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My plan was to post about our holiday adventures as they happened. ha ha! I don’t know why I ever think I will have time to do that. Between work and preparing for the holidays, I’ve hardly had time for anything!

But I still wanted to share some photos. We had many adventures – we went to Longwood Gardens, saw The Nutcracker, and made a gingerbread house. Buster, my daughter’s classroom mascot, visited with us for a weekend.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawne

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So how does 2011 stack up? Not as wonderful as I was expecting, but I keep high hopes, and I am willing to give 2012 everything I’ve got.

Here were my favorite occasions:

1. Celebrating my 40th birthday with my family at one of my favorite restaurants, Fountainside.
2. My niece Gwen’s 5th birthday party.
3. Our anniversary dinner at Augusto’s – delicious!
4. My son Julian’s 20th birthday dinner at another favorite restaurant, Maggio’s.
5. Camping at Black Moshannon with my dad’s and stepmother’s families.
6. My daughter Lily’s 5th birthday party at Bounce U.
7. Lily’s graduation from pre-school.
8. My cousin Carla’s wedding (to husband Curt).
9. Going to Dutch Wonderland with our brother-in-law Ed and niece Gwen.
10. Staying at my dad and stepmom’s cabin in Dushore, and checking out the Dushore Days festivities.
11. Attending the Bezel Boot Camp class, taught by Kim St Jean, at Bead Fest.
12. Our mini vacation in Ocean City MD.
13. Lily starting kindergarten.
14. Thanksgiving – one of my favorite holidays.
15. Seeing Tori at the Academy of Music.
16. Winning the Cornerstone award at work.
17. My brother-in-law Darren’s cd release party, and the dinner that I treated Marc to at Chifa beforehand, to celebrate his birthday.
18. Christmas – my favorite holiday.
19. Celebrating my nephew Owen’s first birthday.

And so here we are. It would seem that 2011 was pretty good then. And 2012? I am still working on putting together my goals, but I expect great things to happen, for all of my family and myself. I can’t wait to see what the days hold!

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

xoDawne

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in the water
A couple weeks ago we went to the Camden aquarium with some friends of ours and their very adorable son, who is a few months younger than Lily. It was a fun afternoon, and we went to IHOP afterward (just about the only restaurant we can take Lily to at this point in time). Here are some photos:

Lily at the starfish tank (I think!)
lily

Checking out the jellyfish.
lily & jellyfish

Our attempt at a family picture. Someone did not want to cooperate.
family

Lily and Daddy hangin’ at the hippo tank.
hippo

Lily & Daddy.
lily & daddy

A shot of Philadelphia from across the river. It looked so pretty!
philadelphia

Of course we stopped at the gift shop on our way out, where Lily discovered (against all of my efforts to keep her from seeing them) a pink magic wand that lights up and makes noise. My favorite kind of toy! And of course we bought it.

~walking tall~

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creating=breathing

I found this quote on Lynn Davis’ blog (I condensed it a bit). This is how I feel about making stuff. I think I am happiest when I am creating.

I used a digital tag from one of my Artella kits. Isn’t it pretty? I would love to know how to make something like that.

generations
I was thinking the other night about a common thread that runs through the art magazines I read. When the artists (mostly female) discuss their childhoods/backgrounds, inevitably they mention another family member who was artistic or creative in some way. And usually it is a female family member, particularly a mother or grandmother, and usually they created using a needle and thread, whether it was the grandmother who was a seamstress or the mother who made Halloween costumes.

These unknown artists, creating perhaps more out of necessity than purely as a form of self-expression, imbued in their daughters/granddaughters the love of creating. Female artists seem always to have another female artist in their family, and it made me think about the importance of sharing what you love to do.

My own family is filled with creative women. My Mom has been a baker for decades – baking all sorts of goodies, and making beautifully decorated cakes. She also quilts, has made clothes, and does needlework. My one grandmother used to make clothes, and my other grandmother also made clothes and did needlework. My sister does needlework too.

I hope that Lily will be interested in art and creating – I dream of spending afternoons together, creating, sharing, and enjoying being together.

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ocean city part 2.

more pictures

Ocean City MD September 2009
The view from the balcony of the condo. I love that there is at least a partial view of the ocean.

Ocean City MD September 2009
Marc and Julian playing with their boogie boards.

Ocean City MD September 2009
Lily with her Bubbie and Poppy.

Ocean City MD September 2009
My handsome young man.

Ocean City MD September 2009
La mer.

~still have sand in my car~

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Wednesday’s online class – Digitally Altered Books Revealed, Part 2 – was fun, inspiring, and helpful. Having the opportunity to watch someone actually alter a digital book was the best part – Marney added photos, resized embellishments, changed the colors, and used layers to full effect. I now feel better equipped to make my own book. Marney worked in Photoshop, so I have now decided that I too must work in Photoshop. It was the transform function that did it for me (there’s that word again). I want that! I’ve been working in Photoshop Elements, but I think I’ve gotten all I can from that. It’s time to move up.

I did start to work on my own book on Saturday night. It was a bit difficult, being a new medium and then I’m certainly no Photoshop expert. But it was so enjoyable, and easy in the sense that there’s no mess. You don’t like something, you just delete it. Self-contained art. There’s something to be said for that, although I’ve always been a proponent of the art-is-supposed-to-be-messy school of thought. Luckily there’s always room for new thoughts.

The digital book I chose was a how-to on writing letters. I decided to use that as my inspiration. I myself happen to have an old book on writing letters, so I am now creating my own guidebook to letter-writing, borrowing heavily from the book I own, while adding my own twist to the letters. I’m also incorporating old family photos, to serve as the letter writers, the letter adressees, or the subjects of the letters. Here are a few:

I feel very lucky and priveleged to have these photographs. I love them and use them, hopefully respectfully, in my work. I may poke fun at times, but I do see these people as human beings, who once lived and had adventures and dreams and thoughts of their own. I most definitely find myself intrigued by them.

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Two Little Girls on All Hallow\'s Eve

I sent this off to Somerset Studio on Monday, to be considered for their
2008 Vintage Halloween issue. It’s called “Two Little Girls on All Hallow’s Eve” (I tried to think of something clever for the title, but I’m not very good at that, so I went for the obvious.) Earlier this year I had considered making something for their annual Halloween issue, but as the deadline was April 15th I decided I didn’t have time. Then I came across this photo in a box of old family photos that I borrowed from my mom (so I could scan the ones I like and use them in my art. A purely selfish motive!) I find this photo fascinating, and it’s so adorable. Unfortunately there is no indication of who the two little girls are. I love the way the girl dressed as a bride has her arm around the other girl, as if to say, “don’t worry, I’ll show you how to trick-or-treat.”

Anyway, as soon as I saw this photo I knew I had to make something with it, but I had to wait until I had the book for my in-laws done (which of course was the night before the party, but that’s another story). You’d think with two weeks that would have been plenty of time, but whenever I have a deadline there’s never plenty of time, and I’m just lucky I didn’t have to stay up until two in the morning this time. I did end up paying $16 to mail it overnight so that it would get to Somerset Studio in time, but I think it was worth it – I’m happy with the piece, it looks lovely, and I hope they like it and choose it for publication.

To make it I used a small canvas as the foundation and painted several layers with black, ivory, and orange acrylic paints. I scanned and formatted the photo and printed it onto cardstock, and I also printed the words onto cardstock. I used two different types of scrapbook papers and tore strips to which I sewed ivory seed beads. I inked the edges of all the papers and cardstocks with brown ink. I also sewed orange beads around the picture. I strung Czech fire-polished beads on three separate strands of thread and glued them on for the bottom fringe. I glued the scrapbook papers on, and then the photo and the words. I glued another piece of scrapbook paper on the back, to make it nice looking, and I glued ribbon to the top to form a loop for hanging (you can’t see this in the picture).

With this piece, I have accomplished one of my goals for this year, which was to submit something to Somerset Studio.

I still have to scan the book I made for my in-laws so that I can post the pictures here and on my website. I plan to do that this weekend. I’m so behind in everything since doing that project! It took about 50 hours, and I pretty much worked on it every spare minute I had for the entire month of March.

Toodles!

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