Monday, November 30, 2015

The End of NaNoJouMo 2015

I can't believe it is the end of November already!! It seems the month has just flown by!  I am pleased to report that I was able to keep up with the daily challenge presented by Dawn Sokol for NaNoJouMo (National November Journaling Month).  I have, however, fallen behind on posting my daily pages, only because I'm still working on completing some of them.  But I can catch you up on a few more days right now and the rest will follow soon (almost done, having too much fun to rush it!)

Day 20 - the prompt was "trees". I had these die cuts that my friend Dianne had made for me last year. I had been saving them to use on a Xmas card but I liked them too much. It suddenly occurred to me that I could use them on a journal page and then I wouldn't have to give them away! :)
Day 21 - Dawn posted a picture of the Statue of Liberty with the title "Lady Liberty".  I decided to sketch her on my journal page.
Day 22 - the prompt was a picture of a crown. I found a quote I liked and a picture from a magazine and this was the result.
Day 23 - the prompt was "groups of 4". One of the first groups I thought of was the suits in a deck of playing cards. I remembered I had a set of gambling stamps that I had never used so decided to take them out for a spin!  Also, my mother had given me a small incomplete deck that was the perfect size!
Day 24 - click here to see the prompt for this day, which is hard to describe.  This is an example of one of the pages that I haven't finished yet but I did paint the background that day.  I really love how it turned out. Just not sure where to go next. I need to find an image to put on it to give me some direction for the next steps.
Days 25 to 30 will be posted shortly, stay tuned!

Once again, many thanks to Dawn for putting together this challenge and for sharing the prompts.  It was a great project, and I'm thrilled with my November journal!

P.S.  You may have also noticed that I also met my goal of blogging each day for the entire month. It has been a while since I did that.  Some days were harder than others but I powered through and I feel good about it.  Thanks for reading along.  (Maybe next year I'll take part in NaNoWriMo - writing every day for the month of November with the goal of finishing a 175 page novel by the end of it?!)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cards From Friends

One of the great things about having creative friends is the fact that they just might make you a card when it's your birthday!

This card is from my friend Laura. I always loved this stamp featuring vintage industrial style lamps but look how fabulous it looks using silver ink!

This is the envelope that my friend Dianne's card came in. 

The card itself, featuring the Tim Holtz "Crazy Birds" and "Crazy Things" stamps, was even more amazing.
Thank you so much, ladies, I love the cards you made for me!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Happy Birthday To Me!

My mom recently sold our family home and has been busy going through 50 years of accumulated STUFF from a family of six as she cleans out the house before the closing date next month.  Last weekend, she gifted me with these shoes.
I don't remember ever seeing them before and certainly can't remember the days when I wore them! :) But I'm excited to have them. Thanks, Mom, what a lovely birthday present!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Late For Work

I try to get to work on time most days but sometimes, I get behind schedule.  It's not always my fault. Sometimes there's traffic or weather delays or a combination of the two. And sometimes, it's because I'm not able to get my turn in the shower right away.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Another Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends south of the border!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DLP Journal Page

While I am doing really well keeping up with the daily prompts for NaNoJouMo, I must confess that I am really behind on making journal pages for the Documented Life Project.  I fully intend to make my way through all or at least most of the weekly prompts I haven't done yet but I suspect it will take me some time to catch up/get finished.  Not entirely sure I'll play along in 2016 just because I've been so remiss in keeping up this year but having said that, I'm eagerly waiting to see what the format for next year will be all the same! :)

Nevertheless, I did complete one page in October and I have to admit, I really love how it turned out.
The theme for October was "translucent papers" and for the week of October 31st, the challenge was to use tea bags or dryer sheets on our page.  You can't tell from this photo, but the leaves are overlaid with tea bags that I glued down with matte medium.  I also used tissue paper with text on it for my background.  It was the weekend we switched our clocks back to end daylight savings time, so that helped me incorporate the journal prompt, "just create".

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Playing With Paint

The beauty of NaNoMouJo is that you don't have to finish an entire art journal spread every day.  The idea is to just do a little something each day during the month of November.

Some days, I don't have the time or the energy to do more than just this - play with paint.  Tonight, I chose these three colours as a result of the beautiful prompt Dawn provided for us today (day 24), which you can see here, and then I starting playing with mixing them together.
I'm trying to get that soft turquoise green that you can see on the left hand side of Dawn's page. So far, it has been eluding me.  I might have to go to the store one of these days and see if I can find something that particular shade already in a bottle but for tonight, I'm going to stop here.  I'll let the paint dry overnight and see how it looks in the morning.  I really like the look of this so far, just not sure what I'm going to do next.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Missing Parrot

When I was walking about in my neighbourhood a few weeks ago, I noticed this poster for a missing parrot.
Correction: "escaped" parrot.  Love how the description states that Neo the parrot is "enjoying his freedom".  Sounds like he has been spotted out and about but that they haven't been able to catch him.

Did you know that parrots in general can live to be 100 years old?  Apparently, this particular breed can live to be 80 years old in some cases! You can read more about the Orange Winged Amazon here.

Not sure how old this poster might be, it looked rather weather worn.  Makes me wonder if Neo has found his way home by now.  I certainly hope so, it's getting cold out there!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NaNoJouMo Days 17 to 19

Catching you up on a few more days of NanoJouMo (hosted by Dawn Sokol).

The theme for Day 17 was "things to climb".  I kept hearing the Sound of Music song in my head, so this is what resulted:
Day 18 - the prompt was "the city". I found the words "mad about" in a magazine and I thought they were doubly appropriate - I am crazy in love with the City of Light and I'm still thinking about the attacks in Paris, which makes me feel very angry, as well as sad and scared.  

Day 19 - "simple as this" was the prompt, which is apparently the title of a song by Jake Bugg (although I hadn't heard of either the singer or the song before! You can find the song on YouTube, if you'd like to listen to it.  He sounds rather like Bob Dylan to me.).  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cute Cat Post

While I'm watching TV tonight, I get the feeling someone's watching me.  I turn around and this is what I see:
Maggie - lying on top of the bookcase behind my chair, with her paws down on the back of my chair.

Silly cat!  But so cute!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

An Early Birthday Card

My birthday is still several days away but it's always exciting when the first card (or any card!) arrives in the mail. This lovely creation was made by my dear penpal Frances Peets.

Thank you so much for thinking of me, Frances, and taking the time to make me this beautiful card - I love it!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

When in Rome

Because this is one of my favourite journal pages that I have created for NaNoJouMo so far this month, I thought it deserved a blog post all to itself.

The theme for Day 16 was "when in Rome" - you can find the prompt Dawn Sokol provided for us here.

I decided to go with a vintage look and went digging for the bag of goodies I collected when I last visited Rome in 2012.  I found this photocopy of a picture of a couple with the fountain and the pigeons (can't remember where I got that originally, unfortunately) and an old book called "The Eternal City", from which I ripped a page and highlighted some of the text that describes two people in love. Then I got busy collaging a bunch of other stuff and this page was the result.
I really like how this journal spread turned out and putting it together reminded me of how much I enjoy collage - really need to do more of that!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sneak Peek

I made a little book out of file folders this past weekend.  Here's a little sneak peek:
Stay tuned for more details on December 1st, when I'll reveal more about what it is for!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

NaNoJouMo - Days 11 to 15

November 11 was Remembrance Day (not to be confused with "Rembrandt Day", which was the name the autocorrect function came up with when I started typing this on my iPad.  Needless to say, I quickly switched to my laptop!).  For day 11 of NaNoJouMo, we had been prompted to "just doodle" and after playing around with some watercolours, this is what I ended up with: 
For day 12, Dawn encouraged us to scrape paint on our page and doodle whatever image might appear.  I'm not sure if this creature is a rabbit or a turtle or an elephant, or some combination of all three!
Day 13 was all about dreams and I chose to journal about one I'd had that morning (covered up here for privacy) and drew a couple of images from the dream.
You've already seen my page from day 14, I posted it here.

The prompt for day 15 was, coincidentally, the same Walt Disney quote I used back on day 7 (you can see it here) so I went with a slightly shorter message with a similar theme.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Walk in November

I was stuck indoors all day Saturday, nursing a cold.  The coughing and sneezing continued yesterday but I couldn't resist the lure of a mild, sunny November afternoon and took myself out for a walk in the afternoon.  It was perfect weather for raking leaves or hanging Christmas lights, and several people were doing just that.  I had my camera with me and took a few photos of things I saw as I strolled through a small wooded area near my home.  It's interesting to see what is revealed now that most of the leaves are off the trees.
The shadows were long, even though it was only mid-afternoon.
I was interested to find this tree marked with "TNT", not sure why.
The tones of nature are mostly brown and grey right now, but every once in a while, a little splash of colour remains.
Someone had built a teepee frame out of branches.
Probably not the same someone who has been using this spot for a smoking hangout (which I suspect are kids from the nearby high school). The amount of cigarette butts on the ground is quite alarming!
I thought these leaves were interesting - they look windblown but they are actually dried in this position. They remind me of birds in flight!
The leaf nests left behind by the squirrels are easy to spot at this time of year.
Just as I was making my way back home, I came across this ball someone had left behind against the curb.  Almost as if someone was saying, "Have a nice day!" as I passed by. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Practise Empathy

A local high school has this sign on their lawn:

Seems appropriate, given the events of the past few days and all the sensationalist journalism and political rhetoric that has followed.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday the 14th

Today's prompt for NaNoJouMo was "I am..."  Given that last night's horrifying events in Paris have been on my mind all day, coupled with thoughts of all the others living in fear in areas of conflict around the world.  Like John Lennon, I too hope that some day we can all live in peace.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thinking of Paris

My heart goes out to the people of Paris tonight, as I watch the news reports about the various attacks that have taken place tonight. Scary, scary events, heartbreaking, horrifying results with so many killed so mercilessly.  Praying for peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NaNoJouMo Days 6 to 10

So far, I am having no problems keeping up with the daily NaNoJouMo prompts provided by Dawn Sokol. I'm enjoying the process of doing a little bit of art journaling every day.  For each of the past few days, I've actually completed full pages, helped partly by the fact that I am using a book that already has several backgrounds started.  Plus the book is a small one, it's the Canson XL Mix Media book - the pages measure 5.25 x 8.25 inches.

Day 6 - the prompt was "scribble". I hadn't done a face in a long time so I gave it a whirl. Scribbling is fun and fast, I think this took me all of 60 seconds to do!
Day 7 - the prompt was 3 little words: "the way to".  I found this quote and added it to an existing background that I really liked just the way it was.
Day 8 - we were to list 5 hot things.

Day 9 - write a bucket list.  Instead, I wrote my thoughts about making such a list and waiting too long to start living your dreams.  I've been meaning to go back and write "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day) on the bucket!
Day 10 - you can see the prompt for this day here.  It was a little piece of one of Dawn's creations, showing three houses.  It was a cool, rainy evening and I decided to make a page to show how I felt about coming home to my warm, fuzzy felines after a long day.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Remember

A heartfelt thank you to all our veterans, past and present, and to their families, for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make in order that the rest of us can enjoy the free, democratic way of life that we do.
A journal page I made in Nov 2013
This year makes the 100th anniversary of the writing of the poem, "In Flanders Fields".  The author, John McCrae, a Canadian soldier who died of pneumonia in 1918, near the end of the First World War in which he served.  What a legacy he has left us with his touching poem, whose words we speak each year on this day.  

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Playing With Paint

I'm playing with paint tonight, trying to capture the cool, grey, foggy, rainy night outside and the feeling of coming home to the warmth of the welcome of the furry felines who are happy to see me. Not sure where this journal page is going to go but before I go any further, I've got to let the paint dry.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Many thanks to Annabelle Lee, who sent me this artwork she created as a thank you for a donation I made to help her cause.  I am grateful that it eventually made its way to me via the post office in spite of a small error in the postal code digits and I will enjoy having this gentle reminder to practice every day.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Making Cards

Jennifer McGuire posted a video the other day about using small stamps to make a repetitive design on greeting cards (you can watch it here).

Here are a couple of cards I made after watching her video... the first one was all blue tones.

Then I made this one with a mix of colours.
The third one had a blue, pink and purple combination.  I think the addition of the faux rhinestones to the centre of the larger flowers really helps in this design.
Now I'm on the lookout for some more small steps to play with!  Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer!