Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloweenie

Happy Halloween everyone! While I am sure everyone has huge, all out plans today, we're starting the holiday off with a trip to the doctor. Seems the Carry-On has a lingering cold that we're going to get checked out.

She's thrilled about Halloween. I'm sure of it. She shows her excitement by screaming in horror when she looks at the cape I made her. On the other hand, she is very happy to yell "C A N D Y" when she wants something to eat. It was bound to happen one day sooner or later..I just thought it would be later. Now, out the window with all of the fruits and vegetables she has been eating her entire she wants CANDY!! every 5 minutes. Such is life...isn't that what we all want? I knew it. My child is a genius.

So I am sure we'll have a nice time answering the door for the other kids who come by. I'm sure she'll like that better anyway. She'll probably get angry that I am giving our C A N D Y to strange kids... have a fun and safe holiday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The City of Light

available in my etsy shop

I was able to load in some new items into the shop last night.. it feels good to be able to cross that off my list. I feel anxious when I am in the process of making projects.. paint, let it dry, add this, let it dry, add this too, let that dry. I've been working on these pieces since I started the collage background last week! Done.

Special thanks to Neda and Rima for helping me with my French!!

Time to carve the pumpkins and get ready for tomorrow! See you then!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Super Sunday Sunday Sunday!

Yesterday was one of those days that you need to take a couple of days just to digest all that took place! I went down to Stamping Details to take another Chris Cozen class with Johanna. (How's that for a bunch of links?) Not only was the class AMAZINGLY fantastic (we learned how to create special effects using Golden products) and not only was Chris the most intelligent and loveliest instructor ever, and not only was I able to pal around with the "boss" but there was great shopping as well! Someone stop me....where did this Sew Somerset come from? All I know is that my fingers have had a tingly sensation since I picked it up this afternoon...I can't wait to memorize it page by page. Oh!! Do you see what else is in that picture? The ever so elusive diamond punch! I could not believe my eyes when I saw that on the shelf!

I love painting. I love love love it. There are so many things you can many!! Take a look at what I learned in my class!

See you soon!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Today she was queen

Since I creeped everyone out yesterday, I thought I would offer a nice treat for you all today! I made the painting at the top of this post with a vintage ephemera collage background. Feel free to download and use the same background in your projects today! I'm off to a painting class..see you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Boy- if this isn't a Halloween photo, I don't know what is. I bought a big lot of ephemera a while back and while looking through the pile, this fell out onto my lap. Spooky!! What's more spooky is that we will never know who the dark figure in the foreground is, what that dog is doing and where the picture was taken.... creepy!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

From France!

I received a pumpkin shaped letter from Tova! I LOVE how there is no envelope and how the art comes in nontraditional shapes and sizes! Thank you so much!! Happy Halloween!

Halloween Greetings

Limited edition ACEO mounted on standard greeting card.

The theme this week for IF is "Trick or treat"...I give you my Halloween cards for this year. Signed and numbered ACEO's.

CLUELESS: Are you a mixed media artist? I want to be your "project"! Please see my "want ad" on the right of the blog and email me if you are interested in helping. Thank you!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

IF: Grow

Thin canvas for Illustration Friday... acrylic and charcoal. No idea where I was going with this...I've lost my mojo with all this cabin fever and smoke inhalation...maybe it will come back soon. As soon as the smoke clears as they say...

Holy Guacamole

I just read that we lost 1/3 of the state's avocado crop.....

Luggage Outerwear

The "cape" is finished and I must say, I am pretty proud of myself! It's hard to photograph, and of course the Carry-On runs and screams bloody murder when I put it anywhere near her, but here is a close-up. I made her vampire cape black on black..there is a wool like exterior and a nice satin lining. Fluted button detail and....the fancy part...I made the pointed collar detachable! Two reasons: one, next year when she is a magician for Halloween, she can use the cape without the collar...second, she can play fancy socialite tea party with her cape and gloves also without the collar.

Oh..I forgot to August, we'll go to the magic shop and she will fall in love with magic tricks. We'll buy her a few and then in October, I'll convince her to be a magician for Halloween..

She probably won't wear this at if a cute little girl shows up at your door with black lipstick and a white shirt with black pants, please humor the mother and say, "What a cute vampire you are!" Thank you for your cooperation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good night....

Laguna Beach with a smokey sunset.

Tomorrow will be a better day.


Well, today is a lot different from yesterday. It is still very hot outside, but the winds have almost died down to nothing. As I look outside today, it looks like a June Gloom overcast type of day..only these are not clouds. It is smoke. A lot of smoke today and the wind is not blowing it by, it is sitting here. The front and back yards are covered in ash today...a thin, brown layer of dust.. I went outside to sweep a little and gave up- it is still falling from the sky. There is a faint orange glow coming in through all of the wondows. The 5 freeway northbound is closed between the 78 and Christianitos rd.. I guess Camp Pendleton is now on fire and the smoke makes for very bad driving conditions. Day 3 of staying in doors....

Yet another map with fire information.

It's hard to think about being "artful" these days when I worry about my friends and family. I am working on the Carry-On's vampire cape..but that's about it. Not too much seems important with this disaster taking place.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire Map

This is a very good map of the fires burning in California. We live about half way between Dana Point and Newport Beach. It's still windy, but not nearly as windy as yesterday.

100 should know!

This is my second...third? I can't remember... purchase from Andrea Singarella's shop "100 Wishes". If you're in love with vintage goodies, you should take a peek. The shop is closed now for Andrea's maternity leave (best wishes, Andrea!), but you should totally watch her blog's feed for the re-opening!

She wraps everything up so beautifully and on this shipment, I got a delicious lolipop!

Monday, October 22, 2007

San Diego Fire Coverage

(above: Picture of the wind on my street, Air quality is also horrible.)

edit: Updated News

We are not in danger here but are thinking of our many friends in San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Stay safe.

edit: you know it's bad when the automated emergency telephone system starts calling employees... it is SO windy here. Mr. Luggage's SD based company is asking for help for families evacuated. Very scary!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It was an AMBUSH!

I ambushed our meeting yesterday by interrupting the regularly scheduled programming for an impromptu make-n-take a la Somerset Workshop. We made waxed ornaments using a little stamping, acrylic and vintage ephemera. The faces of the particpants have been hidden to protect their identity.

These two enjoyed making their ornaments.

These two also enjoyed making their ornaments.

He loved making his ornament too!

Here are the ornaments I made. I like how they turned out and I'll keep my eye open for a sale on the paper mache ornaments so I can make more.

The cheesecake (pumpkin pie with ginger snap crust) came out great! I'm a dork for not taking a picture of it. Lots of stuff going on this week...I'll be back soon!

(My intention was to pixilate everyone's boobs in the photo above, lol, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.)

Friday, October 19, 2007


It comes as no surprise to me that the first few colors I learned to mix last night were shades of green. It turns out that these colors will serve as the base for mixing several different colors in the Golden line-up. I ordered my set of principal colors and have started to go through the color exercises outlined in the materials I got for free from Golden.

I like green. I like blue too. The reason I titled this post "flashback" was because seeing all of these shades of green brought me immediately back to my Gemology coursework. One of the most dreaded parts of the Graduate Gemologist course at GIA is the Gemstone Identification program. In this course, students study hundreds of different gemstones to learn their identity. To pass the course and earn a diploma, you are given an assortment of 20 stones that you have to accurately identify. Many of them are green. You are not allowed ANY errors on this test. If you miss one, you're back to square one.

While I was studying for my diploma, my friend Hiro told me that his instructor gave him 20 different green stones for his exam. Torture! Luckily, I received an assortment of colors during my test. In gemstone identification, the slightest color variation can mean the difference between an entire species of colored stone! To the untrained eye, many of the stones look exactly the same!

I was determined to pass this test. I remember the day back in 2002 vividly. I arrived at the campus, sweating, and received my stones from my instructor. The test is given in a laboratory and there were probably about 15 other students in there that day. You are allowed 4 hours to complete the test (or vomit) and I finished my test in one hour. I couldn't sit there and re-check anymore, so I gathered the stones and went to the front of the classroom.

Other students practicing their lab skills know what you are doing when you're in the lab. All eyes were on me and my knees were weak as I stood next to the teacher.

I handed him my paperwork and stood there. Frozen. The test is graded as you watch! More torture. The teacher used a red pen to make checkmarks next to each of my answers. One at a time. Correct. Correct. Correct. Correct. It was killing me! He finished the first page (ten stones per page) and moved onto page 2. At that point he turned to me and asked, "Feel pretty good about page one?" I replied, "Yes, but if you pick up that red pen one more time, I am going to throw up all over you." The class burst into hysterical laughter. Not so funny to me. To prepare for this exam takes more than one year of intense study!

On to page two. No red marks. No comments from the teacher. He looked at me, sighed, and marked a HUGE 100% on my paper! I threw my hands into the air and shouted "YES!". The class could not believe it! Here was a brand new Graduate Gemologist standing in front of the class. I felt so shiny and new! The teacher asked me in front of everyone, "How many times have you taken this test?" My reply was quick, "One time. This is my first time." Ahhhhh....I was a gemstone identification natural! That was one of the best moments of my life.

Since then, I have tutored 2 other former colleages in getting their GG diplomas. I am happy to say that both of my students also passed on the first attempt. I'll never forget this part of my life.

I'm off today to see some friends and eat the cheesecake. If you're nice, maybe I'll post some pictures Sunday! Adios!

Wednesday Stamper: Children

This is a 4.25x4.25 "thing" I made. I scanned it with sheet music behind it which may have not been such a hot idea since now it looks like the project is stuck on a piece of sheet music. Oh well. Since the theme was Children, how could I not user a picture of my own child? Decision was easy for me. Acrylic paint background, crepe paper, machine stitching, justjohanna images and stardust. Thanks for stopping by today!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You better THINK!

I love the movie "The Blues Brothers" and I love Aretha too. Here is the first page in "Color Binge". There is something magical about Caran D' Ache Neo II's.. I bought the 40 color set a while back and I am dreaming about every other available color now! They just melt onto the paper amd smell so fantastic!

So remember I told you that because I bought store made birthday cards yesterday, I would have time to make muffins? It came true! I think it's a Blogger miracle...whatever I mention in the blog comes true... I should start talking about winning the lottery more..

I altered a banana bread recipe to make banana cupcakes.. would you believe that I found pumpkin baking pans in my cupboard? I couldn't believe my eyes.. I have no idea where they came from..(I know..shoplifter's famous last words.)I know you can't see it in the picture, but that's actually a jack-o-lantern banana cake!

Oh...and before you ask...the answer is "no". No, I do not set my table with Tiffany china. No, I don't even set my "cakes" on plates. I usually eat them straight off the cooling rack. I only have one Tiffany & Co. bread and butter plate. I put the cake onto it to look fancy. It is rimmed in 24kt gold you know....

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I don't pay for anything....

Oh Blogger Blogger…what is the trouble? I see a lot of “scheduled maintenance” taking place this week, so I hope I am just experiencing a few road bumps. I have been pretty satisfied with Blogger since I started Luggage Land…it’ll be ok. I’m not sold on Typepad…there is always a longer delay in page loading when I blurf typepad blogs. My computer and connection are crazy fast, so it’s not me.

I guess since I am not making blog specific projects anymore, you’ll get more jibber jabber. Those of you who don’t know me that well don’t know that I am not a “sugar coater” and I call it like I see it. So if you’re tuning in for cute anecdotes and drawn out posts about my “artful journey” you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m not mean…I think I’m just ‘real’.

A local mother invited me to join their “mom’s group” the other day. Sigh...I immediately asked, “Is there a fee?” Of course…$30. I curtly replied “I don’t pay for anything.” See, I’m onto these groups…I am not sure what the money is for, and frankly I don’t care, but why in the hell would I pay $30 for a “mom’s club”? I am not lonely, and the Carry-On gets to play with kids at the park every day for free. There is not a bouncer at the gate checking ID’s to get onto the playground.. If I join a group for “entertainment purposes” that would mean I would have to reduce a magazine subscription. Is your group as great as a Somerset publication? Probably not… the horror…living without those magazines.

I don’t want to be on a schedule. I don’t want to hear myself in a conversation with another mother talking about my hectic and busy week plans…meeting for this, meeting for that, lessons for that and class for this. It honestly gives me a rash when I hear this sort of talk. No wonder people go insane; no one is relaxing anymore…not even the children!

Let’s see….what else… Oh- I bought 3 store manufactured birthday cards today. And you know what? It felt GREAT! There is 3 hours I shaved off my “doing things for others until I run myself ragged” schedule. Now, I’ll send these fun cards (which incidentally all poke fun of seniors…---not Latino men..senior citizens) and I have time to make a bunch of muffins for DH to take to work AND I’ll make a cheesecake to take to my pals in Escondeal-e-o on Saturday. I’m excited about that scheduled “fun time”.

Oh!! I named my first journal “Color Binge”. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall Mail Art

mail art to France! I included a matching ATC with the same sentiment in French.

I love exchanging mail art with Tova! I made this envelope on glossy cardstock with alcohol ink...lots of gold mixative too. Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Live Earth + Blog Action Day = The Land of Foo!

If there was a place where every day was a Foo Fighters concert, I would move there immediately! Did you make a difference today?

Blog Action Day

Today is "Blog Action Day", a day set aside for the blogging community to raise awareness about the environment. I hope that you take time to read this link and do your part to aid in the awareness.

I made the mixed media canvas above for the event and it is being featured at Maraya Galleries. You can see the other artists who contributed to the cause by clicking here. I am honored to be a part of this exhibition.

With the topic of global warming and energy conservation on everyone's mind, I am disgusted, absolutely disgusted about Jimmy Kimmel's decision to host two shows on two coasts for one week. What an obscene waste to travel to each coast, every day. Did you think he was going to drive his Prius to work that week? What genius thought of this plan? Certainly not Al Gore. Show your support- Down with Regis and Kelly...I don't know anyone who watches Kimmel's namesake in the first place.

Do your part- spread the word about Global Warming today. Thank you!

mixed media collage featuring acrylic paint, rubber stamps, rust, wood, copper wire, and beeswax. available in my etsy shop.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Only a little color..

There was a 4 mile walk this morning, I took my camera, my husband and my child. I wanted to go for 8 miles, but then I became more rational...

Southern California vegetation...I think this is wild cotton....not positive though..

These are yellow wildflowers...they grow everywhere.

The leaves on the trees are still green here... it was about 70 degrees at noon.

It's time for me to put up or shut up. I have been heeming and hawing over making an art journal. Part of the intimidation is that a lot of journals I see are so freaking fantastic, and I only make slop. I dream about making a journal like this one, or this one or this one.. Is this something you either have it or you don't? I bought this book from Blicks. The catalogue says the pages can take wet media..that's me. I didn't envision a spiral bound book, but I guess I can cover the metal once I am finished.. I would go so far as to say that I am tortured by journaling. I wonder if I am destined to be a fan of all of everyone else's journals except my own? I am also tortured doing this because now I know I won't be posting a project every day here...I've been making a new project every day almost since February for the sole purpose of posting here. It's strange to shift now to making projects to place into my etsy shop...and now this book...why do I keep putting this off??? I think another reason I put it off is because I know it's going to take a long time to finish. I mean there are 60 pages in this! Wish me luck...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Do something unexpected and nice for someone tomorrow.

Friday, October 12, 2007

With great admiration...

Another ATC sized project featuring justjohanna rubber stamps, acrylic paint, beeswax, machine stitching and vintage text. Thank you for stopping by today!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday Stamper: Inchies

An inchie is what it sounds like; a project measureing one inch square. The key for me on these was to make them on a sheet of paper and then cut them out after all of the embellishing took place. I used acrylic paint to make the background, added text pages, more paint, justjohanna images and then vintage text. Finally, machine stitching and beeswax finished them off. My favorite is the middle inchie. How about yours?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

World Card Making Day Winners!

Congratulations to all of the winners! You can see the list here.

Thank you, Wednesday Stamper!

My Autumn Colors card made the sampler this week! Check out the other amazing sampler picks by clicking here. Wednesday Stamper is an amazing online community...if you have not given it a try, you should!! There is SO much support and creativity there!

This week's theme is inchies.....oh boy...not my strong suit at all; but I am going to try!

Have a good Wednesday, everyone!

justjohanna rubber stamps, alcohol ink, machine stitching, vintage sheet music, doodle

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In the morning light...

Beeswax ACEO, available in my etsy shop

I am working on a 5x5 canvas for Blog Action Day. What are you working on? I am excited to be able to particpate. Anyone can participate! Rima over at Maraya Galleries will be having an online showing of all of the art! What are you waiting for?

Monday, October 8, 2007

World Card Making Day Blog Challenge Winners!!

First- thank you all so much for particpating in my challenges! It was so much fun to see all the cards you made for each theme!! What a whirlwind of a day!

The winner of my "3 Stamp Challenge" is: LIZ!!!!

The winner of my "Paint Challenge" is: Elly!!

Each winner will receive a limited edition Flying Al on Earth rubber stamp! Congratulations!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

World Card Making Day!

What's that? You missed out yesterday? There is still a lot of time left for you to enter the sweepstakes!! There are so many prizes you can win! Scroll down to the bottom of this page and check out the blog challenges around the world! The deadline is midnight tonight! (My time- when the clock on the right reaches midnight, we are closing the contest!) Good luck!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My final challenge for today!

Our final challenge here in Luggage Land today is to make a card or ACEO using paint. This is in tribute to so many of my new friends who I met while learning to paint. For this challenge, you may use watercolor, acrylic, re-inkers...anything you apply with a paint brush!

In the pictures above, I use watercolor paint to make the background. I use Dr. Ph Martin Radient Concentrated Watercolors. I also applied my shimmer mist to this example.

For a different look, the sample above (and below) uses Golden Fluid Acrylic paints. I layer on a light color, let it dry completely and then add darker colors. Before the darker colors dry, I use a baby wipe to remove some color or I spray a few drops of water on the paint, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe with a paper towel. This process makes a nice distressed, old look.

I'd love it if you could participate in this challenge!

To enter the sweepstakes, all you have to do is make a project using the guidelines above. Once your challenge is ready, please post it on your blog and post a link to your project in the comment section here on my blog! The deadline for entries is midnight my time, tomorrow, 10/7/07. One lucky winner taken randomly from my comments will win a limited edition justjohanna image created specially for this event! You may enter as many projects as you like! Each linked project will count as one entry into the drawing.

Be sure and check out the other justjohanna festivites happening today! The grand prize (one lucky winner taken from ALL the entries world wide!) is a $250 justjohanna shopping spree! Who wouldn't want that?

justjohanna and Limetart employees are not elegible to win. We're just posting examples to inspire! If you have a question about the challenge, post here and I will check in every so often to answer. Don't have a blog? You can post your project in the gallery here and link back that way!

Have fun everyone!

How's your World Card Making Day going?

There are so many challenges going on today! I hope that you have time to check them out! I'll be back at 6pm with another chance for you to win!! In the meantime, check out my friends' challenges! You can enter for more chances to win!!!

Sweepstakes! Sweepstakes! World Card Making Day!!

Thank you for coming by for my first World Card Making Challenge! This challenge is to submit a card or ACEO (ATC) in which you incorporate 3 or more different stamped items. You can use any brand of stamps for the challenge and any technique you would like! I made the examples above using justjohanna rubber stamps. Heck- I'll accept a carved vegetable dipped in paint if you are so inclined!

To enter the sweepstakes, all you have to do is make a project using the guidelines above. Once your challenge is ready, please post it on your blog and post a link to your project in the comment section here on my blog! The deadline for entries is midnight my time, tomorrow, 10/7/07. One lucky winner taken randomly from my comments will win a limited edition justjohanna image created specially for this event! You may enter as many projects as you like! Each linked project will count as one entry into the drawing.

Be sure and check out the other justjohanna festivites happening today! The grand prize (one lucky winner taken from ALL the entries world wide!) is a $250 justjohanna shopping spree! Who wouldn't want that?

justjohanna and Limetart employees are not elegible to win. We're just posting examples to inspire! If you have a question about the challenge, post here and I will check in every so often to answer. Don't have a blog? You can post your project in the gallery here and link back that way!

Have a great crafting day!!