t&t tuesday, atc swap and bizarre weather

Hello and happy Tuesday! It feels like I've been away much longer than 5 days, or maybe it's just me since I've been busy these past few days. We have been visiting family, cleaning and sprucing up the house and I'm also working on organizing my work space for the WBC blog party. And I have had to be more mindful of taking care of myself as I had to take an unexpected trip to the hospital the other week. It seems my tummy is much pickier about what I put in it nowadays.

Our bizarre weather continues here in Tomatoland. Last week we were up to 102 but today is cloudy and breezy and we may actually have some rain. Something that hasn't happened here in June since stagecoach days I think, lol.

You might have noticed my Tips & Treasures Tuesday link disappeared. I think Summer may not be the best time to start up a new linky party since most of us find ourselves spending more time with our families and less time on the computer. I'll still post my favorite tips and treasures now and then and you're more than welcome to add your own in a comment if you like.

In fact here are two favorite things I have found very useful in my art space.

I love this hanging jewelry organizer for storing all the small odds and ends that easily gets lost in my drawers. There are pockets on both sides and when I don't need it I just tuck it away between the hutch and another fixture.

Almost everything sitting on my work table spins. This is a fun and very useful holder I found in the clearance section at Marshalls. The trays stack and the top and middle ones also spin so it's easy to grab any of the little bottles and tubes. And the red rubber mats keep everything from sliding around. I got a couple of these placemats for $1 and cut them up to fit under some of my organizers since the surface on my work table is slippery. That way when Luna gets up on my table things are less likely to get knocked down.

Finally I wanted to add something regarding the Artful Bag Challenge ATC swap from April. Unfortunately not everyone received a card from their partner and this is most frustrating when your partner won't respond to emails to let you know if there might be a problem. We all sign up to do these swaps because we love sharing our art with other creative souls. It's always a thrill to receive a piece of handmade art in the mail from someone who might be a future friend. We all understand that things happen, we end up with more on our plate than we expected, and other things become more important than mailing out a tiny card, wand, doll, etc. It only takes a minute to send an email to your swap partner to let them know what's going on. Later is better than never if possible. And if it's truly impossible, then a little courtesy among artists is appreciated and a quick email to update your partner should be a no brainer. I hope this helps and thank you again to all of you who share your amazing artful bags every month.

I'll see you soon with next month's Artful Bag Challenge theme: Embellish It!

more potter

Still counting down the days to the final Harry film.

Last night my son set his alarm for 3:30 am and made me promise not to let him sleep through it. What was so important?

Last week an announcement was made that author JK Rowling had something in the works called Pottermore. Not a new book but something 'equally exciting', according to the buzz going around. The official announcement was on YouTube today
....3:30am my time.

Since I'm usually up late (you know floating around the night skies with my pink balloon), I just stayed up and woke him up when the alarm went off.

This is the official announcement:

So for die hard Harry fans this eases the pain of the series coming to an end. Sebastian will be counting down the days until the site goes up in October, which is right around his birthday.

More info at the UK's Telegraph

And if the Pottermore announcement wasn't enough, we also learned that a handful of AMC theaters across the country will be showing a movie marathon of all 7 HP films leading up to the midnight premiere of DH2. Two films a night starting on July 11. One of the 29 theaters participating is a few minutes from my mom's house, who lives 2 hours away. Luckily we spend a lot of time with her during summer break so I'm sure we will just happen to be visiting that week.

We saw all the movies in the theater except for the first one. Sebastian was only 5 and Harry wasn't on his radar yet. But shortly after the film came out on dvd I started reading the books to him and from then on we caught up on all things Harry very quickly.

So lots of excitement here in my house. My brother also happens to be in London on business this week and more than once I know Sebastian was texting his uncle to see if he happened to find any final Harry magazines on the news stands. Yes, being slightly obsessed is definitely in my son's genes :)


Happy first day of Summer.

It was 101 here today and we're expecting the same the next few days. Summer is definitely here.

The theme at Collage Obsession this week is Beach Babes.

I found a fun vintage photo.

 Then I added color and images from
Deviant Scrap and Digital Scrapbook Place.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

You can see more at Collage Obsession.

endings and beginnings

Last day of school for my son today....finally. It seems everyone else has been out the last few weeks, but for our school district it starts today (well tomorrow officially). Next year he starts the 10th grade. I still can't believe it, where did all those years go?

Yesterday the official theatrical trailer for the second half of the final Harry Potter movie was released. Sebastian was so excited, and sad at the same time. I know I've mentioned before how my son grew up with Harry. It's been a constant thing in our household the last 10 years and something the two of us share together...through midnight book releases, opening day for the films, collecting Potter memorabilia and doing our own special Harry Potter events throughout the year.

When I dropped him off at school this morning he looked a little sad. I asked if he was sad about the school year being over and he said no (he couldn't wait for it to end). He got out of the car, went around to the trunk to grab his backback and right before he shut the door he said 'this will be the last school year I'll ever have a Harry movie to look forward to, it's the end'.

I drove away from the school thinking how funny it was that he saw it that way. But then I realized I felt the same way too, silly as it seems, and it made me a little sad for more reasons than just the series finally coming to an end...

Harry has grown up and he's ready to move on to the next adventure,

and my not so little guy is growing up too.


But I'm really looking forward to seeing Mrs Weasely give it to Bellatrix!

And then there's also this mysterious new thing to look forward to this summer...

up all night

I am a night owl. Given the choice I would stay up all night working on art. I love the peace and quiet, not just in my house but also in the world just outside of me.

And I love the night sky.

My husband has to go to bed early for work so he often wonders what I do in the wee hours of the morning. If I'm not working on art I'm on the computer, or both. I'm sure he thinks I'm carrying on who knows what with who knows who.

"What do you do up all night?"

Sound familiar?

So for all of you night owls out there I dedicate my latest painting.
Now when my husband wonders what I'm doing I have an answer...

I fly around the night sky with my pink balloon of course!
I play hide and seek with the moon and tell her all my secrets.
I grab a handful of stardust to use for my art.
Then I fly back home and sneak in the house just in time for toast.

And I know I've seen some of you out there flying around
with your own pink balloon ;)

tips & treasures tuesday #1

Welcome to the first Tips and Treasures Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I have a few favorite things to share with you. Something old, something new...and something kinda blue! You're welcome to share your own tips and treasures as well. If you created a post just include your link with your comment. Share as many or as few as you like.

More than once I have seen pictures in Where Women Create of these great metal paint holders. They hold lots of bottles on both sides and look like you can spin it around. Some of you might be lucky enough to own one too.

From Where Women Create - May/Jun/July 2011 -  pg 105

One day I remembered an old mini chest of drawers I had stored in a kitchen cupboard. I took all the little drawers out and found it was perfect to hold all the colors I use the most. The rest of the bottles are in a drawer of a hutch to the left. My work table is pretty small so one of those nice spinning doodads wouldn't work. But this is perfect and I can also use the top to hold other stuff....like a recycled jar of pesto to store my business cards!

Last week I was at Bed Bath & Beyond where one of my favorite areas is the kitchen section with all the organizers. I've seen these turntables/lazy susans hundreds of times and even have one in my kitchen. It finally occured to me that one would be perfect on my work table...duh!

I actually had a smaller single tier turntable I was using and at one point I added an old cake pedestal to make a second tier. It worked pretty well but this new one holds so much more. The price was $13 and I had a 20% off coupon so it wasn't bad at all. I just love it.

And last I want to share one of my absolute favorite things and that is this big box of folded wax paper I found at Costco. It's the kind I usually see at the bakery, used to pick out a pastry or donut, or to wrap sandwiches. Well it's a perfect work surface for everything. Painting, gluing, and for rubbing down a piece to glue to a collage. And it makes cleaning up so easy. This box of 500 was about 5 or 6 dollars and lasts forever!

So there you have it. A few of my favorite tips and treasures. I have lots more to share and I hope you can share one or two of your favorites too.

not beige

Had the urge to start working on another art journal earlier. I was looking through an old IKEA catalog and the title on one of the features was Be Brave Not Beige. It was obviously an invite to embrace more color and I just loved the sound of it. I'm a huge fan of color so I started gluing and painting and came up with this.

I'm still addicted to these vintage roses. Can't stop putting them on everything, lol.

Funny thing is I like beige too. As a color anyway because I'm also a fan of neutrals, especially all the lovely muted sepia tones. But the idea of not being 'beige' or bland really appealed to me and I think most of you are the same way, which is why we love to express ourselves creatively.

You might have already heard of little Aelita Andre, the precocious 4 year old artist who just opened her own solo exhibit in New York city. The story has been making the rounds but here's the vid in case you haven't. It's quite fascinating to watch.

What's inspiring you this second week of June?

good words + missing followers update

Update: Anyone else notice their followers have gone missing? I just checked the forum and lots of people are having the same problem. Here's a link to a form to fill out to add your blog to the list. Hope they can sort it out soon. I just hit 460 then they all went away :( I miss seeing your smiling faces on my page!

I'm always looking for quotes. I love to read them and many of them, especially the ones about art and creativity really inspire me. Recently I came across one in a magazine that I hadn't seen before.

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

This is from tennis legend Arthur Ashe. It's been my favorite since I found it.

Sometimes I just get overwhelmed when I see or read about all the new products and techniques available to artists today. Looking through the pages of my favorite Stampington magazines, I can easily find a project featuring multiple steps and products and gadgets. And I honestly really love and appreciate all of them. But like so many of you, I'm also on a tight budget and my tiny space can barely hold what I already have.

This weekend I was at Michaels and debated way too long on whether to try the Tim Holtz crackle paints. I picked a few up, put one back, walked around with two, put another back, walked around with one...

How many of you have done this before?

Finally I thought about that Arthur Ashe quote and remembered that what I really love is just making something with stuff I already have. Plain old paint, paper and glue (ok and a few of those distress ink pads). So I put the last bottle back. 25% off wasn't a good enough sale for me anyway and I'll just wait until I can use the 40% off coupon they have every week.

Spreaking of using what I have...I decided to recycle old pictures from one of my early posts last year. I remember I found a package of these metal charms with words so I threw them in a bottle and took a few pictures.

I hope you had a great weekend. With or without new goodies to try, lol. Our bizzare weather continues here in 'sunny' California. I drove through a wicked thunderstorm yesterday during a 2 hour trip and all my winter clothes are still out. So so strange....

Do you have a favorite quote? I'd love to hear.

june artful bag challenge

We're halfway through our bag challenge already and we're once again doing the Altered Art theme. For this challenge we will take any everyday object (as along as it isn't a bag) and alter it to look like one. The last time we did this theme, you all came up with so many creative and wonderful ideas. I can't wait to see what you have this time.

Thank you to everyone who played along with the Playing With Paper theme last month. As always, all the paper purses were amazing. I'm a little behind visiting all the entries but now that I'm getting caught up on my projects, I'm going back to see the ones I missed.

For my Altered Art bag I decided to alter a plain old dvd case. It took me a few tries to come up with something that worked. I started with a fun sweet cupcake theme but couldn't get it to all work together.

I finally decided to go vintagey. First I gessoed the edges of the case then painted it vintage gold. I cut a piece of velvet remnant to fit the cover then basted the gold and wine trim around the edges. Then I went through my jewelry kit and attached a charm bracelet I made last year. And last, I added a velvet flower 'clasp' and a lenght of chain for the handle.

And now I'd love to see your altered art bag!