Recent Adventures of ContadinaK

Wow – the past month has taken me well well outside my comfort zone.  As a creature of habit, I’m most comfortable at home following the quietest of routines.  Two weeks of caring for my mother post-surgery had me wearing a new hat, that of caregiver – there were so many challenges there that had me stumbling at times but which thankfully, helped me grow.  This was followed by a week-long road trip to San Jose, a place we will soon call home.   The move will be good for us, but I’ve come to love Las Vegas – our life here, the home we’ve created and the memories we’ve made in it, all the FOOD.  I’m well aware that I’ve never done very well with change, so preparing myself for such a major one leaves me feeling a bit woozy.

In San Jose, we were quite busy setting up the new home and preparing to live there for the long-term.  In fact, I was so busy that I couldn’t even find the time to pick up a DANG Thomas’ Guide – that one item would have saved me the agony of constantly finding myself lost in San Jose!  So I allowed the GPS to manipulate me, turn me left and right without giving me a real sense of where I was – that was somewhat frustrating.  Add to the mix a three week absence of exercise and a diet with more than its fair share of fried, unhealthy foods, and this little camper’s back made a big old’ stink.  Sadly, my back bluntly reminds me daily of how old I am 😦

But let’s focus on the positives, shall we?  The dogs traveled incredibly well.  Pupusa did a ton of sightseeing on the drive…


while Mabu worked at perfecting his balance on turns and swerves.


My man made sure to get us to San Jose in time for my Design Team Crop on Sunday – yay!  I will confess to you that Scrapbook Island was our very first stop in San Jose (well after a quickstop at Carl’s Junior :-/).  I hadn’t even seen the new house yet haha!  This girl has got her priorities straight!  I had the opportunity to meet some fabulous crafters at the crop, and I found in Scrapbook Island what can only be described as a haven, or rather, HEAVEN  for papercrafters. During the course of the week, I believe I went there… 4 times?

To follow below are sneak peaks of my first set of DT projects for SBI!  If you are in the area, stop by the Island to see the full projects as well as those of the other DT members.  Get to know the fabulous owner, Laurie, and her uber-sweet and knowledgeable staff.  Sign up for one of the many classes and workshops hosted by the Island.  I found out from some customers that SBI is the best scrapbook shop in the entire bay area and that they had traveled over an hour to get there!

2 Page Layout

For my 2 page layout, I used a combination of papers and embellishments from Crate Paper “Pretty Party,” a few sheets from October Afternoon’s “Cakewalk” Collection, and Cling Stamps from 7Gypsies.  On this layout, you’ll see 2 1/2 inch squares with neat sticker/stamp compositions alternated with mats for pix.  The mini-compositions are numbered and can document various progressions/transformations – the progression of a party, the transformation of a growing child, the stages of a rehabilitation.  There are some monochromatic textural effects that add interest to the white spaces, a beautiful metallic frame (an embellie from the Crate Paper collection) for the primary focal image.  I stitched quite a bit on this layout, as well. And I also left a large space for journaling – recent scrapping revelation…  I am writer – why the heck am I not writing more on my LO’s?  Duh!

Project #2

Above is another sneak peak of a smaller project I did for this submission period.  Can you guess what it is?

Sneak Peak Project #3

I finished this last project during our DT crop – folks, I must be really slow.  It took me the whole crop to finish this one.  Well, maybe that’s because of all the breaks I took to stroll around HEAVEN, I mean the shop, and buy… a few things?  Once the display comes down, I’ll show you the full reveal on this blog.

Shortly before we returned to Vegas, I was able to participate in a workshop at SBI led by Ania Dabrowska, visiting all the way from Poland!  I had been following her online for quite some time and am continually wowed by her unique sensibilities.  Using Prima, Tim Holtz, and a bunch of other goodies you will only learn about if you take her class, she taught us a number of techniques and gave us a window into her process.   The mixed media journals we made during the workshop were all so different – witnessing how each of our spirits translated into art was such a blessing. We are all made of the same stuff, yet how varied we are in how we see the world.

I didn’t concern myself much with creating  a “work…” Rather, my goal was to learn as much as I could from our teacher.  Visit Ania’s site – truly inspiring work that elevates scrapping to a higher realm, I think.  Next time she’s in the states, you won’t want to miss studying with her!

My journal came out quite dark and grungy, and even though it may be the grungiest thing I’ve ever made or will ever make, I like it.  The Little Mermaid on acid?  Here’s the front.

Journal Front

And the back.

Journal Back

Can you believe that all these embellies were brand new, pretty, girly things when we began?


Bear with all the detail shots, please.  Belt loops, washers, paper clips, alphas as design elements.


Pieces of embellies that I had ripped to shreds.  Heavy layering.


We got very inky and dirty.


And I had to remind myself not to think much.


I enjoyed pulling apart the canvas pieces into threads and pasting them down for a grungy effect.


One canvas strip I had pulled apart reminded me of centipedes.  Can you see it?  The Prima Canvas Journals have a resist built in – nice for texture.


Treated in Ania’s unique fashion, these pieces started looking like something that had sat at the bottom of the ocean for eons.


Thanks to this workshop, I also have a new list of items I want and must add to my stash.


If you missed Ania on this last world tour, keep your eyes peeled for her next trip.  She is amaze-balls!

I will post again very very soon – lots to share with you in the coming weeks, folks!


11 thoughts on “Recent Adventures of ContadinaK

  1. Hi Vivian. My, you have been having a busy time. Great that you can stay positive with all the changes. Fabulous makes. The journal is absolutely stunning…. fabulous work. The dogs look so adorable. Take care and wishing you all the best.
    Florence xx

    • Thanks for your support, Florence! This heavy grunge effect had me going in an entirely new direction. Will have to play around more with it! Hope you are well!

    • Thanks, June! I’m definitely going to explore more of my “grungy” side. RIght now though, when I look at the project, I feel a little… scared haha! Thanks so much for visiting me, crafty friend!

  2. Your dogs are so cute! They look well loved. On the crafty side, I like the dimension and texture you got on your grungy project. It’s great to expand your repertoire isn’t it? And as usual I like the peeks at your flowers. You make great flowers! Best of luck settling into your new digs 🙂

    • Thanks, Tracy – we’ll probably be in San Jose full time towards the end of September. More time to pig out on, I mean, enjoy the food in Vegas haha! I love on those dogs all day long – probably why they are so maladjusted haha! I exaggerate. As I am not a good boss, the two of them are a bit overprotective is all.

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