Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007

Zachary, Me, Greg, David
Zach's holding his ever-present sketch pad and David's got his C++ textbook that he's working through ~ facinating reading, I'm sure.

Irene, my lovely mother-in-law wearing the "Christmas Cook" hat I bought for her. She's actually holding a salad that I made. There's a funny story about cooking Christmas Eve dinner. My husband, Greg volunteered us to cook supper at the in-laws place so that his mom wouldn't be all tired and worn out. She said that we could do that. Of course, when we arrived, the turkey was in the oven, all the veggies were cooking. The desserts were laid out in all their calorie-ridden glory. The only thing left for us to do was make a salad and the gravy. Greg did do all the dishes and pots and pans after the meal which was a great help, but it just cracked me up that he thought that his Ukrainian mother would allow her English daughter-in-law to actually prepare the Christmas meal. Funny guy.

L to R Katie, Hannah, Stacey (Greg's brother), Brittany

David with his new Hemsky poster

Every year, Granny makes Zach his very own Ukrainian bread. Lucky guy eh?!

Monday, December 24, 2007

12th Day of Christmas is WOW!

It's Day 12 already. All good things must come to an end. And what a wonderful ending ...

The first thing I noticed was the too-cool wrapping the 12th Day gift arrived in. The ever clever Kelly Snelling created her own paper. But the wrapping was only a forshadowing of the incredible artwork tucked inside the box. The necklace that Kelly created for the 12th day is amazing! I am in awe of the workmanship that was put into this piece. For a full "technical" explanation of this necklace, check out the 12 Days of Christmas Swap site.
Thank you Kelly for sharing so generously to wrap up this incredible swap. Thank you Lelainia for heading up this swap for the second year in a row. And thank you everyone else who gave me these wonderfully artsy gifts. I shall cherish them (and show them off!).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pretty Paper for the 11th Day of Christmas

I've been curious all through the swap as to what was in the package that arrived from Norway. It was wrapped in red & white striped paper complete with a wooden red moose attached (which is now living on my tree, by the way). The very talented Erika Tysse crafted two sets of stationery. One set reads "art saves lives" (above) The other set has the initial "D" on it. I love unusual, artsy stationery and will be very happy to use these beauties in the days ahead.

P.S. I really love your beautiful gift Erika. Thank you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Extra! Extra!

My friend, Arlene Travnik was in the 12 Days of Christmas swap this year too. Last year she saw the gifties I received in the swap and drooled over them. This year we decided, since we were placed in different groups, we would make one extra gift for each other. I made an extra Altered Button Card for her and this is what she made for me. You can see how it was wrapped in the photo to the above. Below, you can see that it's an adorable mini hand bound book. The overlay is made of tulle. Arlene tucked in the lace, buttons and beads in little pockets so they float. There is also a clear stone that says "Love". What an incredible treasure from a special friend. Think I'll fill the book with some of my favourite quotes. It's too nice just to carry around in my purse and write up grocery lists in.

I am very happy to have such a talented art buddy and I am truly blessed to have such a kind and considerate friend. Thank you, Ar!

10th Day of Christmas, New Zealand style

The very talented illustrator, Caren McNee from New Zealand crochetted the tiny bag to hold one of her beautiful illustrations for Day 10. This time she folded the drawing accordian-style. I think she's gotta illustrate a children's book ~ wouldn't you agree? Her work is so well done! Thank you Caren, I cherish each piece of art you've given me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

On the 9th Day ... Penelope gave to me

Because the gifts I made are being opened today, I got to open Penelope Harris'#13 gift. And, since not everyone has opened her gift yet, we're not supposed to show any photos of it. However, Photo 1 gives you a sneeky peek. Penelope's gift is amazing and must have taken a lot of time and care to create. Thank you Penelope!

And Photo 2 is of the giftie I made (looking rather red by the light of my Christmas tree) for the other artists in the 12 Days of Christmas swap. It's an Altered Button Card. I had a lot of joy putting these babies together ~ with collage, and individualizing them by adding Scrabble tiles initials on them, antique keys and ribbon. Hopefully everyone will enjoy them.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the 8th day ...

... a lovely beaded tassel necklace made by Deb Lewis is the giftie I found in my 12 Days of Christmas basket bright and early this morning. How did Deb know I wear a lot of blue?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Collaged Bookmark for 7th Day

This pretty little bookmark was collaged by Ruth O'Connor. Funny thing is that I was thinking of making a bookmark for the swap before deciding on making what I did (which I can't talk about until after Day 9).
Anyway, Ruth, the artsy bookmark is delightful and it'll find a home in a book very soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 6 gift is out of the bag!

This morning I opened a bag containing a cute little treasure for Day 6 from Linda Koch. It's a teeny shopping bag (made out of matt board, maybe) with old text, gold paint and an antique photo.

Linda stuffed the inside with some old German text and the words and music to "It is Well with my Soul" ~ one of my favourite hymns.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Things coming together on the 5th day of Christmas

Maija created this little magnetic board for the 5th day ... "coming together" ... magnetic ... get it? Anyway this little retro-inspired number is not only charming, it's kenetic art too. I love the buttons Maija ~ thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Funky Fourth Day of Christmas

Look at the copper necklace Melissa made for me to celebrate the 4th day of Christmas!
I hung the necklace on my tree to take the photo (right) and thought it actually looked kinda cool as an ornament. Talk about versatile, eh?

Cookie Exchange

Lisa arrived a little late, but she brought her freshly baked colourful Sugar Cookies ~ a must every Christmas season.

The bakers and their taste testers, enjoying each others' company, indulging in some (more!)cookies and playing a game of Personal Preference.

After all that sweet stuff we needed to give our palettes a rest with. Pickles, cheese and oranges were the perfect solution. Thanks to my friends for making this such a warm December afternoon.
Yesterday some of my favourite people joined me at my house for a cookie exchange ... here are some photos of the yummies and the people who were at the party. Look at the spread! There are lots of sweets, hot apple cider and tea ready to be devoured and divvied up.

Arlene seemed to have coffee in mind when she prepared Walnut Biscotti (left) and Coffee Shortbread Cookies (right)

Gloria prepared some melt-in-your-mouth Pecan Crescents.

My Crispie Apricot-Chocolate Balls are hiding in the reused Tim Horton's coffee cans which I gussied up with ribbons, bows and old Christmas cards.

Thina's All Occasion Cookies (Carrot Cake and Butter Pecan variations)
Thina was unfortunately unable to attend, but here cookies arrived the night before. Arlene was kind enough to take Thina's exchange cookies to her. Thanks Ar.

I've been having some uploading problems, so I'll do this post in two sections ...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Black & White Surprise for Day 3

It's Saturday morning, so I slept in until 7 o'clock. Oh the luxury of weekends, eh?
Anyhoo ... the first thing I did when I got up was to go to my 12 Days of Christmas basket to see what was in store for Day #3. Amy Huff made a cute miniature domino soldered necklace.
In other news, I am hosting a cookie exchange this afternoon. I'll try to get some photos on here of the goodies later on today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

2nd Day ...Two Ear-r-ings

Jennifer Rowland made these cool earrings for the 2nd Day of Christmas. They have LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST them. Are they real dimes? Not sure, but I'll be wearing these lovelies tomorrow at my Christmas Cookie Exchange. Thanks Jennifer.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the First Day of Christmas

... Edina gave to me ...

a really quaint Shabby Chic Banner with my initial on it. I love it! Isn't it gorgeous?

It is a little brighter than in the photo shown here (facing out of my livingroom window), but as we get to the shortest day of the year, things are pretty much dark by 4 p.m.

Thankfully we have Christmas and the 12 Days of Christmas swap to brighten these dreary December days, eh?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

13 Days until Christmas ...

... can only mean one thing. Tomorrow, us participants of the 12 Days of Christmas swap finally, finally get to start opening the gifts which have been ever tempting all of us since they arrived one by one via snail mail. Yippee!
It's snowing like crazy outside today. A perfect day to stay indoors. So the natural thing to do was to take my basket of goodies to photograph them outside in the snow to show ya'll.
In other news, I'm currently reading David's novel that he wrote for NaNoWriMo. He proof read mine and now I am returning the favour. Many times as he read my book, Scrabble Secrets, I heard him laugh hysterically. I was certain that it was the witty dialogue and the unrelenting humour throughout. Sadly, for the most part, he was mocking me for my too-numerous to mention grammar faux pas, the "gratuitous advertisements for the Pointy Hat ART Posse", and intermittent song lyrics. Cruel son I've raised!
Oh ya, and his novel, Modern Kind .... It's good, very good. Drat! The boy is making his Ma look bad. Sigh!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm still here ... honest

Why so quiet, you ask? I've been busy of late writing a novel. For those of you who haven't heard, and I can't imagine who hasn't ~ I'm participating for the first time in the National Novel Writing Month aka nanowrimo.
nanowrimo is an insane idea brewed up by Chris Baty and some buddies in '99 in the San Franisco Bay area. Twenty-one people participated that year. This year, people from all over the world are writing and have accumulated over 473,201,894 words altogether so far!
Our family of four decided that we would embark upon the adventure. Three out of four of us have started the daunting task of writing this crazy amount of words in such a short time period. Leading up to the kick off, I also talked three other friends to join nanowrimo. Two of them are still plugging away at it, while the other, sadly, had to quit because of a family medical emergency.
I'm pleased to announce that on Day 14, I have written 25,325 words so far. Amazing, eh? The genre of my masterpiece seems to change weekly, but I'm having a blast with this project, even giving a few of my friends and family a mention or a cameo in my book.
So wish us luck, send us treats and casseroles. The month in not nearly finished and I need 24,675 words more to be "a winner."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

ReUse Wonders

The oh-so-cool 12 Days of Christmas Swap is here and I've completed my gifts! They're wrapped (see right) and ready to be mailed. Headed up once again by Lelainia Lloyd, this year promises to be another fun-filled experience. I can hardly wait!

My ART buddy, Arlene is participating this year too ~ yay! She's in the other group of 12, so I'll get to see all 24 creations. Plus we are making an additional gift to exchange between each other which will be fun.

Can't tell you what's inside the packages though, but I can tell you that (1) I created the gifties with stuff entirely from the Edmonton ReUse Centre (my favourite-est art supply store, e-ver!). (2) People who receive these babies will be able to hang them on their Christmas tree if they wish. (3) The item has a vintage feel to them. (4) The gifts are wrapped in florist foil wrap and topped with a slide with the number "9" on them (since my gifts will be opened on the 9th Day of Christmas). A little red, green or gold bow tops the slide for a little added pizzaz.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wac-ky, man!

Check out art-e-zine to see the Wacky Photo Booth Swap photographs. We had a great time wandering off to our local malls with props in hand and doing "photo shoots" then coming home to create wonderfully wacky ATCs for the swap.
It was fun to see the different participants' take on the theme ~ take a peek!
Thank you Gillian, for letting us do this swap through art-e-zine.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ahhh Autumn!

My favourite time of the year is fall. To me, it's pure joy! The colours are breath taking, and the scent in the air is awesome. It's cool but not yet cold and by afternoon it's warmed up to almost 20 degrees. What a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend we're having. It's perfect for a picnic in the park, a walk in the river valley or time to throw some leaves up in the air and laugh with friends. I love the crunch of the leaves beneath my feet and the cool breeze on my face. Add a piping hot cup of herbal tea or java to the mix ~ near perfection! Every season has its own beauty, but to me, autumn is THE best.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Everyone play The Name Game!

Thanks to my friend Arlene who had insomnia one night, I present the Name Game. Follow the instructions for numbers 1 to 15, then send me the answers by adding them to my comments for this post. It's a lot of fun to see the results because they're all so different and funny. And if you happen to be writing a novel anytime soon, it may help with some of your character names, who knows. Oh ya, remember this is a completely scientific test!

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet,current car) Cocoa 626

2.GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie) Tiger Dads

3. RAP STAR NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

4. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite colour, favorite animal) Fuscia Dog

5. SOAP OPERA NAME: (Your middle name, and your birthplace ~ yes, you gotta fess up to your middle name, hehee) Noreen Kamloops

6. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Supda (hmm .. maybe it should Sup-Duh!)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The" + your 2nd favourite colour and your favourite drink)
The Lime Java

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) William DeWitt

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume, favorite candy)
Je Reviens-Ferrero Rocher

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) Lillian Reuben

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) Johnson Johannesburg

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower) Autumn Rose or maybe
Christmas Iris

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Grapes Crocie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Coffee Mountain Ash (or is it Hash?!

15. And finally, YOUR ROCK BAND TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) The Altered ART Rain Tour

Hey! How come there isn't a PIRATE name?! That's not fair! Oh well, you can generate a pirate name by going to this site. By the way, my Royal PHAP title is Her Royal Creative Eccentric One of Self-Appointed Exalted Highness. Sounds appropriate, don't you think?

Photo: Altered OJ lid, "Her Royal Tinship of Innocent Ephemera"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My 1st Gnome

Here's the story ... one day in the pre-dawn hours, this gnome appeared in my garden. When I looked out my window, there he was in all his glory. With suitcase in hand, he was dressed like he'd just returned from the tropics and was holding a refreshing beverage and brought a little green friend with him. I've always wanted my very own gnome, but never thought I would have one with such a great personality. Unfortunately he won't do any weeding in the garden, even though I've subtly suggested he do so. Maybe next year.
Note: (Shelly later fessed up to placing him there at 5 a.m. on that summer morning ~ what a hoot!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No camera therefore you get some old stuff to look at

It's like this. Presently, I am without a camera. Sad, I know. Therefore I haven't been blogging because I don't have any fun "eye candy" to entice you with. So for your viewing pleasure, I'm gonna look back at some stuff that I have on my computer picture files and share em with you. Now let's see, what would you like to see first?

PHOTO: Shelly taking a look at a train case that I altered into a Titanic theme. It is supposed to be the case of perfumer, Adolphe Saalfeld, who was an actual passenger who survived. Some of the things I included in the case were, several vials of perfume (which I gave 1912 era appropriate names), a letter with an actual quote Saalfeld wrote to his wife after his rescue, a Oriental themed silk and brass ornament that is wrapped in brown paper, tied with string and pretend Titanic gift shop receipt, and for a comic twist, I included a an actual present day tabloid with a headline: NUKES SANK TITANIC. One can always depend on Weekly World News for accurate reporting! *smile* This project was great fun from start to finish, and to make things better, Shelly was thrilled to .
By the way, in 2000, Saalfeld's perfumes were found on the sea floor there was talk that a manufacture would sell modern copies.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Judging the book by its cover!

A CHarminG ExCHanGe (25 Jewelry Projects to Create and Share) is the title of the book that I was privileged enough to create in, along with authors Kelly Smelling, Ruth Rae and several other artists. This book of collaborative mixed media jewelry will hit stores in July 2008. I think the cover looks awesome and can hardly wait to see all the gorgeous stuff inside. Make sure you run out and snatch up a copy when it comes out ~ I'll autograph it for you ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I took a photo this morning of my poppies ... and I've also added "Poppies" by van Gogh. I wish I had had a clearer copy of his Poppies (painted in 1886) to copy. There are some things I would have improved upon if I had. Anyway, it was fun. Painting is fun; I've done so little of it since high school. Can you tell which painting is mine, and which is Vincent's? (that WAS a joke, people)!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Saturday Painting

Here are some shots from the "Paint like van Gogh" class that Zach and I took today. The class was from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with a short break for lunch. It was great fun, and I'm pretty happy with the painting I did.

Most people opted to reproduce a Starry Night, but others of us decided on copying other less known van Gogh paintings.
I'll have to post a close up of my finished painting ~ sorry I forgot to take a photo of it during the daylight hours.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Fun upcoming SWAP

I will be hosting a Wacky Photo Booth swap through art-e-zine and hope you will join. It should be a hoot! Click on the link above, and scroll down to the Wacky Photo Booth Swap section for details and to sign up ~ don't delay!

Monday, June 25, 2007