Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HAS IT REALLY BEEN.......

Hello Everyone!

Gosh, has it really been a month since I last blogged?  Whew! What a month it has been a real whirlwind here since my daughter, son-in-law and grand baby arrived!  The PREP work, the actual arrival and the change in schedules have been crazy.  We were so happy to see everyone arrive safely after they fought their way through the ice and snow all the way from Michigan, in fact we re-routed them so that they would miss the worse part of the storms! Thankfully they made it safe and sound and what a joy to see how much our little man had grown.  He is a DELIGHTFUL baby, very sweet and happy as can be!

As soon as my daughter arrived we  went into full swing preparing the last minute details for Jackson's Baptism party, it was the very next day and not a moment to spare!  On Saturday night hubby and I entertained our out -of- town guests and family with dinner at a local seafood restaurant on the water, the weather was perfect for dining outside and certainly a great deal warmer for the Michigan folks!
 Snow boots, mittens and parkas to flip-flops and shorts, it doesn't get any better in February, does it?

Sunday morning everyone showed up at church early and the Baptism went off as planned.  I was so pleased that Amanda and Fabian wanted Jackson to be baptized by Pastor Dave who baptized me 12 years earlier.  It was a joy to see Pastor Dave baptize my grandson and to welcome Jackson into God's family!
The party was great fun and enjoyed by all.  Fabian was able to stay a few more days before heading back to the frozen north lands.  Amanda and Jackson will be staying here until May while Fabian goes to military school.

Yes, it has been a big change for our quiet little household to have a baby in it once again!  We are truly enjoying every moment with Jackson and he is adjusting as well to his new surroundings.  It is a delight each morning as he crawls down the hallway to greet us with a great big smile and laugh, he entertains us with something new he has learned each day.
 It is hard work too, if you have raised children you know what I mean, it is busy, noisy and messy at times but I wouldn't trade a moment of it for any amount of tea in China.

We are looking forward to our little man's first birthday this month, another party! Whoo Hoo and celebration with family and friends.  It is the best.  Our little girls are having the time of their lives too with their baby cousin!

 Brianne is like a little mama and Lyla she shared her "pillow" with Jackson (that is HUGE) which means she really likes him. They look forward to seeing Baby each week and their Aunt is getting to spend time with them as well. It is a good thing.
They've been to the beach and Jackson has discovered sand! Oh yes he has.  We've been to the park and walked along the river, visited the story-time group and are generally getting into a groove around here.  It doesn't leave much time for blogging or art work, but I am trying to work that into the rotation too.....


Hope all is well with you.  I'll be checking  back in with some art work soon!  Please come and join me. I promise not to talk your ears off next time about the grandchildren <wink>.

Have a wonderful week!!

Suzy


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Journal 52 Week 4-Character

Hi there!

If you've been following along, you will know that I've committed to Journal 52 a year long art project making an art journal page each week via a prompt given by the group's creator, Chelle Stein.  IF you'd like to join the group it is never too late, just click on the Journal 52 button on the side bar and that will take you where you can find more information on the project.  Come join in the fun!

I'm still playing catch up on the Week 4 Prompt-Character.  Now that is a very interesting word with some very deep meaning.  Some people get real wrapped up into the meaning while others create a "character" and there's nothing wrong with either method.  Whatever gets your art out of your head and on to the page counts.  

I really did not have a clue what I would do for this prompt. After thinking about the word character reading Chelle's Greek definition it all melded into my subconcious and out came this:  
Character

I started with water soluble yellow crayon (Caran-DAche-Neocolor-Watersoluble-Crayon)over the entire page to represent LIGHT, I was thinking of Christ (Light of the world).  A face began to appear as I worked the crayons and water into the page and deepened the shadows. The words "Symbol or Imprint on the Soul" is the Greek definition of character.  So it made sense to put the cross in the center of the forehead as one marked by Christ as His Own. It finally hit : I am a child of God and my Character is in Him.

Happy Journaling!
Suzy


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Journal 52 Week 3-Make Me Smile

Hi there!

Have you ever made a commitment to do something on a regular basis?  The Journal 52 commitment I made at the beginning of the year for a weekly journal art page has proven to me just how difficult it can be to keep a commitment.  But, I am persevering and working my way through the process of creating a piece of art each week in spite of the "voice" in my head that whispers and taunts me. It would be easy to quit, yes, so easy but I am having fun when I don't let the voice tell me differently.  

Each week we are given a prompt to inspire us to make art.  I like that, a prompt helps me to step out of the box, the "safe" zone.  

You know I am behind with the journal pages, as you can see this is for week 3 and it is actually week 5.   The fact of being behind could stop many people in their tracks, but for me it is just catch-up time. LOL!!! Week 3 Prompt was....Something that makes you smile.  That immediately brought my Grandchildren to mind.  They crack me up, they are truly funny little people! Then why is is late you ask?  Because it involved printing out photos...I know, poor excuse but that is it.   

Okay so here is what makes me smile!


  The grands make me smile!  They are such little characters, filled with joy and laughter!  I love them so much.  The hearts of course represent LOVE, the flowers remind me each child is created different and is unique in their own little ways.  I've drawn in the feathers to mimic the feather boa Brianne is wearing, flowers for Lyla to mimic the flowers in her blouse and bubbles for the youngest baby Jackson, along with Grandmother's Flower Garden stamped in to represent the possibility of more grandchildren to come.
This journal page was a joy to create.  I used the pink/red gelatos to represent passion and love.  Gelatos are easy to use, you might enjoy watching this You Tube video for 3 ways to use gelatos.  I created the background with gelatos, blending pink, red and purple together, adding a bit of yellow in the center, wiped with baby wipes to get a fresco look and drew the feathers in with red gelato.  The feathers seemed to blend in too much so I went over them with oil pastels and then melted them into the page with the heat gun to get a more vibrant look.  In the top left corner is a handmade layered paper flower made from cupcake liners and coffee filters (hand dyed) with 3 clear gems to represent my three Grandchildren. 

Hope you enjoyed this and join me again for Week 4 and Week 5 pages coming soon.

Happy Art Journal!
Suzy


Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Room At A Time-Getting There!

Hi Everyone!

I've been working though the house One Room At A Time during the month of January and things are starting to take shape!   This week I'm working in the Guest room where my daughter and baby Jackson will be staying for the next two months.
I've cleared out the extra furniture so there will be room for J's pack n play; the dressers have been emptied of knitting yarns and they have been stashed away.  The carpets have been professionally cleaned and now just a bit of sprucing up is in order.

Speaking of stashing yarns, does anyone else have this problem of where to put extra skeins of yarn?

I ran across a great solution on Pinterest the other day!  Use a closet organizer to hold the yarn.
Isn't that a fabulous idea?  
I think I'm going to Bed Bath & Beyond to find one today and organize all my yarn into a hanging canvas Sweater organizer!

Happily clearing the clutter and getting organized!
Suzy

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One Room At A Time-Part 2

Hi Everyone!
The good news is that I'm still working on the clutter one room at a time, working my way through the house.  The bathrooms were my prime target, mainly because they are used everyday and accumulate clutter.  Starting in the smallest but most used bathroom and working my way to the main bathroom, I've discarded two large kitchen size trash bags of miscellaneous junk from the cabinets and under the sinks and drawers.  The smallest bathroom has been given a mini-makeover with new shower curtain and rugs! 
Before

After
At first I thought about painting the pale green walls but after a visit to HomeGoods and finding this shower curtain there was no need to paint! Yippee! BTW, the other shower curtain was about 10 years old! Don't worry, it isn't going to the trash yet, I have plans to recycle it for a table cloth to use in the summer months on the patio.  Sadly the pink rugs were beyond recycle or donations due to the bleach stains, they were placed in the trash bin. 

The main bathroom was in desperate need of a declutter especially the cabinets and drawers which seem to accumulate the most clutter.
Counter top Before
The cute counter top drawer unit (donated) and green ceramic fish dish (under the hand towel) was replaced with a bamboo tray and wooden basket holding guest amenities such a extra shampoos, lotions , sunscreen and wash cloths.
Counter top After
Oh yea, the 80's style clam shell sink and faux marble is my favorite as well....NOT!  If I had my way, I would replace this in a heartbeat.  That is another story for another day.  Moving on....

The drawers needed a good sorting out and decluttering, removing the expired products and things no longer used.
Lined the drawers with this paper made by sewing strips of patterned paper together on the machine.
Handmade Drawer Liners
Under the sink is not a pretty picture.....in fact it is pretty disgusting!  But with a little work and a lot of decluttering it is now, clear and clean and fresh!  My friend recommended painting inside the cabinets but instead I cleaned the surface and laid down a piece of rubberized shelf liner I had left from another project, saving myself the time and expense of painting.
Under the sink....UGGGH.  
Oh my goodness, how embarrassing.  A collection of empty vases, an old Easter basket, a FISH bowl??  And electric curlers, circa 1968.   Well it is all gone now...and only the curlers remain.  Yes, I had to keep the curlers, for some reason I am not able to let those go just yet, possibly because of the memories attached to them.  But that is also another story.....for another day.

Well I am happy to report that bathroom is about 90% done.  There is still a bit of work to be done on the enclosed shower/tub area.  I'll keep you posted on it. Meanwhile check out the trunk of my car and the donations going to GoodWill!
A trunk of donations

Thanks for joining me as I go Room to Room decluttering!   Hope you will be inspired to clean up, clean out, recycle and donate!  Your donations bless and benefit others in need! 

Be Grateful, Be Generous & Be Kind! 
Suzy



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sketchbook Tuesday-Great Lakes

Welcome back to Sketchbook Tuesday!

Last week we visited Sanibel Island and I had plans to take you to Tybee Island Lighthouse but there's been a change in plans and we are heading up to the Great Lakes but don't worry, we'll circle back down to Tybee Island later in the Lighthouse Series.

I thought we'd start the Great Lake Lighthouse tour with a recent trip I took to Michigan to visit my daughter Amanda.  While we were there we visited South Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
It is a pretty interesting lighthouse located at the end of a concrete pier with steel beam structure that goes the length of the pier. The lighthouse is still active and maintained by the Coast Guard.  The day we were there it had been raining and the temperature was dropping, it was very windy out on the pier! It was a challenge to walk against the chilly wind and we took shelter at the base of the lighthouse to take in the views.

On our walk along the waterfront we took many photos!
  South Haven has a cute marina area with a dock filled with shops, wine tasting shops and a fake lighthouse.
Fake lighthouse.
I love architecture and am always on the "look out" for anything interesting especially features such as arches, cupolas and spires, etc.  I spotted this one on top of a building.

So naturally when I got home I had to paint it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed today's lighthouse tour and along the Great Lake Michigan!  Next week we'll visit another lighthouse along the shore of Lake Superior! Please join me again for Sketchbook Tuesday!

Have a great week! Grab your sketchbook and pencil and go sketch something!

Suzy

Saturday, January 18, 2014

COME WITH ME TO THE SEA

Hi Everyone!

The prompt for Journal 52 WEEK 2 is Somewhere: A Simple Place.  This could be a place you love or want to visit or a fantasy place, a place that has meaning to your life.  What came to mind immediately was the place where I have lived near most of my life, the ocean.

Did I mention about trying to use up the supplies I have on hand for this journal project? My aim this year to use up some of the supplies I've accumulated and so, there may be some odds and ends used as embellishments.  I'm good with that, hope you will enjoy it too!

  COME WITH ME TO THE SEA........

Chelle asked us to build a frame around our page, add lines for text and to use magazine images.

This is how I made my page:

A very thin coat of Gesso is applied with a credit card to smooth it over the page. Gesso as a base for each page gives it "tooth" and allows colors to flow and not seep onto the next page.  I also put a piece of wax paper under the page to protect the others underneath from gesso seepage which can "glue" the papers together.

Most often I don't have a plan when I start but this time there was a sparkle of an idea in my brain (although I didn't think it through very well), that would include a starfish stamp, a painted wave, text and a border of some kind.  I thought if I laid down the blue and green in the shape of a wave cresting everything would fall into place from there.  Putting the writing on the page before more color was applied made sense.  I drew wavering lines for the text to fit in the blank space created by the wave shape, then wrote the words on each line.  Come With Me To The Sea was the title line so I printed it boldly, then the rest was written in cursive.  I used a permanent black ink pen (waterproof when dry) to thicken up the letters and lines some, and as you can see when the ink isn't totally dry it will smug! Lesson learned.

I had to hunt down (seriously) the starfish stamp and started stamping them on the page when I realized I'd gotten a bit ahead of myself and needed to create a border.  SO I dig through my box of scrappy stuff to see what can be use for the borders. Another option would have been to draw my own borders in or cut out magazine images.  A piece of a Teavanna bag caught my attention, the design was amazing, and neutral in color. BINGO!  I started cutting the tea bag into pieces fitting them together into a border that seemed to imitate driftwood.  Adding the coral seashells for a pop of color, sand dollars and some pearls to represent treasures from the sea.  If you zoom into the page you'll see the words: treasure, discover, timeless, laugh, smile and enjoy!   The dimensional flourishes represent the cresting waves and give the page a bit of interest.

Hope you enjoyed the process!  Let me know what you think about this page, I appreciate your comments.

Suzy