Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book of Days: June 20 -27th

Less pictures than usual. Not sure what the frek happened, I was *sure* I was taking pictures as I went along, but there are none in the camera and none in the 'puter. I even had to go-back and take some of the 1st ones *after* the full spread was done. *le sigh* Meds are great for the pain but totally frying my memory apparently... what are we doing here again??? Blogging! yeeeeeah that's right... lol

The 16th Multi Day Spread is DONE!
Finished with June 27th:

June 20th:
WOYWW 'cheater' Day

June 21st:
So tired I stamped the 22nd... oops. 
Summer Solstice! 
Used some clip art for the front...
 Misted a stencil and journaled on the back.

June 22nd:
 My MUSE wanted RED hair it seems... 
Dyed it on the 18th and though it was supposed to be a Deep Auburn it's very-very RED... Ruby Red in fact. 'Let' Greg take some pictures of the *new* hair.

June 23rd:
Starting to turn The Red Key. 

June 23rd:
Full Spread

June 24th:
Tea with my Muse...
Lead to an UBER productive day of pages and projects.

June 24th:
Full Spread

June 25th:
Teacher Gift put-together day.
Added extras of the sh-tuff I printed to put on the Gift-Tags and added some Happy Mail for Journaling on. 

June 26th:
Con-GRAD-ulations to Arthur!
Grade 8 Grad ceremony day. 
So very-very proud!

June 26th:
Full Spread

June 27th:
WOYWW 'cheater' Day

Lousy health makes me sad, giving gifts cheers me up...
Soooo in honor of hitting 200 followers on my Blog so I'm giving away a Prize...
Drop by and enter for a chance to win!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Red Key Gone Wild -Come Wonder with Me-

8 1/2" X 11"
Started by brainstorming around the word 'wonder'...
Had a great time with this one... kept circling back to the idea of 'seeking' for wonder, so I went quote surfing with that in mind.

This is the one that jumped out and said' 'DO ME!' the loudest:

"We carry within us the wonders we seek without us." ~Sir Thomas Browne~

'course she *had* to have RED hair, lol.
Background is rubbed mini-ink pads (Stampin' Up!).
Woman is colored largely with pencil crayons (Caran d'Ache)then blended with a blender pen (SU!).
Swirls and journaling are a mix of markers (Studio, Staedtler and Sharpie)
Seriously considering printing some postcard with this one. Got a bunch of print-yer-own ones on mark-down today... pondering...

Lousy health makes me sad, giving gifts cheers me up...
Soooo in honor of hitting 200 followers on my Blog so I'm giving away a Prize...
Drop by and enter for a chance to win!

End of Year Teacher/Staff Gifts

Last day of school for da'Boyz is tomorrow...
So, that meant today was the day the Teacher/Staff Gifts went in. Always err on the side of paranoia, er... caution and make sure they're in a day early. Good thing too! In fact, the main secretary called the house this evening to thank us because she's off tomorrow. See! Paranoia pays off... sometimes, lol. 

Each staff member at the younger boyz school and the 5 teachers Arthur had this year each got one of these:
Wee baggie stuffed with Hershey HUGS and a Photo Tag.
No I did not make or stamp the bags...
I 'cheat'.
Discovered a wonderful idea a few years ago, by accident of course... The 'bags' are for wedding favors. We keep our eyes peeled for something cute to pack the gifts in and they go on deep-discount 'out-of-season'. ex. These were $22.99 for 30 (owe!) and we got them at 75% off, because they were part of a Fall collection. We find something special to put inside and attach a tag with a poem/message and a recent picture. Used one of Arthur's Grad photos on his tags and we had a mini-photo shoot for the rest of da'Boyz. I let the kids give me an idea of what they want to do/give. Sometimes it's baking or canning depends on the time of year, the packages we found and Mum's enthusiasm level... lol. This round is quick and easy, Mum is drained.
All DONE... Huzzah!

These most certainly did *not* make the cut. 

Lousy health makes me sad, giving gifts cheers me up...
Soooo in honor of hitting 200 followers on my Blog so I'm giving away a Prize...
Drop by and enter for a chance to win!

Book of Days ATC Swap: Sisters

I'm late... seems to be a running theme here...
That's what happens when you lose 3+ weeks of your life sleeping. lol 
These are my ATC's the May swap in Book of Days, the theme was 'Sisters'.

The background was made with layers and paint on 8 1/2 X 11" brown cardstock that was then cut to size.
Brown 'dirt' then a 'garden' of color!
Stamped and markers colored fleurs (Stampin' Up!) computer printed sentiment and bordered with black Sharpie.

 ahh... Perfect!
Lousy health makes me sad, giving gifts cheers me up...
Soooo in honor of hitting 200 followers on my Blog so I'm giving away a Prize...
Drop by and enter for a chance to win!

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 160

Late... late... late...
Another 'White Rabbit' day for me!
But not yet too late for WOYWW over at:
Pop over and check out what everyone else is up to this week!

This was my desk 1st thing this morning... 
It's been cleared, messed up, cleared and messed up again since then. 
As I said... a busy day!
What was out was COFFEE, of course... that's how the rest of the sh-tuff today got done. 
*wink wink*
Also last night I was printing out new Thank-You cards for Poet's Vision Aussie Rescue... I help in the small ways I can... One is by making sure those that help with Animal Transport, Donations of time, fund or material goods and fosters get Thanked via snail-mail. The other is being a Foster home... though at present we are in the process of foster-failing... We're keeping Ayva! She wormed her way into our hearts. So stuffing and stamping envelopes to have ready-to-go was 1st up this morning. 
The rest is the usual mess of sh-tuff...
I haven't killed the Polka-Dot Plant... yet. ;O)

The rest of the day was spent making ATC's for a swap I'm late on form May. er... was due right when the pain was the worst and we didn't have a Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Drugs... drugs... drugs aren't good for creative en-devours, only LOTS of sleep. lol The Lyrica is FAN-tastic!!! Feeling better and better as each day goes by...

Speaking of, the other thing that ate my day was taking pictures for this:
Lousy health makes me sad, giving gifts cheers me up...
Soooo in honor of hitting 200 followers on my Blog so I'm giving away a Prize...
Drop by and enter for a chance to win!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Red Key: My Vision Quest

On Friday we were asked to 'Declare Our Quest'...

The concept of vision quest comes for many traditions, and one of the most familiar ones comes from the Native American practices. Here at Cosmic Cowgirls we create a weaving of many traditions to create a powerful call that includes creativity, connection and community. For us the quest has the following ingredients and many more!
1. SEEK: A call to go IN after something you want/need/long for/seek
2. ACT: Action you are willing to take to make the journey in the form of creative practices
3. DESIRE: Passionate hope for an illumination/insight/revelation on the journey
4. CONNECTION: The sense that you are a part of something bigger - a tribe that you run with.
5. LAS PROMESAS: The promise to yourself that you will stay on the path, be present to what is unfolding and to ask your sisters for support when you need it.
The inner Shield Maiden in me *demanded* a sigil and shield design upon the mention of Quest-ing. My Muse was in full agreement... apparently. This just flowed together...
The main base design was some FREE Heraldry Wings Shield Vector Art, found here:
There were 8 different styles to choose from. (GO GET IT!)
Hand drew the sun, colored it with markers and then stamped and heat embossed the Key and Crown. Cut and Pasted my 'Declaration of Quest' straight from the board message thread and font-fied it. (TolkienUncialMF) 
Now I will have it at-hand in my Book of Legends.
My Muse is Happy, My inner Shield Maiden is ready to embark.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Red Key: Tea with my Muse...

Another 'out of order' page for The Red Key...
Created Saturday the 23rd.
Lower photo is of the Teacup my Muse *made* me buy her. ;O)
8 1/2" X 11" Book
Tea with my Muse...
Yesterday while out shopping my Muse looked over and saw this pretty little cup... she wanted it so somehow it 'jumped' into my basket...
Today I lit a candle, said a blessing, poured some tea and got a Cosmic Cowgirl phone call queued up. Then invited my Muse to join me... and she did...
The flutter of wings... the corner of my eye... never too close, but not too far away... present but not forward.. shy.
We had a lovely chat while working on my Book Cover...
I am amazed at how different our tastes are:
PINK is not *my* color, but she likes it...
High Heels and Short Skirts, messy spaces...
Chocolate over Caramel... so unlike me in those respects.
We both like fiddly-diddly music and bare feet on wooden floors, sunlight and sweet drinks... and Coffee.

Soulistry: Doing Good

Got to week #8 is Soulistry through Book of Days Premium. 

The quote this time was:
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” 
~John Wesley~
The questions centered around what 'good' was to us, moments of 'good' etc...
I found this the easiest Soulistry to date, the timing was right.
My mind went for my favorite Bible Quote:
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
~Hebrews 13:2~ 
In short, my thoughts are:
 good = kind. 
I did have another story come to mind and used it for my 'journaling' since it was *just* what I would liked to have expressed, but soooo more succinct than I ever could have expressed in my own words.
-Tale of the Two Wolves- A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Well worded ---> perfection!
On the right I Art Journaled using yet another quote... 
They all just popped out and jumped in the book this time, lol.
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
~Abraham Lincoln~
Hand drawn and colored in with Markers.

The Red Key... *my* Book of Legends

The email read:

Greetings Beauties!
Here in the Red Key Quest there are going to be a ridiculous amount of options - limited only by the imaginations of our throng of muses (which is to say - unlimited!) There will be painting videos, art journaling, poetry prompts, sketching dates, radical action dares, scintillating community conversations - in writing and once a month on the phone. There will be daily teasing and tea - courtesy of your own muse and mine. Oh so many options!

But there is ONE option that is not optional. And that is creating what we've dubbed the Book of Legends. (The name - that's optional. But the journal - not!) We want you to have a place to hold your process. To communicate with your muse. To rant and woo and dribble and art and uncover and lament and well...whatever and whatevery that you need to do.

Your daily teases, and all writing, painting, and arting prompts are designed to be done in this journal. It's going to be our main touchstone. So let's get this party started by getting/making/claiming one! 
So that was the 1st step...
I have used the 8 1/2" X 11" Black Hardbound Pentalic Artist's Book I bought just after my Birthday... at the time I wondered 'Why?!',...
not my style, didn't need it etc...
Now I know why!
Cut a piece of thick paper for the Cover Art.
Using inks, embossing powders and stamps I created this:

Stamps: Close to my Heart and Stampin' Up!
Inks: Pretty Colors and Stampin' Up!
Embossing Powder: Stampin' Up!
Pens: Sharpie and Signo Uniball
I rubbed ink, heat embossed and doodled away... even smeared the 'fire' on the key with my bare fingers... so under all that heat embossing I've left my fingerprints. lol 
Close up of Cover Art:

Do so love an aged look so after sealing the cover with spray, I flipped the book over and sprayed it here and there... This creates a bleached spots, some chemical reaction between the spray and the pleather.
Love it!

Inside Front Cover...
Dangerous Territory (reading from the Cosmic Cowgirls site)
Printed out, cut to fit, inked and glued in.
Always at hand, ready to remind.

 Inside Back Cover...
The Bond of Sacred and Irreverent
We are here to unfold out own legends
(two more readings from the site)

The Red Key... Visualization Journey...

 I'm going to be be a bit out-of-order for the next few postings... I started The Red Key journey over at Cosmic Cowgirl University and it's leading the way... I'm just following along.

The Red Key
8 1/2" X 11" Page.
My search is over... I now *KNOW* where MY Red Key belongs...
Turn the Key... continue on...
Where does my Red Key go? How did I get it?

It started with a tug back in April to buy a Blank Book…
Just after my Birthday, first week of April. Because it was on sale?… Did I *need* another Book? Why Did I buy a Book? This Book? …so very not my usual style.
There were many other things I ‘needed’ or ‘desired’…. But I bought this Book?!  I asked myself these questions many times over the next few months as I moved the book around my Studio, from surface to surface. No matter where I left it or tried to stash it ‘out of the way’… somehow *it* was in my path… again and again.
Fast forward to May… I was out of commission for almost 6 week in pain… fire like pain running through, coursing through, every fiber of my being. I slept.  I did not dream… I felt restless. Some of the restlessness was pain, beg you understand, but under that… there was something else. Something that wouldn’t let me feel fully rested.
Fast forward again, this time to mid-June, finally, started to emerge again thanks to new medications and a new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia to sit company with ADD, SAD, Endometriosis and Chronic Hyperuricemia (which rips crystal through my blood stream, shredding bit by bit, causing Gouty Arthritis and has my Kidneys shutting down at an accelerated rate).  I have always believed in the power of words and the naming of things… this new demon had a name, with a name *I* have the power over it.
When I ‘came to’ in June I felt different, not anything I could put a finger on… find the words for… the restlessness of the past weeks was still there… but now I knew it wasn’t just the pain talking. I *had* a name for that… this I could not define so easily.
I started seeing The Red Key popping up in conversation I was hearing the last bits of, whispers here and there… and they brought me a warm, soft, glowing curiosity. I needed to know what this was about. Got the details and despite the financial portion being a huge issue for us, I bravely brought this new foundling of an idea to my husband and *he did not hesitate*. The encouragement was overwhelming… we balanced and juggled and actually cancelled a few things so I could continue with this ‘Journey’… this ‘Quest’ I wasn’t even sure WHY I needed to take. This unnamed NEED.
So now I am *HERE* at Cosmic Cowgirls University… soaking in warmth, basking in the cozy glow of the fire these women have set out for us…
Knowing that it could and will set me on fire if and when I step fully in…
THAT is what I want, THAT is what I desire…
I Am Here.

The first step was to think and visualize OUR Red Key…
What did it look like? What did it open? More and more questions… The Question?
I listened to the recorded phone call, sitting back in my Studio chair; eyes closed and just let myself drift with the melodious voices coming through my laptop speakers.
I saw a red haze… I felt warmth… I wanted to be closer so I let myself drift forward.
A Key came into focus… it was a red, rusty, old key… the kind I love so much. But it was more… indefinably more… It was drifting in front on me, emanating warmth… drifting, attached to a wisp of untwisted, raw, red thread… floating… waiting…
I reached out with no hesitation and grasped it… when my fingers closed around it I could feel it in the palm of my hand… pulsing and warm… as if it was a living thing with it’s own unique heartbeat… There was a sense of ‘aaahhhhhh…’ ‘THIS is right, so very, very right’. The thread started to wrap around me, it was soft, soft and silky and warm… like a blanket it wove itself around and around, surrounding me like a shroud… so warm, so comforting…
The Key in my hand warmed and a red glow began to emanate from between my fingers, it got hotter… but not uncomfortable. I slowly uncurled my fingers one by one…
The Key was glowing now, getting brighter and brighter… and warming. It was glowing a bright red like it was fresh from the forging fires… I could feel it’s heat coursing up through all the fibers of my being. Pain was disappearing… I could just feel warmth and the soft silk of the Red Shroud wrapped around me…
I started to hear softly, in the distance… birds, cicadas, the soft buzz of bees and the quick fluttering of fairy like wings I hear when my Muse is about… I looked down and there was a gravel path beneath my feet… it led forward.
I started to drift forward and the sounds got louder…
I could smell things too… Roses? Lilacs?... GREEN… I could smell the scents of a garden in the warm Summer Sun… the sounds continued and I turned a corner on the path before me…
There…. There it was… a Gate… a wrought iron garden gate before me, set into an old stone wall… Blue clear skies above and the teasing glimpse of lushness beyond the gate.
I had been here before with my Muse in dreams. I had smelled these scents before, felt the soft warm sun on my head and shoulders… but I had never before had a way to get in. I always had a taste, a tease… a rose plucked by reaching through the gate as far as my fingers could reach. But never before I had I been able to pass through that gate to see and experience what lay beyond.
I could actually taste the heat and roses now… and something more… the taste of a Summer Day… soaked in sun…
Suddenly I realized the pulsing Red Key in the palm of my hand was reaching a fever pitch, I looked down and it was now glowing brighter… it almost hurt my eyes to behold it… I saw another red glow from the corner of my eye and looked up…
The Lock… on the Gate… it was glowing too!
It was soft at first, but as I stepped forward and reached with the hand holding the Red Key it got brighter and brighter… I could feel heat emanating from the metal… again much like the Key I felt as if it *should* be burning me up… but instead it was warm, comforting… and right.  
I slipped the Red Key into that Lock… and they started to pulse together in tandem, a beat that matched my own pounding heart… I started to turn The Key in The Lock…
…and then the recorded phone call ended, suddenly, and I was pulled back to the here and now in the Studio.
I was shocked at how vivid this experience was.
How the warmth of the Red Shroud still clung around me… The heat of the Key in my hand still lingered… My heart still beat in time with the pulsing from the Lock… I could still smell the roses… amazing.
So yes… yes I know this is where I NEED to be. I am ready Heart, Mind, Soul and Spirit to turn the Red Key in that Garden Gate and step forward to see the beautiful bounty beyond, walk the Paths laid out before me, cloaked in my Red Shroud… Ready, oh so Ready.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 159

It's still Wednesday,*just*... 11:43 PM here.
Whistling in.... weeeee....

Hop on over to:
To check out all the other, not as late, postings. 

Today I DID get some art done: Week 7 in Soulistry (It's posted just before this) this morning when I took the picture I had everything laid out to get started.
Also had a yummy Starbucks 8-pump Caramel Frappuccino with my name on it and some flavor co-ordinated caramel-toffee scones waiting for me... yum. 
The usual mess, Hero sneaking in the door to look mournfully at me in hopes of being blessed with a scone (not happening) and the new victim, er... Polka Dot Plant hubby bought as a sacrifice, er... um gift. I have no luck with them, but they are so cute and people keep bringing me more. *shaking head* Poor thing.

The rest of the day was eaten up by a hospital endocrine appointment for the eldest boy and then preparations to celebrate Summer Solstice tonight. Beautiful BBQ dinner with the 1st watermelon of the season, followed by a lovely (quick due to the extreme heat here) fire... with a wee blessing and some marshmallow roasting. Simple and Splendid.

Soulistry Week 7: Secrets of the Spiritual Life

Feeling a bit better so I decided to start the Art-ing of Soulistry again through the Book of Day Premium Program.
 They are up to week 10, I'm trailing behind having only finished up to week 5 before my health took a hearty tumble downhill. 
That means I have the luxury of picking and choosing what to do, bonus! Started with week 7 since the prompt jumped out and my muse grabbed it happily and danced off to do it...

Journaling side reads:

Week #7 - Secrets of the Spiritual Life
"The Whole secret of the spiritual life is just this painful struggle to come awake, to become really conscious" -The Creed of Christ- Gerald Heard
For me 'coming awake' has been my struggle with/in-between/around my Christian Faith but also my belief and 'worship' of the older Celtic beliefs... Fairies, Nature, Seasons and the turn of the Sun/Moon.
It is a dance and I have several partners...
Sometimes I struggle and trip with one, sometimes I dance fluidly and gracefully with another... then the tune changes and it goes the other way. Each step is part of this dance, each partner to me is as important as the last... or the next. Often we all dance together in a Ring... THIS is when I am at my very best, THIS Harmony Dance is what I wish for. 

Art Journal side reads:

Finds a partner or more...
and join the dance...
 I danced in the morning when the world had begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun...
I came down from Heaven & I danced on the Earth...
Dance then, wherever you may be... I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
and I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, And I'll lead you all
in the Dance, said He! I am the Dance & the Dance went on...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book of Days Catch-Up Post Part 2: May 31st - June 19th

All caught up! *yippee!*
Celebrating small victories each and every day as:
 My Brain tries to cope with the Lyrica, 
My Body tries to cope with the disconcerting sensations in my core from my prolapsed bladder and 
My poor Psyche/Self/Muse is fighting for some air space in there. 

One of Today's Victories: 
Got my Book of Days ALL caught up... right up to and including Today!

May 10th - 30th was posted up June 14th:

Today's posting is May 31st - June 19th
This also completes the 15th and 16th Multi-Day Spreads.
Used as much Happy Mail as I could... if you sent me something it just might be hiding in my BOD. ;O) Used stamped images on envelopes, cards and well... you can see for yourself. 

Before I forget... 
Pop on over to here:
For a chance to win some Blog Candy!

June 19th:
16th MDS -DONE!-

June 11th:
15th MDS -DONE!-

The entries are backwards... (cuzzz..)
You can get a small taste of that silly-all-over-confuzzled feeling right along with me!

June 19th:
Wee envelope from Happy Mail with an image that was on an another envelope made into a Journal Spot.

June 18th:
Another beautifully decorated envelope bit.

June 18th:
Full Spread

June 17th:
Father's Day
Happy Mail Paper.

June 17th:
Full Spread

June 16th:
It's a Happy Mail envelope bit... stamped with 'Happy Mail'!

June 16th:
Full Spread

June 15th:
Happy Mail Calender page... 
Journal bit is a scrap of paper used as an under spray guard for Glimmer Mist. 

June 15th:
Full Spread

June 14th:
1st day catching up on BOD. 
Paper was cut from a scrap saved from 'testing' a bunch of markers to see if they were going to be 'mine' or 'the kids'... lol. I have lots of greens for some reason... *shrug*

June 14th:
Full Spread

June 13th:
WOYWW 'cheater'

June 13th:
Full Spread

June 12th:
Art inside a Happy Mail Card.

June 12th:
Full Spread (open)
Full Spread (closed)

June 11th:
Day After the Night Before... 
Hospital all night because of the prolapsed bladder, followed by doctors appointment.
Happy Mail Paper.

June 11th:
Full Spread (open)

June 10th:
Feeling 'off'.
Happy Mail Paper and NEW Signo Pen *purrrrr*

June 10th and 11th:
Go together.

June 10th:
Full Spread.

June 9th:
Wallack's Warehouse Sale... *swooooooon!*
Blogged about my haul:
Used a bunch of the sale stickers to cover the back of a postcard.
Painted over them so I could Journal.
Added 'The Best' Deal sticker over top the others.
Added as a Tip-In.

June 9th:
Full Spread

June 8th:
Used one of the Postcards the boyz got as party invites... 
Bic White-Out roller strips over the info and then Journaled over top.

June 8th:
Full Spread

June 7th:
Quick ink over the base paint.

June 6th:
WOYWW 'cheater'

June 6th:
Full Spread

June 5th:
Highlighter marker, washed out with water over the base paint.

June 5th:
Full Spread

June 4th:
Highlighter marker, washed out with water over the base paint.

June 3rd:
Paper from a Happy Mail envelope.

June 2nd:
Happy Mail Tag and Mini-Envelope...
Colored the stamped image and border punched the wee envie.

June 2nd:
Full Spread

June 1st:
Happy Mail envelope... colored the stamped image.

June 1st:
Full Spread

May 31st:
Spoiled Journal Tag from making a scrapbook page... 
Over border punched but still useful.