This month for Second on the 2nd I’d like to share a handmade book that actually came up in conversation just last week. As I went searching through my blog for the post I was so surprised at how many years had passed. Over the years I’ve made at least 20 of these paper bag books. Every single one was different. The ones I had the most fun with were when I knew the recipient and could tailor it for them in particular. Now that being said, I didn’t actually know my friends uncle but she had told me so many stories and memories of him that I think I did a pretty good job of channeling that into the book. Plus I’ve known a couple authentic cowboys in my lifetime.
Take a look….
3/14/2011
I got a call this morning asking if I’d want to make a custom paper bag book that would be at a memorial service. My friend Sandy explained that her uncle had been a real Montana cowboy if there ever was one. A simple man who spent his whole life being a cowboy…working cattle and horses…riding the rodeo…
I was touched that her mom had requested one of these books for her brother’s service. I got to work immediately since time is of the essence. She told me I could share the photos of the book.
There are lots of tags as well as some vintage postcards from Montana tucked into the pockets. Plenty of space for friends and family to write little notes, tell stories or simply sign their name.

 

Just a quick post with my latest art journal page. I’ve got some neck/shoulder issues going on so sitting at the computer or sitting in general too long is very painful…so bear with me.

I was inspired by the new theme of Out and About over at Art Journal Journey this morning. I hadn’t even intended on doing anything creative today. Once I saw my neat as a pin work space I knew I just had to make a mess. 🙂

I didn’t have a plan as usual. I just knew I wanted to make a loose leaf page. It all started to fall into place for me as I added more media. The stacked paper and button flowers were not at all what I was going to use but my drawn and painted one just didn’t look like I wanted. Now I glad it didn’t. I like the whimsical touch these add. Since they seemed a bit oversized the words I found were perfect.

I made a bunch of paper pieced embellishments at craft club on Saturday evening. It’s a fun get together where we all bring our own thing to do and get to craft with friends. Now I have a stash for later projects.

Linking up with Art Journal Journey today.

Art Journal Journey

Welcome to T stands for Tuesday…grab a cup and stay a while.

Last week I had a scheduled post as the boy and I were on a college visit. It was a dreary day but we enjoyed our time on campus very much.

As we were eating lunch in the dining hall, J said “I could see myself going here.” That’s good sign. This of course was just the first of several visits to different colleges that we plan to see. It’s a tiny very rural college, in fact they have a horse barn so students can stable their horse if they like. I can’t even make that up! It feels as if you are driving to the middle of nowhere. This thought had me giggling when we opened the info packet. The slogan on their brochure was “Welcome to the middle of somewhere”. Very clever!!

The other thing I mentioned in last weeks post was that I was getting a new washing machine…here it is! I’m super happy with it so far. I’ve been working at rearranging and purging a bit in my laundry room/craft room first in preparation and now after the fact.

Here’s a work in progress shot. So much stuff and so little space! Time to make some difficult decisions.

Two bags of books and a box of misc was easier than I thought to get rid of. I also threw away half a bag of random bits and pieces that weren’t worth donating and brought a small stack of papers and supplies to my crafty neighbor to share with her extended craft circle.

Ah yes…looking better! But now we just learned that my in-laws want to give us their treadmill….that means my sew table will have to be taken down and all my sewing supplies will need to find a new home…somewhere. It seems that my quest of organization and pairing down has only just begun.

I have done some crafting and a bit of art journaling. My latest journal page is in the previous post. I’ll share my crafty bits I made at craft club in another post.

That’s it for now. I have some errands to run today including a trip to Goodwill with my donations.

What are you doing today?

I haven’t been abducted by aliens or went off the grid or any other highly improbable ideas…just taking some time off from computers. I’ve been diligently working at organizing my craft area, doing taxes for the family and caring for my mom. It seems there is no leftover time.

That being said…I did take time to create a journal page. I once again created an overly thick page in a very skinny journal. The poor book will soon be permanently splayed open.almost forgotten art journal page

I layered small pieces of both card stock and scrapbook paper one opposite sides of the spread as the base of my composition trying to create a sense of balance and movement through the pages. Then added torn bits of fabric and finally some thick upholstery trim again to each side.

almost forgotten art journal page

I then came in with color mists in a couple shades of brown. I dragged color along the edge of the page then lightly spritzed with water to make it run…dabbing off any excess as I went. Drying with my heat gun at various stages when I wanted something to stay exactly the way it was.

almost forgotten art journal page

Oh yes…I almost forgot. I lightly added modeling paste BEFORE the color mists making sure it was dry before the color processing. This gave some great texture.

After I was happy with the color I lightly drew around some of the papers and smudged with my finger to create a shadow.

The last piece was my found text. The phrase almost forgotten fit both the feel of the page and how I was feeling about my blog and the actual creative process lately. I’ve been putting creativity on the back burner for a little while and it’s making me crabby. Hopefully I can squeak in a bit of creative time here and there so I don’t get too snippy.

almost forgotten art journal page

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?

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