Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Living Well

I have been thinking about how life is getting more chaotic and filled with "wants" especially since the holiday season has arrived.  I don't think that living well has anything to do with having "stuff".  For me it has more to do with enjoying and being thankful for what you have and who you have to share it with.  I am trying hard to share the concept with the kids.  Maybe TV will become even more limited around here since the "I wants" are triggered off too many commercials at the moment.

Living Well pages from my Art Journal

We had our first snow storm of the season last night.  It was only 4 inches of snow but with the wind it did cause some areas to be without power.  The kids didn't have school either.  So we spent an hour or so shoveling and playing in the mushy mess outside.  Then we came in and enjoyed some hot cocoa with cookies.  After that the kids and I played around with paint, paper and Playdoh.  Love spending the afternoon getting crafty with the kids.

First 2011 Snow Fall

  Kids Art

Hubby has a ton of t-shirts that are too tatty to wear but that I feel bad throwing away.  I keep thinking that I can use them for something more than rags so I have a stash of them waiting to find new uses.  I've finally found something to use at least one for - the lining of an 18" doll's cape.  DD has been bugging me to make this cape in red velour for ages but I didn't have any white fur, or any fur actually, to line it with.  The t-shirt material is so soft and worked perfectly.  I am considering using more of them for DD's cape to match.  I have found that I actually like sewing and have started looking into more patterns.  I've planned a cute t-shirt with frills and leggings for the 18" doll and matching set for DD.  Next I'll tackle some pajama sets.  Rather than buying matching sets for the holidays this year, I'm thinking of sewing them myself.

Red Velour Cape lined with hubby's t-shirt.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Project and Art Journaling

After having so much fun with the Tea Box Swap at Mixed Media Art I decided to try my hand at another swap going on.  The art piece needs to include a face and a broken heart, which leaves so much room to play with.  I have some ideas and items chosen to work with already.  I'm excited to get started.

Face & Broken Heart Mixed Media Start

I've been working in my art journal more frequently.  There is so much inspiration out there from Pinterest, blogs and some fun books.  I just finished reading "The Art Journal Workshop" by Traci Bunkers.  Loved it, super inspiring and am now working on some of the exercises.  My "Dream Create Imagine" exercise made me think about what I'm looking to create and why.

Dream, Create, Imagine art journal pages

And since it was Thanksgiving I worked on "Gratitude".  There are so many things that I am grateful for and I realized that most of it is the simple, basic things that are the most important.

Gratitude art journal pages

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mending, Baking and Recovering

I have the big, heavy, old sewing machine sitting on my kitchen table since I've been putting on Girl Scout patches lately.  This means that I am expected to do "the mending" that has been piling up.  I'm not sure that everyone in the family understands what "mending" is.  Some of the items in my basket will end up as rags because there isn't enough fabric to hold it together.  And I need to get some more knee patches, who knew that DS would put holes in almost every pair of pants he owns.  I might even try my hand at a few 18" doll clothes while the machine is sitting there.

I'm out of pumpkin puree at the moment so baking is back to more standard fare.  Apple crisp, brownies, and cookies.  I need to get more pumpkins so that I can make puree for Pumpkin Crumb Cake, Pumpkin Cheesecake and a few new recipes I've run across while blog hopping or on Pinterest.  The kids are looking forward to "Monster Cookies" made extra large with all the goodies in them.  I'm baking Rumple Doodles today, one of hubby's favorites.  Great with a large cup of tea too.

Rumple Doodles with Tea

The kids, hubby and I are finally recovering from the latest round of yuck going around.  About four days of fever, vomiting, diarehha and general blah feeling for each of us.  Basically a week for all of us to get thru it.  Took my first walk after a week and it felt so good.  Love walking along the nature trail, enjoying all the smells, sights and sounds of the great outdoors.  I'm going for the 2.8 mile walk trail today.  Plus some local shopping for "Shop Local Saturday".  Fun stuff.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


"He enjoys much who is thankful for little." ~Thomas Secker

I am thankful for my loving family.
I am thankful that my husband has a job that, even if we have to sacrifice some comforts and extras,
     allows me to be a stay-at-home-mom.
I am thankful that my family is healthy.
I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads.
I am thankful that we have food to eat.
I am thankful that we have family and friends who we love and who love us.
I am thankful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

First Snow, Creative Fun, and Cameras

The middle of November arrived along with a flurry of snowflakes.  None of the flakes lasted but they were pretty anyways.  The kids were disappointed that there wasn't any "real" snow but I can wait just a little longer before having to drive in the white stuff.

I have been gathering and creating some cute stuff for gift exchanges with some of my craft teaching friends.  I made a few vintage button cards, some cute candy/treat holders and ribbon spool tags.  Each person has a unique container for all the goodies and some treasures tucked inside.  I'll be posting the actual photos once I know the gifts have been received.

I've also signed up for another challenge/swap at Mixed Media Art that I can't wait to dig into my stash to get started.  Some ideas floating around and products I've wanted to use that could work for the project.  Creativity just keeps flowing once it starts.

Starting to look for a new camera.  My current one is having some issues - need to set the date/time every time it is turned on and doesn't always want to turn on.  I'm looking for a decent but not too expensive digital SLR.  I've had the chance to try both a Nikon and a Canon but wonder what else is out there or what I need to be looking for.  Would make a nice gift, wouldn't it?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art Journal and Tea Box Swap

I have been working on some pages in my art journal lately.  It has been a great way to keep my creativity flowing and charged up.  If I do something everyday, even if it is something tiny, my creative wheels keep turning and my mind has more ideas than I can deal with.  The pages I worked on today are some of my favorites.  I've always liked those faceless girls that wear pretty paper dresses so I had to make myself one.  I love vintage 40's/50's clothes so the dress is inspired from that.  It also reminds me of my mother and grandmother that seemed to manage time better than I do.

I mentioned the Altered Tea Box Swap over at Mixed Media Art in a previous post and I'm excited to say that I received my box from Patti.  It is lovely and filled with all kinds of treasures.  Here are a few photos of the box and goodies I received.

The little fairy doll is now officially an "Art Fairy" and will have a spot on my art desk.  Well, as soon as I get my desk a bit more cleaned off.  This was a fun challenge/swap to participate in for me.  It was small enough to fit into my schedule, interesting to alter something that I usually take for granted on my kitchen counter and exciting to fill with little items that I made or that can be used to make something.  Here are a few photos of the finished tea box I altered.

I'll be making a few more of these to use as "gift" boxes.  How cute to decorate the box for a little girl and fill with pretty trinkets, barrettes, and other goodies.  Or decorate for a little boy and fill with a Hot Wheel car and other goodies.  I love filling cute, little containers for the kids with things they have to explore a bit to find it all.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finding Inspiration

There is a new addiction/obsession on my computer for finding inspiration - Pinterest.  Tons of eye candy, lovely color combos, tempting recipes to try, crafts to dabble in and so much more.  I can get lost looking at my "feed" or checking out "pins" of friends for hours.  It is a wonderful way to gather recipes I would like to try, rather than a ton of magazine pages piling up in a basket on my kitchen countertop.  Also so many crafty/artsy ideas I want to try are all gathered in one spot.  I have to set the timer to limit my time or I'd be in front of my computer all day.

I spent some time yesterday morning browsing through a stack of magazines at Barnes & Noble while sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  All kinds of yum!  New "Where Women Create", "Somerset Studio" and "Cloth Paper Scissors" eye candy to gaze at and spicy, creamy goodness to drink.  I am so ready to get creating and have so many ideas I want to try.  I'm so inspired I don't know where to start.  Since I can't make a decision I'll probably try some ideas in my art journal first.  It'll be creative, messy, and fun no matter what.

I've finished my altered tea box for Patti and will be mailing it out tomorrow.  I enjoyed this little altering project and will have to do another.  My little stash of tea boxes will make cute packages for gift giving this year.  Matching the packages to each person and finding or creating sweet little things to put inside will be an adventure in creativity.