Monday, May 25, 2009

Journal for a Cause and Digi Bonanza

Journals—celebrating and promoting journals is one of my greatest passions. Today is a great day to start a journal or add an entry. It’s an even better day to decorate a journal that will start a young person on the path of journaling. Click here to view my latest web page about making journals.

Create a Journal to Share
My fifteen year old friend Kelsey Salerno has made a request that we should all consider filling. She wants to collect handmade journals to give out at summer camps for kids who have lost a loved one to cancer.

Keeping a journal was a big part of the healing process for Kelsey when she lost her Grandfather and now she wants to share that with others. Kelsey also volunteers at Gilda’s House and works with cancer patients there. I created the journals shown above at her request for someone she works with there. Click to enlarge the photos for viewing.

Kelsey may have some additional information online and I’ll keep you posted on the process. Although she currently lives in New York, some of the West Palm Beach residents might remember her and her Mom, Mel Salerno, from the Paperie store here. Mel and her business partner Jodi owned and ran that fabulous store.

Email Kelsey at to get the address for mailing your completed journals.

Digital Grandson Layouts
My step-daughter is doing a great job of keeping us in the loop with photographs of our growing grandson. Here’s three layouts I made last week about his first haircut. See links under Surf Stops for details on how I got the free kit to make these. Click layouts to enlarge.

Regular Features

Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently:
Digi Scrap Addicts is having this cool contest for digital kit designers. Every week they have a theme and elimination as they get down to the final winner—reality show style. The kits from all the contests are available for FREE download. If you ever wanted to get a great collection of digital scrap tools, this is your moment! is the link and you need only look down at the bottom to find previous week entries. You have to register, but it is way worth it.

Week three theme is kits inspired by Beatle’s songs. I just love them all….

A kit from week two called Project365 was used for the Sam’s haircut pages…

The Freebie Queen has links to all kinds of wacky free stuff, deals, and delights:

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me— Yellow again, but this time with lime green

Most played song- The Taters! If you live in the Richmond, VA area and have the chance to see this band live—don’t hesitate. Our favorite venue for them is Ashland Tea & Coffee where they’ll be May 30th. You can see their schedule and click on stream to hear some song clips here:

Studio progress: Well, it’s been on my mind a lot. –sheepish grin-

In the kitchen— Bubba Burgers! I never thought I’d prefer a frozen burger over home-prepared, but wow, these are great burgers. Pull one out of the box, note how they’re shaped like the state of Texas, and throw it on the grill. They are the perfect summer cookout fare.

Austerity Plan progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools): I’m still enjoying “shopping” in my own studio and rediscovering my own supplies and tools. I haven’t set food in a craft store in over six weeks yet I’m creating regularly. I was tempted by an envelope deal at a local discount supply place, but after carrying them around in the store for 15 minutes—I walked out with nothing.

My opinion and where it may lead: We saw the newest Star Trek movie last weekend and I can’t remember having that much fun at a theater in years. It was a brilliant combination of today’s actors and the characters of my youth. So far, the only place this opinion has led me is to Burger King to buy the kid's meal so I could get the toy ship Enterprise that says “Red Alert” when you push the sides together.

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring means


For the last few months I could not get the idea of a camping trip off my mind. My family used to camp every year in a little travel trailer all over Virginia. We even hauled that thing to the World’s Fair in Canada once. I have such vivid and happy memories of camping.

From age seven to age thirteen I went to sleep away camp every summer where I slept in canvas sided huts, swam, paddled canoes, sang, ate all kinds of strange foods I would otherwise never touch and, of course, my favorite arts and crafts time…smile. As an adult I camped with various husbands, friends, and family members and never tired of the experiences.

Sir Henry and I have had a charmed life together, but before last weekend, we had never been camping. I couldn’t stand going a moment longer without camping so when my dogs asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day—I got a weekend at the KOA in Lake Okeechobee. Those dogs are just so thoughtful; they even made sure they could come along for the fun.

We rented a little hut with a bed, a porch swing, and, because it is Florida, an air conditioner. It was like camping in hard sided tent with AC. We loved it! The campground had all kinds of amenities and special events. I had an ice cream sundae as an appetizer for dinner Saturday night and we went to an all you can eat pancake breakfast by the pool on Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day
Before we left I enjoyed making Mother’s Day crafts with my neighbor kids. I had to hold them in my house to prevent early gifting (smile). Plus we made their Mom a white chocolate cheesecake with strawberry garnish.

New Card Gallery
There’s nothing like crafting with kids to get you excited about making things. I’ve been on such a creative binge since February. The Destination Heartfelt Art has really inspired me to get things out of the studio and into the hands of my loved ones. I put up a gallery 55 new cards I’ve put together since mid-February. I hadn’t even realized it was that many.
Playing with Pink
Repurposing and recycling have become my standard in the studio. Yesterday I decorated a little pink box that Smashbox™ make-up came in to create a fun birthday card for my 8 year old neighbor.

Happy Spring everyone!

Regular Features:
Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently:
1. Smilebox—Created a fun slideshow to be delivered to my Mom and a copy for my brother on Mother’s Day while we were out camping. Edit HTML and post code into the body….

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Thanks Mom
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow
2. Dirt Cake Recipe for 8-year-old’s birthday,196,150160-224197,00.html This cake is the most fun dessert on the planet. I put gummy worms in the top, flowers, and made a customized sign for the birthday girl. Too fun.
Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me— yellow, sunny yellow.

Most played song:Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin, sung by a woman at the campground so well that I‘d swear Janis was still with us.

Studio progress: Emptied some stuff for projects you’ll see soon, not a lot of clearing. (abashed shrug)
In the kitchen: Camping food! We used the Coleman stove exclusively for cooking dinner. The first night we had stuffed chicken breasts with salads and the second night Kielbasa stir fry with salads.
That old standard, the five cup, salad recipe, is perfect for camping:
1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mandrian oranges, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mini-marshmellows, 1 cup cocconut--all mixed up. You really can use more or less of any ingredient and throw in other stuff if it sounds good to you.
Oh, it was goooooood.
Austerity Plan progress-($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools): No art related purchases this week and sent out several recycled items from a converted nut can (for camping cookies) to a card made from a Smashbox™ make-up box and a vase from an old Pringles™ can to hold a bouquet of balloons.
My opinion and where it may lead: Getting away, just for a weekend camping trip, is healthy for the body and soul. Even if I need more “recovery time” afterwards, I don’t ever want to stop going on adventures.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Getting back to the kNACk of it

Greetings blog fans and welcome to the newly formatted Artful Tourist blog.

As a result of my Destination Heartfelt Art program which I began in February, I am already enjoying a renewed vigor for all things creative. Chances are that getting over a year of wedding planning, wedding recovery, and holiday projects contributed to this fresh approach as well.
I’m refocusing my efforts on writing for the industry and beyond again. In pursuit of this goal I am doing a lot more research and creative projects.

The impact on my blog will be more regular features, a return to many of the concepts some loyal readers may remember from my subscription newsletter, “Get the kNACk,” and more links to my own articles and artwork published elsewhere in print and online.

I will continue the effort to post weekly and continue to be kind to myself if I don’t meet that goal. I anticipate the artwork on the blog to be more limited as my creations are submitted to publishers for consideration. I may also be posting calls for ideas, links, resources, and subjects as I continue my research.

Before you go quoting my previous posts and giving me a hard time about my resolution not to let the industry influence my choices, keep in mind that I still hold fast to that decision. The way I see it, my ideas for spending less, using what you have, and creating for the joy of it are hot topics. I am approaching this freelance, which means I will not be constrained by a particular manufacturer, publisher, or market trend. I’m just putting it out there and letting the Universe take care of the rest.

Project Notes: Artsy Mother’s Day
The card shown this week was created to send to my step-daughter as she celebrates Mother’s Day with her first born son, Sam. It was created entirely from the scrap pile and my current inventory. The brad bar, for lack of a better term, came from a store where I was teaching in 2005 and was made by Karen Foster™. The red background piece is from the Club Scrap™ Egyptian collection and I love how it fit beautifully as a matte for the design.

New! Regular Features

Surf stops—web sites I’ve visited recently:

1. had a button contest and loved the entries:

2. For your information a cost comparison between the ATG adhesive and Tombow:

3. Upscale paper art doll book called Fantastiques:

Touch of color—what color(s) influenced me—black, gray, and white for an artsy mother’s day card

Most played song-from my head, IPod, or car: “Comin’ Back to the Bayou” theme song from canceled TV show called K*ville performed by Dr. John

Studio progress: This week I did the shuffle--not exactly productive but not inaction either. Emptied some additional tiny drawers, moved some items into what I hope is their new home. Used up some older items that had been hanging around waiting to be transformed.

In the kitchen—a great meal, recipe, or idea: Sir Henry bought me this cool thing from Pampered Chef™ that loads your own oil into a sprayer and eliminates the need for costly cans of oil spray. See a video review here:

Austerity Plan progress ($15.00 per month for art supplies and tools): Spent $5.00 on new fonts during the CK retirement sale. I finally got my distressed typewriter font back that matches two of my rubber stamp sets. It was lost during a migration almost a year ago and floats somewhere in the ether still.

My opinion and where it may lead:
Stacey Julian’s “Simple Scrapbooks” and Rebecca Sower’s “Scrapbooking Life’s Little Pleasures are the two Creating Keepsake books that had the most influence on my adventures into the hobby. At the time of their publication, they were like light bulbs flashing repeatedly on each page. Action step: Since I can’t bear to throw either one away I’ll review them this month and let them inspire me anew.