Friday, 28 February 2014

A Year Together

Thank you so much for spending the last year with me.  I have thoroughly enjoyed see all the art that you have created.  It's been great to chat with you in the Facebook group.

A great big thank you to all the guest posters especially the regular ones: Susan, Anita, Judy, Joanne and Carolyn.  It has been wonderful to collaborate with you over the year.

And to end I have made a short video of the pages in my journal.

The blog will remain online so tomorrow you could go back to the beginning and start again.

Thanks again.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Art Challenge

As I mentioned earlier the Venice Carnival is held every February.   You can find out about this year's Carnival here.

Apart from the cultural activities, the Carnival is famous for the costumes and the masks.  You can find quite a collection on Google.

Here are some of the masks from last year's Carnival.

Here's a tutorial on how to make a mask.

Art Challenge
Make a carnival mask or design one in your journal.  Here are some outlines to choose from.

Please share what you do with us all using the linky below.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Winter Olympics

Today is the the last day of the Winter Olympics and to celebrate I am sharing this bonus post using a Junelle Jacobsen video that I found yesterday.

If  you don't have any wooden blocks then make a page in your journal.

Have fun

Link your work using the linky below.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Technique Challenge

For our very last technique challenge I thought I would challenge you to use Washi Tape.

If you don't have any Washi or Tissue Tape then you can make your own. 

Or try this version

Do share what you create with us using the linky below.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Creative Date

Our final creative date together.

Julia Cameron in The Artists Way suggested the idea of making time for a regular creative date.   This idea is also picked up by Matt Tommey in Unlocking the Heart of the Artist.   You can also find inspiration here: 101 Artist's Date Ideas.

I am suggesting that we should each make time for a creative date each month.  Ideally we will go out.  Go to a local museum, a local art gallery, go for a walk!  Whatever idea you have that will feed your creativity.

However sometimes it's not possible to physically visit those places.  So here's my idea for February.    The Venice Carnival is famous around the world and takes place every year in February.  So I thought it would be great to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Have a look through the collection and let us know in the comments below which is your favourite exhibit.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Hospitality for Valentine's Day

Judy is here again with an excellent hospitality post on the theme of a Sweetheart's Dinner.  I've scheduled the post for today so that you have time to use her ideas on Friday.

Sweetheart Dinner
Sometime last year a group of our friends decided to start a dinner club – a time to entertain each other in our homes – in a relaxing and casual way… our rules are simple: we meet every other month; the host couple provides everything; and we keep it simple.

This was our month to host and since Valentine’s Day is coming up we decided to go with a sweetheart theme [and let’s be honest, I had an assignment for this blog - ha.] I’d already changed the mantle up a bit to reflect the holiday [Fritz, the antelope, belongs to my brother and visited us for the Christmas holidays but he hasn’t quite made it back home yet, so I had to put him to work once again – ha.] I picked up the mirrored ‘LOVE’ sign at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago when it was 80% off – it has a teeny tiny chip on one letter, can you see it?

We did most of the arranging through a group text so I didn’t have an invite… but if I had, it would probably look something like this. This little ‘reminder’ was created on my phone with my new RhonnaDesigns app [Less than $2 U.S.] And, yes, we had dinner after church on Sunday – and spent the afternoon just visiting together –  It was just what worked out best for us this month.

Y’all know I enjoy putting together a pretty table and since our table only seats six comfortably we had to figure out a way to add some length – and I’m so happy to say that our drop leaf table that we’ve used as a buffet is the perfect width! My sweetie added some wood to the bottom to bring it up to the correct height. I love using things we already have!  Plus, using it freed up that area for more comfortable seating.

I picked up the table cloth at Target after Christmas for 75% off – since it was red,  gold, and white I knew I could use it for more than Christmas… and we used a folding table from World Market [bought during The World’s Longest Yard Sale] on the side to hold extra tea and dessert… [See it tucked in the corner in the back -]

I set up a little area with some hummus and pita chips… on a pedestal [cake stand] on a pedestal [cheese plate with dome] with some Valentine Art to welcome the gang –

On the table, I used gold chargers [that I had in the attic,] silver dandelion china [thrift store purchase – that I LOVE,] and little heart plates for salad plates [50c each at a deep discount store…]  I used paper napkins and regular flatware and glasses…

For the ‘centerpiece’ I used some of my milk glass collection with candles that have a silver and gold mercury glass feel to them…all stuff I had already. I added the larger candles from the Valentine’s box in the attic… 

Our menu was pretty easy – We had: Berried Treasure Salad [mixed baby greens + mandarin oranges + pineapple chunks + dried cranberries, + sugared walnuts = yum,] chicken cordon bleu [from Sam’s – just pop it in the oven!], bleu cheese fries [sprinkle bleu cheese and mozzarella over fries and broil until melted,] and roasted broccoli [drizzle frozen broccoli with olive oil and roast until crunchy -]…  I used milk glass pie plates and mixing bowls to serve in…

For dessert I made little cherry tarts [with a heart shaped pie press] and served them with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate sauce – NOTE: the sauce I bought did not create the thin ribbons I’d anticipated across the plates - But it was delicious, so no one complained. Ha.

And you know me – I had to add a little activity into our time together – This would work well as an ice breaker – or, if you created two, it might be a fun game to pit each part of the couple against the other and compare their answers – We chose to fill it out as couples and take a photo holding it… This is easy to create; just get a frame with glass and cover the backing with scrapbook papers and embellishments – Add the questionnaire [printed on the computer] and insert in the glass – Use a dry erase marker to write on the glass. It wipes off easily between couples…

We had a wonderful time visiting, as we always do when we get together. It’s more about the friendships than the meal or the decorations, but I do enjoy gathering things together to decorate a bit. I’m afraid we let our busy lives [or even our very comfortable, stay at home with the tv and computer lives] get in the way of making time for friendships. We pulled together the Dinner Club as a way to intentionally get together.  I hope this inspires you to call [or text] some friends and celebrate a little something in your lives! Whether it’s a cozy movie night, a picnic in the park, a potluck with friends and family, or a simple after-church dinner, I encourage you to take the time to be with those you love.

Thank you so much Judy for all your wonderful hospitality posts.  I wish I lived nearer!

Using the comments below, do let us know what tips you have picked from Judy during this last year.  You can find her other posts here: Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Monday, 10 February 2014

A zine of zines

At the beginning of each quarter we have made a seasonal Zine and decorated a page for each month.  Some people have made covers for each Zine but I kept all mine to make one seasonal Zine of Zines.

I could have sewn each zine in the middlle and then connected them together by sewing the threads together or threading the thread through a spine.  I decided to use glue.

I glued the pages together in each zine that opened where they weren't supposed to.

I glued each zine to the next one.

In my stash of bits worked on and too good to throw away I found a large tag that I had stenciled and stamped on.

I cut the end off and inked the edges on the back.  I scored the spine folds.

I glued the cover to the back and front of the zines but not to the spines.  I added some tissue tape to the back cover.

I added tissue tape to the front and used letters from my scrapbooking stash for the title.

I am really pleased with the end result.  I hope you like yours too.  Don't forget to share your end result with us all.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

February Zine

Each quarter we are making a seasonal Zine.  The information for the Winter Zine is here with the December page.

And so to February.   Here's the starting point.

I didn't add any more to the background other than stamping the hearts.  I stamped the word February on a spare piece of paper and stuck it down.  I printed out the quote and inked it and cut it up and stuck that down too.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with for your February zine.  Don't forget to share it with us.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Photo Challenge

In March 2013 I introduced this monthly challenge.  Each month we take a photograph on the same day, at the same time, of the same place.

And this is the last photo for the 12 month challenge.

Now we have to decide how to display them all.  You could blog them, make a little book with them or scrapbook them.   Do share with us all what you decide to do.  You can see mine here.

I've added a linky for you to add your photo or blog.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Flower of the Month

This month's flower is the Crocus and here is Susan's last article for Flower of the Month.  Her articles have been wonderfully researched and a great addition to the blog.  You can find Susan's blog here.


The crocus is one of the first flowers to bloom, about the same time as the snowdrop and before the daffodils. Depending on the species and the locale, crocuses can bloom in February or March. Some varieties even bloom in autumn. As a general rule, it is what are called the species crocuses that bloom earlier than the larger, showier Dutch or hybrid crocuses. Regardless of variety, crocuses are always a welcome sight after a long, barren winter.

Crocuses are easy to grow. All they need to thrive is full sun and a well drained soil. Buy and plant corms (what the bulbs are called) in autumn. Add organic matter such as compost, or a commercial fertilizer made for bulbs, at the time of planting.  Crocuses are hardy plants that increase year after year. They are best planted in mass for a striking display. Since the corms are relatively small, they are easy to tuck into the soil around existing plants. Plant them among perennials, at the base of shrubs and trees, even in the lawn. By the time the grass is ready for its first mowing of the season, the leaves of the crocuses should have created and stored up enough energy to flower again next year.

Crocuses, like so many other plants, have traveled the world over the centuries. Originally native to the Mediterranean, North Africa and Spain, it traveled to China with the Mongols. It arrived in England in the sixteenth century and to the United States in 1740 when Peter Collinson of England sent John Bartram over twenty varieties.  Ancient artifacts have been discovered providing evidence that crocuses were cultivated even in antiquity. Pottery decorated with the image of crocuses was found in Crete which dates back to 1500 B.C. An ancient scroll from 1552 B.C. describes the medicinal uses for crocus. There is also mention of it in the Song of Solomon (4:14), where it is referred to as saffron. Saffron is one species of crocus (C. sativa) prized for the orange pollen that has been used as a seasoning and dye since ancient times. The cost is extremely expensive as you would imagine. It takes over 4000 crocus flowers to make an ounce of saffron.

Folklore regarding the crocus revolves around love. According to Homer, the marriage bed of Zeus and Hera was made out of crocuses. Ancient Greeks decorated their wedding banquets and marriage beds with crocus petals. There is a mythological story of how Crocus was turned into the flower he is by Aphrodite because of the love he spurned from the nymph Smilax. In Victorian times it was believed the crocus inspired love and so was sent between lovers. A short poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) uses the crocus and other flowers to contrast the differences between two lovers.

“You like buttercups, dewy sweet
And crocuses, framed in snow;
I like roses, born of the heat,
And the red carnation’s glow.”

Why not give (or request) a bouquet of crocuses this Valentine’s day instead of roses? Or use these copyright free images to make some Valentine’s cards:

I have very much enjoyed researching and writing about each of our twelve flowers during this past year. I hope you have enjoyed reading the articles.

Susan Ernst

Thank you so much Susan for all your hard work.

Whatever you choose to do with the inspiration here, please share it with us all using the linky below.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Introduction to February

Here we are at the start of our last month together at 12 Months in View.  January seems to have flown past and now we're in February.

You can find out about the bizarre days celebrated in February.  How about celebrating Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbours Day on February 7th?  Or Tell a Fairy Tale Day on February 26th?

Of course the famous day in February is Valentine's Day.  Find out about St.Valentine.

This February will see the Winter Olympic Games from 7th - 23rd February.

The Flower of the Month this month on 12 Months in View is the Crocus.  Judy kindly sent me this photo.

The Crocus by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Beneath the sunny autumn sky,
With gold leaves dropping round,
We sought, my little friend and I,
The consecrated ground,
Where, calm beneath the holy cross,
O'ershadowed by sweet skies,
Sleeps tranquilly that youthful form,
Those blue unclouded eyes.
Around the soft, green swelling mound
We scooped the earth away,
And buried deep the crocus-bulbs
Against a coming day.
"These roots are dry, and brown, and sere;
Why plant them here?" he said,
"To leave them, all the winter long,
So desolate and dead."
"Dear child, within each sere dead form
There sleeps a living flower,
And angel-like it shall arise
In spring's returning hour."
Ah, deeper down -- cold, dark, and chill --
We buried our heart's flower,
But angel-like shall he arise
In spring's immortal hour.
In blue and yellow from its grave
Springs up the crocus fair,
And God shall raise those bright blue eyes,
Those sunny waves of hair.
Not for a fading summer's morn,
Not for a fleeting hour,
But for an endless age of bliss,
Shall rise our heart's dear flower.

A February Remembrance
The Day the Music Died Day commemorates the untimely death of singers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. These three Rock singers died in an airplane crash on February 3, 1959. at the height of their popularity.

Here's your February checklist.

Art Challenge
Make a page inspired by the information or inspiration you have found here.  How about using a Buddy Holly lyric? Don't forget to share it with us.