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Archive for August, 2010

I have many, many old family photos. Somehow I became the un-official family historian. Partly because I enjoy old photos and the stories they contain, and partly because I enjoy scrap booking. I spent many hours with my grandma, listening to her tell stories from when she was in the military, about history about everything. When she passed away right after Christmas last year at the age of 93 I was entrusted with the task of writing her obituary and life sketch for her funeral. Long before she passed away she gave me boxes of old photos and scrapbooks that I have been going through slowly, scanning and sharing with my family. For some time I have wanted to start scrap booking these to record these stories that she told me. Here are a a couple.

Joining the WAC (Women’s Auxiliary Corp)

With old photos, especially military I find that keeping it simple is best. For this photo that tells a little of the story about why she joined up, I used a scrap from an American flag that had been distressed.

Next, I kept the same kraft base, added this scrap of green and kraft paper along with a scanned copy of an article from her hometown newspaper that published a story about her commendation and a letter she wrote home to her mother. It’s a beautiful letter, and it shows the love she had for this country and how thankful she was to be born an American.

A very lovely lady, and my personal hero.
Thanks for letting me share a bit about her.

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Journal Entries 1-5

These are from the last month or two but I have been hesitant to share until now. Here I have no real plan, this is where I experiment with fonts, colors, textures. Play. These are in a journal I made this summer with watercolor paper. I have found that I really prefer watercolor paper for my art journals. I like how it holds up to a lot of water and abuse without soaking through to the next page. I’ve tried using a few other types of papers but I always come back to watercolor paper. These make me pretty happy.

“Life Map”-thinking about where I want to go, where I need to be.

“Starting Point”

“Litmus Test”-inspired by the expectations we/I have on people who are my friends or what I expect from myself. Really thinking about how I don’t give myself much slack and I have these little tests I must pass before I am happy with where I am at.

“What would you do?” “Dancer”.

Two separate pages revolving around this question that has really been on my mind lately.

“bits of summer” and “Gentle Cycle Please”. Found this phrase on a tag of a new shirt. I loved how polite it was in asking that you wash the shirt carefully. And then I thought that there are times in life when it would be nice to have a switch or dial that we could change to gentle cycle when we could use a little bit of “gentle” handling. This has evolved into a larger piece that I am still working on.

“Dear Me”

This was inspired by a youtube video by Suzi Blu who challenged you to write down all of the reasons why you don’t have time to create anything. Then paint over it, add a pic of you at four and write a letter to the younger you. Great way to work through a few issues that keep me from creating!

Thanks for stopping by!

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In my quest to paint, sand, and alter nearly any surface I finally turned to my blue iphone case, one of the those hard plastic clam shell type cases in an ugly blue color. Okay the color wasn’t horrible but it certainly wasn’t as cute as the pink one that it replaced. *note

First I took a sanding block and gave the whole thing a light sanding to help the gesso stick better, then I covered it in gesso and let it dry.

Next, I decided to make a quirky house with a tree out of scraps of paper. I drew the shapes by hand, cut out and glued on using modge podge.

Once I had the scene set, I painted the background sky, and added paint to all of the paper pieces to soften them up a bit. After the paint dried I added clear glitter paint because everything is better with glitter! For the front of the clam shell I painted it bright fuchsia, added some of the book pages to it and glitter.

After everything dried, I sprayed a few coats of matte clear coat. I’ve been carrying it in my pocket and purse for over a month and I’m very happy with how it’s held up.
This makes me very happy 🙂

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Last week our little family drove all over the great states of Idaho and Montana.

I took over 500 pictures from our various adventures. Now I have to sort, edit, and do something with all of those–later. For now I wanted to share my watercolors from the week. I had my paint kit, my favorite travel brushes, a pad of watercolor paper, and a small moleskin notebook. I ended up leaving the watercolor paper in my suitcase, it took up too much room in my travel bag. Instead I tried using my moleskin journal to paint in along with my journaling.
Back in the old days–before getting a career and having kids–I would carry my watercolor kit everywhere and painted postcard size paintings everywhere I went. As I get back into this habit and remember how much I love to paint I have found that I have to get back in “shape”. When traveling and sketching you have to be quick, flexible and not get hung up on the details too much.

The other thing I have had to remember is that this is not always a solitary activity and when people see you with your little book they are curious and want to see what you are seeing. I don’t mind talking to strangers, I’m pretty open and my husband will tell you that the best part about traveling with me is that I always meet people.

The hard part is sharing what I’ve painted. I don’t know of any artist (of any medium) who doesn’t feel a little twinge when they share their art. I know my sketching is rough, maybe my colors and composition are totally off, why do you have to look?, this is just my little way of enjoying myself, and maybe I just plain suck. These are all thoughts I have when I get asked what I’m painting. But I show them every time. Since everyone I met on our trip saw these I thought I’d share them with all of you.

And finally as we drove home through WA and OR–which is a lot of dry dusty terrain.

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