Saturday, December 31, 2011

Lets NOT make New Years Resolutions!

Looking back on the year and questioning so many things like should I continue with this blog, should I make cards or try something completely different, should I open up a shop and sell my creations, am I good enough, what do I want to create, do I have the time, and what can be my New Years Resolution? Then the other day as I was pondering all these thoughts I received a newsletter from Leslie Riley from Artist Success.  WOW it was like she knew what I was thinking. I subscribe to her newsletters and she always seems to make a good point.  Her Three Questions article was perfect and you should read it. It's not just for artists, crafters, scrapbookers, etc. its for every person. 

Three Quick Questions

Life is one long continuum. We need markers in order to assess our progress. January 1st is one of those markers.

I'm somewhat of a rebel. I don't like to do what everyone else is doing. That means I don't want to talk about new year's resolutions, setting goals for 2012 or how to make this your best year yet. I have already received way too many emails along those lines. How about you?

It did get me to wondering though, why there is so much focus on new starts and fresh beginnings at the beginning of a new year? January 1st is the universally agreed upon time, a convenient reminder for us to pause and assess. Rather than focus on new beginnings (which, let's face it, are very hard and doomed to failure), let's consider this a time for course correction.

The first question you should be asking yourself right now is, "Am I headed in the right direction?" Whether you admit it or not, there is something you want to be doing with your life that you are not doing...yet. The dream may be so far off or seem so out of reach that you've been going about it in a roundabout way, if at all.

Or, if you are at all like me, you have more than enough ideas to last 10 lifetimes and you just can't figure out which one to take action on. You are creating a tight zigzag stitch of your life, back and forth, side to side, with very little forward movement.

The second question you need to ask is, "Which ideas, which dreams, hold the most meaning for me?" Pick three. And make one of them a stretch, something you consider to be out of reach. Be sure that the ones you choose make your heart go pitty-pat, either from excitement and desire or fear. Fear is a good thing. It's a sign that you want something that scares you. If you are not thinking outside of your comfort zone, you are not living up to your potential.

Question #3 is, "Did I act on those dreams?" Did you take actions that would move you forward and closer to the realization of your ideas and dreams or did you zigzag through the year and divide your time among too many things? Chances are you did both. It's exactly the steady course most of us take through life. And it's exactly the reason why so many of us die with our dreams still inside. To paraphrase Wayne Dyer:

Don't die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul.

It’s time for a course correction. January 1st is a few days away. You still have time to make a course correction in 2011. Rather than wait until that official, agreed upon day, do it now. Waiting like everyone else for January 1st is just another excuse. It's procrastination. It's telling yourself that a date is more important than your dream.

Find out where and how have you veered off following your intuition, your passion - and decide what you can do right now, TODAY, to get back on track. The hidden bonus is that you don't start the new year off commiserating over all of the things that you want to change or start or commit to. You won't focus on what's missing in your life because you have already done something about it. You have a head start on everyone else!

I know you will feel really good on January 1st because you took positive action now. Promise me you will continue to take action and make the necessary course corrections for the next 365 days. Do that and I guarantee that 2012 will be your best year yet!

Happy New Year!

Lesley Riley, The Artist Success Expert, is the creative founder of Artist Success, Solutions for the Struggling Artist. To receive her bi-weekly articles on creating your own success as an artist, visit  ;

Today I decided to try to get myself back on track. There are so many ways to be creative and I just need to go forward and just do it. I keep thinking I have to make cards all the time and that's all anyone wants to see. My problem is pleasing others and that is so stupid.  I need to please myself.  I shouldn't have to worry about weather someone in blog land likes it it or not. If it makes me happy I should just make it, post it and enjoy it. I'm not going in the direction of my dreams and therefore  not acting on those dreams. That must stop and it stops today.

Are you making New Years Resolutions?
Are you acting on your dreams?

I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Years and
May your dreams come true!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's almost over...

I can't believe the year is almost over. My mother always said as you age the years go by faster and as a little girl I use to laugh at her saying no way! Now there is not enough time in a day. Enjoying the holidays with family and friends has left me no time for my craft room. I thought I would share a few pics from the Chicago Art Museum for some inspiration and few other miscellaneous shots I thought would be fun to share!

Paul Theodor van Brussell
oil on panel
Still Life with Fruit and Flowers 1787

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
oil on canvas
Wounded Eurydice 1868/70



Monet Water Lillies


Sculpture in Millennium Park 


This building is being renovated. I'm sure it's going to be a department store but the doors to the building are so ornate. I love them.

Old sewing machines.

Wrigley Building

The show was playing in Chicago.

May all your hopes, dreams and wishes come true in 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hello! I've been neglecting my blog a little. I have been busy with Christmas like many others this time of year.  We all know Christmas is December 25th, right?  How come I always manage to be last minute with everything?  I have family arriving from Florida on Christmas Eve so I have been busy trying to the house in order.  I still haven't put up a Christmas Tree. My daughter was supposed to come home today but she called at 3:30am and was very sick with a nasty stomach bug. Now her flight is tomorrow night so keep all your fingers and toes crossed that she's well enough to come home.

Today we were going to finish up shopping, listen to Christmas carols, decorate the tree and make soup. It was a little lonely today without her.

Today is my last Christmas creation. My goddaughter was here over the weekend and we made her mother a gift plus a couple of ornaments.  This ormanment was made with Tim Holtz' little bottles. So cute!  I stamped the snowman and lined the back of it with Christmas paper, added glue, diamond dust, and added ribbon and snowflakes on the outside. I love the way it came out. I think I will make more for next year.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and
a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Santa!!! a pocket watch?

Hello! I decided to try my hand at a Tim Holtz pocket watch. I don't have a lot of three dimensional items (that will change very soon) so I decided to do a winter scene instead.

The great thing about this pocket watch case is that the back clicks on and off very easily.
I can make many different things for the inside and change it out every so often.
I'm not sure I like this so I just might change it out!!

Thanks so much for stopping.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Lewis Carroll Christmas: Chapter 10

On The Altered Alice blog this month they are showing us the The Lewis Carroll Memorial Windows at Daniell Chapel in England.

They are so beautiful. I would love to travel to England and see them. If you click HERE it will take you to The Altered Alice blog and HERE for more information.

Here is my entry for this challenge.  It's a 3"x 3" stretched canvas covered with Christmas paper from My Minds Eye and the Mad Hatter!

I turned this canvas into an ornament.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stockings or Trees?

I decided on stockings. As you will see below I made three chipboard tags and I love how the stocking shaped tag came out.  It's my all time favorite Santa stamp and the first Christmas stamp I bought. My second favorite stamp is on the other two tags. I actually have this stamp in this small size and a larger size.  All these stamps are from PSX which sadly doesn't exist anymore. I have been going through all my stamps and was surprised to see many stamps I don't use anymore. I'm going to start to pull some old ones and make a few projects.  Maybe this will inspire you to do the same.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do you have a favorite stamp for Christmas?

ello!  When I start making holiday creations I'm drawn to snowflakes then to Santa. Right now I've been using Santa stamps from Tim Holtz.  I think it's the vintage look. I have five Santa stamps that I adore. I know two for sure that you can't buy anywhere.  As I make my Christmas gifts and post them here, I'm sure you will see all of my favorites.

This tag I created with one of Tim Holtz Santa stamps. I already had the paper (HOTP) glued to the tag and the trees (Tim Holtz) stamped on it. With a few paper scraps, stickers, punch and Santa it was complete.

The next tag I started then couldn't finish.  I used distress ink in aged mahogany and water on my craft sheet and pulled the tag through it and then I used a Crafters Workshop stencil and red metallic paint on the background. After I did all that I had a brain fart and my idea was gone. Don't you hate when that happens?  Anyway I put it down and started cleaning up my table when I found the snowflake border die from Memory Box and the trees stamp from Tim Holtz and now I had an idea to finish the tag. 

I think the color stopped me but now that I completed it I may do more in these colors.
The only thing I will change is the ribbon.  I found something nicer.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Crafter's Workshop Blog

Hello! I'm very excited today! I sent in a few links from my blog to The Crafter's Workshop to show them what I've done with their templates. Today, they put those creations on their blog! 

Go take a peak on The Crafter's Workshop Blog!


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas Week #12

I actually completed the challenge! I can't believe it. This last tag was hard to create. Not that I didn't know what I wanted to do but just getting in my craft room was difficult. So much do to and so little time!

Linda's last tag had a bird cage on it. It's so pretty. You can see it HERE. I thought of using it too but everytime I tried it just didn't look right.  So I just used a bird.  I had to take a picture of this at night so this picture doesn't do it justice.  But I added diamond dust on the birds nest and word so it sparkles.

Linda, I had a great time with this challenge!
I hope you do it again next year!

Thanks for stopping by.

My Smashing Travels

I bought a SMASH journal and took it with me to Chicago. They now come in two sizes and this one is the small one (5.6 x 7ish).  I decided to use this size for travel. I worked on these pages in Chicago. Now all I have to do is add pictures.

This is what the cover looks like. When I finish the journal, I will decorate the cover but until then it will be just left blank.

This is the inside cover. I found this picture in Southwest's magazine. The black letters are black glitter stickers that I brought with me.

This next page is all about the trip and where we ate the first night. I used stuff from the airlines magazine, tags on my bag and the TSA sticker after they searched my bag.

The third page has a journal tag that you can buy for the SMASH journals. I forgot I had it in my bag. The "Thinker" sticker was on the toilet paper cover and I added movie tickets.
The next page I will add pictures and a few other embellishments.

Because I don't like to decorate the cover until I'm done I decided to keep the plastic cover on it.
With the cover on it's hard to get at the pen. As you can see here, I just cut off the plastic over the pen so that I can easily use it.

It's hard to see because of the clear plastic but if you look closely you can see the plastic is only cut off the pen.  The pen has glue on one end and the other end is the pen.  The pen is nice but I don't like the glue.  I carry a glue stick with me instead. 

I carry all my journals and supplies in a Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag in XS. You can click on the name and it will link you to where I bought it from so you can see all the details.
It's a perfect little bag and comfortable to carry.

This time around I carried the following in it:
3 Journals (3 sizes; med, small and extra small)
Faber Castell Pitt Pens (lots of colors)
6x6 Crafter Workshop Templates
Ink and stamps
Misc. small templates
Glue Stick
Journal Tag (Smash journal supplies)
Small manila tags; vintage music paper and dictionary paper
There is also a pocket in this page for a small ipad, nook, etc.
I carried my Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Have you seen Marilyn?

Hello! I have a couple of pictures to show you.  I think they are funny!
If you don't know there is a huge Marilyn Monroe statue in Chicago and here she is.

Lately I love taking pictures of people doing funny things. On our way back to the hotel we stopped to take the next two pictures. My daughter and I were laughing so hard.

Notice the guy with the camera.

They switch places! Too Funny!!

That's it for today.
I'm in the middle of working on too many things at one time.
I don't have one thing is finished for a picture.

I should have something to show you soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Art Journal Travels!

Today I have a couple of pages from my art journal.  We spend Thanksgiving in Chicago and I carry my journals and a few supplies with me.  This time around we are quite a bit of down time to relax so I worked on a few pages.  Black Friday I headed to Blick Art Supplies and picked up a watercolor pocket size Moleskine plus a few other supplies. I may keep this one with me on a daily basis to doodle in during lunch at work or just for whenever.  I will show you the one page I made in the pocket journal in another post.


I bought a few stamps with me (Dylusions Rubber Stamps), 6x6 Crafters Workshop templates, and a few markers.  I put Gesso on a few pages before I left and when you use Faber Castell's Pitt artist brush pens they stay wet and you can use your fingers to blend colors or add texture. In the close up below you will see a little texture I added to the leaves.  I colored in the leaves then used a paper towel to add that spotted look.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Spirelli Flowers and Chipboard

I found a piece of chipboard, painted it with distress crackle paint and turned it around to make it look like a vase. Then I found some paper and punched Spirelli flowers and designed a bouquet for the vase. This is how it turned out.

Thanks for much for stopping by.