Saturday, October 30, 2010


I have hosted several round robin journals with a wonderful group of ladies. The way it has always worked is if someone does not want to participate in a new journal, we invite another person to come into the circle. Since we have not had anyone "drop out", we have let the group grow a little. In the past almost three years (I can't believe it's been almost THREE YEARS!!) we have done several projects:

Through the Eyes of an Artist was started in 2007 and after 15 months went home.

I Dream in Colors should be completely done in the next few months. Some of the ladies have already received theirs back!!! These journals are exquisite and were inspired by the wonderful Stampington special publication on a colors journal project done by wonderful and famous artists. Each artist chose her color palette and every artist who worked in the journal was limited to that color palette.

Journal of Dreams will also be completed soon. This was a simple journal where each artist completed one or two pages depicting a dream of that particular artist.

On November 10th we start a new project: ARTISTIC PORTFOLIOS. Each artist prepares a portfolio and sends it on in a round robin fashion. This first portfolios is on backgrounds. Each artist will prepare a background and write instructions on how to do the background on the back of the page. By the time this project is completed, each of us will have a portfolio full of wonderful backgrounds and instructions on how to do it!

This is my portfolio for the backgrounds project:

The second project will be journal pages in an 8x8 portfolio. Each artist will create a journal page where the owner of the portfolio can write and bind and use as a personal journal. That should be fun!
The idea behind this project is to create a library from which we can find inspiration. There will be other portfolios... tags... we will be creating a wonderful resource for our art.

In January we start ARTISTIC EVOLUTION. This will be probably the most exciting one so far! (At least until the next time!). The journals (which were all put together by Valerie who is just AMAZING), have light chipboard pages. The pages are cut so that the first page is narrow and the pages progressively get wider until they are the full size of the journal. The artist decorates her journal in any way she wants... and does the first page (the most narrow). The next artist to work on the journal has to do a page or pages that "evolve" from the previous page. In other words, if I create a first page with birds.... the next artist can "evolve" her art to include angels (from the bird wings).... you get the drift. It will be amazing.

This is the journal that Val has made for everyone:

This group of ladies came to my home this past year for a retreat (Keys 4 Art 2010) and will now be returning (plus some extras!) for Keys 4 Art 2011. I am blessed to know them and to be gifted with their wonderful art.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


INGRID DIJKERS is teaching a two-day workshop at our March retreat!!! Woo HOO!!! I am so unbelievably thrilled! It was so exciting to see our retreat on the workshop schedule on her blog!!!

Every single one of her projects are amazing but we will be doing the Over The Edge which is just ... well... over the top!!!

As you guys know I am a huge TEESHA MOORE fan. Attending Teesha's PLAY retreat in Port Townsend Washington last year totally changed my life and my art. Zetti speaks to me like no other art form. And in Ingrid's work I find the same thing. That "aha" moment when you know you have found your niche.

Spending time with good friends, Julie's fabulous Glamour Girls and Ingrid's Over the Edge... well it just doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Received an email from INGRID DIJKERS that she would love to teach her workshop at our retreat!! I can not tell you how excited I am! I absolutely LOVE her journals.

Yep, this retreat is turning out to be an amazing amazing week for us my friends!!!! If you have not seen her work, please go take a look at her gallery and her blog. You will LOVE her!!!


I have always said that God puts people in my life for a reason. I have been telling you guys about Julie Nutting and how excited I am that she will be joining us at our retreat in March. It turns out that Julie and I are soul mates! She too believes as do I that God leads us to people for a reason.

I am so thrilled with the last post on her blog that I wanted to share it with you guys! Please take your time on her blog and look at her amazing work. She has a book coming out in May (yes, I KNOW!! So far away!!) which she has told me will teach you how to do her beautiful girls step by step! Don't miss out on this amazing book.... Amazon is taking pre-orders!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I am so humbled by the amount of emails and prayers for my father in law. He is actually improving a little. He will never be who he was but it seems that maybe - just maybe - he is not quite ready to leave us yet. The doctors all say he is a medical miracle. He is more alert, TOTALLY cognizant and making small stride every day.

I have always loved and admired him and now I am totally awestruck by his strength and desire to live. God has brought him out of an abyss for some reason. Now we just wait and see what that reason is.

Thank you everyone.

Monday, October 11, 2010


My desk wasn't half as bad as I expected. My wonderful assistant, Barbara, is the lifeline of this office. I have no idea what I would do without her! Not only does she put up with me (and, no, I am not always easy!) but she actually "GETS" me!! How cool is that? My clients love her too - she plays guard dog for me and I truly credit that with having kept my sanity for this long.

Thank you so much for your emails and your concerns about my father in law. He still remains the same. Very weak, very fragile. He is not waking as much as he was before and I'm not certain he really recognizes anyone any more. I just can't tell. Poor Bernie stayed at the hospital... I don't blame him. When I went through my dad's illness and demise in December I didn't want to miss one single minute with him. But Bernie is not as strong as I am - I don't think men in general are as strong as women - and I know this is killing him. He lost his mom when he was only 13 so his dad has meant everything to him.

My kids - all 4 of them - have been so incredibly wonderful. They spend most of their time at the hospital - going there after work or school. They love Alberto very much but I know they are there for their father. It makes me proud to be their mom when I see that despite their shortcomings - which we all have - they are caring, loving men and women. These are the moments in life when you really know who everyone is.

Thanks again ladies, for your love and support.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Still In The Hospital

He looks weaker and more frail with every passing hour. The doctors are amazed he even survived this. Within all the sad parts of this drama, I personally believe the saddest is that he is fully aware of what is happening to him.

I have to go home to the Keys tomorrow. I can only imagine what my desk looks like. The Court would be understanding and give me continuances if I ask for it, but my clients need their issues resolved too. There is nothing I can change here and they need me.

We will see what God's plans are.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Friday, October 8, 2010

Artists Are Truly Amazing People!

Yesterday I blogged about the beautiful work of Julie Nutting. If you haven't checked out her blog yet you really should! You will love her girls!

Anyway, I was trying to distract myself from this whole depressing waiting game at the hospital (and no, still no improvement) so I write to Julie and ask her if she offers any on-line classes or DVDs. I explain to her that I host a yearly retreat for the members of my journal group and would love to learn to make her girls so that I could teach her technique at our retreat in March.

She responds that she does not offer either at this time. And then she goes on to ask about the retreat and tells me that she would love to join us and teach us how to do her girls!!!! Can you believe that!? Is she not amazing?

God truly is so good to me. And I continue to be awed and humbled by the amazing people that come into my life like angels sent to grace me with light and this wonderful gift of art that makes my life so full of amazing colors!

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Location:SW 88th Ave,Miami,United States

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Collage Couture: Techniques for Creating Fashionable Art

If you loved Julie Nutting's girly girls, she has a book coming out in May 2011 called Collage Couture: Techniques for Creating Fashionable Art which Julie tells me will give step by step instructions on creating these beautiful art pieces.

You can pre-order the book from Amazon! I already did! Come on......... you know you wanna!

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Julie Nutting

Nothing is getting better in the hospital front. Swelling and bleeding of the brain; liquid in the lungs.... Mentally draining.

So let's talk about something else for a little while shall we? Julie Nutting. I received a recent Somerset Magazine (don't have it here but will add it later) and I see these absolutely wonderful collaged faceless girls. They immediately remind me of the artisan dolls from Santo Domingo called "sin caras" (without faces) but so much more beautiful made from paper!

Gorgeous aren't they???? I copied these images from Julie's blog. As soon as I saw these dolls in Somerset I emailed Julie and asked her how these wonderful dolls were made. Within a couple of hours she wrote me back and told me!!! Who does that! Clearly she is not only an amazing artist but an amazing person. Go visit blog at and her Etsy shop!! She is a sweetie.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Waiting Game

At the hospital since arriving last night. I hear he is better than he was yesterday morning but, frankly, I don't understand. He still has not recognized us and he has not spoken. The doctors tell us that the clot takes up half his brain. According to them, it's "good news" that it is on the left side and not the right because if it had been on the right he would have lost his motor functions. Yeah? Not sure I"m buying that.

He is 85 and has arrhythmia so surgery is not an option. They are monitoring him to make sure he is not "bleeding out". So given the fact they can not operate what happens if he does start to bleed out?

I admire those that dedicate their life to medicine. I could not do this day in and day out. Pediatric critical care is right next to the adult critical care. So sad. Puts life in perspective though. An 85 year old man in critical care is difficult but having a child in critical care has to be devastating.

Ugggh! I can't stand all this negativity. As soon as I get a couple of hours sleep I will share some more about Tim's classes and products.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Almost Home

We are 20 minutes from Miami. Totally exhausted and drained. But almost home. I could feel bummed about missing 4 days of the 9 day cruise. But I have made the choice not to. Instead of feeling bummed about missing 4 days I am going to continue to feel thrilled about having the 5 days I did have.

Got to see and enjoy New York! Visited ground zero.... Felt the fear and the pain of that great city.

Spent time with some wonderful ladies - many I knew and many I was lucky enough to get to know.

Spent time with Mario with whom for some strange reason I have always felt a connection to.

Got some great products... Learned some wonderful new techniques from Tim who really and truly is as fun and humble as he seems despite being a "rock star"! LOL!

Spent time with my buddy Eileen who I adore! Met her best friend Pat who is just awesome.... Met two beautiful ladies from Japan - Naomi and Kyoko...

Spent quality time with my husband...

Yep!!! It's all good!! I am one lucky lady!

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Day Four! Bar Harbor, Maine

I don't know what happened to my original post on Bar Harbor but it's gone!

We arrived in Bar Harbor by ferry from the cruise ship. The moment we turned the corner I was reminded of Cape Cod. A beautiful island, Bar Harbor has dozens of lobstering boats dotting the waters that surround it.

A quaint town full of shops and restaurants, Bar Harbor is welcoming and friendly. Part of it is obviously that tourism is their main source of income, but also I have to believe that just living here has to make you feel happy!

With beautiful summers and vicious unforgiving winters, the population on this island swells to over 45,000 people in the summer and goes down to less than 7000 in the winter!

With mansions owned by the Astors, the Rockerfellers and other mega wealthy families, the views on this island rival and surpass even the most beautiful views in Europe. Who knew????? We travel to Europe to see sights that we have in our own back yard.

We went on a tour and I took dozens of gorgeous pictures I will share with you later.

At night we had our second class! Tim taught us to make absolutely gorgeous flowers and some great techniques to make these wonderful tags!!!! Will share more on how they are done later. Enjoy!

PS: I am already booked on Tim's Caribbean cruise for September 2011 and I really hope you are too because it is already sold out!!!! I can't even start to tell you how worth it it will be!!! Tell you more about it in a later post.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

In New York Again

Unfortunately not a happy thing. My father in law is in intensive care. The hours are passing by so slowly. Bernie needs to be there.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Day 6. Halifax, Nova Scotia Bye-Bye Tim!

Today was to be our 6th cruise day. I had plans to go to antique and fabric stores. Had plans to work in the studio tonight making the beautiful cloth flowers Tim taught us to make. Planned on spending some time with Mario just talking about life. I so enjoy our chats!

The phone rang at 6:00 am - never a good sign. The call was coming from Bernie's uncle -definitely not good. I really did not want to answer it but I knew I had to.

My father in law - a wonderfully "Victorian" man; with the charm and manners of a by-gone era had a major stroke. We needed to go home.

The staff on the cruise ship was lovely. Bernie wasn't really functional so their courtesies made it much easier.

Call Eileen - let her know... She meets me at the desk... A hug and a kiss and we are off this wonderful ship and in a taxi to the Halifax Airport. Wow! Talk about surreal!

We will fly to JFK in New York and from there go on to Miami to handle whatever God sends our way.

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Day Five!!!! St. John, New Brunswick

I can't believe we are on day 5 already! We are in St. John, New Brunswick. We are only here for a couple of hours but apparently that is more than enough. There is absolutely nothing to see here. Very industrial and quite ugly!

This afternoon we have "Tim Time". Nobody is really sure what that is. Tim said it was not a class but "encouraged" everyone to be there. Reminds me of Oprah and her give-aways!!!! He really does give away an extraordinary amount of stuff!

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good morning sunshine!

We have arrived in beautiful Bar Harbor Maine! This is the view for breakfast! Couldnt resist sharing this with you!

See you tonight!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Gouldsboro,United States

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day three! Portland, Maine

A very pretty town built around a pier, Portland is quaint and the people are very nice. Not a lot to see or do. We took a ride in a horse drawn wagon which took us around the town. Everyone would wave and say hi which was a nice change from the abruptness and rudeness of New York! I loved New York and have every intention of going back. Fascinating town but not somewhere I would want to live!

No classes today. No time to go to the studio. Plan to go to studio when Bernie watches football!

Here are some pictures taken today.

Given the fact I have never lived further North than Miami, I find the Map,e trees with their wonderful autumn colors to be so beautiful!

-Posted from Elena's iPad

Day Two!

We had our first class today. I was so sea sick last night and, honestly felt even worse this morning! But I don't think most of the it was actually being sea sick.

The ship gives out seasickness pills. I assume they do that to avoid the massive vomit cleanup more so than out of the kindness of their hearts- but there you have it! Anyway... The little pack brings two pills. After taking them both I figured it was a good idea to get more. When I went up there today the nice young lady who doesn't speak or understand English OR Spanish (unfortunately the only 2 languages I know) finds someone who almost speaks English and says "take only 1every 12 hours- they is too very strong". There you go! I was ODing on anti-vomiting pills!! Ugggh! Live and learn! Poor Mario has been sick as a dog too! The poor thing spent the morning eating bread!

Back to the important stuff! Wonderful first class! Made an easy but gorgeous little journal for this cruise! As usual, Tim was extremely generous with his materials and the give away at the end of the class was incredible! Ok so it's worth being seasick! And when they you to bring an empty duffle bag with you they mean it!

The adorable little canvas purse was a surprise from Eileen!!! The charms on it spell out my name and I love it!!!

-Post from Elena's iPad

Day One!

The sea is extremely choppy and I have to tell you that for the first time, afyer having been on numerous cruises I am sea sick. Ugggghhhh! So not good! Took some pills and have these wrist bands on that seem sort of useless, hoping to get rid of this "i am dying" feeling! It does not look like this storm is going away any time soon so keep your fingers crossed for me!

The welcome went great. Tim is as sweet as always and Mario as wonderful. Team Tim went all out fir everyone and made everyone feel welcome and excited.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone