Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Slow Week

I've had zero artistic inspiration this week. I've piddled with lettering practice, did one so-so zentangle card for Random Acts of Mail, and have mostly fizzled. Just not feeling it. Blame it on the drizzly yucky weather maybe, who knows. It's been grey and rainy all week and my mood has been damp and dreary right along with it.
Finally yesterday I decided to flip through my inspiration files I've stored up from Pinterest, hoping to spark a little something--anything--and came across a Martha Lever piece I had fallen in love with and did up my own quick version:

I love Martha's chunky lettering and beautiful colors. And it was an excuse to break out my Aquamarkers to color this in--so much fun to blend and play!

Now Memorial Day weekend is upon us, although I doubt the rain has any plans for letting up...We don't have any big plans for the holiday. Bill's dad is barely hanging on. Hospice has been coming every day this past week and a priest has given him his last rites. So we'll be sticking close to home, just in case. Prayers for a peaceful passing are greatly appreciated.

Enjoy your weekend. I'm hoping for a more inspired week ahead. Bugga starts summer bowling next week already and we have a couple weeks left of guitar lessons and basketball, so a little harried overlap for a while...Better busy than bored! Have a great holiday--thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One More Prettie

Our daughter, Ashlee, starts a new job this week and I wanted to make her a pretty card to let her know how proud we are of her. She's been so unhappy at her previous job for such a long time and a position opened up at one of the stores Bill works at--she applied, knocked their socks off in her interview, and shazah! They couldn't wait to hire her! So I wanted to surprise her with some happy mail to tell her congratulations:
Also got her a gift card to her favorite coffee shop--conveniently located on her way to her new job! So definitely meant to be--gotta love it! Yay!

Paint Party Friday: Geometric Painting Technique

I came across this painting tutorial from Denise Thewissen while blog hopping last week and just had to try it out. You draw a simple picture-I did a silhouette of a bird on a branch (me, birds, go figure...), then draw several geometric shapes over that, overlapping wherever you want and letting some run off the edges of your piece. After that begin filling in with color, not letting the same color touch and trying to alternate warm and cold colors. Here's my finished painting:

I feel like I want to go back and shade it...or something...?? Anyway--it was a lot of fun to do.
Happy Weekend All!


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Postcard Swap and a New Pattern: Blossom

Killing two birds with one stone this week, I thought I'd try the Diva's UMT Challenge to use CZT Katy Abbott's tangle Kuke, in our Zia group's postcard swap! What I ended up doing, however, was creating my own new pattern, Blossom...These things will happen, right? I wasn't feeling the 'orb' shape of Katy's Kuke and wanted to do something similar on a grid, and viola! A pattern is born:

And here are the postcards I created for the Zia group swap, featuring Blossom in the top card:
Both cards drawn in Micron Sepia, top was shaded with Derwent Inktense and bottom with sepia charcoal.
For a day that started off rather rough for me, it's turned out to be not so bad after all...the magic of Zentangle! Happy Almost the Weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 13, 2013

What a Day!

I had the absolute best Mothers Day ever yesterday! Started out the morning with a run--I had hoped to run outside but it was drizzling so I stuck to the treadmill, which was fine. Better a treadmill run than no run at all! After lunch we headed to Lowes for some new pretty garden flowers. Hubby had just finished making a beautiful stone ring around our big tree in the front yard and filled it with super sparkly white granite--all we needed to finish it off was a nice pretty flower for a splash of color. So we found a gorgeous coral hibiscus, paired with a little grouping of marigolds--pretty pretty!

I also nabbed a beautiful Martha Washington geranium to put by the front door--I LOVE these flowers! Can't wait for this baby to bust out in blooms!

I spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying my Harry Potter weekend on ABCFamily and arting. Did one of my favorite Scriptures with a Stephanie Ackerman inspired doodle design:

Drawn in Sharpie and colored with Caran d'ache Neocolor II
THEN!!! Bill and Michael made me the most incredible dinner I ever ate...I asked them to make me dinner: plan it, shop for it, cook it, clean up after it--that's what I wanted for Mothers Day. My oh my--I need to ask them to do this every day! Haha! Bill found a recipe for crab stuffed, bacon wrapped filet and since I hinted that I'd like asparagus, he also made grilled bacon wrapped asparagus on the side. It was so incredibly good--I honestly believe that was the best meal I ever ate in my life. Michael helped with the mushroom cream sauce while Bill finished the filets and asparagus on the grill...So heavenly, melt in your mouth, yummilicious goodness! I've already requested a repeat for my birthday--haha!

Now my love is on his way to Florida for the week, just me 'n the Bugster hangin' out all week. The meals will certainly pale by comparison to what we dined on last night....but planning on more arting and Harry and who knows what else! Happy Monday! Have a great week!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

RAM Postcards

I don't know if I fully explained Random Acts of Mail...It became a spin off of April's National Letter Writing Month group--we send pretty mail to someone who needs special cheering up due to health issues, stressful work or home situations, what have you. A bunch of arty, letter-happy people send cards and notes to our 'nominees' and fill their mailboxes with an overload of cheery, pretty mail love to hopefully lift their spirits in at least a small way. We are six weeks in and have sent happy mail to twelve deserving recipients, two each week, and it's been a lot of fun being a part of such a great group!

So yesterday I played with my new Mother's Day Aquamarkers giftie (yay!) and created a couple more postcards for our RAM project:

The flowers were done with Aquamarkers (ooo, blendy heaven!) and the little heart houses (ala Stephanie Ackerman) were done with Derwent watercolor pencils. Love my toys!

Not sure what today holds...Bugga has a birthday party this afternoon and if the rain holds off Hubster and I are hoping to get some yard work done. Mmm,*grumble, grumble, grrrr*. And still no real plans for Mothers Day other than he's off to Florida for the week for work. At least it'll be an easy week of dinners--macaroni for McBugster and veggie burgers for moi...or some similar rendition thereof...hahaha!

Happy Weekend! Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Diva Challenge

It seems I've been bitten by the tangle bug again. I had some time to tackle the Diva's Weekly Challenge this afternoon. We are to use the new "Official" tangle, Schway (which turns out to be an old pattern created by another tangler and named Aroz...) Nonetheless, it's a fun pattern to play with. I made up a quick card to use for our Random Acts of Mail:

A little Aroz/Schway and Tripoli on brown cardstock
Then I had a little play with my Aquamarkers (shhhh!! I know it's not Mother's Day yet...I just couldn't wait!!) They'll probably do better on a heavier paper, the blender pen started to eat up the damp paper, so I couldn't play too much. Found this pretty design on Pinterest and used it to make another card for RAM:

And now it's time we get off to guitar lessons! Happy Playing!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Good Day

The absolute BEST thing happened today: Loki flew to me to sit on my shoulder! Since his first day at home with us over a year ago, he's clearly favored Michael. I was happy and jealous at the same time...happy for Michael but jealous Loki wasn't more interested in me. I am the one who feeds him and cleans up after him and buys him new treats and toys, after all...Nevertheless, he'd still give me a good chomp on the finger every day and I have to admit, I'd gotten quite leary of that beak! So today when he flew down to sit with me and Lenny, I was thrilled! He sat with us and nibbled at my sleeve, but never bit me-yay!! Progress is a good thing!
Our Green Cheek Loki
Then this afternoon I took some time to sit and tangle up a few bookmarks for the Zia groups May swap. The bookmarks were to be 2x6" and I'd already had a few cut from a previous swap, so taped three together, tangled the whole block as such:

 And this is how they look individually!

Then!! My Mother's Day giftie arrived a little early...I had ordered a new set of Letraset Aquamarkers, oh so pretty!! Planning to play with those tomorrow...too fun!! For to bed. G'nite all!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Welcome... my house. Yes, there's dog hair on the floor, the couch cushions, and most likely all over your clothes by the time you leave. There are dog nose smears on the windows and sliding glass doors. There are bird feathers, bird seed, and, yes, some spots of bird poop on the floor and curtains that I haven't gotten around to cleaning just yet. There's a stack of art toys and books on the coffee table and stashes of more books, markers, pens, rulers, scissors, pencils, crayons, paints, brushes, sketchbooks and watercolor tablets, etc, etc, etc, pretty much wherever I can hide/lay them down/pile them up/hoard them. There are violets and dandelions scattered all over the lawn. There's grass and leaves and twigs and what-have-you smooshed in the stove vent where our sparrow family has taken up residence. There is a boy with his face glued to the computer in the office. There is a man puttering around somewhere, either cutting the lawn, playing with tools, or maybe making birdhouses for this woman who loves birds.

It's a crazy house. It's not the neatest, fanciest, cleanest, most current technology-est, house. But it's our house. And we love it here. There's a whole lotta love in this crazy place we call home. Yeah, I'll run the vacuum and wipe up that spot of bird poop, and five minutes later dog hair will cover where I just vacuumed and one of the birds will take a bath in its water dish or toss bird seed all over the floor again, molted feathers fluttering in a cloud in the corner. As soon as I clean the sliding glass doors, Tucker and Pea will smoosh their noses up on it and leave more smears for me to clean again next week. Ruby just leaves clumps of white fluff wherever she lays. I chase after forgotten socks and straw wrappers and watch sparrows bring more bits and bobs to tuck into their nest...It's home. It's us.

Life is good.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Flower Power

Everything's coming up flowers! Spring is definitely in full force and flower challenge themes abound...So, yesterday I did this quickie journal page that went along with Lori Vliegen's Letter Lab--so fun and bright!

And, I'm so proud! My very first art journal collage page...which started out feeling rather artsy craftsy cut 'n pastey and I really wasn't feeling it until I started the lettering and quotes, then I was much happier to see it all coming together--viola!!

Contractors are back tomorrow (ugh!!) I'll have to run and hide (er, shop...) while they're here. Bill can keep an eye on them...I really am out of patience for more manly messes. But, it's promising to be a pretty great week ahead otherwise, so everyone enjoy!! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

So Now What...

Well, here we are in May, another month gone by and I just don't know where this year is going. April's National Letter Writing Month flew by. I had so much fun making cards and seeing all the wonderful treasures the mailman brought every day and my mailbox seems so empty, bland, and disappointing now that the fun is over until next year...Here's a quick pic of all the pretty cards and goodies I received:
Seriously a whole lot of mail fun!
We've also been having some work done around the house. All the new windows are installed and wonderful--so pretty, white and fully functioning! The weather's even been cooperating and I've had the windows open every day--heavenly! Then last week we had a crew of guys insulating and sealing the house...oh what a mess that was! It was crowded and noisy with six guys in and out of the house all day long, the poor pups were shut up in the basement the entire time. Then, they somehow made a mistake when they drilled the wall behind our kitchen sink and blew insulation all threw the cabinets and filled my baking pans and containers with the shredded paper. Dust everywhere--EVERYWHERE! I don't know how I didn't have a complete meltdown...and, yay--they're coming back on Monday to 'finish'. So over having all these strangers in my house making more for me to clean up...grrrr....
But, a bigger concern was my little family of sparrows who had moved into our stove vent. With all the noise and hoses and drilling right around their nest, I was afraid they'd abandoned ship and I'd never see them again. I didn't hear them in the mornings for a couple days, but then the other morning I heard them scratching around in the vent again--so happy! Really looking forward to listening to the babies soon!

Have no idea how they even get in there
Papa Jack Sparrow
Our front yard is full of violets...which are supposedly weeds?! A Scotts Lawn Care salesman stopped by the other day to see if we wanted help with our 'weed situation'...What?? I love my violets!! I don't have an obsession with a perfect green lawn, I like happy little flowers sprinkling the yard! Our neighbors may not share my point of view but they can obsess over their own lawns--leave mine alone!!
So pretty!
And now that NLWM is over, I'm trying to figure out what to do with my time again. I haven't tangled in well over a month and finally picked up my Tangle a Day calendar for a little bit of play this week (pay no attention to the dates....yikes!) A lot of fun and makes me want to jump back in to the Diva challenges again. I can't participate in the zendala challenges for the time being since our computer in the office died, which was hooked up to our now defunct as well printer...So, after I get over the shock of the cost of the new laptop, we'll eventually get another printer and I can begin playing with the zendala dares as well...yay!

But still playing with lettering and doodling...wanting to dabble more with art journaling and have a few things that I'm working on. Pictures, pictures as things get finished and I get less frustrated with this Windows 8 program (hate it!!!) Anyways...thanks as always for stopping by! Have a great weekend!