PagesPat's Ponderings

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


My weeks have been taken over by work--vacation bible school to be exact. At least I get to craft in my office, but I had to take stuff home, because there's so much to do!!
I've finished the coral-scapes for the north walls of windows. Each window is floor to ceiling in the Parish Center, with brick columns between each. Volunteers have decorated the windows with twisted crepe paper streamers cut and taped to look like waves. Like this, found on Pinterest:
Love this for under sea room theme weird animals vbs
The coral-scapes will go on each window ledge at floor height. Meanwhile, volunteers are making jelly fish, starfish, and turtles for the two walls that will sport a water habitats. The other two walls will be decorated as rain forests, with homemade tissue paper flowers, vines, streamers and a couple of palm trees. So much to do!
And a HUGE THANK YOU to my crafty friend Gemiel, whose church hosted the same VBS theme of Weird Animals and donated the leftovers to other churches--mine included. I shrieked when I opened your priority package stuffed (if you ever need help packing for a trip, Gemiels the go-to girl) to the brim with your donated items. All of which we did not purchase. Oh what fun we'll have now!! Mil gracias, merci beaucoup and danke!!
Now, I have to sketch out where all the decorations will go, so that I can be free to sort and organize the supplies for the week and play the games with the crew leaders so they have a heads up. Did I mention the our conference room will turn into a swamp, with so many frogs the kids will just croak when they enter (pun intended).
I'll post more pics once the room has been transformed. Wish me luck!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Fun with Squigglefly

Enabler Alert!!  There's a new challenge over at Squigglefly!  Use any kind of twine and a Squigglefly digi image and you could win free digi images.
I used an adorable image by new Squigglefly artist Angela Charles.  It's called Bubbles and I had fun coloring it with my Copics. I created this card using embossed cardstock, patterned paper, an image from Pinterest, Liquid Glass from CTMH and some coordinating twine tied in a bow.
I love this image, it feels like the embodiment of summer fun to me. It brings to mind water balloons, catching lightning bugs, chalk drawings on driveways, barbeques, picnics and baseball games. Ah, summer, here at last!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Waterscape Minus the Swans

After a very long week where all my crafting went into vacation bible school decorations, I was finally able to pull out the paper and paints and try my hand at another waterscape. I tried the same technique of wetting both the back and front, then painting a line across the paper, tilting it up and then down, for that water-mirror image.
I even added some clouds into the sky (patting myself on the back) and remembered to color the water beforehand. This time, instead of swans being the focal point, I decided to paint in some brush and rocks into the foreground and let the shoreline across the water be the focal point.
As you can see, I signed it, which means I like what I created. All my watercolor paintings are put into my art journal, but only the ones I like have been signed. I treat the others as learning tools.
I won a non-credit course at the community college at an auction last Spring, and had planned to take a watercolor painting class. By the time the Fall semester offers its catalog of classes, I might just have to look for something else!
If you were able to take a free class, what would you choose? I want to learn Adobe Photoshop Elements 12, how to roll sushi, learn German, move around to Zumba, and about nine other things! If I had the time and money, I'd be a professional student!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

That's One Fat Bird

Last week I bought a pad of cold-pressed, heavyweight watercolor paper that was half the size of my last pad. It's the perfect size for my watercolor art journal, and at the time it was 50% off at Michael's. So of course I had to christen it with my paints.
I found a painting of a bird on Pinterest that I loved, so I set out to make one myself. I started with the beak and carried on from there. Obviously I carried on a little too much and the little bird I started out to paint became one very fat bird! Doesn't matter, I used my fave color combo on the page and had some fun.
My fat bird reminds me of a stupid joke my dad used to tell. I like to be reminded of the things he used to say and the stories he used to tel me and my sisters, since he's no longer with us to tell them.
Here's the joke:
What does a 500 pound chicken say?
C-H-E-E-P, C-H-E-E-P 
(said in a deep bass voice).
I told you it was stupid, but when we were little, we would giggle our heads off.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fireworks in the Grass

Had my granddaughter over the weekend and she showed me things that inspired me. Here, a white on black art journal page and a Haiku poem:
I dared to find joy
Looking down upon the lawn--
Fireworks in the grass.
-Pat Martin (c)7/23/14

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Crafting Around with Squigglefly

Today's card follow's the theme for this week's Squigglefly challenge - "create a ROUND card. I created my ROUND card using a July new release by artist Sandra Caldwell.  It's called Fashion Fanny.  Isn't she adorable?!
I colored her with Copics and fussy-cut the image. I layered my ROUND card base with adhesive flourish border tape, an alcohol-ink misted paper doily, black diecut cardstock, sequins and butterflies. Then I popped Fanny into place and there she is, in all her fashionable glory!
Have you made ROUND CARDS yet? They're fun, as they make you think outside the angular box. Try it for Squigglefly's new challenge--and if you use a Squigglefly digi image, you'll be in the running for digi prizes!  Don't have any?? Click here for FREEBIES.

Monday, July 21, 2014

DREAMS Midway Challenge from Path of Positivity

Dreams is the theme for the Path of Positivity Challenge blog this month. Although many would interpret the theme to mean "hopes and aspirations," I took it literally and created a mixed media canvas.

Between my new interest in water colors and my new passion for mixed media canvas, I am spreading my craftiness thin, but still make more cards than anything else. However, I do so love to dabble and experiment, and that's really what ART is all about. And of course, where would ART be without dreamers?

For today's project, I got to color up a digi image from Ike's Art. It's called "Poe Bust." I love Edgar Allen Poe, have his poems and stories, read his bio, and took a 3-credit Independent Study at college on Mr. Poe and his writings (got an A, too).

I used a combination of Copics and Spectrum Noir to color my image (I didn't have enough Copics in the black family).  Before adding it to a canvas, I Mod Podged (homemade), gessoed (again homemade), painted and inked a base onto my blank canvas. I gathered together assorted charms, flowers, photos, diecuts, etc, and played around with it all until I found a pattern I liked. I even handwrote words about dreaming and waking from them.

The sentiment is a digi from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles. I distressed it by folding and ripping the paper, then adding distress inks. I hope you take some time to check out all the little embellishments that complete my canvas. Then I hope you are inspired to try it yourself.

Whether you paint or make cards, don't forget to play in the Path of Positivity's challenge this month. Create with a Dream theme and link up your project. Great prizes to several winners, as always!!
  • For Challenge 16, prizes will be the following:
    • £15 voucher from Scribble and Scrap, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
    • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
    • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
  • There will also be:
    • One digital designer paper from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
    • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This Girl Is on Fire

This girl is my daughter. She is the reason I am grateful today. She is working hard in college (straight A's last semester) and about to start a new job. She is creative, and enjoys exploring art journaling, water colors, mixed media, blogging and writing poetry.
She is my biggest supporter and my inspiration. She is thoughtful, generous and determined to make this world a better place, one step at a time.
When my dad passed away, I was adrift with the loss. After ten years of no birth control and no pregnancy, I was shocked to find out that I was pregnant again. My daughter was God's gift to me for losing my dad. I am so very thankful she came into my life.
Her heart is big enough to heal the world. I know it healed mine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Time to Play in the Christmas in July Challenge

SBP Challenge blog is extending their "Christmas in July" challenge until the end of the month, so everyone gets more time to start, continue or finish off their Christmas cards starting now!
I used a QKD image called Blue Fairy from artist Ady Almanza. Of course, I didn't color her blue. I used non-traditional colors for my holiday card, so she sports pink hair today! LOL
The paper is leftover from a previous project. I framed my image with a paper doily, and covered the flowers adorning her hair with a snowflake.
The inside of my card contains the sentiment:
"Wishing you a White Christmas"
Come play with us at SBP for some fantastic prizes!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Getting Edgy Over at Squigglefly

What a fantastic month Squigglelfy has for you!  First, there are three new artists making their debut in July.   They are Tam Hess, Norma Burnell, and Angela Charles. Each of them have their own unique style. I got to play with a digi image called Forest Fairy from Norma Burnell.

Second, the Squigglelfy challenge this week is "Over the Edge," which means to let your image extend past the edges of your project. I made a "potted flower" from a wooden block. It started life as one of those photo holders, but I didn't like the photos I had already printed up, so I glued a beautiful cream-colored rose to the post.

I colored Forest Fairy with my trusty Copics, and popped her onto my block after painting it with acrylics. I adhered washi tape to the bottom, all around the block, so to speak. I added a few sequins for sparkle and my front was complete.

Here's another view of the block, this one from the side. I decided it needed a sentiment, and I had the perfect one in my stickers stash.  It reads: "Hold a true friend in both hands."

For more inspiration with Squigglefly's July releases, check out the challenge blog. If you really need to get your mojo on, go have a look-see at what our new DT member, Jen Leeflang, has created. Jen's blog is

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Letting Go...

I had a chance to play with watercolors this morning and ended up with this hot air balloon. There's a tiny figure in the basket --that's me! I've decided to let go of my fears of showing imperfect work, of the projects that lead to improvement, of my self-imposed comparison to others' art.
It is a liberating experience! My art is mine. It is not being judged against others' unless I choose to do so. Not every piece of art is a masterpiece. Everyone started out as a novice sometime.
I feel like I am floating among the winds of creativity, with no tether to hold me down. So this is my self-expression of that feeling. This is my self-portrait of my creative soul.
The journey is going to be awesome!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Swan Lake

So today I pulled out all the stops and tried my hand at a waterscape. I learned a new technique--if you really want your paint to spread in amazing ways, wet BOTH sides of the paper. Once I drew a line across the page, I tilted it back and level and got a lovely mirror image for my water scene.
I built up the trees and tried to give them more dimension. I added some white clouds in the sky. And I looked at it and went--hmm, boring. No focal point, and too much blue again! So, I continued using white paint and added the swans floating in the forefront. All I have to do now is sign it.
I like it. And I continually learn from each canvas I paint! Maybe by the time Fall semester rolls around, I won't need to take a watercolor class anymore. Maybe I'll branch out to other media. Meanwhile, I borrowed six books on watercolor painting from the library. I'm planning on spending a lot of time this weekend with my brushes!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tagging an Anything Goes Challenge

I made a tag today using my two fave products--Tim Holtz and an image from Art by Mi Ran. The challenge is again Anything Goes, and there's plenty of inspiration at her blog!!
I started with an embossed tag and piled on the distressed ink, then stamped a line of music. Bits of leftover lace and part of a broken necklace went on next.
After I colored Mi Ran's image, called "Patsy," I adhered her onto my tag with dimensional tape. I finished it all off with a flower with a tiny pearl spray and some organza ribbon tied in a pretty bow.
This scene I created reminds me of the old black and white classic movie "Casablanca." There goes Humphrey Bogart off in the distance while Lauren Bacall has to pick up the pieces in a classy way.
Or then again, it could be a movie starring Mae West. An interested gentleman pausing in the doorway, while Patsy asks him if that were a pickle in his pocket or if he were just glad to see her.
So many scenes play in my mind just from this one tag showcasing this gorgeous image. What does it do for you??
Art by Miran is sponsoring a challenge at "Love to Create Challenges" blog, where the theme is Fussy and Fancy  OR  Clean and Layered Challenge. I THINK MINE WOULD FALL UNDER THE fUSSY AND fANCY THEME, DON'T YOU?!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Using Up My Stash in Squigglefly's New Challenge

There's nothing better than having a stash of leftover papers, ribbons, flowers and the like. Unless you are the master hoarder of the crafting world!!! Then there's nothing better than using up your stash (or a small percentage of it) in a challenge that directs you to do just that. This week at Squigglefly Challenge blog the theme is using scraps on your project. Well, since my hubby calls my work area the original ScrapMart, this is my kind of challenge!!
I want you to "say hello to my little friend," a July new release from Squigglefly. This cutie patootie is created by Tam Hess who, along with Norma Burnell and Angela Charles, have just joined Squigglefly's creative team.
This image is called "Fred - Thinking" and is my new favorite. LOL
After I colored him with Copics (Y11,15,17;YR02& R05), I distressed the edges with Bundled Sage distress ink from Tim Holtz and popped him onto black cardstock.
I created the card front by "putting in my thumb and pulling out a plum" of patterned papers from my "misc" file folder of scraps (yes, besides my folders arranged by color, I even have a misc one).
I only needed a snip here and there and I had my scraps creatively arranged for the background. I added some plastic charms from Jollee's Boutique as well as a frog-shaped button. Oh and let's not forget the tiny musical notes coming out of that little yellow birdie's throat!
I like this technique so much that I'm going to make a bunch of card bases with my leftover scraps on which to put more colored images. I keep a box of card bases ready to use, mostly for the cards I make for Operation Write Home.
Now it's your turn--is your stash overflowing? It's time to tell it who's boss and play in the Squigglefly challenge this week. Don't forget to use a Squigglefly image for your chance to win free digis, too!!
Meanwhile, catch some inspiration from Squigglefly's newest DT member, Jan Leeflang.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sweet Dreams

The Path of Positivity challenge blog offers a new theme this month--DREAMS. My DT project is a mini album...well, actually, it's the cover of a new mini album I am making!

I got to play with products from Scribble and Scrap. They have awesome digi paper packs, vintage photo sheets and images.
I printed out two papers from the Elegance Paper Pack #1 to create my base. I also printed out a photo from the Vintage Photo Sheet #1. Isn't that photo of the little girls' tea party adorable? It focuses on the dreams little girls have of their lives and their futures. And using the photo sheets from Scribble and Scrap is a lot easier than searching through musty old photos at antique stores!
The rest of my album cover consisted of looking through my collection of cast-off jewelry, leftover paper pieces and lace. I used Tim Holtz' Distress Inks to age my photo and paper doily, and added a little bling with sequins. I found some netting to tie the album covers and pages together and I have a new/old place in which to scrap (or paint or journal). I finished it off with the title "Sweet Dreams Are Made of These."
I am also playing in the new Anything Goes Challenge from Scribble &Scrap.

So, while surfing one of my favorite inspiration sites, Pinterest, I found a cute parody of the Eurhythmics song "Sweet Dreams Are Made of These" on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to share along with  the Path of Positivity theme of DREAMS.
Sing it with me, peeps:
Sweet dreams are made of CHEESE
Who am I to diss a BRIE?
I CHEDDAR the world and the FETA CHEESE
Every body's looking for STILTON...

Now if that hasn't put you on the floor rolling with laughter, at least it put a smile on your face, right?
And just to show you how much I love all you crafters out there, here's the first recipe in my notebook:
Cheesy Bacon Monkey Bread
2 tubes Pillsbury rolls (regular)
1 jar Cheez Whiz
2 TBSP butter
1/2 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled
1. Melt CheezWhiz & butter together in microwave. Stir until smooth. 
2. Pour into greased loaf pan
3. Cut up biscuits into quarters and place on top of melted cheese.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Place a serving plate over the cooked loaf and invert. 
6. Remove pan, allowing melted cheese to drip and spread over loaf.
7. Add crumbled bacon and serve.
You can slice this after it cools a bit, but my family just likes to tear off the "bumps" of bread.

Now that I have whet your appetite, here are the delicious details of the Path of Positivity challenge this month. Please note the changes starting this month:

  • For Challenge 16, prizes will be the following:
    • £15 voucher from Scribble and Scrap, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
    • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
    • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
  • There will also be:
    • One digital designer paper from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
    • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge. 

Christmas in July

I have a very good start on my Christmas cards for December, and I owe it all to the DigiStamps4Joy Progressive Christmas Card Challenge and this month's Christmas in July challenge over at SBP Challenge Blog.
Today used FREEBIES (don't you love freebies?!). My image, called "Irresistable Bling"  was given to me by DS4J just for joining in their progressive challenge last month! You get a free image each month you link up your card with them using their last image given out.
My paper is another free giveaway from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles offered as incentive to create for the SBP challenge. DDD is this month's sponsor and she's giving away some great digital papers, sentiments and embellishments to FOUR lucky participants!
So after I printed out the paper and created my card base, I printed out my image and colored it with Copics. Aren't those mischievious cats cute?! My sentiment is vellum from Daisy D's and I used some leftover rub-ons to frame the words, then colored in just the holly berries to coordinate with the colors in my tree as well as the baker's twine I used to embellish my card.
Want to get a headstart with your Christmas cards? Join in the SBP Christmas in July challenge through July 14 for some great prizes! Don't forget to check out the DS4J progressive Christmas card challenge, too!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Learning from Mistakes

Well, I created another water color, this one of a frog. I don't like it much, but I wanted to post it for two reasons. The first is that no one is perfect, and every creation cannot be a masterpiece. The second is that I've been challenged to face my fears, and my biggest fear is of embarrassing myself.
This is no masterpiece, but I can learn from it. I learned that I need to let more "white space" show when painting with water colors. I also learned to think about the colors I'm using, as the frog is practically hidden with all that green. I also need to pay more attention to shadows and highlights.
We all like to show our best sides, which also means we like to show our successes and not our failures. But art is not a science. And every time I pick up my brush I am practicing and improving something I enjoy doing. Should I show the good with the bad and the ugly? Why not if it lets me vent, forces me to evaluate, and possibly helps others in their own journey?
So, blushing, I show you not a masterpiece, but a part of my journey.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I Found My Wings

I thought it was about time to mix my new passion for water coloring with my steadfast passion for mixed media and create a page in my art journal.
I water-colored a background on homemade paper. After it dried, I cut it and attached it to my journal page.
Next I brought out my butterfly die and my folder of butterfly stickers and wings flew here, there and everywhere.
My sentiment says it all--I found my creative wings to merge two of my favorite techniques into a nice work of art.
Have you found your wings yet? I am constantly on the prowl to get up off the ground in new and exciting ways. Who knows what may come next--all I know is that my heart and eyes are open to every possibility out there.
Keep your eyes open and happy crafting!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Wendy!!

Today we celebrate our daughter's birthday with parades, fireworks, picnics and carnivals. She was born on the fourth of July. While fireworks dazzled overhead and the crowd shouted "ooh" and "ahh", I was looking out the window of the hospital shouting "OOOHHHH and AAAHHHH!!!
Wendy was the first baby born on the Fourth of July in Chicago, and a news crew came out to interview me and my firecracker baby. It was also the hottest summer in decades with temps reaching past 100 degrees for days on end. While her brother was born out of state and grew up in five different towns, Wendy had the luxury of growing up in the same house she came home to as a baby.
Wendy was my gift from God, to even out the loss of my dad. He died of cancer and she was born in the zodiac sign of Cancer. He never got to meet her, but I'm sure he would be proud of the way she has matured into a thoughtful, beautiful, generous and talented young lady. I know her dad and I are!
Happy birthday, Wendy!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pot Full of Posies

I'm getting the hang of this water coloring thing! I just finished this pot full of posies and signed my name to it! I painted the vase and shadow first on dry paper for the sharp lines, then softened them with water and a small brush.
The posies came next, then the greenery. Still need to work on dimension, but I think I'm coming along. Let me tell you, good paper and liquid watercolor paints make a big difference!
I'm keeping my paintings in a watercolor art journal that measures about 6x10, so I can get two "canvases" out of one sheet each time I paint.
I sometimes keep the paper whole so I can hang it up if it "works." What size paper do you work with? Do you keep your paintings in a journal or hang them up or what? Inquiring minds want to know!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's Christmas in July at SBP Challenge Blog

Get ready because it's Christmas in July at Your Scrapbook Place challenge blog. Don't let the name fool you! Cards, layouts, altered art, canvas, decor--the sky's the limit, peeps!! Get out your reds and greens and candy canes and jingle bells. Set your iPod to your Christmas playlist and let's get crafty!
This two-week-long challenge is sponsored by Decosse's Dynamite Doodles:
Lisa has generously donated the following prizes to up to FOUR lucky people:
  • One random participant will receive the full mini kit.
  • One random person who leaves a comment will receive both paper sets (patterned and textured).
  • One random follower of the blog who leaves a comment will receive the word art set.
  • One random player who uses the following FREEBIE digital paper (Click here for the link) from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles will receive three embellishment sets (frames, ribbons/lace, brads)
I got to play with CANDY CANES digi paper and the MERRY CHRISTMAS digi sentiment from Lisa. I absolutely adore all the digi papers in her Christmas Paper Set. Of course, I had to add some bling, and the snowman comes from a Christmas pin that was just too heavy to wear.