Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Blog-centenniel

Self Portrait (art journal page)
This is my 100th blog post!  I thought I'd feature a self-portrait art journal page as the artwork for this somewhat introspective post.  I started this blog as part of Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class, and I'm so glad I did.  My goals were modest - to find a way to start organizing and cataloging my art. I feel like I've accomplished that, and so much more!
      First and foremost, thanks to all of you who have become regular followers and commenters.  I feel like I have new friends all over the United States, England, Northern Ireland and Australia. I never expected to find a new circle of virtual friends.  I love reading your blogs and learning more about your lives.
     I've also found my blog to be motivating.  You push me to be a better and more prolific artist. Thank-you!
     Finally, in addition to cataloging my artwork, I have found this blog to be an invaluable resource for cataloging my thoughts about my art and life as an artist.  Thank you for engaging in discussions about style and process and everything else.

I looked back over my 100 posts, and it was very interesting!  I started with a rooster and some organic art to help  explain the title of my blog.  You've seen a lot of my collage art, cardss and scrapbook pages, Tim tags, Christmas projects and photos.  I've fallen into a happy pattern of trying to post a scrapbook page, a photo and a card once a week and then filling out the rest of the week with mixed media art. I really like doing tutorials and give-aways but not necessarily on a scheduled basis.  And here our my ten favorite posts out of the first 100:
"The Butterfly Seller"  Probably my most popular art journal page.
"Using Your Photographs in Your Art" This really helped me organize my thoughts, especially the a-ha movement I had of using my photos as inspiration for other art pieces.
"New Year's Day Card Recipe" A fun tutorial with so many wonderful participants.
"I Love This Photo" This helped me realize that my blog can be a place to share photographs as art.
"The Creative Circle Blog Party" This is where I feel like I really got to know so many of you, and I had fun with all our projects.
"Cherish Your Heritage" One of my favorite mixed media pieces and the post draws together thoughts about the creative process.
"It's all about the light"  A catalog of photography tips, generated by you all, that is incredibly helpful.
"What do you plan for it?" The first in the series.  Has two of my favorite mixed media pieces and my living room.  This is a reminder to do another post along these lines soon.
"October Class Review"  I like doing these - it helps me figure out what works and doesn't work for me in classes.  I'll need to get working on my January Class Review soon.
"Never Forget Those Who Served" One of my favorite scrapbooking posts.  Not for the layout, which is old and somewhat uninspired but because of the revised journaling which I was really only to do because I blog.
If you started or refreshed your blog as part of Shimelle's Class, you must be at about 100 posts, too.  What are your thoughts on your blog?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Photography a la Frida Kahlo

I've decided to follow along with the "Develop on Fridays" photography course, even though I haven't officially signed up for the forum or class.  I'm also starting at assignment #2, but I might go back and do #1 later.  Assignment #2 "influences" was to find an artist who calls to you, figure out why he or she speaks to you and then take a photograph that incorporates those ideals.  I chose Frida Kahlo who has long been one of my favorites.  Her paintings (often self-portraits) were intimate looks at her struggles in life. She made the personal political and vice-versa.  She used bold colors and Mexican motifs.  My photograph is also about how the personal can become political and takes a stand on the same-sex marriage debate.  It's called "I favor love." It features a vintage glass heart and some amazing "marriage milagros" from Peru that I found when I was out thrifting today.  I hope you like it, and I hope I don't offend you.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Things I Do/Things I Don't Do (finding your style)

I really like Karen's blog Random Reflections because it has such a nice variety of thoughtful posts, inspiring cards and nice photographs.  Recently, she posted a link to a new-to-me blog called "Develop on Fridays," which seems to be about finding your personal style.  This is a topic that continues to fascinate me.  The Develop on Fridays blog had lots of interesting information, including a link to this article.  One of the things the article and blog post mentioned was to decide which art forms, techniques and media you embrace and which you have decided simply aren't for you.  I think this is a very useful project, so here are my current thoughts.

Things I embrace in my art:

acrylic paint                             radiant pearls
pastels                                     twinkling H20's
alcohol ink                               stencils
plaster                                      paper
rubber stamps                          ink
my photography                       texture mediums

Things that simply aren't for me:
sew, knit, stitch or crochet                         soldering
watercolor                                                 fabric
sizzix, cricut, etc.                                       copics, markers or colored pencils
digital scrapping, digital art journaling, etc.

Let me make clear that I admire the work and the look of a lot of the things on the second list.  I really would like to be a knitter or learn how to use the computer for art, but it's just beyond me!  I love and admire the look of beautifully colored images with copics, but I don't have the patience for it.  I'm not sure why I do have the patience for coloring with radiant pearls or twinks, but somehow I do.  How about you? What do you do?  What don't you do?  It's Friday, I think I'll go check out "Develop on Friday."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Project 1440: Capture the Moment

Do you realize there are only 1440 minutes in each day?  What if you were to take a picture of each minute in one day and record it for posterity? You could create an album with them and post to flickr!  Check out this blog for more ideas . . .
Okay, I'm just being silly and poking a little fun at Project 365 and all the other opportunities out there to record our lives in searing detail.  There is no such thing as Project 1440, is there?  Underneath the sarcasm, I actually like the process of recording the everyday and have done two albums in that vein. 
March Madness -
For this project, I took a picture a day for a month.  I did it in March, 2007, and it remains one of my all time favorite scrapping projects.  I used a format for an album that Shimelle featured on her blog here (the blog post links to a great broadcast on Fiskar's TV).  Each page has the picture, a ribbon, a strip of patterned paper, an embellishment, the date and some journaling. It went together super-quick and all coordinates because I cut all the paper, ribbon, and embellishments before I started.
I love how the album really captures our house, kids' and activities at a particular moment in time.  I also think it will be cool to look back at things like my cell phone, calendar and keys in twenty years.

Week in My Life:
This is a project where I took a bunch of pictures every day for one week and then put them all together in an album.  Ali Edwards does this every year or so on her blog and that was my inspiration. You can read about her project here. I chose a week in Fall, 2008.  In interspersed daily pages with theme pages.  In the photo below, you can see the title page, a theme double-page spread (mornings), a daily double-page spread (Tuesday), and the end page (self-portraits).  Again, I like looking back at this, although the theme pages speak to me more than the daily pages.

I didn't do anything like this in 2009 and wish I had.  This year I'm going to do a monthly layout in our regular albums that have random shots, and I also want to do another mini album of either a week or a month.  The idea of  "Ten photos on the Tenth" of each month (or something similar) also appealed to me.   Have you undertaken any of these projects?  Do you think you'll stick with them?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inchies & Twinchies & Blogs with Prizes

I love winning prizes!  Recently, I found a wonderful new blog that runs lots of contests with very cool prizes.  It's called Sunflowers and Dragonflies, and a recent challenge was to incorporate  inchies or twinchies into a project.  Inchies are little 1x1 pieces of artwork, and twinchies are 2x2 pieces of artwork.  I made a set of twinchies, using photos I took at an exhibit at the Academy of Sciences on human facial features, a masked and spray-inked background, and painted grungeboard.  You can see the full set of twinchies here.  I used one of the twinchies on this art journal page with a messy, collagey, spray ink and torn paper background.

Here's a card I made with some inchies.  These were very simple to make, but I think they turned out great.  I cut grungeboard into 1x1 inch squares, inked up a collage stamp (Stampers Anonymous) with water-proof ink, and then pressed the square onto an interesting portion of the stamp.  I colored the image with radiant pearls and a water brush.  They were so easy that I actually did them while supervising homework!

Want some more ideas for inchies and twinchies?  Check out this old post from Mel's blog during the Creative Circle blog hop.  Want someplace to win cool, non-crafting prizes?  Check out my friend Sonja's blog called hello beauty!  She always has fantastic give-aways and interesting beauty advice!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luna Vintage Rowhouses

I'm in a swap at the Paper Artists Online Forum where we're making altered house fronts. I'm calling my project the "Luna Vintage Rowhouses" because each house will incorporate a vintage photo from the Luna side of my family, vintage sheet music and other vintage ephemera.  Here's the two that I made.  I sent out bags full of the raw ingredients to my swap mates, and they will use the raw materials to complete my set.  Meanwhile, I will be happily working on theirs.  Should be a great swap! That's my mom, by the way, on the taller house.  She must have been about 16 at the time - wasn't she gorgeous!
 I got some inspiration for my houses at a challenge blog called "Something Completely Different," which Mel of the wonderful I Speak Melsh blog turned me onto. Each month they choose a challenge theme and give a new variation each week. Their January theme is arches, and the first two themes were "New Year" (thus the 2010 on the butterfly house) and "Fashion," (I think my mom qualifies).

  The third challenge of the year was arches and angels, so I made one more row house as a thank-you for the swap hostess.  I hope she'll like it!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Photo Cards

I love using my photos to make cards.  For these cards, I use actual photos, not copied images because the photo quality needs to be really high.  I've actually taught this as part of a class, so pulled out my notes to find these pointers:

Size. I usually start with 4x6 or 3.5x5 photos and make standard size (4.25 x 5.5) cards.  This dimension usually requires cropping the 4x6 photo, so I will sometimes make larger (5x7) cards if I have a 4x6 photo that I don’t want to crop. 

Types of photos.  I have found that photos or architectural elements (doors, windows, flower boxes, statues, etc.), landscapes, flowers, and interesting street scenes all lend themselves well to photo cards.

Construction. I like to mat the photo with a thin mat on solid cardstock and then use patterned paper for the card itself.  

Greetings and Sentiments.
1. When looking at photos, some have images which fill the entire frame, while others have a lot of negative space (open sky or a plain wall).  Those with negative space are naturals for allowing you to add a greeting, quote or sentiment. Notice that “negative space” does not have to be completely empty space - it can be grass or meaningless foliage.   In the cards on top of this post, a house in the background and a wall served as the "negative space."
2. Sentiments can be stamped directly onto photos using stayz-on ink or can be stamped onto vellum, cardstock or tags and then placed onto the photo/card with vellum tape, adhesive, brads, eyelets, etc.
3.  I find that photo cards work particularly well for sympathy, thinking of you, just saying hi and birthdays.  I used up a bunch of "extra" pumpkin patch pictures one year to make birthday cards for fall birthdays, for instance.  
4.  Consider witty, funny or ironic greetings as well.  This is a terrific opportunity to use all those quote stamps you just had to buy!  Remember this photo:

I've been considering all kinds of greetings to use with it.  It could be something funny like, "What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?" or "I hate it when that happens." (yes, I have stamps with those sayings).  Or it could be something along the lines of "Missing you."  Which do you think would be better?
4.  Blank cards (without a sentiment) work well with very strong photos or those which have a strong sentiment inside.  I have used the flower photo above as a blank card (without a sentiment) many times.

Final Assignment:  Look at this photo and come up with an appropriate greeting (either inside or outside).  Bonus point if you actually have a stamp with that saying. Double bonus points if you can make it something Valentine-related.  Go!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Using your photographs in your art

I love photography.  It was the first area of art in which I ever dabbled.  I started when I was 8, and I got my first camera from sending in cereal box tops (yes, seriously).  When I was in college, I bought my first SLR camera and took a black & white photography class.  I loved developing film and how the camera helped me see the world in different ways.  I didn't buy a digital camera until a few years ago because I didn't like the quality of digital prints or the price of digital SLR's.  I finally took the dive into digital with a Nikon D50 (no longer made), and I love it. Part of my artistic style is to incorporate my photography into my work.  Here's a few ways I do that.

1.  Photo panels.  One of the first things I started doing with my photographs was to place them onto painted 6x6 panels of paper.  I usually mat the picture and add a stamped sentiment. The one at left has a picture from a park in Budapest. I find these sell pretty well at craft fairs.  I price them for $20 unframed.  Occasionally, I frame them, like the one up top. For photo panels, I use an actual photo, not a copy.  Travel photos seem to work very well.  In the future, I'd like to make some that are 12x12.
2.  Copy the photo and use it in a collage.  I've featured lots of these on my blog, but you can see two that hang in my living room in this post and a whole variety in this post.  Many of my collages use heritage photos from my collection.  While not actually my photos, I think it's worth mentioning as well.  You can see a sample here and here.
3.  Use the photo as inspiration for drawing or other type of art journal page.  I would not have thought of this before making the clothesline art journal page and getting such nice feedback on it from you all. But now, I think I'm going to do more of this and see where it leads me.
4.  Copy a lot of photos to make collage sheets and use the photos on collage image cards.  I featured this idea as a tutorial in this post and featured the various cards people made with the tutorial here. As a variation, I have also copied heritage photos and used them on cards, here.
5.  Make photo cards.  This is actually a little different than the cards we made before.  They deserve their own post and that's what's coming tomorrow.
I hope you found this useful.  I'd love to hear if there are other ways that you use your photographs in your art.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stairs, Arches, Holiday Musing and the Answer

Since this week seems to have turned into "Architecture Week" on my blog, I thought I'd finish with two more of my favorite photographs in this category.  These stairs (leading down from the tower of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris) have shown up in a lot of my artwork, and they always draw a very strong response.  I also really like and have used this set of arches which I found in the courtyard of the glass museum in Murano, Italy.  I think they both work well in my artwork because, like the window photograph posted here, they are both strong photographs.  On the other hand, I have found it very difficult to use this picture of the gate in my art work because, while the gate is very interesting, it's not a really well composed photograph that can stand on its own as a piece of art.  Where is the gate?  Deb's come the closest to guessing.  If you click on the "jump" at the end of this post, I'll give you the answer.  (By the way, isn't the "jump feature" really cool. I may be overusing it, but it's like a new toy that I just discovered!)

In other musings, I just sorted through all my Christmas cards from this year. I take out the pictures which people send along inside them to scrap.  Including a family photo has become quite a common practice in the States, not sure so much abroad. Anyway, I've been scrapping these pictures in their own album since 1990 - some of the kids who were babies then are off to college now!  I also take the nice handmade cards I get and cannibalize them as embellishments in my Christmas Pictures album.  Finally, if there's some card fronts which catch my eye (often religious paintings of the Madonna or angels), I rip those off and put them in my ephemera collection.  What do you do with your holiday cards?

Next up - Valentine's Day.  I've started to see hearts and Valentine projects showing up on blogs.  It's not a favorite holiday of mine, and I'm certainly not in the V.D. spirit yet.  Are you?

Last (but not least), all these photo posts have made me think about how I use my photography in my art (besides scrapbooking).  I'm working on a nice two-part post for this weekend on that topic. So, watch for it. Not sure if Scrapbook Sunday will happen this weekend, but I am keen to show you some nice, new fresh art next week.  Can you tell I'm feeling a bit better?

And now for the Answer . . .

Friday, January 22, 2010

The View from the Place with the Gate

Some interesting guesses yesterday, but no one was correct it, so I've decided to make this a little game, as I continue to feel a bit logey.  I could have picked a panorama that was a dead give-away, but I thought I'd go for something a little tougher.  Do you know where the gate is now?  Here's a hint- my kids called the place in the center of this photo "Margarita Island."
If you're dying for another hint, check out the picture after the jump, it's a bit more helpful.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gates are cool, too!

 Mel's comment about her photo of a gate got me thinking about this gate, which I really like.  I find its shape and details fascinating.  Do you know where it is?  Hint: the gate also has a cool raven detail (below), with the raven holding a ring in its beak.  You can also click on the photo to enlarge the details for clues.  Sorry to be relying so much on photo posts lately, but I've been sick for over a week and didn't have much energy or interest in creating.  I'm finally starting to feel better and have lots of cool ideas percolating in my head! So, look for more interesting posts coming soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A pix and three questions

I really like this picture.  It's the window in the apartment we rented in Paris a couple of summers ago.  I've used it in a couple of art pieces.  So, here are the three questions:
1.  What is it about windows and doorways that are so appealing?
2.  What would this look like done in pastels?
3.  What journaling would I add?

Thanks for your feedback on my clothesline piece, which led me to think these thoughts . . .

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why I love my art friends . . .

So you may have seen this odd extra post over the weekend, an art journal page that I said was for a friend?
Were you wondering what the hell that was about? Well, here's the rest of the story.  When I was playing around in my art journal, that page "defy gravity," started to come together, and I decided to finish it up as a gift for an art friend whose 2010 word is "gravity."  I've been saving it for her, to surprise here.  Well, unbeknownst to me, she was busily  making me this very cool charm!  In case you can't read the quote, it says, "Bring me that horizon." Capt. Jack Sparrow.  She posted these pictures on her blog over the weekend!  How cool is that!  After I saw what she had done, I had to post her surprise, too.  I think it's amazing!  And that's why I love my art friends . . .

Monday, January 18, 2010

Art Journals Then and Now

These are my two most recent art journal pages.  Both were created using soft pastels, in response to prompts about Mary Cassatt in the Masterful Art Journaling class I'm taking.  The top one is reminiscent of one of my favorite photos, which I posted on my blog a while ago here.  The other is a variation on my "The Butterfly Seller."  What I find interesting about both of these and everything else is my current art journal is that my current art journal really is more of a sample book, with some very nice finished pieces of art work that evolved from some of the samples.  My current journal is not really a visual diary, although the journaling above ("This is the wardrobe of the girl I am inside my head. The clothesline of my inner artist.") comes close to that type of art journaling.  My original art journal (from 2006 - which truthfully only ended up with 5 entries over two years!) was a a bit more of a diary.  The "Rain Out" page was how I was feeling one spring when the Little League baseball season got almost completely washed out, and the boy cried all the time!  I'm sure both types of art journals are wonderful, and I want to make room in my creative time for both!  Now, to just figure out where altered books fit into the whole picture . . .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

For a friend . ..

And you know who you are . . .

A Passion Shared (Scrapbook Sunday)

I wanted this layout to be about more than just the S.F. Giants.  Journaling reads:
"Henry and I both love following the Giants and watch almost every game on TV.  During one August broadcast, they said there were good seats available for the next Tim Lincecum start. We decided to go on the spur of the moment and had a great time.  I love that we share this passion."

During Shimelle's blog class, one prompt was to post some pictures with the journaling you would use to scrap the pictures "later."  These were the ones I chose, and you can check out the original post here.  I used a Debbie Hodge sketch for this.  Her site, "Get It Scrapped," has a ton of sketches.  Her sketches are a little unusual because they often involve overlapping pictures.  I wasn't sure about that at first, but I like how it worked for this layout. You can click on the layout to increase its size and see the details. All paper and small letter stickers from Club Scrap. Large title stickers are Thickers. Baseball stickers unknown.  If you were in Shimelle's blog class, did you ever scrap you "I will scrapbook these later" pictures?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's Talk Art Journaling . . .

"Begin," my first art journal page (from 2006)

I really appreciate all the wonderful feedback on my art journal pages. I have enjoyed making them, mainly as part of online classes.  I have a little confession to make, though. . .  . I'm not really sure what an art journal is!  So, I undertook a little research.

First, I asked some experts.  I asked Dina Wakley (who teaches a wide variety of fantastic art journaling classes here) to answer the question, "what is an art journal?" and here's what she said:
"Well, in my mind (and in simplest terms) an art journal is a journal in which you use both images AND words to express yourself. On a deeper level, my art journal is a safe house...a place for me to be me without judgement, a friend who always listens, a place to learn about myself and about art. It's a place to play with no rules, to express without fear. That's what an art journal is to me."  
I also asked Tangie, who has an online art journaling kit and class called Art Journal Caravan, and she said, 
"Simply put Art Journaling is a visual diary. It's a place to record your thoughts in images, art and words. Art Journal pages tend to be "artsy", usually contain few or no photographs, contain hidden symbolism to the creator and contain personal journaling (although not always!). The number one rule about Art Journaling is that...there are NO rules. Simply put "Art journaling creates self-awareness through creative expression". For me the importance in Art Journaling is, that while leaving behind a family scrapbook of everyday family activities and memories like Christmas traditions and outings to the zoo are exceptionally important...I feel it's AS IMPORTANT to leave behind a legacy of who "we really are" through our art journals; our children, our families want to know what we feared, what we loved, what we's a treasure beyond price. That being said, they are also just for us in the here and now, a place for us daydream, vent or plan. The amazing thing about Art Journaling is that by taking some time for ourselves to journal, we find more self-awareness through the creative process, which in my opinion makes us better moms, sisters, friends & human beings."
Both of these experts seem to use their art journals at least in part as diary to record their inner thoughts and feelings. 

The next thing I did was to google art journal, and I found this interesting definition here:
An art journal is somewhere to express your creativity, to record your ideas and inspirations, to express your plans and hopes, explore possibilities for paintings, keep sketches, doodles, postcards, etc. To record a thought before you get distracted and forget it. Somewhere to browse through on a day your feeling at a creative low, or stuck in a rut.
This definition seems to think of an art journal as more of a sketch book or practice book.

The third thing I want to do is to ask you, my wonderful blog readers, about your experiences with art journals.  Do you keep an art journal?  Can you tell me about it?  How do you see it?  Have you ever taken an online art journaling class? What do you think an art journal is?  Leave some comments, and I'll check back on Monday with thoughts on my art journals.  Tomorrow, look for another installment of Scrapbook Sunday.

"Rain Out" - an early art journal page (2006)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Motifs and Symbols - Finding Your Style

I've blogged before about wanting to figure out my signature style.  There are some interesting discussions in the blog post and comments here and here.  In considering my style, I realized that there are certain motifs that call to me, as well as certain symbols that I use repetitively.  Recently, I have found myself drawn to a simple house shape as a motif.  It showed up in this "horizon" page, as well as the simple plaster card at left.  I think of my house as a motif, rather than a symbol, because I don't think of the house as representing anything in particular.  It's just a shape or image that calls to me right now.  I'm working on some other pieces with a similar motif to share this weekend.  Are there certain motifs that call to you and that you return to in your scrapbook pages, cards or artwork?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ten at Fourteen-and-a-half

I did this layout in response to the Scrap Weekly in 2010 Challenge blog, where I'm one of the official "challengers."  The challenge was to include a list of 10 things, so I journaled ten things about my son, at 14.5 years old, to go with this high school freshman portrait. Nothing too flashy about the layout itself, but I'm glad to have documented his obsessions with music, facebook and texting girls, as well as the moment he became taller than me!  I made a companion layout about my daughter, and you can see it at the Challenge blog, here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winter Haiku

The autumn has gone
Our winter waiting begins
Time to think, at last

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Butterfly Seller (Art Journal page - click to enlarge)

I absolutely adore this piece!  Is that awful to say?  If so, I don't care!  I had so much fun making it.  I created it while completing a lesson on "restricted means" as part of the Pablo Picasso segment of the Art Journaling class I'm taking.  I'm going to create a few more pages in my art journal before I decide to move on from Pablo Picasso to the next artist in the series:  Mary Cassatt. 

Have you made anything lately that you loved?  If so, what was it?

Happy creating!

Stamp credit:  Stampotique

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to Work ("Anna's Work" mixed media collage)

It's Monday, and the start of another work week. How do you feel about work?  I have to admit that I'm conflicted.  I love my job (I'm a law professor - surprise!). It's incredibly rewarding and flexible.  But I wish I had more free time.  I study and write about the world of work, and, while that world can be harsh and abusive to many, it can also provide a road to advancement and personal fulfillment. This piece, "Anna's Work," is dedicated to Anna Escobedo Cabral.  She was the Treasurer of the United States under President Geroge Bush.  She has an amazing and interesting life story, which you can read here.  That's her signature on the waistband of the dress (Yes, I really did tear up a real $1 bill).  She is the very smart daughter or Mexican immigrants in Southern California.  When she finished high school, she was simply going to go to work to help support her family, but one teacher convinced her to go to college and helped her apply.  Although clearly capable in the world of business, she repeatedly put her career on hold to help her family and support her husband. Eventually, she became the highest ranking Latina in the Bush Administration. I bet our politics are very different, but I admire her.  I also willing to bet that she has conflicted ideas about the world of work, too!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Return of Scrapbook Sunday

For my post yesterday, I went through all my completed layouts from 2009 and selected a few layouts to share (I shared 26 pages out of the 150+ pages I did last year).  It was an interesting learning experience.
  • I realized that my style is pretty simple - I usually have a strong framework or structure for placing my photos.  They tend to be lined up and orderly.  And that works for me because it helps accommodate the millions of  photos that I like to include. I used to rely solely on my scrapbook pages for my artistic outlet, and they were much more complicated.  Now that I have other artistic outlets (collage, art journals, altered books, ATC's, etc.), my pages are simpler. I think that's okay.  I also have very nice paper.  I would say that 90% of my paper is from the fantastic kit club, Club Scrap.  And I'm not a bad photographer.
  • I realized how close our family is to two other families, and I am grateful for their friendship.  And I realized how important my brothers and sisters are becoming to me as we get older.  My parents would be pleased that we have not drifted apart in the five years since they both passed away.
  • I realized that the year is woefully incomplete.  I still have dozens of layouts to complete from the summer, fall and winter.  I know most people would be happy to be almost "caught up," but I really want to get my 2009 pictures scrapped.  So, I placed a huge photo order and have been doing some more scrapping. One of my favorite new layouts is up top.
  • I realized that I seemed to have "lost" a layout.  I kindof remember scrapping Henry's Middle School graduation, but I can't find the layout.  Maybe I didn't, but I can't find the unscrapped pictures either.  Any idea where they are?  Has this ever happened to you?
  • I realized that I want to be better about journaling.  On two of the layouts from yesterday, the journaling was left "until later" and never done.  So, I need to fix those.  Plus, I want to make sure that my journaling includes the bigger picture - how I feel about Henry starting High School and Clara moving on to middle school, the importance of being close to my brothers and sisters, etc.  This week's challenge at the Scrap Weekly in 2010 Blog is about doing a "List of 10 Things" layout, and I plan to use that to capture some of these things on the kids' school portraits from Fall, 2009.
  • It's really hard to take a decent picture of layouts.  Suggestions???
  • I only seem to get motivated to scrap in response to challenges.  Why is that? Is it a bad thing?
  • There's not a single picture of me in any of the layouts I posted!  Bad scrapper - gotta remember to hand the camera over occasionally and include myself. LOL! By the way, I am in several layouts from 2009.
  • Finally, I realized that there really aren't any simple "day in the life" or "what we're doing now" type layouts.  I do like these and usually have a couple.  So, I want to do that this year. I welcome suggestions for the best way to accomplish that.  I'm not interested in the 365 Photo a Day idea, but more like once a month.
How would you describe your scrapbook style?  What do you like/dislike about it?  Anything you plan to do differently this year?  A walk through your scrapbooks can really help answer these questions.

So, I've started making some scrapping time again. The layout up top is one of my favorite. Remember, you can always click on a picture on my blog to enlarge it. It's titled "He Starts," and the journaling reads "Henry has always wanted to play sports in High School - maybe even in college.  One benefit of choosing HMB High over private high schools, definitely.  He was thrilled to "start" the first game of fall - he was the only freshman so chosen."  It's based on a Club Scrap sketch challenge, posted here and also meets the 365 challenge using lined paper for journaling (which I definitely remember reading but can't find anymore -what's up with that?). I also made the layout, based on a UK Scrappers Week 1 Challenge sketch, which you can see on Becky's blog.  It's pretty simple, but it was the first layout I've done in a while, and it got me back into the groove. So, thanks Becky for the inspiration!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2009 According to Our Scrapbook

We celebrated holidays:  Easter (complete with the traditional competition to see who could bat a boiled egg the farthest); Birthdays; and Halloween.

We visited family.

Henry played baseball, basketball and soccer.

Clara played basketball, swam like a fish and went to art classes.

And we had adventures, both near (rock climbing and music festivals) and far (Disneyland).

A tour through my scrapbook pages certainly captured a lot of what we did in 2009, but it also left out an awful lot.  Like what?  Come back tomorrow when I will share what I learned from this look backward, in terms of my scrapping style, our life in 2009 and what I want to make sure to include in my 2010 scrapbooks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Inspiring Thoughts from Picasso (click to enlarge)

I'm still loving the Art Journal class I'm taking, which focuses on a different "Master Artist" each week. This week is Picasso, and I made this page to capture a very cool quote from Picasso:  "Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working."  Picasso was clearly a workaholic.  He produced 250,000 pieces of art and reportedly holds the Guiness World Record for most art created by a single artists! That's a bit much, but I do believe that you need to put some time into your studio for inspiration to find you.  I've been working in my art journal almost every day this week and played 3-4 times last week, but that's unusual for me.  I bought these art journals for this class, and only worked sporadically in my previous journal. So, this is all new to me.  I'm glad I'm finding time this week to "work," and I really do feel like inspiration has been finding me. Have you been finding time to create now that the holidays are over?