PagesPat's Ponderings

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Santa's Little Helper

 I haven't had much time to post all the crafted gifts I made. I'm in between computers at the moment and trying to back everything up. Today I wanted to post this digital scrapbook page of our newest rescue, Honeycomb.  She is our forever Christmas gift, and keeps giving love and emotional support to my daughter and me.

The designer paper is from Decosse's Dynamite Doodles and the gift is from Pixel Scrappers.  Honey is from the Buddy Foundation.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sometimes It's the Way You Present the Gift that Counts #3


This is my next book box. After painting the box, I adhered designer paper to the front and back. I added dimension by attaching a bottle brush tree to the pick-up truck, a couple 3-D snowflakes, some snowflake stickers, and lace at the top. For texture, I added white flocking for a snowy road. I left the spine painted, but added strips of silver lace and a Christmas greeting.

I'm giving this one to my letter carrier. She's a sweetheart. All my neighbors love her. She gets gifts during the holidays, so I'm gifting her with some handmade thank you cards. I call them love notes, because they're ATC-sized.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Sometimes It's Not the Present but the way it's Presented #2


Today I created this book box to fill for my next door neighbor, Dennise. She works at the Buddy Foundation, a rescue place for cats and dogs. I say work, but the place runs entirely on volunteers. She helped us get Honeycomb after we lost Wilson,  our first dog. She is also our dog sitter when we go on vacation. I couldn't ask for a nicer neighbor.

Her husband has helped me several times since my husband passed away, loaning me tools and/or showing how to use them.

This book uses a vintage Christmas tree image from the Graphics Fairy on its cover. I decorated the tree with jewels, buttons, sequins, a turtle dove and a star. The edges are decorated with lace and some homemade faux snow.

  Eighteen more days until Christmas, crafters!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Sometimes It's Not the Gift but the Way It's Presented


For those of you who celebrate, Happy St. Nicholas Day. I decided to start featuring my Christmas makes today. I have been MIA for quite awhile, and can't promise how long I can stay, but Here I am! 

During the summer I spent several weekends at my trailer located near a few state parks. It was very relaxing. During one weekend, there was a "garage" sale and I scored 13 book boxes. These fake books open to a "secret" compartment in which you can put anything you want. I am making several Christmas boxes with which to gift my neighbors. I live in an awesome community where we all take care of each other.

This Joyeux Noel book box is the first of seven boxes I'm making. I used designer papers, wired ribbon, after-Christmas, clearanced holiday decor, pearls, modge podge, tissue paper and paint to texturize and decorate my box inside and out, front and back. 

I'm only going to show the back and inside of the first book box so you get the main idea of what I'm doing. Same with the little gifts I'm putting inside. Some are the same, some will be different; some are homemade, some store-bought. These are just gifts for people whom I appreciate are in my life and wanted to show them that.

See you tomorrow, crafters!

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Coaxing my Inner Zen to Inspire Me

 I have lately been doing some Zen doodle meditating in the evenings. It's very relaxing, and better than watching TV. Here is my newest doodle, using a black gel pen. My journal is filling up with these pages. I tried to match the book  titles to the doodles I drew. Which book title do you like the most?

I also discovered I can (kind of) create doodles into landscape scenes, like these two. Do you like one more than the other? 

I recently started using a white gel pen in my black-paper filled journal. I have crappy white gel pens, bought them online and the ink often skips. Anyone have a remedy for this, or should I have returned them?

Whatever you do, whatever you craft, do it mindfully...

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Into the Woods We Go...


I bought a trailer/lot in Woodsmoke Ranch, an RV park near Morris, IL in 2018. I got to use it that year and before the 2019 season could  open, COVID crashed down on all our dreams and travels. Now that it's a lot safer, this year's season opened on Memorial Day weekend, and I've been very busy putting my creative mark on my woodland getaway.

I bought a couple plant stands and bamboo potted plants at Goodwill. I also painted the two plastic tables I inherited from a neighbor camper. I picked up three Adirondack chairs from the end of someone's driveway that was soon to be picked up as trash (see them stacked in the background?)

I have also started sealing and painting the back deck, choosing a faded jeans color. It's tedious work, especially as the posts that are cut and shaped. I also inherited two wood benches and a wooden round table. So far I've painted the table and one bench (below). I used a wallpaper container, painted it and filled it with dollar store flowers.

Want to see something unusual? It isn't my work, though. When I opened the trailer this year, it was right after a severe storm and tornado warning. Watch the video below. Have you ever seen a tree swinging in the wind..FROM THE TOP?!!

There's still a lot of maintenance to do. Several of my water colors and paintings are hanging on the walls. I replaced the queen bed with a futon (free from Craig's List).  But there's so much more to do. Hopefully, I'll have the summer to fix it up and I'll keep you updated with photos as I progress...

Keep crafting, peeps!

Friday, July 1, 2022

Independence Day (and my daughter's birthday)

 Yes, while the community gathered together to watch the fireworks and oohed and ahhed, I was pacing the hospital hallways, looking out the window at the awesome flashes of color and going :OOOOH  and AAAAH!!"  LOL That's the way I tell about when my daughter Wendy was born...

So for her special day, I first created a plaque with her name. I created it from a Dollar Store speech bubble, covering it first with designer birthday paper. I hot-glued the flowers and greenery around the edges and added her name with leftover stickers. I'll stick it on the wall above where she sits in the living room when it's her day.

I was trying to come up with something handmade to give her, and remembered that she's always wanted one of those "fine art" posters featuring our dogs, Wilson (gone but not forgotten) and Honeycomb.

I dabble in Photoshop, and was able to pull up a free photo of "American Gothic" and popped their photos into it. When I say popped it sounds so easy, but I spent time and sweat equity into the project, taking almost an hour to get everything right. I'm still working with Photoshop Elements 12, which is as antique as the Blackberry cell phone...

Besides my handmades, I got her some treats and some gift cards. She has off of work the day before through the day after her birthday, so we plan on going out for sushi, going to a movie and maybe a one-day road trip.

That's it for today. Have fun, crafters!!

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Camp Journals for the Summer

 Instead of canvas, I decided to paint a few hardcover journals. They measure about 9"x13". After covering the fronts with Gesso, I practiced painting mountains again. YouTube is a wonderful place to not only get inspired, but to learn new techniques. Serena Art is one of the YouTubers I often go to learn how to apply paint with both brush and palette knife. 

I chose scenes with a lake in them for the other two journals. I have to work on my water highlights, but I did a pretty decent job. The two journals that used the color purple sold at the craft fair, and I gifted the other mountain scen journal to my BF. That leaves one for me...

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Serene Scenes in Acrylics

 Back from a weekend up in the woods, and a successful craft fair. I created several acrylic paintings on canvas, wood, metal and even hard-bound journals. Today I've featured one of my wood paintings. I really like how it turned out, and decided that I wouldn't try to sell it at the craft fair. It's hanging in my living room as I type. 

I painted on a leftover piece of plywood about 10"x12", not too heavy, so it can hang on the wall without anchors. I love a good moon scene, so I started with a dark background, adding mountains, a lake, and a few trees. Of course, my moon is up in the sky, and its light brings out the highlights on the mountains, water and trees. Funny thing - the clouds were "happy little accidents" that I created from a few errant drops of white paint. I put the Velcro strips on the backs of canvases that have a smooth back for easy hanging.

Below is a painting I created with "the whole shebang". That means I painted mountains, a lake and a tree! LOL 

I am improving on my scenic canvases, and will soon start on desert sunsets. I took a gazillion photos while in Arizona visiting my sister-in-law and her wife. We visited Sedona, Tortilla Flats , Scottsdale and Flagstaff. We were supposed to go to the Grand Canyon, but had to cancel as one of my hosts became sick. We found out after we came home that they both tested positive for Omicron. Both my daughter and I tested, and while she was positive, I never got it, which is a miracle in itself given that I spent all week with her and our hosts...

That's all for now.  Catch you later...

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

I'm Gonna Be a Great Grandma!


When my son married, it came with four stepchildren. The oldest was 10 years younger than my son. That grandchild, Antonio, and his wife are having a baby! Of course, I made a card for the Shower. I tried something new that's popping up on Pinterest, a 3D card that folds out, down, up and back.

They're having a girl, so I incorporated some pink into my pastel-colored card. See that tiny white BEAR at the top of the card? I inserted a message to the happy couple that can be pulled out. Their daughter is expected to make any appearance around the end of May. I'm so excited!!

Challenges I am Entering:
Crafty Catz - Anything Goes
2 Sisters on the Blog - Pastel color scheme

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Summer is Just Ahead

 With the weather trying to be warmer in the States, my trailer in the woods is calling me to open up and get ready for Summer. The official opening of the Park is Memorial Day, and I've been working on sellable art for the craft fair they sponsor.

Last year, residents liked my signs, both funny and inspirational. I created this one using a digital image from Scribbles Designs called Campfire. My sign is a piece of wood, about 6"x15". I used acrylic paint to color the background, hand-drew the stick loaded with marshmallows, and the S'More is a photo out of Food Network magazine!

I just need to seal my sign and after it dries, add it to my pile of artwork I'm bringing to the sale. So what do you think I should try to sell it for?? 

Challenges I am Entering:
WeLove2Create- Anything Goes
Gem of a Craft - Anything Goes
Taylormade - the Great Outdoors
Color My Heart - Color challenge

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Tangling with Zen, and Ike's Art

  I recently got bit by a bug -- a Doodling bug. I've devoted several pages of my art journal to doodling Zentangles. At first, I drew squares or circles and doodled within their limited borders. Then I tried to incorporate my doodles into a scene of some kind.

But my most recent Zentangle uses a digital image from Ike's Art. I love Ike's images; in fact, most of my mixed media pieces have used images from the Shop. My Zentangle today uses Flamenco Dancer. It's one of my favorites. Instead of coloring the image with Copics, I doodled her dress. I added shading with2 different blue colored pencils. I love how she turned out and wanted to share it with you. Let me know what you think...

 I'm going to link her up to Ike's Art  World Challenge blog. Other challenges I have entered:

ART*JOURNAL*JOURNEY - favorite movie/song "Shall We Dance" with Richard Gere

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Wired Up in Jewelry

Since discovering my treasure box of sea shells, I thought I'd try my hand at some wired jewelry. The first few were pretty rough, but as I practiced I think I got better. They are no magnificent works of art, but I sold a couple, and gave a few to friends and family, letting them choose which ones they wanted. I still have a few left, and plenty (too much) wire and supplies left over. I added2 small charms to the first one shown.

With the next one, I added small  pearls to my wire as I wrapped the shell. Those pearls were so slippery, I felt like Whoopi Goldberg in the movie Sister Act as she tried to string beads to make a rosary.

I found a few of these skinny shells that I wrapped, adding a small bead to its end. Because of its shape, it was much easier to wrap.

This last one sold before I could say Boo. I sold my necklaces for $10 each. I made others using sea glass and polished stones and crystals. It was relaxing to wire them, and I was happy to have tried something new...

During the pandemic and on (and on and on) have you tried something new? Started a new hobby? What did you do with whatever extra time you hade? I'd love to see where inspiration took you!


Sunday, February 13, 2022

Making Spring Wall Decor


As I clean out and organize my craft supplies, I am discovering not only items to upcycle and alter, but inspiration as well. Today, I sanded and painted a metal starburst ornament. After painting on a layer of gesso, I decided it would look great with a rainbow design. The center was empty when I bought it at a thrift store ($3), and thought a positive affirmation would look  great.

I cut out three circles from foam board (Dollar Store $1). The one above is covered in patterned paper from my scrapbooking pile. I found large letter stickers in my stash, painting and "glitterizing" each. I adhered twine to the edge of my center, but after I added it to the starburst, it still needed something to frame it, so I grabbed (hopefully) the last of my clear glass bubbles, also from Dollar store. I finished off my wall ornament by adding a couple butterflies and a flower.

Remember that I cut out three circles for the center? I chose the words PEACE and PRIDE so that I could change out my artwork when I felt like it. They kind of look like patches, but these circles are about 6.5" each.

Have you caught the thrift store bug? Besides items to alter, I buy clothes, cookware, and loads of other things (take a look at my basement and you'll see how MUCH I love to thrift). What do you look for or find that makes its way home with you?

Friday, February 11, 2022

Sally Sells Seashells by the Sea Shore

Hello, crafters, my Muse has finally returned from vacation, and I have helped it along by organizing my craft supplies. I found some fantastic sea shells and other seaside materials, and created two new shadow boxes.  The shadow box above got its lowly start as a wooden container holding Doug & Melissa construction trucks. My girlfriend's grandson loves all kinds of vehicles, and she knows I like to give new life to boxes, especially wooden ones.

I painted the inside of each section of my box before attaching each item into the cubbies. I then covered the outside of the box with handmade paper using spray adhesive. For the final touch, I used some shell necklaces from my mom's travels to Hawaii around the front of the frame.

My second project uses a basic square box divided into four sections. After painting the box, I attached an item  in each section. I adorned the box simply with "fish netting" that used to be a shawl of mine (ah, the sacrifices we make for our art). A tiny sea  shell adorn the center of my artwork.

I have more sea shells, sea glass, coral and other sea items that you may see in the weeks ahead. I've also tried my hand at some wire-wrapped jewelry using sea shells and glass. That will be my next post, I think. I'm just happy to be back on Blogger and creating art!! 

Happy crafting, y'all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

The Art of Recovery - for The Path of Positivity Family Challenge


I was asked by 901 Studio, in partnership  with Hines VA Hospital Veterans' Creative Art Therapy Department, to create a canvas about Recovery. I was inspired at first to create a mixed media canvas about my ongoing recovery as a caregiver and surviving spouse of a 100% disabled veteran who passed away from ALS, but before I started on the project, my mother passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

Reeling from this unexpected, piercing grief, as well as the arduous path of recovery from the loss of my husband, I came up with this canvas.  I painted the background of my canvas with acrylic paints before adhering my Copic-colored image. I used an image from Ike's Art called Never. 

My idea was to liken grief and recovery to letting your hair grow out. You have to really zoom in to read the words on her hair. Starting from the bottom, the darkest hair, are what I felt when grief set in. Over time, or as the hair grows out, the color is lighter and there is a feeling of hope allow with the pain. The newest hair growing in describes my ongoing recovery, with a more positive description of feelings.

The text I added described the inspiration behind my canvas. All I did to finish the canvas was add a small symbol of hope, life, new beginnings - a butterfly.

I've entered my canvas as a DT project in the Path of Positivity Challenge Blog. It is a celebration of family members who have recently went ahead of me. Be sure to check out the Challenge Blog and enter your art!! Scribbles Designs will provide a random prize.