It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

No Days of Christmas 2015

I'm feeling a little blue this Christmas. I'm doing the things I always do--watching Hallmark movies, making Christmas gifts, singing in the church choir--but I don't seem to have the spirit this year. I have only baked one batch of cookies, haven't made my Hungarian Cheese-filled Bread, haven't even gotten out my decorations! I feel so out of place without my decorations all around me.
I think the true problem is I'm not busy enough! For the last 4 years, I have been active on a website called Swap-bot. I've mentioned it before. It's a gathering place of artists and crafters who make stuff and swap it around. I have loved doing it and being a part of this amazing community, but I can no longer participate for a few reasons. 1 - I can't afford the postage anymore. 2 - I don't have room for all the supplies anymore. 3 - It drove my husband crazy because I was always busy! Anyway, I was always so busy at this time of year making swaps that I was rushing around trying to get everything done, along with all the other things I had to do, like making Christmas presents for the family. I don't buy my gifts. A few small things, or stocking-stuffers, but not actual gifts. I make them. And I usually procrastinate, but this year we had family come visit for Thanksgiving, so I made a real effort to have all my Christmas done by then, so I could send it home with them and not have to ship it. And I succeeded, but now I have nothing to do.

I've also been working on my 12 Days of Christmas for 2015, and all the projects are done, the photos taken and all, but I can't do anything with them! I think this is the biggest problem. I look forward to this event on my blog every year! I don't even know if people look at it, but I love doing it, so it doesn't matter, but this year I am feeling crippled. Here's why.
I got a new computer. My son gave me a really GOOD one, with lots of memory and RAM and anything else I could ever need except a TV card, and I will probably never need one of those, so I'm okay with that. It is really fast and has a lighted keyboard so I can see to type in the dark, which is something I've wanted for a while, because I work after my hubby is asleep and the computer is in the bedroom, so I can't turn on the lights. It also has a keyboard that makes noise. You know how the first keyboards made a clicking sound for every keystroke? Well, this one does, too, and I love it! Anyway, I installed the new Windows 10 before doing anything else, and then set about installing all my favorite software, and that's where the problem hit. Some of my favorite software is too old to work with Windows 10!!!! And my photo editing software is one of those programs! So I can't crop, fix color issues, etc. I can't re-size and do all the things I normally do to my photos. And I can't go back and re-take them because the projects are already done, so I'm between a rock and a hard place! I know, you say just go by another program! I can't afford to do that. On my VERY limited budget I can't afford to shell out $150 or more for a good photo editing program, plus I don't have the time to learn it before using it, so again......rock and hard place.
So now that I've boo-hooed you to tears, I will say that this year's 12 Days of Christmas will be posted in the new year, after I either get rid of Windows 10 (I don't know if I can, but I'm going to try) or I save up the money for a new photo editing program. It will be weird, but I haven't missed a year since 2010, and I'm not about to now!

It's not cropped, but here's one of the projects, the Rudolph JOY.
To end this post, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, with a wish for you to receive all the blessings you deserve for the new year!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A New Beginning.......

Hello, hello! Well, it's now almost Valentine's Day, and I thought I had better get back to blogging again! I am changing things up a little this year. I am participating in a group called The Documented Life Project, or DLP, which is an art journaling journey through the year. I did it last year, too, but I didn't do all the prompts, and I was always behind, so I thought this year that it would give me a little more motivation if I posted this journey here on my blog. It's a new beginning for me. A new year for blogging, a new journey through art, a fresh new start on some goals I want to reach. I will still be doing crafts and recipes and giving you a little of my life's journey........thid just adds another piece of the puzzle that is my life!

The reccomended journal for use this year was the Dylusions journal, but I didn't have the money for it, so I took a trip to my local thrift stores and found this cute little cook book. I liked the size of it and it had what I thought was enough pages with a few extras (we'll come back to that later) and it cost me a whole 50 cents! What a bargain!

I spread the wire binding and pulled out all the pages so I could gesso them. If I gessoed them while they were still in the book, I could only do two pagse at a time, and I'm too impatient for that! I didn't take any pictures while I was gessoing, but I had pages spread all over the kitchen table! I also did the cover while the book was apart. After I got all the pages gessoed and the cover done, I put the book back together.

Here is the front cover.

This is the back cover.

I don't have a title on it yet because I can't decide what I want it to say or how I want to do it. So now that the book was together, I had to decide if I wanted it to be an art journal/ planner, like last year, or just an art journal. I chose to do an art journal/planner, so I needed a two-page spread for each week, and this is when I realized I really DIDN'T have enough pages! So I had to re-vamp my plan. Last year we used tip-ins to make enough space for art AND planner, so I thought I would do that again. So I cut tip-ins (flaps) for all my pages, got out my washi tape and started adding them in. I had to add two tip-ins to each page, one for the front and one for the back.

On the back of each week's calendar is my spot for notes on scripture study. I need to be more vigilant about studying my scriptures, so I made a space for it. And it's helping, too, because that blank page just bugs the heck out of me!

Now it was time to start my pages. Every Saturday, the ladies from Art to the 5th , who are running this project, send us an email with the weekly prompt, along with their take on it and how they made their pages. And this year, they are giving us a monthly theme and an an art challenge along with the journal prompt. Lots of fodder for our pages! (If any of you are interested in joining us in this year-long journey, go to .)

The theme for the month of January was "The Blank Page and How to Face It!". Week one's art challenge was book paper and the prompt was "Be Your Own Goal Keeper." Here is my week one page.

I started by Mod Podge-ing different papers on the background. You can see that I used book pages, pieces of maps, sheet music and dictionary pages. Then I used a gift card to spread a thin coat of gesso over them so you can still see them. Then I used the card to spread some paint over the gesso. I used purple, pink and dark blue. When that was dry, I sanded it a little so the paper showed through a little more in places. I used my handy-dandy black pen and some letters from magazines, advertisements, junk mail, etc. to list my goals for the year. I wanted to keep my goals very simple. Every year I vow to do the same things and every year I fall short of my goals, so I figure if I make the list short and simple, I may succeed! And that's it! I sprayed it with some clear acrylic and it's done.

It's a very simple page with not much adornment, but I like it. I hope you do, too. And I hope that you will go over to Art to the 5th and check it out, even if you don't want to art journal. The ladies over there have some great tutorials and ideas!

I'll be back soon with another DLP page (since it's February and I've aleady got 5 pages done) and some more goodies for you to make. I hope you'll come back and see me! The quote for today is by Thomas Merton: "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."

Until next time,

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