Monday, February 27, 2012

He has fun wherever he goes.

And I do mean wherever.  Here's an example:

Can you guess where this photo was taken?  Yes, if you guessed the waiting room at the E.R. late on Saturday night, you were right.  The photo is blurry because Jacob was happily running around, having a great time while we waited for a room to become available so he could get stitches above his right eye.  An unfortunate accident occurred just before bedtime, in which he was hopping like a frog into the bathroom to brush his teeth and he accidentally bumped into the corner of the air-vent register.  When we informed him we would have to go to the hospital, he said: "Not now!  I'll miss 'Yo Gabba Gabba!' (one of his favorite shows on Nick Jr.).  However, once we got to the E.R., Jacob started to enjoy himself.  There was a nice policeman there.  And a table and chairs just the right size for him.  And another little boy his age to play peek-a-boo with.  His injury didn't seem to affect him much at all.  He was full of energy.  Once we got into a room, the staff at Mercy was kind enough to provide him with some dinosaurs to play with:
He loved the dinosaurs.  And the magic bed that moved up and down.  Other than the time spent actually getting the stitches, which involved Mom, Dad, and a nurse holding him down ("Stop doing this to me!!") Jacob had the time of his life at the hospital and did not want to leave when it was finally time to go.  And as I predicted, on Sunday, he asked me if we could go back.  He proudly wore his hospital i.d. bracelet all day Sunday and told the neighbor kids all about the dinosaurs. 
I love his ability to have fun wherever he goes. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

The table experiment

I've mentioned a few times that I have a hard time throwing stuff away.  Without at least attempting to make something out of it.  Such was the case last week when my mom was getting rid of a nondescript, made-in-China end table.  I saw some potential in that plain little table (sorry, I always forget to take before pictures!)  This is how it turned out:

Some paint, some inked dictionary pages, my favorite Smash current favorite butterfly motif....and voila!  Trash into treasure.  And it wasn't as hard as I thought to take the table apart and put it back together again.  Luckily the hubby had the exact right little wrench to tighten up the legs so now this table is perfectly sturdy instead of wobbly like it had been. 

So I'm thinking I might have to hit a few thrift stores to see if there are any more little old tables out there that might benefit from a collage facelift. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Hearts Day

8 x 10 collage

I started this piece back in 2010 and thought it was finished.  When I pulled it out last year, I decided it needed more stuff.  So I put more stuff on it and liked it better.  The vintage Valentine is a copy of one that someone sent my grandpa's brother Elmer sometime in the 1920s.  Love it. 

Lots of Valentine candy getting consumed at our house today.  Hope your day is filled with sweet stuff too!  Happy Valentine's Day! 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New stuff!

I've been having lots of fun making collages the past couple of weeks and thought I would share a few of them.  These will be going to a couple of the fabulous shops where I sell my stuff and also to my first show of 2012 (yay!) in a couple of weeks, Arts & Crafts at the Fairgrounds, which will be held in the Varied Industries building at the State Fairgrounds, Friday evening Feb. 24, Saturday Feb. 25 and Sunday Feb. 26. 

 A butterfly found it's way onto the cover of a bingo book...often times, what happens to be scattered around my work table serves as inspiration. 
 Then I raided my stash of old costume jewelry for these two pieces.  The black and white rhinestone brooch belonged to my grandma, who would probably find it bizarre that I put it on a collage.  But it's just been sitting in a box for years and it's not something I wear, although I love it.  I love how it adds some sparkle and dimension to this collage. 
One thing people at shows often ask me is "what do you do with all the book pages?" when I use the covers of old books to make journals.  Well, this is one thing I do with them.  Ink them and make collage backgrounds.  I love the results.  I use Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Stazon Ink.  I'm also a little bit obsessed with that polka-dot Smash tape, as you can tell. 

Hopefully creating some bright and spring-like pieces will bring on some warmer weather.  That's what I'm hoping anyway, as I looked out the kitchen window this morning and saw that the thermometer said four degrees.  It's too cold to go anywhere, so I'll continue to stay home and make stuff. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Collections or Clutter?

I like stuff.  And I have a lot of it.  Ever since I was a kid, I've liked stuff.  That's just me. 
Most of my stuff has special meaning to me, especially the items that belonged to my grandparents or my parents.  And some of my stuff is just stuff that I love.  Because it's pretty.  Because it makes me happy.  Or because someone gave it to me.  Whatever the reason, I'm a person who has a lot of stuff, and I can't imagine being any other way. 

Recently, I was in someone's home that is the exact opposite of mine; meaning, it was totally clean, organized, AND totally devoid of stuff.  As I admired the shiny floors and pretty light fixtures, I couldn't help but wonder.....where's all their STUFF???

For instance, where were all the books?  Hidden away, perhaps, neatly tucked into a cabinet?  Stashed under the bed?  I didn't snoop around to find out.  I was amazed at the neatness of the home, but seemed a bit empty somehow. 

Here's an example of stuff in my house, and how I incorporate some of the things I've collected over the years into the landscape of our home:
In our kitchen I have a red hutch that was an impromptu purchase from Ikea several years ago, back when I lived in Arizona (and had to fit it inside my old Chevy Cavalier to get it from Phoenix back to Tucson).  I really love this hutch.  I like it because it's red and because it holds a lot of stuff!  Here you can see some of my Fiesta Ware collection, my grandmother's Beautyware cannister set (minus the coffee one, that's on the kitchen counter, with coffee in it), which used to sit on the counter in her kitchen.  On top there are some various odds and ends (including my sterling silver baby cup that the other army wives gifted to my mom when I was born, and my old "Daph" personalized license plate that my best girlfriends gave me for my 16th birthday) that I've picked up and tried to arrange in a somewhat artful fashion....and at the bottom right of the photo are some items that I especially love: a cookbook that belonged to my grandmother, one that my mom got for her eighth birthday, my Tommy Tippy sippy cup, an orange glass bowl from my grandma, and her old hand-held flour sifter: 
I look at these items countless times every day, and they make me smile.  I can remember reading "Susie's New Stove" over and over when I was a kid and then playing with my own play stove, which I loved.  I remember how I wanted to wear my hear in pigtail-braid-loops just like Susie (a dream that never came true, might I add).  This book has been with me for a long time. 

Seeing stuff that has been handed down from my grandparents and parents makes me happy.  When I look at these books, or the Beautyware cannisters, I remember all the happy times spent with my grandparents when I was a kid.  I think about what my grandma might have made using that orange bowl or the hand-held sifter that cost $1.95. 

I like having my memories on display, so to speak.  Which is probably why my house will always look cluttered.  Despite many various attempts to purge stuff and de-clutter, I still have lots of stuff.  And I'm going to save all of it for Jacob, whether her wants it or not. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February

A new month means a new page on the calendar:

One of the little goals I've set for myself this year is to stay on top of my calendar layouts and have them ready to go for the first of the month.  I used one of Jacob's paintings for the background and then just added a few simple embellishments: red ribbon(from Michael's), lace tape (from, and a few random hearts: one from Kraft paper, one from my favorite red patterned paper (Paper Source), and one cut from red felt.  A little tape, a little glue, a few staples, and I added a quote from Jack Kerouac in the bottom left corner: "Be in love with your life.  Every detail of it."  I came across this quote on Elise Blaha's blog:  She used it on a layout she created for Project Life, so I took a cue from her and did the same, and also thought it was perfect for this month's calendar layout, which shows some recent pictures of Jacob doing fun stuff like eating ice cream, drawing, and reading a book at the library. 

I think using Jacob's artwork is going to be repeated on the calendar layouts throughout the year.  Because it's a great way to show off his artwork and also because he makes a LOT of paintings.  And I can't quite bring myself to put any of them in the recycle bin. 

And now to find the Valentine decorations and get them put up!