Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In The Midst of Winter...

  So how was everyone's holiday so far?? I hope you had time to relax and celebrate amongst friends and family.  I finally was able to get some art done in my journals, including painting in my last calendar spread for this year:

                                                I had so much fun with all those bright colors!

 Here is a journal page that began with a layer of collaged papers before painting over it:

  This Albert Camus quote goes through my head quite often each winter as I dream about summer.  Recently I discovered there is more to the quote and I will share it at the end of my post - I LOVE it!

 Here's wishing you all a happy, healthy, artful, prosperous  2015 ! Thank you for a year of sharing your art, your friendship, your encouragement and many kindnesses. It has brought me more joy than you know. XO

           Linking to T Stands For Tuesday, Art Journal Every DayArt Journal Journey, and Paint Party Friday.

"...and that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better, pushing right back."    Albert Camus

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Time flies When You're....


 Hard to believe I haven't posted nor checked in much since my last post on Dec. 4th. That was when I mentioned caring for two elderly relatives lately. In addition to that and since then, our son lost his job and hubby was given a week's notice that he had to go on another shift and that our healthcare was changing and needed my immediate attention.. Needless to say I have been inundated with appointments, errands and paperwork since. Our son has rent obligations along with car payments and student loans so we have been helping him with all the unemployment papers and helping him stay organized and upbeat. We have reached out to friends and acquaintances for any possible job leads and they have been an amazing support. I work every day at keeping the faith and believing all will be well. I know I have to have some balance so hubby and I did manage  some fun things in between. 

   Last month we had bought tickets to see the Tenors (formerly called the Canadian Tenors). We have been wanting to see them live for a long time. We also took my Mom as a Christmas gift. And so we drove just over an hour away into Reading, PA to the theater to see them. Oh, Reading has also gotten world-wide publicity lately because of "the ugly Christmas tree" dispute. We weren't able to stop and get a picture but we did see it-yup, just like the tree in Charlie Brown's Christmas .

 This theater was built in the 1870's and the opulence and craftmanship inside is stunning! The Tenors did not disappoint either-they were AMAZING!!

 Besides their incredible voices, they were so personable, talking and interacting with the audience (including me-teehee) throughout the show. We had 2nd row seats!!!

  Although very little got accomplished for the upcoming holidays I did manage to get a bit of decorating, cards, and shopping done.

  At Freshly Made Sketches the challenge sketch is this:

  I managed to get a quick and easy card done before cleaning up my desk:

    A round gift tag and coordinating papers were used on a kraft note card. I am also linking this to the Simon Monday Challenge (anything goes); and the Simon Wednesday Challenge (winter inspiration)).

  In cleaning up my desk I added a new mug my Mom just bought me(the one on the left) and found it to be perfect to keep  my favorite colors of markers together:

                                         We have this thing for all things Paris and French:)
                        Linking this to my friends at T Stands For Tuesday - I have missed you! And although I don't have a pic- since our son was pretty young our tradition was to leave Santa a glass of egg nog(the kind with the alcohol) and cookies. He likes coming here:):)

 And lastly, (linking this to Art Journal Every Day and Paint Party Friday) I am wishing all of you a most beautiful holiday season, however you celebrate!!

  I wasn't able to manage individual hand made cards this year so I created this "glam girl" journal page a la Traci Bautista, added the greeting digitally and had postcards made to send out. I will visit as many of you as I can but know you are in my thoughts and wishes.

 Today I will leave you with a quote I have been reading every day since all life's unexpected changes lately (it came in an email the day our son lost his job) and have given a copy to Todd to keep in his wallet as a reminder also:

   "For everything that falls through, something equal or better comes through."   Alan Cohen

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Happenings

 It has been awhile since my last post before Thanksgiving. I hope that those of you who celebrated had a wonderful day! Ours was on a smaller scale this year so it worked out quite well. So, where have I been????

 We all know that life happens and sometimes something not anticipated causes a change in your everyday routine. Without going into too much let me explain. Hubby has a great aunt (88) and a great uncle (94). Both live alone in their homes. For many years they have been so very kind and supportive of hubby and me despite the lack thereof by the rest of his immediate family. Aunt Betty doesn't drive so I along with some friends take her to appointments, shopping etc. Just before Thanksgiving Betty found out that her brother Truman who was still driving and handling all his affairs had a horrible fall in a parking lot. No broken bones or concussion but numerous open wounds and severe bruising etc. There is no one else to help out so I have been treating his wounds and taking him to various dr. appointments, etc. along with Betty. He should NOT be living alone but at this point refuses any other option. Uncle Truman has a mind of his own and our biggest fear is that he will get in one of his cars and drive (despite dr orders not to). Needless to say in order to prevent that from happening I am running over to him frequently. I am so very grateful that he will accept my help and I believe he is starting to realize how lonely he was since his wife died.  I have worked with the elderly all my life and know this is where I need to be right now. Hence, no Christmas shopping even started, no decorations out, and only a few cards made. But IT'S OK. It will be what it will be. Thankfully there are no little ones to get gifts for and no young ones living at home!

 I have manged to squeeze in a bit of art so here goes...

 First up is my calendar spread for December-the last class in JoAnne Sharpe's Draw Your Awesome Year online class. This is what's done so far:

   I hope to get the watercoloring done real soon. In the meantime I'm jotting down a note about each day so I can fill it in when I get a chance.

  Here are a few EASY PEASY Christmas cards I made:

  I simply used  decorative gift tags, decorative card stock and either ribbon or washi tape. Linking to the Simon Monday Challenge blog (theme is holiday cards) and the Simon Wednesday Challenge Blog (theme is Christmas/holidays).

 In looking and trying to decide what kind of online class I want to take for next year I recently discovered Wildly Inspired Wednesday through Effy Wild's blog where she posts videos , art and challenges each month. This project is the current challenge/ episode. There are 15 episodes in all and although the challeges are finished I can't wait to get the time to look at a few more and try some of them. Oh, and Effy generously offers a seat in one of her online classes each month!

 The challenge was to create this portrait using graphite, a black Stabilo All pencil and a waterbrush to pull color for shading. To complete her I used a bit of watercolor pencil, and water colors:

   I chose to add the words which kept coming to me as I was working on it. I am linking this to Art Journal Every Day and Paint Party Friday. I will try and get around to as many of you as I can-I have missed your linked art projects lately!

   " There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."
                                                                                                                   John Andrew Holmes Jr.