Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Tags

Hello everyone.  It's been a while, I know.  I've been busy like everyone else this time of year, blah, blah, blah, but I decided I'd better post something before we ring in 2014.  I was sharing photos of some of my journal pages and I received positive feed back from a lot of folks.  I plan to continue doing that, but today I decided instead to show you a few of the goodies I've been making using shipping tags and digital collage.  I've been playing around with digital collage for a while now, "learning" this skill on my own.  More like figuring stuff out by trial and error, but that's my usual learning process.  No matter, it's been so much fun to sit and play with NO CLEAN-UP!  Some of the images are my own, but I'm also a fan of Deviant Scrap, especially Tumble Fish Studio and Hidden Vintage Studios. After I create the digital collage, I color the tags, add some trim, sew it all together, and finish it off with vintage silk ribbon and a jingle bell. I'm using these tags as cards, enclosed with gifts or given just because
I hope you're having a blessed holiday season with family and friends and eggnog, too.  I need to get my jingle bells in gear  and wrap some presents, but I leave you today with this wish: 
Peace on Earth.

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years

50 years ago today the world changed in an instant.  

It's impossible to believe it's been 50 years. 

I decided to republish a post I wrote a few years ago because 

it says it all and I have no words to share right now.

50 years from today, my hope is that the world knows peace 

and cannot comprehend such violence and destruction of life.   

Please hope along with me?

November 22, 1963

I was 8 years old and in third grade.  In 1963, grammar schools in our area didn't have lunchrooms; you had one hour to go home, eat, and get back to school.  Since I lived only two blocks from school, my usual M.O. was to race home, eat, watch Bozo's Circus until after the grand prize game, race back to school, and still have plenty of time to play a rousing game of 4 square before afternoon class.  Eight year olds have a LOT of energy.  On this particular Friday afternoon, Bozo was interrupted with an emergency bulletin.  I knew it must be big to break in on Bozo.  The newscaster said that the President had been shot in Dallas, and that the situation was very grave.  I asked my mom what grave meant and she didn't answer, so I turned and looked at her; she was staring at the T.V. and finally said it was "very bad news."  I prayed as I ran back to school; I prayed for the man who was a father, I prayed for his two young children, and I prayed for his pretty wife.  My own father was a police officer and I had never once worried about his safety.  He was strong and he protected others so who would want to hurt him?  I began to realize that if someone could hurt the President, someone could hurt my dad, too. I quickly pushed that thought away and went into class. The teachers seemed upset and I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. A little after 1PM, our principle came on the intercom and announced that President Kennedy had died.  What happened next will be forever etched on my heart.  Dan C. sat in the desk in front of me and the instant we heard the news, he dropped to his knees, crossed himself, and began praying.  We went to public school.  Even in 1963 you didn't pray in public school, but Dan did, and his genuine, heartfelt response is the image that comes to mind when I remember that awful day.  We were dismissed early and I cried as I walked home from school.  I cried for his children, I cried for his pretty wife, and I cried for myself, too.  A Dallas police officer was shot and died while trying to catch the man who killed the president. That was the day I started praying for my dad's safety.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Here's another completed journal page.  I think it's completed but then again, I never really know for sure.  It's about finding your strength when strength is doing it's best to hide. Specifically, it's about the strength required to go on and make a new life after a loved one takes their life, or in my case, after two loved ones leave this earth through suicide.  You may not understand this type of pain (I hope you do not) but we all have pain in our life and times when it seems that STRONG is hiding, when STRONG has disappeared, when STRONG is not an option. Please remember, strong is the only option.  You may not believe in your own strength, but you're still here.  And that, my friend, it the first step.

Monday, September 23, 2013


I never struggled with insomnia, never understood the concept. I would be asleep before my head hit the pillow and stayed blissfully asleep throughout the night.  Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1993, and that's pretty much when the wonders of restorative sleep became a vague memory.  There are many nights when it seems impossible to get "comfortable enough" to even fall asleep, let alone stay sleeping.  These past several years have been especially difficult due to family issues and unemployment woes.  My head whirls and twirls and rarely shuts down.  So yeah, I now get the whole insomnia thing.  Unfortunately.  Here's a page I completed a few months ago which gives a hint of the crazy stuff running through my brain while I'm trying to sleep.  Take a peek and then crack open your journal and create a work of art!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Another journal page, one that makes me quite happy.  This two page spread has to do with past memories,  specifically from when I was 4 years old.  I had quite a few adventures that year!  Yes, I vividly remember being 4; my earliest memory goes back to when I was about 18 months old. I used to think everyone remembered like me but I realize now that's not the case.  I've been told I have a photographic memory and I think that must be true.  I'm the one family and friends come to for all those tricky questions that begin "remember that person who..." Yes, I remember them.  I remember their birthday, I remember where they lived, I remember the maiden name of their mother, and I remember how their eyes looked on a sunny day. Anyway, 1959 was such a full year that I decided to journal about my many exploits.  I hope you enjoy this peek and maybe get a great idea for a page of your own!
1959 - journal spread with tags folded  
1959 - journal spread with tags open

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh, Hello.

Ooops.  It's been awhile since I've posted, and for no good reason.  Or maybe for many good reasons?  I've been busy with things too boring to discuss but important none the less. My art journal has become my new best friend, giving me needed escape and helping to keep me somewhat sane.  I can't imagine where I'd be without art.  I'm grateful to grab some time drawing and cutting and glueing and creating something that makes sense to me, all in the confines of my journal.  I've decided to TRY to post regular photos of some of the completed (are they ever really completed?) pages, as a few of my loyal followers have requested.  
Falling into Place.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Part of Speech: verb
Definition: persist, carry on

                         Life is to be lived, not controlled, 
     and humanity is won by continuing to play 
    in the face of certain defeat.  
Ralph Ellison

I've been having so much fun with my journal and new techniques, it seems I've forgotten I have a blog.  Every day brings much of the same: I look for a job in the morning, apply or find nothing, get discouraged, and spend the afternoon with my art journal.  Painting, drawing, cutting, pasting, just like kindergarden.  My mind may be troubled but my emotions run free on the pages of my journal.  It's helped keep me relatively sane, and when I think back to that magical weekend in April with Dyan Reaveley and friends, I feel happy and carefree.  
journal page in process
journal page - I Want to Know
journal page - Courage

Graduations and celebratory parties are everywhere.  Beth would be graduating from high school and moving on to new things.  I guess in a way she did, just not in the way anyone planned.  I miss her terribly.  I miss her humor and creativity and insight.  I miss her laugh.  I miss seeing her reaction to my latest artistic adventure.  I just miss her.  I continue to go to the LOSS group, and it continues to help.  I continue to heal and I think I will continue to heal for the rest of my life.  Life continues on and I know I will continue to miss Beth for the rest of my life, too.  People say endings are hard but continuing can be harder still.  Nothing to do but keep on keeping on.

Journal page - Ups & Downs