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.


...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!












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!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 in 7; Day Seven & Wednesday Hodgepodge

A big pause from my last post, but life was calling me elsewhere, with its various demands, responsibilities, and circumstances.  Today, I have the day off; and outside, it's snowing pretty hard right now, so I'm seizing the moment, while time allows!  For Day 7 of this particular mixed media project, I chose my final element to be a focal image.  (From there, I couldn't stop, and I add various other embellishments as well.)  Going against the rules, really, I chose to finish the pages, rather than leave them as just backgrounds, but here's what I ended up with...

Page One...

Page Two...

Page Three...

Page Four...

Page Five...

Page Six...

Page Seven...

So, the question now in my mind is, "Am I happy with these?..  And did I learn anything?"....  I feel happy with them, but not happy in that I know I did not learn enough, just yet, by how I did them. Jennibellie has extended this project with a bonus project to make MORE backgrounds, so I am all over this! More about that soon....   

Meanwhile, it's been a long time, and I thought I'd take part in Wednesday Hodgepodge, with From This Side of The Pond.  

1.  Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it is also National Game and Puzzle Week.  What game have you played most recently, and who were you with?  Have you worked a puzzle at all in the last week?

Answer:  I played Don't Break The Ice with my kids at church..  I work with preschool children; so honestly, I'm putting the game back together for 95% of the time.  After the kids pay no mind to rules and taking turns too well yet, they are just breaking the ice in practically NO time, because it just seems like that's the thing to do!...

Still, I'm happy to take the game out every time they ask, because it makes them laugh, and in turn, it makes ME laugh!...  As for puzzles, I haven't had the time to do any lately, and they're not something I look to do very often, for whatever reason.

2.  What is one place you were thankful for this year?

Answer:  Personal, but I'll say "our stage at the park". 

3.  Take a nap, watch football, go for an after-dinner walk, or hit the stores...  Which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving Day?

Answer:  Watch football, of course, but not too much!  Time spent just talking with family is much more important!

4.  Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home-cooked meal?

Answer:  I'm not sure how to interpret this question..  As I question if this means another holiday meal?...  Then it would be Christmas Dinner, I guess.  But otherwise, as what my favorite every-night type of home cooked meal?  Then, I would say homemade macaroni and cheese..  with meatloaf... with my boyfriend!

5.  What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?

Answer:  Anything AGE DEFYING!!

6.  Christmas shopping..  Have you begun?..  Finished?  Will you shop on Black Friday?  How do you feel about stores open on Thanksgiving Day?..  What percentage of your shopping is done online?

Answers:  Yes, I've begun.  No, I am definitely NOT finished.  I don't know if I'll shop on Friday, as I guess I would more likely shop on the weekend...  I do NOT like that stores are open on Thanksgiving.  Shame on the stores for putting business above anyone's FAMILY!!!...  And finally, as for what percentage I shop online?  I would guess maybe about 50%.  It has increased in years, as it's so much EASIER, with no worries about gasoline usage and holiday traffic!

7.  What are you most grateful for, that adds beauty to your everyday life?

Answer:  I had to think about this for a minute, but what comes to mind is simply a smile.  I love to see a smile on my kids' faces, my boyfriend's face, or on anyone's face!  It might be contentment, joy, gratitude, or something funny that comes across in a smile; but whatever the reason, it always warms my heart..  And to me, that is beautiful!

8.  Insert random thought here....

I've forever been a big fan of the Peanuts, and their creater, Charles Schultz.  

His birthday was on November 26th, 1922, so I just wanted to remember him on this day!  I didn't dare miss this year's showing of It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown; and I am all ready to set out the popcorn and jellybeans tonight for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!  Thank you, Charles Schultz, for all the smiles you still bring to me!

Thanks to Joyce for hosting
Hodgpodege Wednesday!
And my thanks to everyone for stopping by today..
Wishing you all a blessed, and 


Friday, November 14, 2014

7 in 7; Day Six

For Day Six of Jennibellie's 7 Backgrounds In 7 Days, I chose DOODLING!  The tools I used included pens, pencils, markers, and gelatos.  Some pages went through bigger changes than others, but here they are...

Page One...

(Just white pen to add more lacy looking edging on the doilies)

Page Two...

(Used black pen to outline flowers, and gelato to darken edges of page)

Page Three...

(White pen for border snowflakes; blue & gold pens for snowflake atop the tree)

Page Four...

(I just didn't want an Easter-egg look! But I like how it looks almost tribal now!)

Page Five...

(Outlining and detailed leaves on the left; and a shoelace effect on the right)

Page Six...

(wanted to add the zig-zag/ric-rac look, like Charlie Brown's shirt!)

Page Seven...

(outlined tag & inside doily; fancy-schmancy doodles on bottom-left corner)

Once again, I enjoyed the process, but I still feel very stiff about mixed media in general.  I absolutely LOVE the idea of it, but I really need to learn to throw caution to the wind.  I KNOW I'm being much too neat and orderly about it.  

While I like how these are coming along, it's my hope to keep practicing more with it...   to keep LEARNING...   In the meantime, there looks to be just one more day left for these pages!  

Thanks for stopping by!