Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spring Cleaning, Spring Meaning

Howdy, folks! I've been a recluse the last few days. Finished up a few projects, then tackled my usual quarterly artistic refresh. I'm not like most, who follow a seasonal calendar approach to quarters. I blame it fully on having been a tax accountant for 30 years. For example, tax season always started on Feb. 1 and old habits sometimes don't die at all, so I still spend the entire month of January making plans for the year and getting ready, when most of you are implementing them. And since tax season ends April 15 (except for extensions) and the next 2 weeks were always spent in a recuperative zombie coma, I never tackled a quarterly reassessment until May 1. This habit continues with me no matter what, so I decided, why fight it?

My refresh this quarter had me looking at what I did in 2016 so far. I made a push to do challenges in hopes of motivating me to use certain items and do certain things, and it worked. I now feel like the kid who is learning to ride a bike with training wheels. And today I feel like I no longer need the training wheels anymore. So, I've made the decision to cool it on the challenges and see if I can still ride well. You may have noticed I haven't been joining in the WOYWW Wednesday thing anymore. That was the first to go because while I've met some really neat peeps, I found it way too time-consuming to visit 70 blogs every week (I actually only got around to a third of them at my best). Also, the weekly challenges I'd tried are gone, and then the other night I decided to stop participating in the monthly Altered Rolo Card swap in my yahoo group so I left that group. On the one hand, you don't know til you try. On the other hand, I am determined to use my time doing what I want to get done.

About the only thing that I know I'm going to keep doing regularly right now is the monthly Artistic Outpost Show Us Your Art Challenge, and I am entering this art piece in their May challenge. Even though I did not get something made for April, I just missed the deadline trying to finish this:

I am really into making 8" x 8" Deco's (or as I call them, Home Deco's -- they are deco squares that are home decorations). This is my second one I've finished, but I've already got 3 more started! The first one is HERE. They do take some time and I have to work on them in stolen moments, nor can I exactly explain why they've captured my heart so, but I just love them! I actually think it may have something to do with the fact that they are just for me (and, ok, hubby). How often do most of us make stuff that ends up as art just for our own enjoyment? In my case, not nearly enough!

 I used several stamps from AO's Jane's Countryside stamp set, and for my colors, I

 used this Design Seed color combo. This was just for grins, to make sure the colors I used did not clash with one another. Often, if I have 2 colors I know I want to use, I will hunt through their combos for additional complementary colors to use.

This deco was really hard to photograph, so I ended up taking the stand it's on all over the house until I got enough decent shots. I never got that perfect shot, nor was I able to get a decent scan of it because of the dimensional items on it.

I stamped the focal point using a bit of masking to join the two ladies into one scene, and die cut it with a Spellbinders Label #10, making sure I had a larger one to die cut for the mat. Then, I colored the scene I'd stamped with alcohol markers. The beautiful flowered base paper is from Graphic 45's Once Upon a Springtime (of course! ha-ha). The flowers, flat-back jewels, lace edging and ribbons are all from my stash.

 Here is a VERY bad photo in low light showing where it actually sits, on a display table in a corner of our family room. I plan to eventually fill this table up with my art, but for now there are just a few pieces.
 The obligatory close-ups: I thought the Memento Bamboo Leaves green ink was so pretty and springy that I did a direct-to-paper technique to color the focal point mat and the photo corner mats. The photo corners are Spellbinders die cuts as well.

 I dug through my card stock scraps until I chanced upon the perfect piece of peach, so I cut the corners and also a Spellbinders scalloped circle that the sentiment's stamped on. I stamped the fan and key on the peach and fussy-cut them out.

For the Spring letters and tag mat, I used my QuicKutz Squeeze Eliza font and a Spellbinders Tags Fancy 2 die.

With Mothers Day coming up, I was happy to realize that all the ribbons I used came from the huge supply my late mother gifted me when she gave up sewing. And because I live in the Humidity Capital of the USA (lol), the sentiment I chose is particularly meaningful to me. We have very few days in the Spring when we can actually sit outside in the shade and be perfectly refreshed. Luckily we are having some right now, though not enjoyable in those kind of clothes! lol

As always, I appreciate very much your visits and comments. I'll be back tomorrow with more of my artsy craziness! Have a good one! xoxo
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