Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crunchy Frogs - Exercise of the Week: Week 38 2014

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Exercise of the Week: Week 38, 2014

Crunchy Frog... yup I thought the same thing the first time it was introduced to me.  What the Hell is that and will it hurt.  Or are you going to feed me something gross covered in chocolate? a la Monty Python?   Not so much as hurt, but will give you some muscle soreness if performed correctly.  It is an ab excerise that uses  your core, legs and arms.  The thing about the frog is coordination and balance.  If you don't have those down or can't find them when you start this exercise you'll be tilting sidewise and falling over before you even begin.  There are several different versions of the crunchy frog. You can modify for yourself and what you are comfortable with doing.

to break it down:

its an in and out with your legs.  straighten legs out, bend them back in to your belly while keeping your core tight and balanced on your tush...

then you add the arms... as you straighten out your legs your arms are wide. as you bend your legs in curl your arms around your knees and repeat.

check out this video showing how to perform a crunchy frog:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Burpee Challenge: Day 17

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Its day 17 of our Burpee Challenge and the Bink and I are moving through them still.  We both agree that by doing this challenge it has made doing burpees in Tabata class easier.  We can pound out 15-20 of them with out thought or mental toughness now.  Burpee songs such as: Simply Irresistible are not a struggle, especially for me as I'm still working on pushups and form.

We are discussing what next month's challenge is going to be.  When we decide, I'll post here before the 1st of October and ya'll come and join us in the challenge and tell us how you are doing!!!

Its not too late to join us for the remainder of this month's 30 Day Burpee challenge!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lets Catch Up on Project Life Update!

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This weekend I've been working on Week 10 of 2014.

 I was a little surprised at the number of photos I did and didn't have.  

The Bink and I had decided to move 30 minutes away to a much nicer place. So, there was a lot going on as we discussed things over Cake and frosting, between Tabata classes, and a very close friend of the husbunny being involved in a car accident, resulting in hospitalization.  On a side note he has made a full recovery and back to his old ways...

I managed to get a photo of Tycoe helping us pack. She was happily buried in that box for a couple of hours.

Its funny that Sunday's blog post, Happy Places I talked at crazy length about all the cool stuff I got last week, but when putting this spread together I tried to use those die cut pieces and papers that have been floating around the studio for a while without purpose.  

This spread ended up being a combination of old and new.  I like the 4x4 photo size, but I think I'm going to save those for photo sleeves that specifically hold that particular size.  

I've moved what I have so far from my 2013 album into the green We R Memory Keepers album that I got on our Anniversary.  It is so much lighter, but won't be for long.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Happy Places: our anniversary, cheap art/craft supplies, and video games with the husbunny

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Its been a week, that's fo sure!!! Managed to squeeze in a visit to my hair dresser for a trim, which was much needed. Pixie cut = regular trims or it looks...bad!  Sunday last week the Bink and I hosted my bestest pal, Neverness, his parents, Hanzmo, and two visitors from England.  They were divine!!! Nah, really, the personalities all click.  It was good times.  Sitting around our table all, just hit my in my happy place.  It was a nice dinner and easy hike to the South Holston Dam.  I say easy hike, maybe for the Bink and I, but not so much for others...  Most take that in consideration in the future!!!

Speaking of Happy Places... Yesterday was the husbunny Bink and I's wedding anniversary.  We toyed with the idea of going to Oktoberfest in Kingport, but it was all nasty rainy weather here on the hill, so we decided to stay home.  We opted instead to do something we haven't done in awhile, Video game co-op...  Borderlands 2 to be precise.  We got it all set up in two rooms and played for several hours.  Yelling between rooms because the feedback from the Kinect has this really bad echo.  It got a little annoying after awhile.  The stupid compatibility pack on that game is super annoying.  I had like 4 copies of the stupid thing on the hard drive.  Had to delete them all and reinstall, which took its own sweet time downloading.  So, now my Siren is back in action after an extended hiatus.

Happy Place 2...

I've mentioned it before; I have a stamp fetish... Love them... soooo much...  I'm gonna say 'cause its due to my unicorn stamp that my dad bought me when I was little girl.  So, dad,  its all your fault.  haha nah really, love you. I do try to purchase all my supplies either with sale, coupon, or clearance.  Most of my extra stuff I get clearance out, 'cause I have the weird thing that if I'm going to use for art journalling I don't want to pay full price.  'Cause after all the layers I add to my pages you may or not see it.  I had my arm twisted a while back by Angie, one of my scrapbooking girls, to join a couple of mailing lists. One is called Peachy Cheap.  Every day they have scrapbook supplies discounted super cheap.  Sometimes they have what I'm looking for and sometimes they don't.  There's another site called scrapbook daily deals.  Most of the time they have nothing I want and I window shop and move on.  This past month... Ho boy.  They caught me big time.  They had an offer for 7 different packs of October Afternoon journaling cards for less than $9 bucks!  Two packs alone full price are more than that!  I couldn't say no; especially because of Project Life!  A couple of days later they offered October Afternoon's Daily Flash Apple Cider clear cling stamp sets: Game On! and Rake, Pile, Jump.  Good Golly, two sets for less than the price of one... yup they got me again.  And just last week they offered October Afternoon's Apple cider pack with a 6*8 paper pack, stickers, 2 packs die cut shapes, and squirrell washi tape.  It matches the stamps I got, needless to say. I now have a bunch of stuff to pretty up my Project Life! pages.

Happy Place 3...

I've taken a week off from Project Life! after the crazy progress I made end of August and to wait on my photos to come in from Persnickety Prints.  They turned out fabulous and they package them so securely, I love that about them.
Trying out the 2x2 and 4x4 size photo.  I like the 3x3 got those the last order I placed.  I'm seriously considering trying the polaroid print option they have for Project Life!  Really thinking about it.

Happy Place 4...

We made one trip out yesterday for an Anniversary Breakfast and made a couple stops and there at Tuesday Morning, the hit or miss store they had a bunch of Tim Holtz items (yeah, still obsessed), a We R Memory Keepers Binder (for 2014), and a host of other pieces priced between .99 and 7.99.  I made out like a bandit!  I don't need to go on a supply buying trip for another month at least. Did pick up a script alpha stamp set and sleeves at the local target also.

Any way tata for now see you on the flip side...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to Basics...Fitness Style!!!

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quote by: Bonnie Pfiester

  I found this quote sometime the beginning of 2014 and it hit really close to home.  I started out last year with a couple of goals, i.e... running(having never been able to) and pushups(the manly kind).  It was utter shock and awe that I completed two 5k events end of last year when 20 years ago I would've walked the 1 mile run imposed on me in high school.  I reached my goals and kept going, though I neglected to raise those goals or set new ones.  When it got bitter cold at the 5 am hour I switched to Spinning instead of Running and enjoyed it. I was able to push myself with something new, but there was not a finish line ahead of me.  I've been cranking out pushups on my toes for months somedays struggling, shaking, and whimpering grasping for one more. At one point my instructor told me that he was working to make me a push up diva!  How I chuckled and shook my head, nah...  One day I do hope to be that diva.  When I decided to take it back to the basics I knew that I had to lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement.  I dreaded that first morning run.  I just knew it was going to hurt and I would pay in pain later.  The ephipany that came over me sometime during that long 30 minute jog was that I missed running.  Missed it!!! What an absolute foreign concept.  I realized that running longer, faster, and harder would be my constant.  After doning my trainers for the last two months I had my best time ever just last week and the buzz from that run is still in my head.  Though I will have good runs, bad runs, long runs, and short runs I am glad that I'm running and enjoying the journey.  
Exercise of the Week:

  Burpees... I love to hate them. I love them!  I hate them!  What's a burpee you say?  There you have it..... that picture says it all. 

In Tabata (high intensity interval training)
:20 seconds go
:10 second rest
12345678 tabatas
Burpees are done to a song, so lets say if my class were listening to James Ingram's, Mo Be There then every time those words (Mo Be There) are sung we must BURPEE.  Sometimes its one, sometimes more. Sometimes I can't see because of the sweat in my eyes from so many burpees.  But in the spirit of getting back to basics the husbunny, Bink and I have started a 30 day Burpee Challenge.  Come on and join us for this love 'em hate 'em burpee fest.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to Basics... Project Life!

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Back to Basics... Project Life!

I started Project Life! in August of 2013 and it was a struggle to decide if I even wanted to start something even close to resembling Scrapbooking. It must have been inevitable since I hang out with a bunch of cool scrapbooking ladies once a month.  Though I'm not one for the elebrate 12x12 pages for 1 or maybe 2 photos that they and their friends create. When my local craft store started stocking the Becky Higgins Project Life! line I resisted for a long time and at a weak moment gave in and have been collecting ever since.  I made pretty good progress with pictures from August through December 2013.  I found the most frustrating aspect of putting the pages together was the printing and cropping of the photos themselves.  I can't apparently cut a straight line with my paper trimmer.  I think the mold is warped... haha... nah just me...

Unopened Midnight Edition bought on clearance for $10
I haven't done anything with Project Life! all year.  No excuses other than not liking cutting out the photos for the pockets.  To make it even more comical, every time I would find Project Life! things on Clearance anywhere I would buy it.  I've aquired so much I now have an entire drawer of kits and cards still in boxes shrink wrapped.  I finally said enough is enough, it took an email from Shutterfly for 101 free photos for me to say that though... I spent an entire Saturday pouring over months of photos and placed my order and waited oh so patiently for my pictures to arrive. That same day I came across a blog on Pinterest: or Paint Paper Studio.  Olya had issued a #letscatchuponprojectlife challenge via Instagram.  I thought its serendipity.  Of course I'm up for the challenge it fits perfectly into my other challenge of getting back to basics. When my pictures came I was over the moon pissed off!!! They had crammed 101 photos into 1 photo sleeve and 65% of them were crumpled and creased. I decided that I would NOT treat it as a set back and would have to move forward with them anyway; creased or not.  I met up with my scrapping girls at the end of the week and spent the day catching up and organizing and placing my wrinkled photos in their pockets.  101 photos actually covered from January through mid March, I walked away from that crop feeling a little bit more excited and accomplished.  

I had toyed with the idea of buying online from Persnickety Prints, but never took the plunge.  After running through my 101 photos I needed more, so I bit the bullet and ordered from them.  I had already uploaded photos from 2013 and just hit the order button.  I am so glad that I did.  They came boxed, papered, taped and wrapped.  They were perfect and sublimely cut.  I didn't have to crop any of them. It was then that the excitement took hold and on a Sunday afternoon I camped out on the bed and started something else that's been on my to do list, watch ONCE UPON A TIME.  By the time I was through episode 3 I was well on my way to having most of those photos placed in their spots too.  I've now got the majority of pages from last fall done, embellished and journaled. Complete... Also, have caught up on Season One of Once Upon a Time and halfway through Season 2.  Just yesterday morning I received an email saying that Season 3 is available on Netflix... SWEET!!! Soon, I'll be all caught up on both...

this is red saying thanks for stopping by... so long art fans, where ever you are...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to Basics…

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BACK to BASICS... Art Journaling

I've decided that in order to get back into the swing of things I need to get back to the basics. This return to the beginning is something that I'm working on for several things, such as: art, art journaling, Project Life!, fitness, and clean eating. 

After our move some of these things I just did by rote and no enthusiam for.  So, my friends that is what I'm aiming to take back. Excitement of things accomplished, doing things I never once thought I would be able to do, and taking back my childish enthusiam...

“You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.” 
― Federico Fellini

So when working in my art journal I'm going to focus on those techniques that I really enjoy and just come naturally. Image Transfers just make me happy. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't, but either way the finished work always takes me to a happy place. Take a look below at my most recent journal entry.

so long art fans... where ever you are

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Good [Art/Blog] Intentions Gone Wrong

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  good sunday morning!!!  I had such good intentions to get back into the Blog life again and it went horribly wrong... as in none existent.  moving, work stresses, and the need for solitude just took over...
  I'm adjusting my thought processes in regards to my art journaling and creativity to see where it will take me next.  I have been slowly getting back to working in my journals and have made a new one.  I'm thinking that by writing my intentions down that I may inspire me to work on them.  Lets see how it goes... wish me luck!!!


respond to my Penpals
art journal more frequently
Get art messy
practice lettering styles
catch up on 2014 Project life
finish 2013 Project life...(I've actually ordered photos)
photo a day...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mellow Mushroom Copycat Maui Wowie Chicken Pizza Cauliflower Casserole Recipe!

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I found the recipe for Supreme Pizza Cauliflower Casserole on Peace Love and Low several months ago. Needless to say that my husband, The Bink is a Turtle Lovin' Pizza Eaten maniac through and through!  I try to eat very clean even though The Bink is a connoisseur of breads and breadlike products.  I look for recipes that will satisfy both of us. The Supreme Pizza Cauliflower Casserole recipe was an outrageous hit when I put it on the table.  The recipe feeds 6 potentially, but it fed 3 with no left overs the first time I made it.  At only 250 caleries a serving, what an awesome substitution for take out Pizza.  The flavor alone is a convincer.  
 After realizing that it was such a hit, I set out to recreate my Bink's favorite Pizza.  The Maui Wowie Chicken Pizza from Mellow Mushroom!  This Pizza comes on pretzel pizza dough, with jerk chicken, ham/canadian bacon, banana peppers, bacon, pesto...  The flavors explode on your tongue when you take the first bite of this pizza.  So, I knew I had my work cut out on trying to recreate this masterpiece.


Large Head Cauliflower – Trimmed into Small Florets
½ Cup plus 2 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese – Grated, Divided
1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning – Divided
3 Cloves Garlic – Minced
4 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper – To Taste
¾ Cup Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded, Divided
½ Cup Pesto Sauce – Divided
2 oz. Canadian Bacon – Sliced
2 oz. Bacon – Crumbled
1 oz. Banana Pepper Rings
4 oz. Jerk Chicken - cooked and crumbled/shredded * (I used skinless chicken tenders)
3 oz. Pineapple Chunks - Drained

In a medium sized bowl mix Jerk Seasoning (eyeball according to your tastes; 2 teaspoons) with 1 tablespoon Olive Oil.  I let sit in fridge overnight or during the day while at work.  Minimum 1 hour.  Grill or bake according to your prefered method.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°
1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine cauliflower, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbs. Italian seasoning, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss until ingredients are well combined and cauliflower is coated.  Line in a single layer, on a rimmed baking sheet and bake on the top rack for 30 minutes.                       2.  Transfer cauliflower back to mixing bowl.  To the mixing bowl add ¼ cup pesto sauce and ¼ cup mozzarella cheese.  Toss until ingredients are well combined and cauliflower is coated.
Coat your casserole dish with Olive Oil or cooking spray.  Transfer cauliflower mixture to the casserole dish.  Layer on remaining pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese. Take cooled cooked jerk chicken and shred or chop to bite sized pieces. Top with Canadian bacon, Jerk Chicken, banana peppers, bacon and pineapples.  Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning over top.

Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake 30 minutes.

This was an even bigger sensation when I delivered it to the table, it is featured regularly on our menu plan.  The Bink declares that He's never eatting it from the Shroom again.  Doubt I'll hold him to that, but score one for me!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Settling In...

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We're beginning to settle in to our new digs.  The weather has been perfect the last couple of weekends allowing us to get outside and putter around the house.  The flowers here are abundant; some I know, some I don't. I'm on a mission to figure them out.  The Forsythia is amazing. The Bleeding Heart is gorgeous.  There is peppermint in the flower beds and seed trays in the greenhouse. The decks have been cleared of the winter debris.  We spent the majority of this past Saturday taking apart the gas grill that was with the house and cleaning it.  It was a little difficult, since I over did it with the weights on Thursday and I've been walking around feeling like a monkey, because I can't fully extend my arms.  Even though it hurt like crazy I did what ever I needed to to work those arm muscles.  Kinda the hair of the dog recovery, can't just let 'em seize up or muscule recovery takes a whole lot longer.  Working on that grill was a job, but well worth the result.  We acquired another feline.  Well... more like he's adopted us.  His name, we've discovered, is Rebel.  Cute orange tabby, quite the cuddler.  He's here when we are and gone when we're not, but always manages to beat me home.  

Went to see Captain America: Winter Soldier.  GOOD MOVIE!  Spent some quality time with our peeps, which the Bink and I needed.

The art space is just about done and I can't wait to show you.  

I've got a receipe to share with you this week, so be on the look out for that! 

I'm definately going into creative withdrawals and plan on setting aside some quality time in the new art space. I'm so behind on Project Life! and I can't remember the last time I opened my art journal.  

So Stay tuned art fans... wherever you are.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Redbird Musings...on The move...

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Good Morning Ya'll!!!

     Our move is finally over; except for some boxes still lingering!  That's right the future was so bright because The Bink and I exchanged scenery.  We didn't move that far from our old digs, its just a little closer to the gym and work for me and slightly farther for the hubby.  He says he doesn't mind.  Its been a rough month. Neither of us were able to take time off from work to get the move over with quickly, so it seemed to drag on forever!  The irony of the the move that this here Redbird moved to a house on Redbird.

Destiny, fate, coincidence...? maybe... maybe not...

There're still so many things to do and get done, but the furry children have settled in and the stove/oven and I are still getting aquainted.  Most of the books are out of the boxes and the new art room is ready for some creative action!  During the last stages of our move I had my first ETSY sale followed a day later by my second sale!!! Of course it was things that were not created by me... but I have faith that day will come.

I now have a small greenhouse to figure out, which should be an awesome adventure.

I flipped out a little bit when they started the Controlled Burn in the Cherokee National Forest, 'cause I could see the fire from our dining room window and there was nothing, NOTHING! about it on the news or the web until the next morning.  Apparently, they do this every spring to reduce the number of uncontrolled fires for the rest of the year.  Dang! scared the CRAP!!! out of me.

Second Night at the Redbird house we were officially welcomed by one of the "neighborhood" cats.  His name is Rebel. He's orange and white and cleans our windows pawing at them to come in. Not gonna happen little buddy.  Course, the Bink has already adopted him. Push over!!!

It has been overwhelming, exhausting, exciting, and a liberating thing...  enjoy some pics that have been snapped this month and now that we've been reconnected to the grid you and I can get back to our scheduled programming!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Future is Exciting!

Pin It Now! Thise life changes are really happening!  It's super exciting and scary, but the Bink and I are ready for the adventure. So commences Moving Day 1

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Machinarium - 5 Star Review

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  I've turned into a pretty serious coffee drinker.  Used to drink it occassionally, but in recent years more and more.  Of course, my version of coffee was often called "Candy Coffee" due to the insane amounts of cream and sugar I added to it.  Present day finds my coffee black and drinking your coffee black really makes the flavors pop.  I've spent my share of time and cash haunting Starbucks, but now my favorite coffee go to is Dunkin Donuts. I haven't found anything quite like their Hazelnut Coffee anywhere else.  Starbuck's Hazelnut coffee is made by adding Hazelnut syrup, which is packed with sugar. Why oh why?  I'll admit that I really enjoyed and have gotten some kick ass music from their Song of the Week cards they have hanging by the register; now they have App of the Week as well.  

      Haven't really gotten any screen time recently with the xbox 360. The Bink has recently gotten the Commander Shepard bug and has been spending quality time defending the universe against the Reapers. 
   My game time has been solely on my iPhone. Mostly in short bursts, which brings me to this game review of Machinarium.  A friend of mine picked up the App of the Week card from Starbucks for me and Machinarium was it.  I'm very picky when it comes to adding apps to the phone so I check it out in the app store look at reviews and screenshots.  I really enjoyed what art I could make out in the screenshots so I deleted a game that I wasn't playing so it could take its place and I'm really glad I did.

Its a puzzle game rendered in stunning phone graphics and sound. Here are some screenshots to wet your whistle.

The concept is that you piece a robot back together and engage on an epic journey, but there are obstacles and puzzles that you must figure out before continuing your quest.

You can interact with the environment and pick up items, which you can combine with other objects that will aid in solving the puzzle.  It offers a hint and a solution book.  The Solution Book is a mini game itself.  One of the feature that I like is that you can save and it offers 6 slots, which means that The Bink and I could have two games going at once.

I'm giving this game 5 stars for stunning graphics, great music, and interesting puzzle environment.  If you've picked up Starbucks App of the Week card for this game Download it!  It is available in the App Store for $2.99.

That's my down and dirty review of Machinarium hope you enjoyed!

I'm toying with the idea of doing a Walkthrough of this game with pictures, what do you guys think?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Enjoying the Journey of Life!!! or Rollercoaster with no seatbelt...

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The Bink and I have been having one of those weeks where you go from one emotional extreme to the next. He's new to the whole "management" role that has developed with the family owned business that he works for.  Bad days are rare for him and this week was a pretty bad day and mostly because of Bink beating up on himself rather than the work ramifications.  Of course my job there's ALWAYS something going on, its the deep dark dirty side of healthcare that no one thinks about.

We reached a pretty high peak mid week with some crazy life changes going on... Only to have it temporarily put on hold and so even more stress stressing over that... Felt a little like the Wicked Witch screaming, "What a world, what a world."  More on that later when things are more set in stone.  Needless to say that Friday spent with my homies in my kitchen  where I know if I screw up I can still right the wrong so to speak was a big stress reliever; and I made myself an incredible Chocolate Cake, which there's none left.  I did share, especially since I didn't eat it all myself.  Neverness did indulge in some Chocolate Cake breakfast. So, not too shabby... I've got so much chocolate icing left over that I'm going to make cupcakes in order to get rid of it or else I'll gain 500 pounds eating it out of the bowl.
Journey Trio, Recipe for being happy, and
preview of Maui Wowie Pizza Casserole

Of course trying to distract myself I started another project, rag rug!!! The Possibilities!!! the mess... I did start the Maui Wowie Cauliflower Pizza Casserole last night.  Went to grab the trusty phone to take pictures to share with you and guess what...  my phone was sans battery life... dead, caputs, nothing.  The Bink says that's okay, you'll just have to make it again.  So, apparently it was a hit and has been approved for additional dinners.  Yeah, makes him happy and I can continue to eat clean, except for the stress canceling Cholocate Cake...  right...


I have opened an Etsy Store (link located in the side bar), the Gauntleted Creative!!! Named after my most popular and first ever Blog Post!  You can find my Angel of Winter Recovery Painting there along with a few more items.  Go check it out.  Its awesome!!!

alright art fans enough of my rambling woes today catch ya later in the week and 
don't forget to DREAM BIG!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catch the Star Train - Found Poetry 'n Art Journal Page

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Hey Everyone!!!

Here's a quick drive by of a post 'cause I wanted to share a very down and dirty art journal page I did this week.  I'm calling this Catch the Star Train.  Hope you like it!

Catch the Star Train

the door to a reliquary
     defined their lives
I almost feel our strange voices
Sound carries on the hills

     an ancient order of things
Train of scattered stars
     go silent all at once
The night is big and quiet
     except the shooting stars.


lamp black craft paint
Tim Holtz Star Tag stencil
book text
star punchinella
star glitter
titanium white acrylic paint
big brush pen in black
big brush pen in white
Copic Pen .05
iridescent medium
ice blue DecoArt craft paint.

So long art fans, sees you later in the week.  Also, you can follow me on Facebook and Etsy, the links are located in the side bar!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"It's So Fluffy!!!" Sharing the Unicorn Love

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I don't know about you guys, but when Anges screams at the unicorn in Despicable Me I was done... Done... Done... Done... Head over heals in love with Agnes, the movie and of course the Unicorn with its cute little swirly nose.  Love It! When I was a little girl I was totally obsessed with Unicorns, Pegasi, and Pegicorns.  I had them everywhere: on my walls, clothes, and books.  You name it I probablly had a unicorn on it.  I even had still have a Unicorn sticker collection.  

When I was a tween ages and ages ago... I wanted a Purple Unicorn with a golden mane and golden hooves.  I looked everywhere for a purple unicorn... I see them everywhere now, but not then.  My family parted ways when I was very young and there was one special visit with my dad that he bought me a unicorn stamp.  I have treasured this stamp ever since, 'cause it connected me to him and because I had a purple ink pad, so I was making purple unicorns by the millions... I maybe exagerating, but not by much...  I believe that this stamp was the first of my obsession with stamps even now.

Even still my favorite Christmas present this year was a pair of knee high purple unicorn socks!  Some things never change, right!?!!

Have you ever wanted something so bad that once you got it you didn't quite know what to do with it?

Its a weird place to be in... 

I grew up an only child... 

I wanted a sister so bad... to do things with, share things, to be connected you know?  What I didn't know then, but I do know now is that I do have a sister and loads of brothers too that grew up many many miles away; separated by states and unresolved familial issues.  

I have a Sister and that is so exciting, but we're both adults now and its weird trying to find that common ground.  I have found that we share a love for Unicorns and maybe even purple ones.  I believe that is an awesome beginning to our future as sisters.  

This is for you, sis...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Vintage - An Art Journal Page - Traveling Journal

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When I get old I will NOT be Old.  I will be VINTAGE!
Vintage: quality, prime, select, choice, best, and superior.
This particular page was started in the fall of 2012 when I first ventured to Whispering Winds Scrapbook Retreat with my scrapping friends.  Just a quick word about Whispering Winds... Its awesome!!! The house is amazing. My friends and I had such a fabulous time that we went back spring 2013.  I'm hoping that we can plan another sojourn sometime this fall.  I'm thinking I may just need to do a blog post on just Whispering Winds to give you the full effect.

This journal is a mixed media strathmore visual journal 5.5 x 8, 90lb. I like the heavy paper as it stand up to whatever wet media I throw at it.   This spread was EX-tremely purple and unfinished at the end of our stay at Whispering Winds. This journal has been picked up and moved so many times in the studio that 99% of the pages are screaming white.  One of my goals for 2014 is to finish projects and as I always seem to be scrambling to get my supplies packed for a day out with my girls I have made this small journal my traveling one.  It stays in my art bags during the week until I head out again.  I added a couple of new spreads to it, which I showed in my post Journaling Withdrawals.  Every time I open the journal I come to that PURPLE first page so at my last day out with my chicks I decided to finish and fix it.  Here is the final result...

Supplies List

Matte Medium
The lady, labels, and domino came from a ephemera sheet that I found on Pinterest.
Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen big brush in May Green
Scrap paper
Liquid Paper correction pen
Prima Washi tape stamps
Copic Marker in 4 Neutral Grey
7 Gypsies Vintage Stamp
ChicTags Journal Tags in Birthday Cake Artisans
Faber-Castell Pitt art pen Fine

there you have it art fans whereever you are... and if you're out there looking for more pics check out my Traveling Art Journal Album on Facebook and give me a thumbs up for updates!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

When a Pear Dreams - Art Journal Page

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I've been wanting Tim Holtz's Stamper's Anonymous Classics #1 stamp set ever since my Pen Pal sent me the dragonfly on a collaborative journal page end of 2012.  It's now mine! mawaawahahahaha... Everyone that sees the set goes gaga over the pear stamp and I gotta tell ya I'm not a fan of Pears in general; something about the funky texture when you eat them.  Since everyone seems to enjoy that stamp; I decided to break it out and use it on the Super Simple Background from Tuesday's blog post.

Since I don't really have much to say about pears; I went surfing the interwebs to find something and found this poem...

While I slept you stood in the 
colorful night market
with pyramids of bright
fruit piled high.

Where those who loved you, 
rushing back to their intimate stalls, 
held but pears that had been
dreamed for you

And would the dream 
pear not come gladly
Once it know this was you
wanting to take it in?

The dream pear chose 
reality, wanting your mouth as I did - 

Honestly, it was happy
to be bitten.

by Brenda Hillman

there you have art fans where ever you may be... until next time...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Super Simple Art Journal Background

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Here's a super simple way to get a background started for an Art Journal page.  You can get some amazing results this way.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Recovery 16 X 20 Canvas - FOR SALE!!!

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Recovery!  My most recent canvas it is for SALE!!!  comment, email, or message me via my facebook page for more info.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Day in My Weekend Life!

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Its funny when I look back say two years, 5, or even 8 years ago I would definately stick to my guns and declare myself a non morning person.  I was absolutly 100% not a morning person.  Now... I'm up shortly after my Up Band vibrates with my 4 in the morning alarm.  I know its OMG o'clock; can't live without the Y in the mornings!  Saturday found me wide awake right before 5am and listening to the furry minions yammer and make nuisances of themselves so I got up.  My most productive time starts about an hour after I get up, that hour I'm normally hitting the gym.  Just because I'm awake doesn't mean that the Bink is awake, so I have to find things to do that won't disturb his beauty sleep. 

 I found the cutest thing tho when I walked into the studio.  My Bink had made me a piece of Sweethearts Valentine Candy!!!  So adorable.  

I sipped my coffee, cleaned the studio, straightened the living room, pinterested, youtubed, doodled and sketched a little. By 8 I was HUNGRY and figured the smell of bacon would roust my sleeping husband. I mostly eat very clean: protein & fruits/veggies without refined sugars, beans, and gluten.  It makes for some compromises in the kitchen as The Bink doesn't follow my clean eatting regime.  It was the cats waking him up that finally got him out of bed, not the smell of bacon.... bacon...

He hasn't found a bread he doesn't like and there are several fruits he refuses to eat. I had purchased a bag of over ripe banana's last week.  It was so full that we couldn't eat them fast enough so by the end of the week I was thinking BANANA BREAD! I spent a good hour scouring the interwebs for a grain free recipe, which I've found several.  Unfortunately, my supply of almond flour was barely a tablespoon, when I needed 2 cups.  So, now its on, baby!!! I will so make gluten free Banana Bread! To satisfy my Bink I proceeded to make it the old fashioned way, 'cause I know it will be eatten for the most part by Bink.  Several years ago, I made a couple of loaves of Banana Bread and an hour later there was not sign... nor a crumb left...  I had planned on freezing a loaf... Needless to say I found the mini loaf pan pictured below and it turned out to be the perfect solution other than Bink walking away with two mini loaves, one in each hand.  Any time I plan on making Banana Bread; the mini loaf pan comes out.

Bink says, "...don't know what happened to that one, it was a total loss!"

When I got the last of the bread in the oven,  I prepped dinner, Beef Strogonoff Soup.  Had leftovers for lunch and spent the rest of the day in the studio working on a canvas( which I can't wait to share with you guys!!!) and doing laundry...

There you have it a day in the life...

Stay tune art fans where ever you are!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Delicious Spirit! - where cooking and stamp carving collide...

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Even though I fix dinner most every night for Mr. Bink and I. I've fallen off the weekly meal prep/make ahead that I would do on the Weekends.  You know, prep veggies, pre-cook meat, bag or box up meal ingredients so that meal prep during the week is practically eliminated.  Since  I was awake at 4am Saturday morning I pulled out my handy meal planner and set to work.  I find it a little funny that in Project Life my week is Monday thru Sunday, but for meal planning I go Saturday thru Friday.  Now that I'm thinking about it... It's probably due to how I buy groceries and knowing that I will potentially have 1 to 2 guests for Sunday dinner.  Just a side note... And Then...  I go find what I have on hand so that I don't over purchase.  My Planner goes on the Fridge for me to reference during the week and then unload the sacks after I return from the store. 
     I found a whole chicken for like $5 in the quick sale bin.  So that's the first thing I break out and rinse... and maybe it did a little dance on its way to the pot with the onions, celery, garlic... for stock and easy shredded chicken, which will make my Chicken Divan super easy. Stock takes a while on low temp; so I moved on to Saturday's dinner,  Kickin' Crockpot Chili... nomnomnom... I've made this several times and it is so good.  I have a tendency to change receipes to suit Mr. Bink and I and this receipe the only change I've ever made was to add mushrooms.  This chili is so awesome: low carb and gluten free. Follow the link, its worth it.  
     So, while the house was filling up with delious aromas I headed to the studio to piddle around a bit. I get so focused on whatever I'm doing that I tune out the rest of the house most of the time and since I needed to be aware of the awesomness going on in the kitchen I needed something I could walk away from frequently.  I've had this stamp idea for a while now after seeing Frozen wilth Mr. Bink. So I broke out the carving block, carving tools, scratch paper, tracing paper and a pencil.  I so wish I had a video camera so that I could really show you this process. Right... if wishes were kittens I'd have a house full...right... Step 1.   I drew the designs I was thinking about until I was happy with them  Step 2. used the tracing paper to trace them. Step 3. I flipped the tracing paper over and laid it on top of my speedy carve block.  Then traced again... see picture 2... Step 4. started carving away the areas that I didn't want. When I thought it was how I wanted it I would stamp it off... see pictures 4 & 5. The raised areas I didn't want I carved away and I would repeat step 4 until I was satisfied.  It is not as hard as you might think, if you love stamps as much as I do give it and yourself a shot at it.                            I watched a Kiala Givehand video (you can find her on YouTube) earlier in the week where she makes books and she showed a hand carved stamp of her own of one little word and carving these out brought it back to me and I thought,"I should do that for my one little word."  The more I carved these little guys the more my one little word eluded me.  It just so happened that I sat back in my chair and looked at my inspiration board that hangs above my art table and there was my one little word only it was two little words!  I had written it down ages ago, don't remember where it came from, but I want to say that its from song lyrics; not sure...  Delicious Spirit... Yup, that was it.  Delicious Spirit.  I wrote it out several times and when I liked a version I did the same thing as I did with the other stamps, but with handwriting the carving can get a little persnickety and fussy.  But I love it...   Also, the meal planner I use I believe I found on Pinterest, It is not of my own creation or design.  I'm not sure who the author is, would love to give credit where credit is due.   Decided that if I found it once I could find it again.  So without further ado, Life in Yellow has the free download for the meal planner template I use. 

thanks art fans wherever you are and don't forget to check out my Facebook Page: Redbird Muse or follow me on Pinterest: Redbird Muse

Sunday, February 9, 2014

New Old Obsession! Coloring Books/Posters

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I have always loved to color, both inside and outside the lines.  With the uber cold weather and snow this month has brought us here in Upper East Tennessee it's brought back memories of snowdays and long hours spent with a box of Crayolas by my elbow and that particular scent of crayons tickling my nose.

Super Tubes from 1990's 
My senior year in high school we had a blizzard that resulted in a week long hiatus from school where I filled the hours coloring on a Giant Coloring Poster (22 x 34) that came in a Super Tube by Creative Coloring. The tubes were color coded based on difficulty: Red - Ultimate Challenge, Yellow - Skilled, and intermediate and novice, but I don't remember the color of their tubes. The Super Tubes had a variety of designs and patterns you could choose from and they came with a pack of 10 markers. The markers were not very good, because you'd get a corner of the poster done and you were suddenly out of ink and you couldn't match the color with any other marker brand.  The only long lasting rich color marker is the crayola.  I finished my first super tube poster with crayola markers.  I went looking for it, but its buried with my husband's poster collection and I would need his help to pull it out.  I think the picture to the right gives you a good idea of the size, scope, and detail these things had.  My first super tube was of a giant celtic knot.  So gorgeous.  My second is the Fantasy Kingdom, pictured here. Unfortunately, it met with a tragic end when I spilled my soda over the bottom portion. The other poster, Scope, was doused with water. These posters have been in their tubes for years, forgotten.  I pulled them out this past fall to show Neverness's girlfriend, Ms.K . She likes to color too.  She has several of the Dover coloring books that she colors with Gel Pens while we are gaming or what have you.  They really intrigued me, but as my me-time calendar was so full last fall that I didn't persue the thought. I was telling her that after several years these coloring posters just disappeared and you couldn't find them any more.
Rose Art Super Tube
 Window Ultimate Challenge

She found them at Ben Franklin Crafts. The Super Tubes were produced by Rose Art and I got one for my Birthday!  This is almost the exact duplicate of my first poster.  The catch to working on something this size is to have a space to spread it out to work on.  Right now I don't have a place big enough. I'm tempted to get a big board and get down in the floor with it, but then I would have to contend with furry four footed helpers.

For Christmas I got Ms. K a new coloring book that the more I look at it the more I like it, but haven't been able to find it at the local book stores or Micheals.  The Bink and I went to see Disney's Frozen and as I have a Disney coloring book collection to go along with my Crayola collection I went into a little bit of a mad dash trying to find a Frozen Coloring book.  I'm sad to say that every Frozen, water color, coloring book is a disappointment.  The detail in every one is so small that even the finest tip would result in disaster.  I gave up the chase on that.

We eventually found ourselves with a hour to kill while waiting for a table at Chili's with Neverness, Ms. K, the Blonde Wolf,  and Da Masta Cheef. After storming Barnes and Noble for suitable coloring endeavors. I called it quits as I had plenty to keep me occupied in the studio, when Ms. K presented me with a copy of Coloring Book for Grown-Ups.

I pulled out my trusty crayola markers that I've had for so long that 2 out of the 50 are dead.  Since I'm actually watching TV this year due to some fantastic shows like:  Almost Human, Blacklist, FaceOff, and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. I pull out my book and markers while watching my shows.  This allows me to be creative and meditative without dragging the studio into the living room.
Coloring Book for Grown-Ups
Pages 1-5

Friday, February 7, 2014

Like Redbird Muse on Facebook!

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Hey art fans where ever you are; check out Redbird Muse out on Facebook!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fixing a Newbie Mistake - Starstuff

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Have you ever had that moment where you've been working on a project or art journal page where you had to walk away, but when you come back you realize you forgot to do something and you ended up with a "oh crap" moment thinking what am I going to do now?

I sure did that with this journal page. I had cut my papers and glued them down and went to make dinner, closing my moleskin journal and putting it away.  When I came back to work on it I had the worst time opening my journal with a sinking feeling in my gut. After prying it apart and cleaning up the mess I had large portions missing from my design.

the solution to this issue was to have placed waxed paper or tissue between the pages.

I knew to do this but forgot. Didn't even think about it.

Lesson Learned. maybe...

After some gesso and some liberal use of gelatos the distressed areas look like I made them on purpose.
Maybe I meant for that to happen...
My inspiration for this particular spread came from Vicky Papaioannou over at Clips-n-cuts.  When I saw how she had cut her scraps into the base design I knew I had to try it out for myself.
the quote is from Carl Sagan, "We are made of Star Stuff."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What's in the back of your Closet?!!! Yarn, Yarn, and more Yarn.

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I figured out around Christmas Eve/Christmas Day that my 2 rubbermaid totes containing my yarn stash were hiding in the back of my bedroom closet.  'Course I couldn't just shove them aside to forget again.  I had to take every last skein and ball and remnent out and sort the darn things.  Found an afghan that's about 90 % finished that I had started out of my scraps.  I couldn't figure out as I stared at the darn thing what crochet hook size I had used, so I set it aside.  So, there I was looking at this pile of yarn surrounding me in the living room floor thinking to myself, "You haven't made an Afghan in like forever!  You're not doing anything right now other than watching tv."  Then I thought Christmas is over there's no one to make one for, when I realized I have 2 friends with birthdays on the same day, Dec.30th.  I knew that my new buddy, Kristy would appreciate a handmade afghan so I started putting colors together and balling up half started projects: chocolate brown and a purple, blue and green variagated, and the granny square commenced... I love to make big granny square afghans because they can be made quickly and are not complicated... you just have to remember what size hook you're using or you end up with something ruffly, which could be cute if that's what you're going for.  I ended up needing additional skiens and I knew that I wouldn't be able to find these two specific colors so I went looking for a good solid color that would blend nicely with the purples of the variagated yarn.  The varigation has a slight blue color as its changes from purple to green and I discovered Caron's Simply soft in Ocean.  Its a dark green blue teal color that doesn't come across in the photos, I so wish it did, because it is gorgeous when crocheted.  It turned out to be perfect with the other colors!  I also wanted to do a fringe, 'cause I love fringe on blankets, but Kristy has a small boy and I didn't want him to get caught up in it so I found a pattern for crocheted bobble trim, which I think is super fun.

Here's a good site for basic granny square instructions: 

Instructions for the bobble edge trim:

yummy color!

Close up of my bobble stitch edge trim

Here is the finish afghan.  I'm happy to say that she loved it. Especially the Caron Ocean it's her favorite color.  It was even kitty tested and approved for napping.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Journaling withdrawals

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I hadn't realized until I was sitting in at the table across from my scrapbook friend, Debbie that since about October my "me" time at the art table with my art journal open in front of me has been zilch, nada, nothing!  No wonder I've been a little grumpy. Well, work may have something to do with the stress and not just withdrawals from not having paint permenantly affixed to my fingertips.  I was looking forward to a day with the girls catching up from our Holiday hiatus, but due to the frigid weather the rest of my chicks decided to stay home.  So, it ended up being just Debbie and myself!  Tables all to ourselves! woo hoo. I wanted to work on Project Life but didn't have any pictures printed or prepped, so I packed up the art supplies sparingly.  I've gotten quite a few new art supplies in my travels in the past few months, but haven't used them so I packed those so to challenge myself in using them.

One of my favorite techniques is to layout Distress Inks on my craft matt and add a little water to use them like water colors; which is what I did here. I then started stamping a few of my favorites.  The Star is a die cut from Tim Holtz that I had tested with white card stock and used Distress Inks to colorize it.

The Jar is from Little Yellow Bicycle and the fairy is from Hot of the Press, Inc.  The little stars are from the Martha Stewart all over the page star punch.  I'm in love with the Prima Washi Tap stamps, with a little shading and some white ink they really pop.

I added a little bit of doodling here along with a quote from Shakespeare, " Though she be but little, she is fierce."

On this side I started with the doodling along the wire and then added the flower, which is from the Indie Bloom Collection by BasicGrey.  I colorized it with my copic markers. I had my circle template with me so I drew a circle around the flower in pencil and used it as a guide for my text.  It reads, "Bold Bloom * Flower of Beauty True."  I later added the bee and I colored it with copics as well.

It was a well spent Saturday playing and catching up with my friend.

How do you get back in the art/craft groove?