June 24, 2009

our latest backyard visitor- or, Sedona thinks she is a bird dog.

Sedona doesn't know anything about sheep, but she does seem to be a bird dog! She always tries to get the hummingbirds when they come to the feeder, and this particular day, she really had it in for this visitor to the backyard... I don't get it; the birds don't do anything to her, but they really bother her! (maybe she's trying to herd them??)
This guy posed quite nicely for me, even with all of Sedona's barking and jumping around; he even waited while I went back into the house to get the camera. I think it is a Eurasian dove, which is quite a bit larger than a Mourning Dove. I haven't seen him since; I guess Sedona wasn't a very nice hostess!

June 23, 2009

a whirlwind weekend in Weston!

it was a fun few days in Missouri! Friday morning I left for a spur-of-the-moment weekend visit (to use up a plane ticket before it expired) with my older sister Jackie, who lives in a small town north of Kansas City. We did lots of catching up, relaxing, and of course, some sightseeing and shopping. Journaling on my tray table on the plane- yes, it can be done!

I checked one bag, and carried one onto the plane- I worked really hard to stuff everything I might want into my laptop bag (since I also had to carry on a purse). It was difficult, but I did it! I had two gallon zip-top bags: one with paper, and one with gluestick, pens, markers, scissors, and watercolor crayons). The people near me on the plane might have thought it was strange, but it really did make the flight go quicker. (For more journal pages made during the flight back, go to my Flickr page.) The minute the door of the plane opened, I knew I was back in the Midwest- it was warm, and humid!

Encaustic/Mixed media piece by Daniella Wolfe

Saturday, we headed down to Kansas City for a day of sightseeing- we started at the Blue Gallery, to see an exhibition of encaustic/mixed media work by Daniella Wolfe (I found this place thru Suze Weinberg's blog), and fiber/printmaking work by Theresa Cole. (more of these pictures on my Flickr page)

After the Blue Gallery, to get out of the rain, we headed to the Hallmark headquarters to their Visitor's Center, which has exhibits of the company's history, along with other interesting things. (did you know that Winston Churchill paintings have been on Hallmark cards? neither did I!) The photo above shows a few of the Christmas trees that Hallmark employees made every year as a gift to JC Hall, the founder of the company. There were four or five more, decorated with everything from handmade angels and wooden folk art ornaments, to a crazy-quilted fabric tree. My sister Jackie used to work for Hallmark; she said it was kind of strange to walk thru the exhibits. There were a couple videos playing with employee interviews- she recognized a number of people in them from when she worked there, and she found a couple of her ornaments on the Christmas trees.

The cute appliqued quilt above was made by Hallmark employees to raise money for the local children's hospital... (Jackie sewed the crayon square!) There were also exhibits with some of their collectable Christmas ornaments, and even an exhibit showing Hallmark cards from countries around the world. There were even a couple people showing how the die-cutting process for cards works, and a bow-making machine that makes those cute little gift bows for the tops of packages! (mine is in my bag somewhere- it will eventually go in my journal, of course!)

We did more shopping later, after the rain cleared up, including a really fun home decor store, Curious Sofa (click on the store name to check out their blog), an antique mall where I picked up some toile wallpaper, Anthropologie, and the Paper Source, where I did just a bit of damage. I got some of the new papers from their India line, and couldn't pass up some of the handmade Japanese papers with really cute bunny and fish designs. (Jackie, the paper made it just fine in my luggage wrapped in the corrugated cardboard- and bonus, I can use the cardboard, too!) After, we were going to have KC-style barbecue, but when we saw the wait was 30 minutes, we headed to Jackie's favorite Indian restaurant instead... it was very good, and another bonus- I can combine the menu and paper placemat (yes, I brought them home- artists can use anything!) with some of my new India papers.

Sunday we were going to hit Urban Arts and Crafts, but it was closed due to Father's Day- bummer- it looks like a really fun store! After finding that out, we headed back into Kansas City to another antique mall; I had to take a picture of this toaster, which was like nothing I've ever seen before. It is a "Toast-O-Lator;" apparently, the bread was put into the toaster on the left side of the toaster, traveled thru it, and came out the right side as toast... ?? I haven't been to a big antique mall in years- there was so much stuff to look at that I think I'm good for another couple years! The flight back on Monday meant more journaling to pass the time, and then I was back to the wonderfully dry heat (yes, it really does make a difference!) of the Arizona desert- tired, but it was a really fun weekend at the little pink house-- Thanks, Jackie!! (and thank Mary Ruth very much for me, for the loan of the inflatable mattress-- it was really comfortable!)

June 18, 2009

off to the Little Pink House!

Little Pink Houses for You and Me Originally uploaded by BR527

heading out tomorrow morning for a spur-of-the-moment weekend trip to visit my sister Jackie in Missouri. --back Monday! (photo courtesy of her flickr page...)

June 17, 2009

ideas!! the artful alphabet

I haven't made ATCs in quite a long time, but the link below might just inspire me to start a new series... this squidoo page has lists of themes, colors, and techniques for each letter of the alphabet... ATCs, postcards, journal pages, you could do anything with these lists as a jumping point of inspiration--

Trish Bee's Artful Alphabet- squidoo page

A: alcohol inks or acetate?

B: beeswax or bubble wrap??

C: crayon resist or chipboard?

D: dry embossing, or doodling??

E-Z... just as many great ideas!

...so many ideas... so little space in my art studio!! lol!!

June 01, 2009

happy birthday to me!

My Honda CRV had almost 158,000 miles on it... it was getting to the point that we were starting to worry about what might go wrong with it, and how much it would cost. And, since I drive so many miles (about 70 miles round trip every day), we needed something reliable. It was hard to let it go (I loved all the space for "stuff" it had!) but we traded it in for this guy, a Honda Fit hatchback. I love the color ("Storm Silver Metallic" because silver doesn't show the dust!), and we made sure to add the windshield replacement coverage to the insurance, since there are soooo many trucks that kick up rocks out here in the desert. it's pretty fun to drive, with that "engine full of 1.5 liters of fury" as the brochure said- LOL!! and it does get lots better gas mileage than my CRV did- it's kinda sad, though... it had 18 miles on the odometer when we picked it up, and it already has over 600 miles on it, just a week and a half later!