Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ornamental Love & Food!

Yes, the Christmas muse is still visiting. But she is getting tired of the same hot chocolate and homemade ginger snaps I'm serving everyday so she is eager to move on to someone else's studio. Anyone willing to invite her over for a visit? She's hogging all the ginger snaps anyway. I'm partial to my dd's homemade ginger snaps (see recipe below.) *smile*

Red Lead has the most adorable Christmas collage sheets (just search by Christmas Collage.) Especially the vintage photos of children with Santa! I'm enthralled! And this trim they carry (blue trim above) is just like that sparkly icicle stuff you throw on the branches of your tree. I've been having fun playing with it!

New Christmas Ornaments for my tree. Is it too early to put it up, at least in the studio (if I ever get it cleaned?!!!)

The Little One's Ginger Snaps

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cooking oil or shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (according to your sweet tooth's preference)
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
+ 1/4 cup sugar (for rolling)

Throw it all in a bowl together (except the last 1/4 cup sugar) and mix with an electric mixer. Shape into balls. Roll in the remaining sugar. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven (ours cooks it to perfection in 8 mins.) Cool cookies on wire rack. Arm yourself with a spatula to fend off cookie hogs, and enjoy! Makes 30-50 cookies.

Let me know if you try them, I wanna tell the little one. She loves to bake and always ruins my low carb eating when she makes these. We can't resist them!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

13 Weeks & 3 Days

You can never start too early! Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Okay, he's still growing but you know what I mean. I've been into creating Christmas pieces lately. I don't know why the fall spirit and Halloween ghoulies haven't hit me yet but I'm enjoying the Christmas muse while its here.

A while back, Ms. Fanciful made snowflakes, or paper flowers, whatever you want to call them. I had those in the back of my head when I envisioned this Christmas garland. Let me tell you a little hint about making this. I used vintage sheet music, to really create a special garland. Problem is, the vintage paper starts to fall apart after a bit. To fix this problem, I glued all the snowflakes to clear transparencies (using spray glue) and cut the transparencies into circles (if you look real close I has to 'save' a few that had already started to rip!) I love how this turned out and can't wait to hang it in my living room when I decorate for Christmas. (Collage images and the word stamp on the red squares are all from Red Lead. The velvety ribbon is from Red Lead as well. The punch used for the red paper is from StampIn Up.)

Please excuse the mess in the back of the pics. It is that time again, cleaning time.

Time in my art room has been few and far between. However, I'm trying to finish up an altered journal that I'm passing around among friends on the Altered Gypsy boards. Hopefully I'll get that finished up this week and I'll share soon.

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Colors of Crayon

I had a new visitor to my blog (doesn't happen too often.) First off, her name intrigued me, CrayonMonster. I know my friend Trisha would be happy to meet her as well, since Trisha has an weird affinity for crayons (pppsssttt: she smells them..., a lot! *gasp*) Anyway, since I'm sitting around all lazy on Labor Day and trolling through blogs and emails, I thought I would share her blog and her Etsy stores. I'm in love with this item (can you see me wearing this?! I'd look fab!):

The detail and layering of this bouquet makes me want to run to my studio and create something similar!

If you're sitting around like me today, making sure NOT to labor on Labor Day, be sure to take a gander at her blogs and stores. Tell her I said hi!

CrayonMonster Arts & Design
Colors of Me
Wearable Art (stunning costumes)

Etsy Stores:
Salvage & ReDesign (has the crowns & bouquet)
CrayonMonster (gorgeous paintings)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thankful Christmas

Do you ever find that a certain piece of music or a CD can really inspire you to create? I usually listen to french music (Edith Piaf, etc...) or classical. Can't have the lyrics rolling around in my head when I'm trying to create. But last night I listened to Norah Jones' Come Away With Me CD. Something about the vibe of it really helped my jumbled brain flow.

I worked on more Christmas ornaments. This time using Altered Pages collage sheets. They're made using playing cards, about the size of Artist Trading Cards. You can't really see it but they have twisted wire as the hangers on top. Thinking of all the things I'm thankful for, I made Thankful Christmas ornaments depicting things in my life I thank God for providing... Family, Home, Friends, Jesus and Love.

Have another set in the works right now. Kids are sick today so I guess I get a 'sick day' too. Art time for me while they rest! Looking forward to our weekend. No big plans. Just family time, a little bit of fall cleaning ; clearing out neglected parts of the house and hopefully some art time for me.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I Felt a Twinge

Been juggling lately. Not the kind with the balls, knives and scarves although my 10 year old received a set for her birthday last month so I probably could start learning... We have many things going on and the energy level only goes so high. My blog has had to suffer while I planned and kicked off our homeschool year (started 8/19) and arrange all of dd's college classes (she's in her senior year of homeschool w/college classes as well).

Because of the recession and all, Dh's job has been reduced in pay by quite a bit but not in hours. So we've been searching out alternative options. Other jobs for him and wondering if I should go to work part time. Been cutting back on expenditures like many people. Frivolous things have been laid aside. We've been selling some on Ebay, and my Etsy supply store has miraculously picked up in sales this month. People must be stocking up for the winter or something. ha I've been plopping art pieces in a basket to list in my Etsy Art store, things I'm wanting to send to new homes, but haven't listed them yet. With all of this going on, art time has not even entered my mind. I've wanted to but stress can do a number on your creative muse. She doesn't like to visit when you're pulling your hair out.

Mostly I've just wanted to read in my spare time. It seems to calm me. I know people find calm in art but art time lights a fire in my brain and actions. I love that feeling but when stress is at your door, your extra moments don't want to frenzied and vibrant. You want quiet.

I discovered Good Reads from someone on Facebook and have been adding lists of books I want to read, have read and am reading. You can also see other people's recommendations. The recent books I've read are:
Bookmarked For Death (2nd in the series)
The Cane Mutiny (love this series too!)
Sisterchicks series
Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves (very enlightening book)

Back in May I changed the way I was eating back to low carb. There is no sense in have all this stress going on and feeling crappy at the same time. I feel so much better eating this way. I've lost weight too so it much be working! I've been rereading the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution book and it gives such an eye opening experience. Learning the way food affects your body is amazing!

Yesterday I felt the first twinges of an art itch. Packing up orders in the studio, I started wanting to make something. Don't know what yet but the first obvious step is to clean my room! 4 tables and mountains of mess do not equal art time. I have a few things in mind so hopefully you'll see me back on the wagon asap.

Well, now you have an update from me. I missed my blog friends, and writing here. I basically missed out on my whole relaxing summer notion but I'm looking forward to an art filled autumn. The little snap in the air we've had lately really makes me want fall to come. Maybe go pick apples or something. Sounds yum, huh?!