Art Therapy Review

This week's Sunday Art Therapy submissions were awesome! Take a look at our Flickr group slide show. I know you will be as inspired as I am. I have just begun working through Whitney Ferre's book, "The Artist Within". I'm so excited! I have also just met an new blogging friend, Kristin Renee' Wynegar from Live, Laugh, Craft.  She is working her way through Crafter's Devotional and has issued her own challenge to her followers.  Make sure you hop over to her beautiful blog and check it out. 

Thank you all who are taking this journey with me.  I know that it will open up endless possibilities as you begin to see the world through artist's eyes.


Sunday Art Therapy #2

Welcome to the 2nd Art Therapy Sunday.  This is a link party and Flickr group.  You can post to either or both.  This party is for all of your visual art endeavors.  I am doing an art journal for the first time and have found several great artists who create in their art journals nearly everyday.  Today, I'd like to introduce Lynna Goldhar Smith of Morning Star Studio. 

My journal

I have really enjoyed getting to know Lynna through her blog and I really connect with her artistic style.  On her 'about me' page entitled "The Dream", Lynna gets to the heart of the matter when she says,
I believe that Art in all it’s many forms is the embodiment of the human spirit dreaming in full color.  We all need creativity and imagination, because we all need to dream and imagine and envision new possibilities.  This is how we will grow and transform, ourselves, and the world around us.
This is what I have wanted the mantra of this blog to be.  We are all made in the image of God, the creator of the universe.  So, I believe that we all have the ability to be creative, drawing inspiration from God's creation.

My art journal entry for today is inspired from the anticipation of the fall season (it is so hot in TN!) and some new pens that I have.  Please forgive the photo quality.  It was taken with my Blackberry as I was laid up in bed when I did this.

Changing Tree Bare Tree Lonely Bird

Be sure to check out all of our other wonderful contributors in our Flickr group.

For all of my blogging friends out there.  Be sure to link up to the party below.  Here are the rules:
  • The art must be created by you.
  • It can be any size or shape. It can use any materials and can be about any subject. Explicit adult material will be removed.
  • Art journal pages, sketches, digital creations, and scribbles are perfectly ok.
  • Please link to your project post and not to your blog home page.
  • The Flickr Group will always be open for submissions.
  • The linky party will be open from Sunday through Tuesday.
  • Link back to this post in your blog or put the part button in your sidebar.
  • Be sure to visit and comment on each others submissions for both the link party and Flickr group.

This linky list is now closed.


Party Trays: Sophisticated & Cheap

I love to throw parties!  Even while I'm in the throws of planning one, I'm thinking about the next one.  Creative displays for my food are my favorite thing, but party trays, cupcake stands, and hors d'oeuvre tiers can be crazy expensive.  So, what is a girl to do?  Well, make her own of course!

I have been so inspired by my fellow crafting bloggers.  I took my inspiration for these trays by Julie at Joy's Hope.  Her trays are colorful and festive, but I wanted something a little more sophisticated but still fun.  I found a great set of plastic plates and cups at Target.  I got the plates 4 for $4 and the cups were about $2 each.  I used one tall and two short cups because I wanted some variation in height, but if do this again, I will go for all short glasses to make stacking easier.  I didnt' take pictures at each step becuase there are really only two. 

First, use fine grit sandpaper to rough up the bottom of the plate and cup.  Then, glue the plate to the cup.  I used E6000 glue. 

Let dry, and that's it.  They are ready to use.

I'm linking to these parties:


The Answer to Your Cake Decorating Dilemma

Baby Bottom cake covered in fondant and buttercream by Jenn Seratt
I know that I've mentioned that I have crafty ADD, and one of my favorite things to go back to again and again is cake decorating. It is a delicious art form. My friend Allison and I have been decorating cakes together for the last three years and have taken many different classes, but our favorites by far have been at SweetWise in Nashville.

Kathy Gentry is one of the best teachers I've had. She and her team have developed a fool proof fondant covering system called The Mat. It is so elegant in its simplicity. I have a physical disability that makes it difficult for me to roll out fondant and get the cake covered before its all dried out. However, with The Mat, I can take all the time that I need to roll out my fondant and when it's time to cover the cake, I can reposition the fondant as many times as I need to before I'm ready to smooth it down.

Check out Kathy demonstrating The Mat.

If you don't live in Nashville, don't fret. You can call the SweetWise shop and order your very own. SweetWise will also open their online store on September 20. Go check them out at SweetWise.com.

Happy decorating!

I'm linking to these parties:
Anything Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Trendy Treehouse
Hoo Are You Tuesdays at Night Owl Crafting


Being Inspired is not Being Perfect

Important Patient Info

This week was our first Art Therapy link party and Flickr group feature. I have committed to journaling at least once per week, but the link party and Flickr group is for any visual art piece that you have created.

For those of you who want to try an art journal, I thought that I'd explain a little about what it is.  An art journal is
  • a place to record personal activities, feelings, etc.  Bottom line is that a journal of any type is PERSONAL.  If you choose to share it with others, you might find comeradery.  Rest assured that you will not be ridiculed here.
  • a place to try new things--new techniques, new color combos, new products.  Practice makes perfect!
  • a place to have FUN and be CREATIVE.
An art journal is not
  • a masterpiece.  Have fun and try new things.  You'll be amazed at your growth as you look back.
  • always a place for writing.  Others may not be able to know what your page means by just looking at it without writing, but who cares.  This is your journey and you will know exactly what you meant to convey.
  • only for professionals.  You don't even have to have artist quality materials.  If you have an old book of any kind, some magazines, scissors, glue, crayons, pens/pencils, or even just photo editing software, you can create an art journal.
If you need more information or inspiration, I highly recommend that you check out Rachel Whetzel's blog, A Year in the Life of an Art Journal.

I hope you will go on this journey with me.  The Flickr group is always open, and for those of you that blog, the link party will be open from Sunday through Tuesday.

I'm linking to these parties:
Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays at New Nostalgia
Anything Related at All Thingz Related
Get Your Craft On
Anything Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts


Sunday Art Therapy #1

It's the first day of what I'm calling our Sunday Art Therapy linky party and Flickr group.  I have been thinking a lot about the circle of life this week.  I know this may sound a little cheesey, but stay with me here.  I have neighbor and friends who lost their daughter this week.  She drowned in a local lake and the divers still haven't recovered her body.  She was artistic, fun loving, and engaged to be married.  She and her mother had just picked out her wedding dress a week before.  Tonight, the community had a prayer vigil for her and her family.

Life truly is a circle, and as the bible teaches us, there is a season for everything.  So, using this as inspiration, I decided to do my first mandala as this week's art therapy piece.  Mandalas have had great artistic significance in many religions and cultures.  Basically, mandalas are colorful images based around a circle.  Here is mine.  I hope this alleviates any of your insecurities about your own drawings.

Here is a slideshow of some of the images that have been uploaded to the Flickr group.  Be sure to visit the group and comment on the submissions.

This linky list is now closed.


New Flickr Group & Linky Party

Dandelion Canvas

I have always wanted to be an artist.  I have always been "crafty", but how does that segue into real art?  I have asked that question to myself so much since my health has forced my exit from the [left-brained] corporate accounting career I enjoyed.  In doing so, I have been evaluating exactly what my definition of real art is.I have determined that everyone is an artist and that all manner of creativity is art.  Whether each of us decide to recognize and appreciate our own art is what makes the difference. 

A friend of mine introduced me to Whitney Ferre's Creatively Fit program several months ago. She was fortunate enough to actually participate in one of the workshops before Whitney relocated from Nashville to Oregon. I have followed Whitney's website as well as the Cloth, Paper, Scissors site and am an avid Etsy stalker.  These sites have inspired me to jump in feet first and just go for it. 

So, I am making a commitment to create a piece of non-jewelry visual art each week.  I will be posting my creations on Sunday of each week.  To keep me accountable and to get some inspiration, I'm creating a Flickr group for all of my readers who want to take this journey with me.  There will also be a linky party for those of you who also blog.

Here are the "rules":
  • The art must be created by you. 
  • It can be any size or shape.  It can use any materials and can be about any subject.  Explicit adult material will be removed.
  • Art journal pages, sketches, digital creations, and scribbles are perfectly ok.
  • The Flickr Group will always be open for submissions.
  • The linky party will be open from Sunday through Tuesday.
If you need a jump start, I suggest that you join the Creatively Fit Meet Your Artist Within program.  It's online and very affordable!


Wild For Style

The end of the summer does not mean the end of great fashion.  I have added the perfect pieces to take you from the final days of summer right into the new fall fashions.

First, my Millefiori glass necklace is perfect for those late summer days at the lake or back yard parties.  It can be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet

Next, this necklace makes a bold statement with its asymmetrical design featuring a large fucshia shell focal surrounded by animal print ceramic beads.

Lastly, the Girded Silouhette necklace features a large semi-precious black stone wrapped with silver wire in a geometric patter.  The pendant is hung from an 18 inch silver chain.  Perfect by itself, or make an even bigger statement by pairing it with the animal print necklace.

All three of these necklaces feature a handcrafted 20 gauge silver wire hook clasp.  These clasps create great versatility in these pieces.  Use the clasp to hook these pieces onto other chains to create a fashion-forward layered look or to wear the pieces as bracelets, sweater links, or eye glass chains.

Don't wait!  Grab these from my Etsy shop today.  Each piece will arrive in a gift box with coordinating card ready to give to yourself or someone special.

I'm linking to these parties:

All Thingz Related
Anti-Procrastination Tuesday
Tip Me Tuesday
Get Your Craft On Tuesdays


Romance in a Box

One of the sweetest memories I have is of my keepsake box--a shoebox filled with love notes, movie ticket stubs, and pictures of me and my highschool sweeties.  I decided to make one for my sweet neighbor and bible study sista.  She and her hubby are highschool sweethearts.  She has been feeling a bit overwhelmed since they adopted their little girl from China.  So, I thought what better way to help them keep that feeling of "first dates" than a box full of romantic notions.

My box is sweet, but if you are more of a "wild child", then check out The Dating Divas' "Wild About Him" post for a little more steam.

I started with a simple shoe box and a couple of sheets of scrapbook paper which I tore and used Mod Podge to cover the box. 

I decided to paint the inside purple using acrylic paint.  It covered well but did take a couple of coats.  I covered the holes in the box with prima flowers and added a ribbon to make the top box edge look a little more finished.

I printed date ideas from the Creative Stirrings blog onto card stock.  You can download my template here.

I also wrote romantic notions onto strips of card stock and rolled them up.  I made a box from scrapbook paper following instructions in this video that I found on Etsy. 

Here is my finished product:

I'll add a little journal for them to write love notes to each other and some scented candles to the box.  I hope she likes it and it gets tons of use!

I'm linking to these parties:

Fabulous Friday at Frou Frou Decor

Scrappy Saturdays at Scrappy Gifts

Market Yourself Monday at Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Made By You Monday at Skip To My Lou


Templates Galore & My First Etsy Sale!

I just made my first sale in my new Etsy shop!  I literally squealed with excitement.  Now I need to worry about packaging.  There are several Etsy articles on the importance of branding and packaging, so I know that I have to set myself apart but still be cost and environment conscious.  So, I've decided to package the 3-strand Ivory Pearl Necklace purchased by a wonderful Etsy shopper in Florida in a pillow box.

Check out these boxes here.
I'd really like to use paper that is embedded with seeds that can be planted like the ones shown here, but I don't have any of that paper handy at the moment.  So, I will pull from my stock of beautiful scrapbook papers and use the template found here.  This link is chocked full of templates for envelopes, cards, and boxes.  Be sure to check them out!!

Receive your own beautiful pillow box filled with beautiful jewelry items from my Etsy shop. Visit me soon at Dandelion Designs.


A Great Lake

On Thursday, we had no appointments a the Cleveland Clinic, so we decided to see the city a bit. We went through Cleveland's Little Italy. It was a very cute area with shops and bistros. We didn't stop because the entire area was on a hill that was way too steep for my wheelchair.

We meandered through the city until we came to Lake Erie. I was so excited to see my first Great Lake! Lonnie was born in Michigan and has traveled in the area a lot for work. But I could tell that he was excited to see me so excited. Cody loved it, too.

The sea gulls kept hovering right over us. I thought they were either going to swoop down and pick up Cody or poop all over us. We were able to get out of there clean and with yorkie in tow.

It was a lovely day and a new experience for me.


Chili 3-Way

Yesterday, I had my first taste of the famous Skyline Chili. I ordered chili 3-way which is chili, spaghetti, and cheese. I also got a Greek salad.

When I took my first bite, that distinctive taste hit my tongue. What was it? After several bites, I think I have it. Cinnamon? CINNAMON!! Guess who's allergic to cinnamon? That's right, this guy!

Do I stop eating? No. I take a Benadryl and keep going. My reaction is usually mild with just some itching. The worst reaction I ever had caused blisters in my mouth and vomiting.

I didn't finish my lunch and we started back to the hotel, and then it happened. My tongue started blistering. A couple more Benadryl finally calmed it down.

Little did I know that incident would be the beginning of a really bad day. More on that later.


Cleveland Bound

We are on our way to Cleveland, OH to visit the Cleveland Clinic. We just came through Cincinnati and I saw the Bengals' stadium. Can't wait to get some Skyline chili.


Best Pal Scrapbook Page

 love my kids.  My little ones are playful, snuggly and loving, and sometimes a giant pain!  However, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.  I keep everything from them and wanted to share with you a scrapbook page I made using some of their things.

Did I forget to mention my kiddos are "fur babies"?  Believe me... they still eat, drink, poop, and whine!

The think I love most about this layout is that I used a large section of a treat bag that I kept.  This bag was from a gormet shop in Franklin, TN.  I actually bought them when we had Baby, an elderly, blind Maltipoo we adopted.  Baby passed away shortly after we got Cody.  Sadie came along a couple of years later.

Cody aka "C-Note"
Sadie aka "Doodle-bug"
I haven't put their pictures in this layout yet.  I've thought about framing it and giving it to our neighbors who also have fur babies. 

I'm linking to these parties:
BWS tips button UndertheTableandDreaming giveaways
Find More Free Layouts at April Showers