Monday, July 28, 2008

Soul Journal Days 11 - 14

Finally! I had to clear the book project off my table to work on my soul journal entries, but I finished my houses and made my paper dolls. This is my husband, Dave, and me. He's wearing a purple shirt because that's his favorite color. I have a pink top with a necklace (made by me, of course) and flowers on my skirt. The pants and skirt are recycled "fat" jeans, and if you look closely you will see that Dave's shoes are faux leather paper. The queen always wears her crown!

In my childhood home:

All buildings should be pink and purple!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Day 2 on Goat Camp trail in the White Tanks: My goal was to be able to reach a point on the trail where I could see the towers...... I did it!!! I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, but kept going. The first mile of the trail is just walking through desert, the second mile is all an uphill climb. I hiked approximately 2.1 miles onto the saddle and then back out again. It took me 3 hours yesterday morning. In AZ you have to start early because it gets hot quickly, so I hiked from 6:30 -- 9:30 a.m. Below is a picture from the trail head looking into the mountains. Near the center of the pic behind the left hand tree branch is a distinctive part that juts out.

And here is that part up close to show how far in I was:

This was taken at the saddle (2 miles in) looking back :

And here are the towers, my goal:

Although I saw no snakes this time, I did meet up with another centipede. I will be packing my digital from now on so if I take pics they will be the right size.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Card Deck Journal

In a previous post I showed a picture of my card journal pouch. I found Emily's site that showed a deck of cards that are altered to be used as weekly journal pages (52 cards in a deck = 52 weeks in a year). I couldn't find her prompts (I think she started at an earlier point in time), so I am going to jump right in.
I prepped the pip side of four cards by sanding them and brushing some gesso left on my brush from another project. I set them aside to dry and later brushed what was left of some brown acrylic paint onto the dried gesso. Voila! instant background!!
Emily's prompt (the only one I could find) was "Today I am proud that..." so that is what I am using today.

This is the back, I simply wrote Week 1 and the date.

I am going to post a prompt every weekend so if you want to journal along with me, please do. Share what you have, I'd love to see your work. If you have suggestions for prompts, I'm all ears!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Soul Journal Days 10 & 11

Geesh, I'm a couple of days behind, I have this block about drawing, but I finally sketched in my houses. I don't use paper bags, so I scrounged a white Pier 1 bag, so my pocket blends into the background. The front of the house is a poor imitation of the house I grew up in. It was a HUGE two family house with full attic and basement, so the front actually has two main entrances, shown here large and small. The unused door to the left actually opens up to a sun room lit by very large windows so my odd proportions are really how I envision the house. We grew up in the house and a couple of years ago my mother sold it and moved with her new husband. I am going back to visit in October and it will be very strange to be back in my hometown (of 325 people) and not be in that house. That may be part of my reluctance to draw a house..........

I got carried away with details on the left-most building. I imagined an entire living area on the roof overlooking the rest of the town... so I took a pic to remember what I had drawn in case it gets covered when I collage. I am halfway into day 12...... had to stop to let glue dry........ must finish day 12............must finish day 12................

Play Date

Today Daphne, Jesse, and I had an old fashioned play date! The original intent today was to decorate Daphne's new cast on her right wrist, well...... we didn't even get to the cast! I pulled out three papier mache houses that I purchased a while ago in the clearance section at Michael's and got to work. Daphne and her son Jesse (a student I had two years ago) were like two kids in a candy store. Daphne must have learned at least 10 techniques and we aren't even finished with our collaged houses yet! We gessoed, ripped, painted, inked, stamped, and glued. How many trips did we make to the bathroom to wash our messy hands, Daphne? I lost count... LOL! We had a blast (Daphne was a little shell-shocked trying to decide what to use from my stash, Jesse just dove in and used what he liked!)!!! Below are the houses D and I started, I must confess I was ready to let my house sit and speak to me so we stopped and will return late next week when we decide on focal points for our collage. Daphne's is blue, mine is (what else!) pink....

Jesse painted over a gesso base and then added fuschia metallic accents, colored duct tape on the roof, and some cool Jolee's stickers (which Daphne would have used had she found them first!). I think he did a good job for a seventh grader......

Daphne learned some secrets for making cards and produced this gorgeous hummingbird card for Robert's mother to thank her for the card she received in the hospital after breaking her arm lately. Remember the cast I mentioned above? Not bad work for someone in a cast, eh?

Deco Foray

I have ventured into the world of Decos. Jumped right in with both feet not knowing what in heck a "deco" was...... thanks to the wonderful Jaime at Alternative Decos who patiently answers all of my silly questions. I received my first deco from Linda in Australia. The theme is Vintage School. Here's her fabulous cover:

And my finished page:

This deco will be on its way to Marthe in Norway along with my deco. I bound my deco with a pencil on top. Here's the front cover with "Dick and Jane":

And here's my back cover:

I used sewing and collage on the cover (and on my page in Linda's deco) incorporating a page from an reproduction Dick and Jane book. The cover fabric is coffee dyed to age it, the original color was stark white. I wanted to tea dye it, but didn't have any tea in the house, but lots of coffee......... turned out okay and has the look I wanted.
Pardon my finger in the pics, but I needed to hold the covers down so the picture came out better!
Off to work on my soul journal... yikes! I am several days behind... houses.....I must draw houses...........

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monopoly and more.......

Not much to report on the crafty side of things, even though I am not working I have been busy every day this week. I am now a member of 13 Yahoo groups and working on several swaps. My next project is a dragonfly handmade book for a new friend (via email) in Maine. Hi, Pam!!!

Several years (like maybe 15) ago while working at a fabric store I purchased the supplies for a counted cross stitch Monopoly game. It got frustrating at the time so I packed it away. My friend Daphne inspired me to get it back out and give it another go, so I have been stitching diligently on the darned thing since school let out. Wow! When I pulled it out to re-start I only had 4 squares done, now I am halfway around the board.... here is a pic of my progress:

I Met a Diamondback!

Okay, not the baseball Diamondback, a real rattler..... hiking the Goat Camp trail in the White Tanks. Less than five minutes into my hike around 6:30 a.m. today the "stick" stretched across the path was not a stick, it was a diamondback rattlesnake about 2-3 ft. long. It was just laying there (not even soaking up the sun as it was overcast at that time). I got close enough to take a couple of pics with my camera phone, I don't normally take my digital in my Camelpack, so the images are rather small, but there really is a snake slithering back behind that rock. No, I didn't kiss it nor did I try to make it "rattle" by poking it with a stick!! Duh!!! We had seen a smaller diamondback one other time in the White Tanks, but it was a small one curled up by the side of the trail. This one was REALLY COOL! I know the pic sucks, but I'm leaving it here because it's my blog and I want to.......

Later on, further into the canyon I met a centipede. It was probably 3-4 inches long. Boy, their legs are really funky! I put a little stick under it just to see the "flow" of those legs. Usually I only see rabbits, lizards, and squirrels...... today was unusual...

As for the hike, I think I went almost 3 miles in and 3 miles back out. I never made it to the switchback, but I know I was close. All this in only 2 hours from start to finish including paparazzi time with the "locals."

Next time I will attempt to make it to the switchback so I can see the towers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Different Journal.....

Over at Emily's blog (actually it's typepad, is there a difference?) she took a class and made a journal from a deck of cards, 52 cards = 52 weeks of journaling. Cool, huh? So, I pulled out a deck of cards that were squirreled away in the Careers game I bought the other day at Goodwill, sanded a few to begin with. With leftover gesso from another project left on my brush I slapped some on the cards, then later on I had brown paint on the brush and added that. I haven't journaled yet, but I did make this handy-dandy bag for storage from this yummy fabric I got at Joann's the other day. I gave some to Nicole, so let's see the bag, girlfriend!! I put a pretty pink and green cloisonne bead on the rick rack tie for some subtle bling.
So for my first card: "Today I am proud that...."

Soul Journal Day 9

For Day 9 we were to paint over the inch squares from Day 6 and then do some "doodling" around many of them. I chose to mix orange with white to paint over the purple base. It kind of looks like a melon on the page. The red shoe is an homage to April's favorite movie "The Wizard of OZ" and I of course had to include a picture of my favorite dog, the Jack Russell Terrier!

Below is a poem I wrote last night on the spur of the moment to emphasize the dragonfly on my Soul Armour page. I lifted the transparency piece so the poem could be read in the picture. I love my friend Lillian's response when she read it this morning: "I can actually picture the dragonfly!" The best compliment in the world! Thanks, Lillian!:)

Day 10 is all about houses, I have gessoed my pages and will work on it this evening after "Wipeout".

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Back

Well, let's see....... it's been how long since I had a life outside my job? Not that I'm counting, but 10 years!!!!!!! I am taking at least a year off to focus on the creative side of me that has gotten lost in the frenzy of teaching. I will still be subbing, tutoring, and most likely working with a homebound former student of mine, but it will be done on my terms and if I need to see a doctor, I won't need to put it off until some break in the school year!

I have recently joined many wonderful Yahoo groups and found a gazillion blogs that I love. Soon I will post many links here, but I HAVE to send you to Sarah Whitmire's blog. She posted on on of the groups asking for people to join her in Soul Journaling. Well, I am horrible at keeping a journal. I have started many, but lost interest after one or two entries......... Sarah is such an inspiration and has created such purpose to this project that I am LOVING this!! The most difficult day was journaling "I forgot to tell you..." A friend mirrored my thoughts when she said she wouldn't be brave enought to write some things down for fear that it would be found and read. My thoughts exactly, but after two days procrastination, I did it and I love the result.

My daughter, April, is also Soul Journaling with us.

Enough talk, here is a snap of the journaling page: (I am going to figure out how to insert a slideshow and put the previous pages and cover into that format!)

The tapes I used to cover my journaling are blue, yellow, and pink duct tape, silver conduit tape, and black electrical tape. I dry brushed a mixture of purple and white over it, sanded, and dry brushed a brown to "age" the pages: