Sunday, February 10, 2008

Journal Revolution

The book of the month at BPS book club this month is "Journal Revolution" by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino. It was a good read, if you are into this type stuff like I am, and I found myself really inspired again. Ali Edwards' "Life Artist" and this book have made me start thinking about my art in ways that I haven't thought about before. I've decided to start my Art Journal, to revolutionize my creativity and give myself permission to explore and be free in expressing myself through my art.

Here are the first couple pages from my journal (these are totally separate and different from my scrapping layouts, and that is how it is supposed to be). I will continue to scrap, but the journal is a vehicle for exploring and expressing myself and the artist inside of me.

The first page (Fly Time) is my feelings on turning 50.

Then I had to get my "one word" for 2008 into my journal.

"Dream Unspoken" expresses my long ago wish to be able to create "real" art, my dream of being a traditional artist. During Jr. High art class I realized I just didn't have the talent it takes to really paint masterpieces, but the desire still lives inside of me. Everytime I see the sun set over the ocean I wish I had the ability to capture the colors, the feelings, the power I see with paint on canvas.

Now I know what you are thinking, what is she doing? These pages look so messy and unorganized! But that is the idea of Art Journals, just picking up a paintbrush, a pen, or a piece of "trash" and turning it into your own expression of feelings, thoughts, of your own art.

"When the sound inside you is dissonance, ready-made decorative papers and prescribed layouts won't do. We need "tactical maneuvers" designed for our full range of experiences and emotions, ready to leap tall buildings and scrawl over bridges. If you are used to creating archival scrapbooks or to writing pages a day in journals, take note: This type of art journaling has a different purpose and a different method. When creating journals that are uniquely yours, you are fee to use color, paper and words in ways as unconventional as your thoughts. The media we choose for our creation, from picking ink over paint to adhering with a staple or glue, affects the emothion we convey. Therefore, the most important tactical maneuver is letting go. Let go of convention, let go of expectations, let go of what you think should be. Breathe deeply and feel what your emotion looks like." (Journal Revolution, page 11)

You can view the Journal Revolution Art Army here:


Wow, can't believe it's been so long since I've taken the time to blog. Amazing how time gets away from you.

Last Monday my computer finally died. I'd been getting prepared to get a new one, this event (death) really stepped up the necessity of getting one. Mark went with me to do a little shopping for a new one and I ended up with a really nice HP with a 22" wide screen monitor. I LOVE IT! There is so much I can do now that my old PC just couldn't handle.

Here's a picture of Mark and me that I snapped during checkout at Staples. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon with my brother. First we walked through Ikea for over an hour (got in there and couldn't find our way out! Of course we weren't trying really hard to escape, didn't even look at the map we had!) then ran over to Staples to check out their computers before we headed to Best Buy (where we had planned on shopping). Found the PC I had been looking at, and planning on buying at Best Buy, on clearance at Staples for a great price!

Also picked up some programs I had been promising myself once I had a computer that could handle them, like Photoshop Elements 6. Ended up at Borders a couple days after I got the computer and picked up a book to learn this new (to me) program. I've only started the book (now on chapter 3) and I love the program. It is so great for managing my photos and eventually I hope to know how to do a little more hybrid scrapping! I don't want to become a digi scrapper, I love the feel of paper and glue too much! But it will be great to work more with my photos before printing them. Another program I got, but haven't installed yet because I'm trying to force myself to learn PSE6 first, is Cricut Design Studio. I know I'm going to love this, it will take my little bug to new heights! May reward myself for getting part way through the PSE6 book by giving myself permission to load the Cricut program and playing a little.

Life is with my brother is fun...having a brand new PC for the first time in my life is amazing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Wednesday

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. Og Mandino+

I spent the last couple days with 2 of our grandkids, one day at their house and yesterday they came to our house for the day to play with papa & nana. They are so much fun, but little ones can sure tire us out. Oh, to have just half the energy those two angels have! They maybe I would have a chance to keep up with them! I love them dearly, this time in their little lives is so precious. Everything is a fun adventure in their eyes.

In other news, still working on getting all my pictures uploaded so I don't lose them all when I switch to a new computer.

Saturday was spent at the LSS scrapping with 2 of my DILs. Sunday I went to the Bridal Show with my daughter and her bridesmaids. Really have to get moving on the plans for her wedding. June will be here before we know it. Monday and Tuesday were devoted to the 2 rugrats shown in the picture. Today DH has to go to the doctor for his 3-month check on his diabetes, then hopefully I will have the rest of the day relatively "free." Free to finish laundry, plan and cook dinner and maybe, just maybe take a nap. Little children don't know how lucky they are to be able to still take naps!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Catching Up

It's been a busy week and I haven't had much time for blogging.

Started a huge PC project. Trying to get all my photos uploaded to Snapfish. We're talking literally 1000s of photos, uploaded, sorted, dated, etc. OMG, I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn't know it was going to be this bad! I've been thinking about getting my pics sorted on my PC, but now my program that I've been using (HP) is not working so well on my PC and Uncle Mark says my motherboard is going. Can't just download all my photos onto a CD, like I had originally planned because my CD drives are not working. So I'm spending hours and hours uploading my photos and then sorting them. Hope my PC lasts the months this is going to take me to get done.

I've started watching Joey & Grace again twice a week. This was my first week doing this again on a regular basis while Carla works. Had a great day with the kids yesterday, spent a lot of time with them playing in their "fort" (blankets draped over the dinning room table). Here I am, 50 years old and playing under the dinning room table, who'd of thought? But the kids loved it! For the first time, when I was getting ready to leave and come back home, Joey got all upset and said "Don't go!" It was so sweet, we had such a good day together.

Miah & Stephanie came over for dinner last night and we had a good visit together. It was nice to just have time to sit and visit with him. Usually he just stops by on his was to somewhere else or he's got the whole crew (Lissa, Chad, Aiden, etc.) with him and we don't really get to visit one-on-one with him. It was a nice evening.

I talked with Charmaine yesterday, finally! I've been such a bad friend to her, haven't kept in touch like I should. She's been having a rough time but is doing okay. It's so hard to adjust to a new life after divorce, especially when you have kids. She's not going to be able to join us on Saturday for scrapbooking, which is really too bad. I love when she joins us, she is such good company. I've got to be much better about staying in touch with her and make sure I remember to call her when we have sb'ing days planned.

Finally finished reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was a pretty good book. I got some good thoughts from it and it was beneficial as far as giving me the push I needed to get my life back on track (especially when combined with Ali's "Life Artist"). I'm still not sure how I feel about reading nonfiction. I've always used my reading time as "mind candy" just something to relax and not have to think about. This book went a lot slower and actually made me have to think more.

Well, guess that catches me up a little bit. I've got to keep at this blogging thing, don't want to get too far behind.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

This morning I was reading a little more in Elizabeth Gilbert's book and found this:

"...people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck,
something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

I know that I have been taught this since I was a small child sitting in church every Sunday, but somehow reading it at this point in my life is like having a light bulb turned on. It is so fitting with my one word, my one resolution for the coming year.

This is my goal for 2008, to find the happiness within me and hold on to it forever.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Playing with my Bug

I love playing with my cricut and the last couple days I've been creating some cards with 3D flowers. This is so much fun and my little bug makes it so easy since I can cut multiples of flowers in different sizes and shapes in just moments. I love this color combo of the purple and black with the touches of white. So pretty.

On the purple Thank you card I applied the 3D flower over a stamped image.

On this card I used a stem I had cut from my bug as a stencil and used lumiarte paints to fill in the stencil, then went over the leaves adding details with a silver pen. Once that was done I layered my flowers together, crinkling and folding the petals to add dimension then applying the flowers on the stem. A little ribbon, some silver dots and there you have it.

I love this little bleeding heart "Thinking of you" card. The colors are so great and the size is different than I usually do. It is 9.25 x 4, which was a really fun size to work with. I like to add a little touch to the envelopes to give just a hint of what is inside.

Had to do a card that celebrated my word for 2008. I think it would be perfect for any occasion!

In other matters, today I went to my LSS and got the Basic Grey Magnetic Cutting Board. I've been thinking about getting it because I've been using my old CM cutting mat for years and it is really getting "distressed" and I really was wanting something that was made for 12 x 12 pages. (I hate working on something and have it run off the edge of my mat. Just one of my pet peeves, so I decided to do something about it.) I'm not sure how useful the magnetic part of my new mat will be, but I love working on such a large surface and the black is very nice also. Another thing I discovered about it is that I can attach a LO to the mat with the magnetics and it works very well for photographing my LO.

While at the LSS I met a new friend who may join us at the LSS to crop next Saturday. New friends are good, they are a "happy" thing.

It's a happy day and I've got a new toy to play with (my magnetic mat).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's Happy Moment

This morning as I was cleaning up the kitchen I lowered my cold hands into the hot, soapy bowl of water I had sitting in the sink. This made me so happy! An hour later I can still feel the warmth on my hands. Such joy can be found in the littlest things.

Now I'm packing up to go scrap with my DIL at our LSS. Seven hours of happiness! Followed by meeting DH at Olive Garden for dinner, then home to spend the evening together, just the two of us, for the first time in the new year.

Happiness and bliss is mine today!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One Word for 2008

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. --Tom Bodett

I have choosen my one word for this year

In doing a tiny bit of searching on the web I have discovered the following tidbits that support my choice of HAPPY for 2008.
In his book Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman, one of the founders of Positive psychology, describes happiness as consisting of 'positive emotions' and 'positive activities'.
He further categorizes emotions related to the past, present and future. Positive emotions relating to the past include satisfaction, contentment, pride and serenity. Positive emotions relating to the future include optimism, hope and trust. Positive emotions about the present are divided into two categories: pleasure and gratifications.
The good life comes from using 'signature strengths' to obtain abundant gratification in, for example, enjoying work and creative activities.

happiness (uncountable)
joy, the emotion of being happy.
Good luck; good fortune; prosperity.
An agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.
Some beauties yet no precepts can declare, For there's a happiness, as well as care. — Alexander Pope.

[edit] Synonyms
Happiness, felicity, blessedness, bliss.

Happiness is generic, and is applied to almost every kind of enjoyment except that of the animal appetites.
Felicity is a more formal word, and is used more sparingly in the same general sense, but with elevated associations.
Blessedness is applied to the most refined enjoyment arising from the purest social, benevolent, and religious affections.
Bliss denotes still more exalted delight, and is applied more appropriately to the joy anticipated in heaven.

O happiness! our being’s end and aim! — Alexander Pope

[edit] Translations
Croatian: sreća f.
Dutch: geluk n.
Esperanto: feliĉo
Finnish: ilo, onni
French: bonheur m.
German: Fröhlichkeit f., Glück n.
Greek: ευτυχία (eftikhía)
Hungarian: boldogság, vidámság
Italian: gioia f.
Norwegian: glede m., lykke m.
Old English: ēad n.
Polish: szczęście n.
Portuguese: felicidade f., alegria f.
Russian: счастье (sčást’je) n.
Scottish Gaelic: àigh m., sonas m., subhachas m., toileachas m.
Spanish: felicidad f., alegría f.
Swedish: glädje, lycka
Turkish: saadet f.
True happiness must be found within yourself, no one else can make you happy. By bringing a little happiness into the lives of others, I can find happiness within myself.
Look for the little things, those happy little things that are around you everyday, but may go unnoticed.