Sunday, December 30, 2007

GPP Crusade #15 Where in the World?

I was working on this post here and there this evening only to find out
some how I published a very rough draft. Ugh! Embarrassing I hope no one saw it!
This is my real post *grins, with a red face*

Where in the world am I?
My small portion of the world is central Wisconsin USA and I love it!
I was born in Madison, the state capital.
My family moved away when I was in high school.
I have lived in a few other places (Iowa, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia).
But I was so happy to return to Wisconsin, settle down and start a family.
Wisconsin is very agricultural, so most of the state is covered with farms,
and woods, but we have a bit of everything. You name it...Wisconsin has it.
At the bottom, I included links to a bunch
of interesting things about Wisconsin.

While growing up, the tourism motto was "Escape to Wisconsin", I thought it described the area perfect. I don't think there is anyplace else I'd rather live. Of course I want to travel, but with the knowledge that I can always come home to Wisconsin. Sappy huh!

Some of my family's favorite places or things to do....
Madison-all around great town for everything! We love walking around in our state capital building, Henry Vilas Zoo, Thrift stores (Goodwill on the east side and St Vinnies on Williamson) and the Learning Shop toy store on the west side. And art fairs!

geology of Wisconsin is beautiful. As a child I was fascinated on how our state was scoured by the last series of ice age glaciers.

Milwaukee Public Museum- The kids especially liked the butterfly pavilion and the old world area.

Jurrustic Park in Marshfield

Wisconsin Cheese! I recommend the cheese Factory in Rudolph

Spreckers brand pop----(I never call it soda!) I recommend Rav'n Red or Ginger Ale

Rocky Rococo's Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Funset Boulevard in Appleton---Games, movies, pizza, laser tag, carousel, tons of fun kids stuff

Fishing on the Wisconsin River

Deer Park in the Dells

Wisconsin Dells Jet Boat Ride--total blast!!!!

I love the heat of the summer and the snow in the winter. My favorite is autumn, there are festivals, pumpkin patches, hot apple cider
and beautiful vistas.
I'm excited as my kids when we get our first snowfall!

This isn't a photo of our first snowfall but pretty either way

Whatever the season...On Wisconsin!!!!!

History Of Wisconsin
State Symbols
Historical Society
Native American Indian Tribes of WI

Misc Fun Stuff
Milwaukee Public Museum
Experimental Aircraft Assoc. AirVenture
International Crane Foundation
Jet Boat Rides
Cave of the Mounds
Valley Ridge Art Studio

A bit of Kitschy Fun
Jurustic Park
F.A.S.T. (a fiberglass statue company...has a "graveyard" )
House on the Rock
Sputnikfest 2008 will be the first of hopefully many!
Freshwater Fishing Museum (climb inside a giant Muskee!)
Dickeyville Grotto
Mt Horeb Mustard Museum

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Photo experiments

I haven't had much time to experiment with photography lately,
but I did take a few pics.Snowy Branch-
shot Through The Viewfinder(TTV)



I tried shooting thru my binoculars. It's a bit tougher to get it just right. I used a sliced of toilet paper tube to space my digital camera the correct distance from the eyepiece.

Merry Christmas

taken on Dec 21

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Xmas Ornaments

This is what I made for my swapmate for the WIST ornament swap. It started as a vintage candle clip. I made a nest from shredded money and added a little red painted bird. The bird originally held a birthday candle, now it holds a sign.
I made for our tree a couple of these little elves. The head/hat is an old red xmas bulb. The body is bumpy chenille. The candy cane is from strand of old plastic candy garland. Kitschy fun!

Goodies in the mail

I bought this penguin ACEO from etsy.
It was sent in this great printed card and stickers.
Check out With Remote on Etsy.

I got an ornament, pendant, magnet,
and collage goodies from Andrea aka Zenith Jade.


I received these houses from Megan at That's Swell
as part of the WIST Ornament Swap--very cool!!!

Aren't they cute?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

GPP Crusade #14

This month's theme was Imaginary Friends: Who or What is Your Muse?

I don't think I have a specific "muse". My inspiration comes from all around me. But here are a few: My kids, Vincent Van Gogh, the stars in the sky, birds in my yard, my garden, splashes of color on my paint palette, Somerset Studio magazine, but mostly that little voice inside that tells me I'm heading in the right direction.

In thinking about this theme I realized that unfortunately that other voice can be just as strong. So I have an imaginary friend and an imaginary fiend! One side says, "Wow! What a great are so creative!" the other says "Boy you suck, why bother?....give up"

Am I crazy....I hope not. Sometime one side wins, sometimes the other. I think it's all part of my personal equilibrium. I challenge myself to ignore, put aside, or defeat the negative. I try to nurture the positive. In my studio space, I surround myself with photos, sketches, my kids drawings, magazine clippings, etc...anything that fuels my creativity.

Friend or Fiend?
10x10 inch on canvas

This tree represents both the positive and the negative. The growth and development of my creativity and the fire that is ready to destroy. Both are mostly in balance, but I think creativity is winning, though I may answer different tomorrow *grins*
Underneath the layers of paint, pen, and pencil is a copy of a cabinet card. I was going to use the image to give my friend/fiend a face. It looked I painted over it completely, but it still is there, underneath it all.
After looking at this collage for the last few days, I started thinking of one of my daughters favorite mythical creatures... the Phoenix. What a great concept! Rebirth from the ashes. I guess it happens in my artwork. I put aside projects that aren't working, only to take them out much later and rework them. I realize that I may not have gotten to the final result without the past failure.

Boy I'm rambling!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

and onward

The scan is a bit dark, but this is a set of 1inch magnets that will
soon be listed in my shop...... only 4$.
Each is backed with a very strong rare-earth (neodymium) magnet.

I finally thought I was feeling better...finally over this "bug". Guess not! I still feel yucky.

Yesterday wore me out. We had our first and hopefully not the last WIST Trunk Show at Lazy Jane's Cafe in Madison, WI. It was only 5 til 9pm, almost like a gallery show. We had snacks and drinks, very fun. The whole day ended up being an adventure and I just got tuckered out. When we got home the kids just kicked off their shoes and climbed into bed. They held up pretty good though. I've spent today just reading a bit and photographing fun stuff to list on Etsy. Soon, I promise. I have tons of pictures and scans to adjust, crop , and organize!

To everyone who stopped by Lazy Jane's last night.....thanx it was great to meet you!
To my fellow WISTers who set up....I loved seeing everyone and we need to do it again!

good eve,

I forgot to take any photos at the show! duh!
*****someone else posted my booth picture on flicker. Thanx Jen!*****

Friday, November 16, 2007


My chest aches....Early this morning a local boy died in a house fire. Gage was 7 yrs old. We aren't close to the family, I've only talked to his mother a few times (on the sidelines or on the bus during a field trip). Emma is friends with one of Gage's older brothers and my son loved wrestling around with Gage during soccer practices. We weren't close but nevertheless... I hurt. Gage was a nice boy, I liked him. And now he's gone.

His parents and the 4th grade twins got out of the house safely. I can't begin to imagine how Gage's family feels. I just gave my kids extra hugs and've got to appreciate those you love every minute you have them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holiday Fair in IA

I wanted to post a couple of my booth shots....even though they are bad. My booth was near the back of one of the rooms, but I liked my spot because it overlooked the kids area. I like being near the fun stuff!

I started getting sick Sunday (the day of the show) and I'm still trying to get over it! Ugh!

Friday, November 09, 2007

off to Iowa

I'm leaving to spend the weekend in Iowa. I'll be set up at the Holiday Fair at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. I've never been there, but sounds like a lot of fun!
Have a good weekend!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A few new collages

Grow Strong

Grow Strong close up

Grow Strong close up

Four and Music

Good Samaritan

Bright Winter

sorrow for the lost Lenore

Ok this is late for the October Crusade but here it is anyway...

For Michelle Ward's October Street Team Crusade themed Get Gothic . I wanted to something the kids and I could work on together and to include my ongoing bird theme. "The Raven" by Poe was a natural. Interesting how the idea progressed. We ended up making a shire to "the lost Lenore". Not exactly scary, just sad. I especially like the touch of the dove "dressing up" as a raven. Dove~~~peace, love and happiness now twisted into the gentleman's tormentor as he goes insane. We included love letters, candles, graveyard dirt, dried flowers, jewelry, and her photo.
The box is the La Guardarropa Shrine from Coffee Break Designs, very cool and easy to adapt. I gotta get thinking on November's "Imaginary Friends" theme.

Some of the "parts" before

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I've been busy...and my blog hasn't been a priority. Last week has had many ups and downs. My grandmother came to visit and we made plastic "fabric". She used it for a fab clutch purse. Check out the tutorial here. Very fun! Boy if she lived closer, we would get in tons of crafty trouble!

My hubby and I had our 15 yr wedding anniversary. We had a nice dinner at home. Sirloins, baked potato, cloverleaf rolls (homemade), salad, and turtle brownies. Yummy! The kids helped set the table up nice. They were on their best behavior. Nice evening, better than eating out.

My poor, poor Bluto, my little guy, my shih tzu is 12 and not in good shape. He has had many health problems. He only has days left, I know it. I try not to think about it, but instead...that is all I can think about!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

More photo experiments

A few more photos here

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Halloween ATC Swap and a growing disaster!

As you can see my studio is a bit of a disaster! I'd like to say that this was the exception, but alas no, my studio is always a MESS! I think I work better this way. At least until I cough or sneeze and then some small scrap of paper I needed goes flying into the abyss!

"What does this have to do with swaps?" you say...
I hosted my first swap ever. An ATC swap open to members of WIST (Wisconsin Street Team for Etsy). I didn't get a real big turn out, but that's OK. I tried to stay organized as each batch of ATCs came in. I had a box set aside for them and all was going perfect. Too bad I wasn't as organized with my own cards. I lost 2 of them (1 Cat and 1 Jack o' Lantern) just before the swap ended! I didn't have time to replace them. Oh well, I was going to give each swapper a card from me as a bonus, but I just didn't have time to replace the lost ATCs. Maybe next time.


Monday, October 08, 2007

How Cool is Michelle Ward?

Very cool!


"In Motion"

This past weekend I took a class with Michelle Ward. Firstly, she is a great teacher! Her enthusiasm and energy is infectious. This class was at Valley Ridge Art Studio (...again) and it was called "Backstage Pass"
We created a small 6x8 inch shadow box assemblage and kept a journal during the process. We sketched ideas, worked out problems and tried new techniques that are in the journal, but may not have ended up in the assemblage

a few of my process pages

Think of it as a design file. With clippings and paint swatches, a peek into the process. A great reference for further exploration of an idea or a technique....and fun too. My assemblage is not complete yet. I need to dig out the right sized gear to put under the left foot for balance. My journal doesn't have much writing. Mostly experiments with paint techniques and finishes. I liked the whole process and I will continue to use her suggestions. I forgot my camera, but hopefully Michelle will post some of the pics she took on her blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tagged by Jen

Six interesting things about myself....hmmmmm I'm not sure what others would call interesting but, here it goes:

1. Years ago I worked at various Park Service locations along the Mall in Washington DC. I worked up at the 490 ft level of the Washington Monument, inside the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery. I wasn't a Park Ranger, I worked in the historical bookstores.

2. I love to read and to stay up waaay too late reading. Not unusual for me to only get a few hours sleep, just so I can finish a good book. I just finished "Elves of Cintra" by Terry Brooks.

3. I am a SciFi geek. I love the TV show "Stargate SG1". I also thoroughly enjoy "Army of Darkness" and other Bruce Campbell movies. His books are worth reading. I laughed so hard at "Make Love* * the bruce campbell way"

4. When I was a kid, I used to read books about survival. You know, how to make shelter, desalinate water, start a fire etc... But the first time I went camping was in college. We were in the Ozarks during spring break and I was totally freaked out the whole first night. Can you say "Blair Witch Project"? Except I was imagining toothless hillbillies with axes. Very embarrassing!

5. I love chocolate and PB, chocolate and mint, and....ok chocolate! Yummy!

6. I am a horrid speller! My 9yr old spells better than I do. My grammar and punctuation needs work too! If it wasn't for spell check I would have spelled grammar wrong!!!! When I see a misspelled word, I know it is wrong. I just don't always know how to fix it.

I decided not to tag anyone else, but if you want to see who Jen tagged.......go here :-D

Artapalooza pt 2

Hello, I'm a bit late posting this. I put off planning my son's birthday party for weeks. So now I'm in a rush to get everything done for Saturday. So far so good.

Well last Saturday was a beautiful day! Perfect weather to be outside. I saw some people who purchased from me last year, and I met some new people. Again, I had a good experience there. Better turn out than last year, but a different crowd. I see a lot of potential for ARTapalooza. The only problem I saw was the date. Last year the fair was a week earlier. This year unfortunately, it was the same day as the Iowa/ Iowa State Game. Hawkeyes lost, sorry Iowa fans :-( ~~~~~ Congrats ISU :-D

I'm not a football fan. I know, I know, not the thing to admit when living in Wisconsin. If a WI team is planning, I want them to win. Loyalty to my home state always! Like Saturday when the Badgers play the Hawkeyes.
Bucky Badger rules!!!
My Dad was a huge Badger fan and we had to have every game on. Even if he dozed off, forget about turning the TV channel. He'd wake up immediately. "Hey, I was watching that!"
funny the things I remember about my Dad.....