Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 New Year's Resolutions - Artistic Endeavors

    Here is my list for 2008

    • Finish some unfinished projects. Like these:

    • Take more classes at Valley Ridge (or better yet win the lottery and take ALL the classes at Valley Ridge). Specifically these:

      DJ Pettitt
      DJ Pettitt
      Beryl Taylor
      Nina Bagley

    • Keep the blog updated and post more projects. Work on my writing.

    • Organize supplies and space.

    • Pick a couple of my Yahoo Groups and become a more active, regular participant.

    • Try to use more embellishments and make things that aren't always "flat".

    Friday, December 21, 2007

    2007 New Year's Resolutions - A Year-End Report

    These were my artistic resolutions for 2007 and how I did.

    Try a new technique at least once per month.
    I learned so much this year. See below about taking classes.

    Swap with new groups.
    I wanted to try some different types of art and branch out to more mixed media and not so much stamping. I was able to do this and am learning a lot about all kinds of art. Now I have to reign it in a little and figure out where I belong and focus this year. This means choosing a couple of groups and being a more active participant in them. I'll have to learn to let go of a few things.

    Take some classes (if I can find them).
    This was a great year for classes. I found Valley Ridge Art Studio and had a blast!! It is located in beautiful, scenic Wisconsin. Kathy and Bill are wonderful hosts and the instructors and other participants are full of energy and creativity.

    I took workshops from Traci Bautista and Robin Atkins. Traci's workshop was Collage Unleashed: Butterfly Flower Graffiti Journal. I ended up taking two workshops from Robin. The first was Acrylic Painting ~ Deluxe Decorative Papers! and then I was having so much fun that I stayed on for the Improvisational Bead Embroidery workshop. It was a great time. (If you're wandering where I am in the pictures, I'm the chubby one called Kelley. I won't be the chubby one in next year's pictures!!!)

    Then in October I went to Art and Soul in Portland. I took classes from Misty Mawn, Claudine Hellmuth, Ann Baldwin and Lesley Riley. I was surrounded by wonderful, inspiring people and learned so much. It was a fantastic trip and I'd love to do it every year.

    Push myself to try things that scare me (it’s ok to fail as long as I try). I have been pushing myself, now the struggle is to find where I belong in the art world and what my voice is.

    Get some art on my walls at home and at work!! I didn't do to well with getting my own art up. I seem to send it all away in swaps but I bought some great art this year from these artists:

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Pay it Forward

    I'm going to keep bumping this to the top of the blog until 3 people comment. So if you're tired of seeing it please leave a comment and I'll send you something.

    I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow, or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. So basically, if you comment and you’re on, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make!Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

    I'm getting paid forward by Adrienne Goodenough and thought it would be fun to pay it forward to you. I will check my blog daily to see who the first three sign ups are, and if they've joined this Pay It Forward exchange, they will be the recipients from me. Make sure to leave your blog address with your message, so I can check your blog.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Holiday with the Hounds

    This is what I did for two hours last night. Not a bad way to volunteer. It was the annual Holiday with the Hounds at our local animal shelter. My mom and I were assigned to hang out with the litter of six puppies. We had a great time. The puppies are two months old and just as cute as can be. Everyone got to come by and say hello and pet the puppies. We were assigned to make sure they got out for potty breaks, clean up any messes and PLAY!!!

    Friday, December 07, 2007

    Art and Soul - Part 1

    I'm very slow in getting this posted but better late than never as they say. Art and Soul was a blast. The classes were great, the people wonderful, hung out with family that we don't get to see very often and ate too much.

    I didn't have classes the first day so after checking in at registration we went off to Latitudes for a quick visit with cousins Larie, Dick and Chaucer. Then after setting up our plans for dinner we headed up the Columbia River Gorge. It is such a beautiful trip. We stopped for a while at Multnomah Falls for some great scenery and a photo op. Then back to Portland for dinner with Larie and Dick and called it a night.

    I headed over to the Embassy Suites for class on Friday morning and the first person I saw was Adrienne from CCSwaps. She was standing outside the hotel waiting for the shuttle. We just had a minute for a quick hello but I was so glad I found her without even trying. I was afraid I'd have trouble finding her. She came over from Wales to spend the week at Art and Soul and then head to Wisconsin to visit. Check out her blog for the great information on her classes at Art and Soul.

    My first class was "Altered Ego" taught by Misty Mawn. We used self-portraits in our collages. I think the biggest problem everyone had was that they didn't like taking pictures of themselves or getting pictures taken. I messed up my face (I'm not a painter) but Misty fixed it for me so now it looks nice. She recommended that we use faces from magazines for practice. I'm so in awe of Misty's talent. Her demos made it look so easy. She kept telling us it took years for her to get to this point in her art and we should just keep working at it. These are some of the things I worked on:

    My face (messed up by me, fixed by Misty)

    My second class was with Claudine Hellmuth. The class was called Magazine Alterology. We used Citra-Solv (the concentrated version, not the diluted one in the spray bottle) and NevrDull to alter magazine pages and then used them in collages. These are the collages I did.

    (Background using Citra-Solv)

    (Background and figure using NevrDull)

    Thursday, December 06, 2007

    Catching up

    Here are some things I've made but haven't posted to the blog.

    Skinny Pages (4x8 inches)



    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    A little Holiday Cheer

    Click here for a little holiday cheer from Daphne.

    Lisa Vollrath's Countdown to Christmas

    Lisa is doing it again. She's counting down to the holiday with free images every day. Check it out!

    Thursday, November 01, 2007

    I'm back and I've been tagged!

    I'm back from the deep, non-blogging void. Life has been hectic and I haven't made time to post. I've been tagged by Aimeslee and so she doesn't think I fell off the face of the earth I'm checking in with the blog.

    Here are the rules for the tag:
    1. Link to the person that tagged you (Aimeslee) and post these rules on your blog before you answer. (DONE)

    2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself (on your blog, we all want to know them). (DONE)

    3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. (But don't tag me back). (Everyone I went to tag had already been tagged so I'm breaking this rule.)

    4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. (See #3)

    Here goes...
    1. I recently hit the big 5-0... POUNDS LOST. I'm actually at 56.2 lbs lost as of my most recent weigh in.

    2. I have a thing for shoes. I recently bought these (I love, love, love them) and these (in the blue suede, don't step on them). I really want these, maybe for Christmas.

    3. I miss Peanut Butter M&M's. I've had one, and I mean one lonely M&M, in the last 6 months. I'm sure they're feeling the loss of income. But if you refer back to item #1 you'll know why.

    4. Somehow I've become a morning person. I've been getting up at 4:45 AM to exercise. How much does that suck? Now I seem to have all my energy in the morning. Even on the weekends and when my alarm is turned off I've been waking up before 6:00 AM. The worst thing is that I'm ready to hit the sack at 9:00 PM. I'm an 8 hours a night kinda girl.

    5. In the Summer and Fall I'm generally in a good mood. In the Winter and early Spring I'm a grouch!

    6. I like to consider myself an artist but I don't consider the stuff I make to be art. I'm still pondering the reasoning behind it.

    7. I'm a starter. I'm pushing myself to become a finisher. Those who are starters know what this means. Those who are finishers can't understand it.

    So I've finally posted something. I'm getting some of my projects from Art and Soul to a point I can scan them to post. Plus I've made a few swaps since I've been back and will get them posted. Most of my energy has been spent getting myself healthier and loosing weight which I feel is the most important thing I can do for myself.

    See you soon!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    For once I'm glad summer is ending...

    This hasn't been the greatest summer on record.
    • My grandmother passed away.
    • Daphne had emergency surgery for bloat.
    • Daisy had surgery on her knee.
    • Daphne had another surgery to remove cysts from her back.
    • I had inflammation in my eye that has lasted most of the summer.
    • Last weekend my basement filled with water.
    • I tried to cut off the pad of my thumb while I was cutting up the basement carpet to throw it out.
    I'm glad summer is almost over because I feel like I'm headed for a new start.

    There have been some great positives this summer.
    • I've stuck to my diet and done really well.
    • I have more energy and feel better than I have in a long time.
    • I've joined a health club and have been working out.
    • I took a great workshop from Traci Bautista at Valley Ridge Art Studio.
    • I'm taking another class at Valley Ridge next week from Robin Atkins called Acrylic Painting~Deluxe Decorative Papers.
    • I'm going to Art and Soul in Portland (it counts even though it is in October because I've been looking forward to it all summer!). I'm taking classes from Misty Mawn, Claudine Hellmuth, Ann Baldwin and Leslie Rylie.
    • Things at work are looking up.
    • I'm back volunteering at the animal shelter after a few months haitus.
    • Because of the flood in the basement I get to totally reorganize my "studio" and make it the way I want it.
    • Because of the problem with my eye I finally got new glasses so I can actually see when I wear them.
    • Because I've lost so much weight I get to buy a new wardrobe.

    Isn't it great that the positives outnumber the negatives!

    The Big 4-0

    Pounds that is! At my weigh-in this week I hit 40 pounds lost (40.2 to be exact). It's going really well and I've gone down several sizes and none of my old clothes fit any more. I've given most of them away and sent some to the local consignment shop. I have some new clothes for now. I'll continue to need smaller clothes so I don't want to buy a lot until I get to my goal. People are going to have to get used to seeing me in the same outfits for a while.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    A little "BIG DOG" fix

    I was looking through some older pictures of the dogs and thought I'd post a few.

    Daisy showing off her incision.
    This is from her TPLO surgery in June 07.

    A little togetherness at nap time.

    This is an oldie but typical of Daisy always wanting to touch Daphne.

    Daphne and her St. Paddy's Day Bandana

    (I know it's the wrong time of year, I just like this picture. It was taken before her muzzle started getting grey.)

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007


    I signed up for some swaps that are for tip-ins. I sent out the first ones which were for the theme Disjointed Figures (take pieces of figures and combine them together). Here are the pages I made.

    Front side page 1

    Back side page 1

    Front side page 2

    Back side page 2

    Front side page 3

    Back side page 3

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Valley Ridge Art Studio ROCKS!!!

    I took a workshop from Traci Bautista this past weekend at the Valley Ridge Art Studio in Wisconsin. It was my first time there and I will definitely be going back (in fact I've already signed up for another workshop). The setting is beautiful and peaceful. Kathy and Bill Malkasian are such gracious hosts and have created a wonderful environment for learning and making art. I highly recommend Valley Ridge to everyone.

    Traci was everything I thought she'd be. She is super talented and very inspriational. The class was great and I learned so much. I'll never look at paper towels the same way again! The only regret I have is that the class wasn't longer. There was so much to learn and time went by so fast. I'm definitely going to take another workshop from her.

    This is my journal.

    Class photo

    Traci, her dog Freedom & me

    Inchies on ATCs

    This were done for a swap in the ArtTechniquesATC group.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    It's been waaaay too long....

    I have been seriously neglecting the blog for a couple of months. I can't think of a good reason except that there is too much going on in my head lately.

    My grandmother passed away in May a couple of weeks after my last post and so we went to Oregon for her burial and services. She's with my grandfather now. He passed away in 1978. I'm sure they're catching up on some fishing. Grandpa driving the boat and grandma hauling in the fish.

    I've been working on various projects and swaps but haven't posted any pics. Hopefully I'll get that done this weekend.

    I've also been doing some work on myself. I finally got in the right mind set to make some changes in my diet. I was getting really tired of not having any energy and struggling with the way I felt and looked. So, in May I started on the Jenny Craig plan. It works great for me and I've lost 27 pounds so far. I have a long way to go but I really feel like I'm going to get there. I've started getting up at the crack of dawn (literally) and walking almost every morning (weather permitting). I'm feeling a lot better and am none of my clothes fit very well. I'm looking forward to some serious shopping when the weather cools off. I'm trying to hold out until then. I don't want to buy a bunch of new stuff that won't fit me for very long. This takes up a lot of mental energy but is well worth it. I feel so much better already and have been really good at sticking to it. I'm actually proud of myself which doesn't happen very often (I'm working on that too).

    For now, here is a great quote I saw today that I wanted to share.

    “When I was a child, my mother said to me,
    ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general.
    If you become a monk, you’ll end up as the pope.’
    Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”

    —Pablo Picasso

    I'll be back with pics to share and will try to post at least once per week.

    In the meantime, I hope all my blog buddies are doing well and having a great summer!!!

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    It's been a rough week

    It's been a pretty rough week. We came close to losing Daphne to bloat. She had emergency surgery and is doing great now. It was pretty scary. We're just happy that she's OK and she'll be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

    It is really important to be aware of the signs of bloat and to get your dog to the vet right away.

    Here are just a few links with more information:

    Bloat - The Mother of All Emergencies "It is crucially important that owners of big dogs be aware of this condition and prepared for it. Know where to take your dog during overnight or Sunday hours for emergency care. Avoid exercising your dog after a large meal. Know what to watch for. Enjoy the special friendship a large dog provides but at the same time be aware of the large dog's special needs and concerns."


    I’ve been tagged by Aimeslee to list seven random things about myself.

    1. I was born on Mother’s Day and every few years my birthday falls on Mother’s Day. My poor mom has had to share her day every since I was born. When I was little we always went to the Purple Cow, a little ice cream joint, for Mother’s Day (guess who picked that). I bet mom's glad they aren’t there anymore. I miss the Purple Cow sundaes they had a cute little purple cow candy on top.
    2. I work in the hospital I was born in. I haven’t spent my whole life here although some days it feels that way.
    3. I talk to myself way too much and occasionally answer (don’t tell anyone). If I’m at home I talk to the cats. They actually answer me once in a while. I get this trait from my dad.
    4. I don’t like most vegetables. This is a problem right now because I’m trying to eat better and apparently that means eating lots of veggies. Whose idea was that?
    5. I’m addicted to Diet Coke. I try to drink decaf as much as I can but I’d still rather have Diet Coke than anything else. This is causing a problem right now (see #4) as I’m drinking tons of water every day and finding it hard to fit in my Diet Coke. Whose idea was it to not have Diet Coke count as water? Isn't it 99.9% water?
    6. I make jewelry but hardly ever wear any. I have a huge (I mean HUGE) stash of beads and supplies. I sell jewelry at shows and through my website but I very rarely wear any.
    7. I’m afraid of heights. I’m not too bad if I have a railing in front of me but put me next to a floor to ceiling window and my heartbeat skyrockets.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    MIA / AWOL

    I've been missing in action for a while. I've been struggling with being creative and been busy at work, plus I've been sick. One reason after another for not posting or being creative. I decided I needed to jump back in with both feet so I started 10 canvases, 5 using techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's books and five using the background technique from my earlier canvases. I also bought some books to alter and have been putting gesso on the pages. I actually bought a 1/2 gallon tub of gesso yesterday. Does that make me an artist?

    I do have some excitement in my life. I get to go to Art and Soul in Portland in October!!!! I'll be taking three classes.

    Claudine Hellmuth's Magazine Alterology
    Ann Baldwin's Telling Stories with Collage and Paint
    Leslie Riley's Fabrications

    I'm really psyched about this. I've taken workshops for quilting and jewelry but never one for art. I have DVDs by all three of these ladies. I also hope to meet up with some people from one of my Yahoo Groups that will be attending as well.

    I also signed up for a 2-day Traci Bautista workshop at Valley Ridge Art Studio. I have Traci's DVD and book. Her style is so different than anything I've done. I'm looking forward to getting way outside my box. I think the 2-day format will really allow me to learn the techniques as well as apply them to a project. I really need to learn to have fun with art. I'm sure Traci is a great one to teach me to do that!

    I dragged my mom to a Postcard, Paper & Collectibles Show this weekend. I'd never been to one before. I hoped to find some cabinet cards and images to use for art projects. I've never seen so many postcards in my life. I found a few with fun pictures that were from the early 1900's. I also found some cabinet cards. One vendor had some great cabinet cards but none of them were priced. When I asked him how much they were he couldn't tell me specifically so I decided to pass. Mom thinks he may have wanted to bargain. I think he may have wanted to convince me how wonderful they were and jack up the prices. He was busy gabbing with all the other vendors and not really wanting to sell anything. Mom wasn't too thrilled with the whole episode but did some reminiscing while we were there. She especially like the Life magazine with the picture of Howdy Doody on the cover. He drove through her hometown one time in a big convertible.

    So I have quite a few swaps I'm working now and in the near future. Plus I want to get some things together for trading at Art and Soul as well (ATCs, charms, inchies).

    Art Technique ATCs
    Fabric and Beads ATCs
    Inchies on ATCs
    Resist ATCs
    Texture ATCs
    Fat Book for Portland Art and Soul

    That should keep me busy. Wish me luck in getting my creativity back.

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    New ATCs

    I finally cut up one of my Paper Whimsy collage sheets. This one is from Sampler Pack 2. I wanted to do something quick and easy so I went to Lisa Vollrath's site Go Make Something and used her Faux Postage Technique.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    Freebies from Lisa Vollrath (Ten Two Studios)

    Lisa is doing a countdown to St. Pats with a new free image every day until March 17. Check it out:

    She also has great stuff for sale on her site. I have several of her image CDs as well as her How To CDs.

    Also check out her other sites:

    Go Make Something

    Just Print Something

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Google Reader ROCKS!!

    You have to check Google Reader out. You can set it up to list updates on all your favorite blogs so you can read them from one place. How cool is that!!!

    Thursday, March 01, 2007


    My very first INCHIES (1x1 inch square)! I used scraps from some backgrounds I'd made using acrylic paints.

    This group goes together and says "They call it puppy love". The two real photos are my friend's dog Moose and our Daphne when she was little. I just had to use dogs for my first try.

    Words Swap

    I made this card for a "Words" swap.


    Here are some ATCs I made recently. I love the German paper scrap. I get it from ArtChix and Joggles.

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Goodbye Miss Maggie

    Margaret Mum of Cedar Lane

    Maggie is our Daisy’s mom. She belongs to our friends Lorette and Todd. They had to have Maggie put to sleep yesterday. She lived a long and happy life but age had finally taken its toll. We are all very sad. She was such a sweet girl and a great mom. Daisy takes after her in a lot of ways. I think of her when I look at Daisy and she’ll always have a special place in our hearts as she gave us our sweet girl.

    Maggie (left) and Daisy

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    a look back

    It's a snowy, blustery day here in Iowa. I have been going through my pictures looking for a project I'd made a year or so ago which sent me down memory lane, looking over swaps I've done. So, since I haven't made much progress with projects lately I decided to post some things that I made in the past year.

    These ATCs were for a swap called "Secret Words" in the Papertrail Arts group (which no longer exists). We were given two words and could use one or both in our ATCs. My words were pineapple and magician.

    This card was for a "Map" swap in CCSwaps.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Out of Stuff

    Thanks to everyone who responded for my need to get rid of some STUFF. All the packages are spoken for. So, for now I'm out of STUFF. Check back in as I plan having more STUFF to give away in the future.

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    We're in the TEENS!!!

    We hit a high of 13 degrees today, almost a heat wave. To celebrate I ventured out at lunch and did a little shopping at the local antique/consignment store. I purchased a couple of new cab cards, some photos and some other fun ephemera.

    Granny looks a little stern.

    I'm sure she will cheer up when I get a chance to use her picture in some art projects.

    Isn't this the cutest baby!

    I'm slowly building a collection of images. I stop by every couple of weeks to see what they have new and what's on sale. Granny was 80% off today so she should be smiling (I am).

    I don't want to use the original cards so I'll do some high quality scans and print them on my new color laser printer. I haven't tried to alter any yet but I'm getting a lot of good ideas. I have a serious case of OPTION ANXIETY! Any thoughts on how I can get rid of it? I'm up for suggestions.

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Happy Birthday Mom

    Today is my mother's birthday. Not only is she my mom but she is also my best friend. It has almost been a year since she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am so thankful that they found the cancer very early (Stage I) and she is doing great after a lumpectomy and radiation.

    I made my first fabric ATCs in honor of mom and all the other women who are breast cancer survivors. It is also in honor of those have not survived.

    Thanks mom for just being you. I love you.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    I've had a makeover...

    What do you think of my new look? If you'd like to try it go here.

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    still giving STUFF away

    Sorry all the stuff is gone for now. - updated 2/11/07

    I'm still organizing and making packets to give away. Thanks for everyone who replied so far. I forgot one important thing -- I need your mailing address. So when you comment please send me your mailing address at:

    kacysmusings at mchsi dot com

    (Just don't include the spaces, replace the "at" with an @ and change dot to a "." I'm using them to hopefully avoid spammers).

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    Giving it away...

    Sorry all the stuff is gone for now. - updated 2/11/07

    STUFF – I have too much of it. I’ve been building up quite the supply of art/craft supply STUFF. You know paper, fiber, stamps, paints, embellishments, ephemera and all the other kinds of stuff. So much STUFF that I can’t find it when I actually need it. So, I’ve decided to give some of it away. I have three motives behind this decision. The first is to force me to go through my STUFF and do a little organizing (a four-letter word in disguise). The second is to share my STUFF with others who like to collect STUFF too. And finally, to see if people actually read my blog besides my blog buddy Aimeslee.

    Here’s the scoop. Leave a comment and I’ll send you a little of my STUFF! I promise it won’t be junk.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Show and Tell Finished

    I learned a good lesson with this project. I decided not to go with a three-dimensional focal point and instead add images of dogs to the canvases. Because of this the great texture on the canvases meant wrinkles which showed under the images. So, next time I either need to use a three-dimensional focal point so the texture doesn't show through or make sure the texture won't be underneath my image. I like the final canvases other than that. It wasn't so scary after all :)

    Here they are. Let me know what you think.

    Show and Tell Step 2

    Here are the three canvases after the next round. I decided to go with a dog theme to practice making a piece to donate to the local animal shelter for an art auction they are having as a fund raiser.

    These now have more layers of paint, text and stamped elements. I used bubble wrap, a chop stick, rubber shelf liner and an old funnel to make the stamped elements.




    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Show and Tell

    I can't believe it's been so long since I posted. I did go out of town for a few days. We went to St. Paul, MN to visit friends and watch them show their dogs at the Land O'Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show (pictures here).

    I have also been working on painting some canvas boards. I read an article by Sheri Beaubien in the current issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and decided to just dive in an try it. It scares me a little to do this stuff because I always think it should turn out perfect the first time. One of my goals for this year is to stop thinking that way. So...

    Here is the result after the first 3 steps.

    There are three canvas boards. At this point they all look alike so I'll only show one.

    Step 1: Glue on tissue paper (wrinkled).

    Step 2: Cover with gesso.

    Step 3: Paint a base coat.

    More to follow.