Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ready To Go!

Yahoo! My Remains of the Day journal is ready to go on vacation. Of course, I'm not ready yet. We still have a few more weeks until our family hits the Oregon Coast, but I can't wait to travel with my spiffy travel journal. Is it too much to stop the next town over from my house to pick up a postcard? I just can't wait to start filling this thing up.
I used up an amazing amount of paper treasure that I have had stashed away for just such a project.
Here's one of my favorite treasures in my book. It is a receipt from 1964 from my grandpa's service station. It is written in my dad's handwriting. He worked for my grandpa in high school. I especially love that 18.8 gallons of Dino Supreme gasoline came to the total of $7.30! How cool is that? I posted some other pages HERE. Thank you Mary Ann Moss. I loved it so much, I think I'll go make another for my daughter to take too.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Truth in Advertising?

Just so you know...
...happiness is total electric living!
This ad I found in an old Relief Society magazine just makes me smile. I LOVE it! I just had to put it into my altered book journal. Every time I think about happiness now, I just remember that all I have to do is call the people at the power company and my problems are solved! How awesome is that? It's so simple and what kind of human being would I be if I didn't pass on the solution to finding happiness?
And speaking of happiness, just look at this pile of pages I have been working on for my Remains of the Day class. I am loving this big stack of paper and I can't wait to attach it to my cover. Doesn't paper just make you so HAPPY? Oh, wait, that's total electric living!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fully Immersed!

I am fully immersed in THIS and LOVING it. It is MARY Ann Moss' Remains of the Day class and I couldn't be having more fun. We are swimming in scraps of fabric, paper, junk, trim here at our house and I am in heaven! My family might (probably would) disagree as they like eating at the kitchen table and having clean laundry but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
I have been racking my brain lately, trying to decide what kind of sketchbook/journal I wanted to take on our family's trip to the Oregon Coast this summer. I wanted one specific to our vacation, but wasn't sure, with 2 kids, if I would have the time to fill up a whole book. In my own happy thoughts, I envision sitting on the beach, waterbrush in hand, and painting amazing watercolor sketches of the ocean. That's my dream, but the reality is, this is a family vacation, my kids' first sight of the ocean, and I don't want to miss seeing it all with them. My time will be spent with my family, with the occasional waterbrush. Enter Remains of the Day. It will be the perfect travel journal, with lots of places to tuck pictures and odds and ends from our travels. AND it is beyond fun to make. Above is the cover for my journal. It is made from fabric and trim scraps and piece of a vintage handkerchief that I have been saving.
This is the back. It just screams Jolene and vacation to me. Now I must go back to work (if I must) on the inside pages. I have lots of long saved treasures just waiting to become part of this journal.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Thought

Today's Sunday thought, brought to you by President Thomas S. Monson HERE. It reads: "We can lift ourselves and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Can't Resist

Hallelujah! We have finally had some sunshine around here. It was such a welcome treat that I couldn't resist quitting my housework (like that took much convincing) and took my son to the park. While I waited for him to wear himself out playing, I sat in the sun and worked in my sketchbook on a sketch for the long neglected Sketchbook Challenge. The theme for may is "Can't Resist It" so I sketched the park that we couldn't resist going to.
Just quick sketches here. This is a very inexpensive sketchbook from the Target, so not exactly ideal for watercolors but it works. I like it because I spent like $2 on it and so I don't feel like I have too much to lose if I do a horrible sketch (of which there are a few). I have one rule about this book, I can only use permanent ink (Sharpie). No pencil or eraser. The goal here is to practice loose sketches instead of my tendency to over think, overwork, and be to concerned about "perfect". Oh, and it is also a practice in courage.
Later, my super sweet, amazing husband watched the kids while I went on an "Artist's Date". My artist dates usually consist of heading to the tables at Barnes & Noble or Hastings, getting myself something to drink and sketching or working on an art journal. This time I noticed a shelf of juice bottles lined up. The colors were striking and the light from the window made them sparkle. I couldn't resist a quick sketch of them. Then as I started with the paint, I remembered that there is no such thing as a quick sketch of bottles (see tendencies above). Bottles are beautiful and they take just the right highlights, shadows, reflections, make them look like bottles. I had to remind myself many times to not get too perfect. Perfect just causes frustration, frustration causes anger, and anger causes me to have a strong desire to launch my sketchbook across the Barnes & Noble. Not wanting to cause a scene or be liable for damage, I opted for decidedly NOT perfect but I still love the color of these bottles all lined up. The colors still make me just as happy as when I first saw them. Amazing colors and sunny weather...what more could a girl want?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Best $8...

...I ever spent. Well, maybe not EVER. Especially since it wasn't on art supplies but still a very worthwhile purchase. Saturday, my family and I were heading to the grocery store when I saw a stand selling flats of strawberries for 8 bucks. I made my husband pull over and I bought a flat of beautiful, red strawberries (don't you just love spring?). I brought them home and began the task of cutting them up and getting them ready to make strawberry sauce to store in the freezer. I had my trusty sidekick (my son) next to me helping when a sort of miracle happened. You see, my son, is quite possibly the pickiest eater I have ever had the "opportunity" to deal with. He refuses to try anything (even a cookie if he hasn't eaten one that looks like it before) and dinner generally involves tears. I, being certain that I could fix him with all the parenting tricks, threats, and my fierce talent of standing my ground, have discovered that I know NOTHING! Turns out that my son has (of all things) inherited my fierce talent for standing my ground! ARGH! Well, for some reason, he decided he wanted to try a piece of strawberry. I was shocked and cut him the tiniest of slivers, certain that he would barely touch it to his tongue and declare it "gross". He nibbled that tiny piece for at least a minute and liked it. I tried to remain stone faced and not let him see me do the "happy dance" as he asked for another piece. I gave him one and then another, and another. Pretty soon I was starting to worry about overwhelming his stomach with the sudden introduction of fruit that didn't come in a box with a straw, but I just let him eat as many strawberries as he wanted. I was seriously dumbstruck. I don't know what got into him but I am sure glad I kicked down the $8 for strawberries. I had to journal about it (it was that big of a deal).

In fact, it totally made my other purchase that day pale in comparison. Inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison and Pam Garrison, I have always wanted to try a dip pen. So I bought one and used it to journal my strawberry page in my altered book. I was trying to go for "sloppy sophisticated", but mostly it's neither. It's something that I still need to work on. That's what I love about an art journal. It can be whatever it ends up being and that's OK.