Friday, June 24, 2011

Journal Artista Stencil Saturday Challenge

Last year, I came across the Stampington and Company Art Journaling magazine.  I loved all the ideas in it, but wanted to know more.  I decided to search art journaling on You Tube.  Who knew there was so much out there?  The first search resulted several amazing You Tube videos taught by Journal Artista, Paula Phillips, on the topic of art journaling.   I watched them over and over again, scouring to learn about tools of the trade, tips, and techniques.  Wow!  I am forever grateful for her willingness to share her knowledge.  This is exactly what I needed.  I used to love scrapbooking, but bored with it easily.  I hated my pages as I was such a perfectionist.  I needed more paint, inks, crayons, etc.  Art journaling has become an important part of my life.  A form of self expression.  I follow Paula's blog at  She is a gifted communicator, and always willing to answer any question that you have.

Twice a week,  she works her magic creating the most amazing backgrounds live via Ustream.  It's fun to chat with people who have the same interest.  Everyone has been kind to share tips, products, and a word of encouragement.   I look forward to getting to know them a little better.   Every Saturday, she focuses her attention using stencils to create her page.  In her blog challenge she wanted us to use stencils of our choice to create a page and link it to her blog.  She is giving away Crafter's Workshop stencils to the name drawn.  I hope I win! 

For my first page I chose to make my own stencil from a free daisy clip art picture.  I cut it out on a transparency using an exacto knife.  Last weekend Paula used a gingko leaf stencil on her page using light modeling paste to create a raised effect.  It was really cool!  I had purchased some Golden Modeling Paste at Michael's the night before with my trusty coupon. (Got to love coupons!)  I decided to give it a whirl.  I did this spread in my ledger journal.

 I first stamped a daisy all over the background with my Black Staz On ink pad.  I covered it with green acrylic craft paint in several colors.  Added some gesso.  I then used the stencil and painted on yellow daisies.  Covered it with more craft paint. I don't remember how many layers in all.   I added the photo of Maisie when she was little.  It was one of my favorites her Dad took of her when she was just a tike.  I then took the modeling paste and created the white large daisies.  Paula said not to use a heat gun on modeling paste, so I allowed it to dry overnight.  I then painted the daisies with white acrylic paint.  That night I added various stamped images, rubon's, and some random sequence waste circles.  I then used my permaball pin to doodle around the outside of all the white daisies and around the edges.  I used my Neocolor II's to fill in the outside scalloped doodle.  I also added a little Portfolio watersoluble oil pastels around the page for highlights.  I love the way it turned out.  My sweet Daisy Maisie!

I was feeling inspired so I created a second page inspired by Chris Tomlin's song "Let Faith Arise". 

I used several stencils, diecut scrapbook letters, SEI Tumble Die ink, Adirondack Color Wash ink, Portfolio watersoluble oil pastels, acrylic paint, Permaball Pilot pen, paper gaffers tape, Dr. Martin's Calligraphy Ink, and a hot air balloon stamp from the dollar bin at Michael's. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garage Sale Finds Father's Day weekend

It wasn't the greatest weekend for garage sales (weather wise), but we ventured out anyway.  The junior high youth group at church was have their huge garage sale to raise money for Just Add Hope Africa.  We hit that one first and found a few things.  Beverly from our old Sunday School class had placed this on the sale, and I was happy to find it for $.50.  I will use it with my spray inks for backgrounds.

It folds in half so I can take it when I travel too.  It's really heavy duty plastic.  I actually tried it out last night and it's awesome! Love it! 

I also found a bundle of lace to use for various projects.  Great find!

Maisie and Troy found a couple things as well.  Then we headed out to some of the neighborhood garage sales.  Our first stop was a young couple who had a typewriter.  I said out loud, "Ohhhh!  It's a typewriter!"   (It had $5 on it) The seller said, "Yeah, not too much use for them anymore."  I said I would use it in my art.  He said, "It's yours!  Take it home!"  I said, "Are you serious?"  He said, "Yes, it was my mom's.  If you will use it, it's yours."  "For free!" I said, "Thank you so much.  I will use it to make my mixed media art.  Thank you!"   Blessing!   I found a vintage typewriter not to long ago at a local antique store.  The guy offered me $50 for it.  It was in prestine condition.  I didn't have my money on me at the time.  (Seems like that always happens to me).  I went back the next weekend to see if he would trade some vintage records for it, and he had sold it.  Man!  My luck.  It wasn't meant to be.  He sold it to the other guy for $98.  He said he would have traded it for the records too.  Bummer!  Oh well..... 

So we moved on to the next house and the lady there was a big seamstress.  She had this box of misc.  laces and trims.  $4.  Yippee!  Snagged those up.

And this box of colorful bias tapes and trims!  Got those too $5.  Yeah Boy!  Made out this haul!

Another view...

We also found a brand new umbrella with comic strips on it, which was handy since it was pouring.  Maisie needed an umbrella for camp.  Worked out great.  We had a lot of fun, but didn't stay out long.  It was too stormy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Weekend Celebration

Troy and I started out early Saturday morning by enjoying coffee and breakfast together.  We made a delicious egg scramble with peppers, onions and mushrooms.  Yummy!  We all decided to head over to the church to check out the Just Add Hope Garage Sale.  Found a few things, but then headed to a few other area garage sales.  More on that later.  It was a terrible day for a garage sale.  Rained all morning! 

We were celebrating Father's Day early.  Troy wanted to go to Jacksonville to Grierson Day's Civil War Reenactment.  We got to Jacksonville and the eastbound lane was closed due to flooding. 

We headed in to town and again got stopped by flood waters.  They directed us to the South Jacksonville exit.  We made our way to the park, where they hold the Civil War encampment.  There was water in the entire field.  There were children that were using an inflatable mattress as a raft in the middle of the park.  They were so muddy, but having a blast.  Too funny!  The canceled the event that morning, but we didn't know that.  Troy was wanting to go shopping at the Civil War Sutlery.  Oh well, so we proceeded out of town, but again got stopped by high water.  That was the only other route we knew of home.  Thankfully, there was a state worker in a big orange truck already writing out maps on post it notes to give to people.  Whew!  He said the only route back to Springfield was through Beardstown.  This was 45 minutes out of our way.  It was the only option, as we had to be back by 1:00 pm. 

Oh well, Maisie got a great nap in.

We enjoyed a lovely night at home after working our commitments, and had some grilled chicken are the Bar-B-Que, salad, rice pilaf.  Just watched a little TV, and packed Maisie.

Sunday, we got up early to head over to the University of Illinois ISYM Senior Orchestra Camp.  We had to check in at 9 am.  It was a bit overwhelming for Maisie.  There were 5 camps going on at the same time, so it was a bit chaotic.  Parents were not allowed through registration.  She got her paperwork, key, and signed up for her audition time.  We took her stuff to her room, and got her cello.  She was very anxious and nervous about auditioning.  Sweaty palms, sick stomach.  Very nerve racking, but part of the process.  They have to audition for 10 minutes or so.  They play 4-6 scales, prepared audition bits, and a piece of music of their choice.  She chose Sonata in C Major (can't remember who it's by).  She also had to sight read a very difficult piece of music. 

We arrived at the audition room to find this sign.

Too funny!    The little birdie is holding a trumpet.  Too cute!  This is a top notch camp, and I am so excited she got to go.  She has been to numerous music camps, but this one is big!  We waited outside, and prayed for her.  She came out with a big smile on her face.  Of course we asked her the normal question, "How did it go?"  She said, "The only one in there was Amy!"  (LOL!  She was so upset, but when she had gotten into the judging room it was her cello instructor!)  Amy told me I did a great job, and played all the right notes.  I had to sight read a really hard piece.  She told me it really was pretty good.

We drive to Champaign nearly once a week to take cello lessons from a professor, as there isn't anyone in our area that instructs at the level in which she is able to play.  We are so fortunate to have Amy as an instructor.  She is the most patient person I have ever met.  She really inspires Maisie.  We are grateful. 

We got her all settled into her dorm room.  Her roommate hadn't arrived yet. We attended the parent meeting and took Maisie to lunch at Subway, as that is about all we had time for.  Maisie met her roommate while we were at our meeting.  Her roommate was from the Chicago Suburbs, and plays the double bass.  Maisie said they had lots in common:  music, love of Pirates of the Carribean and Harry Potter, and reading. They were the same age, and neither had been to the camp before.  I was thankful for that!

We stopped for a photo op for Father's Day. 

It was a different kind of Father's Day, but we were together!  We missed going to church today, which rarely happens.  But, it was a great day.  We said our goodbyes, and Maisie went on her way. Troy and I came home and just hung out.  Maisie texted us around 4:30 pm and said she made 4th chair.  Which is huge!  There are 15+ cellos, and when you think she is one of the youngest players.  I was so proud of her!  Troy and I went to Texas Roadhouse for a  sandwich.  He had a burger/salad, and I had a grilled chicken sandwich/salad.  Finished up the night be watching True Grit.

Happy Father's Day Troy! 

50th Anniversary International Carillon Festival

Rees Memorial Carillon, Springfield, IL

Last weekend we went to the last night of the Carillon Festival.  It's a Gilmore family tradition.  We always get KFC, and have a picnic on the lawn. 

These traditions are so important to our daughter, and she so looks forward to it.  The festival is really amazing.  It's a time to slow down, enjoy great music, and time together.  It's very informal.  For those of you who aren't familiar with a carillon allow me to explain. 

 (Excerpt taken from the Historic Carillon Book 2011)

The carillon art has roots which extend back to the Chinese dynasties of 2,000 years ago.  However, although the bells were cast and tuned in foundries, Chinese musicians rarely performed on more that two octaves of these bells.  The more recent placement of bells in towers originated in Europe in the Middle Ages.  The area which is now claimed by the countries of Belgium and The Netherlands was the center of development of the carillon as a musical instrument.  In the thirteenth century the bell shape was con verted from a convex beehive to a concave form.  This modification allowed for a much more musical bell tone than the previous shape.  Towers in The Low Countries each had a large bell used for striking the hour and warning citizens of fire, flood, or invasion.  Eventually, smaller bells were added to strike a few notes before the large bells sounded.  These early chimes were dependent upon good tuning and distint tones.

The distinction grew between carillons and chimes, the former being a concert instrument of chromatically tuned bells and the later any group of these bells fewer than 23 in number.  That distinction is still made today.  A few of the first records of true carillons are those listed in Mechelen in 1384, in Gent in 1452, and Haarlem in 1431.  Musicians in these towns allowed for the expansion of the smaller groups of bells into a full keyboard instrument.  Later, a pedal board was added. 

Bell quality suffered from 1790 until 1900, as old founders died and their formulas for casting and tuning were lost.  It was not until the beginning of the twentieth century that bell casting was revived enough to allow for a true-emergence of the carillon as a concert instrument.  Today there are six foundries active in casting tuned bells for complete carillons-five in Europe and one in the United States.  With the exception of the mechanical improvements, technical changes on the instrument have remained at a minimum for the last three hundred years. 

The Rees Memorial Carillon is the gift of Thomas Rees, publisher of the Illinois State Journal Register from 1881 until his death in 1933.  After Rees had visited numerous carillons in The Low Countries, Rees determined to provide the funds for the building of a large concert carillon in Springfield.  As a result of his gift, the Rees Carillon is one of the largest and finest of the world's carillons.  Within the open tower hang 67 bronze bells, covering a range of 5 1/2 chromatic octaves.  The carillon was cast by Petit & Fritsen, Ltd., in AarleRixtel, The Netherlands.  The total weight of the bells is 73,953 pounds; the largest (bourdon) bell, a deep G fat, weighs 15,000 pounds, while the smallest weighs a mere 22 pounds.  The Rees Memorial Carillon has attracted innumerable tourists from every locale.  The world famous International Carillon Festival, held each June, draws thousands of music lovers during the week long event.

At 7:00 pm we enjoyed the performance by Andreas Schmid.  Mr. Schmid is the Carillonneur and Cantor at the Stadtkirche Unsere Lieve Frau in Eppingen, Germany, since 1993.   

He played:

1. FANTASIE I                                                                                       Staff Nees
2. CHORAL FANTASY ON "O Jesu"                                           Andreas Schmid
3. CARILLON                                                                       Georg Frideric Handel
4. SONATINE II                                                                           Sjef Van Balkom
5. VENI SANCTUS  SPIRITUS                                                  Georgorian Chant
6. PRELUDIUM QUASI UNA FANTASIA                                        Jef Van Hoff

and more

As we listened Maisie and I enjoyed playing Connect Four, as it was the only game we had in the car.  I let her beat me once.

The music continued with another performance at 7:45 pm featuring a Carillon and Classical Guitar Concert by Wim Brioen (guitar) and Karel Keldermans (Carillon).  Wim Brioden is renowned as one of the most talented of contemporary guitarists.  Karel Keldermanns has been the Carillonneur for the Rees Memorial Carillon since 1976. 

The picure above shows the keyboard used in striking the bells.  Obviously, they don't allow people up during the concert, but the have the soloist displayed on a jumbo tron screen.   The sound can be heard throughout the entire park.  It's magical!

The sun went down and the excitment began to increase.  The Lightning Bugs lit up the sky in all their glory.  Children feverishly flitted around trying to catch them. Laughter was everywhere.  Troy busied himself taking pictures, which he enjoys. 

We captured one of him!

On Saturday and Sunday, they have fireworks after each performance.  This year they had a light show before firing off the fireworks off the top of the carillon.

The fireworks were not as abundant, but it didn't matter.  It was more about being together, and just enjoying life.  Thank you to the Springfield Park District for a lovely evening!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day Troy!


It seems like yesterday we became parents.  It's hard to believe we are soon to have a high schooler.  Thank you for being the most amazing Dad!  You are a fine example of what the Lord meant for a father to be. I am grateful that you keep our family rooted in Christ. Thank you for leading us with excellence.  We appreciate your service at church, the long hard hours that you work, the extra side jobs that you work to provide for us, all the loads of laundry you wash,  cooking supper when you are home before me, taking Maisie to the doctor when I can't, for running Maisie to-and-from her activities, for being silly when we need it, assisting with homework, keeping our family traditions and festivals priority, for your amazing creative genius, being able to fix or make anything, for being able to whip out last minute costume requests with ease, and most of all for always being there and being involved in Maisie's life.  I know this is just a small list of things you do for us.  Thank you for making us the most important thing!  I love you with all my heart. Happy Father's Day!

Love always,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mixed Media Canvas Painting Experiment

I have had a canvas pad that I bought at Dick Blick over Christmas.  I have been dying to experiment with them.  The canvas pad has 10 canvas triple-primed acrylic gesso sheets that are 16 x 20.  They are suitable for use with any medium.  I finally found time this weekend to experiment.  It was so much fun.  I will definately be creating some more.  These are really cool, and may even sew on some collage as they are thin enough to sew on a machine.

Supplies used:  heart doily, Portfolio oil pastels, gesso, acrylic paint, stencil, sequence waste, Adirondack spray ink