Saturday, January 31, 2009

Eternal Free Spirit

To my lovely friend at Eternal Free Spirit -- can you please email me? Something you recently posted has me yearning to respond, but when I hit your 'contact' info on your blog, I get an error message, and my stooopid a** computer also won't allow me to leave a comment on your blog. As Dear Joan Rivers would say, "Can we talk?"

Saturday's Somethin' Somethin'

Flying Reflections. The red piece is the second surprise Julie sent me -- GAWD I love it! The postcard is one of Boho Girl's, and this photo is the reason I begged and cajoled her to make postcard size prints! Behind it is a print of one of my creations for journaling. The bird is die cut from a scrap of ledger paper - I do NOT waste that paper, ever! Brown. This is what is behind the red piece made by Julie. 'Brown' from Julie's envelope to me with the Red Lovely in it. Basic Grey papers. The red/green flowered piece opens for journaling beneath. Glow. Paper scraps, a found tag (merci), Julie's business card (which I love and I have THREE MORE to use!), magazine text, stickers, rubber stamped circle. Lace from New Jersey Chris. Progression.Magazine images. A started page. Indigenous. Smithsonian magazine 'Chief's Daughter' image. Bits from vintage envelopes, numbers are mag images, drizzled inks. Indigenous 2. The continuation of above.


Here is a work of such loveliness that I can't stop looking at it, each page, over and over. PLEASE go visit, then PLEASE come back and tell me what you think. Be sure to read, at the beginning, the germination of the idea, the story it tells, then scroll down for a visual feast unlike any I've ever experienced! I've been looking at these pages for two hours and I cannot be satiated!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

To Toni: Chinese Scroll

To Toni. Cut from the label Julie wrote on my Red Lovely envelope. The blue/black/gray paper on the right was a surprise sheet she included for me (one of two). It flips open to reveal: a postcard from my collection, hooked via turquoise brads to an ink-stained library pocket. Tucked in the library pocket is some of my own hand-painted paper for more journaling. The inside back of Julie's piece is lined with a huge piece of joss paper, gray, with a foiled silver center. Lots and lots of secret journaling spots! Rub on splat in upper left corner. The pink background is fabric paint. Chinese Scroll (with floral decorative tape strip). Well, actually, it was a big juicy doodle on the envelope Julie mailed The Red Lovely to me in. I decided it spoke Chinese. It folds down for journaling behind. The tie-dyed looking piece to the right also opens for journaling. Nooks and crannies, I gotta have 'em. The Chinese characters came from an Asian market newspaper - I always grab one whenever I visit that store. Magazine pagoda image. Rub-on splat in the right corner. Turquoise fabric paint background. Very happy with this page - true story.

The Wounded Cupid / Fool and False

Remember this preliminary layout? I liked the left, not the right. Ultimately, I felt it to be really jarring in the context of the rest of the pages in what's becoming this Wandering Senses journal. Hail Gesso, Well Met (not to mention sand paper)!! Twelve gesso and one ink layer later, one layout becomes another. I love the ink blot technique -- drip & drizzle ink on one page, press it to the other, see what emerges, let that inspire the layout.

Page Titles: I have, since the age of probably 16, accumulated four million twelve thousand two hundred and ninety-one pages of typed lines from poetry -- well, anyway, enough pages that I've filled a 3" binder. These are the lines that, as I've read various poetry volumes, stirred me, pissed me off, intrigued me, tickled my fancy, or just plain puzzled me. Over the course of collecting all these, I've also managed to lose their individual sources.

Hence, I can only say that the titles of these Wandering Senses pages are poetry fragments not my own, but nonetheless truly wonderful. I used to do the same thing to name each and every journal entry but find I don't get the same energy from that anymore. Now either the name pops up once the layout is done, or ... whatever, it doesn't. & the beat goes on.

2009 Calendar: January 26th to 29th

Prompt: Cottage. What a meaningful, multi-layered word. The images are all things that mean 'home' to me, but even 'home' is a personal take. I (Toni) must have a pet -- Zoe is that muse for me now. I (Toni) need gorgeously wrapped and smelling soaps. I (Toni) love pistachio-colored dishes (and everything else). I (Toni) have to have a bathtub, as opposed to being satisfied with just a shower stall. I (Toni) consider Mac & Cheese a separate food group. Double BB's layout [if ever he were to make one] would have to have a basketball hoop, the largest TV screen invented by man displaying either a basketball game or a Western (preferably John Wayne), and a bag of original Lays' potato chips. You see?

Banner and Boob

New banner is an excuse to showcase my favorite EVER photo of my love, Ciera, taken (I think) by her Daddy Chris, but maybe it was Uncle Cam. Anyway I love it. So then of course I had to pick a bouncy, upbeat,sassy background -- [sorry, Ciera Beara, but I could NOT do pink, just couldn't do it!]

And yes, that IS a boob on the page layout named Repose, posted a couple days ago. For those who asked, what? You never seen a boob before? Given your names, I would've thought you to be in possession of a pair. Boob, amazing phenomenon, that.

BOOB!!!(Did I skeer ya? -- hee)

Editor's Note: Speaking of ... this is one of the most beautiful pictures [click on that phrase to view] I've ever seen, and I want one (ok - several) like it taken of ME. Why is it that the only shutterbugs I know are family members? Huh? Eesh, blimey and shite!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On the Topic of Intuition

For the past 3 days, I've been listening to nothing but this CD set. Both featured women have produced insightful works which have bumped my sometimes-reluctant keister forward on the discovery path, most notably "Women Who Run With the Wolves" and "Creative Fire" (Clarissa Pinkola Estes) and "The Language of Archetypes" (Carolyn Myss). To have both of them engaged in a discussion on the topic of intuition, on a CD set, is like being the most privileged fly on the most illuminated of walls. AWESOME.

Sunday, I wrote this in my journal: "Intuition is patience and process, with a bit of a 2-step thrown in. I think the more light I have within -- from humor, from Snoopy Dances, tipping up a few pretty umbrella'd fruit drinks, blowing bubbles, farting into campfires, jumping into piles of leaves, reading the good parts out loud, moon-tanning -- the more I invite intuition. I think as I go, I discover the ingredients for my personal recipe to create intuition stew. Maybe it's more like a potpourri, but it's always on the flame -- adding this, skimming off that, stirring, tasting, refining. It's never a done brew, and I always have to feed the fire. Some ingredients have become mainstays, like the foundation for my 'stock' -- and part of strengthening my intuition is finding and honoring those images and symbols that speak to Mi Sangre, my blood -- my soul. These Moroccan patterned glasses [photo my own] have always had a voice for me. I'm not sure why -- maybe because they carry the languages of travel, the moans of camels, desert winds, multi-colored skies, writing so beautiful it stands alone as art, as a heart map with beacons in every curve and inked embellishment. Shy patterns that still can't help but twinkle and beckon. They seem watchful and patient, imprinted by the knowledge born of toasting all of history one taste, one fire, one swallow at a time. It's obvious they have been formed from the passion and ash of ten million campfires. Through these, the magic and wisdom of history is permitted to enter me."

Blogs of Note


Not three or four days ago, my darling Veronica's husband's blog was selected as a Blog of Note by! I MEAN!!! And then YESTERDAY, Veronica's blog was selected. Booyang!!! As I told 'em: a team is a team is a team, and youse two's is a team.

I feel like a proud mama.

Rick is HERE.
Veronica is HERE.

Mosey on over and spend some time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

All the Way From New Jersey

Chris-the-Stash-Buster, who belongs to one of the same on-line groups I do, sent me a bag of remnants, small and usable and perfectly sized, to use in my journal. She is my new favorite person in New Jersey, more so than Bruce Springsteen or Jon Bon Jovi or even Ariane (recently eliminated from Top Chef, much to my disappointment!)


The Red Lovely

The Red Lovely -- a journal I commissioned from Ms. Julie Prichard. My incredible Wandering Senses journal (the lime one) also came from Julie. I had two ideas when I received that journal; the Red Lovely will accommodate the idea that did NOT go into the lime journal. All I told Julie was that I wanted something really RICH and red in color, with a tapestry feeling, kind of ... Prague-esque, maybe? And larger (this one is 6x8). Julie did the rest - remarkable! It's my hope to have enough self-restraint to finish the Wandering Senses journal BEFORE I embark on this one -- ha! We shall see.

Teaser: This Red Lovely's title will be: "LADIES OF THE HOUSE (This is a True Story)."

Julie, you are a journalist's beacon in the frustrating search for the perfect journal, Woman! Thanks SO MUCH!

Sunday's Backgrounds

Green Java. This paper was in the latest of one of my magazines -- loved it! I ripped it to create pockets for tags to go behind ... but this represents the entry point for me -- the journaling that creates an art idea, sit, sip my coffee, write to myself, empty myself, whatever I have to say -- then next comes something wonderful (see next part of this spread -- I'm SO HAPPY with it).
Door Step. When I open up the glittery green rose strip, these altered magazine images are beneath. Paper strips. Acrylic and glass paint. Door step (the little child, oh so so precious this kid!), and above, the woman who has stepped through the threshold (see how her back is colored lavender, just like the shadow of the doorway below, beckoning? This is symbolic of the internal journey I feel like I move on every time I make a background. Repose. God, the softness this part of the layout captures for me. Yes. The ribbon, the colors, the magazine image so feminine and also private-feeling. Freed. Paper from my stash, tag from The Tuscan Rose, magazine image, button, Prima flowers, brads.

'09 Calendar - January 23rd, 24th & 25th

Prompt: The Letter 'Q'. I find this such an exotic letter, from its very appearance (which is one of the few letters that feels like calligraphy whenever I write it) to the feeling in me which it summons. Quiet, quest, query, questions. Great words. So I did what is, to me, an exotic background. The little girl at the bottom left seems to me to be resting on a flying carpet (with backrest, right ON!), writing in her journal -- she reminds me of myself, and of my love, Ciera. Pink and green are also the colors I want in my studio, one o'these days.

Tagged by Candy - 6 Things About Myself

Eesh, I'm such a blond -- I knew Friday that Candy had tagged me, then I proceeded to space it all weekend. I always skip the 'tag other people' part as every time that seems to irritate, burden, or otherwise be ignored by the ones I choose. So we'll go directly to the 6 things about myself.

1. My dream from the age of 14 was to be tri-lingual: English, Spanish, and French. I planned to live in a houseboat on the Seine, a la Anais Nin (using French for my daily & social rounds), write critically-acclaimed novels and poetry in English, and share my boat with a Spanish-speaking Flame (who looked suspiciously like Eric Estrada when the dream hatched, but lately always resembles Javier Bardem or Benicio del Toro as the dream continues!).

2. I can't stand for anything to cling to my hands -- like Saran Wrap, or plastic bits from packaging, or string, or hair from the bathtub drain. Get it OFF! I can handle having 24½ layers of paint, paste, goo, cat hair, paper bits and glitter on my hands; that doesn't bug me. But that stuff that won't come off no matter how you shake your hand trying to fling it off? ACK!

3. I could eat nothing but Mexican food 3 times a day, seven days a week, and still ask for it as a last meal.

4. Shakes? Yes. Malts? Oh goodness no! And only in chocolate.

5. If I could launch into a career change, fully prepared already (education, qualifications, blah blah) right now, I would be a) a veterinarian (cats and big dogs and wolves), b) an interpreter (seen the movie with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman?), and c) a curandera, who knows all there is to know about the healing & magical properties of plants and herbs and trees and sticks and dirt and cacti and ... well, you get my drift. Yes, all three things, all at once, it's MY fantasy!

6. I've said this before, in other tags, in other posts and contexts, but: I BELIEVE IN MERMAIDS.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday Slowly Simmers

Sat on my heinie watching the Bourne Identity series of DVDs ... and making journal pages. I don't like the violence in those movies but the exotic locales, the speaking of numerous languages, the espionage and strategizing ... very cool. And those car chase scenes? I wanna I wanna I wanna do that someday! Pink. Paper, paint, image from a collage sheet Miss V sent me, ribbon. Pink House. Old B&W photo, fabric paint, scraps, diecut hearts ... the photo flips up for journaling behind. Striped Columns. Altered magazine image, paper scraps, zebra tape. The ivy strip at the bottom is something I can tuck journaling tags behind. She Watches from Underwater. Paper scraps and zebra tape. I'll tuck a journaling insert behind the mermaid.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wandering Senses - More

Reach For Me. The Fever of My Distance

Backgrounds (Oh! Those Fridays!)

Bonehead is back, this time with a veil (of sorts) and a bright flagged and lacy cape. Funny, now the page reall feels finished to me. ? Bermuda. Ink pads pressed to the background, building up a feeling of layers, and the grocery bag piece with the ribbon around it opens for journaling. My rub-ons (the monkey, and below a giraffe that you can't see) are old, so instead of coming off entirely, they broke up. Poor monkey with half a head! Inside is also a thank you card from a friend, with a cool kraft envelope - each of those have inserts also tucked into or behind them for journaling. Friday Mind. In the movie A Beautiful Mind, the professor played by Russell Crowe creates these HUGE boards, or walls, covered with torn newspaper articles, bits, pieces, numbers, maps. That image has stayed in my mind ever since seeing the movie when it was released. I realized that when I get home on Friday nights, that's the state of my own mind. This page reflects that exactly. There are probably 4 layers of ripped up fragments here, going every which way, all of them pasted down on one edge but loose everywhere else. The gate image was a symbolic plea to mySELF to close it down, this chaotic mental mess. There IS plenty of journaling space if I lift or fold back each of these flaps, but the statement is already made, for me, in the construction of the page. That says it ALL. Cherish Me. Best antidote to a Friday mind? Birds. Paint, rub-ons, mask. Paint, rub-ons, mask, circle tags.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Several oddly accusatory e-mails today about my Barack Obama altered calendar images.

Part 1 -- who asked you?
Part 2 -- everything I wrote is what I feel. Imagine that, me saying what *I* feel in my own calendar (or journal).
Part 3 -- the man IS half white; this is a fact; this is a fact being strangely, deliberately, repeatedly, consistently segregated from all public life, media, acknowledgement, recognition, MENTION in the face of all the

"hail our first African American President" hoo-rah.

I've had enough of it.

The man's mother was WHITE. WHITE. Hear me? You can't doubt my sanity -- our President himself has said so, though not as frequently (recently) as once-upon-a-time. The man himself is not BLACK, or AFRICAN AMERICAN, or WHITE -- he is a mixed-race individual.

The man's mother was WHITE. WHITE. Hear me? Just like I am. All my since-becoming-a-mother life, I've had the majority of people (not a part of my intimate circle) assume my sons were NOT my own -- that I was the nanny, the caretaker, the school teacher, the baby sitter, the neighbor on watch, but mother? Never. When my oldest male child was 18 months old, an elderly white woman followed me around Target and finally started screaming for security, accusing me of child-napping him, because in her mind my skin color and his just couldn't possibly be connected. David, of course, clung to my neck hollering, 'Mommy!!! Mommy!!!!' And even the security guard shook his head and gently helped Our Concerned Citizen away.

Nowadays, though, it's just the surprise I see on my sons' friends' faces, the one who haven't met me before, or who see me with Double BB and assume I must be the girlfriend, mistress, second wife, whatever, but mother? Never. One early-20's Black girl came in our home to purchase David's old TV. When she saw me on the couch, she actually stepped back, hand to her chest, and said, 'Oh! My!' Upon entering David's bedroom to check out the equipment, I heard her ask him, 'No way -- that's your Mom?'

This is ridiculous.

Why is Barack Obama our first 'African American' president?

Why was Halle Berry our first Oscar winning 'African American' actress? Her mother is white, too!

Why aren't they both, more appropriately, our first TRULY AMERICAN representatives -- representative of the melting pot culture Americans have always claimed, back through history and down to our day, with such pride?

The Reverend who gave the closing invocation, after President Obama's acceptance speech, had my full attention during his prayer, and I was even laughing when he got playful at the end -- 'black is gonna come back, brown is gonna come around, yellow's gonna be mellow, red's gonna get ahead' -- but when he mentioned white, he said, 'White is gonna get right.'

I WAS LIVID. Excuse me? Whites still aren't part of the team?! Whites are still on the guilty seat, still heaving the heavy 'it's all our fault' boulder up the hill ... ??

What about that man you're praying for there, Oh Reverend Sir? What about the White part of him? Does that 'gotta get right' along with the rest of us pale faced folk? Or are you conveniently forgetting all about that color running through his veins simply because you don't see that color on his face? Or on the face of my sons? Or the myriad other mixed-race kids everywhere and anywhere you look in this modern society of ours? Or are we just supposed to overlook that, the White part of Barack Obama, because that seems to be the trend now that he's been elected, been sworn in, become the hero?

For me, it's false advertising when one part of a person is blown out of proportion and another is stuffed behind a door in everyone's mental room. What kind of damage are we doing to Barack Obama, all this emphasis on only a part of himself? Or on his daughters? Or on young men and women like my sons, who still are forced to CLAIM A RACE (& the law still requires it to be the MINORITY race dominant within them) on every stupid piece of bureaucratic paper work everywhere they go?

What: HUMAN isn't good enough, not even now?

And when do we white mothers of mixed-race young people start getting our collective nods, anyway?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

09 Calendar - January 19th thru 22nd

Made myself adhere to the prompt of 'red, black, gold' as best I possibly could. Love those colors anyway. Without diminishing [or objectifying - ahem!] our new President in the smallest way, I do think My Lovely Mother said it best when she said, a while back after the Barack-on-the-Beach photos appeared, 'Talk about your pin-up president!' And then, today, she added, 'I think all of us women are a little in love with him.'


Pageus Morpheus, and Bonehead

This page has seen some recent upgrades from its original form (which I hadn't posted earlier anyway) -- I added my own picture, and drew then painted in the scent-wafting vase and the colors. I like it better now, much better! Bonehead 1. ... it was one of those days. A page of color to attempt resuscitation of the spirit. More color than room to write. Tonia, Luv: NEVER make written journal backgrounds when disgruntled AND tired. Just take your grumpy heinie to bed, 'k? Bonehead 2. Just more scraps, and acrylic paint. Lovely floral wallpaper strip up the center from Patty at The Tuscan Rose. As for where I'm actually going to write, I did actually think of that as I worked my way to the bottom, so many (most) of the flaps there lift or fold back for more journaling.

My First EVER Workshop

Frenzy Stamper!! right here in Scottsdale, AZ
Feb 7th Memento Book
with Kelly Kilmer
10-4pm with 1 hr. lunch break

In this workshop, we will be creating a 9x9” square journal with unusual pockets on the inside covers. This journal is one of my favorites. After constructing the book from scratch, we will also explore (hands on) a variety of new techniques in painting and collage. I created this book into a class after several requests from my students wanting to learn the techniques. I love this book structure and so will you! Supply List: Scissors, small selection of favorite collage ephemera, bone folder, cork back metal ruler, roll of waxed paper, roll of paper towels, container to hold water, 3 1" brushes to glue and paint (I like chip or bristle brushes) . permanent black inkpad More info on Kelly's blog, and the store website is linked on their name, above! Photos and text from the Frenzy Stamper calendar/class description.

Larimeloom (ETSY store of MY day!)

I Never Never Never Regret Browsing ETSY Shops ...

today, for instance, I found this poncho. Toni LOVES ponchos. Although I didn't buy it, now I know where to look. Total accident, how I landed here (the other reason I have such a good time on ETSY) - I was actually shopping handmade sea salt soaps, then aprons, then skirts, when up popped this cool a** poncho!!! Anyway, this ETSY store has numerous further items of temptations, so I'm off to go see what other kind of trouble I can mentally get into!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Double BB at the Inauguration

Ok, so this is NOT Double BB; this is Denzel Washington. However, this looks so precisely entirely, exactly and completely LIKE Double BB that I (his beloved bride of 22+ years) actually had the thought, 'Is that why he hasn't texted me back yet?' bullet through my brain when I saw it.

Is there anyone left out in the electronic beyond who is having trouble imagining what Double BB looks like? See above photo. He even has a blue stocking cap and a long black coat, just like that. He sits, legs crossed, looking to one side, just like that. He is also always that -- er -- appealing, even from that distance. [Photo Credit says, only, AP.]

Wreck Chasin'

This just in from my bro', Chris: "Went wreck hunting today with the whole gang. Didn't find anything and had to cut it short because I was running out of gas! I think it's good for Mom to get out and walk around.

We stopped at the little Pleasant Valley Airport on the way back and watched some gliders..." Chris, my love Ciera, and Patchy-The-Wreck-Chasing-Pooch! Note: my bro' Chris is 6'4". See where Ciera already reaches on him? And she's 7. Think she's gonna be tall, or what?

"D" Update

YES! YES! YES! "D" has been moved OUT of ICU, upstairs to a regular room. Talk about the emotional and spiritual boost needed by a 19-year old! The patch and 2 tubes/drains are also working wonders with the infection; everything is 'running clear' now, so no surgery is seemingly required. "D", by the way, took ALL his cards with him -- in ICU he wasn't allowed to have them up/displayed, so they were in a bundle, bedside ... now he's got them spread out on his little table. If ever you might wonder if your art really does anyone any good, I'm here to give a witness and about 40,000 hallelujahs and amens --- YES IT DOES!!!

Now the really good news (shhhhhh) ... "D" might be allowed to go home this weekend.

Wouldn't that be something?

Monday, January 19, 2009

'09 Calendar - January 16th thru 18th

This turned out well - I scared myself starting out so dark with the background, but it pushed me into a new way of approaching the page, edged me over to different materials. That little boy image -- KILLER CUTE!!! Lots of journaling inside the tea bag shape.

Boogie Woogie Backgrounds

Sand Dollar. I loved this sheet of scrapbooking paper. The scan doesn't show it very well, but the inner 'star' on this shell is highlighted with a pearlized glaze, very sparkly and inviting. Sand Dollar with Face. Yours truly, age 27, photo by my bro' Cam. Wasn't I a dish? (hee hee -- that line straight out of the Titanic movie and I've ALWAYS wanted to use it!!) Acrylic paint and stamped images. Circle in Pinstripes. Not liking the pin stripes but somehow they go with the circle-punched photo of me, age 27, taken by my bro', Cam. I'm sporting a black lacy bustier (god, the 80's) ... cracks me up knowing it even though YOU can't see it! Four Eyes. Pun (intended) on me in the shades. Boy oh boy did I get called 4-eyes a bunch o'times in my life, being as I started wearing spectacles in 4th grade - switched to contacts from age 19 to 44, then they just stopped helping me see. ACK! Eesh. This page is, it must be said, quite a mess. But I still love it -- call ME twisted. All those colors speak to me, all at once. Highwire 1. Magazine and newspaper clippings, a Basic Grey scrap, a piece of my homemade postage. This page layout loosely inspired by Suzan Buckner, pages 52-57, 'Evolution of a Page' in the Art Journaling magazine by Somerset Studio. Ms. Buckner does the page borders this way, albeit with much brighter, more colorful papers. I wanted to try that, and I love it! Orange twirly is a stencil. I'm especially digging the guitar-playing skeleton, I must say, with the carousel hat. Highwire 2. All newspaper and magazines clippings, gesso. A corner piece outta Basic Grey paper. A scrap of spattered blotter paper tucked behind the acrobat for more journaling. Orange stencil.

Boho Girl's Got Postcards!!!!!!!

I'm one of the folks who has been yammering at Denise to please please please make postcards from some of her awesome prints. WELL HERE THEY ARE!!! I've already ordered mine, thank you very much, so feel generous in alerting the rest of you. (snigger)(neener)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Some Good, Some ... ?

Inspiration, article on page 25 in Jan/Feb 2009 Somerset Studio, by Janice Lowry. Product: Chartpak colorless blender pen. Take copy machine copies of any image, lay face down on page, rub pen on the back. (Caution: do this outdoors or DIE of asphyxiation from the lethal P.U. fumes of the pen). My favorite bird. The photo I transferred to the lower right [the old architectural building front with another building reflected, watery-like, in the window] is a black & white shot My Daddy-O took donkeys' years ago, which I tote around everywhere and love to pieces. Inspiration HERE. And my layers were gorgeous when I finished. But then I'm standing over the page, chin cupped in hand, saying, 'where in the ^@^$@% am I going to write, eh, what?!' Whence cometh the pale blue paint. Whence goeth the pretty page. Eesh, blimey, shite. All those gorgeous paper scraps came from Patty in the first place -- now I feel like I wasted them all.

Don't You Love Her Madly? (yellow)

Even after I wrote my journal page thoughts about yellow, the 'itch' to do something visual continued. I had the background done on this when the classic Doors' song came on the radio ... and this page finished itself.