Tag Archives: crafting

Art Journal: Home

Art Homes - Rotated - 01

This is my latest page in my Art Journal: Home.  I bought the Autumn issue of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio and was inspired by a spread I saw by Darlene Maciuba-Koppel.  This is similar to inchies but these are a little bigger – a little less than 2 inches on each side.

Maciuba-Koppel wrote

Art Journaling is a gift I give to myself.  After a few pleasurable hours of choosing images, painting, cutting scraps of paper, and pasting, I feel a sense of calm envelope me.

I feel that too.  Her houses page was about creating and pursuing your passion.  Mine is about home and what home means to me . There as a little blurring of lines here because home is usually where I create and I including “creativity” as one of the words on my page.

Art Homes - Rotated - 12

I probably spent as much time seeking out words in magazines and searching through my paper and scraps for just the right bits and pieces as I did actually crafting the page. I was at Sea Ranch when I did most of the work on the page and I’d brought a nice selection of supplies with me to work with.

Art Homes - Rotated - 10

It isn’t obvious to the casual observer, but there are bits and pieces from maps, sheet music, dictionary pages, envelopes, postage stamps, old calendars, and greeting cards.  I know there are items from at least five different friends whom I think of when I look at these little houses.

Art Homes - Rotated - 09

As with the inchies, I find I really enjoy the tiny canvas of each small space occupied by each little house.  I have gone back to add little details several times, adding a window here, a doorknob there, coloring in the background or sticking a slender bit of washi tape onto the page.

Art Homes - Rotated - 08

I’ve had a wonderful 2-week vacation and much of it was spent at home (or at home-away-from-home: Sea Ranch).  I did a lot of cooking. After using up a package of corn husks we had 28 tamales.  Today we used the rest of the almost 10 lb. bag of prepared masa to make 22 queso fresco pupusas, tamale pie and a dozen tamale muffins, using masa in the bottom of each muffin, then tamale pie filling, grated cheddar and more masa for the top.  The freezer is well stocked. Rem and I baked treats for our neighbors as well.

A minor surgery before Christmas kept me from being as active as I could have been.  I’ve really enjoyed having no schedule and maybe a few too many mornings sleeping late and lounging around in my nightshirt and slippers.  It’s been good to relax at home; I’ve done lots of of crafting, reading, some blogging, and all of the cooking.

We’ve also spent some time cleaning out drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, sorting through kitchen tools we no longer use but that have been crowding our limited storage space. Rem donated several bags of items that we hope will be useful to someone else.  We planted bulbs in two boxes, inspired by an article in Martha Stewart on layering  bulbs for blooms throughout the spring: the late bloomers go on the bottom, mid-spring blooming are in the middle layer and the earliest bloomers are on the top.  Gravel on the bottom of the planter for good drainage and we hope to have a beautiful display of crocus, daffodils, tulips and iris all spring.  Something to beautify our home.

My toe is almost fully healed now and I took walks yesterday and today.  Tomorrow: back to work.

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under Crafts

Cards with Friends

Blue Butterflies

In January I got together with some friends from grade school and made Valentine’s.  We had such a great time together that we’ve made it into a regular event, calling it “Craft & Flash.”  Our last get-together was about a month ago.  Ladies: we need to schedule our next gathering.

Washi Tape

I was making a stack of birthday cards and recycling old greeting cards, maps and calendars in the process, inspired by crafting while on vacation.

Pink Butterfly card

I’d saved a pretty card with rows of different colored butterflies on a glittery green background.  I’ve had it for a few years and recycled it into new cards.

An old calendar from Paper Source provided artwork for a bird card.  I love the artwork on my wall all year long – they’re beautiful calendars and beautiful resources for crafting cards.

Blue Jay

Carefully cutting out the Blue Jay and adding a little glitter plus stamping a greeting on the inside and the card was done.

My friend Shook gave me some pretty place cards she’d bought and never used. I’m delighted to be the recipient when someone gives me something they think I might use in my crafting.  The cards add a nice detail when stamped with a message and glued inside the card.

Placecard recycle

For this one I used a scrap of the glittery green birthday card and some washi tape.  Another benefit of crafting with friends is expanded your supplies.  Everyone was generous and happy to share their goodies.

We had a variety of projects happening around the table. Creativity was flowing and I enjoyed seeing projects old and new.



Besides the production of birthday cards, an Art Journal was being expanded, tags and beautiful wrappings were being created for a series of birthday gifts, jewelry was being crafted and chocolate was being consumed.


All the best crafting events include chocolate.

As usual, the table was in creative chaos.

Craft Table

Or was that just my mess?

Glitter was spilled.

Glitter and glue pen

I got to try this ballpoint glue pen from Martha Stewart.  I will pick a few up next time I’m at Michael’s.  It is very fine, great for glitter and other detail work.  Like Dianne Dots.

The last time I was at Craft Gym at Once Around in Mill Valley, my  friend Margaret gave me the gift of a little shopping spree. Amongst the goodies I came home with was a package of cute paper embellishments. This butterfly is from that package.

Butterfly with Glitter

More glitter and an adhesive jewel, a few stamped flowers and paper from both an old textbook and an old bus schedule complete this card.

I’ve made a few of these cards with an old map and a bicycle stamp, but for this one I got a bicycle cutout from another of the Craft and Flash ladies.  I spent awhile coloring it. I love this card!

Bicycle Map Balloons

We crafted and chatted and laughed and ate.  It was lovely.

The dogs were happy sitting in the sunshine.

Dogs in the sun

Phoenicia made delicious chili, another great dish without a recipe.  If I recall correctly, it had beef, pork and sausage, and it was full of different veggies.  Write it down, Phoenicia!

Craft and Flash Chili

One last card I did that afternoon was from a 5-minute collage I’d made. A little extra embellishment and another card done.

Purple Collage Card

Sitting and chatting with my friends while crafting is the best therapy in the world for me.

It has been a very tough month since then with my brother spending more time in the hospital then out.  He was in ICU but is back in the regular ward and we expect him to be discharged in the next few days.  He has started dialysis and faces a host of challenges. The support and love we have all shared and received has helped make a really difficult situation survivable.

At first, spending long, anxious hours with other family members at the the hospital, I was too worried and upset to focus on anything more than mindless games on the computer.  Long days and nights of interrupted sleep meant I missed getting to the gym and I didn’t have the energy or inspiration to craft.

With some improvement in his condition, I’m returning to some of the things that have been on hold.  A trip to the library and new reading material I’m finally able to absorb.  I was able to spend time cooking together with Rem who has been a rock, taking good care of me.  And yes, pulling out the craft supplies and crafting.  I’m finishing up some cute cards and will share them soon.

Thank you for being here.




Filed under Crafts, Life

Vacation Crafting

Bike & Balloons

I made a bunch of cards while I was on vacation at Sea Ranch.  I got this idea on Pinterest and will make more of these.  A piece of map for the background stamped with a cute bicycle plus some paper balloons on pop-up foam dots.

Pretty old calendars from Paper Source gave me lots of great card-making material – I used pages from 2012 and 2013 calendars.

Small, sparkly Starform stickers embellish the seeds and serve as Dianne Dots here.  I left my little hole punch at home (I was trying not to bring everything under the sun).

Strawberry card

Washi tape pennants and a flower cut out from another printed paper finish this card.

Big Flowers Card

The bird page in the calendar has several more birds so I have more cards I can make from that one.  A few foam pop-up dots lift the bird, leaves and branch off the background.

Bird Card

I love this peacock feather graphic.  I just added some glitter.


For this purple card, I found the pretty, large flower  left from a set embellishments.  Behind the flower, I used a photo of crackle-glazed tile cut out from a magazine.  A little purple washi tape finished the card.

Purple Flower

A shopping outing over the long President’s Day weekend included a stop at Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley.  I used some of the pretty paper in these cards.

For this card I used orange-striped washi tape to highlight the greeting.

Blue, White, Orange card

This big pink flower is cut out from a magazine.  I glued the picture to card stock before cutting it out to make it sturdier and so it wouldn’t allow the layers of paper under it to show through and make crease lines.

Big Pink Flower card

A collaged tag is embellishment for this pretty flowered card.

Pink and turquoise floral card

It doesn’t show well in the photo, but on the card below, I cut the central flower and leaves from another scrap where the design repeated. I put them on foam dots and added some of the glittery Starform stickers.  These add have a jewel-like effect but lie flat on the card.  Although I love how self-adhesive jewels look for bling on a card, they aren’t the best for mailing and can poke through an envelope.

Flowers with black

I also did a few pages in my Art Journal.

I cut out the fabulous circle of people from a New Yorker and have been wanting to use it.  It was illustrating a story called “Thirteen Wives” by Steven Millhauser. The illustration is by Balint Zsako.

Thirteen Wives

When I found the rainbow circle quilt picture in O, the Oprah Magazine, I thought I could use the two illustrations together.

Quilted Circle

Marigold Indigo

A shopping bag from Dianne’s Estate Jewelry in Healdsburg is part of the collage on the other spread I completed on my birthday, “Dianne’s Creative Happy Life.”  A rainbow arches over the top of the page and music on washi tape embellishes it.

Dianne's Creative Happy Life

Close up Dianne's

The word CREATIVE is from an advertising brochure for printing and paper. I used bits from dictionary pages, greeting cards and magazines.

Diana definition

Things I love, including my wonderful Rem, crafting, picnics and chocolate, all found a place in this page.




I included “happy birthday” and “54” since it was made on my birthday.

I hope to spend more time art journaling soon.

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Art Journal Pages, Crafts

Home Fries, Haggis & Hearts

Fruit & Pastry @ WOW Cafe

I had such a great weekend!

On Saturday I met an old friend for breakfast, someone I’ve known since we were in grade school.  She was in the area for a memorial service and told me that her aunt, who died at 96 after a battle with lung cancer, told her that no one should cry for her, that she’d had a good, long life. What a positive and powerful message to hear from someone. That is quite a span of years.

My friend and I go back many years which is nice.  We reconnected easily.  We met at the Worth Our Weight (or WOW) Cafe in Santa Rosa.

Worth Our Weight Mission

This is from the website:

WOW apprentices are young people from 16-24 who have faced major challenges in their lives, including foster care, difficulties with the law, homelessness, and significant family disruption. We provide tuition-free culinary and food service  training.

The fruit and pastries in the first photo were presented to us as we were seated, a really nice touch and they were all delicious, including the little pot of grapefruit marmalade.

Lisa had Eggs Florentine with spinach and cheese that came with home fries and she got an English muffin on the side.  The muffin was without any butter, but she shrugged it off.

Eggs Florentine

I chose a vegetable bowl and poached egg with a side of chicken apple sausage.  They vegetable assorted was great, including sweet potato, white potato, chard, kale, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and bell pepper.  It was served with a spicy/sweet tomato chutney on the side that was a perfect accompaniment to the dish.

Poached Egg Veggie Bowl

The cafe ran for five years with a ‘no-prices, pay what is fair’ policy but they had to end that because some people short-changed them.  Although service wasn’t top notch, we both felt good about supporting the program and tipped the young servers well.  They were learning, after all.

The check comes with a little bag of fresh-baked cookies, also delicious.  It is worth a visit.

Check with Cookies WOW Cafe

Driving home I stopped at Michaels for some fun Valentine supplies. That afternoon I sang at the bedside of a choir client, a woman I have been singing for nearly every Saturday for about 4 years, with another choir member. Her smile was warm and she mouthed the lyrics along with us as we sang.  Who can say who benefits the most from this interaction?

Rem and I had haggis for dinner that night, a first for both of us.  He’d seen a link on Reddit for ordering haggis, and since Saturday was Burns Night, celebrating Scottish poet, Robert Burns, when haggis is traditionally served, he ordered one, more for curiosity, I’m sure, than to honor Burns!  I was glad to learn it is no longer made in a sheep’s stomach, or at least not for export, they use sausage casing now.  It was better than I expected and now I can say I’ve had it.

I don’t have a picture of the haggis, suffice to say haggis is not really very photogenic.

Sunday was a day of crafting Valentine’s and I had the pleasure of doing it with a group of women that I’d gone to grade school with. We’ve only seen each other sporadically over the years and had become Facebook friends.  I suggested crafting together and the response was enthusiastic.

Our somewhat tongue-in-cheek name for the event was “Craft & Flash” as we are women of a certain age and hot flashes are ever-present for some of us.


Four of us were up to our elbows in paper and ink, embossing powder and heart punches. We had lace doilies, glue sticks, little jewels, washi tape, baker’s twine, and lots of hearts. It was wonderful!

Valentine Crafting

The conversation and creativity flowed.  At the end of the afternoon, we had quite a gallery of beautiful, handmade Valentine’s.

Craft & Flash Valentine's

Craft & Flash Valentines

Victoria had picked up some treasures from Target $1 bins, like this cute owl that she featured on a card with some black lace patterned washi tape and a silver embossed greeting.

Owl Card

Clare worked steadily and managed to create 10 cards, including this one with red lace washi tape, a handful of hearts and a sweet little tag tied with baker’s twine.

Clare's Hearts

We had three sweet dogs keeping us company, including Shorty, Victoria’s rescue pup that she’s had since Christmas Eve.


What a cutie, right?

More Craft & Flash Valentine's

Phoenicia made two banners, including a funny one for her daughter with old photos from a magazine.

Mystery Man

and more

She also made a delicious Thai curry chicken vegetable soup (maybe she’ll share the recipe).  We feasted on “Ham and Eggs” – stuffed eggs garnished with bacon, pigs-in-a-blanket, apple slices, grapes, cheese and bread.

My busy weekend was full of friends, laughter, reminiscing, good food, singing, crafting and love.  It was easy writing something for my Gratitude Jar.

Thank you for coming by.


Filed under Crafts

Valentine Time

It is 1/14/14, and Valentine’s Day is 1 month away. I’ve been itching to start crafting Valentine cards.

Washi Banner Valentine

As usual, I look at Pinterest for inspiration.  A cute little Valentine plaque inspired this card.

black bow Valentine

I decided to go with a color palette for all (or most) of my Valentines: black, white, red and turquoise accents.  I’m using washi tape and lots of great paper from various collage projects.  This card with the black polka-dot bow is modeled on this one. The photo doesn’t show it very well, but there is a little dry-embossed heart to the right of the word “love.”  I used this technique last year.

When I was recently at Target, I scanned their dollar bins for Valentine-related goodies.  I found glossy red scalloped cards sold in sets of eight with their envelopes. One dollar a pack!

Cards and rolls of ribbon

This is my first card using the scalloped card for a base:

Doily Card

Here is the card that inspired this design.

There are lots and lots of ideas and spring boards to generate other creative things and I’ve got loads of beautiful supplies.  Plenty more cards to come!

Thanks for stopping by.


Filed under Crafts

An Art Journaling Afternoon


My friend, Margaret, and I enjoyed an afternoon of Art Journaling on Monday.  It was low key and relaxing.

She’d been interested in trying her hand at crafting an Art Journal and wanted to do one in an altered book.  You can see more about some art journal basics here.

I got Margaret rolling on a spread with color as the theme.  She created these lovely pages on the color orange.

Color Orange

All the elements came together beautifully.  The rich fall colors in the pretty background picture are accented with a little blue that is repeated in the design on the dress fabric and the scrap of blue mulberry paper behind the woman.  The repetition of the fish scale pattern is echoed in the lines on the fabric.

Margaret said she felt like she was in kindergarten.  We should have had milk and cookies!

While she was working on her orange page, I put together this page.  I’d cut out the yellow bird a long time ago and had found the scrap that says “sing” and the two pieces have sat on my desk for months.  I was very happy to finally include them in a spread.

sing yellow bird

The ripped piece of paper in the middle is printed vellum.  When it is flat, you can see a bit more of the left part of the face.  I don’t really know why I combined these images, but I did.  Her face is tinted a deep shade of teal but that doesn’t really show in this photo.  I like how the yellow, rust-orange and turquoise work together.

We continued creating, with both of us starting another page.   Margaret wasn’t finished when I had to leave, but you can see she had a nice possible layout that she was working with.

Rosy Pink

I’m sorry I cut off part of the word “HOME”.  She did a beautiful job with the pink, black, white and green accented color scheme in all the elements.  You can see the doggie’s pink tongue and bits of pink and green  in the interior photos.

After my Halloween costume this year, it should be no surprise that I did a page with a peacock feather motif.

Peacock Page

I was nearly finished before I left, but I added a few doodles on the face tucked into the word “beauty” and some white ink finishing the shape of the bottom of the peacock feather later that evening. When I started it, I looked through magazine images I’ve previously picked and chose items for their color. There is a giant leaf, a hibiscus, some pretty glass bottles, a plate, some jewelry and even some shoes all collaged together.

craft table @ MM's

It was good spending time crafting with my friend, chatting and catching up as we colored and pasted, using our creative energy.

Orange Lady

Thank you for your visit.


Filed under Art Journal Pages, Crafts

Day 7: Orange Makes Me Happy!

Orange Makes Me Happy

Day 7: Orange Makes Me Happy!  After the Day 6 Mosaic Poppies (that I did today), I needed and wanted to do something FAST!

I decided to do a page on Orange.  I started at 8:17 PM.

8:17 PM

I used the first exercise from Virginia Simpson-Magruder’s workshop that I took recently.  She guided us through these steps.

I glued 3 pages together (one set of three was already glued from the previous spread).  This is to give the pages extra support for the various mediums that will be used on them.

Glue Pages

I took a Sharpie and wrote on the page about a color, in this case: O R A N G E.  I wrote: “Orange makes me HAPPY!  It’s sunny, bright, cheerful and looks great with blue.”

Than I used water soluble oil crayons and stamp pads to color the pages.

Coloring the Pages

Next I used a wet paint brush to swirl the color together and really cover the paper.  Than I used a heat tool to dry the pages.

Dry Pages

Next step is to find images for the spread.  I’ve got a collection but I also have a stack of magazines and I took a quick look through a few magazines as well as through my container of images.

Obviously Virginia gave us guidelines for collecting images.  Take her class to learn more!  And, let me add, I wasn’t completely following her guidelines here.  Remember, I was going for speedy.  But essentially, it’s a good idea to rip out the pages that catch you eye.  Start your collection now.

Tear or trim the images to suit your vision and arrange them on the page.  When you are happy with the arrangement, glue them in place.

Arrange and Glue

Add embellishments (in this case I added some washi tape) …

Orange Makes Me Happy

and any journaling you want.  I put “Orange Makes Me Happy!” inside the “O” in the “Hello”.


I added the date onto one of the mailboxes.


DONE! Yay. 8:47 PM.


It took longer for me to download the photos and put this post together!

Here is the delicious recipe I made last year for Day 7: Lemon Custard Ice Cream

Day 7 the year before resulted in Refrigerator Word Magnets

Thanks for the visit.


Filed under 30DOC, Crafts