Thursday, July 31


Greetings, dear readers!

I told you a post or two ago that I was going to talk about the 1000 Journals Project and show you some excerpts from the art journals I've created over the years. I just heard an interview with the director of the documentary on BlogTalkRadio. Andrea Kreuzhage, is an amazing film director, and her love for artistic expression is what prompted her to take on the 1000 Journals project in the first place.

An artist, intentionally calling himself "Someguy" sent 1000 blank, black journals "into the wild" with no rules, no directions. He wanted to see what people would do with the spontaneous opportunity to create. Someguy explains his rationale for the project:

How it Started:

"I've always been fascinated by what people scrawl on bathroom walls and in public spaces. I had been taking photographs of this writing for years, and wanted to put together a book. It seemed appropriate to encourage readers to become contributors, and join the conversation by writing in the actual book. From there, I decided that a blank book might be more fun... especially one that traveled around, to gather a variety of thoughts and opinions. And then, why not 1000 of them? It's such an absurd number.

The project officially launched in August of 2000, with the release of the first 100 journals in San Francisco. I gave them to friends, and left them at bars, cafes, and on park benches. Shortly thereafter, people began emailing me, asking if they could participate. So I started sending journals to folks, allowing them to share with friends, or strangers. It's been a roller coaster ever since."

Needless to say, I was fascinated with the project and have been following it's progression for several years now...hoping, wishing, one of the famed journals would end up in Southern Illinois. No such luck. However, I loved the idea of "no rules" art.

I have been inspired by such artist/writers such as Sabrina Ward Harrison and SARK. Both are incredibly talented, spiritual, gifted women who are learning to be okay in their own skin. SARK (an acronym for Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) jokes about having to overcome the need to take a nap mid afternoon. She finally found freedom to nap...and when she did, she wrote a book about it. It's one of the most liberating books I've ever read!

While reading SARK's book: "Change Your Life Without Getting Out Of Bed: The Ultimate Nap Book" I began to find PERSONAL freedom (always feeling the need to be productive) when my family and I went to Florida and toured the home of Thomas Edison. We saw his laboratory, and there, in the corner of this amazing historic room, was a cot and doggie bed. The tour guide said that Mr. Edison took an hour nap every day...usually at 3:oo p.m. He said he was MUCH more inspired POST nap!

And so, I was inspired to begin writing. And drawing. And generally creating with no rules (I've no DOUBT my love for collage and 'no rules' is what led me into the AltAred Art realm in the first place!) I have kept countless journals ever since. Lately, I was SO excited to look through my journals again and see the emotion, thoughts and feelings that I was experiencing at the time. I've learned a few things about me while looking back through all of my journals...a few themes seemed to recur:

1. I am incredibly inspired by nature.
2. I am far more creative while experiencing solitude.
3. I get "in touch" with both my creative and spiritual self while involving myself in art.

4. I am (can be) ocassionally profound.

5. I am a deep thinker, deep feel-er, and create with a great deal of emotion.

I would challenge you, dear reader, to look back at your scrapbook pages, journals, art, whatever, AS A WHOLE ... do kind of a retrospective...and get a feel for themes that you find that tend to show up again and again. It's enlightening, I tell you. Here are a few pages excerpted from my first EVER attempt at an art journal. If you take time to read a few of the entries, you'll see that the majority of them have a 1999 date on them. Several were a year or two later. (I tend to use the same art journal til all the pages are full which messes with the chronology I realize, but eh...I'd rather not be wasteful):

As you can see, I'm big into lists...or...collages of words. I LOVE writing with color! I've whited out things I thought might be too personal or names that I don't want blabbed all over the net. The pictures are otherwise exactly as they were in my journal. There's more, pencil sketches and such, but this has become an incredibly long-winded post...More tomorrow!

Peace Out!

Paula Clare

Wednesday, July 30


Greetings, dear readers!

(The following comment(s) are to those who have commented on previous posts...their names were selected to receive a random RAK from the Palace! This is a follow up to that drawing. Feel free to comment anyway, as ONE NEVER KNOWS when the mood to give randomly will strike me again! Muahahahahahahahahaha!)

I digress:

I have your happy little RAKs assembled and almost ready to mail. However, I lack one thing: your snail mail addresses. I know, I know. Many of you have given them to me already. However, commenters from this blog post and this blog post, please email me your snail addys. I have tried to come up with them all from my email archives, however you know that my former email account has been recently compromised. The files are either missing or misplaced, so I would ask your tolerance and patience YET AGAIN as you send me your mailing addresses. Here is a list of who I need to hear from:

Debbie B
Contessa Kris
Bunny B
Scrappy Sue
Queen Bean
Rebecca Ramsey
Bethel of Bethania
Miss Angie
Classics and Country

I will be trying to contact you via email if your email addy is attached to a blog or if I have it in my possession already. Here's a little sneek peek at what you'll be getting in the mail!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, July 29


Greetings again, dear reader!

I thought while we're on the subject of inspiration, I'd share with you another of my "real life" inspirations: my son Paul.

We were blessed to spend time with "the boy" this weekend...he is such a fun and "colorful" kind of guy. Just a laugh a minute (like his dad) and always quick with the sarcastic comebacks (like his mom) ...I just LOVE that about him! He is artistic and spiritual and articulate and just so many fun things rolled up into one. My soon-to-be-daughter in law is getting quite the catch, if I do say so myself!

While he doesn't always "get" my artistic endeavors (i.e. my decapitated doll head collection for example) he is ALWAYS encouraging and enthusiastic about artistic expression and being true to ones self. It's always fun to hear what other folks think about him...we met a few of the bridesmaids his fiance and he have chosen to be in the wedding.

Paul, my husband and I were standing around talking and laughing with them, when one of them said, "WOW...what a resemblance!" and immediately both my husband and I said "Thank you." LOL! It's true, he IS a scary/fun combination of the two of us. Both in looks and personality. What's great is the older he gets, and the more he becomes his own person, the more we like him and realize that in spite of the genetic deficiencies handed down by his dad and me, and through some strange act of God and random unnamed cosmic event, he has become a truly wonderful person.

So...after an exhausting weekend, but feeling oh-so-inspired, I created the following tag banner for Halloween. I am part of the ArtsyMama Sweet and Sinister Halloween Swap. The swap was amazingly popular, however there is an additional blog for folks who want to be part of the classes and inspiration taking place from amazing artists like Candice Carpenter (of Peacoats and Party Hats fame), Laurie from Happy As A Lark Designs.

Anyway, Laurie designed this lovely garland (Laurie's spells out SPOOKY):

And here is my take on the project: (mine spells out "BEWITCHED")

You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it...the Flickr photo has further details!

More fun and "spooky" projects to come! Meanwhile, continue to share with me what YOU'RE inspired by, won't you? I think it's fascinating!

Next post I will be talking about the 1000 Journals documentary ... and sharing some photos of an art journal I have been keeping and adding to for years.

More soon!


Paula Clare

Friday, July 25


Greetings, dear readers!

I've been in a bit of a "funk" lately (as if you couldn't tell) and so I made a determination to surround myself ONLY with those POSITIVE things that inspire me. I've discovered the thing that inspires me most is


Whether it's people, nature, home decorating, fabric, or scrapbook paper, I am inspired by color! LOTS of it and big jolts of it! I cannot fathom what it'd be like to live in a world that was only black and white. (Have you ever seen the movie "Pleasantville?" The "artists" in town are the rebels who bring color into the otherwise hum drum world of the suburbanite.)

The overall story line is marvelous...and it makes the basic premise that a world without art...without color, is not a world worth living in. I CONCUR!

SO...what inspires you? What colors? What designs? Leave a comment and share with the world your colorful inspirations!


Paula Clare

Wednesday, July 23


Greetings, dear reader!

Well, between the technological email conspiracy and the fact that I have found ZERO (that's nada, zip, the big goose egg) altered art events and/or workshops here in the midwest (CHA in Chicago doesn't count...gotta be on the INSIDE of the scrapbooking/art scene to find a place there!) I have thrown myself a MAJOR pity party in the last couple of days. And so, I wanted to invite YOU, gentle reader, to said pity party. Let us all "wah wah" together and in so doing create an impenetrable wall of despair and disgruntledness (is that a word?!?!) Ready? Set? WALLOW! WALLOW I TELL YOU! WALLOW and feel desperately sorry for yourself!

Allllllllllllllrighty then. That's about enough of THAT! SOOooooooooo I have a proposal for you local and semi-local yokels. It's a "poll" if you will. Here's what I want to know:

If I offered an AltAred Art event, would you prefer a 1 day event? 2 day event? Retreat setting? Meals included? Scrapbooking included? Not included? Mixed media and altered art ONLY? Would you like to buy the supplies yourself (from a supply list) or have me provide them at an additional cost? Should there be a THEME? Altered books? Home Decor? Sewing? Jewelry? All of the above? None of the above?

While pondering this artless wasteland that is the midwest, I was smitten with an idea (UH OH) and it's a biggie (UH OH) but I need your input. So...speak to me, blogdom! What kind of event(s) are you dreaming of? OH DO tell, won't you?

I await your answers with bated breath...(meanwhile, I shall be about the business of research etc. etc.)


More soon!


Paula Clare

PS I am sending RAKs to Sunday AND Tuesday's commenters. WOOT! GOOD TIMES! NO WHAMMIES!

Tuesday, July 22


*shaking fist at computer*

Oh. Hello. Greetings dear reader!

Forgive me if my initial "hello" is less than congenial today. I have fought with technology all day and must, at this hour confess that the score is Technology 2 , Paula Clare 0 (That's ZERO).

First of all, my email account of MANY, MANY years was hijacked by some malicious spammer. An email went out to everyone in my address book...EVERYONE. And their email addy's were VISIBLE in the "TO" line. (Bear in mind, gentle reader, that I am one who guards vehemently your personal email accounts...always taking care to blind copy rather than visibly copy in when I am writing to more than one or two. HOWEVER, malicious spammers seem to care not that not only MY email was compromised, but so was the email of everyone else.) GRRRRRRRR.

And THEN, (Oh yes, there's more!) I tried to change everything over to gmail...using the same basic address (to eliminate the anguish of everyone trying to remember my new one) and Blogger tells me I can't use a Gmail account as my primary email address?!?! WHAT?!?! Isn't Blogger a GOOGLE product? And isn't GOOGLE the one who came up with GMAIL in the first place? Am I on another planet or does it seem technology is indeed conspiring against me? Now I can't get RID of the hotmail account at ALL?!?! WHAT?!?!

I am not one prone to violence, (indeed, ask ANYONE who knows me and they will tell you that I am a peace loving, daisy-giving, Gandhi-esque hippie child who means harm to no one) and YET I AM ready to march the technoguru in charge of such things to the guillotine. OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!! '

I digress. And so how is YOUR week? Is it REEEEEEEEALLY only Tuesday? SHEESH!

Let's move on to happier topics, shall we? (A temporary stay of execution is granted for said technoguru...whoever you are!)

How about an RAK? I'll send something to YOU for posting a comment here (feel free to chime in on the technology rant, or just offer condolences and chocolate and all will be well) between now and 6 a.m. CST. I may award RAKs to previous commenters, or just take today's...not sure. Regardless, let's think happy thoughts shall we?

And now, I leave you with this image of inspiration, hope and love:

Sunday, July 20


Greetings, dear readers! Happy Sunday to you!

I wanted to give you all a peek at something I've been working on for awhile now...I can't show you the whole thing because I want the recipient to be "SURPRISED" when she opens the box. However, this is an endeavor that I'm a bit of a newbie to. The whole sewing thing (like flower arranging) used to scare me spitless. I don't know if it's because I feel this is an "art frontier" I've yet to explore, or if I'm just feeling brave and sassy...I've seen all kinds of amazing art quilts...some that tend more toward traditional quilting:

And some more toward scrapbooking:

Mine is probably something in between. Here's the first little art quilt I did (my wonderfully thoughtful and "supportive" husband quipped, "It looks like a glorified potholder.") Nice.

And here are a few choice peeks at my latest attempt:

Thanks for stopping by!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Friday, July 18


I'm really not much for them, personally.

I mean, I LOVE to get unexpected things in the mail, and I like unexpected random acts of kindness...but a PLANNED surprise (like a 40th birthday surprise party for example?)

The kind and thoughtful husband I spoke of in my previous post plotted and planned to have friends meet at an undisclosed location (undisclosed TO ME that is) and then surprise me when he took me there on a pretense of an "intimate barbecue with another couple."

Enroute, I decided I didn't really feel up to a get together and couldn't we just have a quiet dinner together? Well, his rather hasty and adamant "NO!" should have clued me in, but the more I gave what I thought were valid reasons for a PRIVATE soiree, the more hysterical he became, until finally he blurts out: "I've PLANNED A SURPRISE PARTY FOR YOU, OK? There will be 25 or 30 people expecting us and waiting for us and we HAVE TO SHOW UP!" Enter hysteria. Panic. Cold, clammy hands. Now, I knew the whole ugly truth. I was going to walk into a room of 30 people, and, for a split second would be the absolute center of attention. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo! After a rather...uh hum: PASSIONATE discussion, we arrive at our destination, the group yells the obligatory "Surprise" and it's all over with. Period. The End. In that moment I learned something about myself. I don't mind being somewhere if the OTHER PEOPLE are joining me...but to be the ONE who makes the entrance? Nope. Don't like it. Not one bit. Ergo my first, and, effectively, my LAST surprise birthday party.

So why, you ask (andyou've been very patient by the way) do I share with you this little tale of horror? Well, I said all that to say, I hope you LIKE surprises because I am going to pick a random post in the next 7 days (there, I've given you a hint) and I am going to give a little RAK to EVERYONE who comments! WOOHOO! None of this being "singled out" and the "center of attention" stuff! LOL! And probably, much to the chagrin of my New Zealand friend, Scrappy Sue, I LIKE IT WHEN EVERYONE IS DECLARED A WINNER. I haven't a competitive bone in my body. Sorry. Just can't muster the wherewithal to HAVE to be better, faster, smarter, slicker, whatEVER.

SO, happy day, huh? Stay tuned, I'll be giving you hints as to what the RAKs might be as we go along!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Thursday, July 17


Greetings, dear reader! Have you ever had a week that felt like it was 12 days long?!? Welcome to my world! This has been a tough one, but as I mentioned in my last blog post, its had its bright spots. Tonight I received another one.

While at Kroger hunting the ever elusive Lime Tostitos, my husband got me a bouquet of these:

Aren't they just wonderful? Such happy flowers...and they are HUGE! Now my living room smiles at me every time I walk through it. Hooray for husbands that aren't oblivious to our struggles! I am thankful!

Oh, and a bonus! I GOT the lime Tostitos and gingerale! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, such comfort!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Wednesday, July 16


Greetings dear reader!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you encounter devastating news, difficult situations, but at the same time experience more love and grace than you could ever imagine? THIS has been one of those weeks for me...

One of the great benefits of blogdom is the generous and caring people you meet around the world! I have recently been inundated with love from assorted continents around the world. My husband just looks stunned when I open the boxes of goodies sent for blog awards, swaps, or no reason at all. "WHY do they do this?" he asks in befuddled amazement. "Because they are good and generous souls" I retort. "But they don't KNOW you." "I know, but they know my blog. Isn't it COOL? I can be friends with someone in Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, England, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and all points in the U.S! It reminds me that there is good in the world..."

And here is the "proof in the pudding":

From my friend ScrappySue in New Zealand: the "Share the Love" award (in my sidebar) and this New Zealand fodder: A Panoramic Postcard (oooooooooooh), A Kiwi Magnet (ahhhhhhhhhhhhh), an NZ Keychain, a tag reminding me to "Be Happy Every Day" and NEW ZEALAND CHOCOLATE! (can I get an "amen?!?!" WOOT!)

From Amanda McWhinney in Northern Ireland: Die cuts a-plenty, embellishments galore, IRISH CHOCOLATE, a Belfast in Your Pocket Guide (WOOHOO) and 2 copies of Alice in Wonderland for AltAred Art projects! 2 amazing parcels all the way from Northern Ireland! WOW! I was SO overwhelmed with your generosity!

THEN, I received the lovely covered post-it note party favor from LizzyJDesigns! Just for stopping by her blog during the Mad Hatter Tea Party! What a great concept...her Etsy store is fab as well!

And THEN, I received the bundle of joy in the center of the photo from Debbie Egezio from The Beat of My Art shop.

Based in Naperville, IL (suburban Chicago) she is nearly a neighbor (well...she's at the TOP of the state and I'm at the BOTTOM of the state, but now I know she's THERE, and that magically erases distance, doesn't it?)

My little darling was one of several siblings up for adoption at Debbie's Tea Party. Behold the "micro brood" (wink) at feeding time:

Now tell me, HOW could you NOT feel loved after being showered with all this bloggy goodness? I don't mean to gush (and those of you who know me know I tend to shy away from the "sappy" sentimentality) but I simply must say another "THANK YOU" to all of you, my dear friends in blogdom. Your friendships, your generosity, your kindness, will help me make it through what would otherwise have been a terribly difficult week!

May each of you be blessed with friendship, provision, love, and grace beyond measure!

More soon!

Monday, July 14


After writing all the names on slips of paper, and putting them in a too die for vintage hat I found thrifting, these two names were pulled:

The winner of the "kit" and the book "Fanciful Flowers" is Marilyn who wrote:

"Your blog is a great find...happy to have stumbled on to it today! Congratulations on 200 posts! Your giveaway is amazing!!"

AND (drumroll please) the winner of the Love, Elsie Recipe Box is: kamewh who commented:

"Congrats on your 200th post!! What a great giveaway!"

I will be emailing you both to get your snail addresses.

Meanwhile, thanks to ALL of you, dear readers, for your loyalty and love! You know me, another giveaway is right away the corner!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Sunday, July 13


Greetings dear readers!

As promised, here is the giveaway for one lucky commenter on my blog!

YES, it is the much coveted Love,Elsie Recipe Box! Just look at some of the goodies inside!

WHAT could be more exciting? And what better way to celebrate my 200th blog post! Soooooooo, leave a comment either here or on my previous post (comments from both posts will go into the drawing) and YOU might be the proud owner of this FABulous box of inspiration! WOOHOO!

Good luck and I'll announce winners tomorrow evening!


Paula Clare


Greetings, dear reader! Just a quick

for your readership and support! Today marks the auspicious occasion of my 200th blog post! WOOHOO!

Soooooo, to celebrate, I am giving away an AMAZING array of goodies: papers, stamps, vintage trims, mini albums, vintage sheet music, love, Elsie, Sassafrass Lass, Heidi Swapp, and MORE! Think: INCREDIBLY COORDINATED KIT. :-) You know, the kind that cost an arm and a leg and are all the rage these days?!?!

I am off to make a 200th blog post celebratory video! Back in a few...with FILM!

Well, what's that saying? "So much for the best laid plans of mice and men?" I've had a plethora of technical difficulties since I left the above post...ergo (*clearing throat uncomfortably*) NOT to be outdone or undone, I shall post here the TRANSCRIPT of said video, and continue to beat the technology into submission. Meanwhile, feast your eyes upon this vast array of goodies to be included in the giveaway:

Today I give you an incredible array of coordinated trims, embellishments, papers. You know. I just LOVE it when things MATCH, don’t you? Anyway, Here is smattering of some of the things that will be included in the kit:

PAPERS: FABulous papers. Just look at these goodies…several from Love, Elsie. (I just LOVE her two sided goodness)! 2 from Creative imaginations and a heritage page from Karen Foster. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?!

THEN I’ve thrown in, just for fun, one of my Favorite Sassafrass lass papers…ROBOT FUN! Actually it’s called, “Back to the Future” but just look at the yummy colors! AND to add to the festive hooplah I am including this wonderful pin sent to me by Porkchop Show Scotty.

(His shop is in my sidebar) WHAT A HOOT!

I’ll also include some wonderful tactile collage papers with sewing, glitter and some metallic highlights! 2 sheets of vintage sheet music, 1 piece embossed vintage wallpaper, several pages of Lewis and Clark journal papers (diary notes from their travels and plain parchment looking papers) (Remember my trip to St. Louis with my sisters? I picked up these little jewels in the Gateway Museum. History AND creativity. Cool, huh?)

To add to the FUN, I've thrown in some Kawaii from Japan…You know what Kawaii is? Kind of crazy, cute papers and stickers...adorable bears, singing tofu, happy pudding. I giggle just looking at it.

THEN: embellishments.You know me, I'm the Embellishment QUEEN! I use them ALOT on my altAred art...probably too much. But then, can you REALLY have too many embellishments? I don't think so!

Sooooo (*taking a deep breath*) here we go:

2 packs of vintage ric rac (1 baby white and one blue with silver thread)
1 card of vintage buttons
3 big honkin brads (they stamp on these with StayzOn inks...isn't that clever?)
1 card of love, Elsie chipboard buttons (and cupcakes..TOO CUTE!)
4 vintage millinery flowers (delicate little ivory things...a little frayed on the edges...because they're old you know. Kind of like ME...I digress)
2 FTD crown tag cards
1 recycled newspaper flower
2 feet of festive aqua and white paper garland
1 spool of copper craft wire
1 glittery clothespin of orange pom pom trim
1 glittery clothespin of aqua and brown embroidered ribbon
1 foot of brown pom pom trim (because, well, you can just never have TOO MUCH POM POM TRIM, can you?)
1 mini paper craft kit (chipboard album, diecuts, stickers...all in one adorable little kit! Theme: travel)
Several large rub ons from Impress-On swatch book
2 Acrylic Stamps: FABulous from Heidi Swapp and 1 “Instant Love” from Bam Pop!

AND, if you can’t figure out what to do with all these goodies, I am including an amazing book entitled: Fanciful Paper Flowers, from Sandra Evertson!

HOLY COW! KUKAMONGA! That’s a lot of stuff! Sandra is an amazing artist with the most whimsical, fanciful style. I just love her...

I have one more surprise giveaway. I’ll be posting it at 10 pm central standard time. You WILL NOT want to miss it…TRUST ME!I HOPE for a video, but photos may have to do.

Til next time, thanks for visiting!

Leave a comment, I'll be doing a drawing and post the winner(s) on Monday night! All are welcome to enter!