Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mourning the Loss of His Friend

This is Lewis - my dog.
This week his friend Mickey, the sweetest Sheltie, had to be put down. He was having medical problems and was over 15 years old. Mickey was the neighbor's dog and the best dog anyone could imagine. We all will miss him - especially Lewis, as Mickey was his first and best dog friend.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Studio Friday - Artist I Admire

This week's Studio Friday topic for Friday January 26th suggested by Janet:
LOOK WHO I FOUND... ! Discovering "New" artists and Inspiration for our own work:

This is a piece of artwork that my brother in law, Gary Schappe, made. He is a metal artist and creates jewelry and large metal sculptures. He is amazing. I will post the leaf man mask he made as well. I am inspired by his creativity first of all, but also I LOVE his studio. It is built on top of his garage and it is gorgeous. Next time I am there I will have to take pictures.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Family Member

Last night my sister Bunn had a baby boy - Jacob. Went to visit today... a real cute little guy. I forgot my camera and cannot post pictures yet. Instead I'll put a different picture so to keep the post eye appealing -- Korean pots.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Books Read Box

Here is the box I altered to put all my finished book cards in:

Reading 2007 - Memory Cards

So far so good on my goal for keeping track of the reading I do in 2007 and creating a "tag" or in this case, a "card" to highlight the book and my feelings. I have read 2 1/2 books so far. Here are my first two cards. I began another book that I forced myself to read 1/2 way because it was a novel about international adoption, however, it was so poorly written and so off the mark, I just couldn't finish.
Reading, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived:King Solomon's Secrets of Success, Wealth and Happiness by Steven K. Scott right now. Interesting and thought provoking. I find myself thinking about the card I'll make for the books while I'm reading - fun.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Missy Fish

This is Missy Fish - She is our son's favorite friend.

Mom: "Hey, stop kissing Missy Fish! :)"
J: "I not kissing Missy Fish, Missy Fish is kissing ME!"
J - 34 mo. old

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Today the doorbell rang and flowers were delivered - along with a small bottle of champagne and a little box of Godiva chocolates? To what do I owe this wonderful gift?? It's not my birthday, not our anniversary... but no, not from my husband, but from a friend. The flowers came from a friend who I SHOULD be thanking, not her me! She is thanking me (and my coauthor) for allowing her to be a part of our success. Well, she and her students ARE chapter 10 and we should have sent HER the flowers for her time and expertise.

They are gorgeous - I love the orange and yellow combination. What a beautiful way to brighten a cloudy cold winter day. Thank you so much Kathi. You are an inspiration to me with all you do in your classroom and beyond - hope to see your book about your professional endeavors published soon.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Studio Friday - Travels

I don't travel too much, but when I do, I notice the natural environment, especially the trees and flowers. I love seeing those I've not experienced before and learning about them. I have been known to strike up conversations with taxi drivers and shuttle bus drivers asking about the local flora. They often cannot tell me what kind of tree or flower it is that I spot, but I think that is because when we live with something so long we often take it for granted.

This collage is an altered book spread that I made in August of 2005 while in Northern Wisconsin at the cottage we stay at every year and have since I was a young girl. I've always loved the trees, leaves, bark and ferns in the area. It's held up pretty well since I just glued things down fresh from the ground or tree! I love this spread as it reminds me of travels I do every year and hope to do for the rest of my life - to a favorite place that is gorgeous!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Artists Changing Names

This week's topic at Studio Friday is Changing Names

"I've been reading Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit and here's an idea from her book - " the ancient masters of Japanese art were allowed to change their name once in their lifetime. They had to be very selective about the moment in their career when they did so. They would stick with their given name until they felt they had become the artist they aspired to; at that point, they were allowed to change their name. For the rest of their life, they would work under the new name at the height of their powers." So let's presume we are at the height of our careers - what name would you choose and why? "

As an undergrad in college, taking a creative writing course, we were required to take a pen name so that others could critique our writing authentically without each other knowing whose work we were reading. I loved the idea and named myself, Sunny Ellis. It sounded like a writer's name to me - especially the Ellis part. Ellis also seems too "sophisticated" to me - like the name of someone important. As I look at it now when I write it, I am struck by my fascination of Ellis Island - I was absolutely intrigued with Ellis Island when I visited New York as I knew that my Italian grandparents came through Ellis Island when they came to the United States. To know that I was walking on the same ground as my Grandpa when he was a young man just gave me the chills.

I've continued to use this name and still do when I submit writing to places where people would know me and I would rather be incognito.I don't really remember why I chose the Sunny in my creative name - maybe because it speaks to brightness, to newness to beginning anew each day.

When waiting for our first child, I even thought about naming her (if it would be a girl) Sunny. Glad my husband didn't like it. I guess he associated the name with me too much as my pen name. I'm glad I didn't share it with my daughter, because in a way, after 20 years or so, Sunny Ellis IS me. I have become her. She is me.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

{New Year in my stolen moments studio}

I have been reading everyone else's blogs stating their resolutions and their plans for the new year, but have been hesitant to post my own (or even do too much reflecting on them). I guess I better, though, as I typically like to focus on the direction I want my life to go. Without doing this, I might just be letting things slip by without giving it my attention and the energy.

Above is an altered book spread I made within the last week - taking stolen moments to complete it between Christmas and New Year's day. My sweet husband had the "stolen moments studio" stamp made for me for Christmas. The patterned tissue paper is what it was wrapped in and I thought I should made a page that immortalizes my small, but happy studio. I also discovered two colors that I like together while making this page: black and pink.

So, on with my new year reflections and goals:
  • Get new job - I have a good prospect on the horizon - I'm cofident, but don't want to be too confident, however.
  • Although this is not something I really want to do, my husband is telling me it should be done: get back to scrapbooking our family's life. I really have let it go by the wayside since doing altered books. But he is right, it needs to be done as we have tons of pictures and we want our children to have memories. I just won't make them as elaborate as I have in the past. Although, I do credit my work with scrapbooking as one of the impeti (impetuses? :) for getting into altered books.
  • Relax more in a productive way - this may sound contradictory, but I mean it in a way that is beneficial to my family, not as a lazy way. I want to relax and play and enjoy the kids more, not think that relaxing means time only for myself. This time is important too, but I need to "play" and just "be" more with the kids.
  • Get back to gardening - my veggie and herb garden especially
  • Creative goal: Get started on keeping track of all books I read in 2007 by making a "tag" for a book. I discussed this in an earlier post, but since I am in the process of reading the first book of the year, now is a good time to (re)start.

That's it for now... as I think more about this, I may post more - however, I don't want to "blog" :) myself down with too many goals that may not get accomplished.