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 someday...how 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 me....in 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 physically....you 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?
....to 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 well...it's a must now....my 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 promise....to 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 soon....it 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....

...in 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 say...it'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'!