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I finally – finally! – finished the May page in my calendar journal. I’m overall pleased with it…

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

mixed media calendar page

I started the June page – so far I painted it pink. And it’s going to have black designs. Other than that I have no idea what I’m doing. I chose green for May because my son was born in May, and the birthstone is emerald. My daughter was born in June, but the birthstone is pearl. I’m not doing a pearl page. So I chose pink instead. Funny how I never cared much for pink before Lily was born. Now I love it!

In non-arts & crafts related things, I finished reading Emma, by Jane Austen. I adore Emma! I loved this book – I hated to put it down. One thing that I particularly loved about Emma was her honesty in looking at herself and the mistakes she made. She was quick to acknowledge when she was at fault, and determined to change her ways.

I started reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot. I haven’t read any George Eliot for a few years, and I’ve never read Daniel Deronda. I like it very much so far. I like Gwendolen a lot – I admire her ambition to be something more than the status quo, even if she doesn’t necessarily have the means to do so. Or even know what it is that she wants to be, other than fabulous!

And Project Runway…I was disappointed that Wendy and Andre left so early. I remember loving Wendy’s designs from the first season, and Andre is such a character. oh well. I’ve still got my Kayne and Josh!

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawne

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I’ve been listening to Tori’s new album, Gold Dust. The songs on Gold Dust are reworkings of some of her previous songs, with accompaniment by The Metropole Orkest.

sights and sounds

I like it so far. I like the songs but sometimes I feel like the original emotion of the song is not there. Or it’s different. Or maybe it’s just me. It’s growing on me though.

I’ve only listened to it a few times so far. Flavor, Programmable Soda, and Snow Cherries from France seem to me the most transformed, and I like these new versions better than the originals. I also really like Precious Things and Jackie’s Strength.

Gold Dust contains some of my most favorite songs – Yes, Anastasia, Cloud on My Tongue, and Marianne.

It’s certainly an interesting selection of songs. Some I would not have expected, like Programmable Soda, Flavor, and Star of Wonder (which is making me look forward to the holiday season and Midwinter Graces!). Others are a given, like Winter and Yes, Anastasia.

Overall I’m enjoying it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawne

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One of my annual artistic goals is to take a class. I had wanted to take a class at Bead Fest earlier this month – there was this one class taught by Mark Lareau that I was particularly interested in. Unfortunately I waited too long, and by the time I decided to register, the class was full. Bummer! He’s got some books out though, so I’ll have to take a look and see if the technique is in one of them.

Anyway, I have all these other arts & crafts books, but I never do any of the projects in them. So I decided to take a day off from work and have my own workshop at home, and try out some new techniques.

I chose Collage Discovery Workshop by Claudine Hellmuth.

by claudine hellmuth

I love her retro-whimsy style. Her book has a lot of techniques, and most involve simple, every-day supplies. I only had to buy a couple items to have everything I needed.

Much of the focus of the book is creating interesting & textured backgrounds on which to create a collage. Here are my attempts…

playing with background techniques

It was really fun to try new techniques. These are the ones I did:

Elmer Glue crackle – my favorite!
Masking tape layer
Tissue paper layer
Contact paper shapes
Rinse aid resist
Etching into wet paint
Plastic wrap texture

As noted my favorite was the Elmer Glue crackle. This is so cool!

glue crackle

At first it was not working so well for me. But then I decided to just put gobs of glue on, and I really watered down the paint, and voila!

glue-crackle

To me, it’s not a crackle so much as a more organic, almost webbing effect. At least that’s how mine turned out. It was rather warm and humid in my house, and that may affect the results. It’s a very easy technique – you just put a thick layer of Elmer’s Glue-All on the paper, and then lightly brush watery acrylic paint on top. Let dry, and admire!

glue-crackle

I also liked using the masking tape, tissue paper, and rinse aid resist techniques.

Here is my masking tape background. You put strips of masking tape all over your substrate and paint on top, and then use a damp paper towel to rub off some of the paint. I’m making this one into a collage, using Ms. Hellmuth’s technique for creating her “poppets”.

wish upon a pink star

My goal is not perfection, or even to make a finished piece. I just wanted to play without worrying about the results. I’d like to make a couple collages with the other backgrounds I created also.

I hope you have enjoyed looking over the results of my “play day”! I highly encourage taking a day off and doing something that you love to do!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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odd & end #1
I saw my first opera! (This was a few weeks ago). It was Manon Lescaut, about a young woman whose desire to live the good life leads to (what else) tragedy. It was very good – I like the second act the best. The singing was in Italian with English translations, which definitely helped a lot.

to the opera!

Afterward we ate at this restaurant, Barbuzzo. The food was delicious! But the most delicious thing I ate was the dessert – budino. It was a type of pudding in three layers – crushed chocolate cookies on the bottom, then some kind of creme fraiche type pudding, topped with a layer of salty caramel goop. It was amazing. We only got one and split it. I regret that decision very much.

odd & end #2
I’m working on some Christmas ornaments to submit to Somerset Studio. Here’s what I have so far:

pink and glitter

I cut strips of paper and glued them to a piece of cardstock to create a new background paper to use. Then I dry-brushed gesso on it and spritzed it with glimmer mist. The theme is “pink and glitter”, inspired by a song by Tori Amos. Each ornament (I’m making three) will have a phrase in the center, and will have beads and fringe. That’s the plan, anyway!

odd & end #3
Still working on my April page in my calendar journal…

journal page

This green paper will be cut into the journaling squares. I splattered it with white acrylic paint.
splattered paper

At this point I’m wondering if I want to use it for 2012 or save it for next year. I enjoy working on it and it’s a great way to try out techniques, but it’s a lot to have to do in my limited amount of time. I definitely will not do this again next year!

Have a great day!

xoDawne

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Moi!

Marc and I are going to see Manon Lescaux at the Academy of Music on Sunday. I’m so excited! I finally get to see an opera instead of only listening. I hope I like it.

I bought a new dress to wear – I really wanted something pretty to wear, and I didn’t have any dresses that were appropriate. So of course I had to go shopping for an opera dress.

Have a great day!

xoDawne

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Bring your torches
Bring your torches
With every candle raised
With every lantern flame
Light after light
In every village
Welcoming home
Every friend
Christ is born
O come behold Him
Mary calls us to adore Him
hush, hush
Such a lovely mother
hush, hush
Such a lovely Son
Bring your torches
Bring your torches,
Jeanette, Isabella.

-Jeanette, Isabella

Merry Christmas!

xoDawne

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I just love Christmas. The older I get, the more I enjoy it. Sure, it’s great when you’re a kid – waking up to a pile of presents, tearing them open, and swimming in a sea of gift wrap.

But as I get older, I appreciate the ideals that Christmas celebrates more and more. Choosing and giving gifts, spending time with loved ones, spreading a little cheer and kindness. And of course I love the decorations, the tree, wrapping gifts, and baking.

To me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I also love love love Christmas songs. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, Christmas music makes me feel so happy. It’s all I listen to from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

These are 10 of my favorite songs, in no particular order:
1. Christmastime is Here – Vince Guaraldi
2. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon (I like Sarah McLachlan’s version also)
3. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
4. Happy Holidays – Andy Williams (it’s not Christmas until I hear some Andy Williams)
5. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
6. A Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (best version!)
8. Silver and Gold – Burl Ives
9. that song without words from the Peanuts
10. O Holy Night – Josh Groban (so beautiful – gives me chills)

I’m also listening to Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos. It’s a great seasonal album, with a wide range of songs and musical styles.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

xoDawne

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