Thursday, February 4, 2016

Let's Start This Road Trip!

My sister and I have wanted to do a road trip together for almost 25 years, but one thing or another (mainly parenting related) never made it possible. Sure, we took day trips and weekend adventures with our girls, but the two of us traveling across multiple states for a week-long adventure ~ that just never happened. This past summer, however, we were determined that now was the time and we scheduled a week in 2016. On January 29th we began our adventure to Charleston, SC to visit my daughter, who is the only one of our kids to live far away from us. We took two-and-a-half days to make the trip down so we could meander and shop along the way.

Our first stop was just two hours into our trip at a great shop called Hollo's PaperCraft in Brunswick, OH. They have rows and rows of paper, envelopes, craft supplies, and office supplies to explore. Here is just a sampling of things I found:

I made travel journals for our trip and many of the above items will make their way into them.  The rest of day 1 was mainly driving as we made our way through Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia to Greensboro, NC where we stayed the night.

Our first stop on day 2 was a wonderful shop called Betty's Creative Studio in Greensboro where we spent a few hours combing through paper and art supplies. Then on to Durham, NC where we spent the rest of our day. Our original plan was to go to a large flea market in Raleigh, but Durham turned out to be such a wonderful town that we stayed there all day. We bounced around to thrift, antique, and art stores. The Scrap Exchange was the best! A warehouse full of recycled items - everything from old books and magazines to old paint and paper.

Durham has done an incredible job of restoring and repurposing historical buildings and downtown districts. The area we stumbled on was the Central Park district.

There we found restaurants in restored auto dealers and old filling stations as well as the original Durham Bulls baseball stadium where the Kevin Costner movie, Bull Durham, was filmed. 

We chose to eat at "The Pit" for North Carolina barbeque.

Delicious Pulled Pork!
We will have to return to Durham someday. There is so much more to explore! Day 3 was a four hour drive down to Charleston .... but that begins a post for another day. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Vintage Art Display

Last year, while visiting my sister, I started an art journal using a vintage Rolodex as a holder. I have had a great time using the Rolodex cards to do art journaling on and enjoy the smaller size and the fun way to display them. I have always been a sucker for office supplies....especially vintage ones!

This project has made me want to get creative with using vintage items and altered items as ways to display art journaling. So, as I am on the hunt for vintage items and getting creative with various ways to display art journaling and collage, I have added a new section to my Etsy shop where I will sell items similar to what I am using. I have also started a Pinterest board with ideas for using the type of ephemera and vintage items found in my shop. You can find the Pinterest board here.

The new items I have added to the shop are:

Vintage Math Flash Cards
Vintage Metal Rolodex
Look at the cute ideas for using the flash cards:

From Crystelle Boutique via Pinterest
From viaPinterest
There are more ideas on my new Pinterest board. Watch my shop as I add vintage items I find along the way. {found on brighton}@Etsy

Monday, January 18, 2016

Art Journal Plans 2016

 I am participating in a number of groups this year to help inspire my creative juices. Last year I really missed joining in with One Little Word (OLW) and The Documented Life Project (DLP) due to my busyness with the His Kingdom Come community. This year I am already enjoying slowing down and spending time on projects that foster reflection and changing habits, life planning and documenting memories. This is what these two projects bring to the table.

One Little Word is led by Ali Edwards - you can learn more about her on her website here. Ali offers a year full of prompts and ideas to incorporate with your word for the year. The Documented Life Project is a year long project done in a planner that uses prompts and technique challenges to record daily life throughout the year - you can learn more about their project here.
Originally I thought I would combine my different art adventures into one, or maybe two, journals. But as time progressed and I got involved in the plans for each group I decided on separate journals. And I decided to actually use the journals each group was offering their members. But then, just because I love making my own journals, I added an altered book journal in which I sewed the signatures and bound them into the spine of the book. I found this wonderfully worn German book at a book sale and the pages were literally falling out of it. It's worn cover and beautiful red spine were calling to me to be made into a journal and I intend to use it for miscellaneous art projects and classes throughout the year. In addition to that I made a small pamphlet style booklet to use as a travel journal on my upcoming road trip with my sister (I made one for her also!).

Here are some glimpses of my various art journals:

One Little Word:

OLW January divider page with my word circled: Rest

The Documented Life Project

Altered Book Art Journal:

Sisters Road Trip Travel Journal:

I will still do art and make recording from my photo walks in my Nature Journal. Who knows what else I'll get involved in this year. I'm just going with the creative flow!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Birding

I love watching and photographing birds. This past summer/fall I was reading The Creative Call by Janice Elsheimer and got in touch with a practice she calls "breathing exercises". You can read more about it in this post. Simply put, breathing exercises are finding things to do that stimulate our senses and nourish our creativity. I found that taking photo walks fits the bill for me. In addition to stimulating my senses and building my creative energy, I found that the time spent on photo walks also restores my emotional energy and is a time of solitude and connecting with God. At that time I decided to fully embrace birding and started keeping a nature journal and learning more about how to identify the birds and their habits.

Other than putting up some feeders in our backyard I wasn't planning on continuing to bird watch through the winter. But then I stumbled on the Window on Wildlife areas (mentioned in Tuesday's post) in some of our Metroparks and winter birding opened up wide for me. I stopped at one of the parks after my budget meeting on Sunday. It was a good way to relax after the meeting and we had our first snow of the year, so it was a good time to see what the birds were up to.

Goldfinch and female House Finches

Finally got the quick little Chickadee in a photo!

Male Downy Woodpecker

Female Cardinal

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Tufted Titmouse

White-breasted Nuthatch (one of my fav's!)

Even the deer come over and watch the birds!

On my list of winter birds that I have not seen as a Junco. On Sunday I finally saw one. Then the next morning in my backyard a pair of them appeared!

Junco at the park

Junco's in my backyard

Some pages I worked on last month in my nature journal:

Enjoy your day and find some ways to "breathe" this week!