adjusting...   But between the job and what must be done at home, I would have to say my life is more like a circus.  Sometimes, I would just love to sit for 30 minutes to just veg-out, and maybe hear some kind of a beautiful symphony....  But nope!  

Life seems to really have me jumping hoops, performing balancing acts, walking the high-wire...


and calling in the clowns whenever possible, to keep my spirits from slipping.  Laughter is always the best medicine, right?!

6.  Many people have been enjoying Snow Days!..  We certainly have plenty of snow falling 'round my neighborhood!...  What's your favorite song containing the word "white"?

Answer:  I really like the song, "Out of The Woods", by Taylor Swift....  "The rest of the world was black and white, but we were in screaming color; and I remember thinking...  Are we out of the woods yet?..  Or are we in the clear yet?"  (See the video)

7.  If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?

Answer:  Definitely, my family...  (And if they ever left?  They already know..  They're taking me with them!!!)

8.  Insert random thoughts???...  

Well...  How about we head back to the circus!

Ladies and Gentlemen!...  In one ring, we have already discussed my job.  In the next ring, we have already discussed my duties at home.  Step right up to our center ring, to see what's happening next! Allow me to amaze you (ha! ha!) with my latest arts and crafts!  

First up, some ATCs; artist trading cards!..
All inspired by the Facebook group, International Crafters!

Card Number One...


Card Number Two..


And Card Number Three...


Next up, a little something to display them on...

I got out my yarns, 
and crocheted around a wire hanger, 


I added some beaded trims and lace...

And here's what I put together...


This will hang in my craft room.  Now, if I could just find time to make MORE ATCs!..  But I've been working on my crocheting too.  Can't share anything that's finished just yet, but hope to sometime soon.

Thanks to Joyce for hosting Wednesday Hodgepodge!
Thanks to The Graphics Fairy for the 
circus images used in today's post!...
And thank YOU for stopping by today!



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ring In the New!

It looks like I will be working in three different art journals for 2015.  We'll see how that works out, considering what time I've got for just one, but this is the one I will be working with most of the time...


I chose the color of my cover in accordance to Pantone's 2015 color of the year, marsala...

After seeing how big the binding should have been on my 2014 journal, I went an inch bigger for this year.


I don't feel strongly for any major resolutions or goals of any specific kind this year, but I did eventually come up with a chosen word to focus on...


2014 was a good year, but December turned out to be a little bit of a rough, or disappointing, should I say, way to end it...  As much as I love the holidays, I tried not to let little things ruin the joy and magic of the beautiful Christmas season.  Sometimes, you just have to be tough, and rise above your problems as best you can, even if it takes everything you've got!  You just have to move on, keep your chin up, and simply PERSEVERE!..  "CARRY ON"!



So how do I move/carry on?...  Sometimes it helps to change the scenery a little bit.


I took the Christmas ornaments off my table-top, 3-foot Christmas tree in the living room, and switched the theme to New Year's Eve!   I thought I'd ring in the new year with silver garland, silver bells and little clocks that I made myself with cardboard, ribbon trims, and a stencil for the face of each one.

I changed the scenery in my Franklin Covey planner by inserting brand new calender/planner pages for 2015!


Fresh, clean pages to start off a fresh new year!  I may need to add new tabs still, as mine are starting to look a little ragged; but otherwise, boy do I thank God for this little blessing.  It helps me more than I really ever imagined!

What else helps to keep my spirits up these days?...   Well, I always love trying out new recipes!


Here's one I just made, called Magic Custard Cake.  Yes, dessert always cheers me up!..  Delicious, and easy to make, I'd say this recipe is a keeper.  The only thing that I changed in the recipe was that I substituted cherry-pie filling for fresh strawberries. You can find the recipe HERE.

All in all, I do believe attitude is everything!  You can either choose to let something drag you down, or you can buck up and move on!  Life is what YOU make of it...

(top quote by Mary Shelley; quote inside heart by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

If anyone or anything threatens to steal my joy, or my sense of peace, then why should I let them?!  All I have to do is "Shake It Off!"



Thanks for stopping by today, 
and best wishes to everyone for a 
blessed and very Happiest New Year ever!  



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's To The Past

Filling the very last pages of my junque/art journal will always provoke mixed feelings of accomplishment, and pride; acceptance of both good and bad; and all at the same time there are feelings of reluctance, even sorrow..  when it is time to part ways, and to move on.


A typical art journal may be born, in a sense, weighing only a few pounds; but by the end of a year, from January to December, my own journal has grown so, to weigh in at nearly 12 pounds now!


Yup..  She's a little fatty, but still beautiful!  The cover has taken a bit of a beating.  A flower had to be replaced, while beads, a button, and letters had to occasionally be reset or re-glued....   Now I look back through the pages, remembering all that I did, what I've experienced, the things I have learned, and then I remember even things/people that I miss now.

January...


...a time of new beginnings; 
forgetting, and releasing the bad or the sad, 
while cherishing the good in our lives..  
feeling hopeful for what lies ahead!

February...



March...



April...



May...



June...



July...



August...



September...



October...



November...



December...


Yes, it's been quite a year.  
You take the good with the bad.
That's the way it works...  C'est la vie!


"Year's end is neither an end nor a 
beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom
that experience can instill in us."
~Hal Borland

Now it is time to say goodbye to this old friend,
my journal for 2014...  I must say, this is one of my
favorite journals ever...  But there will always be a 
place in my heart to remember it by.


....and a plastic bin that's too FULL to store it!
Oh dear..  Guess I need to purchase another one...


Because I'm already starting on my 
new journal for 2015!

May the new year bring good health, peace, 
love, and joy, to you and yours!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge 201

My gosh, between my job, responsibilities at home, and all the holiday extras that need to be done lately, the time sure is flying! But I think I'll settle down for just a bit, to participate in another round of Hodgepodge Wednesday, hosted by From This Side of the Pond.  This week's questions and answers are as follows!...

1.  What is one holiday tradition you'd like to establish, or one you've established recently, say in the last year or two?

Answer:  We settled for leftovers this time around, but I'd like to establish the tradition of having a pizza delivered on the night we put up the Christmas tree!  Who feels like cooking after THAT?  Not me!

2.  It's the second week of December.  Have you sipped a cup of eggnog yet, this month?..  wrapped a gift?...  opened a gift?...   kissed someone under the mistletoe?..  lit a candle?..  eaten a Christmas cookie?...   seen Santa in person?...    watched a Christmas movie or special?...   read scripture relating to the birth of Jesus?

Answers: no, no, no, no, no, no...   Yes, I saw Santa at the mall...  Yes, I saw A Charlie Brown Christmas and watched the movie, White Christmas....  But, no, I'm afraid I have not yet read any scriptures about the birth of Jesus quite yet, this year.

3.  Do you think it's better to be an adult or a child at Christmas time?  Explain.

Answer:  Well, I like to think I'm a little of both.  I may be an adult, but I still can be very much a kid at heart!  Where I work, I often have kids telling me there is no Santa Claus; but you can't make me listen to a word of it!  Nope!...  I suppose, as Christian adults, we have a far better understanding of what Christmas REALLY is all about, and of course Jesus is the most important reason for the season; but I'll never allow adulthood, itself, to cloud my vision of the magic of Santa, and busy little elves making toys, or flying reindeer, a talking snowman, or a nutcracker prince coming to life!


4.  It's often said, "Good things come to those who wait."  Agree or disagreee, and why?

Answer:   Hmmmm...   I'm afraid I don't know how to answer that question.  I suppose it depends on what you're waiting for, how important it is to you, and if you have both the patience and faith it takes, in the process of it all.

5.  What's the last sweet thing you baked?  Did you keep it, take it to a party/event, or give it away?

Answer:  The last sweet thing I baked was a batch of chocolate frosted brownies..   Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum!

6.  This question comes courtesy of Jhona, who blogs over at The Red House at the End of the Lane.  Here is her question:  "I heard an actor talk about how he makes a conscious choice to talk to people in elevators.  He chooses to connect, make eye contact, and converse.  Do you talk to people/strangers when you're in an elevator or any other place where you might have to wait together?  Why or why not?

Answer:  I try to be friendly, and maybe would say "Hello" at least; but typically I tend to mind my own business, and just keep quiet where strangers are concerned.  

7.  Are you on the naughty or nice list this year?..  And what put you there?

Answer:  Well, that's a little personal, don'tcha think?!!  Ha! Ha!!  I plead the fifth!  (Actually, I think I've been pretty good this year.  My boyfriend and I have recently broken up, but things are still looking up otherwise.  I think Santa would be proud!  Surely, there must be a dolly with my name on it, in Santa's Workshop!)

8.  Random thoughts?..  I managed to crochet that little drawstring bag I mentioned in my last post!  


I made it in one night, 
and HERE is where I found the pattern!  


Alongside of it sits another one I made  some time ago, by crocheting around an empty gallon milk jug.  Both are now kept together in my craft room.


Thanks to Joyce for hosting this Blogland event, 
and thanks to YOU for stopping by today!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

7 in 7 Mid-Month Bonus

Gonna keep this short and sweet, as I think art journaling kind of speaks for itself most of the time... But Jennibellie, from Journal Workshops by Jennibellie, posted a mid-month November challenge. After having done the first set of 7 backgrounds in 7 days, we were challenged to do more backgrounds...  but this time, with random prompts.

We could use a little drawstring bag, or a plastic container, or whatever we had on hand, to keep all our prompts, written on tiny pieces of paper.  I chose to use an empty boutique tissue box.


The deal was to shake that container up, to mix up all the prompts inside; and then without peeking, pick one out.  No matter what it said, we had to do that prompt, when we pulled it out!  My prompts ran in the order as follows...

1.  Markers
2.  Gelatos
3.  Washi Tape
4.  Stencils and/or Stamps
5.  Paper
6.  Paint
7.  Wild Card (any last touches) 

This was a PERFECT exercise for me, artistically, because it made me think out of the box.  No tunnel-vision allowed here, because each step was not by my own choosing. 


It was random, and it pretty much forced me to change old habits/routines that I thought I had to go by!  Here is each one, up closer...

Page One...


Page Two...


Page Three...


Page Four...


Page Five...


Page Six...


Page Seven...


From here, I can now complete my pages
with whatever photos, images, or quotes I want!

But, again..  Am I happy with my work?  
And what have I learned?

This time around, I can say I'm much happier with this set of pages!  I definitely felt challenged, but had so much more FUN, this round, than in the first one!  I believe I may hold on to my little pieces of paper prompts, and perhaps even throw in a few more..  But maybe instead of using some old tissue box, I'll crochet myself a pretty little drawstring pouch to keep them in!

Thanks so much for stopping by!