Art Journal: Face #1

Learning a lot. Growing a lot. Cursing a lot. 

 Recent art journal 2 page spread : "Breathe in Beauty"

All part of the "making art" process.

 Some of the materials used:  Moleskine A3 journal, Faber Castell gelatos, acrylic paints, stencils

I'm working on another art journal entry this week. More to share soon!



WIP Wednesday: Adventures in Art Journaling

I've mentioned on my podcast that this year my creative focus will be on improving my art skills and techniques, and expanding my education through a series of online classes in art journaling, mixed media, and drawing.

I am currently taking a class with Donna Downey, 48 Weeks, and the weekly lessons are teaching me so many new things with art supplies! I am getting my hands dirty again, playing with acrylics, fibers, stencils, stamps, paper, and even toilet paper rolls have made an appearance. The possibilities of translating what I'm learning and doing in my art journal into fabric and quilts are mind boggling...several times I really did think my head would explode with ideas.

Here is my current art journal WIP:

I am still working on the face (need to get her skin tone right) and then will add final touches to the page. The journal I'm using is a Moleskine Folio Notebook A3. This is the largest size journal they make, it is a whopping 16.5" x 11.75" closed, so double that when opened and laying flat. I must admit that is one large and scary blank page to look at when you're getting started! I'm used to working in the more standard size journals, but the benefit to this larger size is you have more room to paint, and I find it easier to work on a slightly larger or realistic scale, than having to "shrink down" objects to fit a small page.

In any case, I'm having fun! Watch this space for more to come.




Happy 3rd Birthday to my Marvelous Maddy!


CGM Podcast Episode #59: He Still Gets Points

Listen to the episode here

Show Notes 

Life Update:

  • Christmas recap
  • A spoiled surprise, but DH still gets "points" for the thought and effort
  • Birthday Parties
F.O.'s and WIPs:
  • Modern Maples quilt top is done! Blogged about it in previous post.
  • Spiderweb quilt top is done! Pictures to come, probably when it's back from the longarm quilter.
  • Spectra scarf: pattern by Stephen West, yarn used by Dragonfly Fibers
Online Classes:

What I'm Watching and Listening To:
In the early 20th century, the average American medicine cabinet was a would-be poisoner's treasure chest, with radioactive radium, thallium, and morphine in everyday products. The pace of industrial innovation increased, but the scientific knowledge to detect and prevent crimes committed with these materials lagged behind until 1918. New York City's first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris, and his chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, turned forensic chemistry into a formidable science and set the standards for the rest of the country.
Classic Movie:

My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne

Book Review:

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Thanks for listening!



Modern Maples Quilt Top

I've been meaning to share this finished quilt top for awhile now. It is the Modern Maples quilt pattern by Amanda Woodward-Jennings.

I used an assortment of my own hand dyed fabrics for the leaves. This is a free pattern and was very straightforward and simple to piece together. The blocks measure 12 in. finished, so it becomes a nice sized quilt for a large throw or even a twin bed if you add one more row on the bottom.

Last Fall, when I'd started making this quilt, there was something of a Modern Maples QAL going on, on Instagram and Twitter (#modernmaples). There are many gorgeous versions of it on Flickr, and of course if you search the hashtag on those social media sites. 

This one will be off to the longarmer soon! I can definitely see myself making another one in the future...I have a LOT of hand dyes in my stash.



What We're Reading This Month

Welcome to the first "What I'm Reading This Month" post of 2014! If you're new to my blog, or just never paid much attention to my more "bookish" posts before, once a month I fill my readers in on a few of the books from my personal reading pile (vs. my work reading pile which is, frankly, obnoxiously high) I plan to read. 

I've decided to change things up a bit this year. For several months in 2013, in addition to my own reading, I posted what my girls (age 2 and 6) were reading. This was to help out other parents with some book choices for younger children, with both new titles and older classics. These were pretty popular posts, and I still get emails with questions for book suggestions for kids of all ages. I LOVE talking about books, and helping other people (not just parents) find a book for a kid in their life.

So to save time going forward, I am going to combine the 2 posts and do a general "What We're Reading This Month" that will include 3-4 books I have planned, as well as several books the girls will be reading, either together (with my almost 3 yr old) or reading to me (the almost 7 yr old).

 The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Cress by Marissa Meyer

David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

Samantha (age 7, reading level 2nd-3rd grade):

 Weird School series by Dan Gutman

Nancy Drew Clue Crew series by Carolyn Keene

Maddy (age 3):

Let's Read with Dora!, 6 stories. 

Note: when reading with my kids at about age 2-3 I start pointing to the words as I read the story. This is (IMO) a good way for them to start recognizing story-flow, word structure, letters, etc...all things having to do with reading/early learning and prep for reading themselves.

 Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney

What are you reading this month? What are the kids reading?



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