Tuesday, June 30, 2009

getting creative

One of my goals this summer was to take time to be creative in a more organic, relaxed way. Well, at least relaxed for me! My hope was to complete some projects I'd set aside earlier in the year (or longer), to get a headstart on Christmas gifts and to art journal several times per week. This summer my main focus has been to get our house in order and I've felt like I couldn't do anything creative until I had finished cleaning and organizing. Needless to say, I've fallen short of reaching my creative goals, but it was starting to make for a crabby, frustrating and very uninteresting summer. I knew I couldn't go on that way for long. So, I recently subscribed to Teresa McFayden's journal e-Zines, Write Place, Write Time and A Journal of Interest to encourage me to reach at least one of my creative goals this summer.

Yesterday, I was determined to do a good deal of homekeeping and then reward myself by working on the first e-Zine assignment-creating an art journal. I had wanted to make a coptic journal like the ones Pam G and Teesha Moore use, but was intimidated by the process. I even considered ordering one from etsy, but never found exactly what I was looking for. To my suprise, our fearless leader discovered a super simple method for assembling a similiar journal. Further simplified by having Office Max cut my paper to size and punch uniform holes.

This is what my journal started out as.

After a trip to Michaels and Office Max here is what it looks like now.

This method is designed to use what you have and you can easily cut your paper stock to size and punch the holes yourself, but I was all about making it easier on myself and getting to the creative part. BTW, my trip to Michaels proved a little dangerous. Making Memories has released a line of vintage inspired findings. I just couldn't resist the velvet flowers and Dennison style labels. They've even reproduced the highly coveted foil dresdens-the birds are to die for. If you're a fan of vintage you're gonna love this line!

And my non-artsy little guy was curious about all the creative stuff for kids. He spied a volcano making kit, but momma wasn't too hip about the guaranteed 9 eruptions. Finally, he settled on a book about how to draw Japanese manga.
Here's his first manga character 'cause he's all about making up his own stories and characters right now. I think it's pretty good! He's adopted my white eraser and Heidi Swapp color pencils, but I don't mind. I love that he's getting creative because I know first hand the benefits of doing so!

Monday, June 22, 2009

happy monday

Since I was in college, Monday's have always been a day to regroup. Most of the students and many of the faculty travelled every weekend so we didn't have classes on Monday's for the sole purpose of being able to study, do laundry, etc before beginning the week. After graduating, it took several years for me to acclimate back to Monday being just a regular day. But today, I'm definitely using it as a day to regroup and recuperate from the weekend. However, in the spirit of taking it easy yet making progress I'm going to take a cue from one of my favorite bloggers and piggyback on the idea of this journal technique from The Simple Woman's Day Book. Here goes-

Outside my window - the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the yard holds more things to do. BIG SIGH

I am thinking - I haven't been this tired in awhile. Hate that. I felt so energetic all weekend. Must have been adrenaline.

I am thankful for - family. Always thankful for family and time spent with them. Even tho' the circumstances were not the best, I had such a good time with Jeff's family this weekend and with my dad and sister yesterday. So grateful we got to see Grandma Alice.

From the kitchen - hoping to put Jeff's Father's Day gift to good use tonight. A little grilled chicken and vegi's is sounding really good.

I am wearing - my pj's. Yep, still in 'em and it's nearly 11:30 in the morning, but it's Monday after all.

I am creating - more of a mess the more I try to get organized. I'd like to be creating quilts, purses, canvases and journals instead.

I am going - to run errands including a drop off to resale today. I am.

I am reading - I just finished reading, The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson. Can't wait to share about this book and some of the thoughts it's generated. I'm getting ready to start reading Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd. I'm looking forward to reading something lighthearted.

I am hoping - I can accomplish all I've set out to this summer. I think I can, I think I can...

I am hearing - Brady play downstairs, the dryer tumbling and The Message playing on XM radio.

Around the house - I am surrounded by piles and I am determined to decrease them today. They are making me crazy!

One of my favorite things - are Brady's hugs. I can tell he's decompressing today, too. He's needing lots of them.

A few plans for the rest of the week - bowling league and a movie with Matt & Brady tomorrow, hair appointments, more cleaning and organizing, maybe a date with my husband.

A picture to share - here's one taken during part one of our Father's Day celebration. We had such a good time kidnapping our dad and taking him to Fitz's in U City for lunch a week or so ago. My sister and I drove down to see him at the Lake yesterday. Memory making in action.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dear Readers,
It's been nearly one month since my last post. Please forgive me?

Some of you may have been wondering what I've been up to now that I'm a a lady of leisure for the summer. And you may also be aware that my list of things to do over the summer was growing more and more rapidly as the end of the school year approached. This no concise list by any means, but lack of inspiration and time affords it. So here goes...

Traveled to Maeysville IL for an antique and flower show with Mom, Missy and Shirl as part of mine and Shirley's birthday back in May. (I know, that's even before school was out, but I haven't had a chance to highlight some of my adventures so I though I'd throw it in!) Although the weather could have been better that day, the company and adventure were wonderful. And it was a miracle-I didn't buy one item. Nope! not one! But I did take lots of photos of the bluff and this sleepy German village. Here is one of my fav shots I still have left. Yes, for all my non-deleting of photos even after they've been downloaded, I managed to delete most of them before I got them to my computer. So frustrating!

For Mother's Day, my sister and I took Mom to see A Chorus Line at the Fox Theatre. (Just throwin' it in the mix, folks. I'm getting there!) It's always so wonderful to go to the theatre and this is one of Mom's favorite musicals. I think because it is so Fosse-inspired. Can you say, "JAZZ hands"?!? As an added suprise we ran into a dear friend of mine from youth group days who sat right in front of us! It was a great afternoon.

Okay, so since school has been out I've basically been alternating between fun stuff and necessary stuff. Like...taking Brady to bowling league. He hasn't been doing too bad. He's pretty into it until after the 2nd game (they're required to bowl three). Then he complains his thumb hurts and he's tired. Kids today! I have to find some other things for him to do this summer-we're considering drum lessons and horseback riding. Hmmm...

I got away for an afternoon to see an art movie at the historic Tivoli theater in the U City Loop and to have lunch at the equally renown Blueberry Hill. Since it was on a Wednesday afternoon it was as though we had our own private screening. I enjoyed the Loop so much my sister and I dragged my Dad and Brady there for lunch on Friday that same week. More about that later as it was part of our Father's Day celebration. We like to sustain the festivities for as long as possible you may have noticed!

Oh, and we had new blinds installed in our bedrooms and master bath. These were a longtime coming and they are to. die. for! The ones in the front windows make such a HUGE difference. I should've taken a BEFORE shot so you could get the full impact. But having one blind rather than two with a gap in the middle is HUGE. These were my birthday present from Jeff and his mom. Really loving them (the blinds and Jeff and his mom)!

But mostly, I've been here at the house trying desperately to clean from top to bottom. Going through clothes and papers that have nearly consumed us. I am making some good head way now and after spending a week in the master bedroom and bath have moved on to the rest of the house. Loading up resale stuff and rediscovering just why we fell in love with our house.

I could not do it without this guy.
Yes, it is ALL too much and Peter is helping me work through the process.

In fact, I must get back to my list which is VERY long. We have company coming on Saturday and I want to have everything, but closets and my studio completed. Quite an undertaking, but I can do it! Hope to even have some time to putter around outside. Ha! it'll be more than puttering, but it will be good to get out and do some yardwork finally. If it ever stops raining. Maybe it's a blessing today-keeps me inside working.

If you're still with me after such a lengthing rant perhaps you are someone who's missed reading my silly banter. And I thank you. I'll be back, because you know I always have something to say! (WINK)

I have books I'm reading at night before I fall fast asleep and "good things" I'm discovering for the summer that I want to share. And my list of things to make is nearly as long as my list of things to do. So that will give you something to look forward to when I return. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. And not nearly as long winded!