Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shelving Another One - "The Heart of Life" is DONE !

(early page - The Heart of Life)

So I just marked my art journal titled "The Heart Of Life" as "DONE!"

I actually saved one blank page in it...I think I will write about what I have learned from this one on that last blank page. Like that this journal was a lot "darker" than my first completed one. Or that there are some re-occurring themes throughout it, like the search for self-love, getting to know the inner you, the heart, pain as a catalyst for change, etc...that very much reflect what was going on in my life during the eight months or so it took to fill it up.

(recent page - "What do you ant to teach your daughters ? All the Best Cowgirls have Chinese Eyes.")

This is the second Strathmore Field Watercolor Pad (bought at Michaels with 50% off coupons) that I have filled up. I like the size I think (7x9") - not too big, not too small. I also like the combo of watercolor and sketch paper in each pad. I do some pages in larger sketchbooks with gessoed pages sometimes when I need more room. But there is something so very satisfying about having these completed journals in the same format both now sitting on the shelf in my studio.

(recent page : "Caution - Falling"

I created this slide show for this journal finale which was fun ! A little time consuming but fun! If you have a chance to look through my pages, maybe you could leave me a comment about which pages struck you the most or were your favorites. I love having this document of parts of me, and I know which pages mean the most to me as their creator. It would be kind of cool to know how my "audience" has felt when I have shared these "friends of mine.".

Happy Wednesday !

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blog-Pal Blogaversaries & Blog-a-long Finale

So the talented Canadian Artist and Blog-Pal extraordinaire, Dawn Supina at Art Of Humungous Proportions will be celebrating her 4th Blogaversary soon !!! Congratulations, Dawn !

I am heading towards 1 Year next month so I can only imagine the changes and permutations Dawn has witnessed over the past 4 years in Blogland ! I have gotten to "know" Dawn as part of the Canadian Artist Valentine's Swap I just participated in for the first time, where Dawn served as our wonderful hostess. I think Dawn's specialty is bringing people together ! As part of her Blogaversary celebration, she is interviewing some of her current favorite Bloggers and allowing her readers to get to know them better. Dawn has honored me by including me in her list of favs and you can see the interview here . It was fun doing the interview and choosing some pictures for Dawn to include that showcase my blog a little ! Thanks so much, Dawn, for making me a part of your fun celebration !

Today is the final day of the week-long Blog-a-long started by LK at the Poetic Eye. For our last day, LK suggested we link to either our favorite "maxin' and relaxin'" music or choose anything we wanted to share.

What I decided to include is dedicated to my man, David.

A lot of the time I write about Montreal and how wonderful it feels to go home to visit my family and friends there. I even call them my "Love Therapy" experts. All of that is so true ! But there is another place that I can go each and every day, where I can really be myself and really, really feel loved. And that place is anywhere where my David is.

Art journal page from 2008 - My love & Me

I know, I know you are all gagging from the sweetness, right ? Well, guess what ? From Day 1, David and I have loved to make people gag !!! Ha, ha, ha !

Seriously though, I know I am a very lucky woman. I have found a person who loves me at my best and at my worst. You know the nicest thing this man has ever said to me ? Besides saying "I love you" and meaning it so deeply, that is ? He told me at one of my very weakest moments :

"You are stronger than you think you are."

Those words ring in my head whenever I am down or scared or weakened since that day. He sees me that way, which is more than I could ever have asked for. He knows my heart, you see, this beautiful man. This man, my David, well.... he just feels like home to me...

David and Me at my birthday beach time - 2008

I love you, sweet man.

Happy Saturday ! Now, go kiss someone you love !

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Teach Your Children Well" - A Memory Tune

This post is part of a Music Week or Blog-A-Long started by LK at the Poetic Eye. She suggested that we post a link to a song that evoked a memory in us.

This is my Daddy. Yves de Broin.
He has been gone since March 3, 1996. That's 13 years this year.
Now he is my white haired angel, still teaching me...

I could have chosen a hundred songs that reminded me of my Dad. He was a huge music lover, from old Classic Rock stuff (Neil Young and Dylan were his favs I think) to classical pieces he learned to love from his own Father. He taught all three of us girls to love music, to know its many moods and gifts.
I chose this song because it was one of our favorites to listen to as a foursome, Daddy and his three girls, driving along a road to somewhere...
where he could teach us...

Enjoy the Blog-a-Long ! Happy Thankful Thursday !

I love you, Daddy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CSI New Hampshire - GPP Street Team Crusade #28

(This is an interactive post - please follow my little directions here to play along ! ;-) )

Step 1 : Okay - Play the Video - Cue Music

(Step 2 - Read this, imagining me trying to look cool in my shades and parka (hey it's NH not FLA!!!), talking in a sexy, husky cop voice...)

"Welcome to CSI New Hampshire where our crack team of investigators, (okay. just one investigator!) take on challenge of locating important evidence in the Case of "Portion Control".
(Inspired by GPP Street Team Crusade #28 - designed by Michelle Ward, yes, The Michelle Ward !)".

Never fear, the Creative Scene Investigation is on, Baby !

It is believed that the suspect we are after had been too heavy handed with her stamp and stencil technique in the past which made her easy to track down. The suspect has now learned portion control, where she leaves much more subtle traces of her weapons of choice in the act of creating !

Check out Exhibit A : Here, quite distinct hand prints made with a hand carved rubber stamp were found on the workspace blotter on the suspect's desk. Obviously this was an early attempt as the control was somewhat limited. The high degree of gold metallic paint was an interesting twist though.

Exhibit A - Blotter stamped with hand carved "Hand" stamps in Lumiere Gold paint

Then there was Exhibit B : Here, we can see that the suspect has already become quite masterful (or is that mistressful, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) in her use of portion control - see the subtlety of the yellow hands against the black jungle-like background. An air of mystery is definitely present here.

Exhibit B - Background - old dictionary pages collaged, washed with green and then randomly coated with Golden Black Gesso, Hands - stamps again with yellow paint

This brings us to the third piece of evidence, or Exhibit C as the suits will call it, where the suspect took a very different turn. Note the use of the vintage substrate here (substrate=any stratum lying underneath another, ie: the paper !!!!). It is believed to be a page from a 1927 LaRousse French Dictionary which features the word "la main" or the hand in French ! Man, this chick is good ! Also check out the use of both the positive and the negative hand stencils with the distress ink ... it gives the piece some really interesting movement.

Exhibit c - French Dictionary page, Hand Stencils - positive and negative, Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut applied with a sponge.

The Creative Scene Investigation finally brought us to our final piece of evidence in this case. It would seem from all of our careful research into the use of portion control by this suspect, that the Artist in question has learned that keeping her audience guessing, and leaving subtle traces of her tools behind can create very intriguing pieces. This is clearly shown in Exhibit Z, a piece the Artist herself likes to call "Trust the Angels" :

Exhibit Z - Trust the Angels*

*(They have been around the block a few times) - art journal page

- angel wings are hand stamps. Also subtle use pink and magenta ink on a bought foam stamp for the heart squares in the background. Image from an old anatomy book found in Flickr

CSI NH has done it again ! Our investigation has shown that practicing the act of portion control as an Artist can lead to a life of intriguing art. Okay, that's it for this episode. I need a donut and a hot coffee....Cripes it is colder than a witch's tit here in NH !!! (a little crude cop language there - guess I should have said this episode was rated PG !)

(Return to the top and play the video gain for closing music...same as opening music ! ;-))

I know, I know...

I need a life !!!!!!!!Let's just blame winter and cabin fever okay ? It's snowing again....

Onwards, Crusaders !

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Than Words...

So lately I have been doing little else in the studio but play in my art journals. I think this is part of my healing stuff and part of that oh so long hibernation period that I seem to be slowly emerging from. Anyway, the prompts and themes offered up by some of my favorite Blogland artists have been great jumping off points for this healing play.

The Creative Every Day Challenge that the marvelous Leah organizes now has an optional theme for each month. The theme for February is "Words" ! Yay, my favorite !!! I don't know if you are aware of my other title, Kim, Queen of Words, but you can ask the hubby about it ! I see words everywhere and often read them aloud much to my husband's annoyance ! I am a champion at games like "Bookworm", "Scrabble" and "Balderdash", etc because besides art, words are my thing, baby !

I found a new way to play with words in my art journal which I really like. It is a mix of writing, kind of stream on consciousness stuff and art journaling. Here's a little prompt you can try to add to your own word play.

First, grab a wordy magazine. Find an article in it that has "interesting" or "inspiring" words in it. Don't think too much when you do this. Just use your instinctive eye and scan the article for words that may jump out at you. This sample was an article by Martha Beck in an old Oprah mag. I think it appealed to me because of the size of the print and the words "release" "freedom" and "surrender" that jumped out when I first glanced at it :

Then, cut up your article. I sort of used instinct here again, trying not to cut words in half too much but not worrying about where I was cutting too much either. (There is no wrong way to do this !!!! Don't think - do !) It is kind of appropriate too, that the article I chose for my sample here was about "letting go" don't you think ???

Now comes the play part. Choose a piece from the article you cut. Glue it down somewhere in your journal. Grab your favorite pen or as I did here, a pen that kind of matches the font in the article. Now without too much thinking (The only hard part of this whole exercise, right ?), re-compose the text with whatever words flow out of you....

(click on the photo to enlarge if you need to)

It may make sense... it may not...that is okay ! Just play with the words. What do the words in your "piece" evoke in your inner writer ? Nonsense ? Deep profound messages ? Dr.Seuss rhymes ? Whatever ! I tend to try and make sentences that at least kind of make sense structurally. I will finish words that have been cut in half. Just see what comes to you.

Then I decorated the page a bit using some stamps and pens to go with the new "article" I composed. For me in this piece, it was more about the writing than the art but it could be different for you less "word lover" people ;-).

Here is the first page I did with this exercise. I didn't take before pictures of the article but you can see the piece I cut in the nice font beside my messy handwriting.

I love this page ! Talk about a message from my inner artist ! Where did this talk of angels come from ? Not sure but when I let go of the tight control, let the words "speak" to me and just let myself play, I definitely got a message from the universe. Will it happen every time ? Probably not... but I like to be open to the possibility.

I like to "Trust the Angels" ! ;-)

Hey, if you try out this word play exercise, let me know ! I would love to see what another player discovers !

Just to finish off this post, here is a song that plays with words and has some beautiful harmony. Reminds me of an old friend who saved my life along the way. Enjoy !

Happy Wordy Tuesday !

Monday, February 16, 2009

Two For One : An LK-Inspired Post

So LK at The Poetic Eye has been a real source of inspiration for me lately. She has these great new prompts every Friday and today she shook things up and challenged us to have a Music Week on our blogs. She also mentioned how she finally feels like she has awaken from a long winter's nap and I have been feeling very much the same was for the last week or so. I think it is a result for my Love Therapy Week...but whatever it is, I sure like this Kim a lot better than the gloomy chick that was hanging out here about a month ago !

So here is my Two for One LK-Inspired post for today :

For the Friday Prompt, LK encouraged us to dive into our hoard of goodies (you know you have one !!!) and use up something we have been holding onto for a special occasion or a particularly rainy day.

In my hoard file were some pieces of gorgeous "painted papers" I got from Anne Bagby when I went to the art retreat taught by her and Lynne Perrella in Mexico two years ago. Anne was very generous with her supplies and gave us all samples of these magnificent papers spray painted and stamped with her own carved stamps. They were thin and pliable, wonderful for collage as she used un-waxed deli paper as the base for her paint (still haven't found a source for this - she said Sam's Club carried it but I don't have a membership there). I still had a few pieces that I was holding to in my painted paper hoard.

What better time to use my treasures than when I want to show some love to a few of my friends. I used them to make these two cards :

The "grass" background is the painted papers from Anne. The stamp she used was inspired by Klimt's work - geometric shapes that are repeated over and over in details of his work. Isn't it gorgeous ? The flowers are made of some of my own painted papers as are the turquoise backgrounds.

Well now these treasures of mine will grace these cards going to a couple of my really good friends, offering up some spring time hope as the days slowly get longer and we awaken more and more from that long winter's nap !

And speaking of waking up, GET YOUR BOOGIE SHOES ON !!!!! Listen to this catchy, hip-inspiring song and get to wiggling, my friends ! Sing along too ! The chorus is easy to follow anyway !!!

(Photo from

(The video was embed disabled but just follow the link to watch it ! Don't forget you boogie shoes !)

Happy Monday !

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love is a Many Splendored Thing

Do you remember the first time your man sent you flowers ? I do. It was after our first kiss which lasted all night (fully or at least mostly clothed ;-)). We actually feel asleep with our lips pressed together. I remember waking up, our lips and noses still touching, and thinking "How the hell did we do that ?" We have tried to recreate that moment over the past 9 years together but fail every time ! How did we breathe ????

The flowers arrived at my apartment the next day. It was the first time I had ever had flowers delivered to my door. I was 35. I had had flowers given to me before but this was the first delivery ! I felt so special. I remember thinking "Wow, this guy knows how to make a girl feel good ! I am so very lucky !"

This arrived this morning :

12 "Cadillac" Roses as I like to call them !

(nice close-up, huh ? gotta love the Rebel !)

He actually sends me the Cadillacs every year for Valentine's Day. Have to say that each and every time I receive them, I think :

" Wow, this guy knows how to make a girl feel good ! I am so very lucky!"

We have travelled the path together for just over 9 years now. Together, we have made many of our dreams come true and still have many more to work on, I know. As we weather the bumps in the road, and skip along hand in hand when our path is smooth, each and every day I know that I am so lucky to have this man's heart with mine as we travel.

Happy Valentine's Day to David, my love and my best friend in the universe !

And much Valentine's Love to the rest of you too !

(This is a page from my journal inspired by a fantastic art journal prompt from LK at The Poetic Eye - check it out here)

Some Cool Canadian Chicks Create !

So this month, I was lucky enough to participate in the Canadian Artist Valentine Swap with 10 other fantastic Canadian women. I was the token "displaced" Canadian living in the US but believe me, these ladies did so very much to make my heart feel like it was home again !

We each made 10 gifts for our exchange and mailed them out at the end of January to begin our fun opening ceremonies on Feb.4. We opened gifts for 10 days, the last one being this morning. I has been so fun celebrating the talents of all of these artists and the thought, care and LOVE they have put into each of their creations !

I was invited to participate by Arlene at ArtDeMe and this was my first real swap. It was a fantastic experience ! I learned a lot, as Dawn at Art of Humungous Proportions, our noble leader, can attest to if you ask her about my packing job ! But most of all I had such fun and pleasure giving and receiving a little extra love for every day during our swap process !

Big thanks to Arlene, Dawn, Laura, Holly, Lisa, Martha, Mar, Nicolette, Sabina and Vanessa, some wonderul Canadian Soul Sisters ! Check out their blogs if you have a chance - you will meet some really cool, talented and loving chicks !

I will end this post with some photos of the wonderful gifts I received. I think I have shots of everyone's treasures here except for Laura's lovely and sweet smelling hand sewn heart sachet which arrived a little late to my mom's Canadian address and which I will pick up in March. (Sorry Laura !!!) For better pictures and for shots of each individual artist's work, you can check out the blog at Canadian Valentine Swap where Arlene and Dawn have done a much better job than I have documenting all the fun !

Here you will see all the treasures including Martha's spectacular crazy stitched heart hanging, Lisa's pretty lacy bookmarks,

Vanessa's lovely and delicate hand-drawn seed packets, Nicolette's romantic and pretty hanging ATC ,

Arlene's gorgeous and beautifully detailed fabric journal, Holly's delicate and perfect earrings also custom made to our favorite colors,

Sabina's awesome collage custom done with our loves in mind,

Mar's magnificent book mark with my favorite theme of mermaids gracing it,

and Dawn's little pile of treasures including "Donut Seeds" (ooh, donuts...) and the sweet and glittery "key to love" necklace.

Thanks again to all of you and I will see you at the next one, Ladies !

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Yay ! It is time to announce the winners for the OWOH giveaways !

First let me say that I had such fun with this whole experience ! Thank you, thank you Lisa for all your hard work at making this all happen ! Discovering new Blogfriends, sharing little pieces of me here and there, and enjoying the OWOH Lovefest !!! Can't wait until next year !

Okay without further ado, here are my two winners :

1. The winner of the "Love Magnets" is :

# 148 from the Random Number Generator :

lady_ponies_23 !!!! Her comment was :

"I love the magnets, but the rocks are just too special. I know exactly what I would do with them! What a fantastic giveaway! Thank you so much for the chance!Come check out my OWOH giveaway (#542), for a ton of scrapbooking supplies!"

2. The winner of the "Rock My World" rocks :

# 184 from the Random Number Generator :

Janna Johnson from Feed Your Pig !!! Her comment was :

"Thanks for entering me! Great Contest!"

I am sending emails out to the two winners right after I post this ! I already got an email this morning saying I won a turquoise necklace (my very favorite stone !) from Terry at magicalbeadstalk ! She is originally from Montreal too ! How cool is that ! Just goes to show how small the world can be and how very wonderful life is when you put out the LOVE ! It always comes back to you tenfold !

Until next year, gypsy caravan !

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Get Thee Some LOVE Therapy !

So I just got back from a week away (more on that in a moment !). While I was away, the lovely and brilliant Serena at Dream With The Fishes tagged me to list 5 things I do to keep my mind healthy and my life balanced. This one kind of threw me for a loop. I don't think I am much of an authority on this one ! This is a definite struggle for the Old Libra Queen - I long to be more balanced and more healthy but I know that I have some improving to do on both accounts.

But as I thought about this tag, I remembered the week I had just had in Montreal and Mont Tremblant. This was an entire week of "LOVE Therapy" ! Talk about stuff to make you feel more balanced and more healthy ! And though I can't always keep the momentum going all the time, the time I spent this past week was so good for my being in so many, many ways ! This winter has been hard and long but spending a week in "LOVE Therapy" has done some major healing and filling up of my soul. I highly recommend it !!!

What does "LOVE Therapy" entail, you ask ? Well first off, you have to take the time. Now, a minute or an hour of LOVE therapy is great but if you can afford it, I recommend taking at least a weekend and definitely longer if you can. As my wise woman sister, Kristina says about taking that time "Can you really afford NOT to ???"
So where does the LOVE Therapy take place ? Think of the place that has the most LOVE available to you. It may well be your very own home ! For me, it meant travelling back to my hometown where my LOVE circle is big and has long established roots !

Okay, now for some of the knitty gritty of LOVE Therapy (with a little help from some of my friends !) :

1. LOve Therapy starts with asking for what you need and making that a priority.

(Azzy wants some water - he asks for it !)

2. Be Your Own Musher - In LOVE therapy, sometimes you need to take control a bit and make things happen.

(Thomas mushing the (empty) dogsled !)

3. Change Your Diet - Eat Things that are GOOD for you or things that taste GOOD- especially if they are prepared by someone else !!!

(Katie's Choice ?)

(F-R-U-I-T! FRUIT, Nature's Candy ! Smart Baby, huh ?)

4. Find Your Own Special Cheerleaders and really listen to their Cheers !

(2, 4, 6, 8 - Who Do We Appreciate ? Kimmy, Kimmy, Yaaay, Kimmy !)

5. Graciously accept all forms of PDA's from those who LOVE you !

(Even the kind that SQUISH a little !)

6. Take the time to look at and appreciate the beauties of Nature !

(Evening Grossbeak and Puffed Up Bluejay)

7. Get Lots of Rest - Be it by taking a Seat along the way :

Or as the experts suggest...

Napping Whenever Possible !

8. Keep the Beat and be part of a Circle of Friends :

(Was this as silly and as fun as it looks ? Oooooh Ya !!!)

9. Leave Judgements about Others at the Door !

(My sisters (Natalie and Kristina) a little quirky ? Maybe but I wouldn't have them any other way !)

10. Learn to Create Harmony In All You Do !

(Three sister sing - See our cool mikes ?)

So take the time, go to the place and fill yourself up with these LOVE Therapy techniques and before you know it....

You will be a Happy and Fulfilled Camper once again !!!

(I would like to take this opportunity to tell my wonderful family and friends thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do for me each and every day ! You fill me up with Love and make me feel whole. I love you all so very, very much !)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A TA-DA List ! - New Month, New Plans, New Zest !

(Ta-Da ! -detail of an art journal page from last year)
So today the awesome and always inspiring Michelle Ward has a post about changing your To-Do list into a Ta-Da List ! How cool is that ? (as Michelle would ask ) I just love this idea ! I spend so much time thinking about that damn to-do list...the things that need to be done, what if I do them wrong, how can I fit them all in, blah, blah blah !!!!
Enter Ta-Da list ! A way to celebrate what you got done, what you have accomplished, what you already did right ! I think I need this big time !!!!
So in honor of Michelle's inspiration and the beginning of a new month (Ta-da, Lived through January '09 !!!), here is my wonderful Ta-Da List for February 1, 2009 :
Ta-da ! - Connected on the phone with a blog pal, Carolyn at 8 Golden Paws ! She seems so very, very nice, and she and I have some big plans !!!!
Ta-Da ! - Filled out the registration forms and signed the check ready to be mailed tomorrow morning for THIS !!!! I am going to SAW in September !
Ta-Da! - Packing bags and making tracks to go to Mont Tremblant and Montreal to see my Katie Cupcake and the rest of my wonderful family, and to attend the big Girl's Weekend Bash at Natalie's House next Sat. ! Think girlfriends, good food, good tunes, and lots of silliness and dancing !
Ta-Da ! Posted a post on the blog to say "See you soon !" to my blogland pals as I head off for a week !
I hope you have a great week. I may check in a few times while I am gone too. I hope you find lots of things to add to your ta-da list this week !