This post was meant to be published last week. That just didn’t happen so I’m presenting it this week for T stands for Tuesday. I must also confess that I’m scheduling this as I will be on a college visit with J. AAAHHHH…did I just say that!?! My first born can’t be ready for this right?!? Time…whoosh.

Anyway….back to the post.

I wanted to share a journal page that I started with the intention of fitting a challenge theme. I quickly took a sharp left and did my own thing.

I used a preprinted background in purple and gold….everything else just seemed to happen over the top.

Little bits of this and that…napkin, ribbon, trim and found text.

In the end even though my creativity went in a different direction I was very happy with the result.

Shortly after taking the photos of my newly created page I turned around and spied this…

Now you know the secret of my backdrop. It’s a barn wood frame I picked up at a garage sale. It is a perfect backdrop in my opinion for the majority of my projects.  

Currently the barn wood frame rests on the bottom of the plant cart…and Marvin rest upon it.  Soon the frame will have to move as I will be starting my seeds. I can’t wait for gardening!! We got a new LED grow light in the mail the other day that should help immensely with a full spectrum set of bulbs. I’ll likely share that in a later post. 

Until then Marvin is enjoying his new found sunning spot. Just look at those whiskers!!!!

The other thing I managed to do over the weekend was the reorganization of my primary work zone. I won’t show the rest of the area right now because it’s still kind of crazy! And frankly will be until at least next weekend…did I mention my craft room is my laundry room? My washing machine is on it’s very last leg…as in, I’m afraid to wash another load. Mr. G has replaced several parts over the years to keep it in service but alas this last repair would cost nearly what a new machine would so I have ordered a new one…delivery on Thursday.

So as I’m off visiting a college campus…what are you doing?

So far this month I wasn’t feeling the love for the color red. Maybe because from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s day we are swimming in it. Finally, yesterday after doing some cleaning and organizing in my art space, I was inspired to create with a whole bunch red.

This is yet another loose leaf page that will go in my scrapbook journal.  I created on the back side of an ugly piece of scrapbook paper using two shades of red and a credit card to scrape it around.  Next I layered some German text from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale book. I find this ironic now as I’m totally obsessed with the TV show Grimm.

I also used a new art supply…it’s plaster casting cloth. I sprayed it with color mists before lightly distressing the edges. I like the texture it adds although it is messy. The plaster likes to flake off if you manhandle it a little too much.

I tried something new with rub-ons as well. I have a couple sheets of quotes that really don’t speak to me so I decided that using them as part of the background in a wildly random pattern would work quite nicely. I do love the effect and I’m not just throwing them out.

The photograph is mine…taken at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum several years ago. They have a beautiful rose garden…it looks and smells heavenly.

Linking up with Art Journal Journey for the tongue in cheek theme of Fifty Shades of Red.

Art Journal Journey

Gosh it’s been a while…11 days since I’ve posted anything. I guess should should give a little recap of what’s been happening around here.

I missed last T stands for Tuesday because I wasn’t feeling well. I had some crumby virus that had me feeling wiped out so I decided to skip it to get more rest.  When I was feeling better I decided to go get a haircut and brighten up my blond a bit.  I got almost 7 inches cut off!! And it’s still below shoulder length! It was down past the middle of my back. I was feeling frumpy with dishwater blond hair. Now I have a fresh new (still low maintenance) cut and my blond is back, baby!

I’ve been working on a couple of paintings…switching back and forth between them as I wait for things to dry or inspiration.

Just a few works in progress. #artadd #cantstopcreating

A photo posted by Halle Gustafson (@halleshobbies) on

I’ve also been working on writing an article that will be published this summer. I was a bit surprised by the focus but am having fun with it. How’s that for a tease. I promise I’ll share more when the time comes but for now I just need to meet my deadline.

Over the weekend we celebrated a birthday. J turned 17!!! I’m still a bit shell shocked from that. Just one more year of being a minor. Next year he’ll be able to vote, serve on a jury, register with selective service…yikes!!!!! More grey hairs. But for now we still just get to have fun as witnessed here as he tried out a new game.

Yesterday we watched the Super Bowl and ate a bunch of greasy junk and had beers. Today it was back to gym and a green monster smoothie for me.  If I’m being completely honest..this was the first time at the gym in 2017 for me. I’ve been attempting to workout at home but I think attempting is the key word in that sentence. Time to renew my efforts.

What are you doing today?

Once again I’m sharing a piece inspired by strong women.

be proud

Being feminine has nothing to do with strength or weakness. If you enjoy pretty dresses and hats…wear them! Carry yourself with confidence.

be proud

I felt my well dressed girl belonged strolling along on a beautiful summer day . Some mop-up baby wipes in grassy green fit the bill. I layered torn pieces then topped it off with a bit of white fabric to act as a base or perhaps a sidewalk for her to be stepping onto.

be proud

Linking up again with Art Journal Journey.

Art Journal Journey

After completing the background for this journal page I realized it had a very 80s feel. The pink and green screamed it actually. I decided to embrace it and add elements that fit the era. 

I have to tell you about this pink brad eyelet though.

It caused me no end of trouble. I dropped it several times…then my crop-o-dile wouldn’t reach to put it where I wanted. Finally I used a Japanese screw punch and a manual eyelet setter. While hammering I hit my middle finger pretty much as hard as I could with my tiny hammer. There were cuss words and then laughter from the next room. Mr. G says “Did you seriously just hit yourself with the hammer?” Yes $#%@!* I did.

Just had to give you something to make you smile for the day.

Another Tuesday is upon us. I swear that Monday is a lost day for me. I have great intentions of getting something ready early but something seems to get in the way.

Yesterday was a teacher workshop day so the kids were home. Mini-me and I went to the mall to spend some of her Christmas and birthday money. She’s such a thrifty shopper…I love it. Goes straight for the clearance racks like a pro. Not that she doesn’t ever pay full price but it’s got to be the thing that she wants/needs and can’t wait for it. I am happy to say that isn’t the norm…more like the exception.

Did you know that indoor shopping malls were born here in Minnesota? The very first one was built in Edina MN which opened in 1956.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on

Southdale Center was built at a cost of $20 million and had eighty thousand square feet; it opened with seventy-two stores and two anchors, Dayton’s and Donaldson’s. Seventy-five thousand people attended the gala opening on October 8, 1956. Another 188,000 visited the complex the following weekend, most taking advantage of the mall’s five thousand free parking spaces (organized into lots identified by clever animal symbols—an innovation, like the mall itself, that would inspire countless imitators). What did visitors see? Gruen’s interpretation of the best of European cities: “streets,” cafes, two department stores, and many smaller boutiques surrounding a “town square” with a garden court spotlighted by an enormous skylight. A fishpond, mature trees, and a twenty-one-foot cage filled with brightly colored birds. In short, a prototype for the malls that would fuel suburban growth throughout the country. 

Then, of course, there is the monstrosity called Mall of America built across from the MSP airport. Most Minnesotans hate the thing. I haven’t been there in well over 10 years even though its less than a 20 min drive.

I’m not really sure how I got off on a tangent about shopping malls but there you have it.

This was my view a little earlier this morning.  Lunches were made, everyone was up and moving on their morning routines…it was time for a cup of coffee and a little browsing on my iPad before moving forward with the day.

I wish it were light enough to take a decent photo of the journal pages I completed the last couple of days but we’ve had nothing but grey skies so I have to wait until later in the day to get any natural light.

Today I’m planning to do a bit of crafting and continue work on our taxes. Fun stuff…blech.

What are you doing today?

I had to try out another girl right away but on a sturdy substrate this time. 

I glued random bits of papers down onto a discarded book cover for texture and a first layer of color. I added paint in various colors covering up the blank areas next. I loosely sketched my girl and began filling in with paint, gelatos, neocolors, charcoal pencil and even plain old colored pencil until I got the look I wanted.

NExt I added stamping with Staz-on and lightly colored them in with watered down paint. Again I used Tim Holtz stickers for my words. Lastly I added the yellow lace trim at the top to give it a finished and feminine look.

I’ve already sketched another face this time on an old canvas. Hopefully you’ll be seeing that one real soon.

I’ve been very prolific with my art over the past few days. I have two journal pages that I can’t wait to share as well. (well…I am going to wait until the next post to share them) Stay tuned.


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