Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Cupid!

My special girl turned 12 years old Christmas Day.  She's pictured above amidst the present-opening chaos.  Later, she and I went for our annual birthday/Christmas walk but her elbow was bothering her so we turned it into a nice long drive through snow-covered farmland instead.  
Christmas 1996 is especially memorable because DH (who wasn't yet my husband) and I spent it whelping puppies.  About half of the pups arrived during the wee hours of the night at home but the rest were delivered at the emergency vet clinic throughout Christmas Day.  The nine babies got the names of Santa's reindeer.  Rudolph was nicknamed Rudy and went to live in Alabama.  Blitzen was renamed Bear and, because his owners lived in Tucson, I was able to watch him grow up into a big, handsome, long-coated dog.  And Vixen lived up to her name--she was a spitfire who went to live with a park ranger who took her to work everyday.  
I feel blessed to have Cupid still in my life, and I am thankful that she is healthy and strong....the best Christmas present of all.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Time to play Tag

 I got tagged by Jill <> a long time ago.  I've spent way too much time fretting about it; now it's time to get the job done.  

Rules are as follows... when you get tagged you must...
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Mention the rules.
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
4) Tag two other unsuspecting online art friends...

The first thing I had to do was look up the definition of quirky.  I think I know what quirky means but just in case...
Here's what I found:
def.: Deviating from the customary: bizarre, cranky, curious, eccentric, erratic, freakish, idiosyncratic, odd, outlandish, peculiar, quaint, queer, singular, strange, unnatural, unusual, weird. Slang kooky, screwball.
Wow...that's quite a spread. "Quaint" brings to my mind something totally different than "freakish". I'm stopping myself--which is difficult-- from looking up "quaint" right now, just in case I don't completely understand its meaning too, which brings me to my first quirky detail--
1) I'm anal and perfectionistic when it comes to writing. It takes me a long time to even write a simple email (just ask DH)
2) I have a bald spot about 1" in diameter on the right side of my head which has always been there.
3) I name and handfeed our backyard squirrels.   
4) I raised sheep for a couple of years and dream of doing it again.
5) I can cross each of my eyes individually.
6) I've recently become a pro football fan, thanks to Peyton Manning ;)

For the next victims, I pick:

Have fun, gals!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowy Saturday

Well, I'm fairly sure we're going to have a white Christmas here in the Twin Cities area. It's coming down again this morning, plus there were already about 5 inches on the ground. Christmas always sneaks up on me too quickly but this year, the time between Thanksgiving and now has just flown by, hasn't it?
I've been working on a couple of different projects (it takes me forever to actually finish anything) including this combo Christmas/"thanks for the holiday party" card.  It's simple but I didn't have a lot of time to ruminate over it which, for me, is a good thing.  
Now that I'm back in blogging mode (we'll see how long that lasts...), get ready for some long-overdue tagging to occur in the next day or two!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am happy to have finally finished this ATC. Its components had been lost following the move back from AZ then it just kinda fell off my radar screen-- you know how that can happen? But now it can head towards Barb's house....yay!  

I collaged a music-themed background then did some of Claudine Hellmuth's peeling paper technique and a blue acrylic paint wash.  To the image I added two of my least favorite things to work with: microbeads embedded in glue, and a feather.  I got the darn microbeads on clearance and they seemed dried out, but maybe that's how they were supposed to be? Anyway, they're a PITA to apply to paper unless you want a big glob of them, even after I'd thinned them down with water.  And feathers never seem to lay right for me, plus the adhesive can make them look matted down and unnatural unless you get it only on the spine.  But the final product came out O.K., I think.
I hope you like it, Barb.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, again!

I went swimming this morning. Not at Lake Josephine, pictured here (brrrr), but at the gym our family recently joined. Those are geese on the lake, by the way.  They don't show up very well in the little blog photo :(
I LOVE swimming but have been discouraged lately because there's been more of a wait for lanes or downright rude people to deal with at the pool.  "Minnesota nice" doesn't apply at the gym, apparently.  Or on the roads, or in the supermarket, or..... (you can fill in the blank.)  "Minnesota passive-aggressive" seems to be more accurate.  Anyway, just when I was getting into a good rhythm of grumbling, complaining, and pissing and moaning- mostly under my breath- I met a cheery, naked lady in the locker room who shared a secret with me.  During weekday "open swim" times, it's much less crowded, she said. But what about the kids, I wondered, there to enjoy the waterpark?  And it dawned on me....finally......they're in school. DUH!                                   
So today, I am thankful for naked lady's willingness to share that info with me.                     
Also, I am thankful for the opportunity to watch "Ghost Hunters Live" tonight. I'm excited!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Halloween

Happy Halloween! ~~ a day early, just in case I don't get to post tomorrow.  

<----I made this card a year ago, and still like it a lot.  

Alexander will be dressing up as an evil knight. He was very willing to give up his idea to be Batman when I showed him the costume I'd gotten on clearance last year.  Might be the last year I get away with that... ;)

It is an absolutely incredibly warm gorgeous fall day here on the frozen tundra of Minnesota.  I will celebrate by giving Cupid a much-needed bath! Our back door is open and the chipmunks are coming in and indulging in the never-ending peanut supply.  

I am thankful today for the beautiful warm weather, and for the chipmunks and squirrels--our "outside (usually) pets" that never fail to bring a little smile to my face.
Till next time...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Memories of Arizona

I started making this shadowbox in Prescott Valley while I was there helping out my mom after spinal fusion surgery. I collected wildflowers and weeds and rusty old metal from my walks with Cupid. I saved special goodies from workshops with Tim Holtz and Mike Putman and Art Unraveled.  To me, the shadowbox represents home~~the desert, warmth, peace, familiarity.  It reminds me of fun and relaxation and friends--old and new.  

Today, I am grateful for my Cupid, who has blessed the last nearly-12 years of my life with her devotion, affection, and beauty.  
I am also thankful for the sense of vision.  I cannot imagine life without it.   

Monday, October 27, 2008

Being grateful

Here's one of the motivational letters my sister-in-law wrote me, when I was whining about feeling down:
Start writing one or two things a day you are thankful for, at the end of each day. Don't repeat. It can be small too, like "I'm thankful for the warm shower I had this morning." It accumulates, and might make you see how many good things are there.
I got this letter from her a few weeks ago and haven't followed her advice yet. I do think about what I'm thankful for, but writing it down seems to be more effective. So, here are 2 things--actually people-- I'm thankful for today:
~my son, Alexander (that was too easy...)
~my hubby (also pretty easy)
[That's them in the photo, playing football recently.  Alexander's all about being chased and getting tackled.]

Friday, October 24, 2008

And the winner is....

Thanks to everyone who threw me a little blog love!  Nelly, I'll get your address from the group and mail off the card and some goodies to you by Monday.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I made 4 ATCs for a 3-for-3 Halloween swap and here's the one up for grabs.  Just post a comment, and from those, I'll have my son pull a name out of our witch's hat.  

<-- The scan is pretty dark, but then again, so is the card.  I started out with a collage image of a group of school kids with their dolls.  I transferred the skull-and-crossbones image onto one of the girls.  In the top right corner is a transparency image of a Ouija board and a horrifyingly creepy Satan image (both from  I dyed some cheesecloth black to partially cover this corner and attached a metal bee.  That's Latin heat-embossed in the top left corner.  I searched several vintage books to find the text, which I then cut out and spattered with walnut ink.  Good luck!

My boy is 6 years old today!

I can't believe I'm the mother of a 6 y.o.  On the other hand, it seems like eons ago that I was carrying him around in my belly.  
We started the morning bright (perhaps dark is a better choice of words here) and early because the little guy has to be on the bus at 7 a.m. He got to decorate his own cake, as is the Davis family tradition. Then he blew out the candles, had a slice of cake, and we sent him off to Teacher Melissa to deal with the sugar buzz!  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday morning: the blues vs. autumn colors

Monday morning.  
It appears to be a nice start to the week....I'm looking out the window of our dining room and the way the sun is illuminating the autumn leaves on the trees that screen our neighbors' house from us is absolutely incredible. Shadows mixed with flames. Magical.  
I've got the lightbox burning my retinas and Metallica blaring from the playlist. Trying to do what needs to be done to keep the evil winter blues from encroaching.  There's something about having Lars (God, no, not the ex!) or Bono singing to me that makes things a little better. Exercising helps, too. Too bad the endorphin rush doesn't last longer.  
However, talking to my mom is contraindicated.  She's really gotten into politics the last couple of years and that, combined with her negative opinionated outspokenness, sends me into a downward spiral every time.  Maybe once the elections are over, she'll tone it down a notch or two....nah, who am I kidding? I know, it's my fault that I let it go on long enough to bother me...and I'm working on that.  
I'm off to do a little housework before I let myself do some art.  But first, I'll find a danceable tune on the playlist and force myself to move a little.   Remember Elaine from Seinfeld??? Should be good for a laugh or two. Strange therapy, but it seems to be working as well as the antidepressants. Later.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I won something!

Well, I guess I can't say now that I never win anything.  The family and I were in the grocery store yesterday and they were having a grand re-opening after remodeling and were giving away lots of stuff.  I'd quickly scribbled my name and phone # on an entry form, and whaddaya know, I won this little gift basket with a bunch of Cover Girl cosmetics.  Fun! Or was it a cosmic hint that I need to de-slobbify???? (That would certainly be my mom's guess!)

My boy made me laugh this morning.  He had no idea that it was so funny, which made it even funnier.  We all were heading home from a trip to the gym and Chuck and Dons' Pet Food Outlet, and I was going to make pancakes when we got home.  In all seriousness, Alexander says, "I wish I could win a trophy for loving pancakes the best in the whole world."  :)

On the other hand, I'm worried about my Cupid today.  She's been anxious and panting more than usual lately.  She doesn't seem to enjoy her walks as much the past few days.  But she doesn't seem to be hurting. We'll be heading to the vet tomorrow if this continues.  For now, I'll go downstairs and do a little art to stop fretting about it for a while.  

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New camera

Here's one of my first photos from my new digital camera (yeah, finally got one!)

That's Alexander, who'll be 6 on the 22nd, and Cupid, who'll be 12 on Christmas Day.  

Two loves of my life...

I love the immediate gratification of digital.  I used to be all about "making a photograph", taking photography classes, manual focus and apertures and f-stops.  The elegance of photography.  You'd look at a great photo and wonder how they did it.  
Now it's more about how well you can use Photoshop.  
Mixed feelings.  Feeling nostalgic, I guess.  

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Halloween quickies

These ATCs are for a "Quickie Halloween Swap" but they sure weren't quick to make!  I played around with gel medium and alcohol transfers with these cards~ which can be frustrating!  It's a 3 for 3 swap, so I'll have an extra.  Hey, maybe a blog give-away is in order!  The odds of winning would be pretty sweet since about 4 people read my blog!  Stay tuned......

Monday, October 6, 2008

Warning: bitching and moaning ahead!

Ugh.  Woke up to yet another cold and cloudy day.  Plus it's windy today.  Fan-freakin'-tastic.  
Isn't this supposed to be a great time of year (even in Minnesota)...with the changing of the seasons and the fall festivals and color of the leaves and the upcoming holidays? Well, for me, this is the kick-off to when Deb goes downhill. And dreary days like this don't help matters one bit.  
I've really gone all out this year, though, in preparation.  My sister-in-law Linda has me on the exercise track.  My Guatemalan friend Lesbia, who also is warmth-and sunshine-deprived here, is setting up lunches for us and playdates for our 6 y.o's almost weekly, as well as sharing her misery and her plans to outwit the blues which include painting some rooms of her house in warm, cheery colors.  
You know what I just realized?  That the first sentence of the prior paragraph said that I had "gone all out" but then wrote about two people in my life who are doing nice things to help me. What's up with that?  What I DID do was to talk.  Such a small thing, maybe, but not an easy one for me.  To admit a weakness and ask for help....not skills I learned early on or ones that I'm comfortable with now.  So...I've admitted a have a problem, ala AA, and friends and family are coming to my aid.  Thanks, friends and family. More about what I'm actively doing to help myself later....
Above is the current cover of a local publication, Stressfree Living (  I had been picking it up free regularly, and actually missed it when I was in Arizona this spring/summer.  It seems every issue has something relevant to me. And what's not to like about advice to get an aromatic massage because it just might prevent the flu!  This month, there's also a suggestion to enjoy the fall foliage by bundling up and going for a canoe trip down the river.  I'll pass on the canoe part since the last time I trying canoeing I capsized it, sending the Duper Dog and me on an unexpected swim. But, one of these mornings while DS is at school, I will bundle up, bring a big cup of coffee with some flavored creamer...yum...and take a drive with the Dupe.  We'll find a special place, go for a walkie, take some photos, and I'll sip while she sniffs.  No promises on loving autumn here, though, 'k?

Thursday, October 2, 2008


This is my entry for the "Spooky" mingle (a 1 for 1 swap) for Altered stART.  The image is from a page of a Swedish calendar sent to me by Gina, also from the group.   The lady wasn't even featured on an October date but I like how she works on this card.  The textured orange paper, I believe, is wallpaper sent to me by either Gina or Becci from Australia.  Sorry I can't remember exactly, you two...
The bat wings were kindly provided in a collage sheet from  I used Diamond Glaze on them which made them curl, then crack as I tried to straighten them.  I didn't plan it, but they look good all crackly.  The tree branches are transfers, also from a jackandcat collage sheet.  
It was a fun card to make, and I've got a few more Halloween-themed ATCs in the works.  What a great time of year for art!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Altered comp book

Here's a composition notebook I altered for DH. I found the notebook when I was working at Wally World in Prescott AZ over the summer. It has a black faux leather cover. I also bought one for myself in brown. That should be fun to play with also, someday soon... :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Vintage Nude

After many hours of pleasurable work, I am finished with my contribution for the Vintage Nudes fatbook swap for the Altered stART group. I like it a lot but, being the way I am, I keep thinking of ways to make it better. It is time to stop playing with it and let it out into the world. Let it go--out to all 9 other participants. lol
I can't wait to get my bound book from Francine, the group's owner and swap hostess. The last two fatbooks I participated in are wonderful. I feel joy every time I look at them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wisdom from a Kindergarten Teacher

On Wednesday, DH and I went to our first parent-teacher conference for our kindergartner.  We were discussing the usual topics and the subject of misbehavior came up.  Teacher Melissa uses a version of the time-out which she calls the "Power Place".  It's simply a small table and chair away from the action of the class where misbehaving kids can go and get their power back or, in other words they calm down, refocus, and adjust their attitudes so that they can rejoin the group.  To me, it is a fresh twist on the old time-out concept which inevitably ends up seeming like an isolation-type punishment.  

But something else struck me about this idea: how depression is related to one's power, or lack thereof.  I've searched for a logical reason why I suffer from depression.  If you have chronic depression, you know that there usually isn't anything logical about it, but that hasn't stopped me from wondering, WHY?  Well, Teacher Melissa may have answered that, at least in part.  I get depressed because I feel powerless.  I get depressed in the winter because I am powerless against the weather.  In that situation, I feel that I am without acceptable choices and powerless to change things.  Conversely, when I am feeling good, I feel powerful.  And when I feel powerful, I feel good.
So how do I get my power back when I start feeling down?  
Or do I need to be more accepting of this powerlessness?  It's not a good feeling.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First post ever

Here it very first post on my brand-new blog.   I've put off starting a blog for a long time now mostly because I was concerned that, posting to what I hope is primarily an artist's blog, I wouldn't be productive enough.  That is still a concern but I will deal with it if it becomes a problem.  

To the left is a button fairy I made some time ago for a challenge on the Yahoo group, Altered stART.  That's my much-adored German Shepherd Dog, Cupid, on the flattened bottlecap.  I added freebie wings from Dover: