Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

As 2013 begins, I wish all of my friends and loved ones a blessed year. I hope you get the opportunity to spend more time doing the things you love. I love to "create" and decorate and spend time with my family and friends, so I hope my year is filled with many good times.

I usually do not make resolutions, but this year I am going to strive to pay more attention to how I spend my most valuable commodity - my time. I want to waste less time watching mindless TV shows and instead use that time to get my digital photos in order and printed and get caught up with that HUGE goal. I also want to resolve to scrapbook at least once a month and continue hosting the Character Constructions Tag Swaps.

My daughter, Jennifer, has been writing a book about her miraculous recovery from Guillian-Barre Syndrome, and I want to help her finish it this year. This December will be the ten year anniversary of her contracting the disorder and she would like to have it complete by then. So, one of my resolutions is to help her achieve that goal.

Since January marks the two year anniversary of my retirement, I also think I need to seriously start working on cleaning out closets and getting rid of some of the clutter that I vowed I would tame after I retired!

So, even though when I started writing this entry, I didn't think I had a lot of plans for this new year, I guess my subconscious realized I really did!

PS: It goes without saying that I am also resolving to be a better blogger!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Art Doll Exchange

My Character Constructions Yahoo Group just had a Holiday Art Doll Exchange. Over 40 women signed up to create an Art Doll for a fellow CC Yahoo Member. I had a lot of fun creating my Doll, "Mary XMas," but it was hard to ship her off to Lou Ann, my partner in the swap! I wanted my Doll to be able to stand up on her own, so I mounted her on a paper mache letter "A."

I usually use my art pencils to color my girls, but I decided to pull out my Copic markers and start using them. It is amazing how I can amass so many art tools and then fail to pull them out and use them! Of course the color was much more vibrant with the markers. The only thing I need to work on is "make-up." I don't own a good "blush" color Copic pen!

I freehand cut Mary her stocking hat and sewed on a tiny bell. I just love tinsel, so she definitely needed some on her hat!

I cut a hole in her skirt to display a vintage scene of Santa visiting sleeping children on Christmas Eve. This image and the paper used for her skirt are both from Graphic 45's Christmas line. The "Believe" chipboard embellishment is from an older Little Yellow Bicycle Christmas line.

I tucked a tag between the layers of her skirt with the "Night Before Christmas" story on it (also from Graphic 45.) I love reindeers and used one of my glitter Christmas ornaments as Mary's sidekick.
I try to always sign and date my pieces, so I was really tickled when I finished Mary on 12-12-12!

I wanted to make sure the back of the "A" was adorned, so I cut tiny little "postcard" images from another Graphic 45 paper. I love vintage images and collect vintage Christmas decorations, so Graphic 45 is a favorite of mine. I put a lot of love into Mary XMas and wished her well in her new home!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Purple Sister Christmas Lunch

My two best friends, Sherry & Terry, and I have been friends for almost 30 years! One of my favorite poems is "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. (If you are unfamiliar with it, see her read it on YouTube: Jenny Joseph reads her poem, "Warning.")  Long before the Red Hat Society ever started, I claimed this poem as my personal anthem and declared that the three of us were to forever be known as "The Purple Sisters." We strive really hard to 'wear purple' and live life to the fullest on our way to becoming 'crazy little old ladies!'

Every year we meet at our favorite tearoom (and Antique Mall) and have lunch and exchange Christmas presents. This year I decided that I needed to make the girls an Art Doll to commemorate our special day out. Above you see Sherry (on the left) and Terry with their Dolls peeking out of the purple "Sister" stocking I adorned their packages with.

We generally have a lot of on-lookers when we start opening our bounty of gifts, but this year - for the first time - we actually had them yelling at us to hold up our treasures when we got them unwrapped!

This adorable altered art piece was my gift from Terry. She got it from the lady that has our favorite booth at the Antique Mall (Dorothy of the Shabby Y.) It is an old mantel clock base with a rotary phone dial mounted in the middle. I loved it!

Terry received these gorgeous metal angel wings from Sherry - and then had to try them on for size! 

Sherry unwrapped these vintage ice skates adorned for Christmas - another great gift from Terry.

Even though we loved the presents, the gift we treasure the most is our amazing friendship!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I start decorating for Christmas as soon as the turkey has cleared the table on Thanksgiving. I do not have lots of parties or tons of visitors, I decorate because I love living in the glow of the season. Every morning I get up super early because I love turning on the color wheel under my silver tree, lighting all of the candles, and watching the morning slowly emerge from behind the silhouette of winter trees outside the windows of my library. If it is cold enough (this winter has been VERY warm in the Dallas area) I will also light a fire. I spend this hour or so before dawn doing my daily devotionals and praying for my family and friends. Even though my routine of early rising is year round, I enjoy this time so much more when it is backlit by Christmas.

Not only do I love to decorate, I love to make new decorations. Being an avid Pinner (see my boards: http://pinterest.com/avidscrapper/) I am often inspired to try my hand at creations I find there. I also encourage my older grandchildren, Presley and Brady, to craft with me. Earlier this month I made a Tulle Wreath and before I placed the decorations on the base, the kids played with this "Tutu."

You can find the easy instructions to the wreath on my "Door Decor" board. Because I love gingerbread cookies and candy decor, I decided to embellish my wreath with artificial candy.

While I was working on my wreath, the kids made their foam kits from Michael's. Even though these kits can have some challenging parts, they do turn out really cute!

Since the beginning of December every time the kids came over we made something... ornaments, foam houses, homemade presents, or gingerbread cookies.

Kids really do add so much fun to Christmas!  I am so fortunate to have my grandchildren living less than 10 miles from me. I hope that you and yours are enjoying this "Most Wonderful Time of the Year!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tags from the CC Fall Art Doll Swap

Here are some of the beautiful Art Dolls from our
Character Constructions Fall Art Doll Tag Swap.

Tag by Kathy Maguire

Tag by Connie Fong

Tag by Jolene Ormonde

Tag by Rita Golaszewski

Tag by Doris Santore

Tag by Lisa Bruno

Tag by Darci Simmons

Tag by Hila Robbins

Tag by Dawn Kosec

Tag by Puff

Tag by Shannon Benedetti

Tags by Pame Rose

Tag by Mary Thompson

Tags by Christine Kepler

Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm A Calendar Girl!

As a member of the Loyal Order of the Glampers, I was super excited when I found out that I was going to be in their first calendar! For those of you who do not know about "Glamping," let me introduce you to one of the coolest ways to refuse to grow up there is!!!! Glamping is glamorous camping. It started with gals jazzing up their tents and bringing lace tablecloths and tea sets to inject some fun and style into their woodland adventures. Then, restoring vintage campers became popular and now women (and a few men) from all over the world have jumped on board this super fun caravan of glam!

The proceeds from the calendar benefit The Red Cross and you can order them here: 2013 Glamper's Calendar . Kelle Arvay did a great job putting this together. You can join our group of over 1,000 on facebook: Loyal Order of the Glampers .

Fall Tag Swap

It goes without saying, I am a little behind in posting on my blog! But I really wanted to post about the Fall Art Dolls Tag Swap that I hosted with my Character Constructions Yahoo group. I love, love, love creating art dolls using Catherine Moore's paper doll stamp line called  Character Constructions . The ladies in our Yahoo group are AMAZING artists and we had 24 participate in this first swap. Last week I mailed all of the tags back to the gals and everyone seemed to really be happy with the quality of work that went into them. Above I have my "Fall Fairy" and before I mounted her on the tag, I sent the tag through my Tim Holtz embossing folder that looks like tree bark. Her headdress is made with birdseed.

To create her skirt, I first stamped the leaves with Luminarte water paint (3 fall colors) and then cut out and  "molded" their veins between my two thumbnails to create the raised effect similar to the wire you often see in silk leaves, then applied some Tim Holtz Distressed ink over the veins and finally curled up their edges and used a different ink to highlight their "underbellies." I secured the leaves to her skirt only with the metal brad she appears to be holding in her hands so they "floated" off the end of the tag. To make her wings, I used embossing ink on vellum and then used a black & silver embossing powder. I wanted her wings to look as real as possible. To finish it up I place the Autumn moon on the clock with a little pennant declaring that "Time flies." (Which I always feel in the fall...it seems to evaporate!)

I'm going to ask my fellow swappers if they would allow me to post some of their work here on my blog. Hopefully, I can show you some of their work.

I am currently hosting a Winter / Holiday Tag Swap and look forward to posting my art doll soon. I have been doing a lot of decorating around the house and would also like to find the time to put up some pictures.