Saturday, January 31


Greetings, dear reader!

I am thrilled to announce the second annual from Paula's Palace of AltAred Art!

Altered Art: Collaging, embellishing, enamelling, stamping or doing anything else to a book or other household item to reflect a creative idea, theme or narrative. Making the old new again! It's being GREEN at its finest!

I am currently getting details in place, but wanted to give you the dates so you can be planning ahead. I am currently looking at a weekend in March: Friday, March 20, Saturday, March 21 and Sunday March 23. I have 2 (possibly 3) locations in mind. One is very local (i.e. in "the Vern), one is about an hour away (St. Charles, MO) and third is about a 5 hour drive in the beautiful Ozarks of Missouri! The prices are approximately the same, so the only additional expense would be travel to/from. If we decide on the Ozarks destination, I can drive our van and seat approximately 6-8 folks. (not counting luggage) :-) Some are handicap accessible, and some are not. The ST. Charles destination is an older Victorian home and therefore has little or no handicap access...with the possible exception of the Carriage House in the back! WOOT!

While I am in "information gathering" mode, I would like to hear from YOU, dear reader, to help discern what location is favored, and what projects you'd like to work on. I have some ideas already, but want to make sure things are as you'd like them!

The retreat will include travel costs, lodging, (2 nights, 3 days) all meals, projects materials, and class instruction. Isn't this exciting? Start saving your shekels now artists! You'll be SO glad you did!

(PS This would make a GREAT Valentine's gift from the hubby, don't you think? WINK)

More information soon!


Paula Clare

Friday, January 30


Greetings, dear reader!

As promised, here are the photos of Webster the Wonder Dog frolicking in the snow...he seemed to have mixed emotions about the whole thing. At first he was very unsure...

Then his friend Benji showed up...

And Webster HAD to prove he was the baddest dog on the block:

And so he went mushing up and down the hill a few times for good measure.

He was definitely a pupsicle (boo) when this was all over!

Still scanning photos of my travels...check my facebook page for "Photo Confessions of Aggie the Clown!"

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, January 27


Greetings dear reader!

I come to you this evening in a bit of a fog...I had been awake for several DAYS (with only brief nodding in between) and finally could take it no longer. I ingested a goodly amount of Advil PM (only the recommended dose...don't worry!) at 10:30 pm and promptly waited to drift off to dreamland. At 1:30 a.m., I was awaiting dreamland still. And at 3:30, I gave up the fight and got up to sit on the couch. Since I was awake already, I took hubby dear to work, and then came home and promptly PASSED OUT at 7 a.m. I knew nothing again until late this afternoon when I was jolted back to life by a phone call reminding me of a counseling appointment. ARGH! WHO would be out driving in this mess? When I found out the client had to drive further than I did to get to the office, I succumbed to the inevitable and went in to work. Now, it is almost 24 hour later, and I am again feeling Sister Insomnia sneaking about. *sigh*

I am also here to give you fair warning that I am feeling quite nostalgic regarding my former days of travel and cultural experiences. I plan to share a few of those with you in photos...however I must scan said photos first, so if you will kindly give me a day or two, I will be back with "proof positive" of my travels.

Meanwhile, we in Southern Illinois are "iced in" and all is "crunchy" around us. I plan to venture out with Webster the Wonder Dog tomorrow, and will photograph the antics that ensue.

Stay warm! More soon!


Paula Clare

Saturday, January 24


Greetings, dear reader!

Here are the last 8 things about me...I'm sure you're all RIVETED and awaiting my post with anticipation that nears hysteria...and so I shall get on with it! lol

9. I was in a 6 person music group (a sextet) in Junior High and won the Illinois state competition! (I still sing and remember the song we sang: "Stay with us sweet songster, lovely nightingale..." (SHEESH)

10. I played clarinet from 4th grade through 7th grade. I hated every moment of it. (I wanted to play the trumpet instead)

11. When I was 7 years old I remember watching my mom as she read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." She was often sniffling and quietly left a very vivid mental snapshot in my head.

12. I love the beach...the sand, the sea, the surf. But I can't swim a stroke. Never learned as a kid. Tried to teach myself via the "sink or swim" method...I sunk. Twice. And had to be dragged to the shore by my sister in law. How humiliating...twice in one day!?

13. My favorite number is and has always been (as long as I can remember) 7.

glitter generator by

14. I ALWAYS drive. Driving relaxes me. My husband prefers to be chauffeured. I prefer NOT to passively ride. It's a perfect fit. We're kinda like Driving Miss Daisy...except reversed.

15. Hubby dear and I are actively seeking out a "canned ham". (a vintage camper...behold the HAM)

16. And FINALLY, I am a closet cowgirl. Yes. It's true. I LOVE cowgirl paraphenalia ...something between a genuine "out west" cowgirl and a junk gypsy.

There you have it, dear reader! 16 little known (or cared about) facts about me. Go ahead. Laugh your fool heads off...I shan't be disuaded!


Paula Clare

Thursday, January 22


Greetings, dear reader!

One of my most consistent places of inspiration is ArtsyMama's Blog...she just finished a 16 things challenge and then challenged readers to do here goes:

1. I have lived in the midwest all my life...however I have not a single hestiation about drastically changing my geography. I love my home, but when I am gone on vacation, visiting, or traveling, I never, EVER get homesick. I have the ability to always be COMPLETELY present wherEVER that may be. (I tend to think I'm either a missionary or gypsy at heart...)

2. I am an avid collector of journals. Do I write in them? Sometimes. Do I fill them? Rarely. Do I sketch and draw in them? Often. Will I quit collecting until I've used what I already have? Doubtful.

3. My favorite music to create to is French 1920s and 1930s music. I also love the soundtrack from the french movie Amelie.

4. My taste in color, style and trends waxes and wanes...almost daily. I have an almost constant love for "all things hippie" (patchouli, tie dye, peace signs, woodstock music, etc) but also have "fits" of loving cutesy, retro, vintage, victorian, and art deco. My dream home would be a huge 3 story Victorian with 30 rooms decorated in 30 different themes.

5. It has been a secret goal of mine to one day work as a Bible translator in the wilds of Papua New Guinea.

6. I would love to try my hand at being a Pet Therapist rather than a people therapist:

7. I have absolutely no fear in speaking in front of large crowds...I have discovered that the key to not feeling anxious (for me) is believing in whatever it is I'm speaking about. I can very readily talk about something I believe in .

8. I love and am inspired by children's books...I have often thought I'd love to write and illustrate a children's book about some mental health issue: depression, anxiety, fear, etc. This is from one of my art journals:

NEXT 8 tomorrow!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Tuesday, January 20


Greetings, dear reader!

I am in the throes of studying, researching, and creating an AltAred Art Journal...I have found some of the most wonderful inspiration in blogdom. Behold, the irrepressible Ngaire Bartlam of "Blog Me Baby" fame:

And this "recently discovered" young artist, Ruby Claire:

I am currently coveting the following books...if anyone would like to help a "starving artist sistuh" out, I'll be happy to pay postage if you'd be philanthropic enough to send them my way!

I just latched onto some more "must have" journal supplies. Film and update coming soon to a blog near YOU! (this one)

More soon!


Paula Clare

Monday, January 19


Greetings dear reader!

Regardless your political and/or religious affiliation, you MUST admit that we are in an exciting place in history with the inauguration of our first African American president. Call me Pollyanna, but I cannot help but feel hope and optimism swelling in my heart when I hear him speak. I think of all Abraham Lincoln fought for and brought about, and how far we've come since the days of slavery and racism. I think of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his many inspiring speeches and hopes. I think of John Lennon and his dream of world peace...

While the Middle East remains in turmoil, I cannot help but optimistically hope and pray that perhaps, in THIS administration, in MY lifetime, peace may be possible.

More soon!

Paula Clare

Wednesday, January 14


Greetings, dear reader!

I am mortified to tell you that we have left our dear palm trees for the cold, ice and gray of Illinois winter. (can I hear a "BOO?!") Anyhoo, I thought I'd share a few of the last photos I took to give you a little slice of the heaven DH, (Dear Hubby) Doggie and I experienced:

First of all, remember my last post in which I told you there were seashells scattered everywhere along the shore? Here's the scene first thing in the morning:

This is the "dog beach" I told you about. It is in DeSoto State Park on Egmont Key. The dark spots on the shore are giant mollusks and sea urchins...remember the sea urchins?

Then we traveled to North Beach, winner of the #1 Beach in America award. Can you see why?

A view through the palm trees...

And sunset as seen from a beach cafe:

Proof we were really there:

I'll be uploading a mini video of our time with Webster...stay tuned!

More soon!


Paula Clare

Friday, January 9


Greetings dear reader!

Today was another (yes, TYPICAL) Florida day. 75 degrees and brightly sunny. We started the day again at the pawground playground with Webster, then took him to the dog beach. We were very early, and the tide had not come in yet, so the day was PERFECT for shelling. I came away with a bag full of seashells, sponge, starfish, and assorted other "treasures" that were so plentiful I could literally scoop them up by the handsfull!

There are these little creatures that wash ashore (it makes me very sad, but once they break loose from the coral they attach themselves to, they are deceased and therefore NOT revivable (Is that a word?) Anyhoo, they are sea urchins. Here's what they look like:

Very odd looking little things...and as you can see, they are quite prickly. Webster insists on investigating, however, up close and personal, and I KNOW he has been stabbed in the nose more than once. He will not give up the hunt, tho. Crazy dog! Once they wash ashore, their "quills" are broken off by the sand and the tides...the sun dries them, and then they look like this:

Really quite beautiful. The whole dying-death-washing ashore thing makes the Franciscan monk in me very sad. So many of the underwater habitats are being destroyed one way or another by what seems like human indifference, global warming, and a dozen other things. I think care of the earth INCLUDES the sea creatures too, don't you?

OH! Speaking of sea creatures! Yesterday we spent the day visiting beaches along the gulfcoast of Florida. Bird Key, Sailboat Key, Long Key, Lido Key etc. etc. Anyway, each beach was more beautiful than the last...while at Lido Key (which was a bit of a hike from the car) I saw DOLPHINS playing in the shallows! It was AMAZING! Did I have my trusty camera with me? NOoooooooo of COURSE not! WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!? They were so sweet and beautiful...two of them just swimming merrily along and playing "leap frog" in the water. I was so overtaken by both the beauty of the beach and the dolphins I was reduced to tears. (I know, I know...ME, the one who's always accusing my friends of being "sappy" am myself, a closet SAP(with a capital "S")).

In other news, the place where we are staying has a sundeck where we can sit on a swing, read the paper, and enjoy the sunshine "above it all." I spent an hour or so out there today, just basking in the warmth. (I'm thinking perhaps I can somehow STORE this sunshine so when I get back to the cold and gloomy midwest I can radiate it for my own amusement. More on that "experiment" later)

Meanwhile, we are looking at only two more days of this sunny, warm bliss, then its off to the land of ice and snow. On THIS subject, I prefer to take the stance of Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind"

"Of fiddle dee dee. I'll not think of that right now. I'll think of it tomorrow...for tomorrow is another day."

More soon! Hugs and SMOOCHIES!

Paula Clare