Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stencil Vortex

On a cold, blustery day, with a snow squall that has snow blowing sideways, what on earth would make an otherwise sane person get out of a warm bed, take a gamble that the roads will be at least halfway decent to drive on, and head out for an adventure?
A workshop with Mary Beth Shaw, that's what. 
Mary Beth is AKA Stencil Girl.  Imagine having a table piled with her stencils, all for you to play with.
We spent a couple of hours making background papers with stencils, paints and all kinds of tools and techniques.  By the time I remembered to take pictures of peoples' work, most had packed them away, but I did quickly snap these made by my table mates, Gaye M and Debby R.  Beautiful!

This is one of Mary Beth's journal page spreads where she used papers like we made.  It was very inspiring to flip through her journal.
Fun, fun day.  And I learned something else on the road today... no matter how bitterly cold it is, a dog's just gotta stick his head out the window! He was actually licking the air trying to catch snowflakes.  Silly dogs!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

On the Grid

Sometimes you hear people talk about being "off the grid"... you know, living a self-sufficient life, not dependent on technology, out of the mainstream.  While those are admirable goals, I'm a grid kind of gal.  As in grid paper, or graph paper.  If it has grids on it, I'm in.  I cannot resist buying any kind of grid paper when I cross paths with it.  If it's not for my writing or art or letter practice, it will be cut up for book pages. 
I use a grid steno pad at work where I keep notes throughout the day.  My writing journal is a 5 x 7 journal that came from the office supply store.  These will hold one or two years worth, and I snapped up a few last year when they were in the sale bin. 

One of my favorite online classes I took last year was the Big Grid Journal with Martha Lever. (It was journal #3 in her Lollapalooza journal series.)  At the time of the class, I did a couple of pages in mine, but since I had so many other journals going at that time, I put it aside to use for this year.  I did this cover page with pan pastels, with stamping on top.  I also tried the technique of putting a stencil over the pastel and using an eraser to remove some of the color.
I love this picture and it will be a reminder to me to "live in the front row" this year.  I don't remember where I got the picture.  It may have been on a Pinterest site or someone's blog.  I try to keep track of those things, but I sometimes forget.
I just love that the two ladies in the front are having the time of their lives.  Pity the two in the third row, who look like they are absolutely miserable.

So this year, resolve to live in the front row!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking Ahead

Happy New Year, fellow citizens of the world (and beyond, if that applies)!

I always feel optimistic on the first day of a new year.  It occurred to me that I always hear people say "I'm glad to see the old year end."  I don't think I have ever heard anyone say "I wish this year would not end."  So we'll see how this one goes.  I predict it will have its ups and downs, its sparkling moments and its share of sad events. It is called life. 

So we look ahead, full of optimism.

I didn't take many pictures at the family Christmas gathering last month, but most of them were of the little kids wearing silly glasses.  Appropriate for the looking ahead theme!

I don't make resolutions - seems like setting myself up for failure.  But I do like to keep achievable goals in my head.  A lot of them carry over from year to year, like being more organized, simplifying life, eating better, ... the usual.  This year, I am really focusing on making things in my life flow better.  Flow.  Not a word I had thought much about until I read a blog post by Teesha Moore called "Magical Life".  The part about Flow really inspired me.  You can read her post here.  Powerful words. 

So, whatever your plans are for 2014, may it be the best year yet!!