Recycled Course Catalogue

I just tried something new and exciting that I thought I’d share. I received a catalogue in the mail the other day at work from a university wanting me to come get a business degree. While I am not interested in pursuing a Master’s Degree in business right now (or perhaps ever), I couldn’t bring myself to throw the book away. It was a thick sort of magazine with good quality pages much thicker than the normal magazine – kind of like a Somerset Studio magazine, but a little thicker feeling. So anyway, I decided to experiment.

First I glued every other page together so they’d be twice as thick, by smearing on some gel medium around the edges in a rather haphazard and messy manner, then flipping over the next page onto the glued page and scraping a credit card along the top to smooth them out. Then I scrubbed on some gesso to mostly white out the words and, when dry, pressed the book down under some heavy books to even it out.

I have since worked in several pages of the book with really good results – so far the pages have taken acrylic, lumiere, chalk pastel, black gesso, tissue, candy wrappers, aluminum tape, and pens of all kinds with no problems. I think this will end up being a really nice art journal for me, and all it cost was one hour’s worth of gessoing and gluing!

So, if you’re cheap like me, you might want to give this a try – it is quite exhilarating to work in such a loose and messy way, and I find myself pretty relaxed when I work in it because it was just trash anyway (like I’m not nervous that I’m "messing up" something I paid precious dollars for). My coworkers are amused at my form of recycling my junk mail – I wonder what the school would think of what I’ve done to their catalogue?? 🙂

I’ll post some of the pages as soon as I have a few done and "postable."

Thoughts on life and my art

(Late night blabbing with myself) I think some of my work could be called…I don’t know, dare I say Shabby Chic? I don’t think that is the right term and seems kind of silly, but I am still exploring and figuring this all out, and this was a good starting point. The whole idea of taking the neglected, used, worn around the edges, seen-better-days things and giving them new life, new purpose, turning them into something beautiful is what I am so passionate about. I like to do that with people too. I think my art is a reflection of my compassion for the left-behind, hurt, lost, and neglected. I feel their pain as if it were my own, I just want to wrap my arms around them in a warm loving embrace and help them see themselves as God does – unique, loved, special, and designed with purpose. Art is my way of digging into the nitty gritty of life, not just living out an existence. Through texture, color, touching, smelling, seeing, reusing, recycling, and making glorious messes of all kinds, I can dive headfirst into this wonderful universe of emotion, people, places, food, thought, music, and experiences of all kinds. I love to live, and doing art helps me live. No, it is HOW I live.

God himself is a creative spirit – he created everything in heaven and earth, including us, and as we were made in his image, I guess the way I see it is that we were born to be creative too. The imagination and ingenuity of the human race never ceases to amaze me. Some may mistake my passion for a Pollyanna outlook that is not rooted in reality, but what kind of a reality do we have without our creativity? It is what brings color into an otherwise black and white world. We all make our choices in life – try as they might, people cannot cram us into a box based upon their judgments, we can only jump into it ourselves or allow ourselves to be pushed in. You choose what perspective you have about the world; as you sift through your various experiences, you decide what kind of attitude you will develop about life. For me (as the quote says) it is not a matter of my cup being half full or half empty, but being thankful that I have a cup. And that is why I am an artist.

Hmm…wow, this all kind of came out at once. Definitely something worth thinking more about! Raises such good questions…


The strangest thing in the world just happened to me. My husband made chocolate chip cookies. My husband is a computer nerd, he does not bake. He’s never made cookies in his life, yet he did, just now, oh a whim, all by himself. And they’re good…. So here I am, cramming my face with warm, melty chocolate chip cookies, downing ice cold milk by the gallon, trying to decide which stains on my hands are lickable melted chocolate and which are remnants of the BurntUmber paint I was just using, enjoying one of those very sweet married moments, the kind that are the first things you forget as soon as you’ve discovered the hard way in the middle of the night that he has forgotten to put the seat down. I’d like to remember and cherish these moments – both kinds of moments, I guess, because they’re all part of the funny little world we live in and this wonderfuly complex journey we’re on called Life.

"I’ve wrestled with reality for more than 35 years, and I’m happy to state that I’ve finally won out over it." Jimmy Stewart

Art Photos Uploaded

Ok, I have finally added some photos of my art to my gallery. There are still lots of bugs to be worked out on the site (for instance, I noticed that one of my photos is the size of texas), but hey at least it’s up. I’ve been learning a lesson lately – if I wait until I can do things perfectly, just as I want them, they won’t get ever done. So, here are my imperfect photos of my imperfect art. I hope you enjoy them and would welcome any feedback you may have.

Among the photos are some of my very first art journal ever. For those of you new to this concept, this is a journal where you don’t just write to express your thoughts and feelings, but you basically do anything you want to the pages that help to tell your story. This could be slapping on paint, or pasting in a ticket stub to a movie you just watched, or drawing your breakfast table, or sewing in some pretty leaves you picked up along the path of your afternoon walk. Anything goes, that’s the beauty of it. There are no rights and wrongs, and I really like that. I think I may have a serious problem with making things harder than they are. If what I’m doing is too easy, then I’m not really doing good, legitimate artwork. If what I’m doing is too hard, then I am inadequate and must not really be an artist. I create my own problems until I am one big neurotic mess and I sit in front of my art table unconsciously playing mind games with myself for hours until just when I finally pick up a brush and start going with the flow, it is some ungodly hour on a work night, and time to go to bed or suffer the next day at work. Ack! Can anyone relate to this? Sometimes I feel like I must have been dropped on my head at birth.

"Everyone looks for profection, but there is no such thing." Nigel Hawthorne in the movie Uncorked.

New Greeting Cards

I have just uploaded a bunch of handmade greeting cards onto my site, be sure to check them out in the gallery! Handmade greeting cards are how I started out in the paper arts world, as I discovered all sorts of stamping, punching, embossing, and embellishing techniques. All are handmade by me and are not prints or photocopies – in many cases, my cards are hand-colored using watercolors or colored pencil. Available in a multitude of categories, including Birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Thank You, Just Because, and Easter to name a few – more will be added as time goes by. Currently none are up for sale, but I plan to put some up for sale soon with the average price per card in the $3 to $5 range. If you see one you must have desperately and cannot wait for me to get my act together, please email me at and we can make arrangements. You may also contact me if you have any questions about techniques I used, although while I’m happy to share my tools and tips, you may not copy my designs. Eventually, each card will have a description that gives credit back to the designer of the stamps I used. Hope you like them!

Welcome Sweet Baby!


This morning at approximately 5:45 in the morning after 4 hours and 19 minutes of labor, D. F. E. was born to a couple of our lovely friends – 6lb 2oz, 18 1/2 inches long, brilliant blue eyes, mellow and sweet, with a fuzz of dark brown hair. It was an honor and delight to hold her just 12 hours after her entry into the world, and once again I am amazed at the incredible process God orchestrated for the creation of life. From micro-tiny pieces of our bodies comes this amazing living breathing little creature, beautiful and precious. It is so wonderful to me that when I think back on all the major life events I have experienced since leaving my home almost 10 years ago, I can look up and see the same sets of faces there through it all – my dear friends and my husband. How blessed I am indeed to have relationships like this in my life!

Anyway, enough with the mushy stuff – welcome, sweet baby!!