Thursday, August 31, 2006

Beauty In Unlikely Places

Saw this bed of zinnias at, of all places, a rest stop along the highway in Wisconsin. I want to plant these in my garden next year. I have heard zinnias do better if you start them from seed right in the bed instead of buying plants. I will try it and see for myself. Now I wish I would have taken more photos when we made our "pit stop" as they had the most colorful flower beds there. Don't think we have anything nearly as wonderful at our rest stops in Illinois. You just never know where you will find beauty!

It's the last day of August and for me that means the last day of summer. Boo-hoo! How did summer slip by so quickly? I am not ready to give up my flip-flops...not yet anyway. But autumn is beautiful in this part of the country, so I will look forward to the trees putting on their spectacular show of color in the coming months.

I have been wanting to get in and attack my studio for quite a while, so I think I will start on that today. I keep putting it off because I am not the best when it comes to making decisions of what to get rid of and what to keep....I WANT IT ALL! A lot of it boils down to the guilt I feel when I see how much excess stuff I have accumulated and not used. Then when I finally decide to part with something, it makes me feel as if I am throwing away hard earned money. I feel so compelled to make use of everything I have ever bought. I was brought up on that old adage, "Waste not, want not." Ali wrote about it in this post and I was amazed by all the comments written by people who feel the same way. If nothing else, it was comforting to know that I am not the only one who feels the way I do.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Days 19-21 and Journal Cover}

TA-DA! Here it is...I've completed the final three pages at last! I am only six days late, {is anybody really counting?} but I was determined to finish up the journal so I could move on to something else. I did lose the 10 pounds that I set as my goal. In fact, I lost a total of 11 pounds altogether. {You can chalk up the extra pound to the over-achiever in me!} These 21 Day Challenges that Rhonna has going periodically really are amazing if you stick with them until the end. The support you get from all the participants is wonderful and the daily quotes really keep you motivated. In addition, if your goal is to end a bad habit, like to stop smoking or not to eat sweets, then the time spent creating the journal pages helps to keep both your mind and your hands occupied!

Day 19 - I used up some of my paper scraps by creating a woven background for this page. I made a library pocket out of patterned cardstock that I created in Photoshop Elements. One side of the tag insert has Rhonna's Day 19 quote on it and my journaling is on the reverse side.

Day 20 - I covered the page using two different patterned papers. The word, "Courage" is from a set of rub-on letters from Heidi Swapp. Buttons and ribbon complete this simple layout.

Day 21 - The word DWELL in the Emily Dickinson quote, "Dwell in the possibility" was my inspiration for this page. I created a Claudine Hellmuth type house collage using various pink, black and green patterned papers. I cut out a green paisley from some Deja Views paper to create the curl of smoke coming out of the chimmney. I just love the combination of polka dots, paisley and argyle! Sticker flowers with hand-drawn stems and a brad for the door knob add some detail.

The Cover - If you are familiar with my work you know that I usually save the cover until the end of a project. Usually I have some idea of what I want to do when I first start a journal, but I like to let it evolve during the entire time I am working on the pages. I think the reason I do it that way is because it is the cover of the book that I am going to see most often after I am finished and I guess I just want to be sure it is something I am going to be happy with for a long time.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Making Progress

We heard that they started the framing on our cottage, so we wasted no time in heading up there this weekend to check it out. Couldn't believe how much progress they have made. Seeing it calmed my nerves also. You see, I suddenly had become a little worried about the design...for almost a year we had looked at about a hundred house plan books and couldn't find anything that we liked so we decided to come up with our own plan. The building designer drew up the plans for the house using our design and for some reason I panicked last week when I thought to myself, "Yikes! We don't know anything about space planning, etc! What if the floor plan doesn't function well?????" Anyway, I was relieved to see that it does work and I'm a teensy bit proud of how good of a job we did! I must say it was rather thrilling to see a floor plan drawn on paper come to three-dimentional life and actually be standing inside of it.

Friday, August 18, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Days 17 & 18}

Feels good to be all caught up again. Can't believe there are only three days left of this challenge. We all have done such a great job. Kudos to all my fellow 21-ers!

21 Day Challenge {Days 15 & 16}

Here are the latest pages from my 21 Day Challenge journal. This has been such a rewarding experience and I am so happy with the results thus far. The inspiration from Rhonna and the other participants has been fantastic. I have gotten to the point where I am no longer obsessing about food all day long. Also I have been paying attention to what my body is telling me and I find that it isn't saying "FEED ME" quite so often anymore. That is a major accomplishment for me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mama's Got A New Pair Of Shoes!

Saw these today at Target for $9.99......I just couldn't resist!

Monday, August 14, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Day 14}

Day 14's page turned out to be a bit of a pep talk for me to get myself re-motivated after this morning's disappointing weigh in (see this post). It also kept me from raiding the cupboards to see what I could gorge myself with to get revenge upon the scale. I did manage to abstain though.

I haven't had much time to work on any other artwork because all my focus is aimed at this challenge and meeting my goal. I tend to be an 'all or nothing' kind of if giving all my attention to something is going to really make a difference. I WISH! After next week I will have time to get back to my other projects, like my HeART journal. (I promise, Norah!) I'm already thinking about a few ideas and techniques I want to try in it. I also want to take some time to clean out my art room a bit, as it is starting to get rather difficult to navigate around in there again. That happens every so often when I get into either a shopping mood or a creative frenzy and things don't get put away because I want everything close at hand to play with. Well, DH is home, so I better go check to see what wonderfully nutritional meal I can whip up.

Rubber Stamp from the Emerson's Humor collection at American Art Stamp.

21 Day Challenge {Day 13}

I am so very bummed out today. Forgot to weigh myself yesterday, but I thought it was no big deal since I have been eating properly and drinking enough water, etc. I figured I would have a pleasant surprise when I got up this morning to weigh in. I had a surprise all right....but not a pleasant one. I GAINED A POUND! How could that be when I was so diligent and faithful to the challenge? This is when I might have thrown in the towel in the past due to frustration. But thanks to Rhonna, and the other 21- day gals, I will persevere and continue on and not give up! Tomorrow is another day, right?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Day 12}

It's funny how sometimes things just seem to fall into place and a layout comes together without too much effort. Let me explain.....I had bought this brown embossed felt square at Walmart last week knowing that eventually I would be able to use it in some cool way. It was so unusual looking and the embossed pattern reminded me of hand-tooled leather, which is what attracted me to it initially. Then the other night I saw this button ruffle embellishment used in issue #43 of this magazine and decided to try my hand at making it while watching TV. I grabbed the brown and aqua material from my fabric basket just on a whim because it happened to be right on top of the pile. Not to mention that brown and aqua is one of my favorite color combinations at the moment. {It is so easy to make - you just cut a strip of fabric and sew a row of stitching down the center of the strip. Then pull the threads to loosely gather. Finally sew on buttons to cover the stitching.} The next part of this creation occurred when I decided to write a long overdue letter to my Aunt using paper from a Lang Graphics notepad. I have always loved the cool blue color with brown aged edges of this paper, but never thought of using it on a layout....until now! I had cut the border off the top of the paper and thought to myself it would make a nice addition to some "future layout" and placed it on my desk. However, when I saw Rhonna's quote design for Day 12 using the colors and the font she used, I just knew that "future layout" was going to happen sooner rather than later! Because Rhonna's layout was the impetus for all these random elements coming together, I decided to include her design right on my page. I just love the way karma works, don't you?

P.S. Rhonna mentioned me in her post cool is that? Thanks Rhonna!!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Day 11}

Day 11 of Rhonna's 21 Day Challenge.....It sure is slow going. Thank goodness for Rhonna's quotes because I may have thrown in the towel by this time without them. Working on this journal keeps me busy and my mind off of snacking. On the bright side, I did lose 2 more pounds so I am on still on target to reach my goal. But I have been in such an icky mood lately and I really can't figure out why. Could be the weather, since it has been rather gloomy here the past few days. Even our cat, Midnight is moping around the house. However, today is sunshiny and 80 degrees, so hopefully this mysterious mood will disappear. I do not like feeling this way and not know the reason for it. Think I will go for a walk and get some endorphins stirred up in my brain. Maybe that will do the trick...and work off a few calories too. And if not, then there is always this. Here's my journal page for Day 11.

Friday, August 11, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Days 8-10}

All caught up finally and back on track!

All caught up finally!

21 Day Challenge Days {5-7}

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

21 Day Challenge {Days 3 & 4}

I am a little behind on posting my journal entries. Sorry. It's been a busy week so far and it is only Wednesday....Yikes! Any-hoo, here is day three and day four is below. I've been doing pretty good on my challenge this time around. I am enjoying trying some of the challenges from Ali and Elsie's books and using up some of my paper scraps at the same time. Got to go now and get ready for Project Runway.
DAY #3Day #4

Sunday, August 06, 2006


We went up north for the weekend to check on the progress of our cottage we are building there. It is exciting to finally see something concrete (pardon the pun) after all these months and months of working things out on paper. Below is a picture we took 2 weeks ago when the foundation was poured.
Then we took this picture on Friday which shows the foundation has been back-filled and the rough grading is completed. Suddenly the property looks smaller now, however we do have another 6 acres beyond the tree line so the shrinking size is really just an illusion. We met with the building coordinator and the interior coordinator to pick out our colors and finishes. Lots of decisions to be made all at once, but I have been researching this for a long time so it wasn't too painful of a process...which is saying alot since I am the world's worst decision-maker! I am hoping to be able to get back to my artwork again this week. I am itching to sit at my desk and play with some paint, paper, glue, and whatever else I can get my hands on.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Another 21 Day Challenge

Rhonna is doing it again by starting up Round 5 of the 21 Day Challenge and I couldn't resist joining in on the fun. I participated in Round 4 and you can see that journal by clicking here. This time around my challenge is going to be two-fold. I want to lose 10 lbs by the time my birthday rolls around next month. In doing this I want to try to concentrate on taking better care of myself by eating healthy foods and exercising. The second part of this challenge is to incorporate some of the challenges written about in Ali and Elsie's new books shown below. Page One: This layout illustrates Ali's "Nine Square" challenge. The idea is to use nine equal sized squares, which can be anything from photos to patterned paper to an embellishment or whatever else you want to use. The nine squares form a larger square, resulting in a quilt-like look. I chose to use photos of healthy foods that I want to eat more of during this journey, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The color scheme of the layout come directly from the photos of the food. Picking colors from your photos is a great way to decide on a color scheme.
Page Two: The challenge I used in this layout is Elsie's "Design with White." I found this to be a very difficult challenge for me to complete because I am the type that likes to fill up all the white space on a page. I really had to restrain myself when putting this together because it didn't seem finished with all the white space still left untouched. But I got through it and I do like the page. It was good to push myself to do something out of the box. As for the flowers, some of them are rubber stamp images, some are Prima paper flowers attached with brads and the large ones are flowers I cut out of card stock, inked the edges and added a button for the center.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Shopping During a Heat Wave

It is still swelteringly (is that a word?) hot here, so to give MY air conditioning a rest I went shopping to take advantage of the A/C in the world of retail. This is what I bought:

Costco.....Heidi Swapp.....$29.95......567 pieces of fun!
Need I say more?
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