Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring in Texas & the Crazy Girl

Do not get in between me and my ability to go home.  That's all I can say...

I was in Houston yesterday for work, and when we (a co-worker and me) got to the airport to go home, we found out the three flights before ours were cancelled due to weather, and ours was delayed for at least an hour, probably more.

It's an hour flight from Houston to Dallas, plus we were at the airport an hour early.  Add that to the one hour delay (at least), and that's three hours.  It's a 4 hour drive.  So, what did I do?  Rent a car. 

The weather was FINE (not one single rain drop) until we were about 60 miles south of Dallas.  Then, the heavens opened up!  This is what the sky looked like. 


It got really green and there was a wall cloud in front of us.  My poor passenger is not from Texas, so she doesn't ignore storm warnings.  If you grow up in Texas, you know that we have tornado warnings and thunder bumpers every other day during the spring.  If you get worked up about it, you are going to be a nervous wreck for about 2 months - it's not worth it.  Most of the time, it's just a little wind, just a little rain and a lot of noise - no big deal!
   

At one point before the big rain started, the clouds in front of us did look a bit like this.  Again, I told my passenger, "it's fine, it's just a storm - it's nothing."

I never felt like the wind was blowing the car, but man-oh-man, the rain was coming down in buckets and the hail was INSANE.  It was soooo loud hitting the car - the sound was probably the scariest part.  I think the other drivers on the road were probably more dangerous than the storm.  The person in front of me slowed down to about 20 mph - in the fast lane - and I had cars screaming up behind me. 

Once we were able to pass that person, I maintained about 30 - 45 mph - in the slow lane - until we could see past the hood of the car. 


The sky went from cloudy but fairly bright, to green (never a good color for the sky), to black like night, then it started to get a bit brighter, and within about 20 minutes, it looked like this.

By the time we pulled into Dallas, it was SUNNY!  Are you kidding me?!  They cancelled flights and it was SUNNY?!  (Actually, the weather around here changes on a dime - just wait 15 minutes, and it will be different.)

My poor friend/co-worker!  During the big rain and hail, I can't tell you how many times she asked if we should pull over.  I just kept saying "No, we're ok."  I was on a mission to get home.

Bless her heart! When I got home, and saw on the news that four tornadoes touched down in the area we were driving through - at the time we were driving through it - I felt a tiny twinge of guilt - and a whole lot of grateful to have made it through ok!  After I reflected on it a bit, I felt bad that she had to ride home with this crazy girl!

But...I was really happy to be home!



(Picture Source)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Art Journal - Finished Pages

I mentioned the other day, that I had finally finished a few pages in my Art Journal. So, I thought I'd share a couple of them.


I've decided to do only the journalling assignments from the Soul Restoration workshop in this book.  I think I work better if I have a theme and some prompts.


The prompt on these two pages obviously dealt with truths and lies.  It's about the lies I've let have influence over my life and then the counter-acting truths.  There were a lot, so I had to type them out and printed them on vellum.  (I blurred 'em out - I'm not ready to share quite that much.)


On some of the pages, I don't have a prompt from the class, but what I'm writing goes along with the concepts we're working on.  Also I've printed some of the Brave Girl's "A Birdie Told Me" emails that I really like and glued them in.



This page is inspired by the Moon people analogy Melody uses during the first week of the class.  I did this while I was traveling a couple of weeks ago.  I printed the pictures out from the internet and stuck them on the back of a big envelope.  After I wrote on the page, I just glued it in when I got home.

I'm really starting to get into this process.  I've never been into keeping a journal, but it's much more fun when I get to include pretty colors and fun pictures. 

Unlike last week, this weekend was extremely productive.  I finished several projects.  I'm in Houston today to launch a big program for work.  It's making me crazy to be away from my supplies!  I finally get inspired, and then I have to leave town - figures...

Oh well,  it's just a quick trip - I'll be home this evening.  And I cannot wait to get back to 'work.' 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How old is too old?

Just one question:

At what age does the Easter Bunny stop coming?


Hmmm....


I'm thinking college is too old.  Thoughts?


Oh well, despite the nagging thoughts that I should not been sending my almost adult child an Easter basket, off it went...
And then the very next day, this arrived in the mail.  The hubs and I had received our very own Easter basket!  So, I guess maybe you're never too old!  :-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Random Pretty

I've had a suprise come up in the yard this year!  I forced several amaryllis bulbs during the holidays, and then after they bloomed I hated to throw away the plants, so I just planted them in the yard.  I didn't think they would come back, but I hoped they might, and...

Wooo hoooo!  THEY DID!!!


Not all of them are blooming yet, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  I wonder how long they will last?! 


All those pitiful baby petunias I planted a few weeks ago have gone crazy!  Hot pink for days!  LOVE!

The yuccas are also blooming - weird but still pretty.


A few years ago, I found two hostas on the clearance rack.  I planted them with no expectations, and they keep coming back bigger and bigger every year.  I wish I'd found 20 of them, I would have just planted these everywhere.  Perfect in the shade and so pretty!  I need at least 6 more - one for this area, and then 5 around the tree in the front where I can't seem to get anything to grow.  (Actually I think the squirrels eat everything I put in that bed.)


And one final shot - this is one of the sunsets I saw last week while I was in Florida.  You know, I love me some sunsets. 


 Happy Good Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Value

I'm sure I'm a little late to the party, but I heard this analogy the other day, and cannot get it out of my head so I thought I'd share...

If you were offered a clean, crisp, new $100 bill, you'd want it, right? Duh, of course!


What if that same $100 was wrinkled and old, would you still want it?  Yep! 

Ok, so what if that old, wrinkly $100 was taken outside and stepped on and it got dirty and maybe a little torn - would you still want it? YES - count me in! :-)
(I realize this is a $50, but I couldn't find a picture of a $100, just play along.)

That money has intrinsic value, no matter what condition it is in.  And, just like that $100 bill, we have an intrinsic value that doesn't change, no matter what circumstances we are in or what decisions we have made.  No matter what has happened or what will happen - no matter how broken or dirty or old or ugly we may feel, it doesn't determine our value! 

The external "packaging" doesn't define us.  Our value doesn't come from what we do, what we have, who we know. Our value comes from everything that makes us who we are - because of our strengths and our weaknesses.  We are valuable because we're here - because we are all children of God and because He loves us and has a plan for us, our value is priceless - simply because we exist. 

LOVE THAT! :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Soul House

The first part of the SR1 workshop deals with setting boundaries and Melody uses the analogy of a house to describe the condition of our souls.  Have you set strong boundaries and protected your house (soul), or have you let all kinds of people come in and destroy it and turn it into a crack house?

So the first spread, after the title page, in our SR book is a picture of our Soul House. You can interpret this however you like, but I chose to think of mine in already restored condition, so that it would be a reminder of what I need to protect.


I found a picture of a house online that I liked, then I used that as a general guide for the shape I wanted my house to be.  I cut the pieces out of different patterned papers.  Actually the house was one of the last things I glued down.  I cut it out first, but then I had to wait until I got the sky and grass laid down before I could add it. 


I started with scraps of paper.  I tore pieces of several different blue, green, and orange-y pink papers and then I collaged them onto the book for the earth and sky.  Next I found that fabulous glittery flower and used it as the center of my sun.  I layered it on two other pieces of glittery paper and then glued it down with the rays. 

From there, I was able to add the house and all the finishing touches.


This is the lift-up flat that was on this page.  On part you see, it's the reminder that My House is sacred, and then when you lift the flap, on one side it says "I get to decide who comes in my house."  On the other side, I pasted in three truths. 


I like glitter. 


And waa-laaa!  The flowers are rhinestones that I pieced together, and everything else is collaged paper.  Again, I used inks and paint to do the shading and to paint in the grass and leaves.  Yep, it's a little busy, but duh - I made it - how else would it be?  :-)


And then added one final thought to set the tone for the rest of my SR work.  LOVE!

That's all I've done so far... Tonight I want to start on my next spread, but I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do.  Maybe the inspiration will strike between now and the end of the day. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homework

I haven't been taking many pictures or doing much lately other than work-working and then home-working on my Soul Restoration 1 projects.  So, I don't have much to write about these days.

In SR1, we're creating a book and we are doing a 2-page spread each week.  The first week, we did the cover, the title page, and our soul house.  Last week, we were supposed to create a spread about our truth teller, but I haven't gotten around to finishing that one yet. Anyway, I thought I'd share what I've done so far.

I started out with a cute 8" x 8" board book.  I found them at Barnes and Noble for about $6, and they have little flaps inside that I thought would be kind of fun.


Before the class started, I put masking tape around all the edges and gesso'd all the pages so that they would hold paint better.


This is the front cover.  I didn't know that I was gravitating towards deep saturated colors, until I looked at these pictures, but wait - you will see...


I bought a box of scrap jewelry bits on ebay last year for a project that I never started.  I LOVE this little piece of whatever (a belt buckle maybe?), and I'm happy to finally be using some of these bits.


This is the title page spread.  The blue side is just paint, and the green side I covered with paper.  I smeared markers along the edges and ridges to do the shading, and try to give it some depth.


Lots of layers...  paint, stamps, rub-ons, gems, glitter, and I cut the fish out of a 2010 calendar.  They fish don't have anything to do with any of the work we're doing, but I LOVED them and wanted to use them.  So, here they are.


And with the flap open...  LOVE the flaps!


I like to add the dimensional bits.  I have a really hard time leaving a page flat.  I have tried, but then I always end up going back and adding something that comes off the page a bit.   Not sure why, but I'm not fighting it...


And here's this page with the flaps open.

These pages took me forever!  Everyone else knocked these out in a few hours.  I didn't realize it, but I obviously just work REALLY slow. 

The next spread is my soul house.  That one took me DAYS to finish!  When you see it, I think it looks relatively simple, but it was "a process."  I'll give you a peek at that tomorrow.

Have a good day.  I gotta go work-work now.  Argh!  This real work thing is so inconvenient...  ;-)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Art Journal - Backgrounds

If you've been reading along for the past few months, you probably know of my struggle with Art Journaling.   AJ and I are in a battle of wills.  I have been determined to fill her up, and her blank pages hae  just stared at me belligerently, almost shouting, "Bring it!" 

I am proud to say that I have indeed, Brung It!  Or, at least I'm feeling pretty good about the start that I have finally made!


My plan is to use this Journal for the Soul Resoration 1 journalling prompts.  Here's the first background I created - it was HIDEOUS, but I just kept adding more and more stuff until I kinda liked it.  My plan was for this to be the 'title' page (and that's how it ended up - I'll post a few 'finished' pages later this week). 


Page 2:  Again, I hated it, but kept adding more junk until I decided I  could tolerate it.  I also went ahead and added one of the journalling prompts so I would know what to write about.

I've never been a big journaler.  One of the reasons is because when I start writing, I just don't know how to be brief (duh, I'm sure you never would have guess that buy reading this blog - lol!).  So, with AJ, I've been afraid that I would have to decorate 3 - 5 pages the same just to cover ONE prompt.   Over the last week, I've found that limiting myself to one page is kind of nice.  It forces me to focus on the important things, distill my thoughts and keep it brief. 

After these two pages took FOREVER, I decided to practice one of the things I've been trying to learn lately:  less is more and keep it simple, so I got busy with the mists and watercolors and here are a few more I came up with...


I don't know why, but I love this page.  A couple of spray inks, and some acrylic inks for the sun and clouds - nothing special, and so basic, but I love the colors and the simplicity of it.  LOVE!



Plastic doilies, mists, watercolor, a stamp, a flower border punch, and a rub-on.  I was just playing around with EVERYTHING on these pages.



More mists and stencils/masks.  I like the color combinations here, but I'm not really sure how I'm going to journal yet. 


Again, I don't know why, but I really like this page, too.  Collaged on a sewing pattern and that coffee filter flowery kinda thing - a bit of paint, and a stamp. 


This dragonfly is actually a Christmas ornament that I put down on the page and misted over.  Like it!




Since I knew I was going to be out of town (away from my art supplies - ack!) last week, I decided that I would throw down a few backgrounds in AJ, and then take her and some markers along on my trip...  Since she would be my only creative outlet, then I'd have to start journaling, right??

So, that's what I did, and during my VERY long, VERY boring meetings, I pretended like I was taking notes, but really I was writing my journal prompt responses.  I still have to transfer a few of them from my notepad to the journal, but I did a couple last week, and I'm pretty happy with them. 

I realize they're no masterpiece, but I'm so happy that I've FINALLY broken through this brain block.  I'm learning...sometimes it's not about being perfect and fancy, it's just about showing up and doing it.  What a hard lesson that is for me!

Linking up here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pre Mini-Camp

Yesterday I told you about the craft room I put together for our Soul Restoration Mini-Camps.  In addition to moving all that furniture around, for the last 2 -3 weeks, I have been working HARD to get everything else ready: planning, cleaning, making aprons for everyone, printing out fun clip art for us to use, pulling together all of my art supplies, and watching tons of techniques videos so I could explain the 'right way' to use all of them.

I also put together a box of goodies for each of the girls:


Originally, I saw these 2 for $3.00 photo boxes at Michael's and I thought they would be great for each person's apron, but I ended up adding a few other things...

 I decorated name tags for everyone. Front...

 ...and back.

Then, I put together a texture kit for each box.  I had bought some old-fashioned plastic doilies for myself to use as stencils, and I had tons of extras, so I included a couple of those, along with bubble wrap, punchinella, shelf liner, some mesh ribbon stuff and a hotel room key card for spreading paint.


(CONFESSION:  Seriously you guys, you have no idea what a BIG step this has been for me.  You can ask anyone in my family, I. DO. NOT. SHARE.  I've decided that is probably not one of my most appealing traits, so I'm taking baby steps here to overcome it.)


I gathered the apron, the texture kit, the box, the tag, and I found the accordion books we'll be needing later in the class on sale, so I got one of those for everyone. At work last week, they were cleaning out the storage closet, so I snagged those plastic file box things - perfect for putting clip art in and also for corralling all of the stuff you want to use on your projects.  I also dipped into my canvas stash, then I put most of it in the box, wrapped a ribbon around it, and put a name tag on it.


LOVED THESE!  SO CUTE lined up on that table!! :-)

Our craft-fests are from 11 - 5, so we're going to take turns bringing lunch each week.  I did it the first week.  We had chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, chips, cantaloupe and cookies. Obviously, I was working around the "C" theme for "C" for CRAFTING!  (not really, just a co-inky-dink that I just now noticed.)


Everybody watched the videos online before Saturday, so we all knew what we were doing and we could get right to work, but I went ahead and put all of it on a whiteboard as a reminder.  I set this up in the loft as a handy reference.



And this is the craft room/loft after everyone left.  Not bad, even though we didn't need to, everyone cleaned up their space a bit before they left.  It's still like this - ready and waiting for this weekend. 
It was So. Much. Fun! The time just flew by.  We're doing it again on Sunday this week - cannot wait!