Saturday, May 19, 2012


Have you ever felt like walking through the door of home or work and closing it on the responsibilities and people depending on you? I think we all feel like that at least once in our lives. We usually don’t give into those feelings. It’s not the feelings that count; it’s what we do about them.

I’ve learned to take a break, to talk to someone, to pray, when I feel overwhelmed. None of these actions are magic solutions, but they help me keep things in perspective. Despair comes when we keep our worries wrapped up inside of us. There, they grow out of proportion. Despair induces a kind of perverse pride, making one think that one’s problems are beyond solution. There’s no problem without a solution, however difficult the solution.

The young girl possibly thinking of running into the deep, dark , beckoning woods, is  Paperbag Studios Windsong. The “Escape” stamp is from Heidi Swapp. The background stamp is Cornish Farms. The cardstock is SU Rich Razzleberry and Shimmer White, the ink is SU Rich Razzleberry. I stamped Windsong twice, cut out the girl from one image and pop dotted her on the first image with SU Dimensionals.

I used a stamp from one of my favourite SU sets, Haute Couture, for the ATCs, I’m not sure what the English title of the set is. The sentiment translates as “Just my style.” The cs is all scraps, so I'm not sure of their identity. The background on the second ATC was stamped with an SU small background stamp.

Hope you have a great weekend.     

Thursday, May 17, 2012

House Mouse and Memories

The House Mouse mice never cease to delight me. I especially like the single images, because they have so many possibilities. The two used here are Contented Mudpie and Mice-tro, Monica wielding the baton. The whimsical music notes are from the Mardi Gras Frogs collection by Third Coast.
Techniques used: stamping, embossing with ep, watercoloring, masking. For the “dream” clouds, I cut a shape from a sticky note and sponged around it.
The little mice remind me of one of my favourite childhood comic books, Mary Jane and Sniffles. Sniffles was a mouse, and to become his size, Mary Jane would say, “Magic words of poof, poof piffles, make me just as small as Sniffles,” She would shrink to Sniffles’ size and off they’d go on adventures.
These stories and others fed my imagination, and with dolls, small plastic horses, and stuffed animals, I created a world of adventures. The Raggedy Ann and Andy stories, in which dolls and other toys come to life at night, were another favourite.  One night, I placed some of my dolls next to my bed and whispered to them that I knew their secret would never tell, and then begged them to wake me at midnight. Of course, they never did, but I still believed, telling myself that they just didn’t trust me enough. I’d hate to tell you how old I was when I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
As I grew older, these beliefs and fantasies were undone by reality, but a sense of wonder and a penchant for weaving tales has never left me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lost Penguins

If you grew up with Bugs Bunny and friends, you'll recognize the head penguin's excuse for leading his friends astray as Bugs' laconic line whenever he popped up from a hole to discover himself in the wrong place.
I miss Bugs and his pals, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote--I always rooted for him--and all those other Looney Toons characters who gave me, and eventually, my sons, such wonderful moments of joyful laughter.
My sons and I still know dialogs from our favourite Bugs cartoons by heart. If that says something about us, I hope it's positive.
 Apparently, a lot of people learned to like classical music through episodes such as, "What's Opera, Doc?", and the masterful imitation of a Wagner opera, in which Elmer Fudd sings "Kill the Wabbit." The cartoons which now haunt the Saturday morning TV channels are, for me, sad substitutes for Looney Tunes.
This ATC will be entered in the "Anything Goes" part of the two challenges on Art With No Boundaries. Here's how I put the penguins in the desert:
Penguins stamped with SU Basic Black and masked (unfortunately, there's no identity on this unmounted stamp),
Sand (All Night Media) stamped with SU Creamy Caramel, then sponged with SU Marigold Morning,
Sky sponged with SU Marigold Morning,
¾" circle punched (SU) from sticky note for sun, then
Sky sponged again with SU Tangerine Tango.
I hope you don't make any wrong turns today, but if you do, just stop and ask for directions.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hit It, Froggies!

These cool amphibians jamming on these ATCs are from Third Coast Stamps. The little dancing notes are also TC. The background on the first ATC is hand-dyed and comes from my late husband's printing/book binding shop. All coloring was done with SU Watercolor Wonder crayons.Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

The small universe of my life revolved around my mother. To me, she was perfect. I don’t remember her being angry with me, or using harsh words. She was the most beautiful of women. When she died of cancer at the age of 35, the foundations of my 5-year-old world were profoundly shaken. My grandmother was there, though, with my grandfather, to keep my world from falling to pieces. At 60 and 59, they assumed without question the responsibility of raising me.

I was 19 when my grandfather died, leaving my grandmother to see me through college, and on to graduate studies in Québec. She died ten days before my wedding to Jean Chabot, but had met him and he had won her heart. I’ve always felt that Gram had held on until she felt I was well launched in life, and her job was done. What a job it had been; from the birth of my mother in 1909 to her death in 1963, she was never without a child.

I believe firmly in a God Who never allows anything to happen to us that doesn’t contain a good in it, however difficult it may be to perceive that good. I lost my mother, but had a treasure in my Gram. When I came to Québec, I lived with Mme Royer, a widow with two daughters, a teenager, and one my age. All three treated me like a third daughter and sister. I was under the loving care of Mme Royer until my marriage, and gained my husband’s mother.

Maman was always there for me, encouraging, giving advice when asked. It took 2½ days for my first son to be born, and when Jean couldn’t be there, maman was. After Jean’s death in 1994, maman and I were a great comfort to each other. She left us in 1997.

The work of mothering is certainly not the easiest or most appreciated job in the world, but it is one of the two most necessary ones, the other being the work of fathering. Together, they form the foundation of any society. I salute and pray for those mothers who, due to circumstances beyond their control, must raise their children without the loving support of a husband. God gives the grace to do it, but it’s impossible to completely replace the role of a father. A child needs the different gifts of mother and father.
To all mothers and grandmothers, I wish a happy day, and may you find strength in the loving example of the mother of Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fit to Be Tied!

The above title refers to the latest challenges on Art With No Boundaries--"Anything Goes/Fit to Be Tied". The card at left will be entered in the "Fit to Be Tied" challenge. The card base is SU Shimmery White, the background stamp is SU Classic Stripes sponged with chalks and SU inks. The sentiment (Hang in There!) is also SU.
The focal pieces are digital stamps by Chris Stern at CS Designs. I'm not sure if they're still available, since they're from her 2005 Florets set. I used SU Stampin' Write markers and Twinkling H20's to color them, and made an attempt at Spirelli technique with sewing thread. I can't tell you how many times I unwound the thread on the large Floret before finally deciding that this was my attempt and I'm standing by it. Some things in life were intended to remain a mystery, and for me, Spirelli is one of them!
Do click on the Art With No Boundaries link above to see what beautiful things Chris Stern and other artists have done for this challenge.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

More Recycling

I previously posted my entries for the first challenge of the site, Recycle, Re-purpose and Re-invent; I used parts of a tissue box on a couple of cards for the "Anything Goes" theme. The challenge included a question one could choose to answer or not, "What’s the strangest thing you have been hoarding for the purpose of using it in your 
art and how do you plan to use it?" My strangest thing was birch bark (see entry for April 5 2012).
Birch bark was used on the card. The poem is original, and recalls memories of trips to our cabin in the woods made with my two sons and my husband, who died in  1994. There's a reference to our marriage in October 1993.
The background is stamped with Stampin' Up Woodgrain, and the geese are PSX. Card base is Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip. It's my entry for "Anything Goes," one of the two new challenges at Recycle, Re-Purpose and Re-invent,  

The ATC is the product of memories of a trip to France in 2006, and is my entry for the second Recycle, Re-purpose, and Re-invent challenge, "A Plastic Existence." The plastic is the Mon Chéri candy wrapper which contained a long-gone delicious chocolate. The foil 50 centimes (pre-Euro?) wrapper also contained a chocolate. The Moët & Chandon stamp was made in France, too, but the mini Tour Eiffel is Stampin' Up, from the set, Paris in the Spring. The background was done with sponged ink.
I hope you take a look at the imaginative creations done with plastic and other "who knew" materials. Just click on any of the links above. The RRR site is proving the saying that one man's junk is another man's treasure!
It's a rainy day here, but the leaves are finally, if timidly, unfurling, so Spring can't be far away, can it? I hope you're having a lovely Spring, or, if you're in the southern hemisphere a magnificent Autumn.