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All Together Now

Welcome  to all my Paint Party Friday , Creative Every Day  and Art Journal Every Day friends!  I’d like to introduce you to a fellow painter,  Amy.  She created a blog hop for this weekend to let creative people share their blogs, introduce themselves to  new online friends, and win prizes on every blog- not just one blog, every blog.    I am a fan of her style, her art, and her attitude- I had to join in the fun!   Just click on the button and you will be magically transported to the  list of blogs to visit. (Assuming I did the behind the scenes part correctly.  I should call tech support – oh, wait, I am tech support in my house…)


All Together Now

My name is Carolyn and I have a very serious, seemingly incurable addiction to messy hands and color.  My blog is a public record of my journey (and hard evidence for my kids’ therapist when they are adults  sorting through all their life issues).

I have a very mature and focused child who values her education. I should be careful what  I wish for…

I politely asked my eldest daughter for her old homework papers.   She knows what I do with it…She told me all about the spirals they have been graphing.  All the formulas, the numbers, oh, I was going to my happy place.  Then she dropped the bomb- she needs them to study for the final exam next week.  I can’t have them yet.  Where are her priorities?  I want to make something NOW.

I had to dip into my stash of of old homework for this project. Yes, I save my kids homework just so I can use it in my art.


I stitched pages of it together using less than precise free motion sewing – making a  huge quilt-like sheet of stitched paper.






I didn’t do well in home economics in high school – my stitching was about the same then as it is now…I am so glad I never learned to follow the domestication rules…




Started by spray inking a home made stencil of my daughter with a couple of Julie Balzer’s stencils and paint..I am very instinct driven with a huge dose of serendipity.  I thought I’d stay with just a few colors for this project but before I knew it I had the rainbow in it.  I am addicted to color- lots and lots of color…



Added more stencils and embellished them with colored pencils.  I like working this big because it gives me options.  I used the same materials to make multiple versions of my initial idea.





1 of them I was thrilled with and I turned it into this journal page.   The other 2 not so much.  They aren’t bad but they didn’t give me that  happy feeling.  The leftover portions of this homework quilt will be used in other projects, cut up for postcards and ATC’s, I may add more paint & ink to them, who knows.




Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what life is like in my world, here are the giveaway goodies.

Just leave a comment and you will be automatically entered to win these vintage plastic doilies.  A winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, May 25th.  I will ship internationally so everyone is eligible.  For those shy commenters- jump in and join the conversation- everyone is welcome and appreciated means everyone including you!




If you have enjoyed my blog I’d love for you to follow along.  You can get an email when I post by going here.  You can follow along with Mr. Linky by going here.

{ 93 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • mandy at eight is enough May 18, 2012, 9:06 am

    i love it and how totally creative…what a lovely prize you are offering too..i am about to check out amys blog…cheers…xxx

  • Judy May 18, 2012, 9:17 am

    What a fun idea!

  • Nordljus May 18, 2012, 9:17 am

    Blog hops are such fun, aren’t they! What a fabulous journal page, I love the fact that you’re recycling your daughter’s old homework! Such a great idea, and that stamp is beautiful! Happy PPF!

  • Annette G May 18, 2012, 9:19 am

    Loving your wonderful journal page and so inventive. Happy PPF, Annette x

  • Mary C. Nasser May 18, 2012, 9:46 am

    Fabulous post and process!
    Would love to win the plastic doilies!
    I totally want to check out Amy’s blog hop, too!
    Thanks for the info on it. 🙂
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  • Maria May 18, 2012, 10:08 am

    I love the personal aspect of using old homework. I’ll be digging through the recycle bin once again for fodder. Lovely as always.

  • JKW May 18, 2012, 10:20 am

    Thank you for sharing your step by step PPF project. There are so many things I need to learn. The picture is terrific.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing the ‘OK now I need to ‘unlearn’ the growing up. . . .’ Yep, I’m doing that now and it’s way later for me. Thankfully, it came to me though. Blessings, Janet PPF

  • Gloria J Zucaro May 18, 2012, 10:35 am

    Wow! sewing together old homework papers! You are totally GREEN, and blue, and pink and yellow… Thanks for sharing!

  • Maria McGuire May 18, 2012, 10:56 am

    Again..loving the homework! I think this one is a statement of you “breaking free”!

  • gloria May 18, 2012, 10:59 am

    What a great idea with the homework papers. Excellent. They make great journal pages. thanks. Happy PPF!

  • Andrea May 18, 2012, 11:09 am

    I love that you do this on homework, i can see why this page makes you happy, so much beautiful spirit here! Glad you joined in with the party!

  • sharon l-s May 18, 2012, 11:26 am

    I saw your studio in the summer 2012 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios mag last night and had to check out your website. Last of fun stuff and interesting ideas as I meander thru the various postings. When we remodeled the kitchen (my idea) I had to discuss boxes of my old college papers and our daughter’s homework, notebooks extra (hubby’s idea) to make room for the cabinets and appliances to sit in the garage during the remodeling process. Seeing what you’ve done with homework pages, I wish I had found a way to save at least a box or 2. Awesome.
    I have a question on the photos of your studio. The cabinets along the wall that has canvases on top. (page 120) Where did you get them? I have rubber stamps in my Family room, LR and DR as well as the Laundry Room – ~5,000+. Your cabinets look like a solution to my organizational nightmare.

    Thanks for sharing both on your blog and in the magazine.

    • Carolyn May 18, 2012, 8:15 pm

      I do love those cabinets- they hold so so so much. Here is a link to the company where i bought them- http://www.chandlercreations.com/page/629006 Be warned, they are addictive- I placed one order then another and another. They shipped quickly so it only fueled my purchasing. Hope this helps!

  • Ginny May 18, 2012, 11:27 am

    Carolyn, the first thing I thought when I saw your journal page was Oh, this makes me happy. It is so bright and fun and full of energy. What a wonderful way to use old homework pages. I just love coming to your blog each week to see what you have created. Have a great weekend.

    PS The official name for the shack was a floating cabin. It was very tiny but really special.

  • NatashaMay May 18, 2012, 11:33 am

    Lol! Darn kids these days! Why do they have to study and ruin all the fun for their moms. :))) Thanks for sharing!

  • Victoria May 18, 2012, 11:35 am

    Fabulous post.beautiful art….you are always super creative and wonderfully inspiring..shine on!!

  • Susan King May 18, 2012, 11:35 am

    I absolutely love this journal page. The colors are fantastic. Thanks for the description of the process and the chance to win!

  • Carol May 18, 2012, 11:59 am

    Very creative journal page ~ colorful, composition, design ~ Wonderful ^_^ ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

  • Sanam May 18, 2012, 12:35 pm

    I love the colors on the page!

  • Gina May 18, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Yay!!!! Love the stitched up homework!! My kids would have to do some before I could art with it….hmmmmmm…maybe that could be their incentive, make homework so mummy can make art! 😀 Those plastic doilies look like they’d be awesome stencils 😀 XXX

  • mimi torchia boothby watercolors May 18, 2012, 12:39 pm

    i love all the colorful stuff you do! I am inspired. 🙂

    Mimi Torchia Boothby

  • Sirutuuli May 18, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Beautiful colours, beautiful page. I am one of those shy commenters 🙂 because I’m not so good in english…

  • Kat May 18, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Hello Carolyn, I love how you’ve used your daughter’s school work as a background for your art work. It’s got this free flow to it I love! Happy PPF to you, take care. xx

  • Terrie: Creative Explorer May 18, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Great fun! I have resisted getting out my sewing machine because I’m out of room to set stuff out in my crafting room – and I’m a little worried about adding another addiction to my growing list of techniques I love. I know I’ll try it – I just see too many cool paper stitched projects – but not just yet. I love the idea of working big and cutting up the project to usable sizes – just saw a similar take on the idea from Jane Davies…. must add that to my to do list… 🙂

  • judah May 18, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one with that style of stitching/sewing!
    And those doilies would make most-excellent stencils!

  • Vanessa May 18, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Hi! Thanks so much for sharing your process – I have just started getting involved/being addicted to mixed media and am still very ‘controlling’ in my approach, so this has been very helpful!!

  • Cynthia May 18, 2012, 2:18 pm

    WOW. That is so awesome!!! Love the movement and the colors–and the creative process!!

  • minnemie May 18, 2012, 3:02 pm

    You are so super creative!! love it!

  • Nora MacPhail May 18, 2012, 3:02 pm

    Very original and imaginative! Thanks for sharing your process. I’m going to watch your YouTube videos this long weekend, with a cup of tea!

  • Magaly Guerrero May 18, 2012, 3:07 pm

    I wonder what my parent’s blogs would look like… hm, better not to wish that kind of things.

    I love your messy art and bright colors. They dance and called to be touched–they are approachable, and that is what I like most.

  • amy May 18, 2012, 3:50 pm

    oh no, i never thought about how our blogs could be used as evidence (:

    i like the art you make – i love the free stitching – i haven’t done that in a while and i really REALLY have been itchy to play and make things that really make me crack a smile. you’ve inspired me – i know what i’ll be doing tomorrow (ugh, at least up until i have to go to a wedding. wait, why’d i say ugh? it’s OPEN BAR!)

    anyway. i REALLY WANT TO WIN those plastic doilies.

    i have a thing for doilies.

    no i really do. i get teased about it in some (brutal) circles. but i love doilies. where the heck did you find a doily stencil? if i don’t win, maybe i can carve one out of a folder.


    thankyou for joininignigninining in!


  • julie m May 18, 2012, 4:04 pm

    what a cool page. like the idea of sewing pages together and making a big background. gives lots of options. what cool doilies. i have been looking for some at the local charity resale store. had seen them there off and on when i wasn’t looking for them and now nary a one has appeared. just need patience or the lucky number for this drawing. thank you for the chance to win. only recently discovered your blog and have been visiting regularly. like your style. i am a newbie and find lots of inspiration from you and others that share your talent and fun.

  • Mari May 18, 2012, 4:19 pm

    It is an original idea that recycle the duties of children to make art… never would have occurred to me. Saludos

  • Lisa WrightStuff May 18, 2012, 4:20 pm

    Ooh I love seeing how you create and that wild abandon with the sewing machine… a lady after my own heart when it comes to sewing – though I always have trouble just threading the needle!

    Keep your hands off that homework. I don’t think that “my mum turned into a work of art” will wash with the maths teacher!

  • Leovi May 18, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Excellent composition, I like it. Greetings.

  • Rinda May 18, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Awesome page today! I’m already a follower through my google reader. I love stencils too!

  • iamrushmore May 18, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I can’t believe it never occurred to me to use my son’s homework in my collages. add that to the long list of ways you’ve inspired me!

  • Christine May 18, 2012, 5:52 pm

    lovely piece, very creative!

  • Catherine Denton May 18, 2012, 6:40 pm

    I love the idea of stitching together homework papers. You created such a beautiful piece and I’m off to see the blog hop! 😀
    Catherine Denton

  • Debbie May 18, 2012, 7:21 pm

    Very fun! Your page turned out great! I love finding ways to use old papers like this — Nothing is garbage any more. 🙂

  • Tracey Fletcher King May 18, 2012, 8:10 pm

    great post and I am impressed that you save homework… Phantom is a pack rat of monumental proportions and I am now going to raid her mountainous stash… this is fun way to use them though the sewing part will need to be modified in my case as a machine is classed as dangerous machinery in my hands… glue is much safer… xx

  • Joyelle @ An Artful Endeavor May 18, 2012, 8:13 pm

    Love your journal page, nice composition!

  • Molly May 18, 2012, 8:37 pm

    This piece has such great energy. I love it. The bright bold colors are just fantastic.

  • Kristin May 18, 2012, 9:00 pm

    You’re so creative! I love how you put it all together to make one fabulous piece. Oh, and I want to be entered in your drawing. 🙂

  • Melisa May 18, 2012, 9:46 pm

    Best use of homework, ever!

  • Bleubeard and Elizabeth May 18, 2012, 9:48 pm

    I sew about like you. And I couldn’t sew in home ec, either. I wanted to take auto mechanics instead. Of course, NOW all I can think of is how to use my sewing machine to make altered art. Way to go.

    Love, love, love those doilies. Great stencils.

  • Julia May 18, 2012, 10:29 pm

    Ha-ha! Messy hands and color – me, too! What a really cool idea you have reusing the homework papers. And the doilies? Oh, me, me, me, me (please?)!

  • Cathy Yosha May 18, 2012, 10:58 pm

    I love the way you write, too. Seems like I am in the room with you. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • ArtsyChik May 18, 2012, 11:08 pm

    What a fun way to incorporate paper stash, sewing and art. Love it.

  • Tammy Murdock May 18, 2012, 11:19 pm

    oooh how fun! I LOVE your sewing technique—-it looks very familiar… wouldn’t my sewing teacher have a fit if she saw my ‘fancy’ sewing! Love your blog. Love the doilies…I too have been keeping an eye out for them and they sure seem to hide…. *fingers crossed*

  • mary May 18, 2012, 11:42 pm

    I love your blog and colors….and am looking for plastic doilies…they’re hard to find…Thanks for teaching us

  • Terri Neggers May 18, 2012, 11:43 pm

    What a fabulous, out of the box project! I love the stitched together homework, and working big like that, just being instinctive and pulling out what you love. Thanks so much for the inspiration, I’ll be back!

  • Susan Tidwell May 18, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Now that my kids are gone, you come up with using homework pages as fodder for art! Your “quilt” is so fun and I’m sure you will use it in many other projects. Love the journal page from it too. Thanks for the chance to win those fantastic doilies – pick me!!

  • Joyce May 19, 2012, 12:12 am

    Stoppin’ by ’cause a friend sent me! Love your ideas! Also love the doilies. I just came from another post and would love the chance to try the technique I saw there with those doilies!! Thanks!

  • Stacy Caddy May 19, 2012, 12:34 am

    Love the page and always love watching your process…. Great prize, I am always on the look out for doilies….

  • Nora Clemens-Gallo May 19, 2012, 12:42 am

    Your page is just gorgeous!! and I love your idea. I have been saving all my daughters illustrations and tiny things to do something creative some day… but i just love yours with all the work of your daughter. Mine is in kinder… so I have to wait a little bit for those formulas homework or math, etc to appear in my house 😉

  • Timeless Rituals May 19, 2012, 2:13 am

    Great job with that sewed art journal!! Love the colors you used!

  • Cameron May 19, 2012, 3:02 am

    My daughter is just finishing Kindergarten…and to think I’ve been throwing away all those endless sheets of writing practice! I think she would just be tickled to have me use some of it in a project!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful inspiration! So nice to meet you 🙂

  • Valerie-Jael May 19, 2012, 4:12 am

    Looks like you have had great fun playing! Valerie

  • Shellie May 19, 2012, 4:43 am

    I wish I still had my homework. I don’t have any kids to steal it from either. Haha. My sister is having a baby. I guess I’ll just wait for him/her to grow up. At least my sister understands my love of random things. Thanks for the idea….and the giveaway!

  • D. Baker-Williams May 19, 2012, 5:42 am

    I love the idea of stitching small pieces together to create a large work space. My son graduates this year so I may follow your led and do the same for a memory page. Thank you for being so creative and sharing your ideas!

  • Susan May 19, 2012, 7:22 am

    I have always loved your use of color and texture. But this one is so meaningful as you are using the pages that your kids have worked with. I love this idea of stitching the pages together and working big.
    Have a great weekend

  • Marilyn J. Rock May 19, 2012, 8:26 am

    I love the painting; it’s so alive!

  • suzanne May 19, 2012, 8:43 am

    Thanks for the contest!! I love Julie’s stencils too!!!

  • Carol Samsel May 19, 2012, 11:09 am

    Love the whole process!!!! What a great give away too…..Just love that Amy!!!

  • Julie Hulver May 19, 2012, 11:28 am

    Your sense of color is why I follow you! I’ve now got a set of Bombay India Inks and have been having fun making more artist tape (you’re costing me money!). Love the stencils…I mean doilies!

  • Harriet May 19, 2012, 12:10 pm

    OMGosh this sounds like a great adventure for this weekend…… digging out all my stuffs to see what I don’t want to use….. thanks for the inspiration…..

  • Rita McGregor May 19, 2012, 1:46 pm

    I love that you use your daughter’s homework papers in your collages. That just tickles me. And I’d love to win the plastic doilies!! I can just picture what awesome stencils they would make. 🙂

  • Nancy May 19, 2012, 4:13 pm

    Love your art! I check your blog daily!

  • Mary in IL May 19, 2012, 5:27 pm

    love the idea of using old schoolwork, what else is it good for? lol…thanks for sharing Carolyn!

  • Joyce van der Lely May 19, 2012, 7:51 pm

    Loooove your idea with the stitching papers together ! Very creative, so nice to meet you here xoxo J

  • Shelle May 19, 2012, 8:57 pm

    Oh my goodness!!! I known I’m running late with my party visit but It’s SOOO crowded LOL I bet you didn’t realise I hadn’t got here yet 😉 Hey I totally get the messy hands, funny when I was a kid I didn’t like touching anything – a bit OCD I guess 😉 now I have paint & glue over my hands constantly (& anything else I’ve stuck myself to doing mixed media)…. uour creation is superb & your doilies TOTALLY desirable – great to meet you it’s been a fun visit!

  • marge cadaret May 19, 2012, 9:47 pm

    Oh my gosh, I haven’t seen those plastic doilies since the 50’s or 60’s. My aunt used to have them under everything! I loved your journal page you made with homework papers and stencils–exciting!

  • susan l May 19, 2012, 11:02 pm

    very creative……..love the stencils… thanks for the chance to win them……

  • Julie May 20, 2012, 7:45 am

    What a great idea. Awesomeness!

  • Titbelsoeur May 20, 2012, 2:13 pm

    What a lovely give away ! I wish I won ! thank you so much !

  • Kristin Van Valkenburgh May 20, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Ooooh, now THAT’s brilliant!! I use Kendra’s homework too, but never in such a creative way like this! LOVE the free motion sewing and the stenciling and and and . . . you are such an inspiration, so happy to know you!

  • AJ May 20, 2012, 3:54 pm

    Another wonderful post from you Carolyn, inspirational as always.
    Big love
    AJ 🙂

  • Miz Katie May 20, 2012, 6:06 pm

    How colorful, and soo creative! I wouldn’t have thought to sew the pages together like that! Those doilies are bringing back memories of my aunt’s house..long time ago. She used them for her plants. I’d love to win them. How generous of you!!

  • Paula - Buenos Aires May 20, 2012, 9:50 pm

    Loved the concept of sewing pieces for a bigger background. And also the taking a smaller piece for a page.
    Very outgoing design, so vibrant and fun.
    I read a comment your art place was a in a magazine. Congratulations! Have you ever posted pictures of it here?

  • Sandra May 21, 2012, 8:00 am

    Do people in clean studios actually make art? Not sure it’s possible!
    love your colorful exuberance

  • amy May 21, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Oh wow!!! I so LOVE to use these stencils on my artwork..I love using stencils and I don’t have many.Thank you for the chance to win. I love that you use your kids homework as the base..that is so unique..I will have to consider doing that sometime..makes for a great starter background. Have a wonderful day

  • Debbie May 21, 2012, 5:21 pm

    Just started following your blog and may have to pick up my first issue of Studio magazine. I’d be afraid (and they might too) to let anyone in my space ! I’ve been looking for some plastic stencils and wondering where you found yours, will continue to haunt the thrift stores.

  • muriel May 21, 2012, 6:27 pm

    So clever to use your child’s homework in your art! I love your plastic doilies! Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Faye May 21, 2012, 6:36 pm

    Fantastic art work, Carolyn. Your use of old homework papers is truly unique.

  • Sue May 22, 2012, 10:19 am

    I’ve been looking at my hand written grocery lists in a whole new light lately. Homework papers, I hadn’t thought of that. Great Idea!. Love the doilies!

  • linda trapp May 22, 2012, 2:38 pm

    Major brain freeze! What was I thinking?! My daughter and I just made a trip over the weekend to the recycling bin with arm loads of school work. I was so focused on decluttering that I didn’t see the gold mine! Thanks for opening my eyes!

  • Diane May 22, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I am such a fan of your art–it makes me smile–thank you so much for your sharing!!
    ….and I would love to have these doily stencils!!

  • Ginny K. May 23, 2012, 8:25 am

    Wow! You gave me a great idea, using your kids old homework papers as backgrounds for art pages!!!! Why have I not thought of that before, what an inspiration and I have tons of notebooks of theirs just sitting around, to think I was almost going to throw those old things out, thank goodness that I held on to them. I am going to go through them right now and find some great background papers to work with. I also love that you ahve plastic doilies to give away, I tried looking for some with no luck, so I do hope that I am in the running. But if not, I still have a great new source of art pages, my kids old school note books, thanks for a great idea!!! KEep crafting! ~Gin~

  • Shelley May 23, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Carolyn, I absolutely love your website!! Your projects are always so inspiring. Thank you for the chance to win these beautiful doilies!


    P.S. Congratulations on being published again! I can’t wait to get my copy to see your amazing studio! 🙂

  • JKW May 24, 2012, 8:30 am

    An amazing idea. I love that you are the rays of sunshine. Blessings, Janet PPF

  • Janice Mazur May 25, 2012, 8:34 am

    I’ve been following you for about a month and love your spontaneous way of painting. Makes me want to let go and follow you. Love to watch what you do.

  • patsy May 26, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Looks like so much fun! I love stencils and plan to make some of my own, but here in the Philippines, it’s hard to get spray paint, unless it’s those big cans in the hardware! Patsy from HeARTworks