Saturday, December 05, 2009

12 Tags of Christmas

I've been taking a break in between the Painting Layers class with Misty Mawn to make some Christmas tags a la Tim Holtz. Each day Tim posts a new tag with step-by-step instructions. These are my versions, inspired by his tags. They're a lot of fun and quite addicting. The one above has a little mini charm/ornament/pin attached to it. I think it would make a cute and quick stocking stuffer or gift topper.

Still working on my collage paintings for the Painted Layers class. This painting is almost done, just have to paint in the face. Or maybe I'll just leave it like it is. We'll see...

It's nice to have several projects going at once...keeps my art brain more balanced, I think. ;) And it's easier to start and stop the tag projects in between late-night feedings and soothing a teething baby back to sleep!

More painting...this one needs a little stamping and texture added, I think. Not quite finished. Chirstmas is quickly approaching. We're cleaning up the house this weekend so we can bring in our tree and get out the decorations and get this holiday into full swing!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


so very thankful for this little evening break when the house is quiet, the kids are asleep and i can just breathe and be and not be needed for anything.

i'm thankful for art and inspiration and just the everyday beauty the world has to offer.

i'm thankful for my family and my friends and for the love and joy they bring to my life.

i'm thankful for yummy art supplies and thankful for the desire and need to make art.

i am thankful for technology and the way it merges so wonderfully with art and our human need to communicate and share ideas.

i am taking the most awesomely awesome online art class with misty mawn right now and i cannot even begin to explain in words how i love it so! i am a slow and visual learner so this is a perfect class for me. not to mention that misty is a talented artist and wonderful teacher.

what are you thankful for? make a list, you will be plesantly surprised at how much there is to be thankful for and how most of it is intangible and immesurable.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wishlist

TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
sweaters from anthropology, frye engineer boots, golden fluid acrylics, caran d'ache neocolor II watersoluble artist crayons, pan pastels

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
recently i received an awesome hand knit headband from wendy! (i also love everything my daughter makes for me!) :)

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
good question...probably something scrapbook-y or a more intense quilting project

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
a little casio electric piano

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
littlest pet shop (but she doesn't really need any more!), movies, games, books

6. What is your favorite holiday food?

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
baby quilts (might take a little longer, though!) ;) and most likely some ornaments and cards

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
It's a tie between "A Christmas Story" and "Scrooged"

9. Favorite holiday song?
The Little Drummer Boy (sung by Bing Crosby and David Bowie)

10. Favorite holiday pastime?
Decorating the tree and just hanging out with the family at home listening to Christmas music and making holiday treats

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Halloween Fun, Too

Another fun and spooky Halloween has come and gone. This year me and Maya made some holiday wreaths with a macabre theme in mind. The wreath below looks rather tame but upon closer inspection, you'll notice the fingers tucked in here and there (Maya's idea!).

One stop at our local Michael's was all it took to put these spooky wreaths together in a matter of minutes. I borrowed some red sparkly poinsetta from the Christmas section to top off the creepy red-and-black theme.

And added some fingernail polish to the plastic fingers for a gruesome touch. ;) (ooh, no pun intended).

This year we had some help from my stepdaughter, Brielle, to create a Halloween scene on the porch and a graveyard in our front lawn. Here she's posing as Captain Jack Harkness (from the show "Torchwood") with Sureya as a little monkey, Maya as Mulan and our old, dear headless friend, Freaky Freddy.

All night we couldn't figure out why little kids were so hesitant to approach our porch for sweets...until we noticed that from afar, it looked as though Brielle's head were attached to Freddy's body! And as you walked closer, it looked like Brielle's head was floating off to the side (thanks to a weird optical illusion!)

Next year, I think I'll get it together sooner and include Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) in with our Halloween fun. I'm taking Suzi Blu's online course right now and it is full of Day of the Dead inspiration and fun. Hope you're having some creative moments wherever you are! Let the holiday fun begin!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dreaming in Green and Pink

Had to scan this in tonight before bed. I decided at the last minute to participate in Helga's Weekly Art Challenge. This week's theme was green and pink. It was a fun color combo to work with. Made me dream of the return of spring! But fall is on my mind as the summer weather wilts away and cool breezes tiptoe their way through the sun bleached skies. We had one last heat wave and now it looks like summer is finally conceding to fall...just in time for Halloween! But that's another project/blog entry all together. I'm sad to see summer go, but I am gladly welcoming cooler temperatures and the smell of smoke and decaying leaves and crisp night air.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Spontaneous Beach Trip

I must have lamented out loud a million times how summer was almost at an end and I had only been to the beach twice. So when I looked out the window last Saturday around 2pm and the sky was just such a bright, deep blue, I knew it was a sign for me to just GO to the beach already. No more excuses. No more lamenting the end of summer.

Half the day was gone, but I didn't care! I packed up the essentials: beach blanket, towels, sand toys, journal, a little bag of art supplies and the baby's bag. In less than an hour, I was packed up with my two lovely daughters and on our way to Santa Cruz. It was a wonder-filled drive through the Santa Cruz mountains on highway 17. So green and the road is so twisty and cozy.

We walked around the Boardwalk. We split a cherry ICEE and had some Dippin' Dots and corn dogs and garlic fries! All that yummy Boardwalk/Carnival food that you can only enjoy on those rare occasions. After we realized (much to Maya's dissapointment) that we really couldn't go on any rides (Maya was too short to ride alone and I couldn't bring the baby on any of them), we headed to the beach and just reveled in the warm sun, cool breeze, and meditative ocean waves. Maya built sand castles and Sureya looked around at the folks splashing in the water and burying themselves in the sand (should've gotten a picture of that!). EVERYONE was at the beach that day. It was great.

There is still a little bit of summer left before Halloween rolls into town. Don't let the stores fool you into believing that summer is over! (I swear Michael's is already starting to put Christmas stuff out there! Didn't I once say we'd soon be having Christmas in July?) Anyway, go enjoy the fresh air and sunshine before the sun starts setting at 5pm!

And, no, it's not too late to get up from this computer and run through the grass barefoot or run through the sprinklers! Just go already. ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Nice Life

Baby is sleepin'...just waiting for her to wake up for the next feeding so I thought I'd post a few photos of what we've been up to lately.

My little one is very outdoorsy, like her mama. We both prefer fresh air and open space to the indoors. And with summer on it's way out, I worry about how we're going to get our sunshine fix each day!

Every day from about 2pm until sometimes as late as 7pm, we hang out in the front yard on a large picnic blanket. She'll nap and play and eat and fuss and in between the napping and playing and eating and fussing, I've been doing quite a bit of art in my journals.

I keep a large canvas bag stuffed with the "essentials" and drag it out on the lawn every chance I get. My neighbors must think I'm a loon, out there with my baby and paint and paper and pens all sprawled out before me. Sometimes she'll be fussing and I'm just finishing something up before I'll pick her up and tend to her (all mama's know the difference between their babies' cries and when it's just fussing or when it's urgent) and I wonder if I look like the world's worst mother. I imagine my neighbors thinking, "why isn't she picking up that baby? is she hungry/cold/tired/etc?" But mostly I just think to myself how lucky I am to be out in the sunshine with my beautiful baby and my big bag of art supplies. And how this time around, I know I don't have to jump every time my baby makes a little fuss. I can let her try to work out her frustration for a few minutes while I get some art done. Good therapy for me! A happy mom is a good mom. And happy moms raise happy babies!

My neighbor came by the other day to drop Maya off after a playdate with her daughter. She held Sureya while I packed up everything to take inside. We chatted a bit and she looked at some of the art I was making and she said something that has stuck in my mind since. She said, "You have a nice life, Nicole. A nice life."

So true.

And I am very thankful.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

finished journal pages and give-away WINNERS

baby is sleeping...shhh! so i've got a quick little moment to post some new journal pages and the give-away winners. Congratulations, Carol! You won the Stampin' Up catalog plus SU goodies. And Libby won the collage paper/goodie pack! And Julie wins a goodie, too! (Ladies, contact me with your addresses to claim your prize)

I'll get those goodies out this week. I sent out both traveling journals this week. Journal #3535 is making it's way with a fellow art sister to Sun Valley, Idaho. And journal #3526 is on it's way to Gilbert, AZ! Can't wait to see what happens to them along the way.

Finally got my baby announcements made! Hooray! It's the littlest accomplishments that make a new mom feel good about her day.

I took a bazillion photos of Sureya one morning and put together some photo collage announcements on Shutterfly. Love how easy it was. These are some of the outtakes. :)

and a smile! ;) after about 79 photos!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's been a while! GIVE AWAY!

wow, the last time i had time to blog was over a month ago??? time flies...especially in the summer and most certainly with a little baby in the house! as she grows, i'm able to get a LITTLE bit of art in here and there. so over the course of the last two months, i've been slowly adding to a traveling art journal i started which will be passed among friends. i can't wait to see what becomes of it in the end.

so, i've been arting up two journals that will be passed along and documented on the 1001 journals site. it's so easy to start a traveling art journal. you can have strangers sign up and pass it along or close the group to close friends. i chose the latter so that i can keep track of it and be guaranteed its return.

summer is half over and i'm super bummed. but we've still managed to have maya's pool party (she turned 7!) and we've been out and about around the neighborhood for strolls and picnics in the park. i really do wish summer was twice as long. :(

my girls are growing fast! and our family is about to double with the arrival of my step son and step daughter at the beginning of august! we will be a full house again and we're all super excited to be reunited again.

hope your summer days feel twice as long from now until september! soak up that sun and make the most of these warm, beautiful days.

(collage images courtesy of Teesha Moore and Paper Imagery Designs...below is a page yet to be journaled on, inspired by Pam Carriker from the premier issue of Art Journaling magazine):

also, i thought i'd treat ya'll to a little GIVE AWAY. i used to be (well, still am, technically until July 31) a Stampin' Up demonstrator and i have some extra 2009-2010 catalogs. so, leave a comment and i will draw names by next weekend. someone will win the current catalog plus i will throw in some random SU goodies (ribbon, scrap book paper, cards, etc). heck, let's have two winners! winner #2 will get a random sampling of my studio goods (scrap book paper, vintage ephemera, collage goodies!). be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in your comment.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Right Now

This is in response to Catherine's tag...she posted a fun prompt on her blog and asked us to respond. The question is: What are you all about right now? Here is my free flow, starting...NOW:

being a mom

online art classes
facebook (gotta stay connected and share)
youtube (artsy videos, art technique tutorials)
finding 5 minutes a day for art (sometimes less!)
day trips
intense dreams
wanting to DECLUTTER my house, my life
wishing for a new space to live in
expanding family
connecting with other artists

yearning for sleep!

baby steps
bold, bright colors
the ocean
the sky

half done projects

art journaling
finding my own unique style, voice
being ok with mess
good food
pearl tea

Thanks, Catherine, for the chance to play. ;) I'm blogging and arting a lot less these a sleeping baby on my lap as I type this. It's all about balance and baby steps. ;) I'm fighting the urge to want to do art when she sleeps, cuz I know I need sleep, too! I scribble and glue a little in my art journal here and there (feels good!) and I'm still trying to find time to write a little. That will come with time. Having a baby actually helps with that whole "spontaneous" art and life thing. I don't have time to ponder and second guess my art, if I have time at all! It's just scribble and play and paste...bzzz! Time's up! So that is good. I'm also lucky she is a good traveling baby. Been out of the house a LOT this week. Half Moon Bay (relaxing day on the beach!), water park yesterday (Maya ran through the sprinklers and played on the playground while we chilled in the shade), visits with girlfriends...Life is good! Slightly sleep deprived, but feeling good. ;)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

She's Here!

Welcome to the world, Sureya!
Born on Mother's Day, May 10
7 lbs 5 oz, 19 3/4" long
Sweet little Angel!

Sureya cuddles with big sister Maya
(few days old)

Taking a little nap
(1 week old)


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