Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Artsy Fartsy Journal is done!

A couple months ago my friend Colleen invited myself along with 3 others, Kathi, Jody & Denise to get creative together with an Art Journal. We have a blog and call ourselves the Artsy Fartsy Friends (AAF). The idea - to create a journal in any medium we choose depicting ourselves. Each one of us is to make our own front and back covers and send it around like a RR (Round Robin). When we receive a journal, we then go to town creating a page using our imagination - be it painting, drawing, fabric, thread art, crazy quilt etc etc.

Front & Back Covers:

My journal was created by using various types of fabrics, beads, yarn, thread, seashells, and even a starfish. Of course... it is blue. I tried and tried to make it in another color but to me, there just isn't another color.

Inside Covers:

I decided to create my journal as a way of expressing my names... for some I'm Barbara, for others I'm Nicki. The story behind my real name is written in a smaller type journal and tucked inside a pocket. This project was a bit emotional when thinking back on the various stages of my life but it was also a time for discovery. I also included one of my very favorite "Story People" (Brian Andreas) stories called "Real Name" I truly feel this story was written for me.


LLLL 2010

LOVE More - Love the fact that my hubby loves my cooking
LAUGH More - Laughed at myself for crying over a commercial
LISTEN More - Listened to the sounds of silence
LEARN More - Learned today that I enjoy being Artsy Fartsy

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SurpriseS! Courtney's CQ Pillow Update and another big surprise

OMG! What a morning to wake up to! My friend and COF Roomie for the past 3 Retreats (love you Kathi) just informed me that we are both featured in the latest edition of If you haven't seen or read through CQMagonline, you just have to grab yourself a cup of coffee and be prepared to get lost forever. Tons and tons of beautifully written articles from some very talented ladies; including my bestest LA Fabric shopping buddy, Carolyn.

My other surprise - I woke up to an email from They featured a picture of one of my mini needle books (5th picture down) How cute! After a long battle with procrastination, and lots of encouragement from my friends, I finally opened up my little CQ Esty Shop a few weeks ago. I have been waiting to make an announcement until I had plenty of items to feature but it seems that a few people have already found me making me excited that my dyed laces are finding new homes. Be sure to stop by here again soon as I will be having a Grand Opening Give-Away to my shop, , to coincide with Valentines.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bead Journal Project - BJP

Block #1 - January

For the New Year 2010, I decided to challenge myself with something new - this is going to be a complete learning process. I joined the BJP hosted by Robin Atkins. If you haven't checked her blog out... it' a MUST! She always has some of the most incredible bead projects going on. (You can check out her Blog by clicking Beadlust in my favorites)

This project is basically a challenge you take on for yourself - no swapping involved. Each month you are to make and create a design using beads. I have chosen my design area to be 5x5 for each month and will most likely stick to an "Ocean" theme. For the months of January - March, I will be using a gorgeous piece of blue fabric I purchased while out in CA a few weeks ago. I have quite a collection of under water themed goodies: drift wood, seashells, nautical laces, beads and starfish. I plan to try and incorporate a starfish into each months design.

My first block is about 2/3rds done. I'm still in the thinking process as to how I am going to finish it up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crazy Quilt Face RR Blocks are home & more faces

What a wonderful surprise I got in the mail today - am I a happy CQer or what! A while back I joined in a CQI RR that involved 6 of us CQ ladies making blocks depicting "faces". Today I got all six of my blocks back and to say that I am in awe is an understatement. The work that was done is nothing but pure magic - I love everyone of them. Many thanks go out to Diane, Debbie, Gerry, Rose Ann and Leslie. I have to admit this was a very challenging RR for me as it forced me to think outside the box not only in color and theme, but also technique.

I recently completed my last two blocks that I had to work on in this RR. The first one was for Debbie. Debbie had asked each one of us to create a face for her. I Cross Stitched up a St. Nick with a gentle looking face and stitched him to the block with gold thread using a blanket stitch. I thought since the rest of the blocks were of toys, it only seemed right that St. Nick would be part of the Group.

My last block for this RR was created for Diane. Diane had sent along some cloisonne beads which reminded me of one of my favorite ladies - Cher. We all know how much Cher loved the wild and crazy headgear so I gave her my version - I sewed various pieces of black lace and lots of gold seed beads... I just love her.

Although I am happy my blocks are home, I am also sad that this RR is over. I had so much fun working on these blocks and look forward to doing another RR with these talented ladies in the future.


LLLL 2010 for today:

LOVE More- Love my wonderful husband more today than yesterday
LAUGH More - Laughed at my cat Brat for making another new and crazy sound
LISTEN More - Listened to my favorite instrumental CD "Higher Octave"
LEARN More - Learned that stretching ones creativity has no bounds

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm baaaack! Happy New Year!!

Nana Nicki and her cuties!

2010!! How many of you are saying Two Thousand and Ten and how many Twenty Ten? I like the sound of Twenty Ten as it just seems to roll off... For 2010 I have decided instead of making the same old New Years resolutions, I would make up a Mantra for the year... LLLL 2010:

Love More
Laugh More
Listen More
Learn More

This year I my goal is to LOVE more... be it people, pets, the creative process and just life in general. LAUGH at myself when I think I'm overwhelmed and laugh more with my friends at the silly things. LISTEN more not only to what is being spoken but to the sounds of nature - like when the ocean speaks to me. LEARN anything and everything that will bring more happiness into my life and all those that I love and care about. Seems to me this approach in life will be far more productive than the same resolutions I make year after year - loose weight, exercise more and be more organized.

My recent trip to California for Christmas awakened emotions that I had been pushing way back into my heart... how very much I miss my sons. I spent 2 weeks with my youngest son Jason and his gorgeous little family. OMG! I can't tell you how awesome it was to see him playing with his own children Evita and DeAngelo. Watching him laugh, hug, kiss and doing all the things I used to do to him when he was a little boy tugged at my heart. It was amazing the pride that I felt seeing him be the daddy I knew he'd always be. Thank you Jason & Evy for letting Rob and I share the twins first Christmas - what an awesome treat! Ok Ok ... can't stop there - have to show some pictures...

Now that I'm home and the creative juices are flowing again, and before I start working on some new projects, I will be updating some of the projects I completed in 2009 during the upcoming week. Tons of new projects planned and one big step into a new venture for me for 2010 - I've finally opened a shop on Etsy and will be giving more details soon. Stay tune for an awesome Give-Away!


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