Tuesday, May 30, 2006


When thinking about artwork I've done in the past, I decided to see how much I really hung onto. I still haven't found my old sketchbook, but to my surprise there sitting on my dusty easel in the basement, behind some unused canvases sat a painting I did when I was in my early teens...

It was the mid-70's and I had just discovered the musical talent of Elton John. My old bedroom was filled with EJ posters and my stack of LPs began to grow...11-17-70, Yellow Brick Road, Tumbleweed Connection, Blue Moves...my record player was constantly blaring John/Taupin tunes. Here is the painting I did at that time which I recently re-discovered; the other one I did of him has since been painted over.

Friday, May 26, 2006

2 New Layouts

..completed last night at our cropping evening. Daughter and I went back to our local scrapbook store and I was pretty productive... two layouts done and another 2 pages nearly complete. The first one is daughter posing during a thunder storm. The second is a goofy pic she took of Casey after I gave her a bath (the dog, not the daughter!)....

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sculpting a 12" Star Wars Doll

Tessek the Quarren, from Return of the Jedi. This 12" version of Tessek was created from a Jar Jar doll. I cut off the head and replaced it with a hand-sculpted head for the Quarren character. Wire was used to help support the tentacles, and I left enough of the neck so that the new head still moves, swiveling back and forth, up and down and left and right. The hands of the original doll were shaved down and sculpted properly. I hand and machine sewed the clothing for the new character and used a tin can with washers painted gold for his belt. Reference for this doll was taken from movie stills and Hasbro's 3.75" action figure:

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


One of the things I love to create is sculpture, even though I haven't done a lot. In the last few years, my sculpting has been mostly done while customizing Star Wars toys and figures. It was then that I discovered "Sculpey", a great substance to use on small pieces. It cured when heated, either in an oven or by submerging in hot water. One of the largest pieces I sculpted at this time was a creature from the "Expanded Universe" of Star Wars (non-movie character). The Krayyt dragon was modeled from the cover of a children's novel:I started out by making a wire frame, bulking it out with aluminium foil, and then layering sculpey over that. The dragon ended up being so large (about 8 inches tall and 10 inches long) that I had to "cook" him to cure in a roaster filled with boiling water. Mmmmm....roasted Krayyt !

Ewan McGregor portrait

Oil painting done in 2002 from Attack of the Clones. I loved this pose of Ewan as Obi Wan with the flowing robe and great shadows. First I did the underpainting in sepia, and the finished painting is shown below. This took just a short time to do, and I was happy with the result. However, friends at Lucasfilm have dubbed it my "Jesus Kenobi" painting....sigh.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oil painting

About 10 years ago, I was going to do a painting of a wolf in a mountain setting. I had sketched out the wolf, and I also found a reference for the mountain scene, from all places, in the background of the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar"...now I know there are no wolves in the middle east, but the two elements went together nicely. I began the project by doing an underpainting in black and white. After I did it, I liked the effect so much I decided to stop and just keep it that way... I know, wierd, but I liked it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cross Stitch

Before I got obsessed with scrapbooking, I used to spend my free time cross stitching. I have done quite a few pieces, and would like to get back to working on my current project of goslings on the water. The piece above is an Easter project that I did a few years ago now...I worked on it over the winter so it would be ready for Easter that year. While I stitched, I would also watch TV. While stitching the purple flowers, I remember watching CNN's coverage of the space shuttle exploding...now whenever I get this project out at Easter, I remember that heartbreaking event too.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Old sketches

The majority of my drawings from my childhood, unfortunately, I never saved...there are a few I had laminated (can't remember WHY I did this though; if it was for an art show or something...). Here is one that is undated, but I believe it was from high school, in the 70's. My parents grew beautiful Iris flowers of all colors, and my mom would snip them off and bring them inside the house in the spring. I do remember drawing plants and flowers; I found it much easier than trying to do people.

2Peas Thursday Blogger Challenge

What do you like to do when you have your home to yourself, for an hour, for a day, or maybe even an entire week?

Well, I very rarely have the house to myself...and if I do, it's usually just for a few hours. But during that time, I'll usually turn on the cartoon channel, sit in my favorite chair, feet up on the ottoman, with a cup of coffee and read. My chair is right by the front window, and I can look out and watch the birds in the trees or the bunnies hop by...and many times I am joined by our two cats who like to watch too!

I can hardly wait to get a few moments like this to start my next book, now that I've finished The DaVinci Code.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Big plans...

Well, PLANS anyway. Now that I've split my blog and focussed this one specifically for my artistic ramblings, I can start adding more to it. Creative Chaos is appropriate to describe the different "artistic" hobbies I have done / are doing. I have tried my hand at drawing, painting, sculpting, toy customization, cross-stitch (including designing), scrapbooking...and now I realise these are all things I do because I love art.

Since I was small, I can remember my dad teaching me how to draw and paint. He is a wonderful artist, unfortunately now his shaking hands prevent him from creating anymore. I remember him teaching me an oil painting technique on how to get beautiful clouds with highlights with just a swish of a fan brush....I was still quite small, but I fell in love with creating with my hands.

During school, I was always the one to be assigned the art projects; I remember doing huge murals for special occasions; in elementary school (I can't remember the exact grade, but it must have been 5 or 6), doing a huge buffalo on brown paper that was hung in our gym for our Manitoba anniversary (the buffalo was on our coat of arms)...gee, that was 1970 I guess, so I was 10 years old....In high school, I painted a huge lion directly on our gymnasium wall as it was our mascot....it stayed up there for years! I drew the cover of our yearbook the year I graduated too...Gosh, this is bringing back memories!

I guess this partially explains why I do what I do now. I always wanted to be an "artist", but reality kicked in and I had to choose a career that actually paid the bills. So my passion was set aside as a hobby only. Perhaps that was good; I don't know if I would be as happy doing this under pressure...now I can draw, paint or sculpt for relaxing fun.

Well, enough memory lane for now. I dug up some old drawings I have kept and over the next while will be posting them, as well as some of my current projects; everything from drawing to scrapbooking and cross stitch (yup, I believe these too are expressions of artistry!) Thanks for reading this far....back again later with more ...

By the way, the image above is a charcoal I did when I was about 13 or 14....my "Yawning Wolf" which nearly got chucked out, but I found it, cleaned it up as best I could and it now hangs on our fireplace in our living room.

2Peas Wednesday Blogger Challenge

What craft/hobby would you pursue, if you only had the time and / or the money, besides scrapbooking of course! We already know we're all hopelessly addicted to that hobby!

What a perfect question for me today. Since I have begun this blog about art, I can say without hesitation that I wish I had more time and money to oil paint more. I haven't done a painting in a long time; and since my Dad can't paint anymore (he is 79 and his hands shake too badly), he gave me all his art supplies....I dearly want to get them all out, take out my easel and have a go at it again. In the meantime, I'll satisfy my artistic cravings with creating using patterned paper, embellishments, ephemera and photos!

Dakotah's Walk

My latest scrapbook page documenting Dakotah's first outdoor walk on a leash...she was great...I think she thinks she's a dog sometimes - she fetches, sits on command and walks on a leash!

Monday, May 15, 2006

2Peas Monday Blogger Challenge

Is there certain animals you would never allow your child (if you don't have any, just imagine if you do) to have as pets.

Well, I LOVE pets; errr, let me re-phrase that....MOST pets. Much to hubby's dismay, I cannot stand the idea of pet snakes or bugs. Why the heck would you want a tarantula? Or a scorpion? Or a huge snake that just lays there (and you have to feed it cute little live mice)? I mean, give me a furry, cuddly cat or dog any day. We have fish, but I picked out colorful, beautiful species; hubby wanted a crab again...no way! He had one years ago, and it would attack the fish - once I remember screaming at him to poke the stupid thing as it had a fish in both it's claws and was bending the poor thing in half! Never again will I have something like that...geez....

2Peas Tuesday Blogger Challenge

What do you have in your scrapbooking room/area/studio - that just makes you HAPPY?

Well, other than my private stash of snacks in my desk drawer,(Craisins and seasame seed snaps...yummm) my small shelf of rubber stamps over my desk make me happy. I love using the stamps, but I love to have them displayed too...all the Disney ones remind me at a glance of our trip last year to Disneyland!

Friday, May 12, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge

Cellphones. You love them or you hate them.
How has having a cellphone changed your life?
For the negative or the positive?

Well, for years I resisted temptation to get a cell phone. Then last year I was going to be doing a lot of travelling and thought it would come in handy instead of using an expensive hotel phone. It was also a good time for daughter, then 14 to have one too. We each got one in April, and then we bought one for hubby for Christmas this past December. I have to say, we don't use them alot, but when we do, they sure are handy...no longer does hubby call from the free phone at Canadian Tire to check and see what we want him to pick up from the grocery store...and now if we forget to tell each other something, we are always in touch. His especially came in handy when his mom took a bad fall a few months back and he ended up having to take her to the hospital. We were able to coordinate a lot of things like wheelchairs and such for her using our mobiles. So I think they are a good tool as long as you don't abuse them (I can't STAND it when some people have the most annoying ringtones and feel they HAVE to yell on their calls) while driving, in movies or just to blab. With our tough winters, I know I feel much better driving with a cell phone in hand (with 3 little stone bears "bling" on it!)

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge

Here's today's question:

If you had to join a witness protection program with your family, where would you wanna live??? Anywhere in the world? Where would you choose, if you could???
Interesting question! Well, even though my daughter would want to LIVE in Disneyland, I don't think that would count, so if it can't be Anaheim, I would choose New Zealand...it looks beautiful and it would be a completely different place than up north here without having to learn another language ;)

Monday, May 8, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge: Favorites

Today's challenge is to blog about your favorite foods...sounds like fun!

Fave coffee: Starbucks Carmel Macchiato
Fave tea: Red Rose
Fave jam: Raspberry
Fave Peanut Butter: Kraft Extra Crunchy
Fave sandwich: Grilled cheese
Fave fast food item: Subway turkey sub
Fave appetizer: Coconut shrimp
Fave summertime drink: Sangria with orange slices
Fave fruit: Cranberries
Fave vegetable: Sweet pea pods
Fave indulgence: Raspberry Framboise liquor....mmmmmm...

What are yours?

Sunday, May 7, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge: Pet Peeves

Oh, I could go on and on, but here are a few things I just have to shake my head at:

1) People who have no elevator courtesy...why the heck do they have to rush onto the elevator when the doors open, blocking the way of people trying to get off? I mean, really...I have to bite my tongue to keep from lecturing these nimrods ESPECIALLY when it's at my work - a hospital no less. Geez, a lot of the people getting off the elevator are patients, in wheelchairs or on crutches or steering an IV pole...I could scream at the lack of courtesy.

2) Another elevator peeve: do elevators REALLY come faster if you push the button multiple times? And I guess I don't push the button right, because nearly everyone STILL has to push it when they walk up, even though it's lit up and I am waiting for the elevator to arrive....grrrr

3) Do people who throw trash out their car window think that a magic fairy comes and cleans up after them? To me, this is disgusting, and I wish I could stop in the middle of the road, pick up their trash, and throw it back inside their car...just once....

4) Impatient drivers. I drive to work each day and have a monthly pass at the parkade down the street from my office. On most days, a block or so from my final turn into the parkade, there is usually a bus or two picking up passengers. Rather than try to get around them, I just wait as I am almost at my turn. The other day, a fellow in a pickup truck was behind me as I was waiting for the bus to go again. To my surprise, he screeched around me into the second lane, then cut me off squeezing between me and the bus, who just started going again, in front of me. Okay, I thought, he REALLY made some time there. But Karma was on my side. He was going into the exact same parkade as me and squealed up behind someone trying to get in - without a pass and the three parkade signs (yes, one is obviously not enough) were flashing "FULL - MONTHLY PARKERS ONLY". While this Yahoo was trying to get a ticket from a non-responsive machine, I drove up calmly, chose the next entrance lane and parked right away. As I left the parkade to walk to my office, I passed by the entrance and lo and behold, the jerk that cut me off to save a few seconds was STILL sitting behind the Yahoo trying in vain to get in....boxed in by yet another driver who chose the wrong lane. Love that Karma!

Friday, May 5, 2006

Two new layouts finished last night

This picture of Casey and Dakotah kills me...Casey is a total sissy, and can often be seen running away from the cats....love the look on her face!
Daughter and me at our local scrapbook shop on cropping night. Used a Starbucks "Akeelah and the Bee" coaster on this one (Meticulosity: 1) Extreme care and precision 2) Attention to detail). Yeah, THAT'S me. Not.

2Peas Friday Blogger Challenge

Complete these sentences...
1. I am the happiest when I am at home.
2. 3 of my most fave things to do are: reading, scrapping, painting/drawing.
3. I feel sad and alone when the rest of the family is away.
4. When I read a good book with a fresh cup of coffee I always feel happier/better.
5. I wish I could fix this. Replace my awful old carpet with hardwood flooring.
6. My fave summer past time is gardening.
7. One of my most fave things to wear is turtlenecks!
8. If I could give an obscene amt of money to one worthy cause, that cause would be: The Children's Hospital here at work.
9. My fave all time movie I have seen is Star Wars.(duh! what else?? ;) )
10. I admire generosity in other people.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge: Your favorite summer dessert

Here is mine:

1 small can of evaporated milk
1/3 c lemon juice
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tb grated lemon peel (or more)
Spiced crumbs (recipe below)

Pour milk into a bowl and chill in the freezer until crystals start forming. Seperate eggs. In a large bowl, mix yolks with sugar, lemon juice and grated peel. Beat the egg whites stiff, then lightly mix into the yolk mixture. Beat the chilled milk stiff and carefully fold into the egg mixture. Pour into a loaf pan lined with the spiced crumb mixture. Swirl the top, decorate with lemon peel twists and freeze.

Spiced Crumbs

3/4 c graham wafer crumbs
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger

Mix well. Work in 3 Tb melted butter. Line tray, pressing firmly with spoon.

Serves 6 to 8.

This recipe is really tart and very refreshing on a hot summer day!

Monday, May 1, 2006

2Peas Blogger Challenge

If you had to pick one person, that was alive right now.. who would you choose to spend an entire day with???

Boy, this is tough; do I go with the obvious, and say Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom? ;) Or do I get all mushy and say my hubby?

Hmmmm....I think that since I would feel more like Johnny or Orlando's mom, and since I spend a lot of time with my family now, I will pick someone I will never meet (but I sure came close last summer): George Lucas. I know, I know, the Star Wars geek in me has won out, but I would truely love the chance to spend the day talking to him like a normal person; I am sure he has a lot of great stories to tell, and experiences to share. Anyone who has changed the face of cinema so much would be fascinating to converse with. (BTW, I visited Skywalker Ranch last summer, but unfortunately didn't get the chance to meet Mr. Lucas) :(

Scrapbook Pages

I thought I would share a few of my most favorite scrapbook pages I have done so far this year...
Baby of Mine - a mixture of an old pic (daughter, 1991) and new pics (rattle, bib and sleeper taken in 2006).
Bathtime for Dakotah - Sheba, our older grey cat playing mommy to younger black Dakotah, much to her dismay.
A photo of daughter sleeping after I played around with PSP a bit.
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