Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow on Long Lake

Here are some pictures of our property up North in the snow. Hopefully this time next year, we will be celebrating the Christmas holiday in our new home, God willing. Isn't it beautiful? I am so looking forward to it. The peaceful lake with all the snow!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Camera Art Canvas - Final Version

I finally finished the canvas for my daughter. I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to get the quote on there and finally just used a rubber stamp. After the shading and additional touches, I think it turned out ok. It is a 16X20 wrapped canvas. You can see some of the in-progress shots here.

Friday, December 28, 2012

It's Hard to Be Thankful Like This

I thank You for the bitter things
they've been a friend to grace,
they've driven me from paths 
of ease
To storm the secret place.

I thank You for the friends who've failed
To meet my soul's deep need;
They've driven me to the Savior's feet
Upon His love to feed.

I'm grateful too, through all
life's way
No one could satisfy,
And so I've found in You alone
My rich, my full supply!
~Florence White Willett
But the truth is, bitter disappointment and rejection send us running to Christ - and that is a good thing.

Trappers' Cabin on X-Country Ski Trails

This is a beautiful cabin where we often ski. I am looking forward to skiing there with my daughter, since we got her skis for Christmas.

Trappers' Cabin - X-Country Ski Headquarters

It is absolutely one of my favorite things to do - go out and ski in the wonderful quiet that is a snow-covered trail where you can just soak in the beauty of nature and enjoy the fresh air. This cabin usually has a fire going and hot chocolate and coffee that you can get while taking a break from the trails.

In Progress - Mixed Media Canvas

I am in process of creating this 16X20  art piece for my photographer daughter. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but I'm not quite finished.  The image of the camera was a free download from Design Editor.  Here it is so far.

The next photos show some of the texture on the background.

I'm working out a quote to put on there and where I want to put it. After that, I will finish it up and she can hang it! I hope to be able to blog about it when it is completed.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mary, Did You Know - BOD pages

Here is my Christmas two-page spread in my Book of Days. I'm pretty happy with this one. The image is of the Kneeling Madonna from my Metropolitan Museum Calendar from last year.

Book of Days - Dec. 25th

A Child is Born - Merry Christmas!

One of my latest Book of Days pages.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cabin in the Snow

Seen while cross-country skiing...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Tree 2012

This year, we decided to do a new style on the tree - all white and gold and silver. I really like the way it looks. It is a little different without all the kids' homemade ornaments from throughout the years, but I am enjoying the change.

Our tradition for many years has been to put the tree up and decorate it on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It was a special blessing this year to have all three of my children help decorate it. I am sure that now that they are adults, it will be unusual to have them all home to decorate the tree together. For that I am truly thankful.

Baveno Memories

There were so many adorable little alleyways, side streets and lanes in Baveno. This is just one of many.
Baveno, Italy

Don't you just wonder where that little walkway leads?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book of Days - Dec. 1

This was my two-page spread for Dec. 1. It still seems to need something, but I'm not sure what. I'm going to let it rest for a while.

Book of Days -  Dec. 1

Loneliness Art Journal Page - Book of Days

Here is my latest Book of Days entry. You know loneliness is often felt most keenly during Christmas.

This is a new type of journal page for me - different background, use of silhouette and a handwritten quote. It's good to stretch once in a while.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Asian-theme Altered Book - Two Page Spread

This spread started off with very little extra layers. I didn't think it looked complete, so I added lots of stamping, ribbon, buttons and more to it. I definitely like it better this way.
Two-Page Spread in Chinese Ginger Jars Altered Book

Birthday Lunch at Cafe' Zinc

Having lunch and coffee at Cafe Zinc with my two daughters is one of my favorite things to do. This is Jess' usual - Cappucino with hazelnut. This day we were celebrating Kate's 22nd birthday.

Happy 22nd Birthday!

And of course, I had my favorite Cafe Zinc coffee.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Horses in the Snow

This was a beautiful sight near Harbor Springs.

We had so much fun driving around in the snow!

Saturday, December 15, 2012



Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”
W.S. Merwin

“How we need another soul to cling to.”
Sylvia Plath

Friday, December 14, 2012

Top 100 Selling Books - I have read 25

This was a list of the top 100 selling books published by (some publishing house). The original post said that the average American adult had not read 10 of these books.
1) Look at the list and put one * by those you have read.
2) Put a % by those you intend to read.
3) Put two ** by the books you LOVE.
4) Put # by the books you HATE.
5) Post.
**1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
**2 The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
**3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë  
  4 Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
 *5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
**6 The Bible (the whole thing, all 63 books)
**7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë  
   8 1984 - George Orwell
  9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
*10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
**11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (most but not all)
 15 Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
**16 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
 18 Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
 %19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
%20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
**21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
*22 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
*30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
*33 Chronicles of Narnia- C.S. Lewis
*34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
*36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (I started, but never finished this one.)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis de Bernières
 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
 40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
 46 Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
**52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
*54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
*57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (listened to this one)
 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
*59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
**73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
 76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Émile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
*80 Possession - A.S. Byatt
*81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
**87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
**89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (all of them)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
*98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Altered Book Page - "Wang" - Chinese Ginger Jars

Still working in my Asian-themed altered book. I did this page and added a little digital art to it to finish it up. I have just started my foray into trying some digital additions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A New Altered Book Page in Chinese Ginger Jars

Today I had fun working in my art room, spending time playing around and dabbling in first one book, then another.  I suddenly got a burst of inspiration for the Asian themed book I've been working on. I am almost finished with it, as there are only a couple of pages left in the book to alter. The book is called Chinese Ginger Jars. I started the book a couple of years ago and picked it back up a few months ago. I have really been inspired to work in it lately. I had watched a tutorial from czekoczyna last night and was really loving her backgrounds. I gave this a try - sort of different for me. It doesn't really get the wonderful effect she gets, but it is a start and it was fun!

Beauty is is the eye of the beholder…
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. - Audrey Hepburn

Monday, December 10, 2012

Leaving Old Town - Edinburgh

A memory of leaving Old Towne, Edinburgh for new...We had such a lovely walk that day.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

O' Holy Night

This is our nativity - in the entryway to the house.

Just Playing Around - Dead End

I have been enjoying playing around with the online editor This was a photo that Jess & I took while wandering around Cheboygan. I thought I would try a psychedelic look.  This is something very different from what I usually do, but it is fun to experiment.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

A Light in the Darkness

Christmas is coming. Jesus said that He is the Light of the world. It is amazing how much even a small light brightens the darkness. Dow Gardens is beautiful this time of year.

The gardens are beautiful at night with all the Christmas lights.

It is so beautiful to walk in the snow along the beautiful paths that are lined with lights and singing of Christmas carols by local groups. It is so peaceful and calming - something that we all need this time of year.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Kelly Kilmer Artist and Instructor: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in Art Journaling: Using Your Own Hand in Your Work

Kelly Kilmer Artist and Instructor: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in Art Journaling: Using Your Own Hand in Your Work

This post from Kelly Kilmer is very inspiring to me. I never journal my own feelings because of fear. So I am challenging myself to let go of fear and write down my true thoughts. Who reads them anyway? No one, really. So I am posting a link to her post to help me to remember.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I Toured the Light Altered Book Page - Book of Days

Here is a recent page in my Book of Days. The Light Bulb artwork is by my daughter, Jessica. I printed it out and glued it onto my background page.

The Problem of Pain

I have been reading quite a lot lately. I have been fascinated by C.S. Lewis. I just finished reading Mere Christianity. He has such a profound way of putting things. Like the following quote from The Problem of Pain - so very true. Our life is so hemmed in by our own experiences. Everything is measured by what we know (or think we know).
[Christianity] is not a system into which we have to fit the awkward fact of pain: it is itself one of the awkward facts which have to be fitted into any system we make. In a sense, it creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.  
                    C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Emotional pain sometimes is truly worse than physical pain. Your heart truly aches and there is no escaping it. It is worse when there seems to be nothing you can do about it. Like when there is pain in watching your child go through something difficult and you can't make it better. We know in the depths of our soul that there should be a reality that, in Lewis' words, is righteous and loving.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Oh, The Places We Will Go!

Pleasant memories from a trip Katy and I took to Petosky one summer - we shopped and had coffee and wandered around looking at all the lovely shops and the beautiful harbor. I am looking forward to making another trip this summer.

Do You See Beauty in a Piece of Junk Like I Do?

This is a piece of old farm equipment that Ron and I came across while hiking at the Nature Center. I still see with my Dad's eyes, I guess. He could always see the beauty in everything. Boy, do I miss him!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Gypsies

Here are a few more of my pages in my book. I am having such fun with this book. I just purchased a book called Bury Me Standing, because I have become so interested in gypsy life.

The lives of gypsies are so interesting, somewhat romantic, and yet tragic in some ways - for example - the Holocaust. I am looking forward to reading my book.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Vintage Gypsy Altered Book

I am continuing to add to my "Vintage Gypsy" Altered Book. Here are two more spreads that I completed recently.
Deux Vagabonds

More of Vintage Gypsy can be found here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I found a great article on Houzz about how to add Rustic style to your kitchen - great ideas for the home we are going to build up North.

15 Ways to Cozy Up a Kitchen With Rustic Style
Browse Kitchen Products on Houzz- For Example:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Street in Baveno

One of the treats each day was to wander up and down the small side streets woven all through the village of Baveno. This is a good example of the streets. I loved the mosaic stonework of the streets.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coffee and Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italy

Our trip to Baveno, Italy, is one that I will always remember. We had such a wonderful time ambling around the village, having fabulous coffee, or for Ron, fabulous beer and enjoying the amazing views.
This is taken at a little sidewalk cafe that we visited. It had the most delicious pasta dish I think I have ever tasted - Ravioli with Walnut sauce. It was just a short walk from the hotel. They actually had more than one option for salad!

Entrance to our hotel

 The grounds were absolutely beautiful. I love the pink stucco on many of the houses and businesses.
Another view of the restaurant.
Water was sold as "still" or "with bubbles". Ice was hard to come by, which for this Southern girl, was one of the main difficulties!