inspiration deck

A little while ago I showed pics of the inspiration deck I received from the swap hosted by Jess at In Search of Dessert.  Now I needed a place to keep them handy and enjoy a new card each week.  I've taken to saving every small box of every size cuz you never know when you're going to need to decorate a small box, right?!  What do you know, I have two jewelry gift boxes that were the perfect ATC/inspiration deck size!

I'll keep one on my desk next to my computer to keep me creatively motivated......

Choosing the next card in the box each week to inspire me - don't they just fit beautifully?

I even have a place holder thanks to my swap with April Cole (thanks!) - reminding me to 'bravely make her believe'!

Since I had two of the boxes, I decorated the other and it will be the home of my ATC card collection (now only two from Jessica Sporn) that will grow this year as I participate in swaps.....  I'd been avoiding ATCs for some reason....now I can see how versatile and fun they are to make so I'm in.....I'll use it as my art warm up activity!

Let me know if you want to swap ATCs - I'm busy making a supply so I'll be ready to trade.  I'll share some pics soon.
[ED:  Already I'm forgetting to put my name on the photos so I made myself delete and reload all the photos - if I do that enough, eventually I'll make it a habit, right?]


wrapping up ALAW

I hope you've all had a simply marvelous Christmas and Boxing Day.  I hope you've found time to be with friends and/or family, people you love and who love you. I hope you've found time to be quiet and time to be joyous.  I hope you now find some time to take a deep breath, relax, and reflect on what 2013 will bring.

I had a most excellent Christmas - our boys came over, stayed the night and we played games, drank and ate, played some more games, talked and put our feet up and talked some more - oh yeah, and played some more games and ate and drank some more......did I mention we love games of all types?  It was one of my favorite Christmases ever!  Here's my family on Christmas morning:

I have found some time to be creative - a moment here and there.  I've been working on my ALAW (a letter a week) project, my second alphabet.  Here's the last of the letters I've written on my pockets (these haven't been cut apart and folded yet).  Then I'm adding photos that I've taken of flowers beginning with each letter to fill the pockets.  Next step is to figure out the book format I want to tackle.

I certainly like how some of these letters turned out more than others - even after practicing a whole page of each before moving to the pocket - the texture of the paper is different and the pen reacts differently, but I didn't have enough of the pocket paper to practice on it.....so I figured it out. 

Here's a few of the flower photos that will go in the pockets - they are 5x2.25"

Hopefully I'll get the book started in the next few days.....Now it's time to turn my mind to what I want to tackle for my first alphabet in 2013.....hmmm.....


what in the world have I been doing?

As with many of us, I haven't been posting as frequently (busy, busy), but I have been making a little something here and there as I can - here's what I've been up to.

I finished a couple of gifts - a wreath (that I forgot to take a pic of!) and this small collage piece on 5x7 canvas board (inspired by a pinterest project).

I made several activity advent calendars - I constructed a pocket on each of 24 tags, decorated them front and back, strung them with curling ribbon and tucked a little tag with an activity inside.  All the tags were then gathered onto a wide ribbon so it could hang on a door knob. I thought this might be easier than making it a wall hanging when I wasn't sure of the recipient's wall space.......

The finished advent calendar.

One set of backs - washi tape stripes, patterned duck tape, paint, shimmery scrapbook paper.

One completed set of pockets - I used scrapbook paper, recycled Christmas cards, old gift tags, washi tape, ribbon, stamps, beads, silk greenery, glitter markers and whatever else I could find.

Here's a second set with the activity tags up above.

The final set of cards.

Simple Advent Calendar
This whole project was inspired by this lovely advent calendar of pouches from Pinterest.

I included an instruction sheet with each calendar with photos of how to display it - on the doorknob, on bare branches, or 

tucked into a garland or the tree.

I wrapped the packages in kraft paper and using a stitched 'ribbon' I made from punched circles.

I made some holiday cards for some of my blogging buddies.....

and made the envelopes from book pages and washi tape or stitched edges then sent them on their merry way to bring some holiday cheer to mailboxes around the world (and hopefully to my friends :)

I love the holidays but am glad all the wrapping and mailing is done so now I can sit back, enjoy the decorations, the food and the company with no stress!  Hope you're enjoying the month too!


delightful mail

I've received a few more pieces of delightful holiday mail that I'd like to share.

A reminder of summer drawn by the talented Tracey Fletcher King (since her Christmas is celebrated in the  middle of summer!)

A recycled Christmas card turned postcard from MMSA buddy Katie R in Iowa.

My ATC winnings from Jessica Sporn - watercolor and collage merged masterfully.

This amazing wintery tag made from a book page (?) and ready to hang on the tree from MMSA buddy Dori S in CA.

My friend Corrine sent along a holiday postcard smudged with shimmery copper.

Last, but not least, this vibrant collaged postcard from MMSA buddy Stephanie D in FL.

Thank you all so much for thinking of me and making both me and my mailbox do a little happy dance!  

inspiration deck

In the hubbub of holiday activities I'd totally forgotten about the inspiration deck swap I participated in (hosted by Jessica at InSearchOfDessert).  Then my newly shuffled deck showed up in the mail.  What a treat!  I LOVE this swap and ended up with some beautiful, inspiring, delightful mini art pieces!

I love that each is SO different and most are very different from anything I would think of. My plan (as of now anyway) is to make a little display box for them so I can keep them on my desk and each week pull out a new card to inspire my week's creativity.  As I pull a new one each week I'll share it in more detail here.  For now, I'm in the process of sending each of you a heartfelt personal thank you - and I can't wait til the next swap!

P.S. with Pinterest playing such an active role in the creative community and images being pinned right and left, I decided it was time to start claiming my images so am going to try to remember to add my name to everything I post.  Key word: try. :)



Fiona, the hostess of A Letter A Week, is putting out a call to everyone to test the waters for people interested in participating next year.  By creating a letter a week, you end up with two completed alphabets over the course of the year - will they be in book form, hanging from a branch, a suncatcher, a quilt or framed for your wall?   Use your own skills/interests to pursue what interests you.

This year was the third year and my first in participating.  It's a very low key ongoing project filled with some creative ways to make/illustrate/create the alphabet.  Fiona provides a landing place to share your project and progress but with no weekly check ins or anything....you're on your own!

If the idea appeals to you, be sure to visit her site and read about it then let her know you're interested.

You may remember my first alphabet of Zentangled tiles assembled in an accordion book kept in a box.  My second (still in progress) alphabet combines my love of photography and my attempt at hand lettering and will also be in some sort of book form.  I'll be continuing whether Fiona hosts or not because I find it interesting to find ways to make an alphabet interesting and I've only begun to explore my many ideas.

How about you?  Interested?  Try it; you'll like it!

list it Tuesday

I've missed playing for a few weeks as I've dealt with my computer nonsense, but this week's topic was just too much fun to miss.  "What's in your junk drawer?" asks Aimee at Artsyville.

I actually keep a pretty tidy junk drawer....I have this thing about everything in its place, you know.  So in my junk drawer you'll find:

scissors, heavy duty floral scissors, 2 florist knives, a small hammer, 3 screwdrivers, scotch tape, pens/pencils/markers, white board markers, white board eraser, rubber bands, tacks, string, an extra house key, car key, miscellaneous keys for who knows what, a butane lighter thingy for my candles, sticky candle hold stuff to keep them straight, a fan (see it next to the hammer on the left - Dan uses it to cool off after getting overheated in the hot tub),

a pedometer (does it even still work), a tape measure, picture hanging wire/hook, floss, dice, bobby pins (really, with my short hair?), lip balm, post it notes, clothes pins (we use them to hold chip bags closed), a foam dart from the boys' guns last Christmas, a broken piece from a Christmas napkin ring and in the back is a whistle on a lanyard that I didn't even know we had.

So there you have it, a little peek into my life.  How about yours?

Next week is the last opportunity to make and share a list this year and the topic is "Holiday Faves" (it can be anything....traditions, songs, people, memories, etc.)


time to share

I've been MIA for the last couple weeks due primarily to computer issues. And holiday activities. During that time I've received some deLIGHTful mail......

A postcard from Bonnie (via MMSA) @ Postmuse.com and a beautiful card with a sweet note from my friend Lorinda.

Then I received these gorgeous envelopes filled with little goodies - Carroll in Vermont sent the top one with a bookmark as a thank you for receiving my tape journal in the MMSA swap and the floral one from K Brennan, Canada, just because.

Beautiful handmade postcards arrived from Stacy (via MMSA) in ME and my friend and inspiring creative soul Corrine.

Next up are a postcard from Andria in PA (a new MMSA buddy) and Carlene Taylor Simmons in TN.  The washi tape layered silhouette and the stitched layer with cutout boxes are SO clever!

Last, but certainly not least, I want to give a huge thank you to Judith (in VA) for her duct tape journal - another fabulous swap organized by Karen for MMSA (mail me some art)!  I can't adequately describe what a delight this little journal is....filled with the perfect mix of blank pages for me to fill and decorated pages to inspire me.  On pages she decorated she often included a little piece of lined paper making room for me to add a snippet of a thought or a quote.  I like the way that on many of the pages she included a little typewritten thought provoking comment like "Something you feel will find its own form."  I'll treasure this journal and will enjoy making more for myself and as gifts ......
The cover of Judith's journal.

One of the 2-page spreads.... Each of those stripes are pieced individually and the blank page leaves room for me to be creative too.  Thanks again Judith!

Even though I haven't been posting, I have been doing some creating so I'll add what I've been working on soon.  Acknowledging all this mailbox joy was more important!