Category Archives: Challenge

Dream…

a new year so I thought I would join in a new to me challenge with special thanks to the lovely and oh so talented Lynne Moncrieff for always being such an inspiration and sharing her boundless creativity…

small stack of old books and garland

you can read all about PaperArtsy’s 2015 Topic 1: “Fragile Papers” Challenge here (speaking of inspiration there is LOTS on the PaperArtsy site…I plan to make time to watch the video they share for this challenge as well!)… 

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (2)

the “fragile papers” theme really spoke to me as I have always been drawn to old books and papers of all kinds…

paper artsy stamps

I have also been a long time fan of PaperArtsy’s wonderful rubber stamp line so this was a great opportunity to dig into my stash eventho they do not require that you use their stamps to participate in the challenge…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (3)

I used a plastic doily as a stencil with some heavy gesso on tissue paper and did the same directly onto the pages of a new altered visual journal (an old book)…

paper artsy dream stamp on book page

I wanted to use the “dream” stamp on fabric but did not have suitable fabric so I stamped onto a torn out book page instead…

some supplies

a few of the other supplies I used…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (5)

along with torn bits from a 1930’s Geometry book that had a distinctive smell when I used glue stick to adhere the pieces to my art journal…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (4)

there is something really special about the various textures and feel of old paper and how it melts into other surfaces…

Dream Paper Artsy journal pages (6)

a computer generated Bob Dylan quote and some bits of netting and cotton trim helped complete my collaged book pages (double clicking on the photos gives a closeup view)…

Full Circle Art Journaling * Part Five and AJJ

the theme at Art Journal Journey this month is Circles which made me think of nature and how many things come in circle patterns…

AJJ Circle theme pages

for the pages above the image on the left is cut out of a magazine…paint…gesso…rubber stamps…pens…pencils and even some found words appeared on the right…

Universal Rythms connection

the mandala on the left was cut from the inside of a Yogi tea box that my youngest son saved for me (I colored it to compliment the butterfly wings on the right page)…I like that he too thought the box too good to throw away so he tucked a couple of flattened boxes in his suitcase to give to me when we met in California ♥ I used chalk…gel pens…rubber stamps…paint…paper scraps and gesso above…

*footnote: something kept bothering me about my UNIVERSAL RYTHMS page …DOH!!! it should have been spelled rHythms … guess I really wanted it to fit in that space or something… 😉

Give in Happily

scraps of paper and old map…chalk…paint…gesso and a stamped image for my pages above…

laying in the green grass

the pages above started with the green plastic grass that used to come with takeout sushi…our local stores stopped adding it some time ago so I got really excited when we visited Daiso Japan in San Francisco which is a store where most everything costs $1.50 and oh my did they ever have some interesting and fun items…a scrap of green sari fabric that was handy really helped turn my pages  green…the image is one of my Citra solv transfer pieces and I used plaster to stencil some texture on the left hand page…

You must remember this...you are strong you are beautiful

the girls on the left and the words inside the wreath came in a collage pack from LaWendula in Germany which sparked inspiration along with pieces of torn painted and stamped paper and the wreath cut from a catalog with purple chalk highlights completing these painted art journal pages

*all of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them*

Bat Girlz…

our local Mixed Media Collaborative group is having a one for one altered tin swap with a Halloween theme…

Lisa kindly supplied us each with a tin which measures about two inches (5.08 cm) across with a see through top…

I forgot to take a photo of the plain tin before I started…

it was a little tricky to photograph because of glare and my pix do not show the wide black rick rack I used around the sides of the tin but you get the idea…

2012 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Mr Magpie (best friend, husband, father, collaborator, photographer, driver… the list goes on and on ;)) and I made a day of it in nearby Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia last Sunday…

Rinda of Gallo Organica is having her Second Annual Photo Scavenger Hunt…

the idea thrilled me instantly thanks to Jo’s post...

we had a wonderful adventure in and out of the rain all day checking off most of the 21 items on the list…

 here is Rinda’s list with my photo offerings and underlined links if you’re interested in more background and often really good blue sky photos included in the links as well…

(all photos can be clicked for a closer view)

1. A pier

The Awakening at the National Harbor in Maryland…

when it is not raining there are always people climbing all over this popular sculpture and playing in the sand…

2. A clothesline

part of my handkerchief collection hanging out in the sun…

the last item to be checked off the list…

3. A border

we crossed three actually…

this was taken leaving National Harbor in Maryland heading back home to Virginia…

4. A roadside stand selling something

near Union Station, Washington DC…

5. A train

inside Union Station

and an overhead view of the Amtrak trains from the parking garage…

6. A historical landmark

outside Union Station

the Washington Monument which is temporarily closed to visitors because of structural damage from an earthquake last year…

one of my favorite places in Washington, DC is the United States Botanic Garden…

special and beautiful in every season and all kinds of weather…

7. A person playing a musical instrument

this fellow plays the Banana Song Day-O on his 40 pound tuba walking up and down the side of the road near George Mason University (Virginia) during rush hour for exercise...

8. A person dressed as an angel or a statue of an angel

part of a lamp post from outside the Library of Congress in Wash DC…

wonderful patina…

9. A fountain

the addition of the fountain and some lights to a neighborhood pond was a great touch…

and this grand Neptune fountain in front of the Library of Congress was amazing…

Bartholdi Park just behind the US Botanic Gardens has a beautiful cast iron fountain…

here you can see the National Museum of the American Indian in the background…

10. A horse

 this flying horse in front of The Lab School in Wash DC said pick me pick me …

a wonderful copper, brass and stained glass mosaic created by Cheryl Foster at the National Harbor in Maryland just across the Potomac River from Virginia …

and this local horse head that is in our daily stomping grounds…

11. A shadow

 a couple of sunny day photographs for a change…

12. A maze, labyrinth, or trail

the neighborhood we live in has lots of nice bike paths

perfect for walking…

13. A library

here we are looking out from under an umbrella while guarding the camera lens from raindrops and snapping a photo…

we realized that neither of us have ever been inside the Library of Congress and must remedy that soon…

the exterior of the building was amazing 

with its fabulous Italian Renaissance architecture…

and here is one of thirty three different ethnological head ornaments that are keystones over the first story windows…

14. A person playing with a ball

an informal Sunday soccer game in the neighborhood…

15. Someone dancing

we could not believe our good fortune to come upon these girls filming an anime video at the US Botanic Garden … 

they are the characters from Japanese Anime Sailor Moon and caused a stir wherever they were…

we kept crossing paths with them…

16. A bride

you have to use your imagination on this one and imagine all of the brides that visit this bridal shop in Georgetown

it immediately came to mind because of the sweetest bride that took me there when she tried on her wedding dress last October…

17. A church, chapel, cathedral, mosque or temple

we considered showing the magnificent Washington Cathedral in Washington, DC but then decided this was the perfect opportunity to drive by the little wooden church that Mr Magpie and I were married in back in the early 1980’s…

it was a beautiful sunny day on that April 11th…

18. A movie poster

19. An outdoor stairway

this stairway in Georgetown, Washington DC was made famous in the  1973 horror film The Exorcist

we have walked up the stairs before but not this day as we had places to go and things to check off our list 😉

20. A swing hanging from a tree (or a hammock)

this was one of the last half dozen things on our list discovered while taking a short cut through a nearby neighborhood…

21.  A picture of you standing with something that symbolizes your nation

my back is to Union Station with the American flag in front of me looking toward the United States Capitol Building…

even though these photos would be so much better with sunshine and blue skies I cannot tell you how much fun we had on our scavenger hunt mostly in the rain…

thank you again Rinda for the chance to play along

Quirky Dutch Summer #7 Using thread / Gebruik maken van draad

Marit does it again this time her inspiration is all about using thread in your art journaling …

I have not used the sewing machine to do any ‘real’ sewing for a long while but really do enjoy sewing paper and other mixed media bits with the machine I inherited from my mom…

I fashioned a shirt out of map paper and had to laugh abit at the shape of it deciding that I liked the winged looked…

I zigzagged randomly on the shirt leaving some loose threads hanging…

scraps of paper, fabric and dry wall mesh from my work table with some gesso and paints for the background…

 washi tape, rub ons and black and yellow shading with Stabilo Woody crayons for the finishing touches…

already looking forward to next Tuesday and Marit’s Quirky Dutch Summer #8

Dawn’s Journal Journey #10

Dawn’s art journal challenge for July is “Paris”…

I took this as an opportunity to start a new art journal all about France…

each page of this Dollar Store book measures 8.5 x 7 inches (21.59 x 17.78 cm)…

I plan to alter the covers above when my inside pages are complete…

the pretty lady is from my postcard collection and was from a piece that I created awhile ago…

I almost used the original but decided I needed a smaller version so I scanned it and printed out a copy to play with…

many thanks to Karen of The Graphics Fairy for the lovely French images that I used in both of my pages…

years ago I took a solo nine week trip to nine different countries in Europe…

it was a time of brilliant adventures…

I was lucky enough to spend nine days in Paris…

I really did not want to leave…

as it happened it rained on the day I boarded the train to Madrid which made it a little easier to say adieu…

one day I hope to return to France with Mr Magpie…

for now I have plans for more pages in my travel journal…

“Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” ~Author Unknown

p.s. for a great ‘visit’ to France including lots of time in Paris stop by The Marmelade Gypsy, Jeanie has some wonderful and informative travel posts!

…with a little help from my friends

still in a bit of limbo with the healing of my second eye as it got scratched in surgery and is taking extra time to mend…

I am relearning how to see in new ways as most of my life I have not needed glasses for close up and now I am struggling to see things close up…

take a peek here to see how friends like Jean are cleverly coping with vision issues and doing fantastic detailed work…

all anyone told me about cataract surgery is how wonderful it would be and there would be LOTS of eye drops…

 a lot of my life revolves around details with close up and personal views of things…

maybe I am being hasty (and a little impatient) since my final eye exam won’t be until mid June…

I AM enjoying the brighter distance vision very much and not needing glasses for far away…

all that said it was high time to get busy and PLAY however I could manage to make that happen…

sparked by the generous Retro Cafe Art Gallery FREEBIE collage sheet along with their challenge of using the collage sheet to create something in any medium by 1 June…

there is even a generous prize with a chance to win a $25 Retro Art Cafe Gift Certificate …

with thanks to my talented and sweet art and collage sister in Poland for suggesting recently that I needed to collage this childhood image of me…

Mr Magpie was able to print it from a strip of negatives rescued from my parents home…

what a fun surprise just before Mother’s Day…

if we can get that scanner feature to work again who knows what other photos my father took…

thank you also to the always thoughtful and generous Pat for sending this old day book to me (each page measures 8 x 10 inches … 20.32 x 25.4 cm) perfect as a new art journal…

one of the reasons Pat shared the day book with me was because of the quotes scattered through it…

I am thinking this new art journal will be a fun place to reconnect with my inner child…

thank you to all of my friends for always encouraging and supporting me OXOXO

Heart Journal 2012 … a new challenge blog

there is a brilliant new monthly challenge with some fabulous inspiration from the talented Thealie and Lilibule that you will not want to miss here

*footnote: as the Heart Journal Challenge is a French blog you can click on the Google Translation feature at the top of their blog*

I have always had a fondness for hearts so this challenge really speaks to me…

the January challenge calls for using some masking tape and wire in your heart…

I chose wire mesh …

it’s been some time now since I’ve participated in a challenge…

I started by tearing pieces of masking tape and sticking them onto the heart…

with lots of layers of paint…

copper mesh tears like fabric and when heated with a heat tool it gets a nice patina to it…

the tag is cut from a piece of cardstock that I played with some time ago using a doily and thick gesso and more sloshes of paint as my friend Margaret likes to say…

I may want to do more finishing on the backs of my hearts…but for now I am happy to have made something…

to find out the particulars of the January challenge you can visit here

“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” ~Antonio Porchia

local “what do U see” swap for Sandy

this is the last round for our local “what do U see” swap…

Sandy’s acrylic tag  and ingredients gave me pause at first …

as with most any project once you begin things start to fall into place…

each player received a similar array of items to begin with…

I wanted to leave some open space so the acrylic could be seen…

the “fly” text stamp is from Catslife Press

I added the Italian paper at the bottom along with the Cavallini bird sticker and butterfly postage stamp from my stash because it all just happened to be handy on my work table…

 a torn piece of my Citra Solv treated National Geographic with a wooden dragonfly clip along with another postage stamp…

because parts of things would be seen from both sides it meant lots of flipping and trying on for size before attaching things permanently…

I stamped some random text on the back of the flower too…

it was a fun creative stretch…

“You can’t stop time. You can’t capture light. You can only turn your face up and let it rain down.” ~Kim Edwards “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”


Days decrease…

 Dawn’s October Journal Journey challenge theme is “Nature & Autumn”…

she also suggested using a “stencil” somewhere on our pages…

I chose these already paint scraped pages in my “How it Works” Encyclopedia Volume 13 to play with…

happy to finally find a use for the man stencil I’ve had since forever and never ever used
I also had one of my Citra Solv tissue paper transfers on hand which I really liked for my right hand page…

some stamping with my new juicy VersaFine ink pad
with a little journaling on the left page…
a piece of open patterned paper used as a stencil helped unify the pages…

“Days decrease, And autumn grows, autumn in everything.” ~Robert Browning

listen with your heART…

a few more pages in my How It Works” Encyclopedia art journal…

the image of the mechanical man on the right was the only thing on these paint scraped pages for the longest time…

the vintage lady popped up and my pages evolved from there… I stapled the gauzy piece of fabric on the left side…just because…

now for some colors that I do not often go to…

paint scraping pages way ahead of time gave me the chance to stretch out of my comfort zone a bit…

hair has played a fairly prominent role in my life off and on for many years …

on my wedding day it was my veil … long and down to my waist…

I got it all cut off for Locks of Love about eight years ago and kept it no longer than shoulder length for a good many years … ok this feels like TMI … guess I felt I wanted to explain about why all of the altered hair shots at the bottom of my journal pages LOL … enough said … it is getting long again … it can help keep me warm this winter…

wishing you a happy September Equinox however that fits into your neck of the woods

“We lose our freedoms at the altar of fear.” – Kahlil Gibran

Paper Stacks a Plenty…another Seth Apter Collaboration

Seth of The Altered Page is at it again …

ever the master of art collaborations he put out a call to post photos showing our stacked journals

… papers

… handmade books and more …

the bigger the pile the better…

I must admit the pictures above show just some of my creations…

in talking to Mr Magpie about paper stacks…

he took a few paper photos too…

it seems piles of paper play a big role in our lives…

the other evening we rescued the paper bits below after having a bite to eat

we found we only needed half of the heavy duty paper napkins provided and the paper doilies are always too good to pass up… a wonderful collage ingredient

many thanks to Seth as always for joining the on line mixed media art community together…

I am looking forward to visiting all of the Paper Stack Project participants linked on Seth’s blog here

…95 participants and counting…


the beating of my heart…

inspired by Dawn’s September art journal challenge…I decided to get busy…

I have been in a journaling mood lately…

jumping from one book to another and another in a bit of a creative frenzy…

my How It Works encyclopedia (1970’s) pages have been glued and paint scraped with just a few spreads completed so far…

each page measures approximately 10.5 x 8.25 inches (26.67 x 20.95 cm)

the last thing I did in this journal was a farewell spread for  Wednesday Stamper here … still missing you Mittwochstempler!!!

Dawn’s challenge this month is to “add an inclusion (something stuck to the middle of a spread that you can see both sides of when turned over) or a tag” … as it happens I have had these pages in limbo for a long time…

imagine a scary face/eye and lips in that outline of the pages sticking out…

see where the nose would have been…

covering it with circle graph paper really helped things open up for me…

I used some Graphics Fairy and Tullulah images to create transfers with Citra Solv and tissue paper …

Love how those turn out each and every time …

quick and easy and dreamy…

I was very honored recently to be linked in Citra Solv’s Artist Gallery here

on the left side of my spread I used the original that I made the veiled lady tissue transfer out of …

I am saving the actual tissue paper transfer of her for another project …she’s way off to the left in the photo above…

both pieces have a very nice look and feel to them …

the heart chart that I have running across both pages is from back in 2004 when I some heart testing done …

I guess it is my EKG (not 100% about that) …

glad I thought to ask for a copy…

here is a closer look at my inclusion

a photo of our son Alex not quite two years old hauling a big plastic watering can around the garden popped up at just the right time and that is when my pages really became extra meaningful to me …

this was not where I thought these pages might go …

what a little nature boy he was …

my Mutti knit the hooded sweater he was wearing …

the dangling tea cups are free images from Dover … they added nicely to the open tea tag I glued onto the page…

I used the tea string to tie them on …

it will be fun to see what Dawn has in mind for her October art journal challenge…