January 30, 2008

winter warmth....

What keeps me warm when the wind chill factor is making it feel like -30 outside ???
~the arms of husband~
~the smiling faces from our great kids~
~and Sophie, who this morning called "dibs" on my bed pillow as I was trying to change the sheets on our bed~
What else ?
~cups and cups of my almond vanilla tea with french vanilla creamer~
~white chocolate chip cookies~
~furry socks~
~the smell of my freshly washed towels right out of the dryer~
~rereading excerpts from eat pray love~
~not having to leave the house~
~the sun casting shadows on the floor~
~eating leftover quiche for lunch~
~and Jack getting to sleep until noon since it's too cold for the kids to go to school today~
What's keeping you warm today ?

January 29, 2008

in my mind, I have sand between my toes

I haven't done one of my "big headed" girl journal pages in a very long time.
And yesterday I felt motivated to make one. I wanted to write. I needed to write. I thought maybe what would come from the end of my pen would be brilliant, but it wasn't. But it sure felt good to let the paper absorb what was on my mind. Now I see why the "really healthy" people of the world journal everyday. I'm going to have to try that.

It was warm this morning....semi enjoyable for January in Wisconsin. This afternoon though, we were pelted with freezing rain and then some snow flurries. Now the wind outside my office is howling and trying to find someplace to go and it'll make us drop down into the -20/-30's tonight.
Good thing that at least there's something decent to watch on TV tonight....we love the BIGGEST LOSER !!!
{and of course I'll be switching back and forth between that and American Idol, just so I can see Simon roll his eyes at some youngsters that had been told by their mommas that they could sing}

January 27, 2008

waiting pages

First of all...I'd just like to give a huge hug to all of you who congratulated me regarding the newest issue of Somerset Memories and to let you know how loved you all made me feel...thank you, thank you, thank you !!!! So this is what I made a few days ago when I should have been grocery shopping. I hate {really I do} grocery shopping of any kind, so I put it off as long as I possibly can and hide out in my stuido until one of my family members comes looking for me with that, "you haven't fed us yet" look....and then I throw them a loaf of bread and go scurrying back to my safe place. Well, it's kind of like that.
This is a journal.

Filled with scrap paper, magazine pages, ledger pages and a manilla envelope.

And a few pictures. All sewn together. There's actually two groups of papers stiched together and then I used masking tape to attach them to the front and back inside covers. I never knew how much I actually like using masking tape...it really works !

Some of my own painted paper.
And basically lots of places to write and spots to add more pictures.

I think I'll have to come up with a new name for mine.
Traveling for me these days is limited.
And I'm soooo good with that !!

January 24, 2008

Color me HAPPY.......

The newest issue of Somerset Memories is hitting the bookstores this weekend and that's my art on the cover !
Talk about a HUGE surprise !
Here is my article, "happy mistakes" which I knew was going to be a spread in this issue, but the cover....I still can't believe it !!!

These are my transparencies that I created and kept hidden from everyone, except for my dear friend Laura. She was the only one besides my family who knew what they looked like and I want to thank her here for all her support and kind words. And I think maybe she's just as excited as I am that they are now out for everyone to see !
I discovered this morning that taking pictures of magazine pages with pictures is just not that easy...lots of glare.

Of course I could have scanned them, but call me lazy.

So here is the end of your sneek peak....hope you enjoyed it. Now run out this weekend and see if you can find yourself a copy at your local Barnes and Noble or Borders. If you're lucky enough to have a subscription, then it might actually be in your mailbox today !!!

January 22, 2008

food for thought......

what....is this wrong ? what do you use your paper plates for... food ?? I obviously use mine to mix my paints on !
here's page C in my art journal !

a little bit of a close up.

and another !

and this is what my family lives with....me, my mess and paints... having taken over part of the kitchen in order to do what I love to do.

so why do I work in here and not in my stuido on this project ??
because painters need water and a sink.
Do I have a bathroom {with a sink} attached to my studio ? I do.
hmmm...I'm going to have to keep working on a good answer here.
okay, honestly...I don't like to cook. But I love my kitchen and being in the heart of the home.
There, does that work ?

January 21, 2008

the WHO and now we know HOW......

How do so many birds consume so much birdseed ??
When they're not alone, that's how !!!
Look closely here...Maxine decided to play it safe and stay on the ground, but Charlie {big man that he is} decided that the better food at the "birdfeed buffet" would be had if you sarted at the top and worked your way down.

If you're amused with these photos, please feel free to come out anytime and join John while he cleans up the mess they leave behind...okay, you caught me !!! because I'm totally amused myself !!
Do hawks ever get desperate enough to come to a feeder...or at least to the ground below it ?
Check your watches eveyone...I thought lunch was at 12:15...where are you guys ???
Ohhh....so I messed up. So we're eating today at 3:43 !!

So glad you could join us Edna...car pool line run a little late today ???
(sorry, I couldn't resist a little deer humor)
{if you really want the full visual on these great photos -courtesy of our critter cam-just click on the photos !}

January 19, 2008

it warms the soul

We woke this morning to freezing cold. It was -10 when we woke up. Later in the day while I was running to Target.... it was ONE WHOLE DEGREE !! But the sun was shining all day and it warmed my soul....yeah right, who am I kidding ??
My nose hairs froze as soon as I stepped out of the car. I coughed each time I took a deep breath and my eyes watered enough to humidify the rest of my face.
And much to my surprise, I survived.
It wasn't that bad !!
Really !!
I took these photos this morning out at the cottage. We ran out, filled the bird feeders, checked the traps for mice {none} and then headed back into town.
I have to tell you.....even in this frozen tundra, everything outside the cottage is still just as beautiful and peaceful as ever.

January 17, 2008

it just feels good in my hands.....

I started the new year off making an art journal book....
It's coming right along and I'm glad to just be arting without the pressure of writing as I go. Sometimes those feelings need to wait and grow before they are permanently in ink.
It's an altered book....which is now my favorite paper to work on. There's just something old and wonderful about glued pages all wrinkly and covered in gesso.
These are only my A and B pages.
And as much as I want to fill this with private thoughts, I might have to hold off and only share public ones, as this little gem just might have to go to Somerset when I'm all done !

January 16, 2008

hmmm...what are they ????

I wish I knew 100% for sure what these are....but I think....
they are hand carved wooden blocks made and used in India.....

to stamp designs on fabric....???? Does anyone out there know ??

Here's a quick sample of how they print on paper....
and I think they look really cool.
SO, here's the scoop. I woke this morning thinking I needed something new to stimulate these crusty winter senses of mine and decided that a trip to Anthropologie just might be the ticket.....and as always, they did not disappoint. SPRING is in the air !!! Well, at least there it is. Here (in real life) we have more snow coming and a high temperature of 5 degrees on Sunday....YIKES !!!
Anyhow.....I walked through the store, drooling over everything I came in contact with and then these babies jumped out at me. I had seen them before on this blog, but passed on ordering them from an Etsy shop, knowing that I'm almost always the kind of person that wants to touch, feel and hold pretty much anything I'm buying. So that's what I did today...boy did I touch !!
The sales clerk was so nice asking me what I was going to do with them, while I was busy making sure they weren't warped and would lay flat. When I mentioned the word "ART" her eyes started to glaze over and all of a sudden she looked like she needed to be somewhere else....immediately.....and turned and walked away.
But I hadn't bored her or scared her, which was my impression....actually, she had gone to the back room and came out carrying 2 more boxes full of these wooden stamps. You don't get that kind of treatment everyday !! I'm going to have to remember what brushed teeth and a shower can get you !!
So, I share with you my new stamps. And as soon as I add them to some "ART" I'll share that too !!!

January 14, 2008

She's not here......

Where in the world is my daughter, you ask ? Well, she's in New Orleans.
She left Saturday morning with a small group of other kids from her college, for a very LONG drive in cramped vans, to head south. They arrived safely last night.
This is their last week of winter break and they'll spend it building houses for the residents of New Orleans that lost everything in Katrina.
It will be hard work during the day and they'll spend their nights on air mattresses in small apartments where 7 people share 1 bathroom.
The food they eat is donated to them. Sandwiches for lunch and something "hot" for dinner. They know that the area behind where they're staying is very dangerous and have been told to never go anywhere by themselves...EVER !
I applaud these kids. Each and everyone of them. They could be at home, still relishing every last minute of their break, being spoiled by their parents, sleeping until noon and then eating potato chips for breakfast. Instead, they are CHOOSING to help strangers.
Aren't we told over and over again to pay it forward ?? We are and we do our little parts when we can...BUT these teenagers see the bigger picture.
They will come home exhausted on Sunday and head straight back to school on Monday with stories to tell, pictures to share and memories that will last a lifetime. But most of all they'll know that they helped to make a difference in someone's life.....and really, is there any better feeling than that ??

January 11, 2008

it's not broken, just different.......

It's 2008 and even though I started the new year still posting on my old blog, I kept feeling like I needed a change. Let's just blame it on the cold and snowy white winter. While white is a beautiful color, the more I hated it, the more I loved it. {like that makes any sense}

There's a simplicity to white....and a calmness {unless it's snow and you have to drive in it} and the more I kept seeing it ouside my window, the more I wanted it. Try to keep up here....not more snow......just something white, simple and calm.

So I thought I'd go back to a white background on my old blog, but it didn't really do anything for me.

And the more I played around and the more I thought about "seaside dreamer" the more nauseous I became. {maybe similar to how you're feeling trying to understand all of this} When I first started blogging, I thought it was a great name. We love to vacation in Seaside, Florida and I love the sea, sand and sun....but enough is enough. Don't get me wrong....I still want to live by the water someday, but for now I'm not.

Instead I live by barns.

So this will be my new home for awhile. Some place that feels more simple, more calm and more me....at least for the moment.

You probably won't see anything really different about this blog compared to my old one, but it will feel different to me. Change is good.