Friday, August 31, 2012

I Believe In MIRACLES!!!

I really Do! And if you like miracles or need one yourself keep reading. But if you don't like happy stories and miracles, today's post is not for you.
This is gonna be a long one so grab a cold drink and settle in.
To properly tell the story I need to go back to July. While on vacation with my family I had some terrible pain in my mouth from two big abscesses in my gums - we even came home a day early. I called my dentist from my hotel bed to get an appointment the next day. Once I got to the dentist he informed me that I had some serious problems that would need a specialist and that I would need surgery and I would be losing some of my teeth. I was devastated! My teeth have always been an issue for me - they are not pretty and I often have problems with them but they are mine and I don't want to lose them! He also told me that they would probably not be able to put any replacement teeth in for awhile because of all of the bone loss I have. The thought of being a "hillbilly" was terrifying to me!!!! I cried all the way home.
Well it was a few weeks before I could see the specialist, I tried hard not to think about it and just pray about it. At my appointment with the specialist he told me the same thing - surgery and 5 teeth would be taken (3 of which be in the front of my mouth). Then he tells me that he can not do the procedure because of my anxiety level. I needed to see another specialist and be put completely under not just a twilight sleep. This is another HUGE fear of mine! So I left the office with another prescription for antibiotics and more tears. I made the next appointment and of course I had to wait 3 weeks to get in. I also made the appointment for my curettage & root plaining that I would have to have before the surgery to remove some of the infection and so on in my gums. If you have ever had this done it is not fun and it is expensive - this would be my 4th one!
As much as being a "hillbilly" bothered me and thought of surgery and anesthesia terrified me, I knew I couldn't live like this any longer. The pain was so bad. It not only hurt at the site of the abscesses, it hurt on the outside of my face. It was terrible just to wash my face or try to put make-up on or even to have Gary kiss me! It couldn't be put off any longer. They said with in 18 months I would lose ALL of my teeth if I didn't get this done! I knew I would need all of my faith to get me through this. This was going to cost thousands of dollars - dollars we didn't have. It was also going to effect my teaching schedule (because I will not be seen in public without my front teeth!). This was going to be a really big test of my faith and my courage!
I have been a Christian my whole life and it is how I navigate my way through life. But in all honesty I have not been a church going Christian for almost 10 years now. But this past Sunday I decided I was going back, back to MY home church, Desert Breeze. Bryanna & I had already made tentative plans to go to church together but when she asked if we were still going I told her I needed to go alone. Then Gary asked if he could go with me and I felt bad but I told him no, I needed to go alone. My family understood that sometimes you just need to do things on your own. I do not believe that church is a "magical" place that allows you better access to God but it is a place that offers me less distraction while I pray. And this church in particular allows me to truly shut the world out and just focus on Him. And that is just what I did. In fact when church was over I was not ready to leave - I wanted more! I started to leave and then turned back around and went to ask Pastor Ray to pray with me. As soon as he looked at me I started to cry. All I could get out was "I need prayer" he didn't know what for and I didn't tell him. But God knew what I needed and I knew that He was going to honor my faith and my obedience.
That night I started working on a small canvas with a scripture on it that God had placed on my heart. I have to admit that I struggled with this canvas - I just wasn't sure I liked it. But I kept going going because it wasn't the art that mattered here, it was the message. By the time I went to bed I had finished it and He shared yet another scripture with me. But I had to go to bed (even though I really wanted to start on it) because the next day I had plans with Bryanna & the girls to do a little shopping. So Monday after Monkey got out of school we headed out. I was glad when the girls were getting tired because my mouth/face were really starting to hurt bad. All I wanted was something soft to eat and to lay down. I heated myself up some leftover mashed taters when I got home and headed back to my bed. (I know you are wondering where the miracle is - it is coming) As I got settled in to my bed with my taters and my laptop (just in case I felt up to perusing pintrist) I turned on the TV - it was on channel 7 - not the channel I had left it on that morning when I left the house. Anyhoo I was trying to find the clicker to change the channel to something more exciting - there was just 2 men in suits talking, probably politics or something I thought. As I searched for the clicker I heard them talking about laser surgery. I didn't pay too much attention, probably talking about lasik or something. FINALLY, I found the clicker and could change the channel! WAIT!!!! They are not talking about eye surgery - they are talking about GUM surgery!!!! Then it ended - I watched only about 3 minutes of this show and now it's ending? "Come Back" I yelled. I wanted to hear more. The man was saying how this laser surgery was painless and a better alternative to traditional surgery. Luckily during the credits they put up the web address. And I had for some reason brought my laptop to my bedroom with me (not normal for me) so I quickly typed in (this is the miracle part)
I spent the next 45 minutes reading the info on this website. It seemed too good to be true. Should I call them? I wasn't sure. So I called Bryanna and asked her what she thought. "Am I chasing unicorns" I said and her instant response was "Mom, I think you need to hang up with me and call them, this is God answering your prayer!" Her & I talked for a few more minutes and she said "maybe they can get you in before you go for your  curettage & root plaining" . I was sure that would not happen since that appointment was on Wednesday at 8am and it was already 4pm on Monday. But I hung up with Bryanna and called them. The gal that answered the phone was named Bryanna also - I thought that was funny. I told her I had just seen a snipit of the program and wanted to make an appointment. She asked what was going on with my mouth and I told her. She said to me "so you are looking for a second opinion?" "NO" I said "I am looking for a miracle" (I really said that to her) and she replied by saying that they serve those up a lot there. She took my info and said someone would call me back in 10 minutes to make my appointment for me.
When I hung up from her I got out of my bed and kneeled right there and prayed - "Please, if this is the answer You need to make it clear to me. I am not always smart enough to recognize Your gifts when You give them. And also if you could make it something I can afford I would be thankful" When I was done praying I went and told my Mom not to get on the phone for a bit, thatI was expecting a call. A moment later she called back. She asked about my general history and assured me that I would benefit from this treatment. Then she said "lets make your appointment" I told her I could be there in 30 mins, she laughed and said that she could get me in TOMORROW at 1pm! I couldn't believe it. I was so happy and at that very moment I felt a peace I had not felt in weeks. All of that fear & anxiety that I had been carrying around just seemed to leave. I finally ate my cold taters and filled out my patient forms online and then while I was feeling so happy and peaceful something happened. . . My mouth got so sore I couldn't stand it - it actually almost made me fall down as I was walking to the kitchen! I came back to the bedroom and looked in the mirror and I could not believe what I saw - my face had swollen up on the left side and was huge! I opened my mouth and that abscess that had been the size of a blueberry was now the size of a large grape and had erupted in my mouth!!! I won't descibe it any better than that for you but it was a mess and very scary! I didn't know what to do about it so I cleaned myself up as best I could and just sat there until Gary got home. He asked what was wrong with my face and I told him and I tried to tell him about the new appointment I had made but he could barely understand me because my mouth just wasn't working right. About 2 hours later the abscess was almost totally gone and there was no more pain. I could even touch the outside of my face. The swelling was gone and I could eat normally! Once Gary went to bed I went back into my studio to finish up the scripture canvases I had started the night before. And I slept like a baby that night.
Now typically when I am getting ready for a dentist appointment, even if it is just a consultation, I am so anxious and nervous. This day as I got ready I was nothing but calm and happy. I even cancelled my appointments for the curettage & root plaining that I had scheduled for Wed & Thursday of this week. I drove peacefully the 30 miles to the office and even arrived early. They took  me
  back and gave me an "education" on their philosophy and treatment plan. They took time (lots of time) to get to know me as a person and what my needs were and my fears etc. Then the dentist came in and gave me a thorough exam and announced to my delight that I didn't need to loose any teeth!That they could treat me with little to no pain and that if I follow the treatment plan that I could be cured completely of all of this periodontal disease I have fought for years.  So this is all great and I happy but now lets talk money. . . They printout the whole treatment plan with all of the charges. They tell me that if I can pay the whole amount in cash before we start the work I can save 15% (that's like $800+) well sadly I don't have that kind of cash sitting around.  Financing is an issue for me right now since we are in the midst of refinancing the house and can't take out any other credit at the moment. But I felt a peace that I could pay for this treatment in cash somehow before the week's end. So they sent me home with a self  addressed envelope and an appointment to start all of the treatment next week! I was so happy and thankful as I left my 3.5 hour appointment. As I drove home I knew without a doubt that I would be able to pay this off before I got started with the work and yesterday I mailed off my check. I had some money tucked away that I never wanted to use it was from an inheritance that I didn't think I should have (long story) but there it was tucked away safely for such a time as this!
So this is the miracle in a nutshell -
Fears and anxieties are gone
Heath is being restored to my mouth
(without invasive surgery, toothloss, and anethesia)
Finances were provided
Pain is gone
but most importantly,
 My faith is stronger than ever and HE answered my prayers!
I wanted to show you  my Trio of Faith canvases I made this week.
(I will be selling sets just like this to anyone that would like to have a set for $25 + shipping just shoot me an email at
The canvases are 4"x12" each and are 1.5" deep. I love the "subway art" for scriptures
This is the 1st scripture God gave to me on Sunday
John 14:27

This is just a quote but I love it!
This one is Philippians 4:6 and the 2nd scripture God gave me on Sunday.
These are hanging right next to my table in my studio where I can read them and be reminded of how I do not need to live in fear - I need only to rely on my faith and my Lord. I wanted to share this story with all of you so you could be be reminded that you don't need to be afraid or anxious either HE is more than willing and able to help you too!

Till we meet again. . .

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Boo Crew

I just wanted to share with you a couple new canvases I made this week. As many of you know I don't  celebrate halloween. But now that I have Grandchildren who do, I have started at least participating in this holiday. I have actually grown to enjoy the "fun" parts of it and it is a crafting extravaganza! So this will be my first halloween class ever. . .
 This is a 12x12 canvas with LOTS of texture and deep fun colors. I think you will really enjoy the techniques and unexpected items on this project. This canvas also has it's own curly wire hanger to hang it from. I hope you will join me at The Occasional Artist on Saturday, October 13th at 10am for this class.
 Just some details here - cute little wire vines on corrugated stems - bloodshot googly eyes - swirly embossed letters - and look at that texture on the pumpkins. Super Fun!
 I actually made 2 of these canvases - one for each of my Daughters - one without the haunted mansion (one of the girls don't like scary things)
Have a great day friends - and thanks for stopping by
Till we meet again. . . .

Friday, August 17, 2012

Classic G-45 Papers 50% Off!!!

That's right Friends,
50% off some of the prettiest papers ever made!

I am taking my whole collection (hoard) of Graphic-45 papers down this afternoon to The Occasional Artist for your purchasing and crafting pleasure! There will be 2 racks full of G-45 papers at .50 cents a sheet! That's 19 different G-45 lines, from their debut lines Times Nouveau, Botanicabella, Brides to Babies, all the way to the more recent ABC Primer line!!! You wont want to miss this sale - alot of these classic lines are no longer in print and super hard to find! There are also some of the diecut tags for most of the lines on sale. So if there is some classic G-45 paper that you have been wishing you had purchased or if you are in need of some to complete an already started project, now is the time to head down to old town Glendale!
Here are all of the wonderful papers - you can't miss them, they're right next to the counter. I hope you find some you can't live without!

Till we meet again. . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

M&M's & Pumpkins. . .

M&M's & Pumpkins????
That's right - I'm talking about M&M's & Pumpkins,
 and even rat traps tonight.

So let's start with the M&M's -
Starting in September I will be starting a new series of classes called "M&M Fridays w/Marta" at The Occasional Artist. The classes will be held on the 3rd Friday of every month at Noon. And yes, I will be bringing M&M's to class for everyone. But the class is not about the colorful little candies, it's all about Mixed Media. We will work on an Art Journal, do some Canvas Art, some Assemblage, Fabric Art, Collage and so on.

Our First Project/Class is called "Build a Better Mouse Trap"
It is a super cute and fun memo holder made from a rat trap!
The class is from noon - 3pm on Friday, Sept 21st. The cost is $35.
 You will learn some new painting and distressing techniques in this class. We will use interesting supplies like vinegar, salt and Ivory soap.

  I hope you will join us for this class or some of the next M&M Friday classes!

So, let's talk about Pumpkins now -
I am addicted to pumpkins right now!!!! In the past 2 days I have made 15 of these super cute and happy little pumpkins. They seriously are so much fun to make! We will be doing a studio day at the store in early October (date tba) where you will be able to make as many of these little cuties as you want. The cost will be $18 for the 1st pumpkin and only $5 for each one you make after that.

 Look at all of the sweet fabric they are made in. Perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving  - heck just for Fall! Line your dinning table with them, fill a basket with them, put them everywhere!. My daughters have each requested pumpkins for their homes. I have Bryanna's done and 2 of Lizzy's done (they wanted 5 each).

I also wanted to let you know that this canvas is now a class, I had several people ask if I would teach so I am. The canvas is not in the store as a sample (sorry about that but this piece means alot to me and was not made as a sample but as a piece of art for me). I think there are still 2, maybe 3 spaces available for this class. It will be held on Sept 22nd from 10am - 5pm. You can call the store to sign up

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the up-coming classes I will be teaching. I also hope I will see you in one or all of them! Have a great week and try to fit something creative into your life.
Till we meet again. . .

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Just a Quickie. . .

I uploaded some new Images to my Art Inspirations blog today if you want to take a look and get inspired to make some art of your own.
Till we meet again. . .

Saturday Was A Creative Day. . .

I literally spent the WHOLE DAY in my studio yesterday! I didn't feel great when I woke up and art is my therapy so I headed off to the studio. It worked like a charm! I felt better by the afternoon and accomplished a couple of things. Today I thought I'd share these accomplishments with you. . .

First off is a new entry for my art journal. I'm calling this "My Constant Struggle".
As I have said before God and I are on a journey together right now - He is teaching me some lessons. He is also bringing to mind certain scriptures and I have been making art with them to help me focus on what He is telling me. Friday while I was in the shower (praying) Romans 7:18 - 20 came to mind. Although at the time I didn't know it was Romans 7:18 - 20, I had to look it up. And even though I do not think I am "evil" I do struggle with making time to really study His Word and pray. These are things I really want to do but for some reason I get distracted and do other things. This is one of those things He is working with me on this journey of ours. So this is the art I made to remind myself of this lesson. . .
I looked for an image in my books and online that depicted the struggle between good & evil as my foundation. I found this cool image of Jesus and the devil arm wrestling! The devil was very bright and almost became the focal point of the image (which I didn't want) so I made him a little more opaque and printed the scripture over top of him (I did all of this in PSE - super simple editing). I also wanted the devil side to be darker than the Jesus side it is hard to tell in the photo but the left side is almost all black.

 I had gotten a little crazy with myself and added the verses before and after the ones He had put in my heart. But as I worked on the page I realized that only 18 - 20 were the words I needed. So I painted over all of the words with gesso and then used a baby wipe to remove the gesso from the verses I wanted to really be read. You can still read the rest, they just aren't as clear. Then I also added some paint lines with the edge of a gift card above and below to further highlight the verses. You can see all of this in the photo below.

 I also painted gesso over the image of Jesus and wiped away the gesso on His face, head and hand. I also hand cut a heart from the background of the devil image that had lightening bolts and put it on Jesus. I did this for a couple of reasons - I needed to bring some of that red color into this side of the image and I loved the lightening bolts (symbolizing His the power of His love) and I also liked taking part of the devils background to show how God loves us so much He bears our "evil" so we don't have to!
All of these little details and symbolism is really just for me - but I want to share it with you so you can see how I go about expressing myself through this creative process - hopefully to encourage you to give it a try and truly "connect" to your art and not just have it be "something to do".
 When I am using scripture in my art I try to add the actual verse from my "art Bible" (the one I tear up) in the background - making the actual scripture the foundation of my art. So there are several pages from Romans in the background . I made sure that the opening page/title page (not sure what you call it) from Romans remained visible. I then stamped a big #7 next to it and then smaller 18-20 stamps going the opposite direction next to the 7 so that the scripture "address" would be noted on the page.

This is what the original image looked like when I found it. It is a cool image - very powerful yet a little gruesome when you look at the devil close up. I hope I never have to really "see him"!!!!

Okay - time to switch gears. . .  After working in my art journal (and then cooking dinner for the family) I started on this for my Monkey. She starts school this week!!!!! Amazing how fast that came about! Well, monkey has never gone to pre-school or day-care, she's always been with me. So she is understandably a little nervous about starting school - excited too but still nervous. So her Mom is hosting a little "Going to School" party for her today. We are all bring her some of the supplies on her school list and Bryanna is "packing" lunches for us in brown paper sacks for the food. It is just immediate family coming and meant just to encourage her and get her excited about school.
 I bought her supplies a couple of weeks ago but wasn't sure how I wanted to wrap them for her. Last night about 9:30pm I got the idea do one of the book boxes I am "famous" for. But the supplies wouldn't all fit in the ones I had. What to do. . . Ahhh - I have a stack of  Club Scrap "pizza boxes" in the garage that my friend Judie gave me. The supplies fit perfectly in there! So I painted the whole box black first and then started adding some of the G-45 ABC Primer papers and embellishments to it. Super cute! And super easie too!
 I mounted the main image on black presentation board for some depth as well as several of the fun chipboard pieces from the collection. I didn't want brads going through the box so I just added a little red thread knot to some tiny black buttons and glued them to the chipboard tags in the brad hole.
 Of course I lined the inside of the box too.
 I even embellished her school supplies with Little tags and "this book belongs to" labels from the collection.
 It fits so nicely in the box and just looks like "FUN"! I figure Bryanna could save it to put her school papers in if she wants to.
So, I guess I should go get my shower taken so I wont be late to Monkey's party - Gonna take my camera and get some pictures today - trying not to be "bad Amma" anymore!
Have a great week friends - do something creative just for YOU!
Till we meet again. . . .

Friday, August 3, 2012

About MY Art Journaling. . .

So, I have had some questions about how I work in my art journal and what I use. So I figured I'd try to answer those questions here for you. Remember I am NOT an expert at all but this is what works for me.

This is what I work in -
Mixed Media Visual Journal — This medium-weight paper is great for wet and dry media, including watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, pencil, crayon, charcoal, marker, and collage. Each journal contains 34 sheets of 90 lb (190 gsm), acid-free paper.
 I have loved the papers in it and they do not curl up or soak through. My only complaint is that the ring binding is too small (for me) but that was an easy fix, I just changed out the rings for a bigger set I had here at the house and used my Cinch to put it back together!
Just a side note the ugly top page is removable and you are left with a nice brown textured hard cover for your journal. You can easily alter this cover to make it more personal. The covers are the same on front and back too.

This is what I start with -
Liquitex Basics Acrylic Gesso is formulated to produce a smooth, absorbent, finely textured ground for painting on most porous surfaces, including canvas, paper, fabric, wood, or plaster.
This gesso does not require thinning for proper consistency. It dries in minutes to a non-yellowing, brilliant white. It's suitable for use with Liquitex Basics and other student-grade acrylic paints.
 I gesso my pages before I do anything. In fact, I like to gesso up a few pages at a time while watching tv etc. That way when the mood strikes me I am ready to create without having to do this first. Helpful Hint: when gessoing several pages at a time lay a piece of wax paper between your pages so you don't have to wait for it to dry before you move on to the next set of pages.

This is what I put it all together with -
Liquitex Matte Medium — Mix medium viscosity Matte Medium with acrylic colors for completely matte, dull and flat effects and a non-reflecting finish. When mixed with acrylic paint, it extends color, increases transparency, matte and film integrity, eases paint flow, and adds to the flexibility and adhesion of paint film. It is opaque when wet and translucent when dry. Use it as an extender, a fixative, or a ground. Mix with Gloss Medium for a semi-gloss or satin medium. Use both Gloss and Matte Mediums as an extender and fixative for Liquitex Acrylic Paints. They can be mixed together, in any proportion, for a semi-gloss or satin medium.
This is my glue and my sealant as well as a great thing to mix with my paints to thin them down and make them more transparent etc. It is a must have and I suggest buying at least the 32oz bottle. You will use this alot! I prefer the matte finish but it comes in a gloss too for you shinny people out there.

This is where I get my images and my text -
I am a HUGE fan of the library! You can get wonderful books there from .50 - $2! The library is so much cheaper than goodwill. There is also a great used bookstore on Bell road called Thrifty Joes - good prices and great selection!
 So look for old paper backs, Bibles, Dictionaries, newspapers for background text. Look for art books, medical books, architecture books, cook books, gardening books and soon for images. Or you can scan in your favorite images or photos you have taken and print them out! Don't forget to check the Internet for more images 
 Old sewing patterns are great for texture as wll as text!!! And one pattern will go a l o n g  way for you! So dig out some old ones you don't use anymore, check garage sales for .25 patterns or buy them new at Hobby Lobby for .99 when they are on sale!

This is what I print my images on -
Just plain ol' printer paper from my computer! Nothing fancy here at all. I like all of my layers to meld together and I find the thin paper helps that happen and I am never out of printer paper and it's cheap!

 Here's some more must haves for me -
 Waxed Paper for lots of things - separating pages, for brayering wet images & papers, crumpled up for adding texture with paint. Tim Holtz Tissue - not a must have but a fun purchase! Paper Towels - this is definitely a messy art form! Also great for adding texture to your paint by smoothing it over a painted surface and then pulling it up. Baby Wipes - because its messy and also they are great for blending paints! Spray Bottle w/ Water - to help paint and inks run and to thin out paints and clean up messes! Cheap Paint Brushes - I like the wooden handled ones with the stiff bristles for glue, gesso and even for paint. Drywall Tape - cheap and great texture and is already slightly adhesive.

For Fun & Texture -  
Metal Screening (from Garys job site. If your hubby is a construction worker have them keep an eye out for fun/free textures and embellishments!) Vinyl Sign Letters to use as masks - they are reusable! Bubble Wrap, Punchenella, Shelf Liner - all great for adding texture with your paint! Cigar Labels - great images and backgrounds (my SIL smokes them and saves them for me)

 This is what I paint with -
Just cheap-o craft acrylics. My favorite brand is American. It is a little heavier bodied than some of the others and the colors are great. Of course there are some Ranger Daubers in there too that are fun and easy to use.

 More junque' that I use -
I love the multi dish pallet from Mike's for $2! I just got it and I love it. But before that I used the butter tub lids and they work great too - the best part is if your too tired to wash them you can throw them away! Really cheap watercolors (.50 at Walmart right now for back to school) They are not good quality artist watercolors but they make a great easy wash of color over something. Old gift cards are great for applying paint and smoothing things out. Staz-on stamp pads - you need a permanent ink when you are stamping in your journal! Misc. Lids from bottles etc make great stamps and texture with paint. White out - cheap opaque white paint! (Get it now for .50 for back to school) A Bar of Ivory soap for resist with paints - it have to be Ivory or Dove though.
 Love the Glazing medium for making paints more translucent and like watercolors!
 Charcoal Pencils for shading and a blending stump for blending (duh) Microm 08 pen for outlining and a faber-castell pen for the same thing (I like the micron better) and a Uniball Signo white pen cuz its the best white pen on the market!

This is how I finish stuff -
 Low Oder Clear Finish - I spray this on to seal everything once I am done. I also use it in between layers when I use something that is not permanent (ie watercolors, distress inks, charcoal pencils) so that it stays where I put it and how I put it there! They make a gloss too but I am a matte kinda gal!

So I hope this helped you out some and answered some questions for you. Most of all I hope it inspired you to get started on an art journal of your own!!!
Till we meet again. . .

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I've Been Busy

Oh My - let's see, what have I been up to lately. . .
Well all last week was full of making birthday party decorations for the girls. Their birthdays are a week apart so they share a party. This year's theme was Lalaloopsy. Are you familiar with these dolls? They are something else, but the girls are madly in love with them. So there were tu-tus to be made and TONS of buttons to be sewn onto things. Then there were the crayon boxes that needed to be made and filled. But it all got done and was very cute and colorful!

Last Thursday was an eventful day around here - it was Bugs 2nd birthday! It was the last day I had the girls. Bryanna will be a SAHM now! And Gary bought a new truck! He really needed it but it was not a planned purchase. Typically I would have photos to go along with my words but these days I have been a little laxed about the camera. This is NOT typical for me at all. Not sure what's going on there???

Saturday was a birthday party for Gary's birthday out in Scottsdale and then Sunday was the Lala Party for the girls. It was a busy weekend but lots of fun. Again I was bad and never got my camera out! What is my problem?????

On one of our birthday party supply shopping trips, Bryanna tried to help me pick out fabric for my curtains in my new studio. Each fabric she picked I said no to. Then she picked this red and tan homespun fabric. It wasn't my favorite but I didn't hate it and I really didn't want to say no again. What the heck it was only $2.50  a yard. Well I made the curtains and I HATE them!!!!!I feel as though Ellie May Clampet and some of her critters are gonna come visit me at any minute.

 I was telling my friend Ann about them and she suggested some Graphic 45 fabric - what a smart idea!!! It is just the feel I was looking for. So that day while I was still on the phone with her I ordered this fabric. . .
 Do you recognize it? It is from the Communique line (one of my favorites) it was shipped yesterday and I can't wait to get it and start sewing!!!

This week since I don't have the girls I was able to get some cleaning done some errands run and even some work in my art journal. I love working in this. I of course love the process of the art its self, but I also love the experimenting with the paints, inks and supplies. I love finding images that tell the story I want to tell. And I love having the freedom to tell a story, express some feelings, ask some questions and have it not just be words written on a page.

This is the opening page to my journal (I tend to work out of order). It says "Pondering who I am & who I should be? There is a list of words along the right side that describe who I am or who I think I should be. I am not thrilled with the white marks I made all over it but I am glad I gave it a try. I am glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone. I even tried my new water colors on this page.
 This is a page I started late last night and finished this morning. It is a page about my Doodle. Today is a bitter sweet day - it is the 21st anniversary of his death and also my Monkey's 5th birthday! I like  to do something on his birthday or on this day to celebrate his life each year. This year I was on the beach for his birthday so I spent this day with him in my journal.
The page is called "What Would You Look Like Now" I used a photo of him as well as a very distorted photo of an old man sitting on a wall at sunset to tell my story. I even used my own handwriting on this page (something I hate but and trying to embrace) I used a white Uniball Signo pen to write with. What a GREAT pen!!!! It never skipped once, it didn't smear, nothing! If you are looking for a good white pen I highly recommend this one. You can get them at the Occasional Artist.
 I also scanned in his obituary from the newspaper and made a collage of the text to use as some background texture. I noticed some info in the obit was wrong which surprised me that I had never noticed it before. I tore out a heart from the collage and highlighted his name and mine with some water colors.
 Here's my Doodle and a shot of the old man image - the image is used three times on the page to represent that he was a part of my past, my present and my future. I don't believe that Love ever dies. And even though he is gone, his love is not!
 This is the collage I made from the obituary. I turned it all different ways for interest. I am telling you all of this to give you some ideas to use in your journals to make them more personal (and to save a little $$$ too)
Well, I hope you have had a good week and have gotten to do something you love !
Till we meet again. . . .