Tuesday, November 30, 2010

new obsession: digital scrapbooking

digital paper designed by crystal wilkerson, digital template designed by jessica sprague

i've always loved to create with my hands and in the "real" world, but i've got to admit, sometimes it's fun to just create something real quick in between nap time and snack time and all those little chunks of time that a mother's day seems to be sliced into.

i'm taking a free online class with jessica sprague and i am totally hooked on digital scrapbooking now! i just told raul that now i need a good printer for christmas! any recommendations?

what's great about digital is that you can mix it with physical 3-D projects, too. in class, we are designing on photoshop and printing it out and then arranging it in our art journals and further embellishing with 3-D elements. fun fun!

(i added the misplaced elements so i could post it on my blog without revealing the identity of her friends. she was really proud of her page and wanted to show it to everyone out there!)

even my daughter got in on the fun and created a scrap book page of her own. (and since she's homeschooled, i counted the hour as part of her school day. she learned graphic design and how to manipulate layers in photoshop! sweet!)

(weird photo courtesy of my new camera. not sure how i did that--i was trying to set the camera down and "flash!" i got this strange shot of the arm of my new flannel pjs!)

winter is now in full effect here in northern california. the leaves are slowly turning red, yellow, orange and falling off the trees. there is that distinct, clean "winter" smell in the air. hard to explain. but it is crisp, clean and cold with a hint of fireplace smoke. just lovely.

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas around here...i guess we should turn on our xmas lights (still hanging on our house from last year!) and go in search of a little charlie brown tree to rescue. ;)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

special coupon code for my blog readers (yes, that's YOU!)

just finished my first round of holiday updates for my etsy shop. and i wanted to give you, my lovely blog readers, an early christmas gift (or, if you don't celebrate christmas, an early birthday present!). and that goes for first time visitors (lucky you!) and those who are too shy to comment (you're here with us in spirit and that's what counts!) ;)

if you go to my etsy shop, and enter the coupon code: BLOG20, you will receive 20% off your entire order. this is good through Monday, November 29 (11:59pm PST).

i've updated the shop with holiday themed mini journal/scrapbooks in red-and-green (for the traditionalists) or a wintry blue-and-white for something a little different.

all my journals come with ephemera tucked into the back pockets so you are ready to go as soon as you receive it. ephemera may include stickers, labels, vintage and scrapbook papers, tags, etc.

i also have ephemera packs that go great with the journals or you can create a card or ATC (artist trading card) and mail it in the glassine envelope that is also included! perfect for art-on-the go, mail art, or stocking stuffers for your favorite artist (or just a little treat for yourself!)

ok, it's waaay past my bedtime. i think i might just watch the sunrise on this fine Thanksgiving morning!

happy turkey day, everyone! and thanks again for stopping by. i love your comments and i do try to visit everyone who leaves evidence that they were here. i hope wherever you are, you are happy, creative and surrounded by love and loved ones.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ETSY shop update & it's finally feeling like FALL!

i've been working on some new upcycled mini journals for my etsy shop. i finally am getting into the holiday mood, so the new journals all have a wintry and festive feel to them. lots of red-and-green (brights and muted) as well as cool, snowy blue-and-white.

i've packed these journals with my most treasured vintage, handmade, and recycled paper. for vintage paper, i use music sheets, atlas pages, children's books & workbooks, coloring books. recycled paper includes used and unused ledger pages, "junk mail" (my favorite are the paper source catalogs. the colors are bright and the paper is thick!), and graph paper (which also falls into the vintage category, too).

i'm loving all the color combinations. i've also never been an either-or kind of gal when it comes to colors! i really love traditional christmas colors as well as more off-beat brights and more muted, vintage tones.

most of the christmas images came from an old magazine called "christmas ideals." it was full of wonderful images, poems, stories and songs all printed in blue or green ink. and i also recycled holiday catalogs (it feels good putting "junk mail" to good use!)

i have a lot of old children's books and workbooks from the 5os & 60s but the paper is too frail to include in my journals as pages. so i made some high-quality color copies on my printer on the back of my favorite scrapbook paper and, voila! i was able to include some of my favorite images, plus the copies retained the aged and textured look of the originals.

i've got a christmas tune in my head, but the words are changed to: "it's beginning to look a lot like AUTUMN!" there are leaves of all colors sprouting on trees and scattering in the wind like butterflies.

when i go on an afternoon walk with the girls, i hear the satisfying CRUNCH of dried leaves beneath our feet (although, since it's california, we're still walking around in flip flops! an odd sensation, but i love it still!) the smells are returning, too, like sweet, smoky fires, rotting pumpkins, wet leaves in the gutter. it's like a second spring of sorts, but with smells of decay and death instead of blossoms and life.

we took a little walk today to get some lunch near the university. we stopped for photos in the late afternoon sun and i played with my new point-and-shoot camera (it's a sony cyber shot dsc-t99)...still unsure if i like it or not! :(

(i love pictures of my girls, though! they are fun subjects!) most of the images, though, i have to do a little touch-up in i-photo (mostly with getting the color to look right).

maybe i should just read the instructions. i've never been a by-the-book kind of gal, i really like to just feel out new technology on my own (it should just be totally intuitive and user-friendly in my opinion, anyway!). but i was able to take some great photos! :)

and on another slightly-related topic (it has to do with journals, at least!), i received the mother of all art journals today! (it's 11.7" x 16.5"! the regular moleskines are about 5" x 8") i recently attended journalfest and i saw someone with the most amazing journal in one of my classes (orly avineri's "mapping me"). it looked like a super-sized moleskine and i immediately thought, "i must have one!" i asked where she bought it and she said Amazon.com! so after a little searching, i found it! it comes in regular drawing/sketching and watercolor paper! they are about $26 each (free shipping on Amazon!) but totally worth every penny, in my opinion! my quest for this amazing journal also lead me to the most wonderful blog, notebook stories. it's about, well...JOURNALS and the people who love them. if you are a fellow journal junkie like me, i suggest you check it out!

ok, that's all for now. the monkeys are getting restless and it's time for dinner. oh, and i keep meaning to blog about our homeschooling adventures, but i'll save it for another day.

everything is working out good so far! maya is loving her new educational environment (her home, and the whole world, really is her "new classroom.") and little sureya is getting in on the act, too, emulating her older sister by "reading" books and "doing homework." so cute! :) i've heard when you homeschool, the younger ones start in on the learning really early. i remember that from when maya was 2 or 3 and she would want me to assign her "homework" because she would see her older brother and sister doing their homework after school.

well, that's all the fun for now. i'll be updating the shop tomorrow AND i'll be attending the cavallini & co. warehouse SALE this saturday. i will be sure to post ALL the goodies i find! :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

JOURNALFEST and halloween and rainbows!

i can't believe journalfest and halloween have come and gone. but they were so much fun and a much needed break from the hum-drum of daily life. so, i'm much too tired to go into a detailed account, so i'll just post some photos and say that if you love journaling and/or making art in general, you've GOT to get up to the fort fort at least ONE of the 'fests that teesha and tracy put on every year. c'mon! what are you waiting for? or, if you live too far, check out if there are any local groups that get together for some kind of artsy gathering. and if not, start your own! :) (and be sure to let me know...i'll come and play!)

so journalfest...

this year i shared the cost of a rental car with some fellow journalfesters instead of riding the shuttle. it was cheaper AND we got to ride the ferry! i've never been on a ferry before. what a great way to start a magical journey.

bye, bye seattle!

i stayed in the officer's housing which is so different than the dorms. the houses are cozy and quaint and you really get to know your housemates. each night after classes and dinner, we'd gather in the dining room and spread out our projects and supplies and show and tell what we made that day and then continue making art late into the night.

house number 11. yes, it's as spooky as it looks! :)

view of the grassy field in front of our house.

i took classes with roxanne padgett, orly avineri and indgrid dijkers. i'll let the photos speak for themselves! it was tons of fun. i can't even begin to express how wonderful it is to make art all day, break for food and fun and then make more art into the wee hours of the night. it was so nice to have a break from, "mommy! i need this! i need that!" and just do art AAAALLLLL day.

colorful, messy table evidence of a fun class with roxanne padgett

a peek into one of indgrid dijkers' tunnel book journals

i barely had enough time to decompress from journalfest when i returned sunday afternoon because it was halloween! but it was fun. the kids dressed up, my gal pal and her little munchkin came over and we walked the little ones down the street for their first halloween as trick-or-treaters. i think they were still too little to really "get" what was going on, but it was still fun. sureya had the most fun giving out candy and knocking on doors (something she does anyway when we go out on walks around the neighborhood).

little strawberry princess all ready to go

climbing around outside, waiting for it to get dark

strawberry's friend, "chupi" dressed up as a cute little nerd!

mamas and their little "treats" on halloween

and i finally got around to photographing the lovely items i received from my swap partner, marilyn. such a gorgeous and eclectic array of goodies! you can view more of the rainbow goodies on our flickr group.

my favorite color, blue! this bag was packed full of goodies!

thank you marilyn! :) so i think i'm caught up for now! sorry for such a packed post...blogger is only letting me upload one photo at a time and now i've kind of lost steam. i still have so much more to say about journalfest and my new adventures in homeschooling my 8-year-old daughter. more on that later.

our days have been in the upper 80s, really unusual for autumn. glad i can still get a little more wear out of my summer skirts and flip flops, though. as much as i love the changing seasons, i really do love running around outdoors in the sunshine. more on that later, too!


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