Monday, December 27, 2010

Has it really been six months?

Well, yes, it has been. I tried to start a different blog, but it fell flat. It was a stupid idea, really, wasn't it? I mean, if I wasn't writing here, why in the world would I think I could magically write under another title, on a different background?

Since we last talked, I have read the first two Twilights, had knee surgery and gone on more college visits than I care to recount here.

I realize I have a full 5 days before I need to commit to this, but there is no time like the present. I think I need to get more organized about this blog thing. It was easy when I first started the Paperdoll Post. It was to show my year-long project of making a paperdoll every day for a year. After that, I lost my way. What did I really have to say, anyway? I'm not doing year-long projects anymore. Seems like a lot of people are now. When I first did it in 2004, some people thought I was crazy. Some people didn't believe I had actually done it. I am. I did.
Oh - the commitment - I bought a notebook and divided it into months and started planning my 2011 posts. I am shooting for 4 posts a week. One about the Sketchbook Challenge, one about an ongoing project I'm working on, one about a finished project and maybe one about home dec - we're on the interior redo at the moment.

Lofty goal, I know, but I must do this. No...I want to do this. So I guess you'll just have to read it.

The 25th of every month will be a Christmas project. Start early. Avoid the last minute rush.

Happy New Year.


ps - I am team Jacob.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My summer break finally started on Tuesday. I think this is the latest we have ever been in school around here. We always get out in May, but we have a new Supt. of Public Instruction who says 180 days means 180 days, so we had to make up Every. Single. Snow. Day. In years past we have been able to do a one-for-two deal. So this was the closest I have ever been to having my birthday during school. I turned 43 on Wednesday. It's okay, 43. Here are the journal pages I did on my birthday:

Yep...I'm back journaling. I go on and off with it. I was doing really well for January and most of February, but then I got derailed. I was writing so many worries in my journal that it was no fun! It became a total downer and a way to test my life. I would write down everything I was freaking out about and then keep going over the list until everything was resolved (or not). But I wanted to make cool art books, not monuments to my neuroses, so I quit. Then I had a great idea for a new book structure. I made one and started working in it June 1. It is a worry-free zone.

The book is pictured with a newly planted hosta. Remember last fall when we did the big reno at the house? It didn't get finished until November, so we left the landscaping for this summer. The hosta is in a new shade bed JR and I put in on Memorial Day. The wheels turn around here...they just turn slowly. I limited my summer to do list to only 25 items. I have a good start on it, but there are some things that have to be done before I can do other things on the list - like a yard sale - hate 'em, but it's time...we have so much excess stuff.

Court goes to Speed Camp for 3 days this week. She is so pumped for it. Doesn't sprinting around an asphalt oval in 90 degree heat for hours on end sound like fun? To her, yes; it's heaven on earth. Truthfully, I'm thrilled she has a passion. Passion seems lacking in too many people, not just kids, these days. More passion for one's talent - that's what the world needs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two Projects

Logan Barrett, Whitley, Courtney and Andrew Solliday. In our new orange foyer. Looking precious. This was taken at around 2:45 on Saturday, April 17. Prom. The end product of two months of asking, thinking, planning, shopping and doing. Worth it. It was like a very long and complicated mixed media project.

If you know me, you know that worrying is my part-time low-paying part-time job with sucky hours, like 2:00 - 4:00am. So if you know me, you would think that me sending my little girls out the door in separate cars with separate boys at three o'clock in the afternoon for essentially an all-night date would be a Worrypalooza. But you would be wrong. This is the truth: I did not worry one bit about any of them. I know both of the boys a little - they've both spent a few hours holding down the couch in the family room and I have never seen their names in the police log for speeding. And I know my girls a lot and I trust them. So there, Worry, take that.
And thanks to the Barretts and Sollidays for raising nice young men. I keep thinking I'm lucky to have daughters who are lovely inside and out and that these boys asked, but then I realize I'm not lucky at all. I am blessed.

I was actually inspired to make a little picture book. For the first time in I think months, I actually FELT like making something. What a relief. I started it Monday and finished it last night. I love a finished book, don't you? Here are some of the pages in progress.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where I've been...

where I am ...where I am going. I have kind of abandoned this blog, haven't I? I really didn't mean to. I have spent 2010 so far on a roller coaster of emotion. No, nothing big has happened in my life. No real crisis of any kind.

I have this habit - a lifelong habit - that I must kick. It's sucking all the color and flavor out of me. I fixate on things - not literal objects, but situations. I spend hours and hours trying to read the tea leaves and then more hours brewing pots and pots of tea until the leaves say what I want them to.

I guess it boils down to a couple of core issues:
1. I fear that I will drop the ball...that all the sign I should do something are right there in front of me and I will, from sheer stupidity, miss them and wreck my Whole Life.

2. A lack of faith.

I am spinning my wheels creatively because I cannot focus on art when I am mentally writing a script for a Lifetime movie based on an inconsequential exchange with a stranger at WalMart.

This is just a season I must endure. I know it will pass. I must be patient with myself and ride this out.

Until then...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Year, New Project

Wow! It's 2010 and I don't want to believe it. Too many big things will happen this year; things I am not ready for...Courtney will get her drivers license, Whitley will turn 18, have her senior pictures taken, start her senior year of high school, and, gasp, play her final high school soccer season. Mommy's not ready.

As some of you know, I did year-long art challenges for five years, beginning in 2004 with the Purse Book Project. I took last year off for a variety of reasons, the main one being that the projects had lost a certain amount of their soul. I was doing it for the sake of saying I had, for the sake of the challenge, not for the art.

I have to tell you, it was strange not to have that thing I had to do every day. I often felt I had forgotten something or had one one black shoe and one brown something wasn't right. So for 2010, I hope to find a balance of sorts; a gentler year-long project that will benefit me in some way other than having created another monument to my stubbornness in the form of a stack of 365 useless objects.

Art Journals, right? Everybody does it. I see so many incredible pages online from Teesha Moore, Judy Wise, Kelly Kilmer and so many others and it makes me want to art journal. So I make a book - that's the easy part - and start to fill it, but then I don't like it for any number of reasons, so I abandon the journal and give up on the idea of art journaling for a few months. I mean, maybe it just isn't for me, right? I can't do everything; nobody can. So maybe I file Art Journaling in the same mental folder as wearing a size 0 skinny jean, the one labeled "It Ain't Happenin', Sister".

It seems just plain wrong that I can make all kinds of books from the old ways Gothic to a single-sheet and not be able to fill them. So this is the year that I conquer Art Journaling. I know I need help. I need an expert. I signed up for Kelly Kilmer's online class "A Life Made by Hand" to get started. I made this little book - a simple hardback pamphlet for my first book. Not too many pages and lots of space built into the spine to accommodate collages on the pages. The image on the cover came from philosophy packaging. I decided to number my books, with the modest goal of filling one per month this year.

I love the way this little book went together, so I made a few more. We had two snow days and I couldn't waste them cleaning. They don't have cover embellishment yet. Not sure which one I'll use next. Those are pictured at the top of this post. These books were all made from materials I had on hand at home. The pages are white cardstock of a Very Pedestrian Variety. Two of the books are made from full 8'5 x 11 sheets and the smaller ones are half-sheets. One is folded the tall way, the other width wise. Very economical. That has always been a peeve of mine in bookbinding - all those off cuts! Strange sizes of paper that I save, but never use. NO SCRAPS, I say, in 2010!
I'm working in my book every day and using the prompts from Kelly's class. It's January 9th and my journal isn't in the landfill yet. Maybe there's hope.