Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finally--did something I saw on Pinterest

The original tee shirt scarf on Pinterest:

I have been using Pinterest for over a year. When it was introduced I loved the concept as I understood it--an online bulletin board. It was like a visual favorites folder. If you ever saw my favorites folder you would understand my interest in Pinterest--there are more than 30 sub-folders in my favorites folder (yikes).

I still love and use my favorites folder for research, quick links to frequent sites, and sites that I know I'll need infrequently but I want them accessible.

My version--if I were prone to retaking
photos I'd move the short loop closer to
my neck. My loops are fatter because I
want this to be more of an outdoor, cold-
weather scarf.
Pinterest inspires the artist in me. It has also become a way to understand the online community, visit new blog sites for their most popular posts, and get great ideas for projects from my studio.

One small problem with Pinterest for me:


To justify my new found interest in clicking and pinning and in lieu of the 12-step Pinterest recovery program I'm sure is forming as we read and write, I decided that I could not continue my obsession with Pinterest unless I used at least one pin per month.

My November project was the recycled tee shirt scarf. This looked fun, easy, and environmentally friendly. Of course, I had to put my own spin on it. Instead of the subtle gray on the Pinterest model, I chose to use two of my brother's worn out tee shirts in bright yellow and tie dye. I know just who I want to give this to for Christmas.

Check out my boards on Pinterest and follow them if you are so inclined. Those with obsessive personalities should consult a therapist before clicking this link. :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Craft Patch: 46 Pun-Intended Thank You Gift Ideas

I love puns! Not as much as my friend Andrew Cain--but close. Although this blog post was written for summer thanks--I'll use it all year around. Enjoy!

The Craft Patch: 46 Pun-Intended Thank You Gift Ideas: With summer coming on, it's time for changes. And usually when there are changes, there are people to thank. So today I'm sharing an arsena...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe by request

I put a picture of this classic family cake on my personal Facebook page and tagged lots of cousins. There were some wonderful comments and lots of "likes" so I am publishing the recipe here.

Burnett Plain Cake

—from the kitchen of Norma Anne Chattin by way of my Grandma Lizzie who claimed this recipe went further back than she did….

This is written the way she wrote it so it’s not in typical recipe fashion and that’s part of the charm.

Cream together:

·         1 cup butter

·         ½ cup Crisco shortening

·         3 cups sugar


·         1 teaspoon salt

·         ½ teaspoon baking powder

Alternately Add:

·         3 cups all-purpose flour

·         1 cup canned milk (not sweetened condensed but canned milk)

Add :

·         1 teaspoon vanilla

·         1 teaspoon other flavoring extract (mom likes lemon, I like almond, it’s also great with 2 teaspoons of REAL vanilla extract like Watkins)

Add one at a time:

·         5 large eggs

Beat really well and then beat it some more—the longer the better

Pour batter in to wax paper lined classic tube cake pan* and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cake will be golden brown.

Remove from pan before completely cool and store in airtight container.

*A note on the pan—our tube cake pans have been passed along for ages and are the kind with a removable bottom which is why you need the wax paper lining. Use just enough wax paper to keep batter from leaking. The “crust” on this cake is one of its most magnificent features and the wax paper doesn’t allow the crust to form as well.

Meaningful Advent Calendar

Sometimes you just get it right. The right gift for the right people at the right time. That's what happened last year with this advent memories calendar I created (quick & easy) for my parents. I finally published the You Tube video this week.

I am having issues this year with my gifts. It's not that I don't know what to do--it's that I want to do too many things...I blame Pinterest. Check out what I'm checking out by clicking

Enjoy an abundantly joyful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Wordle for Lynn

Wordle: lynn!

Check out and make fun word art for family and friends. My first one had to be for the marvelous Lynn Barwald. She's such a treat to know and love.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Every single day I express my gratitude for at least three of the many joys of my life. While I hesitate to make commitments like "I'm now going to blog these every day in 4-part harmony with flashing lights, glitter, footnotes and drum rolls." I am writing today and showing a digitally enhanced photo (credit of one of my blessings:

I am grateful that I have amazing neighbors on my street. I am blessed to have the two sisters next door be frequent visitors in my home where we make crafts, cook food, watch movies, and launch adventures together. This is the photo taken before we left together for church on Halloween Sunday 2012.

Added bonus: I'm glad I have a church family that celebrates the wonder and fellowship of Halloween.

Update 5.19.2014 Jade turned 13 last week!

We celebrated her entry into the teenage years with a family night dinner. We prayed together over our meal with gratitude for family and neighbors and good food.

Decorations were my digi-art using designers along with the dolly's eye which Jade drew this year and I photo-shopped into the poster.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Give a little bit of your art away

Small things are charming. I've been making artist's trading cards for over 10 years and they still feel new. The standard marketing line is "make it miniature or put it on a stick and you've got a top seller."

I'm working on an ATC gallery for and I keep getting distracted by designs I want to try again or ideas that would be fun to teach. One of my latest favorite techniques with ATCs is to adhere them to a card base and make an "instant" greeting card.

I had the pleasure of exchanging trading cards in a swap last June with some amazing artists including Pam Grant. Here are two greeting cards I made with her Artist Trading Cards.

She used collage images of photos from the 1920s and jewel embellishments to create these treasures. I added a bit of ribbon or string and a print background card base from DCWV. Oh joy.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

If you're happy and you know it

I just watched this by referral from my long-time Internet friend and inspiration Asling D'art. If you don't have time for all 12 minutes (which I heartily recommend because he's fun, knowledgeable and entertaining) then fast forward to about the 11 minute mark. There you will see the formula for happy living which includes gratitude lists and journaling.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My little visitor

This original art ATC essentially just dropped into my studio yesterday. I was moving along, minding my own business in my journal and "poof" she flew in to my head and wouldn't let go until I gave her life on an ATC.

Mixed media: watercolor, Bic Marker, Sakura Glaze Gel Pens, lace, dictionary page die cut, PSX word stamp, white Sharpie paint pen.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

RSS Feeds--Nothing like Catching up with the times

I use bookmarks like a banshee on my internet browser. I have them all in labeled folders and across the toolbar. I also have a home page that my browser opens to each time I use the internet.

Just last month I discovered a faster, better way to check in on my favorite sites and blogs. I learned how to use my browser home page as a reader and now when I go on the internet I can see immediately if any of my favorite spots have updated information.

"Boink" goes the palm of my hand to my forehead. Now I know all my high tech friends have had this going on for ages--but I also know some of my artsy followers are like me with the internet. We found a way that worked and we haven't changed habits since then....

Here's a great video (from 2007--blush) about how to make RSS feeds work for you. It's so easy Norma Anne can do it. Give it a try and be sure to add the Artful Tourist blog and web site to your readers. THANKS!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Children Learn What They Live--we all do

One of my doctors keeps this poem written on a plaque on her desk. From what I can tell, the orginal poem was written by Dorothy Law Nolte in 1969.

Children Learn What They Live

If a child lives with criticism,

He learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,

He learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule,

He learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame,

He learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance,

He learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement,

He learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise,

He learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness,

He learns justice.

If a child lives with security,

He learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval,

He learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,

He learns to find love in the world.

If I have convinced one child on this planet that he or she is loved absolutely and unconditionally then I have lived well.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sticky Rolls--AKA FLASH! Monkey Bread

My favorite recipe books are the ones lovingly compiled as fundraisers for churches and community groups. They include recipes for all kinds of dishes that are usually family friendly, easy, and frugal. I have a collection that includes my own books plus those from my mother’s and grandmother’s collections. Just browsing through the books takes me back to the covered dish suppers, family reunions, and holidays of my youth

I went to one of these books back around 1995 when we were having guests for the weekend and I needed something to serve for breakfast. I found a recipe that was submitted by one of my cousins on the Richardson side for breakfast cinnamon buns. It looked like a modified version of Monkey Bread which I had eaten before but never made because monkey bread involved the time consuming chore of rolling small pieces of dough in a sugar cinnamon mixture.

This recipe call for breaking the dough into small pieces, but then the topping could just be poured on top of the dough

Over the years I’ve stopped looking at the recipe and I just add the ingredients to fit the number of biscuits in the can. The part that never changes is how making these makes me think about my family, the novelty that biscuits come in a can, and my favorite kind of cookbook.

The view before baking

The Recipe in “you get the idea” format: 
  • Use non-stick spray to coat bottom and sides of casserole dish
  • Pull apart 10 canned biscuits and place pieces in dish
  • Melt a stick of butter in a 2 cup glass measuring cup
  • Add about a cup of brown sugar, a tablespoon of pancake syrup, teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Stir topping and pour over the biscuits.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown—around 15 minutes.
I don’t eat sweets in the morning anymore so we have this for dessert now served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
  “Y’all help yourself now.” (that means bon appetite in southern English)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Guitar--My Acrylic on Canvas Adventure

Funny how thinking about other people can bring you to new places in your own growth…Okay, it’s not funny, it’s fabulous and it’s fact. Serendipity is splendid.

I wanted to share a dose of creativity with Marina and ended up opening myself to new directions as well. We went to Uptown Art  in City Place and created a marvelous painting of a funky guitar on canvas with acrylic paint in about two hours.

The guitar is my early Father’s Day gift to Sir Henry, who was thrilled to see me walk in the door felling great and bringing him a present. The time with Marina was precious and seeing her glow with the joy of creativity was inspiring.

In addition to accomplishing my mission of sharing time and art with Marina I enjoyed making something for my husband and I received a welcome infusion of self-empowerment and confidence

I am taking a summer sabbatical from Anton Academy, the fabulous school where I work part-time. This sabbatical will open up new paths professionally and personally. Check out my hire me page online and let me know if you are on this path with me. Thanks!
Put me in Coach—I’m ready to play today!

Artist's notes: This isn't the first time I painted with acrylics for Sir Henry. Here's his favorite that I painted for him. It's a tribute to the cover of our favorite Eagle's album painted on what I fondly refer to as the "speaker thingy" for our sound system.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Postcards from the Artful Tourist

Online challenges are fun inspiration--even if you don't actually participate in the challenge. Last spring I decided to enter the "Animal Kingdom" challenge from Sunday Post Card Art. The challenge was to make a 4" by 6" postcard featuring the animal kingdom. Any art mediums in that size are accepted. When I read the preview I only saw animal kingdom, the blog challenge post on SPC actually said " furry friends from the Animal Kingdom."

I'm hoping that the human member of the animal kingdom counts if the frog doesn't....

I created my postcard in traditional collage--I'd call it scrapbook style. I wasn't satisfied with the results so I then added spray mist color and finally altered it again digitally. In the end, I didn't even enter the challenge--I just didn't feel the mojo from this project. Since I completed the postcard it's been on display in my study and now I really love it.

All 5 card stock papers used are from Paper Temptress. All but the Jelly Bean green on the frog had a shimmery finish to them.

Before walnut shimmer spray a the black & white version for another take on it.

Something to Crow About

One of my digital greetings I use on Facebook.
Happy 10-year anniversary to!
I’m no pioneer, but at the same time, I’m not a babe in the internet woods either. My web site, has been live since April 2002

Sir Henry set up the initial account for me to create as a showcase area for my writing and creativity coaching. The site has introduced me to so many fabulous people and places. I’ve published over 500 pages, gone through three major format overhauls, and worn out 5 keyboards.

The internet has moved self-publishing from a few ‘Vanity Press” operations to a global phenomenon. I am reminded of the colonial era when anyone with access to a printing press and an opinion could create a newspaper. Or perhaps the early days of Rock ‘n Roll when performers could grab their guitar and walk into a place like Sun Studios to make a record.

As princess of my very own unwieldy domain, I have not changed the world and I definitely haven’t made my first million. Then again, that’s not what I set out to do. I have had a blast--and that is defenately my intention as I continue forward with life as the Artful Tourist.

Thank you to everyone that has ever visited my blog since 2007 or my web site. I am honored.

Friday, June 1, 2012

How I spent my paper vacation

Beaded ornaments for a bottle of shells.


Every now and then, as mentioned in my knitting entry, I veer away from the paper arts to explore other creative outlets. It’s very refreshing to use different mediums of expression, enlightening to look at projects as beginner, and inspiring to meet and see a variety of new artists either online or in person.

In April, I breezed into my local bead store—Gemstone & Bead Imports on Okeechobee near Military. . The sparkles drew me in, the colors soothed my cravings, and the sample projects lifted my heart. It was time.

I’ve done beading before; I pick it up and put it down. I venture into altered steampunk style pieces fairly regularly and I made a lovely collection of beaded crystal ornaments for Christmas gifts one year. This time—I wanted Swarovski crystals and I wanted them in clusters.

I signed up for a class called “Beaded Bead” with an exceptional teacher named Kim Leahy. Check out her web site  and blog.

Take a vacation from your primary form of creative expression and enjoy where the road leads you. Be sure to send me a post card!

The class was from 10:30-12noon and I only left at 2pm because my blood pressure had exceeded the threshold for standing or sitting up any longer. (The store is 3 minutes from my home, thank you Great Creator).

I made two beads by the pattern in class, one under gentle guidance and one with more independence. I loved that teaching technique and I want to use it more in my own classes. Essentially, she taught the whole project, gave written directions, and encouraged you to complete a second identical project while she was available but not directly involved.One of my beads has become a pendant. The other bead along with a “freestyle version” I created at home have been pulled into home décor duty in our bathroom.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am not behind...

One of my favorite motivational sites for cleaning, organizing, and living is The daily emails from this site help to simplify the routine tasks of managing life and home. I love it. I don’t always read the emails, and even after four years of subscribing I can’t say I practice the Fly Lady methods with any consistency. However, the great part about her whole philosophy is that “you are not behind” and “just start with baby steps.” I can embrace that philosophy.

When I teach beginning scrapbooking or journaling the first suggestion participants receive from me is this, “Start today and revisit yesterday when you can. You are not behind.”

Today, two months after my last blog post, I will show you what I started in my art journal today. If all goes as desired, I will post some additional items with future dates so my blog will read consistent again. If not, guess what, I am not behind.

Today I taped in the above digital creation I made earlier in the week and I was inspired by striped stockings to start a Zetti page. Digital elements are from different kits purchased at where my favorite designers are Crow About Studio, Brimm, Tumblefish Studios and Holliewood.

The quote on the original digital peice reads, “Life is like a steering wheel; it only takes one small move to change your entire direction.”

Live joyfully through your twists and turns.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Re-Runs, Reclaimed, Recycled

I cropped and improved the lighting on this photo once but dang if I can't find the photo now...sorry.

Being a part of the artful card making community means I receive as well as send some really great cards. I save them, it's only natural.

My parents get the majority of my card art and they live in a small space that cannot accommodate the dozens of cards they get every year from me and from others. They can't bear to throw them away.

I participate in card swaps that are enjoyable and inspiring and that means I have more cards in my "saved" files too.

I got out my box of saved cards and started re-designing them one week and the result is pictured above. This entire grouping was finished in about 3 hours--now that's a FLASH CARD.

When I used a design from someone else, they are always credited on the back. I have had some fun sending them back to the people who first made them as well.

I had a stack of larger envelopes that originally matched holiday cards and odd greeting card sets I picked up at yard sales. This project was a great way to enlarge some of my A-4 size greetings into larger cards that fit the envelopes.

Stop hoarding your solid card stock (I know you do this--grin) and cut some larger card bases that can be translated into reclaimed cards to mail out. Share the environmentally friendly joy my friends.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Anna Griffin Kit Adventure--Flash Cards!

Bonus: card not shown on video or web page.

Finally, I'm getting around to publishing the video and companion web page for these kits. Sir Henry gave me an "auto-ship" collection of Anna Griffin card kits from HSN last year. I surprised myself by really enjoying the kits.

I have only completed about 50% of them, but it's great to be able to put them down and pick them back up whenever I want to create more and think less.

Summary: When you find a really great kit for a good price, it's okay to color inside the lines once in a while.

Tips for selecting and using kits:
  • Don't skimp on quality--these Anna G. kits are really high end and it shows.
  • When reviewing for value look at how many cards you can make, what size cards you make, and whether or not the envelopes are included. (I know, sounds crazy, but there are several card kits out there without envelopes).
  • Venture outside of your comfort zone, which for me was taking a walk on the mild side.
  • Don't frustrate yourself with kits that involve tons of intricate directions, additional cutting, or creating your own embellishments.
  • If you have a room full of supplies, check out how you can easily distress or add ribbon/glitter for a more personalized look.
  • If you don't have a room full of supplies or a lot of time--just use the directions and be proud of your accomplishment.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More cards from the DCV card set--2

These fabric flower patches were purchased many years ago to decorate a pair of jeans. While I'm not beyond ripping off embroidered areas from my discard clothing, these particular flowers never made it to the jeans in the first place. The sticker words are also from an older set.

Get your stuff within reach and use it up my friends.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

More cards from the DCV card set

This acetate tag has a pretty fairy sticker in between two layers of clear paper from Paper Temptress. The edge of the card was punched with a Martha Stewart border punch.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Card Making with DCV

The fairy here is from a set of "Wallies" also purchased at JoAnn's.
As we've discussed before, when you stop buying new 'things" for the studio, you begin to discover the joy of what you already have in stock. My local JoAnn's store keeps a great inventory of DCV products including paper pads of all sizes and note cards with envelopes. I suspect they keep the regular price a little high just so they can mark them half price every month. Seriously, every single month they put the paper pads and usually the other products from this line on sale.

I bought a boxed set of print cards in 2011 and finally got around to designing fronts for them. I'm going to feature them over a few posts since I don't have the tutorial page up on the web site yet. Enjoy!

The entire box of cards are black and white prints. These left over embellishments
have been hanging out in my studio for years (as in 5 or more years).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Define Luck

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Amidst any celebrating and reveling I choose to count my blessings as well. My wonderful husband and I have had a long running inside joke about luck. Everytime he says something about being lucky or wishing luck I say that I don't beleive in luck. For me, it's all part of being blessed by my Great Creator.

Fibromyalgia is a strange illness that most would not count as a blessing or being lucky. While I'd release it if I could, I still see having the fibro as a blessing too. My life changed dramatically with the onset of this illness and much of it was to my advantage.

I get asked a lot to share some of my story to others and I have been working on a book called "Healing by Spirit" for some time now. In the meantime I have published a rather lenghy article on my web site called:

Peace be with you and the Irish everywhere.

I celebrate my Celtic heritage in my life and my art all  year long.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Reclaimed FLASH cards--quick cards with a little help from the thrift store

I ran out of envelopes and hit the thrift stores trying to find some "new" ones. Instead of envelopes, I found blank-inside stationary card sets. Poof--the inspiration for a newFLASH CARD tutorial! Check it out on my web site and browse through a gallery of samples.

See all the flash card tutorials including videos from the FLASH Card directory page: 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Time flies

Seriously, I missed posting for an entire month? Just assume if I'm not posting that I'm off having too much fun. Life is good.

Setting up a series of posts today to give me some air time in March.

2012 Digi-Scrap projects

I've been creating at least 3 new Digi Scrap designs every month this year with the goal of continuing this process. I'm using the prototypes and extras in my visual art journal too.

Here's one of the January entries that I created with a kit from Crow-About-Studios at Deviant Scraps. The kit is called "She's a Doll"

I've become a big fan of downloading photos from the Facebook pages of my friends and family. This is a photo taken from my niece Kate's album. Kate is my heart and her daughter Hailee is my heart's delight.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Uncharted Destinations Tour Begins in the Land of Zentangle

Altered Art Journal Page-Horse of a decidedly different color.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? That question was asked of me (and possibly thousands of others) recently by Kandee Johnson

Yes, it’s cliché but clichés are often used because they’re often true. I believe I try new things frequently. I’ve decided to put my belief to the test and track some of my first time experiences. Of course, I have to add a codicil because it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t over-think. My codicil is that first time is defined as brand new or something I haven’t done in a quarter of a century.

Since the whole last time doing for the first time question is a bit complex (although catchy) I’ve renamed this journey as the “Uncharted Destinations Tour.” As the year moves along you can search on this term in the blog and check out my explorations.
My first Zentangle

Art Journals are not a new adventure for me; however, art journals are a great place to explore uncharted destinations. I posted a short piece on my Facebook page about making a Zentangle. You can find out more about the Zentangle process here There are some enlightening You Tube videos on the topic too.

After I finished the black and white one in my journal I decided to see how much fun I could have doing the Zentangle techniques within an existing picture. I started small with the Arc de Triomphe and my Samsonella doodle dolly. Next I created my horse of many decidedly different colors from Raphael’s St. George and the Dragon.

Samsonella and the Arc

I am cheerfully accepting recommendations for my “Uncharted Destinations Tour.” If you know of a place where no Artful Tourist named Norma Anne has yet to travel, leave a comment or send me an email. Even better, tell me about your explorations and enjoy the moments.

Tiny 2 color zentangle spells a word

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Football Yarn

Project II-Prayer Shawl
Never thought about it much until recently, but it turns out I crave a yarn project every year during football play-off season. Last year I got out my crochet needle and some super soft baby yarn with the idea of making blankets for the two baby grands we were expecting in fall 2011.
In my mind, there were two things that I could crochet really well—baby blankets and hanging dish towels. Apparently crocheting is not like riding a bike. I could not get the stitch tension consistent and I had trouble working with the cool pastel yarn I purchased.

I stared at the crochet basket with the 6 rows of uneven stitches for the next 8 months. I finally convinced myself a month before the births that babies today couldn’t use crochet blankets anyway because little fingers and toes would get caught in the open areas. Whew…

Near the start of play-off season this year I decided I needed another yarn project. My church participates in the prayer shawl ministry and that’s a great project for a Florida person to do with yarn.

Considering my crochet disasters, it was time to take an Uncharted Destination Tour.

Green Loom is 18" long

Enter the Knifty Knitter™ by Provo Craft. This tool takes me back to my Girl Scout days (Can’t think Girl Scouts without Tagalong cookies which can be mailed to my home address thanks). One of my Girl Scout Projects was to make a knitting loom and use it to create a project.

When you read on a package that this item is great for kids and teens—it’s a very good sign. I had only seen the round looms in recent years which make great hats. Knitted hats in Florida can only be used twice a year and one of those times is when you take a trip north. The long straight looms, however, are perfect for shawls and scarves. Even Floridians wear cool scarves from those fancy yarns.

Greetings from Knitter Land....
I purchased a set of long looms in December and asked for a pattern book for Christmas. (Thanks Dave). Before I invested in the yarn to make a shawl I used some of the baby yarn to make a scarf as a test project. Not only did the scarf turn out well—the knitting loom is a fun easy lap project.


The postcard from this Uncharted Destination Tour reads:

Having a great time with long loom knitting! I’ll bring you a souvenir when I return.

Hugs- Norma Anne

After the shawl I'm going to experiment with "plarn" which
 is yarn made from plastic grocery bags. I'm thinking outdoor placemats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"New" Video Up -- 5 EZ techniques for Altered Book Art Journals

As previously mentioned, I am not going to miss time in my studio to put my studio projects online. Making movies and taking great photos is a wonderful art form but it is not the one I choose first. Consequently, I end up finding videos I made months ago and realizing I never posted them. Here's one on art journal techniques from last spring.

2012 Art and other Journals Update

I used my altered book art journal every day last year with the exception of about 6 days. I am so happy about that and I really FEEL so good when I create in my journal every day. I used a new book every quarter and still have to do a review of Journal 4 from 2011 for posting.

Oddly enough, although I prepped an altered book for 2012, I decided to step away from the altered books and use a blank page journal. I thought I'd try it for a quarter and now I'm not sure if I can even last a month with it. I still experience that blank page anxiety and I tend to use the journal in my study not my studio so the entries are not as fun to view.

I created a total of 3 scrapbook pages in 2011 and I thought perhaps the art journaling alleviated my desire for scrapping. The experiment in a "plain" book was a test to see if I would scrapbook more without an art journal. So far, I have made 3 scrapbook pages in January 2012...but the verdict is still out. I will find some balance between the two creative outlets very soon.

Here are a few photos of the "plain page" book I'm using this month. It is a journal I bought years ago in Fort Lauderdale and liked so much I didn't want to use it. All journal keepers have had that experience at one time or another, right?

This one has a cool feature call a Zen board in the back. You wet a brush with water and paint on the board. Within 5 minutes the painting disappears and you can do another one. That part is quite fascinating, but may not be enough for my every day use.

Cover of first journal for 2012 before alterations

Painting before a written entry

Same painting as it fades

I decorated the front with my "one little word" OTL and call to action.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Bright and Shiny New Year

The birds blend two shades of glitter and the
 wings and heart are in different colors
New Year’s comes around more than once a year for me—I like fresh starts in January, in August for the school year, and again in October for my birthday. The January new year is my sparkling one.

As a Christmas gift to myself I got a set of 24 amazing fine glitters from Martha Stewart. These glitters had been in my radar for over six months. Of course I had a couple dozen glitters already in my inventory, but there were only three of the very fine variety. (Go ahead, you can smirk now).

The glitters
I set up the glitters in my studio and just looked at them for almost two weeks. I am mesmerized by sparkling things. I did some Internet research on projects and found awesome wall art that I want to do for my upcoming home purchase. The project was designed by Kari Tarr for a contest Martha hosted on the show. The video tutorial is way cool for this.

I have some fun ideas for glitter cards that play on this idea from the wall art, but for some reason I couldn’t even start with that…I broke open the package for Valentine cards. Two techniques are featured for these cards:

1. Covering an entire punched paper piece with glitter after running it through Xyron™ adhesive. (see birds above)

Stamped Image highlighted with glue pen and then glitter.
2. Use a glue pen to outline spots on a stamp image and filling them in with glue. (see heart on right)

Not exactly extravagant starting points, but I did enough to get glitter on my face. Tips from my in-studio session with fine glitters:

1. Use coffee filters to catch excess glitter and return to bottles. My non-stick craft sheets would have worked if they were clean—but seriously, they haven’t been clean in years. Same goes for my cute pink tidy tray for glitter.

2. Mix the colors on a punched object for depth and dimension.

3. Layer pieces of different colors on top of each other.

Design Notes--Valentine Flash Cards

Here's the full view of the cards shown in detail. I used K & Co. double sided print papers (on sale of course) to create these and the others shown below.

The first four cards done with double sided print paper and fine glitters.

A second set of cards with glitter and shiny hearts made from reclaimed note cards--more on that later.

Hat tipped to Michael’s Arts and Crafts for their great marketing over the holiday. They ran daily specials on one item and sent them out by email and phone alerts. The glitters were a one day only special that got me into the store and the phone alerts allow the cashier to scan a bar code on your phone and zip away with your purchase.