Sunday, December 07, 2008

Where My Heart Is

Perhaps the reason I was so enthusiastic about these pages of a house at Christmas time is because that is where those I love reside. My husband, my visiting daughter and son in law, my son and his wife, and my grandchildren, they are my heart. I love my house because that is where my heart is. And where my heart is, I needed to find a way to create my vision of an old-fashioned Santa and still show the holiness of Christmas time. I think I will probably always have the heart of a child at this time of year.

Click to play Santa Was Here
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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Falling Leaves

With the many things I try to manage in my household for one month, I admit that I wasn't too excited about assuming the added responsibility of completing five of these leaves for my art club this month. For several weeks, I just kept looking for ideas, but nothing was clicking. Last Sunday, I just had to start and just let it happen. Whenever I find myself struggling, I go back to my stash of collected clip art, and this is what emerged. Thanks once again to Mind Wide Open, I "got 'er done!"

December Recipe Card

Incredible...the smell of freshly baked cookies, the first bite of homemade cookies that are still warm. That's what scrumptious, magical memories are made of. This is my recipe card for the month of December. This "Tangy Yule Ball" recipe is a favorite of my mom. Last week she and my sister received a blanket of snow totally more than 24 inches in the upper peninsula. Ouch! The snow is still falling delicately down where I live, but nothing like the "up north" gets. I made my first batch of Christmas cookies today, and tucked them into a Santa tin. Now if I could only keep Chuck out of the cans before I can give them away for the holidays!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Renaissance Art Journal

Last weekend I attended an art journal class inspired by the techniques of Jacqueline Sullivan and hosted by Terri Gauthier of Davison, Michigan. I had taken a similar class a few years ago when Jackie taught these modeling paste fundamentals herself, so when Terri offered a class of faux metal painting and book binding, I jumped at the chance to participate. If any one has the opportunity to take a class from Jacqueline, I would definitely encourage you to do so. Her art is amazing! Even though we watched and learned from Terri, no two journals colors were identical. Isn't it fun how that happens and no one's work is the same? I feel like my journal celebrates something mystical and needs to hold my treasured heritage family photos. Thank you, Terri, for hosting such a glamorous event. Your mouth watering homemade breakfast was a pleasure!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Art Doll Swap

What a fun exchange everyone had last month. It was my turn to pick a theme, and I chose "Little Girl Paper Dolls" as shown in a past SOMERSET LIFE magazine. We had an outline. It had to be a little girl, mounted on a wooden block, and was to have a back drop. I believe we all did some of our best work on this project. I chose an image from Paper Whimsy and named each child with a Victorian name. Vicky used a photo of her daughter Natalie. Terri's girl had beautiful iridescent wings. Deb's work had a curtain like theater background, and Kim's image captured the essence of time. They are all just the sweetest things! Next month's assignment will have a leaf shape and an autumn theme. I wonder what our art group will create with only that thought. Hmmmm.

"Annabell" by Nancy Van Hoose

"Natalie" by Vikki Light

"Butterly Kisses" by Terri Gauthier

"Curtain Call" by Debra Abel

"Essence of Time" by Kimberly Baslock

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November Recipe Card

There is something so innately comforting about a home-cooked meal--whether you're the cook or the fortunate recipient of the meal. Usually when my family gathers for the holidays, it has become a tradition for me to make this appetizer. Won ton wrappers make this snack really easy to put together. The wrappers look like flower petals or blossoms, creating a pretty cup to hold the spicy sausage and cheese mixture. This easy recipe is truly a culinary delight! The lovely two little girl image was shared through "Mind Wide Open" on a challenge hosted by Gail Schmidt.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hand Knit Dish Cloths

At this time of year, I seem to focus my attention towards making handmade gifts for the holiday season. I look forward to being more productive, more creative, and making things for those who appreciate the value of a hand-knit or homemade gift. This past weekend, we made the journey up to Lake Superior where my mom and sister share that excitement of gift-making. My sister crochets like a mad woman whipping up practical yet beautiful potholders, toys, and felted handbags, while my mom paints wondrous Christmas ornaments, knits sweaters, afghans, and unique baby gifts. If any of you have seen the new SOMERSET STUDIO "ARTFUL BLOGGING" magazine this month, you can appreciate the love I have for this latest issue. It is very comforting to know that there are many artful spirits in this world. One article inspired me to knit up these raised box stitch dishcloths. Then I created a tag of a beautiful young woman from an image I received from my dear friend, Deb Abel. As I have been a knitter for over 50 years (has it been that long?), I quickly read Deb Andriulli's pattern and pulled out my needles. This pattern is easy yet impressive. I am peaceful now, sipping my cup of tea, dreaming of the next color to use.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Creating with Instant Memories

Scrapbooking is another special way I document the holidays, celebrations, and family history. But this month, I had to design a page for one of my art group members. She loves anything Victorian. In another book entitled "Instant Memories, Babies," written by Sandra Evertson I was able to choose from hundreds of rare, vintage inages on a CD that is included with this publication. They are perfect for paper crafting, and will inspire you to explore new roads of creativity. I put names to the photos I printed from my own personal collection.

French Victorian Maidens

One of my favorite sources for inspiration seems to be books and copyright free images designed by Sandra Evertson. In "Fanciful Paper Projects," she gives you copies of the actual papers she used to assemble each doll. All you have to do is photocopy the pages in color and follow the directions. When I saw the chapter with these French-inspired Victorian dolls, it seemed like the perfect solution for my October art journal swap. Then all I had to do is add my own embellishments, and voila! I was happier than I had envisioned them. If you would like to see some of the amazing October swap contributions in my art group, go to "Group Art Journals" in my "Eye Candy and Inspiration" link section.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exploring Polyvore

Here is my very first attempt playing with the site called Polyvore. I sure can appreciate the patience that is involved to create some of the beautiful digital art treasures that my friend, Terri, designed the other day. I have many more hours of determination (and a little frustration) to go. There are an endless supply of images for inspriation. The "ideas" are clicking right now. Check out and dip your fingers into the digital art world! It is definitely addicting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thinking About The Game

It would be fair to say that my daughter, Amy, loves to play card games. She was visiting us this past week from up north near Traverse City. Her favorite pastime is playing cards with her dad. It starts out friendly, but tends to get somewhat competitive when they start playing "Hand and Foot." In a few minutes, I can hear her complaining that she is not getting the right cards. Besides her father's typical words are "I'm only trying to teach you to be the best." Of course, I hear her groan. She was carrying around an old score journal and we decided it would be fun to make a new one on her last day here. I think she was quite proud of herself for making this unusual record keeper!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Postcard Dolls

As a little girl, I always loved to play with paper dolls. I can remember waiting for my Mom's BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS magazine to arrive so I could take out the paper doll page. I would sit on the floor for hours....cutting out the dolls and carefully folding over the white tabs on the clothing. Years later, the love affair with pretty little girl dolls did not end, but just kind of faded over time. Lately, I have been using paper dolls in my artwork and I am infatuated all over again. Once you start playing with paper dolls again, it seems like they will become a newfound passion. In an article in SOMERSET LIFE, Nancy Gene Armstrong made some adorable little three dimensional "Well-Wishers" as she referred to them. She used full body images from cabinet cards attached to wooden blocks. I have always loved the Paper Whimsy images, and have thus incorporated one of Gale's girls into my Victorian Doll creations above. They can even travel to keep you company at the office or as a perfect place card idea for settting a festive holiday table, women's luncheon, bridal shower, or even a birthday party!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dreamy Witch Journal

With the thought of Halloween just around the corner, I began dreaming of making some art to celebrate the fall season. First I glued this beautiful image from a previous "Mind Wide Open" challenge to the front and back of my composition book. The inner covers are lined with old dictionary pages, and a black lace pocket is attached to the front inside cover. I used black glitter glue to delicately line some the the webs that surround this lovely lady. Then I attached some black vintage lace, a sequined butterfly, autumn colored velvet leaves, and a rust velvet flower. The grey gossamer ribbon is twisted along the binding. It is almost too pretty to use.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Whimsical Paper Dolls

After receiving a recent post featuring Jackie Peters from Oklahoma City, OK we became so inspired from her images that we spend a few hours yesterday making these whimsical paper dolls. My very talented friends Terri Gauthier and Deb Abel, and myself used Character Construction paper doll parts with tags, greeting cards, with lots of trim, ribbon, silk flowers, and other elements to create these charming little dolls. We had so much fun, and I think our little dolls captured that spirit!

Artwork by Nancy Van Hoose

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Future Artist

Here he is! My sweet little grandson, Ethan, loves to do "crafts" (as he calls it). We were painting beach rocks. He does everything with such enthusiasm, it just makes you want to laugh. Since this session of rock painting, his room now holds about a dozen of his works of art. Since we live more than three hours away, those creations will definitely be displayed here in the future. He is just a cutie pie!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What Happened?

I had a brainstorm on Sunday to change the template on my blog. That was a big mistake only because it was incompatible with my Firefox search engine (how'd that Firefox update work out?). So, if you can't see the photos on my blog, that could be the problem. Hopefully, everything is back on track.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fanciful Little Birds

What could be sweeter than these? Our past month's project was to make two-sided birds that could be hung from a mobile. As of today, I am still deciding if I want to keep these tucked away for a future bird and nature journal, or to actually punch a small hole in each one, attach some line, and hang from the rafters in my studio. I simply love these little guys.

Artwork by Nancy Van Hoose

Artwork by Debra Abel

Artwork by Kim Baslock

Artwork by Terri Gauthier

Artwork by Terri Gauthier

Artwork by Vikki Light

Divine Hearts

These easy-to-make hearts were finally photographed and ready to be displayed! One day this summer we decided to create these beautiful shapes as one of our monthly assignments with the stipulation that we had to include a flower image. It was such a great hit that every month at least one of us says, "Can we make some more hearts again?"

Artwork by Nancy Van Hoose

Artwork by Nancy Van Hoose

Artwork by Nancy Van Hoose

Artwork by Debra Abel

Artwork by Terri Gauthier

Artwork by Kim Baslock

Artwork by Vikki Light

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Little Change

As you can see, I did a little altering of my site. I wish it didn't take so long to figure things out. Who knows how long it will stay this way. I am hoping to one day get one of those awesome banners that are on some of the other sites I frequently visit.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mad Tea Party Journal

What an awesome weekend of art we had! The party began late afternoon on Friday, bringing with it the scents of Mexican food, frozen margaritas, black bean salsa, and a dessert from Argentina. Kim and Deb prepared sizzling corn meal tacos fresh from the pan, homemade salsa, cheeses, and spiced meat to perfection. I served a dessert named "Dulce La Leche," which everyone seemed to love. The hours sped by like the "Mad Tea Party" journals we feverishly hovered over all through the wee hours of the night. Morning arrived much too soon, and with one night behind us Terri made egg, cheese, and sausage burritos for breakfast while we washed them down with coffee. In keeping with the theme of the weekend, we savored Taco Salad for lunch, and Turkey Enchiladas for dinner. It seemed like the food was never-ending, including Parrot Bay Mint Mojitos to boot.

The "Mad Tea Party" journals are really shaping up! In fact, I think Deb, Kim, and Vikki are almost done. The original book cover, and page shapes were designed by Terri Gauthier of Davison, MI. We all put our own twist on the pages, while peeking at each others works of art for inspiration. We even watched some movies when midnight rolled around, but 4:00 a.m. was staring us in the face in no time. With heavy eyes, I prepared an egg casserole with bread, chives, tomato, and cheese for breakfast on Sunday. We needed lots of coffee today, but it was a really productive few days. Check out my work. I am getting excited because an end is in sight. Can't wait to show you what else I've been working on!

Click to play MAD TEA PARTY
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Own Space and Art

Click to play My Own Space
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Check out where I create my art. Some of it was inspired or designed by Norma Kooi, Georgia Gibbons, Terri Gauthier, and Debra Abel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Art Weekend at My Hacienda

What could be better than spending a creative weekend with a group of women? That's right....nothing could be finer! On September 12th through the 14th, my art group is meeting at my house to make a very sweet ATC frame holder and to continue on projects that remain unfinished. And, boy do I have those! My main concern is wrapping up my "Mad Tea Party" journal and my acrylic photo album inspired by Donna Downey. Then I still have my Mexican fabric art journal waiting in limbo. The theme of our weekend will have a Mexican flair, including food inspired from south of the border, traditional (and mandatory) Margaritas, and beautiful Latin music. I'm sure a lengthy conversation will continue on how we all loved the Invoke Art Stamps we purchased at the last rubberstamp show in Novi. There were just lovely images for Frida Kahlo, shrines and frames, the holiday Dia de los Muertos or "Day of the Dead," our Lady of Guadalupe, and santos galore. We all tend to play off eachother, each lending a "punch" to our artistic madness. It will definitely be a glorious weekend traveling on our magical journey to Mexico and more.

New Recipe Card for August

Only one more day until I swap this card for 11 others! I hope I get some unique ones this month. Besides getting some great recipes, the cards will definitely be something to cherish. One day I will need to decorate the ever growing recipe card box. It looks like one will not be enough!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Been Travelin'

I can't believe I haven't posted a word in more than three weeks. In the beginning of August we drove up north to the upper peninsula to visit my mom and sister who reside on Lake Superior! My son and his family met us at Great Grandma's house for her 82nd birthday. On the way home, there was a stop at my daughter's house in Mancelona, Michigan. Needless to say, I am so behind on my photos to display. I am frantically working on my monthly artful recipe card for homemade caramel corn. It is easy and delicious. Last weekend, there was another drive to Grand Rapids. You would think with the price of gas we would be sticking around the homestead. And the weekend before our art group attended the Novi, Michigan Rubberstamp Show. I can't wait to show you where I've been hiding.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Victorian Fan

I've been trying to complete all of my unfinished projects in between the newer ones. This is the fan that we worked on a few of weekends ago when our group visited Kim in Marlette, Michigan. It is something that rests now on a stand on one of my studio bookshelves.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Altered Hangers

Here are my last two hangers that I painted and stamped this morning. I found using foam stamps for the larger images worked better than fine-detailed stamps for the backgrounds. Then I stamped with Staz-On for the cute bird in nest stamps. I am on a roll now!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Altered Hangers

In the last issue of Somerset LIFE, I became very inspired with an article written by Jill Plumley. She had altered some wooden hangers to appear vintage. Because I needed another project to start (Ha! Ha!), here is my first attempt on altering some store bought hangers. I am excited about making some larger ones with more rubberstamp art and possibly some old-fashioned photos.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our Favorite Things

My artistic friends created these beautiful 4" X 4" images of our favorite things. They were exchanged this past Saturday at Kim's.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seaside Dreams Goes Country

For me the beach has always been my place of solitude. Even though I live more than a thousand miles away from the nearest ocean, my dear husband has provided me with many vacations in my lifetime where I plopped myself down on a beach chair and scanned the sparkling sea. Just having my feet in the sand is all I need to rejuvenate and begin anew. I love old things and if something isn't old, I like to make it appear as if it is. My "Seaside Dreams" collaborative art journal features old vintage beach photos. On Saturday, July 19th, I finally passed my art journal to the next artist to begin her magic. We had a grand day beginning by shopping at "Country View" Bulk Foods (really outstanding items), owned by the Mennonite community, then next to "Erla's" in Cass City, and finally back to Kim's house settled peacefully in the country. We began by working on two projects, however we only finished our altered CD clocks, which turned out beautiful. Hopefully, we will get those fans done for our next meeting. I can't wait to show you them. They are fantastic!

Kim Extends Warm Welcome

Click to play Art in Marlette, MI
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