Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! And a new pic of Hanna!

Happy Halloween! Hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween... I know Abby is pooped; she scored 230some pieces of candy and spent time with her friends. I was so glad to have some catch up time with Stacie.

Last weekend we took a visit to the farm (missing the almost 3.4" of snow here in western MD). You might remember our little Hanna that we hatched from an egg. We weren't sure if he'd recognize us (since it's been a few months) but I think he did remember! He kept checking us out and finally let Emily hold him... What a BIG guy... but still smaller than the other rooster he hangs out with... and WAY better looking!
I think he has a fan club too... many of the chickens kept following him around.
Anyway, it was so great to spend time on the farm. To get away from the craziness and just have carefree fun!

Oh! I almost forgot! I finally received my sketchbook (Arthouse Sketchbook Project) in the mail today! I'm so excited to start it. I have a flood of ideas in my heard... I hope they turn out! Stay tuned for my journey!

Have a great week and HAPPY NOVEMBER!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Update and a NEW PROJECT!

Ok... I know it's been too long. I have been crazy busy. School is kicking my butt... anatomy and physiology is turning out to be a semester of memorization. And you know, my brain is not as fresh as it once was :)
Today we dissected a cat. Learning all the muscles (humans are very close in muscular makeup to cats), how they work and preparing for tests and practicals one after another is testing my stamina.

Anyway, I did take a picture of the cat today... but I think I might not share that here because it's pretty sick.
If I could share the smell of formaldehyde through the internet, I might consider that.

Either way, I'm still alive... and very apologetic for not posting more often.

On a fun note:
I signed up for a the 2012 Sketchbook Project! (Thank you, Stacie, for introducing me to this fun adventure)... and I AM SO EXCITED! Here's the scoop from the website:

It's like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks.
Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the world.
After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view.
Anyone - from anywhere in the world - can be a part of the project. To participate and have us send you a sketchbook that will go on tour, start by choosing a theme to the right.

If you are interested in learning more, please check out the 2012 SKETCHBOOK PROJECT!
You still have time to sign up and you can use a coupon/promo code: "ETSYHIGHFIVE" to get $5 off!

I can't wait until my blank sketchbook arrives. I picked the theme, "In 10 Minutes" since I plan to work in increments of 10 mins at a time... give or take a few here and there :) So please stay tuned to take this journey with me. I'd love your ideas too as I go along... God knows I need all the advice and ideas I can get!

I promise to post again soon. In the meanwhile, let me know how you are doing... I miss all the art so I'd love to hear what you are doing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Dodge 'Journey'

Several weeks ago Dodge started a promotional campaign for their 2012 Journey.  They put out internet clues and planted 3 red Journeys in the US. The east coast journey took place this past weekend and we (all 5 of us) took the trip!

We took a 10 hour trek towards Albany and into Vermont on Friday, stopping along the way for food and bathrooms... We stayed in Lake George, NY for the night and started out fresh in the morning. Checked into another hotel on Sat night in Middlebury VT (nice town...).

I have to say I am disappointed in Dodge for changing the contest halfway thru. They didn't stay true to the contest format that most people were counting on.  We never had a chance. In fact no one had a chance until at least noon on Sunday... and it ended up in Maine @ Mosquito Harbor (anyone who knows my hubby knows we are NOT going any where near a place with that name :) )

But at the very least we were able to spend 60+ hours of quality family time together... really 60 hours!

I have to hand it to the kids... they are troopers! They got up this morning and were both in school on time! One in time to film the morning announcements and the other ready for picture day! 

anyway... it was a weekend to remember. Not sure if driving to VT in one day is a smart idea... but it's something we will be talking about for a long time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kindle Covers are Ready!

The quilted Kindle Covers are finally ready for the store! 
They are now available at the MUSE

Also I am dropping of some Halloween, Thanksgiving and other assorted cards... Like I said.... I can't seem to stay away~ LOL!

Had a great weekend... spend a day in the trees, climbing and zipping at Sandy Spring Adventure Park for Emily's 12th birthday and took a class on Zentangles taught by Stacie! And to top it off... The Philadelphia Eagles win their first game of the season... YEA!

Hope your days are going well too~ I'm off to school.......!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

*new* Kindle Covers at the Muse ...Soon!

So I tried to stay away... but you know me... I love to make gifts! So I spoke to Whitney at the Muse and she is allowing me to bring in some Kindle E-Reader Covers! There are quilted and fully lined.  I have a few different colors and styles in mind.

 I will post a few pics when they are finished...

I think they should be ready for the store by Sept 12!
Thanks to Whitney for always allowing me this gateway for my work! ...

..... and yes! I am still taking classes. I just started my A&P 1 class and it is already daunting. But I'm up for the challenge! Speaking of which... I better hit the books! See you soon!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


It's official... this morning at precisely 7am Hanna let out 'HIS' first crow followed closely with a second attempt.  At 2 months and a week, he is practicing his vocal skills.  Good thing he's going to the farm on Monday... I don't know if we can handle a wake up call for the rest of the summer ...

So there it is... Our Hanna is officially HAN!

On a different note... I will be finishing up finals on Monday and then back to PLAYING! I have gazed longingly into my lonely studio. But for the month of August it will return to it's usual state of chaos.  I can't wait!
I have some new techniques I want to try out... it's very exciting...~!

So thank you for all your patience this summer... and stay tuned to some interesting projects.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Birthday Celebration and a Gift for me!

It's that time....~ Tomorrow is a dear friend's birthday and today we are meeting for lunch to celebrate!
I can't wait to see our little clan... it has been a long summer without my friends and this is the perfect opportunity to catch up~ !
I made this litle box for my friend and filled it with various ephemera along with a very special book - Four-Word Self-Help by Patti Digh. 

Stacie first introduced me to this book and I love it and have gifted it many times. Despite it's title, it is not a self' help book... traditionally.

It is filled with meaningful four-word phrases that you can use in a variety of ways. My favorite... using them in art. In fact they are all parts or in whole someone's art.  If you get a chance, check it out. Very inspiring!

And I will say, I had missed crafting these past few weeks. School and summer with kids have completely taken over my life and I hadn't set aside time to craft for myself.  I really enjoyed making this project for my friend.  Thank you Rene' for giving me a reason to spend some time creating... it's really a gift to me!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Introducing... our Hanna

In June we went to our family egg farm and brought home a set of fertilized chicken eggs (or we thought they were all fertilized...)

We set all of them in an incubator and for 21 days we waited for our babies to arrive. Exactly on the 21st day we got just one cutee... our HANNA. "Hanna" means "one" in Korean. we have no idea if she's a girl or boy, but you can guess we are hoping for girl.

We are getting ready to take her back to the farm to reunite with her family... She no longer needs a heat lamp at night and spends a majority of her days grazing in the back yard.

Maybe we will try it again... it's so amazing!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer fishing!

We've been doing some fishing this summer... just so happens that there have been some mild days with clouds that made for pretty comfortable conditions...( you know what it's like sitting in humid 100 degree weather in the sun. no fun).
Abby caught a load (I mean around 15) bass, sunnies and spots at our own Lake Linganore!

Em had the first catch of the night!
Last weekend we did some night fishing in at Choptank. It was perfect pretty clear weather with a slight breeze (perfect for keeping mosquitos away). You can catch several different fish here, but we have our poles set with bottom rigs and we mostly catch channel catfish. (Maybe also cause it's at night? - I'm no fishing expert...)
 They put up a fun fight for the kids and it is rewarding since they bite pretty often!
Anyway, they were getting hits one after another and by 2am we had caught 7 (+1 small) cats...
Bry caught the largest of them,,, about 25" according to the ruler on our cooler :)
We let them all go since we don't eat them and trekked home! (getting home at a greuling 4:30am... but it was tons of fun and everyone's dying to go back soon!

One of Bry's cats!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unloading a LOAD of Stamps on Ebay!

well... the time has come. I sorted and sorted and sorted again through my 250 Stampin' Up stamp sets. All from my very first set (Greetings Galore I bought in 2000) to the newest additions.
From those I have managed to whittle down my "keepers" pile to about 50.  I also have about 75 Papertrey Ink sets that I have not sorted... oh the pain...!

So I have started to sell my sets at bargain prices on ebay. So far I have sold approx 44 sets! So there's about 150 odd sets left!

These stamp sets have been my source of income, joy, comfort and creativity at times. It's hard for me to let them go, but it's comforting to know that they will end up in homes of other crafty people who love to stamp!

If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing stamp sets, you can check out my ebay page. there you will find auction style listings as well as reasonable BUY IT NOW prices that reflect the average completed (sold) prices on ebay.  my seller name is IPPYHOLLERMOM and I have been on ebay since 2003 :)

Many of my listings start at $1 or $5 and I do combine shipping as well as ship overseas!

AHHHH! It's a jungle in here right now. taking pics, sorting, listing, packaging and shipping... it's a real store in here!
The kids are helping me and we are making a few bucks for fun summer activities! At least they benefit... :)

As for school, things are going great! FAST and GREAT! I am halfway thru the summer semester and actually keeping up with all the work. I think I might actually be able to do this!
I had my first lab practical last nite and I was able to identify all the pig parts! YEA! Now that's LIFE!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer! See you soon!

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 weeks into it...

I used to think that time was flying by... but I think I may have been a little premature in that statement.

Time is NOW flying at breakneck speed!

Summer courses are no joke. You are listening, absorbing, reviewing, writing, regurgitating information and more all while trying to balance family, sustaining life (ie eating, drinking, exercising), sleeping and maintaining order. I haven't had much time extra time for fun things like art, friends and leisure... but yet. But as my life starts to normalize, I will work time in!
I did not want to add a real photo... you're going to have to trust me... this is better.
In 2 weeks I have thoroughly reviewed every aspect of the periodic table, scientific method, cell composition and respiration, pH, conductivity, fetal pig dissection, thermodynamic energy, classification, molecular diversity and more! I took bio during my first year of college but I am required to take it again as you need to have completed the course within 10 years of the start of clinical study. For me that was 16 years ago... lucky me :) Seriously though, I am so glad to be doing this.... I can honestly say I don't remember 75 to 80% of everything we are going over. And I feel for those students in my class who are struggling more than I am ~ since it has been such a help to me to have seen most of this before~ regardless of how little I recall...

Most of the students in my class have dissected something or another in the past. I, however, have not had the opportunity. When I was in HS we didn't dissect anything... and in college I took the bio elective which was minus the lab.  So when it comes to lab assignments, it's all new to me~ I am enjoying it!

Anyway, the pace is incredible and surprisingly I am surviving. (I started very confident, then started to worry a bit... now I am gaining confidence again but looking towards another difficult hump - according to my professor, this next test next Thursday will prove to be the hardest of the semester sans the final.) 

On a different note, I will say that despite the support that my family has shown, it has been a difficult  transition going back to school. I miss spending all the extra time with the kids, I am not spending as much time with my hubby in the evenings and meals have become more for sustenance and less for conversation. I am hoping that come fall, things will return to normal as my classes will mostly be when the kids are at school. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - A New Direction

View of a full rainbow from my front door
It's been a very rewarding journey. In 2003 I started selling stamps and scrapbooking supplies through Stampin' Up! and then moved to making and selling handmade cards thru various vendor fairs, online Etsy and local Artisanal shops in MD!

How AWESOME to be able to sell my work, that I have made from raw materials with my own hands!
The reward is great!

Throughout this journey I have met so many people. From all different walks of life~ Nurses, artists, mothers, teachers and MANY more! I cherish each and every encounter and have learned a lot about myself from all of you.

I especially appreciate The Muse and Art Partners for believing in my work. For promoting me and backing me up each time I had ideas.  Thank you Whitney, Susie and Barbara!

Now my journey is taking a little turn (ok - a Big turn). I have decided to leave my art for personal enjoyment and dedicate much of my time to going back to school - Radiological Technology. I have always believed that you never stop learning. There is always a new skill you can acquire that will enable you to further help others. Art is one way of touching people. And I have definitely been so fortunate to make art my job for these years.

So I have decided to start on this new road. My family and friends are supporting me (I do need it... I haven't taken a test in 14 years), and I feel confident in my abilities. And it helps that I'm going to school with my brother, who is 11 years younger than me, studying the same thing~ What a blessing! He said it perfectly... "When else in our lives would we ever be able to go to school together?"

I am going to continue to sell bits online as I continue to be creative and will stop selling at the stores.I will also continue this blog - sharing my personal art as well as interesting (hopefully) stories of a 35 year old, mom of two, as a student!

I am looking over the rainbow... to a new and exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking) journey. I think I can... I think I can...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day weekend! YEA!

Time for sun, fun and family! 

I love having these three day to spend just enjoying each other with no time restraints or schedules... 
It's been a long month....

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 
See you next week~!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our first set of babies this year!

A few weeks ago a mommy and daddy chickadee (I think) started scoping out our gourd birdhouse for a possible new home site. ... and after a few visits, renovations and furnishings, they laid their set of 4 eggs. The mom diligently sat on those eggs and the dad made his unending trips for food...

Then without fanfare, the babies hatched! I saw four little beaks hungry for food... so cute!
Then today I guess they flew the coop! Except for this one youngster who is a little bit of a late bloomer. I gathered him up and tried to put him back in the gourd... but after a few minutes, he was trotting around again on his own. So I guess he's ready... or at least he is trying to be!

Good luck babe!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More paintings...

Just had to make more... I think the blue haired woman (originally Taylor Swift) looks a lot like Kate Voegele.

A Fine Mess
I love this album, by the way :) 

Hope you are having a great week!!!

An Unhurried Sense of Time...

I have been taking a few days for me. Painting, collaging and just having some personal time.
Stacie showed me a technique she learned from 21 Secrets and I played a little today with it.
You take a magazine face and transform it (mold it) to your own.

Here's how my face turned out... PS. the face I used to start was J. Lo's! (Can you see it? of course, not!)
My daughter says it's missing something. Who knows, I might add more.

I tried to add colors to resemble a self portrait... drk hair and eyes... no bangs... etc...
It doesn't really look like me... but I still like it. I like the saying... because I am always struggling with time. I like the "unhurried" sense. I will try to be in such a hurry :)

You can get more information about 21 Secrets from Stacie's Blog and view her collage she made using this technique! added plus - You can check out a list of GREAT quotes on her blog post as well!

Well, I hope you are having a great week... I will post again later this week!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LOTS of LAYERS just for ME!

I don't have too many days where I just make art for my enjoyment only. Usually I am making something for sale or as a gift. But today I had the opportunity to just mess around with a technique from the newest Somerset Studios Magazine I subscribe to ~ and I got to spend the day crafting with Stacie!

The project was to explore layers. And we really did put layer upon layer on this watercolor paper base. I love using PPA (Perfect Paper Adhesive). It's the first time I"ve used it and it works AWESOME in place of mod podge or gel medium. I belive it comes in both matte and gloss finish. I used Matte.
Acrylic paints, gesso, inks, water, sewing, stencils, stamps, ephemera and glimmer mists... all mediums I LOVE to use.

Here's how mine turned out! 

In the end I cut it in half to make the front and back of my art journal (and it is definitely tough enough to handle cover wear and tear!)
I think Stacie put her's up on her blog! - TAKE A LOOK!

I had a MUCH NEEDED day of rest having fun with my friend and creating something I really like to look at. I hope to do it again very soon!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy MAY!

April came and went... and fast! And with May comes a lot of changes!
The weather is beautiful, the plants and trees are growing, lots and lots of animal visitors in the yard and lots of new goodies!

The birds are busy foraging for materials to build their homes and prepare for new babies!
Why not a little sparkle and sturdy cottons?

This week I have some new colors for NEST BUILDERS. These metal cages are painted and then sealed with a weather proof spray and filled with organic and other fancy fibers. Some fabrics are pulled apart and everything is cut to no longer than 4 inches. All materials are safe and fun for birds.

When you run out of fibers, fill them again with your leftover yarns and strings! (remember, no longer than 4inches :) )

You can see more and purchase from my etsy store on sale now!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mother's Day ... so soon?

Just realized today... APRIL is almost over! How did that happen?
Well just in time for May, I have a couple Mom's day cards for the stores. here's one I made today using water color crayons, water, stamps and glitter!

Hope you are enjoying these last few days of April! 
See you soon!

Friday, April 15, 2011

sewing... is not usually my thing ~ Nursing Cover Up

Ask anyone who knows me... I love to sew on paper... not so much on fabric. Why? Because, in my opinion, fabric is too stretchy... it moves around sooo much. And sewing on any fabric other than cotton is a nightmare.
But a few days ago I saw my sister and she mentioned wanted a nursing cover up. I had never even seen one in real life, but have heard they exist.

I went online to buy one... and behold... $40. Hmmmmm. Having trouble swallowing that.
So I searched online for a tutorial on how to make one... BINGO!

I found LITTLE BIRDIE SECRETS. Step by step instructions on how to make this project. And so $6 and 2 hours later (please keep in mind sewing is not my forte.. it will take you far less time.) I have a gift for my sister! I hope she finds it handy :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paper Fabric FUN!

Last night I taught a paper fabric bookmark class through the MUSE here in Frederick! It was such fun. All the projects turned out so cool and the people were even cooler!
With about 10 crafters... mixed in with a little cheese and wine... we had a party~!
Here are some photos I stole from Whitney's (The MUSE) blog...

Thank you to all who came to create with me... I am very happy to have met you and hope to work with you again soon! and thanks to Whitney, Margaret and the MUSE for having me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blogging for Lila - BLOG HOP

Blogging for Smiles!

Stacie brought this to my attention last week when she signed up to blog on April 15. First, I am so encouraged and inspired by my dear friend who gives to others like there's no tomorrow. Her heart is full of love and charity - Thank you Stacie for passing to me, yet, another avenue to help out!
So this is why I picked today to blog - in honor of Stacie's birthday!

As a mother, artist and citizen of humanity, I am constantly compelled to find ways to make a difference. Some concepts are out of my reach, currently. But then other opportunities, like this one, come my way and it makes me feel excited and fortunate to participate. This is one way we can contribute to Lila's future happiness - Lila's continued smiles!

Lila has Cerebral Palsy and her family is trying to raise funds for a much needed Stem Cell Treatments. One this June and one a year later.

Here's some information about Lila (from Sarah Stevenson's blog):

You can read more about Lila and her family's journey at Mommy, You Know What?  - a blog by Lila's mom, Maria. They have set of several fundraising events in addition to lots more information about Cerebral Palsy.
There are lots of ways you can help... participating in this blog hop is just one way to raising awareness and directing others to join forces.
Thank you for taking your time to check this out today.

Please "hop" on over to Denise's Blog  - INKSTITCH - next (On April 14) for her posting for awareness!
And THANK YOU to Sarah Stevenson of What is Design for starting this wonderful way to share Lila's story!

A side note: I watched the movie - SOUL SURFER - yesterday. It was such an inspiring story of a young girl and her family's journey through an extremely difficult circumstance. This girl is amazing... through her situation she is able to give in ways she would've otherwise not have had the opportunity to - sharing her unique talent to bring happiness to others... check it out with your family if you get a chance.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Oh, Deer"... Mom and babies visit me again!

Last year in May a momma deer had her babies in our yard. 
One in our bushes and one at the top of the hill in the trees...

This morning I took a peek outside and saw the momma and her deer visiting me again! 
(Or - I want to believe that was them :) )

So... Let's just say it's so!

Hope you are having a great week!
PS... really looking forward to the Paper Fabric Class I'm teaching at the Muse next Wednesday!

If you are interested in this or other classes...
It's Wed April 13, 7-9pm
info here: THE MUSE

hope to meet you there!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting ready for Easter!

Making Easter cards have always been a bit challenging for me. This year I am trying a different angle. Instead of all stamped images, I am using a bit of paper piecing. I have always liked the chick in egg image, so I am using that one this year :)

Here I adhered strips of ribbon to the background and pieced the egg on top of it using dimensionals.
Swarovski crystals detail the sentiment. and the inside is blank for your own personal message.

A couple weeks ago it felt like Spring was fast approaching... but now I'm not sure when winter will end. It's been so cold out... I am thinking ahead to our 60 and 70 degree days... hopefully they will be here soon!

New Easter cards at the stores this week and next...
See you soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming Up... Blogging for CP Awareness

On April 11 I will be participating in a blog hop for Cerebral Palsy Awareness - Blogging for LILA
If you are interested in sharing your blog space for this hop, check out Sarah Stevenson's blog!
This blog hop will last the whole month... so you pick a day that works for you!

Hope you will join!

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Wedding Card

Last week I spent a lot of time designing new cards and also taking care of home business. It's amazing how much neglect your house shows when you put it aside for a few weeks. And with spring here... the exterior is starting to nag me as well :)

Tomorrow we have our monthly craft day... this time at Kathy's! I am looking forward to this once a month ritual with my friends. So in preparation for tomorrow, I designed this card so I can make several while enjoying mimosas and conversation.
It features a stamped cake cut out and popped up onto another layer. You can't see it here, but the cake is glazed along the edges and the heart is as well.
The sentiment says, "Congratulations" and the inside says, "May love be yours today and always."

I will also be cutting tons of yarn and other fibers for more birdcages. I hope to get those in the stores soon... 
but for now you can purchase them on my etsy site :)

I'm hoping to get a couple more solid days of creating this week. I hope to have a new card to share with you by the end of the week!
Hope you are having a great day~ See you soon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome Baby Card

While I have baby on my mind... Here's a Welcome Baby card!
Stamped, copic colored and glittered. I love the designer paper... by KI Memories "It's a Boy".
The buttons are coconut buttons and dyed brown. I machine stitched the seam in white.

I will have some this and the girl version card up on etsy and delivered to stores soon :)

I'm considering taking an online class that Stacie recommended.21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground. I love learning new mixed media techniques! Check it out... it looks like fun!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy Glittery Cards...

It's been a while since I made cards like this. Colored in using copic markers and chalks. And a touch of ultrafine glitter for pop!

Looking forward to Easter and Mother's Day cards and these are perfect to put me in the soft, subtle mood!

I'm also going to stock the stores up with gift tags and baby, wedding & birthday cards soon!

Hoping to get at least a few days of solid work in this week... we will see~ Company coming tonight. See you soon!

**One more picture! It's so hard to put my little nephew down. He's so cute and smells so good! (I know...**