31 December 2009

DECIDE that each day will be a good day and that you'll be in a good mood.

That's right, you can decide.

DECIDE that you'll sing, smile, laugh and dance more often.

DECIDE to make this a rewarding year filled with things and people you love.

Some of my happiest holiday memories:


29 December 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

Here are some images to share from our low-key celebration this year.. as we filled our hearts with the true meaning of Christmas and our love for each other!

It all begins with the TREE!


(next year's christmas card!)

Red velvet cake with (green) butter-cream-cheese icing!

Can you taste the bourbon sauce swimming at the bottom of the plate and the cheesy goodness of mom's "Potluck Potatoes?"

Every year we pose wearing the crowns from our English Christmas Crackers.

Our first holiday bird and christmas dinner SINCE 1992!

Wouldn't be complete without mom's cole slaw!

Battenburg lace + brown Alfred Meakin Staffordshire "Fair Winds"


Above pic and the next 2 are from the "road trip" I took to get mom, Mon/Tue before Christmas.

15 December 2009

" determination"


"two chickadees"

23 November 2009

METHAPHOR - Brooklyn Bridge

"going home" final
Originally uploaded by cookievf

(Orig photo here.) Another assignment from this month's "Point & Shoot Journaling" class. We were instructed to go out and take as many photos as we can, shooting everything that appeals to our eye! Then, in hindsight, to locate a photograph that represented a METAPHOR for something else that was going on in our lives.

I had SUCH A STRONG PULL to use this photo taken in September, that I postponed the "go out and shoot" aspect for another day.

Backstory: The SECOND I began my trek across this engineering marvel, an overwhelming feeling swept over me that I had been here before & that I had come home. And it's not a NEW feeling for me in this great city. As for so many of us, a place can hold special meaning with no obvious explanation.

I don't question it for A SECOND.

It was a day that I'd been waiting for all my life!

- Some of things I used on my photo were tissue paper, oil pastels, white gesso, ZIG .5mm waterproof marker.

15 November 2009

New ATCs

Some items used: vintage map, Platinum Stickles, old book text, making memories Mesh Brads (star), silver snowflake charm, vintage photo and printed computer image, Distress Ink, oil pastels and alcohol inks.

10 November 2009

Update: LK Ludwig

Archive Assignment #1: Resonate

My first 2 pages from the October "Point & Shoot Journaling" e-class.

More info here.

06 November 2009

treasures found!

Willis and Julia

Joseph E. Farquhar

The Samuel T. Murphy family

Julia Cook

Julia and Friends

Anna and Charles

31 October 2009

Happy Haunting!

I hope you scare up a little fun tonight!!

"When you hear the owls hooting,
Get your jack o' lantern out,
Put on your shroud and hurry,
For ghosts should be about."

"Enchanted Spirit" ATC

How I created the background: First I started with a heavy cardstock blank, to which I added a layer of acrylic paint mixed with glaze. This was to create a glossy "base" for alcohol ink application (red, yellow & copper). Final glaze was with Glitter Modge Podge before adhering image (some free vintage images here) printed from computer, matted word (DooDads by Tim Holtz) and mini bottlecap (like this) with UTEE (by Ranger Ink) and gold embossing powder. Edged with black Sharpie.

28 October 2009


59th - my valhalla
Originally uploaded by

Subtle light play,

an overcast day.

Mist adds to the mystery;

the imagery.

In the soft, low light ~

shimmering silver

on wisps of foam.


looks and feels so right.

Right here.

Right now.

I am alive & awake!

25 October 2009

Stretching Myself

For October, I am signed up for the first month of LK Ludwig's (online) POINT AND SHOOT journaling class. In the past I'd visited her blog and became even more intrigued when I purchased her book "True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling." Then you can imagine my reaction when I learned that she would be teaching an e-course!

LK is offering 31 days of inspirational techniqes, instruction and prompts. There are over 80 members signed up for the 1st month who hail from all over the globe. Here's a small sampling:

- longmont, colorado, usa
- georgia, usa
- winchester, england
- seatlle, wash, usa
- esperance, western australia
- portland, oregon, usa
- somewhere in belgium
- southern california, usa
- montreal, canada
- frederick, maryland, usa
- Brussels, Belgium
- idaho falls, idaho, usa
- erie, pennsylvanis, usa
- altamont, new york, usa
- lethbridge, alberta, canada
- near wellington, new zealand
- london, england

As I begin to dig down into the THOUSANDS of images I have stored on my computer, my teacher says I will be revisitng "notes from my super-creative, subconscious self." We will be adding our own thoughts & experiences as well as quotations & poems plus painting, scratching, coloring and who-knows-what!

So far, I am extremely pleased with the content of this course and highly recommend it. And I promise - pics and W-I-P to follow!

19 October 2009

Suzi Inspired!! MWAH!!

Anxious to try my hand at original art, I created this 4x4 with one of a few small pen sketches I did recently on a Post-it pad. I was inspired after watching Suzi Blu's workshop video for "The Goddess & The Poet" ~ (thanks, my friend!)

I JUST GOTTA TAKE THIS CLASS! For $55.00 you can sign up for it here.

18 September 2009

adopt don't shop

"The greatness of a nation
and its moral progress can be judged
by the way its animals are treated."
- Gandhi

Today is Puppy Mill Awareness Day! If you live near any of the locations, listed below, please attend one of these important events. This organization's goal is to provide a voice for the thousands of dogs that remain in puppy mills around the country that are waiting for a hero. While public awareness has drastically increased over the past few years there's still a long way to go!!

Today we can all help by celebrating and supporting rescue, adopting a shelter or puppy mill dog and do our part to increase awareness to the cruelty within the mills.




Important Links:

14 September 2009

Etsy Shop Update

My Shop "beauty of the garden"
Seller "vickstress"

I've just added a link to my Etsy shop. It is small and growing so be sure to click now and take a peek. You can either check here for updates or click on "follow this feed" at the bottom of my shop! Here are some items I will be listing ~

- ACEO originals,
- OOAK blank greeting cards,
- squared art,
- larger format mixed media collage,
- mixed media collage prints mounted on thick, creamy (blank) greeting cards

Destashing cherished bits from my personal collection such as
-carte de visite
-cab cards
-mat board
-old books & book pages
-vintage magazines
-vintage photo postcards
-square and shaped board books
as well as other treasures for altering/mixed media collage and bookmaking.

Vintage flea market finds from rural New England, such as
-gorgeous rusty & brass bits
-art deco goddesses


06 September 2009

feed the soul ~ plan it!

dream come true!
Originally uploaded by cookievf

It felt wonderful to be able take one off my "bucket list" yesterday!

I have wanted to take this trip for what seems like a lifetime and it came about SPONTANEOUSLY!

Walking across this 120 year old engineering marvel was truly My American Dream Come True!

At 54, I realize more than EVER how important it is to honor:
- my past
- all that I AM
- and all that I NEED TO BE

31 August 2009

count down to ART


April 2009 "Beerworks" BOSTON

Being without a computer has been trying, to say the least! I have been so busy making art that I hope you will remember to check back in with me over the next 1-2 weeks! I'm closer to being able to scan all of my new projects (for sharing here) but we're just not there yet.

The tale begins with absolute elation over a recent decision to back up our computers. Thankfully I was able to salvage 99% of my photography and all of my art before my PC d-i-e-d about 5-6 weeks ago!!! We bought an external mass storage device or external hard drive for around $180 at our local office supply store. Something I highly recommend. There are 2 versions, USB or Network and Network, though costing almost 50% more, is much faster.

Resuscitating my July photo shoot in Portland Maine continues to be a challenge, but I haven't given up. Everything else is coming along slowly but surely, as we purchased a "bare bones" package for around $400. My new Intel Pentium 2.8 GHz Dual Core is screaming fast, compared to what I had before and has enough storage space (300 GB) for my massive photo collection and scanned artwork.

This turned out to be a great deal but has required extreme patience on my part. For example, my camera has been maxed out for about 2-3 weeks and I can't offload (or TAKE ANY MORE PICTURES) until the software's been installed. This is because my husband asked me to prioritize the workload so I carefully weighed the importance of each application & feature and he's spreading out the various installations over several weekends. When your husband works in IT, or really any type of high-stress job, downtime is precious. Just as it is to me! He spends his in the recording studio downstairs in "the cave" and I spend mine in my "cave" or Art Room. (That is when we're not watching past episodes of "24" or Red Sox Games!) So, he's been able to dedicate a couple hours a week to the project and it's not over yet.
  • Norton antivirus: (8/22/09) ~ completed but with major issues, delays
  • Web access, email, etc: (8/22/09)
  • Printer: (8/23/09) ~ completed but SOME issues, delays
  • MAXTOR access to my archived photos and art
  • Speakers: (8/27/09) ~ completed but SOME issues, purchase required
  • Replacing the CORRECT version of Microsoft Office: check (8/28/09) ~ completed but yes, more major issues, patch had to be researched online & worked! WHEW!
  • UPDATE: Fuji FinePix Digital Camera: (9/4/09) ~ offloaded 300+ pics, took 290 more on 9/5/09 trip to brooklyn bridge.


  • Camera (done)
  • Scanner
  • Photshop Elements 6.0
  • "Old" C: drive with vacation photos
~ In the meantime, I am getting my hands dirty and staying busy! ~

10 August 2009

sad but true!

... Shhhhh! Don't tell the boss! I am posting from work because MY PC HAS BEEN DOWN FOR 3 WEEKS!

Ever-anxious to share my art, tips and techniques, photos from my adventuresand to remain in touch with so many lovely friends in this online community..

I will be posting again soon, estimating just after this weekend, or around August 18! Please be sure to check back ~ we've got alot of catching up to do!!!

July trip to Portland, Maine

come on in!

day one in my side garden