Saturday, May 31, 2008

Flowers in Bloom

I've been meaning to get these posted before now. These are some of my flowers that have been blooming this spring. My irises are just starting to really bloom. The top two photos are of my lilac bush. I love purple and this shade is perfect! There are tons of lilacs around here, but mine has this unique shade of purple that just outshines all of them.

My irises haven't all opened up all of the way yet, so I hope to get some more pictures of them tomorrow. The prettiest ones are in the shade and are just opening up. I inherited all of these when I moved here, so hopefully they'll still live. ;) I love springtime here. These flowers and the trees blooming make it the prettiest time to be here. I'll post the rest of the pictures tomorrow, I hope.

I have been experiencing major technical difficulties. This week the computer has had major problems. So, I've switched ISP's. Believe it or not, the day I switched the new network is having major problems, also. Is it just me?! I still don't have a working e-mail address. Of course, I did away with the old one so I am in e-mail limbo right now. Hopefully all of this will be resolved SOON!

So posting to the blog will be intermittent until everything gets ironed out. I'm trying to be patient. This is really pushing it, though. Stay tuned....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Facing A Challenge

UPDATE: My digital altered book is in! Check out the link on the right sidebar under "My Digital Altered Books". It's called "Fairy Castles and Palaces Described by Isabella". They did a fine job of converting it.

Here is my latest endeavor. I get easily distracted, did I ever mention that? I'm taking a break from paintovers for just a minute. I have been browsing through my latest books on dolls: paper dolls, fabric dolls, clay dolls, everything dolls since that is what's been on my mind lately. And after looking through some of the art blogs about dolls that I have bookmarked, I decided I wanted to try this. I'm not ready for polymer clay. I don't want to mess with baking it, and I'm not really interested in learning how to roll it, condition it, etc.

I was going to use paper clay, but I've had this package of air-dry clay longer so I thought I would start with it. I've had the face molds for awhile knowing in the back of my mind I wanted to try this one day. Well, "one day" came last night. I decided to go for it. So, I opened the package and started in. I made so many because a) I've never done this before and didn't know how they would turn out and b) I've also never painted them before and still don't know how they will turn out. So, I figured I better make plenty of them to practice on.

The first couple of faces were a little rough, so those I will paint first! I still want to try the paper clay because I've been reading how the doll makers rave about it. Anyway, this was my first go round and tonight I'll start painting them. You are supposed to let this stuff air dry for about 24 hours.

I still love my brides and my paintovers and will continue those. That last one with all of the crystals was a strain on my eyes! Such little crystals, even with the tweezers. But, I love her and am glad I did that one.

The bodies for these little dolls are going to be another challenge for another blog post. I've got some ideas brewing and I'm not sure how they will translate to real life. Stay tuned...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mixed Media Bridal Collage

Here is what I've been working on lately. I call it mixed media because it has a little bit of everything thrown onto this canvas. The first photo shows the best picture I could take of the whole thing. You can click on each picture for a better view and a larger version. Some day I will learn to take better pictures. My sister is coming to visit next weekend and she is a very good photographer. I'll try and get some pointers from her.

So, I started with my paintover very lightly on her face. Not much to speak of, since I wanted to concentrate on embellishing that dress. Next, I tackled the bottom part of the dress. Yes, that's a million little strips of crepe paper (I sprayed it with Archival Mist) crumpled and glued onto a plastic form of the skirt. I was careful to leave the bodice showing since that would be the next step.

Next, I copied the ad again, but this time onto silk. I adhered the silk bodice to the canvas and began embellishing. I used two different sizes of Swarovski crystals (my newest obsession!) and very small ivory glass seed beeds. I glued each thing individually onto the bodice. Once you get into a rhythm, it goes pretty fast.

I tried to include the best photos of the bodice closeups. The roses on the background are paper roses I picked up in the 25 cent bucket at Michael's! I loved their color. They are a very faded shade of violet. I used white rose scrapbook paper for the background. And the bottom photo is the original ad. I loved this ad the first time I saw it in the bridal magazine. That dress just begged to be embellished!

I have put her into a display case and now she looks down on me in my studio! I loved this piece. It's exactly as I had envisioned. As I said in my last post, the first try with this was NOT working. Patience and a little more planning really paid off.

I am doing a series of brides and each dress will be made from a different material. I haven't picked out the next one yet but I have narrowed it down to three. And, in between, I'm working on more ATC's and other projects for family members. So, needless to say, I'm staying very busy. Until next time...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake!

These are the latest two scrapbook pages from my nephews' birthday party this past weekend. I posted three other pages a couple of days ago. I think both cakes are adorable! And, now I know what a "Diego" cake is. Too cute. You can click on the picture for a larger image.

I have a nice little stash of digital scrapbook kits and papers that I need to remind myself to browse through every so often. They also make great backgrounds for collage and other art projects. I'm working on a system to organize all of these computerized files a little better. I've not done too bad, considering it took me until this year to start actually using the "folder" tool. Before, everything was thrown together under My Pictures, which made for a mammoth file to sort through. Live and learn!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I sat down last night to work on my latest bride paintover and was just not happy with it. I had this elaborate plan for her dress and the more I looked at it, the more it wasn't working. I've been debating about this piece for awhile, so I just ripped the thing off the canvas and am starting over.

Now I'm glad I did. I really like the way this new version is progressing and it's more of what I had in mind for the first one, only it just wasn't translating onto the canvas the way I envisioned it! Needless to say, it will take awhile before this one is finished, since I'm starting from scratch.

Sometimes you just have to do that: "kill your darlings". This is what I've heard it called when you run across the same dilemma in a piece of writing. No matter how much it hurts, if it isn't working you have to rip it out and start over. The resistance comes from rationalizing that you've put so much work into it already and just scrapping it makes it seem like you wasted your time. But you really didn't. Sometimes the work takes a little longer to gel in your mind, and when it does take shape, then you know if you are on the right track.

In writing, you can always save the character or the theme or whatever it is that isn't working for another piece. It's the same with art. If I had wanted to save portions of that dress for another project I could have. I did do that, in a way. I cut it up and am using bits and pieces for background on another project.

I should have listened to my first instinct as I was working on that first version. Whenever I find myself avoiding my art or writing it's usually because there is something that I don't want to face. In this case, I knew I didn't like the way it was turning out and that was affecting my attitude toward working on it. Now that I've changed it, the passion and excitement is still there to keep going. Which is exactly what I'm going to go and do right now! Until next time...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sherlock Holmes ATC's Have Arrived!

My latest batch of ATC's finally arrived in the mail today! I'm really happy with this batch. The artists all did a great job of interpreting the theme, "Sherlock Holmes: There's a Mystery Afoot". While I did mine digitally, I have to say I'm getting the itch to start my next batch with more tangible, "hands on" materials. I have an overabundance of papers and ephemera here in the studio. So, off to find another swap!

I received word that conversion of my digital altered book will be delayed. Disappointing, but I'm sure it will be ready soon. I will keep you posted on that one.

I completed two more digital scrapbook layouts last night. I figured I better do them while the mood was striking me. Melissa really liked them, so that's all that matters. Of course, I thought they were pretty cute, too! ;) I'll post those tomorrow.

I had a feeling I would get these ATC's today. It's always fun to get art in the mail! I also received a belated birthday card from my secret sis in sorority, with a Starbuck's gift card attached. She knows me too well. It seems to be my day for goodies in the mail! Well, back to work. I had to post these ATC's as soon as I received them because they are just so darn great! Until next time...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Birthday Boys

Well, somebody had a birthday this weekend! Or, I should say, some-bodies! My two nephews, Brent and Bryson, celebrated their birthdays Saturday. Brent's birthday was Saturday and Bryson's is this weekend. Little Brent turned one year old! And Bryson will be four. My brother, Dave, and his wife, Melissa, usually throw one big party to celebrate them both since they fall so close together.

They really outdid themselves on this one, from the looks of the pictures Melissa sent. Each boy had his own cake, of course. Brent's had a teddy bear on it and Bryson had a "Diego" cake. I had to ask, since I don't have kids, what's a Diego cake? Melissa says it's a kid's cartoon, and is currently Bryson's favorite. So, he got a Diego cake. It was actually pretty cute.

The major gift looked to be a MONSTER swingset. I don't think they are called that anymore, especially since they have become so complicated. But, I still call them that. This one has a little "clubhouse", a big slide, and I don't know what all. Oh yeah, swings! But that's another story. When Melissa sent the photos, she was documenting the building of this mammoth thing. Last count, I saw four grown men trying to assemble it. Anyway, at every step of the process, she would label the picture, like "slide added" or "clubhouse finished" and at the end of each step she would write, "minus swings" or "still no swings". Hmm. I'm sure there's a story there. I'll have to ask. If, by chance, the swings were somehow damaged or, God forbid, missing from the set, my brother will not be happy.

There were so many cute photos that I had to start these pages right away. If you click on each photo, you'll see a larger version. As I complete more, I'll include them. For some reason, I've had a heck of a time with my computer today. The snafus must be spilling over to the Artella website, too. My digital book is still not ready! Usually, it only takes 48 hours, max, turnaround time. So far, it's been four days. They are supposed to be checking on it. I hope to see it's finished tomorrow. When they finally do finish it, I'll post the link to it on my sidebar.

I've been working on some more paintovers. I've got another bride going right now. This one is very detailed, so it is taking awhile. Plus, life keeps interfering with my plans! I've had a few things that needed attending to, and before you know it, the day is gone. Hopefully, I'll get back to my projects tonight.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Swirly Girl

I decided to bring out some of my doll images for these paintovers. They are closeups for the most part and provide great practice for painting. I had a pinky-orange background painted with some copper metallic highlights. She was just begging to go onto that! Still haven't got the facial colors down yet. Her original image had a very white face, so I tried to stay with that. I'll experiment with more color on another one.

One thing I've found handy to keep in mind: in Lisa Bebi's article on paintovers she says she usually leaves the mouth, eyes and nose alone unless she's going for a more mod look. It's hard to paintover those areas and not make the person look like an alien. I've tried.

Anyway, I've got a few other canvasses lined up and some more brides are coming, complete with embellished gowns. I've been poring over bridal magazines lately. Have you seen the gowns? GORGEOUS!! Ahh, makes me wish for another wedding... maybe not. But, they are something to marvel over. Some of those gowns are works of art in themselves. Hmm... a possible project?

Still waiting word on my digital altered book conversion. I hope to hear from them today. Will keep you posted.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Shhh...Angel Sleeping!

After many false starts and much tweaking, here is what Little Ella's final version turned out to be. What I learned: faces are not easy, especially if you have a personal stake in it. With a magazine photo you can cut yourself a little slack. But, if you know the subject (or in this case their parents and grandparents!) you want it to be a little more polished.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this one. If you click on the photo you can see the large version. You can also see that the face is still a little rough. With more experience, I'm sure I'll pick up a few tricks. Also, I need to stock up on some more flesh toned paints. I'm pretty limited in my stash right now. I'll remedy that tomorrow.

By the way, the angel wing was a great find! The original photo had little Ella with a beautiful angel wing on her back. That, unfortunately, did not translate very well on the photocopy, so I made it my mission to hunt down an angel wing. I almost shouted out for joy when I came across two of these at Hobby Lobby in their dolls section. Ooh, there are a lot of goodies to be had there. Also, the jewelry section at Michael's craft store has some gorgeous crystals and stones. They didn't photograph very well, but I've sprinkled very small Swarovski crystals throughout Ella's canvas to give it that extra special touch. When the light hits the canvas they DO sparkle!

I made a lot of progress on things last night. I finished my digital altered book on the fairy castles! Yay! I've sent it off to Artella and now will wait word that they've converted it into book form. Stay tuned for that one...I'm real excited about it. I was up until the wee hours this a.m. finishing it. Thank goodness I didn't send it off until this afternoon. There were a few errors I would have been upset to see in the final form.

I painted two more 8 x 10 canvasses in background colors that should blend pretty well with my next subjects. Those will be a surprise! many models, so little time. Back to work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fairytale Night

I know I have a tendency to get excited about new projects and forget about ones I've started; a bad habit to get into and I'm working on it. Hence, this little addition to my digital altered book about castles. Remember that? I haven't forgotten and have pledged to finish it in the next couple of days so I can devote my time to my newly-found love of paintovers.

This is a night scene that will be included in the book. As usual, if you click on the image you can see a much larger version. The image on the bottom half of the page is an image from the actual book. It's rare that I use what's included in the book because the images don't usually tie in with what I have in mind, but I thought I could use this one, along with the text from the book.

When I finish with the book, I'll leave the link on my sidebar underneath the title "My Digital Altered Books." It seems I've had a burst of creativity and I'm trying to take advantage of that. I have a couple of weeks to devote as much free time to my art as I want since hubby is out of town. So, I plan to just get into a creative frenzy.

Tonight I've painted two more backgrounds on blank canvasses and have found too many images to paint. Besides my brides, I've also decided to try my hand with my collection of ball and joint dolls. Their faces are so precious! I don't know how they will translate with the paint, so that will be the experiment. I'll keep you posted on that front. Thanks to GrayAngi for the idea. She said she may try to paint using images a younger audience would like. Good thinking! I thought of my dolls. They might just work!

Since I'm trying to stay on task for projects that I have started, I must get back to work. Ella's canvas is coming along nicely. I'm at a difficult spot on it and need to rethink a few things. So, that's it from the studio tonight.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bridal Bling

This is my latest adventure in bridal paintovers. You can click on the photo and see a larger version. It's sort of a cross between paper dolls and painting. I wanted a three dimensional effect with the bride so I mounted her torso on a chipboard circle. I made the "dress" the other day. It's just rows of ivory ribbon! Not bad for a first attempt at what I had imagined in my head. Sometimes that's the problem. I see something in my mind, but translating that to the real world is where the challenge lies! If I were a seamstress I wouldn't have so many challenges.

I am starting a series of these. I made a trip to the fabric store and found some gorgeous finds in the bridal section. So, I have added to my fabric stash and plan to make more elaborate "dresses" as I go along. I just wanted to see how the mechanics of all this would work; mounting the dress to a backing, then mounting the whole thing on a canvas board. I'm pretty happy with this first go around.

The second photo shows more detail. I used Swarovski crystals in the bride's jewelry. I found a real pretty pale pink stone in the jewelry section of the art store. I loved that shade and thought it went well with the background colors. I wanted the chandelier to look like it was turned on a low setting. I think it's pretty realistic! I had been hunting for a chandelier image and wanted it to have sort of a mod look. This one was perfect.

So, that's my first attempt of many to come. The bridal theme is really inspiring me now. So many pretty gowns to emulate, paint, etc. And, of course, I'm still working on Ella's next appearance. Hope to have it done by tomorrow. I will post it as soon as I'm finished. I'm still taking my time with it. For now, I must get back to the studio.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ella's Paintover: Cherish

Well, it finally worked! After trying to upload this image for about an hour, I almost gave up. Anyway, this is only my first, ROUGH attempt at painting Miss Ella. I thought I would try this one first. You can click on the image to see a larger version (I think).

I am in the beginning stages of another image of her. Sharon (her grandma) was kind enough to send me a contact sheet of some beautiful photos of the family. There is a whole page of just Ella, and the next one I'm really spending a lot of time on is one where she's laying like she is in this one, with a black background (which I'll change) and she has feather angel wings laying on her back! Believe it or not, I'm going to include my own wings on that one. I want to really spend a lot of time getting it right, so it will be awhile. In the meantime, it doesn't hurt to keep practicing.

I have also started another canvas in my bridal series. It is really special and there is a very ornate embellishment that took me a whole day to make! Like the next one of Ella, it will also take awhile. I'm going very slowly on both of them. My perfectionist is starting to kick in with those two.

Today's little canvas was done using a color photocopy; that's one option that Lisa Bebi mentions in her articles. I'm not sure, but I think I prefer to work with the black and white images and paint over those. I am learning a few tricks in painting the faces, so my next ones will reflect that. I liked playing with this one, though. I added a little blanket for Ella to lay on. It was a piece of a knitted scarf. I don't knit (anymore), so I have no idea where it came from. I think it was part of a scrapbook kit at one time or another. Anyway, it was the perfect shade of blue, which is the shade of the blanket she was laying on in her photo. I had some tiny satin roses left over from another kit and decided to place those on top of her. The original photo had a pink ribbon tied in a big bow. Painting that didn't translate very well, so I improvised with the roses!

She has such a perfect little face and I was afraid to touch it. I only dabbed a little bit of Zinc White on it here and there, since that paint is translucent. It's a challenge for me to jump right in and try something with paint. The think I keep telling myself is I have a copier and I can always make more copies if I don't like the way something is turning out.

I'm also not a very good photographer, and that's starting to show in my pictures. I have no clue how to set any of the settings for my digital camera. Everything is on "automatic" which doesn't always come out so well. I did a lot of image adjustments before I could even get the picture to look good enough to upload! Such are the problems of a novice in everything having to do with technology! I'll get it eventually. Did I mention that I'm very impatient? Hence, the 10 or so tries in uploading today's image. Oh well, back to work. I thought I would post this while waiting for another layer of paint to dry.

Oh, and GrayAngi, THANK YOU for your kind comments! It's nice to get such great encouragement! I really appreciate it. Until next time...

Friday, May 9, 2008

You've Got To Try This!

The technique is called a "paint-over" and the steps are laid out in-depth in this month's issues of Somerset Studio, Somerset Weddings and Somerset Workshop. The artist who describes it is Lisa Bebi and she is featured in a lot of art in these magazines and others put out by Stampington & Company. She also has her own gallery and blog on the web. She presents clear and easy directions and once you do one, you are hooked!

Basically you make a photocopy of either a magazine ad, a personal photo, anything you'd like to try and "paint". You can make either a black and white or a color photo. For my first try at it, I just copied it in black and white. First you paint a canvas any background color you'd like. Believe it or not, this started out as a light blue wash. I just picked up a couple of cheapie canvasses at Michael's in size 8 x 10. Then you adhere your copied image wherever you want to place it onto your (dried) painted background. You use matte medium to adhere your image and make sure all of the air bubbles are smoothed out. Then, you just go to work with your acrylic paints and paint it however you'd like. Also, she likes to use rubber stamps onto the background to give it another layer of color and interest. I found some nice swirl stamps and used paint to stamp them into the background.

I'm not painter and I admit it, so cut me some slack. But for a first-time effort it was fun! I have some ideas for further embellishing these kinds of paintings and I've already got two more colored backgrounds ready to go. Another note on the backgrounds. She recommends using a bright color (like shocking pink or turquoise) to start. Then, after you adhere your image, you'll paint over the background with Titan Buff or some other neutral color with just enough of the bright color "peeking through." This would be if you were going for a softer look than the shocking pink I used in my first one. Bridal magazines (where I found this image) are a great source, as well as your own photos.

So, for those of us who did not get formal training as artists but still like to dabble, here's a great way to flex your painting muscles. I'll have another one to show soon with a little twist of my own added. It's an experiment I want to try but if it works would add even more fun to the painting. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Birthday Musings

Here are my remaining two ATC's and the design for the back of the cards. I planned on posting these yesterday, but life interfered with my plans and before I knew it the day was over. Yesterday was my birthday! I celebrated with my husband at a nice steak place for dinner. We ate too much and were embarrassingly uncomfortable when we left with our doggie bags in hand. It was a great dinner, though! Perfect table by the window, not too much of a crowd. Very nice.

Birthdays are kind of like a mini-New Year's for me. I tend to evaluate where I am in my life, what goals I want to set, how I'm doing on the goals I set at the beginning of the year, etc. While I'm pretty pleased with the overall picture, there are many things I want to work on this coming year.

On the arts front, I want to pursue my art with more gusto; try new techniques, branch out and actually make more mixed media pieces. I want to improve on my photography skills and I want to take a drawing class! I'm still waiting for info on the drawing class at the university, and I hope to enroll in the fall.

In my home, I desperately need a decluttering marathon. Too much stuff tends to accumulate in our living room and study. We are both avid readers so there are literally piles of reading materials sprinkled throughout each room. I've got to get organized. It's driving me crazy working around all of this clutter!

And on the personal front, both my husband and I are sadly out of shape! Time has a way of sneaking up on you in this area. Over the last year we have both gained weight and become less active. I definitely need to re-establish my fitness routine. I can tell when I'm slacking because the fatigue knocks me flat. So, these are just a few of the things I was evaluating yesterday. Many goals have been set and now the real work begins.

By the way, I added a few new websites to my Challenge Yourself sidebar. That's one of the ways I hope to create more art. These are websites that offer weekly challenges to create art based on the theme for that week. You post your work to your blog, then link back to that particular website to share it with all of the other participants. I definitely need some gentle prodding to get results. Hopefully this will help.

I'm working on a canvas right now. This is total experimentation on my part. If I'm brave enough, I'll post it when finished. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Art In, Art Out

This morning I mailed my four ATC's (artist trading cards) for the Sherlock Holmes swap, and when I came home I had these little ones waiting for me in my mailbox! It's fun getting art in the mail! I've been curious to see which cards I would end up with. I'm very happy with what I was sent. I enlarged them a little so you could see more of the detail.

I had never created an ATC or received one before this last swap, so I wasn't sure I was even doing mine correctly. All I knew was they had to be 2 /12" x 3 1/2" and that was about it. The rest is up to you how you want to embellish your "canvas." Looking these over, it looks like one person used watercolor paper as their background, one used heavy card stock, one person used two layers of card stock (which is what I did) and one used a playing card! How inventive is that?! So now I have my first ATCs. It makes me anxious to receive the next round.

I know there are ATC swaps online in Yahoo groups. I haven't personally checked them out, but I will now. Once you make a few of these you really get into a groove and it's addicting. Always sign the back of your card when you send it off and date it (which I forgot to do), too. ATCs are never sold, only traded. Other than that, there are no rules and they are fun. I may save up a few rounds of mine and then mount them on an altered canvas to hang in my studio.

Tomorrow I will post the remaining two Sherlock Holmes ATCs that I created. I think they were my favorite ones. I see that my little computer gremlins are back. As I was typing that last sentence the computer just turned itself off. That must be my cue to go. More to come tomorrow...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mystery and Magic

After much trying and re-trying, I was finally able to upload these images! I think, perhaps, it's too early in the day for me to try and tackle such difficult tasks. Anyway, I thought I would put up two images today to show you some of the things I've been working on this week.

The first one is my latest ATC. Now I only have three more to make today. That's what procrastination will do for you. But sometimes I do my best work under pressure, so we'll see. I like these images. I love to watch movies from that time period, with the horse and buggies, cobblestone streets, and the very formal ladies' dresses. I know it wasn't all glamorous but I enjoy seeing those images.

The second photo is one of the pages from my digital altered book. I loved the look of this castle when I first came across it. The roundness was just different enough to bring out the room that I included in the bottom page. It's walls were also a rounded shape. The photos were taken from two different castles, but in my book they belong together. And my little fairy lady seems to be right at home in her frilly bedroom. Yes, I realize the proportion is a little off but she's a magical being. If she needs to shrink down a little in size in order to sleep in her bed, she can! ;) You can click on the images to get the larger version.

It's a gorgeous day here today. My lilac bush has exploded with the vibrant colors I was hoping it would produce! It just waited a little longer than usual to do it. I took some photos this morning and will post them soon. However, they just don't do it justice, I'm afraid. That's all due to lack of photography skills on my part. The trees around here are blooming into magical bursts of whites, creams, raspberry, all shades of purple... it's a treat just to get out and walk in the neighborhood. My husband and I took a long walk yesterday and I forgot my camera. Today, I'll remember...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

There's A Mystery Afoot

Here is the first of my Sherlock Holmes ATCs. I just realized today that they have to be mailed by Monday in order to get them to the person hosting the swap in time. I know I'm a procrastinator, but now I'm starting to lose track of time! I need to get a schedule set up for these swaps. Each participant has to make five cards and will get four back in return. The person hosting the swap gets to keep one from everybody. That's a good incentive to host the swap right there. It's a little work making sure each person gets four different cards and not one of their own back, but it's fun.

I have found some nice images to use for this swap. I have a book in my own library called The Complete Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. There aren't a lot of illustrations in it, but all of his cases are listed and there are a few nice images from the cover that I can use. I got online and found out there is a Sherlock Holmes Museum in London, England. My husband will be travelling to London later this month and now plans to visit there. Yes, I am jealous!

I love mysteries, whether they are movies or books, and Sherlock Holmes is my favorite mystery movie. BBC used to run the best shows starring Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. He's pictured on the left at the bottom of the card. To me, he will always be Sherlock Holmes. He was perfect in the role. The picture above them is supposed to be Sherlock's study. I think it was taken from the set used in the series from TV.

I have two cards finished. I need to create three more before the end of the weekend and get to the post office Monday. When I receive my cards in the mail I'll post them here. Speaking of that, I was informed that my Magic in the Air cards have been mailed and I should be receiving those soon. I'm looking forward to getting those! We got a little preview on the Artella website of all of the participants' cards, so no matter which ones I end up with, I'll love them.

Also, I will post more scrapbook layouts this week. I've gotten some new photos of my nephews and hopefully will be able to get some more of little Ella. I just finished a long walk and now must get ready for dinner. I wanted to post these cards today as an incentive to finish the rest of them tomorrow. More to come later ...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Gift From Heaven

Look what the angels brought to earth! Born on April 30, 2008, at 1:01 p.m. Ella Ashley weighed 7 lbs., 6 oz. and was 19" long. Isn't she an angel herself? My BFF Sharon, the proud grandmother, sent me some gorgeous photos of little Ella taken right after she was born. I wanted to get a nice little page together for her right away and pay tribute to her today.

Congratulations also go out to her proud parents, Shaun and Tonya. With such beautiful people inside and out, how can they help but bring forth such beautiful children? I will put together some more layouts of her children and my own nephews, too, in the days to come.

There's something so fun about little girls! So many frilly, girly things out there for them. It makes it so easy to spoil them with dolls, dresses, fairies and princesses... ooh, can't wait! Today is Ella's Day here at the Coffeehouse. All of my talk lately about fairies and angels, and here is a LIVE angel right now among us.