Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Daily

Hello Hello
Just wanted everyone to know that I am trying desperately to get my posts up-to-date, I have been working on my December Daily religiously these last few weeks, and you may notice I even added a new page tab just for that project.  My reading has finally had to take a back seat - at least until after the holidays because I have been uncomfortably busy with not only the DD album but also with mini books and this super Christmas banner that I made for our home this year-plus I still would like to get our 2012 Christmas ornaments done...if there is even more time beyond that I wouldn't mine adding a bit more 'Stuff' to our Christmas tree (it's a little sad looking so far).  So as I say I have been well...preoccupied but eventually I will get all of these thoughts & projects posted for all of you to see.  

Here's a little something to take a peek at.  This is just a few of the mini books I've made this season - 2 or 3 others have already been given to their new families. And by-the-way I have actually been doing a lot of Instagram lately as well...this just so happens to be one of the pics I uploaded about a week ago.  I am in love with this app, it is just plain....FUN and not 'plain' in the least which is why it is so fun.  This is how it works, you take a regular photo with your phone camera then upload a copy of it to Instagram then select from a number of different filters to alter the original image into something totally different or you could just go straight to the Instagram app and take a new picture from it and then do the same thing, pick a filter and alter the way it looks.  Later when you upload your cell phone photos to your home computer or laptop you can also upload all of your Instagram processed photos to print later.  You all should try it seriously-it's cool and you don't even have to have the iPhone, I use it with my Samsung smart phone and it works great.

Alright well for the time being this is all I got!

Hope you all are having a wonderful time this holiday season
enjoying the time spent with family & friends!
thanks for stopping in...have a Merry day
just B

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pure Gratitude

Good Day Ladies & Gents!
I realize all the buzz on FB right now is doing a month of Gratitude which is a wonderful idea, unfortunately I hardly ever get on FB and haven't been real good about posting here either as of late, but....
 I did take the time to do a mini Gratitude album that finished up beautifully and I thought that I would share that with all of you today, along with something or rather someone else I am most definitely grateful for.
As for the pages of my mini I did them mostly the same, on the left side there is a ATC sized card that slips up and into the flap, it can be removed so that anyone can read the journaling on the backside of it.  For the right of the page (excluding the middle page) I put a pocket there that holds several smaller pieces of ephemera, some quotes and a couple extra journaling spots.  The middle page doesn't have the pocket, instead for that page, I added a mini according booklet so that I could get some more photo mats, as it turns out....I like it!
Now another unique feature of this mini is that I used these as the base of my pages, so inside where the CD would go I put my photos that I wanted to remember instead.  I have done this mini before but wasn't sure I really liked the tough cardboard envelops but I think that over time as this mini gets looked at I will be more than happy that they are quite durable, plus having the photos hidden it allows the mini to capture a certain warmth without all the contrasting colors of the photos.
So the idea was to keep the first page to my immediate family, the second to our extended family and friends, and then last but not least all the extra little helpings in life; places & things, thoughts & ideas, hopes & dreams.  But as I have been living with this little gem for awhile now, I'm not sure yet how I will fill in the pages, but that is beside the point.........
the point is 
I do have lots of people and places and thoughts and ideas and hopes and dreams and family and friends and  just a 'wishing well' full of blessings to be Thankful for!
So as I prepare to close I do have to share with you one of my greatest blessings of all, aside from my ornery husband and both of my crazy girls...that is my best friend Tami, also the inspiration behind this post (this post is dedicated to you my friend, you are my touchstone - always have been always will be).
That girl - take it from me...she is awesome!
We met in the 6th grade, the year was 1985 Autumn had just come into full bloom and I was the new kid... from a low rate school district and not a hope in sight for a very bright future.  I wish I could say for certain when exactly I knew that Tami & I actually became best friends because back in our day that wasn't something to take lightly but it also wasn't ever discussed or written on a little piece of paper that had you check a box if you agreed or not, it was just always there on a very deep level that we understood each other, that we spoke the same language that no one else knew and I find it ironic now looking back that the first time we met was in Spanish class...hum isn't that interesting.  Oh God how we had our 'fights' though, don't think for a minute that we got off scot-free, we have had to fight hard in an entirely different sense of the word to keep our ties bound tightly and it wasn't always easy; life has a fucking habit of getting in the way and causing confusion and chaos. I recall one moment in particular that we both almost threw it all away over pride and hurt feelings, I will never forgive myself for acting the way I did but because of it- learning a very real and hard lesson- it opened a whole new level of vulnerability between us that I don't think I share even with my husband today and probably never will.  I can honestly say she knows me better than I do and yet still - I am enough. (awestruck)
Tami thank you, thank you for your heart and your love, thank you for 25+ years of your undeniable friendship, it means my life to me and I hope I can attest to it for the next 25+ years.
I love you!

just B...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Frank's Collage Poster

Hello Everybody!!!
How are you all doing today?  Great I hope.  
I thought that today I'd share with you a poster I did for my husband's Great Uncle Frank.  Actually it was Frank's daughter, Francene (my husband's 2nd cousin) that requested my assistance for this project and of course I obliged.  I am going to dub it 'Life Collage' though because that sounds way cooler than poster.  The overall piece was 11 by 17 and I think that the final outcome was absolutely wonderful.  I know that Francene was really happy with what I did I just hope that Frank was too.

So my thought when I started this piece was, 'what were the significant events that happened throughout his life and where do I take them from here'.  Instead of starting from the beginning of his life, I actually looked at it backwards, education was a huge factor within his adult life so that's where I began. By adding what his own education had been I was then able to jumping right back into the chronological order of things.  I had to include the fact that he served our beautiful country - to me that speaks volumes about a man's character; the next major event was getting married and having a family - that will completely change someone inside & out - I know this from personal experience.  Then finally here is where I acknowledged his career - in education no doubt, and finally I ended it with a photo of him, I'm guessing around retirement age or at least close enough and well I'm sure for those of us who are still working, that will certainly be a major milestone.

So as you can see...aside from the photos and a few facts that I included you can also tell a lot about the piece by the color pallet, it's classic and intelligent - simply sophisticated - just like the subject matter.  The use of the vintage banners gives the impression of a well worn life, one that has had meaning and purpose, along with a refined sense of self and position in this life.

Love how all of these factors came together within this piece to support it as a whole.  I have to say once again that I am very proud of this one and hope that maybe I'll be inspired to ponder how I would want my own 'life collage' to look someone like you would interpret my own milestones and accomplishments and whether or not I'd be proud of my own life or just of your artwork.....hum...sorry that's a little too deep for today isn't it? 

Well you get the idea anyway so enough with the heavy.  I do hope that you all also liked my piece, if you have any questions about it or anything else that I've done, please feel free to contact me either through the comments or by email, I'd love to hear from any of you.  Thanks again for stoppin in and I'll see ya next time around, have a great week!
just B

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Got Books...Lots of Books

Hello again...
Thanks for stopping in...hope you had an Okie Dokie day!
Thought that I'd pick up where I left off from last weekend.....
So in my quest to find some answers to unspoken questions, I have been on a literary holiday and am slowly but surely finding my way back.  Back to what??? that I am still not sure of, I am struggling to process my emotions so that my head can figure out what it is exactly that is going on in my heart.  
I should insert just a little bit about me here...I studied Astrology (independently) for quite awhile in my early 20's, more for my own amusement, but in the process of not 'cheating myself' I took a pretty long head dive in and surfaced with a greater understanding of me and of those around this particular situation I find that this is where my  natal chart identifies the problem; with my Sun in a Water sign and my Moon in a Fire sign - it is often times that I feel torn in two completely opposite directions, which is exactly the case in point.  So that is what I have been trying *without a whole lot of effort from me* to figure out - a happy medium, some sort of balance.  I read recently from Ali Edwards that her mom passed on a tried & true method of figuring things out and that is 'to sit with it for a while' - so essentially that is what has been happening...I've been sitting with this for a few months now, pondering lots of different avenues and I believe that I am really close to uncovering my answer or answers - whatever they may be.
Let's hope so anyways....I'd really like to get back to scrappin'!

In the meantime though, I do have several more books in 'waiting' and unlike the others that I shared over the weekend, these are non-fiction mostly, with only two being an exception.  I picked up most of these as a recommendation from someone and I am eager to read them but unfortunately non-fiction is not as entertaining (normally) for me and so it will most likely be me having to tell myself that I *need* to read them for my own good...something like that anyways.
So I am by no means making any promises that these will ever get read.

So up first is Seth Godin's 'Linchpin' and this was a recommendation that I heard from Stacy Julian when she was a guest on the Roundtable over a year ago.  Honestly I have no idea what it's about, in Stacy's words 'if you are a mother and care about the future of your family-this is a must read' and so I took that quite literally, I have long admired Stacy within the Scrap book industry and so I took a chance on something outside that realm.  I believe her to be a very family oriented person who cares deeply about those closest to her and if she found something worthwhile in reading this, then that was good enough for me.

Next up is 'The Gifts of Imperfection' by Brene Brown.  This will be the next book I pick up I have decided.  I happened to find this remarkable lady through Ali Edward's blog, I think that these two ladies are really good friends (with good reason) or so I've gathered from reading Ali's blog for a number of years.  Brene has studied lots of personalities and personality traits and types and the reasons we as a culture are are own hindrance; she has touched on a number of issues that I have at one point or another in my own life, struggled with and I find her to be very insightful and inspiring.  When I came across this book I knew deep down somehow she had written it maybe not only for herself but for me as well or rather people like me; this is probably one of the things I struggle with daily, is my need for perfectionism and boy oh boy is that a definite hindrance, within my personal relationships as well as with my creative outlet.  
At some point I NEED to LEARN that just as I am...
I'm enough! 

Next up is 'Imagine' by Jonah Lehrer, also a recommendation from the roundtable.  In this book Jonah reveals a lot about how creativity works from within and then in turn how our minds process that into some form of art.  

As for 'Longitude' by Dava Sobel, it was honestly an impulse buy when I was at Barnes & Noble one afternoon, I'm still not sure what possessed me to buy it but I did and alas, I am now bound by my conscious to read it @ some point or another.

These last two are the only two in this group that are fiction, and well I've started them both and then quit both.  In the one above, 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen, I was more taken with the movie version, but then a co-worker mentioned that the book was wonderful, so back to my original thought...the book is always better, so I opted to go that route first.  So far, for the few pages I have read, I really am going to enjoy it but other things got in the way @ that time and so I lost interest, but eventually I'll pick it back up and start over.  By the way the movie is actually not too bad, we'll see what I think of it once I read the actual book though.

Alright last one & the most peculiar recommendation-if you even want to call it that.  Oh Boy - now you all are really going to know how bizarre my brain works, I got the notion to read this classic, 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte, from Bella Swan - YEAH - the main character from the novel, 'Twilight' by Stephenie Meyer.  There are so many references to this novel within 'Twilight' that I had to read the book.  One problem...I find that it's a pretty hard read @ least for me (which might also be saying even more about me than I care to admit) BUT it is difficult.  Sounds odd even though it is written in English but it's not an easy English to understand; first of all it was written in Yorkshire England and second of all it was first published over 150 years ago, so unfortunately until I find a lot more patience this one is going to have to wait.

So there you have it again... where I am thinking about hiding out for a little while longer.  My thoughts are swirling and twirling and here soon I'm gonna be ready for whatever comes my way, be it mentally or emotionally or spiritually or get the idea!

hOpe all of you are having a gr8 weekend and I thank you all for stoppin' in and takin' a peek, I plan to have some more for you all soon so certainly check back whenever you feel and leave me a comment anytime...please and thanks again!
just B!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Got Books?

So you ask where in the hell have I been?
Lost... be completely honest...
I think that I am @ a crossroad....

in my need to understand this life to the fullest I have found that I am just plain tired...
I have thought for years that there has to be some deeper meaning to all this hustle & bustle of everyday living but as I get older and maybe not so much wiser, I now have my doubts.  And as with anything in my world...I relate it all to crafting and whether or not any of that has meaning....
the answer....
........I don't know
...I hope so
...but I just don't know
I'm tired...
 many of you may have noticed....
 .....I've been absent 
....for quite awhile 
and in my absence I have come upon some answers to a few of my questions but I have also come upon more questions...
curious minds want to know

I say....READ

If you want to know anything.....Read!  

I have done more reading in the past several months than I have in a very long time and I have been greatly enjoying it.  
It's been a wonderful & well needed 'BREAK'!  
A couple of the books I picked up on a recommendation from a podcast I listen to called the roundtable which is heavily focused on scrap booking, and then there are a few that I was just drawn to while sneaking around Barnes & Noble, then of course you have to get the 'best-sellers' don't you?.... while your out & about; so let me start with what I have read and what I am currently reading. 

We'll start with 'The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt' by Caroline Preston - this was a recommendation from the roundtable and in fact they had Caroline as a guest once to talk about this particular book.  What makes this book so special is that it is written completely with 'vintage ephemera', all the writing is done from Frankie's point of view in her 'scrap book'.  Now I don't know if many of you even realize that scrap books and the idea of them has been around for many, many years.  Back in the early 1900's a scrap book was mostly newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, dance cards, wrappers or packaging from something that was purchased and so in this novel that is how the story is presented and it is fascinating.  I will gladly give Caroline Preston my ^thumbs up^ if she wants it - not only is it visually intriguing (because all the images come from authentic vintage ephemera), the story it's self is fantastic - it's about a young 1920's female college graduate who is in the process of 'finding herself' - if you will.  Go check it out!

'The Haunting of Maddy Clare' by Simone St. James is the next one I have read.  This one just happened to catch my attention while @ Barnes & Noble one day and I knew I was in the mood for something unusual, this certainly fit the bill.  This one happens to be about a young woman who takes a job as an assistant for a ghost hunter and well needless to say....I couldn't hardly put it down.  The story takes place in 1920's England in the countryside and of course we all know that that place is full of ghost stories and superstitions.  
It's a good read!

This is the one that I am currently reading and hope to finish within the week, 'The Mermaid's Mirror' by L. K. Madigan.  I picked this one up along with the one above when I was @ Barnes & Noble, something about the cover I think grabbed my attention and it turns out that I have become enthralled by this magical tale.  It also is about a young girl who isn't concerned with the average teenage drama that consumes all of her friends but by her own family mysteries
that by magic force their way back to her.  It's a quick, simple read - I've enjoyed it.

Now for the books in 'waiting' - all of which I know are 'best-sellers' but one in particular that I am taking a chance on.  The first one up is the 'Fifty Shades' trilogy, yes I am going to dare it.  I have heard numerous people talk about it and's a must curiosity has gotten the better of me and so this will be the next book I pick up as soon as I'm done with 'The Mermaid's Mirror'.  I have no reservations about it other than it's certainly risque, but then again why else would I pick it up, in complete set, to read otherwise.  I think it has entertain if nothing else....and well that is what reading is mostly about right??? 

Alright...this one probably looks familiar to all of you....yes a 'best-seller' for sure and now also a movie.  I remember when the previews came out for the movie version, I thought that it looked really good; but then I heard someone talking about how good the book series was - so I had to check it out.  Everyone knows that a book is always better than the movie version and usually by far....with one exception being 'The Green Mile' by Steven King (the movie version of that was absolutely incredible); so I opted for skipping the movie entirely and going straight to the source, unfortunately I only have the first book so far and now with all my other books lined up, I'm not sure when I will actually get to this one but hopefully has potential.  

Now we've come full circle, here is the last book that I happened to pick up - also from Barnes & Noble, and well - I took a chance.  
I love, love, love stories about mythical beings & creatures - such as: vampires & werewolves (my absolute devotion to 'The Twilight Saga' & the movie 'Interview with the Vampire' that was inspired by the Anne Rice series 'The Vampire Chronicles' - which I haven't read and maybe need to put on my list - hum *note to self*), then there are witches (a series written by Nora Roberts years ago called 'Three Sisters Island Trilogy'...wonderful - then the movie 'The Blair Witch Project' which came out under the impression of being a documentary then come to find out it wasn't true at all - but I still loved it regardless; and then of course lets not forget the movie 'Practical Magic' with Sandra Bullock - that's a good one), and then of course that brings us to anything that is influenced by magic - so I am hoping that this 'All Souls Trilogy' by Deborah Harkness turns out to be a great series too....we'll see.

So there you have it...
I've been lost.... the pages of my latest novel

...or amongst the stacks @ Barnes & Noble

...and most likely where I'll be hiding for a little while longer!

I'd like to tell you all that I have found the one answer to all questions and that I've uncovered the truth to this insane reality that we call 'LIFE'...but alas....I cannot tell a lie....I haven't found s**t!  
So onward and upward I say and into the day I will play, and if I may also's takes a good read to put your troubles at bay - so fear not - fret not - for the shadow that casts it dark mood will disperse in light of the full moon.

...whatever the hell that means

......sounded good

.....thanks for stopping in...again

.....or at all!

just B......

 p.s. -DRAGONS- how could I forget about Dragons, our favorite movie as of right now is....'How to Train Your Dragon'!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fairy Art

Okay everybody here it is, my 1st canvas piece.  I did this early last fall and have been enjoying her everyday since, she sits quietly in my scrap room and is by far the best of my work.
As I said in yesterday's post, The Daisy Fairy is the inspiration behind the entire piece and so I built everything around her.
 The caption says: Write me a line or two and I'll pick a few for you.

So there is my finished piece, sure hope you like it.  Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.  Hope all of you are having a fabulous holiday weekend, thanks for peeking.
My little 'extra' that I mentioned the other day will be coming later in the week so be sure to check back in, thanks again.
just B

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello Again

Okay so here's the final peek before tomorrow's reveal.  
Thought that I'd share this image with you, I found her by accident a while ago doing a Google search and fell in love.  She is the reason behind my entire piece.  Wondering if you'll be as enamoured as I was when I first came across her....?
just B

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hint #2

Okay everyone here is your next hint!
The full reveal will be on Sunday so make sure you check back then so that you can Finally see this gorgeous masterpiece I created (well if I do say so myself).....
Also this weekend I hope to get a little something 'extra' posted - to find out you'll just have to take a peek.
Until then...TGIF and have a Great weekend!
just B

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hint #1

Good Day Everyone 

Alright as promised, I am going to share a sneak peek from a project I did last fall that I am so super proud of - it's the first one of it's kind for me but I am so ecstatic over it still that I haven't even bothered doing another until the giddiness of this one wears a bit more thin.  Hope you enjoy and have a great day - the full post will be up on Sunday so make sure to stop in so that you know what I'm talking about.
just B

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Art Journal

Sunday's Best
Finally we've come full circle, here is the last entry in my two week long 'week in the life of art journaling' series.  This is what I did for Sunday's piece and it's very close to being my favorite....of course yesterday's is pretty darn close's so hard to say.....I really kinda like them all......which is surprising, the idea wasn't so much to create something beautiful but just create and not really put to much thought into it, funny how they have each taken on a completely different meaning of beauty.... in their coloring in their meaning in and of themselves
This one hits me first and foremost because of it's colors, I absolutely love these two colors: 
        teal = ocean 
green = life  
Even more so I really like the contrast of the white crochet lace on the smooth ivory paper, it's that tone on tone and it's just elegant looking and reminds me of all things vintage.
Now as for the 'lost things' I actually didn't use any on this particular piece, but I still love it.  As I mentioned with this one its all about the color for me and then of course the border punched edges that I used.  I do think that the fiber wrapped at the bottom gives it a lot more texture and softens up the whole piece even more.  I did of course add my stamped day and date.  I thought about adding something tiny to the metal stamp in the upper right hand corner of the teal card stock but I haven't decided what yet so until then... I suppose it'll remain as is..... and I'm okay with that.
So there you have it....a completed art practice attempt anyways.....I have to say I really did enjoy this's very much like creative writing.....where you don't think you just write; well same principle, you don't think you just create.....I will definitely have to do this again, very soon, and often - as anything the more you practice the better you become....and I am definitely still becoming......

Thank you everyone for following along with me and bearing with me....I really am determined to post more often and admittedly it is a challenge....I really don't know how some of you out there in the blog world do this every single day....I applaud you...and thank you especially for committing to it - it gives me hope to dare think that maybe someday I can aspire to that level.
Here's to creative endeavors!
just B

Monday, May 21, 2012

Art Journal

Saturday's Art Piece 
This one is super fun, I love the color - it's bright & vibrant - full of life & possibilities!
Found items on this piece are: the perfume bottle was stamped on a piece of plastic packaging, a half piece of cork for the perfume bottle that I dubbed as a stopper, a pompom that I made myself out of DMC floss, and plastic mesh/netting that I reclaimed from a bag of tomatoes.
Love how it all came together to make such a cool, unique piece and even more loving how inspired I am to try some of these different items in my regular everyday scrap book pieces.
It's kinda hard to see but I also did one other thing to the whole of this page before adding any of those previously mentioned elements.  A couple of years ago my older daughter got a memory game and all the little memory game pieces had to be punched out of the chip once I got all the pieces out I kept the negative piece and threw it in my stash to use as a stencil, so very faintly it's in the background with a square checker board pattern in very light pink glitter.
So there's Saturday's creation....I am super happy with it and hope that you like it as well.  
As I promised I will have the final creation from Sunday, up tomorrow, and then for the rest of the week I will be posting sneak peeks of a project I did last Fall that I am super proud of.  So until next time thanks so much for peeking and sharing with me all these crazy things I came up with.
just B

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Art Journal

Fridays Art Journal
Okay I am bound and determined to finish up this journal for you all within the next couple of days.  I have been up to no good in my scrap room and have lots & lots of scrap to share with you over the next few weeks. But without further ado...
Fridays page started as a mish mash of washi tapes and paper tapes that I have had in my stash for awhile which was part of my own challenge, to use things that I've had on hand for a long time.  Once I got those down I dug a little bit more in my closet and found these puzzle pieces, so I grabbed a couple of them painted them black then added them to my piece.
  I also found this brown bag envelop so on the inside tag I added a quote and several other words that tied into my theme.  I wrapped a piece of green twine around the bag and then tied one of the puzzle pieces to it, stamped a word on the opening end of it and called it good. On the other two puzzle pieces I added two more words that related to the piece, I stamped the day and the date and was done.
So there you have it - my art journal entry for Friday.  Out of all the pieces that I created I think that this one is very close to my favorite only because of the message that is underlining within it: which is that life is full of lots of surprisingly different pieces and that no matter how you try - life more times than not - just doesn't always fit together, but then as this piece suggests - we seem to make it work together anyhow the best way we know how and in that we weave the fabric of our own individual lives making us all very unique.

Hope you have been enjoying this series, I will have Saturday & Sundays pieces up on Tuesday and so then I can move on to something else later in the week.  Thanks again for sharing with me, here's to another great work week.
just B

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Art Journal

Thursday's Creation
 Of course I had to include my paint samples and just to give you an idea of how old these are, I picked them up when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, she is 6.
 Of course I also had to include the date, I like having a common element throughout, especially when a mini is so random, such as this one.
 Then of course I had to include something totally unexpected, I really like the texture that these ringed eyelets brought to the entire book, much less to the page itself.
 Last but not least of course I had to include a quote that I love.  Quote reads: "to be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. to be all that we can be, we must dream of being more."
And there you have it, Thursday's art page....hope you like it and are inspired to try something creative yourself...
thanks for peeking...until next time....
just B