Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I finally had some time to work on a little art today. Good thing because I was able to complete my HAPPINESS page for Kari and Bonnie's "Cabinet of Curiosity Challenge." Only one more prompt to complete. As soon as I saw this theme, I immediately thought of the title of Will Smith's latest movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness." {The Declaration of Independence came to mind as well.} Unlike the movie title, I chose to use the proper spelling of HAPPINESS because quite frankly the misspelling annoys me. I suppose it is the school teacher in me that is bothered by it. I haven't seen the movie and so I don't know if the way it is spelled is an integral part of the film or not. If there is, please let me know so I can stop being annoyed. I chose to use a lot of pink on this collage because I think pink is a happy color. . . i.e. bubble gum, cotton candy, roses, Barbie dolls, baby girls, etc. I printed the title on a transparency and adhered it with vellum dots. The blue paper lace, the vintage rose paper, and the quote are scraps from the wrappings Kari used when she sent me her swap pin {see previous post}. I love to recycle those kind of little bits and pieces. {I guess you could say it makes me HAPPY to reuse them!} The rest of the papers used in the collage {with the exception of the background paper} are from my scrap basket. I like projects where I can use papers leftover from other projects. I never throw any of my scraps out.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday Pick-Me-Up

Look what arrived in my mailbox today from Kari (aka Artsymama). What a perfect "pick-me-up" for a dreary Monday morning! She organized this darling little swap and I just couldn't resist being a part of it. Kari is an extremely talented artist who inspires me (and others) with her work and the challenges she posts. Last year she hosted the BOOK OF DREAMS challenge and currently she is hosting (along with Bonnie) the CABINET OF CURIOSITY challenge on her blog. Participating in swaps, challenges, round-robins, etc. is such a wonderful way to grow as an artist as well as meet new people, be inspired by their work and learn more about the artistic world. I encourage any of you who have not signed up for one of these events to take the plunge and give it a try. You will be amazed at how much you will gain from them.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Checking In

I just realized it has been a week since my last post....Yikes! Time sure does fly, doesn't it? However, we have had friends visiting from Florida this week and my regular schedule goes by the wayside when my friends are in town. They have been doing a lot of shopping at Land's End, Old Navy, Anthropologie, Macy's, Nordstroms, Restoration Hardware, IKEA, Homegoods, Container Store, etc. etc. As for me, I was looking for just the right color taper candles and discovered that tapers in yummy colors are practically non-existent these days. After checking at every store I could think of, I finally found the color I wanted at Restoration Hardware, but had to pay more than I planned to and also had to buy 2 boxes of six candles just to get two candles in the colors I wanted. That's fine with me though, as it gives me an excuse to burn candles more often.

We are having another snow and ice storm tonight, so I am wondering what the morning will bring. I am tired of snow now....ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! But then I really shouldn't whine too much as I think Colorado has had much worse weather than we have. Keep warm...

Friday, February 16, 2007

All Caught Up!

I am happy to say that I am officially all caught up on my Cabinet of Curiosity challenge prompts! Hooray!!! (Cue the confetti and balloons!!) I have always been a person who works best under the gun. But then I also like the feeling of having things completed. Go figure! Anyway, prompt number six was COLLECTIONS. Well, I didn't exactly know where to begin because as my DH would say, "You collect EVERYTHING!" Being a mixed media artist, it is difficult to part with anything that you see as a potention design element! I am sure you all can relate to that feeling. I wanted my collage to have a vintage feel to it since I collect mostly vintage items such as white ironstone pitchers, antique salt cellars, vintage cameras, old ribbons, lace and buttons, anything bird or nest related, garden themed items, vintage postcards, and so on and so on and so on. . . . . I know that all this collecting is part of the large problem I have been experiencing recently, which for those of you new to this blog is TOO MUCH STUFF in too little of a house! Even when I have the good intention to seriously start to purge, when I am actually faced with the decision of whether or not to toss out that tattered handkerchief or book I no longer use, I end up keeping them for that elusive project someday in the future! Bad, I know. Someday I will overcome this addiction. But then when I see photos of other artist's studios or work spaces and see the fabulous amounts of baubles, treats, and doo-dads that they have crammed into their areas, I no longer feel that I am the only one with this "collect and save" mentality. I guess it must just be an occupational hazard that I must learn to accept and live with. That concept is especially difficult to for someone who happens to be a Virgo and by nature likes things organized and tidy. But until I figure out how to solve this dilemma, I will continue to collect beautiful things that catch my eye and tug at my heart because "someday" may be just around the corner!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What Inspires Me?

The fifth prompt from Kari and Bonnie's Cabinet of Curiosity Challenge was INSPIRATION. This is a favorite theme of mine to use in my artwork. There is inspiration all around just have open your eyes and take it all in! This collage highlights my favorite inspirations du jour. I used an example of each of them as elements of the design. These are listed inside the little quotation tag. They are Books, Magazines, Nature, Cavallini Papers, Color, Famous (or not so famous) Quotes, Music, Catalogs, and Other Artists. If you look closely you will find a snippet of Kari's layout from this post where she included a photo I sent her. I was thrilled to see it used in her artwork, so I found a way to immortalize it in my artwork.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dream and Wonder Pages

I was able to complete two more pages this morning for the Cabinet of Curiosity Challenge which is running here and here. Bonnie and Kari are giving us fabulous prompts and thoughts to ponder. The DREAM page is all about goals and dreams. I used a photo of our "Dream House" that we just finished building and also a wee version of a "Dream Big in 2007" layout that I did after the first of the year. Inside the polka-dot organza bag is a clock face to remind me to "take time to dream."

I created the WONDER page with a shell chandelier from an old Anthropologie catalog, which I glittered up to make it seem like it was lit. For me the word wonder evokes a sort of a lighting up in our brain about all the possibilities life has to offer. I used bright colors to help carry out that theme.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Isn't this amazing? This is a sculpture by Jennifer Maestre that is made entirely of colored pencils! To see more go here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Cabinet of Curiosity

Can you believe it? I actually have two pages of the Cabinet of Curiosity Challenge completed. I am thrilled to finally have some time to work on this project. I'm creating these pages on 9 x 12 sheets of watercolor paper instead of in an album. I am not sure how I am going to house these pages yet - I have a couple of ideas cooking in my head - so I thought it would be best to just keep the pages loose for now. The watercolor paper (140 lb) is great for collage work because the stiffness of the paper adds stability to the artwork.

The first page of the challenge is
EXPLORE. I concentrated on exploring nature through walks in the woods and on nature trails. There are so many things to discover on these outdoor excursions -bird nests, flowers, leaves, butterflies, trees, etc. I love all the colors in can find any color you imaginable. The greens and browns are especially appealing to me because there are unlimited variations of each.

The second page of the challenge is CURIOSITY. My focus here was the typical questions people ask when they are curious about something - Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Being curious about things is how we expand our minds and learn about new things. It's the secret to personal growth. Be sure to ask questions of yourself as well as those around you. You'll be amazed at how much knowledge we all have to share.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weekend Clutter Control

And I wonder why I wasn't in the mood to be creative? Well I actually did know why, but just couldn't get motivated to find a place for the huge pile of stuff that had accumulated on my desk. Being a collector of ephemera and having a tiny work space just don't mix well. HOWEVER, after a very busy weekend of cleaning, the desk is now spic and span again:
I drank lots of coffee during the m favorite Anne Taintor designed coffee mug. Experts say it's good to keep your goals posted in front of you: I just watched Oprah this morning and I am thinking that maybe I need to make a run to Barnes and Noble to buy Peter Walsh's new book.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

More Shadow-Boxes

Here are some more shadow boxes I just made. These are smaller that the previous ones, measuring approximately 5 x 7 inches. I love working with tags and am greatly inspired by Sarah Lugg and her tag art. The one above has a Valentine theme. Below are two more - one I made for St. Patrick's Day and the other I made for my daughter. The tags are made of wood and I purchased them at Michaels. I believe the frames, which came unfinished, may have been from Micheals as well. I have had these unfinished items lying around my studio for quite some time now and finally have gotten around to doing something with them!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Retreat

I just sent this photo to Kari in response to her photo request on her blog. This is the inside of the little potting shed/garden house that my DH built me a few summers ago after I found a picture of one in an issue of Country Living Magazine. I ooohed and aaahed over that picture (and all the others I started to collect after that) so much that I think he built it for me so he wouldn't have to listen to me exclaim over the idea of a potting shed anymore. There is a funny story that happened when he was building it for me. All the neighborhood men would come over and check out the manly-sized shed he was building and my DH never once told them it was for me and all my pretties and not for him and his tools. Well, once the men saw us staining the floorboards a robin's egg blue color and the lace curtains being hung in the windows, they never came over again. It was their wives that started coming over to check it out then. Too funny!

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