Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome to December!

December 1 -wow!  How did that get here so fast?  So many crafty things will start today in blogland - Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of Christmas; Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas; Ali Edwards December Daily to name a few.  I'll definitely play along with Tim's tag tutorials and will be working on a JYC album with hipstamatic pictures.  In addition, I'll be jotting down some favorite events of the season in a little mini album. Are you doing any December art?  Over at Gingersnap Creations, the theme for the month is Snow.  Here's my first entry - its a theme entry featuring my favorite snowman stamp from Club Scrap, stamped on sticky back canvas and stickled.  The background is plaster, plainted with a color washes of purple and blue then also stickled.  Gotta get some sparkle going for December!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A final fashion statement

As you may recall, I was honored in the month of November to be asked to be a contributing artist at Gingersnap Creations blog during "fashion & sewing" month.  I had such a wonderful time that I wanted to make one more piece that fit the month's theme.  This wall hanging is done on plaster wrap, painted in a Michael DeMeng color wash style.  I added some grungepaper flowers with vintage buttons as their centers and a bit of vintage lace.  I'm tempted to add a quote in white above the two lower left flowers, but I'm holding off on that for right now.  It feels good to be getting back to working with plaster and to actually finish a piece (this one has been "in process" all month).  And, for some more good news, the Gingers liked my work so much that they asked me to stay on for another month!  Yea me! So, you'll be seeing more of my creations there during December.
In other news, my computer has reached a critical stage in its continuing decline.  So, today I bit the bullet and ordered a new computer.  It'll take a few weeks to arrive, so I'll keep limping along with this one until then.  My biggest current problem is the inability to link to many blogs because my computer reads them as "threats." I can still visit and comment on my ipad, but it's hard for me to add links here in blogger. On the upside, I ordered Photoshop Elements, so 2011 will definitely be the year I move into more photo editing.  I also ordered my Christmas present to myself last week - a fixed 80mm portrait lens, as well as a replacement for the telephoto (70-200, I think) that I broke over the summer).  What are you getting for Christmas?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Club & Thanksgiving Weekend, 2010

Time for another installment of Christmas Club, a sharing of Christmas Memories, inspired by Sian of High in the Sky.  Today I thought I would share a layout with a special Christmas memory about the year I put off taking the kids to see Santa until the last minute, and I ended up totally stressed and worried that we'd be waiting in line forever.  Instead, we experienced our best Santa visit ever:
Here's the journaling:
In a slightly past-its-prime mall called Whittwood, we met the REAL SANTA.  When Henry said he didn't know what he wanted, Santa said "Why don't we make it a surprise, then."  When Clara said she wanted the two Bitty Baby dolls, Santa said, "You mean the twins?" I said, "You've heard of them?" Santa replied, "Of course.  I made them."  Clara said she wanted the stroller but thought it wouldn't fit down the chimney and might scratch Grandma's roof.  Santa said, "Don't worry.  I'll just sprinkle it with some magic dust."  Clara gave him a big hug and said, "I love you Santa. Merry Christmas."  Christmas Eve, 2002

Flash forward to this weekend.  We had a quiet Thanksgiving with just the four of us.  Clara was a big help. She made two desserts: a chocolate pudding pie and apple pie pockets.

We had a wonderful dinner:  turkey; three vegetable casseroles (which we ate for lunch - will definitely continue that tradition); mashed potatos; and stuffing. Clara and I set the table with my Aunt Vera's china and my Grandmother Ontiveros' silver.  I explained to Clara as we worked why these were important to me.  Henry was in charge of peeling the potatoes.

On Saturday, I had the good fortune of having brunch with Karen of Random Reflections.  She is just as lovely in person as you would expect from having visited her blog.  We could have talked for hours, but she was off to get a Christmas tree, and I was off to watch Henry play in the Alumni Soccer game:
That's a picture of Henry running alongside an alum named Fausto Villegas.  He's the only soccer All-American to come out of our small high school.  He also played for the U.S. National U17 World Cup team! Henry did okay keeping up with him, as well as another alumni who played semi-pro soccer in Mexico.  It was such fun to see him back out on the pitch. 
Finally, in my very small Christmas miracle for this year, I found my iphone.  It had been missing for several days when the finders returned a call my friend Sherri made to the cell phone number. They told her they had found it, and this morning Paul and I went to retrieve it.  We had to drive an hour each way to get it, but we found a totally delightful mom who wanted to set an example to her children (one of whom I think "found" the phone) that they are an honest family who returns things.  The experience was a wonderful ending to a wonderful weekend!

Seasonal Postoid People and others

Over at the Gingersnap Creations blog, they are hosting a "Craft it Forward" challenge, to create Postoid People.  Start with a postage stamp for the head and stamp an approporiate body to go with it.  I created a Christmas Angel postoid and a Shopping Girl postoid.  These two are pretty representative of my weekend.  I've spent a fair amount of time getting ready for Christmas. . . ordering Christmas cards and doing a bit of shopping, as well as planning some of the other holiday festivities (we'll decorate next weekend and go get aour tree the following weekend).  I had so much fun making these postoids that I made two more:
These are a bit more "me" than the seasonal ones.  Do you have a favorite?  Will you play along and craft it forward with me?  If so, leave a comment, link back to this blog post and then also link to this Gingersnap Creations post. Have fun!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Class Review: True Stories

Kk (art journal page)
I made this art journal page in response to a prompt in Shimelle's class "True Stories" about capturing your own private language - you know those pet phrases unique to your world that might be forgotten months or years from now, if not jotted down and explained.  It's just a little thing, but as I wrote above, "I find it so sweet when Clara signs off her texts in agreement, 'Kk'."

Shimelle's class was all about capturing stories before they get lost and about recording them in ways that are more meaningful that simply "who, what, when and where."  Fifteen emails over three weeks covered a variety of interesting ways to tell stories (including prompts such as writing a letter, journaling in the form of a play, and using numbers as a starting point).  Each email actually included several prompts for how to approach the day's lesson, so it was easy to find something as a jumping off point.  Shimelle featured a layout of her own and one from a guest artist each day showing how they used the daily lesson.  There were also several sketches that could be used for scrapbook pages.  In a very cool twist, every day Shimelle featured a lesson from a writing expert who shared interesting insights into improving your writing, related to the day's lessons. These insights were fresh and interesting and very different from the sorts of things usually discussed in scrapbook classes.  Although I used the class as a way to create art journal pages,  I know I will also be able to use the prompts for scrapbook pages and blog posts.  As a final bonus, Shimelle emailed a booklet of 52 more prompts with lots of samples to keep your journaling all year long! Overall, it was a wonderful class which offered fresh approaches to journaling, either in the format to be used or the subjects to be covered.  Priced at only $15, it's an Easy A!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sian's Christmas Club

There's a scene in Harry Potter where Dumbeldore uses a pensieve to go back and examine saved memories.  Blog friend Sian is organizing a venture she calls "Christmas Club," in which she is encouraging friends to dip into pensieves of their own and recall special memories from Christmases past.  The Christmas Club will generally run on Sundays, but I wanted to do a bit of catch-up with a small post of my own.  Thanksgiving (in America) seems like as good a day as any to share this food-based Christmas memory.  So, I'm placing the wand into my pensieve and pulling out a memory from 1989   . . .
It's time for the annual baking day with my good friend Linda.  Paul and I havem recently bought our first home - a condominium in San Carlos, California.  The double ovens will come in handy as we bake pound cake and three different kinds of cookies, not to mention the candied pecans that also must go into the oven.  We are able to use the stove top for the fudge we will make, though.  Before we begin any of that, though, we pop open a bottle of champagne and mix it with fresh squeezed orange juice. Who cares that it's not even 10:00 a.m.?  It's baking day.  After we have a few drinks and bagels, we start cooking in earnest.  Our music of choice?  Bruce Springsteen, played at high volume.  Around noon, we have some fancy pizza to go with our second bottle of champagne.  We continue to cook and by mid-afternoon, all we have left to do is decorate the sugar cookies. Over the years, we have found this to be the perfect activity to accompany our third bottle of champagne.  By the time our guys arrive at the condo after work, all we are fit to do is to giggle, sing Bruce Springsteen and hit the sack early.   Everyone always loved everything we made (and so I'm sharing the recipes with you today-click on them to enlarge).  But, for me, the true joy of the season was the time spent with a good friend - eating, drinking, singing, dancing and giggling.  On Baking Day, 1989.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let's talk Color Combinations

(oops.  Published a little early; meant to post tonight at 10 p.m.)
The current color challenge at the Gingersnap Creations Blog features "Vintage Hues."  I made this book mark and ATC in shades of browns, coppers and creams, with a hint of black.  I actually really like brown and use it quite a bit.  I think it pairs really well with just about any other color, too, although I've always been partial to brown and blue together for masculine layouts.  I thought about this recently when I saw this dynomite blanket which  Margie is knitting for her soon-to-arrive nephew.  Another color combination I really love features red, black and cream.  Do you have any favorite color cominations?
I've noticed several color challenges in blogland.  The Play Date Cafe features color combinations every week, and the Gingersnappers have a color challenge once a month.  Do you know of other regular color combination challenges out there in blogland?  Do you participate?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daybooking, Monday 11/22

Outside my window... it is pitch dark, even though it is only 5:30 p.m.  Winter hours have definitely set in.  There are twinkling lights from the City, as I wait for my 6:30 p.m. class to begin.
I am thinking... sometimes there seems to be so many little parts of life to manage that I feel overwhelmed.  I think (fear) that I lost my iphone and that I have a flat tire on my car. The kids need to get to the dentist, and we just got a letter saying that our health insurance will no longer have a contract with their pediatricians (who I adore) after the first of the year.  Sigh.
I am thankful for...being featured in the member's spotlight over at Get It Scrapped.  Check me out at this link and you can learn even more about me.  I am also thankful for the fantastic blog prize I received today, a booklet with every recipe from the Let's Eat Blog Hop!!!  Thanks Beverly!
From the learning rooms...tonight I teach my last law school class for the semester.  On Saturday past, I taught a Christmas mini journal class.  Even though there were only two students, it was a lot of fun to teach. It has made me rethink the optimal number for classes.
From the kitchen...there's a turkey in the refridgerator, thawing out for Thursday. It's a small one because it looks like it will be "just us" for Thanksgiving, although we'll join the neighbors for a glass of wine before dinner and perhaps they'll come over later for pie.
I am wearing...my favorite work outfit . . . pinstriped pants, bright white shirt, rust colored sweater and Italian loafers.  Also the Claudaugh ring made of rose gold that I inherited from my Aunt Vera and Uncle Nano.
I am creating...plaster nichos for my December class.
I am going...to meet blog friend Karen this weekend, and I'm very excited about!
I am reading...Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, an Australian author who blog friend Amy also likes.  I am about to start Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.
I am hoping...to do some actual scrapbooking this weekend!
I am hearing...cars driving by and last night I heard hail.
Around the house...Clara is getting ready for basketball practice.  She made the "A" team, and we are all horribly proud of her!
One of my favorite things...Discovering interesting things for my blog, like the Daybooking Site.  You can find it at this link.  Feel free to join the party. I found out about it from this post at Tammy Lee Bradley's blog.
A few plans for the rest of the week:  beginning to think about Christmas; Clara and Paul have been painting her room - I'll step in with some finishing touches this weekend; Henry plays in the Alumni Soccer Game on Saturday. Did I mention he made the Varsity High School team (quite an accomplishment for a sophomore).
Here is picture for thought I am sharing... the current view from my office.
after night class (Mon.)
and a self-portrait of my artist hand at work:
Self Portrait - fingers (Sat.)
Hope you'll join in the daybooking!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Class Review: AJ103Composition and Color Techniques

Now Winter nights enlarge
the number of their hours
and clouds their storm discharge
upon the airy towers.

I just finished my fourth art journaling class with Dina Wakley, Art Journal 103: Composition and Color Techniques.  The class consisted of eight lessons, posted twice a week over a four week period of time.  The first four focused on composition theory and the second four on color theory.  Composition topics included symmetry & assymetry, white space, continuance, dominance, unity,  combining and overlapping.  Color topics included color combinations, contrast, color as a compositional tool and the power of black & white.  Each lesson included a thorough discussion of its topic, including explanations and examples.  At 20-25 pages per lesson (or almost 200 total pages), they were comprehensive enough to constitute a beginning course in visual design! To help put these lessons into action, each post contained a description of how to use the topics on art journal pages and a series of page challenge ideas.  One of the best and most unexpected parts of each lesson was a discussion of how to break the design rules and still create a pleasing page.  Last, but certainly not least, each lesson included an art technique to incorporate.  These were all really fun and interesting, and, for the most part, new to me!  These included watercolor with spray ink, painted & scraped backgrounds, butcher paper collage, underpainting, gel medium resist, and black spray paint. There was also a brief introduction to collaging, glazing and a download to make custom color charts.  Every single lesson came with a video where Dina explains the various techniques, and you get to see her create page after wonderful page.  The opportunity to see her at work as she explains her creative process is absolutely invaluable! The class included a discussion forum and gallery.  Dina monitored both closely, answering all questions posted to the forum and commenting on virtually every image posted in the gallery.  The activity level at the forum and in the gallery was enough to be interesting, without being overwhelming.  The class cost $65, and I think the content was well worth it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this class.  I found the page challenges and art techniques really useful as a way to jump start my creativity and make some art journal pages.  I especially loved the the spray ink watercolor, scraped backgrounds and butcher paper collage techniques.  The black spray paint technique really expanded my way of looking at things, even if I'm not sure how often I'll use it, and the color charts will be really handy.  I know I can use the color and composition theory when starting a collage and need to decide which color to grab or where to place an element, or when I'm stuck mid-process and need to figure out my next step. The only potential downside to the class was that it didn't contain any journaling prompts, so some students seemed at a loss for subjects for their pages.  This didn't bother me (especially because I was taking Shimelle's journaling class at the same time), but there did seem to be some frustration expressed about this. In all of Dina's other art journaling classes, there were lots of prompts and ideas for journaling topics, but that simply wasn't the focus of this class.
Look at the page at the top of today's post.  It uses the gel medium resist technique, black spray paint, concepts of flow, white space, color contrasts and the power of black and white. It's a page that brings together many of the concepts and techniques from the class and one which I happen to love!  Bottom line - I give the class a Solid A for helping me create this page and so many others.

Spray Pages

Lucky in Love (art journal page)
Long Term Plan (art journal page)
Here are two more art journal pages using black spray paint.  They are more detailed and layered and better follow Dina Wakley's spray paint technique than the quick page I posted yesterday (which kindof looks like a book cover to me).  The spray paint technique was part of her lesson on "the power of black and white," and you can see how I consciously used those colors in my designs here.
I posted these two together because I think they are interesting to view in tandem. Although they both have the same focal point, similar layouts, and both emphasize black & white, they have such different color palettes that they don't really feel like a "set" to me. What do you think?
The journaling on the top one is backward looking for me "She never knew if she would be lucky in love until she found the the confidence to be herself and wait."  The journaling on the bottom pages looks to my future: "Her long term plans definitely included moving to the City with him, late nights and the theater, drinking martinis in slinky dresses and otherwise enjoying their empty nest years." And, yes, that's definitely my long term plan!
Coming soon: Class Reviews of Dina Wakley's Art Journal 103: Color and Composition and Shimelle's True Stories.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spray paint? Seriously?

So, in Dina's art journaling class this week, one of the techniques focuses on using black spray paint.  Although she does fabulous work with it, I have to admit to being a bit skeptical. I've only just started playing with it, and I'll have some more layered, detailed art journal pages to share this weekend, but this is my first effort.  I do kindof like it, even if it is a bit simple from a design standpoint.  So, before I render my final verdict, I'm interested in whether any of you have played with spray paint?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hipstamatic Photography and JYC

Every year, one of my favorite online scrapbook teachers Shimelle offers a class called "Journal Your Christmas."  It's a way of reflecting on the holidays and holiday traditions. Last time I did this project, I took an art journal approach (big surprise, huh?). I created a 5x7 card for each journal prompt with artwork on one side and journaling on the other.  You can see the pages in a slide show in this post.
This year, I decided to do an album of hipstamatic photos.  These are photos taken with the hipstamatic app on the iphone.  I blogged about it, with lots of linky goodness courtesy of Shimelle, Sian and Kerry, here.
One of the keys to succeeding at JYC is to prepare quite a bit in advance. Since I was in a photography mood this morning, I decided to play with the app a bit more to try and decide which settings I wanted to use. Fair warning to my non photo geek friends, the following could be tedious and boring!  If you're not that into photography effects, feel free to glance at the photos and let me know if there's any one you like best. LOL!  I only own the basic hipstamatic app, which gives me 3 different lenses and three different film choices.  I tried out all the combinations on a soccer ball this morning and was really surprised by my results.
Here's the three taken with "blanko film" and the Kaimal Mark II (KM), Jimmy and John S lenses:
You can see a clear difference in the colors in these pictures!!! Not sure if I knew what accounted for it, so I took three more pictures.  These are taken with Ina's 1969 film and are the KM II, Jimmy and John S lenses again:
So, it's pretty clear to me now that the KMII lens creates a reddish tint, the Jimmy a yellow tint and the John S a blue tint.  If you're not too bored yet, check out the same three lenses with the final film choice (kodot Verichrome):
While it's pretty easy to see the difference in the lenses, it's harder to see the differences in the film choices.  I think it's mainly in the edging of the photo, but I"m also seeing a little more lighted area in the kodot veri film than the others.  Do you have a preference of lens choice or film???  If so, please share, as I'm trying to decide what to use for my JYC album.
My thoughts are after this jump if you want to see them:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Lacing and a Bridge Story

Thanks for all the nice comments on my laced up card yesterday.  The reaction caused me to dig out this layout from Jan. 2008 where I used the same technique on a 12x12 page.  The layout was about a beach walk which Clara and I took and the unusual discovery she made:  a piece of the Bay Bridge!  This bridge spans the San Francisco Bay and connects the city of San Francisco with the east side of the bay. Although the bridge actually hits land at the Port of Oakland in the city of Emeryville, it is usually referred to as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
While not as famous as the Golden Gate Bridge, it has some interesting history.  It is featured in the 1967 American movie classic, The Graduate, about a young man trying to find himself in a rapidly changing American society.  If you go to the 7:30 minute portion of this utube video, you can see Dustin Hoffman driving on the Bay Bridge, supposedly heading to the East Bay.  The scene contains a notable error because the top deck on which he is driving only goes into San Francisco, not the East Bay.  Traffic heading East travels along the lower level in something that feels a bit more like a cavern.
More recently, the Bay Bridge made news when a portion of it collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta Earth quake.  Here's a couple photos from that day:
First from the San Francisco Chronicle
And a bigger view from NISEE, U.C. Berkeley (trying to give proper credit, although this photo shows up a lot of places so I'm not sure of its exact origin):
My layout, though, came from an incident in 2007 when a container ship named the Cosco Busan hit the San Francisco Bay Bridge, causing a major oil spill. You can read the Wikipedia account of the accident here. Interestingly, the ship also knocked several large pieces off the bridge.  As reported in our local paper in this article, a very large piece of the bridge washed up on a local beach.  While not as big as the bridge fender featured in that article, leave it to Clara to find her own personal piece of the Bay Bridge! That's what she's proudly holding in the layout.  We considered ourselves lucky that pieces of the bridge and not too much oil made landfall around our parts.
Up tomorrow: some thoughts on hipstamatic photography and my Journal Your Christmas album for this year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corner lacing card

This week's challenge over at the Gingersnap Creations blog is "stitching." You can see a variety of wonderful projects at this link.  Since I'm sewing challenged, I decided to create this card with one of my favorite stitching techniques:  corner lacing.  When I want to use this technique, I start with a template like this one:
I use it to punch holes into the paper I will lace on. Then I pull waxed linen thread or other fiber in and out of the holes in alphabetical order.  It's quite easy, and I love the effect it gives.  Let me know if you give it a try; I'd love to see the results.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Crazy Tim Cards

Needed to step away from my art journal for a while.  I decided to check out Linda's Compendium of Curiosities Challenge this week at Studio L3.  The technique is alcohol ink splatter, which is something very different than my typical style. Didn't have the special tool required for the technique but used a turkey baster!  Love alcohol inks, but prefer other techniques to use them, I think. I just don't think splatter and mess are for me. What about you?

Friday, November 12, 2010


Shimelle has offered many wonderful writing prompts in the current class.  One of the recent ones was to write journaling in the form of a want ad or ebay offering.  I chose to create a want ad.  Here's the journaling:
Wanted: More hours in the day. Preference given to hours between midnight and 6:30 am for sleeping or late afternoon to accommodate the need to be in more than one place at the same time. Hours for diet and exercise desireable but must be accompanied by motivation. Hours for housework or computer surfing need not apply.
From a design standpoint, this art journal page is all about contrast.  Strong contrasting colors and contrasting shapes. 
Very bold, but I really want someone to answer my ad!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Favorite Veteran

Today (Thursday) is Veteran's Day in the United States. I've posted before about my dad's service and how proud I am of him. If you click on the label "dad" below, you'll see some of my prior posts about him, including journaling about the photographs from his time in World War II. I did eventually create scrapbook pages with those photographs and there's an excerpt up top, but they're simple pages and I've already posted the journaling.
So, instead, I wanted to share this art journal page with a story about the first time my husband met my father.  I've been wanting to do this page ever since blog friend Sian posted about her husband meeting her grandparents.  I wrote the journaling on the page in the style of a play, in response to a prompt from Shimelle's class.  From a design standpoint, there's a visual triangle going on with the three stars, direction with the eyes looking at each other and a discordance color scheme that still works because of similar tones and lots of neturals.  
The Meeting

Act I (A University apartment)
Girl: I really think you should meet my parents.
Boy: Alright. I'll come over for brunch when we're home for Winter Break.

Act II (A suburban home)
Father (handing a tie to a young man): Here. Put this on. A man likes to see his future son-in-law in a tie at least once before his daughter's wedding day.
Son: Thanks Dad.

Act III (a different suburban home; it is clearly still morning)
Scene 1: Camera pans over an older man pressing drinks, many drinks, onto a young man in an ill-fitting tie. Young man protests occasionally buts keeps drinking. Music plays in background.
Scene 2: (same home, that evening)
Daughter: So, dad, what did you think of him?
Father: Seemed nice. He drank quite a bit though. (Pauses) But at least he was drinking good stuff.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Art Journal Page with Notions

When faced with the challenge of making an art journal page with the design supply "notions," I was a little apprehensive. I really liked this background and how the rectangles looked on it. I looked up a definition for notions and found that it included zippers.  I thought "this could be fun!" because I really liked the way the zipper looked on the page.  I looked for quotes about zippers and found this one:
"The way to a man's heart is through his zipper."
It's from a bumper sticker. If you want to find bumper sticker sayings for your cards, layouts or art journal pages, check out this link. Although, be forewarned, bumper sticker sayings seem to be more raunchy and offensive that t-shirt sayings.  Let me know if you find a favorite.  For some more traditional notions pages, check out today's Gingersnap Creations blog.  Lots of eye candy there.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Memory Flashes

One of Shimelle's recent journaling prompts was to use "memory flashes" to get to the heart of certain events.  I chose the moment we realized that we would be able to adopt our daughter, Clara.  The journaling along the bottom reads: "Thoughts and emotions from when we learned that Clara would be able to join our family."  The first bird (Paul) says "I knew I would never let her go, no matter what."  The second bird (me) says "complete fulfilled content relieved."  The third bird (Henry) says "I'm happy.  I said, 'I like this baby.'"  The fourth bird (Clara) says "I'm joining my forever family."  
Yeah, it made me all teary eyed to write it.  It's amazing how that journaling trick works!
From a design standpoint, the birds are made using the butcher paper collage technique and the background involves underpainting.  The placement of the birds involves ideas of grouping and repetition (or something).  I'm learning soooo many design ideas in Dina's class that I can't keep them all straight. But I really like this page.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Too much awesome . . . (some winners)

What is too much awesome?
The San Francisco Giants winning the World Series is too much awesome!  You know what else?
Taking your 15 year old son to the victory parade, on a school day, with some of his friends from school and about one million other Giants fans.  Be sure to check out our friend, Chris, hamming it up between two of Henry's friends in the left backdrop. That's too much awesome!
You know what else?  The Friendship Blog Hop organized by Lizzie and Jo.  Thank you to everyone who stopped by.  I loved, loved, loved all the comments you left about my art and are friendships.  The comments were too much awesome.  You know what else?  All your blogs - I totally enjoyed stopping by each one and reading about blogging and friendships and give-aways.  You all are too much awesome!  So, to celebrate all the awesomeness, I picked a random winner of a spot in one of Shimelle's classes.  And the winner is:
Becky of Becky's Scrapbook Burblings! 
I really met Becky when I organized the House Party Blog Hop (I think), and I'm happy she's the winner.  Becky, email me at rinda1961@yahoo.com, and we'll arrange your prize.
Thanks to everyone else who stopped by.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sewing is Not Hereditary (last call)

I am very happy to be a Guest Artist at the Gingersnap Creations challenge blog this month, but I have to confess that I was a bit scared when Ali told me that this month's theme would be "sewing and fashion." Because, as many of my blog friends know, I don't sew.  I don't own a sewing machine.  I don't stitch on layouts or use fabric.  I've tried, but it's really not my thing.  I blame 7th grade Home Economics, which I  all-but failed when I couldn't gather the yolk or put a zipper into my sewing project (a smock; it was 1973 after all).  But I've jumped in with the challenges, and I'm having a ball.  My submission for "notions" will be up on Wednesday, and it's very me.
Meanwhile, I've used this opportunity and Shimelle's prompt on using a thesaurus to reflect on the fact that it's a shame I can't stitch because sewing is definitely something that runs in my family.  I created today's art journal page about it. Here's the journaling:
"I come from a long line of seamstresses and needleworkers.  My Tia Lupe could tailor, stitch, seam and sew with the best of them, creating an endless succession of matching dresses for her nieces.  My Grandmother Ontiveros crocheted thousands of granny squares for hundreds of quilts, tatted lace doilies and embroidered multitudes of pillowcases and table cloths.  My sisters are also quite handy. Tricia made her own wedding dress; Cordelia makes quilts.  My daughter Clara even got into the act last summer, piecing a quilt and constructing pillowcases and purses. Me, not so much.  I all-but failed home economics in Jr. High because I couldn't gather the yolk or put in the zipper on my project (a smock; it was 1973, afterall). I have come to the sad conclusion that sewing is not hereditary."
Do you sew?  Did you learn from your family?  Are you passing it on?
Last call to enter the friendship blog hop give-away! I'll be drawing the winner tonight (Sunday) at 9:00 p.m. California time and will post the winner about noon on Monday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friendship Blog Hop

Edited to add: Last call to enter the friendship blog hop give-away! I'll be drawing the winner tonight (Sunday) at 9:00 p.m. California time and will post the winner about noon on Monday.
The bird a nest,
the spider a web,
a man friendship.
Wm. Blake
Welcome to the Friendship blog hop!  I've been blogging for a little over a year, and I have made so many wonderful connections and friendships all over the world!  I made this art journal page to let you know how much you all mean to me.  Thank you for your friendship, stories, artwork and inspiration.  In gratitude, I am giving away a prize today.  After much thought, I've decided to give away a spot in Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class, since Shimelle is the woman who got so many of us started in blogging.  It's also a bit of a "pay it forward" prize, since I recently won a spot in Shimelle's True Stories class and am thoroughly enjoying it.
To enter, simply leave a comment.  If you've already taken Journal Your Christmas, don't despair! You can assign the free spot to one of your friends or choose one of Shimelle's archived classes which you haven't taken or hold onto the pass for a future Shimelle class (though I ask you to use it by March 2, 2011).  
From here, you should hop on over to Liberty Cottage at this link (http://libertycottage.blogspot.com/).  Be sure to carry the following letter with you:  "O", as in Ontiveros!  How  convenient is that?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If . . .

Shimelle suggested using the phrase "If I hadn't . . . " to look at how various chain reactions lead us to certain places in our lives.  This art journal page called "Thank you Cupid" explains how I came to my real life job of being a professor:
If I hadn't fallen in love with Paul,
I wouldn't have had to move to upstate New York.
If I hadn't failed to get a clerkship in Syracuse,
I wouldn't have had to move to Ithaca.
If I hadn't opened the Cornell catalog,
I wouldn't have found Industrial and Labor Relations.
If I hadn't gotten my Masters of ILR,
I wouldn't be teaching labor law and writing
about the world of work.
So, thank you Cupid!
November, 2010
The background uses a technique called underpainting and the hinges are made using the "Industrial Grunge" technique which Linda is featuring in this week's Compendium of Curiosities challenge over at the Studio L3 blog.  The artwork is from a Diego Rivera mural in Detroit, Michigan.