Thursday, August 25, 2011

An Inspiring Blog!

This morning I decided that I had to get started on a new project,
so I Googled "Christmas Blogs".
I like to make things and have them tucked away in my cupboard for

I fell in love with this blog, Deck the Halls.
I spent hours reading one post after another.
I am totally inspired to order something from her store, or create
 something of my own design.

 So clean looking and pretty!

Love the apple!
She has a variety of different apples on her blog
and in her shop.

I liked the pillows. She had others, but they
didn't transfer to my blog very clearly.
You'll have to look for yourself!

Now, why didn't I think of this!!
So darn cute!!
Wouldn't they sell fast at a Fall Bazaar!

I'm going back to read some more posts...

Make this a great day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Surprise!

Special flowers from a special man.

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"I'm Baaaaaaaack!" Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

It feels good to be back after my long detour via Facebook.
Facebook is fun, but brief and quick.
I did make some good connections with old friends
and we shared a lot of fun lunches together.

But, I missed my blog and my blog friends.
How are all of you?
Time for me to visit your blogs and catch up!

Below are a few mixed media canvases, that I made since my last post.
You can double click for detail!
"Happy House"

"Favorite Shoes"

A picture I made for a new friend who is a bird watcher.

Fun, fun, fun!
(The process that is).

Since my last post, Wendy and her husband Darin, bought a
BIG new home in Phoenix.
My SIL, Mary, and I are going to visit them in October. 
And then I'll return for our annual Thanksgiving Fiesta.

Wendy is going to Thailand for a trade show right before
Thanksgiving, and squeezing in a wedding in The Keys.

Kristin is loving her move to Denver, and she is headed to Cabo
in Mexico before Thanksgiving.
As you know, my girls never waste a moment of travel time.

Next year will be Wendy and Darin's 40th birthday, and they've
already reserved a villa in the South of France.
There will be lots of friends going along to help them celebrate.

Make this a great day!!

I'm off to read your blogs!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend... 2011

So much going on this weekend.

The above layout is several years old but so perfect
to represent Saturday's annual Kentucky Derby which I love to watch.
Wendy, in her fabulous pink hat, was at a Kentucky Derby party
no doubt sipping mint juleps.
Actually, I think it was a wedding shower.

Kristin came home for Mother's Day and
we seemed to go from one place to another all weekend.
All fun!
She has a business meeting in Green Bay with a client
this morning and then is going to have to RACE to catch a 
flight back to Denver. 
If she doesn't make it... I'll see her tonight!

I am anxious to get the house picked up,
get Otter and I back to our routine, 
and then I can start a new painting.

Make this a good day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

MAY DAY 2011

My sweet friend Lyn (Lynette) surprised me with
this pretty May Basket hanging on the gate.
On the little pink card she had these lovely words
by Wordsworth:

"And then my heart
with pleasure fills,
and dances with
              the daffodils."              

This is the adorable May Basket that Lynn
created last year.
And dear Otter peeking through the gate
to see if it's something he can eat.

Soooooooo pretty!
Soooooooo thoughtful!

Make this a great day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I have been working on this canvas for my favorite little girl. She is 8 years old and is very, very creative! I thought maybe I could motivate her to come over and paint a canvas with me. We'll see!!

Happy Easter to all of you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mixed Media Painting... "The Nest"

This mixed media painting is quite small... only 6" x 6".
I really like working small... always have.
The outside of the canvas is wrapped with
yellow polka dot ribbon.

This is going to be an Easter gift for my Pastors.
It's hard to paint something without
someone special in mind.

I promise to do a "Giveaway" one of these days.

PS We're sitting here in the middle of a very messy
snowstorm that took place yesterday.
It's still snowing... but lightly!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fantastic Fabric!

 You all know a lot more about fabric, fabric designers, and fabric shops than I do. But, I do know what I like and I love, love love this fantastic fabric by Laurie Wisbrun. Colorful and whimsical... my kind of look!
Look at those darling itty bitty chairs... and sofas. Yes, I'm in love!!

This is her just-released collection, "Pooches and Pickups"
for Robert Kaufman.
Soooooooo cool!!

You can visit her blog at
Her shop is called The Scarlet Fig and you can get there through
her blog.
Her Etsy shop is www.etsy.comshop/scarletfig.

I wanted some red & white 'itty bitty chair' fabric and  found it at

Hmmmmmmm... now what can I make??


Friday, April 8, 2011

A Rather Large Cupcake!

I JUST finished my 'cupcake' mixed-media canvas.
I have a wall in my red & white kitchen that needed a picture 
so I created this one.
I hung it on the wall to take a photo and it looks
just right for the spot.
Double click on it if you want to see the details in the background.
I have had so much fun with all the techniques I learned in
Christy Tomlinson's class. 
And now I've made them my own.

Off to work on my bird nest canvases.

Make this a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring/Easter Favorites

Aaaaaah Spring! Finally showing your sweet head in cold Wisconsin.
I couldn't wait to start adding touches of Spring inside my house.
The tree above is simple, sweet, and feminine.
It is sitting on a pretty table runner that my friend Nicolette
surprised me with last year. She does such lovely stitching
and quilting. It was such fun bringing it out again for Spring 2011.

This is a new cubby organizer that I just got from Pottery Barn.
I just opened the box yesterday and I need to let it just "sit"
for awhile while I decide where it's going to go
and what will go in it. So, meanwhile, it's sitting at the end of
the hall holding a few Easter treasures and frames.

I picked this up a few years ago because I love

A tradition!
My annual "Spring Tree" full-to-the-brim with lots of ornaments.
Some of them go back to 1970. I bought them for Kristin's 1st Easter Tree
when we lived in Germany. I've added several each year since then.
There are small optic lights in this tree of branches. It looks so pretty at night.

This is one of my favorite bunnies. She just makes me smile!!

Now, back to 3 wet canvases. The huge cupcake is amongst them.
The other 2 have bird nests on them.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I had an idea...

I was working on my big cupcake canvas and I had the urge to try some embroidery. So, I put the canvas aside and grabbed my embroidery supplies. I curled up in my favorite chair in the den and did a few sketches. Cut a pattern and traced it on some linen. Threaded a needle and dove right in. I outlined everything and then filled it in with watercolor pens. Added some french knot "sprinkles" and put a 5x7 frame over it to see how it looked. 
I like it!!
Actually, it's still on the embroidery hoop as I have a bit more work to do on it.
But, before the day is done, this cupcake will be hanging in my red-and-white kitchen and I can go back to my canvas.

I love quick projects (that turn out OK) !!


Saturday, March 26, 2011


Spring... where are you?
We got a taste of warm weather
and then it was snatched away.
We had several days of ice, snow, and slush!
It will come.

Otter loves the snow!

He loves to run in it no matter how deep it is.
He just sinks in
and plays some more.
He has a bad knee on his left back leg
and I bet the snow feels good on the
inflammation... which he takes pills to help.


I'm working on a new canvas.
It's a BIG cupcake for the kitchen.
Wendy always says, "A cupcake is the
perfect dessert."
At her wedding she had
hot pink & lime green cupcakes
made by this award-winning baker in the area.
They were yummy!

I should finish my "Cupcake" this week
and will share it as soon as it's completed.

Make this a great week!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tea for Two...

Just finished this mixed media canvas.
I made it for a friend who always has time for
"Tea and Sympathy".

A side view to show you the music notes
around the sides of the 8x8 canvas.

I learned so many great techniques from
the "She Art" class created and taught
by Christy Tomlinson.

I'm overflowing with ideas for my next
canvases. Hmmmm... who will I make my
next painting for?

Yesterday was Kristin's birthday. Happy birthday again, Kog!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Monday began as usual... a cuppa Chai Tea at the computer while I watched the videos for my "She Art" workshop in my jammies. By the way... loving that workshop and would recommend it to everyone.

My daughter Kristin called. She lives in Denver (Cherry Creek) and said she was in the Chicago airport and on her way to Boston. I continued to watch the videos from my class while we talked and she said, "What are you doing today, Mom?" Her voice sounded like there was an echo. For some reason I turned around and she was standing right behind my computer chair... grinning her beautiful smile!!
It was the best surprise ever!!
Kristin was so excited that she had "pulled it off" as so many people knew she was going to try and surprise me. And she did!!

We spent the day and night together and then she had a meeting in Green Bay and then back to the airport to head home to Denver.

What a WONDERFUL 24 hours!!

Thank you sooooo much Kristin!!
Love you mucho,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"She Art Workshop"... week #1

From this mess...
And this mess...
I produced this canvas.
There were so many techniques and materials that were
new to me, so this is all an exploration of them.
I like things neat and tidy and this
Mixed Media art form goes against what my brain
is telling me what to do.
But I refuse to give up!! 

BUT... it was fun!!

I look forward to week #2 which begins tomorrow.
Christy Tomlinson is a fantastic instructor.
I have indeed learned a lot!

I promise some giveaways in the near future.

Make this a great day!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


This is the side of Jerry's 2-story house...
And those HUGE icicles hang over the driveway
where his car and my car were parked.
I could just picture that looooong one
falling and being a murder weapon.

"Do something!! That is so dangerous!!"

And he did...
He threw a broom like a javelin
and clipped the icicle (well most of it)
right off !
Applause Jerry!!
Maybe this will be a new Winter Olympic
Of course the broom bounced off both of our cars...
but no damage!

Life is never dull!
XOXO ~joni

Friday, February 25, 2011


I found this old photo of the girls
and Wendy's best friend Libby,
in the basement. I was so delighted!

It was somewhat damaged, but
it was fixable with Photoshop Elements.

I haven't made a layout in months,
but had fun getting my fingers into it again.

I'm reorganizing the basement,
and looking for all of my art supplies 
that I might be able to use in my class
("She Art" mixed media painting)
that begins Monday.
I'll take lots of photos of my creations
as they evolve.

You can still register for the class/workshop.
See: Information on a previous post.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Soooooo LOVELY!

A package arrived and look at the sweet, sweet
frames from Wendy.
They are so BEAUTIFUL!!
I love, love, love them all!
The 2 bottom hearts open like lockets.

Thank you dear Wendy!
Such sweet daughters!!

Love you...

PS We have so much new snow that schools were closed again!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Taking Part In The Simple Woman's Daybook
Here's how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideas I have listed below into your blog entry. Be as descriptive as you can! (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman's Daybook.) Please add your "picture thought" photo at the end of your daybook entry because we all love pictures!


Here is a link back to the main page of the blog.
                                                                 FOR TODAY

Outside my window... the sun is shining for which I am so grateful, but there is a very strong wind blowing. The remaining snow is dirty looking. 

I am thinking... about what I should do this afternoon. I'm looking for a certain brand of black pen for my "She Art Class" which begins next Monday. I will probably need to prowl a lot of stores to find it. And if I do... I'm going to buy a dozen!

I am thankful for... the meds that are clearing up my sinus infection. I feel much more energetic today!!

From the kitchen... nothing cooking! But the dishwasher has been emptied and filled again. All is in order.

I am wearing... OMG... you'd laugh! A blue Cotton knit nightie with big green frogs all over it and a soft pink terry robe. Bare feet.

I am creating... a better workspace in my workroom. Shoving things around.

I am going... to go out for dinner with my friend Jerry tonight. Our restaurants and bars cater to 'Friday Night Fish Frys' in Wisconsin. Very yummy! 

I am reading... "I'd Tell You I love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You" It a YA (Young Adult Book). I like to pick those up now and then. This is a story about a private girls school that is really for spies. Cute, but not spectacular! I love Anthony Horowitz's spy series... YA. Need to be read in order.

I am hoping... that the predicted snow is light and disappears fast.

I am hearing... wind outside and the kitchen TV rumbling away.

Around the house... Otter is on a diet and it just kills me to see his sad, droopy, hound dog eyes looking at me for treats and human food.

One of my favorite things... Vanilla Chai Tea (No sugar added). I buy it by the case online from Serious Chai.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Organize, organize, organize! And take Otter to the Vet.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...
Tulips from Kristin for Valentine's Day.
They are in such a sweet arrangement.
Thanks Honey!!

Make is a great weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Yes... it only took me until mid-February. I usually
finish up the first week in January but I was a
pokey turtle this year.
I usually need some kind of motivation to tie it
all together.
This year's motivation was the upcoming
"SHE Art Workshop"
which begins February 28th.
I am so excited and have begun to gather supplies.

And here it is!
Ready to take it's place on the shelf above my desk
with the other December albums.

I always feel the need to add an embellishment
to the binder rings.
I decided to use some of my Sculpy/Fimo beads
that I made a few years ago.

They were just the small added touch that I felt
the album needed.
I am satisfied!

Make this a great weekend!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Class by Christy Tomlinson

                                                              Registration is now Open!

The She Art Workshop is a 3 week e-course the begins February 28th! In this workshop, you will learn how to create unique and detailed girls, as seen in my art projects! I will also share with you how I create my backgrounds, textures, and layering styles on canvases and other surfaces! You will walk away from this class feeling confident in creating your own personalized" She Art" projects as well as having learned new art techniques you can use in other mixed media projects! The She Art Workshop begins February 28th. Registration starts today and ends February 27th!

The She Art Workshop is presented in three parts.

Week one: Get Down to Basics! I will show you all the in's and outs of how I create my backgrounds including unique and thrifty item you can use use AND tricks and tips of using household objects for texture! I will also show you how to create simple dresses, faces and hair using paper, as well as tips for giving your girls a more "painted" look. We will finish it off with learning how to doodle to finish off your project.

Week two: All about the Layers! This week, we will get a little more creative and I will show you how to create layered clothing, how to personalize hair, and layering techniques for backgrounds. We will also add other items to our canvases (like birds, trees, houses, etc), to make a more complete look. Plus some creative writing tips for creating your own she words and phrases to fit the person you are painting it for.

Week Three: Making it yours! In this week I will show you how to create a girl based on a photo of YOU. You will use your picture (I will show you one of mine) as inspiration to sketch and design a girl that represents who YOU are. When you are done, you will have a portrait that simpy portrays how wonderful you are. I will also show you She Art projects that I did using other surfaces like tags, wood, bags, books, and more!

This class will have OODLES of never before seen "She Art" inspiration, just for you! It will also include downloads Pdf's of "She Art" words and phrases you can use on your art as well as templates for clothing, faces, and legs. Plus some fun clipart you can use on your She Art Projects as well!

All instruction will be in Video format, so you can stop and rewind as needed.

The She Art Workshop will begin on February 28th and will be open for an additional 3 week after the class ends (so 6 weeks total availability). You will also have access to a flicker group to share your art with others in the class! I will be available for help at anytime during the class via email and will be in and out of the class forum, checking for questions or help.

The class is $35. for the 3 weeks. To register, go to the bottom of this page 

If this sparks the EXCITEMENT in you as it did in me... join me!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine's Day Project

I saw this adoRablE paper heart wreath at It is way too cute not to pass your way. You'll enjoy the blog too... very inspiring! There is a photo tutorial showing you just how to make the wreath. I have so many unused sheets of 2-sided scrapbook paper that will work perfectly. Can't wait to make one for my house and a few friends. A perfect project for Super Bowl watching!

Make this a great weekend!


Monday, January 31, 2011

Saturday Storytime

We have a wonderful bookstore in our little town...
Apple Blossom Books!
Lots of books for kids and a good selection for adults.
And on Saturday mornings they have...

The back of the shop has been turned into an enchanting
world for children...
cozy, colorful, creative, and inviting!

One of the cute young gals who works
at the shop is the Story Lady.
This week she read several books about
love & valentines.

My friend Jerry's granddaughter
chose to browse the books
rather than listen to Story time.

I love the way the littlest children
put their legs straight out in front of them
as they listen to the stories.
Such a cute age!

This little girl listened to the stories while she
played with a soft-sculpture tree house on the
colorful carpet.

The Story Lady presented an art
activity that was coordinated with
the books she read to the kids.
She had pre-cut heart frames with
white tissue centers.
The children used glue sticks to
attach pieces of colored paper.

Grandpa Jerry watched all the activity.

This little boy came in his footy pajamas.
He found a place of his very own
to create his heart.

Jerry's grandson worked so intensely and carefully
creating his heart.

When he was through, he held it up for me to see.
Isn't it lovely!

We said Goodbye to the bookstore
and went next door to the Carmel Crisp Cafe.

Jerry's granddaughter was so engrossed
in her new chapter book that
she was in a world of her own as
she ate her ice cream.

A fun morning was had by all!!
Make this a great day!
Read a book!