Saturday, January 31, 2009

Valentine cards

These are what I ended up doing for the Valentine atc swap for one of my yahoo groups. At first when I did have time, my mind was just blank. What I ended up making is different, but I hope not too different to be weird. They are pretty simple, too, so I guess I'm really worried about them just being "plain stupid", so to speak. The first card was for the hostess and then 4 of the others were for the swap. I made one too many, so I kept one for myself. The cards were to be made to an overall folded atc size. Started out with painting some clouds with gesso. Then cut out different bird shapes and wings from some colorful cardstock. The tree branch was a stamp I carved from an eraser. Added some details with markers and the hearts were punched out of some paper I marbled previously. The letters were also cut out of colored cardstock and then I used "glossy accents" product on them and the hearts. To make it looked more finished, I brushed a light coating of glossy decoupage medium over all. The sentiment inside is "love to you on Valentine's Day".

Since the blog must go on, just a reminder that the OWOH giveaway is still going on and will be taking comments on that post until February 11th. The giveaway drawing will be on February 12th. I will be drawing for 2 prizes. Added a 2nd later on, so check it out if you didn't see it. The direct link to that post is on the top right of my blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feeling the love

The OWOH event is really taking off. As of this writing there are approaching 700 participants. I have almost 100 entries here so far. I do have another possible prize or 2 in mind and am working on those possiblities.

Today I've been working on some Valentine atc cards for a swap and my dh and I have finished putting up the tin on our kitchen ceiling. Now I'll need to get some coats of varnish on it. Will try to take some pictures if I can get them to =turn out. With a different ceiling, the walls don't look right now, so I'm pondering what I want to do there. In remodeling projects one thing often leads to another.

Edited to add that this is not one of the Valentine cards but something I did previously. I'm almost through with the cards and will post a pic when I'm done.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My One World One Heart Giveaway-2009

Giveaway #1

I finally have time to get this posted! Life has certainly been busy around here. I won't get into all the reasons right now so I can get down to business. As mentioned before this wonderful world-wide blogging event has begun. There are hundreds of participants this year and even though I've only been able to get by a few blogs so far, I can tell you the prizes are going to be spectacular! This is my second year to participate. Last year I was lucky enough to win several giveaways including one by Lisa Swifka the hostess of this wonderful idea.

From OWOH giveaway blog: Lisa explains,"The whole idea behind doing this and trying to get as many as possible to join in, was and is to meet new and wonderful people. Bloggers come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all areas of the world, female, male......some are artists exclusively, some dabble, some are professionals in various areas, some are stay at home parents, some are teachers, some are very young and some are up in years. The common denominator in blogging is that we all have stories to it through visual means or life stories or the day-to-day or art work or handwork of varying kinds or poetry and journaling. We can be inspired or inspire others by finding a blog and taking the time to read/see someones story. Often times a spark happens....this palpable spark of recognition through kindred understanding and shared passions in life. It is in those times when we take a moment to comment and comment again.......when those comments are reciprocated a discovery is made that we share commonolaties which connect us sight unseen. Sometimes we may live on separate continents or at either end of the same country or even discover you hail from the same general area. By paying attention, by connecting with others, we are creating a circle of amazing individuals who can literally enhance our lives and we can enhance theirs."

You can find out more about One World One Heart by clicking here or the 2009 Badge at the right hand side of my blog. There you will find the still-growing list of bloggers joining The Gypsy Caravan.

For my giveaway this year you will have a chance to win my first ever wearable fabric art piece. I have made a collaged fabric cuff from recycling the cuff from a Ralph Lauren print blouse that I saved just for the beautiful fabric. I used vintage lace, buttons, beads, felt, other fabric scraps, and embroidery to collage the design. Sorry the scans are a little dark. I will try to take some photos later on in the daylight if time allows. The size will be slightly adjustable by moving the button one way or the other. Depending on the number of entries I will probably add another prize(yet to be decided on). You do not have to have a blog to enter my giveaway, but please leave an email if you don't have one. Last year one entrant had left no way to get in touch with her. I will most likely close entries on February 11th and then post the winner on February 12th which will be done by a random number generator. I will also do my best to contact the winner by email or by posting on your blog. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to "meeting" some new people and finding some new blogs and friends in addition to revisiting some old friends.


Since I have over 100 entries, I've added another prize. This is a wooden heart(rescued from this tacky country heart garland from the eighties or nineties as it was mauve) collaged with old book text pieces with a glitter framed central image of a woman's face from a sculpture. There is an accent of an old jewelry bit with green velvet leaves and then the word "PEACE" on the upper right. Very simple, but I hope something you might like. Kind of monochromatic. It will come with a hanger of some sort at the top and possibly a dangly at the bottom. Not sure yet. I'd been working on this on and off between other projects and decided this could be finished as a second prize giveaway. The message of "peace" is one which is universal and I think in keeping with OWOH. Sorry for the glare from the scan. The center is finished with a glossy accent product. Also to note, a bit of glitter ended up right where a tear might be under one of her eyes, so it kind of looks like she is praying and crying for peace.

Giveaway #2

Added on Feb. 9th. I will close the comments at midnight on the 11th, if I can figure out how to do that, or will not take any comments submitted after that time. I will be back at work then and I work third shift at a hospital lab. I do have internet access at work, but sometimes am too busy to check in. As soon as I am able, which may not be until I get home about 10 am(I work 12 hour shifts), but will try to do sooner, I will have my drawing and announce the 2 winners. I will also notify you by email or posting to your blog. Duplicate postings(which were by accident I'm sure) will only count once. If you didn't leave any way for me to get in touch with you, your name won't be entered either. I appreciate all those who took the time to drop by and hope you come back for a visit later on. I know I've found many blogs I want to explore again as time allows. There are so many participants this year that it was hard to spend much time browsing each blog like I'd like to.

WINNERS! I am going to post them here and in a new post. After going through all the entries, deleting several that had duplicates and one that had no email or blog, there ended up being 226 entries. Using the random number generator, my 2 winners were Banna at Banna's World who was the winner of the fabric cuff, prize #1 and Jann of A Vintage Heart who won prize #2, the Peace collaged heart. Congratulations to these ladies! I hope they will like their prizes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Something said to me yesterday made me start thinking about "focus". I may not be able to express this as well as I want to, but am going to try because I want this to be here to remind me when I forget and am focusing on the wrong things again. This photo was taken at the Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville earlier last year and, no, I was not drunk, lol! I just couldn't seem to get my camera to take a good picture of the ceiling with all the horses "running" around on it. Actually they aren't even moving, so I think it must have been all the lights messing it up and not a bad photographer:) Still I kept the photo, because I ended up liking the way it looked even though it was all blurry, you know, out-of-focus.

A few years ago those crazy pictures were so popular with the hidden images that you could only see if you looked at it a certain way. I have to confess I was never able to see the hidden pictures. Not sure what that says about me. Hopefully not that I can only see the obvious. The point to bringing that up is what you see is often in how you look at something, how you focus.

I first began thinking about this word as it relates to my interactions with others. If there are characteristics or habits that really bother me and I go into every interaction with that person with that negativity as my focus or expectation, perhaps that is all I'll be able to see. Maybe I'll miss some hurt they are trying to hide, my opportunity to encourage, or even something positive about them. What if I expected or looked for something good? Like after you buy a blue car and then you notice blue cars like yours everywhere. You see what you are looking for. I know people won't always act like I want them to, but even in just letting go of carrying that negativity in my heart, I feel it will be like lessening a burden.

Thinking or focusing on what I want in life is another aspect of this word that I've been pondering. I know all this is not groundbreaking science, but I want to record this for me. I have done this before when I was a teenager to lose weight. I had a mental picture of walking up stairs toward an image of myself at the weight I wanted to be. I did reach that goal. But life goes on and you get busy just trying to get by and make it. You become many things-employee, wife, mother, in addition to what you were before. In the process of living, it seems I've lost much of the ability to focus. I'm very scattered, all over the place in my interests, which is not bad in itself, but then I feel like I don't accomplish what I could because of it. This will be a goal for this new year for me. I started a Visualization altered book last year which I've not finished yet(of course) so I think I will work on that as a start and/or work on this in my journals.

You need to have the ability to shift your focus though. From what I've seen of friends and family who struggle with certain mental issues, they seem to be only self-focused, unable to see outside of their own world and often self-created or imagined problems. They stay trapped in this gray, sad place when all along there is a beautiful world all around them. Their focus is what they see.

I also want to be careful that I don't focus on the faults of others so that I don't have to examine my own. This one word for some reason has made me stop and think a lot. I'll close this post for now, but may come back to write more.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway note

I will be participating again this year, but since I'm in the middle of my work week and my house is topsy turvy right now with a lot going on in our world in general, I don't have my giveaway item scanned and ready to post. Hopefully will be able to get that done by Wednesday. But wanted to remind you all that this wonderful event has begun. If you click on the One World One Heart picture on the right side of my blog it will take you to the main page where the list of participants has already started to grow. Mine won't be there until I'm ready to post my giveaway and email Lisa with the link to my giveaway post.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Received some good news today! A mixed media project that I participated in is going to be published in an upcoming book. Not sure yet whether every participant's work is going to be shown or just some of it. Will definitely be posting if I find out for sure mine is going to be shown. I guess it's ok to go ahead and talk about it. It is one coming out in June of this year which was put together by L.K. Ludwig. Shared Visions is all I know for sure about the title right now.

Today's picture has nothing to do with this project except for having the word "vision" on it. This is another page from the stamp book swap I was in last year. Think the background was paper towel(nope-remembered it was a baby wipe) with watered down paint coloring it. Stickles glitter in a copper color was used to accent the different elements. The butterfly was cut from this lovely textured paper I have. Of course the central image is an actual postage stamp that I think was Russian.

I've not had much time to work on my Valentine cards this week. When I did sit down to work on them my muse was unconscious or something. The one card I tried to do looks like crap! Surprisingly the reason I've not had much time is that my dh is finally working on some home improvement projects that I've been waiting on for years. Before you think too highly of him, it is only because he wanted to get a new HDTV and I kept telling him that I never wanted much in the way of material things and it sure would be nice to get something that I wanted for a change, mainly just having my house done, particularly my screened porch. The porch was started I forget how many years ago, reaching only what I call the "pergola" stage a few years ago. Meaning it has a poured cement floor and the walls and roof framed out. Since it is so cold, he can't work on the porch now so we are putting up the tin I wanted on the kitchen and utility room ceiling. Now I'm sure most of you will think I'm weird, but we are putting up some rusty old tin that we saved from the really old shed that we tore down when we added onto the house. We saved much of the wood, metal, and old rock used for the foundation posts. The floor boards were about 12" wide and we cleaned them up to use for the lower part of the walls in our living room with only a coat of varnish. Smaller width boards were used for trim. The rocks I've put around an oak tree in the front yard and now we are making use of the tin. I'm going to put several coats of polyurethane on it to seal it well. Will try to take photos when we are done. Living in the middle of home construction means chaos, but I'm kind of getting used to it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A better day

Today was a better day. Mom did get to go home yesterday and is recovering. I did go help her for several hours this afternoon, but was able to get in my art room this morning before I went and make a start on the Valentine cards for one of the swaps. This one has the earliest due date and I looked at my swap info again and the other one I'm committed to that will take the most time isn't to be swapped out until the end of February. I was thinking it was the first of February as well. Of course, I was in the art room at the expense of housework although I did get a little done this evening.

I received an inspirational email this morning that reminded me that often it is in the hard times that changes occur in who we are and who we will be. This particular one was written by Os Hillman. It also said that in such experiences you should be alert for new perspectives, truths, and discoveries. As I looked through my photos for one to post I found this one that Emily took while we were in California at Corona Del Mar beach. In pondering this rock formation and its beauty, I thought of how it was formed over time by the wear of countless waves pounding at the rocks. While I sincerely hope that I don't have years of continuous troubles, I do realize the hard times I've had or will have might serve some purpose that I may not recognize while in the moment. I do know that things could be worse, but I guess it's only human to get discouraged once in a while. So I'll try to be thankful for what is good in my life and even for the troubles, hopeful that all these life events will be remaking me into a better person and perhaps preparing me to be able to help someone else.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's going on with me

Immediately after I posted last, I ended up with my Mom at the emergency room, then ENT's office, then the hospital. Her tonsillitis got worse. At first, they thought she had a tonsillar abscess and that they might have to take her to surgery to drain it, but put her in the hospital to do a CAT scan and decided it was only really bad tonsillitis. The doctor kept her in the hospital, though, to give her steroids and antibiotics. So I've been with her at the hospital, except for a few hours Friday evening and some yesterday. Since she's had a stroke and is somewhat hampered with her moving about, she wants someone here to help her. Mom is doing much better. Was actually improving as early as Friday evening with the doses of IV antibiotics and steroids. She will hopefully get to go home today, Sunday.

Needless to say the weekend has not turned out like I hoped. In the time I was at home Friday evening, Holly and Chris opened their presents and stockings. Then yesterday on my way home from the hospital to go home and take a nap(we didn't sleep at all because of things beeping all night long) I stopped by to get a birthday cookie for Holly a late birthday cake. She likes cookies better than cake, anyway. So we've made time for some of what I planned, but I've missed spending the time with them that I had hoped for.

As for art, I'm beginning to think that I'm cursed. Everytime I sign up for swaps, something comes up. I had quit doing them for awhile because of this, but it had seemed to be where things were getting better, so I had gingerly started some again.
Maybe I'm just not meant to do them. I hope that there will be a little time before I have to go back to work to make a start on the 2 projects I've signed up for. When I'm working, with the 12 hour shifts and it being thirds, I don't feel very creative once I get home. Maybe the next week I'm off will be better. I really am an optimist, though I know I don't sound like one today. Sorry for the whining. I may come back and look at this later and delete it. Just feeling kind of discouraged this morning.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A list

So I came across this list on Curious Mess and thought I would take part too! You're just supposed to go through the list and bold the things you've done. There were more than I thought there would be that I had done. A few I was close on, like "being in a movie". They were filming a movie at a race we went to, so our voices are part of the crowd noise you hear, but I don't think that is close enough to say we were actually IN the movie. Also, I've been on a motorcycle but thankfully it wasn't speeding and held a baby goat, but not a lamb. I've read most of the Bible, but don't know that I could say I have read all of it. I think I've broken a toe before, but never had it xrayed so I couldn't say for sure.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Unfortunately I don't feel timeless right now but timeworn, lol! But that is because I just finished my work week. I'm about to start my week off. Have to go help Mom this morning and take her to Urgent Care as she has a sore and swollen throat. She has never gotten over the injury to her left, non-stroke knee that happened at Thanksgiving either. After we get her over the sore throat, hopefully can talk her into going to an orthopedic doctor to see if something can be done. It always seems to be something. I wish she could be well, as she is not one of those people who is able to do good with sickness. She's not able to take any pain medications, including anti-imflammatory stuff. Won't take cold medicines. Everything hurts her stomach. So she suffers a lot when she is sick.

This picture is a scan of an altered book spread done with gessoed pages, wording cut from a magazine ad, stamping, and different kinds of ephemera.

Looking forward to the weekend. Holly and Chris will be coming in for a visit. This will kind of be Christmas with them and we will probably have birthday cake at some point as a late celebration of Holly's birthday.

I have some art projects that I hope to get to work on while I'm off, including some Valentine's cards and a spring flower book swap that are both due in February. Also, upcoming very soon, January 19th, I will be participating again in the One World, One Heart giveaway. I've posted the new logo on the right hand side of my blog which will take you to the page explaining the project. I have something made already for my giveaway. I will be posting about it after the blog giveaway starts.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy late birthday, Holly!

I'm a bad mother! My youngest dd had a birthday on December 22 and I did not post about it! Of course, what makes that worse is that I did last April when Emily had her birthday, but I believe I was late then, also. In my defense, that week was so busy and stressful, that I barely had time to sleep. I didn't forget her birthday just forgot to blog about it. Holly and her dh, Chris, were gone that week to visit his family that lives in Missouri. We've really not had Christmas with them yet, but they will be coming this weekend for a visit. We'll have birthday cake and Christmas.

So 23 years ago in December I was awaiting impatiently the birth of my second child. We didn't know back then like they do now what sex of child we were expecting. This baby was due Dec. 7th, but didn't want to leave it's Mama evidently, so did not make an appearance until December 22nd. Holly Michele Thompson came into this world at a whopping 10 lb., 5 oz and 23 1/2 inches long. She was born with a headful of black hair and appeared that she was going to look a lot like her sister, but Holly ended up being my changling child. When she lost her newborn baby hair and the new hair started growing it was this blondish/reddish/brown mixture that confounded me, as both her Dad and I have dark hair. When her eyes established a color they were blue and so I thought I was going to have one child with blue eyes like their Dad's. But around the time Holly was 2(the photos of her at age 2 show blue eyes) her eyes slowly began changing color. At first I noticed some brown around her pupil and thought she was going to have hazel eyes perhaps, but the change slowly continued until she ended up with an amber color, not the dark brown like mine and Emily's.

You can see from the picture of Emily and Holly together at Holly's wedding that they didn't end up looking just like each other as we first expected, but I think they both are beautiful and am so proud of both of them. They are my best friends as well as daughters.

So, Happy Birthday, Holly! Love you very much! She is my most faithful blog reader, I believe. Holly begins her last semester in college this time and will be student teaching to get ready to be an elementary teacher. I know she is going to be one of those teachers that the students love because she is going to love her students and has lots of great ideas about how to teach. Hope you have a wonderful year! BTW, the top photo is Holly and her husband, Chris.

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