Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yum - new supplies!

Bill gave me a gift certificate to Dick Blick for Christmas. It was a great gift because today I went shopping and bought all sorts of fun new supplies that I wanted to try. I picked out two big packs of handmade paper with lots of texture and pattern, a mechanical pencil, lead and erasers. I had sworn off gel pens for a couple years because I always had problems with them drying up, but after Wendy and I played with hers yesterday I just had to get some. So picked out a sent of 10 glittery ones and I bought a new kind called "glaze" gel pens. They are awesome! When they dry, the ink is raised and looks like it was heat embossed! And... a Picasso calendar and an Andy Warhol magnet. And a portable watercolor set that I'm planning to take on our honeymoon this summer and a 192 page sketchbook that I'm going to use as my 2006 art journal. Ok, so you could have figured out most of that from looking at the picture - but I'm excited!


Over the last few weeks, I have been taking on several decos at a time from different people, but they've been sitting in my deco box waiting due to the busy nature of the holiday season. So, yesterday and today I have been working on decos like crazy, trying to keep them moving on. I've arted up 20 pages in the last two days! Here are a few of my favorite pages.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Yea - new ATC's!

Animal ATCs for the Member of the Month gift (front and back)

Today when Wendy came over to make art with me, she brought me ATC's for the E.C. swaps. They are very fabulous, and are a great addition to my ATC binder. Plus I feel lucky to receive some of the very first ATCs that she has ever made - and I know she put lots of TLC into them.

Paper weaving

Altered Photo Fun!

I created 5 altered photograph ATC's today. They are for a swap on Nervousness and were inspired by the artwork of Karen Michel. I bought her book a few weeks ago and this was a great excuse to play with the techniques within. Her website is great, too. Plus Wendy came over to play today and it was so helpful to have her there to bounce ideas off of. These ones were hard to part with, so I hope to get some cool returns!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Melissa's gift

Before Christmas I received an amazing holiday gift exchange package from Melissa via the Embellished Circus. Everything was beautifully wrapped and presented. It was so tempting that even my kitty had to check it out!
She included a beaded necklace that I've already worn several times, a glittery ornament, hand-printed cards, a great sunflower ATC, a terrific assortment of beautiful papers, and lots of other goodies! I definitely felt spoiled - but at least I know that she is enjoying the handmade scarf and wrist-warmers that I sent her.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Gift for Bethany

I made my younger sister a little scrapbook (6"x6") for Christmas. She is taking a trip to Paris, France with her art department in March (she's a junior in high school). So, I made up pages that she could stick pictures into from the trip. The papers were all in coordinating colors and patterns (papers by Chatterbox). I think that she really liked it!

Christmas gifts

I did a fair amount of arting and crafting for Christmas gifts this year. I made two mini books inside of Altoid tins for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The eight pictures inside are all of our nephew on the day of our wedding in September. They turned out SO cute - I am going to have to make myself one to keep, I think. The construction was pretty simple. I made eight individual mini pages, then I glued them back-to-back with ribbon between the pages. Finally I attached the ends of the ribbons into the bottom of the tin and covered them with a piece of paper.

I also crocheted a scarf for a friend and teacher at my school who was my secret santa partner this year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I finished my 20+ prints for Nicci's Fine Art Valentine project. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. It is a simple design, but I used a 4-color reduction printing technique which is semi-complicated. I started by printing the background all light green. Then I cut away the things on my block that I wanted to stay light green and printed with dark green. Then I cut away the parts that I wanted to stay dark green and printed pink. Then I cut away what I wanted to stay pink, and finally printed red on top. It takes a lot of careful lining up, and I'll never be able to make any more, since I cut away parts of the design as I go. Anyway, it is nice to check one more thing off the to-do list! And - I'm actually feeling like I might be getting better from my cold/flu extravaganza, so that is good news!

Monday, December 19, 2005

You know that point when you've been sick so long that it feels like you'll never be 100% healthy again? Yeah, I've hit that point. I stayed home sick from work today so that I could go to the doctor and get some more antibiotics. Hopefully I will be back to normal by Christmas *fingers crossed*.

Anyway, sometime between sleeping, blowing my nose, and drinking tea today I was able to wrap a bunch of gifts, work on the Maps & Postage deco pictured above, and add a few things to my visual correspondence journal and update the blog. I'll be able to send that off to Beth tomorrow, right on time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Things that are making me happy today...

1. Cookies from our cookie exchange at school today. I brought 2 dozen sugar cookies (those are my little stars) and we all traded and I came home with a delicious assortment!
2. Pin and fabric from Nici for the Member of the Month on the Embellished Circus. I love it!
3. My pointsetta plant that is sitting on my kitchen counter. It is just so... Christmasy.
4. Speaking of Christmasy (that really should be a word) - We finally got our tree set up last Sunday, and I'm very happy with it. Lots of silver and red, and we've added a few special ornaments this year - like the wooden Sticks tree ornament that was a wedding shower gift, and the Eiffel tower in the bottom right of the picture. I bought it in Vegas in March after we got engaged. It's nice to plug it in - it is such a warm glow in the room.

I was just thinking that I'd beaten my sinus infection and now I've lost my voice and had a sore throat all day, so #5 is my Serenity Now herbal tea I'm drinking... from my favorite hip tea shop in Des Moines - Gong Fu tea. Off to recouperate a little....

ATC holder

I made this ATC holder accordian book for a swap on Nervousness. SillySaraSue sent me an envelope full of yellowy goodies and I made this and sent it back to her. It was fun - and I got to keep what was left over!

Monday, December 12, 2005

My moment of fame!

So - I was on the FRONT PAGE of the paper in Iowa City today! Wow - I thought maybe the mailing story would be back in the tail end of the paper, but my husband leaves me a message today saying "Did you know that you're on the front page of the Press Citizen today?"

Anyway, here's the link the story - you have to scroll down to see my picture. I look pretty weird. I was all bundled up and trying to avoid making eye contact with the photographer. :)

Friday, December 09, 2005

What's up...

I've been working on making our Christmas cards and more frames for gifts. I have several more gifts to make for the people on our list, and I still have to address all the envelopes and sign all the cards, so I'll be busy for the next couple weeks. Anyway, I'd rather be making gifts than spending time in the packed shopping mall!

Sticks Mirror

Here are the pictures of the wedding gift mirror - as promised. Now we just have to decide where to hang it up.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Stripes and Polka Dots ATC's

These are 3 ATC's that I made for a "Stripes and Polka Dots" ATC swap on Nervousness. I'll be passing them on to the host, Beth, when I send her journal back to her this week.

I was able to make two more clipboard frames for Christmas gifts this weekend, and finish my handmade gift for the E.C. holiday gift exchange. I still have lots of things on my to-do list, but I'm not moving through them too quickly right now because I'm fighting a sinus infection. Ouch. At least I got ahold of some antibiotics this afternoon.

Sunday my family came over to see the Grant Wood exhibit at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. It was an excellent exhibit, but I had already seen it once, and my sinuses were giving me tons of grief, so it was a pretty rough afternoon. The *really* exciting part is that our wedding gift from my parents was completed this week and they brought it with them. It is a mirror made by the artist/company called Sticks and it has "marriage advice" from my parents to us. It is so perfect and beautiful - I'll post pictures soon.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

This is something great that I discovered today. It is a 20 questions game that will *blow your mind*. It can guess anything that you can think of. This would be a great gift for anyone on your list over 8 years old.

I made a frame for a Christmas gift for my friend who was my personal attendant at the wedding. It is nice to be able to check one off my to-do list since I have a long list of handmade gifts that I want to make this year. I used this clipboard frame by 7Gypsies. I think I will use more of these for making gifts. They're relatively quick and easy to alter and look neat-o no matter what.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Beth's journal is here!

I'm so excited that Beth's journal came in the mail today! It is so great to be able to look forward to working on this project that will grow and change everytime we exchange the journals. I'm planning on getting to work in it soon, but tonight I'm reserving a few hours to work on a Christmas gift for my sister, which I won't mention here just in case she comes snooping around. What I *should* be doing is working off the calories from yesterday (mmm...) but that always seems to take second place to making art (and just about everything else). Too bad...

I'm posting a picture of a page in a sewn & stiched deco via the E.C. I just realized it looks quite similar to the bee page I did last week, but I do enjoy the patterned quilt effect. And I *love* my African symbols stamp set.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Morning Collages

I like this idea. She makes a collage each morning without worrying about how it turns out or where it is going. Maybe I will start this today since there is no school to teach (woo-hoo!). I am going to the art museum today to see a big Grant Wood exhibit, and maybe this afternoon I'll have a crochet party with a friend and rent some movies. Tonight we're headed to Des Moines for the Thanksgiving feast. I'm posting a picture of a little painting I did for a bridge deco while I was watching t.v. last night. It is my favorite bridge in the little town where I went to college.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Art Space

Here is a photo of my corner of our "guest bedroom" which is actually an art studio/storage space. I got the work table a few months ago and it has been GREAT to have a space where I can leave projects out and come back to them later. Although, if I leave them out for too long, small pieces may end of on the floor as a result of this little kitty named Cleo.

Traveling Visual Journal

I'm so fired up about this new project organized on the Embellished Circus. I've purchased a small moleskine journal and arted up 8 pages so far. Yesterday I sent it out to my partner Beth. She will take inspiration from what I have started, add to my pages, and send it back to me for more work. Meanwhile, she sent me her journal and I will do the same! I've added links to the blogs tracking our projects, as well as links to lots of other super duper cool blogs.

Also I just found out that I've been selected as the "Member of the Month" at the Embellished Circus, which is a new thing that they are starting in 2006. Sounds like people will be sending my handmade things all month - now that is *awesome*.

I'm thinking about signing up for a graduate class at the University of Iowa this spring. It's called "Artist's Books". It should be a very interesting topic, and one that I will dive right in to, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up my Tuesday nights every week, since it is one of the only weeknights I get to hang out with Bill. It will get me going towards a goal of getting my master's within the next few years. The question is - masters in what?

Well, I hate to make such a long post without a picture, so here is a page from a round robin deco from Destiny Art Decos. The book was really neat - a paper bag book with a pocket for each person and a cardstock card that pulls out of the pocket. I'm so happy with how this page turned out. I may have to use the quote again in my journal, beacause I think it is extra sweet.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Happy New Purse!

Last night I went to a purse party held by a coworker and found one that I couldn't live with out. Lovin' the yellow prints - it's so cheerful. A good new aquisition now that the weather has changed to freezing cold and gloomy here.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday Deco Work

Sundays seem to best the best day for me to find a chunk of time to get some artwork done. Today I worked on a few decos including those pictured - a page from a Honey Bee deco and a Used Postage deco. I watched a news story about Andy Warhol and how his art is gaining in popularity again this morning, and I guess the repeated bees probably came from that! I'm often drawn to symmetrical designs and geometric shape and repetition in my artwork.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Had a fun time in Minneapolis this weekend. I rode up with my mom, sister and two of her friends and we did some shopping. Yesterday we met up with my brother and went to the Walker modern art museum. They have an awesome sculpture garden with a recognizable Claus Oldenburg piece called "Spoonbridge & Cherry".

Sunday Art Time

I had a few hours today to work on making art. I'm fighting a nasty head cold, so nothing feels very good, but these things turned out alright, I think! My brother and sister both have birthdays on Wednesday (they were born on the same day 7 years apart), so I made birthday cards to send out tomorrow. I also worked in a few abstract collage decos so I can get them on the move!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Paper Beads

My first experience with making paper beads (at least recently - I remember making some when I was in elementary or junior high school...) and they turned out pretty nice. I know that I could improve on my first batch, especially by experimenting with what I add to make them sparkly and textury. I made these with rolled paper, then rolled them in UTEE (also my first try with that groovy stuff!) and added silver thread and sheer ribbon to a few. These beads are going out in a paper bead swap for the E.C.