Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 27, 2007

December 27, 2007, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

I saw a journal page of IHanna's and sketched my version of her girl. After sketching, I went upstairs to add the black watercolor and red lips. I originally got the mouth too high. That's why she looks like she has a five o'clock shadow above her lip.

The candy canes came from the bags our pharmacy was using during the holiday season. I have some labels that I got somewhere that worked great for the journaling here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A long dry spell

2007-12-26, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

Early December was really not very productive for me as far as creative endevors go. Between a rotten cold and the disk in my neck, I felt fortunate to do what I had to do. There was no energy left for anything else. I can go just so long though before I start feeling a need to do something creative. Fortunately journal pages fill the need. I still can't look down for the length of time I'd need to knit or sew something.

I did help my granddaughter make a felt jacket for her Sheep today. We both had fun. I placed the needle and held the felt and she pushed and pulled it through. At four she loves to paint, stamp and anything else creative.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Journal

2007-12-25, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

I was wanting to journal Christmas Day evening, but it was late and I didn't want to drag out the paint and prep the page. I pulled some wrapping paper out of the trash and glued it down and journaled on the white parts of the snowmen and the red tissue. Then I glued strips of green copy paper over the dictionary page and wrote there too. The Wal-mart sticker was laying in the bathroom magazine basket. I like it because it reminds me that it was sunny Christmas day after several days of clouds. This probably isn't my most artistic journal spread, but it was very satisfying to do and I'm sure will bring back memories when I look at it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Early December pages

2007-12-04, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

I actually did a Christmas page yesterday, but I didn't get it photographed today. My sweet grandgirls came over and I played with them instead. I thought I'd put up the few pages that I got done during my blogging moratorium. Maybe tomorrow I'll take some pictures and put up the new spread.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Victorian Scrap Ornament

Victorian Scrap Ornament, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

I think I'm going to like this blogging from flickr. I am enjoying my Christmas tree and wanted to share it more. I've been off blogging so long that I have no idea if anyone is still reading. Just in case you'd like to make this ornament or a similar one. I printed the angel from the internet on stiff paper. Then I made an oval from wire that I had strung beads on. I wrapped gold thread around it and tucked in the angel. A bit of gold tinsel garland finished it off.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Christmas ornaments, originally uploaded by Crazyquilter.

It's starting to look more like Christmas around here. We got the tree up last week, but it took that long to fully decorate it. I've been having problems with my neck. I have a new empathy for people with back and neck pain. I'm on vacation until January second, so hopefully the rest will help.

I've been a bad journaler and a worse blogger lately. Maybe discovering this nifty way to blog from Flickr will help with the blogging anyway. I find it easier to post pictures to flickr by far than to post to the blog. Doing both, with my ancient computer and dial-up internet is torture. I just put several close-ups of my ornaments up at flickr if anyone is interested in seeing them. Several are hand made and I included instructions for a few of them.

My mom made the egg in this picture by crocheting a cover for it. The eggs were blown and painted gold. I made the two embroidered ornaments several years ago. I suddenly got tired of my old seventies homespun tree and wanted a Victorian one.

The gold walnut I carefully cracked, glued a wire inside for a hanger, glued it back together and spray painted gold. I made a dozen of them, but I had to crack a lot of nuts to get that many without breaking them to bits.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Nearing the end of my seventh compo journal

Sometimes when I'm in a down mood journaling perks me up. Sometimes, as below, I just wind up with a dreary, whiney journal page. I put it below because I couldn't stand the idea of starting my blog post with it. My second try worked out better. I started the page above with varying shades of purple. Light and cheery. Before I was done I had darkened it considerably. Notice my notes to myself encouraging my mood to lift, lift.

I get tickled now when I look at this page. I think that evening the blue gate finally did the trick. I really want a new gate in my back yard going down to the creek. You can see it from the kitchen window and I'd dearly love to find a vintage one to hang there. The barb wire fence wouldn't even bother me, if I had a cool gate.

This page prooves another thing, that I am a true packrat. I've had that little photo of a crazy quilt rooster since 1989 when I got a catalog with it in it. I kept the whole catalog because of that little rooster until a couple of years ago when I finally tore it out. Now after all those years it has a home in my journal.

Sometimes I'm not particularly ready to work with one of the vintage pages in my journal. I think this one was an example. I found the scissors and words on an old pattern tissue that had some ads on it. I recently ran across a crazyquilter online who actually finished a quilt project that I also embarked on, but quickly fizzled - a Y2K quilt that was to have 2,000 pieces. 200 blocks with 10 pieces in each block, all of them different. I had a couple of swaps to get different fabrics. I think I finished about 10 blocks and traded for a few more. Then I got distracted by paper arts and never went back to it. I had forgotten the project until I saw the finished quilt online. She said that she gave up on the numbers, but still has a very pretty finished quilt. The seam stitch drawings and words on this page I think came about as a result of this. I'd like to do some crazyquilting some time soon. I just don't seem to pick it up and get started. I'd like ot make a cover for my current journal like I planned back in January when I started it. Maybe if my sewing/craft room weren't such a mess...

The bird on the right page was inspired by this cool page . I messed up the wing. I thought I would go up and paint over the part that was too long, but I decided to just leave it.

My sweet Madelyn has decided that she likes to draw in my journal. I was showing it to her mom on Monday and she wanted to find a white page. We were asking her who that was that she drew and she said, "It's me!" and threw out her arms, fingers spread wide and threw her head back and got a wide smile on her face. Her mom said that she has a set of antennae that she wears with her tutu and fairy wings. She also added the rows of stamping with her Dora stamp.

The Sarasa packaging is from a new pen set that I got at Staples on Monday. I really like them. I've used Sarasas before and they really last for me, plus they have a nice size line. I just wish I could find one in olive green to replace the one that I used all the ink out of. It was a favorite for months.

I also picked up a vinyl covered composition book to make my next journal out of. One of my students had one in black and I really liked the feel of it. I found this one at Wal-mart. I used it to make my Volume Eight journal from. I deconstructed it and a quad rule compo book sent to me by an online friend and put it back together with aboug half quad-rule pages and half vintage pages from old books Thursday night. One more page in the current journal and I'll be ready to start this one. I laced some bright threads through the stitching on the spine to liven it up some. I don't know if I'll add to the cover or leave it like it is.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

A few in between pages

Sometimes I just want to write in my journal. Pages like this one fill the bill. The pink in the speech bubble is paper that I took off our new windows.

My niece spent the weekend with us and was working on her scrapbook that she will leave here and work on when she comes over. I don't like to put the girls' faces up on the interenet, thus the leaf. She drew the fox and rainbow that I included on this page.

I wasn't sure what I wanted to put on these in between pages and I thought of these baby photos of my husband and myself. These are photocopies of the originals.

I did the pages in the last three photos in one setting. I have a tendency to treat spreads with the smaller pages in between as one spread.

Volume Seven of my journal is nearly filled. I'm contemplating what I want to use next. I had almost decided to just use a quad-rule composition book that a friend sent me, but I'm starting to think that I would miss the vintage pages if I do that. Maybe I will re-bind a new book using the quad pages, regular pages, and vintage pages with some brown paper feed sack pages thrown in. I'm hoping I can find one of those cool embossed looking black notebooks I've been seeing at school for the cover.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Someone Witchy

I've been in the mood to sketch dolls lately I guess. Last night I spotted this adorable witch on Ulla's blog and the next thing I knew I had my pen and a sheet of printer paper out and in action. The journaling is all about my October 28 birthday and how I used to have Halloween birthday parties. Seeing the dolls dressed up on Ulla's blog has inspired me to put mine in costume for the holiday. I'm hoping to start this week and dress as many as I can find costumes for. It's been a while since I've had them all out on display.
I was tickled when I saw the new GPP Streat Team Crusade. At first I thought, "Goth, I'll never have anything for that." Then I read a bit farther and realized that Michelle was talking about Halloween decorations. I just finished a page last night and hadn't even glued the witch down yet. I get to be one of the first to post. Our leaves here in Arkansas haven't fallen yet as it looks in the journal picture. There were some branches down in the back yard that we had to cut when the new roof went on. I thought they would be a good backdrop for the Halloween page.

The checkerboard on the background was stamped with a piece of foam that I pulled off one of our new windows. Each window had two of these foam pieces glued on to keep them from bumping into each other during shipping, I guess. I immediately thought of stamping with them when I saw them. We have eight of the nine windows in the new part of the house put in. Siding is next, probably some weather-proof insulation board first. These windows are in the bedroom-to-be. Unless it gets changed into a new living room. We are loving the four big windows (3' x 6')and talking about changing our plan.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Numbers...I have them tonight

I was thinking last night about Dawn Sokol's book, 1,000 Journal Pages, that she is working on, and it occurred to me that I might be reaching around that number of individual pages myself soon. I counted them tonight and I've passed it! 1,024 pages to be exact. I'm a bit impressed with myself. That is just pages since I started painting my compo book spreads. There are a lot more with just writing, and writing with some visual stuff glued in. Lots of memories stored in those books.

Just now when I went to log in here, I discovered that this is my 601st blog entry. Another big number. I guess if nothing else, the numbers prove that I'm persistant. Not very timely maybe. I'm playing catch-up again. But I do seem to be persistant.

You know you're a journaler when you find a dead frog in the washing machine and the first thing you do is put it on the scanner to include in your journal. After the scan was on the page, I realized that I had labeled the back and front incorrectly. Oh well, I'm not a scientist.

I found this mosaic that my son made in high school a couple of weeks ago. This is a scan. I'm wanting to frame the original. For now it's displayed on my bookshelf.

The flowers on this page are made from shaped erasers that I carved the center out of. The stem and leaves are more eraser stamps. I think they turned out pretty cute. Definately have potential to use somewhere else.

I added some to this page, but I'm too tired to take another photo. So far the curtains haven't gotten made. I hope it doesn't take me two years like it did from the time I bought fabric for my kitchen curtains and journaled about it. I still haven't made the chair slipcovers that I planned.

I have more pages to post, but I'll save them for another post. My dial-up is working even slower than normal tonight. On to my second thousand pages.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Catching up

I haven't felt much like blogging lately, but I have done some journaling. My main news is that I finally bought a new camera. I'm really enjoying it. I'm looking forward to hopefully taking some photos of my grandgirls tomorrow.

In other news, the roof is finally done on the new part of the house. Johnny asked what I thought about moving the kitchen to that part. I'm thinking about it, but it will be hard to change kitchens. It's such an integral part of the house and I've had the same one for nearly thirty years.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Crusade Number 12 over at GPP Streat Team is Crush. I wasn't sure what to think of that until I realized that Michelle was talking about what I consider fazes or obsessions. I've been through several, starting with dollhouse miniatures in my teens. I bought every magazine or book I could find on the subject. I corresponded with people across the world (before Internet) trading my handmade miniatures for what others made. I spent endless hours with them. And then I was done, so done that I could only find one photo on my flickr stream.

Madelyn's Christmas dress

This photo actually shows several of my next crushes. About the time that I finally got online, I developed a big crush on crazyquilting. So big that my alias on several sites is still Crazyquilter.

Crazyquilt wreath

I got into web pages and mailing lists at that time and spent endless hours with both with a crazyquilt theme. The little doll in the middle of the wreath was my next crush, or rather taking pictures of her wherever I went and sharing them online. Dolls have been an on and off crush all my life.

Perfectly Preserved

Altered books came next and I spent a couple of years learning how to do things with paper, paint, scissors and glue. Then came my current crush/obsession of visual journals. I've nearly filled seven composition books. I love looking at other people's journals, books about them, and of course working in my own. I have a thing for recording. Everything paper and some things that aren't find their way into my journal. The phone sketch below on my lastest journal page was done in my car on a light bill that is postdated May 16, 2005. It's been floating around my workspace ever since then waiting to find a spot on a journal page. I go weeks sometimes without journaling, but it always draws me back.

My crush always seems to have lots to do with creativity. Other crushes along the way included making doll clothes, knitting and taking pictures through my kitchen window. I can't seem to go very long without making something.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Collaborative Effort

Drat, I knew collaboration had two l's. I even tried to look it up in my art room dictionary, but that page had been torn out to use in a project. Oh well, I can't spell. It's really no secret to anyone who knows me.

I had a wonderful time with my grandgirls and son and daughter-in-law this weekend. Right before they went home I wanted to show them the photo I took a few weeks ago of the turkeys and deer together in our garden. I had one printed out in my journal. Madelyn, who is four now, wanted to draw on a page in my journal that I had prepped for a vacation page this spring and still haven't done yet. I suggested the next empty page and she was happy to draw there. It was a lot of fun working with her drawings on the page. I'm looking forward to doing this lots in the future.

The fruit stickers are from Umberto in Italy. I still have several more to put in my journal. I love getting these in the mail. When Maddie finished the drawing on the right of the page, I asked her if it was Larry the Cucumber. She is in a Veggie Tales phase right now. Her birthday party in August had that theme and she has an adorable green t-shirt with Larry's face on it, so it was a pretty safe guess. She told me, "Yes, he's jumping."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm looking forward to the long week-end. The second week of school went well. I got a new marker board and new rain-gutter bookshelves for my free choice reading books. The room looks great
I know better than to go upstairs at 9:30 PM, thinking I'll work in my journal for half an hour. I wound up spending three hours, but I had fun. I guess it was worth it. The doll's skirt on this page is loose at the side because there is journaling underneath it. This is the first time I've tried something like this in a journal. I discovered that if you are going to use glitter glue, it needs to be the last thing to go on the page and you difinitely don't want to work on the next page while it is still wet.

Today I took some books I was wanting rid of to our local second-hand bookstore. They took nearly everything I had and I wound up with these fun books and the stencil for only $3.10. I'm not sure if the science book is Chinese or Japanese, but it has some great diagrams. I'm looking forward to using it in collages. The open book is A Guide to Making Decorated Papers by Anne Chambers. I hope it will motivate me to try some of her papers. The block print ones look especially enticing.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Queen of Saturday

Once school starts, I become the Queen of Saturday. I don't want to do anything except enjoy myself and relax. The first week back is always hard and this was no exception. I'm always stressed about getting the classes off on the right foot and that keeps me from sleeping right which makes it hard to function the next day, and makes it even more difficult to get the classes off on the right foot. I feel pretty good about how the week went all-in-all.

I finally broke down and ordered the 1000 Journals book. It is my new bathroom reading. I'm enjoying it a lot. The book feels nice in your hand too. Lots of inspiration here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I've Been Contemplating

Do I need more storage, or less stuff?

Sometimes I think more storage would be great and other times that I just need to get rid of a bunch of stuff that I don't need. I did get rid of some this summer and I really haven't bought much.
I was sitting here earlier and suddenly felt the need to go upstairs and work in my journal. Didn't matter that the kitchen was a mess. I got to it after the page was done. The sketch I did a few days ago during an inservice. It was my granddaughter's fourth birthday, so I added the cake and phrase stamp that was sitting out because I had used it for her card. That's why lots of stuff makes it to my pages. It was sitting there with-in my reach as I did them. The strawberries and cherries above the drawing came from the tops of jelly jars. The jelly was great and I like the jars too. I'm starting to get a little collection of them. I've been wanting to add green tea tags all summer. Johnny has been drinking quite a bit of it iced while he works on the house. It takes eight bags for each gallon.
I carved the seven while working on this page. That makes one, two and seven. I also drew the nine/six on the eraser. I figured I'd carve it next since it was a twofer.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Last day of summer vacation

Yesterday was the last day of summer vacation. I went to church in the morning, and then came home and mostly vegged. About 5:30 my husband looked out the window toward the garden and called me to come and see. The flock of turkeys that we have watched in our field for the last two months was in our garden. The babies are nearly as big as the two moms. As we were watching the turkeys eat the grass and bugs, the doe and fawns that have been around for the past few weeks ambled into view. It was a blast watching the fawns interact with the turkeys. Of course, I grabbed the camera and tried to get some photos. I managed to get a couple of decent ones. Later, before I went to bed at the new and improved earlier time, I printed them out and journaled.

When we went out to wash the car we had to shoo the deer away. There were another doe and fawn that we didn't see from the window.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm not sure if anyone is interested in reading about the process of my journal pages, but I thought it might be fun to record one.

I woke up early this morning and was told to quit moving around, so I thought I would do something in one of my books. I really had no ideas, so I grabbed one of my journaling books, Altered Books, Collaborative Journals, and Other Adventures in Bookmaking by Holly Harrison and opened it at random, thinking that I would try to incorporate at least one thing from what I found on the page into my journal or one of my altered books. This is the page I wound up with. I grabbed my journal and headed upstairs.

The page on the left appealed to me, but not for a journal page. I've been working in a red, white and black altered book for quite a while now. I usually use found text in this one. First I looked for some words that I could work with and circled them with a grey colored pencil because we have a pencil-stealing gremlin in this house and no matter how many I buy there is never one when I need it. There must be one at school too, because neither I, nor any of my seventh-graders ever has one. But I digress. After finding the words, I spread some red fluid acrylic paint with a sponge on the edges of the spread. Then I painted in antique white around the words with a brush and then dry brushed the rest of the spread in antique white. At this point I sat the book aside to dry, intending to sketch a woman on the right page.

I picked up my journal and thinking I might turn an interesting piece of a red magazine photo into something similar to the heart on the right photo of Harrison's book, I got to work. The left page of my spread was a piece of an old German book that I sewed into the compo book when I reconstructed it. The pages are really fragile and I had forgotten to strengthen them when I did the first side, so I grabbed some masking tape and went all around the edges of the page. For good measure I added some to the right page too.

Since I was doing a red heart and I had some read paint on my pallet still, I spread it on the right page and worked some into the masking tape on the left side. It looked pretty flat, so I dry brushed some antique white on both pages. The texture was starting to happen


I started this post two days ago and had my computer freeze up. Luckily Blogger now does lots of mini saves. Unfortunately, I've totally lost my train of thought and have no idea how I planned on finishing the post. Rather than start over, I thought I'd just post this.

Today is my last totally unencumbered day before school starts back next week. I've been upstairs making mail art all morning and now I need to clean the house a bit. The mail art is a lot of fun, I'll probably pop back up and work on it some more too.

The Discard Pile

I cleaned out the kitchen cabinets yesterday. Snatched this out of the discard pile this morning. This will probably find its way into my journal somehow. Moral of the story...when you de-clutter, get rid of the give away stuff quickly.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's back to school for me next week. I have slept like a baby all summer and suddenly last night I didn't get to sleep until after 4 AM. I don't want to start that!

I've had a busy couple of weeks to sum it up, I had a cool teacher's inservice on altered books Mon and Tue of week before last. It lasted two days and we played in books the whole time. Most of the other attendees were new to altered books, but most of them were art teachers so the pages were cool. One man was an agri teacher. The presenter wondered what he was doing there and tried her best to include him and help him make a book that reflected his area. He said the nicest thing when we had show and tell at the end. He said it was the most pleasant workshop he'd been to. Usually people complain and gripe at inservice and want to be anywhere else, but he said we all smiled the whole time and were happy to be there. I had a cold and got a migraine the second day and I still enjoyed myself.

Wed I canned tomatoes and also the following Sun. I baby sat my sweet granddaughters Thur, Fri, Mon and Tue. The little one had a hard time sleeping and we had some quality time around midnight all three nights. She was so content just to sit on the couch next to me while everyone else slept. Wed I came down with walking pneumonia. That's not an experience I care to repeat. Fortunately the Z-pack took care of it quickly. This last Sat was my nearly four-year-old sweetie's Veggie Tale birthday party in the park.

I went out last night to pick tomatoes. I got side-tracked by my marigolds and zinnias they are putting on an awesome display. We don't often get the amount of rain we've had this summer and they are showing out. It tickles me to think that all this beauty came from $2 or $3 worth of seeds. Several of the flowers had dried while I was so busy, so I picked them and sprinkled the seeds around the edge of the yard. We have had them volunteer in the past and I'm hoping if I scatter seeds they'll do it again. Thankfully I didn't have enough tomatoes to can. There were plenty to eat and that suits me just fine. I've canned 84 quarts this summer and I don't mind if I don't have to do any more. We will enjoy them this winter I'm sure.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Yet more tomatoes

I went to a teacher inservice today on altered books. It was fun. I got to see several books made by highschoolers in response to literature. One was supposed to look as if it had been used by a WWII soldier in the field as a journal. The boy took it home and used it for target practice. It was a really effective book. I got to share some of my books too and worked on a new book for geography. I'm not too thrilled with the book I started. I'm hoping tomorrow I can just work on one of my unfinished altered books instead.
When I got home I had to can the tomatoes I picked yesterday. I wound another 22 quarts canned with onions and sweet banana peppers . I finished at 11:00 PM. I'm bushed, but need to unwind before I go to sleep. Too tired to journal I'm afraid.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My Grandma is Gone...

It's a haunting refrain that echoes
Over and over in my head,
Or pops up to announce itself afresh
When least expected.

After one of life's small pleasures, I think,
I should write Grandma -- she would enjoy this.
Then I remember...
My grandma is gone.

Leafing through a magazine
I spot a faded photo in a frame.
And there it is again...
My grandma is gone.

The ceramic ducks that graced her kitchen counter
since memory began
Now find their home on mine.
They murmur every day...
My grandma is gone.

When I look into the mirror I see her shape, her legs.
My grandma is gone -- yet some of her remains.
I send a card to cheer, to thank.
There she is again.

The last two months of misery and pain, she begged,
"Pray for it to end." -- so I prayed.
And when it came there was sorrow,
But more relief.

And now, weeks later, the ache and emptiness reign.
The tears stream down my face.
I weep. Too soon, too soon.

My grandma is gone.

I felt really close to my grandma tonight when I put her ducks up on the window sill from where they usually sit on the counter underneath it to photograph them. I knew I had to dig out this poem that almost wrote itself one morning in 1996, a few weeks after my grandma died.
I still miss her. She was my rock. Since my mom worked, she babysat me from the time I was 18 months old until I was seven. When we moved to California from Ohio a couple of years later, I always spent summers with her and Grandpa.
Her presence always fills my mind on her birthday, July 13, especially when it falls on a Friday like it did this year. She was born on a Friday 13, 1906 and always said it was her lucky day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why journal?

Dawn Sokol asked the question on her blog a few days ago, "Why journal?" I just ran across the post tonight and it sent looking for a spread I did in one of my journals on the same subject. I didn't find the spread, but it did inspire another one.
It reads, in part...because I have a lousy memory and would forget too many things I want to remember without it...because it gives me a creative's a way to satisfu my need for color and pattern... I love sharing my journals with family and's a place for all those bits and pices that I've always kept, but never had any place to put them...intorspection...a record of the snippets of daily life... it calms me down after a stressful day...things don't get lost in my's a place for addresses, recipes, birthdays... I like's an excuse to buy cool pens, rubber stamps and other stuff...I don't seem to be able not to for's a place to practice ideas and doodles have a makes me feel good when I'm done... probably a more important question, at least for me... Why not?

I could have added that it's a reason to stay up all hours of the night and be tired the next day. That's happened more times than I care to think about and here I am again. My picture turned out lousy after searching for ten minutes for the camera. Sorry. I'll probably try to take it outside again tomorrow for flickr. I was afraid that I had left the camera at church this morning. VBS is over and I'm pleased with the way it turned out and glad it doesn't happen again til next year. It is definitely worth it, but those little ones take so much energy.

I really need to get a new camera and a light set up. I even have a camera picked out and the money to buy it. I just need to get it done.

I wanted to mention a bit about how I did this page. One of my favorite ways to start a page is to find something in a magazine that speaks to me and go from there. I like matching the colors and the mood on my page. Tonight it was the arm and bracelets of a model in a Free People catalog. The page was laying on my art room floor. I must get that place cleaned!