Friday, December 29, 2006

Hello from snowy Denver

Just a quick post from Denver, CO - I'm visiting my college roommate, Kristi, who is preparing to move to Melbourne, Australia with her husband in a couple weeks. We're having a great time - had another big snowstorm last night, so I'm hoping the airport will be in the clear before I need to fly home on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, you can check out my holiday pics in my flickr Christmas set.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Who *doesn't* need a rhino wristlet?

I just purchased these 2 beautiful handmade creations from beckarahn on etsy. Why am I buying myself gifts 3 days before Christmas. I don't know... because they're pretty?

I'm thinking about maybe putting up an etsy shop. It's free, and it would be fun to actually sell some of my artwork. We'll see what's to come in the new year...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Welcome to the world

Announcing - Dylan Michael Williamson,
born 12/17/2006 @ 6:30 am. 7 lbs. 9 1/2 oz.

Bill's brother and his wife brought this perfect little boy into the world today. He is so beautiful! I got to witness his newness this morning by holding the little one sleeping peacefully for about an hour.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Handcrafted Holiday

This weekend at our Reminisce Christmas party we're having a 12 person ornament exchange. I'm excited about the felt heart ornaments that I made. They were super easy. I cut the heart shapes from two layers of felt. Then I made the little flowers, stars, and other doo-dads out of the leftover felt and sewed one in the center of each heart with a button on top. Finally, I stitched them together and stuffed them. Tah-dah! Working on a few more handmade gifts, but I'm all done shopping, I think. Looking forward to the upcoming break from school and seeing family. Also I'm taking a trip to Denver after Christmas to visit my college roommate.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Canvas Class creations

I taught my canvas class last Thursday at Reminisce. It was lots of fun - a nice (and creative) group of women. It was so fun to see them take my idea/layout and make it their own. Fun stuff.

I, for one, am glad November is over because I was sick the whole month! Friday I woke up with a with a terrible sore throat and found out at the doctor's office that I had strep throat. Yuck & Ouch. But after two full days on the couch and a dose of antibiotics, I am feeling SO much better. Almost back to normal. Feeling up to working and creating again - but now I realize I've been letting things slide while I wasn't feeling well. Lots of shopping and crafting to do in the next 3 weeks!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Birthday!

A little mini-book for my husband. He turns the big 2-8 today. I got the idea from the previously linked garden girl, and I used the number cards from 7 Gypsies, a little ribbon, and lots of assorted rub-ons. Also, I attached photos of us on the back of each card. A few more photos are at my flickr. Unfortunately we're both working late tonight, but we'll have a big celebration dinner tomorrow at the Atlas (his brother's birthday was yesterday, so we have lots of celebrating to do!).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Random atcs

Artist trading cards for a "raw art" atc swap over at the Embellished Circus. Freezing rain here - yuck.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Week in Review

Man, these weeks are flying by. Since I wrote last we drove to Des Moines to celebrate Thanksgiving. Dinner was at my Aunt Jane's house, and we got to meet her new puppy, Pedro. Hilariously ridiculous-looking. Then we drove back Thursday evening to eat with Bill's family (two turkey dinners in one day...mmmm....) Friday I worked the crazy day-after-thanksgiving sale at Reminisce and picked up supplies to make Christmas cards. I finished making 12 Friday night and should finish up the rest this weekend.
Saturday it was back to Reminisce, and then home to put up the tree and decorate it while Bill and I watched X-men 3 - a pretty entertaining action flick. Sunday we went house-hunting, which has been our Sunday afternoon past-time for the past couple months and we found a house we love and will be making an offer on it this week. So exciting! *fingers crossed*
My mom made this stocking for me the year I was born. Craftiness runs in the family!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not much to report since last week. I've been laying low and feeling very uncreative because I have some kind of head cold/virus that has knocked me on my butt for the past 6 days. I did manage to stamp some wrapping paper. My 3rd graders are stamping patterns with handmade stamps made from modeling clay, so I took the inspiration from that and made my own.

Here's a few things I've been enjoying this week:
"Turkeys in disguise" by our kindergarteners (I had nothing to do with these - they took them home to work on them, but they're just so dang cute!)
This layout by Elsie - I will definitely have to lift this idea for one of my own.
This tradition from Andrea's family. How incredibly sweet and fun!
This mini-book from Two Peas - Bill's birthday is coming up next week, I think this would make a meaningful gift that's not *too* cutesy scrapbooky. I love her style.

The good news is that school is out until next Monday, so I will be able to rest a little, visit family for Thanksgiving, and put in some quality hours at Reminisce for the after-Thanksgiving shopping madness. And time to get that holiday crafting in gear!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Scrapbooking on the Wall

This is an altered canvas that I made for a class I'm teaching at Reminisce on Thursday, November 30. I've been meaning to get the sample done long before now, but I finally got to it last night. I like the way it came together. The paper is by one of my favorite companies - Cosmo Cricket. I hope it will inspire people to sign up for the class!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to you...

Bethany and Thor - who turned 18 and 25 respectively on Thursday. Since I finished all my grades (early for once!) and we had a day off from school on Friday, I drove over to Des Moines to help Bethany celebrate her birthday with a dinner at Taki at a cooking table. When we got home I gave her the mini-book I made to house pictures from her 18th year.

Friday I got to hang out at my mom's preschool with all the little ones. They're so hilarious. In the afternoon we relaxed at home and then went shopping before going to see Stranger Than Fiction, which I highly recommend. It was great - a sweet, funny, thought-provoking, unique movie.

Saturday I roamed around the East Village neighborhood with mom and Bethany. We visited a few of my favorite places including Gong Fu Tea and the Sticks gallery. All in all, an excellent weekend!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Christmas Decorations

We're having a contest at Reminisce for employee-made Christmas decorations. I finished my two entries up last night. We had to use the Reminisce holiday paper lines (which are so cute and shimmery) to create decorations or gift ideas to display in the store for the next couple months. Our VIP customers will be judging and deciding the winners. I made an altered wood frame (above) and a holiday card holding basket-thingie (below). I'm pretty pleased, I think they turned out cute, but the competition will be tough! I also finished a gift for my sister, which will have to remain under wraps until I head to Des Moines tomorrow to help her celebrate her 18th birthday!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Watch out girls!

A kindergarten student gave me this drawing on Friday afternoon. When I asked him what it was about, he told me that it was him and a friend "scaring away some girls". This cracks me up - especially the way the two boys have legs, hand, and feet, while the girls are still those "cookie people" as I call them. As if the boys are a little more evolved in his brain. And the red eyes and sharp teeth! I'd be scared away, too!

This week was really exhausting, due to the mid-week Halloween celebrations and who knows what else riling up the kiddies. Plus, it is one of those weeks when my project & school to do lists are both a mile long (of course, I've procrastinated on many things that could & should have been done by now, but whatever) And we're in November now, which makes me feel a little stressed about starting to shop for and make Christmas gifts. So, today I'm spending the day working on grades at school... one of my least favorite things to do. It is way too subjective to give elementary students a grade on their artwork. I'm rewarding myself for being more than halfway done by taking a blogging break. And I'm meeting up with Bill and his co-workers in about an hour to go to a Roughriders game, which will be a fun way to end the day!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween craftiness

I have to say that after Halloween parties, sugar highs, and working at both jobs today, I'm too beat to do any writing, so you'll have to settle for captions as I show off some of my Halloween-ish creations.
Hand-Carved Pumpkins!
Skeleton atcs

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pumpkin Carving

This afternoon we took a trip to Wilson's apple orchard with nephew Jake to pick out pumpkins to carve. He's never done pumpkin carving before, and it is one of our favorite traditions since we started dating, so we were excited. Our hope was that Wilson's would have a big pumpkin patch where we could pull the pumpkins right off the vine, but apparently that was not the case. We still had a good time choosing from the pre-picked pumpkins they had near the store entrance.
Jake had a great time picking out the pumpkin and drawing the face, but he didn't want to have anything to do with cleaning out the insides of the pumpkin. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty at all. We were able to finally persuade him to pull out a few seeds and help punch out the face shapes. The final products turned out great!
We saved the seeds so that I can season them and bake them for a tasty treat. Does anyone have a special recipe for cooking pumpkin seeds?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sewn Paper atcs

I've been fighting a cold this week, a little sore throat, drippy nose, headache, etc, so I've been trying to recouporate in the evenings on the couch. I have gotten a little art done for my swaps this month. Above are hand-sewn paper atcs.
School has been busy. The artwork is piling up - that's a good thing - and a bad thing when it comes to staying organized and grading. My art club that meets Monday afternoon is all about mosaics - the three pots in the photo were made by my 5th grade students! Also, a student gave me this letter today - "and a good life" - I had to laugh!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My mailbox runneth over...

...with excellent mail art this week! I received self-portrait atcs from Wendy (along with the skeleton halloween card) sewn atcs from Judi, and the skeleton atcs from Amy. Not to mention an awesome envelope of Halloween goodies from Kelli, which I don't have a picture of right now.

Tonight it is back to scrapbooking - even after that marathon last weekend, I'm ready for more! Mom is coming over from Des Moines again and we'll be cropping at Reminisce tonight. The occasion is a visit from scrapbooking celebrity Becky Higgins. She's drawn the biggest crowd ever for an event at the store (actually we had to move it to a bigger venue down the street) so it should make for an eventful and busy weekend!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Marathon Crop

Reminisce holds a Marathon crop (what is a crop?) each year - the event started at 5:00 Friday evening - Bethany and mom drove over from Des Moines, along with Bethany's friend Jennifer and her mom. We stayed at Reminisce scrapbooking until 7:00 pm on Saturday. Crazy? yes! There were a few naps here and there but overall we were awake for at least 36 hours total (including Friday before the crop). Fun stuff! Last night my mom came home with me (the rest of the crazies drove back to Des Moines). We ate pizza and fell sound asleep before 9:00 pm. Then slept til' 11:00 this morning! This weekend I stayed up the most hours ever and slept the most hours ever. Yes, I'm a little punchy and grouchy. It was a fun challenge, and we got lots accomplished, but I would have to wait quite awhile before I do that again!

More pics to be seen at my flickr.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Monday.

A deco page for a "hearts" themed deco. It makes me happy - kinda like my real cat. Have a great week - hoping mine will be productive... I've been feeling like things are piling up, yet semi-unmotivated to actually do anything - especially when I get home from work at night. Hmph. I did manage to "illustrate" a book called The Road to Slavery with some rough pencil drawings as a favor to a fellow teacher (to use as an example for her students who are authoring and illustrating something similar). I was actually kind of intimidated by the whole thing, but it turned out alright, and it felt good to draw.

This blog is so fun to look at and link from: Funky Find
s. I need to visit more often!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


So, I came home and got ready to mow the lawn, and what should I come across but a backyard full of mushrooms! I suppose they were brought up by the unseasonably warm temperatures we've had this week. Alas, I wasn't going to mow around the mushrooms, so I took a few pictures before I mowed them down.

This week has flown by - everything at work is in full swing, artwork to grade and display, professional learning plans to design, and paintbrushes to wash (why am I painting with 4 classes a day right now??), as well as a visiting art ed. student who has a million (great) questions. Below is a picture of paper scraps I was about to toss while I was preparing some artwork for display, and I just thought they looked attractive.

In other news - I got a homer today! My self-portrait deco that I made 1 1/2 years ago (the first one I ever made for myself) arrived and it is gorgeous. Scans to come soon!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An art teacher's trunk

Last night was our nephew's third birthday. He is growing up so quickly! This is a great age, he's talking up a storm and just saying whatever is on his mind. The theme of the party was "Cars" (as in the Disney movie) and it was all about the cars, including this cool racecar cake!
This was a view of my trunk this morning. I just thought it was funny - ah, the life of an elementary school art teacher. My kindergarteners are painting pictures of pumpkins and the fifth graders are doing papier mache (hence the flour). This isn't even showcasing the bag full of paint and yarn I was also transporting today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

1st Anniversary

Here we are - one year from our wedding day - already! It has been a great year full of travel, work, making a home together, and just enjoying being married! Looking forward to many fun years ahead!

All in all this was a pretty regular Sunday. Bill gave me a super-pretty flowering plant and I gave him a Seinfeld season dvd set. Ah, the romance. And, we got a hilarious gift from my family - matching t-shirts! We are SO wearing them out on the town. My sister got them for us at Adventureland. funny! After I got home from working at Reminisce today Bill and I went out to dinner at a new restaurant in Iowa City called Formosa. They serve sushi and do an asian fondue - it was delicious.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


In honor of the world-wide sketch crawl, I crawled all the way ... to our deck to do some sketching with my purple sharpie. First Bill's bamboo wind chimes which are being awfully noisy today because of the blustery winds. Then my trusty cell phone which is about ready for an upgrade, I want something a little sleeker, and with a camera in it! Finally, the last tomato from my summer tomato plant, still hanging on - even though the rest of the plant has wilted due to a few cold nights and a forgetful water-er. I haven't done much sketching lately. It felt good. I should do more.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My New Goal...

.... is to start reading again! When I was younger, I used to read everything that I could get my hands on. Then, when I went to college, well, reading is just part of your life. But since then, I have not been as avid of a reader as I would imagine myself to be. I'm certainly still reading - magazines, art & scrapbooking "how-to" books, texts related to art education, but not novels or other books of interest! Why? I just don't make time for it (sort of like exercise - ha ha). In my free time I'm usually making something or - more often - putzing around on my laptop or watching tv. So, I've set a goal to read one book every 2 weeks. Starting right now - I'm going to dive into Running with Scissors, a book that Wendy loaned me months ago and I've been wanting to read for a long time!

Any books that you recommend for me?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

lazy Sunday

Feeling very lazy today. Must have something to do with a long week of working and the gloomy weather today. I did manage to get 2 layouts done, along with some laundry and a cleaned-out closet. The first page has one of my favorite photos - it was taken in '97, my senior year in high school. I cannot believe that was almost 10 years ago. whaaat? Anyway, effer dare #40 inspired the layout. Then I decided to use the picture of B and I from the apple store this summer. It's a fun one.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday on the go

Just a quick Friday post.

Finished my Chalk the Walk layout last night. I like how it turned out, and it brought back good memories of that weekend.

Also got to go out to dinner with Donna and Wendy after school. That rules. It was so good to catch up with both of them.

Sent out my online newsletter this morning. I really enjoy that outlet for posting my students' work. They love to see it online, and photogra
phing the artwork reminds me what awesome stuff we can acheive even in the midst of the sometimes-chaos in the artroom.

Homecoming week is crazy! Today we had the parade - the kids get SO excited. Fun stuff.

Working at Reminisce tonight and tomorrow! Have a great weekend, all.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Warhol Frogs

Wendy came over today to decorate some decos with me. It is always so much fun to make art with a friend - bounce ideas off of each other, play with art supplies and chat. We got lots accomplished - including this frog stamp that I finished carving. Now I want to use it everywhere! I also managed to clean house a little, do a couple loads of laundry, get to the grocery store and have breakfast with my in-laws. Very nice way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reminisce class

Last night I finished the sample for a class that I'm teaching at Reminisce on October 19. I was a little concerned that it would be kinda cheesy because it was from a pre-made kit, but I was pleasantly surprised when I put it together. It turned out cute! It is a book to be filled with family recipes - it would make a nice gift, I would say!